One great idea can change your life.

Did you know that one great idea can change your life, and the lives of others? It absolutely can. When I left high school, I wasn’t interested in college, and quite frankly, I wasn’t mature enough to be trusted with a $40,000 investment that might not produce a dollar. I can only imagine it would be have been a four year party with a long financial hangover.

Because of that, I entered the workforce as a clueless teenager. I went into amanufacturing job where I had no idea what I doing, but I maintained industrial equipment. While I worked there, I learned a lot and one day I received a phone call on the floor emergency line. I went to pick up the phone fearing the worst. Much to my amazement, it was a major US corporation calling me at my place of employment on the emergency line to offer me a job, sight unseen. I was 19. How did they even know I existed?

I took that job, and for the next five years, I loved my job. One of the greatest things about that job was that the company (and you would know them if I mentioned their name) allowed me to modify their equipment, redesign parts of their manufacturing process and create new machinery. I changed the way they did parts of their process. I designed equipment that was manufactured and put into service worldwide. One creation of mine improved their output from 100,000 to 1,000,000 units without changing their expense one cent.

I was still under 24. I had no education, no mechanical engineering degree and no idea of what I was doing. But, I could see flaws in their process and I corrected it while the engineers sat in offices trying to figure out how to make things better. The company sent a group of engineers in from their corporate headquarters to find out why my equipment was producing more products than they had calculated it was possible to create.

I felt like a rockstar. For fun, I wore a pair of Mickey Mouse ears and Mickey white gloves while they were there, and I acted like that was the norm. I was just messing with them, and they thought I was crazy, but what I was – was amused that the pros couldn’t accomplish the same thing from behind a desk. I realized that great ideas are not only within certain communities.

I finally left that job and went back to college. Four master’s degrees and mid-way through a second (and last) doctorate later, I still relish the experience at that manufacturer. I could walk back in there today and open my toolbox and do that job again. It is that ingrained in my pyschi. Why? Because I realized at that job that great ideas are not isolated within a small group of well-educated and brilliant people. No, brilliant ideas are born everyday within average people, and those ideas have consequences. Not only do they have consequences, but they change lives.

Some of the electronics you touch everyday started in a garage by a college dropout. There are far too many stories like that to deny the impact of a great idea. Within every individual is a seed of greatness. The challenge most people face is overcoming a life of training that tells them “You’re average, and average people do average things and have average lives full of average events.” If you choose, that can be true.

If you are wishing you could come up with something that could set you free financially, let me tell you this, you can. The biggest impediment to most great ideas is past training and fear that your ideas won’t be accepted. So what? So what if  they aren’t accepted. Anytime norms are challenged, there will be push-back, but when you know in your heart that your idea is a great one, you have to dig in your heels and push forward. Ignore the skeptics and naysayers.

But, I don’t have any education! Now, here’s the thing about education. Even with my 30 years of obtaining college degrees, the things that have caused me to be in the top 10% of my real estate market, and that has caused my contracting company to turn down 30 large commerical projects a month have nothing to do with college credits. No, it has everything to do with great ideas. I’ve done the college work to keep my brain exercising so that it’s always thinking, which opens the door to thinking about the next best thing. I taught a college class last week where I challenged the students to strive to allow their minds to dream of bigger, greater, bolder and more audacious ideas.

One great idea can change your life and the lives of many others. Don’t think you can’t do it, because if that becomes your norm, it’s likely to become your reality. But, if you realize that you have the ability to do something that is mind-blowing, even if it is small, do it. Some of my ideas at that manufacturer were very small, but they created great results. Your brain is in your head to be more than a tenant. It’s an inventor, an entrepreneur, a game-changer, a life changer, a magician. Use it and leave a legacy of greatness in your path.

This post was originally posted at Activerain.com: One Great Idea Can Change Your Life.

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Do the important things first and your home will sell quickly. If you don’t, it may sit and become stigmatized.

Do the important things first and your home will sell quickly. If you don’t, it may sit and become stigmatized.

