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But I'm A Cash Buyer!!! - 05/31/11 10:00 AM
"But I'm a Cash Buyer!!!" Just because a buyer can write a check at closing doesn't mean that the seller is going to automatically drop the asking price to a wholesale price. Some other factor has to come into play for a property to go on the market at a wholesale price. The form of payment alone isn't enough to trigger a wholesale price. Cash buyers always WANT a wholesale price. The catch is that Cash Buyers don't always command a wholesale price. Cash Buyers tend to believe that somehow they are automatically entitled to some kind of huge discount off (3 comments)
How to Live in Peace in a Condo Community - 05/30/11 10:10 AM
Rule One. Do NOT get involved in any HOA governance issues. Rule Two. See rule one, above. Rule Three. Warn people who move into the community that, as The New Kid, there is an almost automatic HOA Board Nomination coming their way. 50% of the people you warn won't take your advice and will end up serving on the Board. Almost inevitably they do not serve a full term. Rule Four. Quietly recruit people to step up and serve. The ideal candidate 1. will have been in the complex long enough to have an idea of (6 comments)
There isn't any reason for me to try and say it better than Greg Nino has said it, below. I got phone calls from 3 people yesterday, all of whom fell into one of these categories. One of them wanted me to show him property...but, didn't want to give me his name. I'm serious. He didn't trust ME enough to share something that basic with me, but me wanted ME to meet him at an empty house across town right now this minute? Really. I'm serious. And, I had to be polite on the phone to this person. So, here (3 comments)
Replacement windows reduce the amount of noise in your home. - 05/29/11 01:38 AM
Replacement Windows reduce the amount of noise in your home. Life in an urban environment gets noisy. Part of the reason replacement windows are such a good investment is that they can substantially reduce the noise in your home. The following video demonstrates how much noise good windows can eliminate. I live in a condo that is on a fairly busy street. When I moved in, the original windows were still there. One of the first things I did after buying the place was having a handiperson come work on the worn aluminum window frame to try and get the window (8 comments)
Death, Divorce or Bankruptcy - 05/29/11 12:20 AM
If I am talking with someone about listing a house and they mention Death, Divorce or Bankruptcy, the tilt meter goes off. Each one of those events can have unexpected impacts on real estate titles. All of them can be dealt with, but the more time we have to deal with them, the better. Any one of those three words tells me that I absolutely have to have my title company order a preliminary title commitment. That way we know in advance if there are any details that need to be taken care of, any loose ends that need to be (4 comments)
Fear as a Sales Technique - 05/28/11 05:29 PM
I just hate it when the listing agent tried to use Fear to motivate me, the buyers agent, into moving forward. Fear may be a great motivator, but it is a lousy sales tool. I showed 11 houses yesterday to a buyer who just happens to be my little sister. This is a buyer whom I have been protecting and defending since early childhood. She will get the same level of service as every other buyer, but unlike other clients, I have an emotional investment in this process. We have been working for almost two years to have her in a position where we can (5 comments)
The general public just doesn't understand real estate commissions. Most people think that we get paid to unlock doors and drive people around to look at houses. That is absolutely the smallest part of what it is that we do. I have a level of expertise that comes from a lifetime of experiences, large and small. You don't want to have to listen to my resume. Just rely on my word when I tell you that I have spent my entire life doing this. I get paid to show up and shepherd real estate transactions through negotiations and then get (6 comments)
Moonlight Foot Spa is a Chinese Foot Massage storefront business located in a very narrow little store front in the complex at the intersection of Basswood and Beach in north Ft Worth. The shop has traditional foot reflexology charts posted in the window. In daylight, it isn't easy to see if they are open or not. At night the neon "Open" sign is visible. They are open until 10 at night and drop-ins are welcomed. They have private massage rooms as well as chair massage. The foot massage is done on large, comfortable chairs that are kind of like a (1 comments)
A Texas-Sized Rain for Dallas Rain Camp 2011 - 05/27/11 12:58 AM
I am sure that when AR people began planning Rain Camp for Dallas this year, they didn't plan on Mother Nature's participation in making it rain. She sure did show up, just in time to give our out-of-state visitors a true measure of how much fun we can have out here in Texas making it rain. I have spent most of my life living in North Texas. During that time, I have seen two major tornadic events. The first was the locally famous tornado of 1957 that ripped through parts of Oak Cliff and threatened downtown. http://www.1957dallastornado.net/ I was in grade school (5 comments)
Dallas Event: Contra Dance; When in Doubt, Swing - 05/26/11 05:37 PM
