But Is It Really a Train Wreck?
People describe lots of situations as “train wrecks.” Maybe they’re referring to the clearly vision-impaired ref at their kid’s peewee football game. Or maybe they’re spouting off about a repair bill that has one more zero on it than they expected. Perhaps they’re talking about a particularly bad Bumble date where the suitor conveniently “forgot his wallet” after ordering the market price lobster and suddenly you’re shelling out $147 plus tip and all you had was a damn Cobb salad. (Sorry if that reference hits a little too close to home.)
My point is, if y’all have ever seen aerial footage of a train wreck on the news, it’s evident that what has transpired during one is a disaster of epic proportions. Real train wrecks are positively devastating. I believe we are doing ourselves a disservice when we call something minor a train wreck, when in fact it’s just annoying, expensive, or aggravating.
That’s why I propose we save using the term train wreck for when it really counts… and oh, my stars and stripes, do I have a doozy of a train wreck to tell y’all about today!\
THE REALITY OF REAL ESTATE
The Power of Right Now
Listen, I live in the same news cycle as y’all do. And unless everyone’s been on a vacation somewhere remote (lucky!), it’s no surprise that existing home sales fell 2.2% in July from the month prior (steeper than expected). Y’all are also (painfully) aware that sales were 16.6% lower than in July last year. Plus, the one-two punch of low inventory and high prices have pushed sales to the lowest pace since July of 2010.
None of this is ideal… but all of this is surmountable. Is this news annoying, expensive, and aggravating? Good Lord, yes. Is it a train wreck? Not even a little. There are plenty of agents prospering right now, and what is propelling them into the stratosphere is the combination of having the right mindset and having used their own previous down times to fill their toolboxes.
I promise you this market is cyclical and we just have to ride it out. Also, Morningstar says we should see improvement by 2024, which is not so far away. (I mean, we are only seventeen weekends away from Christmas!) What I’m saying is, don’t use this lull to mope and complain, use it to your advantage.
Now is when you build out your back-office systems.
Now is when you take those classes you’d been too busy to pursue.
Now is when you learn to use AI to your benefit.
Now is when you double-down on increasing the size of your networks.
And, if you find what you’ve been doing doesn’t work anymore, now is the time to change it up!
I’ve said it before, but I think we all should hear it again–none of us can control the market. What we can control is how we react to it.
If you need a mindset boost, try this:
SUGAR & SPICE REAL ESTATE ADVICE
This Is Your Sign
There’s an old Italian parable about a man who was desperate to win the lottery, so every day, he’d head down to the statue of a saint smack in the center of the town square to pray. “Please…” he’d beg, falling to his knees. “Please let me win.” One day, the good Lord had enough and he finally spoke to the man through the statue, telling him, “If you want to win the lottery, you have to first buy a ticket.”
Well, the same thing goes for those who are eager to break into the luxury market, only in this case, y’all don’t even need to buy that ticket. Instead, just grab your copy of the ebook I wrote on the luxury market with James Harris and David Parnes!
It’s a free download here, so if you were waiting for a sign from above, consider this a gift from Glennda, the good angel on your shoulder.
ONCE UPON A TIME WITH GLENNDA
Now This is Bona Fide
As I have been selling real estate since Jesus was baby, let me tell y’all, I have seen some cah-ray-zee things in my time. Having witnessed almost everything that can go wrong from naked sellers to crashing through an attic floor during an inspection, the one promise I can make is that with some diligence and patience, most of what we agents encounter can be resolved. (Even when it’s your first time and it feels like the end of the world, sometimes the solution is as simple as finding that pervert a pair of pants.)
Never forget that I once sold the wrong house, so I know of what I speak.
Whether your seller suddenly has cold feet or your buyer loses financing, these are common problems with real solutions. Of course, sometimes the issue gets more obscure, and we run across a few times-in-a-career problems, like adverse possession.
Now, adverse possession is one of those glossary words that we were taught in school we don’t see it very often in the state of Georgia. But it definitely still exists. In the case of adverse possession, let’s say that you purchased a piece of land and you haven’t been there for ten or fifteen years. You come to find out that someone has just kind of taken over the property. Sounds crazy, but it happens! The issue here is that once they start making improvements to the property, like putting a structure on it, you could have a huge issue with your rights of ownership. The best thing to do is to prevent this before it happens. So, if you’re purchasing property in a different state and that state is Georgia, you want to make sure that you are monitoring what is going on with that property because if you don’t, you might have somebody else owning it before you know it. And that, friends, is when you LTFU (lawyer the, um, hell up).
That said, I’ve never seen anything like this story before. The short of it is, Dr. Daniel Kenigsberg had inherited a piece of land next to his childhood home, a number of years back. He’d been sitting on this undeveloped plot in Fairfield, CT, with plans to pass it down to his children. Dr. K. lives in New York, so he hadn’t been to check on his property for quite a while… because it never occurred to him that he needed to. (Obviously he does not know Glennda Baker, because I’d have advised him differently.)
Well, imagine Dr. K’s surprise when a friend called him about the $1.5 million dollar home that had been built on his newly razed property. Was this another case of adverse possession?
Oh, no, it’s way more nefarious.
Apparently, an imposter posed as Dr. K, saying he was living in Johannesburg, South Africa, and granted the power of attorney to a lawyer in Connecticut, which allowed this fake doctor to sell the land right out from underneath the real Dr. K! The property was purchased by a couple of real estate developers who claim to be victims as well, as they’d built almost an entire home on what they naturally assumed was their land.
Now there are lawsuits galore and all sorts of charges pending and everyone is scratching their heads about how this could possibly happen, given the number of checks and balances baked into every real estate transaction. The doctor wants his land and rights restored and the structure removed, and he has absolutely no chill about the situation, which I get.
I’m curious as a cat as to what’s going to happen next and I feel just awful for the poor man who had his family’s land cleared, especially as he’d been rejecting offers of sale for years. Now, should the developers be proven to have not been complicit, I’d consider them victims, too, as well as everyone who worked on the project and has yet to be paid for their labor and materials.
The whole thing is truly what I call a train wreck and I hope in retelling this cautionary tale, we all have a renewed commitment to our due diligence as real estate professionals. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
And, really… doesn’t this situation make selling the wrong house look like the kind of simple mistake anyone could make?
Don’t Kid Yourself
“Whatever you are not changing, you’re choosing.”Glennda Baker