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Why didn't they hire the other listing agent? Feedback we can all use when we go on presentations. - 02/28/09 04:01 AM
Prospective clients were referred to me by another realtor who told me she is providing two names of realtors for her friends to interview. I made an appointment to meet with the prospect. A good presentation folder/book/binder for a commission-based service is like having good curb appeal for a house I already have a presentation that I spent a lot of time and energy (and it's evolving) that I customize for the specific prospect in terms of a comparative market analysis for the client's property and charts/graphs for the specific area. It was a simple matter of generating and printing the documents, then having it book-bound. Happily, we have (68 comments)
Property Tax Reassessment. Loan Modification. Or Short Sale? What next? - 02/28/09 02:03 AM
These past two weeks, I have received several requests for help from property owners seeking to get their property taxes adjusted. Perhaps due to an earlier blog Reassessment for property values in Alameda County, CA or my participation in Q & A on another site, some folks are finding me. I must have done at least five or six comps and signed their application forms. Researching the comps take time, sure....but.... IN TIMES LIKE THESE, WE CAN ALL USE A HUG! Their stories sound remarkably alike: A proprietor finds that her business has slowed down. A woman who is renting out half of (6 comments)
Alameda is on HGTV's "My house is worth what?"....and all I can think of is.... - 02/25/09 01:55 AM
I've got to go on a diet! Ah, vanity...and a cold dose of reality. They say TV puts on 10 lbs on you. But after seeing myself, it looks like I've gained 100 lbs! My house is worth what? The show is "My house is worth what?" and it aired tonight at 11 pm EST/PST, and will air again this Sunday at 7pm. Tonight's episode is about "Assessing the Value of Various Renovations", For this segment, my clients' duet (but the show calls it a duplex!) was featured. Even after the remodeling they've done and still doing, their property is worth $100K (8 comments)
To find me, find my iPhone....how GPS Tracker works - 02/24/09 02:23 AM
In a separate post, I blogged: Be careful when showing property --- the life you save is your own. Recent acts of violence against Realtors got me thinking of GPS Tracker. See http://www.instamapper.com/iphone Although some folks probably would balk at having their whereabouts tracked, I am more concerned about my loved ones being able to find me if necessary. HOW TO FIND ME So I activated GPS Tracker on my iPhone and I set it up so that it's accurate up to 300 feet. For more information, click on these links: How it worksFeaturesInteractive demo COMPATIBLE PHONES It is compatible with the (15 comments)
Be careful when showing property --- the life you save is your own - 02/23/09 01:09 PM
When we hear of violence committed against Realtors, it is a grim reminder of the risks we take when showing property. This is a hazardous profession --- so let's be careful out there! Recent examples of violence against REALTORS Just recently, Michael Greenslade posted that I was robbed at gun point this afternoon while showing a client a listing And in picturesque and beautiful Victoria Island in British Columbia, a young realtor was slain while showing property in a tony neighborhood http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080204.BCREALTOR04/TPStory/National So what are the risky things we do/have done? Showing your listing based on a phone call from (9 comments)
Freezing rain today ... but people still came to open house - 02/22/09 08:36 PM
It's raining, it's pouring... For the second consecutive rainy Sunday, I held an open house for a cozy (okay, small!) bungalow. It was wet, windy and cold. Brrr! Last Sunday, there was a steady flow of people, some of whom are just beginning to look into buying a home and want to "see what's there." I was hoping this Sunday, there would again be many folks who would come to the open house in spite of the rain. Knowing that the day would be cold and wet, I brought a tea pot to heat beverages (cider, chocolate and International Coffee) for anyone who would want (14 comments)
The buyers are coming! The buyers are coming! - 02/21/09 09:20 PM
To say it's exhilarating is an understatement. The local news confirms it....although the median prices are lower than they were a year ago, the number of sales increased. Buyers who were apprehensive months ago, seem to be buoyed by the good news that list prices are lower, the interest rates are still low, there are quite a few properties to choose from, there's room for negotiation, and there are more incentives (tax credits) available for home buyers. And according to DQNews reports: California January 2009 Sales Report An estimated 29,458 new and resale houses and condos were sold in California (17 comments)
Why, oh why don't and won't sellers get permits? - 02/18/09 07:42 PM
I met with a prospective seller today. He has bought and sold several properties through the years, and he delights in finding fixers then re-seling them at a good profit. But while going through the improvements, I asked whether or not he got permits for the work he has done: New foundation. Yes New roof. Yes Sewer lateral test and replacement. Yes New double pane windows. No Remodeled kitchen with new granite counters and new fixtures. No Upgraded electric and plumbing. No And...he didn't have a stove. Told him that if a buyer is going to get an FHA loan, FHA requires a functional kitchen, (11 comments)
Sources of my closed escrows in 2008 will dictate where I will focus my energy in 2009 - 02/16/09 01:55 PM
Wish I could say I plan well. There are no excuses for not preparing a plan or a budget (for some reason, I always find other things that "take priority"). But this year, I do plan to do a few things differently. The 80-20 rule seems to apply in various situations, even here. When I reviewed the sources of my closed transactions for 2008, I feel somewhat vindicated that I focused on doing certain activities that resulted in sales.
