Monday, November 17, 2014

Bend Oregon Real Estate Firm Wins Harcourts USA Sales Awards

Earlier this month, several of our agents (and our firm as a whole!) received awards from Harcourts USA for superior performance during the third quarter of 2014. As the very first location for the international real estate group in the Pacific Northwest, we were very proud to have been able to hit the ground running in our local community.

Several of our team members attended the awards ceremony recently at the Harcourts USA fall conference in Carlsbad, CA. We received the following recognition: 
  • Harcourts The Garner Group real estate agency won a Platinum Award for outstanding performance as a company
  • Shelley Griffin, broker, received awards as No. 4 sales consultant and No. 2 listing agent among all Harcourts USA offices, plus a Platinum Award for sales performance. 
  • Broker Carol Donohoe won a Gold Award and a Top 20 award for placing 19th in sales.
  • Other quarterly award recipients were: Rob Davis, Gold; Janis Grout, Silver; and Alison Garner-Mata, Sean Haidet, Suzanne Iselin, Lauri Miller and Angela Tweedie, Bronze.

This was the first full quarter for measurement of sales performance since Harcourts The Garner Group became affiliated with the global Harcourts organization in June. More than 780 offices worldwide display the Harcourts brand, including 21 offices in California, Nevada and Oregon.

“We were competing against Southern California agencies with listing portfolios of multi-million dollar homes,” observed Sandy Garner, president and CEO of Harcourts The Garner Group. “I’m really proud of the way our Bend agents compare with those in other markets.”

Go team! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bend, Oregon: Win a Standup Paddleboard from Stand On Liquid!

It's so easy! Just visit our open houses (check our Facebook page for details) over the next two weekends and enter your name to win. We'll draw a winner at the August 30th NorthWest Crossing Farmers Market. Check out the flier below for details and we'll see you on the water! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Net Hope Project Benefits St Charles Foundation

A few months ago, we announced a fantastic project made possible by several local companies and individuals dubbed "Net Hope." This one-of-a-kind fundraiser is a  zero energy home being built to benefit St. Charles Foundation and the St. Charles Cancer Center. Net Hopereceived a big financial boost recently when Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. presented a $9,000 donation to the fund.

Home builder David Hesla of Seven Bridge Signature Homes, and property owners Joe Emerson and Ann Brayfield of are building the three-bedroom contemporary-style home at 61076 Ruby Peak Lane in Bend’s Hidden Hills neighborhood. The builder and seller will donate proceeds from its sale to St. Charles Foundation for cancer support services and nurse navigation to help patients and their families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The partners hope to make this an annual project.

The home is designed to produce as much electrical energy as it consumes over the course of a year. Sunlight Solar Energy Inc. is supplying and installing SolarWorld photovoltaic panels made in Hillsboro, Ore. Proceeds from the sale, including direct donations of materials, services and funds, will go to St. Charles Foundation to help underwrite outpatient support services for patients and families who are dealing with cancer. 

The home will be on display during the 2014 COBA Tour of Homes™ July 18-20 and July 25-27. We are excited to be marketing the home, visit our new Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate of Bend website for more information.

Joe Mazzarella, right, system designer with Sunlight Solar Energy Inc., presents replica check for $9,000 to Corinne Martinez, right, and Lisa Dobey, center, representing St. Charles Foundation. Dobey is Executive Director of the foundation and Martinez is a member of the foundation’s board of directors.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Garner Group Real Estate Is First Oregon Location for Harcourts

We're excited to announce that we have entered a franchise relationship with Harcourts USA, a division of Harcourts International LTD! We're still locally owned and operated by the Garners, but we'll have fantastic new real estate resources available to us through this new relationship. 

The main body of our news release is below, and will give some background information on this exciting new development: 

Harcourts, which was founded in New Zealand in 1888, is an international real estate company with offices all around the world. The Garner Group is the first location for the company in the Pacific Northwest and will be instrumental in bringing Harcourts to Oregon as the company pursues its expansion strategy.

Sandy Garner, owner of The Garner Group Real Estate who has 35 years of experience in the Central Oregon real estate industry, said, “When Harcourts approached us about entering into an agreement, we quickly found that our company cultures and values fit together well. While fitting in with our goals of putting people first, Harcourts also provides the industry-leading technological expertise and training programs we needed. I’ve known the people at Harcourts for 20 years and putting our trust in them was a logical step as we continue to grow our office.”

