Florida’s existing home, condo sales rise in February 2009

April 6, 2009

salesFlorida’s existing home sales rose in February, making it the sixth consecutive month that sales activity showed increases in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). February’s statewide sales also increased over January’s figures in both the existing home and existing condo markets.


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5 Reasons FSBO’s Never Sell

April 5, 2009

fsbo“For every winner there are dozens of losers. Odds are you’re one of them.” The first time I saw this statement I almost peed my pants laughing. How true it is. You’ve probably seen motivational posters lining the halls and walls of corporate America, as if these little one-liners are going to bring out the best in people. On a site called I found the above gem and it really stuck with me because it says something we all like to pretend isn’t true. Not everyone can win. Of course, this doesn’t make those that don’t win “losers,” but it gets the point across.

Selling your home without a Realtor is a losing proposition. You could have the world’s most gorgeous magical wonderland of a house, but odds are you’re going to be a loser if you try to sell without a Realtor. Here are 5 reasons why it rarely works to go it alone:

1. FSBO’s cannot be listed in the MLS
Only licensed real estate agents and brokers can place a home in the Multiple Listing Service. And the majority of search engines and real estate web sites lock FSBO’s out. The reasons why only agents and brokers can list homes in MLS are irrelevant. Not that they aren’t valid reasons. But they’re irrelevant. The point is….you can’t use the #1 selling tool. And the reason why search engines and real estate sites don’t list FSBO’s is also irrelevant, but I’ll share it with you. When you list your home in MLS your home information propogates out to potentially thousands of other sites that are automatically connected to the MLS system through something similar to an RSS feed. No, the Realtor didn’t do something mysterious to dissimenate your listing to the online world. It happens automatically by virtue of it being listed in the MLS. The point being…it happens.

2. Realtors won’t show FSBO homes
Why would a Realtor bother attempting to contact each FSBO owner and individually, one after the other, negotiate a commission and showing agreement? The market is saturated with available homes where the Realtors commission is protected with a legally binding listing agreement. FSBO’s are avoided like the plague. If a home seller is so concerned with paying commission that they have chosen to sell without a Realtor they are assumed to be a waste of time. Realtors don’t get paid when they waste time. They’re only paid when they sell a house. In addition, most Realtors know that negotiating with a FSBO owner is a painful and sometimes irrational process where the FSBO owner doesn’t understand the rules and laws and procedures to the sales process. FSBO’s are more pain than they’re worth, and in this declining market there is absolutely no logical reason to show FSBO’s to buyers. There are simply too many listed homes available.

3. FSBO’s are usually over-priced
Heck, in this market most listed homes are over-priced, but at least a listed home has a trained real estate professional representing the seller. A buyer’s agent is more comfortable negotiating/arguing price with a listing agent than directly with an emotional FSBO owner. It is very difficult to tell a home seller that their home is not worth what they imagine it to be worth. But one agent showing another agent solid facts and comparable home sale statistics is a lot less prone to disaster. FSBO sellers also don’t have access to comparable home sale statistics. They lack the tools to price accurately.

4. Buyers are nervous around FSBO owners
Buyers don’t feel comfortable previewing FSBO homes with the actual owner present, let alone guiding the home tour. When buyers walk through a listing with an agent they feel they can discuss the good and bad points about the home openly with each other and their agent, but when those same buyers are being guided through the home tour process by the actual owners they tend to clam up and wait till they get outside, out of earshot, to discuss their feelings on the home. Nobody wants to hurt someone else’s feelings, so they hurry through the home and then start talking outside. They also are far less likely to open closets, look in closed rooms, check out the air conditioning system or stare at the ceiling for roof leak evidence if the seller is right there watching over them. In other words…buyers avoid FSBO’s.

5. FSBO’s often run into legal troubles
FSBO sellers usually don’t understand all that goes into a successful real estate transaction. What contract works best? The FAR-9 or the FAR/BAR?  How much of an escrow deposit should be required for a particular transaction? What should the seller to with the deposit once received? What title company should be used? What is a title company? When a buyer threatens to back out of the contract, which happens all the time, how does the FBSO owner keep the deal together? What disclosures and addendums should be used to protect the seller aganist future lawsuits? The list goes on and on and on. Only an experienced Realtor knows the answers to these questions. We deal with this every day.

In summary the average FSBO has between 5 and 10% chance of selling without a Realtor. What other activity in life would you voluntarily engage in with such a high rate of failure? Not many I’d guess. So why gamble with your time, energy and money?

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You could have heard a pin drop

April 3, 2009

pin-dropWhen in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by
the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example
of empire building’ by George Bush.

He answered by saying, ‘Over the years, the United States has sent many
of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom
beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in
return is enough to bury those that did not return.
You could have heard a pin drop.

Then there was a conference in France where a number of international
engineers were taking part, including French and American. During a
break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying ‘Have
you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft
carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended
to do, bomb them?’ A Boeing engineer stood up and re plied quietly: ‘Our
carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred
people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical
power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity
to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several
thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry
half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to
and from t heir flight deck.. We have eleven such ships; how many does
France have? ‘

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included
Admirals from the U.S. , English, Canadian, Australian and French
Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large
group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries.
Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
French admiral suddenly complained that, ‘whereas Europeans learn many
languages, Americans learn only English.’ He then asked, ‘Why is it that
we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than
speaking French?’ Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied ‘May
be it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it
so you wouldn’t have to speak German.’

You could have heard a pin drop.


A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a
tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by
At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his
carry on.
‘You have been to France before, monsieur?’ the customs officer asked
sarcastically. Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France
‘Then you should know enough to hav e your passport ready.’ The American
said, ‘The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.’ ‘Impossible
Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France !’ The
American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly
explained. ‘Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in ’44 to
help liberate this country, I couldn’t find any Frenchmen to show it

You could have heard a pin drop

What Is A Veteran?

A ‘Veteran’ — whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve —
is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made
payable to ‘The United States of America ,’ for an amount of ‘up to, and
including his life.’

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today,
who no longer understand that fact.

(This is an email that circulated a few years ago. Whether or not each story is true is questionable, but it is still entertaining and educational to read.)

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SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times by Gary Keller

April 2, 2009

shiftBook Description

“Need help weathering the storm in today’s real estate market? If so, reach for Gary Keller’s new book, Shift— it’s the lifesaver you need today to thrive tomorrow. Shift is rich in easy-to-understand strategies, charts, and illustrations that show you exactly what you need to do to thrive in today’s very challenging and ‘shifted’ real estate market.”

–Bernice Ross, Inman News.

SHIFT explores twelve proven strategies for achieving success in any real estate market, including:

  • Master the Market of the Moment: Short Sales, Foreclosures, and REOs.
  • Create Urgency: Overcoming Buyer Reluctance.
  • Re-Margin Your Business: Expense Management.
  • Find the Motivated: Lead Generation.
  • Expand the Options: Creative Financing.

About the Author
Gary Keller launched his sales career and later Keller Williams Realty International during two of the worst downturns in the recent history of the real estate market. With SHIFT, Gary and coauthors Dave Jenks and Jay Papasan deliver an authoritative resource for surviving and thriving in a shifted real estate market and the latest book in the bestselling Millionaire Real Estate Series.

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Son asks father a question

April 2, 2009

father-and-sonA young son asked,
‘Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa
a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries her?’
Dad replied, ‘That happens in every country, son.’

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