I ain’t paying their closing costs!!!

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

I'm writing this post today to try and help sellers understand that they aren't really paying the buyer's closing costs. In my market, Poinciana, Fl. It is very common for the buyer to request that the seller contribute towards their closing costs. In fact, the last 15 or so deals that I have closed, were all 100% financing with the seller contributing 3% or 6% towards buyer's closing costs. It's just the nature of my market. Now that it's a strong buyers market we have to take these offers seriously or we may not be able to sell the property.

Now since this is so common and expected, I always bring this up at time of listing, to try to forewarn and educate my sellers. By educating my sellers, at time of listing, it makes it easier when these offers come in. When they do receive an offer, I want them to be prepared to counter offer accordingly, without getting caught up with who pays what. But you know, no matter how well informed they are it's inevitable that they say "I ain't paying their closing costs".

Mr. and Mrs. Seller, I'm here to tell you, that you are 100% correct, you are NOT paying their closing costs. In reality the buyer is financing his costs into the loan. They will end up on your side of the closing statement but the buyer is paying. It's important when looking at an offer to concentrate on the NET figure. This is really the only figure that makes any difference. How much money is going in your pocket at closing. Everything above that line is just a manipulation of numbers. Don't dwell on who's paying what. Concentrate on what matters: how qualified is the buyer and how much will I NET. By looking at offers this way you will have a much better chance of negotiating a deal. And that is money in the bank!

In my market, when a buyer is getting 100% financing and asking for a seller contribution, more than likely, they have no money. By pulling the closing costs, out of the offer, chances are they will not be able to purchase your home. So leave them in and raise the price accordingly. By conceding on the seller contribution we can more easily negotiate other items that may be important to you i.e. an "as is" sale and post possession.

So, my fellow REALTORS®, next time you have to present an offer asking for a seller contribution, help the seller to focus on their NET. This will increase your chances of having a successful negotiation and will increase the chance of your seller getting their property SOLD. But you knew that, right?

It’s redundant I say! It’s redundant I say!

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

As most of you know, TLW and I have never worked in a regular Real Estate office before. We worked in a property management office for a few years but were the only REALTORS® there, so we learned our craft through trial and error and attending meetings at our local board of REALTORS®. By learning this way we have always done things our own way and really don't have a clue how other offices conduct their business.

So with that in mind, I have a question for you. I received an offer for one of my listings on Friday and as usual it had an additional four pages of disclosures and "CYA" type stuff that really had nothing to do with the transaction. I assume they are just corporate paper work requirements. To me, they are a waste of time and mostly redundant. It seems like whenever I do a deal with one of the "Big Boys" I spend the next week getting miscellaneous forms, from the Buyer's agent, that they need the Seller to sign ASAP. My first problem is, I'm a busy man, if you have things you need my Seller to sign then please get them to me all at once so I can take care of it and be done with it.

In Florida, we have a pretty comprehensive contract, the FAR/BAR. It has two pages of fine print (the standards) that cover just about everything. Inspections, insurance, liability, default remedies, escrow monies, termites, title, closing costs, time is of the essence etc….Other than a Home owner association disclosure, lead base paint and maybe an addendum with extra terms of the contract, we really don't need any additional paper work. Everything else, in my opinion, is redundant and a waste of time.

Anyway, the offer I received on Friday had this clause typed right on the contract:

  • Pursuant to Section 475.42(1)(j) Fla. Stat., Seller and Buyer hereby grant Broker the right to place a lien on the property to ensure payment of services rendered. For purpose of this paragraph, Broker will be treated as a party to this contract.

Now folks, I have to say, I scratched this clause out. There is no way my Seller will be agreeing to this. Am I missing something here? Would you let your Seller agree to something like this? I have a valid listing agreement and I have offered compensation through the MLS. Why do they need to put this clause in the contract? In my opinion it has absolutely nothing to do with the transaction between the Buyer and the Seller.

So my question is….What's up with this? Will corporate reject my contract because we removed their "make sure we get paid" clause? Are your offices burying you in unnecessary forms and disclosures? Is this normal practice in the corporate Real Estate World? Maybe, I just like things too simple and straight forward. What say you?

