“IT”S FLORIDA LAW!” As a member of the National Association of Realtors, and Florida Association of Realtors, I receive weekly and monthly tidbits on the Law! This is just one of so many matters I feel is important to my Buyers and Sellers, and Extremely informative!  It’s our responsibility as your Realtor to protect your interest, and this is just one way engaging a Realtor supports the “VALUE” we bring to the table.  Understanding the savings, protection, and stress free representation during the long or short journey to your day at closing are dollars saved during the transaction process!

Wanted to share this announcement as it references RE/MAX

Following the announcement of the Redfin Direct service that lets consumers make offers without agents, two companies are parting ways

BY PATRICK KEARNS Staff Writer for Inman news

The deal is off: RE/MAX and Redfin are ending their nascent exclusive referral partnership after Redfin introduced a new platform last week that would allow consumers without buyers’ agents to place offers over the internet on Redfin-listed homes in Boston.

RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos sent a letter to his owners, brokers and agents last week in the wake of Redfin’s announcement and seemed to re-affirm his commitment to the Redfin partnership. On Monday, however, Contos sent a letter announcing the dissolution of the partnership.

“Given Redfin’s recent announcement regarding a program that would encourage buyers not to use agents on listings where the seller is represented by Redfin, we cannot continue with an official, corporate-level relationship at this time,” a spokesperson for RE/MAX said in a statement. “We have begun the process of dissolving our exclusive referral agreement with them beginning today.

The two sides had originally signed a two-year contract, giving RE/MAX agents first access to Redfin’s partner agent program in areas where Redfin didn’t have a presence, which was 5,000 ZIP codes across the U.S. and in Canada.

“We still have mutual esteem between the two companies,” Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told Inman in a phone call.

Redfin announced last week it was quietly testing the pilot program in Boston, called, “Redfin Direct,” which would present prospective buyers the option to make offers on a Redfin-listed home directly from the company’s website.Homesnap Pro hits 5 years and 1 million agents How we did it and what comes next READ MORE

The goal was to give the seller a competitive offer that would only require a 2 percentage commission – 1 percent to the Redfin listing agent and a 1 percent transaction fee.

There was an immediate concern in some corners of the industry that the move would greatly impact buyers’ agents. Redfin itself, however, said it would still employ buyers’ agents and had no plans to cut them out of deals.

“That program goes against every value RE/MAX has had for more than 45 years,” Contos said in the letter announcing the end of the partnership. “I feel very strongly and passionately about that, as does out Board of Directors and my leadership team.”

My comment: Since I’ve been with RE/MAX since 2002 the practices of these marketing giants does not serve the best interest of buyers and sellers. This is just another practice that is changing the way people buy and sell real estate. RE/MAX agents pride themselves in protecting it’s buyers and sellers by bringing out potential costly clauses that otherwise could hinder our buyers and sellers final outcome.

I had a question thrown at me the other day. My client/customer refuses to adjust the price of their home because they must net X amount! Once we procure a purchase agreement, “how can I be certain it will close?” We can never predict an outcome of this nature, however with some thought and preparation, and informing the buyers that the appraisal may not match the contract price we have several options.

A) Presuming this is a CASH offer an appraisal is not necessary, however if I’m representing the buyers, I would certainly advise this. In a perfect world, I’ve seen this happen! Back before the Real Estate crash of 2008, lenders nor cash buyers cared! Mortgage brokers wanted the deal, buyers wanted the home for fear they would loose their chance of obtaining the home of their dreams. The buyers made offers on half a dozen homes and lost their bid, due to more than multiple offers in a transaction.

B) In today’s world, buyers have many choices. It’s my opinion buying a home that was or is a builder’s model, is a very bad idea. The buyer is obtaining a property that has exceptional features and that can be great, however when this homeowner attempts to sell, the challenge? Ninety percent of the time it will not appraise, you ask why? Living in a home with remarkable features is extremely satisfying, it’s extremely challenging to o get your equity out of the home. Appraisers are required to appraise, by location, and the bare bones of the property, nothing more.

C) Many appraisers lost their licenses in the late 2000 early 2010 evaluation due to pressure and practices that were not always the most professional. The state pounced on these carless individuals and legislation changed the requirements. The most stringent of this criteria, requiring a Bachelor’s degree and internship in order to obtain a license.

D) Appraisers can be overwhelmed with orders, and to streamline their business they hire or contract data collectors and at times have individuals perform drive by observations with photos. He or She examines the data and photos, thus determining the value and go to the next appraisal. An appraiser is not required to complete an analysis with any more detail. Missing content value, is actually something appraisers ethically cannot include in their value.

