See what Howard Hanna agent Marilyn Latine has learned in the Greater Akron real estate scene

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Mega Million Dollar Producer Marilyn Latine has sold more than 1,000 homes in her 21-year real estate career (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Mimi Vanderhaven

When it comes to the local real estate scene, Marilyn Latine is by any definition a superstar. She burst onto the scene in 1999 as Rookie of the Year and has been a Mega Million Dollar Producer ever since. She’s sold more than 1,000 homes in her 21-year career, and in an industry where the typical licensed agent barely sells one home every couple of months, Marilyn has averaged more than one sale a week for the past decade.

How does she do it?

Mimi asked her.

Early Career

“I grew up in Akron in a big Italian family, and as a middle child of six I had to fight for attention,” Marilyn smiles. “That helped me learn to really pay attention to others and to put myself out there. In the mid-1980s, I moved to California and took a job selling vacation homes in Palm Springs. I instantly realized my passion for helping people, and found out I was really good at it. So I moved back to Akron and immediately earned my real estate license.”

While most agents barely eke out a living (90% of agents do only 10% of total volume), Marilyn was an instant success, earning her Rookie of the Year designation.

“I just went out and made it happen,” she says. “I was not going to fail. It’s hard to be successful in this business, especially in the first year, but failure was not an option for me. I worked seven days a week—I still do—doing open houses, helping more senior agents, meeting everyone I could.”

Stable and Secure

Unlike many agents who hop from broker to broker, Marilyn has been with Howard Hanna for her entire career.

“I love having Howard Hanna behind me,” she says. “We are the third largest real estate company in the country and we offer a lot of effective programs, including one-stop shopping. We have our own mortgage company, title company, insurance. We call it ‘From Loan to Home.’ We also offer a Find it First program where you can get exclusive access to homes that have not yet hit the market. Plus, we even have special financing that allows you to buy a home before you sell yours. We really can do it all.”

Marilyn’s success is rooted in experience. She’s been a full-time Realtor her entire career and has deep knowledge about the Akron market, particularly the areas she focuses on—West Akron, Fairlawn, Bath, Copley and Richfield.

“Experience and knowledge are important, but so are hard work and passion,” Marilyn adds. “Real estate doesn’t have holidays. You have to be available when people need you. And it helps to be proactive. I want to know what my clients want before they even call me. I like to say to them, ‘Just let me handle it.’ They really appreciate that.”

These days virtually every home sale starts online—virtually. “Photos are extremely important,” Marilyn says. “That’s why I have my own professional photographer for every home. It’s on my dime. I don’t just walk around with a phone taking photos. It’s too important.”

Should You List Your Home Now?

According to Marilyn, homes often sell at a higher price in the spring before inventory goes up in summer. “People are buying and selling all the time,” she says. “Lots of buyers who were looking in January and February are now buying in March and April.”

Right now, inventory is low, interest rates are low, and sellers are regularly getting multiple offers. “If you’re thinking of selling in the next couple of years—or you’re on the fence—you might want to do it now instead,” Marilyn says. “You never know with inventory low, I’m ready when you are. In 2020, the biggest segment of buyers will be millennials. They’re turning 30 now, having kids, and buying homes.”

On A Personal Note

When Mimi asked Marilyn about her hobbies and interests outside of real estate, she talked about her family. “My daughter is graduating high school this year,” she says proudly. “I had her at age 42 and I am so thrilled that she has become the beautiful lady that she is. I worked hard all these years making sure she gets a good education.”

And Marilyn’s dog is a Shelty named Lucy. “I love that dog,” she smiles. “We call her the third girl in the house.”

Marilyn’s Quick Tips For BUYERS

• Have a pre-approval letter before shopping. Sellers will not look at your offer seriously without knowing that you are already qualified.

• If you have a house under contract, don’t buy a car or do a bunch of purchasing on credit cards until after you have the key in your hand. These purchases will affect your credit prior to closing.

• Find an agent who really knows your area and price range. They can take you where you want to go. There are many things to do prior to closing; a good Realtor will guide you through the entire process.

Marilyn’s Quick Tips For SELLERS

• Consider a pre-home inspection before you list. It’s a new trend that will identify any issues up front so you don’t have to deal with them later.

• Declutter and de-personalize your home. Take down family photos. Donate things to a charity or have a yard sale. Remember, buyers will open closets and kitchen drawers.

• Stage your home once the clutter is out. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way. Use a sophisticated neutral color.

• Stage the outdoors, too. Curb appeal is essential. Make sure the front door is clean, the grass is manicured, and the windows are clean.

To contact Marilyn Latine, call her directly at 330-802-8886. She is headquartered in the Howard Hanna offices at 2603 W. Market Street in West Akron. You can find out more or set yourself up to receive custom alerts of homes coming on the market at her site,, and check out #shesellshomes on Twitter.