Thursday, December 10, 2015

My Real Estate Buyer Wants Me To Put On A New Roof Before Closing in Carolina

      You have had your house for sale for too long in North Carolina.  Finally, you get an offer.  It is almost acceptable.  The buyer wants you to install a new roof before closing at your expense.  How do we handle that?

     Step one, let's guesstimate the price of a new roof.  No.  Let's forget about guesstimating and let's get a proposal from a roofer.  Mr. Roofer says $9000.

     Would it make you mad if you put on a new $9000 roof and the buyer backed out on the deal one day before closing?  Let's don't let that happen.

      In the North Carolina real estate sales contract that almost all Realtors use in North Carolina,  we have a thing called "due diligence".  We also have a escrow deposit.  These two are not the same thing.  If you are a seller of real estate with something as complicated as putting on a roof before closing, you need to understand both.
If you are selling a house in Carolina, understand due diligence

     The standard residential contract calls for the buyer to pay a fee to the seller for "due diligence".  There is a time frame for "due diligence". For our example let's make it thirty days.  This is a time for the buyer to do their "due diligence".  Get the house inspected.  Get the financing approved.  Get a termite inspection.    How much is the "due diligence" fee?  It is whatever the buyer and seller agree to.  If you read my previous article about due diligence,  you know that I believe that most sellers don't get enough "due diligence" money.  Here is the important thing.  Until the "due diligence" time period has expired, the buyer can back out FOR NO REASON with no penalty.  

     There is another fee called the escrow deposit.  This is often called earnest money.  This money is not the same as the "due diligence" fee.  The "due diligence" fee is paid directly to the seller.  That money belongs to the seller no matter what happens next.  The "due diligence" fee is almost always less than a thousand dollars.  The escrow deposit is a amount of money that the buyer puts in escrow with the Realtor to let the seller and the Realtor know that Mr. Buyer is earnest and sincere and intends to close.  If, after the due diligence period has expired, the buyer does not close, he forfeits the escrow deposit.  How much is the escrow deposit?  You know the answer.  The escrow deposit is whatever Mr. Buyer and Mr. Seller agree to.

     This article is about putting a roof on your house BEFORE closing.  How much should the escrow deposit be?  The answer is it better be enough to pay the roofer.

     Let's say you have entered into a contract to sale your $300,000 house.  You have a thousand dollar "due diligence" fee.  That money belongs to and is in the pocket of the seller.  Let's also suppose that the "due diligence" time is thirty days.  Thirty days go by and the buyer informs the seller that everything is A- OK.  The inspection was good.  The termite inspection was good.  The financing is approved.  "Due diligence" is over.

     Now, the seller calls the roofer and authorizes him to put on the roof.  How much was our escrow deposit in this example?  It needs to be at least nine thousand dollars.  When the roofer is finished with the job, he wants to be paid .  He will be paid.  If, for any reason, he is not paid, he can place a lien on the house.  He will be paid.  This is no problem.  We close the deal and the closing attorney pays the roofer from the seller's proceeds at closing. 

     What if the buyer backs out and does not want to close one day before closing?  Someone has to pay for that roof.  That escrow deposit better be big enough to pay that roofer.

     What if the buyer does not want to put up an escrow deposit enough to cover the expense of the roof?  PUT THE ROOF ON AFTER CLOSING.    


Sunday, December 6, 2015

A New Liquor Store in Tryon,North Carolina

     My good friend, Ken, just opened Bird Mountain Liquor Market at the state line between Tryon, North Carolina and Landrum, South Carolina.  Ken tells me that his goal is to have the wine and spirits that his customers want on his shelf. 

     Ken tells me that if a customer has an unusual request, he will get it on the shelf as soon as possible.  If you drink something that is off the beaten path, stop in and see if Ken has it.  If he doesn't, he told me he will  get it soon.
Bird Mountain Liquor Market on U.S. 176 in Tryon

      If you are too busy to stop in, call Ken on the phone at
864 457 1500 or send him an email at  .  

     Ken tells me that he intends to give extraordinary service
in the wine and spirit business.  If you are in Tryon,
North Carolina, stop in and say hello.  If you are too busy to stop, honk and wave as you go by on U.S. 176. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Saluda Toy Run in Polk County North Carolina

     When Kathy and I arrived at the Saluda Fire Station at noon on November 28, 2015, there was already a huge crowd.  Bikers coming from all around Polk county to donate a toy to the Saluda Fire Department.  There must have been one thousand bikes.
Thank you Saluda Fire Department for hosting the Toy Run

     The Saluda Fire Department served us Bar B Q and hot dogs.  At two oclock, we left and headed down U.S. 176 towards Tryon.  We went down the Saluda grade which is plenty of excitement for most motorcyclists.

     People were out in the yard waving and cheering as we rode by all along the route.  We rode through Tryon, North Carolina.  As we approached the South Carolina state line, my friend, Ken was standing in front of Bird Mountain Liquor Market taking still pictures and movies as we passed into South Carolina.  I hope he posts those pictures on Bird Mountain's Facebook page.  I am certain that movie will end up on You Tube.

     We rode on into Landrum, South Carolina.  We turned left on Highway 14 and rode through downtown Landrum, South Carolina.  It is nice that the local police and fire department have blocked the streets for us.  There were lots of people waving and cheering as we went by in Landrum.

    We proceeded on Highway 14 to Highway 9.  We turned north towards Mill Spring, North Carolina.  This is one beautiful strip of highway.  You see the big mountains of North Carolina in the background as you motor up and down the foothills.
Highway 9 heading north towards Mill Spring

      In Mill Spring, we turned left onto Highway 108 and ended up at the Polk county courthouse in Columbus, North Carolina.  The steps of the courthouse was covered with donated toys.

