July 7th, 2010

From the Desk of Bill Gallagher:


A minor change to our NC Residential Property Disclosure Form was effective on July 1, 2010. Item 15 on page two of the form was revised as follows:
Item 15. Commercial, Industrial, or Military Noise, Odor, Smoke, Etc., affecting the property

This change deletes the word “nuisances” and adds the word “military” so the seller of the property can disclose noise from nearby military installations (low flying airplanes, firing of weapons, training exercises) has the option on the disclosure form to disclose any such conditions that may exist.

This change was requested by the leaders of major military installations in North Carolina and has the support of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS. Those supporting this change hope that it will encourage sellers to disclose conditions caused by military operations that affect nearby properties so that buyers will be aware of such conditions at the time of purchase and not become unhappy with their purchase or with the military when such conditions do occur. The purpose of the rule change is to promote harmony between the military and civilian neighbors in North Carolina.

Real estate agents who obtain new listings on or after July 1, 2010 need to ask sellers to complete the revised form. It has been recommended that if listings were obtained prior to July 1, 2010, the previous form completed by the seller is satisfactory to use so long as the property condition has not changed. Some real estate firms have made a company decision to require all sellers to complete the new form;  in this case agents must follow the policy of their company. This information is presented in the new 2010-2011 Real Estate Update Course I began to teach July 1st.


Please click to read, review and print the revised form.


If you have further questions or would like to share with me your comments and opinions on this topic, my e-mail address is or mobile number is 704-488-4814.

Results or Reasons! The difference between “Knowledge and Wisdom”

May 7th, 2010

Why do some “know” what to do but others “execute?”

There is a huge gap today between what people “know” and what people actually “practice.”  I was working with a group of real-estate sales agents and asked the audience, “Who here likes to go running?” Of the 200 people 10 people actually liked running.  Of the 190 that remained, I asked, “Do you run even though you don’t like it?”  Zero hands went up.  It dawned on me that if you don’t like to do something like make “Cold Calls”, you simply don’t do them.  If you like to run you will learn how to be really good at it.  If you like to prospect you will want to get really good at it, too. 

So, how does someone become “wise”?  Age does not guarantee wisdom; if it did then we would see many more healthy elderly people. So that being said, what you “practice” you become!  Practice does not “make Perfect” practice makes “permanent.”  If you practice poor eating habits you will be unhealthy, even though you may know what is good for you.  If you are playing tennis and you hit the ball in the net 100 times, you just learned how to hit the ball in the net 100 times.  The results that you have are a direct reflection of what you are “practicing” on a consistent basis.   So, why do some people love to run? They simply have reasons to support their choice and strategies that make them love it.
If you want to love what most people hate, (like cold calling), all you have to do is find someone that loves it and do what they do.  The best way to “get motivated” is to be around someone that is already motivated. 

To be wise you must think the thoughts of the wise ones, “practice” the disciplines that they possess, and you will become that which you “practice!”  

-Tamara Bunte Owner, The Institute for Advanced Results, LLC

Tamara will be presenting “The 10 Skills of Top Income Earners” at Superior School of Real Estate in June.

First-time Buyers & Social Media

April 27th, 2010

NC Association of Realtors President, Mary Edna Williams, said in Insight Magazine (April-June 2010, Vol 89, Issue 2), “This year, the largest group of first-time buyers since the Baby Boomers - the Gen Y -  turns 30.  Care to guess the average age of today’s first-time home buyer, according to NAR?  Yes, it’s 30.  YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and texting are how this generation communicates.  If you’re not on board, you’re limiting your business.” 

Find out more about Superior’s 2-day, hands-on social media training at  The class starts this Thursday (April 29) in the Triad, Monday (May 3) in Charlotte, and Thursday (May 6) in Research Triangle Park.

Steve Connell
Chief Operating Officer
Superior School of Real Estate

New Lead-Based Paint Renovation & Repair Rule

April 22nd, 2010

April 22, 2010

A new rule will go into effect this month requiring renovation and repair contractors to be EPA-certified to work with lead paint hazards if they will work on residential property built before 1978 in which lead-based paint may be disturbed. 