I will continue to share examples and go into detail defining the term diminishing return, all of which are factors in an appraisal. To be safe in any real estate transaction, keep in mind the bones and location are the subject matter, not detailed amenities offered in a model home, or a home with too many amenities to support the market value.

This is our moment as a Realtor, to shine with our professionalism, our integrity and ethics. Confidence that we are super heroes that make deals happen and protect our buyers and sellers from what could be the worst experience in our client’s lifetime. Do a little legwork and prep ahead of time, and the big day will be a breeze! Call me, in my years of experience I have many silly simple stupid solutions

Knowledge is power. After several weeks or months on the market you finally procure the buyer and reach agreement! Why risk having a home purchae agreement fall apart because of unknown inspection issues that could have been easily discovered, disclosed, and ultimatley addressed?

An inspection can be one of the scariest moments in the purchase agreement process. “The home inspection!” Sellers fear them, buyers are nervous about them, agents loathe them. Just the thought of an inspector doing everything possible to support his or her fee and checking every nook and cranny to find those potential deal breakers. Well normally not a deal breaker but certainly builds anxiety that we wish we didn’t need to experience.

Worry and concerns run through the listing agent’s head; will they find something to delay this deal or kill it? What if the seller didn’t disclose something, it’s possible, it could be an honest oversight! Perhaps it was something the seller didn’t want anyone to know? Are the sellers hiding something, or worse yet will it be a money pit?

Successful real estate transactions don’t depend on hope and prayers. They are about creating certainty and confidence. There is no reason a seller should be concerned about a home inspection, and the buyers and buyer’s agent want the inspection to be clear of issues too. The buyers love the home and expect a few elements may arise.

While working in Tampa Florida, it didn’t seem necessary to suggest a pre-listing inspection, in many cases the homes have not used a “licensed contractors” to complete projects. Most buyers expect this! In today’s world, home owner insurers dissect almost every unreasonable incident in a claim. I’ve experienced many incidents that the home owner lost out because of poor workmanship created by an unlicensed contractor. Workmanship was flawed and the element that caused damages is the specific reason the claim would not pay.

We’re extremely blessed to have a system in North East Florida that requires permits for “EVERYTHING” so valuable for comparable analysis of value. Easy to find an open permit that may stall a closing, and with that said, makes it easier for the inspection company, provided they do their due diligence prior to performing their inspection.

Without a great deal of the why for; Make the attic, basement and garage accessible. “Inspectors will not move personal property in order to perform the inspection!” To cover their buns, they will overlook and define the reasoning in their report, uppon inspecting the area a determination could not be made! “Inspectors are not required to define every element that road blocks their analysis.

Please clean the A/C unit, the vents, filters etc. Flip every light and fan switch to be certain their is no abnormalities. Find all the remotes and make them accessible.

Outdoor kitchens make sure they are fully functional. You have a pool, be certain you clean the filters, the pool and pool finish. Be certain the pool pump does not over heat during the inspection.

Walk your roof or have someone that is knowledgeable about shingles and gutters. Shingles may have aged and the adhesive has broken allow shingles to flap. Your roof may have another 10 years left but just a few shingles in the report, may alarm the buyer and I’ve seen buyers walk away. With a little tar from your local building supplier will remedy most of these potential red flags.

Irrigation make certain the controls are accessible and the operating instructions are easy to understand. Double check each sprinkler, and the direction each spray. Clear the grass if necessary, around each sprinkler head. These simple practices eliminate an inspector noting the head could not be found, or malfunctioned.

When was the last time your seller opened ALL the windows and checked the locks to be certain all work properly, and all locks are easy to engage? It’s easy for the inspection to note a window does not function correctly. WHAT? leave nothing for doubt.

Please, please look at all the grout in your baths and showers. Check all shower and bath fixtures. Any cracking, and old discolored grout may be reported on the inspection as grout failure. “RED FLAG” any areas around floor boards, toilets, inside the kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Please make sure instructions are provided for even the littlest element. By pointing these issues to the inspector, they may pass over elements the feel are not worthy to write in their report. “You did your best to provide clarity for any and all known and display confidence that your home is clearly maintained.

Also, while inspectors are supposed to take note of how certain things were left before they change them, be sure to leave instructions reminding the inspector how you would like things left.

They are not mind readers, and there is a lot going on with documenting numerous items, taking photographs and explaining things to the buyer and agent present, which could leave room for something not being returned to its original state.

Inspectors are typically very cautious when testing or operating something they aren’t sure how to work as they are liable if they aren’t able to return something to its original condition.

By doing a little legwork ahead of time, a seller will be better prepared to take on any inspector no matter how novice or experienced they may be.