Monagersky's Blog

Personal and Professional Life of a Realtor

July 26, 2011 Everything is on Hold July 26, 2011

Made you nervous, didn’t I?  What I mean is everything is on hold while I take a few minutes to dash something off in the WordPress blog.

The past month and a half  have been crazy busy – clients, contracts, dogs, wind storms, trip to Florida and yard work.  Slowly we are returning to a more consistent work schedule.  That is if we can deal with the unreal heat.  The more we have to accomplish, the hotter the weather seems.

Even if we could deal with the weather, the non-representatives in Washington DC have the whole country half paralyzed with stress and fear while they conduct their behind the doors meetings about the debt ceiling.  Do you want to know what I think is happening behind those doors?  Movie night, popcorn, brandy and cigars!  They already know what the decision is – they just prefer the drama of last minute “deals”.

We’re going to have to go to another half page in the Buyers Guide because we keep getting new listings.  In fact, my ActiveRain blog later will be about Print Media and if it is relavent to today’s real estate marketing.

The dogs and cats seem healthy right now, thank goodness – even though we are busy we still don’t have the money or time to deal  with vet’s visits.

We seem healthy right now too although burning the fires over the weekend for me and Leslie did housework in the un air conditioned house pretty well zapped our energy for a few days.

So, I guess I’ll get back to work now and just hope against hope that my most loyal reader catches this new blog and leaves me a sweet comment!  I love you and you know who you are!


April 5, 2011 On the Road Again April 4, 2011

Good Morning. We had a very successful closing on Friday. It was our first foray into foreclosures. The buyers (now owners) met their neighbors and got some history on the house they bought.  It seems that when the former owners started getting into trouble they tried selling the house themselves. Mistake #1. Then they priced the house at more than $800,000!  Sure it’s on 8 acres, but still.  Even at the height of the real estate bubble, it might have been at best $495,000.

This is a problem when sellers are pricing their homes.  They want the sale of the house to take care of all of their financial woes.  That’s fine as long as their woes don’t exceed the market value of the home.  From now on, we’ve been lucky and haven’t had sellers with those unrealistic expectations.  If we do have someone wishing to list above market value in a ridiculous range, we’ll have to decline the listings.

The museum curater we’ve been working with closes on her house today.  We don’t expect any problems.  The commissions are sure a welcome sight.  A brief sight to be sure, Leslie is writing checks out as fast as she can.  Good news is we are catching up, bad news is we can’t retire!

I’m happy to report that my dad is back home and my mother seems happy about that.  It sounds like his progress is moving forward better at home than at the rehab. What a trooper my mother is.

I walked for the first time in weeks today.  I don’t know what the deal is about not walking regularly.  Sure hope I can commit myself to taking this walk daily.  I know there are tremendous benefits to the way I think, feel, and respond.

Before I forget, the recipe for Chicken with Grapes and Shallots was fabulous.  Here’s a link to the recipe:

Well, off to sieze the day.  Have a wonderful day.


Mar 6, 2011 A Matter of Connecting March 6, 2011

Good Morning.

It is absolutely pouring outside and has been doing so since 10pm last night.  Our forecast is for this to continue through the day and then we can look forward to some light snow tonight.

Real Estate can be fun.  Yesterday, while frustrating with interuptions was…well…frustratingly fun.  The dog agent in the company thought so too.  Our day started with a listing appointment.  The new clients seem like really nice, hardworking people.  They have a doublewide on a pretty lot to sell.  Mr Client even volunteered to place our signs for us.

We’re trying to take a new tack with listings. Since there are so many listings on the market right now, many of them over priced, over cluttered and just plain messy – we’ve decided to be selective about what we list and how we list them.  Sometimes we forget we are the experts. People come to real estate agents for their expertise. So…now we give it.  We are trying to be brutal in a nice way about the pricing.  We also want a lot of personal clutter packed up.  That is kind of awkward to ask of people, but we’ll get over it. And clean – we only want clean listings.  We’ve decided the very worst that will happen is they won’t list with us.  Doesn’t mean we can’t still sell the listing if someone else gets the listing plus we’ll have gained some valuable insight into the motivation of the potential lister.

Listings are expensive, so we must be selective.

After the listers left, we got news that the museum curator’s offer had been accepted.  This is kind of cool because the house she ultimately chose is one that we had listed in 2005.  Now we’ll get busy on her inspections, etc.

We also worked with another new listing.  Interesting to note how much you can learn from all transactions.  We’d had occasion to be involved with a listing held by a Trust.  One of the attorneys in town that we like to have our clients use for closing had brought to our attention that it isn’t sufficient to take at face value when someone says they have signature rights for a Trust.  Now, we ask to see the Trust so that we can be sure all who need to sign are put on the documents.  Much easier to take a little more time up front rather than in the heat of negotiations later.

I spoke with Dad yesterday and he sounds so good. Chipper actually.  Mom and my brother took him to a restaurant for lunch.  It sounds like he is getting strong enough to be taken out in a car.  Mom sounds happy and younger too. I miss them.

Well, let’s see what today brings. Have a good day yourselves.


Mar 2, 2011 Been Really Busy March 3, 2011

I don’t know if having your own real estate company is incredible motivation to work or what, but we seem to be non-stop busy…and not just busy work either.  We are getting phone calls from our ads and referrals from associates and past clients.  We have three new listings and two more good potential buyers.

