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Archives of real estate blog entries for January 2, 2011
Featured blog posts
You're Never too Old to Learn~Especially with Short Sales - 04:52 PM
Helping Seattle home owners with their short sales in 2010 was truly the highlight of my year. That might sound strange, finding satisfaction in a tough, unfortunate situation, but right now, helping an owner complete a short sale is the best feeling in real estate When a short sale finally reaches closing day, the sellers are relieved, appreciative and full of thanks. It's always a great day! I'm proud of the success my team and I have had negotiating and closing short sales throughout the greater Seattle area. Our success rate is high but not perfect. Do we know everything? No. (56 comments)
Why Should You Contact a REALTOR outside of buying or selling? - 10:14 PM
I bet most people don't think of contacting their real estate agents for questions outside of the need to buy or sell and the occasional referral. I think there are many important reasons clients should contact their real estate agent and I do my best to remind them that I am more than just someone you can trust during your sale or purchase. Here are some reasons you may need to contact me after closing: 1. Your plumbing is backed up and your home warranty is no longer in place. You are going to finally take out that orange formica in (34 comments)
Is the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Sacrosanct ? - 11:41 PM
San Diego Real Estate | Is the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Sacrosanct ? Instinctively, for most of us in the real estate business, it is. For decades our real estate lobbyists and leaders in the industry have preserved and even enhanced this incentive for home ownership and helped us market our services to consumers pointing out this tax benefit as another benefit to being a homeowner. And mortgage holders that followed this idea have benefited by the billions in tax savings annually. A closer look of exactly who saves what, should be very informative. And I think as the protectors of (54 comments)
Do I Need a Termite Bond? - 08:18 AM
Do I Need a Termite Bond? Recently a client asked me this question while we were previewing a home. Living in the south where termites are a major problem, my response was it is always advisable for a buyer to have a termite inspection. While they are typically required by the lender, technically in Georgia, a Termite Bond is not required to sell a property. However, I always do my due diligence and advise my buyers to obtain a new or assume an existing bond. A Termite Bond is a contract between a homeowner and pest control company, effective after an inspection has been accomplished and (34 comments)
It is not talked about a lot, but the past few years have taken a psychological toll on many in the real estate industry. Here is a word of encouragement on at least one problem, and it's solution. We are calling it “REDS,” and are referring to the psychological discouragement that can seriously slow down or prevent constructive business building action. REDS is wrapped up in three enemies that will keep you in its grip. But there are three friends that will get you free. If your have ever experienced REDS – either just a little, or a whole lot (53 comments)
It will be 4 years ago this month that I wrote my first blog post here in Active Rain. The best part of the experience back then was watching the puzzled looks on my coworkers faces when I'd say things like "I blogged for an hour last night" or "I feel a blog coming on". Many of them are still outside of the loop on the whole blogging thing or tried it briefly but never committed to it. There has to be a closet writer inside the person to begin with I think to stick with it. 370 posts later I still enjoy (88 comments)
Buyers talk about finding 'the' house, about a feeling when they are in some homes and sometimes they talk about karma. What they are really saying is that the home appeals to all of their senses, If you are putting your house on the market, look around your home for anything dead in the house and either toss it or pack it away for your next home. What should you take away? Stuffed animals and fish. Some basements are a museum to the owner's hunting and fishing exploits. Skins. You might be surprised how many people have animal skins hanging on the wall or (90 comments)
"Furnace Has Had An Annual Service Contract" - 06:22 AM
I can tell you that when a home inspector sees a service sticker on an HVAC unit, and the service is up to date, that inspector will feel a little bit better about the system. Even if it is an older system, as on this house. And, knowing that the system is old, the agent thought to feature the fact that the diligent homeowners had a regular service contract. Prominent in the list of features was listed, "Furnace has had an annual service contract." And, normally, that is great information. The key word however is system. If a company is going (51 comments)