The EPA has information for property owners, contractors, and real estate professionals at

You may also search for North Carolina Certified Lead Professionals at

Accountability – the Breakfast of Champions

March 2nd, 2010

What are the positive effects that accountability can have on your real estate career? How can you embrace and leverage accountability to increase your performance and success? The definition of accountability is “the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable.” Unfortunately, many real estate agents have a negative perception regarding accountability. There is a judgment and fault finding perception. And it is so wrong!

Accountability is clearly a system that is critical for success. It is a way to define your goals and then measure your progress towards them. It is a tool that will help you achieve your goals. Accountability is the breakfast of champions. Do you know of any champion who does NOT have a coach? It is about the confidence to commit to being held to a high standard of performance and delivery of results. Being ‘truly accountable’ means that you are committed to the high standards that you have set for yourself. It means that you’ll welcome and embrace others to hold your feet to the fire to help you reach your goals.

Accountability has a positive effect on business when you set clear expectations and commitments for yourself. There are three accountability options to be considered. An accountability partner, group accountability and/or a business coach are three alternatives. Each of these accountability systems will help you avoid working on the wrong things, help you manage your time more effectively, and help you stay more focused on specific and important tasks.
The most important part to having an accountability system is to make sure that the system consists of people you respect, who will tell you the truth, and who are committed to holding you to the standards and expectations that you have set for yourself.

Accountability is the answer that all successful people embrace. Will you? Is there another way for you to achieve your goals that you have not considered? Peer accountability, group coaching and/or a personal coach is something that you must consider!

Written by Peter Popovich
‘Transforming Lives Daily’

Superior partners with Course Creators to bring you Social Media & Technology Training

February 5th, 2010

Superior School of Real Estate is proud to announce our partnership with Course Creators to provide Social Media & Technology Training to NC agents.  

Be the first in North Carolina to join us for an exciting adventure to master the new ways of doing business through technology. You don’t even have to be computer savvy to succeed! This two day course is the fastest and easiest way to learn because we will guide you with How To Click for success. You never had this much fun in front of your computer while you:


  • Grow your business in ways never before possible
  • Reduce your marketing expenses, expand your reach and do more with less
  • Connect with new spheres of influence
  • Use blogs, videos and multi-media to build new sources of clients
  • Go where your clients went and get them back using Trulia & Zillow
  • Amaze yourself and your business with what you will be able to do

Get all the details at

Green Building Council & USGBC Seminar - Wednesday, February 3rd 1pm - 4pm

February 2nd, 2010

Interested in Green Home Building?

Realtors are invited to join this event and get your questions answered by the EXPERTS.

How much does it REALLY cost to build green?

How do Green Homes REALLY Sell?

What are the REAL Issues to Watch Out For?

Topics Include:

  • Tax Credits & Incentives
  • Costs of Third Party Verification
  • Energy Testing
  • Energy Efficiency Measures for New Construction Energy
  • Efficiency Measures for Renovation
  • Education, Resources, & FAQs

Wednesday, February 3rd
1:00pm - 4pm
One Piedmont Town Center
4720 Piedmont Row Drive
Charlotte, NC 28210

go to for more information and to register.

The FIRST 3 Questions you NEED to ask your lender to sell homes in 2010

January 29th, 2010

1.    WHEN do you send a loan to the Underwriter?

 Most lenders try to ‘protect’ their costly underwriter’s time by requiring the whole package to be prepared and appraisals completed before the underwriter reviews a file.  This potentially can waste everyone ELSE’S time!  When the underwriter reviews a file upon initial application, the processor & loan officer KNOW what the underwriter will require instead of trying to ‘out guess them’, and everyone saves a lot of time and wasted effort.  Then you don’t have to ask the borrower for any unneeded documentation, or ask them for stuff late in the game after it has already been packed away!  You also could save them money.  Why order an appraisal on an unapprovable situation?  Loan Officers don’t know ALL of the guidelines.  Have you ever seen a loan fall through after receiving a prequalification letter?

2.    What ‘credit overlays’ do you have on top of the Automated Underwriting System (DU, LP, GUS, etc) findings?

This can quickly reverse your preapproval into a turndown!  Ex:  credit scores, months of reserves, debt-to-income ratios, # of tradelines, length of employment history, PMI requirements, etc.  This is why #1 is SO important!

