Fort Lauderdale, FL Real Estate News

By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
We all know that title insurance is a necessary cost that most all transactions incur. Depending upon your local customs and/or the negotiations between the seller and the buyer one of them is going to pay these charges.No matter whom you represent no one wants to see any party overpay for this rather expensive protection.  The title company generally earns a 70% commission on this protection and i have found it rare that they volunteer ways to save money in this regard.Any policy being issued within the State of Florida, wherein there was a prior policy issued within 3 years prior, is entitled to a substantial reissue credit.  Contrary to what many believe the new buyer is entitled to this credit.For example, a new purchase would incur approximately $2500.00 in a new policy charge. Let...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
I had 3 high end rental listings from 1 client. It has taken approximately 3 months to get 1 rented after 2 offers from 2 different tenants in a period of approximately 2 weeks (lots of 2s there). We have had 2 offers on the second and had to temporarily status the other (the client was refinancing it).   The first rental was listed at $5k per month (this was after we lowered it from his original asking of $6k per month). We brought a low ball offer to him of $4k per month but for 2 years. There was some back and forth countering and it stopped at $4.5k per month by the owner. We had both sides of this transaction – there was not any other Realtor involved. The owner asked for a “favor”. Would we take our commission for the 2 years half now and half next year on the anniversary date? I ...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
How many Realtors are using Transaction Desk throughout the State of Florida? From what I am being told by Instanet – Transaction Desk’s parent company over 100k Florida Realtors have multiple logins.  It appears that most do not use the auto-population features nor do they complete the information in the “Transaction Overview”. It appears that they simply go into the forms themselves and type in the information. This sort of defeats the main purpose of TD – managing a transaction from the Realtor level, broker level, administrative level, cooperating broker level, mortgage broker and closing agent level.  Until recently, actually until this past Thursday, much of the data entered into these Overview fields did not, or did not properly, populate into the correct fields in the various fo...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Recently at the FAR annual convention one of NAR’s attorneys, Brian Larson, spoke to us about various MLS topics. This included the FTC complaint against the Houston association and now the Michigan association.  Additionally, Brian spoke to his recommendation to eliminate cooperating commission and simply have the buyers pay their broker if they so elect to even engage one. Brian wrote an article on this subject and posted it to his website. Here is the link: The End of the MLS as We Know it
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
In a previous post of mine I spoke to the serious impending drop in Realtor membership. Some associations are reporting as much as 40%. Those “in the know” in southeast Florida are predicting at least 30% in our area. Our association over the past 5 years has almost double in membership size. They’ve cut membership fees and added many value added no fee services especially in the area of technology.  This anticipated drop in membership is going to quickly equate into a major loss of revenue for all of the associations.  I was asked by one of our association’s directors recently as a broker/owner what my preference would be: increase in membership fees or a reduction in the valued added no fee services?  My reply was quick: How about collecting membership fees from the thousands of assoc...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
The newest "marketing" twist by several Realtors is to advertise their properties in the MLS as having an auction at some point in the near term. In the meantime, the quote that the seller will consider all offers starting from a low ball price that is listed. This is acceptable providing that the MLS allows auction listings. Some do not and some have yet to consider prohibiting them.   The real problem is that some of these Realtors load this low ball price (a/k/a starting bid) into the LP (listing price) field of their MLS. When doing a search if there is not any minimum price set their listing will generally be first on the list as the low price. Unfortunately, that price also propagates over into www.Realtor.com , Florida Living (FAR’s website) and all IDX systems.  We started getti...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
Over the past few years most properties throughout Florida, especially, the Ft Lauderdale area market sold within a matter of days - sometimes even hours. There was a severe shortage of quality homes. Because of this fact many Realtors never even bothered to take photos of their listings and enter them into the MLS. Boy, how things have changed. Most MLS listings today now contain at least a few photos. However, the lack of photos still is present in rental listings - even quality high end properties.Virtual Tours: On almost every sale listing we have taken over the past few years we have utilized a virtual tour company, www.Obeo.com formerly known as www.360house.com. They were great and still provide a fantastic service for certain types of properties and Realtors that simply do not w...
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By Stephen McWilliam, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI
(Florida State Realty Group, Inc)
One of the most commonly internet searched for condos in Ft Lauderdale, either for purchase or rental, is the Las Olas Riverhouse.  We have listed for rent and rented several models at the Las Olas Riverhouse. The complex is comprised of what appears to be 3 towers although they are all interconnected. Residences on the north side comprise stacks 01 through 08 and the south side comprise stacks 09 and 10. The smallest residences are the Soho model and are located in stacks 01,08. Next are the Chelsea models located in stacks 02 and 07. Soho and Chelsea models are all under 2000 square feet. The Lexington model is the smallest residence that maintains more than 2000 square feet.  The 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom Lexington models are located in stacks 03 and 06. The even more spacious Columb...
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By Joan & Greg Cook
(The Cook Team at Keller Williams Partners Realty)
A press release recently came to my attention regarding a poll on the most trusted professional to give advice conducted by Harris Interactive (The Harris Poll #37, May 10, 2006). The poll, conducted over several days in March asked more than 2,300 US adults to rank the level of trust they place in the advice given professionals in 11 different professions. The professions chosen by Harris to be studied are all fields in which competent and trustworthy council would be considered the critical factor in choosing to do business with the professional. The question asked of all those who participated in the poll was, "If you were getting professional help or advice from each of the following, how much would you trust them to give you advice which was best for you?" The results are posted be...
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