Realty Executives By Realty Choice

Julie Pickens

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Julie Pickens


Does Selling a Springfield Home Hinge on Tax Matters?

(Published on - 4/19/2018 4:55:37 PM)


Does selling a home in the Springfield Missouri Area hinge on tax matters?

Nobody in Springfield, MO can escape the fact that we are engulfed in the full-bore post-election media onslaught. You would need to be living under a rock not to have noticed—and the rock would have to be somewhere out of earshot of radio and television.

Fortunately, this is a space, where I discuss buying and selling homes in Springfield, I try as best I can to avoid politics; so let us enjoy this island of non-partisanship…or perhaps that is impossible, because of the topic, which is too interesting to ignore…

Recently, a study came out of Stanford that answered an intriguing question: do higher taxes drive wealthy people out of state? If you ever plan to sell a high-end Springfield, Missouri home, the answer would be more than academic. Whether our own state’s position on the tax rate hierarchy could measurably affect high-end property marketability—that is, if the well-heeled set is beginning to allow changes in state tax tables to determine their home base—is very much at issue.

So this investigation (it was sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department), which focused on millionaires, came up with the statistical answer to the question (as Forbes put it) of “Do High State Taxes Drive Away the Rich?

Apparently the answer is no.

For any real estate agent running million dollar listings—or for any multi-million-dollar property owner considering selling their home in the Springfield, MO area anytime soon—that is one fewer factor to have to address.  The study found that U.S. millionaires who earn over $1 million annually are actually one of the groups least likely to relocate to a new state. It could be because their seven-figure incomes are tied to their current locale; or it could be because in the rarified atmosphere mega-incomes provide, marginal tax rates don’t matter (we doubt that—high income folks usually have plenty to worry about, and taxes are certainly in there).

Also interesting: the lower your household income, the more likely you are to move. In a mobile society like ours, that seems to make good sense—and is somewhat reassuring. People are still chasing opportunity; are still motivated to go where jobs are available.

So what does this mean for those selling a home in Springfield or buying a Springfield Home?

That depends, as it usually does, on your individual circumstances much more than on big-picture trends that can be analyzed on a national level. What is definite is that if you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Springfield Missouri area this summer, success starts with a solid, localized market analysis and an experienced real estate agent.

Contact me, Julie Pickens, your Springfield MO real estate agent anytime at Realty Executives by Realty Choice for all your real estate needs! If you would like to receive a free localized market analysis, please give me a call at 417-881-5656 or send me an email – just use the form below! You have my No Spam guarantee.



Questions? Need Advice? Contact Julie Pickens for More Information. 100% Private and Discreet Always.

Selling a Springfield MO Home Yourself: Not the Best Do-It-Yourself Project

(Published on - 4/16/2018 4:49:05 PM)
Selling a Springfield MO Home Yourself is a Lonely Proposition


You pronounce it “FIZZ-bow.

That’s FSBO: For Sale by Owner, and it’s the Road Less Travelled by homeowners bent on selling a home in Springfield MO as economically as possible. It does seem to make common sense, after all. It’s the homeowner who knows the ins and outs of their own home best—so who could be more qualified to show it off to the buyers who’ll be lined up, waiting to take a look?

And even more to the point, why lose any part of the sale proceeds to some local Springfield MO real estate agent? It can’t be rocket science to fill out the paperwork and complete the sale. Isn’t that just common sense?

For those considering selling a home themselves, even cursory research is likely to result in one nagging question. The latest sampling from the NAR shows that the vast majority—88%, in fact—of today’s successful sellers are assisted by a real estate agent. That proportion has been growing, lately, too: it’s up 19 percentage points since 2001. This has to give rise to the nagging question: If it’s common sense, how come the vast majority, eventually wind up going with a real estate agent?”

What actually happens in a sale plays a large part, starting with an examination of the bottom line of actual sales. It reflects the fact that the customary commission percentage that goes to real estate professionals is split in two, with half going to the seller’s and half to the buyer’s agent. So the net “savings” a FSBO seller stands to realize is half of the usual initial assumption when the buyer is professionally introduced by the buyer’s representative.

Unless the buyer just appears on his or her own.

