- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Name: Bette M. Deller

Company: Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.

Address: 14405 Laurel Place, Laurel, MD 20707

Phone: 301/490-9700, Ext. 4707

Fax: 301/953-9665

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: www.bettedeller.com

Year started: 2000

How did you get started in real estate? I worked for a real estate company as an administrative assistant part-time three nights a week and on Saturdays for 13 years while I was teaching school and earning extra money to send my son to college. I talked to a lot of Realtors and became familiar with the paperwork and the ins and outs of the job. I heard that teachers make the best Realtors, so when I retired as a teacher, I thought real estate was something I would like to try as a second career. I took the prelicensing course the summer after I retired, passed the test, went to Aruba in the fall for a week with my son and his wife, and then signed on as a Realtor with Long & Foster’s Laurel office the following spring. I’ve been there for almost seven years now.

Licenses and designations: Maryland real estate sales; certified home stager; certified residential specialist; graduate Realtor institute; seniors real estate specialist

Awards: Production awards, Long & Foster and Prince George’s County Association of Realtors; Empire Who’s Who among executive and professional women.

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: I am proud of the service I give my clients and the assistance I have given to many new Realtors as a mentor and trainer in my office.

Area of specialty: Residential real estate in Beltsville and Laurel

Highest-priced home sold: $633,537

Most memorable house: It was a two-year-old Vanderbilt model built by Caruso Builders that I listed in Longwood, in Beltsville, for $629,900 in 2004. It was gorgeous and huge, almost 5,000 square feet, with a brick front, five bedrooms, hardwood floors, a cozy breakfast room with an alcove window and all the upgrades. I had great fun making attractive flyers, putting lots of photos in the multiple listing service, holding it open and doing a narrated virtual tour.

Worst experience: In December, I represented a buyer for whom I had written two contracts earlier in the year that did not reach settlement. The buyer walked into my office in late December saying she was ready to start anew. She immediately found many homes she liked and felt certain that she would have a better chance of getting one of them and even getting some closing help. We wrote an offer on one. I had her meet with my lender again, who had helped her earlier in the year, to update her lender letter.

This lender offered the buyer many programs. After the buyer decided on one, I encouraged her not to make any more changes after the first week so the transaction would move along smoothly and settle on time. She made formal application for the loan. Unbeknownst to either of us, the buyer kept shopping lenders and rates as the transaction progressed. Two weeks before settlement she decided to change lenders. I had a call from the new lender saying he was her lender and wanted access to do an appraisal.

I was floored. We had already done the appraisal and had that contingency removed. Then I received a call from my lender, who complained that the buyer was still shopping lenders and rates. She told me she had changed the buyer’s loan program 12 times. Her underwriter had redone the loan binders four times. The buyer also ignored my advice and was jeopardizing the transaction.

One week before settlement, the buyer decided to return to my lender, who assured me that she could still get the loan through underwriting and closing in time. Then, would you believe, two days before settlement the buyer went back to the previous lender a second time, dumping my lender again. Believe it or not, the transaction did settle on time, but my lender felt abused and did a lot of work without compensation.

The buyer wound up spending a lot of money in points, higher interest rates, higher closing costs and double appraisals. She caused a lot of people a lot of stress.

Family: A son who is married with two preschool-age children

Pets: None

Education: Bachelor of science in elementary education, University of Maryland; 72 semester hours in related graduate studies.

Community affiliations: Active member, Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, Beltsville; Delta Kappa Gamma International Society

Last book read: “Misunderestimated: The President Battles Terrorism, John Kerry, and the Bush Haters,” by Bill Sammon

Last movie seen: “Because I Said So”

What kind of car do you drive? A 2004 full-sized, 4-door, Buick LeSabre

What is your personal dream house? A relatively new, detached home in an active adult community near my son with everything I need on the main floor. I would like it to have three bedrooms, a living room, family room, office, breakfast room or sunroom, some hardwood floors, granite counters, 42-inch cabinets, a pantry, stainless appliances, walk-in closets, and all the upgrades of new construction with no steps. I would still like to have a basement, though, with a finished recreation room, movie room, bar and lots of storage space.

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