sales: What does the President have to say tomorrow night to stimulate the economy? - 09/07/11 07:55 PM
 So tomorrow evening the President is going to lay out his game plan to create jobs.  I would like to think that his idea(s) will stimulate our sagging economy, but I don't feel confident about that.  Every business has some vested interest in what he will say and/or do, but it's hard to appease everyone.
Real estate aside, what do you think he has to do to move us in the right direction?
(8 comments)

sales: You can't assume that everyone knows what you're talking about. - 06/04/11 11:02 PM
There are a few words in the English language that give you a visual once they're said.  Words like hot, out, fire etc.
I learned several years ago that "toothpaste" isn't one of those words.
I listed a house of a young couple that had lots of posters and pictures on the walls - held on by nails.
As part of my listing presentation, I was encouraging them to "depersonalize" their home in our attempt to market the property.
The husband was concerned about removing the posters and having buyers see the holes that would be left after the nails were removed.  I said "don't … (3 comments)

sales: Realtor's National Open House Weekend. Are you in? - 06/03/11 09:48 PM

June 4th & 5th is National Open House Weekend. Our Association works in conjunction with our local news paper and puts together a great format to attract as many buyer's as possible for the event.
For a fairly decent price, we get a color ad in both the Saturday and Sunday papers featuring our properties, and a map of the general area with the listings marked on the map so that potential buyers can find our listings easily.
I've decided to have two of my listings included in this event. One on Saturday, and the other on Sunday.  The weather forecast for … (0 comments)

sales: Does your office still do tour? - 05/13/11 12:54 AM
I'll admit we're talking old school when it comes to going on tour. With today's technology you can view a listing on the net, or watch a virtual tour.
So, what is the benefit of going on tour?
First , it's something that most offices don't do.  It shows the seller that your office is involved. It gives your floor agent the opportunity to talk about the property first hand.
So, why are so many companies discontinuing tour?

(5 comments)

sales: April is National Fair Housing Month. - 03/29/11 07:22 AM
If you're a member of NAR, you've already received your copy of Focus for the month of April.  In addition to a couple of decent articles the April issue opens up to become an attractive poster proclaiming the month of April as National Fair Housing Month.
 While preparing for today's sales meeting I've decided that it would be appropriate to ensure that everyone in our organization is totally on board with fair housing and civil rights.  So as part of today's sales meeting I'm dusting off the section of our licensing exam that deals with fair housing and civil rights and having a little "pop quiz".
(2 comments)

sales: Home Inspections are a must! - 02/14/11 10:54 PM
Have you ever had a buyer that didn't feel as though a home inspection by a licensed professional is necessary?  Most often you find this scenario when new construction is involved, or when "Uncle Ernie knows everything about houses."
Well, despite the good intentions of a friend or relative, unless they are a licensed home inspector there are several issues that can go un-noticed thereby increasing the chances of some sort of repair or system failure in the near future.
Even with new construction, items can be inadvertently missed by the contractor.  I've even heard of a new home that had … (4 comments)

sales: Perfect get-away at the entrance to Mount Rainier - 01/31/11 11:50 AM
 Neslted in the picturesque town of Ashford, this classic A-Frame feels like home.
Only 2 blocks from the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park,  this is the ideal property for skiers and hiking buffs. Enjoy peace-and-quiet & nature at it's finest.  Feed deer from your own feeding trough.
Property features large living area and kitchen, plus large bath and stone fireplace on the main floor. Front loft accommodates queen size bed, while rear loft has 3 single beds, plus exit to rear deck and hot tub.
Lot also includes hook-up for RV or trailer off-set from drive way. 

All of this paradise … (1 comments)

sales: A new year, a new plan. Have you made yours yet? - 12/26/10 07:50 PM
I've always found it difficult to make myself sit down at the end of the year and come up with a good business plan for the year ahead.  I know it's the best thing I can do, but none-the-less I have to make myself do it.
To prove my point, I'm posting instead of planning.
I think what makes this process so painful is that I find it hard, if not impossible, to anticipate what all the "variables" will do to my plan.  I hate to have outside influences ruin my plans.
"If this doesn't happen, and if that doesn't happen."  you … (4 comments)

sales: City Ordinance targets agents. - 12/06/10 09:25 PM
The City of Tacoma, WA. has implemented (As of Dec. 1st) a new ordinance that mandates (sic) "real estate professionals involved in the sale of a property where there is a sewer hook-up must provide the buyer with a flyer that discusses the implications of a failed sewer hook-up prior to purchase"
This ordinance is a result of several agents in our area rebelling against the city's original plan to mandate side sewer inspections with every sale.
For the time being, the ordinance has been watered down to accommodate those in opposition.  But when I talked to the individual in charge of … (5 comments)

sales: This poor economy we find ourselves in has created a bunch of polite people. - 11/05/10 10:12 PM
Have you noticed that almost every where you go to shop, that the clerks are more friendly, they say "thank you" (except the post office) and they tell you that they want you to come back?
It must be a sign of the times, but I'm kind'a diggin it!
With the stark reality that you're lucky to have a job, combined with corporate trying to hang on to their share of the market, it's refreshing to me as a consumer to have a lot of attention, and have people fall all over themselves trying to help me, instead of the way … (5 comments)

