Ep. 11 – Real Estate Relationships

Matthew Maschler:
Welcome to the Real Estate Finder podcast. I’m Matthew Maschler, the real estate finder. I’m a real estate broker in the state of Florida. My website is realestate finder.com. You can find me on social media, Matthew Ashler, on Twitter and Instagram. And if you search podcasts, just search my name and you’ll find this and my other podcast and maybe eventually some more podcasts. So I’m enjoying podcasting here at the Secret Cave Pod Populi in the Pink Plaza in Boca Raton. And I’m here with my cohost
Staci Garcia:
Stacy Garcia, also a real estate finder. And if you’re looking for me, I’m Stacy Lynn, LYN, Garcia, everywhere. And on the social medias, I’m Stacy Smail, S-T-A-C-I-S-M-A-I-L, everywhere, all over. And if you’re looking for real estate and you don’t want to have a HO, I’m www.nohoaboca.com.
Matthew Maschler:
And we’ve discussed the pros and cons of HOAs here on the show before, and I believe there’s another podcast here that records on the Pot Populi Radio network that’s all about HOA communities. So shout out to our friends over at Crazy Rich Neighbors. Anyway, today when I was a kid, there was one word I wasn’t allowed to say in my house, and that word was the B word boring or I’m bored.
Staci Garcia:
I have that rule at my house as
Matthew Maschler:
Well. You have that rule. That was the one thing we couldn’t say. So I’m not going to say that today’s episode is going to be intentionally boring. I’m going to say today’s episode is going to be a little bit dry. I like to teach, I like understanding what words mean and the differences between words. And sometimes when Stacey and I talk, I’d be like, well, why don’t I just answer that on the podcast? I could talk about that for like an hour and a half,
Staci Garcia:
And I ask a lot of questions.
Matthew Maschler:
So, okay, today I want to talk to you about agency and being an agent, not being a real estate agent, just the word agent. An agent is a person that acts on behalf of somebody else. So in the real estate context, the agent, it’s acting on behalf of the seller or the buyer of real estate. The seller’s agent markets the home and shows the home and tries to sell the home on behalf of the seller. The buyer’s agent tries to find a home for the buyer and negotiates the price of the home for the buyer. But an agent is a person that acts on behalf of somebody else. And obviously the most famous agent would be James Bond, right? He’s a secret agent. He said,
Staci Garcia:
I thought the most famous agent would be Jerry McGuire.
Matthew Maschler:
Jerry McGuire sports agent, right? A sports agent, a sports agent would on behalf of the player, right? If you’re a professional football or basketball player, you got to train and focus on your skills, and you don’t want to focus on the business of being you, right? A movie star. Their agent would try to find them roles and try to negotiate the fees, because if you’re a classically trained actor, maybe negotiating your contract is not in your wheelhouse. So in those situations, you hire an agent to act on your behalf. So that’s what an agent is. Back to James Bond, he’s right. He’s a secret agent. He’s an agent of the government of the Queen. He’s such a great agent. The double Os, they’re allowed to kill on behalf of the government, on behalf of the Queen. That’s the essence of being a double O. So James Bond, a secret agent or a covert agent, is an agent of the government.
Jerry McGuire is an agent of a football player, a real estate agent being the agent of a buyer or a seller. So back in the day in Florida and Florida didn’t recognize a buyer’s agent, a buyer’s agent, way back 20, 30 years ago, if a seller of real estate had an agent to market their home. The agent represented the seller. When a buyer came along with a buyer’s agent, Florida law treated the buyer’s agent as a subagent of the seller. Florida never allowed dual agency, but Florida didn’t recognize that the buyer’s agent was a separate agent. Also, on working on behalf of the buyer, Florida acknowledged believed that the cooperating agent was acting on behalf of the seller and sharing in that commission, which was obviously difficult for buyers to be unrepresented if what they thought was their agent was actually an agent of the seller was very uncomfortable.
Buyers in Florida didn’t have representation, so they revamped the Florida laws on agency, and they formed three different relationships that a real estate agent in Florida can have with their real estate customer. Now, remember what I said before, dual agency is not allowed in Florida, you cannot be an agent for both the seller and the buyer. It would be very difficult to act on behalf of both parties. So Florida created what was called a transaction broker, and they went so far as to presume that all real estate agents were acting as a transaction broker unless it was determined or discussed or agreed that they would act in a different capacity. The three capacities are single agent, transaction, broker, and no agency relationship. I want to talk about transaction broker first. The transaction broker provides a limited form of representation to a buyer or seller or both in a real estate transaction. They do not represent either in any capacity or as a single agent.
