What are “The Code of Ethics” for REALTORS?


What Does it Mean for Consumers?


How does the Code of Ethics affect everyday real estate practices? 

If a REALTOR® represents you, whether you are buying or selling a home, you can count on that REALTOR® to:

1. Be honest with all parties in the transaction – not just with you, as his or her client, but also with the other real estate practitioner and his or her clients.
For example, if REALTORS® represent a buyer with a spotty credit history, they can’t be dishonest with sellers about this fact. At the same time, REALTORS® can help their buyer clients collect and assemble information, such as credit reports and audited tax returns, to demonstrate that the buyer has addressed the problem and improved their situation.

2. Put your interests ahead of his or her own, at all times. 
A REALTOR® makes every effort to understand the housing needs of his or her client, thoroughly researches available inventory, and shares all relevant information with the buyer so that he or she can make an informed decision. This service is provided regardless of the compensation available.

3. Disclose all pertinent facts regarding the property and the transaction to both buyer and seller.
If a REALTOR® believes information provided by a seller is questionable, the REALTOR® is obligated to investigate. REALTORS®should recommend that buyers consult their own experts, such as home inspectors, to address concerns. For example, if a home seller asks his or her REALTOR® to conceal the fact that the roof leaks, the REALTOR® cannot comply; if the seller insists, the REALTOR®should end the business relationship with that seller. 

4. Be truthful in all communications with the public.
When REALTORS® distribute newsletters, create Web sites, or place advertisements, they must be careful not to represent other real estate professionals’ work product as their own. If recently sold or listed properties in the community are publicized, it must be clear whether the REALTOR® was actually involved in the transaction, or whether that data came from the local multiple listing service or other source. This ensures that the public understands the REALTOR®’s experience and can make an informed decision when choosing real estate representation.

As a REALTOR I live by this code in every day of my career and my life. Our morals and ethics are all we have to assure we provide the education and services our buyers and sellers deserve. If you would like the full version of the “Code of Ethics” please visit http://www.realtor.org/realtororg.nsf/files/R_COE-Pledge-of-Performance.pdf/$FILE/R_COE-Pledge-of-Performance.pdf


“Until Next Time”

Florida Housing Market Bouncing Back….

Florida Housing Market Bouncing Back….

Florida’s real estate market is entering 2012 on an upward trend, according to three leading U.S. economists. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo says, “Our sate is in a mini-recovery” and “sales are trending up, listing inventories have fallen, the supply of lender-related properties has stabalized, and we are seeing multiple offers on home in some local markets.”

In Fact…

Dr. Tuccillo says homes in Florida may be undervalued. “That may sound like a drastic statement,” he said. ” But a buyer who plans to own the home for 5-7 years can get some great bargains today.” Interesting statistic from South Florida I heard yesterday said at one point Miami had 9 years worth of inventory, now with decreased number of homes on the market and high buyer activity has dropped that number to less than one year. The South Florida economy is growing  based on relationships with Latin America and the Carribbean. Dr. Lawrence Yun says, “Don’t be surprised to see a gain in home prices in the Miami and Naples markets in the next 18 months.””From there, the recovery is likely to roll northward to Central Florida and then North Florida.”International buyers are driving the market in South Florida and other areas of the state.”

What about Ocala….

We are seeing positive signs locally including a drop in unemployment and reduced housing inventory. Banks are slowly releasing foreclosed/REO homes on the market and this is creating a negotiating competition between buyers. Many of the more inexpensive homes are only on the market for 1-2 weeks. We are still facing challenges getting buyers qualified for financing, however with the USDA loan programs and FHA there is great opportunity. Another key factor is the high price for rentals and availability. In todays market you can buy a home for the same or lower than you can rent. The benefits of buying to renting can create tax benefits, provide stability because there is no landlord who can ever raise your rent or sell the home without your approval.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly “Market Trend Report” please call, text, or email me anytime.

“Until Next Time”

Mortgage Applications Soar / December 2011

12.8 % Increase in Mortgage Applications

There is large jump for 2 reasons. The first is consumers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates hovering in the 4% range. Second is the affordability of residential homes in Ocala, Belleview, Dunnellon, Salt Spring, Fort McCoy, Sparr, Anthony, Citra and several other areas.  Mortgage application can be a future gauge of home buying reported by Mortgage Bankers Association report for the week ending Dec. 2. Applications jumped 8. % from a week earlier while refinance soared to 15.3 %.

The reports  states 85.5 % were for fixed-rate 30 year loans.

“Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, applications increased significantly as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in about two months,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “In particular, refinance applications increased sharply, with some lenders seeing refinance volume double. Despite this surge, aggregate refinance activity is still below levels reported two weeks ago. Some lenders indicated they are beginning to see an increase in HARP loans, but that increase is still a small portion of the move this week.”

