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LisaLovesSanAntonio

You Will, Too!

Wanna be a Realtor?

A few times a week I get told from someone new that they want to be a Realtor.

I hear:

“I want to have free time with my kids”

I think I can make a whole bunch of money part time”

“I love looking at new houses”

“I love watching Property Brothers”

I’ve always been great in sales”

So…if you really think you want to be a Realtor….let me tell you a few things to help you with your decision.

Free Time?  You work when someone calls you.  That could mean Monday through Friday from 8 to 5….AND Saturday and Sunday….AND nights and weekends.  Because you have to be available when your prospective buyer or seller is available.  If you aren’t available, someone else is.  If you list a house…..when you get an offer (you are going to sell the house, right?) you have to respond immediately.  If the buyer has to wait until you are back in town from the beach they may change their mind and move on to the next house.  If you have a buyer….the minute you get on a plane is when the new house that is perfect for them pops up on their iphone…..and if they don’t go look immediately, it’s already gone when you return.  So plan on being available from about 8 in the morning until 9 at night….I have been known to work as late as midnight negotiating offers.  It’s a fact.  And if you have another job….I hope they don’t mind if you are missing for several hours in the middle of your shift.  We work 7 days a week…..nights and weekends and holidays (or should I say especially holidays).  It’s NOT a part time job.

Money:  Half of the Realtors make zero.  That’s a fact and a national statistic.  The agents that net over $40,000 spend over $40,000 to make it.  If you don’t have a bankroll to start your business you probably aren’t going to make it.   Every 3 years thousands of Realtors don’t renew their licenses.  San Antonio has almost 15,000 agents….and last year approximately 30,000 homes were sold.  Half the agents  didn’t even sell ONE house.  Plan on spending money your first year and maybe…not making a profit.  95% of all the real estate sold is sold by 5% of the Realtors.

Property Brothers:  being a Realtor is NOTHING like the shows on TV.  We have to be computer literate (actually it’s better if you are a computer guru), good salespeople, friendly, good listeners, maids (I swept the floors in one of my vacant houses yesterday…..the seller doesn’t live here so SOMEONE has to), home stagers (more money to buy things you move from house to house and store when you sell the house), furniture movers (remember you stage houses….those of you with weak backs?  Forget it), photographers (and own a $3,500 camera or pay someone $300 to $400 every time you list a house to take photos you hope you love and you hope the seller loves because if the photographer has to come back its more money), familiar with home repairs so you can negotiate money or repairs when the home inspector gives a list to the buyer, know a lot of good contractors, have a nice car (preferably a luxury car) with a big trunk for your signs and plenty of room to take smaller items to and from houses and own a truck so you can move your staging items from house to house, be VERY familiar with neighborhoods, have additional insurance on your car for your errors and omissions insurance (in case you get sued….but then add another $5,000 for the deductible if you do get sued), buy your own health insurance at a ridiculous price since you are self employed (mine costs almost $1200 a month and it is basically catastrophic insurance as it doesn’t cover much and has a $15,000 deductible),  buy lots of candles and plug ins for empty houses so they smell good when they get shown,  have no retirement benefits unless you save the money yourself,  have no vacation days off and also be VERY careful when you buy your own investment properties as the seller may have seller’s remorse later and decide you took advantage of him or her and should have paid them more.   Opening houses is just a small part of what a Realtor does.

These are the things most people won’t tell you about….but the more you know about a prospective job the greater chance you have of being successful at it.

If you’ve read all the above and still are interested give me a call.  I might want you on my team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Market? Try 88 Days….

88 days is the average days on the market for homes in San Antonio as of today…..so why do we keep hearing about houses flying off the market?

Some do….but usually the ones that “fly off the market” are the more affordable homes…..AND homes that don’t need a lot of repairs.

So if you are considering putting your house on the market…..clean, clean, clean.  Pretend you are a homebuyer…..and take a good look around your house.  Open the front door with the key….if it’s hard to open, it immediately sends a message to the buyer to look for more items that might need to be repaired.

Todays buyer wants a house in MOVE IN condition….so if your house needs new carpet….install it now.  If your appliances are worn out, replace them now.  If you have walls that need paint….and the list goes on and on.  Every buyer I show homes to is looking for a house they don’t need to do work on…..because buyers don’t have time to do that work.  Unless your house is an incredible price…they will just pass on it and move to the next house.

The press says we don’t have a lot of homes on the market…. but the number of homes on the market is 7,767.  That’s right….seven thousand, seven hundred and sixty seven homes to compete with.

