You Will, Too!


May 2017

Easy Decorating Tips for Your New Home

Hate to put a hole in that wall and then stand back and realize the painting should have been a little higher or lower?  Ever buy a dining room table and get it home to find it is too large/small or just doesn’t look right?  Ask A Designer tips from House and Home suggest:

Art should hang 60 to 66 inches from the floor to the center of the art work.

Position the bottom of a fixture 32 inches to 36 inches from the top of the table.

Chair rails should be mounted 30 inches from the floor.

And choosing a dining room table that fits?

Allow 24 inches of space for each person seated at the table, leave at least 2 to 3 feet between the backs of the chairs and a wall so the chair can be comfortably moved in and out.

A round table is good for square rooms.  36 inches wide to seat 4, 54 inches wide to seat 6.

A rectangle table is good for most rooms.  A 40 x 72 inch table will seat 6.  A 44 x 80 inch table will seat 8.

An oval table is good for wide rooms.  47 x 78 will seat six guests.



Buyers Option Period

Today is day 8 of a buyer’s ten day option period and we don’t have an amendment back from the buyer’s agent…..but we did receive a call yesterday from the agent telling us that she was in the process of writing an amendment up.

What buyers (and sometimes their buyer’s agents) don’t understand….when we don’t get an amendment within a few days of the home inspection (done 5 days ago) the seller begins to believe they have no repairs to worry about.  When an amendment requesting repairs shows up at the last minute  (to sellers two days before the option up seems like “last minute”) it is difficult for me, as the seller’s agent, and the seller’s to decide if we should agree to making any repairs….because the seller doesn’t have time to get contractors over to their house to get bids.  Signing a blank check doesn’t typically work for most seller’s….they have a bottom line.

When a list of repairs gets sent over with an amendment to the contract…..I like to go over the request with the seller’s and also get bids on the repairs requested….before the seller’s sign an amendment agreeing to repairs.  Thankfully, I work with my husband, David, Broker Associate, who is familiar with repair costs and can estimate what repairs might be…..but those are estimates….not actual bids so we are “guessing” when it comes to repairs that might be required on expensive items like air conditioner repairs.  A repair to an air conditioner or heater can be under $100….or it could be a total replacement….sometimes costly over $10,000 or more.

So buyers….when you are “active option” in Texas (have a signed contract and have an option period to do inspections) PLEASE get the inspection done as quickly as possible AND submit an amendment if you want to negotiate repairs.  Keep in mind…some seller’s wont agree to making any repairs.  Some will…..but most want to know how much the repair is going to cost.

One thing I am certain of………if you wait until the last few days of your option period…you may find the seller unwilling to make any repairs.  Many folks don’t like agreeing to a “blank” check…and that is what you are requesting them to do when you wait until the final days of your option period to submit an amendment requesting repairs.

Why Experience Matters

Last month we had two transactions that would have closed and netted our sellers less money than they deserved…in one case an expense of approximately $400 and in another over $3500.

The $400 question….we provided the seller with a copy of the survey from his purchase of the home we sold him several years ago and also gave him a T-47 to have notarized in front of a notary proving that he did not do any structural changes to the outside of the property and provided it to the title company and buyers agent within the 7 days requested on the contract.

4 days before closing….the title company stated we would need a new survey.  Per the title policy, the survey did not have the correct unit number of the subdivision so a new survey would be required.  Lisa obtained the correct subdivision of the property and attached that information in an email to the title company…three emails later they realized they had incorrectly written the wrong subdivision on their title policy.   The title company revised their paperwork so a new survey would not be required.

The $3500 plus question…..the title company provided us with a settlement statement that showed the seller netting approximately $3500 less than Lisa estimated the day before closing….Lisa reviewed both the settlement statement provided along with her net sheet and realized taxes were not being collected properly by the title company.  Lisa provided the title company with the county tax assessors printed statement and the settlement was corrected.  Trying to get a rebate for overpayment of taxes you don’t owe isn’t easy and sure isn’t easy if you aren’t even aware that you overpaid.

Why do you need an experienced agent?  Someone needs to protect your bottom line!  When your agent has reviewed over 1,000 settlement statements she knows when a mistake has been made….and mistakes that cost money aren’t acceptable to us!