     It was a fun ride.  We had perfect weather.  Thank you God.  There had to be over one thousand motorcycles on this run.  There were lots of Harley Davidsons.  There were BMWs. There were Suzukis, Kawasakis, Hondas, Yamahas and Victorys.  There were Ducatis and Triumphs.  There was a sidecar.  There was a Can Am.  There was even a Polaris Slingshot.  There were Gold Wings. There was old bikes.  There were new bikes.  There were big bikes.  There was little bikes.  There was only one Suzuki Calvacade.                  
There were big bikes and small bikes at the Saluda Toy Run
The weather was perfect for the Saluda Toy Run
A Polaris Slingshot at the Saluda Toy Run 2015
Lots of pretty girls at the Saluda Toy Run
Triumph Bonneville at The Saluda Toy Run
Sidecars were welcome at the Saluda Toy Run
Custom Paint looks good at the Saluda Toy Run 2015
Can Am at the Saluda Toy Run
The Polk County courthouse steps was full of Toys
There is another side car in the background on the Saluda Toy Run
Lots of Motorcycles in Columbus from Saluda Toy Run
That Indian is looking good on Saluda Toy Run
Cool Boots
Did I mention we had small bikes at Saluda Toy Run?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Tryon Rolling Art Antique Car Truck and Motorcycle Show

     October 31, 2015 in Downtown Tryon, North Carolina was the Tryon "Rolling Art" Antique Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show.  I thought I would take my 1961 Harley Davidson Super 10.  Maybe I could win a prize.  I knew there was no chance of that when that 1927 Indian Four showed up.
Tryon Antique Car and Motorcycle Show was won by a  1927 Indian

There were over a hundred great looking antique cars and trucks and bikes at  The Tryon Car show in Tryon, North Carolina.  A Ferrari won for the cars.  A 1930 Ford Truck won for the trucks.  The prizes were decided by popular vote.  The weather was perfect.

     Thompson Garden Center donated their parking lot for the Tryon Antique Car Show.  They had the movie,"The World's Fastest Indian" playing on the DVD in the lobby .  If you are a motorcycle enthusiast and you haven't seen that movie starring Anthony Hopkins, check it out.  It is a super motorcycle, human spirit movie. 
Start your saving account now!
 Harley Davidson Super 10 at the Tryon Antique Car Show

Any antique car show is fun.  This one seemed a little cooler than most.  There were lots of British cars including a 1937 Rolls Royce.   Antique car shows let you know how far automobiles have come since they were invented.  Here,in 1937, the finest car in the world was built with no heater.  That luxury Packard didn't look like much of a car compared to that Rolls. There were lots of Volkswagen.  There were a few rat rods.
1937 Rolls Royce at Tryon Antique Automobile Show
Rick Greer's 1960 Willys looks good at the Tryon Car Show

There were 56 Chevys and Plymouths and cool looking trucks were everywhere.  The Tryon "Rolling Art" Antique Car Show sponsored by Mother's Car Polish is one car show will be at next year.
There were lots of Triumphs at The Tryon Motorcycle Show
There were over fifty old bikes at The Tryon Antique Show
This Lotus has the steering wheel on the wrong side
Side Car racing?

An antique Porsche at the Tryon Rolling Art Car Show

Several Racing Ducatti bikes at the Tryon Motorcycle Show

Rat rods and Chevys at The Tryon Antique Car Show

1960 Ford Thunderbird at the Tryon Antique Car Show

Yesterday's RV at the Tryon Antique Automobile  Show

A BMW dragging a trailer at Tryon Antique Motorcycle Show
     Put the Tryon Rolling Art Antique Automobile, Truck and Motorcycle Show on your list of events to be at next year.  It was big this year.  It will be huge next year.  It is in October in Tryon, North Carolina.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Christmas Shopping At The Tryon Antique Mall

      Christmas will be here in no time.  You don't need to go to Target or Wal Mart or Sears or Macy's.  This year, put a little creativity in the nativity.  You can go to Bass Pro Shop and buy your husband a new pocket knife.  You can go to the Tryon Antique Mall and buy him an antique pocket knife that was made in the U.S.A.  You could buy him a gun cabinet or a gun rack at the Tryon Antique Mall.  The price would be a third of the price at Cabella's.

     At the Tryon Antique Mall, we have a plethora of musical instruments.  We have vintage guitars and bass guitars and horns and drums and trombones and cellos and other musical instruments.  You could start your own band at the Tryon Antique Mall.  You must have a relative that wants a xylophone under the tree.
In the box above the  map it tells you to ferry your car to Cuba

     Do you think Grandma might like a new rocking chair for Christmas?  We have a bunch from which to choose. Maybe Grandma would like a copy of Life magazine from the year that she turned 21.  We probably have, at least, one copy.  How many relatives do you have that own an antique car?  Maybe we have something to help them enjoy that antique car more, something like a drive in movie speaker or a road map of Florida from 1958 with a map of Cuba on the back.  We might even have an owner's manual for their 1969 Corvair.  We might even have a model car just like it.  If the antique car is a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, we do have a model car just like it.  Stop by the Tryon Antique Mall and look around.
Six 1955 Thunderbirds licensed by Ford Like new

     Chess, Checkers, Chinese Checkers, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly or Candyland are just a few of the games we have available at bargain prices.  Stop in between now and Christmas.  The Tryon Antique mall is on U.S. Hiway 176 between Tryon, North Carolina and Landrum, South Carolina.  We are right at the state line.

