by Joshua Jerome
For many Americans, purchasing a home is the largest financial transaction they’ll make in their lifetime and it’s not just a home, but an investment. And for many, this investment will be the largest investment in their lives and a decision that will have lasting implications for years to come. Because of the significance of the transaction, there are often emotional ramifications that are created during the home buying process. With so much at stake, it’s important to identify resources to help you get through the process of purchasing or selling a home and one of the most important resources is having proper representation.
According to the National Realtors Association, nine out of 10 people looking to purchase or sell a home utilize the professional services of a realtor. In central Vermont, we are fortunate to have a number of well respected and knowledgeable realtors to choose from. I caught up with a couple of them one day, Tim Heney and Michelle Moran Gosselin from Heney Realtors, to talk about the history of the firm and what they’re seeing in the local market.
Heney Realtors was started in 1956 by Bill and Bud Heney right down in the same building where their Montpelier branch office resides today. Tim said he practically grew up in the Heney Realtors office, often spending the afternoons after school monitoring the dealings of his father and grandfather, as well as playing the ever important role of oldest brother to his nine younger brothers and sisters. Entering into the family business came naturally for Tim and he became fully immersed in the real estate business after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1981.
Michelle has been helping homebuyers and sellers throughout central Vermont for over 27 years. Interestingly, Michelle is the youngest of nine brothers and sisters and upon this revelation we all sat at the table contemplating the significance and stark contrasts between both Tim and Michelle. With decades of experience between both, I didn’t waste any time going right into asking how the technology sector has affected their industry. Michelle said “they constantly monitor what’s new in technology” while Tim noted that Heney Realtors works with a Vermont company, Union Street Media, who specializes in building web platforms for the real estate industry.
I asked them, “In a world of smartphones, is it difficult to not be connected to work?” Both agreed that it is impossible to not be connected to work, but the culture at Heney Realtors encourages employees to unplug from work during vacations. In addition to staying up on the latest tech trends in real estate, they pay attention to legislative actions like the increase in the real estate transfer tax passed by the legislature this past session. It is a must for agents to provide the highest quality service.
In the fall of 2013, Heney Realtors acquired Town & Country Associates based in Barre. The move has helped expand its market presence in Barre and they’ve embraced the community; becoming title sponsor for the second year in a row to the popular summer concert series in Currier Park, a 10-week series of live musical performances every Wednesday at 7 p.m.
I asked Tim and Michelle how the revitalization of downtown Barre has affected real estate sales in the area and both said there has been a positive correlation between people purchasing houses in Barre City and Barre Town because of the redevelopment of the downtown. Tim noted that many of their clients, when they take a tour of the community, are impressed with the number of community assets, the “heritage that feeds Barre is incredible, a real strength here.” And Michelle pointed out that Barre has good inventory on the market at varying price points, but that there was still “good value to be found.”
I was pleased that both Tim and Michelle gave me some time to sit down and discuss the history of Heney Realtors and the role they are playing in Barre to provide high quality real estate services. The purchase of real estate is an important decision and having a knowledgeable agent can help any buyer or seller have a rewarding experience.
The writer is executive director with the Barre Partnership.