Julie Lane: Our January Agent of the Month

by Chuck Roper 28. January 2013 08:19

Since joining the firm seven short years ago, Julie Lane has been a consistent Top Agent, Ambassador for St. Louis on HGTV’s series My First House, a perennial FIVE STAR Customer service winner and on the short list of the Central Corridor’s Top Agents.

Lucky, you ask?  Those of us who know her also recognize her “instant success” is due to good, old-fashioned hard work.

Julie previously worked as a pharmaceutical representative for eight years before joining Janet McAfee Real Estate.  She states, “A manager at my former company taught her how to stay focused.  He advised me to always have a plan in mind and focus on outperforming the competition.”  Lane continued, “The advice has served me well in real estate too.  One of the challenges of this job is getting out there and building your own business.”  In the St. Louis market, it’s no longer enough to just have connections.  Agents have to really know this market and go the extra mile.”

With a husband and two daughters, Julie admits real estate can be demanding but at the end of the day, “ I can go home, hang my realtor costume in the closet, throw on some sweats and snuggle with the kids on the couch.  To them I am just Mom.”

Ted Thornhill, President of Janet McAfee quickly points out, “Julie represents the next generation of real estate professionals at our firm.  She works hard, has superb skills and has risen through the ranks to become our Top Agent in 2012.  It’s a tribute to her drive, intelligence and advocacy for her distinguished clients."

To learn more about Julie and her listed properties, go to www.janetmcafee.com/julielane

 

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Luxury Real Estate Rebounds

by Chuck Roper 22. January 2013 11:21

We are particularly encouraged by the luxury housing segment, where large inventories and inflated pricing had previously stifled a more timely recovery.   Because early stimulus  programs were geared toward first time home buyers and conventional  borrowers, the luxury segment did not recover as quickly as lower price segments.  2012 saw good stock market performance, moderate job creation and good business health - all contributing to positive housing results.  2012 sales of single family and condominiums  over $1 million are up 19% over 2011 in St. Louis County's central corridor and inventory has gradually but steadily declined during the year.

Luxury Home Sales

 

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St. Louis Luxury Real Estate Trends: Home Offices

by Chuck Roper 10. January 2013 03:53

More and more employees, freelancers and business owners are skipping the congested St. Louis morning commute and working remotely from home. Are you one of the 13.4 million Americans who are currently plugging into the office from home?  Make sure that you continue the productivity you achieved in the workplace by giving yourself a dedicate work space at home. Janet McAfee Real Estate has some helpful pointers to keep the work flowing in your home office.

 

 


·         Define a workplace – You don’t necessarily need a separated room with a door to constitute as an office, but you shouldn’t set up shop in front of the television – or anything else that will distract you from your work.
·         Stay organized – A cluttered desk leads to a cluttered mind! Although you are working from home, it is important to maintain the same orderliness as you would in the office. Here are some desk accessories to keep your office stylish and tidy.
·         Make it comfortable – Working from home has obvious benefits: no commute, you get to set your own hours, privacy, etc. Don’t forget that you can also personalize your workspace to best reflect your style. It’s a lot easier to sit down in an office that you enjoy to be in rather than staring at four blank walls. Need a little office inspiration? Check out these tips to help put the home in home office.


If your company is seeing continued growth, don’t be surprised if you are given the opportunity to work from your home in the future – prepare your workstation now! Do you have a dedicated home office space? Visit Janet McAfee Real Estate’s Facebook and Twitter to share your pictures! For more St. Louis real estate tips, remember to regularly check back for additional blog posts!

 

Post-Holiday Cleanup: Taking Down Your Decorations Safely

by Chuck Roper 27. December 2012 09:04

Decorating around the holidays is a lot like packing for a trip – we take extra precautions when packing each item into our bags, but when it is time to head home, we blindly shove everything into our luggage, crossing our fingers it all fits. It is all too easy to treat packing up your holiday décor in a similar fashion. So much time is spent getting each and every decoration perfectly positioned – Janet McAfee Real Estate wants to make sure you are spending a little extra time to safely pack up your holiday trimmings.

  • Lights – Getting your home in tip-top shape for the holidays can be tricky – especially if you are scaling the roof to add Christmas lights.  Ladder safety is something we often overlook as we pack away the lights as you remove them. Be sure you have a “spotter” that can keep an eye and collect the lights you remove.
  • Tree removal – Nothing says Christmas quite like a real tree. Unfortunately, these saplings are also a big fire safety hazard. When disposing of your tree, make sure it is away from the street – trees also become a big traffic liability during the holiday season.
  • Broken decorations – If you can make it through a holiday season without having a broken ornament, light, etc., we commend you. For everyone else, it is important to properly dispose of broken items. This time next year, it is likely we won’t remember an item is damaged. If we save it, we risk injury the next time we unpack our decorations.

