Tag Archives: United States

Is This House HAUNTED???

Is This House HAUNTED???

About 3 years ago, I took my now best friend Loretta out to go look at a few foreclosures as we were starting to look for a home for her and her family. This particular house was quite old, nestled in a corner in a close by historic town called Egg Harbor City. 405 Atlantic Ave.. It was a run down, but still beautiful gothic white home with wrought iron fence and ivy everywhere. Once we were inside, there were some really creepy areas inside this house. Pocket doors on some of the rooms, every other room had a very weird 1920’s type of bathroom, claw foot tubs, all intact.

 

It seemed as if it had been used at some point as a boarding house. Another room that looks like half a ball room. We went upstairs and saw layers upon layers of wallpaper that had been peeled back, rooms that were severely dilapidated, but a ton of beautiful woodwork. Everything was going great, until we got to the basement. Once we got down to the basement, Loretta wasn’t looking too well. Looked literally like the color was draining from her face. I looked at her and asked her if she was okay, she just said, “We need to go.  I headed for the stairs, she stood there for a moment, staring at the door in the corner. She looked at the door as she backed up to follow me toward the stairs. Now at the time, I didn’t know Loretta very well. She later explained that she’s sensitive to certain things, and when we got to that part of the basement, she felt like somebody was sitting on her chest. She became uncomfortable to the point that she couldn’t breathe…  We had poked around a bit more, but that basement had a room with chains attached to the walls…  Ath that point, I wanted out….

I had always been intrigued by haunted homes, but never really experienced anything strange. After going home later on that day and looking up the address, came to find that the home had been in an orphanage many many years ago, and what appeared to be like an oversized workshop outside was actually their schoolhouse.  The listing read:

“Estate that was built in 1866 for the orphans of the civil war.”  Then,   “Previous uses include home for widows and orphans of the civil war, boarding home, and insurance office. Residential with commercial use. Original carriage house on site. Being sold strictly as is, needs total renovation. cash or owner will finance . Basement. fireplace.” 

Back in the Depression era, many people had live there, some had passed away there. Lots of misery.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago, I had to take a couple that I had not met up till that day to go look at 4 houses in a local neighborhood. The first three went well, but the houses didn’t look that great. We get to the last one, and we go to open the front door and walk in. I was the last to enter, and as I did, the door slammed shut behind me. As it did, the wife, who was ahead of me, had suddenly caught such a chill that she actually shook it off in front of me.

Now normally, that wouldn’t be an issue, except for a couple of things. One, it was about 92 degrees out, no breeze whatsoever. And 2, the house was like a sauna, there was no air conditioning on, there was no power. She started to head for the front door and said, “I’m leaving,” and she had barely walked into the home. Her husband brushed it off and said, “Oh come on.”  We did a quick walk through on the lower level, and then we went to go upstairs. As soon as we got to the top step, we heard the front door slam down stairs. The only problem with THAT? It had been closed shut when we had headed upstairs. The wife looked at the husband, and said, “I’ll be waiting outside.”  I heard her fumbling with the lock and mumbling under her breath because she couldn’t get the door to open. I walk downstairs, turn the knob and the door opened. She couldn’t have gotten out of that home fast enough!  Have you experienced anything similar?

Tomorrow, Part 2: MY Haunted House…  Stay Tuned!

http://activerain.com/blogsview/4812698/is-this-house-haunted—

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

5 More Reasons Your House WON’T SELL!

5 More Reasons Your House WON’T SELL!

“Wait! What the HELL are you talking about?!  Whaddya MEAN my house WON’T SELL?!” you scream. “My house is pretty dang nice! I just spent a TON of money on the chachkas on all of my countertops! My wallpaper is only 2 years old, all 4 rooms of it!!!”

Okay, you want to sell your home.  Nobody said it would necessarily be easy.  I can sit here any day of the week and tell you things that you’re doing (or not doing) that are killing your chances of your home selling.  Here’s just a couple of home sales crimes that you NEED to be sure not committing…

1.  Wanna sell your house?  YOU NEED TO LET ME SHOW IT!!!!!!

The best Realtor in the universe can’t sell your home if you don’t let them show it.  You need to accomodate showing agents to schedule appointments to show your home, and then HONOR those appointments!  You also can’t really, unless there’s an extreme circumstance, only allow showings 2 days a week for 4 hours a day.  There aren’t many buyers that will wait that long to see it, or their hours may not mesh with yours.  Keeping a lockbox on your home allows appointments to show your home to be scheduled, and you

don’t even need to be home.  Just keep your home tidy, and all will be fine.

