Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Housing Market, Clients & an Update

For quite a while I’ve been professing that to properly market someone’s home, we need to show Price & Value. With so much available inventory, you need to be able to stand out in the crowd, otherwise you can be easily overlooked. I still see listings that are wholly overpriced. These people are obviously being unrealistic in regard to the current market conditions - the summer of 2005 is long past!

An article released yesterday by NAR (the National Association of Realtorsâ) reiterates such:

“NAR President Thomas M. Stevens from Vienna, Va., said sellers need to price to current market conditions if they want to sell within a reasonable amount of time. ‘In some areas home sellers are not making sufficient adjustments in their listing price, so their homes are staying on the market and contributing to the build up in inventory.’”

(you can read this article in it’s entirety at http://www.realtor.org/PublicAffairsWeb.nsf/Pages/ehs_aug06_existing_home_sales_holding?OpenDocument)

We have just experienced five years of outstanding growth and the housing market now is going through a period of adjustment and heading towards a more balanced market. Rising mortgage rates, speculative investors pulling back and many first-time buyers being priced out of some markets during those years have contributed to the normalizing of the housing sector. They also note that 2006 is expected to be the third strongest sales year on record.

On another note, I listen to my clients. In this instance, a client asked me if it would be beneficial to place an info tube on the sign riders in front of her home. I had stopped doing this for many reasons and my first inclination is that it would not help procure a sale. Yet, after careful consideration, I do wish to add this because it might help with more interest since this home is the lowest priced home in the subdivision & that is explicitly advertised on the flyer.

I try to look at all issues from all angles. Sometimes you have to remove yourself & try to view the issue from the ‘outside looking in’ as a third-party to the situation so to speak.

Additionally, some people have asked me what happened to the home in the previous blog entry. Well, the deal has fallen apart. My client could have possibly lost over $23K from the builder that they were planning on purchasing from. We did nothing wrong in this situation; whereas the buyer did not disclose that they had a home to sell prior to purchasing this home. Nevertheless, we are hoping that the buyer will honor the contract & release the escrow to the seller. In the meantime, I am personally purchasing their home. I do not see any reason that they should be injured more than they presently are. This is a terrible situation, but thank goodness I am very lucky in that I have the ability to do this. Most realtors probably could not do this & it would be a very sticky situation in which there might be lawsuits, etc. involved.

Don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions & comments. Until next time - Marc It Sold!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

It's all about - ME!?!

I have a friend that always says that, supposedly somewhat jokingly, but we all know the truth. I have never been like that. Generally, have pretty much always tried to consider the other person & their feelings. Won’t deny, but sometimes to a fault.

Haven’t written much lately. I guess some might call this writer’s block. Also haven’t written much about myself, but I think that my persona has come through in my writing. I tend to be straight-forward & just thought that some of you would like more of an insight into me.

I am a very lucky man in that I love what I do. Being a Realtor® is a blast!! Yes, there are some difficult times in which I’ve wondered ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ But this usually only comes about in dealing with unprofessional people. All in all it is such a blast, such a rush, when you are able to help people achieve a goal – whether selling or buying. My Vision & Mission statements say it all. You can view those on my website at www.orlandohomes-4u.com/2006/vision.php.

Many of you who know me, know that I consider myself a very lucky man. I am not a very religious person. I am observant, usually in my own way & not through any structured organization per se. The reason I say this is because I find myself continually thanking G-d. Yes, there are people to be thanked also, especially my parents, because no matter what, they must have instilled some things in me. We are what we are taught.

My ramblings here may seem somewhat convoluted, but hopefully you will see where they all come together. My outlook on life & work is not that I wish to become rich, monetarily. I already consider myself very rich – emotionally & spiritually. My goal is to live comfortably & thank goodness I have achieved that. I have a nice home – modest by many people’s standards; I drive a couple of nice cars; have a great dog, Nicci; I’m healthy & I live well.

Yes, I do make a good living in real estate – I am good at what I do. In fact, very good, even to the point of being proficient. But, I will not profit on some else’s poor fortune. I can not intentionally hurt someone. I believe in being fair. Actually, I believe that in any transaction in which I am involved, that all of the parties need to come out that feeling like winners. A buyer feels that they have gotten a good deal; a seller feels that they have received a great price for their property.

