Loyalty; A Fiduciary Responsibility

Real estate agents from across the country prompted me to write this article. If we step back in time 50-60 years, people

were loyal to each other. They were loyal to the people they did business with. The giving and receiving of loyalty was expected. It was almost like an unwritten law of conduct. In many cases, deals were made with a handshake. No written contract was required. What happened to it?

Then came prosperity

[Read more…]

Getting the Most from Mold Remediation


 Controlling Moisture   Fix leaks.  Under sinks, in air conditioning condensate lines, ice machines.   Make sure windows and doors close tightly and don’t leak damp air inside We have seen big mold problems develop in locations where the outside damp air was pulled into the structure for a week because a sliding glass door or window was not completely closed.   Quickly (24-48 hours or less) get moving on correcting water damages caused by water intrusions from the above leaks. Associations need to have the ability to begin mitigating water damages in a condo because they often affect others in the same building.   Keep it dry,  Make sure the air conditioning system is working correctly and RUNS.  Remember mold can grow at 60% relative humidity and around here that’s most of the year.  In beach front condos your unit is  insulated by your neighbors condos and how hot or cold they keep their unit can have and effect on yours, and whether your thermostat ever senses it’s hot enough to turn on the unit and cool and dehumidify the condo

Can’t be seen with the necked eye

Since we are located in a coastal area, moisture and mold is a real problem. I asked a friend of mine, Michael Conroy with “Expert Dry” for the rights to publish the article below. I think you will find it most interesting and helpful.


Getting the most out of mold remediation is like telling someone how to enjoy a root canal.  Professionals should do both processes, as painlessly and efficiently as possible and at a fair price but who wants to go there anyway?

Rather than first discuss the blissful benefits of mold remediation lets discuss how to avoid them if possible first.

Mold Needs Moisture, proper temperature and a food source to grow and develop.

Of these three above requirements we can only really control one

1.All of the built structures are constructed of organic materials.  Wood, natural fabrics, drywall,  particle board and even the “bio-film” that sticks to concrete and glass or tile are mold food. [Read more…]

Pros & Cons of Seller Disclosures

Which Way Are You Leaning?

Buying a new house is probably the largest investment most people make during their lifetime. Naturally they want to make sure they do everything correctly to ensure a quality and profitable, financial investment. Questions begin dancing around in their head.  How can I do that? Who can I trust to help me? I can contact a Realtor® but how can they help me? What do they know about this house? I’ve got it. I need to talk to the owner because he knows more about this property than anyone. Hum mm, I wonder if the owner will tell me the truth or will they lie to me? If the shoe was on my foot, would I be totally honest and tell a prospective buyer every little thing that’s wrong with my house? I’m a good person and I’m honest but I want to sell this house and if I tell them every little bad thing I know, they might not buy it. Common sense tells me that I need to get some advice from someone who has the proper training; who has been educated in handling such matters. I need a professional I need to call a Realtor®.

Realtors Are Best Qualified To Represent You

That is a very smart buyer, isn’t it? Real estate agents have to go to school to learn their trade. It is required by state law. They must learn state and federal laws governing the sale of real estate nationally. They also learn state and federal laws protecting consumer rights, environmental issues, prohibition of Americans with disabilities, and discrimination of all peoples rights. They have been schooled in establishing market values, material and labor cost, insurance related issues, obtaining financing from lenders, as well as learning basic knowledge in all fields of the real estate industry. After they have completed the required levels of education, they are tested and licensed by the state in which they live and work. [Read more…]

The 3-Foot Rule

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Given where I live you might jump to the conclusion that I’m referring to alligator hunting or something so I will clarify the topic quickly. The 3-foot rule is specifically for real estate sales people. It simply means that you should talk real estate to every person that comes within three-foot of you. I have also been teaching this technique to people in sales of other industries for many years, and I might say with great results. When it comes to sales, with any industry, sales people are always looking for some magic. They want to learn a technique or a method that produces huge results with little to no effort on their part. There is no such magic! However, the three-foot rule comes the closest.

