Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Something's Cooking in the Kitchen and It Ain't Granite

Hi folks! Hope everyone has their Valentine cards in the mail. It's the month of LOVE. Share that love.

The kitchen above is in an $800K new construction house. The builder is right in sync with what today's buyer prefers. Current shoppers prefer a white kitchen with quartz or marble countertops.

Remember all of the grumbling over wallpaper for selling?  Now granite is taking the hit. Pinterest is flooded with design boards featuring all white kitchens.  Busy granite countertops are passe for selling.

As a comparison with the bright, clean look of the marble countertops, let's look at the following kitchens.  These kitchens are in owner occupied $800K homes for sale in my area.  How would you feel about inheriting someones granite countertops versus white quartz or marble?
(Pictures from Triangle Multiple Listing Service.)

Friday, February 5, 2016

Snowmen, Super Bowl & Super Proud Mom

How stinkin' cute is this?  What a clever winter table setting!  A friend of a friend posted it on Facebook. Jennifer's work is definitely steal-worthy. Outstanding job, Jennifer.
Jennifer Chalk Young

Happy Friday!  What an awesome week!  Our Carolina Panthers are playing in the Super Bowl!

My kid is not playing in the Super Bowl.  HOWEVER, my son will be AT the Super Bowl. As an outstanding Exec at his company, John was awarded an all-expense-paid trip to the Super Bowl. Color me, "Super Proud Mom".

John arrived in San Fran on Thursday and will be spending an oh-so-awesome weekend of pre-event fun. And, would you believe Cold Play is his favorite band? How fortuitous! I haven't seen him so excited since he was a 5 year old at Christmas.
Sunday, he will cheer our Carolina Panthers to victory.

Go Panthers! We are Panthers' Proud!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

About Those Windows and Sliding Doors for Selling

These windows and doors are perfectly staged for selling. Buyers love light, bright and airy!Those large windows are an essential selling feature and they need to be showcased.The drapes and fixtures are neutral and understated. The view is gorgeous. It draws the outside into the family room and expands the feel of the living space. That lovely view needs to be in clear sight for the buyer to appreciate it.  The furniture placement is also ideal. The buyer should be able to readily access the back door. The buyer will exit the family room from this doorway to walk onto the deck.

Can you say busy?  Everything about this arrangement is wrong for selling. The potential buyer cannot possibly appreciate the view for the assault of the overbearing floral print and heavy window treatments. There is only limited light flowing into this room. I often advise that window cornices be removed for selling. They block light and views. Most homes cannot bear the visual weight of a boxy cornice. And, cornices are typically considered dated.  The winged chair is in an awkward position. The buyer will have to maneuver around the winged chair to access to the back door.

What's a seller to do?
  • Remove the the cornices and drapes. 
  • Add a solid pillow or throw on the chair to break up the print.  
  • Move the chair to the far right of the window.
Plus: Anytime a buyer bumps into furniture or has to walk around it, the room registers as 'small'.

Hope you are having a fabulous week.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our Dr. Doolittle Did It!

Izzie at the beach last summer
Happy Weekend!

Izzie is home from her surgery.  Prayers answered!  Our Vet spent 2.5 hours tediously, carefully, skillfully removing our little girl's tumor
Success!  Our girl appears non-the-wiser about her ordeal. Izzie is begging for outdoor adventures and eager to play ball. 

Dr. Fisher say she needs to remain quiet and no jumping. A tall order for a dog who doesn't know she just had life-threatening surgery.

We are the happiest two dog parents on the planet. Our worry and concern on Thursday no doubt aged us a few years.  My lifeline was Facebook.  For the first time, I realized the wonder of having love and support pouring in from near and far.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do You Believe in MAGIC for Selling your house?

Right before Christmas I staged this house.  It has been on the market for a few months, has had lots of showings with no offers.
After staging, the activity picked up--but still no offers.

Then Tina, the seller, tried the unorthodoxed.  She planted a statue of St. Joseph in their yard. St. Joseph is the patron saint of the house. Joseph was a carpenter, and because of his role in raising Jesus and providing a stable, happy home for Jesus to grow up in, he is the go-to saint for selling your house.

