Rainy Day Showings!

umbrellaRainy Day Showings!  It’s a miserable day and the rain is coming down and the last thing you want to do is show a house, but showings in the rain do have some advantages.  If someone is willing to come out in the rain to look at a house, you know they are pretty serious  and very interested in the house.  They are able to see how the house operates in the rain.  Is the cellar wet?  Are the gutters clear? Does the roof leak?  Do you get drenched at the door?  This can be very helpful to a buyer.

What about the seller?  What are the advantages of showing your house in the rain?  Well, for one, the house looks very inviting and homey and that is exactly what a buyer is looking for.    Take advantage of that.  Turn on a lot of lights so the house is inviting and a drastic change from the dreary outside.  Put the heat up so the home is warm and inviting.  Open the windows a tad if you can to take away some of the stuffiness and smells.   Soft music and a warm fireplace can also add to the homey feeling.   You want them to feel at home and picture themselves living there.

A dreary, rainy day is never the best situation, but you can turn lemons into lemonade and show off your house to its advantage.

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Procuring Cause!

Agent RisingProcuring Cause.  In a recent blog we talked about procuring cause and how confusing it can be for the buyer and his or her real estate agent.  No one intends to break the chain of procuring cause or break a link, but that happens many times in real estate transactions.

Howard Goldson of Realtor Magazine gives a great example:

Procuring Cause: Who Gets Paid?

Angie is holding a busy open house, but she can’t fail to notice when Mary Magic walks in. Mary is 6 feet 8 inches tall and a professional basketball player. She seems very interested in the house: She spends a long time looking at the MLS data sheet Angie provided, tours the whole place, and asks Angie lots of questions about terms and financing. Angie is a fan of the Women’s National Basketball Association and recognizes Mary. They talk about the WNBA and Angie even gets Mary’s autograph—both in her address book and at the bottom of the agency disclosure form that informs Mary that Angie represents the seller.

The next day Angie receives a telephone call from Barry. He advises Angie that he’s a buyer’s agent and has an offer on the property. Angie doesn’t recall his ever making an appointment to show the property, but the offer is very attractive, and the owner agrees to accept it. It’s only after Angie receives the faxed contract from Barry that she realizes the buyer is Mary Magic. Angie then calls Barry to inform him that she’ll be claiming both the listing and the selling sides of the commission because Mary saw the house at the open house the previous day and asked all kinds of questions. Clearly, Angie asserts, that proves that she’s the procuring cause of Mary’s offer to purchase.

Barry contends he was the procuring cause of the sale. Although he acknowledges that he hadn’t shown Mary the inside of the house, he’d told Mary about the property and encouraged her to visit the open house. Barry knew the house well, since he’d sold it to the current owners. In addition, he’d driven Mary by the house after she’d attended the open house and before she made the offer. And as her buyer’s agent, he’d consulted with her concerning the value of the property and the terms and conditions of the offer she eventually made.

After the closing, the selling portion of the commission is placed in escrow with the REALTOR® association, and Barry commences arbitration.

What it comes down to

The resolution of the dispute between Barry and Angie centers on the application of the legal doctrine of procuring cause. Procuring cause acknowledges that to earn a commission a broker or a salesperson doesn’t have to be present when the buyer and the seller ink the deal. Rather, brokers need only show that they initiated an unbroken chain of events that resulted in the deal between the buyer and the seller. Generally, the law requires more than simply showing the property to the buyer. The broker or salesperson must have ignited an interest in the buyer that ultimately led to the purchase.

As is the case with most procuring cause disputes, the facts of this case aren’t clear-cut. That’s because there are so many elements involved. Further, each element needs to be weighed, and the weight of each may be different for each arbitrator. If I were an arbitrator, I’d side with Barry, and here’s why.

Barry had established a relationship with Mary first, and that relationship was one of principal and agent. Although that fact by itself isn’t determinative, it’s a factor that must be considered. Angie, on the other hand, acted with Mary as a disclosed agent for the seller. Although that fact doesn’t necessarily mean that Angie didn’t initiate Mary’s interest in the property, it must also be considered in making a decision.

Barry alerted Mary about the open house and recommended that she see it. Presumably he knew what Mary was looking for in a house and had determined that the house might be the one Mary would purchase. Barry also described the house to Mary, thus painting a verbal picture of what she could expect to see. Whether Barry was the procuring cause at that point is still an open question. However, it’s clear Barry at least motivated Mary to go to the open house.

On the other hand, Angie was present when the house was shown, provided the MLS data sheet, and answered Mary’s questions. Those are important facts and provide strong evidence that Angie was the procuring cause of the sale. However, it’s also a fact that Mary made no offer that day and didn’t express an interest in making an offer. Nevertheless, if the facts ended there, I would have voted for Angie.