Source: “Mortgage Applications Jump 12.8% as Refinancing Volume Soars,” HousingWire (Dec. 7, 2011)

“Until Next Time”

Ocala, Florida Area Local Market Report 2011 – 3rd Quarter

TODAYS MARKET…. Median Price and Existing home Sales

All real estate is local and every market is unique. Remember that when you hear reports from the major new networks. We are seeing some positive signs in the Ocala / Marion County Market with the Median Home Price now at $80,900 with 1-year Appreciation at -1.6% and a 3 year Appreciation of a whooping -40.1%. This relatively recent correction in local home prices wiped out most of the equity gained over the last 7 years. State Existing Home Sales(2011 Q3 vs 2010 Q3) is at +10.6% for Florida and Nationally 17%.

FORECLOSURE info by type…

The market share of Foreclosures by type is 88.3% are Prime Loans, 5.1% are Sub-Prime Loans and 6.6% are Alt-A Loans. There has been a decline of both 60 and 90 day delinquency rates over the most recent 6-month period suggests a decline in local foreclosure rates in the near future.


Based on Ratio of Local Mortgage Servicing Cost to Income, Ocala has typically been more affordable than most markets. For example the Monthly Mortgage Payment to Income for Ocala is 6.6% compared to 15.5% in the United States for 2010 and 5.7% locally for 2011 and 13.9% nationally with the historical average at 11.3% locally and 22% nationally. The price to income ratio has fallen as well and is below the historical average.

So what does this all mean?

Well it could mean we are close to reaching the bottom of the housing value slide. But it will take a strong economy and more local jobs for the housing market to continue gaining traction. There is less inventory on the market with an increase in buyer activity, compared to the same time last year. We are a long way from seeing appreciation in our homes but hopefully close to reaching the bottom and no more depreciation of value.

“Until Next Time”

5 Homebuying Myths / Survey Results

Survey: 5 homebuying myths

SEATTLE – Oct. 31, 2011 – Overall, today’s homebuyers tend to be fairly knowledgeable about the real estate market, but there are still a few points of confusion in the process, especially for buyers just entering the market. Here are the five main areas of confusion found in a survey by Zillow:

• Appreciation: About 42 percent of homebuyers believe home values will appreciate by 7 percent a year. Reality: Historically, home values in a normal market appreciate by 2 to 5 percent in a year.

• Appraisals: 56 percent of the buyers said the purpose of the appraisal was to determine if a home was in good condition. Reality: That’s the purpose of a home inspection; an appraisal estimates fair market value.

• Homeowner’s insurance: 37 percent of homebuyers think that buying homeowner’s insurance is optional. Reality: Lenders require homebuyers to purchase homeowner’s insurance if they carry a mortgage.

• Ownership: 47 percent of homebuyers said a prospective buyer owns a home after the purchase contract is signed by the seller – when the two parties reach agreement. Reality: The purchase and sales agreement is the beginning of the closing phase, but it can be a long process until they finally take ownership.

• Mortgage insurance: 41 percent of buyers think they must purchase private mortgage insurance, regardless of the amount of their downpayment. Reality: Buyers only need to purchase PMI if their downpayment is less than 20 percent of the home’s purchase price.

Source: Zillow Inc.

© Copyright 2011 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

HELP for Struggling Home Owners?

The HARP(Home Affordable Refinance Program) simply has not worked in helping many homeowners and President Obama is expected on Monday to announce “new policies” to help struggling homeowners, including a move that would allow borrowers to refinance their mortgage at current lower rates no matter how much their home values have dropped.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also expected to end a cap that excluded home owners from HARP who had mortgages that were higher than 125% of the homes value. This cap left many homeowners with little option because they simply do not have enough equity in their properties. The plan is expected to eliminate ” appraisals and extensive underwriting for most borrowers” whpo are up to date on their mortgages and want to refinance at lower rates.

Obama is also expected to announce a reduction in Fannie and Freddie loan fees. Lenders could start refinancing as soon as December 1st, however some may have to wait until early next year due to their loan-to-value limit.

Housing experts believe that allowing underwater home owners to refinance at current lower rates could be a savings of hundreds of dollars from their monthly mortgage bills and possibly help avoid foreclosure and free up household cash, helping spur economic growth.

Source: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/10/24/obama-expected-unveil-housing-aid REALTORS.org article October 25,2011

What is a Short Sale & Some Things You Should Know

What is a Short Sale & Some Things You Should Know

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is a transaction where the net proceeds from the sale of a property are not enough to cover the sellers mortgage obligation and closing costs, such as property taxes, transfer taxes, and real estate commissions.

ONLY Real Hardships Get the HELP!

