Tips for Painting Your House Before Selling

painting home

Unfortunately, most people live in their houses for many years and never think about painting, until it comes time to sell. For most people, it just seems like an unnecessary expense, and for those who love to decorate, you might have every room a different color. In either case, you are probably going to need to paint your house before you put it on the market.

After working in Real Estate and being a contractor for many years, I am here to give you some tips to simplify the “painting before selling” process.


These are the most important rules to remember when painting your house before selling


Do it yourself or not?


Over the years, I have heard many, many people say painting is easy, and they can do it themselves and save a bundle. Unfortunately, that is not always the truth. Sometimes choosing to take on a task of this size can prove to be more trouble than it is worth. Especially if you do not do this for a living. The truth is everyone can put paint on a wall. But most people do not have professional painting skills, which may leave you with an unsightly mess. The costs associated with fixing these unsightly messes, is generally more than what you would have paid a professional to paint it in the first place. Unless you are very confident in yourself, and committed to a doing perfect job, I would leave the painting to the professionals. I don’t mean the handyman that fixed your neighbors sink, I mean a reputable paint contractor that is insured, licensed, and comes along with great references.


Choose neutral colors


Remember that you are painting this house to make it appealing to other people. So find neutral colors that compliment each other. If you are painting the interior, I recommend going with an updated color selection like; white ceilings and trim, and tan or beige walls. Sticking with neutral colors will make your home appeal to a broader selection of people, which will help your house sell faster.


The same rule applies to painting the exterior of the house. Stay away from bright colors, and stick with softer, more neutral colors. Before you pick out or purchase anything, make sure that consult your HOA for your community’s color policies. If you don’t have the HOA to worry about, and don’t know where to start, I recommend visiting your local paint store and asking them for an exterior color guide. They generally have these great booklets around the color card displays, and they are full of great color ideas that are specifically chosen for the exterior of a home.


Buy Samples first


If you are going with a neutral interior color scheme, you can generally skip this step. But if you are uncertain about the colors you have chosen for your exterior, buy a smaller amount first. Most stores will offer a ‘sample’ size, if they don’t, you can buy a quart. I recommend painting your sample colors in a few different areas of your house. Sometimes the colors will appear differently in different areas, depending on how the light is shining or reflecting on them.


If you choose to paint the house yourself, here are a few more tips to help you out.


Be sure to buy enough paint


This is a very important step and no, it is not as simple as going to the store to buy another gallon. You will want to buy plenty of each color of paint, and mix the respective colors together before, applying it. If you skip this step, you will find that the color of each container of paint may be slightly off. This will leave you with a disaster if you run out before you are finished, or when you try to touch up the paint later. I have seen this happen to people, time and time again. Then they go to the paint store and blame the paint store for making the color wrong.


The truth is people, it is not their fault. And they will not reimburse you for your paint or your troubles. If you read the directions on any reputable paint brand, it will tell you to do this. The reason, is that the color pigment that is put into the paint is measured fairly accurately, but it is not a perfect system. Even a tiny bit too much or too little, can change the color of the entire container. If you need help figuring out how much paint to buy, consult your paint store or click here to use the paint calculator. You will need dimensions of the rooms or square footage’s, number of doors and windows, etc.


Prepping your house for paint


Another step people like to skip is the preparation process. When painting the interior of the house, you will first want to remove grease and grime from doors and walls, dust from baseboards and tops of door casings, fill nail holes, caulk corners that have cracked out, cover any areas you don’t want paint on, etc. I recommend starting in one small room first, then you can get an idea of what to expect when doing larger rooms. If you start having doubts about completing this grueling task, call the pro’s.


As far as prepping the exterior of the house, you will want to scrape any loose or peeling paint, replace any rotten trim or siding, and then power wash the exterior surfaces, the day or two before you are ready to paint. Be sure to use a good primer on any new materials or any other areas in need before applying paint. You will also want to fill holes and cracks, and cover any areas that you don’t want to get paint on.


If it has been too many years since your last paint job, you may need to apply primer to everything. If this is the case, again, please call a professional and save yourself the headache. They can spray the outside of your house faster than you can get your ladder and your paint bucket set up.


A lot of people are probably thinking, ” I could save so much money doing it myself. ” The truth is, unless you have done this before, it is going to be a heck of a lot harder than you are probably imagining. And you are probably not going to save as much as you think you are.


And you may be thinking why do I care about prepping, and priming, and all of the extra steps, I am selling the house. The reason is, that if you have a fresh, professional looking paint job, not only will you house look better and maybe sell faster, but buyers will be more confident that you took care of this house.


