Be a resource instead of a salesperson.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

BAM!!! Got me a Broker!Hi folks. Today I want to write a little bit about Internet leads and how to handle them. This post was inspired by Monika McGillicuddy's recent post "Don't hit the delete key…..pretty please". First, I need to disclose that the bulk of my business is NOT Internet based. Since I rarely work with Buyers the Internet is not as powerful a tool for me as it would be if Buyers were my target. Some Sellers do find me through the Internet but most are referrals or folks responding to my expired letter.

Having said that, I have sold many properties sight unseen over the Internet. These were sold to Buyers who found a listing online and sent me an email requesting additional information. The only reason I am not an expert with working with Buyers over the Internet is because I don't want to be. I am however an expert at sales. I can sell "ice to an Eskimo" if need be.

Having been in sales of some sort most of my life the most important thing I have learned is…do NOT sell folks. My job as a "sales person" is to persuade people to make decisions that are beneficial to them and to me. TLW says I am a manipulator. She's wrong. I am a persuader.

You must remember folks who use the Internet are after one thing, information. This is VERY important to understand. They do NOT want to be sold. If you try to sell them the game is over.

Your response back to an Internet inquiry should be designed to:

  • First and foremost….answer their questions.
  • Provide additional information.
  • Be non intrusive.
  • Build trust and likability.
  • Invite further interaction.
  • Let them know you will be following up.

Now folks, having a blog goes a long way to achieving these goals. I have already written several posts on how to push your information at folks so I won't repeat it here. Here are the links to what I have already written.

The key is to get your information in front of them without selling. What this does is create a non threatening environment where the consumer can get the information they are searching for without feeling like they are being sold or coerced into dealing with a "salesperson" when they are not ready.

You want to be a resource. A source of information that the consumer sees as valuable. You want them to feel comfortable enough to come back. And they will come back if you have the information they are searching for.

If you have spent any time at all reading my blog, then you know, that I NEVER sell my services. I don't have to. When the consumer reads my posts they are getting valuable information. They contact me because I am giving then this information with no strings attached, it's free for them to use as they choose.

Also remember, folks are on the Internet searching not only because they want information but because they want it quick. If you do get an inquiry you must respond immediately. If you don't respond instantly or at a minimum within a couple of hours you can be sure they have moved on.

I'm not a big fan of auto responders, however, if you are not set up to respond to inquiries quickly you may have to set up an auto responder. If you do just make sure the response is not too generic and is giving them information. Don't use the "out of the office will respond later" thingie. Your response, at a minimum, needs to be friendly and have additional links in it to keep them busy until you can get back with them. You will have more success converting Internet prospects by sending them "anything quickly" than sending them "something more comprehensive" later.

OK that's it, Broker Bryant's Ramblings for today. Hope it helps. Any thoughts?

Graphic compliments of Jay Merton.

Copyright © 2007 Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings | All Rights Reserved

News flash!! Housing downturn culprit discovered!!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks. As I was reading my daily “Early Bird News” put out by our Florida Association of REALTORS® I was enlightened by the real reason for our housing downturn. This may come as a shock to some of you……are you ready?

Speculators may have accelerated housing downturn!

Speculators! Who would of thunk it. Well I sure did. My market, Poinciana Fl, was raped by speculators. It seems like every “investor” from NY and South Florida swooped down on Poinciana to purchase every new construction home they could with the intent to flip for a profit.

The appeal was new houses that could be bought in the mid to high 100s that would have cost them $300,000 to $400,000, or more, in the areas they were from. It seemed like an easy game plan. Purchase for $175,000 in Poinciana and then by the time construction was complete turn around and sell it for $275,000 and make a nice tidy profit. Some speculators got lucky and did.

The problem was they got lucky by selling it to another Investor who then thought they could sell it for $350,000 but couldn’t. So now these properties sit empty. They can’t sell them and they can’t rent them.

Now they are attempting to get a “short sale”. But here’s the problem. When they purchased the property they bought them under the pretense of being their primary residence. Even though that was never the intent, they figured by saying it was a primary residence, they would qualify for a 100% loan. And they did. But they lied and actually committed “Occupancy fraud”.

Now when they apply for the “short sale” their lie will be exposed and the “short sale” will be denied AND the Lender could very well go after them for fraud.

What these “Investors” didn’t realize is that “end users” in Poinciana aren’t willing to purchase a home for more than about $225,000. Poinciana is a blue collar and service industry community. Most folks that can afford $250,000 for a home will not buy in Poinciana.

Poinciana is now in dire straights and it will take quite a while to come out of it. In January there were 19 closings. There are currently 1,157 active listings. That’s a dismal absorption rate of 1.6% or 5 years worth of inventory!!

