Random Acts of Kindness – Part 1

Ella & I have been showered with multiple acts of kindness in recent days. Example #1.

I picked up fantastic out-of-town clients fairly last minute who had a window to see homes Saturday morning. I scrambled to line up childcare but being so last minute, none of our 7 caregivers could cover it.

I was going to pass the clients to another agent in our firm when the firm owner told me “I’ll watch her”. I laughed but he wasn’t joking. Referring the clients to another agent would have been the EASIEST thing to do for everyone involved.

Leaving out many logistical details, between my friend Nina and her husband, another Realtor Brooke Harrelson and the owner of Yancey Realty, Franklin Yancey, Ella had a blast and was well cared for from 8am-2pm! And I have happy clients who don’t know these details but are excited about their move to Charlotte and know that I kick-ass at this real estate thing!

Understand that my daughter is a smart, silly, sassy delight to spend time with; she also has quadruplegia cerebral palsy, she is tube fed and non verbal (not to mention Short Bowel Syndrome, google it). This makes getting any random sitter impossible and makes this gift all the more special to me.

I’m still feeling blessed and overwhelmed. There was never any doubt I joined the RIGHT firm, the best one in Charlotte in so many ways!

Seriously friends, if you know anyone thinking of selling or buying in the Charlotte area, direct them straight to Yancey Realty. We do whatever it takes to satisfy our clients and get the job done!

Stay tuned for Part 2 later this week. Happy Thanksgiving!!

YOUR Thanksgiving Dinner Table!

We are a little more than a week away from Thanksgiving, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the dinner table. My memories of Thanksgiving was a looking forward to eating foods we only ate for that one special day of the year. I loved watching my Mom prepare the homemade potatoes for the most deliciousss mashed potatoes I’ve ever had in my life. Watching her seemingly perfect timing of cooking each part of the meal so that everything would be hot & ready at the same time… I marvel at my Mom’s ability to cook amazing meals with what I perceived as great ease. 

Me on the other hand, is a quite different story. I somehow missed the “domestic” gene. Maybe sound familiar? I’ve always felt kind of bad for my kids, that my mashed potatoes weren’t as “perfect” as Moms were… that I didn’t prepare every part of the meal from scratch. Know why? Because my gift is different than Mom’s was. I love design. I love fashion design, interior design… home design! So each year I get jazzed to come up with a unique dinner table that gets noticed, using my creativity. And over the years I’ve gotten the kids involved too. For example, I remember asking them how we should display the names by each place setting and every year they came up with a new way. And to the best of my ability, I would do what I could to get them whatever they needed (i.e. leaves w permanent marker, corks with safety pins, blank cards we folded over into homemade place cards with each family member writing their name and decorating their place card and so many more ideas) 

And ya know what I’ve come to realize? It’s A-OK that I don’t cook with the finesse of my Mom!!! My family enjoys a meal together, we celebrate all that we’re thankful for… together and it’s a beautiful time. I AM creating memories that will last long after I’m gone. It’s the togetherness.. the love… the thankfulness that counts the most! 

So what are you planning for this year’s Thanksgiving? Are you an amazing chef like my Mom? Or are you the creative type that plans Thanksgiving day games? Or are you the one who starts the thankfulness statements going around the table? 

Thanksgiving dinner is a time to reflect on how thankful we are on that day and every other day in the year. Focusing on your family, creating special bonded moments will last a lifetime and there’s no one right way to create them. So this Thanksgiving, may you thoroughly enjoy this special day with those you love, with no pressure, just enjoying all that you’re thankful for. What a beautiful holiday!

To your beautiful Thanksgiving!

What I Learned From a Recent Client (& why it could make a difference for you)

I love learning! Unlike some people, I actually look forward to attending the continuing education classes for my real estate license and I take full advantage of every training opportunity I can. How about you? Are you a lifelong learner too? 
Well, today I thought I would share what I learned recently from one of my awesome clients.
The day started out like any other, with a few client appointments… One in particular was with a young couple who were relocating into town for the wife’s job. We were to meet in the office at 1pm and then go see their short list of homes. Nothing out of the ordinary…. We had been communicating for the last month via email, texting and yes we even spoke on the phone 
I knew where they wanted to live (after sharing with them maps and links to local places I thought they’d enjoy), what style of home they preferred, their desired yard size, etc… everything that they wanted in their dream home in their new town!

