Fort Lauderdale, FL Real Estate News

By Scott Daniels Florida Real Estate 2.0. Agents Earn 100% Commission.
(Florida List For Less Realty, Inc. Broker/Owner. )
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
We recently received our renewal package for our company's E&O insurance.  We pay for the policy outright without charge to our associates.  We do provide E&O insurance coverage cards to each associate that are provided by the insurer. We opted for a $2500 deductible and it is indicated on the individual's coverage card. Some people wonder why we bother to carry these cards with our various other documents. We can display these cards to sellers and buyers and suggest that they should request proof of coverage from any other licensee that they may be considering engaging.  We were suprized by how many other licensees do not have any ability to demonstrate proof nor even have the insurance.  Usually, this happens with small to average sized offices. Even the larger offices do not have the...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
One of the advantages of this forum that I enjoy is the ability to share with each other both positive and in many to many instances negative issues that we face every day.  In this case I have the fortunate ability to share a positive experience from yesterday.Our office has an HP4650DN printer. It uses 4 color toner cartridges that cost us approx $250 each. Yesterday, the yellow cartridge ran out and caused the printer to cease operation until it was replaced. For the past several months I have seen on tv a commercial for Cartridge World. They claim to be able to professionally refill any ink/toner cartridge. They have free pick up and delivery service. Our office administrator was out for the day so I ended up with the short straw and had to deal with the replacement. Good thing too ...
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Fort Lauderdale rest north of Miami boarded on the east by the Atlantic ocean and on the west by the Everglades. Temperatures range from a low of 59 to a high of 90. There is a total residence count of 805,091. Total households are 316,102 with a median age of 37.86. The median income in Fort Lauderdale is $49,788. The single family market made up of single family homes is as follows. Their is 1,967 active listings currently on the market. Their have been 755 closed sales since January 1, 2006. Their is currently 145 pending sales and 90 properties have been taken off the market by the sellers. Their have been 888 properties that expired off the MLS system which means they did not sale in an average six month period.The other part of the single family market is made up of condominiums, ...
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By S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL, Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
(United Realty Group, Inc.)
Fort Lauderdale, sometimes referred to as the "Venice of America" for its seemingly endless miles of waterways, is one of South Florida's hot spots.  It is also the county seat of Broward County - the heart of South Florida's Gold Coast.  Originally attracting Spring Break college students by the droves (inspired by the 1960 movie Where the Boys Are), Fort Lauderdale has been attracting a more sophisticated and affluent population in recent decades.  For those that enjoy the boating lifestyle, Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place to call home.  The extensive network of canals throughout the Greater Fort Lauderdale area lead to the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) which leads out to the Atlantic Ocean via inlets.  As I write this, the 47th Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (dubbed as "t...
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By Christine Adler, SE Palm Beach, Broward & NE Miami-Dade Counties FL
(FindAHomeWithMe.com)
Ft. Lauderdale is known as the ideal place to live. Due to the fact that it is so rich with waterways it is know as the Venice of America with the intercoastal waterway and Las Olas area being the heart of Venice.Ft. Lauderdale Beach has just undergone a $26 million renovation with brick walkways and lush landscape. With seven miles of beautiful beaches and 185 mils of local waterways, water based actives are the most popular forms of recreation. The Atlantic Ocean offers the perfect setting for divers to observe tropical underwater life, sunken ships and coral reefs. Broward county has some of the best parks anywhere. With places to swim, jog, exercise or just enjoy a day in the sun. There are dozens to choose from. For more information on Ft. Lauderdale and the surrounding area click ...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Well, so much for the conspiracy theorists.  FREC conducted a 1 day workshop seminar yesterday specifically regarding their announced enforcement of requiring all advertising to include the broker’s phone number.  FREC was also conducting their normally scheduled commission meetings yesterday and today.FREC announced their reversal on the FAC rule requiring all advertising to include the broker’s phone number.  