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Coldwell Banker Teams up with Adopt-A-Pet to find new homes... You'll love our newest commercial... 



Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty aquired by Coldwell Banker Schmidt

Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty with 16 offices and 300 associates in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio has merged with Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies.

We believe this is a great opportunity for our West and Northern Michigan offices as this part of Ohio is a "feeder" market to our Michigan offices for vacation and retirement homes. We expect our agents and their sellers will see more business as we promote the beautiful Michigan communities where we operate.

We are very familiar with Coldwell Banker Hunter as we have participated with them in a business-networking group of the top Coldwell Companies nationally for many years. We will continue to use the DBA Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in Cleveland.

Cleveland and NE Ohio are recovering very nicely from the recession with a lot of business growth and a growing economy. We see great growth opportunities.

Hunter is well established in the market and has a great management team in place.

With this acquisition, Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family of Companies includes 65 offices with 1,100 plus associates operating out of Michigan, SW Florida and NE Ohio. Closed sales volume is over $2 Billion Dollars on 14,000 plus closed sales and listings.

January 5, 2015




Rafid Fadul, a doctor and real estate investor calls Cleveland "a perfect city"

By Michelle Jarboe McFee, The Plain Dealer 

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Rafid Fadul chased a woman and a medical job to Cleveland three years ago. Things with the woman didn't pan out. After spending a few years at the Cleveland Clinic, he left to run his own business.

But he's steadfastly committed to Cleveland.

Fadul, a doctor who specializes in pulmonary critical care, is chief medical officer for a company called Community Intensivists. He's also a real estate investor.

In 2013, he bought a building on the Superior Viaduct in the Flats. Since acquiring that property, perhaps best known as the home of the nonprofit Spaces art gallery, he's purchased the nearby Tenk Machine building on Center Street and snapped up smaller properties in the Ohio City and Larchmere neighborhoods.

He recently won state tax credits to help with the preservation and redevelopment of the Spaces building, set to become 11 apartments over four retail spaces and parking. His plans for the Tenk property are less resolved, but they might include clustering artisans, craftspeople, small-scale manufacturers and distillers in the former factory complex.

Fadul is part of a dedicated group of young dreamers, entrepreneurs and real estate investors reshaping urban neighborhoods one storefront at a time. They're not amassing hundreds of millions of dollars, hiring thousands of people or buying up chunks of downtown. Instead, they're reviving long-overlooked buildings, cultivating start-up retailers and tackling small-scale projects that bigger, better-known developers wouldn't touch.

"This is like the future of Cleveland and the future of cities in general," said Tracey Nichols, who leads the city's economic development department. "It's all about these young entrepreneurs who are coming in, and they don't take 'no' for an answer. ... They want to change the world. Change everything. Change City Hall."

Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, who represents much of downtown and slices of the near-West Side, rattles off a long list of names when asked about passionate young people who are doggedly pursuing urban-development dreams.

Spaces Superior ViaductView full sizeRafid Fadul acquired the Hubbard Cooke Building on the Superior Viaduct in late 2013 and aims to redevelop the property with retail on the first floor and apartments upstairs. Spaces, a nonprofit art gallery, plans to move.Lynn Ischay, Plain Dealer file 

There are the Oberlin College graduates who turned a dilapidated creamery building in Tremont into an apartment complex, with a gym and offices downstairs. There's the Ohio City cadre that pushed to bring bicycle-sharing to Cleveland, in a pilot project that could expand from 10 bikes to more than 50 in the spring. And there's a new breed of artisan, convinced that there's still a place for hand-hewn goods and local provenance in a city once known for its manufacturing clout.

"I think, for so long, it was difficult for young people to get a seat at the table," Nichols said. "Now, they're creating their own table."

Fadul was born in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, to a family from Iraq. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and traversed other major cities before finding himself in the Midwest. His out-of-town friends scoff, but he doesn't plan to leave.

"In my mind, there's nothing that does not make this a perfect city," said Fadul, who is 33 and lives in the Stonebridge complex in the Flats. "I've lived in every cool town that everyone wants to live in. I've lived in London. I've lived in Paris. I've lived in New York. I've lived in Miami. Those are all awesome places, but I love Cleveland."

Here are excerpts from a recent conversation with Fadul, one of The Plain Dealer's up-and-coming businesspeople who bear watching in 2015:

Q: What is it about Cleveland that appeals to you?

A: I've got this theory about Cleveland. Just go with me on this. You know in the movies when the girl, she's got bad acne and really thick glasses and a terrible haircut. And then she dyes her hair, gets Lasik and her acne clears and all of a sudden she's gorgeous. But she's got so much personality and doesn't realize she's like this beautiful thing. The ugly-duckling syndrome? Cleveland's that ugly duckling.

You guys don't realize how awesome this town is. I think there's a lot of value here. But more importantly, I think there's a lot of potential.

You want a place where you can afford a normal life, where you're not living in a shoebox like I was when I was in New York. You want a place where you can raise a family, where you can trust your neighbors. You get that here.

When I came here, I came here by myself. I work long, miserable hours. There's a guy that I worked with, and he's got this beautiful family. Him and his wife and his two amazing little daughters. This guy adopted me basically. The number of people who would do that here is a lot higher, I think, in proportion to the East Coast. The people here are very good. The quality of life is very good. There's no miserable traffic.

Q: You're taking on older buildings and smaller projects that a lot of seasoned developers might not touch. Why?

A: They're love projects. This is not saying anything bad about big developers. That's their core competency, so they have to extract blood from every stone. I don't need to do that. I make my living elsewhere. For me this is just, I love to invest in the area and watch it. How awesome is that? You walk out in the morning and you sit here and have your coffee, how can you not smile and be happy? You've created a positive change in the neighborhood, and it has ripple effects.

Q: What does Cleveland need to do to keep young investors and entrepreneurs like you here?

A: I don't think anyone is looking for a handout, but we have voiced frustration to each other and vented to each other about the fact that the process is murky. For it to be streamlined and to become a little more efficient so that it makes it easier to work with the city and get stuff done, it would be a dream. The permits and getting through certain committees, it can be challenging. And a lot of the time, it's not transparent. The system should work for the person who's quiet, who doesn't say a word and just wants to get their business done. It shouldn't only work for the people who are connected and can schmooze their way in.