 3.    Can you fix credit scores quickly?

Ask them if they use the rapid re-score process.  Forcing a manual change in a customer’s credit score can take 5-7 business days from the date the credit agency submits the changed information to the bureaus.  There is no limit to the number of trade lines that can be processed, but please keep in mind that this is a costly service.  It costs $30.00 per trade line per person PER BUREAU.  So fixing one joint account can cost $180!   Even rejected documents are charged a fee of $10 per trade line. 

This process hopes to increase a FICO score by removing incorrectly reported information from the credit report, but this result cannot be guaranteed.  In fact, there is a possibility that the score will go down, because the three main credit bureaus recalculate the entire credit file, not just what has been changed on that trade line.  So, if a new collection shows up in the time since the last report was pulled, that new bad information may counteract any good effects of the changed information.

When done, this creates a permanent change to a consumer’s credit record.  Anyone pulling their credit after a rescore has been completed will also see the updated account information.

Written by:

Jim Garrison
Branch Manager
Mortgage Consultant
Brayden Capital Home Loans
Phone:  704-488-5020
e-fax:     866-935-5065


Home Buyer Tax Credit Update

November 11th, 2009

Effective November 6, 2009

The Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extends and expands the first-time homebuyer credit allowed by the previous law. The new has three main provisions:

1. Extends the deadline for purchase and closing on a home;

2. Authorizes the credit for certain long-term homeowners buying a replacement principal residence; and

3. Substantially raises the income limitations for homeowners claiming the credit.

Deadline Extension
Under the new law, an eligible taxpayer must enter into a binding contract to buy a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010, and close on the home by June 30, 2010.

The credit may be claimed on the taxpayers 2009 or 2010 tax return.

(Note: The requirement that the contract be “binding” implies that any contingencies should be satisfied by the April 30 deadline.)

Certain Long-term Homeowners Eligible
The Law puts in place a credit for up to $6,500 for long-term homeowners who buy a replacement principal residence. They must have lived in the same principal residence for any five-consecutive year period during the eight year period that ended on the date the replacement home was purchased.

Higher Income Limitations
The phase out for individual tax payers is raised from the previous phase-out range of $75,000 - $95,000 of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) to $125,000 - $145,000. For married filing jointly the phase-out range increases from a MAGI range of $150,000-$170,000 to a range of $225,000 - $245,000.

Young Accounting Services would be pleased to answer any questions you may have about the new law.

Young Accounting Services, Inc.
(704) 541-1512     10801 Johnston Rd., Suite 219, Charlotte, NC  28226

HVCC Affecting You and the Real Estate Industry

October 30th, 2009

12 Tragic Results of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) Affecting You and the Real Estate Industry
written by Cantey C. Tull

 The Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC), required on all loans as of May 1, 2009, requires that no mortgage lender responsible for the origination of a residential loan application can order an appraisal as a part of the application process.  The result is that mortgage lenders providing funds for closing must order the appraisal through their non-originating staff and have chosen appraisal management companies (AMC) to perform the function.   This new code has caused a serious problem which dramatically affects the housing and mortgage industries and consumers alike.

The HVCC exists because of an investigation by the New York Attorney General Anthony Cuomo of a federally charted bank, Washington Mutual and an appraisal management company. There was significant evidence of collusion between the two entities, showing pressure from WAMU to the AMC to overvalue properties.  Cuomo filed suit against the AMC (not the bank because of regulations). Cuomo developed HVCC, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac signed the code. It is probable that Fannie and Freddie feared exposure from knowing or suspecting that loans from this federally charted bank, WAMU, were fraudulent.

Mark Savitt, the former President of National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB), talked to representatives at Fannie Mae who admitted they had to sign or get sued.  Lawsuits involving those agencies are not uncommon and would likely not have been the primary reason for signing the HVCC into practice.  One representative did not deny that that was their fear when further questioned.

HVCC was a well-intentioned proposal to put a stop to conflict of interest and pressure on appraisers. However, very little to nothing advantageous has come from its implementation. Cuomo says in a letter that the purpose of HVCC was to foster appraisal independence through specific provisions governing appraiser selection, solicitation, compensation, blacklisting and conflicts of interest. Unfortunately, nothing in the provision will eliminate those things.

The rule actually allows federally chartered banks to continue relationships with appraisal management companies. Those banks can blacklist, withhold compensation and can actually own up to 20% of the appraisal companies.  So, the rule does not apply to the group or situation initially investigated to which Cuomo referred as a conflict of interest.