There is a contra dance event in Dallas in the spring called When In Doubt Swing. What is Contra Dancing? It is a form of dancing in the folk-dance traditions, kind of a cross between square dancing and English country line dancing. Think Jane Austen meets Barn Dance. It is usually done to live music. The crowd is friendly. Here are some links that explain about Contra Dancing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra_dance http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTtEOaruqr4&feature=fvw In the Metroplex, Contra Dancing is done through an umbrella group called North Texas Traditional Dance Society(NTTDS). They have dances every Saturday night at a location somewhere in Dallas. The Saturday night dances rotate through (0 comments)
Good Taste vs Bad Taste - 05/26/11 01:38 PM
There is a cute new group where the apparent purpose is to post pictures of the staging challenges we are routinely presented as agents. Go take a look. http://activerain.com/groups/DigorDitch The Group title makes me think of some of the things that happen on Joan River's program, Fashion Police. I have a friend who will tell you that there is no such thing as "Good Taste". He says that "Good Taste" is nothing more than Reflected Affluence. He says that the only REAL taste is "Bad Taste". "Bad Taste" is something that a person likes well enough that they will do it (3 comments)
Real Estate Commissions; All Real Estate Deals Are Big Deals - 05/26/11 10:47 AM
When it comes to Real Estate Commissions, all Real Estate Deals are BIG DEALS! People have so many misconceptions about how real estate agents work. That an Agent would have a minimum price for a deal is a good example of a common misconception. There are no "small deals". Every deal is a big deal. Some deals may have small price tags, but they are still very big deals to the people involved. If you were to pull up a list of properties I have sold, you would see a $6,000 house at the bottom of the list. Obviously, at that price, (5 comments)
The Tower at City Place Dallas - 05/26/11 12:02 AM
Rain Camp Dallas 2011 took place in The Tower at City Place. The Tower at City Place is the building that Southland Corporation built in the 1980s to be their corporate headquarters. Southland is the parent company for the 7-11 stores . Southland got its start in an icehouse in Oak Cliff in the 1920s. They aren't in the Tower at City Place building any more, but the building has a very interesting history, especially for people who care about real estate. What makes the building interesting is what isn't there. The plan was to build two towers, one on each (7 comments)
Do You Really Want To Work With An Agent Who Is Available With No Notice? - 05/25/11 12:27 AM
Sitting at the Updesk, taking calls from people who have seen a yard sign, it is common for people to say "Can you show me the house right now?" For me, the answer is that as much as I would like to be accommodating, the answer is almost always "no". Part of being self employed is that I plan out my business day the night before. My day is booked up. I live a calendar-driven life. That is what it takes to be self-employed. My children, when they were small, would slip around and sneak a peak at my calendar to (35 comments)
How Buyers Pick Out A House - 05/24/11 12:13 AM
I don't "sell" houses. I don't have to. Buyers pick the houses they want. 90% of the time, it is obvious when they have walked into that house. Their face, their body language, everything about them says "this is IT!!!". I am there to help them make a decision to move forward with the purchase. It is rather like being a midwife. There is a fair amount of Labor that has to happen before this purchase can become a real-world happening event. Buying a house is an emotional decision, a right-brained decision. It isn't a left-brain, rational, bullet-point kind of (2 comments)
Being Called a Salesperson Isn't Like Being Cussed At! - 05/22/11 09:21 AM
I just hate it when people say "...but I'm NOT a salesperson!!!!!". People say that and then they make The Face, the same facial expression people get right after a Great Dane fills the room with dog-made methane. These people act as if they are smelling Eau de Dog-poo. When people try and distance themselves from "selling", we have to think about what is it that they are really saying. Are they talking about the ethical problem of getting someone to "buy" something they don't want? The suggestion that I am going to somehow hypnotize a buyer and without their knowledge or participation SELL them a (5 comments)
Out-of-pocket Listing Expenses and the Over-Priced Listing - 05/21/11 12:30 AM
Having preached, preached, preached about NOT taking over priced listings.....guess what I am going to do on Monday. You got it. I am going to take an over-priced listing. I got a phone call this afternoon from the owner of a condo around the corner from me. She is a lovely woman in her late 80s. She told me that she has decided that it may be time for her to move into a "retirement community" and that she wants to explore selling her condo. I told her what I though I could get for her home. She told me (5 comments)
The End of The World - 05/20/11 10:52 PM
When I first spotted local billboards about the end of the world being on May 21st (2011), I thought it about the last episode of the Oprah Show. I mean no disrespect when I say that. As a full-time real estate agent, you know that means that I am working all the time. I miss out on a fair amount of current cultural events. My access to the news is rather like a landscape illuminated by a lighthouse. There are these flashes of brilliance followed by periods of total darkness. I have since found out that the May 21st date has (6 comments)
