Let’s Do This!

I have spent the last couple of weeks in the Lower 48. My husband and I began our journey in a small town in lower Michigan visiting our kids, but we also took a long road trip to the south, taking two different routes going and coming so we could see different areas of the country.

Living in Alaska, my idea of beauty lies in the rugged mountains and the untamed beauty we are surrounded by daily. As lovely as some of the countrysides we passed through were, nothing came close to matching the majestic beauty of Alaska. We are truly spoiled in Alaska with our landscape.

However, I am still in shock at the warmth and friendliness of the folks we encountered on our journey. Especially a sweet elderly lady working at one of the rest areas we stopped at in Georgia who complimented my appearance and informed me that when I came out of the bathroom stall, she needed to give me a big hug. Which she did. Before I could make it to the sink to wash my hands. I may need to bring some of that southern warmth back with me to Alaska. Except I will let you wash your hands before I hug you!

If you are considering a move to Palmer or Wasilla Alaska—it would be my extreme pleasure to serve you in finding your perfect Alaskan dream property.

Spring is just around the corner, and new properties are hitting the market every single day!

If you have not yet made the decision to pull the trigger and make a move—let me show you properties in Alaska via FaceTime or video to help you make the life-changing decision of whether or not Alaska should become the next chapter of your life’s story!

Shoot me a text or call me (907.315.1086) or send me an email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Let’s do this!

Sheila

Surviving REAL Estate in a Shaken Alaska

It’s only been 3 weeks since Alaskan’s experienced a 7.0 earthquake. As with any traumatic experience each person has his or her unique story, coping mechanism and personal reaction to the quake and the ongoing aftershocks still in play.

As a realtor, I had a property set to record on Friday, November 30th, the day of the quake. Obviously, the recording was delayed, along with dozens of other realtor’s properties set to record that day. First things first– we needed to find out if our buyer clients new property was still standing. Prior to the lender releasing funds for the property, we then needed to schedule another inspection to ensure that the earthquake hadn’t caused any damage. We ended up closing the middle of the next week; not too bad all things considered.

A common question I have been asked is, “How will the earthquake affect the future real estate market for Alaska?” This is a very fair question for potential buyer’s and seller’s to ask. 

At first, the shock and awe of the 7.0 left most Alaskan’s thankful to still have a house; some folks were not so lucky and are left struggling upon the news that their property is no longer habitable, a devastating and unexpected result of the earthquake. 

So, how WILL the earthquake affect Alaska’s market? As with any state and any market, no one can give a definitive answer (except God, and He tends to relay information on an “as-needed” timeline. Keeps us more attuned to living by faith in lieu of sight!).

This realtor’s opinion rests that our market will continue to go strong. History indicates that catastrophe’s tend to strengthen a community, bringing them closer together more so than prior to the given catastrophic event. We have been watching this same scenario play out in the Lower 48 in places affected by floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.

I continue to see camrodery throughout our community in Palmer and Wasilla. Yesterday, some elementary school students returned to their school building for the first time due to the immense damage. In a t.v. interview a girl stated that during the earthquake “everyone cared about everyone.” She said that the normal cliques no longer mattered and that it was really cool to see everyone come together. Well said and Amen.

In addition to the normal home inspections buyer clients invest in for a property under contract, there may be an additional need for a structural engineer to take a look at the property based on the advise of the home inspector and/or for peace of mind and due diligence for the clients. 

Most homes were shaken but not destroyed. Most people were shaken but came out stronger.

I agree with the young elementary student; I have noticed a change in perspective in how we are treating one another. Strangers are having conversations with one another at the gas pumps, neighbors are being more neighborly. Overall, Alaskan’s appear to be a little less hurried in the ordinary, mundane, beautiful moments of each day.

Alaska remains a spectacular place to live. 

If you are looking to buy or sell a property–it would be this realtor’s joy to serve you in every aspect of real estate. Shoot me a text, call me (907-315-1086) or send an email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Sheila Cote 

When Life Brings Us “Opportunities”

My husband and I had dinner with some good friends last night.

Intertwined in our conversation of joking, catching up, and enjoying our meal came some thought provoking statements about real life. “It’s interesting,” stated our friend, “how some of the toughest seasons we go through end up teaching us valuable lessons that we could not have learned nor grown from any other way.” He continued, “And then one day someone walking through the same or similar situation crosses our path and without hesitation we are able to give sound advice and encouragement and most important: hope.”

It is oftentimes in moments when we are neck deep in problems that the most amazing inner qualities are being formed: patience, empathy, mercy, tenacity, etc.

When I think about real estate and the many clients I have had the privilege of serving, it is not the “easy” files that come to mind. Don’t get me wrong–I love a transaction with no hiccups! However, when mountain sized problems arise along the journey, we are given opportunity to grow as a person as we face each opportunity head-on.

The “real” in real estate is no joke!

When I am willing to summon the strength and courage to lean IN to a problem (or an “opportunity!”) I don’t allow fear to immobilize me or cause me to run FROM the situation. Finding solutions to problems is a learned skill–and there’s only one way to hone the skill!

