Tag Archives: Real Estate

A one year journey through real estate, Week 7

A one year journey through real estate, Week 7

It’s Friday again and I’ve just come from a closing.  A long overdue closing I might add.  It was originally scheduled for january 27 and postponed three times since.  Who’s to blame?  Well, Id say the mortgage lender.  The loan originally started out as FHA and was for a condo.  My buyers qualified with no issues.  So far, so good.

Two days before the original closing, the underwriter said the condo complex was not FHA approved.  This seemed odd to me, since it’s a fourteen year old complex, with many first time buyers.  Also, why was this discovered two days before closing and not sooner?  After many calls and much going back and fourth, I was told this was all due to new FHA regulations that went into effect january 1.  It would supposedly take “weeks” to rectify.  At this point my buyers decided to switch to a conventional loan.  This meant a new appraisal was needed and all of the paperwork changes with the lenders.  result, we missed another closing date earlier this week.

So, was there a lesson learned?  For me, it was to convince my buyers to use one of several trusted lenders I have worked with.  Also, try to explain why I think going with a mortgage broker is unwise.  For my buyers, I believe they learned not to use “family friends” for business and to listen to their real estate professional.

Earlier this week I started farming the neighborhood I live in.  I sent out 250 postcards, using a different approach than I have seen from others farming the same neighborhood.  This was the first of three mailings over a six week period.  I hope it will be effective, but only time will tell.

I have also been approaching builders, hoping to represent one.  Most builders in the area are facing some difficult financial times right now.  I hope to convince them that my extensive new construction background is just what they need to boost sales.

That’s my week in real estate.  As usual, I encourage comments.

Jeff

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A one year journey through real estate, Week 6

A one year journey through real estate, Week 6

Another fairly quiet week has gone by.  Once again, weather has wreaked havoc in many parts of North Carolina and the eastern states.  Greensboro was lucky in dodging more snow, but suffered the effects of high winds.  Many trees were down and as a result power lines were down as well.  A church steeple in town still hangs precariously off the roof of a local church.  At least the local school children did not miss any days this week.

There was some good real estate news this week.  Home prices rose last month and are expected to continue this trend.  This is a very positive sign of economic recovery and in particular, a healthier real estate market.  This should give confidence to those considering listing their homes.  The biggest concern I hear from potential sellers is the decreased value of their homes.

With this positive news and spring being just around the corner, prospective sellers should be getting their homes ready for the selling season.  It can be hard for some with snow still in their yards to think about spring, but here in North Carolina, the warmer weather could arrive at any time.  So, it’s time to get out in the yard and start cleaning up all the fallen branches and making sure the yard is spruced up as much as possible.  If needed, replace that old mail box and put some new house numbers up.  Give the front door a fresh coat of paint and plant some pansies next to the door.

While it’s still cold out, take the time to start sprucing up the interior.  Fresh paint makes any room shine.  Empty out all of the closets and get rid of anything you truly don’t need.  Wash the windows, dust off all thew cobwebs, rearrange the furniture to make the room more spacious and if the carpet has stains, get it steam cleaned.  There are so many ways to make your home look better and to appeal to buyers and most cost little to nothing.  By the time you’re ready to put your home on the market, it will be ready to show off.

I am happy to come to your home to give you staging ideas and tell you what is needed to make your home stand out.  So, think warm, sunny thoughts and give me a call.

Jeff

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A one year journey through real estate. Week 2.

A one year journey through real estate. Week 2.

Well, here I am at the end of my first week of this blog.  It’s been a fairly busy week, though not as busy as I’d like.

Last weekend started off great.  I took a couple of first time buyers to see a second condo in the same complex where they had just mad an offer on another unit.  The sellers on the first place were not very willing to come down much from their asking price.  So the couple asked to see this other condo.  They were pleased with it and decided to make a final counter on the first place.  Later that day, the sellers agreed to their counter and we signed off on the contract.

As I mentioned, these were first time buyers and they need a lot of guidance through the process.  Hopefully, I have been beneficial in that guidance and have offered them good advice.  It really is gratifying to see their joy and excitement over becoming home owners.  That is truly one of the best things about my job.

The rest of the week was divided between working on my web site for better SEO, working at all of my social networking sites, phone duty at the office, which didn’t produce anything, and filling in at a builder neighborhood.  Unfortunately, no one showed up that day.

At the advice of a friend and colleague on the commercial side, I went out visiting several new construction neighborhoods.  I ran into an old friend, who has been working for several production builders over the years.  He was a bit frustrated because of slow sales, but confident he would have a busy spring.  He was however concerned that sales would die off after the tax credits end in June.  I’m not sure I disagree with him.  So far, I have seen an impact from the first time buyer $8,000.00 tax credit in the lower end of the market, but no activity from move up buyers from the $6,500.00 tax credit.  Hopefully, they are going to be out in droves this spring.

The end of the week has been pretty uneventful.  I will head into the office for phone duty this afternoon.  I can just hear the phones ringing off the hook now.  Hey, we have to be optimistic in this business, right?

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A one year journey through real estate. Week 1.

A one year journey through real estate.  Week 1.

This will be my first post of the next fifty-two weeks.  It will follow my journey through real estate in 2010.  I will post once every week, usually on Friday.

I will document everything that occurred during the previous week, from the mundane to the meteoric.  It will be geared toward those in general brokerage.  I have recently returned to general brokerage, after working for builders for the past seven years.  I sold for production builders and most recently for a custom builder.  I’ve sold starter homes in the $150K range through custom-built homes selling for over $700,000.

General brokerage is a different animal.  Things have changed greatly since I started out with Century 21, in 2001.  Contracts have changed, the rules have changed and the market has changed drastically since then.  The term “short sale” was unknown back then.

I am now with Coldwell Banker in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Compared to some of the local real estate agencies, it’s a fairly small office in terms of the number of agents.  That was one of the reasons I chose to affiliate with them.  Their sales for 2009 were better than many competitors.

I now feel settled in here.   I tend to do a great deal of internet marketing and prospecting.  Will that be a good approach?  Only time will tell.  I also fill in here and there for fellow CB agents who are on site at builder communities.  Traffic is fairly slow, but I attribute that partly to the economy and partly to the time of year.  Several of these communities are priced right for first time buyers.  I believe the first time buyer $8,000. tax credit will bring buyers in this first quarter of 2010.

I also take as much “phone duty” as possible.  Because we don’t have a huge number of agents in our office and there are some agents that just don’t like phone duty, I’m able to get a fair amount of it.  Last night, I wrote an offer for a young couple, buying their first home.  They became my clients through phone duty.  So, it just goes to show that it pays off.

I also attempted to keep up with all of the social networking sites and getting my website ranked higher in the search engines.  The technology seems to change by the minute.  Luckily, I am a bit of a tech geek and enjoy working on it.  However, it is easy to spend too much time on the computer.  I need to make sure I am getting out networking and selling my services.

Please follow my journey.  I would appreciate your comments and hopefully some suggestions for improving my business.

Thanks and see you soon.

Jeff

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