When they arrived, we reviewed their criteria, I had my lender there to meet them and get their lending and budget solidified, reviewed the homes we were going to see and out the door we went… house shopping!
Now I always like to throw in some fun, b/c I know that buying a home can be nerve-​racking, so I brought along drinks and snacks in a cooler, brought a little booklet of some neat places they could explore while in town… and I gave them a notepad & paper so they could capture their thoughts on every house as we went from home to home… my usual.
Well, we finished the jam-packed day and they wanted to write an offer on one spectacular home they had seen. So I pulled up the recently sold homes similar to that one and it was obvious to me that it was priced spot on value, or perhaps a little under… I told them it may become a multiple offer situation and we needed to go for it with all they had if they really wanted to get it! Long story short, they took my advice to submit the offer with full price and add an escalation clause which said they would increase their offer to beat any other offer by $100 up to a certain price point. At my suggestion, they also wrote a personal letter to the seller, which I’ve learned from being on the listing side, that most sellers appreciate.
I know you’re dying to know…. did they get their dream house? Answer: YESS!!   
They were beyond excited they had “won” the house (b/c there had been one other offer that had been submitted)! They’ve since settled in and are loving exploring their new town and making it theirs!
So what did I learn from this awesome couple? They told me that while they were talking with me about their move here, that they had also been talking with two other agents b/c they were scared to be going to a new place and knowing no one, so they felt like they needed to do their due diligence in selecting just the right agent. They went on to tell me that they chose me b/c they could feel my sincerity in wanting to share about my amazing area, sincerity in wanting to take my time and be sure that I clearly understood each of their criteria, sincerity in becoming their realtor for life. At the closing, one of their parents had flown in to help them move in and I was told that they would like me to help them find a home here, as they would be retiring within 6 months….. I was sooo excited to continue helping this precious family reunite in my town.
So what did I learn? I learned the value of the way I run my business and my life: deal with everyone sincerely and communicate exceptionally, keeping at the forefront of my mind, my clients’ desires. It hit me in such a powerful way how truly blessed I am to LOVEEE my job! I get to help so many people with something as important as that place they call home!

As a friend often says, “I love what I do and I hope you do too!” I hope you love your job.. and if you don’t I encourage you to think about what you might prefer to do over what you’re doing now. It’s a neat life to do everyday something that you truly enjoy and are good at. I’m always here to grab a coffee or something and catch up! Until next time, make the most of this precious day!

October Homeowner Checklist: 5 To-Do’s

It’s that time again… time to prep your home for the cooler weather that’s on its way.  Get these completed so that you can take a much- needed break by taking a nap on the couch or curling up with a good book. 

  1. Change décor & bedding.  It will soon be chilly and that means the lighter sheets currently on your bed, need to be changed out with layers of warm comfort like maybe wool or fake fur.  Also, with the change in season, comes Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas so now is the time to swap out summer pillows and décor for the cozy cooler weather décor and accessories, such as a cozy throw and thicker window curtain panels, etc.
  2. Check smoke detectors & carbon monoxide detectors.  & replace batteries.  Also, now is the best time to check the expiration date on your fire extinguisher too.  Lastly, did you know that if your smoke detectors are yellow, it means they need to be replaced?  It’s true, so do this life-saving maintenance this month for sure!
  3. Schedule furnace & chimney maintenance.  As the seasons change, it’s important to have an HVAC pro come out and maintain your furnace.  And since colder weather brings about fireplaces being used, it’s also the perfect time to have your chimney inspected and cleaned.
  4. Weatherstripping check. Now is the time to check all existing weatherstripping and replace if needed.  And add any new to windows and doors that let too much air escape. Your budget will thank you.  Your family will be warmer! 
  5. Inspect your roof & gutters.  Roof leaks are the worst, especially during cold & inclement weather seasons, so now is the time to have a pro come out, clean out your gutters and inspect your roof (from on top of the roof) and make any necessary repairs now.

If you need any referrals to good contractors, send me a text or email or give me a call & I’d be happy to share with you my go-to list of the best in town!  I look forward to hearing from you!  Happy October!

Fun Fall Family Ideas

After a busy, enjoyable summer, isn’t it nice to be back in routine with kids back to school, the sun setting earlier (making kids bedtime easier), etc? It sure is. And that doesn’t mean the fun times have to end– no way! Here’s a list of family fun things you can plan this month.

1) Decorate.
– Wreath for the front door
– Inside for fall
– The porch with pumpkins and other fall decor

2) Bake.
– Pumpkin pie
– Pumpkin bread
– Homemade apple cider

3) Enjoy the Outdoors.
-Make raking the leaves a family event.
-Go to the local pumpkin patch & hop on a hayride.
-Grab the ingredients for smores. Prepare indoors, then go outside after dinner to roast & enjoy.
-Plan a walk in the woods to see what you can see & end this special time with hot chocolate when you get back home.

What fun Fall family things does YOUR family do? Do tell, I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Dealing With Scratched Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.

Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.

Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.

Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.

Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.

The Most Flattering Award

On August 1, I was contacted by the leader of the Charlotte Mom’s group telling me that I was their August SuperMom of the Month (SMOTM).  My first thought was that I didn’t even realize such a thing existed.

My next thought was, WOW!  Somehow someone peeked into my world and thought, hey, she’s doing it right.

Give me any award in the world but if someone tells me that I’m one of the best moms they know, that means everything!  I’m an ambitious person, when it comes down to it, mom is the most important role of my life.  It is extraordinarily flattering to be acknowledged this way.

Check out my interview on the Charlotte Super Mom’s website.

Saying Goodbye

Selling or buying a home often tugs at emotions. A home is where memories are made, families find comfort.

This is my childhood home. My parents built this house 49 years ago. It’s the only home I knew growing up and have had the comfort to return to on every visit back home.

I met my lifelong friends in this neighborhood, each lived one house away on either side of us. I took my first steps in the family room. I learned to ride a bike in the driveway. I had my first kiss on the front porch. I cried over my first heartbreak in my bedroom. My sister took me to high school my Freshman year with the top off of her jeep just to mess up my hair. I returned home for a few months after college until I could get on my feet. I have spent nearly every Christmas holiday in this home.

Today, my parents close a chapter and start a new one. As I grapple with my own emotions related to this change I am thankful for everything this home has provided over the years and wish them the very best on their move.