The $50,000 Dog & Cat

So you are going to the local pet store and you see a cute little puppy.  SO CUTE and you can’t resist, you buy the dog and they become part of your family.

Fast forward 5-9 years.  Now it’s time to sell your house house!  You interview Realtors and hire one (probably if you are like most consumers, you hire the agent that tells you the highest price and who has the least amount of experience).  The Realtor who LOVED your Basset Hound or Lab.

The house will never sell for top dollar. NEVER.

The bottom line is this.  Pet odor is not escapable (unless you have a Poodle and if you get a dog, that is the ONLY breed that does not have a smell, but that will not eliminate the poop in your yard). 

Now let me get one thing straight, I love dogs and I own one myself.  HOWEVER, if you think you can own a dog and it not cost you value when you sell you have another thing coming.

Picture this: A buyer is looking at houses in a community.  All things being equal, the “pet” home will inevitably sell for less.  The poop smell in the yard will turn off the prospective buyer. The dirty baseboard will turn off the buyer.  The dog smell, the one YOU don’t notice because YOU are used to it, will turn the buyer off.

Pets are a HUGE responsibility.  If you own a dog, keep it clean. Pick up the waste from your yard, ALL of it. Train your dog. Ask friends for their HONEST opinion on the smell.  Notice your home and take special care to not let the dog damage anything. DON’T HAVE CARPET because ONE urine accident that goes undetected with add more “funk” to the air and you will not notice it, visitors to your house WILL.  If you own a cat, change the litter box two ways, often and frequent.

Not doing the above will cost you BIG BUCKS when you sell your home….. guaranteed!  For more information, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

ASK THE REALTOR TO BE HONEST and to make recommendations.  Then do what they say and spend the money to eliminate the signs of “pethood” so you can minimize the impact.  I have sold homes that had absolutely ZERO signs of pets when in fact they had more than one dog!  It takes work to make it so but all things being equal, the million dollar home WITH the Lab with very careful and aware owners will sell for 5% to 10% less than the dogless home.  That is just the truth.

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Why Exit will Be The Largest Brokerage

NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that by 2019 Exit will be the largest brokerage firm in North America.

I have now been selling real estate in Florida since 1991.   I feel like I made all the right moves since then except one critical mistake.  I failed to see or comprehend the “Exit formula” when it first came to Florida around 1997.  While I was recruiting agents for my old brokers, I could have been receiving my 10% residuals from those other agents instead of getting a $20 gift card from Starbucks.  I look at Valerie Reyes, Jaret Whitney, Wayne Furlong and countless others in the Exit system who did grasp the system and wonder what could and should have been for me and more importantly, my family

I think of the $56,000 my Team paid in Franchise fees to ERA in 2008, instead of the minimal Exit  fees (that are capped at a fair and reasonable rate).

I think how stupid I was for not taking advantage of the first class, best I have ever (EVER) seen training.  I was working on a brochure on my new listing and thought to myself, what if I had this tool available to me years ago?

I think of the times I thought I was doing good to get a 70%, 80% and 90% split.  When I left ERA I was on a 95% split (minus the 6% franchise fee for a NET of 89%).  How stupid of me not to think OUTSIDE the box.  Now I’m looking at a 70% split with Exit, added to just a few agents I brought in and it is easy, very easy AFTER LESS THAN ONE YEAR IN THE SYSTEM to see a 110%, 120% split. 

I did not understand the Single Level concept.  BETTER BELIEVE I KNOW IT NOW. For those who were like me let me explain it like we were 10 years old.  YOU bring an agent into the Exit system (your office, the office across town or the one in Canada) and YOU get 10% from every sale that agent makes PER YEAR up to $10,000 PER YEAR (Every Year).  You DO NOT SPLIT THAT with anyone else.  It does not go “down the line” with each person getting .25.  It is all about YOU.  You bring in 5 agents who average $75,000 per year and that is $37,500 per year. The next year you bring in two more agents who make $100,000 per year and you make $57,000 per year BEFORE you add what you make from listing and selling real estate. 

I wonder what Valerie Reyes split is? 600%, 650% ?

If you are a Realtor and you have an Exit office in your vicinity, I’m asking you to do something for your family.  Take a look at the Exit formula.  Call the broker of that office and check them out.  You may be 100% happy in your current office, but if you could bring a few agents WITH you to Exit, you can get the 10% residuals, bring the agents you like and help them bring in agents.  After all, WHERE are they going after they have 5-6 agents under them?

The BEST PART is this.  Because other agents make money by bringing you in, top agents are motivated to tell you EVERYTHING they know because they want to help you get to a minimum of $100K so they can get  the most money.  If you don’t make a ton of money, they don’t benefit!  Instead of the top agents hiding, they are helping you grow.

Don’t wait ten more years before you see this.  In ten years you can be in Nassau……. collecting your six figure residuals.  To learn more about this exit system, click this link http://headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html

Or go to my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com to learn more.  Stop wasting your future and join Exit as soon as you can. 