Purchasing or refinancing your house during the housing boom is not a legitimate hardship. Banks actually review and analyze short sale sellers hardships and most center of the economy. In short the banks are going to verify the short sale is in their best interest, not the sellers. What are acceptable hardships? medical issues, divorce, disability, significant loss of income, death, unemployment, and relocation.

Laws Are Local(State)

Foreclosure laws vary from state to state and it is important to remember there are currently no short sale laws on the books. Federal guidelines are in place, however the bank does not have to do anything they do not want too. If you decide to move forward in selling your home as a short sale there are a few things to keep in mind.

1) If the bank approves the short sale will there be a deficiency amount owed for the difference between your mortgage amount and sales price, minus fees?

2) Will the bank accept a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure”? With a deed in lieu of foreclosure, the property owner gives the property to the lender voluntarily in exchange for the lender canceling the loan. The lender may or may not agree to forgive any deficiency balance that results from the sale of the property.

3) Potential Tax liabilities- Under federal law, a creditor is required to file a 1099C whenever it forgives a loan balance greater than $600.00 which could create a tax liability  for you. However the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 provides tax relief for some loans forgiven in 2007 through 2012.

Lastly, please seek the advice and consult with an attorney, and possibly accountant, experienced in bankruptcy law to understand all of your options.

“Until Next Time”

Delays in Foreclosures Reach New Records!

Delays in Foreclosures Reach New Records! Home owners are living in their homes, mortgage & rent free, on average for 20 months or 599 days which is a new record according to data collected by Lender Processing Services, LLP.

There are approximately 1.9 million homes loans that are 90 or more days late, but not yet in foreclosure and 42% of those home owners have not made a payment in more than one year, with average delinquency of 397 days.

Why so long? Well there are judicial states and non-judicial states and the time frame to complete the foreclosure process varies greatly. Florida is non-judicial state and could possible clear inventories within 32 months, compared to a judicial state, like Las Vegas, that would require up to 111months. OUCH!! Yes that is correct, 111 MONTHS to work through inventories that are more than 90 days late.

In my opinion we will be working through these issue for many years to come, maybe upwards of 5-10 years and who really knows. I do know if we do not start creating jobs and help small business owners, it will take even longer because there are not enough qualified people to purchase new or existing homes.

“Until Next Time”

Florida Still Highest Among Foreclosures

Florida Still Highest Among Foreclosures

Almost 1 in 4 mortgages are either past due or already in foreclosure during the second quarter, according to Mortgage Bankers Association. We also have the highest inventory of homes in foreclosure currently at 14.4%. The national average delinquency rate was 8.44% in the second quarter and up slightly from the first quarter.

Foreclosures continue to be found in just a few states, with ONLY five states accounting for 52 percent of the foreclosure inventory in second quarter.

1. Florida (14.4%)

2. Nevada (8.2%)

3. New Jersey (8%)

4. Illinois (7%)

5. Maine and New York (5.5%)


Source: Realtor Magazine August 23, 2011 http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2011/08/23/which-state-has-highest-foreclosure-inventory

Freddie Mac Summer Special Deal

GREAT NEWS for Buyers and Sellers!

Freddie Mac is offering a “SUMMER SALES PROMOTION.” Upon qualified closing, HomeSteps will pay up to 3.5% of the purchase price of your home to cover certain closing costs. For instance, if your purchase price is $125,000, and your closing costs are $4,250, HomeSteps will only pay $4,250, an amount equal to 3.4% of your purchase price. Of course, not all homes or borrowers will qualify and the incentive is ONLY good to owner-occupants. You can visit, http://www.homesteps.com/smartbuy for all details.

BUT WAIT? There is more to this sweet deal!

Homesteps SmartBuy Program is also offering a 2 year HomeProtect Home Warranty and HomeProtect Appliance Discount The HomeProtect Home Warranty and HomeProtect Appliance Discount are available only to Participants who purchase and close on a qualifying HomeSteps home during the Program. The HomeProtect Home Warranty begins upon your qualifying home purchase closing date and continues for two years from that date. The HomeProtect Home Warranty has further restrictions and exceptions. Please see the HomeProtect® Home Warranty Terms and Conditions for all of the details. The HomeProtect Appliance Discount provides savings up to 30% savings on new appliances.

HOMES FOR SALE by Freddie Mac?

Where are they? In just about every location across the United States and Puerto Rico

How do you get more information? Contact your REALTOR® or better yet, if you do not have one, please contact ME! Or, you can visit, http://www.homesteps.com/featuresearch.html, and search any state, county or zip code for homes available in the program.


The offer is only good May 16, 2011 – July 31, 2011 with escrow closed on or before September 30, 2011. Now is a great time buy with low home prices, super low interest rates, and this new program could get you into a new/reseller home with little to no money down.

“Until Next Time.”