A Dating Real Estate Lesson

A Dating Real Estate Lesson

I had a crush on this boy for several years in high school. He was in my youth group at church and he was a couple of years older than me (I really hope he isn’t reading this right now.) Anyway, he was the end-all be-all. I thought he hung the moon. I thought, “If I could just date him, everything would be great.” But I had a problem. I was a nerd – and he was totally popular. He was nice to me because he was a church kid. His parents taught him well and we all hung out and everyone had a good time but I was definitely not dating material in his eyes. So the years passed and my “love” for him stayed true. The day we had a party for the graduating Seniors and he left for college was a dark day. I lost my chance. I would never see him again, or so I thought. He came home for holidays and breaks and he would come to church with his parents. Now he was a college boy and that made it even worse! Much to my surprise, he came home for the summer and, well, I had grown out of my “nerdiness” I guess. Either that or he lost a bet. Nonetheless, he asked me out – on a DATE! I was speechless. I mean, this guy that I had been drooling over year after year, actually wants to take me on a date. I wondered if he realized he’d have to be seen with me in public and if he knew that I would call all my friends immediately and give them every detail. So that I don’t keep you in suspense any longer, I said, “yes” and we made a plan. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the date. I just remember being really bored and really disappointed (again, I hope he’s not reading this). I had spent so much energy dreaming of what it would be like to go on a date with him and then I was completely let down. So, there is a reason I tell you this story other than for entertainment and chuckling at my “nerdiness.” I have run across people that have had their eye on a particular house or a certain neighborhood for years. They think that once they live THERE, everything will be great. I have had others who think that once they get that bigger house, everything will fall into place. They have to keep up with the Jones’, have the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, the perfect car to put in the garage and the perfect furniture inside. What they don’t...

Read More

You’ve got the keys, now what? 5 Things to do as soon as you buy a house.

You’ve got the keys, now what? 5 Things to do as soon as you buy a house.

  You have signed your life away. You’ve stressed out over everything falling into place and the day is finally here and you have bought your dream house. You’ve got the keys, now what? Well, now the fun begins. There are so many things that you can do to make your house your own. Here are a few that I think are top of the list: Change the locks. Unless you bought a brand new construction home that has an owner key that trips the locks as soon as you use it the first time, this is a MUST. You have no idea how many keys are out there to your new house. The Seller can tell you they gave you all the keys but they may have forgotten about the house cleaner they left a key for just to clean after they moved out. If they didn’t get the locks changed when they moved in, the previous handyman could have a key. It is a very inexpensive first step that can give you real peace of mind. While we’re on the subject of peace of mind… Set the alarm. Have an alarm installed or get the existing system checked and begin monitoring. You are going to be in and out of the house. You will have many people in and out of the house as well. People will see your belongings being brought in, and, some may take notice of your nice things. You will be exhausted and may forget to lock up properly when you leave. The best deterrent for thieves is a good alarm system that is armed. Just remember to arm it when you leave or go to bed! Hire a designer. I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t afford to hire a designer – I just bought a house!” There are many designers that will just charge a consultation fee and will help you with everything from where great-grand-dad’s grandfather clock will look best, how to arrange the bonus room for maximum game space, to what colors will look great to show off the family photo above the fireplace. You can get great bang for your buck on this one, trust me. Meet the neighbors. You may think you can wait on this one. You can’t. Once you’ve been in your house for a month, you’re no longer the new neighbor. I agree that the neighbors should make the effort to meet you first, however, if they don’t come by, make the effort. There will be a time when you need them to sign for a package, pick up your mail, borrow a cup of sugar, or you have water running from a pipe...

Read More

No Pain, No Gain

No Pain, No Gain

  No pain, no gain. I thought this as I hobbled out of my workout studio today after a particularly grueling class. We hear this term a lot when talking about getting in shape. But what about when we are selling a house? I know many of my clients have thought about the pain long before they understood the gain. I have had many Seller clients practically do mini-makeovers on their house just to sell it, and guess what? It works. Is it a pain? Yes. Would they say it is worth it? Absolutely. If you are a Seller. Don’t skimp. If you have bold color on the walls, paint it neutral. If your carpet has been “loved” by pets or children, replace it. Don’t think that in today’s market, Buyers are OK with a “credit” or “allowance”. First of all, lenders rarely allow this any longer and Buyers that are paying top dollar in a hot market want the house to be move-in ready. You will find the one that has to have the school system or the pool, or the one unique quality that only your house possesses but you need to be attractive to the masses. It’s true that it only takes one Buyer for your house but in a hot, Seller’s market, you want to put your best foot forward to get multiple offers. Why have one Buyer wanting your house when you can have five? You may need to become a weekend warrior, hire a handyman, or sucker your friends into helping for some pizza and beer. Just get it done. Mulch the beds and plant a few flowers. Paint the front door and clean the windows. Rearrange furniture and drop-off to Goodwill. De-clutter and clean. Think of it this way, you’ll get some exercise, feel a bit more invested in the process and you will appreciate it all the more when that Buyer walks through the door and says, “I’ll take it!” No pain, no gain isn’t just for working out...

Read More

Are Open Houses Worth Having?

Are Open Houses Worth Having?

  The age-old question of real estate, “Are Open Houses worth having?” Well, it depends on who you ask. There is the real estate agent perspective and the Seller perspective. Both say, “yes” and both say, “no.” Here’s why. Real estate agents who say, “YES”: Know the property is in a high-traffic location and could produce a Buyer. However, not necessarily a Buyer for this property. Some real estate agents use open houses to pick up new Buyer leads for their business. When marketed well, a real estate agent can produce many leads from one open house. Want to make sure they are doing everything their client feels is necessary to sell the house even if they know it’s unlikely they will get attendees or find the Buyer from an open house. May just want to catch up on their reading or paperwork for a couple of hours while they wait for visitors.   Sellers who say, “YES”: Just assume you must do an open house as part of the marketing plan. Feel that their property has the potential to get a lot of traffic and think they may get an interested prospect walk through. Want their real estate agent to do as much as possible to sell their house and feel that an open house is a good way to do that.   Real estate agents that say, “No”: Feel that the property is not in a high traffic area and they won’t get many, if any, prospects, except for, perhaps, “nosey neighbors.” Are concerned to hold an open house due to liability of the Seller’s personal belongings or due to personal safety.   Sellers who say, “No”: Don’t want random strangers walking through their home without ample supervision. Feel their agent does outstanding marketing outside of open houses and feel that their house would not be a good candidate for selling during an open house. Some Sellers of unique or high-end properties feel that their property is best marketed via word of mouth, print, and online and then having the prospective Buyer set up a private showing.   As you can see, there are good reasons to do open houses and then there are good reasons not to do open houses. It really depends on the Seller and the Real Estate Agent and making sure they are on the same page in their ideas and opinions of...

Read More