Trust me, I’m a Realtor

I’ve been updating my website (do you love it?!) and my new one has a spot for a slogan and a tagline. Not being much of one for such things, I googled “real estate taglines” and started perusing some options. For Pete’s sake! They were uniformly awful or terribly cliched. Some were so bad they made me laugh out loud. So I started thinking about what I would do to make them a little more, ahem, truthful. This is the first one I came up with.

Trust me, I'm a Realtor

No offense to used car salesmen, but I mean, really, the Realtor’s Code of Ethics notwithstanding, most people don’t think of maximum trustworthiness when they hear the word Realtor, do they? There’s just something about commission sales that brings out the worst in people.

My dad was a broker back in the 80s & 90s so he’s always asking me about showings and such. Our conversations often go like this:
Dad – Did they like the house you showed them?

Me – They liked it at first but I think I talked them out of it.

Dad – Um, really? Why do you do that? If you were working for me I’d fire you.

Me – It looked like it might have a water problem and I pointed out that the outlets aren’t grounded and the floors are wonky.

So yeah, I frustrate my dad a lot. And if you still want the place after I’ve point out all the things wrong with a house, then I’ll do my darnedest to get it for you at a price that will let you to spend some money rewiring and leveling floors and regrading. But I’m never going to stand there hoping you don’t notice. So I guess what I’m saying is that you really can trust me, but it isn’t because I’m a Realtor.

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Crimes Against Paint

My only regret is that I didn’t get to see this in person. I lifted this photo, with permission, from a real estate website in Phoenix (courtesy of Greg Swann). I made it safe for work by adding my own touches.

Yes, this is an actual house for sale. I can only assume that this room is in the basement and their agent never bothered to go down there (or is profoundly blind). Scroll down to see it – if you dare.

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What was I thinking?

I’ve been baking. ‘Nuff said. I’m not a baker. I like to cook. But a confectioner, I. Am. Not. Ever watch Top Chef and hear them whine and moan about how they aren’t pastry chefs? That was kinda me the last couple of days.

I made the mistake of reading a real estate blog where said blogger talked about how she used to bake a gingerbread house for each of her past clients. It eventually got to be too much and so she started making gingerbread cookies in the shape of houses.

I thought “Wow! What a great idea!” Mere moments later I was softening butter for Easy Cutout Sugar Cookies (a misnomer of a title designed to draw you in and later spit you out). A trip to the Sugar Shoppe for a house shaped cookie cutter, 2 glasses of wine, and one fit of yelling at my son later, I had cookies.

For those who missed my Facebook status: always check your oven to see what you last decided to store in it before pre-heating.

You’re welcome.

I had visions of dozens of gloriously confected creations dancing in my head. Ready to be delivered Santa-like over the course of the next few days. What I got was 24 (that would be a total of TWO – i.e. not twelve – dozen) globularly shaped cookies with a hint of hom-iness about them. At some point I decided – or perhaps fate decided for me – that I would not strive for ridiculous perfection but rather for charming whimsy.

While I was at the Sugar Shop, I also picked up some black food coloring, a decorating tip and a couple of piping bags. These were to be the cookies to end all cookies. Other Christmas cookies would cower in shame when my cookies approached. Each one would have the recipient’s name delicately engraved in black piping. You know, just to show how much I care.

Didn’t happen.

You know what else didn’t happen? Cookies decorated in such a way that they can be transported more than one at a time. I made cream cheese frosting which I then lovingly slathered on to each of my creations. Guess what? You can’t stack something that contains cream cheese! It will just meld into its compatriots below (and above). So my beauties are chilling as we speak and I will then hand deliver them, one at a time, to their intended recipients.

Somebody better buy a #&$% house lovely home as a direct perhaps indirect result of all of this work. If you get one (or, possibly if you are very, VERY good; two) of these cookies, know that you are special. Know that I was thinking of you when I made them. You had better appreciate it (just sayin’). If you don’t get one of these cookies, know that I would like for you to have one but I just didn’t have it in me.

If you are very special but you still didn’t get one? Well, I probably never got around to delivering them.

There’s always next year.

PS. Did you know that black food coloring will turn your hands green, no matter how quickly and how well you wash it off? Well, it’s true.

I’m like the Incredible freaking Hulk over here! Better not make me mad!

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A guide to decorating for the holidays, subtitled: Don’t let Santa throw up on your house

Are you one of those lucky people who has their home on the market to sell during the holiday season?

Should you or shouldn’t you? Decorate, that is.

Short answer: Yes

Long answer: It depends (that seems to be the long answer to a lot of the questions I pose)

We’ve all been told that the way you live in a house isn’t the same way you live in a house that is for sale. Holiday decorations can make a home feel more welcoming, and will help potential buyers see themselves not only living there, but also enjoying family traditions for years to come. Here’s the thing you need to ask yourself (be honest!), and I know you love your 243 piece collection of winter villages. Can buyers envision themselves sitting down to a meal amongst them? Probably not.

Do you live in a multicultural area, i.e. one with a big ‘ol melting pot chunky stew of different holiday traditions? If so, you should probably skip the 10 ft tall blow up menorah in the front yard. A Christian couple might not be able to look past it to see the great landscaping. That 6 ft diameter Christmas tree in your 12 ft wide living room? Those Muslim buyers won’t see it as a plus. It’s not about being politically correct, it’s about putting your homes best features on display without putting people in the position of thinking: I couldn’t live this way. Maybe you live in a place that’s pretty religiously monolithic. Even there, not everyone will appreciate 472 nativity scenes (I KNOW! Hard to believe)

It’s a festive time so put out your Festivus pole. In fact, most people will expect to see some holiday decorations this time of year and your home may seem austere or vacant without them. Some greenery – a wreath or garland across your rocking chair front porch is always nice and doesn’t keep people from seeing your home’s features. You don’t have to abandon all of your holiday traditions just because your home is for sale, just don’t let Santa throw up in your front yard.

Once you get settled into that new house of yours, feel free to reintroduce the live nativity scene (Now, with more camel than ever before!).

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Crimes against gravity

We’ve all seen the rotted-deck-fell-off door-to-nowhere right?

Oh, you haven’t?

Well, it’s really not that uncommon unfortunately. What I have rarely seen is this particular crime against gravity.

The second-floor door-to-nowhere for-no-reason.

Crime against gravity verdict

No, I have no idea what the big black chute is for. Disposing of the body?

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Crimes against doors

The previous owners of this house (YES, these are all from one house) have been convicted on 20 counts of crimes against innocent doors.

Please to enjoy:

Door crime collage

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