New In Town, Sailor? - 05/19/11 01:00 PM
Are you thinking about relocating from another part of the country or the state? Before you begin actually looking at the insides of houses, the first step is to decide what town you want to live in. Don't laugh. That may sound really, really basic. It is basic. But you would be surprised how often people call me and want to go look at houses before they have even committed to living in my state. That is what happened today. I had a buyer, a referral from corporate who has spent the last several days with another agent with my company. The agent spent two days showing him houses (0 comments)
Are You Going To Dallas Rain Camp? - 05/18/11 10:11 AM
I have been looking forward to Rain Camp in Dallas ever since it was announced. I have had it in my calendar for some time. I have been protecting that time from possible intrusions for months. Now I have had my ticket, printed out and waiting. It is almost here. I realized that I think I may be getting excited about the opportunity to meet some of y'all in person. Virtual is nice, but Personal is better. We are in the business of selling R-E-A-L. What we do is R-E-A-L. Electronic and virtual is wonderful but it isn't R-E-A-L. My hope (4 comments)
Business Head-shot or High School Annual Picture? - 05/18/11 09:57 AM
There are twp major marketing reasons why you put your picture on your business card. The first is to make it easy to recognize you. This comes into play when you give someone your card and 3 months later they are trying to remember which card is you. Having your face on the card may trigger the memory where the name might not have done it. Another example is where you are mailing into a neighborhood. You are having contact with people who have never met you face to face. When you begin door knocking in the area, it may help for the person answering the door (13 comments)
Road Names in Dallas - 05/14/11 08:45 AM
Many of the roads in Dallas are named for the towns that the roads used to connect to. Before Interstate Highways, if you wanted to go to Greenville, guess what road you used to do that? Why, Greenville Ave, of course. Ditto McKinney Ave, Denton Road, Ft Worth Ave. The one that isn't immediately obvious is Preston Road. Preston was the name of a town that was a major fording point of the Red River in the Nineteenth Century. The town of Preston hasn't been there since 1938, when the Corp of Engineers damn creating Lake Texoma, inundated what was left of the town. Now, (1 comments)
Bonnie & Clyde - 05/11/11 09:17 AM
I do a fair amount of work in Oak Cliff, the area of Dallas that is south from downtown. It gets its name from the geological formation of tree-covered cliffs that were the original southern margin of the Trinity River before it got the Levee treatment. Oak Cliff is beautiful, a place of hills and trees and dramatic views of downtown. Rolling down the streets of The Cliff, one of the things I point out is Western Heights Cemetary, where Clyde Barrow is buried. The cemetary is located on Ft Worth Avenue. There isn't much to see as you drive past (2 comments)
Nighhawks - 05/10/11 09:54 AM
Walking into the common area of my condo complex last night, I heard the cry of a Nighthawk, the first of the season. Just the sound made me smile, a pleasant ending to a long day. Of the many birds I enjoy, I may like the Nighthawk best. In an urban environment, the most common way to become aware of them is to hear their cry, a harsh noise floating in the soft dark of a summer evening. Once I have heard that sound, I begin looking for them. A sample of that cry is embedded in the following link. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Nighthawk/sounds They are (1 comments)
Alongi's Italian Market and Deli in Flower Mound, TX - 05/06/11 06:54 PM
Driving through suburban sprawl, one strip center looks pretty much like the next. The only way this place came to my attention was that I was in Flower Mound to take a friend to lunch. I picked him up at his work and he didn't have much time, so it was going to be one of those luck-of-the-draw kinds of meals. We pulled into a strip center that had two places to have lunch. He had already tried out one place which guaranteed that I would want to try the other one. The results were good. Luck was with us. What (0 comments)
Thai Noodle & Rice Restaurant in East Dallas - 05/03/11 12:43 AM
Thai Noodle & Rice is a little storefront Thai family diner that delivers fresh ingredients and cheap prices. How bad can that possibly be? A friend and I had planned to go to another restaurant in East Dallas. When we got there, it was closed. So, we just started driving. Going west on Fitzhugh, I spotted the sign in a ragtag strip center and yelled "Stop The Car!" It sure didn't look like much but the sign said Thai so we pulled into the parking lot. We were the only people in the place. Conventional Restaurant Wisdom is that is never (5 comments)
Quoc Bao Bakery, Garland Texas - 05/02/11 10:02 AM
In terms of cheap eats, this place is on the list with Fuel City and Royal Sweets. Buy 3 sandwiches for $9 and you get a 4th one for free. That deal is difficult to beat. We are talking about enormous sandwiches here. Each sandwich is large enough to be split between two adults. The bakery is located on the back of a satellite block of stores in a large strip center in a part of Garland north of LBJ. I expected something other than what it is. It is a bakery that also sells sandwiches. Everything is carryout. There (2 comments)
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