In all my year’s in real estate, I have never had a deal fall apart. Unfortunately, I am experiencing that for the first time. The reason that this has never happened before is because I am a stickler for details. In the years that I’ve been in this business, I consistently hear realtors® talk about a deal that has fallen apart at the last minute. It’s always behooved me to understand how this can happen. But the reason being is that they were not on top of things. They either weren’t in contact with the mortgage broker, title company, etc. I always call them. I hate surprises. Or let me qualify that, I hate surprises like that when it comes to business. There is no reason for it. In the instance that I am presently dealing with, the buyer did not have a contingency clause that the sale was predicated on the sale of their home. Of course, being the sleuth that I am, I found this information out several weeks ago. At that time, I quizzed their mortgage broker at that time if this was the case & he assured me that it was not. Well ‘lo & behold, their deal is falling apart. But, thank goodness to the many professionals in this business, we may be able to salvage this deal for everyone, because otherwise so many people will be adversely affected. I have a major problem with that. I especially have a major problem with my seller being injured. I will go to great lengths to not allow that to occur.

As you can see, I get personally involved with my clients. I can’t just say to my client ‘Sorry, you’ll have to change your plans, life threw you a curve – too bad, deal with it.’ It is not just a deal to me. This is not just like buying a piece of clothing. This is a major investment, probably one of the biggest that most of us deal with & needs to be handled as such. I take it personally & it upsets me when something of this nature comes up. I have to try to look at every different avenue to get us to the final outcome that we were looking for in the first place.

OK, enough about real estate. As I’ve written I consider myself a very luck man. I am 52 years old & it seems each decade of my life has been better than the previous one. It amazes me how much I’ve learned and grown. It really amazes me on the things that I’ve realized about life & myself since turning 50. Believe me, I’ve done some very stupid things in my life. I’ve created strife for myself. I’ve also learned from my mistakes. I believe that life is a learning experience & you have to treat it as such. If you don’t learn from it, you will lose the lesson. There are too many people out there that just keep on going, but are not willing to learn or change. We know enough people in our lives that keep on making the same mistake, for lack of a better word, over & over again & are constantly complaining about it. We all have patterns – some good & some not so good. It is a matter or realizing this & changing those destructive patterns. Yes, it may be more easily said than done, but surely not impossible.

I am somewhat simplistic, in that everything can be broken down to it’s bare basic roots. We are the most intelligent being on this planet – that works both ways, for & against us. We tend to over think things. But to get to the root of the matter, I think try to simplify things. By taking away all of the extraneous matter, you can then delve into what the root of the problem at hand may be.

I am extremely blessed man in that I have a great support group of friends & family. Their care, concern & love for me, as well as me for them, is extraordinary. But I, as well in my business, tend to treat people the way I wish to be treated. I guess that this comes through. I am not one to be able to hide my feelings – I wear them on my sleeve.

We see so much negativity around us. I’ve learned that this can easily bring you down. There is no way to keep negativity totally out of your life, but it is how you tend to handle it & deal with it that makes a difference. I can easily allow negativity to bring me down & then allow such to progress into a depression. Been there – done that. That is not what I want out of life. It is very self-defeating. I must say at this point that I do not take any anti-depressants. Again, been there, done that in the past. The only medication that I take daily is a vitamin. I try to keep a positive attitude. Sometimes that is somewhat difficult, but it is a matter of how you look at things. What I learned is that your mental attitude and outlook on life is a matter of a healthy body, mind & soul. If you let one go, let’s say not taking care of your body, then the others will follow suit. They interact with each other. It all comes down to a matter of how you feel about yourself & what you want out of life. Life is so freakin’ Grand. Go for it! Take care of yourself, because you can not take care of someone else without taking care of yourself first. So, I guess it is all about ME!! Not really, but I think you get the point.

Thank you for indulging me here. Until next time – Marc It Sold!

Saturday, September 2, 2006

The Bottom Line

This is quite different from my previous blog entries. I don't know who the author is, but was relayed to me in an office meeting by my broker. Hope you enjoy!
The Bottom Line

Face it. Nobody owes you a living.
What you achieve or fail to achieve in your lifetime is directly related to what you do or fail to do.
No one chooses his parents or childhood, but you can choose your own direction.
Everyone has problems and obstacles to overcome, but that too is relative to each individual.
Nothing is carved in stone, you can change anything in your life, if you want to badly enough.
Excuses are for losers:
Those who take responsibility for their actions are the real winners in life.
Winners meet life's challenges head on, knowing there are no guarantees, and never think it's too late or too early to begin.
Time plays no favorites and will pass whether you act or not.
Take control of your life.
Dare to dream and take risks ... compete.
If you aren't willing to work for your goals don't expect others to.
Believe in yourself.