In all fairness, speculators weren’t the only reason there’s now a housing downturn. But they were certainly a major part of it in Poinciana Fl. But this too shall pass. It will just take time. In the meantime, there are starting to be some very good buys in Poinciana. Check out the house below. Do you want to buy it?

Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved

Buyer in Poinciana has her S.H.I.P. come in!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Today, I had a closing where the Buyer almost didn’t close. It seems the closing costs were about $800 higher than expected. I wasn’t on the Buyer’s side so not quite sure where the issue came in.

Probably just first time home buyer jitters and some lack of communication between the Buyer and her mortgage broker. Eventually though the Buyer came around and the deal closed.

I’m so glad it did. Not only for my Seller’s sake but also for the Buyer’s. Here’s why.

The Buyer was getting down payment assistance through a program named S.H.I.P. This is the acronym for “State Housing Initiative Partnership”. This is a program through the State of Florida that assist homebuyers in purchasing a home.

The buyer must:

  • Meet the income requirements. Annual household income cannot exceed 120% of the area median income.
  • Provide at least $1,000 of their own funds.
  • Complete a home buyer’s education seminar.
  • Secure first mortgage financing.

The property must:

  • Be new or existing and located in Orange County, outside the city limits of Orlando.
  • Not exceed a sales price of $219,000.
  • Receive competitive fixed rate financing.
  • Be fee simple ownership

Funds from S.H.I.P. are given as a 2nd mortgage but have no payment. In fact, after 15 years (I think), the mortgage is completely forgiven and does not have to be paid back. The mortgage amount decreases for every year the homeowner remains in the property.

This particular Buyer received almost $60,000 of the $120,000 purchase price!!! What a deal.

When the Buyer’s agent called me to tell me the Buyer was balking at $800 I just couldn’t believe it. I mean really…’re getting $60,000 on a 15 year interest free and payment free loan.

Of course, I don’t blame the Buyer for being concerned about an $800 difference in the closing costs. $800 is a lot of money and should be questioned.

I’m just glad the Buyer was able to get their head around the fact that this was a very good deal and they needed to close. Fortunately they did.

Anyway, if you are interested in purchasing a home in the Poinciana area….well give me a call, maybe we can you some money. Money for nothing is a very good deal. What say you?

Sell Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker
***The content of this blog is solely my opinion*** 

Short Sale Negotiators. Needed or not?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

call me!!!Hi folks, today, I’m writing to pick your collective brains a little. With the huge amounts of distressed property owners in this current real estate environment a “new” business opportunity seems to have been born, The Short Sale Negotiator. 

If you are like me, I’m sure you get numerous emails from these companies, offering to assist you with short sale negotiations. They go something like this: 

  • “Why spend your time negotiating with Lenders when you could be spending your time listing and selling real estate. We are a National company helping real estate agents and homeowners deal with short sale negotiations. Our services are FREE!! We get paid by taking 1% of the purchase price at time of closing. If we do not successfully negotiate a short sale on your behalf then we do not get paid.” 

Here is my question: 

  • Must these companies be either licensed real estate brokers or attorneys, since they are getting paid by commission only? 

I must admit that at one time these services seemed very appealing to me. I have since changed my mind. My problem is, I feel having another party between me and my sellers is opening up the door to unnecessary liability. I also feel I am giving up too much control. I’m a control freak and the thought of having to go through another party for updates just does not do it for me. 

Short sales are time consuming enough without adding another layer of frustration. 

Now having said all that, I’m positive some of these companies are very good at what they do BUT…….how do I find out who is good or not without having to put one of my sellers at risk to, find out? 

I need some help with this. What are your thoughts? 


Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved

It’s Jungle Out There!!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Here are a few photos I took while driving around Poinciana Florida today. If it’s true that a picture paints a thousand words then I guess these pretty much sum up what’s going on with the Poinciana Real Estate Market.


Poinciana Foreclosure

The neighbors ain't happy!!


No one's at home!!!


Poinciana FSBO

Help Me!!!!



Sell Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved 

Poinciana Florida Short Sale For Sale

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Tutas Towne Realty specializes in pre-foreclosure remedies and Short Sales. If you are a property owner who is struggling with your mortgage payment or a Buyer looking for a good deal let us know. We CAN help. All conversations are of course confidential. Do NOT get foreclosed on. Please let me help.

102 Big Sioux Dr Kissimmee Florida 34759


You won’t find a better house than this for the money. Tile flooring in kitchen, dinette, entry and all 3 bathrooms. Formal living and dining rooms. Two family rooms, one upstairs and one down stairs. Bonus room downstairs could easily be 5th bedroom. Inside laundry room. All on an over sized corner lot. Listing price may not be sufficient to cover all encumbrances, closing costs, or other seller charges and sale of Property at full listing price may be conditioned upon approval of third parties.

