Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

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

 Folks, if you are expecting my normal educational or humorous post you may want to skip by this one. It is neither. I’m writing this because I read something yesterday that disturbed me and I have to get it out of my head.

Late yesterday I was perusing the latest Time magazine and there was an article trying to make a connection between Global warming and the conflicts in Africa. According to this writer, the Sahara desert is becoming larger due to global warming and the effects of drought. And because of this it is creating a scarcity of food and water for millions of people. This teamed with existing tribal conflicts is creating tension and adding to the already unbelievable “living” conditions. To use the words from a report published by 11 former US Admirals and Generals, climate change is a “threat multiplier”.

Now folks, I’m not writing this post to agree with or dispute the validity of Global warming or the cause of so much famine, hatred, disease and genocide through out the World and Africa in particular. I’m writing this for one reason, to get this sentence out of my head:

“They beheaded people and used their heads for firewood”

Let that sink in for a minute. This is not a line from a horror movie. This is a reality of what people have to deal with in the Sudan and other parts of the World.

“They beheaded people and used their heads for firewood”

I for one, feel like I don’t even live in the same World. I go about my little life worrying about the most inconsequential problems. “Will my deal close?” “Will I be able to afford a vacation next year?” “My back hurts.” “I’m starving, I haven’t eaten since 9am.” “Someone was rude to me.” I could go on but you get my point.

“They beheaded people and used their heads for firewood”

So what can we do? I don’t know. These problems are so overwhelming and so far outside my realm of comprehension. But anything we do is better than nothing. TLW and I give to World Vision. We researched many organizations before deciding on one and came to the conclusion that World Vision is one of the best. They are on the ground already and 87% of your donation goes directly to the programs they support. You can change a child’s life for as low as $30 per month. Put it on your credit card as an automatic charge and you will not even miss it. It will not change the way you live one iota. But it will not only change a child’s life but it may very well give a child life. Please help.

“But Broker Bryant, I haven’t had a closing in 2 months and things are tight. When things pick up I promise to do something.”

Well, this is all I have to say about that:

“They beheaded people and used their heads for firewood”

Here are some additional resources.

Please add links to your favorite charities in the comment section. Thanks for reading.

***Originally written and posted in March of 2007.

Haines City Florida Pool Home. 3,016 Sq Ft. ONLY $350,000

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

Haines City Pool Home for sale 863-438-9003


Folks..if you want room to roam this could be the home for you. Beautifully maintained 5 bedroom 3.5 bath home that sits on almost a 1 acre lot in an exclusive gated community. Circular driveway, covered front porch, landscaped lot, in ground solar heated pool… ….and so much more. Home features formal living and dining rooms, huge eat in kitchen, a bonus room off the kitchen, family room, downstairs master suite, 4 additional bedrooms and 2 baths upstairs, detached RV garage, attached 2 car garage, solar heated in ground pool and the list goes on and on. You really just to come see this one.


 Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Poinciana Real Estate Agent

Copyright © 2008 | All Rights Reserved  

Central Florida Short Sales, Upfront Fees and Anti-Trust .

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

John MacArthur wrote a post yesterday expressing his disapproval of a Real Estate Company in his area that charges Short Sale Sellers a fee in addition to the commission. John’s opinion is that this is taking advantage of people. I thought his opinion was way off base. But hey…..that’s just my opinion. Go read his post and form your own. 

My question to John was “Is it the fee or the amount of the fee that has you riled?” I asked this question for two reasons. 

1. If it’s the AMOUNT of the fee then I would consider his opinion a possible violation of Sherman Anti-Trust Laws. 

2. I list short sales AND I charge an upfront fee to my sellers. It’s a very reasonable fee and they pay me prior to listing the property. I also charge a commission at time of closing. 

For number one you can do your own homework. 

Here is my explanation of number two. 

I charge an upfront fee because Short Sales are riskier, more time consuming and contingent on the Seller and their Lender cooperating. 

As any good businessman would I charge a small listing fee upfront to help offset my costs and risk. I am certainly not unethical and I am not taking advantage of people in a difficult situation. I am doing everything I can in my power to help them EXCEPT work for free. 

Did you know I pay more for E&O insurance because I list Short Sales? 

Did you know I NEVER reduce the amount of the co-broke if the lender reduces the commission? This is a benefit to my Sellers because Buyer Agents know they will get a FULL co-broke if they bring a Buyer for one of my Short Sale listings. 

