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January 2008 Volume 20 Issue 13

ReVIEW

Picture taken at Lake Toho by David Galindo


DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T LET YOUR BUYERS MISS OUT ON THIS LAST CHANCE FOR PRE-CONSTRUCTION PRICING & 6% COMMISSION FOR YOU! 8 E E F L E : @ E >  K ?< > I8 E;  FG <E @E >  F= K? <

COURTYARDS AT MONTELENA 6% COMMISSION

ON IMMEDIATE OCCUPANCY HOMES! FLORIDA REALTORS ONLY.

Artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rendering subject to change. Finished product may vary.

J`e^ c\$ =X d `cp 8 k k X Z_ \[:f l i k pX i[  C ` m` e ^  ] ifd  k _ \  c fn  ) ' ' j  kf  *''j Aljkjk\gjXnXp]ifdJfc`m`kXÂ&#x17E;Ă&#x2039;jKljZXe$`ejg`i\[M`ccX^\:\ek\i#k_\:flikpXi[jXk Dfek\c\eXYi`e^Xe\oZ`k`e^e\nnXpf]c`]\kfk_`jXnXi[$n`ee`e^XZk`m\X[lck Zfddle`kp1`e$kfnec`m`e^n`k_fe\$Xe[knf$jkfipj`e^c\$]Xd`cpXkkXZ_\[ ZflikpXi[_fd\j% PFLI9LP<IJ:8E;@J:FM<IK?<8:K@M<8;LCKC@=<JKPC< K?<PĂ&#x2039;M<8CN8PJ;I<8D<;F=% K_`j`jpfliYlp\iĂ&#x2039;jfggfikle`kpkfc`m\Zcfj\ikfk_\XZk`fek_Xe\m\iY\]fi\%:cfj\ikf k_\[`e`e^XkJkfe\^Xk\>i`cc\#DfjX`ZjXe[k_\>Xk\nXp:X]Â&#x201E;%:cfj\ikfk_\^i\Xk^fcĂ&#x201D;e^# k_\\e[c\jjZcXjj\j#k_\ZclYj#k_\dfm`\jXe[k_\\oZ\gk`feXc*)#'''jhlXi\]ffk I`m`\iXJgXXe[=`ke\jj:\ek\i% AVATAR PROPERTIES, INC. 3 RD ANNUAL REALTORS, AFFILIATES & FRIENDS BREAST CANCER GOLF TOURNAMENT & WALK-A-THON

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2008 Jgfejfij_`gj8mX`cXYc\%:Xcckf[Xp]fidfi\`e]fidXk`fe1/-*%+).%.'))

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Prices, promotions, features, amenities and availability subject to change without notice. Offers are product and community specific and may not be combined. Developer may change home design, materials, features, amenities and method of construction at any time and without prior notice. Offers, incentives and seller contributions are subject to certain terms, conditions and restrictions which may include use of designated lenders, closing agents and a designated title company. Offerings and sales may only be initiated at the Sales Center of the Community. Pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, this housing is intended for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or better per home, although the occupants of a limited number of homes may be younger, but no one under 18 years of age may be in permanent residence. Ownership of a home will require the payment of additional fees, including association assessments and mandatory club dues, which are subject to change from time to time. Please review all documents carefully to determine fees associated with home ownership. Additional details are available upon request. Golf facilities are privately owned and operated and membership and additional fees for golf required. Purchase of a residence does not grant use or access to the golf club or its facilities. Avatar New Homes of Florida, Inc Licensed Real Estate Broker CQ 1005469, SolivitaÂŽ Properties Inc - CQ 1027159 and SolivitaÂŽ Realty Inc - CQ 1010677. Photographs and lifestyle depicted are for illustrative purposes. and elevations, shown are artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renderings, for illustration purposes only, and subject change; landscaping depicted will vary for individual homes and in number, maturity and location. Map is conceptual, not to scale, and not a full description of the area. All maps are artist renderings, for relative location purposes only, and are not to scale. Actual distances may vary. Copyright Š 2007 Avatar Properties, Inc. - All Rights Reserved. 1337.1207 QB#1224 These materials are not intended as an offering in any jurisdictions where prior qualification is required and no marketing or sales literature will be forwarded to or disseminated in such states unless we have met such qualifications. Where only certain properties are qualified for marketing and sale in a particular state or territory, information will only be available for distribution to residents in such states for such qualified properties. THE COMPLETE OFFERING TERMS ARE IN AN OFFERING PLAN AVAILABLE FROM SPONSOR. FILE NOS. H00-0008 and H06-0027; SolivitaÂŽ Community Association, Inc., 395 Village Drive, Poinciana, Florida 34759 and SolivitaÂŽ West Community Association, Inc., 395 Village Drive, Poinciana, Florida 34759.

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January 2008


President’s Perspective

By Hope Andrews

I would like to extend a very Happy New Year to all of our members and staff of the Osceola County Association of REALTORS®. Your Leadership Team and stakeholder brokers have came up with some lofty goals for 2008 during our Leadership Retreat in October of 2007 and we are excited and eager to start implementing those plans. I would like to list the top 5 goals with a brief description: •

REALTOR® 2009 – It is anticipated that 2009 will return the real estate market to sustainable production levels and the characteristics that defined the market in 2005 will come back far different than before. The Association is committed to doing everything possible to help its members prepare for this moment in time.

