History of Real Estate Agency


real estate femal agent

Trudy the real estate matchmaker

Once upon a time, a long long time ago a farmer and his wife were facing hard times as their family grew larger but so busy were they that they had no time to look for a larger farm. All the adjoining land in their valley was already owned and being cultivated by other farmers.  This is the rest of the story on how real estate agency go its start.

The village matchmaker (as in marriages) wasn’t busy at the time and the farmer’s wife (Brunhilda) was chatting with her (Gertrude but they called her Trudy for short), and saying how they needed more land to grow crops for their growing family. Trudy, being an eager and very helpful person, thought carefully and remembered learning about a family from a nearby valley, over the mountain, that was not fully settled, that was hoping to attract another family that might have sons to marry their daughters.

Trudy set out to check this out for herself and in a few days she visited Brunhilda again and told her she’d found some land for her family to move to. Brunhilda, knowing how good a matchmaker Trudy was renowned to be, asked her to make the arrangements with the owner of the land in the nearby valley called Berksvald. Trudy went back and forth between the landowner in Berksvald and Brunhilda and her husband to work out the details. What’s more, Trudy was able to arrange the transfer of Brunhillda and her husband, Thorgood’s small farm to their neighbor Jossman who paid with cattle and sheep that would help the family get started on their new land.

Well, that’s how real estate agency got its start. Trudy prospered as a matchmaker of young persons seeking to marry as well as the same young families needing a place to live. Everyone trusted Trudy to make a good match as she knew not only the families but also the region. They placed their TRUST in her to do RIGHT by them for which she was duly paid.

One interesting side note to this was that Trudy helped everyone, not just one family. She was a matchmaker and for this she was counted on to treat both sides of every match with equal care and consideration. Everyone knew she was fair-minded and they could count on her not to cheat or take advantage of either party.

Flash forward many many hundreds of years and now there is a new breed of agent, we’ll call him Arvo to protect his identity since he’s still around. Arvo believes that his job as an agent is to try to take some sort of advantage, any he can, for his new breed of seller that is now called a client. Arvo’s client, the seller, Sven Sogge isn’t from the town but moved here some 5 years ago. In fact few of the townspeople grew up in the town. So Sven wants Arvo his agent to get a super high price, much higher than Arvo told him the property was probably worth and to help him get this high price Sven is not talking about some of the things he knows are wrong with the house and land and hopes Arvo won’t find out or ask any awkward questions. Arvo is obedient and never asks for information about problems. Sven doesn’t volunteer information and Arvo carefully keeps Sven and the future potential buyers Mr. & Mrs. Brandvold away from Sven Sogge so there’s no chance the Brandvolds would ask Sven any compromising questions. When the Brandvolds ask some questions of Arvo he just answers he doesn’t know and leaves it up to them to try to find out on their own.

There is a new “matchmaker” in town, Trina Bjeland. Her role is to be a transaction broker, also called a facilitator. We’ll call her TB for short. Trina follows The Golden Rule. She believes in her heart that when she puts a match together, she wants both buyers and sellers to know everything she knows or could reasonably know about a property. She also believes that the personal information about both parties should be kept confidential. Trina asks all sorts of questions, she has the sellers fill out a property questionnaire which covers all the important aspects of the property from problems such as dampness to permits and repairs. Trina puts herself in both the buyers’ and the sellers’ shoes as it were, so that both sides can make fully informed decisions. Hiding material information is not Trina’s style.

Unfortunately even though Arvo goes to his house of worship and thinks of himself as a “good person” he isn’t allowed to follow The Golden Rule in business. The law of agency just doesn’t allow that. As an agent, he has to do whatever the seller, Sven Sogge, tells him to do and his duty goes even so far as to try to take any advantage he can of Mr. & Mrs. Brandvold that he legally can including finding out personal motivations that his client Sven could potentially take advantage of. Of course he can’t knowingly break any laws but he knows it’s not his job to be helpful to the buyers. His duty as an agent is to think only about and protect his seller’s interests. In fact he is technically breaking his duty as an agent if he helps the buyers in any way.

