Posted April 10, 2016 in Realtor Spotlight
Real Estate Broker
Real Living, the Real Estate Group
How long have you worked in Real Estate?
Licensed since early 2001, I have seen several ups and downs in the industry. I was initially recruited by a developer to market a luxury project on the Columbia River. Between generating a potential buyer list, keeping in touch with those prospects, helping with the actual home designs and researching potential CC&R issues, it was a great learning experience and a wonderful way to start out in real estate.
What is your specialty?
I love being a real estate “matchmaker” and finding my buyers their perfect home and my sellers their perfect buyer. I focus on residential real estate including new construction, homes on acreage, horse properties, view properties, condos and vintage homes. I especially enjoy helping people to “downsize.” Having studied decluttering, feng shui and staging, I can better counsel people on what to keep and what to toss.
What is one tip you have for someone looking to buy or sell a home?
Take your time and do your research. Find an agent who really knows the market and is willing to tell it like it is. There are a lot of hurdles throughout the process and a truly great agent will block and tackle in order to smooth your path as much as possible. For buyers, getting pre-approved with a reputable lender is the first and most important step. Next steps include exploring the market and narrowing down exactly what their needs and wants include. Sellers should get their property into the absolute best show-ready state possible prior to listing and work with a REALTOR® who understands how to effectively market their home.
What is the most unique property you’ve listed or sold?
I listed and sold a chalet-like home with amazing views of the Cowlitz River and surrounding territory. It was hand built by the sellers with a distinct European style, very different from anything I had seen before. The narrowness of the house and its perch on the tapered lot made parking and backing up quite a challenge. The house had 3 levels with hardwoods throughout and every room looked out on a stunning view. The gardens were glorious and the setting was very private and secluded.
What is the most unusual thing you’ve encountered while working in real estate?
My buyers were interested in a home where the property’s boundary line went right through the middle of the house. If you were in the kitchen, you were fine but if you went into the living room, you were on the neighbor’s property. I’m not quite sure how that happened, but I was glad we caught it and that my buyers were able to find a better match.
What is the most challenging/gratifying aspect of what you do?
The art of negotiating a good deal for my clients and striving to arrive at a finish point that is win-win for all parties takes time and perseverance, but is ultimately quite satisfying. In addition, I try to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible. Sometimes, it is not just about the money. It’s truly a customer service type of job.
What do you see in the future for real estate sales/prices?
In the immediate future, as long as inventory continues to be at historical lows, we will see slowly increasing prices. There is a surge of new construction throughout the county, however, that is going to have a definite long-term impact, both on improving our inventory of homes and potentially, on keeping home prices from escalating out of control. The biggest issue will continue to be affordability.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? Hobbies, volunteering, family, fun?
Since we have become empty nesters, my husband and I travel to see our children quite often and we try to have a family reunion once a year in sunny Southern California. I have been involved in extensive community service work in Clark County, primarily doing event planning and fundraising for organizations such as the YWCA of Clark County, Community Services NW, Innovative Services NW, the Humane Society of SW Washington and the Vancouver Symphony. I love traveling, taking occasional cooking classes, dancing and going to movies and I am absolutely addicted to Jazzercise!
What do you like about living in this area?
After having lived all over the US and also in Europe and Asia, the people here have proven to be the nicest and most welcoming people in the whole world. The sense of community spirit and pride that are characteristic of Clark County are unlike anywhere else I have ever been. Plus, of course, we have great schools, mild weather, the beach, the mountains and the proximity to Portland. This is truly Paradise!
Anything else you would like our readers to know about you and your company?
Real Living, the Real Estate Group is part of the Warren Buffett family. The Clark County franchise was founded by Chad and Hollie Sessions several years ago and is a down-to-earth yet highly professional place to work. I don’t think that there is anything else like it in our marketplace. Their philosophy is to provide their brokers with unparalleled administrative and marketing support so that the agents’ time can best be spent face to face with clients. It is a much more relationship-driven than transaction-driven environment. I am so proud to be a part of Real Living’s evolution here in our wonderful part of the country.