At some time in your life, if you are fortunate enough, you will be purchasing or selling a home. Do you ever wonder how to choose an agent and or a real estate office to represent you? Many people “know” a realtor and are comfortable enough with that person to represent them during this large undertaking. However, often times when the decision to buy or sell comes up in one’s life, they are not sure where to turn. A safe bet is to ask around and get referrals from friends and family. Chances are, if you do not know a realtor personally, you know someone who does.
There are several things to consider when choosing a realtor. First and foremost, you want someone you trust. Although all realtors must abide by a strict code of ethics, people and personalities are different. Nothing can be more frustrating than working with someone who has a different set of ideals and priorities than you. Also and often just as important, you want to engage in someone who knows and lives in the same market as you are considering buying or selling. This agent will be more aware of each and every sale within that market area and will be better prepared to assist you in preparing a list price or an offer. Another item to consider is using a realtor whom works in the real estate business full time. Like anything, the more you do it, the better you will be. So often real estate agents are “part-timers” and thus may not be as prepared or as knowledgeable as one who works in real estate “for a living”. Experienced agents can not only help you buy and or sell your home, but they will be better prepared to educate you on how to “stage” your home, how to price your home, market the home and ultimately see it through to closing. Experienced agents will also be more familiar with the current financing industry which can go along way when applying for a mortgage. This also holds true in preparing your home so the bank will not find problems with your home which might be a red flag. An experienced agent will be more familiar with the entire process to include meeting deadlines within the contract, dealing with the appraiser, the loan officer, the attorneys and the home inspector. Another factor one should consider when choosing a realtor is service. Remember, realtors are getting paid a commission and thus, you want this person to provide you with the best service possible and treat you like you are their only client. There are many agents out there whom have their face painted on all the billboards in town and you see their name everywhere. This is not a bad thing as they are trying to make a name for themselves, however be careful because so often, they are so busy and representing so many clients that they will not be there for you when you need them. If you are considering buying a house, you want your agent to be able to show you properties based on your schedule, not theirs. This is the same idea when choosing a real estate office.
Large real estate offices often times have more resources available for you, however the same principle applies. You want to make sure you are not treated like a number. A smaller real estate office will often not have as many clients and thus will often be able to provide you with a more personal and one on one service. This is not to say larger firms do not treat you well, it just means when there are more clients to serve, there may be less service to go around. When it comes to listing a property, people so often want to have a sign in front of their house that is recognizable. This is very understandable, however, if a house is properly priced and shows well, it does not matter what sign is in front of the house. A potential purchaser will be willing to look at a house that shows well and is properly priced no matter what sign is in the front yard. If the office you choose is a member of the local Multiple Listing Service, your house will be marketed throughout the internet the same as any other office. Again, potential purchasers do not care who is selling the house, they are interested in the house itself.
In conclusion, as you can see, there are numerous factors to consider when choosing a realtor and a real estate office. The above are some items to consider while making your decision. Take your time, do your research, and hopefully your decision will make the entire transaction a satisfying and successful one.
When I moved to the town of Wilton in 2000, little did I know what a great plus it was moving just minutes from Gavin Park. I had two children at the time and now have four. I thought it was great to have a town park nearby. What I did not realize was that Gavin Park is not just a town park, it is the crème de la crème of town parks! The below clip is taken directly from the town of Wilton website regarding Gavin Park.
Gavin Park is a central recreation complex for residents of the Town of Wilton and surrounding communities. Not only does Gavin Park offer a myriad of youth activities such as an After School Program and Summer Day Camp, sports programs for baseball, soccer, basketball, pickle ball and coaches’ clinics, and family celebrations like the Holiday Tree lighting and Community Day, and also hosts several regional athletic tournaments and events that bring thousands of people to the area who frequent local shops, restaurants and hotels. Additionally, Gavin Park provides employment opportunities for many area youth.
Although this description makes the park sound inviting, it does not do it justice. The entire park is irrigated ensuring plush grounds and features several soccer and baseball fields, tennis and basketball courts, playground, waterpark, ice skating park, and a 1.17 mile running/walking trail around the entire perimeter. There are two gymnasiums for basketball, volleyball and pickle ball. Along with all the recreation facilities, there is a large pavilion for parties and events.
