DON’T FALL FOR THIS PLOY TO GET YOUR LISTING

“If your house doesn’t sell, I’ll buy it!”

What they don’t disclose is:
• You will be required to fix everything an inspector finds
• You will be required to spruce up your home: new carpet, paint,
fixing up your yard, etc. which may include hiring a professional “Stager” to decorate your home and landscaper – all at your expense.
• You have to agree to their listing price which will be well below market value – not the price you want for your home

This is a bait and switch technique. Once the agent gets their foot in your door and reveals their requirements, they have you caught. You’ll then agree to their standard listing agreement.

Any agent or company that uses deception to get your listing is NOT one who will try hard to get you the highest and best price for your home nor are they looking out for your best interests.

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Marijuana issue is becoming a huge headache for Realtors!

  Marijuana issue is becoming a huge headache for Realtors! Not only do I find homes for buyers and sell homes for sellers, but I’m a property manager as well. One of the newest problems I’m encountering is tenants wanting to grow and use marijuana in their rental home.

When a potential tenant calls to inquire about a rental, it use to be so simple to screen them: “Do you have pets? What kinds?” and “How is your credit?” Now-a-days, the spiel I present even before meeting with this person: “We don’t allow smoking of any type nor the use of, nor the growing of medical and/or recreational marijuana.” Out from the last 60 phone inquiries I’ve received, ONLY about 3 or 4 people have stated that they do not use marijuana. This is amazing!

So why don’t we allow this since it’s now legal in Colorado? Here are the reasons:
1) – It stinks like a skunk! We don’t want that smell to infiltrate into the home and garage.
2) – It’s a huge liability for the landlord and property manager as breaking into a home to get the plants is a growing problem especially since buying it legally, is extremely costly.
3) – Generally those needing to use it medically, will also share their bounty with others so it’s intended purpose can’t be controlled. Hence also, as documented, it doesn’t just stop with the pot usage but ventures into other drugs.
4) – Fabricating marijuana oil is dangerous as it can become explosive.

Is this discrimination? No it’s not if the landlord states that he does not permit it. It’s just like someone who is a smoker; we can deny tenancy to anyone who smokes.

Is this a growing problem? Yes it is as people are coming into Colorado in droves wanting to be able to use marijuana only to find out that most landlords will not allow it. I’ve had many angry phone calls from those who want to argue the issue with me. All I say is, “It’s not allowed in our rental homes.”

How to Avoid Buying a Money Pit Home

Well, it’s happened again in Colorado Springs.  A buyer bought a home that had a previous history of condemnation! An Investor bought it, did some patching up so that it’s flaws weren’t noticed, then resold it at a premium price. It looked beautiful inside and the buyer fell in love with it not knowing she was buying a money pit and basically a home that should never have been sold in the first place! It had slipped through the cracks between Regional Building and Code Enforcement but through its history on the MLS, there were red flags. Red flags that an experience and knowledgeable Realtor would hopefully notice.

This is nothing new. Unless you’re working with a savvy Realtor who will do their due diligence for their buyer, purchases can go seriously wrong. There are certain clues that an experienced Realtor will look for and advise the buyer of what they suspect. Keep in mind that a Realtor is NOT an inspector however they should be looking for clues and signs that there could be something wrong with the home. They should also be looking at the home listing history as well as pulling building permits so that they can provide their buyer with the most information possible so that their buyers can make the best decision possible for themselves!

When I looked at the previous listing history of this home, the red flags were flying. Keep in mind, homes built around the turn of the century weren’t suppose to last 100 years. They were built on rock or cinderblock foundations which crumble over time. There are telltale signs to look for…some more obvious than others but just by looking at its history told so much that could have warned this buyer before she bought it.

Even the best remodeled home will show signs of problems IF you know what you’re looking for. From there, if the buyers still want to write an offer, it is an agents duty to add in certain terms to the offer to help protect their buyer as well as putting some responsibility on the seller to remedy if they want the sale such as having a full structural engineers evaluation performed at the sellers expense.

