“Interest rates are still looking very doable.”
by Laura Spaeth, Realtor, Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty
Prescott LIVING: What got you into this profession?
Laura Spaeth: I had retired from a career in nursing after 32 years and needed a change. I asked a friend who was a Realtor at the time, “What should I do for the rest of my life?” She said I should go into real estate. I said, “Are you kidding?” Something I had never thought of. Next thing you know, I was taking a nine-day crash course. Been loving it ever since.
Prescott LIVING: What are the most difficult and gratifying parts of your job?
Laura Spaeth: The most difficult part of my job is dealing with limited listings, the ever-changing interest rate changes and keeping buyers and sellers current of these changes. Buyers sometimes come in with unrealistic expectations with criteria for the home of their dreams and it’s your job to educate them to the best of your ability and what’s really going on. Sellers, on the other hand, are in the position of getting back to a market with competitive price points, days on the market and negotiations coming in from buyers, especially after the ease of the last couple of years. They need to listen to advice so you can help them with planning, strategy and analysis. The most gratifying thing is being recognized for doing the work on your end. Data, numbers, etc. There is a lot that goes on “behind the scenes” so it can become an easy decision-making process for your sellers and buyers. Then, you know you’ve done your job. Whoever you are representing, if they have purchased the home of their dreams and are satisfied with the results, it will be a win-win for all parties and you are sure to gain a referral.
Prescott LIVING: Is the current Prescott-area market better for buyers or have interest-rate hikes canceled out affordability gains?
Laura Spaeth: Because Prescott has always been recognized for desirability in our area, offering outdoor recreation, diversity, a vibrant downtown vibe and beautiful weather days during the year, it is still a destination for many. So, even with the fluctuation of interest rates we are still seeing mortgage rates continuing with a downslide, adding the return of more buyers to the markets. I also see more buyers returning to the market with new home sales, and there are many loan programs out there to help anyone in this market with a purchase.
Prescott LIVING: What should sellers do to get the best return on their homes?
Laura Spaeth: To receive the best return, hire a solid, experienced Realtor who can offer unrivaled marketing with a reputable company. I can help you set the price for your house competitively, sending potential buyers a message to generate qualified inquiries to your property for any price point. Also, make sure the house is in good condition. Fix items that need repair, replacement or remediation. No one wants to buy a broken piece of property.