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4871 Palm Coast Pkwy NW Suite 3
Palm Coast, FL

Phone: 386-246-3131
FAX: 386-246-3162

2020-logo-325-2.png

4871 Palm Coast Pkwy NW Suite 3 Palm Coast, FL

Phone: 386-246-3131
FAX: 386-246-3162

For Sale By Owners

I would like to talk to you about a great source of listings.

I am talking about For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). I know a lot of you are going to say that it is a waste of time and effort to even try. That’s because they didn’t do it right! That’s why it’s worth it.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to prospect a market that doesn’t have a lot of competition? Now here is a principle of real estate that has helped me in sales. Be in front of buyers and sellers when they are ready to do business! It sounds like common sense, but how do you know when they are ready to do business? Well, you don’t! That’s why you have to be in front of buyers and seller all the time.

Now that FSBO is not ready to do business with you, because he wants to save the commission. That’s a half truth. He doesn’t think that you are WORTH the commission. So, in order to get a FSBO to list with you, you must spoon feed your worth to them. Help them sell the house for free! It’s a slow and drawn-out process that takes patience and understanding. Meet with them every third day and provide a service that you provide to your customers. Give them an Open House sign-in sheet, CMA, Title Insurance phone number, Loan Originator phone number, advertising info, professional sign info from a sign maker. Get it? According NAR most FSBOs list their property and don’t you want to be the Sales Associate there when they are ready to list?

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices. See you next time!

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Geographic Farming

data-blog

You know a tried-and-true form of prospecting for listings is geographic farming.

This is called farming because you have to cultivate the sale. It means you have to be patient and work your farm area with constant contact in order to reap the benefits! Contact by phone, text, mail, e-mail, and in person at least once a month.

I admit that geographic farming probably takes more time than before. Years ago, we knew our neighbors well. Today, we only know our neighbors enough to say hello. A farm area should be one with a good turnover rate in order for it to be worth the effort. Choose 200-400 homes at first and grow the farm gradually. Be the expert in real estate in your farm. Know the people, their kids, their pets, birthday, anniversaries... you get the idea. Drive through your farm in your car, and make sure that you have car magnets on the car that have your company name, your name and your picture on it. Stop if you see anyone in your farm and strike up a conversation. Before long, if anyone in your farm is thinking about real estate, they will think of you!

Always ask this question after any contact, “Who do you know that is interested in buying and selling real estate?” Soon you will get the people in your farm to recognize you as the expert and the referrals will start coming in.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices. See you next time!

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Independent Contractors

Most licensees work as an independent contractor under a broker.

Some work under an owner developer. In each, case we are running our own business and as such are subjected to the guidelines regarding independent contractors under the IRS. Independent contractors must work for multiple employers. We can’t, but we fall into an exception under the law. There are three things that we must do to qualify under the exception.

First, we must have a real estate license, second, our compensation must be based on production, and third, we must have an independent contractor agreement with our employing broker or owner. Oh, and by the way, the broker cannot pay for any of your expenses! Since this is our own business, here are some things that will help you. Think about incorporating yourself. In Florida, you must incorporate as your name in order for your broker to pay you. For instance, “John Doe, PA”. PA is an “S” corporation, but there are other forms that you may use. This will protect you from some liability and help a little on taxes. Next get a checking account and credit card under that name. Now, all your income and all your real estate expense go in and come out of this account. This will make your end of year accounting for taxes very easy! Speaking of taxes, don’t forget that you will have to pay your taxes quarterly as an independent contractor. Contact your attorney and tax person to help you set it up and all will run smoothly.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices. See you next time!

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Education For Renewal

license

As a real estate instructor, I get many calls from sales associates asking which education they are supposed to take to renew their license.

They are not sure if they have enough credits, or where to find that information. In Florida, the DBPR has an account for each licensee, where you can find out what total credits are required, what credits you have, and how many credits you still need to complete your requirement. You can access this online at the DBPR website.

I had a student call me and say that they needed the continuing education course to renew her license. She wanted to do it online. I directed her to my website for online courses, and told her to select the link for the class. She tried to renew her license and the DBPR said that she was still deficient. She called me and accused me of not reporting the class. I gave her the file number to provide the DBPR proof that it was recorded. She called me back and said that they still say that she is deficient and could I speak to them. I called and found that she was deficient because she needed the 45 Hr. Post license education, not the continuing education! Pre-license is before you’re licensed, Post License is after you’re licensed, and before your first renewal, and Continuing Education is before every other renewal.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices. See you next time!

