Replacing Garage Door

Real Estate Pet Peeves

Two of my biggest pet peeves aimed at my Austin Realtor colleagues are lack of appropriate onsite signage & information and crappy online pictures.   If it bothers me as a professional who has many avenues to pull listing information, I can only imagine how irritated Austin home buyers must be.   As a whole, as a profession of REALTORS, I think we can do better.

Let me preface this by saying that I have the pleasure of knowing some really good REALTORS; folks I would work with if were not a REALTOR myself.   I’m talking about people that do everything in their power to make sure that their client’s best interests are served.   Let me also preface this by saying that I’m not writing this with one particular REALTOR in mind, its something I see time and time again on a daily basis.  You can find out more at Sarah Williams Homes.

Two evenings ago, I had a listing presentation scheduled in an area that I’m pretty familiar with.  I’d already done my research to prepare for the appointment.   Nevertheless, its customary for me to arrive 15-20 minutes early just to drive the neighborhood, browse the houses that I’d selected online as comparable and perhaps pick up a flyer or two.  If I’m not as familiar with the neighborhood, sometimes Ill even tour each property beforehand.

In this particular instance I had some time to kill and the actual neighborhood was small enough so I drove up and down each street looking at the various houses.  Each time I saw a sign in the front yard, I pulled over with the intention of pulling a flyer and looking at the listing agent’s marketing material.

No Flyers in the Flyer Box

What did I find?  Of the six houses that I stopped at, five had exterior information flyer boxes.  How many had flyers in them? One.    One sign was blown over, two flyer boxes had no lids.  Come on, Realtors, I think we can do better for our clients.

Am I guilty of an empty flyer box from time to time?  Absolutely, I’m not perfect.  But, if I know that it may be difficult for me to get out to the house at least once a week I always stock my seller’s up with extra flyers for them to fill in if the box gets low.   Still, five flyer boxes and four were empty.  Reminds me of one of my favorite real estate related parody songs (video).

Even the one box that did have a flyer was extremely unimpressive.  Which leads me to points number 2 & 3: no price, limited information and crappy pictures.   And this is an area where the homes are $250-350K on average.

That is why my property flyers are clean, colorful, professional and full of information.   Oh, and usually stocked in the box at the house.

Whats the Price?

This approach boggles my mind, but I still see it all the time.  Some agents are either naive or arrogant enough to think that buyers are going to call them to find out about the house.  In the age of text messages, 1-800 recorded messages, websites, videos, Trulia, Zillow etc… buyers aren’t picking up the phone to call and find out what the price is.  I wouldn’t.  I might write the address down to search for it later but I’m not calling.  Why should I have to do the work and risk having you repeatedly hound me with phone calls just to find out if the house is in my price range?  I shouldn’t.

That is why my exterior marketing provides multiple ways for buyers to obtain information, text messaging, mobile websites geared toward smart phone users and oftentimes video walkthroughs.

Insufficient or Poor Listing Photos

This one really gets me.  How can you possibly expect to sell a house with one photo?  Yes, I’m looking at you Realtors who activate properties in MLS with one picture or no pictures.   I see it all the time in various searches that I do for clients.  The property pops up in a search and it has the blank white space that says “No picture – Agent has 7 days to Upload the Pictures.”  Really?  What if I don’t want to wait 7 days to see what the house looks like?  Pass.  Seriously, there are too many other houses to choose from, why should I wait on yours?

REALTORS: the first showing isn’t at the house anymore, its online.  The truth is that buyers are doing their research well in advance of touring the actual properties. If your pictures suck or you don’t have any, good luck to you.

I can possibly forgive a bad property flyer or a black and white flyer as long as there are other ways for me to get information if I’m interested.  But, if I cant get the information that I need online then I’m moving on.

That is why when I consult with homeowners I’m emphatic that the house looks its absolute best when I have the professional photographer come in and take pictures.  Those pictures are the hub of all of the marketing (online and offline) that I’m going to do to sell your home.  Buyers aren’t walking through that door unless they like what they see online.

I’m just one Realtor with an opinion on high level of customer service but I feel that as a whole, REALTORS we can do better for our clients.


Marshall Erb Designers – Reviewed And Loved

Interior designers never give out their secrets. They say that their secrets have brought them to the place that they are at today. One of the most famous interior designing firms in Chicago is Marshall Erb Designers. They have a team of highly qualified designers who are creative enough to bring out the best and give a new look to your building or house. They have been in business or over 15 years and have given out some great designs. Their team has been working really hard to cope up with the changing trends and requirements of people. They have added delight and precision to people’s life so they can live in up to date atmosphere with the right kinds of furniture. Ceiling and flooring.

They focus on each and every details of the place they are allotted to work on. They consider your opinion to be very important and considering your opinion they make a customized interior design for you. In case you want to work on your house yourself, here are a few tips that can help you in giving a new look to your house or building.

    • Always start with your color scheme. Try to come up with a basic color and then take it from room to room. Keep the color scheme simple; simply does not mean to go with different shades of white, but you can sue different color tones of blue, green and yellow. Try to use the colors that enhance the natural light, rather than making it dull.

