Are You Serious? Then Get A Serious Agent.

Welcome to the blog of a serious agent.

You can learn about me and how I can help you accomplish your goals.

Here is the link to my Author Page. Currently 14 real estate books covering numerous home-buying or home-selling scenarios.  www.JamesSweatAuthor.com  

To find out what your home is worth for free, go to http://values.jamessweatauthor.com/

Featured in Scene Magazine’s Men on the Scene 2016 issue

Home Search: Search for homes like an agent. This site offers three years sales history; original list price; most recent price reduction – date and amount (to help you get into the mind of the seller); maps; community information and much more at your fingertips.  Must Have\ and \Like to Have\ options help you find your dream home fast!  http://jimsweat.listingbook.com/

Do you want?

  • The Best Price
  • Effective Marketing
  • Guidance You Can Trust
  • Global Reach From A Local Expert

 

Get Serious. Get Sweat.

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO

Realtor

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

I am in the business of encouraging people to move, but I will be the first to admit it is not always easy.

This is an excerpt from my biography:

“We fell in love with the Venice/Sarasota area on vacation, went back and sold our real estate office, put our home on the market, and made the move to Florida! Now I get to share that experience with others. It is common for folks to discover this area by accident, and eventually make it their home.”

Wow! That sounds so simple!

Just like that. We like it. We are moving. Done.

Of course it was not that easy.

The decision to move is always tough because there are so many variables:

The Logistics of Location Changes; Finances; Emotions; Jobs; Friends and Family; Timing; Emotions; Planning and Implementation; Home Selling; Emotions; Home Searching; Fear of the Unknown; Packing; Closing and Moving.

Did I mention it is also an emotional time? It can be a roller coaster as you think excitedly about the future, and then remember all of the good times you have had in your current location, and the friends you will leave behind. The greater the distance between locations, the higher the peaks and valleys tend to be because things seem more “permanent” from miles away.

There will be ups and downs wherever you live, that is part of life.

I have friends and clients who are struggling with the decision right now, and it is prompting me to reflect on our big move, and put something in writing that may be of help to others in the years ahead.

Marci and I moved to Florida from Michigan with our daughter Belinda eleven years ago. It was a big move and many people thought we were crazy! We could tell, even if they didn’t say it. The fear in their eyes and concern for us was obvious.

Belinda was a fourth generation native to South Haven. Suffice to say, there were a lot of friends and family in the area. Most of my family was within three hours, a big change from twenty one hours away after the move.

We owned our own real estate company and were well established. People knew us and would simply call up and say, “Come list my house” or “I’m ready to find a new home.” That is a good position to be in.

My biography says we fell in love, sold and moved. What it doesn’t say is “we made the decision”. And that was the turning point in how things went.

November 2005. When we first returned from that fateful vacation we did not start making plans to move to Florida.

Just the opposite: We made an offer on the office building we were based in. That would have been a commitment to stay put for years and years.

The landlord had been marketing the property for months, with a “for sale by owner” sign in the front window of our real estate office.

Yes. Think about that!

He said, “I can’t list with you, you are my best prospect. And I won’t do you the disservice of listing with someone else.” Months pass and he is not negotiable. So upon returning from Florida, I wrote the contract up. His price, his terms, everything he wanted.

And he didn’t sign it.

I was puzzled. “Is there anything in this contract that is not exactly the way you wanted it?” I asked.

“No. You put in everything I asked for, but my attorney…”

I quit listening. If I couldn’t buy it on his price and his terms, then obviously I wasn’t supposed to buy it at all.

So then we made the decision to move to Florida, right?

No. We spent the next couple of months in La La Land. Not sure what we were going to do, or where. Just going through the motions of life, and running the day to day operation of a real estate brokerage. It was a successful company, so we didn’t feel any impetus to make a change. But there were conversations and ideas floating around. We just didn’t have anything decided.

The key seems to be, figure out why you are going (or staying) and make the decision to commit to that course. That is when the paths open up.

February 2006. We made another trip to Venice three months after our first one. This was not a vacation. We visited the high school our daughter would attend. Interviewed with several real estate brokers and learned what we could about the area that we were smitten with but knew nothing about.

Moving was a crazy idea, flat out. We would be jumping into a new market where no one knew us, starting from scratch. And not knowing what the future held, moving into one of the hardest hit markets in the country as the real estate crash unfolded.