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Fair Housing

fair-housing

Early in my career, I was presented with a very awkward situation.

My customer stated that they would not ever live on a street that had a certain race living on it! Have you ever had a brush with a fair housing situation that made you uncomfortable? Did you know what to respond, without getting in trouble with HUD? Did you ever feel that you are being tested by a HUD investigator, based on the questions the customer was asking?

I don’t think that we deliberately want discriminate, but we do have to be very careful with how we respond the questions and situations. For instance, if a customer asks to be shown properties where there are lots of kids, it might feel comfortable telling a customer that a particular neighborhood is great for raising children. Did we just promote a neighborhood based on familiar status? Did we just violate the Fair Housing Act? When presented with these situations it’s always best to discuss the Fair Housing Act with the customer and put them on notice that you cannot violate the law. So, when faced with an awkward question try this response, “I can’t answer that question, nor can any other licensee. It would place you in violation of Fair Housing Laws as well as placing me in violation of Fair Housing Laws.”

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices.

See you next time!

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Whole House Inspections

inspection

Just about every house sold will have a whole house inspection.

Realtors will offer a list of licensed inspectors and the buyers can choose one. The REALTOR should never accompany the Inspector for fear of being brought into a dispute of the inspection. Let them do their job. Now, if the contract is the standard Residential Purchase and Sale agreement, the seller is obligated to repair certain items. The buyer must send notice to the seller of which repairs are requested. The entire report should not be given to the seller. The seller then will send back a notice of which repairs they will be willing to repair. The contract has specified certain items that the seller is obligated to repair. This is fair because the parameters are clearly stated in the contract for both buyer and seller to read prior to signing the agreement.

If the contract is an “AS IS” agreement the buyer has the choice to buy the house or not. They do not have the option of asking for repairs in the AS IS Contract. It should not be used as a negotiation tool to get any repairs done. There are no parameters for repairs, so no agreement on repairs were made prior to signing the agreement. Using this contract to request repairs is not negotiating in good faith. If repairs are wanted, then the standard contract should have been used.

If you would like more information contact me. Like, share and subscribe below for all my videos.

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices. See you next time!

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Escrow Disputes

escrow

Today I am going to talk about something very unpleasant that occasionally happens in our business; Escrow Disputes.

Escrow Disputes happen when a sale falls apart and the buyer and the seller each want the deposit. This is one reason most Brokers don’t have an escrow account. Depending on who is holding the deposit, will determine how the escrow will be disbursed. No matter who is holding the deposit, the broker cannot release the deposit. If the broker is holding the deposit, the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) needs to be notified within 15 days of the dispute.

Then the broker has 30 days from the time of the dispute to tell the FREC how it will be cleared. Brokers have a choice. Mediation, Arbitration, Litigation, or Escrow Disbursement Order. These options are typically free or inexpensive. Now, if the Title Company or an Attorney is holding the funds, they are not subject to FREC rules. Typically, they resolve their issue through litigation. The prevailing party gets the escrow and the non-prevailing party pays for the litigation. Again, no matter who is holding the escrow, the broker’s hands are tied and cannot disburse the funds. This may make either or both the buyer, and the seller upset. Thankfully this is a rare occurrence and most sales end in successful completion and all are happy in the end!

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices.

See you next time!

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Real Estate Adverting.

advertising-blog

There are two guidelines for advertising.

The first is license law, and the second is the Code of Ethics. I will cover Realtor advertising requirements in another blog. The law requires, for all licensees, that we advertise in such a manner that the general public knows that they’re dealing with a licensee. This means we need to put the name of the company in the ad. A new rule was added in 2019 which required team advertising not to use specific names that might indicate that the team was its own real estate entity. It also required that the company name be as large or larger than the team name. If we use promotional items or material, the name of the company must be there! Even if the sales associate pays for the promotional items! Sales associates must also put their full name on all advertising. For example, car magnets are very popular, but a full name is required, not just the first name!

