Monday, September 28, 2009

Destin Real Estate Broker Converts to Apple iPhone


Two weeks ago, my life changed. I finally got rid of my four year old, push-to-talk Nextel flip phone. It was literally cracked, peeling and had glue on it. But it still worked. Even though it shut off as soon as it was turned on, and had to always be turned on twice. You see, I keep equipment for a long time. I run computers to the ground for years. I am not a "trade-up" type of girl. My philosophy is "If it works, don't replace it".


But my Nextel phone was about to die. It had exposed wires, for goodness sake. So before its imminent demise, I pondered and researched. I was torn. Should I get a Blackberry or an Apple iPhone? My good friend, Bryant Tutas, loves his iPhone and is always telling me about it! My other good friend, Eric Reid, said he loves Blackberry and that iPhones were toys! So, I read all the online reviews. The fact that the iPhone did not have buttons concerned, me, since I am tactile. But in the end, I made my decision. I bought the new iPhone 3Gs 32 GB.


All I can say is WOW! Where have I been all this time? Sure it is fun! But I have immediately found its business usefulness. Here are the examples of how I am already using my phone:

I received a voicemail from a buyer on a Sunday. I "shared" the contact with my on-call agent and emailed her the lead from my iPhone. I also texted her the phone number. Saves yakking time.
I installed an application, (called an "App" and there are thousands of them ) , Palringo, which allows me to IM (instant message) my team with Microsoft Windows Messenger, so I am not even wasting texts.
I installed Fliq Notes, much better than the pre-installed note app. You can change fonts and font sizes, and easily type info. I took down a phone number while I was talking and emailed a reminder to my business email for reference - from my phone in just a few seconds.


I installed the Triple AAA Roadside App. When I am traveling, I can check for area discounts, and get a map giving me driving directions from where I am. The app also has a GPS locator to send triple AAA if I have a car emergency and need a tow.
"Where"- an App that will tell me what is nearby for shopping, restaurants, golf, Starbucks, hotels and more when I travel.
ESPN Score Center OK, Eric, I do have to have some fun! I get updated sports scores and even plays as they happen, go Yankees!
News - AP, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, more
"Shakespeare Quotes" - We have to stay educated and inspired, don't we?
"Pandora" a great App with music channels. You tell it what type of music you like and it plays similar pieces. I have a Frank Sinatra channel.
"History Lite" I give my husband a daily history test, as this App tells major events in history for that day.
Google App for iPhone It has all the Apps you use in your online account. Bryant is starting to get me hooked on this.
Facebook App for iPhone I can talk to my buddies and post and email them. Good for business networking, too.
Tweetdeck Just like the online application you use for Twitter
Safari This is Apple's web browser. You can get a readable version of Activerain and catch up on all the pleasant comments on your blog posts.
So I don't get bogged down by the hundreds of emails I get at work, I installed simply a Gmail account. I can then instantly email from my contact list or to my office when important. But the iPhone allows multiple email accounts, so I could add my full business email if I wished.


There is a great Voice Control that allows me to state a phone number to call, or a name from my contact list, or to tell the iPhone to play music from my Itunes account.
The iPhone alllows me to go online with wi-fi or through its 3G network, which is the fastest internet option currently available over cell phones (where available). I could go on and on, but I think you might be getting the picture? Oh yeah, speaking of pictures, it has a 3 megapixel camera and camcorder. I haven’t even started playing with those yet. And more.
Negatives? I am still getting used to the touchscreen keyboard. Missing push-keys takes getting used to, and I do make typos because of it. But overall, the iPhone is the most fantastic electronic tool I have purchased in years.


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Give Us Your Commission - Or Else - Extortion by Short Sale Loan Servicer

The public needs to know what is going on....

