Real Estate is back on the rise!

Active Rain, The World’s largest social network for Real Estate Professionals, conducted a survey among its 330,000 members to understand confidence levels and key market data in both national and local markets.

 

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Agent Feature: Michaela Krause

Today our featured blog post is about Michaela Krause!

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Hi Michaela and welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Worked at Disney, Hotels in San Francisco, Miami

Moved back to Europe: Italy to run our own coffee shop with partner

Returned to Orlando over 2 years ago to take over a Property Management Business specializing in Vacation Rentals

How did you get into real estate?

Started RE beginning of this year to add to Property Management Services

What projects are you currently working on?

Working on our Property Management Company: Florida-Holiday-Homes.com

Thanks for coming on our blog today, Michaela! If you are interested in contacting Michaela to help her sell your home or buy your next one, here is her contact information:

Connect with Michaela:

GOAL: Capture More Listings HOW: Capitalize on Today’s Market!

Last month, CENTURY 21® Real Estate conducted a Spring Selling Survey, and the results show a fantastic opportunity for sellers to capitalize on increased buyer-demand! Here are some key findings from the survey:

 

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33% of home searchers have been looking for more than a year, and 67% of them have been searching for up to a year.
88% of homebuyers are willing to compromise on location-related attributes, such as commute, proximity to friends, and access to restaurants, shops and general conveniences.
85% of home searchers are willing to compromise on various features of the home, including a built-in-pool, finished basement, updated kitchen, or walk-in closets.

Agent Feature: Les Sessoms, CRS, GRI

Today’s Agent Feature on the blog is with Les Sessoms!

 

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Hi Les and welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I started investing in beach property and rental homes in the early 90’s, while continuing to work in the insurance field. After moving to Florida, in 2001, I decided to put my experience to work. I specialize in residential home sales including condominium and vacation homes; customers find me to be a skilled negotiator while keeping their best interests at heart. I am enjoying my career in real estate sales because it gives me more flexibility to schedule time for my family and grandchildren.   I am a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Celebration.  I also volunteer time and support to worthy organizations, such as Give Kids the World, Boy Scouts of America and the Families in Transition (F.I.T.) Program.

How did you get into real estate?

My brother encouraged me to get my real estate license.

What projects are you currently working on?

Last year I earned my  Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation, the continued education definitely helps me to better serve our customers.

This year I plan to work towards our real estate’s team fifth consecutive #1 ranking in Century 21’s Central and North Florida’s division.  Since 2009 our team has been #1 and we have also received the Centurion award and Quality Service Award. We hope to continue the streak and thank our customers for their business.

Any Advice for people just starting off in real estate?

The best advice I can give to anyone looking for a home, whether you are a first time home buyer or a seasoned investor is to work with an experienced Realtor.

Thanks for coming on our blog today, Les! If you are interested in contacting Les to help him sell your home or buy your next one, here is his contact information:

LES SESSOMS, Broker Associate
CENTURY 21 Metro Lifestyles
720 Celebration Avenue
Suite 100
Celebration, FL 34747
Direct: 407-432-6791
Fax: 407-566-8511

les@move2celebration.com

5 Reasons to buy a NEW home

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The economy is well on it’s way to recovery and that is evident by the boom in new construction in the Central Florida area. With new homes popping up in Windermere, Lake Nona, and Celebration, it is definitely time to consider buying a brand new home. Here on the blog we have searched the internet and home buying blogs to come up with 5 reasons why you should think about purchasing a brand new home:

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1. Customization: Many homebuilders allow buyers to help design the property, which helps create a living space tailored to the consumer’s tastes. New-home buyers, for example, can often decide where their bathroom might go, choose their favorite flooring or pick the exterior paint color. Buyers moving into a subdivision can sometimes pick the lot they like best.

2. Green appliances: The more energy-efficient mechanics of the house also help reduce utility bills for new-home buyers, Morrow says. New homes often include green systems and appliances — such as high-efficiency stoves, refrigerators, washing machines, water heaters, furnaces or air conditioning units — that homes built years ago might not.

3. Warranty: In addition, builders often agree to take care of the necessary repair work in a new home for at least the first year.

4. Fire safety: New homes often include fire-safety features that may not be in properties built years ago.

5. Financing: New-home buyers can take advantage of mortgage-financing perks available through their builder.

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Agent Feature: Nina Gammello

For the next several Mondays, we will be doing “Agent Features” which will be specified blog posts to help introduce you to our team of fantastic real estate agents! This will be a great opportunity to get to know our real estate agents and help you find the right one you are looking for to work with. If you would like to contact any of our agents featured on the blog, we will have their contact information posted at the end of each of their articles.

