What do top Realtors do differently?

While there are a lot of individuals working in real estate, there’s actually just a small percentage of agents who are making what the population would consider to be a great salary. Being a Realtor is hard work and takes a tremendous amount of dedication and effort to make it to the top.

So what separates average Realtors from great Realtors? Here are just a few items that top Realtors do differently, day in and day out.

  • They’re good at follow-up, and they follow-up fast! Keeping your commitments and obligations is very important in this industry. Miss a meeting with a client and it could very well cost you a commission down the road.
  • They put their money where their mouth is by hiring skilled people to assist them. Cutting corners is not a good idea in an industry that is so highly competitive. Teaming with skilled copywriters, graphic designers, web designers, photographers, marketing experts, etc. will set a good Realtor apart from the competition.
  • Top Realtors aren’t afraid to share the spotlight. Sometimes teaming up and working on a difficult sale with another real estate professional can be in your best interest … and in the client’s best interest!
  • They’re not afraid of the technology that has tremendously impacted this industry. The world is moving faster and faster, and staying knowledgeable of technological advancements can put you in the driver’s seat.
  • They put the customer first. Relationships with clients that are built on trust, dedication and commitment will surely lead to future referrals.

In a nutshell, a lot of what top Realtors do differently boils down to heart and a great work ethic. If your Realtor lacks either, it would very likely be in your best interest to move on. You deserve the best representation, don’t you?

Helping community — from social work to selling homes

By Jim Bisco

“For us, it’s about helping people.” That’s the value statement of Olear Team/MJ Peterson Real Estate, a phrase that characterizes the team leader’s inclination since his social work pursuit four decades ago.

“Helping people has always been important to me. I’ve always felt gratifed doing that,” explained Michael Olear, MSW ’84. After starting out in a broad array of social service positions including child care, developmentally disabled adult care, mental health counseling and coordinated care administration, Olear became “enamored” with the real estate profession. “It’s still helping people, but more business oriented,” he noted. “I always had an interest in numbers, financing and more of a global picture of how things work.”

The 60-year-old real estate leader fondly recalls his experience in the School of Social Work. He was particularly influenced by then- faculty member William Epstein. “He really helped me understand the democratic process and the underlying concepts affecting the development of public policy,” Olear said.

As a macro student, Olear worked for Karen Schimke, former Erie County commissioner of social services. “Some of the things I do now, I absolutely mirror from what I learned from her,” he said. “One of the things she involved me in was raising awareness of the need for employer-sponsored child care at the workplace, as well as the establishment of a child care resource and referral center. I am grateful to have been involved in those efforts — there wasn’t anything like that in Western New York at the time.”

After receiving his social work degree, he was employed at Coordinated Care Management. It was a time when the government was realizing that an incredible number of people were languishing in hospitals and driving costs up, and that the system needed to change.

“There was a grant program that I worked on where we were trying to establish the fact that emergency response systems — pendants that people wear to easily signal for help — would actually save the system money if Medicaid or Medicare paid for them,” Olear recalled. “This was ‘stone age’ new technology. It had all the things that piqued my interest. We proved an incredible amount of savings.”

Olear maintains that his experiences both as a student and in the field helped mold his subsequent career. “In particular, listening. That’s number one,” he said. “I worked with a lot of difficult clients in behavior houses at Baker Victory Services and People, Incorporated. Getting people to agree on things is huge for us.”

Those accumulated skills were transferable to the need for helping people who are overwhelmed with the thought of selling the place where they lived, getting homeowners, siblings, children, stepchildren and others to agree on a plan.

“It became more experiential,” he said. “We started going more in the direction of specializing in older adults; I also got active in the professional community that serves older adults. In a short period of time, I found myself on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Network in Aging.”

Olear also credits his experience in the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2007 with enhancing his business acumen; he’s remained an involved alumnus there, mentoring other developing businesses.

The 12-person real estate team he’s built over the past 25 years, which covers all of Erie and Niagara counties, takes a cooperative approach to ensure clients always receive the most comprehensive and helpful service — from decluttering to sensible planning to ultimately selling the home and moving. In a current Western New York housing climate averaging 54 days on the market, the Olear Team’s average is 19 days, with an exceptional list price/sale price ratio of 99.4 percent.