The FAC will be amended accordingly and there will not be any enforcement action taken in this regard.There had been a lot of inquiries as to why FREC was requiring the broker’s phone inclusion.  It appears many licensees were not too happy.  Some even suggested a big broker conspiracy.  Therefore, based on FREC's recent ruling we can reasonably assume either there was not any co...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Earlier this year the FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) amended the Florida Administrative Code (FAC) to require that all advertising (including business cards & yard signs) contain the name and phone contact of the broker. The rule went into effect in August 2006.  However, its’ enforcement has been delayed until later this month after FREC conducts and educational workshop.  On the FAR website planetrealtor.com there have been a few associates crying broker conspiracy theories. Below is the thread up to date which includes my eventual reply. Other comments from this forum are invited to join in. Eileen SchifferMemberPosts: 8Joined: Dec 2003 Thu October 12, 2006 12:36 PM   (NEW!)          Would someone please explain the logic behind requiring the broker's phone number on all ads? ...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
I was reading my real estate news this morning to learn that the former CEO of Move.com (a/k/a Realtor.com) is going to jail for 15 years. The charges were much the same as the Arthur Anderson Accounting firm and Enron.  Cooking the books. Below is the article.Ex-Homestore CEO gets 15-year sentenceLOS ANGELES -- Oct. 13, 2006 -- The founder and former chief executive of online real estate listings company Homestore Inc. was sentenced Thursday to a 15-year prison term and ordered to pay a $5 million fine for his part in a scheme to defraud investors.Stuart Wolff, 43, was convicted in June on charges of insider trading, lying to company accountants and federal regulators, and conspiracy in a scheme to inflate online ad revenues at the Westlake Village-based company.U.S. District Judge Per...
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By Vivien Young
(Q International Realty Corp.)
Hi Gang:  Check this out ------this is a great thing. The Florida Department of Drivers License has added a new feature to their on-line services.  You can now go on-line and enter two (2) emergency contacts on your Florida Drivers License (electronically) which can only be retrieved by a police officer. This way, if you are in an accident, the police can run the drivers license and have the emergency info ASAP!!!It will help the police contact family or friends quickly in case you or your loved ones are in a serious car accident.The link below is the Florida Department of Drivers License:https://www6.hsmv.state.fl.us/dlcheck/findcustomerAlso, emergency personnel have started looking for I.C.E. entries in cell phones for emergency contact information.  ICE stands for IN CASE OF EMERGENC...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Hillary Clinton for President in 2008? Who knows? It's certainly way to early to determine. I also have no interest in making my blog or Activerain a political forum.  Although, who knows by the time the 2008 elections roll around. It's been awfully quiet on AR with pending mid-terms.Anyways, I just received a funny Jib-Jab styled email from a friend that I wanted to share with my AR co-horts. It's very cute - and I am certainly not a Hillary fan.Check it out and keep it alive by providing lots of replies and ranking this post high will keep this cartoon going.http://www.michaelhodges.com/missing.html 
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
One of our newest associates recently closed on a transaction representing the buyer. He and his wife purchased a beautiful vase and plant for a home warming gift. They planted within the plant several gift cards for various stores such as Home Depot, Publix, etc.  The entire gift cost approximately $250.00.  Very nice gift.Here’s the rub – he was shocked to learn that only $50 of this $250 gift was tax deductible. IRS regulations limit gifts such as this to a tax deductibility limit of $25 per person or $50 per couple. Okay, so he must now treat that $200 difference as income and pay taxes accordingly. Well, I have known of other Realtors that provide much bigger gifts back to their clients and believe they can simply deduct the cost as a business expense.  If it is in reality a rebate...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
