Real Estate Success During Uncertain Times

by Chuck Roper 18. March 2020 06:19


From the Desk of Janet Horlacher:

In these challenging times where the health and well-being of our loved ones and colleagues is our top priority, I thought some positive news would be important to share. 

We’re changing the way we do business and still DOING plenty of business. Our sales are up +30% this year and we intend to maintain our success. Here’s a look at how we are selling plenty of homes, albeit doing things a little differently.

Work From Home
Our technology enables our Realtors to work remotely just as efficiently and effectively as in office. As other businesses scramble to adapt their “work at home” systems, our Realtors are already well equipped with web-based transaction management and digital signatures.

Virtual Showing
Your virtual showing has never been more important. It’s already the norm in real estate that the first showing is online. Gorgeous photography – twilight, aerial, video – are already tools we employ to showcase your home in it’s best light. More than ever, sellers should select Realtors who offer these options.

Flight to Safety
In uncertain times, buyers and sellers need reputable, “boots on the ground” brokerages to help navigate the complexities of this changing landscape. Just today, we discovered that municipalities may be delaying services we rely on to complete home sales. Our local expertise can help guide clients through alternative solutions.

Maximum Exposure Marketing
Rest assured that Janet McAfee promotes our listings through every media channel. We are the ONLY St. Louis brokerage to promise print advertising, direct mail, social media and digital promotion on every listing.  

Open Houses Re-imagined
We’ve asked our agents to replace the traditional Sunday Open House with Sunday BY APPOINTMENT Open Houses. Listing agents can schedule a private viewing between designated hours.  Social distancing open house strategies protect you.

Unwavering Trust
Clients have depended on Janet McAfee expertise, honesty and work ethic for 45 years. We have and always will be your most trusted advisor. Now, more than ever, select a Realtor who you trust with your most important asset.

Janet Horlacher, Principal
Janet McAfee Real Estate

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General | Luxury Real Estate

How Home Kitchens are Changing in 2020

by Chuck Roper 10. February 2020 11:17

 


What does your dream kitchen look like? Colorful cabinets, farmhouse sink, island? Kitchen trends come and go, and we’re excited about what 2020 has in store for one of the most popular rooms in the house. Houzz recently released its 2020 Kitchen Trends Study; read on to learn more about what’s in and out for the coming year!

The Island Life

Islands continue to be popular fixtures in kitchen remodels. According to Houzz, half of all homeowners choose to add an island when renovating their kitchens, giving them added storage space, the opportunity for overhead lighting (both recessed and pendant), and a home for appliances like dishwashers and microwaves. L-shaped islands are most popular, coming in at 40 percent of all upgrades, followed by U-shaped at 30 percent.

Mixing Blues and Grays

Blue walls, hardwood floors and engineered quartz countertops are growing in popularity. But far more popular are white cabinets, which account for 45 percent of remodeled kitchens, Houzz reports. Two in five homeowners choose colorful island cabinets to complement the rest of the room, with gray and blue being the two most popular colors for island cabinetry.

Farmhouse Style Fades

Transitional and contemporary style kitchens account for 21 percent and 16 percent of upgrades, respectively. Farmhouse style has dropped to fourth place, with only 11 percent of remodelers opting for a rustic look. Neutral color palettes are still king, with many homeowners opting for gray, white and beige walls; hardwood and vinyl, wood-toned flooring; and stainless-steel appliances (why stop a good thing?). But risk-takers are adding a little personality to their kitchens with blue walls, beige floors and black appliances.

Upgraded Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets account for 94 percent of all kitchen upgrades, with Shaker-style reigning supreme. Though most people choose to completely replace old cabinetry, one in four homeowners opts for a partial upgrade, like refinishing or repainting existing cabinets. While they’re at it, many homeowners are putting in a full-wall backsplash from countertop to ceiling. Ceramic and porcelain continue to dominate for backsplash materials, with marble following in third.

Resources Drive Decisions

Spending on kitchen remodels continues to increase, with most homeowners reporting their primary reason for undertaking a remodel is that they finally have the means to do so. That said, remodels themselves are smaller in scope, with homeowners scaling back the breadth of their upgrades, according to Houzz, and opting against full gut-jobs. Instead, kitchens are being made more open with views to other rooms, with current layouts and sizes staying relatively the same.

Bestselling Kitchen Accents

Houzz reports that the top five categories for kitchen finishes are:


    • Kitchen faucets

    • Range hoods

    • Pendant lights

    • Kitchen sinks

    • Barstools

 

Whether you’re planning a full remodel or just sprucing up your space, we recommend keeping Houzz’s study in mind. The good news is that clean, classic looks with a touch of personality are in, which means your kitchen remodel is sure to stand the test of time.

4 Reasons Homes Sell During the Holidays

by Chuck Roper 17. December 2018 04:33

It may surprise you to learn that the holidays are a good time to sell a home.  Holiday buyers are enthusiastic and emotional; they are serious buyers, less distracted by busy work schedules.  We find that buyers are motivated by the prospect of beginning a new year in a new home.  Consider these reasons:

 

#1. Year-end corporate transfers 

Corporate transferees schedule home buying trips over the holidays.  

