Friday, April 13, 2012


From the Midland Daily News:
The Midland Board of Realtors gave its top honor -- Realtor of the Year -- to Shelley Park Cluff, Park Place Homes, at its annual awards luncheon Wednesday at the Midland Holiday Inn.

Cluff has been a member of the Board of Realtors since July 1997. She currently serves as 2012 MBOR Secretary/Treasurer, having served a previous presidential term in 2006. In addition to her presidency, Cluff has served as a director and on several committees.

Her community involvement includes the SOS Animal Rescue, Shelterhouse, Midland Chamber of Commerce, and as a Level III certified volunteer instructor of traditional Muay Thai Kickboxing working with troubled teen referrals.

Cluff is the managing broker of Park Place Homes which she opened in September 2008. She holds the CRS Realtor designation and is an active member of both the state and national Realtor associations.

Named Rookie of the Year was Logan Richetti of Park Place Homes.

Richetti joined the Board of Realtors in April 2011 and currently serves on the PR Committee.

His community involvement includes Dow High School varsity baseball assistant coach and Make A Wish Foundation.

He has a master of science in real estate development from the University of Memphis and is working on his SPR designation. He is the owner of Richetti Holdings, LLC, and Horizon Investment Properties, LLC, and a member of the Midland Area Real Estate Investors Association.

Richetti is also a member of both state and national Realtor associations.

The 2011 Office All Star Awards was presented to a Jill Vander Zouwen, the Realtor at Park Place Homes who was selected by her peers as the most outstanding not only in production but in her contribution to the real estate industry and her community.

Congratulations to all our winners. We are so proud of you!

Click here for full article.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Property Owners Selling Their Home Should Beware

Craigslist can be a very useful and valuable online tool for everything from selling that old lawn mower to finding tenants or buyers for your home. Many agents utilize the popularity of Craigslist to build a prospect list and find qualified buyers or tenants. However there are those who are also looking to take advantage of the anonymity of Craigslist and steal your money.
I recently listed a beautiful home for sale. Within a week I received an inquiry about this home as a rental. Since the home was not available for rent I asked the inquirer where she got her information and she sent me to a Craigslist link. Imagine my surprise when I found a picture I had taken of this home posted on in the ad. The ad appeared two days after my listing was originally activated.
The ad script was very brief but nonetheless enticing. The rent amount was listed as $700 per month or half the market value if in fact we were to rent it. It was time to take action to protect both my seller and prospective tenants who could be wooed into this scam.
The first step I took was to flag the Craigslist posting as “prohibited”. I also sent an email to notifying them of the scam and unauthorized listing of the property. The prospective tenant who contacted me was sent an email notifying her that this was a scam and she should stop any correspondence with the person who posted the advertisement. Finally in an effort to protect others who may be drawn into a similar dishonest post I have contacted our local newspaper to write an article about this.
Since I took these actions I have received two other inquiries from prospective tenants. One of those called me to tell me she was suspicious since the “owner” sent her a picture of his family but she recognized a professional baseball player in the picture and became suspicious. The other prospect was also suspicious and was told not to contact me by the false “owner”.
Thank goodness for consumers who are as aware as these three! These false Craigslist ads are not new as an internet search will prove but appear relatively new to our area. Many unsuspecting tenants have sent money to these scammers only to find out they had no right to occupy the listed property and no way to get their money back.
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.