Just tell me what I've got to do, then step aside and let me do it.

Q: What do you do for recreation, when you're not on call?

A: My recreation is my son. I have a 6-year-old. He is my world. As much as I love all this, taking the challenge of the buildings, and I love my work, he's the coolest kid in the world.

Q: What's coming up for you in 2015?


A: We have a couple things in the pipeline. There are a couple areas I really like, real-estate wise. I really want to push the needle on the Flats thing. I'm committed to that area, I really want to see it blossom and prosper. (Entrepreneur Justin Carson) and I are looking at a couple things over in his area on Lorain Avenue. I like Larchmere a lot. It's got a lot of potential. The bones are there. It's got good housing stock. It's got good restaurants. Its two minutes from the Clinic. I'd like to get more involved in that area, as well. I've got a couple interesting collaborations in the pipeline. That's the other thing: It's good to work with fun people.


Newest Feature allows Sellers more control over their marketing



Just Listed in Shaker Heights - Malvern Neighborhood - Extensive, smart renovations give this Century home a new feel...



Ohio Heroes Product –Ohio Housing Finance Agency

Visit: Ohio Housing Finance Agency - Heroes

Ohio heroes make a difference in our lives by working hard in critical jobs every day. Through OHFA's Ohio Heroes product Ohio's heroes can receive all the benefits of our First-Time Home buyer program at a .25%lower interest rate.

Do I Qualify?

The Ohio Heroes product is available to the following full-time employees who are:

  • Active Military, Active Reserve, or a Veteran – Qualified Active Duty Service personnel include Armed Services or Reserve Forces. Qualified veterans include military members honorably discharged from any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics – Sworn paid members of a fire department whose regular duties include fire suppression or prevention, emergency medical response, hazardous materials response.
  • Health Care Workers – Certified, accredited, or licensed health care workers who are employed full-time as a medical resident or fellow, dental hygienist, nurse, nursing assistant, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, physician’s assistant, medical technician, technologist, or therapist.
  • Police Officers – Individuals commissioned as a police officer by a federal, state, county, or municipal or township government, or a public or private college or university; must be sworn to uphold, and make arrests for violations of federal, state, county, municipal, or township law or respond to terrorism.
  • Teachers – Individuals employed full-time by an accredited or state recognized public school, private school, or federal, state, county, or municipal educational agency as a state-certified classroom teacher or administrator in grades K-12 or higher education. Full-time instructors must teach a minimum of 12 credit hours per academic term. License and paystub from education facility required to validate credentials.

Applicants for the Ohio Heroes product must:

  • Meet OHFA's income and purchase price limits. The limits vary by county.  Cuyahoga County limits on income range from $62,600 to $87,640 and limits on purchase price range from $247,000-$337,000.
  • Be a first-time home buyer—someone who has not owned or had an ownership interest in his/her principal residence in the last three years. Not a first-time home buyer?
  • Be creditworthy. Minimum credit scores may apply.
  • Have a signed Purchase and Sales Agreement for a qualifying property.
  • Qualify for the loan being requested. Lenders will assess your ability to afford a home by considering income, assets, job stability, liabilities, and other criteria.

Loan Features

  • Available to any qualified home buyer
  • For new or existing homes
  • Competitive market, 30-year fixed interest rate
  • Flexible rate options
  • Available in all 88 Ohio counties
  • Generous purchase price and income limits

Down Payment Assistance

If you need or want assistance with your down payment and closing costs, OHFA offers Down Payment Assistance that can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Contact Information:

Contact Jennifer R. Burke at 216-905-8240 or via email at I can guide you through the home buying process and put you in touch with qualified lenders to answer any questions you may have regarding OHFA's Ohio Heroes product.



April 1, 2014

Don't Be Fooled By FSBO Myths...

By Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist

It’s April Fool’s Day, so naturally everything you hear today will be questioned about its truth.  I’m here to set the record straight about a particular four letter word that gets us people in the real estate industry a bit frazzled – FSBO.    Thinking about putting your home on the market for sale by owner?  Before any impulsive decisions are made, get educated on the facts that debunk the myths.  When it comes to selling your home do you really want to look like a fool?

Myth #1: FSBO puts more cash in the seller’s wallet at the end of the day

Truth: Okay, so this is a reasonable initial assumption, but take a look at the bigger picture.  While you may save some money on Realtor fees, you will likely not get the full value for your home.  A licensed Realtor has knowledge of your community, competition in the area and prospective buyers to offer a realistic picture of where your home should be priced to sell.  Additionally, they will negotiate offers for you to ensure that you are happy with the outcome.  According to NAR, the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 among agent-assisted home sales.

Myth #2The rise of the Internet has made it easy for any individual to list and market their home

Truth: Sure, anyone can throw information about their house on a website or social media, however this alone doesn’t cut it.  Today’s Realtors are expanding their networks to thousands of previous clients and referrals through social networking sites and eMarketing campaigns, but they also have the resources to develop professional printed materials with quality photographs of your home.  Also, don’t underestimate the value of a brokerage’s internal network.  Word of mouth between two Realtors can be all you need to pull off a sale.

Myth #3: Selling your home isn’t THAT time consuming

Truth: One missed call, text or email can be detrimental to the sale of your home.  Realtors alleviate the stress and time commitment involved to show your home as much as possible to make sure that you are getting as many offers as possible.  Diligent follow up is essential and your Realtor will also be sure to provide feedback from each showing so that you will know how your home is being perceived and what may need to be tweaked to get your home sold faster and for the highest amount possible.







Why Cleveland, Ohio Is Making Headlines

By Dr. Ronald Berkman/Cleveland State University

Huffington Post 3/27/14


Forbes recently included Cleveland among the 15 U.S. cities with emerging downtowns. The New York Post said, "Cleveland is seeing a revival." Fortune Magazine went so far as to call Cleveland a "new Brooklyn," comparing three of our trendiest neighborhoods to Williamsburg.

