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Jason:  Good morning, Triad.  I hope everyone is doing well on this, well, it started off right. It looks like it is going to be an awesome, awesome day. Hopefully, we will dodge any of this crazy weather coming in, and hope everybody has got some fun plans.  Well, what else would you have to start your Saturday, but getting some real estate knowledge right here?

Mikell:  Absolutely.

Jason:  Why not?  So joining me today, Mr. Mikell Montgomery on the board, pushing the buttons, making it happen, making sure I stay on track here in good time as always. Right?

Mikell:  Yes, sir. Good morning, Jason.

Jason:  Good morning.  Good morning. So a couple things I want to dig into today. We are going to get you ready to sell that house. I am going to break it down room by room and how you can evaluate each one of your individual rooms as you go through the house.  Actually, we are going to start outside the house today and dig through that. We will not get through the list today, but we will continue it next week as we work through each step and come up with an action plan to get you prepared to get top dollar for your house.  This is one question I have never had, Mikell, is I have never had anybody come in the office, Jason, we hear you talking on the radio and see your TV ads and all that stuff. Can you get me the lowest price possible? Do not have that one. No. So we have developed a plan to get not only what the market will bear, but to squeeze out every possible ounce that we possibly can out of the market.

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason: So some of you guys are now.  Some of you are a year, some of you are two years down the road and beyond.  And the things that we are going to talk about, there is a timeline for all of it, and what we want to look at is what makes sense for you.  So really timeline dictates how fast you are going to move on these things. The actions are really going to be the same. It is just the amount of speed in which you move through the process. So if you are two years out, you will not need to go as fast, but you have more time to plan. If you are two weeks out, it is pedal to the metal, lightspeed and you have got to get going today.  Like as soon as we get off the radio show you are headed to the big box. Right.

Mikell: There you go.

Jason:  To get your Jason-Do list done in addition to your Honey-Do list.  Grab a pen. Grab some paper. Let’s get started. We are going to hit first off with the curb appeal.  Curb appeal is not only, it used to be back in the day when folks drove around looking for properties, it would be they drove around.  They see something that catches their eye. They call the sign and say we like the outside. We would like to see the inside, and now, with the day of technology, internet, 3-D virtual tours, everything that there is in the world, I can actually get all the curb appeal I want about your house from the comfort of my Lazy Boy. Just relaxing. Got the phone.  Heck, you can even put it on the TV now. You can just stream right up on to the TV --

Mikell: You sure can.

Jason:  -- and do the virtual tour, walk through the house.  So lots of things have changed. The amount of physical time that it used to go out and find a home is really reduced probably by about 70, 80%.

Mikell:  Like we always say convenience.

Jason:  Convenience. That is it.  Absolutely. And we love convenience. So we can go through.  Now the good and the bad of that is sometimes you see homes at their absolute best portrayal online and then you get there, and it is a little different song and dance.

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason:  It is kind of like the movie trailer. You saw all the best of the movie in the trailer. Right? And then you watched the movie and you are like well, that is two hours of my life I will never get back. I could have watched the trailer again. Right? Because that is where all the action was at, and then everything in between is just kind of eh, whatever. Well sometimes, in real estate, that can be the case, too.  The other flip side of that is sometimes a home that is not represented well actually when you go into the property can wow you in a different way. So we are going to walk through this. A timeline, the things that we are talking about that your timeline kind of dictates the priority and or the plan that we are looking at here. If you are now seller, then when you look at the outside, one thing you want to do is make sure you have got some color, make sure you got some things that pop and give the house some appeal. So the closer you are to selling, the more mature these plants you need to buy.  Do not buy the dollar-forty-nine little flowers the size of your finger because it will not really do anything. Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason:  It is too little and too short amount of time.  So you want to get something that is going to pop, something that is a little bit bigger, more mature, and something that adds color to the house.  Whether they are annuals or perennials, you will have to decide there. Remember annual makes it one year, and that is it. So if you are three years out and you are planting annuals thinking man, I am good to go.  No, you are not until next year. And then so, be careful with some of your perennials because well, they are great and they look good, but they only look for a short period of time. So you need to gauge if you are going to perennial planting gauge the time of year when these things are all in bloom and budding and all that.  That is when you want to sell a home and or at least get photos. Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason:  And so, if you have, just a little side note from my notes that I have, if you have great pictures of your home in the spring from different times, as long as all the plants are still there, we can use that.  So if you are selling your house in December, everything is dead as a doornail. Right?

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason:  You may have some phenomenal photos of what the yard looks like in the spring.  Well just because it is winter does not mean we cannot use those. Right? So we can show that story or tell that story. We just need somebody to capture that. So if you are thinking about selling with us, we are happy to send our photographer out at any season.  So if you are thinking hey, my yard looks awesome and I am going to sell in the fall, well, give us a call. We will come out, take photos right now, and get it captured. Get it professionally done and that way in the fall when everything is kind of leaning toward the end of its life, we have got great photos of the spring.

