Monthly Archives: September 2007

Orlando Agents Sleeping On The Job

Throughout the years I’ve wondered what makes a top producing agent a top producing agent. Is it the car they drive? Many people choose thier agent based on this, (not the best determining factor). Could it be that the top agents all have some common thread? Do they have a higher level of education than thier peers?

One top agent I know is a Soccer Mom, another a retired nurse.  When comparing these two it’s really hard to find any similarities in personality or lifestyle, hobbies. They are both very different.  What is the ingredient that these two and many other top agents share in the main dish?

After reflecting on this for quite some time, I decided to get to the bottom of it and interview and question some top agents that I’ve met throughout the years to find the common element that makes a top agent a top agent.

What I’ve found after all this time is one common thread that all agents of top producing caliber seem to share. They all seem to have focus, a plan, an actual business plan.  They set production goals, and treat thier real estate career like a business, a business where they are the CEO.  Most of the top agents I’ve spoken with work five days a week and take two days off, just like a real job. They set income goals and lay out detailed plans of how to get there, how many transactions they need to do.  As consumers we are programmed to think that all top agents work 7 days a week and sleep with thier cell phones on, yet none of the top agents that I’ve met do this. Picturing an agent with his or her cell phone next to their bed  seems kind of desparate, don’t you think? Do we really want someone so desparate for business that they sleep with their cell phone on thier night stand?

sleep_ddd2cd_l_1.jpg

With so many agents and companies to choose from does it make sense for me to hire an agent based on the typical questions that we’ve been taught to ask during an agent interview? Hmm???

Maybe we should be asking about their goals. How many homes are you planning to sell this year? What is your goal for this quarter?… Etc…

If we’re interviewing agents for the position of marketing/listing our homes, should we be concerned about the car they drive when they visit us at our home for the interview or should we be more concerned about what car they are planning to buy next time?  Perhaps the most loaded and important question of all should be, “Where do you put your cell phone when you’re sleeping?”

Advertisements

Buyer Beware!

Orlando, Florida: Buyer Beware! There is always something very special about buying a brand new, newly built home. The home smells so nice and everything is so clean and pretty. Buyers who buy from builders sometimes buy new homes like one would buy a new car, trading thier used homes in every few years for a newer models. Sometimes the good outweighs the bad which is good for the builder considering that builders have been pulling the wool over buyers eyes for so long now. Undoubtedly the hazy cloud from the frenzied new home buyers is smoothing over the rough spots that most buyers experience throughout the process of buying and building a new home with a builder. Certainly few buyers realize how one sided the builder’s sales contracts are, favoring the rights of the builder over the buyer in most clauses of the contract. Who could blame the builder, right? But does the average buyer know this? Should they have a lawyer or a real estate agent looking over the contract to point out and interpret for the buyer what they are signing?, you bet!

Did you know that most new home contracts include a clause which states that if the home does not appraise for the contract price, that the buyer is still reponsible for closing and if there is a mortgage the buyer won’t be allowed to finance the new increased balance in most cases with thier lender?  I will write more about this later in the article, you won’t believe what happened to this buyer. Sadly, this is not an isolated case. The majority of the builders have this clause in the contract. It gets worse… Continue reading

Winter Garden Music Fest – 3 days Free to Public!

Winter Garden Music Festival 2007    October 5, 6 & 7 Downtown Winter Garden, Florida. Mark your calenders for free concert open to the public. Experience downtown in a festive atmosphere with featured local entertainers. The featured musicians will represent several music genres including Jazz, Blues, Urban Jazz, Southern Rock, Big Band, Swing, Zydeco, Dixie Land, Country, Blue Grass, Classic Rock, Pop, Folk, Classical, Japanese Taiko Drums, Christian Pop, Gospel, R&B, Ragtime, African, Mariachi, Celtic and Thai. Local vendors, restaurants are sponsoring this celebrated 3 day event. Read more at: http://www.WinterGardenMusicFest.com . I hope to see you there!

