Tag Archives: vermont real estate

Fanatical Training

The idea of a week long company orientation would make most of us yawn.  But Rackspace, a web hosting company in San Antonio, puts one on that is anything but boring. Check it out here.

What do you think… fun or a plain waste of time?

I hope you have a fanatical week!  I’m here if you need anything.

Irene

Advertisements

New Goals

As we are starting the New Year 2013, I’ve been thinking about goals.  Every year, millions of people sit down and carefully choose where they want to go in life and how they’re going to get there.

Take Jim Layton, for example.  His list just got a new checkmark, but you’ll never guess what for, even though 649 other people were right there with him.  You can find out here.

As you’re thinking about what you want to accomplish next year, please remember that I’m always honored when someone trusts me to help them achieve an important goal.  If I can help you in any way, please just let me know.

Best,
Irene

Irene  Gaffigan,  Associate Broker, CRS, e-PRO
Bean Group

Toll Free: (800) 659-1819
Cell: (802) 353-1983
Fax: (802) 779-0152

Website: http://isellvermontrealestate.com
Visit my blog at: http://www.isellvermontrealestate.com/blog
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/realtorvermont
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/gaffy

Thank you Vermont and Maine

PRESS RELEASE
VSP Sends Troopers to Help in Sandy Recovery Efforts

Waterbury, VT – The Vermont State Police (VSP) will be deploying 11 troopers to New Jersey to provide law enforcement assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The VSP convoy will leave from the Williston Barracks tomorrow, November 4, 2012 at approximately 9AM for a seven day deployment.

VSP members will join with 15 troopers from the Maine State Police (MSP) to create a New England State Police law enforcement strike team to assist state and local law enforcement agencies. During the deployment, VSP members will work closely with the New Jersey State Police to provide law enforcement support and security teams in the areas of New Jersey affected by the storm. Members will be operating out of the Fort Dix area.

———————

Irene Gaffigan - Southern VT Real Estate

If you are considering listing your home for sale or buying Southern Vermont Real Estate, please give me a call at 802-353-1983 or email me at irene@isellvermontrealestate.com

———————-

Irene Gaffigan
Broker, CRS, e-PRO
36 VT Route 30
Bondville, VT 05340
Direct: 802-353-1983
Toll Free: 800-659-1819
Fax: 802-779-0152
Web: www.isellvermontrealestate.com

Featured Listing – Lost Lake/Crooked Path Road, Arlington, VT 05250 (MLS # 4189884)

Beautiful corner lot with views and a wonderful neighborhood.
Septic Design and all permits.

Lost Lake/crooked Path Road, Arlington, VT 05250 (MLS # 4189884)

$120,000
Type Land
Zoning Residential
Water Drilled Well
Square Footage na
Lot Size 137,650 sq ft
Year Built na
Taxes $1,240.00
MLS# 4189884

Description Beautiful corner lot with views and a wonderful neighborhood. Septic Design and all permits in place for a 4 bedroom house – underground power.More information regarding this property

Contact Irene Gaffigan

Irene Gaffigan
Broker, CRS, e-PRO
36 VT Route 30
Bondville, VT 05340
Direct: 802-353-1983
Toll Free: 800-659-1819
Fax: 802-779-0152

Visit us at: Southern Vermont Real Estate

Irene Gaffigan - Southern VT Real Estate

A realtor’s guide to improved client relationships

Do you know what your customers really think about the home-buying process?

According to the 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS, here are the five biggest expectations:

A real estate salesperson should:

  1. Help find the right home to purchase.
  2. Help in negotiating the price.
  3. Help negotiating the terms of the sale.
  4. Determine what comparable homes are selling for.
  5. Assist with the paperwork.

Many buyers do not understand the home-buying process.  Buying a home can be very stressful.  A real estate agent plays many roles during this process – adviser, counselor and friend.  Here are some suggestions to better assist today’s buyers for improved client relationships.

How quick is your response time?  Response time is rated as a very important quality in real estate professionals according to the NAR survey.  It is ranked behind honesty and integrity.  Are you ignoring customer leads?  Are you responding too late?  Today’s internet consumer is expecting a response within the hour. 

Do you have a web presence?  The important determining factors in choosing an agent are trustworthiness and reputation.  With that said, online search is a go-to method to find out more about a real estate practitioner’s business.  Client reviews are important as well as photos and detailed property information.  If you are on social networking pages such as LinkedIn and Facebook, be sure they are up to date and represent your business.

Do you follow the three E’s?  A realtor wears many hats during this process as I mentioned.  You need to be ready to educate, empathize and encourage.

Educate on the area, what comparable homes are selling for, average price per square foot and every stage in the buying process.

Empathize throughout the whole process.  This is a big, scary step where something as simple as the color of the walls becomes a huge obstacle.  Keep calm, listen to them and propose a practical solution or compromise.