 

 

Whether you are packing up your holiday décor the day after Christmas or a month after, make sure you are doing so safely. Make sure to check back with Janet McAfee Real Estate for more tips on home decoration and other St. Louis real estate topics!

Reflections on 2012

by Chuck Roper 20. December 2012 05:50

We are busy wrapping up 2012, evaluating our business results and market conditions.  Overall, we feel very good about residential real estate in St. Louis.  In virtually every price segment, we have experienced increased activity, stable pricing and declining inventory.   Importantly, house sales did not "fizzle out" after the summer selling season, as we experienced in 2011.  Whether it was the favorable stock market, a case of pent-up demand or perhaps it was just unseasonably warm weather, but whatever the reason, we continued to experience good sales through the Fall. 

Here are a couple of our observations.  The most positive news is that the number home sales is up 18% through November in St. Louis Central Corridor.  Second, we have experienced modest price gains in the 2-4% range.   Third, we are so pleased to see that inventory levels have come down from 9 months of inventory in the beginning of the year to around 5 months at the end of the year.

We are grateful for the support of our loyal clients, our hard working agents and the cooperation of lenders, surveyors, inspectors and all the professionals with whom we work to close each and every transaction.   

Thank you for a memorable year!

Janet

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Three Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Holidays

by Chuck Roper 29. November 2012 03:56

There is no greater time of year than the holidays – seeing friends and family, upholding tradition and of course, all of these beautiful decorations are just a few of the reasons this is the most wonderful time of the year. If you are expecting visitors over the next few weeks, you will probably be decking out your home in preparation. Make the season of giving a little less stressful by applying a few of those helpful holiday decorating tips Janet McAfee Real Estate has put together for you. 

  1. Holiday wreaths – Nothing is more welcoming than knocking on a door adorned with a stunning wreath. You can purchase a premade wreath from any local retailer, or turn this into a DIY project. We suggest visiting your local craft store for some inspiration.
  2. Christmas garland — Whether you opt for a popcorn garland project with the kids or you go all-out with an evergreen variety, holiday garland is a staple in any home. Hang it from your mantle or on your staircase!  Take a look at Martha Stewart’s website for great ideas.
  3. Christmas lights – Decking out your home in lights is not just for you – it is for all of the families that drive around in December admiring the holiday cheer. Lights are not just meant to decorate the roof anymore. Consider thinking outside the box with glowing gift boxes, lighted trees and fences, hanging ornaments and a lighted driveway as alternatives.

Will you be looking to buy or sell a home in St. Louis this holiday season?  Let the experienced agents at Janet McAfee Real Estate help. Contact us for more information in getting started on your journey to a new home. 

My McAfee Activity Reporting

by Chuck Roper 13. November 2012 07:37

A turbulent housing market makes it increasingly difficult to gain an advantage when it comes to selling your home. The housing market is currently flooded with home listings, but the demand doesn’t meet the supply. So how do you place your home listing more prominently in your area? Having access to an experienced Janet McAfee realtor may lend the upper hand you have been looking for.

Create a more straightforward home selling process with the new My McAfee Activity tool. This new tool from Janet McAfee Real Estate gives you and your agent the ability to monitor and evaluate interest in your home and view the comparable homes for sale in your area. Once the report is activated, they are automatically emailed to the agent and seller.

My McAfee Activity Report (Listing Activity) is the report both agents and sellers will receive that breaks down the overall activity of your property. We evaluate and report on four different areas over a period of seven days, 30 days, and eight weeks:

  • Property Results Report – Displays the number of times your property appeared in a search result on the website.
  • Property Detail Report – Displays the number of times your property details page has been viewed on the website.
  • Property Map Detail Report – Displays the number of times your property was requested on a map on the website.
  • Agent Listings Report – Displays the number of times your property has been viewed from the agent profile page.

    My McAfee Activity Report (Competitive Listing) is a great way to evaluate exactly where your property stands in the local housing market. This is an excellent resource for sellers and agents to form realistic goals and prices when listing a home. A seller’s property is compared to similar homes for sale in the area based on following criteria:
  • Price changes
  • Most recent listings
  • Closest properties




     


Working together with a Janet McAfee agent and using valuable resources like the My McAfee Activity Reporting tool can open new doors – literally! – throughout the process of selling your home. Need help finding the right agent to sell your home?

Contact Janet McAfee today and we can help match you with an agent that best suits your needs! 

 

 

 

 

Painting Your Home? Consider These Four Color Tips!

by Chuck Roper 4. October 2012 12:05

If you are looking for a quick face-lift throughout your home, consider giving your walls a new coat of paint.  Whether you prefer rich, bold colors or warm neutral tones, fresh paint can bring any average space to life.  Janet McAfee Real Estate has a few tips to think about before going wild with the paint brush.

 

Coordinate – Do you have a large, upholstered chair, an Oriental rug, or an ornate duvet cover in the space you would like to update?  Pull your color scheme inspiration from these pieces.

