CPR needed on a dying deal!!

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

Help! Call 911! Well, one of my closings for this week is dying a slow death. I just hate it when that happens. We were supposed to close last Friday, then extended until today, only to find out Wells Fargo has denied the loan due to the Buyer's debt ratio being to high by 1%. Only 1%! Seemingly, there is some additional income, from a part time job, that was disqualified, due to not being seasoned (less than 12 months). How can something so small kill a deal?

Anyway, the Loan Officer called me today, to give me this news, and to request a 3 week extension so they can submit the package to another Lender. A 3 week extension! I'm not quite sure how an extension and a new Lender is going to change the debt ratio. The facts are, these are first time home buyers, that were getting a pretty good rate and a 30 year fixed 100% first mortgage from Wells Fargo. If they switch to another Lender they are looking for an 80/20. Now I have been doing this for a while and may be looking at this wrong, but wouldn't an 80/20 make the ratio even worse than it already is?

My suggestion was to check with the underwriter, at Wells Fargo, to see what the loan amount would need to be to fit within an acceptable ratio. By my thinking, maybe, if we knew this figure, we could adjust the purchase price downward and do the deal, instead of granting an extension on a deal that may or may not work. Does this make sense? Is it a doable solution? Maybe reducing the price by $5,000 or so would work. We could then lower costs to the Seller to get as close to the original NET as possible.

I'm thinking out of the box here to try and get my Sellers out of their house. We have been trying to sell this place since June and they have in fact already placed a sizeable deposit down on a rental home. I don't want them to lose this rental deposit or this deal. I have grown to really like these folks and I want them to be able to move on. At this point I am not even concerned with getting paid. Heck, I made enough money this year. Sometimes you just have to do one for the "ole gipper."

I'm looking for 100% financing on a purchase price of $175,000 with the Seller contributing 5% towards Buyer's closing costs. The Buyer has a middle score of 620.

So, what do you think, ActiveRain mortgage guys and gals? Any hope showing? Any way my Sellers can still salvage Christmas? Are there any mortgage brokers wanting to ride a white horse this Christmas? All thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. Giddy up!!

Never? Ever? Maybe? OK, let’s do it!

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

 Hi folks. This week Tutas Towne Realty, Inc has changed directions, slightly. We hired a Buyer's representative. I know, I know, "But Broker Bryant you don't work with Buyers, ever". Well, I changed my mind. I'm the boss and I can do that. You know one of the traits of successful people is the ability to be flexible and willing to change directions when it is called for. Ever, to me, means, not at this time. As things change and I get more data I make adjustments accordingly. You may have noticed that the market has shifted and, at least in my area, it is a full blown Buyers market. So I hired a REALTOR® to handle my Buyer business.

We've had Buyer representatives in the past but when the market changed in 2004 I didn't need one anymore. My associate, at that time, left for greener pastures and I left the position vacant. My listings, were selling in record time, so it didn't make a difference. When I did get Buyer leads, I just handed them over to a few select REALTORS® in my area and let them have them. I never charged referral fees. I used these referrals to build relationships with my peers.

But things have changed. Listings are more difficult to sell, so I have been doing a little more Buyer orientated advertising and the phone has been ringing. Now, since I definitely do not feel like riding around looking at houses, I brought someone on board to take care of that for me. I'm sure I will keep her busy. It's a pretty good job, handle ALL of Broker Bryant's Buyer leads with no inter office competition.

Let me introduce you to Veronica Folayan. Veronica has actually been a customer and friend of mine for years. I sold her a house about 6 years ago in Poinciana, sight unseen, over the Internet. We have subsequently done several other transactions. Veronica has been investing in Real Estate for quite a while and owns several properties. Even though she is a new REALTOR® she is very experienced in Real Estate. Veronica has joined ActiveRainso I'm hoping we can give her a big welcome and coax her out into Blog world. Maybe she can write about her experiences as a new REALTOR® working under me. I'm sure that will give her enough material to keep us all reading. She doesn't know I'm writing this post. I thought I would send her the link after we get some words of encouragement.

So without any further ado, please welcome my friend and new associate Veronica Folayan.

By the way, she too, is sooooooooooooooo good looking!

Final thoughts from Broker Bryant. To be successful in Real Estate or anything for that matter, be willing to embrace change. Keep you fingers on the pulse of the market and align your business accordingly. Always be willing to help and to learn from others. And most importantly, keep moving forward. It's all about forward movement.

Good luck Veronica!!

Broker "Bubba" Bryant speaks his mind…..again!

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

 OK, I just survived my first five days of being 50. It wasn't too bad. Business is good and I was able to get out of bed every morning. I guess at 50 just getting out of bed is a good thing. So life is grand.