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Also, if you like the website and want one like mine, email my web designer Dave Mikes at dmikes@bedrockmedia.com. He is THE BEST.

Well, Well, Well (my opinion Blog)

For the record, this Blog is the OPINION of Vince Arcuri and does not necessarily reflect the OPINION of Exit Realty other Agents or Firms affiliated with Exit.

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Early this year (2009) I wrote a Blog about Exit Realty and franchise fees.  I was with ERA at the time and boy did it cause a stink in the (ERA) real estate community.  An ERA broker from SC wrote to my old Broker complaining that Exit Brokers were sending this to ERA Agents in the area.  If you read the Blog (http://headofrealestate.com/wordpress/?paged=4 titled The Real Estate World Will Change), I predicted that some major franchise brands that have become household names across the USA would be out of business soon because those business models are antiquated and can’t survive the economic downturn with such high franchise fees being charged to the Brokers and Agents.  I felt like collecting franchise fees WITHOUT A CAP was wrong and those firms were being greedy and they would not survive.

I was crucified by many for posting the Blog.  Now, eight short months later, not one, but TWO of Tampa’s oldest ERA Franchises are no longer affiliated with ERA, including my old firm that I left when I joined Exit Realty.  ERA Russell Adams Realty is now just Russell Adams Realty and ERA Gulfcoast Realty is simply Gulfcoast Realty.  Now if the owners of those firms,  two VERY smart businessmen thought the 6%, 7%, 8% franchise fee was worth what they were getting in return why did they not renew / drop the brand badge?  If you read the original Blog, I said that IF those unnecessary,  franchise fees (my opinion)were worth what you were getting in return, why would you complain?  I know what I got for my franchise fees (all $56,000 or so of them Team Arcuri paid in 2008)…………… a trip to Exitville, Exit Realty.

After 19 years in this business I have seen all kinds of ideas, discount brokerages, independents and the like.  Exit might be 11 years old, but the idea behind the company is as fresh today as it was in 1998.  Everyone took a little hiccup when the market fell, however I think in another ten years, Exit will be the largest real estate brand in the world.  They take care of the agents, they train them right, they don’t kill you on franchise fees and it is a WIN / WIN / WIN for the parent company, the broker and most importantly, the AGENT.

I still believe that there is time for those large brands to change the way they do business and start (my opinion again) taking care of the Agents again, but time is running out.  Like the old USFL spring football league, a good idea sometimes take too long and before the right changes can be made, it is too late. An 8% franchise fee would go a long way in an Agent’s marketing budget and would help them sell more real estate. That would help listings sell, the franchise can offset the loss in revenue and Brokers make more money by the increase in sales.  Is that not what owning a franchise is all about?  Making money!

To learn more about the Exit system or Exit Formula, check out this video http://headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html.

A Positive Outlook

Well, I just did my part to stimulate the economy and took the family to Disney for the weekend.  It was pretty crowded considering the economy is supposed to be so bad.  They say the first ones hit are the first to recover and my friends in LA, Phoenix, Miami and here in Tampa (the hardest hit when the real estate bubble popped) are all saying we are seeing drastic improvement over the same time periods in 2008.  I can’t agree more as the Tampa Bay market appears normal, except the prices are about 50% less than they were in 2005, but they are moving.

Some Realtors say that Short Sales and foreclosures are carrying the market and I say TRUE, however that segment of the market will remain for at least two to three years AFTER the market is in full recover and it is now part of the real estate landscape.

I feel like the rest of the country will follow Florida and 2010 will be a year of gentle, slow, steady recovery.  I think NOW is the time to invest again and I’m getting all my investors back into the game to offset losses from 2005 and 2006.

EXAMPLE: If you bought new construction in 2005 (say a $200,000 home) and you have a tenant. You did 100% financing. You owe about $200,000. You can buy another one for say $100,000, maybe TWO for $200,000.  Now when the market returns to $200,000, say in 2020, you rented two of your three homes for a positive cash flow, one at a loss.  The two positive cover the spread on the one negative for a few years.  This will offset the loss on your bad purchase and actually make you a six figure PROFIT as opposed to waiting 15 years to “break even” on the original purchase.  Then, all you need to do is “lather, rinse and repeat!”

For more information, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

You Can’t Handle The Truth

 

Sellers can’t handle the truth (75% of them).  I was searching the MLS today and I was looking through the Expired and Withdrawn listings from 2009.  I saw many listings that I went on the listing appointment on and did not get the listing because I was truthful.  One home, five houses down from me, the same home (M & I Bordeaux) model as mine.  They owe over $500,000.  The market for that home is now about $400,000.  Eighteen months ago, I wanted to list at $475,000 when the market was there.  They were “appalled” at my low price.  They said the reason I sell so many homes in that community is because I am a “lowball” agent. 

Hmmmmmmm.