The "gentleman" from GC Services, started out saintly and well-mannered. But by the time we were through, he had ordered me to "Acknowledge" him when he spoke and "give him my money". Here is my story.....I received approval from Wells Fargo, the senior lien, for a Destin area short sale. The junior lien, Chase, is being handled by GC Services, a collection agency. On this particular loan type, Chase is required by the investor to outsource the short sale and collections.

The junior balance is $40,000. GC Services wants $13,000 to release its lien. I got them a whopping $10,000. $3,000 from Wells Fargo, $1,000 from the seller, and $6,000 from the buyer.


The "gentleman" from GC Services said that $10,000 was not enough. To make up the other $3000, he said I was to "take x% of the full commission Wells Fargo was paying", and give that to him.

Not believing my ears, I told him I wasn't "quite sure I understood" what he was saying. He then said I obviously did not understand HUD's, and that page two was to state a y% to me, and page one, x% to them. I said simply,

"NO".


The "gentleman" then stated that "if I refused, and the buyer made up the additional $3000, they would still not issue an approval" unless my commission was cut to x%. This is similar to putting your hand in someone's wallet and pulling out the money, while holding a gun to their head. I called my seller. I told her I was sorry, but "the commission cut was not allowed by our listing addendum" and explained the strong arm tactic. She understood and agreed. The sale is off. I refuse to be threatened and forced to "give" someone part of my paycheck. Would you?


(**** This decision was made with the consent and permission of the seller. The seller is a friend of mine and is perfectly happy with this negotiating tactic. We have no intention of letting this property go into foreclosure. We do however intend to stop the extortion.)




It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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110 Cabana Trail, Lakeside at Blue Mountain Beach, Santa Rosa Beach Short Sale


This refined Santa Rosa Beach Florida short sale home, adjacent to Redfish Village in the Lakeside at Blue Mountain Beach, is a wonderful design by a renowned architect. The first floor living area has warm wood flooring and old-fashioned built-ins. The breakfast bar is a mile-long custom slab of black granite with furniture spindle supports. Kitchen cooking beckons the gourmand in you with Jennaire stove and rows of bead-board cabinets, many open to display your wares. There is a built-in wine cuvee ready for your cabernets.

You can either cozy up to the fireplace in the living room or share your home with a grand party in the totally open living space. This home features two master suites, one upstairs and one down, both with exquisite bathrooms with upgraded fixtures and separate tubs. Upstairs also features a private sitting room with wetbar and refrigerator. Great location in Santa Rosa Beach-- a few steps to the new upscale Redfish Village with direct walkover access. Two air conditioning systems and a Rinnai hot water heater.This special Santa Rosa Beach short sale is close to Gulf of Mexico beaches, great shopping in Seaside, Watercolor, Rosemary Beach and Destin!
Offered at $549,900


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

15 Minutes With A New Real Estate Agent

My first talk with a new agent covers basic tenets of sales...

1. You don't "sell" people. You help them see what they want. The best definition of salesmanship I ever learned was from the original trainer, Tom Hopkins. He said "Salesmanship is crystallizing someone's thinking." You help them buy what THEY want.

2. "You talk to men differently than you talk to women, right?" WRONG. Each person is an individual. He or she may be analytical, emotional, social, etc. Relate to people in a way that is important to them. You're not going to talk about R-values and 2x4's if they care about pool parties.

Don't just show a woman where the laundry room is. I had a salesman do that to me, and I decided right then I wasn't buying.

3. When showing homes, don't talk the whole time. In fact, don't talk much. I remember the first time I was shown properties by two different agents. One talked the entire time, extolling the virtues of the home. I could not even think to know if I liked the property. The other agent was quiet and watchful. What a difference.

4. With a couple, pay attention to both partners. The one with the least words may have the most power.

5. Don't tell buyers or sellers what to do or pay. They decide what to do. You can show them facts and give them your "opinion", but that's all.

6. Qualify what you say. You don't have to know everything, either, that's ok.

7. Not every objection must be answered. Small objections are good buying signs, and they might be legitimate. "Yes, the door is in an awkward place."

