Saturday, October 20, 2007

"I'm buying real estate...why aren't you?

Don’t just sit there and complain about the market and the over abundance of inventory…buy something!

Yes…that’s right I’m talking to you the real estate professional. Maybe today’s mantra for everyone in the real estate business should be “I’m buying real estate…why aren’t you?” Maybe we ought to lead by example. Maybe we should be buying up the inventory at today’s incredible prices and then be calling on our sphere of influence (SOI). Maybe we should stop asking the tired old question, “do you know of anyone that wants to buy or sell?” and start asking “Guess what I just did?” And tell them that you just closed on a great deal and they can too.

Just imagine for a moment if everyone with a real estate license did this. There are over 95,000 licensees in the state of Arizona right now. OK that’s unrealistic I know but what if one out of ten of us did buy something and through our efforts we made an additional sale or two. Wouldn’t that get things moving again? You do the math. It would be fantastic. What a dramatic impact it would have on the marketplace, inventory and our attitudes.

As long as I’ve been in the business everybody wants a “deal.” Well let me tell you folks there’s nothing but deals out there. The marketplace is full of deals.

Look at agent headlines not newspaper headlines. Internet and print ads written by agents are screaming with opportunity. You know what I'm talking about. You’ve seen the ads. You’ve probably written quite a few… Drastic Reduction! $10,000 below Appraisal! Bonus to Buyer’s Agent! Prices reduced $50,000, $60,000 and &$70,000, Co-op Fees at 5, 6 and even7 percent? Are we staring at these ads, shrugging our shoulders and reinforcing “doom and gloom” or are we staring at one of the best long term investments anyone can make?

The past few years have exposed us to some incredible, profitable, money-making times. What did we do with all the money we made? Why aren’t more of us investing in the very product we tell others to believe in? Why aren’t we telling everyone “I’m buying real estate…why aren’t you?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Department of Justice (DOJ) encourages consumers to be "watch-dogs" of real estate brokerages

You’ve heard it more often than you care to remember… the purchase or sale of real estate is probably the single, most important financial transaction most of us will ever make.

According to DOJ the estimated median commission paid by home sellers in 2006 was $11,672. Some new real estate brokerage models have the potential to reduce that amount by thousands. Similar to the practice in Arizona, some states allow licensees to rebate a portion of their brokerage fees to their respective clients and allow seller’s brokers to offer limited-service packages. This is not the case in all states.

So the anti-trust division of the DOJ has just launched a new website to assist consumers and policymakers with specific aim at competition in the real estate industry.

The site is designed to educate consumers about the potential benefits competition can bring consumers of real estate services as well as barriers that inhibit competition.

Consumers will be able to view maps that identify states with real estate laws that inhibit competition. They will be able to calculate potential savings when brokers pursuing new business models compete for their business. There will be links to additional government resources.

This is information brokers should know about before their clients. Check this address out now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

REALTORS® Revolt…don’t sit back and cry about a lousy real estate market…do something about it!

Subprime mess, credit crunch, too much inventory, foreclosures running rampant, the re-emergence of the short sale, daily depressing newspaper headlines, and declining values…haven’t you heard enough?

Certainly I have and quite frankly the more I hear and read the more I am determined to focus on and look for the opportunities this market has to offer. Don’t misunderstand me. In 35 years the ups and downs of real estate cycles have taught me a great deal. Looking for opportunities in a media frenzy of portraying “doom and gloom” and talk of recession in the housing market is more than some old timer wanting to breathe unrealistic optimism into the lungs of his colleagues. Let me explain.

Because of my past experience with short sales in southern California back in the early 90’s I have been invited to participate and take an active role in creating forms, making informal and formal presentations on this subject. In general, imparting the knowledge I have gleaned on the topic of short sales over the years. A subject every REALTOR® should become acquainted with and make an effort to learn.

Knowing something about short sales and the foreclosure process can be a healthy thing for you and your clients. Recognizing the signs and characteristics of someone facing a short sale and/or foreclosure will make you a better counselor. After all isn’t that something we should all excel at doing? Counseling is an acquired skill that manifests itself in one’s ability to learn to listen attentively by placing the interests of the person doing the talking before that of the listener.
So when you see someone facing imminent foreclosure and/or a pre-foreclosure (short sale) situation seize this opportunity and help the client save and keep their primary residence. Tell them to contact their lender immediately and try to work things out. Twenty percent of the borrowers never make contact with their lender during the foreclosure process.

Lenders aren’t there yet but they’re starting to come around to help borrowers with their financial challenges. As a REALTOR® you can help. Assist the distressed homeowner by putting pressure on the lender, especially when the client has had an outstanding past payment history with that lender. Advance remedies and alternative solutions that will change the terms of the loan such as: (1) loan modification (2) Re-payment plans (3) Postponement of payments (4) Refinancing.

Realistically speaking we may not be able to help everyone. But we really won’t know that until we’ve tried real hard. Without a doubt helping a client keep the home you probably sold them is definitely one of the best opportunities I know of in this marketplace…let me know what you think.