REALTOR® Value – The Association has been actively promoting REALTOR® Value to the Osceola County consumer for the past two years. The primary message of the campaign for 2008 is “Now is the Time to Buy”.

Survival Tactics – It is predicted that Osceola County Brokers will have to survive 12-16 more months of down market circumstances. The Association has some strategic plans to help them endure during this time.

Real Value Rating Network (RVRN) – During 2007 the Association created an Internet based consumer facing agent rating system called Real Value Rating Network. This was done in response to an increasing level of evidence which suggests that moving forward, consumers are going to want to access agent performance ratings and ranking prepared by other consumers, as well as to participate in these activities themselves. In 2008 the Association will work to field the system in various ways. Knowledge Services/Tools – Over the past two years the Association has focused on improving the relevance delivery and content of its knowledge services program. That effort will continue in 2008.

I also would like to assure our members how committed I will be towards executing the goals mentioned above and finding ways to help REALTORS® make more money in 2008. As an Association I feel strongly that the job of the Association, is to educate not only REALTORS® but buyers and sellers. I would also like to invite our wonderful Affiliate members to sign up for any committee they would like to join in 2008. We welcome their continued and outstanding support of the Association. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you this year as President, and I look forward to a wonderful productive year. Your 2008 Leadership Team’s goal is to promote REALTOR® value by “REALTORS® Enriching Our Community.” ■

OK

, so maybe we can’t make you famous or turn you into a celebrity, but we can get you noticed and provide the recognition you deserve within the community. Have you won a recent award or been honored for your charitable work? If so, let us know and we will feature you in our “Realtors® Making A Difference” section of our Association magazine the Osceola ReVIEW and the Osceola News Gazette. Send your information and photo to Gwen Dukes at communications@osceola-realtors.com.

January 2008

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CEO Perspective

By David B. Bennett

ARE YOU READY TO DEAL WITH FRUGAL? With the weak market across the American real estate landscape, most brokers and agents are experiencing first hand the challenge of living and working on less. For the vast majority of these folks, living cheap is a far cry from the relative prosperity of the past eight to twelve years. This frugal lifestyle is seen by many as temporary, pending the return of a sustainable market 18 to 20 months from now. Everyone in the industry hopes and prays that the down turn stays within the historic norm of 38 to 44 months thus making this alternative lifestyle of short duration. However, brokers and agents would do well to recognize that, over the longer haul and for a growing number of Americans, a life of simplicity will be one of choice rather that one enforced by circumstances. When the real estate market does return to sustainable levels, it will bring with it a whole new class of buyers and sellers. Unlike the free spending high rollers (read boomers) that drove the market in the past, this new class is of good financial reason and sensible survival, living lives of focused quality and sustainable quality. This segment of the market has been present as a passionate minority for the past several years. The original members were alternative life boomers and purist “X’ers” whose primary motivation was to avoid the “keep up with the Joneses” syndrome that they saw as destructive to the quality and balanced life they so covet. It is possible that some percentage of the millions of families currently facing foreclosure might have been saved had they undertaken the need to restructure their financial world in order to accommodate their new home and its payment. Moving forward the ranks of the frugal movement will be filled with families whose adult (currently 28 – 45 years old) economic, work and life choices mandate what is now called the “frugal” life. Understanding the philosophies and principles of the frugal life through either practical experience or study will be an essential element for firms and agents who wish to harness this expanding market segment. The essence of the frugal life can be explained through a few simple concepts. So whether you have decided to try it during the challenging times, or to learn about it in order to be more effective working for the future frugal real estate consumer, give the frugal life a shot. Here is some information to get you started.

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First of all, frugal living does not mean sentencing your family and yourself to a life of deprivation. Frugal and cheap are two totally different concepts. Cheap is about an obsession not to spend money. Frugal is about

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maximizing the effectiveness of your spending to gain a quality and balanced life. Frugal living isn’t about sacrifice and deprivation; it’s about living smarter, so that you can allocate your economic resources to live the life that you want to live— a life that in your present spending patter may be nothing more than a dream. 1. Frugal living makes money management a philosophy not just a discipline.

When you carefully track how much money your household has available, how much is coming in, and how much money you need to cover your monthly bills, you can begin to envision and plan for the frugal life. It is all about making better decisions about how your money is spent. While some might mourn the loss of spontaneous spending, most celebrate the ability to incorporate regular rewards.

You’ll also know where you stand with debt repayment, savings goals, retirement planning and investments of all kinds. It all about using your money to drive your future vision rather than satisfying you’re past indiscretions.

2. Frugal living means being smarter about your spending.

With all due respect to fast food and convenience stores, frugal living rejects the popular relationships that exist between convenience and speed in favor of establishing relationships between spending and value; spending and the big picture. It is about using the same level of intellect usually reserved for the top priorities of your life on subjects as mundane as grocery shopping and entertainment. It is the difference between a 10 mile per gallon Porsche and a 30-mile per gallon Volkswagen convertible. It's taking the money that you have and stretching it as far as it will go. It is about smart shopping.