Buying a house is a big choice and a big expense. Being able to tell people that they house has been freshly painted inside and out, is a huge plus. This could make your house sell faster, and increase the value significantly, both of which are very important to you. And if your house is on the market longer than you hoped for, which seems to be a trend right now, at least you know that your paint job will hold up until the house is sold.


As with any household construction project, painting may be a hassle but it could really pay off in the long run.

Giving All New Real Estate Agents a Much-Needed Advantage

Real estate agent

Getting started in the real estate business can be very rewarding. Each market will have their own unique niches and characteristics. It is your responsibility to understand how to position yourself in the markets you will be marketing yourself to become and stay successful as a real estate agent.

As a new real estate agent you should be familiar with each market’s chamber of commerce and who the go to person is. This is a fantastic resource for anyone trying to gain market share. You should join each chamber and attend any and all events possible. As a member you will be given a list of all the chamber members. This is a great list to market your service too, especially banks, credit unions, real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, insurance agents, etc. Many financial institutions partner with real estate agents, if you are lucky enough to walk into a situation where your company has this relationship use it to your advantage.


Obviously there are many kinds of advertising you can invest in, so be careful you don’t spend money on too much advertising. The best type of advertising is being referred by a happy and satisfied customer. Work with a senior agent and get a couple of deals under your belt that you can use as testimonials. In a larger market you may need to put your face on a billboard or create a website to get yourself noticed. Whatever it is you utilize as advertising make sure you track it. This means ask people where they heard of you or who referred them to you. Then you can determine which marketing piece is working and which is not working as well.


Networking is probably going to be the most important part of becoming successful. Go out and pound the pavement and develop relationships with as many respected businesses that are related to your field. The network of professionals will grow as their trust in you grows. Always do what you say you will do and a little more. If you exceed people’s expectations they will think of you first. Lunch-n-learns are a concept that work very well with a lender and agent. Get with a lending partner and set these up with other businesses that would benefit from them like the one’s mentioned earlier.


Other huge marketing areas that many newbie’s miss are their friends and family members. Don’t be bashful, hand these trusted few a handful of your business cards and flyer’s and let them help you get your name out there. Each one of them knows at least another 100 people in the area and that person knows just as many and so on. They may even know someone looking for your service that day. Just make sure to not miss this one, it will pay huge dividends in the early going and throughout your career. Make it happen or it will happen for you.

Some of the Best iPhone Apps to Download When Entering the Real Estate Game

Real Estate App

Here is a list of five of some of the best real estate apps for the iPhone, along with a review of the app and what it gives to the house hunters that use them. Enjoy and I hope that these apps help make someone a new, happy home owner.



Zillow utilizes your iPhone’s GPS system, giving the iPhone user the ability to view overhead shots of available homes in the area as well as an estimate of prices of almost every house in the area. Is a great way to find houses that are for sale or for rent around the area a user is looking to move to along with allowing them to find a price range that matches their budget. With plenty of search options, the app allows iPhone users the ability to have full customization of what they’re looking for in a new abode. This iPhone app is free.


With the ability to search over 4 million listings, view prices and details on different properties and gives information on open houses in the area,’s iPhone app gives iPhone users plenty of options when looking for a new house. It also allows users to synchronize the app with their personal accounts, which gives them the ability to find previously saved listings. With plenty of in-depth information on listings, this iPhone app does the trick. This iPhone app is free.


Around Me


This is a must for any home buyer that doesn’t plan on spending their entire life locked up in their house. Around Me gives iPhone users the ability to search their surroundings, such as when checking out a listing, for a complete list of businesses in the vicinity. It includes multiple categories that range anywhere from local coffee shops to the nearest bank. Every listing has the option to show its location on a map, give you directions from where you are and gives you contact information. Although it is not directly a real estate iPhone app, it can definitely be helpful when looking at prospective homes. This iPhone app is free.


Dictionary of Real Estate Terms


Just as the name of this iPhone app says, the Dictionary of Real Estate Terms puts the meaning of over 3,000 real estate terms in the hands of iPhone users. It’s very comprehensive and convenient when you need to understand that real estate lingo. The app is very user-friendly with a good interface and. This dictionary is a simple app that gets the job done. This iPhone app is free.


