Realtors Without Lockbox Keys

10% of the Realtors sell 90% of the homesI posted on Face Book last week this entry: When the agent calls and says “Vince, I’m Whoever with XYZ Realty and I don’t have a lockbox key, can you open your listing for us” I IMMEDIATELY HIT THE DELETE KEY.What I got were 58 comments of varying viewpoints. Although I respect the real estate profession, I do not respect Realtors who ask the listing agent to show their buyers your listing either because they don’t have a lockbox key (a basic tool of the Realtor) or because “they are out of town.”

This is a despicable request for them to make and I immediately disqualify a buyer who would work with such an inept agent. I used to always accommodate those requests and I NEVER got an offer…… or a thank you, from the other agent.

Some agents said I was doing my seller a disservice by not showing to every possible buyer. I DISAGREE. I notice that the other agent NEVER says “I’m sending my buyer with a pre-qualification letter or proof of funds” because the other Realtor never checked. They run their business by the seat of their pants and just hope and pray I could close this buyer of theirs that they can’t close on any other deal. It is a disservice to my client not to carefully screen each potential buyer to weed out the ones that will be a problem later.

To those agents that DISAGREE, I will ask you: Have you ever had a seller load up their furniture and clean out the house and on the DAY of closing you find out the buyer can’t close? I know I have NOT because I am taking care of my sellers by screening those deadbeats out.

Agents that don’t have the basic tools or even the office support to help them show office clients available listings will not be in the business long. I can’t imagine asking another agent from another firm to show MY buyer their listing. How unprofessional to the BUYER is that? At least have another agent from your own office cover the showing for you.

Realtors sometimes get a bad rap……. and sometimes it’s our own fault.

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

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Short Sale “Flip” Realtors

Short Sale ThiefHere we go again! Now before you decide to crucify me, read the entire blog. for my point. It seems that in every Bull or Bear Market in real estate, you can always count on a few things. In a Bear Market, you can always see the late-night infomercial’s of “get rich quick buying foreclosures” programs. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, it was Dave Del Dato, today, take your pick. Consumer: those guys get wealthy selling you DVD’s not buying foreclosures! Want to make money in real estate? Hire a reputable Realtor who knows the renovation game and who is experienced themself in that process. If 2005-2007 taught you anything, it should be that in real estate and the stock market speculation business, there are risks.

Now, here is what else you can depend on: Shady Realtors slithering out from their holes to “help you” get in front of the market. In 2005, how many Realtors did I see buying houses for $500,000 and then the lender giving them $200,000 on top of that to “renovate” the home (that never seemed to get renovated). They were driving new Ferrari’s and Lambo’s and when the market went belly up, they gave the houses back to the bank, but kept the cash. Sooner or later, when this market clears up, I’m certain jail will be in order for some of them.

Now the Short Sale scam artists. They show up with “I’ll negotiate the short sale for you” plan. You list your home with this Agent and a third party negotiates your sale. Say you owe $250,000 and this “negotiator” you hired gets an approval for a sale at $150,000 (and assume the market fell 50% to 60% in your area). Then, that Realtor puts in MLS that they have an approval for $175,000. Then Realtor B from 123 Realty brings an offer for $175,000. Well, the Realtor and his buddy just put $25,000 in their pocket EXTRA without trying to disclose too much to anyone about what is going on.

Nobody got hurt right? WRONG! First of all, in my opinion, it is unethical for a Realtor to be involved with this practice. For one thing, knowing you can sell for more and selling this lower offer to the bank while KNOWING you are going to flip this house for extra money is flat out misleading the banks. I don’t care what your personal opinion is about the banks and how they screw Realtors and cut our fees at the table and that government bailed them out. What is WRONG is WRONG and two or three wrongs by the bank does not give us the right to STEAL MONEY from anyone. The people getting SCREWED are the SELLERS who hired those agents under the pretense that they were being helped. The fact is, most Sellers will have a judgement put against them for the deficiency of the sale. So instead of the seller in this example getting $75,000 judgement against them, they will now have a $100,000 judgement against them. THEY HAVE TO PAY THAT MONEY BACK THAT THE REALTOR JUST STOLE FROM THE BANK.Sooner or later, the house of cards will come down again and close all the loopholes. But for now, those Realtors who participate in this type of sale should be ashamed of themself. Before you cry “Sour Grapes” because I am not making that money, I have closed 94 sides in 2010 and will close well over 100 transactions this year. I have been selling real estate for twenty years now and the REASON I have lasted this long is because I refuse to deal from the bottom of the deck and I refuse to screw the Sellers who hire me to get them out of the scenario that they are in. If that means I take a haircut at the closing table, I’ll take it. What I refuse to do is feed my greed at the expense of others while hiding under the “it’s legal” defense. It is NOT MORALLY correct and if those Agents would get off their lazy asses, they would be able to make a nice living as a Realtor ………………….. while genuinely helping people. There are no short cuts in real estate.

http://www.headofrealestat.com

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

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.

Full Disclosure…… to your Agents

 

As many of us know, franchise fees for MOST large real estate firms (not Exit Realty) are getting out of hand.  Six percent of your gross commission, right off the top seems like a large cut for what you get (do you really get anything?).  If an agent was on a 70/30, they are really on a 64/36.  It’s understandable really since the broker HAS to pay the money……….. right?