Sometimes it is about knowing when not to shop— holding off on a purchase that doesn’t fit your current resources, and patiently delaying a discretionary sale until sales, discounts and clearance sales are upon us. The successful frugal shopper eliminates emotional shopping in favor of purposeful acquisition; the right item, at the right time for the right price.

3. Frugal living requires innovative economics and creative life style planning.

Far too many households spend far too little time dreaming, planning and implementing a life style viContinued on Page 7.

January 2008


A Nichols Worth

By William C. “Nick” Nichols,

ESCROW DEPOSITS - (share this with your fellow REALTORS®, Sellers, and Buyers) “The GOOD, the BAD and the UGLY” of Title Companies Holding Escrow Deposits: “The GOOD” thing about an escrow deposit being held by a Title Company is that (for the most part) it is hassle free for the Real Estate Broker and Agent. You just simply deliver the check to the Title Company together with a copy of the contract, and /or general information (i.e. property address, Buyer’s name and Seller’s name). Thereafter, it is immediately deposited in the Title Company’s escrow account and you’re done. At closing, the Title Company gives the Buyer credit and no one has to write a check, or bring in the deposit, or forget to bring in the deposit, or any of those things. It’s GOOD. However, just like life, not all things are good and when good things don’t happen, you may you have to think about “The BAD”. Here’s the list: The Seller does not accept the contract and the Buyer gets the deposit back. That’s neither bad nor ugly, but it can be if the Buyer needs his money right away. Remember, the check is deposited immediately and the check has to clear the Title Company’s bank account before they can re-issue a check to the Buyer. (always make your buyers aware of this fact before you accept their deposit). Also, if it closes with a different Title Company other than the Title Company holding the deposit, it still has to clear the bank before another check can be issued. (this does not apply to money orders, cashier’s checks or cash). The contract is agreed to and has been signed by all parties. Sounds GOOD, but, the Buyer does not qualify for financing (which by the way was a contingency) or the Seller ends up with issues , i.e. title problems he doesn’t think he has, he hasn’t made his payments in a year and now owes much more than he is going to be netting, or the appraisal doesn’t come in as high as the purchase price, or the Seller gets deathly ill and can not move, the Buyer has left the country and can not be found, and the list can go on and on and on. No matter what happens neither the buyer nor seller can have the deposit without a release signed by both buyer and seller. No matter what, everyone must agree. If the buyer wants the deposit, the seller must sign the release and if the seller wants the deposit, the buyer must sign the release. The only exception to this is when the contract states the deposit is non refundable. The seller gets the deposit, but remember, non refundable can not have contingencies attached. Now, if for some reason the closing is not going to happen. Fingers are pointing and someone is to blame. This is when “The UGLY” begins. Both Buyer and Seller

January 2008

believe they are entitled to the deposit and both claim it, or one party to the transaction wants the deposit and the other party is not happy and refuses to cooperate. Title companies are governed by The Dept. of Insurance and must follow different procedures when there is a dispute or claim for a deposit held by the Title Company. Here’s the procedure: The Title Company sends the deposit along with a copy of the file to an attorney. The attorney sends a letter to each party asking the parties to agree on the disbursement of the deposit. The parties are given a few days to respond upon receipt of the notice and are advised if no response is received or no agreement reached, a legal action called an “Interpleader”, will be filed in the Circuit Court. If no agreement can be reached, a Motion for Interpleader is filed with the Court and is set for hearing. All parties are noticed of the hearing. At the hearing, everyone will be able to plea their case. The Judge will then make the determination which party is entitled to the deposit and a Final Judgment will be entered. Now here’s “The UGLY” part: The Final Judgment will set forth how the funds in escrow will be disbursed. First, all Attorney’s fees and Court filing costs will be disbursed from the escrow deposit. Next, the remaining funds in Escrow, if any, will go to the prevailing party. The amount of the Final Judgment in most instances will be the amount of the escrow and any additional Attorney’s fees and costs that may be due, if the original funds in escrow are not sufficient to cover the costs. The party that loses will have a final judgment against them, which will be placed in Public Record. In other words if the escrow deposit is $500.00 and the Attorney’s fees and costs are $500.00, the Title Company will be ordered to pay the Attorney’s fees and costs from the funds held in escrow. The loser in the case will end up with a Final Judgment against them for the $500.00 due the prevailing party (since the deposit was spent on fees and costs). Isn’t that UGLY? So, if your deposit is with a Title Company, remember ALL of the above. In the event of a dispute, sometimes it’s best if the parties find some sort of reasonable split of the deposit. It may be a long time before anyone gets any money or worse, they could owe more than they were going to receive. HOPE THIS HELPS!!!!!! ■

Leadership Meetings Board Of Directors JANUARY 30, 2008 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. BROADWAY CAFE Osceola

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Association Staff David B. Bennett, Chief Executive Officer ceo@osceola-realtors.com

The Charitable Contributions Committee of the Association awarded $4,000 to the Small Wonders Home of Gail and Bill Foster, who have adopted 13 physically challenged children. Ryan Roberson, a friend of the Association, is going to donate his time and efforts and make some much needed repairs to the house. If there are any funds left over after purchasing the materials, the balance will be forwarded to the Fosters’.

