The Eric Stewart Group Blog

Trusted resource for local and national real estate news and trending topics, and everything you need to know about the buying and selling process.

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Real Estate | Realtor | christmas show 2020

What are the Real Stories Behind Our Most Beloved Christmas Carols?

By: Rachel Harclerode
December 23rd, 2020

  How did a 4-year-old girl inspire the creation of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? How did a classic Christmas song, “Oh, Holy Night,” cause a stop in fighting during the Franco-Prussian War? Why was “White Christmas” so significant to American heroes fighting overseas? What in the world is the true meaning behind the Twelve Days of Christmas?! Find out the answers to these questions and much more when you hear Eric Stewart’s classic Christmas show. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or eggnog, wrap presents or sit back, and enjoy these stories filled with love, hope, and the true meaning of Christmas!  

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Real Estate | Realtor | discount broker

4 Things You Should Know About Discount Brokers

By: Rachel Harclerode
December 22nd, 2020

When buying and selling real estate, you can choose between traditional brokers and discount brokers. There are several key differences between these two options that you should consider before deciding which way to go.    Here are 4 main differences between traditional and discount brokers: 1. Discount brokers give you a discounted price on either the purchase side or the listing side. Discount brokers typically work off of a flat fee, while the traditional broker's commission is typically 6% of the sale (split between the listing agent and the buyer's agent). This may be a huge pro for you, but discount brokers usually make up what they lack in per-sale commission with volume. We'll discuss how that business model affects you in main difference #2. 2. Their tasks go from A to B: they get you under contract then hand you off to someone else. A discount broker's services typically don't extend past the contract stage. This is how discount brokers get more volume in sales. While there are full service discount brokers, many offer minimal services, meaning they get you from A to B during the home sale.   Traditional brokers, on the other hand, get you from A to Z. If you go with a traditional agent, you will be their client from the very start of the process to the very end. This means your agent will help you with not only listing your home on the MLS, but also with fielding buyer questions, scheduling showings, marketing your home, navigating the closing process, and more. 3. A discount broker's services do not typically include help with the contract, negotiations, closing, or any other aspect of the deal. As mentioned above, a discount broker's services don't typically extend into these other aspects of a real estate sale. A traditional agent will, however, consistently stay your point of contact throughout each step of the home sale process. 4. If you're not comfortable selling your house yourself, a discount broker is not the way to go. Selling a home consists of 119 different tasks, from scheduling showings to navigating home inspections to marketing the property, and much more. All of the tasks that a discount broker doesn't cover will then fall on you. If you aren't prepared or comfortable to take on all of that legwork, a traditional agent is most likely a better option for you.   Realtor® and Director of Operations Robert Garcia discusses the discount broker more in his video below. Check it out for his thoughts on the topic and for help on deciding which way you should go.  

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Real Estate | contingency | Realtor

What is a Contingency in Real Estate?

By: Rachel Harclerode
December 15th, 2020

If you've ever bought or sold a house, you may have experienced confusion over all of the terminology involved in the process. Real estate contracts are full of legal jargon that can be hard to understand, especially if it's your first time buying or selling.    One important term to know? Contingencies.   Robert Garcia, Realtor® and our Director of Operations, explains this term and why it's important when it comes to real estate transactions.   In general, the word contingent means "occurring or existing only if (certain circumstances) are the case" (Oxford). Investopedia explains it in regards to real estate: it's “a condition or action that must be met for a real estate contract to become binding." Essentially, contingencies are a sort of safeguard that protect you against unforeseen events.   Let's say you're in the process of buying a home. In the contract, you include a contingency for a home inspection. If the home inspection report comes back with undesirable results, the contingency allows you to have several options. Instead of being stuck in a binding agreement, you can now renegotiate some of the items found in the inspection report or back out of the contract altogether.   Contingencies essentially allow you an exit out of a binding legal agreement, so you can move on to a different home purchase that is better for you. Homebuyers should know how to use contingencies to their advantage.   However, with homes selling quickly in the current market, including contingencies in your contract may be a little more complicated than usual because some buyers may be willing to waive contingencies.   So then how do you write a competitive offer while incorporating contingencies? The agents of the Eric Stewart Group of Long & Foster can help. Our agents will coach you through the process of writing the strongest offers in the midst of a very competitive market. If you’re ready to beat the competition with an incredible offer, head to our Listing Page to find available homes and get into contact with one of our experienced agents!  

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Blog Feature

Realtor | realtor license

Congrats On Your Real Estate License! Now What?

By: Rachel Harclerode
December 8th, 2020

You just obtained your license in real estate; congrats! Now what? You may be asking yourself these questions: Should I go solo or join a team? Which brokerage should I partner with? What's my business plan? What's my marketing plan?   Robert Garcia, Realtor® for over 17 years and our Director of Operations, has words of advice he would like to share with you.    Some brokerages may advise you to start cold calling or door knocking to kickstart your real estate career. But these are old systems that no longer work, Robert says. So what do you do instead? Join a team.   The Eric Stewart Group of Long & Foster has created systems that bypass those old-school methods that no longer work. If you are new to the real estate industry and are wondering where to go from here, take a look at these four benefits you'll get when you join the Eric Stewart Group team.   Benefit #1: We will help you craft a business plan. This plan will detail out all of the goals and activities you will need to know for your business for the upcoming years. We can create this plan to extend to 5 or 10 years if you so desire. This plan will set you up for success in your career.   Benefit #2: We will hold you accountable to your business plan. With over 100 years of combined real estate expertise, the Eric Stewart Group knows what works and what doesn't work. Our team will coach you as you begin your real estate career and will provide support every step of the way to ensure you are following your business plan and hitting your goals.   Benefit #3: We have an Internal Sales Associate (ISA) department. Our ISA department nurtures leads so that they are ready for a transaction by the time they get to you. This means that you no longer need to spend time cold calling and seeking out potential leads. Instead, you can spend more time on those who are ready to become your clients.   Benefit #4: We have an ESG-dedicated marketing department. Rather than creating your own marketing materials, you'll now have a dedicated marketing team helping you, from social posts that advertise a listing to reaching your own farm area where you would like to establish your name, and much more.   If you're ready to join an experienced and dedicated team, Robert invites you to give him a call directly on his cell phone. Call or text him at (240) 286-5526 to find out how you can kickstart your real estate career with us.    

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