Buyer Broker Agreements Simplified

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Florida Real Estate Broker 407-873-2747OK this is a follow up to my post yesterday. I received this email:

You are right Bryant, I should not work with 2 realtors at the same time and got a bit excited after reading your blog. It occured to me you are more than an average realtor (broker/listed agent) and may get few properties ahead of everyone else and sometimes yet to be listed in MLS. There are few foreclosure specialists in Chicago area that work on fee based service.

Please don’t think otherwise but appreciate if you can clarify the following:   If you are like anyone else, what advantage does a buyer have in hiring you to acquire an REO? What is this retainer for? I can see some buyer advantage in short sales but for REOs I don’t see any. Am I missing anything?? END 


Hi there,   OK so I like the part about getting excited after reading my blog 🙂   A Buyer’s Broker Agreement (BBA) creates a bilateral agreement between you and I. It obligates you to work exclusively with me in areas we define. For example, if you had a BBA with the agent in Celebration you would not have contacted me and we would not have had this issue come up. It would have helped to solidify a loyal and professional relationship. It lays out the framework for the entire relationship. It obligates the Broker to do his job.

Also, as we had discussed on the phone, it gives the broker a monetary incentive to work harder. Foreclosures are very inexpensive (in my area) and can also be much more frustrating as it may take offers on numerous properties in order to get one accepted. Good properties sell quickly and usually with multiple offers. Finding the right property takes time.    

REALTORS(R) are usually paid by co-brokes (commissions) offered by the Seller’s agent or Builder to bring a Buyer. These commission usually range form 1% to 5% of the purchase price with 3% being an average. This can create a conflict of interest. Suppose there are 5 properties that are perfect for what you are looking for. All offering different co-brokes within this range. Wouldn’t I rather sell you the one where I make 5% as opposed to the one where I make 1%? Of course I would. It’s human nature.

The BBA elimnates this conflict by setting a minimum AND a maximum fee upfront. In my case it’s $2,500 or 3% whichever is greater.**** Anything above these amounts would be rebated or credited to you at time of closing.   In the price range you are looking at, $65,000, the co-broke could range from $650 (1%) to $3,250 (5%) but would probably be $1,950 (3%). If it were 1% you would have to contribute $1,850 to my compensation. If it were $3,250 you would actually receive a rebate of $375 (half of $750).

More than likely you will have to contribute $500 to $750 to a deal. Don’t you think we could save at least that amount by being more aggressive with finding you a property? Of course we could.  This is why what is an advantage to me (guaranteed minimum pay) is actually more of an advantage to you. Make sense?  

The retainer I charge, of $1,000, is nothing more than a fee to make sure I am only working with serious buyers. I get upward of 20 buyer enquiries a day and I am not able to work with them all so I have to pick and choose. I do this by asking for a retainer and requesting a signed BBA. The retainer is applied towards any commission differences. For example, if you bought a property where you needed to contribute $750 towards my compensation you would actually get $250 back because you had already paid me $1,000. The retainer is included in the $2,500 or 3%. It’s just paid in advance. If you break our BBA it is mine to keep.

The advantage of working with me is that I am very good at what I do which is evident by all that you have read and learned from me in the last couple of days of communicating. Of course the choice of whether or not to hire me is solely yours. I only have a couple of more Buyer openings left for this month but will be happy to place you on my waiting list if now is not a good time for you.

Investing in foreclosures is certainly the way to go right now. I hope we can come to an agreement to work together to get you some deals.   As always, let me know if you have questions.  

****Commissions are ALWAYS negotiable. This post is NOT about commissions it is about BBAs. So get off my a** Sherman!!!  

Here’s a sample BBA. 


Sell Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved 


Third Party Approval…..What’s The Big Deal?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks. Today I want to put a different spin on Short Sales and third party approval. I’ve read a lot of posts and comments about the dreaded 3rd party approval and how frustrating it is for Buyers and Buyer’s agents. 

My thought on this is………it’s about time!!! As a listing Broker, my Sellers and I, have spent a lot of time waiting for Buyers to get their mortgage approval. Some took 30 days and some took 90 days. Some didn’t close at all.  

When negotiating offers we relied on information provided to us from the Buyer’s Lender stating they were “pre-approved” or “pre-qualified” only to find out a month later that it was all a lie. They were just writing deals and hoping to get them through. 

Doesn’t this all sound familiar to Short Sales? Of course it does. The Buyer’s Lender approving their financing IS 3rd party approval. That contingency is NO different than having the Seller’s Lender remove the 3rd party approval in a Short Sale transaction.

In fact, as a Listing Broker, I much prefer the Short Sale and the Seller’s 3rd party approval. It keeps me in control of the transaction. 

