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When a great article backfires on you - 11/30/08 06:46 AM
Last week I wrote an article that got me lots of attention, a feature in the Activerain newsletter called "The foreclosure that never had to happen", and calls from agents and mortgage brokers from around the United States, and even an e-mail from a congressman's office. It made for one busy day on the phone and one dead battery. But, despite my good intentions from the post to try to help this country get out of these hard economic times, this post did have a downside for me personally. You see, I made this post public because I wanted Congress to (22 comments)
“Merry Christmas –We’ve Moved” Cards? - 11/29/08 10:35 PM
One of my clients called me today and asked if I knew where to get, "Merry Christmas - We've Moved" cards, because they seemed to have looked everywhere and just couldn't find them. They called me in the hopes that I would have an answer. I said I didn't, but I would post it within Activerain, my blog site, and I bet someone out there would know where to find them.
So, fellow Rainers, don't let me down and give me some help finding these cards! Todd Clark - brokerKastings & AssociatesPhone: (503)524-9494Fax: (503)622-8739Todd@IFoundYourNewHome.comwww.ifoundyournewhome.com
Your clients have got themselves a great 30 year fixed rate loan at a wonderful rate of 5.5%. So they close on their home and that is when the letters start. Refinance! Save money each month! Pay off your credit card bills! Heck these letters start before the house has even closed because of the credit bureaus selling their information to every loan chasing mortgage broker out there. But, what you really need to do is warn them about is the scams out there. The misleading letters that attempt to get people to switch their mortgage from their current lender to (9 comments)
Washington County, Oregon home sales week in review by neighborhood (11/28/2008) - 11/28/08 02:26 PM
Today is Friday, November 28, 2008 and it is time for another breakdown of homes sales in the Washington County, Oregon market. This week the stats came out for September 2008 versus September 2007 and the numbers are pretty amazing. With the average drop in home pending sales in Washington County since this time last years is 30.95% and now we are starting to feel the pinch of short sales and foreclosures hitting the market. It has caused the average home sold price to drop 4.05% since in the last month. This is an interesting situation, because for the first time (1 comments)
I still say Merry Christmas to anyone and everyone…Do you? - 11/28/08 12:17 AM
To me this sounds like a silly question and the same with my friends who are even of different religious backgrounds from me. They tell me that it's what I believe in and they would never be offended by me wishing them a Merry Christmas, just as I'm not offended by them wishing me a Happy Hanukkah and having dinner with them and eating Kosher. So, this is the announcement of a new group...The "I'm in real estate and I'm proud to say the words "MERRY CHRISTMAS"" group. This group will only be taking posts from November 28th through January 31 (30 comments)
Gobble Gobble Gobble Gooble(What I'm Thankful For) - 11/27/08 10:04 AM
Gobble, Gobble, Gobble (I would like to thank everyone for choosing me as the food of choice when it comes to saying thanks) Gobble, Gobble (This is my Thanksgiving thanks, translated by Todd) Gobble? (What do I have to be thankful for?) Gobble, Gobble (I have a lot to be thankful for) Gobble, Gobble, Gobble. Gobble? Gobble (I have a wonderful year of getting really fat and have you seen the Hens? They are hot!) Gobble, Gobble (I guess I am also thankful not to be a Chicken, you guys eat them all year long. I never want to see a KFT (Kentucky (15 comments)
One of my clients who owned rental properties prior to me knowing him had one of them he wanted to put on the market because the clients weren't paying their rent. I advised him that if they weren't paying, then more than likely, the property was going to be in less than salable condition when they got it back and that the tenants would probably not make it easy to sell. So my suggestion was to have them evicted prior to putting the home on the market. He went of over to the property and the person on the lease agreed (10 comments)
I’m looking for a home near a good school – Where do your kids go? - 11/26/08 08:44 AM
Well, this is a loaded question, but I can tell you that on my website, I have links to all the area schools and the report card given to them by the state. As for my kids? Well, they are home taught, the teachers are all right, not a lot of kids per class, but recess with dad is a lot of fun. For more information on home schooling, I suggest you check out Calvert School and you will be amazed at what you read. I know that it isn't for everyone, but I know for my kids, they are better (6 comments)
If you have never been on a listing appointment for an expired listing, then let me tell you when you finally do, you are in for a real treat. The one thing I can tell you about your appointment is that the seller wants to sell. Its your job to find out why it didn't sell and how to fix it all in less than 15 minutes, or it is too late and they move on to the next agent on their list. I went on a listing appointment last week on an expired listing and I have to admit I (9 comments)
I felt the urge to steal from an REO today - 11/24/08 10:23 AM
Please don't judge me too harshly until you read the whole post. I didn't do it, but I still have an urge to go back and steal from this REO for the greater good. You see I am married with three kids. I've had tough times in my life and if you listen to the news everyday, you would think the banks were eating soup and sandwiches every night with the shortage they have. (I don't consider a Twenty Two Million dollar bonus a shortage, for the record.)
