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Success Stories


Diary of a frustrated apartment dweller

Dear friend,
Today is the happiest day of my life…I just moved into my new home. I’m all unpacked, I’m sitting in my favorite chair, the kids are happily playing in our new private backyard…this is the life.

First off, I want you to know why I’m writing you this letter—no, I’m not selling anything. The reason is…I feel obligated to share my story with people that were in my same situation—frustrated with apartment life and the home buying process—(dealing with real estate salespeople)

Below is how our home buying process began—it was filled with aggravation and frustration! But it ended with lots of smiles.

We did what we thought every home buyer does…Drove around neighborhoods, visited open houses and new homes, checked the newspaper and home magazines—Geez, do you think there are enough home magazines out there?

Anyway, this is where our frustrations began… If you’ve ever called a real estate salesperson to get simple information about a home, like an address or price, then you’ll probably feel a little “deja-vu” here…when we would call an salesperson…all we got were “sales pitches” and excuses. I felt like I was talking with a used car salesperson—I didn’t know who to trust.

Things changed. A friend of mine told me about CENTURY 21, Smith & Associates — I called Joe Crain and he provided me with the information I wanted and left me in control. For example, I received a list of 43 homes that met my criteria, the real estate salesperson I dealt with before told me there were only 7. Additionally, each day thereafter, I received daily updates on the homes that matched what I was looking for.

And the great thing was, when I received information about the homes that met my criteria, I could drive by them –ALONE—and when I wanted to see the inside of one that interested me, I just picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment at my convenience.

Then when I found the home of my dreams…they negotiated a great price and terms on my behalf…I got a great deal! And the best part was, even though they represented me, the whole time, I didn’t have to pay them a penny, their fees where paid by the seller. So, if your looking for an ordinary salesperson, they’re easy to find—just go pick up one of those “home magazines” (you know the ones, where 75% of the homes are already soldJ) If your looking for a consultant, who you can trust to give you all of your options and guarantee to save your money, give Joe Crain a call.

Best Wishes in your home search

2008 Cost vs. Value Report: Still Many Happy Returns for Home Rehabs

Remodeling magazine's annual report shows that maintenance-related projects and moderately priced upgrades are providing stable paybacks, even in a slower market.
By G.M. Filisko | | December 2008

Despite home price drops in many cities, remodeling projects are holding their own as a way for owners to add value.

Many people are wondering where their money will be safest during these uncertain economic times. When home owners turn to you for your expert advice, counsel them that some things never change: Investing in their home still pays off.

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® statistics show that home prices have fallen by an average of 7 percent nationally in the past year. But the value of home owners’ investment in remodeling projects has declined only 3.86 percent on average between 2007 and 2008, according to Remodeling’s 2008–2009 Cost vs. Value Report.

Remodeling produces the Cost vs. Value Report each year in cooperation with REALTOR® magazine. REALTORS® responding to a survey in midsummer said home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 67.3 percent of their investment in 30 different home improvement projects. At the height of the housing boom in 2005, home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 86.7 percent on projects.

Remodeling remains hot in 10 cities, where, on at least some projects, home owners can recover 100 percent of their costs. In Charlotte, N.C., for example, decks, midrange kitchen remodels, vinyl siding, and window-replacement projects all would net more than they cost, in respondents’ estimation. High rates of recovery were seen in both strong real estate markets and weak ones.

Many cities with the highest rates of recovery were smaller—Jackson, Miss., and Billings, Mont., for example—which may point to lower labor and materials costs that are easier to recoup.

Seattle also made the list of cities with a cost recovery of more than 100 percent on decks and minor kitchen remodels. In fact, Pacific Coast cities recorded the best payback on remodeling by a wide margin, as they did in 2007. Although construction costs on the Pacific Coast are nearly 17 percent higher than national averages, the value of renovations at resale more than makes up for those higher prices.

The result is an average cost-recouped percentage that’s 14.8 percent higher than in the rest of the country. The toughest place to get your money back: Midwestern cities such as Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee.

Top 10 Project Paybacks
Once again, exterior remodeling projects lead the way for recovery on dollars spent in this year’s Cost vs. Value survey. When you compare the national averages, replacement projects that boost curb appeal—siding, windows, and decks—give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare, at least on a national level.