Is your property priced too low?…EDITED

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

 OK folks, as most of you know, I consider myself an expert when it comes to pricing. I study my market daily and have been selling property in Poinciana Fl for 13 years. I've seen Poinciana grow from a population of 6,000 to almost 67,000. During this time I have sold hundreds of properties and there are actually houses in Poinciana that I've sold 3 and 4 times over the years. So when it comes to Real Estate and pricing in Poinciana Fl, I am an expert.

Anyway, Bob Mitchell wrote a post, earlier today, talking about pricing. It's a good post so take a minute and pay him a visit, I'll wait. OK are you back? My comment on his post sparked this post. I love it when that happens.

My comment to him was that it's ALWAYS about the price. And I believe that completely. Location, property condition and market conditions can all be overcome by pricing. The key is in finding the right price or the "sweet spot" as I call it.

BUT, it's not always about being priced too high. Sometimes it's because it's priced too LOW!! Yep, that's right, too low. Let me give you a real life example.

I spent most of last week evaluating my listings to see why they weren't getting showings. One was a 4 bedroom home that we had just reduced about two weeks ago to a list price of $169,000 from $179,000. At $179,000 it was the 3rd best priced home of similar properties and was getting showings but no offers. It's a bank owned property and they want it moved, so we reduced it. Well, lo and behold, no more showings. Nothing, zilch, nada.

REALTORS® were calling me on a similar property priced at $185,000 but not this one priced at $169,000. So I asked them why. Well turns out they were putting a minimum price in their searches. The reason is there are 1,800 properties on the market and if they didn't limit their list price searches they would end up with too many properties to choose from. Makes sense doesn't it? So I raised the list price to $175,000 on Friday and had 4 showings over the weekend. No offers but at least they are looking again.

I also raised the price on one of my 3 bedroom homes from $149,000 to $155,000 and had the same results. So folks, know your market. If your listings aren't getting showings, make adjustments. Make sure the list price is not too low. And remember, it's ALWAYS about the price. Food for thought?


Hi all. One thing concerned me when I was doing my research and talking with REALTORS(R) last week. The majority told me they were putting in minimum prices in their searches. They said if the buyer qualified for $190,000 they would search properties between $180 and $200. Now I may be wrong but isn't this doing the buyer a disservice?

Aren't buyers really looking more for size, features, year built etc. instead of price? If that's the case wouldn't it be better to leave the minimum price out and then weed through the listings that meet their needs based on their other parameters? Why did the REALTORS(R) feel they had to maximize the purchase price? My 4 bedroom listing was a good $20,000 less than comparable properties priced in the high 180s low 190s but unfortunately the buyers didn't even get the opportunity to look at it.

If I were working with a buyer and could save them $20,000 I would be ecstatic. And I'm sure they would be as well. Maybe putting in a minimum price is just not the right way to go. What say you?

BTW, there were 12 comments prior to me adding this edit. Sorry about that but I really want to know your thoughts on this.

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Google is watching you!!!

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

Last night I watched a show titled "The World according to Google". Have you seen it? I thought it was very interesting. I must say Google has it happening! I guess these guys are on a mission to have all the data known to mankind under one roof…..Google. Kind of "Orwellian" don't you think?

Have you read George Orwell's "1984"? Where George Orwell made his mistake though, was thinking that the Totalitarian State would take over, when the current reality is it may very well be the private sector. Google.

What if Google, being the dominant search engine and disseminator of information on the planet, started using algorithms designed to limit or filter our search results to only give us the results they wanted us to see? What if Google is "Big Brother"? "Big Brother is watching you."

Did you know Google stores all of our searches, all of our search results, all of our Gmails, all of our Google Documents and anything else that is run through their system? Did you know they have plans(already working) of scanning every book that has ever been written? In fact every word that has ever been written will eventually be searchable on Google.

Did you know they are mapping every square inch of the planet on Google Earth? They are also mapping the moon.

How powerful will Google be when they have all the data relating to mankind and beyond stored in their mainframes? What if the only way you can get information is through Google? And the only way you can get it…is the way they choose to disseminate it. Did you know they already have filters on the searches performed in China? There is info the Chinese Government does not want their citizens to be able to access so Google filters it out.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia: I've substituted the word Google for Government.

1984 posits a world wherein Google is totalitarian in word and deed. All mass communications media are subordinate to Google's interpretation of reality. Television, as technology and as communicated content, is the principal means of thought control, buttressed by the press and publishing. Through such, the population – the ruling Party, its government employees, and the proletariat – are controlled through perpetual war and all of its concomitant material and intellectual shortages. According to Google, this life must be endured for the collective good, until the war ends; the war ends when Google says so.