Encourage your buyers once they make a decision.  They are looking to you for validation – they want to know they made a good decision.  Review the priorities they stated in their home search and how the home measures up.  This will help lead them all the way to the closing table.

Can you answer their questions?  Of course there are certain questions you can’t answer due to the fair housing laws, but if you ignore the question or gloss over it, you inadvertently make the buyer lose faith in your knowledge about the market or feel like their question didn’t matter.  Keep pertinent data with you, available on your Web site or even in a special buyer packet. 

Are you present through the entire process?  After your buyers have selected a home, don’t disappear until closing day.  They will feel abandoned!  They need your help understanding the entire process and part of that is recommending service providers.  Find an excuse to call – share an article, tell them you drove by and the house looks great.  Help them get information on their new community.

The end of the transaction can be the beginning of a relationship with your clients.  By proving you will be there every step of the way and beyond builds your reputation and a lasting awareness of your services – for the next time they need you, or when their friends and family need you.

 Until next time, Irene

Is the Economy Encouraging Home Buying?

There seems to be a shift in several key housing market indicators, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2012 consumer attitudinal National Housing Survey.  More Americans now expect both home rental and home purchase prices to increase over the next year.  In addition, confidence in consumers’ views of their own finances is stabilizing.  Are these trends providing Americans with an increased sense of urgency to buy a home?

73% of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home.  This is up from 70% in February.  “Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” says Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist of Fannie Mae.  “With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that homeownership is a more compelling housing choice.”

A number of factors seem to be contributing to Americans’ Expectations:

  • Home prices are expected to increase over the next year.
  • Mortgage rates are expected to go up over the next year.
  • People feel “it is a good time to buy”.
  • Home rental prices are expected to increase over 4% – a significant increase.

There appears to be good news about the economy in general and Americans’ household finances.  There was a rise in confidence in the overall economy this month.  35% of respondents think the economy is on the right track.  A very low (12%) of respondents think their personal financial situation will worsen in the next 12 months.  This is good news for everyone.

For more information, visit http://www.fanniemae.com.

Until next time, Irene

Real Estate Agent – or – Expert Advisor

 Real Estate Agent – or – Expert Advisor

Spring is a great time to look at the business landscape.  My business is Real Estate so naturally, I’m interested in what’s happening in my industry – and the real estate industry is changing.  Anthony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues”.  Well, I am determined to follow those clues and remain successful in this business I love – and navigate this changing environment!

Remember when you used a travel agent to book your vacation?  Or walked into your neighborhood Hardware Store and said hello to the owner by name?  How about your local coffee shop?  Okay, I still have a local coffee shop but you see where I’m going.  Expedia, Travelocity and Priceline are your “travel agents”!  There are 2,248 Home Depot big-box format stores that have become your neighborhood Hardware Store.  The same thing that happened in these industries is happening in the real estate industry and it requires all of us to look for the clues to remain successful.  That is good for our industry, good for us and very good for our clients and customers.

A Real Estate sale is more than putting a sign in someone’s front lawn, loading the listing onto the MLS and running an ad.  I was a very early adapter of using the internet to market myself and communicate with others and I continue to use these tools for the common good.  Many traditional real estate agents don’t want to share their best practices, but as an “expert advisor” sharing knowledge and information helps everyone grow.  Sharing best practices, leadership and standards helps build consistency in our industry.  You can be committed to your own success and also to the success of others.

In addition to being committed to sharing and helping others as they help themselves, expert advisors are what their name implies – experts who give good counsel to clients and colleagues alike.  Being an expert doesn’t come easily but being an expert in real estate – understanding people, business, marketing, sales and relationship building is the only true way to create rock-solid and long lasting success.  Expert advisors are 100% committed to doing whatever it takes to get their sellers’ homes the exposure they need to drive up the demand on the home, which will ultimately result in a top-dollar offer.

Expert advisors look to foster strong personal and professional relationships with the agents in their area.  Well-managed relationships help expert advisors collaborate and cooperate with other agents in such a way that they’re able to drive demand up on their listings.  It makes sense that if agents like and want to work with you, more agents will show your listings to potential buyers. 

So I encourage you to find someone who has grown beyond the “traditional” real estate agent role and has become the Expert Advisor.  That person is open to sharing the best and brightest ideas – and has a network of others just like them – and that is good for selling or buying a home.  I will leave you with one last thought:

Compare buying or selling a home with booking a hotel room in Boston.  One decision can be made with a few key-strokes, and one is a significant life decision.  Which one requires an Expert Advisor?

Until next time, Irene

Improvement on the real estate front!

After several months blogging about the Vermont towns that I know and love and after a reminder about how important your own life should be as we enter 2012 – well, it’s time to get back to business!  Let’s talk about real estate.

It will come as no surprise to anyone that it wasn’t a breakout year in 2011 for residential real estate sales.  In my opinion however, there was slight improvement.  While the percentage increase in residential home, condo sales and second home buyers vary from county to county and town to town, the real estate market has been positively affected by the following:

  • Interest rates are at a historic record low.
  • Baby Boomers are nearing retirement and have the ability to snap up high end properties at lower than usual prices.
  • Some people who watch the real estate market feel we won’t see further drops in value.
  • Some buyers who have been on the side-lines for the past several years are ready to re-enter the market.