Also, I want to add a word fiduciary. Now, fiduciary is the highest form of agency. A fiduciary is set to very high standards. They have to be extremely loyal, and they owe certain duties to the principal, to the person that they’re an agent for. Real estate agents in Florida are not fiduciaries at all. Even in the single agency transaction, there’s no fiduciary relationship established. Stockbrokers are not fiduciaries. Sometimes you hear real estate agents talk, especially in national groups, well have a fiduciary duty. Florida does not have fiduciary duties for their agents. So a transaction broker represents both or one party or both. Pursuant to Florida law, and these are the duties of a transaction broker. These are the responsibilities they have to deal honestly and fairly with the other side, with the other parties, if you represent the buyer with the seller and the seller’s agent, if you represent the seller with the buyer and the buyer’s agent.
So the real estate licensee always has to act deal honestly and fairly. They have to account for all funds. If they’re holding any money in trust, they have to use skill care and diligence in a transaction. They have to disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer. So if something is pretty obvious, the agent doesn’t have the duty to disclose it. But if the agent knows a material fact that’s not readily available, readily observable to the buyer, that affects the value of the real estate, they have to disclose it. Sellers also have this obligation that a buyer to a buyer, what is a material fact? Well, a known fact is clear if you know about the fact, if it materially affects the value could be arguable. So I’m going to put that aside for a second because I could talk for an hour on that disclosure.
But real estate transaction brokers, they have to deal honestly and fairly account for all funds, use skill, care and diligence, disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of the property and are not readily observable. They have to present all offers and counter offers in a timely manner. There’s a limited confidentiality only limited, and unless it’s waived in writing by any party, they do have a limited amount of confidentiality that they can be. So that allows them to be trusted. If your buyer tells you what your maximum or their minimum is, they have a limited amount of confidentiality in the transaction broker relationship. And Florida law presumes that this is the case. When someone enters into a real estate contract or a real estate relationship hires a realtor says, I want to go see this house. Florida law presumes that unless discussed and in writing, it’s a transaction broker, not no relationship or the single agent relationship.
So let’s talk about a single agent for a second. In the single agent relationship, the licensee, they have the same duty of dealing honestly and unfairly, but they have an additional duty of loyalty. They have to be loyal to their customer. They have a much, much higher degree of confidentiality, of obedience and full disclosures to their customer. So if you represent the seller as a single agent and you know something you really have to tell your seller, you can’t hide that disclosure from your seller. Those four items, in addition to all the other duties of a transaction broker, are added in a single agency relationship. Loyalty, confidentiality, obedience, and full disclosure, the other duties of the transaction broker are included, accounting for all funds, skill care, diligence, presenting all offers and condo offers in a timely manner and disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the property and are not readily available.
So you have a single agency, single agent relationship, and a transaction broker. If you represent the seller as a single agent and a buyer comes to you directly, a lot of people think, okay, I could just get another agent in my office to represent them. No, the agency relationship flows down from the broker. In Florida, you have a broker and you have sales associates. Most real estate agents are sales associates. They work for a broker. Ben Shackter and I are the brokers of signature Real Estate finder, Stacy, Jill, Danny who you’ve met some other agents who you haven’t met yet, but maybe you will, are agents of signature Real Estate finder. So if one of my agents, if Stacy or Jill enters into a single agent relationship with a customer that binds all agents at Signature Real Estate Finder, I’m pretty sure with Ben being the broker, it would bind all agents at the signature real estate companies to the single agent relationship.
So if a buyer comes in, they can’t be represented by another signature agent. Now what you do in that situation, the practical thing to do is say to your customer, Hey, Mr. Smith, I know we entered into a single agent relationship. One of my other agents found a buyer. We’d like to represent them as well, and you can sign a form and transfer from a single agent relationship to the transaction broker relationship, and then you can go ahead and be transaction brokers and finish the deal. Otherwise, you have to refer that buyer outside of the company. So those are the two relationships, transaction broker being much, much more common and being the presumption. The third relationship in Florida is the no broker relationship, no rule, no relationship. In a no brokerage relationship, the broker still owes the duty of dealing honestly and fairly disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of the real property and are not readily observable.
That stays, that’s a seller’s obligation, and that’s any real estate licensee’s obligation. So even in a no relationship if you’re licensed by the state of Florida, you have to disclose those three things, known material facts, known facts that materially affect the value and are not readily observable. That’s the standard. And then in addition to that, they have to deal honestly and fairly, as I said, and account for all funds. If they receive any money, they have to account for those funds, but no other duties exist. They don’t have to use skill or care or diligence. They don’t have to present offers in a timely manner, and that’s the no brokerage relationship. It’s not that common. I guess you only really find it in a flat fee situation. Why this came up today is because we were entering a new listing yesterday into the MLS. The Multiple Listing Service is the database of all the listings for sale.