What convinced me otherwise is Barry’s reentry into the picture before Mary made an offer to purchase. Barry drove Mary past the house again. Although he didn’t show the inside of the house—an important factor—he was fully familiar with the house layout and was in a position to discuss it with his client. Before Mary’s offer, Barry discussed the value of the property with Mary and what the terms and conditions of her offer should be. Only after that drive-by and that discussion did Mary make her offer. These are the factors that persuaded me to vote for Barry.

Am I absolutely certain that my vote is correct? No, but it’s based on the facts, and it’s rational. How would you vote? Tell REALTOR® Magazine by sending an e-mail to

Points of consideration

Many factors can influence a court or arbitration decision on procuring cause. A partial list from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Arbitration Manual highlights some of the most critical issues.

  • Nature of the transaction (listing and buyer representation agreements)
  • Offer of cooperative compensation
  • Conduct of the seller, the buyer, and the brokers and their affiliate licensees
  • Roles and relationships of the parties
  • Initial contact with the purchaser
  • Continuity of contact (abandonment and estrangement)

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MAR Conference 2014 in Falmouth!

Agent RisingThe MAR Conference 2014 is up and running in Falmouth, MA yesterday and today.   The first day started off with a bang with a great Mobile App for the realtors to post pictures and videos.  Kate Lanagan MacGregor, our great leader from Bold Moves Real Estate, Agent Rising Real Estate School, Beyond Bold Media, and Destination Southcoast was in the lead with picture and video posting.  It’s a great way for the realtors to connect and see what is going on at the conference.

Beyond Bold Media was at the Tradeshow yesterday promoting their great media products and offering up original, artistic cards perfect for graditude marketing.    Reputation marketing brings in your clients and gratitude marketing helps you keep them.

There were some great classes offered both days, including Real Estate Trends, Pricing Challenging Properties, Are You in Jeopardy, and Goal Setting for Productivity and Profit, to name a few, with some amazing speakers.

The Conference is held at the beautiful Sea Crest Hotel right on the beach in Falmouth, MA.

Visit us at for more information on local events and how to be the best realtor you can be.

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Real Estate Safety!

Real Estate Safety is a hot issue with the recent death of the Arkansas realtor who was showing a house to a prospective client.  Leigh Brown sums it up well in her video on You Tube right now.  She makes many good points such as meeting your client at the office first and checking  their ID before you meet them at the house they’d like to see.  It’s dangerous to meet a person you do not know at a house alone.  If they sincerely would like to see a house to buy, they will take the time to meet you at the office first.   I know everyone is busy but this is a step that could save a life.

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Command Your Brand for Less than a Grand!

Agent RisingWhat does this mean?  This is Agent Rising’s 7 Strategies for Success for New Agents.

This includes Serve, Start, Systemize, Support, Stay, Strengthen, and  Sell!

Why are You Here/

In 2011, Massachusetts Association of Realtors completed a survey.

The results found were that a high number of Realtors left before a  three year period.

Many newer Realtors asked for more New Agent Training.

This resulted in a Strategic Pan for a Mentor Program with New Agent Training.

Every week we’ll talk about one of the Seven Strategies for Success.  This will help you distinguish yourself in your marketplace with little or no experience NOW, all for less than one thousand dollars to start!

What do you want to do?  How are you going to do it?  Have a Purpose!

The first Strategy for Success is Serve!

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”  Mahatma Gandhi

How can you help in your niche vs. what’s in it for you?

Contribution VS. Entitlement

Help others and the rest will follow.

Become active in organizations- Some brand /nice related. Some as needed by community

Service as a first and always step

“Help enough people get what they want and you naturally get what you want” Zig Ziglar

Principle of Abundance!

Abundance means for us that there is more than enough to go around.  When we practice that there is enough…business, time, fun, we leave out the feelings of scarcity and create abundance.  There is no competition.  Someone chooses you because you best fit them.  You do not beat someone out of a listing…You do not lose out to them.  You simply did not fit.  Find your fit in your branding!

Look for our Second strategy for Success next week and visit us at for more new agent information.

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What to Look for in the Final Walk Through!

winnersThe time has finally come! You’ve looked at houses, found the perfect one made your offer and secured your mortgage, now it’s time to sign the closing papers. There is one more step to do before the closing occurs, the final walk-through. This usually occurs 48 hours before the closing.

What should you look for? While you might be tempted to just enjoy looking at your new house and all its possibilities, you really need to be looking over the house. In your purchase and sale, there might have been a list of items staying with the house. Are they all present? Also, is everything else removed or at least ready to be moved? You don’t want to be stuck with the seller’s junk.

Were there some repairs to be made prior to closing? Have they been rectified and do they have receipts for the work? Also is there any new damage to the house made when the sellers were moving out? Any new water damage after the home inspection?

Also, check to make sure that everything is in working order. Check faucets, tubs, showers, windows, and the heating system. Turn on lights and go through the garage. It should be working as properly as at the home inspection.

If you do spot something wrong, talk to your realtor about it. They will most likely be at the walk-through with you. Now is the time to rectify the problem with the seller. They are eager to close as well.