Our first Monday Agent Feature is Nina Gammello

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Hi Nina and welcome to the blog! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Married to a great guy since 1993. I have 3 grown sons, and a beautiful daughter in law.

I’m a third generation Realtor.  When I am not working, which is very rare these days, I love to design stained glass, and mosaics.  My husband and I also enjoy traveling. He is also happens to be my #1 supporter!

 

How did you get into real estate?

In 2006, I decided to make a career move from teaching to real estate!  GREAT TIMING RIGHT?  BUT, I took the declining market of 2007 & 2008 as a great opportunity to learn the business and surround myself with top agents, educate myself, learn my community, as well as the surrounding communities, and learn whatever I could in this exciting new career.

 

What projects are you currently working on?

I work with first time home buyers, families moving up or downsizing – condo, townhomes, over 55 communities, investors building their portfolio, as well vacation home investors , since we do live in Central Florida, and the theme park capital of the world.  In our office, we can offer our clients the best locations, close to theme parks, great restaurants, Gulf coast west of us, and the Atlantic coast to the east – Central Florida offers the best vacation opportunities.

 

Any Advice for people just starting off in real estate?

For first time agents: The best advise is to LISTEN to what the buyers / or sellers are telling you –  THEN treat them with honestly and respect.  KNOW your community, market, events – that is key.

My advise for buyers, especially new to Florida, or first time home buyers – This is a fun experience, although they don’t know that yet… relax.  I usually give each and every one of my customers a folder, with whatever properties we are viewing, so they can take notes – It makes narrowing down properties easier.

 

Thanks for coming on our blog today, Nina! If you are interested in contacting Nina to help her sell your home or buy your next one, here is her contact information:

CENTURY 21 Metro Lifestyles

720 Celebration Ave. Suite 100

Celebration, FL  34747

407 721-0552 Direct

407-566-8511 Fax

www.realestatebyNina.com

 

How to choose the right Real Estate Agent

We have amazing agents that work for us here at Century 21 Metro Lifestyles. We pride ourselves in our service to our clients. If you are not a client yet, here are the American Homeowners Association’s top 9 tips for choosing the right real estate agent for you!

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1. Go with a Pro

The terms agent, broker and Realtor are often used interchangeably. But not all agents or brokers are Realtors. The term “Realtor” identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its strict code of ethics, which in some cases goes beyond state law.
2. Experience Counts

Whether you’re looking for a Realtor to help you buy or sell a house, you don’t want to be part of someone’s learning curve.
3. Get Referrals

Friends, neighbors and co-workers are often good sources for referrals. Get as many details as possible about their buying or selling experience with a particular agent. Were they happy with the service they received? Would they use the Realtor again? You can also check the local yellow pages or search the Internet to scope out your options and find leads . If you’re selling, look for sold signs in your neighborhood.
4. Think Locally

If you’re buying, a Realtor should be able to provide you with information on the community, the schools, taxes and other facts. If you’re selling, you want your agent to be able to talk to prospective buyers about these details.

5.Stay in your range

Whether you’re buying or selling, choose a Realtor who concentrates on your price range. For example, if you’re looking to buy a house in the range of $250,000 to $300,000, you should check the real estate listings in the local paper to see which Realtors are listing houses in that range. A Realtor who focuses on more expensive homes won’t be as knowledgeable about what’s available in your price range.
6. Interview a Few Candidates

Once you’ve done some background work, set up interviews with three or four Realtors you’re considering. You might also want to visit open houses to observe the agent in action. Are they familiar with the property, the area, the real estate transaction? Did they show the home in a professional manager? Did they seem enthusiastic and were they easy to communicate with?
7. Don’t Let an Agent “Buy Your Listing”

If one agent says he or she can sell your house for substantially more money than the other agents quoted you, they’re probably telling you what they think you want to hear in order to get your listing. Or, they may not be familiar with the market in your town or neighborhood.
8.Agree on Expectations

If you’re selling a house, ask your agent to put together a written marketing plan detailing the steps they will take to sell your home. The agent should offer advice on how to prepare your home for the market and who has enthusiasm for your property. If you’re buying a home, make sure you know how often your agent will supply you with listings, how many houses you can expect to see in a week, etc.
9. Look for a Personality Match

Once you know you’ve narrowed your search down to qualified professionals with the right expertise, make sure you choose someone you trust and who you like.