Thursday, June 25, 2015

Can I Teach You To Ask A Question?

     In salesmanship, learning to ask questions is critical to success.  It seems easy.  It is not easy.  The natural thing to do when asked a question is to answer it.  "What experience do you have with computers?" your interviewer asks.  WOW! computers!  You know everything about computers.  You are an expert.  You could build one in your garage.  You are overwhelmed with the urge to tell  your interviewer how much experience you have and how much you know about computers.  You could probably talk for 15 minutes.  Most applicants do.

     Maybe, it would be better if you ask Mr. Interviewer a question  just to clarify.  "Mr. Interviewer, are you looking for someone with a lot of computer experience for this job?" you ask.  "Well not really with hardware.  We are looking for someone that understands SEO and that can help us improve our web presence." Mr Interviewer replies.  It just so happens that you are also an expert on SEO also.  Here comes that urge to spend 15 minutes telling Mr. Interviewer how much you know about that.  You resist that urge and ask another question.  " Is this position for an SEO expert?" you ask.  "Yes it is.  We had a good person doing this job but she left us for a better paying job elsewhere."  your interviewer responds.  You ask another question," What would be the characteristics of a desirable  candidate?" you ask.  Chances are Mr. Interviewer will tell you in great detail what he is looking for.  When you do start to tell him about yourself, you know what to say.

     The title to this article is "Can I Teach You To Ask Questions?"  The answer is probably not in this one little short article.  Can I make you aware that you need to learn and master this critical skill calling asking questions?  The person asking the questions is in control of the conversation.  The sooner in your professional career that you learn this, the better.  Practice answering questions with a question.  Practice using questions instead of statements.  Question work so much better.  Don't you agree?  Practice this all the time.  Practice it at work.  Practice it in social situations.  Ask your social companions about their vacation.  Don't tell them about yours.

     In a sales situation, ask your potential customer,"How will you use this?" "Where did you hear about us?"  "When do you want to start using this?"  In a job interview, ask questions.  You can ask questions that you already know the answer to.  Do not be a smart aleck about it.  If you are asking questions, you are going in the right direction.  If you are blah blah blah telling the other party stuff, you might tell them something that will cause them to buy from your competitor.  Ask,ask,ask.

     Let this article remind you to use questions to open doors for you.  In a job interview, in a sales interview, in a social setting, questions will be your best friend.

     Ron Climer is a Realtor at Keller Williams Realty In Hendersonville, North Carolina.  If you have any real estate that you need to get sold, call Ron at 828 755 6996 or

Friday, June 19, 2015

No Real Estate Closing Surprise Is Still The Best Surprise."

     One problem that sometimes occurs immediately before a real estate closing is the "surprise" lien against the seller's property.  As a thirty year veteran of the real estate industry, I have had  a few experiences with this.

     My favorite example is this.  I once sold a house for $100,000.  The seller said he only had a $20,000 first mortgage.  After commissions and closing costs and his $20,000 mortgage, he was expecting to leave the closing table with about $72,000 in his pocket.  When the title company ran the title search, there was a lien for $3200 against his house because the seller had been sued a few years ago when he wrecked his car with no insurance.  The plaintiff had a judgement lien and interest to be paid off.  This closing was set to close on December 18th.  When I called the lienholder to inform him that we would be paying him off on December 18th, he said, "Well Merry Christmas to me" .

     Sometimes when the dollar amount is larger, this is a lot more of an aggravation.  I call these "surprise" liens.  They are usually not a surprise to the seller.  The seller is just surprised that the liens were discovered by the title insurance searchers. Mr. Seller is expecting to leave the closing table with a check for $100,000.  When the title searchers is done, a $40,000 lien is found and the seller is mad.  The seller often claims that he did not know about the lien.  He forgot about losing that lawsuit last year.  His $100,000 check just turned into a $60,000 check.  The only person Mr. Seller can be mad at is himself.