I must say though, I seem to be bringing out the "best" in folks this week on Active Rain. I wrote a couple a posts this week that were in response to consumer Emails, that I had received, and another awhile back on buyer rebates. As usual I addressed the issues and tried to come up with a few solutions to help my peers and myself come up with solutions. As a listing Broker, feed back from the consumer is very helpful to me in my business. Their complaints may not always be valid but to me it doesn't really matter. It's their perception of an issue that I want to try and change, if I'm able. As any one knows that's in our business, "perception" is everything. We deal with issues related to real estate every day but the consumer doesn't and the smallest thing can be the difference between a successful sale or one that falls through. Our very minor issues can be a major deal to them.

So, it's important to not make light of their concerns. Instead we must try to refocus them on what they are trying to achieve. I have found the best way to assist a consumer, who may be loosing focus, is to first, let them get it out of their system, secondly agree that their concerns are valid and finally suggest solutions. Ultimately it's their decision to make but it's my job as their REALTOR® to try and guide them as much as I can into making a decision based on facts not emotion.

OK, sorry about that. I'm rambling. This post is about why I address these consumer issues to begin with. When I write on ActiveRain I have several goals in mind. First, I want people to read it. If they don't read it then I've wasted my time. I also want to facilitate a discussion or debate. I love a good debate. I also feel that one of the greatest things about ActiveRain is that we can have a conversation directly with the consumer and together we can share our knowledge and help them understand what it is we do. We can also learn from each other. I for one, am not hesitant to voice my opinion and I would hope that you also feel free to voice your opinion on my posts. You do not have to agree with me. If you feel I am wrong then prove it to me. Change my opinion. Debate me. Debate the topic. I am willing to debate anyone at any time when it comes to real estate. I do not take offense to it and who knows you may just change my opinion or we may both learn something new in the process.

Finally!! I made it to my point. This week I have several posts that are still getting comments and seem to have taken a turn for the worst. Here are a few of the things I have been called or accused of being this week.

  • Judgmental
  • Self indulgent
  • Ignorant
  • Condescending
  • Self righteous
  • Uninformed
  • Disrespectful
  • Uni-browed (my personal favorite)
  • Misinformed
  • Misleading
  • Undermining
  • Cheap
  • On a high horse

There are actually quite a few more, covering quite a few posts, that I have written over the ten months I have been a member of ActiveRain. Names are not important. The writers always have the option of deleting their comments if they don't want to stand behind them. It really doesn't matter to me either way.

Now folks, I'm a firm believer, that anyone should be able to voice their opinion. I'm a big boy and I can take it. It will not make me pick up my toys and go home. But wouldn't it be better, for your cause, to try and sway me around to your way of thinking by debating the topic? Do you have the desire or the ability to debate? If not, then why waste my time and yours commenting? Do you really think it adds to the discussion? My posts are public, is this really the way you want the consumer to see you?

This too is a public post. I never hide who I am behind "Members Only" posts or profiles with no picture. I am who I am, whether on the Internet or with a consumer. This post is my opinion, if you don't agree with me, then have at it. The topic is how to debate a topic without making it personal. I'm ready. Are you?

Broker Bryant needs a hug!!!

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

 Yesterday, after seven months on the market, one of my listings finally sold. The sad part is it sold on the steps of the county court house as a foreclosure. I hate it when that happens. I feel like I failed in my attempts to help this Seller out.

His property was a flip that flopped. It was purchased in early 2006, at $225,000, with a $5,000 down payment. This particular builder sold about 30 of these homes to folks down in south Florida. I had written about here (A dollar short and many days late) and here (help stamp out fraud).

Unfortunately, by the time I took the listing, the property was only worth about $200,000 and we were going to need to negotiate a short sale in order to get it sold. Within six weeks of having it on the market we placed it under contract for $200,000. The buyer was a Mortgage Broker and was willing to give us time to get the short sale approved. The Seller, at my suggestion, hired an Attorney to negotiate the short sale with the Lender.

There were two loans on the property so it was the second lien holder who needed to accept the short. I don’t know if they were just swamped with short sales or what but it took almost four months for them to finally, not accept the short, but ask for more information from the Buyer!! The biggest issue was they kept switching account reps on us. We were now dealing with our 5th account rep. Unbelievable. Anyway, by the time they finally got around to working the file, the Buyer had all ready moved on.

To make matters worse, the market values in Poinciana Fl had plummeted, and the property was now only worth about $175,000. We were still determined to do everything we could to get this house sold so we dropped the price to $179,000. No action. The market has crashed in my area and is saturated with pre-foreclosures and desperate Sellers.

About a month ago my Seller received the final foreclosure notice with a date of June 13th for the foreclosure sale to take place. So, in a last ditch effort, we reduced the price to $169,000. Within days we had multiple offers on the property and submitted them to the 2nd lien holder, to try, once more, to get them to accept the short sale, in lieu of foreclosing.

Well, again, they switched account reps on us. We never heard back from them and yesterday it was sold on the court house steps.

