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Mori Biener's Blog

By Mori Biener | Agent in Manhattan Beach, CA
  • The House and the Old Lady

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Manhattan Beach  |  March 27, 2009 3:05 PM  |  1,674 views  |  1 comment

    So I’m holding an open house in a nice part of town.  The house is of the Tuscan variety with multiple bedrooms, a pool, a basement with a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and many custom features.  Traffic is brisk as the listing just came out.  In walks a lady holding on to a slow moving elderly woman with a cane.  They tour the first floor and come around to the basement door.  Come on mom let’s go down to the basement, she says.  I’m thinking, IS SHE NUTS!  Oh no thanks honey, I’ll wait for you here, answers mom.  Oh come on mom I’ll be right in front of you, it’ll be your exercise for the day.  Mom starts down, wavering to and fro as she sticks her cane on the step blow, not knowing weather grasp the railing or her daughter.  I say with some urgency, WO THERE, are you sure you want to take your mother down there?  She must be 90 years old!  Why not, she’s in great shape and besides she’s 94, she replies as they proceed down the bottomless hole.  94, well that’s different, I whisper cynically under my breath.  I get increasingly concerned.  But your honor she looked in great shape, I picture me begging the judge as I’m prosecuted for murder.  I pace nervously in front of the basement door, peaking into the beyond once in a while, listening for signs of life, ignoring people I should be watching as they wonder the house.  Let em’ steal the jewelry; I could have a dead mother on my hands here!  Finally I hear heavy, labored breathing and see the lady emerging with mom in tow who is grasping the cane like it’s the Holy Grail and looking like she just made it to water after 40 days in the desert.  Thank God, I’m thinking…very relieved.  Ok mom let’s go check out the bedrooms upstairs, she says merrily.  NOW WAIT ONE DOGGON SECOND LADY, you’re not taking this poor woman up those stairs, there’s no doctor here!, I react reflexively.  She looks up at me and declares with pride, I happen to be a professor at USC medical school and I AM a doctor.  Honey I got to sit down now please, chimes in the old lady.  You see, I say, you see.  Ok, ok, she says reluctantly as we help her to a chair.  This little lady raised 40 foster kids back east, and I was the first one, so she’s a strong one, she asserts.  Wow!  Where back east?, I ask softening a bit.  She tells me.  I tell her that it so happens that I grew up in the town next door.  Turns out we went to the same high school for one year.  How about that!  We exchanged cards and she promised to call me when she’s ready to buy.  The moral; speak up when you perceive a wrong because strong passionate energy will often lead to positive outcomes.

    Mori Biener, CRS, GRI

    South Bay Brokers

    Mr. Neighborhood of the South Bay

    310-418-9188

  • Marriage,Houses and True Love

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Manhattan Beach  |  March 24, 2009 9:36 PM  |  1,696 views  |  1 comment
    So I’m entering a better than average house on a bad street in a nice neighborhood. I’m here on a listing appointment with Gracie, who was referred to me. She’s a very nice lady, short, thin, attractive but I can’t understand half the things she says because she has a very thick accent and she speaks in broken English. But I can tell Gracie is sharp. I sha you hos…I bild it, she says proudly. I follow her as we tour the lower floor and I try not to say, what was that?, too many times but it’s not easy. The feture fo sal too; is ver spensive, she says. What was that?, I say. It took me three times to understand that the furniture is for sale too. Why are you selling the house?, I ask suspiciously. Husban no good bum get divos, she says. I’m sorry to hear that, I say after only one, what was that?. Now, I’d like to think I’m pretty good in divorce situations as I’m quick on my feet and have handled such warring parties in the past with aplomb. We go upstairs and she opens the master bedroom double doors. We step into darkness. She turns on the lights. Up pops a man from under the blankets dressed in pj’s, night mask and an attitude. He tears off the mask. Squinting profoundly he yells, I sleap why you tun on light?! I freeze. My heart stops. I bring Retor, show bedroom, sell hos, she yells back. I want out in the worst way but I’m frozen. He blurts out a barrage of foreign words and she counters with her own. As she yells, she opens the drapes and points to the balcony. The tour must go on! You go see masa bath now, she tells me excitedly. But I’m frozen! You go!, she commands curtly and I unfreeze. I take a quick look and rush out of the bedroom fearing to cast an eye to the bed. Gracie’s behind me, words unknown to me flinging out of her like poison arrows toward whom I presume is her husband. She slams the door behind her, big breath and slowly turns toward me. I’m at a complete loss for words, red in the face. She apologizes, gives me the listing and I sell the house without ever seeing him again. Gracie handled everything. When the house went into escrow she decided to buy a nicer house where she now lives happily with that very same no good husband she tangled with in that bedroom. Go figure! The lesson: sometimes sharing an uncomfortable situation with a stranger can be a bonding experience, which can result in a sale…or two.
  • Marriage, Houses and True Love