 

#2   Buyers have time off work  

The reality is that when work commitments slow down around the holidays, buyers look online.  Holiday buyers have a sense of urgency to write an acceptable offer before the end of the year.    

 

#3   Homes look their best 

There is nothing like an abundance of lights, a fire in the hearth, the smell of fresh pine and a festive atmosphere to make a home look its best.  As long as it’s not overdone, holiday décor makes a house warm and inviting, which appeals to buyer emotions.

 

#4   Less Competition

Inventory is lower over the holidays; sellers face less competition; and serious buyers are quicker to make a strong offer.   

Attention Luxury Realtors: Perseverance Pays Off

by Chuck Roper 30. November 2018 09:23

Every day, I read an article about the duality in our real estate market and the uncertainty of luxury home sales.  Yes, it’s been true for some time that mid and lower priced homes are selling fast and furiously, while million dollar listings take longer to sell and require more marketing support.  

Just because the market may be slowing, doesn’t mean that we are slowing.  We sell homes every day of the year.  In fact, Janet McAfee sales are up significantly this year.  Perseverance is paying off.  Discipline, consistency and executing proven strategies will deliver results.  If the market gets tough, I’m up for the challenge … are you?

-Janet Horlacher

How to Sell a Historic Home

by Chuck Roper 29. November 2018 00:31


For some unique luxury buyers and sellers, the history of a house or property plays an important role in their home search. But, finding a real estate agent who knows how to navigate the historic housing market can be equally as important—if not more. Experienced Janet McAfee luxury real estate agent, Kevin Hurley, shares his advice about how best to sell an historic luxury home.


Is there anything luxury sellers should do before deciding to list?

I think the key for anyone selling a home, and especially an historic home, is to make sure the house is in great condition. Luxury buyers are critical buyers and expect a certain level of condition and presentation.


In the end, luxury homes are significantly different from most listings in that you must make a significant time investment to document the heritage, detail amenities and updates, and address lifestyle considerations.


What are luxury buyers looking for in historic homes?

I mostly list historic homes in the Central West End near Forest Park. There, buyers looking at one-hundred-year-old homes or older are generally looking for architectural integrity. They're looking for homes that have been well-maintained, updated to a certain degree and also enjoy a good location.


The West End that has a limited amount of these unique homes which are impossible to replicate. So, it's a very special buyer—one who likes history but enjoys today’s modern amenities.


What kind of updates are luxury buyers looking for in the Central West End?

Kitchens and bathrooms. More specifically, an updated master bath is typically the first thing on the list. But for the most part, they just want a home that’s in good condition because they’re buying these homes for the historic details and often have the resources to customize the updates.


Tell us about a recent luxury sale that you have made. How did it sell?

First of all, you have to have professional photography because that's how a home is first presented to a potential buyer. Then, it’s important to have good marketing materials, brochures, etc., especially because these are very complicated, extensive listings.


Luckily, I've lived in an historic house in the West End. I’m well-aware of both what people's concerns are and what attracts people in the area. It’s important to counsel potential buyers about those considerations.


Is there anything unique about the way homes in your area sell? How do your clients find you?

I've lived in the West End for 40 years.  I have a network of agents who regularly call to ask questions about my listed homes and see if there is anything else coming up. I place print advertising in the West End Word, I promote my listings on social media and I send out postcards of newly-listed and just sold properties. This helps solidify my reputation in an area.


I have former neighbors who refer me to clients with interests in the area. I am lucky because I've been in that specific area for quite some time which helps because I can keep my eye out and reach out to people when I know something’s coming up.



Are you looking to buy or sell a luxury home? At, Janet McAfee our real estate agents are seasoned experts in selling luxury homes. From how to research the value and market your home to helping stage for specific buyers, our luxury clients truly reap the rewards of working with a Janet McAfee agent—and you can, too!

IT’S THE RIGHT TIME FOR MOST TO BE IN THE MARKET

by Chuck Roper 22. October 2018 04:10

Luxury Portfolio’s newly released white paper Luxury Real Estate: What Matters To Today’s Global Elite concludes that 38% of the world’s affluent consumers are interested in purchasing real estate in the next 3 years.  Moreover, 23% affluent consumers are interested in selling real estate in the next 3 years. 

Their research also states that luxury buyers are motivated by the emotional value of the home more so than physical features.  The report sites what is important to affluent consumers is having a life well-lived, feeling secure and having a customized environment with room for many happy memories.

Luxury buyers rank “value” twice as important as “price.”  This means getting a good value for the money and investing in neighborhoods where there is appreciation.

Janet McAfee is the exclusive St. Louis member of Luxury Portfolio International.  For a copy of the whitepaper, Luxury Real Estate: What Matters Most to Today’s Global Elite, please contact jhorlacher@janetmcafee.com.

Janet Horlacher

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