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Spring beginnings

by Adam Watkins

Welcome warmer temperatures and hopefully a warm selling season! In spite of a colder than typical winter, things have finally started warming up for your All-Star Team! After a sluggish start to 2014, market activity has strengthened in the last few weeks of the first quarter, and we anticipate the Greater Hattiesburg market tracking almost even in total closed sales volume when compared to First Quarter 2013, with some increase in average sales price ($139,000 versus $149,000). Of course, this means the actual number of sales for First Quarter 2014 are lagging those of the same time period in 2013 (379 versus 363 total recorded Single Family home sales). The increase in average sales price is mostly attributed to increased activity in upper price ranges of our market in the last several weeks. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the needs of sellers and buyers in neighborhoods throughout Greater Hattiesburg. In fact, by March 31st, we anticipate we will have been involved in 50% of the recorded 1st quarter sales in all of Canebrake (3 out of a total of 6 sales - including the two highest dollar volume sales), over 50% of the recorded sales in Trailwood and Trailwood West subdivisions, and 100% of recorded sales in Longleaf Acres/Northfork/Southfork subdivisions! (Source: HAARMLS.)
We’re doing a lot of learning, too! Earlier in March, the team hired John Phillips of the Mississippi REALTOR Institute to present a training session on Exclusive Buyer Agency Representation Agreements. Our team of agents completed an in-depth session refreshing ourselves on the history and advantages of Exclusive Buyer’s Agency. The representation agreement functions the same way as an Exclusive Listing Agreement does for our sellers, and it allows our Buyer Specialists to provide the same kind of allegiance and service to which sellers have become accustomed. Many states, such as Georgia, require them by law, and they are commonly used to define the relationship between our company and the buyers we serve. Our agents increasingly provide this “All Star Buyer Service” by written agreement with our buyer clients. Don’t hesitate to ask one of us to better explain the benefits that you receive as a “Listed” buyer client of our team!
But that’s not all the learning we’re doing. We have also scheduled one of the industry’s most renowned instructors, Pat Zaby, to provide exclusive training to our team members in late April. In the coming months, several of our team members are completing designation courses, and by August they will be enrolled in classes at the National Association of REALTORS Annual Convention in New Orleans. Add to this the learning we do daily, as every single sale we handle creates new lessons for us to capture and apply to our business. It all equates to a tremendous advantage for the friends and clients we represent each day, in terms of overall experience and knowledge of current market trends and best practices. This continual commitment to learning is one of our key points of difference. We thank you for allowing us to serve you again...and again!
Finally, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the passing of a very dear friend, professor, and brother in Christ, Dr. Milton Wheeler. Dr. Wheeler gave his life to the most worthwhile endeavors that exist: his Lord, his wife, his community, and his college (amongst other things). I had the fortune of having Dr. Wheeler as my Western Civilization professor at William Carey. He was one of the hardest teachers I’ve ever had. I took his class as a challenge because my advisor told me it was so hard. In the end, Dr. Wheeler gave me my first B, I believe - what equated to a 94.5 (95-100 was an A). When I asked him why he didn’t round up like I’d always known professors to do, he simply said, “a 94.5 is not a 95.” And, of course, he was right - like he was on almost everything. He led dozens of trips abroad and impacted the lives of thousands as he taught nearly 50 years at William Carey and relished his work as a Rotarian. He and his wife, Donna, provided an example of a godly marriage. Mrs. Donna passed only a few months ago. I praise God that they were not apart for very long at all. I thank God for creating Milton Wheeler and for using him to bless and impact this community and world in a way few people do. Farewell, Dr. Wheeler, until we are reunited once more.
With gratitude,
Adam & Team

Shopping for a “High Performance” Home?

