Archive for the ‘Cara in The House’ Category

Your favorite Kirkland bag lady

| February 23rd, 2016 | 10 Comments »

rsz_dsc_0621Dearest Kirkland: You may not know it but I’m probably your biggest fan. I love your beaches, your quaint stores, your cottages and your multi-million dollar estates. I love that most of my memories took place here, like the time my friend Michelle and I tried to sneak into Park Place theater to see a rated R movie (Pretty Woman) but got caught and had to see a PG flick instead (The Hunt for Red October). I still get a little mad whenever I see Sean Connery.

I love that the same beaches I went to as a kid are the ones my kids go to now; I still remember the time I rode my bike to Waverly Beach with friends and thought I was pretty much the coolest kid on earth. I love that I remember shopping at the downtown Kirkland JC Penny and I was a size 6x. I wonder if that is still a size?  Anyway Kirkland, you are simply the best. But even though you are basically my BFF, you do have one fault.

On March 1st the city of Kirkland is banning plastic bags in about 170 stores. Goodbye plastic bags, hello reusable ones. No, these are not free like the plastic bags we all know and love, and it will require a little more effort to bring them into stores. But because I love Kirkland (and the environment) I put in the effort for you and ordered a WHOLE LOT of them!

I’m giving the bags away, and you don’t even have to live in Kirkland to get one! Each reusable bag will even save you tens of dollars over the year in avoiding the 5 cent paper bag fee. Just think of all the things you can use them for. Plus, now you’ll never forget who your favorite real estate agent is!

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Next time you see me around town I’d be happy to give you one. Just look how much fun they are!

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#keepingitrealeastate: #hashtag #blogpost

| October 27th, 2015 | 3 Comments »

Fingers forming a hashtag symbol isolated on white backgroundIt’s called the pound sign, although we mostly call it the “number sign,” and now it is part of the hashtag trend. While some may get “hashtag” confused with the price tag on the gram they just bought at the marijuana shop, most now know that # before a string of words is a topic link used in social media.

Hashtags are everywhere and quite honestly I find them fun.  A really good hashtag is like a funny punchline to a joke. Some of my favorites are #crapnamesforpubs: where everyone knows your name because you are the only one here, or #arelationshipisover: when you gotta go on Maury! And who can forget the brilliant clip of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake having a conversation in hashtags?

Now in the world of real estate it’s a little trickier to be creative with hashtags but that doesn’t mean I’m not trying. On my Instagram page (follow me at instagram.com/carainthehouse!!) I have a new hashtag I like to use called #realbadrealestate. Take a look for some eye opening posts! And if you’ve come across anything you consider “real bad real estate” please send it my way!

Why in the heck should you care about #realestate #hashtags? Think of it as another way to search for homes. Just like with Facebook, real estate agents are utilizing Instagram to showcase their listings (and themselves!). Check out #kirklandrealestate , #bellevuerealestate and for fun you can even browse #manhattanrealestate! I predict Instagram will become another way for buyers to search for homes; you can thank me later for bringing this to your attention.

As usual if you have a #hometosell or are looking for a #hometobuy, @carainthehouse can help! #callme #textme or follow me on Instagram @carainthehouse!


 

Pro or faux?

| March 15th, 2015 | No Comments »

poleSure, we can all take some kickass photos with our smart phones, fancy cameras with non-fancy lenses or probably the new Apple watch. Here are great places to use those photos: posted on Facebook or Instagram, texted to a friend or relative, or left on your camera roll forever and ever. At least that’s what I do.

Here is where you should not use those photos: on a real estate listing. Never. Those photos look terrible, and the 97% of buyers who search online won’t make the effort to visit the house if the photos aren’t great.

I have seen some pretty bad photos lately (general niceness prevents me from posting them here). But picture this (no pun intended): living rooms with little else in the photo except a giant TV and about 500 inches of various cords, a kitchen with a cat on the counter, a bedroom with clothes all over, a shot of the driveway with three cars parked haphazardly, and a dining room with a pole coming out of the ceiling – OK, I had to post that picture!

So please, in the name of Yen Lui, use a professional photographer. If you are a professional photographer or at least have a sweet lens then you might be ok. Check out these photos to see the same house shot with a good DSLR camera by an amateur and by a pro with great lenses. See what I mean?

