September 19 2013

Congratulations Deda Myhre!

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CBSHOME Real Estate congratulates Deda Myhre, Assistant Sales Manager and REALTOR®, on being installed as the 2014 President of the Omaha Area Board of REALTORS® (OABR).  She has previously served as President Elect, is an ex-officio board member and has been a member of multiple local and state realtor committees.  Myhre was the recipient of the 2012 Mark of Excellence Award from the Nebraska REALTORS® Association.

Myhre has also been actively involved with the Women’s Council of REALTORS®, serving as President in 2009 and was recognized as REALTOR® of the Year in 2012.  She is an active member of the Millard Business Association and has served on the committee for their philanthropic endeavor, Project Wee Care.  Other activities include the Millard Schools Advisory Board.

Myhre is going into her 13th year in the real estate business, all of those with CBSHOME.  She has received the E-Pro (Certification for Internet Professionalism) and RFC (Residential Financial Consultant) designations.

CBSHOME Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc.  CBSHOME is the region’s leader in residential real estate with five sales offices throughout the Omaha Metro area.  HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, is the second largest full-service residential real estate brokerage firm and the largest settlement services provider in the United States.  For more information, visit www.cbshome.com.

May 06 2013

dd|a and CBSHOME win award for Millennial Market Research

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May 6, 2013 – CBSHOME Real Estate (CBSHOME) and david day | associates (dda) received a platinum award of merit from the Omaha chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA) for millennial market research and subsequent workshops for CBSHOME agents.

“We wanted to develop an effective marketing strategy, targeting the Millennial generation,” said CBSHOME President and CEO Joe Valenti. “We looked to dda to help us conduct research, and communicate insights and tactics with our agents.”

dda’s cross-analysis of local and national market research yielded specific strategic recommendations, and equipped CBSHOME’s Realtors with a clear understanding of the audience segment and unique language to engage Millennial customers effectively. Agents reported putting the tools into practice immediately.

dda and CBSHOME were recognized in the Market Research: Large Business category by the panel of Kansas City AMA chapter judges, who evaluated local marketing collateral and campaign materials on the basis of Objective, Execution and, most importantly, Results.

“We helped CBSHOME refresh its brand a few years ago, and love the continued opportunity to help it thrive,” said David Day, dda founder, president and creative director. “Agents indicated that their understanding and ability to effectively engage with Millennials increased by 150 percent based on our workshops. Winning an award from the AMA for our research just sweetens the results.”

 

About david day | associates

dda is a strategic, creative partner that uses a proven process of discovery, clarification and activation to get to the heart of a brand, and help it connect with the people who matter. Our Omaha-based company collaborates with brands to shape identity from the inside out through research, design, development and management of communication channels, including online, interactive, print, personal, environmental and ambient media. Learn more about who we are, what we do and why we do it at dday.com.

 

About CBSHOME Real Estate

CBSHOME Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc. It is the region’s leader in residential real estate with six sales offices throughout the Omaha Metro area. HomeServices of America, Inc. is the second largest full-service residential real estate brokerage firm and the largest settlement services provider in the United States. For more information, visit www.cbshome.com.

March 21 2013

ACCURATE APPRAISALS THE FIRST TIME

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I was sitting in a staff meeting this week when Realtors began discussing their dismay over low appraisals.  More often than not a low appraisal will kill a deal. Several Realtors related stories about how to fight a low appraisal.  Appraisals are based on the recent sale prices of comparable properties. As the market changes and homes prices rise, some appraisers can be slow to recognize the change.

 

My thought, as I listened to the discussion, was that with the cooperation of the seller and the expertise of the Realtor, an appraisal can be done right the first time.  Here are my suggestions.

 

The seller/buyer has a right to ask the bank about the experience and expertise of the appraiser before they come out for the appraisal visit.  It’s important to have an appraiser who lives within 10 miles of your home, who knows local market conditions and is properly licensed/certified with the state.

 

Now here is where the expertise of a good Realtor can make a big difference.  BEFORE an appraiser comes out to the house I can find good comparable sales for you.  Federal rules allow sellers to provide the appraiser with their own comparable sales.  We can have the ‘comparables’ setting out where the appraiser can easily find them.

 

If the seller knows of low priced comparable house sales in their neighborhood and can explain the reason why the homes sold at a lower price, the explanation can be helpful to an appraiser.  The seller may know which homes sold less because of a divorce or financial distress leading to a short sale or foreclosure.  If the seller knows that some homes have sold because the house or area is so desirable that they received multiple offers, then this is worth noting.  This is important information for an appraiser.  All these facts are something else the seller should put in writing and place by the comparable sales.