This does not mean that we will all enjoy easy and quick real estate transactions.  Clients will be cautious, as they should be.  Many home prices remain depressed and are well below their replacement value that it would take to build a new home – which is not necessarily good for builders – but good for qualified home buyers.  There are great buys to be had out there and with interest rates where they are right now, the average person still has a great opportunity to own the “American Dream”. 

Due to the financial hardships that many of the American people have endured in recent history and the country’s Financial Institution’s past lending policies – in my opinion a good credit score and adequate down payment are most important for your future real estate transactions.  There are programs out there for first-time home buyers who qualify so if you are in the market to buy a home, it would be foolish not to look into it now.

I’m happy to live in Vermont in a 4-season resort area.  I believe we will remain a strong second-home market and also a destination supported by our local tourism based partners who continue to focus on that economy and add to their year-round amenities.  If you’ve been thinking about buying property in this area – well, now is the time to do so!

Until next time, Irene

For all your real estate needs in South Central Vermont, contact me at:

irene@isellvermontrealestate.com

802-353-1983

2012 is a Brand New Year!

Happy New Year to you!  As most of us do at this time of year, we reflect on what has happened over the past year and what we want to have happen in the coming year.  I find that my own behavior contributes to the success that I enjoy, whether it is a personal success or a professional one. 

So I wanted to take a moment and outline some of the thoughts that I hope to keep close this year.  Consider these some great ideas to improve your life in 2012!

  • Wake up each day thankful for your life.  No matter how good or bad you have it, someone, somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you are missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing and be grateful.
  • Take Responsibility for your life.  The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  Blaming people or circumstances gives others power over that part of your life.
  • Don’t follow the path of least resistance.  Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary!
  • Face your problems head on.  It is much easier to run!  Know that there is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  It’s okay to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  The purpose of living is to face problems, learn, adapt and solve them over the course of time.  This will help mold you into the person you eventually become.
  • Be yourself.  One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.  Someone might always be prettier, smarter or younger – but they will never be YOU!  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  • It’s okay to make a mistake.  Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing!  Every success has a trail of failures behind it and every failure leads you toward success.  Don’t regret any of your life experiences.
  • Be ready for a challenge.  Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zone, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.  But when you overcome that challenge – what a feeling!
  • Be sure to look at the beauty of small moments.  Enjoy the little things because one day you may look back and discover they were really the big things.  The best part of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

Here is wishing you the best year you can possibly have!

Until next time, Irene

This month’s featured town – Chester, VT

Chester Town Hall

Chester is an amazing town in Vermont. It is a town of churches and some of the most interesting and colorful vistas in New England. You can enjoy the quaint town of Chester with the historic Village Green and the Stone Village, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places – livable structures made from local granite.
Just a month after the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene, Chester held the 37th Annual Fall Festival on the Green, sponsored by the Chester Rotary Club. Over 60 Vermont and New England Artisans, Crafters and Food Concessions gathered in booths spread over the Green in the center of town. Mark your calendars for next year -this is a great fall event to attend!
New Businesses are opening too. The Inn Victoria expanded their business by adding a retail outlet, “Ye Olde Shoppe at Inn Victoria” which will focus on Vermont foods, Vermont made jewelry and other types of goods their guests are looking for while staying in Vermont. There is a new gallery, museum and art school in Chester as well! The Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts (VTica) hosted an open house at the beginning of this month. Located on Depot Avenue across from the Jiffy Mart just off the Chester Village Green, there was a timely photographic essay of 50 images from professional and amateur photographers chronicling the destruction and rebuilding of south/central Vermont in the aftermath of the storm.
There are well established businesses also contributing to Chester’s charm. Bill Austin’s Antique Store has the largest collection of Antiques around and he refurbishes many items himself. It’s quite an experience walking through all the rooms of his store! After antiquing at Austin’s, step into MacLaomainn’s for lunch!
MacLaomainn’s is a Scottish style pub located at 52 South Main Street and Deb and Alan Brown opened their doors in 2008. Their Scottish style menu is unique to this area featuring traditional fish pie, haggis, mince and tatties and steak pie. They also offer pizza, Angus burgers, hot dogs and more! The atmosphere is just what a pub is intended to be – a community living room where everyone can feel at home.
This year the Browns added to their offerings by opening the Great Hall – a conference room, event and music hall which can seat up to 95 people comfortably and is located directly behind the pub. Their hope is that the Great Hall becomes a place where people will comfortably gather with family and friends.
Chester is a delightful town to visit and I’m sure you will discover the warm and inviting atmosphere coming from the local businesses and local people. Come see – you can’t get away from that Vermont spirit!

Chester Depot

Until next time, Irene