Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why Should I Change My Locks?!?

Congratulations! You Just Bought A New House – What’s The First Thing You Do?

Before you spend the night in your new home, before you move your belongings, or before you have any work done, CHANGE THE LOCKS!!!!

As Realtors, we usually mention this at some point during the transaction, but in the long list of things people have to take care of, this one little item often gets put off until ‘later’.  Please don’t wait. Change the locks the minute you get your new keys and definitely before you, your family or your stuff moves in to the home.

House keys have a way of multiplying and there is no way to track them all down before the home changes hands.  Keys go to pet-sitters, house-sitters, house-cleaners, babysitters, neighbors, family members, contractors…the list could go on for days. 

Trusted, well-meaning people who probably put the address on the key chain, so they can remember what that key is for, keep these keys for years. Long after you've needed their service or help. Then the keys get lost or thrown away – still with that handy tag attached and next thing you know - - it’s in the wrong hands.

This even applies to foreclosed homes that appear to have new locks on the doors.  Foreclosures have many people coming in and out during the foreclosure process - inspectors, appraisers, workman, etc. Just because the lock appears new, doesn't mean copies, maybe several copies, of those keys have been made and distributed.

Just last week, one of our clients had a 'visitor' in his new home. Thankfully, he hadn't moved in yet and the home only suffered some muddy footprints on the newly cleaned carpet, but it could have been so much worse.

Please change every exterior lock in the home at the earliest possible moment.  If your home is a little older, maybe even update the door handles to spruce up  and update your entry ways and make it just a little more yours. If you need help finding a locksmith or handy person to make these changes, just let us know. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I'm asked about Zillow and their 'Zestimates' at least once a week.  I always give the same basic answer. The Zestimates are based on a mathematical equation that is incapable of including every variable that makes up the true value of a home.  

When I begin my explanations, I always feel like people are thinking, I just don't want to use Zillow's methods or I'm defensive about my own valuations, but I have truly found that Zestimates are rarely accurate and in most cases, they are so far off that they can't even be part of the conversation.

Math can compare number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the size of the home and the year it was built, but it can't compare construction quality, upgrades/restorations, popularity, convenience, school district, road noise, traffic or the health of an HOA.  

This morning I stumbled on an article, that used the term "Unzillowable" that was coined by the late Joseph Ferrara.  This wonderful article describes exactly what I've been trying to explain for years. If you are wondering why your REALTOR is suggesting a price that is different from what the 'Zestimate", please read this article and then speak with us about what the true value of that home could be. 

Article "Unzillowable: Why technology still can’t do the job of a real estate pro."

Monday, December 3, 2012

Go Durham!

As a lot of you know, Go Realty has been growing like Kuzdu in the rainy season!  We are just about to open our newest office in South Durham.  My dad and I are ecstatic!  Up until now, the Durham/Chapel Hill based agents have been working from temporary digs that have come to be known affectionately as 'Go Tiny'.  Those little rooms have been the source of laughter, sharing and growing. But, we have grown to the point of bursting!

In just a few short weeks, we will be luxuriating in our new space with more than enough elbow room!  The new office is in the New Hope Valley Commons shopping center and has been designed to reflect Durham's rich history and it's vibrant, diverse people.   This new home will be host to many happy hours and parties, so keep you're eyes peeled for your invite.  

Go Durham's signs about to be placed on our new building!