Tag Archive for: REALTOR

Buying a home today is more complex than it was five years ago, as the market was gaining intensity – favoring sellers and their interests. Despite the pendulum shifting in the direction of homebuyers, there are those who are overwhelmed by the intricate process of a home purchase. Yet, some of the most intimidated are first-timers, who have never pursued homeownership before. Luckily, there are several programs available that can provide assistance to make this journey a little easier for first-time homebuyers. Below, we’ll attempt to present some of the challenges, resources available and the steps one should take as they seek homeownership for the first time.

The current market presents a myriad of challenges for first-time homebuyers. With rising home prices and limited inventory, finding an affordable home can be daunting. Buyers are still over-bidding now and again, and coming up short in multi-offer situations. In Pennsylvania, home prices have continued climbing, with a median sales price of $216,249 (up 4.2% year-over-year). A housing supply issue exists in the state as well, listings are down 23.4% year-over-year.* Additionally, competition from cash buyers and investors can make it difficult for first-time buyers to secure a home. Furthermore, strict lending requirements and high down payments can also pose challenges for those looking to purchase. The latter might not apply unless loan options such as FHA, VA, USDA and the like are not a possibility. To account for these challenges, first-time homebuyers should do thorough research, work with a trusted REALTOR®, and if they’re serious about shopping for a home in the current climate, be ready to make competitive offers at a moment’s notice. It may also be helpful to consider alternative financing options and be open to exploring different types of homes or different areas (i.e. alternate school districts, check out rural living over suburban or city living).

There’s good news for those who may have been classified as first-timers in the past, but haven’t purchased a home in over thirty-six months. They would likely be labeled as first-time homebuyers once again. In the industry, lenders do have various indicators, differentiating themselves from others in the business. These requirements for buyers can vary from institution to institution. Some of the typical criteria for first-time buyers includes a steady income, where a job history of two or more years must be validated, a clean credit history, a credit score of 620 or more, a debt-to-income ratio below 43% and a loan down payment of at least 3%. Furthermore, if you presently own a mobile home or have owned one within that three-year window, lenders will often grant you first-time buyer status since the rules for mobile-home ownership are unique.

Education in life goes a long way, and prospective buyers would do well to study up. The best way for first-time homebuyers to get educated on available programs is to do their research. First, talk to your real estate professional. An experienced REALTOR® has dealt with your situation before or one that was similar. Your agent will provide you with a roadmap of several avenues to follow, including homebuyer education classes/seminars as well as utilizing various online resources. These services can help buyers figure out their loan options by providing information on different mortgage programs, down payment assistance programs and other financial assistance options. It’s important for first-time homebuyers to take advantage of these resources to ensure they make informed decisions and find the best program for their individual needs. In Pennsylvania, there are programs geared toward assisting first-time homebuyers such as the Keystone Home loan program, the Keystone Advantage Assistance loan program and the HOMEstead program, just to name a few. Each state has programs in place to assist those who can qualify as first-time buyers. Moreover, there are local programs, such as NeighborWorks, who support buyers as they journey toward homeownership.

Buyers should expect help from their REALTOR® as it pertains to available first-time homebuyer assistance programs. After all, that’s the support real estate professionals provide – to counsel their clients in making the best decisions at each stage of their progress. If their agent doesn’t have the answers, they’ll direct them to the experts who do. These assistance programs can be complicated to navigate, but REALTORS® have the knowledge and expertise to guide buyers toward success. They can provide information about the eligibility requirements, the application procedures in addition to the potential benefits of these programs. They can also assist with finding the right program for a buyer’s specific needs and helping them gather all the necessary documents and information. With their lead, buyers can feel more confident and informed about taking advantage of these valuable resources to make their dream of homeownership a reality.