The conversations were not easy. “We are well known and established” I would say. “We have agents working for us in our office. This affects a lot of people.”

But I also didn’t want to live with the regret of not doing things we wanted to, while we were young enough to enjoy them.

We had talked for years about moving to Florida when we retired. We vacationed there three or four times a year. All over the state.

One of the most compelling things Marci said was, “Do you want to move to Florida before, or after, the Baby Boomers do?”

I am the first year of Generation X. The Boomers have influenced my entire life, but I am always on the tail end of the trend.

We decided we were moving. We just had to figure out the What, When, How and Where. The Why was settled.

Because we were unknown in a new area, and our house hadn’t sold yet, we rented at first. It was a flurry of activity once the decision was made. Looking for a place to live; deciding on what brokerage to work with; getting things lined up for Belinda at school. We initially were thinking of just closing the office, even though some had mentioned we could sell it.

The day I followed up on the idea, I called someone who knew the decision maker at a brokerage we heard was looking in the area. The very next day, the decision maker was standing in front of our office when we drove past. Before I had the chance to call her, and my contact had not called her. It was fateful, and yes, we put that deal together.

It wasn’t all instantaneous. Our office sold in April and Marci moved to Florida right away. Belinda moved in August to start school. Our house didn’t sell until November, and I moved full time in December.

Moving to Florida at the beginning of the real estate crash was like jumping off a cliff. However, we are still glad we did it, even though it was not easy.

I just told Marci I was working on a piece that would help folks understand there is a lot to the decision making process, using our move as an example. She replied, “Our move was easy. Things just fell into place.” I agreed, “Yes, things fell into place, after we made the decision. Until then, we were just in limbo not knowing what to do.”

A lot more could be written about this subject. Let me close now with this: it often is a lot more involved than it appears on the outside. However, once you commit to the course of action, the path opens up. We didn’t have any answers when we decided, but the decision caused us to find the answers as we went along.

It takes some faith, whatever that means to you. In our case, I prayed that God would open and close doors as He saw fit.

Decide. Commit. Keep your eyes open to opportunities as they present themselves. The hurdles are just to test your resolve.

It’s your life, make the most of it.

All the Best!

Jim Sweat, ABR, CLHMS, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO

Realtor

Re/Max Alliance Group

Mobile: 941-306-7384

Is This Another Real Estate Bubble?

Two questions need to be answered when multiple offers, bidding wars, tight inventory, and Realtors buying properties become the norm.

We have been seeing strong demand and rising prices for the last three years. The real estate market in Southwest Florida was decimated during the real estate crash, so it is not only reasonable, but also smart, to be alert for signs of danger. Values dropped by over fifty percent from the boom prices of 2005 to the depths of despair in 2011.

Many have been asking if the bidding wars we are seeing are leading to another bubble. Multiple offers are a sign of strong demand, which we definitely have.

There is one irrefutable sign when prices are not sustainable. I will get to that in a moment, first you need to know the two most important questions to ask:

  1. Who?
  2. Why?

Who is buying real estate, and why are they buying it? If you pay attention to the answers, you will have a good grasp on the overall health of the real estate market.

During an eight month period of 2014, over half of the agents in my office bought real estate. Now, we have a small office, still you had six agents buy property in a short period of time. Is that a warning sign?

It could be. The first wave of foreclosures during the crash was heavily populated with agent owned properties. I cover that in more depth in my upcoming book, Real Estate CSI: Controversy, Secrets, Insight. A real estate agent exposes dangers and dirty tricks that cost you money.

The second question determines if that is cause for alarm. Why? Answer: We all bought real estate to own it. None of those purchases was for a flip, or an attempt to get into the chain of title for profit. We all wanted to own the properties we bought.

That is a strong indicator of healthy market growth ahead.

During the boom, everyone was buying real estate. Anyone who could fog a mirror was clamoring to grab the next property available, and many times contracts were selling multiple times before the first closing even took place. Properties weren’t even changing hands. Just the contract to purchase was being sold at a profit to someone else.

Who? Everyone.

Why? For fast money. They didn’t want to own the property; they only wanted to get their name on a contract that could be sold tomorrow for more money.

The most important sign among the many:

When “everyone” is buying, but few actually want to own it, that is a bad sign.

