Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Love my job!

Today I had an appointment with Ms Marion. She is a lovely woman who was recently widowed after 60 years of marriage! She is planning to move back up north to be closer to family and needs to sell her home. Her first great grandchild is expecting this fall. As she showed me pictures of all the family members lining the wall, i thought about how much I love my job! We toured the home all the while sharing about her life with the man she married at 20 years of age. He loved yard work and he loved his home in South Carolina. 
How great is it to have a glimpse into other people's lives? To learn from our elders like Ms Marion, or to celebrate first time home ownership with young people....everyday is new and exciting!! After 40 years in real estate sales, helping people buy and sale homes, I still love it!! Sure there are bad days. Days when your hair is limp from measuring a house in this summer humidity. Days when inspections go badly or we have bad news to deliver to our clients. It makes me want to take a break. Only a short break because there is no better career for me!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Improving home sales

We are seeing an increase in our sales volume as well as number of sales over the first quarter of 2013.
Additionally, agents that have been in the real estate business for less than 5 years are experiencing the multiple offer situations that have not been prevalent over the last 5-6 years. Its a whole new learning curve for them.

 Here are a couple of things that I feel need to be addressed with the public as well as the newer agents in our sales and marketing areas.

#1. Many news reports boast of huge gains in prices of residential homes. Those are national statistics. Places that are major metropolitan areas like Charlotte, NC or Atlanta, Ga. are showing larger gains than our coastal areas and small town America. Sellers need to understand that it is still a factor of supply and demand. It is still a factor of "what a family can afford". Our interest rates are wonderful and open the door for many first time home owners to qualify. However, the lenders are much more strict on the ratios, source of funding, loan to value, and even the actual colateral itself. If your roof is older and will need replacing soon, you may be turned down without a new roof. If you do not have enough established credit or if you have several late pays over the past 12 months, you may not qualify. If we have learned anything over the past few months, it is that your sale is not a done deal until it is closed and recorded! We have seen deals fall apart after full loan approval. We used to be able to count on the deal closing once the last hurdle was passed and the appraisal had been done. That is no longer the case. On more than one occassion, the underwriter turned down the loan in the last week before closing. Moral of the story: don't let your Seller move out of the town until the transaction is closed.

#2. If you are a potential buyer and feel the property is a "good deal", you better assume that someone else feels the same way and offer your highest and best price and terms. Too many buyers are under the impression that they can make low offers and "steal" a property. The truth is, that if more than one offer comes in , even your full price offer may not buy the property for you.

#3 Properly handling the multiple offer situation is tricky. The Seller can accept what ever offer he or she chooses. The order that they arrive makes no difference. First come first serve is not the case. Additionally,
the listing agent has an obligation to submit all offers to the Seller. A verbal offer conveyed to the Seller and accepted by phone will not guarentee any assurance to the purchaser. Prior to actually signing the contract, another offer may come in that the Seller prefers that one over the first offer. It may be a higher price or it may have better terms. It is your job, mister Realtor, to explain the risk to the prospective buyer.  My advice is to explain all the options to your Seller and all the details to the buyer and you will be fine. Don't make decisions for your client. Educate your client and let them make their own decisions. That is the way to build a trust and an advocate for your company and yourself.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mothers Day Weekend

Some folks will be getting ready for the Southern 500 race in Darlington, some headed to the beach, and others making plans for a family meal together. Regardless of how you spend the weekend, we will all be thinking of our mothers. My mother was a shy, mid westerner, and music major, who fell in love with an army captain in 1945. She left her mother and family, moved thousands of miles away, to settle in Conway SC.
My sisters and I would all probably tell you her most wonderful trait was her totally unselfish and unconditional love. We were truly blessed to have that in our home. She was smart but always let my Dad take the lead. She worked outside the home and took care of the house and children.
I will always miss her but especially when something good happens to the grands and I'm so excited to call her and share it. I'm still let down when I realize shes not there. I hope with all the busy activities of the weekend, we will all take a few minutes to remember our moms. A time set aside to be grateful for all the sacrifices, love and care. And for those of you who are fortunate enough to still have your mothers, give her a special hug, time passes so fast! This is my sisters with me on a recent family gathering. Miss you Moma!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Real estate come back in 2013

The article below is very convincing that the real estate market it coming back!
It may take a few years but we can certainly see the changes. We are slowing changing from a Buyers market to a Sellers market and that means a rise in prices. The national debt is still looming in the back of our minds but hopefully knowledgable people will prevail and move us in the direction we need to go. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Brian Buffini training to begin in April!

