Monday, November 6, 2017

A weekend in Peoria, Illinois with our son and GORGEOUS historic architecture!

While visiting our oldest son at Bradley University this weekend, I developed a serious case of old house LOVE on historic Moss Avenue in Peoria, Illinois!

 I even spotted a Frank Lloyd Wright house, circa 1903!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fall Back this Weekend and other reminders!

While the debate about Daylight Savings Times is ongoing (I personally don't mind the extra hour of sleep in the Fall), we always use it in Casa de Nenonen as a reminder for other important bi-annual home tasks, as well!   Winter is right around the corner, friends.  Time slips away, life gets busy, and important proactive maintenance tasks tend to slip through the cracks!  This is the time to focus on your home before the holiday frenzy and frigid temperatures arrive.

In addition to turning back your clocks one hour this weekend, consider turning your attention to these important tasks, as well.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors.
  • Flip and rotate your mattress.
  • Wash your pillows.
  • Wipe down and cover your patio furniture.
  • Take stock of your medicine cabinet and pantry.  Discard expired items.
  • Vacuum beneath and around your refrigerator, paying special attention to the coils.
  • Have your furnace serviced. 
  • Replace or clean filters around your house.
  • Vacuum out your dryer's vent and ducts.
  • Clean the oven.
  • Reverse the direction on your ceiling fan to clockwise which helps pull down the warm air that gets trapped near the ceiling to help save cost on heating and cooling.
  • If you have a fireplace, scheduled a chimney sweep and basic inspection.
  • Order firewood.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Plan for Spring now!

Even though Spring seems light years away, in real estate terms- just around the corner! 🌷
If in St. Louis and contemplating a 2018 move, I would appreciate the opportunity to be considered. I have over 15 years experience, millions of dollars of closings under my belt, and am meeting with my potential Spring clients NOW to give them ample time to prepare their properties.  

Read some of my client testimonials HERE.  Connect with me here to discuss your personal situation and housing goals...

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hidden Gem: Plank Road Pizza and Blooming Daisy Marketplace in Cottleville

It has been far too long since my last Hidden Gem post!  A quick lunch hour run out to Cottleville to pick up Steve's race packet for the Missouri Cowbell run a couple of weeks ago...
... was the perfect excuse to enjoy a Friday lunch in the sunshine with my hubby!  My friends and coworkers have been buzzing about Plank Road Pizza... I figured it was the perfect lunch destination as they are known for their cute patio in the historic downtown area. In fact, Plank Road Pizza sits in the oldest home in Cottleville, circa 1845, and is named after the old connector road of St. Charles and Cottleville that was originally made of timber planks!  

While hello, you ARE on CDN and the City and you know that I was curious about the history of the building, HERE is the listing from when the owner purchased the property. I appreciate that they reintroduced reclaimed elements BACK in to the space so it now oozes historic charm from inside to out...
Particularly the patio, which was pure perfection on a 70's and sunny St. Louis day...
All of the hand-tossed artisan pizzas are named after streets in the St Charles and Cottleville area and are delicious!
The charming patio alone would prompt a revisit from us, though the food is the reason that we will return. Choose a sunny day and just go!  You won't be sorry. 

In fact,  choose a not-so-sunny day as the interior is just as charming as the exterior!  Warm, inviting, and cozy.  Interior photo below compliments of the Riverfront Times... 

When you visit Plank, I also urge you to walk just behind the restaurant and pop your head in to the Blooming Daisy Marketplace.  A tandem visit to these two gems is a perfect afternoon, in my opinion...
This 1910 farm house turned wonderfully eclectic boutique, dedicated strictly to providing booth space to local artisans, oozes charm (and goodies)!  NOTE: Check out the photos of this old listing before you visit as you will be SHOCKED that it is the same structure.  The space is amazing now!

Blooming Daisy carries everything from clothing and jewelry to home decor, personalized monogrammed items, and antiques.  You rarely see the same item twice as the vendors  continuously rotate their seasonal stock, making it a terrific gift destination. They also host monthly pop-up markets where they invite DOZENS of local vendors to fill their lawn and sell their newest goods!  If you enjoy shopping Etsy, Crafted In St. Louis on FB, or Joy's Collective... you will ADORE Blooming Daisy!  Parent Tip: bring the kiddies along, as they are encouraged and allowed to feed the goats in the back acreage.  Yes, I said goats.

Want a glimpse of what is in stock? Their Instagram is updated regularly with their latest and greatest items.  They are a must-follow for me!


Plank Road Pizza
5212 Highway N
Cottleville, MO 63304
Blooming Daisy Marketplace
5541 Chestnut St
Cottleville, MO 63304

See more of my local Hidden Gems HERE!

Friday, October 13, 2017

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

Sweet October.  For most people, Labor Day 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 my blog 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.   Most 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 the unsuccessful Sellers 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... they 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 is 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 typically 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:  While the truth sometimes hurts, 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. Both are IMPERATIVE to a successful transaction.

Listings don't sell for a variety of reasons.  As we had a healthy 2017 season for Sellers in St. Louis, with a lower inventory and enticing interest rates, market/financing conditions can likely be removed as a culprit.  

