Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The More the Merrier!

So, I just read an article called "Relationship Management: 3 Ways a First-Time Home Buyer Can Drive You Nuts," by Melissa Ditman Tracey (see original article here: http://tinyurl.com/b2ss8ty ), where the number one thing the author lists is the buyer bringing his or her parents to showings:

First-time home buyers are often young and they may want to bring in some reinforcements to help in finding the perfect house. And, alas, here come the parents.

“There is no more dreaded phone communication from the first-time home buyer to his agent than the ‘I’d like my parents to stop by and take a look’ call or e-mail,” says Richard Courtney, a real estate broker with French, Christianson, Patterson and Associates in Nashville and author of Buyers are Liars & Sellers Are Too (Fireside, 2006). “At that point, regardless of any and all conditions, the deal is most likely dead. While the buyers have not heeded a word of advice from their parents since they were 11 years old, now they want the folks to share in the biggest decision of their lives.”

I have to say, I cannot disagree more. Maybe I am in the minority, but when I am showing houses to my buyer clients, my first priority is MY CLIENTS' INTERESTS, not mine. I am sensitive to how scary and complicated the home buying process can be for any client, particularly someone buying for the first time. I make sure that I give them as much information as possible so that they can feel comfortable with their decisions, and I encourage them to bring family or friends with them to showings for "second opinions."

If you are an agent with integrity, then why would you ever be afraid for your clients' parents to see a house you are showing them? Do you want your clients to get in over their heads in a house that isn't right for them? Do you want them to overspend on the house? Do you want them to ignore things that are potentially wrong with the house? If so, you shouldn't be in real estate, because you are only looking out for yourself.  I have worked with many first time buyers and I honestly can't remember one who didn't bring his or her parents by at some point to look at the house. And you know what? They all still ended up buying!

Good agents build relationships with their clients, and those relationships must be built on trust. I want my clients to remember their experience as a good one, not regret the day they ever met me. I want them (and their parents) to think of me when they want to sell their house and buy again. And I want them to spread the word that I am an agent with integrity who they know has their back. If part of building trust in me means that they have to bring 30 of their closest friends and family through, on multiple showings, then so be it. I am in the business of customer service, and to that end, I say, THE MORE THE MERRIER.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Sure, the weather feels like Spring right now in Massachusetts, but there are plenty of fun things to do that will be sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Who needs snow???

Billerica Holiday Festival Nov 19 - Dec 11

Between the Home for the Holidays tree display and the over three miles of lights on the Billerica Common, this is sure to jump start your festive mood. Trees decorated in fun and creative themes can be viewed at the Bennett Public Library (3 Concord Road, Billerica, MA) and will be raffled off at the end of the festival, on December 12th. On December 3rd, don't miss the tree lighting and free ice skating...maybe Santa will drop in as well!

December 3rd:
12:00-6:00 Ice Skating
4:30 Tree Lighting Activities Begin (Billerica Town Common)
December 10th:
11-2:30: Pictures with Santa at the Bennett Public Library

For more information visit: http://www.billericaholidayfestival.org/

Chelmsford Annual Holiday Prelude Dec 4, 4-6 pm (Free)

Ring in the Christmas season in Chelmsford's Center and Common with horse-drawn hayrides, hot chocolate, face painting, music, and Christmas lights! Kids and adults alike will enjoy seeing the firetrucks on display at the fire house, Piney the Talking Tree, and the gingerbread house display at All Saints Church.

4:00 Santa arrives
5:00 Lights turned on
5:45 Live Nativity Scene at the Baptist Church

Methuen Festival of Trees Nov 19 - Dec 3 ($8 adults, 12 + under are free)

Whether you are looking for some great decorating ideas or just want to enter the raffle to win a tree and some great prizes, be sure to check out the Methuen Festival of Trees. Proceeds from the Festival go toward preserving the heritage and monuments in Methuen and other Merrimack Valley towns.

For more details and times, go to: http://www.methuenfestivaloftrees.com/
Methuen Festival of Trees, 13 Branch Street, Methuen, MA

Zoo Lights at the Stone Zoo, Stoneham, Nov 24 - Jan 1 ($5-$6, under 2 free)

Only about a half an hour drive from Chelmsford, don't miss this great display of lights, and maybe you'll see a reindeer or two as well! Kids can get their pictures taken with Santa and be entertained by the plush "animals" walking around the park.

Click here for more details and hours: http://www.zoonewengland.org/page.aspx?pid=268
Stone Zoo, 149 Pond Street, Stoneham, MA

Gingerbread Castle Competition, December 17, 10 - 3 (free with museum admission)

Okay, so this one is going to be a bit of a drive for most of us, but how can you pass up the opportunity to witness the gingerbread creations of local bakers, culinary students, and restaurant owners? There will be a capella caroling and kids will even have the opportunity to decorate their own delicious gingerbread cookie. Vote for your favorite castle once you have seen them all!

For more information, click here: http://www.higgins.org/
Higgins Armory Museum, 100 Barber Ave., Worcester, MA

I'd love to hear about what YOU are doing to get in the holiday spirit, or about festivities in your town. Please comment and share!