Archive for March, 2014

New Report Lists Safest Cities in Georgia

March 31, 2014

safest_citiesThroughout my more than 30 years in real estate, housing trends have come and gone. Pastel paint, wallpaper and borders around rooms, and glass top tables are all features that have gone the way of the dodo, but there’s one home trend that has stayed constant over the years: Safety.

I spoke to thousands of families about their home buying concerns when I was a full-time selling agent, and one of their first questions was always “How safe is this neighborhood?” With that in mind, I found a great report titled “50 Safest Cities in Georgia” published by SafeWise, a safety and home security news source.

Although it lists 50 cities in the article, I’d like to cover the top 5 here. Some of the cities are well known for being safe, but others will surprise you. (more…)

What Message Are You Sending?

March 24, 2014

bad_communicationToday’s environment is consumed with endless means of non-“oral” communication methods. Texting, emails, instant messaging, letters, notes and stickies are just a few.

When drafting an email or written message, you must be mindful of how you attempt to convey your messages. Often, the recipient of a message interprets it differently from the expectations of the well intentioned sender perspective. This often results in a moment or situation that stalls progress or even creates a confrontation.

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Rent or Buy: The $54,000 Question!

March 17, 2014

buy_or_rentA renter paying $900 per month for rent will pay their landlord $54,000 over 5 1ears! With that same monthly payment this renter could be a homeowner building equity and reducing taxes.

A renter paying $900 per month could potentially buy a home in the price range of $120,000 to $135,000 (depending on borrower’s credit score and debts) and not increase their monthly payment (based on a $130,000 sales price, 3.875% 30 year fixed rate with an ARP of 6.177%).

Plus, Mortgage Interest Rates are still at historically low levels. For example, the cost for every $1,000 borrowed at a 3.75% 30 year fixed rate is only $4.63 per thousand. (more…)

What Do You Mean the Money Order Bounced?!

March 10, 2014

money_ordeerSelling agent Steve has written an offer for Bobby Buyer. The offer states the Earnest Money is in the possession of the holder. At the offer signing, the buyer remits the $1,000 earnest money in the form of two $500 money orders which he picked up from his favorite Western Union or Money Gram location.

The offer doesn’t become a binding agreement and the buyer searches for another home. This is not a problem regarding the earnest money, the buyer plans to use it on the next offer. Several months later after a diligent search, the buyer finally locates another property and makes an offer. This property is a short sale listing. The offer is structured to allow the earnest money to be paid by the buyer upon seller’s short sale approval. (more…)

It’s a Process, Not an Event! Part 3

March 3, 2014

leads_to_salesIn a previous blog, we reviewed setting SMART goals. After setting your goals, you’re ready for the final step in the process: Writing a Business Plan and schedule that support the accomplishment of your goals.

Before launching into writing your plan, determine how many days/weeks you will work this year. It’s helpful to use a big planning calendar, ideally one that shows all 12 months at a glance. Mark off vacations, holidays, days off and other commitments. Be honest. Factor in some time for unexpected events such as illness. Most real estate agents truly work about 42 weeks a year.

Once you’ve determined the number of weeks you will work, you’re ready to complete the Business Plan steps: (more…)