35% are from referrals 15% are from open houses 15% from geographic farm 5% from sign calls 30% from the internet (4 comments)
How do you steal a house? They did in Philadelphia where 80 homes were stolen and sold - 02/14/09 01:01 PM
Imagine going on an extended vacation, and coming home to find strangers living in your home and who claim to have bought it... You inherited a property and before you can even make arrangements to sell it, you find out it's already been sold without your authorization or your knowledge. In Philadelphia, 15 people were charged in house stealing scheme. DA says deeds of empty houses were forged According to this story, "...members of the theft ring would drive around the community, looking for boarded-up houses. They would look up the titles to those properties - which are public records - and (4 comments)
Google your listing for SALE ---- because someone else is listing it for RENT! - 02/14/09 02:36 AM
This is not the first time this has happened, and it won't be the last. My most recent listing is a sweet little bungalow for sale at $450,000. Besides the MLS and subsequent websites that picked this up, it also shows on craigslist, Trulia, Zillow, etc. "Is this house for rent?" So I was surprised to hear from someone who told me that the property is listed for rent. After seeing the post on craigslist, and communicating via email with the purported "owner" who has listed this for rent, she drove by the place to check out the neighborhood. Seeing (20 comments)
FUNNY FRIDAYS: Good dog. Bad dog. - 02/14/09 02:06 AM
Thanks to Funny Fridays for providing an outlet for us to post pictures that made us laugh. So here's something just for fun. Some of you have seen these before, but others may not. Here's a tale of two dogs and how they handle the same challenging situation. First, the BAD DOG who took matters into his own teeth
And here's the very responsible dog who does his thing to help
Another short sale as yet another client falls victim to recession - 02/14/09 01:35 AM
2005 was a good year for many of my clients. They had good paying jobs. Things were looking good indeed, and many of them qualified to buy their first home. Pooling their resources, my clients, a couple of sisters, bought a duplex together to enable their extended family to live together. Mom and Dad, one sis and her husband lived downstairs; another sister, her husband and young children lived upstairs. They loved their duplex. It even had a nice yard where they had family gatherings to celebrate special occasions. What a difference a few years make! Fast forward to 2009. Job loss (4 comments)
We MUST evolve to survive! - 02/13/09 11:35 PM
Before leaving for home tonight, I had a conversation with one of our most seasoned, and in the past, most successful realtors. She has awards ro prove it. Both of us had a terrible 2007, but in her case, her 2008 was just as bad. She said that she's never had a year like the past two years. It's getting so bad that she may have to sell her house that she's owned since 1993.
