Archives: June 2012

Losing a Pet – Effects on My Son

I have had to make the terrible decision that it is time to let go a dearly loved family member – our dog, Annie!  In exactly one month from today, my  son, Gunner will turn 16.  When he was just a baby, I decided it would be good for him to have a pet.  Who would have thought that 15 years later, that pet would still be around?  That is 105 years in dog years!  Since arriving home from the Humane Society, Annie has always been there for Gunner as a constant companion – from laying on the floor as he crawled all over her to chasing him as he rode his quads and motorcycles at Mitchell Dunes and finally to sitting feebly letting him comfort her in her old age. I still remember that most of the times when he had to write things for school that meant a lot to him, it was never material things – it was always his dogs.  On this last day of her life, I reflect and am worried about how her death is going to affect my youngest.  Gunner has always had a kind and loving spirit.  He has always had a special affection for all of his dogs, but I think that the passing of his eldest dog may be a truly heart wrenching and difficult point in his young life.  A mother always, above all, wants to protect their child from any painful and mournful experience.  Life (or death in this case) however, sometimes makes this difficult to accomplish.  I just hope that I can be there to comfort him and give him the compassion that he will need to deal with the loss of his friend!  I love you Gunner!

You Want to See How Many Houses???

I have worked with many fellow REALTORS® who think they are doing something wonderful for their clients if they show them upwards of 30-40 houses.  I actually remember someone who showed 92 houses to one client!  Really?  Do you think that client really needed to see that many or perhaps maybe it was because that agent did not take the time to ‘learn’ what that client wanted and then wasn’t strong enough to not show homes that they should have known would not fit their needs.  Personally, I think it is too hard for a client to look at more than 5 or 6 houses in a day.  During those showings I don’t point out the kitchen or the bathroom (I am pretty sure everyone knows how do determine what those are) but rather I listen, as Dean Ouellette pointed out in a recent post entitled “Sometimes You Need To Shut Up and Listen.”  Yes, I shut up and listen!

What do you hear when your mouth isn’t constantly moving?  ‘Oooh, I love a rear kitchen’ ‘Oh this room will be perfect for our large desks’ ‘I hate a master bath with only one sink’ and much more.  Instead of feeling like I have to ‘sell’ them the house, I take all their comments, process them and use them to help me find the perfect house that is right for them.  Then, if and when, we need a second day of showings, I will only show them a few homes (2 or 3) that I have already determined will match their needs and desires.  Don’t you think my clients would be happy to not look at 20 houses that they don’t like just because the pictures looked great on a website?  Last week I had a new client who had sent me this email:

Thank you for sending new listings.  Keep it up!
We had a realtor but she seems too busy, doesn’t send listings and won’t be there when we are coming to town.
We will be paying cash, our home is in escrow now.
We would like to do business with you.
We should be in town next week possibly Friday.  We will firm up next week.
Attached is a list of what we would like to see.

Yes, and was there a list of wants and needs!  Upon the first meeting we had time to see three houses that they had predetermined from what they had seen on my website.  We then arranged to look at more homes two days later when they had more time.  Since I took the time at the initial viewing to shut up and listen, I was able to match houses that I felt best matched what they wanted.  They were so happy to not have to waste time looking at things that they wouldn’t like.  They did have a list of homes that they ‘thought’ they wanted to see (again based on internet pictures) but I could easily tell them why I did not feel they would like them and we didn’t have to waste our time. They even make the comment to me ‘well, you know what we want and what we don’t!’  That is the best compliment to get as a good agent.

So take your time, shut your mouth, and LISTEN!

Real Estate is Heating Up!

It’s Hot, Hot, HOT!!!

and not just the temperature….

According to the local weather reports, Lake Havasu will reach, on average, 115º over the next five days.  If you are from anywhere but the Southwest region of the United States, you probably can not fathom that number!  If Chicago reached that temperature, there would be hundreds of calls to 911 and, most likely, numerous hospital visits and even deaths.  In Havasu however, although not normal for the whole summer, these temperatures do occur on numerous occasions during the months of June through September.

People wonder how (and if) we sell real estate in these conditions.  I always come back and ask if they sell in their area when there is snow and ice present.  Of course, most, out of necessity, must work in those conditions.  This is our job, as REALTORS®!  I, too, must work through such extreme temperatures.  Havasu has two distinct times of year when we get two separate types of visitors.  In November through April we will get what we refer to as “snowbirds” – people getting away from the snow and cold temperatures to enjoy our mild winters and then in May through October we get our visitors, mainly from Southern California, that come to enjoy the lake and the activities involved with it!  Therefore I have the opportunity to assist different types of buyers depending on which season we are in.  Of course, we do have many, many families that are relocating here, moving up to a larger house, or downsizing after kids may have left.

The temperature isn’t the only thing HOT right now, however.  The Lake Havasu Real Estate market is also HOT! As of today, we only have 458 single family homes on the market (from a high of over 1200 a couple of years ago).  Of those homes, only 25 (5.5%) are Foreclosures/REO’s (was up to over 20% at one point) and 18 (3.9%) Short Sales.  With 100 homes sold in this market in the last 30 days, what does this mean?  It means that there are more and more traditional sales going on.  This is good for the homeowner who still can sell their home and afford to pay off their mortgage!

With interest rates at an all time low, NOW is the time to BUY!  With inventories low and sales high, that could only lead to one thing – RISING PRICES!!!!  

The median sales price of a Single Family home in Lake Havasu is currently $162,500 – up over 11% from last year’s median price of $146,200.  Wow!  So that home that you are looking at right now at $150,000 would be worth $166,500 a year from now if the trend continues.  This means you will have less buying power if you wait!

If you want to see what is for sale in ALL of Lake Havasu, please visit my website.  You can set up a Listing Alerts so that you can be sent homes that match your criteria and see when new homes are fresh to the market.  If you have any questions about what is happening in Real Estate in Lake Havasu, please do not hesitate in contacting me!