Category Archives: Realtor to Realtor

I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

So…

You’d like me to sell your house you say?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  BUT.  There’s a few things you’ll need to do first.  Like patch the holes in the walls?  Paint the black walls a slightly lighter shade?  Rake the leaves from last year?  Ok?  You get that done, and I’l be back in 2 weeks to take the listing and take AWESOME pics of your house, m’kayyyyy?

I'm GOOD, but I'm NOT God!
I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!

Fast forward to 2 weeks later…

 

I pull up, leaves are pretty much gone, ok, good.  But the garbage cans are overflowing in the driveway, one is knocked over onto the lawn.  Heading for the door, I’m almost afraid to see what’s inside.  I knock, owner is all smiles.  The black room is now a perky purpley lavender color.   Ooooooooookay fine.  I go to check the walls.  Where the holes were, I MEAN are, there ARE now 2 dressers in front of them!  As in, the holes are still there!!!

So now I try to reason with the owner that the holes are, errrrr, unacceptable?  They don’t want to have to fix them.  Alllllllrighty then.  Moving on…

So, I start taking pictures of the home, asking the husband to please move the garbage cans so that I can get a good pic of the outside.  I get to the kid’s rooms, there are toys EVERYWHERE.  NOT on shelves, or neatly arranged.  Like, I couldn’t go in the room without twisting my ankles, which I DID.  Legos everywhere.  Books on top of toys on top of trucks.  Ok, let’s pass on the pics of THAT room.  I get to the master bedroom.  I kid you not, there were dirty clothes EVERYWHERE.  I can’t…..

At this point, I feel like I need a shower.  I’m done.  I get to the kitchen, where the sink is full of dirty dishes, condiments from their taco Tuesday all over the counter.   A cheery, “All done?!” from the wife.  Yep, I’m DONE all right.  “What’s wrong?” she asks.  What ISN’T?

I now explain to her that there is no way on this green earth that I can post pics of the house like this if they ever want to get it sold.  I explained that I gave them 2 weeks, and they didn’t do anything except paint the black room.  She then says she sees pics of rooms like this posted on the internet all the time.  To which I say “Yes, and that’s why they haven’t sold yet!!!  She sees nothing wrong.  She thinks the home will sell itself.  She literally says, sarcastically, “Well, if you don’t think you can sell it…”

At that point, I pick up my listing agreement and my camera, and I say, “Listen, I’m GOOD, but I’m NOT God!  I am NOT a miracle worker!  I cannot wave my hand and BAM!  Your house is sold!  I think you need another agent…”   3 weeks later, the home still wasn’t listed.  I watched and waited.  2 weeks after that, somebody’s sign was in the ground.  Turned out to be a newbie agent.  Not only were the MLS pics of the inside full of the laundry, the toys and the dishes, but the house was also priced $30k OVER what I told them they needed to list it for!  Newbie+lazy listers+tell the seller what they wanna hear=recipe for disaster.  Last I checked, the house was still listed at the same price, on the market for 146 days.  Did a driveby, same overflowing garbage, different day.  Eventually, they’ll learn.  Or get another agent that will do the right thing, as long as THEY do, too…

Guys, we ALL, as in ALL agents, are here to help you sell your home.  But we CAN’T if you don’t help.  Of course you love your house.  But you need to step back and ask yourself, would someone ELSE love my house if they were here right now?  First impressions are HUGE here.  You need to clean.  Declutter.  Polish your home like the diamond that it can be.  Only then can we get it sold for top dollar.

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

I’m a Realtor, NOT a Referee!

I’m a Realtor, NOT a Referee!

   Ok, so the ongoing reality is that when we went to real estate school, they taught us the LAW, NOT how to sell a home.  Well, there’s a WHOLE LOTTA OTHER things they didn’t teach us…

 

Liiiiike, how to negotiate… how to deal with rejection, aaaaaaand…

 

                                                                          HOW TO BE A REFEREE

 

“Wait, WHAT?!” you ask?  This isn’t what I signed up for!!!  I don’t play games… watch baseball… watch fights…  Oh, wait, yes, I do…

 

Now.  I deal with quite a few rehabbers, fixand flippers, partners of sorts.  Now YOU would think, and I would think, that in a partnership, everything’s hunky dory.  Partners know each other.  Meep!!!!  WRONG!!!  Creative differences are one thing.  Financials are another.  PERSONAL takes it to a whole new level…

 

I’ve been told BY SAID CLIENTS that I should have been a marriage counselor, a mediator, or,at minimum, a referee.  I have one set that didn’t make it through a deal.  I have another set that are KILLING each other every.  Single.  DAY.  And yet another that bicker on a daily basis.

 

“Ladies and gentlemen, LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  DING!!!

