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Maybe they should call the current plethora of real estate programming “UNREALITY” shows. - 03/30/11 09:11 AM
There are quite a few real estate themed television shows on the flatscreen these days. And one might think that this programming would help educate and inform the viewing public about real estate transaction. However, the fact of the matter is that most real estate transactions are boring, and in order to engage the audience, the producers seek packing the product in a way that appeals to the mass market. And since the technical aspects of the process vary by jurisdiction, the viewers are often left with misinformation about real estate transactions in their local market. Fortunately the local real estate (22 comments)
I will be glad to help you. As soon as I am finished with what I am doing. - 03/29/11 08:30 AM
As you probably have suspected, I’m the kind of person that enjoys helping others. I have quite a bit of experience from which I can draw, and as a consequence others often seek my advice and assistance. But there are times when I am very focused on the matters at hand, and any interruption can be very distracting. In those cases I simply ask that the requested assistance be deferred to a more convenient time. I am always surprised when this request for deference is either ignored or resisted. You would be amazed at how many times the person asking me (17 comments)
Putting the Genie back in the bottle. Many buyers today reject representation. - 03/28/11 08:45 AM
When I started selling real estate in 1984, the phrase “buyer agency” was rarely mentioned and even more seldom employed. Unless a buyer chose to pay an agent out of their pocket, (which never happened to me or any agent that I knew,) all agents represented the seller either directly or as a sub-agent. This resulted in landmark litigation in which buyers sued brokerage companies that purported to be the “buyer’s agent” but in actuality were agents of the seller. Buyers DEMANDED representation, and it became customary for sellers to pay for the buyer’s agent. As a consequence buyer’s agency became (22 comments)
Taking the good with the bad… Nature’s balancing act! - 03/27/11 08:48 AM
As the world wakes up from its winter slumber, and the flowers burst into bloom, we are often reminded that the change of seasons may bear some unforeseen consequences. When the warmer air of the new Spring collides with the remnants of Winter’s icy blasts, the result is often powerful storms with high winds and damaging hail. Yesterday, some parts of Coweta County were pounded by baseball sized hail that crashed through windows and destroyed automobiles. Fortunately for me, the storm only brushed past my house. Yet the storms serves as a reminder that sometimes you have to take the good (20 comments)
Patience is a lost virtue, and I for one, miss it very much. - 03/26/11 09:03 AM
I used to define my perfect retirement scenario as this: I’m sitting on a rocking chair on the front porch for hour after hour until some one asks: “Richard, what are you staring at all day?” “I’m waiting for the leaves to change color and fall” “But it’s only March???” “I’ll wait!” We now live in a very impatient world and I don’t like it one bit. I find myself under more and more stress each and every day because everyone wants answers NOW and they expect me to drop what I am doing and respond within minutes. It has become (19 comments)
During one of my “let’s get ‘er done” episodes a few weeks ago, I called the department in Washington D.C. that is responsible for enforcing the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, affectionately known as RESPA. I got a call back yesterday from a very helpful and friendly bureaucrat and we had a long discussion about RESPA and HUD. And although this issue is constantly litigated, the position of the enforcement office is that RESPA does NOT apply to government sales. Which essentially means that regardless of one’s interpretation of the statute, if there is no willingness to enforce the law (28 comments)
Many buyers consider themselves to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to making an offer on a property. And while it is essentially true that the laws of supply and demand have tilted the playing field in favor of the buyer, there are still some factors that are beyond a buyer’s control. One is that seller’s have the final say as to whether or not an offer is acceptable to them. Can they be misguided? Yes. Can they be delusional? Yes? Can they be stubborn? Of course. Two, and more importantly, there cannot be someone else that is (29 comments)
Early bloomers get the jump, but they disappear quickly! - 03/23/11 06:05 PM
Life often parallels nature. As the early blooms of spring slowly yield to the permanent leaves of Summer, the realization occurs that fresh Spring beauty is only temporary. Just like a blaze that flares up quickly and quickly burns itself out, the upstart professional will lay everything on the line up front in an effort to grab attention, only to see any short-term success far outweighed by long term obscurity. Slow and steady marketing efforts deliver results OVER TIME, and a well paced, well budgeted campaign will success over short-term advertising bursts or media blitzes. Christmas may only come once a (8 comments)