One of the things I do for my sellers is pay for professional photos. They make all the difference in the world and everyone is happy. Bonus: you can still post them on Facebook and Instagram if you want!

By the way, if you want to see some terrifically terrible real estate photos, check out the aptly named Facebook page Terrible Real Estate Agent Photographs out of the U.K.!

Faux...

Faux…

...versus Pro.

…versus Pro.

Faux again...

Faux again…

...Pro again!

…Pro again!


 

Pictures + Words

| January 24th, 2012 | 6 Comments »

Cara in the HouseThe first thing most people do when looking for homes online is read the description. Then they usually thumb through the pictures and a part of them subconsciously makes sure the pictures reflect what the description says. At least that’s what I do. The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s important to have a great (yet accurate) description and great (yet accurate photos).

Of course there are the obvious buzz words that usually try to make the home sound better than it is. And I know because I’m guilty of some of them. For example, “charming”  most likely means the home is tiny. I’m sorry but that’s the honest truth. A 2500-3500 square foot home will almost never be referred to as charming. Also too many exclamation points may mean the agent is trying hard to make this home something its not. “Easy to maintain yard!!!!!!” might simply mean there’s a yard. And there’s some grass in that yard. And maybe a few plants. And my favorite “great floorplan” might mean the agent can no longer think of anything else to say about the home.  Oh and don’t forget “custom” which sometimes means it’s a bit of an odd feature but it was something the previous owner had done to the house and it worked for them therefore its custom.

However, when a great home comes along you will read the completely amazing description and it will match the completely amazing pictures and when you go visit you will probably see a completely amazing home. On the flip side if the pictures are terrible and the description matches, you will probably go there and not be one bit surprised that the home isn’t one bit completely amazing. And that’s ok because you were prepared.

The bottom line is that if the home is great, the pictures and description should be great. If the home is distressed or falling apart, it should be very obvious from the pictures and description (and if there is only one picture be very skeptical!) And for all the homes in between, the agent should definitely highlight the good areas but make sure the photos and description are accurate so the buyer isn’t disappointed when they visit the home in person.

Here is an actual description of a home (and no its not the home in the picture above). Despite it being pretty gloomy, you have to give the agent credit for honesty and believe it or not, this home had an offer in 5 days!

This home has been vacant for over two years without heat due to a faulty furnace. Broken water lines have caused damage to walls, floors, and appliances. Some roof repair is needed. Also some siding Damage. Home is sold “As-is”.

If you are looking to sell, I promise to do a great job marketing your home!

 

Networking. It’s fun.

| January 15th, 2012 | 2 Comments »

At the very beginning of my real estate career I considered “networking” to be meeting my friends at the park or Starbucks (with our kids) and if we happened to touch on the topic of real estate that was a huge plus. If we didn’t, at least I could tell my husband I spent my day out and about with real people. I also considered “business attire” to be my good Lulu Lemon sweats instead of my cheap Fred Meyer knock-offs. That was also when the market sucked and there was virtually no business to be had, especially for someone who got their real estate license the same day the market tanked.

Fast forward a few years and somewhere along the way I decided I really, really liked real estate and enjoyed actual networking and if the topic of real estate didn’t come up I would be more than disappointed.  I stopped wanting to talk about teaching and kids (topics I was more than familiar with) and began wanting to talk real estate (a topic I was becoming more and more confident with).  Instead of dreading the question “how’s the real estate market” I found myself hoping someone would ask. So today when I stare out at the snow (who at the moment is being an awesome babysitter for my kids and not costing me a dime) I am reflecting on my networking and how to move forward with it in the new year.

The beauty of networking is that you can meet with people you like at places you like during times that work for your schedule. And depending on who it is, you may even be able to get away with wearing your Lulu Lemon pants and your Uggs. Networking is definitely on my to-do list this year and I’ve already got a good start! Text me or facebook me if you’re up for some networking. And if you need to use our networking as “networking” just to show your husband or your boss that you are out meeting with actual people, I’m cool with that!

cara in the house

 

 

 

 

HAVE FUN BOYS! NO NEED TO HURRY HOME!