 

 

And it’s let the games begin….   I keep telling them that they need to meet in the middle, because at the end of the day, it’s all about the paycheck.  Two deals kept threatening each other with lawyers, they quit, they want to dissolve their partnership.  DING!!!!  ONE kept screaming, “List the house as is!!!” half completed. The other said, “I’ll let the place get foreclosed on first!!!”  I keep explaining that if I list it as is, they won’t get out as even a break-even.  I spent 2 1/2 HOURS tonite in the middle of 2 SCREAMING partners/clients that I’m in my 2nd deal with.  I know they’ll get through it, as I’ve been here with them before.  One headache and a bottle of wine later, everybody left on speaking terms.  DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING!!!!  “The one looks at me and says, “You sould have been a referee, or at LEAST a marriage counselor!”  The other one apologizes and says,”I’m sorry, you don’t get paid to do this…”  I just looked at her, because it seems that in many of my deals, this is the norm.  As I hit the mat, down for the count, the final bell goes off…

 

We all deal with it.  Arguing spouses over whether to accept the low offer on their homes, partners arguing over how the money is spent, rehabbers fighting over what design will net them more money on the out number.  This is a time when you really hope that you really REALLY know your clients, so you can head the problems off at the pass.  Why?  Because if you can’t, or don’t, it will be YOU that will not get paid when the deal falls apart…

 

Remember, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee?”  You have float like a butterfly,  feel out the situation, try to calm it down, but if people are too busy mud-slinging, STING LIE A BEE.  MAKE THEM STOP.  Explain that it’s counterproductive to getting the deal DONE.  Clients hitting below the belt verbally?  TKO, disarm the argument.  Agents need to learn how to do the old verbal rope a dope.  Sometimes it can truly be an art form.  Verbal sparring is the order of the day.  Are you ready to come out punching?

 

 

 

Whether you’re looking to buy a home, or trying to sell a home, I can help! We have the best real estate marketing to get your house sold, best realtor services ever! I cover Atlantic County, NJ, Cape May County, NJ, Ocean County, NJ, Cumberland County, NJ, , Gloucester County, NJ, Camden County, NJ and Burlington County, NJ, too! Pick a town, any town! Need some suggestions? Ok! Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor Township, Northfield, Linwood, Somers Point, Ocean City, Sea Isle, Hammonton, Williamstown, Sicklerville, Mullica, Tuckahoe, Middle Township, Upper Township, Lower Township, Rio Grande, Seaside Heights, Seaside Park, New Gretna, and Port Republic. Any you don’t see here? CALL ME! I’m sure I’m on it!

Chris :0)

Christine Gerbehy

Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach Realtors

Northfield Office

1001 Tilton Rd. Northfield, NJ 08225

609-646-1900

In order to be successful at anything in life, you have to EMBRACE THE SUCK.

In order to be successful at anything in life, you have to EMBRACE THE SUCK.

What is the suck you ask? The suck is anything that you have to do, that you KNOW you have to do, that you really don’t want to have to do, EVER. The fact remains, you GOTTA do it. This goes for real estate, sales, really life in general. I mean don’t get me wrong, will have to do suck things in life. Cleaning, working. But what I’m talking about are the calls that you KNOW you have to make that you don’t WANT to make. Cold calling. Calling clients to tell them that you haven’t gotten a single bite on their property. BPOs that you know are under deadline. Door knocking. Anything that involves going outside of your comfort level is also known as the suck.

Unfortunately, in real estate, the suck is the cornerstone of your business. This is why you MUST embrace it. If you don’t, you will have no business, end of subject. You need to get past it, get over it, or learn to love it, in other words, EMBRACE THE SUCK. Hate cold calling? Too bad. Hate dealing with irate clients? You better learn how to deal with it, and fast. Hate going out and showing houses full of bed bugs termites and cockroaches? Guess what? If that’s all your client wants to look at, you better embrace the suck, or they’ll find another agent that will.

embrace the suck
embrace the suck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(photoFound on theartofstoryproject.com)

When I got started I used to work in an office of veteran agents that refused to work after 1 p.m. on Friday until 9 a.m. on Monday. They couldn’t be bothered with answering phone calls from “newbie home buyers” on the weekends. Let me tell you something, that was the beginning foundation of my business when I started. I told those agents please shut your phone off. I’ll take your money all day long. To which they said, “I don’t care, SOMEBODY will sell it, but it won’t be ME on a weekend.”

They also hated doing open houses for their clients in the fall and winter, so they’d have other agents do them for them. Again, that was the beginning foundation of my business. God knows I froze my tail off in vacant houses my first winter with no heat on.  In two of them, it was colder in the house than it was outside! But, I had to…EMBRACE THE SUCK.  Believe it or not, each of those two iceboxes brought me my first sales!

So, YES, there are things we HAVE to do that we HATE having to do.  But, NOT doing them will cost us business.  But, when we DO them, that’s what sets us apart from everybody else.  And THAT, my friend, is where the magic happens.  EMBRACE THE SUCK!

