By Deborah Bostock-Kelley
With a near half-century career, second-generation realtor Laurie Powell Neiman grew up in the business. From an early age, her mother Marie Powell was her mentor, operating Marie Powell Better Homes and Gardens, a prominent, respected realty company.
While in high school, Laurie worked as a secretary at her mom’s office on weekends. After graduation, she continued in the real estate business, earning her sales associates license, and by 1978, she earned her brokers’ license. By 1991, Laurie became the broker/owner of the two offices in New Port Richey and Springhill. She sold to Prudential which is now Berkshire Hathaway in 2008.
Fast forward to the present day, Laurie works sales for Re/Max REALTEC Group. She prides herself on being a “one-stop-shop” for her clientele. She jokes that she “has a guy” for everything a buyer or seller could need.
And she’s not kidding.
Five-star testimonials and consistent client referrals attest that Laurie goes way above and beyond to help her buyers and sellers.
“Every person’s needs are different. I do a lot of business in the 55+ community. I help people with absolutely everything. I don’t just help sell the house. I help people find the mover, stage their home, and clear out their clutter, or find an estate salesperson.”
She relayed a story of an ill senior who could not adequately prepare for an estate sale. Laurie regularly visited between appointments to sort clutter of items keeping and items for the sale.
“I like to help people whether buying or selling,” she said. “In today’s market, people are thinking homes are selling so easy, so it doesn’t matter what realtor they get. It’s essential that they pick a good realtor who knows the market and can get them the right price.”
Laurie combines modern web advertising with tried and true, old-fashioned print and postcard promotion.
“It’s important that you have a good blend. Not everybody goes on the internet. That’s not their thing, so without old-school, you’re not reaching your full potential.”
Laurie also hosts open houses.
“My job if I’m listing your house is to expose it to as many people as I can. Some people call open houses old-fashioned, but many people like to come to open houses and see the homes. Normally when I have an open house, the home sells within a week.”
For sellers, Laurie explained that realtors often price homes too low to give the illusion of selling the house at a better price. The realtors expect to get multiple offers and sell it for more.
“They say I got $40,000 over asking price, but maybe they should have priced it $40,000 higher, to begin with. The mindset is, why would I pay more than they’re asking , and the seller doesn’t even get what the value is because the realtor’s strategy was wrong,” she said. “I tell the owner we’re not pricing the house to give it away and get a crazy frenzy. We’re pricing at the top of the market, so we know we’re not leaving any money on the table. Many times sellers think they are getting a bargain on their commissions to find out that the agent doesn’t provide professional photos taking photos on their cell phones and not marketing the home properly, and leaving thousands of dollars on the table pricing too low. They don’t actually do stuff that will help the seller get more money. What you save on a little bit of a commission, you probably lost more on what you could have gotten for your house.”
When choosing a realtor, Laurie said that the client should ask about their time in business and what their strategy will be. Make sure they will deliver on all of the services offered.
“You need to find an agent who knows the market and does marketing. Sellers who have worked with laurie say, ‘if you want to get most for your money, you should list with Laurie because she knows the values and what’s what in the neighborhood.’”
On the other side, Laurie said the realtor must know pricing so that the buyers are not paying too much for a house.
“If they’re going to want to sell it one day, we need to make sure that they are paying the right value for a property,” said Laurie.
Laurie is grateful for the unwavering support of her husband Joe and daughters, Angel and Lauren who know she is all about helping people.
“I like to help people. People know I listen to what they want, whether buying a house or selling a house. I try to help them accomplish whatever their need. This is their biggest decision and most people’s biggest financial asset, so I work hard to be sure their needs are met. I don’t like to see anyone get taken advantage of. Everybody needs a home and someone to care about them. I’m faith-based. I think the Lord knows this is a calling for me. He gives me people who need help, and I try to take good care of them. This is my passion and my ministry.”
Call Laurie Powell Neiman of Re/Max REALTEC GROUP for all your real estate needs at 727-385-0877.