Mold and $5000: Why I feel like Superman

“Do something a person can’t do for themselves or something they don’t want to do and you will always have a job.”

I think my dad said this when I was about 11 years old or so.  It is one of the many things he said to me that has always stuck with me.

I had a lawn care business when I was younger and stronger.  That was clearly something anybody could do for themselves, so what I was doing was something my customers didn’t want to do.

Now I’m a realtor.  To some people, it can look like I am doing something anybody can do.  Sure, people do sell their own houses, buyers do buy without the assistance of a realtor.  The funny thing about it is that those people never really know how well they did…..what did they have to compare it to?  Often, a bad buying decision isn’t discovered until you go to sell.

That is where experience comes in.  I kind of feel like all my life has been preparing me to be a realtor.  I was into architecture as a kid, always drew floor plans, went to open houses and model homes as my hobby.  Took drafting and construction classes in high school and college, worked around building materials at Lowe’s, was an estimator for a construction company.  It’s all helped me to offer something beyond opening doors and filling in the blanks on a contract for my clients.

I recently had 2 experiences that I am pretty proud of:

  1.  I have a client who is building a new home.  We just did what is called a pre-drywall walk-thru.  The builder’s goal is to make sure they have the buyer sign off on where all the outlets and such go before the drywall gets hung.  My goal is to check out the house.  I like to just walk around and look, and look and look.  Besides a few little things, I noticed what looked like mold on the roof trusses.  I sold a newer house to some friends a few years ago.  The home inspector found mold on their trusses.  The trusses are delivered to the site in bundles and sit outside until the workers begin the roof.  If it is really wet, those trusses get mold growing on them and are installed before they dry out.  Ever since then, I am always looking at roof trusses when I have a client building a new house.  It was a real pain for the seller of the house my friends bought, and I don’t want my clients to go through that.  We got lucky this time.  The builder at first tried to say it was dirt, but then agreed to spray something on them that would kill any mold.  That’s a win for my client on several layers, the most important one is their health.  (By the way, the truss in the picture  is cracked, which is also being addressed!)img_1756
  2. One of the most common things I get asked from a seller is what needs done to get their house ready to list?  I had a client whose house had a 27 year old roof.  That is pretty old.  I rarely see a roof that old.  And it wasn’t really in that good of shape either.  He was ready to spend $5000 to replace it before we listed it.  I came out and looked at it.  I told him we should put the house on the market as it is.  If we get lucky, nobody will ask for it to be replaced.  There weren’t a lot of listings available at that time and buyer’s could not be that picky.   We got the home inspection repair list.  Nothing at all about the roof.

So, a little experience got one client a mold free house and saved $5000 for another.  It feels really good to be able to do for my clients what they can’t do for themselves….often simply because they don’t have the experience to know what to do.


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