And when you’re a member of an association, associations are voluntary, you get licensed by the state, but then you have to join an association. And I’m a member of several associations. Signature Real Estate Finders, a member of several. Our primary one is the realtors of Broward, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties. That’s the name. When I joined, it was the RAPB, the Realtors Association of Palm Beach. They merged with Broward, so it became Realtors Association of Palm Beach and Greater Fort Lauderdale. And then they merged with St. Lucie, and now it’s called the Realtors of Broward, Palm Beach. And St. Lucy Boca Raton was conveniently left out of that name, and that’s our primary association. When you join an association, you have an access to the association’s multiple Listing Service, and the multiple listing service is, it’s a database of all listings. What I was trying to remember to say was, as a member of the association, I’m obligated to enter my listings into the multiple listing service.
I’m not allowed to put it in my pocket, not tell anyone, have to put it in the multiple listing service might be allowed to put it in my pocket and not tell anyone as long as I didn’t market it. But we can go into that on a different day. So enter the property in the multiple listing service, and I present an offer of compensation to other agents, agents at other firms that may want to show my property and bring a customer to my property. I have to offer compensation to them. Otherwise, why would they try to sell one of my listings? So in the MLS, you have the offer of compensation and you can offer a different amount based on which relationship the agent and the customer have. So in the fields, as you’re entering the information, it says, how much are you offering a single agent who brings a buyer?
And you can offer a dollar, right? You could offer 10%, 3%, two point a half percent are what I see the most. Often, there are no standards. Realtor fees are negotiable in Florida, but usually what I see is two point a half and 3%, especially in this market, a seller’s market. I’m seeing more two point a half than I am. Three. In a buyer’s market, you can see three and a half and four. So how much are you offering to a single agent that brings a buyer? How much are you offering to a transaction broker that brings a buyer? And how much are you offering to a real estate agent who has the no brokerage relationship, a flat fee, MLS type of buyer of agent? I never see it on the buy side. I suppose it’s possible, especially today with ibu. I never see it on the buy side. I do see a lot in the MLS of people putting in a very, very low amount for the no agent relationship. So if someone’s putting in 3% for single agent and 3% for transaction broker, they might be putting 1% or 0.1% in for the no brokerage relationship. I’m not a hundred percent sure why someone would do that.
Staci Garcia:
I know why, because they don’t know what it means.
Matthew Maschler:
Yes, yes. If you don’t know,
Staci Garcia:
And that’s why we’re having this conversation today. I do study the MLS constantly, and these are things that pop up for me. And I say, why is this 3, 3, 1? Why is this three zero? I see this constantly. I’m like, I don’t understand what’s the difference here? And this is, I think, how we got on this discussion,
Matthew Maschler:
Right? And that’s why I thought, why don’t I record it? It is a lot of words, and it’s important for homeowners to understand the three different relationships. It’s important for agents to understand three different relationships. I think of myself more of a teacher, and if I’m teaching a class right now, for any of my agents that may want to listen to me or learn more from me or any agents out there or homeowners out there, or potential homeowners out there to understand the agency relationships in Florida, did I make it clear? Do you understand it better? Now, those three spots in the MLS, when you are listing your property and you’re putting in two and a half percent to a buyer’s agent, single agent transaction broker, what I said before about not understanding why someone would do it, you’re a hundred percent right. People are going to put in $1 or 1% or 0.1% just because they don’t know. And it’s like, well, if someone’s going to come in and they’re not represented, then I have to do double work, and maybe I have to write the offer and such like that. But it is a licensee that’s bringing the buyer. So they will be,
Speaker 3:
I’m going to make them an offer they can’t refuse and refuse.
Matthew Maschler:
So even the non brokerage, the non-agent relationship can make an offer. We were playing with the buttons here into the podcast studio. So yeah, so maybe they’re not understanding the relationship and they just said, Hey, if I have to think about this or learn something, I’m getting paid for my time.
Staci Garcia:
It’s learning things. It’s always a distraction to doing things. So I constantly am thinking I want to get things done, but if I don’t know about it, I do look and see what other people write. And I think that a lot of agents do it, and that’s why it’s so popular to write 1% for an unrepresented or
Matthew Maschler:
A last one. No brokerage relationship.
Staci Garcia:
No brokerage. But the other thing is when you have a client and you’re putting in a listing and your goal is to put in the listing and also bring the buyer, you’re a listing agent and you want to, they say double end it. You want to get the buyer for your own listing. My buyer says to me, well, if that happens, how do I know you’re really working for me? What would you say?
