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Does your managing broker compete with you? - 01/31/10 09:12 AM
Does your managing broker sell and list properties? Your managing broker is in an enviable position, for someone who sells and lists properties. They often are the one that people call, asking if the manager can give them the name of one of the top agents in the office, who might be good to help sell their property. Or do they know someone who'd be good to help find lakefront property for a relocating couple, coming in from New York City. A managing broker who also lists and sells would be in a position to shortstop some of those calls, and (173 comments)
How do I love she? Let me count the ways. - 01/30/10 02:10 PM
Realtor magazine asked us to tell them why we love our broker. Here is the essay that I gave them. As you can tell, I do love my broker, how do you feel about yours? If you don't love, or seriously like your broker... why are you hanging around there? Go find a situation where you are supported and nurtured. Or better yet, apply HERE.
How do I love her? Let me count the ways.I love her for the depth and breadth of the agents in the officeHer soul reaches into each and every one of us.For the input on (16 comments)
What questions should I ask a potential listing agent? - 01/28/10 09:43 AM
I think that everyone recognizes that they probably need to conduct some kind of "interview" with agents to determine if they should hire one... but they're kind of stymied, 'cause they have no idea what kind of questions to ask... Finding agents at an open house is an excellent way to meet a few, and a good referral from someone whose opinion you respect is valuable... but once you've found them... what should you ask. I'm asked this question all the time, so I figured I'd create a post, and be able to direct my clients here to view it. So (10 comments)
A New Real Estate Concept - Would You Like Paper or Plastic? - 01/28/10 08:31 AM
Here's an interesting post from Claudette Millette. If this catches on, I could find myself located within a stop and shop, which would not be good for my waistline. (Hey, I'm gonna run over to aisle 3 for a couple of Twinkies, and a starbuck Frappucino). Let's keep an eye on this one, shall we?
Via Claudette Millette - Metrowest Mass Buyer Broker (The Buyers' Counsel): This is an interesting idea. Re/Max of New England has signed an agreement with Stop and Shop Supermarkets to open as many as 17 real estate offices right inside their stores. Jay Hummer, executive vice (3 comments)
I may just be in love... - 01/27/10 05:26 PM
unless you live in a cave (and I think even if you DO live in a cave), you probably heard that today Apple computer announced it's new I-pad. I'm not going to go into all the details of what it can do, and how it works. If you'd like to see all that stuff... click on the image to the left and it'll take you to Apple's video. Suffice it to say this machine is amazing. You might want to have a napkin available in case you begin drooling. I see this thing as a fabulous listing tool. Upload your entire (20 comments)
That's one big band-aid® - 01/27/10 08:11 AM
I've been busy, this year, with CMA's. Lot of people have come out of the woodwork, ready to sell their condos in Skokie, and sell single-family homes in Evanston. They've asked me to come out and give them a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) of their home Wilmette, and suggest a price that would be competitive in today's market. All of the CMA's I've done this year have been for prices that are below what the owner paid for the property. All of the owners have purchased their properties fairly recently, the oldest of which was 2004. Ordinarily that would have been (75 comments)
Cherish your credit scores - 01/23/10 04:57 PM
I recently helped a young couple purchase a condo. It was their first purchase, and they will qualify for the $8,000 first-time home buyer's credit. Nice. They were very excited, and I was excited for them. One of the things that helped them purchase this condo was their excellent credit score. I gave them the name of a local lender I have used in the past, who's performed some miracles, and she got them preapproved, primarily on the strength of their credit score. They have scores in the very high 700's. A very nice number for anybody, but highly unusual for (15 comments)
Character Counts! - 01/21/10 08:15 PM
