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“To move forward, a turtle must stick its neck out” – Unknown

NOTE: This special posting reflects an email Dave Liniger sent to all U.S. Associates on Wednesday, July 27:

I have extremely exciting news to share with you!

J.D. Power and Associates announced today that RE/MAX ranks highest in customer satisfaction, for both buyers and sellers, in its 2011 residential real estate survey.

That’s right – we’ve  earned the highest level of appreciation from BOTH groups of consumers, which is a remarkable statement about the Outstanding Agents in our organization.

I want to personally thank and congratulate every one of you for contributing to this prestigious recognition. It truly reflects your professional excellence, your enthusiasm for education, your commitment to distressed sellers, your individual drive, and many other qualities that serve the interests of your clients. Your efforts change lives, and those people have spoken.

Our team at Headquarters is working with J.D. Power and Associates to determine how we can use the results of the survey, as well as their name and  logo. As soon as possible, we will let you know what the guidelines are.

In the meantime, celebrate this incredible achievement and enjoy the fact that once again you’ve proven yourselves to be the best in the business.



Published: 7/28/2011 12:49 PM



“He is happiest, be he king or peasant who finds peace in his home.” –  Goethe

Many homeowners believe to maximize their home sale they should sell it themselves. At first glance, they feel selling a home is simple. Why would they pay a broker free for something they could do themselves? In fact, close to 25% of all the homes sold last year were sold For Sale by Owner (FSBO).

However, close to half of the FSBOs said they would hire a professional next time they sold. Thirty percent said they were unhappy with the results they achieved by choosing FSBO. Why?

Many FSBOs told us the time, paperwork and everyday responsibilities involved were not worth the amount of money they saved in commissions. For others, the financial savings were even more disappointing. By the time they figured the fees paid to consultants, inspectors, appraisers, title lawyers, escrow and loan officers, marketing, advertising, they would have been better off to have paid the broker’s fee that would have included many of these charges.

Selling a home requires an intimate understanding of the real estate market. If the property is priced too high, it will sit and develop a reputation for being a problem property. If the property is priced too low, you will cost yourself serious money. Some FSBOs discovered that they lost money as a result of poor marketing decisions. In the final outcome, this far outweighed the commission they would have paid.

Before you decide to sell FSBO, consider these questions and weigh the consequences of assuming the responsibility versus employing a professional. A little time spent investigating now could pay off tenfold in the end.

Questions To Consider

  • Do I have the time, energy, know how, and ability to devote a full forced effort to sell my home?
  • One of the keys to selling your home effectively and profitably is complete accessibility. Many homes sit on the market much longer than necessary because the owner isn’t available to show the property. Realize that a certain amount of time each day is necessary to sell your home.
  • Am I prepared to deal with an onslaught of buyers who perceive FSBOs as targets for “low balling”?
  • Another challenge of selling a home is screening unqualified prospects and dealing with “low ballers.” It often goes unnoticed that much time, effort and expertise is required to spot these people quickly. Settling for a “low ball” bid is usually worse than paying broker commissions.
  • Am I offering financing options to the buyer? Am I prepared to answer questions about financing?
  • One of the keys to selling, whether it’s a home, a car.. anything, is to have all the necessary information the prospective buyer needs and to offer them options. Think about the last time your purchased something of value, did you make a decision before you had “all your ducks in a row?” By offering financing options, you give the home-buyer the ability to work on their terms. You’ll open up the possibility of selling your home quicker and more profitably. A professional real estate agent will have a complete team for you to profit from… lenders… title reps… inspection companies… they’ll be completely at your disposal.
  • Do I fully understand the legal ramifications and all the necessary steps required in selling a home?
  • Many home sales have been lost due to incomplete paperwork, lack of inspections or not meeting your state’s disclosure laws. Are you completely informed of all the steps necessary to sell real estate? If not, you may want to consider consulting with a professional.
  • Am I capable of handling the legal contracts, agreements and any disputes with buyers before or after the offer is presented?
  • Ask yourself: “Am I well-versed in legalese? Am I prepared to handle disputes with buyers?” To avoid any disputes, it is wise to put all negotiations and agreements in writing. Many home sales have been lost due to misrepresentations of what was negotiated.
  • Have I contacted the necessary professionals… title, inspector (home and pest), attorney, and escrow company?
  • Are you familiar with top inspectors and escrow companies? Don’t randomly select inspectors, attorneys, and title reps. Like any profession, there are inadequate individuals who will slow, delay and possibly even cost you the transaction. Be careful!

