Realtors: Are you Being Robbed?

Realtors: Are you Being Robbed?

  If you are a Realtor, there’s a good chance you are being robbed. If you know a Realtor, there’s a good chance they’re being robbed. Realtors work hard. (Disclaimer: I understand this will not apply to all!) Realtors can work an unreasonable number of hours. Realtors can put many hours of work in, shell out hundreds and thousands of dollars, and in the end, not get paid a dime. Realtors use their gas, often times buy meals and spend hours away from their family on nights and weekends to show buyers houses and give their expert advice. Most of the time that ends in a sale. Sometimes, it does not. A Realtor can also spend time and money on photographs, video, professional measurements, flyers, ads, etc. on a listing. Sometimes that effort and those costs result in a sale, sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, that Realtor has lost money. When the efforts result in a closing, it may seem that all is well and that it makes up for the times when money is lost. Well, that can depend on what company a Realtor is affiliated with. A traditional real estate firm will take a split of the commission earned, typically 10%-50%. So, a commission earned of $3000.00 could be lower than $1500.00 when it hits the Realtor’s bank account. Flat fee based companies, yes, such as United Real Estate Music City are becoming more popular among producers. Realtors are independent contractors, the CEO’s of their own business. They are looking at their bottom line and realizing they are giving away a lot of money. Just like clients don’t like to know they are leaving money on the table, Realtors are becoming more protective of their earned income. I have Realtors tell me they like the fact that they don’t have to pay for marketing, contract to close, or put their own listings into MLS. I understand that. It is nice to just go out and sell and not have to worry about the behind the scenes. I would challenge, though, that a vendor could be paid per transaction to handle those tasks and it would be much more cost effective than giving away a large percentage of hard earned income. If you are a Realtor and are tired of being robbed, or you know a Realtor and you fear they are being robbed, give me a call. It won’t hurt to have a conversation about how you can add more to your bottom line and put more in your bank account this...

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‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

  To be jolly…or to buy a house! So many companies and industries slow down this time of year. Offices close for days at a time, the phone barely rings and employees get caught up on their personal errands. Unless you are a Realtor in the Nashville area. People are out buying houses. They are out in droves. One of my agents has three buyers looking for properties and can’t find what they are looking for. We are receiving calls to list properties and calls to purchase properties. ‘Tis the season in Nashville. So many potential Sellers think they should wait until Spring. They think it is a bad time to sell when it’s cold and gets dark at 5:00 PM. Not so. The Buyers who are looking now are serious. Why else would they want to be out when it’s cold and gets dark at 5:00 PM? It is a little extra hassle during the holidays, I understand. However, your house probably looks very homey if it is decorated with lights and festive items. There is something about coming into a house that looks warm and like it could be in a Christmas movie (more like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and less like “Christmas Vacation”). Buyers are less likely to be “looky-loo’s” so you may get less showings but the ones you will get will be more qualified and more seriously interested in your home even before walking in the door. Buyers need to realize that there will be less to choose from during this season, however, the properties you will find will typically not be the leftovers you may get in September when all the other great houses have been scooped up during Spring and Summer. They are likely people who need to move. A lot of companies transfer at the beginning of the year and a lot of Sellers get compensated to move. More often than not, the Sellers that are selling in this season are willing to bend a little more than a Seller in a time when they are receiving multiple offers during a hot selling season. So, when you’re marking things off your long list of to-do’s this season, make sure you consult your Realtor because this may be the best time to buy or sell. Happy...

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Nashville Investment Property

Nashville Investment Property

  Nashville is the “It” city. It has been ranked the #1 housing market in the nation. Depending on the day, we hear that 80-100 people move to Nashville every day. We were named the #1 Minor League Baseball city. We are in the Top 20 cities for tech jobs, #6 for young professionals and #7 for millennials. We are among the Top 10 cities in which to launch a career and Nashville has the third fastest growing large Metro economy. The list goes on and on. But, with all these accolades, does that mean that Nashville is a great place to buy investment property? Yes and no. With Nashville’s influx of residents, we have also had low inventory. Because a lot of those are millennials and young professionals, the demand for properties under $200,000 has increased significantly. Typically, this is where investors like to buy. They can get in a property for a decent price, rent it out for an attractive price, and still get a nice return on their investment every month. We were getting multiple calls a week for a while from people all across the country that wanted to invest in Nashville. Most used the word that investors dream about, “deal.” “I want to get a deal.” “I’m looking for a deal.” “Where can I find a deal?” and “If you find a deal, I’ll buy it.” Well, the truth of the matter is, there really aren’t many, if any, “deals” in Nashville right now. First time home buyers, young professionals, millennials and investors are all competing over the same property. Investors that have cash may be more attractive to sellers, however, cash is not always king and not all investors have cash. Some sellers don’t want to sell to an investor and will take an offer from an owner-occupant over an investor because they either want to help the “little man” or they don’t like the thought of renters living in the home they have loved for years. Another pitfall of investors is thinking that cash is king – no matter the offer. Sellers won’t necessarily take thousands less for their home just to have it close in two weeks. Some would rather wait another 2- 3 weeks and make more in the long run. If you plan on investing but you are getting a loan, you are in the same boat, for the most part, that owner-occupants are in and you will find the Nashville market a tough one to compete in. The best thing to do is to find the properties before they go on the market or at very least, the same day. Find a Realtor that diligently hunts for properties...

