Selling Homes for Top Dollar: An Interview With Martha Boyer of Imani Realty & Associates

Martha BoyerWhen selling a home, a good real estate agent can help a seller to get a price that is significantly higher than homes sold by their owners. There are advantages to working with a broker that has lived in the seller’s community for years. Their knowledge of the community and experience in selling homes in that area can provide the guidance needed for the seller to get top dollar.

Real Estate Broker/Agent Martha Boyer owns Imani Realty and Associates, a real estate brokerage located in the township of Willingboro NJ. Martha has lived in Willingboro and has worked in the real estate industry for over 30 years.

Interviewer:              How long have you lived in the township of Willingboro?

Martha Boyer:          I have lived in Willingboro since 1983.              

Interviewer:              What drew you to Willingboro?

Martha Boyer:          My husband, Stewart. His family moved to Willingboro in 1968. He graduated from the Willingboro public school system, but we met in college.

Interviewer:              You mentioned that Willingboro has a public school system. What are some of the other educational options for families with young children?

Martha Boyer:           Burlington County Institute of Technology is a taxpayer funded vocational school that emphasizes the cohesion of technology and education. There are also numerous private schools such as Garfield Park Academy, Friends Academy of Westampton, as well as Catholic and Christian schools. Willingboro also has charter schools, like Willingboro Academy Charter School.

Interviewer:              What do you love most about your job?

Martha Boyer:           I love people! It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to assist a homeowner to achieve their goals. Within the task of getting the homeowner to the end goal, there is always a challenge or hurdle of some type and at any given time throughout the transaction. The challenges are the exciting part of the job for me.

Interviewer:              You mentioned challenges, the real estate industry as a whole, went through a great challenge not too long ago, during the Great Recession. There were a lot of brokers that just couldn’t make it. How were you able to withstand during those tough times?

Martha Boyer:           Honestly, a tremendous amount of prayer! When situations are out of your control, like the economy fall in 2007, it really causes you to pause and evaluate what and who are most important in your life. So with prayer, hard work, support of family, friends and a great staff, we made it through.

Interviewer:              How important is your faith to you?

Martha Boyer:          My faith is paramount and the center of my life. I do not take for granted the blessings in my life and give thanks constantly to God because I know He is the director of my paths and steps.

Interviewer:              Let’s talk about Willingboro. What are some of the unique things about it?

Martha Boyer:           Willingboro is unique in the layout of the community. The original developer, Abraham Levitt planned Willingboro as a community where homeowners had the ultimate suburban life. He called it a bedroom community. “A place to live, sleep and play”. The town is divided into parks. Each park originally had an elementary school, swimming pool and in some parks, playgrounds for the kids. Over the years as the demographics and household sizes have changed, some of those elementary schools have been closed but the park concept is still here.

Interviewer:              How many agents are there currently with Imani?

Martha Boyer:           There are currently 17 agents.

Interviewer:              What is the MLS and how does it work?

Martha Boyer:           The multiple listing service (MLS) is a database/tool which helps real estate Broker/Agents find cooperating brokers working with buyers to assist in selling their clients homes/properties. When a Broker receives a listing from a Seller, this listing along with factual information about the property is entered into the MLS system. The MLS assist the listing Broker by notifying the world via the internet about the property.

Interviewer:              So let’s talk about Sellers. From a Seller’s standpoint, how are buyers attracted to their property?

Martha Boyer:           Some things about real estate have not changed. Price, location and condition; not always in that order, are the most important elements when selling a home.

Interviewer:              Are there any dangers when a Seller to overprices their property?

Martha Boyer:           When a Seller overprices their home, it usually leads to a lower sale price than anticipated. A home that is on the market for more than its market value will get fewer showings. Buyers will think the Seller is not in tune with the market and will cross the home off of their list. So, the home stays on the market longer and then becomes stigmatized as a problem home.

Interviewer:              What’s the best approach to pricing a home?

Martha Boyer:           A good Realtor can guide a Seller in pricing their home. We look at similar homes (model, square footage, neighborhood) that have sold within the last six months. We look back six months because usually that’s the range that most appraisers will use to determine the home’s value.

Interviewer:              What is the role of the seller during the whole selling process?

Martha Boyer:           The Seller really has the starring role! They must make the home accessible for all showings. They must also maintain the property in a condition that is appealing to potential buyer. A good Realtor will give the Seller tips, advice and guidance on what they should and can do to make their home more appealing. Whether the recommendations are to clean the carpet, paint a room, or de-clutter.

Interviewer:              How does it make you feel when your Seller is able to sell their home and everything is closed?

Martha Boyer:           Mission accomplished. That’s the whole goal. To finish what you started. To meet, exceed the dreams, and complete the mission, which is selling the home.

Interviewer:              Is there a cost for the Seller to have an agent? How is that determined?

Martha Boyer:           The Seller pays the commission when the home is sold. Commissions are negotiable between the Seller and Broker.

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A. Ralph Thomas

A. Ralph Thomas is a Contributing Writer to Business Innovators Magazine and a Host on Business Innovators Radio covering Business Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Business Success.