Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuna Speak

Me fail English? That's unpossible. - Ralph Wiggum (The Simpsons)

I've gone on this mini-rant before, so please forgive me for repeating myself, but I continue to be perplexed that the general public, as well as many of my colleagues, cannot properly pronounce what we do for a living. We're REALTORS, two syllables; not REAL-A-TORS. Nobody calls a doctor a DOC-A-TOR or a plumber a PLUM-A-BER. What's the prob-a-lem here?

Our training director stopped using the phrase "sphere of influence" in her classes and, instead, uses the phrase "center of influence" to describe the group of people upon whom we have some influence just because they know us. Why the change? Too many people were saying "spear of influence." Things might go a little smoother for me sometimes if I DID have a "spear of influence."

Me: Are you ready to list your home with me?
Homeowner: I'll have to think about it.
Me: How about I poke you with my spear of influence. Say hello to my little friend.
Homeowner: Where do I sign?

In addition, I've noticed some language manglers advertise a house for "sell", while other are "saling" a house. Sell. Sale. It's not that confusing. How about "sailing" a house? Carl did it in the movie UP. Our print and e-mail communications make a statement about us. I think sometimes our grammatical/spelling zipper is down, but we don't seem to notice.

OK, now to some info you can use. As in all occupations, real estate agents and mortgage lenders have their own vernacular. Here are three terms that are used when describing a buyer's loan qualification.

Prequalification - full verbal loan application, credit check, "approve" received through Automated Underwriting.

Preapproval - All of the above PLUS receipt of income documentation (pay stubs & W2's or tax returns) and proof of assets needed for down payment. Review of any unusual circumstances with underwriter.

Loan Commitment - All of the above PLUS signatures on all applications and disclosures, appraisal received and approved, title insurance, rate locked, underwriter review and approval of all documentation.

If you have questions on loan programs, interest rates, closing costs, etc., please contact Grace Bass at Alpha Mortgage grace.bass@alphamortgage.com

And, as always, if you have questions about the Wilmington Real Estate market, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stupid Tuna Tricks

Homer Simpson: My ears are burning.
Lisa: I wasn't talking about you, Dad.
Homer: No, my ears are really burning. I wanted to see inside, so I lit a Q-tip.

Yesterday, I sat through a few hours of District Court. I was there as a witness to a hit and run traffic accident, but the court involved traffic violations, some breaking and entering, a little drug possession . . . Homer wasn't there, but some of his real life counterparts were.

Now, maybe I'm out of touch, not having any experience with going to court, but I'm pretty sure that you might want to strive for a better chance of making a good impression on the court than the guy who showed up wearing camo baggy shorts, flip-flops and an I "heart" Party Girls T-shirt; however, that pretty much summed up the dress code on the public side of the fence. Here are some of my favorite moments from my morning (with only a little embellishment).

Judge: Mr. Jones, you're here today because you were cited for driving while your license was revoked. And, you're late. Why were you late?
Jones: Well, there was a lot of traffic and I had to drive real slow.
Judge: You were driving?
Jones: Yeah. . . . . . Oh!

Now the funny part isn't that Jones got tripped up by admitting to driving to court on a revoked/suspended license. It was the four people after him, charged with the same offense, who answered the same way. Pay attention people!

Judge: Mr. Smith, you were not here when we called your name. You were supposed to be here at 9:00. Why were you late?
Smith: I wasn't late your honor. I was here at 5 after 9:00.
Judge: 5 after 9:00 is not 9:00. And, by the way, we did not call the roll until 9:30.
Smith: Huh?

Judge: Ma'am, are you Mary Brown?
Brown: (wearing blinking blue-tooth earpiece): No, that's my daughter.
Judge: Why isn't your daughter here in court?
Brown: Her grandmother is having a colonoscopy.
Judge: Your daughter's grandmother? Would that be your mother?
Brown: Uh-Huh.
Judge: Ms. Brown, let me explain how this works. When your daughter is supposed to be in court, she can't send in a substitute. It's court, not basketball. I'll be issuing a warrant for her arrest.

A man is brought in wearing a jail uniform. He has added to his impressive resume of drug possession, stolen goods sales and larceny with some new charges. The judge tells him that he is sentenced to 60 months in the Department of Correction and that he should seek substance abuse assistance in the slammer. He insists that he has changed his ways and cleaned up his act. In fact, he says, he is going to start a new job tomorrow. He's going to be late for work.

I know it's not right to make fun of people, but you can't make this stuff up. People make poor decisions, won't take responsibility for their actions and seem genuinely surprised when the judge doesn't believe their outrageous excuses. My only regret is that I did not know how to tweet from my phone. I'll learn and I'm going back for more. Next time, I'll take a sandwich.

OK, none of this has anything to do with Wilmington Real Estate, but if I say Wilmington Real Estate enough times and link it to my website, it'll help in the Google searches.

Use sunscreen. Scoot on.