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The Island Estates, Clearwater Beach, FL market will be heating up, as not only have sales risen this week to 12 homes sold over the last 30 days, but there is a new upward trend of new listings, with 22 going live in the same time frame. Be the FIRST TO KNOW about new listings for your dream home by clicking this link http://islandestatesrealty.idxbroker.com/idx/search/basic.

Donation for the "Pink is Beautiful" Fundraiser

by Joanne Hiller

Dear Business Owner,

Thank you very much for your donation to the Island Estates Women's Club "Pink is Beautiful" Fundraiser Luncheon for the Pinellas Mammography Voucher Program. We had 111 local women attend the luncheon/fundraiser held on October 21, 2014 at the Island Way Grill. Each attendee received a copy of the enclosed program listing the names of businesses who generously donated gifts for the event.

Through the generosity of yours and other local business, we raised in excess of $5,500 to support the activities of the Pinellas Mammography Voucher Program which helps women without adequate healthcare receive much needed preventative screening. That number equates to about 70 routine mammograms for women with no known problems or 50 diagnostic mammograms or 59 necessary ultrasounds. By your donation to the IEWC you are making a difference and helping many women in our community.

Regards,

 

Lynne

President, Island Estates Women's Club

Does Brand Matter When Picking a Real Estate Agent?

by Joanne Hiller

DOES BRAND MATTER WHEN PICKING A REAL ESTATE AGENT?

You know the names, Coldwell Banker, Prudential, Re/Max, and Century 21. The list goes on and so do the ads, because national real estate brands blast away at consumers with marketing programs from TV spots and local signs to search engines and social media. But if you’re a buyer or a seller, does the brand name really matter?

Of factors that go into picking a real estate agent, some evidence suggests that brand name isn’t important. This according to the National Association of Realtors, only 3% of buyers and 4% of sellers report considering an agent’s association with a particular firm to be an important factor.  Clients just want to know that they are getting the same exposure as the national brands, and they are.  What they really care about is service, not the name on the door.  And smaller firms provide great service because the environment is less corporate.

Let me give you some real shocking Real Estate news. If we all were to assume that the Big names in Real Estate do most of the business (that’s because they are big) we would be totally wrong. Here are a few examples…let’s take New York City, the real estate capital of the world. The big guys are far behind, you see the names like Brown Harris Stevens, Douglas Elliman, Bellmarc Realty, Corcoran Wexler just to name a few. Now let’s go to Los Angles Stanford Raffles Realty, Westside Estate Agency, Jade Mills Estates and Peter Lorimer Group. When these agency’s started out they never lost sight of what made them Big.  SERVICE, SERVICE AND SERVICE.  The TV Brands as we call them are about one thing more corporate mentality.

Where is the playing field now? It is equal. In the past it was perceived that the TV Brands were getting a large portion of the business but now thanks to the internet, we are seeing that 95% of people search for their homes on line.  It really comes down to the Multiple Listing Service which dominates throughout the country.  The name or brand of the company is not as important anymore, and what matters most is the specific agent’s reputation, regardless of where the agents works.

Having said that,  where does Island Estates Realty fit into this scenario?  Since 1969 located on Island Estates * Consistently the Island’s Top Producing Office * Reputation Above The Rest * Performance Above the Level of the Corporate Brands *  Marketing Beyond Your Expectations - Professional Photography , Videos, Brochures, Glossy Postcards, New Interactive Floor Plan * Powerful Internet Presence  * New Cutting Edge Web Site with Hundreds of Links and International MLS

Should I Buy a Home Now?

by Joanne Hiller

I'm often asked if this is a good time to buy a home. Some clients are concerned that home prices may fall down the road, while others are convinced that home prices will go up.

Home prices are one factor in determining your cost of ownership, but so are interest rates and financing availability. Even though interest rates have fluctuated, they are still near historic lows. Since your monthly mortgage payment is a combination of paying down your principal and paying the interest owed, a one point rise in interest rates could cost tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage!

While a home is a major investment, it is also the center of your personal life. It's important to live in a home that reflects your taste and values, yet is within your financial "comfort zone." To that end, it may be more important to lock in today's relatively low interest rates while they are still available.

Please give me a call if I can be of any assistance in determining how much home you can afford in today's market.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Joanne Hiller
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
110 Island Way
Clearwater FL 33767
(727)460-5721
Fax: (727)446-2691