Today’s low inventory of existing homes for sale is a challenge for home buyers. Building a new home can be a good solution for a home that meets your needs.

Low Existing Home Inventory

Buyers shopping for a home today are finding selection limited due to an extremely low inventory of homes for sale. Plus, homes in good condition are selling quickly, which can be frustrating for a buyer.

This makes it an even better time for home buyers to buy a new home or build a custom a home to meet their lifestyle and needs.

Low Interest Rates

Today’s interest rates are still low, hovering between four and five percent. Low rates mean a home buyer can afford more home than they could a few years ago. A reputable mortgage company can offer a wide range of financing programs to make it even easier to get into the home of your dreams.

Choose Your Neighborhood

There are a variety of areas in and around Lincoln with available lots for sale. A real estate agent specializing in new construction can help buyers find a lot in the location that fits their needs. Interested buyers can drive through some of the new neighborhoods to see which areas of growth appeal to them most.

Energy Efficiency

Today’s new homes save home buyers money on heating and cooling costs, as the efficiency standards have increased over time.

Some builders go above and beyond when considering energy efficiency. Compared with standard homes, Energy Starc homes meet strict energy efficiency guidelines, delivering hundreds of dollars in annual savings on heating, cooling and water bills. These guidelines also help protect the environment, creating less air pollution, and the Energy Star rating is becoming an important quality when considering resale value.

Spring Jubilee & Parade of Homes

With the Woods Bros Realty Spring Jubilee of Homes (April 27 and May 4), and the Home Builders Association of Lincoln’s Parade of Homes (May 11-18), the new construction season is getting under way.

Home buyers can tour brand-new homes throughout the area in all different styles and price ranges. They can then select from finished model homes and move right in or select a lot and floor plan and build a new home from the ground up.

Preview the Spring Jubilee of Homes here:


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Sold-FSBOYou’ve been searching for homes with your agent but can’t find the one that’s ‘just right.’ You know the inventory is tight and that the right one will come along soon, but you’re getting impatient!

Then you stumble across a house that looks perfect. But it’s For Sale By Owner. Now what?

Your agent can still help you – and he should! Just because the owner is selling privately doesn’t mean you can’t look at the house or even own it. Tell your agent about the house and share the address and phone number with him. Your agent will call the owner to see if he’s willing to work with buyers who are represented by a Realtor.

If the owner is willing to pay your agent a professional fee, he and the agent will meet prior to your seeing the house to agree on compensation. That’s usually a percentage of the sale price, but it can also be a set amount. With that agreement in place, your agent will show you the house, and if you decide it’s ‘the one,’ he’ll help you prepare an offer for the seller. Your agent will continue to work on your behalf and help you navigate the transaction to a successful closing.

If the owner is not willing to pay your agent a professional fee, you’ve still got a couple of options. You could choose to pay your agent the professional fee yourself – there’s no rule that says it has to be paid by the seller. You could also choose to negotiate directly with the seller and try to put the deal together on your own. By doing that you’re essentially firing your agent (even if you really like him!) and you’ll need to handle inspection deadlines, repair negotiations and follow-up, and any lender requirements without his guidance. If you haven’t bought a home before, or don’t feel comfortable ‘flying solo,’ you’ll want to give that decision some serious thought before proceeding!

(Consider, too, what you’ll do in case your direct negotiations with the seller are not successful. Will you be able to go back to your agent after dumping him? Ultimately that depends on the kind of relationship you have with your Realtor, but it’s something to keep in mind!)

In today’s market of very limited inventory, it’s only natural that we’d see more sellers trying to sell By Owner. As the buyer, know that you’ve got options and that it’s OK to look at FSBO properties. Talk to your agent and have a game plan in place, so when you find the right house, you can move forward confidently!


Jon Rademacher Posted by Jon Rademacher

Matt Hardesty receives the Shining Star Award from CEO Gene Brake.

Matt Hardesty receives the Shining Star Award from CEO Gene Brake.

Matt Hardesty of the Woods Bros Realty Lincolnshire Square office was named Shining Star for April.

