Todd Lubar Discusses: Good Properties and Troubled Properties Need Great Professionals

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For real estate gurus like Maryland’s Todd Lubar, there are some obvious “deal breakers” that can put purchase and rental deals into a tailspin long before the closing attorney is ready to have the parties gather around the table. From loans that won’t close to credit reports that paint an unflattering picture of would-be leasers, sometimes it all just falls apart before the ink dries. Even in the current climate of low inventories and higher prices, buyers may still need to be choosy about the properties they pursue, because they are unsavory real estate issues that should be avoided at all costs. Indeed, Todd Lubar has “seen it all” in real estate, including the return of the old property adversary, bedbugs. Often hidden until the moon rises, bedbugs and the tail-tell signs of their infestation, will send even the heartiest investor away from the deal table.

Whether you’re dealing with bedbugs, a bad floor, or just bad pricing, the right advocate can make the difference between property despair and property adulation. At the end of the day, investors, leasers, and potential home owners need to have someone who’s trustworthy and dependable at their side when property decisions are in the future. Ideally, real estate advisors who are familiar with both the lending side of housing as well as the “property side,” are the type of people buyers want on the team. Rule number one? You want your real estate professional working for you alone. Real estate observer Dana Dratch asserts that there is a great deal of obscurity when it comes to “sizing-up” potential advisors. “Real estate agents promote themselves with yard signs, online ads, direct-mail postcards and even sponsored public benches. So, cutting through the advertising hype and finding the right agent can be tough.”[1] That said, gut instinct can be a helpful guide.

The “No” List

The rise of bedbug infestations provides a good case study highlighting the need to hire real estate professionals who appreciate the landscape of the business, and can provide clients with a good understanding of the risks associated with properties and loan products. Professionals like Todd Lubar, for example, let clients know when homes targeted within a certain geographical area have intrinsic challenges. Consider the news that a prominent Maryland municipality has made its way up to the top of one real estate superlative list that no one wants to climb. Journalist Elizabeth Janney was among to report the news of Baltimore’s ascension to the top of the “Bedbug List.” “For the second year in a row, Baltimore claimed the No. 1 spot on the list, which Orkin created based on the number of bedbug treatments ordered in each metropolitan area from Dec. 1, 2016, through Nov. 30, 2017.”[2] Orkin’s not the only pest specialist to acknowledge Baltimore’s growing challenges in the bedbug category. Orkin’s chief competitor Terminix affirms Orkin’s concerns about Baltimore’s bedbug issues while being a bit more gracious with its ranking of the harbored city. According to Terminix, Baltimore is the 11th ranked city on its infestation list. For clients of professionals like Todd Lubar, bad news that could impact inspection, home values, and the like are never withheld from the client.

The best real estate professionals also consider ways the client can remediate some of the concerns revealed through disclosures and inspections. Again, consider the case of bedbugs. Elizabeth Janney affirms what Todd Lubar stresses in his own real estate practice, namely, bedbug infestations require professional treatment. “Bed bugs are very difficult to get rid of, which makes them an infamous pest. Companies like Orkin and Terminix use a combination of insecticides combined with non-pesticide approaches, like vacuuming the insects or heat-treating mattresses. Insecticides typically are less effective than mechanical methods.”[3] Indeed, it’s not enough to point a client in a particular direction and say, “we have a problem.” A professional says, “We have a problem and here’s how we’re going to deal with it.”

The Finer Points

Top real estate professionals are equipped with far more than a list of collateral contacts to call when there’s trouble with a property or a deal. Excellent professionals can produce a sampling of satisfied clients, successful real estate transactions, and can easily tell you about the intricacies of specific markets and submarkets. While all real estate professionals can flash credentials at prospective clients and maybe even an industry award or two, only the topflight professionals can point to experiences – including sales and concerns about unwanted pests – that are like issues you may be addressing as you ponder next steps with a property. Again, professionals like Todd Lubar who have substantial experience on the lending and property sides of real estate transactions are probably the best bet for consumers. 

[1] Extracted from: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/7-tips-for-picking-a-real-estate-agent-1.aspx

[2] Extracted from: “https://patch.com/maryland/baltimore/baltimore-tops-bed-bug-cities-list

[3] Ibid.

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Brian has over 15 years of experience working with local and community news companies in the UK. Having garnered enough experience, Brian eventually decided to take on greater responsibilities by covering global news.

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