Real Estate Life

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas everyone. Today is December 25Th 2008. I'm sitting on the couch waiting for my father to bring his dog over. He's heading out of town for a few days and is leaving his dog with us to care for. It's 9:42 a.m. and he was supposed to be her sometime between 9:00-9:30.

The kids are with their other parents and the fiance is in bed still. I'm on the couch watching "Toys We Grew Up With". Right now their talking about G.I. Joe's. I never had an authentic 12" G.I Joe. I think I had a few of the smaller figurines. Being that I don't remember for sure weather I had them or not should be a good indication that I wasn't into those types of toys.

I remember I would ride my bike to one of my cousins homes and often he would want to play army or soldiers with those little plastic generic looking toys that came in one big bag. The figurines came in a few positions. One was a man laying down, one on his knee, another standing. and maybe a few more positions I'm not remembering. Also if i remember correctly they all had a rifle in their hands.

Well it's time to start making breakfast.

Merry Christmas


Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We're just days away from Christmas and as usual I haven't finished my shopping yet. Partly because I'm not supposed to be exchanging gifts with with anyone but my kids and I know my fiance has gone and bought me gifts.

Yesterday while shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond I came across an item I thought would be a good gift I then remembered "this store sends out 20% off discounts".

Instead of picking up the item and buying it I left it and told myself I would look around some more and plan on coming back for it tomorrow with a coupon. Then while looking around I saw another item I think would be as good or better than the first.

Now I have the dilemma of weather to buy the first item, the second Item, or both. And I know when I go back I'll either reconsider both gifts or find something else all together.

Any suggestions?


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting ready for the season.

Usually this time of year many real estate agents are doing the same thing you are, getting ready for the holidays.

However in my experience not only are they "getting ready" for the holidays their also preparing them selfs for the slowest point of the year. Naturally the vast majority of buyers are not out looking to purchase a home while the holiday season is in full swing. Because of this many real estate agents either prepare and take an actual vacation since there is significantly less work (responsibility) or just plan on taking it easy from their normal business routine.

It would be really nice to be able to take a vacation right now. The problem with this would be my fiance has a job that prohibits her from being able to take time off this time of year. I could either take a vacation on my own which wouldn't workout very well with her or not take one at all. Guess I'm not leaving town anytime soon.

Back to getting ready. I'm not finished shopping and there are only 3 more days left to shop. My fiance and I have agreed not to exchange gifts this year. This will be the third year in a row we decided not to exchange however I know she has bought me gifts AGAIN this year!

I had a great gift in mind but she went out and bought it for herself a few days ago. Now I'm probably stuck to buying her those stupid "holiday gifts" that you only see at Christmas time at like JC Penny's, Koehls, or somewhere else like Target.

If anyone has any ideas feel free to send them since I have no idea what to get her. Keep in mind I'm on a limited budget. 1-2-3 hundred TOPS.

Thanks Tom

Friday, December 12, 2008

A sign of the times? I hope not.

-lately I've believed the market had reached it's lowest possible point. I'm not sure this is true.

Heres why I'm sceptical that we still haven't seen the bottom yet.

First of all since there are so many listings there is no way for the market to rebound until the invetory of homes starts to balance out with the number of buyers. Since lending institutions are reverting back to more of the original lending requirements. For example: Buyers now have to provide their own down payment rather than adding it to the purchase price of the home and financing it. Second credit score requirements have gone up. There are several other changes to the lending practices not mentioned.

Another example why I believe we haven't reached the bottom is that I've represented several buyers lately where the accepted purchase price for the homes they are in the process of buying is significanty lower than market value. One of these deals the accepted purchase price is over 30% less than the current market value. This could be as high as 50% if your to consider what the home could be worth in a reasonable market.

Hopefully this is the abyss and we'll start seeing the light very soon.


Monday, December 08, 2008

Busy at work!

Today is Monday the 8Th of December 2008. It's hard to realize that this year is almost over. Just 23 days left in the year that's just .06% of the year. In case you were wondering.

Business has been progressively busy over the last few months and looks like it could continue through the beginning of the new year. This is fantastic since mid November through December is considered the slowest time of the year. Mostly due to the holidays and the fact that people are focusing their time and energy there instead of house hunting.

I have to thank Craig and his father for their continued business. These two have put their trust in me and given me enough business alone to make it through the slow winter season. I have represented them with several purchases most of which were purchased for less than the were willing to spend overall.

