Coming Together

by Chuck Roper 11. November 2016 06:01

In the aftermath of this divisive election, I am heartened to hear politician’s new rhetoric of “coming together” and “finding common ground.”  I say, “Isn’t this what Realtors do every day?”  Look no further than how we Realtors find common ground every time we negotiate a sales contract; how we cooperate with our fellow Realtors for every showing, every feedback request and every agent open house.  Our Duty to Cooperate is spelled out in the Realtor Code of Ethics.   We don’t make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals and we do not attempt to gain unfair advantage over competitors.  Along with honesty, competency and high integrity, cooperation lay at the heart of our industry.  The Code states: “cooperation promotes the best interests of those who utilize our services.”

If any person is having trouble coming together in this season of change, look no further than the 1.2 million Realtors in the United States, where cooperation is our middle name.  

 Janet McAfee Real Estate 

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Left Digit in Sale Price Affects Home Buyers Most

by Chuck Roper 31. October 2016 06:41

A recent study published by the Journal of Housing Research concluded the best technique for pricing a home is setting the asking price just below a round number.  The study went on to say that this strategy of “just below” pricing yielded a selling price 2.5 to 3 percent higher compared with a “rounded price.”  The example given is a home listed at $199,000 yielded a sale price $5,000 to $6,000 higher than one listed for $200,000.  The study was conducted among 1,000 buyers in Virginia considering a pool of 370,000 listings.

Do you agree or disagree?  Some believe this is old school thinking.  “We don’t price homes like cans of soup on the grocery shelf, commented a Realtor.  Others believe this is a good strategy because home buyers are influenced by a lower first digit.  What is your experience?

 Janet McAfee Real Estate 

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Negotiating Your Client's Interests

by Chuck Roper 18. October 2016 06:16

I attended a training class on the topic of negotiation. I heard a wonderful story which demonstrates why we as agents should look for common interests (not just our client’s position) when negotiating contracts and building inspections.  Here’s the story:

“A mother walked into her kitchen to find her 2 children screaming and fighting over the last orange.  Exasperated, she grabbed the orange, sliced it in half and gave each child half the orange.  Immediately upon doing so, the children began crying and screaming even louder.  Bewildered by this, she asked her children what’s the matter now?  The first child said she needed the pulp of one orange to complete her science project.  The second child explained he needed the juice of one orange for his brownie recipe.”

The mother had only understood each child’s position – “I want the orange.”  Had the mother understood each child’s interest in obtaining the orange, each child would get what each child needed.  If we look deeper than just our client’s position and figure out their interest in wanting something, we may find a “win-win” solution.

-Janet Horlacher
 Janet McAfee Real Estate 

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General | General | Selling Your Home | Selling Your Home

Completing The Seller's Disclosure

by Chuck Roper 28. September 2016 04:24

The first page of the Seller’s Disclosure Statement asks for Subdivision or Condominium association information and contacts.   Please take the time to review and remind the sellers to answer all of the questions.

-Mary Beth Gold
Closing Manager 



General | Selling Your Home

Documenting Home Improvements

by Chuck Roper 27. September 2016 08:08

As a listing agent, pre-empt last minute issues by recommending that the seller request detailed invoices and lien waivers from contractors reflecting repairs performed. Collect the paid invoices and lien waivers a week before closing whenever possible.  Often, by collecting detailed receipts early, the parties will be alerted to any repair items accidentally overlooked or misunderstood, and contractors may be scheduled for another visit prior to closing.  It is rare for a lender to approve last minute credits from sellers to buyers, due to tightened lender guidelines and policies, so have your contractors available and avoid some walk-through woes.

-Cathy Noll
Vice President/Broker 

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General | Selling Your Home

10 Things that Make an Impression

by Chuck Roper 21. September 2016 11:26

1. Being on time
2. Work ethic
3. Effort
4. Body language
5. Energy
6. Attitude
7. Passion
8. Being coachable
9. Doing extra
10. Being prepared

-Mike Adkins
 Relocation Director 


General | Success Begins Here

Pool Tips For Fall

by Chuck Roper 21. September 2016 11:13

If you are listing a property with a pool now, photograph the pool while the weather cooperates, even if the home’s interior is not yet ready for shooting.  Suggest that the sellers direct their pool company to perform a brief maintenance check, making suggested repairs and delineating ongoing maintenance in writing, when the pool is closed in autumn.  Most buyers will contact the pool service company listed in the disclosure for information on the pool, so a written report will insure that all parties are literally ‘on the same page’ when the winter winds begin to blow! 