First-time homebuyers, listen up! As thrilling as it is to finally have a place to call your own (and it is), it’s important to manage your budget wisely and ensure you can qualify for a loan. Trust us, you don’t want to end up house-rich, cash-poor, where you’ve pumped all this equity into your home, but you’re struggling to pay your bills month after month, and regretting the decision you made to purchase. Before you buy, do a test run and start by setting a realistic budget and stick to it. Consider all expenses, including homeowners insurance, taxes, mortgage insurance (if applicable), utilities, maintenance and other debts you may have. When the time comes to acquire a loan, do your homework and shop around for the best interest rates and programs to suit your needs. Don’t immediately settle on the first lender you encounter. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and be aware of any hidden fees (such as points). Remember, a little bit of budgeting and savvy negotiating can go a long way in making your dream home a reality.

The good news is more help is on the way for homebuyers. The day when buyers can pay market value for a home without constant interference from other buyers or pay below market value in efforts to get a deal will become a reality once again. A time when buyers won’t feel rushed into making hasty decisions about homeownership is on the horizon. In the meantime, do your search and thoroughly understand all aspects of homeownership before making any decisions. With the right guidance and resources, purchasing your first home can be a rewarding and exciting experience. Happy house hunting! Take a look at our houses for sale in Clarks Summit PA.

* Latest Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® Housing Report – Sept 2023

Other first-time homebuyer resources:
8 Steps You Should Take When Purchasing Your First Home
First-Time Homebuyer Tips

Don’t let your home sit, let it stand above the rest of the competition and be noticed. If there’s one thing we counsel our clientele on today, it’s making a distinction between their home and others “on the market, not selling.” What are the unique selling points of their home? What is the state of the market, even as granular as their neighborhood? What are comparable properties selling for now? Putting together a vivid picture of the subject property and how to elevate it above other similar homes could mean the difference between less time on the market and maybe even a multiple offer situation.

But before you get carried away, here are five ways to position your home for a quicker sale:

Pricing

This is the obvious. The elephant in the room. We’d be deceiving ourselves if we didn’t mention this one first, because it’s the most important and for good reason. Remember, the whole process for a buyer begins (or should begin) with an honest assessment of what they can afford and tailoring their search around that benchmark. The buyer consults a mortgage lender, discovers how much they’re pre-approved for, compares that to their financial situation, determines their must-haves when previewing homes and investigates the market. Homebuyers, especially if they’ve been searching for some time, have an eye for present circumstances and how compatible properties have fared.

Sellers, who better understand what buyers are witnessing in terms of pricing, will be better able to estimate and position their property for its initial release. This is why having a REALTOR® generate a competitive market analysis (CMA) specifically tailored to the seller’s home is ideal for understanding how they should be pricing it. Although we might be in a period of correction, the market still favors sellers. Because of this, real estate professionals are advising some homeowners to set their list price toward the higher end of its range of value.

Repairs

When an owner anticipates selling their home, they should review all aspects of their property to conclude what’s in need of repair and what could benefit from an upgrade. Ideally, this should be done months ahead of when they plan to sell. They should consult their REALTOR® in order to judge which repairs/updates would help sell their home and which ones should be evaded. Soon-to-be sellers want to avoid alterations that buyers, for the most part, could care less about – repairs or updates that won’t add value, and in some cases might even have a negative impact.

It’s worth mentioning, some homeowners pursue a “pre-listing” inspection, where a professional home inspector evaluates their home and pinpoint areas they might want to address, making the proper repairs, before listing their home for sale. Though this approach isn’t as common as one might think, it can be extremely beneficial to owners in certain instances.

Curb Appeal

It seems like we overemphasize this point time and time again (because we do!), but we believe it’s that important. Do you want increased engagement and more prospective buyers to see your home? Of course! One of the quickest ways to get more eyeballs on your home, both online in addition to in person showings, is to create an inviting atmosphere that draws buyers in. The exterior facade of your home will either captivate or deter onlookers. It’s that simple. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and front porch, fresh landscaping, cut grass, trimmed shrubbery, new garage door, replacing that weathered mailbox, etc. make a statement and appeal to buyers.

