Tag: #alipalaciosrealtor

In defense of a real estate agent

Real estates agents get a very bad rap. We are right there with car salesmen.

I feel the rejection as soon as I greet an open house guest. I’m just trying to tell you more about the house! I promise that it’s not a sale pitch…You can’t force someone to love the home. It seems like a few bad apples in a group will give the entire group a bad reputation.

No one likes a pushy salesmen. I personally don’t like it. I feel a sales pitch coming my way and I RUN. I understand. In defense of my peeps, most real estate agents love what they do and truly have your best interest in mind.

I get asked a lot why real estate? This question is usually followed by pursed lips. ugh.

I absolutely love what I do. Let me tell you why:

  1. I feel like I make a difference in someones life. I’m there when someone purchases their first home; I’m there when the same family needs more space for their growing family; I’m there when the kids have left and they have an empty nest.
  2. Real estate is so much more than buying and selling a home. Typically when someone needs to buy or sell, there is an issue. Every issue is unique and every solution is unique. I’m present to console a surviving spouse or a divorcee during a trying time. I have helped many out of a financial burden when the mortgage payment is overwhelming. Not every situation is happy but I’m still there for my clients.
  3. I love working with buyers that are not qualified for a loan. With a few changes most people can qualify for a loan within a few months. Guiding someone through credit repair, down payment assistance programs and overall mortgage education can make their dream for home ownership a reality.
  4. I love to educate. Buying and selling a home is complicated. I want my clients to understand the process and not feel lost. I love collaborating with my clients to obtain their ultimate goal.
  5. I love building new friendships. I can honestly say that if it was up to me, I’d be BFFs with all my clients. I love to stay in touch and see how our lives unfold. The beauty of this profession is that I can work with those I want to work with. I refuse to work with as&$%les.
  6. We all strive for that work/life balance. This profession gives me flexibly. Because I love what I do, I find myself working all the time. If it doesn’t feel like work, you tend to over do it. That said, when I need to I can turn it off and enjoy life.

This career is not for all. We invest many many many hours with our clients. Don’t believe what you see on TV. Shocker! Reality TV is not reality.

A good agent is compassionate and patient.

So next time an agent approaches you, don’t run in the other direction. Give them a chance and get to know the agent, more than likely they will become your new BFF. 🙂

 

Are you a tenant whose home is facing foreclosure?

Are you a tenant whose home is facing foreclosure? You have rights.

Please note that I am not an attorney and you should consult with an attorney. In the mean time here are some resources.

TENANT RIGHTS UNDER TEXAS LAW. Under Texas law, certain tenants may be entitled to at least 30 days written notice to vacate or may have the right to remain in the property. For more information on these rights, you may view §24.005(b), Property Code

RESOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION. In the event you need further information, you should seek the counsel of an attorney or visit one of the websites listed below.

Texas Association of REALTORS®: www.TexasRealEstate.com

Texas Low Income Housing Information Service: www.TexasHousing.org

Texas Tenants Union: www.txtenants.org

Legal Aid of Northwest Texas: www.lanwt.org

Texas Rio Grand Legal Aid: www.trla.org

Lone Star Legal Aid: www.lonestarlegal.org

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Consumer Help Center: http://www.ffiec.gov/consumercente

Don’t spend $1.00 on this before you list your home…

Don’t do any home improvements. Don’t renovate. Don’t spend one cent on improving your home before you list your house for sale…

…at least not until you speak with me.

Too often, homeowners feel compelled to spruce up their home before putting it on the market. At face value, that makes sense. You want it to show as nicely as possible. And, it seems to make sense that if you improve the home, it will also improve the value.

However, many of the things homeowners spend money on do not raise the value as much as the cost of the project they completed.

The way I see it, my job is to make sure my clients net as much money as possible on the sale of their home.

And while that certainly entails getting a buyer to pay as much as we can for it, my job begins well before that…

Netting as much as possible is as much about not losing or wasting money, as it is getting as much money for your house as possible.

For instance, if someone spends even $1,000 on a renovation or improvement, and it doesn’t increase the value more than $1,000…it was probably a waste of time and money. Which means they didn’t net as much as possible.

