A Word to My Friends in The Print Media

Here it comes! The doom and gloom! Sales this September, October and November are going to be WAY down from the same time period as last year! Before you report that the market is CRASHING and that real estate is getting worse, PLEASE consider the following!

The ORIGINAL end to the first time home buyer tax credit (that was also being used by non-first time buyers, thank you Mr. President) was originally supposed to end on November 30th, 2009. Needless to say, everyone was in the hunt to get the “free money” our government has been giving away to people who don’t really need it the past two years.

The bottom line is this. THE TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES SELLING IS ALMOST EXACTLY ON PAR WITH 2009. The volume of sales was just spread out more evenly as opposed to peaking every time the government established another extension of the tax credit. Further, prices, at least in Tampa, have remained very steady over the past year and I only see the luxury market poised to take another hit in values at some point in the future if the economy does not get any legs to her SOON.

To report a bottoming out real estate market, even though the wires will be full of such information, it will pay to do the homework and look at the entire number of sales, YEAR TO DATE from 2009 when making such comparisons. Although I love stories on real estate, sometimes all that negative press scares away the buyers and that has a huge impact on our economy nationwide.

Why should the investors make a killing while the average Joe is apprehensive to buy those great deals. I have not seen so many investors buying up real estate since the early 90’s. THEY are not impacted by the national media and are making a killing. Realtors that represent those investors are also along for the ride. But the average American needs to know, that over the course of history, buying a home is one of the best investments you can make!

A house in Tampa that was built in the 1970’s for $20,000 in now worth over $200,000 (and was worth $400,000 in 2005). A person RENTING that home paid almost the same payment except the buyer has long since paid this home off and received a great tax break while he had a mortgage. The rate was fixed for 30 years (so the payment never changed) while the renter got price hikes at every renewal. Look at that house value over time. Even with today’s value, that homeowner would tell you that buying a home in the 1970 was one of the smartest financial moves he made in his life. The SAME THING that buyers who bought in 2009 and 2010 are going to be saying in the future.

Will somebody PLEASE run a story on the long term value of real estate and the trends in has run over the last 100 years? THAT would be a great story, a feel good story that would actually HELP the situation out. After all, the media was certainly fanning the flames in 2004, 2005 and 2006 giving consumers the confidence to all walk off that cliff together. Now we need that type of reporting going the other way to ease concerns of those who bought and got burned.

To those investors who bought in 2005 for example and own a home in a community worth 50% less than what you paid for yours…… go buy two or three more of the same model NOW at 50% off and put your renters in their. Those values will rise in the future and the huge profit you make will more than offset the loss on the one you bought. Just like the stock market! You bought stock in a company you have confidence in too early and it is down 50%……. if you believe in the product, go buy more at the discount to offset your loss. THAT make perfect sense to me………..

What say you?

http://www.headofrealestate.com

Listing Agent Must Accompany?

The dumbest thing I see in MLS today is “Listing Agent Must Accompany Showings” in MLS. If you are a Seller, here is a message from Vincent Arcuri: I will NOT be showing your house to my potential Buyers.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Seller: You are asking why your Realtor attending the showings is not a good idea? I can give you a truck load of reasons why they SHOULD NOT be there but I will keep it short. #1) Nobody in real estate is ever on time. Either I will be running late because the buyer took longer than expected to look at each house or the agent meeting us there is running late so all the showings get pushed back. #2) Your Realtor wants to tell my buyer about every little detail of the house “here is the master bedroom” and “look at that chair rail” and drags what should be a regular showing into this 45 minute DRAMA of an agent trying to show off their real estate knowledge. #3) NOTE TO THOSE REALTORS: Buyers are emotional. They will not buy a house over another because yours is better built and the trusses are commercial grade. They like the pool, they like the location, they think this is the coolest house for the money? SOLD. You being there is not making one ounce of difference in the sale price or if my buyer is going to purchase the house or not. #4) When my buyer is late and you throw attitude around, it further puts your listing in the doghouse.

