Adventures of a Real Estate Agent

Most people think Realtors don’t do too much for their money and just put a sign in their yard or fill out some paperwork and get paid thousands of dollars. So, I wanted to start an article entitled “Adventures of a Real Estate Agent” I will have some funny and some not so funny stories of the real life things that have happened over the years.  I hope you enjoy them. Well, here we go.

Last week I received a phone call from the buyer’s agent on a rural property that we have listed way out in the country in Sutter County. The buyer’s agent told me that his buyer had called him and told him that there was someone with a truck at my listing “just cleaning out the place” His buyer was very concerned that by the time escrow closed in two weeks all they would be buying would be the shell of a home, with no appliances or anything else.

Well, of course my husband Steve was playing golf all day, and just walked in the door as I am getting off the phone with this agent. I tell my husand all about it and tell him to drive out there and check it out! Now, my studly husband is 66 years old and weighs about 150 lbs. Don’t get me wrong he is my hero, but if he were to come up to a group of young muscular guys I don’t think he would be able to do much physically. So, off he goes as fast as he can to our rural listing. His parting words were “Call the police” .  So, I call the 411 to get the phone number for the Sutter County Sherriffs.  I call the number and it rings and rings. Must be the main office number. So, I call 411 back and tell them I need a different number. They give me that number and I call and the same thing. Ok, now what? I call 911. She says “What’s your emergency” and I give her the 3 second story and tell her I need the number to the Sutter County Sherrif Department. She gives me the number. I call and get someone right away. I tell the lady all about it and tell her my 66 year old husband is on his way out there and she wants to know what kind of car he drives. So I give her all the information. She says she will send someone out there as soon as she can.  No guarantee when. Ok, I say and hang up.

In the meantime I call my husband and tell him the sherriffs are going to check it out and to be careful. My parting words, “I Love you honey, be careful. Call me when you get there” I guess I figure if he is on the phone with me and he walks into a bad situation he will be safer.

Well, he calls me when he pulls into the mile long driveway out in the middle of nowhere of our listing and almost immediately behind him are 3 count em 3 Sutter County Sherrif cars! The Sherrifs went into the properties first and checked them out. No one was there at the moment but they had been there. The property was still in good shape, they hadn’t destroyed anything or removed anything,  just made themselves some lunch and used the bathroom facilities. If you an believe that.

My husband thanked them all for coming out there and helping him check everything out. They said they would do a drive by every once in a while when they could.  The sheriff tells Steve, “Hey you look pretty good for a 66 year old.”

So, thanks to the Sutter County Sheriffs, my studly husband saves the day once again. Gotta love that man!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Congress passed the $8,000 tax credit extension!

United States Capitol in daylight
Image via Wikipedia

Congress passed an extension of the closing deadline for the Homebuyer Tax Credit, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act (H.R. 5623). The extension applies only to transactions that have signed contracts in place as of April 30, 2010, that have not yet closed. The legislation is designed to create a seamless extension; the new closing deadline for eligible transactions is now September 30, 2010. There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the President signs the bill into law. Extending the tax credit closing deadline will help provide additional stability to real estate markets across the nation.

Great news for those that were not able to make the cut off of June 30th due to the backlog this created.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Five Bad Home Improvement Ideas to sell your home

Picture of the "Gingerbread House" i...
Image via Wikipedia

When considering adding value to a home, you consistently hear from the real estate industry that updated bathrooms and quality kitchens stand out in a home sale. Those are proven sale closers. There are certain other improvements you can make to your home that will beautify it or create convenience for your family. When it comes time to selling, however, those improvements may do nothing to increase the value of the property and may even turn off potential homebuyers.

Over-the-Top Renovations

Au contraire mon frère, not all renovations will raise the value of your home. Just `cause it’s bigger doesn’t mean it will be perceived as better by future homebuyers. Unless your home is located in Beverly Hills or some other very posh neighborhood, don’t install the bathroom with the supersized steam shower, imported Italian marble and several different spray heads … unless you have the money to do it for your own pleasure and enjoyment only. That kind of improvement doesn’t typically do anything to increase the value of the average home.

On the other hand, if you updated an old bathroom, you could see an increase of several thousand dollars to your home’s bottom line. Real estate professionals suggest that homeowners pour over local home listings to see what amenities are the standard in your area, then upgrade your home to meet it. If you overdo it, however, you may not recoup your investment.

Swimming Pools

If you think installing a swimming pool in the back side of your home will draw hoards of homebuyers clamoring to make offers on your home at sale time, you’d be wrong. Some may consider it a perk, but others may perceive it as a pain with all the maintenance it will require.

Homeowners have even paid to have their swimming pools buried to create more yard space. If you shell out the expense to build one, don’t expect your home’s value to budge. The only exception to building a swimming pool is if you live in states where they are considered the norm.

Home Office Renovations

Although, a home office is often an amenity appreciated by those shopping for a home, it should be built with frugality in mind. Overhauling an office doesn’t pay off when it’s time to sell your home. Don’t steal usable space from another living area to create a home office. Instead, make sure the space can easily be converted back into a bedroom or other living space if needed. If you decide you just have to have the built-in Curly Maple wood shelves, know that you will only recoup around 50 percent of your cost at sale time.

Unique Builds

Home magazines are always coming up with clever and creative ways to change the look of your living space. Some are exotic and outlandish, but they can pique your interest. Tempted to put a classic disco ball with lights in your bedroom, a constellation ceiling in your family room or a peaceful Koi pond in your back yard? Avoid making outlandish changes to your home or changes that will be perceived as adding work for a future homeowner. Don’t be tempted to incorporate these ideas into your own home, unless you don’t plan on selling anytime soon. Homebuyers may not share your enthusiasm.

Roof Renovations

If your roof needs repair, don’t hesitate to have the work done. It will be one less issue you’ll have to deal with when listing your home. If in your pursuit to list your home you think replacing your roof with cedar shakes or clay tiles will increase the value, think again. Although they have the ability to make your home stand out, they probably won’t inspire homebuyers to pay more for them. So, unless you have the money to burn, keep it simple when preparing your home to be listed on the real estate market.

Ki has been an investor in the Austin real estate market for several years. The website has an Austin home search for listings in Austin, Texas. It also has general statistics covering Austin real estate along with several neighborhoods in Barton Creek.

reblogged with permission

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Undisclosed short sale payments may be illegal

short sale
Image by TheTruthAbout…via Flickr

Undisclosed payments in a short sale transaction, especially those paid outside of escrow, may violate the law, including RESPA, laws against loan fraud and licensing laws.

This is starting to happen with second lien holders and may constitute loan fraud which is punishable by 30 years imprisonment and a $1 million dollar fine. Depending on the specific circumstances, carrying out these payment requests also may violate other laws and regulations and an agent’s participation may be subject to license revocation by the Department of Real Estate or other disciplinary action.

Agents and their clients are encouraged to file complaints regarding fraudulent activities to the proper authorities.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]