 

Finally, the seller, in a letter to the appraiser, needs to list all the value-enhancing improvements made to the property, the costs and the date the work was completed. This is especially important when talking about systems that are not readily apparent. This includes, new HVAC, new roof, new cement work, new electrical and new plumbing.  List everything done to improve the home since it was originally purchased.  The list can include new landscaping, interior and exterior paint, installation of flooring, appliances, fixtures, etc.

 

As always, the best thing you can do is to remove all clutter and have everything tidy and neat inside and out when the appraiser comes.  If they are greeted by a home and yard that is fresh, clean and looking in good repair then they will have a good impression with which to do their work.  You may talk to the appraiser and answer questions they may have. They should take the time to answer your questions as well.  Then, give the appraiser some space.  Don’t follow them around unless they ask you to do so.  They will stop and talk to you before they leave.  Do show them your comparable sales, documentation and list of improvements.  Tell the appraiser they are copies to take with them. 

If everything is done as outlined I’ve rarely had to deal with a “low” appraisal.  So when you’re ready to buy or sell please text or call me at 402-670-8775 or email me at Marie.Otis@cbshome.com

February 28 2013

IT SMELLS SO FRESH!

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As a Realtor, I am very aware of how a home smells as I usher potential buyers through the door.  Unfortunately, my nose has been assaulted by a vast variety of smells ranging from most unpleasant to refreshing.  For years I have been telling my Sellers to eliminate odors everywhere in the home and if possible, bake cookies just before people come to view the house.

 

Now, however, Yahoo News reported the results of a study about smells affecting how people buy. The article is coming out next month in the Journal of Retailing.  Co-Author, Eric Spangenberg, who is a dean of the college of business at Washington State University, said the study showed “that shoppers spent 31.8% more, on average, when the store was scented with a simple orange scent.”  This is important because the researchers didn’t use an unpleasant scent as a comparison but instead used a complex scent of orange, basil and green tea.

 

Spangenberg believes that complex scents, even if they are pleasant, can be a distraction.  The problem, Spanglenberg believes, is that many people on a subconscious level will use time and energy to figure out what they smell.  When I bring buyers through a house I don’t want them processing smells.  I want them to be concentrating on the features of a potential home.

 

Therefore, according to the research, the seller should have one scent such as lemon, orange or pine.  Here’s a tip: don’t have the scent come from an artificial source.  Don’t use sprays, candles or plug-ins.  It’s better to bring in fresh cedar boughs from the yard in the winter or pick lilacs or lavender in warmer weather. 

 

Here’s another tip: slice an orange and place in a pot of water on the stove.  Heat to just boiling and transfer mixture to a small crockpot.  Keep the crockpot setting on low and the smell will fill your home with the scent of oranges.  You can substitute mint instead.  Even a vanilla bean will work well.

 

Forget the cookie dough.  Go with just one fresh, clean scent and know that the buyers are 31.8% more likely to buy if they like your home.

 

When you are ready to place your home on the market or if you are looking for a new home please text or call me at 402-670-8775 or email me at Marie.Otis@cbshome.com.

February 28 2013

Existing Home Sales Rise As Home Inventory Shrinks

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Existing Home Sales Numbers ReleasedHome sales rose for the 11th consecutive month according to the National Association of REALTORS® Existing Home Sales Report for January.

This is the first time this has occurred since the period between July of 2005 and May of 2006.

National Average Home Price Up Over 12% Annually

The national average home price in January was $173,600, which is 12.3 percent higher than for January 2012. 

Calculated on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis, Existing Home Sales data is compiled using completed sales of single family homes, condominium units and co-ops.

January’s existing home sales rose by 0.4 percent to 4.92 million sales nationally as compared to December’s revised annual rate of 4.90 million sales nationally.

National sales of existing homes increased by 9.1 percent as compared to January 2012.

Regional Home Sales Support Housing Recovery

Regional home sales for January suggest more good news for housing markets. Seasonally- adjusted annual home sales rose in all regions of the U.S. except in the West, while median home prices rose for all regions.

Northeast: Home sales were up by 4.8 percent in January to 650,000 sales, which is 12.1 percent more homes sold than for January 2012. The median home price rose by 2.4 percent from January 2012 to $230,500.

Midwest: Annual home sales in January increased by 3.6 percent to 1.16 million; this is 17.2 percent higher than for January 2012. The median home price in the Midwest rose to $131,800, an increase of 8.6 percent as compared to January 2012.

South: Home sales were up by 1 percent to 1.96 million sales in January; this represents a 14.0 percent increase in annual sales as compared to one year ago. The average home price for the South was $152,100, an increase of 13.4 percent over January 2012.

