Monthly Archives: May, 2007

Freedom Isn’t Free

No, Freedom Isn’t Free
By CDR Kelly Strong, USCG (Ret).

I watched the flag pass by one day.

It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?
How many pilots’ planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, freedom isn’t free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,

When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen,
“When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn’t free.

60 Minutes Attack On Realtors

I have always enjoyed 60 Minutes and thought they provided fair and unbiased reporting. But that changed Sunday night with Leslie Stahl’s segment, Chipping Away At Realtors Six Percent.

The report focused on an Internet based company, Redfin, whose business model is based on rebating commissions to buyers. The company uses the very commissions Redfin criticizes Realtors for collecting to its advantage. From what I could tell, without these commissions Redfin has nothing to offer the consumer.

Much of the information presented in the segment was incorrect and the National Association of Realtors was not interviewed to give another viewpoint, even though they offered more than once.

NAR’s response to 60 Minutes can be read here.

Energy Efficient Homes

As we become more aware of how fragile our environment is, we are becoming more concerned with improving the efficiency of our homes. One way to do this is to conduct a Home Energy Audit to determine how and where we can save.

If you are considering building a new Vermont home, you might want to consider working with a builder who uses Energy Star products. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.

Give me a call at 800-659-1819 #103, if you want more information concerning building a Vermont home. I am glad to put my experience and expertise to work for you.

Irene Gaffigan Earns Quality Service Certification (QSC)

For the first time a standard of service and accountability is being offered to consumers in the area of the quality of real estate service delivery. Irene Gaffigan of United Country Farm Town Realty, Proctorsville office, has just completed the requirements to earn Quality Service Certified® professional recognition. Holding the Quality Service Certification® requires a sales agent to follow a well-defined and prescribed process of service, to present that process in writing to every customer and client, and to guarantee its delivery.

According to Larry D. Romito, President, CEO of Quality Service Certification, Inc., “ Irene Gaffigan has joined a growing number of real estate professionals nationwide who are committing to the delivery of a defined service process and a higher standard of accountability in service delivery and customer satisfaction. This is an industry breakthrough in the establishment of a measurable standard of care and service.” An integral part of the sales agent’s ability to maintain Quality Service Certified® status, rests with service evaluation feedback from every buyer and seller served. Following the closing of each home purchase or home sale, an independent research company sends the consumer a Quality Service Assurance Survey? asking tough questions about the details and overall satisfaction of service provided by the sales agent and broker.

“Sales associates and brokers are highly motivated to protect their Quality Service Certified® status by delivering better service satisfaction, more service value and higher accountability. The Quality Service Certified® total service system offers a predictable, accountable, reliable, and consistent service outcome.” Romito added, “The era of real estate service ‘improv’ is coming to a close. The purchase or sale of what for most of us is our most valuable asset deserves the serious attention and accountability of a defined, written and communicated service process with measurable standards and that’s exactly what a Quality Service Certified® professional must deliver.”

Quality Service Certification, Inc. of San Juan Capistrano, California is the leading firm in service process delivery and measurable quality control in the real estate industry. Company spokesperson can be contacted at (949) 481-4438 or http://www.qualitycertified.org/.

How To Sell Your Vermont Home Fast!

The number of Vermont homes for sale has increased dramatically in the last year, causing homes to stay on the market for longer periods of time. If you are selling a home and want it to sell FAST, you’ll be interested in my FREE e-Book, ‘450 Ideas To Sell Your Home Faster’. Here you will learn tips and tricks to make your home sell faster and for more money.

Get your copy today and give me, Irene Gaffigan, a call at 800-659-1819 #103 with any questions you might have or to get a current market valuation on your Vermont home.