Having mentioned in an earlier article the concept of a Realtor sometimes being a human vending machine, I was early this morning considering myself as being one. From turning into a trash hauler from several homes to a hardware store clerk providing missing parts to a structure. One of the workers was quite surprised I brought back the part that fit perfectly and teased me in having likely just been lucky. I looked at him and said, “I remember what it looked like and I measured it with my hand.” People really don’t believe they can go and buy something the right size they’re looking for using only the eye and hand, when in reality they can. The eye sends the visuals to the brain and saved to memory, and the hand acts as the ruler or should I say scale of that size. I would encourage people to begin teaching their young children to measure and calculate sizes and shapes in this fashion. I believe the more we challenge the minds of the young with visuals and sizes, the more their minds become open with creativity as well as proficiency. There’s way too much passive entertainment going on with our children. Playing games that create challenges of the mind and body are those that will be more fruitful in their years ahead. A decade ago an elderly gentleman who was purchasing a condo with his wife decided to show me some of the tricks he learned as a boy from his grandfather by simply learning to do measurements with his hands and arms. Of course as he grew into adulthood, he had to modify those calculations of lengths due to his physical growth. I was indeed quite impressed with his measuring abilities and certainly will remember the examples he showed me. Remember, in a century or so past when the height of a horse was measured by hands?
I had an interesting debate with a very discriminative buyer at my public open house today and was making a few more than normal comments about updates needed. I normally don’t go much into debates with people simply because they sometimes think me just trying to gloss over blemishes. This gentleman was enough up to speed with what improvements cost as well as the price of the labor needed, so I said, “Would you like to follow me around sometime and see what real project homes look like?” Too many forget that at the top of the pyramid of value is location. From location going down the pyramid we find square footage, and finally condition. Many buyers place condition on the top rather than the bottom. We absolutely cannot change the location of a home unless we have it physically moved. With square footage, we are left to deal with what is there unless we want to spend a minimum of $25,000 to add a room the size of a walk-in closet. I’m exaggerating a bit but you do get the picture. With condition we may be faced with replacing countertops, painting walls and ceilings, installing more modern light fixtures, and of course floor coverings. As long as the top two criteria fit a buyer’s needs, then that’s all we do is adjust the price a bit for improvements that the buyers will usually make in time to fit their needs. That’s bulk of the answer in making a safe and financially sound purchase. I went on to say, “In looking at a completely empty home gives a discriminative buyer every opportunity to inspect, evaluate, and envision.” We really did have a good chat and we’re likely both the better for it.