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Know Better? Do Better.

Know better DO BETTERI 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.

Know Better? Do better. 

Top 5 Reasons Everyone Needs a Luxury Home Specialist

Luxury Home Specialist Production RealtyEveryone needs a luxury home specialist, even if you have a normal home to sell. Technology has made it possible for everyone to benefit from Production Realty’s Million Dollar Marketing. Everyday we help homeowners sell for top dollar. Using our proven techniques, we routinely sell homes at all price points for up to 10% more than the competition.

Here are the top 5 reasons everyone needs a Luxury Home Specialist.

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What is TRID? Real estate changes are here.

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.

What is TRID?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 →

Realtor Gretchen Corwin Joins Production Realty

Gretchen Corwin RealtorProduction Realty is proud to welcome Realtor Gretchen Corwin to our growing team of experts. She brings over 18 years of experience selling real estate in and around the Grass Lake area.


About Gretchen Corwin

“My business beliefs are honesty, professionalism, commitment and determination. As my business is based on referrals, I work very hard to insure my customers are satisfied, resulting in lifelong relationships along the way. I enjoy working with people and helping them achieve their goals. Real estate is continuously changing and I feel that keeping up with the changes is one of the key factors in listing and selling homes. I have been working full time in real estate since 1997. I am married with 2 children and 1 grandchild. My husband Jeff and I bought our home in 1983 and still reside there. I have lived in Jackson County all my life.” -Gretchen

Contact Realtor Gretchen Corwin Today:
Call/Text: (517) 937-2968
Production Realty Grass Lake
230 W. Michigan Ave
Grass Lake, MI, 49240


Why Hire a Realtor?

Why Hire a RealtorMy 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 →

Mortgage Lending 101 with Elizabeth Banks


Mortgage Lending 101

Mortgage lending 101 at its funniest. Comedian Elizabeth Banks teaches about the home buying process. In this hilarious episode she explains the importance of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

Unless you have a boatload of cash under your mattress, buying a home usually costs more money than you currently have. First, you’ll need a competitively-priced loan.

To see more episodes, visit Learn With Liz.


8 reasons not to use Zillow or Trulia

8 reasons not to use Zillow or TruliaIf you are in the market to buy a home, you may be wasting your time using Zillow or Trulia for your real estate search. Why you ask? Here are 8 reasons not to use Zillow or Trulia.

  1. Missing tons of homes for sale – Currently thousands if not millions of verified, legitimate homes for sale are not listed on Zillow or Trulia. Zillow and Trulia are in negotiations to get all Realtor listings back on their website, but this is proving difficult. Thousands of brokers don’t even know there listings are not on Zillow or Trulia. In the past it was automatic. Not anymore. You very well could miss out on that amazing deal that just got listed today.
  2. Zillow GroupZillow owns Trulia – Didn’t know that? Well it is a fact. Zillow, Trulia, and other real estate search engines are owned by the same company, Zillow Group. All of these sites have the same bad information, so why waste your time checking them all? Many of our customers say they check both sites because they “don’t want to miss anything.” This works well for Zillow Group. They make their money from advertisers on their site. The more searches, the more millions they make.
  3. Local is Better – Local Broker websites like this site, along with, have direct feeds of all listings for sale by Realtors. If you know what town you want to buy in, just find a local Broker that specializes in that area that has a user friendly website. These sites will have more information about the homes for sale, along with the most current and accurate information possible. Don’t waste your time weeding through the millions of listings on Zillow or Trulia when you can search local.
  4. Zillow ScamScams – Zillow/Trulia allows anyone to post homes for sale or rent, just like craigslist. This opens the door for con artists to step in and make some money. How do you know the home you are looking at is even owned by the person who posted the listing? Countless times we run into people that have been victims of scams on Zillow or Trulia. Never buy a house you find on there if it is not listed by a Realtor you can verify is a Realtor. Can you go to his office? Call his Broker? Realtors verify ownership. Zillow does not.
  5. Bad Information – By their own admission, they will advertise anything that is sent their way. They don’t check the information for accuracy. Is that house even for sale? Maybe not. They even told me “Bad information in, bad information out.”
  6. False Advertising – Daily we receive calls for foreclosures found on Zillow or Trulia that are false. They knowingly continue to advertise these false foreclosures to drive traffic to their site. How would you like it if your house was the next victim of this tactic? Recently I had a home for sale that was also listed as a foreclosure on Zillow and Trulia. I had no way of fixing the false information. I also have no way of knowing how that effected my clients sale price, but I don’t think it helped. Buyers assume that foreclosures are in very bad shape, and yet that was not the case for my seller. How many people bypassed his home because of this false advertising? There is no way to know.
  7. False Reviews – No site has more false Realtor reviews than Zillow and Trulia. Some reviews are true, mine are, but it is way to easy for Realtors to falsify their reviews on there. The best way to hire a Top Tier Realtor is to ask around. Someone you know has sold their home in your town, right? Call your neighbor that sold, or family and friends that have sold, and ask them about their Realtor. That is a true review.
  8. Inaccurate ZestimatesZestimates – When estimating your homes value, Zillow is no better than your tax assessor. Actually, I would trust your tax assessor more, because at least they are local and have access to verified sales data. Zillow say that their Zestimates are within 10% of actual sales prices only 63.6% of the time. In our world, 10% is a huge difference. If you wonder what your home is worth, just talk to a Realtor.



Michigan Transfer Tax Refund

A new court decision has saved our clients over $11,000! After researching hundreds of transactions, we found 19 deals where our clients are due a Michigan Transfer Tax refund.

“Did you pay a Michigan transfer tax on a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac property? We have great news to report – refunds are now available.” 

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Michigan Real Estate Property Taxes 101

Every year in March we get tons of  questions on Michigan real estate property taxes. Bill Hestwood and Amy Gilpin answer some of our most frequently asked questions about real estate property taxes in Michigan.

What is SEV and TV? 0:27
How are SEV and TV calculated? 0:53
Why did my SEV go up? 2:30
Why did my taxes go up when I bought my house? 5:10
How do I lower my property taxes? 6:23
Final thoughts. 8:58

Are you working with a Top Tier or Bottom Tier Realtor?

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 →