I’ve handled quite a few short sales in my career and this was the very first time that I lost. I’m disappointed. My Seller is kind of relieved that it’s over but disappointed the Lender wouldn’t work with us. We did everything we could. Now my Seller has to worry about the Lender filing a deficiency judgment against him on the mortgage note and attaching other assets. Of course there is nothing else I can do to help. I was defeated and I’m done. And that’s all I have to say about that. Can I have a hug?

***”Pooh” Broker Bryant image compliments of Nick “Duh” Appraiser. 

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Broker Bryant…serving up your success on a platter!

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


OK folks, as promised here's my follow up to my post last week, "Are you "hulking" up your business plan?". A couple of members had mentioned that the things I mentioned were all well and good but what if you don't have the money to increase advertising and so forth? Well, that's a good question. This post will answer it.

First, it's important to remember that Real Estate is a business NOT a job. When you are a business owner your job is to find a way to make things happen. Chasing money is what we do. If you don't have any then your job is to find some. Hopefully it will come from closings. If not? Well here are some ways to generate cash flow.

  • Find a partner. This can be another REALTOR® that wants to team up so you can pool your resources. Or maybe a family member who is willing to back you for a small return on their investment. You can't operate a business without capital. Go find some.
  • Use an equity line or credit cards. Have faith that you are good at what you do and will be able to pay these loans back once you get rolling.
  • Do some property management.
  • Do BPOs.
  • Get a part time job or jobs that leave your days open to practice real estate. I used to wait tables AND drive a taxi. At the same time.

Do whatever you need to do to get capital for your business. With out it. You will fail.

Secondly, get to work. If you are sitting at home or in the office moaning about how bad business is, you will fail. Get off your butt and get to work. Here are some things you can do that don't cost anything but time.

  • Attend every function you can at your Board of REALTORS® to network and gain knowledge.
  • Join an investment club. What better place to meet investors.
  • Get a point2agent website or any other free website you can get. I did this yesterday and it only to me 4 hours to come up with this. It's not complete but it will be by the end of the week.
  • Utilize ActiveRain and Localism to their full potential.
  • Solicit for listings. Folks, I have on numerous occasions, given you my expired letter and suggested you use it, everyday, for every expired and withdrawn listing. How many of you have? Or is it still on your list of things to do? While you're procrastinating, I took 4 listings last week, that were all from my letter. And turned down 3 others. And I'll do the same thing this week, the next week and on and on and on.
  • Hop in your car and go visit some yard sales this weekend. People have yard sales because they are getting ready to place their home on the market. Say "hi" and give them a card. And if you see any FSBOs working in the yard while you are out, stop and strike up a conversation.
  • Visit a few Human Resources departments in your area. See if they will let you hold a Buyer's seminar. Do the same at the library and the community center.
  • Go view the listings in your market area. Leave your card.

Folks, my point is GET BUSY!! Activity creates opportunity. Get into your community and start striking up conversations, passing out cards, passing out flyers and anything else you can think of. Go stand in front of the grocery store and say "hi" to everyone that walks by. Go to the self service gas station and pump gas for others with a big smile on your face and a card in your hand. I've personally done ALL of these things.

So there you have it. A few simple and free things you can do to generate business and cash flow. They aren't difficult. It's just requires attitude and motivation. Success is a decision. Failure is a lack of forward movement. It's your choice. So what's your decision? Are you going to turn your "to do" list into a "job completed" list?

****Graphic compliments of Ines Garcia.

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

"Pick and Pay"……recipe for disaster or not?

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

Hi folks. Today, I'm posting to gather some information. Yesterday I was talking with my friendly Wachovia loan officer and she was explaining to me a new product that they have. They are offering a product called a "pick and pay" mortgage.

Have you heard of this before? From what I understand it's an 80% LTV mortgage that can be used for refinancing or for a purchase. Since it's not a Fannie Mae product they can do stated income loans with a fairly low credit score and can do full doc loans with credit scores in the low 500s.

Here's the deal. This loan allows you to "pick and pay" a payment. Every month when you get your payment coupon you can choose to pay as follows:

  • P&I payment based on a 30 year fixed.
  • P&I payment based on a 15 year fixed.
  • Interest only payment.
  • 50% of the 30 year fixed payment(negative amortization) for two years max.

Now folks, I can see where this loan could be advantageous for folks in our business or other occupations where income varies month to month. I know there are months where I would welcome making a 50% payment.

But and it's a big but, how would this loan work for someone with a low 500 credit score who has already proven they don't pay their bills on time? How tempting would it be to make 50% payments for two years straight and end up eating up all of their equity? Especially now that values are declining in some markets. After two years they could very well end up owing more than the property is worth and of course now the payment, they have gotten used to paying, would double!

Am I missing something here or is this "pick and pay" mortgage a recipe for disaster? So, I'm curious, have you heard of this program? And if so, do you have some information that I'm missing? Pros? Cons? Inquiring minds need to know.

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 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | 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…..you’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 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | 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 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | 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.