Buyers also have the right to any inspector they want to hire. Unfortunately, some buyers look for the cheapest inspector – you get what you pay for, needless to say. Inspectors do NOT have to be licensed but there are certifications that they can get that will set them apart of Mr. Joe Inspector. A good Realtor will accompany their buyer throughout the inspection as well so that they can relay any deficiencies in written form to the sellers agent. So basically speaking, a Realtor isn’t there “just” to open the door to let their buyers inside. A Realtor should do as much as possible and obtain as much information as possible to help their buyers make that final decision.

Beware working with a For Sale By Owner ( FSBO ) or buying a bank owned home. Without proper representation by a qualified and knowledgeable Realtor, the money you think you’re saving could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.

Does Your Agent Really Have Your Best Interest at Heart???

So here’s the situation. My buyer placed an over full price cash offer on a short sale home. All was going fine until the listing agent decided to replace her current negotiator with another one who, I later found out happened to have an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau and lots of negative reviews.  They presented to us an amend/extend that frankly, I just couldn’t wrap my head around – it was very convoluted and confusing. It just didn’t feel right. I told my buyers not to sign it until I discussed this with other professionals.   I contacted two high quality title companies as well as a lenders underwriters. I also contacted my highly successful negotiator for her advice and guess what? Everyone I contacted said that there’s something shady going on.   Even the title company put it through their legal department.  They told me that if this was their deal, they wouldn’t touch it!  I discussed my findings with my buyer and my buyer decided to decline signing this contact revision.  The listing agent then decided to call me names, accusing me of ruining the deal and slandering her and her negotiator.  My buyers then backed out of the contract and now I’m getting threats of a suit by the listing agent.  Huh???  I’m performing my due-diligence as required by law.  Will be interesting if she really does try to do anything as she’ll lose! Needless to say, if your agent isn’t fully investigating things for you, get yourself a different agent!

What’s The Root Cause of Violence? Is There A Solution?

While people are reacting to the violence that’s increasing throughout our nation, trying to eliminate weapons, they fail to see what is causing the problem.  It’s like going to the doctor for a pain in your knee and given drugs instead of trying to find out what’s causing the pain in the first place!

It’s happened to me and I’ve been the victim of a horrendous crime. The crime of avoidance and ignorance.

 My elderly mother came out to live with me after no longer being able to care for herself.  I envisioned these last few years of her life to be a wonderful experience for both of us. I set her up with her own apartment in my home complete with a kitchen, family room, three bedrooms and a sun drenched solarium with plants and a waterfall.  It walked out onto an enclosed patio filled with trees, garden seats along with a gorgeous view of the mountains. It was beautiful!

 Two weeks after she moved in, having wonderful times together, things drastically changed. It was if a toggle switch was thrown as her behavior made an abrupt change.  I was not prepared for the onslaught that was going to change my life forever.

 It first started with false accusations that I had done something 40 years prior that she was angry about.  That anger evolved into further accusations, all disjointed and increasing in intensity. Days and nights were filled with her screams filled with foul language, more and more delusions and claims.  I ended up locking my bedroom door at night as she would come into my room in the middle of the night to continue on with her ranting.

 I called every mental health organization out there for the elderly, every nursing home, Adult Protective Services, doctors, nurses, even hospice , begging them  to come and find out what her problem was.  They all told me the same thing: “Until she agrees to a mental evaluation or tries to hurt herself or others, there’s nothing we can do.”

 I was able to get Adult Protective Services out as well as a nurse, but once someone else came on the scene, my mother turned into a very docile, very polite and unassuming little old lady.  My claims about her behavior fell on deaf ears. They called it a “family conflict” and walked away.

 I started recording her violent and bizarre behavior in hopes that this would provide proof needed to get her help.  One day, she decided to leave and walked down my 100 yard driveway and lay down on the side of the road, hailing people as they drove by so that they would take her back to California where she previously lived.  I called the police and ambulance who took her to the ER.  From there, I hoped she would finally get the help she desperately needed.

 This time, I had 2 witnesses to her behavior who accompanied me to the hospital and voiced their concerns to the ER doctor and social worker as well. We told them what was occurring plus I played the recordings of her behavior.  Tests came back positive for a urinary infection so they chalked-up her behavior to the infection, totally negating everything we told them.

  It was almost comical; whenever anyone would speak with her, she’d turned back into this sweet and polite little old lady – once I entered her room, she’d morph instantly back to being nasty.  Like I said, it was like someone turned on and off a switch.  I took her back home with me hoping that perhaps the antibiotics would at least calm her down.  They didn’t.