1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)
2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)
3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)
4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)
5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%)
6. Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2%)
7. Midrange wood window replacement (77.7%)
8. Midrange vinyl window replacement (77.2%)
9. Upscale wood window replacement (76.5%
10. Midrange major kitchen remodel (76.0%)

CENTURY 21 Success Stories

CENTURY 21® Connections® Success Stories

Subject: ADT

CENTURY 21 Stackhouse
Name: Diane Vaini
TESTIMONIAL: My client (buyer) was able to get their ADT Security installed even though their cash was spent at closing. The peace of mind they received made me look like a hero.

CENTURY 21 Pro Corps
Name: Dana Smith
TESTIMONIAL: ADT Security – they do a good job.

CENTURY 21 Treasure coast Realty
Name: Stacy Little
TESTIMONIAL: ADT program helped save my customers money.

Subject: Airborne

CENTURY 21 Peak Performance Group
Name: Maryann Rodail
TESTIMONIAL: We are located in a rural area and Airborne has proved to be very useful as we have no other source of overnight shipping.  They are very economical and reliable.

Subject: AT&T

CENTURY 21 Golden Properties
Name: Sheryle Floyd
TESTIMONIAL: Great rates with AT&T.

Subject: AVIS

CENTURY 21 1st Place Realty
Name: Dave Flanagan
TESTIMONIAL: We use AVIS all the time and find we save time and money.

Subject: Cendant Mortgage, and Avis

CENTURY 21 Gold Star Realty
TESTIMONIAL: We’ve had great success with Cendant Mortgage, Budget and Avis. The service is professional and reliable.

Subject: Cendant Mortgage

CENTURY 21 Shell Horn
Name: Craig Benham
TESTIMONIAL: We have been able to offer quick mortgage approval to our clients through Cendant Mortgage.

CENTURY 21 1st American
Name: Eric Shrader
TESTIMONIAL: One of my wife’s co-workers purchased a 265K home with which we were working with them on financing. We put them in touch with Cendant Mortgage and he also wanted to check out our Local Lenders. A “mortgage war” ensued but each time Cendant Mortgage either beat the interest rate or matched it! And . . . after speaking to Cendant Mortgage on the phone from his office, our client walked to the front office and his fax confirmation was waiting for him. He loved it!! He has recommended Cendant Mortgage to all his friends. He was extremely impressed with the persistence, professionalism and promptness. We love it!

CENTURY 21 Action Realty
Name: Karen Mitchim
TESTIMONIAL: Cendant Mortgage saved a closing. The buyer was unhappy with the interest rate their lender had quoted. They were going to tell the home no. I called Cendant, explained the situation. Put the buyer in with Cendant and within minutes the rate was set. The buyer got their home.

CENTURY 21 Richardson & Harris
Name: Trisha Woodburn
TESTIMONIAL: Cendant Mortgage is a fantastic way to get quick mortgage results for my clients.

CENTURY 21 American Homes
Name: Angie Williams
TESTIMONIAL: Using Cendant Mortgage has helped me to make Masters this year.

CENTURY 21 Hudspeth Properties
Name: Johnsie Hudspeth
TESTIMONIAL: Cendant Mortgage is great! My clients have been fully satisfied!

CENTURY 21 Consolidated
Name: Eileen Kraemer
TESTIMONIAL: What a great service to offer to our clients. North American Van Lines and Public Storage have been tremendous for their moving needs. Oakwood Temporary Housing, CENTURY 21 Mortgage (best price) and the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan have been such a successful added value.

CENTURY 21 Heritage Realty
Name: Tim Parsons
TESTIMONIAL: I have been providing my customers with Cendant Mortgage in which everyone has appreciated the great service.

CENTURY 21 Newport Realty
Name: Angie Joyce
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Connections Program offerings are of professional quality and I feel confident using them.

Subject: C21HPP, Cendant Mortgage

CENTURY 21 Maselle & Associates
TESTIMONIAL: The clients I have worked with have been very impressed with our CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan, Cendant Mortgage is offers fast service with a great deal of professionalism.

CENTURY 21 Westover Realty Inc.
Name: Rawlin Westover
TESTIMONIAL: I have used Cendant Mortgage and the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan extensively and had great success with both.

CENTURY 21 John C. Thomas Realty, Inc.
Name: Laurie C. Laventhall
TESTIMONIAL: Cendant Mortgage has made it so easy for me to establish a strong bond with my new buyers. Their speedy feedback and cooperation has enabled me to increase my productivity. I know that I have do not have any worries about closing a Cendant Mortgage deal.

CENTURY 21 Westover Realty Inc.
Name: Rawlin Westover
TESTIMONIAL: I have used Cendant Mortgage and the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan extensively and had great success with both.

