Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Breath of Fresh Air and Renewed Faith

It's not often that a hard nosed cynic like me experiences a moment of renewed faith in my fellow man.

About a year ago, I received a call from a gentleman in Maine who was interested in purchasing a piece of land adjacent to his. The problem was one of communication with the owner; he was in California. In fact, he lived within walking distance from my office.

Thanks to my internet presence, the gentleman contacted me and asked if I would communicate his interest in the property to the owner. He offered me $1000 if he got his price or $500 if he had to pay more.

Without giving it any thought, I quickly jotted off a letter explaining the particulars and put it in his mailbox.

About a year later, out of the blue, I received a call from the Buyer telling me that he had indeed bought the property, paid a bit over what he wanted and as promised, wanted my mailing address so he could send me a check for $500.

This kind of behavior is rare in my world and it was so uplifting to me. I just felt the need to express my joy, not so much in the money I received, but by the honesty and integrity that still exists in the world.

With all the problems we all deal with, sometimes it does rain manna from heaven!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Know What We Do Not Know!

As a practicing Realtor in the most litigious state in the nation; I along with my fellow practitioners of the Real Estate trade are besieged by the legal practical realities associated with buying and selling property.

As any agent will (or should) tell you. Real Estate agents are NOT Lawyers, CPAs, Architects, Appraisers, Geologists, Home Inspectors, Contractors, Plumbers or Seismologists. Yet on any given day and in any given transaction, we are expected to Know What We Do Not Know.

There are so many realty do's and don'ts that it is a wonder that every deal doesn't end up in arbitration or court. We are required to know every disclosure, mandated by law, and yet we must walk the fine line between what we know and can not say, and what we can or must say but really should not. It is folly to believe that, all this can be accomplished without blurring or crossing the line between reporter/observer and expert/professional. Either way, the risk is always there, lurking in the back of our mind.

If you've ever bought and sold a home in California, you know the sheer volume and weight of endless and redundant disclosure. News flash, we're not expecting any document reductions any time soon.

We carry a heavy burden. The home buying experience is as painful as childbirth (so I'm told) and as stressful as divorce (so I'm told). Actually many transactions are conducted during and immediately after both of those scenarios. I guess I should throw in that we are not Psychologists as well but then, I know better than to make that claim.

We are just well intentioned people; we are Realtors, first and last. We are referrers of the highest order. All we know is what we do not know. And I have a disclosure for that too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Lame Game. Banks run roughshod over Regulators!

It's the end of the first half and the game is in the bag. The big banks it's seems are not only to big to fail, they are too big to be brought into compliance by the Regulators.

How polite can we be? We all know that the banks, when left to their own devices, always act in their own self interest. So here we are again, watching the Regulators give away the farm. Bankers heal thy selves; sure thing.

I haven't seen any fines or penalties imposed yet. Don't count on seeing that happen any time soon.

Remember this whole mortgage fiasco that nearly brought down our financial house? I join in asking the question of every rational, logical, ethical and moral citizen of this great land. Why hasn't anyone gone to jail? This is crime time and somebody should be held responsible for this. Tune in to see the new banking realty game show, "The Lame Game". But don't believe the ratings. It's sponsored by Moody's and S&P.