Monday, November 13, 2017
Saint Louis, November, 2017
The team of Wayne Norwood and Ben Patton have joined luxury leader, Janet McAfee Real Estate. Known as Wayne and Ben within the real estate community, the team operates their own boutique entity, “Finest Homes of St. Louissm,” a registered brand focused entirely on luxury homes within the Saint Louis central corridor. Wayne is the Senior Partner and Broker. Ben, a licensed Realtor, creates and manages all marketing for the team.
Wayne Norwood, Broker Associate
A former corporate Sales and Marketing Executive, Wayne has proven levels of highest achievement and success. His background ranked him in the Top 1% of two prior fields, wholesale apparel, and consumer packaged goods, and has nearly $1.0 Billion in lifetime sales. A native of New York, Wayne graduated from The University of Rochester, cum laude. Prior to making St. Louis home, Wayne lived in New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Ben Patton, Realtor & Business Analyst
A native of Columbia, Missouri, Ben graduated from the University of Missouri, where he majored in Finance, with an emphasis in Real Estate. He is a strong Mizzou fan and a staunch supporter of his Alma Mater.
Ben moved to St. Louis after graduation where he obtained his Real Estate License, and started his career at Gladys Manion Real Estate, in 2009. He teamed up with Wayne, and the two became the company’s most successful Team in its 80+ year history. In 2017 Wayne and Ben joined Janet McAfee Real Estate, the St. Louis region’s premier luxury broker, to springboard ‘Finest Homes’ into the next decade with the best resources and platform to surpass client expectations.
Ben sits on the Young Professional Board of Friends of Wings, through Barnes Jewish Christian Hospital, and is a volunteer Big Brother for over 8 years. Ben’s passions include international travel, his bulldog Gus, attending sporting events, and spending time with his family. Ben resides in the Central West End.
For additional details, go to www.janetmcaee.com/waynenorwood.
Monday, November 13, 2017
It may surprise you to learn that the holidays are a good time to sell a home. Popular opinion tells us buyers are too caught up with travel, social engagements and gift exchanges to look for homes. The truth is … we sell homes every season of the year. Holiday buyers are enthusiastic and emotional; they are serious buyers, less distracted by busy work schedules. Often, they are more motivated to achieve house buying goals during this season of homecoming.
Myth #1 No one is looking.
The reality is that when work commitments slow down around the holidays, buyers look online. Corporate transferees schedule home buying trips over the holidays. Holiday buyers have a sense of urgency to write an acceptable offer before the end of the year.
Myth #2 Holiday decorations deter sales.
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.
Myth #3 Spring market brings higher prices.
The fact is prices are more a function of supply and demand (market dynamics) and less a function of the season. Inventory is lower over the holidays; sellers face less competition; and serious buyers are quicker to make a strong offer. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict Spring prices, but we do know that 2017 has been strong year and there are qualified buyers actively looking now.
Myth #4 Holiday showings are just for “sightseers”
A person who devotes time and energy to view properties during the busiest time of the year is a serious buyer. Sightseers or people just seeking decorating tips are more apt to tour when nothing else is going on. Serious buyers are out looking during the holidays.
Janet Horlacher, Janet McAfee Real Estate
Monday, October 30, 2017
Around mid-November, I am often asked whether it is a good time to bring a home on the market. I consider the following:
1. Inventory is Low = List Now. Residential real estate is driven by supply and demand. When supply is low, as it is now, Sellers have less competition for buyers. When two or more buyers are competing for the same property, the price is going up.
2. Inventory of Comparable Properties = Need More Data. While inventory is low across the entire market, we must look at specifics. What are inventory levels in your price range and in your neighborhood? Your Realtor will drill down to only the areas and price ranges, which are considered comparable. We do have excess inventory in some categories, so you should be well informed before making the final call.
3. Pool or outdoor amenity is an essential selling feature = Wait until Spring. If your swimming pool or outdoor living feature is an essential reason for anyone to buy your home, you should wait until it is looking its best. If waiting is not an option, I highly recommend providing photos which show just how lovely it looks.
4. High lot value/possible tear down = List Now. New home inventory is low and builders are anxiously scouring the market for good lots in good locations. If your home could be a tear down, take advantage of current conditions and list now.
5. Condo or Villa = List Now. Currently, demand is strong for condos, villas and lifestyle communities.
6. People buy homes every season of the year = List Now. Remember, people will buy homes in every season. Job transfers, promotions, marriages, changes in family situation happen all year. A desirable, well priced home will sell any and every day of the year.
Janet Horlacher, Principal, Janet McAfee Inc.
Monday, October 16, 2017
When a client is dissatisfied with their Realtor, the number one complaint is often lack of communication. Complaints include lack of feedback on showings, lack of market updates and inability to reach the agent in a timely fashion.
