Who Needs Marie Kondo With These Real Estate Agents Around (Part 1)?

By Tara L. Christianson on Jan 25, 2019 8:14:00 AM

Are you one of the millions of people who have either read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up or watched her Netflix show, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”? Both have inspired many people across the country (and the world) to look at their homes with a different set of eyes, to get rid of things that no longer “spark joy” and to organize what they keep more neatly. From a real estate perspective, it’s fantastic this show is getting so much notice, as helping people ‘tidy’ up and declutter before putting their home on the market is one of the many tasks of most real estate agents! We asked our resident tidy-ers their tips for helping sellers prepare their homes for sale, as well as how to keep them clean for showings and open houses. Here is part one of their responses. Be sure to come back next week for part two!

“I’ve learned most recently, after getting my own home ready for sale after living and raising our kids for the last 18 years, that this is more overwhelming than I thought. Being sympathetic to how stressful this is has helped me to help my clients in a different way the last six months.

First, take it room by room, so it’s less stressful. Deciding what needs to be saved, donated or trashed is always important, but how to do that is even more important. Can they do this themselves or do they need help from a service (if they are older)? Is the house really in need of a lot of work? Maybe they’ll need a dumpster instead. So, it’s up to me to provide the relevant resources to help.
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Why You Shouldn't Wait Until Spring to List a Home

By Tara L. Christianson on Dec 31, 2018 10:40:24 AM

Traditionally, people think the real estate market starts in the spring of every year. However, savvy sellers know that listing in the winter ‘off-season’ can prove to be beneficial. Don’t believe us? Here’s what our CENTURY 21 Redwood agents had to say about why you should be listing your home right now.

“Of course, winter or off-season listing is beneficial to willing sellers!

There is less competition (fewer homes for buyers to select from) with fewer homes on the market that time of year AND buyers who are out in the marketplace are more seriously motivated to locate their next home & commit to a closing date.

Agents typically are carrying less inventory so have more personalized time for marketing. Vendors are also less busy, so scheduling photo shoots, repairs, remodeling is more flexible and compatible with seller plans.”

Ruthan O’Toole, Agent, C21 Redwood Locust Grove

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Joining or Starting a Real Estate Team? Read This First...

By Tara L. Christianson on Dec 5, 2018 11:04:00 AM

Shakespeare once wrote, “To team or not to team, that is the question.” OK, so maybe that’s paraphrasing a little, but we bet if Shakespeare were around in real estate today, he might have rethought his original text, and for good reason! One of the biggest buzzwords of the past five years is “teams” – specifically, real estate teams. Whether to start one, whether to join one, how to go about hiring for one, the highs and lows of being part of one…all of these things need to be taken into consideration before taking your next step. We asked some of our CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty agents who were familiar with some aspect of teams to share their experiences with you. Here’s what three of them had to say:

Pros and Cons, from a Former Team Member

Century 21 Redwood Realty Fairfax agent Laurel Chinn sees the positives and not-so-positives of working in a team (at least the team she was on). She shares both sides of her personal experience:

“I was on a team for a while and loved the feeling of inclusivity and I know I'm not alone in this! However, I did not like the overall culture as it was sort of militant. I'm all about hard work, but being expected to work 14 hours for little pay and then expected to join them for 'fun' at night and do my lunches with them...which could get expensive...was not cool. While I know not all teams are like that, I am a bit more tentative about teams now. With that in mind, I think I'd vet a team very well before joining because I did like the group feel of the team and not always having to generate my own leads was pretty great!” 

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5 Items That Need to Be on Your Pre-Settlement Checklist

By Tara L. Christianson on Aug 27, 2018 12:52:06 PM

Do you have a checklist for actions you need to take with your buyer or seller clients before you get to the settlement table? Check to see if these are on your list! We asked our CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty agents for mistakes they see real estate agents make before getting to the settlement table, and here’s what they answered. (Consider it a real estate agent’s wish list for other agents.) It’s an excellent opportunity to learn what not to do – and maybe even have a few additions to your “preparing my client for settlement” checklist! 

Title Companies and Title Insurance Advice

“The worst for me is having a buyer shocked to see title insurance cost. We can't sell title insurance and have to be careful what we say because we are not licensed to do so, but it is important to introduce the topic and refer them to a good source. I do it with my buyers when I review their estimated closing cost list when writing an offer (or earlier).” – MaryEllen Rubenstein, C21 Redwood Reston

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The Riches in Niches for Real Estate Agents and Their Clients

By Tara L. Christianson on Mar 2, 2018 3:05:05 PM

At this January’s Inman Connect conference, several of us at CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty had the pleasure of seeing speaker John Henry. One of his most notable quotes was: “There’s riches in niches.” Henry was referring to finding a niche in the super-competitive world of New York City drycleaners – specializing in handling the cleaning needs of movie wardrobes. That same motto, however, holds true in the real estate world. There are so many benefits to dominating a tight niche market in your real estate business, whether it’s a specific farm area or your local church group.

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