Sell Now or Later?

Christmas Lights Decorating Columns in Front of House

The holidays are just about upon us. Many agents, when dealing with clients, hear the same response from buyers and sellers…they are going to wait till after New Years to list their property or start looking for a new home.
Although inventory does drop at the end of the year, there are still benefits of buying and selling real estate during this time.

Take a look at what some of our RE/MAX in Rhode Island Agents are saying:

Bill Freeman, RE/MAX Flagship“Since buyers need or want to purchase for different reasons and at different times of the year, it’s impossible to predict exactly when the “right” buyer(s) will be looking for a home like yours. The right time to list is when it’s right for you. Waiting for the “Spring market” often just means you’ll have more competition with other listings. Buyers out looking at homes in the winter tend to be much more serious and ready or needful of making a purchase.
Also, homes listed during the holidays should not be over decorated to the point of distraction. We also generally find that buyers will show more understanding and patience about seeing homes during the holidays because of people’s busy schedules.”

Tammy Pelletier, RE/MAX 1st Choice“Buyers who are out there during the holiday season, or in frigid and snowy weather, are your serious buyers. These buyers are bundling up the kids, looking at homes in the dark, and trudging through snow. They are not “just looking” or “it’s raining and we can’t go to the beach so we went to open houses because they are bored” people. I find that these buyers are more prepared, pre-qualified and ready to go, and are usually more serious in their offers. The “Looky Lous” and “Bargain Bettys” and other tire kickers are home watching TV where it’s warm.”

Dan McCusker, RE/MAX Preferred - “While everyone else is waiting for the holidays to be over to list their property, your listing will stand out as that of a serious and motivated seller at a time when inventory is low, thus more potential buyers will see your property. You will have a jump on the spring market which really does start in February, not necessarily when the flowers are in bloom”.

Mary Moniz, RE/MAX Professionals of Newport“I made one of my best buying decisions on December 24, 1977. I bought a beautiful home in Saunderstown that tripled in value from 1977 to 1994. If you remember the early 90′s was not the time to be selling. Everyone knows that it is not what you sell a property for; it is what you buy it for that is so very important. I bought for a very reasonable price because no one was looking at that time of year. The sellers were faced with carrying the property through the winter so my offer was more appealing and negotiations flowed quite well.”

What other tips do you have for listing and selling during the holidays?

RE/MAX 1st Choice Presents Check To CMN

Cranston, RI– August 27, 2012 – Real Estate Agent Mark DeCosta of RE/MAX 1st Choice, located at 980 Reservoir Avenue, turned his idea of having a typical neighborhood summer block party into a full-blown fundraising event this past June by throwing a disco themed gathering at his home in Coventry, which raised $4,154 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. More than 150 neighbors and friends attended the fundraiser in traditional disco garb. The event was complete with a raffle, dancing, food and beverages, a bake sale run by his 7 year-old daughter and her friends, and of course featured an oversized glittery disco ball.

“Our initial goal was to raise $2,500 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and I’m so pleased that we exceeded our original expectations,” said Mark DeCosta. “We all immensely enjoyed organizing and planning this event and we’ve already begun planning next year’s fundraiser which we’ve themed “Rockin’ Through the Ages” and will feature live bands.”

“We are extremely proud of Dan and everyone at RE/MAX 1st Choice who helped create this fundraiser,” said Dan Breault, Executive Vice President and Regional Director of RE/MAX of New England.” At RE/MAX, we are strong proponents of giving back and are so proud to have our people support great organizations like Hasbro Children’s Hospital.”

“Giving back to the community is incredibly important and it is through fundraisers, like the one Mark organized, and other donations our Agents make for every completed home sale they have that we are able to support deserving organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network,” said Rob Scaralia, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX 1st Choice.

The $4,154 that was raised will benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, which provides comfort, treatment and hope to millions of sick children each year.

What Were You Doing In The 80s?


Posted Under Rob Scaralia,
RE/MAX 1st Choice

From enormous, car-mounted beasts to tiny terminals in our back pockets, mobile phones have come a long way. What once cost thousands, weighed 2 pounds, and packed 60 minutes of battery life, now costs $99, weighs 4 ounces, and packs 5 to 10 hours of battery life–and also includes a full-fledged computer, a video camera, audio/video playback, and high-speed Internet access.

The mobile phone, commonly known as the “Smart Phone” is just one example of how on-going changes  in technology, affects our behavior, and more importantly, as Realtors, how we do business. The speed with which technology has evolved is mind boggling.

Just ask Rob Scaralia, Broker Owner of RE/MAX 1st Choice, who has been a Realtor in Rhode Island since 1985.

