By Subhi Gharbieh
On Thursday, Nov. 8, my fellow Dallas REALTOR® Joe Atkins and I booked the 6 a.m. flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Orlando so that we could make it to the YPN Advisory Subcommittee meeting that started at noon. Being the responsible adult that I am (not), I tried to pull an all nighter so that I wouldn’t miss my flight early Thursday morning. That worked out well! I ended up falling asleep around 3:30 a.m., and the five alarms that I set to wake me up, well, didn’t.
So I missed the YPN meeting (bummer), but Joe, our MetroTex YPN chair, made it to the meeting and represented us well. After I got to our hotel later that day, Joe and I immediately left for the convention center to get registered and pick up our convention packet. The NAR staff do such a great job organizing the registration and welcome process. They are so efficient.
Thursday evening was pretty relaxing. We met up with some fellow YPN members from around the country at the Peabody Hotel. We caught up with some old faces and met some new ones. One thing that I have learned from attending the REALTORS® Conference & Expo for the last three years, is that we may only meet a couple times a year, but when we do, it feels like it was yesterday that we were just together at the last convention.
I was very proud of our Dallas YPN network for making such a strong showing this year in Orlando. For the last couple of years, the norm for us was about two or three members travel to attend the convention. This year, we had right around 20 of our YPN members attend — that made me really proud.
Being the chair of our YPN network last year, I was really hoping that we would win Network of the Year during my term. That didn’t happen. We worked really hard and felt like we had done a lot of great things to win the title for Large Association Network of the Year, but we were topped by Chicago YPN.
Nevertheless, we started off 2012 focused on the same goal. We did a lot of great things in 2012, but when it came time to fill out our application for Network of the Year, we really felt like we could have done more. We completed our application thinking that we really came up short of our goals as a committee. The competition is so fierce among YPN Networks all over the country, and seeing some of the great things that some other networks had accomplished throughout the year, we didn’t think we had a shot at winning. Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
A week or so ago, I was approached by a long time friend who I have known since elementary school. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and even graduated from the same university. I remember as kids, we would always talk about how successful we wanted to be when we grew up, and how we were going to help each other become successful.
He called and asked me a few real estate related questions. He said that a relative of his had a property in mind that he was ready to move on, and needed some consultation. I thanked him for the referral, and gave his relative a call. We met, discussed the whole buyers representation process, and everything went pretty well.
A day or so later, I received a call from this friend of mine, saying that his relative was going to approach this property representing himself, without a REALTOR®. I respectfully accepted that and didn’t think too much about it. Immediately following that, he calls me again, this time saying he would convince his relative to purchase the property with myself as his REALTOR®, only if I gave him 50 percent off my commission. (The subject property listed at a little over $2 million dollars.)
Just remembering the friendship that this person and I had as kids, this “offer” felt like a slap in the face (I’m 22, it wasn’t that long ago). I explained to him that it might seem like he is dropping a large amount of money in my lap, but the process to acquire a property of this value takes a lot of time, knowledge, negotiation, and liability. He wasn’t convinced. Long story short, I declined to represent the buyer. Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
With everything that is currently going on in many parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, it really made me think about how blessed we are to live in this country. Being a first generation Palestinian-American, it hurts me to see what the Egyptian people are going through. But I am proud that they are standing up for what they believe in, a true and fair democracy.
Sometimes, we take for granted the rights and freedoms we have as Americans. Many people around the world only dream to have the freedom, justice, and liberties that we have. We live in a country that allows us to vote for our leader, as well as many other rights. Freedom of religion, the right to a fair and just trial, the right to bear arms, and the freedom to own property, to name a few.
While you may think: “Most, if not all, countries around the world allow their citizens to own property.” Yes, this may be true. But there are not too many countries that have a government in place that is actively involved in assisting its citizens with home ownership. With the existence of our government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tax incentives and deductions — The American Dream of owning a home can very well become a reality for those who desire it.
Another thing that I am greatly thankful for is level of organization and accountability that we have in this country. A perfect example is the NAR Code of Ethics that we are upheld to as REALTORS®. Article 10 in the NAR Code of Ethics says:
“REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
This statement just shows how diverse our country is, and that everyone has the right to own a home without being discriminated upon. We all came to this country on different boats, and different times. Let’s not criticize our differences, but rather learn to appreciate them. It is our diversity that makes this country so great.
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
Many times agents are quick to use the “client” title for someone they are working with or representing in a real estate transaction. There are so many people out there nowadays trying to scam others, and it happens every day in our industry. My friendly advice to real estate professionals: Get to know the person you are representing before you call them your client.
A practitioner sends me an email one Friday, letting me know that her client from Waco, Texas is interested in viewing a $3.5 million listing I have in Plano, a suburb outside of Dallas. She said that this client owns a sports merchandising company and that he was only in town for the weekend. She wanted to bring him in that next morning, on Saturday. As any luxury home owner would, my client requested that I make sure that any potential buyers were qualified to purchase a home within this price range. So I simply asked the agent for a pre-approval letter, or some document to show that this buyer was well qualified. I would hate for my client to have to leave their home for a few hours on a Saturday morning for someone who has no real interest in purchasing their home.
The agent soon called me back and said that her “client” does not wish to share any of his information, and that if we wanted to “sell” the house, we would let him view it. A thought came to mind when she said that: “What if this is a high profile celebrity, professional athlete, CEO or such, I cannot let this buyer slip away. ” So I quickly asked her for her clients name, and she hesitantly gave it to me. For confidentiality purposes- we’re going to call him ” Mr. Joe Blow.”
Not knowing where to start, I simply Google searched “Joe Blow Waco Texas.” Continue reading »