There is such an enormous misunderstanding about real estate sales. There are no hidden secrets to selling real estate. Product knowledge is very helpful. It is even necessary to protect your client’s best financial interests but the most ignorant person can sell real estate. Whoa! Don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Experience and education is of most importance to the consumer when closing a sale but not when making a sale. You see, a house sells itself. A prospective buyer either likes a home and wants to own it of they don’t. It’s just that simple. If they don’t like it, the best of sales person in the world couldn’t sell it to them. The most difficult task a sales person has is marketing the property. That is finding someone to buy a property you have listed. [Read more…]

Meaningful Conversation for Alabama Realtors

Alabama Realtors--Warn Your Buyers

2012 is license renewal year for Realtors® in Alabama and each agent must complete 15 hours of Continuing Education which is required by the Alabama Real Estate Commission. I have been holding CE classes all across the state and have noticed so many agents experiencing difficulties with the delicate balance between our RECAD requirements and having a meaningful conversation when contacting a prospective buyer for the first time. Since I encourage classroom participation, I have heard some of the most experienced, most successful real estate role play their RECAD process. I am shocked at their omission of the most important information we can share. Omitting this type information could affect the financial wellbeing for someone buying real estate in Alabama. Sharing this type information would definitely qualify as having a meaningful conversation. I’m sure you have already figured out that I am referring to the fact that Alabama is a Caveat Emptor state. For those outside the boundaries of Alabama, I will explain the importance of this statutory law.

[Read more…]

Gratification of A Real Estate Career

Gratification is the reward beyond income

earned by a real estate agent for providing consumers quality service. I believe gratification to be an intangible, internal feeling of accomplishment for helping someone beyond fiduciary duties. More times than not, the consumer don’t even realize the magnitude of service you have provided because it wasn’t openly discussed. For example, people I have represented in the sale of their property that were financially distressed. They were head over heels in debt, couldn’t make their monthly payments, and were exponentially getting deeper in debt with the passing of every day. Helping them get released from their financial obligations and get into a position to reestablish their credit rating was gratifying to me. [Read more…]

Creating A Business Plan (Part Three)

How's Your Business Plan Progressing

Today we will continue building our business plan by honestly evaluating our past work habits, personalities, and job performance during the last year so we can realize the things we need to improve upon in the coming year. For those reading this article that reside outside Alabama, please keep in mind that Alabama law differs from surrounding states because Alabama is a “Caveat Emptor” state which places responsibilities on the purchaser to research all aspects of a property before purchasing.  This article is written specific to Alabama even though most parts of the business plan will apply to anyone, regardless where you live and work.

When working with buyers or sellers in Alabama, it is mandated by Alabama License Law, and regulated by the Alabama Real Estate Commission , that upon initial contact with a prospective buyer or seller, the agent must disclose and explain the various possible agency relationships available through their agency. This is referred to as RECAD which is an acronym for Real Estate Consumers Agency and Disclosure Act. The law states this disclosure is to take place upon initial contact, as soon as reasonably possible, and before any confidential information is exchanged. [Read more…]

Who Am I Representing?

Does This Constitute Representation

This article is equally interesting to the consumer that is buying or selling real estate as well as the real estate agent. Alabama License Law Section §34-27-36 (a) (7) states, “Acting for more than one party in a transaction without the knowledge and consent in writing of all parties for whom he or she acts.” There are several ways this law can be violated but I will only discuss a couple. Keep in mind that it is the real estate commission that determines if a particular instance violates a particular law. In many cases if one law is violated, an additional violation may also be sited. If fines are assessed, they are applicable to each violation. For example; If a person violates the above law, they are also violating Section 34-27-36 (a) (19) which states, “Violating or disregarding any provision of this chapter or any rule, regulation, or order of the commission.” Wow! This includes everything in the Alabama License Law.

With that in mind let’s examine how [Read more…]

Making False Promises is Against the Law


Continuing our examination of Alabama License Law violations that result in disciplinary action, real estate agents making false promises to people buying or selling real property is very serious. Alabama License Law Section §34-27-36 (a) (4) states; “Making any false promises of a character likely to influence, persuade, or induce any person to enter into any contract or agreement. One should note that the above section deals entirely with violations that warrant disciplinary action.

It is also important to note that a real estate agent doesn’t necessarily have to make a statement in the form of a promise in order to violate this statute. Matter of fact, in my 42 years in real estate, I have never heard an agent make a “promise” to a prospective buyer, nor a seller. Does this mean that no one is guilty of violating this statute? Absolutely not. While training new sales agents [Read more…]

Independence—Freedom to choose


Fireworks on Independence Day

Do You Enjoy Independence?

Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States.  The above is a reprint from Wikipedia. When you celebrate this special day remember it represents FREEDOM to do and become what we desire to become.

As Realtors® we also have independence in that we are independent contractors. This doesn’t mean we have the freedom to do everything just like we want to because Realtors®, whether sales associates or broker associates, all work under the umbrella of a qualifying broker. I think many active real estate agents lose sight of this important fact. So many agents act as if they were the qualifying broker. [Read more…]