Has your “flip flopped?”

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

Had one of my Investor customers call me last week wanting advice. He has a $30,000 deposit on a house that will be completed next month. At that time he must come up with another $50,000 to close. He bought this house with the sole intention of “Flipping it for a profit. Thankfully I wasn’t the one who sold him this house. He made the mistake of getting in on this subdivision to late in the game. He also bought the largest model in the community. Never a good thing.

I pulled up the community of about 600 homes and found almost 100 active listings 1 pending and only 7 sales since January 1st. Needless to say he has a problem. He can afford to close but he can’t afford the payments and the rentals in this area will leave him with almost a $1,500 per month negative cash flow. So what are his options? The way I see it if he closes he is going to be throwing good money after bad. If he doesn’t close he will lose his $30,000. A very difficult position to be in. In my area I am expecting to get a lot of these calls over the next few months. The Realtor that sold him the houses loses, the builder loses, the mortgage company loses, the Investor loses and the subdivision loses. The only “winner” in this case is the infomercial guy who sold the “Can’t lose get rich quick in real estate or die trying six weeks to becoming a millionaire information pack available on cd or cassette tape guaranteed to work or your money back we promise” scheme.

Just another example of how investing in real estate is a serious business. The experienced Investors that I work with rarely sell anything. They make their money going in, cover the mortgage by the rent and wait. Flipping is great when it works and can wipe you out when it doesn’t. So, has your “flip flopped?”

Get your sign out of the tree!

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

$65.00. That can be the difference, from your listing selling or just sitting on the market for month after month. $65.00. That's the amount of money that could be standing between you and your next pay check. $65.00. This is how much it costs to buy a couple of worthless leads from a "lead mill". $65.00. This would pay for a mailer of 35 post cards that will get thrown in the garbage, or a hundred flyers for your listing that will end up getting wet and ruined in the brochure tube. $65.00. This is how much your bar tab could be while you are sitting there moaning because you haven't sold a house in 3 months.

$65.00. This is the amount my lawn service charges for one month of service on my listings. And the Seller will pay me back at closing. If they don't, who cares. I will take it out of my $8,000.00 paycheck.

Now here are some examples of what NOT spending that $65.00 will do for your listing. These homes are my competition. I took a listing this morning and snapped these photos while I was in the neighborhood. All of these were within 1 block of my listing. There were many more but I think you the point!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now this is what one of my listings look like. All for $65.00.

So, folks if you want to get paid, provide some service for your sellers. Don't ask them. Tell them you are doing it. And while you are at it, pay a cleaning crew.

And most importantly……….Get your sign out of the tree!

If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.

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

Let’s talk about Mortgage Fraud. Now I’m not an expert on this but I do see it quite often in my market. Or at least, what would be fraud, if my Seller and I didn’t just say no. These are a few of my favorite lines:

1. “Don’t worry I have a good appraiser, he’ll make it work”.

2.”If the Seller can give the Buyer a personal check for $5,000 at closing, we’ll get this closed”.

3.”No, it can’t be on the HUD”.

4.”Don’t worry this Mortgage Broker does this all the time”.

5.”The Lender said the Seller can hold a 10% second, after closing they can just tear it up”.

6.”Can we raise the price $20,000 and give the Buyer money back at closing?

7. “I have a buyer willing to pay $20,000 more for that property, will you give me an assignable contract”.

8. “What size prison uniform do you wear?”

9. “Can we be cell mates at Sing Sing?”

10. “You look cute, do you need a friend?”

Ok, maybe not all of those. I am surprised though how many times I get asked by Realtors to do things that are just plain fraudulent. Now sometimes, I like to think it is just out of ignorance. They figure if the Mortgage Broker said it is Ok then it must be legal. Don’t fall for it. The best rule of thumb is, “If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.” Remember this line and use it often. As Realtors there are no excuses for not being able to recognize Mortgage Fraud when you see it. You need to be able to protect your customers and clients from these practices. Not to mention, your license and life as a free member of society. No commission is worth committing fraud for. Below are links to a few web sites that may help.

http://realtytimes.com/rtcpages/20050216_mortgagefraud.htm

http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel05/quickflip121405.htm

http://www.click2houston.com/news/9584679/detail.html

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/housing/2005-10-04-fraud-usat_x.htm

So remember……….“If it ain’t on the HUD, it ain’t happening.”

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever?

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

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever? When working for a Seller or Buyer as a "Single Agent" you are creating a fiduciary relationship.

Brief definition from Wikipedia: for full definition click

A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person they owe the duty (the "principal"): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The fiduciary relationship is highlighted by good faith, loyalty and trust.

Once this relationship is established it does not go away just because your listing has expired or your Buyer is no longer working with you. You are still bound by this relationship. This means that whatever your client has told you in confidence must remain confidential until your client has given you permission to remove the confidentiality. And you have the duty of full disclosure to your principal. This is where in my opinion the problem comes in with having an Agency relationship in Real Estate.