There are exceptions, of course. If something needs fixing, and it will get in the way of the home selling at all…well, then it will make sense to spend the money even if it doesn’t actually raise the value.

There’s no one answer. Every home and situation is different. It takes analysis and thought before I can say whether it’s worth doing something or not.

So I recommend, and offer, to come by and assess whatever project you may be considering, before you just go ahead and do it. (As always…no obligation, and completely free.) It’s my pleasure. And, the way I see it, it’s my duty.

Give me a call and we can schedule a time for me to swing by and take a look.

Thinking about purchasing a home?

Are you ready to buy a home but don’t know where to start? I know it can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  1. Let’s chat. The best way to help you through the process is to talk about your goals and timing. Let’s meet and discuss your goals and plans. It’s never to early to start this process. In fact, it’s better to start up to a year before you’d actually like to move. This will allow you time to make corrections and get financially prepared for the move.
  2. How much can you afford? There is no point going to go see homes without knowing your budget. Take some time to review your income vs. debt and come up with a comfortable number. Keep in mind that most lender prefer that you payment amount to no more than 30% of your income.
  3. Get pre-qualified. This is the most important step. Speak to a lender about qualifying. The lender will review your finances and credit to determine your ideal sales price. The lender will also review loan options and interest rates. Don’t forget to ask about down payment assistance programs. If you’d like a referral I’d be happy to provide a list of great lenders.
  4. Let’s go home shopping! Once you are pre-qualified we can go look for a home. No home is perfect but typically if it meets 80% of your wants, you’re on a good track.
  5. Make an Offer. Once we have found the right home I will run numbers for the area and we will come up with an offer together. The offer encompasses several factors. We will go through them one by one. It’s important you feel comfortable with the offer presented.
  6. Once you offer is accepted I will them guide you through the rest of the sales process; which includes inspections, negotiating repairs or credits, appraisals, financing, final walk through, closing, etc.

The overall process can take a few months and as your agents I’d be with you during the entire process.If you have any questions please feel free to contact me anytime.

 

 

 

What’s Included in the Sales of a House?

Did you ever wonder is that beautiful chandelier in the foyer is included in the sale of the property? What about the beautiful potted plants that accent the garden?

Contracts commonly used in Texas home sales state that the house, fixtures, improvements, and accessories are part of the sale. Here are examples of what stays and goes

Vocabulary: Agency & Agency Relationships

The term “agency” is used in real estate to help determine what legal responsibilities your real estate professional owes to you and other parties in the transaction.

The seller’s representative (also known as a listing agent or seller’s agent) is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller, meaning this person’s job is to get the best price and terms for the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a signed listing contract.

The buyer’s representative (also known as a buyer’s agent) is hired by prospective buyers to and works in the buyer’s best interest throughout the transaction. The buyer can pay the agent directly through a negotiated fee, or the buyer’s rep may be paid by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.

A subagent owes the same fiduciary duties to the agent’s customer as the agent does. Subagency usually arises when a cooperating sales associate from another brokerage, who is not the buyer’s agent, shows property to a buyer. The subagent works with the buyer to show the property but owes fiduciary duties to the listing broker and the seller. Although a subagent cannot assist the buyer in any way that would be detrimental to the seller, a buyer customer can expect to be treated honestly by the subagent.

A disclosed dual agent represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. In such relationships, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties to both buyer and seller clients. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, all parties must give their informed consent. Disclosed dual agency is legal in most states, but often requires written consent from all parties.

Designated agents (also called appointed agents) are chosen by a managing broker to act as an exclusive agent of the seller or buyer. This allows the brokerage to avoid problems arising from dual-agency relationships for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties.

A transaction broker (sometimes referred to as a facilitator) is permitted in states where nonagency relationships are allowed. These relationships vary considerably from state to state. Generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a nonagency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship.

Source: Realtor.com

Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice Texas Real Estate Commission Consumer Protection Notice

Super Easy Tres Leches Cake

 

  • 1 box butter cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup water (or rum if you want to spice it up)
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • one container of cool whip (or make your own whipped topping with heavy cream and sugar)
  1. Mix butter cake mix with eggs, melted butter and water (or rum). Pour into a 9×13 pan and cook until done at 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all three types of milk in a bowl
  3. Poke holes in the butter cake and pour milk mixture on top. Cover cake and refrigerate over night.
  4. Frost the cake with the whipped topping and top with cinnamon (optional)

Enjoy!

