For Jessie Martin, the manager of Smith Brothers Abstract in Tahlequah and Beaver, this has been the busiest time of her career.
Homes in Cherokee County are selling for more than in previous years. They also turn around faster than in the past.
“There is a housing shortage. It’s kind of a perfect storm. Not only are the interest rates low, which makes buying attractive to buyers, it’s a sellers’ market, so it’s attractive to sellers as well, ”said Martin. “The housing shortage has driven up prices, attracting people who may not be willing to sell. This gave them an added incentive to sell. And, with competing buyers, that only drives up the prices even more, creating stress to get things done quickly. “
Smith Brothers Abstract was previously Tahlequah Abstract and Title Company, until their acquisition in May.
Title companies are necessary because selling a property can be complicated. These companies investigate to see who actually owns a particular property, and they see if there are any mortgages, liens, or judgments on it. They also check if all taxes are paid on a given property. All of these factors can determine whether a sale can take place, and at the price initially agreed upon.
At closing, the securities companies also prepare all the documents necessary for clients to sell, buy or refinance their homes.
“If you’re spending $ 100,000 to $ 250,000 on a house, you want to make sure it’s safe and secure and that your interests are insured. As for the business itself, we’ve been extremely busy since COVID, ”he said.
Since the start of the pandemic, interest rates have fallen, leading to increased home purchases and refinancing, which has pulled homes off the market. Now the securities companies are working harder to meet demand.
“Some of the challenges we face are the same as everyone else faces. Now it’s honestly stress overload. We have been working diligently – very hard – for a long time. I’ve been in this industry since 2003, and I’ve had some busy times, but I’ve never seen it so busy for such a long time, ”he said.
Martin graduated from Tahlequah High School in 1994 and then graduated from NSU in Business Education in 1999. Initially he wanted to be a high school teacher throughout his life, but his mother, who was a real estate agent , encouraged him to work in a securities firm. . He quickly fell in love with the job and didn’t even think about turning back.
“There is no better feeling than seeing someone come in and buy their first home and watch them leave. This is the draw. See the look on the faces of these people, ”Martin said.
He enjoys working for a local business and serving members of the community he grew up with. He encourages young people to get into the industry if they are good with numbers and are good communicators. People in this industry also need to know how to deal with stress.
“We process large sums of money on short notice. And mistakes do happen, but the mistakes we make can cost thousands of dollars. It’s high stress and high pace, ”he said. “We are looking for very attentive and very meticulous people. “