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First Time Home Buyers: Breaking Into the Market with Sonia

Tue, 24 Jun by Sonia Tarabay

If I was standing in a crowd of home buyers, I’d be able to pick out the first-time buyers every time: They’re the ones with huge smiles on their faces, and almost vibrating with excitement!

Buying your first home is one of life’s great “firsts”, and I’m always thrilled and honoured when I get to be a part of that experience. When you buy into the real estate market for the first time, you’re taking a big step forward: At the same time, you’re making a financial investment in your future, but you’re also starting the process of laying down roots and saying “this is where I belong”. It’s a brand new, exciting chapter of your life, and some of the largest smiles I’ve ever seen have been when I hand over that first set of keys on possession day!

Excited First Time Sherwood Park Home Buyers

If it’s your first time buying a home, teaming up with the right REALTOR® can make or break the experience. Not only do you need someone experienced who understand the market, but it’s important to work with a REALTOR® you like and can make a connection with. Someone who you feel comfortable spending hours, evenings, or even entire days with, driving around and looking at homes. Someone you trust to be honest with you when it’s most important, to stand up for your best interests at the negotiation table, and who shares your excitement about buying your first home.

5 Reasons You’ll Love Working with Sonia

1. REALTOR® & Mortgage Broker in One!

As both a professional REALTOR® and a licensed mortgage broker, I can literally help through the entire process, something that’s pretty rare in the industry. The world of mortgages is often one of the most confusing parts of buying your first home: Open, closed, high-ratio, fixed-rate, variable rate… how do you know where to start?

Being a mortgage broker in addition to a REALTOR® means I have a full and complete understanding of the entire buying process, which my first-time clients find invaluable. In addition to helping you pick the right home, I can also help you decide which mortgage is right for you and your financial situation, and help walk you through the pre-approval process.

2. We’ll Have Lots of Fun!

Buying your first home is exciting! And it should be! The last thing you want is to work with someone who isn’t as excited as you are about this next great chapter of your life. Real estate isn’t just a job for me, it’s one of my passions, and it’s because I love helping people have great experiences in the real estate market and being a part of that excitement. I want your first time buying and selling real estate to be a fun, positive experience that gets your life as a homeowner off to the best possible start. When you work with me get ready to have a good time: There will be lots of laughter and smiles for sure!

3. I’m a Friendly Tiger

I’m known as Sherwood Park’s real estate Tiger for good reason, but everyone who’s worked with me knows I’m a very friendly one. I pride myself on being approachable, a good listener, and I’m available for phone calls, questions, text-messages, or emails 24-7. I’m here to help you through the process of buying your first home, and if there’s something you don’t understand or aren’t sure about, you never have to worry about whether it’s a “good time” to ask. My years of experience and in-depth understanding of the real estate and mortgage industry are at your disposal, any time you need to draw from it. Whether you’ve got a question or need some advice, my door is always open.

4. I’m Always on Your Side

Remember: I’m your tiger. That means I’m always on your side and looking out for your best interests, no matter what. The thing about tigers is we’re extremely loyal: Once I’ve created a personal connection and relationship with someone I care about, I’m your steadfast supporter. I won’t let you get in over your head, try to sell you something you can’t afford or that doesn’t meet your needs, or push you into making a decision you’re not ready to make, and I’ll also stand in front of anyone else that tries to push you around. Tigers use their claws to protect the people they care about, and that’s you!

5. Friendship: Make a Relationship That Lasts

There’s a reason people want to work with me over and over again, and it’s because somewhere along the way during that first buying or selling experience, we became good friends. Part of my passion for real estate is my love of people: Meeting new people, making new friends, and creating long-lasting relationships. I’m not looking for a fast sale and a handshake, I want to get to know you! Your dreams, your plans for the future, your personality, and the lifestyle you want for your family. And you know what? By becoming friends we make an even greater REALTOR®/Client team because friends communicate openly and honestly, and they trust one another to have each other’s back.

Our relationship doesn’t end on closing day, or on possession day, or even after you’re moved in, because friendships last long after a contract is over.

Make It a Win-­Win: The REALTOR®/Client Relationship

Tue, 10 Jun by Sonia Tarabay

Sherwood Park REALTOR Sonia Tarabay with a happy clientAnyone who has met me knows how passionate I am about the work I do as a Sherwood Park REALTOR®. I chose a career in real estate years ago because I love working with people and am passionate about helping them through one of the biggest financial transactions they’ll make in their life. It’s a big responsibility, and I take it very seriously: After all, it’s not “just a home”, it’s your family’s life, their comfort, and your investment we’re talking about.