     Liens last a long time.  Sometimes liens have expired or are invalid for some reason.  These problems are easier to diagnose and solve when it is not happening at the last minute.   Inform your Realtor if you think you might have a lien. The best surprise is still no surprise.

     Ron Climer is a real estate agent at Keller Williams Realty in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  If you have any property for sale in western North Carolina, call Ron at 828 755 6996  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Trading, Swapping, Exchanging Real Estate in Hendersonville, North Carolina

     Do people really exchange real estate?  Yes, they do.  This is a simple thing to do if the participants don't complicate it.

     Imagine you are living in a four bedroom house on two acres in western North Carolina.  You sell that house and buy a ocean front condominium.  You own a riding lawn mower.  What are you going to do with the riding lawn mower?  You decide to sell it for $1000.  You advertise it.  You get a call from someone that asks if you would trade the mower for a Hobie sail boat.  Would you?
Exchanging real estate can reduce IRS taxes a lot call me

     Let's reverse this scenario.  What if you lived in a ocean front condominium and you had your Hobie sail boat for sale because you are moving to a four bedroom house in Hendersonville, North Carolina?  Someone called and offered to trade you a riding mower for your sailboat.  Would you?

     Just as trading or swapping makes sense with other things, sometimes trading makes sense with real estate.  Imagine you have a house in western North Carolina that you want to sell.  Everyone understands " Here is the $500,000 that you want for your house.  Can we pay cash?".  Cash is easy to explain.  It requires no creativity.  What if someone called and asked if you would trade your house in Hendersonville, North Carolina for a four unit apartment building in Orlando, Florida.  Nine out of ten Realtors would tell the caller no without even asking their client.  Could this be a good deal?  It could be a fabulous deal.  There are a dozen factors that could make it a great deal.  If you lived near Orlando, Florida, things would really be looking good.  If you were familiar with landlording and rentals, this would be a plus.  If you had recently retired and really were not sure where you were going when the Hendersonville house sold.  If you bought your $500,000 house in Hendersonville in 1984 for $65,000, exchanging the house instead of selling it would change your IRS tax bill from YIKES to ZERO.  You could defer your capital gains until you sold the four unit building through a tax loophole called section 1031 of the IRS code.  There is a good reason for exchanging.

     If you own a house near Greenville, South Carolina and you would like to trade it for a house and thirty acres near Greensboro, North Carolina, call me.  

     Even if you and your Realtor are not aggressively looking for an exchange, keep your eyes and your mind open.  If someone suggest something, investigate it.  If you owned a house in Florida, could you trade it for a house in western Norh Carolina?  You never know until you ask.

     If you are looking for a good Realtor to help you solve a real estate problem, call me, Ron Climer.  My phone is 828 755 6996.  I work with Keller Williams Realty in Hendersonville, North Carolina.  I am licensed in North and South Carolina.     

Monday, June 15, 2015

Are You Saving That Vacant Lot In Carolina For A Rainy Day?

     What if today were your rainy day?  If you own a vacant lot in Carolina that you don't need, maybe you should sell it.  I often solicit listings of vacant lots that belong to someone that lives a thousand miles away. Often these owners tell me that they would like to sell these vacant lots if they could get a price that is far more than the vacant lot is worth. For instance, I talked with a vacant lot owner last week.  His lot was worth maybe one hundred and thirty thousand dollars.  He would not list it with me because he thought it should be worth far more than that.  The lot next door to his vacant lot was for sale for one hundred forty seven thousand dollars.  It has been listed in the local M.L.S. for about a year.  I am pretty certain that that vacant lot is not worth $147,000.  If it were, it would be sold.

      As a daily practitioner of selling real estate, this is only too obvious to me.  It is a hard thought to get across to a person that bought that vacant lot a few years ago for $225,000.  People tell me things that would be humorous if the subject were not so serious.  People tell me that they are going to hold on to their vacant lot "until a rainy day"

     A rainy day in my definition is a time when you desperately neeeeeeeed some cash.  If you own a vacant lot or a vacant piece of land, and you need some cash desperately, this is not a good time to get a top dollar price for your vacant lot.  This is a time for a buyer to get a bargain price on your lot.  How do I know this?  I have been selling real estate for thirty years. I represent buyers and sellers.