     Are you going to eat Christmas dinner on those old ugly plates?  Wouldn't a set of antique fine china be a memorable gift for the Mrs.  She pretends that she doesn't care whether she is serving on Melmac or Noritake.  She does care.  Come in and buy her a set of China.  It doesn't cost $40 per plate like it does at Macy's.  Two hundred bucks will have your table looking as good as the Rockefeller's.  Maybe a set of matching antique flatware would be appreciated. You buy it for Christmas this year and the wife passes it on to the heirs.
Fine China is so inexpensive when you buy it at an antique shop 

     You know what is dull and boring?  Christmas presents in boring boxes are dull and boring.  Stop in at the Tryon Antique Mall and pick up a fun, interesting box to put your Christmas present in.  A small wooden box that was sold new at a tourist trap in 1953 that says "Great Smokey Mountains" would be a lot more fun on Christmas morning than that bland vanilla box from Sears.  We probably have a heap of interesting boxes at the Tryon Antique Mall for less than ten dollars.  Do you know what else you can buy at the Tryon Antique Mall for less than $10?  You can buy an old piggy bank.  What a great Christmas present that would make!

     Stop by the Tryon Antique mall on U.S.176 in Tryon, North Carolina.  Put a little bit of creativity with a little bit of $$$$.  Make Christmas morning memorable .  You can find that perfect gift without breaking the bank.      

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When Buying A House In Hendersonville, Feel Free To Make An Offer

     A couple of months ago, I drove five hundred miles to look at antique motorcycle.  The price was right or I would have never left home.  When I got there, the bike was nice as pie.  I bought it for the asking price. 

It does not always happen that way.  Sometimes you go to a lot of inconvenience to look at a house for sale in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  You feel like the house is not worth the price that the seller is asking. 

My wife and I have a cliché that we use a lot.  When we drive  a long distance to look at something that is for sale, we say to each other," We have done the hard part.".  The hard part is traveling there to look at whatever is for sale. 
Ron Climer says when you have done the hard part, make an offer

If you have driven five hundred miles or five miles to Hendersonville, North Carolina and checked into a hotel and gone to look at a $200,000 house, if you don't like the price, make an offer.  If you don't like it for $200,000, would you like it for $160,000?  If the answer to that is yes, make an offer.  You have already done the hard part.  Your Realtor is not to busy to present your offer.  The listing agent is not too busy either. 
In Og Mandino's book,"The Greatest Salesman In the World", he tells us in one of the ancient scrolls that teach us to be better salesman a little bit about human nature by describing a man that will today not buy gold chariots for a penny will,tomorrow, exchange his house for a tree.  It is true.

You make that $160,000 offer.  Something has happen in the seller's life. that causes him to accept that offer.  You have done the hard part.  You have inconvenienced yourself to look at the property.  Make an offer.  All negotiation begins with an offer.  Do you want it at some price?  If so, tell your Realtor,"If we could get this for$160,000, we would buy it.".  What is the worst thing that could happen?  The seller says,"No" You have done the hard part.  Do the easy part.  Make an offer.

My wife is an antique dealer.  She spends a lot of time at yard sales and flea markets.  We were at a yard sale last July.  It was hot.  It was 2 P.M.  There was this beautiful rocking chair with no price.  It was well worth a hundred dollars.  Kathy asked the price.  The seller said,"Make me an offer.".  Kathy hates yard sales with no prices.  She replied,"$25" .  The seller went crazy.  He broke into a ranting tirade monologue about how tired he was dealing with yard sale varmints and how valuable that rocking chair was and the state of the national economy and how he was ready to throw everything into the street and set it on fire.  Kathy calmly replied,"Will you take the $25?'.  He said,"I will take $30.".  He helped me load it into the truck.  You have done the hard part.  Make an offer.

I am not sure why so many potential home buyers would rather spend their time looking for a seller that has priced his property right.  If everything else is OK but the price, make an offer. You have done the hard part.  

Often, the seller knows that his price is too high.  An equal amount of time, the seller does not know the price is too high.  Father Time will let him know.  If his property has been for sale for too long, he will sooner or later get the message.  Maybe his listing agent is not obnoxious enough to nudge him to lower the price.  You come along and offer $160,000 for his house with the $200,000 price tag.  He counter offers at $170,000.  You buy it.

Nobody else in Hendersonville, North Carolina knew that house could be bought for $170,000.  You have done the hard part.  Make an offer.  A reluctance to make an offer will inhibit your ability to find the home of your dreams in Hendersonville, North Carolina or anywhere else.  If everything else is right except the price, Make an offer. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hendersonville North Carolina Toastmasters Club

     Many people find themselves on a career path where the ability to speak to a group is an essential skill.  Even if your career path does not require you to speak in public, this skill can enhance any career.  Public speaking is is a fun and profitable skill to learn.

     This is what Toastmasters in Hendersonville, North Carolina is about.  Toastmasters is a club.  It is not a class that starts and ends.  It is a club that meets weekly.  It goes on for as long as you find it beneficial.  For me, that is over thirty years.  Four Seasons Toastmasters in Hendersonville, North Carolina meets every Wednesday morning at 8 A.M. We invite you to join us. .

     Toastmasters is not a service club.  It is a club to learn.  You will learn to speak better.  You will learn leadership skills.  People join Toastmasters for lots of reasons.  "It will look good on my resume", a young lady told her audience was the reason she joined Toastmasters many years ago.  It was obvious from the eloquent speech she had just delivered that she had gained a lot more benefit from Toastmasters than just a bullet point on a resume.  
Betty McCallister has used her Toastmaster skills to enhance her real estate career

     Once, we had a young man join our Toastmasters club.  He told us the reason he had sought us out and joined us was because he had attended his best friend's funeral.  He was asked to speak but he could not.  He was afraid to stand up in front of a group of his friends and express his feelings.  He joined Toastmasters to get over this fear.