I closed on three Short Sales last week. All of my Sellers were very happy that I was able to help salvage some of their credit and get them out of a difficult situation. 

I have only heard of one other broker that charges an upfront fee on Short Sales in my area. I tell my Sellers right upfront that MOST broker/agents will not charge a fee. They pay me anyway. Why? Because I build value. I bring a lot of knowledge and expertise to the table. I have 2 Sellers right now that are Attorneys and even have one who owns a C-21 brokerage. 

A few months ago I had a Seller decide one week before closing that he would just let the house be foreclosed on. I had worked for five months on the deal. His Attorney advised him to do this so he would not have Federal tax issues. It was my Seller’s homesteaded property. He was exempt from Federal tax on the sale. His Attorney was wrong and probably just wanted to get the fee for filing bankruptcy. I had zero control over this outcome. I stared charging an upfront fee the very next day. 

I refuse to have my compensation controlled by outside forces. 

Below is what one of my recent Sellers had to say. What say you?  



You are amazing! From the bottom of our hearts we want to thank you for this smooth transaction even from across the United States. We are all spread out – David in China, you in Florida, and I am here in California. Even with the distance this transaction did not skip a beat. You did everything on your end and we did whatever you told us to. Your hard work and dedication paid off! You even got us a better deal than what we expected – with the 2nd being forgiven. Your professionalism, patience, persistence, and follow through mentality kept this transaction out of foreclosure and made it into a smooth Short Sale. You are the King of Short Sales! Thank you again for all you did. We wish you and your family the best and keep up the good work.

Sara & David Fisk  



FAQ  #1 What is a Short Sale?
FAQ #2 What is a Hardship and why do I need one? 
FAQ #3 What goes in the Hardship Letter?

DISCLAIMER: I am a Florida Licensed Real Estate Broker. This article is my opinion based on years of experience and the laws of my State. All Sellers are urged to seek competent legal and tax advice. I am NOT qualified to give advice in those areas.  



Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved  


Why must there be a Hardship to do a Short Sale?

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

Want to buy this one?Hi folks. Today I have mixed emotions. Lenn Harley has a great featured post today basically showing how asinine our Government has been by throwing away trillions of dollars to bail out banks while ignoring the true issue……lack of equity.  According to Lenn (and I agree) we have an equity problem in this country. Until this problem is solved nothing else matters.

Homeowners will need to move or want to move at some point and if they can’t sell because they owe too much they are stuck. So they are forced to make hard decisions. Some will stay and stick it out but I’m afraid many more will just walk away and let their homes be foreclosed on.

In my opinion, this is going to be the next major waive of foreclosures. Right now it seems like things are starting to get better. In some of the hardest hit areas inventory is down and sales are up. Don’t be fooled. This is the eye of the storm.

Banks have been slower to foreclose and in fact, according to some sources, have more than 500,000 properties that they are sitting on.  My guess is that this number is higher. These will be released to the market soon.

Now, I am a firm believer in meeting your financial obligations. I know I do. TLW and I sold several of our properties last year and had to bring large sums of money to closing on a couple of them. It sucked. But we did it anyway.

However, there are many people where bringing money to closing is just not possible. What would you do if you had a better job opportunity that would require you to move BUT you were upside down on your mortgage by 200 grand or so? A loan mod won’t work and you don’t qualify for a Short Sale. Do you just stay in your house? Or do you walk?

My question is…..Why won’t the lenders do a Short Sale anyway?  Why does there have to be a hardship? Why can’t the hardship be that you are stuck in a situation that is not going to change for a decade or more? I mean let’s face it, at some point, MOST people will need to sell. Unless they have an option to Short Sale without proving a hardship they are screwed and we are screwed.

One of my Sellers received this today:

  • I have reviewed the information submitted and the sellers do not qualify for any liquidation options. They are showing a large surplus income and they do qualify for home savings options. I need to know that they are interested in pursuing home retention and would need a rescinding of the listing so that we can proceed with home saving options. I need to know this no later than Friday, May 22nd.

That “large surplus income” is from the husband who makes about $700 a week and a wife who is on unemployment. They owe over $200,000 on a property that is worth $60,000. They have never refinanced. Hubby’s job relocated him to  a different store and he now has to commute over 100 miles a day FURTHER than when they bought the house.

This property will now be foreclosed on even though I have a cash buyer under contract at a price higher than the property will be worth in a few months. This foreclosure, that is avoidable, will drag property values down even further in this neighborhood.