Now websites are hard to right state laws about because, after all, they are world wide advertisements. We need to put the company name on or about any point of contact information on the site. So, if there is a “submit” button, address, or fax number, the name of the company must be there.

Now if you see some discrepancies in any real estate advertising, contact the licensee and help them out!

If you would like more information contact me.

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

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Pathways To Professionalism

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Have you ever gotten a call from a seller after a showing?

Were they happy with the way the sales associate left the home? Did the REALTOR make sure that the property was secured before leaving? Well, we expect that all Realtors are going to treat others the way they would like to be treated. Sometimes they disappoint.

I would like to bring your attention the Pathways to Professionalism. You can find it at Nar.Realtor. https://www.nar.realtor/code-of-ethics-and-arbitration-manual/pathways-to-professionalism

The Pathways to Professionalism are courtesies that we all should strive to perform. Much like the Preamble of the Code of Ethics, they are aspirations. They cover Respect for the Public, Property, and Peers. They’re great guidelines for REALTORS to follow in order to ensure Professionalism. Every President of a REALTOR organization has, as their goals for their term, to increase Professionalism. Isn’t time that we all put in extra efforts towards increasing our Professionalism? A great start is to read the Pathways and treat others with respect.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices.

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Negotiate Commissions

commissions

Negotiations are sometimes difficult when asking for our commissions.

Negotiations have to be handled calmly and efficiently in order to achieve an agreement. First, we need to understand the opponent’s position and what their needs are. Second, we have to address those needs and express our needs to reach a mutual agreement.

Those of you who know me, know that I enjoy old movies and TV shows. I was watching an old episode of “Perry Mason” and his investigator, Paul Drake, was negotiating his fee with a client. Watch how Paul handles the situation.

Now, I am not saying that you must be as abrupt as Paul, but you must learn to say no sometimes. I do believe that you can get your customer to do whatever you want, as long as you show them how it benefits them! To get the commission you deserve, show how your marketing efforts will benefit them. I’m sure that you have an extensive, proven marketing plan, in writing, to show your customer. Have them agree that if you do everything in your plan, it will sell the home. Explain that marketing costs money and your fee is the only way that you can provide the marketing needed to sell their home!

But remember, sometimes you just have to say “NO”!

If you would like more information contact me.

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Multiple Offers

offer

Our market today affords us interesting opportunities.

With inventory low, and buyers buying, we find ourselves entertaining multiple offers to the sellers. Now, there are many ways to handle multiple offers. Each of the ways require the seller’s understanding and permission. In fact, according to the Code of Ethics, we are not to reveal even the existence of another offer without the seller’s permission.

A common way to handle these are to counter all the offers with the direction of bringing back the highest and best offer to the seller. I am not a fan of this method, because each of the buyer’s may not want to negotiate against others and walk away. Now the seller has nothing! I prefer to counter each discretely and without disclosing the existence of the multiple offers to the buyers. The way to do this is to always counter only one at a time and always counter the lowest offer higher than the highest offer. Continue to do this, until your counters are rejected and you have settled on the highest offer. Be careful that you don’t settle on a price that is above the possible value of the appraisal!

If you would like more information contact me.

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices.

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Code of Ethics

ethics-2

According to the Code of Ethics, Article 12,

Realtors shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising…..ensure that their status as a real estate professional is readily apparent..

OK, this means we have to put the company name in all communications and advertising and we have to disclose that we are a real estate professional up front. This is a higher standard than the law. The law says that we have to disclose that we are a licensee upon first serious negotiations. The Code of Ethics says we have to disclose up front. So, we have two different requirements. When this occurs, our obligation is to always follow the higher standard, in this case the Code of Ethics. Now, the code says we have to paint a true picture in our advertising. Article 12 covers guidelines for offering prizes, premiums, merchandise discounts to sell or buy. It also covers website adverting.

Understandably, Article 12 is one of the most violated Articles of the Code. Why, because we all advertise and as often as we can! Unfortunately, we might exaggerate or embellish a bit too much! Again, if we see an improper ad, call the REALTOR and suggest they review Article 12 for compliance!

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices.

