Spring Has Sprung!

Spring Has Sprung!

  I love this time of year. Trees are budding, flowers are popping up out of newly laid mulch, convertibles are being driven sans top and the real estate market kicks into high speed. We will see more inventory than we have through the winter months. We will also see more buyers ready to buy. SELLERS: Many people wait until this time of year to sell their house. If you are one of the Sellers, you need to make sure your property shines. You may want to take a look at some tips to help get it ready. You are competing against other properties, and you have to be sure yours stands out in some way. We all think that our house is the best. While every house has unique features, we have to look objectively at other properties. A good idea is to go with your Realtor to preview other houses for sale in your area that would be considered a comparable to yours. Listen to your Realtor. Again, we all think our house is the best but your Realtor sees a lot of homes and can help you see the positives and negatives of your home versus the competition. Lastly, you MUST have it priced right. It can be the greatest house in the neighborhood but if it is priced too high, it won’t sell. If you have a lot of showings and no offer, it is priced to high. If you have no showings, it is priced too high. In a fast moving Spring market, buyers start to wonder what’s wrong with a house if it has been on the market longer than the average. You will lose showings just based on days on market if you are priced too high to begin with. We all want to get the most out of our house, but be careful not to get too greedy because you may end up getting less than what you would have if you would have priced it within the market to begin with. BUYERS: You are competing with many other buyers. They may be looking at the same house you are. We see a lot more multiple offers during this time of year. You need to put yourself in the best position to be the one that the Seller chooses to work with. MOST IMPORTANT: Unless you are paying cash, get pre-approved. This means that you have provided documentation to your lender and they have verified your income and assets. When you are ready to write an offer, get a pre-approval letter from your lender to send with the offer. The Seller will feel better about your financial stability if you can...

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5 Simple (and cheap) Ideas to Make Your House Inviting

5 Simple (and cheap) Ideas to Make Your House Inviting

  Having a party? Dinner guests? In-laws coming in from out of state? Or maybe you are getting ready for an open house? These simple tips can help make a lasting impression – and not the wrong kind.   Clean – especially the entrance. When people come to your home, they will inevitably be outside the door for at least a short period of time. You don’t want them ringing the bell through spider webs, knocking on a dirty door or walking to the door over dirt and leaves. It’s simple, get a broom and a cloth and do a quick cleaning. Of course, once they are inside, you want to make sure things are tidy as well, but, depending on the occasion, you may not have to do an entire Spring cleaning.   Light bulbs – I had a fluorescent bulb in my closet that was flickering and was dim. It took several seconds for it to flood the room with light. Then I bought a new bulb. WOW! It’s amazing what good light will do for a space. Those places you want to be a bit warmer – try lower wattage or a soft glow bulb. You may want to try three-way bulbs for lamps. It gives a soft glow on low, more ambient light on medium and you can read by the high setting. If you want to get a bit more advanced, put a dimmer on specific switches. I have installed them myself but if you’re not sure, it’s always best to consult a professional.   Fresh flowers – We were at some friends’ house for dinner a couple of weeks ago and there were fresh flowers in vases tucked in various places. It wasn’t overwhelming. The scent wasn’t overpowering. The colors fit the décor and I found myself drawn to them, wanting to touch and smell them. Fresh flowers is not a luxury most of us often have on a daily basis. Buy a couple of bunches or pick some from a field. Don’t spend a lot of time arranging, just put them in vases, jars or bowls around in a few rooms. It will really add something special.   Turn on music – While this is something near and dear to my heart, I think every home can benefit from some sort of music. I like to create playlists for the event but you can even just turn on a smooth jazz station to be in the background if you don’t actually want people getting up to dance. There are plenty of online services that you can use without commercials or the good old CD. If it’s a party, turn it up and...