Gwen Dukes, Director of Communications communications@osceola-realtors.com Mike Mayo, Director of Public Affairs mmayo21@tampbay.rr.com Jeri Peyton, Executive Assistant deputyceo@osceola-realtors.com Michelle Smith, Director of Knowledge Services education@osceola-realtors.com Bob St. Gordon, Controller accounts@osceola-realtors.com Stephanie Escurra-Hendricks, Member Services Representative sales@osceola-realtors.com Anneris Rivera, Services Representative memberservices@osceola-realtors.com

Association Office 1105 Shady Lane Kissimmee, Florida 34744 www.osceolarealtors.org Email: communications@osceola-realtors.com 407.846.0117 • 407.846.0217 fax

Newsletter Submissions In order to share the wealth of information contained in this newsletter in an efficient manner, please submit your articles via e-mail or fax by the 10th of the month. Please clearly indicate that submission is for the Osceola Review. Editor-in-Chief: Gwen Dukes Articles: communications@osceola-realtors.com Advertising: accounts@osceola-realtors.com For advertising inquiries please contact Bob St. Gordon at the Association Office. Your advertising defrays the cost of publishing. Thank you for your support. The Osceola ReView is published exclusively for the Association by PIP Printing & Document Services Kissimmee, Florida 407.847.5565 • 407.847.2698 fax Pip@pip920.com Disclaimer: The Osceola ReVIEW is published for the members and affiliates of Osceola County Association of Realtors®, Inc. by Pip Printing and Document Services as a courtesy. Pip nor the Association assume any responsibility for article content or advertising message as submitted for inclusion in the newsletter. Advertising and articles are not endorsed by Association, nor is there any implied warranty by the Association or its staff.

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Pictured are: Jack Frey, Association President, Donna Deese, Association Director, Bill Foster, Christina Gentry, REALTOR® member, Gail Foster, Michele Johnson, Deese Management, Marie Collins, Association Director, and David Bennett, Chief Executive Officer.

Association Leadership

Association Leadership President Hope Andrews

Treasurer Minetta Garay

President-Elect Sean Ferguson

Past President Jack Frey

Vice-President Marie Collins

Directors Riva Alexander Jose Alvarez Andrey Bustamante David DeLoach

Secretary Len Goffredo

Cheryl Grieb Kemp Howland Richard Jordan Rosebud Kinkead Richard Knapp Veronica Malolos Denise Sacks Legal Counsel Danny Villazon

January 2008


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Coverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Photo Veronica Malolos, Director.......................1 Marie Collins, Vice-President....................2 Sean Ferguson, President-Elect..................3 Richard Jordan, Director..........................4 David DeLoach, Director..........................5 Andrey Bustamante, Director...................6 David Bennett, CEO................................7 Jack Frey, Past-President............................8 Richard Knapp, Director...........................9

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Kemp Howland, Director........................ 10 Jose Alvarez, Director..............................11 Len Goffredo, Secretary..........................12 Hope Andrews, President........................13 Rosebud Kinkead, Director....................14 Riva Alexander, Director.........................15 Cheryl Grieb, Director............................16 Minetta Garay, Treasurer.........................17 Denise Sacks, Director............................18

-AKING!N/FFERON9OUR$REAM(OME

CEO Perspective. Continued from Page 4.

If you find yourself cringing at the examples set forth above, you might want to take it as a sign of weakness not of strength. None of the examples above require one to do without but rather they demonstrate a level of thinking that will allow you to have the resources it will take to enjoy a much higher quality of life.

4. Frugal living is all about the art of the possible.

Advocates of frugal living love to share the stories of their economic conquests. They regale in the rewards of saving five dollars here and ten dollars there only to spend it all on some really outrageous expenditure that brings them joy and satisfaction. They are quick to point out that spending for convenience and speed is a quickly forgotten and low satisfaction experience. For the surviving real estate professional 2009 and 2010 will be all about learning to succeed in a new market environment with a new real estate consumer. To a greater degree than ever before, these new consumers will have taken the frugal living pledge and will have committed themselves to living a creative and innovative life style that reflects their values, not the neighborâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest splurge. Working with this client will require more than a basic understanding of frugal living. It will require an appreciation of the discipline, skills and commitment necessary to place this person in your office with a big smile and the announcement; â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are ready to purchase a new home.â&#x20AC;? â&#x2013; 

January 2008

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sion and plan. For most boomers the fantasy was to â&#x20AC;&#x153;have it all.â&#x20AC;? This concept calls for spending first and planning second. Frugal living is about finding ways to make due with what you have, and learning how to do more for yourself. Should you pay someone to change your oil or do it yourself; sew a patch on a pair of holey jeans or buy a new pair; purchase trash bags or reuse your plastic grocery bags? Every day presents new opportunities to recycle, reuse, repurpose and create, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the frugal person who recognizes those opportunities, seizes them and turns them into savings.

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is paid by the seller. Top agents are showing their buyers “for sale by owner” properties and other off-market properties. When these sales fail to compensate the agent by a seller, the agent is looking to the buyer for remuneration. The pros are handling wavering buyers by having them agree to representation contracts without exception.