Matthew Maschler:
Well, you can certainly point to the licensing law. Now you have to know what the licensing law is, but you’re licensed by the state of Florida, regulated by the Division of Business and Professional Regulation, and you have the obligation to deal honestly and fairly with your customer to use skill care and diligence and to present all offers. You have a limited confidentiality. So don’t me your bottom line, right? Don’t tell me the lease I’ll accept for. But truthfully, if the buyer comes in, Mr. Seller, I’ve known you for a while. You chose me, I, I’m working for you. There’s nothing that’s preventing me from representing you fairly and squarely, and nothing I’m going to do with this buyer to jeopardize that, to jeopardize our relationship because this buyer is new to me. Now, I will treat the buyer fairly. I will fulfill my legal obligations and I’ll fulfill my salesman business obligations to the buyer. But in truth, what’s the difference? If you’re talking to the buyer directly or if you’re talking to the buyer’s agent, they’re going to tell you the same words. You have a lot more control when you’re dealing with a buyer in general, you’re negotiating the price, but it’s not like you’re going to team up with the buyer to get the seller. So I shouldn’t say there’s nothing in it for you. Yes, you’re getting that second side of the commission.
Staci Garcia:
What my original answer would be, I just was asked this question by my seller, I understand, Stacy, you want to bring the buyer and you want to get more commission. Obviously, what’s to say that you are working for me though in my best interest? Well, I mean, first of all, I want to get repeat business from you. Number one, and I appreciate the business. I’ve already gotten number two and I’m an honest person. Number three, but also I want to do the best job possible and get the most money for you, then I get paid more. So the more money that I get for you, the higher my commission will be, right? Why would I want to negotiate down for the buyer?
Matthew Maschler:
A lot of times the seller will say to us, well, if you bring the buyer, I want to pay you less. And my reaction to that is, if I do my job well, you want to pay me less. I don’t view bringing a buyer to this listing, my buyers, I’m going to get half a commission, half a sale from my buyers. I’m going to get half a sale from my sellers and half a sale from my buyers. If my buyers and sellers match up, that’s great, but if they don’t match up, it’s the same money to me. So Mr. Seller, really the reason why it’s okay for you, if a buyer comes to me unrepresented, that’s a win for you. Because if they come to me, because obviously I want to sell your property, but if you’re going to offer me less money, if you’re going to ding me, my financial motive with this buyer will be to sell ’em something else.
Okay? There’s a similar, maybe not in this seller’s market, but there’s other houses out there. So if you’re going to reduce my commission, if I do a great job and bring you one of my buyers, I’m going to bring my buyer to a different property, whether it’s a signature real estate finder property or my competitor’s property. If I could bring my buyer to a competitor’s property to make more money, that’s not in your best interest. So it’s definitely in your best interest to let me bring my buyers to buy your house and to pay the buyer side commission on that, because otherwise I’m going to take my buyer elsewhere. So that’s really the answer to the question. You want me to bring my buyers? You’re hiring me to bring my buyers, and it doesn’t cost you any different.
Staci Garcia:
Okay, man, I could come up with a thousand reasons why it’s best to bring your own buyer because you have more control over steering your buyer, not steering in a bad way, steering your buyer,
Matthew Maschler:
Directing or
Staci Garcia:
Advising, helping your buyer. See what the good, awesome things are about your own listing. You’re the best person to know about what’s great about your listing,
Matthew Maschler:
And sometimes you can’t. When a buyer comes with a buyer’s agent transaction broker, but someone representing them, you can’t get to them yet. You’re talking to the agent. So it’s telephone game, you’re a couple of steps removed from the process. So I can really sell better. I can really show, and I can build a rapport with a buyer better when it’s my buyer. So all of these things is why Florida allows this to happen and why Florida defaults to the transaction broker relationship. And with those duties that come with the transaction broker, that’s really what protects the seller in that situation. So to sum it up, an agent is someone who can act on behalf of someone else. In Florida, real estate agents are presumed to be transaction brokers unless entered in writing to be something else, either a single agent or no agent. There is no dual agency in Florida. There’s no disclosed dual agent. Some states do call it a disclosed dual agent where they disclose to their customer that they’re representing both sides, but that is not the case in Florida, Florida. Anytime you see or hear dual agency, you just want to say, well, that’s not Florida. So I’m hoping that answered Stacey’s questions, and I’m hoping that you’re not using the B word to describe this episode of the Century Real Estate Find Podcast.
Staci Garcia:
No, that answered my questions. A lot of times I read them and I don’t understand people put what they put in the MLS. So I asked Matt, why does it say this and should I be writing this as well? And he’s like, no, absolutely not. That’s wrong.
