Tag Archives: real estate

4 Spring Cleaning Tips To Tidy Your Home

March 2016_3-SpringCleaning

You clean your living space all the time: fluff pillows, dust bookcases and wash those dishes that seem to multiply themselves if you leave them overnight. There’s a couple times a year, however, where those corners and cabinets and carpets you sometimes neglect could use a deep clean. Here are 4 spring cleaning tips for those forgotten spaces in your home.

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Outlook for 2016’s Housing Market

Story-3_5-2016HousingMarketA new year means a new set of predictions for the future of real estate. How will 2016 shake out? Here are some U.S. and Canadian prognoses:

U.S. housing is intimately tied with job outlook

With a strong 2015 behind us, growth in the housing market should continue in 2016 — as long as job opportunities continue to grow to allow both first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners to participate in the market. That’s even with possible economic changes like rising interest rates.

“As the economy gets better, job and wage growth should keep pace. So even though mortgage rates will rise, they will still be low by historical standards and very affordable,” says National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chief Economist David Crowe in a news release. The organization’s Senior Economist Robert Denk noted that with the evolution past the immediate troubles of the bust, the nation will see “broad-based recovery.” Continue reading

3 Budget-Friendly Home Design Trends for 2016

When Pantone released its 2016 home design trend book — all the way back in April of 2015 — it set in motion a host of thoughts about what’s coming back in style: maybe it’s metallics and the midcentury modern aesthetic or artisanal pieces with a complementary color palette.

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Here are three ways to jump on the latest trends while not emptying out your wallet: Continue reading

6 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home

The holidays are over, there’s only a handful of leftovers in the fridge and all the family is finally out of the house. What might spring to mind to start off the new year is getting back in shape after all those big December meals. But another great area to look for resolutions in is your home. 

Here are six ways to kick start the new year with a fresh perspective on your property.

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EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Chris Proctor, Realty Executives Devonshire Realty

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

Chris Proctor, Edmonton REALTOR, Realty Executives

REALTOR® Chris Proctor’s family has been in real estate since the early 1990s, spending more than 15 of those years at Realty Executives. So when it came time for him to join the family business, Realty Executives Devonshire Realty with Patti Proctor was a natural choice.

Areas served:
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — all central Edmonton neighbourhoods

What are your specialties and designations?
Listing agent, buyer’s agent, accredited buyer’s representative®, and infill specialist

How many years have you been in the real estate industry? How many years with Realty Executives?
I’ve been in real estate for 6 years — all of them with Realty Executives. Continue reading

50 Years of Real Estate Excellence Celebrated at 2015 Broker/Owner Conference

“The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.”
–  Arthur Koestler, novelist

Realty Executives honors top performers in attendance at annual event

Dale Rector started out with an innovative concept of 100% commission for agents. But little did he know that when he began a company, he’d really be revolutionizing the real estate industry.

More than 100 attendees from all four corners of the U.S., across Canada and even attendees from Mexico and Turkey came to Scottsdale to celebrate 50 years of innovation at the 2015 Realty Executives International Broker | Owner Conference.

The strides in technology, the Realty Executives brand as well as interactive networking and roundtable discussions were held, but the (surprise) highlight of the event were the Culture of Excellence awards. Realty Executives International started a new tradition at this year’s conference by celebrating top performers in attendance with a variety of awards recognizing growth, retention and excellence in real estate.

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Courtesy of Realty Executives Eite Ltd. Facebook | Costa Poulopoulos and Mary Johnson at the 2015 Culture of Excellence Awards

Awards included:

    • 2015 Special Recognition: Awarded to Len Huck, the former president of Valley National Bank who gave Dale the first loan to start Realty Executives.
    • 2015 Founder’s Award: Awarded to June Rector for her role in the creation and legacy of Realty Executives.
    • Agent’s Choice: Award winners represent stability, consistency and retention. Each company represented boasts more than 20 Executives that they have retained year-over-year.
    • Homes from the Heart Hero: Awarded to Steve and Nancy Summers of Realty Executives of Kansas City for their extended charitable support for Habitat for Humanity within the Kansas City area.
    • Fastest Growing: Award winners have 10 or more Executives in their brokerage and have grown by at least 15% or more during the last year.
    • Market Leader: Award winners hold major market share in their communities with more than 100 Executives in their brokerage.
    • Extraordinary Brokerage: Awarded to Jeff Murtaugh, Jeff Hawke and Joel Moyes of Realty Executives Phoenix for their leadership throughout the transition of Realty Executives Phoenix in the last year.  