Together, we are a team, and it’s critical we work together at every step. When we do, we create a Win-­Win environment where you meet your most important real estate goals and we share success.

Communication

The REALTOR/Client relationship starts and ends with strong communication. If we’re communicating well and on the same page, then we’re both moving in the same direction. If we’re on different pages, then we’ll end up pulling against each other in a frustrating battle.

From you, I need to fully understand your motives for buying or selling, your timeframe, and your expectations.

If you’re buying a home, this means having a clear understanding of what you’re looking for in a property. If you tell me you’re looking for a small 2 bedroom house close to central amenities, then keep asking to see large 4 bedroom acreage properties a 30 minute drive away, we’re going to run into difficulties pretty quickly. Sometimes priorities change as you begin your home search: That’s perfectly normal! But it’s important to communicate this and keep me in the loop on your evolving needs and priorities. The more I know, the more help I can be.

If you’re selling a home and you’re working under a tight time limit, be upfront about it! If I know selling fast is a big priority for you, I can take that into account when pricing and marketing your home, and bring the extra hustle we need to get the deal done quickly. If, on the other hand, price is the more important factor, then together we can look at ways to improve your home’s position on the market with fresh paint, creative home staging, or any of a wide range of tried­-and-­tested strategies that have a strong return on investment.

Open, strong communication isn’t just your job: It’s mine too! As your Sherwood Park REALTOR® I will keep you updated on the state of the market, feedback from viewings, offers coming in, any red flags I note about a home we’ve viewed, and any new homes coming on the market that match your criteria. I give sellers as much notice as possible about showings because I know how disruptive they can be (especially if there are children or pets in the household), and during the negotiation process I keep you fully updated and informed.

Because I know how important communication is, I make sure you can reach me any day, any time. As my client you are my top priority: It’s important that we stay connected and keep communicating!

Trust

Sherwood Park REALTOR Sonia Tarabay with happy clientsTo be an effective team, we have to trust each other. Much like with communication, if there’s no trust in our relationship we can’t work as a team toward the same goal.

As your agent, I bring professional advice and years of experience working in the real estate industry to the team, and it’s in your best interest to trust that expertise. If I make a recommendation on how best to present your home, improve its value, or price it best for the market and your goals, I will provide you with my professional assessment and reasons for those recommendations. Remember, my goals are the same as your goals: It’s not in anyone’s best interest to recommend a strategy that would lower your ROI or make your home more difficult to sell.

As your Agent and Sherwood Park REALTOR®, I am ethically bound by duties of loyalty, of confidentiality, of full disclosure, and obedience to you as my client. As your representative throughout the buying and selling transaction, I am standing up for you every step of the way, and I will use every ounce of tiger there is in me (and there’s a lot!) to protect your interests and your investment.

I also put my trust in you. I count on you to disclose everything you know about the property, to take your decision to enter the real estate market seriously, and to communicate your needs, your opinions, and your expectations clearly every step of the way.

Communication and trust are the two foundations of an amazing REALTOR/Client relationship, one that creates a Win-­Win experience for us both. When we work together toward the same unified goal, we create amazing opportunities in the Sherwood Park real estate market!

Want to learn more about what it’s like to work with Sonia, Sherwood Park’s Real Estate Tiger? Read all about Sonia’s 5 Star Service and how she’s helped others make their real estate dreams come true.

Horse Lovers Paradise

Wed, 04 Jun by Sonia Tarabay

Strathcona County horse loversAnyone who knows me knows I love animals, so Strathcona County is an ideal place for an animal lover like me.

Did you know that Strathcona County is the Horse Capital of Canada? This is supported by a horse survey count that was done in 2011. There are more than 300,000 horses in Alberta and the largest concentration is right here in the County.

The linkages to the horse goes back quite a ways in the history of the County. The name “Strathcona” originated with Lord Strathcona’s Horse, a Royal Canadian regiment. Even today, the regiment performs in period uniform and mounted on horseback.

There is definitely something for every horse lover here and a good place to start is with the Strathcona All Breed Horse Association which offers members open riding days, education sessions and shows.

Find a Strathcona County acreageThere are many equine services in Strathcona County ranging from full service facilities just five minutes outside of Sherwood Park like Cadence Creek to massage therapist and chiropractors at Heaven’s Gait Equine Solutions. And don’t forget to check out the local podcast called Equinely-Inclined.

Once I’ve found you the perfect home in Strathcona County, you can check out Alberta Equestrian and find the club best suited to you – it might be the Cooking Lake Saddle Club, the Hastings Lake Pleasure Horse Association, the Josephburg Riding Club or the Strathcona Pony Club.

Wherever you decide to settle in the County, I know you will find the perfect place to indulge your love for the equine!

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.