A Headline That Wasn’t

 Posted by at 9:31 am
Nov 292007

“What’s the date next Tuesday?” I asked. I was placing an order while doing some shopping. The not-yet-overwhelmed-by-Christmas sales clerk didn’t hesitate a second. “I know THAT one!” Since I noticed she almost salivating, I asked what was so important about the date.

“It’s our closing date! We are buying our first home!!!” she bubbled. After accepting my congratulations, she couldn’t resist telling me the story in rushed terms. “We never dreamed we could… went and looked at a house just for something to do… we were totally suprised at how easy it was to…!”

Since I hadn’t been her agent I resisted the temptation to tell her, “That’s what we agents are supposed to do, make it happen and make it seem easy.” I couldn’t however, resist the temptation to share her joy.

In that micromoment, I was reminded of the simple elegance of this business as I try to practice it. Make it happen, make it seem easy, and then share the joy. But the sad aspect of this story is that it can’t compete with the media headlines telling everybody how horrible the market is. And yet this story is repeating itself every day. It’s exactly what happens when people get and stay focused on what they are doing instead of the media or the market.

So this sales clerk’s message is that you might be suprised at what you can do!

My message is that I’d love the opportunity to explore what might be possible for you. Let’s take a look at what you never dreamed could happen. This is the time of year when we talk about visions of sugarplums dancing… how about you own home? Just because you haven’t dreamed it yet doesn’t mean it can’t happen!


Drive-by Curb Appeal

 Posted by at 6:34 am
Nov 262007

While I haven’t kept statistics, it seems to me that I’m getting more and more calls from potential buyers asking for the address and directions to property listed for sale. One can debate how serious these folks are about buying, but there’s never been much argument that curb appeal is important.

This is an admittedly challenging time of the year… things are brown, dead, bare. And even if you hate snow, you do have admit it covers a multitude of sins… but it’s not here to help us yet!

De-cluttering the yard is important. In spite of the jokes about keeping the spirit of Maine alive with a few junk appliances, cars, skidders, etc. in the yard that’s Continue reading »


Things to be thankful for…

 Posted by at 3:30 pm
Nov 192007

It is that time of year… however you choose to view it. Most concur it involves counting our blessings… listing things we are thankful for… entertaining and being entertained… and remembering that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of a new world, a new home and a successful season. I suspect it was not an easy season. And I’m sure the definition of success was somewhat personal and perhaps very relative.

I recall the story of a young fellow who was walking along after a rain storm. He saw one of those puddles where a spot of oil has created a shimmer of various colors. He pointed to it and exclaimed “Oh look! A dead rainbow!”

So while it’s easy to notice that “things are tough” and heating costs are up… and mortgage money is… and we’re not ready for Christmas… and…  

You know, sometimes we have to look up, sometimes we have to look beyond. Sometimes we just have to look in a different way.

Yes, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

But I also wish that you will make your Thanksgiving Happy!

And maybe find a few “dead rainbows” in the process.


Rent To Own or Rent To Owe?

 Posted by at 6:04 pm
Nov 122007

I’ve had a rash of rent-to-own calls lately… “Do you have anything that I can rent to own?” I’m always curious enough to ask why the caller is looking specifically for rent-to-own. More often than not the answer has some financial basis. “I don’t have any credit” or “I don’t have the money to buy a home.”

There are some follow up questions, but before we get to those let’s just get one thing out of the way. “Renting to own” is not necessarily the solution to either of those problems. Most people who’ve worked with me know that I think it’s extremely important to know what the right problem is (and make sure you have it) before you go looking for solutions. In fact, one of my often-used quotes is “When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.” So try pounding in a screw sometime. I can assure you it is not an exercise that will provide a great sense of accomplishment.

In this case, let’s step back and at least agree that “the problem” is more that you want to have a home than “no credit and no money.”  That means the question needs to be “What’s the best way to get it?” (By the way, if your truly have horrid credit and no money… ummm… who is going to rent to you — with or without the option to purchase?!!)

I suspect one reason for the calls is that the media has done a pretty good job of confusing people Continue reading »


Figures Don’t Always Lie…

 Posted by at 4:37 pm
Nov 022007

Well, MREIS (Maine Real Estate Information System) recently released some interesting statistics! As regular readers will know, I tend to be cautious about encouraging hard and fast decisions and conclusions where these sort of statistics are concerned. But figures don’t always lie! I do think this latest batch of numbers is a bit telling.

The short version is that we can look at a three to four year period (well, sorta – some data is incomplete) and identify some interesting trends and differences. The two sets of numbers involved are “active listings” (for sale) and “pending” (what we tend to call “under-contract”). Continue reading »


This Site — Basic stuff!

 Posted by at 4:11 pm
Nov 022007

Here’s some quick information for those who are unfamiliar with the “Blogging world” and how these sort of sites work. The fundamentals are the same as any site… the sidebars contain clickable links; the center section contains “posts” that will change as new information is presented. I’m not going to offer highly technical explanations because I’m not highly technical!

At the bottom of every post you have the opportunity to “comment” to any post Continue reading »