There’s certainly a lot to say about curb appeal as it’s a very effective tool for selling, but homeowners shouldn’t go overboard either. They should refrain from changes, which won’t appeal to a majority of buyers. Sellers might want to consider taking a more simplistic approach to the peripheral of their home in hopes that potential buyers won’t see a yard that requires too much upkeep. As with any upgrade, sellers need to be cautious not to dump money into aspects of the home that have little to no return on investment (ROI).

Buyer Incentives

One way to really make your home stand out is to offer buyers and their agents perks that will truly differentiate your home from the rest. An incentive some deploy is offering would-be buyers a home warranty. In fact, there’s relatively affordable coverage available that will protect the home for the seller while it’s listed in addition to a year from its closing date. Thus, this coverage benefits both the owner and the buyer.

Another incentive to entertain is concessions or a closing credit giving a boost to those looking to purchase the seller’s property. Seller concessions are a portion of the costs the seller has agreed to pay in order to lower the amount the buyer needs to close on the property. This assist or contribution is typically rolled into the buyer’s mortgage. A closing credit can be a great way to attract buyers as well. Usually a percentage of the purchase price or a flat credit is presented to consumers in hopes that it will attract more parties to put forth an offer.

A rare, though effective means of reducing those days on market can also be achieved by incentivizing agents to bring their clients into the seller’s abode through offering a buyer’s agent bonus. Agents make money beyond their portion of their agency’s commission, and thus will be much more eager to bring buyers into that seller’s home.

Marketing

Finally, investing in a real estate professional, who understands the current conditions and can effectively position a seller’s home for maximum exposure, will reduce market time. Experienced agents know the state of the market and know how to best approach it. How will current trends affect market time? Sellers need to rely on their agent to sift through the data to discover what’s selling, what’s not selling and why it isn’t selling.

Sellers would also be wise to team up with a REALTOR® and brand, who are well versed in exposing their home to the largest pool of buyers. Their agent should be aggressive, regardless of the conditions that exist, willing to go the extra mile for their clients. Their agent should have a drive to succeed, despite the challenges which may exist. Their agent should have a plan on how to elevate their client’s listing to get noticed and shown.

 

As a homeowner, there are things you can’t change like location or maybe even costly upgrades to a home, but the above five are within your control. Sitting down with your agent and creating a strategy corresponding to these tips, among others, may ultimately reduce the number of days your home is on the market. There’s a lot on the mind of today’s sellers, but having a meeting with your agent will help ease your mind too!

If you’re thinking about listing your home, even many months from now, it’s never too early to create a plan for when the time comes to sell. Contact one of our professionals today to get started right away.

Those who are looking for a home to purchase might not know what they’re searching for in a property or in an agent, but it’s not their fault, especially if they’re first-timers. This is where having a trusted real estate advisor early in the process can be a saving grace for many who are venturing into homeownership. A buyer’s agent is that trust advisor, who must make “a continuous and good faith effort to find a property for the buyer,” assuming a contract with another agent isn’t in play. And with other conditions like keeping all confidential information relayed by the buyer, confidential as well as always acting in the buyer’s best interests, these agents play a vital role in the transaction. We recently sat down with one of our own to explore the mind of a buyer agent.

“Buyers have to be able to get in touch with you, their buyer’s agent,” emphasizes Ann A. Sheroda, Associate Broker with Realty Network Group [Clarks Summit, PA]. “When they can’t there’s frustration, distrust and quite frankly, abandonment to some extent.” A successful business is predicated on fostering relationships. Connecting buyers and sellers is critical for obvious reasons in a transaction, but the connection between the seller and their agent in addition to the buyer and their agent shouldn’t be minimized.

