i turn REALTY into REALiTY

For Sellers Category

eHarmony & Real Estate

oddcoupleShe’s Out Of My League

Okay, let me say up front that yes, I do sometimes read these relationship emails that come spamming across my computer.  And yes, I do find the topics entertaining as well as informative from time to time.  I also think that, like many things in life, there are parallels to be found across broad and diverse topics.

Take this most recent article on eHarmony for example. It used the 2010 movie “She’s Out Of My League” as the premise for their article, so I figured I could use their article as the premise of my blog post!  Imagine this headline from eHarmony – Should You Date Someone “Out Of Your League”? This was an interesting article that touched upon several things to consider when assessing a potential date/mate. You can read the relationship article HERE.

Now, imagine that same title as a real estate article with a few words replaced.  It could become the headline I’ve written below.  In fact, I’ve used eHarmony in the past as a starting off point for another blog post.  You can read that prior post HERE.  Hey, when the well is dry, you still gotta find water somewhere, right? Read the rest of this entry »

A Cow For A Refrigerator?

money in the hands


The single biggest stumbling block in a real estate transaction. It can cause a deal to fall apart, or it can keep it together. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

Zesstimates: New and Improved?

new and improved

Better, But Still Room For Improvement

A recent post on Zillow.com boasted of version 3 of their Zesstimate algorithm.  If you’re not familiar with Zillow, or their Zesstimates, it is an automated valuation tool, designed to help sellers (and buyers) determine the value of their home. In past years, it has garnered some praise, but even more criticism for its inaccuracies. In fact, back in 2006 I wrote a post about Zesstimates and how bad they were.  You can read that post here.

Shortly after my post (not that I believe I had any influence on them, as it was more of a coincidence than anything else), they developed version 2.0 which allowed homeowners the ability to add information to their database with the hopes of generating more accurate data.  Many homeowners flocked to the site, eagerly correcting the erroneous information that was stored in their county tax records, with the hopes that by entering updated information, they would see their zesstimates soar thru the roof, thereby affirming what they inherently believed from the start – that their home was the most expensive (or rather highest valued) home on the block. Read the rest of this entry »


Time for a Check-Up?

Credit Bureaus

Question: What Do Your Body, Teeth and Credit Have In Common?

Answer: They all need annual check-ups…

Believe it or not, your financial well-being is just as important as your physical well-being.  Maybe even more so, because if you are in financial trouble, chances are, your health will be affected either by stress to the body, or because of an inability to pay for healthcare.  So, take a minute and get a credit check-up.  The best part of the check-up is that there are no waiting lines, no shots, and no office co-pays.  It’s FREE, but only if you know where to go…

Don’t Believe Everything You See On TV

You’ve seen the commercials and have probably got that jingle stuck in your head.  You know the commercials I’m talking about, right? The one where some young guy and his band sing a song about how his credit got screwed up and now he has to a) live in his parent’s basement or b) drive an old beat up car…

The stories have merit, but if you go to the website that is advertised in the commercial, you’ll see that it’s just another company wanting you to spend your hard earned money on something you probably don’t need. The lure is a FREE CREDIT REPORT, but there’s a catch to all of this… If you read the fine print you’ll realize that in order to get your free credit report, you have to sign up for a trial membership in their credit monitoring program.  You will end up paying $14.95/month for something that isn’t necessary.

Instead, if you want to know what’s in your credit report, go to the official site at AnnualCreditReport.com where you can truly order your report(s) for free.  You can receive a free report from each of the three reporting agencies once per year.

Who Cares About My Credit?

Your credit rating is a very important part of your life, and it affects you in many ways, from what interest rates you are charged on credit cards, consumer and mortgage loans, to how much you’ll pay for home and auto insurance.  Check out this recent article for ways to increase (or decrease) your credit scores.

What are your thoughts? Do you think credit scores are over-rated? Have you been turned down for credit?

What lurks in Those Seattle Victorian Homes?

Older home with lead based paint

Older home with lead-based paint

As a child, I was initially raised in a very old apartment building in San Francisco, CA.  I spent countless hours looking outside the bedroom window and down at the street, much like the child in the photo above. My mom even tells stories of me as a baby, chewing on the wood of the sills and other painted objects. “We were so poor that we couldn’t afford teething toys…”. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

Property Disclosures – What Sellers Need To Know


Seller Property Disclosure Form

In an earlier post, I discussed the topic of property disclosures, and what it means for buyers.  You can read that post HERE.  If you’re a seller, you may already be familiar with the disclosure form, and may even think that it’s totally unnecessary and a burden to complete.  After all, who reads these things anyway, right? Well, I’m proposing that you look at this document from a completely new perspective. Read the rest of this entry »


4 Things Your Agent Won’t Tell You (But I Will)…

shhhhSelling a home can be a daunting task for sure.  Some consumers go through the process only once or twice in a lifetime. Others go through it every few years or so.  Regardless of how experienced you are (or think you are), I’ve got a few things to share with you.

#1 – You Can Cancel Your Listing Agreement at ANY Time.

If you have your home for sale and you want to cancel your listing with your current Realtor, you can.  Most real estate agents try to secure a 6 month listing agreement with a home seller.  There are some valid reasons for this. In the current real estate market, homes take longer to sell, and most agents want some assurance that they will have time to adequately market the home.  There are real monetary expenditures at risk for the agent, including house flyers, print advertising, Open House expenses, and much more.  There are also valid reasons why you might want to cancel your listing agreement.  I will describe in a later post some of the reasons why you might want (or need) to cancel your listing prior to the expiration date, but just know that you can. Read the rest of this entry »

Talk Dirty to Me…

Concrete pipes

A large scale version of my septic system

No, this isn’t about the song from the musical group Poison. Nor is this an explicit request. It’s more like a session of potty talk for grown-ups.

Living with a Septic System

I grew up in the city. We had sewers. When you live on sewers, you don’t worry about what happens once you’ve done your business. That’s because the sewer company maintains the pipes once it leaves your property. When you live on septic, the pipes never leave your property. That means your business remains your business…

My Woodinville Home…

Is on a septic system. Actually, my home shares the land with the septic system. Until recently, I never gave it another thought.  I had the tank pumped out as recommended by the King County Health Department. That’s when my troubles began. Read the rest of this entry »


3 updates that DID NOT help sell this Lynnwood WA home

STOPWhen selling your house, it is generally in your best interest to de-clutter, clean, and update it so that potential buyers will view it at it’s best. Before doing so, I suggest that you ask your Realtor for his/her opinion. I see a lot of homes each week as I preview and show them to my buyer clients. I like to take photos of homes that I think serve as great (or not so great) examples of what sellers have done in their home.

What buyers look for.

Two rooms that get used the most in the home are the kitchen and bathroom. Makes sense, doesn’t it? What goes in must eventually come out. So, it is imperative that these two rooms are clean and show well. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

Is it important that my Realitor can spell?

In this age of easy access to computers and spell check programs, why is it that grammar and spelling have declined? Are we just too busy to take the time to proofread? Or, are we just too lazy?

Bad Grammar = No Business Or Does It?

Many of my co-workers and friends think I’m a bit crazy when I post photos on Facebook of typos that I come across in my daily life. I get a kick out of them.

But the bigger question to ask yourself is “does it change your perception of the company or individual in a negative way”?

Put another way, would you continue to do business with an individual or company if their correspondence was riddled with bad grammar or typos?

For me, it would depend. Read the rest of this entry »