Moving is a stressful time.
Details such as changing jobs, switching schools and packing up are worrisome for all members of the family.
Real estate agents can make selling and buying a house a relatively easy part of the difficult process.
In fact, the specialists on the following pages allow families selection and information that is not available if you pursue the buying and selling process on your own.
In fact, a recent independent study sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® found that 78 percent of people believe real estate professionals offer a wider selection of housing alternatives than they would otherwise find.
So what characteristics should you look for in a real estate professional?
The Utah County Association of REALTORS® recently published a pamphlet outlining things to look for in a real estate professional.
 Ask friends, neighbors, relatives and co-workers who’ve recently bought or sold homes in your area. Which company and agent did they work with, and what kind of service did they receive? Would they work with that same agent again?
 Check out “For Sale” signs in your area and note the ones with “Sold” stickers. You want to be sure you are choosing a company that gets the job done.
 Attend open houses in your area. Watch agents in action and judge their expertise, and at the same time you can collect information on properties that are competing with yours. Look for a fact sheet about the property and information on similar properties.
 Look for companies that specialize on the kind of real estate you want to buy or sell. If you are purchasing a new home, for example, you’ll want to look for a company that specializes in residential real estate rather than commercial property or appraisals.
 Target REALTORS® located on your side of town. If an agent lives or works in the area, he or she is far more likely to have information about area schools, businesses and places of worship.
 Narrow your search to five or fewer. Once you’ve made your short list, you are ready to start making contacts and “auditioning” agents. During each presentation, the agent will try to sell you on listing your house with his or her company. That provides you with an ideal opportunity to rate his or her preparation, competence and professionalism as well as the company’s services.
 Find out whether the agent is a member of a professional association. The titles REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® designate membership in a local board of REALTORS®, such as the Utah County Association of REALTORS®, the state association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. Members are required to follow a strict code of ethics and are encouraged to pursue continuing real estate education.
 Look for an agent who shows enthusiasm and a positive attitude toward your home. That isn’t necessarily the person who talks fastest or longest. It may be the agent who asks many questions and takes notes on decorating, construction, landscaping and personal property that will remain in the house.
Capstone Real Estate
Lerron and Kellie Little have created a company that specializes in new construction while also servicing the resale market. CapStone Real Estate is a full-service real estate firm with extensive experience in marketing and selling new and existing homes, townhomes, condos and building lots. The Little team is comprised of agents who have an expertise in both the resale and new construction markets. The Little team sold over 170 homes in 2002. As a locally owned company, CapStone Real Estate is focused on the local market and what happens in Utah County.
The Little Team has over 28 years of combined sales and marketing experience that benefits every customer.
“The real estate industry is in need of professionals who provide service and real estate advice that makes sense,” says Lerron. “The services offered by CapStone Real Estate are well-rounded and focus on sales and marketing strategies with powerful implementation.”
The Littles have found a way to set them apart. Their professional “white glove” treatment along with extensive marketing experience creates a service that is hard to find in this area.
Few agents in Utah County understand both the new construction market and the resale market.
“New construction and project sales are different from your typical home down the street,” says Kellie, director of marketing for CapStone Real Estate. “We identify the target market and determine a marketing strategy that will increase awareness and revenue for the builders we represent.”
In addition, CapStone Real Estate understands what it takes to move a project and offers unique services including decorating model homes, developing project identities, sales management, full-service marketing and builder promotions. The Little team makes selling a home easy for the builder by turning the details to sales and marketing experts.
The Littles enjoy working with local community interests and events. They have volunteered numerous hours to support events, including the Home Expo 2002-2003 with the Utah County Board of Realtors, which they chaired. They also serve as board members of UVSC Wolverine Club, Freedom Festival Balloon Fest, and the BYU Cougar House Board.
“Utah County is a great place to be and we want to help the area thrive with numerous events and activities that will enhance living here,” says Kellie. “There are a lot of fun events in Utah County that require local support and participation. We are happy to make Utah County a better community for families.”
