Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Ready to Talk About Real Estate?
Just the other day, it happened again.
I ended up face to face with a real estate myth I thought had been debunked out of existence in the last century.
And yet, there I was in a popular "resto," waiting for my lunch companion and half listening to the two articulate couples chatting at the table behind me, when I heard it.
Like so many of us today, the two couples were raising lots of questions about what was up in the real estate market and concerns they had regarding what to do next with their homes. Then, one of them said: "Id love to get the low-down on all of this from a realtor, but Im afraid theyd end up selling me something."
Mumbled agreement from the others ended their discussion.
Is that how you feel?
Do you shy away from asking a real estate professional about real estate because you think they may talk you into something you do not want to do?
If you dont ask real estate professionals about real estate, who are you going to ask? Your best friend? Your grocer? Google? Siri?
Ask anyone or any digital thing about real estate and youll get an answer.
Everyone has opinions. Every digital resource from search engines to artificial intelligence technology can always spit out links to matching keywords.
But the real question is, "Are you receiving answers you can >Real estate professionals are among the few professionals who do not usually charge for answering questions or explaining real estate issues or terminology. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to enlighten yourself and verify the >In the process of chatting with professionals, youll probably meet a few you trust to understand your situation. When youre ready to buy or sell, you will probably choose one of them to help.
When preparing to talk real estate, clarify exactly what you want to know and why you want to know it. Here are Six Conversation Starting Points to adapt to your situation and the real estate conversations youd like to have:
1. Do you want to know specific facts about real estate?
If its factual information, like how listings or mortgages work, ask away and take notes. There is too much false or out-dated information online. Before savvy buyers and sellers act, they verify, with an experienced real estate expert or two, the accuracy of what has been discovered online.
2. Are you after details on your choices if you decide to sell or buy in the next six months versus next year?
Answers to queries like these would blend fact and opinion. Not even real estate professionals know exactly what will happen in six months, never mind next year. They can tell you what appears to lie ahead in the short term and what real estate forecasters project ahead. The key to understanding real estate is exploring how real estate market values are locally influenced >3. Do you want to know whats going to happen with interest rates?
Amazingly, real estate professionals do not know exactly what is going to happen to interest rates over the months and years ahead. They do understand the financial services industries and monitor economic patterns, so some may feel confident offering educated guesses in the short term. Many will explain what the current situation is, what the implications are for possible changes, and include other details which would provide you with background to form your own opinion >4. If youre not social media or tech savvy, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals who are both.
They may be very useful in helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages of online real estate sources and using calculators and other digital tools, >5. If you dont know whether you can afford the next real estate step youd like to take, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals.
Real estate professionals are not debt counselors, investment advisors, or estate planners, but they do understand how real estate and money fit together. Most are very good problem solvers and creative thinkers, who
have well-developed resource networks to call on. They will each have had different experiences with income-generation, co-ownership, and other real estate options. All this adds up to a lot of possibilities, so your persistence pays off.
6. If dont know exactly what you want to do next, dont shy away from talking to real estate professionals.
Most of them concentrate on specific neighborhoods and consumer life>Look for those who feed your curiosity with their own.
The vast majority of real estate professionals are honest, hardworking people who are eager to assist you. That said, and in view of the encouragement above, I add a note of caution: In every profession, there are wide ranges of professionalism, ethics, commitment to developing expertise, focus on staying current, and honesty. The real estate industry is no different.
Always act in your own best interest. Take notes or record conversations for future reference. Meet in the real estate brokerage, so you gain first-hand experience with the business supporting the real estate professional. Protect your personal information and privacy. When in doubt or if you feel uncomfortable, leave. These usually-short conversations should be enlightening and enjoyable.
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No Such Thing As Real Estate Ethics?
A delightful little book by John Maxwell is provocatively titled, Theres No Such Thing as Business Ethics.Now some might simply think, "no kidding." But for the curious, or those inclined to disagree, Maxwells book makes an interesting argument. His point is not that all of business is unethical. Rather, he disagrees with the point of view that the operative ethical principles of business are somehow specialized and different from occasionally, contrary to the ethical principles that govern our everyday lives.
According to Maxwell, the test of what is ethically acceptable or unacceptable in the business context is exactly the same as that which applies in our everyday, non-work circumstances. For him, it is all summed up in one principle, The Golden Rule. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." If you follow that, your behavior will be ethical; if you depart from it, it wont be. At work or at home, in the office or in the neighborhood.
I believe that Maxwell is correct that ethics in the context of business is simply an extension of ethics in general. There arent special exceptions for business. Its as wrong to lie to your competitor as it is to lie to your neighbor. All of us, of course, have encountered different attitudes. We have heard "But this is business" said as if it meant "Anything goes". Certainly, some people feel that way. People who would never cheat in a neighborhood card game can be perfectly content to deceive their customers or rip off their suppliers. But this doesnt show that such people are operating according to a special "business ethic"; rather, it simply reveals that, in the context of business, they have made the decision to be unethical.
If it is true that ethics in business and ethics in everyday life are the same, it is legitimate to ask, why are codes of professional ethics sometimes so complicated?