The frequency of communication should be decided up front when the agent first starts working with a buyer or seller. There’s no right answer: some clients like to hear from their agent daily; some prefer an automatic alert for all new listings; others prefer a weekly recap of activity. The important thing is to set up the expectation and then be consistent.
Another communication strategy to establish up front is how you would like to be contacted. For me, there is no substitute for personal contact. But I recognize that face to face meetings every day is not realistic. Decide up front if you prefer phone calls, emails or texts. Some successful agents schedule a detailed email and phone conversation at a specific time every week.
How often and which method do you prefer to communicate?
Janet Horlacher, Principal
Janet McAfee Inc.
Monday, September 18, 2017
This has been a year of multiple contracts on well-priced homes in desirable areas. The buyers who lose out don’t understand why their near full price offer wasn’t accepted. They wonder why the seller didn’t give them a second chance to improve their offer. I hear “I would have paid more.” In order to coach buyer’s agents on multiple offer situations, I encourage them to look at it from the seller’s perspective and consider the following:
Janet Horlacher, Principal
Janet McAfee Inc.
Category: Tips for Buying a Home
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
We have an expression in real estate “you need to sell your home twice; first to the home buyer and second to the appraiser.” These days, most sale contracts contain a finance contingency or an appraisal contingency or both. If the home doesn’t appraise for the contract price, the seller may be in a position of lowering the price or letting the deal die. Both are painful alternatives, especially after a willing, able and qualified buyer has been procured.
Here are steps your Realtor can take to make sure the appraisal process goes smoothly:
1. Treat the Appraiser’s Appointment like a Property Viewing – Turn on all the lights, play classical music on the home’s internal audio system, play a movie on mute in the home theatre and have the pool fountains flowing. Treat the appraiser’s visit like a showing; present the home in its best possible light with all amenities in full viewing.
2. Provide Access to All Rooms – The appraiser needs to view all floors and measure the home. A locked room prevents the appraiser from doing his/her job and will likely necessitate a return trip.
3. Provide a Special Features Sheet and Improvements List – The appraiser is comparing the home to “comparable sales,” but there may be additions, updates, improvements and other amenities which make the home more valuable than the others. Those upgrades may not be visible upon a cursory view, so it’s important to put them in writing and provide the list to the appraiser.
4. Give your CMA to the Appraiser – More information is helpful to the appraiser. Provide the comparable sales analysis which was used to price the home. Inform the appraiser if you received competitive offers and if they had escalation clauses. The appraiser will consider all relevant information.
5. Complete All Repairs Prior to Appraiser’s Visit – If the sale contract calls for repairs to be made, complete them prior to the appointment. They can impact the value of the home and necessitate a return visit by the appraiser.
6. Keep Pets Away – Man’s best friend is not a friend to the appraiser, even if he/she is a pet lover. The pet can be a distraction or an annoyance. You don’t want your appraiser to leave the premises early because they are afraid of your pets.
Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
With six months of 2017 residential sales data on the books, we examine pricing and segment trends in our St. Louis Real Estate Midyear Report.
In the first half of the year, residential unit sales have increased 2% and prices are up 4%. Inventory is still hovering at critically low levels. The lack of inventory is holding back unit sales in some of our strongest neighborhoods. Low inventory also leads to a seller’s market with intense competition and multiple offers for well-priced homes, a phenomenon true in the middle and low price ranges. Conversely, the luxury market (defined as homes over $1 million) has ample inventory. In fact, we are seeing over 8 months of inventory in million+ dollar homes. While luxury unit sales are modestly growing, prices for luxury homes are flat and in some cases compressed. Older homes are especially subject to downward price pressure as luxury buyers demand newer floor plans, mint condition and the latest and greatest amenities.
Click here to read our 2017 Midyear Market Report.
Monday, July 24, 2017
St. Louis reached an official high temperature on Saturday with a scorching 108 degrees. It’s difficult to do just about anything in that heat zone, much less tour homes with out of town buyers. Everything looks and feels “wilted” making it difficult to showcase our lush St. Louis neighborhoods to transferees (especially if they are coming from Northern Michigan!)
Cool down the House 30 Minutes Prior to Showing – If the home is vacant or if the programmable thermostat is set for energy conservation during the day, an uncomfortably hot house is an immediate turn off for prospective buyers. Make sure someone arrives early to cool the house, turn on all the lights and play quiet, calming music.
Run the Irrigation System before your showing – Remember, first impressions are everything in real estate. Nothing says “old, tired, long dated listing” like scraggly, drooping landscaping. Keep weeds in check; lawns should be cut appropriately for the heat and perennials should be kept trimmed and looking healthy. Watering prior to showings will give a healthy and well-kept appearance.
