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"I'm insulted"

It's one of the most common phrases I hear when presenting offers to my clients in this market - "I'm insulted.  Tell them I'm not interested."

Truth is, if you're not interested in getting an offer (even if it's a low offer) you might be better off taking your house off the market.

Here's a quick tip for Seller's out there braving the current market.  Don't be insulted with by the Buyer that submits an offer on your home. Be insulted with the other people that have come through your house and have did think enough of it to make an offer. Those are the ones you want to get upset with, not the ones that like your house so much they're willing to go through the time and effort of sending you an offer. These folks are trying to buy your home.

Call me crazy but it might be worth your time to see what you can do to negotiate with this person.  That's why Counter Offers exist....

Depersonalize & Declutter

The two biggest money-making words there are when it comes to showing your home:

Depersonalize and Declutter.

Not only will you create a more inviting space for buyers to imagine as their own - your home will sell faster and for more money. 

And it's about the only guarantee you have in today's market....

Real Estate Stress Killer

A real estate transaction can cause a lot of stress if you allow it to.  I've learned over the years of buying and selling homes there is a simple, yet effective, way of killing real estate stress.


Closing dates are not written in stone.  Repairs aren't always completed on time.  And, as of late, the bank doesn't always have the money ready when you need it.

Allow for contingencies and have a back-up plan. If the Buyers or Sellers need a little more time to conclude the final arrangements, don’t let these delays upset you.  These types of circumstances are not uncommon in a real estate transaction....

Income + Lifestyle = Mortgage Payment

The formula for successfully getting into a comfortable mortgage payment is not complicated.  In fact, you don't need a fancy amortization chart or even one of those online calculators that don't do a very good job of showing real world scenarios.

All you need to do is sit down with a competent real estate professional and honestly discuss your income level and living expenses. 

During this conversation with an experienced sure to take into account future considerations like: children, add-ons, amenities or fix-ups.  Your dream home is certainly worth a sacrifice but don’t mortgage your entire future....

Something Is Better Than Nothing

A lot of folks tell me they don't want to price their home at Market Value because they know the Buyer is going to low-ball them.

I would rather reject three offers than have none at all, wouldn't you?...

"I don't need to sell"

Pontential Seller: "I don't need to sell my home but I would if someone was willing to pay me my price."

Me: "No problem.  Based on the market analysis it looks as if your home is about $50,000 overpriced for today's market."

Potential Seller: "Well...(long pause) we really don't need to be out of the house for another 6 months and we aren't really in a position where we have to sell.

Me: "So...if you don't need to sell...what had you put your home on the market in the first place?"

Potentail Seller: "Umm...I being transferred to Chicago in a few months ago but I don't really need to be there until September."

Me: "So your going to be moving to Chicago in a two months?  Is that the plan?"

Potential Seller:
"Yeah. ...

Complex Solutions for Simple Problems

My job as an agent is to bring the market to my clients...and, in turn, the market brings them the price for their home.

The concept is simple enough, right?  You'd be amazed by the complex games Sellers and their Agents will play to avoid confronting the simple truth....

Greatest Real Estate Agent In the World

Greatest Real Estate Agent In The World **?

So...there's this contest going on across the web to determine who's the greatest real estate agent in the world **.  I've always been a bit reluctant to engage in shameless self promotion...but the first place price of being the greatest real estate agent in the world ** is too lucrative to pass up.

Though winning may be a bit out goal is to at least influence the contest.  

And in this year of presidential elections - where we witness, first hand, the power and politics of our Democracy - what better way to influence than to cast a vote (a.k.a link) for who i believe is the single greatest  real estate agent in the world? ... - An Atlanta Neighborhood Blog

A new blog called profiles different developments, restaurants, entertainment, and living in Midtown Atlanta.  Since the neighborhood is constantly changing, it helps to have a variety of resources to find the latest information. 

The husband and wife team that writes the blog provides insight into what it's like to live and work in this exciting urban area of Atlanta. 

The blog is updated daily, so be sure to  bookmark it and visit regularly for all the latest from one of my favorite Intown Atlanta Real Estate markets....

Question #10: How Many People Do You Speak With Each Day About Real Estate?

This question will tell you how connected an agent is, and how active they’ll “talk-up” your home to buyers, or find a home for you by talking to other agents. Hopefully, your agent talks to at least 40 people a day about real estate. If not, they may not be very active.


Question #9: What Percentage Of Your Business Comes By Referral?

Here’s the “$64,000 question!” Competent, well-known agents get a large part of their business from satisfied past clients and members of their sphere of influence.

