Archive for November, 2008


Christmas Real Estate Wishes – Sotheby’s Style

November 28, 2008

In the coming weeks I want to share some CHRISTMAS WISHES with you. It’s a variation on the twelve days of Christmas theme except I’m just going to keep them coming.

Today’s wish?


I wish you tons of it.

I listen to buyers and sellers ALL DAY and the overriding theme is the sense of sadness and fear that I hear in their voices. For most people, there has never been a time when real estate wasn’t the way to a prosperous future. To suddenly watch this tidal wave a negativity come crashing down on them is not only scary but they have nothing to measure it against. They have no history. They didn’t go through the depression and most weren’t around during the President Carter years of double digit interest rates. It’s been sunshine and roses for a long time.

Here’s my word of encouragement. CHANGE is coming. Why? Because change is constant. In addition, we have elected a new President who has promised change. Do I think a President can do it all alone? No. Do I think our current President did this on HIS own? No. But I think we have a nation who is coming together to effect change and they have sent a mandate to the government to make it so.

I am certain they are listening and just as real estate ushers in a down cycle…so too will real estate usher in the upturn and transformation of the real estate market. It may not be at past levels, but it will bring stability and prosperity back to the land of the brave.

So be BRAVE…be STRONG and know that you are going to be just fine! I BELIEVE!


Do you see what I see – Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty sales

November 25, 2008

sotheby's real estate by TheTruthAbout....



As a member of Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty…I see good thing ahead. Just as most recessions start with the decline in real estate values…the RISE in the economy will be ushered in with a resurgence of real estate values. At Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty, we are poised to grow and become a serious force in the coming market.


The following is a recent press release from SSIR:


Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty Plans to Expand through Acquiring Central Florida Realty Companies, Anticipates Major Expansion as Central Florida Real Estate Market Recovers in 2009

Posted in July 28th, 2008


ORLANDO, Fla. Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty (,) which operates internationally through its world marketing center – the Global Gallery, expects the real estate market to recover in 2009 and is planning to acquire several Central Florida real estate companies this year as part of an expansion strategy.


Roger Soderstrom, founder and owner of Stirling Sotheby’s International, said offices in Heathrow, Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, Windermere/Dr. Phillips, Clermont and its world marketing center, the Global Gallery – a high tech, $4.5 million real estate showcase Soderstrom launched in mid-2007 in the 16th floor penthouse suites of The Plaza in downtown Orlando – can easily accommodate more than 150 new associates.


And, Soderstrom said, Stirling Sotheby’s is well positioned to take advantage of today’s global real estate market.


“The Sotheby’s International Realty brand ( is one of the most recognizable luxury real estate names in the world,” Soderstrom said.


“We launched our world marketing center, the Global Gallery (,) to expand our global outreach to luxury home buyers and buyers of unique properties, and we have extended our services to include new home communities and distinctive resort properties locally, nationally and internationally,” he added.


Soderstrom said he plans to be highly selective and isn’t looking to acquire distressed real estate companies or disgruntled real estate agents.


“We have exceptionally high standards, a sophisticated marketing program that has garnered national acclaim, a comprehensive training program that fully integrates all of our technology and the resources to acquire real estate enterprises that will fit our style and our standards,” Soderstrom said.


“All of our efforts so far have been aimed at becoming the best real estate agency in Central Florida,” Soderstrom said. “We expect the market to improve dramatically in 2009, and we are preparing for it,” he said.


Short Sale Success

November 16, 2008


I am amazed at this newfound craze called the “short sale” and the resulting hysteria in people who think that it is the quick fix for their financial problems. In short, it is not a quick fix and in many cases, it’s not a fix at all.

A short sale occurs when a homeowner sells their home for less than the outstanding balance on their loan with bank approval. It’s a painful process and I have a few bits of advice that might help you.

After a recent discussion with a short sale specialist…I discovered some important facts. First, it helps to not have ANY MONEY. You heard me correctly. Most banks are willing to work on short sales when the owners are out of job and have no ability to repay the loan. If you are employed, you don’t stand a strong chance of getting short sale approved because the bank will try to re-work the loan since you have income and the potential to repay the debt.

Short sales are more difficult for owners with multiple mortgages. While it is not impossible to get a short sale accomplished with many mortgages, the fact remains that it is MUCH EASIER to get short sale approved when you have only ONE LOAN. Multiple loans mean multiple parties. Most second mortgage holders are looking for at least 20% toward their loan…contrary to popular belief; they are not walking away with nothing unless you get foreclosed upon.

Adjustable rate mortgages are much more likely to be short sale approved. EVERYONE hates adjustable rate mortgages. They are single-handedly the worst product on the market and as they adjust, the market has not adjusted with them. With this type of loan, most banks are willing to work with you. If you are in a fixed rate loan with a low interest rate you will probably not be approved for a short sale.

Finally, short sales will most certainly affect your credit. In order to even qualify for a short sale transaction, you will need to have missed a minimum of three payments. No matter what anyone tells you, it will go on your credit as a loan settled for less than owed and your late payments will show as “LATE”. No way to get around this one.

Short sales are here for a little while longer. They will eventually run their course as inventory moves back into the market. For now, seek the advice of a real estate specialist, an accountant and an attorney. Be prepared for one of the toughest decisions you will ever face with knowledgeable advisors.


Now I have heard everything…Real Estate Layaway

November 6, 2008


With the inability for American homeowners to save money…there’s a new (old) concept on the horizon. This one literally cracks me up. According to CNN, some builders are now using a LAYAWAY plan to help buyers save to purchase a home. You open an account with the builder and start stashing away your extra change until you have enough to buy a home. I just have images of people lined up with their shopping carts at a discount store socking away that extra $20 bucks. This concept does not make sense. 

Not that I am skeptical (although I am)…but if you have to use a layaway plan to buy a home, you may be waiting to buy for some time. I personally prefer the oldest layaway plan on the books….that would be your parents. Borrow from Mom and Dad and then (here’s the shocker) PAY THEM BACK. In this market, buy now while prices are low and then you can reap the benefit of a buyer’s market. Use the layaway plan and you will miss this market. It’s pretty simple.

Great idea but not really workable for today’s real estate marketplace.