I Want to be a Realtor

I Want to be a Realtor

This is a re-post of a previous blog but I get so many people asking about becoming a Realtor or telling me that they have been thinking about it, I feel it is worth the repetition. Enjoy! During my career, I have had many clients, friends, and referrals tell me they want to become a Realtor. “Great,” I say. Then I ask why. There are a million reasons to become a Realtor and another million not to. I love my career. I love my clients (well, most of them). But, just like anything, there are downsides. I am always happy to educate excited “Realtors-to-be” so they get the full picture of what taking the real estate plunge will actually look like. Here are some of the ideas and possible misconceptions I hear about becoming a Realtor. “I just love to look at houses!” Me too. The fact is, there is SO much more to being a Realtor than just looking at pretty houses. The scheduling, the driving, the gas consumption, the late clients, the paperwork, the rejection, the people that have no intention of buying because they just like to look at houses too. The list goes on and on. “I can make my own schedule.” Yes, you can. However, if you want to make money at it, at least in the beginning, your schedule won’t be yours. It will be your client’s. I understand that you want to be at your children’s after school activities and their sporting events on the weekends and church and family dinners. However, when do you think most people have time to meet with you or go look at houses? After work and on weekends – the same time you want to be with your friends and family. Once you are established and have a solid foundation, your boundaries can be much more rigid. You can hire people to work for you when you are not able. Just know that many nights, weekends, and vacations will be interrupted because of the fact that you “can make your own schedule.” “I know so many people that it won’t take me long to be successful.” That may be true. There are certainly people who are so well connected and respected in their community that no matter what new venture they take on, others will support them. It should also be noted that no matter how many people you know, they know you in your current role. It may take a while for them to think of you as a Realtor. It may take a while for them to trust you when you are new. You also should know that just because people know and like...

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New Construction Inspections

New Construction Inspections

  “I am buying a new construction home, I don’t need a home inspection.” STOP!! Let’s take a step back and think about this before “saving” $500. I have heard this argument from more than one Buyer. The builder may be great. They may have great people working for them. However, even great people make mistakes. What if they had to use a new vendor or subcontractor? What if the material was defective? What if someone was rushing to beat the rain and missed something? Many inspectors will do multiple inspections throughout the building process. There are generally 3 phases of inspection. Framing Mechanical Insulation Doing phase inspections enables inspectors to check the footers and look for any variance in framing measurements. They can view the electrical and plumbing prior to the drywall being installed as well as making sure insulation is in walls, around windows and everywhere else it should be. Home inspectors see some unfortunate things in new construction homes. Houses that passed the Codes inspection with glaring defects. Plumbers have come in after framing and cut joists for piping and not properly supported the joists that were cut. This could cause structural issues, not to mention, perhaps void possible warranties. Entire sections of walls have been missing insulation. People sue builders over poor building standards and defects all the time. From my experience, most of those lawsuits happen when a home was already complete and the Buyer didn’t or wasn’t able to do phase inspections. A lot of builders and developers are just out to make money and don’t put as much emphasis on quality control and customer service as we might expect. I don’t want to seem mistrusting, however, with a purchase as large as a house, you need to feel as comfortable as possible that your brand new home is going to last, hold and even grow its value over the years. That brings me to the final point. Don’t fret if you found the house further along in the building process and you have not had phase inspections. A home inspector can still find things, and most likely WILL find things. It doesn’t matter how old a house is, a good inspector will find items that got missed. And don’t be fooled that “It wouldn’t have passed the Codes inspection if it wasn’t done correctly.” Again, humans make mistakes. My best suggestion is that you have a home inspection any time you buy anything someone will live in. If you need a recommendation for a good home inspector, most Realtors can give you a list of inspectors they or their clients have used or you can look online. www.Ashi.org is also a good...

