Thursday, September 11, 2014

As seen on the Coldwell Banker Gundaker Corporate Centre Facebook page today...

I received this tag on my office Facebook page this morning...

How nice! Thank you for this kind shout-out, Cherie and a warm thank you to my Summer 2014 clients! It was a terrific summer packed with gorgeous properties and new friendships.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rules Of Real Estate: It Pays To Be A Homeowner!

Home owner equity is a substantial component of home owner wealth.  

It pays to be a homeowner!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My house didn't sell over the summer... HELP!

Sweet September.  For most people, Labor Day weekend is the welcomed celebratory end of Summer and threshold to cool autumn air. To a homeowner whose property remains unsold, however...  

... the passing of the Labor Day weekend can be stressful as traditionally, this holiday also ushers in the slower Fall selling season here in the Midwest.

The material for CDN and the City has always been inspired by my weekly interactions/experiences and this post is no different. Each year around this time, I have distressed homeowners reach out to me. Most of the time, they have been listed all Spring and Summer with another Realtor, resulting in no sale.  They typically are at the end of their listing contract (and rope), unsure what to do next.   Often times, the current relationship with their Realtor is strained, the line of communication is fractured, and they do not wish to renew their listing contract.   It happens.  Whether they stumbled upon my information on Social Media or they confided in a loved one or coworker who coincidentally was one of my past clients and graciously passed along my business card... these frustrated Sellers seek honesty, understanding, advice, guidance, and HELP.

Before I proceed, I will preface by stating that a good Realtor makes the job look easy. However, it incredibly difficult to walk into a homeowner's space - their sanctuary - and list off what needs changing to make the property appealing to the masses.  A number of agents find this aspect of the job unbearable, revealing to a homeowner that their house needs tidying, cleaning, rearranging, redecorating, or renovation. Realtors also often face a Homeowner who clearly states what they financially "need" out of the property, despite what the comps indicate the TRUE market value to be. Added pressure.  As a result, some agents are not honest with their Sellers... often resulting in months on market and hard feelings.

My take?  Having these difficult conversations is the basis of a Realtor's job. A difficult part of the job, yet the most IMPORTANT part of the job. The fact is:  Information is POWER to a Seller.  It allows them to control the process and not have the process control them.   In addition, it is during these moments that an understanding is made between Realtor and client and an open line of communication is established. IMPERATIVE to a successful transaction.

Listings don't sell for a variety of reasons.  As we had a healthy 2014 season for Sellers in St. Louis with a low inventory and enticing interest rates... market/financing conditions can likely be removed as a culprit.  

The problem is almost always the result of 1 of 3 factors, or a combination of the 3:

1) The Realtor and things that could have and should have been done better:  
Dropping the ball in their pricing and staging advice. Haphazard pricing not in line with the comps. Not honestly revealing to a Seller that their house has an undesirable odor or is dirty.  Using an inappropriate psychology of words in marketing, not focused on the targeted Buyer pool.  Poor photos (or non-professional photos in the upper price range).  Inadequate (or lack of) staging advice prior to photos and/or showings.  Poor exposure or worse, vast exposure with lackluster marketing.  Lack of communication with the Seller or just as bad IF NOT WORSE- with the general public or fellow Realtors whose inquiries are not met with timely response if any at all.  Not preparing the Seller with showing guidelines and expectations.  Not keeping the line of communication open with the Seller.  Not providing the Seller with honest Buyer feedback received.  Making promises that they knew they couldn't keep. Not deferring a Seller who they knew they couldn't help.  Listing at a commission that is so low, it is a deterrent to Buyer's agents.

2)  The Homeowner and things that could have and should have done better:
Not properly interviewing and/or asking the tough questions prior to selecting a Realtor. Not hiring a Realtor with a proven track record and client recommendations. Not trusting or following the Realtor's advice when given. Not being realistic about value, despite statistical data given.  Hiring a discount Broker with shoddy marketing and representation- you get what you pay for!  Not properly preparing the property before every showing- from clearing the sink of dishes to scooping poop in the yard.  Not making their property readily available to Buyer's agents and their clients, even if inconvenient for them. Being problematic or rude to Buyer's agents or WORSE tweeting/Facebook reporting their house woes alienating their Realtor or snooping Buyers. Not giving potential Buyers adequate time alone in a property. Not keeping the line of communication open with their Realtor.  Not asking questions or stating concerns as they arise. Not being realistic despite comps given. Refusing price adjustments when the time arises or feedback/days on market reflect it to be necessary.