The park host numerous events throughout the year to include several soccer and baseball tournaments which attract teams from throughout the northeast. ParkFest is another great annual event which brings 10,000 visitors. It is the town of Wilton’s fun filled community day and features all kinds of free activities such as face painting, a petting zoo, kids fun run, 5k race, numerous vendors, live music, amusement park rides and a fireworks show at the end of the day. There are also several kid and adult programs which take place throughout the year. There is always something to do at Gavin Park!
One of the two gymnasiums was built in 2006 by the “Christopher Dailey Foundation”. The below clip is from the Gavin Park website regarding Christopher and the Christopher Dailey Foundation.
Christopher Dailey was an active and spirited 8 year old “boy next door,” a third grade student at Dorothy Nolan Elementary School, and the beloved son of Mark and Maria Dailey of Wilton, NY. On November 23, 2001, the day after Thanksgiving, Christopher died suddenly in the hospital. His sudden and tragic departure left a devastating void not only in his family, but also with his playmates, friends, neighbors and fellow students.
This foundation was established with a goal to build a lasting and living memory of Christopher through the construction of a youth recreational facility somewhere in the Greater Saratoga Area. The stipulations were simple: To enrich the children of our community with a place to play, learn and enhance their lives through team and individual sports activities in a facility that bears his name. The Christopher Dailey Memorial Youth Gymnasium was completed on March 2nd, 2006 and is currently getting extensive use by our community youth.
The two main fundraisers for the Christopher Daily Foundation are the annual Turkey Trot held on Thanksgiving Day and a golf outing held each spring at McGregor Links Country Club. The foundation’s mission statement is very simple. “Serving the Saratoga Community by providing resources that support our youth, the Christopher Dailey Foundation fulfills its mission through scholarships for youth including; athletics, the needy and our physically challenged children.”
Aside from building the gymnasium, it has also supported numerous organizations such as the Double HH Ranch, Special Olympics of NY, Project Lift, along with financial support for just about every sports activity and organization in the Wilton and Saratoga Springs area.
As you can see, Gavin Park and the Christopher Dailey Foundation combine to enhance this already beautiful area to raise a family. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding Gavin Park or the Christopher Dailey Foundation, please visit www.christopherdaileyfoudation.org or feel free to contact me at (518) 281-4113 or DMunn@HighRockSells.com.
As a NYS certified appraiser and a RE Broker, I am often asked what is the best way to prepare ones house for sale. This is a wide open question and the answers are not always black and white. They are based not so much on a blanket response, as much as one that is catered to the specific property. One quick answer is to ask the homeowner “what would you like to see if you were looking at your home to purchase it?”. So often the results depend on location, as well as what market segment the house would draw. Is it located in downtown Saratoga Springs or a suburban setting in the town of Wilton? Would the potential purchasers be empty nesters, young families, urban professionals, etc? Knowing who would be interested in the property can have an influence on how to prepare it for sale. The goal is simple: what can you do to maximize the value of your house without spending more money than you will see in return? By determining who the potential purchasers might be, you can refine what should be done to gear the house towards that market segment. If the house is ideal for a first time home buyer, you would not necessarily finish the home with “top of the line” finishing materials. You may want to prepare the home so it is in “move in condition” and not necessarily break the budget. Some not so expensive and simple steps such as paint, new flooring, lighting fixtures, outlet covers go a long ways to improving the appeal of a property at minimal cost. Remember, you are trying to appeal to first time home buyers, so the quality is not as important as utility and overall condition. In contrast, if your property is two blocks from Broadway in Saratoga Springs, where the location appeals to a wide spectrum of buyers, you may want to prepare the home with upgrades and features which appeal to a more affluent buyer. Of course, this may cost more, however, when you are in an ideal location, you will often see the return on your investment. If you are not sure what steps you should take in getting your home ready for sale, I strongly advise you consult a realtor or an appraiser. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at DMunn@HighRockSells.com .