I had big plans to call this blog post the Summer of Scams, you know like a play on words on of the Son of Sam case from New York back in the Summer of 1977. Then I realized not everyone is obsessed with true crime like I am, so it probably wouldn’t make sense, yet here I am telling you anyway and can’t think of a more clever title. But the fact is this crime spree of scams happening in real estate is not like the Son of Sam case and has been going on all over the country, and not just in the summer. Buying or selling a house usually involves the movement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from one person to another by way of a title company in most cases, so you can imagine all the bad people out there with some technological savvy try to prey on…

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A few weeks ago, my grumpy old cat Gus got out of the backyard and went on a near weeklong adventure. For some people this might not be a big concern but for me it meant every day and night we were on the hunt for Gus considering he’s 16 years old, very small, declawed in the front and deaf. While it may not seem like a cat going missing in a neighborhood has a lot to do with real estate there were quite a few correlations came to mind over the week. 

First, I made the mistake at first of relying on technology with things like his microchip, Facebook posts and nextdoor neighborhood groups. I suppose this might be something that for sale by owners might think as well, such as relying on Zillow and social media to get the word out about their houses.…

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It may sound strange but sometimes I find that working backwards actually sets us up best for success. When I used to compete with my horse in dressage competitions, I learned exactly how to work backwards. In dressage the show office gives you a precise time of when you are expected to ride, such as 9:23 am. That means you need to be ready and in front of the ring at 9:21 or 9:22 and checked in with the warmup volunteer person that is coordinating the riders entering and exiting the ring. For every ride it is necessary to figure out exactly how long it takes you to do things before the actual ride time. For example, if I ride at 9:23 am, I need a 20-minute riding warm up plus 5 minutes to brush him off and wipe my boots before going in the ring. The…

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This is a scenario I think we as realtors see often: You stay in an Airbnb in another city and think how easy it must be for those owners and want to try it. So, you scroll through Zillow and see a downtown condo that is cool and updated and surprisingly not as expensive as you thought. Next you run the numbers (Purchase price of $425,000 with 30% down plus taxes, insurance and HOA Fees) and the monthly payment is only $3,400. You’d only need to rent out this place for 12 nights at $300 each to cover that, it has to be that easy. Finally, you reach out to your realtor friend to book a showing and this is where the bad news starts to come rolling in. 

First dose of bad news, condos have homeowner’s associations, which means they have additional…

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This year I am honored to on the young professional network (YPN) committee within my local association of realtors (GRAR). There are approximately 3,000 agents in our association which covers most of West Michigan and the greater Grand Rapids area. I had to sort of laugh, because I thought my days of being on the young or junior committees and board were winding down, but not for real estate! 

Here is part of the assignment for why a YPN committee like this matters in real estate: “Young professionals are the future of the real estate business. But in a field where the average age is 54, younger real estate practitioners often strive for a way to connect with each other and to tap into valuable resources that will help them succeed in their…

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Dual agency is a term that comes up almost anytime there’s a listing presentation I’ve found, and although I might be the minority, I don’t like the idea of it. So, I’m going to break down here what it is, how some people can do it, and how it is illegal in some states. 

First things first, what is dual agency? According to Forbes they define it as, “Dual agency is when a single real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller in a real estate transaction.” Sounds simple enough that one person can help both the buyer and seller complete the transaction in what might seem streamlined. But it isn’t that simple. Forbes goes on to say that “In 10% to 20% of home sales, both parties have the same agent. However, this practice, called dual…

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Now that we are in November and inching closer to Christmas, the season of giving is in full swing. As a person who has gifts at the top of my love language, I couldn’t be happier about this time of year. There’s nothing I love more than shopping and picking out the perfect presents for the people I care about most. As a realtor however the concept of gift giving can get a little complicated. 

One of the many changes following the crash from 2008 is the tightening and attention given to RESPA. RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and isn’t new. In fact, it was signed into law in late 1974 and provides consumers with proper disclosures regarding settlement costs for closings and the transparency and elimination of referral fees and…

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There's a lot of talk about people staying in their homes and no one wanting to sell because rates have gone up. No matter what some situations always prompt people to at least consider selling, and those are the way to a listing agent's heart. I'm going to uncover a little bit more about each of those reasons why these people typically decide to move and sell a home regardless of what interest rates are. And they all happen to start with the letter D.

The first D is diamonds, typically implying an engagement or marriage. According to NAR (National Association of Realtors) in 2021 single females made up 18% of home buyers and single males made up 9% of home buyers, which combines for 27% of all home buyers. 

I think many of us that have been…

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The Importance of Honesty in the Homebuying Process

There’s that cliché line of “honesty is always the best policy,” and to me it couldn’t ring truer when it comes to the early stages of the home buying process, and most importantly the pre-approval process. It is critical to be honest with the loan officer in those early conversations about debts, wages, and relationships, because once we get under contract, I can almost guarantee they will find out one way or another. 

I think many of us wish we made more money, myself included, but there is nothing to be ashamed of when being honest about how much you can afford. By being honest about this up front it allows us to see exactly where we should go up or down in budget, and how things like…

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There’s a running joke amongst some real estate agents that many of us left the feeling of a comfortable salary and being told what to do by a boss, being chained to a desk or phone for 40 hours per week, only to become a real estate agent and work 24/7. Sure there are perks like building your own business, having no income caps, and enjoying flexible working hours but that comes with clients calling and texting you at all hours, other agents that you need information from that may not respond or be nice, 100 % commission only, all the license and access fees and of course getting paid last after all the hard work.

Television makes this job look so easy and glamorous. In reality, it is not. Some days I feel less like a realtor and more like a truck…

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