In the relationship between agent and buyer there’s either a sense of trust or distrust. From the onset, establishing this trust is important. One way to build upon it is in how the agent protects the homebuyer. “It’s the buyer’s agent who needs to protect their client,” underscores Sheroda. “If they won’t, who will? A buyer needs a good lender, title company and attorney. It’s unfortunate when an unsuspecting party hires the services of an attorney at the eleventh hour of the transaction or teams up with a lender, who many in the field will avoid whenever possible. A good agent will make sure the terms the purchaser needs are written up correctly in the contract. They’ll make sure inspections are in place to protect them. If your buyer previews six homes and none of them are any good and don’t match their needs, you show them six more.”

These are some of the advantages to using a buyer’s agent in today’s market. Buyers desire, whether they know it or not, someone who’s going to look out for their best interests. Though they might come at a lower premium during autumn and the early winter months, home prices are elevated and buyers need someone who has their back. The same can be said for mortgage interest rates and the potential for overpaying for a property. Buyer representation is a must-have for buyers heading into 2023.

Do drawbacks to buyer representation exist? There could be disadvantages for homebuyers entering into a business relationship with a buyer’s agent. Namely, you could become a hostage to poor representation. As Sheroda points out: “It can be brutal when you can’t get in touch with your agent and they don’t make time for you. Flexibility on the agent’s part is needed, but it goes further than that. Communication is critical. If you’re not committed to your clients and their need to acquire a suitable dwelling for themselves and their families, then it begs the question: Why are you representing them in the first place?” The worst situation a prospective buyer can find themselves in prior to signing an agreement of sale, is being locked into a contract with an agent who isn’t giving their client their best effort, isn’t acting in their best interests and isn’t staying in touch with them either. “Don’t think dealing with the listing agent is the answer,” asserts Sheroda. “Though listing agents in the state of Pennsylvania, who act ethically, can also represent the interests of the buyer through dual agency, a buyer should hesitate before retreating to the agent who has the property listed. A buyer needs to make sure they’re being properly represented in the transaction.”

“There have been numerous times in my seventeen years when a client of mine has been desperate to purchase, but when previewing homes that weren’t a match for them, I’ve told them they absolutely need to walk away,” explains Sheroda. “Buyers need to understand, no matter how rushed or pressured they feel to purchase, they should not buy just to buy. I recently had a situation where a contractor I knew was previewing a home with one of my clients, who also had an association with the contractor and requested he be present at the showing. The house needed a ton of work and it wasn’t worth the aggravation, in my mind, and it certainly wasn’t a fit for my buyer. My client asked me if she should consider purchasing the home. I told her she needed to walk away. Afterwards, the contractor said he gained even more respect for me, upon hearing the counsel I was giving to my client.”

Ann Sheroda believes finding an agent can and should be a process of trial by error. The buyer needs to be comfortable with their agent. They need to trust and form a rapport with them. “If I weren’t licensed in this business, I would still use a buyer’s agent,” affirms Sheroda. “There can be pitfalls along the way and every buyer needs guidance throughout all phases of their dealings: In the search process, pricing, negotiating, networking, through the transaction to settlement and beyond. Selecting an agent should be carefully done. In fact, I recommend prospective buyers and sellers who approach me to check my references – Interviewing past clients of mine and inquiring about my services and work ethic is a great starting point.” A referral might be one of the best ways an agent acquires business, but here are a few effective questions to ask along the way:

  • How long have you been licensed as a real estate professional?
  • Do you have a flexible schedule? Can it accommodate mine?
  • How long does it take buyers you’ve worked with to find and purchase a home?
  • What areas of real estate are your specialty?

Find other noteworthy questions in our homebuyer guide.

If you’re toying with the thought of joining forces with a buyer’s agent, what’s holding you back? The home is a hub for so much in our lives, it’s a memory-making machine. A home purchase is also a large one. You want an expert who will help deliver the best outcome for you and your situation – financial and personal.

Lastly, there are many wheels spinning in a real estate transaction. Get a professional, preferably a REALTOR®, who has access to other experts in the field. You want to work with someone who has an impressive network you can approach and pull into your homebuying process. You want excellent service every step of the way. Your trusted advisor, your buyer’s agent, will have a connection with reputable lenders, inspectors, attorneys, and the like. You can hopefully rest easier knowing that an agent, you have confidence in, attracts like-minded, successful professionals.