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood  |  March 19, 2009 3:23 PM  |  1,582 views  |  No comments

    So I’m entering a better than average house on a bad street in a nice neighborhood.  I’m here on a listing appointment with Gracie, who was referred to me.  She’s a very nice lady, short, thin, attractive but I can’t understand half the things she says because she has a very thick accent and she speaks in broken English.  But I can tell Gracie is sharp.  I sha you hos…I bild it, she says proudly.  I follow her as we tour the lower floor and I try not to say, what was that?, too many times but it’s not easy.  The feture fo sal too; is ver spensive, she says.  What was that?, I say.  It took me three times to understand that the furniture is for sale too.  Why are you selling the house?, I ask suspiciously.  Husban no good bum get divos, she says.  I’m sorry to hear that, I say after only one, what was that?.  Now, I’d like to think I’m pretty good in divorce situations as I’m quick on my feet and have handled such warring parties in the past with aplomb.  We go upstairs and she opens the master bedroom double doors.  We step into darkness.  She turns on the lights. Up pops a man from under the blankets dressed in pj’s, night mask and an attitude.  He tears off the mask.  Squinting profoundly he yells, I sleap why you tun on light?!  I freeze.  My heart stopped.  I bring Retor, show bedroom, sell hos, she yells back.  I want out in the worst way but I’m frozen.  He blurts out a barrage of foreign words and she counters with her own.  As she yells, she opens the drapes and points to the balcony.  The tour must go on!  You go see masa bath now, she tells me excitedly.  But I’m frozen!  You go!, she commands curtly and I unfreeze.  I take a quick look and rush out of the bedroom fearing to cast an eye to the bed.  Gracie’s behind me, words unknown to me flinging out of her like poison arrows toward whom I presume is her husband.  She slams the door behind her, big breath and slowly turns toward me.  I’m at a complete loss for words, red in the face.  She apologizes, gives me the listing and I sell the house without ever seeing him again.  Gracie handled everything.  When the house went into escrow she decided to buy a nicer house where she now lives happily with that very same no good husband she tangled with in that bedroom.  Go figure!  The lesson:  sometimes sharing an uncomfortable situation with a stranger can be a bonding experience, which can result in a sale…or two.

    Mori Biener, CRS, GRI

    Mr. Neighborhood of the South Bay

    South Bay Brokers

  • That Little Space Between the Roof and Ceiling

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Manhattan Beach  |  February 23, 2009 8:15 PM  |  2,806 views  |  No comments
    So I’m in this great big house with a termite inspector. You know you could fit five of my houses in this house, says the termite guy. I’m excited now! You have five houses? I could do a market analysis for you…No, no, no, five of my houses could fit in this space here, he explains pointing to the space. Why is it when people try to explain themselves, they say the same thing over again? But somehow I got it. Wait a minute, I say, you mean you could fit your house in this house five times, right? The brain’s ticking…yea that’s it; I got a tiny house. Termite guys! You know, he says as he completes his notes, there is no access to the attic. That’s because there is no attic, I answer confidently. But I can’t get up there to search for wood destroying pests, he answers. Right, I exclaim in a higher voice, the builder didn’t put a little door into the ceiling because there’s no attic up there to examine…and please don’t call it an attic call it, that little space between the roof and ceiling. You see that skylight smartass, he points up, you know that’s about three feet high so there’s gotta be an ATTIC and although I didn’t find any of my little honeys anywhere I’ll have to note that I couldn’t get into the ATTIC and maybe there are termites there and maybe not. My blood is rising at an alarming rate because I need a clean report to close escrow quick. Look, I say in barely controlled rage, there’s maybe enough room up there for you to have sex with your girlfriend…AND THAT’S ABOUT IT! That’s good, he says ready to squish me like his favorite bug, but she don’t like attics, and I still gotta note it. So when I got the report I had it out with his boss and got the note tossed. The lesson here is; don’t let the termite guy or anyone else dictate what’s rational to you.

    Mori Biener, CRS, GRI
    Mr. Neighborhood of the South Bay
    South Bay Brokers
    310-418-9188
  • Spinning for Clients