But as we walked in to this vacant REO property today, it (14 comments)
They didn’t give up and they called me this time! - 11/24/08 12:57 AM
I've written several posts about other agent's buyers calling me after the fact about advice and what they should do. In all those cases I did what I could to help these people, knowing that I wasn't going to get paid for that advice. I also knew in the end that most of these people would never want to trust another real estate agent again after losing usually their home and most of their life savings.
Well, I am finally getting paid for all the time I have spent helping other agent's clients. One of those people that called me (25 comments)
This is the letter I think I'm going to send to every agent of a seller that tells me that they want me to come back later. It is very important that sellers understand that when you have a hot buyer, delaying them in anyway will lose the sale. This is why so many automobile salesmen don't want you to leave their lot. They know once you leave you only have about a 2% of ever walking through those doors again, this also applies to looking at a home. (12 comments)
Kicking Back or Kickback, I know the ethical choice, but do you? - 11/22/08 11:17 AM
In the past I have been approached with many partnership ideas, but I know what it is that makes a true partnership. I give something and you give something in return that makes it beneficial to us both. That is how I approach real estate and my clients. I offer them hard work, dedication and ethics and they offer me a commission, referrals and in a lot of cases, their friendship. But, sometimes in real estate the difference between partnership and business kick backs are not that far apart. Let's look at one example of some of the things I do (84 comments)
Washington County, Oregon home sales week in review by neighborhood (11/21/2008) - 11/21/08 03:12 PM
Today is Friday, November 21, 2008 and it is time for another breakdown of homes sales in the Washington County, Oregon market. This week the stats came out for September 2008 versus September 2007 and the numbers are pretty amazing. With the average drop in home pending sales in Washington County since this time last years is 30.95% and now we are starting to feel the pinch of short sales and foreclosures hitting the market. It has caused the average home sold price to drop 4.05% since in the last month. This is an interesting situation, because for the first time (0 comments)
That bites! - 11/21/08 01:08 AM
We all miss the dog days of summer and long for the next one, but now you can find out how your dog got to be your dog. If you are in Portland, Oregon, then you can visit the World Forestry Center now through January 4th, 2009 and find out the story of dogs. Also, while you are there, you can climb on Peggy the 1909 log train that you see in the picture below. Because they didn't have trucks that could handle the large loads of lumber until the mid 1940s, and horses didn't have enough strength either, they had (3 comments)
The foreclosure that never had to happen - 11/20/08 07:46 AM
This story takes place only about a year ago, when the pasture was green. There was no need to leave to go the neighbors where the grass looks greener, you had plenty and all you thought you would ever need. But, things were starting to change, the grass was getting browner and the signs were coming that things were about to change for the worse, and they did.
People were starting to see overtime at work being cut back. Lay offs started to happen and some families just couldn't handle the pressure of keeping a house on one income for (50 comments)
I picked up my new car today and I need your help! - 11/19/08 09:21 PM
Today I picked up my new real estate car that I have been very excited about it since one of my clients asked if I wanted it. I have been working extra hard to scrape the money together to buy it. I've dreamt about a car like this since I bought my first car over 20 years ago. Well, I went to pick up my new car today and delivered to the shop so I can start to work on it. I bought my car as a conversation starter. I have to say it worked better than I ever expected. I (35 comments)
Do your homework and you may get a reward - 11/18/08 12:50 PM
Nothing upsets me more than when I see an expired listing that only expired because it had a lazy agent involved. I had one of those experiences, but I have to say that lazy agent made me look like a rock star to this seller. You see this home had been on the market for six months with another agent and that agent just couldn't sell it. It only had one picture on the MLS, she didn't do her homework on the property, and she was missing one big selling point about this property that made it a slam dunk for (86 comments)
The Candyman Can, Because He Mixes It With Love (Why I Love Real Estate) - 11/18/08 11:43 AM
Since the day I started my first business when I was 14, it was all about making the customer happy. Making others happy made me happy. I loved my customers and they loved me... they sought me out, because I was different. Now, how does this title fit into all this? That first business I had when I was 14 was selling bubble gum, then candy. Bubble Yum Bubble Gum was .25 for a 5 pack then. (I'll let you figure out how long ago that was.) I was selling it at school for .25 a piece making about $40 a (8 comments)
I Think I May Taste Like Chicken - 11/16/08 11:49 PM
Since we all know everything in the world tastes like chicken, I have to assume I do as well. But, that doesn't mean that I want to be eaten or even gnawed on for awhile. In the last month, I feel I have been lucky... that is lucky not to be a chew toy for some dog in a house that I am showing. I love dogs, but even the friendliest dog, if it doesn't know you, may react and bite someone they don't know. What if I had kids with me and the friendly dog decided it didn't want to (14 comments)
Dang I’ve become old = When I was your age… - 11/16/08 07:02 AM
Oh crap, I channeled my very alive father when I heard the words come out of my mouth when talking to a younger client of mine. He said, "I saw you on Twitter and thought about giving you a shout out, but saw the only updates on there from you were for your posts, don't you use it?"