Communications News

By Gwen Dukes, Director of Communications

TWELVE POSITIVE REAL ESTATE TRENDS FOR 2008 Great agents are already thinking about business planning for 2008. They are developing their strategies for lead generation, marketing, human resources and investing. I am involved in many of these strategy meetings from some of the nation’s top agents. I have found many exciting and wonderful trends are emerging to make the top people in real estate even better in 2008. 1.

2.

3.

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Down payments are back! It is time that we get back to working with buyers who can qualify to get a Discover® card. The days of a real estate transaction depending upon the creativity of a loose lender are over. Fundamentals are back! The days of having a decent price with a qualified buyer who has money for a down payment are back again. Not only do buyers appreciate the opportunities that American real estate provides, but they also end up being better neighbors and citizens. Their longevity of ownership is not so dependent upon the cyclical rates of appreciation and the cost of money. They are more apt to improve their real estate and their neighborhood. So, qualify harder! Top agents are finally getting away from concentrating on generating hundreds of leads and they are spending more time figuring out how to put those leads into play. Interactive active voice recognition systems, third-party Web site referrals and unqualified buyer Web site leads have gone without follow-up. The top agent is feeling guilty for spending money on poor quality leads, especially buyer leads. Traditional lead generation systems are back en vogue using technology to decrease their cost and increase their efficiency. Additional layers of follow-up have been added, which include live staff follow-up, the “rainmaker’s” personal follow-up, direct mail and other forms of more personal closing sequences using the phone and personal visits for more expensive expireds. The pros are back! The top real estate agents are actually pricing their listings for their clients and not fudging by giving them a value range. They have run from the pricing models that turn real estate into commodities, and they have gone back to pricing based upon individual property characteristics, thus minimizing comparable sales and emphasizing being below competing listings. Real estate is being declassified as a commodity by determining the client’s needs first then developing customized marketing plans to achieve those goals. The top buyer-brokerage companies are actually starting to get paid by buyers. It has always been befuddling to me how an agent represents a buyer yet

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6.

Short sales are being utilized as a method to achieve a client’s goals but only if it is profitable to the firm. In many cases, a foreclosure is more expedient and profitable for a seller than a short sale. However, a short sale may mitigate the credit damage to that seller. A short sale can multiply the difficulty of a regular transaction so top agents are taking them with the following provisions: a.

If the bank that is acceptable to short pays up front.

b.

If the seller cares about their credit—because if they don’t, why do a short sale?

c.

If the client did not exaggerate on the loan application (bank fraud!).

d.

If the agent is only dealing with short sale lender – multiple lenders on a short sale make it nearly impossible.

e.

If you receive an over-retail amount of commission for their additional work.

f.

If the seller agrees to add funding of their own to help mitigate the damages to the bank.

g.

If there is no time or money spent by the agent until a preliminary title report is received.

Fewer buyers are being accepted and more sellers are being obtained. As markets become a little more challenging, the prevailing wisdom has been to increase buyer inventory when exactly the opposite is required. The business has always been about owning inventory. At a time when buyers become more anxious, they automatically require more time of the agent to make a decision. This is the time to increase your listing inventory by multiples of the increase in your MLS inventory. Utilize the listing to attract more buyers. Buyers are then put through tighter pre-approval processes, requiring them to not only answer numerous counseling questions but also to indicate their financial qualifications and prove their sincerity by coming to a face-to-face meeting. At this meeting, all buyers sign an exclusive representation agreement. Continued on Page 11.

January 2008


Education Corner

All classes will be held at the Association

Cost: Free CE Credit: 3 hours

To register for any classes please visit the Association website www.osceolarealtors.org, click on “Online Member Services” button, enter your username and password and then click on the Education Calendar .If you have any questions, please call the Association at (407) 846-0117.

GOAL SETTING Thursday, January 24, 2008 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Instructor: Cynthia DeLuca Location: Osceola County Association of REALTORS® Classroom

PLEASE NOTE: If you are registered and unable to attend, please call the Association to cancel, or you will incur a $20 cancellation fee. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

Description: This course is designed to help the real estate agent set attainable goals for their career. You will go through the process of setting real career related goals.

MLS Training Classes There are two MLXchange Training classes held each month. This is a mandatory class for new members. Even if you have already taken this class, you are invited to attend as a refresher course at any time. HOME OFFICE: FINANCIAL REWARDS Thursday, January 10, 2008 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Instructor: Steven David Location: Osceola County Association of REALTORS® Classroom Description: This course will utilize an IRS Schedule C form, and the student will be able to identify those items that are deductible from income.

