Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Held hostage............

This post goes out to all of the frustrated buyers and sellers! This one is for you!

I currently have a potential client that is in a listing agreement with another company. Before any of the Realtor® police come after me - they contacted me! Let's make that very clear!
They have had their home listed with the other company for about 4 months and are very, very unhappy with the service that they have received. No communication, no advertising, no open houses, no feed-back, no return phone calls and the list goes on. The sellers contacted them last week and stated that they wanted to terminate their listing agreement. At first thought, the company said they would email the release papers. Four days later, the company emailed again and said that they would NOT release the seller unless the seller paid them $600.00. FOR WHAT? They didn't advertise the home, their level of service was way less than stellar and they never even returned a communication until the seller wanted to terminate the contract.

Now, I ask you.......why would you want to make an already unpleasant relationship volatile? Had they simply released the sellers it would have been said and done. Now, however, the seller is contacting the Real Estate Commission and lodging a complaint among other actions.

For you fellow Realtors® I pose this question........if the marriage isn't working between you and a client, whether it be a buyer or a seller, why continue? Why turn this into a circus? Wow, just gives us all a bad image. Remember, word of mouth travels fast. Negative word of mouth travels at the speed of light..................
Curious shucking...............

Active Rain (Isn't that a little redundant?)

I have a great community that I would like to share with you. Remember, knowledge is POWER!! Take a minute and visit Active Rain. It is a great site with a Q&A section for anyone to pose a question. Some great reading and research available on the site and I highly recommend it!

Just passing on a pearl............

Saturday, June 23, 2007

20/20 Equates To Perfect Vision?

I think not! On the heels of the much maligned piece by 60 Minutes, 20/20 has decided to create their own mis-informed, poorly collaborated and inaccurate description of the Real Estate industry. I was not so shocked by 60 Minutes due to some of their one-sided and atagonistic reporting in the past. However, I had high hope for 20/20 last night.

A few items to rebutt some of the comments coming from my perspective:
  1. Is a Broker Worth It? You're darn right I am! 20/20 illustrated how a commission is split. THEY chose to use a 6% commission. Not me and certainly not the industry standard. However, using their suggestion of 6% and how they broke it down I beg to go a few steps further. From the sale of a home there is a 6% commission paid out. (Again, THEIR figure!) 3% is paid to the seller's agent and 3% is paid to the buyer's agent. Let's say that I am the Seller's Agent. I take my 3% and then split it with my broker-in-charge which leaves me with 1.5%. Out of my 1.5% I have to pay monthly dues to belong to the local MLS board, dues to the Association of Realtors, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, taxes (no folks, that commision is not taxed) and, oh, do I have a 401K? No, I do not. On top of those items, I have to recoup the money that I spent on advertising the home I just sold. There are website fees, 800# fees, newspaper ads, signs created for the yard and open houses, printing costs for flyers and post cards, and the list goes on. It is unfair to start reporting a story and stop short!

  2. "No real estate agent can walk into the house and show it with the zeal that I can show it," she said. Taken directly from the story. Zeal? Hhmmm, okay, what about desperation, lack of sales skills and giving up leverage? Once that buyer walks in the door and you are selling on your own, do you know what to say? It's called leverage folks. Also, as we all know, our homes are well, our homes! What is that smell? Did you cook fish last night? Yep, still smells the next day. Oh, what is that fuzzy thing running around the house? Your beloved cat which the potential buyers are distracted by or even worse, allergic to. The potential buyer asks why you are moving - what do you say? Can't say too much! Remember, LEVERAGE!

All I know is that when my tooth hurts I go to a dentist. When I have a medical problem I go to a doctor. When my car needs repaired I go to a mechanic. So, where will you go when you want to buy or sell a home?

Shuck on..............

Top Seller's Markets?

Lists, lists and more lists! There are "Most Expensive Homes", "Best Cities", and more. Now? The Best Seller's Market and Raleigh makes the grade. Check it out....

This scenario is also playing out in Raleigh, N.C., the No. 1 city on our list. Moderate growth and disciplined building over the last five years prevented the market from developing a significant glut. Additionally, a strong local economy has helped contribute to the city's healthy 1.6% vacancy rate.

What's more, the rate of home sales against
home inventory was healthy in Raleigh; in this category, it ranked fifth best of big cities, according to Moody's metrics. Even though the market has low vacancy to begin with and displayed strong construction restraint during the housing boom, Raleigh still has the eighth best rate of tightening.

To view the article in it's full context please click here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Chiclets - no, not PYTs

Do you know what a chiclet is? Well, a generation or two back it was GUM. Cute little square pieces of gum that came in a nice tidy box that you could keep closed. Perfectly packaged for the obsessive compulsive young at heart! (Anyone notice how Orbit has gone back to that? Dirty Mouth? Clean it up with Orbit - boy, that girl buggs me!)
Anyhow, back to the the topic......Chiclets are the little tiny icons that you see all over websites and blogs. Even The Pink Oyster herself has them. Here is a link that will help you decipher what all of those vibrant, teeny, tiny little buttons mean and how you can use them.
The wonderful world of Chiclets as only The Real Estate Tomato could explain!

Hey, Buh-dy............Freddy Krueger Meets The Weasel!

