We have been in our house for about two years now. We absolutely love it. However, a while back we noticed that regardless of the season, we seem to have an air flow issue on the top floor. I use a heated blanket in the winter that stays on my side of the bed and lucky for me, layering up clothing is my specialty. In the summer, Brian frantically gets ready for work in the basement so he can jump into the blasting AC of his car before he combusts. It is a constant battle over the thermostat. Better than other battles, I guess.

Brian scheduled someone to come out to take a look at this issue. The gentlemen told us that the entire system (AC/furnace) was not installed properly which is why the air filter doesn’t work so there has been all sorts of garbage accumulating on the main coil. He proceeded to show me some black marks on the interior of the unit through his camera where the accumulation had heated to the point of “burning” the unit. He condemned the unit and pulled out his binder to show me my options. You can imagine my shock when the lowest option was $10,000! Now I have seen a lot of inspections get completed, but never have I seen a $10,000 unit for the amount of square footage in my home. Next came the sales objections, regarding financing and of course the discount if I committed today. Are you kidding me? This was all too familiar.

The next day I went through my handy list of contractors for any home inspection objections I had utilized. In one of my more recent transactions, the buyers’ inspector recommended that my seller get his furnace replaced. Inspectors are very different than licensed contractors. They are very high level without being able to really dive into structural, plumbing or HVAC issues. So with that being said, I had to get a 2nd opinion from a certified HVAC consultant to give us the final word on the working order of the unit. The consultant, James, had no idea he would soon become my new best friend. He came out to my sellers’ condo and laughed at the inspector. He couldn’t believe this exaggerated recommendation. Naturally, this is who I had to call over to inspect my furnace as well.

Within 15 minutes, James was able to tell me that my furnace simply needed a deep chemical clean for a whopping $200. The owners before us had the incorrect size of air filter, hence why it wasn’t filtering properly. And those black marks? Just dirt that he wiped it off in front of my face. Really? That’s it? James taught me a good lesson on these companies. He has apparently been chasing them down for years. The majority of their sales people work on commission and will tell people just about anything to make a sale. James had been to homes where the client was told their 5-year-old furnace needed to be removed. Furnaces are meant to last 20-25 years, James has even seen a 120 year old furnace in perfect working condition!

I couldn’t help but think about my industry at this moment. As I have said in the past, most real estate agents live from closing to closing, desperate for the next paycheck. I have seen it first hand, exaggerating their services to “out do” what the last agent may have presented. How do you think it ends for the clients that chose an agent utilizing smoke and mirrors tactics? So here is a word of caution…

Some agents claim to have a “59 point marketing plan” or “89 point plan” maybe even “113 point plan” to sell your home. Faster for more money of course, can’t go wrong with the plan! Want to have some fun? Ask the agent to see this brilliant plan from their marketing arsenal. Take a look. You will find for yourself that most of these items are administrative tasks such as “put sign in yard,” “hang lock box on door,” or “take pictures.” Genius, right?! I’m going to say the majority of those 59/89/113 points are a given. You tell me, are administrative tasks going to maximize your revenue? Just saying, if it sounds like hot air and BS, you know how that ends!