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Tips For a Stellar 2016

Tips For a Stellar 2016


Want 2016 to be AWESOME???  Follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way!


1. Live everyday with an attitude of gratitude.

Every day, be thankful for another beautiful day. Whether it’s raining, snowing, or completely sunny, you know the old saying: Every day above ground, no matter how bad a day, is still a good day.

2. You create your perception of life.

If you see lack, loss, fear, that’s what you’ll get. If you stay positive, look for the good in life, you’ll appreciate so much more in life and enjoy it.

3. Happiness is a conscious choice.

Every day, you need to choose to be happy. Why? You create how you feel. When you feel miserable, or angry, you choose to feel that way, it’s a conscious choice. Choose happiness.

4. Surround yourself with positive people.

Did you ever notice how negative people suck the life out of you? How the more misery they spew at you, the more it drags you down? If you surround yourself with positive people, you’re getting positive vibes all day long.

5. Don’t waste time on idle gossip.

It’s just another form of negativity, and it creates nothing but headaches. Again, surround yourself with positive people all day long.

6. Do you hear yourself?

I mean REALLY listen to yourself? All of that negative talk that you do to yourself? Instead, talk positivity. Talk motivation. You hear every word that you say to yourself, whether directly or indirectly, and it does affect you subconsciously when you think it. Stop.

7. Everything you put out is energy.

Every word that comes out of your mouth needs to be positive. When you talk negative, negative comes back. We attract to us whatever we speak out, so make sure it’s positive!

8. Create new, good habits.

We all know that we can create good habits by repetition. Replace one bad action with a new good one. By the 4th or 5th time, it will usually become habit.

9. Don’t react, respond. When you react, you speak before you think. It’s automatic, and there’s usually a bad result. Speaking in anger, you can say things that you can’t take back by reacting. Responding is a conscious choice. You choose your actions and choose your words. Reacting is based on emotion, responding is based in logic.  Think, then respond.

10. My favorite, the law of reciprocity.

Zig Ziglar once said you can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. It’s not just that when you help people that good comes back to you, you have the fulfillment that comes with giving and doing for others. You also really need to love what you do. Ask yourself, why did you start doing what you do? Again, by helping others you feel joy, YOU feel good, and that is a reward in and of itself. Do your job because you want to, not because you have to.

(~Abraham Lincoln)

Run Your Own Race and Win

I like to consider myself competetive by nature.  For me, the best way to beat my own limits is to set my sights on something, and then set a goal to beat it.  And I mean on anything.  Numbers, my numbers, other people’s numbers, ANYTHING.

But, after starting out in real estate, and then SEEING other people’s numbers, it scared the HELL outta me.  Now, my favorite saying is from Donald Trump: “Think BIG…  You gotta think anyway, so why not think BIG!!!”  Well, there’s also the other saying…  If your goals don’t scare the HELL out of you, they’re not big enough.

Now, getting started in real estate is daunting to say the least.  It’s no small undertaking.  If I knew THEN that it would take at least a year or two to really get rolling, I might have re-thought doing it.  So, here I was, broke and hungry, trying to get business.  So, I said to myself, “Self?”(and no one answered…) “I need to find a number to start at, and a goal to hit.  Number of listings?  Cheap ones?  Mid price ones?”  I saw a few local agents that had EACH had 75-125 listings, most bank owned.  THAT wouldn’t happen.  Then I looked at successful agents that I thought were average…  yep, Circle of Excellence, 10 million in sales, you get the idea.  GRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…

So a fellow realtor said not to get discouraged, that I would hit “critical mass.”  What the heck is that???  She explained that the phone would start to ring, and then not stop.  But NOT to quit.  Well, how long does that take?  About a year or two.  I was just getting started!!!

So, I realized that while I could emulate the greats, I would never be like any of them on many levels.  Discipline, personality, marketing, approach.  So what did it all boil down to?

We are all running the race.  We may beat out our competition, we may not.  There are people that come prepared, others do not.  Some may cut corners, others play by the book.  Yes it IS a competetive sport, real estate, but in the end, we all run our own race.  We can only strive to be the best that we can be, as people, and in what we do.  Whether it’s the number, or quality, or price of the listings doesn’t matter.  OR how many closings we have.  We can only strive to be and do our very best.  AND treat our clients just the same.  THAT is what will bring business, and make us the true winner of our own race!


In order to be successful at anything in life, you have to EMBRACE THE SUCK.

In order to be successful at anything in life, you have to EMBRACE THE SUCK.

