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Ask The Expert: Iris Lurie
Iris Lurie, Broker/Owner
Iris Lurie is the proud broker and owner of the 2007 #1 Century 21 office in New Jersey. Her office is also #27 in the nation for Century 21 offices. Iris began her career in real estate in 1981.Iris Lurie is the proud broker and owner of the 2007 #1 Century 21 office in New Jersey. Her office is also #27 in the nation for Century 21 offices. Iris began her career in real estate in 1981. Her desire to help people has made her a natural as a realtor. She opened Century 21 Mack-Morris Iris Lurie Realtors in 1987 with three sales associates; as of today, her company has grown to 70 sales associates.
Iris Lurie, Broker/Owner
Century 21 Mack-Morris Iris Lurie Realtors
47 Route 9 South
Morganville, NJ 07751
What is the biggest myth in the real estate industry?
There are several myths floating around right now, but I guess I’d have to say the myth that “the real estate market is no good” is the one that can cause the most harm for the real estate consumer. The fact of the matter is that, according to the National Association of Realtors, 2007 will probably end up as the 5th best year for real estate sales ever. In addition, interest rates are at 50-year lows. Homes are being sold and people are buying homes, but you wouldn’t think so according to some media. That kind of myth can be dangerous. In my immediate area of Marlboro, Manalapan, and Freehold there was only 1% fewer homes sold in 2007 compared to 2006. Those are great numbers. The sales in my office are up substantially, and we have come out very strong in January. The National Association of Realtors is predicting median home prices to “hold even” for 2008, and also predicts a rise of 3.1% in 2009. Why would a person wait to buy or sell a home when the conditions are so favorable, and both buyers and sellers (on their next purchase) can take advantage of the record interest-rate lows? Both buyers and sellers are becoming more realistic in their expectations and, consequently, we have a more orderly market than the craziness we experienced for almost the past 7 years. That’s reassuring to the consumer. No one can predict the future, but it sure doesn’t seem like a good time to delay a real estate transaction in the hope of better conditions in the future.
What are the key criteria for hiring someone as a good buyer’s agent/seller’s agent?
I often remind my team of professionals that we are in the “people business,” and meeting people’s real estate needs is the way we serve them, so the criteria for dealing with buyers and sellers are the same: integrity, empathy, understanding, caring, communication, and patience are all criteria that come before knowledge. Knowledge, however, is important and ever-changing in this industry so we look for people who will “practice” real estate as a profession…meaning they will constantly upgrade themselves in knowledge, skills, and state-of-the-art efficiencies that, in turn, are delivered to the consumer as superior services and smoother transactions.
What makes for a smooth closing?
The closing is the by-product of the entire transaction, so the question is really “what makes for a smooth transaction?” I answered half of this question with my last answer…smooth transactions are the result of professional real estate people that are dedicated to the consumers’ needs and their understanding of the market, the community, the inventory, and how it all fits together in a lifestyle fulfillment for the consumer, whether they be the buyer or seller. The other half of this answer rests in professionals dedicated to processing the transaction. Many companies use the sales agent to process the transaction; we believe this is inefficient and takes the agents away from properly servicing the active clients who are not yet in the transaction phase. Several years ago we decided to invest in a professional Customer Service and Transaction Processing staff who are dedicated to the consumer from the first phone call to the closing of the transaction. These staff members do what they do best, leaving our agents to continue doing what they do best – servicing the consumer. Our belief here is simple: give others what they want first, and we get what we want in return. It works pretty well in life, too.
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