Just because your offer was rejected doesn’t mean that negotiations are over. - 03/23/11 10:01 AM
These days, buyers often want to “test the waters” by making their initial offer on a property quite low. After all, nobody wants to pay more than is absolutely necessary. In many cases, a seller will simply counter an offer with terms acceptable to them. It’s also an excellent strategy for them to determine if a potential buyer is serious. But some sellers are impatient and simply reject offers, which is their right. However, this doesn’t mean that all is lost. Both buyers AND sellers are always free to reignite the process with a fresh offer at any time. This is (20 comments)
That’s right my friends, I’ve only been working TWELVE hours a day. And while I have basically gotten used to the ritual, I am also really wondering when and if things will ever change. This is the time in my life when I should be slowing down and start to take things easy. But the last two years have seen the retirement funds all but evaporate, and now I am trying to come up with a Plan “K” as Plans “A” through “L” didn’t really change things. Interestingly enough, every day I get calls from seemingly helpful salespeople that tell (25 comments)
If our vision is obscured, we may be heading in the wrong direction. - 03/21/11 08:57 AM
When planning for the future, it is very important to have a “vision” of where we want to ultimately be in life. Unlike our “mission” which primarily defines our day-to-day operations, our “vision” is a long tern and far reaching goal. Although many companies put both their mission and vision statements in their business plan, they are seldom revisited and rarely updated. However, in an ever changing business climate and after adaptation to unforeseen circumstances, the true vision may in actual practice vary dramatically from the printed word. It is important to know where we want to be five, ten, or (12 comments)
Springtime and Callaway Gardens: the two just go together! The Pine Mountain preserve is one of the most popular attractions in middle Georgia. Located just ninety minutes Southwest of Atlanta, Callaway Gardens is a far cry from the urban landscape of the city. In addition to the gardens featuring both indigenous and exotic species of flora, there is the Sibley Horticulture Center, The Cecil Day Butterfly House, the Virginia Hand Callaway Discover Center, the Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl, Robin Lake Beach and my Favorite: Mr. Cason’s Garden … a great southern demonstration vegetable plot and the home of The Victory (8 comments)
Coweta County Georgia: The New Hollywood of the South! - 03/20/11 09:17 AM
As I was driving through the small town of Haralson in Coweta County Georgia, I noticed a lot of commotion in the usually sleepy hamlet. There were semi-trucks and trailers parked everywhere, and construction workers crawling all over the place like ants. My brain spontaneously and correctly indentified the cause of all of the ruckus: Movie! The idea of movies being shot on location in Coweta County is nothing new. Scenes from “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Zombieland” are among some of the notable films. However, in 2011 there have already been FOUR feature films that have utilized Newnan and some surrounding (20 comments)
As I was rushing through my busy schedule yesterday, and wondering how I was going to get everything done, I suddenly realized that it was a PERFECT Spring day in Newnan Georgia! Since my business carried me into town anyway, I decided that a trip to Greenville Street Park was in order. It’s one of Newnan’s newest parks, and the landscaping is excellent. I knew that there would be some early blooming plants there for me to enjoy and photograph. I was not disappointed. The warm air, crystal clear blue skies, and the tranquility of the setting provided a soothing (16 comments)
“Are we closing tomorrow or what?” - 03/17/11 07:27 AM
A nice young couple entered into a contract to purchase their first home. They desperately want it. And we are supposed to close tomorrow. But we are still waiting on “final approval.” Now you might guess that we are talking about waiting for the buyer’s loan approval, but we are not. The buyer’s loan package has been at the closing agent’s office since last week. We are waiting for the SELLER to approve the transaction. Even though THEIR attorney completed the HUD-1 per THEIR instructions and they have had nearly a week to review it, we still do not have final (27 comments)
Notice to all real estate agents, closing agents, loan officers and home inspectors. Without buyers, there is NO business. - 03/16/11 08:47 AM
