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Open letter to Santa asking for wisdom for Realtors and world peace

My Christmas wish

In the spirit of, well, Christmas, instead of asking for a ton of glittery, sparkly, furry, and even cool electronic things beneath our trees this year, a few of us Realtors have a different kind of request. We feel that we may need to be imparted with the gifts of knowledge, the age old art of double checking ourselves, and getting back to the basics of real estate when entering MLS information. Being that time of the year, we are going straight to the Man in Red… Santa Claus himself.

Dear Santa,

Please grant the wisdom to Realtors to enter accurate square footage in the MLS as Ø is not an option. Please grant the wisdom to enter the above-ground GLA only. If you are feeling generous, please add an extra dash of common sense into the stockings – if a house is a split-level, let agents know that in some areas, with a certain percent of the basement above-grade, the GLA can be counted.

Santa, please give agents a calculator in order to figure out acreage and enter it correctly; lot length X lot width, then ÷ 43,560 = lot size. And yes, Santa, I know that this request is coming from the same chick who nearly failed the same math class. Twice.

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Please offer a gentle reminder to Realtors that foyers, closets, utility rooms, laundry rooms, basement rooms (finished or not), and bathrooms should not be included in the total room count of a house. And no, a john sitting in the middle of a basement surrounded by nothing but open air is totally not a bathroom.

Santa, I would love for a refresher CE class, or even Q&A forum for agents who have forgotten, really don’t know, or quite honestly have no friggin’ clue about house styles or basement types. There seems to be a lot of confusion in regards to the architectural styles of homes. Please help agents to know how to tell the difference between Colonials, Capes, Ranches, Raised Ranches, or Split-Levels because it’s a laughable problem.

When it comes to basements, we have the same dilemma I would love for you to solve, Santa. Please help Realtors to truly know what a basement is, help them to be one with the basement, if you will. Full unfinished, partial, walk-out, partially finished, fully finished, or slab. A super cool something special from the elves to all Realtors everywhere would be a universal understanding that a common basement can’t freaking exist in a single family residence.

We market homes, Santa, it’s what we do. Please remind us that when we are selling, we shall never over embellish. The inevitable time comes when we put together the ad copy, the MLS comments, and we wish to portray the home and its features in the best light possible. New and updated cosmetics, appliances, or mechanicals, they are totally kick-ass, Santa. But hey, if it was installed or remodeled before I graduated high school in 1998, it’s not new, it’s not updated, and it doesn’t matter what famous dude came in and did the work. In other words, when a couple has a new baby, it is not going to stay a new baby for 4, 8, or 14 years. How can a furnace or an air condition be “new” after 14 years? Santa, please give us agents the brilliance to write great, accurate descriptions, and verify that things are in good working condition by having sellers get their own independent inspections, with no need for that added oomph for the selling part of job.

Thank you, Santa,
From a gaggle of Realtors

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Jesting aside…

Some jesting aside, the Multiple Listing Service is the single most powerful advertising tool we have for our seller clients.

Thousands of online sites pull from it every day. Realtors can send auto-emails to their clients matching their home buying criteria, we do countless searches for comparables for various reasons, such as CMAs and BPOs, and appraisers utilize it for, duh, appraisals. As Tara recently pointed out, we can be held liable for jacked up info. When simple things are wrong or flat out missing in the MLS, as Realtors, we are doing a massive injustice to our seller clients, other Realtors, and prospective clients. Also, it makes us look like fools.

So please, Santa, I hope you hear my letter and help out our industry!

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Written By

Katie Cosner, occasionally known as Kathleen, or KT, is a Realtor® with Cutler Real Estate and is active in her local Board of Realtors® on the Equal Opportunity & Professional Development Committee. She has been floating around online for a number of years, and is on facebook as well as twitter. While Katie has a few hardcore beliefs, three in the Real Estate World to live and die by are; education, ethics, and the law - insert random quote from “A Few Good Men” here. Katie is also an avid Cleveland Indians fan, which really explains quite a bit of her… quirks.

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