 Months went by and my pleas for help went on deaf ears.  The same advice was offered – “She needs to be mentally evaluated”. Ya right!  This is what I’ve been asking for yet until she agrees, it’s just another road block from getting her help.

  I was able to get a hospice doctor to came over to visit with her. This was the first time ever acted up in front of a professional. I was so thankful!  He witnessed her extreme anger, tried to calm her down and failed miserably.  He told me that she was out of control and needed a psychiatric evaluation immediately.  Grrr – same thing once again. He wouldn’t/couldn’t do anything since she wasn’t his patient.

 I called an attorney who specialized in elder law.  She told me that should my mother fall or should she threaten to take her life or physically hurt me or someone else, then I could have her taken to the psych hospital for a 3 day hold for evaluation.  More weeks passed and her behavior increased even more so.  Finally, one day, she was totally out of control and threatened my life.  I called the ambulance who took her to the ER – refusing to take her to the psych hospital as this had to be an order coming from the ER doctor first before they could transport her to another facility.

 Once in the ER, she turned into this very docile little old lady again.  Despite asking them to listen to the recordings of her (they refused), despite the daily journal I had kept of her behavior, despite my pleadings that there was something very wrong with her, they told me to take her home as there was nothing physically wrong with her.  Once again, they claimed that this was just a family conflict and until she agreed to have a neuropsych evaluation, there’s nothing they could do.

 It was then I told the ER doctor that I could no longer take care of her  and I would not be taking her home with me…she was in their care now!  Essentially, I dumped her in the hospitals lap.  The doctor said that this was elder abuse and would file a claim against me, getting the police involved.  I told them to go ahead but she’s not coming back with me as she is beyond what I can do to help her.

 The ER doctor told me that they’d have her psychologically evaluated.  I was elated!  I walked out of the hospital hoping and praying they’d find out what was wrong.  A couple hours later, I received a call from an assisted living facility. My mom was being transferred there.  The doctor lied to me. There was no psychological help, no testing, nothing. They just dumped her off into the care of this facility who is not equipped to handle mental issues.

I was told by the social worker not to contact my mom due to this “family conflict” as it was best to allow her time to calm down and settle into her new surroundings. She kept calling me though – more threats, more disjointed behavior.  I let her calls go into my voice mail. The director of the assisted living facility said she was the toughest case they’ve ever had as she kept threatening suicide and would lash out on the nurses there.  And even then, they did nothing and could do nothing as they had no authority to do so.

 The adult protective services officer started visiting her and somehow convinced her to have a neuropsych evaluation done to “prove that there was nothing wrong”. She complied and was found to be mentally incompetent but no official diagnosis was made to the cause. The recommendation was to her analyzed by a psychiatrist! Ugh! Once again, no help.

 It’s been 2 years since she was dumped into the assisted living facility. I now have legal guardianship of her but am still unable to get her proper psychological help as, once again, she has to agree to it.  Meantime, she’s still threatening and still exhibits abnormal behavior. We’re sneaking anti-depressant pills into her vitamins which seems to help however the least little thing can send her off into another rage-filled tangent.

 Needless to say, the problem isn’t with the guns and more gun restrictions and gun laws – that’s just another pill to cover up what the actual problem is. That problem is with the lack of mental health care and the inability of loved ones being able to find help for someone with a mental health problem.  It’s pushed under the rug – given a pill and that’s it. This is not a cure  – all it does is temporarily cover up a sleeping demon.

 Our current privacy laws (HIPAA) state that when someone is an adult, unless they acknowledge that they have a problem there’s nothing anyone on the outside can do.  Unless we can get this changed, we’re going to see more and more violence happening.  Every one of those people who went on a rampant killing rage, had mental health issues that went unchecked. When you read in the news about these horrific murders, you hear, after the event, how family members and even neighbors knew there was a problem but didn’t know what to do or who to turn to.

 Laws need to change enabling family members to force mental health evaluations on a loved one who is exhibiting violent, disjointed behavior. Right now, we’re failing and failing miserably. 