Which brings up a couple of other potential problems. If the buyer shows up on the seller’s doorstep, who has qualified him or her? (Short answer: probably nobody). It’s awkward and practically impossible for a homeowner to interview every prospective buyer in depth before showing the home, but having strangers in your Springfield home with no outside record of the event is at best an iffy prospect. The fact is, most qualified home buyers see the advantage of teaming with a licensed Springfield MO real estate agent, whose market knowledge is up to the minute, and who will assist them every step of the way at no cost to themselves. Those qualified buyers stand to be a FSBO’s likeliest prospects, in which case the potential ‘savings’ from a do-it-yourself strategy are halved.

But as a working reality, FSBO sellers run a substantial risk that those hoped-for calls from active real estate agents may be slow to materialize. It is often the case that local Realtors, noting that the home is a FSBO, place it low on the list of properties their clients have time to tour. Among other indicators, a FSBO listing on the internet signals to the Springfield real estate community that the owner is not truly serious about selling the home—else why is it not part of a professional office’s marketing package? Too, buyers’ agents work to protect their clients from difficult situations, and many FSBO sellers are not well-versed and experienced in negotiating and selling houses. Problems can erupt. All things being equal, it means that FSBOs get few showing requests.

Plus, any advertising costs will be paid for out of the owner’s own pocket—an expensive strategy if done effectively and professionally.


It’s pretty clear why almost 9 out of 10 homeowners selling a home go with a qualified local real estate agent. I hope you agree—and decide to contact me! Julie Pickens, Springfield MO Real Estate Agent.


Questions? Need Advice? Contact Julie Pickens for More Information. 100% Private and Discreet Always.


Got Active Children and Selling a Home?

(Published on - 4/15/2018 4:17:36 PM)


When you work with a Springfield real estate agent to list your home, you will have a built-in support system and the best advice on how to prepare for selling your home. Most real estate agents understand you deal with additional challenges when you sell your home in Springfield with active children living in it. An article by Inman points out children can actually be a help with selling a home as long as you make it fun. With last-minute showings, open houses and the extremely busy seller’s market in Springfield this spring, you will ideally want to keep your home in immaculate condition.

Make Moving Adventurous

To keep your children entertained and interested in helping with the move, make a game of packing. Depending on the age of your children, you can encourage them to sort through belongings. One idea is to use put wrapping paper or colorful paper on the boxes. Ask the children to place kitchen items in the green box, bathroom items in the red box and bedroom toys in the yellow box. When your children feel as though they are part of the process, it is more likely they will feel excited about the move.

Giving Children a Chart

You can also give your child a list of things to do every day to keep their rooms in order and help with the overall cleanliness of your home. Give them stars and treats for accomplishing what is on their to-do list.

Pack a Bag and be Ready

It is also smart to have a bag packed with your children’s homework, a change of clothing, treats and entertainment ideas in case you need to take them somewhere while your real estate agent shows the home. Vacating the home with little notice will increase your odds of reaching more potential homebuyers in Springfield.

Prioritize Your Children’s Items

Even if your children own 100’s of toys, they cannot play with everything at once. Talk to them about which items they want the most. Let them choose their favorite toys. Explain their others toys are going on a vacation so you can put the rest in storage. Having too much clutter in your home “turns off potential buyers.”

Other tips for selling your home with active children living in it includes keeping fresh air flowing to eliminate odors. Do not allow your children to leave out their shoes since they create odors you cannot easily mask. When staging the home, avoid creating bedrooms that look too much like a “girl’s room” or a “boy’s room.” Instead, keep things neutral but appealing. The person buying your home might not have children or grandchildren.



About the Author Julie Pickens: At Realty Executives By Realty Choice, I work with people who own real estate in Springfield, MO as well as people looking to live in our beautiful city. For more tips on selling your home in less time, and with active children please contact me by phone at 417-881-5656 or by email at


Questions? Need Advice? Contact Julie Pickens for More Information. 100% Private and Discreet Always.


See What This Real Estate Agent Offers Sellers

(Published on - 4/12/2018 8:23:47 PM)


For decades, even generations, real estate agents and real estate brokerages thrived because they were the gateway to homes listed for sale through the proprietary Multiple Listing Service (MLS). While good service has always been part of the mix, brokerages' as well as real estate agents access to listings was seen as the most important value-add for both home sellers and buyers. Nowadays, because buyers and sellers can comb the market through other online portals, access is no longer for sale.