There’s more to explore when it comes to purchasing a property — consider these things before you go all in on buying.

The search for a home begins online. It has for some time. In fact, consumers are surveying the terrain and pouncing on anything that hits the market like a school of piranha, unsure of when their next opportunity to eat will surface. You can’t blame homebuyers either. Today, the ones that remain, still looking to purchase, have repeatedly struck out in their attempts for homeownership. Now, feeling the pressures of inflation, higher mortgage rates and rising home prices, they’re looking to get in before the door closes on their “must-haves” and what they can afford.

The winds of a housing shortage have shifted, new listings with a slowdown in purchases have given way to more selection – finally some welcomed news for prospective shoppers. Yet the search becomes very real for them as they exit the digital environment, previewing actual houses, and doing so in a more urgent manner than buyers did only three years ago. Buyers should rely on the services of a real estate professional whenever possible, because representation is critical for protecting the interest of buyer-clients, especially in this market. And you probably have questions.

What type of real estate professionals exist today and what do they look like? There are four main distinctions homebuyers should be aware of, and they are: real estate agents, REALTORS®, REALTORS® with an ABR® designation and Brokers.

  • Real estate agents – Independent contractors who are connecting buyers and sellers and are licensed to help others rent, buy or sell real estate. Licensure requirements vary from state to state. These professionals should not be confused with REALTORS®, but regularly are.
  • REALTORS® – Licensed real estate agents who are also members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and must likewise adhere to this organization’s code of ethics. These professionals can include real estate appraisers, salespeople, Brokers and more.
  • REALTORS® with ABR® designation – Members of NAR who have a particular skill set and frequently work with homebuyers in their day-to-day business. These professionals are usually more in accord with the trends affecting buyers and are equipped with knowledge to help their buyer-clients succeed.
  • Brokers – Licensed professionals who further their education, and if they so desire, can open their own real estate firm, hiring independently contracted agents to work under them. They perform many of the same tasks as the agents they hire, but there’s a distinction between the two.

A handful of real estate agents become Brokers after a period of time in the business. Often those pursuing licensure as a Broker are ready to dedicate more study to this field. They’ve firmly planted themselves within the real estate turf surrounding them. Having said that, real estate agents who aren’t Brokers can and are certainly encouraged to dedicate more time and study to the business as well.

What is it like to be a Broker? “The dynamics of real estate have changed significantly over the past five years, but the standards of practice remain the same,” emphasizes Dianne Montana, Principal Broker for Realty Network Group. “I enjoy working with a talented group of professionals, helping them thrive, ultimately paving the way for our clients to buy and sell successfully.” Being a Broker allows for additional independence (more than solely being an independent contractor), but with that comes greater responsibility. Brokers are responsible for supervising the agents in their Brokerage and ensuring the office/company is in compliance with national and state real estate laws and regulations. Real estate Brokers face their fair share of liability as well, and as such, it’s important for Brokers to possess an advanced skill set in order to be both distinguished and ethical.

As a homebuyer, which of these four types should you seek when actively looking to acquire property? There’s no clear cut choice, but a REALTOR® is definitely a great starting point. Those specializing in servicing buyers generally provide the best opportunity. Furthermore, a REALTOR® with an ABR® designation could be a perfect match, especially for first-time homebuyers. Can you go wrong with a Broker? Usually not, but it’s imperative that those pursuing real estate do their due diligence in finding a professional they can work well with, one who actively listens and has a tract record for success.

Theresa DeMario Plisko becomes the newest addition to join Realty Network Group. As someone who has more or less lived her whole life in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Theresa knows the communities and markets well within this region. Though she excels in areas such as Moosic, Taylor and Old Forge, she looks forward to assisting homebuyers and sellers throughout the Greater Scranton area as well.