Now you can attend the closing with peace of mind and all the excitement it deserves.

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Be Wary of Internet Hoaxes and Scams!

Agent Rising BlogInternet Scams and Hoaxes are Rampant today. There are viruses which come in the form of an e-mail from someone you “may” know, hoaxes which could be chain letters, false virus alerts, and scams asking you to visit a site and confirm your account information in order to receive money.

A common type of scam is a fake e-mail from a bank, or other reputable source asking you to visit a website and enter personal information. Scammers take a lot of time to make these e-mails look professional, and then will use your personal information for identity theft. They can copy company logos to make it look more legitimate. Your bank would never call you looking for your personal information, so whether this happens on the phone or over the internet, hang up or delete the email. If you feel it could be legitimate, you can always call the institution and ask if the e-mail or call is actually from them. Err on the side of caution. You should never be giving out your account number or credit card information on an unsolicited call or e-mail.

Strangers are very unlikely to be handing out free money. That is another scam. This will lead you to a website to collect your private information. Delete these e-mails right away.

A fairly new scam is circulating for real estate. A rental property will be listed on a site like Craigslist, with pictures and descriptions. The scammers will ask for a rental deposit site unseen, and will then send the keys along. These usually seem like great deals, but you are unable to tour the property first and are asked to send money to a site before you receive the keys. Beware of this! Drive by the property first and see if you can get in touch with the real estate company representing the property. These are usually houses for sale, and the scammer uses the pictures on the internet to list it as a rental. The agent and the seller has no idea this is listed for rent. You are literally throwing your money away. A legitimate renter will always let you look at the property first and there will be a lease to sign before any money is exchanged.

Be wary on the internet. If something seems to be too good to be true it probably is.

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The Power of Google Drive!

agent rising with googleWhat is Google Drive and how can it make you a better agent? Well, Google Drive is a system to help you organize your paperwork and have it available on the Google Cloud and accessible from any of your devices at any time.

Paperless is the new catchword and Google Drive can help you achieve this. It goes hand in hand with GMail and is very easy to use. When you start your paperwork with a new client, whether it be a buyer or seller, you can open a new folder on your Google Drive with the address or client’s name. As you fill out offers and contracts with your client, you can scan documents onto your computer and load them into this folder on your Drive. From there you can share the information with other parties, such as your office manager or the closing attorney. You can share the whole folder and as you download more documents into the folder they will be shared with the people you designate.

This is a great tool to keep you organized. These documents are available from any device you use, such as your smartphone or tablet and you will never have to worry that you don’t have the correct document with you.

It also has the convenience of saving documents to your drive right from your email at the click of a button. You can then move this into the correct folder. It only takes two small clicks.

Keeping up with your paperwork becomes much easier if you load your paperwork onto your drive as you go along, instead of waiting until it piles up.

You can also download the Google Drive App onto your tablet or Smartphone.

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How to Up Your Marketing in Real Estate

agent risingReal estate marketing is a continual process. It is not something you do once and wait for the results. It is something you should be continually working on to grow your clientele.

Set up your goals. Where do you see yourself in the near future? Your goals should be specific and reachable in a timely manner.

Define the group of people you would like to work with and set your goals to them.

Find your niche. Set yourself apart from other realtors in a certain area, such as commercial, multi-family, farm property and become an expert at it. You want them to feel you are an expert.

Practice talking about your strengths and what makes you different from other agents and why they should choose you.

Arm yourself with information of the neighborhoods you’d like to be an expert in.

Maximize your referrals. Keep in touch with past clients with thank yous and pop-bys. A hand-written note is always a good touch. If you reach out to them, they will remember you and hence send you a referral.

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Massachusetts Realtor Continuining Education!

brandyourselfMassachusetts Realtors are required to renew their license every two years from the date of their birthday following obtaining their license.   They are also required to complete 12 Continuing Education units (CEU’S) in that time period.  While two years might seem like a long time to complete your CEU’s , many realtors are surprised how quickly it passes and that they are due to renew, but have not completed their CEU’s.  While it is good advice to start working on your CEU’s right away, you need not despair if you fall behind.

Ideally, you would consistently work on obtaining your CEU’s  through local classes.  Some agencies offer CEU classes for their agents, such as Bold Moves Real Estate.  You can also take classes at your local real estate association.  Greater New Bedford Association of Realtors regularly offers CEU credit classes at their New Bedford location.  If you are a member, you can visit the website to see a list of upcoming classes and dates.

The Massachusetts Association of Realtors also offers online courses for CEU’s. This can be a great help if you have fallen behind and need to catch up quickly.  Many of the classes are free for members.

Another great tip is to scan your CEU certificates into your Google Drive under a folder marked : CEU.  This way you will have your credits available in one place so you can quickly see how many credits you have and how many more you need for recertification.

Visiting your local real estate association is a great source of information.  Most of the classes are free if you are a member.   There are also private online sources for CEU classes but they may charge for their classes.

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