October 31, 2008

Funny Ad

I thought this was funny and wanted to share:


A Hot Property
How do you accurately describe a fire-damaged listing in an ad and still make the house sound like a prime real estate opportunity? That’s what Alice Noyes, of Choice Realty, Manchester, N.H., wondered after she inherited a four-floor listing that, because of a fire, was two floors minus a roof.

After many rough drafts, another salesperson came up with this:

“Manchester . . . spectacular charcoal four-floor with passive solar heat, natural air-conditioning, sunken living rooms, exposed beams, open hearth. First floor features open-concept living; second floor features celestial view. Apartment living with a toasty home atmosphere. Sound good? House damaged by fire . . . $13,000.”

The ad generated 80 calls, and the property sold. Unfortunately, we probably can’t use the ad again,” Noyes says.–Christina Hoffmann Spira

Filed under: Blogroll,Humor,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 9:22 am

October 30, 2008

Bail Out

I have had a few people ask me about the bail out and when we will start to see the results.  All I can say is that we need to remember that this is the government we are talking about.  Red Tape, bureaucracy, etc.

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 8:40 am

October 27, 2008

NAR President Visits Utah County

The 2008 President of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®,  NAR, visited Orem last week.   Richard F. Gaylord spoke to the Utah County Association of REATLORS® at one of our regular meetings.   The NAR represents about 1.3 million members in the real estate industry.

Some of the points he made at our meeting:

  • Although Utah has fared better than some other states in the current housing cycle, it has not been immune to the problems in the credit markets and the rise in foreclosures.
  • Gov. Huntsman is planning to set aside $30 million to help people who have trouble with their mortgages avoid foreclosure. A portion would also help renters.
  • I personally thank Gov. Huntsman and Lt. Gov. Herbert for their leadership in Utah, and I encourage other state and local leaders to do the same.
  • While the federal government is taking steps to address broad issues in the financial and housing markets, they can’t (and shouldn’t) be the only answer.
  • … we (the NAR) will keep working to help REALTORS® and their clients in this challenging time.

It is impressive that this man took the time to come and visit our association.  I do not think that the general public know or understand the importance of the issues that the NAR are constantly taking on.  Most think that the issues are only related to the REALTORS® only. 

The important thing to know is that most of the issues that REALTORS® fight for actually benefit homeowners.  I plan to write a blog post sometime soon that will outline some of the homeowner”s issues that have been fought and won. 


Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 3:31 pm

October 25, 2008

Iowa City II– Go Hawkeyes!

I had a nice trip to Iowa City.  The University of Iowa is the home of the Hawkeyes.  I was fortunate enough to visit during one of the biggest football games of the year.  My daughter had warned me of the tailgating mania that is common there but I could have never imagined it coming from Utah.  I know Utah tries to have tailgating parties but nothing compares to the party that I witnessed. 

In Iowa City, days before the game, tents start to go up.  The tents house Hawkeye memorabilia shops.  Everything is black and gold.  About 7:00 in the morning of the game, more tents go up and the people start converging on the stadium.  My daughter lives only a few blocks from the stadium and many of the owners in her condo complex have purchased their condos for the sole purpose of having a place to stay on game days. 

Thousands of people, all wearing black and gold…not just black and gold ”normal” clothes, but humorous black and gold striped overalls, feather boas, etc.  throng the streets for several blocks around the stadium.   Every other person has their face painted with the Hawkeye logo in their choice of black or gold. 

There is a BBQ stand every few feet and people walk around at 7:00 a.m. with huge BBQ turkey drumsticks or pork chops and of course, beer.  University of Iowa ranks high every year as being one of the top “party” schools, but it was not just students doing the party-ing.   Traffic comes to a standstill and the party does not end until long after the game. 

Before my visit, I would have thought that maybe it is because there is nothing else to do in Iowa.  Now I know that is not true.  We did some fun things and I enjoyed my visit.  Apple picking was one of my favorites, but then again, I am from Utah. 

If you are planning to visit Iowa, I would recommend going during a Hawkeye football game.  It was definitely interesting.   

Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 6:00 am

October 23, 2008

Chris Cornell and Timbaland

My son ran into Chris Cornell recently and was able to have his guitar signed by the artist.  Colt and I have shared a common enthusiasm for Cornell for some time so this is exciting.  Timbaland was there too, a.k.a.  Timothy Z. Mosley.  He signed the guitar also.   



 Any rock and roll memorabilia appraisers out there?  How much would you say this is worth?

Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Humor,Personal — Susan @ 12:01 pm

October 22, 2008

Iowa City

My youngest daughter and I went to Iowa City to visit my daughter and her husband over Fall Break.  They are both grad students at the University of Iowa.  My daughter is in her fourth year of Dental School while her husband is attending Medical School.  I am afraid I don’t know for sure which year he is but he thinks he might finish in about 2 1/2 years.  He is attending medical school but he is also working on his PHD which I guess complicates the time line a little. 

It was fun to have my daughter clean our teeth and give us our bi-annual check up so we could help her earn some points toward her graduation requirements.  She did a great job and I am impressed with her accomplishments.  She will graduate and be a dentist in June.  She hopes to go on to Oral Surgery when she graduates. 

My son-in-law gave us a tour of his lab, and his father’s lab, who also does research at the University.  Both are involved in genetic research and I found it interesting to see some of what they do…which is trying to cure genetic diseases.  We can all be grateful that there are men like that with the capability to do what they do.  I know I was not born to be a scientist, but I appreciate that there are people who were. 

Iowa gets a lot of attention during the presidential elections.  The Iowa caucus is first so the candidtes spend a lot of time there.  We ate at the Hamburg Inn which is a small diner where politicians and other famous visitors like to eat.  That was fun.

Iowa was much prettier than I expected.  The river flooded this last spring and I guess it caused a lot of damage to Iowa City.  We could see some of the damage but mostly, they have put things back together already. 

I was able to help an Iowan try to sell her house about a year ago.  My daughter’s friend was trying to sell her Iowa house and I was able to do some research and refer a local agent to help.  It is very common for agents to work together on referrals. 

I was happy to get to Iowa see my daughter, meet her friends and colleagues, and see what her life has been like the past 3 years.      



Filed under: Real Estate — Susan @ 8:37 am

October 20, 2008



Utah County is my area of expertise because I live here, do business here and have become familiar with the local market.   I have taken listings in other parts of Utah.   When I do, I enlist the help of a local agent to make up for my lack of knowledge in that city and to help facilitate the transaction due to my lack of proximity.  I have been asked by other agents from other cities in Utah to help sell listings in Utah County. 

I have referred friends, family and clients to agents around the country when I could not personally help them.   Agents network together in many cases when they have clients that need assistance in areas outside their expertise.  So, don’t automatically assume that because your favorite agent does not live where you are planning to move, that he/she cannot help you.  We have tools and network systems that help us help you find a compatible agent in a localitly you may not be familiar with. 

If you are planning to move out of the area, ask your favorite agent to refer you to a reputable agent in that area.  The odds of finding a good fit and having a pleasant transaction are greather if you do.  The best part is that it wont cost you extra to do so.  Agents are usually willing to work out a referral fee among themselves. 

If you are a buyer, using an agent is typically free since the seller usually pays the commission. 

I have had friends and family that will tell their local agent, “I’ll let you sell my house if you give my agent, Susan Jackson, in Utah, a referral fee.”   I have yet to run into an agent that refuses to take business because of a referral fee. 

The advantage of doing this is that it is like hiring two agents for the price of one.  I have had several agents from around the country thank me for my ideas and input on getting a home sold.   

Filed under: Buying,Real Estate,Selling,Technology — Susan @ 11:18 am

October 17, 2008


As a real estate agent, I am licensed to sell real estate anywhere in the state of Utah.  Being a member of the Wasatch Front Regional Multiple Listing Service gives me access to search for homes almost anywhere in the state.  

When a buyer calls and wants to meet with me about finding a home, I usually will meet them at my office and we start searching for homes on the MLS.  The buyer will tell me what he/she is looking for and the MLS can determine which listed homes meet that criteria. 

 If a buyer is looking for a 3 bedroom/2 bath home in Lehi or American Fork for under \$250,000, the MLS will pull up All 3 bedroom/2 bath homes in Lehi and American Fork for under \$250,000. 

Some buyers think it is an advantage to have more than one agent looking for a home on their behalf.  In Utah, agents are required to have an agency contract so enlisting more than one agent is a bad idea.  You may unknowingly cause problems for the agents involved, so please don’t do it.   

Because the MLS is used by all REALTORS®, one agent will not be able to find different 3 bedroom/2 bath homes in Lehi or American Fork for under \$250,000, than another agent will find.  The MLS will pull up all homes that fit no matter which agent is searching.   

The best way to find the perfect home is to start working with one agent who will get to know you, will see what you like about the homes you are looking at and what you don’t like.  The better the relationship becomes, the more likely you will find the perfect home. 



Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Real Estate,Selling — Susan @ 11:01 am

October 15, 2008

Technology in Business

I recently got a new laptop.  I have wanted one for a while but kept putting it off.  Now that I have it, I can’t imagine how I functioned without it.  I am so caught up on things now that I can work when I want to instead of having to wait  until I get to my computer. 