Matthew Maschler:
You’re trying to entice people to come see your property. Why would you tell someone who chooses to be have the no brokerage relationship? Why would you tell them not to see your property and to see a different property instead? So people do it, they try to game the system. I think you’re right that people, once one person puts it in for lower than other people, put it in for lower. But I think it’s just done out of ignorance. And hopefully, if you’ve listened to my podcast, you’ve learned the different agency relationships, and you can use that knowledge. If you have any questions about it, you can reach out to me, Matt, at realestate finder.com or www.realestate finder.com or the Real Estate Finder podcast, Facebook page,
Staci Garcia:
Facebook page. And in the future, I’d like to talk about limited service listings as well. Even though it’s super boring, and I’m not going to use the boring word, I’m not allowed to use it in my house and none of my kids are as well, but is that while I’m looking for properties for my clients to buy, and I see something that’s listed as a limited service listing, I actually scroll right past it and I don’t want to show it.
Matthew Maschler:
Okay, well, I like it. You do? Sure. Because I like taking that control. I like not having somebody weak on the other side. So it does raise red flags. Why would someone enter into this? Either it’s a bank or an REO situation, or it’s someone who’s trying to sell the house by owner and they’ve paid someone a couple of dollars to enter it into the multiple listing service. Now, before you scroll through, check the offer of compensation. Are they offering a dollar or are they offering? Well,
Staci Garcia:
I do. I do check. And of course, that’s a whole conversation we could have, right? About what you offer the person who’s bringing the buyer. I do check that I had a person call me last night and tell me that my sellers were incredibly cheap because my percentage that I’m offering a buyer is a buyer’s agent, is lower than it should be. And that even if that’s the case, he still wants to bring me his buyer. So I said, why even bother bringing it up if you calling me and you want to buy the house that I have listed,
Matthew Maschler:
Right? He created an antagonistic relationship from the very beginning. You have to remind that agent that commissions in Florida are negotiable. There are no standard commissions. It’s negotiable. There is no sacred number that we’ve all agreed to set a price at that would be illegal, that would be anticompetitive and monopoly. And agents are free to set their offers of compensation where they’d like it to be. That’s why I hate hate the word discount or discount commissions or discount broker. It could be a limited service broker, but it’s not a discount broker. You can’t have a discount if there’s no set rate. So this person, now, he did the right thing because if you want to show a property, if you feel that the offer of compensation is too low, if someone does try to game the system by putting a dollar in for the offer of compensation, the right time to do it is before showing. You can negotiate to get a different rate, but in your situation, you didn’t put it in for a dollar. So I don’t understand.
Staci Garcia:
No. And you know what? I’m representing the seller clearly in a seller’s market. So we’re definitely not desperate for this guy to come in and try to negotiate a new rate for representing his buyer.
Matthew Maschler:
It’s a seller’s market, and there are no properties for sale.
Staci Garcia:
But I was enjoying the opportunity of the conversation at first when he told me about, I’m like, he goes, I can avoid all of this and my client will buy your house by your listing without you’re listing, without it ever hitting the market coming soon. And he also told me that aside from telling me that my client was cheap, that he knew that it would be in my client’s best interest to avoid showing the house altogether, we could bypass that whole showing and opening the house up to potential foot
Matthew Maschler:
Truck. How could he avoid that
Staci Garcia:
By buying it before it ever hits the market,
Matthew Maschler:
By making an offer,
Staci Garcia:
Right? Well, right.
Speaker 3:
I’m going to make him an offer and can’t refuse, can refuse.
Staci Garcia:
And then I said, do you know my client? And he said, no. I’m like, well, how do you know my client isn’t excited about having a bidding war? I mean, that’s what’s going on right now. Everybody is, if you have a house in demand in an area where there are no houses for sale, and it’s in a price point where it’s perfectly legit that people are going to pay full top offer before it even hits the market, and I’ve gotten a lot of calls that are full price right now offer, and it has not hit the market. I said to the guy, what is it that you know that I don’t know, my client can’t wait for this house to hit the market. So his target was off in his approach.
Matthew Maschler:
So I’m going to bring up another topic that this reminded me of. When someone wants to sell their property, they sign a listing agreement, often, but not required. When working with a buyer, you can ask the buyer to sign a buyer broker agreement. And in a buyer broker agreement, you can set terms that me as an agent for the buyer, that the buyer will compensate me with a minimum compensation. And let’s say you create a 3% or two and a half percent. If the offer of compensation in the MLS is less, you could always seek that from the buyer. Now, you’re going to want to let the buyer know in advance, and you’re going to want to think about that when you’re crafting your offer. But that is one of the ways we can avoid situations where the offer of compensation, the MLS is a dollar or 1% or what you would feel is too low or not worth your time by having the buyer pay it.
