When you sell your home, you'll likely get an earful of advice about finding the right agent. You're less likely to hear what you should do before your first meeting with that agent. If you don't prepare, you could suffer financial consequences, according to Herman Chan, a real estate broker in San Francisco.
"Anything you can do to make (the agent's) job easier is going to benefit you during the process and when sale time comes," Chan says. "What's important to remember is that you're mostly likely going to be working very closely with this person on a very big transaction, so it's a good idea to be prepared and ready to provide them with as much information as possible right off the bat."
Here are seven things the seller needs to do before contacting and hiring a real estate agent.
Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/to-do-before-hiring-agent-1.aspx#ixzz2pzXQOjEP
Spring season is around the corner! If you are an owner, you what that means: you are thinking of putting your home on the market. But before you do , check out my tips on Bankrate.com! Avoid those costly boo-boo's before taking to a Realtor.
Upbeat sexy Australian (that's redundant!) realtor Kieren Gray frolics around his property he is selling. Bright, attractive & well-built...and the house ain't 1/2 bad either! LOL. The choice of speedo is questionable but he's young & cute so he is exonerated. I tried this strategy once, and a letch at the open house asked me "Is the house for sale? Or you?" I retorted, "Both! But you can't afford me!"
Business 2 Community sat down with me for their "Expert Interviews" series. They asked me 6 questions about social media & real estate, including what is the biggest challenge facing your industry, w hat do you think is the future of social media & more! Real estate has been slow to catch up on this but it is about time everyone embraced it. No one want to be the dinosaur agent faxing offers...am I right?!
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!
LA Times reports: "The Los Angeles Police Department is warning real estate agents not to use images of properties taken from unmanned aircraft" Is there anything a realtor won't do to showcase a listing!? LOL. Look, aerial shots are great, but the Federal Aviation rules are there for a reason. No aerial shot is worth endangering the friendly skies!
Here are some (hopefully legally obtained) aerial shots of our fav celebs like Mariah, Streisand, & Britney
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?!
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!
I blogged last September about my friend Adam's company ClearHouse which offers un-biased pre-inspections. I'm a huge advocate of knowing the condition of a property upfront. It can save a deal from painful surprises & tense negotiations mid-transaction!
In 5 months, ClearHouse was not only written up on AGbeat.com ("ClearHouse adds transparency to home inspections, improves process"), but made their top 60 Genius Brands to Watch in 2012. And now they have just given a clean crisp make-over to their website with new videos and FAQ! Check it out. Kudos!
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!
Gawker spotlights homeowners around the globe who've gone straight up bonkers with their Xmas lights. Couple thoughts swirling in my noggin:
What a great interview with the Epoch Times!
Since their readership is primarily Chinese, they asked me about social media as it relates to real estate to the Asian market. I said that culturally Asian clients tend to be private low-key and it goes against their tendency to overly share...but sharing is the whole premise of social media. It is important for Asian agents and clients to remain open to receiving and dispersing information this way to stay on top of the ever changing market
We also discussed the importance weighing all factors in buying and selling a property. A good neighborhood does not guarantee a sale. Nor does a perfect condition home. With buyers being so picky (and especially with all cash buyers and/investors from Asia), it's got to be a great area, turn key condition, and attractive price for them to pull the trigger. Otherwise, they'll pass & wait for another good buy to hit.
Oh, can I just say this is my new favorite portrait! The lines, color, lighting and my hair are epic! 謝謝 to photographer Will Taylor for making me prettier than I really am. (It's no surprise he shot with world famous photographer David LaChapelle this summer!)
If any of you deal with Asian clients, what has your experience been like? Let's compare notes!
I caught this Agent Genius post entitled "Shocking British Mockumentary – comedy, art, or just plain offensive?" I think it is all the above. Love it! It's like the real estate version of "The Office."
This UK Brokerage produces videos starring their own agents. It's probably not for everyone (slightly NSFW at end) and the British humor is sure to be lost on some, but it is certainly memorable. I'm unclear whether this is going to procure more biz for them, but hey, it certainly makes a great reality show pitch!
I saw an ad for Pumpkin Spice Latte, so you know it's official. Autumn is here!
As we dive into Q4, one of the most commonly asked questions I get is "Should I list my house in the winter, or wait til spring?" Some agents think it is suicide to list in the winter because many buyers have checked out. Vacation, holidays, and money gets diverted to gift shopping instead of house shopping. For the most part, the market does slow down a bit this time of year, but sometimes that can work to a seller's advantage. In fact, some of my most productive quarters have been Q4. Watch why in this vintage clip!
I think I need a slice of pumpkin pie to go along with my pumpkin spice latte. Yum!
This may ruffle some feathers in realtor circles, but hey, that's never stopped me before! How many times have you heard an agent proclaim to much fanfare that they are an Area Specialist? When I hear that, I can't help but roll my eyes. Read why in my latest column for Agent Genius
Local expertise is good, right?
