By Cherimie Crane Weatherford
In preschool it was accepted to question the world’s, the class, even the teacher’s purpose as it related to the simple task of meeting our specific needs. The mats would magically appear when slumber loomed, the Kool-Aid and cookies were kept in eternal snack supply, and in the unlucky event that a knee, elbow, or a shin met an untimely introduction to our personally designed sidewalk, each and every individual within a mile radius rushed to our assistance with a safety kit created for our exclusive use.
It was a time when the world literally revolved around our needs, our wants, and our taste buds. If you are over the age of 6, that time has passed. Unfortunately there are many in the real estate realm who are still waiting for snack time, nap mats, and a personally designed first aide kit. There are some homeowners who continue to wait for assistance that simply may never come. Some prospective purchasers are constantly in search of a program suited specifically to their wants and needs before even thinking of investing in home ownership. Both are well behaved in a very long line, quietly waiting for direction.
I was never skilled at waiting in line. Taking directions wasn’t one of my strengths. The approach is as simple as our storybook rhymes. It is no different as an adult to choose our direction. We still may find ourselves at the mercy of the powers that be, but we still have free will, we still have ability, and if we look hard enough we still have several others who will join in our protest should we not agree with established rules.
The market has thrown more than unexpected curves, it certainly has handed us more than lemons, and bitter may be fully justified; however, it is not productive. The choice is simple; sellers can wait for legislation that will ease their circumstance, hold on to property with purposeful intention, and continue to curse the all encompassing, all evil housing market. Buyers can stake their claim to a comfortable position on their self made fence, continue to stare at the crystal ball of rates, and wait for the mansion of their dreams to be offered at an astonishing fifty percent off. Both populations can stand in line and quietly wait for their cookies and Kool-Aid; No matter how long it takes, no matter how many others leave the line, and without questioning the process. Or they can choose to create a new line, a new circumstance, and maybe even a new cookie.
For Sellers: It takes a village to sell a home. What is the appearance of your Village? Is the neighbor’s unkempt yard holding your property back? Mow their grass, offer a community clean up project; find a way.
Is your property worth less, far less than what you paid? Get on the phone. Yes it is annoying, yes hold music is atrocious, yes it will take you several hours, maybe even a few days. Don’t wait for your options, find them. Research more than Facebook. What is the projection for your area? How long will it take for your property to retain some semblance of value? Do you know your mortgage terms? Really know your mortgage terms? The miraculous program created to assist those who are in over their heads has already been claimed by your bank. There isn’t a miraculous program waiting for you. You need to educate yourself, learn your options, and annoy the ever living daylights out of your bank until someone gives you an answer that you can understand and defeat.
For Buyers: Are you carrying the torch of an unkempt credit score? It happens. It isn’t the end of the world. There are many ways to improve your score, griping is nowhere on the list. Do you have a plan? Do you understand what creates, maintains and damages that coveted number? Google does.
Are you waiting for that never before seen rate? It is here and it is leaving town.
You can’t live without gold covered granite countertops so you remain in line until the mansion you crave and can’t maintain arrives at your inbox. What is it that makes a home? What are your needs, not the needs of the Real Wives of Whatever County? Do you really need five bedrooms when you only have one child? Look at the big picture. Find a home that meets your needs and has potential to meet your wants. Stop watching HGTV, homes aren’t made in 30 minutes. Adjust your expectations to your wallet, adjust your spending to your needs, and for heavens sake, turn off the TV.
Maybe it is harsh. Feel free to send hate mail, I won’t read it. I am too busy trying to find ways to improve my personal real estate reality. It is up to me and I don’t sit still well. It is no longer the world’s responsibility to meet your needs. Action is far greater than reaction, a plan is better than procrastination, and life goes on regardless of whether you have six bedrooms or four.
Stop waiting for an the fix-it-fairy, Beaufort. Get out and do what needs to be done. I will see you in the trenches. If you need direction, I can help but I can’t leave the line for you. There are answers and I will help you find them.
Cherimie has conintuously been one of the top producing Realtors through-out the difficult shift. Revitalizing projects and communities when all the odds were against new construction. Her articles and advice have been featured in the national REALTOR magazine. She offers a no nonsense approach to reaching goals, regardless of how difficult those goals may be.