People often ask us what it’s like to be a realtor (or to work for one). We hear things like “Oh I LOVE looking at houses - what a fun job."
We do love our jobs, but being a realtor might not involve exactly what you think.So we invite you to join us for “A Day In The Life of The Belt Team”. Here are some “truth is stranger than fiction” examples (all true and by no means comprehensive) of what we do in a typical day. And as you’ll soon learn - no day is “typical." (Make sure you read all the way to the bottom so you don’t miss the part about the pink tutu).
6 a.m. (Terry) - Work out, breakfast & prayer time. Must be physically fit and spiritually fit in order to be mentally fit.
7:30 a.m. (Everyone) - Meet for a Belt Team photo shoot. It’s 37 degrees outside, but pretend it’s warm and SMILE!
8:30 a.m. (Terry): Receive & forward home inspection results to one of our Sellers. Call her to discuss the findings - including the fact that there is a family of raccoons living in the attic that must be vacated before the purchasers move in. Spend hours tracking down an animal control company that knows how to do this and can do it QUICKLY. Provide the seller with the info.
8:30 a.m. (Tara) - Check the computer and see that we had 17 showings of our listings over the weekend. Send out emails and schedule follow up phone calls to contact each agent that showed our properties so we can provide specific feedback to each seller.
8:45 a.m. Run the MLS to check statistics - sales, contracts, new listings, average days on market. Analyze and determine the trends. Write the weekly market update for The Belt Team blog.
8:45 a.m. (Terry): Get an email saying that despite the fact that we received a loan approval letter for the buyer of one of our listings, his loan has since been turned down. His agent has no alternative resources for the buyer and since the contract was contingent on financing, he wants to void the contract. Update seller on the situation. Contact one after another of our own preferred lenders. Find one who may be able to do the loan. Arrange for him to contact the buyer to see if he can qualify him and offer to provide financing. He follows up and it looks like the contract will go through after all.
9:15 a.m. (Gail): Meet purchasers for a home inspection of the house they put under contract in McLean over the weekend.
10 a.m. (Pauline) - Meet contractors at home of a seller client who has already moved out of their house in Oakton. Spend four hours getting bids and selecting new appliances, countertops & floors so the kitchen can be renovated before home goes on market, making sure to balance cost of improvements with the benefits of saleability.
11 a.m. (Gail) - Home inspection turns up possible mold issues. Buyer has severe allergies. Put buyer in touch with mold inspector. Contact listing agent and negotiate an extension to the inspection deadline. Thank God it’s a Buyers Market in this price range. A few years ago, the buyer probably would have had to make a decision on whether to proceed blindly or lose the house.
11:30 a.m. (Jerry): Head out on the road to make a delivery to a possible seller. Deliver a listing portfolio with information about The Belt Team and our marketing plan for homes in Vienna so they will be prepared when we arrive the next day for our appointment.
Noon (Gail) - Teach a Master Class at our Keller Williams office in McLean. Class is open to all Realtors in the community. Topic: “The Price Is Right - Or Is It?”.
1 p.m. (Tara) - Upload listing photos for our new Vienna townhouse listing to all the sites and feeder-sites for the 126 locations we advertise on.
2 p.m. (Gail) - Meeting of the Ethics & Standards Committee at the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors.
3 p.m. (Christy) - Contract ratified and another Belt Team listing sold. Update Twitter and Facebook to announce the listing sold for $156,000 over Zillow.com’s Zestimate. Wonder why people give any credence to online value estimates. That makes seven listings we’ve sold this year that sold higher than what Zillow said they were worth. Glad our sellers were smart enough to use a realtor.
4 p.m. (Pauline): Get a call from one of our sellers. The For Sale sign was installed in her yard and her 4 year old wants to know “why is there a stop sign in our yard?”
4 p.m. (Terry) - Finish a three-hour conference call to counsel a homeowner who is under water on their home. Sometimes it’s best for them not to do a short sale. Referred to an attorney. No listing for us, but a good feeling of being able to help someone.
4:30 p.m. (Mary Jane): Meet buyer to show new listing of a condo in Arlington. Buyer loves it. Contact listing agent to check status. First day on market and five offers already in. Go back to office to write a contract that will be in buyer’s best interest and also have a chance to compete. Good thing we have experience with this!
5 p.m. (Christy) Special Belt Team Correspondent Ryan R (age 10) has finished his homework. Time to film the webcast of “This Week in Vienna Oakton Real Estate“
6 p.m. (Mary Jane) Receive a call on a contract ratified two weeks ago. The seller has decided they are considering our buyer’s contract void due to a different interpretation of dates and are accepting a different contract at a higher sales price. Buyer subsequently shows up to settlement, but seller does not show. Seller advises that not only are they considering the contract void, they are keeping the buyer’s $5,000 deposit. Buyer decides they would rather buy another home anyway, but cannot do so without the $5,000. After hours and hours (and days and days) of negotiation, Mary Jane is able to get the buyers’ deposit back for them. Back to Square One on finding a home. Schedule an appointment to look at more homes this weekend.
6 p.m. (Terry) Arrive at home for sale in Reston to preview it. Knock on the door. No answer. Access the home through the lockbox. Shout out “anyone home?” just in case. No answer. Walk through the house, take notes for potential buyer. Go upstairs to see master bedroom. 250 pound woman comes into the hall wearing a pink tutu. Introduce myself. She asks if I want to see the climate controlled bedroom where she keeps her exotic birds. (Not really - but oh well I’m here and need to see the whole house for my clients!).
7 p.m. (Pauline) Prepare to be tomorrow’s “Realtor On Call” at the local credit union. Review IRS regulations again to ensure ready to discuss the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit.
8 p.m. (Pauline) - Email photos and detailed notes to a West Coast buyer who intends to write a contract on a home in Virginia sight unseen.
9 p.m.(Kevin) - Receive radon test results for a home just put under contract this weekend for a Buyer. Results exceed EPA guidelines. Contact remediation company to get an estimate to remediate & make sure they will provide a warranty. Discuss options with buyer and draw up an addendum to submit to the seller.
10 p.m. (Pauline, Mary Jane, Kevin, Terry) Respond to emails that couldn’t be responded to quickly via Blackberry during the day.
Midnight (Everyone) - Thank God that we love our jobs!
(Oh yes, I almost forgot -we showed some houses)