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34 Reasons Why I Love Real Estate

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This current real estate market is _________________. But, regardless of how you finished that sentence I still love being a real estate agent. Here are 34 reasons WHY.

  1. I love waking up each morning knowing that no matter HOW much planning I do, my schedule will change at a moments notice. Apparently I like living on the edge.
  2. Being ill does not mean I will not make money. Enough of what I do can be finagled from the comfort of my own home … at least for a couple days.
  3. Real Estate makes me cry. I cry when homeowners, who have been religiously on time with their payments cannot re-negotiate their loans when they have been simultaneously laid off and their rate adjusts … even when their unemployment more than covers the original payment. I like being in a business that brings out passion in me.
  4. I love real estate agents. Yes, some of them are complete imbeciles – but they just make me look good. The good agents make the business fun.
  5. I love marketing. Real estate marketing is constantly changing and I love learning all the cutting edge tips and tricks.
  6. Real Estate will never die. I don’t care WHAT the market is doing, there is business to be had. Land cannot go away and people will want to buy and sell it.
  7. I hold a HUGE chunk of people’s financial life in my hands. Scary as all heck, but it keeps me honest! … and I like being honest.
  8. Real Estate is what brought me into the world of blogging and social media. Now I have even MORE friends who think I am odd. I love you all.
  9. Those months when I made nada zip zilch sure made me thankful for the months that I made more than some people do in a year. Learning to be thankful and learning how to stretch a dollar are one of the BEST lessons.
  10. Real Estate has created monsters out of my kids. My youngest one, at the age of 4, came back from a friends house and said, “Billy has a 4 bed 3 bath home with a finished basement!” and my oldest son wants to grow up to be a real estate agent so he can “play” on the computer and go to lunch with people every day. My kids amuse me in the name of real estate.
  11. I create my own schedule and can be there for my kids, friends and family when they need me.
  12. The dynamic nature of this business keeps me on my toes. Shifting markets fling me from my comfort zone and into a place where I HAVE to be more effective for both my team and my clients.
  13. Even though I do not want to LIVE in one, I like old homes. The Colorado Springs real estate market does not have a lot of old homes – but the ones that they DO are way cool. I never cared about houses until I became an agent.
  14. I like roof lines. Again, I never cared about architecture until I became an agent.
  15. I like solving problems and real estate is an all-you-can-eat-buffet of problems to be solved.
  16. I LOVE teaching. I used to be in the Special Education field and although I LOVED it, it was not where I was meant to be. Now I am a real estate trainer, and I LOVE IT. Teaching other real estate agents how to be better at what they do is probably my FAVORITE part of my business.
  17. Real Estate gives me the opportunity to excel in my business without the fear of being outsourced, downsized or fired.
  18. All your base R belong to us.
  19. I love the business building, goal setting, high-5 accomplishment camaraderie that real estate brings out in agents.
  20. I love that real estate CAN BE a low-cost, high revenue business… If you are smart with your business budget.
  21. Derek really, really likes team-building and mentoring other agents. I like that about Derek, and therefore like that about Real Estate.
  22. Real Estate gives me the opportunity to make a HUGE impact on someones life. We have been to baby dedications, surprise weddings … and all because we were the people who helped them buy/sell their home.
  23. I know more about humanity than I EVER thought I could know. Thanks to real estate, NOTHING surprises me anymore.
  24. Real Estate is the ONE thing that I can relate ANYTHING to. It is kind of amusing, actually.
  25. I love Seller’s-Markets as it challenges me to figure out ways to stand out among the masses of other mirror-foggers that have a license.
  26. I love Buyer’s-Markets because it challenges me to me one of the ONLY people in my market who can actually SELL my listings.
  27. Real Estate has given me the insight and respect for other professions that are commission-based. I always make a point of purchasing a service or product through the person who helped me make my decision, if that person is paid on commission. This applies to restaurant staff too (although my time waiting tables helped with that as well…)
  28. Real Estate has brought out a love of photography in me. I look at the world in a whole new way.
  29. I am not an organized person, by nature. Real Estate has taught me the importance of being organized … at least sometimes.
  30. Law. I have never been more in tune with legal tidbits than I have been since becoming a real estate agent. I have a whole new respect for the reams of paper that stipulate what can and cannot happen in real estate.
  31. Law … again. I was taught that as a real estate agent, it was not IF you would be sued … it was WHEN. Dotting my “i”‘s and crossing my “t”‘s and keeping great notes has been the shield and sword against many a whacko. I SO appreciate the foreknowledge of keeping great notes in a situation that could be potentially sticky … real estate or not.
  32. Real Estate gives great income and business growth opportunities to people who are not traditionally, scholastically refined. You do not need to go thousands of dollars in educational debt to be a real estate agent. Some of the BEST agents I have ever met only have a HS diploma.
  33. Choose your own adventure. Real Estate is an endless series of entertaining choices. Should I show the home that has 4 stoned teenagers in the basement and a random passed out adult in the living room? Or, should I bypass THAT house for the one that has 4 shrines to Elvis? Should I take the condo listing that smells like a parakeet factory? Or should I take the listing where each room painted a different hue of florescent pink?
  34. I could write a book about my life prior to real estate. Now that I have been a real estate agent for 8 years, I can now write the sequel.

I love real estate.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. ines

    February 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I *heart* mariana and Happy Birthday!!! this is so awesome! and by the way….love how you appreciate architecture now – it’s all about seeing what you couldn’t or didn’t before.

  2. Steve Beam

    February 6, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Great post. Nice to read more information that isn’t doom and gloom. Brings back memories and make me think about the future. Real estate is fun and can be very rewarding.

  3. Karen Highland

    February 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Mariana,
    I also became a realtor after being a teacher. Lots of former-teachers seem to do well in RE:) I also love the way real estate brings you into peoples lives. Thanks for such a positive post.

  4. Missy Caulk

    February 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I love real estate too, for many of your reasons but the biggest being the time it afforded me to be with the people I love the most.

    Happy Birthday.

  5. Ken Brand

    February 7, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Love it. Love the post, love the business.

    Marilyn Eiland, one of the owner partners of our firm has saying that I love too. It’s relative to your post, “In Real Estate, your raise is effective as soon as YOU are.”

    Rock ON!

    XOXOXOXO

  6. Laura Phipps

    February 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Great blog! Very inspiring, especially during these tough times. Sometimes I get up and wonder why I am doing this job. Your post makes me remember why I am a real estate agent. Thanks!

  7. myrtle beach condos

    February 8, 2009 at 8:49 am

    no matter how much i complain sometimes, I love real estate and probably will never do anything else

  8. Mariana Wagner

    February 8, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you, everyone for the great comments. Nice to know I am not alone! Real Estate rocks!

  9. Jeremy B. Shapiro

    February 9, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    I always enjoy reading about others who love real estate in any market. I’d bet you most folks you ask couldn’t come up with 5 reasons to like real estate, especially in this market! As markets change, so much one’s approach to the market! GREAT post! 🙂

  10. Pingback: I Love Real Estate and You Should Too! · Arthur Hudson In Real Estate

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Coaching

Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!

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magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Coaching

Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:

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short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Coaching

Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.

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Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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