Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why I Choose? Judge Fite helps you stay ahead of the curve

Dene McFerren of the Cedar Hill office shares her thoughts about training in a fast changing business.

Dene McFerren of the Cedar Hill OfficeBefore I decided to get my real estate license, I knew I wanted to work for Century21 Judge Fite, if they would have me. As a life long citizen of Dallas, I grew up hearing the Judge Fite name associated with words like integrity, value, service, and longevity. When they added Century21 to their title, they became a a formidable force with a national presence.

Now that I have been a part of the Judge Fite team for almost ten years, I can honestly tell you that their impeccable reputation pales in comparison to the true integrity of this organization. They believe in supporting their agents and staff to a level I have never experienced before in my professional life. Recently it became necessary for some agents to have additional training for a particular facet of this business. Instead of making it a negative, or punitive situation, Judge Fite created a training session that was not only extremely informative and easily accessible, but also provided all of the agents with FREE MCE hours as a result of completing the training. When you make a mistake, as we all do, the management and executives at Judge Fite not only stand by you, they help you correct the problem and then find a way to improve your ability to deal with whatever may come your way.

Real estate is a fast changing business with a myriad of moving parts. Judge Fite stays ahead of the curve and provides training throughout your career at every level of success you achieve. They support you when you are in need, appreciate you in your successes, reward your achievements, and they provide all the training and education that make everything possible. They really have no equal in my opinion.

Dena McFerren
Cedar Hill

Friday, July 9, 2010

Risk Management - tips for a better real estate transaction

Risk Management with Jan Fite Miller, Executive Vice President of CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company in Dallas, Texas

If we all know and abide by the rules, then why would we still be facing problems?

Here we are back to really talking about RISK to you and your clients and what I see happening in our real world of real estate. Let’s start, maybe I always will, with the disclaimer that I am not an attorney just in case any of you ever quote me. Then we can get into what has happened this month to keep me busy. And, please, keep in mind that I do not ever want to scare you. I just want to keep you cautious.

This month’s important precautions:

(1) Watch forwarding emails! It might be buried several emails back and forth and THEN, you may be forwarding to the other agent some confidential information that could hurt your client or the client’s negotiating position (maybe only in their opinion—YIKES). This action threatens or kills your agency relationship of confidentiality and can cost YOU money, the commission, hours of heartache, and the loss of a client.

(2) Mineral Rights: You are sitting with the Seller in your listing presentation and they just barely mention that they want to keep their mineral rights, or mention it strongly enough that you put it in MLS; then, when the offer comes in and everyone is so excited that you stop thinking, NO ONE remembers mineral rights. You can not blame this mistake on the Seller. If not addressed in the Addendum for Reservation of Oil, Gas and Other Minerals, all owned mineral rights remain with the property. You risk losing your commission if not more. Pay attention at time of offer!!!!

(3) Seller Financing: There really is a moratorium on the implementation of the SAFE Act in Texas until 8/31. Stay tuned.

(4) PARAGRAPH 7.D (2): For those of you who were at ARBOR on 6/8/10, please, do it my way. Only check this box when you have a SPECIFIC repair in mind, like painting the exterior, or replace the roof. Do NOT say “subject to inspections.” Buyers still have the OPTION to inspect, amend and terminate if needed.

Last, Seller Disclosures: You know the rule--don’t touch them, mark on them at all or even explain them. The Seller fills it out to the best of their ability, even if they are blind. If really blind, someone helps them pay their bills; they can have that person help them---NOT YOU. But once filled out, I want you to read it. If something is obviously left off that you KNOW is a problem, advise the Seller that they need to be open and honest. Strongly suggest that they complete it properly. Sell them on doing the right thing for their own future protection. I can see some of you wondering why I would write about this subject where “everybody” knows the rules. If we all know and abide by the rules, then why would we still be facing problems, calls and even depositions concerning the Seller’s Disclosure? One call I received recently was from an agent who knows a family member who had already divulged details of why the Seller was moving…Seller didn’t divulge the leak that they had found that had leaked long enough that the black mold had started up the wall of the bedroom. The Seller had even had the mold tested and, yes, it was the bad kind. No, it hadn’t been remediated, just covered up. Who would end up being liable here? WE may not be liable, but we would have to defend ourselves as we would be named in a potential lawsuit for sure. If the Seller refuses to disclose something that you know is a potential problem, see your manager to discuss and you may end up releasing the listing. What I have found happens most often is the Seller respects our honesty and fills in a new or more complete Disclosure.

This reminds me that Seller Disclosures need to be updated at least every 60 days and especially if something changes like a hail storm, plumbing leak, etc.

Another challenge and misconception…TAR has been saying for years that, if a defect has been repaired, it does not have to be disclosed. This, in my opinion, is WRONG! We are in a lawsuit right now that had a plumbing problem which ruined floors. The repair was over $10,000. It had been completed when the house was listed and the Seller chose not to disclose. A year later the claim showed up on the CLUE report when the Buyer’s insurance was renewed. The Seller and REALTOR, that’s us, have been sued for Deceptive Trade Practice Act violation. Buyer says he would never have bought the house if he had known. We pay to defend ourselves. DISCLOSE!!!

That is all for this month. Be careful out there and sell lots of real estate. Surpass your goals.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why I choose? A history of fairness and diversity

David Beer from the Carrollton office shares his story on his father, the Judge, and fairness in Real Estate.

