Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My thoughts on the Today show's real estate segment.

This morning, the Today show aired a segment on real estate with Barbara Corcoran, their real estate expert. She discussed the critical questions to ask when buying a new home. Most of her points are valid and I highly recommend you watch the video. For buyers, there are some great tips although as the segment continued, the questions became less important. For example, one of the questions was to "ask what's under the carpet". Ms. Corcoran is referring to homes built before 1945. Here in Loudoun County, the homes built in the late 1980's and later far outnumber those built in the 1940's so this does not apply. She also talks about checking out parking at the train station. Train station??? We won't have those worries for quite a while here in western Fairfax or Eastern Loudoun.

Sellers should check out this piece also. The 1st two questions help you figure out what not to do. Ms. Corcoran recommends buyers ask why the owner is moving to determine the anxiety level. She concludes that an axious seller is more likely to take a lower price. I recommend to my seller clients not to discuss anything with a buyer or their agent for this very reason.

Her second question in the segment is to ask how long the home has been on the market. It's another way to gauge the anxiety level of the seller. She theorizes that if a house has been on the market for six months with several price reductions, the buyer can put it a low bid and just possibly get it. Wouldn't you like to avoid that?? Pricing your home correctly by looking at what's for sale and what's under contract will enable you to do that.

Finally, Matt Lauer asked if it was a good time to buy and Ms. Corcoran said yes although "you might be lonely out there shopping by yourself". I think you'll be surprised to see just how many people are out there buying homes. With lower prices and great interest rates,there are lots of opportunities to buy a home in Northern virginia. What are you waiting for??

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Dog's Day in the life of a REALTOR

Recently, I was in Herndon, Virginia visiting a homeowner at Worldgate. When I leaving the building, I saw a cute, little, black dog running around. I looked for his owner but the only people out and about were some maintenance people. I tried to get close to check his tags but he kept avoiding me. I managed to corner him inside a building which in retrospect was probably not a good idea! He let me pet him and before I knew it, that adorable dog was putty in my hands...or was it the other way around??

Fortunately for both of us, his owner had a put his phone number on his dog tag. After a few tries, I was able to connect with the owner and arrange to have the dog picked up although he couldn't get there for 20 minutes. What to do? What to do? No leash and time to kill....I picked the little guy up and put him in my car and off we went to the local Starbucks. Once I got my cup of caffeine, I headed back to Worldgate to wait for the owner who showed up just a few minutes later. I reluctantly handed the little ball of fluff to his owner and went on my merry way, happy to have done my good deed for the day.