OK, so maybe I'm just being foolish………or maybe NOT! What say you?

Quote from 1984:

"He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past."

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

Broker Bryant is looking for a clue!!

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

Hi folks. OK, today I want to pick your brains a little. I'd pick my own but there's just not much left to it today. I'm looking for a clue and I hope you have it.

Is there really such a thing as a 100% commission office? I've been doing a little research on this and it seems these are really more 80/20 offices by the time you get done paying all the monthly fees, transaction fees, office supplies costs, fax fees, phone fees, E&O premiums, secretarial fees, transaction coordinator fees and so forth. Maybe this is just the new math.  

As most of you know I have never worked in a Real Estate office with other REALTORS® and have been working from my home for 10 years. So I truly don't know what goes on out there in the real world of Real Estate.

So, I need some enlightenment. 

  • When you work for a Re/Max, Realty Executives or similar type operations what do you feel your split really is? 
  • Does 100% really exist or is it just smoke and mirrors?
  • When you work for an office, that let's you keep 100% of the commission, what are they providing you with? 
  • Are you getting support or is it just for the name recognition? 
  • Did the lure of the 100% commission, rope you in, or were the benefits and additional services offered part of your decision?

The reason I'm asking is, I see these ads all the time in our local Real Estate magazines about keeping all the money….no desk fees, no transaction fees, no floor duty and blah blah blah. Well is it true or are they just blowing smoke up my………….mirror?

Personally, I don't think a 100% office really exist. Am I wrong? Someone please give me a clue!

Is Your Reality In Line With Reality? Poinciana Fl.

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

Call me!!! 407-873-2747 

Lenn Harley posted yesterday about market data and the media. She pointed out that it is not all about the price but also about the volume of sales. In her area the price is up 57% since 2002 but volume is down 59%. She explains it better than me so here's the link….go read and her post. I'll wait………..la la la la la la. Ok are you back?

Anyway, Lenn's post inspired me to do a little research on my market, Poinciana, Fl., to see how things have changed since 2002.

Here's a little chart I put together:

Price and volume comparisons 2002-2007
Poinciana FL.









$ 94,000




+ 31%


+ 12%



+ 22%


+ 18%



+ 27%


+ 31%



( -14%)


+ 13%





(- 11%)

OK, here are my comments. First statistics can always be deceiving and don't necessarily show the entire picture. For example, these stats are from the MLS. But what about new construction?

According to City Data, Poinciana had a population of 13,647 in 2000. Right now our population is roughly 68,500!! That's an increase of 491%. That means there were a ton of new homes built in Poinciana during this 7 year period. Most of these were built during the boom period of 2002 to 2006. If I were to estimate 5 people per household that would be close to 10,000 homes. That sounds about right to me.

According to my chart values are only down 11% this year from 2006. That may be true for homes sold through the MLS but it is not true based on my experience. There are currently 1149 SFH on the market in Poinciana neighborhoods. 404 of these were built in 2005 or later. There are also 554 homes currently under construction. What this means is new construction is a major part of Poinciana's market. Based on the analysis, that I do daily for potential Sellers, values are down 25% to 30%. If they bought a new house in 2006 for $250,000 it may be worth $180,000 at this time. That's a decrease of 28%.

But the true indicator of market conditions is the sales volume. The amount of homes sold through the MLS is down 62% from last year. I'm not sure the exact number but new construction is down at least that if not more. Our absorption rate is currently 36 months!!

According to my research, look at the chart again, if you bought your house in 2004 or earlier then you should be in a pretty good position. Values have actually more than doubled since 2002 and have increased 32% since 2004!!!

So folks, the reality is even though the RECENT decline in prices and volume are pretty drastic, overall, if you bought your house at least 3 years ago you have experienced good appreciation and should be in an excellent position to sell or refinance if you need to. This of course, assumes you haven't already refinanced and spent all of your equity. Did you?


If you have no equity in your house, you either have not lived there at least 3 years or you have already spent it. This is the reality of market conditions in Poinciana Fl. Is your reality in line with reality?


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

Fishing for foreclosures in Poinciana FL.