RECalc- Real Estate Mortgage Loan Calculator


RECalc is a great tool that allows users to easily calculate monthly payments, terms, interest rates, or the amount needed with a loan. It also allows iPhone users to integrate other things such as homeowner’s insurance and property taxes into the equation, allowing for maximum efficiency and accuracy. It also works as a normal mathematical calculator, in case your iPhone doesn’t happen to have one of those already. This iPhone app allows anyone, whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned real estate agent, to be effective in managing their money. This iPhone app is currently $1.99.




Creating a Strategy for Proactive Home Pricing

Home pricing

The first step in selling a home is working with your real estate agent to prepare a price range. The price range should be established from a market analysis that goes from a low to high price. This should prepare a seller for pro-active price adjustments within a pre-determined period of time in order to create a pool of buyers for a property.

The goal of price adjustments is designed not just around being proactive to the market place, but to keep your house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) on the forefront of buyers’ minds. The reason being is that each and every time a property is listed as a price change it’s placed in front of buyers that may not have seen it before. This should be made part of your pricing plan with your real estate agent.


A good pricing plan should look like this:


Weeks 1 – 4 on the market


This is the time period where your house appears on the market as “NEW.” During this time the property is being exposed to all active buyers in the market and advertised by your selected brokerage. During this time period, pricing adjustments aren’t necessary.


Week 5


This is the time that the first pricing adjustment should be made. This should be a pre-determined adjustment based on the price range, but this should also be the most substantial of any pre-discussed adjustment. The reason for this is that in order to effect a quick sale, the largest adjustments should be made at the beginning of the listing, not toward the end. Early price adjustments make a home look like a “value” whereas later adjustments make sellers appear “desperate.”


The exception to this rule, of course, would be if there are any offers pending on the property in question. Never make adjustments when there is a potential buyer on the line, or they might expect to begin negotiations at a new, lower price.


Weeks 6 – 8


If a home hasn’t sold, and is approaching the 60 days on the market marker, it’s time to make another adjustment. This one, however can be a “soft” adjustment, taking the price down by as little as $2,000. This is primarily to keep the property visible and keep generating new interest.


Weeks 8 – 12


From this point forward, as the house inches closer and closer to the 180 day on the market date, price adjustments should be made every two weeks. The price should be adjusted based on market conditions primarily, but a minimum consideration would be a $1,000 reduction every two weeks.


While sellers can find price adjustments to be difficult, knowing that it cuts into the profit they would like to make on the sale of their home, it’s important to remember that every price adjustment is less time on the market and less of a period of hard negotiations. The stress that a few price reductions can save can be well worth it.

Real Estate Tip: Save Money on Your Move

My family is in the middle of a move right now. Since we really needed this particular house, we had to buy it – despite the fact that my wife recently lost her job. Those two things don’t naturally go together, so we have had to cut every corner we can financially. These tips can help you, too, even if you’re not hurting for cash.

Move as much as you can yourself. We were fortunate enough to have access to our new home, so I spent two months hauling vanloads of small boxes to the new place. Sometimes this was a pain, but it paid off when Moving Day came. The movers only had to carry the big stuff, and that saved us time and money.


Get your family and friends to help. If you get one or two friends to help you move bigger stuff three or four times, you can get a ton of stuff over to the new house. It also works for painting, plumbing or minor repairs. Don’t overburden the same person over and over, and work around their schedule. Just make sure you say yes when they ask for your help.


Small investments can go a long way. You can do some simple things to boost the resale value of your old home. Call in the cleaners, so the house will look and smell nice. Make sure all of the plumbing works properly. If the house is not empty, spruce it up with some flowers. Remember, home buyers don’t want to fix up anything. They just want to move right in. Don’t give them any reasons to knock down the price.


Sell it yourself. I know this isn’t for everyone, but it can save you a lot of money. If you go this route, you have to make a commitment. The house won’t sell itself. You need to advertise in the paper and online. You need to conduct open houses every Sunday if you possibly can. If you’re married, figure out which one of you is the best seller and let that spouse take the lead when potential buyers arrive.


Remember why you bought the home you are selling. In our case, we bought the house because it was four doors away from a park. Now we need to find another family like ours: one with small children who will benefit from being so close to a park. We always consider the park to be our extended backyard, and we will hit that hard as a selling point. That leads into our final point.


Tell everyone you’re selling a house. Talk really is cheap. You never know who wants to buy a house. Often, you’ll talk to someone who knows someone else who is in the market for a house. Even if you’re sick of talking about it, keep it up. When people ask “How’s it going?” say “OK – still trying to sell the house.” You never know when you’ll make that connection that leads to you selling the house.