Lerron and Kellie have each been recognized by the Utah County Association of REALTORS with the Excellence in Real Estate 2002 award for outstanding service.
They are currently representing the following projects: Camelot Village in Springville (over 400 homes, townhomes, condos and cottages in a beautiful European-style community with extensive amenities), Temple Shadows in Cedar Hills (affordable gated community with 40 homes) and Plymouth Rock in Lehi (96 homes and twinhomes in a quaint community with meandering roads and walkways). The Little team is ready to help clients with their search for the perfect new home. The Little team is a one-stop shop for buyers looking for a newly constructed home, townhome or condo.
When it comes to representing your real estate needs, Prudential Realtor SuAnne Hoffman shines. Her motto, “SuAnne Sells!” sums up this dynamo’s ability to get the job done. She looks at every challenge as a new opportunity and tackles each with zest. In fact, she thrives on it. SuAnne’s indomitable spirit and radiant enthusiasm show.
“Every morning when I awaken, I ask myself, ‘What can we make happen today in the way of deals and sales that will help my clients and affect their lives in a positive way?’” she says.
When you sign a contract with SuAnne, you know you will get the best possible deal – whether you are selling or buying. SuAnne doesn’t just “coast” along; she works actively and consistently to do a superior job. Her maxim is “find a way or make one” – focusing over, around, behind and through any obstacle that may present itself.
Through SuAnne’s sales abilities, she often obtains multiple offers for the seller, so they have a choice. Within the last seven months, she has had seven situations in which she presented two different offers for the seller to consider. And these offers often result in bidding wars between the prospective buyers.
In one instance last November, a situation was created when two buyers were interested in and made offers on the same home. The home was bid up by $10,000. SuAnne’s clients, who were in a financial predicament, were incredibly grateful for the extra effort and attention to filling their needs to the maximum extent possible. If it’s possible to make a situation better, SuAnne will find a better way.
SuAnne does not take all the credit, revealing that one secret of her success is her capable office staff.
“I couldn’t do my job without them, particularly Barbara and Anje,” she says. “They are very organized, competent and good at what they do.”
Whether representing buyers or sellers, SuAnne concentrates on four areas: communication, marketing, negotiations and follow-up. She communicates regularly with her clients, keeping them updated throughout the process. Listings are marketed via the Web, home magazines, newspapers and through SuAnne’s extensive network with other Realtors in the community. She maintains a pulse on available homes so she can match buyer with seller, and skillfully negotiates with all types of people. SuAnne keeps sellers apprised of feedback from showings, so her clients never wonder what’s going on. Need a Realtor? Call SuAnne today and let her work for you!
• 2002 Prudential Hall of Fame
• 2001-2002 Masters Club
• 1998-2002 Listing Club
• 1998-2002 Sales Club
• 2001-2002 Gold Master Realtor
• 1998-1999 Silver Master Realtor
Remax Real Estate
In 1996, when Kenny Parcell was supposed to be playing in the Cotton Bowl with his BYU teammates, Parcell was suffering through mononucleosis. While he never ended up playing strong safety for the Cougars that year, the illness – which ended his football career – enabled him to earn his realtors license and begin a labor of love.
“I started out by listing the houses of some of my professors,” Parcell says. “I can’t believe they trusted me to do it then, but those first few houses really helped me get established.”
Parcell was already well on his way to being one of the state’s top realtors before he ever graduated in sociology from BYU. Looking back to those first years, Parcell can see that the referrals from those first customers are what have continued to make him successful.
“If someone is treated well, they’ll treat you well,” he says. “Customer referrals are what got me started and make up 95 percent of my business now.”
Parcell’s attention to what the client needs helps him on both ends of the house-buying process. He estimates that 70 percent of his closings involve buyers and sellers that are both clients of his. He is able to help people on both ends get a fair deal.
And a fair deal is what keeps people coming back, even in these tough economic times.
“People need to understand that times like these, when interest rates are low, are good times to get into a nicer home or buy investment properties,” he says. “Even if a client sells their house for a little less than they would have a couple of years ago, they’re going to make up for it on the other end. Prices are all relative.”