Cost: Free CE Credit: 3 hours EFFECTIVE PURCHASE & SALES CONTRACTS Thursday, January 31, 2008 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Instructor: Duke Tieman Location: Osceola County Association of REALTORS® Classroom Description: This program’s objective is to have the student fill out a solid, binding contract. Common pitfalls are discussed with actual contract examples. Cost: Free CE Credit: 4 hours ■

There are easier ways to get

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***Ask about the Osceola REALTORS® discount*** January 2008

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The St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce

Awards Corner

OSCAR MEMBERS RECEIVES CRP DESIGNATION

held their Quarterly Luncheon on Thursday, November 8, 2007 at Greenside’s in Harmony

Twelve members and two non-members of the Osceola County Association of REALTORS® have received the Certified Real Estate Professional (CRP) designation. Aziza Boyd – Non-member JoAnn S. Cicoli – Upper Exchelon Properties Carmen I. Colon – Sky Land Realty Sharon Cullingford – American Ideal Homes Karen Dierickx – Century 21 Act 1 Realty Christopher Glancy – Pioneer Realty of Florida Suzanne Macey – Prudential Florida WCI Realty Denise Sacks – Sacks Realty Group James L. Toth – Central FL Investors Realty Aracelis Vazquez – Non Member Antonio Vega-Pacheco – Coldwell Banker Ackley Samantha Vetter – GMAC Real Estate Tim Weisheyer – Pioneer Realty of Florida Charlie Winters – Exit Realty Select This designation is designed for the real estate agent to better assist them by obtaining the knowledge they need to further their Real Estate careers. It consists of approximately 14 Modules, and the modules are 1 ½ hours long. OSCAR MEMBER RECEIVES GEM AWARD One member of the Osceola County Association of REALTORS® has been awarded the “GEM” award from our Association President, Jack Frey. This award is presented to the individual by their peers for outstanding commitment and support. Carmen Colon – Sky Land Realty ■

Among the award recipients, was our very own Board member Donna Deese of Deese Management. She was presented with the “Business of the Quarter” award by another REALTOR® and Association member, Brenda Terrell, who is the 2008 Chair-Elect of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce.

We make closing on a house as easy as signing your name. And signing your name. And signing your name. As a part of the LandAmerica family, LandAmerica GulfAtlantic is dedicated to bringing accuracy, timeliness and thoroughness to the real estate transaction process. By calling on over 125 years of experience in title insurance, we have what it takes to bring insight, expertise and efficiency to your real estate transaction. To find out more about our services just contact the office below. We’ll make closing easy. And you don’t even need to bring a pen. LandAmerica GulfAtlantic Title 909 E. Oak Street, Suite A Kissimmee, FL 34744 Phone: 407-932-2221 Cell: 407-709-1598 Fax: 407-932-1166 Email: kissimmee@landam.com www.landam.com

Heidi J. Bauman-Foster, Senior Sales Executive Cierres en Español Disponibles.

© 2006. LandAmerica is a registered trademark of LandAmerica Financial Group, Inc.

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Communication News. Continued from Page 8. 7.

8.

9.

The race to see who has the lowest commission is over with. Sellers who need to have a job done in a challenging market need a professional. Professionals charge full fees or more. My coaching clients are all “over-retail” in their commissions. My coaching clients determine a client’s goals, design a customized marketing plan then implement that plan with strategies to increase the client’s net. When a seller is properly counseled, they are more interested in what their eventual net is and less interested in the commission amount. Teams and staff are being cut to reduce overhead. Managing a team and staff can be an extremely draining process. Not only is having a staff an expensive task but also the staff members grow into the jobs that are most pleasurable and not necessarily the most profitable. All assistants should be re-assigned jobs that have a lead generation emphasis rather than a maintenance emphasis. No longer can a top agent afford to be order takers. Top real estate agents are highly paid professional sales people who need fresh amounts of pre-approved, qualified and motivated leads each day. A top agent’s staff helps in fulfilling those goals because the rainmaker finds that lead generation day after day can be energy-zapping. Assistants and team members now pay for themselves through lead generation assets that they help produce. Top agents, no matter their age, are starting to understand that real estate requires energy. At some point, age is opposite of energy. And, then the manta becomes, “I’d like my money to work for me instead of me working for my money.” Top agents all over the country are developing savings and investment plans, especially as real estate becomes more affordable. Agents are beginning to realize what a property looks like when it is at the bottom of the market and how long-term investment strategies can be implemented by being their own best client.

days. In fast markets, seller maintenance was reactive because of the amount of activity on a property. Seller maintenance is now pro-active with the goal of obtaining a price reduction or value-enhancement to achieve the seller’s goals. 11. The quality of the agent pool is improving. In years past, a good living could be made by being an opportunity-time order taker. These people are finding that buyers and sellers are not excited about the real estate market, therefore they are not surviving. The top agents do not have to worry as much about the best of the best being taken away by the closest geographical agent to the transaction. The public is seeking experienced and successful real estate agents who know how to cope and be successful in a more normal market. 12. Agents are going back to the “enhanced basics” that I have been training top agents on for years. Thirty percent of their day is being spent on advanced seller lead generation. Tighter contracts are being written. Fewer buyers make the cut. Real estate investing for agents has gone from speculation to cash flow investing. The agencies that are going out of business allow the top agents to add another phone number to their bank of office lines. ■ Author: Walter Sanford, real estate agent for over 30 years, now a highly requested trainer, speaker and coach. You can email him at walter@waltersanford.com.

10. The initial transition period of a fast market to a slower market is now over in most areas, and the top people have readjusted to add systems that were not necessary before. These systems include seller maintenance, allowing sellers to be versed on the competition so that price reductions or value enhancements can be made every ten

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Knowledge Services News

By Michelle Smith, Director of Knowledge Services

we are offering in 2008, you will notice 6 Quadrennial Code of Ethics classes. If you prefer not to take Code of Ethics online at www.realtor. org, then you can register, on-line, for one of these classes.

