Jeffrey Hogue Realtor

Real Estate home sales, new home construction sales, commercial real estate sales, all iin the Berks County area. Realtor since 1993. Top producing Realtor in Berks County 2012. Over 22,000,000 sold. Instead of telling you what I do, how many homes I have sold and all the awards I have achieved simply read my customer REVIEWS on and My customers will tell you more about me than I could ever say. I am truly humbled by their comments. Please see my web site at for more on this subject.

Real Estate Blog and Articles

Knowledge is Power ~ This Blog is meant to empower the consumer with real world, no nonsense real estate information...Enjoy!

Shedding Light on the Real Estate Transaction Fee

transaction fee

Is it Necessary to Pay a Real Estate Transaction Fee? If you are reading my info-article for the first time you will quickly understand that my goal is to educate home buyers and sellers about the nuances of the real estate business. If you are a consistent reader you know I tell it like it is (or how I believe it is). This week I want to shed light on the infamous transaction fee (also known as an administrative or broker service fee). Whatever it is called by different real estate brokerages I will refer to it as the FEE. Several years ago real estate brokers faced with higher costs of doing business looked for ways to supplement their income. Many decided to charge ancillary fees in addition to the real estate commission. The fee is usually in the $200 to $500 range and purport to cover costs for increased overhead and costs incurred for complying with the myriad of federal and state laws affecting the sale of residential real estate. The fee is not limited to the home seller … [Read more...]

A Change of Plan


As I sat down this week to craft the next edition of how to fix the real estate business I was presented with a letter from one of my Realtors®. After reading the content of the letter I knew a change of plan was in order. Helping Berks County and Reading home buyers and seller understand the craziness of the real estate industry would have to wait till next week. The following letter from Samuel Padovani says it all… “Why I chose Weichert Realtors® Neighborhood One” “My very first year in the real estate business, I worked for one of the larger firms in Berks County.  It was a good experience, one I would not change.  I had the opportunity to work with some veteran agents and learned a few things as well.  I also started to see how this real estate business actually operates.  Becoming a standout agent at one of these larger offices is extremely difficult.  While the agent is trying to learn and establish himself, the company is doing everything in its power to fill the building … [Read more...]

Don’t Get Caught in the Home Inspection Trap


Most home buyers consider hiring a home inspection company to review the condition of the property they are about to purchase. The home inspection can include the following: Home/Property Inspections and Environmental Hazards (mold, etc.), Radon, Wood Infestation, Water Service, On-Site Sewage, and almost anything else one can think of. The inspections are chosen, and often paid for by the buyer and presented to the home seller as a contingency of the home purchase. When the buyer has the chosen inspections completed by a certified home inspector the agreement offers them the following options: Accept the Property with the information stated in the Report(s) and agree to the RELEASE in Paragraph 28 of this Agreement. Terminate this Agreement by written notice to Seller, with all deposit monies returned to Buyer according to the terms of Paragraph 26 of this Agreement. Present the Report(s) to Seller with a Written Corrective Proposal (“Proposal”) listing corrections and/or cr … [Read more...]

What’s the Deal with Listing Your Home?

listing your home

Anyone seeking a service from another hopes that the company and/or person they choose can get the job done. As long as things turn out right everyone is happy. If things do not turn out right, well, you know…Stuff can hit the fan. Hiring an agent when listing your home for sale can be challenging. Take the following metaphor, for example…If you have ever played blackjack at a casino this scenario should resonate with you. If you have not, follow along. The picture will take shape. You sit down at a blackjack table with 5 other strangers. Behind the table is the dealer. You and the other players place your bets. The cards are dealt and the dealer breaks (loses) .That means you and all the other players win. The dealer continues to break for the next five hands and everyone at the card table is euphoric. You start tipping the dealer, high fiving the strangers at the table and stacking your chips. The dealer continues to shuffle and deal out winning cards. You are happy and so is the d … [Read more...]

Berks County, How Do You Shop For Homes?

house search

If there is one thing I can say about a Berks Countian it is that they know how to shop and find a deal. Some people who are not native to the area say we are cheap. I say they are jealous. Anyone can spend $200 on a bottle of wine and choose a winner. One need be savvier to choose a good $10 bottle. So who better to ask about home shopping than Berks County residents? In 2013 the National Association of Realtors® stated that 90 percent of home buyers search online during their home buying process. I sometimes think the 10 percent that don’t live in Berks but we all know that cannot be true… Right? Here are some other cool statistics from NAR. I think the key phrase in NAR’s statement is that buyers shop for homes online during the process. Obviously this means that other forms of media are still being utilized to find homes. Yes, finding the right home for the right price is a process. The savvy home buyer will use newspaper, magazines and flyers on grocery store walls, if … [Read more...]