What is the suck you ask? The suck is anything that you have to do, that you KNOW you have to do, that you really don’t want to have to do, EVER. The fact remains, you GOTTA do it. This goes for real estate, sales, really life in general. I mean don’t get me wrong, will have to do suck things in life. Cleaning, working. But what I’m talking about are the calls that you KNOW you have to make that you don’t WANT to make. Cold calling. Calling clients to tell them that you haven’t gotten a single bite on their property. BPOs that you know are under deadline. Door knocking. Anything that involves going outside of your comfort level is also known as the suck.

Unfortunately, in real estate, the suck is the cornerstone of your business. This is why you MUST embrace it. If you don’t, you will have no business, end of subject. You need to get past it, get over it, or learn to love it, in other words, EMBRACE THE SUCK. Hate cold calling? Too bad. Hate dealing with irate clients? You better learn how to deal with it, and fast. Hate going out and showing houses full of bed bugs termites and cockroaches? Guess what? If that’s all your client wants to look at, you better embrace the suck, or they’ll find another agent that will.

embrace the suck
embrace the suck








(photoFound on

When I got started I used to work in an office of veteran agents that refused to work after 1 p.m. on Friday until 9 a.m. on Monday. They couldn’t be bothered with answering phone calls from “newbie home buyers” on the weekends. Let me tell you something, that was the beginning foundation of my business when I started. I told those agents please shut your phone off. I’ll take your money all day long. To which they said, “I don’t care, SOMEBODY will sell it, but it won’t be ME on a weekend.”

They also hated doing open houses for their clients in the fall and winter, so they’d have other agents do them for them. Again, that was the beginning foundation of my business. God knows I froze my tail off in vacant houses my first winter with no heat on.  In two of them, it was colder in the house than it was outside! But, I had to…EMBRACE THE SUCK.  Believe it or not, each of those two iceboxes brought me my first sales!

So, YES, there are things we HAVE to do that we HATE having to do.  But, NOT doing them will cost us business.  But, when we DO them, that’s what sets us apart from everybody else.  And THAT, my friend, is where the magic happens.  EMBRACE THE SUCK!


Top 10 List for Finding Your Ultimate Dream Home

Top 10 List for Finding Your Ultimate Dream Home

Number 10: Dream on!

What, exactly, is your ultimate dream home? You need to figure out all of your must-haves. Do you have to have a garage? Do you have to have a basement? Do you have to have a pool? Could you settle for a home with a big yard and build the pool later? You need to have a really good grip on your must haves, because they will have a big bearing on your price.

Number 9: Money money money!

Do you have any clue how much home you really can afford ? Have you spoken with a mortgage lender yet? Do you have any money put away in the bank? Do you have a budget set, so that you know where your money is going out to every month? These are honest questions that you’re going to have to deal with to determine how much house you can afford.

Number 8: Location location location!

Okay, you know what state you’d like to live in, you may even know what city you’d like to live in. But do you know the area? Do you know how safe the area is? Do you have any idea of whether it is convenient shopping, public transportation, work, or whatever else you might need? (Aw, come on, don’t even try to tell me the convenience of fast food and restaurants isn’t even a consideration, lol! It was for me, lol!)

Number 7: See here!

So can you see yourself totally living in this place? You think you found THE ONE, but, when you stand in the home with your family, can you actually see or feel yourself living there?? Do you absolutely hate the basement? Is it something that you can easily change? Again, these are questions you need to ask yourself before you take the plunge. If this is going to be your forever home, you need to address these thoughts now with your family.

Number 6. Size MATTERS!

Okay, now honestly, do you have enough room to move around? Do you have children? Will you be possibly having more children? You never know, you might need more bedrooms at some point. If the house is short on bedrooms, you’re gonna need more livable space that you can convert into bedrooms. You need to know if this is a home that you can grow into, or just a temporary 5 to 7 year home that you know you will have to sell to buy something bigger. That can be a headache down the road. Wouldn’t it possibly be better to make sure you have a big enough home now?

Number 5. Work work work?

Okay, how much work will the home need to bring it to where you want it to be? Let’say the entire house is carpeted. You want hardwood. Have you priced out what it will cost to replace all of the carpet? How about the kitchen? The bathrooms? Have you looked into how much it will cost to replace those? Make sure you have those numbers in place so that you can make an educated decision on whether or not to buy that particular home.

Number 4. Get a Home Inspection!

You’ve gone through the house, it’s absolutely gorgeous, not a hair out of place. That’s what you can see. But what about what you can’t see? Super important that you get a home inspection. The home inspector nose to look for certain things that you would never find on your role, unless you’re well-versed in home buying. Foundation issues, roofing issues leakage issues, electrical issues, this is what your home inspector will look for. It is well worth the money for your peace of mind, and keeping your sanity. that $400 that you pay now can potentially save you thousands on issues that you can’t see that will crop up later

Number 3. Permanent Ink?

