Jason:  Good morning, Triad.  I hope everybody is doing great out there, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful North Carolina blue skies.  It does not get any better than that.

Mikell:  Not at all.

Jason: I tell folks everyday that if you are coming in from out of state and we got the Carolina blue skies going on, it is a disadvantage.  It is hard to beat that for sure. Now, of course, in the next little bit, the humidity will show up.

Mikell: Absolutely.

Jason:  Blue skies are nice, but when you are melting, it does not matter.  Anyway, I hope everyone is going to have a good, wonderful, safe weekend out there.  Remember slow down, take it easy. That plate of food is going to be there when you get there.  I promise you. But you have to get there in order to enjoy Grandma’s food or wherever you are headed.  So be careful out there.

Mikell:  I would say leave early.

Jason:  There you go.

Mikell:  Because you may not get a plate.

Jason:  Depending on what family you are going to. Right?  That is right.

Mikell:  That is true.

Jason:  Yeah, it is possible.  That is possible. But just be safe. There is lots of traffic out there this weekend as always.  I have heard there is no sand left at the beach. It is completely covered with human bodies. Carolina Beach and all those out there are wide open this weekend.  I think it is like state law. You have to go to the beach on Memorial Day weekend.

Mikell: Yeah, absolutely.

Jason:  If you are there, be safe.  If you are on a boat or on the lake, be safe out there.  We are wrapping up today the series on getting your house ready to sell.  So whether you are now, a year, three years down the road, whatever the case may be, stay tuned because we are going to walk you through each step as we go through it. And if you have questions, of course, you can give us a call at the office, 553-0796, or shoot us a message or email or, of course, Facebook, whichever one.  We are pretty much everywhere. Instagram, whatever all these other things are. The tweeters and the twitters and LinkedIn. You name it, we are out there. What we find is interesting. We have got folks that are avid Facebook folks, but they do not do any of the other stuff. So we do it all so we can get in front of you. Get the information out to you.  Get homes out to you. So if you are thinking about selling, you can reach out to us at any of those one social media platforms.

So last week we left off with the kitchen, so we are going to recap on that just a little bit.  One key thing, this is a big mistake that some of you folks make. If you are going to buy appliances, make sure they all match.  Okay? You do not want to end up with the white wall oven and the black dishwasher and the stainless-steel refrigerator and all those things. So get some continuity there, get something that matches, and just set a budget if you are replacing as you go. Or actually there are some great sales this weekend if you are in the market.  There are actually some phenomenal sales at these big box places out there. And also make sure that the appliance package you choose matches the quality of the house that you are selling. So if you are selling a home north of $300,000, most people do not want dishwashers with turn dials on them. Right? It is kind of like a TV, well, you guys do not even know what that is.  Now, once upon a time you actually had to get up, walk over to the TV and spin a knob to choose the channel. Right?

Mikell:  Yeah.

Jason:  Channels did not get changed a lot back in those days because somebody had to get up off the couch. Right?  Now you do not even have to have a remote.

Mikell:  I actually remember those days.

Jason: Yeah.  Now the TVs are so smart you just speak –

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason:  -- and it just does whatever it is you want it to do. Amazing.  Granite as we get into the kitchen. Granite, it is simple. Unless your house is over $500,000, you really do not need to worry about these exotic different types of granite, these different levels. They have got level one to level 4, level 5 and all these different things.  If you are over $500,000, okay, then that is fine. But in the 250-450 range, you really just keep it standard. Keep it simple. Granite is granite. It is a rock. It is kind of like diamonds. There are still places out there that talk about they are precious stones. They sell them at Walmart.  Okay?

Mikell:  They do.

Jason:  They sell granite everywhere now, and that is why you have seen the prices come down. That is why we are selling $150,000 homes with granite countertops now.  It has become affordable. It has become a product in which, once the big box stores start carrying it, you see the prices get pushed down, making it more affordable.  But the number one investment in the kitchen for 22 years in real estate, this is the best two things you can do. Organize and clean. You cannot go wrong with those two things. So a well-organized pantry and an eau de bleach smell in the kitchen is a wonderful, wonderful thing.  People never ever complain about those things. They actually, actually you will really draw attention to your kitchen. Think about grocery stores. You will probably go in one in the next week. Look at the amount of money they invest in make sure that all the labels are facing the aisle.  Everything is easy to see. You notice they do not put the warning labels facing the outside of the aisle. Right? It is the representation of the food. It is the photo of the front of the can or the box or whatever it is. They do not turn the cereal box to the side where you can just see how horrible they are for you. Right?