3) The Location/Property features that are out of your control as a current owner: 
Some properties just take longer to sell. In addition, certain location or property features automatically reduce the Buyer pool, thus prolonging the listing period: vicinity near commercial or a school, busy street, power lines, swimming pool, certain architectural styles- split foyers and slabs in St. Louis, extremely stylized decor, unusually small or large lot, strange lot topography/grading, unappealing neighboring properties, etc.


The key to recovery after a lengthy unsuccessful listing period is to pause and regroup before you sign another Listing Agreement.  Ask yourself the question: Should I stay or should I go?  Do you want to remain in the house or are you willing to do whatever it takes to sell that house, even if it means switching things up, engaging in difficult conversations, taking on some new projects, and/or taking a financial hit? 

Should you decide that selling is your preference,  it is time to seek a second opinion, a fresh perspective, IMMEDIATELY.  Speak with a new Realtor (or two).  Conduct a formal interview.  Take the lessons learned from your FIRST experience and seek someone who you think will be a better match and earn your trust.   Be honest about your past frustrations, admit what you could have done better, ask the tough questions that you should have asked the 1st time around, and ask them to please pinpoint what they see as the key selling obstacles from an outside perspective.  9 times out of 10,a skilled Realtor can directly pinpoint the problem just by pulling up the listing, carefully examining the current comps, and visiting the property.  

Most important:  Do not panic and stay positive.  Wipe the slate clean.  Hire someone who you have confidence in.  Be clear about what you need and expect from your new Realtor.  Trust the process. Trust your Realtor's advice and do not be afraid to tap their wisdom and confide in them.   Take each day and part of the process as it comes and keep in mind- this too shall pass.  

The fact is:  every property has a Buyer.  The key is getting your property into the hands of the right person to present it on your behalf to the world.

If you are a homeowner currently feeling shackled by your unsold property and do not know where to turn or what to do... please do NOT be afraid to reach out.  Personally,  I (and most Realtors) welcome this contact. We can help you. We do not judge. 
My clients, whose praises I wear like a badge of honor, will attest... 

I am brutally honest and take my professional integrity seriously. I will not compromise either of those things. I will not lie, even when the truth may sting or is difficult to deliver.  I bring to the table almost 13 years of residential real estate experience, concrete statistical data, and an unbiased opinion.  When working with a Seller, I will not sign a listing agreement until the issues of the property are well-understood, discussed, and remedied.  If a Seller is unwilling to remedy issues that I address, I ensure that they understand the possible financial consequences of not doing so. 

If I think that prolonging the listing until the Spring is advisable and/or necessary to maximize profit potential- I disclose that immediately.    If I think that I am not the match for that Seller- I reveal that and politely decline the listing.  My single goal as a Realtor is to sell your property, making it as stress-free and profitable a process as I possibly can for you.  All of my advice given will support that goal. 

Licensed Realtor - State of Missouri

Selling St. Louis since 2001
5 time recipient of the St. Louis Magazine 
“5 Star Realtor Award” for best customer service

Coldwell Banker Gundaker Corporate Headquarters
#2458 Old Dorsett Road, Suite 100
St. Louis, MO  63043

314. 452. 7675   cell / text
314. 298. 5275   office

My clients are talking.  Read some of their testimonials HERE!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Under Contract: 220 Canary Lane in St. Charles

This meticulously maintained property, just MINUTES from Historic Downtown St. Charles, went under contract this morning and closes in September.  A warm congratulations to the B Family!

Learn more about the property and see all of the photos HERE.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5 Fun St. Louis Labor Day Weekend 2014 Happenings!

Labor Day Weekend 2014 is here, and what's not to love?! It's a chance to slow down and appreciate our "laborers". The kiddies are off of school, most adults have the long weekend to play, and it is the last "hurrah" before we charge into the cooler weather and slower pace of Fall.