Certified Real Estate Professional classes are back. These classes were so successful, that we are offering the 14 classes, 3 times this year.

Did you know that you are not a REALTOR® unless you take the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics Training? It’s true, you can not use the REALTOR® logo, call yourself a REALTOR® until this is completed. Because 2008 is the end of our Quadrennial, we as an Association need to certify to NAR that all of our members have taken the Code of Ethics between January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2008.

Destination:Success – These classes are designed to assist our members to prosper within the market that is today, while we all wait for the market that will be tomorrow.

Broker Series – The Broker Series will continue this year with Modules 5 to 8. This series was created to assist brokers in education about Risk Management.

In the December issue of the Osceola County Association of REALTORS® ReVIEW is the 2008 Educational Offerings. The 2008 Brochure is also available online at www.osceolarealtors.org. If you look at the classes

Registration for all classes is available online at www. osceolarealtors.org. You will click on “on line member services”, enter your user ID and password and click on the education calendar. ■

First of all, I would like to wish each and every one of you a prosperous New Year. I have always tried to set goals and resolutions for myself, but this year my wish is for all of you. I wish that the market turns around so we can all relax a little. 2007 was a very stressful year, both professionally and personally and I hope that 2008 is far better than years past. DID YOU KNOW? •

Mention the Osceola Realtor’s® Association to receive a discount.

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Supra News By Stephanie Escurra-Hendricks DID YOU KNOW? •

SUPRA’s Display Key Renewal will be in April. They will be mailing out invoices in March. SUPRA has a new web pay service to pay your renewal. The webpay link awp.gesecurity.com. Sprint has 2 new phones that have been approved for SUPRA eKey software.

NAR CENTENNIAL - 100 YEARS IN CELEBRATION OF THE AMERICAN DREAM This is the first in a series of articles each month that will document the history and formation of the National Association of REALTORS®. In May of 1908, a group of 120 men gathered together at a YMCA in Chicago, Illinois. Their stated goal was “to unite the real estate men of America (at that time, only men were allowed to sell real estate) for the purpose of exerting effectively a combined influence upon matters affecting real estate interests.” This wasn’t the first attempt to organize a national association for the industry. The country was recovering from a major depression – aided by a big influx of immigrants, mostly from Europe – was shifting from rural to urban. Real estate was becoming a complex business, one that required the assistance of someone in the know.

The Mogul is a Windows OS phone & the Centro is a Palm OS phone. ■

Those 120 founders sought to bring professionalism to an enterprise that had evolved more or less without rules. They understood that to earn the trust of a skeptical public, they needed to bring form and standards to the business of real estate. The foundation they built has proved enduring. What emerged from that meeting 1908 was the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, which 100 years later thrives as the National Association of REALTORS®. DID YOU KNOW…… The word national in the Association’s names referred to both the United States and Canada (the Canadian boards went on to create their own national body, the Canadian Real Estate Association in March, 1943). Dues were set at $1.00 per year, with an initial membership fee of $50.00.

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Five ways a Reverse Mortgage can improve your quality of life 1. Eliminate monthly mortgage payment 2. Receive extra monthly income 3. Eliminate credit card debt 4. Receive a cash lump sum or line of credit 5. Enjoy life a bit more

Sharon Prymas, CSA

For homeowners 62 or Older For your free Reverse Mortgage Handbook, call

Sharon Prymas: (407) 361-6887 sprymas@financialfreedom.com

Consult Tax Advisor. ® 2007 Registered trade/service marks are property of Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation, a Subsidiary of IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. © 2007 Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation

Ter mit e Inspections ermit mite &T reatments Tr

REALTORS® e ifferenc (Discounted Rates for OSCAR Members)

FAST • ACCURATE • FRIENDLY

ASK ABOUT ing A D akOUR M “EAGLE NO TENT” TERMITE SERVICE

EAGLEOSCEOLA Pest Management COUNTY ASSOCIATION OF

REALTORS® TOY DRIVE 40 7-5 18-08 75FUND PRESENTS 407-5 7-51 8-0875 CHECK TO HELP NOW OF OSCEOLA, INC.

409 Church Street • Kissimmee, FL 34741

At the beginning of 2007, the Association collected donations and earmarked those funds for a year-end Toy Drive to fund a needy family or organization. On December 13, 2007, we presented a check for $1,764.50 to Help Now of Osceola Outreach Center for Domestic Violence. Help Now is a program that started in 1983 whose primary goal is to change lives by providing safe shelter and counseling for victims of domestic violence and public awareness education programs to promote violencefree living. Donations are always welcome and are a major source of support for Help Now. Every dollar helps and no donation is too small! There are several ways you can donate to Help Now:

OUT

1. You can make an In-Kind donation of needed supplies! 2. You can donate gift cards! 3. You can make a cash contribution! Volunteering at the center is another way community groups and individual volunteers can support the center’s efforts to promote violence-free living. Some volunteer opportunities that are available are:

la compañía hispana de ®

“REALZAN EL PROCESO DE LA TRANSACCIÓN

You can contact the center to donateRAICES” or volunteer DE BIENES either by mail at: 1201 Emmett Street • Kissimmee, FL 34741 Help Now of Osceola, Inc. 407-931-1343 phone • 407-931-1415 fax P.O. Box 420370 • Kissimmee, FL 34742-0370 Or by telephone: 407-847-3260

OUT

The Association encourages all of our members to get out and volunteer in their community! Pictured are: Lorain Kennedy, Resource Manager, Tammy Douglass, Executive Director, Jeri Peyton, Association Executive Assistant, Marie Collins, Association Director and Debbie Henderson, 2007 Affiliate Chairperson.