Mikell:  Exactly.

Jason:  They put the Tony the Tiger.

Mikell: And they put the cereals at the bottom shelf so they are eye level to the children.

Jason:  Oh absolutely.  Yeah, yeah, all the gross cereal is up high.  All the granola whatever. All your sugar cereals are about 36 inches off the ground.

Mikell: Grape Nuts is definitely not going to be at the bottom.  

Jason:  That is right. You are not going to pay for premium placement there because no kid is walking around going I just feel like some barely today.  No. They want those magic marshmallows and sugar –

Mikell:  Yes.

Jason:  -- in nine different colors and flavors.  Right? It is the same thing with your house, and if you can duplicate that, take a look at that, observe what they are doing and do that with your pantry.  Right? And make sure that it is orderly and neat and looks like or feels like that grocery store feel. It also makes everything feel a little bit bigger. Organization, continuity there actually really kind of duplicates or exponentially grows the space.  It is amazing. If something is organized, if it is a 24-inch shelf, it is 24 inches, but yet, when we go in and organize the shelf, it makes it look bigger simply because you have that continuity there. Think about Dillard’s, Macy’s, whatever department store out there, whatever clothing store that you go to. Look at the money they invest in displays.  Right? In making sure that the clothes are presented well. Obviously, they have got mannequins and all that stuff, but if you look at the shelves, if you look at how they display the clothing, duplicate that. You have got your closets. You have got your, not that people are going through your drawers in your house, but they are going to look in your walk-in closets.  Make sure they are orderly. Right? There is a different price in retail shopping. If you go to some of these stores where things are just kind of thrown in bins, it is a lot different price than when you go to a name brand store, where they are really doing a top-level job of making sure everything is properly presented.

Mikell: Absolutely.

Jason: And the prices that they charge are substantially different.

Mikell:  Absolutely.

Jason:  And some of that appeals to folks, and that is fine. But remember this. People that go to those types of stores where you have to dig through stuff and it is like an Easter egg hunt.  Right? You are in there digging around for the deals. They are there for a deal. The people that are going to the nicer stores, if you will, the stores that are have a representation of orderly, clean and all that, they are paying a different price. So when somebody comes to your house, do you want them thinking hey, I am looking for a deal or do you want them thinking like they are retail shopping?  If you want to get top dollar, you do not want them on an Easter egg hunt in your house. Right?

Mikell:  Not at all.

Jason:  You want the house presentation to match the price point in which you are attempting to achieve for your price level. So it does not matter if it is a $100,000 house or $1 million house.  I have been in some amazing homes that looked phenomenal on the outside. Landscape, yards, everything just perfect, and go inside, it looked like a bomb went off. Wow. So price range does not dictate behavior.  Okay? Just because if it has got a big price does not mean it is a great presentation on the inside. I have been in some very nice, amazing homes. You walk in and you are just like wow. Unbelievable with the way in which, it is just the disorder, if you will, that is in the house. So think about that.  It is a key thing. So as you observe these stores, steal ideas. Look and see how they have it at the grocery store, at some of these finer clothing stores that are out there or whatever your flavor of store is. But just recognize that people that are digging through bins are looking for deals. That is not what you want them to do at your house.

Mikell:  Not at all.

Jason:  You do not want to be showing your house as a deal.  Remember you do not need any help to get the lowest price. You can just do that stupid all on your own. Right? That is what we are here for.  We are here to get your more, but you have got to be willing to do some things. The most frustrating thing is to have somebody say yeah, we want top dollar.  Then you go to their house and you are like no, you really do not. Nineteen different shades of blue is no. You are not looking for the best price. So we have got to coach you through where it is we need to get you as far as that presentation.  It is huge.