The owners credit will be shot, the Buyer misses out on a good buy, the neighborhood’s values will take another hit, I wasted 2 months of my time and the Lender…….will get some more money from us, the tax payers.

Does this suck or what?





Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

Short Sale Basics, Session III–Just What I Needed Today!sh

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


Debe Maxwell is one of Short Sale Basic’s students and has this to say about session 3. Thanks Debe!!!!


Via Debe Maxwell, Realtor® Let’s Talk CHARLOTTE! (Helen Adams Realty):

Short Sale Basics, Session III–Just What I Needed Today!
Short Sales
Our own Bryant Tutus (BB or Broker Bryant) & Wendy Rulnick just hosted their third, short sale webinar today and boy, was it a jam-packed lesson in short sales!  The information gleaned from this series has just been incredible.  I have taken courses on short sales and their presentation is just so much more informative and I have learned an enormous amount from them.  In the beginning stages of a couple of short sales myself right now, I really needed the expert knowledge that Wendy & Bryant provided today!  

Today’s lesson was on pricing the short sale.  Do you know HOW to price a short sale?  What are the techniques used to evaluate the competition and the sold properties to place a fair market value on the home?  


You’ll want to consider:

  • Actives
  • Solds
  • Pendings

At what point do you do a price reduction?  How much do you reduce the price and how often?

How do you market a short sale?

Are you in keeping with the Realtor® Code of Ethics?  Are you:

  • Disclosing that this IS a short sale listing in MLS?
  • Sharing equally in the commission splits with the buyer’s agents?
  • Submitting multiple offers or not?
  • Being honest with your peers (the buyer’s agents) as to the length of time needed to Close on a short sale?
  • Qualifying the buyer before contract negotiations?

Do you have your buyers of short sales:

  • Perform inspections?
  • Have their lenders order the appraisals upon ratification of the Contract?

When IS the Contract ratified?

WHO is responsible for having the utilities on for inspections?

These and MANY other questions were answered in Part III of the Short Sale Basics course that Bryant & Wendy hosted today.  

Short Sales

A few of the short sale terms that we touched upon during the third session.

Creative Commons License Image above created by the web application are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License

Sorry but, if you’d like the answers, you’ll have to sign up for the classes!!  If you missed the first three, that’s okay, they have them recorded and you can catch up so that you’re prepared for the next one on Saturday (7/25)!  The cost is MINIMAL (only $97)–and for the wealth of knowledge that you’ll glean from these true, short sale experts, you can’t beat this deal!  

Short Sales

OH, and if you missed the surprise announcement–there’s a new SHORT SALE SUPERSTARS website being unveiled on August 1!  Stay tuned…

short sale experts

Thanks Bryant & Wendy–and, of course, TLW for giving me JUST what I needed today!

Debe in Charlotte

Are you using a Seller’s Net Sheet?

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

Florida real estate broker 407-873-2747In the comments of my recent post “Real Estate Negotiating…It’s Not Rocket ScienceI was asked if I had written an article on using the Seller Net Sheet. I had. And here it is. I hope it helps.

How many of you guys are using Seller Net Sheets as part of your listing presentation? Did you know if used properly they can be the key to you getting the listing? Sounds to simple doesn’t it? Well….it is. Let me expand on this.

First, if you are not giving your Seller a Net Sheet at time of listing you are missing the boat AND doing your Seller a disservice. Here’s why they are so important. The only figure that should make any difference to your Seller is how much money is left over after all is said and done. Purchase price, commission, closing costs, Seller contributions and who pays for what should make no difference at all to your Seller. Your job is to get them to understand this.

How many times have you had your Seller tell you “I ain’t paying no closing costs for the buyer!” or “I’m not paying you x% to sell my property!” My answer is always the same, “Why not? What difference does it make to you? Let me show you the figures and what your Net is. Isn’t that really all you care about?”

It also important to remember that the Seller may have no clue what costs he is responsible for. We have to make sure they know this. Not when an offer is received or when we are reviewing the HUD prior to closing but at time of listing. This is very important stuff.

When I’m at a listing appointment and I’ve done my walk through and gone over my CMA with the Sellers the next thing I do is say, “Now let me lay out my pricing plan to get your property sold.” This is when I prepare my Seller Net Sheet.

