An Earned Award

The Zionsville Times Sentinel announced yesterday that Carpenter Realtors in Zionsville – TeamZ, as we call ourselves – was named “Zionsville’s Best Real Estate Office” for the third year in a row (by vote, from the readers of the newspaper).  We made the famed Z-List, again, because our friends, neighbors, customers and clients nominated and then voted for us. 

I’ve had 24 hours to ponder this news, and the more it sinks in, the more humbled and proud I am of my team for all they have accomplished during these last three, very difficult years in our industry.  We are not the oldest shop in town, nor are we the largest; but we are the hardest working, the most passionate, and the most creative.  That, I can assure you.  Give us tenure and the same ongoing work ethic, and we will become the oldest and the largest. 

For now, as we wrap up our 5th year of business, what’s important is that we are a TEAM.  And that can’t be said often in this crazy, vicious business.  

An office is just a building that houses people, and it is the people of TeamZ who won that award; not on the strength of one, but because of all.  And that spirit was evident today at our company award’s rally when our 2011 sales leader and top-performing rookie took the stage.  In a day-to-day world where Realtors snap at each other like sharks in a tank, TeamZ chose to cheer their friends on like we were one, big family. 

Congrats to Jeremy Page and Joni Bennett for their accomplishments last year, but congrats to the rest for encouraging them, snapping pictures and high-fiving them for their successes! 

Success comes and goes.  Each year is different.  Every year someone new will cross that stage, triumphant for having outsold or outlisted their officemates,  but THANK YOU to everyone on the team for valuing your friendships, for servicing and befriending your clients, for furthering the Carpenter brand in our community and making us proud, and for focusing on this year with determination in your eyes.  It’ll be fun to see who’s on stage next year!

Kudos to TeamZ for winning the award, but thank you for earning it!  You truly are “Zionsville’s Best Real Estate Office!”

JUST LISTED! 555 West Sycamore, Zionsville

Homes like this come to the market rarely, and it is with great pleasure that I present 555 W Sycamore…the perfect solution for if you crave the Village lifestyle, but fear the usual updates and renovations required by older homes.  This custom-built, “Rolls Royce” may be the one you’ve been looking for!  Offering a finished basement and 4 bedrooms, the floor plan lives comfortably with 10’ ceilings, beautiful finish details, large, open rooms and a main-floor master.  Appointed with abundant “convenience” features, such as the built-ins surrounding the gas fireplace, the butler’s pantry, low maintenance hardy plank siding, surround sound throughout, Brazilian cherry floors and lovely outdoor patio and deck area (wired for speakers!) for casual entertaining.  No detail was ignored!  The garage floor is even treated with epoxy for a durable, attractive finish.  Not a thing is required to make it your home, just move-in to enjoy spring in the Village.

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Maybe “It’s NOW or Never”?

Everybody’s thinking about moving “this spring.”  Well, I say, forget spring!  There’s no time like the present…literally.  Get your house on the market now! 

There are serious competitive advantages to expediting your thinking process.  For starters, our local inventory level is unbelieveably low.  Right now, we only have 264 houses on the market in Zionsville.  That’s it.  Across all price points, neighborhoods, townhouses and free-standing, farms and townies.  Unbelievable.  And every sub market across Indianapolis is like that from Traders Point to Irvington. 

Serious buyers have limited inventory to choose from, and who knows when the wind will blow another fresh batch of inventory onto the market for competition.  In the greater Indy market, we have 14,609 homes for sale.  Sound like a lot?  Think again, we peaked last year at around 24,000.  The second half of 2011 brought a major sell-off, and the rest of them just got frustrated and gave up “for the holidays.”  They’ll probably all come back up “in the spring.”

If you really want to stand out, choose to shirk the seasonal boons and go live sooner rather than later.  Odds are that before you close, the spring inventory ramp up will have begun, and you’ll be able to select from a vast stock.  Just thinking out loud, here.  

All the stats are looking up.  2012 IS rapidly becoming a good year in the real estate market.  If you want to know what to do to prepare your home, call me.  Today.  Let’s do this!