I joined CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company in October of 2006 after eleven years with another broker. I met with three competing brokers, and listened to them tell me about their benefits and incentives and all they could offer a "seasoned veteran" such as myself to join their company. Then, just before making a decision, Gerald Crow, the manager of the CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company Carrollton office, who I had worked with back in the 1990’s when he was running The Prudential Texas Properties, asked for the chance to speak with me about Judge Fite before making my choice. I agreed to sit down with Gerald and see what his company would have to offer someone like me, an agent with more than 25 years experience. What could he possibly offer to me that would "top" the incentives that the three other companies had put on the table? What could be better?

When I met with Gerald he told me about the benefits of working with a company that had so much to offer an agent: technology, training, tools and marketing materials that Century 21 makes available to their agents, instructions on creating a business plan and how to implement them into an agent's daily business life. Then Gerald offered me something that I had needed and had been lacking in my real estate career - someone to mentor me. Someone to meet with me on a regular basis and help me plan how I could finally reach my potential was what convinced me that I had found my new real estate home.

The other deciding factor in my decision was the reputation of the Judge Fite name. What Gerald was not aware of at that time was my family's longstanding relationship with the Judge Fite Company, long before they became part of the Century 21 system. Please let me explain. My father, A Robert Beer, was a commercial real estate broker in the DFW area for more than fifty five years. He and Judge Fite worked together on several transactions back in the 1950's and 1960's. Both my father and Judge Fite served the board of directors together as officers on the Dallas Board of Realtors (as it was known then).

In 1964 when the federal Fair Housing Act was passed by Congress, the law stated that anyone who wanted to buy or sell a home had the right to do so anywhere they wanted to (regardless of race, creed or nationality), as long as they had the financial means. Since Dallas was located in the southwest, there was some strong “attitudes” about this new law. Even some at The Dallas Board of Realtors resented Washington telling them what they could or could not do regarding the selling and purchasing property.

My father, who was serving as Vice President of the Board, was in line to become the next President of the Board of Realtors. So, in his capacity as a leader of the Board, both publicly and privately support the law and pledged as a Real Estate Broker and as an officer to do everything in his power to make sure that the newly passed law was implemented and enforced in Dallas. He took the position that the law was a fair and just law and anyone who could qualify and afford to buy a home should be able to do so anywhere they wanted. Several of his fellow Brokers and board members took offense, not only to the newly passed law but vowed to work against the implementation of the law. And because of the position taken by my father, he was subsequently removed from the leadership position, and taken off the Board of Directors, ultimately denying him of the Presidency that he had worked so hard for. He said at the time, he was “never more proud of being removed from a position of authority than that instance”.

Now, here is how this story wraps back around to my story of why I chose CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company. Something that very few people know is that the only person who supported my father and the position he took of fairness and that all men and women are created equal and deserved to be treated as such, was also serving on the Board at that time - the only person who stood shoulder to shoulder with my father, one man and one man alone, was Judge B. Fite. That integrity and character that so embodied Judge Fite is carried on today, seventy plus years later, by his children - Jim Fite and Jan Fite Miller.

Putting it all together, what was being offered to me by Gerald Crow, and with the spirit that embodies Century 21 Judge Fite Company, my choice became an easy and clear decision. And here I am today, knowing that the choice I made was and continues to be one of the best decisions (besides marrying my wife, Taryne) of my life!

David Beer, REALTOR, Carrollton Office
david@davidbeer.com / 214-334-4002

Friday, July 2, 2010

'CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company Celebrates Freedom!'

...from CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company

Greetings Judge Fite Family!

Every year for the last few years we have provided you with a list of local activities that you can provide to your clients. Below is this year's list that includes links to festivities around the Metroplex for Independence Day fun.....wishing you all a safe and restful holiday with your families and friends!

Happy Selling!

Jim Fite and Jan Fite Miller


Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex
4th of July Independence Day Festivities

*Addison Kaboom Town - July 3
*Arlington's 45th Annual Independence Day Parade - July 4
*Arlington Highlands shopping center - July 4
*Bedford 4thFEST Island Adventure Celebration - July 4
*City of Irving, Celbrating America- July 3
*The Colony- Liberty by the Lake July 4th Celebration - July 3
*Dallas Wind Symphony Star-Spangled Spectacular - July 4
*38th Annual 4th of July Fireworks/Denton Kiwanis Club- July 3
*Desoto and Lancaster- Old Fashioned Fourth of July Fireworks Show at Lancaster Community Park - July 4
*Farmers Branch Independence Day Celebration- July 3
*Flower Mound Independence Day Celebration - July 3 & 4
*Frisco Freedom Fest- July 3rd
*Garland Firewheel Town Center Star Spangled Spectacular- July 3
*Granbury's Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration in the Historic Town Square - July 2-4
*Grand Prairie- Independence Day Fireworks - July 3 & 4
*Grapevine Extravaganza Over Lake Grapevine - July 4
*Haltom City Northeast Family 4th of July Fireworks Celebration - July 3
*Lone Stars and Stripes Fireworks & Festival & Joe Pool Lake Fireworks - July 3-4
*McKinney's Red White & Boom - July 4-5
*Old Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic in Fort Worth - July 2-4
*Plano-All-America Fourth FIREWORKS at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve - July 4
*Plano Symphony Orchestra Patriotic Pops at the Eisemann Center - July 4
*Red, White & Lewisville - July 4
*Richardson's Family Fourth Celebration - July 4
*Rowlett Fireworks on Main- July 3
*Southlake Stars and Stripes at Southlake Town Center- July 3
*Waxahachie- Crape Myrtle Festival Fireworks Show - July 3

CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company | 1140 Empire Central | Suite 520 | Dallas | TX | 75247