Do the important things first and your home will sell quickly. If you decide to gamble with the listing, hoping to attract a clueless buyer, you may end up with a house that is stigmatized and invisible. One of the things I do when I take a listing is inspect the property from top to bottom. As a broker and a contractor, I have a good eye for things that keep properties on the market too long.

I’ve been through enough home inspections to know what catches an inspector’s eye and what doesn’t. Beyond that, I’ve sold enough homes to know what catches a buyer’s eye and what doesn’t. If a seller lets regular maintenance go too long, it will show up in the showings and a home inspection. Buyers do not like to buy other people’s problems. If they are willing to make an offer on a property that has issues, there is a pretty good chance the offer will be low.

Your home will sell quickly if you do some simple things.

I’ve never had a listing linger where the sellers followed sound advice, but I’ve had Do the important stuff first and your home will sell quickly. If you don't, it may sit and become stigmatized.some linger endlessly when sellers took a wait and see approach to listing the home. That basically translates to “maybe the buyers won’t notice or won’t care” about certain issues. They will notice and they will care.

This year, I had one house get two showing requests in the first 10 minutes of listing it, and one of those buyers bought it for full price. Why wouldn’t he? The sellers had the house ready. It was an older home, but they put some wonderful personal touches on it to enhance its charm, and they fixed everything, painted what needed to be painted and they took away every objection a buyer would have.

In another case, the seller wanted to wait and see if someone would throw an offer at a house that was dated, was plain vanilla with a tutti-frutti price and was missing appliances. The home received a few low-ball offers over the first few months I had it listed, but the seller was sure someone would come along and buy it in spite of those issues. They didn’t.

Throughout the year, I tried to get the seller to make some changes, but he refused. At the end of the listing period, I refused to re-list and the seller found another agent. He ultimately lost a lot of money off of the first list price and the first offers. If he had done the important things first, and that can be simple things like, paint, replace carpet, make sure everything is working and serviced. He would have likely sold quickly and for a better price. He ultimately lost a lot of money playing the naive-buyer lottery.

Do an assessment of your home to help your home sell quickly.

Do the important stuff first and your home will sell quickly. If you don't, it may sit and become stigmatized.Do the important stuff first. Make sure everything is in working order. That will mean all appliances and systems are working, paint if needed, change or clean the carpets, make sure all light fixtures have working bulbs in them, make sure everything is clean and the house is move-in ready and your house will sell quickly. If you don’t, a potential buyer will walk through your home with an invisible calculator running to decide how much he/she will be taking off the price with an offer.

Your home is only worth what the market will bring. If you see a steady flow of low-ball offers, your home probably wasn’t ready to be on the market. Do the important stuff first and your home will sell quickly. Trust me on this one, I’ve seen it work too many times to take a chance that someone will still make a good offer on a home that isn’t ready for the market.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA – Mid-Year Real Estate Update – 2018

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA – Mid-Year Real Estate Update – 2018

The Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA mid-year real estate update for 2018 shows a community that is hitting all the right notes. The numbers that need to be up are up and those that need to be down are down. The trajectory of the community is on an upward path and a great 2018.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA: Growing Average Home Sale Prices

The average home sale price for the first six months of 2018 was $372,074. That is a Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA - Mid-Year Real Estate Update - 20185% improvement from 2017 and a 19% increase in home sale prices since 2014. Each year since 2014, the average sale price has risen. The smallest rise was in 2015 at 1%, but increases have been from 4% in 2016 to 8% in 2018.

That’s good news for homeowners who have waited for right time to list their homes. The continued good news coming out of the real estate market should bolster seller’s confidence that now is a safe time to sell at a profit. The pains of the 2008 market collapse are no longer on the minds of homeowners, and that is justified. The new market is strong, steady and moving in the right direction. There are no whipsaw features built into it and sellers and buyers can enter the market with confidence that the market has reached a healthy place.

Canter Estates, Stephens City, VA: Distressed No More

One of the most encouraging numbers in the Canter Estates subdivision is the number of distressed properties that sold in the first six months of 2018. Distressed properties are made up of foreclosures and short sales. Canter Estates had zero (0) distressed sales the first six months of 2018. That is a pattern that has built for the past five years. The neighborhood has only had three in fives years. That is an incredible number when comparing Canter Estates to other Stephens City subdivisions.