Okay - taking a stab here (no pun intended) and hoping that the majority of you remember (do you really want to?) Pauly Shore and of course, the king of screamers, Wes Craven. Seems like things are getting a little creepy in "The Hills"

Craven vs. Shore and the damaged property

So, after watching the clip - has Pauly been bonin' up on his Real Estate?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Priciest Digs in The South

Hey Mom and Dad.... neighbors?

So, you may wonder where the most expensive homes in the Southeast are...honestly, was there really a question about that?

Check out these homes in Florida.....anything you are interested in? Let me know - I know people!

Luxury shucking at it's finest!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wow, The Pink Oyster has been busy packing it up and moving ......

Check out the new site! This blog will still be here and will "feed" into the Wikizine. I hope that you like the new digs and continue to support me. It has been great!

The Pink Oyster's Bed

Monday, June 4, 2007

And That's My Final Answer........

Seller: "Will you cut your commission?"

Me: "No."

Pretty straightforward? Yes. With all of the hoopla recently from the 60 Minutes piece I felt the need to address this to my colleagues, friends and potential seller and buyers. I, personally, have 7 key reasons why I will not cut my commission and here they are:

  1. "They" don't have a marketing system that works. Today's real estate market is more competitive and complex than ever before. Some agents are willing to cut their commission because they don't have a marketing plan in place that works. They are desperate to accept any terms and conditions to list a property. Sellers need strength and conviction! They need a professional that is ready, willing and able to defend their asking price at the negotiating table. Would you really trust the sale of your home to an agent that is so quick to devalue their own worth? If they are that willing to give up their dollars how willing are they to give up your dollars?

  2. "They" will cut service somewhere. When a buyer is willing to pay asking price there are many factors that have come into play. Marketing materials, advertising, direct mail and more are all valuable tools that experienced, full-service agents employ to realize the best term, price and timing when selling a home. Which will the other agent leave out to accommodate their commission cut?

  3. "They" won't give it their all. A 1 percent reduction in commission equals more than 15% of the total commission. Would you be really excited about a 15% pay cut? Is the agent really motivated to sell the property? If the agent has 5 listings and one is a discounted commission and the others are a full commission which one is LEAST likely to be marketed effectively?

  4. "They" might not get cooperation from other agent. A cut commission on one end means there is less to split on the other end. Making your listing attractive for agents to sell and show requires collateral. Leverage, if you will.

  5. "They" likely won't get top price. If the agent is willing to let the seller negotiate him or her out of 15 percent or more of the income of the sale of the property will they also let the buyer negotiate 15 percent or more from the purchase price? The seller might be losing tens of thousands of dollars just to save a couple thousand dollars in commissions.

  6. "They" simply don't know better. Some agents might be willing to take less because they lack the experience to fully understand the repercussions that they are agreeing to - not only to their own bottom line but also the seller's. As an experienced agent, I know that when I do not compromise on my integrity, service, systems or skills then I can, in good faith, give clients my honest promise to do my absolute best.

  7. "They" don't understand timing. Regardless of the sellers walk of life or any conceivable market condition - one thing remains constant and unyeilding. Seller's want to walk away with the most money in their pocket. Yes, a commission cut seems like the quickest way to accomplish that goal but, more often than not, it is a false perception. Lower commissions mean lower marketability, which means more time on the market. That equates into additional mortgage payments, utility bills, landscaping maintenance and much more.

Having the right person with the right tools to tell the truth up front, set the best price, and promote the sale aggressively and effectively will result in the primary goal of putting the most money in your pocket.

ASK QUESTIONS! Be smart! Truly understand the marketing plan set out before you - it isn't just to list your home in MLS anymore or to send out a few postcards. Watch for my next post.........A list of nearly 200 items that your REALTOR® should be doing for you.....

Happy shucking.............

Friday, June 1, 2007

What Makes Me...........Me?

Here is a great article explaining what makes a REALTOR® a REALTOR®..........

Code of Ethics Sets REALTORS® Apart
Release date: 01/01/07

When you think of professionals who follow specific codes of ethics, what comes to mind? Doctors, lawyers, engineers – all are professionals who pledge to follow a strict code of ethics. For important life issues like your health and legal matters, it makes sense to have relationships with professionals who follow such a code.

The N.C. Association of REALTORS® encourages you to consider a similar relationship when it comes to real estate transactions. REALTORS® -- more than 1,000,000 real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® -- pledge to adhere to NAR's strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Among other things, membership in NAR obligates them to be honest with all parties involved in a transaction, whether it is the buyer, seller or cooperating agent.

“The NAR Code of Ethics is the public’s assurance that they are dealing with a professional who has their best interests in mind,” explains Ronnie Thompson, past president of the N.C. Association of REALTORS®. “REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the NAR Code of Ethics.”

the rest of the article can be read here..................provided by the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®.
Remember, don't be bashful! Ask the professional real estate agent that you choose if they are a REALTOR®. I am proud to be a REALTOR® and represent this industry to the best of my ability with honesty, integrity and the knowledge needed to represent each and every client in the most professional manner.

Excuse me now while I move the soapbox!

:) Happy Shucking......................

A Walk Through Historic Wake Forest, NC