By Brian Copeland
I love reading warning labels. One of my favorites is “For external use only,” which has been spotted on numerous curling irons. Another favorite is on a child’s Halloween superman costume that says “Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”
Wouldn’t it be great if homes came with warning signs posted with the true warnings that buyers may need to know? Here are some of the signs I’d recommend.
“Warning! This house is overpriced by $30K because the seller has been under a rock for the past 18 months.” Real estate practitioners carry the power to prevent this label, but find that getting the sign in the yard, getting the bragging rights that he/she “won” the listing, or getting to put it in an internet lead system to get more buyers is more important than being honest with the seller. The same holds true for a buyer’s agent who is too concerned about a paycheck to pull true comparatives for a buyer.
We have the responsibility to point out the pricing warning sign to today’s buyers and sellers. We need to tell sellers, “Oh, and by the way, if you think that you should price it higher because you need negotiation room, you may not see any showings and your home may become stigmatized as a stale home. This could cause buyers to question their ability to resale the home in the future.” As a buyer’s agent we should pull comparatives for every home that has landed in the client’s top five for consideration before going to contract.
“This house is lipstick on a pig.” It’s one of my favorite pulled quotes that the local CBS affiliated pulled out of an interview they did with me when I THOUGHT the camera was off. It holds true though. Some renovated homes are pretty, cosmetic make-up put on a trash of a structure. Be super cautious of renovated homes. If someone is renovating homes in this market, likely they are smart, conscientious and know what they are doing. Only the best try this buy, remodel, resale market of 2009 and 2010. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
Watching the Grammys is always a highlight in my year. As a former music publisher with still interest in a few companies, I still get to vote! This darn REALTOR® addiction and the constant need to find applications for my business and profession in everything I see drives me nuts; so, of course, I have to comment on the things I noticed on the Grammys that we can apply to our business.
1. Collaboration is key. Lady Gaga and Elton John’s opening duet was a perfect blend of classic and new. As a “Gaga,” who are the Eltons you are including in your life for a duet? One of my biggest learning experiences came from a veteran agent in my local market who owned a competing brokerage, Christie Wilson, of The Wilson Group. We co-listed several things when I was new in the industry, and I learned so much from her wisdom.
2. Your recognition will eventually come. Kanye West made musical tacky history with his scene steeling moment with Taylor Swift at the VMAs. Beyonce held her own smoothly and classily and saw her song rise to the top for Single Ladies. If you don’t get the position/thanks/whatever you expected from your association, clients, brokers, etc., hang in there it may come in another way, a little further down the road. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
When I was 4 years old, I asked for an Easy Bake Oven. You brought me some Garanimal outfits. When I was 8, you obliged my request for a Glo Worm with that cowboy comforter set my brother wanted.
Each year, you have threatened me that if I wasn’t good, I wouldn’t get my gift. When I did exactly as you said, I didn’t get what I wanted. Dude, what are you? Some kind of kids’ terrorist?
Now, I’m in my 30s and feel like I can take up for myself; so, here’s what my people and I want for 2010, BUDDY!
1. Appraisal Coupon Book: I bust my tail to make sure I’m pricing these homes correctly, then my value is questioned, making me look like an idiot. Just make me a coupon book of 30 to 60 coupons that I can give to the bank that says, “Trust me. It’s worth what I advised my clients to price it.”
2. A Seller Brain-Altering Device: The hour I spent explaining pricing and market to my evening listing appointment peeps could have been spent watching “Glee,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” or “The Office.” After talking ‘til I was blue in the face about the importance of price, they still wanted to price in 2006’s sellers market with that most-dreaded statement: “But our house is special and different from all those others.” If the device could be iPhone compatible or at least have a USB plug, that would make it very convenient to alter their brains a bit more easily.
3. Anthony Gilardi and Kim Myles In A Box: A 24-hour handyman and home designer from HGTV at my constant disposal would make my job SO much easier this year. Knock them off of HGTV and bring them to my office in Nashville.
4. Food and Lodging for Anthony and Kim: Ooops…I’m not feeding and housing them, by the way.
5. An E-mail/Phone Call Solicitation Crystal Ball: I spend at least 30 minutes a day on the phone or e-mail with someone promising to “Make me #1 on Google,” “Bring me #1 placement on magical website” or “Get my fancy calendar and postcard into more consumers mailboxes.” This crystal ball should screen those calls and only connect me to the real deals that will make me $52 bazillion dollars over the next 12 months.
6. World Peace: Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality” proved that if you ask for this, no matter how bad circumstances get, you still win. If you can’t bring me world peace, then at least get that one agent who keeps shooting me 50 percent off offers to pick up a few REALTOR® designations and learn how to peacefully, win-win negotiate.
Santa, thanks for understanding. I know the economy has been tough and times have changed. The days of me giving my client what I think they want and need are over; so, the days of you giving ME what you think I need and want have also ended. See you in a few days.
P.S. If I had an Easy Bake oven, I’d have a way to bake you some cookies. I see organic rice cakes in your future, Big Guy.