So who is buying real estate today, besides half of our office? Baby boomers; early retirees; investors; snowbirds; first time buyers; move up buyers; people who love Florida and want to enjoy it for more than a couple of weeks a year; and the occasional flipper.

These are good people to see spending their money in the marketplace, and a sign that bodes well for the future.

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

Local Realtor offers to pay you so they win next time! Coastal Living ranked Venice America’s Second-Happiest Seaside Town 2015.

Local Realtor offers to pay you so they win next time! Coastal Living ranked Venice America’s Second-Happiest Seaside Town 2015..

Local Realtor offers to pay you so they win next time! Coastal Living ranked Venice America’s Second-Happiest Seaside Town 2015.

Second place?

Civic duty requires me to man-up and make this offer: I will pay you so we win next time!

Rude jerks and stupid people are a real bummer, and definitely can affect the happiness of others. To win first place, all we have to do is replace jerks with happy people. It won’t be fun or easy, but someone has to step up and get this done! I guess that someone is me.

This is the plan to hit number one: I will essentially pay you to leave!

If you are rude, a jerk, or just plain stupid: contact me immediately and I will get your home sold quickly, for top dollar so you can move to an area that appreciates you! Don’t spend time surrounded by happy people who don’t value your fine qualities! Make the move now to join your fellow grumblers and live the miserable life you envision!

I am even willing to offer an incentive to get the job done: A one percent discount on the commission, which we shall call the “1% Bye Bye Bonus”.

You do not have to prove you are a rude jerk or stupid! Just contact me and say you qualify for the Bye Bye Bonus, and it will be applied!

Historically, my customers and clients are smart and happy people. I will make an exception for you, but we will need to have some guidelines in place for me to work with you.

  1. The property will be priced correctly. It isn’t smart to overprice a home (remember you do not have to prove you are stupid).
  2. You will be nice to me (again, you don’t have to prove you are a jerk, I will take your word for it).
  3. You will receive two warnings. The 3rd time you are rude or disrespectful to me, the buyer will be awarded the full 1% Bye Bye Bonus.
  4. You will follow my recommendations (I have been doing this as a full-time, licensed real estate professional for over 20 years; my experience trumps yours).
  5. Half of the Bye Bye Bonus goes to the buyer (We want you to be glad you are leaving, and the buyer to be glad they are moving here!)
  6. Buyer may be disqualified from receiving the bonus if it is determined, in agents’ sole discretion, that buyer may not contribute to the happiness of the neighborhood.
  7. We will market your property as qualifying for the 1% Bye Bye Bonus, complete with rude and/or stupid statements from you. This will verify to the public that I have done my part in making us all happier when you leave!

This is the link for the Coastal Living story:

http://www.coastalliving.com/travel/top-10/2015-americas-happiest-seaside-towns/hst-venice-florida

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming 2015)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

What is the Gulf Shore Lifestyle? Who is Jim Sweat? Why Should You Care?

Gulf Shore Lifestyle

Stunning sunsets ~ shimmering waters ~ and world-famous, sun-kissed sugar sand beaches.

Championship golf ~ fine dining ~ shopping ~ the fine arts ~ boating ~ fishing ~ hiking ~ biking ~

festivals year round ~ and nature trails galore.

Southwest Florida holds the key for your family to enjoy the rewarding moments of life.

Dreams do come true in the prestigious “Gulf Shore Lifestyle” ~ realize your dream now!

Jim Sweat understands the unique features that make your home a haven and offers you personal service from highly trained professionals, guiding you to a lifetime of pleasant memories.

Take the first step.

Call Jim Sweat for a personal consultation.

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS & INSIGHT (coming soon)

I am publishing an insider’s look at the world of real estate, exposing dangers and dirty tricks that cost you money.

Previously a broker/owner in Michigan, now focused on buyers and sellers in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee Counties along Florida’s beautiful Gulf coast. Specialties and advanced training in Residential Listings and Sales; Luxury Homes; Distressed Properties (Foreclosures & Short Sales) and Buyer Representation.

Buying or Selling? Hire a professional to represent you! Buyers want the right home at the right price. Sellers want top market value, in the shortest amount of time, and with the least amount of hassle. Jim Sweat has over 20 years of results-proven experience to help you accomplish your goals and bring about a successful closing.

You have to be careful where you vacation – it can change your life! We were only here for a week the first time we visited the Venice-Sarasota area of Florida. A few months later, we sold our real estate company & our house in South Haven, Michigan and made this beautiful location our home!

