7 Signs You’re Dating or Married to a Real Estate Agent

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Note: This article was originally posted on Trulia Blog (www.trulia.com/corp) on Sept 25, 2014 by Jovan Hackley http://www.trulia.com/pro/just-for-fun/7-signs-youre-dating-married-real-estate-agent/

Whether you’re dating or married to someone in real estate, the truth is you’re in a three-party relationship. There’s you, your main squeeze, and the business that’s guaranteed to keep things interesting.

If you’re thinking about pairing up with a real estate buff, take notes on the list below. If you’re already in, thank your lucky stars because you’ll never be without a story to tell or some random number on your caller ID:

1. Flirting and lead generation start to look alike.

Only an agent’s other half will send their mate out into the world looking their best, hoping they come back with lots of phone numbers from interested people. Face it: Someone else’s reason to be jealous inspires your thoughts of a trip to Cabo.

2. Odd calls mean a happy mate.

In a normal relationship, random numbers or late night calls would be cause for concern. When you’re with an agent, they mean business is good. In addition, you know you’re in love when you start answering the phone like you’re the office receptionist and know the qualifying script.

3. Weekends = Me Time.

In most relationships, weekends mean dates, romance, and quality time together. When you’re with an agent, you probably party with your friends or tackle errands more than most. That is, unless you consider attending an open house a hot date.

4. Tax deductible vacations.

You know the love has gotten real when your vacation locations are centered around the next season’s real estate conference. One of the big benefits of “standing by your man/woman” when they’re in real estate is planning your getaways around continuing education or networking events.

5. Furniture randomly disappears.

Nothing sells faster than a well-staged home. And if you’re paired up with an agent, you know this because sometimes pieces of your well-staged home may disappear.

Every relationship is give and take. In real estate, sometimes the giveis your favorite lamp or painting.

6. You hear mobile voices (and they’re very motivational).

Whether it’s the self-pep-talk or someone like Brian Buffini on an audiobook, if you’re courting an agent you’ve probably caught them motivating themselves on the go. It’s ok, they aren’t that crazy. Enjoy the hum that gets the deal done.

7. You know real estate TV shows can be hogwash.

If you have a hard time watching the 30-minute real estate hunts or get a feeling similar to road rage when you flip to HGTV, you might be dating an agent. You know the realities are a lot less pretty, and that’s okay. It just means you’re really connecting with your mate.

Agents are special people—to work with, to know, and especially to love. These are our seven signs that you’re dating or married to an agent.

What would you add to the list?

 

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5 Must-Know Tips for the Best Renter Relationships

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Note: This article was originally posted on Trulia Blog (www.trulia.com/corp) on Sept 18, 2014 by Chris Brasher http://www.trulia.com/pro/rentals/5-must-know-tips-best-renter-relationships/

The relationship between a landlord and a resident can be difficult to master. Even as a property manager with repeated opportunities, the initial interaction can be stressful. The reality is, everyone benefits when renters are educated up-front, even if it’s just the very basics.

If you really want your resident to enjoy the time they spend under your roof, feel at home, and also keep yourself protected, there are a few things every property manager should mention to prospective residents:

1. Everyone Wins When You Read Your Lease

This sounds so simple and basic, but you wouldn’t believe how many renters have never actually read their entire lease agreement. Upon first glance, it’s an unending list of paragraphs and industry jumble put together by a property manager. But within all those pages, renters can learn not only what is expected of them, but also what is expected of you. Knowing their rights and the rules helps them avoid issues before they become problems. Renters need to understand the specific guidelines for every category: rent payments, late penalties, utility responsibilities, noise issues, additional occupants policy, proper notice for vacating, procedure for repair requests, etc. If they understand the lease, then you’ll be protected when assigning a financial penalty or worse… eviction. Sit down and take 15 minutes with your potential resident to read the lease — it is a win/win for everyone.

2. No One Wants to Charge Late Fees or Returned Check Fees

Although there might be a short-lived incentive fee, do you really think that all those late fees and other charges are worth it? They aren’t. It’s a hassle to manage the accounting each month, so a bounced check or adjusting for a late payment is truly inconvenient. Plus, communicating a late payment with a property owner is not a conversation you want, either. Every renter should know that no matter how much more they are paying, it is not worth the hassle of chasing them down for the overdue rent and bounced funds. It costs you more in time spent than it’s worth. For the renters’ benefit, consistently racking up those fees can cost them an enormous amount of money each year. And it can set them up for eviction proceedings, which will then also affect their credit score and their ability to rent elsewhere.