Mikell:  And you said that you, your company takes those photos?

Jason:  That is right.

Mikell:  Wow. That is great.

Jason:  So we will send somebody out there to capture the best.  I have a friend he is like whatever we do, let’s always put our best foot forward.  Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason:  And that is what we want to do.  We always want to make sure that we are leaning toward the best.  The other thing with colors and schemes and all that, primary colors appeal to the most people, so you can get some exotics and stuff, but just be careful.  I have had some folks that have had amazing yards, but they are a little intimidating to the novice. Obviously, it is easier to kill stuff than it is to keep it alive.  Like do not water it. It is one of those things where you can go a little bit overboard so be careful with the types of plants and or the colors. Because if you get a little weird, I will not say weird.  Weird is not the right word, but if you get a little eccentric, a little exotic, it just does not appeal to everybody.

Mikell:  A little creative.

Jason:  A little creative. Yes. A little creative. You guys are definitely creative. I have been over to your houses.  You are definitely creative. Some of you guys are creative not only in your décor and your repairs and your painting especially.  It is all great, and you did it for you and it is awesome, but remember when you go to sell, you are not doing anything for you because you are leaving.

Mikell:  It is not about you anymore.

Jason:  It is not about you anymore.  You have got to think like a retailer.  You have got to think like somebody that is putting something on display that wants to appeal to the most people.  You notice when you go in certain stores, some stores they have mannequins and whatever they are pushing for sale is dressed, is properly, accessories are right and all that.  And that is a certain price and certain premium they get for telling the story. Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason: This is what you can look like if you lost 35 pounds and you were six-four.  If you went to the gym every day you could fit in that Under Armour shirt, but nonetheless, this is the story we are going to tell.  This is what you could look like in this suit, dress, whatever. And then there is a different price for stores you go in and stuff is just kind of folded over laying on the shelf and kind of tattered because everybody has kind of rummaged through it. That is different price. Right?

Mikell:  That is.

Jason:  Is it clothing?  Sure. Does it serve its purpose? Yes. Is there a different price in the product?  Absolutely.

Mikell:  I suppose different quality as well.

Jason:  Could be. Absolutely. So make sure what you are portraying, you want to think like a retailer if you want to get top dollar. And that is all I am talking about.  If you do not want to get top dollar, then I do not know. Go back to bed. This is what we are looking at is how to get as much as we possibly can out of this. If you are thinking about selling, any time you are getting ready to within that 90-day window is when you really want to start to concentrate on that outside. And I highly recommend, no matter what time of the year it is, pine needles, bark, mulch, whatever it is you are putting out there.  Within 90 days, hit the front yard and make it look good no matter the time of year. You can get it pretty much anywhere 365 days a year here in the Triad. But there is nothing more that just gives that curb appeal and that pop than freshening up. So if you do it in the spring and you are not selling until the fall or you are not selling until December, it loses some of its pop. The fresher it is, the better. I like within 90 days. Tease up the front yard. Getting it looking good, and I found that more people in the Triad prefer pine bark as opposed to pine needles or pine nuggets they are called.  I think some of the places call them. But those tend to be the preference or the décor of choice, if you will.

If you have some lights outside, obviously make sure they are working. Make sure they are bird nest free, hornet nest free, spiderweb free. All these things.  Realistically, most people spend more time at the front door than they almost do at any other place in the house just waiting on the real estate agent to unlock the door, and they have nothing to do but to sit there and stare at the lights, the door, the whatever.

Mikell:  That is true.

Jason:  So you want to make sure that front door is freshly painted, clean. Clean goes a long way.  We talk about that all the time. You have got to make sure that the property, no matter if you are going to update it or not, a clean house will outsell any house on the market always. And so, eau to bleach is a good smell.  Okay? It is smells fresh. It smells clean. It smells crisp. Now not overwhelming, but you get the point. So if you have got the black and mildew stuff, we are still talking about curb appeal, if you have got that black mildew or that streaks that get on the roof, this is where you want to reach out to my friend Chris over at Whitman Home Renewal.  He can get rid of all that stuff. Makes the roof look brand spanking new. It makes a huge, huge difference. They can also take care of your driveway, your sidewalks, all that stuff. And remember as we have talked in the past, if you do not know how to pressure wash, do not do it. You will create a mess. Although I know it seems like a simple task, you take the machine, you point it at what you want to clean and it works.  But remember, it is only clean two to three inches at a time.

Mikell:  Right.

Jason: Divide your driveway by three inches.  That is a lot, a lot of time. And what happens is we start out good for about the first ten feet and then it gets boring.

