Archive for September, 2010

Moving Your Real Estate Business

Part 1: Starting Over

The decision was made to move my business from Wisconsin to Florida.  I’ll leave all the reasons behind this decision in this post, however it’s my goal for you to take a new look at your business from another angle.

So often we’ve heard the 3 L’s (Location, Location, Location), yet I should point out that as Realtors® we don’t choose our own location.  Instead we sell where we live — after all it’s where we live right?  I must say that the most valuable lesson I learned in business so far is that “you have to give, in order to get.” (That’s another post.)

My family and I chose to give up our Real Estate business and lives as we knew it, and move to Florida.  Currently I am negotiating a deal at liquidation value with another firm to take over for Worthington Realty.  (Worthington Realty has been in business since 1954 in Manitowoc in case you’re wondering how hard this decision was.)

We said goodbye to our family and friends and days later were gone.  Hello, Florida!  Hello great weather, palm trees and expensive homes.  My wife and I have been craving year round nice weather for so many years.  Finally we did something about it. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Robert Worthington on September 30th, 2010 under Lives of The Realtors


First Look Gives Home Buyers An Edge

First Look Program

Fannie levels the field

New Incentives
Fannie Mae markets its REO through its Properties. Under the new incentive program, owner occupants and public entities that buy a HomePath Property between now and December 31, can receive up to 3.5% of the purchase price in closing cost assistance. The sale must close within 60 days of acceptance of the offer and no later than December 31, 2010.  The incentive must be requested in the initial offer.

What Is It
Individuals and public entities are given a period of time, generally 15 days after a property is listed at (a Fannie Mae site). is the listing site for about 190,000 properties held by the GSEs. Individuals and public entities (read non-profits) have a lead time over investors to inspect  and submit an offer to purchase. After 15 days, the listing is open to all potential buyers.

The idea is to offer first to those who would live in the home and become stakeholders, adding stability to the community and to avoid  too quickly putting property back into a supply laden market. By offering a sneak preview to owners first, Fannie hopes to encourage home ownership without the edge professionals may have and avoid the pressures of bidding against professional investors.

Why Should I Care
Levels the playing field and it’s working.

Fannie has moved more than 29,000 homes out of its owned real estate portfolio of properties acquired by the  through foreclosure to owner occupants. Some 800 non-profits have also bought an additional 5,000 properties through First Look.


Posted by: Howard Sobel on September 29th, 2010 under Buying or Selling a Home

1 Comment »

Agent Success Newsletter – Sept/Oct 2010 Issue

Today HomeGain emailed out its September/October 2010 newsletter for real estate agents, called “Agent Success Newsletter“.

The digital real estate newsletter included:

  • Feature Story: Will home prices rise in the next six months? The results of our 3rd Quarter 2010 Home Prices Survey showed that real estate professionals (90%)and homeowners do not think so. And both audiences also seem to agree on their disapproval of President Obama.
  • Agent Question of the Month: “I recently signed up for your BuyerLink™ program and am very pleased with the results so far! Can you remind me about best tips for the program and how I can be even more successful with it?” Get answer
  • Agent Quotes – “We are so excited that we just landed are first buyer from BuyerLink. HomeGain is the best company in the world, I am so impressed with you guys! I will refer anyone you send to me. The customer service is outstanding and the product is fantastic. We love you guys! – Bill Boone and Linda Nolan, Keller Williams Realty, Roseville, CA
    Email us your own quote
    . Or read more HomeGain reviews from real estate agents and brokers.
  • Agent Blogging Network: In addition to the Top 5 Blog Posts (from the HomeGain Blog), we feature Agent Blogs from AgentView agent members who are part of the HomeGain Agent Blogging Network.
  • HomeGain News:
    • Offer For Members Only — Client Retention and Lead Generation Tool: Housing Trends eNewsletter
    • HomeGain Wins Two 2010 WebAwards
    • HomeGain Member to Hold Success Seminar for Agents on Nov. 3 — REGISTER for real estate broker Mitch Ribak’s 1-day event, “Internet Marketing for Real Estate – The Real Truth” With 300 sales per year from the Internet — Learn how they do it! Lunch and cockail party included.
  • AgentEvaluator® Agent Member Clubs: HomeGain added 10 real estate agent members of AgentEvaluator®  into its commissions-based awards clubs.

Sign up here to receive HomeGain’s FREE Agent Success Newsletter

Read past real estate newsletters


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on September 29th, 2010 under Agent Success Newsletters

1 Comment »

Salute New Guest Blogger Tony Sena

We are pleased to welcome another fine blogger to the HomeGain Real Estate Blog, Tony Sena.

You may know Tony from, a well-established real estate blog for networking real estate professionals, which he founded in 2007, and that has over 100 contributors, including a few who are contributors here on the HomeGain Blog.

Tony is a licensed Real Estate Broker/Salesperson in Las Vegas and has 9 years experience with internet marketing. However, as the owner of North American Realty of Nevada, managing 150 properties (and growing), his real passion is in property management. He is excited to share his expertise and lend advice to the readers of this blog within this field.

Don’t try any funny business with Tony! Prior to his real estate career, he served for 5 years as a Police Officer.

