Jodi Bakst, Author at

What Property Management Companies Do & Why You Should Hire One

As a real estate investor, hiring a property management company is one of the best decisions you can make. 

Property management companies protect your investment and reduce your stress by taking care of it for you. Property managers who negotiate leases, handle rents, and take security deposits must be licensed real estate brokers. As licensed brokers, we operate under clear practical and ethical standards.

Specifically, there are several things a property manager can do for you. 

First, they can valuate your property so you know how much rent you can get. Next, they’ll position your property for renting the same way an agent positions a home for sale. Tenants today are as picky about which properties to rent as they’d be if they were going to buy, which means property managers must have high-quality systems in place to market your property. They can also screen your tenants, which is a critical process because you want tenants who you’re confident will take care of the property and pay their rent on time. 

Good property managers will communicate with you on a consistent basis

Some people think the most important thing a property manager can do is collect rent, and we agree that this is important, but it’s equally important that your investment is protected and maintained properly. When you switch tenants, we don’t want you spending a lot of time bringing the property up to par. We want you to spend the least amount of money possible and just handle basic wear and tear. Property managers also handle things like move-in and move-out inspections and all types of repair issues—no matter what time of day. 

Furthermore, good property managers will communicate with you on a consistent basis so you know which bills are being paid, what your monthly profits are, and how your accounting looks. 

We at Real Estate Experts go above and beyond for our property management clients, and one thing we do that very few other companies do is physically visit the outside of your property on a monthly basis and the inside on a quarterly basis. This way, we get a good look at the whole property and can take care of any problems. The other benefit of this is we develop great relationships with our clients, which minimizes any potential disputes and helps make sure the rent is paid on time. 

If you have any more questions about what a property management company can do for you, visit our website or drop us a line. We have plenty of property managers who’d love to speak with you. 

Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Rent, Sell, or Keep: What to Do with Your Home After Downsizing

Downsizing your home

What To Do With Your Home If You Are Downsizing

As you grow older, downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home seems like an increasingly attractive option. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a complicated process. Before you even start dealing with the move, you need to decide what you are going to do with your existing family home. In this article, we will go over a few of the basic things to keep in mind.

Selling the House

This is perhaps the most obvious solution, and the one most people choose. After all, most people will need the cash from a home sale in order to be able to afford to buy a new place. However, it’s important to actually understand the local market before deciding.

According to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, the average home in Chapel Hill sells for $400,000, and homes take an average of 62 days to sell. This is because Chapel Hill is not a particularly competitive market. What this means is that you cannot be guaranteed a quick sale.

This becomes especially relevant if you are selling a big family home. According to Business Insider, the large multi-bedroom homes owned by boomers are becoming harder to sell to the younger generation. In other words, your big house may be hard to sell, and you are less likely to make as much profit from downsizing.

There is also the matter of downsizing your possessions. Selling the house means you likely have to get rid of many items and furniture. You need to be organized and have a plan to make sure you don’t get overwhelmed. My Move recommends starting early and starting small, prioritizing the rooms you won’t have in your new house (like an attic or home office).

Renting Out the House

Renting out your house is a great option if you plan to sell the house someday but would rather hold onto it for now. Rent does not bring in a big cash sum, but it can provide a regular, ongoing source of income. This can be more convenient in terms of cash flow for someone on a fixed retirement income.

The average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in Chapel Hill is $1,875, and this is likely to be higher for a house. If you are looking to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center (average rent $1,068.75), you could be looking at a net monthly profit.

If, on the other hand, you are buying your new home, things can be a bit more complicated. For seniors, Bankrate recommends looking at 10-year or 15-year mortgages, which will allow you to pay off the smaller home faster. Using the SmartAsset calculator, we can see that a 15-year mortgage on a $400,000 home, with a $50,000 down payment, would cost almost $3,000 a month. If you wanted to pay off your mortgage with your rent income, your down payment would have to be as big as $200,000.

Of course, these are all approximate figures, which will vary pretty significantly. It is worth noting that a senior could get a traditional 30-year mortgage, which would be a lot easier to finance using rent income. However, experts do tend to recommend seniors minimize debt in retirement, and this may not be the most convenient option.

If you are considering renting your home, Real Estate Experts property management group will take care of your all important investment — your home.  If you want to learn about property managers and what we do and what Real Estate Experts does to protect your home, watch our video about What Property managers Do and visit our web site.

Keeping It in the Family 

This is obviously the best option if there is someone in the family who actively wants the home. There are several options here, from giving the house as a gift to passing on the mortgage to your family member. Each has its own tax implications, so do plenty of research before deciding. For instance, if you try to sell your house to a relative for a big discount, the IRS will still count this as a gift, and the gift tax will apply.

Deciding what to do with a family home when downsizing is never an easy choice. There are a lot of complex financial factors but also significant emotional and practical ones. For this reason, you need to give yourself plenty of time to consider all these carefully and discuss them with your family if needed. In other words: When it comes to downsizing, don’t rush things!

Real Estate Experts can help you evaluate your home and help you make the decision about selling or renting.  The foundation of our business is that is It All About You.  Our goal is to help you make the best decision that meets your family goals.  Contact us anytime!

Jodi Bakst of Real Estate Experts Makes Best Agents List

Jodi Bakst of Real Estate Experts Makes Best Agents List

November 12, 2019 (Chapel Hill, NC) – After analyzing and scoring 105 agents, Expertise has awarded Jodi Bakst (left), owner of Chapel Hill-based Real Estate Experts, a place on its 2019 list of the Best Real Estate Agents serving Durham, NC.