My Net Sheet is very simple and I have a preprinted form so I can just fill in the blanks while I am sitting with the Seller. It looks like this:

Estimated Net Sheet prepared for Mr. and Mrs. Need T. Sale

For 123 Callme Dr. on 8 November 2007

Recommended Range Price

$190,000 to $210,000

Target Sales Price

$ 200,000

Real Estate Com. 10%

( 20,000)

Doc. Stamps(tax

(   1,400)

Title Insurance

(   1,500)


(     100)



****Estimated NET

$ 177,000



***This NET does not include payoff of any liens, mortgages, HOA dues, property taxes or repairs that may be owed or required. It may vary slightly at closing.

That’s it! Short, sweet and simple. I then lay it in front of them and we start talking about the NET figure. At this time I also want to know how much they owe and whether or not they have a prepayment penalty. By doing this I now have them concentrating on what is important to them, how much money they will put in their pocket at closing. My commission, being above the NET line is now not a factor. This NET sheet needs to be signed or initialed at time of listing and attached to the top of their listing agreement copies.

Now, the NET Sheet comes into play again when we receive an offer. This is what I do. First, I am NOT an attorney and I am not required to or qualified to go over a purchase offer line by line. What I do is prepare a summary of the offer and attach another NET sheet to it. My summary usually goes like this:

Attached, please find the purchase offer received for your property. The terms in a nutshell are as follows: The Buyers are offering $195,000 and have placed a $2,000 deposit with First American Title in Kissimmee. They have been pre-approved by Countrywide Mortgage (letter attached) and the sale is subject to satisfactory inspections(within 15 days), appraisal, survey, clear title and final mortgage approval(within 21 days). The closing will be on or before 31 December 2007. The Seller will contribute $5,000 towards the Buyer’s closing costs and provide a Homebuyers Warranty at a cost of $350. The Seller will be responsible for structural repairs not to exceed $1,000 and termite/wood rot repairs not to exceed $1,000.

Your estimated NET will be as follows: Insert new NET Sheet here including the costs the Buyer has requested. Please review the purchase offer and let me know how to proceed.

That’s it. I have given them the information and the contract so they can take time to digest it before we get together to decide the way forward.

OK, the NET Sheet comes into play one more time. Once we have negotiated and have an accepted offer, I make copies of everything and attach another NET sheet on top. It will have all the costs just as the others did. I NEVER include tax pro-rations, HOA dues, liens and mortgage payoff data. Why? Because I cannot control these costs. I only include costs where I know the exact amounts.

Now the final NET Sheet has an additional paragraph at the bottom. This too will be signed. My final NET Sheet has this in BOLD print:

This NET is an estimate and may vary slightly at closing. This is a legally binding contract. Please feel free to have your Attorney review the paper work. It is quite normal for closings to be delayed. Please do not make any major financial decisions based on the proceeds of this sale until the transaction is closed and the check is in your hand. Do not place any deposits, on anything, that are not refundable should this transaction not close.

Now folks, as you can see, not only are my Sellers extremely informed about what’s going on but I have assured that there will be no surprises that come up on the HUD statement. The Seller cannot say I didn’t tell them this or that.

So that’s it, Broker Bryant’s crash course on the importance of the Seller Net Sheet and Transaction summary. It sure makes my life easier. I don’t like surprises and neither do my Sellers. How about you?

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

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


Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

Bank of America Short Sale Approval!!

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

Short Sale broker

Hi folks, Miracles do happen. After many months of phone calls, updating documents and keeping the buyer on track we finally received an approval to close on a Bank of America Short Sale.

Only one small issue……..they approved the wrong Buyer and the wrong contract!!!

So, we start over.

I love Short Sales. I really do. There can be no other reason that I would deal with this crap day in and day out.

Need help with your Florida Short Sale?


Florida Property search

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

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


Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved


Quit whining about Short Sales. YOU are the problem.

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

Need preforeclosure assistance? 407-873-2747

Hi folks. I was commenting on an article by Russell Shaw over at AgentGenius earlier and one person actually stated that instead of trying to solve the short sale issue we should be working on speeding up the foreclosure process.

Speed up foreclosures? Sorry but I’m in the business of helping people salvage some of their credit and get out of a bad situation with the least amount of damage. Speeding up the foreclosure process helps nobody.