-Cathy Noll
 Vice President/Broker


General | Seasonal Preparations

The Importance Of A Boundary and Improvement Survey

by Chuck Roper 20. September 2016 05:30

Encourage your buyers to purchase a Boundary and Improvement (Stake) Survey. The survey locates all boundaries, improvements, easements, encroachments, and building lines, if applicable.  The information content of the stake survey is invaluable to identify defects and without an accurate survey, title companies will not give full survey coverage.

-Mary Beth Gold
 Closing Manager 


General | Selling Your Home

The Best Values Are Right In Front Of Us

by Chuck Roper 19. September 2016 06:22


In recent weeks, I’ve observed a flurry of price reductions and I believe we are seeing great values for the savvy buyer.   The end of summer often brings about price correction (and sometimes underpricing).  Perhaps sellers don’t want to face the winter with the thought of an unsold property.  Now is the time for buyers to capitalize on this value pricing.  Too often, buyers focus only on new listings to the exclusion of older inventory.  I believe there are great deals to be made with older listings which are now priced at incredible values. 

Janet Horlacher
Janet McAfee Real Estate 

Agent Interview with Emily Oliver

by Chuck Roper 11. July 2016 10:18

While Emily Oliver has only been a Janet McAfee associate for one year, she brings a wealth of experience from her previous positions in human resources and finance. We caught up with the St. Louis native to discuss her lifelong passion for real estate and her experiences at Janet McAfee.

How did you become interested in Real Estate?

“I’ve been interested in real estate for a long time; it started off as hobby through several of my own real estate transactions. My grandfather was actually a broker and represented me on many of these, always being very patient in answering my many questions. I was very impressed by his professionalism, assertiveness and his outstanding attention to detail.  This resonated with me from the very beginning.  He always put me first, he didn’t miss a beat and I was able to trust him completely. I knew that this was what I would want my clients to feel if I ever decided to pursue this as a career.

About a year and a half ago, I reevaluated some of my personal long term goals that had been on the back burner for some time. This process led me to resign from my position at my family business and take the leap of faith that I knew was necessary for me to achieve these goals.”

What was the family business?

“My father owned a large car dealership with over forty employees. I handled all HR needs as well as bookkeeping for eight years.”

Do you think that managing such a large group has given you an insight into the working of an agency?

“Yes. Being able to manage several responsibilities, learning how to prioritize and being self-motivated have made my transition into real estate very smooth.”

Has there been a moment at Janet McAfee that made you feel that you were born to do this?

“It is one thing to enjoy what you do but it is another to hear that your clients are happy with the service you provide. Each time I hear that my clients are pleased or just hearing a simple thank you, I know that I am on the right path. Recently, I had a referral to a sibling of a past client and I was really moved. Having a client refer me to someone that they care about tells me that I am serving people well and that is my objective.”

 Being part of a family is very important to you. Are you drawn to clients who seek similar intimacy?

“Being a mother, I’m drawn to clients with the same sentiments. I know that a house doesn’t make a home, however finding a place where they can grow as a family is fulfilling. A house is the primary place that life happens and memories are made. It has a lot of importance.”

Is there a particular St. Louis community that you love?

“I live in Webster Groves. It is a very tight-knit community, filled with people walking with their kids and dogs, neighbors whom actually know and help each other. It is a special place.

Although, I must say that we are fortunate in St. Louis to have so many wonderful communities to choose from.”

Visiting other communities, what draws you to other communities and St. Louis and what do you think that they have to offer?

“I’ve experienced many parts of St. Louis, I’ve lived in the city as well. Each community is unique in so many ways but you can see the similarities of St. Louis as a whole. Beautiful parks, sporting events, The St. Louis Zoo just to name a few.”

Why do you think that someone should choose Janet McAfee? Representing McAfee, do you feel that you’re representing the family as a whole?


“Yes, absolutely. I liken it to a tree, a backbone or a foundation. Having multiple people to support you and to bounce ideas off of is very helpful. Sometimes you just need to gain a fresh perspective.”

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