Island City Realty’s Sam Hoag can clearly recall telling his fourth-grade teacher he wanted to be a real estate agent. He also remembers flipping through magazines and coffee table books as a youth and being fascinated by homes and their architecture.
Hoag and wife Jasmine live in Eaton Rapids with their three dogs. He said he wouldn’t change a thing about growing up in the realty world.
“With Island City Realty Inc. being a family-owned and -operated brokerage for over the past 40 years, I pretty much grew up in the world of what we call the ‘property business,’” Hoag said. “I was raised on hard work and have strong family values.”
That integrity shows in Hoag’s love of work and community.
“It’s hard to beat a nice, peaceful walk around our beautiful Island Park,” Hoag said. “It’s where I go if I ever need some quiet reflection time.”
Hoag also enjoys the summer nights when the Eaton Rapids Cruise-In fills the stretch up and down Main Street with vintage cars on Wednesday nights.
“It’s such a blast to take a walk and observe each car,” Hoag said, adding that any of the Main Street restaurants are also a great reason to enjoy Eaton Rapids.
Embracing the area where he lives is part of Hoag’s essence as a real estate agent and a business owner. He also owns Roof City, a business that provides commercial roofing and solar solutions. As a business owner, he knows hard work is the key to success. As a real estate agent, he understands that trust is a key factor to success.
“It is imperative to trust your agent,” Hoag said. “For most, buying or selling a home is the single largest financial decision of their whole lives. Working with an agent you don’t trust or feel comfortable with is a major issue and can make the process unsettling in this already competitive and crazy market.”
Hoag likens last year’s real estate market to the Wild West.
“I saw newly listed properties that had offers accepted within hours of hitting the market, and more times than not going for well above the asking price,” Hoag said. “While this can be great for the seller, it made it very difficult for some buyers. Especially first-time homebuyers and those who didn’t have the capabilities of submitting offers sometimes 25-50% above the original listing price.”
Hoag believes the 2022 market, which intensifies in late spring and throughout summer, will be much like that of the last two years — a seller’s market with low inventory. He advised buyers not to be discouraged.
“If you are an agent, it is vital that you are proactive for your clients and ready to jump on any property that hits the market that’s within their criteria,” Hoag said.
He noted that having a very well-defined concept of what you want out of your next property will allow you to make logical decisions in the heat of the moment when emotions are especially high.
“Time is of the essence,” Hoag said. “If you are a buyer, it is important to get super clear on what you want out of your next home. Write a list of non-negotiables and consider what your dream home would look like if it only checked seven out of your 10 boxes.”
Hoag’s final advice: Do your research on your agent as well.
“My advice is to find an agent you are comfortable with while also still making sure they have the skills to guide you through your journey competently,” he said.