Subject: CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan

CENTURY 21 Network Richmond Associates
Name: Janice Richmond
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan is particularly helpful in servicing a listing from the senior population. It has helped me create a trusting relationship and ultimately a listing sale and referrals

CENTURY 21 Alliance
Name: Kathy Opperman
TESTIMONIAL: We’re #5 in US for selling the most homes warranties. We pride ourselves in giving our buyers & sellers peace of mind.

CENTURY 21 Alliance
Name: Sherri Jessea
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan is great! It has benefited my customers tremendously.

CENTURY 21 Our Town Realty
Name: Rose Terrizzi
TESTIMONIAL: AON Home Warranty has been a great benefit to close deals.
Subject: Connections Program

CENTURY 21 Gaylaxey, Inc
Name: Gayle Betz
TESTIMONIAL: I have use the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan have always had very satisfied customers.

CENTURY 21 Our Town Realty
Name: Carol Smith
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan through Aon Home Warranty has been a great marketing tool for me.

CENTURY 21 Les Ryan Realty
Name: Glen Simmons
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan is a valuable asset in listing a home as well as providing it for your buyer. New buyers seldom call me after close when something goes wrong with the home.

CENTURY 21 Across Atlanta
Name: Mary Colson
TESTIMONIAL: My customers/clients love the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan. In the last 3 months they have replaced refrigerators & furnaces. Thanks!!

CENTURY 21 of Bartlesville
Name: Pat Schafer
TESTIMONIAL: My clients and I love the CENTURY 21 Home Protection Plan. The program is excellent. It also gives us a competitive edge.

Subject: Hotel discounts

CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Co
Name: Melinda Jordan
TESTIMONIAL: I recently sold a home as the listing agent. The buyers’ Mortgage Co. could not fund before the weekend. We offered the coupon for nearby hotels to the buyer and offered to take care of the rest to help her till Monday. She was thrilled. Thank you!

Subject: North American Van Lines

CENTURY 21 New Horizon
Name: Bill Ragusa
TESTIMONIAL: The CENTURY 21 Connections Program was helpful in providing excellent moving services (North American Van Lines) for a relocation client moving to Seattle, moving from Maryland.

Subject: Oakwood

CENTURY 21 Professional Group
Name: Libbky Tomkyn
TESTIMONIAL: Oakwood services a very difficult client; he had 2 sheepdogs!

CENTURY 21 Investment Realty
Name: Pat Tucker
TESTIMONIAL: I have used Oakwood Rentals for several people moving into the area. They were happy and the $40.00 referral made us happy!!! Cendant Phone-In, Move-In is a great way to qualify our buyers. We love it!

Subject: Connections Program

CENTURY 21 Consolidated
Name: Christine Moors
TESTIMONIAL: I love the services! We are able to supply our clients with tons of great programs. It allows us to stand out in a crowd from other agents in the field. It’s outstanding!

CENTURY 21 Executive Northwest
Name: Wanda Nickell
I have been with the CENTURY 21 system for over 20 years and have always been proud of the services available through CENTURY 21. However, the Connections program is by far one of the most well-received and useful programs we have offered. I have used it with both sellers and buyers and without fail. They have appreciated not having to call for their own utility services. I have had comments about how much time and aggravation was saved by someone else taking care of the connections and disconnecting of those services. I think it really gives me an edge on my competitors.

CENTURY 21 Executive Northwest
Name: Jenny Moraitis
Last month the Kowalski, were brought back to the USA from London by their Company. They had been there for several years and had no contacts in the USA. They used Connections for all their utilities. The Kowalskis could not believe how smooth it made their return. So much of the aggravation was saved by someone else taking care of the connecting services. Thank you Connections.

CENTURY 21 Executive Northwest
Name: Jenny Moraitis
The Connections program is by far one of the most well-received and useful programs we have offered. Last November the Bledsoes purchased a home in Houston, however they are not moving from Louisiana until early next year.  Connections turned on all utilities in a very efficient manner and they said it definitely simplified the process tremendously. Thanks Connections.

CENTURY 21 Consolidated
Name: Christine Marrs
TESTIMONIAL: I love the services we’re able to supply our clientele. It allows us to stand out in a crowd from other agents in the field. The program is outstanding!!

CENTURY 21 Landmark Properties
Name: Linda Hannah
TESTIMONIAL: The Connections Program surely made the move easier for my clients.