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the REALTOR trademark

realtor

As a REALTOR, I am very protective of the REALTOR trademark. All REALTORS have the duty to work under the Code of Ethics. We also have guidelines under the Pathways to Professionalism.
There are specific rules for using the trademark. We can only use the trademark adjacent to our name in all advertising, URLs, or e-mails. For instance, RicGiumentaRealtor.com is acceptable.
We can’t use BestREALTOR.com, because a member’s name isn’t there. It is great branding to use your communities name in advertising. So, we might be tempted to use Your Hometown REALTOR as a brand name, but that is a violation of the trademark.

So, who are the REALTOR Police? All REALTORS. If you see a violation, contact the REALTOR and explain that it might be a violation and suggest a change. Review the Membership Marks Manual at NAR.REALTOR. If they’re reluctant or disagree with your assessment, then contact Trademark@REALTORS.com and request a clarification from the legal department.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices.

See you next time!

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Code of Ethics

ethics

Are you a REALTOR? I am very proud to be a REALTOR who prescribes to the Code of Ethics.

There are 17 Articles which outline specific duties to customers/clients, the public, and to REALTORS.

I would like to highlight Article 16 which requires REALTORS to respect exclusive relationships. So, if a customer has an exclusive relationship with REALTOR 1, then REALTOR 2 is not permitted to talk with the customer without the permission of REALTOR 1.

Now, each article has Standards of Practices that clarify different situations and can guide REALTOR conduct. It’s imperative that REALTORS know and understand each of the Articles and follow them accordingly. Case in point, there are times that REALTOR 2 can contact the customer and they are outlined in the Standards!

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices.

See you next time!

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Time Is Of The Essence

time-blog

The most common contract used in Florida is the Florida Realtors/Florida BAR Residential Sale and Purchase contract.

According to the contract “Time is of the Essence”. Now, whether you use the “As-Is” or the “Standard” contract the provision for “Time is of the Essence” is the same. So, what does it mean? It means that the contract calls for specific dates to perform the actions in the contract or there could be consequences. When I say specific, I mean “drop dead dates”!

For instance, if the closing date states November 1, then that is when the closing happens. Yes, even if you put “on or before” in front of the date! If you put “on or before” in front of the date, you still need both buyer and seller signatures to move it up! You are falsely setting the customers up for disappointment by allowing them to think that it may be moved up, because it needs both parties to agree in writing to do so. It should not be moved up verbally. All things must be in writing to be enforceable according to the Statute of Frauds. So, don’t bother to put “on or before” in the contact because it is meaningless. Just use specific dates.

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices. See you next time!

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Personal Property

property-blog

Personal property is always something that needs clarification in our sales contracts.

There is a paragraph which lists most items that convey with a home. But not all homes have all the things listed. Some items need to be excluded from the list and there is a space in the contract for you to list those items right under the paragraph. However, there is a little confusion built into the personal property paragraph. It states “..the following items which are owned by Seller and existing on the Property as of the date of the initial offer..” The confusion is, how do you prove it wasn’t existing at the time of the offer?

For instance, let’s say that the property does not have a disposal in the sink. A disposal is listed in the paragraph. It wasn’t existing so the buyer shouldn’t expect it at closing, right? Suppose the buyer goes on a walkthrough and swears that there was a disposal and they want the disposal put back or they’re not closing! So how do I avoid this from happening? Everything that is listed in the paragraph of personal property that is not on the premises, I list in the paragraph under the personal property clause as excluded from the contract. I don’t cross out on a contract. I just list it as excluded. This way it’s clear to both buyer and seller that the item does not convey!

If you would like more information contact me. I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice.

Make good choices. See you next time!

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We're Not Attorneys

attorneys-blog

You know, in Florida, we write the offer to purchase usually from the buyer, on a contract form.

That form is then signed by the buyer and sent to the seller. If the seller agrees with all the provisions in the offer, then they can sign it and send it back to the buyer. Now we have a contract!! In Florida Most closings are done by Title Companies and the buyers and sellers are not required to have attorneys fill out a contract.

So, sales associates help the buyers and sellers write the sale and purchase contract. We are allowed to fill in the blanks of Supreme Court Approved contracts. This means that we must be knowledgeable in the contract form that we use and understand that there might be special conditions that occur in different transactions. There are Riders that we can attach, written by attorneys that fit most residential situations.

