Thursday, July 22, 2010

Home Inpsectors, Satisfice, and Social Networking Sites.

I generally think up things to write about in my blog while driving to different appointments. I had two things this week, and the third (home inspector) happened to me today, so I figured I'd start with that. Plus it is a rant, and why disappointment my readership with a change in venue?

A home inspector is a necessary evil to a broker. Really nothing good can come from a home inspection, because best case scenario, the house gets a clean bill of health, and you are right where you were--with an accepted offer. Its not like anyone ever says, "Oh the inspection came back perfect? Let's up the commission!"

No there is only a downside, and there very often is a hitch when you get to this point in the process. As a broker I am ultimately powerless to who does the inspection, and although I can recommend the good ones, there are quite a few times that it is one of the--for lack of a better term--crappy ones.

I have the same problem with inspectors that I do with part time Realtors. It is pretty easy to get licensed as a home inspector in NY (PA is a bit more stringent, and I have found the ones over there to be a bit more professional.) so there are a bunch of these one man band home inspectors, who turn out to be retired guys in their sixties and seventies, The usually have a Dodge Ram or some similar mode of transportation, with a magnetic sticker with the word "pro" in it. "Inspect Pro" "House Pro" Ima Pro".

Every three months that get a call, and they dust off the "thermo digital cam." or some other toy that they think will wow the prospective buyers, and they show up with all sorts of gusto, and point out "termite mud residue, or suggest "sistering" a beam before the house falls down. Mold is everywhere, and all buried oil tanks are leaking.

The guy today used a dowsing rod to "find" the septic. After I told him where it was. Really? Do you think a copper wire magically moving in your hand instills confidence in anyone?

Again there are some full time good home inspectors that I recommend, and there is one in particular that I like. And his findings have killed more than one deal for me. But he is quick, professional, and good at what he does. This is not about duping the buyer, who on many occasions I represent. It is about not scaring someone who is in the process of making a huge decision.

Haven't gotten the report back yet from the guy today, but we'll see, I suppose is esp told him they used the wrong insulation.

O.K end of rant.

While on Facebook, (which I'll get to later), I stumbled upon a blog written by a pretty fascinating Psychologist. Her name is Susan Weinschenk, and she writes about how "Applying Psychology to Understand How People Think, Work, and Relate."

Click here for her blog

I found satisfice pretty fascinating. She goes on to talk about how it relates to someone surfing the web, but I think taking it a step further in business and personal life. Most people are comfortable doing just enough, and the decisions they make reflects that. For someone like me, who is completley independent, this trend needs to be monitored. There is something very comforting about the feeling of accomplishment, but if you let it, it will keep you ordinary.

And finally I have had a Facebook page for about a year now. I am on it daily, and slowly I have started to use it more as a profesional networking tool. However, I do waste a lot of time on it. I pride myself in being witty and urbane. I suppose it is the need for an audience in me. (Hence the blog.)

It really does make the world a smaller place, and I have reconnected with people I have lost touch with, and have made some new friends, and gotten closer with people than I otherwise would. I have upwards of 200 friends, and have spent quite a bit of time surfing through profiles, looking at random picnics and zoo trips, responding to various posts. You know, Facebooking.

Anyway something tragic happened to a Realtor that I have done a few deals with. She is one of the good, full time agents that I speak about. Throughout the deals, we were friendly, but it was professional. I didn't really get to know her. We were colleagues. But we are facebook friends.

Her son was killed in an ATV accident last week. He was 26. Horrible. This happened Saturday. Now without facebook, since we run in the same circles, I would have heard about it, probably early this week. Of course it would have aaffected me. Anything like that would. I would have felt bad for her, maybe said a little prayer. I know I have been lucky enough to have always heard this sort of news about someone else.

But with facebook, I saw the first post about it Sunday morning. There was a huge outpouring of support, and by scanning through her pictures, I found many of him, his young wife, his brothers. They were a few pictures of them laughing and smiling at his wedding. Her profile pic is the two of them dancing the traditional groom and mother dance. He was good looking kid.

Because of  this odd sort of voyeur view, although I had never met him, or the rest of the family, it hit me much harder, and has really lasted all week. I have brothers, and have similar pictures on my wall. I guess it just adds another dimension to how we as humans interact. My heart goes out to her and her family though. Sucks.

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