 

Note: I’ve make several variations of this cake. I’ve added rum as stated above. I’ve lined the bottom of the pan with berries, dulce de leche, coconut or chocolate before pouring the cake mixture into the pan; then baked until done. What have you tried?

Greek Style Meatballs

Greek style meatballs
  • 1/2 red onion, grated
  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 large mint leaves, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • feta cheese (to taste)
  1. Grate the onion and zucchini into a large bowl, then add remaining Meatball ingredients through black pepper. Use your hands to mix well for a few minutes until the mixture is quite smooth and very well combined.
  2. Then roll into balls.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meatballs until browned.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and cook until meatballs are cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle with feta cheese

Enjoy!

Note: I’ve served these with rice, pasta or pita bread

Lentils and Rice with Onions (Mujadarrah)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, sliced
  • 3 12cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • teaspoons cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves
  1. Heat olive oil in skillet, saute the onions with 1 tsp cumin until lightly browned. Add garlic and sauté until soft
  2. Remove 1/3 of the onions and set aside for topping
  3. Continue cooking the rest of the onions until dark brown and black in places.
  4. In the meantime, bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add the lentils, reduce heat, and cover, simmering for 15 minutes or until tender. I add salt to the water.
  5. To the lentils, add the 1/3 lightly browned onions, rice, salt, and remaining.
  6. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the well-browned onions.
  8. Cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes.

So yummy!

I moved

I moved.

But, not to a new house. I moved to a new company. My own company. 🙂

I’m now an independent broker with Happy Clients Realty Group.

Not that the brand an agent/broker works at is entirely important for you. The brand that really matters is the agent/broker. It’s your real estate agent who’s ultimately responsible for providing you the best results and quality service.

As usual you can and should call me. Anytime. For any real estate need or question.

Here are some things that might come up. If you want more insight on any of these, give me a ring, or reply to this e-mail, and I’m happy to get into more detail with you.

1. You just want to go see a house that is on the market…

(Yes, even if you aren’t serious about buying it. I won’t be pushing you to buy the house. I will be protecting you from making any regrettable decisions. Unfortunately, I hear from people after they got swept up in the moment and bought a house, and they are feeling regret, or have questions about the process or their decision. At that point, I can’t chime in. Because another agent represents them.)

2. You want to know how much your home is worth.

(Yup, I know all about all of those websites that show you the value of your home. And I know how inaccurate they are. Whether you are just curious, are wondering if it makes sense to sell, or need to get a handle on your net worth…just call me. I will give you an accurate value of your home. My pleasure. Not a bother at all.)

3. You are considering a home improvement project.

(Almost any project you choose to do will certainly raise the value of your home. But, will it raise the value more than it cost you? Better to know whether or not it is money worth spending before you even start.)

4. You are thinking of refinancing.

(Being in the business, I get to know who the good lenders are, and who the not-so-good ones are. I hear way too many horror stories from people about the process being horrendous with such-and-such bank. Or that they felt duped because they were quoted one rate, and were ultimately given a higher rate. Just call me, and I’m glad to give you the names of some people I would trust handling your needs.)

5. You don’t even work in my area.

(Even if you live hundreds of miles away, I can help… before you decide to buy or sell a house. I can’t chime in once you are represented by an agent. But if you call me before, I can remain involved and add my two cents, as long as I have referred you to the agent you use. And I can really help find you a great agent in your area. It’s not always the one with all the signs and sales! Let me do some digging before you just hire anyone.)

————-

Like I said, this is not a thorough list. I just wanted to give you a sense of some things you may not have wanted to “bother” me with, that I would never consider to be bothersome.

I’m excited about starting my own company and I wanted to share! Thanks to all of you for all of the encouragement and support you have already sent my way. It is much appreciated.

I hope all is well with you!

Ali Palacios, GRI, ABR, MCNE, TAHS, ASPRE, HARRL, CSMS
Broker
Happy Clients Realty Group
ali@happyclientsrealtygroup.com
Mobile – 832-418-0670
www.ilovehappyclients.com

P.S. Please make sure to make note of my new contact info!