Happy New Year to all…

December 31, 2008

happy-new-yearIt is hard to believe that 2008 is already coming to an end. As a Realtor this year has been especially difficult for me, but I am well aware that I have done better than most and for this I’m grateful. So many of my fellow real estate agents have long left the business. Knowing that I’m still here and actually thriving makes me feel fortunate and appreciative to those that have maintained their loyalty, trust and friendship with me. You know who you are. I really owe you a lot so thank you.

2009 is around the corner and I’m very excited. Yeah, this sounds strange coming from a Realtor during one of the worst real estate markets in US history, but I’m more than serious. Challenging times build character and force those that want to survive to step up to the plate and adapt to the times. I believe I have done this.

In 2008 I have devoted myself to my clients and relearning the entire business of residential real estate. So much has changed. Realtors can no longer sit back and expect business to land in their laps. We have to bust our butts exceeding our clients expectations…but this just isn’t enough by itself. The Realtors that are surviving are the ones that are mastering the new real estate market.

What do you mean by the new real estate market?

The new real estate market is all about sellers owing far more than which they can possible sell their homes. The new market is focused on these “Short Sales” and only Realtors that dedicate themselves to learning everything possible about handling short sales have any chance of survival. Short sales aren’t pretty. They take discipline, knowledge and patience. To date I have close to a 100% success rate at getting short sale listings sold and closed, which according to my real estate friends is quite high.

The hardest part about dealing with short sales is negotiating with the banks. So much happens behind the sellers back. This is usually a good thing because that is what Realtors are hired to do. We’re hired to handle things for the seller or buyer. With short sales there are all sorts of battles going on behind the scenes and it takes a strong Realtor to remain standing when the smoke clears. Banks are unemotional and consider your home nothing more than an asset. They literally refer to your home as “Asset #705,” as an example. All the heart and soul you have poured into making your house a home doesn’t mean a thing to them. This is why it helps to have a solid real estate agent representing you through the short sale transaction. Your emotional attachment to the situation makes it nearly impossible to deal with the decision makers at your bank.

In 2009 we can all expect a rough road for the Florida real estate market. Those sellers that think they are somehow immune to market conditions have a shock in store for them. I deal with these people everyday and as a general rule I walk away from such listings. In 2009 you had better understand that your home is worth far less than it was a few years ago during the peak of the real estate boom. Once you get this concept into your head success is on the horizon.

Again, Happy New Year to all my clients, friends and family. It has been both a pain and a pleasure helping you reach your real estate goals in 2008. Hey, I’m being honest. No pain no gain they say. Who exactly is this “they” anyway? Drive safely tonight and wear your helmets.

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