These are difficult times. Many agents and agencies are having difficulties. Lean times, lots of listings that are overpriced and not selling. Fewer buyers, lots of foreclosures out there. Discount brokerages breath on their necks. These are the times that try men's (and women's souls). There are the times that show the public and our potential clients who were really are. Behave well. Be professional. There are hyenas in the wind, and they can smell desperation. I have run into more agents, recently, than I can believe, who are behaving badly. They've undercut colleagues (knowing full well what they were doing). (60 comments)
just in case you were wondering. - 01/20/10 04:32 PM
Just in case you were wondering (and I know you were). I can highly recommend the lemonade at McCormick and Schmick's. McCormick and Schmick's is a national chain of premium seafood restaurants that recently opened at the Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie. I, & a colleague, went there for lunch today, and we had the lemonade, which I am told, is fresh squeezed from REAL lemons.. (as opposed to those fake lemons). It was really tasty. Oh... I almost forgot. It seems to dramatically enhance the flavour of the lemonade when you add a shot of Kettel One Vodka. (did (9 comments)
Dear Rubes Readers. After taking much of the winter off, and dangling my toesies in the crystal blue water of Tahiti and Bora-Bora, I return to you a fresh (but wrinkled) man. So I'm prepared to answer some of the questions that have been piling up in my "in-box". So, here we go: Dear Mr. Realtor-knowledgey... What's up with the new VIP Point system going on over at Trulia.com? Dear traitorous reader: Trulia? Trooolia? We don't need no steenkin' Troooolia? What're you doing reading stuff over there? Knock it off! ____________________ Dear Mr. Realtor-knowledgey... No, really... what's going on with (9 comments)
Cake Wrecks - 01/19/10 03:02 PM
What is a cake wreck, you might ask. Well, I recently was introduced to a website that spells out what a Cake Wreck really is. Their tag line is "When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong". I was so impressed, that I emailed them to ask for permission to post a few of their photos... they enthusiastically agreed, and all they asked for was "credit" and a link back to their site... so here it is. According to CakeWrecks.com, A Cake Wreck is any cake that is unintentionally sad, silly, creepy, inappropriate - you name it. A Wreck is not (18 comments)
men don't cry - 01/18/10 09:14 AM
well, this morning was not my best morning. I arrived at the office early, but had forgotten my phone. So I decided to run home (I only live about a mile away), and get my phone, since it had my entire days schedule in it. Walking hurriedly through the parking lot, I stepped on a patch of ice, and down I went. I went down hard. It was almost the caricature of a cartoon fall... you know the one with the banana, except that instead of falling backward, and landing humorously on my arse... I fell forward, my face traveling at (23 comments)
Crazy Heart - crazy husband - 01/17/10 08:36 PM
we saw Crazy Heart tonight.... no, this isn't a review, and while the performance were great (Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllinhall), I didn't love the movie. But that's not what tonight's post is about. As we exited into the nearby parking lot... we got into the elevator to go to our car on the fourth floor. There was an Hispanic couple, and their children who entered the elevator as we did. He said "quatro"... she corrected him and said "cinco". He: "no, quatro"She: "no... (some spanish here that I didn't understand)... Cinco!" He: (somewhat tentatively) "Quatro!?"She: Insistently... "Cinco!!" by now the (15 comments)
speaking of Cooper - 01/15/10 10:01 AM
We are fortunate enough to have a Cooper's Hawk that considers our neighbourhood his habitat. We live in an area with mature trees (some 50-80 feet tall, elms, oak, maples) and he considers it "prime hunting territory" since it's loaded with plenty of prey (birds, squirrels, chipmunks, mice). When our dog was a puppy, we were reluctant to let him out in the yard alone, since he was about 4-5 pounds, and we'd seen the Cooper's Hawk swoop down and lift a rabbit of similar size away... only to return the headless body to our yard later. Hawks and other raptors (12 comments)
Bakers & Schneiders and Wrights, Oh My! - 01/14/10 07:59 AM