As a franchisee, The Garner Group Real Estate will have access to the company’s vast resources, including: state-of-the-art business management systems; an array of in-person and online training resources; industry-leading software and tools; and the largest real estate network in the world. Garner said that this platform of comprehensive services will allow her agents and staff to concentrate more on their core business of giving clients top service and attention.

Founded and owned by local real estate experts Sandy and Jay Garner in 2008, The Garner Group Real Estate will continue in its core mission of providing unparalleled expertise, service and value to clients. The company’s Bend, Oregon office represents three generations of the Garner family, and currently is home to more than 25 employees and agents.

The Garner Group Real Estate plans to co-brand with Harcourts and will be changing its name to “Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate.” An unveiling of the new brand will be held in a few weeks at the company’s headquarters at 2762 NW Crossing Dr., Suite 100, in Bend, Oregon’s NorthWest Crossing neighborhood.

About Harcourts
Founded in 1888 in New Zealand by John B. Harcourt, Harcourts has been identified as one of the top five real estate brands in the world by Stefen Swanepoel, author of the Swanepoel Trends Report. The company introduced its current franchise model in 1988, expanded to Australia in 1997 and quickly grew to 170 offices between the two countries. Currently, Harcourts has 800 company and franchise offices in eight countries: New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Fiji, China, Hong Kong, South Africa and the United States.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Net Hope: Bend, Oregon Team Comes Together To Support Cancer Patients

We had a beautiful morning to celebrate the ceremonial ground-breaking of a "ground breaking" new project: "Net Hope--A Community Collaboration Supporting St. Charles Cancer Center and Zero Net Energy Homes.” We're so proud of this fantastic project! Below is the press release that went out today explaining the new project and its partners. 

Seven Bridge Signature Homes,, St. Charles Foundation and The Garner Group Real Estate came together to create this unique collaboration in Bend’s new Hidden Hills neighborhood. The new project, dubbed “Net Hope--A Community Collaboration Supporting St. Charles Cancer Center and Zero Net Energy Homes” will start with the construction and sale of a zero-energy home, which will benefit cancer services in Central Oregon through St. Charles Foundation.  

David Hesla, owner of Seven Bridge Signature Homes, came up with the concept when his own neighbor found limited resources during her husband’s fight with cancer. He said, “I have been involved in charitable endeavors in the past, so I started talking with others in the industry about my idea to help cancer patients and their families.” And the “Net Hope” project was born.

Hesla began working with David Sailors, a licensed broker at The Garner Group, who introduced him to the founders of, Joe Emerson and Ann Brayfield. The three-bedroom contemporary style home he is building for this charitable project will demonstrate how the zero-energy concept can be affordable to the average buyer.

Zero energy homes produce more energy than they consume in the summer, creating an energy credit the owner can use in the winter. “The home produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year,” Emerson said. “It will have solar photovoltaic panels and thick walls filled with insulation. It will be airtight and have energy-efficient appliances and lighting. It is healthier for the environment, healthier for its occupants and healthier for the owner’s pocketbook than standard construction.”

Sailors and The Garner Group will be marketing the home. “This is an exciting opportunity to show the community the benefits of a zero energy home and help local people in need,” Sailors said.

The new home will be located at 61076 Ruby Peak Lane, and will be completed by mid-summer in time for the Central Oregon Builders Association Tour of Homes. The builder and seller will donate proceeds from its sale to St. Charles Foundation for cancer support services and nurse navigation to help patients and their families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis. The partners hope to make this an annual project.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Top 5 Things You Need to Do When Selling Your Home

Cleaning up your act may seem like common sense when putting your home on the market, but many real estate agents will attest to the fact that numerous homes on the market miss the mark. In a brief (and decidedly unscientific) survey of a cross-section of our agents at The Garner Group, some common themes quickly emerged when it came to advice for home sellers. So, if you are selling your home, remember this practical advice for the top five things you can do to have good showings and, ultimately, sell your home!

Number Five:  Do the Repairs
If you know what home repairs need to be completed, do them before you list your home for sale.  If not, take the initiative and have a home inspection done on your dime. The inspector may find things you weren’t even aware of, and fixing them could help you close a sale when it comes right down to it.