Example: Suppose you have a listing as a single Agent and the Seller, your principal, has told you that she has been having financial difficulties. She is a few months behind on her mortgage payments and needs to sell quickly to avoid foreclosure. And she has asked you not to disclose this information to anyone. Ok, no problem, so far. A few months go by and your listing agreement expires and the Seller decides to list with another Company. About a month later you are searching for homes on the MLS to show the new Buyer that you are working with. This Buyer has signed a "Buyer's Broker Agreement" agreeing that you will work for him as a single Agent. The Buyer is now your Principal. Lo and behold the best match for your Buyer is the property that you had listed that is now with another Company. You take the Buyer to see it and he falls in love with the property. You rush back to your office and start writing a purchase offer and your Buyer looks at you and says "It looks like this property has been on the market for several months. Do you know why the Seller is selling?"

Here's your dilemma. You can't mention the pre-foreclosure or you are breaking your fiduciary relationship with the Seller and you can't not tell the Buyer because you owe him full disclosure.

This is a very simple and common example. It doesn't even take into account dual Agency or the fact that an Agency relationship starts with your Broker and filters down to all the Agents under that license. So what do you do?

45 days listing agreements. Weak……I don’t think so!

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

I've read several post recently talking about taking 6 month listings and nothing less. Well, personally, I take 45 day listings and nothing more. Not only that, but I do not charge cancellation fees. My ads state this, 45 day listing agreements no cancellation fees, ever! For me this works like a charm. When I meet with potential Sellers, mostly referrals, expired or withdrawn listings, this is usually mentioned after I have gone over my analysis.

I say something like this…. "The average days on market right now are about 78 in Poinciana. I am willing to take your listing for 45 days and if you are not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me. No questions asked and no charge to you. I get paid when you get paid, at closing. I may not be able to sell your house in 45 days but I certainly don't need 6 months. After a couple of weeks working with me you will want me for your Realtor for life anyway, so, if need be, we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days. 45 days will give me enough time to earn your trust and your business. So what have you got to lose. So, are you ready to go on the market today?"

Well, in most cases the answer is……. yes.

Now I am sure there are Realtors out there who would say taking a 45 day listing agreement is weak. But you know, you are dead wrong. First, in most cases I will sell their house in 45 days. My average days on market right now are about 20-25. Secondly, I know that I will be able to create a lasting bond with my Seller in way under 45 days. Why? Because I call them constantly and I'm excellent at what I do. Now don't get me wrong, there aren't too many things in life that I'm excellent at, but when it comes to pricing and market positioning, on a listing, I am an expert. It's what I do. And I take it very seriously.

Now, a couple of fine points in my above presentation that you may have missed:

Notice how many times I mention 45 days? This is not random. I do it on purpose. I want 45 days to be imbedded in my Seller's mind. It shows them my urgency in getting their home sold. This is a very good thing. Especially if they have been on the market already for 6 months with another Realtor.

"…not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me." What's to think about? They can change their mind if they want to. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

"…I get paid when you get paid, at closing". This is a word picture. Closing and getting paid. I am getting them to focus on the end result. All good.

"…Realtor for life", planting the seed for future referrals.

"…we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days." I haven't even taken the listing yet and I've already mentioned an extension.

"…time to earn your trust and your business". What more could a Seller ask for from his Realtor?

"…What have you got to lose?" "Are you ready to go on the market today?" Asking for the business. The close. This is where some Realtors fail. You must ask for the business. I don't care how good your presentation is, your last question must be the close.

So next time you have a listing appointment, try the 45 days listing agreement. Weak?……I don't think so!

What is the “Right Price”?

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

I have heard numerous times over the last few months from Realtors wondering why their listing hasn’t sold. The usual comment is “it’s priced right”. Well is it really? My experience has been that any property will sell if the price is right. What is the “Right Price” in today’s market? Is it “Market Value” based on the last 6 months of sales? Is it based on homes that have sold in the last 30 days? Is it the “Appraised Value”?

The “Right Price” is the price that will sell your listing in 60 to 90 days. But what is this magical number and how do we arrive it? Well in my market (Poinciana, Fl) the right price is 5% to 10% below recent comparable sales. When Realtors are searching the MLS they may have 70-100 homes that meet their Buyer’s parameters. My Seller’s property, in order to sell, needs to be in the top 5 (preferably #1) properties on the list (by price) and it needs to have a competitive or better co-broke. If you can achieve this positioning you should have no problem getting the listing sold in a short period of time. Seller’s need to know this. It is very important when pricing a house to look at the whole picture that includes active, pending, withdrawn, expired and recently sold listings. I know this is Real Estate 101 but I have met with many Seller’s recently whose listings have expired and they have never even seen a “Market Analysis”. When asked how the Realtor arrived at the listing price they say “this is what we told him/her we wanted.” They used a little known technique to price their property it goes something like this:

Down payment for house I want to buy + moving expenses + credit card debt + closing costs + Realtor commission + current mortgage balance=“Market Value”.

Now I know this may be the new math but folks it won’t get your house sold. When hiring a Realtor it is important that that Realtor provides you with a detail analysis of current market conditions and counsels you on what it will take to sell your property. They need to be 100% honest about pricing. It may not be what you want to hear but it must be what you need to hear. Then and only then can you make an informed decision on how to list your house at the “Right Price”.