Being a REALTOR® is about building relationships and helping people when needed.

• Shelter Opportunities • Outreach Opportunities • Public Relations • Experienced Grant Writer • Computer Maintenance/Repair

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WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Altamirano Fernando.......................... Keller Williams Homestead Realty Banden Gregory............................... ERA Advantage Realty Professionals Bertrios Margarita.........................................Prudential Sapphire Realty Boehler Janet.......................................................JPSR Realty Group, LLC Broughton James............................................... Broughton Realty Group Chavez Abelardo................................................Right Choice Realty, Inc. Cooper Karen................................................ RE/MAX Premier Properties Corrales Cynthia............................................APA Investment Group, Inc. Coskey Pamela......................................................RE/MAX Market Place DeHaven Benjamin...........................................McIntee Team Realty, LLC Diaz Bianca.......................................................... Sky Land Realty Group Egan Thomas..................................................APA Investment Group, Inc. Fagan Sandra......................................... SAF Realty and Investments, LLC Fehr Bruce............................................ One Way Realty & Associates, Inc. Goodwin Deborah................................Goodwin Realty & Associates, Inc. Higinio Greta..................................... Transcontinental Realty Group, Inc. Juliet Thelwell-Romney Juliet.......................Florida Buyers Realty, LLC Naoum Nabeel..........................................................Watson Realty Corp. Ortiz Wilson...................................................Five Star Realty Group, LLC Ortiz Patricia..............................................................Luxury Realty, Inc. Peters Donna............................................................Watson Realty Corp. Robins Virgina................................................ The Art of Real Estate, Inc. Rudolph Sandra........................................................Watson Realty Corp. Samudio Mayra............................. Florida Realty Team of Central Florida Santos Nelson........................................... Coldwell Banker Ackley Realty Slaughter Mary..............................................Prudential Sapphire Realty Traynor Jacqueline................................................Home Run Real Estate Vargas Maria.................................................Five Star Realty Group, LLC Young John................................................................Watson Realty Corp.

NEW REAL ESTATE OFFICES

ERA ADVANTAGE REALTY PROFESSIONAL...GREGORY BANDEN 280 Wekiva Springs Road * Longwood, FL 32779 Phone: (407) 869-4042 * Fax: (407) 869-4452 ONE WAY REALTY & ASSOCIATES............... JOSE ALVAREZ 712 N. John Young Parkway * Kissimmee, FL 34741 Phone: (407) 931-0081 * Fax: (407) 931-0052 RE/MAX MARKET PLACE..................... PAMELA COSKEY 215 Celebration, Suite 108 * Kissimmee, FL 34747 Phone: (321) 939-3004 * Fax: (407) 729-7299 SAF REALTY AND INVESTMENTS, LLC. ....... SANDRA FAGAN 9902 Shadow Creek Drive * Orlando, FL 32832 Phone: (407) 765-9337 * Fax: (954) 272-7075

NEW AFFILIATE OFFICES FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE OF ST. CLOUD

............................ GAIL KISH/HEATHER SALVATORIELLO 4237 13th Street * St. Cloud, FL 34769 Phone: (407) 892-7377 * Fax: (407) 892-1861

HARMONY SALES AND INFORMATION. ..... NICK CHRISTIAN 3500 Harmony Square Drive West * Harmony, FL 34773 Phone: (407) 891-8358 * Fax: (407) 891-0459 NORTH AMERICAN TITLE COMPANY. ....... THERESA CARTER 8 Broadway, Suite D * Kissimmee, FL 34741 Phone: (407) 846-1455 * Fax: (407) 846-3686 ORLANDO SENTINEL COMMUNICATION. . JOSEPH SOLLACCIO 804 Emmett Street * Kissimmee, FL 34741 Phone: (407) 931-5902 * Fax: (407) 931-5910

APA INVESTMENT GROUP, INC............. CYNTHIA CORRALES 1420 SW 18 Street * Miami, FL 33145 Phone: (305) 854-7784 * Fax: (305) 854-7768

PEOPLES FIRST COMMUNITY BANK........... JACKELINE PAZ 116 E. Altamonte Dr. * Altamonte Springs, FL 32701 Phone: (407) 933-3704 * Fax: (407) 865-6980

BROUGHTON REALTY GROUP.............. JAMES BROUGHTON 2020 W. Fairbanks Avenue * Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone: (407) 644-8256 * Fax: (407) 644-6268

THE REAL ESTATE BOOK............................ RHEN EVANS 649 W. Michigan St. * Orlando, FL 32805 Phone: (407) 581-1490 * Fax: (407) 581-1491

1105 Shady Lane • Kissimmee, FL 34744

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2008 - January - Osceola ReVIEW