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Professionals team up to provide best real estate, financial guidance

Apr 18, 2018

When you’re buying or selling a home, odds are you’re making one of the largest transactions of your life. Naturally, you want help from professionals who know the terrain and can guide you through the challenging process. But how do you know which professionals to choose?

Who knows better than the professionals themselves? Whether they’re on the real estate side or the financial side of a home sale, they work with one another daily, so they know who to trust and who provides quality, professional service.

That’s how Jenifer Murrweiss and Jill Bartoletti came to team up on a regular basis. Murrweiss, a realtor with Re/Max Elite, and Bartoletti, a mortgage banker with Caliber Home Loans, each considers customer service to be her top priority. Both have years of experience in their respective fields, including working through the 2007-09 housing bubble and recession.

Now, with a hot housing market and historically low interest rates, they are well positioned to guide clients through any real estate transaction.

During the recession, when agents were fleeing the industry in droves, Murrweiss stepped up her game. She became a short-sale negotiator, helping “underwater” homeowners satisfy their debts and successfully sell their home.

Honing those negotiating skills over the years, the Snohomish County native today can assist clients of all generations, from seniors looking to downsize to millennials hoping to buy their first home.

She is a Master Certified Negotiator, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, Certified Short Sale Negotiator and local Homes for Heroes affiliate.

Because home sale transactions can be an emotional experience for buyers and sellers, Murrweiss is practiced at tamping down expectations and bringing a dose of reality into the process.

Boomers, for example, may be giving up the home they’ve lived in for many years, where they raised their children, where memories were made. Not only are they struggling with the idea of giving up that home, they’re also seeing what nearby homes are selling for and harboring unreasonable notions about their own home’s worth.

Millennials, on the other hand, often want a home unlike what they grew up in. They don’t want a yard. They don’t want the 1970’s era dark wood cabinets and other dated interiors.

Murrweiss has the skills and experience to help sellers get the best possible price, and to show buyers the underlying potential of homes that initially might not be their first choice.

“I like to explain to millennials, for example, about the potential in a home,” she said, “how to make it beautiful again. I show them ways to revitalize a house. They need help to see what it could be.”

Walking clients through the buying or selling process takes the stress off for everybody. And Murrweiss loves doing it.

“I work hard,” she said. That means there’s no such thing as a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday work schedule. “I’m real flexible, a go-getter, and I always follow up.

“I want clients to feel less stress, so I hustle. I’m their advocate, so I try to anticipate issues before they come up.”

That’s especially important for clients who have bought or sold homes before, and then believe – mistakenly – that they know the routine.

“Even if you sold a home once before and you think you know it all, you’ll be surprised,” she said. “Everything drastically changes, all the time.”

Government and industry rules and regulations, along with constant changes in technology and marketing tools, mean only an experienced agent who hustles can truly navigate today’s housing market.

That’s equally true on the financial side, where Bartoletti has more than 20 years experience. The Seattle native started out in operational roles, building a solid foundation in mortgage financing that serves her clients well today. She has been selected a Five Star Mortgage Professional three years running.

Bartoletti tends to be fairly conservative in her advice, ensuring clients are rarely disappointed and more often pleasantly surprised. “I try to give good advice, from new loans to re-fi’s,” she said. “Great advice fosters a long career.”

Bartoletti knows that many of her clients are going to need future assistance, whether they’re refinancing or buying another home. “I want to make sure I can help them in the future,” she said. “Trust is extremely important.”

She helps clients come to a realistic assessment of what they can afford. “Sometimes, they may need to buy a little less,” she said. “And no question goes unanswered. I hate surprises, so I try to give my clients none.”

Bartoletti has been certified to help facilitate new down payment assistance programs, including Home Advantage, Home Advantage Rebound, House Key Veterans, House Key Teachers, Home Choice and Home Key Plus Seattle.

She and Murrweiss are both adept at guiding clients to little-known opportunities today – such as the Homes for Heroes program – that may not have been in place the last time a client bought a home.

That particular program provides savings, such as gross brokerage commission rebates and loan origination fees, for people who work to make our communities safer, cleaner and better places to live, including military personnel and veterans, educators, health care professionals and other everyday heroes.

Bartoletti also is available anytime. “Our business doesn’t stop at 5,” she said. “You need to be available.”

For homeowners curious about refinancing, rates have been historically low, but they’re beginning to creep up, so there’s no better time to jump in. It’s especially attractive for longtime homeowners who bought when rates were 7 percent or higher.

“If you’re paying 7 percent, it’s time to refinance,” Bartoletti said. “It could be the last opportunity to get something under 5 percent.”

Clients like that they know their mortgage banker, and in Bartoletti’s case will be working with her throughout a transaction as well as down the road.

“With a big bank, you’re going to get a different person each time,” she said. And because bankers don’t know their clients, they’re less likely to give needed advice or guidance.

Bartoletti wants to be your mortgage banker now and in the future as well. So she’s going to get you the best possible rate, and will probably save you money on the backside as well. And she’s going to help you avoid any surprises.

“There may be bumps and hiccups along the way,” she said. “If there is that ‘oh my god moment,’ we figure out how to fix it, how to right the ship and put them back on track.”

And once those bumps are smoothed out, and a sale is back on track, Bartoletti and Murrweiss know they’ve done their job.

“That’s the best phone call to make,” Bartoletti said. “Nothing makes you feel better. That’s why I love what I do.”

Ready to make the move? You can contact Jenifer Murrweiss at Re/Max Elite at 425-422-7243 or via email Snohomishcountyhomes@hotmail.com, and Jill Bartoletti at Caliber Home Loans at 425-979-5261 or via email Jill.-Bartoletti@caliberhomeloans.com.

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