Bad Agent

Real estate is in full swing and tales in the office flow of our exciting experiences…….but our worst tales this time of year involve other agents.  Tuesday morning we got a call from an agent asking if we were still accepting offers on one of our listings…..and it began like this:

“Hi, this is so and so and I’m an agent with such and such and I have a buyer coming in town on Friday and I’d like to video your listing today and send over an offer from my buyer who will decide on Friday when she gets here if she wants to buy your listing”……pause…..dead silence on our end…..and then we tell her ” our seller has offers from buyers who have seen the home and decided they want it so we feel it would be a waste of your time to send over an offer”…..and then we get an earful….”Why are you deciding what is best for your seller? Are you the seller?”…..another pause….and we respond, “We really feel at this time it would be best if your buyer waited until she got to town to decide on a house as we don’t want to take our sellers house off the market for a maybe” and then she goes into a very unladylike rant so we exit the call.  We have multiple offers from agents we are certain showed the home to their buyers and some are above full price and include love letters from the buyers.

So I have to ask….did she get her real estate license online while in her pajamas?


Pocket Listing

I ran into a good friend from out of state last week who shared with me her most recent real estate transaction/experience.  She needed to help her daughter sell her daughter’s condo in Colorado.  None of the Realtors she knew responded to her emails requesting they contact her…..I didn’t press to find out how many Realtors she emailed or if she called any of them…….but she shared that her next step was to complain to another friend about how none of the Realtors  wanted to help her sell her daughters condo because none of them responded to her emails (shame on them)…… the friend recommended a Realtor to help.

The Realtor referred to her was young, innovative, aggressive and had an idea that she had never heard of…..he would sell the condo for only 3.5%!  He told her to think of ALL the money she would save by only paying 3.5%!  He also told her that if he sold it himself….he was only going to take THREE percent!  AMAZINGLY…..he sold it himself in just a few months… “THEY SAVED TONS OF MONEY by only paying 3 PERCENT”!

What this “innovative, aggressive and young” agent did to sell her daughter’s condo wasn’t anything new….but I didn’t burst her bubble by explaining.  She is a friend and thinks she got a fantastic deal.  It’s called a “pocket listing”….not a “new idea to sell a condo or home”.

MANY years ago….before the internet… one but the listing agent knew when a house was for sale unless you were the lucky agent that had the listing.  People drove through neighborhoods looking for signs.  Agents called other agents in other real estate offices asking if they knew of any homes or condos in certain areas for sale….and once a week a book was published with the latest homes for sale in San Antonio…….before the “world wide internet” began!  With the “world wide internet” and MLS we can set up searches for buyers!  Buyers get emails WHEN a new property hits the market…..which drives up the price because MORE people can compete to buy it!  When a property doesn’t go into MLS I wonder…..would it have sold for more?  If buyers ALL OVER THE WORLD knew about this property…..would more than one buyer want to buy it….and if more than one wanted to buy it…..could it sell for more? Who was this “young, aggressive, innovative agent” really representing?  His paycheck….or the sellers bottom line?

The only time I recommend “pocket listings”?

  1. Celebrity owners…..lots of real estate agents wont be able to resist showing their friends and/or family homes of the rich and famous.  Selling your home doesn’t mean part time agents or new, inexperienced agents should be allowed to waste your time and mine so they can have a fun day looking at a home that is magazine worthy and would normally only be seen in a TV show documentary.
  2. Luxury home owners….again…part time or new inexperienced agents might enjoy showing their friends and family a home that they might never be able to see in person in their lifetime…once again, wasting your time and mine.

My out of state friends daughter was NOT a celebrity nor was her condo considered a luxury property… I can’t help but think that it would have sold in less time and for more money if millions of buyers had viewed the photos and had an opportunity to buy the condo.  Nothing drives a price up more than competition for a home!  I know it sounded fantastic….less commission…..but worry about your bottom line first!  Saving a few thousand dollars to put $20,000 in your pocket?  Do the math!

If you are a celebrity or have a home that would be considered a “luxury” property….you can count on me to keep your information private and get it sold quickly and for top dollar.  But if you have a home in San Antonio under $1,000,000….do the math first.  Maybe you should get top dollar and sell quickly…..that’s what this great Realtor wants for you!  YOUR bottom line is more important than my bottom line!





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