And using a realtor makes sense for anyone, according to Parcell. He says that in most cases realtors can get more for a house than people who try to sell it themselves. That difference is what usually makes the commission easy to pay – all without the hassle that comes from the “For Sale by Owner” strategy.
“You should get what you pay for,” Parcell says. “If a client doesn’t feel I am worth what he or she was charged, I tell them to pay me for what they think is fair. So far, knock on wood, no one has called me on that offer.”
And this attention to service is what Parcell is banking on keeping him in business.
Vintage Properties Group
When Ron Clarke opened Vintage Properties he vowed to make it something special and start a new trend in the way people conduct their real estate transactions. His goal was to combine 21st Century technology with five-star service.
“We want to make your real estate transaction something special and want to earn your business,” Clarke says.
Vintage offers a full range of services with agents that specialize in luxury homes, starter homes, new construction, resort-type properties and real estate development. Vintage Properties is pleased to announce its new office location conveniently located at The Village at Riverwoods in the Provo river bottoms shopping center.
Clarke has been selling real estate going on 10 years now. He has been at the top of his field for most of those years. He has achieved the status of CRS (Certified Residential Specialist), the highest designation given to Realtors who deal in residential properties. He was the No. 1 agent for RE/MAX in the state of Utah for many years before he decided to open Vintage Properties. He has been featured in many national real estate publications, interviewed on television and written numerous articles on the use of the Internet as it pertains to real estate.
Before selling real estate, Clarke toured all 50 states and much of Canada lecturing to over 1 million people on marketing and business. Clarke says that the reason he has had such success in the real estate field is that his passion for marketing is unlike anything along with helping people enjoy the dream of home ownership.
For the home seller, Vintage offers 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed in writing. If for any reason you are not satisfied in Vintage’s service, the company will release your listing immediately, no questions asked and no strings attached. The guarantee comes with a company with the most aggressive marketing campaign out there with over 90 percent success rate.
For the home buyer, Vintage offers a no pressure approach and access to the most recent home-finding tools. Vintage wants people to feel comfortable and have access to the on-site computer kiosk. Vintage will also teach customers how to search for homes on the Internet. The company also offers the most up-to-date financing services available.
For either buyer or seller of commercial property, Vintage has some of the best negotiators around with many years of experience to get the job done. The company is complete with agents that specialize in buying, leasing, 1031 exchanges and property management.
Buying and selling real estate is serious business. It’s business best conducted with a company you know, a company you can trust, a company who can make real estate one of the smartest business decisions you’ll ever make, a company that brings to the table unsurpassed product knowledge, an excellent reputation and qualified service after the sale, a company like Vintage Properties.
For a copy of the company’s guarantee or for additional information, call Clarke at (801) 376-5345 or visit www.ronclarke.com.
Armstrong, Flinders & Associates
Clearly above the crowd is the real estate team of Armstrong, Flinders & Associates. Drew Armstrong, Matthew Flinders and their small but powerfully effective team sold 194 properties in 2002 earning them the No. 1 position in the entire state for RE/MAX for gross volume, as well as one of Utah Valley Magazine’s “Top 6.”
“People want their home sold quickly, and with the least amount of hassle,” Flinders says. “People also want regular contact, and to know what is going on. If you actually do your research, we’re the natural choice.”
Looking at statistics from the local real estate board, it’s not hard to see the proof is in the pudding. The average time a house was on the market was 57 days for the Armstrong, Flinders group and 82 days for the board.
“That’s basically an extra house payment that we save people,” Armstrong says. “We have a team that is devoted and skilled.”
Also, the average home in Utah County has a 76 percent chance it will successfully close escrow once it receives an offer that is accepted by both parties.
“Our average percent for normal homes is 92 percent,” Flinders says.
He attributes this to the experience of the team, and a closing coordinator that follows up with each of the parties involved in the transaction who can spot problems early, and move to correct them before things get to the point where they’ll fall apart.
