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Value of the Team

Well, here it is Friday morning and I’m not in the office! Since this is one of those rare days when I am still home ( mini-working) I have the time to realize what it took for me to take this day. I certainly could not have done it without the help of other agents in the office. Most people don’t realize that besides writing contracts and listing  properties, most agents are scheduled to be in the office during certain time frames. Our office having 7 full time agents ( we only have full time sales agents) schedules our time a month in advance. This is great except when the “phone call” comes. Now this” phone call” can be many different things. Client that is coming down last minute, closing that is re-scheduled,appointments cancelled or even something on a personal note such as doctors appointment. Or it can be something like the call I had last week, you know the call, Mom, could you? Well, let me say I am happy to get those calls since my children are adults and anytime I can be with them I do my best. But in today’s life my best is really “we.” Thus the “Value of the Team.”  It takes team work to be able to rearrange my schedule. Another agent is covering my office time and if a client needs to see a property there are 5 other agents there to help. I can do more than one thing at a time but can only be in one place at a time.  In our HomeStead office we work together.  The Broker could not  give me this benefit. It comes with working with a group of good people. Well, I’m off to Belmar today to be with my daughter, the Principal. Thanks. Team!

Seems Home Design is following the Market

Seems to me that as the Real Estate Market is reaching the end of the downturn and  the design of today’s homes are doing the same. No longer looking for the mini-mansions, today’s buyers are looking for economical, low maintenance properties. Although the homes may be smaller in square footage the amenities remain a top priority. The days of a one  bath house are gone.  3 bedrooms and 2 baths are the minimum must for many. This transcends generations with the Baby Boomers  looking for a one story home or  a master bedroom and bath on the first floor. Generation X is looking for at least that with minimum upkeep to enable them to continue with  their busy lifestyle. This generation does not want to be house poor. Although the size of the property may be smaller, people still want the amenities – but they too have changed.  I was reading an article showing the Consumers’ 10 most sought after features. A few  features included a master bath with tub and shower, energy-efficient appliances and laundry room.  9 foot ceilings are still on the list and not surprisingly since everyone seems to be so much taller than me. I know my two 6 foot grandsons appreciate the space.  Not on the list was granite countertops, 15 ft. ceilings, 3 car garage etc. I’m not surprized, eventually we had to get back to the real world. Family room,great room, bonus room call it what you want everyone still goes to the kitchen. Ever notice when you go to a party you are escorted to the media room from the kitchen?  And don’t forget the popcorn!  Even the mansions are making the kitchens bigger with direct contact to the family space-open space. I think this trend is going to help the stability of the real estate market.   Now we need to get the builders on board.

Customer Service-Does anyone really know what it is?

You hear people talk about “Customer Service” all the time, but what is it really? If you are of the famous Baby Boomer generation you remember. It was the time when people would know your name, return a phone call and be available to help you. Now I don’t mean at all times of the day and night but within a timely manner. You don’t even need to know the answer to the question immediately but at least give the customer the time to discuss what’s on his/her mind. In the “real-time” world we are in today I find it amazing that you cannot even get a response. It is easy to advertise customer service and committment but do you really know what it is?  I believe Good Customer Service will sustain a Good Realtor in any type of economy.

What is Echo Sign?

Well it’s 5:30 on a Friday night and the Contract is ready to be signed. The Buyer and Seller are on the move. The agents are completing their daily tasks and are anxioulsy waiting for paperwork. Fortunately for all  Echo Sign  is available in our office. With Echo Sign I was able to email the Contract for signatures and through the technology of computers, I-pods and blackberrys all parties were able to sign and within minutes eveyone including the agents had a signed contract in their mailbox.  Settlement is next week.

Short Sale After 11 months?

Well we finally received a word from the lender. After 11 months of waiting they have declined the short sale for the property. What does this mean? At this point the property will go to Sheriff Sale. The Buyer can bid on the property at the Sheriff Sale but will be responsible for outstanding liens over and above the lenders “upset figure.” If the lender takes the property back it will then be listed for sale. This process can also take months.  Anyone looking at a short sale needs to be prepared, not only to wait for responses but also to realize that they may not get the approval/house.  In the meantime mortgage commitments and appraisals are a cost to the Buyer. It is important to know the property and its’ encumbrences. Time, patience and committment are requirements for a short sale with all parites including a realtor. Ask questions, do your homework and be prepared.