8. Don't give legal advice. You are not a lawyer.

9. Document everything. Save your emails and notes. Relay and obtain important information in writing.

10. Listen. Learn.



It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Monday, September 21, 2009

How Will My Destin Short Sale Affect My Credit?


Curious what your credit score will drop when you do a short sale? You'll often read on the internet 80-100 points, sometimes less. Guess what? Sometimes it is more. I just received this email from one of my Destin short sale sellers. I sold his home a few months ago. I had asked him to check his credit score before and after the short sale. Here is his email:

"Checked on my credit score with Transunion and went from 780 (Excellent top 2 percent) to 633 (Rated poor to good). I was anticipating somewhere around 680 and disappointed that big of a drop."

My Destin short sale seller only had one mortgage loan on his home. So, six missed payments and a short sale caused a 147 point drop. I don't know the other variables he had that may have affected his credit, like high charge card debt, etc. But his drop is more than what is often quoted for a short sale.

A short sale or foreclosure are both similar derogatory events on your FICO score. However, a short sale will have a lesser impact on your future ability to borrow than a foreclosure or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Fannie Mae, the nation's largest backer of mortgages, has guidelines that favor those who do short sales versus foreclosures or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. In fact, you may be able to purchase a new home immediately if you have no missed payments and were not required to sign a promissory note or deficiency judgment was not entered. Otherwise, the waiting time is normally only 2 years after a short sale to buy a new home.

If you do a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (turning in the keys) you will have to wait 4 years to apply for a mortgage with restrictions up to 7 years If you do a "walk-away" foreclosure, you will have to wait 5 years with even more stringent borrowing terms and a credit score of at least 680.

Additionally, your chances of a deficiency judgment may be less with a short sale, since you are working with your lender to resolve the problem. In other words, with a short sale, your lender is not "taking" your property back and you are not leaving it in their lap.


So, don't just focus on your credit score when contemplating your alternatives. Compared to foreclosure, a short sale may be your best choice when it comes to your future financial security.


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Amalfi Coast Condo - Destin Short Sale


Come home to Destin Florida! Your Amalfi Coast short sale condo, in Miramar Beach is gorgeous and spacious! Great furnishings, full size bedrooms. Unit overlooks lavish grounds, pool, and tree-top view of gulf.
Walk to private beach across the street on the Gulf of Mexico. Sprawling eight-acre complex with two pools, one heated, two tennis courts, pond, bridge, covered parking.
Amalfi condos have easy access to Silver Sands shopping, Baytowne Wharf, Destin Commons and excellent restaurants. Short Sale.
Offered at $297,700.


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Luau Condo, Sandestin Short Sale, Destin Florida


Crisp Sandestin condo with Scandinavian flair, gulf views! Your Luau condo is close to Finz restaurant and a quick walk to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico! Enjoy the property's expansive rooftop observation deck for sunset cocktails, workout center, huge saltwater pool with a exotic waterfall, hot tub, kid's pool, more. Nearby shopping at Market Shoppes, Baytowne Wharf, Destin Commons and Grand Boulevard. This unit can be 2 bedrooms or one bedroom with lock-out and grosses about $25,000 without a winter renter. Sandestin Florida is an amazing gated resort lifestyle center with gorgeous landscaping, restaurants, pools, tennis, shopping, golf, fishing, boating and more. This Destin Florida short sale offers the life you've been waiting for!Short sale price: $307,700

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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232 Limestone Circle, Crestview Florida Short Sale

This great Crestview Florida short sale home at 232 Limestone Circle is south of I-10 in the Redstone subdivision. Striking cathedral, plant ledges and open floor plan! Walk into this inviting brick home and see a huge open area that includes a large formal dining area on your left, which separates the master from the guest rooms. To your right is a large kitchen with an island and breakfast bar, which is open to the living area. There are many and well placed windows, giving natural light. The master bath has a double vanity and garden tub with shower. Excellent commuting from this Crestview Florida house to Eglin Air Force Base, Duke Field and Destin shopping and beaches. Short Sale.

