Our Debut into Video

Well, you should have been a little fly on the wall in our office today at Exit Realty 1st Class II in Raeford, NC.  We got a call a little after lunch and our BIC, Candi, asked us would we all be available at 3:30 in the afternoon.  With trepidation, we agreed, except for Shannon, who needed to pick her truck up.  You never want to agree to something if you don’t know the full details.  Well, that proved true once more.  After we had committed ourselves, Candi informed us that there was a videographer coming from our other office to make a video of us.  Okay, an advertisement video to put on the website, no prior knowledge, no preparation.  Not good!   We really didn’t take it too serious, but then here he comes, camera and microphone. So Candi, who is the lest shy member of our entourage, jumps in front of the camera.  Thanks to Dixie, Candi’s hair is combed and she has lipstick on, ready to go.  The videographer says go ahead and Candi is off, full steam ahead.  I know that she talked a full 2 minutes and never took a breath.  She is so passionate about her company.  And that was the highlight of the video.  Next came Merassa, Dixie, Katie and myself.  We were all petrified, unprepared and uninspired to say the least.  The videographer, to his credit, suggested kindly to Candi that he come back another day, when we had time to prepare and perhaps even gather a little enthusiasm for the job to project onto the camera.  I really appreciate his honesty and consideration.  I work with the best group of people and we all love what we do.  It would really be a shame not give us another chance to portray that enthusiasm.  Stay tuned for our video debut, coming to a computer somewhere near you in the near future!

A Thanksgiving Moment

I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on everything that I have to be grateful and thankful for. I will always be thankful for finding Don.  He is the most wonderful husband to put up with all the times that I am being such a pain in the a**.  I really don’t know what I would do without him.  He might have come to me late in life, but it was definitely meant to be.  I can never say enough about the joys of my son Hunter.  From the day that he was born, I have been in awe of him.  And yesterday, as he stood in my living room and told me that he was going to be a daddy himself, it was completely overwhelming.  I am grateful that he found a wonderful girl who loves him, respects him and makes him happy. I am thankful that I still have both of my parents.  I am luckier than a lot of people in that aspect.  I have two wonderful stepchildren, whom I love very much. I have a great brother and sister and an extended family through them.  With lots of families, there is a lot of drama involved in the relationships.  I am very grateful that we have never had all of the drama in our family. There is a lot of respect and we enjoy each other.  I have fantastic friends that I have had for a lifetime, a couple in particular and I have made some great new friends recently through work.  I have a new job that I love and look forward to each day.  It is very important not to lose your focus on all of the wonderful things in your life.  Always remember what is important.

Exit Realty

I usually try to keep this real with thoughts and tips for home buyers, sellers and investors, but I have to take a little different turn today. I don’t want to sound like a commercial, but I really feel like I made the right choice when I chose Exit Realty to be affiliated with.  The Exit name may not be as well-recognized as some of the other real estate firms, but there is absolutely none that surpass the customer service attitude that Exit has and encourages in its agents.  That is the one thing that is so lacking in the business world now.  Yes, we are in business to make money.  I do not go to work everyday to volunteer my services to you.  But, I truly enjoy what I do and I honestly want to help buyers and sellers make the right choices.  I enjoy the problem solving that goes into the deal.  Properties will continue to be bought and sold.  The difference that we can make is the experience of knowing that you go into that transaction with someone on your side, someone in your corner advocating for you.  I am very lucky to be able to work with a group of people who are encouraged to have this attitude.  That is one of the many things that I am thankful for this year.

Should I get a Home Inspection?

This is a question that is often asked by prospective home owners, particularly new home owners.  These days, when money is so tight, buyers are checking all of those little areas where they can save a few bucks.  Usually, that is an excellent strategy, always review to make sure that you are not paying more than you should.  But I always tell my home buyers, please get an inspection.  It is not my decision, but it is my duty to protect my clients and to make sure that they have all of the facts in front of them and that they understand the consequences of their decisions. Even with new construction, an inspection is a good idea.  If I was buying a home today, I would definitely hire an inspector and then I would be by his side every step of the way.  I would ask him a million questions.  There is a lot that you can learn about the operation of your new home from your inspector.  Do not overrate the inspection though, it is only a snapshot in time of how things are currently working and if they are up to code. An inspector can usually tell you also the approximate age of some of your home components. And with the age, you can approximate the life left in that component.  Like any other service that you hire, make sure that you research your inspector and ask for references.  In our area, the average cost would be from $300 to $450 for an inspection. The inspection comes with no guarantees. Even with that being said, your home purchase is one of the largest purchases that you will probably ever make, so I reiterate, get an inspection.  It is definitely money well spent.

Investor Resources

I’m excited because EXIT Realty, which I am affiliated with, is taking a proactive approach with the trend towards investor purchases in real estate.  With so many great deals on the market, we have seen a steep increase in first time investors.  This is normally people who want to purchase a home that needs varying degrees of mostly cosmetic repairs and then turn around and rent the home.  Even  larger investors are still trying to tap into the rental market after they renovate.  Flipping houses and selling them after the rehab is not quite as attractive today with the low housing prices.  Exit has an excellent website, www.exitownamerica.com that all investors need to visit and check out.  It will provide them with a lot of valuable information.  We also have the worksheets available now to plug-in a house price and put in other parameters and it gives us a cash flow analysis.  It’s a great tool that we can play with to predict the outcome depending upon various factors, such as purchase price, depreciation, rental price, etc.  It is just another exciting tool that EXIT is providing to its agents and clients to improve their real estate experience. Contact me if you have any questions about the program.

Tough Conversations

Ahh, the good old days.  Do you remember when you finished school, got a job, got married, bought a house, had 2 kids and this defined your successful life.  Things sure have changed.  The world is a different place now and we have to adapt and work through the economic changes also.  One of the effects of the economic changes has to do with the value of your home at this time.  Homes are still a great value.  With interest rates so low, you can buy for the same or less than you can rent.  Housing values will increase in the future.  But the reality right now is that housing values are at an all time low.  Great for buyers…not so great for sellers.  The hardest hit homeowners are the ones that bought 2 to 5 years ago and need to sell now. They bought when real estate was at its highest and are now trying to sell in a less than desirable market.  What this means is that some people who are having to sell right now are going to be faced with selling their home at a loss.  This is a very tough conversation to have to have with a potential client.  Most people would never imagine that they could buy a home, keep it for a couple of years and then have to bring money to the closing to sell it.  This is where your preparation comes in handy.  You explain the comps and you explain the seller’s net worth worksheet.  These are facts, and while they may not be desirable, they are the facts.  I look forward to the time in the future when there are fewer of these conversations, until then, we will continue to present the most accurate information that we can to help the seller to make the most informed decision that they can. How do you handle these situations?

Investment Property Criteria

As we have more short sales, REO’s and Foreclosures come on the market (sadly),  there will be more of a need for Realtors to understand the process to market and close the deal on these properties.  The process from offer to close is very different from a traditional home buying process and can be different from case to case.  At this point, I am trying to learn everything that I can about the process so that I can provide the best service to my investor clients.  I would really like to hear from some investors that have been in the business for a while about what they need and expect from a realtor.  Also, I would like to hear from other realtors that are specializing in this field with any advice that they might have.  I am just trying to position myself to provide the best service that I can to my investor clients.  Any response and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you in advance.