Personal Style – People often say that you should consider your own style when decorating your home.  Can’t decide if that fire engine red is a good choice?  Is it a color you would actually wear?  If not, it may be more appropriate for an accent color.

Design Vertically – Traditionally, you can make your space look larger by decorating with lighter colors near the ceiling and darker colors on the floor.  Be sure to choose a lighter colored valance and crown molding while opting for darker floors and rugs.

Use the Color Wheel – Colors nearest each other in the color wheel are the most complementary.  If it is color you are seeking, keep things light in the kitchen with yellows and oranges and cool and calming in the bedroom with blues, greens, and purples.

Remember that when it comes to decorating your home, your personal preferences trump any interior design “rule.” However, if you are selling your home, it may need additional preparation for open houses.  Contact the real estate professionals at Janet McAfee for more information about getting your property in the best condition possible for sale.

Selling Your St. Louis Home: Marketing 101

by Chuck Roper 21. September 2012 05:40

 

When you purchased your home, what drew you to the property?  Did your realtor provide you listings or did you have a specific neighborhood in mind?  Chances are you saw the home online or even in a display ad in a local magazine, like the Ladue News.  We don’t even realize how often we come in contact with marketing – it’s an everyday occurrence.  With Janet McAfee Real Estate, our reach gives you a true advantage.

 

Digital Marketing – Our clients are instantly linked with some of the most influential people in the world through our digital marketing campaigns.  All listings are displayed on multiple websites including: National Association of Realtor's Realtor.com; relocation network LeadingRE.com; St. Louis Post-Dispatch's StLToday.com; HGTV's FrontDoor.com; as well as the other websites provided by Google, Yahoo, Trulia and Zillow.  Luxury listings are also displayed on Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate's LuxuryRealEstate.com; Leading Real Estate Companies of the World's LuxuryPortfolio.com; and the The Wall Street Journal's wsj.com.

 

  • Print Marketing – We use print marketing to actively promote our properties and drive interested readers to our website for more information. Print campaigns, including classified and display ads, are often featured in the Ladue News, The West End Word, The Webster-Kirkwood Times, and Ladue News’ Elegant Living magazine.
  • Direct Marketing – Direct marketing allows us to select specific audiences and tailor messages to promote your home and announce promotional events. Direct marketing campaigns may include both mail and digital communications. Beautiful high-gloss postcards feature attractive layouts, high-resolution photography and descriptive copy. Email campaigns with imbedded photography are directed to area realtors to announce new listings, promote open houses and update listing prices.
  • Global Relocation Network – We are a member of the largest and most respected relocation affiliation in the world, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. With 5,000+ members and annual sales over $400 billion, our affiliates sell more homes annually than any other residential real estate organization.

 

If you are selling your home, remember that Janet McAfee Real Estate is an expert in making your home stand out in a cluttered market place.  Contact our professionals today for more information on getting your home ready to sell!

 

Successful Agents in Real Estate: Signs the Housing Market is Improving

by Chuck Roper 13. September 2012 11:08

We all know that it is a great time to buy a new home – prices are competitive, mortgage rates are at all-time lows and the buyer has a decided advantage.  What may be news to the general public is that the housing market is seeing daily improvements.  The top-performing agents of Janet McAfee Real Estate have given their perspective on why they are seeing a change in direction and explain what this means for buyers and sellers in the future.

 

Twofold Competition – Our real estate professionals are seeing a trend in home buying – a movement that sees many homes with few buyers to having fewer homes with more buyers.  Thus, as our agent Julie Lane explains, “Many buyers found themselves in competition.”  Agent Ann Carter stresses that “multiple offers are being received…especially [in] Ladue and Clayton.”  Professional Katie Curran also notes that there haven’t been multiple offer situations like this in over three years.

Increasing Prices – As real estate agents, we loved the low home prices for those looking for a new home, but we hated to see the poor housing market taking a toll on those who were selling.  But there is great news for sellers! According to Kathleen Lovett and Laura Donovan, “Sales prices are increasing, which optimistically tells us we are in the midst of a rebounding market.”  Susan Holden explains that “First time buyers are active and taking advantage of the still great interest rates. When they buy, that allows more move-up buying from the sellers of the starter homes. The domino effect is then positive for the homes in the higher price ranges also. “ 

Enhanced Activity – Thanks to an improvement in the housing market, our agents have been busy.  Marianne Galt states that she “had an active May and June with many more showings and sales.”  Margaret Wright exclaims, “Houses are selling quickly! My most recent listing sold in only four days.”  With more traffic, buyers and sellers can expect quicker listing periods and greater peace of mind.

Things are looking up for sellers in the current housing market – and our successful agents couldn’t be more excited for them!  We would like to thank our top-performing women professionals for breaking down the current trends in housing and why we are on the fast track to a rebounding market.  If you are interested in buying or listing your home, contact the professionals at Janet McAfee Real Estate today.

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