Way back in the day, your name described your profession, or sometimes your location... (as in Alan of Evanston). We didn't have the type of population as we do today, where we have to differentiate ourselves via family names. You probably only knew one Alan, and if you knew two, you'd differentiate them by their job... ie: Alan the Tailor, or Alan the Baker. Eventually that grew into Alan Baker, or Alan Tailor. For most professions, in English, many of these are obvious. Baker, Tailor, Brewer, Cook, Butcher, Miller... these all spell out jobs with which we are familiar. Some became (19 comments)
Rabinowicz, Mayakofsky & May, Oh my! - 01/13/10 12:00 PM
The origination of names have always fascinated me. My family name is May... not much in the way of ethnicity to tell from that... but it originates from Mayefsky, or Mayakofsky, dependent on where the Russian/Polish border was at the time. And both of those versions still mean "Son of May"... which means that my name of origination, really is MAY. It was changed from Mayefsky, when my father's father arrived at Ellis Island, and Mayefsky was either too difficult for my grandfather to spell, or the intake officer was too lazy and wrote "MAY". There's an old story, probably just (14 comments)
Happy Birthday Chelley - redux - 01/13/10 08:15 AM
Happy Birthday to my sister Chelley, who would have been 58 today. (Wow... 58... that's almost ancient.... sorry Chells) Chelley (Rochelle) was taken from us at the early age of 54 by Leukemia. There have been more times than I can count, through the last year, when something has occured, or a song has played on the radio, where I thought of Chelley, and wanted to call her. She was a funny, giddy kind of girl... her laugh was infectious... once she started laughing, she'd need a tissue... as she'd laugh so hard that she cried. And try as you might, (6 comments)
basking in the glow of a "lead-router" call. - 01/11/10 11:56 AM
LEAD ROUTER For those of you, unfamiliar with Lead Router, it's a program that is offered by Century 21, ERA & Coldwell Banker. If/when a client clicks on one of your listings, while searching online in a variety of internet sites, that "click" is turned into a direct phone call to your cell phone. If a buyer writes "i'd like to arrange for a showing of 1234 Sherman avenue", I get an immediate phone call to my cell, which read to me in a robotic voice... I'd like to arraynge a show-ing of 1-2-3-4 Sherman avenue. Please call at 847.123.4567 I (23 comments)
Happy Birthday Elvis! - 01/08/10 11:44 AM
January 8th, 1935. Elvis' birthday. He would have been 75 years old today.
I like to think that if he were still alive, he would have jumped on board with the Yoga and health-orientation of today... would have lost a bunch of weight, and would currently be touring with the Rolling Stones. What would you pay to see that concert? I'd pay a bundle. (18 comments)
Here's a really excellent synopsis of the new Good Faith Estimate that's required, effective January 1st. Loreena Yeo's done a great job of spelling things out and making it understandable, even for Realtors.
Via Loreena Yeo - Broker|Realtor(R) of Frisco-TX-Homes (214) 783-2210 (3:16 team REALTY): For the longest time, there was no standardization in good faith estimates presented by Lenders when a loan application is made by a borrower. No standarization here means some lenders disclose a variety of information on the previous GFE while others do not disclose at all. In efforts to facilitate a better shopping experience for (1 comments)
the real reason that Medicare is so costly. - 01/08/10 08:52 AM
I was sitting at my doctor's office yesterday, waiting in the exam room, when he had to excuse himself and take a phone call. He stepped outside the exam room, but I could still clearly hear the conversation. All I could hear was one side of the conversation, but you'll get the idea. Fortunately, he had already taken my blood pressure, or it might have been excessively high. the gist of the conversation was that my doctor had sent a patient to the hospital, a 90 year old terminal patient, to the hospice care section. Apparently there were no hospice beds (18 comments)
it's as good as a poke in the eye - 01/07/10 05:15 PM
We have a little snowstorm going on, here in Chicagoland. Nothing horrible, just a little snow, all day long. We're supposed to have a total accumulation of about 12 - 14 inches. Now I'm not complaining... we do live in Chicago, and this is really our first major snowstorm of the winter... and to make it all the way into January before getting hit, it pretty impressive. This post is about the woman I drove behind on the way back to the office today. That first snow, everyone forgets how to drive, and everything slows down to a crawl. There were (20 comments)