 That’s the problem and I believe this is the solution.  I’m not stating that we resort back to the way it was years ago with committing family members into an institution just to get them out of the way. I’m stating that when there’s clear evidence and concern about the mental health of a loved one, then they should be able to find an appropriate resource to get the help that’s needed. Right now, there is nothing available.  

Let’s concentrate on mental health issues rather than the knee jerk reactions to create more laws that certainly haven’t worked.  The fact is, those who have mental issues and those who don’t obey the law, won’t comply anyway.  Enforce the laws already there, build more jails, punish the guilty and make crime undesirable. Provide resources out there to get help for those who have mental issues.  I’m not asking for a witch hunt.  I’m asking for a common sense approach and solution to curb our growing problems.

 

Open Houses – Is It Worth the Chance?

 

This is why I no longer hold Open Houses. You just don’t know who will be coming through the home. I’ve heard of drugs being taken from the medicine cabinets, windows left unlocked for a repeat visit .. Why let strangers into your home instead of qualified and interested buyers? Frankly, Open Houses very seldom result in a buyer however it is an opportunity for a Realtor to pick up a buyer…at your expense. No way! Open Houses are just too risky now-a-days. The last Open House I held, a man refused to leave and kept “eyeing” me in a very uncomfortable way. Fortunately, I do carry. I put my hand in my pocket in a very obvious manner where my gun was and told him, “I think you’d better leave now and I would suggest you do it quickly!” He glanced at my pocket then high-tailed it out the door. No more Open Houses for me nor for my clients! I’m not going to risk my safety nor theirs just to get a new buyer! Image

IF I CAN’T SELL YOUR HOME IN 90 DAYS, I’LL BUY IT!!!

SO, what’s the catch?  A Realtor states that if they can’t sell my home within 90 days, then they’ll buy it.  Is this a good deal or not? What’s the scoop?

Okay, as the old saying goes: “If it sounds too good to be true – it’s not!”

Run, don’t walk, away from Realtors that offer this service.  In my opinion, this is a deceptive marketing tool that some Realtors use. The way it works is they’ll advertise, “I’ll Sell your Home in 90 Days or I’ll Buy It Myself”.  Sounds great.  They must just be SO confident in their sales abilities that they can afford to buy your home if they don’t sell it, right?   You happily set the appointment with the Realtor and they go over the fine print in the contract.

Here’s what the contract says: You will be charged a seriously over-inflated commission to list the home (could be as high as 9% or 12% commission).  Why so high?  Because they are taking on the risk that if they don’t sell your home, they may have to buy it!  The other fine print you’ll find in these types of contracts includes language that allows the listing agent – yes, once again….”allows the listing agent” to set the asking price of the home, not you, and the price will be a good 10-15% below market value or greater, in order to make 100% sure it sells and thus minimizing the Realtor’s risk in the transaction.   There also may be additional price reductions built into the contract.  No Realtor WANTS to buy your home if they can’t sell it. Frankly, most don’t have the money to do so and will simply just walk away, cancelling your contract.

SO does  the  thought of paying 9% to 11% commission appall you?  It should!  Once you start balking at this, the Realtor then says, “but wait, there’s another option we offer!  We also have the standard contract in which we don’t guarantee the sale of your home, and you set the pricing at market value.  And that commission rate is only 6% “ (or whatever they charge, being more in line with what other Realtors charge).

You are so relieved that you can get your home listed for less than 11% commission that you excitedly sign the normal listing agreement, thinking you got a deal.  Now wait – think about this for a minute.  The Realtor lured you in with what I would consider to be deceptive marketing practices, and then bait and switched you to the standard listing contract, at a lower commission rate.  You feel like you won in this negotiation however you need to know that this Realtor never intended that you would really sign at 12%, their goal was just to get you to sign and list with them at the 6%, and not have to buy your home.  Did you fall for it?  And is this really the Realtor that you want representing you?   What do you know about their sales track record, marketing programs, or anything else they do?

Don’t Sign!

You are better off to use a good Realtor in your town who’s highly recommended, has a proven track record and has excellent marketing strategies and who sets a realistic asking price for your home.   This is what will get your home sold in under 90 days.  I’ve done it many times!  Your Realtor shouldn’t need to rely on a deceptive marketing practice to get listings. 

For a reputable Realtor, call Vicky Baker – Managing Broker – Dancing Star Realty – 877-488-2234