Having Fun Selling Real Estate

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Tom Wadington's West USA Realty office is barely a year old, but it's growing.

He started the company with one other person in August 2004. Now there are eight professionals located in the newly remodeled office at the southeast corner of the Beeline Highway and McKamey Street.

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Broker Ellen Clark, owner Tom Wadington and office manager Candice Kraniak of West USA Realty. "Our goal is to be the number one company in Payson, Pine and Strawberry," Cook said. Wadington hired her for his team three months ago. Clark is from Carmel, Calif., by way of Phoenix, where she became a broker and owned her own employee relocation business. She has been licensed to sell real estate for 20 years.

"Our immediate challenge is to find enough real estate to meet our clients' goals and make sure the people of Payson realize that West USA in Payson can offer a full range of property, from commercial to residential to land," said Wadington.

He thinks it's the philosophy of the franchise that has attracted so many real estate professionals. The philosophy is "Make money but have fun."

"Quite frankly, that is what we are about. We are an above-board, ethical company and we have fun doing what we do," Wadington said.

Assisting real estate customers is work the affable Wadington enjoys on several levels.

"I started remodeling old homes (ski area rentals) and realized that I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to be involved in the entire process. This was a logical progression," he said.

It was also a career change. Wadington was captain of a barge on the Mississippi River for 18 years. A family change brought him and his two young sons to the Rim Country in 1994.

He became a licensed real estate agent in 1997 and is proud that he now owns his own franchise.

His work allows him to be involved in the lives of his children, now 11 and 12.

Clients of West USA have access to more than 1,800 agents in Arizona through West USA's referral network and several hundred others in California and Nevada.

West USA Realty was founded by Clay Fouts in 1986. Four years later, with the acquisition of Tradewinds Realty, the company became the largest in Arizona, a position it continues to maintain. The "National Relocation & Real Estate" magazine ranked West USA Realty 16th in the country for overall transactions per company and Number 1 in transactions per office in 2004.

Make certain you deal with knowledgeable professionals in every aspect of the sale, from the title company to home inspector to Realtors to lenders, Wadington advises anyone looking to buy or see property.

A Realtor brings a professional's eye to potential problems the average homeowner may not know about.

"Property line disputes are the number one cause of real estate litigation in Arizona," Wadington said. "We pride ourselves on being able to anticipate those types of problems before they happen."

"The Payson challenge has been to accommodate the people who want to move here, but still adapt to a small town atmosphere.

"I think we have a very definite moral conscious in this office. We have the capability to develop beyond our means and we are attempting not to do that," Wadington said.

He added he keeps that in mind as he sells commercial real estate.

"I think we have to, as Realtors, take into account the good of Payson in everything we do. I really believe that. It is a tough goal. I think we put ourselves above and beyond in trying to accomplish that. I really do."

West USA Realty is located at 513 South Beeline. It is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; after-hours appointments can also be made. For more information, telephone (928) 472-6060.

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