I just took a listing 400 miles from my office.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

Tutas Towne Realty, IncOK maybe not quite 400 miles but way out of my area nonetheless. This article was inspired by Jeanne Gavish who wrote.....

Make Sure you Know the Area When you List 

Pop over and give her article a read.


I have been a Real Estate Broker in Poinciana Florida for 17 years. For the first 14 of those I would rarely leave my community for a listing. Then the market crashed. The average home sale went from $225,000 down to $64,000! Do you have any idea how many $64,000 properties you have to sell to run a brokerage? A lot.

So in order to increase my income I needed to:

  1. Charge a higher commission.
  2. Charge transaction fees.
  3. Sell more units.
  4. Increase average sales price.  

My business is primarily listing Florida Short Sales and selling Florida investment properties.

Neither of these require me to be in the area of the property. Investors just care about the numbers and....

With Florida Short Sales folks are hiring me because of my expertise with handling the Short Sale negotiations. They don't care that I'm not in the area. I have actually listed properties as far away as Key Largo. Usually I partner with an agent in the area but not always.

When properties are that far away the Sellers take care of the pictures and lock box themselves. Buyers are handed over to local agents with no referral fee. I handle all of the negotiations and paperwork. It's really no big deal not being in the area.

Now I would NOT do this with a normal equity seller. But Florida Short Sales are a different animal all together and require a different skill set. Being near the property is not one of them.

Most MLSs have reciprocity and will let me enter a listing for a fee. If not I can partner with another Broker or I can use a flat fee listing service.

The problems that most agents have with out of area agents are really not related to where the agents are located. It's communication and property access issues. If these issues don't exist then what difference does it make where the listing agent is located?

I would venture to say that agents dealing with me from hundreds of miles away have a much better experience than dealing with some agents in their area.

I do business all over the World. The Internet has made this possible. I won't be boxed in. What say you?

Are you facing foreclosure in Florida?


Contact Bryant Tutas

Do NOT be foreclosed on! Avoid foreclosure. Short Sales DO close.

Want to find out more? www.CentralFloridaShortSales.com

***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

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***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

The BIO for Bryant Tutas


 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Joshua Vensel
VENVISIO - Real Estate Photography - Atlanta, GA - Marietta, GA

Reading the headline, I thought, "Wow, you must be brave!"  In reading it though, it actually sounds like you've put together a very well-thought method, and transitioned to the kind of creativity that will push you through the current market.  Well done! 

May 01, 2011 05:36 AM #54
Allan Sanchez
Roseville CA & Rocklin CA Short Sale Agent - Roseville, CA
Rocklin & Roseville, Short Sale Agent

Thank goodness for all our technology.  It really does make it possible to do things that were impossible 10 years ago!

May 01, 2011 05:57 AM #55
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Very good with the distance properties BB but if you have to travel to them too often with the higher price of gasoline and your time I wonder how well this will work long term on your costs.

May 01, 2011 06:15 AM #56
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Gary. I don't do any traveling to the property. I never see the property. If I need keys I hire a locksmith. If I need photos I can hire a photographer. If it's a high maintenance listing then I partner with an agent in the area. Everything can be sorted out with out me personally having to visit the property. I've sold many properties over the years without ever having step foot in them. I'm very comfortable doing business that way.

May 01, 2011 06:41 AM #57
Gina Nugent
Donohue RE - Palm Beach, FL
Real Estate Agent - Palm Beach, FL

Don't you love technology that makes all that possible? I think we are very close to virtual closings, you will see Fernando #45....

May 01, 2011 07:46 AM #58
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

When I worked in Florida I found there were many localized forms and disclosures required in different areas. Ask the right questions and it should work out.

May 01, 2011 08:12 AM #59
Brandon & Grace Yee
Chase International - South Lake Tahoe, CA
Lake Tahoe Real Estate

Hi Bryant,

You gotta do what you gotta do. Sounds like you've come up with ways to adapt to your current market. I wish you well.  Thanks for sharing your post.

Cheers from Lake Tahoe,


May 01, 2011 11:22 AM #60
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

We, too, often never meet the sellers in person - doing short sales we work with a lot of out of state clients that own homes here.  The local listings of course we do see, but we also list and negotiate short sales in an area nearly 3 hours from our main market area, though we've never gone as far as 400 miles I think with short sales we would feel comfortable doing it.  The area we do work in does overlap somewhat with our market area, though it has a different MLS.  People from the Treasure Valley often have second homes there too so it's not a complete diversion from the norm.  However, what we do is work with a local agent in that area and we co-list it with them - they take care of all the local "stuff" and we do the short sale negotiating part.  On the other hand, I would never do this with a regular sale and if I have buyers who want to purchase in that area I will always refer them.