Locboxes today are safe, effective can be set for showings during certain hours and have the security needed to protect sellers. I set mine from 9:00AM to 8:00PM and deactivate the box at night. After each Agent that opens the box, I will get all the data on-line from MLS. I leave as much information as possible about the home IN THE HOME for any interested buyers to take with them. My listings are EASY to SHOW. That makes them SHOW MORE and the chances of a higher sales price and a faster time to sell are much better.

EGO should be left out of the process and that is what some agents are trying to do when showing up for every showing. Some top producers not have their assistants show up for them! AS IF! Who do WE as AGENTS make the home selling process so difficult on each other! We talk about the banks and how horrible they handle the short sales and REO’s and we do no better as a group.

Making listing difficult to show is a mistake and is not the best representation for your seller or buyers in the marketplace. We can do better.

http://www.headofrealestate.com

A Case For Real Estate / The Great Depression

This is not the first real estate bubble we have had “burst” and it will not be the last. It is my opinion that the government got us all into this mess and it is their obligation to get us out….NOW.

The government is constantly meddling in the real estate business. “First time home buyer tax credit” of this year was just one in a long history of our political “leaders” trying to drum up business for the real estate industry.

In 1919 The National Association of Real Estate Boards (Now NAR or National Association of Realtors) was promoting real estate via the “Own Your Own Home” campaign. This was a industry based program run by Realtors. Herbert Hoover (the then secretary of commerce) encourage the United States government to take over this program to increase home ownership. And the cycle of real estate was forever altered. Since then, it seems like the government has had a hand in real estate, trying to make it more and more affordable so “every American” can live the dream and own a home. This of course so the banking industry could stretch loans out over 30 years and rake in insane revenue on those 30 year loans!

After our country went into the “Great Depression” in the 20’s, how did the country get out of that mess? 25% of Americans were out of work and most of those jobs were construction related! Reigniting the real estate market back then was a great way to create jobs and get the economy rolling again! Talk about a “Stimulus Package” on steroids!!!

So what does America do in 2008 and 2009? We repeat what history taught us and get the real estate industry back on track, getting value back up, getting those construction workers, surveyors, roofers, plumbers, electricians, lawn service companies, painters, Realtors, lenders and everyone related to our field! WOW, what a TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT could do for the economy………….. except Obama flushed that toilet when he blew the trillion on HIS ego driven Stimulus package that has clearly and unequivocally FAILED the American people.

The government dug the hole. Now the CAN’T get out of the real estate game…. can they? I say YES they can…… eventually. If they eliminate the capital gains tax on real estate across the board, no matter how short of a time a person has owned the property, we would clear out of this mess sooner rather than later. Further, property taxes like we have in Florida are BULL _ _ _ _!!! Every state that has property taxes could raise the sales tax .02 per dollar and the revenue created would more than offset the income generated by the loss of property taxes. Now (in Florida for example) the tourists can pay some of that money to rebuild our roads, etc. (since they help destroy and use those roads now) This will reduce the overall cost of home ownership (total payment) by 1/3 in many cases. Buyers who can’t afford to buy, now will be able to and as they buy those starter homes, everyone can move back up the food chain!

After the market gets healthy again, we can only hope that the government can stay out of the business of trying to get every American to own a home. (How did that work out for you President Clinton?). The TRUTH IS, some people will NEVER own a home and will be lifetime renters. America, there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone does not need to buy or own a home for America to be great! We just need responsible leadership that understands economics and how the system works. 2012 seems really far off to me, but November 2010 is just a few weeks away! I can FEEL the market recovering now!

http://www.headofrealestate.com

The Death of The Open House

I remember in 1991 when you walked into a real estate office and it was a nice quiet place to work. When you needed to know about a listing, you walked into your office and pulled up an MLS BOOK to see if the listing you took three weeks to make it into this book. THIS is the reason Realtors did “OPEN HOUSES” on listings. If you took a listing on March 3rd, your property would not hit the MLS until the April MLS Book. This is why we took listings for 7 months or 13 months because it took 30 days to get you into MLS (depending on when you listed). We did “BROKER OPEN HOUSE” on Tuesday to let Realtors see the house (because it would not be in the MLS Book for a few weeks) and we did public open houses on weekends for the same reason, no MLS visibility yet.