Well, that is when the words flowed from my lips all too easily, "I have never really used and to be honest just don't get it" What? Technology, not understanding it? Dang it! My father calls me when something technical goes wrong... (18 comments)
OK – I did it and the world didn’t end - 11/16/08 12:31 AM
It wasn't as easy as I hoped, but once I took the little happy pill I was fine. (No not the little blue one - you people are sick) This was a pack of Tic Tacs that I labeled happy pills and I sucked on to try to get my mind off what was happening. I was taking the day off and I wasn't sure my phone being left on my desk unattended knew how to handle having more than a single voice mail message waiting for more than 5 minutes. My computer, could it survive being turned off? Heck until (23 comments)
Washington County, Oregon home sales week in review by neighborhood (11/14/2008) - 11/14/08 11:44 AM
Today is Friday, November 14, 2008 and it is time for another breakdown of homes sales in the Washington County, Oregon market. This week the stats came out for September 2008 versus September 2007 and the numbers are pretty amazing. With the average drop in home sales in Washington County of 29.35% and now we are starting to feel the pinch of short sales and foreclosures hitting the market. It has caused the average home sold price to drop 3.8% since September of last year. This is an interesting situation, because for the first time we are seeing prices start to (2 comments)
Helping Families Home – OK, maybe just a new family member - 11/14/08 12:43 AM
Sometimes in life you are thrown a curve and that was the call I got yesterday from one of my past clients that I had helped in the purchase of their first home last year at about this same time. Well, today they called me and they needed my help. I was so thankful they thought of me and knew that I would do it without hesitation. Today at about 3pm, I got a call from this past client saying, "Todd, this is Arlene and I need your help!" Well I said, "Just tell me what and I'll see what I (15 comments)
That should make it easy for me to advertise with features like that! - 11/12/08 09:32 AM
You go to a listing appointment and you know they want to price the house right, and now you want to do the best job you can for your clients. You ask them why they bought the house and what has been done to it, so you can use those to advertise. Hopefully the next buyer is looking for some great features like the ones you described. But, I can only do so much I am not a person that can take a pile of **** and make it in to a rose bush. But let's see what you have for (12 comments)
One step behind means never having the glory of the gold medal - 11/11/08 08:35 PM
Today, I've decided to cancel a listing, which something I never like to do, but the seller has a friend. Well you know how it goes, the friend gives him some advice and they pass it on to me and then when the home doesn't sell, it is my fault. You see from the beginning, the seller has never wanted to quite listen to my pricing suggestions and he is always one step behind someone else in the neighborhood. When we first put the home on the market, he had to have it about $5,000 above where I suggested. The neighbor (15 comments)
Hey banks, I’ll let you in on a secret… - 11/11/08 12:48 AM
Ok Mr. Banker, I know this secret may come to a big surprise to you, but to us that own homes, sell homes, and are working with sellers that are having problems right now, we want to keep our homes despite the loss in value. I know that surprises you because I talk to you everyday on the phone. Your attitude is that these sellers are dead beats and are just trying to give the property back to you so they can get out of their obligation, but here is the big secret. NO THEY DON'T! They want a roof over (16 comments)
I want to take a day off…But, what if… - 11/10/08 10:18 AM
Saturday is fast approaching and I think to myself that it has been raining for 3 weeks straight and that is the first dry day on the horizon, so why don't I take a day off? I haven't treated myself to any fun actives in over a month, and my kids, what are their names again? But, wait, what if I hold an open house? With the good weather maybe I can get that customer that has been missing me for the past 3 weeks because of weather and work. You know business is slowing down... is it the holidays, is (23 comments)
I’m in trouble and AC/DC has created a 3 year old fan - 11/09/08 07:10 AM
My 3 year old daughter came up to my ear and whispered, I have something to sing to you. I said, "OK" then that is when she started singing in a whisper. "Dirty Deeds, Done Dirt Cheap" by AC/DC, and I'm not sure that if I should be happy that I have someone to take to concerts with me, or if I should be worried that I'm raising a juvenile delinquent. Maybe she has seen one to many Gene Simmons posters But, I do have to admit it was pretty cute that my little rocker girl is expanding beyond Kiss. (30 comments)
If we were to lie this much we would lose our license – So why haven’t they? - 11/08/08 09:43 AM
THIS IS A RANT: If you don't like rants, then I suggest you don't do short sales or read this post! Over the past year and a half I have done many successful short sales, but in more recent times, I feel the banks representatives are being told to lie to anyone who calls. Every time I call I seem to get a different answer and they seem to have no record of the previous calls.
