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Skills and Qualities of a Successful Real Estate Agent

Are you planning on placing your property on the market for sale or rent? Are you considering seeking the assistance of a real estate agent or agency to get your property sold or rented but don’t know who to turn to? Then this article is for you. Today we share with you 7 of the most important characteristics that a real estate agent should possess.


  • A successful real estate agent is honest:One of the most important characteristics that a real estate agent should have is honesty. In any business clients want to work with someone whom they can trust, therefore agents should strive to be upfront and transparent in their transactions.


  • A successful real estate agent is passionate:Find an agent who is excited about the job. A real estate agent should have a passion for finding the right property for someone who is interested in buying or renting, as well as making their clients happy. Yes, the commission is great but that feeling of making your clients happy!…. the picture below explains

Photo credit: Lighter side of real estate


  • A successful real estate agent knows how to negotiate:Whether a client is buying, selling or renting, strong negotiation skills help the process go smoother. In the mind of the buyer or tenant the property can always be offered at a price lower than what it’s listed at, au contraire this is not always the case, and quite often the seller or landlord is of opposite views.  The agent therefore has to pull out their negotiation skills and tactics to achieve a win-win solution as quickly as possible.


  • A successful real estate agent has good work ethics:Successfully selling a property takes a lot of time and effort. They must be aggressive towards marketing the properties in order to get them off the market while remaining ethical. The agent should provide clients with the necessary attention required, engage prospects and conduct showings proficiently.


  • A successful real estate agent is well-organized:Having efficient organization skills such as keeping track of appointments, arranging meetings, being on time, returning client calls and emails promptly…


  • A successful real estate agent knows the local market:Information on the local market is essential knowledge that an agent must have, especially if they are working with foreign clients. They will be able to properly advice on accommodations, amenities, culture, history etc. of the location which will influence the decision of the person(s) whom they are assisting.


  • A successful real estate agent is knowledgeable about the sale process:The agent must know as much information as possible about the process so that they will be better equipped to guide their clients through the process. For instance, they should know the necessary documents required to transfer real estate from the seller to the buyer as well as the applicable government fees.


With a good real estate agent everybody wins in the end.

What other qualities do you look for in a real estate agent?  We would love to hear from you.


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Should You Rent Out Your Property?

Written by Garn Todd Joseph

Website & Advertising Assistant for the Millenia Group of Companies

Millenia Architects | Millenia Realty | Sorell Consulting Ltd. | Kaliber Construction & Homes


Your existing property may become vacant for many reasons: move overseas, purchase of another home, etc.  This presents an opportunity to go into the property rental business.

Renting out your property rarely results in sudden wealth. However, it can be a great source of immediate income as well as a long-term investment.


Consider these 3 excellent reasons for renting out your property:


  • Homes placed on the market for sale can take several months, even years before a serious buyer comes along. Finding a suitable tenant is often much quicker and will bring in income while you wait for a sale.
  • Not only are rental transactions quicker but they also provide the benefit of assisting with the payment of any mortgage loan related to the property.
  • If you’re not satisfied with your current home value, renting out the property to obtain income to make upgrades that will increase the home’s value is a great idea.


While renting a property brings income, it does come with its share of headaches.  As a landlord you will be responsible for maintaining the property and sometimes you have to deal with difficult tenants. This is why many property rental owners hire a Property Manager to handle tenants’ concerns, deal with rent collection, etc.


Should you rent your house or sell it? Do your research; weigh the pros and cons of your situation before making a final decision.


Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends. If you need any clarification on this topic, leave a comment below or feel free to email us at

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5 Reasons To Use An Agent to Help Get Your Home Sold

Many home owners looking to sell their property may think that they can do just as good as an Agent, maybe even better. What those individuals fail to realize is that Real Estate Agents can provide benefits that the home owner on their own cannot accomplish. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider having an Agent help get your home sold.

