Posts Tagged ‘ realtors ’

Realtor Etiquette 101

How can you tell that the Boise real estate market is changing?  With the increase in obnoxious behavior by Realtors, that  is how!

This post is a friendly little reminder to all my fellow Realtors:  As a group we are already despised, so please do not help further ruin our already bad reputation. (On a good day we are compared to lawyers and on a bad day we are compared to used car salesman.) Show some courtesy and some class when you are out viewing property with clients especially when there are other Realtors viewing the same property with their clients.

Rule 1: If you show up to a house and you see another Realtor already inside showing the property, wait in the car with your client until the other Realtor is done. You see, if you try to impress your client on how tough a Realtor you are by just walking in and proceeding to show the property, two things happen. One: you tick off the other Realtor, which then breeds more obnoxious behavior because now they are going to take their sweet time to show the property (that is called spite, a very lovely trait!). Two: you look like a jacka**. Yep, even your client has more decency than you do by feeling extremely uncomfortable with your behavior and usually winds up apologizing for you. Not a good way to get referrals!

Rule 2: Use your own e-key to get in! When I am done showing a house, I lock it up because my code is now entered in the box. If you (Realtor) come in right behind me with your clients before I lock up and something gets damaged, guess who the Listing Agent is going to call? That’s right, me, the most recent code. So this is where waiting in your car comes back into play. You might think it is rude that I lock the door and put the key back into the box while you wait two feet away from me, but that is a MLS requirement. The Listing Agent and the Homeowner have a right to know who is showing their property, not just to keep track but as a security issue.

So my fellow Realtors, this is not 2006 when we had to beg the sellers to please let us show their home. There is still plenty of properties to show and just as many good deals to go around. Let’s play nice and show some professionalism, be courteous, be kind and wait your d*** turn!

Speaking of great deals, if you would like to some of the great deals going on in the Boise real estate market please go to my website (no sign up required):

Shadow Inventory in the Boise Real Estate Market

In today’s local newspaper they did their usual hype style headline, “Shadow Inventory could still  Haunt Treasure Valley Market”. It seems at least once a week, the local paper and national  news media feel the need to run a negative real estate story. This particular story on Shadow Inventory has been run before and it seems not that long ago.

So what is “Shadow Inventory”? These are the homes that have been foreclosed on and have not as of yet been put on the real estate market. Generally speaking these homes are owned by the lenders who have first lien position (usually the original loan).

The way the news stories are written one would think that the banks are just waiting for an orchestrated time to dump all the homes onto the market. Does that seem to make any sense? No, and banks are not in the business to lose money. If they were to put all the homes that they have  in their inventory on the market at the same time they would crash the market, forcing prices to go even lower.

Most banks are losing money as it is with homes being sold at record lows, so homes must be put onto the real estate market in a timely fashion. When they sell one, they put another one on. It is really that simple. The lending industry may have had a big hand in screwing up the housing market but they actually do understand (let’s hope so anyway) supply and demand.

And demand is getting higher as the inventory shrinks and prices have leveled off ,and in some cases has increased. I know I am not the only realtor who seems to feel that there is a certain urgency that has entered the market. I have shown several homes recently and have encountered another realtor trying to come in the door right behind me. That has not happened in several years and I will discuss that in tomorrow’s post.

If you would like to see what the current inventory in the Boise real estate market looks like right now, please go to my website (no sign up required):

New Homes Sales Plunged in February,hmm…

There was yet another doom and gloom real estate story in my favorite local newspaper. Its headline was, “New-home Sales Plunged in February to Record Low”. Now the ordinary reader who is not a Realtor would read that and think,” Wow the real estate market is still really bad”.

One of those ordinary readers was my husband who read the headline and asked me, “Are things really that bad?” I told him, read the rest of the article and you will see that the story is for  the national new-home sales, and not the local Boise real estate area, which has actually been seeing a consistent upward trend.

A few things about the national picture first. Weather has been absolutely horrible in most parts of the country. Winter weather and heavy rains have delayed many new-homes from being completed, therefore, no closing.  If you look at their chart they show sales going back to 1963 till present.  Today’s national numbers are about half of what they were in 1963 but  are about what they were in the late 1960’s and again in the mid 1980’s. But if you look at the numbers from 2005 (height of the market) it looks like a heart monitor that suddenly has no beat. Anything that you compare in the real estate market from 2005 to 2011 is going to look bad. Actually I think that 2010 was the polar opposite of 2005 and as I continue to watch the statistics, 2011 is actually looking very good.

