My husband and I have been thinking about moving. It’s been a really hard decision. We love our house, our yard, our neighborhood, and especially our neighbors. We built our house to meet our needs, and it still meets our needs ten years later.
So why move? Well, basically, I’m sick of driving. We live outside my kids’ school district, so between school, practice, piano lessons, work, and everything else, all I do is drive. And it’s only going to get worse over the next seven years.
I recently completed a Master Gardener course, and I can honestly say I feel less like a “master” now than I did before I started. I still say plant names wrong. I still don’t know what to prune when. And I still can’t identify different trees. But do I actually know more than I did before? Yes. But now I also know how much more there is to learn. My basic knowledge is just the beginning.
This is true in every profession. And that’s scary.
Think back to your first year in real estate. Were you excited? Yes. Nervous? Probably. Worried you’d make a mistake? Absolutely. But going on appointments, having daily interactions, and handling situations allowed those feelings to lessen. You gained experience and knowledge.
Over the years I’ve learned a few things. Sometimes my buyers love a house that I don’t, so I allow them to share their thoughts first. I’ve learned that my tiny phone screen isn’t the best way to read- and react to- counter offers. And I just can’t go back to taking my own photos after hiring a professional that first time. I’ve learned from my mistakes. I’ve upped my game. And now that I know better, I do better.
This is something we should strive for every day. We aren’t always going to know everything, and we aren’t always going to handle every situation perfectly. But once you learn from something, improve on it next time. Do better than the day before.
Over the course of a career, our work ethic improves. Our knowledge base increases. Sales techniques sharpen, and marketing ideas change. As long as we are willing to learn and grow, our business will follow. Does this mean we need to keep raising our standards? Absolutely.
Do you know better? Then do better. Always.
Major changes and overhauls have been taking place in most professions. The medical field has changed significantly over the years, insurance benefits and policies have been restructured, and the education field has revamped teacher evaluations, curriculum, and more. It’s just a fact of life right now. And real estate isn’t immune.
Since the passing of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, lenders, title companies, appraisers, and Realtors have all been dealing with major changes. Most of the changes have merely been annoying, and some have caused a bigger hit to the pocketbook for buyers and sellers, but nothing has been as drastic as the changes that recently took effect October 3rd, 2015.
This latest set of reform, known as TRID, is causing major delays for real estate clients. What is TRID? TRID is slowing the buying process by forcing our lenders and title companies to scramble, interpret gray areas, and create new computer programs. And, like most changes thrown upon us, there is nothing we can do about it. The best thing to do is to let you know how these changes affect you. Continue Reading →
My husband and I went to a comedy show the other night, and the opening comedian was talking about how Home Depot has managed to “con” people into thinking that they can do home improvement projects on their own when really they shouldn’t do anything on their own. He said we are all crazy to think that just because we get some help at the store and watch a few YouTube videos, we should all remodel our own houses. He said, “You didn’t even buy your own house on your own, so what makes you think you can do work on it by yourself?”
I know why we try to do things on our own- it’s to save money. Rarely does it save us time, but it usually saves us money. Why doesn’t it save us time? Think about it: Someone who does a certain task every day is going to have better equipment, more expertise, and more experience which allows them to do things in half the time. Continue Reading →
The other day while sitting in a closing with one of our agents, the wife of the seller asked when the title company moved in to their newly built building. Her husband, who owns a cement company, replied, “They moved in right after they didn’t use me for the concrete work.” I laughed probably harder than I should have. That response was awesome!
How nice would it be when someone says to me, “When did the Johnson’s put their house on the market?” to reply with, “Right after they didn’t ask me to list it for them.” Or “Did you hear that Mary just bought a house?” and I say, “Yeah, I heard that right after she didn’t use me as her agent.”
I’m not saying that I expect everyone to use me for their real estate needs. I realize that a lot of people know multiple Realtors. So it isn’t that someone chose someone else to work with, it’s more about who they chose to work with. Continue Reading →
My parents have never been into gossip. My dad sold life insurance for 40 years, and as a result, knew a lot of secrets. He knew when people were diagnosed with serious illnesses, when people were divorcing, and when a baby was on the way. When something would happen in our small town, he always knew about it first, but never said a word. When the rumor mill started and the story would change over and over, he kept quiet. He still knows a lot of secrets, and he’ll never tell them. He learned, as have I, that keeping your mouth shut is a very powerful tool in business.
Here’s why Realtors keep secrets:
Buying or selling a house is a very emotional experience. During this process, nerves are frayed. Without a doubt, sensitive situations arise. Because we know this, we know the number one way to combat it is to keep our mouth shut and our ears open. Telling too much information will ruin deals. My dad always told me that it wasn’t our business to tell someone else’s business. If I’m working with you, only you and whoever you tell know about it. If you want to tell people you found your dream home, tell all the people you want. They won’t hear it from me. Continue Reading →
A real estate transaction is full of surprises. You never know what will arise. Renegotiating the piddly stuff after an accepted offer is a bad idea.
I recently listed a home that is an estate. The home itself is a little rough, but it’s structurally sound, has a nice floor plan, and has beautiful property. We priced it with all this in mind. We had a ton of showings right away, and we received an offer within a couple days of listing it.
After some negotiating, we had a signed, accepted offer. The agreement was a couple thousand under list price, some closing costs were kicked in, and the buyers would pay for all inspections. The buyer, being a contractor, did the home inspection himself. Following the inspection, he decided he wanted to start renegotiating the accepted offer. Continue Reading →
Last weekend, my husband and I hosted a party for his teaching staff at our home. He’s been wanting to do it for five years, and this year I finally relented. But I had a couple requests- new flooring and fresh paint. With two boys and three animals, our nine year old carpet had seen better days, and my walls had been tormented by light saber wars and bouncing balls. It took me three weeks to get the new flooring ordered and installed, the walls painted, new trim installed, and the dust explosion cleaned up.
It was a lot of work! And on top of the inside needing some improvements, the outside needed some attention, too. Landscaping is my hobby, but this summer I’ve been so busy with work that I hadn’t been able to weed as aggressively as usual. Bushes needed trimmed, plants needed pruned, and weeds pulled. I spent two days outside working on just that. For about ten minutes before the party, my house was absolute perfection. It was the best it had ever been, and the best it will ever be again. I looked at my husband and said, “If we ever want to sell this house, now is the time. This is what a house needs to look like to get the highest dollar.”
This weekend, I scheduled showings for three buyers. I showed twelve houses in one day. Guess how many of those houses were show ready? Three. And I’m not talking about houses that are $20,000 and need TLC. I’m talking about lakefront homes and homes on large tracts of land. So what does a show-ready home look like? Here’s a list: Continue Reading →
Back during his residency, my brother-in-law told us some pretty crazy stories of patients coming in with heinous ailments and injuries. And I know all those people didn’t migrate to just him, because we’ve all heard some strange things from other doctors as well. In fact, I just ran across a story on Facebook about the top 20 dumb patients to come to the ER.
One patient wanted to know if he could “catch” diabetes from a one night stand with a diabetic woman. Another was prescribed a medical patch every few days and she came in to complain that she had run out of room to put all the patches (not realizing you take the old one off and put the new one on…). Since my brother-in-law doesn’t tell us those stories anymore, I’m guessing it means that nothing really surprises him anymore, and he just goes about his day. Continue Reading →