The Consumer Notice ~ Does it Really Protect Consumers?


It seems that everywhere we turn the government is trying to protect us. But from what, ourselves, others? Nobody can really be sure. Take commercials for prescription drugs like Viagra® for example. The whole commercial may last 60 seconds. In that time we are told every adverse thing that may happen to us, and what to do if something does if we use the product. If you get a rash stop using the product, get a physical to make sure you are healthy enough for the task at hand, if you have an erec…Well, you get it. We remember some of the warnings because they are humorous and end up on shows like Saturday Night Live. Others are long forgotten even before the commercial is over. In November of 1999, Pennsylvania enacted the Agency Disclosure Law which was designed to protect Consumers. The Act requires that prospective customers about to engage in a real estate transaction read the Consumer Notice and sign it prior to entering into a meaningful discussion with any real estate sales … [Read more...]

Home Showings ~ Quality vs Quantity


If you desire to sell your home it is likely you will need prospective home buyers to visit and take a look. This action is known in the business as a home showing. Most homeowners attempting to sell their property don’t necessarily like to be inconvenienced by letting their home be shown but understand the necessity. Their agents tell them that the more the home is shown the more likely it is to sell. In most cases this statement is true but times have changed. Before the advent of the internet prospective home buyers would look for homes for sale by driving through neighborhoods and looking for real estate signs. They acquired the latest real estate magazines and/or the Reading Eagle classifieds. Finally, they would contact a Realtor®, sit down with them and look over the multi-list book, yes book. These actions took effort on the buyers’ part and made looking at homes more than a passing fancy. Thanks to the internet more people have access to information on homes that are for … [Read more...]

The Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker… Oh and Zillow

butcher baker and the candlestick maker

Pricing a home or property may be the most challenging thing a Realtor® endeavors to do for an owner. Price it too high and the home is destined to be mercilessly passed over by the masses searching homes online. Estimate the home’s value at something less than what the owner believes it is worth and you may not get the listing. Why? Many home owners converse with family, friends and acquaintances when considering selling their home. This produces well-meaning accolades such as, “your home is in a great neighborhood. It will sell fast”; “Your home is nice! It is at least worth (Insert Large Number HERE)”; and my particular favorite, “If I were looking for a home I would buy it”. Armed with the confidence offered by their comrades, the owner enthusiastically goes online to get a better idea of what their home may be worth. They run aground on a website called There they are confronted with this thing called a Zestimate®. What the heck is that? To better understand wh … [Read more...]

Mid-Century Homes ~ Back to the Future


Berks County is full of luscious split-level mid-century homes. My description of a mid-century property is post-war, pre-plywood. It was a simpler time. A time when a smartphone was one that did not ring during dinner time. I was recently contacted by CNN news to do a story about mid-century, or as they put it, time capsule homes. I gladly accepted the assignment. It started as a question and answer session. The Q&A was never published so I have posted it here for your enjoyment. So it is back to the future we go with the questions and answers… CNN: What are the challenges of selling mid-century, or time capsule homes? α        Jeffrey Hogue: Mid-century homes remind me of bell bottoms. If you wait long enough everything comes back in style. Mid-century homes have seen a rise in popularity over the last several years with good reason. The challenge in selling a home like this lies in the way it has been maintained over the years. Many Mid-Century Home purists want the prope … [Read more...]

To All Our Mothers

earthheart1 mothers

Dear Mothers of the World, We as the human race would like to thank all mothers for your unconditional love. When no one will listen to us you always do. You do this even though we sometimes ignore you when you ask us for our time or attention. When we need to be consoled you are always there. We know that you will always take our side and help us find peace even in the face of our wrongdoings. Thank you for telling us about the mistakes we will make and being there to catch us when we make them. There are times we take you for granted because, like our senses, we believe you will always be there. Even knowing this you are unwavering in your feelings toward us. It is said that God made the world in 6 days and then he rested on the 7th. Afterward came man. It is somewhat evident that man could not emotionally survive alone so God made women. It is obvious that he could not fit his greatness into one being and like any good creator made sure he perfected the second … [Read more...]

