Ok, ok… before we get started. Let me preface this by saying that escrow agents are awesome! They have high pressure jobs often bearing the brunt of frustrated sellers, angry buyers, impatient Realtors, slow lenders and they do it all with a smile and often a fresh baked cookie!
However, as a Realtor, you need to be very careful when
taking the advice of an escrow agent when sitting at the closing table trying
to resolve some kink in the closing plan.
Continue reading “Beware the Advice of the Escrow Agent”
Folks who have taken my Understanding Agency for the Investor Agent class have likely heard me get on my soap box regarding seller’s disclosures. Unfortunately, many investors and sometimes licensed agents, put too little thought into the consequences of an improperly delivered and executed Seller’s Disclosure Notices. Read on to hear my thoughts on best practices to avoid potential liability.
When it comes to investors and the Seller’s Disclosure Notice I see two things pretty frequently…
Continue reading “My Seller’s Disclosure Soap Box”
Agents often ask me if they can get their commission paid
directly to their LLC entity. The answer is no… or a complicated yes.
The Texas Real Estate Commission rules indicate that a
broker is only allowed to pay a commission to a licensed agent or entity. So,
in general, the answer is No. However, if it’s really important to you it is
possible to license your entity which would allow for commissions to be paid
directly to your LLC. However, it’s a complicated process with added expenses
so you will want to consider that choice carefully.
Continue reading “Can Agent Commissions be Paid to my LLC?”
We had planned to do a blog about foreclosure postponement
techniques this month but like many plans in action, we were all stopped short
a few weeks ago when the Corona virus went from some obscure concern on the
other side of the globe to a very real concern with an unprecedented ripple
effect through our personal lives, our government, health care system, stock
market and of course, the real estate market. So, instead, I’m going to talk
about a few of the items I discussed with my agents on our weekly Mastermind
call last Friday regarding how the Covid-19 crisis is impacting our businesses.
TAR Release a Covid-10 Addendum
Last week, the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) released
a new Covid-19 Addendum for voluntary use by Texas Realtors. The addendum:
Continue reading “Broker’s COVID-19 Update”
Yesterday I was teaching a class to some of our agents called Understanding Agency for the Investor Agent and we were reviewing the Texas Real Estate License Act as it relates to agents as principals in the transaction. Most of us know that the Act prescribes that agents disclose their license status to the other party prior to entering into a contract. But, there is an additional subsection (c) at the tail end of RULE §535.144.
It states: (c) A license holder acting on his or her own behalf or in a capacity described by subsection (a) shall not use the license holder’s expertise to the disadvantage of a person with whom the license holder deals.
Continue reading “Investor Agents… Negotiating for Yourself OR Taking Advantage?”
As Realtors, we have certain rules of thumb that we are comfortable with when helping a client evaluate an offer. However, if you are working with a distressed seller you should also be familiar with the rules of thumb that investors work with to help your client complete a successful sale to an investor.
Over my 12 plus years as a real estate broker practicing traditional real estate and as a creative real estate investor I’ve seen plenty of conflicts between investors and Realtors that were usually the result of the Realtor being unfamiliar with investor strategies and methods. Not to say that investors are always the good guys but knowing where the other party is coming from will put the Realtor in a much better position to ensure their distressed seller doesn’t go into further distress! This article will shed some light on the differences AND offer advise on how the Realtor can best look after their clients’ interests when you are dealing with an investor offer.
First, when should your client consider accepting an investor offer? Continue reading “Investor 101 for Realtors”
Life happens. Sometimes, we get an extra dose of “life” and it can be a challenge!
As the broker/co-owner of StepStone Realty I’ve got a lot of expectations to live up to. I’m expected to have all the answers whenever an agent calls with questions, be available to resolve conflicts, manage an office & staff, write helpful and informative blogs and content every month, make community connections, keep current agents happy and recruit new agents. Not to mention, my personal and family expectations.
These expectations give me purpose and direction. And it is a challenge to keep up with it all sometimes but I wouldn’t change it for anything. This is my life and I love what I do and who I do it with! Continue reading “Challenges ARE Gifts!”
There are a lot of moving parts in the buying and selling process and one of them that can cause major complications is the actual MOVING! Every seasoned agent heard of a transaction in which the buyer and his entire family is living out of suitcases in a cheap hotel room for weeks on end while paying hefty fees for their belongings to sit in a moving van waiting on any number of things that delayed closing.
Temporary Leases are a useful tool in helping to mitigate these situations but are not without their risks. Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) provides two promulgated forms that can be used to accomplish temporary leases in a sales transaction.
The Seller’s Temporary Residential Lease allows for the seller, after closing, to remain in the home for a pre-determined length of time. This is a very common requirement for sellers, particularly when they are using the proceeds from the sale to buy a replacement home. Generally, I don’t see many problems with these leases but I do have one scary story for you to use to help your buyer’s make good choices when considering a seller’s request for a temporary lease. Continue reading “SCARY STORIES ABOUT TEMPORARY LEASES!”
A few weeks ago, with the help of Patten Law Firm, StepStone had the opportunity to present a free CE class, Advanced Owner Fi Strategies, to local real estate agents. Dan teaches this class and while it can be a lot of information the take away is certainly the advantages of the owner finance option for sellers.
After one of the classes, an agent came up to me and admitted that she had a lot of questions but didn’t ask during the class because she felt so behind the eight ball in understanding the subject. However, her interest was piqued particularly because she had a listing in which owner financing seemed like a perfect option for her client. We discussed the seller situation and I agreed with her and gave her some advice on her listing. In fact, not only was owner financing a good option for her listing it was a GREAT option that would allow her clients to not only sell the property but also create residual income on that sale for many years to come. I have a feeling that her clients are going to appreciate her out of the box thinking. Continue reading “Black Sheep Make Better Agents”
I was chatting with a Realtor recently who was considering joining the StepStone team. He’s interested in investing and has done a bit himself but was skeptical that our brokerage could really be the community we described when he came to one of our monthly MasterMind lunches. After that lunch, he had spent some time with some of our Investor-Agents and found that it really was a group that collaborated on investing strategies, partnered, shared their knowledge with others and had strong ethics. Glad to have you on the team, Sergio. I may have paraphrased a little but that’s how I heard it!
The StepStone Workshops are the culmination of that community spirit. Twice a year, StepStone Agent Investors and their business partners and spouses are invited to an exclusive event… StepStone Workshops. Our next one is in Houston on August 10th & 11th (‘cause we’re Investors so Houston in August doesn’t scare us!) Continue reading “Which Group Will You Be In?”