West: Home sales fell by 5.7 percent to an annual rate of $1.15 million. This represents a 5.7 percent decrease in sales from one year ago. The median home price in January was $239,800 and was 26.6 percent above the region’s median sale price for January 2012.

A falling inventory of homes for sale may be holding back buyers; the inventory of homes for sale fell to a 4.2 month supply from December’s 4.5 month supply of homes. A 6-month supply of homes is considered average.

Home Prices May Rise Quickly

While the spring home buying season will likely see more homes come on the market in Papillion and the surrounding area , economists caution that home prices could rise faster than expected due to increasing demand. A seller’s market could be in the making.

Mortgage rates also appear to be rising; now may be your best time for gaining the advantage of relatively low home prices and mortgage rates.

February 27 2013

Is Downsizing The Next Big Trend In Homes?

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Z Glass Micro Dwelling by Tumbleweed Tiny House CompanyThe real estate market has started to recover from the downturn over the last few years in many areas of the country, and more people are thinking about buying a new place to live.

With this new energy in home buying, an interesting trend seems to be developing.  

Instead of going for larger homes, which was an overwhelming trend in years past, many people are choosing micro-dwellings.

What is a micro-dwelling?

There are a number of different styles of micro dwellings being built.  This is a relatively new concept for homes in the United States and individual creativity abounds in this space.

The most common factor in micro-dwellings are their size. They tend to be less than 500 square feet of living space.

Some densely populated metropolitan areas like San Francisco and New York City are planning apartments as small as approximately 300 square feet!

Think this shrinking of real estate space applies only to multi-family dwellings?

Think again. You can also find tiny single-family homes — some of which are even portable.

If you’re still not convinced, read on to discover a few of the factors drawing buyers to smaller living spaces.

A lower price tag – The cost of these homes can be significantly less than that of standard homes, which means you may not have a large mortgage over your head for the next 30 years.

More free time – A smaller house means less cleaning. Who isn’t on board with that idea?

Less clutter – If your home is less than 500 square feet, you have to get rid of everything you don’t absolutely need.

Mobility – Many of these tiny homes are equipped with wheels or built-on trailers, so moving is no longer the stressful and expensive undertaking it used to be. Simply close the door and go!

Smaller is greener – It makes sense that if your home is smaller, you will automatically reduce your energy consumption, which means more money in your pocket every month and a smaller carbon footprint.

Micro-living might not be for everyone.  It does offer an option for those who are just starting out, those who love to travel, or those nearing retirement.

And even if you don’t opt for the smallest living space, reducing energy usage and saving money are ideas most anyone can take to the bank.

Photo Credit: Tumbleweed Tiny Homes

February 15 2013

Why Buying Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial Move

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Owning Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial MoveBuying Omaha real estate doesn’t just give you a place to live; it can also be a very smart financial move.

This is because owning a home can be like having a forced savings account, which you are committed to for the long term.

Consistent Saving On Autopilot

Sometimes saving money on our own each month is difficult. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain a consistent savings plan.

However, paying your mortgage every month means that you are paying down the principal and working toward eventually owning the property outright.

In the early years of the mortgage, the payments will go primarily to the interest on the loan.

But over time, the portion of your payment dedicated to principle increases, which accelerates paying off the entire mortgage.

Make Yourself Wealthy Instead Of Your Landlord

In the long term, owning your own home may be a much better financial arrangement than renting a home. No matter how long you pay monthly rent, you will never own the real estate that you are living in.

When you are renting your home, it may also be possible for your landlord to increase your rent every year.

On the other hand, paying a mortgage on your real estate means that every month you get closer to owning the home.

In fact, most home mortgage lenders offer a fixed interest rate mortgage. This gives you a sense of control over how much you are paying every month, year to year. 

In a fixed rate mortgage, every mortgage payment pays down a portion of the principle on your mortgage loan.  In many cases this builds equity in your property and increases your net worth.

It’s a good idea to check with a professional mortgage lender to get an idea of the most up-to-date programs available.

Real Estate May Increase In Value Over Time

Over the years, your home might appreciate in value. Many experts say that the average home value increase each year over longer stretches of time, although this will vary according to the area you live in, the current economy and other factors.

Your home’s value may very well fluctuate throughout the years, but history has shown that over the long term, buying a home can be a very beneficial financial decision.

Understanding the benefits of home ownership, including the potential financial upside of purchasing your own home, can be an excellent way to further your overall personal financial plan. 

 

February 11 2013

BE PREPARED, OMAHA

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The Northeast United States was crushed under three feet of snow this weekend. The storm caused downed power lines and resulted in thousands of people being without power for several days.  What do you do when the power goes out?  Having no power for several hours or days is especially dangerous in freezing temperatures.  Here are a few tips to help you out.