It should be simple. If the buyer is the one bringing the money to the table, then the buyer is the MOST important party in the transaction. And it is the buyer that is ultimately paying all of the costs in any transaction. While it may be true that sellers will concede some buyer’s expenses such as closing costs, they are only “rebating” money that the buyer is bringing to the table. So it’s high time to stop treating buyers like second class citizens. Buyers are the engine that moves real estate, and should be treated with courtesy and respect. Making (22 comments)
“Yes I know that we made a mistake. But YOU need to fix it because you’re the only one that cares.” - 03/15/11 08:51 AM
It seems like every day I am encountering more and more problems that result from the mistakes of others that I am expected to resolve. I hear the line “you want it to close, don’t you?” a lot more often than I should. And the fact is, there is a simple truth surrounding this phenomenon. People that are incompetent KNOW that others that are responsible and diligent will indeed clean up their mess. As a result the less than efficient parties in a transaction are conditioned to ignore their responsibilities completely immersed in the comfort of the fact that someone else (68 comments)
I just discovered my DREAM job! I want an office job working for the United States government! - 03/14/11 07:24 PM
If there is one thing that I have learned over the last few weeks, it is that there are jobs out there for people that want a paycheck, but don’t really want to do anything. Those office people work for the United States of America. They get a paycheck, a title, and a phone number and apparently their responsibility ends there. Over the last few weeks I have attempted to contact over twenty bureaucrats and not one answered the phone. Not surprisingly, not one even bothered to return my call after I left a voicemail. I can’t even imagine not answering (20 comments)
There was a time not too long ago in which photography was a slow and cumbersome process. It took a lot of logistical planning and a careful meting out of precious film frames on worthy subjects. The time lag between taking the photographs to publication could take anywhere from a few weeks to even years, as the film had to be processed and converted into a format that could be printed and shared. So if a photo seemed out of season it was no big deal. Our thought processes were not honed to expect that a photographic depiction was current. (19 comments)
Sourcing your money … it’s not just for the IRS anymore! - 03/11/11 08:22 AM
It seems that mortgage underwriters are placing every borrower under more and more scrutiny every day. They especially want to know the source of deposits in the clients’s bank accounts. Since down-payments cannot be paid with borrowed money unless it is disclosed, it is essential to prove that none of the monies used as down-payment will ever have to be paid back to another undisclosed party. The logic is simple and self-explanatory, but in practice it can be annoying because nowadays even small amounts need to be sourced. If you got a birthday gift from grandma or a rebate check from (15 comments)
When is 30 days less than three weeks? When you buy a HUD home, of course! - 03/10/11 09:24 PM
Timelines and deadlines are critical when you are enforcing the terms of a real estate contract. “Time is of the essence” and all parties need to aware of the importance of taking timely action. But sometimes there is more to date calculations than meets the eye. I recently had a buyer that purchased a HUD home here in Georgia. The mandatory contractual time limitation to close a financed home is thirty days. But before you say that should be plenty of time to close a loan, consider this: the HUD contractor attorney must have the complete lone package “five” days before (14 comments)
“But I can get in done for less. If fact, I already have!” - 03/09/11 07:02 PM
I had a call from a friend that wanted some help with her website. As a rule, I don’t work on websites because I am too busy with my real estate work. But she insisted, so I told her that I would do what I could and I would charge her $XX per hour. She immediately retorted that she only paid her current web designers half that amount. To which I replied: “If they are getting the job done, why are you talking to me?” You hate to use clichés like “you get what you pay for,” but sometimes it should (17 comments)
Want to clear up the foreclosure inventory in a hurry? Make it easier and more cost effective for investors to purchase foreclosed properties. - 03/09/11 08:31 AM
If you want to see confidence in the real estate market, you need look no farther than the entrepreneur that wants to purchase investment real estate. The allure of real estate rental property portfolio has never been stronger. If one can find reasonable financing, there can be significant positive cash flow from day one. The problem is that financing options for investors are either very expensive or very restrictive. This is especially true if the prospective borrower already owns multiple rental properties. There entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. But these risk-takers are being undermined by a system that doesn’t really (14 comments)
