When the Dog chased the Cat, We have Manchester Firemen and Policemen to the Rescue

A face that could “Launch a Thousand Treats.” But when he got loose, a cat named Tinkerbell ran for her life when the raging doberman ran after her. 

The poor cat took refuge in one of the tallest trees behind the burned houses which were still awaiting salvation from the insurance companies. Tinkerbell’s  frantic owner banged my entry door heavily to break the news about the dismal incident. My heart pounded hard for my baby as any mother would for a lost son. I yelled hard to call my dog several times. I was relieved when I saw  the majestic creature running towards me.

After securing him inside the house, my nervous neighbor and I walked towards Tinkerbell’s asylum to check out her situation. The cat was resting in one of the branches probably 28 feet from the ground. It was the survival instinct that kicked in. 

The problem was how could we bring Tinkerbell back to her mama’s arms. It became my problem too. Why wouldn’t it be? It was my dog which chased the cat away. 

Tinkerbell’s mom was distraught and exhausted after numerous pleadings to make her come down. But we both have to leave the scene because work was calling us. We hoped that she would eventually calm down and come home. 

But hours passed and the feline was still lounged on the same spot where we left her earlier. The dusk will befall in four hours. My neighbor had already called the Animal Human Society but the organization told her that it no longer rescues cats stuck on a tree.

One of the subcontractors who was working on rehabbing the burned house tried to appease the cat’s owner with his reassuring question, “Have you seen a cat’s skeleton on a tree?”

Tears were welling up from Tinkerbell’s mom’s eyes. But I could not reprimand my doberman. Dogs chase cats. It is the canine’s natural instinct–“prey drive.”

Her heart-wrenching anguish prompted me to call the Manchester Police Department. Followed up by a call to the Fire Department.

Although I was told that this situation was outside of the police department’s area of responsibility, two cops showed up within ten minutes. The response time was applaudable. But as expected, there was nothing they can do about it.

Then——–

 

We have Firemen to the RESCUE

 

Because of the unevenness and steepness of the ground, the supervisor could not risk his man’s safety by using a ladder to fetch the cat.

As their rescue operation, they fired the hose over the top where Tinkerbell was motionlessly sitting hoping that the gushing water would scare the cat and forced her to come down. But the efforts were not succesful. Tinkerbell climbed higher which compelled the firemen to stop. 

The supervisor said to Tinkerbell’s forlorn mom that eventually, the cat would go home because of hunger and thirst.

After three days, Tinkerbell was gone. The mom believed that she could have fallen down from the tree and her body must be lifelessly lying among the bushes from the steep cavity behind the cat’s tree sanctuary.

My son comforted my neighbor by saying that Tinkerbell is alive. “She must be loitering in the neighborhood because she is still traumatized to come home because of the encounter with the doberman.” 

On that same day, we have to leave for a three-day vacation. My dogs, of course, came along.

I could only emphatize with Tinkerbell’s mother and relentlessly warn my son not to ever forget to close the yard fence to avoid this incident to happen again. 

While pulling back from the driveway, I glanced back at the sad face staring blankly at the direction where the tree was standing tall.

Three days passed and as I was driving through the driveway, my heart skipped in joy as I saw the black cat promenading in my neighbor’s walkway. I excitedly told my son, “Look, look, it is Tinkerbell.”

With the dogs inside the car, Tinkerbell knew better what to do. 

Despite the trauma and the chaos ushered in by the primitive instinct between the dog and the cat, Tinkerbell is back home to her mother’s loving arms.

The Manchester Policemen and Firemen may not have helped in bringing Tinkerbell back home. But rest assured, you can count on them.

Why do all Realtors say Buyer Representation is free because commission is paid by the seller?

A question Asked by Brian, 91711 • Yesterday at 8:58pm  If I am a buyer, and my loan is funding the purchase, and proceeds from my loan pay the commission, isn’t the buyer indirectly paying the commission.  On that logic, shouldn’t the buyer be able to negotiate % point commission reduction as credited back to the buyer.  Also if a transaction is being handled by a double dipping broker, shouldn’t the buyer be able to ask for another percentage concession!

