When Things Go South…

Perfect Stress Free Transactions…LOL

Everyone hopes to simply “sign” a contract to purchase or sell and just wait out the time and experience an event free closing. In a real estate transaction,whether you are the buyer or the seller, the possibilities of something going wrong are endless. But take heart, most of the time everything is “fixable” given enough time and “rolling up sleeves” on the part of everyone involved. This is where a good agent is of the utmost importance. Your agent will be the driving force to push through these little (and sometimes gargantuan) snafus and snags. Your agent will be the “coordinator” pushing, pulling (and possibly dragging) outside parties to sign missing papers, track down out of area persons, find missing information, diplomatically approach and smooth ruffled feathers of uncooperative parties and this is just the tip of the iceberg! The value of a knowledgeable, balanced and seasoned agent cannot be underestimated! Another absolutely essential quality of a great agent is the ability to maintain open communication with not only the lender, the title company, the different inspectors, but also the agent on the “other side” of the transaction. If either agent is confrontational, openly aggressive, and measures their own self worth by being a bully and a know-it-all they will hinder, stall or possibly stop your transaction. Team-work makes the dream work! Yes, the other agent represents the best interest of the other side of the transaction, but a hostile agent on either side can actually make the entire small snafu become mountains and minor difficulties become impossibilities. Each agent should be able to negotiate and present aspects of negotiation to their client and to the other agent. Communication is key!

Drama Queens Not Welcome!

Closing very difficult deals where the other agent is easy to communicate with and where the opposing representing agent realized we were all working to a common end makes for smoother endings. Good cooperating agents are willing to go  over and above their job and will do what needs to be done! There is not greater show of teamwork than when a problem arises, when the agent on the other side says “I am on it” and takes the bull by the horns. Time is of the essence in any real estate transaction and a good realtor on both sides, is also of the essence! There are enough issues to overcome without dealing with a drama queen! Empathy and cooperation is welcome, but there is no place for self-serving dramatics!

What could possibly go wrong?

The world of buying or selling is not always joyful. Bad things can happen. Some examples of what can go wrong, are encroachment, missing signatures on documents, arguing multiple heirs, last minute lender issues, bad inspections and negotiated repairs, changes in marital status, appraisals come in low, and the list is ongoing. Most things are fixable if approached with a positive outlook. Your agent needs to reassure all parties that this is just a hurdle we are figuring out how to get over. Once again, TEAM-WORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK!

And if it totally falls apart?

Well, it CAN happen! However, there is always plan B. Nothing happens by accident. You have to believe that there is a better deal, a better buyer, a better seller, but hopefully not a better agent. Your agent should literally jump on finding you a new contract. Hopefully, you have seen the value of your agent through all the bumps and potholes you recently encountered and can trust your agent to find you a new if not better contract.

After all, we all want the same end result – deal DONE!

Willis Texas: Small Town – Big Offerings!

In 1870, as the Houston and Great Northern Railroad began surveying Montgomery County’s first rail line, Galveston merchants Peter J. and Richard S. Willis, landholders in Montgomery County, donated a townsite to the railroad along the proposed route.. By 1872 the rail line had been extended through the town, and most of the businesses and residents of Danville, Montgomery, and Old Waverly had begun moving to the new town. That same year, a post office was established. In 1874 citizens of the burgeoning new community launched a prolonged but unsuccessful struggle to transfer the county seat from rival Montgomery to Willis. A weekly newspaper, the Willis Observer, began publication as early as 1875. By the late 1870s Willis had become a prosperous shipping point for timber and agricultural commodities and a center for the manufacture of lumber products, wagons, and agricultural implements.

In the early 1880s a three-story building was erected to house the Willis Male and Female College which, until its demise in 1901, functioned as a semi-private boarding school for students in elementary grades through college.

By 1884, in addition to its various schools and churches, Willis boasted several steam-powered saw and grist mills, two cotton gins, a brickyard, a saloon and gambling house, a Grange hall, numerous grocery and dry-goods stores, and a population of 600. In 1888 the town’s first Church of Christ was constructed. By 1890 population had climbed to 700, and three hotels and a second weekly newspaper, the Willis Index, were in operation. During the late nineteenth century the Willis area became the leading tobacco growing region in the state; before the lifting of the tariff on Cuban tobacco killed the boom in the early twentieth century, Willis supported as many as seven cigar factories. As tobacco culture declined, a boom in the production of timber and agricultural products kept the town’s economy thriving. Although population fell somewhat to an estimated 500 in 1892, by 1904 it had leaped to an estimated 832 and continued to climb slowly for the next two decades. The Willis State Bank was established in 1911. In 1913 there were 271 pupils enrolled in the Willis Independent School District. By 1914 yet another weekly newspaper, the Willis Star, had appeared, and a telephone exchange was in operation.

The town’s growth came to a temporary halt, however, with the onset of the Great Depression and the resulting slump in local timber production. From an estimated 900 in 1929, population fell to an estimated 750 by 1931. But an oil boom in central Montgomery County that began southeast of Conroe in 1931 soon spread its effects to the Willis area, bringing renewed economic activity and an influx of population. Further stimulus was provided by the completion of U.S. Highway 75 through the town in the early 1930s. Then, during World War II, the lumber industry and agricultural activity revived. By 1933 the town’s population had climbed again to an estimated 900, but it remained at this level for more than three decades, standing at an estimated 891 in 1968. The extension of Interstate Highway 45 through Willis in the early 1960s helped integrate the community into a regional economy and provided a corridor through which both industrial and suburban development could penetrate the area. Finally, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Willis’s growth resumed as construction of Lake Conroe began five miles to the west on the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. Population jumped to an estimated 1,457 in 1970, then increased slowly for a decade and a half before another growth spurt began in the 1980s. The Willis area was at last benefiting from the spillover effects of the postwar booms of Houston and Conroe, but the economy remained based on lumbering and agriculture. By 1981 1,850 students were enrolled at the four campuses of the Willis Independent School District. From an estimated 1,674 in 1986, Willis’s population climbed to an estimated 2,110 in 1990, and by 1992 the figure had grown to an estimated 2,764. In 2000 the population reached 3,985.

The little city of Willis is now almost an extension of Conroe. It has several great new subdivisions which have grown up around the Lake Conroe area. Willis offers some of the best lake living in Texas!

The Willis school district has an excellent reputation and while keeping abreast of all the latest student interests, it still boasts a small town relationship based student/teacher attitude. The Willis Wildkats, the high school football team was recently awarded the coveted 12th Annual Touch Down Club Of Houston Sportsmanship Award. 

They were chosen were chosen on six criteria: 1) Actions of the team, 2) Action of the coaches, 3) Actions of the support groups at games, such as parents, band and pep squad, 4) Respect for the American flag, 5) A score based on the number of personal fouls incurred during the game 6) A score based on the number of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. Voting was done by the Texas Association of Sports Officials (TASO), Houston football chapter, who are the refs covering the high school games in Greater Houston.
There are some wonderful subdivisions and neighborhoods around the Willis area for those of you wanting to be close to the big city of Houston (or the not quite so big city of Huntsville) while still enjoying the atmosphere of a small town address. You might want to check out one such area offering a country feel called Hidden Springs Ranch. http://hsrpoa.com/images/bg_faqy.jpg
There are still quite a few smaller woodsy type subdivisions if you prefer a different type living as well as many lake front properties. Willis offers lake living at it’s best!