Things have not changed that much. It’s just that now the “3rd party approval” contingency is on the other side of the contract. Deal with it!!


Are you a Florida REALTOR(R) looking for a change? Check it out.



Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved   

Upfront & Personal with Your Favorite and Mine… Broker Bryant!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS


OK here’s your opportunity to play “Stump the Broker”. I hope to see you guys on Saturday.


Via Jennifer Allan, Author of Sell with Soul (Sell with Soul):


Are you a Broker B (as in, Broker Bryant Tutas) follower? If you aren’t, you’re one of, like 5 people on Active Rain who aren’t. We Rainers love our Broker Bryant, don’t we? And don’t get us started on how much we adore his wife, TLW.

So, my people talked with his people and we arranged a special Broker Bryant show that’s open to the public! On Saturday, June 20th, BB (and TLW?) will be joining me for an in-depth discussion of, well, whatever we decide to talk about!

Actually, the plan is to hit BB with a barrage of questions on topics he’s passionate about – which, by default, according to his latest popularity polls, you are passionate about also.

It’s a free show and worth every penny. Hope you’ll join us!

Here are the details:
Date & Time: Saturday morning, June 20th 8:30 am (pacific) / 11:30 am (eastern)
Location: Your phone or computer – take your pick
Duration: 60 – 90 minutes
Registration: REQUIRED – Click here

Once you’ve registered, you’ll have the opportunity to submit questions you’d like BB to address. And please do!

Again, to register for the BB show, just go here.




 It’s DONE!
The Sequel to Sell with Soul
Order Here

Jennifer Allan, GRI

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Tips & Inspirations to Generate Business from the Very Important People Who Know You

Disclose multiple offers? Sorry…it’s none of your buisness!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks. I’ve read a couple of posts this week that have left me scratching my head. Both were about listing agents and their “unethical” practice of not handling multiple offers according to the Buyer agent’s expectations.

In the comments on these posts the listing agents were called lazy, unethical, unprofessional, bad, rude, unfair and greedy. The consensus was that “The listing agent was not looking out for the Seller‘s best interest.”

Well my question is: “How do you know what’s in my Seller’s best interest”. The answer of course is “you don’t“. You have no clue what my Seller and I have discussed.

As a listing Broker it is my job to counsel my sellers. My Sellers need to know that they do not have to…….

…..disclose multiple offers.
…..counter offer.
…..ask for “highest and best”.
…..even acknowledge your Buyer’s offer.

There are many reason why NOT disclosing multiple offers or asking for “Highest and Best” may be the best way forward.

  • The Buyer may NOT submit an offer if they know there are multiple offers.
  • A Buyer may also NOT want to get caught up in a bidding war.
  • By disclosing multiple offers I could very well keep my Seller from getting a better offer.

I can’t even count how many times a Buyer’s agent has called me to say they were sending over an offer. Frankly it goes in one ear and out the other. I NEVER believe them. I am not going to contact my Seller and get them all excited only to have to let them down when the offer does not materialize.

Send me the offer and I’ll present it to the Seller. And send me a COMPLETE offer. Telling me you will provide a pre-approval and/or proof of funds tomorrow does my Seller or your Buyer no good. Without these items the offer will not be presented. It’s a non offer.

As an example: I received an offer on one of my short sale listings on Friday. It was cash and very low. It was also sent over with out proof of funds (POF). I emailed the agent and asked them for the POF.

I didn’t receive POF until Monday and then……I couldn’t read it. I had to ask the agent to resend it. It took the agent took another 24 hours. Finally, 5 days later, I was able to discuss the offer with my Seller.

My Seller countered. Shortly after that we received a far better offer that my Seller will probably accept. After discussing it we decided to ask the cash offer for “Highest and Best” just to see if they would come up.

I received an email from the agent moaning that she thought her Buyers would get an answer today and that they were not happy with “Highest and best” and were in fact upset that there were now multiple offers because we “didn’t disclose this to them”.

Now if this agent were a Blogger she would probably write a post about how  lazy, unethical, unprofessional, bad, rude, unfair and greedy I am. And how “I’m not looking out for my Seller’s best interest.”

But that’s OK. My Seller just accepted the other offer that was $15,000 better than the cash offer. I really don’t give a crap what the Buyer’s agent and the Buyer think. I work for the Seller. They are the one’s paying me.

While I certainly agree with having “professional courtesy” it does not extend to giving you insider information to help you negotiate a real estate transaction. Always remember who you are working for.

If your expectations are different….then you are setting yourself and your Buyers up for failure. That’s all I have to say about that. What say you?

More articles on handling multiple offers.

Video is the property of ROAR!! Productions. Hands off!!

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

***The content of this blog is solely my opinion***

Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.