3. Pet Stains Will Cost More Than Anyone Could Imagine

We love our dogs and cats, and we still want to allow the same enjoyment to our renters. However, the big shocker always comes when a renter moves out and is hit with a huge repair bill. Why? Well, that little stain on the wall-to-wall carpet may seem pretty small to them. However, pet urine seeps deep into carpet and into the padding below. You can’t rent that apartment to the next renter with pet-stained carpet. Unfortunately for both parties, sometimes the entire room of wall-to-wall carpet and padding will have to be replaced. So whether you have carpet or hardwood, inform your renter early about the cost if sweet little Fido has one too many accidents.

4. The Deposit Is Not The Last Month’s Rent

Asking for first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit is a lot for a renter. In most cases, renters are able to pay for only the first month’s rent and the security deposit up front. But this is where renters need a little reminder. Many assume that their deposit money can be used as their last month’s rent. Wrong.

It is a security-damage deposit. Something completely separate, meant to pay for damages once they’ve moved. Make sure renters understand that they’ll need the deposit at their next apartment and will also need to repair any damages. Ask them to plan ahead, so they have enough for the upfront fees for their next place, as well as enough to cover their current obligations.

5. If You Are a Good Renter, We Don’t Want You To Move

We all love the quiet, nice, clean, and pay-on-time renter. Good renters are valuable. One of the biggest costs associated with being a landlord or property manager is the turn-over process — lost rent, cleaning costs, improvements, etc. Yes, property managers need to continually raise rents to keep up with the increased costs of running the building, taxes, insurance, etc., but if you do some homework and determine that you are charging close to the current market rent, you may be able to make a case to forgo a rent increase this year or at least come to a compromise. You may be able to ask to split the difference or give advanced notice.

What other mentions have you found to be helpful?

 

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How Your Neighbors Can Help — or Hurt — Your Home’s Sale

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Note: This article was originally posted on Zillow Blog (www.zillow.com/blog) on Aug 29, 2014 by Brendon Desimone http://www.zillow.com/blog/how-neighbors-can-affect-homes-sale-158843/

When preparing to sell your home, you probably spend a lot of time and energy getting it in its best showing condition. But can improvements to your neighbor’s property help sell your home?

Imagine that you’ve spent time and energy weeding the front yard, painting the front door, power-washing your siding and planting flowers. You’ve updated the kitchen and bathrooms and de-cluttered the home. You’re ready to go to market.

And then, when you step across the street to look at your home, all that stands out are the beat-up cars in your neighbor’s driveway, not to mention the torn-up lawn, barking dogs and overall negative curb appeal (or in this case, “curb unappealing”).

If you find the neighbor’s home unappealing, imagine what a potential buyer may think. The fact is, your neighbor’s unsightly property can rub off on your own house’s curb appeal, no matter how much you’ve done to improve it. But you have options.

1. Build a good relationship with your neighbors

Even if you don’t have a plan to sell now, it’s good practice to maintain a friendly relationship with the neighbors. You never know when you’ll need them.

Aside from possible curb appeal issues, it’s not uncommon for issues to come up during a sale. Problems regarding fence repair, retaining walls or easements can often bring a neighbor into your home sale process. Having a good relationship with your neighbor from the beginning will help to ensure their cooperation when you need them at a critical time in the home sale.

2. Keep them in the loop

If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it’s a good idea to give the neighbors a heads-up well in advance. Aside from the occasional nosey neighbor, people simply like to be “in the know.” If you think you’ll need assistance from a neighbor for whatever reason, it will be easier to approach them if you’ve given them notice. Knocking on their door telling them you’re selling and then requesting their cooperation under the gun won’t help.

3. Offer to pay for improvements (but don’t try to control them)

It will be difficult to ask your neighbors to reseed their lawn, pull their weeds, change their fence or paint their door to help your sale. Ask them to pay for it, and you can expect resistance.

If you need your neighbor to do some curb appeal work to help your sale, the money should come out of your pocket. On top of that, you can’t force the neighbor to use your landscaper, painter or contractor, even if you’re paying for it. Don’t forget: It’s their home, not yours, and you need to tread lightly. Though many neighbors will appreciate the offer to spruce up their home on your dime, others may be hesitant. Bullying them to work on your timeframe or with your rules won’t help.

With luck, a home sale can proceed smoothly without the need to involve neighbors. But if you hope to sell in the future, understand that your neighbors’ cooperation may be necessary. If you plan in advance, open the doors of communication and offer to make things easy, you’re more likely to get what you want.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions? Or just pure reactions? Tell us what you think by completing the form below and let us know, we’ll be more than delighted to hear from you!