And then today….
I took some time to check out and marvel at my niece’s website. She’s right in line and ready to fill the shoes of Martha Stewart when she retires.
Jann has been creating exquisite custom window treatments for clients (many in central Illinois where I grew up) for years and I’ve loved seeing her posts on Facebook. Now I realize by looking at her newtoncustominteriors.com website, I’ve discovered a wonderland of ideas and tutorials and recipes for creating a better home life!
Jann’s information will, of course, be beneficial to those involved in a real estate transaction–both buyers and sellers! Her staging skills are evident in the videos she shares of her own home decorating!
I have seen Jann’s workspace and she practices what she preaches. When I was creating my soft sculpture “people”, my work space was a mess! That’s who I am, I guess. Jann is organized and disciplined and very creative–and all while being exceptionally neat! I want to be like Jann when I grow up!
And then today…
as I begin my 30th year in real estate sales, I realize I am one of the luckiest realtors in the world! And, of course, there are stories I could tell…but I won’t!
I began my real estate career quite by accident. I was renting studio space in Clarendon Hills to continue my artwork while we renovated our home. The realtor, Lid Baird, who owned the building twisted my arm (as realtors do) and talked me into getting my license.
For a while I had a nice balance of doing both art and real estate sales. The above photo shows how I incorporated one of my soft sculpture butlers to help at an open house.
However, the housing market boom caused me to devote more and more of my time to real estate. A friend said to me that I “would probably make more money selling real estate but it wouldn’t be as much fun” and she was right. Legal contracts and big money and moving issues can combine for top level stress and sleepless nights!
Reflections and records show I am closing in on about 300 transactions. Just looking at an address I can remember the story for each and every property! Over half of my business has come from my immediate neighborhood and I’m also grateful for many referrals.
I use to travel far and wide (north to Grayslake and Cary for relatives, south to Tinley Park and Mokeena, and west to Naperville and Aurora), but most of my work has been in the Hinsdale area.
A few real estate observations along the way:
- Selling? Clean, clean, clean and unclutter, unclutter, unclutter. Stagers provide a valuable service.
- Buying? Do your homework. The internet provides valuable information of a location’s amenities, schools, and government. Also, if you are serious about a particular property, I encourage buyers to talk to potential neighbors out walking their dog or washing a car. It can make a big difference in the comfort level.
- The public in general is skeptical of realtors–again the big money issue. I enjoyed a level of trust with my artwork that I constantly had to prove with real estate sales.
- Sorry, fellas, but I usually find that women are more honest and open about change of location situations and financial issues. Truth and trust can often cut to the chase and result in a quicker, more efficient transaction.
- I’ve been impressed with and am appreciative of all the positive professionals I’ve worked with along the way–realtors, lenders, attorneys, inspectors, stagers. I’m proud to have been associated with two fine offices–Prudential with Tina Porterfield and RE/MAX with Linda Feinstein.
- Patience is a virtue! A background in psychology is a plus! Hang in there as things have a way of working out and everyone can win!
In a nutshell, as I look back I am very grateful and as I look forward I am also very grateful. Being a realtor has been very, very good to me! (Now I think I’ll take a nap.)
Thanks to all, martha