What Are Others Saying About Jim Sweat?

“When selling a home with strong sentimental attachments, located over a thousand miles away, having confidence in your Realtor is critical. You earned my confidence through your commitment… and followed through to a very satisfactory completion.”                                                                                                           ~Karen K., Venice, Florida

“Jim not only understands the market conditions and the various neighborhoods he works in but he also understands people. He goes above and beyond to provide superior service by insuring that clients have all the information they need to make informed decisions. Jim treats you like you are important to him, not just another prospect or file to work.”

                                                                                      ~Troy Connor, Port Charlotte, Florida

“Jim brings a variety of excellent qualities to the table in every aspect of his profession. Knowledge, dedication, experience, honesty and professionalism are but a few. The most important quality Jim gives his clients is his time, which these days, is a precious commodity. From a business partner perspective, it is always a pleasure to work with Jim and his clients, knowing that we will have a smooth transaction due to his expertise and hands-on approach. Knowing how he conducts his business, I would certainly hire him personally and refer him to family and friends.”        ~Suzie Scheetz, Sarasota, Florida

“Jim Sweat is an excellent agent. He put his best effort into finding us a home that matched our criteria and showed great patience while we made our decision in choosing our dream house. He helped us through the process of negotiations and home inspections and made the experience painless and satisfactory for all concerned parties with his expertise.”                                                                             ~John M. Venice, Florida

“Jim Sweat is willing to help you find the right home for you according to your specifications. He is always professional and honest. I would, and have, recommended him to many friends and family. Jim has helped them also.”

                                                                                   ~Sue & Allan A. Port Charlotte, Florida

“We think your greatest strength is your patience. You practiced that well with us although at times we may have been a little difficult.  Also, we have to mention your perseverance and determination to find us the house of our dreams in our price range.  We were very happy with your expertise and knowledge of the area, as well as helping us notice the good points in the homes we were touring as well as their shortcomings.”                                                                                                           ~John & Toni Venice, Florida

“We don’t care where you move to, you are our Realtor in Florida!” “I put my full trust in Jim.”                                                                                 ~S. Ahonen, Stevensville, Michigan

“Jim Sweat was fabulous to work with and He did an awesome job with the clients I referred to him. They are very happy with his service and I am confident that any referral that I send to him, will receive top notch customer service.”

                                                                                ~Domenique Lombardo, Orlando, Florida

 “This man has talent–he listens intently to the need–takes the time to research in depth and then watch out because Jim is results oriented! A pleasure to know and an unforgettable business associate.”                  ~Mary Kay Sverid, St. Joseph, Michigan

 “Working with Jim was an absolute pleasure. We had a very difficult sale with a foreclosure. Jim’s years of experience were a blessing, as he knew exactly how to maneuver through all the involved paperwork. His knowledge, connections and professionalism helped us understand the complicated process. If it wasn’t for Jim’s expertise, I’m sure we might have lost our adorable retirement home. Thank you very much Jim!!”                                                                               ~Ken & Mary Jeanne, Florida   

 “Jim Sweat has high customer satisfaction ratings because he takes real estate very seriously. He puts forth the time and effort to constantly improve. Jim attained his numerous designations because of his commitment to his clients and his profession. He seeks to find out what makes sense for his clients and carefully guides them along the path to their goals. I know that his customer care is a priority because I have been married to him for his entire real estate career!”                         ~Marci Sweat, Sarasota, Florida 

 “Jim Sweat should be your top pick for a real estate agent in the Sarasota area. He always has some great comments and answers on Trulia.”

                                                                                   ~Carmen Brodeur, Scottsdale, Arizona     

“Jim Sweat provides a fresh look at real estate. His observations are on target and his blog comments provoke answers to questions overlooked or just plain forgotten by both consumers and even professionals. His logic, if applied to purchase or selling your home, may be of a greater value than you could have ever imagined.”                                                                                                                                 ~Gabriel Palotas, Florida

“Whether you are buying or selling, Jim and Marci are the kind of Realtors who won’t give up until you are satisfied. Plus, they’re just nice people to work with. Now that we’re settled in South Haven, we consider them friends. If we ever put our house up for sale, we wouldn’t trust it to anyone else.”     ~Larry and Linda Barnhart Chicago/South Haven

“Jim and Marci were so helpful in the home buying process. They kept us informed on what was happening in South Haven until we were ready to purchase a home. They helped us find the perfect get-away. They really listened to us when we told them what we wanted in our home. As homes came on the market they let us know and our place is perfect! Thank you!”                                                                        ~M.P., Chicago, IL

 “You should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

~Dave Ramsey, Financial Author

All the Best!