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Music, the Universal Language

Music, the Universal Language

  This past weekend I went to the Pilgrimage Festival. It is a 2-day music festival, right here in the city of Franklin, Tennessee. There were 25,000 people, in over 90-degree humid heat with very little breeze, Ubers were expensive, there were long lines for food and drinks, and it was awesome! The whole weekend, I saw two police officers besides those directing traffic and they looked very bored. I didn’t see one of the 25,000 attendees causing a scene, getting upset, or being arrested. The crowd was diverse.  Straight, gay, singles, couples, all nationalities, all races, all religions (even a guy dressed like Jesus). The bands ranged from those playing children’s tunes to Southern pop/rock, to alternative, to classic R&B, to new independent bands making their own genre. Everyone had a great time and everyone was there for one thing – MUSIC. A friend recently told me a story about traveling with a band playing in a country that was war torn, where the language was not English and the crowd could barely understand anything they were saying. The people were oppressed but when the band played a classic Eagles tune, the entire audience sang the words in one voice. Music is a tremendous a language that causes political lines to be crossed, makes people color blind and brings masses together in a spiritual way that has nothing to do with religion. I typically write about the real estate market but our world needs more good news. Our world needs more music. Whatever you like to listen to, there are others just like you. Whatever transcends time and space for you and takes you back to a simpler time in your life, others will join you. Whether you’re turning on the radio, performing it, meditating to it, or are sitting out under the stars at a farm in the middle of Franklin, Tennessee watching some of the most skilled of their time, music can be the glue that holds us together when nothing else can. Next time you pull up next to a car and the driver is obviously singing the same song that’s coming out your speakers, sing along and wave. Play something soothing when the baby won’t sleep – it may not help the baby but it probably will you! If we can embrace each other’s taste in music, maybe we can learn to embrace each other, no matter our differences. And, come to think of it, having music on while you’re trying to sell your house can be helpful too. Sorry, had to do...

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A Dating Real Estate Lesson

A Dating Real Estate Lesson

I had a crush on this boy for several years in high school. He was in my youth group at church and he was a couple of years older than me (I really hope he isn’t reading this right now.) Anyway, he was the end-all be-all. I thought he hung the moon. I thought, “If I could just date him, everything would be great.” But I had a problem. I was a nerd – and he was totally popular. He was nice to me because he was a church kid. His parents taught him well and we all hung out and everyone had a good time but I was definitely not dating material in his eyes. So the years passed and my “love” for him stayed true. The day we had a party for the graduating Seniors and he left for college was a dark day. I lost my chance. I would never see him again, or so I thought. He came home for holidays and breaks and he would come to church with his parents. Now he was a college boy and that made it even worse! Much to my surprise, he came home for the summer and, well, I had grown out of my “nerdiness” I guess. Either that or he lost a bet. Nonetheless, he asked me out – on a DATE! I was speechless. I mean, this guy that I had been drooling over year after year, actually wants to take me on a date. I wondered if he realized he’d have to be seen with me in public and if he knew that I would call all my friends immediately and give them every detail. So that I don’t keep you in suspense any longer, I said, “yes” and we made a plan. Honestly, I don’t remember much about the date. I just remember being really bored and really disappointed (again, I hope he’s not reading this). I had spent so much energy dreaming of what it would be like to go on a date with him and then I was completely let down. So, there is a reason I tell you this story other than for entertainment and chuckling at my “nerdiness.” I have run across people that have had their eye on a particular house or a certain neighborhood for years. They think that once they live THERE, everything will be great. I have had others who think that once they get that bigger house, everything will fall into place. They have to keep up with the Jones’, have the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, the perfect car to put in the garage and the perfect furniture inside. What they don’t...

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No Pain, No Gain

No Pain, No Gain

  No pain, no gain. I thought this as I hobbled out of my workout studio today after a particularly grueling class. We hear this term a lot when talking about getting in shape. But what about when we are selling a house? I know many of my clients have thought about the pain long before they understood the gain. I have had many Seller clients practically do mini-makeovers on their house just to sell it, and guess what? It works. Is it a pain? Yes. Would they say it is worth it? Absolutely. If you are a Seller. Don’t skimp. If you have bold color on the walls, paint it neutral. If your carpet has been “loved” by pets or children, replace it. Don’t think that in today’s market, Buyers are OK with a “credit” or “allowance”. First of all, lenders rarely allow this any longer and Buyers that are paying top dollar in a hot market want the house to be move-in ready. You will find the one that has to have the school system or the pool, or the one unique quality that only your house possesses but you need to be attractive to the masses. It’s true that it only takes one Buyer for your house but in a hot, Seller’s market, you want to put your best foot forward to get multiple offers. Why have one Buyer wanting your house when you can have five? You may need to become a weekend warrior, hire a handyman, or sucker your friends into helping for some pizza and beer. Just get it done. Mulch the beds and plant a few flowers. Paint the front door and clean the windows. Rearrange furniture and drop-off to Goodwill. De-clutter and clean. Think of it this way, you’ll get some exercise, feel a bit more invested in the process and you will appreciate it all the more when that Buyer walks through the door and says, “I’ll take it!” No pain, no gain isn’t just for working out...

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