Over the past five years, Theresa has grown into her role as a successful REALTOR®. Prior to that she worked with her husband’s construction company for over twenty-five years. Through this experience, she understands how to coach sellers to effectively list and buyers on what to look for when searching for a home. “The reward in this business comes when my clients discover what they’re looking for,” exclaims Theresa. “The timetable varies from person to person, but the important thing I like them to remember is we’ll achieve our goals if we take it one step at time.” To her buyers, she reviews the pros and cons of homes presently on the market. To her sellers, she’ll have candid conversations about pricing, staging, among other things, even if it’s not what they want to hear.

Theresa’s approach to real estate over the years has defined her together with how she cares about her clients and their investments. She has many other strengths, including an understanding of market trends, effectively pricing a home, curb appeal, home construction, home staging and design. “I sought out a company with a strong reputation, who is respected among my peers,” underscored Theresa. “This was one of the reasons I became part of Realty Network Group. They’re a smaller company, which has similar camaraderie to the real estate business I first worked with, The Agency Real Estate Group.”

Real estate is the perfect match for agents like Theresa, who truly enjoy pairing buyers with properties that make sense for them and their families. Buying a home is a huge investment and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, choose a real estate professional who is easy to work with and who has the expertise to deliver the results you’re seeking. Contact Theresa DeMario Plisko today at 570-851-8511 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR®, Lisa Armetta, looks forward to the demands of today’s real estate market. Lisa has lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her whole life. She understands the region, the culture, but most especially its inhabitants. “Our community is loaded with hidden treasures, including its people,” attests Lisa. “Locals need an advocate who will act (when need be) and guide them through the real estate search, transaction and beyond.”

With over thirty years experience in all facets of the restaurant and bar industry, Lisa understands firsthand how to treat clients well. Repeat business has always been extremely important to her! When customers come back, time and time again, it says something about your business: your product and your personal brand. Leaning upon her achievements in managing thriving area businesses, her focus now has shifted. Running a successful real estate business is her goal.

It’s important to work with professionals who understand how daunting the purchase of a home or business can be — it’s a large investment, to say the least. Lisa recognizes how vital it is for those involved to be comfortable with their purchase. Her wish is for her clients to not only see the property for what it is, but also be able to experience it for what it could be, its potential, a reflection of them.

“I chose Realty Network Group because it’s a small business, who’s very involved in our community,” asserts Lisa. “They have a wonderful reputation for supporting their agents and their clients. I’ve spent most of my career building small businesses, where people are family. I desired a company who was inline with that philosophy. My hope is to help prospective buyers find the right property to build their ‘family,’ even if it’s a business one, and help sellers find the right buyer.”

Being involved in real estate over the years, Lisa has a good understanding of potential setbacks for buyers and sellers. Forward-thinking is essential in this business. When Lisa sees opportunity for her and her clients, she acts. She’s an achiever, who will work tirelessly for her clients’ needs. She’s ready for the challenges that lie ahead in this market as well as the next one.

Seeking the services of a professional, but you’re hesitant because of a prior bad experience? If you’re thinking about making a move in 2021, call Lisa Armetta today at 570-840-1793 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group’s newest REALTOR® is a native of the Scranton area and currently resides in Eynon. “I understand that where you live and who you represent are most important,” describes Michael Turlip. “These values have been instrumental in my life and continue to guide my endeavors.” Mike Turlip graduated from the University of Scranton in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. From there he served in the U.S. Army for four years as a Military Policeman. In January of 2002, he was deployed to Afghanistan following the events that occurred on September 11, 2001. Upon returning, he completed an overseas tour in Europe, serving as a member of NATO at the Supreme Allied Headquarters in Belgium. His experience in the military has instilled in him what it means to sacrifice and serve others. In 2005, he was accepted to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey, Pennsylvania. For the past sixteen years, Mike has continued to serve the public as a Pennsylvania State Trooper.