2.  “Whaddya MEAN I’m priced too high?!”

Okay, quite often, one of two things happens to trigger this response. Did you talk to your agent about your price?  Let me rephrase that…  did you LISTEN to your agent when you discussed the listing price?  Did you insist on pricing your home at what YOU thought it is worth?  If you did, well, when you get what you think are lowball offers, don’t be shocked.  Your agent, if they’re really good, brought you comparables before you listed.  They showed you homes that have sold in the last 6 months, and that are listed for sale now, and are as close to an exact match to your home as there is.  THAT, my friend is where YOU need to be priced.  NOT $30k higher.

One of the problems many homeowners face is that they may have an inexperienced agent, or worse, an agent that will tell you what you want to hear to get you to list your home with THEM.  They will say that your number is fine just to get you to sign that paper.  End result?  No showings, more time on the market (NOT a good thing)and most importantly, NO SALE.  Interview a few agents before you sign!

3.  You NEED to De-personalize

You may be proud of your family and all their accomplishments.  I’d be proud of my family with all 65 of those college degrees hanging on the wall, too.  But, your prospective buyer needs to see HIS family pics on the wall.  HIS wall hangings.  HIS bar mirrors, if it’s going to be his man cave.  He can’t do that with all that wall clutter.  What about all of those trophies and statues and figurines and pictures and chachkas and….  PUT THEM AWAY!  Just put them in a box until you can put them on your next fireplace mantel.  When you’re trying to sell, your buyer needs to picture where they’re gonna put all of THEIR stuff.  They can’t do that if yours is taking up all of that counter space.

4. That Smelly Smell that Smells…. SMELLY!

When you live in anywhere, you’re in that airspace for most of the day.  It’s familiar, so unless there’s bad food in the garbage that you can smell, you may not notice that something’s amiss.

You know you’re going to have showings today while you’re at work.  Did you take out the garbage?  Are last night’s dirty dishes still in the sink?  How about dirty laundry?  Is the basket of sweaty gym clothes out?  How about the baby’s dirty diaper pail?

nj real estate mama

I’m not trying to be gross or disgusting here.  Every one of things happened to me on showings last year!  And I mean to the point of literal gagnation.  I kid you not.  And believe me when I tell you,  not ONE of those homes got a bid from any of my clients.  When people smell smells, it means that the house is NOT CLEAN.  Then, they need to know what’s causing it.  Or, worse, if they SEE what the problem is, then they wonder what they HAVEN’T seen.

5.  In a word, WALLPAPER

I don’t know where to file this, de-personalize, repairs or what…

Wallpaper is a very personal choice.  You took hours, days, WEEKS to pick it out!  And yes, unless it’s a historic Victorian house trying to stay true to period, it needs to go.  If a buyer absolutely HATES the print, they also more than likely know what a pain in the butt it is going to be to remove it.  That’s a job that nobody wants to do, and a headache nobody needs to have.  You will need to strip it off and repaint the walls a nice, neutral color.  Again, unless it’s there for a reason (historic home), it needs to go.

The sooner you address these potential problems, the sooner you will get your home sold…

~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.”

 

Oh, what a week it’s been…

Oh, what a week it’s been…

Motherhood.  Real Estate.  The beauty of being self employed is that you can be home when you need to be…  This past week was one of those rare instances that my 7 year old son was sick.  And I mean 102.9 fever sick…

reilly

Apparently, pretty much every school in Egg Harbor Township, NJ has some kind of bug going around.  The other side of town has stomach flu going around, but H. Russel Swift School has a cold/flu going around.  He’s all congested out of NOWHERE, at 101.5 and climbing.  After going nuts when my son’s doctor had her voicemail full and wasn’t returning my calls, I headed for the Shore Urgent Care Center.

After a 2 hour wait, we get in to see the doctor, and long story short, he looks in his ears,clear.  Looks at his throat, says it’s “a little red..” checks his neck and says glands are “a little swollen.” Now mind you, he’s rattling as he’s breathing.  He checks his back and chest with his stethescope, and says he’s “a little congested…”  SMDH!!!!  NO, REALLY?!?!  Doesn’t swab him, culture him, NOTHING.  He says, “Well, I don’t wanna send him for an xray.  Could be bronchitis, could be pneumonia…”  And you DON’T wanna send him for an xray?!  He says, “I’ll give him a little antibiotic and a note for school….”