I was the Chairman of the Utah County Association of REALTORS® Tech Fair this year.  I thought it ironic all year that I was the chairman of the Tech Fair???  I laughed when I  was asked to do it.  I have never considered myself a “techie” person.  I know some really “techie” people and I think I was intimidated by their knowledge.  But, after working on this project all year, I surprised myself at how much I really do know and use in my business.  The most eye-opening experience is that I discovered there are people out there that know and use less than I.  I would not have believed that before. 

So, while there are still those people that will always know more than I about technology and how to make it work for them, I no longer feel like a tech idiot.  I used to say that I was technologically illiterate, now, I have taken inventory on how much I do know and use.  I will never be as knowledgeable as some, but taking inventory of what technology I do use has boosted my confidence and I can see how it adds value to my business. 

My advise to other agents out there:  Don’t be intimidated because you don’t know how.  Ask for help.  The members of my committee that would have normally intimidated me, were more than willing to help me with what I did not understand.  They were helpful, not judgmental. 

There are many great technology tools out there that can enhance your business.  You have to use them, however, for them to work.

I want to thank the members of my committee.  You all did a great job.  I think that this Tech Fair was the best one to date as far as content and quality.   I think the market this year has taken it’s toll on the morale of many agents and thus, the disappointing attendance.  


Filed under: Blogroll,Community,Personal,Real Estate,Technology — Susan @ 9:44 am

October 13, 2008

Do You Really Want to Sell Your House?

I had a buyer recently that met with me on a Friday and wanted to see homes on the following Wed.  I searched the MLS all weekend looking for homes that fit his needs and started calling for appointments on Monday morning. 

I found 9 homes that fit the criteria.  I called all 9 agents. 

3 agents answered their phones the first attempt.  3 told me to plan on showing their listings at my desired time.  If they found it to be a problem, they would call me.  This is always a good strategy for agents who represent sellers that are serious about selling their home.

2 called me back within a short time,  1 of those told me to plan on showing their listing at my desired time.  The other one said that my desired time was too hard for both the sellers and the agent because they all worked, and could we come at 5:00? 

“No, we can’t come at 5:00.”  My client is from, not only out of town, but out of the country.  I was scheduling 2 days= 48 hours, in advance at a time that worked with his tight schedule.  Why was there not a keybox on the home?  Is the seller not motivated enough to sell to allow a keybox on the home?  Or, is the agent not committed to this career enough to invest in a keybox for his/her listings? I don’t know what the reason was in this case, but I took that home off the schedule because there were enough other homes to see that were trying harder to “get sold”.

Selling a home can be an inconvenience but putting up with the inconvenience is worth it in the end when that buyer puts an offer on your home instead of the one they could not get in to see.

The most surprising thing about this is that 4 agents did not even bother to call me back even though they had a 2 day time window.  I feel bad for these sellers who are never going to get their home sold if their agents wont make appointments for showings. 


Story continues:  One of the homes was exceptionally promising.  This agent was one that answered right away.  I asked to preview the home the day before as well as show it at our planned time.  He said that would be fine.  I went by at the scheduled time and the people were leaving.  They said they were late for an appt. so could not let me see the home.  I asked if I could come back later and they told me to come back in 2 hours.  They called a few minutes before and postponed again another 2 hours.  I showed up 3:30 and they walked me through.  It was a mess.  (If you want a luxury home price, you need to look like a luxury home.)  They made sure to let me know they needed a lot of time to move out, so a quick closing was out of the question. 

Anyway, after all this run around and feeling like these sellers were not motivated to sell. I finally verified that I was bringing my client by the next morning. 

They said, “No! We have been told not to show the home.” 

I thought that was very strange so I called the agent when I left.  He told me they were tenants.  That explained a lot and I wish I had known that before I wasted all day trying to preview it.  

If you are renting a home that is listed for sale, understand that many tenants will do all they can to sabotage a sale.

The point of this post is to make sellers aware of some of the most common mistakes that other sellers make. 

1.  Choose an agent that will answer his/her phone and make appointments to show your home.
2.  Let your agent put a keybox on your home and allow buyers to come through it when you are not home.
3.  Be flexible when you show it.  The more buyers that come through, the better the chance of getting an offer. 
4.  Keep your house clean when it is being shown.
5.  Don’t have renters in a home you need to sell unless you explain to them that the buyer will have to honor the lease if sold or offer them an incentive to be cooperative. 
6.  Don’t waste your time trying to sell if you are not motivated to do so. 

Taking these few things under consideration will give you an edge in a market that is very competitive at the moment.   


Filed under: Blogroll,Buying,Luxury Home Market,Real Estate,Renting,Selling — Susan @ 11:06 am

Older Posts »