Number Four: Curb Appeal
Clean up the outside. Curb appeal and first impressions are literally enough to make or break a sale. If buyers don’t like what they see when they first pull up, it is unlikely that they will even come inside, or – if they do make it inside – their minds will already be made up on the property.  And it won’t be in your favor.

Number Three: Price It Right
Listen to your agent – he or she is an expert in market values in your area. Do some research and market analysis on your own and you’ll have a good chance at landing on a fair price that will move your home quickly. Markets are always shifting and changing so having someone whose scrutinizes the real estate industry daily on your side is a big plus.

Number Two: Make it Smell Nice
Get a thorough cleaning by a professional before you list your home. This will give you a good starting point as you keep your home at “showable” quality throughout the sales process. If someone walks in a house that isn’t clean, or smells bad, it is an instant turnoff. Make sure there are no pet odors and that garbage has been taken out regularly. Our sense of smell affects every other sense in the body – including the desire to buy (or not buy) a home.

Number One: Clear the Clutter
Far and away, the number one piece of advice from experienced agents to home sellers: clean up your act. De-clutter, organize, get rid of your personal belongings – even if you have to rent a storage unit. Buyers want to envision the home with their own things inside of it, and that’s hard to do if a seller’s items are strewn all about. 

For more tips on Bend, Oregon real estate, visit us at The Garner Group Real Estate! 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

MUSE Conference in Bend, Oregon: Proud Sponsor

We're always looking for meaningful ways to be involved in our community of Bend, Oregon, and that's why we're so excited about our second year of sponsorship for the MUSE Conference. This annual women's conference was designed to support and celebrate girls and women - inspiring them to create positive change in their lives and in the world. The Garner Group - and the whole community - is welcoming the conference back to Bend this March 7-9. 

Track the MUSE Conference on social media for all the latest updates - they are bringing in some amazing activists, artists, educators and visionaries. Just a few of the presenters on the three-day docket include: Zainab Salbi, the founder of Women for Women International; Amy Richards, co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation, a national organization for young feminist activists; and Lynne Twist, a recognized global visionary and author who once worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. 

So gather up your sisters, mothers, girlfriends, daughters and muses and make sure to attend this fantastic conference - a key example of the wonderful things we can bring into our community if we all work together. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Congratulations to One Of Our Own! Bend, Oregon Girl Heads to the Big Apple

The Garner Group salutes Katie Wise, daughter of one of our own brokers Christina Wise, for a singular accomplishment. Katie, a proud Bend High School Lava Bear, was the only girl in Oregon chosen to perform with the Honors Choir in the 2014 High School Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

The talented young soprano spent five days in New York City. She joined students from North America and abroad who rehearsed and performed with master conductors and performed before invited representatives of collegiate and professional music programs. High point of the week will be a concert by the Honors Choir at Carnegie Hall Feb. 9. New York sightseeing and Broadway musicals were also on the agenda.

Katie auditioned last fall for the Honors Performance Series and was accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board. “Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing,”said Morgan Smith, program director. “We process thousands of applications annually, selecting only the most talented performers applying on an international level.”

Katie studies music with Angelina Anello-Dennee of Bend and is a member of the Vocal Ensemble and Bend Freshman Choir. She also is active in track, honors scholastics and Musical Impressions.

Congratulations Katie! 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Realtor of the Year Award in Bend, Oregon

We are so humbled and honored that the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) has awarded The Garner Group Real Estate LLC with the "2013 Realtor of the Year" award. 

The 2013 COBA Excellence Awards were presented Jan. 23 at the association’s annual awards night gala. COBA presented Excellence Awards in 28 categories.

Our president Sandy Garner, said, “We are grateful for this recognition. New construction has been a major part of our business through the years and our agents have been privileged to work with many of Central Oregon’s finest home builders.”

She noted that the revival of the real estate market over the past year has given builders the opportunity to help ease low inventories. “New construction represented 21 percent of total residential sales in Bend last year, versus 14 percent in 2012,” she said.

The Garner Group is a proud member of COBA and has been a sponsor of the annual COBA Tour of Homes in recent years.

(We're sorry our blog has had a bad case of the "crickets" in the past few months, but we now have some exciting news to share with our Bend, Oregon community! We're BACK! Look here for regular updates in the coming weeks.)