I appreciated Cleveland State student Evan Schultz's reaction to this label: "I think that Cleveland more or less wants to be its own kind of place. I don't think they want to be another Brooklyn ... They just want to be Cleveland."

Make no mistake: Cleveland wants to be a different Cleveland. Even the most ardent Cleveland naysayers no longer deny that there's a renaissance emanating from downtown. This is a city that is reinventing and reimaging for the future.

I believe this renaissance is occurring in large part because of our city's existing strong foundation: an industry base in health care -- including some of our nation's best hospitals -- and advanced manufacturing; a vibrant arts and culture scene; and the presence of many large companies, such as KeyBank, Sherwin-Williams, Lubrizol, and Progressive, headquartered in Northeast Ohio.

It's projected that between 2011 and 2022, there will be 150,000 new jobs in Cleveland. That means that in 2022, employment in Cleveland will be at a 20-year high with an estimated 2.57 million workers.

Cleveland is uniquely positioned for significant economic growth. It is an exciting time for all of us to be in Cleveland, particularly for an urban institution like Cleveland State.

But what role do we play in our city's transformation? We are an active and engaged partner.

Partnership is our chosen path to engagement. The University partners with a distinct purpose: to strengthen our city and our communities, and, in doing so, create unparalleled opportunities for our students.

One of our partners, Parker Hannifin, is itself a case study in reinvention. In recent years, the biomechanics and engineering technology company has begun to apply decades of knowledge to a wholly new area of study: human motion and control.

In July 2013, Parker Hannifin funded the creation of a Laboratory for Human Motion and Control at Cleveland State, where three of our renowned engineering faculty -- Antonie van Bogert, Hanz Richter, and Dan Simon -- are focused on assistive technology. In collaboration with Parker Hannifin, these faculty members are developing a prosthetic leg that emulates the gait of an able-bodied person. Their hope is to create a prosthesis that can react in the same way as muscles in a normal limb.

The laboratory space features a large, state-of-the-art treadmill which has the capacity to provide a detailed X-ray-like picture of muscle function. This powerful technology is breaking new ground in sophisticated analytics of motion control -- right here on our campus. The laboratory is a tremendous learning environment for our students, who are on the frontlines of revolutionary research that has a direct application. This experience is invaluable.

Another such partner is PlayhouseSquare, the second largest performing arts center in the United States. Cleveland State created an Arts Campus in PlayhouseSquare, bringing together our theatre, dance, and art departments in a central hub. Students pursuing their passion for the arts have an unprecedented opportunity to do so alongside seasoned professionals at the Allen Theatre, which boasts three state-of-the-art performance venues.

I could also point to the Partnership for Urban Health, a collaborative effort between Cleveland State and Northeast Ohio Medical University. We believe that in order to meet the critical healthcare needs within our urban communities, we need to better train our future physicians in the communities they will one day serve. Through this partnership, Cleveland State students have a direct pathway to medical school beginning as early as their undergraduate sophomore year.

We are fortunate to have many, many partners in Northeast Ohio.

Now, more than ever before, urban institutions like Cleveland State must turn outward. We must be worthy partners and good neighbors in order to provide essential learning opportunities to our students. I believe this is what defines Cleveland State University -- our ability to work with and engage with our city.

We are an urban university that is in and of the thriving city of Cleveland. It is impossible to point to where the university ends and the city begins -- and that's how we want it to be.





SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014



Bring your family, friends and business associates out to a great event to support a great cause! Proceeds from the event will go Akron Children's Hospital for support of the "Child Life Services" to provide the tools to help young patients get through difficult medical procedures.


For tickets contact Barry Shaffer at 330-620-3547
For Sponsorships, contact Ed Dolinsky at 216-469-8754
Or contact your local Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty Professional.



February 3, 2014


January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!


Now is not too soon to know what it will take to sell this year.

I understand the true value of your home is measured in memories you've made there. But when it's time to sell, understanding the market value of your house is essential as well as knowing what you'll need to do to prepare your home for the market.

January is when many buyers begin to search. 

As an area expert, I can provide you with an analysis, consult with you regarding staging your home and explain how factors like location and future development affect the price you can command. 

Once your house is on the market, you can rely on me to help you find a new home to build lasting memories.

To assess your options, give me a call to schedule an appointment.



December 1, 2013

November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day

My most memorable sale came from a Senior Veteran in his 70s... it was just a few years ago.  His first call to me went something like this "My credit is bad.  I cannot get a home loan because I do not work.  I am disabled and on social security but I have a small amount of cash I saved and I want to buy a house.  I've called so many Realtors and no one will help me."
I wasn't surprised at that... my reaction might have been the same if I didn't truly believe in what I do everyday.  I continued to talk to him about his circumstances hoping there was some way I could help.  I asked, "Why is it so important to buy a house now after all these years?"
His response was something like this... "My son has been taking care of me for the last ten years.  Recently, his landlord went into foreclosure and now we're losing the rental we live in.  I'm dying and so it's important for me to buy my son and his family a house so that I can take care of him after I am gone just like he's taken care of me and the reason why I'm still alive."
When I first met him, he proudly wore his hat and vest full of all the pins of a true veteran.  We found the perfect home for less than $30,000 in Newburgh Heights.  It was a huge, classic colonial that once was the residence of the city Mayor.  It needed a lot of cosmetic work but it was solid.  
I stopped by last week to see what they've done to it over the past few years and wow, it's the epitome of "Home"... and the proudest man of the house is the man in his wheelchair.  While he thanks me over and over for answering my phone and helping him achieve this dream, I can't help but be even more grateful for how he has inspired me as a Veteran and as a Father.  To think, I got paid to be blessed with that experience.



September 30, 2013


July 20, 2013

Combining The Old with The New... Real Estate Vets vs. Technology


Agent Business Coaching Tips:   Combining The Old & The New… Real Estate Vets Vs. Technology

By: Jennifer R. Burke, REALTOR® & Business Coach


I’m fortunate to be in a profession that still considers me young.  When I was hired into the industry, it was specifically for my technology skills.  Technology back in the early 2000s was expected to become big in the real estate business and they were right.