The National Association of REALTORSreg; is rightfully proud of its Code of Ethics, a document first formulated in 1913, and amended at more that 30 different national conventions since then. With 17 articles, supplemented by over 88 Standards of Practice and more than 154 official Case Interpretations, it presents a complex set of documents.
Nor is the NARreg; Code of Ethics a unique phenomenon. There are hundreds of professional and trade group codes of ethics. Physicians, lawyers, funeral directors, and wedding planners -- to name just a few -- all have professional codes of ethics. So also do many individual companies and corporations. They vary, of course, in range and complexity. How is it that professional codes can become so complicated? People need to understand that there are various purposes served by professional codes, although not every code serves them all.
They bring to our attention and provide direction with respect to issues that might not otherwise even have been identified as matters for an ethical concern. While ethical principles may remain the same, frequently the circumstances encountered in business are quite different than anything we experience in the non-business world. Most REALTORSreg;, for example, have probably never had to confront issues >1 In many situations they provide us with the wisdom and insight of those who have preceded us.Quite simply, they save us the trouble of reinventing the wheel.
2 Professional ethics codes sometimes also cover matters that are not so much ethical as they are issues of professional etiquette or proper procedure. They help to keep professionals "on the same page" when they are interacting with each other.
3 Professional ethical codes are also sometimes used for the purposes of "drawing lines" in order to remove any unclarity about what may be considered acceptable or unacceptable.They help to remove the "shades of grey" that can be found in so many situations.
Professional codes, such as that of the REALTORSreg;, are based on everyday ethical principles. Their value resides in the fact that they show us how those principles apply to specific business contexts that well may not be "everyday".
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Trend Alert: Punch Up Your Home With Painted Doors And Trim
Your kitchen: White. Your walls: White. Your doors and trim: Hmm. Maybe its time for something a little different. We think nothing about painting our exterior door a standout color, but what about the interior doors? And then theres the trim, which often gets no love at all.
"Whether simple or ornate, interior trim is a finishing touch that often doesnt get much thought, frequently being left the color its always been without consideration of the multitude of beautiful alternatives," said Houzz.
Maybe its time to change that. A little attention to your interior doors and trim can freshen up your home, help individual spaces stand out, and create interest where there wasnt much.
Royal blue may not be on your mind when it comes to your homes interior, but look how it creates both drama and warmth on this Swedish homes pocket door and surrounding trim.
A bright pop of color in this home almost acts like art. "Since the door is a fairly small area, you can get away with a much bolder color than you could on a wall," said Apartment Therapy. "The fluorescent yellow door in this interior fromnbsp;Hernandez Greenenbsp;adds cheerful color without overwhelming the space."
You can stay in the neutral zone and still get a punch from painted doors and trim. "Neutral" can mean anything from beige or cream, to olive green, to gray.
"When trim is dressed in a midtone neutral shade, it immediately gives it a certain sophisticated, stately appeal," said Houzz. "The trim becomes a feature, for sure, but in an understated way. Choose neutral if: You love a transitional look one that balances traditional and modern elements; You want an authentic heritage feel in an older home; or you want to highlight doors or windows for an architectural look without touching fresh white walls."
Black definitely brings the drama while creating contrast. But because its a timeless color, you can trust you wont have to redo it when other bold color choices start to feel dated.
Black trim is definitely statement making, yet its timeless, so unlike with other bold colors, you dont have to worry that this dramatic choice will grow dated quickly. Black
"A trend that has grown in popularity of late is selecting dark colors for trim -- even black," said Sherwin-Williams. Dark trim gives a room more depth than white or light trim does, and very effectively frames views when used on window casings. In addition, dark trim contrasts nicely with some of todays trendiest room colors: soft aquas, powder blues, greens -- from lime to celadon -- and the gamut of grays."
Black beautifully frames windows and doors - a good reason to use it if you have windows and doors to show off, and perhaps a call to action if you dont.
"Over the last couple of years, veering off the traditional all white track and painting interior doors a non-white color has really surged," said The Creativity Exchange.nbsp;"If youre not quite ready to do a bold color or a dark black, a nice and safe compromise is gray."
A light gray can bring in a subtle look that creates dimension, while darker gray shades help to highlight architectural details.
Tone on tone
We tend to think of doors and trim as offering a contrast to the wall color, but painting everything the same color creates a unique lookmdash;and serves an important function. "Painting interior doors and trim in white or a contrastingnbsp;colornbsp;from the walls will make them stand out. However, painting them the same color as the walls will help them to blend in and almost disappear," said The Casa Collective. "This is a trick decorators and designers use in small rooms, narrow halls with lots of doors, and rooms with low ceilings. Anbsp;small roomnbsp;will visually seem more spacious because the white trim or doors arent there to stop your eye as you look around the room. As you look down a hallway with several doors, all the doors wont jump out at you if they blend in with the walls. And if you have a room with low ceilings, painting baseboards and crown molding will make the room seem taller."
We may be somewhat conditioned to think that all the doors and trim need to be the same color, whether thats white, black, or something in between. But using an accent color, like Kylie M. Interiors yellowy-green door contrasted with the deep gray wall shows how you can use color to in new and exciting ways.
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