The unsuccessful sale can typically be attributed to 1 of 3 factors, or a combination of the 3:

1) Realtor Blunder: 

  • Dropped the ball in their pricing and staging advice. 
  • Haphazard pricing not in line with the comps. 
  • Didn't honestly reveal to a Seller that their house has an undesirable odor or is dirty.  
  • Sloppy MLS entry with spelling mistakes, incorrect showing instructions, or incomplete or incorrect property information.
  • Used an inappropriate psychology of words in marketing, not focused on the targeted Buyer pool.  
  • Low quality photos. 
  • Inadequate (or lack of) staging advice prior to photos and/or showings.  
  • Poor/ inappropriate exposure across the internet and social media space.
  • Vast exposure with lackluster marketing/photos to back it up.  
  • Lack of communication with the Seller.
  • Lack of communication with the general public or fellow Realtors whose inquiries were not met with timely response if any at all.  Yes, this is quite common.
  • Didn't properly prepare the Seller with showing guidelines and expectations.  
  • Didn't define communication expectations with the Seller.
  • Didn't keep the line of communication open with the Seller.  
  • Didn't provide the Seller with honest Buyer feedback received.  
  • Made promises that they knew they couldn't keep. 
  • Didn't defer a Seller who they knew they couldn't help.  
  • Listed at a commission that is so low it deterred Buyer's agents.

2)  Homeowner Blunder:

  • Didn't properly interview and/or ask the tough questions prior to selecting a Realtor. 
  • Didn't hire a Realtor with a proven track record and client recommendations. 
  • Didn't trust or follow the Realtor's advice when given. 
  • Wasn't realistic about value, despite statistical data given.  
  • Hired a discount Broker with shoddy marketing and representation- you get what you pay for!  
  • Didn't properly prepare the property before every showing- from clearing the sink of dishes to scooping poop in the yard.  
  • Didn't make their property readily available to Buyer's agents and their clients, even if inconvenient for them. 
  • Was problematic or rude to Buyer's agents.
  • Publicly broadcasted their house woes on Social media, alienating their Realtor or snooping Buyers. 
  • Didn't give potential Buyers adequate time alone in a property. 
  • Didn't keep the line of communication open with their Realtor.  
  • Didn't keep their Realtor informed, including withholding questions or stating concerns as they arose. 
  • Was not realistic about profit potential despite comps given. 
  • Used their agent as a verbal punching bag when frustrated.
  • Refused price adjustments when the time arises or feedback/days on market reflect it to be necessary.

3) Location/Property features that are out of your control: 

  • Market or neighborhood inventory saturation (too much supply for demand).
  • Stigmatized area or property. 
  • Certain location or property features automatically reduce the Buyer pool, thus prolonging the listing period, for example: vicinity near commercial or a school, busy street, power lines, flood plane, airport, 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 2nd opinion, a fresh perspective, IMMEDIATELY.  Speak with a new Realtor (or two).  Conduct a formal interview.  Ask for professional references and CHECK THEM.  Take the lessons learned from your 1st 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 highlight what they see as the key selling obstacle from an outside perspective.  9x 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. 
  • As difficult as it is, try to approach your new agent with a positive attitude and with faith, devoid of the frustrations and bias caused by the previous agent.  
  • 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 St. Louis 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.  I welcome this contact. I can help you. I 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 extremely difficult to deliver.  

I bring to the table over 15 years of residential real estate experience, a proven track record of success, 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. 

I can help.  Let's connect!  Learn more about me HERE at my bio, on my LinkedIn where I have numerous professional recommendations,  or contact me directly at...

Carrie Nenonen
Licensed Realtor - State of Missouri

Selling St. Louis since 2001
7-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!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Peek At My Morning: It is getting spooky, St. Louis!

October, hands down, is the most entertaining month of the year to be a Realtor! Period.  Here is a teeny peek at my spooktacular morning in Des Peres 👻... 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Hello, October!

"In the entire circle of the year, there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October."
~Alexander Smith

Friday, September 22, 2017

Sleuthing the Perfect Navy Blue Paint with the Color Snap App

I have been really drawn to the color blue this season, so I am swooning over this recent front door makeover I stumbled upon this AM...

The red berry wreath and the fresh coat of crisp white to the frame and molding they are adding?  Icing on the cake!
I used the nifty Color Snap app-  an incredible free color visualizer that will match anything to the closest Sherwin Williams color- the matches are "In The Navy" and "Anchors Aweigh". 💙

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just for Fun: Foggy Morning in St. Louis

"It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. 
Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog." 
~ Joseph Conrad

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Thank you for the blog shout-out, WBUH of St. Louis!

I adore the St. Louis real estate community and as blogging has grown in popularity, I have had the unique opportunity to share with many other skilled local professionals also passionate about providing the public with valuable information.

A dear client of mine recently stumbled upon this local blog post and I felt compelled to share.  Thank you for the "CDN and the City" blog shout-out, We Buy Ugly Houses of St. Louis Blog...
The St. Louis blogging community is not only over overflowing with local expertise, but is also incredibly warm and reciprocal.  I appreciate your shout-out and am honored to be in the company of other folks so dedicated to keeping St. Louis "in the know".  Thank you!

Read the full post and connect with the other local real estate bloggers HERE.