A Sign in the Yard Doesn’t Mean the Owner is Desperate to Sell!

 

It is a sign o’ the times; distressed properties are for sale!   Today the market is flooded with more foreclosures and Short Sales than I have ever seen in my near decade of practicing real estate and it’s forecasted to  get worse before it get’s better.

 You’ve heard those sayings: “If it sounds too good to be true, it is” &  “You get what you pay for”.  That holds true [pretty much] in the real estate world too!  Bank owned, or short sale properties seem like a great deal at first glance but are typically priced in line with what an “AS IS” price would be for a property in its condition.  Buyer’s need to beware of the cost of repairs exceeding the true market value once completed after the sale.

As I see it,  foreclosure listings are not grotesquely reducing their asking price as a way to undercut the rest of us or so a Buyer can  get a steal-of-a-deal;  they’re pricing their properties based on one or more suggested list price of a professional BPO (Broker Price Opinion). Banks  are not in the business of giving houses away and those BPO’s are conducted by local real estate agents advising them on how to get TOP DOLLAR in as short amount of time possible! I cannot imagine any Realtor who would be suggesting prices below anything but top dollar as that negatively effects their own hometown economics! 

While it is true that foreclosure sales have negatively affected the value in some neighborhoods,  A savvy agent will consult a traditional seller to price their property inline with recent sales as well as current competition (just like an appraiser will do).  I’d like to consider myself a “savvy agent” and I do tell my clients to price their property respective to current market conditions but even still I constantly see ridiculously low offers.  I’m sure there are plenty of stories of Buyer’s getting a deal but my rant today is merely to say I’m looking forward to the day when the mentality out there isn’t that if there is a sign in your yard, you must be desperate to sell and buyer’s stop making crazy low offers on homes that are clearly not over-priced. 

(quick disclaimer: Every city is like a snowflake with their own unique set of market conditions affecting their communities so I can only speak for what I see through my eyes here in Fort Worth, Texas.)

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Have a Facebook Fan page? Here’s how to add tabs like Twitter, PDF’s, Flickr, & more!

I didn’t know it was going to be so difficult until I got stumped on the application for Twitter  on Facebook while trying to add the “Twitter” tab to my Business Page.

 The problem was that as I kept trying to add it to my page, it wouldn’t let me! I spent more time than I care to admit trying to figure out what button I didn’t click correctly.  Once I was out of problem solving ideas I went to the Twitter Application Fan Page’s discussion tab and scrolled down until I found a 13+ page discussion about the very same issue. It wasn’t until about the 11th page or so did someone FINALLY offer a solution to the 10 pages of people with the same problem begging for help!

 I thought I would share this simple solution today so that you don’t go through the same agonizing frustration I did, and also because this was provided by someone with a servant’s heart, I thought it fitting to Pay it Forward. (By the way, it CANNOT be added via the Facebook Twitter application and is provided by an outside source only) So, Thank you Robert Holland for the following post:

Robert Holland For those of you interested in having a Twitter tab on your Facebook Fan Page using Involver, I’ve also put together a “how to” for setting up Involver:

http://socialmediaseo.net/2010/01/29/facebook-fan-page-twitter-tab/

 

I also learned today that Involver.com offers complete brand marketing for Facebook. Make sure and check out the Application Gallery of other FREE* and basic** applications that can be easily added to your Facebook business page as well.  (For Example: You Tube Channel, PDF’s, Flickr, and much more!)

*Free: Careful! You are limited to only 2 Tab add-ons. After which you would need to upgrade to a Premium service for more.

**Basic: Free apps have limitations such as for Twitter it only updates every 3 hours. For faster feeds to Twitter you can update to a paid Premium Account with Involver.com 

Keep in mind these applications are available to Facebook “Become a Fan” business pages, NOT your regular social “friend” page.

Happy Hour and S’mores? You had me at HELLO!

Tillman's S'mores by habitatgirl.

Photo provided by habitatgirl

 

  The old childhood favorite is now served up with oooh-ahhh style! What is typically saved for kids at campfires is delivered table-side in the swanky, yet casual restaurant Tillman’s Roadhouse at 2933 Crockett Street in Fort Worth.    

 All eyes lit-up when a wood plank generously covered in all the ingredients necessary to create our S’mores was brought to the table.    From it we could choose between 3 marshmallow flavors (Maple, Orange, & Coffee) but rest assured these humongous puffy pillows of  oooey-goooey flavored goodness are not store-bought. There is also a generous portion of semi-sweet chocolate squares, and homemade graham cracker crisps for you to start your concoction!    

There was something about the open flame at the table surrounded by a round of stiff cocktails that got us gals snickering, so we let the boys handle the skewers while one-by-one we held out our delicate cinnamon-kissed cracker who’s chocolate square nested atop waited patiently to be mounted by a charred marshmallow (quite sexy really once the smashed melted mixture starts to run down well, just about everything). We are licking the sides of our mouths, smacking the tips of our fingers clean until the giggles turn into hard-core laughter…. and you though wet-naps were only for spare ribs.  Ha!  

I am looking forward to actually having a meal here. The plates that kept coming out looked and smelled divine! Tillman’s is definitely a date-place, and a crowd pleaser and so far gets 5 stars from this foodie!

Creating Checklists so NOT TO Overpromise and Under-Deliver! (Includes free ideas & examples)

February 25, 2010 1 comment

Operate with integrity and the money will come by way of referral business.