Keep your home Clean and Uncluttered. There’s something about hot weather that makes dirty, overstuffed homes feel even more stifling. Now, more than ever, it is imperative to purge tabletops of dust loving knick-knacks, wipe down counter tops and vacuum carpets. A glistening, streamlined home feels cooler and more inviting.
Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate
Friday, July 07, 2017
I believe every home has an aesthetic, whether it be a specific architectural period (like Tudor, Greek Revival or Mid Century Modern) or it could be a certain look (like bright and airy sunlight filled rooms) which strikes us as we tour the home. St. Louis homes are rich in diversity and architectural interest.
Our job as Realtors is to communicate the home’s aesthetic to potential buyers. Not every home appeals to every buyer, but there is a buyer for every home. Each of us carries our own sense of style and perceptions about how our home should look and feel. Often times, I hear buyers explain their criteria for buying a home with terms like “I will know it’s the right house when I see it.”
This month we are focusing on how to best present the home’s aesthetic. With technological advances in photography and digital media, there are so many opportunities to capture the home’s true essence. With regard to interior photography, it is about more than just high resolution; we look at lighting, depth of field, composition and color. For exterior, we love aerial, drone video and twilight photography.
Principal, Janet McAfee Real Estate
Monday, June 26, 2017
People move to different areas for a variety of reasons. St. Louis is unique in the fact it is home to many communities that appeal to different interests and walks of life. Each suburb and community has distinctive features that appeal to foodies, artists, outdoorsmen and women, and sports enthusiasts. Join us as we take a tour of the Top Communities in St. Louis!
CHESTERFIELD - If shopping is your bag, Chesterfield is the place for you. With new construction going up all the time and businesses moving in at a rapid pace, Chesterfield shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, there are over 4,000 total services with a number of shopping malls and outlets, including Taubman Prestige Outlets. You would think that they are all play and no work because of this… but you’d be wrong! The community has a 96% high school graduation rate! The houses range in price and style from colonial to craftsman to farmhouse. All of these features combined make this a big draw for growing families. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!
CLAYTON - Everyone in St. Louis knows about Clayton, and for good reason. This historic community is known as being in the center of it all. It’s less than 10 miles from downtown St. Louis, two miles from the St. Louis Art Museum and St. Louis Zoo, and sports easy access to many highways as well as the Metrolink. Not to mention, Clayton has so much to offer right within the community. You can sample more than 80 restaurants (Foodies, take note!) and walk to high-end boutiques and art galleries easily. If you like to live the luxurious life, this is the place for you. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!
BALLWIN - Family fun is right outside your door in Ballwin. Many young families have been getting their start in Ballwin. They sport the massive North Pointe Family Aquatic Center, a number of parks for hiking and outdoor fun (Queeny Park, Lone Elk Park, and Castlewood State Park), and multiple golf clubs (Ballwin Golf Course and the Meadowbrook Country Club). To match the large number of recreational activities, the neighborhoods sport a variety of housing styles including craftsman, colonial, and ranch. Not to mention, you can typically get a lot of house for a good price. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!
WEBSTER GROVES - Historical architecture and rows upon rows of trees welcome you when you enter Webster Groves. Cottage, colonial, craftsman, and bungalow style homes are the most common in these quiet neighborhoods that surround Webster University. Webster Groves also boasts one of the best school districts in St. Louis and the 38-acre Blackburn Park (featuring a bird sanctuary, tennis courts, trails, and picnic areas), though you pay a little more for these amenities in taxes. In addition, various community events are held throughout the year such as the weekly Farmer’s Market and a Fourth of July firework display that may very be the second best next to the famous downtown firework show. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!
KIRKWOOD - The high school rivalry between Webster Groves and Kirkwood is legendary, but it might be because these neighboring communities share many similarities. Kirkwood also sports a college (St. Louis Community College Meramec), lovely yards and trees, a Farmer’s Market, and a quiet neighborhood feel consisting of ranch, Victorian, and charming craftsman houses. What is unique is the still functional historic train station, and the famous Frank Lloyd Wright House in Ebsworth Park! Quiet, quaint, and classic. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!
BRENTWOOD - Experience the feel of a small town, while still having Downtown St. Louis just 9 miles away. Brentwood and the neighboring Maplewood community make for a double dose of fun that appeals to families and young couples who enjoy shopping and nearby restaurants and breweries. Historic farmhouse, colonial, and craftsman style homes surround Memorial and Brentwood Park (which is home to a fabulous Summer Concert Series). Brentwood High School also has an astounding 96% high school graduation rate. Although it might not be the first community that comes to mind when you think of St. Louis, Brentwood acts as a little known secret that’s central to many parts of the city and county. Click to learn more and see houses in this area!