Amazing Article in Top Agent Magazine


About one month ago I was contacted by the staff at Top Agent Magazine. They wanted to do an article on me and asked if I was interested. I eagerly accepted the proposal.   Within a week an editor called me to do a phone interview. He stated that it would take about 20 or 30 minutes. He obviously was not aware of who he was talking to. We were on the phone for an hour and 10 minutes. At the end of the interview he stated that there was so much material it may be impossible to put it all on the one page article layout. About 3 or 4 more days went by and I received another call from the editor. He told me that the magazine was offering me a 5 page article and the cover of the Pennsylvania edition of the magazine. I sent several photos for them to consider using and was even more excited when the magazine called and said they would offer the cover of the issue as well. I am both thankful and honored to be considered worthy of the offering by Top Agent Magazine. They did a … [Read more...]

Touch-A-Truck ~ A Great Day in Berks


This past Saturday afternoon the Junior League of Reading, PA Inc. held their 9th annual Touch-A-Truck event at First Energy Stadium. Children from all over Berks County and beyond came to see the different array of vehicles on display.     This year I brought the bucket truck, as usual, and also had the folks at the Action Track USA bring the Kenny Brightbill #19 Speedster. I was able to take photos of many of the youngsters, and some parents, sitting in the racecar. I am not sure who had more fun as you will see from the photos. The Junior League of Reading, PA, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Theyare part of an international organization, The Association of Junior Leagues International, which has 296 Junior Leagues throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, & Britain. Since 19 … [Read more...]

Berks County, PA ~ Are Our Lawmakers Baking a Blight Cake


Berks County, PA and Reading were once the shining star of the mid-20th century. Even during the depression years Reading stood as a haven of prosperity compared to other cities around the country. In fact the population of Reading during the 1930’s topped 110,000. There has never been more inhabitants in the city before or after that time. Why? Simple, affordable housing and jobs. From the 1920’s through the 1950’s the textile industry was booming. Reading was a leader in the industry and also had steel, railroads and many other blue collar opportunities. The homes in Reading were well suited for the growing families who migrated to our city. Many who remember those days tell stories of how areas of the city were home to ethnic groups of all races who took residence together in the neighborhoods. Whole families and their friends desired to live close to each other. They worked together, played together and lived together. Things have changed but our traditional economic think … [Read more...]

27 Home Features Business Owners Think About Before Buying


My husband and I have started, owned, and grown four businesses in our 24 years of marriage and are starting a fifth. In that time, we have owned four homes. Although the majority of our business has been conducted outside the home, most were started at home or involved the use of our home in numerous ways. If you are a business owner or ever think you’ll be one, here are 27 home features to think about when buying a home. 1)     Is there potential “regular and exclusive” office space? Home-based business tax deductions are based on the square footage area or ratio of rooms used, but must meet the regular and exclusive test set by the IRS. While I do not do taxes and this is not tax advice, the amount and size of your home office deduction can be a huge money saver at tax time for small business owners. 2)     Is the house suitable for client visits? Will any clients who come to this house feel comfortable? Even if you have another place where your business is located, it is not unc … [Read more...]

I Don’t Really Need to Sell My Home


There are certain things a home seller says that can cut their real estate agent to the core. “I don’t really need to sell my home” may be tops on the list. It even trumps “I don’t need a REALTOR® to sell my home”. To understand my logic let’s look more closely at the two statements. Let’s start with a home owner who is thinking about, or going to, sell their home. They may either contact a real estate agent or be contacted by one. In either case a meeting between the parties seems imminent. On average that appointment may last between one and two hours. After careful evaluation the home owner may choose to do nothing, interview other REALTORS®, choose the agent they are speaking to or, the dreaded, decide they don’t really need a REALTOR® to sell their home and try it themselves. Now we will move to the home owner who has decided to use a real estate agent to sell their home. The REALTOR® works with the home seller to price the home, lists the home, takes photos, describes the a … [Read more...]

Risk Management is Important When Selling Your Home


Risk management is a term we most likely hear in the world of investing. However, it’s a term that you should hear when selling your home. When you decide to sell your home, there is a tremendous amount of risk that you are trying to manage. How so? Let’s start with the single most important factor, you and your family’s future. When you choose to hire a Real Estate agent to sell your home, you are looking for representation, plain and simple. This agent must have your best interest in mind at every critical step along the way. Every decision that is made is an endeavor to minimize your risk. What is at risk? Most importantly, your family’s security as it relates to your real estate.  There is nothing more important than the happiness and security of your family. Whether you are a family of ten or a family of one, your financial future, and large portion of what determines the level of stress in your life at this time may very well hinge on selling your home. If you could remove … [Read more...]