sales: You only lose when you give up! - 10/10/10 08:08 PM
I watched the end of the Chargers - Raiders game today. Pretty interesting results. 
I couldn't help but think about how maligned the Raiders have been over the past few years, and how slim their chances were today against a team they hadn't beaten in 7 years.
But the men in black suited up today, played their hearts out and ended up victorious.
So, no matter how rough your real estate business has been recently, you've got to go out and play everyday - and play to win!
(3 comments)

sales: Today's "best place to buy" is tomorrow's rentals. - 10/05/10 10:44 PM
If you stick around this business long enough - and in the same market area - one of the things about most parts of your residential market that you'll eventually see is that the properties that are hot today soon become tomorrows rental properties.
Nothing new here, just the wheel spinning.
These are today's hot areas. Everyone wants to live there.  These areas generally attract buyers with a long term goal in mind.  You know, burn the mortgage and live here for ever.
However, after the kids have left home (20 years or so) and the house becomes too big - or has too … (3 comments)

sales: A follow up to "Ten best reasons to buy a home today" - 10/05/10 08:55 PM
Yesterday I commented on Marilyn Wires post about "The ten best reasons to buy a home today." I mentioned that I was going to use this idea in my office meeting today.
FYI. I put the question into perspective by stating that " you can't tell a buyer in today's market that they'll make 20 or more % in their first year of ownership" - so what do you tell them?
Marilyn, the ball started rolling slowly, but my agents came up with all of your 10 points.  They weren't all voiced the same as your post, but the bottom line was still … (2 comments)

sales: How do you maximize your commission value when representing a buyer? - 10/05/10 08:31 PM
All MLS's are different as to rules and regs.  In our MLS, one of the rules is that (sic) "you can't include an increase in your selling commission as part of the offer." (I'll be happy to share with you the entire rule upon request.)  So if the SOC is only half of what you'd expect, what do you do?
How do you insure that your hard work is going to pay you what you believe your effort and expertise is worth?
A Buyer's Agency Agreement.
If you're not comfortable with these, you had better tell yourself that you need to … (0 comments)

sales: Do you have a "game plan" when you go to show a listing? - 09/28/10 09:00 PM
In today's real estate market, a phone call from a potential buyer gets your attention.  However, not every call is a potential sale. Quite often they're a potential problem.
We have several guide-lines in place at our office when it comes to showing property to a "total stranger".  
What policies does your office have?
(3 comments)

sales: Have you noticed how two-faced this business is? - 09/20/10 07:08 PM
Over the years I've found that one of the most difficult challenges for new agents is learning how to differentiate between working with other agents and affiliates, and working with clients and customers.
The real estate business requires sales skills that many new agents don't bring into the business.  It's something that has to be acquired.  You're taught the do's and dont's of real estate law, and the rest you have to pick up on your own.
Now, please don't jump to conclusions and equate salesmanship to being manipulating.  Rather, think in terms of selling as an amicable way to get an … (4 comments)

sales: Is Tourfactory.com available in your area? - 09/16/10 08:59 PM
I've recently hired Tourfactory to do a visual tour for 2 of my listings. For the price, I think it's a good investment.  (around $150).
I don't know if they're in your market, and I know that there are other options out there, but check out Tourfactory.com/660466 and Tourfactory.com/654361.  See what you think.
If nothing else, sell one of these listings!
(8 comments)

sales: How much would you spend to stage your listing? - 08/22/10 09:40 PM
Staging has been one of the best ideas in real estate over the past few years.  I'm totally impressed with the results.  It sure in the heck beats the old "put it in the MLS" standard.
So let me ask you this. You have a good listing in a bad location. The neighbors aren't "tidy", the fences into the sub-division are "tagged" and you're getting no showings.  Where do you spend your money?
I know for a fact that ads will not work in this situation, because your listing doesn't fit with the community it's in. (Beautiful home in *%)^# neighborhood.)  
I don't know … (3 comments)

sales: Lender's interference kills deal. - 06/24/10 11:15 PM
We just had a deal go south today do to the lender's involvement. This sale was written several weeks ago, but we didn't discover until this week that the branch manager for the lender was the fiance of the buyer.
Her name was not on the purchase and sale. The buyer had his inspections, title review, seller's disclosure, appraisal, & septic pump all in a timely fashion with no issues.
Suddenly he starts asking for things that we're not part of the original deal.  Such as, "can I build a shop on the property?"  (It's water front with a wet land set-back which he already … (2 comments)

sales: Why does a cash deal make such a difference? - 06/18/10 12:40 PM
If you've ever had a listing that an offer came in on, and that offer didn't include a financing addendum - what's the first thing you think of?
"They forgot the finance addendum."
So before you call your seller, you call the selling agent and ask if they forgot the finance addendum - or 'is this really an all cash deal?"  The selling agent assures you that indeed it's an all cash deal.  Hallelujah!
The down side to the offer is that it's light on the price, and of course since the buyer scrapped and saved to obtain all this money, … (2 comments)