The consequences of HVCC have been hugely detrimental to all industries involved in the housing market, producing outcomes not anticipated. Here are a few of the results seen throughout the country. 


·        Consumers are paying more in appraisal fees across the country, typically, affecting their loan costs.

·        Consumers are paying increased lock in fees because appraisals are taking longer than they should requiring extensions of loans rates. 

·        Appraisal management companies, not situated in the transaction area, are hiring appraisers that are located near but not necessarily in the vicinity of the property.  Appraisers have been known to come from 30 miles or more away and do not know the intricacies of the area.

·        AMC’s are using less experienced appraisers that perform appraisals for less money than the more experienced ones and pocket the difference affecting the quality of the appraisal. Experienced appraisers are exiting the business.

·         Appraisals are not portable from lender to lender as previously allowed. If one lender rejects a loan, then the consumer is required to pay for another one if reapplying.

·        In the first 3 ½ months, consumers nationwide had paid an extra $2.8 million in costs. Savitt met with representative of NY’s AG office who said the $2.8 million, even in that short timeframe, was deemed acceptable. Why?

·        Many brokers have gone out of business because of this rule, inhibiting competition.

·        Because the appraisals are inaccurate, many loans either close with1) an increase to Borrower’s pricing because of a change to LTV 2) with adjustments to a seller lowering the net equity3) or many loans do not close at all.  Here is an example:  An appraiser missed the square footage on a refinance by 12.5%. He acknowledged that he made a mistake in size but refused to increase the value. Additionally, he falsified the appraisal giving the first comparable credit for 1 bedroom when it actually had 2. Again he would not make an adjustment to value.  Originally approved, conditioned on the appraisal, the loan was then denied.  The Lender would not order another appraisal (“we can’t value shop”). However, the originating firm was looking for accuracy.  The original rate was then gone; and the borrowers could no longer qualify. Changing to a new lender with a new appraisal was not an option.  Stories of this magnitude are rampant.

·        HVCC has contributed to consumers losing their homes because they could not sell or refinance due to inaccurate appraisals.

·        HVCC has been hugely responsible for a decline in property  value affected by  inaccurate appraisals.

·        The housing industry represents at least16% of overall economy.  HVCC is causing the housing recovery to lose steam. 

·        Some banks have ownership in appraisal companies.  The reason HVCC came about is still in existence.  HVCC doesn’t stop the capability of fraud.




Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) and Travis Childers (D-MS) is sponsoring a bill to Congress along with 57 co-sponsors from both political parties to put a halt to the HVCC code for eighteen months.   During that time, there would be a reevaluation and study of these unintended consequences.  Because Cuomo, NY Attorney General, is solely responsible for the implementation and the results of this national code, many Congressman are responding to the possibility of a moratorium.


Some banks, lenders, brokers, loan officers, credit unions, consumers and real estate agents have been guilty of trying to influence.   However, there are laws in effect to deal with fraud. When the Attorney General’s office was asked why not enforce laws already on the books, the response was because of a lack of resources.  Should we destroy recovery in the housing market because of lack of resources?


There are at least three good possibilities other than HVCC for fraudulent behavior:

Lose a license permanently, Mandatory jail time and a Fine equal to the cost of the prosecution.  Setting out penalties in advance for this type of event would certainly cause diminished fraud activity eliminating the need for HVCC.




NAMB is pleased to report that an amendment under the leadership of Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) and Travis Childers (D-MS) and offered by Miller, Childers, Donald Manzullo (R-IL), and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to sunset the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and allow all loan originators, licensed or registered in accordance with the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act, to order appraisals directly, was voted on and approved by the Committee to be included in H.R. 3126. The legislation will go to the house floor for a vote, If approved, the bill will go to the Senate for final resolution.


Contacting your government officials regarding the proposed legislation is crucial to the health of our industries.  Our voices must be heard.  To contact your Congressman or Senators, you can use the link below


Cantey C. Tull, Certified Mortgage Consultant (CMC) is the owner of Tull Mortgage, LLC.  TM helps families’ structure mortgages to build wealth.  Her firm was awarded the 2009 Best of Charlotte-Mortgage Professional category.