What if I buy a historic home?

We love selling charming homes and working in historic districts. One of the most common questions I get asked when buyers look at homes listed for sale in historic neighborhoods is “what restrictions are placed on improvements and changes to the structure?” That’s an answer that can vary greatly.

All homes within city limits are going to be subject to zoning and ordinances, but homes in historic districts may be subject to special considerations based strictly on a house being in one of the city’s historic districts. Across the country there are some historic districts that are also “preservation districts”. Those districts sometimes have overlay zoning or the equivalent that puts restrictions on changes that can be made to the structures within certain geographic boundaries. For example, I lived in the Brady Heights neighborhood in Tulsa for several years. That neighborhood has a preservation overlay that prevents property owners from making significant changes to the front façade of the home without approval from a preservation commission. I currently own a home in Fayetteville's historic Wilson Park neighborhood. Unlike Brady Heights, Wilson Park does not have an overlay. There are no restrictions beyond city ordinance on what a homeowner can do to the structure. 

The best resource is your local preservation or historical commission. They can answer any specific questions about neighborhoods or changes to structures you own or might be interested in purchasing.

Some individual structures are also listed as historic sites. You might be familiar with the National Park Services’s National Registry of Historic Places. Many times a listing on this or another preservation registry doesn’t preclude a home owner from making changes. However, it’s important to note that some changes may cause the structure to lose its status. It will be important to research this before making any changes.

For more information about historic homes or any of your area’s wonderful historic districts contact me anytime!

Anything but average

I find myself answering the question “what sets Clark Partners apart from other real estate teams?” quite often. I think the answers to that question are really great, but real estate is as much about relationships as anything else. Great agents get to know their clients really well over the weeks or months they work together, so it’s important that every agent sets her- or himself apart.

About a year ago I heard a real estate coach say “there are enough average real estate agents in the world”. I can’t tell you how many times that’s been repeated in our offices since then. None of us at Clark Partners want to be just average for our clients. I’ve become really conscious of all the things that set me apart from my colleagues, and I’d like to share a few of those things with you:

I’m consistent

Whether your home is worth $60,000 or $600,000 your investment is just as important to you. Therefore we treat every client the same – from the initial consultation to the professional photos – regardless of the price of the home they’re hoping to buy or sell, regardless of their situation. A real estate transaction can be emotional and stressful; the last thing you need is to feel like you’re being treated differently or “less” than others.

I listen first, and communicate back

Even if you’ve bought and sold a dozen homes in your lifetime you will have questions. Every real estate transaction is different. I’m going to do my very best to educate you about the process of buying or selling. In fact I pride myself in being able to anticipate how your transaction will progress, but the reality is that there are a thousand variables! I don’t pass off my seller clients to an assistant and my buyer’s agents don’t pass off their buyer clients either. We are here for you when those questions arise!

I’m not afraid to say “no”

There are a lot of real estate agents that can’t say “no”. This means they might list a house outside of their normal market where they have no knowledge of the area. This means they might drop everything and open up your home for sale to a stranger that isn’t pre-qualified. Some agents will tackle any task or job, despite how it may impact your end result. If you present us with something that we’re not suited to handle we will help you find the right person for the job! We’ll never compromise your position by taking on something that we don’t excel at. Do you want a “yes man” that is chasing the next commission or a consultant that will help you find the best possible solution to your problem?

I understand my role in helping you

It’s not a real estate agents job to negotiate on your behalf or even speak for you. Trust me, I hear from agents all the time about decisions I know they haven’t discussed with their clients. Throughout your real estate transaction I will give you all your options. I’ll also explain the considerations with each choice – some will be good while others could be bad. I’ll share with you what I believe the outcome will be based on my experience. Ultimately every decision is yours but you won’t be making it blindly.

There are enough average real estate agents. At Clark Partners we are anything but average!

Enough about me for now. I’d still love to tell you what sets Clark Partners and Keller Williams Realty apart, from our comprehensive marketing plan to our efficient processes and systems. Give me a ring, and let’s do that over coffee!

It's more than just a yard sign

Some of the things I do for clients are pretty obvious, but just like with any profession there’s a little more to it than just what’s on the surface. Here is a list of 7 things sellers can expect from me as their listing agent:

  1. Clear Communication. It’s the foundation of any strong relationship including our real estate relationship. I listen to your needs, motivation and goals and put together the best strategy for your situation.
  2. Thoughtful Preparation. I don’t just put a sign in the yard and expect your home to sell; that isn’t the way it works. I take a very systematic approach to the way I list properties. As a result, I sell homes faster (and for more money) than the average.
  3. Perfect Pricing. I do exhaustive research to make sure you have the best information and data before deciding on a list price.
  4. Beautiful Marketing. Most people don’t realize that marketing homes, i.e. exposing them to the marketplace, is my primary role as a listing agent. I do a lot more than just put a sign in the yard and plop it on the multi-list service (MLS). Marketing is very important to me. In fact, it’s so important that in 2013 I added a full-time graphic designer to my staff. I know that beautiful marketing makes a difference. I start with professional photography as the foundation of all of our print and web marketing. My commitment to effective marketing gives your home a competitive edge.
  5. Amazing Service. Those two words are rarely used together these days. However, my entire team and I are committed to providing the best possible customer service. Our goal is for you to be so pleased with the experience that you will feel compelled to become an advocate who tells all your friends and family that we’re Your Realtor!
  6. Expert Negotiations. Real estate contracts can be overwhelming. My years of experience come in pretty handy during negotiations. Most people get caught up on the price alone and don’t look at the big picture – there are many more terms than just the price. I’ll make sure you understand each and decide on terms that best help you achieve your goals.
  7. Efficient Closing. There are hurdles to getting a real estate transaction closed, and I would never pretend that it always goes off without a hitch. However, there are things that I can anticipate and am proactive in getting you to Closing with as little hassle as possible.

With a steady demand for housing and low inventory levels, there hasn’t been a better time to list your home in years. If you want the absolute best service, I’d love to interview for the opportunity! Contact me today.

Our Mission & Vision

I went to a real estate convention recently and a speaker made this comment: “There are too many average real estate agents in our industry.” Honestly, that’s the only thing I can still quote from those four days of classes. It stuck out to me because it stated, oh so simply, everything my real estate business model is based on. I  have never wanted to be an average agent, I don’t do anything because “that’s the way it’s always been done”, and I don’t like the status quo. That’s why I started Clark Partners. That’s why we build individual websites for every home we list. That's why we attend national conferences and training events. I could go on and on with more examples because nothing about how we operate is "average".

When Clark Partners launched and as it's grown I made sure that we don't become average. Thinking about all the things that set us apart from our competition, we determined that we should develop mission and vision statements so that we could tell the world what we're all about:

Our Vision is to help members of our community achieve the American Dream by being passionate and innovative leaders in the real estate profession. Our Mission is to offer distinctive, innovative and tailored real estate solutions to help buyers and sellers meet their individual goals through home ownership.

Our Vision is to help members of our community achieve the American Dream by being passionate and innovative leaders in the real estate profession.

Our Mission is to offer distinctive, innovative and tailored real estate solutions to help buyers and sellers meet their individual goals through home ownership.

My team and I have certainly seen a lot of change in our business lately. We launched Clark Partners and moved into an amazing office space in downtown Fayetteville. We had a successful first-half of the year and hope to continue that success by making decisions that will sustain our business and provide long-term benefits for it and our clients. Our hope is that these two statements will guide us daily to meet our goal of never being average.