While Arvo is doing his best to prevent information getting to the Buyers that might be harmful to his seller’s goal of high price and non-disclosure, Trina is doing her best to see to it that both the buyers and sellers are making their own fully informed decisions by having all the factual information possible.

Trina has been in the business a long time and recognizes the obvious fact that buyers sooner or later become sellers and if those sellers had overpaid as buyers they might have a harder time when it comes time to sell. Or if there was a significant problem they hadn’t known about, they now face having to either spend a lot of money fixing it or taking a loss maybe when they sell. In other words, without proper disclosure, the next time around could become more of a problem but with full disclosure, with both parties being treated equally and fairly as Trina believes should be done, then the future is better for everyone.

Arvo’s approach to the business is that he has been taught and trained that it’s up to the buyers to figure out the problems and value on their own and he rather hopes they won’t find them and will pay top dollar, maybe even more than the property is really worth. Arvo knows that once the buyers have closed on the property, if there are problems that appear afterwards, so long as he didn’t lie about those or intentionally hide them, then it’s the buyers’ problem and he’s on to the next sale.

Arvo, as an agent, follows the rule of “buyer beware”, that it’s up to the buyer to figure out value and find problems. Arvo really hopes the buyers won’t know enough to contact Trina either. He’s much better off if buyers go to him directly and not involve Trina who would be helping her buyers discover all there is to know about the property.

Trina’s approach is that she wants everyone to have the benefit of all the information available. She lives by the Golden Rule, in her life and in her career. Trina, like Trudy, wants everyone to be happy and well served. Trudy the matchmaker was a true facilitator just as Trina is today.

Copyright 2014

Paul Harsch

Stockbridge MA Home

Stockbridge MA Main Street in Holiday Dress

Stockbridge MA Main Street in Holiday Dress

What do I really want when I sell my Stockbridge MA  home?

These are a few of the things I certainly want.   I want an excellent price when I sell my Stockbridge MA  home.  Preferably a  specific price for my Stockbridge house because I am a seller who knows the value of property in Stockbridge MA.  I want the house sold within 6 months.  So I will hire a Real Estate Broker and hope this person will deliver what I want within six months.  Also I want a Real Estate Broker who will understand my needs and be there for me.  Sounds simple, right?  Well yes and no.

Actually what I really want is the life that comes after my Stockbridge home is sold.  The sale of my Stockbridge home is just a means to get me to the next stage or phase of my life. I may want to retire or maybe want a larger home for my growing family.  Maybe I am facing a job transfer or lifestyle change. Whatever the reason for selling, I have a purpose and  selling my Stockbridge MA home  is just a means to getting to my goal.

What could a Real Estate Broker say to me that would  increase my chances of selling my Stockbridge MA home within six months for the price I want?   What do I need to do to make this Stockbridge MA home  sale possible?   Let me share a a story that a Berkshire County Real Estate Broker shared with me when we discussed selling my Stockbridge home.

The Real Estate Broker shared with me the story of some clients from Stockbridge MA  who were interested in selling their home.  This couple  had lived in their Stockbridge home for 40+ years, raised their children, enjoyed careers, the community and loved their home. Finally after all these wonderful years they decided they were ready for a whole new phase of life, in a retirement community condo. They had done all the research, picked out the condo  they wanted to purchase in the new location  and knew when their unit would be ready.

This Stockbridge MA couple  had a crystal clear picture of where they were going.  They were focused on the future.  Putting their lovely Stockbridge home on the market was a stage along their journey to their new life. They were already moved into their new condo in their imaginations.  They saw themselves socializing with their new friends, enjoying their grand children and traveling more without the worry of a large home to tie them down.

This is where the story of selling their Stockbridge MA  home became relevant to my own home sale.  The advice of their Real Estate Broker (who had done a Stockbridge MA home comparative market analysis and suggested a strategic price for their Stockbridge MA home) made all the difference in helping them reach their ultimate goal of moving on to the next stage in their life.  They followed the advice of their Real Estate Broker which resulted in the home going under contract within one month and then closing within the standard time frame for closings.