When you do have your house ready to sell…don’t make it hard for the Realtor to show it.  They might be showing ten homes in an afternoon to the same buyer….and if you make it too difficult, they will just pass and might not come back.

If you need help getting a list of what you need to do to get your house ready to sell  I’m happy to help.  (210) 273-6161

Memorial Day Fun Facts

 

 

Memorial Day originally began as a day to honor military personnel who died in the Civil War and was called Decoration Day.

It’s observed on the last Monday of May.

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials.

It’s traditionally seen as the beginning of the summer season.

It’s typically an excellent occasion for backyard BBQ’s or a chance to travel.

If you have a flag it should be displayed at half-staff until noon…..and then raised to the top of the staff….in honor of the nation’s battle heroes.

Even if you have to work this weekend (like me) you can add a little red, white and blue around the house to make yourself feel like you’re enjoying the long weekend.

Don’t have a lot of money?  Add some festive napkins to get in the spirit of the holiday.  And don’t forget to say a little prayer for those brave men and women who gave their lives for us to be safe in the good old  USA!

 

Run Away to Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake

In just under an hour you can drive from either Austin or San Antonio and discover Canyon Lake.  It’s a great spot during daylight savings to leave the office early and jump in a boat or dip your toes into the water before the sun goes down.

Several spots offer boat rentals for as little as $107 with tax for an hour….which will allow you just enough time to rent a speed boat and enjoy a quick run across the entire lake while enjoying the sun and views of the pretty homes.

If you’re wanting to watch the sunset consider heading to Lucky’s on the north side of the lake.  Sit outside on the top level and enjoy some great grub and a cold  beverage.

Not a bad way to end a busy day!

Signs

Exit Sign

 

 

We’ve become a world full of signs…inside and outside OUR homes.

This is a sign we put on our gate that leads from our backyard to the tennis courts, pool and park. A reminder to us that we need to make sure we use all the wonderful facilities our beautiful neighborhood provides. Oh how blessed we are to live in Encino Park and the beautiful city of San Antonio.  Tennis, anyone?

Pocket Listing

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I had the opportunity to visit with an old friend 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)……..so 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…..so “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 why. She is a friend and thinks she got a fantastic deal. It’s called a “pocket listing”.
MANY years ago….before the internet…..no one had a chance to know when a new house or condo went on the market unless the agent that listed the property shared the information with others in their office. When a property doesn’t go into the multiple listing service I always wonder….if buyers from all over the world knew about this property….what would it sell for? Would it sell for more if more people knew about it or just the handful of people that found out? Who was the “young, aggressive, innovative agent” really representing? His paycheck or the sellers bottom line?
The ONLY times I recommend a “pocket listing” ;
Celebrity owners…..lots of real estate agents wont be able to resist showing their friends and family homes of the rich and famous……..selling your home does not mean part time agents or new, inexperienced agents should be allowed to waste your time and mine.
Your home is considered a “luxury” home……again, part time agents or new, inexperienced agents might enjoy showing friends and family a home that they might never get to see in their lifetime and wasting your time and mine.

My out of state friends daughter was NOT a celebrity nor was her condo considered a luxury property…..It will probably take a few lawsuits to occur before sellers that tried this “innovative and aggressive new idea” realize they might have sold in less time and at a higher price if they had put the property in the MLS system and let the world know about it….nothing drives up price better than having millions of buyers view your photos and wonder if another buyer might also be considering buying your home….but until then….PLEASE don’t suggest that this is a “new idea”…..we quit doing things that way when we began putting homes on the internet with photos. And if you are a celebrity or have a home that would be considered a “luxury” home…you can count on me to keep your information private and get it sold quickly and for top dollar.

San Antonio Fiesta Events

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Fiesta officially begins April 19 to April 29th….but before and after can be a whirlwind of free and non-free events that are sure to make you smile.

A few of my favorites and must attend events are:

April 20-22:  Taste of New Orleans

I love Zydeco music and have been known to dance in front of the band more than once….this is a FUN event.  It have a ticket price and you can get a discount if you buy your ticket in advance:  $12 advance, $15 at the door.  Kids are FREE.  Food and drinks are extra.  It is located in the Sunken Gardens…so expect NO breeze and dress accordingly…preferably in cotton.

