arkansas: This is a beginning... - 10/14/07 11:09 AM
I was reading someone's blog and they were distressed over some agent's low offer.  I am afraid that I feel the same way from time to time.  But I start remembering one of the smoothest agents that I've ever met and her starting line to a seller.  She'd coo, "This is a beginning....".  Then she'd present the offer, get a counter, go out and probably work it out.
My favorite thing to say to a seller, if they are handy and at my desk, is, "Don't be mad about this low offer.  Just be mad at those people who didn't have the … (9 comments)

arkansas: The market becomes slow from here until Christmas. - 10/14/07 10:19 AM
I don't know about your cities but in my area, one can feel a slowing of real estate at this time of the year. And once Thanksgiving gets here, it seems that everyone starts taking off for Christmas.  Showing houses at Christmas is not ideal because you can't see the house for the decorations! 
I do remember once, however, a very prominent person buying a big house on Christmas eve.  He'd seen it but didn't really make up his mind until the day before Christmas.  He called his agent and she'd gone to visit relatives in another state.
He was very "put … (4 comments)

arkansas: Things have become easier in some ways... - 10/11/07 01:50 PM
While calling on two clients today and talking to them about listing, I thought thankfully about how easy it is to go to my computer and pull up the court house information sheet that is available.  We pool our funds to pay for the service and it's the best $5 per month that I spend.
The info sheets give square footage, taxes, age, history and many other goodies.  While leaving one house, I met up with Sue, someone I'd sold a house to about 18 years ago.  She said she'd recommended me to her neighbor and than laughed about how I used … (5 comments)

arkansas: I'm afraid I've been bribed by a seller... - 10/10/07 05:11 AM
Today is Wednesday, our day to go and tour the new listings.  My husband the car dealer once said, "You real estate agents and insurance agents have it made because you don't own the inventory and have to pay interest on the inventory."  Over the years I've realized how profound that statement is because we are lucky to have huge amounts of inventory of houses and land that we can sell and never pay a penny of interest! 
So the least we can do is try to be familiar with the inventory.  So many agents sit in the office and never … (11 comments)

arkansas: Tax time and that unadvertised tax benefit..... - 10/08/07 02:54 AM
Having been in real estate for many years and thinking I was pretty smart, I was absolutely bowled over when we had a member of the tax assessor's office come and speak to us a few years ago.  She mentioned "freezing your taxes" as a benefit to people over 65 or handicapped!  WHAT!  How come I'd never heard of such a thing.  The cat was out of the bag, so to speak......I don't believe a real estate agent in that room had ever heard of such a thing. 
Since then we have added it to our state forms but it is … (7 comments)

arkansas: What is a slow day in real estate? - 10/06/07 01:45 PM
A slow day in real estate happens when most of the state meets for a football game and you stay home.  Most of the spammers must be watching football because even the email is almost devoid of viagra spam.  The cell phone does not ring.  Your home phone does not ring.  Your husband and his buddies are listening to the football game in the deep woods while supposedly squirrel-hunting.
So on the slow day, get busy and clean off the back porch, spider bomb the garage, give away some of the hubbie's junk before he gets back, and have a very relaxing day.  … (12 comments)

arkansas: Does a faster cable connection really make a difference? - 10/05/07 02:10 PM
Having cable internet connection turned out to be better than my experience with satellite internet.  The thing that bugged me the worst was going to see a streaming video and having it stop and start and stop and start so I asked the cable company if it would REALLY make a difference if I paid more money ($20 per month) for a faster connection or was it all the same.
They said it REALLY makes a difference so I am trying it.  It really is better!  I have just watched youtube for an hour and the videos were all steady and continuing.  … (8 comments)

arkansas: Who can really represent a buyer well? - 10/04/07 02:16 PM
It is my belief that in order to represent a buyer, you need to know the area well enough to do a good job.  I have had experience where a person from a city 50 miles away comes in to a city they don't know in order to show houses that the buyer has found on the internet.
The agent has to depend on each listing agent to open the house because they don't have key access, give them stat sheets and direct them to the house.  I don't understand why they don't refer the buyer to an agent in the city … (3 comments)

arkansas: Just what in a house is a room???? - 10/03/07 02:51 PM
I've been struggling with doing another bpo and keeping in mind that I am not a fee appraiser and am expected to do a good job for this REO listing.  And each time I get to the part that asks how many rooms the house has and I despair again.
What, pray tell, is a room?  Is a room a large walk-in closet that is as big as some bedrooms?  Is a room a big laundry room?  Is a room a small space for an office?  Is a room the part of a kitchen where you sit down and eat?  It must be … (9 comments)

arkansas: What do they teach in driving training these days? - 09/30/07 01:31 PM
I'm freshly home from a trip to South Carolina....well, I'm home but not fresh.  The traffic there and in my state of Arkansas makes me wonder what sort of training folks get before getting in control of a vehicle.  I was taught to look in the rear view mirror when passing and when I could see the car I'd passed, I could pull back into that lane of traffic.  Folks now seem to see how close they can come to your car without hitting it as they pull back in front of you. 
Needless to say, they must also teach that … (4 comments)

arkansas: A fun rap tune from Searcy AR - 09/25/07 01:28 PM
I'm not a big fan of rap mainly because I can't understand so many of the words that they are saying.  But I'm a big fan of my hometown Searcy AR and my Alma Mater Harding University in Searcy.  There's a really fun rap tune on youtube that I saw today.  Four talented young people sing in different local spots in Searcy.  There is a lot of humor in the words and the actions.  See it for yourself.