Here we are eighteen months later.  They are on their third agent. The first one (who they said chuckled at my CMA) listed at $599,950.  A decent “profit” for the seller…… J U S T what they W A N T E D to hear!  Six months later, after agent #1 look a “real job” and had to get out of real estate, they listed with agent #2 at $540,000.  At L E A S T they could “break even” on the home, J U S T  what they N E E D E D to hear.  Six months later, after they fired that agent because no buyers were looking, they listed with Agent #3 at $475,000….. MY original suggestion.  Too bad the market kept creeping down.  Now I noticed the home failed to sell again.

I can repeat a similar scenario in this community with at least ten other houses in the past two years.  The community gossip? Oh that Vince Arcuri wants to “give” houses away, that is why he sells so many houses in here. 

I would like to say, I don’t “give” anything away.  QUAILITY REALTORS will report the ACTUAL market to sellers.  The SMART SELLERS list at market value and sell their home in ANY, ANY, ANY market. 

Some Sellers just keep interviewing Realtors until they find one who tells them the stupid price they want to hear.  They think it’s some sort of auction, like we are “bidding” to buy the home.  Buyers will comparative shop and easily see that certain houses are overpriced!

I just closed one in Cheval for $700,000.  Neighbors are complaining that I “gave” that one away.  Really? It was listed with another agent for $1,000,000, then $950,000, then I took it over about a year ago at $875,000 then $850,000, then $799,950, then $750,000 and we finally, after 77 showings over a year, we got an offer accepted at $700,000.  The most aggressive marketing you have EVER seen went into marking that home.  The Seller admitted that they wish they would have taken my advice on pricing at the beginning.  The ONLY time they went to the price I suggested was the LAST priced reduction.  They were behind the curve until this last price reduction.

Sellers need to LOOK at those CMA’s!  If an experienced agent gives you a price recommendation, seriously look at it.  Pricing is key.  Don’t crucify the Realtor who is honest with you.  The agent who tells you “any price” will just field Buyer calls off your sign and then go sell one of my listings that ARE priced right.  They make money off your home while you keep the FREE billboard on your front yard generating business for them!

To learn more about how to price your home, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com and look at the Pricing Video at the top of the Home Screen Page.

If you can handle the truth………. Price your home RIGHT and it sells.  It may not be what you want to hear, but if you price it at the CURRENT MARKET, it will sell.

A Surge in Afghanistan Mr. Obama

I can’t believe it.  President Obama is “thinking” about a troop surge in Afghanistan?  He would rather see our troops die than admit that President Bush was correct by doing the same thing in Iraq.  When America was getting overrun in Iraq, Bush wanted and got a surge in the number of men sent to that country and it is a fact of record that we turned the tables and we have now or are rolling on the down side of our time there. 

Our men and women are getting killed in Afghanistan, all of our military leaders are advising the President to do the same, against the same enemy and they will get the same result.  He decided to wait a while, and this decision is killing American soldiers.  Obama is naked.  It is time for the media to report the facts.  Obama is a huge disappointment to the voters who elected him.  He spends a trillion dollars and unemployment went UP. 

He is a handsome, personable guy.  If I met him in person, I know I would love him.  But as a President?  I’d rather see McCain.  Now more than ever.  But we will need to wait 3 1/2 more years for this nightmare to end.  I say to Obama, forget the political agenda and just do what is right for America.  That is what our leader is elected to do.  Stop worrying about re-election and just do what is right for America and let the chips fall where they may.

And by the way, if you are thinking about buying real estate in Florida, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Exit Convention in Washington D.C.

Just got back from a week of fun and learning at the Exit Realty Convention in Washington D.C. and I am just blown away by the entire organization. From the regional owners to the trainers to the Brokers and agents to management and staff.  I spent about 18 years with ERA and went to many a convention, but never have I experienced the overwhelming SUPPORT the Exit organization gives to its membership!

I learned more in 6 days than I have in the past 6 YEARS! Exit Realty really cares about US and my move to Exit was the best decision I could have made for my family…… for my retirement!

I am just blown away by the Forbes family, by the support I get from them, all the way to the top of the food chain in Exit.  I feel part of the family, like I belong.  That is how Exit treats their agents

That was before they rolled out the red carpet for ALL of us in Washington D.C.  Steve Morris is a first class of a man and a GREAT leader and a great motivator.  I could not believe the access we all had at the convention.  The breakout sessions were the best I have ever been to and a special call out to Valerie Reyes who just blew the crowd away with her “Summit” session.

If you are burned out with the same old same old, give Exit a look!  My Team was #1 worldwide with ERA in 2008, like #4 or 5 the year before.  I was never treated like anything other than another number, another fool that paid them $30,000 to $40,000 a year in franchise fees and nobody knows your name!

Moving to Exit was the best decision I have EVER made and as I watched Steve Morris hand out a $100,000 check (like they do every year) to the lucky guy whose name was randomly pulled out of a barrel, I thought to myself, “wow, it’s nice to belong to a company that actually gives something back to the agents that made the company what it is.”

To learn more about Exit Realty, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com