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…]

Social Networks

Which Network Do You Use?

Which Network Do You Use?

Social Networks seem to be a main topic of discussion anywhere two or more real estate agents are gathered. Almost everyone uses Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or one of the many networks in an attempt to find prospective clients. Can you really find clients on Social Networks? If so, which ones are best served for finding people that want to buy or sell real estate? [Read more…]

e-Signatures

Our job is to protect the consumer!

SAFE or UNSAFE?

Last week we had a Summit for the Distinguished Real Estate Instructors in St. Louis, Mo. In attendance were the most outstanding real estate educators across the county; from Florida to Canada, Maine to California and all states between. One of the topics discussed was judicial rulings and legal discussions concerning the legalities surrounding the use of e-signature programs. It appears that this is a much larger issue than I initially thought.

Since my mission is to educate, train and protect real estate agents while at the same time protecting the consumer’s best interest, I feel it necessary to make everyone aware that e-signatures are [Read more…]

Insulating Against A Law Suit

Generally most of my posts are adaptable to sales in any industry. Today I am specifically addressing real estate sales. If someone practices real estate very long, they will face legal issues; especially if they sell a lot of real estate. There is a very simple explanation for it too. It’s impossible to please everyone, and especially, if you represent both the buyer and the seller. In this type situation the buyer feels like the seller took advantage of them, while the seller feels like the buyer took advantage of them. As a Realtor® who is wedged between both parties thinking the agent showed partiality to the other party in the transaction. To complicate matters worse, in a typical real estate sales transaction there are numerous entities that have specific requirements and guidelines that must be followed.

Managing Your Risks

Generally most of my posts are adaptable to sales in any industry. Today I am specifically addressing real estate sales. If someone practices real estate very long, they will face legal issues; especially if they sell a lot of real estate. There is a very simple explanation for it too. It’s impossible to please everyone, and especially, if you represent both the buyer and the seller. In this type situation the buyer feels like the seller took advantage of them, while the seller feels like the buyer took advantage of them. As a Realtor® who is wedged between both parties thinking the agent showed partiality to the other party in the transaction. To complicate matters worse, in a typical real estate sales transaction there are numerous entities that have specific requirements and guidelines that must be followed.

In most real estate sale transactions there are two separate agencies involved. 

More times than not one agency will have the listing and represent the seller while the other agency will represent the buyer. [Read more…]

Understanding Caveat Emptor

 Alabama is Different than most other States…. I can’t say for sure but based on my research, the only states that are still caveat emptor states are Virginia, Arkansas, and Alabama. When a person buys real estate in these three states, they need to fully understand it is their responsibility to make sure they know what they’re getting, that it’s in good condition and works properly. When the buyer does his due diligence to have the property inspected, their legal rights remain in place after closing should some latent structural defect appear. If a buyer elects not to have the proper inspection done, closes on the transaction and then a latent structural defect appears and the buyer sues for damages; numerous Supreme Court cases have ruled in favor of the seller and stated caveat emptor; the buyer is responsibility to inspect the property prior to purchase.

BUYER BEWARE

This is a topic I try to talk about in every class I teach because it is the most important and the least understood law. I intentionally try to scare real estate agents to get them to understand the importance of the law and the effects it has on people buying real estate in Alabama. Today I will tell you how to see the law as it is written, disclose the other states that have the same law, and explain the dangers and remedies associated with caveat emptor.

Caveat Emptor is the law in Alabama…..

The Alabama Supreme Court has held caveat emptor to be the law in a consistent line of cases. Everyone should be on notice that there is no warranty which comes with the sale of a used home.

Real estate agents were taught when completing their educational requirements to get their license that caveat emptor is a Latin [Read more…]

Who Needs A Personal Coach and For How Long?

One On One Coaching

One On One Coaching

It is imperative that you understand we are referring to people whose career is in sales. With that in mind, this is the simplest question I ever have to answer. Since this is a two part question, I will first focus on who needs a coach. Everyone who aspires to reach a higher level of excellence should have a coach. All professional business people that is sincere about growing their business. Any individual who truly desires to excel in anything they choose to do; whether in sports, work, religion, or anything that is measurable; they need a personal coach.

Part two of the question can probably be best answered with one word; forever! I don’t mean for this to sound offensive, and if it happens to offend anyone, please forgive me for I don’t know of any other way to state it. It seems that only the already successful people comprehend the concept of personalized coaching. [Read more…]

Find New Clients Everyday—Guaranteed!

Arm's Length is about 3-Feet

Arm’s Length is about 3-Feet

I get tickled at salespeople sometimes and then at other times I can get frustrated with them just as quickly. It never fails that salespeople will drive past people that would buy their product, while the whole time they are in search for a prospective client to work with. Let me explain what I’m referring to as it relates to the real estate industry. Real estate agents are always looking for new listing opportunities while at the same time they’re searching for people that are interested in buying real estate. Let me set the stage for what I want to tell you by causing you to think outside the box for a moment. More times than not, we do not drive directly to our destination. For example; we may be on our way to work in the morning, but first plan to stop by the gas station. Our next stop may be at McDonald’s or some other fast food place to get a sausage and biscuit. If not there we might stop by Krispy Kreme Donuts. We may not be accustomed to eating breakfast but have to have that cup of coffee first thing every morning. Then we stop by Wal-Mart for a quick visit to pick up supplies we need at the office. It is not uncommon, when going somewhere, to make [Read more…]

It’s Your Little Red Wagon…..You Have to Pull it!

Red Wagon

All Choices Have Consequences

If you are anywhere near my age you will have heard the phrase, “It’s your little red wagon, and you have to pull it.”  There’s another phrase used for the same meaning; “If you make your own bed, then you have to lie in it.” Both phrases are generally used to express that everyone must be accountable for their own actions. When I was growing up on the farm I heard these phrases a lot. I was always bringing home some type of strange animal that I wanted to keep for a pet. Mama would say when you have your own home, you can do whatever you want to, but I won’t have these animals in my home. Her statement had basically the same connotation as the other two phrases. I was a hand-full as a child. I didn’t get into bad trouble but I was constantly getting into mischief. I am so thankful for the lesson’s my parents taught me because I use them every day. [Read more…]

Sidetracked by the Holidays

Traditional Holiday Meal

Traditional Holiday Meal

This is the time of the year that sales people get sidetracked by all the holiday festivities and then when the holidays are over, they wonder what happened to their income.  Sale markets drastically respond differently to the holidays. Some markets thieve during the holidays while other markets seem to die. Real estate sales aren’t affected that much but those that are in the looking stage will most likely postpone looking until the holidays are over. With shopping to do, and parties to go to, there is hardly time to spare for talking to a real estate agent. Most real estate agents consider the holiday season as a viable excuse for not selling during this time of the year.  The more experienced, more successful agents view this time of the year as greatly improved opportunities to establish a meaningful relationship.

Have you ever noticed that people in general are much nicer, and friendlier from Thanksgiving through Christmas, and even New Year’s? I’m not sure why but during this time of the year, people seem to be more thoughtful of others and less quick to express their anger or short tempers. This is a perfect time for me to talk to new prospective buyers for the first time. They may be too busy for an extended conversation but they are in a very receptive mood for an introduction phone call. Such a call might sound something like this.

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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…]