Buyers Market Continues

monopoly-home.gifAccording to figures supplied by the Greater Orlando Association of Realtors Mulitple Listing Service for July, 2007, only 4 percent of all homes listed in the M.L.S. actually went into pending status for the month. What is happening to the other 96%? Wow, if you’re a motivated seller, you’d better price more competitively than most are.

One thing that most buyers have in common in this current market is that they all want the best deals. They don’t look at the houses that are priced higher. Sellers often make the mistake of not looking at thier direct competition. If their Realtor is not providing them with the comps, they should at least visit sites like www.Realtor.com, or a real estate agents web site that has all the MLS listings like my own site www.MyOrlandoAgent.com to view other homes that are similar to thiers. It’s not enough to price homes at the same as others for size, area, amenaties, etc.. You have to be the best deal to get the buyer to even look at the house let alone make an offer. As a full time agent here I’m amazed that the sellers don’t get this. It’s really just basic supply and demand, marketing 101.

I do feel that the general home seller public are not quite aware how bad the market really is right now. On the other hand, a buyer should be delighted, so many choices and favorable interest rates which are returning to the lowest we’ve seen in over 50 years again. The rates dipped as low as 5.5% 2 years ago when the market was hot. Feds are meeting again next week to discuss lowering the rates again, so we could see rates go below 6% on a 30 year fixed rate which would make the homes even more afordable to buyers. Most of the buyers that I’ve been working with and talking to lately are reluctant to move forward for fear that the market may dip further. I believe there are 1000’s of buyers out there right now just waiting to hear the word that the market has bottomed out. Well, I’m going to say it here and now…. The market has bottomed out. There, I said it. 

All the signs of a market bottoming out are present, an influx of investor buyers who are low balling listings. Honestly, there may be some more down turn before the upswing if the we start seeing more preforclosure and forclosure listings. Mike Pappas, owner of Keyes Real Estate in South Florida has seen many preforclosure listings hit the market in the Miami area. Miami has much more inventory and thier market dropped about a year or so before Orlando’s. Miami, like Orlando, has an over supply of listings because of over building over investing.

 “Flippers”, as they are called, fueled the past frenzied sellers market creating an oversupply of availabilities. Now that most of the contracted new constructions starts that investors bought to flip are now completed by the builders and the investors have or will close on them and place them on the market for the general public. The condo conversion developers were ramant with conversions in the past 4 years. When Miami started slowing down on thier condo sales, the same conversion develpers made their way to Orlando and created the same problem. I have seen way too many condos for sale here.

The unfortunate sellers who purchased at the peak and must now sell are sometimes forced to offer their condo for a lesser price than what they purchased for just a few short years ago.  If they don’t do that, their listing will sit on the market for months and months. Up until now, the M.L.S. inventory has risen every month forcing more and more sellers to be more competitive with thier pricing than the prior months, again, forcing prices even further down.  I believe that we’ll see a bunch of listings drop off the radar because there is a huge segment of sellers listings in the MLS that are refusing to lower thier price. Inevitably these sellers will not sell, thier listings will expire and they’ll wait until the market will bear a more favorable price for them to sell.  Sure, some of these sellers who are not merely trying to test the market and those distressed sellers who can not afford thier payments will fall into forclosure. Once their listing reappears into the MLS as a bank owned forclosure listing, the price can be higher becuase buyers seem to gravitate to anything that is marketed as “bank owned” or “forclosure”. I’ve seen this so many times, buyers will inadvertantly pay more for a home just becuase of those certain marketing catch phrases.

New England, where the housing market crash hit first, has seen a turn around already. Prices have risen as much as 4% in the last several months, signaling a tell tale sign that the market may turn here as well soon. Orlando’s job market is even better than it was 3 years ago, more jobs are being created and more baby boomers are moving down to buy a home near Disney.

Budget Public Hearing for Orange and Seminole Counties

Budget public hearing dates for Orange and Seminole counties
Both Seminole and Orange counties are going to be holding public hearings regarding budget and millage. The first of the two public hearings for Orange County will be held on September 6th at the Orange County Administration Center. The Seminole County public budget hearing will be held on September 12th in the County Services Building in Sanford. For more info, visit orangecountyfl.net
and/or seminolecountyfl.gov. This should be interesting to attend, see you there!