The success is a tribute to the team’s adherence to every detail in one of life’s most emotional transitional experiences. And it doesn’t stop there. “We try to give back in our business,” Olear added. “For every house we sell, we make a donation to Meals on Wheels.”

How to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home

How to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home

Selling A Home? There are countless memories made in a home which can result in a flood of emotions when it comes time to sell the homestead. And sometimes, sellers might even feel a bit of remorse. That’s perfectly natural! These are common feelings that lessen with time and typically go away completely once you’ve successfully moved into your new living situation.

If you’re wondering how to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home, we have some advice from the experts:

  • Try not to worry about memories left behind. Instead, focus on new memories about to be made!
  • Don’t feel guilty. The great memories you’ve made will never completely fade away. They will always be a part of your memories, your conversations and who you are!
  • Remember that change can be good! You just need to overcome that natural fear of change that everyone experiences at one time or another.

Moving can be one of life’s biggest stresses, but once you’ve had time to take a deep breath and re-evaluate your situation, I’m sure you’ll find comfort knowing that you’ve made all the right decisions to get you to where you are today. Rather than focusing on the past, focus on your new home, yourself and your future. In other words, think positive thoughts!

If the dust has settled and you still find yourself having seller’s remorse and/or feelings of depression, consider making an appointment with a therapist who can help you leave the stress behind and help you move forward to create a lifetime of new memories. For more information on making your move as stress-free as possible, please contact The Olear Team today!

Tips to avoid a delay in closing

You did it! You’ve made your way through the entire real estate transaction right up to the actual closing. While you’re almost at the finish line, there are still some obstacles to overcome to ensure successful completion of your transaction. Following are some tips to avoid a delay in closing.

  • Make sure you’ve met all contingencies indicated in the sales contract. Your real estate agent should be all over this one. If there were items noticed during the final inspection that need your attention, you have to resolve all issues before closing or risk a delay until they are successfully addressed.
  • Move all of your items out of the home, unless something was negotiated and noted in the sales contact. If it’s not in the contract, then you need to take it with you!
  • Once all of your items have been removed, make sure the house is cleaned. Broom cleaning is the minimum. Consider this: Leave the house in the condition you would expect if you were moving in.
  • Rather than dealing with checks, have funds wired directly into your bank account. If safer, quicker and less likely to result in complications at closing.
  • At closing, be certain that you see proof that your mortgage and any other debts — such as a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit — are completely paid off.
  • Make sure all paperwork is in order before arriving at closing. Your Realtor and real estate attorney should be on top of their game when it comes to all the necessary paperwork.

We hope these tips to avoid a delay in closing will help make your next real estate transaction as smooth as possible. For additional guidance and information, please contact The Olear Team today!

Learning the secrets of a home stager

If you enjoy watching the popular television shows that focus on housing rehab and sales, you probably already know the secrets of a home stager. A home stager is a professional who comes into a private residence to make the home as appealing as possible before the open house events begin.

While hiring a professional home stager is a great idea, you can certainly do the work yourself if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves to take on the tasks.

Following are a few secrets of a home stager that anyone can tackle.

  • Get rid of clutter. You don’t want the house to look too busy. Move items to storage, even if it means renting a storage facility for a month or two until the sales process has concluded.
  • Remove family photos and other personal items. After all, you want potential buyers to picture their family in the house, not yours.
  • Clean everything. Every corner of the house should sparkle and shine, from floor to ceiling and everything in between.
  • Add warming accents such as fluffy, clean towels in the kitchen and bathrooms.
  • Set the dining room table to give it a clean, formal and inviting look.
  • Add a fresh coat of paint to rooms in need. Neutral colors are always a safe bet.
  • Give the feeling of more space by eliminating some pieces of furniture. You don’t want the room to look naked, but you do want every room to be comfortable and easy to walk about.
  • Have an unfinished basement? Create a small gym to show its hidden potential.
  • Add flowers. Everyone loves flowers, whether they’re inside or out.
  • Make sure the house is well-lit and replace any burned out lightbulbs. Consider adding lighting to an area that gets very little natural light.
  • Remove outdated decor and add eye-catching artwork. Ask a friend for help when it comes to removing decor. While you may still love it, it may have passed its style expiration date.

So there you have it. The secrets of a home stager are no longer a secret! For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact The Olear Team today.