However, we are never allowed to write any provisions effectively changing the contract. We have a clause for “additional terms” that should be used to explain provisions. If you listed pool equipment as personal property to convey, then here is where we can explain what is included in pool equipment. If there are special clauses needed for the contract it is our obligation to tell our customers to see an attorney!

If you would like more information contact me. 

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices. 

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Effective Date

Nov-blog

What is an effective date?

According to the Florida Realtors/Florida BAR contract the “effective date” is the last date that the buyer and seller has initialed or signed the contract and returned the contract back to the offeror.

Now, how is this date determined?

Let’s say that the buyer wrote an offer on the 5th and sent it to the seller. The seller signed the offer on the 7th and returned the offer to the buyer on the 10th. The 10th is now the effective date. But where does it say that on the contract? You know that date is important because many of the provisions, for instance inspections, use that date as a starting date.

You see, it’s up to the buyer, in my example, to write an e-mail to the seller’s associate and designate the 10th as the effective date. Nowhere on the contract is the date the 10th written, so an e-mail establishing the date is important! Make sure you do this to avoid any confusion regarding other dates in the contract.

If you would like more information contact me.

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices.

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Our World Today

technology-blog

You know we have come a long way with technology.

Especially where paperwork is concerned. I remember hand writing contracts on the hood of a car, with five copies using carbon paper! The contract was two sided and legal length. But the carbon paper was only letter length because we needed five original signatures!! What’s carbon paper? Well that’s for another video!

Now we can use any electronic device anywhere as long as we have internet and fill out our documents and have them signed electronically. PAPERLESS! We can store our documents on digital back ups as long as we can produce the file as needed for the Florida Real Estate Commission.

Even counter offers are done on a “Counter Offer Form” so we never need to cross out, initial, and date changes. Gee what’s next, will they take our MLS books away! Oh, they did that too? Oh, well. Listen, I need to get on the internet and my dial-up is so slow it takes forever!

If you would like more information contact me.

I’m Ric Giumenta. You can have a good day or a bad day. It’s your choice. Make good choices. See you next time!

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Do you stand out amongst the Realtor masses?

personal-stats

How confidant are you in your ability to do your job well?

If I said that I had a property that I would like to list or buy, are you the right person to help me? I hope that you said yes to that question. And if I asked “Why should I hire you?”, can you tell me in a short and sweet response that you are the right choice?

You need an elevator speech to respond to this question filling two minutes of time and convincing me that you are the right person. I am sure that in your market, there are a number of Realtors that can do exactly the same job. What do you do differently? What makes you shine? Do you stand out amongst the Realtor masses?

Boast about your statistics: your market share, the number of listings sold, your access to unlisted properties, your designations, your certifications, your number of years as a full time Realtor. Get the picture?

People like doing business with professional, knowledgeable, successful people that they feel are competent to complete the task. Whether it’s buying or selling a home, they want the best person to handle the job. Are you that person? Tell them!

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02 March 2021
Ric's Blog
I would like to talk to you about a great source of listings. I am talking about For Sale By Owners (FSBOs). I know a lot of you are going to say that it is a waste of time and effort to even try. That’s because they didn’t do it right! That’s why it...
23 February 2021
Ric's Blog
You know a tried-and-true form of prospecting for listings is geographic farming. This is called farming because you have to cultivate the sale. It means you have to be patient and work your farm area with constant contact in order to reap the benefi...
15 February 2021
Ric's Blog
Most licensees work as an independent contractor under a broker. Some work under an owner developer. In each, case we are running our own business and as such are subjected to the guidelines regarding independent contractors under the IRS. Independen...
08 February 2021
Ric's Blog
As a real estate instructor, I get many calls from sales associates asking which education they are supposed to take to renew their license. They are not sure if they have enough credits, or where to find that information. In Florida, the DBPR has an...
01 February 2021
Ric's Blog
Early in my career, I was presented with a very awkward situation. My customer stated that they would not ever live on a street that had a certain race living on it! Have you ever had a brush with a fair housing situation that made you uncomfortable?...

Giumenta School of Real Estate

4871 Palm Coast Pkwy NW # 2

Palm Coast, FL 32137

 

Phone: 386-246-3131

FAX: 386-246-3162

Giumenta School of Real Estate

4871 Palm Coast Pkwy NW # 2

Palm Coast, FL 32137

 

Phone: 386-246-3131

FAX: 386-246-3162

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