We look forward to having Tony’s insights on our blog. Stay tuned!


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on September 29th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers

1 Comment »

HomeGain Releases 3rd Quarter 2010 New York Home Prices Survey Results

New York Survey highlights disconnect between what homeowners, Realtors and home buyers think homes are worth in the Empire state; 70% of real estate agents and brokers expect home prices to decline in the next six months

Last week, HomeGain, one of the first companies to provide free online instant home valuationsreleased the third quarter results of our nationwide survey of over 1,100 HomeGain current and former members and 2,600 homeowners. Our survey asked their opinions on home values and what they thought of President Obama’s performance as President. On this blog we published the 3rd quarter 2010 national results as well as the complete 3rd quarter 2010 regional results, including commentary from real estate agents and brokers.

Earlier this week we released the results of the  3rd quarter 2010 California home prices survey,  the 3rd quarter 2010 Texas home values survey and the 3rd quarter 2010 Florida home values survey. In the coming days we will be releasing home values survey data from Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Arizona, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other states.

Today we are publishing the New York home prices survey data.

The New York survey data shows a surge in the percentage of  homeowners who believe their homes should be higher than their Realtors’ recommended listing price with 52% of New York home owners believing their homes should be priced 10-20% higher than their agents’ recommended listing price vs. 31% who thought so in the 2nd quarter 2010 New York home prices survey vs.  25% who so thought in the first quarter 2010 New York home prices survey vs. 23%% who thought so in the fourth quarter 2009 New York home prices survey.  A total of 82% of New York homeowners believe their homes should be prices higher. Just 7% believe their homes are worth their Realtor’s recommended listing price. (see question 2).

Only 11% of New York home buyers saw homes as fairly valued in the third quarter  vs. 10% who thought so in the second quarter of 2010 vs. 18% who so believed in the first quarter of 2010. Forty-four percent of Empire state home buyers thought homes were overpriced in their state by 10-20% vs. 37% who so believed in the 2nd quarter of 2010 vs. 32% in the first quarter of 2010. (see question 3)

An increasing percentage of New York real estate professionals believe that home prices will decrease in the next six months. Seventy percent of New York agents and brokers surveyed thought home values would decrease in the coming six months vs. 51% who thought so in the second quarter of 2010 vs. 35% in the first quarter of 2010.  (see question 6)

New York home owners were more optimistic regarding the direction of home prices with 39% thinking that home prices would decline in the next six months vs. just 20% who thought so in the second quarter. (see question 6)

Sixty-five percent of New York agents and brokers disapprove of Obama’s performance as President (with 50% “strongly  disapproving”) vs. 57% who disapproved Obama’s performance in the second quarter vs. 61% percent of New York agents and brokers who disapproved Obama’s performance in the first quarter of 2010. (see question 10)
Near equal percentages of New York home owners surveyed approved or disapproved of the President’s performance. (see question 10)

Set forth below is the third quarter 2010 real estate professional and home owner New York home prices survey data along with the 2nd quarter 2009 and 2010 real estate professional survey data along with the third quarter 2010 national home prices survey data: (click on each question to see complete results) :

  1. Have home prices increased, decreased or stayed the same in the last year?
  2. On average, what do homeowners believe that their home is worth?
  3. How do buyers feel that homes for sale are priced?
  4. What is the average difference in price between what sellers believe their home to be worth and the amount at which the home gets listed?
  5. What is the average difference in price between what a home is listed at and what a home sells for?
  6. In the next six months, will the values of homes in your market increase, decrease or stay the same?
  7. What percentage of homes for sale are foreclosures in your area?
  8. What is the average home price in your area?
  9. What percentage of your clients are first-time buyers?
  10. How do you think Barack Obama is performing in his role as President?

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on September 28th, 2010 under Home Prices, Home Values, HomeGain, HomeGain Market Data, Polls, Regional

1 Comment »

Short Sales? Don’t You Mean Long Sales?

The term “short sale” was hardly even heard of 4 years ago.  The name alone is so ironic in that it usually takes 3 months to a year to close.

Most Realtors® won’t even show them as now a days you are lucky if they close at all. They are without a doubt the most frustrating of all sales. Still I guess we will be forced to live with them until someone let’s the lawmakers know that enough is enough.  We need regulations and rules.  Realtors are either getting rich or running for the poor house.

Fannie Mae recently passed a regulation that prohibits banks from negotiating the buyers commission or reducing them. A small but great victory for buyer’s agents who are at the mercy of the listing agent.  Most of the time they offer 2.5% – 3% and state on the MLS that if commissions are reduced they are split 50/50.

Well I guess we have to take the word of the listing agent and their escrow officers on this.

I recently had a listing agent tell me that they reduced the total commission to 3% and I was to settle for 1.5%. She then accidentally forwarded me an email from the bank negotiator, who allowed a 7% total commission.  Talk about dishonesty and greed.  Unfortunately it is very prevalent in this market.  I did manage to get my 3% but with a lot of Broker to Broker combat.

How I long for the old days. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Peggy Aldinger on September 27th, 2010 under Short Sales and Foreclosures


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