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The Highs and Lows of Being a Real Estate Agent

The last two days have been a whirlwind.  I have been juggling a few different clients and quite a lot has happened in such a small span of time.  To break it down, the last two days have been the greatest of moments and the worst of moments.

I have been working with a great couple.  They are wonderful to deal with and make my job really enjoyable.  They have trusted my opinions on what will help the house look its best and what price would be appropriate to list the home for.  We’ve had great communication with each other and the whole process has just been extremely pleasant.

I listed the home on Monday.  I had just finished the paperwork and put the information on the MLS to advertise it was for sale.  Within ten minutes of the home being placed online, a call came in from a realtor looking to schedule an appointment for later that day.  A few moments later, another call came in to view the property.  It felt good to hear that there was an immediate interest in the home.

Three hours after putting the listing online, an offer came in.  It was a cash offer and $5,000 over listing price.  It was the craziest experience I have had so far.  I called the owners and they were thrilled.  Needless to say, papers were signed, there is an inspection scheduled, and we should be closing in two weeks.  It was incredible.

During this same time frame, I had a client looking to rent a home.  They had submitted their information, and the owner agreed to lease to them.

To backtrack a moment, I have had an uneasy feeling about this client from the beginning.  They were 25 minutes late to their first appointment.  The second time I took them out, they were 15 minutes late to the first home.  We went to another home afterwards which was 5 minutes away, and it took them 20 minutes to get there.  Apparently they got lost.

When they found the home they wanted to lease, they dragged their feet getting all of the paperwork in.  I got 14 emails in an hour span dissecting the lease and making complaints such as that they had to pay a fee for a cashier’s check.  They were originally going to sign the lease within a day after they had someone look over the lease.  Then it was stalled with them stating they would sign at the end of the week (6 days later).

I explained that there wasn’t a contract in place yet and that the owner could go with another renter if they were slow to act.  I got an email back stating that the lease would be signed and handed in the next day.  Two hours later, I received an email stating they weren’t interested after all.

When you are in real estate, you will have the amazing moments and the annoying ones.  In the case of the lease, I felt horrible for the other realtor as though I had been the one jerking them around.  I felt even worse for the homeowner who had trusted the process and pulled the listing from the market.

This is what working as a real estate agent is really like.  Some moments will be really great, and some moments will make you want to pull your hair out.  You really do have to be a people person to enjoy this career.  You also have to have a thick skin.  This is the part I am still working on.  I’ll put my heart and soul into helping someone out, and if the deal goes bad, I take it personally.  I know it’s just business and that you never can tell what situations a person might be experiencing to react in the manner in which they do.

I truly believe that this is a great career for character building, patience and learning to roll with the punches.  I honestly am willing to endure a few bad moments, because the good moments tend to happen more often and it really is so worthwhile to invest in.

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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in business, career planning, personal

 

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The Best Part of This Job

I have been fairly busy recently trying to find some good housing for a few different clients to rent.  I have one client who is looking to get out of an apartment and into a first home ever for her and her family.  This client knows what city she would like to live in and how much she can afford to pay in rent.  Her only requirements is a yard for the kids to play in and some space inside the home so the family can have people over to visit.

Another one of my clients is going through a personal life experience requiring them to start over in a new home.  Although the situation is not ideal, they are excited to start over fresh in a new home that they can be excited to call home.

Both of these clients are renting a home.  The vast majority of people who have been contacting the real estate office recently are looking to rent.  Most homes are going for $1,000 to $1,200.  This seems to be the average amount that people can afford to pay per month.  Homes are being rented out in this price range as soon as they hit the market because of the demand.  Finding a good home as it hits the market is challenging, but rewarding when you find the home that thrills the clients you are working with.

The best part of my job is to hear what is going on in someone’s life and to help them find a place to live that they can love and call home.  I love that I can help a family settle into a home so that their kids can have a yard to play in.  It makes me feel good to see someone go through a tough time in their life, yet become excited over the possibilities laid out in front of them.  To be able to see these people make a move that will change their life in such a positive way makes my job the greatest most satisfying job I could ever ask for.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in career, housing, job, life, opinion, people, spiritual

 

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Change Your Perspective and You Will Change Your Life

I have been helping a close friend find a home.  My friend has had a hard life and numerous struggles she has had to overcome.  She has worked hard, been extremely brave and determined to create a good life for herself and for her children.  Because of the significant amount of adversity in her life, she has had a hard time recognizing good times.  She tends to get suspicious when things are going well and looks for ways that the bottom might fall out.  It’s been sad to watch her absorb herself with bad moments and ignore or fear the good times.  That being said, this way of thinking has become a problem for her while she is searching for a new home.