arkansas: How many of you are aware of USDA Rural Development houses.... - 09/24/07 12:23 PM
After responding to a blog about Habitat for Humanity I thought it might be a good idea to mention the USDA Rural Development Direct Loan to everyone.  I wrote the following. "Habitat for Humanity is no doubt a great idea and it does provide homes for many people.  But I worry about the lack of knowledge among Realtors concerning the old "Farmer's Home" houses.  They've been around for years.  They have a new name now, Rural Development Direct Loan homes.  If a family is low income and the income limit varies, USDA Rural Development will subsidize the payment for a family.  … (2 comments)

arkansas: Impressive things that are everyday events... - 09/24/07 05:19 AM
Atomic clocks!  My daughter decided we needed one...perhaps because we couldn't set the clocks we had and perhaps she knew we'd never heard of an atomic clock.  For the few of you who are slower than we are, an atomic clock is one that you never have to set.  It sets itself and it knows what time zone you are in!!  We were impressed!
This morning our atomic clock was 15 minutes slow.  I knew it couldn't be the clock so I changed the battery.  That thing went to work resetting itself.  But it set itself to the wrong time zone.  I … (2 comments)

arkansas: A couple of helpful tips learned at convention this week - 09/23/07 01:33 PM
What I learned at convention is impressive.  One of the questions presented to us by one of the speakers was "What percentage of shoppers will be shopping on the internet first in two years?"  In other words, before contacting a realtor, they'll be surfing first.  My guess was correct when I said 100%.  We all know people who can't get on the internet at all but he said that they will know someone who will get the information for them.  Right now 80% shop by internet first.
And this same speaker said that email is SO important.  It is important to answer … (5 comments)

arkansas: How one may get started in the REO business. - 09/22/07 02:30 PM
Several questions have been asked about how to become an REO agent.  I looked back and came to the conclusion that I never solicited the business.  I happened to be on "phone duty" one day when a bond money REO came through.  They wanted me to check out a little house that was actually about 7 years in arrears.  It had been left full of stuff with leaks from the roof ruining furniture.  I had to carefully step over stuff and carefully make sure I didn't fall through a hole in the floor.
I got the stuff hauled off so the house … (0 comments)

arkansas: Is there a market for used water heaters? - 09/12/07 03:04 PM
There must be a market for used water heaters and used central units.  I seem to be getting an REO a week and they have usually been occupied for a year or less and were owned by the sub-prime borrowers who had nothing to lose.
The one I went to today had no water heater, no A/C compressor and lots of holes in the ceiling where they probably went up and stole the heating unit also.  Faucets in some areas were missing.  The house was a wreck and it had been a good house just two years ago.  Others that I've gotten … (5 comments)

arkansas: Attending the REO auction can be good for your career. - 09/11/07 01:08 PM
The consumer seems to thing that if he goes to the auction for a foreclosure at the court house, he may get a good deal.  This is hardly ever the case.
I attend them about once a month if I know something interesting is up for foreclosure. At these auctions there are usually only two to four people plus the auctioneer.  I go just to observe.  I've discovered that if you want to know FOR SURE whether it was foreclosed, you need to be there.
I have also made money by going to the foreclosure sales.  Once I met a man who was … (2 comments)

arkansas: Take a different path to your destination. - 09/11/07 12:55 PM
We learned something very valuable back in the early 80's when we were fortunate enough to have a little broker training.  We got together and pretended we were making cold calls.  Imagine that!  Now we have to figure out if someone is on the do-not-call-list before we can call them at all!
Having people shop on the internet and find us, however, is much better than making those cold calls.  No one ever liked them that I know of.
One thing has stuck with me through the years and it came from that trainer.  He said, "Always take a different path to your … (3 comments)

arkansas: The weekly caravan to tour listings in the 80's and now. - 09/10/07 12:58 PM
In the early 80's we signed up in our small town to get Multiple Listing Service and lockboxes.  The next thing that our California transplant gave us a hint about was touring listings.  He said, "Well, in California we all got together on Wednesday and had a caravan to preview all the listings that had come in."  SAY WHAT!!  That is an idea that we should have thought of all by ourselves!  Before we can say SCAT again we had the plans made.  We'd meet at some restaurant, have coffee and have a list to tour of  the properties that had … (0 comments)

arkansas: REO properties and signs of possible drug use - 09/09/07 07:04 AM
I mentioned in another blog about what I learned about possible traces of drug participation in homes that are REO homes.  I have often found light bulbs missing from all fixtures even when it was trouble to take off the fixtures to get to the bulbs.  My source, who has evidently been around drug scenes, told me that the meth users will take out the bulb, destroy the inside filter thing in the bulb, put salt in the get all that gook out and then sip meth from the bulb.  Perhaps the candles that are also all over the house are … (5 comments)

Barbara S. Duncan,  GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) Rainmaker large

Barbara S. Duncan

GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR

Searcy, AR

More about me…

RE/MAX Advantage

Address: 200 W Mulberry, Searcy, AR, 72143

Office: (501) 268-1115

Mobile: (501) 278-6817

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