“My experience in public service has embodied the principles that we as Americans should strive for every opportunity we can,” emphasizes Mike. “I’m thankful for my experience and wish to utilize this drive, which has developed from my military background, in order to be successful. My success will translate to success for my clients and that’s my priority.” Mike understands how central buyers and sellers are to real estate in 2021. He grasps the connection between homeowners, investors and tenants far greater than most real estate professionals who are beginning to grow their business.

Mike has always had an affinity for real estate. Eight years ago, he purchased his first investment property. “I think real estate has always offered me a challenge that intrigues me,” asserts Mike. Whether it’s buying a fixer-upper and transforming it back to a neighborhood treasure or investing in rental properties that provide affordable, well-maintained housing to those in the community, the growth of his portfolio has meant more to him than sheer assets. Investing in our community is foremost, and coupled with his passion to serve others. As a real estate professional, Mike fully intends to provide his clients with knowledgeable service, based on his experience, while taking into consideration their real estate goals.

For the past two decades, Mike has served in some of the most prestigious organizations in the country. The principles conveyed through them, led him to Realty Network Group. This company takes pride in serving its clients well and adheres to the highest standards in the real estate community. Loyalty and service to those we represent coincide with his values as a veteran and a State Trooper. He looks forward to applying these same principles to assist and meet all of his clients’ real estate needs.

If you’re seeking the services of a real estate professional who is dedicated to finding your forever home or selling your current one, contact Michael Turlip today directly at 570-290-4421 or via email at [email protected].

Alice Manley is the newest agent to join forces with Realty Network Group. She infuses thirty years of sales expertise with an interest and passion for matching up buyers and sellers. Connecting both parties in a real estate transaction is more than a science. There’s an art to marketing homes or leading buyers in pursuit of theirs. Alice’s vast experience in media and hospitality are added advantages for her and her clients.

Alice will be a valuable asset to the firm as she brings a strong work ethic and a motivation to succeed into the field. She has a desire to work hard for her clients understanding that sometimes you don’t get a second chance to sell for the best price, terms and conditions as trends change. She’s also committed to homebuyers as they begin what will be a remarkable journey toward homeownership! She’s driven to succeed, realizing her successes will be victories for her clients too. Another strength for Alice is her problem-solving abilities. She has an uncanny sense for stopping issues in their tracks and moving toward a resolution that’s acceptable to everyone involved, especially her buyers/sellers.

“If it doesn’t feel right, we’ll search until it does,” expresses Alice. Her words to buyers never ring truer than they do now in a seller’s market. “Your ‘forever home’ wraps you in comfort like an old blanket, gives you refuge during difficult days and is always waiting for you after a long journey. Everyone deserves this and I look forward to bringing this experience to others.”

Alice has lived her entire life in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She loves all the area has to offer, including its seasons, natural landscapes and close-knit communities. She hopes those moving into the region or growing into it can have these experiences as well. “It’s an exciting time in real estate in NEPA,” underscores Alice. “I chose Realty Network Group because of a working relationship I had with one of its owners. It was knowing this person that attracted me to the company. I was certain of the value, integrity and respect I would find there. Furthermore, they train each new REALTOR®, like myself, which was incredibly important to me.”

Are you seeking the services of a real estate professional who’s extremely motivated and will work hard for your interests? Contact Alice Manley now at 570-954-3701 or via email at [email protected].

Realty Network Group welcomes a new addition to its network of real estate professionals. Her name is Sarah Farrell and her unique skill set offers promise to future clients of the firm. As a native of Northeastern Pennsylvania and a current resident of the Abingtons, Sarah is very familiar with the areas in and around Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. She looks forward to connecting buyers and sellers in a variety of ways as she begins her real estate career.

Her skill set includes, but is not limited to, over twelve years experience in marketing, sales and management for industries pertaining to resorts and travel. She has a background in creative design, which will inevitably enhance her sellers’ ability to showcase their homes, especially when staging. Furthermore, she has a natural ability to connect with consumers while keeping the lines of communications open – a vital part of real estate – ask any successful, veteran REALTOR®.