Despite me having a paper trail of offers, they are denying they ever received them even though they have sent me written confirmation of (28 comments)
Washington County, Oregon home sales week in review by neighborhood (11/07/2008) - 11/07/08 10:04 PM
Today is Friday, November 7, 2008 and it is time for another breakdown of homes sales in the Washington County, Oregon market. This week the stats came out for September 2008 versus September 2007 and the numbers are pretty amazing. With the average drop in home sales in Washington County of 29.35% and now we are starting to feel the pinch of short sales and foreclosures hitting the market. It has caused the average home sold price to drop 3.8% since September of last year. This is an interesting situation, because for the first time we are seeing prices start to (0 comments)
What is a person to do when they find out the application they filled out and the application turned in are different? - 11/06/08 08:32 AM
I got a call yesterday from a person that asked a question that I couldn't answer and I told them I had a great network across North America and someone was bound to have the answer. I took this person at their word over the phone and I really do want to help them despite them already having lost their home. The situation was that about 3 years ago they were looking to get equity out of their home to help make ends meet. (I know a lot of people did.) They did a stated income refinance loan on their home (17 comments)
My house has gone down in value, I’ve lost everything – WHAT? - 11/06/08 12:54 AM
I keep hearing this from home owners and I have to say to them, "What are you talking about? Is your house still standing? Are you able to pay the mortgage?" If they answer yes to these two, then you have done nothing but gained! I'm going to tell you a little story about my parents and how their neighbors and they, all buying at the same time, lost everything, but attitude changed it for one family. (MINE) It was 1977, my parents were both teachers and were given the opportunity to buy their first home at 9% interest. This was (25 comments)
Whoa there cowboy… What happened to the person I was just talking to? - 11/05/08 10:03 AM
Have you ever been with someone you've known for awhile and then all of a sudden they change? I had this experience with a new agent the other day. This person was very personable and fun to be around. I thought they were an all around a great person and would make a great agent. But, that is when something happened, a buyer walked in! Then this used car salesman showed up in the body of this wonderful agent I was talking to. He wasn't confident in who he was and became what he thought people wanted. His image of a (19 comments)
Should you test your agent? In my humble opinion…YES! - 11/05/08 01:01 AM
Over the last couple months, I have been finding it harder and harder to get a hold of agents when I have a question about one of their listings. I have gotten many buyers because they called or e-mailed them their listing agent and they never got back to them. Where does this leave you, the home seller? Well, it leaves you with a home that isn't selling because buyer's questions aren't being answered. Here are a couple things you can do to see if your agent is losing buyers because of the lack of response time. Have a friend call (17 comments)
What’s in a number? Apparently some business! - 11/04/08 12:39 AM
18 years ago, when I started another business here in Oregon, I paid for a phone number that I still have today. But, what does that number mean to my business and me? Well, it actually means a lot. The first thing is that it is easy to remember. 503-524-9494. People seem to be able to remember it without having to write it down and that has helped me many times with clients. Even their kids remember it and can repeat it because of the way I say it, it has kind of a rhythm to it, so it makes it (17 comments)
It may seem early, but time to book your breakfast with Santa - 11/03/08 12:22 PM
For the past 5 years, my family and all the kids have enjoyed Washington Square's breakfast with Santa in Tigard, Oregon. The kids get to enjoy the magic and fun of Mrs. Claus until her husband shows up and then the place erupts with excitement. The kids get to each meet Santa and have their picture taken if they want. The best part for parents is that there is a GREAT buffet style breakfast that has something for everyone and you certainly won't leave hungry and it only costs $5.
The thing is though you have to purchase your tickets (4 comments)
I was a little offended today by a past client - 11/02/08 12:12 AM
We met every other day, through thick and thin, trying to find you that perfect home. After three months we found it. That is when I started to call you every couple days, stopped off at your house, and we even had each others families over for dinner a couple times during the whole process. Then the day came and you closed on your new home. It was a very happy day in your life as well as mine. Your joy brought me joy and I could tell you were truly happy. You said you would call me and invite me (27 comments)
Helping Families Home is a blog set up to help families find that perfect home for them. I have a family and I understand how hard it can be to find a home that everyone is happy with. Let me help you find that home and help your family home.
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.