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Real Estate


Mam's Fam

WORDS - family writings

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And oh, in the real estate section, I write in the belief that getting one's price either in selling or buying can cause sheer glee. My job then is to cause glee.*

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    What This Realtor Really Thinks!



    In real estate, there may not be anything more impressive than an auction that works well. That would be what is called an ABSOLUTE auction where the bidders force the price above the appraised value and reward the seller with a price beyond what was expected followed by a payout which eliminates any further responsibility. It's quite thrilling. The most visible example of how finely this might be done is a Sotheby's effort, an indoor sale. In real estate both indoor and outdoor gavel pounding results occur.

    I write as the part seldom apparent MUST be explained to the owner of property by the Auctioneer hired, contracts are then signed binding both parties. The most freeing method for the Auctioneer is for the seller to sign and step aside from all activity. From the first moment until the check is in hand at the end? I say Ha! Most sellers care too much for their asset to allow such freedom, but some auctioneers say what they must to keep the seller at bay and out of the way. Alarmingly, the risk is then managed in a one sided affair, costs kept to a minimum to the full advantage of the agent charging 10 to 12% with owner paying for extras? Often teams of workers are promised, when only one shows up, advertising promised and only a sign is used and the internet exchange, all efforts going to the "day of". When it works - it's grand, when it doesn't, the Auctioneer is exposed, somewhat liable, and a few -- don't care, get away with the effort, are paid in spite of anything less than best that has occurred.

    Lesson to owners - stay involved, demand presence and accountability, repeat what was promised, run your own position to the max and be proud of your ability to do so. Most importantly, pay attention to the timeline and if anything less than the contract and verbal promises begins to occur, remember you have the right to fire the agent - maintain that from the start within the contract! You have the responsibility beyond ownership to know, to watch, to keep the faith. Bring your own GAVEL!

    A Slight I Can't Forget!

    too much! just like the owner Janice Wiseman called me from Rhode Island to say she was moving to Louisville and soon, but there were some complications. Most of the conversation had to do with how special her possessions, and therefore, Janice as the wise collector not to mention the glorious location of her current home and position in the world of . . . . Not long after (we had sold her kids a home a few years before, Jordan and I) Janice and Charlie came to Louisville with a wish to live in an historically significant house (no less). The search began. They visited many times, often changing area and criteria - not a problem I would say. My weekend would be theirs. I don't think in a year's time, we ever skipped a beat regardless of the wildly careening search for specialness. It was clear Janice wanted a house to match her image of herself and her "significant things". This effort lasted more than a year and the house in Rhode Island was NOT selling. I even engaged that agent at Janice's urging.

    It all fell apart and they retreated back to Rhode Island to sit out the lull in the market there promising to resume with us when a break occurred. I stayed in touch via e-mail, feeling confident that our attention to their every wish would secure a purchase in the future. WHAM. A sudden notice of a sale NOT in an area we had considered took place with an agent known for stealing buyers at OPEN HOUSES. Jumped ship, they did. Dumped, we were. I protested quickly and loudly directly to them. Learning quickly, this same woman, needed to remain important in the eyes of the new agent whose listing she now wanted, she chose to buy and re-shine, re-engage, become important from a fresh perspective. We lost. I could not invoke the privilege of my invested time, she made it clear she would say my services were no longer sought. No one owns a buyer. I did complain about the realtor, but she was used to the complaints, plus everyone already knew the established habit. Black marks were her trade.

    Now, years later, they've moved again, buying a condo and ushering in all their relics and antiques and special objects, with featuring the finished product. I couldn't resist commenting; writing as favorably as I could muster, only calling upon the word loyalty once and being much more kind in my view than my eye would ever agree. The placed is crammed with like and ancient woods - I cannot imagine living in such a stuffed closet feeling space nor with such lack of versatility. A matter of taste, of course. Self importance reigns in this condo space, the flea market lovers respond with glee, while I remember these people. Unkind, self important, thoughtless of other's time. I only bow to Charlie's talent in doing as he's commanded. There, I've said it all, at last. Louisville, my home, now houses the HOUZZed Weismans. In case you want to admire, Janice would love you to do so - she likes being admired:


    ok, I had a real estate lapse this morning and got all caught up in an idea Pam and Rod Owens and I shared once - the idea of perfect small space as a first and early purchase for someone (not to mention a late and last purchase for someone). Look at this incredible design for limited square footage, and yes, it's in NY. love the photos! (and to mention my grandson Satchel put me onto years ago - such a clever guy).

    When Pam and I first glommed onto this idea, we were thinking what a wonderful idea to find some appropriate (near downtown Louisville or the University) land -- wouldn't need to be a large area -- to build such a project! Much needed. Now, being such a senior myself, I think how marvelous such units could be for a small senior housing idea with a shared community room for tech equipment and visiting space for a group to share costs, including medical visits!

    The Snow Flies, Still!

    I remember well how long winters can last in New York. This one, we're told, is especially bad in terms of snow, ice, and temperatures only bested back in the late 60s. So far, it has not bothered me at all. I have thought on many a day, what it was like to sell homes during the snowy months and for how long I did just that, boots, truck, snow shovel and an average of about 12 falls a winter. Those mornings of getting the kids wrapped up and out the door, heading down to Market Street where we were responsible for shoveling our walks along the city street, the entry - ours to maintain. Then, fast forward to Louisville where for 12 winters, I barely donned a coat. Here we are, back in snow country as of this past fall.

    I intended to return to work, however, instead I'm seriously facing retirement. It's a shock to me that I don't miss my work at all. I've stunned myself. True, however, is the fact that with the phone not ringing, I've shed the anxiety that goes with the myriad of unknowns associated with the years of real estate curves. Up and down has become what is steady. Sleep has returned to my life and the knots in my tummy have smoothed. With no serious need at the moment and staving off my natural tendency to worry long term, it may remain true that I retire. There, I've said it and I appreciate all the yeahs from David, Alex, Jord and Lizzie (not to mention my envious realtors friends who state their approval in just those words) so very much. Surely over the next months I'll come to grips with my new status?


    So much to be passed on while observing NY Real Estate Sales. First, no one stops working as the snow flies! Feed the birds, plow the drive and go! Not working has led to a new kind of contribution as I keep my fingers in the pie back home. Five to six new agents have joined and I relish the phone calls from my old office as they rope a new one. So proud of the continued effort to reach the goal of 100 agents. I'm focused on the recruiting calendar and schedule with some new marketing ideas - prodding in a way to remind everyone of the importance in retention. Good friends, all of them.

    Greg thrives and laughs at me when I tell him how odd it feels not to be on call, not to have triple booked myself for an afternoon except in minutae here, or Jack time. Greg is young and has the keen sense of the running back he was in college; still. It will be an interesting year for him as he's going to be President of the Board of Realtors while listing/selling and growing the team. I'm grateful to have him. Learning through the family company locally is valuable to share - nothing more important than appraisal in our business. Don is a Master with wisdom to spare. It was good to talk family interests with Jordan over Christmas. The surrounding counties here brimming in value. All good for the start of 2015.