One last number that is showing a good consistent pattern is days on the market. The average days on the market for the first six months of 2018 was 36. That is consistent with the past five years. Days on the market is an unusual marker for any market health survey. It can give a false view or a very right view of the market. There are many things that affect the DOM. Location, condition and price all affect the price and sale-ability of a home. If a home is in good condition, it’s priced well and it’s in a desirable area, it should sell quickly, and the Canter Estates DOM shows those three are right where they need to be.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Canter Estates subdivision, give Mike Cooper a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro.

 

Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report – 2018

Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report – 2018

The Loudoun County, VA mid-year real estate sales report shows a steady and healthy market moving into the second half of 2018. All of the numbers that should be up are up and the numbers that should be down are down. That is good news for Loudoun County, VA home-owners. There is one area that might cause limited concern for the market, but it really is small.

Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report: The Market Slowdown

Real estate in the United States saw a slowdown in homes sales over the first six Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report - 2018months of 2018. Forbes magazine and the National Association of Realtors both predicted a soft real estate market through the Spring of 2018. An average of 40% of all homes sold take place from March through June of each year. The Winter months do tend to see fewer home sales, traditionally. March saw a 56% increase in home sales from February 2018, and the numbers have gone up consistently since then.

The numbers are seasonably adjusted as the months go from cold and dark days of Winter to the warmer and lighter days of Spring through early Fall. January 2018 had 338 homes sales in Loudoun County, but that number jumped to 850 in June. That is a 151% increase over the first six months. Ironically, the number of sales are down 2.5% (3614 / 2017 – 3525 / 2018) from the same period in 2017. That’s a nominal change, and at this point in the year, it is nothing to worry about.

Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report: Increased Average Sales Price

The average sales price for a single family home increased from $509,435 in 2017 to $527,148 in 2018. That is a 3.5% improvement in average sales price year to year. Again, that’s good news for home-owners who have waited to sell.

The numbers have been consistent in their upward growth pattern, but two of the first six months did see a pullback in average sales price. Both February and May had lower than average monthly sales prices, and they were lower than where the market started in January 2018 which was an average sales price of $523,633.

Multiple things contribute to lower prices and lower volume sales. Interest rate increases may cause some buyers to step back before they choose to enter the real estate market. The new tax law could easily have contributed to the 2018 lower sales volume. The uncertainty of the new tax law effect on home-buyers could easily have persuaded some home-buyers to take a “wait and see” approach to a home purchase. And, of course home affordability is always a factor in any housing market.

Loudoun County, VA Mid-Year Real Estate Report: More Good Numbers

Two other numbers that can help paint a picture of a real estate market’s health are distressed properties and days on the market. The number of distressed sales in the Loudoun County, VA mid-year real estate market were 74. That was 2% of the total sales for the first six months. That is also a 2% drop in short sales and foreclosures year to year.

Another number that can signal a market’s health is the average days on the market. It is a number that may be deceiving because there are many factors that affect it. If a home is overpriced it will sit on the market longer. If it is in poor condition it can affect the amount of time it takes to sell it. Also, if it is in an undesirable area of a community it can stay on the market longer, but DOM can give some insight into how a market is moving.

The average days on the market for Loudoun County was 35. That is an excellent look into how fast the market is moving. The average for the first six months of 2017 was 39. The market has a consistent pattern of rapidly moving home sales. One contributor to the speed at which homes go under contract is availability. The fewer homes available, the faster they will sell. Loudoun County now has 1165 active listings on the market. There are also 31 “Coming Soon” listings and 931 homes that are pending a closing.

Overall, the Loudoun County, VA real estate market is healthy, strong and moving fast. It has followed a consistent pattern year to year and it is meeting all the common milestones as it progresses through the year. Home values are high and growing, distressed properties are low and declining and homes that are ready to sell – sell quickly. What’s not to love about those market conditions.

When you’re ready to buy or sell in the Loudoun County, VA real estate market, give Mike Cooper a call. Mike is your local real estate sales pro, and he makes things happen everyday.