Please Mr. Home Inspector…………..

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

Home Inspections. Don't like them at all. Received an "Inspection Report" today stating the AC is five years older than the house! Never had that one before. The house is only six years old and was built by a big time national builder. The AC works great but now the buyer wants a letter from the builder stating that this is the unit that was put in the house when it was built six years ago. Now obviously trying to get this documentation from the builder, who has probably built 10,000 houses since this one, is impossible.

In my State, Florida, the only requirement to become a "professional home inspector" is a stack of business cards and an occupational license. Scary when you consider these guys can make or break a deal.

So I was wondering does your State have an agency to regulate Home Inspectors?

Seven sure fire ways to fail in Real Estate

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

We always hear about ways to succeed in Real Estate. Well here's a short list of things to do that will ensure that you fail in Real Estate.

1. Take your children to your first listing appointment for their entertainment value.

2. Lose your cool and cuss out your Buyer or Seller.

3. Lose your cool and cuss out your Broker.

4. Call your 10am appointment at 10:15 to let them know you will be there at 11:00.

5. Run out of gas while showing properties.

6. Place your lock box and sign on the property next door.

7. Try to compete with Bryant Tutas of Tutas Towne Realty, Inc in Poinciana Fl. (Well maybe not this one, but thought I'd throw it in anyway)

So if you are not a success you may be doing one or more of these………

Seven sure fire ways to fail in Real Estate.

So I was wondering how did you get into Real Estate?

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

Kind of a lazy hot florida day today. So I'm just sitting around and was thinking how fortunate we are to be in the business of real estate. Set your own hours, take a day off if you want, meet interesting people, solve problems, help people realize their dreams and get paid very well.

So I was wondering how did you get into real estate? Was it a conscious decision or something you just fell into?

My journey began about 15 years ago while driving a taxi cab out at Disney World. I was driving families to the attractions all day and dropping them off to buy tickets at the gate where they had to wait in line. Waiting sometimes for an hour or more. So i had a flash. Why not buy tickets at a discount and sell them to the people in my cab for a profit. So I did this and made some pretty good money doing it. At about this same time my lovely wife interviewed with a vacation management company for a receptionist job. Since she was over qualified for the job she was interviewing for the owner decided to hire her to open up a guest service company selling attraction tickets and transportation to UK vacationers staying in short term rental homes.

To make a long story short this evolved into a company that my wife and I started named Holiday Makers. From there I went to work at the same management co. that had hired my wife to be a property manager and to try and increase their management inventory since Holiday Makers had an exclusive to sell tickets to the guests in these homes. I figured more homes, more money for Holiday Makers. Well needless to say once meeting with the guest they started wanting information on purchasing homes. And from that my wife and I opened Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. That was 9 years ago.

So I was wondering how did you get into real estate?

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?”

Never talk down your competition!

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

Received another call off an “Expired Letter” today. Fourth one this week. Nice Lady whose house is located in a 55 and older Active Adult Community (Solivita) located within my market area Poinciana Fl. Even though I am the top Realtor in Poinciana (listings sold) I have never marketed or taken a listing in Solivita. Sold a couple of homes to Sellers of mine moving in but that’s it.

This community has about 1,500 homes and currently has 255 on the Market. The market is dominated by another Realtor (let’s call her Mary). Well I have decided it needs to be dominated by me since prices are a little higher than my current market. Anyway while talking to this lady she mentioned she had been with 2 different Companies in the last year but no one has sold her house. Well I asked her if she had tried Mary. She said she hasn’t but heard she was very good. I agreed with her and told her Mary was the top Realtor in her community and has been for a few years. She also lives there and is very familiar with the community. I said I had actually sold two of her listings to Sellers of mine who were moving in and she was very professional and knew what she was doing. Well the potential customer was very shocked that I was talking so strongly about Mary’s abilities and asked me why. I was truthful and told her that I was number 1 outside of Solivita but wanted to be number 1 in Solivita as well. She mentioned her house model and I proceeded to tell her everything about her floor plan, the neighborhood, how close she was to the pool and golf course and how many similar homes were on the market. She was amazed!! Folks, I had done my homework way in advance of sending out any letters to this community. She appreciated my honesty and said so. I told her I could never guarantee to her that I could sale her house but I can guarantee that I will be 100% honest with her about pricing and what we can do to get it sold!

Well we are meeting tomorrow at 1:00 and she asked me to be sure and bring the listing agreement with me because she has an appointment at 2:00 and wants me to get her house on the market right away. Never talked price or commission. I guess she will trust me with that!