Obviously, I can’t let this pass my early morning routine without offering my own opinion. To spill it out:

All professional services are not free. When you hire a subcontractor for their services, don’t you anticipate that they got paid for the services rendered. 

Instead of calculating the pecuniary equivalent of the realtor’s services for their fiduciary duties by having your own representation in the transaction, why not assess the importance of having someone watching out for your interest in the transaction.

That is the beauty and essence of MLS wherein the buyer representative gets paid for the services through co-broke. Otherwise, the buyers have to pay it. Although, there are instances when buyers get pursued for the commission owed to the buyer’s agent.

Because your mind deduced that you are paying for the loan and therefore paying the buyer the fee is somehow distorted. You are purchasing a home–your home. Hence, you should get a loan to buy it.

Without the realtor’s assistance and expertise, would you able to find that home according to the terms and conditions you are satisfied with? 

Moreover, the commission payment should not even be factored into the price of the house you paid for. The price of the home is market-driven. How will you know that you are paying the house for what it is worth for? Through the help and assistance of your agent.

Without representation, will you be able to gather all the information necessary to make you an informed buyer?

I could not stress enough that getting a buyer representation is critical in home buying process.

With your rationale, you are discounting the benefits and advantages of having a buyer’s agent work for you. We work harder than you think and we earn every single penny we get paid for our service.

As for the dual agency: if you think you can get a better deal because you can divert a portion or percentage of the listing commission as a buyer’s credit—think again. For instance, you are purchasing a home for $200K and you want 1% of the listing agent’s commission to be credited to you. That is $2000 to your pocket. Have you ever thought that with own representation, you can get the house for $5000 less or more. This is just an example and every transaction is unique.

Also, there is a RESPA law to observe with regards to buyer’s credit coming from the service providers.

Best of luck to you.

How can a Mortgage Broker Mend a Buyer’s Broken Heart?

Indeed, you can’t count your chicken before it is hatched despite the lucid life breathing in the embryo lulling comfortably inside the shell. Well, that was the picture I could see until  ONE GLOOMY DAY.

Apparently, the chicken might not reach its full term. 

I could dwell in exasperation and frustration with this transaction nearing consummation for days because of lost of imminent commission and time where I could have put to use in something more productive. But it is a duty call a buyer’s agent need to attend to.

In two occasions, I have likened a lady-in-waiting for the gas and electric company to call me to get the utilities activated for my buyer since the property is HUD-owned and activation is the buyer’s responsibility.

The window for the electric company: between eight in the morning and twelve noon. Not as bad as the gas company who gave me a twelve-hour window: 8AM to 8PM. 

All these aggravations plus the mourning over the GREEN BUCK$ for which I started digging its grave are TRIVIAL.

A week ago, I saw a face of a buyer glowing as he professed the exhilaration about owning his first home in the United States. His eyes sparkled with enthusiasm while narrating the color scheme he picked up for the carpet and walls; the furniture set’s style and its configuration and the conversation he had with his family back in his home town announcing his latest conquest- HOMEOWNERSHIP.

Last Friday, I could see that same face–sullen; his body– sulking and his heart–shattered. The joy that emanated from getting the commitment letter was pounded hard into broken molecules that vanished quickly as it appeared. 

The REASON: EXPIRED GREEN CARD.

At first, I was bewildered. Why was he able to get a pre-approval with an expired Green Card? To answer my question, I asked one of the loan officers I work with in a regular basis if he asks buyers during the prequalification process the question as to the status of his residency in the United States. He told me that it is included in the questionnaire.

Since my buyer chose to work with the loan officer of the bank he has an account with, I could not blame myself for not doing my job in referring him to any of the competent loan officers I deal with in most of my transactions.

Granted that my buyer instituted his own predicament by letting his green card expired, and assuming that it could have been an honest memory lapse and provisional irresponsibility because he has been paying Uncle Sam his dues dutifully, why did the loan officer gave him the go signal when at the time of application, his card is already expired?

Don’t you think this dilemma could have been avoided?

How could you appease and recompense a buyer’s crushed emotions? Never mind the money he spent on home inspection, appraisal and the lost of wage for the hours he took away from work to be present during the process, or either the money he has to pay as penalty for the lengthy extension or forfeited deposit.