     Then there is me.  I joined Toastmasters thirty years ago because I read in a book that joining Toastmasters would make me a better salesperson.  I had just started my real estate career and it made sense to me.  Today, I am certain that much of my income has come to me from what I learned at Toastmasters.  Maybe, I would have learned these things anyway.  I doubt it.

     People join Toastmasters for a dozen different reasons.  They all boil down to self improvement.  There is not much that affects your success more than who you associate with.  The one thing that all Toastmasters have in common is a desire to be better and teach others to be better.  You can't go wrong associating with people like that. 

     Join us at Toastmasters in Hendersonville, North Carolina at 8 A.M.on Wednesday.  I can promise you that you will meet some very nice people.  I can promise you that you will learn to be a better public speaker.  I can promise you that you will learn leadership skills that will enhance your career and put money in your pocket.  I can promise that it will be fun.  Join us on Wednesday morning at 8 o,clock.  Call me at 828 755 6996 if you need more details.

     If you are not near Hendersonville, you can still benefit from joining Toastmasters.  There is a Toastmaster club in most cities.  Go to the Toastmasters website at .  Toastmasters has been around since 1927. 


Sunday, September 27, 2015

When Selling Real Estate in Carolina, Understand Due Diligence

     Almost all real estate contracts written by Realtors in North Carolina have a "due diligence" clause.  This is a clause that states that the buyer has a period of time (fill in the blank) to investigate the property and the transaction.  Then the buyer can decide IN THE BUYER'S SOLE DISCRETION, to proceed with or terminate the contract.

     The buyer pays a fee to the seller called the due diligence fee. This fee is paid to the seller at the time of acceptance of the offer.   How much?  If you are the potential buyer making an offer, a hundred bucks sounds good.  If you are the seller, that means that, if after fill in the blank days, the sellers get to keep the hundred bucks.  During the "due diligence" period, the buyer, IN THE BUYER'S SOLE DISCRETION, could back out on the transaction.

     Let's take a really close look at this.  You have your $300,000 house for sale.  You have a $200,000 mortgage at 5% interest.  Your taxes are $1500 per year.  Your insurance is $800 per year.  Your HOA dues are $600 per year.  Just to make sure the story is interesting, let's assume you have moved out and the house is vacant.  Every day that you own that house costs you money.
Ron Climer can be reached at 828 755 6996 in Hendersonville, N.C.

     How much does it cost you to own that house per day?  Your interest is $27 per day or $821 per month.  Your taxes are $4 per day or $123 per month. Your insurance is $2.20 per day or $65 per month.  Your HOA dues are $1.65 per day or $50 per month. 

     You receive an offer that is acceptable to you with a hundred dollar due diligence fee. If you accept the offer, you get to keep the hundred bucks no matter what.  The due diligence time is thirty days in this contract. The amount of time and the fee is negotiable between the buyer and the seller.  This is the deal we made in this example.  Twenty nine days later, IN THE BUYER'S SOLE DISCRETION, your buyer decides not to buy your house.

     Let's see.  Mr. Seller, You have paid 29 days interest ($783) while your house was not for sale.  You have paid taxes($116) while your house was not for sale.  You have paid insurance ($63) while your house is not for sale.  You have paid HOA dues($47) while your house was not for sale.  You have probably paid water and electricity while your house is not for sale.  It has cost you about $1250 to sit and wait for the. buyer to make a final decision.  Your Realtor has not advertised your house.  Your house has not been for sale in the MLS.  No one has shown your house. Now you are back to square one.   The good news is you get to keep the hundred dollar due diligence fee.    Your $1250 that you have paid on your not for sale house is wasted.  What is the solution?  Get a larger due diligence fee from your buyer.  The amount of the fee is negotiated between buyer and seller.  You can't be mad at the buyer for offering you a hundred dollars due diligence fee.  You can only be mad at yourself for not demanding enough due diligence fee to cover your cost of ownership while the buyer is having his inspections done and applying for a mortgage. In our example, that would be $1250.  If the buyers state that they only feel comfortable paying $500 due diligence fee, that is no problem.  We can shorten the due diligence time to ten days.  Get a due diligence fee that will cover your cost of ownership during the due diligence period.  All of these terms are negotiable before you sign the contract.  They are not negotiable after you sign the contract.  

     If the buyer backs out for any reason or no reason during the due diligence period , the North Carolina Association of Realtors contract says they get their escrow deposit back.  The deal is off.  If the buyer doesn't like the home inspection.  He doesn't get approved for his loan.  He loses his job or his company transfer him to Dallas.  His wife leaves him for a better looking guy.  No matter why the deal dies during the due diligence period, the buyer gets the escrow deposit back and the seller can keep the due diligence money.  If the due diligence money is a hundred bucks, the seller will be annoyed.  If the due diligence money is enough to cover the ownership costs, that will seem fair to most sellers. If the due diligence fee is $5000, the seller will be glad the buyer backed out.

     How do we determine the due diligence fee?  We determine it by negotiation between the buyer and the seller.  When the seller receives an offer with a hundred dollar due diligence fee, the seller just counter offers with a $1250 due diligence fee. If your listing agent tells you that is a bad idea, show him this article.

     Do not confuse the"due diligence" fee with the escrow money deposit. They are not the same thing.  The due diligence fee check is handed to the seller at acceptance of the contract.  That money belongs to the seller no matter what happens next.  If the deal closes or does not close, the seller keeps the due diligence money.

