Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Short Sale Instead of A Museum

The old saying, "It's what you make of it" certainly applies based on a short sale opportunity on Chicago's South Side.

The last I heard, the two-flat apartment building at 4339 S. Lake Park Ave. in Chicago was in the process of being sold to a buyer who, understandably, wanted to (reportedly)  turn the building into a Museum.

That building was the home of blues legend Muddy Waters for more than 20 years, during which he inspired artists such as The Rolling Stones and countless others.

Now, the Chicago Tribune reports that the deal has fallen through, and that this property is now listed as a Short Sale in the $100,000 range. The seller is Waters' great granddaughter.

This is one heck of a Business Opportunity for someone. People will come to see this 19th Century structure, especially with the musical heritage that has been within those walls.

Yet, for some unexplained reason, this is just a blurb in the newspaper. (Not even the headline of the story.) In a city that heavily promotes tourism.

All it takes is for someone to turn this into the shrine it should be. It would be one heck on an income opportunity for whoever does. But for some reason it's a big secret.

That's enough to give me the blues.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

It's Not Too Cold To Update Listing Ads

Most of us have suffered from the winter weather thus far in 2014, including parts of the country that rarely have cold weather and/or snow cover.

However, it is not too cold to update advertising and marketing information about properties for sale to reflect this. This is the age of instant communication and technology. That should apply to listing ads as well.

For example, the development I currently live in has a snow plow and snow removal company under contract to plow at scheduled intervals during and after snow storms. (That company is getting rich this season, but that's another story.) During a recent big snow storm, the development as among the first to have the streets plowed, ahead of the village's plows for the surrounding streets. As a result, my neighbors and I were able to drive out and take care of business faster and more easily than others who live nearby.

This should be treated as a big selling point.

If I were selling, I would hope that all online advertising my agent has in place for my home would be updated to indicate that the streets were cleared before most others in the community. Plus any other ads, such as for the coming weekend's newspapers (if before a deadline) should also be updated for this purpose.

If I were a potential buyer in the area, knowing that "this" development is well maintained might make me take a closer look, since I'm looking during the winter time when bad weather is prominent.

If I were the listing agent, I would want to provide a most current selling point at every opportunity. It shows potential buyers that we (agent and sellers) are motivated. If I were able to, I'd try to get a photo of the exterior of the home showing the plowed street and post it on my web site, if not adding it to online advertisements.

If I were an investor, I would know to check a region which has had its share of bad weather, figuring that there would not be offers coming in and try a lowball offer approach. Seeing this type of current information might entice me to check out this community.

Instead, I went online to search my area, and actually found several exterior photos showing a green lawn as if it were the middle of summer outside. That tells me that these homes have been on the market for a long time, and thus lack urgency. Might as well wait until the weather gets better or see what else is for sale.

This concept is not only for the hours after a blizzard. It goes for extreme weather or temperatures, or for specific events which have immediate impact, positive or negative, upon the community in which a listing is in place.

If one home on "3rd Street" is now advertised as having "no flooding issues" after a heavy rain, but a similar advertised home over on "7th Street" makes no mention of the area flood, which home would you respond to first?

In this age of "Call me on my cell", "text me", "Facebook me", and constant personal status updates, it is time for properties to be sold with this in mind.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Why Does Re/Max Report Negative Statistics?

We all know how awful this winter weather has been for at least 90% of the country and for a lot of reasons. It doesn't take a genius IQ to realize that the real estate community is being impacted as a lot of people are not up for going house hunting in the snow and/or cold weather.

Yet, Re/Max went ahead and issued its "report" showing how home sales across the country declined during January from one year ago and even the previous month of December 2013.

It is bad enough when realty associations do this. But this from a company whose business it is to SELL homes. Not provide people with less than positive information.

Instead of spending time and labor to produce these "reports" that don't tell us anything home owners want to know, why not make a better effort to market the current inventory?

Go ahead. Look up current advertisements for listed homes in cities which have recently had a ton of snow. See if ANY of them address how the home has survived the recent storm. Instead, you are more likely to see exterior photos with the lawn showing or only a little bit of snow. This tells potential buyers that the advertisement is outdated and/or that the property has been on the market for a while, thus lacking urgency.

Suppose you are selling your home, and the street you live on was well plowed and clear just after a big snow storm. Shouldn't your CURRENT advertising reflect that the owner of "this" home was able to go shopping and to work all week? Especially when other homes in the neighborhood do NOT indicate this.

That is one example. There are times when sellers need to ride herd on their realty agent, instead of the agent referring to "how bad the market is".

Here is that fresh report:

NOTE: Mr. Kohl addresses issues such as this in his new audio book, "8 Hours To Sell Your Home", now available via

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The House Might Be Sold, But It Has A Urinal

This one is not a paid ad (that I know of), or if it is, it is disguised as a newspaper "profile" of a Seattle area home by the leading local newspaper's web site.

Within the copy description of the home, it says the home has "reclaimed chalkboards used as kitchen countertops, two basement bed alcoves, a urinal and a front porch". Yes, that is a quote from the description.

Rather than ask if you know what a "bed alcove" is, I will instead ask if anyone knows of someone purchasing or considering the purchase of a home because it has a urinal.

It is possible that there is at least one person, however.

This "description" wraps up by telling readers that "a sale is pending".

Actually, I am not bashing this story and description. The point is that this does entice people to read further and to want to look at the photos.

That is a lot better than a lot of the paid advertising, with "must see", "move-in condition" and giving the basics that every other house also offers. Great job of making a property description unique!