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood in Manhattan Beach  |  February 18, 2009 9:52 PM  |  1,708 views  |  No comments
    So I’m running into my spinning class at the gym in order to get a bike next to Betsy, who sources tell me is thinking of putting her house on the market, but I find her surrounded by three other Realtors; so much for my networking prowess.  I grab the bike behind her and already I’m hearing these Realtors hitting on my client.  OK, she’s not my client…yet…but I was visualizing.  Betsy’s real nice, in her mid 50’s and the best spinner in the class cause she spends half her life in the gym and she’s been a gym buddy over the years.  I can get you a market analysis this afternoon, would 2 o’clock or 4 be good for you, says one agent while wiping sweat off her brow with a wet towel. Very original, I’m thinking.  You can do it people!, yells Alice the torture instructor, as I call her, while the driving disco music fills the room.  Betsy’s legs are moving faster than Bush out the White House door, as another agent screams breathlessly over the music, my office is the number one producing office in the area!  Betsy is now performing a feat only she can do, balancing herself and pumping her hands without holding onto the handle bars and spinning her feet at an unbelievable speed. I, on the other hand, am spinning in a very believable speed because I’m trying to figure out what the heck to say while refusing to give in to the pain in my legs.  Finally all I can think of is, my office has a great cappuccino machine (it barely works) and the cappuccino’s to dye for (tastes like sun baked tar)!  Come by and we’ll talk.  How lame was that, I’m thinking, when suddenly Betsy stops spinning, gets off the bike and zig zags silently out the door.  Never saw her do that before!  I’m thinking, either the poor woman already had our cappuccino, or she’s in big trouble.  Turns out she had a stroke, which she survived quiet well thanks to her conditioning.  So the lesson here, my fellow comrades is: groveling for clients leads to nothing but heartache…do it right.

    Mori Biener, CRS, GRI
    Mr. Neighborhood of the South Bay
    South Bay Brokers
    310-418-9188
  • Dog and Real Estate, Real Estate and Dogs

    Posted Under: In My Neighborhood  |  February 17, 2009 6:15 PM  |  1,599 views  |  No comments

    So I’m walking my dogs and I get a call. I’d like to ask you some questions about your Artesia listing, the realtor says. I answer, what would you like to know? She says, well, how many bedrooms does it have? I say, don’t you have the mls listing? I lost it and I’m in a hurry, she answers gruffly. OK…well I hate to say this but one of the dogs just po-ped and I have to pick it up…can you hang on? This is ridiculous, she blurts out, I’m in a hurry! Just hang on, I plead. Moments later, I’m back and I tell her it has 2 bedrooms and 2 ½ baths. What color is the master bedroom, she asks with what I can only image is a straight face. What! Are you serious? My clients hate mauve, she responds. Well…I hate to say this but…my other dog po-ped. But I need to ask you more questions, she says in a building panic! Look, I say, it’s dark out and if I don’t pick up the po-p immediately I’ll loose it to the darkness and these are my best neighbors, and besides, I don’t think I can carry on a conversation with you and look at po-p at the same time. She’s pis-ed now (no pun intended). This is ridiculous, she yells, I need to know the color of that bedroom right now…what the hell kind of a Realtor are you anyway?! Now I’m pis-ed. Look lady, I yell, (must be the New York in me) whether I’m looking at the po-p or talking to you, I’M STILL DEALING WITH A PIECE OF S/#T! Click. Ok…maybe I was just a bit unprofessional there but in today’s’ age of cell phones it’s possible to do business anywhere, anytime. The lesson taught all you Realtors out there: learn when not to answer the phone!

    Mori Biener, CRS, GRI

    Mr. Neighborhood of the South Bay

    South Bay Brokers, Manhattan Beach, CA

    310-418-9188

  • How I Could Have Owned a $10 mil House

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Manhattan Beach  |  February 9, 2009 9:10 PM  |  1,724 views  |  1 comment
    So I'm on brokers open houses this past Friday and it's time to have a looksee at a $10 mil house in the ritzy Hill Section of Manhattan Beach...my favorite fantasy dream house...and this house was great!; large, modern indoor/outdoor living with panoramic views of the Pacific to dye for. I'm walking around in my socks (shouldn't streak that gorgeous expensive wood floor), stuffing my face with a gourmet sandwich, imagining my being the suave head of the house. That sandwich is melting in my mouth as I walk down the wooden steps, WHEN NEXT THING I KNOW I'm sliding down stair after wooden stair on my side and landing flat on my ass with the sandwich extending upright in my mouth. You OK?, everybody's asking. Wawawawa, I say because I'm in shock and just lying there frozen with that damned sandwich firmly planted in my kisser. How embarrassing! Two guys grab me under my arms and lift me up. I spit the sandwich, which didn't have much of a flavor anymore,with some difficulty into a garbage can and rest on the first chair I can find. Both listing agents are fluttering around me, looking very worried. You OK? Guys, I say (I think out loud), this house...IT'S MINE! Nervous laughter (or did I imagine it?). I say I'm fine and hobble out bleary eyed. Next day Robyn lets out a shriek at the site of a humongous black and purple cheek-wide raspberry engulfing my side. Of course as all women curiously do, she has just the right cream for it. So what's the lesson here fellow Realtors? DON'T HAVE THE MAID OIL THE WOOD FLOORS BEFORE AN OPEN HOUSE! Other no no's at an open house; warn people about any possible dangers in viewing the house and DON'T HAVE THE MAID OIL THE WOOD FLOORS BEFORE AN OPEN HOUSE!
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