Tina buried the statue last Thursday afternoon (in frozen ground,the day before our Winter Storm).  On Saturday, (2 days later, people!) the house received 2 offers. On Monday, a third offer was forthcoming.

I have never tried the St. Joseph tradition.  But, hey--if that is where your intention goes and it works--then give St. Joseph a try.

We need some magic and some prayers.
Our beloved baby, Izzie, has a malignant tumor on her thyroid.  She is being operated on in the morning.  It is a very challenging operation because of the location. We would so appreciate any healing energy or loving prayers you end. She has been our love for 9 years.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Winter Adventure

Maybe you have to be a Southerner to appreciate our love of snow days.  All rational reasoning is tossed aside. Snow Days are a revered event that only happen maybe once a year.  There are rituals to be followed:

SHOP: It is essential run to the grocery store just prior to the storm.  It is important to be in the fray of folks wired up for being house bound a few days. It is important to discuss what provisions you are stocking up on with neighbors in aisles or strangers in long lines. This is the only event that allows you to flaunt your junk food and be admired instead of judged.

COOK/BAKE: Everyone cooks during a Winter Storm. I made Chicken Noodle Soup the first day.  I'm working on Vegetable Beef Soup for tomorrow. Karen made Black Bean Soup and Beef Stew.  Next door neighbor, Dawn, is making chocolate chip cookies and delivering them to us!

IMBIBE: Need I say more?  Pick your poison.  Then post silly-selfies on Facebook.

EAT: Anything eaten during The Winter Adventure is fair game. Absolutely no New Year's Resolutions allowed during Winter Adventure. Calories don't count and it ain't my fault the gym is closed!

BE NEIGHBORLY:  We had the three neighbor boys (9,6 and 4) over to play. Their Mom and Dad needed a break. They were so much fun! Sled. Sled. Sled. OK, I don't sled. But I watched! And tonight there is a bonfire at the lake below our house tonight.

The fact that the storm hit on a Friday is double awesome!  Long weekend!  Woot! Woot! Monday it will all be a distant memory.

Have an awesome rest of the weekend.

And remember, we are Panthers Proud!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016



Hello! Hello! It looks like we are gonna get SNOW!

Riddle du jour:
What has as much uncertainty as the weather? REAL ESTATE
I work with both sellers and agents.  Today, I thought I would address the complaints I hear most frequently from sellers.

5. The realtor makes unfulfilled promises.  These Pretty Woman/Studdly Man Agents look sharp, professional, confident and in control. They woo the seller to get the listing.  They promise grand free services: the best stager, a professional photographer, a free appraisal or inspection, 24/7 availability, exquisite marketing publications and dedicated online sites,open houses, buyer's caravan's,etc. The seller figures the agent must have a network of equally beautiful and dedicated people to help with their lofty ambitions. After the Listing Papers are sign, the many of the promises can vanish.

4. The realtor turns the listing over to a subordinate. Big Listing agent signs the seller then hands it over to someone else in their office. These big shot agents love to transfer the messy follow-up details to another agent or a "Listing Coordinator"."Listing Coordinators" typically don't last long. When blame must be passed the lowly Listing Coordinator gets the ax, a cardboard box and is asked to clear her desk.

3. "I'll find out."  The agent does not have the education or experience to provide the right answers on important details. "I couldn't believe we had to wait for days for him/her to get back to us."

2. "We should lower the price."  ahhh...the mantra heard round the world.... The answer to every problem: lack of showings, no offers, home repairs, to"lower the price".  Sellers are outraged that agents think dropping the price by $5K-- $10K+ is no big deal.   

1.  THE AGENT GOES DARK. The agent does not return phone calls or emails. No contact drives sellers bonkers.  It is the cherry on top of the Bonker's Sundae.  And, agents please don't bother with the excuses. Even if they are legit--sellers don't want to hear them. (P.S. Agents:"On Vacation" is the biggest offense to sellers.They agree everyone needs a vacation--just not while they are selling their house.)

Have you more to add? Have you ever run into any of these problems when you sold a house?