What if everything is not what is seems?  What if that broker had an agreement with the franchise that if the company hit a certain production goal, like for example, $50,000,000, that  the broker would get 2/3 of the franchise fee BACK at the end of the year.  If the broker never mentioned that to the agents that work at that firm, do you think that is fair?

What if the agent cut a “side deal” with a client to cut the broker out of money.  Do you think that would make the broker angry?  If you were an agent that made $100,000 and paid $6,000 in franchise fees and your broker got back $4,000 from your fees at the end of the year and forgot to tell you, how would you feel?  They tell you that “they can’t give you that split” because of franchise fees and they forget to tell you that if the company hits a certain goal, they get the money “kicked back” to them.  That practice would be just W R O N G.

That is why I love EXIT.  Franchise fees are simple, low and CAPPED.  I came from a big franchise and I hit my “cap” almost overnight it seemed and it beats the hell out of the $57,000 in franchise fees my team payed in 2008………………………. and “what if” my old broker got 2/3 of that back and forgot to tell me?  NO WONDER EXIT REALTY IS GROWING!  They treat their agents like they are part of the family because they (WE) are! We get paid for bringing in agents, we get referrals from other agents, we help the company grow, they help us grow!

Why would you work anywhere else?  Where else can you make over 100%?  As a matter of fact, you can make 200%, 300%, 400% and 500% if you are with EXIT.  Yea, you can make $50,000 selling real estate and $500,000 from single level residuals.  If you don’t know the EXIT formula, trust me, your current broker does not want you to know and things are just the way they like it because if you knew all of the facts, you would sprint, not walk to your nearest Exit office and join!

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

This Blog certainly did not upset any Exit Brokers, but I can imagine how many Brokers for those “other guys” would really be upset that a BIG, well kept secret of the big corporations, somehow leaked out…… assuming that this actually was the case. 

I say, “read between the lines” and join Exit!

What Is Sponsoring?

This year I celebrated my 18th year in real estate!  Over almost two decades, I have seen it all.  ESPECIALLY how the overall business is run, from local independents, to major franchises to discount brokerages.  One thing virtually none of them “get” is the FACT that it is the AGENTS that are the assets of any company.  National franchises generally view THE COMPANY as the asset.

I was with my old badge (a national franchise) virtually my entire career under three different owners over the years since 1991.  In my opinion, that brand never looked at me, even when I was #4 worldwide, #5 worldwide and #1 worldwide, despite paying well into the six figures in franchise fees over the years.  I was the #1  Agent in Tampa Bay from 1995-2008 for that national brand.  When I was with company #1, they were a top 50 office worldwide with that brand.  In my opinion, the corporation viewed that broker as “the king” and when I left for another office of the same brand, they stayed loyal to my previous broker.  A year or two later, my new company became a top 50 franchise (as the old firm fell off the map) and in my opinion, corporate sucked up to the new broker (and old broker who broke into the top 50 status from the fruit of my labor).  Then, the owner unexpectedly passed away and there was a split in ownership.  I went with another  broker who purchased another old sinking ship  from that brand and I was his big fish.  Soon, he was a top 100 office and was very close to breaking into the top 50 with this national franchise model.  In my opinion, Corporate still was on my old company, a day late and a dollar short like they always seem to be.  Now, arguably the most successful office in Tampa  for their franchise when I left (based on 2008 sales volume)  is on very shaky legs as I write this.  Where was the support for ME the Agent?  In my opinion, they were so busy viewing the company as the asset, that they forgot about the AGENTS that pay the bills.  It’s not the local Broker / Franchise owners fault.  In my opinion, the parent company has taught them that THEY are the asset.  They are not, it is the agents that chose to work there, at any office, that is the true asset.

What makes EXIT Realty any different?  How about Sponsoring!  Just like Wal-Mart or the insurance industry, EXIT is built on the company growing through the AGENT and Exit views the AGENTS as the asset, not the owner or single company.  Is this bad? Well, I say “No” it is not bad.  I think it is a great floor plan to build a company around.  If the AGENTS are the focus of the COMPANY, both the Agent and Company are better off (anyone listening at big franchises)?  I am so sold on this format, that I bought an EXIT Franchise of my own just 6  months into me becoming an Agent with Exit.  You can imagine how upset my Broker Wayne Furlong must be at me leaving his firm after just six months right?  After all, Brokers are ALWAYS mad at us when we leave, especially when you are buying the same brand and creating competition!  Somebody forgot to tell EXIT Realty International about that because my old broker, Wayne Furlong has been my biggest cheerleader and he has not only given his blessing, he has been involved first hand with helping me set up.  Other Exit brokers are helping as well because in EXIT, they (WE) all understand that by building the company together, we ALL  get stronger together.

When I was with my old franchise, two of their biggest brokers in Tampa Bay (both the SAME brand) were suing each other constantly.  Corporate did NOTHING to get involved and stop this damaging practice.  I can’t imagine Exit allowing that to happen in any market they have.  The total opposite is true! Exit Brokers, Agents and Owners are HELPING each other!

By sponsoring agents into the system, other Exit Agents actually “own” part of the other agent they bring in!  They help that agent become more successful.  I am SO IMPRESSED with this Exit Formula that I want to tell the world!  If you want to learn more, click this link and take a look at this Sponsoring Video all about how Exit works: http://www.headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html

For more information on this subject, you can call me direct on my cellular phone at 813-Vincent or visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com

This BLOG is the sole opinion of Vincent Arcuri and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Exit Realty, Exit Realty International or any other Exit Realty broker, Agent or Owner.