Real Estate Information Archive


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The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone

by The Schuman Team

question to ask clients


Communication is key, whether it's a business or personal relationship.  If you have something to say, you certainly want your message to be received, don't you?

So it is important to ask people this one simple yet specific question, a question that could make or break you.

Want to know what it is?  Here you go:




Let's face it, what you say, and when you say it are important, but nothing is more critical than how you say it.  As the old saying goes, if you give the people what they want, they'll keep coming back for more.


Remember, this isn't about me or you, it's about those around us. Some people love email, while others rather text. There are also many folks that still prefer speaking by phone or face to face.  

While many of us don't give it much thought, it is important to recognize how other people prefer to get their information, otherwise the message can get lost.

My parents learned the hard way as they continued for years to try to call my kids by phone. They grew frustrated at the lack of response until I suggested they start texting instead. Now, communication between the two generations has never been better.

Even if you have a preferred method to communicate, the people around you may prefer a different way.  By asking this one simple question, it could make a huge impact and lead to better relationships with those around you.



The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in relocation, Solon luxury homes, and move-up buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, or

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©September, 2015

7 Apps You Can't Live Without

by The Schuman Team

We all rely on apps to make business and personal life more efficient.

In an effort to help make all of your lives easier, we reached out to our past clients and asked what apps they cannot live without. Here's what they come up with:


Cozi - Helps families stay organized. Allows multiple family members to manage appointments and schedules with one account, as well as organize and update shopping and to-do lists. We personally use this and it rocks.

DarkSky - Predicts down to the minute weather conditions at your exact location.

Dropbox - Keeps your files safe and allows you to easily share photos, docs and videos.

Lastpass - Password manager. Saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device.

TripAdvisor - Read reviews on hotels, restaurants, a must have when traveling.

True Caller - Identify missed calls, avoid telemarketers,  and keep current contact’s information up-to-date.

Waze - Nothing is worse than getting stuck in traffic. This app gets information from real drivers and will track real time traffic.

How To Dispute My Property Tax Bill

by The Schuman Team

We have been bombarded from friends and past clients lately regarding the recent notice that was mailed out last week regarding property taxes.

So, we decided to send out some information that we hope you will find helpful.


You need to first decide if the proposed 2015 value of your home is accurate. If it is, you don't have to do anything.

However, if you don't agree, you can formally dispute:

1. By going on line at

2. Mailing in the response form that was sent to you.

3. Attending an informal meeting in person.

All of these scenarios require you to provide documentation to support your claim. A recent appraisal is likely the best but if cost or time constraints won't allow this, there is other documentation you can provide such as:

Recent purchase agreement

Contractor estimates for deferred maintenance along with pictures

Recent sales of comparable properties

The last item is where we come in as we can provide that to you at no charge.

Let us know if you need our help.


Oh, by the way, we are looking to grow our business. If you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home, PLEASE give us their name and number so we can contact them. We promise to be a positive reflection of you and treat them like family.

We can be reached at 216-403-9189 or simply hit reply and send us your contacts information.

Thank you so much for thinking of us.


The Ugly Truth About Bidding Wars In Ohio

by The Schuman Team

Yes, it’s true – we are seeing multiple offer situations in Northeast Ohio.  Inventory has been low and when a sweet home comes on the market, buyers will jump to snatch it up before someone else does.

Bidding wars can get ugly fast but if you know what you're doing, you can end up getting the home of your dreams.


Many buyers initially think there are certain rules that sellers must abide by in a multiple offer situation to make things fair for everyone.  Unfortunately, this is not true. They can do whatever they want. Here are some “ugly truths” you may not know:

  • Sellers do not need to follow any order in responding to an offer.  First offer in doesn’t win you first place in line for negotiations. 
  • Seller can respond to any and all (or none) of the offers in any way they see fit.
  • The listing agent does NOT need to disclose that there is more than one offer.  That means they can tell none, all, or even only some of the parties what is going on.
  • The highest purchase price doesn’t always win you the home. 

In a nutshell, the Listing Agent is bound to do WHATEVER the SELLER wants them to do.

Sound like fun yet? Wait, there's more.

  • Rejecting a sellers counter offer negates that offer. If you change your mind after and want to accept the sellers' counter, the seller must agree again to those terms.
  • Get it in writing!  A verbal acceptance of an offer from a seller is not binding in the State of Ohio.  If buyer and seller are in agreement, have your agent get it in writing ASAP.  You never know when someone may tempt the seller with a sweeter deal ( we've seen this happen ) .

Many buyers shy away from these transactions out of fear or ego. However, if you really love a home, don't be discouraged.

Most of our buyers end up winning in these situations because we are able to help them stand out from the competition.


Here are some things you can do to win out:

  1. Have a top notch agent by your side, one with experience working in these situations.
  2. Make sure your pre-approval is solid and from a recognizable lender. Giving the sellers an approval from an unknown internet lender may keep the sellers from wanting to work with you.
  3. Have your agent present your offer in person if possible.  He or she will be able to personalize the transaction and differentiate you from other buyers.
  4. Give the seller what they want, such as their preferred closing date and earnest money amount.
  5. Go in strong. If you go in with a weak offer, you probably won’t get another chance.

During a bidding war, someone is going to lose the home of their dreams. Don't let it be you.


Why Cleveland Real Estate Transactions Don't Close

by The Schuman Team


While bringing buyer and seller together is a challenge, keeping things together is even more difficult.

Today, we will discuss why real estate transactions fail to close and what can be done to avoid these problems.



While all buyers get pre-approved prior to submitting an offer, things can still go wrong. Buyers lose their jobs, incur extra debt, or have unforeseen challenges when getting loan approval.

For example, we had a buyer who got paid salary and a bonus and used his total income to qualify for a loan. The underwriter would not allow the bonus to be included as it was not guaranteed and inconsistent from year to year. Therefore, the buyer could no longer qualify. 

The best way to avoid financing problems is to first hire a great loan officer, and then make sure nothing is left to chance. Communicate to your loan officer up front about everything to make sure you don’t run into last minute problems.


Regardless of what price buyer and seller agree to, the lender has final say. If their appraisal comes in below the purchase price, you could have a problem.

While a low appraisal doesn’t always kill a transaction, it does require either re-negotiation on price or willingness of the buyer to bring in the difference between purchase price and appraised value.

We always recommend our clients try to work something out with the other party. However, there are cases where the gap is just too big to overcome.


One of the biggest reasons that a transaction dies is due to the general home inspection. It’s not necessarily what’s on the report that quashes the deal, but how a buyer reacts to the information.

For example, while mold is fairly common, especially in attics, some buyers run for the hills at the mere mention of the word. 

The reality is that mold can be found in a large percentage of homes here in Cleveland and is easily treated. If a buyer is thoroughly informed up front what to expect during the inspection,  perhaps their expectations can be better managed. This entails thorough communication and education from their agent, which leads us to the next item.


Lack of communication between client and their real estate agent can create huge problems.  There are issues that arise during every step of the transaction that , if not prepared, can cause a buyer or seller to react irrationally.

Nobody likes surprises, so a good communicator will prepare their client for potential problems and be able to effectively navigate them through the many obstacles they will surely encounter.

A real estate transaction is very complicated and it doesn’t take much for things to fall apart. Being aware of the main pitfalls and hiring a great agent will help keep things together and get you to the closing table.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

The Schuman Team
3550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike OH 44122
Dan: 216-346-3235
Amy: 216-403-9189
Fax: 216-456-2333