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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Some Dollhouses Can't Be Found At Toy's R Us

My name means 'little girl' in Italian.

Like most young ladies in my day, I had the standard dollhouse on the left to play with.  Furniture, little plastic figurines.  I added my own touches with odds & ends that I collected from gumball machines.  My fav was the little hot dog...not exactly to scale but I didn't care.

In spite of my shoes, I'm not much taller today than I was back then.  The daughter of one of my clients told her parents to send her picture to the 'little girl that looks like a big
girl'...that was a first for me.  I kind of liked it.   I may be on the petite side still but my dollhouses are bigger these days.

I am hoping to list one in the next week or so. Every listing isn't eligible to be a dollhouse.  Not even all MY listings are dollhouses.  They are unique, hard to find properties that bring out the 'little girl' in this agent.   Properties that I make me feel like staying. Every square foot is utilized to it's utmost potential!  The furniture and dishes are eclectic, pillows you can't help but pick up and look at, a listing to linger in. 

You schedule a showing and arrive earlier than your buyer so you can walk through and look around some more. You just LIKE being there.  (NO, I don't riffle through the closets and dresser drawers...not that kind of behavior - I PROMISE).   A home that FITS, regardless of the size or style makes me say..."I would buy this house".   They come in
all sizes just like the dollhouses of my childhood.  Some are bungalows, some are mansions.  Remember Barbies Dream House?  I eventually upgraded from my tin version to her two story mansion with elevator.   I loved them both.  CLASSICS.

Dollhouses are rare finds today.  Too many short sales and foreclosures on the market.  Deferred maintenance on one hand or 'flipped' properties that all have the same flooring, paint colors and fixtures on the other.  No creativity.   Yes, I knoooow they are safe and sale-able, but they lack imagination.  They don't get much more than a casual nod on the Tuesday Morning Mandatory Tour.  I enjoy listings that make the wheels in  Ms. So and So Agent's pea brain start turning.  I can see it in her face!  She is wondering how I got this listing, and who
My buyer HAD to have this DOLLHOUSE
can she sell it to so she can have a piece of my dollhouse.  I understand, I am closing on one this week.  I have the buyer, not my listing.  But I LOVED the dollhouse - so I simply HAD TO $ELL IT!  At least five different buyers heard me say..."I have the best house!  You have to see it!  It's a DOLLHOUSE!"  Eventually, someone agreed with me.  Mark it sold.

Flocking through the house like a gaggle of geese, clucking and squawking!  Inevitably one will say, "I have someone for this...".  Then it's...'Isn't this Mr. or Ms. So and So's house...didn't Mr. or Ms. So and So used to live here?  Everyone wants to play in my dollhouse.  

Of course, some will ask...'Wasn't this listed with Mr. Discount Broker?'  They will make noises about the price, try to disqualify it in some way.  I know the deal.

Kiss my grits.  I'm getting paid on this one, and we all know it!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'm Frightened Auntie Em!

I love scary.

I was raised on the undead.  Drive-in movies with the latest Vincent Price offering! Vintage Bela Lugosi on Saturday afternoon television. Lets not leave out the Saturday matinee movie remakes of Edgar Allen Poe - I could quote Poe at 8.  No clue what it meant but it sounded creepy and my mom liked it, so I quoted.  Poe is lost amongst the Freddie Kruger and Michael Meyers youth of the world today.

Poe spent 13 months in the low country on Sullivan’s Island – the island  had quite an effect on him; providing the setting for at least three of his stories: “The Gold Bug,” “The Balloon Hoax” and “The Oblong Box.”  I bet I could go around this office and not one agent would know Poe had ever resided in South Carolina. If it ain't Carolina or Clemson, it don't matter. 

I bring up scary to address the loss of a $599,900 sale.  A seven thousand sq ft, 6 BR 6 BA chunky slice of commi$$ion that should have been mine.  The buyers contacted me about previewing the home when they were planning a trip from Atlanta, they asked the right questions.  I scrambled around printing disclosures and looking up lot lines.  You name it.  Spent a week setting up the showing, chasing hard to reach sellers and listing agent. Then at 9:30 pm; the night before their arrival, they email they have changed their mind.  So sorry, we checked the crime stats.  We are scared to live in Orangeburg.  Seriously?
Try and find THIS in New York City!
The year is 2013 - the world is at your fingertips via the Internet and yet you send someone dancing around for a week and THEN check for community stats?

I sat there and GOOGLED so I could see what they saw.  Yup.
There is was. In all its black and white and 'It's on the Internet so it must be true' glory. Gorey glory.  I so scared glory.  You can compare Orangeburg to New York City if you want...the website will show you are safer in New York City, Los Angeles, even Washington DC than Orangeburg, SC.  Not Boston though, no one is safe in Boston.

People, you have to take into account what crimes are being committed, and well hello...apples to apples.

I tell my clients straight up whats going on in the Burg.  Theft/burglaries. Vandalism of vacant properties and HVAC thefts stack the numbers against us. Check out earlier BLOG regarding all that. Nothing new here.
Friendly Kwest Mortg candy giver
No shock, no surprises.
Try and find a lender like sweet Ms. Caroline in D.C., Los Angeles or New York we so special City.  She brings us candy (makes an awesome loan for our buyers too).  You can weigh the risk vs the benefits;  CRIME FREE ATLANTA as opposed to small town living where your neighbor will call you on your cell phone while you're picking up milk at the Piggly Wiggly cause they see someone suspicious just knocked on your front door.  To which you can reply 'just call Jeff' (local police officer who just happens to also have his number logged into every cellphone in the Burg).

The reality of the whole crime scenario dawned on me the other night while watching the updated version of Fright Night. I can't believe it didn't occur to me before.  Our company has a serious problem with missing signs.  Been going on for years.  The final scene in the movie where the vampire is killed was the revelation!  The vamp is killed by a Century 21 sign! Stabbed right through his cold non-beating heart.

Countless missing signs = how many DEAD VAMPS?

Dare we ask how many of these vandalized homes were actually the scene of our valiant, vigilante VAMP killers taking back our community from ruthless blood suckers?
What better use for a Century 21 sign?
There you have it.  Orangeburg in all its gorey glory.  CRIME?  We got it under control. Our company will suck up (no pun intended) the expense to keep you safe.  Gladly sacrifice our brand to cleanse our community.

Don't let those deceptive stats scare you away if you are looking for a close knit community with excellent home values.

Poe was inspired by South for me too.