Then when people ask how you’re doing, you’ll say “Great! We sold the house!”

Make Your Open House a Sucess

Contrary to what the real estate agents would have you believe, you can hold an open house without an agent. And it can be a successful one, even leading to a sale. All it takes is proper planning and a clean house!

An open house is designed to attract as many people as possible your property, giving them a chance to leisurely stroll through without the pressure of a real estate agent. An open house won’t likely end in a same-day sale, but it will generate several good prospects. Open houses are real estate staples for a good reason…they do sell houses.


Planning begins with a good date. And, unfortunately, a good date means you have to give up a weekend. Ideally, consider having a Friday afternoon or evening open house back-to-back with a Saturday morning or afternoon. Avoid holiday weekends and avoid weekends when a lot of local activities are going on. If your town’s big in baseball, for example, plan it around the home team’s schedule. Same thing goes for folklore festivals, music festivals and other weekends that will cause prospective buyers to have other plans.


Start advertising as soon as you choose a date. You will need a budget for this, but it doesn’t have to be a big one. The classifieds of the local paper is a must for your open house. Begin running an “Open House” ad in the “Houses for Sale” section at least one week before the event. Consider going two weekends before. There’s no real benefit to advertising in Monday or Tuesday’s paper, but many newspapers include them free when you purchase ads on the weekend. Take out ads in smaller community newspapers in the towns that surround your house. Avoid big city papers unless your house is located in one. Even then, find out if the newspaper can offer you a “zone” rate, meaning that your ad would be included only in certain zip codes. Otherwise, big city newspapers are expensive and your small ad can easily be lost in page after page of listings.


Next, develop a simple, one-page flier. These don’t need to be fancy. A white, one-page 8 ½ X 11 works nicely. If you can afford color, great. If not, make black and white copies. Include a photo of the house and have a paper pocket stapled on the posters that contain small cards with the basics: the date, location and a phone number. This way, readers who are interested can easily keep the information and mark the date on their calendars later. Where to put these posters? Everywhere. See if bulletin boards are available at work, at local schools or community centers. Even some churches have bulletin boards. Also look around your community and think where renters might hang out. Ask if you can hang one at a local diner, a laundromat and the bus station.


Tell everyone. Send out an e-mail to everyone you know announcing your open house and ask them to share the information with any one looking to buy. Take advantage of free advertising like Craig’s List.


As the day approaches, make sure your house is picture-perfect. You may want to take the day before off to make sure the house is spotless and any last minute details are finished. Cleanliness is a given, but this is also the time to take care of any odd jobs that might make your house look more valuable. Touch up the paint on the porch and plant some flowers if needed. Make just some small improvements to the indoor décor. Perhaps your bathroom could use a new shower curtain and a guest towel. Run out to the grocery and grab some flowers to place in vases in the dining room, the living room and maybe the master bath.


Let your neighbors know about your open house. This is a common courtesy since your open house will hopefully generate some traffic. It also will make everyone aware of exactly who is having an open house should any prospective buyers ask for directions.


Finally, in the hour before your open house begins, light a few strategically placed candles, but make sure the scent isn’t too strong. Make some coffee and iced tea and prepare a few light refreshments. Some cookies or crackers and dip work nicely. Send the children over to a neighbor’s to play. Take a deep breath and get ready to sell your home!

Deven Trobash Tries to Sell House, Self on Ebay

Deven Trobash has been single for 8 years, and for the past year, she has tried unsuccessfully to sell her South Florida home. Her desperation has inspired her to combine two things in one. She is planning to sell her home for a cool $500,000 with one extra bonus, she comes with the purchase. Deven Trobash, the 41-year-old out of practice real estate agent, claims her combo listing is not a gimmick or an attempt to garner attention. Rather it is just a simple listing that combines her two greatest woes, selling her home and finding love. According to The Ledger, not everyone is on board with Deven Trobash’s idea. Her 14-year old-daughter insists that her mother is embarrassing her and many critics claim the listing is just a sales gimmick or worse yet the act of a truly desperate woman.

Deven Trobash originally listed her home on Craigslist and Ebay. Ebay has since dropped the listing because their TOS states that one can not sell a human being or a relationship. I guess Ebay is not interested in getting involved in the black market or mail-order brides. Deven Trobash told the Ledger that she has not received any serious offers yet, but has been corresponding with some people since her listing appeared.


The over forty mother of two has certainly resorted to a pretty high-risk dating strategy and I am forced to wonder if Deven Trobash has never heard of or has a friend or two with a single pal? There are far better ways to find love than by throwing a dollar amount on yourself as an added bonus to a home. Most people don’t want to buy a home these days in the soft real estate market, let alone a person!


