Tag Archives: Hurricane Sandy

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

BY

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield DRE#1008764

Stay in Your Own Lane!!!

Earlier on my way home from the gym, I was listening to a great channel on Sirius XM. I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Joel Osteen, but he also has a gentleman that is on his channel, and for the life of me I have no idea who he is. He’s funny as all get out, and still manages to get his point across (Guy after my own heart). I was able to take away a few things from the ride home that makes complete and total sense, and I’m going to give them a little twist from a real estate  perspective.

When it comes to real estate, each and every one of us take an insanely different approach. I’m not just talking about being able to read a client, pick out which “type” of person they are and act accordingly. I’m talking about how we conduct ourselves as agents. With real estate, there really isn’t any one size fits all. I may not be able to do what you do the way you do it, but you can’t possibly do things the same way I do them. Our personalities may be so far apart, and maybe not, but we each put our own flair on our approach because of who we are. We can learn different things from different people, and some of those people love to say,  “I taught you everything you know, but I didn’t think teach you everything I know.”  But that’s when you can turn around and say. “You may have taught me everything I know, but you can’t do it the way I do it.”

 Back in the day, one of my favorite sayings was, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”  As the years have gone by and I have learned that I don’t always know what I need to, and there’s still plenty that I need to learn everyday, I had to tweak that a bit. Now it’s more like driving a car, but much faster. You may drive a BMW, I made drive a truck, but we all drive in our own lane. We can change lanes, change directions to get where we need to go, learning with different people, trying to reach our destination of our own greatness.  But the most important thing to remember is to stay in our own lane. Passing is allowed, as long as its not done on the right. No taking advantage along the way. Enjoy the different scenery as you go. We can learn different things from different people…

Pay it forward!!!

Chris :0)

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 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

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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