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

What a lunker!!! Or is it?


Yesterday I wrote a post titled "Buying foreclosures in Poinciana Fl". The post was a little on the boring side but it was written for a reason….Google juice!! I just listed a couple of REO (bank owned) properties last week so I'm trying to attract attention from anyone wanting to buy or sell a foreclosure in Poinciana Fl.

Since ActiveRain has tremendous Google juice I figured a post about foreclosures with a key word rich title would work well for me. Well…..it did!!!

In fact with only one post, posted 24 hours ago, I now have the number one position on Google for the following searches.


  • Buying a foreclosure in Poinciana
  • Selling a foreclosure in Poinciana
  • REOs in Poinciana
  • Foreclosures in Poinciana 
  • Poinciana foreclosures for sale
  • List a foreclosure in Poinciana
  • Find a foreclosure in Poinciana
  • Sell a foreclosure in Poinciana

Folks, that's incredible!!!! Of course I do have an advantage in that I work a very specific niche market but it will work in yours as well. It just may take a little longer.

My goal is to break into the foreclosure market. Foreclosures are on the rise in Poinciana and I need to get me some of those suckas to sell!! So I'm fishin' for foreclosure business on Google.

Being in the first position for these searches presents me as the expert on foreclosures in the Poinciana area. Even though I am not the top foreclosure expert in Poinciana….yet, being first on Google gives the perception that I am.

And really, perception and presentation, are a big chunk of what we do. It's how we get business. Of course you do have to be able to back it up to keep it. Fortunately for me, I am very good at what I do, so if they call, they won't be disappointed.

Anyway, I wrote this post to show you how strong our blogging efforts are when it comes to Google. Write about what you know and what you do and the business will come.

Now, if anyone wants to buy or sell a foreclosure (REO) in Poinciana Fl give Broker Bryant a call. I'll be waiting.

By the way, can you guess how much that bass weighs in the picture? I caught it yesterday from my back yard. This may be a trick question based on my presentation and your perception. Give it a try. I'll post the answer later.

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***

Is syndicating our listings unethcial? Illegal? Or neither?

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

Come on down to Tutas Towne!!!Yesterday, I read a very good post by Dan Homan titled "Ethics in Advertising". If you haven't read his post please take a minute to do so. Dan brought up an excellent point about the way our listings are distributed around the Internet.

It seems like some of the "listing" sites are not displaying our Brokerage information. Dan's questions are: Is this Ethical? Is this legal? And if not, are we unwillingly putting our licenses in jeopardy by allowing these sites to display our listings, either by syndications or IDX links.

According to our CoE:

Standard of Practice 12-5

  • REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®'s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/07)

This Standard of Practice is the only one in our CoE, that I could find, that MAY apply. The other Standards in Article 15 specifically apply to our Firm's Website. So based on SoP 12-5 my question is: Are the "listing" sites affiliated with my company? My opinion would be "no they are not".

A perfect example of this would be Point2Agent sites. When I enter a listing onto my Point2Agent site, just like the MLS, I CANNOT enter contact information in the public remarks or on the video/virtual tours because they are syndicated to numerous other sites and will be branded with that particular agency's info.

Therefore, my conclusion would be that other's displaying my listings without my brokerage information is NOT an Ethical violation.

Now Legally, I can only base my opinion on Florida law. Florida law states:

OK it was very hard to find anything related to this in Florida law. I did find this under Chapter 475.25:

  • c) Has advertised property or services in a manner which is fraudulent, false, deceptive, or misleading in form or content. The commission may adopt rules defining methods of advertising that violate this paragraph.

Either I'm missing something or have to conclude that syndicating my listings, without my Brokerage information, is neither Unethical OR Illegal in the State of Florida.

So what am I missing? Or am I right? What say you?

By the way, if you disagree…..I need proof. I can't learn without it.

Poinciana Florida Real Estate Market Report. YIKES!!

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

Call me 407-873-2747

OK it’s time to rumble!!! I didn’t do a Poinciana market report for May, so instead of going backwards, this month, I decided to do a report for the first 6 months of 2008 compared to the same period last year. First let’s start with a little chart then I’ll add my commentary. 

This data was pulled from the Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service and is deemed to be reliable. I’m using the data for zip codes 34758 and 34759, Poinciana Neighborhoods. It does not include Solivita, Cypress Woods, Crescent Lakes or Lake Marion. Jan 1-June 30. 