Being a business coach and networking with agents young and old throughout the area and country, I am asked quite often what I believe makes the difference with regard to technology.  There’s so much to learn and so many items hitting our marketplaces every day… “What should I learn now and what can I save for later?”

Another mind blowing moment that I see occasionally is when I come across a Real Estate Veteran who is down because they think technology has forced them to the back of the class.  Little do they realize, with just a bit of determination in learning technology, they’ll wipe out any new car on the road today.

I love technology without a doubt.  I’ve seen our industry grow from a DOS system with actual books that were stacked above the computers listing hundreds of homes… to a super-fast multiple listing service that now delivers the ability to share listings on social media.  I can literally sit at the beach with my kids, spend quality time with them and occasionally pull out my iPad to negotiate an offer.  I can work until midnight, design the coolest videos for my listings that my clients can watch on their mobile phones and even take a picture of a document and turn it into a PDF straight from my iPhone during an appointment.  A client can send me a listing that they want more information on and Siri can easily give me all the details and property history, never requiring me to take my eye off the road.  I can even print documents in my office while I’m miles away for my assistant to file or distribute.  My buyer clients can drive around neighborhoods and click a button on my app to see everything that’s available around them and immediately send that listing to me if they’d like to see it.  Technology in this industry gets better and better every day. 

I even have programs that relieve clients of hours of research to find their perfect neighborhoods… and one that analyzes their visions and matches homes that fit their dreams… We have it all.

But… even though thousands of dollars go into creating all this tech stuff and hundreds of hours go by learning the great tools at our fingertips… that’s not the most important reason why people hire me.  They hire me for the knowledge of the industry, my reputation and my personal customer service.  Those skills are, by far, my most valuable assets to offer my clients.

Teaching those skills has become somewhat of a lost art in our industry.  Simply put, they cannot be taught.  They come with experience.  These skills are more important than any iPad, iPhone, Android or tablet… more important than any program that was ever designed on a digital platform.

Though I have the latest and most innovative technology at my fingertips, I am wise enough to know that my most valuable tools come from the team members I’ve learned from over the years – the Real Estate Veterans.  They understand the importance of answering calls quickly.  They’ve mastered the art of not just listening to what clients are saying, but what they are NOT saying.  When there is a bump in the road, such as an appraisal too low or an inspection uncovering disconcerting repairs, these Veterans know how to persevere and guide their clients in the right direction and will go out of their way to ensure stress levels are kept at a minimum by being patient, confident, attentive, understanding and comforting.

It’s quite an amazing phenomenon.  These Veterans can take a page full of notes while sitting with a buyer-client during an initial consultation, go over to the computer, find five or six homes that closely match what the client is looking for, and inevitably sell them almost exactly what they want without the client ever having to browse through the 900 listings that other agents will simply send and say “have at it.”

These Veterans do not just send an email or text when a big issue arises, instead, they pick up the phone and either explain it personally or schedule an appointment to sit down with their clients to make sure the process is understood and all questions are answered.  They give their time with lots of care, concern and attention to detail.  Imagine that.

There are even Veteran agents who will call me personally when they list a home close to one of my active listings.  They want to make sure that they’ve PERSONALLY reached out to me to invite me over for the Broker’s open or just to tell me about how the home compares to mine.  I always think to myself, “That Seller must be so impressed!”   They didn’t just post it in the Multiple Listing Service, but they took time out of their busy schedule to deliver exceptional customer service.  They’re giving their best.


I remember a 40 year Veteran explaining to me her “Golden Box System.”  She had a golden box with index cards listing her clients’ contact information and brief descriptions of when she last spoke to them.  She would call her clients every 2-3 months just to catch up on life and real estate.  She was making phone calls every day and the referrals always fell into her lap.  I may love, live and breathe technology, but you better believe I have a Golden Box!  A phone call and personal note beat out any text or email message I send when it comes to a ‘personal touch.’ 

My best advice to any agents building their business or new agents just fresh in the business – take a back seat and watch the Veterans work.   Develop the customer service skills first and foremost, then learn the technology that will help you deliver the excellent customer service your clients desire.  That’s where you’ll find the edge over the agents who think they have it all.    The Real Estate Veterans today have proven that you can list and sell homes successfully by delivering excellent customer service even today without today’s technology but you cannot provide exceptional customer service with just technology.  Technology should be an enhancement to the experience you deliver and there are no better teachers than the Veterans in your office. 


May 26, 2013

Restored Barn in Aurora, OH hits the market... 

This Home Defines Unique! Well Maintained & Pristine! As if someone waved a magic wand and turned this old, historic cedar barn into outstanding timeless character located on 1.5 open, level acres in Aurora. The layout features high, vaulted ceilings with the original beams, recessed and track lighting and a spacious open floor plan full of bright, natural daylight. Stone fireplace in the open living room with a front office area/bonus space. Updated & Spacious open country kitchen with center island and all appliances. Family Room and office addition make for impressive entertaining with deck just outside. Office can be 4th bedroom. 1st Flr Laundry. Finished Rec Room in basement. Large Breezeway with storage. Third bedroom with study. Many updates over the past ten+ years include roof, windows, basement finished (2 years ago), freshly painted inside & out. New carpeting 2012. Move-in ready. Beautifully landscaped! Minutes to I-480 and lots of shopping (outlet mall)



May 3, 2013


Jenn’s Tips on Staging Your Home For Sale…

The first step in staging your home is to ‘mentally’ move out!  Detach yourself from all emotions you have in the home and take a business approach.  Easy, right?  We want to sell a product that happens to be one of your biggest investments, therefore, spending the time and energy to appeal to buyers who will move in is your best approach.

De-clutter- Buyers are not coming to your home to see what College you went to, how many children you have or what you do to pass time.  They are coming to envision themselves in the home.  So start packing away all of the personal items because, after all, you are moving…

Clean & Organize- a clean, neat and crisp home is the sign of a well-maintained home and gives buyers the fresh feeling – a good feeling.  Wash down the baseboards, the walls, the windows, dust, shine up the door knobs, wipe down the cabinets… you get the picture.  A full Spring Cleaning is encouraged.  Also, organize the drawers and closets and pack away all the clothes you're saving for a day you’ll look good in them.  The more closet and drawer space, the better the appearance of ‘storage’ possibilities.