My hope with this report has been to educate you and help you avoid the pitfalls many FSBOs go through. I hope you found the ideas valuable and if there is every any way I can be of service to you or anyone you care about, please contact my office. Your initial consultation is always completely free and you’re under no obligation of any kind. I’d love to hear from you!

Jocelyne Grandjean-Brown
RE/MAX Professionals


“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”  –  Oscar Wilde

The prospect of a newly remodeled home, while certainly tempting, often ignores the requisite headaches that come with the territory. Take, for instance, the kitchen, one of the most frequently remodeled rooms by virtue of its functionality and the amount of time families spend there.

Homeowners rarely stop to consider the imminent chaos that will befall them when they decide to remodel their kitchens. For starters, you’ll be asked to remove everything in your cabinets and drawers. That means all silverware, plates, cups, pots and pans, cookbooks, and depending upon whether or not you’re a pack rat, possibly other items, as well. Before long, your kitchen is draped in plastic, your forks are sitting on your living room coffee table, your spices are in the bathroom cabinet, and now the contractors are moving your refrigerator to the dining room so that they can reach the wall behind it. Need to microwave your breakfast? You’ll have to head to the spare bedroom. That’s where the microwave is now. It’s balanced precariously on a bar-stool by the computer desk. And you’ll need to figure out where to wash your breakfast dishes, because your kitchen sink is either filled with construction dust and tools, or it’s not there altogether. Your dishwasher is sitting in the foyer, so you won’t be able to use that, either. Garden hose, anyone?

No, it’s not a pretty picture. The chaos can be exacerbated by the time of year. For families with school-aged children, it’s probably best to begin remodeling jobs during the school year. Otherwise, you’ve got the kids underfoot, and it’s a matter of time before your patience is wearing thin. If you’ve never lived through a remodeling job, and you’re about to begin the process in your own home, you’re undoubtedly experiencing some trepidation. Aside from the obvious money-induced butterflies, you may be asking yourself to what extent your home life will be turned upside down during the remodeling process, which — depending upon the project — could last anywhere from several weeks to several months.

How on earth are you going to retain your sanity during this messy period? You could go with the obvious answer, of course, and find yourself a motel room with a kitchen or even a reasonably priced corporate apartment if you’re looking at several weeks’ worth of chaos. But that’s assuming you have disposable income left, and that’s a big if with most of us who are embarking on what could very well be one of the biggest investments of our lives. If it’s within your means to stay at a motel for even a short period of time (you may want to wait until the messiest phase of construction begins if you’re on a limited budget), just make sure that you find yourself some accommodations near your home so you’ll be able to make frequent and unannounced visits to monitor progress. If you’re lucky, you might have family or friends in the area who will either volunteer a spare bedroom or two, a sofa, or at least an occasional respite from the sawing, hammering, drilling and dust.

No, you’re going to stay and tough it out, you say, and so will the kids. It’ll be a character-building experience for everyone involved. Yes, it will, but you can make it easier on everyone by attempting to carve some semblance of organization into an otherwise haphazard household. If you have a spare bedroom, convert it into your temporary living quarters. Move the furniture against the wall, and set up your microwave and a card table and chairs. If you don’t already own inexpensive shelving, purchase some temporary shelves to store your plates, cups and silverware. You may want to seriously consider using paper plates, cups and utensils for the time being, because the question of where to wash your dishes can be a hassle to solve. If you own a dorm-sized refrigerator, move it into the bedroom. Purchase bottled water. Resign yourself to eating out as much as possible within the constraints of your budget, electing to spend breakfast in your makeshift kitchen, giving the kids lunch money for school, and then heading to an inexpensive restaurant for dinner.