So as people are moving, typically, they are looking for more space.  You see a lot of folks that are upgrading right now, especially with rates being as cheap as they are.  Most people do not move to the same. They either move up or down, but very few people make a lateral move. So you have got folks that are coming to your home that may be in an apartment. They are looking for more space. And so, you need to think about that.  Make sure your closets are organized. They need to look clutter free. If they are cluttered and they open up the closet and they are like wow, there is no storage here. Well, there actually is. It is just you have got way too much stuff in there. It goes back to being organized, and neat and clean and organized closets help sell homes.  Closets that are jammed up, I mean, some of you guys have got more bedsheets than the daggone Hyatt Hotel. You got three bedrooms and 90 sets of sheets. Pack some of them away. Use some minimum stuff. You have been hanging onto things for quite a while. Or get rid of them. Donate them. Sell them. Whatever you want to do. Chuck them in the trash.  It does not matter to me. But just make sure you have a minimalist idea of what it is. Even folks that are downsizing, we see that they still are looking for storage. It is one of their biggest concerns. I am in a 5,000 square foot house. I am going to go down to 2000 or 2500 square feet, maybe a townhouse or something like that. And what they are looking for is something that they can take, memories, stuff that they do not want to get rid of yet, and they are still attempting, some of them are trying to put 5000 square feet of stuff in a 2500 square foot house and it does not work. But even if we have a downsizer that is considering your home, it is still important.  They need to know or they need to have that visual that hey, I can take some of my lifestyle with me. I can take some of my lifestyle, will fit. Because they are making a huge change. Think about it. They have maybe been in their house for 20 years, and it is time or whatever. Empty nesters or they just do not need that big of a house anymore. But they still want to make sure that what they are buying is going to fit the essentials. Now the essentials to them may still probably be too much stuff, but we have got to be able to make the presentation. We have got to be able to show off the space. Right?

Mikell:  Right.

Jason:  Kids’ rooms. Kids’ rooms are their own little unique animal.  I really do not care that much about kids’ rooms and the reason why is this.  I would say kids’ rooms are probably the least important room in actually the selling process. Every parent that I have worked with in the past 22 years bribe their kids with something that they are going to be able to do in their new room.  Every single one of them. So whatever is there is going to change 99% of the time. Very few exceptions to people who move into a home and not change anything about the kids’ rooms, especially teenagers because teenagers hate you. Right? When you are upsetting their apple cart, you are ruining their life because we are moving to a new city, to a new area, to a new state.

Mikell:  New school.

Jason:  New school.  New everything.  And you are absolutely destroying everything that they know that is good in their life.  You are messing it up. And so what we do is we tell them hey, you can do whatever you want in your new room, and it will be all yours. And so, that is okay.  That is why sometimes we go into some of these kids’ rooms and they are creative. I will give you that. But I do not worry about it so much. If it is screaming craziness, then yeah, we may need to tone it down a little bit. Maybe neutralize it, but the biggest key with the room is it just needs to be clean, and here is the kicker, smell free.

Mikell:  I was going to say smell nice.

Jason:  Yeah, I know teenagers in and of themselves come with this odor.  Eau de teenager, which is typically pizza from three weeks ago that is jammed under the bed, empty drinks, all kids of stuff and things that just never seem to migrate back to where they are supposed to be.

Mikell:  Workout clothes –

Jason:  Yes.

Mikell:  -- that never made it to the wash.

Jason:  Never did.  Shoes that have not seen a washer in a long time.  Yeah, so it needs to at least smell presentable.

Mikell: Absolutely.

Jason:  That is a key thing there.  Get it at least somewhat organized, but clean and the proper smell is a good thing in the kids’ room.  But do not go crazy with spending a lot of time there because we have seen time and time again that is what parents do.  Parents will do everything they can do to ease that transition by selling the kids on hey, we will let you paint your room purple.  We will let you put whatever. We are going to get you a new bedroom suite of some kind. Beds, bunkbeds, whatever it is. It is something we do as parents to attempt to make that transition as easy as possible. It is an attempt.  That is all that it is. It does not mean it is still going to work. Hopefully, it will.

Mikell:  Hopefully.

Jason:  So let’s do this.  We are going to take a quick timeout.  Go pay some bills. We will be back. You can get us at Jason Bramblett dot com or at the office, 553-0796.  You are listening to the Jason Bramblett Real Estate Show.

And we are back. You are listening to the Jason Bramblett Real Estate show.  I hope everybody is having a great, great weekend. Remember be safe out there as you are traveling around to wherever it is you are headed to.  Use time on your side. Right?

Mikell: Right.

Jason:  Drive a little slower, leave a little earlier and relax, and when that person cuts you off, it will be okay.

Mikell:  It will. Actually, there are a lot of red and blue lights out there on the highway.

Jason:  Yeah, I am sure. I am sure.  America is the only country that I have driven in that we actually have people that get mad when you get like, somebody cuts in front of you.  What is funny about America is you can have somebody pull out in front of you like three football fields away, and you guys still go crazy and honk the horn.  In all the other countries I have driven in somebody can pull out in front of you three millimeters, like there is just enough room for air and that is it, and nobody honks a horn.

Mikell:  Nope.

Jason:  Just relax.

Mikell:  That is their reality.

