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Oh, the Places You'll Go!


I read my favorite Dr. Seuss book, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" to my granddaughter yesterday. At 4 years old, she is not yet able to understand the truth of the ups and downs of life described with both humor and truth in the book. 

Real estate can feel a lot like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs too. Whether you are purchasing OR selling a property, there are a few things you may want to know on the front end which may prove to be as helpful as the simple, impactful words of a children's book.

1. Don't go it alone. Regardless of what you may know about the world of real estate, there are more spokes helping the wheel turn than it may appear at first glance. If you are not already working with a real estate professional, interview two or three realtors to determine which professional is the best fit for you. Ask us hard questions. Seriously! A good realtor isn't one who has all the answers, but one who is willing to research to find the answers that he or she does not know. Trust me, you will want a person who is willing to get in the trenches with you and fight on your behalf when the process presents "opportunities." 

In both "real" life and "real" estate, challenges are sure to come! A quote I held onto years ago when facing a tough personal situation remains true in real estate:

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems."
James W. Gardner

2. Do not compare the area of the state where you are looking to purchase or sell a property to another area or state. The reason most realtors stay within a tight circumference geographically isn't that they are trying to save money on gas. Rather, it's because we are surrounded by a number of different counties, each county containing a number of townships, villages, etc. Not to mention a plethora of lakes, each with its own rules and regulations. There is no way one realtor can be an expert in every county, township, or village. 

For a number of years, I worked as a realtor in Alaska. As an Alaskan realtor, I had to forget everything that I had learned in Michigan regarding real estate--almost everything was different. 

So, if your uncle in Alaska is giving you advice on how to go about buying or selling a home in Jackson County, Lenawee County, or Hillsdale County, Michigan--the advice, although interesting, will not be helpful to your circumstances. However, a realtor who has focused his or her career on the area with which you are buying or selling can be the greatest asset in your arsenal of real estate must-haves imaginable. 

3. Real estate is both give and take. Regardless of whether you are faced with a seller's market or a buyer's market, remember that we are all people doing our best to make wise investments. Marriage is give and take. Parenting is give and take. And real estate is give and take. Before you begin the process of looking for a property, decide what you are willing and able to "give" in order to win should you be faced with a bidding war. Don't allow the process to be a competition that you must win at any cost. Inevitably, my buyer clients ask me what my thoughts are regarding how much a specific property is worth and what I would offer on the property. The proper "realtor" answer is "the property is worth what a willing and able buyer is willing to pay and what a willing and able seller is willing to accept." But my personal answer is, "IF you pay more than you are comfortable paying and you win the bid, 6 months from now when you are lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, will you regret the amount you paid for your new home?" Only YOU can set the boundaries of what you will or won't do to seal the deal--but it's best to make that decision prior to the time you are faced with potential competition.

If you have any thoughts or questions regarding real estate, I would love to help you! Give me a call or shoot me a text (517.921.8651) or send an email ( Let's do this!!

"And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)" ~ Dr. Seuss

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