(VIDEO): How to Buy Bungalows!
With parts of the country sizzling in a heatwave, air condition repairers are in high demand. But be careful you don't get charge for things you don't need! NBC news discovered during a hidden-camera investigation, that 6 out of 6 tried to charge for unnecessary work! Cool it with the over charging!
Did you know that home inspections are not regulated by the state? It's kinda scary to know any Joe Schmo could call themselves a home inspector and advice you on the biggest purchase of your life. (Even I could claim I'm a home inspector...I can't hammer a nail to save my life! Gotta protect my Lee Press-Ons). To ensure you get a qualified inspector, make sure:
Oh no! The marriage between wrestler John Cena & his high school sweetheart is crumbling. TMZ reports "the house they were remodeling was sending them to the poor house and the courthouse." A contractor has now put a $110k lien on the property. Yikes!
Compromising on taste and balancing budgets, renovating a house can put any relationship to the test! Before you remodel with your boo, be sure you 2 are on the same page about design AND money!
It's Like Carfax But For Houses!
Now you can dig up the dirt on a property all online! San Francisco Planning Department lets you dig up a property's history from rent control, complaints, historical status, zoning, permits and more! This is super useful for anyone who is planning on buying a place or even renting. You can not always rely on the landlord or seller's disclosures (because they might not know themselves either).
I wish every city made this info as readily available as SF. It's like Carfax, but for houses!
My new column for Show Stopper Magazine (March 2012 Issue, page 13). Spring is around the corner which historically is the kick off the real estate high season! Check out my 3 tips before you blindly throw your house on the market. The wrong price could mean a house that never sells!
Gay Parent Magazine interviews me about real estate for the LGBTQ community. What's my #1 tip for gay/lesbian buyers? Why it's the Year of the Landlord? What about homophobic sellers? Any advantage to owning property as gay married couple? For my answers, click here for full issue (see pg 17). FYI, big file.
It's not just celebs like Elton John, Ricky Martin, Neil Patrick Harris, Rosie, etc. but I can't believe so many of my gay friends are poppin' out babies. Maybe I'll be next...if I ever find Mr. Right. Although I can't wait forever. At this rate, I might have to do it solo! I can't let these cheekbones go to waste!
America's favorite HR Exec & Career/Workplace Expert Reese Alexander (aka The Sassy Suit) interviews me for Examiner.com about how to have a career as a realtor. If you want to get a taste of real estate but don't want to go thru getting licensed, read my tip in her article!
Reese always has the best-est job advice. Sassy, classy but never trashy! Follow her here twitter.com/thesassysuit.
How to Dress to Sell a Home: Be Sure Clients Know the House is for Sale....Not You!
I am shocked how agents dress! I can not tell you how many times I've walked into an open house and have seen agents in sweats, halter tops or flip-flops. You don't have to wear a 3 piece suit, but you want people to know you are hockin' homes...not hockin' hooters!
eHow asked me to do a video about this very tragical dilemma facing our industry. Watch!
Real phone conversation with clueless listing agent
Herman: Hi, I'm calling about listing on *&^@& St. Is there anything wrong with the property?
Agent: It's gorgeous!
Herman: How come there are no photos?
Agent: Didn't you read the pretty description I wrote?
Herman: (rolls eyes) Um, a picture is worth a 1000 words.
I feel so sorry for his clients! People are visual creatures. If your house is for sale, make sure you have TONS of pics. It's like online dating, you are more likely to click on the guy with attractive photos and sparse bio, than a guy with no pix and long flowery bio (TMI or over compensation). Let's face it. No pix implies fugly!
Case in point: Notice how boring this blog post is without any images?!
Wealth Magazine allots me a beautiful full 2 page spread in their Winter 2012 issue. Check out my exclusive web video "Condo Investing Tips" for this esteemed publication dedicated to "financial intelligence for life".
Direct Shopping Network TV Hosts Brook Roberts & Tara Gray have launched a new magazine called Show Stopper! With already over 300,000 subscribers, I'm so flattered my friend Tara (former Miss Alabama!) asked me to pen a column about home & design. See page 14-15 here. Got a question for me? Post in comments & it just might be next month's topic!
Examiner nails me on the head! (Ouch! Thanks a heap Cece! Lol) "He’s wacky, he’s wild … he’s Habitat for Hermanity! The site, which offers “Helpful, Hilarious & Hellacious Real Estate & Design with a Punchline!”, features real estate personality Herman Chan doing – well, his Herman thing...He shows his pretty face from coast to coast, preaching the gospel of Herman himself. And who wouldn’t kneel at his altar?" Kneel at my altar? Hmmm, no comment, haha! Too easy.
I love what Cece wrote on her ActiveRain blog : "I made a pledge some time back that I would only work with people I like. I bet he has, too. . ." True Dat! I tell agents all the time, "Just be yourself! That's how you attract loyal clients who share your world view!"