 

Excuse Me, I gotta see a guy about a boat….

Excuse Me, I gotta see a guy about a boat….

Sooooooooo…

I get a bank owned listing. House is overgrown, place is a trainwreck, and then there’s….

THE BOAT.

Now, I hear ya, saying, “HEY! It’s a free boat!” TRUST me, NOBODY wants this boat. Been sitting, green with pollen, weather beaten, tanked, dry rotted tires on the trailer. Ok, so what’s the problem, you ask?

Welllllllll…

Because it’s at the house, even though it’s vacant, and the bank took the house back, they need to do an eviction. FOR THE BOAT. Why? Because apparently it’s personal property. Ok, fine. So I get all the DMV info for the attorneys. Why? Where do I live? New Jersey. Where’s the boat last registered? DELAWARE. UGH, another one that will be sitting for another 6 months before it gets listed.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I went to check on the house, and sonofabitch, dang boat’s still there. The ONE TIME ya WANT somebody to steal something, it’ll be there ’til the cows come home. So the neighbor sneaks up on me and scares the bejeepers outta me. She then tells me about

THE BOAT.

As a matter of fact, there HAD been TWO of them. Apparently,after the home was foreclosed on, the grandson and his friends had been squatting in the house. If you remember, after Hurricane Sandy, you can no longer have your boat on the street outside your home. The grandson decided to allow a guy to pay him monthly to keep his boats there in the yard. After said neighbor repeatedly called the police, they found the guy and he came and picked up ONE boat. Not

THE BOAT.

So I pass the info on to the asset manager. Who passes it on tothe eviction specialist. Who passes it on to the bank’s attorney. Who answers back to the specialist that answers to the asset manager who answers to me: SEE EMAIL FROM THE LAWYER BELOW ON WHAT TO DO ABOUT

THE BOAT.

Now, I thought that since I knew that the police had this guy’sinfo, I had things all sewn up into a neat, tidy package. The attorney’s email said that after many back and forth contacts with DMV in both states, the easiest solution is the simplest. He said to have me remove

THE BOAT.

So, I’m thinkin’ I’ll just go to the poice dept., explain that said boat was abandoned, and can they please come and impound it. I explain about the guy they need to find, and say just reach out to him and have him remove it. Cop can’t find any records on him. I give him the registration numbers. Invalid info on the search. Cop looks at me and says well, the bank owns the house, so now they own

THE BOAT.

I said, “Wait, you don’t understand. I get the pleasure of trying to get this done. What the hell do I do?” He says, “Impound it.” I said, “That’s what I came to YOU to do. He says, “I don’t do it, YOU do it.” I asked, “where do you impound it to?” He says, “You mean where do YOU impound it?” He said, “I dunno. A dump?” He says, “They have lawyers, right? Let THEM do it.” I wailed “But they want ME to do it!!! Listen, I own a chainsaw, the dang thing is made outta fiberglass!!!” To which he says, “well, THAT won’t work…” So, an hour and a half later, I left with no solution. So, what’s the one place that works for STUFF? Craigslist. Free to a good home. Don’t you know, by the time I made the 10 minute ride home, my husband had already gotten potential takers! In the meantime, just in case, would YOU like…

THE BOAT???

boat

Black Mold: An Occupational Hazard

There have always been jokes about the state you live in concerning the weather.  In New Mexico, “It’s a DRY heat…”  Well, when it comes to Jersey, not so much.  South Jersey, as in the Jersey Shore, has a TON of humidity.  Last few summers have been brutal.  You get used to it.  BUT.  In vacant, locked up homes, it can be a HUGE problem.  Why?  In a word: MOLD.

More specifically, BLACK mold.

Ever since Hurricane Sandy, mold, for me, has become an occupational hazard.  Homes were inundated with salt water.  People in Ocean City and Atlantic City weren’t even allowed to go back to check on their homes for DAYS.  Salt water(or any water for that matter) locked up in a closed up house spells trouble.  Sheetrock is organic, since it has paper on the outside.  Sheetrock gets wet, takes forever to dry.  Mold starts to grow.  Now it gets hot outside, windows are closed, no air circulation, and the mold literally starts to grow, and spread.

Listen, we’ve all seen a little mold, especially homes with bathrooms that have no fans for your hot shower steam.  If there’s nowhere for that humidity to go, and you have anything organic, like wood or sheetrock exposed, mold will grow.  Now you may remember that earlier this year, I got a bank owned property that was overrun with mold in the basement.  I was on meds for 60 days, and anybody that went into the upper part only still got sore throats.  I thought THAT was bad…

Fast forward to 3 days ago, I was given another bank owned property.  I had taken my husband with me.  He opened the front door and quickly slammed it shut.  I just looked at him,and he told me to go get my N-95 mask.  He wouldn’t open the door without it.  Much to my horror, that last home had been a walk in the park, like KINDERGARTEN compared to this :

black mold
black mold

 

 

 

 

 

Apparently, the home was foreclosed on, the pipes froze and burst in the walls while vacant.  Look at the wall on the left:

mold grows fast!
mold grows fast!