To serve you better, Jim has earned numerous designations through his commitment and dedication.

Specialties:

  • ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative
  • CRS- Certified Residential Specialist
  • GRI- Graduate Realtor Institute
  • CDPE- Certified Distressed Property Expert
  • e-PRO- Certified Internet Professional
  • ILHM- Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Member
  • Educational Achievement Award Recipient
  • Residential Sales Council Member

Serving buyers, sellers and investors since 1995. I have worked for national franchises and local independent offices, including the brokerage we owned in South Haven, Michigan. We sold the company, and our home, in 2006 to move to Florida.

You want an agent who is focused on you, your sale and your goals.

My focus is on you.

There are thousands of Realtors in the local area all clamoring for your attention. But your move isn’t about me or them.

It’s about You.

Your Life, Your Goals.

I am here to help you evaluate your situation; determine the best course of action; and implement the strategies to achieve your goals of buying and selling in the shortest amount of time, with the least frustration, and the most net profit in your pocket.

I am industrious, innovative and hands-on; utilizing the best of today’s technology and good old-fashioned customer service.

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (coming soon)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow

Can you believe what I found when I searched “Jim Sweat” online?

Online search reveals “Segal’s Law” scenario.

Wow!

This is a problem for me, other Realtors, and our clients.

Segal’s law is an adage that states:

“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

It refers to the pitfalls of having too much potentially conflicting information when making a decision.

The same thing happens on the internet. I just searched my own name, something I have to do from time to time because I am in a very public business.

The results showed that I have been in the real estate business for 4, 8, 9, 17 or 20 years. Quite a spread.

My production during that time is even more interesting: I have sold 1, 2, 43, or a vague “hundreds of homes” during my entire career.

When you go online to get answers, you want good information. Admittedly, many of the websites I found myself on I have never heard of before, but I did only look at the ones that had my “actual info” and not one of the dozens of other Jim Sweats out there.

Let’s be smart about this. To sort through all of the garbage online and get the real scoop, let’s just look at the best websites.

Is it safe to assume that the top two sites would have the best information? I am talking the two with the most monthly visitors; the largest dollar valuations; publicly traded companies that dominate all of the others for real estate search. This should give us the most accurate, up to date information available, right? They even state that they update their information regularly.

Zillow and Trulia (who are in the process of merging, subject to government approval) are the dominate players in real estate search, and they do not have my information correct. Not even close.

Yes, they have my 20 years right, but Zillow had me completing only two (2) sales during my entire career, and Trulia had me down for just one (1)!

I am in the process of getting those things updated, so the numbers should be different by the time you look for yourself. But, let’s get real! I have had a profile on each of these sites for over five years! How long does it take to “update regularly”?!?

So, is the problem that I have not paid them to make my information accurate? Possibly. I have called them and they tell me they will update my information and it will begin to fill in. But I didn’t pay them, and nothing changed. Trulia says I don’t have any reviews, but there are seven on the site. However, I don’t have any ratings because the reviews were added by folks before the ratings featured existed.

Millions of people go to these sites every month. I would like to ignore them, because the information is factually-challenged, but I can’t do that when most of my potential customers are on these sites.

What about all of the websites I have never even heard of?

See my blog: Real Estate Misinformation and Extortion for more details on the extortion that takes place. https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/real-estate-misinformation-and-extortion/

Thousands of companies’ business models can be summed up simply “Get money from agents”.

I used to try to keep my info updated on real estate sites, but there is no way to keep up.

The public is going to get a LOT of bad information when they go online. There is no alternative.

Be careful, folks! There is a wealth of information, and misinformation, available online. Find someone trustworthy to help you make sense of it all. It could mean thousands of dollars in your pocket!

Respectfully,

Jim Sweat, ABR, CRS, CDPE, GRI, e-PRO, ILHM

REALTOR

Author of REAL ESTATE CSI: CONTROVERSY, SECRETS, INSIGHT (available 2015)

American Realty of Venice, Inc.

700 W. Venice Ave

Venice, FL 34285

941-484-8080

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat Home search

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat LinkedIn

http://www.trulia.com/profile/jimsweat Trulia

https://www.zillow.com/reviews/write/?s=X1-ZUyz3incawqo7d_93ahq Zillow