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Home for the Holidays: Decorating Tips to Make the Most of the Season

If you’re anything like us, you get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you hear Perry Como crooning the lyrics to “Home for the Holidays.” That classic Christmas song remains a favorite because its message rings true, more than 60 years after it was first recorded. There’s truly no place like home during the holiday season. Cold weather and shorter days have us all in the mood to stay inside and spend time with our loved ones. Here at Realty One, we know just how important your home is to you, we help hundreds of people each year find their perfect home in Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas.

 

In the spirit of the season, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite decorating tips to help you spruce up your home this holiday season. A wreath on the door and warm candles on the mantle are a welcome invitation for friends and family to come inside and enjoy the warmth and comfort of your beautiful home.

 

Holiday Decorating Ideas

Adorn the door. Nothing is more striking than a dark green wreath with a big red bow. Look for fresh wreaths at local tree lots, where they’ll often make wreaths to sell from the scraps cut from recently purchased trees. When you get home, hang it on the door with a magnetic hook to avoid doing any damage to your front door.

Bring the outside in. There’s so much more you can do to decorate with greenery in addition to a live tree. Take the trimmings from your Christmas tree and use them to make a beautiful candle wreath. All you need is some florists oasis to use as a base, and then stick short cuttings of pine or even holly and boxwood around a grouping of candles. And don’t forget the magnificent magnolia found in many of our neighborhoods. These glossy evergreen leaves look beautiful on mantles or arranged around a candle on your dining room table.

Let the whole house be festive. Rather than relegating all your decorating to one room, spread the joy throughout the house. It doesn’t take much to get other rooms in a festive spirit. A few holiday towels in the bathrooms, a small tree in the bonus room and a wreath above the master bed will turn your house into a holiday wonderland.

Share the warmth. You know how much you love driving around and seeing the festive, twinkling lights of other people’s decorations. Why not let your own home be one of those people look forward to driving by? You don’t have to go all out with a big light display to add some sparkle to the dark of winter. A few strands of lights hung around your front door or electric candles in the window are a nice touch to brighten up these early evenings.

 

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

  • Once you have all your favorite decorations up, you want to make sure everything is safe and sound throughout the season. Here are a few tips:
  • Keep your tree watered and away from heat sources. Dry needles can easily catch a spark from hot lights. If you have an artificial tree, make sure it’s fire resistant.
  • Check all your lights before use, both indoor and outdoor. Look for frayed wires and loose connections, and discard strings of lights that can’t be fixed. Be sure to unplug lights before replacing bulbs or doing repairs.
  • Keep poinsettias out of reach of kids and pets. These flowers are beautiful but poisonous when ingested.
  • Make sure to turn off all lights and extinguish all your candles before going to bed at night.

 

We know your home looks beautiful for the holidays, and with these safety tips you’ll be able to enjoy it for many days to come. From Realty One, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

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Perspective: “I can sell your home in 4.5 years!”

Blog Post: "Perspective - I can sell your home in 4.5 years!"

Written by Eric Munger, premier listing agent for The Munger Team.


This year to date I have sold homes in an average of just 47 days on the market. I have worked hard for those results, but I want to talk about one recent sale this year that was just a LITTLE (okay alot) different than that.

 

Image of host and contestant on Name That Tune television game show.
Name That Tune. Image borrowed from C21Media.net.

It makes me think of a game show that came out in the 70’s, and again in the 80’s, called Name That Tune.

In the show contestants had to make a wager on how few notes they thought they could hear of a song and be able to guess the song based on just those few notes. The two contestants would go back and forth with “Margaret, I can name that tune in 6 notes,” and her response, “Tom, I can name that tune in 5 notes,” and so on, until at some point a contestant would wager such a low number of notes that the other contestant would shake their head and say, “Margaret/Tom, you name that tune!”

 

Sometimes I believe real estate agents are like this. Let me explain:

Clients often ask, “So how quickly can you sell my home?” Usually they are interviewing multiple agents asking this question. We become those game show contestants when this timeline question is asked. I can hear the game show sounds in the background and an agent answering: “Johnny, I can sell your home in 30 days!”

I imagine that answer sounds a whole lot better to a client than another agent who said: “Johnny, I can sell your home in 90 days!”

As agents, its understandable (and even necessary) that we share our successes, our statistics, and be confident in our ability to sell. We tell clients all the reasons they should work with us. In fact, clients also ask that of us: “Why should I work with you?” But we should be real in our answers, drop any facade that we have this all mapped out and figured out, or any illusion that we know with certainty when their home will sell.

A couple years ago I sold a home that had previously been on the market with another agent. The seller told me the previous agent had emphatically guaranteed they would sell the home in 30 days. As you can imagine, when that didn’t happen the guarantee fell flat on its face – 6 months later when the home still wasn’t sold, the client chose to no longer work with that agent.

