June 16, 2019

For Sale By Owner

As in past memos I always reference the homes in Sugar Land and the Sugar Land Real Estate market I live and work in. Our market is not that bad, it’s not great but not bad. Today I called a for sale by owner. I know the area where the home is located very well and I am familiar with all of the floor plans. This is my 29th year in Real Estate and I hope that  have learned a thing or two. The first question that I asked the owner was the asking price.  Normally I introduce myself as an agent and ask if they will pay a commission to me if I bring a buyer. This time I wanted to see how a seller responded to a prospective buyer’s phone call. The seller told me the price. There was a pause (I was waiting for the seller to pick up the ball and elaborate about their fabulous home) then I asked how many bedrooms did the home have. The owner responded with 3 bedroom and a generous 2 bathrooms. Every house in that neighborhood has at least 2 baths. Then I asked about the square footage. The owner promptly answered that one. I told the owner that I was working with an agent. The owner told me they were not working with realtors. I told the owner that my Realtor had spent a lot of time with me and had put out a considerable amount of effort. The owner told that I had to make a decision. I thank the owner for their time and left it there. I realize that I am bias but there were a number of things they are doing that are not in their best interest. When selling your house the purpose is to sell your house.  The number one thing to consider is how do I sell my house. You have to consider all options and evaluate those options. If you eliminate a large portion of your options you may be cutting yourself short. You may sell it yourself and be fine or not. The solution is to incorporate all of your options. Raise the price if an agent calls you. This will  offset  their fees. There is nothing illegal or unethical with doing this. There are “one time” type agreements that you can sign with an agent. Everything will be handled in a professional manner and that will minimize risks. It just makes sense, don’t minimize, maximize your potential.

Until next time,


Communication Breakdown

There is an old Led Zeppelin song called communication breakdown. I don’t remember the words but I do remember the great guitar licks. In today’s world we often reference the lack of communication with our significant others, our children, our bosses and even our friends. It’s true we don’t communicate well and we often repeat words to make sure that we are understood. There is a married couple that I have worked with in Real Estate for many years. If I tell the wife or the husband anything, the other one knows of the conversation. This is the exception to the rule. In most cases whatever I say to one spouse I have to repeat the exact same to the other spouse. Maybe they are testing me so see if I am consistent. We hear what we want to hear. We process what we hear and interpret in a manner that most agrees with our own thinking. This gives us confidence, at least the person in the mirror agrees with me. We need to know that there are others out there that think like we do. Communication works best when both parties come away with a clear understanding of the other person view.

You would think that texting would alleviate the problem, because we are now stating what we mean in writing. Of course that makes sense, but have you ever received a text that sounds like it’s from a spy movie? What did they mean by that? What did that acronym mean?  I agree that shorter is often better but communication regardless of the length should be most important. So the next time you see OMG that could mean “often misunderstood genius” or something else? Be clear and don’t be afraid to say that you did not understand the answer and could you explain it again please? UNTEY,M

Until Next Time

Enjoy yourself, Matt

It not just a job it’s an adventure

It not just a job it’s an adventure. Sounds like an Army commercial. It could be applied to many careers but it probably fits best for a Real Estate Agent. In our market, in a course of a week we could meet people from at least 10 foreign countries (probably more), meet wealthy people that own a business, meet poor people that need assistance, and  all others.  We are out in the public. We go to many areas that you might not visit, or don’t know about. We go there to evaluate Real Estate or to check out neighborhoods for potential customers. We go there to learn. We enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. The smell of Magnolia blossoms in the breeze.  We go there because we are curious. This is our nature.  Is it dangerous, sometimes. Is it fun, sometimes. Is it profitable, we hope so. Is it tough work, that depends on the amount of effort. Is it an adventure; All the time. So if you’re looking for adventure consider the US Army or possibly Real Estate?  Until next time. Matt

How to purchase a home; the easy and best way.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to purchase a home.  You just need some sound advice from  qualified professionals and the rest is easy. In today’s market the first thing you need to do is talk to a bank, a credit union, a mortgage company or where ever you are getting the money from. This one needs to be repeated. The first thing you do is check on financing. In our market you will be required to submit a pre approval letter with the offer. Even if the offer is cash you will be asked to verify where the funds are coming from. For some reason people don’t want to do step one. Step two is to view areas and or homes with an agent that knows the business of Real Estate. Picking a friend at the office, a relative who is just started in Real Estate or someone working part time is usually not the best idea. Step three, write an offer, entertain counter offers, agree (or not) then proceed to inspections. Step four, meet me at closing. Sounds pretty simple. It is simple if you secure your financing and hire the right people. Most horror stories usually begin with incorrect information about financing. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The nightmares continue when you choose an inexperienced agent or an agent with their own agenda. Don’t be afraid to go “Donald” Trump on the loan officer or the agent, simply say “your fired”. This year with be my thirtieth year as a licensed Real Estate professional. I want your home buying experience to be as pleasant as it should be. Until next time, Matt

Do you need to pay a property manager?

This is what has happened in the past seven days. A man owns a couple of properties and one has been vacant Balancefor the past 12 months. He calls me often for my advice and my connection to different trade people. He self manages his properties. He and wife have full time jobs. He is a great example of pinching pennies and blowing dollars. He won’t hire me to manage his properties because he doesn’t want to spend the money. This one is easy math. I told him that he had lost over $14,000 in potential income while he was deciding on what to do with his vacant house. It needs some repairs and he didn’t want to spend the money. This doesn’t take a genius to figure out he needs a professional to assist him.

A potential buyer wants another investment property. He also wants to self manage, again to save money. He asked me about where to purchase and what kind of home ect. He lives in Sugar Land one of the best Real Estate markets in the country. I suggested he purchase a single story home in Sugar Land because of the great schools, great location and city’s zoning and planning structure. While he believes what I am saying he still wants to search other areas. So we looked at other areas and he found a house that he liked outside the city limits with a good school district. The house is almost 3,000 square feet with all bedrooms up. I will gladly sell anyone what they think they want. This house with all bedrooms up will eliminate potential renters. The steps will be hard on some people. In our market master bedroom down is a preference. The resale of the home may not be as quick because of all bedrooms up. The house is big and when it comes time to replace flooring, carpet and paint there will always be a lot of square feet to deal with. The cost will be high. The property is 25 miles away so it will not always be convenient to see or maintain.  For investment it important to look at a property differently. Many people look at the house from the stand point of living there. For investment you need to see it differently.

The next investor that I will mention, I have known for years. He has four rental properties a  lake house and a very nice private residence. He also does his own management and maintenance. Over the years I have mentioned to him that I know some good repair people that work at reasonable rates and most important, they do the work quickly. He has thanked me for my input but continues to do it his way. Recently he called to ask the name of the repair man. After using the repair man on what turned out to be a major job he is now using him all of the time. He has figured out that his time may be better spent with his family. He has realized that the contractor can do the job faster and cheaper than he could do by himself.

These three examples are not difficult to understand. Each person wants to save some money, as we all do.  As we age we start to see things a little differently and as capable as we might think we are at doing things we realize that we can accomplish a lot more with proper management skills.

Until next time , Matt