“I’m thrilled!” Bakst said, smiling, as she downloaded the award badge for her agency’s website.

Based in Seattle, WA, Expertise uses a proprietary, in-depth research and selection process, including detailed comparisons, to identify the top service professionals in over 200 different industries in significant cities across the United States.

Ultimately, the Expertise team conducts a manual review before notifying those who make the list. But first, Expertise’s in-house software grades them on Reputation, Credibility, Experience, Engagement (approachable and responsive to clients), and Professionalism.

“Jodi Bakst… began her career in the real estate field over two decades ago,” her Expertise listing points out. “Focusing on the local real estate market in Chapel Hill, Durham, and surrounding communities, she specializes in residential properties, green building, digital marketing, and property management.” It also notes her “many advanced certifications, including residential and luxury home marketing specialist, distressed property expert, and international property specialist.”

Expertise reports that the lists on its website,, receives over half a million monthly visitors. To see all of the lists of “Best Local Experts” by state, city, and category, visit

For more information on Jodi Bakst and Real Estate Experts, visit

About Real Estate Experts: 

Real Estate Experts is a residential real estate and property management company that has been serving the local market for over 20 years, going above and beyond to provide exceptional service to its clients. The agents are experts in their market and out-of-the-box thinkers when it comes to the real estate transaction, negotiation, and marketing. With their clients in mind, they listen and deliver the results they want. For more information, visit, call 919-928-9131, or email J[email protected].

We’re Seeking Agents to Join the Real Estate Experts Team

We’re Seeking Agents to Join the Real Estate Experts Team

LeeAnn Prescott, who works in the Real Estate Expert’s Chapel Hill office, and Cathryn Hartwell, who works in our Burlington location, join me today to help me explain why you should join the Real Estate Experts team. 

LeeAnn is a relatively new agent. She interviewed four different companies and did countless hours of research on others, but in the end, she decided that the Real Estate Experts was the best fit for her for a multitude of reasons.

On the Real Estate Experts team, your success drives your revenue. We don’t make our money on the backs of agents in terms of fees—there are no fees at all, and there aren’t any compensation splits, either. Leanne enjoys the diversity that we have on the team and the fact that if she ever has any questions or problems, there’s always someone there to help her.

We also talk quite a bit about technology and how the industry is changing. We’re always searching for the most cutting-edge ways to market and generate leads, which helped LeeAnn get her business off the ground.

Cathryn has been an agent for a long time and has also worked in property management. Before joining our team, she worked with another company but felt that she had gone as far as she was going to go with them. She began to look for another company that offered really good leadership and could help pull her out of the Dark-Age methods of marketing herself and her business.

We’re here to facilitate people’s growth, and we’re not successful unless you, the agent are successful.

She had seen us start our business about 20 years ago and had watched us grow from behind the scenes. When she ended up reaching out to us, she was impressed with what she heard. On top of being a general brokerage, we also do property management.

Cathryn came to us from Burlington, which isn’t a spot we’ve traditionally spent a lot of time. Cathryn really opened our eyes to the growth occurring in Burlington, so we’ve been excited and happy to develop that market. We’ve been thrilled to see how much Cathryn  has been able to do not only with property management, but also her general brokerage business.

With all this being said, the Real Estate Experts need help in Burlington. Cathryn is only one person, and we’d love to see more agents come on board to help her develop the market there.

If you’re thinking about making a career change, this is the perfect time of year to do it—the quiet before the storm of the spring and summer market. Visit our website at to meet the team and decide if the Real Estate Experts are right for you.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to provide you with answers and to explain why joining our team would lead to your personal and professional growth.

Blueplate PR adds Real Estate Experts to its client base

Blueplate PR adds Real Estate Experts to its client base

October 28, 2019 (Raleigh, NC) — Blueplate PR in Raleigh has added a new client to its roster: professional Realtor® Jodi Bakst, the owner of Real Estate Experts.

Based in Chapel Hill, Real Estate Experts is an independent, full-service residential real estate and property management company that has been serving the Triangle and surrounding areas for over 20 years. Bakst has hired the boutique PR agency to increase her agency’s visibility and to support her marketing plans.



“Early in her career, Jodi Bakst knew that marketing is arguably the most important aspect of her business, which contributed to her incredible success. She’s an expert at real estate marketing,” said Kim Weiss, owner and operator of Blueplate PR. “But sometimes public relations is more effective because it confirms a real estate agent’s expertise and credibility. It establishes trust – a value that attracts clients and media attention.”

To that end, Weiss said she’s working with Bakst to expose the “emotional side of Real Estate Experts by celebrating the fascinating people behind the brand and by sharing those happy human moments that real estate transactions so often elicit.”

Blueplate PR will also be involved in a unique residential community Bakst is planning, from website content development through promotional campaigns. The goal, Weiss said, will be maximum exposure to potential investors, property owners, and the media.

“I’m working with architects and builders on my new project,” Bakst said. “They told me, hands down, ‘Kim Weiss is the best in the business. You have to hire her.’ So that’s what I did. And not only am I working with Kim on my upcoming project; I was so excited about her that I asked for her help with promoting Real Estate Experts as well.”

Jodi Bakst co-owns The Property Management Group within Real Estate Experts with Realtor® Bill Matthes. For more information on all aspects of Real Estate Experts, visit

For more information on Blueplate PR, visit

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