 

“Be Prepared” is not only the Boy Scouts’ motto, it should be yours as well.  Don’t wait for a power outage before you act. 

 

Make certain you have plenty of fresh batteries on hand for flashlights and a battery-powered portable radio.  Place a strip of glow-in-the-dark tape to flashlights to make them easy to spot in the dark.  It may also be wise to invest in battery-powered candles so you have a constant light source.  You may consider getting some kerosene lamps, wicks and lamp oil before the next storm.  These will provide a much stronger light.

 

Make certain your home is properly insulated and that doors and windows are caulked.  Make certain you know how to manually open your garage door.  Store plenty of alternate fuel such as wood for a fireplace. 

 

If you have exposed pipes that may be in danger of freezing, wrap them in insulation or several layers of newspaper.  If using newspaper, cover the pipes with plastic to keep out moisture.  Know how to turn off water valves in your home and make certain you can turn them on and off. 

 

If you know a storm is coming set your freezer and refrigerator settings to the coldest level (just remember to set it back to a normal setting when the storm has passed or the power restored).  If you have medication that needs to be refrigerated, check with your pharmacy on how to protect it during an extended outage.

 

Once the storm hits, let your faucets drip to prevent freezing.  If your water supply will be adversely affected by a lack of power then fill your bathtub with water and any extra plastic containers.  Place an empty bucket by the tub.  The toilet will flush if you pour a pail of water directly into the bowl.  By the way, don’t drink any water you use to fill the tub. It is only for sanitation purposes.

 

Dress for the cold in several lightweight layers.  The many layers work better to insulate you than one heavy layer.  Put on a hat and gloves or mittens.  You can lose heat on any part of your exposed body.

 

Here’s another important tip: if the power goes out unplug all your sensitive electronic equipment including T.V.s, VCR, microwave, computer, cordless phone, answering machine and the garage door opener.  There is a good reason for this.  The power surge when the electricity is restored could cause voltage irregularities that could fry your equipment.

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac had another excellent tip. Call shelters, motels or hotels that have power.  See if they will accept pets in case you need to leave your home and seek alternative shelter.

 

I’m certain you can think of others but whatever happens, don’t be caught unprepared.  Maybe winter storms will pass Omaha this year.  But by then we’ll be in tornado season.

 

Be prepared too, when you are thinking of buying or selling a home, with the name and number of an excellent Realtor like me.  You can call or text me at 402-670-8775 or email me at Marie.Otis@cbshome.com

December 03 2012

Congratulations to Mark Leaders | Nebraska CRS of the Year!

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CBSHOME Real Estate would like to congratulate Mark Leaders, Sales Manager of the Northwest Office, on his recent recognition as the Nebraska CRS of the Year.  The CRS (Council of Residential Specialists) designation is the highest credential awarded to REALTORS that only 3%  of agents attain.  It is the mark of expertise and professionalism in residential real estate sales and marketing.

Leaders received his real estate broker’s license in 1986. He has served as District Vice President of the Nebraska CRS Chapter.  He is currently serving as an OABR Director and a Nebraska REALTORS Association Director.

September 10 2012

Career Planning and Real Estate

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So what, exactly, do career planning and real estate have in common? They both require a plan! Hey, I’m keeping it simple today on this blog today, I need to go buy a birthday card for my wife.

I spent well over a decade learning a great deal about career planning. It is a very active process that evolves over time and changes as our life situations change. Where we start is rarely where we end up in a career, and often things happen that we didn’t select, yet fortunately we get to choose how we respond.
Often times buying and selling a home is very similar to career planning. Owning requires taking care of the property and watching the trends of the market. When the day comes that we have to sell we can’t control what the market says the house is worth, but we can control how we react to it. When we want to buy, we can’t control the interest rates, but we can control how we deal with it.

One of the keys of maintaining any type of control in your career or with the value of your home is showing a willingness to adapt and develop. Learn new skills or update that kitchen. If you want top dollar for your skills or your home both must be nurtured and cared for over time. Even then, you might find your skills or your home under valued for what you think they are worth. Remember; control what you can control. Develop your skills regardless of their value; you grow as a person if your do. Develop your home while you live in it so you can enjoy it. Do things to your home that you will enjoy. And don’t wait to do things you should do until you have to sell. At that point you will hate spending the money on it and you won’t get to enjoy it at all.

I look forward to your questions, comments, and thoughts!

“Like” us at www.facebook.com/TheRheinerCrew and check out our CBSHome real estate site at www.TheRheinerCrew.com.

Michael