  • Homeowners can be easily distracted by their emotions. Because of how long an individual has lived in the home and the many memories that they may have, when it comes to selling their judgment may become clouded. Individuals tend to have difficulty finding issues with their home thus overpricing the property. Also when faced with constant rejection, (which is likely to occur) and negative feedback, home owners tend to feel discouraged and may even change their mind. An agent on the other hand can turn rejection into positive feedback, saving the owner from despair.
  • Real Estate Agents work fulltime. While homeowners may have their own job and other responsibilities that may slow down the home selling process, it is an Agents job to work on getting your home sold. Between meetings, work and other errands scheduling viewings for prospects can be a hassle, and after work individuals may be too tired to have anything done. In addition, there may be many prospects interested in viewing that may not be serious about buying. This can be a complete waste of time, but agents on the other hand after years of experience are able to differentiate a serious buyer from one who is just looking.
  • Real Estate Agents are more skilled at networking and marketing properties. While there are sites available such as Craigslist where home owners can upload their property it may not be as effective as an actual Real Estate website. Listings uploaded by Agents generally have a greater traffic coming in than home owners selling their own home. An agency is also able to constantly market the property and keep track of individuals who demonstrate interest while this may be too much for the home owner alone to handle.
  • Real Estate Agents already have individuals who may be interested in the property. Working at a Real Estate Agency there are instances where prospective buyers make inquiries for specific properties that the agent may not have listed. A record of their interest is kept to match them with any new listing matching their requirements.
  • There are a lot of paperwork and transactions that have to be done during the selling process. Learning all of this is enough to cause a burden too great for the home owner to bear. Real Estate Agents already have knowledge of the legal work to be done which can safeguard home owners from making avoidable mistakes and potential law suits.
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Mistakes Made During the Home Buying Process

Your home is an important asset to own. Not just its financial benefits but also because of what it represents. A home offers security. It is generally viewed as a place of love, where memories are made, where families are built. It is because of these and many other reasons that many individuals desire to one day own their home. And just as there are reasons to want to own a home there are several reasons why individuals would want to sell their home: from personal reasons such as moving away, or accommodating a growing family, to financial reasons.

Whether you are selling or buying a home the real estate process can be a daunting task that if not handled properly can be exhausting and both the owner and the buyer can cause the process to be more difficult than it already is.


Here are a few tips to help homeowners avoid making mistakes that could hinder the selling process.

1)        Overpricing

Most sellers have a tendency to overprice their property. One of the main causes of overpricing results from the homeowner’s emotional attachment to their property. As a property owner, once you have made the decision to sell you should detach yourself emotionally from the home because this attachment does not affect the buyer’s decision. Bear in mind that a real estate transaction should be viewed and handled mainly as a business transaction. Homeowners can also overprice due to the property features that they believe to be of high value. However, what may seem appealing to the owner may not have the same appeal to the prospective buyer. The best way to avoid overpricing is by formulating a selling price based on the most recent property valuation and taking the price of similar properties in the area under consideration.

3)        Not Trusting the Agent

One of the most significant components of any personal or business relationship is trust. As a homeowner looking to list your property with a real estate agent or agency you have to ensure that there is an element of trust. Before listing your property, ask as many questions as you need to get comfortable working with the agent. If at the end of the conversation you feel like you cannot trust the agent it would be best to look elsewhere in order to avoid the tension that distrust is most likely to cause down the line.


Similarly to homeowners, buyers can make mistakes during the real estate transaction that they may eventually regret later:

1)        Lowballing

As a home buyer it is only natural that you would want the lowest price possible, however there is a big difference between negotiating to get a more affordable price and lowballing. Sometimes buyers can come in with unrealistic expectations about how much the property is worth. If you feel that the selling price is a bit steep and you really love the property, when negotiating it would be best to make a realistic offer that is not too low from the owner’s asking price.



2)        Searching for the cheapest property

Individuals searching for homes to purchase on a strict budget often keep their eyes open for the cheapest property they can find. What some homebuyers fail to consider is that most times cheaper properties tend to have many issues and require renovations. It is wise to find out as much about the property as you can, its value, structural integrity, etc. without only considering the price.  Before purchasing a home, you should be aware of anything that may be wrong and factor your findings into your final decision.


Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.  If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Factors that Affect the Selling Price of Your Property

While home owners anticipate high return for their property, estimating the value can be a complex and comprehensive process. There are many factors that can affect the market value of your property. Knowing what factors influence the sale price can go a long way in estimating what the final sale price will be. Below are some factors that can influence what the sale price of your property will be.

The local real estate market

There are customarily three different real estate markets: a seller’s market, when there are lots of potential property buyers and not enough property; a buyer’s market, when there are many properties for sale but not many potential buyers. The third real estate market is a balanced market, when there is an even supply of properties for sale as the number of potential buyers looking to purchase. As with any other commodity, supply and demand influences price.

The location or neighborhood

Residential property located on a busy road generally will have a lower sale price than a home that is on a more quiet area, which is more desirable. There are certain things potential buyers look for in a neighborhood or community while deciding which one to live in. These mainly include: distance from schools, churches, clinics, public transportation, the city, etc.

The condition of the property

Potential buyers will take into account the condition of your property when deciding how much they are willing to pay for it. A home in immaculate condition has a much higher potential for a great sale than one that is lacking the most basic routine maintenance. Buyers tend to look for important conditions like paints, floor covering, walls, ceilings, doors and windows. They may also pay close attention to the plumbing, electrical work, needed repairs, bathrooms, kitchen, and so on.

Upgrades, features, and amenities

There are certain upgrades, amenities, and features that home buyers are looking for which can have an impact on the sale price of a home. High end homes have a higher sale price because of the desirability from the eyes of the buyer. A home or parcels of land that may have similar square footage and location with added features generally have higher sales prices.


Expertise and experience of the real estate professional

Being able to sell a home is not the same as knowing how to sell a home. Hiring an excellent real estate agent or agency will impact the sale price of your property positively. If you are selling, a few things you should expect from the real estate agent include:

  • A comprehensive marketing plan with strong negotiating skills
  • Frequent communication, trustworthiness and honesty
  • Strong online presence with a website, blog and social media
  • Strong negotiating skills
  • Creativity


The motivation level that a homeowner has can greatly impact the sale price. A home that sits on the market because the seller is not motivated, in many cases, will end up getting sold at a lower price than if they were eager to sell from the beginning. If you are selling a home and have doubts as to whether you should sell or not, do not list your home.

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Signs you Need to Move House

You’re Daydreaming about the Perfect Home—Finding yourself constantly daydreaming about features you wish your current house possessed? Is it an open-plan kitchen, triple garaging, swimming pool or master bathroom? You would be more comfortable if you upgraded to a more modern house packed with more features. You want a house that has it all. This is a sign that you are ready to move to a home with larger bathrooms, larger closets (maybe a walk-in), a home office, etc.


Your Family is Growing—Planning on growing your family or trying to cram your children into a shared bedroom? Then you are ready to move into a new home. Having the right amount of space is an important part of a happy household, especially as your children get older. Living with 1 bathroom might be manageable when your kids are toddlers, but just imagine 3 teenagers sharing one tiny bathroom. Mornings will get stressful really fast!


You Hate Your Commute—This sign that you’re ready to move into a new home sometimes has little to do with how much you love your home. It’s about your job and the amount of time it takes for you to travel from home to work. Long commutes can be mentally and   physically exhausting, not to mention financially draining with the current price of gas.  Spending more time in the car than you spend in your home is a sure sign that you need to move.


Your Voice Echoes in Your Home—Once your home was filled with the harmonious, melodic hum of a busy family. Now you ask your spouse where the keys to the car are and you hear your voice bounce off the walls like you’re in some sort of sanatorium. The kids are gone, and their noisy friends with them. When did that happen? Hard to say, but it happened and now your way too big house is just a haunting reminder of your kids’ absence. Time to ownsize. The space will feel more practical, and the limited square footage will discourage adult children from moving back in with you.


You Dread Caring for Your Yard—You might be ready to move if you are constantly frustrated with the upkeep of a huge     backyard or expensive landscaping. Consider moving to a home that has a smaller, more manageable yard.


Your Neighbourhood Has Changed —When you first moved into your neighbourhood, it may have been a quiet leafy street of single storey homes. However, neighbourhoods can change over time. If increased development caused by a growing population isn’t to your liking, it may be time to find somewhere away from the urban life.