WORKING THE OLD FASHIONED WAY She's very diligent, and she works hard. However, she makes money the old-fashioned way --- and she's not earning it the way she (31 comments)
Having a 6-month reserve of funds is not enough any more - 02/12/09 01:07 AM
It used to be that the smart thing to do is to always have a 6-month reserve of funds as a safety net in case one gets sick and/or unemployed. We were always taught to save for a rainy day. But today, that probably should be amended to be a whole year's reserve, or even longer. One of my clients was always frugal and lived within her means. Even in the good times, she did all the right things in anticipation of hard times. She completed her master's degree, continued to take classes to hone her skills. She worked hard and was rewarded with a promotion. She (10 comments)
Ignorance is not always bliss, especially when it comes to getting permits for home alterations - 02/11/09 07:30 PM
In Alameda, and most assuredly in other cities, too, there is always a question on what alterations to a property will require permits. Granted, some folks deliberately sidestepped getting permits because of the cost, the time, and for other reasons. And others just didn't think or realize the work they're doing needed permits. On occasions, a missing or incorrect permit history may simply be a case of human error. NO PERMITS IS A DEAL BREAKER Two of my very bright and very resourceful clients renovated their kitchen, doing what they thought was a "like for like" change that was very simple. They changed the countertop (1 comments)
3 bedrooms, 2 baths, year built: 1924 sq.ft.:803 sq ft per public records (does not include bonus room) $450,000 Comfy, cozy, unassuming bungalow has evolved through the years to accommodate the needs of members of the owner's household. The front porch was enclosed to so that the owner had a place to give piano lessons. The detached garage was converted into a room with its own bath, so that another member of the household had more private quarters. The dining room was used as a bedroom, but can be easily restored into a dining room. (0 comments)
Pastino's Pasta & Pizza --- where customer care, service and friendliness is the BEST! - 02/10/09 02:30 AM
My partner Gary encountered a woman at the dog park, who mentioned that one of her favorite places to eat in Oakland Hills area is Pastino's Pasta & Pizza at 4207 Park Blvd. Always looking for a good place, we set out to eat at Pastino's. Since this is somewhat a "hole in the wall" in the midst of other fine dining, we didn't worry about how we dressed, which was fine by us We were immediately seated by an super-friendly and attentive guy named George. I ordered a seafood canneloni but they just ran out of it. So George (5 comments)
"Do you specialize in the sob story listings?" - 02/09/09 02:34 AM
Had an interesting exchange with a local real estate blogger. When I provided background on a property by relating hardship that the owner is encountering, the blogger asked: "Do you specialize in the sob story listings?" Lending an ear is part of the program to listening to my clients, understanding the challenges they face, having empathy, and doing what I can to help. She itemized three listings wherein I mentioned the seller's situation. Because this blogger is more about facts and figures, citing sad sack background information isn't going to go far in that blog. If one is looking for sympathy, her blog isn't (9 comments)
Homing pigeons won't leave home I listed for sale. - 02/06/09 12:23 AM
Every day as a REALTOR, I run into all kinds of situations. This time, I have a new listing that I'm trying to get ready for this Sunday's open house. I've contracted with my hardwood reifinishing peope, painters, cleaning folks. BUT.... What can I do about the homing pigeons? The owner's son had a cage for his pigeons. And just before he left the country, he arranged for someoe else to take his homing pigeons. The owner herself has moved to Las Vegas. But hominig pigeons the way they are, they went home to the only home they know. They're here, pecking at the ground, looking for food. So here I (10 comments)
Modern Marvels --- just two of many breathtaking buildings - 02/05/09 06:59 PM
These are incredible modern day structures. They take my breath away. Click on the pictures to take you to sites with more information about these places. Japan's Indoor and Man-made Beach Ocean Dome According to Wikipedia: "The Seagaia Ocean Dome was the world's largest indoor waterpark, located in Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan. The Ocean Dome, which is a part of the Sheraton Seagaia Resort, measures 300 metres in length and 100 metres in width, and is listed on the Guinness World Records. It opened in 1993, and visitor numbers peaked in 1995 at 1.25 million a year. The Ocean Dome was officially (2 comments)
Jesus was a....woman? - 02/02/09 04:01 PM
Just had to share. This isn't new, but it was new to me. See "Was Jesus Christ really a woman?" On the lighter side of things ....EVEN GOD ENJOYS A GOOD LAUGH!There were 3 good arguments that Jesus was Black: 1. He called everyone brother 2. He liked Gospel 3. He didn't get a fair trial But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:1. He went into His Father's business2. He lived at home until he was 33 3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin, and his Mother was sure He was GodBut then there were 3 equally good (13 comments)
Agent demands commission on rejected offer and on anything buyer buys within the year - 02/01/09 11:28 AM
I had a prospective client I'll simply call "Client" whom I met in December 2007 and to whom I've shown properties. Until one day, he walked into an open house on a waterfront property that he liked. OPEN HOUSE AGENT MADE OUTRAGEOUS CLAIM The agent --- whom I'll refer to as Agent X --- holding the open house told him only HE can write the offer for my client, and that the chances of getting the offer approved would be greater if HE wrote the offer for him. It was a short sale, and this is the only house that Client saw (102 comments)
HELP! Thinking of switching from PC to MAC. Should I? - 02/01/09 12:24 AM
Whle visiting the Apple Store, I fell in love with the new MACs. The person I spoke with at the store was so knowledgeable and so personable (maybe I fell in love with HIM?). Anyway, I'm still on the fence....but getting close. Should I switch? I saw this site on "Geeks Are Sexy" that featured 5 Reasons to Switch from Mac to PC. But I need a real estate professional's perspective. And Apple has its Why your next PC should be a MAC
Can someone share your experience if, and when you switched from PC to MAC... Was it (31 comments)
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