Recently in jest, I posted a line on Facebook about how amazed I am that pretty ladies often end up with goofy-looking guys. Let’s be honest. When you see this, don’t you wonder what makes the guy so special?
Take Ric Ocasek and Paulina Porizkova, for example. Anyone in my generation know who they are?
You’re probably wondering what this whole concept of having a beautiful woman on the arm of a goofy-guy has to do with real estate.
Imagine an ugly house. A REALLY ugly house. Then imagine a BEAUTIFUL house. A REALLY BEAUTIFUL house.
Now ask this question: Does the ugly house make the beautiful house look worse or does the beautiful house make the ugly house more tolerable?
A recent article in the New York Times goes into the effect that a down-trodden property has on a whole neighborhood. All it takes is one lousy-looking house to drag down the entire neighborhood’s image. Similarly, a too-beautiful house makes you wonder what the heck the homeowners were thinking when they over-improved a home surrounded by a sea of ugly ducklings.
Hopefully reading this post will motivate you to clean up your yards, trim the trees, pick up the dog poop left behind by yours or someone else’s canine, clear off the neighborhood juvenile’s WASH ME imprint on your car’s windows, etc. Getting involved in your neighborhood association helps too and so does knowing what the local ordinances are that help protect you from being the bad guy when neighbors need to be pushed to clean up their act.
Let me give it to you straight. Some real estate people give us a bad name. I remember the film “Poltergeist” when the dead bodies came out of the bottom of the swimming pool and learning that it was the agent who didn’t disclose that the new homes were built on a former cemetery!
That character was NOT a “REALTOR”.
The Poltergeist scene is an extreme dramatized version of the unsavory characters who mar my profession. I’m proud to say, however, that there is a BIG difference between REALTORS who are serious about serving the public in a fair and honest manner and those who steer clear of committing to the professional standards required and expected of a REALTOR.
This is the reason we are so involved in our local REALTOR groups with our REALTOR association and the Women’s Council of REALTORS. We see the importance of keeping our noses clean not only with the public but with each other too.
Would you like to know what we believe in and what is expected of us REALTORS? CLICK HERE for the Code of Ethics.
Note: “REALTOR” is two syllables only and should always be capitalized. There’s so such thing as a “real-a-tor”.
(Sigh.) I can’t tell you how often we hear questions like these in our business:
- “Got any good deals?”
- “I’m looking for a good deal.”
- “I only want to buy property if it’s a good deal.”
Then, there are folks who say:
- “Let me know if you have any good deals.”
- “I’ll work with you if you have a good deal.”
- “Maybe if you are the listing agent I can get a good deal.”
Let’s face it. EVERYONE wants a good deal. I doubt you’ve ever heard someone say “I want to get ripped off and pay way too much for a property!”
There are 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day. In this time, our efforts will be used on our buyer and seller Clients who’ve committed to working with us and who are serious enough to have their financing and cash reserves in order before we see property together on an exclusive basis.
We take our role in representing our Clients seriously and our Clients take it seriously too. We find great satisfaction in helping to make things happen for them. We have no qualms about telling our Clients if we believe a property is overpriced or being clear that if they want the property, they’ll have to be willing to pay a premium compared to the competition of buyers for the same property. Our seller Clients appreciate that we sometimes counsel them NOT to take the highest offer but to focus on choosing the buyer who is most likely to close the sale, as long as the price is reasonable.
Now, about those good deals. When we do come across “good deals”, we’ll let our Clients know about them first. There is a huge difference between a “customer” and a “Client”, so we reserve our more in-depth communications for a select group. The last thing our Clients need is for our efforts to be diluted…
Fab Fever performing at our home wedding, 2010
Spa [spah] noun: a hot tub or similar warm-water hydromassage facility, usually for more than one person.
My husband’s recent quest to have a lonely, neglected spa removed from our back deck as part of ongoing home improvement and maintenance met me with equal parts nostalgia, relief and sadness. Over eight years ago after first buying the home, I remember sitting in the spa with my mom, looking up at the house with its warm lights shining through the windows down to where we were floating. The words from my mouth in that moment came from a sense of comfort and relief: “I feel rich” is what I remember saying to my mom as we sat there enjoying the hot, bubbling water.
Now, the empty void where the spa once sat reminded me of the Dr. Suess book titled The Lorax, where the Onceler sadly told the story of the way things were. During my time in this home, there have been numerous memorable events that took place around the spa, especially in the warmer months when anyone dared venture outside to enjoy it. There was the party when wine glasses were found at the bottom of the hot tub with countless wine bottles strewn about in the dark the night prior, the party guest who looked down at an inebriated guest thinking he jumped in fully clothed (when in reality, he was just a hairy guy)…and our own home wedding two years ago when the band used the hot tub cover for their equipment and staging area.
To deal with the loss of the spa, I’ve taken it upon myself to see it as a “mind-clearing” and “decluttering” event in my life. Being that the previous owners of our home had the darn thing hoisted over the neighbor’s property with a crane to get it to where it sat for many years, the relatively simple process of having it sawed into pieces and hauled off was quite liberating…
Just a few months ago homes were sitting on the market beckoning for a buyer to want them!
It’s a bit different now. Buyers are abundant and available homes in affordable price ranges are not. Homes garner multiple offers above asking price with many important contingencies shaved off the contract!
Here’s the deal. When a real estate professional tells you to BUY NOW, they’re not necessarily just trying to make a sale! Any of us agents who’ve been in business long enough have seen the ups and downs of the market and the frustration our clients face when they don’t get off the fence in a timely enough manner.
If you’ve set a goal for yourself to do something in life such as purchase a home or sell your home, PREPARE NOW! You never know when it will be too late to enjoy maximum benefits.
However, don’t feel pressured — the timing must be right for YOU…
ISLIP, NY - FEBRUARY 09: A padlock hangs from a door of a foreclosed home on February 9, 2012 in Islip, New York. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
For homeowners with a home that’s worth less than the balance(s) owed, what does this mean to you? This means taking the chance of the debt forgiveness law being extended past the end of the year or getting off the fence and exploring your options for a short sale now.
After a foreclosure or a short sale, the former homeowner is not taxed on forgiven debt under federal and state laws that will expire at the end of this year. In both cases, the lender likely ends up receiving less than the full amount of the outstanding balance. If so, the amount the borrower is no longer responsible for paying to the lender is considered “cancellation of debt” income and, thus, income to the borrower that – prior to the adoption of the federal and state protections – was subject to income tax. Those federal and state protections are scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.
Pride comes before a fall. We know of many people who have simply walked away from their homes that fall into foreclosure, perhaps because they are too proud to ask for help. Not only do borrowers ruin their credit unnecessarily with a foreclosure rather than pursuing a short sale, foreclosures are devastating to entire neighborhoods by dragging down property values of the homes around them. Do you know of someone in your neighborhood who needs help but is too proud to ask for it?
Short sales are a common part of the real estate landscape these days. The best thing we can do is to help get the word out about what homeowners’ options are so that they can make informed decisions…