     If you own a vacant lot that you probably never should have bought, sell it.  Turn it into cash.  Better yet, turn it into a mortgage.  Here is a link to a video about how that works.   I am positive that I would rather own a mortgage that pays me $500 a month than a vacant lot that that costs me $2000 per year.  Positive cash flow is a good thing.

     Why do you need ten acres of vacant land in western North Carolina when you live in Florida?  The answer is you don't.  You are paying taxes and HOA dues.  You could be investing those dollars into some account and earning interest.  How do buyers and real estate appraisers determine value?  They simply look at what other buyers are willing to pay and what other sellers are willing to sell for.  Here is a link to an article I wrote about why you can't sell your property for more than anyone else sells theirs for.  It is an article about where I live in Tryon, North Carolina.  No one buys gasoline in Tryon,North Carolina because gas is $40 cents per gallon cheaper two miles away in South Carolina.  Human nature determines value.  Does it change over time?  Yes.  Will prices go up over time?  Who knows?  No one knows.  The time to sell real estate is when you want to sell it.

     Let's asssume you have a crystal ball.  I have always wanted one.  Your crystal ball tells you that your $130,000 vacant lot will be worth $230,000 in five years.  Should you wait five years to sell your vacant lot?  You could sell the vacant lot now for $130,000.  Invest the $130,000 in some income producing real estate, like a duplex five miles from home.  In five years, if the vacant lot is worth $230,000, it is a pretty good bet that the duplex will also be worth $230,000.  How do we know?  The crystal ball tells us.

     On the other hand, What if the crystal ball says the vacant lot will only be worth $90,000 in five years?   It is the same story.  Sell the vacant lot for $130,000 today.  Convert the cash to income producing property, like the duplex five miles from home.  Maybe the crystal ball says the duplex will only be worth $90,000 in five years.  The duplex is generating income NOT costing taxes and HOA dues.   The problem is that none of us have a crystal ball.  I don't need a crystal ball to know that real estate that is not appreciating or generating income and is costing taxes and HOA dues is not a good investment.

     Sell your vacant lot.  Don't wait for a rainy day.  Invest that money elsewhere is good financial advice.  Like other good financial advice, it is not always easy to take.  If I can help you sell your vacant lot in western North Carolina, please call me at 828 755 6996 or check out our website at 


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Answers to Ron Climer Practice Test

     If you are looking for the answers to the practice test on this blog, this is it.  If you just stumbled on these answers without taking the test, take some time go back to   and take the test.   After yiou take the practice exam, here are the answers.

1 C
2 B
3 D                North Carolina real estate exam review at
4 A
5 B
6 A
7 C
8 B                 Need help with math, Ron Climer is there with free help on You Tube
9 D
10 B
11 D
12 A
13 A
14 D       Here is a free math video 
15 A
16 B
17 B
18 B
19 A
20 B
21 B
22 A
23 D
24 B
25 D         Link to our review class video
26 D
27 B
28 C
29 D
30 A
31 B
32 B
33 A
34 D
35 D
36 B
37 B
38 A                  If you need a lakefront lot, 
39 B
40 A
41 B
42 B
43 C
44 D
45 B
46 C
47 B
48 B
49 B
50 C
51 C
52 C
53 A
54 B
55 B
56 B
57 B
58 B
59 B
60 B
61 A
62 B
63 A
64 D
65 A
66 A
67 C
68 B
69 B
70 C
71 A
72 B
73 D
74 A
75 B
76 C
77 D
78 A
79 D
80 C
81 C
82 A
83 A
84 D
85 B
86 C
87 B
88 B
89 B
90 B
91 C
92 B
93 A
94 B
95 C
96 C
97 B
98 C
99 B
100 ALL