TRUST. If there is one word that best sums up this article it is that single word. Here, I’m talking about my dear client who put her complete trust in me to make the best choices on her behalf to sell her home, but most importantly to be a good steward of her hard-earned savings. I did not take that honor lightly and the responsibility weighed heavily on me to make this transaction as smooth and seamless as possible.
The challenge: A 1993 transitional that saw the nurturing of two children and a lifetime of memories. There to observe all the love, virtually untouched in 26 years, was the forest green carpet from wall to vast wall which happily complemented the laminate counters of the same color in the kitchen. 3,200 square feet of 1990’s glory, this home was not ready for market, but her owner was.
I have known her owner, Joy, for around 20 years. She has been a hair client, seeing me every two months during our two decades together. We have gone through marriages, a divorce, children, old jobs, new jobs, and now the sale of the home that witnessed all of this.
While this real estate career adventure is newer to me, my lifelong career as a hairdresser has been the most excellent preparation. Somewhat a sponge for the human condition and experience, I’m a voyeur of personal emotion, struggle, and triumph, an empath in the best and worst. I listen and hold stories and experiences like a virtual filing cabinet of life journeys. Many of these journeys have been with and about house and home for all the amazing people who come my way. Purchases, sales, foreclosures, renovations, decorating, and packing are all in the daily conversations as folks pour their hearts out to an ear willing to listen. Some of the experiences are positive, some negative, but all of them are intense, intricate, and usually contain some degree of stress. It is this box of intangibles that I bring into real estate, guiding my way as I navigate the emotional checklists of buying and selling.
When Joy and I first spoke about the need to sell her house (sight unseen for me), she assured me that it needed some work to go on the market and that she had prepared some savings for that task. She needed help figuring first if it was enough, and second how to best spend that money to help her home sell. She put all her TRUST and FAITH in me to make those decisions. I don’t know if reading that gives you cold chills, but it does for me. I have overseen spending people’s money, as a marketing consultant, or a design consultant, each time with the goal of making the client happy. This was a different responsibility, one with more risk and uncertainty. This task was to make an unknown person happy. So happy that they are motivated to purchase this home.
All good agents just want their clients to trust them. They want to hold their hand and walk them through all the uncertainty and fear of buying and selling. They want them to understand that as their agent they will work fiercely on their behalf. They want them to know that they are going to be tireless to get the best price, in the best timing, and with the best conditions as humanly possible.
Fast forward to a couple months later. We listed Joy’s home on a Wednesday morning and by Friday evening at 5pm had a purchase significantly over asking price.
Joy allowed me to hold her hand. She offered her trust and faith.
I must give credit and complete gratitude to the amazing folks, and my new friends at Pure Design Works here in Charlotte. This was all possible due to Aly Glavin and Dara Barber and their selfless commitment to help Joy. Speaking of Joy, she will be off to the coast to start her new journey into retirement. This fruitful experience could not have happened for a more deserving person.
Follow along as I show you what we did.
Two areas that will most date homes are kitchens and baths. Like the rest of this home, the existing kitchen was still in great shape and originally built with top-notch materials and craftsmanship. Where we could, we worked with the existing to rehab. In this kitchen, the original oak cabinets were solid and sturdy with a classic design and detail. A coat of primer and paint was all that was needed. On the counters, the green laminate had to be updated so we chose a white quartz to keep the room large. One of the focuses of the entire home was to stay light and airy. This countertop helped to offer support to that goal. The original ceramic tile floors were steamed to make shiny and new.
In the greatroom, the focus was all on floors and paint. This room has soaring 30′ ceilings that went unnoticed due to the green carpet. The windows flooded the room with light. That light was unfortunately absorbed by the darker wood trim and golden walls. Even though the walls weren’t dark, the new neutral shades, especially framing the windows, helped to make the room come alive. Finally, the grand fireplace focal point was painted out to a dark and dramatic warm grey and fitted with a custom floating mantle.
The powder room and the kitchen walls both were previously finished in a faux Venetian plaster with a waxed sheen, These walls in the powder room complemented a faux-finished laminate countertop. We scraped the walls, painted the vanity, topped it with quartz, and replaced the mirror. Throughout the house, we replaced all of the 1990’s brass light fixtures with oil-rubbed bronze complementing the new and simplistic faucet.
While it looks like an enormous transformation, this area was quite simple really. Painting out the walls to a softer, cooler tone and replacing the carpet went a long way here. Switching out the furnishing to offer a lighter visual weight helped to make the room appear to be the scale that it actual is, ample and gracious.