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How Our Core Values Shape Our Service

Why does working with a real estate agency that has a set of core values matter?

Working with a team that has core values like we do matters because they define how the company makes decisions, how they treat their customers and the public, and what’s important to them. 

Every company has a different set of core values, but today I want to share our core values, what they mean to us, and why they matter to you when determining whether to hire us to help you to buy or sell a home: 

Leader: We want to be a leader in the marketplace and a leader in the industry.

Energetic: We want salespeople and the operations staff that deal with our customers to enjoy what they’re doing, have energy, and to go about their day with a purpose.

Authentic: We’re not the same as every other real estate company. We do some unique things, and we like the fact that we’re authentic. 

Dynamic: It’s in our name, and it means ‘ever-changing.’ We adapt because we know the real estate market changes, and we’re a dynamic firm to help our customers, agents, and staff handle those changes in the marketplace.

We want to be a leader in the marketplace and a leader in the industry.

Family: At our company, our people are like family, and we pass that loyalty on to our customers.

Charitable: My wife and I started a foundation and our goal is to give over $100,000 to charity this year. We want to give back to a community that gives so much to us and help those in need.

Integrity: We want to have integrity in all things we do. We want to be upfront, honest, and put our customers first. 

Learning: We’re learning-based, and we always want to focus on learning—not just how to sell more homes, but how to service our customers and be better for our community. 

Winner: I’m a competitive person, and everybody wants to be a winner. On our team, we want to be the best for our customers.

Innovative: We use 3-D Matterport tours, drone technology, videos, and optimization for our listings for certain web portals. We want to innovate and come up with new ideas and techniques to serve our customers better. 

Accountable: We’re not afraid to accept responsibility when things don’t go well. Our people are accountable to results and doing a great job for our customers. 

We hope our customers follow these same core values. If we have a customer we feel doesn’t fit our core values, we’re not afraid to move on from them and let them work with someone else. 

In the video above, you can see that if you line each core value up along a certain letter, it spells out the words ‘lead,’ ‘fail,’ and ‘win.’ That’s not an accident. 

‘Lead’ is there because we want to lead the market. ‘Fail’ is there because we’re unafraid to fail. We want to push the envelope and push our customers, but sometimes things don’t go our way. 

We learn a lot from those failures, and by being unafraid of failure, we can help our customers better. 

‘Win’ is there because we want to win. We want to win listing appointments and contract negotiations. Winning to us is a way to position ourselves to achieve success for our customers. 

To see an image of our core values, visit the ‘About Us’ section of this website. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help. 

What Are Some Appraisal Challenges You Might Run Into?

One of the challenges of an improving real estate market is rising prices. When prices rise, the supply and demand curve supports those rising prices. As a result, appraisals often come in short, or lower than the purchase price. 

When that happens, the buyer usually has the option to cancel the contract. A renegotiation can also ensue where either the buyer or the seller comes up with the difference to move the sale along. 

To clarify, an appraisal is a form of protection for both buyers and the bank. For buyers, it’s to stop them from overpaying for a home. For banks, it’s to keep them from handing out a larger loan than necessary. If you make an offer on a home and it doesn’t appraise, you’re not obligated to move forward. 

One important thing to note about the appraisal process is there are certain loan products, like the FHA loan, where the appraisal attaches to the property. By this I mean for a period of time, the appraisal stays with the property. 

For example, let’s say an appraisal comes in short from a buyer on a specific property, they decide to cancel, and the seller puts the home back on the market. That appraisal then stays on file, and any subsequent buyer that comes along during that time period with an FHA mortgage would be relegated to that same appraisal number. If you’re a seller looking to cancel a contract and you know the home you’re selling is very likely to be bought by another FHA buyer, you might have to wait until that appraisal expires or someone else comes along with a different loan product. 

Depending on the loan product, the buyer has the right to choose a new lender with a new appraiser.

It’s important to remember that although appraisers are heavily trained professionals with lots of credentials, their opinions on the value of a property can differ. As the industry has changed, their role has changed as well. For a time, there was pressure to bring appraisal prices down, and that caused some of the best appraisers to do other things. 

In addition to having the right to cancel the contract or pursue negotiations, the buyer can also change lenders. A new lender with a new appraiser could see the value completely differently. In that case, you’re generally looking at a delayed closing, but that’s something that can be done to keep a deal under contract at the original purchase price. 

Years ago, shady things like cozy relationships between appraisers and lenders tended to form whenever homes needed to be appraised. Now, though, federal guidelines and regulations have changed so lenders don’t have as much one-on-one communication with appraisers. 

In my opinion, local lenders are better because they not only have a firmer pulse on the market, but they also do a more thorough job of giving a solid value that can be verified by solid data instead of giving a high or low appraisal just to get a loan through.  

If you have any more questions about appraisals or any other real estate topic, please feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.

How to Buy a Home in Tampa Bay & Sarasota with Bad Credit & Come to our 1st Time Buyer Seminar


There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale.  
Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.
Andrew Duncan, Tampa's #1 Realtor and expert, together with Mike Yates of Atlantic Bay Mortgage talk about the options available for people who want to buy a home but have bad credit like those who went through hardship or are self employed.

Saving for a larger down payment
A lot of lenders who lend solely off on credit score but there are some places that offer a little more flexibility. He said the Credit union is one example. A lot of times, they will do everything in-house and assume all the risks because their loaning their own money. You may pay a little bit more on rate and cost, but if you're set on owning a home now, that is an option you would want to consider.  

Improve your credit score
Mike suggests that one of the easiest ways to get your scores up quick is paying down the balances on your revolving debts (i.e. credit cards). Anytime your balance goes above 50% of the limit, it will start dragging your scores down.

Know what to emphasize to a lender
Andrew also advised that it is best to talk to a professional about your credit score because there could be simple things that they can do or they may not have a good grasp about how credit scores are calculated.

FHA loan
Going with an FHA loan requires a lower credit score. Atlantic Bay Mortgage will go low at 580 with FHA loans while some lenders will go as low as 540 but that goes with a larger down payment.

Private Mortgage
Going with a private mortgage is an option for those people in unique situations where your scores aren't good enough or you can't get money from a financial institution although you may pay a little bit more money in rate and cost.

There are a number of options available for people even for those who have bad credit. Andrew invites everyone to join their First Time Home Buyer Seminar every 1st Thursday of the month at 6320 S Dale Mabry Highway to learn what other options are available to you.

To get more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice from Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sunday at 10 am.