May 01, 2011 02:59 PM #62
Aida Pinto
Independent Real Estate Broker - Los Angeles, CA
Real Estate Broker (562) 884-6196

If you have a great system that works for you and gets the job done, more power to ya!  I've learn to stay withing 25 miles from my office....but I'm in Los Angels County and it's a big place!  I just can't spread myslef that thin.....but good for you that  you can handle it.

May 01, 2011 03:11 PM #63
Keith Kyle
South Bay Brokers - Hermosa Beach, CA

I think it all depends on the market and types of properties your selling.  Unfortunately I see numerous out of area realtors in our market with no photos, little to no info on the house and pricing that just won't compete in our market.  In this case it's definitely a disservice to the seller but as you're primarily selling to investors that's certainly a different situation.

May 01, 2011 04:07 PM #64
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

BB, so would you be interested in partnering with someone in TN? Maybe we should talk.

May 01, 2011 05:19 PM #65
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

If this works for your business then keep it up! Good job!

May 01, 2011 05:20 PM #66
Gina Chirico
Lattimer Realty - Fairfield, NJ
Real Estate Agent - Essex County, New Jersey

I think its wonderful that you are successful in listing out of area short sale properties.  I, myself, tend to stay local (I cover 4 counties in NJ all which utilize the same MLS as I do).  My thoughts are whatever works for you is best.  Short sales are your nitch.  You know them in and out and any seller who lists their short sale property with you, in any town or any State is certainly in the best hands!  Who knows maybe I'm losing tons of money by not listing outside the 4 counties but this is what works for me. 

May 02, 2011 02:31 AM #67
Jay Beckingham
Bank of England Mortgage - Delray Beach, FL
Seniors ROCK!

do you have any listings in southwest florida?

if so, do they know about tlw and the "counter offer?"

May 02, 2011 03:52 AM #68
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Being able to change when your environment changes is an absolute necessity.  Picking up new business practices is just a smart move to make. Even if it means taking a listing extremely far way than what you are used to taking.

May 02, 2011 05:13 AM #69
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Wow! It sounds like life in Florida is VERY different than rural Utah (big surprise!). First of all, most of our short sale clients are still in the home. While I understand that you sometimes co-list with a local agent, I'm more troubled by the thought that these clients are somehow "different" than a regular one. Last I checked, there was no distinction in the fiduciary duty. I know that your post hasn't gotten specific on every situation because of space, but are you really telling me that you can give your best service without even seeing the property, and that price doesn't matter? I'd have to respectfully disagree. While comps may be available, square foorage and number of bedrooms doesn't tell a complete story. Condition? Location? Working with the seller to make sure they present the home in the best possible light against competition, which is plentiful around here. Don't even get me started on using County tax records to determine value. I guess I'm missing alot here. This sounds much like the "model" and level of service that REO agents take such a beating over on AR. What am I missing, as it's not my intention to disparage? I've been in this business 17 years and have done a ton of short sales, from both sides. Paperwork isn't the whole thing, in my obviously limited experience.

May 02, 2011 07:22 AM #70
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Chris. It's definately a different world in Florida! More than 80% of the sales in my area are short sales and REOs. First we don't have a fiduciary relationship with our sellers. We are transaction brokers by default. Although I don't feel that really affects the way I treat my sellers. Our goal is always to get as much money as we can for the property in a reasonable amount. In fact unless there is a foreclosure sale in the very near future my plan is to over price the property then do price reductions as necesary. I do this because I want to be able to show the lender the pirce reduction history and the showings history.

I have pages of testimonials from satisfied sellers. In fact I can't ever remember one complaining about my service.

Florida is the land of tract housing. These newer communities where most of the short sales are are full of identical properties. Most builders only had 4 or 5 floor plans and all the houses were built in the last 10 years. Pricing a property is not difficult at all. And as I mentioned in my article if I have any doubts I just use a local agent to pull comps for me.

Me seeing a property does not change the value of the property. Does it?

And I completely agree that paperwork has very little to do with a short sale. Negotiation skills do. And that's why people hire me.

I hope this helps.

May 02, 2011 11:53 AM #71
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

I forgot to add. The sellers are not different than an equity seller. Their situation is.

May 02, 2011 11:54 AM #72
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Thanks for the clarification. It really is all local isn't it? Have a great day!

May 04, 2011 09:46 AM #73
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
"It's Wendy... It's Sold!"
Bryant - Sellers hire us for what we know and can accomplish for them, not our ability to hand-deliver our "for sale" signs. Great job!
May 04, 2011 11:50 AM #74
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