Winchester, VA Real Estate News

By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
We did it!  We pulled off our first 12 hour Susan G Komen Pedal for the Cure event at Valley Health Wellness and Fitness in Winchester, VA.  What a great time we had!  We lost count of participants after 211, but suffice to say there was a bunch.  We had one very special participant, Andrea Bedard.  Andrea and her lovely family made the trip to Winchester Saturday morning so she could ride two hours with me.  Ironically, she ended up riding three.  Are you sore today, Andrea?  Thank you joining in the fun! The 5:30 am classes went above and beyond the call with fund-raising and participation. Nancy Morrison rode the entire 12 hours, Jay Skidmore did at least 11, Dale and Robin Streyle and Lula Neely all did 6 hours.  What an awesome group I've been blessed with.  You ROCK!   Also, a spe...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
It takes a secure man to ride a pink bike.  I have to laugh when I say that.  The 12 hour Susan G Komen Pedal for a Cure ride is Saturday of this week, and I promised my students that I would do the whole thing if they got all 30 bikes filled.  Well, they've been busy.  I've been receiving emails all day saying they are bringing more and more riders. The only way they could fill all thirty bikes is if I didn't ride one.  So, I took my Johnny G Spinner Pro bike from home and had it custom painted.  I've always had a candy apple red one, but I thought I'd get the students involved this time.  So, I asked them what color, and of course they said, "Pink!"  How did I know that was going to be the answer?  How odd does it look for a man to ride a pink Spinner®? Well, it's very pink.  I'll hav...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
It's time.  Saturday of this week, Andrea Bedard and I will be traveling to crazy land as we take on a 12 hour indoor cycling ride for the Susan G Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.  What were we thinking? The ride will take place at the Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center in Winchester, VA.  We'd love to have you join us.  There is still room for more Mid-Atlantic Rainers who would like to participate.  Regardless, I hope you will consider an event like this one in the future.  Our riders will be riding for friends, family members and colleagues who have struggled with this terrible disease. Think about us, say a prayer and drop by if you have the opportunity.  Andrea and I will more than likely post a picture on Kerrie's Facebook picture challenge.  Andrea will be the pr...
Comments 12
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I was in a clients house today, and I noticed she had the "Holstee Manifesto" on her window right beside her computer.  Of course, being the nosy guy that I am, I read the whole thing.  It has a lot of great one line pieces of wisdom, and I guess I could write a blog on each one that caught my eye, but there was one that described my day. It said, "Some opportunities only come once, Seize Them!" I have a client that I just love.  He has been a great asset to me, and we've done a lot of business together.  Today, I took him to a foreclosure I have that needs a lot of love.  It's a great house, but it was re-muddled by the previous owners and needs to be renewed by new owners. So, I took my friend by to see if he would be interested.  I've already acquired bids to make all of the repairs ...
Comments 23
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I think I rolled out of bed and into a worm hole overnight.  I'm not a big one to complain about incompetence in others, but for some reason I'm seeing a whole lot more of it today than normal, and it's not isolated in one industry.  1. A few weeks ago, I requested a large number of key repair parts for equipment that is critical to an upcoming event this week.  The organization that owns the equipment just sent an email stating that the parts were ordered this morning and will be in within a week.  That's after the event. 2. A local listing agent is trying to establish the list price on a short sale.  The bank has asked me to give them a second opinion BPO to confirm her price.  I need for her to give me access.  For two days now, she won't answer her phone or return calls.  And, all h...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
                 Matthew 25.36 "I was in prison and you came to visit me."   A number of years ago, I was the guest speaker at the Michigan State Penitentiary in Muskegon, MI.  When I got to the prison, the administration held me up for quite a while before releasing me to the chapel area.  This prison had a dedicated chapel.   It was very nice. In the staging area, the guards took my wallet, keys, coins and cell phone.  It was all typical stuff.  Then they took my belt, Bible and notes.  I would be speaking without notes on this trip.  No problem.  Finally, they strapped a GPS tracker on me.  I said, "Is that so you can find the body?"  And one of the guards said, "Yeah, something like that."  I was just joking, but he wasn't laughing.  Now, I wasn't laughing. When they opened the door...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
In a comment on my "What Can James Bond Teach Us About Real Estate," Jim Paulson got me to thinking about another well known spy.  I think he can teach us something too! So, the question begs an answer, "What can Maxwell Smart teach us about real estate?"  Plenty.  For instance: It always pays to know that there can be Kaos in a deal.  You've got to learn to perform even in the midst of Kaos.  Stay in Control of your business.  When there is a lot of Kaos around, it's important that you 86 it right away.  Kaos in an office can be your downfall.  Some deals demand a cone of silence.  Whenever Max had top secret information that needed to be shared with his co-workers or superiors, he requested the "cone of silence".  Often, a struggling seller needs an agent who operates in a cone of sil...
