my life as a real estate agent: Old Time Real Estate - 09/09/12 03:06 AM
Having been raised in a real estate family, I remember what it was like in Olden Times.  Things were really very different.  For example:
1.  MLS.  When I was a child, my Mom sold real estate.  MLS information was distributed by the local board once a week on memeographed sheets that had been hole-punched for a 3 ring binder.  My Mom had me putting the sheets in the ring binder.  Then the board began publishing a book, much like the phone book, with 4 properties to the page.  I still have one of those books.  I use it for a craft … (1 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: My Life in Real Estate - 09/07/12 03:38 AM
I don't know if there was ever a point when I wasn't in real estate.  I grew up in a Real Estate Family.  I can remember my mother studying to take her license exam in 1962.  In my mind's eye, I can see her sitting in the shade of a peach tree out in the back yard, reading the book that the State of Texas provided people to prepare them to take the real estate license exam.   There weren't any classes or real estate schools.  You just took a test to get a license.  At that point, a person just … (22 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Agent Meets Bride At Church For Signature on Contract? - 08/11/12 03:38 AM
I wrote offers on two properties yesterday.  The first is a townhouse in Richardson.  I have been talking with the listing agent for the last several weeks on the property because I knew that it was pretty much the most ideal match for my buyer client.  It took him several more weeks of looking before he was able to see the townhome for what it is.  And, it is a great deal for him.  He decided on Thursday that he was ready to go forward with an offer on the townhome.  I got it drawn up, went to his job, got … (18 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Market Value vs List Price - 05/23/12 04:34 AM
People often misunderstand the difference between "Market Value" and "List Price".  The Market Value of a home determined by how much a Willing Buyer will pay a Willing Seller.  Period.  I have just gone through an experience with an anxious and nervous first-time buyer where we had to make offers on 3 properties before we could get a deal to jell.   In the first two cases, both property owners priced their home based on how much money the seller needed to go on to their next home. In both cases, a listing agent let that happen.  In the end, The … (0 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: On The Job Injuries - 02/09/12 03:50 AM
I had another on-the -job injury this week, a real-estate-agent-specific kind of injury.  Fortunately this one was more of an embarrassment than it was actual injury.  Deep in thought, I turned around and walked straight into a low-hanging light fixture.  Wopped myself in the head with a solid brass chandelier.  Raised a pretty impressive goose egg on my forehead.  It has made me aware of how often I lift my eyebrows when I talk!

Last fall I slid down a set of rain-soaked wooden stairs.  I was wearing leather-bottomed Italian pumps in the rain and I was in a hurry … (0 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: One Appointment A Day - 09/01/11 05:12 AM
The office computer desktop wallpaper tends to be an afterthought sent our way by Corporate.  Most of the spring, it was an ad for a company-wide production competition.  The contest ended in May but the wallpaper continued well into August.  Corporate changed out the wallpaper several weeks ago.  The new wallpaper just says "One appointment a day, 5 days a week".
That slogan has slowly soaked through the hard-crusted shell of my real estate cynicism.  That shell has been developed by years of exposure to office managers and trainers who mistakenly believe that what it is that we do is SELL.  … (3 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Abandoned Non-Conforming Use - 08/23/11 03:02 AM
Warning:  I don't know what I am talking about here.  I am simply repeating what I am being told.  I don't have any reason to disbelieve what I am being told, I just haven't seen the ordinances in print to confirm my understanding.  Perhaps someone who ACTUALLY knows about this stuff will weigh in and explain zoning to me. I am repeating my understanding of what is going on because I think it is really interesting.  Part of the reason I love my job is that I get to learn new and interesting stuff all the time.
Anyway.....I am making offers … (3 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: I Should Know Better - 06/14/11 04:26 PM
I sat out in front of a house for 20 minutes today, waiting for a buyer that I have never met.  One of the hard and fast rules in this business is never meet a person for the first time at a house. After 12 years driving the streets selling houses, you would think that I would have learned by now not to do it.  First meeting with a client has to be in the office.  Has to be.  I got a refresher course today.

The first issue is safety.  I ignore the safety angle pretty much all the time.  … (16 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: What does it take to be a good Office Manager? - 06/12/11 02:46 AM
I have never been an office manager.  I don't think I would like the job.  Never say never, but I think there is a 95% chance that "never" applies to this situation for me. We are all given different skills and gifts.  Someone else gets to be the office manager.
I just get to work with and watch office managers.  As best I can tell, Corporate hires an office manager to do three broad categories of tasks: risk management, agent recruitment, agent retention.  I watch them do the first two on a regular basis.  But, I don't know that I have … (4 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Should Agents Serve on HOA Boards? - 06/01/11 05:40 PM
I think it is a conflict of interest for an agent to serve on their HOA Board if they list or sell in that neighborhood or condo complex.  Even if no improprity were to occur, the appearance of the possibility is clearly present. 