Offered at $137,700


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Top "Short Sale Lender Goofs" for The Week!


As a Destin Florida short sale listing specialist, I've seen almost every crazy thing that can happen waiting for an approval. This week was no exception. Here are the top short sale lender goofs of the week:

1. Bank of America: File Erroneously Declined in India. Destin short sale appraisal in March was $950,000. "Drive By BPO" done in August was 1.5 million, $100,000 higher! File was then declined as "insufficient" offer. After I pointed out the minor discrepancy (our market is still declining, not going up 10%), the negotiator is re-opening. She said the decision to close the file was probably done in "India" without looking at all the facts, to "keep down underpriced offers".

2. Suntrust: Counters Wrong Offer. I received a counter offer $180,000 from Suntrust on a Destin condo. The buyer stayed firm at his original $170,000. The negotiator said the buyer's offer of $140,000 was too low. HUHH??? Suntrust imaging department had sent her the wrong file in my seller’s name. If she had known, she said she would not have countered. Buyer almost walked.

3. Regency Credit: Lets File Lapse and Go Back to Chase. Seems like I was dealing with Cousin Vinnie at this collection agency for a Santa Rosa Beach short sale. They're offered $5000 as a junior lien, reject it, and ask for more documents from seller. All this while they knew they were losing the file back to Chase the next day, and they have nothing to show for it.

4. ASC Rejects HUD After Closing- Threatens to Rescind Approval. ASC's approval letter states a required minimum net and closing cost limit, but nothing more specific. On this Navarre Florida short sale, the day after closing, ASC said that although they exceeded their net, they would refuse the closing because the appraisal credit was over $400, and that is all they would allow, among other HUD issues. Attorney for seller told them they would lose in court, but changed around the HUD to appease them.
Those were my Top "Short Sale Lender Goofs" this week, what were yours?


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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Florida Broker License Continuing Education



ZZZZzzzz.... I studied all weekend for my Florida Broker license renewal, due in two weeks (why wait?). The reading material started out as a snore-- rules, regulations, fines and statutes. But I woke up and learned some interesting, unusual and cool facts about real estate:
Did you know?

1. Benjamin Franklin started the first insurance company in the United States in 1752. He formed the Philadelphia Contribution for the Insurances of Houses from Loss by Fire. He was a really smart man!

2. Only 58% of real estate companies have Errors and Omissions Insurance to cover negligent acts of their agents (I find that incredible).

3. The biggest cause of Errors and Omissions claims is misrepresentation. You said it wrong, or didn’t say it when you should have. Don't do this.

4. Owners can get title insurance to cover 29 extra risks for 10% more than the a regular title premium, called Florida 9 Endorsement. Lenders always get it. I think owners should, too. Covers things like previous owner permit violations, encroachments, lack of physical access to the property (versus legal access) and more. Hmmm, maybe your home is now surrounded by a moat?

5. Florida foreclosures - the superior liens are property taxes, special assessment liens and federal real estate taxes, to be paid before mortgages.

6. More than 65% of Florida real estate agents have sold at least one property to a foreign investor. Have you?

7. If you receive $10,000 in cash from a buyer for one sale or two or more related sales in a year, you must report this to the IRS… It's because of the Bank Secrecy Act!

8. If you think there has been money laundering in one of your sales you must report it to the IRS and use Form 8300. Bank Secrecy Act again. But then, you might want to call the FBI, too!

9. Flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program is NOT guaranteed replacement value, it's just the coverage limit. By the way, that old jalopy you're working on in the garage that floats away in a storm is not covered!

10. The first "Earth Day" was April 22, 1970.... ZZzzzzzzzzzzzz!

Anyway, tomorrow I send in my test so wish me luck!

It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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