July 17, 2019

Your voice still has a meaningful purpose: Use it

one plus one equals threeThis conversation actually happened between a mother and daughter.

Text message starts with mom:

We are having dinner tomorrow night at a friend’s house come and join us.

Daughter: I told you a week ago that I am busy on that night.

Mother: so you don’t want to see your mother; Fine!

Daughter: No, I have already made plans for that night.

Mother: so you don’t want to spend time with your mother for dinner.

Daughter: (frustrated) No I won’t be able to make it.

Mother: Ok I understand that you don’t want to be with your mother.

Daughter: NO Reply

Perhaps a loose end that may never be tied up. …

Does this sound familiar? Another missed communication. In a world of misunderstandings and errors in perception; why make it harder to understand what you are trying to convey. Pick up the phone and talk. The inflection in your voice will usually say a lot more than the words. What are we all afraid of? If it’s confrontation then let’s have at it. Confrontation can lead to understanding and a good chance at a solution.

Could this potential solution lead to peace of mind?

You may read this and assume I am against texting. Not true, many situations are better served by text. For example, in the real estate business the correct address, the correct appointment time is paramount; therefore texting is more accurate and saves time.

Until next time, Matt

Making it work for new homes

time-is-moneyRecently I was in process of selling a new home. Most people don’t realize that over 70% of new home sales are completed with a Licensed Real Estate Agent. Builders and Realtors usually work well with each other. Another little known fact is that New Home salespeople do not have to have a Real Estate license. They work directly for the builder. It is always nice to have a Licensed Real Estate Agent that has knowledge of the sale of a new homes.

Regarding new home sales it is important to point out what the tax rate is before and after the homestead exemption. In addition it is important to realize that the property tax at the time of sale is based on unimproved property(land only). The lender analysis which is usually in the first quarter of the following year, will base the value of the improved property (house and land). Often the property taxes will increase substantially after the first year.

For example: Land value could be $35,000 for a lot and the house; land could be $300,000. Your tax rate in many areas of Houston is around 2.75%. You multiply the tax rate (after exemptions) to the appraisal district valuation of the property and that is what you or your lender will be billed for each and every year.

When working with the new home sales person it is important for the Real Estate agent to understand how the system works from the builders stand point. A new home salesperson deals with many issues other than just sales. The salesperson is dealing with all of the concerns that people have during the construction of their home. If the salesperson sold ten homes that month they are handling ten families, possibly ten agents and multiple lenders. In addition they are working with the construction superintendent, the municipalities where the homes are located and the people that are above them. In other words they have a full plate. They are often too busy to take care of all of the needs of any particular buyer. That’s where the value of a Licensed Real Estate Agent comes in. As an agent representing the buyer, my concern is for only one buyer.

When you go to a crowded restaurant you can see that they are busy but you still want service. This would be an example of new home sales in our present market. Juggling the needs of all  parties is not always an easy thing to work out. The loan process in today’s world is cumbersome and that’s putting it nicely. The builders have loan payback deadlines. They often work for large corporations that are looking for shareholder profits and are always on the lookout for more land to develop. They are looking at their side.

Not all new home sales are the same. It is important to understand this and work according with each builder to get the most for the customer.

For more information on this or other topics. Just give me a call.

Thank you,


Happy Folks

Top Picture: People who DO NOT work with Matt

Bottom Picture: People who DO work with Matt!


Skeeters Baseball

Live, work and play in Sugar Land, Texas


Home of the Sugar Land Skeeters baseball team

Amazing fowl ball play, realtor/broker Matt Dietz gets some real excitement sitting next to the field. Take a look.

Click here or on the image or link below – what a play!


Property Management

Property management, listen to what your tenants has to say… bla bla bla. To lease a property in our market you need a 14 page lease agreement, a 2 page pet addendum, if there are pets, a 6 page inventory check list and a 5 page application. If the property was built before 1978 you will also need a one page lead base paint addendum and 16 page report on the hazards of lead paint.All of this is designed to fully cover landlord and tenant relationships. This is a binding agreement for both parties to follow. It a tenant pays on time and maintains the property there is usually no problem. The lease agreement come into play when an “issue” arises. When the landlord and tenant disagree, the solution becomes  what does the lease contract say? Unless it is a commercial lease I would say that 80% of tenants don’t read the lease before they sign it. They may look at the term and the amount, but don’t go much further. Tenants have their own ideas on how they are going to do things and how this lease is going to work out. Which leads to the bla bla bla. The most common violation that I see are pets. If there are no pets in the lease agreement, there is a clear remedy in writing for this situation. The landlord is allowed to remove the pets. The landlord did not collect a pet deposit and pet damage can be great. The tenant seems to  justify the reason for having pets. Even though the lease allows for removal of the pets, local law enforcement won’t do it, the animal control people will need some court order or other legal premise to physically remove the pets. If you able to remove the pets, the tenant can and may take you to court.

Paying the rent: Both tenant and landlord have an agreement about where and when the rent is to paid and the amount of rent. The tenant also has their own opinion about this. To avoid paying, the tenant will come up with an infinite number of reasons on why they can’t pay or shouldn’t pay. The landlord or property manager must be clear on all provisions according to the lease. When following the procedures set out in the lease, it is likely that the nonpayment of rent will end up in court. This sounds clear and concise, except each judge has his or her way of doing business in their courtroom. The judge could throw out the case on some notification that he or she deems was done incorrectly. Then you have to start the process over again from the beginning. A lot of time, energy and money go into doing things the right way and a whole lot of bla, bla, bla go into the other.  So the solution is; continue doing things the right way, explain in advance the remedies for violations of the lease and be firm in your resolve to run a profitable business.

Until next time,


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