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!

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!


As a past supporter of offshore drilling, I always assumed that those in charge had a plan to stop a massive oil leak like the one in the Gulf. The reason why I supported it was because I always thought the amount of oil spilled when they hit the well was minimal. Now THIS. It’s only a matter of time before hurricane season is clicking off one named storm after another and all that oil is swished around and no telling where in the world it will end up. This certainly will be the biggest disaster to the environment short of a nuclear accident.

I was thinking last night, why don’t the build a structure the size of a small house, with legs (like the Apollo Moon Lander) and sit it on top of the pipe. On top of the structure, put a circular pipe. They could slowly weld the pipe together and section by section lower it on top of the leak. Then the will have a large tube filling with the oil as it gushes up to the surface where it can be siphoned out into barges and hauled away, 100% clean.

It would take less than 7 days to build it and the environmental damage would be stopped. Why is this not being done? Certainly all those engineers have already thought of this simple solution? DUMBASSES!

Most would not support drilling offshore if they know this could happen. I’d rather pay $5.00 a gallon and have my clean beaches for my kids to enjoy.

Craig Witt on: I’m Still In Shock Over The Exit Realty Concept

Thanks to Craig Witt at for the reblog!

Here’s what Craig had to say:

Each week our newest associate from Tampa, Vince Arcuri, posts a blog about his experience since joining EXIT Realty. So, why is this blog-worthy and why would I re-blog his comments? Simple, Vince was #1 in the World for ERA in 2008 and left to join EXIT Realty; a true professional Realtor that now realizes he has joined the best Real Estate company that has true culture and puts their associates first. We underpromise and overdeliver on technology, training, systems and tools that can make your life as a Realtor more productive and profitable.

We know every Realtor has options, but consider this: You can get most anywhere with either a Ford, GM, Chrysler or even a Ferrari in a reasonable amount of time. But, what if I offered you a helicopter? Would that change your perception of efficient travel? EXIT Realty is the helicopter; the choice is clear and the choice is yours. Put your ego aside like others are and take a look at our business model. You will quickly find that it is one that vests brokers and agents together in a partnership for each others success. Our foundation is our culture and our residual system is a bonus.

Read Vince’s latest comments and stay tuned for more to come.

Check out Craig’s blog at:

Don’t Vote IF……………

The first Tuesday in November is just a month away! The T.V. ads are everywhere! We are definitely as Bill O’Riley would say are in “The Spin Zone” of the big blue and red political machine. What I can’t believe, is that apparently, 50% of America is drinking tainted Kool-Aid from one of the candidates.

I was raised by my Italian family (my grandparents came to Tampa on a boat from Italy in the early 1900’s. One phrase I hard over and over growing up was this:

“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who YOU are”

Think about that before you vote for our next commander in chief and if you don’t know the facts, please DO NOT VOTE!

The HOA in YOUR Community?

As the real estate industry in Florida (and the country) is in the process of trying to find it’s way to their feet again, there is an issue that hinders property values in many communities. The HOA or Homeowners Associations that regulate the rules and regulations (and deed restrictions) of PUD’s (Planned Unit Developments, a.k.a.: subdivisions). These organizations are run by property owners in those communities. You know, the guys who send you all the hate mail that you have a spot on your driveway, or that your home needs to be painted, or your grass is too high and needs to be cut. In most cases, there is a Property Management firm that HOA dues are paid to. The problem with many, and in my almost 20 years experience in this business, MOST of the HOA’s is that they DO NOT operate as designed. You have people serving on those Associations who have regular jobs, usually not at the top of the food chain at their company or who have a spouse who they are afraid of at home, or they are frustrated by life. Who do they take it out on? YOU, the person they are supposed to be representing.

The delivery of the message is key. As in ANY REPUTABLE BUSINESS, the first message received by one person sets the tone for the exchange. In most cases, the HOA sends a very strong letter to the homeowner, who in most cases are not even aware there is an issue until they get the letter from the HOA. Instead of a friendly reminder, they immediately go on the “attack” and threaten litigation, liens and sometimes foreclosure! They have WAY too much power. They are unregulated, there is way too much EGO involved.

As in many communities, it’s all about who you know. I usually “farm” or market the community that I live in heavily. The members of the HOA are constantly getting my “Just Listed” and my “Just Sold” postcards. I know it must irritate many of them. But it always seems that top Realtors are targets of the HOA. The more outspoken you become of their negative tactics, the more “hate letters” you will receive.

My next door neighbor cuts his own grass and maintains his own yard. The is a M.D. so his time is limited. His yard shows it. The grass gets very high, the bugs eat sections of his yard, he never edges the common areas. He SHOULD be getting letters weekly. He does not. Has never received one as far as I know. I purchased one of the biggest eyesores in the community. I had the home professionally renovated and updated. My yard is cut by the finest landscape company in Tampa Bay (Rusty’s Lawn 813-404-1114). I try to make certain my home is better maintained than all my neighbors because of my “target” status. I still get letters more often than I can open my mailbox! It’s like an HOA member’s wife kicks his ass for not taking out the trash, he goes to the office and his boss kicks his ass for doing a poor job. He gets mad, comes home and wants to get the HOA to kick somebody’s ass in the community so they can feel better. Why else would they do the job (unpaid?). NOT because they care about the community or their neighbors, because if they did, they would use better bedside manor to deliver their message. They deliver the message with too much Mojo, Macho authority in my opinion.

The problem is, they create more problems than they solve. Potentials Buyers get wind of these cantankerous Associations and avoid these communities. They hear that a community dues check was lost, or the property owner forgot to pay that month for whatever reason. They get a foreclosure threat by the association’s attorney. Again, those attorneys’s LOVE those HOA’s because they get instructions to send the hate mail to property owners and THEY GET PAID! And guess who pays them? You guessed it, the property owners!

So who is a fault? Those HOA mamebers usually go up for re-election on a yearly basis. The problem is, the most capable, knowledgeable individuals available, don’t want the job (who wants the unpaid position). Nobody good wants the job! I for one would rather keep fielding the letters and washing the one inch speck of discoloration off my mailbox. Who gets burned the most for their immature actions? The homeowners in that community because their homes become more difficult to sell.

When I get a Buyer who calls my office and says “don’t show me any homes in subdivisions that have an HOA”, I completely understand. That needs to change. It seems like the IRS is teaching the class on bedside manor and the biggest client they have is your HOA!