Let's just talk about the ways that being on an HOA Board could cause trouble for an agent.  For example at what point in the process of moving toward the vote on a Special Assessment would the obligation to disclose be triggered?  What if all that has happened is informal discussion of the possibility of perhaps maybe doing a special assessment … (10 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Multiple Offers: Truth or Fiction? - 06/01/11 04:58 PM
When buyer clients hear that there are multiple offers, it is common for them to think that is nothing more than a ploy to get them to raise their offer.  Sometimes the client will give voice to that thought and actually share that thought with me.   That happened yesterday.  My Buyer-client is in a multiple offer.  When I phoned to put him on notice that there are multiple offers, he said "isn't that what the other side ALWAYS says?  Isn't that how they get you to increase your offer?"  I just sat there, holding the phone in my hand, shaking … (5 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Being Called a Salesperson Isn't Like Being Cussed At! - 05/22/11 02:21 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)

my life as a real estate agent: Out-of-pocket Listing Expenses and the Over-Priced Listing - 05/20/11 05:30 PM
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)

my life as a real estate agent: Real Estate Industry Folklore - 04/24/11 05:54 AM
As I go about my day, it is common for me to talk with people who used to be in the industry.  How often have we heard someone comment, "I used to be in real estate, but it was just too cut-throat, so I got out..."   That comment has always puzzled me.  That has never been my experience.  I don't know where that bit of folklore comes from. 
The overwhelming majority of the people I have worked with over the years are wonderful, resourceful and kind, people who are making a living from being helpful.  When I have asked them for … (5 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Rambo - 04/07/11 04:18 PM
It really has been an unusual week.  Let me tell you about the most unusual thing I have had happen at a listing appointment, ever.  It happened this week.
The property was a condo in a gated complex.  The property owner met me in the parking lot and walked me up to her unit.  As we stood outside the door, she turned to me and told me that she has a little bitty dog who may be a tiny bit aggressive, but I was not to worry because she would control him.  I don't remember just why and at what point she told … (12 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: The Dog Ate My Homework - 04/07/11 04:00 PM
As of today I have a brand new and novel excuse for why we were late to the closing.  Here is what happened...
My seller is old, in poor condition, on oxygen.  Her spouse isn't familiar with the city and didn't think he could find the title company.  I told her No Problem, I'll just come get you.  Easy!
The house is about 8 miles from my office, on the other side of downtown.  I was about a mile away from their house when the call came in.  It was from a family member.  "Judith," she said, "you are going to … (8 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Asking for the Kitchen Sink - 04/06/11 04:16 AM
If you are in this business long enough, it was bound to happen.  I got to ask someone for The Kitchen Sink in a deal.  Here is what happened.
I have had a listing for a long time, a wonderful home in a local historic district.  All homes have 5 structural systems (foundation, roof, wiring, plumbing, heating).  On this house, all 5 are compromised or missing.  How about that?  A buyer has been identified, a cash buyer who will be bring this home back to its former glory (one hopes).  The ink on the contract has dried, the survey ordered, the … (2 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Work as a Habit - 03/07/11 03:12 AM
"We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit."  Aristotle
I am thinking about habits and routines this morning.  We all have our little routines.  I know that if it is Sunday, I check my houseplants.  I know that I hand out the lead-based paint booklet along with the state mandated Information About Brokerage Services the first time I speak with a potential client.  If I do it the same way every time I don't have to question whether I have done it or not.  That is part of the value of habits.  We don't … (3 comments)

my life as a real estate agent: Planning - 02/14/11 02:33 AM
"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan"  Eleanor Roosevelt said that.
One of my fellow agents likes to say that real estate is either an easy low-paying job or a difficult high-paying job.  The difference is commitment and work.  It takes more than wishing for clients and closings.  It is very common for me to talk with people who were in the industry once upon a time.  There is a reason they are doing something else now.  (There are times when I wonder who has better sense...them or me!  But THAT is a different blog post!).

my life as a real estate agent: It's Still Snowing in Dallas - 02/04/11 03:31 AM
My part of the world is functionally on lock-down.  I got out of the house yesterday for the first time since Monday.   I had to go get catfood.  The cat got up yesterday morning, did an inventory on his larder and then stood by the back door and pointed toward the street.  It is just best to do as he suggests when he is in one of those kinds of moods.  I found my snow gear and went out.  Wandering around in the grocery store was something of an experience in iteself.  Many of the people walking the aisles had this … (3 comments)

Judith Abbott (Coldwell Banker Residential)

Judith Abbott

Dallas, TX

More about me…

Coldwell Banker Residential

Address: 6301 Gaston Ave Ste 125, Dallas, TX, 75214

Office: (214) 828-4300

Mobile: (214) 228-9828

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