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Low Inventory Real Estate Market

Low Inventory Real Estate Market

  If you are like me, you live in a real estate market with very low inventory. What happens when you need more room, your kitchen is outdated, or you really want a swimming pool and you can’t find a house on the market that fits your needs? Or, maybe with the rising interest rates you found a great house but now the higher interest rates put it out of reach. If you currently own your home and your market has appreciated since you purchased, chances are you have equity. A great option is a home equity loan. There are many things you can do to improve your home or remodel to fit your current needs or desires. You might want to add a patio to give you more outdoor living space. You may want to add that swimming pool you’ve always wanted. Or you just might need a new roof. You may have heard about a home equity loan, but another option is a home renovation loan. There are FHA, VA, and conventional products. In a nutshell, these loans will allow you to renovate your home by lending on the improved value, not the current value. They can be a bit more complicated but if you have a loan officer and mortgage company that knows how to navigate the process, it can be a wonderful solution. Home renovation loans are great for those larger projects where you may be gutting kitchens and bathrooms or adding square footage. Of course, as a Realtor, I would hope we could find a house for you to buy that would fit your needs and be within budget, but it is not always possible, especially in a price range that is very popular. I have great vendors I work with that I recommend to clients for both types of loans. In fact, most of them can handle loans out of state so feel free to reach out if you can’t find your dream home but think you could make your current home work for a few more years with a little love. I am happy to refer you to professionals that can give you the hard facts about these loans and how they may work for...

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Inspiration

Inspiration

  I live and work in Nashville TN. Our nickname is Music City. People move here every day, in hopes of becoming either a songwriter or a star. As a songwriter, or a writer in general, you need inspiration. Something that will, seemingly, just come out of nowhere. Something that hits you between the eyes and speaks to you. It may be a trip that you took, it may be a sunset. It could be a heartbreak or an illness. So many things in our daily lives can inspire us if we are open to them. It can be the same in real estate. When you are looking to buy or sell a house, you have an inspiration. Something came into play that helped you make that decision. Did you take a job in a different area and want to move closer to work? Is your family growing and need more space? Are your aging parents needing help and you are looking to combine two households? Whatever your inspiration, buying and selling real estate can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your eye on the end game. Keep focused on the inspiration that got you here in the first place. If that inspiration is negative, then focus on how you will feel once it’s over and that chapter is closed. Some of the most award winning, popular, beautiful songs are written out of a negative place so don’t be afraid to go through it. When you come out on the other side, you will be a better, stronger version of yourself and you’ll have new inspirations for a new season. Once you get where you are going, there are entirely new inspirations to be found. What color will you paint the bedroom? What kind of stools will you put at the breakfast bar? What type of painting or art will look best in the living room? You may want to take from travels you have been on and infuse other cultures into your world or you may collect things you have seen at art fairs. However you enjoy to add life to your home, make it a piece of you. I believe, and hear from others, that when you walk into a home, it has a feel. You can feel the energy. What better energy than that of yourself. When others come into your home, they see a piece of you. They see your personality play out in the things that surround them. Make it yours and don’t apologize for it. Who cares if you don’t use this year’s “color of the year” or have the latest trend in countertops in your kitchen. If you love...

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Why Realtors Should Hang Out

Why Realtors Should Hang Out

  Anyone who knows me knows that I am a networker. I network with CEO’s, musicians, blue collar workers, association and Chamber members, neighbors, and, yes, Realtors. When new real estate agents ask me for advice, I tell them they need to network with other agents. They often look at me like I’m crazy. They say, “I’m not going to sell a house to another Realtor.” Oh, but you ARE! Here are five reasons why Realtors should hang out. You can get the inside scoop on upcoming listings. I am in networks of Realtors that send me listings that are not yet on MLS for the public to see. This is hugely helpful in a competitive market when I have clients looking for a very popular type home. I can be ready to show it immediately when it is available. Sometimes they’ll let you in a listing FIRST.Every once in a while, clients prefer to take the hassle out of listing their house on MLS. They don’t want tons of people going through their house and would rather a few select people see it if it is likely to bring a good, quick offer. If you have a relationship with the listing agent, you may get to be one of the select few and save your client the hassle and disappointment of competing with other buyers. You may win for your client in a competitive market.I have had more than one instance where a Seller has chosen my Buyer’s contract over another one that may have even been slightly better because I had a relationship with their agent. When a Realtor knows that the agent representing the other party is professional and easy to work with, it can go a long way with clients who want a stress-free experience. You may find a house that isn’t listed for your Buyer.It is frustrating for agents and for buyers when the market is so hot and we see properties being listed on MLS and go under contract as soon as they go live. Chances are, they knew about it before it was listed. If you have a Buyer with a particular need, send it out to your Realtor network. There is likely someone who has a client who is looking to sell a property that fits that criteria and it may be possible to get it under contract before anyone else knows about it. The bad stuff is easier to deal with.Not all transactions are easy. Not all clients are reasonable. So, when the bad stuff happens, having a relationship with the other Realtor can make all the difference. If you know and respect each other, solutions can be found even...

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