     The escrow deposit is another item.  The earnest money deposit is held by an escrow agent, the listing Realtor or an attorney.  The purpose of this money is for the buyer to let the seller know that he is earnest and sincere with this offer.  If the buyers do not get to closing for some reason that is not excused in the contract, the buyers forfeit that money to the seller.  If the due diligence period is ten days, after ten days, the sellers keep the due diligence money. Closing does not occur until thirty days after the due diligence period is over (in our example).  The buyers are bound to close.  If they do not, they forfeit their earnest money escrow deposit.   How much should the earnest money escrow deposit be? Who decides that?  It is decided by negotiation between buyer and seller.  The larger the earnest money escrow deposit, the fewer problems the seller will have .  Insist on a large deposit.

     Picture this.  The buyers have entered into a contract to buy the seller's house.  The buyer's have put up a $1250 due diligence fee and a one thousand dollar earnest money escrow deposit.  The due diligence period has come and gone.  The inspections have gone well and the buyers are approved for the loan.  One week before closing, the buyers find a house that they like muuuuuuch better.  They forfeit their earnest money  escrow deposit and go buy the other house.  If the sellers had insisted on a $25,000 escrow deposit, this would not have happen.  If it did, the sellers would not be too mad.  Get a large earnest money escrow deposit.

     As you read this article, you need to consider your position.  Are you a buyer or a seller?  As a buyer, a hundred dollar due diligence fee looks good with a $500 earnest money escrow deposit.  If you are a seller, you, at least, want the due diligence fee to cover your cost of ownership during the due diligence period just in case the buyer does not proceed with the transaction.  Understand this.  The due diligence fee does not cost the buyer anything if the deal closes.  When the transaction closes, the seller gives the due diligence fee back to the buyer as a credit on the closing statement. It only costs the buyer if the transaction doesn't close.  It is going to cost someone if the transaction does not close.  Likewise, the earnest money escrow deposit does not cost the buyer anything if the deal closes.  If the buyer backs out the day before closing just as the seller is closing the door to the moving van, the seller will be crying.  The seller needs to be certain that the escrow deposit is large enough to assuage the pain. In the listing agreement that most North Carolina  Realtors use, the contract states that, if the earnest money escrow deposit is forfeited, it will be split fifty fifty between the seller and the Realtor.  The real estate listing agent should be agreeing with the seller that a large deposit is a good thing.  

     If you have property for sale in western North Carolina near Hendersonville or Asheville or Tryon or Saluda or Columbus or Arden or Mill Spring or Lake Lure or Bat Cave, contact me.  I can help you with that.  If you are interested in relocating to the most wonderful place on earth, call me.  If a vacation house sounds appealing, contact me.   That is how we got here.  We bought a vacation house here in Tryon, North Carolina ten years ago.  Last year, we moved from Orlando, Florida into that vacation home.  Here is a video about the best kept secret in Carolina.  Check it out.                 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

You Can Learn To Tell A Joke

     Zig Ziglar says it doesn't matter if you use humor in your presentation unless you hope to be invited back to speak again.  I have just spent two days in a required continuing education class.  From nine to five for two days without a single joke from the instructor.

     If you are a speaker, trainer, instructor, teacher, you need to learn to tell a joke.  Why?  Humor recharges your audience's attention span.  No matter what subject you are teaching, your audience's attention span wears out.  If you will stick in a joke or humorous story about every hour, it gives the audience an opportunity to rest from absorbing your wisdom. Why would a speaker, trainer NOT learn to tell a joke?  Can there be any doubt that a humorous speaker is better than a humorless speaker?  Even at a funeral, a little humor relaxes the audience.

     I believe that the reason many speakers never learn to tell a joke is fear.  They are afraid that their joke will not be funny.  They believe that would be embarrassing.  There are some ways to diminish that fear.

     Here is a good way to tell a joke with no fear of embarrassment.  I learned this about  a year ago.  I was at a continuing education seminar presentation put on by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Florida.  The speaker was covering some very technical, very dull material.  He was a dull speaker.  He knew he was a dull speaker.  On his slide presentation, he had a bullet :  Insert joke here.  When he got to that bullet, he explained that his presentation lacked humor but he was not good at telling jokes so he had one minute movie.  He played it.  Spontaneous applause!  He had three one minute movies in his two hour presentation.  Every movie drew applause.

     Another way that you can assuage your fear that your joke will bomb is to credit it and telling it to someone else.  I once had a real estate instructor that worked for me.  Whenever she told a joke, she told the class that I required her to tell a joke every hour.  As time went by and she knew her joke would get a chuckle, she probably quit blaming me.  There is nothing wrong with blaming someone else that you have to tell this joke.

     Know this.  Your jokes don't have to be funny.  If you tell a joke and no one laughs, so what?  Many speakers, because they fear their joke will not be funny, don't tell jokes.  That is a bad solution.  A better solution is to practice telling a joke.  Maybe your first joke with your first audience is not funny.  Find another joke.  Tell a joke to three or four of your friends.  If they laugh, an audience of fifty will laugh.

     How can you get started?  Find a joke.  Tell that joke to an audience.  If you have a hard time remembering the joke, write it down and read it to the audience.  If it is a hit, tell it in your next class.  If it is a bomb, don't tell it in your next class.  This is a great test for jokes and stories.  If they are funny to one audience, they will be funny to another audience.

     Is there a best way to start a joke or funny story.  There is no perfect way.  Many speakers have a clue for the audience.  Zig Ziglar used to say,"There was this old boy down home that ....."  Whenever you heard that phrase, you knew there was funny story coming. You could create such a "trigger" phrase or you could sneak up on your audience  so they don;t realize there is a joke coming until  you are about halfway through the story.  I usually start my stories with,"I heard a story about a guy that..."

     Many speaking experts  advise us not to tell a joke in the first person.  It happen to me.  When, truthfully, it didn't happen to me.  It is an old joke that some members of your audience may have heard before.  Many experts believe that this brings your credibility into question. I personally disagree with that.  Sometimes the story is just funnier if you tell it as if it happen to you.    