I often tell my buyer-clients that the process of purchasing a property doesn’t typically “look” how they may envision it looking. In rare circumstances a buyer may find the perfect property very quickly. For most, however, the journey includes a few zig-zags between the start and finish line.

Crossing the finish line in a successful real estate transaction looks different from one client to the next. But the opportunity to grow from the experience is always up to each person. And who knows–some day when you are least expecting it you may be the person who is able to give encouragement, advice and hope from the “opportunities” you have been willing to face head-on.

If you are looking to buy or sell a property–I would be honored to work alongside you from start to finish–including all the zig-zags in between. Shoot me an email (sheila@valleymarket.com) or call/text (907.315.1086)

 

Sheila

It’s Okay To Have Fun

Ever notice how serious we have become?

Don’t get me wrong; there’s a time and a place for “serious.” Real estate is serious business, yet it can also be a lot of fun.

Amidst the scheduling of showings in Palmer and Wasilla, I watch as my clients emotions range from hope-filled, to disappointed, and finally to animated joy once the perfect home is found. As a realtor I have discovered that a good dose of fun and laughter can (and should!) be intertwined into the gamut of emotions.

Walking into a property that is NOT a fit is a GOOD thing–we must weed out what is NOT a fit in order to discover what IS a fit for you and your family.

In real life, a new home purchase is a process that takes time, patience, endurance and the ability to learn something about yourself from each property. I make a mental checklist as you share what you do and don’t like. This helps me to keep my eyes open when a property hits the market that matches all your wants!

So, we might as well have fun and embrace the process, right?

That’s where I come in. I promise that the PERFECT house is out there! We WILL find it (and have a few good belly laughs along the way)!

If you are looking for a home, I would be honored to help you navigate through the maze of obstacles and challenges in the wonderful world of real estate.

Shoot me a text (907.315.1086) or an email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Let’s do this!

Sheila

 

Open Houses–Do They Work?

For a long time I was an anti-Open House realtor. From time to time I would force myself to have one as a reminder of why they didn’t “work.”

At the beginning of the year I had a change of attitude when one of my seller’s properties which was under contract fell apart and we were in a time crunch due to a 1031 reverse exchange (a great topic for a different blog!).

I knew I had to do anything and everything to find a new buyer, time was of the essence.

So I held an Open House that weekend.

For the first 2 hours, not one person walked through the door. Somewhere in the 3rd hour a lady and her son arrived. By this point I was kinda crabby, but we struck up a conversation as we walked through the property . Two days later she brought her husband back and we wrote an offer. A few weeks later we closed on the property–a very happy seller AND a very happy buyer.

“Only 1 person through the Open House?” you might say.  “How many buyers do you need for one house?” the new reformed-me would answer.

My attitude about what a “successful” Open House was supposed to look like changed that day. 

I have made it my personal mission to host an Open House almost every weekend since my change of attitude. I have met some of the most amazing people. Oddly, my Open Houses have been “successful” not because I have written an Offer to Purchase each week–but because I have embraced a powerful marketing tool in understanding the value of an Open House. The value of getting to know people and learning how to listen to what they are hoping to find so I can be a part of matching the right person to the right property.

Last weekend I received a phone call inquiring about a property for sale and wondering if I had time to show the property. “I can’t meet you there today because I will be hosting an Open House” I stated. The lady asked me where the Open House was and when I told her she got excited, “Is this Sheila with Valley Market Real Estate?” she inquired. “I pulled up that Open House this morning and remembered you from an Open House you did a few weeks ago.” I remembered her and invited she and her husband to my Open House for coffee and cookies. They showed up.

Next weekend you will find me serving coffee and cookies at a hangar property on Wolf Lake that I just listed last week (6601 E Skyhawk Circle, Wasilla AK). If you aren’t busy on Saturday from 1-4:00; I would love to meet you!

See you there!

Sheila

Best Answer Ever

It’s not a secret that real estate, like many industries, can become a chaotic world focused on numbers and status. Lots of elbows pushing through a sea of people in an attempt to be “more” and “better.”

However, if you take the time to see and know those within your circle; everything changes.

In a recent staff meeting at our Valley Market Real Estate office in Palmer, Alaska, I asked my broker, Marty Van Diest, what his vision was for himself and for our office. I was taken aback at his answer that came readily without hesitation, “My vision is to see each one of you become the best realtor you can become and to do whatever I can to help you succeed.”

What?!

I was stunned. He then proceeded to give some ideas he had been pondering which would help us to be the best realtors possible..

If you are looking to buy or sell a property or a business–it would be my honor to serve you. Although I will show up alone to sell you a property or to list your property; please know that there is a support system behind me that is unbeatable. We are a team looking to bring out the best in each other so that in turn we can serve our valued clients with the experience and skills of a caring team.

Shoot me a text or call me (907-315-1086) or email me (sheila@valleymarket.com).

We love real estate and we are so thankful for each person we meet and serve!