Were they motivated?  Yes they were.  Did they set a price based on their previous enjoyment and  love of the Stockbridge home?  No they did not.  They set their price based on actual recent home sales in Stockbridge MA.  In fact they considered pricing slightly lower than the current Stockbridge market value because they had emotionally moved on and were planning for a bright future in their new condo.   The Real Estate Broker however suggested that they price within current market value and they did.  Happily their story had a wonderful ending and they have since moved into their new condo.

As I consider selling my Stockbridge MA home I am going to consider whether or not I truly want to move on.  Even if I am not committed to moving on I may still decide list my home on the market.   I will price my home above the current market value for Stockbridge real estate and hope for a windfall.  After all I could get lucky.  Right? Actually that is not right.

I could jeopardize selling my Stockbridge MA  home in the future by ignoring good strategic pricing.  This will result in my home being on the market for months or years without a buyer. When I am truly  ready to move on I will price my Stockbridge home strategically to attract the most buyers and sell within a reasonable time frame.  Now I need to carefully consider if I am ready for this home sale.

Stockbridge Homes for Sale

Stockbridge homes  for sale this week  (October 10, 2014) number around 75.  Stockbridge is a small New England  town whose population

what to see in Stockbridge

Scenic Stockbridge MA

numbers about 2,000 during the winter months but swells to double that number during the spring, summer and fall as tourists flock to Stockbridge.   You are sure to find a castle or cottage that meets your desires when browsing through our selection of Stockbridge homes for sale.

Stockbridge offers second home owners and snow birds a very desirable destination for weekends, vacations and summer months.  Stockbridge is perhaps best known for the industrial and railroad barons who flocked to the Berkshires during the golden age of American industry.  While escaping the steamy confines of New York City the wealthy elite could socialize and enjoy the cool mountain breezes of the Berkshires in their vast and richly appointed Berkshire Cottages.

Stockbridge in the 21st century becomes a cultural center unlike any other in the country.  Homes that date to before the Revolutionary War stand cheek to jowl with homes that rival the castles of Europe.  Manhattanites still flee the city for the open air and relaxing ambience of the Berkshires found in Stockbridge.   Stockbridge seems to have captured and held the elegance of the “Golden Age” while enhancing that elegance with the diamonds of music, dance and theater.  I think the barons and baronesses would approve of the modern Stockbridge MA.

We will share some of the “diamonds” to be found in Stockbridge in our next blog.  Take a moment to visit our Stockbridge home page and sample the castles and cottages available.  Enjoy touring the most luxurious Stockbridge home on the market to the most affordable cottage in Stockbridge. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Berkshire Home |Like a private park

home for sale berkshire

4.25 acres in town near MCLA and Mass MOCA

 Spacious 4,082 sq. ft. home in desirable neighborhood on 4.25 acres with woodland pond. Wonderful barn with loft for livestock, workshop, etc…. Beautifully maintained yard & gardens, and elevated deck w/ awning.

There is a separate in-law/guest suite with kitchen, bathroom, private entrance and deck. Open kitchen & dining room. Living room w/ fireplace place & sliders to entertainment area w/ bar.  Three to four bedrooms/ 3 full baths.  Terrific Storage and plenty of opportunity for lower level space with overhead door access.  Complete this Picture with an oversized attached two car garage.  Click here to take a walking tour through this home.


Eat-in Kitchen/Dining Room: 13’ x 20’; Laminate Floor; Double Ovens; Dishwasher; Range Stove; Refrigerator; Formica Countertops; Oak Cabinets

Living Room: 16’ x 16’; Carpeted; Fireplace

Sun Room: 6’ x 16’; Sliders to Living Room; Wood Laminate Floor

Family Room: 16’ x 20’; Carpeted; Shared Fireplace w/ Living Room; Closet; Vaulted Ceiling; Access to Deck with Awning

Bedroom: 18’ x 20’; Carpeted; Closet

Bedroom: 14’ x 17’; Carpeted; Closet

Full Bath: 6’ x 10’; Vinyl Floor

Full Bath: 8’ x 12’; Vinyl Floor; Jacuzzi Tub



Loft: 11’ x 38’; Carpeted; Railing; Overlooking Family Room

In-law/Guest Space: 16’ x 32’; Includes Kitchen, Bath, Bedroom, Deck Access with Sliders, and Additional Access to Garage