     Which brings me to my next point.  Be careful who is "the idiot" in the joke.  If you are "the idiot", that can be funny.  If you are speaking to the Banker's Association, do not tell a joke where a banker is "the idiot". Never,never,never tell lawyer jokes.  They are not funny.  They are always offensive to someone in your audience.  This article is not a do and don't list but I just felt compelled to mention that.

     Where can you find good jokes and stories?  Can you find them in old Reader's Digest , joke books, or best of all, ask your friends?  Tell your friends that you need a joke for a presentation that you are giving next week.  You are bound to hear a winner.

     Get over that fear of your joke not being funny.  It is not a matter of life and death if the joke is funny or not funny.  Your joke not being funny can be funny.  I once heard a speaker tell a joke.  No one laughed. He looked at his notes.  He stared blankly at the audience.  He said,"It says here in my notes, pause for laughter.".

     Relax a little.  Let your audience relax with you.  Tell your audience a joke or funny story.  If they laugh, use it in the next presentation.  Put a joke or two in your next presentation.  You and your audience will be glad you did.                    

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Your Choices Determine Your Destiny

     We all make choices constantly.  You choose what time you get out of bed.  You choose whether or not you will jog before breakfast.  You choose whether or not to call some prospects this morning.  You choose how you dress.  You choose who you eat lunch with and what you eat for lunch and whether or not you eat lunch.  You choose whether to listen to rock and roll on the radio or a podcast that will help you be more creative.    You choose whether to prepare for that sales presentation or just "shoot from the hip." You choose to spend less money than you make or to spend more money than you make.  You choose to create blogs and You Tube videos to enhance your on line reputation or you choose to let your online reputation take care of itself.  You choose who you marry.  You choose how you treat that spouse.  You choose what you teach your kids.  They will learn what you teach them.  You choose to set goals and achieve them or just let the chips fall where they may.  You choose to plan your life or just go with the flow.

     Every day is a choice.  It is your choice/  You can choose to believe that .  Choose success.  Know that you have a choice.  Choose wisely.    

Monday, September 7, 2015

Why Is It So Hard To Find Your Dream Home In Hendersonville?

     Many people complain that finding the perfect house is hard to do.  It should not be difficult.  It should be easy.  Just as you would not walk into a grocery store with no idea of what you want or how much money you have, you need the same approach with your house hunting efforts.    

     Answer all of own questions about mortgages and payments and down payments before you start to look.  You know how much money you have.  Ask an expert (mortgage officer or Realtor), if you can buy a house with that much money.  You know how much payment you can afford.  Ask your expert how to convert a payment to a purchase amount.  If you do not understand  income ratio, here is a link to video with an   explanation.

     If you can afford a $300,000 house,why would you want to go look at $400,000 houses.  You wouldn't. You would want to look at $300,000 or less houses.  We all understand payments.  If you can afford to make a $700 monthly payment, at 4%, that is about  a $146,000 mortgage. If you can afford a $1000 per month payment, at 4%, that is about $209,000.  If you can afford a $1500 per month payment, that is about a $250,000 mortgage .

     The reason things get so complicated and difficult is that there is more to a mortgage payment than just the payment to the bank.  The payment to the bank is principal and interest.  We also have to pay taxes on the property and keep it insured.  Usually, the bank will insist that the borrower pay one twelfth of the taxes and one twelfth of the insurance to the bank as well.  We call this a PITI payment (principal, interest,taxes,insurance).

     It is not possible to know exactly how much are the taxes on the house that you are going to fall in love with.  Mr. Expert or Ms. Expert has to guesstimate that number.

     You talk to the expert and he tells you that you can afford a $300,000 mortgage.  You have $60,000 cash available for a down payment.  You can afford a $360,000 house.  You can buy a $300,000 house if you like but you can not buy a $400,000 house.  You don't have enough money for a $400,000 house.  Do not over complicate this.  Keep it simple.  Lets use this analogy.  
If you need a house in Hendersonville, North Carolina, call Ron Climer

     If you went to the grocery store with fifty dollars in your pocket.  You are there to buy four steaks for dinner tonight.  The store has four steaks for $10 per steak.  They also have four steaks for  $12.50 per steak.  They also have four steaks for $14 per steak.  You can not buy four steaks for $14 per steak.  You don't have enough money.  Can you buy four steaks for $12.50 per steak?  What about tax?  In real estate, we call it closing costs.  It has to be considered.

     If you want all the steaks to be alike, four ten dollar steaks is your best bet.  You could get two ten dollar steaks and two $12.50 steaks.  You could get two ten dollar steaks, one $12.50 steak and one $14 steak. This is where it gets complicated.

     We know we can afford a $360,000 house.  Do we want the big bonus room or the nicer neighborhood?  Is the high school we want imperative or just kinda important?  Decide this stuff in advance.  Share this information with your Realtor.  He can not guess what is important to you.  You have to tell him.  To make your house hunting adventure as simple and easy as possible, tell your Realtor as much information as possible.  The more he knows about your situation, the more he can help you.

     If you are looking for a good Realtor in western Carolina, contact me at


Fail More Succeed More

     You decide that you are going to be a merchant.  You are going to buy low and sell high.  That is your plan.  You buy a widget for a hundred dollars.  You advertise it for sale for $150.  Nobody buys it. You lower the price and lower the price.  You polish it.  You advertise it more.  It gets dusty on your shelf.  You dust it off.  Finally someone offers you eighty dollars for it.  You sell it.
You will learn more failing than you will ever learn in a classroom

     Maybe you should abandon your plans to be a merchant and go get a real job with a paycheck every Friday.  OR maaaaaybe, you should take that eighty dollars and go offer someone fifty dollars for that widget that they have been dusting and polishing for too long.  Then sell it for eighty dollars.  You have spent the time and effort and money to figure out what widgets are worth and not worth.  Failure is the best way to learn.  Do you think there is a book you can read,"What Widgets Are Worth" by Mr. Widget Expert.  There is no such book.  Fail more.  Succeed more.  You have to fail first.