Short sales fail due to:

  • Lack of knowledge on the part of the agent.
  • Contract prices that are too low.
  • Not qualifying the seller at time of listing.
  • Not setting realistic expectations.
  • Impatience.
Lenders are slow to respond due to:
  • Multiple offers clogging up the system.
  • Fake purchase contracts.
  • Incomplete Short Sale packages.
  • Fraudulent Seller financials.
  • Unnecessary phone calls.
Now folks I do know that the lenders are PART of the problem. But my honest opinion is that incompetent agents are an even bigger issue. I know this because I deal with agents on both sides of the transaction everyday that are truly clueless about the process. These agents are clogging up the system and jeopardizing their customer/clients financial futures.
I heard yesterday, from someone in the know, that the person in charge of training for one of the Major State REALTOR(R) associations has NEVER done a short sale transaction!! How ridiculous is that?
If you are handling Short Sales PLEASE join Together we can make a difference. You don’t have to fake it. Short Sales are serious businesss and we are here to help in any way we can. OK?


Do NOT be foreclosed on! Avoid foreclosure. Short Sales DO close.

Want to find out more?


The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2009 | All Rights Reserved

Zillow, zillow fee fillow fee fi fo fillow……….zillow!

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

Since this sounds like the song of the week, I thought I would do a little research on my listings, using Zillow as a comparison. First, I don’t give a hoot about Zillow. It doesn’t affect my business at all. The one thing Zillow can never have is personality. So unless they figure out how to accomplish this, I am safe. So, just for fun’s sake, here is list of my listings with my “expert market opinion” and Zillow’s zestimate. Actually, as you will see, they did a pretty good job in my market. It probably helps that most of the homes, in my market, are very similar in style. So here goes:

My Price        Zestimate       Difference

$143,000       $143,854        $    854

$205,000       $213,790        $  8,790

$220,000       $222,492        $  2,492

$229,000       $233,513        $  4,513

$245,000       $248,484        $  3,484

$259,000       $246,234        $ 12,766-

$179,000       $161,558        $ 17,442-

$185,000       $181,525        $   3,475-

$195,000       $172,031        $ 22,969-

$249,000       $225,741        $ 23,259-

$259,000       $238,741        $ 20,259-

So maybe I do need to list at the Zillow estimate. According to Zillow 6 of my listings are overpriced! I think I will go back to my Sellers next week and use Zillow to get some price reductions. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. And I’m going to sing all the way……….Zillow, zillow fee fillow fee fi fo fillow……… zillow!

Even if you don’t feel like doing it. Do it anyway!

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

Hi folks! I just realized today, that it has been 3 days since I wrote a post for my Blog. To be honest, that is really out of character for me. I am always very consistent and persistent in every thing I do. It’s my nature. It’s my character. The last post I wrote was about character and here I am getting away from mine. So let’s give this post a shot today and see what I can come up with. I know some will say, “Broker Bryant if you don’t feel like writing, then don’t write.” My answer to that would be, that the best way to succeed at anything, in life, is to do it whether you feel like doing it or not. Now I’m not talking about doing things that are unethical or illegal, what I’m talking about are things that need to be done to improve your business or your life. Just do it.

TLW can attest to the fact that I am a move forward type of guy. I never dwell on the past and I am able to move forward very quickly. I’m a firm believer in forward motion. Forward motion creates good things. Just do it.

My business has been very, very busy, the last week or so, with negotiations, new listings and chasing closings. All good stuff and all forward moving activities. This morning I had to prepare three listing agreements for tomorrow, renew seven listings that are expiring tonight, arrange showings on six of my listings, mail out my daily expired letter, update the Sellers for my six pending listings and try to find time to write a Blog post. But you know I woke up, this morning and didn’t really feel like working today. It was hard but I dragged myself out of bed, went downstairs to my office, picked up the phone and started making my calls. After the first couple of calls, I was into my groove and things started going well. Why? Because, I just did it. I moved forward and took care of the tasks at hand. Forward movement.

Forward movement means having a plan and sticking with it. It means being confident that the things you are doing will have positive results. It means doing what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not. It means forgetting about your bad day yesterday and concentrating on the new day in front of you. It means knowing that your success and next paycheck are waiting for you to move forward and claim them.

Moving forward is how I stay positive. For me, negative, is a past event. I choose not to go there. I don’t have time for negative. I’m to busy moving forward.

“So, Broker Bryant, what’s the point of this post?” The point of this post is to just do it. Even if you don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway. Forward motion. Trust me, when I say your life will change if you adapt this attitude.

So there you have it, my Blog post for today. I did it. Now I’m moving forward. See you in the future!

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.