As we moved to the mid 1990′s, that quiet sound was gone in Realty offices across America replaced by the constant sound of the DOT MATRIX printers and the computer age in real estate. You heard at least 3-4 of those printers going at it from sun up to sun down.

By the late 1990′s to early 2000′s, most MLS information was on a Windows based format and the use of laser printers and to a less efficient degree, those color “ink” machines took over. Virtual tours were born and to me, it seemed like a long time, the market, tech wise really remained steady, without any REAL useful marketing tools made available.

That was before now. That was before I discovered EXIT Realty and my new toolbox of marketing products. E-Listings and Exit Promo Shop. NOW, I can take a listing, take the pictures at the listing and go to my office and within 30-45 minutes I can have a menu of tools available. I can print a FULL COLOR GLOSSY, four page brochure in Promo Shop, I can pump out my “JUST LISTED” postcards for the community, I can e-mail that same flyer to top Realtors in the area and my database and I can do a few more things. My 1-800 number in E-Listings gives my recorded message to potential Buyers of my listings (under my name rider is the 1-800 recorded info line on this listing) and the buyer can hit a button and get my E-Tour right on their Smart Phone in seconds! My listings have a website dedicated to their house (www.whatever the listing address is) with downloadable flyers of the house, mapping to and from the house and other information. I can burn the E-Tour on a CD right from the program, label as well. All of this is sindicated to all major search engines with a click of a button. Social networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Myspace? Upload right to those sites as well. How about on-line tours and e-magazine? I could write for another 2 hours on those products alone!

Open House? Are you kidding? Why waste time waiting for a buyer when you can find 20 of them with the products I just mentioned? Since EXIT REALTY is the only major franchise born AFTER the tech revolution, we are MILES ahead of the competition on the marketing front.

Nobody offers less fees, more than 100% commissions, and all the marketing tools your mind can cover. Nothing compares to Exit! I am going on my 20th year in the business and I am not talking sour grapes here! In 2008 I was #1 WORLDWIDE with ERA and when I saw what EXIT had to offer me, I could not leave fast enough! I skipped the ERA Convention and did not even get my award in 2009 because I was on my way……. DANCING my way over to EXIT! Best decision I have ever made! If you would STOP looking out for your broker, who is also looking out for your broker and look at what is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY, you will join OUR FAMILY here at Exit. The more you learn, the better decision you can make

http://www.headofrealestate.com

What Was America Thinking in Nov of 2008?

What the heck is President Obama thinking? We just sent $70,000,000 to Pakistan for the flood relief? Why don’t those Muslims building the Masque near the site of ground zero throw some money that way? Why does President Obama want to bail out EVERYONE except the people on “Main Street” that he promised to help on the campaign trail?

The banks get a big TRILLION dollar bailout (paid for by the people on Main Street) and now are reporting record profits again. What do the banks do in return? Do they ease the Short Sale crises in America by making the process easier? NO, the are dragging out the process and then when they finally do make the deal happen, the go after everyone involved in the deal to cut fees and do their best NOT TO PAY THE PEOPLE who made the deal happen. Stuffing their own pockets. How is shortchanging those workers on Main Street going to stimulate the economy? If we can’t make any money selling Short Sales, why do we bother? My commissions have been cut well over six figures on Short Sales in the last few years, money that would have been spent and used to stimulate the economy. Now times me by over 500,000 Realtors across the USA! It seems like our President forgot who he was working for.