I have never asked a prospective buyer if he has a valid green card holder or a citizen of the United States. 

After this incident, I may not be comfortable adding this question in screening the buyers. But I might just do it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Putting Your Face Out and The Multi-Face-ted Leads

Does a profile picture endorse our own letter of recommendation?

By proactively utlizing the social media and stamping our profile pictures on each and every personal and aggregate websites, blogs and picture-sharing sites such as Pinterest and Google, we mulitply our face exposure exponentially.  

My follow up questions would be: “To whose desk this letter of recommendation most likely would land?; “What type of employers/prospects catch your attention?; “And are these employers/prospects legitimate or dangerous?”   

Indubitably, we Active Rainers recognize the advantages of face recognition. These are notable in the blogs by Ginny Gorman of Kingston, RI: “What Face Recognition Gains for You,” and by Bryan Tutas of Florida, “Get Your Face Out There to Get More Listings.”

Gorman and Tutas stated the obvious to fortify that there are legitimate prospects that Face Exposure attracts. What remains unanswered are the types of prospects, e.g., demographics, which are generally or specifically drawn to them. I will try to dissect the possible legitimate types in my next blog. 

What could be equally pervasive as the legitimate leads are the dangerous species. In 2010, a scam frenzy erupted via Trulia.Trulia was inundated by inquiries and encounters by real estate agents with scams sparked by foreign-based buyers who lured the real estate agents into to-good-to-be-true real estate purchases. The scammers masked their true identities with farcical names such as Miki Watanabe, Seiichiro Matsubayashi, Fukuhara Kazuhiko, etc,.

For more elaborated exchanges among realtors, here is Joe Bryson’s Blog   posted in 2010 and Pacita Dimacali’s well-documented blog on how the scammer attempted to establish authencity. Pacita provided samples of documents which could have lead unsuspecting victims into the scammers’ modus operandi. This year, I received a similar inquiry via different website which I dismissed as quickly as I read it.

These scams are not as SCARIER as the more personal inquiries such as phone calls from unknown callers.Getting a call from perverts in any given time of the day could trigger the sensibility in our system more sharply than ever before. You heard it. There are PERVERTS out there who have nothing better to do but to disturb others by their disturbed behavior. When I got this type of call the first time, I was shocked that I hanged up abruptly. The second time, I was not fazed. After listening to his speaking twisted mind,  I told him, “Why don’t you unblock your number so I can hunt you down and chop your #$%^& to pieces.”. You could have handled it differently but those were my words that came out right there and then. It did not matter how and what I said. What matters is that it worked. Never did I hear from this deranged fellow again.

I am quite sure that most of you have received phone calls requesting for a showing on any of your listings. Have you screened them over the phone? If something seems off but you are uncertain if it is indeed a bad lead, use your common sense. There are predators who are very good at responding to prequalification or screening questions.

Let us say that your lead passed the screening over the phone but your instinct tells you otherwise– this is a situation when a caller requested a showing for one of your listings and if you are a female agent–ask one of your male colleagues or male friend to call the lead and tell him that he will be showing the property in your behalf because of conflict of schedule. The response could be a resounding “NO PROBLEM.” Afterwards, make a follow up phone call. Don’t be surprised if you did not get a call back. 

Remember, female agents are not the only likely victims. Mellisa Ditmman Tracy back in 2010 has enumerated Real Estate’s 6 Most Dangerous Everyday Situation. This is a must-read article as it does not only identify the risky situations you could possibly encounter but it also provides safety tips for different scenarios.

Always exercise caution and common sense. Try to bring portable defense with you at all times during showings. In some parts of the country, a tazer is allowed. My son gave me this gadget as a Christmas gift. However, these gadget paralyzes the attacker for good twenty seconds only. This was the information I got from a reliable source. 

Therefore, do not park in the driveway where your attacker can block your way out. Park on the street facing the road to escape the scene as fast as you can.

I have no doubt in my mind that the social media makes us more vulnerable and by sharing your experiences on how you protect yourself in your daily dealings will help each and everyone of us in the industry safer. In ending, remember to:

Always err on the side of caution.

“Better safe than sorry,”