This week in Meet the Agent we chat with Karen Ball, who was recently voted by the readers of C-Ville Weekly as one of the best Realtors in Charlottesville! Read on to find out how she started her real estate career very early as well as why she joined the Nest team.
Karen Ball: I have always had a love of both psychology and business, and I find real estate melds the two perfectly for me. This is embarrassing but…I actually played “Realtor” when I was little with my pre-historic computer (probably a calculator) and the Sunday paper. Years later when I was working at the Darden School of Business, an opportunity presented itself that I couldn’t resist - to be the first agent of a new boutique firm downtown. Yes, it was “the worst Charlottesville real estate market in ten years” (2007), but I still stand by it being the best time to get into real estate and truly learn the ins and outs of the business. I have worked hard but have not looked back for a second.
N.R.: How funny that you were destined for this career! What was the first property you ever sold for a client (as a grown up, of course)?
K.B.: A Cape Cod on Old Brook Rd. I am so thankful that one of my previous Darden students entrusted me with the sale of his home after graduation!
N.R.: What a great transition, from student to client. What do you love most about being a Realtor?
K.B.: My clients, truthfully. Buying or selling a home is a major life transition, and I am honored to walk beside my clients through the often murky process.
N.R.: Why did you join the Nest team?
K.B.: Perhaps this should be a given, but I have been uniquely impressed with how the concept of what is best for the client drives every decision that is made at Nest, whether in creating a mobile website for ease of searching for a home or by providing current and comprehensive analysis on our local market. This is a firm that is continually pushing for innovative practices and marketing that enable me to better serve my clients and our community.
N.R.: How has technology changed the way you do business?
K.B.: In every way! Just this week, the ability to quickly ratify a contract with an electronic signature secured a house for my buyer client when three more offers came in literally moments after.
N.R.: What trend should we be on the lookout for in the Central Virginia market or in the real estate industry in general?
K.B.: Well-designed smaller homes that utilize every square inch creatively.
N.R.: What makes the Central Virginia market so unique?
K.B.: There’s something for everyone here – from urban downtown living to new construction in a community setting just outside the city to an equestrian property with mountain views. The puzzle of finding the perfect fit for each client, and subsequently negotiating the best price, keeps each day interesting.
N.R.: What’s your favorite time of the year in C’ville? Why?
K.B.: The fall! Following the heat of summer, this town comes alive with a new energy when the students come back to town. There are football games, outdoor concerts, apple-picking, and of course the gorgeous turn of the leaves.
N.R.: I agree, Fall is spectacular here! Last question: What’s the one thing you would tell a new homebuyer to keep in mind throughout the process?
K.B.: It is so important to get started as early as possible so you don’t feel rushed by an expiring lease or delayed by a credit issue. Talk to a lender about your credit and financial situation. This information will guide you toward the appropriate price point and timeline. Start looking right away at houses to familiarize yourself with what is available so that when the right home comes along, you will recognize it and can move quickly if needed.
Want to connect with Karen?