  • It is not necessary to put your antiques in your living room or the study. You can use the unique finding in a utilitarian room. It will make it prominent and noticeable.
  • If your ceilings are low, you can always fake them with low height It will give a spacious look to the room.
  • Use mirrors small rooms. Mirrors reflect, and that is the best thing about them. When they reflect they make the room feel bigger and brighter. Adding scale to the room is easier with big mirrors.
  • Do not buy dark colored sofas because you have messy kids. You can always control the kids to avoid eating on them but prefer buying a comfortable, light colored and well-made
  • Small living rooms are tricky. You do not have ample of space to fit in big furnishing, but you can always room living room chairs with small arms. A small coffee table fulfills the purpose of a table in the room, making it an item of routine use.

All these tips are collected from the finest interior designers in the world. Now, you can design as per their patterns and enjoy the new looks of your house.

carpet cleaning

Carpet Cleaning Lessons For A Beautiful Home

Carpet cleaning can be quite a difficult fiasco, but can make all the difference in the world.  When you are looking to get a home ready for showing, the you need make sure everything is looking as perfect as can be in order to sell the home as quickly as possible.  One of the biggest mistakes I see homeowners make is leaving dirty carpets in a home when trying to sell!  This is an absolute NO!  Clean carpets are key to getting top dollar for your real estate investments.

Tips For Cleaning Your Carpet Right:

  • Make sure you use a high quality vacuum cleaner to get as deep as possible.  Dust gets way in there, so it’s important to have good suction.
  • Use soda water to clean stains out of the carpet, this helps a ton
  • don’t use things like ammonia or Clorox, as they are bound to worsen the situation.
  • When handling harsh chemicals to clean your carpet make sure to wear a mask

These tips can help give a real estate agent, or homeowner the utmost in power when negotiating price on a home.  Clean carpets, dusted ceiling lamps, and all the little things add up to be worth an immense amount of value when done right.  Clean Carpets equal happy customers.

Here are a few things to consider from the buyers perspective:

  • Are the carpets clean?
  • Do I have enough space in the garage?
  • How many dogs are going to be able to sleep in this guest bedroom?

The list goes on and on. For more resources on How to clean your carpet and get your home ready for showings then visit this tutorial at Caerphilly Carpet Cleaning, which has all sorts of information on home cleaning from real specialists.  We also have friends at Realtor.Com who had a great article on selling your home with clean carpets.


5 interesting facts you didn’t know about American cowboys

The golden age of the American cowboy started in 1866. Just after the Civil War, the Union Army finished all the supply of beef in the North. Four million men began to drive herds of longhorn cattle. On the 1880 census, hundreds of men listed their occupations as ‘cowboy’. Here are some interesting facts about the Cowboys.

1. Many cowboys fought in the Civil War. They came from both the North and the South. A quarter of other cowboys were freed ex-slaves. Some cowboys came from Europe and Mexico as well.

2. About 8 to 12 Cowboys could move 3,000 herds of cattle. They used to travel 15 miles a day. They used to take a trail expert and a camp cook with them on each drive.

3. The camp cooks were important. They used to serve three hot meals a day to the Cowboys.

4. Cowboys didn’t change their clothes for weeks. They wore denim jeans with chaps to protect their legs from the thorny branches their horses had to pass. Their wide-rimmed Stetson hats protected them from the sun. The hats were also used as a cup to scoop up water for themselves and the horses. They had a bandana around their neck which they used to pull up for protecting their mouth and nose from the dust on the road.

5. At night, when the cattle were bedded, two men on guard used to circle and sing to calm them. They did this to avoid the danger of stampede due to unexpected noises or thunder.

Texas reminds us of these cowboys. They were always an object of curiosity to people around the world. They are still portrayed in Hollywood movies.


5 reasons why Texas is the best State for living

More people are moving to Texas now than any other state in the U.S. Natural beauty, low cost of living and friendly people, all are reasons for people to start their living here. Here are five reasons why Texas is the best place to live in America.

Cheap homes

If your income is not able to keep pace with the increasing cost of living, then you should go to Texas.The land is cheap there and so is the housing. A typical house in Texas costs $130, 100. Comparatively, an average home in Brooklyn costs half a million dollars.

Low living cost

Houston has cheap labor, cheap gas, and cheap produce. The per capita income of Texas is higher than California. It is the third highest average income in the entire nation.

Low taxes

There is no income tax in Texas. It collects about $3,500 in taxes overall per resident every year. California, on the other hand, collects $4,900 per resident and New York collects $7, 400 per resident. Both California and New York have income taxes.


It is true that automation is killing many jobs in Texas, but it is creating new jobs too. For example, 168 workers are needed to keep a Predator drone for 24 hours in the air. The new jobs that are created will be different from the old ones. For examples, medical technicians will let the software do the scans for body and brain. But the medical technician has to know about the limitations of the software.

Texas is the fastest growing states in America consisting of Austin, Dallas, and Houston which are the fastest growing cities in the world. So, you can move to Texas with your family to start a new life.