     Failure is the seminar.  Attend the seminar.  Failure is not the only way to learn.  It is the best way.  It can be expensive.  Not knowing is also expensive.  Those checks on Friday never seem like they are enough.      

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Find A Bargain At An Antique Auction

      The first thing you have to do to find a bargain at an antique auction is show up.  You can't find any bargains sitting at home.  Show up.  Most auctions have a preview of what is for sale before the auction starts.  Show up early so you can look at what is being auctioned.  Look for cracks, dents, chips, missing parts and other flaws.

     Almost all auctions are governed by "caveat emptor", which means let the buyer beware.  If you are thinking of bidding on an electric tool, plug it in and be sure it works.  If you can't plug it in, caveat emptor.

    Decide how much you are willing to bid now.  Don't wait until the bidding starts.  If you are willing to bid $100 for an item, when the bidding reaches $100. shut up.

     If you are a novice dealer, trying to learn what stuff is worth, there is no cheaper way to learn than going to auctions.  You decide that an item is worth $100.  That is your maximum bid.  You notice that that item sells for $180.  After a short while you will learn what things are worth by watching what other bidders are willing to pay.  Those others bidders are real people bidding with real money.  Pay attention.  It is free education.

     Always drive your largest vehicle to an auction.  You have to take these bargains home.  Big stuff is often a bargain at an auction because your competitive bidder is driving a Volkswagen.  They don't bid.

     As you are looking at items at the preview, ask questions of your fellow bidders.  Listen to their answers.  This is more free education.  Ask your fellow bidder,"How old do you think this widget is?".  Often, they will tell you how old it is and how they know that .  You will know next time.  Ask questions and listen to the answers.

     Get to know the auctioneer if possible.  When you bid, you want to be certain the auctioneer sees your bid.  Bid quickly if you want  something.

     Be sure that you understand what is being offered.  Often auctioneers sell  two items as a pair.  They might sell two (or more) items as choice.  That means if they have two lamps, be sure you know if you are bidding on both or your choice of one.  If in doubt, ask.  This is no time to worry about being embarrassed.

     Listen to the auctioneer's announcements before the auction starts,  He will usually explain these things at that time.

     At an auction, you own the item that you bid on as soon as the gavel drops. There is no changing your mind.  If you win the bid, you owe the money.  Auctions are a fun way to find some bargains and at the same time, learn about the value of things.

     In the old days, department stores used to have "bargain basements".  This is where the super bargains were.  An auction's equivalent to the bargain basement is the last hour.  As the auction grows to an end, the super bargains appear.  Most of the merchandise is gone.  Most of the audience is gone also.  At noon, you were bidding against  a hundred people with a pocketful of money.  At 2:30, you are bidding against twenty people that have already spent more than they intended to.  Most people that go to an auction are there for one or a few items.  Once they have bought or been out bid for what they came for, they go home.  Near the end, the auctioneer brings up an item that you are interested in.  There is no one there to bid against you.  You buy it cheap.  Life is good.  Stay until the end.  You have already done the hard part.  You showed up with your largest vehicle.

     Check out an auction in your area.  To find an auction in your area, go to .  You will be glad that you did.  If you have an antique or two that you want to sell and you are anywhere in western Carolina,   contact us at   or 828 755 6996 .    

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Find Your Deed Restrictions For Your Property In Polk County North Carolina

     As a Realtor in Polk county, North Carolina, I have listed several  vacant lots and houses on Lake Adger near Tryon, North Carolina.  This big beautiful lake is just down the road from the new Tryon International Equestrian Center.  Officially, Lake Adger is in Mill Spring, North Carolina.  To learn more about Lake Adger, visit our website at   
Tryon is the first exit in North Carolina on I 26 forty miles south of Asheville

     Since all of the lakefront lots on Lake Adger are in a huge subdivision, they all have deed restrictions designed to keep Lake Adger as natural and beautiful in fifty years as it is today.  When you are buying a vacant lot in Lake Adger or anywhere, you need to be aware of the deed restrictions.  If you would like to read the deed restrictions for a property in Polk county, here is the process.

    Get the deed to the property.  The deed restrictions are mentioned in the deed.  They are mentioned as being recorded in book number ? on page number ? in the public records of Polk county North Carolina.

     Go to  Click on book page.  Put in the book and page that you learned from the deed.  Click on pages.  Your deed restrictions will appear.  Usually, they will be several pages.  You can print them out if you like.

     I learned how to do this when one of my clients was looking at lot 3 in Hawk Ridge.  This is the least expensive lakefront lot on Lake Adger as of this writing ($99,900).  Here is a link to a video of that lot

     If I can help you buy or sell property in western North Carolina, I am a full time hard working Realtor.  Call me at 828 755 6996                               

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Preparation Is Paramont

     I was hanging around the magazine section of the grocery store last week.  That is where I spend most of my time when I join my wife grocery shopping.  I was reading a survival magazine for people that feel the need to be prepared in case of a life changing event such as a hurricane, flood or attack by zombies.

     These are articles about how to prepare  an emergency "bug out" bag in case you have to leave quickly as in a forest fire or flash flood.  There are articles about how to purify water and create shelter from a tarpaulin.  Certainly, being prepared is important.

     Let me suggest something you can do to prepare for a more common emergency, a flat tire.  Last year, my sixty five year old brother had a flat tire on Interstate 95.  He was not strong enough to turn the lug nuts on his wheels with the little toy wrench that came with the car.  His flat tire turned into a five hour adventure.