And what’s important about that and why the buyer wants to agree to something like that is because especially in the seller’s market, sometimes we find properties that aren’t listed, right? If they’re not listed, then we’re not getting a cooperation offer of compensation from the MLS. Sometimes if the property is bank owned or if it’s a foreclosure and you bid on the foreclosure, or if it’s just a property that you know about, you want that buyer broker agreement signed between the buyer and the buyer’s agent, so that way the buyer’s agent can be compensated in situations where the offer of comp in the MLS isn’t sufficient for the buyer. And that’s one of the reasons why buyer broker agreements are becoming more and more popular, not just in Florida, but all across the country.
Staci Garcia:
And one of the things that I find that, of course, the buyer broker is important, a lot of times people will just look at the MLS and they’ll say, well, there’s nothing for sale. And maybe they’ll wait. And they put safe searches everywhere, listing Zillow and every other service and their agent. And if you’re industrious, and I know that most real estate agents that are making money are every house is for sale, right? Matt?
Matthew Maschler:
Well, maybe,
Staci Garcia:
Well, every house is for sale if you’re coming with the right price.
Matthew Maschler:
I don’t know if someone, I mean, don’t know what the price is for my house.
Staci Garcia:
Well, one day, if someone came to you and said to you, Matt, I like your house and I want to buy it, and they gave you this certain amount, you’d say, wow, Wendy, I know we weren’t going to sell our house, but
Matthew Maschler:
It would have to be a lot
Staci Garcia:
Of money. But I’m just saying it would’ve to be a
Matthew Maschler:
Lot of money.
Staci Garcia:
So my client couldn’t find the house that they wanted and what happens? And my client said, I have no HOA clients, so I can just walk right up to a house, knock on the door and say, hi, I know your house is not for sale, but my client wants to buy it. Would you consider selling it? And if so, what would you like for your house? How much do you want in this market that is happening? And I have people knock on my door all the time, all the time, all the time, every day. So when people pull up, I don’t think it’s unusual when someone pulls up in front and walks straight up to my door and my ring and my kids are like, who’s at the door? I’m like, I don’t know. Let me check. And someone says, is your house for sale? I would like to buy it. So in this case, if they have a buyer broker and the agent is industrious, they could probably find a house that’s technically not for sale, but would be for sale, and they would make their 3% if that’s what their buyer broker said.
Matthew Maschler:
And I’ve done that with success before. But in this market, I mean, there are stories of people getting that people are knocking on their door every single day and they just want to.
Staci Garcia:
I do though. I do have people park right in my corner and knock on. And plus, I live in my neighborhood bus stop. So people do ask me all the time, and I find that it’s a great marketing. Obviously I don’t have to do anything to get clients. My clients are coming to me knocking on my door. But at the same time, my client said to me, I want a house in this neighborhood, and I can’t seem to find one. My recommendation for her, instead of me, is your real estate agent knocking on the door. How about you just take your dog for a walk and knock on the door yourself?
Matthew Maschler:
Absolutely.
Staci Garcia:
And not, that’s not coming from, I don’t want to do my job. It’s coming from, it’s more authentic. If the person knocks on the door and says, I really love your house, and if you’re even considering moving, here’s my phone number. I would call that person first before I would call an agent if I live there,
Matthew Maschler:
Because you could avoid the real estate, real estate
Staci Garcia:
Agent. Well, I find it more endearing. I want to give my house to the person that really cared enough to knock on the door.
Matthew Maschler:
Plus, sometimes the homeowner may not believe the agent really has a buyer that they’re just looking for listings. So if the actual homeowner does come in, you might find less resistance from even entering into the conversation. So I think that is definitely a very, very good strategy. I know I employed it when I was looking to buy a house a very, very, very long time ago when I still lived in New Jersey, some of what I did in New Jersey, I wasn’t licensed, so I was buying and selling everything for sale by owner. It’s one of the reasons why when I came to Florida, I just figured I would get my license because if you can’t beat ’em, join them.
Staci Garcia:
Well, I’m sure everybody feels that way here. And the funny thing about, we’re talking about this briefly, the funny thing about the real estate agent in getting a real estate license in Florida is that pretty much everybody’s a real estate agent here, but the real estate actual, the exam is not really based on doing the job. It’s based on the rules you need to follow in order to keep your job.
Matthew Maschler:
The course is understanding the licensing law, how to renew your license, how long your license is valid for the course is not how to be a real estate agent. If you want to learn how to be a real estate agent after you get your license, give me a call. Realestate finder.com. We’re always looking for new agents. If you’re interviewing brokers, we have a website called broker questions.com. And if you click on what to Ask, there’s some great things to consider when choosing a real estate broker. So we have that website at Signature Real Estate Companies, what to ask when interviewing brokers, but just come on and join realestate finder.com.