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The Luck of the Irish

The Luck of the Irish

As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, I was thinking about luck. I don’t know if there really is such a thing. I think we have a big hand in creating our destiny. Maybe I just think that because I’m not Irish and I can’t fall back on that “luck of the Irish” thing. Are Irish people actually lucky? I don’t know. All I know is I have had some incredible things happen in my life. Some may call it luck but I truly believe I had something to do with it. I believe in God and that He can make anything happen, but I also believe that he made the Universe and Energy and when we use those two things, we can make a lot of things happen. I have had amazing experiences and met some incredible people. Why did I choose to leave warm, beautiful, sunny Arizona in 1997 and move to Nashville Tennessee, a place I had never been? I felt led. How did I meet, and get to sing with great musicians like Paul Rodgers, Peter Stroud, Ed Roland, Mike Reno, Wally Palmer, Jack Blades, Jeff Carlisi, Robin Zander, Rick Springfield, and countless more? How did I decide to try my hand at real estate and grow it into a team that helps hundreds of people a year? Luck? At the right place at the right time? Knowing the right people? Probably a little of all three, but if I hadn’t taken chances, if I hadn’t spoken up, if I hadn’t moved to Nashville from Arizona at a young age, knowing only one person, I believe I wouldn’t have had those opportunities. Now that my life is more about making other people’s dreams come true, I think the same principles apply. In real estate, as in most businesses, you have to take some chances. You have to speak up. And sometimes, you have to be at the right place at the right time. Some things you can do to give you a better chance is to talk to those that have done it before. Ask friends or family about their experiences. Talk to your Realtor about what you can expect. Don’t go into it blindly. Make sure you are comfortable with what you are embarking on. You may be buying or selling your first home, wanting to invest in your first rental property, or moving across the country. Make sure you have professionals on your side to help guide you. “I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” Denzel Washington In my journey, I ask a lot of questions along the way. Whether it was starting out in music or later, starting...

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5 Skills Realtors Need

5 Skills Realtors Need

  A lot of people ask me about getting into the Real Estate business. It is a great business. I love what I do. There is also a lot that goes into it that some people don’t realize. Here are 5 skills you should possess when becoming a Realtor. Psychology – It is a skill to know and understand personalities. It is an even bigger skill to know how to work with all of them. You may have taken a personality test and know what letter, word, or animal you are. Realtors need to identify others’ personalities and then engage with them in the way they feel most comfortable. It becomes even more challenging when there is more than one person involved. Being able to explain a situation or process in real estate can be difficult merely due to circumstance. It can be even more challenging trying to get everyone on the same page to get the result that everyone desires. Counseling – Buying or Selling a home is stressful. Let me repeat myself, STRESSFUL! In most cases, it is the biggest monetary investment you make in your lifetime. I have had people cry, yell, shut down, become angry, disagree, change their minds, etc. All of these things can change the outcome of a real estate deal. The trick is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Understand they are stressed. They are moving. They are probably getting very little sleep. They are worried that something could go wrong. There are a million emotions someone is feeling during a real estate purchase or sale. Just think how much more magnified it is when they are buying AND selling! Realtors need to be able to assess a situation and figure out if there is something that needs to be fixed or a problem solved. If so, they need to solve it. If not, Realtors need to listen, discuss, and help bring everyone back to the moment and become calm again. Sometimes it is easier said than done! Private Investigator – This is a true conversation. Client: Hi Michelle. I saw this house as I was driving around today. I really want to see it. It is red brick with columns. It is over in that neighborhood that has the hill. Me: OK. Any idea of the street name? What area of town was it? Did it have a sign in the yard? Do you remember what real estate company or agent it was? Client: Hmm. I think it said Coming Soon but I don’t remember anything else. I don’t know what street it was on and I drove in so many different neighborhoods and areas today, I really don’t...

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

  Buying and selling real estate is easy, what could possibly go wrong? I have had a lot of conversations with people through the years about my career. Some have been about all the different properties I get to see – the good, bad, and the ugly! Some have been about the level of stress, very little time off, and how they could never do what I do. And, on the other end of the spectrum, others have been about how easy my job is and that they really didn’t think their last real estate agent was worth what they got paid. The interesting thing is, all of these people were right to some degree.   I have a doctor friend who is fantastic at his job. He takes it very seriously and puts his patients first. He has a very stressful job (people’s lives and stuff – wink). He sees the good, the bad, and the ugly. He gets very little time off and is quite often on call even when he does take a vacation and I really couldn’t do what he does, and you wouldn’t want me to. If you ask him, he says it’s just who he is, and it’s really not that big of a deal, that anyone could do it if they went to school and learned. The prescription advice that he gives over the phone as he’s driving to his daughter’s gymnastics class? Second nature. On the other hand, I have fired doctors for keeping me waiting a minimum of 45 minutes for every scheduled appointment, being scattered, getting my diagnosis wrong, and having to undergo a second, routine, surgery (performed by a different doctor) because the first one didn’t get it right the first time.   Now, I am certainly not even close to saying that Realtors should be held in the same regard as a doctor, however, there are good ones and there are bad ones. There are ones that make it look easy – like anyone could do it, and there are others that you don’t feel earned what you paid them. Most of us wouldn’t dare give ourselves stitches, inject Botox for a friend, or operate on our child. We don’t have the expertise, we don’t have the tools, and we definitely don’t do it on a regular basis. What could possibly go wrong by doing your own surgery? Do I even have to answer that? Yet, a lot of people think they can buy a home on their own, or sell their own house. A lot of people think that the job of a Realtor is easy and that they get paid too much.   The median sales...

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