The Olear Team at MJ Peterson to offer seminars for older adults and caregivers

Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker from The Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate, will present two real estate workshops titled “The Four Step Moving Plan.” Seminars will be offered at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 3, in St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 1395 George Urban Blvd., Cheektowaga, and at noon Wednesday, March 13, at the Sandra Lane Apartments, 705 Sandra Lane, North Tonawanda.

The seminars are open to the community and will focus on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their loved ones and caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, preparing for a move, legal and regulatory issues to be aware of, and available resources and tools related to these matters. The events are free and light refreshments will be served. For reservations, please call 880-4442.

Olear is a licensed real estate broker with 30 years of experience. He has specialized in helping older adults with their real estate needs since 1999. The Olear Realty Group, Inc. is organized as a sub chapter S corporation and supports the Olear Team/MJ Peterson Corporation in the sale of residential real estate throughout Erie and Niagara County. The team has decades of experience in meeting the real estate needs of Western New York residents. Visit olear.com to learn more about the Olear Team’s work assisting older adults and their families.

Olear Team plans seminars for home buyers and sellers

Two seminars for spring home sellers and one for new home buyers, all offered by Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker from The Olear Team at MJ Peterson Real Estate, are scheduled to take place in the Northtowns.

Spring home seller seminars will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2 and 16, in the Hyatt Place-Amherst, 5020 Main St., Amherst. Topics to be covered include:

  • How to achieve maximum value in the shortest period of time.
  • Selling your house “as is.”
  • Stimulating multiple offers.
  • How to sell and buy at the same time.
  • What upgrades give you the highest return on investment.
  • How to obtain bridge financing.
  • Items a home inspector look will look at.
  • How do you make sure your buyer is qualified.

The new home buyer seminar is scheduled from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, in the KeyBank branch at 2030 Sheridan Drive, Tonawanda. Topics will include the mortgage process, available products and options, and understanding your credit score. A lending officer will also be on hand to answer questions.

Light refreshments will be available. To reserve a seat, please call 880-4442 or email info@olear.com.

Olear is a licensed real estate broker with 30 years of experience. He has specialized in helping older adults with their real estate needs since 1999. The Olear Realty Group, Inc. is organized as a sub chapter S corporation and supports the Olear Team/MJ Peterson Corporation in the sale of residential real estate throughout Erie and Niagara County. The team has decades of experience in meeting the real estate needs of Western New York residents. Visit olear.com to learn more about the Olear Team’s work assisting older adults and their families.

How to sell your old home to young buyers

Let’s face it … we’re not getting any younger. And at some point, the time will come for a generation of Baby Boomers to sell their homes. While these homes have served us greatly for many years — perhaps many decades — will they appeal to today’s young, tech-savvy consumers?

In 2018, 43 percent of home buyers were millennials in their twenties and thirties. Currently, they are the largest purchasing group in the country. Will your home, in its present state, appeal to a younger generation?

Following are some tips that will help make your home more appealing to today’s young home buyers:

  • As the seller, have your home pre-inspected to determine what must be done before putting the house on the market.
  • Buy a home warranty, which will reassure buyers that they won’t be faced with major repair expenses during the first year of homeownership.
  • Is your home decor a bit outdated? Offer a credit for repairs so buyers can put their personal touch on the property.
  • Lighten and brighten by cleaning windows, updating light fixtures and applying a fresh coat of neutral paint.
  • Create a list highlighting neighborhood amenities such as recreational facilities, shops, gyms, restaurants, etc.
  • Eliminate clutter to give the house an open-flow feeling.
  • Have access to a drone? Drone tours of property and neighborhood are hot selling tools.
  • Add smart home features such as wireless security, smart bulbs, water sensors, smart locks, remote-controlled shades, etc.

For more information and tips for home sellers, please contact The Olear Team today!

Happy Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for?

On Tuesday, Nov. 20, James Conley, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and partner at The Olear Team at MJ Peterson, will join other volunteers at Buffalo’s City Mission for the organization’s annual Turkey Drop.

Located at 100 E. Tupper St. In Buffalo, the City Mission provides meals, shelter, educational assistance and spiritual guidance for those in need. The Turkey Drop will provide 100 turkeys to families needing assistance throughout our community.

Volunteer opportunities such as this are very important to The Olear Team, especially at this time of year when we are reminded to count our blessings and to be truly thankful for everything we have.

We are honored to offer our assistance to this greatly needed nonprofit organization, and we wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Some ‘upgrades’ can downgrade the value of your home

If you’re in your home for any length of time, at some point thoughts of renovations will race across your mind. But did you know there are some renovations that are better left on the drawing board, especially if you might be selling your house at some point in the future? Following are some renovations that may give you second thoughts:

Let’s start in the kitchen. While updates and minor renovations are certainly encouraged from time to time, beware the urge to go too high-end as you may not see an equal return in investment. And that new sunroom you’re considering? Same issue; very small return on investment potential.

