The financial component of a real estate transaction is one of the main reasons buying or selling a home can be a stressful and convoluted experience. However, having a Realtor like Kazantzis Real Estate agent Brenda Engel, who has more than three decades’ experience in banking, makes the process a whole lot less daunting.
Engel – a lifelong resident of Eastern Connecticut - recently discussed how her intimate knowledge of the financial world not only made it easier to transition into a real estate career but also allows her to better help her clients on both sides of the transaction.
How does your past experience translate into the Real Estate market?
Working in banking for nearly 35 years has given me an advantage in my real estate career. I have a strong working knowledge of the entire mortgage origination process which allows me to help clients understand and interpret confusing bank jargon. Often buyers can feel overwhelmed and intimidated. I like to explain things in an easy-to-understand fashion.
What sets you apart from other Realtors?
I was a commercial loan officer for 8 years. In that capacity, I worked closely with buyers throughout the entire purchase process. I visited each property I financed in person to look for signs of deferred maintenance. I did an initial underwrite to determine that we could move forward. I analyzed the cashflow and calculated debt service coverage ratios. I reviewed appraisals thoroughly and addressed areas of concern. I worked closely with our attorneys to overcome complex obstacles. I learned a great deal in this role and I now draw on these experiences and my vast network of professional contacts to overcome any obstacle that may arise for my clients.
Those contacts and my experience recently paid dividends for buyers who had their hearts set on a beautiful home in East Lyme on the Niantic River. Before agreeing to our offer, the sellers needed a real estate attorney. It was after hours and I was able to connect the sellers with an attorney with whom I have a strong working relationship. The attorney provided the counsel necessary to move our deal ahead. Because of my banking knowledge, I was also able to work with the lender to avoid the need for a Hubbard clause, making the deal more attractive to the sellers. By digging into land trust records, I also helped the buyers resolve an unpaid mortgage on their property. The buyers have stated several times that if they were working with anyone else, they would never have been able to navigate this complex transaction and close on their new home.
What do you love most about being a Realtor?
Whether it is a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from helping make someone’s dream become a reality. I have a passion for real-estate. I enjoy seeing new properties and sharing ideas with potential buyers. I also love working with builders and investors.
What words of wisdom do you share most with prospective home buyers or sellers?
To home buyers, especially in this market, I tell them not to get discouraged. I offer suggestions on how to make their offer become among the most competitive that a seller receives. I assist by making suggestions on how to tighten up their deal to increase our odds of acceptance.
When I work with sellers, I like to remind them that we only get one chance to make a good first impression. I only use the highest quality professional photography and I often make suggestions on how we can make their home stand out.
Why did you join the Kazantzis Team?
Even before I became licensed, I reached out to Andrea to discuss joining her team. I wanted to work with the best! We have a strong team that provides tremendous resources for our Realtors. We work together for the common good and often assist each other in a variety of ways. This ensures that clients get the absolute best service.
More about Brenda:
Community Involvement: Member of The Greater Norwich Area Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a trustee for The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT.
Education: bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern Connecticut State University.