When you come to the decision to move, be smart and seek advice from a trusted agent to get you up to speed with the market in the area in which you are looking to move.

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Useful Tips for Moving Into Your Newly Purchased Home!

You have done it! The documents have been signed, the sale has been finalized and the keys are now in your hands. Congratulations!!! Now that your real estate dreams have been realized and you are finally the owner of your dream home, what’s next? Now you are ready to move in.

Today we share a few simple but useful tips for homeowners who are moving into their newly purchased home.

1) First thing you do is change the locks of the new home! Do I need to say why? I did not think so! Apart from the previous owners, real estate agents, cleaners, maintenance workers you really have no idea how many strangers could have access to the keys of your newly purchased home.

2) Remember to have your mails forwarded to your new address! You may also need to have your address updated at important institutions. Otherwise your mail will keep being sent to your listed old address.

3) Do not give junk a free ride! Before you move, sort through your belongings and get rid of as much things as possible: sell, donate or throw away.

4) Make sure to pack socks in pairs! Just kidding, that was a bonus. This fourth tip is to place screws, bolts or plugs for all furniture in clear bags and tape them to the respective piece of furniture.

5) Label all boxes or bags with numbers and create a master list separated by rooms and place the relevant numbers with the room it belongs to.

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Add Value to Your Home

The saying goes, “First impressions are lasting ones.”  Most, if not all of us, have heard this common saying which simply means that people will remember the way you appear when you first meet them, so it is important to look and act your best when you meet someone for the first time. While a property valuation provides an opinion of how much a property is worth, prospective buyers tend to value properties based on what they see and not just based on facts and figures. This can greatly hinder the sale of a property because even if a property is listed below market value, if it does not look appealing to prospects, they may shy away from the opportunity to own a potentially remarkable property.

It is therefore worthwhile for a seller to ensure that their property looks almost flawless, if not flawless, so that its appearance can match or even exceed its selling price or value.  We share a few simple improvements that can help any property be more alluring to prospective buyers.

While you may not be financially able to take on major renovations, especially if you are trying to spend as little as possible before putting the property on the market, these few simple upgrades can help a seller in getting a sale.

  • In the kitchen, installing countertops made from engineered stone or granite, can easily improve the aesthetic appeal of the space. Simple details such as replacing cabinet knobs or installing a new faucet for the sink can make a big difference. If you desire a bigger change consider knocking down a full or half wall to connect the kitchen to a living room to provide a more spacious feel.
  • In the bathroom, consider having the toilet and vanity replaced. A toilet that looks old or does not work properly is a turn-off. If you can’t afford purchasing a new toilet or the current one is still in working condition simply have it thoroughly cleaned and or replace the seat. This should make it appear as good as new. Similarly to the kitchen simple things can make a difference. Removing rust stains, updating doorknobs and cabinet knobs, and replacing faucets can make the bathroom look more welcoming.
  • You do not have to consider undergoing major repairs or a complete renovation to improve your home. Simply things such as repair of plumbing leaks, replacement of worn out rain gutters, replacement or repair of broken windows can go a long way in making a property more appealing. Investing in maintenance and repairs is not only moneywise, prospective buyers tend to focus on what needs to be fixed and use these to justify negotiating a lower price.
  • Repaint the interior walls with neutral colors such as beige, ivory, taupe, black, gray or shades of white which will make the rooms appear lighter and bigger.

Were the above tips useful?  Share this article with family and friends.  If you need any clarification on this topic, feel free to email us at

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Earl Learns As He Gets His Home Valued

Several years after Earl Seraphine moved from one part of Dominica to the other, he decided to sell one of his homes since he had no plans to move back and thought that the proceeds from the sale of the house would be of greater use at the time.  In the process of listing his home with the real estate agent he was asked the value of his home.  This was a question he just couldn’t answer factually since he had never done a valuation before and the understanding of valuation theory and methodology is not commonplace.  He started doing some research and fortunately found a competent and generous valuator who explained the importance of valuations and some of the different techniques used to prepare a valuation.