Moral: Never talk down your competition. Be successful on your own merits. And always be 100% honest.

A story to touch the heart

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

Did a deal yesterday in Poinciana Fl. An elderly lady had passed away after a long illness and her son the only heir gave me a call to meet with him about listing and selling his Mother’s house. While listening to him he mentioned the man next door who had been helping his Mother out over the last couple of years by mowing her grass and checking in on her daily to make sure she was Ok. The son lived in another State and was not able to do these things.

Well the son decided he wanted to do something nice for the neighbor who is 80 years old himself and was getting ready to get married. So at the son’s request we did a purchase contract for the neighbor selling him the house at a $30,000 discount with a delayed 6 months closing and giving the neighbor permission to go in the house and take what he wanted and fix it up to be resold. Also he is allowed to list the house with me and sell it for market value. Hopefully this resale will happen in about 30-45 days. With a very minimum commission being charged the neighbor will be able to realize a $25,000 profit as a gift from the deceased lady’s son. God’s Grace is alive and well in Poinciana. A story to touch the heart

Are you being short changed? Not by me.

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

On a local Realtor forum I participate in I have recently been hearing a lot of Buyer Realtors complaining that the sales commission is not being split 50/50.

Ok let me see if I can explain this commission split thing in simple language. I am a lister of properties. It’s what I do. When I meet with potential Sellers I tell them the minimum amount of money it is going to cost them to use my services and get their home sold. This depends on how realistic they are on pricing, how much money I will spend on marketing, whether I have to pay a referral fee and whether they are repeat customers or if I will be assisting them on another purchase or sale. This could be 1% it could be 5% The figure we arrive at is my compensation and will not change and has nothing to do with the selling Realtor. Then together the Seller and I review market conditions and what their competition is and how much commission we need to offer the selling Realtor in order to be competitive. Once we arrive at a suitable percentage for the other Realtor (which may go up during the course of the listing) we add the two sides together and there you have it! The total commission the Seller will pay when the house is sold. As a listing Realtor my compensation has been decided in advance and is a part of the listing agreement. It may be more than 50% it may be less than 50% of the total commission.

Now as a Buyer’s Realtor the amount of compensation that my Seller is willing to contribute to your services is the amount that is fully disclosed in the MLS. Nothing more and nothing less. Buyers and Realtors are actually at an advantage if they are using a “Buyers Broker Agreement”. You, the Realtor has the advantage of discussing your fee with your potential Buyer prior to showing them any properties and being able to let them know that the Seller is willing to contribute a percentage of the fee the Buyer has to pay to work with you. The Buyer has the advantage of knowing his Realtor is free to show them any and all properties that may meet their needs. Be it FSBO or a listing with a lower Co-broke that you may not normally want to show. Folks you need to be selling your services to your potential customers before you go to work. And you are selling them for a fee. Buyers have no problem guaranteeing you a certain percentage if you are a professional hard working Realtor and are able to sell your services. You are in sales! Sell yourself! Quit relying on listing Realtors to negotiate your compensation. If you are not capable of negotiating your own compensation how in the world can you be expected to negotiate the best deal for your Buyer. Our services are really the only thing we have to sell. Houses sell themselves. If you are not “listing” your Buyers with a “Buyers Broker Agreement” then unfortunately you are at the mercy of what is being offered in the MLS. As a listing Realtor it is not my job to negotiate your compensation. It is my job to sell my Seller’s property. Are you being short changed! Not by me.

Each State may vary on laws realting to Buyer Broker’s Agreements and types of Agency or Non Agency relationships.

Clean it up and sell it!

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

Took a listing a couple of weeks ago. Seller is an out of area Investor who had bought a new home to flip for a profit. Fortunately he bought right and this can be achieved. Contacted me off an expired listing mailing. He had been on the market for about 9 months with no offers. I pulled up his details in the MLS and it looked like the house was priced right at $205,000. So I told him I would go out and have a look to see why it hadn’t sold.

When I pulled up to the property I was shocked! The lawn was a good 4 feet long and full of weeds, the Real Estate sign was laying on the ground with the post still standing albeit a little crooked. I used the current Realtor's lock box and tried to place the key in the front door after several attempts I was finally able to jiggle it to get it in. Opened the door and I was overwhelmed with dead cock roaches, spiders, crickets and other critters I was not able to identify. And the smell!!! Well let's not go there but we know how Realtors treat toilets sometimes. The vinyl flooring was covered in scruff marks from all the Realtors and Buyers who had obviously been looking at the property. This was evidenced by the stack of 40 to 50 business cards displayed all over the kitchen counter. This new never before lived in home was totally disgusting. Of course the marketing remarks in the MLS said “brand new home in excellent condition ready for new owner”.

