realtors clean cars

Realtor Harriet Shaw cleans her car herself at least once a day and believes keeping her vehicle spotless is a reason for her success. Photo: Harriet Shaw

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then Realtors may be in the running for one of the holiest professions because of their squeaky clean cars.

Sure, it’s a bit of a stereotype to say Realtors have immaculate cars, but … isn’t it also sort of true? Curious, I set out to investigate this phenomenon and talked to several Realtors in DFW about the state of their vehicles.

The most passionate advocate I found was Harriet Shaw, a Realtor with Keller Williams Urban on Turtle Creek. Shaw says her tidy ways began in childhood with a mom who kept the house so clean, you could eat off the floor. But today, she keeps her Mercedes Benz, which she calls her “shiny little piece,” in showroom condition.

“I think my clothes, my shoes, my hair, my car are all an extension of my business, in the sense that if I reflect an attention to detail in every area of my life, that is someone I would want to do business with,” Shaw said. “It is congruous with everything else I do in my real estate business. I want my clients to know that I am coming in as a woman and Realtor who gives attention to every detail—the smallest little thing is important to me.”

realtors clean cars

Shaw’s car interior is clean in part because she carries the tools around with her to keep it that way.

To keep her car in tip-top condition, Shaw carries bottled water, towels, and leather wipes in her car for daily interior wipe-downs, as well as wheel shine and Handi Wipes for exterior cleaning. She even keeps a small vacuum cleaner in the trunk for the carpets.

A little OCD? Sure, says Shaw. But it’s totally worth it.

“The busier I am, the more I clean the car—I find it wonderful to walk out to a clean car because it gives me a sense of pride,” she said.

Shaw says the very nature of real estate work makes for more dirt and grime in and on a car, from high mileage and multiple passengers to getting in and out frequently and storing things like yard signs in the interior or trunk.

“My shoes tend to track in a lot of dust and dirt, and I carry things that if I put them down, lord only knows what’s going to come off of them—and I put them in the trunk or sometimes in the front seat,” she said.

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The extra expenses beyond mortgage and insurance can add up, costing the average U.S. homeowner more than $9,000 per year.

The extra expenses beyond mortgage and insurance can add up, costing the average U.S. homeowner more than $9,000 per year.

At CandysDirt, we love real estate and we love homeownership! But with a house comes expenses beyond the mortgage and insurance. For the unprepared buyer, these can be a rude surprise. And nobody likes those.

We’ve seen it before: First-time homebuyers focusing solely on the list price of a house when deciding how much they can afford, and then being shocked by all of the other costs associated with homeownership (hello, water heater/new roof/foundation repairs!). These extra or hidden costs are often the most stressful part about owning a home.

“Those in-the-know are wise to set aside an emergency account, because regardless of age, price point, or quality of construction, issues are going to arise, whether it a 100-year-old house, or a 100-day-old house,” said Realtor Brian Davis of Dave Perry-Miller InTown. “When those issues happen, they’re not always inexpensive and you’re wise to have money saved up for that rainy day.”

We happened upon a new study by Zillow and Thumbtack that identifies a variety of common home expenses — both unavoidable and optional — that often get overlooked during initial budgeting. They calculated what homeowners could spend each year to cover these costs in their area. While these extra expenses might seem small individually, they add up quickly, to the tune of $9,477 for the average American homeowner.

“One thing I’ve stated doing this past year for new homebuyers is having them look at properties $10,000 less than what they’ve been approved for so they have some credit or buying power if they have to do repairs later,” said Elaine Copeland, an Ebby Halliday Realtor. “That also gives them some money for fixing it up—a lot of houses are sold ‘as is,’ and if buyers purchase $10,000 to $20,000 below [their max mortgage approval], they can better manage their budget in the long run. The best thing for a Realtor to do is advise them to do everything affordably.”

So just what are those extra or hidden expenses? Let’s take a look.

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Realtor Harriet Shaw cleans her car herself at least once a day and believes keeping her vehicle spotless is a reason for her success. Photo: Harriet Shaw

Realtor Harriet Shaw cleans her car herself at least once a day and believes keeping her vehicle spotless is a reason for her success. Photo: Harriet Shaw

If cleanliness is next to godliness, then Realtors may be in the running for one of the holiest professions because of their squeaky clean cars.

Sure, it’s a bit of a stereotype to say Realtors have immaculate cars, but … isn’t it also sort of true? Curious, I set out to investigate this phenomenon and talked to several Realtors in DFW about the state of their vehicles.

The most passionate advocate I found was Harriet Shaw, a Realtor with Keller Williams Urban on Turtle Creek. Shaw says her tidy ways began in childhood with a mom who kept the house so clean, you could eat off the floor. But today, she keeps her Mercedes Benz, which she calls her “shiny little piece,” in showroom condition.

“I think my clothes, my shoes, my hair, my car are all an extension of my business, in the sense that if I reflect an attention to detail in every area of my life, that is someone I would want to do business with,” Shaw said. “It is congruous with everything else I do in my real estate business. I want my clients to know that I am coming in as a woman and Realtor who gives attention to every detail—the smallest little thing is important to me.”

Shaw's car interior is clean in part because she carries the tools around with her to keep it that way.

Shaw’s car interior is clean in part because she carries the tools around with her to keep it that way.

To keep her car in tip-top condition, Shaw carries bottled water, towels, and leather wipes in her car for daily interior wipe-downs, as well as wheel shine and Handi Wipes for exterior cleaning. She even keeps a small vacuum cleaner in the trunk for the carpets.

A little OCD? Sure, says Shaw. But it’s totally worth it.

“The busier I am, the more I clean the car—I find it wonderful to walk out to a clean car because it gives me a sense of pride,” she said.

Shaw says the very nature of real estate work makes for more dirt and grime in and on a car, from high mileage and multiple passengers to getting in and out frequently and storing things like yard signs in the interior or trunk.

“My shoes tend to track in a lot of dust and dirt, and I carry things that if I put them down, lord only knows what’s going to come off of them—and I put them in the trunk or sometimes in the front seat,” she said.

(more…)