Sheila

Three Truths About Small Real Estate Offices

I am very proud of both the company (Valley Market Real Estate) and my broker (Marty Van Diest) whom I work with in Palmer, Wasilla (and all the little places surrounding them) in beautiful Alaska.

One interesting statement I hear from time to time when discussing real estate with individuals is a concern regarding using a small real estate company. For some reason, consumer’s believe that “bigger is better.” While this may be the case in some industries, I would like to share three truths about small real estate offices, and why size is not a factor (and why I am so honored to work for one).

  1. All licensed realtors and real estate estate offices, regardless office size, have full access to the MLS. Since all realtors are technically independent contractors–this is a huge benefit.
  2. Every single house for sale on the market is immediately available to every single realtor the second it hits the MLS. Many realtors enjoy working from the comfort of their own homes–not sitting in an office surrounded by dozens of other realtors.There is no secret club that encourages realtors to only work with realtors in their own company in the process of serving clients real estate needs.
  3. Each real estate office has its own culture, regardless of size. The culture starts with the vision of each individual broker and his or her vision for the realtor’s under their watchful eye. The visions vary from one broker to the next; it is up to each realtor to interview with different broker’s to find out which broker best represents the vision and culture that fits him or her.

I have found my fit in a small office. Not because it’s small but because of the ethics, honesty and selfless vision of my broker. Though small in number, we are each diverse and together bring years of experience to the table. We have learned to embrace our differences and learn from our shared real estate experiences. We also learn from fellow-realtors who work in different offices; we are all in this together. Valley Market Real Estate is a small company that choses to do great things for each person that we serve.

If you are looking to buy or sell property, or a business–I would be honored to serve you. Give me a call or text (907.315.1086) or shoot me an email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Sheila

 

What Do You Think?

“What do you think?” My client asked regarding a potential problem that arose during the process of purchasing his new home.

As a hands-on realtor in Palmer and Wasilla Alaska–this is a very common question. And a very fair question.

The question typically follows a sleepless night of running through every possible scenario in search of the best solution to what I like to call “opportunities.” An anonymous writer said it best: “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.”

In answering the question, “What do you think?” it is imperative as realtors that we don’t “tell” our clients what they must do. Instead, as professionals, it is our obligation to ensure that we educate with ALL possible options regarding the issues that arise throughout the home-buying and home-selling process;and that ultimately we respect the final decisions of our clients.

As realtor’s we assist, advocate, educate, communicate and never hesitate in doing everything in YOUR best interest to bring each transaction to a successful close.

If you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell a property or a business–it would be this realtor’s joy to serve you and to face great opportunities together! Shoot me a text or call me (907.315.1086) or send an email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Sheila

 

 

 

First Steps For Home Buyers In Palmer/Wasilla

I received an email this week from a future first-time home buyer in the Palmer/Wasilla area.

“What’s the first step?” she asked.

Coincidentally, my granddaughter Yetzy just took her first step a couple weeks ago. She was shaky and uncertain of herself at first; but she took the first step, and then the second. Now she is walking like a pro!

First step: contact several lenders to find out what amount you pre-qualify for before looking at homes. It’s much less disappointing to walk through homes within your known price range than to fall in love with a home that is out of reach.

If you don’t know a good lender; contact me (907.315.1086) (sheila@valleymarket.com) and I can recommend a few to you that have been serving home buyers in both Palmer and Wasilla for many years.

Next, interview a few realtors–ask us anything–and chose the realtor that you feel will best serve your real estate needs. OR, visit our websites, read our testimonials, and see which personality and style best reflects your own.

FINALLY–don’t let our cold dark winter months keep you away from finding your dream property. Now is a great time to be a buyer and there are a lot of quality properties on the market. I have a spectacular property in Settler’s Bay that is meticulous and priced to sell. The entire home has been updated: new flooring, new interior paint, new appliances, etc.

Bundle up–let’s get out there and make your dreams come true!

Sheila

A House is A House For Me

Many years ago when our children were young, we were given a children’s book titled, “A House is A House For Me.”

As a realtor, this title has taken on new meaning.

There is a checklist of items that I check off in my mind when walking through a house with my clients. In this regard, a house is a house for me. However, the people that I meet and have the privilege of working with are each unique and diverse and have their own checklist of items that are important to them–hence making a house more than a house for me.

Although it is a thrill matching the right house with the right buyer, the real thrill is learning not only the history of the house but the history of each client looking to make a house their home. A client is more than a client to me. A client is a single mom needing to create new memories. Clients are empty nesters downsizing, young growing families needing more space, sons and daughters caring for aging parents, or perhaps a pastor needing more space so a home can be used for ministerial purposes. Clients become people I care about: veterans, renegades, entrepreneurs, investors, pastors, and the list goes on and on.

My greatest joy comes not at the end of the transaction but everywhere in-between when each obstacle is overcome and each client becomes someone I fight for with all of my strength and ability.

The best part is when a house becomes a home for my clients. And when a client becomes much more than a name and real estate much more than an occupation for me.

Let me serve you in your home-buying or home-selling endeavors. Give me a call or shoot me a text (315-1086) or send me an email (sheila@valleymarket.com)

Sheila