Neutralizing- wall paper is pretty… but it’s also a popular negotiating tool for buyers. Buyers today are looking for neutral wall colors and floor colors.  Brightening up the neutral colors with items that are ‘ move-able’ such as decorative kitchen or bath towels or throws and rugs are encouraged.

Curb Appeal- fine tune the landscaping, shape the bushes, power wash the exterior and/or decks and porches, clean the driveway and have the lawn cut.  Not only is the ‘pull up’ impression for Buyers important but Buyers do buy to impress their family and friends who will be driving by to see what the house looks like before title transfer. 

Remove smells- pets are wonderful yet, homes with pet smells have a tough time on the market.  That doesn’t mean that they have to go… but there are some sprays that will neutralize the odors.  The same goes for smoking or moisture related odors.  Regular scent sprays and candles are nice, but they do not always hide the smells- the smell is usually still there compounded with artificial scents.  It’s always best to eliminate the cause of the odor.  Neutralizing sprays and air cleaners can be your best bet.

Furniture- Arrange furniture so that there is a smooth flow through the home.  The more wall and floor space that appears, the better.  This gives Buyers an open and spacious feeling.  Grandpa’s old rocking recliner should take a trip to storage while your home is on the market as well as any other furniture like the nice wood cabinet that the puppy chewed up at the bottom. If it doesn’t look like you purchased it in the past year, you may want to restore it or send it to storage.

The Kitchen- it’s no secret that the majority of today’s buyers are looking for updated kitchens and baths.  They’ve watched all the home decorating shows on tv.  If you can replace old cabinets and counter tops, it can result in a quicker sale but if you don’t have the budget, there are some ways to work on this without breaking the bank.  New light fixtures, faucets, back splashes and cabinet hardware can compliment freshly painted old cabinets very well.  Take down the magnets and photos on the fridge and put away the coffee pot, toaster and the pile of mail sitting on the counter.  The more counter space that appears, the better.

Following these 8 staging tips can save you thousands of dollars when your home sells.  

Jennifer R. Burke, REALTOR® - Direct: (216) 905-8240

Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty


May 2, 2013


The RealTrends Top 500 was released yesterday and once again Coldwell Banker stands tall!

The 54 Coldwell Banker affiliated companies on the list registered a whopping 23% of the total sales dollar volume of all firms in the ranking, an incredible 130% higher than our nearest competitor. And when you look at sides, we dominate there too with 20% of all activity and a 63% advantage over the nearest brand. 

The Coldwell Banker average sales price was 10.3% higher than the RealTrends average!

We salute the following Coldwell Banker affiliated companies for their ranking as a RealTrends Top 500 company:


April 15, 2013

View the Coldwell Banker Previews Spring/Summer 2013 Edition Here - Luxury Homes


April 3, 2013

PARSIPPANY, N.J. (April 3, 2012) – Look out 90210; a new ZIP code in Aspen, Colo., is making California-sized waves. Today, Coldwell Banker Previews International,®   the Coldwell Banker brand’s luxury real estate marketing program, released its Luxury Market Report, providing a snapshot of luxury markets from January through December 2012. The report, which focused on the value of luxury real estate in today’s market, found that outside of New York City, the exclusive Beverly Hills ZIP code, 90210, had the most luxury real estate sales over $10 million last year (21), with ZIP code 81611 in Aspen following closely behind (16). The Montecito, Calif., ZIP code 93108 came in third with 15 sales for ultra-luxury homes priced $10 million and up followed by 90077 in Bel Air, Calif. (10).

“The activity we are seeing for trophy home sales speaks volumes about the value of these markets,” said Budge Huskey, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “While California and New York may lead in $10 million and above sales, areas such as Aspen continue to appeal more and more to high-end buyers, with its gorgeous architecture, landscape and lifestyle. Overall, the luxury real estate market is doing incredibly well, giving us many markets to watch.”

Posted by - Visit Full Article Here.


March 5, 2013


Coldwell Banker/Realogy, The Nation’s Leading Real Estate Brand & Among The Strongest Voices for the Real Estate Industry on Capitol Hill, Prepares To Take Action In Ohio.


It’s no secret that Real Estate here in Ohio is just getting back on track, but we’re not there yet.  Many sellers are still reluctant to sell because of the decline in values.  With the new proposed 5% sales tax on many real estate services, this added expense may end up doing more damage than good for the real estate industry and for many homeowners who are already realizing losses.  Sure, the proposals include tax cuts and reductions intended to offset; however, what good are those cuts and reductions if the market declines further?  Would this force more Sellers to keep their homes off the market or force more owners into short sale situations?  Would it force buyer’s to pay more for properties and closing costs?  While I understand Ohio’s needs to get the budget back on track, this might not be the proper avenue to get there.  It’s likely to be an accounting mess that leads us backwards.  I vote to leave the real estate industry alone for the sake of a market that’s just getting back on stable ground.


The Ohio Association of REALTORS® as well as the National Association of REALTORS® are stepping up to analyze and take action.  Coldwell Banker and our parent company, Realogy, have led the industry in the past with strong voices and action when it comes to lobbying on Capitol Hill and throughout the nation in favor of home owners, home buyers and the Real Estate Industry.  Coldwell Banker’s President  & COO of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates, Fred Schmidt, recently announced this commitment:


“In the past several weeks, various state budget submissions have proposed new taxes on services. This includes proposals to tax real estate commissions. These states currently include: Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and Louisiana.


Through our parent company, Realogy, we have engaged in a significant outreach effort to the affected state Realtor associations to help define the issue, ramp up our lobbying activity and connect with all appropriate stakeholders. We have offered our strategic assistance to state associations with grassroots letters and in-person visits to the state capitol buildings as needed. Along with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and in conjunction with the Minnesota and Ohio state associations, we are prepared for a serious battle in these respective state legislatures.