He learnt that there are several methodologies used for property valuations, three of the most common ones are Comparable Sales Method, Income Approach Method and Cost Approach Method.


The Comparable Sales Method compares the subject property with other similar properties in its vicinity to estimate the value of the subject property.  In addition to the location, this analysis examines characteristics such as the size, conditions, available utility, building regulations, business climate etc.  Not very often the property being valued has few comparative elements or may be unique. In such circumstances the less comparable elements would be estimated differently to ensure accuracy.


The Income Approach is more suitable for income generating properties because it allows investors to estimate the value of the property based on the income it produces or is expected to produce.  This would be useful for a buyer to determine if a property is a profitable investment.  The estimated income is discounted using the discounted cash flow model to determine the present value of the property.


The cost approach investigates the cost component of the property and this includes the cost of the land as if vacant, plus cost of construction.  Depreciation based on the age of the property is thereafter deducted.  It is said that the value is more accurate for new buildings.


It is important to note that there is no perfect method to value real estate never-the-less whether buying a home, selling one, using it as security or making improvements, knowing its worth is fundamental.


Earl having made the decision to sell one of his houses would want to ensure that he receives the value that his property is worth.  He could use the valuation as a guideline to price the property so that he can catch some home shoppers’ interest.


As a potential buyer a valuation is crucial to ensure that the amount asked for is not considerably higher than the actual value.  It is a pre-requisite in the property transfer process as the valuation is needed by the bank if the buyer is taking a mortgage.  It also forms part of the transfer documents to be submitted to the local registry.  It may also show that the buyer has done some homework and gives both parties grounds upon which they can negotiate a final price.


A valuation provides one with valuable information such as whether the price for a property is exaggerated or not and would give a seller a realistic price to market his property.  It is generally recommended that persons do not purchase property without first doing an assessment.  Likewise, it is good practice to value a property before putting it on the market.

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Outdoor Living Space Raises Selling Potential

On many properties there is valuable living space that is left under-utilized, and it’s typically found outside. Often the outside area that could be converted into a creative living space is larger than the largest space inside the home.  Maximizing the comfort of your home includes the use of available outdoor space.

When someone visits your home, they first see the outdoors, the surroundings.  Their impression of you and your home begins outside.  It would be wise that in the planning stages of the construction of your home that the building be located in an area that would maximize the usage potential of the outside of the home.

At these early stages, a vision for the outdoor space should be considered in order to minimize the cost of any future outdoor projects since the grounds of your home will already be fashioned to suit that vision.  Besides the visual effect of a well designed outdoor space and manicured grounds, an outdoor living space will increase your living area and allow for much needed fresh air and sunlight that is not available on the inside.  For those who entertain, outdoor space will reduce the traffic and wear on the interior of your home.

Investing in an outdoor room adds resale value to your property.  A homebuyer would be more interested in your home that offers this feature.  Here are a few tips to help you plan an outdoor space:

  1. Figure out which rooms have the best potential for access to the outside. You’ll want to consider how high the floor is off the ground, how you will keep your privacy, how much deck, patio or terrace space is available, which area the sun will affect the most and at what time, and how the space will relate to the rest of your yard or garden.
  2. Once you choose where the doors will be, do a floor plan and put together a list of functional requirements. Do you want a deck with room for outdoor dining? A vegetable or flower garden? Hot tub? Arrange the elements you choose with regards to everything you considered in step one.
  3. Plan the central area to be as big as an actual room – minimum 12 square feet, but not larger than 20 square feet. The shape should probably be square or rectangular. It is better if you stay away from long narrow spaces that surround the house. Furniture won’t fit there well so it won’t be used.
  4. Keep the steps leading from raised decks and terraces as wide as possible, at least six feet. Keeping a full width on multiple sides of the deck will create a smooth transition to ground level.
  5. Get creative with your paving materials to create different functioning areas. Also try incorporating different levels in the space. By adding benches, planters or other permanent features each area of your outdoor space will have its own identity.

Whether or not you have plans to sell, using these tips will help you transform the look and comfort of your home!