Falling Temperatures and Falling Prices: 5 Tips for Selling Now

Falling Temperatures and Falling Prices: 5 Tips for Selling Now

  Last week it was in the 80’s. This week it’s in the 70’s and I’m driving with my windows down. Falling temperatures can often times mean falling home prices as well. We are seeing this currently in our market. Spring came early this year. We were seeing houses fly off the shelves starting in early March. That was great for the intense Spring/Summer market we had but now that schools are back in session, and the temperature is falling, we are seeing a bit of a slow down as well as falling prices. Over the summer, I didn’t see many price reductions. Buyers were buying whatever went on the market, within reason. They knew that if they didn’t scoop it up, someone else would and Sellers knew they could get by with pricing it high because it was going to sell. Unfortunately, there are still those Sellers who didn’t get in the market a few months ago and they have heard about how much houses sold for in their neighborhood or how much money their friend made on their house and they think they can do the same thing. In some cases they can, however, Buyers in the market this time of year, typically aren’t as “desperate” to get into a house by a certain time so they take their time, and they hold on to more of their money. Sellers need to make sure they are realistic with their pricing and their expectations. Sales typically take a little longer than they do in the warmer time of year. They also can see that the Buyers aren’t as eager to pay top dollar for their house like the guy that bought the house next door. There are always exceptions, of course, but generally, Sellers will need to have a little more patience and be a bit more negotiable now.   Tips for selling in falling temperatures: Hire a Realtor or make sure you know the exact recent sales price of homes around you. Word of mouth is NOT the best way to price your house. Just because your neighbor said the guy down the street sold his house for “x” doesn’t mean he had all the information. What kind of financing, if any, was there? Were there any Seller concessions and what kind of repairs did the Seller have to make prior to closing? Just because a house in your area sold for “x” back in February, doesn’t mean you can sell yours for that or more. Appraisers like to use comparable sales within 3 months time. If they need to stretch it, they will go back 6 months but if there are other comparable sales that are...

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Hot Potato

Hot Potato

  I might be aging myself, but, did you ever play “Hot Potato” as a kid? You know the song, “One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four, five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, MORE!” You would pass an object around a circle as you chanted the words and the one holding the “potato” when you yelled “more” was out. Everyone wanted to get that object around as fast as they could – almost frenzy-like. Emotions could run high in a competitive game of “Hot Potato”. Some kids got mad, some kids were sad, and some kids were downright mean. That’s how I feel about the real estate market sometimes. In a hot market like the Nashville area has experienced for some time now, some people get a bit frenzied. They have been caught with the hot potato more than once and have yet to get an accepted offer. I’ve had people yell, cry, and others get downright mean…hmm…reminds me of elementary school. Now, before you think me callous, I know it’s stressful. I know emotions are heightened. I understand that for some, they have to find a place to live – and pronto. These are the things that a great Realtor helps you prepare for. Sometimes, we just need to chill out for a second, calm down, and breathe. I bet most of us have friends or family that would let us crash at their place if we were in a bind. In my experience, when we get frenzied, things go awry. Details get missed, poor decisions are made, and that results in more stress. In hot markets it’s easy to lose perspective, but do what you can to stay focused on the result you want and being patient until it’s right. Don’t get caught up in emotion that can cause more turmoil in the end. Hire professionals and trust them and if you get caught with the hot potato, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back in the...

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7 Topics to Discuss When Interviewing a Property Manager

7 Topics to Discuss When Interviewing a Property Manager

    If you are an investor or would like to be, you may decide that the late night phone calls from tenants who have clogged their toilet is not something you want to handle. In that case, you will want to hire a Property Manager. It is a good idea to interview the company or person and make sure they meet your needs. Here are some tips on some things to discuss: About the Company: How long have you been in business in this area? Are you licensed? Are you a full-time property manager? How many properties do you manage? Do you have assistants? Do you have a contract and references? Fees: Management, Leasing and Re-Leasing fees? Advertising and Showings? Inspections and Evictions? Late Fees? Hidden fees? Cancellation fees? Communication: Do you have a direct phone number: Do you have a direct email address? Do you have software that allows for communication? Do you have an office location? Advertising: How do you advertise? Do you have yard signs? Are you open or available on weekends? Can you show me a sample of a “For Rent” ad? Do you advertise and/or show property when it is occupied? Maintenance: How do you handle maintenance? Do you have a list of preferred vendors? Do you have an emergency “after hours” line? Do you require a maintenance reserve? Accounting: Do you provide monthly and yearly statements? Do you pay vendor bills for owners? When and How do owners get paid? Do you have a policy for monthly spending limits and/or approval? Property Protection: How do you screen applicants? Has your lease been reviewed by a real estate attorney? Do you have move-in/vacate checklists? How often do you inspect the property? How does your eviction process work? Oxford Property Management is a locally owned management company in the Middle Tennessee area. They provide residential rental management services to property owners and investors and handle property advertising, tenant screening, lease signing, managing funds from security deposits and rent, property maintenance, financial accounting/reporting, and tenant removal and collections, if necessary. They offer low leasing fees, a tiered management fee structure that starts lower than average management companies and decreases with additional properties under management, and an in-house maintenance department to control repair costs. I have many clients and friends that use Oxford’s services and they all highly recommend them. Their website is: www.oxford-tn.com or you can reach them by phone at...