Bedroom/Other: 10’ x 10’; Not Enclosed

BASEMENT: Full; Partially Finished; Overhead Door Access to Outside; Concrete Floor


BARN: Stone Floor; Loft; Electric; 2 Year Old – 40 Year Shingle Roof



Berkshires Best Small Town in America Williamstown MA

The Best Small Town in America Williamstown MA

williamstown real estate

Best Small Town in America Williamstown MA


The Village Beautiful

Everyone has their own favorite and usually it’s the town they grew up in or live in, or at least I hope many can feel that way about where they live.
For me, Williamstown MA is the best small town in America and I thought I’d write about why that is for me. I can imagine there are quite a few other Williamstown residents who probably share my view, at least on many of the points if not all.
First of all, I like the lack of traffic and Williamstown has none except when there’s something big going on like the Williams alumni parade or fall alumni homecoming. Even on those rare occasions a driver can drive the length of Main St. from the Library in the West to the Williamstown town line in the east is five minutes give or take and pass through just one traffic light which by the way, is more often than not, green as it changes only on demand.
I like the fact you can dine out at any one of about 15 different restaurants and almost never have to wait for a table, how great is that!
Williamstown MA has its own independent movie theater which shows a kaleidoscope of different films most of which never hit the big commercial theaters.
Another reason the town is my number one pick is thanks to Williams College. Awesome! Residents can attend athletic events, theater, use the college’s outstanding facilities like the pool, squash and tennis courts, gym for modest fees or audit courses. This is no ordinary town thanks to the college and Williams as is well known, is no ordinary college. Students are among the top in the nation. We don’t have the wild fraternity scene or crazy behavior that some university towns have to deal with but instead we host smart, hardworking, ambitious and outstanding students who for the most part are focused on their studies.
How about the scenery! Some of the best in the nation I wager. Any time of year it’s just beautiful here. No, we don’t have the Rockies and no we don’t have the Pacific but neither do we have a dense urban environment either. Here we enjoy plentiful natural beauty at our doorsteps while for those needing an urban escape the big cities are only a few hours away.
Our climate is terrific too. Yes we have winter and what a wonderful time of year that is when those who enjoy winter sports are in their glory and we can turn inwards in the winter and get lots of good reading done and enjoy time by the fire.
Spring and fall are spectacular seasons and of course summer, brief as it is, allows us time for gardening, boating, golf, tennis, outdoor cultural events, hiking and basking in the summer sun.

home in Williamstown MA

Calling Williamstown Home

home definition
The town is really clean. I like that. It’s not that there isn’t an occasional bit of litter around but by and large we’re so happy with the way our town looks that people will pick up trash and put it in its proper place. The water is clean, the air mostly clean (we can’t do much about what blows here from other parts of the country), our streets are clean and everyone keeps their properties looking really well kept.
Close to home for me is of course real estate and I can say that in this respect too, Williamstown is the best small town in America because it is “just right”. There is something that fits just about any budget and our values are near the mid-range in the nation. We are neither a rich nor a poor town but we have residents who fit in just about every point of the spectrum from quite wealthy to those who need and receive our support and help. Affordability has actually improved since the recession so housing here is again much more affordable. The town has committed to building more affordable housing because we try to make it possible for as many who would like to live here to be able to do so.
Call me unusual if you like but living where I do in this gorgeous valley and wonderful small town I don’t feel the urge or necessity of going away on vacation. There were years past when we did but more to take the children to see their grandparents. I traveled quite a bit as a younger person and have seen some wonderful places but I never found one I could say today that I’d rather live there. Having done my traveling I find I am blessed and quite content to enjoy the Berkshires in every season.
One more reason to consider Williamstown as the best town in America is the people. What a great bunch. Relatively open minded, committed to learning, committed to the quality of life here, interested in the arts, living a healthy life-style, showing consideration for others. We are not a fanatical bunch and we have a wide variety of interests and talents. Unlike a ski town for example where everyone is engaged in one way or another in that activity or a yachting community, Williamstown is home to a spectrum of different interests although I will acknowledge that education and learning are a prominent focus.
So there you have it, my short list of reasons why Williamstown is number one in my book (I hope everyone not fortunate enough to live here will write their own list about how they like their own town best) and while we don’t ever want to see it become over crowded we would welcome anyone else who cares to join us. It’s simply a great place to live!

williamstown autumn colors

Welcome to our town.
Williamstown MA

Paul Harsch
Copyright 2014

Berkshires The Clark Art Institute Williamstown MA


Williamstown MA near The Clark

YouTube video of The Clark Art Tadao Ando Visitors Center. Click Here.

