Let’s End “Now is the best time…”

Google lists 200,000,000 entries under Now is the best time to sell a house. Ten seconds later in six-tenths of a second she gave me 63,300,000 results for Now is the best time to buy a house.   Why are there a quarter of a billion persuasive cases made for this being the best time to sell AND to buy? Probably because millions of people think it is the best time for them to manipulate other people into doing something that benefits the manipulator for sure.  “Now is the best time” is an opinion and it’s cliche. The more it’s used (and it’s used a lot in advertising) the less it resonates. But “Now is the best…” is worse than dull, it’s possibly not true.

We can agree the best and worst of times are subjective. What’s good for me may not be good for you. Sure it’s possible a great number of analytical factors favor a buyer or a seller at any time, but those facts may be secondary to anything that matters more to a decision maker. If I want to keep my family together, even though the facts point to a “seller’s market”, today might be the best time available to me to make a commitment on a house.

How about this, instead of going the easy route of manipulation by spreading fear of loss of opportunity, property, time we let go of “Now is the best…”. Instead, can we let the 263,000,000 other folks trip over themselves trying to control people and we be the voice of reason?  Is this a good time to buy or sell real estate? I don’t know. It depends on you. What’s important to you?

 

Cooler Heads Prevail

Anger and tears, intended to manipulate, have a painful affect on good people and Realtors® are people. We know anger and tears are human conditions which can be two extreme methods of control. The they cause to Realtors® is serious. Everyday, good people are being bullied, badgered, and manipulated by folks who use anger and tears for intentions only they know. Quitting the business is an option to avoid this disrespectful behavior. It’s sad to see good people  forced out of earning a living by radical reactions. Why not be kind to ourselves and establish boundaries of tolerance?

Before we build our boundary, let’s agree that anger and tears are rooted in fear. Fear of loss of pride,  ego, money, time, prestige, property, perceived safety,…etc. It’s not a lack of empathy to disconnect from participating in the drama. It’s a practice of self respect and preservation. Our ability to be a part of the solution depends on our well being.

Foundation of your boundary: You’re a good person with good intentions. You’re smart. You have a family who cares who you be. 

First layer of the boundary: This exists to give time between a person’s reaction and your participation in the conversation. It makes it clear that you are in the solution circle and not in the conflict battle ground.

Upper layers of the boundary: Make it evident so there isn’t any confusion that the boundary exists and it’s firm.

Clear messages on the outside of the Boundary:  For communication to licensees, you are well within you right to require Notices and Amendments for communicating desires of parties. Phone calls, texts, emails, do not have to be permitted from licensees who have proven they intend to intimidate. In person meetings with customers and clients are more likely to be civilized. It takes a special person to be uncivil in person…and those folks might be better served by someone who isn’t you.

Cooler heads are able to resolve problems caused by hot heads. When necessary, retreat inside of your boundary and let the situation calm down. Be careful with contingency deadlines. Anticipate that the closer we get to closing the more anxiety unfulfilled contingencies generate. Follow the terms of the contract. This is the agreement the parties committed to. Be willing to let people walk away. The less attached we are to outcomes and more focused we are to the terms, the less stress we will absorb.

You can be the cooler head. You’re smart, talented, and deserving of a career you can be proud of.

 

 

Building a House: Own The Lot, Control The Price.

Outcomes are determined by control. The residential home building process is  all about control.  Your satisfaction of the process will depend on your ability to maintain control and your wisdom to relinquish control to responsible people.

When you control the building site, you have the upper hand in everything from design (to the extent building restrictions permit) to completion date. If the outcome matters, this might be a strategy to employ.

  1. Locate a building site that fits your lifestyle, and is not connected to a builder. Unless the builder will let you build with a builder of your choice on the lot she or he is selling to you, keep looking.
  2. Get an accepted offer with necessary contingencies to do your due diligence on the lot, and include a contingency like this:  This Offer is contingent upon buyer executing a residential building contract with a builder of buyer’s choice within ________days of acceptance of this Offer. (Allow sufficient time for design, pricing, and selecting a builder.)
  3. Before you  close and take ownership of the lot, you want to know the lot is sufficient for your purpose and you have a plan that can be built by a responsible builder at a price, with the amenities you can afford.
  4. Work with an architect to design a plan.  Architects will save you time and money even if the plan is relatively simple. They should know the current building codes and have smart ideas on wise use of the space. An architect will specify materials and construction methods.
    1. While the architect is working on your plan, study up on Building Science.  Be prepared to know best practices in construction.
  5. Take your plans and specifications to builders of your choice. Ask them questions about their construction practices. Knowing a little bit about Building Science will help you ask prudent questions.
  6. The time you spend getting your specifications nailed down will come back to you in dollars and cents. Every decision made with builder’s bidding against each other is one less place for the builder you choose to have you accepting her/his price later.
  7. You’re going to get a bid from a builder. Make sure that bid includes a copy of the builder’s warranty, construction schedule, and a copy of their contract. At the end of the day, it’s a leap of faith you take with the builder you choose, but the contract is your rule book…your attorney may have some ideas to keep the rules favorable.
  8. Take out your own construction financing. If the builder tells you they can save you money by acquiring the lot from you and you buy the house as a “turn-key” finished product, ask for proof. Remember, he who has the control of the lot has the control of time and money.
  9. Include the architect in the process of reviewing the construction. The building plan is called a plan for a reason. Contractors may choose to deviate from the blue print for their benefit, but the cost to the next subcontractor on the job is your problem. Someone, and don’t expect it to be the builder, has to make sure the house is built to plan. Builders charge for change orders. You can charge for deviations and the corrections to get back to the plan.
  10. The builder gets the final payment at the time you take occupancy. If you work with an attorney on your side, you will not make the final payment without 100% of the work finished. If you do take occupancy with loose ends, an escrow of more than sufficient funds is a good idea.

As you navigate this building process, keep control in mind. Either you have it or someone else does. Control is divisible by nothing.

 

The Financing Contingency is NOT a contingency to get financing

The Financing Contingency is not what it says it is. From the date of acceptance of the Offer, until the moment the lender approves disbursement of funds (at the end of the hour of closing when all…

Source: The Financing Contingency is NOT a contingency to get financing