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Start to Finish

Start to Finish

  Is it just me? Lately I have felt that most people in this world just try to get by with doing the very least. Take your car to get it washed, spend good money, and try not to find something that they missed. Go to a store and get friendly, customized service, huh? Go to a drive thru window and get everything you asked for, and then some, without having to check – not typical. Some things are just human error, I get it. But others seem to be because of pure laziness. I bet in your career, business, school, life, you see it every day. People that you have to watch out for. People you know that when you are in contact with them, you will have to pick up their slack. Why do we have to do this? Why are there so few people who actually do a job – start to finish – and do it well? At first glance we may think people are lazy but I think there may be some underlying reasons. We are TIRED! People are exhausted. We are so busy and have so many commitments that we can’t possibly give our all to everything. The same reason why a lawyer can’t represent the plaintiff and the defendant is the same reason (go with me here) that we can’t spread ourselves too thin. We can’t be everything to everyone. Focus on one or two things that either make you better, make you money, or make you happy and put your energy into them. Once you have them under control, you can add more to your schedule, just be careful not to take on too much. We are UNEDUCATED. So many of us don’t realize that what we are doing or not doing will affect how we are perceived and could affect our future. No doubt, you’ve heard of an executive being waited on by an attentive server who goes above and beyond to make sure the experience is enjoyable who finds themselves being offered a high paying job because they took the time to do their job well. If we are educated to the fact that everything we do has consequences, we may conduct ourselves differently. We are not INVESTED. Sometimes we take on things we shouldn’t because we see a need and we think we should step up even if we are not completely qualified. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes that little voice inside is there to tell us to take risks but other times it is just us feeling like we can’t say no. We are dead wrong. What’s worse than saying, “no?” Saying, “yes” and not being invested....

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It’s a Team Effort

It’s a Team Effort

  So, you’ve decided you want to buy a new house or sell your current one – GREAT! It really is a team effort. If you sign a listing agreement with a Realtor, they will likely tell you how they will market your home. But what if you could reach a minimum of another 250 people? You want your house to be seen by as many people as possible, right? A good idea is to make sure your circle of friends and their friends knows your house is for sale. How do you do that? If your agent does any type of online or social media marketing, you can share it to all of your contacts on social media. If they don’t, ask for copies of the photos they have taken and post them everywhere. Take it a step further and ask a few friends to forward it or to post it to their social media contacts. Think how many people it will reach. All it takes is one person to see it and you never know who may know someone that is looking for exactly what you have to sell. In the same way, if you are looking for a house, let people know what you’re looking for. I have clients who are looking for a house in a very specific neighborhood. They have told all their friends what they are looking for. Friends that live in that neighborhood have access to a neighborhood group where homeowners often let others know they are going to sell, prior to it officially going on the market. They have been informed of a few houses that are about to come on the market. The great thing is that sometimes, your agent may be able to get you in to see it before the masses do. In hot markets, this could be the best chance you have at getting a house! Your agent may be the best in the world but in today’s world of social media and the internet, it is truly a team effort. They have their sphere and you have yours. Even if you are best friends or even family, you have a different sphere that you can tap into. Think about this: If you need a recommendation for a dry cleaner in the area, a plumber, or a summer camp for the kids, where do you go? Who do you ask? If you want to sell some housewares or find a pet sitter, what do you do? You probably head to the internet and most likely you go to social media. There are a multitude of neighborhood groups and apps that are helpful for these kinds of things....

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5 Simple Steps to Success

5 Simple Steps to Success

  I read a ton of articles, books, blogs, posts and quotes about how to be successful. It’s something most of us want in our lives. The interesting thing, though, is that being successful is different for everyone. For some, having their children grow up to be healthy, independent, contributing members of society is a huge success. For others, they need the big house, fancy car, perfect spouse and 2.5 children to feel like they have made it. Wherever you fall in that span, I have found that in my personal life as well as my professional life, these 5 steps always make me successful. I hope they help you too.   Think Positively It is all about mindset. Are you going to allow circumstances to control you or are you going rise above them and find the positive? It is a lot harder to get yourself out of a bad situation or to come up with solutions to a challenge if you have a negative attitude. I often share that most people believe that bad can come from thinking negatively (we all know those people who constantly say they have bad luck…they actually attract bad “luck” into their lives) so why don’t we also believe that good can come from thinking positively? When bad things do happen, you will find you can get through the tough times a lot easier if you try to have a positive attitude rather than dwelling on what’s wrong with the situation.   Take Care of Yourself We have heard it a million times. We have to eat right and exercise. But why is it so important? If we don’t take care of ourselves, we start slowing down. We will get sick more often (it’s hard to be successful if we are lying on the couch). We will be prone to obesity and disease – again, it’s hard to be successful if we are spending our time and money at the doctor and on medicines to mask the problem we probably could have solved by taking care of ourselves (oops, was that out loud?). I have read studies that say you should exercise first thing in the morning and then eat a nutritious breakfast. Perhaps it matters if you are trying to tweak your routine a bit to get that leg up you’ve been looking for. Overall, I think making sure it is a lifestyle choice is most important than when you do it. With all the conveniences we have in our world today, there really is very little excuse to not eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.   Read something I love to read. If I had my way, I wouldn’t even...

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