Comments 63
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
If you spend any time on the web, you have probably seen one of the "People of Walmart" videos.  They can be funny, shocking and a little bizarre.  They've gotten so popular on the Internet I've wondered if people aren't heading over to Walmart dressed in their most wacky garb in hopes that someone is filming.  It could be their big film break. Well, I've got new for you.  Walmart is coming to real estate.  They're not selling houses, even though that wouldn't surprise me some day, no, the people of Walmart are buying houses.  I had a customer show up in her pajamas the other day.  When she got out of her car in her bright red pj's she said, "I hope you don't mind my pajamas."   I was so surprised I just laughed and said, "Hey, if you buy the house you can show up in the front yard all ...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I might be wrong, but I think I missed Fall.  We went from a pretty good Summer to a very early snowy Winter.  I know time goes by faster as you get older, but is it possible to miss a whole season?  The northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is calling for up to 8" of snow on October 28th.  There's an old belief that whatever day of the month you receive your first snow - that will be the number of snows for that season.  I would say, "Baloney," but the most snowy year we've had in a decade followed that very pattern.  So, get out your cross country skis, sled and toboggan because it looks they're going to get a lot of use this Winter!
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I feel like a very privileged dad.  My youngest son (19) works at a local grocery store in our community.  I stopped by that store Thursday evening on the way home from the office (at 9:00 pm).  It had been a really long day, but we needed a few items so I had to stop.  I didn't realize my son was working, but I turned a corner in the store and bang, there he was.  The first thing he did was give me a hug.  We chatted for a few seconds (he was working), and then I went on.  He didn't think twice about it. My older son (21) is the same way.  If I come onto a job site where he's working, the first thing he does is hug me.  When I leave, he hugs me again and says, "I love you."  It doesn't matter who is nearby.  He always hugs me and says, "I love you."  The first time a group of other con...
Comments 56
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
What can James Bond teach us about real estate?  A lot.  Think about it.  Bond was the ultimate spy, and he had certain characteristics that nearly every spy movie that has followed Goldfinger has copied.  He set the standard for the movie spy.  So, what can James teach us? He was confident.  He knew his craft well, and he was confident.  Some may see that as cocky, but confidence is simply an assurance that know what you're doing.  That's the kind of Realtor I would want. He was always prepared for anything.  A Bond movie would be boring if it wasn't changing constantly.  We've come to expect a nose bleed level of action in a Bond movie, and they never disappoint.  It would be wonderful if every real estate deal went smooth, but we all know that is more fantasy than a Bond flick.  We'v...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I was driving along this afternoon, and I saw a bird.  The thing that caught my eye about this particular bird was that he was stuck in the air.  He wasn't going forward, even though he was flapping his wings furiously.  But, better yet, he wasn't going backward.  I guess all of that flapping was keeping him steady.  That image got me to thinking about our current economy.  A lot of people aren't making a lot of forward progress, and they feel like they're just flapping they're wings.  That may you.  It might feel like you're pushing a giant ball uphill.  It's discouraging and you might even want to give up, but remember the bird.  He was steadily flapping his wings.  He had somewhere to go, and he was focused on getting there.  He wasn't gaining a lot of ground, but he wasn't going bac...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
This year I started something I probably should have done years ago.  I adopted a policy of prospering those who prosper me.  There are a lot of national and local businesses that use our services.  There are also individuals who own restaurants, law offices, accounting offices, auto shops, convenience stores and other small businesses that use my electrical contracting company and my real estate brokerage. So, for 2011, I made sure that I looked over all of the people I do business with to see how I could reciprocate.  I decided to not only use their businesses and services, but I also recommend them on my website and in the material in my office.  At the first of the year, I realized that there are companies I have done business with for decades.  They know the details of what we do, ...