Before putting a house and a person on the overly depressed Real Estate market there are better ways to find a mate. Let’s explore some of those ways.


The old bar routine is not dead yet. You walk into a bar or club and sit down. You order a drink and if you are even a remotely attractive woman odds are someone will come over to chat with you. You might not find a mate for life but you might at least get a couple of drinks and a phone number out of the deal.


If bars and clubs are so “1980,” a social group is a great way to go about meeting people. I’ve met people during exercise classes, in the gym and in dance classes (yes there are men in dance classes!). Joining a group that interests a person allows them to meet people with similar interests. A love connection could bloom out of that social group,who knows.


Join a meet-up group that is in your area. Meet-up groups are groups of people who have interests in common and plan meets every once and awhile to talk or take part in an activity. is the number one site for this type of thing. The activeness of the group and the member count will all depend on what type of group it is and where it is located but there are some pretty large groups that put on weekly or biweekly Meet-ups. The man of Deven Trobash’s dreams might just be waiting at her local bird watchers meet-up group.


The old tried and true method of dating still works, I swear it does. Millions of people find love through friends or family members. In Deven Trobash’s case I’m assuming she knows more than a few people who could introduce her to a perfectly acceptable companion. The rising divorce rate has created a whole new dating pool and people over 40 no longer have to deal with the difficult task of finding people in the same situation. Heck, I can think of many people I know who are already divorced and tons more people who are single and looking.


Millions of people have taken their dating to the internet when they find the bar, club and friend scene to be unsuccessful. Sites like and bring together people who are looking for relationships. There are tons of websites out there and many of them are directed at certain groups or demographics. The online dating scene is a win/win situation. You can correspond with people for a while until you feel comfortable to meet up and it helps you to weed out undesirables before you are sitting in a restaurant just praying for the check to show up so you can go home.


In short Deven Trobash’s plea to buy her house and her companionship reeks of “publicity” stunt but if the single mom really wants to meet a great man selling herself with her home is not the way to go about it. I can only imagine some of the creeps and social misfits that would come out of the woodwork to respond to that kind of listing. There are many other, proven effective, methods of meeting mates.

Lobby: Mark Birnbaum Scores Success on Manhattan’s Club Scene

Mark Birnbaum had no idea when he was planning after-prom parties at The Wheatley School and managing a nightclub at Ithaca College, that it would lead him to be involved in one of the hottest nightspots in New York – Lobby.

Birnbaum is the CEO/President of Operative, Inc., a firm the consults for bars, nightclubs and real estate development. The 26-year-old Long Island native left a lucrative career on Wall Street to work his true passion, planning and promoting events.


Why did you leave your job in finance?

I was tired of it, not into it. I have always thrown parties, and always wanted to do that. When 9-11 happened, I lived right across the street, and then the economy took a nose-dive and I figured it’s better to do what makes you happy, doing what you want to do and that will make you successful and happy.


Tell me a little about Lobby?

My partner, Jeremy and I, wanted to create a club with high-end service and nice décor. In this economy, if people are going to spend a lot of money, you better give them proper service. It’s sort of like a high-end hotel bar without the rooms above it. The whole theme is a hotel lobby bar but without the restrictions like noise levels. It’s a high-energy lounge with all the amenities.


What is your typical night away from Lobby like?

I like checking out the competition, seeing what is trend setting, what everyone is eating and drinking. Staying in tune. Typical night might be going to a restaurant or an event. Going to the Soho House or whatever the next “new” thing is. I don’t drink so what entertains me is pretty girls and how things operate.


If you could create your perfect woman, what would she be like?

5’10 and 120 pounds – but a cool girl who likes to hang out. Someone who doesn’t care about the scene, doesn’t party like a maniac. She would enjoy day-to-day stuff without freaking out. A woman with perspective. 5’10 and 120 pounds doesn’t hurt, I do like very attractive women.


Do you find women suck up to you because you are involved with Lobby?

It is hard to find quality women in New York. Those sort of girls who are after you for who you are or how much money you have are very visible to me. They usually ask you, ‘what do you do for a living’ or ‘what kind of car do you drive’ – I usually tell them something like I manage a video store to see their reaction.

Who is the most famous patron of Lobby?

Well, the first sighting of Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravtiz (as a couple) was at Lobby. It was at the birthday party Sean “P-Diddy” Combs threw for Kravtiz. That was a big deal, cause it broke in the papers and tabloids right after that.

