Every day is a blessing when you love what you do. There are plenty of agents out there that get wadded up over showing property on a gorgeous weekend day when they know their buyers have zero chance of either liking the homes or have the ability to win in a multiple offer situation. I am an agent that understands that interacting with my buyers at properties helps me to understand better what they like, help them adjust expectations and get to know them better. Bonus for me is that I genuinely have fun just about anywhere I go. And I have found that my good disposition has a way of rubbing off.
Today my buyers and I traveled from Culpeper to Warrenton, to Nokesville and back to Warrenton. We saw some interesting things. The blue pig above was one of the more attractive things we saw today. He was so cute we just had to stop and admire. Didn’t notice he had his left ear reattached until uploading the photo above to this post. Some defects can be easily overlooked if the subject is charming enough.
One room we saw was a virtual time machine. Shag carpeting on the walls as an accent to the wood paneling below. Welcome to 1970. The literal orange laminate counter tops in the kitchen made it easy to picture Mike Brady at this desk drawing up some architecture plans.
The other gorgeous thing we saw was this back yard. It had some truly lovely trees in bloom. The dogwood pictured above was the prettiest. Somehow, it looked better in person. Probably something to do with being in the sunlight, hearing the birds chirp and the rooster next door crow.
Though we ruled out more than we ruled in, my buyers and I made good progress today. We tried on some homes that would have been dismissed out right before. My buyers learned where they have flexibility and that the geographic area of the most interest is not out of reach with a new vision on how to utilize smaller spaces. We are now thinking out of the box.
A seller-client turned friend turned me onto the very useful tool that is Facebook marketplace about five years ago. She was helping me pack up my mom’s condo and put aside some items I would have trashed. Her advice was to sell them on Facebook. Even if they sold for very little, it was more than the trash can would give me.
Snap a few photos, write a description and add a price and you are off. My favorite part of the Facebook marketplace is the ability to dictate that items are to be picked up. Literally, all I have to do is put something in a bag, leave it on my porch and the buyer leaves the money under the mat. Easy peasy.
The Facebook marketplace has been useful in helping sellers that are struggling with items they still see as valuable, but don’t want to move. And the same place is great if you are looking for something used. It has come in handy for appliances that are perfectly useful, but getting sold because a black appliance suite is getting changed out for stainless steel. Or a washer/dryer set is getting upgraded. With supply chain issues since the pandemic, a little bit of pocket money to hold you over until the refrigerator you ordered arrives is so useful.
Buyers who aren’t wild about an item left behind by a seller can use it too. Get some money for the unwanted items. Price it to sell and watch it go. Will never forget using Facebook marketplace for a coffin a seller left behind this past summer. Snapped some pics, drug it to the curb and listed it free. It was gone in ten minutes.
Even if you aren’t a buyer or seller in the real estate market, getting rid of items that are cluttering your home on the marketplace is so easy. And the holiday season is a great time to list small stuff. Folks are looking for stocking stuffers.
The worst that can happen is that you leave out an item you are selling for $10 and the buyer takes it without leaving money under your door mat. Oh well. At the item you would have donated or trashed, but weren’t using, is gone. And in the five years of using it, that has not happened once. The worst are no shows that tie up an item or folks that pay with change.
Of course, not everything sells. And just like real estate, if something is priced to high, adjustments will need to be made to move it. Just today I have sold a staging comforter I no longer want and a candle I never used that is still in the box.
If you are new to following my real estate business, one thing you are about to learn is that my yearly goal is shared with my past clients, friends and family publicly. The goal last year (2020) was to sell 32 homes. For the years prior it was to sell 30. While I did’t make 2020’s goal, I did finally hit 30 homes sold. That was a huge accomplishment.
For 2021, I’m keeping the 32 homes sold goal. This year, I intend on making it.
Having crunched the numbers, 63% of the deals I closed in 2020 came from either repeat clients or referrals from past clients, family or friends. It’s only with your support that I do this well. If you have a friend or family member in need of real estate help, get in touch with me. I am thankful for each and every referral.
