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

 

Foundations, Crawl Spaces, and True Beauty

A client joked the other day saying that I make him go into the crawl spaces of every home that they look at.  He is correct.

When you pull up to a property, it’s easy to be enamored with the beauty of the structure. Once inside the property, everything can appear to be ideal as well.  However, it is this realtor’s humble opinion that there is one place that must be seen in each property to understand the honest truth about the property–the crawl space.

Often, crawl spaces are not easy to access. They may be tucked away or the lids may be covered with shoes, laundry, etc.

Move whatever you must move to pull off the cover because the truth lies hidden in the foundation, buried amongst Christmas decorations, spider webs and unidentifiable items that have landed in the darkness from mysterious places!

What does the foundation look like? Is there a vapor barrier–has it been installed properly? Is there mold on the subfloor? How does it smell–moldy, dry?

To proceed in the house-buying process without knowing the status of the foundation would be similar to dating a beautiful person without first learning about his or her core values and history. Inner beauty versus outer beauty is important in both instances!

Most might argue that a crawl space is anything but beautiful–but to me crawl spaces depict the most honest voices when determining whether or not a property is a good investment for my clients.

If you are looking to buy a home that is worthy of your investment–I would love to help you navigate through the process–wear your knee pads and bring a flashlight, this is about to get fun!

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

Sheila

The Complexity of Contingencies

For some, the experience of selling or purchasing a new home is viewed as a great adventure; for others, a great stress.

If you find yourself in a situation where you must first sell your current property before purchasing your next piece of real estate–I would like to kindly give my two cents on the matter. Find yourself a doable rental, move out of your current property, then sell it.  Once you make it to the finish line and both parties have signed on the dotted line and the deed is recorded–go ahead and start looking at that list of new homes you’ve been dreaming about!

The stress you will eliminate from your world by trying to simultaneously sell a property while purchasing a property with a contingent offer will be the key to an all-around positive real estate experience.

My broker recently shared his spiel with me when faced with clients needing to both sell and purchase property. It goes like this, “I don’t encourage contingent sales but if you insist on doing one anyway you need to know that at some point during the process one of you is going to break down and cry and the other one is going to cuss me out.  It’s too soon to know which one of you will do which of those two things; but I promise you they will both happen.” 

He’s not known for fluffing words. He is often correct on his predictions too, so one might be wise to heed the advice of a hard-working, long-time broker who didn’t earn “Realtor of the Year” without learning a thing or two along the way.

Contingent sales happen all the time and a lot of times they work out with only a few hiccups. However, if you are looking for the path of least stress (which is not to be confused with the shortest path!) a contingent sale might not be the best option for you.

If you are looking for real estate in Palmer or Wasilla Alaska–I would love to serve you! Call (907.315.1086), text, or email (sheila@valleymarket.com).

Sheila