Unlocking the Secret Code of Realtors

I’ve been working with a great young couple who have uncovered the secret code of Realtors.

They will be relocating to the Hendersonville, NC area and have taken a very active role in their search by doing a drive by on every home they want to see. Not only does this save me valuable time, it helps them understand the various communities so they can narrow in on exactly where they want to be. The fact that they are incredibly tech savvy and can find any location on their phone or Ipad…and get there… has been a bonus. When we go out to look at homes together, they have already scoped out the area and are ready to take a closer look.

Along the way they commented that they are learning to read between the lines and interpret the true meaning behind the words and phrases some Realtors employ when describing a property. Here are a few of the highlights that we’ve uncovered during several of their now famous drive bys:

“Serene pond” – Translation: Stagnant body of water. After one particular visit on their own, they described this “serene pond” to me in terms of the murky color, the strange smell, and the zombie fish moving slowing through the still water. We surmised that they were probably preserving their energy because of the lack of oxygen in the water which made us all kinda sad for the fish.ZombieFish

“Private wooded setting” – Translation: You better pack a lunch. If you live in an urban area, a “private wooded setting” may describe a property with some trees and something slightly more than a half an acre. Here in the mountains, it can mean something quite different and you better be prepared for anything. It could mean, just as it sounds, a nice home on a wooded lot surrounded by nature. Or, it might mean you better have 4WD and be able to navigate a steep gravel road deep into the woods where all the neighbors have four legs.

“Unique floor plan” – Translation: The opposite of open floor plan. I’m always leery of any description that includes the word “unique” unless it is accompanied by a picture to explain it. Otherwise, it leaves far too much to the imagination.

“Dine al dente” – Translation: ??. I actually saw this on a listing the other day.
If you are a fan of Italian food you probably already know that “al dente” describes the desired texture of cooked pasta. It literally means “to the tooth”. Perhaps this agent meant to say “al fresco” which means a casual form of dining outside. We may never know for certain, though.

“Creek on property” – Translation: There is some water on the property…somewhere. Finding land with a bold or even quietly babbling creek is a dream for many of our buyers…and I don’t blame them. It’s a very desirable feature. The question is “where” on the property. Is it by the building site or do you need repelling gear to get to it. If you are a buyer, this is where you really need an experienced agent who is willing to get their boots dirty helping you locate the creek.

My intention here is certainly not to disparage my fellow Realtors. When we list a property, it is our job to frame the home or land in the best possible light, highlighting the best features, minimizing the less desirable ones. You have to admit, though, that sometimes a property’s description and what it is in reality can vary drastically and that can set a buyer up for a heap of disappointment. It’s just one of the many reasons why you need the help of a knowledgeable, experienced agent who can translate the code for you and cut through the fluff.

Like this couple I’m working with, today’s buyers are more informed than ever and often know a lot about a property before we ever meet. But no third party web site like Zillow, Trulia, or Realtor.com can ever replace an agent who is experienced and knowledgable about the area where they do business.

If you are buying or selling a home or land and would like some help deciphering and navigating western North Carolina, give us a call. We are full time, professional Realtors proudly serving buyers and sellers in Brevard, Hendersonville, Pisgah Forest, Asheville, and all the great little mountain communities in between.let's go somewhere

 

We’ve been working with some out of state buyers for a good long while now. And even though they are stil in the process of putting the pieces together so they can move here, we’ve become fast friends. When they come to town, we look at homes, but the real fun begins when we get together for dinner. They’re just good folks.Sometimes clients do the nicest things!

They are also dog lovers, like us. Maybe that’s one of the reasons we get along so well. The other day, we picked up a package at the office that these folks had sent us, and in it was a scarf for our dog!  They even went so far as to have his name embroidered on it.

Sometimes you meet people, you sell them a home and then you never see them again. But with these folks, I know that once they do get around to moving here, not only will we sell them a home, it will mean we will get to spend a lot more time with them…and enjoying their company.

Plus, they’d get to see their “adopted son” Ace more often!

Sometimes, clients do the nicest things!

Telephone Etiquette 101

A bazillion years ago when I was working in retail we were taught that if you have a customer standing in front of you and the phone rings, your telephoneobligation is to take care of the customer in front of you first. If you absolutely have to answer the phone, you take their number and ask to call them back, then return as quickly as possible to the customer standing at the counter.

That small lesson has stayed with me all these years and it still irks me when I’m in a store and I’m “bumped” while a clerk answers a phone call and proceeds to provide the caller with “excellent service” while I wait…even though I was there first.

For me, the same theory applies to phone calls. Call waiting and Caller ID are great, but some people abuse the idea.  If I’m on the phone with someone, and the important call they’ve been waiting for all day comes in…..no problem. Go take that call and get back to me when you can. But when I hear the words “hang on…I have another call coming in” that sends a clear signal that I’m no longer important and whatever it is we’re talking about isn’t important.

It’s even worse if I’m standing face to face with someone and in the middle of a conversation and they put me on “hold” while they answer their phone. I have no choice but to stand there awkwardly while they carry on another conversation.  Again..if it’s important and something that requires immediate attention. No problem. A simple “Excuse me, but I really have to deal with this….I won’t be long”  will suffice.

There is no law that requires we answer a phone just because it’s ringing. That’s why we have voice mail. If my phone rings and I choose not to answer, it’s because I’m on the other line, or talking to someone else in person, and giving that person my undivided attention. It is rare that a caller doesn’t leave a message if I don’t answer…and if they don’t leave a message, then I guess it wasn’t very important anyway. Besides, my phone saves the number and I often will call back to acknowledge the missed call just in case I did miss something important.

If you ever call me (828-551-6290) and I don’t answer, it’s because I’m being courteous and attentive to someone else at that moment, but I will be happy to return your call promptly. And when I do, you can trust that I am giving YOU my undivided attention.