Labor Day Weekend, particularly in St Louis, is always full of amazing family-friendly activities. If you want to get out, hit the city, and do something other than enjoy the last weekend of pool season... the possibilities are endless.

Need help planning your long holiday weekend? Below are 5 of my favorite St. Louis Labor Day 2014 activities / festivals / events...

1) Labor Day Parade

Thousands of local union members will march through downtown St. Louis for the annual Labor Day Parade. An awesome way to kick off the weekend and show your pride /support our local workers.

September 1 at 9 a.m.

The parade begins at 13th and Olive. It then makes its way down Tucker Street, past St. Louis City Hall and west on Market Street to 15th Street.

2) The Japanese Festival at the Botanical Garden

Each Labor Day weekend, the Missouri Botanical Garden hosts one of the largest and oldest Japanese Festivals in North America. In addition to taking in the beauty of the Botanical Gardens, visitors can enjoy Japanese music, art, dance, food, and entertainment including Origami demonstrations, a traditional tea ceremony, and live Sumo wrestling.

Tickets to the festival are $15 for adults and $5 for children and Garden members.

August 30:  10-8 
August 31: 10-8 
September 1: 10-4

3) 97th Annual St. Louis Greek Festival in the Central West End

If you love authentic Greek food, and who doesn't, than a visit to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church is in order for you this weekend for their 97th Annual festival. Enjoy music, dancing and some of the best Greek food you'll find anywhere. Be sure to utilize the free parking in the BJC Parking Garage.

Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1.

Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m

4) Big Muddy Blues Festival on Laclede's Landing

The Big Muddy Blues Festival is a free, outdoor music festival featuring local and nationally known Blues artists that hosts over 60,000 people annually. The musicians perform on three stages set up throughout the cobble stoned streets of the Landing. Dozens of local restaurants provide food and drink, and the music is the best around! Amazing way to support our local talent.

$13 admission charge for the main stage shows only.

The music runs from 3-Midnight,  August 29- September 1

5)  Fall Art Fair at Queeny Park

All within the climate-controlled comfort of the Greensfelder Recreation Center, and with more than 130 juried artists from 20 states... the Art Fair at Queeny Park is one of the most reputable, longest-running art fairs in the bi-state region.

Friday:  6pm - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 6pm.
Sunday: 11am - 4pm.

Event flyer with a $1 coupon for admission:$1Off_Coupon-8-14.pdf

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekend happening: Festival of Nations 2014

The International Festival of Nations is this weekend and the forecast is looking ideal to enjoy it!  This super family-friendly event in Tower Grove Park is St. Louis’ best attended annual multicultural celebration. The festival offers amazing multi-cultural entertainment /activities, an international bazaar with unique gifts from around the world, and over 40 ethnic food booths to delight the palate. 


Saturday (10am-7pm) and Sunday (10am-6pm) - August 23 and 24

Tower Grove Park on the City’s Southside.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Closed: #320 Alverston Court in Ballwin (Marquette)

Meticulous West County property
An amazing couple with a wonderfully supportive family
A super grateful Realtor!

A warm congratulations and THANK YOU to D and L on your successful closing today! I appreciate your confidence and am fortunate to have you both as friends.  So excited for you! =)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Just For Fun: Au revoir Summer 2014... it was swell.

 Well, it is official...

...the boys are back in school, preempting the formal farewell to Summer 2014.  What can I say?  Bittersweet, as Summer 2014 was lovely.  The weather was incredibly mild, my business was swift, and the time spent with my family was priceless.

Here is a teeny tiny peek at Summer 2014 in Casa de Nenonen, as we head into my favorite season in St. Louis... 

The middle of August is traditionally super busy for parents.  In the meantime,emotion has been high here in St. Louis over the last week as the world watches.  As we round the corner into Autumn and as the "normal" school year schedules resume, I wish each of you a touch of calm and peace.

Thanks for the fun, Summer 2014!

Pop me a friend request on Instagram HERE to connect and share..  

Friday, August 15, 2014