“When I was first licensed as a Realtor in 1985, communication with anyone was a laborious task. During the course of a day, if you happened to be out on the road and someone tried to call you, a message was written on a pink message slip because we did not have voice mail systems in our offices. Sometimes it could actually take days to connect with someone because we both had to be tethered to a land line at the same time to communicate with each other.  In addition, once I finally connected to a client, the next step was giving them access to real estate data. At that time, the most efficient way for buyers to get information about real estate was for them to meet in person, and flip through an MLS book which contained one black and white exterior photo of the home and a brief property description. Plus, the book was only updated once every two weeks.  If a buyer wanted timely information, classified ads in the Providence Journal seemed the best bet, and therefore newspaper advertising was extremely important for a realtor.”


Rob Scaralia and his father on one of his first listing appointments

Today, the role of a Realtor has changed dramatically. Beginning with the internet and online listings, clients already have instant access to MLS. Therefore, a realtor’s value proposition is found assisting the client and navigating the complex buying and/or selling process, as opposed to just supplying them with property information.

“Real Estate professionals need to be equal to the consumer’s ability to access information on demand from any location they find themselves as it relates to home ownership and all the qualitative and quantitative considerations that go hand in hand with a Real Estate Experience,” Scaralia adds.

There have been many technological advances over the past several years and there will be more to come, shaping the way we handle business. As many people often resist change, it is more imperative than ever to embrace it, becoming more efficient and effective. Imagine where you would be, as a realtor, if you still were relying on MLS books and pink message slips.

Where do you Want to be?

Check Out This Video From The Past


Interesting Facts About the Mobile Phone

-      According to The 2012 Swanepoel Trends Report, starting in 1973 mobile phone    growth was very slow. After 20 years there were only 12.4 million users worldwide. However, the numbers exploded over the next 20 years to 4.6 billion.
-      In 2012 smart phones are expected to exceed personal computers.
-      Currently 9 out of 10 Americans have a mobile phone!
-      Many trends state that because of the capabilities of a hand held device, ultimately the PC will be obsolete
-      An estimated 30 million apps are downloaded every day transforming the mobile device.

The Top 10 Reasons Why The iPad Will Revolutionize The Way You Operate Your Real Estate Business

Posted Under Rob Scaralia,
RE/MAX 1st Choice


1) Laptop or not?

Unlike a laptop that can be awkward to handle, requires bulky
cords and peripherals and, worst of all, it needs to be booted up to use - which
sometimes seems like hours. The iPad’s light and sleek design, combined with its
auto rotating HD quality screen and the instant on/off feature, makes it an
extremely efficient tool in the office or field.

2) Got listing data?
Play this scenario out. You just showed a home and the client is not interested. On the front lawn, you, within seconds, pull up a satellite view of the
neighborhood. With a pin point location of the yard you are standing in, icons dotting the map around it, will list every home for sale in that area. Just
touch any icon and see detailed information and multiple photos of the property. You can even select recent sold homes in the area.

3) Go green!
You just showed a home and the buyer wants to make an offer! Great! Instead of pulling
out the offer, relationship disclosure, seller’s disclosure and lead paint forms, you pull them UP on your iPad, fill them in and the buyer signs directly on the screen. Then you email the buyer and the listing broker all the documents right on the spot. Oh, but what about the deposit check? No problem! You scan the check with your iPad and send it off with all the other paperwork.
This is how you handle all your forms on both the selling and listing side of the transaction. (You can put a wireless printer in your car if you can’t let go of holding the paper just yet!)

4) Your business is the sum total of the relationships you manage!
With an app like Top Producer Systems, your contacts, leads, listings, and transactions, plus every document associated with them are always accessible from wherever you are.

5) Say cheese! :)
Your IPad has a HD quality camera and video for capturing your property images.

6) Show and tell.
When you hear something you often forget it. However, when you SEE something visually, you will be more apt to remember it.
With your iPad, you can deliver impressive listing and buyer presentations
using PowerPoint, Word, PDF files and more. Instead of telling them about your
website, pull it up live.

7) Synchronization
The majority of people today, have their phone on them at all times. The
iPhone is a mirror image of the iPad, just a smaller screen but with all the
features and benefits mentioned. Having the iPhone and iPad allows you to synchronize
all of your business activities in the most convenient way!

8) Easy on the eyes.
Having a larger quality screen makes accessing the web, reading your email or a book,
watching a YouTube video, posting to your social media or just catching up on
the news, awesome on the iPad! You can even log on to your home computer as if you
were sitting in front of it! Very cool.

9) RE/MAX MainStreet and LeadStreet.
You now have these powerful RE/MAX tools and resources at home, in the office
or on the “Street”, no pun intended.

10) Playing Games
For all the “Crazy Birds“,  if you like playing games, you’re going to love your new
iPad!  :)

Where do you want to be?