Guys, this is NOTHING to play with.  I’ve ordered a respirator, as this is my third encounter with this massive a dose of mold.  I would rather look RIDICULOUS with it on than to be as sick as I was again after the last one!  I can tell you within a minute and a half if there’s mold in a house; my throat literally starts to ache almost immediately.  You can usually smell it in the air.  The last home, remediation for the basement alone was $15k.  Every shred of carpet in the entire 3 floors of the home had to be removed.  Same for the sheetrock in the basement.

basement mold
basement mold

Then they did an air treatment and filtration.  Then you need to worry about the vents for the heat and central air systems.  The spores will grow and spread in the vents as well.

 

 

 

 

 

mold on walls
mold on walls

 

 

 

 

 

moldy sheetrock removed
moldy sheetrock removed

I used to think that mold thrived at about 80 degrees?  Really?  Guess what?  It’s still going strong at 32 degrees!  You need to understand that you have to remove the cause of the moisture to effectively treat the issue.  You have to remove the moisture.  Use a dehumidifier if necessary.  Remove wet sheetrock and insulation. Keep rooms vented.  Bathrooms especially.  Use Kilz paint or paint treatment when necessary.  Change air filters.  Treat all ventilation systems.  But, most importantly, if you can see that you’re in over your head, HIRE A MOLD REMEDIATION SPECIALIST!

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Cell Phone Pics for a Listing… NOT!!!!

Cell Phone Pics for a Listing… NOT!!!!

 

As I landed my most INCREDIBLE listing to date, the sellers wanted the Luxury Listing package.  As I saw what some of these things would cost, I rationalized that marketing will get this property sold QUICKLY.  They priced it very well.  I have to tell you, I’m in LOVE with this property.  I have a great Nikon wide angle lens and lighting.  I got some great pics.  BUT, were they good ENOUGH?

Fast forward to the first call to the “company approved photographer.” On first conversation, he told me he would be taking pictures with his iPad.  I almost lost it.  My husband says to calm down, and proceeds to find pics in Google, showing attached lenses and lighting.  Didn’t make me feel any better.  On the day of the shoot, I was relieved to see tripods and cameras, MANY of them!  No sight of an iPad.  This man was PREPARED!  He knew where the sun would rise and set, what time, how long we had for each part of the shoot.  As he started to work, out came the iPad, which was attached to the camera and lighting.  I was amazed to watch what he could do with it!

Herb Englesberg, Photographer
Herb Englesberg, Photographer
iPad for a photographer?
iPad for a photographer?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t even start to tell you the QUALITY of this man’s work.  Trust me, the money that you will spend on a shoot is worth EVERY PENNY.  He was at the house for almost 7 hours.  And we learned alot.I’ll be posting the pics when I get them from him on Tuesday.  I’ll even try to compare his to mine.  NOT!!!  Aaaaaaaanyways…

Herb Englesberg and Crusader
Herb Englesberg and Crusader

His name is Herb Englesberg.  He is AMAZING! He works out of Philadelphia, and can be reached.610-304-3138

 

http://activerain.com/action/blogs_admin/write/4774677

Starting Your Real Estate Business Right

Starting Your Real Estate Business Right

CONGRATS!!! YOU GOT YOUR LICENSE!!!! Now what? Choosing an office to work for isn’t as easy as it seems. Do your homework before you jump!

Before you decide where you’re going to go hang your license, you need to seriously consider a few things…

1. Location

How close is your office to your home?  If you don’t have a fax machine or scanner in your house, and you need to fax, you’ll need to drive to your office.  In the winter?  Snow? 3am?  Last thing you wanna do is have to drive 20 mins. to your office…

2. Training

What training does your prospective employer offer?  Classes?  Seminars?  ASK!!!

3. Mentoring

Does your office offer mentoring?  In Realtor school, they taught you the LAW, NOT how to sell a home.  You WILL needsomeone to show you how to do contracts, find tax records, etc…

4.  What’s included?

Some offices, you pay for nothing.  Others, you pay for EVERYTHING.  Paper, faxes, ink, signs, it will get expensive QUICKLY.  ASK!!!!

5.  Technology

What technology does the office offer?  Online apps?  Software?  Internal systems?  Websites?

6.  Chemistry

When you meet each broker, hopefully, you will know whether you will mesh.  You need a broker that will help you to grow your business, not compete against for listings.  Ask a ton of questions.

Hopefully, your search will be a short one.  Just be sure to weigh your options!

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to http://www.buynjshorehome.com/ and click on “search homes.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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