Drew Armstrong served as the chairman of the Technology Committee for the Utah County Association of REALTORS last year, as well, showing that peers recognize the technological strength of this team.
“We’re the most cutting edge realtors I know of,” Armstrong says.
The technology the team uses includes full-motion video tours on every property for sellers and an automated service for buyers keeping new properties in front of them on a daily basis. Armstrong and Flinders have a service that provides buyers with lists of foreclosed properties, some that haven’t even hit the market yet.
“Well, we don’t have the price the bank is going to ask on those,” says Flinders. “But we’ve got an address and the size of the property so we can get in there with an offer before everyone else does.”
Armstrong and Flinders have been working together for almost nine years, and they love what they do. They have an office full of technology designed to make the real estate experience the best it can be. From a Canon D60 six megapixel digital camera with a wide angle lens as round as a tennis ball so they can get great pictures of your kitchen instead of a close up of your fridge, to their professional video equipment, full color laser printers and a 44-inch wide format photograph-quality printer, the office is geared toward helping the client.
“We really help people make decisions,” says Flinders. “Our market knowledge, and our honest approach help our sellers know how much money they’ll have for their next move. We’re not out there to just stick a sign in your yard, we’re here to help you sell your home, and find the home of your dreams.”
Armstrong, Flinders & Associates is helping hundreds of people throughout the valley reach the American Dream … fast.
For more information, contact Armstrong, Flinders & Associates, at 801-375-1075 or 801-636-3709 or contact www.utahrealestate.net or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Location, location, location.”
While the old real estate adage about the location of property being the most important factor may seem a little simplistic in today’s market, real estate agent Rob Clauson believes there is something to the idea.
In fact, Clauson specializes in high-end homes located in Alpine and Highland because he understands the needs of high-end clients and appreciates, knows and lives in the communities he works in.
“There is something special about living here,” he says. “I live here, service here, coach kids here – from that you grow to love the community.”
And Clauson’s love for the area shows in his approach to selling. He speaks with clients about the uniqueness of the area. He knows the houses in each neighborhood; he understands the culture and zoning laws unique to the area; he can detail information on schools, parks and events for those moving in.
He was also an outsider at one time and understands the friendly nature of the people of Alpine and Highland.
“Most of the people that are moving here are moving from other places,” he says. “That blend of people gives the town a unique feel. It is a small town, with a dead-end road going into town that appreciates culture, diversity and the small-town way of life.”
While some may think that Clauson is limiting his real estate reach by picking only the high-end Alpine and Highland houses, Clauson believes that niche is essential to his success. Specializing enables him to give attention to each client that others with a broader market can’t.
“Rob’s been wonderful to work with,” says NFL punter and Alpine resident Lee Johnson. “He’s a hard worker. He does more than just bring people by. One thing he did that I thought was cool was that he made a CD with a virtual tour of the house. He invested some money to present the house well. I thought it was really neat. He goes above and beyond what you expect.”
This niche approach, combined with the working relationships he has with Title West and Joseph Johanson of Augusta Financial, is what has enabled Clauson to have sold and listed more high-end homes in Alpine than any other agent the last two years.
“I think Rob went the extra mile to make sure we had every benefit,” says former NBA standout Fred Roberts. “We sold our house in the winter, but we were thinking about selling it for a while. Rob had the foresight to take a picture in the summer when the trees and flowers were looking nice.”
His sales figures are also influenced by his unusual way of getting the entire family involved in the selling process. He has each child sign a contract stating that he will pay them $50 if they help keep the house clean, payable upon closing of the home. This makes moving a little easier for the children – those usually most negatively affected by moving.
“It helps with the buy-in from the kids,” he says. “There are so many stressful parts of selling a house, if the kids are on board, it’s one less thing for the client to have to worry about.”
It’s also another way to help the children develop the community. When Clauson gives each child the $50 after closing on the house, he also includes information about savings accounts and investments that can be helpful to parents who are trying to teach good financial habits to their children.
After all, Clauson believes that the youth are the key to a successful community in the future, and the community is key to a strong real estate buy.