 Century 21 McAlpine Associates is excited to be offering a Brian Buffini 12 week training class beginning on April 8th. I will be the facilitator of the group of  8 agents and look forward to lots of wonderful content and a great support group!  Brian Buffini's Peak Producers classes are tested and proven to be very effective in training both new and experienced real estate sales agents. It helps  to focus on the most  important aspects of the business and to work as a team to get the job done. The more we know the more we can help our clients sale their homes.

Making excuses does not win any brownie points with me!

One of the hardest parts of being a good Realtor is having to accept the disappointments of failed closings when it is no fault of your own. We try to do a good job with our buyers and sellers and really hope that the consumer will refer us again because we served them well. When the lenders don't do their job, or the attorneys don't do their job, or the builders don't do their job, unfortunately we take the heat.
Recently, we sold a home subject to the buyer obtaining a loan. The application was made in a timely manner, the bank actually sent a loan approval letter in a reasonable length of time. The buyers and the sellers were informed that everything looked good and the closing was on schedule. The appraisal and inspections were positive so we felt all the hurdles were over. Now, 50 days into the application process and 5 days after the scheduled closing date, we find that the package has not even been sent to the underwriters. For those of you who may not be familiar with this process, that is highly unusual. It seems the original loan officer left the bank and another was assigned. She did not do her job and made up excuses like she never had all the income information she needed from the borrower. She had received that information weeks earlier (how did we have loan approval without that?) and obviously had some other problem that she did not want to share with us.
An apology that was heartfelt and an explanation would have played so much better. We all make mistakes and most people are forgiving if it is handled correctly. Not to be too long and drawn out but really happy people do not make excuses. They accept responsibility when they are wrong and apologize. I feel so sorry for the buyer, the seller, and the Realtor involved. I can only hope that the closing eventually takes place even if it is a month later than scheduled!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Safe Haven

Tommy took me to this movie tonight. We had both read the book several years ago.
I really enjoyed it even though it was much
more suspenseful than we remembered the book being. If you enjoy watching beautiful people on the screen and a good romance-its a go.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Southeastern Waterfowl Expo

Tommy and I returned from Charleston after a big day at the SEWE. We loved watching the dock diving contest and just wandering around taking in the sites. I have never seen so many beautiful and well behaved dogs! It is amazing how well trained these hunting dogs are and so loved. I came home to Ali with high expectations. Maybe I can teach her to fetch or sit and stay!!
If you like arts and crafts, good food, and every possible thing related to waterfowl or hunting, make plans to spend the weekend there next year. The young fellow on the camel ride is my youngest grandchild, Lucas.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What would a Pro Do?

Realtor list home for $100,000 less than Seller paid just 6 years ago. Seller moves away and agrees to lose all his equity and eat his loss. Realtor finds a good qualified buyer. After home inspections, there are 15-20K dollars of repairs. Inspector says home is below standard quality.
Seller loses buyer.
Seller not willing to make repairs or sell at below list price.
What is the best thing for listing agent to do?
A. Continue marketing home with full disclosure
B. Give listing back to Seller?
C. ???

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

With you Mr Paul!

"Senate Democrats have not produced a budget in the entire time I've been in office. This is shameful! A display of incompetence." Rand Paul

Our Century 21Team Myrtle Beach, SC

Can't bare to watch BO tonight for his second State of the Union address.

I usually keep abreast of the news and try to be an informed citizen. However, the national news is so frustrating!! Our constitution challenged, our debt out of control, and our economy still in the dumps..... Are you guys gonna watch the anointed one tonight?