RE/MAX 1st Choice

Arlene Hajjar has worked in the realty business since 1991 and has operated her own office in Londonderry since 1997. A Londonderry resident, she has lived in town since 1974. She has seen the town grow from 6,000 to 24,000 people, watched new developments, and has been very involved in the community. She worked as a registered nurse for thirteen years and, once she had children, stopped working. She was the volunteer coordinator at Matthew Thornton, the middle school and high school as her children moved through the system.

When Hajjar’s children were old enough, she returned to work but felt real estate suited her better. While working for other real estate offices, she decided she wanted to try something different and, upon contacting RE/MAX, liked the way the agency was structured. Sixteen years ago, she opened RE/MAX 1st Choice in the Crossroads Mall and now hosts fifteen independent agents in the office.

Hajjar explained that there are two types of real estate salespersons: agents and realtors. Agents are required to take a course, pass a test and get a license in order to sell real estate in New Hampshire. Realtors must take the next step and join the National Organization of Realtors, binding them by the code of ethics of the organization. Hajjar requires all RE/MAX 1st Choice agents to become realtors.

The RE/MAX office participates in the Multiple Listing Services (MLS), which gives agents and agencies a great resource for buyers. Agencies that sign a contract with MLS agree that it will be the only listing company but everyone will put their listings into this “pool”, said Hajjar. It also helps the seller by getting their home for sale to a larger market and gives the consumer an overview of the properties in the area. According to Hajjar, this makes for an interesting part of the real estate business. “This is the only business where you are co-broking with your competitors all the time,” she said.

Advancements in technology have significantly affected the real estate market today, said Hajjar. Prior to the internet, large listing books were printed and sent to agencies weekly. Today, everything is in real time on the internet; Hajjar believes that going online has helped the real estate industry more than anyone could have imagined.

When selling a home, Hajjar recommends clients speak with a couple agents to get different viewpoints. “When you talk to an agent, you want to make sure that you have chemistry with the agent,” explained Hajjar. “It is very important to have a good partnership when working together.” She also recommends clients question the experience of the agent. “Someone can be in the business for a long time but not able to get your desired results,” she added.

Hajjar also added that good realtors are constantly learning from every transaction. “Real estate is the type of business that never gets old because it is never the same. You are always dealing with different people. You’ve got to be good at thinking on your feet and problem solving.”

The RE/MAX 1st Choice office is open Monday through Saturday 9 AM until 5 PM; appointments can also be made in the evenings and on weekends. In addition to the fifteen realtors, RE/MAX also houses two loan originators and a title company with a long affiliation. Visit them online for more information.