Now comes the simple question: Is this home permanent? Are you absolutely sure that you have enough space for your growing family? Does everybody have their own space to retreat to within the house? Can you see yourself living here for the rest of your life? As long as you’re sure, take the plunge!

Number 2. Flexibility!

Don’t be impossible to please! If you set the bar too high, you may be in for a disappointment. You want the acreage, the 2 car garage, the basement, the pool AND the shed? And for HOW much? Just be ready for a little compromise. Without having a new construction home built, you may not find all of that in one nice, neat little package. Can you get a pool next year? Can you buy a house with an unfinished basement, and finish it later? Then everybody’shappy!

And the Number 1 Tip… Homework homework homework!!!!!

GET EDUCATED. Learn the home buying process. Find a good Realtor. Get your credit scores up to snuff. Get a good mortgage lender. Find all of your conveniences. Drive the neighborhood at different times of day BEFORE you put in an offer.

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property, ’cause This Mama Sells Real Estate!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to and click on “search homes.”

Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Does Your Home Meet the Super 6 Criteria?

Okay, so you want to sell your home, awesome! Whether or not you realize it, there are many factors that will determine how much your house will sell for, if it sells at all. Your home needs to fit in with the Super 6. Okay, so what the hell is the Super 6? Let’s break it down…


1. Location
Like it or not, your home’s location will have a huge bearing on how much it will sell for. There are a ton of things that go into this. How close is it to public transportation? How close is it to local shopping? How safe is the area? Is there pride of ownership in the surrounding blocks? Is there any blight?


2. Condition of the Home
Ok, come on guys, this is a common sense factor. What kind of shape is the home in? Is it well kept? Does it show pride of ownership? Are your kitchen and bathroom old or dated? Do you have wallpaper on the walls? How about your rugs? Does the carpeting have permanent stains? What about odors in your home? Do you have pets? Is there an odor alerting your visitors when they walk through the door that you own pets? What about your roof? Are there any spots on the ceilings showing that there are roof leaks or issues? What you need to keep in mind here he said anything that is visibly wrong with your home becomes bargaining leverage on the purchase price. You will need to make sure that your home needs little to no repair to keep negotiations to a minimum.


3. Price
Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. If you don’t price your house properly, it won’t sell. It just wont. People will not pay $10,000 more to buy your home when they can have a house in better shape and cheaper for far less. You need to sit down with your Realtor and come to a price based on comparables. You must compare the homes apples to apples. Your agent will bring you copies of active listings of homes for sale with the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, etc.. They will also show you listings of homes that have sold within the last 6 months, so that you will have the most accurate idea of where you should be priced to get your home sold quickly and for top dollar.


4. Market Conditions
Obviously, the real estate market has been all over the place for the last couple of years. Some towns get hit harder than others depending on the circumstances. For instance, we are very close to Atlantic City, New Jersey. As you know, many casinos have closed. Thousands are out of work. Many cannot find jobs and are collecting

English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night
English: Atlantic City, New Jersey by night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

unemployment. Will some of those people lose their homes? Maybe, maybe not. But what that does mean is that there will be more short sales. That can have a direct bearing on what you can ask as a selling price for your home.


5. Financing.
The same way the housing market is affected by certain conditions, so is home mortgage financing. If you remember, back in the day during the real estate boom, interest rates were at 13%. Now, you can get mortgage financing for a home at an average of 4%!


6. Agent Savvy
You can have all of the first five criteria, but if your agent sucks lemons, none of it matters. Your agent needs to be savvy enough to negotiate a deal for you to get sold as quickly and for as high a price as possible. You need to be sure, BEFORE you hire an agent, to find out what they are going to do for you to get your home sold. What kind of marketing do they utilize? Are they internet savvy? Will your listing be syndicated to multiple websites? How about videos? Will they make videos of your home and create a website just for your home for sale listing? I do. Until what time can showings be scheduled for my home on any given day? I use a service through my company that schedules showings with a live human being by phone until 11pm on weekdays and 7pm on weekends. I can pull up outside a vacant house with a for sale sign on it at 9pm, pick up my cell phone, get a lockbox code and be showing that house 3 minutes later. Can your agent do that? Hopefully, they can and will.


So there you have it. That’s the Super 6. Make sure you have them all covered. Oh, and, IF your prospective agent sucks lemons, call me BEFORE you list with them. I can get your home sold! :0)

~Christine Gerbehy

About the Author: Christine Gerbehy is a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox & Roach Realtors in Northfield, NJ. and is e-Pro certified. Realtor, writer, blogger, wife, mother and zookeeper, I LOVE what I do. ALL of it. Let me help you to buy or sell your property!

Need to see some MLS listings?  You can use mine! Just go to and click on “search homes.”