In Ohio, Governor Kasich's budget includes a 50 percent tax cut for small business and a 20 percent reduction in personal income tax rates. The revenue lost from these proposed income tax cuts is intended to be offset by expanding the base of services – including those associated with a real estate transaction -- that would be subject to a 5 percent state sales tax rate, plus the local piggy-back sales tax rate. Real estate related transactions that would be subject to the sales tax include not only real estate commissions, but also appraisal fees, franchise fees, payments to independent contractors including agents and officers, management fees, etc. Additionally many of the services a brokerage now utilizes in the course of doing business will also be subject to the sales tax. Items such as commercial leases, legal and accounting services, property management fees, and MLS dues will now also be subject to the sales tax. The Issues Mobilization Committee of the Ohio Association of Realtors (OAR) and its NAR counterpart already have committed significant resources to research the full impact of these proposals, and OAR is working with a leading tax expert to conduct a thorough analysis of the proposal. We have offered our assistance to participate in their research, and OAR recognizes and appreciates our support.


Rest assured, we are working on your behalf on these important tax matters that could affect businesses and individuals in your state. In the coming weeks and months, we expect to initiate Call For Action campaigns in concert with the state associations. Stay tuned for additional communications on this topic as the situation develops.  At the appropriate time, we will reach out and ask for your full support in calling and writing to various state officials to oppose these tax proposals. Thank you in advance for your support.”


February 28, 2012


Commercial Real Estate Sectors Steadily Improve





WASHINGTON (February 25, 2013) - Major commercial real estate sectors continue to improve, albeit slowly, with gradual economic improvement and job creation driving absorption of space, according to the National Association of Realtors® quarterly commercial real estate forecast.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said rental housing demand has been exceptionally strong. "Rent increases have been higher in multifamily housing where supply is not matching strong demand, thereby allowing landlords to raise rents at faster rates," he said. "Overall commercial real estate leasing activity continued to grow in most markets during the closing months of 2012, which is modestly lowering vacancy rates in all of the commercial sectors early this year."

National vacancy rates over the coming year are expected to decline 0.4 percentage point in the office market, 0.4 point in industrial, 0.3 point for retail and 0.1 point in multifamily, with that sector experiencing the tightest availability.

"Business spending is expected to rise faster in 2013 because of record high corporate profits. Low interest rates also are permitting companies to improve their balance sheets," Yun said.

NAR's latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook¹ offers projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets. Historic data for metro areas were provided by REIS, Inc.,² a source of commercial real estate performance information.

Office Markets

Vacancy rates in the office sector are forecast to fall from a projected 16.0 percent in the first quarter to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The markets with the lowest office vacancy rates presently (in the first quarter) are Washington, D.C., with a vacancy rate of 9.4 percent; New York City, at 9.6 percent; and Little Rock, Ark., 12.1 percent.

Office rents should increase 2.6 percent in 2013 and 2.8 percent next year, following a 2.0 percent gain in 2012. Net absorption of office space in the U.S., which includes the leasing of new space coming on the market as well as space in existing properties, is expected to total 34.0 million square feet this year and 42.3 million in 2014.

Industrial Markets

Industrial vacancy rates are likely to decline from 9.6 percent in the first quarter of this year to 9.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The areas with the lowest industrial vacancy rates currently are Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., each with a vacancy rate of 3.6 percent; Miami, 5.6 percent; and Seattle at 6.0 percent.

Annual industrial rents are projected to rise 2.3 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2014, after increasing 1.7 percent last year. Net absorption of industrial space nationally is likely to total 121.8 million square feet in 2013 and 103.5 million next year.

Retail Markets

Retail vacancy rates are forecast to slide from 10.7 percent in the first quarter of the year to 10.4 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

Presently, markets with the lowest retail vacancy rates include San Francisco, 3.5 percent; Fairfield County, Conn., at 4.2 percent; and Orange County, Calif., 5.2 percent.

Average retail rents will probably rise 1.5 percent in 2013 and 2.1 percent next year, following a 0.8 percent gain in 2012. Net absorption of retail space is seen at 11.9 million square feet in 2013 and 16.4 million next year.

Multifamily Markets

The apartment rental market - multifamily housing - should see vacancy rates ease from 4.0 percent in the first quarter to 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014; vacancy rates below 5 percent generally are considered a landlord's market with demand justifying higher rents.

Areas with the lowest multifamily vacancy rates currently are New Haven, Conn., at 2.0 percent; New York City, 2.1 percent; and Minneapolis and Syracuse, N.Y., each at 2.5 percent.

Average apartment rents are expected to increase 4.6 percent this year and 4.7 percent in 2014, after rising 4.1 percent in 2012. Multifamily net absorption is projected at 270,600 units in 2013 and 253,200 next year.

The Commercial Real Estate Outlook is published by the NAR Research Division. NAR's Commercial Division, formed in 1990, provides targeted products and services to meet the needs of the commercial market and constituency within NAR.  

The NAR commercial community includes commercial members; commercial real estate boards; commercial committees, subcommittees and forums; and the NAR commercial affiliate organizations - CCIM Institute, Institute of Real Estate Management, Realtors® Land Institute, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors®, and Counselors of Real Estate.  

Approximately 78,000 NAR and institute affiliate members specialize in commercial brokerage and related services, and an additional 232,000 members offer commercial real estate services as a secondary business.  

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. For additional commentary and consumer information, visit and  

# # #  

¹Additional analyses will be posted under Economists' Outlook in the Research blog section of in coming days at:  

²Beginning in the third quarter of 2011, NAR commercial forecasts have been generated based on historical data provided by REIS, Inc., and do not correspond with prior historical information from previous forecasts. This source permits coverage of more metro areas than were previously covered.  

The next commercial real estate forecast and quarterly market report will be released on May 28.

SOURCE: National Association of REALTORS, Media Contact: Walter Molony / 202-383-1177 /  Email


February 20, 2013

Coldwell Banker Statistics... 83,000 agents (Largest in the US) and 3,300 offices worldwide.  


February 4, 2013

Great new video from Coldwell Banker... We believe.


January 28, 2013


The most common question among Sellers I talk to is, "What are the most current Buyer trends?" Take a look...