Yes, Virginia, You CAN take a vacation! - 04:14 AM
This is the year to cast off the guilt, plan for and take that vacation! This is the beginning of my 7th year as an owner of a Real Estate and Auction Company. While I have occasionally taken a week or two to the lakehouse, we haven't taken a really great or far off vacation in years! We have had a few short trips to football games but not what I would call "life-changing" This year was the perfect opportunity. My youngest daughter, a college student studying Architecture, had the opportunity to study abroad and attend classes (including Italian classes and art classes) in (19 comments)
My 5 stages of Active Rain Grief - 10:37 AM
Most of us are familiar with the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief, in fact my Active Rain blogging start began with this as I was undergoing cancer treatment in Houston a little over 2 years ago, so since my thoughts turned to that during the holidays I thought I would share my personal journey here and how I feel about it. This is in no way the truth for anyone but me nor is it meant as a criticism to anyone in particular including the folks at Active Rain. This is more about what I would call my personal growth and (53 comments)
CLEARING BUYER FUNDS – "CAN'T YOU USE OTHER MONEY IN YOUR ESCROW ACCOUNT FROM OTHER DEALS?” - 06:22 PM
We closed a record number of transactions in December - a record at least for us - and one closing stands out for a disturbing statement by the buyer's real estate agent. As the closing agent and because this was a short sale and funds had to be disbursed to the lender immediately at closing, we advised the buyer that we needed wired funds so they would be immediately available. The buyer's agent went apoplectic upon our mentioning that we needed wired funds instead of local bank check. When we advised that if it was a bank check, even a local (39 comments)
Never Answer the Same Question Twice - "How Do We Buy A House?" - 05:58 PM
“Hi Pat, Aaron and I are very excited to finally be buying our first home. It is a little embarrassing how little we know about the subject. We are looking forward to sitting with you to discuss everything, but we were hoping you could tell us a little up front so that we can be as prepared as possible for our meeting.”
Dear Aaron and Jen, I usually tell people that it is much easier than you might think to buy a home. However, even if you buy five or ten homes in your lifetime, you probably will never become (36 comments)
How Do They Determine Address Numbers? Ever wonder about your address? In the United States, odd numbers are on one side and even numbers on the other. Typically, the address number assigned is proportional to the distance from some baseline, so that's why there is a big skip in numbers on a typical street. In many cities, addresses often increase by 100 for each cross street, sometimes within each block. So a block where one side is numbered 5501, 5513, etc. is followed by a block beginning with 5601. Until the widespread adoption of 911 Emergency Systems, an old rural (37 comments)
I was Dusting, and had to Laugh - Times are Changing! - 04:16 PM
As we enter into a New Year, it is fun to look back at last year, and past years. There have been business plans, budgets, technology and programs that helped our business grow! What will work best for the 2011 year of business? It is exciting to look forward to the unknown and do a bit of hoping, it will be better than last year! I look forward to getting a new phone this year, and the frustration with learning a new system! We have new contracts that changed pretty drastically to study. Have you looked back to see (65 comments)
Who pays the buyer's agent ? - 06:56 AM
email from North Carolina . We will be relocating to Philadelphia and are looking to buy a home We saw your profile and web site on the internet. We would like you to help us find a home. How much do you charge ? ANSWER. If you employ me as your Buyer's agent, you do not have to pay me any thing. I will accept the fees offered by the seller's agent as mentioned in the multiple listing. When a seller lists with an agent , the seller offers a certain amount to the listing agent and the agent signs a (72 comments)
The internet, emails and blogs of course have their place - now more than ever in fact - but these items should not completely override the face to face communication with clients that used to be the foundation of customer relationships ! So ! With that in mind, I like to balance my electronic communication with the old practise of doing 'Client Pop-Bys'. 'Pop-Bys' or 'Stop-Bys' are not for everyone, and can be handled different ways. Some agents like to confirm with the clients that they are coming - (68 comments)
You Never Stop Learning - 11:23 PM
This is a photo I took of a recent brokers and managers meeting the Westchester-Putnam Association of REALTORS held to bring us up on the recent changes to real estate laws and how that affected our responsibilities to our clients.
