FARMINGTON — After 37 years of working in real estate, the owners of the Bean & Smith Real Estate team say it’s time to make a change.
Starting Monday, Feb. 24, Juanita Bean Smith and Brad Smith, along with sales associate Stephanie Marcotte, will merge their business with Coldwell Bankers Sandy River Real Estate, Bean said.
The three and the Bean and Smith Real Estate listings will become part of that agency, she said. They will move to the Coldwell Bankers’ 602 Wilton Road address, but email and phone numbers will remain the same for now.
“It’s a wonderful crew (at Coldwell). We’ll enjoy working with them,” Bean said. “We’ll merge the staff and listings to make it the largest agency in the area.”
Maintaining the Bean & Smith office at 253 Fairbanks Road for 32 of those 37 years has required time and loads of paperwork, she said.
“We’re ready to step it up a notch,” Bean said. “There’ll be more agents available to work on listings, and I’ll have more time to sell.”
Coldwell Banker Sandy River Realty lists 19 sales agents and numerous properties on its website.
The couple, who have taken separate vacations over the years so one is available to run the real estate office, have “toyed with the idea for a while,” she said.
“It’s time for a change,” Smith agreed. “We’re happy with the change we’ve chosen.”
The business has listings around Franklin County, including many north of Farmington and several in the Rangeley area, he said.
Over the years, the biggest trend in selling real estate is how it has become a digital world, Bean said.
“Everything has gone pretty much digital,” she said. “It’s easier and lets us connect with people all over the world.”
A few sales went through site unseen, only what they could view through the Internet.
Bean said she sold a house in Madrid Township to a woman from the Midwest via the Internet, and Smith sold a property with a waterfall to a U.S. Naval officer who was stationed on a carrier in the Pacific, she said. Neither physically viewed the properties before the purchases.
When the couple started in the business, print advertising was used. They advertised properties in 35 periodicals throughout New England.
Now “over 90 percent of all real estate transactions start online,” she said. “It gives buyers and sellers access to more timely information. They can research, come prepared and be more realistic about what their dollar is going to buy.”
Although these winter months have been challenging, it’s a good time for real estate transactions, she said. Interest rates are low and housing prices appear to have stabilized, she added.
One familiar face in the Bean & Smith office will have to adjust her work. Midge, their 10-year-old setter, greets customers at the Fairbanks Road office.
“She’ll still be with Brad,” Bean said, only probably not in their new office.