His nomination read:

“Matt has helped me repeatedly, and–as a new agent–he has had several conversations with me that were informative and helpful. He also has reviewed my paperwork, when I didn’t know what to turn in, and others were not available. I took him to lunch to ask some marketing questions, and he insisted on picking up his own tab and told me he’d be glad to help me any time. I met Matt when he sent a couple that called regarding his listing to me on a Saturday morning I was on phone duty. He wanted to avoid the dual agency, and, as a result, I made my first sale! Matt is friendly, matter-of-fact, helpful, and well-informed. He’s been a ‘Shining Star’ to me!”

Shining Stars are HomeServices of Nebraska associates, including managers, employees and agents, who help make our company a better place for our customers, clients and for each other. Nominees must exemplify the following:

  1. The person went out of their way to exceed the HomeServices of Nebraska Standards and best practices.
  2. The gesture or service was above and beyond normal job requirements or expectations.
  3. The employee, manager or agent went beyond the call of duty to ensure the needs of a customer, fellow employee or agent.

Anyone is invited to nominate employees, agents or managers who have displayed The Shining Star Spirit. For someone to be recognized, a Shining Star Nomination Form must be submitted by the 15th of every month. *A participant is eligible to win one (1) time per year.

Shining Star Values

Positive Attitude – A positive attitude is focusing on what is useful, beneficial and worthwhile in each and every situation. Your attitude is displayed through your words, actions and facial expressions with your customers and those around you.

Accountable - Accountable is being responsible for your actions and behaviors as they impact customers and those around you.

Responsive – Being responsive is being open to the situation as it occurs and responding in a sensitive manner to meet needs and expectations.

Teamwork – Teamwork is helping each other win and taking pride in each other’s victories. No one person or department alone can provide for the comprehensive needs of our customers. We achieve our goals when working together as a team.

No Excuses – A culture of no excuses acknowledges when mistakes or perceived shortcomings are made and seeks to correct or make right rather than rationalize or justify the problem.

Exemplary - To serve as a model or example of positive action; strive for high performance standards and deliver results. Demonstrate technical competence. Set high standards for self, demonstrating integrity and superior customer service skills.

Responsibility – Responsibility is acting with initiative and understanding that our organization and our customers are depending on us.

Service - Service is everything we do to exceed the needs and expectations of our customers at all times.

Safety – Demonstrate the importance of safety and how it may influence our daily lives.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Have you recently purchased or built a home? Consider changing the locks for your security and peace of mind.

Monte Wilson is the owner and operator of Capital City Lock & Key and has 35 years of experience in the industry. A member in ALOA (Associated Locksmiths of America), Small Business Association and REALTORS® Association of Lincoln, who can you call who is better qualified? The commitment Monte has to his business and customers is unmatched.

“Monte is a fine individual and does a good job in his trade. I’ve known and worked with him for a number of years.”
– Craig Loeck, Woods Bros Realty

Capital City Lock & Key is a mobile locksmith service, providing you with the service you need wherever you are. Capital City Lock & Key uses only the best quality locks and security products, but keeps the products reasonably priced for his clients. Monte keeps Lincoln’s residences secure, but also does commercial work, safes, and automotive. He strives to provide his clients with swift, experienced and dependable locksmith services, maintaining customer satisfaction as the ultimate goal!

Call Monte 402-840-8528 and take advantage of a free consultation.

10% discount for Home Owners Plus Members.


Home Owners Plus Posted by Home Owners Plus
Elizabeth Ann Taylor

Elizabeth Ann Taylor

Elizabeth Ann Taylor joins the Wilderness Hills office. Elizabeth is a certified paralegal. Her hobbies include art, photography and reading at the Law Library. Elizabeth can be reached at 402-770-5332 or elizabeth.taylor@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Teri King

Teri King

Teri King joins the Lincolnshire office. Teri has over 20 years accounting experience. She has wanted to become a real estate salesperson for years, and timing is finally right for her to pursue  her dreams. She is excited to join her sister, Kellie Naylor, at Woods Bros Lincolnshire office. Her hobbies include photography and traveling. Teri can be reached at 402-450-6648 or teri.king@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Stephanie Flynn

Stephanie Flynn

Stephanie Flynn joins the Country Club office. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. She attended  Lincoln High and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She held a real estate license in the state of Nevada and is very familiar with property management. She has also been a home daycare provider for 10 years. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family. Stephanie can be reached at 402-405-4275 or stephanie.flynn@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Six Woods Bros Realty professionals have earned their spots in the Circle of Excellence.