The quality of the snapshot isn't good because I thought it would be a tad obnoxious to use my flash in the session. It was a packed house. When I got into the business in 1996, I was a fly on the wall for manager and owner meetings on a few occasions. Their tone was that of a social gathering; nothing to criticize, but (51 comments)
Are You Costing Yourself Clients? - 10:03 AM
Are you costing yourself Clients? If you knew there was something easy that you could do to make your posts appear more compelling and intelligent, wouldn't you do it? I have read two posts today that had glaring spelling errors. Let me confess, right up front, that I am an awful speller. Spelling comes naturally to some and not to others, and I have ALWAYS struggled. For me, the advent of word processing was life changing. But that said, it is critical that if you are going to use blogging as a marketing tool you must pay attention to the details--like (111 comments)
Email Question: Why Do You Keep Sending Us Homes Outside the Neighborhood We Want? - 12:09 AM
I had these clients on an automatic email notification....here is the issue....they wanted a home in a specific neighborhood that had about 90 homes. They also wanted to pay about $50k below what any home had sold for in the last year. They also let me know they NEEDED TO BE IN THERE HOME IN THE NEXT 90 DAYS. Here is the Question: Jeff, Mary and I are wondering why you continue to send us properties that are outside the neighborhood we are requesting. We love your area knowledge and how much time you take going through homes with us, (18 comments)
Please Make Up Your Mind! - 09:41 PM
Dear ... , A little over two months ago you Mom called me and asked me to help you find your first home together as a couple. I have known your Mom for over 20 years and I was truly honored that she thought to recommend me to you. But I think it's time we have a heart-to-heart talk for all of our sakes. The basic point I want to make is that it is long past time for you to come to a serious understanding of what you want and need as a first home. In the last 8 or so weeks I (51 comments)
It is all in the details. Proof-reading your listing. - 08:11 PM
It is all in the details. Proof-reading your listing. Today I read an excellent post written by Holly Kirby, Are You Costing Yourself Clients? Her observation was about recent posts she had read that contained silly spelling errors that could have be corrected with spell check. What does this lack of attention to detail convey to possible clients? As a listing agent, a seller is going to pay you to list their home and input all the pertinent information to the MLS and their expectation is that you will be proofreading your entry. Making an error could potentially cost a seller a good buyer when the property does not show (71 comments)
I Had Another One of THOSE Calls Today!! - 09:00 PM
I had another one of THOSE calls today.....It started with a phrase that I am becoming accustom to hearing when I answer the phone. “I follow your blog on Active Rain”, now I do admit that sometimes it is someone wanting to put me on the first page of Google yadiyada. Sometimes it is someone asking directions to an event that I have written about, gives me a chuckle, but sometimes it is someone wanting to do business with me or send business my way! Today It was one of the send business my way!! I have to admit that when (77 comments)
Buyers aren’t liars, you may just be a horrible listener! - 09:05 AM
As Realtors we have an obligation to assist our buyers in identifying and purchasing the home they want. Too many times we have find that listening skills are not the priority in our business relationships. Phyllis Borchardt, REALTOR® , e-PRO® , SFR® , CNE® phyllis@WestMarco-RE.com RE/MAX Professionals cell 623-521-0790 efax 623-321-1480"Whatever you can do, or dream you can - begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it". Goethe2011 The best time to purchase a home in our generation!Creating Repeat and Referral Business One Satisfied Client at a time! Via Todd Clark (Broker) (503)524-9494 (Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert) (Knipe Realty): (0 comments)
The Real Estate Investor - Making a Good Start! - 12:19 PM
Real Estate Investors often get started with Investing like a Blogger gets started with Blogging. They tell you to just get going and learn as you go. There is a difference. As a Blogger I make a lot of mistakes. I look back and wish I had written something different, set my categories different, worked on the back side of it better, or did any number of things different. Some of these things I can correct easily, others not so easily, and I loose opportunities by not starting off right. In Real Estate Investing I see a lot of Investors here (2 comments)
Saw a Home on Zillow, it Still Available? - 12:48 PM