 

This brings me to the title of this blog: “I can sell your home in 4.5 years!”

I just recently closed a transaction in which the seller had stuck with me (and I with them) for over 4 years. There were a lot of factors that led to the length of time, and this anomaly was well outside my norm (see my average listed at the start of this post) for what I sell. This home had some pricing issues based on what was owed by seller, and it had functional and cosmetic repair issues. We had also received several offers during those 4 years, and had even been under contract before; but due to those price constraints on the sellers part and the needed repairs, it took some time to finally accomplish the sale.

What it comes down to is that we, as agents, should be quite transparent with clients that we cannot ultimately control timing of a sale – to claim we can would be foolish and false.

Even saying statistically I sell homes in an average of 47 days means that some have sold in 3 days and others have sold in 3 months. Timing varies. There are so many market factors that influence the timing. As agents, we interpret data and trends. We should know the average selling time of homes in the area. But we don’t have a crystal ball to foretell the definite date of a sale.

What I do have is my follow-up, tenacity, and dogged determination to pursue any and every buyer. I have experience, knowledge and marketing know-how. I have tools, resources, systems and processes that get the job done. But in the end it was determination, some plain hard work, and finally the right timing, that stuck it out through those 4.5 years and got it done for this client. A big “Thank You!” to them, because they stuck through it with me.

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Why Real Estate?

Blog Post: "Why Real Estate?" by Eric Munger

Written by Eric Munger, Founder of Realty One Triad


Occasionally I may ask myself, why in the world did I get into real estate? This thought will especially run through my head after a transaction falls apart that I’ve spent countless hours on, or after a particularly difficult call with a client or another agent.

So there it is. The question. Why oh why did I choose to spend my life and career in this prison known as real estate?

Okay, I’m kidding – it’s not a prison. It’s more like being chained to your phone than being chained to the job. Just kidding around again! (Somewhat.) Yes, the phone is never far from reach; but whose phone is far from reach anymore in our technology crazed society?

The truth is that I love what I do. As with any job you have those mornings you wake up and you’d rather roll back over and sleep for another hour than head into the office or start making calls. But frankly, 29 days out of 30 I wake up excited to get to work.

Why?

Paper house with cut-out paper family being held by child and parents.It’s the people. It’s not the paperwork. It’s not the next sale. It’s not the marketing. It’s not even the coffee waiting at the office. The people drive me and push me to do more and to do better, to succeed and to thrive.

It’s the fellow agents I work with here at Realty One – what an awesome team we have! I love the interaction with them, the conversations, the laughter, even sharing the ache and pain with them of a family member that’s hurting or of a lost loved one. I thrive on seeing the excitement that lights up their face when they close their first deal, or their 100th. I thrive in the sharing of amusing and interesting stories of the transactions, the situations and the people we help.

And it’s the clients. It’s the homeowner that I just helped avoid foreclosure with the sale of their home. It’s the homeowner that had been trying to sell for 15 years (quite literally) before I helped them sell.

As I think back over the 500+ homes I’ve sold, it’s the memorable situations, transactions, and people that come to mind. It’s helping people move forward in their lives and the satisfaction which comes from that.

What a great job to have, what a great career! More than a job, it’s practically a lifestyle. I breathe, drink and eat real estate. But in the end it’s not for the job’s sake itself, but for the people that are involved. For the people in whose life I can make a difference. For the joys and the sorrows, the highs and the lows that we all share. Our homes: the places we live and entertain and have community with one another – they’re such an integral part of the story of our lives. I’m glad to share in that with people.

The people. For me, that’s why real estate.

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When Is the Right Time to Sell?

Blog Post: "When is the right time to sell?" by Eric Munger

Written by Eric Munger, Founder of Realty One


I get this question frequently when I meet with a client who is considering selling their home. They are unsure of timing and of the “right” season to sell.

Of course it is often assumed, as you may be thinking now, that the right time is spring. That it is pointless to put your home on the market in the fall or, more particularly, in the winter.

However, I have found that conclusion to be flawed. Yes, it is true that the spring and summer seasons have the most buyer activity and the most sales. The catch, though, is that is also when more homeowners put their home up for sale – so as a seller you are up against more competition if you choose to wait until spring. In the fall and winter months, there are fewer buyers and fewer sales, but there is also less competition. More homeowners also choose during those seasons to not list for sale, or to take their home off the market, giving you even more opportunity to be that lone good option for a buyer. Due to the amount of listing competition being quite different between spring and winter, that right season to sell is somewhat relative.

Ultimately, I advise clients to list the home for sale when the timing is right for them. If you are ready to sell and the timing makes sense for you, put your home on the market. In fact, I bought my last home in December. I’ve even delivered signed contracts to sellers on Christmas Eve – people do move during the holidays! Just like your right timing to sell could be in those winter months, that right buyer for your home might have the same timetable.