Mikell:  It gets a little sloppy.

Jason:  And then we start moving it out a little further and a little further, and we end up with this tiger stripe driveway or sidewalk, and it looks, well, you might have just left it dirty.  It looks that bad. The proper companies and they are not that expensive. Invest in this, and they make a huge, huge difference. These things make a huge difference in getting that curb appeal, getting those things that you want to really stick out and pop and make look good. So reach out to my friend Chris. You can go to our website.  All his information is there. So windows. We like to remove the screens because it makes the windows look cleaner, but in order to make the windows look clean, they actually have to be clean.

Mikell:  They have to be clean.  Yeah.

Jason: You are going to have to do that ahead of time.  So we want to make sure that the windows are good. If there are broken seals, where they have that kind of cloudy, milky-looking haze to them, you want to get those replaced. They range anywhere from $110-$160 a window to get that glass replaced, and it makes a huge difference. Every single buyer out there will ask for this.  So go ahead and address it up front. And it makes the house look a hundred times better. Imagine going to a store. You want to see what is in there, and you cannot because the windows are fogged. That is not what we want to do. Same thing with a house. Mikell, let’s do this. Let’s take a quick timeout.

Mikell:  Okay.

Jason:  I can get through my little allergy condition I have.  So we will grab some coffee. Get a pen. Make some more notes. We are coming back, and we are going to get inside the house. We will back here in just a minute. You are listening to the Jason Bramblett Real Estate Show.

Mikell:  Good morning.  We are getting back to it.

Jason: Right.

Mikell: So we were talking about the outside and the curb appeal.  Now the question I have for you is it seems like, not really a question, but what you were going over, it kind of sounds overwhelming.

Jason:  Right.

Mikell: And I guess it is just really important to make sure you are constantly investing in your property.

Jason:  That is right.

Mikell:  Even if you are not selling. You do not want to basically rush all this in one to two or even three years.

Jason: That is right.

Mikell: My suggestion if you see the cloudy window, if you see the driveway, go ahead and save up some money for that.  Do like a yearly investment. That is how my parents did it.

Jason:  Yeah, absolutely.  It is the only tale.  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time. Right?

Mikell:  One bite at a time.

Jason:  And so every year, yeah, you need to have a maintenance schedule.  If you are really a planner, and unfortunately, a lot of people are not, but just even if you just took one thing once a month and said okay, this is what I am going to concentrate on or this is my goal to get this particular thing done, it really it makes a heck of a lot easier to sell down the road when somebody like us comes through.  The team comes through the house and we look at all these things. It is easier when you have had a maintained home. No question.

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason: And we have the whole gamut of people that are so meticulous that their house is five years old and you thought they bought it last week.

Mikell:  Wow.

Jason:  To people that bought their house five years ago and you cannot even recognize what year it was built depending on how it has been maintained. So maintaining, this is why, and some people do not agree with me, but I still believe that not everyone should own a house.  Just like a lot of other things in life, people should not do. Like maybe have children, but that is a whole other show on a different channel. Not here because we talk about real estate.

Mikell:  Real estate.

Jason:  And we keep between the lines except for when I go around in circles sometimes. It is.  Have a plan, and that is what I want to give you, and then obviously it is a lot to go over in a short amount of time on the radio.  Especially we cannot see things, so this is where our team comes out. We do an evaluation. We walk through the house. We give you advice.  We give you tips. We give you ideas to enhance your property. And some folks when we come out are pleasantly surprised and they are prepared and they are happy and they are excited, and some people get very defensive.

Mikell:  I can imagine.

Jason:  And it is kind of all over the place, but the ultimate goal is to get you the most money.  If you do not want the most money, it is fine. Not everybody needs the most money. They just need to sell.  And your equity position will dictate that. Some of you have to get the most money because you borrowed most all the money, and therefore, we have got to get you top dollar because there is no other way to get you out of the house other than mailing the keys back to the bank, which is not necessarily a good business plan. So we want to make sure that we do these things. So as we walk through the house, we find all your lovely art and colors and stuff and your tastes and these things.  We more than likely are going to mellow those out some. Although I have sold a home with every color in the rainbow in every single room and depending on the location and depending on the demand of the property is going to dictate whether or not you can get away with that. Some homes have such a high demand that there is more flexibility in what you can do. But if you have a very unique home that has very little demand, then it is going to be a much different thing. It is going to be a much different strategy than we have.  Homes that are in high desirable areas can get away with more. That is just all there is to it because the demand is so high people will put up with the inconvenience of fixing your problems.

Mikell:  Okay.

