Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
SELLING YOUR FIRST PLACE? Then HGTV is looking for you! MY FIRST SALE, the popular primetime HGTV show, is looking for first-time home sellers (and their real estate agents!) in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Washington DC/Arlington VA areas.
We are looking for fun, high-energy people who are just starting the process of selling their first place! Our cameras will be there to capture all the trials and tribulations, stress and success of prepping for sale, pricing, negotiating, and ultimately selling a home for the first time.
Taping will begin in Spring 2010 and will continue through Winter 2010. Ideal candidates will be motivated, financially candid people who want to share the experience and the purchase details with HGTV and their audience. Singles, couples and families are all invited to apply!
If selected to appear on an episode of My First Sale, home sellers will receive a DVD copy of the episode to enjoy for years to come. Real estate agents will also receive a DVD of the episode. If this sounds like fun, first-time sellers should apply now for immediate consideration!
Think buying your first place is tough? Try selling it! My First Sale takes the proven and successful docudrama format of My First Place and turns it upside down — telling the story from the seller's point of view. Selling your first place means the stakes are even higher than when you purchased. More pressure, more jeopardy, more to gain — and potentially thousands to lose. For HGTV viewers, My First Sale has even more drama and, most important, more valuable takeaways to help viewers make top dollar on their own sale.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thanks to my friend Ken for passing this Onion article my way. Here is a link to the article and I've also copied it below. It pokes fun at the fact many Realtors put their photos on their signs, business cards and even billboards. My favorite line from the article,
"You know, in a way, I'm sort of glad Mary and I never met face-to-face. Touring the property with her assistant and conducting the negotiations over the phone really helped maintain the mystique of that wonderful, wonderful sign. I can only assume Mary's heavily made-up visage conveys an even greater degree of trust in person."Hopefully both real estate agents and consumers will get a kick out of this. I know I did!
I Wasn't Going To Buy This House Until I Saw The Realtor's Headshot On The Sign
BY SAM CONE
MARCH 16, 2010 | ISSUE 46•11
Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions a person can make, so when I set out to purchase my first home, I didn't take the matter lightly. Sure, the place I ended up with isn't in the greatest shape, or even in the best part of town. And by any fair market estimate of its value, I certainly overpaid.
But as far as I was concerned, the deal was sealed the moment I saw real estate agent Mary T. Ellington looking back at me from that Re/Max sign, her face just barely visible over the rampant weeds growing in my new front lawn. For my money—$256,560 of it, to be exact—there's nothing like a poorly lit, oversaturated photograph to let me know that I'm working with a friend and not just someone out for an easy commission.
To be honest, I had serious reservations the first time I drove through what is now my neighborhood. I have two kids, so the lack of good schools in the area and the dangerous highway mere feet from the unfenced backyard were sources of concern. But after I passed more than half a dozen of Mary's signs in front of house after ramshackle house, I just knew that if she sold me a home I would be her No. 1 priority. And if there was any doubt left in my mind, it was immediately eradicated by the quote right below her picture: "You're my No. 1 priority!"
But the slogan was really just the icing on the cake. Seeing Mary's insincere, plastic smile and stiffly coiffed hair several times had already reassured me that I was making the right choice.
Still, I had a few lingering concerns, which is normal with any major life decision. So it's a good thing I drove past that billboard bearing the selfsame image of Mary on my way home! There's a certain level of gravitas and legitimacy that only a 30-foot-high, clumsily retouched photograph of a middle-aged woman can achieve. Text-only ads may have their flashy exclamation points, and business cards may be embossed and glossy, but I don't think any of those things could ever convince me to plunge myself and my family into insurmountable debt the way that awkward photo did.
You know, in a way, I'm sort of glad Mary and I never met face-to-face. Touring the property with her assistant and conducting the negotiations over the phone really helped maintain the mystique of that wonderful, wonderful sign. I can only assume Mary's heavily made-up visage conveys an even greater degree of trust in person.
I just wish every crucial choice in life could be guided by hastily produced visual aids! Sure, finding the very best attorney, bail bondsman, or elected representative is no more difficult than perusing the signs at a bus stop or the contents of one's mailbox. But what if I need a babysitter or a qualified psychiatrist? Or—God forbid—a funeral director?
I guess what I'm saying is that it's just such a relief when professionals take the time to demonstrate a true respect for my intelligence. By having their picture taken in front of that same sky-blue background used in all my school yearbook photos, it's clear they're trying to put an honest face on whatever transaction might transpire between us, and not at all employing some sleazy, calculated tactic they learned during a business seminar at a hotel by the airport.
The airport with a major flight path right over my new house.
Monday, March 15, 2010
"Lenders are deluged by late-stage delinquencies. The pent-up foreclosure inventory is there," said Massoud Ahmadi, director of research for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.Also from the article,
In addition to those already in default are 11 million more U.S. borrowers who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth -- known as being underwater -- and are in danger of becoming delinquent, said Sam Khater, chief economist for First American CoreLogic.I briefly touched on this topic late last year and it sounds like I wasn't that far off. I feel like the government is trying to help stave off this impending second wave of foreclosures. But until the banks get their act together and help homeowners adjust their current mortgages and assist with shortsales I feel like we'll be dealing with the threat of foreclosures for a very long time. From the article,
"Banks have remained in foreclosure paralysis, allowing that backlog to get larger and larger. You can't do that indefinitely," said Sandeep Bordia, head of U.S. residential credit strategy at Barclays Capital.I agree, but banks won't change unless someone forces them to change the way they're handling this crisis. Until then I guess we'll all just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
[Short sales are] also a better option for banks: According to one analysis, short sales resulted in loan losses of only 19 percent, compared with an average loss of 40 percent on homes sold after foreclosure.
According to research firm Campbell Communications, only 23 percent of short sale transactions are actually completed. "Three out of four potential short sale transactions fail, principally because the mortgage servicer takes too long to respond to the offer," said Tom Popik, author of a February survey of real estate agents. "When these same properties are later sold it further depresses real estate prices."