There is something to be said about local knowledge, but honestly folks, isn’t the term “Area Specialist” just a marketing angle for some agents? These self-anointed neighborhood experts brand themselves out the wazoo to their farm. To drum up business, they talk up how they know this zip code like the back of their hand, how they know every nook & cranny within a five block radius, how they are the go-to agent for all the locals, blah blah blah. They live, breath & reproduce in that neighborhood! OK, I get it. For some agents, that is their hook, which is fine and dandy. Everyone’s got their schtick.
But, how many times have you seen a self-dubbed “Area Specialist” get riled up for you taking a listing in “their” farm? They get possessive about anyone stepping onto “their” turf. (Excuse me, I don’t see your name on street sign!) And yet despite their PR about the importance of working with an Area Specialist, they’ll snap up a listing across town without batting an eyelash. It just comes off to me as a sales gimmick, a mere marketing ploy. Because if they practiced what they preached, then they wouldn’t take that listing outside their area. You can’t have it both ways, folks!
The inherent problem
Ergo, that’s the inherent problem with labeling yourself an “Area Specialist.” You convince a buyer to work with you because you know the area the best. But what if their search ends up in a neighborhood clear across town? Your cred is shot. Based on your logic, they should no longer work with you. Are you really going to give up the last six months of work you put in? Doubt it. On the listing side, I don’t know a single Area Specialist who’d turn down a million dollar property because it is outside their geographic bubble (all of a sudden they aren’t an “Area Specialist,” they’re a “Luxury Specialist”).
My point is that agents who flagrantly label themselves as Area Specialists run the danger of painting themselves into a corner. They end up looking like hypocrites the second they do business outside their area. Am I wrong?
If you can stomach anymore, my other articles for Agent Genius can be found here. Enjoy!
I was showing this $936,400 foreclosure to my clients. Coveted location, built in 1937, hardwood floors, 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, all seemed honky dory...until we peered into the backyard and gasped in unison!
Is it me, or does this remind you of a lynching apparatus?! Yikes! I'm sure it's nothing that sinister but it's odd how the same thought flashed through our minds! If it were my listing, I would have had it removed before hitting the market. Who wants buyers imagining what (or who) dangled on that thing!?
My latest video response for a viewer from MTV Networks LOGO's 365Gay site:
QUESTION: Should I sell my apartment to a friend?
ANSWER: Only if you can afford to lose your friendship!
Have you ever sold/bought a house from a friend? If so, how did you get through the awkward moments, like negotiations, repairs, pricing etc? Like, your friend sends you a $5,000 termite repair bill, which you swallow for the sake of your friendship. (I mean, she DID let you copy of her homework in 7th grade, so according to her, you owe her for life!).
Can business & pleasure really mix? Spill your guts. Don't hold back :-)
It never ceases to amaze me how myopic some people are about their remodel choices. Making a home too customized to your own needs & tastes can often backfire. What adds value in your mind may in fact detract value!...as this LogoOnline (aka 365Gay) viewer finds out from me here.
What is the worst thing you've seen a garage converted into? I'd love to hear!
LogoTV showing Hermanity some love again! Thx!
Ever come across a helicopter seller? Hovers over you in each room, chirps in your ear non-stop , praises their house to high heaven? Give it a rest!
Q: Whenever a buyer makes a private appointment to see my house, I make sure I am there to answer all their questions. After all, I know my house better than anyone! Well, a buyer asked for a second visit, but he just wants himself and his agent there and not me. What is up with that?! -Jonah
A: Sometimes a seller and buyer will meet briefly during a showing – but personally, I prefer they don’t!
Read the rest of my sassy sage advice here
My video rant for my fabulous friends at AG Beat (formerly known as Agent Genius Magazine) is up & live! I've written oodles of editorial (op/ed) commentary pieces for them in the past, so I'm thrilled at my new foray into video for AG Beat.
My AG Beat video debut is a rant about a delusional seller stuck in 2007 who thinks her house is all that and a side a bacon. Sometimes, as a realtor, it is best to just walk away. What do you think? What is the most ludicrous thing a seller has told you? Spill your guts!
I've definitely come across some distressed sellers who weren't too far from this cartoon!
Got any other funny real estate cartoons? Please share. It's a tough business. We need a little humor.
I just wrote an offer for my buyers on a townhouse that was For Sale By Owner (FSBO). The deal didn't come together because the sellers significantly overpriced the house (duh, no surprise there!) They came up with a price based on the amount of money they owed on the house and how much profit they needed, when they should have based it on the current market and recent comparable closed sales. They might learn eventually...but only after wasting everyone's months of time, money & effort.
I dread FSBO's because
Alvin in San Francisco has a staging dilemma. Mom wants to decorate it for families....but it is a modern sleek loft!? My response may be caustic, but I say it with love. Really I do!
And if you don’t mind me saying Alvin, it’s time to stop being a mama’s boy! This is your property. You bought it. You own it. You’re selling it. You are a grown ass man who can stick up for himself.
Say, “Mom, I love you but your staging advice, albeit well intentioned, is without taste.” Go ahead, stab her in the heart!
Read the rest here.
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