Does your Realtor really represent you?

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

When hiring a Realtor in Florida it is important to decide how the Realtor will be working for you and what duties they do or do not owe you. I have provided a link at the bottom of this post that will take you directly to Chapter 475 of the Florida Statutes where you will be able to find all information related to having a Real Estate license in Florida. Following is the "nut shell" version of Brokerage and Non Brokerage relationships.

In Florida Dual Agency is illegal. The only exception is on a commercial deal where both Buyer and Seller have assets of over 1 million two sales associates from the same office can work as "designated sales associate". One for the Seller the other for the Buyer.

In a residential transaction a Realtor has three choices of how to work.

1. Single Agent-this is a fiduciary relationship. You can work for either Seller or Buyer but not both. Your duties include confidentiality and full disclosure.

2. Transaction Broker-this is a form of limited representation but does not create a fiduciary relationship. Limited confidentiality and limited liability. You can be a Transaction Broker for either Seller or Buyer or both. If working for both parties it cannot be to the detriment of either party. In Florida we are presumed to be "Transaction Brokers" unless single agent or no brokerage relationship is established with a customer in writing.

3. No Brokerage Relationship-no representation at all. Can be with either Seller or Buyer or both. No confidentiality.

And then we have this thing called "Transitioning to a Transaction Broker"

FLORIDA LAW ALLOWS REAL ESTATE LICENSEES WHO REPRESENT A BUYER OR SELLER AS A SINGLE AGENT TO CHANGE FROM A SINGLE AGENT RELATIONSHIP TO A TRANSACTION BROKERAGE RELATIONSHIP IN ORDER FOR THE LICENSEE TO ASSIST BOTH PARTIES IN A REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION BY PROVIDING A LIMITED FORM OF REPRESENTATION TO BOTH THE BUYER AND THE SELLER. THIS CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIP CANNOT OCCUR WITHOUT YOUR PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT

Click for Chapter 475 Florida Statutes.                 Click here for Realtors Code of Ethics

Short Sales got you down?

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

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Copyright © 2010 REGrow, LLC | All Rights Reserved

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts!

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

Got a call from a homeowner a few days ago. Seems he had received one of my solicitation letters that I send out daily to all expired and withdrawn listings in my market area. He was wondering why he got a letter since he had just listed his house on the market a few weeks ago. Well I got his address and phone number and told him I would look it up in the MLS and call him right back. When I checked the MLS he was currently active but had been withdrawn for one day and re-entered by the same office by a different Realtor. I called him back and gave him this information and had a nice chat with him. Very pleasant and knowledgeable young man. Wished him luck with the selling of his house and told him to feel free to call me if he ever had any questions or needed any help.

Well lo and behold he called me two days later and asked if I could come by and see him because he was thinking about changing Realtors. Sounded good to me so I made an appointment and went to see him the next day. He had a great  house! I had a look around and sat down with him and his wife to go over market conditions and give him my opinion of what his house was worth and what it would take to get it sold. He was currently listed at $215,000 with a 4% commission. My suggestion was $195,000 with a 6% commission. While talking with them I discovered a few things 1. They had never seen a Market Analysis 2. They had never sold a house before 3. The wife had been transferred and they wanted a quick sale 4. They had never heard from their Realtor since being placed on the market. I left them with all the information I had prepared for them and told them to keep me in mind if things didn’t work out with their current Realtor.

Called me the next day to let me know they had fired their Realtor and wanted me to place their home on the market with me. They said they slept great the night I left knowing there was hope and that they now had the information they needed to make a good decision. I now have a beautiful new listing with great Sellers. “Range Priced” at “Market Value” ($189,000 to $209,000) and a 6% commission so we can offer a good Co-broke. All these Sellers ever wanted from their Realtor were the facts. I have now connected them with a Realtor found through ActiveRain to help them purchase in Arkansas, for a referral fee of course. The Sellers are confident about their relocation. I am happy with my new listing that’s priced right and had two showings as soon as it hit the market. And their previous Realtor…………….?

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts.

Have you gone beyond the call of duty lately?

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

Bought a new stove today. Unfortunately it won't be coming to my house but will be delivered to the house I closed on last week. The Sellers, my customers, were supposed to put a new stove in the house but decided to cut corners and put in a refurbished stove instead. Looks great. Works great. But it's not new. The Buyers nor their Realtor did a walk through prior to closing and I didn't notice it when I was in the house. The Sellers are going through a nasty divorce and had already moved and went their separate ways.

So what are you going to do? The Buyers are expecting a new stove when they arrive next week. I figure my Sellers have enough on their plate and I know that calling them on this is just going to create more tension between them. So I bought a new stove. Haven't seen it but hear it is really nice. Real shiny. Think I'll place a few business card magnets on the front and write the Buyers a little letter letting them know how I solved this problem for them. Maybe I'll get some business from it in the future. Maybe they will invite me over to dinner since my lovely wife doesn't cook. Have you gone beyond the call of duty lately?

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.