Here in the Boise area, the real estate market is looking very, very good. Existing home sales jumped in February (by 24%) and so did the pending sales which indicates that March sales are going to be even better. I know as a Realtor my phone has started to ring quite a bit from buyers who realize now is the time to buy. Talking with other Realtors in my office and around the Boise area, they are all saying the same thing, “Business is picking up and it is not the spring market yet”. We all feel the same way, this is going to be a good year!

If you are a buyer or a seller and want additional information regarding the Boise real estate market, please go to my website (no sign up needed):

Low Cost Ways to Update Your Home

This is the time of year that many (non-distressed) sellers consider putting their home on the market here in the Boise Idaho area. Many of us are feeling the effects of the economy and can not afford to do expensive updates so here are a few inexpensive ways to update your home:

  • Install a new mailbox –nothing looks worse than a mailbox that has been beaten up by the weather and the mail carrier
  • Upgrade outdoor lighting– it does not have to be expensive, just new
  • Replace old doormats – you do not want the first item before a buyer steps into your home to be a worn out or filthy doormat.
  • Plant annual flowers –this adds instant color and fills in dull spots around the yard. Putting potted annuals by the garage and front door give a warm homey feel
  • Replace torn window screens – these are so easily overlooked by a seller but when buyers look out your windows the last thing you want them to see is a big hole in the screen
  • Fix or replace outdated faucets—fix them especially if they leak and replace if they are more than 10 years old. Remember, it does not have to be expensive just new
  • Re-caulk sinks and tubes –this simple job makes a sink or tub look like new but remember to properly remove existing caulk so the job looks clean
  • Buy organizational systems to reduce clutter—having little baskets that items can be put in and put away quickly before showings keeps the house looking neat
  • Place centerpieces on large counters –like the annuals in the yard, it gives the room a pop of color and a pleasant focal point

 Always remember that a buyer likes the home to look new and you can give that perception without busting your budget.  This does not mean you have to buy the top of the line items to update but be careful not to buy the cheapest items either or you will wind up replacing them before you even close the deal!

If you would like more tips on how to sell your home in the Boise real estate market area you can look at additional posts under the “Selling Your Home” category or go to my website (no sign up required):

Home Buyer Turn-Offs

There are some things that a seller does that can really repel potential buyers. In today’s market, a traditional seller has to compete against some pretty tough competition: banks and short sales. Both are below market type of listings but a traditional or what I call a “regular” seller does have some advantages.  A normal closing time and a relatively well maintained property are two of those advantages. But there are also ways that a seller can kill a deal. Tara -Nicholle Nelson of Trulia gave several reasons that I will share with you below along with my take on it.

1.-Stalker-ish Sellers. This one made me smile! I have shown houses where the seller insists on giving the tour. After all, they know their property best! Problem is most buyers want to be able to envision themselves in the home. Having the seller there in the same space makes that process very difficult. The buyer will no longer be paying attention to what they could like about the home because the seller is distracting them with little pieces of nostalgia that the buyer does not need or want to know.

Sellers, go for a walk or go to the store but whatever you do, just do not make your presence known while the buyer is looking at your home. If there is a lack of chemistry (kind of like dating) between you and the buyer, you could kill the deal before it even makes it to paper.

2. Keep it Clean – Sellers will be told this a dozen times but it really does make a difference. When buyers have seen the trashed bank owned and short sale properties it is such a relief to see a well cared for home.  So clear the clutter, straighten items up (laundry, dirty dishes, toys, etc.) and try not to have any offensive odors lingering in the home (cigarette smoke, stinky food, dirty cat boxes,  wet dog,etc.).

3. Pricing – It used to be location, location, location that sold a home. Today it is pricing, pricing, pricing! It is hard when your home is in better condition than the distressed property but pricing your home like it is 2006, regardless of the superior condition, will not get you a buyer. Actually, overpricing indicates to the buyers that you are either testing the market or will be unreasonable to negotiate with.  Have your realtor do the comps with and without the distressed properties and then figure on a price that meets in the middle.

4. Bad Home Improvements– If you are going to take the time and money to do an improvement, do it to sell and not for your personal liking. Use neutral or warm toned colors that will appeal to a majority of buyers, not your favorite shade of pink “because you still have to live there until it sells”! I am always amazed at what some sellers consider improvements (which makes me wonder how bad did it look before?).  If you know you are going to sell soon and are going to update or upgrade, get a professional opinion from either a home decorating store, paint store or your favorite realtor (most realtors actually do know what the current trends are!). You want to make sure that you will get a return on your money so choose wisely. Remember, any job worth doing is worth doing well and doing smart!