Clark Art Institute Williamstown MA will host a grand opening July 4, 2014. Thousands are expected in Williamstown to view this architectural delight and the collections.   The information that follows courtesy of The Clark Art Institute Web Page gives up a preview.

williamstown ma real estate near the clark art

Williamstown MA is home to one of the finest art collections in the country.

Join us this summer as the Clark opens its new Visitor Center, renovated galleries, and expanded campus.

Opening Day: July 4, 2014

Don’t miss a thing—keep informed by signing up for our e-newsletter or becoming a member

Here’s a sneak peek of what to expect:

Visitor Center
– New building designed by Tadao Ando
– Spacious special exhibition galleries
– Unique dining and shopping opportunities
– Beautiful views of Stone Hill and the Clark’s campus

Museum Building
– Elegant renovated galleries
– Reinstallation of the permanent collection, including the return of the French paintings collection after a three-year international tour
– A fifteen percent increase in gallery space, including a new gallery for American art
– New public areas

Manton Research Center
– Increased access to the Clark’s diverse collection of prints, drawings, and photographs in the new Manton Study Center for Works on Paper
– A spacious public reading room,
– Bookstore and coffee bar with free wifi

– A three-tiered reflecting pool framing views of Stone Hill
– Outdoor terraces
– New and expanded walking trails

real estate agency in Williamstown MA

A designer view of the Tadao Ando center at night.

Williamstown MA real estate

Photos from designboom.com show us a preview of the center.

Berkshire Home for sale “The Gorge”

berkshire real estate for sale

New Ashford Rustic Retreat called “The Gorge”

Berkshire home for sale is a property with rustic ambience set on “The Gorge” actually a rushing stream.  This home borders a beautiful stream with dramatic rock walls and falls, here is your Berkshire County second home retreat, harking back to a simpler time. No fancy high end granite counters in the kitchen, no lavishly tiled baths with waterfall shower heads but instead the look and feel of a centuries old colonial post and beam three story house where we can easily imagine a writer quietly plying their trade just as easily as we can imagine a happy bunch of skiers coming up for wonderful winter weekends or a family making this their full time home. Enjoy gardening?

There is a place for that next to the stone terrace, enjoy fine dining, stroll a few hundred feet up the path to one of the Berkshires’ most renowned small and sophisticated restaurants, The Mill on The Floss. Low taxes and nearby to Williamstown, theatre, art, mountains, it is all here in the Berkshires and this can be your base.  This Berkshire home offers New England beauty and sturdy construction meant to last for generations.

rustic second home in the berkshires

A second home in the Berkshires for the discerning buyer.

real estate agency berkshires

Stone, wood and character make up this woodland retreat

Berkshires Williamstown MA home for sale near Williams College

The Clark Art near to home for sale

Williamstown MA home for sale near to Williams College and all the Berkshire Events.

This spotlessly fresh Williamstown MA home for sale is a 4 bedroom garrison colonial home with a 1 car attached garage has a most beautiful elevated setting amid a very attractively landscaped yard surrounded by mature trees. Views can be enjoyed of horses in a nearby field, mountains and Bridges Pond. Gleaming hardwood floors will delight, formal living and dining rooms will invite and the generous well equipped kitchen will excite (the taste buds that is).

Much care has been given this well-loved Williamstown home with significant updating in new heating system, new replacement windows throughout (increasing the energy efficiency)  and  a separate area for a home office or guest visits with a 3/4 bath and private entry.  The light and clean lower level is complete with multiple storage cabinetry, carpeted family room area, laundry and storage/workshop room.     The back yard has a new storage shed for your garden equipment and a wonderful possibility for a deck or patio in this private space. The location is a fifteen minute walk to Main St., Williams College, the Williamstown Summer Theater Festival  and all Williamstown has to offer.