even the programmers are bored. - 01/07/10 08:18 AM
On the advice of a couple of friends, I started "playing" (and I use the term very loosely) Farmville. In a prior post of mine, I extolled the lack of virtues in Farmville, stating that "I just don't get it". My "friends" (i'm really beginning to question their loyalty and intent at this point) have told me that "it's not boring"... in fact, "it's somewhat therapeutic, and calming"... "give it a chance". So, instead of allowing my entire crop of [who cares] to die... I have continued tilling and harvesting [again, who cares?] day, after day. today, I was greeted with (16 comments)
the effect of a good beat down! - 01/06/10 04:33 PM
This is the effect of a good beat-down on a Frozen push-button combination lock, that was left out in the elements. A colleague of mine, had this lockbox on one of his properties. Unfortunately, it was not protected from the weather, and when on the doorknob of the property, was in a "face-up" position... designed perfectly to catch rainwater, or ice-melting...and trap it inside. Therefore, when the last agent went there to try to get inside... they couldn't. The lockbox was frozen solid. Clearly, that agent wasn't without means, as it appears they took a "hammer" to the top button... (note (22 comments)
... they're not just under bridges anymore.. - 01/04/10 01:24 PM
They come in all different sizes and shapes... they seem to be different ages, genders, backgrounds and educations. Some take a perverse pride in being able to "shake" a professional, and others point with pride to the fact that they can't spell, and wouldn't want to learn how. What is it with these computer trolls today. You find them everywhere.... they're on real estate websites all over the net... they want to argue with us, and put forward these bizarre theories... "if your home isn't selling... just INcrease the price" ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "If your property isn't selling, try to sell a 50% (15 comments)
the Tower of Babel... er, I mean Dubai - 01/03/10 02:16 PM
Tomorrow is the official opening of the new World's Tallest Building. This is the first time, since the Great Pyramids of Giza (455 feet) were eclipsed by the Gothic Catherals of Europe (495 ft, Rouen, and 516 ft Cologne) , that the title of the World's Tallest Building returns to the Middle East. the Burj Dubai (means Dubai Tower) is 2,684 feet tall at the tip of it's spire. It has a 160 stories of mixed use, including condos, hotels, restaurants, and offices. The Burj Dubai was designed and constructed by the Chicago Firm of Skidmore Owings & Merrill and stands (7 comments)
effective 1/1/2010 - 01/02/10 12:11 PM
Illinois has enacted a few new laws, that took effect on January 1st. It is now illegal to text-mesage while driving in Illinois. According to the Illinois State Police, they want everyone to keep their attention on the roadway" and they feel that Texting and cell phone use is a distraction that not only takes your eyes off the road, but often takes more than one hand to do." So... what CAN and CAN'T you do? According the the Chicago Tribune, you:
CAN send a text if the traffic is stopped, and your car is in park or neutral. send (21 comments)
happy blue year! - 01/01/10 05:23 PM
Peeenk. Yuck. (well, PINK, now she's lovely... but Peeenk!?) I used to believe that my life was a cesspool... no wait, that's not right... I never believed that. I meant a garden, yeah... that's what I meant... a garden, well fertilized with cow manure. You know the kind that really smells to high heaven and you have to be really careful where you step? There were lots of pretty flowers, right. Many of them would spring into bold, vivid colours, luscious flowers, with butterflies lingering about. And lots of starlings around to eat the pretty butterflies. Blooms as large as cabbages, (8 comments)
time is on my side, yes it is. - 01/01/10 04:42 PM
I love the juxtaposition of numbers. Today is January the first, 2010... often abbreviated as 1 / 1 / 10. If you watch a digital clock, at 11 minutes after 11 o'clock... it would show:
11:11 1 . 1. 10
Now that's a very special time, don't you think? But just the day alone, should be considered special. 1/1/10...almost magical... a time for new beginnings... a time for fresh starts.... a time to be ONE with the world, and each other. Make 2010 a great year, everyone! Time, is on my side... yes it is. (owie) (14 comments)
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