Jason:  Just flows. It is no big deal.  I have been in countries, where there is one stoplight, and actually the stoplight causes more problems than anything else.  So just relax. It is going to be okay. So before the break there we were talking about well, teenagers and those smelly little things that they are. But there are other things that smell in a house, and since we are talking about odors, I thought I might as well go ahead and make everybody mad and talk about your puppies and your kitties and those things and your pets.  We love them. I live on a farm. We have got lots of them. They all have odors, good and bad. Right? And so when you are selling your home, you might want to have a friend that is honest with you. An honest friend. Not a friend that tells you hey, that dress looks good on you. Or no, you do not look like a goofball with that shirt on. Right? You need somebody that is going to be honest and not just tell you what you want to hear when it comes to the odor in your house and your pets. You have become what we call nose blind.  You do not know that it smells as bad as it does at your house, and a good, honest friend is worth their friendship when you are going to sell your home. Just to be clear with you and say yes, the cats are really a problem. Now, I would say if you have got 32 of them, you do not even need to call anybody. Right? Just know that that is going to be an issue. Right? Sure.

Mikell:  Yeah.

Jason:  But it is something that we deal with and it is something that is where you need some help sometimes because we do get used to the odors in our home and we do not recognize or know that they are just a little bit, we say funky, if you will.  The other thing is if you are a smoker, and I know this is a tough one for some folks, but we find smoking in a home is typically going to reduce the value of that property between $10-20,000.

Mikell:  Wow.

Jason:  Especially if you are in the 2000-3000 square foot range, simply because if they are non-smokers, if we can even get them to consider your home, you are looking at a 100% complete paint of every single thing in the property.  Ceilings, baseboards, walls, everything. New carpet all that, and then hours and hours of cleaning all the other areas. So there is a price that you will pay for smoking in your house. Now, I know some of you will say I do not smoke in the house.  I smoke on the deck or I smoke in the garage, and I just only smoke one a day. Whatever it is, it still follows you home unfortunately. It is one of those things that if it is a non-smoker that comes into your home, even if you do it very, very rarely, and sometimes if you do not even do it near the house, you just do it in the car, it still lingers in the property, and people will discount the price in which they are considering to pay for your home to deal with the cleanup of that.  So it is something to think about. All the more reason to maybe to decide not smoke anymore if you choose.

All right. Master bedroom. This is, and the bath. This is typically the second place most people spend a majority of their time in looking at the properties.  Number one is definitely the kitchen. No question. Most people go straight yo the kitchen when they look at a home. The second place though is normally the master bedroom suite or just master bedroom master bath.  If it is not a suite, do not worry about it. It is still where they are going to go look. We see that carpet is becoming less and less desirable. Hardwoods are definitely the most preferred thing right now, and that could be a fad and it could go away. The good thing about hardwood floors is they will last 100 years. It is one of those things.  You can put it down if you put down good quality hardwood floors they will last forever. They will last longer than probably you want to be in the house, and or they will actually last longer than you. I have sold many, many, many 1910, 20, and 30-year-old homes that have outlived their owners and they still have hardwood floors and they are still there.

Mikell:  Wow.

Jason: And many, many generations of people have passed through, and yet the hardwood still remains. So exercise equipment, this is one of the biggies in the master bedroom.  If you have exercise equipment, I would suggest during the sell you get rid of it. I find most people dispose of exercise equipment in the master bedroom to get it out of the way, and it ends up being a really fancy place to hang your clothes.  Like on that treadmill that you bought that you were going to lose weight with, and yet it is doing a great job of holding up your shirts and pants and whatever else you have –

Mikell:  Absolutely.

Jason: -- hidden it with.  We say we try to hide it. I think that is it. I think if I put enough clothes over it, I will not remember it is a treadmill.  Right?

Mikell: There you go.

Jason:  I will not remember that I need to get on that thing and maybe do some miles. But as you move into the bathroom, brass right now again, you guys know that I am an anti-brass guy.

Mikell:  Anti-brass.

Jason:  But especially in the master.  This is where you are going to see some real hesitation and some kickback from buyers.  Nothing screams 1990 like brass. It is just fake gold. Right?

Mikell:  Right.


Jason:  And realistically that is all that it is.  So investing money in the master suite, in the master bath to get rid of that is money well spent especially if you are in a neighborhood that is really kind of plagued with it and you are the standout.  The houses that we see in those types of neighborhoods that move the quickest are homes that have transitioned to the satin nickel and the oil-rubbed bronze and all those things. So money well spent to remove that brass. So we have got lots and lots of tips if you go to Jason Bramblett dot com. Click on the email icon.  You can shoot us a message over there any time you like. Remember be safe out there this weekend guys. We will be back next week as we continue walking you through every step to get the house ready to sell.