If an agent gets less than 25% of new business through referrals, it may be because: 1) The quality of service they offer is not up to standard (hence, people don’t feel compelled to refer to them after a transaction); 2) They lack the marketing experience or skills required to market for referrals (which means they may not bring strong skills to your transaction); or 3) They don’t cultivate contacts in their business (which means they won’t have many people to speak with about your home).

Clearly, the best way past clients show their gratitude for outstanding service is by referring their family, friends, and associates.

Question #8: Can You Refer Me To A Reputable Mortgage Lender, Home Inspector, Appraiser, or Real Estate Lawyer?

This question reveals how active the agent is, and how well connected they are professionally. At some point in the buying or selling process, the parties involved in the transaction will need the services of a reputable, competent lender, appraiser, title company, etc. If your agent is active, committed, and diligent with their practice, he or she will be able to give you a few names of each right on the spot....

Question #7: Do You Guarantee Your Performance?

Some agents will give you a blank stare at this question. If they do, you might want to consider taking your business elsewhere. Why? Because you need to know if your interests are aligned. Is your agent willing to stake his or her successful outcome with yours?

Why shouldn’t your agent also guarantee his/her performance?

Smart agents guarantee their services for two reasons: 1) They’re confident they can perform for you because of their experience, commitment, and work ethic; and 2) It’s smart marketing for an agent to guarantee his/her services. If you buy a television, it’s guaranteed. If you buy a car, it’s guaranteed. These days, nearly everyone must offer a guarantee to help stimulate a sale. Agents on the cutting edge of marketing guarantee their services.

Question #6: What Systems Do You Have For Tracking The Market And The Progress of My Sale?

This is a very important question. As a seller, you want to price your home correctly, and be regularly updated with important buyer activity. How many calls did you get on your home this week? What marketing strategies did you use? How many home visits from other agents did you have (and what were their comments)? How many people visited your open house?

As a buyer, you want to know his or her competence in understanding values of certain areas. They also need systems to keep you continually up-to-date with opportunities in the market. You want them to have more than “access to Multiple Listing Service.” How often do they actually preview homes in your price range or desired area? How often do they talk to neighbors or participate with other activities in those areas?

If an agent does not have specific systems for measuring and reporting these items, perhaps you should consider someone else.

Question #5: Do You Have A Formal And Written Marketing Plan For Selling Homes?

This question applies more to sellers than buyers. Your agent’s marketing plan needs to be extensive – not just holding open houses, entering your home on MLS, or running classified ads.

The key to selling a home is CONSISTENCY. Your home must be consistently marketed to those people capable of buying. This cannot be accomplished if an agent doesn’t have a diversified arsenal of marketing strategies. Look for special ideas, consistency, and persistence in his or her marketing plan.

Question #4: Can You Give Me A List Of Client References To Call?

An agent who doesn’t accumulate a list of satisfied references either doesn’t do much business, or isn’t providing the kind of service or follow-through you need. References don’t always need to be past clients. Get professional references as well: bankers, mortgage lenders, appraisers, attorneys, home inspectors etc....

Question #3: Tell Me About Your Personal Real Estate Operation?

This is an open-ended question designed to get your Real Estate Agent talking about his or her business. You want to know how much they’ve invested into their business as it relates to giving you competent and quality service. For example, do they have an assistant to take home inquiries when they’re not in the office? Do they have a pager, cellular phone, email, and other methods for reaching them? Do they have a private office either with the broker or are they on their own? (This is a telltale sign of a top producing agent.)

Here’s what you’re looking for: The more an agent invests into his or her own success, office, and systems, the more he/she will be able to commit to you.

Question #2: What Qualifications Do You Have To Sell Real Estate?

This question looks for their overall commitment and dedication to building his/her personal skills. If they’re not willing to commit to improving themselves, they may not commit to your needs and satisfaction either.

First, look at their overall education. Did they go to college? Do they have any Realtor or professional designations? How often do they invest in improving their skills and keeping up with technology and other industry trends?

Experience should also carry over to negotiating and financial skills. And don’t forget the ancillary experience required for real estate.

Question #1: How Long Have You Been Practicing Real Estate?

This question will reveal more than just years practicing. You want to delve down into the number of transactions, average price range, specialized areas and types of homes they’ve purchased or sold. You also want to know how productive they’ve been in each year in practice.

Some agents in business less than 5 years may have more experience than other agents in business 10 years or more! You want to know how many brokers they’ve worked for, and what kind of experience they have that will apply directly to your real estate situation.
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