A couple years ago, I was visiting with a former client turned friend, Kelly. In a million years I would never have thought that I would be friends with her. Kelly had a very strong online presence in our neighborhood and was very outspoken about things that I would be hard pressed to agree with. She knows this now and we smile that we are able to think so differently, yet be friends. It is how life should be.
So what brought us together? Her real estate agent was relocating to another market. Her agent, a mutual friend, referred Kelly to me. From there, I gained her respect and we really bonded.
One evening I visited Kelly and her family at their new home. Her husband hung out as well and it just so happened, her freshman in college son was home too, but not lingering around As I was leaving, the son came to say goodbye to his “Aunt Chris Ann.” Kelly had been talking about her plan for a disco party in her new living room. I said I would be there as long as she played The Bee Gees. Her son chimed in that he loved them. This I could not believe. Kelly shook her head affirmatively and said his favorite song was “Too Much Heaven.”
In the blink of an eye, her son and I were singing that very song. Kelly’s husband was partially in agony, yet simultaneously delighted at the impromptu show. It certainly wasn’t his cup of tea, but how can you not love it when two people of different generations break into song. Kelly was delighted. Smiling and laughing and chiming in from time to time. A moment in time made possible by my real estate career. Without helping them through their home sale and subsequent purchase, this friendship would not exist.
You know what happens next. Of course I’m going to leave you with The Bee Gees “Too Much Heaven.”
What does a picture of an empty bedroom have to do with me being trustworthy? Well, it all begins with the story of where this picture was taken. Today, while visiting the neighborhood where I grew up, I stopped and knocked on the door of our next door neighbor. Miss Loretta West owned the home, but now her daughter Nancy owns it and rents it out. Nancy said she would be there working for a week or two and I should stop by if I were in the neighborhood. Well, since I was checking on my listing down the street at 10646 Maple Street
, I used the opportunity to stop by and visit.
A flood of memories came rushing to me as Nancy walked me through the home. You see, Miss Loretta was my mother’s best friend. And Miss Loretta was like a grandmother to me. When we walked into the kitchen, seeing the laminate white counters with gold streaks immediately brought back images of Miss Loretta teaching me to make gingerbread men. And upstairs, well, this middle bedroom brought back a very specific memory.
Miss Loretta used to hide our Christmas presents for my mom. One year, when I was twelve, my mom threw her back out. She was in rough shape. I was given strict orders to go to Miss Loretta’s sewing room and wrap and tag the gifts. Mom had marked initials on the exterior of each box. The room pictured above is that sewing room. At the time, there was a sewing machine on the left wall and my mom’s pile of Christmas gifts boxed all around the perimeter. There was gold carpeting on the floor and heavy drapes on the window. It was dark except for a table lamp and whatever light was coming through that small window.
That was one of the most tiring days of my life. I sat on that floor, with a fabric cutting board Miss Loretta had set me up with, wrapping paper, scissors, tape, tags, curling ribbon and bows. I never once looked in any of the boxes, not even my brothers. Wasn’t my business. And as for my gifts, I do like surprises, so I didn’t look at those either.
My mom said she knew Christmas morning by my genuine reactions that I hadn’t lied about not looking. Even at the age of twelve I was able to respect my mom’s wishes, follow instructions and not peek! If that doesn’t prove I’m trustworthy, I don’t know what would.
Just a Christmas memory from Maple Street in Ardmore I thought worthy of sharing.
No matter how you are celebrating this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope that you are having a good one. Our household of two adults and four cats enjoyed a nice spread and are now ready to sleep it off.
One of the good things about not having a lot of guests is having all the leftovers to ourselves. There are going to be plenty of those, particularly in the turkey department. We were fortunate to be one of the lucky families that reserved a fried turkey from a local caterer early on. Even with the smallest turkey they had, it will yield a lot of turkey sandwiches and plenty of slivers of turkey treats for the cats..
Take time to enjoy your family and friends today, even if you have to do it remotely this year. Be safe. Be happy. And be thankful for all the blessings in your life.