Of Sales


And SSs



Price Per

Sq Ft













$ 74.25




+ 88%

– 34%

– 38%


So what does this all mean? Well, the first thing, that stuck out like a sore thumb, is that 70% of the sales this year were either REOs(bank owned) or short sale (SSs) properties. Compared with only 7% for last year. Now the 7% figure may be a little low since our MLS did not have a field to reflect short sales last year. So lets just double it for the sake of this post. The fact remains that the REOs and SSs are WAY up and are now making up the bulk of the real estate market in Poinciana Fl. 

Now according to this chart prices are only down 34% BUT let’s adjust that one too. In January of 2007 the average sales price was $221,968. In June of this year it was $123,720. That means that in the last 18 months values have plummeted 45%!! That sounds about right. 

At the peak of the market, late 2006, properties were selling on average for $130 per sq ft. Now they are at $67 for a decline of 48%. I was a little surprised by this as I actually thought we were down about 55%. But hey, in this case, I’m glad I was wrong. 

Inventory has been about the same all year. There were 50 sales in May and 49 in June so sales are up about 20% for the last couple of months. 



Here’s the lowest recent sale. A 2078 sq ft home with a pool built in 1983 sold on May 16th for……..$83,800. It was a REO.




Here’s a 2818 sq ft home built in 2006 that sold May 23rd for $136,500. This was also a REO and was purchased new in 2006 for $256,400.


Send $$$$$$


How about a 3008 sq ft home built in 2005 that just sold May 23rd for $150,000? That’s $48 per sq ft if you are counting.


My opinion, for the future, is that we still have a ways to go until things start leveling out a little. Price per sq ft is going to have to hit $55, maybe even $50. Out of the last 100 sales, 17 were at less than $55 per sq ft. YIKES!! 

So there you have it, Broker Bryant’s Poinciana Market Report. Any questions? 


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

Copyright © 2008 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

Does that 50 cents have to be on the HUD?

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

*** First published in August 2006***

I just love final walk throughs! Why is it that Buyers and their Realtors sometimes try to spoil the elated feeling I get, knowing that we finally made it to day of closing?

I get the call this morning, telling me they did the walk through and everything is OK, except for the hole in the living room wall. What? A hole? How can that be? I was just in the house last week and it was fine. No holes! I don’t want to hear about holes two hours before closing. I mean the house is vacant. No one has been in the house but the appraiser. Then they spring the big one on me. “What’s the Seller going to do about it?”

Personally, I think that’s a pretty good question. “What’s the Seller going to do about it?” Well, my answer is “I don’t know”. I am still trying to digest the fact that there is hole in the living room wall. Well I got lucky, the other Realtor had a call beeping in on him and decided to take it and call me back.

So, I get myself out of bed (not sleeping mind you, but diligently “working” on reading all the ActiveRain posts from last night), anyway, I get myself out of bed, hop in my SUV and burn $10.00 worth of gas to go check out the hole in the living room wall. Now I’m a pretty observant guy and would probably notice a hole in the living room wall, but I don’t. No hole. Well, maybe they meant the family room. So I go look and again, no hole. Wait a minute, what’s that? Let me see, if I get down on my knees and squint just right I can see a tiny indentation in the wall about the size of my pinky fingernail. This my friends must be the culprit. The all elusive hole!

I call the Realtor back and tell him I have been at the house to look at the “hole” and asked him if he had actually seen it, or did he just allow the Buyers to go over by themselves to do the walk through? Do I need to even tell you his response? Of course he hadn’t seen it! It was too far for him drive to so he just gave the buyers the code so they could do their own walk through! The Buyers told him there was a hole in the wall, and asked, “What was the Seller going to do about it”. Anyway, I remained calm and politely told him to show the Buyers the definition of “hole” in the dictionary and that we would give them compensation of 50 cents. After all that, the Realtor told me to not worry about it, that he would take care of the Buyers.

I tell you, you got to love this business. The things people try to get away with. And the Realtor……….well that’s good material for another post.

The Moral is: Never, ever, take the other party’s, to a transaction, word on anything. Check, double check and check again. Look out for your own customer’s or client’s interest or that “hole” may be in your wallet.

By the way………..Does that 50 cents have to be on the HUD?

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.