The writer here makes some great points about Zillow, but I think if you really want to search for homes you need to go to a search engine that is a direct feed from the MLS with fewer stale listings. Here is a direct feed from the MLS covering the San Francisco East Bay Area. Via Jimmy Gilley - (269) 362-4841 - Your Niles, MI Real Estate Expert (Cressy & Everett Real Estate): This is one of those questions I get all the time. I am a personal believer in Zillow as a great place to advertise as home buyers are using the (3 comments)
Don't clean your parents home before - 12:53 PM
This is kind of a cute post. When family members pass on be careful not to through the junk out too fast. You might be missing some real treasure. When I was a kid I once found cash in an old sleeping bag I picked up somewhere. Via Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell): My clients frequently tell me they want to clean out their parents home before I look at it. Frequently they are a little embarrassed at the condition of the home and need to make themselves better about it before I see it. MY RESPONSE is a resounding NO. Don't clean out. Don't (5 comments)
The Diet is Blown - Week 67 - Who took my Coffee Damit! - 01:01 PM
My wife bought way too much food for the holiday and one thing I hate is too see food thrown out. I am not joking I hate to see things go to waste, so they have been going to my waist. However, most of the junk is about out of the house and we should be getting back to normal. I ran out of my beloved Coke Zero the other day and told my wife not to buy me anymore, I am going to kick the caffine habit this weekend in anticipation of going back on induction. I have felt somewhat (8 comments)
The Benefit of Wisdom - 02:47 PM
Read Proverbs Chapter 2 Solomon knew that a person who spends time and energy on becoming wise is likely to avoid many problems. Wisdom is not know facts. It is knowing how to live. A person who values wisdom will obey God. That person will learn to avoid bad influences and resist temptations. The Lord gives wisdom. How by reading His word and obeying His commands, learning to walk uprightly before Him, and avoiding evil thoughts and actions. Today: Ask God for wisdom. Learn to avoid spending time with people who enourage you to disobey God.Lord, we ask you to fill (3 comments)
My Blackberry Is Not Working!!! - 03:30 PM
This funny comedy sketch from the BBC is well worth the couple of minutes to watch and get a great laugh. This will keep you smiling and laughing everytime you see a blackberry phone. Via Nestor & Katerina Gasset Realtors® Wellington Florida Luxury Homes (International Properties and Investments, Inc.): My Blackberry is not working! What a great way to start out the new year with some great British humor. Now, I turned in my Blackberry for the iPhone 4 on my birthday and right before we went to the FAR Convention in Orlando and REBar camp. I happen to absolutely love my iPhone and (1 comments)
Southwest Illinois Real Estate Market 2010 - 05:39 PM
So how was the real estate market in 2010 vs. 2009 in the Metro East Illinois Real Estate Area? Well, in 2010 there was a total of 6321 homes that sold 2010 Totals
Local Scott AFB | Metro East IL Real Estate Guide Metro East & Scott AFB Illinois Home StoreBe The First To Find Your New Home You may use this local Scott AFB - Metro East Illinois real estate website to search for every home for sale surrounding Scott Air Force Base and military family housing. So if you are considering selling your home or buying a new home, (0 comments)
Inexpensive Historical Living in Beacon Hill San Antonio, Texas - 10:27 AM
There is a great history within Texas, as well as in San Antonio, with the Alamo serving as a central attraction of the city. Also within San Antonio there lies many great historical areas that offer Victorian style architecture and homes that were built in the early 1900’s, such as in Beacon Hill, which remains a less expensive alternative to historic living. The homes in this area are mostly historic, yet without the historic status, the homes within the neighborhood remain below $95,000 on average, with the range from $130,000 to as low as $21,140. The state of Texas holds several (0 comments)
Most of us have more than one credit card from more than one credit card company. If you happen to be one of the many, you are in the middle of debt. If you happen to be struggling to pay your debt down then take into consideration the following tips on how to pay your debt more effectively: Check what the status of your debt is. It is important when you begin to pay down your debt that you check all accounts to make sure that all charges are correct. Each month check your credit card statements to ensure that (2 comments)
What is the right anaswer? Jack N Jill or Hollywood Bath - 09:32 AM
I have been asked by many what is the difference between a “Hollywood Bath” and a “Jack and Jill Bath”. I have always thought they where the same thing... But according to Answers.com I am incorrect in my thinking....