Jason:  If your house is not in a high demand area, all that expectation is going to fall on you.  And especially as that price gets higher. The higher the price, sometimes the higher the price, the more eccentric the house, and we really kind of have to change some stuff.  And some of the owners do not like that because it is their taste and they do not care. And that is fine. If you do not care, just understand that there is a different price for I do not care as opposed to the price you are going to get to appeal to the masses.  Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason: So every one of those is different.  Every single person, we look at every situation, and we give our opinions and our advice based upon what you need to accomplish.  Because there are some folks that just a need a fire sale and they have got to go, and maybe we do not have time to do everything that we need to do. And then there are folks that make a plan that hey, I am not moving for two years, but I want to have a step-by-step.  That is what we can help you create. So demand is going to dictate that. But you want to get as neutral as possible, and my recommendation is just Google most popular colors 2019, 2020, 2021. They are all going to be within that same kind of trendy hue even though it is 2021 years away. The color palette is already kind of established.  It does not usually go from purple, red, green, yellow. It migrates slowly. Like we went from grays to now we are kind of blue-grays.

Mikell:  Okay.

Jason:  We will probably be green-grays, and everything is kind of in the same family and a little bit changes slowly over time.  We do not usually typically jump from one extreme to the other. I highly recommend you go to model homes. Go to builders’ model homes.  Go to open houses. Go the Parade of Homes. You can get an idea of what the taste is, the flair, what is up and coming. Greensboro just had its Parade of Homes.  I think Winston is coming up or maybe it is even this weekend. Go out and check them out. Just go to a builder’s home that is kind of your price range and go in there and look and see what they have done. Look and see what they have, the décor they have put in and the colors. So outside of the driving force of location, these are the things that you can fix. These are the things that you have impact over, so choose your colors wisely.  If you are moving in two years and the house is nine different colors, slowly bring it to a more neutral palette in the next 24 months.

Mikell:  Let me ask you this, Jason. So a person, I am really big on finances. For a person who has to see the numbers, say if I am moving in three years, what is the budget I need to save?  What is the monthly budget I should put aside to do these investments?

Jason:  Sure. And some of it is going to be based upon the size of the home, the quality of the property.  The big things, the big ah-ha’s, the big things that get you and that is kind of where we are headed with some of the mechanical things that we are going to talk about on a house, just look at the replacement cost.  You can get a quote on a roof and most, let’s just say the average in the area is $7000 –

Mikell:  Okay.

Jason:  -- and it lasts for 25 years.  Somewhere around that. So just divide it out.  Seven grand, 25 years. That will tell you how much you are going to have to set aside for the roof.  Let’s just say it is $30.

Mikell:  Okay.

Jason: Whatever that number is. And then save $30 a month.  So I am saving, let’s just say, every single month, I have got $250 –

Mikell: Okay.

Jason:  -- in my budget for house maintenance of which $30 of it is for the roof, $50 of it is for the heating and cooling or maybe even $75 because it lasts a shorter amount of time. $15 is for a new water heater.  And these are all things that are going to happen, but what we typically do is we do not save at all.

Mikell:  No.

Jason: Zero. We have no plan, no budget, and we just deal with the emergencies as they come, and we hope that it was hail damage, or a tornado came through so insurance covers it.

Mikell:  Yep.

Jason: Because otherwise we do not have any clue how we are going to get a new roof. Or you end up with no plan, no budget, and no financing, and you need a new roof. And you call a roofer and they are happy to do it, and they will happily finance it --

Mikell: Finance it for you.

Jason:  -- at 15%. So you bought your roof and your neighbor’s. So having a budget and setting aside some money every month, you do not want to spend 100% of your housing allowance on the principal and interest and insurance. Set aside a portion of it for these maintenance things.  Set aside some money to make sure that you have got these ah-ha’s. They are going to happen.

Mikell:  Absolutely.

Jason:  That is just the way it is.  It is going to happen. Lightening is going to strike in the field next to you, and your well pump is going to get fried. Your septic tank, when you got the new deck put on, your contractor ran over it and you did not know it broke until whatever, a year later. The pipe came undone underneath the house and you did not know it, and you end up with a swimming pool in your crawl space. These things happen.

Mikell:  An unwanted swimming pool.

Jason:  Yes, and so think about the age of the systems that you have.  Think about the age of the products that you have in your house and create a sinking fund in which you could sink some money away to head off any of these surprises. Grandma called it a rainy-day fund. Right?

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason:  Set it aside for a rainy day. We have got an entire list of things, and we did not even make it in the house yet.

Mikell:  We did not.

Jason: And so next week, we are going room by room.  We are going to stick with this to give you a plan. So come back.  It is Jason Bramblett Real Estate. You can go to Jason Bramblett dot com.  Give us a call at the office, 553-0796, and we will look forward to seeing you here next week.


Mikell:  Have a good weekend.