Now he (President Obama) decided to backpedal on the Masque being built near the site of the World Trade Center disaster. What he SHOULD HAVE SAID (had his Teleprompter been hooked up) was “They do have a right to build it anywhere they want, however I think they should use better judgement in their location of the Masque…… the American people and the people of New York have suffered enough” but as usual, he was apologizing FOR America instead of leading her. Anyone who thinks this guy has done a good job is nuts!

He is spending by the trillions trying to stimulate this flat economy. All he needs to do is cut the taxes of wealthy Americans and offer tax incentives to hire workers and this broken down machine of America can start her economic engine again. But this ARROGANT man refuses to do it because HE wants to be the one to invent a NEW WAY to do it……………… bankrupting America for a shot at history. Well the only history he is making is standing next to Jimmy Carter as the worst commanders in US HISTORY! I’ll bet George Bush is smiling because as much as Obama hates him, he made Bush look TERRIFIC compared to him. He is a despicable man and a despicable President.

http://www.headofrealestate.com

Craigs List and Lazy Realtors

OK, I go to put some of my listings on Craigslist today and what do I see but MY LISTING listed with another brokerage firm! I was flabbergasted to say the least! I know it is common to share information in this new Internet wave (for website searches etc) but to have an agent actually sit down, steal your pictures from MLS, put them into Craigslist and mislead the public into thinking that they are the listing agent? That is a new one to me! Is it a violation? I called MidFlorida MLS and they told me “as long as at the very bottom of the listing it says “Listed with Exit Realty Foundations” that this was OK”. After I got up off the floor I started thinking……….

What kind of REALTOR would do this? LAZY ones. When I was a new agent, there was no Internet access. In those days, you had to work to get your business. You got off your deadbeat ass and WORKED at your business. Today, the prototypical LAZY REALTOR can sit in the A/C and post listings that not only don’t belong to them, but not even their office! A shortcut so they think, HOWEVER, if they do this, it tells me all I need to know about them. They will never make it long term in this industry. One thing that has not changed in my 20 years in this business is that “the extra mile still has no traffic jams” and that is the motto of most successful agents.

Those LAZY Realtors might think they are being smart, but when the meet the client who contacted them on the $600,000 listing only to get to the property and see MY SIGN on the lawn, I’ll let them explain to those buyers how “slick” they really are.

My question to NAR is this: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL CLAUSE IN OUR LISTING CONTRACTS? Somebody better wake up on this or it could be the beginning of the end for the real estate industry as we know it today.

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

Why Not Buy Now?

Interest rates are at an ALL TIME LOW. Prices are at a 10 year low. Inventory is being bought by investors who are not flipping, but HOLDING. You can buy a home as an investment, put 20% down and rent it for far more than the mortgage payment.

What is always comical to me is when all of those “sheep investors” come out to play “big shot” like in the Stock Market boom 12-14 years ago when all of those lose “Day traders” came out of the woodwork. They were the big shots one day, then begging to dump the houses they bought when the stock market bubble broke. The slithered over to the real estate side……. 2004-2006 boom in real estate and everyone became a big shot again buying new construction to flip. The bubble broke in real estate and 2009 to today, the “Short Sale” guru’s (same guys) are trying to buy those “Short Sales” and not disclose to the lender that there is a higher offer on the table and they think they are NOT going to go to JAIL? (a few of those guys doing it in Tampa, driving a Lamborgini one day, behind bars now).

REALTORS: Out of the woodwork new agents in 2005 became overnight stars! The market crashed and they did not know how to sell real estate for real, so now they are out of the business. Here come the new group……. the ones that know more than all of us!

What the general consumer needs to understand is that a VETERAN BROKER and VETERAN AGENTS, the ones that are here for the long run are the most stable source of information and guidance from the jungle of this real estate mess! Check the resume’ of your agent before you follow them off the cliff. the real estate cliff that so many sheep have fallen off of since the beginning of time. There is money to be made, slow and steady if you follow the lead of an experienced agent!