A home inspection includes looking closely, paperwork, and the crawlspace

Is Big Brother Watching? Well…maybe???

by | Feb 9, 2019 | Real Estate | 0 comments

Upcoming Free (& non-promotional) Home Buyer Classes:  
…we also have home seller classes available.  Link on left on website page

Saturday, February 16th, from 12pm-3pm (ish)
​       Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (corner of SR500 & Gher Road/112th Ave

Tuesday, February 19th, from 5pm – 8pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, Conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)
Saturday, March 2nd, from 9am-12pm (ish)
Marshall Community Center, conference room
1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver WA (kitty corner from Clark College)

If these class dates and/or times don’t work for you, please let us know.  We understand that you have lives, and families, and work.  We will work something out that works better with your schedule.  Just let us know….

Remember…with reservation…we will throw in lunch, or dinner!  😀
Happy Snow Day~

SNOW!!  Just when you thought winter wasn’t coming, it decided to come with some friends….snow, ice, and cold.  I mean…it’s no polar vortex (yeah… I’m never moving out that area), but still…  I think February is pushing winter just a bit too far.  I remember, as a kid, we’d often get snow or ice in December, and January.  By the time we hit February, well, that is spring planning time.  This year, we were all talking smack about the weather, and how warm it’s been.. Winter must have heard us and realized that somehow, while putting the mid & east coasts on a deep freeze, he forgot all about us  Weatherfolk are talking about more snow/ice/cold tomorrow, and into early next week too?  Well, I guess there’s no help for it….. TIME TO RUSH THE STORES FOR SUPPLIES!  Oh wait… everyone already did that!  Sorry.. Portland is out of Kale.  I went to the store on Thursday night, and hit up Petsmart for cat food & litter too.  I can live without a lot of things over a potential weekend storm, but not being able to change the cat litter?  Yeah…  I can’t do that!    I guess that shows where my priorities lie, doesn’t it?  The cats must be taken care of first…

So, talking about people listening in…  I’m going to tell you a story that happened a couple of weeks ago….
I had listed one of my clients homes and marked it active on the RMLS.com on a Thursday morning.  After 3 days on the market we had 5 offers on the home.  As we are going over the offers, my clients were attaching the offers to the agents who showed the home.  Things like, “oh that offer was from that family with the 2 little kids that really loved the room colors” and “that offer was from that older couple”, and then we got to the 3rd offer and my clients look at each other and say, “oh…it was that agent…”  I asked what agent, and they told me how when the young female agent came in she ‘tossed’ her card on a table, and then talked disparagingly to her clients with snide remarks about their home, the listed price, the sellers agent (me), and was just (they felt) very disrespectful and rude, from the moment she walked in.  My clients point blank said, “we’re not accepting that offer”.  Ok….  well, it wasn’t the best offer we had, but even if had been… they did not want to accept the offer because of the attitude, and comments of that young female Realtor.  So …how did they know all of these things?

Our homes are BUGGED!  Well…not really, but kind of.  With the rise of xfinity, or Ring, or any other number of home surveillance gears, what you say, or do may not be as private as you think.  I have the Ring set up outside my home so that I can see folks coming up to my drive, or on my front step   I can hear everything they say, and talk to them as well.  I have clients who have ‘nanny-cams’ set up inside their homes.  I have clients with whole house set ups too.  This is becoming more common.  Yes, you are not supposed to be recorded without your knowledge or permission, but…  well, think of all the ‘porch pirates’ at Christmas time… they didn’t give permission, and don’t often know they are being recorded, do they?  Maybe porch pirates don’t care if they’re being recorded?  I don’t know…  but I am waiting for someone to get recorded taking someone’s package dressed as a real pirate.

When looking at homes, talk about the pros and cons and feeling of the home IN THE CAR.  Do not discuss the home, or the potential offer in front of the home, or inside the home.  Honestly not every home has an in-home video surveillance, but enough of them do that you do need to think about it.  The thing you may dislike about the home and can’t wait to change may very well be the one thing that they’re in love with and hearing you talk about changing it can make the sellers look dis-favorably on your offer.  In a multiple offer situation…anything can change the tide toward, or away from, your offer.

As a Realtor will we know whether or not the home has video in front, or inside?  Nope..  sometimes we can see it (I always look for a possible camera), but otherwise.. we won’t know.  It’s safer to assume that someone may be watching, or listening to you as you enter their home, and sometimes while you are inside the home.

I know I said it above, but I will again say it… do NOT talk about any potential offer, or what it might be inside the home.  Never say anything about the home, the Realtors involved, the list price (and/or whether or not you agree with the list price), or about the decoration while anywhere near or inside the home.  Save the discussion for inside the vehicle. Always better to be safe than sorry..

And speaking of ‘better to be safe than sorry’….  For the homeowners, there have been reports of potential buyers, and unfortunately, even Realtors doing things inappropriate inside homes for sale, taking things that don’t belong to them, or touching things that they shouldn’t be.  This is not the norm, and it is pretty rare, but it does happen.