Any hobbies?

Tennis, going to the movies, and recently I have gotten into DJ’ing. In fact, I DJ on Saturday night’s in the VIP room at Lobby.


Lobby is located at

330 West 38th Street

212 465 2200

The Sims Video Game Review

All right, I’m a middle-aged mother, so I’m not supposed to enjoy playing video games. It was with great reluctance that I sat down in front of my daughter’s playstation, but I did promise to try out a game for her. Of course, she picked the Sims.

Now being a real estate agent, I couldn’t help but be caught up in the game where you get to design and decorate your own house. What a fascinating way to spend someone else’s budget money! Although I have to admit, I didn’t keep my eye on the price tag – was I supposed to? These 4 bachelors that were building a house, did they really care what I spent? Ahhh to be young again. No bachelor I ever met cared much about how much money went in one hand and out the other!

To get on with the game, I enjoyed building this picture perfect house. It was a little time consuming; actually quite a bit more than I had hoped it would be. But, all in all I built my little American dream home. I was disappointed to find out that the furniture I picked out didn’t actually fit into my house; I think there should be some sort of disclosure on the screen before you spend the little man’s money. I guess it doesn’t pay to be conservative in the Sim’s world.

After my house was built, I had to find out what happens next. There had to be a point to this game, I couldn’t possibly admit to anyone that I was enjoying it. The little men were able to move in now, first thing though; they felt the need to do a triple flip off of the high dive on the pool I installed. Ahhh, to be young again!

It’s amazing to me what kind of things these little men will do. They must not work, but instead they spend their time in the house doing things like “tickle” or “towel snaps” or maybe even “shaking their booty.” It was quite amusing, even for an old prude like me. It was a little odd to say the least though.

In total I spent a few good hours designing my home and playing with the little men’s booties. I enjoyed the game, and now am tempted to buy myself a copy only to be enjoyed in secrecy. I think I’ll stick to the designing; the little men can be enjoyed by the younger set.

I would have to recommend this game, and make it a requirement for all middle aged, women real estate agents. It is a fun and very addictive game. There are some downsides, but they are all right to deal with if you have some time to spare. I find it very time consuming to pick through the wide assortment of various things to buy, from wallpaper to coffee makers. Building the actual walls of the house can be somewhat confusing too if you’re not a master of the analog stick. I personally also find it somewhat difficult to stay in my budget, but that’s probably another story within itself!

For now though, I shall say “au revoir” to my little men and wish them well. I hope they enjoy the pool!

The Affect of $107 Per Barrel Oil Prices on Real Estate Investment


Reuters has reported that oil reached a record high of $107 per barrel on Monday. The main drivers behind this surge were a rush by financial funds into commodities and political tensions. While all U.S. industries will be affected by this latest turn of events, the commercial real estate market will be noticeably altered in the equations used to value a property for real estate investment.

The main ingredients produced from a barrel of oil affect both the business community and the consumer. Some of the company types affected in the business community are those that involve airlines, trucking, automobiles and all the cottage industries that support their activities. Although the impact on these businesses is significant, from a real estate investment perspective the primary interest is the affect that crude oil prices will have on consumers. It is consumers that account for 70% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and it is consumers who live, work and shop at the core types of commercial real estate: Residential, office and retail.


The record price per barrel will affect consumers two ways. First, more money will be spent to heat and/or air condition homes. Second, consumers will spend less time in their cars. The first means they will have less money to spend. The second means they will change how they spend their money. In other words, the American consumer has less money to spend and is changing their buying habits.


Those changes will have the most dramatic impact on retail properties. The consumer will still shop, but will have an alternative: The Internet. The most recent data from the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce shows that the growth rate of e-commerce far outpaces that of traditional brick and mortar retail stores.


The financial impact on commercial real estate from the record prices at the pump is not coming tomorrow — changes are already taking place. The International Council of Shopping Centers’ U.S. chain store sales index was up just 1.6% in October, the weakest result since 1995. What’s more, according to Thomson Financial, two-thirds of the nation’s largest retailers missed sales estimates for the month. In the end, comprehensive due diligence will make or break a commercial real estate investment. Future markets will not bail out poorly located income properties purchased with inadequate due diligence.


Daniel Fineren, “Oil hits record $107, U.S. dollar in focus”, Reuters

“Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales”, U.S. Census Bureau

“October chain store sales increase 1.6 percent”, ICSC: International Council of Shopping Centers