I always hear and read that most brokers prefer not to maintain an escrow account. I believe this is founded from broker schools where it is generally taught that you tremendously lower your chances of a state compliance audit if there is not an escrow account maintained by the broker.  Although, this may be very true it is in my opinion a disservice to the customers that pay us.  Additionally, the “maintenance” on an escrow account is rather simple and generally involves one 3 page report – no big deal.What’s the big advantage? First, it’s so much simpler to disburse from your office than having to depend on another company to service you.  In fact, in a rental situation the only escrow choice is an attorney or a real estate broker. In house escrow management should allow one access 7 ...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Many MLS now require a double authentication system.  Basically, your used ID, password, and generally another password generated by an external key.  Personally, I think it’s great because it helps reduce the unauthorized access/use of the MLS for which we all pay a lot of money.Those MLS systems that do not have this yet – it is coming sooner rather than later.  Many boards have been reluctant to implantation due to the cost of the key generator a/k/a token.There is a new option being beta tested and should be release sometime near term.  The Palm Beach regional MLS may be one of the first in this area. Clareity Security, maker of their tokens is working with GE Supra to provide OTP (one time passwords) to display in the Supra Display Key.  Each time you synch you’ll get a new set of ...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
FREE Blackberry 8700CI have been asked by various Realtors which cell phone, in my opinion, is the “best”. Isn’t it obvious? I am using a Blackberry. “Best” is always as in the eyes of the user. So, I think the more appropriate question is why did I pick the Blackberry over say the more Realtor popular Treo?  Considering I have used both I felt fairly comfortable in providing a reply.Treo’s unique pros:The Treo allows for touch screen operation for many of the functions.The Treo has IR capabilities which is necessary for Supra lock box operation.Treo’s unique cons:The Treo’s use requires 2 hands in many of the operations.The Treo’s email gets locked up in many instances if you’re receiving large attachments over 1mb.The Treo has a little antenna nub that makes it a little more cumbersom...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
We continue to see the craziness of sellers that apparently continue to keep their head in the sand on Ft Lauderdale beach. However, we are starting to see more and more sellers each day open their eyes to the reality that the ship has sailed.  To this end we have found that using data provided by our local association assists us in this regard – almost as good as the reports in the newspaper. It’s rather hard to argue with these numbers in black & white.  Although, if you track these reports each month they actually appear to be getting better (really, they do) – month to month or month to previous year is a real eye opener. 
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Do you have a seller than does not want to sell because of capital gains tax? And, they're not eligible for a 1031 tax deferred exchange? Even high end properties can be sold through this type of program with signifanct savings to the sellers. Additionally, it allows for continual roll overs where the Realtors may earn and still provide for a substantial savings plus to the sellers saving them a tremendous amount of money.Although, this may appear to be complicated - it is not and it would be well worth the time of most Realtors dealing in expensive properties to learn about this strategy.It's commonly referred to as a Private Annuity Trust. More information may be found at http://www.napat.org/This company handles the complexities generally involved.
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Many posts have referenced Realtor.com Showcase costs without providing the actual cost breakdown. I wanted to help those that were actually interested in knowing their actual charges.Costs are based on your previous years number of listings. Mulitple entered properties count as 1 listing. For example, entered as active - canceled and re-entered.0-3 $193; 4-10 $350; 11-25 $696; 26-50 $1205; 51-75 $1819; 75-100 $2331; 100+ $2843This program allows for no charge "red house" virtual tour links which is worth about $25 per listing by itself.
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
We all get dumped on every day with lots of SPAM. Well, I just received one that I actually thought at first was a joke from a friend with the same last name. The picture was just too funny. The ad is real and actually just as funny.Besides the dog I was shocked at any mortgage ad that reflected a 350 FICO. That's the lowest there is and there are still programs? Maybe hard money lenders?  
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
FAR has a Showing Agreement form available to all Realtors. The form is very similar to a Buyer's Brokers Contract but it is specific to an identified properties. We have used the form frequently when simply showing a buyer 1 or 2 properties. Should the buyer want to expand the search and engage us further we will then transition into a Buyer's Broker Contract.Does anyone else out there in AR land use the Showing Agreement and/or do other states even offer to suggest such a contract?  
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