Many agents believe selling homes that are listed for less than $20,000 are a wast of time and require more work than the commission is worth. I beg to differ.

Here's how I view it. Were going to use simple numbers for this example. These are not 100% accurate and may vary greatly transaction to transaction.

here it is.... Lets say a buyer is willing to spend $200,000 for a home. We'll say the commission is 3% of the purchase price. This would net a commission of $6,000.

Now lets change this scenario a bit. Lets say the buyer is willing to spend $200,000 toward many homes. He/She is willing to divide the $200,000 up and spend a max dollar amount of $20,000 per home. At first one might think the commission is going to be the same at 3%. This is not true. Many times when a home is listed for less than $40,000 the commission is changed from a percentage to a flat rate. This flat rate is usually $1,000.

So, if the commission for this $20,000 sale is $1,000 and I sell 10 homes for $20,000 totaling $200,000 the total commission would be $1,000 X 10 = $10,000. This is a $4,000 commission increase from the individual sale of $200,000.

You do the math:P

Many would say not a bad income and I would agree however there are many fees not removed from this commission up front.

Here is a list of fees you might not be aware of.

MLS Fees $300+ per year
Local/State/National board fees $800
The cost of supplies (paper, Ink, postage...) $1500+per year
Brokerage fees Up to 50% of commission
Signs $800+per year
Cost to operate vehicle (Gas, Oil, Tires...) $400+per month *BTW I have a Honda Fit
Time researching, driving, waiting for clients $You decide this value
Taxes 32% of Commission (Basically a third)

I'm sure there are other fees I've forgotten but I'm sure you get the idea.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Making time!

Today started out as a normal day. I started the day with four BPO's to complete that I had started the day before. Two new BPO's which needed the pictures taken. One in South Toledo and the other in Northwood. I complete the orders and head out to take photos of the two new BPO's

After taking the BPO pic's I stopped by the hospital to see my niece. She went into the hospital last week when she wasn't able to stop vomiting. There they took x-rays and discovered a baseball size growth in her chest :( She went home for Turkey day and has been back in the hospital since Monday to have more testing done.

After finding the WING of the hospital she is staying in a nurse informed me her and her mom where asleep since they had a pretty rough night. I went into the room, sat down for a few miutes before deciding it be best if I left to let them sleep and to return later. Mom woke up and we chatted for just a minute. I suggested she go back to sleep and that I would return later in the evening.

While trying to find my way back to the car I was thinking about the few minutes I was sitting in the room while mom and niece where sleeping and how it didn't matter to me if I had sat there for an hour with cartoons on and nothing happening at all just as long as my Niece was still here with us. She's a beautiful little girl that puts a smile on everyones face.

I've now found my car and headed to the office to complete more of my daily duties. I printed out all of the information needed to complete the BPO's. While at the office a client called and asked if we could view a property this evening.

Another clients has a closing scheduled for this Monday and there was some outstanding documents that still needed to be filled out and return to the appropriate persons.

Now I'm at home to feed the pups and to complete the two BPO's I earlier printed the information for. I finish the BPO's feed the dogs, grabbed a snack, and am now in the car heading to the showing.

Two thirds of the way to the showing the client calls to inform me he's running behind and wont be there for another 30 minutes or so. I tell hem take your time and I'll just see him when he gets there. Forty five minutes go by and he's still on his way.

He's now in the driveway. We walk through the home with flashlights since the home has no power. The furnace is off and it's pretty cold. After looking around he's convinced the price is right and he's going to write an offer. We make our way to his car where it should be warmer than the unheated home to write up the offer.

I'm now at home waiting for my fiance to get home from school so we can eat and head up to the hospital. Hope mom and niece got some sleep.

I'm not religious but I do ask. Please Pray For Her and her family.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Back in business

So I haven't been here to post in almost two years. The main reason is that life is busy and the other is I forgot my password and was to lazy to take the time to recover it. Sorry.

First let me say business is still doing well and even with the declining real estate market and depressing stock market I've still been able to maintain a successful business.

Not to toot my own horn but it's obvious if you have the hunger and drive there is plenty of business out there still to be had. I'm not saying I've made a tone of money however I have developed great relationships and maintained a low level of of comfort for my family and I. Not to mention I've had the support of my fiance.

Hope to blog again soon.