Is virtual socialization discouraging genuine human interaction? - 03/08/11 06:26 AM
Today is one of those days in the life of a real estate agent in which I will be logging many miles and burning precious gasoline in order to attend a company event. I really don’t like to leave the friendly confines of my office, where I am able to use my LCD as a visual window to the world and a method of socialization without any of the discomforts associated with a long car trip. And I have worked hard to be “somebody” in the online universe. But there times when this “quintessence of dust” must brave the real world (147 comments)
O burst awake from slumber’s trance Alight as wispy cotton fluff, Feathered fronds deck twig and branch With snow-white downy petaled tufts. (R. Weisser 2011) Spring is a time of awakening. It is also a time for new growth. Although the calendar year started just over two months ago, the natural new year is just now on the cusp of commencement. As the early blooms emerge, it is a time for all things fresh and new. And it’s also time to throw last year’s dead wood on the compost heap! It’s more than just starting with a new attitude. It (11 comments)
I got a wake-up call from my insurance agent the other day and a reminder that what is normal today may require adaptation tomorrow! - 03/06/11 09:22 AM
I received a postcard in the mail from my insurance agent the other day asking me to call about my homeowner’s policy. A quick check of the caller ID on the landline indicated that they had tried to call several times. I suddenly was overwhelmed with dread. After all, insurance agents never try to call you with good news! And I had to wait until the following morning to find out what it was all about. It turns out that my “NEW” house is now ten years old and no longer qualifies for the new home discount. Combined with a rate (11 comments)
The market is speaking. Are you listening? - 03/05/11 08:24 AM
We all do our best to try to list properties at the correct price. And occasionally, we will list one at the high end of our comfort zone. The thinking is usually to leave some “wiggle room” for negotiation. It a hot real estate market, that strategy may be effective. But it a slow market, even a realistic price on the high end of the curve can discourage potential buyers. As long as the product is effectively promoted, the market will speak as to whether buyers will consider purchasing the property at that price point. After several weeks pass with minimal (24 comments)
Careful planning and common sense can really save money on fuel. - 03/04/11 08:07 AM
In the United States, we have been blessed with relatively low gasoline prices for many years. Not surprisingly, we rarely give a second thought to jumping in the car and driving willy-nilly in all directions as we complete our daily errands. In reality, we can probably save many miles, significant time, and a lot of fuel by just planning ahead as many of our driving tasks as possible. By combining necessary trips and eliminating frivolous jaunts it is possible to keep our fuel expenses down to a minimum. We can’t control world events that affect the supply side of petroleum. But (25 comments)
Over the last few months we have watched the number of houses for sale shrink in Coweta County Georgia. The smaller inventory slightly mitigated the oversupply of houses for sale and the market seemed to be recovering. However, over the last two weeks we have been contacted by an inordinate number of sellers that wish to place their property ”back” on the market. These property owners had at some point decided to wait out the market and are now willing to test the waters again. As a matter of fact, we are getting so many requests for listing presentations that (16 comments)
The calendar indicates that it is March, and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that means one thing: Wildflowers! Nature is a wondrous thing. The wildflowers of Spring have but a short time to complete their cycle of blooming and seed setting before the surrounding forest leafs out and blocks the life-giving rays of the sun from the understory of secondary growth. These are not the delicate blooms of Summer, but rather a hardier lot that can withstand late frosts and even cold snow! You can expect to see Fleabane, Spring Beauty, Dwarf Crested Iris and Trillium of every (11 comments)
Selling real estate is NOT an Internet online business. - 03/01/11 07:44 AM
There are several attributes of real property that makes selling it different from any other kind of product. For starters, every parcel of real estate is unique. In every courthouse in every county in every state there are no two deeds that have the same legal description for different properties. And since the legal description is essentially a “precise definition of its location” there is not way to adequately present its true essence without the buyer being able to experience it firsthand. The Internet is an excellent venue for marketing real estate, but not for selling it. Good marketing gets potential (18 comments)
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