How Much Does it Cost to Become an Instant Guru?

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Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

We have a listing in Marina Grande on the Halifax in Daytona Beach Area. It is a short sale. 2 bdr/2 baths unit on the 14th floor was bought in 2007 for $490K. The 25-story tower with 243 units in one and 486 condos in 2 out of 4 built.

It’s been in the works for a long time and had its ups and downs. Already 2 BPOs and one appraisal have been done, case opened, closed, reopened… On Friday comes a phone call. The guy needs to do BPO and is asking about access to the property.

Marina Grande on the Halifax - DaytonaNo, no keys whatsoever. I have to be there and let him in. It is a policy thing. I want to know who I deal with and what is their level of competency or lack thereof. As usual I ask the guy how familiar he is with the area and the property. And for one minute I believe that he is familiar.

But then he asked me in which of the 4 towers is the unit. I guess he wanted to show that he knows the area, but the problem with those 4 Towers was that the developer built only 2 out of planned 4, so I immediately knew that he had no clue about Marina Grande on the Halifax. He sees a listing in MLS where agents used the developer's picture of 4 towers created by the computer.

I hesitated between refusing  letting him do the BPO, and sending away, but we have already twice had the BPO done by a local guy, and both times he was tremendously off, and he told me that it was because he had to follow the instructions to the letter, and if he did, these were the numbers.

We argued with the Lender both times, and ended up with an appraisal, which came 40% of what the BPOs were. Way more in line with the real values in Marina Grande on the Halifax.

On Saturday I meet the guy in the garage, and ask him for his business card. He is from Palm Coast. Not really far, he could have some knowledge, though not specific, but he didn’t.

I told him that I did not even want to let him do the job, and I could argue with the Lender that he was not familiar with Daytona Beach area, but all I needed was a decent BPO in line with values.

I hope he did not screw up. I still do not understand why he took the job in Marina Grande on the Halifax. I asked him whether he had access to our MLS, and he laughed at me. He said he had access to every MLS in Florida.

I was speechless. He paid big bucks to have access to every MLS (if he did not exaggerate) in Florida. What, did he take jobs in Miami? It should cost more in gas…

picture of jon zolskyI guess having access to different MLSs made him a guru of local real estate. Of course, being a guru cost money. You poay, and you become a guru...

How much does it cost to become an instant guru?

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Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Jon, these days it really only does take the ability to pay to be a guru. Very sad indeed. Will be waiting to hear how it comes out.

Jan 10, 2011 09:48 PM #1
Rainmaker
424,290
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

Jon - my first question would be what do you consider the value of the unit to be.  

Second, do you consider it ethical to provide the rented expert with comps and information from your local expertise about the property and the unit to include potential rental income, likely expenses, deferred maintenance on the unit or building and other factors that the rented expert might not ferret out on his own. 

(of course there are some bright people working in Palm Coast)

 

 

Jan 10, 2011 10:06 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Jon, some do really good BPO's and some don't.  The problem is that for $50.00 you're not getting a consistent product and it's from people not trained for this kind of job.  Whether they are familiar with the area or not.

Jan 10, 2011 11:19 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Jon. I would venture to say that no one knows my market as well as I do. But still the lenders will take a value from a BPO agent that has no clue over mine. It's very frustrating.

Jan 10, 2011 11:53 PM #4
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Andrea - I am not that familiar with BPOs, and I consider them as another obstacle in the process. If it comes terribly wrong, we fight, sometimes would let the case closed, and then reopen and get someone else to do the BPO.

Jan 11, 2011 01:36 AM #5
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Ted - and what am I supposed to do? I volunteer information. Like the Inspection report, bid from the construction company.

Can ou call it undue influence? I do not know.

But if the guy never heard anything, and did not even bother to Google to see if there is something brewing, and there is a lot brewing in Marina Grande, I am their only source.

When I tell them go and Google, and they do, they would end up reading my blog... It tells them about liens and inability to transfer a marketable Title, and these are important things in determining the value...

Jan 11, 2011 01:41 AM #6
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Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

It's a tough call, and certainly hard to convince a lender to send someone else. Let us know how it goes.

Jan 11, 2011 01:43 AM #7
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Gabe - I guess it is rarely as complicated as with Marina Grande, because of the uniqueness of the situation with defaulting huge developments.

But the guy gets a $60 job knowing nothing about it, and takes it, because it should be easy.

Jan 11, 2011 01:44 AM #8
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Bryant - I have the same self confidence about Marina Grande, and I remember how the agent before did two BPOs (both times new case, but they sent the same agent). At that time there was not a single unit resold in the  complex. Not a single one. So, no comparables there, and he had very strict how far could he go, and how close the age and the size had to be, and all he could get within these parameters were oceanfront condos.

He was telling me that you kill him, and he could not do any better. In a sense, the Lenders trust only computers, and just hire local guys to do the computer work, that they could have done themselves

Jan 11, 2011 01:48 AM #9
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

Melissa - you are so right. The Lender dow not like when we say the BPO came too high. We end up sending a lot of legal papers and lettters from attorneys showing that you can't get Title insurance, because of the way the lines are set, and all the litigation...

But it is not easy.

Jan 11, 2011 01:51 AM #10
Rainmaker
424,290
Ted Baker
Carmody and Associates LLC - Winter Haven, FL
MidFloridaMediation.com

Jon - I do some BPO's for residential properties.  I have had listing brokers meet me on sight and provide comps and contractor's estimates to repair.  I understand they may have their own agenda to support an offer on the REO.  

I do my own search for information and comps and I try to document the repairs necessary with photos.  If I decide to provide the contractor's estimates, I indicate in my report that the broker was the source, and I give my independent evaluation.  I use their comps if I think they are the best indication of value (usually only one of their three solds and listings) 

I do not consider it to be undue influence if I do my own research.  But I want to consider their point of view if it comes from better, or more specific, local knowledge than mine.  

Jan 11, 2011 05:26 AM #11
Rainer
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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Lodi - Lodi, CA
The Nines Team in Lodi

Jon - This is a continuing and complicated issue.  I get inquiries on values all the time - I'm just used to it ... if some agent does a BPO - and does a poor job, then I may have to defend my price either way.  BUT, I document everything!  A while back I had a BPO get called into question ... the second BPO came in over 75,000 higher!  Nice job - with outside (front) photo's and comps from the neighborhood ... and as far as it went ... the value was right on!  If the agent had bothered to get out of their car and walk to the rear of the property ... then it would have been obvious that the entire back of the house was a burned char ... the lot was worth more than the house.  The entire interior was decorated the same way - early charcoal!  You are so right - local usually means better ... but we still need to do the footwork!

Jan 11, 2011 06:42 AM #12
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