It’s important to note, however, that if you decide to stick around during the remodeling process, you’re going to reach a point at which your absence is required. Many paints, glues and other materials commonly used in the construction process contain fumes that could be harmful to your family if inhaled. Ask your contractors up front when they plan to use materials that emanate potentially hazardous fumes. Plan to clear the house at those times — overnight, if necessary. This may, indeed, be the occasion during which you head to a motel for the sake of your family’s safety. Make sure that before you leave, you speak to your contractors about keeping your home properly ventilated before, during and after the application process.

Another reason you should keep a close eye on your contractors — regardless of whether or not you’re going to be remaining in your home during construction — is that you’re going to have to take steps to protect your home from damage. Even the best contractors have been known to scratch or cause other damage to a wood, tile or linoleum floor or track mud onto the carpet. Cover as many of these sensitive surfaces as possible before construction begins, and check to make sure they remain covered throughout the project’s duration. In addition, your breakables and other valuables — including fine China, vases, artwork and even your television, stereo and other electronics — should be removed from the immediate area and stored until the project is completed.

While these measures won’t inoculate you from the temporary inconvenience inherent in the remodeling process, they’ll help you keep your lifestyle as normal as possible until the dust has cleared and the plastic is lifted on your brand-new kitchen. And regardless of how long you have to wait for that moment, it’s nearly always worth the headaches required to get there.



“The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want”. – Ben Stein

Relocating to a new community involves a lot of planning and attention to detail. Much attention goes into getting moved out, but getting moved in is just as important. Here are some of the things you’ll want to do once you arrive at your new home:

# 1: Unpack the essentials
With a little planning you can create an “open first” box or two that will have your essentials for the first few days. If you’re not moving everything yourself, plan for the possibility of arriving before your stuff does. Toiletries, medicine, a few changes of clothes, and basic kitchen items (such as a can opener, wooden spoon, cutting knife, one pot and one pan) are good examples of must-have items.

# 2: Help your pets acclimate
A move can leave pets excited and scared. If possible do not leave them unattended in the yard. Staying in their presence will be calming and lessens the chance of runaways.

# 3: Get the kids settled
If your things have arrived, help each child set up their bed and unpack one box of toys. Otherwise, get them excited about “camping” in their new home. Make sure you have a bag with their few favorite toys, or for teens and pre-teens some CD’s and books or magazines.

# 4: Go to the grocery store
Consider eating out the first night, and buy essential groceries on the way home. Focus on easy-to-make foods and quick snack items. Buy any cleaning supplies that you need (most chemicals should not be transported anyway). If you have a pet, buy any food and supplies not already in your “essentials” box.

# 5: Cover the windows
If your home doesn’t yet have the proper window coverings, hang sheets up to add privacy and security.

# 6: Set a finish line
Make a list specifying the order in which you will unpack and complete other moving-in tasks. Creating a time frame in advance will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

# 7: Get the lay of the land
Walk through your new home to check the heating, air conditioning, and electricity, as well as all appliances. Take your family on a walk through the neighborhood to learn your surroundings, and if possible meet your neighbors.

This is by no means everything you need to know about getting settled, but it’s a good place to start. I have more resources on relocation located on my website. If you have any questions about settling in to your new community, please give me a call.



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“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault  you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.” – Wayne Dyer

1. What does your inspection cover?

The inspector should ensure that their inspection and inspection report will meet all applicable requirements in your state if applicable and will comply with a well-recognized standard of practice and code of ethics. You should be able to request and see a copy of these items ahead of time and ask any questions you may have. If there are any areas you want to make sure are inspected, be sure to identify them upfront.