Staci Garcia:
And it’s really one of the things that’s great about working with Real Estate Finder, and I just, I’m not trying to plug the company, but what we don’t know, someone does know. So what I don’t know, someone knows really well, and I have no problem asking questions. And just like Matt, I like to teach what I do know. So if someone comes in that’s new, I’m more than happy to help them with something. I’m a hundred percent confident that I know how to do. And if I don’t know how to do it, I definitely ask for help. There’s a school, there’s a website, there’s a helpline and everything else. I have a friend that applied that got her license and went to work for another company. And then it was like crickets. No one answered the phone. No one helped her. She had no mentor.
And how was she going to get leads? How was she going to do the actual job? You don’t learn how to do the job through the class, through the licensing. So unless you basically follow someone, and I’m a second generation real estate agent. My mom did it for 20 years here in the same spot, in the exact same place. So I look at it like I watched her do it and I lived, and I’m doing it exactly the way she did, and I’m successful. But not because I watched her. I wouldn’t have known any of the things that I know now. And my mom had none of the technology. I feel like it’s none of the technology. No, we’re like in the bat cave of all technology now. My mom had the key chain like Schneider, in order to get into all these places. There was no lockbox and she had little buttons and stuff.
Matthew Maschler:
Schneider was the super on an old 1970s television show, so the superintendent of the building, and I guess he had a big key ring, like a jailer. But yeah, that’s a pretty old reference. Did your mom live in a no, HOA community?
Staci Garcia:
Yes, briefly. My mom lived on Northwest Wavecrest way, right near the beach. Gotcha. And my mom lived everywhere. She was a real estate agent. So real estate agents are notorious for when you find something cool as you’re showing it to someone else and they don’t want it, you’re like, oh, they don’t want it. I think I’ll check this place out. And my mom moved every year after high school. When I went to college, she lived on the beach and she lived in several different places on the beach. And so every time I came home, it was to a different place, which was cool and fun. I got a different vibe every time I came to visit my mom. And when she got a really great place on the beach, I came home to live with my mom. I was like, your place is better than mine. Yeah, we did have a no HOA, which was fun, but I grew up in the HA world
Matthew Maschler:
When I knew your mom, she definitely lived in an H HOA community, I
Staci Garcia:
Think. Yeah. And my mom, you know what? My mom sold the HOA lifestyle, the country club, everything. Her whole sales pitch was about the country club. I get mailings from people who say, I’ve been in real estate for 27 years, and I know everything there is to know you should hire me to sell your house. I have a buyer for your house, but they don’t live in your neighborhood. And for me, my pet peeve is if they’re living in Miami, they don’t know everything there is to know about anything in Boca Raton.
Matthew Maschler:
There is no way anyone knows everything there is to know.
Staci Garcia:
So when it says, I’ve got all this experience, I’ve got 27 years of experience, that’s great. And I’m glad for the people that, but you know what? If my mom was still doing real estate right now, she wouldn’t be the best because of the amount of years she’d been doing it. The technology is just completely different. She would have the history and the knowledge of the area. Any person that’s been doing real estate for any amount of time, I respect that they have endurance and they can keep doing it. It does wear you down. But I always feel like the people who live in the area know the most about the area. And I was talking about this topic with another agent of ours, because I was helping her clients, and we were standing in the flight pattern of the Raton Airport, and flights were landing above our head.
And you know what? They stood there in the middle of the street and they said, this is a really loud street. The airplanes keep landing. And this was when during the election when none of the planes could land in West Palm, they had to land in Boca. So I said, well, this is slightly unusual because no one can land in West Palm at the moment, but this would be if the president got reelected, this would be happening again. And they said, we don’t want to live in this neighborhood. We don’t want to live in a flight path. And the landing pattern, and you know what? There’s no section on the MLS that says, is this flight in flight path? In a flight path? But if you know the area, I mean a person who’s worked in the industry for 27 years that claims to know the area and know best and be the best person, they’re not going to be the best person if they don’t know the flight path and they live in Miami.
Matthew Maschler:
There’s a lot to know with river riders if they’re barking in your
Staci Garcia:
Backyard.
Matthew Maschler:
I don’t know if there are river rodders barking in my backyard or not.
Staci Garcia:
Well, you would know. You do know.
Matthew Maschler:
Well, once you live in the house, right?
Staci Garcia:
Well,
Matthew Maschler:
The question is, is that a defect that materially affects the value of the house?
Staci Garcia:
I just recently sold a few months ago a condo in Boca where there were otters in the backyard. And I thought it was one of the best things I’ve ever seen in Boca, and I’ve been here since 1986.
Matthew Maschler:
I recently, I’m trying to set up a listing appointment for someone who just bought a house. They’re new to Boca. They came down from Fort Lauderdale on the water, I think, and they bought in the country club community, and they moved into the house. And the lightning alarm is in their backyard
Staci Garcia:
In Boca West.