Well I gave the Owner a quick call and told him the condition and said I would list the property and that I was going to arrange a professional cleaning crew and lawn service ASAP. I will pay the bill and he can reimburse me at closing. It cost a total of $275.00 to have his property spit shined, carpets cleaned and set up on monthly lawn service. I had his house back on the market within 48 hours looking like a brand new house and “Range Priced” from $195,000 to $215,000 with a 4% Co-broke. Needless to say Realtors and Buyers are now knocking the doors down to see this house and we have already had offers. Unfortunately they were not from “truly” qualified Buyers but that will have to be another post.

Again it’s another case of a Realtor taking a listing and then just abandoning it. The Seller was completely agreeable to whatever needed to be done to get his house sold but was never advised by his Realtor or heard from him for that matter. As professional Realtors we must provide honest straight forward advice to our customers and clients. To do anything less is unethical. So be proactive. Clean it up and sell it! 

Answer the phone!

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

Tried to find my Sellers an out of State Realtor this week to help them find a house in the town they were relocating to. Researched several Realtors’ web sites to find one experienced with what my Seller was looking for and that seemed to have a lot of experience working with relocation Buyers. Found a great one. Over 10 years in business. Husband wife team. Top Realtors in their area. Great Web site, web log and pod cast. All the new tools to get the job done. Sent them a detailed E-mail explaining my Sellers needs and time frame for purchasing. My Sellers were pre-approved and going to the State in a week to purchase. Then being the good Realtor that I am I called the “contact me direct” phone number and left a detailed phone message as well.

Well now 7 days later no return call, no return E-mail. It seems you can have all the tools and put forth the appearance of being the best in your area and still not have the most important quality a Realtor can have-Responding quickly to ALL inquiries. Timely communication is the number one way to make money in Real Estate. Answer the phone. If you can’t answer it. Return the call in 15 minutes or less even if it’s to tell the person you don’t have time to talk but will call them back in 1 hour. Then call them back in 1 hour not 1 hour and 15 minutes. My cell phone has made me 100’s of thousands of dollars. Set your E-mail on auto response if you are not able to check it every 30 minutes. Better yet have it forwarded to your cell phone or PDA. Never leave a call or E-mail to the following day. Take care of today’s business today. You will have enough to take care of tomorrow. Answer the phone!!

 

Make your listing presentation a listening presentation

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

In my market Poinciana, Fl I have been listing and selling homes for 12 years. When I first started out here there were 6,000 people and only one local Real Estate Company. I didn’t consider myself a company back then since I worked out of my house and was a one man show. Still am. Over the years I have been able to establish myself as the top listing agent in this community. By this I mean I have the highest number of sold listings (single family homes) in any given year. During the last 4 to 5 years Poinciana has exploded to over 65,000 people and still growing. There are now hundreds of Realtors from all over Central Florida listing and selling houses out here. As of this morning there are 1,434 houses on the market in the MLS. And still I am at the top. By the way if you check up on me in the MLS don’t look under actives look under pendings and solds. That’s where you will find me. I have found that one of the reasons for my success is a rock solid knowledge of the market in my area and a very strong listing presentation.

What makes for a strong listing presentation? Well what I have learned is the best presentation is when the Sellers are doing all the talking. Ask the right questions, sit back and listen. Sellers don’t care about Power Point Presentations, 25 Marketing Strategies for a Successful Sale, Broker Open’s, how many designations you have, how large your company is or a myriad of other things we say to potential Sellers to show how good we are. Remember it’s all about them not about us. The Sellers I meet with on a whole want to talk. They want to show you their house and tell you their reasons for selling. They want to blow off steam from the bad experiences they have had with past Realtors. They want someone that will listen to them and respond accordingly. No scripts, no ABC sales techniques and no print out of all your awards.

What they want is an honest and forthright opinion of what their house is worth and what it will take to sell it. And most importantly they must know that you genuinely care about them and their needs. And believe me this can not be faked. It must be a sincere caring. Bottom line people want to work with people they like and trust. So next time make your listing presentation a listening presentation.

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.