Selling real estate is something Nicci Perkins always dreamed of doing. As the owner of Custom Moves Real Estate Services, she feels that she is fulfilling her life’s purpose. Helping people become homeowners is extremely gratifying to her, and she also understands sentimental feelings when selling a family home.
Perkins is a Howard County native. She was born in Kokomo but moved to Greentown during her elementary school years. After graduating from Eastern High School, she lived in Florida for nine years. Life events and family brought her back home to Indiana.
“After working in the corporate world for many years and feeling like I just wasn’t filling my purpose, I made what I call my mid-life leap of faith and changed careers,” she says. “I wanted to do what I always dreamed of, which is to sell real estate. In the beginning of my real estate career I worked for a franchise real estate company for a few years before deciding to venture out on my own and open Custom Moves Real Estate.”
“Owning a home has always been important to me,” Perkins adds, when asked why she wanted to become a real estate agent. “Investing in a home gives you a sense of security, and pride in yourself and your community. Selling real estate gives me the opportunity to help others realize the dream of homeownership and bring this security and pride to their family as well. On the other side of the coin, I help those downsizing navigate the sale of their home, which can be quite emotional, to capitalize on the true equity they have built over the years.”
“Selling real estate is not nearly as glamorous as I thought it would be, but I love it nonetheless,” she says. “It is the hardest job I’ve every had, but the most rewarding. I learn something new every day. One surprising thing was that in the middle of winter, a house without electricity is colder inside than the weather is outside.”
According to Perkins, the housing market traditionally slows down over the holidays and throughout the winter months. She feels it was particularly slow this year due to the economy and high interest rates. However, there is still a shortage of inventory, and she is predicting another strong year for home sales. She also anticipates that pricing will level off and be a bit more conservative, rather than the steep spikes recently seen.
Perkins advises buyers to be in the best position possible to make an offer by getting pre-approved for a loan. Real estate agents can guide their clients through the steps they need to take for pre-approval. Agents can also aid buyers in making a must-have list, as opposed to a like-to-have list, to keep in mind when viewing homes. Finally, don’t rush. If possible, look at a house twice.
On the flip side, Perkins has several ideas for what an existing owner can do to get their house ready for market. Foremost is cleaning and decluttering. If it’s clean, clean it again. Any maintenance issues need to be fixed. Sometimes people live with a problem, such as a leaky faucet, for so long that they do not notice it anymore. Buyers look at a home with critical eyes and they may see something the seller has gotten used to.
Curb appeal is important because it is the first thing a buyer sees. The landscape and lawn need to be neat and tidy. The front door should look fresh, and not in need of a coat of paint. The windows should be so clean they sparkle. This is when a good agent will be honest and tell the sellers what they need to do.
“To rent or own – I will always say own,” Perkins says. “Renting is something you should only do short-term. When you rent long-term, you are basically just paying for someone else’s house for them. This doesn’t make good financial sense for you. It certainly does for them.”
“In the current market, rent and house payments are comparable to each other, so it is just more financially sound to spend that money towards your own equity,” she continues. “Homes appreciate. When you are ready to sell in the next five to seven years, you should have built enough equity to make a return on your homeownership investment. You can put those funds down on your next home, which builds wealth. Plus, you will have tax incentives when you own that you do not have when renting.”
The company’s website, custom-moves.com, is a great resource for both buyers and sellers. It has a home search tool that pulls directly from a multiple listing service with real-time data. A form can be filled out to request more information. This also generates an email sent to Perkins to let her know the buyer is interested in a particular house. Custom Moves will never send out spam emails, responding only with information requested.
“I have been blessed beyond words,” Perkins says. “It hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been worth it. Custom Moves is now in its fifth year and things couldn’t look better. Last year was a record year for most everyone in the business. My goal is to give our clients the very best home buying and selling experience possible, to always keep their best interest first and foremost in every transaction. We always conduct ourselves and our business with honesty, integrity and compassion.”
For more info, call 765-252-3090 or visit custom-moves.com.
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