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

REALTOR

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

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

American Realty

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

21 Years Experience

Psst… Can You Keep A Secret?

This week, a client called me and asked, “I am going to have a new neighbor, are you working with them?”

I confirmed that I am, without saying who we were talking about. He let me know a mutual friend had told him, and sent him the address. They will be about eight blocks apart when both closings take place this month.

Last month, a couple that I was showing homes to found out that some of their closest friends are also looking for a new home right now. They were initially surprised that I hadn’t told either couple that the other was in the market.

I just chuckled and replied, “It isn’t my news to tell. You should have the privilege of letting your friends know, when you feel the time is right. You were both actually looking at homes with me on the same day!”

Last year I assisted family members in their purchase of a home. They initially expressed concern that other family members would find out before they were ready to make the announcement. I reminded them of when their parents (and in-laws) purchased years ago from me, and no one knew until the deal was done and the news came from the buyer directly.

I will admit it can be a little tricky keeping a secret from other family members. It would be so easy to say something in passing. But it would not be professional.

Marci and I have worked for years knowing confidential information about folks, and it was always understood it would remain confidential.

Many people say they don’t want to do business with friends or family. Often times, they really just don’t want their blabby friends telling everyone their personal business.

Should you do business with friends and family? I cover that question in more detail in my upcoming book Real Estate CSI: Controversy, Secrets, Insight. A Real Estate Agent Exposes Dangers and Dirty Tricks that Cost You Money.

One of the important considerations is: can your friends or family keep their mouth shut?

All the Best!

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

REALTOR

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

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

American Realty

Mobile: 941-306-7384

http://myfloridahomesmls.com/JimSweat (Home Search)

https://jimsweat.wordpress.com/ (Blog)

www.linkedin.com/in/jimsweat (LinkedIn)

A Proven Professional Working for You!

21 Years Experience

 

All-Time Record-Breaking Home Sales in Sarasota & Manatee Counties

Real estate experts predict that more existing homes will sell in Manatee and Sarasota counties in 2015 than during any other year in history.

And that is in a market with low inventory levels!

On a pace that the president of the Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee calls “historic,” Sarasota County is expected to exceed an all-time high of 11,550 home sales by year-end. In Manatee County, sales need only average 360 per month in November and December to break an 8,004-sales record set in 2013. Nearly twice that number sold in October.

By the end of October, the pace of sales had dropped only modestly during the autumn selling season, which is historically viewed as being “slow.” At the same time, median prices are near a five-year peak and homes are typically staying on the market a little over a month before selling.

Excerpted from article  published November 30, 2015. Written by Matt Johnson, Bradenton Herald business reporter.

Strong demand is pushing prices up substantially. That trajectory may slow as more sellers put their homes on the market, but with the number of homes for sale at or near a half-decade low, some buyers are jumping in while properties are still available where they want them at the prices they want to pay.

Housing inventory has been well below the six-month level of supply that defines equilibrium between buyers or sellers.

In October, the supply was between 3.5 and 3.9 months across the single family and condo markets in the two counties.

Higher prices, low inventory and rising interest rates may temper the sales pace next year, but all indications are the all time sales record will be broken this year.

 

Landfalling Hurricane Map

Florida has gone over ten years without a hurricane landfall. Wilma was the last one in October, 2005. That is even more incredible when you realize Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline around the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.

This map shows some “pockets of concentration” where hurricanes seem to funnel in with regularity.

There are numerous theories as to why Southwest Florida, and Sarasota County in particular, have been so fortunate. Knock wood, throw salt and cross your fingers that I don’t jinx it by mentioning some of them!

One theory is the Continental shelf and depth of the Gulf near Sarasota. Another is the effect of the Jetstream. But the most commonly quoted reason is legendary.

This is an excerpt from a Sarasota Herald Tribune newspaper story June 18, 2007:

The story goes something like this, with the emphasis on “something.”

Sarasota is protected from hurricanes because the American Indians who once lived here knew it was a safe place, which is why they decided to live here.

Or, the American Indians who once lived here blessed this place and made it safe from hurricanes.

Or, the ancient American Indian burial grounds scattered throughout the county are keeping the storms at bay.

Sarasota has not been a bull’s-eye for a major hurricane since reliable records began in 1871.

But it was damaged to varying degrees by hurricanes in 1926, 1944 and 1950, as well as Donna in 1960 and Charley in 2004.

A number of other explanations for the relative safety have surfaced, most of them questionable.