January 27, 2013


Foreclosures are still hot in the market like this Brecksville Contemporary with a market value of nearly $400,000.  I just sold this 4,500+ sqft. home for $260,000 to a couple excited to make their creative visions a reality...but...

Will 2013 become a Seller's Market?

Well, we did it again.  In 2011, the area benefited from an increase in the number of sales over 2010.  In 2012, our increase was even greater.  Buyers have been in full swing. 


But our average sale prices are still struggling across many cities in Northeast Ohio. 


Why?  Because many sellers are still reluctant to sell. 


In the past 30 days, I’ve sold 6 homes within the first few weeks they were placed on the market.  Yes, we do all this marketing hype to get the homes on center stage and look attractive, however, it’s more likely that buyers are swarming to new listings hitting the market because of the lack of inventory. 


Coldwell Banker led the industry nationwide by rolling out an ad campaign targeted specifically at revitalizing the housing market.  The Ads were remarkably successful and centered around the real reasons why people buy homes rather than the fear of the financial risk.  We’ve noticed that people started to remember how important it was for kids to have a yard to play in, couples to have space to entertain guests- even down to Tom Selleck crazed about smelling those pancakes in the morning.  Choosing a happy lifestyle seemed to overcome the fear.


So, now that we’ve reminded all the buyers why they should buy… we need houses to sell them.


Five years was the average time a homeowner stayed in their homes.  That figure has now increased to almost 13 years.   While we will continue to see a struggle among homeowners who purchased between 2004 and 2007, many homeowners who purchased prior stand a very good chance of either breaking even or seeing a return on their prized investment.


In many cities, it’s become a Seller’s market.  Just ask any buyer looking in the $200,000-$400,000 price range.  They’ll tell you that there’s not enough inventory out there.  This is a HUGE advantage for Sellers.


With an increase of buyers, an increase in values and less inventory on the market right now, it’s the perfect storm for Seller’s to benefit.  Once traditional Sellers begin to realize this and place their homes on the market, we’ll then see an increase in our average sales prices and a true recovery of the housing market.


Another significant note-In 2012, we’ve seen quite an increase in buyers in the luxury market arena ($400,000 plus) especially here in Northeast Ohio.  Coldwell Banker is the world leader in luxury home marketing.  We’re seeing countless celebrities and millionaires list their homes and sell them rather quickly for excellent prices.  If you’d like to preview any of these homes worldwide, visit:


Some notable increases in 2012 over 2011 throughout our local cities:  Brecksville increased in average price per square footage and number of units sold.  Broadview Heights had huge increases in the number of homes sold and average sales price.  Garfield Heights had a huge increase in number of units sold and an increase in average price per square footage.  Solon had an increase in the number of units sold and stayed stable with average price per square footage and sale price.  Medina seen a huge increase in the number of units sold, average sales price and a reduction of days on the market. 


(Statistics per the Northern Ohio Real Estate Exchange (NEOHREX) deemed accurate but not guaranteed.)


If you or anyone you know is considering selling or buying, please call me to discuss the specifics of any particular market.  2013 might just be your year! 


January 21, 2013

Cleveland Clinic Employees buying and selling real estate in 2013 can visit their Advantage Zone Program for big savings through Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty's exclusive program.

Contact Jennifer R. Burke at 216-905-8240 for more details or via email at 

January 14, 2013


This question has come up quite a bit lately among First Time Home Buyers and Home Buyers moving into the area from out of state.  Yes, we do things a little differently here in Ohio but for the most part, the experience is the same.

Before I begin, it’s important to note that there are many differences in a real estate transaction.  It may not always happen in this particular order because there are exceptions to every rule but for the most part, here’s what happens on average…

First- Finding a Community.  Where do you want to live?  There are so many wonderful communities in Northeast Ohio.  What’s most important to you with regard to the community?  Is it the school ratings?  Park systems?  Commute to work?  Shopping?  Or all of the above?  A new and excellent way to figure this out is to visit one of our newest sites - Lifestyle Search.  This is where you can rate the most important topics and a list of communities closely matching your desires will appear instantly.

Go ahead… try it!

Second - Selecting a REALTOR®.  Find a Real Estate Professional who knows the area well and is experienced with regard to the process.  You’ll want to feel comfortable with the person you select to represent your best interest.  This person should have a proven track record, strong negotiating skills, knowledge and raving client reviews.  Don’t hesitate to ask for a resume from an agent.  The good ones will have one ready for you at any given moment.

Third - Find a Lender.  This should be top-priority on your list.  Before viewing any homes, it’s very important to know exactly what the costs are going to be. You’ll want to make sure there are no surprises on your credit report.  You’ll want to make sure that you have a clear understanding of the programs that are available to you.  The one thing that you want to avoid is finding the perfect house of your dreams and realizing that when taxes are added as well as other costs, the home costs hundreds of dollars more than those adorable calculators told you when you first viewed the listing online.  It’s heartbreaking.  Get the details up front and with the pre-approval letter from the lender, you’re sure to have a greater leverage during negotiations.

Fourth - Purchasing a House… Let’s go back to using a REALTOR® - The Real Estate Professional you choose should have an initial consultation with you. During this consultation, you’ll be able to share what’s important in your next home as well as where you are most comfortable affordability-wise.  Some agents will then send you a mountain of listings that are available- this could be good but then again, it could cause much confusion during the selection process.  Your Professional should be able to narrow down the results and find the best homes that match your criteria.  

One important issue you’ll want to avoid- rushing into a sale.  Buyers must have that ‘feeling’ that this is home before moving forward.  No home will be 100% perfect but it should match as closely as possible.  This is a big investment so be sure it feels right.  You’ll be living with this decision for awhile.  Make sure it’s rewarding for years to come.  If you are planning to move again, make sure the home you select will be easier to sell.  Your REALTOR® should be able to give you both the pros and the cons of the home you select and give you a good indication as to the resale forecast.

Once you find that perfect home, you’ll write an offer.  The offer will be presented to the Seller(s) and hopefully accepted.  This is a much more detailed area than I can explain in one blog post.  This is where the Professional you’ve chosen becomes very important especially in the areas of being familiar with the process and expert negotiating skills.  You should always feel as though your best interests are being represented.