Circle of Excellence agents have completed additional training to help them with clients and building their business. Courses were offered over an 8-week period and included Working with Buyers, Writing and Presenting Offers, Steps of the Sales Process, Listing Presentations, Client Management/Prospecting, Open Houses, Statistics and Facebook and Zillow.

These Woods Bros professionals are now part of the Circle of Excellence: Rifka Keilson, Beverly Marsh, Dory Marsh, Jon Rademacher, Scott Rotert and Carol Walker.

Woods Bros Realty, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, is a full-service company offering 125 years of expertise in real estate as well as experience in mortgage, title, closing, and insurance services. Providing an easier way to buy and sell, more than 200 sales associates work with clients in Lincoln, Seward, Beatrice, York, Grand Island, Wahoo and throughout southeast Nebraska. For more information about Woods Bros Realty, visit www.WoodsBros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Woods Bros Realty and HOME Real Estate agents and staff helped to raise more than $2,000 during the fifth annual Soup or Chili Cook-off for Cancer Wednesday in Lincoln.

The Chili Cook-Off raised $2,025 for the American Cancer Society through $1 voting beans.  Voters were made up of Woods Bros and HOME agents and staff, along with staff from Nebraska Land Title and Abstract, HomeServices Lending, HomeServices of Nebraska Insurance and Larabee School of Real Estate. The group has raised a total of more than $10,000 to date.

The People’s Choice Award (with the most beans) went to Jean Piontek and Paul DeVries of the Woods Bros Realty Wilderness Hills office for their Hardrock Baked Potato Soup.

Jean Piontek and Paul Devries won the People's Choice award.

Jean Piontek and Paul Devries won the People's Choice award.

This year the Celebrity Judge Award went to John Fink of the HOME Real Estate North office for his Smoked Turkey Chili. Celebrity judges were Channel 8 Eyewitness News Anchor Rod Fowler and Greta’s Gourmet Co-Founder Kevin Mandigo.

“We’ve had a lot of cancer within our organization, and it’s just affected so many families, so many agents, that we wanted to do something,” HomeServices of Nebraska CEO Gene Brake said. “This was our way of participating and trying to help find a cure.”

The 2014 participants from Woods Bros Realty were: Allissa Troyer , Beatrice office; Amber Cross, Country Club Plaza office; Beth Scholz, Lincolnshire Square office; Jean Piontek and Paul DeVries, Wilderness Hills office. Connie Hain made her “Say Cheese-y Potato Soup” and hosted a photo booth for the Support Services office.

More photos from the event can be viewed on the Woods Bros Facebook page.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Dave Vorovka

Dave Vorovka

Dave Vorovka of Woods Bros Realty has repeated the previous year’s achievement of being granted the highest level of service achievement in the real estate industry, Quality Service Certified® Platinum. The award is in recognition of earning 100 percent client service satisfaction in 2013 as measured by Leading Research Corporation (LRC).

A Quality Service Certified (QSC) award status is the only recognition in the real estate industry based on independently validated customer satisfaction survey results. After the conclusion of real estate transactions, clients of QSC agents receive a survey, asking them to rate the agent on various aspects of the service process. The surveys are administered and the results are received and compiled by LRC.

Client feedback from the surveys becomes part of the agent’s credentials. An overall satisfaction rating is displayed on the consumer websites (www.QualityService.org and www.RatedAgent.com) where buyers and sellers have the ability to select a real estate professional based upon each agent’s validated record of service satisfaction.

Vorovka has been with Woods Bros Realty for 18 years and works out of the Country Club Plaza office.

