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…]

Special Town Hall Meeting

June 13, 2017 9-11 am

Orange Beach Community Center
Orange Beach, Al. 36561

What do we really know?

Knowing the letter of the law is not anyone’s favorite part of selling real estate, but it is arguably one of the most important parts of our job. Though we all work and act in ways that we believe to be appropriate and within the legal guidelines, too often agents are unknowingly breaking laws.

Creatures of habit

We are creatures of habit. We do things a certain way because that’s the way we have always done it. We may not even know why we do things a certain way but we certainly don’t want to change. To change would get us out of our comfort zone.

A Town Hall style meeting

Alabama Real Estate Institute is always trying to provide the best quality information available. We strive to stay abreast of the most current laws affecting the real estate industry and then we pass that knowledge on to our students. This is the reason we decided to have this “town hall” style meeting. Politicians use this type venue to get their message out and to gain support. So I decided to try it.

Attorney General speaks out

The main speaker for our meeting is Mr. Chris Booth. He is an Attorney General, appointed by the Governor of Alabama. He is also the senior counsel for the Alabama Real Estate Commission. I view him as the person that will prosecute us if we violate the state licensing law, and he is the one that will defend us when we’re in the right. Therefore, when he speaks, we should listen. During this meeting we will learn things that are not printed in articles.

Some of the topics discussed

Topics that will be covered in this town hall meeting are listed below; plus questions that you may want answers to.

  • Complaints received by the legal department of the real estate commission
  • What cost should be included in an estimated closing statement
  • Recovery fund verses E & O Insurance
  • Disclosure of caveat emptor and agency at initial contact
  • Power of Code of Ethics compared to the law
  • Property management issues and agent rentals
  • Disclosure of earnest money not collected
  • Real estate signs on non-listed property
  • RECAD and estimated closing statements as they relate to commercial property
  • Receipt of commissions bypassing the broker
  • Concessions and compensation as an inducement to purchase

It cost nothing for you to attend with the exception of your time. Breakfast type food will be provided at not cost to you. We do, however, ask that you RSVP me so I can save you a seat and make sure we have something for you to eat.

Please make sure you thank these sponsors for helping make this meeting possible.

Anchor Title and Excrow

Gold Star Realty

ACOPIA Home Loans

 

 

 

 

                       

 

 

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…]

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…]

Farming—Step 2; Letter of Introduction

The importance of the letter of introduction The letter of introduction will require a great deal of thought and preparation. A simple letter stating your name and a little information about yourself, the company name and address and telling them you would appreciate the opportunity to be of service to them, just doesn’t cut it. This letter must grab their attention in the first couple sentences or they will trash it and you will have accomplished nothing. If your letter is well received it will make the next step much easier, however, if they perceive it as mass marketing effort, the next step automatically become much more difficult. The very appearance of this letter is so important that I suggest it should have a hand written address and return address. I believe it makes a difference when a fountain pen is used rather than a ball-point pen. We want it to be personal, and to leave an impression of great importance.

How long has it been since you used one?

Throughout this series of steps to successful farming, you will notice a close comparison and use of terminology related to row-crop farming; such as raising cotton, corn and etc.. After you have selected the farm area you want to concentrate your efforts in;  it’s now time to prepare the soil for planting. This is a very important step because it is your first contact with potential customers that own property in the subdivision or condominium complex in which you plan to earn your living. The second step is to prepare a letter of introduction of which you will mail to all owners in your farm area.

The importance of the letter of introduction

The letter of introduction will require a great deal of thought and preparation. A simple letter stating your name and a little information about yourself, the company name and address and telling them you would appreciate the opportunity to be of service to them, just doesn’t cut it. [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…]

Selecting A Farm Area

Real estate is very territorial. Having a license to sell real estate in Alabama permits one to sell anywhere in the state but common sense tells us we can’t provide quality service from one end of the state to the other. A person can have license in multiple states but that doesn’t mean they can provide quality service from their home town. I live in an area that only a few miles separate Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Some people hold a license in each of those states. You can’t sufficiently service a county, not even a city within a county.

Farming Works

I am referring to a territory that a sales person will work within the boundary. This is considered their farm. Let’s narrow the field and focus on real estate sales. Farming is an older and more complete term for prospecting for new clients to work with. A few years ago the term “Prospecting” was replaced with the term “Lead Generating.” These two terms don’t encompass near as much as “Farming.”

Real estate is very territorial. Having a license to sell real estate in Alabama permits one to sell anywhere in the state but common sense tells us we can’t provide quality service from one end of the state to the other. A person can have license in multiple states but that doesn’t mean they can provide quality service from their home town. I live in an area that only a few miles separate Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. Some people hold a license in each of those states. You can’t sufficiently service a county, not even a city within a county.

If a person really wants to be successful in selling real estate, they should select an area of a city, or a subdivision to be their territory. They are going to farm this territory by focusing all their efforts on this territory much like an agricultural farmer tends to his crops. When concentrating on a small area, one can make it a priority to learn everything about that particular area. [Read more…]

How Is Your Prototype Working?

Is This A Prototype?

Is This A Prototype?

Prototype is a word that is not used much with the general population. Contrarily it is used daily in the manufacturing industry. As an example let’s take a thermal coffee cup and see how it came into being. Somebody had an idea about putting a cup inside another cup while leaving a little space between the walls of the two cups. Theoretically it would insulate the contents of the cup, keeping it either hot or cold. The insulation would prevent the cup from sweating when the contents are contrasting temperatures. The new features would make it more desirable which would increase sales. The cup would sell at a higher price improving profits. At this point it is only an idea; a theory that will make money when mass produced.

The first cup has to be hand-made. Two separate cups of the appropriate sizes will probably be turned on a wood lathe and then a handle applied later. The finished product is used to shape a mold that is made from a material that will be user friendly to the material of finished product. Molds are wooden, clay, metals, plastics, earthen soil, waxes and other materials. Once the mold is smoothed and fits properly, it is ready to use. [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…]