Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rules of Engagement -- Customer

If you choose me to be your realtor it's kind of like going on a date.  We will have begun a relationship that may only last for as long as it takes to buy or sell your property. Or, it could last a lifetime.

In my last post I listed the 7 duties of a transaction broker in Florida. This time let's take a look at some things you, the customer, can do to make this process better should you select me as your realtor.

  1. Don't go looking at houses on your own. Consider this scenario. Let's say I have taken you to look at multiple properties on several different days. One day you're driving down a street, see a For Sale sign and call the agent listed on the sign. He/she meets you at the house and you end up buying that property. I don't get paid.

    Despite what you might think about saving yourself some money you haven't saved anything because the listing agent would then get a commission for both sides of the transaction. Please call me. I will gladly arrange to show you the property. I will work hard for you in order to earn my commission, let's make the other agent earn his/her commission too.
  2. Get your financing arranged before we look at any properties. I recommend you get your credit score, talk to several lenders (I can give you some names) and then choose the one that offers you the financing that best suits your needs. By knowing how much money you qualify for we can concentrate our efforts on homes within your price range.
  3. Be honest with me. If you're not serious about buying or selling right away please tell me. It's OK but it will help me to better budget my time for other customers whose needs are more pressing. I will stay in touch with you and when you're ready we'll start the process.
  4. If you're buying, make a wish list and prioritize it. What things are most important to you in a property? List 8-10 things and then be willing to give up some in case we can't find anything that includes all of them.
  5. Sometimes, home sellers have unrealistic expectations about what their home is worth or how quickly it will sell. I have listed homes at higher prices than I recommended because the owners would not accept my recommended list price. Later, when the listing expired they went with another realtor and listed the property at the price I had originally recommended.
  6. Don't make it too difficult for buyers to view your property.The absolute best case scenario is to put a lock box on your property and simply ask realtors to give me a courtesy call before they show the property. That way your home is always ready to be looked at unless you advise me otherwise.
  7. Don't make it personal. If you're selling don't automatically reject an offer because it's "insulting." An offer is the beginning of the negotiation process. It's much better to make a counter-offer to keep the lines of communication open and to allow for negotiation. I have had sellers reject offers I brought to them only to ultimately sell the property for thousands less after listing with another realtor.
If we work together buying or selling real estate can be a pleasurable experience. Please give me the chance to show you.

Rules of Engagement -- Realtor

I have found that most people really don't understand the real estate process. There are tons of misconceptions and misinformation floating around out there. Here are the basic responsibilities of the realtor.

Under Florida law, it is presumed that all real estate licensees are operating as transaction brokers unless established otherwise in writing. Basically, that means we work to make a transaction take place. We provide limited representation to a buyer, a seller, or both in a real estate transaction.

Here are the 7 duties of a transaction broker:

  1. Deal honestly and fairly.
  2. Account for all funds.
  3. Use skill, care and diligence in the transaction.
  4. Disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer.
  5. Present all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner.
  6. Exercise limited confidentiality unless waived in writing by a party.
  7. Perform any additional duties that are mutually agreed to with a party.
This aspect of limited representation allows a realtor to facilitate a real estate transaction by assisting both the buyer and seller. However, a realtor will not work to represent one party to the detriment of the other party when acting as a transaction broker to both parties.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Turning Hopes Into Homes

I'm a realtor in Pensacola, Florida. I love living here. The weather is usually sunny. Our beaches are pristine  . . . pure white sand the color and consistency of sugar. The water sparkles in so many shades of green and blue . . . so beautiful they call this area the Emerald Coast. The fishing is like nowhere else on earth and the seafood, well don't get me started on that.

I'm ready to help you find your dream home here in the Pensacola area. In this blog I will share information about real estate and life in Pensacola.

I work at Gulf Real Estate Group. We're an independent real estate agency, locally owned and operated. What does that mean to you? I think it means everything. I, along with all our realtors, can provide you with everything that you receive from one of the big box agencies. Only I like to think we do it with a more personal touch.

Real estate can be a scary proposition. But, it doesn't have to be. It's my job to assist you throughout the process and make things go as smoothly as possible. I do that by using my professional expertise, by asking lots of questions, and by listening to you.

Personally, I hate high pressure salesmen. It's not my style. If you feel the same way maybe we would have a connection. I would love the opportunity to help turn your hopes into homes.

Oh, and one more thing, referrals are the life blood of my business. If you or someone you know is buying or selling property anytime soon even if you're not in Pensacola, please contact me. I can find a realtor for you and it won't cost you anything.