5. Listing Photos– Listing photos are so important and yet are so over looked! The internet is generally where most buyers view the homes that they would like to see before they ever get in the car. A bad photo will have them clicking the “next” button to see a different home. If your realtor does not have a decent camera, they should be hiring a professional to take the pictures. And make sure that you the seller see and approve the pictures first and have the realtor show you what your listing looks like on the MLS and internet.

One more item that is also overlooked and that is showing availability. Many buyers have a limited time when they are out looking so don’t make it difficult to schedule a showing. Most buyers are understanding but if they have to arrange the entire schedule of properties to see around yours, they may just skip you all together.

If you would like additional tips for selling your home in the Boise Idaho real estate market please see my other posts under home selling tips or go to my website (no sign up required):

Why You Should Use a Realtor When Selling Your Home

There are some sellers who feel that they do not need a Realtor to sell their home. After all what does a Realtor do that they can’t?  Plus they will save on commission and get a lot more money at the table, right? Well, no, not really.

A few months back a friend of mine wanted to list his house in Boise for sale but he had another friend convince him that he could do this himself. He did ask my opinion on price and I gave it to him – $159K. Well, he felt that was way too low and he did some of his own research and decided it would go on the market for $189K.

I advised him that the price was too high for his subdivision and since he was doing this as a FSBO, the price should be even lower than the $159K.(Nothing makes me laugh more than when I see FSBO’s higher priced than homes that are using a realtor!) He would not listen to me and so proceeded to make one mistake after another in trying to sell the home. Here are a few of them:

1. Listed it almost $30k higher than market value (was in denial that it was a buyers market)

2. Did costly and unnecessary work such as put a new roof on which cost him $6k, all new carpeting -$5k and new paint $1k. (Now he was $12k down on this deal already)

3. Only listed it with a FSBO company

4. Did not lower his price until the property was on the market for 5 months (with only a handful of showings)

After the property was on the market for 7 months he decided he would list it with a real estate company (his friend talked him into using a Realtor that they liked and yes, I am still actually friends with him!) He lowered the price to – $159.9K  (shocker). It sold within 2 weeks at $155K in a cash deal.

Now had he listened to me to start with he would have listed it at the $159K price, would not have done the $12k in work he thought was going to attract a buyer, and he would not have had to pay 7 more mortgage payments.  

So why use a Realtor? Two very important reasons (there are more but this post is already way too long!):

1. Pricing- In this market it is all about pricing and if you are not a distressed seller you must know how to figure out pricing! A Realtor can do this with a thorough Current Market Analysis.  Price your home incorrectly and it is going to sit.

2. Marketing- Listing your home with a realtor puts you in front of thousands of buyers and realtors. Doing a FSBO is like yelling from your front door that your home is for sale. Your neighbors will know, but not many others.

Also, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 1 in 10 homes that sold in 2010 were FSBO.  The median price for a FSBO was  $140K and ones sold using a Realtor sold for $199.3K.

So if you are thinking about selling your home, I highly advise using a Realtor (and if you are in the Boise area please use me!). It will save you time and money in the long run.

For more information regarding selling your home in the Boise, Idaho area or if you would like a Current Market Analysis of your home, please go to my website:

Real Estate Industry Trends

Over the last two days I have posted Buyer and Seller Real Estate Trends that were listed in Brian Buffini’s Real Estate Report. Today I will share with you real estate trends that affect buyers and sellers, such as distressed properties, mortgage facts and other useful real estate facts from 2010.

Distressed Property:

Distressed homes make up 36% of the market.

Half of all buyers considered purchasing a foreclosed home but did not.

Areas where housing is predicted to recover the quickest:

North Dakota

South Dakota





Mortgage Facts:

91% of all buyers financed their home purchase

FHA loans were used for 56% of first time home buyers purchase

Median down payments:

First time buyers : 4%

All home buyers : 8%

Repeat Buyers: 14%

Mortgage rates (fixed) are expected to go from 4.75% to 5.75% by year end


Industry Facts:

Only 1 in 10 sales was a For Sale By Owner

Types of Homes Purchased:

Single Family: 77%

Condos: 9%

Townhouse/row house: 8%

Other Kind: 6%

Home in a subdivision or suburb: 52%

The percent of a persons income used for housing: 34%


November 2010: 9.5 months supply

December 2010: 8.1 months supply

Median Home Prices:

West: $204K

Midwest: $139.7K

South: $148.4K

Northeast: $237.3k


Once again I would like you to keep in mind that these numbers are median and are at the national level. Your local numbers will vary and if you would like the numbers for the Boise area real estate market please contact me through my website (no sign up required):

Article referenced: Brian Buffini’s Real Estate Report; Buffini & Co.




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