Friday, December 20, 2019

Why sell your home in the winter?

By Mel Oldakowski

There’s a myth many home sellers believe, and that is you should wait until spring to put your home on the market. The fact is, listing in the winter may have a greater advantage in terms of the type of buyers attracted, marketing and more.

Less competition. 
Many homeowners think that waiting for spring and summer is ideal, so there is a spring rush of
homes hitting the market. By listing in the months prior, you don’t have to worry about a saturated market. Your home is more visible to a buyer.

Non-contingent buyer. you’re looking to buy, then you’d want to be able to sell now because by the time spring arrives you have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer. Which means that if you find the home you love, you’ve already sold your current home and you won’t have to wait until you find a spring buyer. 

In addition, because more homes are for sale during the spring, this could drive down market prices meaning you have the ability to sell high and buy low.

Better showings. 
During the winter months, homes feel warmer and more inviting. If you have a fireplace, then fire
that baby up and put her to use to help welcome potential buyers as they come for showings.

With the number of listings that drop during the winter, it frees up more time for agents to increase our marketing efforts. That means more open houses, ads, posts, etc., all geared to make your house incredibly visible to the buyers out searching.  

Increased web traffic.
Home searches increase during the winter months as potential buyers start buckling down searching
for homes that spike their interest.

Serious Buyers. 
The number one reason you should list during the winter is that the buyers you meet are serious about purchasing. Not to say spring and summer buyers aren’t, however, they spend more time browsing the market. Winter buyers are more motivated to find the home that’s best for them and get the deal done!

Friday, December 13, 2019

What are the differences between real estate agents and brokers?

Real estate transactions often involve significant amounts of money. As a result, it's common for both buyers and sellers to enlist the services of a host of professionals with real estate experience.

Both buyers and sellers may work with real estate agents and/or real estate brokers en route to buying or selling their homes. Agents and brokers are not one and the same, and there are some important distinctions between the two.

Real estate agent
According to, real estate agents are professionally licensed individuals who can help both buyers and sellers. Agents also may help property owners rent their homes. The amount of training real estate agents need to earn their licenses varies by state. Once individuals finish their required training, they must take a written exam that tests their knowledge of federal real estate laws and general principles as well as the laws specific to the state in which they want to become licensed. 

Only after passing this exam do individuals become recognized real estate agents. Investopedia notes that achieving agent status is the starting point for most real estate professionals. estate broker
Real estate brokers are those professionals who have continued their education past the agent level and obtained a broker's license. Each state has its own requirements in regard to becoming a licensed broker, but education and examinations are necessary regardless of where a person lives. notes that the extra coursework to earn a broker's license focuses on various topics, including ethics, contracts, taxes, and insurance. Agents may learn about these topics as well, but coursework for prospective brokers goes into more depth than it does at the agent level.

Brokers also will study and learn about legal issues in regard to real estate. The legal issues brokers may learn about include brokerage operations, real estate investments, construction, and property management. Requirements vary, but notes that brokers often must work as licensed real estate agents for no less than three years before they can earn their broker's license.

There is more than one type of real estate broker. Principal/designated brokers oversee all agents at a given firm and ensure the agents act in compliance with all real estate laws. Managing brokers tend to focus on the hiring and training of agents. Associate brokers have their broker's license but work directly under a managing broker.

Real estate agents and brokers can help buyers, sellers and investors successfully navigate real estate transactions, and each can serve their clients in different ways.

This article was sponsored by Greg Swander, real estate professional with Coldwell Banker Team Real Estate in Windham. He can be reached at 207-650-1095 or email

Friday, December 6, 2019

Windham Economic Development Corporation and Real Estate Development: The Anglers Road Project

By Thomas Bartell

The Mission of the Windham Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is to encourage economic growth and development in a manner that supports increased prosperity in the Town of Windham and improves the quality of life for its citizens.

The vision is to create a business-friendly environment that provides a high-quality of life, a vibrant economy, and a welcoming atmosphere, while protecting our town’s rural characteristics and natural resources.

In it for the long haul.

Economic Development is a long-term process. The WEDC works alongside the Town to attract business investment in appropriate and suitable locations, to attract customers to visit our many wonderful local businesses, and to improve the infrastructure necessary to support a vibrant economy and protect our natural resources.  

As much as the Town and WEDC do not seek to be in the real estate business, sometimes the only way to fix long term infrastructure problems is to do just that. And for the Anglers Road, Route 302, Whites Bridge Road intersection realignment this was certainly the case. In this instance we were not only able to complete the intersection improvements which had been planned for decades, but we also were able to encourage the redevelopment of a longstanding vacant lot into commercial enterprises.

The Anglers Road intersection realignment.
Previous plans for intersection improvements were stymied by the lack of public ownership of the Right-Of-Way (ROW) on Anglers Road. The purchase of the property and subsequent transfer of the new Anglers Road ROW to the Town facilitated the construction and allowed for Federal and State DOT participation in the funding of the project. The Windham Town Council provided the “patient capital” to finance the purchase of the land via a low-interest loan through the Tax-Increment Financing program. The “patient capital” was vitally important to the success of this project which ended up being ten years in the making. the course of ten years, the intersection realignment was designed, State and Town financing for construction was secured, the new Anglers Road ROW was transferred, the intersection was reconstructed, and the remaining land was sold.  As this work was proceeding, the WEDC was working with the engineers from Main Land Development to prepare a site plan for the remaining acreage outside of the ROW on Anglers Road to prepare for its sale.  Sale of the land in this project was completed this Summer, and the Town received payment of the original loan plus interest in full.

Real Estate summary:
Original purchase: 10.7-acre parcel
1.22 acres to the road realignment and abutters
Sold four parcels
Momentum offices
Anglers Common Apartment complex, 42 units
Bob’s Seafood expansion
One parcel for future development

At completion of the apartment complex, the total annual property taxes raised from the new uses on the land will be above $100,000.

The Windham Economic Development Corporation is here to help with your business location needs.  Please contact Executive Director Thomas Bartell at or 207 892-1936.