“Nothing is more important to a prospective client in selecting a professional than the service results achieved with past clients,” says Larry D. Romito, President and CEO of QSC. He adds, “Consumers have greater confidence in service reliability, results and satisfaction with a Quality Service Certified real estate professional because they know that the agent’s service record has been validated by an independent third party. 100% service satisfaction record like Dave Vorovka has achieved is just awesome.”


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Andrea Mahrt

Andrea Mahrt

Andrea Mahrt joins the Grand Island office. She grew up in Wolbach, Nebraska and currently lives in St. Paul, Nebraska. She is a graduate of Doane College where she earned both a  bachelor and master degrees in management. Her hobbies include farming, hunting and enjoying the outdoors. Andrea can be reached at 308-750-1099 or andrea.mahrt@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty

Woods Bros Realty celebrated its top sales professionals with an Awards Banquet Feb. 13 at the Country Club of Lincoln.

Managing Broker Thane Jensen presents Vladimir with the Salesperson of the Year Award

Managing Broker Thane Jensen presents Vladimir with the Salesperson of the Year Award

Vladimir Oulianov of the Country Club Plaza office set new records for Woods Bros, closing 210 transactions for more than $46 million in volume in 2013. Oulianov was named the Salesperson of the Year with the Most Transactions Closed, Most Listings and Sales Closed, and Highest Volume of Closed Sales.

Oulianov and Craig Loeck of the Lincolnshire Square office were both recipients of the Century Award for closing over 100 transactions in the calendar year. Bob Branchaud of the Wilderness Hills office had Highest Volume of Closed Listings.

Carla Hines of the Lincolnshire Square office was honored with the Woods Bros REALTOR® of the Year award for 2013 for her 50+ year dedication to the real estate industry, her fun-loving spirit and tireless work ethic.

REALTOR of the Year Carla Hines, center, and some of her family

REALTOR of the Year Carla Hines, center, and some of her family

Dave Vorovka of the Country Club Plaza office won the Excellence in Outgoing Referrals award for helping people relocate in other communities. Sales Couple of the Year went to Bob & Sally Peterson of the Country Club Plaza office, and the year’s Rising Star for most success within the start of his career was Kelby Nitz of the Seward office.

The overall Outstanding Achievement award went to Branchaud for his 280 percent increase in sales from 2012 to 2013. Office Outstanding Achievement Awards also went to: Vorovka of the Country Club Plaza office, Carol Schulz of the Beatrice office, Gordon Opp of the Lincolnshire Square office, Al Avery of the Grand Island office, Denny Wullenwaber of the Seward office and Glen Coffey of the York office.

Top Sales Associates by office were: Vladimir Oulianov, Country Club Plaza; Craig A. Loeck, Lincolnshire Square; Bob Branchaud, Wilderness Hills; Chuck Winkler, Grand Island; Shelly Nitz, Seward; Glen Coffey, York; and Carol Schulz, Beatrice.

To see more of the top awards, please visit www.WoodsBros.com/Awards.

For photos of the event, visit our Facebook page.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson

Ashley Peterson joins the Country Club Plaza office. She is the daughter of Country Club agents Bob and Sally Peterson. She grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska. After she graduated from Lincoln Southeast high school she earned a degree in advertising at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her hobbies include running, landscaping and spending time with her daughter. Ashley can be reached at 402-875-0344 or ashley.peterson@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Jeremiah Houlden

Jeremiah Houlden

Jeremiah Houlden joins the Wilderness Hills office. Jeremiah grew up in Elwood, Nebraska. He has served in the United States Army for 14 years. His hobbies include hunting and fishing. Jeremiah can be reached at 402-705-8851 or jeremiah.houlden@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty
Tyler Reynolds

Tyler Reynolds

Tyler Reynolds joins the Country Club Plaza office. He is the son of Country Club agent, Roger Reynolds. He grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and is a graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan where he earned a degree in Fine Arts. His hobbies include promoting local musicians, water skiing and spending time with family. Tyler can be reached at 402-610-6170 or Tyler.Reynolds@woodsbros.com.


Woods Bros Realty Posted by Woods Bros Realty