As you’ve seen on the back of many business cards (that just makes me roll my eyes) is:  “The greatest compliment I could ever receive is a referral… blah, blah, blah but it’s TRUE! Whether by accident or not- It only takes getting busted once for not doing something you promised at the listing presentation for you to jeopardize your reputation! If you don’t do what you say you’ll do you risk losing referrals.  When you lose referrals, you’re starting your business over from scratch. There is nothing sweeter than receiving a call out of the blue that says “so-n-so” told me to call!

I consider myself a seasoned agent on auto-pilot but I am not too proud to keep a checklist in the front of every file.  Just like pilots who KNOW how to taxi down the runway (no matter how many times they’ve done it before) they check all systems before giving the “CLEAR” for take-off to make sure a safe flight. We should all run our business with the same mentality.

Here are examples of some of the items found on my listing checklist:

• Measure rooms, place sign & lockbox

• Verify schools w/ school district

• Create action plan in Wise Agent*

• Order Virtual Tour

• Enter into MLS

• Listing paperwork turned in to office

• Showing instructions to Appointment Service

• Upload disclosures/ CC&R’s

• Create & deliver color graphics for “take one” box

• Post on Craigslist, twitter, Facebook, blogs & my website

• Verify virtual tour on Realtor.com

• Mail Just Listed Cards

• Send Lowes coupon **

• Order Residential Service Contract

• Copies & links to Seller

• Etc, etc…

I keep copies OF EVERYTHING and stay organized by using the 2 partition, 6 fastener classification folders (blue for listings, green for buyers, red for short sales, brown for land. Yes, I’m a freak…about my files) I even have a checklist for what goes in each section! (there’s my next blog idea)

Staying consistent by having my systems in place is not only for me, but for an Administrative Partner, or for another agent handling my business while I’m on vacation. 

You must have systems in place to run a smooth operation.

* Tip- Always lead with revenue.  Keep your lists all on paper or a dry erase board until you can afford a database program such as Wise Agent or Top Producer; buying into it only when you are convinced having such a system will be worth more to you in return. 

 **Free personalized Lowes coupon delivered on your behalf. Check it out by visiting: www.LowesRealtorBenefits.com .

As always, I welcome any questions & Subscribers!

Mr & Mrs. Seller, if we can’t get them out of their cars, I can’t get into their checkbooks!

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

  I’m not shy now when it comes to telling my clients to “edit this”, “put that in storage”, “sell that in a garage sale”, or why don’t you “go ahead and box that up”. (When I say it though, it doesn’t sound quite like such a demand. I can be a little more subtle… a little.)

I find it helpful to ease the pain of telling a Seller everything they just didn’t want to hear about having to put their prized Teddy Bear collection and Elvis memorabilia in storage by simply following up by saying, “I bet we can appeal to today’s picky buyers with just some editing and creative arranging with minimal out-of-pocket cost”.

I respect money. I enjoy saving it just as much as I do spending it and I’m always on the lookout for the deal with “more bang for a buck”. The feeling of getting a good deal, always makes me happy and I tend to brag about it! I see the service a Client is paying me for from their perspective. I want them to be happy with me… and brag about it! I’ve spent a few Saturday mornings in my career helping a client move furniture and box things away; it’s always been well worth the time, energy and effort. I bond with my clients while earning their respect. What’s not to like when I show up with a baseball cap on, and a gift of Magic Eraser’s in my hand? At the end of the day, chances are the most money spent will be on some colored mulch and a few fresh flowers.

I’ve been out showing before and have experienced many times when Mrs. Buyer eliminates a house from the curb! It’s hard to overcome an objection of a bad first impression! My #1 goal as a listing agent is to get buyers emotionally moved-in before the key ever drops out of the lockbox. Then, continue that emotion from the front door to the back patio. Typically, preparing the house to sell takes mainly elbow grease and a different perspective from their agent- aka ME!

My listings get positive feedback, and typically an offer in the first few showings. Happy client, Happy agent; It’s a win-win!

OH, and don’t forget to make sure they buy some new do-not-touch towels for the bathrooms! For those of you who had a mom like mine, you TOTALLY know what I’m talking about, right?

Got Milk? Now all you need is vanilla, sugar & SNOW!

February 11, 2010 2 comments

Fort Worth woke up today to a rare beautiful mess of snow and It’s still coming down in big, fat, fluffy flakes!

 My mind tells me to go play, my body says I’d better not; I’d probably break something! So what else is there for a 40-year-old, stuck at home with no sweets to do! 

 

How to make Snow Ice Cream

 

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon snow
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups milk

Directions

  1. When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once. Serves 8.

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 132 | Total Fat: 1.2g | Cholesterol: 5mg

Recipe by Lil’madSavy, photo- unknown

The 10 “Thou Shalt Nots” When Applying for a Real Estate Loan

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

  Thou Shalt Not

•·       Thou shalt not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.

•·       Thou shalt not co-sign a loan for anyone

•·       Thou shalt not use charge cards excessively or let your accounts fall behind.

•·       Thou shalt not spend money you have set aside for closing.

•·       Thou shalt not omit debts or liabilities from you loan application.

•·       Thou shalt not buy furniture.

•·       Thou shalt not originate any inquiries into your credit.

•·       Thou shalt not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.

•·       Thou shalt not change bank accounts

•·       Thou shalt not buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it)!  

Depending on your credit score, a one point drop could be the difference on whether you get final approval.  Your mortgage company will run your credit again just before closing to make sure there are no changes which negatively affect your score.  Just because you were pre-approved, doesn’t mean you can’t get UN-approved!