Comments 14
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I feel like I've lived an incredibly blessed life in so many ways.  It seems like Heaven and earth have conspired to make sure I've always had the best mentors, teachers and trainers.  One of those teachers was Dr. Richard Dobbins of Akron, OH.  Dr. Dobbins was a pastor turned clinical psychologist.  When I was working on a Master's degree in psychology he was my instructor, and what an amazing instructor he was.  He taught me so many things that stand out in my life, but one particular thing he said helped me understand how I am wired.  Understanding how you're wired helps you understand what type of profession you might thrive in. Dr. Dobbins broke people down into three catagories: hands, head, and heart.  Some people are just destined to work with their hands.  They love getting int...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
A few days ago, Brenda Mullen, wrote a great blog called, "And just how hard was your licensing exam?"  It was a great blog, and it got me to thinking about education.  On a side note, Brenda would be a great friend to have within shouting distance if you ever code blue.   I thought my original salesperson licensing exam was a challenge.  The broker exam wasn't quite as challenging, but I had a lot more experience by then.  So, it seemed easier.  Ironically, neither one of those exams will make you a great Realtor.  Education and experience will make you better in this business.  But even there, not all education will make you successful. I love to learn, and I have earned four Master's degrees in my adult life. I'm just shy of my PhD, and I can tell you from experience that academic ac...
Comments 56
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
If you've read my blog for a while you know that one of my biggest pet peeves relates to agents who don't answer their phones or don't return calls.  It almost always works out to my benefit when I get the call from a potential customer who was unable to get the listing agent on the phone.  Sunday was no different.  I received a call from a customer who wanted to see one of my listings.  She had a second property she wanted to see, but the listing agent didn't answer the phone, nor did he return her call.  He didn't answer my call, and he didn't return my call either.  I understand that some agents take Sunday's off.  I do that most of the time, but today was a unique situation, so I answered the call. I'm really glad I took that call.  The customer is going to write on my listing this ...
Comments 150
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Like most young men in my twenties, I loved to go fast.  One of my first cars was an Italian sports car that I ran up to 143 mph before it blew the manifold off the side of the block.  It was exhilarating.  Not long after that expensive repair, I took my motorcycle just beyond that speed.  Whew!  That was fun, but I must admit it was a little more intense. You would think I had gotten that out of my system in my early twenties, but in 2006 I took on another speed challenge.  While riding my bicycle through the Rockies, I headed down a long descent and realized that it was long enough to see just how fast I could go.  When I crossed 60 mph I stopped checking my computer because of the shimmy in the front wheel.  That was my last speed adventure.  Today, I have a set speed I let myself re...
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By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Today's local paper had a headline that can't be overlooked.  It read, "Women are the devil".  I've said this for years, but no one believed me.  At least I said that the Secretary of State, William Seward said, "The men are all in the army, and the women are the devil."  General Sherman is noted with a similar line. The ladies of Winchester were feisty during the Civil War.  They didn't take any guff off of Union soldiers, and it became a great source of irritation for Union officers.  It has been reported that the women of Winchester who were sympathetic to the South would spit on Union soldiers as they marched through the streets.  Thus, earning them a reputation for their great disdain of Union occupation. Mary Greenhow Lee's diary talks about the poor reception the Union soldiers r...
Comments 9
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
Throughout my whole childhood, Winchester, Virginia was known as the Apple Capital of the World.  There were more apple orchards in our small community than any other place on earth.  That honor has long passed as development has taken over the thousands of acres of apple trees, but those trees taught me a few things about life and business. One thing I learned is that apple growing begins long before you see any apples.  The trees need pruning before you see buds  on the branches.  Too many branches can make all of the branches less effective.  Smaller branches can pull nutrients from larger longtime producing branches causing them to produce inferior fruit.  Many of the smaller branches are pruned away. Sometimes, older less productive branches are pruned away to make way for younger ...
Comments 54
By Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV, MD, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro
(Cornerstone Business Group Inc)
I'm beginning to think our country is in a funk.  I'm not sure I've ever seen it more divided than it is today, and I wonder how did WE let this happen?  I can only assume that in the process of "living" we have not paid attention to what's going on around us, and here we are in this malaise.  The problem is that the national condition affects us in so many ways.  It makes it difficult to make a living.  It causes stress that doesn't need to be there, and it pits one person against another, or one group against another for reasons that would not have been an issue a decade before.  It's a great prescription for a national disaster. It's time to return to common sense, openness and honest governance and commerce.  Let's look at some of the examples of things that are distracting us while...
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