Other renovations that can impact your home’s resale value include combining two bedrooms to create a larger room, and removing closets. The number of bedrooms will impact your sale price, and people love having lots of closet space. Beware renovations that turn closets into something else. Converting a bedroom into an office can also have a negative impact when it’s time to sell.

Be careful with the upgrades. Going too lavish, too bright or too quirky are not good things. If you plan to sell some day, think neutral along the way.

Also shy away from things like too much wallpaper (difficult to remove) and too much carpeting (hardwoods are always in).

Avoid the urge to turn your garage in something it’s not, such as living space. Use that space for what it’s intended — a place to safely store your vehicles, bikes, tools, yard equipment, etc.

Turning our attention outdoors, think twice about adding that swimming pool and/or hot tub due to ongoing maintenance, expenses and potential safety hazards. And don’t get too carried away with the landscaping. Trees are pretty but they can also be very messy.

Finally, unless you really know what you’re doing, stay away from do-it-yourself repairs and hire a professional who will get the job done right!

For more information and tips on what can help or hurt a real estate transaction, please contact The Olear Team today!

Home closing checklist for sellers

Selling a house can be a long, complicated process. There are, however, several steps you can take to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Following is a home closing checklist for sellers that will help guide you through this transaction.

  • Clean the house from top to bottom, inside and out. Don’t leave a mess behind for the new owners. Would you want someone to do that to you? If you don’t have time to clean, hire a professional to assist you.
  • Gather important documents. You might even make this part of the house-cleaning process. Go through your file cabinets and paperwork and pull anything house-related for safekeeping. Having important documents in-hand and ready will indeed speed the overall selling process.
  • Perform a final walk through and shut off utilities. Make sure nothing is leaking and quickly deal with any issues that could delay closing.
  • When the sale is complete, remember to cancel your insurance policies and close accounts associated with the home such as utilities and even newspaper delivery. You should also change your address with the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Make sure any keys, remote control devices, appliance manuals, etc. are left for the new owners. Other than that, don’t leave anything behind that wasn’t part of the contract. The new owners likely don’t want the old piano or pool table that you didn’t feel like dealing with.
The only thing left to do now is to turn off the lights and secure the home for the next owners! For more information and tips on selling a home, please contact The Olear Team today!


Now that you have read our home closing checklist, learn about 5 Costly Seller Mistakes and request a free report.

Post-retirement life: Is home-sharing in your future?

One fact that everyone can agree on is that America is aging. And while it’s true that Americans are living longer than ever before, one negative to come out of that situation is that it comes with a financial cost as many seniors are simply outliving their savings.

As a result, some seniors are forced to sell their homes and look for less expensive housing options, while some might even become homeless. Not wanting to give up their freedom and independence, other seniors are willing to look into a unique alternative called home-sharing.

Let’s say you’re in your senior years and your spouse has passed away and the kids are spread across the country. Is having a roommate share your home, housework and expenses the answer to your problems? Here are some of the positives:

  • You can stay in your home longer if your finances begin to dwindle.
  • Your roommate, who could be much younger, can share the housework.
  • You can keep your independence longer.
  • Plus, you get the added bonus of companionship.

Obviously, home-sharing is not for everyone. For those who will consider it, you must be clear about your expectations when searching for the ideal roommate, and you must have a huge amount of trust.

If home-sharing sounds like it just might work for your situation, we suggest contacting a licensed social worker to assist with your search. For more information on home-sharing and alternative housing for seniors, please contact The Olear Team today!

What do top Realtors do differently?

While there are a lot of individuals working in real estate, there’s actually just a small percentage of agents who are making what the population would consider to be a great salary. Being a Realtor is hard work and takes a tremendous amount of dedication and effort to make it to the top.

So what separates average Realtors from great Realtors? Here are just a few items that top Realtors do differently, day in and day out.

  • They’re good at follow-up, and they follow-up fast! Keeping your commitments and obligations is very important in this industry. Miss a meeting with a client and it could very well cost you a commission down the road.
  • They put their money where their mouth is by hiring skilled people to assist them. Cutting corners is not a good idea in an industry that is so highly competitive. Teaming with skilled copywriters, graphic designers, web designers, photographers, marketing experts, etc. will set a good Realtor apart from the competition.
  • Top Realtors aren’t afraid to share the spotlight. Sometimes teaming up and working on a difficult sale with another real estate professional can be in your best interest … and in the client’s best interest!
  • They’re not afraid of the technology that has tremendously impacted this industry. The world is moving faster and faster, and staying knowledgeable of technological advancements can put you in the driver’s seat.
  • They put the customer first. Relationships with clients that are built on trust, dedication and commitment will surely lead to future referrals.