Matthew Maschler:
It’s not Boca West.
Staci Garcia:
Oh, in Boca West. My mom lived right next to the lightning alarm,
Matthew Maschler:
And it’s the lightning alarm for a huge section of the community and the golf course. And I mean, if you look at it, she didn’t see it on under the showings. And then you go on the back of what is making all that noise, and it looks like a giant robot from outer space. And it’s like a foot behind her fence.
Staci Garcia:
That’s so funny, because you know what? I do know where? I know where they are in Boca West, because I did live near one. And as soon as we would have to stop talking during the lighting alarm, by the way, tells golfers that they need to take cover, the swimmers and everyone that’s at the parks. But when the lightning alarm goes off, usually in a country club or in a park situation, it’s extremely loud. It’s like an air siren.
Matthew Maschler:
When it goes off near me, it’s loud, and I have no idea where it’s coming from. The sound that must be coming from this lady’s house when the alarm goes off must have been insane. And I’m curious, I don’t know. You’d have to go to court. Is that a material? Is it defect? Is it a known fact? The question is, does it materially affect the value of the property? Right. If someone didn’t know about it, if they knew about it, would they have paid as much? Did it affect the value of the property? And I told this customer, if she wanted to sue the seller, that’s what she’d have to prove. That would be the standard. Right? Because obviously the seller knew, and the seller could say it was readily observable. I don’t know if it’s readily observable. It’s not actually on the property.
Staci Garcia:
It’s another thing though. You might not just like an antenna that looks like a tree. We have those here. You might not know what exactly that is. You might think it’s just an antenna. It doesn’t make noise unless you’re standing there and the lightning alarm goes off, you wouldn’t know that it’s that loud.
Matthew Maschler:
Yeah. So I don’t know how to find out, does it materially affect the value of the property? I’ve never seen an appraiser or an appraisal report come out and say, property is too close to the lightning alarm. So that’s what she’d have to prove in court that the seller knew that easy to prove it affected the value difficult. And was it readily observable?
Staci Garcia:
Yeah, that’s a very personal type of thing. I lived on the flight landing pattern in two different decades for 10 years at a time. And I lived within a mile in two, three different properties. Actually, all three properties were in the flight path. The landing pattern, the plane didn’t bother me, but would it bother the next person who was buying my house? Maybe. Obviously it bothered the people that I was showing property to, but this was like 20 years after. So that alarm that goes off, I lived right in front of it in Boca West, and we just thought it was funny. And you know what? It’s helpful too, if you’re outside or anything like that, it’s going to rain in just five minutes. But would it affect, yeah. Some people come down here and if they have PTSD or whatever and they hear that thing go off, they’re hitting the ground. It’s loud,
Matthew Maschler:
Right? Well, right. But some people wouldn’t want to buy it. But does it affect the value? When I was in law school, I lived on Railroad Street, but you can’t say that it wasn’t readily observable that there was a railroad tracks and a giant train that would come by. So it was definitely observable. My house shook when that train came by. It was fantastic. It definitely affected the value of the house because I was able to rent that house for pretty cheap. It was a three bedroom with a fireplace and a pool and a barbecue grill. One of my friends came over and the train went by and the house shook. We had to stop our conversation for a minute, minute and a half. And he says to me, Matt, how could you live here? And mind you, he was living in a basement with no windows. And I said to my friend, buddy, I’m not going to say his name, so I’ll just say, buddy, you’re floating in my pool. You got burgers on my barbecue grill and your laundry is in my laundry machine. You going to tell me, how can I live here? It is paradise living on Railroad Street. I love that train.
Staci Garcia:
There’s a house that has a vibration. It’s an extra, it’s a bonus.
Matthew Maschler:
There were no trains. Last train was a little bit before 11 o’clock, and the first train wasn’t until after five. So it
Staci Garcia:
Wasn’t, and we actually have that exact scenario is in Boca, there’s a train whistle ordinance. It can’t whistle in the middle of the night, but there are plenty of people who hear and two different railroad tracks. And if you hire someone out of town and you think that you’re getting a great agent and they don’t actually live here, they won’t know that at 11 o’clock at night in the railroad, your house shakes. Because you don’t know that the railroad’s behind your house, you might’ve thought, oh, the railroad tracks near 95. But you don’t also know that the railroad track is over here in East Boca
Matthew Maschler:
Too. Right? Well, so it would definitely affect the value, but I would argue it’s readily observable to the buyer.
Staci Garcia:
True.
Matthew Maschler:
Okay, everybody. That is our show. Thank you for listening to the Real Estate Finder podcast. I’m Matthew Ashler realestate broker, www.realestate finder.com.
Staci Garcia:
And I’m Stacy Garcia, also a real estate finder, stacey@realestatefinder.com.
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