Truth be told, this disruptive change was hard for many real estate agents to adapt to, and still is. For me, however, the change presented an opportunity to highlight what I have always offered “professional service.” What I offer home sellers is high-end service that, among other things, completely embraces the digital age.

Here are several unique services among many that I bring to the table:

  • Syndication. Once I list a property, it doesn't just show up on the MLS or Zillow, it explodes out to 100’s of websites for national and international online showcasing, making the property known to every buyer shopping in that particular neighborhood. With my analytics, I can see what is working, in real time.
  • Social media. Website syndication is the backbone of digital marketing, but social media is the heart. Of course we use Facebook, but Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram can all tie together as well for a more individuated presentation.
  • Pricing. Because I maintain business relationships with several banks as well as having HUD-approval for listing government homes, my pricing metrics have to be top notch. I have to stay on top of the game because I am graded, and I have maintained the top score for years. A Certified Pricing Specialist is on my team. Pricing a home using only comparable sales might provide a snapshot, but it does not guarantee a price that will invite offers, even competitive ones. 

There is more, so feel free to contact me and see what I offer home sellers. A home is usually a person's single biggest investment, and selling it is not, and should not be, a walk in the park. It is serious business and it is what I do for a living.


About the Author Julie Pickens: Disruptive change comes to every profession as some point or other, but it has provided me with the ability to demonstrate quality, and professional service with all my Springfield, MO clients. Contact me for an individual consultation and see what I mean. "I Achieve Excellence by Exceeding the Expectations of Every Client, Every Time."


Questions? Need Advice? Contact Julie Pickens for More Information. 100% Private and Discreet Always.

Common Advice on Open House Red Flags

(Published on - 3/29/2018 5:03:24 PM)

open house

A Springfield MO Real Estate Agents Advice on Open House Red Flags - Julie Pickens

When buying a home, it is often an adventure that includes some stressful and some fun moments. Attending open houses and touring homes are a few of the exciting aspects. Open houses are also opportunities to observe red flags that cause you to question a particular home for sale. When working with Springfield MO real estate agents, talk about a game plan for touring homes during open houses. Most home sellers in Springfield host open houses on Saturdays or Sundays. According to a recent article by The Inquirer, it is important to pay attention to warning signs that a home could end up costing you a fortune in repairs. Buying a money pit is not the goal for most aspiring homeowners in Springfield MO.

Scanning the Neighborhood for Signs

If there are multiple houses listed in one neighborhood, it could mean residents do not like the area. Before an open house, ask your Springfield MO real estate agent to give you a tour of the neighborhood to see if there are successful business, well-kept yards and community lighting, landscaping and amenities. In addition to for-sale signs, look to see if the neighbors fail to maintain their yards or look as though every day is a yard sale.

homes for sale

Using your Sense of Smell

No matter how many cookies a seller bakes, it will not mask the smell of mildew or pet damage. During an open house, you can discreetly smell each room while walking through. Most home sellers do burn candles or spray air freshener when showing a home so it does not necessarily mean they are hiding anything.

candle burning

Noticing Rooms that are Off-limits

Experts say it is important to see every room in a home before you place an offer on a home. If certain rooms are “off-limits” during an open house, it could mean the owner is trying to finish messy repairs or a paint job. However, even if the owner uses a room just for storage, you should peek into the room.

Other red flags during an open house include peeling paint that indicates moisture problems as well as rotted windows. Check to see if the owner kept up with basic maintenance by observing broken fixtures, outdated outlets or drafts. Unfinished construction is also a red flag because it means you would likely need to finish an expensive renovation.


About Julie Pickens

I am a real estate agent who thoroughly enjoys helping potential homebuyers and sellers looking for houses in the Springfield, MO, area. For more information on red flags at open houses, please contact me. I would be happy to share my experience and knowledge with you whether buying a home or selling a home in Springfield Missouri.


julie pickens

Questions? Need Advice? Contact Julie Pickens for More Information. 100% Private and Discreet Always.



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