For a full list of winners, click here.

At An Open House, Safety Is Everyone’s Job

Last year, agent Beverly Carter was murdered after showing a house to what she thought was a prospective cash buyer. Since then, September as REALTOR® Safety Month has held special significance for agents. It’s also become a rallying point to keep safety top-of-mind. Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home or showing the home, ensuring a safe real estate transaction is important.

Here are some ways each party can stay safe in both a common but possibly dangerous situation: the open house.

For the seller: Your first showing of your home happens online. Hide pictures of your children and loved ones. Tuck away identifiable information from the eyes of criminals. Know exactly when your information is going up on the MLS and be prepared to turn down unexpected visits from stop-in “buyers.” All those precautions you took for online listings? Do them ten-fold for in-person showings. Ensure calendars that display your family’s whereabouts get hidden from view. Lock up valuables like computers or jewelry. Hide any alcohol or prescription medications that might be in cabinets around your home. (Addicts often target open houses for places to pick up substances.)

For the buyer: Luckily for the real estate market and the economy, foreclosures are down from their peaks of the last decade. Lessons learned from this tumultuous time in real estate, however, are still key to safety. Research the neighborhood’s safety stats before you visit. (You’ll want this information anyway before you buy, so it’s great to get a head start.) Keep an eye out for anything strange while walking around a home once you have arrived. Have your agent check for hazards in the home from loose floorboards to surprise squatters.

For the agent: If you can, view properties—hopefully with a colleague—before you show them to a client. This helps ensure there are no unwanted visitors in say, a foreclosed or abandoned home. But it also allows a chance for you to map a safety and exit plan in case of an emergency situation in the home. Alert others when you are viewing homes if you must go alone. Establishing a predetermined “safety phrase” with your office manager or broker is also helpful. You can even dip your toe into the high-tech market with wearable technology. These new devices can help save you in a high-pressure situation.

For everyone: Here’s the takeaway—Think about safety before it becomes an emergency. Creating a game plan ahead of time is a great way to keep everyone safe while on the way to finding their dream home.

For more ways to stay safe, check out REALTOR® Magazine’s Field Guide to Safety.

EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Lauren Ellington, Realty Executives Phoenix

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

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Real Estate Agent Lauren Ellington of Realty Executives Phoenix made the switch from a corporate career to real estate more than a decade ago when she made the leap from her home state of Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. Now, Lauren is sharing a little bit about how she’s learning life/work balance, why her broker answers her calls on his motorcycle and why NBA players love her style.

Areas served:
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa

How many years have you been in the real estate industry?  How many years with Realty Executives?
12 years in real estate and 12 years with Realty Executives

Did you have an “aha” moment in life – an experience that made it clear to you that real estate was the right career path for you?
Right out of college I worked in the corporate world. I wanted a career that didn’t have a cap on how much you could earn. I love people, houses, design and business so real estate was the perfect fit! Continue reading

Christine Wilczek Gives HGTV’s Frank Fontana Her Expert Advice

Managing Broker Christine Wilczek of Realty Executives Elite has one takeaway for sellers: to attract buyers, make sure your current house feels like their future home. The real estate expert based out of Lemont, Illinois, had honest guidance for radio callers and for Frank Fontana, who hosts WGN’s “The Frank Fontana Show” and designs on HGTV’s Chicago version of “Design On A Dime.”

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Photo courtesy of Christine Wilczek

For those looking to sell their home, Wilczek had some key pieces of advice:

Staging your home isn’t optional, it’s necessary. Wilczek says staging is one of the most important parts of marketing a modern home because of what she called “the HGTV effect.” “Today’s buyer watches a lot of TV shows, including HGTV shows,” she said. “Today’s buyer wants to walk into staged perfection. They don’t truly have a vision of what a house can become. They want to walk into and already see the vision of what a house is. That’s how our market has changed.”

De-personalize your home. “If there are any personal pictures up, take them down,” Wilczek said. “It’s a distraction to a potential home buyer.” She also advised sellers that taking out references to pets in a home is critical as it’s a major buyer turn off. Then, neutralize wall color and remove other personal objects to ensure the home is ready for a buyer to view, Wilczek said. Continue reading