JUST SOLD! 12027 Sellerton Drive, Fishers

When the owner of 12027 Sellerton Drive in Fishers called Jennifer, she was frustrated.  Her home had been on the market for 6 months with another broker.  Her showings had been few, and the feedback nil.  Lisa had been referred to Jennifer by her brother, a prior client of Jennifer’s, and something had to change!  That house needed to be SOLD.  Jennifer took over the marketing of the SPOTLESS, fashionable home, and generated 86 showings in the later half of 2011.  The third offer received was the one that was accepted and closed in January.  As they were leaving the table, Lisa shared with all present that this had been her second home sale.  In both cases, she’d first tried the marketing process with firms other than Carpenter, and in both cases, the homes hadn’t sold until she’d listed them with Carpenter in a second go-round.  “I don’t know what it is about Carpenter, but they sold my homes twice when others couldn’t.  Must be all the marketing,”  she told everyone in the room, with a shrug of her shoulders.  Jennifer just smiled, reminded once again of her favorite tagline:  “Call Carpenter…Call it SOLD.”

FCRA: The Legislation that Saves the Trees & Your Credit Score!

Every day you find the same thing in your mail box…endless solicitations from credit card companies, banks, insurance agencies and other financial service firms. You stand over the trash can when you get home from work, scanning your mail, annoyed by the daily chore. Mark and I receive no less than five mailings a day at home – every day, sometimes more! We single-handedly throw away at least two trees a year in solicitous paper that we never even open. “Well,” you might say to yourself, “I must have good credit since they all want my business” (and you are probably right), but it gets old, doesn’t it?

There is a good reason to put an end to this eternal stream of junk mail, and it is far more important than attempting to save the trees or simplify your daily routine. Your credit score may be at risk!

Financial service firms check your credit score over and over and over to ensure that the “preapproved offers” they send to you are still legitimate based on your current credit score. Heaven knows, they wouldn’t want to waste more postage than necessary! (There is irony in that, isn’t there?) So, in being on these lists that the consumer credit reporting companies sell to their financial service customers, your credit rating is constantly compromised by their marketing research.

Now, it is true that these marketing inquiries carry less impact to your credit score than an application for a home mortgage or a car loan might, but numerous “soft” credit inquiries add up over time and can have a significant impact on your credit score. It is not at all uncommon in my line of work to hear of would-be home buyers thwarted due to credit scores that are just a hair under the minimum requirements (generally, 640 for the government loans like FHA and VA). And in this new world of score-based pricing on conventional loans, allowing other parties to impact your credit score is simply no longer acceptable. Their marketing efforts could cost you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan if your score is a couple points lower than it should be to qualify for the lowest possible interest rate. One loan officer told me that she’s seen customers’ credit scores come up 20 or 30 points in as little as 30 days once they put a stop to all these “soft” credit inquiries.

So, why let financial service firms effect your credit scores if you’re not interested in their offers? My thoughts exactly!

The new Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows consumers like you and I the right to OPT OUT of solicitations via mail. It is true! We can get rid of a BUNCH of that junk mail, spare the trees AND save our credit. Just by filling out one little opt-out form online. Hit this site if you wish, and thank me later!

Here, you can opt-out electronically for a period of 5 years. If you want to make it permanent, you can begin the opt-out online, but you do have to follow up with a written, snail-mailed request. There are instructions on the site. It’s free, it’s fast and easy, and it’s brought to you only by your favorite Real Estate Agent as my public service announcement for the day. You are welcome!

JUST LISTED!! 11337 Pendleton Pike, Indianapolis

Classic all-brick ranch on a good-sized lot (fenced) offers full updates & fashionable retro flair. Located in a good-looking area, close to all the shopping & dining you could want, this house offers everything you demand in your new home—Large bedrooms, hardwood floors, multiple living spaces, attached garage & mini barn. The screened porch is a spacious expansion of the living space for outdoor entertaining. A home like this is a rare find & a must see for discriminating buyers on a budget.

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