I spent the morning in Franklin today at the inspections for the foreclosure house.  Everything looked really good and it appears we will be proceeding to a closing on April 5th.  One of the inspections was of the chimney.  The young man who showed up to do the inspection was the son of customers from Venture Out.  This young man was a young boy when we had the outdoor store.  He remembered the Waynesville store and Lucky, our Camper Beagle.  He is married now and has a 22 month old daughter.

 The estimates are in for our other client looking at the house in Webster.  We meet with her to draw up an offer.

Tomorrow is the Board of Realtors luncheon at Harrah’s Casino.  After that we have a telephone conference with a new client.

I’m looking forward to talking to my mother tomorrow.  Sure hope its all good news in Florida!


Feb 26, 2011 Buyers Have Parents Too February 26, 2011

Well, we leave in a few minutes to meet the buyers of the foreclosed house.  Both sets of parents will be joining us to look over their kids’ choice.  I think they’ll be pleased with the house, not so much the distance from Sylva.  Afterwards we are going out to lunch, probably in Franklin.

We are going to keep our eyes peeled for any and everything that might need to be inspected with the house.

Had a really nice email from one of our former buyers.  He and his wife are firefighters from Palm Beach County.  They bought a vacant lot in Sylva.  The lot had been advertised with a septic installed.  Kevin has had a devil of a time getting it located.  We were starting to be afraid that the tank wasn’t there.  We put Kevin in touch with some good people and he ultimately found it.  I had forwarded an article in the local news about the developer of his being cited for operating an illegal mine.  Here’s his response:

“Hi Mona, You know I have spent a little time digging on my property.  However, I was not looking for gold…maybe I should switch out what I am searching for.  Ironically, today I can say my crappy situation has turned to gold.  Tim Hodges, Slade Smathers and Russell Jenkins were at the lot today and actually dug down to the tank.   It was where Flint said it was and actually far away from where the drawing and the health department guessedimated it was.  I think the Health Department learned a little bit about their process and the quality of drawings they accept. 

 Michele and I are lucky to consider you as our friend…but we are equally happy to have done business with you.   To say service after the sale does not do you justice.  Your efforts alone made us feel at ease during our little dilemma…beyond that, your contacts with Flint and Tim both have worked out great.   

 So again, we thank you.

 Kevin and Michele.”

I’ve got to admit – great way to start the day!


Feb 24 2011, Foreclosure Foray February 24, 2011

Good Morning. Our clients made an acceptable offer on a foreclosure in Franklin.  We are waiting for signed paperwork.  From other real estate agents, we understand that the paperwork wheel turns slowly in foreclosures.  This should be interesting.

Our colleague who had his commission stolen by a mutual former broker filed his complaint with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the North Carolina Bar Association.  He stopped in yesterday for a visit.  He had named us and our circumstances in his complaint.  The REC and BAR contacted us for a written account.  So, we’ve finally submitted our grievances with the right entitities.  Let’s see if these associations really are there to protect the public from people like those two.

Some former clients, now friends, invited us to a birthday party at the end of March for Pat’s mom – 94 year old Gretchen.  We hope we can come up with a good gift for her.

Its raining this morning, very lightly.  We need the moisture.

Our Houston lady’s closing looks like it will go off on time.  We’ll do a walk through at 8am ;-( and the closing is at 9am ;-).  She’s getting a really nice house with an incredible view at a good price.

Our other client is doing some research on a house she really likes in Webster. It’s quirky though.  She is examining the feasibility and expense of changing out a spiral staircase and putting in a standard stair.  We met with an architect and builder Tues evening and are waiting for the estimate.  If its something she can live with, she’ll submit an offer.  If not, we move on to something else.

It sounds like my mom and dad are doing much better in Port Charlotte.  That’s great news. I really miss them.

Have a very good day.


Feb 21, 1011 Mildly Put February 21, 2011

Good Morning.  The weather is unseasonably mild and perfect for walking.  Not so perfect for fighting fires though.  There are several going on in Western NC. None near us, but the wind and dry conditions are helping them pop up everywhere.

Watched the news last night and the local lead was about a rescue of a Walking Treeing Hound.  Looked just like Floyd.  The female dog had managed to get herself stuck on a ledge about 35 feet above the road.  All skin and bones.  The Rescue Squad used what looked like a 100 foot horizontal ladder to get to her.  She probably weighed about 50 pounds.  The rescue dude managed to get a lasso on her and pull her to him with her back to him.  She was so freaked that she grabbed the rung of the ladder with her two front paws and hung on.  He got her turned around and both made it to terra firma safely.  She immediately started eating the crunchies and did have the grace to look a little foolish.  Hounds can look that way.

Showed property all day in Franklin.  Just as the clients were feeling pretty disappointed in the pickings, they found “the house”.  Its a foreclosure and we should be writing an offer on it later this afternoon.  These guys have found two “the house”s so far. Have even made good offers on them but they just haven’t worked out.  We’re hoping for the whole third time is the charm thing.

Tried one of the recipes that Leslie’s been collecting last night.  Really good and really simple. Pita pizzas.  Whole wheat pita rounds for the crust – baked at 400 deg for about 5 minutes. Then a layer of pizza sauce, crisp stir fried veggies and mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes more.  They would be so easy to personalize – I might try feta and shrimp pizzas tonight.

My parents both sound much lighter hearted lately.  My dad feels better so my mom feels better. That makes the whole family feel better.

Well, big day today so I’d better get going. Have a great day.