Ok, antibiotic made me feel a little safer.  But, of course, we get home,and his fever spikes to 102.7.  4 hours later, after the 3rd dose of Tylenol, we realize Tylenol is WORTHLESS.  10pm and it’s out to CVS I go for ibuprofen.  Fever drops to 100.5, so I can go to sleep.  Wake up next morning, he’s back up to 102.7.  Call his doctor again, mailbox is still full.  More ibuprofen.  Finally, his doctor, who I LOVE, calls back, I thought she was an obscene phone call, couldn’t even understand her!

Apparently, SHE had what HE had!  OMG, mailbox was full because she was out sick.  She explained that it’s a plasma bronchitis/pneumonia.  Starts out as a virus like flu, then turns into bronchitis and potentially pneumonia (bacterial) if there’s no antibiotic.  That’s what’s going around, and EVERYBODY’S got it.  Said all we can do with the fever is ride it out.  His fever eventually broke that night, but I gotta tell you, I was SCARED.  I’ve never seen a fever not break for 3 days, with antibiotics, EVER…

So, back to Real Estate…  I missed a class given by my boss, GREATEST broker EVER.  I had to reschedule all my appointments, thank GOD for loyal clients.  And I missed my bi-weekly meeting.  But, of course, I work for the greatest office EVER.  Berkshire Hathaway Fox and Roach in Northfield, NJ is phenomenal.  The company, office AND people…  I finally got back to my office after hours to find this in my mailbox…

million dollar club
million dollar club

wooHOOOOOOO!!!  Christine Gerbehy, Million Dollar Club!!!!

(how freakin’ great is this!  First year with the company!)

 

So, the boy’s back to school, I’m on my way out to a showing, and all is right with my world…  aaaaand iiiiiit’s…

FRIDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Mama Sells Real Estate!

~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.”

BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR

BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR

Discount Brokerages: RUN!

Have you decided to sell your home?  After a long three years, interest rates are up to 4%, and housing inventory is down 5.24% for the second month in a row.  National median listing prices increased 5.27 percent. The market IS coming back, and it’s a better time to sell.

That being said, BEWARE THE DISCOUNT REALTOR.mort

When you hire a Realtor to sell your home, there is much work involved to get your home sold.  How much work we, as Realtors perform, will determine how quickly your home gets sold.  Pricing your home accurately.  Advertising your home.  Open houses.  Internet presence.  Accessibility.  CONTACT with your agent.  The list goes on…

You should interview any potential Realtor that you consider.  You will need to come to an agreement with your agent as to his or her commission for their services.  An average rate of commission is 6% of the sales price of the home. You will negotiate a commission that is agreeable to you both.  Make SURE to confirm with your agent what he/she will do for you to facilitate the sale of your home, before you hire ANYONE. Why?  Because you may experience the Discount Realtor…

The Discount Realtor will come in and tell you that they’ll take your listing for 2 or 3%.  They’ll tell you the will “get your home sold for you, just same way that a 6% Realtor will.”  But when you ask them what they will do for you, the conversation will shift…  “Well, for 2 or 3%, I can put your home in the MLS.”  They will tell you they will do it cheap to get their foot in the door.  Now, ask them these questions:

Will you advertise my home? WHERE?

Will you create a website for my home?

Can people access information about my home from their smartphone?

Can other agents schedule showings at any time, even later in the evening AFTER your office closes?

Will you do open houses at my home?

Will I get a list of the times my house has been shown?

Will you provide me feedback from each showing?

How often will I hear from you until my home is sold?

Chances are, you will get either one of two or three responses…  A befuddled look, ALOT of stammering, or a bunch of head nods, yesssing you to death.  But don’t bet on it.  Not one bit of it.  These Realtors will take your listing, put it up on the MLS and walk away.  Somebody will buy your home.  Eventually.  But don’t expect your Discount Realtor to be proactive about it…  He or she probably has 50 of 60 other listings, if not more.  How much attention do you think YOUR home will get?  ASK your agent how many listings they have.  Look online to confirm on Zillow.com, it’s easily found.

Here at BHHS Fox and Roach Northfield, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, we can do ALL of the above for you.  We have systems that will create a website for your home, virtual home tour videos, smartphone apps that people can get access to info on your home while they’re parked at the curb!  Showings can be scheduled by phone by any agent until 11pm, long after the office closes.  No missing ANY potential buyers.  We can give you feedback from showings of your home when the showing agent submits it.  We can do open houses at your convenience, and give your home the attention it deserves.   Call me at (609)646-1900, and let me show you how to get YOUR home sold quickly!

-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.”

http://www.buynjshorehome.com/general/beware-the-discount-realtor-168/