The phone rang once and Elizabeth answered. My expectation was professionalism and salesmanship. She greeted me with amicability, patience, and kindness. This was our first time talking on the phone. To schedule this interview, we emailed back and forth a couple of times. Her email signature, Successfully Yours, stamped the bottom of each of her correspondences.
A few months ago, my long-term boyfriend and I decided to pursue our own home. With careers securely rooted in the DC-Metro area and daily broadcasts of low interest rates, it seemed fiscally irresponsible to continue paying the equivalent of a mortgage for a small, luxury apartment rental. From the comfort of our couch, we perused Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin- the usual starting points. After viewing three different homes, with three different agents who queried the exact same profiling questions, we realized we needed a professional. We needed to engage our own real estate agent- someone who knew us and would help us find a home meeting our prerequisites. At the time, we hadn’t yet crossed paths with Elizabeth, but in interviewing a handful of area agents, we became experts.
While interviewing Elizabeth for this piece, I was determined to scrutinize her in the manner I critically questioned the real estate agents I sought to use. Without question, Elizabeth sets the bar for honesty, experience, and communication. The anecdotes, testimonials, and rave reviews of her clients tell a story far more meaningful than any interview. Once you get to know her, I’m sure you’ll understand why.
With more than 10 years of professional experience in the real estate industry, Elizabeth has knowledge in every facet of the business. From buying, selling, owning, renting, and leasing, Elizabeth has done it all; and more importantly, she has helped innumerable clients in Maryland and Virginia achieve their real estate goals, too. As a REMAX Executive agent, she works with both buyers and sellers. When I queried about working with first-time home buyers, she excitedly told me about recently helping a young couple close on their first home purchase. Her enthusiasm and eagerness to please and help her clients is evident.
I asked Elizabeth for her top professional tips for home buyers and sellers and she dished the deets. For home buyers, Elizabeth suggests, “Set your budget and boundaries and stick to them!” Buyers should identify why they are moving and what are must-have features. In the process of looking at houses, prospective buyers should use these stipulations as a baseline. Communicating these non-negotiables and reasons for moving with their real estate agent can help buyers to focus their efforts on housing options that best match their requirements, thus improving chances for success. Engaging a real estate agent early in the buying process is also helpful as an agent with deep familiarity with a region can be a huge asset in meeting budget requirements. Elizabeth reminded me that a zip code in the DC-Metro area greatly influences the price tag of a property. Using an agent, like Elizabeth, with intimate regional knowledge, can ease the process of finding the right house.
Conversely, for home sellers, engaging a real estate agent with critical industry experience is important as the number one driving factor for many home sales is the price. Again, understanding pricing in individual neighborhoods and setting an appropriate initial asking price can be make-or-break between selling a home expediently. As Elizabeth said, “Overpricing your house just makes your neighbor’s house look that much better!” In discussing her work with home sellers, I was profoundly moved by Elizabeth’s commentary. While she did not explicitly say it, Elizabeth in many ways, plays the role of mentor, confidant, and neutral, third-party support crew for people during critical times in their lives. She expressed the importance of reminding some sellers that regardless of the lifetime of memories in their home, if they are selling it, it is a commodity and a piece of inventory in a vast market. With refreshing frankness, she stated that for selling purposes a home needs to be depersonalized. Elizabeth utilizes professional stagers for consultation with sellers, as well as targeted social media campaigns and REMAX’s over 250 websites to most effectively sell spaces.
Enlisting Elizabeth as an agent means finding more than a licensed person to show houses and push papers through the process. In her words, “I care about my clients- most of them end up becoming friends.” This, perhaps above all else, is what distinguishes Elizabeth from other agents. For Elizabeth, being a real estate agent is about helping people and simplifying the process of home buying and selling for her clients. With a background in accounting, Elizabeth is detail oriented and organized- both critical traits in negotiating contracts, managing the loan process, ensuring good title, and bringing a home sale or purchase to the finish line. Besides her uniquely honed real estate skills, her emphasis on valuing the relationships built from working with her clients sets a clear image that her number one priority is the happiness and satisfaction of those with whom she works.
After speaking with Elizabeth at length, I better understand her email signature, Successfully Yours. Bringing Elizabeth onto your team for buying or selling your homes is a sure way to success. Though my boyfriend and I decided to put our home buying journey on hold until the spring, we look forward to using Elizabeth as an agent in our pursuits.