Happy Mothers Day!

An old family photo

I miss my mom. She is still alive and as I see who she is now I also remember who she was. A school teacher, an accomplished writer and an artist.

She  doesn’t talk anymore but will sometimes surprise us with a word or two. Just as she taught me how to read and how to tie my shoes she is now teaching me about how devastating Alzheimer’s disease is.

Alzheimer’s is not curable or reversible and is fatal 100% of the time. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 5 million people in the U.S. Alzheimer’s is also the only disease in the top ten killers that there is no cure or treatment for.

While deaths from heart disease continue to go down deaths from Alzheimer’s continue to rise. The disease affects women more than men as we are more likely to have it and more likely to be the caregiver for someone with the disease.

Learn more about Alzheimer’s

Touring homes and writing offers

I thought it was just my imagination that even though the inventory of homes for sale is low I am actually showing each buyer more homes and writing more offers.

The average number of showings each home gets before an offer is made that is accepted by the seller is up to 31 per home.  I wish there was some data on how many offers are made on each home.

Average number of showings before a pending sale

 

Why are my photos yellow?

White balance settings

I have had to photographic entire homes where every room is yellow. I was told the color is called “tuscan”.  Yellow is a challenging interior color to photograph.

Sometimes interior photos look yellow when there is no yellow in the room. I just looked at a bunch of photos of a condo for sale no doubt taken by a Realtor with a phone or digital camera and every room has a yellowish hue.

The yellow is a white balance issue. There are all sorts of ways to determine which white balance setting should be used. One easy way to figure it out is to try a couple of different white balance settings and then look at the picture.

I like to set my camera to RAW and adjust the white balance when I process the pictures. That way I can’t screw it up. Interior photos don’t have to look yellow.

Yellow

Anyone can sell a house

House for sale can in bag not included

People tell me they can sell their home without the help of a real estate agent.  Sometimes for a fee I put a home on the MLS for a seller. They always end up asking for more help. Most home owners can show their home and some like to hold open houses. Yet most home owners struggle to complete the transaction.

What goes in the purchase agreement? Who pays the closing costs? Who pays for the inspection? Do I need to pull permits for the repairs that the buyers want?  does the inspection work? Who is responsible for an appraisal? Does the buyer have to buy the home if it appraises for less than the asking price? If we accept an inspection contingent offer, can we sell the house to someone else if a higher offer comes in?

Do sellers pay the property taxes or do the buyers? Who pays the state deed tax? Are water tests required?

What can go wrong between the time we accepts a buyers offer and the closing? Who sets up the closing? What is a closing? Who pays the closer?

Should I sell my appliances with my home? What is included in the sale and what is not?

There are many more questions. No two homes are quite the same and neither are the buyers or the sellers and the answers to some of the questions above depends upon how the purchase agreement is written. Buyers and sellers can agree to all sorts of things. There are laws that govern real estate sales and there are business practices too.

Even with all of the technology we have selling a home isn’t as easy as homeowners sometimes think it is.  I know a sales person who decided to sell a home. It all went just fine and it closed but I’ll never understand why that home owner did all that work and ended up getting 30K less for the home just to avoid paying 16K in commissions. Yet it is true anyone can sell a house. 🙂

We make it look super easy but there is more to it than a for sale sign and an MLS listing. None of it is rocket science but it helps to have experience.

An older population and future housing needs

Our future as an aging society
Our future as an aging society

While it is true that the baby boom generation is no longer the largest generation it is also true that the whole world is aging and at some point in the next three years or so for the first time in human history there will be more 65 year olds than there are five year olds.

We really have no way of knowing if this trend will some day be reversed but for now we need to work with what we have.

As the daughter of elderly parents I wonder if our housing will be adequate as we age. Our current system of providing care for the elderly doesn’t make a lot of sense either. The U.S. isn’t as old as some other countries mostly because of immigration but it looks like that could change in the near future too.

From a business point of view I think now is a great time to develop products and services for older American’s and for the very old. Elders could benefit from the use of more technology.  Last year I bought my dad an Amazon echo. He can now do all sorts of things for himself using voice commands.

I see old people every day and all of the time.