The title of this blog is something I've caught myself saying cheesily on several occasions while showing properties. Most of the time just to be funny and lighten the mood a bit. But there is a half-truth to that fun phrase and it really has to do with Realtor and client safety.
At the end of the day (or maybe the beginning) you really never know 100% what to expect when you are entering a stranger's home. That's why when people buy nowadays they want their own Realtor, someone they trust, to take them to see homes. How likely is it for buyers to just walk up to a house with a sign and knock on the door?
The Answer: Not very likely.
As Realtors, we should take our jobs and safety very seriously. And sometimes the nature of that job does put us in, if not all together dangerous, certainly uncomfortable situations. Always make sure someone knows when and where you are going, even if that is as simple as sending a text to a friend; it could save your life.
Be prepared for anything. Animals (that could mean rattle snakes here in Texas!) can be dangerous, even sweet-seeming family pets. If they don't know you they may become dangerous thinking that they are protecting their family. As Listing agents we are supposed to let showing agents know when there are pets on the premises and where they will be... but that doesn't always happen, so be alert if you here barking or other animal noises.
The most important thing to remember is that it isn't worth your life. If you feel uncomfortable or your safety is in question, just leave. You can always schedule another appointment at a different time.
Be Smart. Be Safe. And hopefully what's behind door #1 will be the home of your clients dreams!
Overall, I think the Holiday Season stresses everyone out. It's a stressful time, full of present-buying, decorating, cooking, cleaning, family-visitations and more. Even though the meaning behind Christmas is a beautiful one, and we should be cherishing the time together with friends and family, people can get so stressed out that it seems hard to enjoy the season.
One thing I tell myself is - Eat a cookie. Chill. Relax. Take a deep breath.
These days may be long but the years are short and there are so many wonderful moments that are made during the Holidays, I would not give them up for all the stress in the world to go away.
It can be a stressful time for buyers and sellers too. Eat a cookie.
The market tends to take a little dip, and there's always so much going on, but I promise, it will be okay and the end results - a wonderful Holiday Season and maybe a new home too - will be so worth it.
So just relax, and if that doesn't work? Eat a cookie. I know you've seen those ones shaped like Christmas trees? Eat them. And give thanks for another year to grow and prosper! :)
Here in our market, foundation issues, are less of an 'if' scenario, and more of a 'when' - we have "shifty" ground or so I've been told by several experts. And while you can have a solid foundation that is performing structurally and is sound, you can still have cracking and stress fractures. In fact, that is very common here.
I recommend, especially for folks not from this area and wanting to buy here, to do several things if you have a concern.
First, your home inspector has likely seen quite a few homes in the area and should be able to give you their subjective opinion.
Second, if they refer you to a specialist, there are indeed several foundation companies here that will do inspections free of charge.
Third, I take what they say with a grain of salt, they make money only if you do have foundation work done.
So, any report they give me I will refer back to the original home inspector and get their take on the matter.
It can be stressful. And ultimately, even if your foundation is performing fine now, that doesn't mean it can't change in the future, so if you start later on having concerns, definitely go through the steps above.
Oh, the joys of home-ownership! :)
I often have sellers ask me the benefits of holding open houses. And while there are some, I am very candid with them in my response. Very rarely will someone offer on a home after coming to an Open House (I've only had that happen one time in all my years of doing them.) Primarily, you have the neighbors (some nosy, some nice) your 'weekenders' as I like to call them (those folks that go to every open house, every weekend) and then the few who are looking but not really sure what they want.
Does that mean sellers shouldn't hold open houses?
No, not at all. They can be great for getting feed back on condition and price, and other things potential buyers are noticing. But there may be some people who simply don't want a ton of strangers, all at one time, walking around their house. And that's okay too. Talk with your Realtor, get their opinion, and then decide for yourself if it's the right thing for your listing.
Autumn is my favorite time of year. Depending on where you live the weather can be perfect, the scenery beautiful and the pumpkin spice flavoring - abundant!
If you're listing your house during this time of year, it's important to remember things like smell and feel that make an impression on buyers.
Maple scentsy flavors and fall decorations are small things overall, but they can truly make an impact on the feeling that people have when they are viewing your house. It can give your property an advantage - people often buy because of feelings - humans are not rational creatures, so use that to your advantage as a seller and sell them the idea of Autumn in this house. Create an image so they can dream what it would be like to want this home!
I'm so ready for Fall, y'all!
Below: Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes!
Vikki Head - Licensed Realtor® in the great state of Texas. Self-proclaimed writer/blogger. Former Teacher. Mother and coolest wife ever.