by David Thompson, AAA Homes

Folks home shopping spend hours studying the style, the floorplan, colors, storage, flow, location, price, etc. Only after they move in and get their first utility bills do they begin to think of “performance”. Chances are good if you are looking at homes built over 4 years ago that those homes do not include “high performance” technologies that make a home really perform for their owners.
AAA Homes of MS designed a “high performance” energy package named TechSmart. The combination of several new home technologies allow our owners to live in spacious homes for much less than they paid for utilities in an older, smaller home. The savings afford buyers the ability to get more house for the same dollars of total monthly outlay.
Our green TechSmart application has been tested by 3rd party HERS specialist and were found to save up to 50% on a home’s heating and cooling cost. In Hattiesburg there are families living in AAA Homes of 4,000 square feet averaging less than $180 per month to heat and cool their homes. Now that’s what I call “High Performance”!
A TechSmart home is healthy for your family. It uses Open Cell foam insulation and polyurethane sealants to make the home all but air tight, reducing daily foreign air infiltration from an average of 40% per day down to the 4% range. This not only keeps out the damp, humid air, but reduces the dust and pollens introduced to the home each day via small gaps around windows, doors, plug-ins, light switches and ceiling registers. Less pollen and dust means lower allergens in the home. Less dusting too!
This high tech energy package uses Digital Thermostats that allow you to program your water heater and HVAC system into semi-hibernation while you are asleep, at work or away to reduce energy demand. TechSmart uses a roof decking that lowers attic temps by 31 degrees and cuts demand on the cooling system by a whopping 17%. High efficiency HVAC systems compliment the tight building envelope that surround your living area.
Contact The DeLois Smith All Star Team, Realtors today to set up a TechSmart consultation for your next build. The only cost to you is the time it takes to learn how your home should be performing for you… every day and every night!!! For more info visit www.aaahomesms.com.

No foolin’ when it comes to real estate

by Brenda Blackwell

April Fool’s Day...How many of you know why we give this day special attention? I feel like I should know something about this day...after-all I was an elementary teacher for 27 years! So, I googled it! It appears that the tradition of playing pranks on people on April 1st began in the 1500’s when the calendar was reformed and New Year’s Day was moved from April 1st to January 1st. Some people did not receive the news for several years while others just refused to accept the change. These backward folk were labeled “fools” and were subject to ridicule and made the butt of practical jokes. The harassment evolved, over time, into a tradition of prank-playing on the 1st day of April.
One reason that I may not have given this day much thought is because I distinctly remember from my childhood that I was never to call anyone a “fool”. That word in my mind was very close to being a curse word! Another would be that I have never been a practical joker. In fact I am one of those people that can’t even tell a joke. I always forget the punch line. Come to think about it, I’m usually the one that doesn’t even get the joke! My husband says I don’t even have a sense of humor. But that is not true! I am always laughing at myself! And I can tell some pretty funny stories about my real estate adventures.
For example, the time I ran out of gas while showing homes to the new preacher coming to town. His wife was with me and thank goodness, he was following behind in his car! And thank goodness he was a preacher. I mean a preacher wouldn’t get mad at me and would be very forgiving...right? Well he was and we had a good laugh. But when I tell this story to my new clients that get in my car, you should see how big their eyes get! It’s very amusing!
One of my funniest stories is the time my girls and I were headed to Gulfport to catch a plane to New York City. One of my clients called me right when I got on Interstate 59. (with intentions of taking the exit to Highway 49.) While listening carefully as he was ranting about his roof, I saw a sign that said POPLARVILLE! Oh my goodness, the exit was 30 miles back! I was way off course and very much behind schedule. Needless to say when we finally got to the airport, the kind man there said all the luggage had already been loaded onto the plane and it was preparing for take-off. He felt sorry for us and said he would let us on... but with only our carry-on bag. Well, Lindsey had everything in her carry-on, but Breanne and I didn’t even have a carry-on bag!! So here we go to to NYC with no luggage! When we get to Atlanta to change planes, we did not hear that the gate had been changed because we were talking to everyone around us! Imagine that! So we miss our plane to NYC! The lady at the Southwest Airlines desk says...there is a plane going to Newark in 1 hour. I said “We’ll take it!” She says “Oh, you can’t...your luggage is on the other plane!” I say “No problem, we don’t have luggage!” My girls and I die laughing every time we think about that adventure. Plus we had a lot of fun shopping for new clothes and luggage in New York City!
By the time you read this April Fool’s Day will have passed. So I am seriously going to advise any of you who are thinking of buying a home to call our office and let us tell you the details about the great deal that one of our favorite lenders is offering. He will cover the fees and costs associated with the mortgage. This applies to purchases and refinancing. That means... closing costs and prepaids paid by the lender! No foolin’!
Have a fun-filled April!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.