In a nutshell, a lot of what top Realtors do differently boils down to heart and a great work ethic. If your Realtor lacks either, it would very likely be in your best interest to move on. You deserve the best representation, don’t you?

Helping community — from social work to selling homes

By Jim Bisco

“For us, it’s about helping people.” That’s the value statement of Olear Team/MJ Peterson Real Estate, a phrase that characterizes the team leader’s inclination since his social work pursuit four decades ago.

“Helping people has always been important to me. I’ve always felt gratifed doing that,” explained Michael Olear, MSW ’84. After starting out in a broad array of social service positions including child care, developmentally disabled adult care, mental health counseling and coordinated care administration, Olear became “enamored” with the real estate profession. “It’s still helping people, but more business oriented,” he noted. “I always had an interest in numbers, financing and more of a global picture of how things work.”

The 60-year-old real estate leader fondly recalls his experience in the School of Social Work. He was particularly influenced by then- faculty member William Epstein. “He really helped me understand the democratic process and the underlying concepts affecting the development of public policy,” Olear said.

As a macro student, Olear worked for Karen Schimke, former Erie County commissioner of social services. “Some of the things I do now, I absolutely mirror from what I learned from her,” he said. “One of the things she involved me in was raising awareness of the need for employer-sponsored child care at the workplace, as well as the establishment of a child care resource and referral center. I am grateful to have been involved in those efforts — there wasn’t anything like that in Western New York at the time.”

After receiving his social work degree, he was employed at Coordinated Care Management. It was a time when the government was realizing that an incredible number of people were languishing in hospitals and driving costs up, and that the system needed to change.

“There was a grant program that I worked on where we were trying to establish the fact that emergency response systems — pendants that people wear to easily signal for help — would actually save the system money if Medicaid or Medicare paid for them,” Olear recalled. “This was ‘stone age’ new technology. It had all the things that piqued my interest. We proved an incredible amount of savings.”

Olear maintains that his experiences both as a student and in the field helped mold his subsequent career. “In particular, listening. That’s number one,” he said. “I worked with a lot of difficult clients in behavior houses at Baker Victory Services and People, Incorporated. Getting people to agree on things is huge for us.”

Those accumulated skills were transferable to the need for helping people who are overwhelmed with the thought of selling the place where they lived, getting homeowners, siblings, children, stepchildren and others to agree on a plan.

“It became more experiential,” he said. “We started going more in the direction of specializing in older adults; I also got active in the professional community that serves older adults. In a short period of time, I found myself on the boards of the Alzheimer’s Association and the Network in Aging.”

Olear also credits his experience in the UB School of Management’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in 2007 with enhancing his business acumen; he’s remained an involved alumnus there, mentoring other developing businesses.

The 12-person real estate team he’s built over the past 25 years, which covers all of Erie and Niagara counties, takes a cooperative approach to ensure clients always receive the most comprehensive and helpful service — from decluttering to sensible planning to ultimately selling the home and moving. In a current Western New York housing climate averaging 54 days on the market, the Olear Team’s average is 19 days, with an exceptional list price/sale price ratio of 99.4 percent.

The success is a tribute to the team’s adherence to every detail in one of life’s most emotional transitional experiences. And it doesn’t stop there. “We try to give back in our business,” Olear added. “For every house we sell, we make a donation to Meals on Wheels.”

How to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home

How to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home

Selling A Home? There are countless memories made in a home which can result in a flood of emotions when it comes time to sell the homestead. And sometimes, sellers might even feel a bit of remorse. That’s perfectly natural! These are common feelings that lessen with time and typically go away completely once you’ve successfully moved into your new living situation.

If you’re wondering how to overcome the emotional hurdles of selling a home, we have some advice from the experts:

  • Try not to worry about memories left behind. Instead, focus on new memories about to be made!
  • Don’t feel guilty. The great memories you’ve made will never completely fade away. They will always be a part of your memories, your conversations and who you are!
  • Remember that change can be good! You just need to overcome that natural fear of change that everyone experiences at one time or another.

Moving can be one of life’s biggest stresses, but once you’ve had time to take a deep breath and re-evaluate your situation, I’m sure you’ll find comfort knowing that you’ve made all the right decisions to get you to where you are today. Rather than focusing on the past, focus on your new home, yourself and your future. In other words, think positive thoughts!

If the dust has settled and you still find yourself having seller’s remorse and/or feelings of depression, consider making an appointment with a therapist who can help you leave the stress behind and help you move forward to create a lifetime of new memories. For more information on making your move as stress-free as possible, please contact The Olear Team today!