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.


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!

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!”

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Football Season Tampa Bay Style!

Am I the only one in Tampa dancing today? The Tennessee volunteers’ LOST yesterday and everything is getting RIGHT about football again! I used to pull for Tennessee because we have family that lives in Cookeville and they were fans. That was until Lane Kiffin decided to wreck the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. First, he tried to be an NFL coach. Al Davis saw that Lane was not a high caliber coach and promptly FIRED him. The, he got a job in Tennessee. HOW? He tells the athletic director that he will bring his “daddy” in to help him.

His dad was defensive coordinator of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Buc’s were 9-3 and right in the hunt for a Super Bowl shot. With 4 games left in the NFL season, Lane Kiffin decided to “leak the word” to others in Tennessee that Monte would resign from the Bucs at the end of the season and join his boy at Tennessee. Well you can imagine what happened in Tampa! The Bucs defense threw in the towel and the Bucs lost four in a row to end the season.

Lane and Monte relocated to Tennessee and left Jon Gruden and Bruce Allen to deal with the MESS Monte and Lane created. The Glazers did not want to spend any money in the free agent market, Jon is already frustrated, pops off a bit and gets fired! Now we have Rakeem Morris, a 32 year old defensive backs coach who was at the right place at the right time. Overnight he is now head coach. He revamps the team, lets some veterans go, fires his offensive coordinator ten days before the season starts and as expected, the Bucs open the season by getting hammered by a slightly above average Dallas team.

It will be a long, long season in Tampa Bay and I wish the Volunteers the exact same record as the Bucs (since college plays fewer games, I will say the same winning percentage). Had Lane handled his new job as a MAN and not a boy, the Buc’s win the NFC South last year, they run deep into the play-offs, Jon Gruden is still here and the Bucs make another run in 2009. THEN they could have announced Monte was leaving and Buc fans would have supported them. We deserved better. I hereby put the “foo-foo olay” curse on Tennessee and vow that they don’t win enough games to get a Bowl until the Buccaneers are a play-off team again!

Real Estate, Politics, and the NFL

Where does all this “change” come from!  Look at the state of our country!  In 2005, the realty market was on fire, gas was $2.00 a gallon and nobody knew a politician named Obama unless you were from Illinois!

Fast forward to 2008, faster than Michelle Obama can do a “daps” with her husband Barack Hussain Obama, the world has changed dramatically! Gas prices are $4.00 a gallon, real estate is down 30% and Obama is the Democratic nominee!

WOW. The world changes pretty fast if you don’t pay attention! Seems like the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s were just winning the Superbowl! Now, Jon Gruden is fighting for his job! After the 8-8 season on the horizon, he will probably be looking for a job in 2009 (if Joel Glasier ever wakes up). Chris Simms leads another team to the Superbowl and former “wonder boy” of the NFL, Gruden will claim that he discovered him! That Superbowl win in 2003 is getting OLD! The last time the Buc’s won a playoff game was The Superbowl!

Like I said, things change on a dime. Hopefully, in February, the Buc’s are playing in the Superbowl right here in Tampa, gas prices are back to $2.00 a gallon and real estate is cooking again!  The next few years will be very interesting. Real Estate, Politics, and the NFL! I’m ready for 2009!