With winter slowly melting away, eHow asked me to do a quick vlog for sellers who are prepping their homes for the traditional high season in real estate: Spring & Summer! De-clutter, de-personalize, stage & match your decor with your house style. Good luck!
listed by Urban Search Realty
Attention all architecture freaks! Check out the Heller House, a gorgeous 1897 Frank Lloyd Wright home for sale at $2.5M. It's so easy to fall in love with these historic properties. That old world charm is to die for: the wainscoting, the orate banisters, stained glass windows. But, once the charm wears off, be sure you love it enough to overlook the lead based paint, torqued foundation, drafty windows and don't even think of all the people who have died in it. (yes, I went there!). Old homes are magically nostalgic, but they can also be money pit!
Last week I dropped in on a friend who closed escrow over a year ago. It was a fabulous property & I couldn't wait to see how she decorated it. I walked in...and it looked the same. Whomp, Whomp! I said, "Girl, what happened to all those design plans you fantasized about!? Didn't you TIVO like 800 hours of ColorSplash!?" She had no time, no money & no idea where to start. What a shame! But I see this all the time. Folks spend thousands a month on house payments but don't do a darn thing to make it nice.
So, eHow asked me to share some quick tips on how to find a designer to help you dress up the biggest purchase of your life! And it won't cost you an arm & a leg either.
In honor (or horror?) of Friday the 13th, Zillow did a run down of real estate superstitions. Reminds me of a hilarious article I wrote for A.R.E. (Asian Real Estate Magazine). It's a quick guide to dealing with Asian clients & how to avoid social blunders. I touch upon some superstitions:
*Why listing a house at $444,444 is major no-no!
*Are fruit trees considered unlucky?
*Why you'll lose a listing if you show up wearing all white!
*If buyer ask you if you're familiar with Feng Shui, don't say, "Never had that dish, but I looove Kung Pao chicken"
I've been in the vlogging game for a few years now, so I often get asked by realtors how to videoblog. Sold Magazine incidentally had me do an exclusive clip for their readers about this very topic. Here some quick easy tips. Don't miss the last one. It's the most important, and most hilarious, tip!
Did you know 1 in 5 real estate contracts get cancelled due to appraisals?! I'm in a deal now where the purchase price is $550k, but the appraiser used 300k and 800k comps. Seems like there is no rhyme or reason! There are indeed some fine appraisers out there who take there job seriously. However, I'm noticing a new crop of lazy appraisers who breeze in fast and crank out lackidasical reports, which wreck utter havoc on sellers, buyers, agents, loan brokers, etc! They do a sloppy job and leave it to us to clean up their mess! But do they care? Heck, no. They got paid and have moved on to another house. No skin off their back! AGBeat quotes Mike Evans, the former president of the American Society of Appraisers, who says, “Some guy blows in from 300 miles away and grabs three comps that may not be in the right area, and leaves.” It's an epidemic!
If you get a lemon of an appraisal, try these remedies I filmed for ehow.com:
Click Read More to see Video Transcript
image courtesy of TMZ.com
Buyers! Listen up! You can get sued for withdrawing an offer. Be sure your Realtor structures your offer with contingency periods to finalize your loan, appraisal and inspections. If you back out before the period ends, you can get most, if not all, of your deposit back. If you back out after the period ends, your deposit may be in jeopardy. To protect your deposit, you best withdraw before contingency period ends or negotiate an extension.
Jerry Rice is taking his buyers to court because they backed out of a deal last minute to purchase his $11,000,000 mansion in fancy shmancy Atherton (ranked 2nd most expensive zip code in 2010 by Forbes & home to many disgustingly rich peeps, like Meg Whitman. I was at a party there a few months ago. Girl, I felt so ghetto!). Buyers stand to lose their earnest money deposit of $330,000 (3% of $11M). Ouch!
"I've Always Been a Little Bit on the Fabulous Side!" Unique Homes Mag Interviews Herman
Unique Homes: World of Luxury Real Estate interviewed me for this great piece in their magazine. I love their title: Faith in Hermanity: Herman Chan uses wit, truthiness & fabulousness to become a popular real estate figure. They did a terrific job capturing me in half a page (not an easy feat!). Some select quotes:
*I just want to be a breath of fresh air. Clients are starved for transparency & authenticity; that quasi-cynical & snarky commentary...They wanty an opinion to come along with the data"
*It's about being accessible and authentic to the client. Someone that shares my world view is more likey to gravitate toward me & work with me. I want a relationship with them, not something that's transactional."
Do you have 'Faith in Hermanity'? Testify!!
If you follow my blog, you know I've blogged many times about the small space movement. I've even written some published pieces about this. What can I say, I'm anti-McMansion! Anyhow (or should I say any-ehow), eHow.com asked me to do a video about how to decorate a tiny weensie apartment, so here it is!
If you have any photos of videos of your bite sized abode, please share! I'd love to feature it on Habitat For Hermanity.
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