2. How long have you been practicing in the home inspection profession and how many inspections have you completed?

The inspector should be able to provide his or her history in the profession and perhaps even a few names as referrals. Newer inspectors can be very qualified, and many work with a partner or have access to more experienced inspectors to assist them in the inspection.

3. Are you specifically experienced in residential inspection?

Related experience in construction or engineering is helpful, but is no substitute for training and experience in the unique discipline of home inspection. If the inspection is for a commercial property, then this should be asked about as well.

4. Do you offer to do repairs or improvements based on the inspection?

Some inspector associations and state regulations allow the inspector to perform repair work on problems uncovered in the inspection. Other associations and regulations strictly forbid this as a conflict of interest.

5. How long will the inspection take?

The average on-site inspection time for a single inspector is two to three hours for a typical single-family house; anything significantly less may not be enough time to perform a thorough inspection. Additional inspectors may be brought in for very large properties and buildings.

6. How much will it cost?

Costs vary dramatically, depending on the region, size and age of the house, scope of services and other factors. A typical range might be $300-$500, but consider the value of the home inspection in terms of the investment being made. Cost does not necessarily reflect quality. HUD Does not regulate home inspection fees.

7. What type of inspection report do you provide and how long will it take to receive the report?

Ask to see samples and determine whether or not you can understand the inspector’s reporting style and if the time parameters fulfill your needs. Most inspectors provide their full report within 24 hours of the inspection.

8. Will I be able to attend the inspection?

This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal to allow this should raise a red flag. Never pass up this opportunity to see your prospective home through the eyes of an expert.

9. Do you maintain membership in a professional home inspector association?

There are many state and national associations for home inspectors. Request to see their membership ID, and perform whatever due diligence you deem appropriate.

10. Do you participate in continuing education programs to keep your expertise up to date?

One can never know it all, and the inspector’s commitment to continuing education is a good measure of his or her professionalism and service to the consumer. This is especially important in cases where the home is much older or includes unique elements requiring additional or updated training.


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I can now offer a new vendor to my customer’s.  The vendor’s name is  “The Move Advocate” and the following link will take you to their website:  The website contains lots of useful links and information.  I will also post this link on my personal website for anyone in the future who may need their services – basically they are a move management and referral service.  As a Real Estate Professional, I want to be that “go to” person my customers, (past, present and future), turn to when they need help with something.  This is the main reason for my personal website.  There is a lot of helpful information on my personal website such as HOA information and most importantly, referrals to other professionals.


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If you are a seller attempting a “For Sale By Owner” you will need to know that these companies that help “For Sale By Owners” do charge for the service of putting your home on their website. You will be the one who has to take the pictures, make the flyers and take off from work to accommodate the potential buyers so they can come to view your home.   If you get a buyer, you then have to be the one to check whether the buyer can truly afford your home and scrounge up the proper forms to execute a contract.  Then of course, to make sure all is legal; you’ll need a title company to check the title of your home, and a lawyer to finish all the paperwork.  Whew, that’s a lot of work!

Why not just make your life simple from the get go.  When you hire a Realtor, they advise you on how to prepare your home so it shows well.  They will create all the advertizing – after all, the big companies like RE/MAX have plenty of software for their agents to create advertizing pieces.

Also, a big company like RE/MAX is not just statewide, or nationwide, they are global.  So not only does your home get put on the local and national advertizing avenues, but because RE/MAX is global, people in Australia can view listings in America and visa versa. Aside from this bit of great advertizing, every RE/MAX agent in the Gainesville area has their listings enhanced on – the largest public real estate website, and each Realtor syndicates their listings to 40 other websites as well. Couple this with their exceptional training and state of the art technology, why would you go it alone, or for that matter, with any other agency besides RE/MAX?

If after reading all of this, you still wish to try your hand at selling your home yourself, then I can help you with the forms.  Just send me an email at and put in the subject line – request for Real Estate forms –  let me know if you are a buyer or seller, and I will email you the forms you need to get the job done.

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