Did your seller see my buyer’s offer?

I must admit, this has always been one of my biggest frustrations when submitting offers on behalf of my buyers to the Listing Agent…truth be told, it’s a Head Banger. Finally, as of January 1st, we have changes to our Code of Ethics that should help considerably. Please read carefully:

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the Realtors® Code of Ethics has a new requirement for listing brokers if a cooperating broker says, “Did your seller see my buyer’s offer?”

Standard of Practice 1-7 of the Code of Ethics is amended, effective Jan. 1, to include the following language:

Upon the written request of a cooperating broker who submits an offer to the listing broker, the listing broker shall provide a written affirmation to the cooperating broker stating that the offer has been submitted to the seller, or a written notification that the seller has waived the obligation to have the offer presented.

“You must request affirmation of receipt of your offer – the listing broker is not obligated to provide affirmation automatically,” says Anne Cockayne director of policy services for Florida Realtors. “If you don’t request it, it does not have to be provided.”

As part of the Code of Ethics, the request and response rules apply only to Realtorsnot buyers or sellers.

“Do not expect nor demand that the seller sign any documentation acknowledging receipt or waiver of your offer to prove receipt,” says Cockayne. “The listing broker’s written response is sufficient to meet this requirement. The obligation is on the Realtor.”

A Realtor who fails to submit an offer – unless otherwise instructed by the sellers – could potentially be a violation of Article 1. This hasn’t changed under the updated guidelines; it’s always been part of the Code of Ethics. Failure to present an offer could be an ethics violation, and the case could end up being heard by a panel of the Realtor’s peers in an ethics hearing.

While the new rule requires written affirmation that an offer was submitted to a seller, it does not include a timeframe for the response.

Ultimately, an ethics hearing panel would determine what is reasonable based on the evidence and testimony presented during an ethics hearing before the member’s local association,” says Cockayne. “The wording ‘upon request’ could lead someone to conclude that the action should occur without unnecessary delay; but again, it would be up to a hearing panel to draw its own conclusion.”

And so my fellow Realtors…we MUST keep up with changes to our Code of Ethics, FREC and DBPR. Over the next several Mondays, I will be reviewing recent changes and updates. Be good to each other…Be REALTORS!

Until Next Monday,




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What is Delivery?

I know I have gone on and on about executed contracts, but…what is delivery and who should it be delivered to? Remember, a contract is executed when the LAST INITIALS ARE OBTAINED! Now it has to be delivered and who gets it.  Let’s say the Buyer initialed the last part of the contract.  The Buyer’s agent sends the contract to the Seller’s agent, who delivers the contract to the Seller and the count begins.  Delivery to the Seller’s agent is considered delivery to the Seller, but bear in mind a case could be made that the Seller’s agent waited some time before delivering to the Seller.  Contract law is very specific so don’t place your Buyer or Seller in a precarious position by non-delivery or late-delivery as that could cost your customer money, a lost transaction and a possible complaint filed against your license.

So my fellow Realtors, have a great week and be good to each other.

Until Next Monday….

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Singular or Plural…use them correctly

Today I feel the need to speak about addenda – that’s the plural of addendum.  Now we all use addenda, but do we use them correctly? We often add  addendum (singular  meaning),  to our sales contracts.  There are 2 aspects to an addendum: 1. Are we using the correct one to correspond with the right contract, FAR/BAR as compared to FAR.  2. An addendum supersedes the contract, that means it overrides the area referred to in the contract by the addendum. For example: Contract says 15 days for inspections and you attach an addendum and state 7 days for inspections, It is the 7 days that dictate the length of time for inspections.  I run into more Realtors that have no idea why or what an addendum or addenda are used for and that they are enforceable…and on top of that, they mix the two. You need to be very careful, you can cause your customer major difficulties by not being aware of the meaning of  and/or the correct usage of addendum/a.

So my fellow Realtors, educate yourself continually as aspects of our business change all the time…in the meantime:  Be good to each other.

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Just for Today….

2019: A new year and a new beginning for all of us.  This is the time, for all of us, to discard the negative and look forward to the positive in our life and the lives around us! Don’t look back, just look ahead. I am reminded of many credos about looking ahead but especially the ones from the old Al-Anon.  They go like this:

Just for today, I will live through this day, I can’t solve all my problems at once, not looking back or forward…today. Just for today I will be happy, being positive. Just for today, I will face reality, correct what I can and accept what I can’t.  Just for today, I will improve my mind.  Just for today, I will make an effort to be kind and courteous. Just for today, I will improve my health. and just for today, I will have the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.  These are amazing thoughts and actions to live by.  We just have to remember them every day.

So my fellow REALTORS, thank you for reading my blogs, and for the comments, they mean a lot, as it reassures me that I am not out there alone in my thoughts and actions. So here we go…It’s 2019..it should be a great ride!

Until Next Monday…

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Less is more…period!

I am often asked, when obtaining a new listing, what should the Seller do to make the property more attractive?  I tell them to think of the phrase…“Less is More!”  Which means…if you are a packrat (trust me, my entire family is one, including me!!) you need to either rent a storage room (if you wish to continue your pack rat ways) or begin the task to throw away, donate, or consign your stuff.  Many Sellers want to showcase their things – to show their good taste, to keep from having to pack it away, or a host of other reasons…..none of which will help to sell the property.  Then we come to overall looks: do you have a wall that is painted black, maroon, bright blue or a host of primary colors? All of these statement colors are detrimental to a sale.  If the majority of Buyers walk in and  they comment on the paintings hung on the wall or various items the Sellers possess, that’s a good indication they are not looking at the property –  they are consumed with the decorations and this will not help to sell the property.  I listed an antique dealer’s home and every single buyer that walked through asked if any of the antiques were for sale.  The property didn’t sell until the Seller cleared the house out – after that, it was a slam dunk!  So my fellow Realtors, I use the phrase: Less Is More. Clear out the miscellaneous and irrelevant and hopefully a sale will come soon after.  Remember to be good to each other,   I always welcome your comments…good, bad or indifferent.

…until next Monday

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Just do it!

Here we are the last day of the year 2018. I don’t know about all of you but I had a pretty good year. When I say that I mean my family is well and my business surpassed last year.  For me that is good, and all are healthy and happy.  I have set my goals for next year and will every quarter, review where I am and how I am doing.  So, I am asking you, my readers, friends, fellow Realtors, where are you so far into planning for next year.  Some of you may be thinking right now……”OMG, I haven’t really done anything like that yet”.  It’s OK, you can still think about where and what and when you want to be for next year.  But just so you do it.  It helps you to set goals, figure out how you will attain them, and then set a plan to accomplish it.  Remember nothing is set in stone, it can always be tweaked and redone, added on, it should be a fluid motion.  Life is not definite, neither is your plan, so not to worry.  Just do it, as I always say, or better….Suck It Up and Start!

So my fellow Realtors, don’t forget to be kind to each other, even though it isn’t easy sometimes.  May your 2019 be healthy, happy and prosperous!!

Until Next Year…

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