The home that this friend has been living in is incredibly small.  There are two bedrooms, a tiny front room and a  kitchen big enough to fit two people comfortably in it.  There is no kitchen table because there is no room in the home.  My friend has slept on a sofa for at least eight years so that her children each had their own bedroom.  Recently it was found out that the foundation of the home is falling apart.  There has always been water problems and the air in the home has gotten toxic from mold that is forming.  The home is worth next to nothing.  The value of the home is in the land alone.

My friend had an incredibly lucky break.  She was able to sell the home herself to a builder she knew of.  She got  a shockingly good amount of money for her home.  She owes very little on her mortgage and will have enough money from the sale to put down half the cost of a home if she’d like.  On top of this good fortune, the builder gave her an extra sixty days in the home rent free after he buys it so that she has time to get into another place to live.

Everything has fallen into place and I am thrilled for my friend.  There is just one problem, she is so afraid that there must be some catch that she feels as though she might have made a mistake.  She questions the amount she got for the home, how she will pay for a new place and can she really afford to be in a different home.

To make matters worse, her list of expectations for a new home are not even close to being realistic.  I keep hearing that she should be able to grab up a short-sale or foreclosed property for a few thousand dollars.  If not, she is sure she can get a deep discounted price on a residential home.

My friend has seen so many shows where people get deals on homes and then only have to slap a coat of paint on the property and it becomes move in ready.  The honest truth is that many of these homes are in horrible shape.  There is cement poured into the pipes or electrical wiring stripped out of many of these homes.  Disgruntled homeowners being foreclosed on sometimes trash their home before they leave.  There is the issue of squatters which is becoming more common.  You can buy a home, find out that squatters are living in it, and spend months in court trying to evict them out of your home while you pay the mortgage on your new property.

Short-sales and foreclosures alike can take months to get, and half the time, the deal falls through and you don’t end up getting the home.  My friend has sixty days to find a home.  If you find a home you want and the seller accepts your offer, it is common for the closing to still take 30 days to complete.

I have mentioned time lines and the risks of going after short-sales and foreclosures with my friend.  She then blew my mind when she gave me the laundry list of things she had to have in a new home and how much she was willing to pay.  She wanted a home in Rochester Hills.  The home needed to be a brick ranch, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a basement preferably finished, good-sized backyard, 1,600sq ft. minimum, garage and she would really like a pool.  I’m not joking, this was her list.  Oh yeah, and she didn’t want to pay more than $85,000 for it.

Realistically, it won’t happen.  I had to talk with her about looking at other cities and slimming down her list.  I decided to send her daily emails with the latest homes to hit the market.  The only criteria I used was the three bedrooms, $85,000 and at least 1,000sq ft.  I also broadened her choice of cities.  Under these circumstances, there were many homes to choose from.  She came back saying that she would accept a home in Beverly Hills, Birmingham, Rochester Hills or Bingham Farms.  She also insisted that the home could not be a bungalow (which is what most of the homes sent to her were) it had to be a brick ranch.  There needed to be at least a bath and a half and the price had to stay at $85,000.

Again I had to explain to her that finding a home like that wasn’t a strong possibility.  I asked her if she would be willing to rent a home for a while.  That way she could save more money for a home that was more her dream home than a home she was just settling for.  She decided to try a rental, but the criteria would stay.  She wanted a rental home for no more than $600.00 a month.  Rentals are going fast these days.  There are so many people who were unable to hold onto their homes, can’t afford a home or have bad credit that rentals priced well are off the market as soon as they are listed.

The average price for a rental with three bedrooms, one bath and 1,000sq ft. in an area like Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson or Troy is $1,200 a month.  The cities she is interested in are much more expensive.  I found one rental home in Troy that had 1,500 sq ft., three bedrooms, two baths, basement, garage, brick ranch and an inground pool to boot but it was going for $1,500 per month.

Unfortunately the days of rentals going for $600.00 are gone.  My friend has turned an opportunity at a new start in a safer, healthier home into a tragedy of perfection equalling a homeless situation in sixty days if she can’t bend her requirements for a home.

I know that a home is an enormous financial obligation and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  I know that when someone commits to buying a home, they want it to be their dream home.  Homes on the market are more reasonably priced than six years ago. From that perspective it is a deal to get buy a new home.  That doesn’t mean that you will necessarily get the dream home that people seem to get on these home buying shows.  If my friend could just change her perspective, she could change the course of her life.  She could find a home that compared to what she was used to living in would be a dream come true.

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in advice, career, economy, housing, lifestyle, thoughts

 

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