A four way tire wrench is better than the one that came with the car
     I bought him a four way tire wrench for Christmas. This is the perfect gift for the man that has everything but isn't as strong as he used to be.  It costs about twelve bucks.  If you are not as strong as you used to be, buy yourself a four way tire wrench.   Put it in the trunk of your car. Buy one for your dad.  Buy one for your mom.  Buy one for your wife.  Buy one for your daughter. Your seventeen year old weight lifting son does not need one.

     Flat tires are not nearly as common as they used to be.  You don't really care how unusual a flat tire is when you are sitting beside the road.  Today most wheels are installed with a power air wrench.  If you are not ready for American Ninja Warrior, put a four way tire tool in your trunk.

     An ounce of preparation is worth a ton of aggravation.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Motorcycle In The Living Room

     When you buy a new Harley Davidson motorcycle and your wife says,"Let's put that in the living room.", you know you have done good.

     We went to Wisconsin on vacation last month.  I went to the Harley Davidson museum in Milwaukee .  They had a bunch of old bikes at the Harley Davidson museum.   They only had two Hummers on display.  One was Willy G's first motorcycle, a 1948 Harley Davidson 125.  The other was a 1955 Hummer.
This Harley Davidson Hummer has found a new home

     For the benefit of you that don't know, Hummer was a small 125 cc motorcycle that Harley Davidson manufactured from 1948 until 1964.  When I was a kid in Douglas, Georgia, I had a 1959 Harley Davidson Hummer.  My brother had a 1959 Harley Davidson 165.  They were both calypso red.

     After my visit to the Harley Davidson museum, I decided that I wanted to look for a Hummer.  I looked on Craigslist.  I looked on Ebay.  I went to a couple of antique motorcycle events like the one in Chesnee, South Carolina the last week end in July.  There was no Hummers for sale or on display.  I decided to expand my search on Craigslist.  When I got to Atlanta, I found one.  It was fully restored to like new condition.  It was only 550 miles away.

     I hopped in my pick up truck and drove to Port Saint Joe, Florida and bought a 1961 Harley Davidson Super Ten.  If you have never been to Port Saint Joe,Florida, watch the last scene of "Easy Rider".   I am pretty sure I was on the same road where that scene was shot.
A piece of my childhood that will never be forgotten

     As I was driving home, my brother called me on the phone and asked me what I was doing.  I told him I was driving home with a Hummer.  His first question was,"What color is it?".  Calypso Red.

     When I got home, Kathy said,"That motorcycle is too nice to stick in the garage.  We are putting that in the living room."   Life is good.  Do you think I can join the Harley Owner's Group as a junior member ?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Schrade U.S.A. Pocket Knives Found In Box Lot

    An auctions is still a fun and exciting event.  Kathy came home yesterday from an antique auction with another surprise box lot.  It had two Schrade U.S.A. pocket knives in it. 

Pocket knives are very collectible.  You can't have too many.
     Today; in modern America, four per cent of men carry a pocket knife.  Here in the Carolinas, I think that is closer to 75%.  Fifty years ago, when carrying a pocket knife was a socially acceptable practice, there was a pocket knife for every man.  There were big ones and little ones.  There were knifes with multiple blades.  There were all kinds of pocket knives.  In my previous article I mentioned that Coca Cola and many other companies gave away and sold pocket knives with advertising on them.

      Kathy came home from the antique auction with a box with four pocket knives in it.  One is a modern Schrade U.S.A.  with a logo of the "North American Hunting Club" on the blade.  One is an old Schrade that says "Schrade Cut.Co Walden N.Y " on the blade.  It is a gentleman's knife.  It is very small with two blades.  It is shiny.  Kathy also brought home a Buck X 11 pocket knife with the original box. 

     There was also an Elgin pocket watch among Kathy's treasures.  You can open up the back and watch the watch tick.  Inside it says" Elgin Natl Watch Co. U.S.A.   There is a serial number (27126210).  

     Kathy has put these treasures in her antique booth at The Tryon Antique Mall on U.S. Hiway 176 at the South Carolina North Carolina state line between Landrum, South Carolina and Tryon, North Carolina.  Stop by and give them a look.   

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Coca Cola Pocket Knives Found in Surprise Box

     If you have ever been to an auction, you are familiar with a "box lot".  A box lot is when the auctioneer auctions a box of stuff.  There may be five to twenty five items in the box.  This is good for the auctioneer.  Often, the bidders that are bidding are interested in different items in the box.  Box lots are a surprise.  We just recently had such a surprise.  We bought a box lot with several items.  One item looked like a pendant .  After closer inspection, it was a very unique knife.  It has two folding blades that come out from either side.  It was a Coca Cola advertisement with the phrase "Relieves Fatigue" on it.  Coca Cola has not used that phrase since 1906.  This knife is old.  In the picture below, that is a quarter in the picture.
The two blades fold in so this looks like a pendant or coin

     Kathy put the knife for sale at our booth at The Tryon Antique Mall on U.S. Hiway 176 in Tryon, North Carolina.  We also found a small pocket knife shaped like a Coke bottle.  The Coca Cola Company must have sold or given away a lot of different pocket knives as advertising.

     We also have a small pocket knife from the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 with Coca Cola advertising on its Bakelite handle.  We have put all of these little Coca Cola advertising knives in Kathy's booth at The Tryon Antique Mall at 1005 south Trade street in Tryon, North Carolina. 

The Coca Cola World's Fair knife was made by Ideal
     Kathy has other Coca Cola advertising paraphernalia  in her booth.  If you have any antiques that you want to sell, call Kathy at 828 755 6996