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real estate

Broker Advises Appraising Before Listing

When a man with a broken nose walked into the doctor’s office where Peg Koellmer worked as a nurse, she had no idea that he would become her husband.  Nor that marrying him would lead her to buy a small family-owned real estate company just as the housing market fell apart.

Peg is a woman who thrives on having lots of irons in the fire.  Apart from her long hours orchestrating the moves of the twenty-four agents at Wilton’s Realty Seven , her new business, she also finds time to sit on the boards of the Wilton Kiwanis and Chamber of Commerce, and she’s the Commissioner for Social Services for her town.  Not to mention President of Trackside, Wilton’s Teen Center.  “I really love to work,” she says, adding that traveling is what she does for relaxation.  “My sister and I are planning a trip to Hungary and the Czech Republic.”

“ My husband, Rick, and his father were builders, so it made sense for me to get my real estate license.” she explains.  “I got my license in 1989, the year my youngest, Steve was born.  Doug was 7 and Laura was 4, but I managed to juggle it all.  Even back then I knew that what I really wanted was to own my own real estate firm.”  She just hadn’t planned on the market crashing around her as she moved into the boss’s chair.  “People thought I was crazy, buying a real estate company in 2008, but I learned early on to manage on a tight budget.  I’ll never be hit hard because I came in at a tough time,” she adds.

Peg has a thorough understanding of what is happening in the housing market.  “We had double digit growth every year.  That was an unsustainable situation and now we are going through a correction which will ultimately be healthier for our economy,” she says.

“One thing that surprises buyers and sellers is the change in the way that appraisers operate,” she says.  “They’re no longer allowed to know the agreed sale price on a house in advance --  and many homes are appraising at less than that price.”  This means that banks are not willing to provide a large enough loan to buyers.  She advises sellers to have their home appraised before they list it in order to post a more realistic sale price.

“I’m very positive about my business,” she says, “We’ve had our correction, we’re close to the bottom, rates are good.  All we’re missing is confidence – and I think that will come back in the spring.”

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