So, what does that MLS status PB really mean? This status indicates that the property is under contract aka PENDING but that the seller is open to receiving and considering BACKUPS. How does this process work?

If a property is under contract, the seller has the option to review and accept a Back Up Offer with the use of an ADDENDUM FOR “BACKUP” CONTRACT. There are two primary blanks to complete on the Back Up Addendum.  Section A will identify the First contract by inserting the executed date of that contract in this blank. Section B will identify the date the Back Up offer will terminate.

If a seller wishes to accept a Back Up Offer with this Addendum in place the Back Up Offer will be executed and earnest and option money shall be deposited. If the First offer terminates on or before the date set out in Section B of the Back Up Addendum then the Back Up offer moves to the primary position.

At the time that the Back Up Offer moves into the primary position the executed date shall be amended to the date the back up buyer receives notice that the first contract has terminated. I recommend the agents execute an amendment reflecting the new effective date so no conflicts arise later as to when the option or financing periods began and end. Continue reading “Technical Talk: Accepting Back Up Offers”

As the broker of over 150 agents, it is I who gets to hear about it when things go sideways on a transaction. I recently had an interesting one… a buyer wanted to terminate a contract based on the third party financing addendum. The first thing I do when there is a conflict is review the contract. In this particular contract, the portion that indicated how many days the buyer had to give notice of non-approval was left blank. Easy! I thought! Their agent made an error by not filling in that blank so now they have no days to give notice and the seller is entitled to the earnest money. Right?

The buyer’s agent saw it in a very different light. Her argument was that since it was blank the buyer had INFINITY days to give notice of non-approval. Hmmmm. Unfortunately, in this case, there is no right or wrong answer. The buyer and the seller now have to agree to the terms of the earnest money release or no one gets it.  Both of the agents let their clients down. That contract should have never been executed without all the blanks filled in. Continue reading “The Devil is in the Details”

I talk to a lot of investors at various networking meetings around the state of Texas (and beyond).  Often when I ask if they have considered getting licensed, I’m met with a sneer or sour look on their face.

“No!” they will say, “I’ve heard that is a bad idea”.

This is not a surprise since a quick google search of “should I be licensed as a real estate investor” quickly pulls up every top X list of reasons to NOT get licensed.  Most of which are myths about what that means.

Well here’s my Top 14 Reasons TO be licensed! Continue reading “14 Reasons to Get Your License”

I get a lot of questions from new agents and investors asking how can they get started with investing.  This can be a tough business to get off the ground and it’s hard to know where to start.

I have told my agents the same thing over and over again… every deal needs three things: Time, Money and Expertise. And, no one has all three. No one. Figure out what piece of the puzzle you can solve and you will make your first step in getting started.

About 13 years ago, Dan put our first potential flip under contract. And, it took time! We drove for hours putting out bandit signs, answered each and every call that came in, spent time looking at dead ends, chased down homeowner information, wrote letters and cards. We spent our time on any and everything we could to get a lead that would turn into a deal. At that time in our career we had lots of time but no money or expertise. So, we put in our time and then partnered with another investor who had the money and expertise to see us through to the end. Continue reading “Getting Started: What Puzzle Piece Are You?”

Last week, the social media boards were a flurry of discussion as a result of an email sent out by TREC to licensed agents regarding a new bill recently signed by the governor directly related to wholesaling. While titled “Sale of Equitable Interests in Real Estate Clarified” it seemed to do more to create confusion and concern than clarify the new TREC rule.

Here is what the body of the email said:

SB 2212 amends Chapter 1101 to codify the clarifying changes to TREC rules regarding sale of certain equitable interests in real property.

Just like the rule, this statutory change clarifies that a person selling or offering to sell an option or assigning an interest in a contract to purchase real property must accurately disclose to potential buyers the nature of the interest offered. If a person offers a property for sale when the person does not own the property, that person is engaged in brokerage and must be licensed to do so. This is the current law. Continue reading “Clarifying SB 2212: TREC’s new Rule on Wholesaling”

As your Broker, it’s always my goal to advocate for my agents whether they are having a challenge in an agency situation or as an investor buyer or seller. Sometimes my agents are in the right and I can help them navigate a tough situation for a positive outcome.  However, sometimes these issues turn into hard, but important, lessons learned. Elliot Grochel, Agent-Investor in San Antonio, recently had to suffer through one of those hard lessons.

Elliot (who gave me permission to tell you his name and his story) called me a few weeks ago with a frustrating situation. He had a contract on a listed home that he was trying desperately to close on.

All was moving along smoothly until the appraisal came in low. The seller refused to budge on the sales price so Elliot started looking for alternatives. He could get a different loan product but that was going to take some time and he would miss his closing date. The seller offered to  take a 2nd lien for the difference and spent several days negotiating back and forth with the seller until an agreement, via email, was made. Continue reading “Lesson’s Learned and Shared”

It’s not secret that StepStone has been enjoying tremendous growth over the past two and a half years.  As of this morning, we have gone from 4 to 136 agents and now are in the top 4% of brokerages in the state of Texas!  Thank you to all who have entrusted your license with us… it’s been humbling and yet exciting!

It’s time we take this brokerage to the next level for all of us!  We know that making it in this business requires help.  Now that we’ve grown into a large brokerage, it’s time we start giving our agents the tools and training necessary to take YOUR business to the next level.

Luckily, our size means that we have a very predictable income stream.  We know what our revenue will be based on our number of agents, and therefore, what it will be in the future as we continue to grow. Continue reading “Own a Piece of StepStone!”

Phase I of the Captain Program was a pilot program that met with a lot of success (and some learning/tweaks).  But we are excited to move into Phase II!

What is the Captain Program?  The Captain Program is first and foremost a way for those more experienced with StepStone to introduce new Agents to StepStone.

Captains also help those who are newly licensed learn the mechanics of licensed deals.  And they are there to help those who want or need it, to navigate investment deals.

Benefits to being a captain include:

·  Education:  Nothing will teach you advance skills faster than having to teach someone else.  We don’t always have the best answer, but by working with you, we will learn and we hope the same is true for you by working with us. Continue reading “Join our Captain Program”

Recruiting new agents to StepStone is a great way to build residuals!  Last quarter, we sent out a check to one agent who has recruited several other agents that was more than $2,000.00!

So how do you recruit and make sure YOU get credit?  Below are the guidelines we recently posted in MojoDocs.  In the MojoDocs recruitment folder, you will find a lot of resources including sample emails and all of our marketing material.

Read these guidelines and ensure you get paid for people you help bring into StepStone! Continue reading “Guidelines to Recruiting New Agents”

Sometimes, we don’t always get it right.  But you will easily correct mistakes with one simple rule.  Stay true to your core values!

Last month, Angie wrote a blog about our our core values.  Angie, Cameron and I spent over a month debating, changing, refining and making sure that they were the core values that really epitomized what StepStone was all about — not just to the staff, but to our agents and our clients as well.

Every business needs to spend time developing and sharing their core values.  Some recommended reading on the subject are Good To Great by Jim Collins and Traction by Gino Wickman.  Put these on your MUST READ list! Continue reading “Tough Lessons”