First Floor

Kitchen: 11’6” x 14’, vinyl flooring, good –sized pantry

property for sale Williamstown

Walk to Williams College in 15 minutes from the home for sale in Williamstown MA

Living Room:   12’ x 22’, hard wood floors

Dining Room: 10’6” x 11’9”, hardwood floors

Half Bath: 4’9” x’ 6’8”, vinyl flooring, granite-surfaced vanity

Office/ Guest space: 11’ x 24’, carpeted with 3/4 bath and plenty of dry upstairs storage; separate entrance.


Second Floor:

Master Bedroom: 11’5” x 16’, hard wood floor; double closet

2nd Bedroom: 11’2” x 11’10”, hardwood floor, double closet

3rd Bedroom: 8’7” x 11’4”, hardwood floor, double closet

4th Bedroom: 11’5” x 14’3”, hardwood floor, double closet

Full Bath: 6’8” x 7’10”, vanity with granite surface, ceramic tiled walls and surround


Lower Level/Basement:

Family Room: Carpeted with multiple cabinetry for storage

Laundry area: laminate floor; washer/dryer and vanity with sink

Utility/workshop area: completely updated boiler




Foundation: Poured Concrete YearBuilt:1968 TotalSq.Ft: 1856 plus finished lower level.
Floors:  hardwood, carpet, vinyl Siding: wood Driveway: Paved
Roof:  Asphalt/Fiberglass Windows: new double pane throughout w/argon gas
Water: City Sewer: City Heat: Baseboard HW; office/guest space-electric Hot water:  Oil, on demand
Zoning: Residential  Parcel Size: .52 Possession: At Closing
Assessment: $286,500. TaxYear: 2014 Taxes: $4117.
Insulation: R 50 insulation value in attic
Book: 1382 Page:482 Map: 117 Lot: 10
LeadPaint:  unk Smoke/CODetectors: Yes ExteriorLighting: Yes CableTV: Yes





Business for sale in Pittsfield MA Neighborhood Bar/Tavern

berkshire commercial property for sale

Local tavern/bar for sale in Pittsfield MA. In business since 1990.

Business for sale in Pittsfield MA neighborhood bar and tavern located on Madison Ave.  This very well run Pittsfield bar business has enjoyed a peaceful reputation, steady growth and a loyal following over many years. Now after being in the same family for 24 years it’s time to pass along this excellent small business to new owners. Do you enjoy people? Would you like an extra source of income? Were you “downsized” or did you retire too early?  This just might be a great fit if you are responsible, gregarious, have savings set aside and are seeking a good income.

Seating for 80 in the bar and another 95 in the banquet room so this business and property will handle smaller or large crowds. The Pittsfield MA  building is in excellent condition, there is a very good fully equipped kitchen too which is not currently being used. On site street, on street and a close by off premises parking  lot means parking is plentiful so no issues with parking. In addition, in case you need a home too, there is also a house next door available.  The real estate and business including all the furnishing and equipment is offered for sale at $410,000 , the house at $85,000. For a confidential interview contact Paul Harsch, Harsch Associates, 413-458-5000

Berkshire Home Value- Guarding it

berksghire home valueThe value of your Berkshire home is precious to you.  We searched the web for you to find ways to enhance that value and protect it.  When you are ready to buy a Berkshire home or sell your Berkshire property we are here for YOU.

Find out online the most popular features that Berkshire home buyers are seeking today with this link.  The cost of these features may be less than you think.

Is having a guard dog a good thing?  Find out from Cesar Milan with this  link.  When choosing a guard dog you need to consider insurance costs that may rise on certain breeds.

Do you have good Berkshire home insurance coverage?  Check out this link to find out.

How can you protect your Berkshire home basement from the spring melt waters?  Check out this link to begin.

Spring cleaning your Berkshire home to ready for the summer?  Quick tips are here at this link.

Ever considered what home inspectors do?  Now you know with this link.

These are few starters that will increase your home’s value.  To obtain a Berkshire Real Estate Market Value report on follow this link.






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