31 – The Marshall Report – Episode 31

Today is August 18th, 2016, and this is the 31st episode of the Marshall Report. Welcome to the podcast.

In this week’s episode:

1. DocuSign

2. Seller’s reaching out to buyers.

3. Overnight parking

4. School rankings, chickens and eggs

5. Big wins

6. Listening to French radio

7. ROI of home improvements

8. Living next to an Airbnb

9. Doing the work

10. A quote from Bill Murray

 

Downloading DocuSign

I often marvel about how much things have changed. How I do my job now is 80% different than how it was when I started a decade ago. This summer I started using DocuSign and wow what a difference it makes. I wrote about it here.

 

Question of the week: 

Do vendors approach buyers after negotiations fail?

Answer: Earlier this year, three weeks after negotiations with a seller broke down, I received an unexpected email from the seller’s agent asking if the buyers had found anything yet.

“No”, I said, “They are still looking, why do you ask?”

Turns out that the sellers had decided to accept the buyer’s last offer. Hot dog. That never happens. I happened to be away on holiday at the time and that is how I came to be a fanboy of DocuSign.

There are no hard and fast rules in real estate, except of course for the 365 Rules About Real Estate – get the book – it is free to download. As you may know, it is a seller’s market and inventory is low. There are few houses on the market and more sales than ever. The balance has certainly shifted to the sellers.

It is rare for sellers to approach buyers. It happens, but like I said, rarely and really you have to be determined and aggressive as buyers this year if you are going to win a great house. You only get one chance. Getting a second is like winning the lottery.

 

Parking overnight

Why are we not allowed to park on residential streets or in municipal parking lots overnight in Waterloo? It is not a conspiracy, but lot parking should be permitted, don’t you think.

 

School rankings, chickens and eggs

Schools are not equal but rankings do not really reflect the truth either. I wrote about that here.

 

Winning the lottery

I don’t know if this is true or not, but I think it is. Two-thirds of lottery winners are broke within seven years of winning a jackpot.

There was a story in the news last week about an Ontario man who won $5million in 2006 who is  now heading off to a new home in prison for two and a half years. He is totally broke. He blew half the money in the first three years at a rate of $20,000 a week.

Of course when we hear stories like this we say, it would never happen to me. And maybe it wouldn’t.

First of all, you have to look at the kinds of people who buy lottery tickets. I don’t, so my chance of winning is zero. And of course I think I would be very prudent and careful and boring with a big win. I’m not a professional phycologist but I am an amateur and I think a lot of people who obsessively spend double digits on lottery tickets are not emotionally capable of dealing with a big win. But what do I know.

In regard to real estate, after a big win Americans tend to move immediately into an established and privileged neighbourhood. Canadians tended to stay put and renovate.

 

Captured thought

Sometimes when I’m driving around, I like to put on a French language station.

I don’t know why. I just like to do it sometimes. Also I like the sound of the music.

 

ROI and home improvements

Not all home improvement projects are created equally. Some are easy and cheap and others take a lot more time and money. But whatever the case, besides having the enjoyment of the home improvement, most home owners also would like to know what kind of return they can expect on their investment.

So here they are:

Projects under $5000

Adding insulation to your attic 117% ROI

Replacing your garage door 91.5%ROI

Painting is also said to have a ROI of over 100%

Projects $5000 – $25000

Remodelling your kitchen 103% ROI

Adding a wooden or composite deck 75%

Replacing your vinyl siding 73%

Window replacement 73%

Projects over $100,000

Adding a second storey 70%

See the complete list here.

 

Living next to an Airbnb

I had some clients tell me the other day that they would not like to live next to an Airbnb. That makes sense. By definition the guests will be short-term and transient and transient neighbours don’t care nearly as much about properties as their owners.

But there the Airbnb concept really is misunderstood. I wrote about that here.

 

Doing the work

I had a call from a guy last week. He left me his office number and his name. He said that he and his wife were going to buy a home and wanted my help. Except they didn’t want my help to view houses, they could find those on their own. They wanted me to be on hand to put offers together for them.

There may be a better way to do real estate but this isn’t it.

This week’s call to action is to do the work. There is no shortcut.

 

And here is a parting thought.

Every olympic event should include one average person competing, just for reference — bill murray (tweet)

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