April 25:  5:30pm  to 10:30pm  Taste of the Northside

This is a pricey event at $85 for an advance ticket, $100 at the door….but it includes food and spirits!  We usually walk to this event from my office.  The bands are fantastic and the location is the Sonterra Country Club grounds.  The costly ticket price helps keep the crowd well behaved.

April 27:  9:30am  to 2:30pm  Battle of Flowers Parade

The oldest event and largest parade attracting sometimes over 350,000 people…..this is just an exciting event to be near!  It’s all volunteers and includes marching high school  bands and plenty of excitement and sounds.  It is a free event…but if you want a seat…you probably should buy a ticket months in advance.  I love to head downtown and find a restaurant to sip a frozen margarita (or two) and then wonder the streets to watch all the merriment!  Lots of kids, street vendors and excitement.  If you like people watching, this is your event.

April 28:  9 am to 6 pm:  King Williams Fair and Parade

The parade gets a little x-rated at times….so you might consider missing the parade if you have children with you.  Shopping is what attracts me….I love walking the closed off streets of the historic King Williams district and finding neat art work, cool clothing and jewelry.  I bought an antique restored 1950’s Arvin clock/radio over 15 years ago for $160….pretty pricey but it was restored beautifully and it still sits in my kitchen and is working perfectly so I can consider it a bargain.   We also like finding Moon Dog shirts for my hubby….”shirts with an attitude” and they are very well made.   If you are looking for the unique or just like walking beautiful streets and window shopping this is the event for you.

For a full list of Fiesta events visit www.Fiesta-SA.org

 

Fiesta Medals

VIVA Fiesta!  Some folks wonder WHY we collect Fiesta medals and why I love them.

My first medals were from prospective El Rey Feo…the “ugly” king….who became an official part of Fiesta in 1980.  Most of these hopeful kings were not really “ugly”….. it was a fun way to raise money.  The LULAC Rey Feo Scholarship Committee sponsors El Rey Feo and candidates for the title raise money that is  given to students for their college expenses.

The Texas Cavaliers introduced a king in 1941 (way before my time)….King Antonio…..who rides on a boat in the river parade in the first “official” event that kicks off Fiesta….the Texas Cavaliers River Parade.

Anyone can have their own medals…you just have to buy or make them.  I’ve gotten medals with people’s cute dog pictures on them,  medals from companies like RE/MAX and medals from groups like the Women’s Club of San Antonio.   All are precious to me.

Over the years my Fiesta attire has included a blue jean vest with medals pinned on the front and back, Beauty Queen sash’s with medals on the front and back,  huge Sombrero’s with medals hanging off it (heavy, heavy, heavy) and t-shirts with medals draped all over.  No medal display is better than the other….they all are considered acceptable.  Some look sillier than others…..but they are all displayed for fun and help get me in the mood to enjoy our beautiful San Antonio weather and events.

When I’m not wearing my medals, I like to display them in a large bowl in my entryway.  The hardest part…..not giving them away when folks come over to visit.

How do you display your Fiesta medals?  If you have designed your own medal…post a photo!

VIVA Fiesta.  I hope Fiesta 2018 is the best yet!

 

Pocket Neighborhood Homes

Trust Austin to come up with a new neighborhood concept…or should I say Kyle….but buyers for Austin and nearby towns are flocking to this little neighborhood concept.

Bigelow Homes is building a beautiful product and utilizing a great way to keep homeowner crime down while allowing owners to know their neighbors and have a beautiful place to sip coffee in the mornings or enjoy cocktails in the evening….a pocket neighborhood.  What is it?  It’s housing surrounded by trails, parks, lakes and a preserve…..15 private neighborhood parks when they are completed.  Each of the small, pocket parks will be surrounded by 12 to 20 homes…each with front porches and rear entry garages.  Perfect for spending much of your outdoor time on the front porch or garden patio enjoying the view and meeting neighbors.  It’s kind of like living on a cul-de-sac without the cars!  Each home still has it’s own private yard….but I bet most folks will take advantage of the beautiful front porch.

Along with this new concept….the builder guarantee’s your cooling cost to be under $400 a year for the first three years of homeownership.  How do they do this when a house (like shown) is over 1800 square feet?  New energy efficient HVAC systems, well insulated walls and windows…just a few reasons why you might just be able to afford a new home when you factor in that your cooling and heating bills might be over $400 in  two months in an older home.

We’ve got a seller being relocated to San Antonio….so if you’re in the market for a home near Austin….give us a call at 210-273-6161.   It’s a dollhouse and was recently completed in July of 2017….almost brand new and ready for a new owner.

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