“I love many aspects of real estate,” emphasizes Sarah. “I’ve always been intrigued by the market, looking at the trends in addition to discovering a home’s special character. That is, how it’s differentiated from the rest. And while HGTV is always ‘background music’ in my home, finding out what makes specific neighborhoods in our region tick is an essential trademark to suitably marketing properties.” Sarah has her sights set on a long and prosperous career in this industry. She’s passionate about getting her feet wet, helping her clients find their forever home or getting top dollar for her sellers.

“I look forward to expanding Realty Network Group’s footprint in NEPA,” underscores Sarah. “They’re an established, up-and-coming company, who offers a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to agents in the field. It felt like an instant fit for me. I love the camaraderie, which exists there. From what I’ve witnessed and heard, there’s a culture of support and encouragement within the company. I’m very happy to be part of this organization.”

The company will continue to grow with agents like Sarah, professionals who understand how cumbersome the real estate process can be at times. Going through this process herself, she knows how imperative being there for her clients is – being present every step of the way. She has a great work ethic and believes integrity and honesty are two of the most important traits a REALTOR® should possess. She also currently serves on a variety of boards in our community including Meeting Planners International, Middle PA Chapter (Vice-President of Education), Northeast Chapter of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association and American Cancer Society, Northeast Chapter (advisory committee).

If you’re seeking the services of a real estate professional who will work hard for you and your goals, contact Sarah Farrell today directly at 570-417-6932 or via email at [email protected].

It’s been a trying time for homebuyers and sellers since mid-March. They’ve had to put their plans on hold. Their real estate future has been met with uncertainty, but of course, sadly some have lost their jobs and are either in no position to purchase property or are afraid of losing their home. Thankfully, mortgage loan forbearance has rescued many in this post-COVID-19 society. In fact, loan forbearance won’t negatively affect your credit. (Learn more about it here.) There are others who have surprisingly found themselves in a better position than they did at the start of the year: People have realized how much they dislike their jobs by having time to reflect and/or working from their residences; some are “earning” more on unemployment compensation than they did when they were employed; and some, who have families, are working from home while saving money on daycare costs (though that’s coupled with homeschooling these days).

It is a crazy world we live in right now. It seems as if my third grader had written this tale – a contagious virus attacks our cities, school’s out (as well as our supply of toilet paper) and when we opened our pool in May, it began to snow.

Presently, real estate is opened for business in only twenty-four (yellow) counties in Pennsylvania, but it’s not “business as usual” yet. There are precautions taking place in those counties resuming in-person activities. Over the next few weeks, we could see real estate showings and in-person meetings resume in parts of Northeastern PA. Homebuyers, who are patiently waiting and believe they’ll be in a position to buy in the upcoming weeks, can take steps to be ready for action. We’ve outlined six ways you can find your next home while sheltering in place:

  • Use Google’s Street View option to explore areas of interest. This tool allows you to catch a view of a house or an entire neighborhood without even taking a step outside.
  • Time is a precious commodity. We value it and we know you do too! Therefore, when you discover areas of interest, estimate how long it will take you to commute to and from work.
  • Research area schools and learn how they stack up against other districts in your community. GreatSchools is one place to look, but there are others as well. Gain insight into our area school districts and properties available for sale within those districts.
  • Research local cities to find out all they have to offer. We’ve done a little research for you on some of the popular cities of NEPA, including Archbald, Carbondale, Clarks Summit, Dickson City, Dunmore, Factoryville, Moscow, Old Forge and Scranton.
  • Connecting with locals is a great way to gain insight into a neighborhood. Scour the web for resources from local communities as well as social media groups you can join.
  • Make sure to equip yourself with crime data for neighborhoods where you’re thinking about purchasing a home. This is one way to be informed about how safe or potentially dangerous an area might be.
  • Find a buyer’s agent you can trust, who has experience selling in various market conditions and who’s knowledgeable about the areas you’re interested in.

For more insight, check out 8 Ways To Test-Drive A Neighborhood While Sheltering In Place.