After acceptance of the offer, the “earnest money” check presented will be deposited according to the contract (usually equivalent to 1%-2% of the sales price and credited back to you at closing or returned to you upon execution of a mutual release) and you’ll begin to work on the contingencies of the contract.  You may have a general home inspection (can cost between $300-$500), the appraisal (up to $400) and other financing contingencies, and/or repairs or improvements the Seller must make.  Once all of the contingencies are out of the way, you can then move towards the closing process.

This is where it can be a bit different for the out-of-state buyers.  

Once all of the contingencies of the contract are removed and all data is collected, the lender will send the file to an underwriter who will begin processing- which includes the review of all documents and verification of all information.  During this process, it is highly likely that the underwriter will ask for more information.  With many changes to the mortgage industry guidelines over the past several years, underwriters must obtain more documentation to explain any less-than-usual circumstances.  This can be a bit frustrating, however, keep the end-goal in mind… getting that final loan approval.

Fifth - The Closing Process.  Once Final Loan approval is received, the Closing (Title/Escrow) company will call you to schedule an appointment to sign all of your documents.  Many Real Estate Professionals will request a copy of your Closing Statement ahead of the appointment to ensure that all of the terms of the contract are reflected accurately.  This is usually a private appointment with only the Buyer and the Closing Officer.  Your REALTOR® may be present or at least available during the closing session.  The Closing Officer is a neutral party who will explain all of the documents and obtain signatures.

Once all of the documents have been executed, they will be returned to the lender for a final review of the signatures.  Once that review is complete, the lender will give the Closing Officer and/or Title Company the green light to transfer title at the local County Recorder’s office.  

Once the deed is recorded and according to your contract, your selected Real Estate Professional will conduct the most rewarding event in an entire real estate transaction -placing the keys to your new home in your hands.

Feel free to email questions or comments (or request a more specific guide on The Home Buying Process and My Resume) to




December 15, 2013


1.  Assuming the Market’s bad everywhere - It’s not.  Most of the markets suffering are traditional first time home buyers markets.  With the rates so low and housing values down, many of the First Time Home Buyers are able to purchase in what has been traditionally known as the move-up markets.  In Northeast Ohio, these markets have had housing values consistently stable or in some cases, increasing.  Walking into one of these markets and assuming the Sellers will take 20% off the sales price just because the market is ‘tough’ overall, can be a mistake if your heart is set on a home. 

2.  Offending a Seller - Some sellers are very proud of the work and sweat they’ve put into their home.  They’ve spent a great amount of money updating the house and a good amount of time getting it ready to be a ‘shiny penny’ among competitors.  If they’ve priced the home comparable with homes in need of repair, they’ve more than likely priced it to sell fast and to be that ‘deal’ today’s buyers desire.  Presenting an offer that acknowledges everything that is ‘not done’ or doesn’t fit YOUR taste without acknowledging all the work the Seller’s done can offend a Seller to the point that no matter what your offer is, they won’t sell you their house.

3.  Assuming a Seller must sell at a price YOU can afford - A Seller wants to sell at or close to market value.  If the market is moving in that area, chances are the Seller will get the price they are looking for.  Offering a Price based on what you can afford rather than a fair and reasonable price can result in a declined offer.  

4.  Not using a REALTOR® - REALTORS® understand and study the markets.  They can provide comparables and give you the guidance needed to make well-educated decisions.  Good Realtors will also be able to negotiate on your behalf while representing your best interests.  Traditionally, the Seller pays a Buyer’s agent commission affording Buyers to pay little to nothing to have their own representation.  

5.  Lack of Compromise - There’s lots of inventory out there.  Sit down and make a list of the most important ‘Must Haves’ in a house as well as a list of “What would be nice.”  There is a good chance you will never find a house that fits perfectly in every aspect - and if you do, jump on that home immediately or you’ll be searching for it for the rest of your house-hunting life.  Buyers often fail to keep an open mind when considering what homes fit them best.  For example, if you are looking for a home that is move-in ready, and you find one that has undesirable wall-paper in the dining room, figure the cost of removing that wall-paper.  It may be far less than the house down the street that is completely neutral in decor yet needs a new roof.  When you are viewing homes, chances are they are homes that already appear to come close to what you are looking for.  Walk in with the determination to come up with ideas to make this home work for you.  You’ll find your dream home much faster.  

6.  Only Wanting Foreclosures or Short Sales - Believe it or not, the banks now-a-days want market value for the home less the cost of repairs.  They’ve hired professionals to give them an opinion of what the home is worth in a regular market as well as a good indication of what the costs are to repair the home and bring it up to today’s standards.  Banks then come up with a bottom line figure and they stick to that figure.  Take a good look at all the homes on the market.  There is a good chance that a normal Seller is out there, one who has made all the required repairs to make the home move-in ready, who has priced the home below their total investment, will be easier to negotiate with and will be far-less complicated than a Foreclosure/Short Sale transaction.  In today’s market, the Foreclosures and Short Sales may not be the best deals out there - in fact, they may be more complicated, stressful and costly in the end.

7. Not Prioritizing - Why do you really want to buy a house? There are various reasons to buy a house including wanting more space to fit your lifestyle, increasing the size of your family, wanting to entertain many guests, doing away with the landlord’s restrictions, or even downsizing to the perfect retirement home.  Keep these reasons fresh in your head and purchase a home based on your lifestyle.  Getting lost in all of the negative media coverage about the housing market or what all of your friends and family are saying can leave you bouncing your head against the wall.  There has never been a better time than now to buy a home with low rates and lower values.  There’s a great chance that the home you purchase will cost you less than the amount of rent you’d pay on the same home.  

Buying a home is both exciting and stressful.  At any amount, it is probably one of the largest investments you will make.  You must be 100% comfortable before moving forward with any new home as it’s a commitment you’ll make for years to come.  No matter how complicated and stressful buying might be, there’s nothing more rewarding to my Buyer-Clients or Myself than the day I place the keys to their new home in their hands.  It makes the whole adventure worthwhile.  

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Jennifer Burke

Jennifer Burke

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