I would like to know your feeling on this question and get it straight on and for all....
Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about home-ownership in general, I encourage you to check out a couple of great online resources:http://www.texasrealestate.com/ or http://www.har.com/ and for all of your Pearland (6 comments)
What will you do differently in 2011 - 09:52 AM
What will you do differently in 2011 in your real estate business? Have you set your gaols? Have you worked on your budget? How many calls a day will you make? Are you going to go to a different brokerage? Are you going to get your GRI. Are you going to get involved in your association?
Now is the time to answer all of these questions and many more... Start the new year off right and make 2011 a great year.... Don’t let the media win. Let’s show them how real professionals work... Do your job to the (1 comments)
Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: What's the Difference? - 10:31 PM
This is very good info for all to see. Always be careful when buying either one...Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about home-ownership in general, I encourage you to check out a couple of great online resources:http://www.texasrealestate.com/ or http://www.har.com/ and for all of your Pearland TX and Northern Brazoria and Galveston County real estate needs, please visit my site at http://www.danfrankrealty.com/. All of these sites offer tons of useful, real estate-related information geared specifically for Texans. Remember, Danny Frank is a local Pearland TX Real Estate expert! You can see (0 comments)
The Houston Texans Football Game - 10:42 PM
Today I was the invited guest to the Houston Texans Football game... What a game it was. They won and I had a very good time. I am writing this to say thanks to Laurie Hines and Alamo Title for the invite and all of the hospitality and great times we had today... You guys rock... What a great way to spend an afternoon, with great friends, a great company and we won to top it all off.... Thanks Laurie...Whether you're interested in buying your first home, your next home, or just want to know more about home-ownership in general, I (1 comments)
Jarrell, Texas, Is Growing - 12:00 PM
When we first moved to Jarrell, Texas, 15 years ago, it was a classic small town Texas rural village. And we liked it that way - that's why we moved there. While the school had new buildings, it still had (and still does) the original building built in 1916. There was a one street downtown that held the Jarrell Supermarket, Eagle Bank, Ginger's Beauty Salon, the post office, Jarrell-Schwertner Water Supply, a gas station, the Speedway Inn, the liquor store, the volunteer fire department. Across the highway was Doc's, which survived two tornadoes (including the Big One, the F5 that hit (3 comments)
Hi Margaret Rome, Please help us decide..."Do We buy or Sell First? We are thinking of moving but if we find a place we like, how can we make an offer if our home is not sold. We need the proceeds to move forward. If we sell our home first, how can we be sure the place we want will be available?
This seems like a "catch 22" question. Let me explain what I call a reverse contingency. We list your home contingent on "finding a home of YOUR choice". How serious are you about not making that second (17 comments)
Question about 3738 Bixler Road, Westminster, MD - 05:32 PM
When potential buyers are searching for special homes, they find my listings on the internet and contact me by email. Their question starts: "I am interested in the home at 3738 Bixler Church Rd in Westminster and would like like more information. What can you tell me about this home?'' Dear Buyer, I would be happy to call you to discuss this contemporary home. Until we have time to chat, I have included floor plans and photos for each of the four levels and a link to this contemporary Home. Please let me know if you have specific questions, concerns or (5 comments)
Quiet Sunday - 09:45 PM
We've started a new challenge this month with 31 posts in the 31 days of January. It has been very quiet and I've been trying to think of what I was going to write my post on today. I'm taking a cue from last month and will report again on what I did for my business. I really liked doing that challenge because it helped me be optimistic that my activities were bringing accomplishments. So I will talk about my business activities. Today I spent working on adding some old leads to my Top Producer database. I had about 100 I (11 comments)
When You Wish You Could Give Someone A Do Over - 10:21 PM
I couldn't shake this feeling of sadness today as I waited for two buyers at a house that is on the market for all the wrong reasons. Oh, don't get me wrong. It has to be sold and we need a very special buyer for this one, but the profound sadness of a life spiraling out of control permeates every space. This is one of those times when I wish I could twitch my nose and make the problems all go away and set everything right. For some reason, today I was wearing everyone else's pain, and it was exhausting. Since (9 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.