A couple of examples…  years ago during an open house for a model home in a new community there was a gal who asked why the master bedroom was locked and why they couldn’t see it…  The gal I was working with looked at me with an ‘oh no’ expression as we realized that we hadn’t seen this one couple come back downstairs for about 15 minutes…  yep, you guessed why…  She knocked on the door and told them in a no-nonsense voice that cops had been called (she hadn’t).  A couple of minutes later a couple come out, and we had to cancel the rest of the open house while the housekeeper had to come in.  Ewwwww…..
Another open house… very early in my Realtor career, in an owner occupied home.  There was this one family who came in complete with dirty shoes and started to make themselves at home on the furniture, laying on the bed (sorry, those don’t stay), and worse, one kid was jumping on a bed (with dirty shoes), and another kid was in the other kids room playing with his legos (and breaking them).  If you know of a kid who plays with and puts together lego sets you KNOW how bad this was.  This was literally all in less than 5 minutes!  I was trying to deal with the parents, get them to take care of their kids (without making them mad), keep an eye on the front door as other people came in, and honestly… I was perplexed, befuddled, and overwhelmed…  luckily for me another older, more experienced agent came in with her client, and took command of the situation.  She pulled the ‘mom card/tone’ that I had been hesitant to use.  Yes, the parents were upset that she told them to get control of their kids and to remember that they were in someone else’s home, but she did teach me valuable lessons that day…. 1) I don’t do open houses in occupied homes. 2) If I have a client who really wants one, I always have 2 people there … for safety, and for one to keep an eye upstairs/bedrooms and one downstairs/living spaces, and most importantly 3) KEEP EVERYONE TOGETHER.  In real estate there is a different kind of respect needed… you have to respect yourself.  You have to have enough respect for yourself and your career to stand up to others who lack that respect for others property.  Sometimes you do have to be the ‘bad guy’ to enforce others to respect the homes that they are seeing, and the boundaries that are respectfully put there….and it’s ok.  Real estate is a lot like parenting… we can’t always be the ‘good guy’, and sometimes, well, we can’t please everyone.  That agent has since retired, and I’ve helped people buy/sell a LOT of homes since then.  So what happened after that?  Well, the agent who came in and put a stop to the neighbors (yes, they were NEIGHBORS!!!) shenanigans worked with the agent I was helping. The homeowners were really nice and were not surprised about the neighbors behavior…..as not shockingly, they were not friendly, and in fact, they were moving because of those neighbors.  They were surprised about the behavior of them during the open house though, and never thought about warning the Realtor that they might come to the open house.  I mean… why would they?  Who would’ve ever thought?  We had a housecleaner come in after the open house, and Troy got a new lego set as the neighbor little boy did destroy one of his dragons in the short time he was in there.  I was young, and new, and while neither is bad, in this case (as in many cases) age and experience is what saved the day.

Another story…  a Realtor down south was using ‘showings’ to meet with her … umm…  young boyfriend.  She couldn’t meet him at her house because…well, that is where her husband and kids lived.  Yep…and she got caught because someone had an in home surveillance system.  I bet that was a shock to everyone!

So, while yes, it sucks to think that someone might be watching you during a showing, you kind of have to understand where sellers are coming from anymore.  As Realtors we do everything we can do to protect our clients.. when representing a seller our job is multifaceted…  there’s sociology, psychology, marketing, pricing, niche marketing, and of course representing the seller to best of our experience and skills… and helping the seller to realize the best profit from their real estate investment.

When working with a buyer, the Realtors duty is to protect the buyer to the best of the Realtors skills, experience, and education.  To help the buyer get the best home we can find them in their price range, to negotiate home inspection repairs, to walk them through the entire process, paperwork, to communicate every step so that the buyer understands and feels comfortable with the home buying process.  To help that buyer find and get keys to…not just a house, but a home.  A home is an investment in your future.  If you take care of it, it will take care of you.  We only hope our kids will take care of us someday…  😀

As always….this is just a quick overview…. again…and I can’t say this enough…please remember that your agent is NOT a salesperson, and should not be acting like one.  Real Estate is not really about houses, it is about relationships.  Your agent, and your lender work for YOU.  You drive the bus…we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals.  Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your home adventure.  The goal is to be informative and non-promotional.  🙂  We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.

If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard…or if you would like me to help you with your home adventure, please call, email,  text, or facebook me anytime.  I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!!  …and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers. 
 .   ..disclaimer…if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings…

Information is power,  and as always…May the odds be ever in your favor out there….  If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.  
If you have any questions, or comments please get a hold of me anytime.  You can call, text, email, or even facebook me.  Please remember that while I mean these emails/blogs to be helpful, and educational, I am still hoping that you will call, or email me as I would be honored to help you with your home buying, or home selling adventure.

Upcoming Topics:
Delayed Possession… What is this & what does it mean to you
Interest Rates (information from Chris Berg,Cardinal Financial)
What do I need to buy a home,
Hiring a Realtor…questions to ask,

What if I don’t have a Down Payment? …..  &….
What does an Agent do for me?
Debt to Income Ratios….What is this?

Last Week:  Costs & Fees of Buying a Home

Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,