One gives credit to nature’s fortunate placement of dunes off the coast.

Another, to the magic powers of Siesta Key’s white sand beaches and underwater crystals.

Whatever the reason, we are just glad to be fortunate and able to live in such a beautiful place!

I am all for being lucky!

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

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

BOOM! Yes, that was my head exploding!

Warning: Informative Rant regarding Zillow-Trulia

This is why the public needs to be careful of the sources they use to make important decisions!

Things that make your head explode!

The DMV at Secretary of State office; Trulia; Zillow; getting “help” from a government agency.

Let’s just grab one of these, and let ‘er rip!

(For the record, I wanted to type the whole thing in BOLD CAPS!!)

I just sent Trulia a message not to renew my PRO subscription. And followed up with a phone call, because they plan on billing me again in just two days, and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen. So, what do they try to do?

Sell me advertising!

I have had profiles on Zillow and Trulia for @ 9 years, have been a full-time Realtor for over 20 years, and still Trulia only credits me with one sale.

Ever.

Total career high of… one!

Zillow was hardly any better: they had me credited with a career high of two (2) sales! So I started manually entering sales into Zillow. You would be shocked at the number of homes that are not in the Zillow system at all.

Our previous home: 100 years old, 2 blocks to downtown, 3 blocks to city hall and neither Zillow nor Trulia have it in the database as a home I can claim a sale on. Really?

I sort of understand some of the properties I sold in gated waterfront communities that they may not be able to access easily. Wait! Those homes are all deeded properties readily available on the county website, so why can these data-mining behemoths not locate the information?

Not even a zestimate for 412 Michigan Ave in South Haven, Michigan. Interesting. It’s not that zestimates have any bearing on reality, it is that so many people THINK the information they are getting online is trustworthy, and it is NOT!

So, today the Trulia rep told me what I needed to do is pay for advertising in my chosen zip codes, and buyers and sellers will then see my profile. I explained that my profile makes it look as if I am a useless slug that can’t sell anything (including my own house!) and I am NOT interested in paying them to send people to my profile for proof that I am worthless after 20 years in the business!

Boom!

How many times will my head explode and I continue on?!!?

Zillow bought Trulia this year, so they now are merging their faulty databases. The rep today said that I will likely see issues with my profile during the merger.

Not likely to get any worse for me, is it?

She confirmed My Florida Regional MLS feeds into Trulia, so the information should be automatically updated. That was after I explained that our MLS goes from Fort Meyers, north to Tampa, east through Kissimmee to the Atlantic Ocean. It is a big MLS! Not the Podunk system she assumed wasn’t feeding into Trulia.

So why, after 9 years, can’t they get it right? Or even close? They could credit me with a couple hundred of my sales and I probably would never even look to see if they were all there. Maybe even 100 would keep me from looking.

But only ONE?!?! I might notice that!

Several times through the years Trulia has said they will fix the feed to my profile. And I have even added some of my sales manually. But, time and time again, this is what I get. The rep said she has hundreds of Realtors in Florida who don’t have issues with their feed.

What makes me so special?

My recent sales range from a $90,000 condo downtown to a $3 Million bay front manse on an idyllic Florida island. I have worked the listing side, the buyer side, and even one with both sides. Trulia even sent me updates on my listings (that sold within days at full price or higher with multiple offers). How can they not at least have the properties they were emailing me about!?!?

Don’t get me started on the agent ratings, recommendations and testimonials! That is a whole other ball of… wax!

So here is my open letter to Trulia, and it will suffice if someone from Zillow would also like to take a look:

I do not want to renew my PRO subscription, that I have had for eight months. I have not gotten any leads from it. The only branding I will get from this is negative! I have had profiles on Zillow and Trulia for @ 9 years, have been a full-time Realtor for over 20 years, and still Trulia only credits me with one sale.

I have recommendations, but no ratings because the customers filled them out before ratings were a feature. I can’t remember if it is Trulia or Zillow, but at least one told me I have the old version of profile, and if I move to the new one I will lose the testimonials that I already have. Great.

Trulia was more useful to me when the blog and Q&A were being utilized. Now, I just don’t see the value of it.

Trulia-Zillow, surely you are working on cross-populating ratings and testimonials, right? Oh well, I’m not paying to see how it turns out.

Please let me know what additional information you need to set up my NON-renewal request.

Rant over. I feel better. Hopefully you are now better informed, and this is a win/win!

Respectfully,

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

REALTOR

Jim Sweat – Helping Buyers & Sellers Choose Wisely Since 1995 ™

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