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DIY Home Selling: 5 Reasons to Avoid the For Sale By Owner Approach

Statistically, less than 10 percent of “For Sale By Owner” sellers actually succeed. Selling your home without a real estate agent may seem like a good idea. The thought of not having to pay a commission is a persuasive factor in why some sellers go the FSBO route. But is the “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) option the right choice?

Here 5 reasons that FSBO sellers are unsuccessful more often than not:

DIY tools: tape, clamps, wire cutters and pliars1. An Ill-Prepared Property

Preparing a house to be sold doesn’t just mean making sure everything is tidy; the condition of the house needs to be perfect. Houses that have obvious things wrong are going to be challenging to sell and they’re not likely to command top dollar.

This will involve:

  • Doing repairs.
  • Removing unnecessary furniture and clutter.
  • Painting and decorating neglected rooms in a way to make them look as appealing as possible.
  • Having a professional cleaning.

2. Handling Potential Buyers

A major part of the real estate agent’s job is handling inquiries. Staying on top of calls and emails, being prepared to show the property when it is convenient for potential buyers, can be some of the hardest things to manage for a FSBO seller. This is where an experienced agent would eliminate that stress from a seller.

3. Unsatisfactory Inspection Results

home inspection may turn up some problems with the house that the owner doesn’t want to acknowledge. Most buyers will require a home inspection, and very often, they will highlight some problems with the house. This can upset the owner and can lead to the deal falling through when the owner is unwilling to fix any issues unearthed. Real estate agents have been through the process many times and can offer their expertise in negotiating a successful outcome. Getting through a home inspection is often about give and take.

4. Negotiations with Buyers

The value of pricing your home correctly can be difficult to get right if you don’t have the experience. Negotiations over price can be problematic if the owner has lofty or misguided expectations. The purchase contract is something that also needs to be negotiated. The homeowner may not fully understand what the contract holds them to, and when they need to negotiate with the buyer.

It isn’t just about negotiating on the price; the contract needs to be paid attention to as well if the sale is going to be successful.

5. Closing the Deal

and signing house contractEven if the FSBO seller is lucky enough to get an offer, things can still go very wrong. After an offer is accepted, the homeowner can very easily make mistakes in the process, which can lead to failure. A specific order of events needs to take place for the sale to close. This will involve many different parties, and if they aren’t contacted at the right times, the sale can be delayed or even canceled. Selling a house for sale by owner is risky and should be heavily compared to using an agent before a decision is to be made.

 

Contact Ellen today or stop by at 9 W 63rd St, Kansas City, MO 64113 to find out how you can avoid the hassle of a FSBO deal!

 

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WELCOME HOME: Ellen’s Tips for Winter Curb Appeal

Winter Brookside Home

Once again fall has slipped into winter under our noses and the beauty of the season has left us with dead leaves and muddy footprints all about. Instead of dreading the dark dreariness of winter, it’s time to celebrate the joys and warmth we find during this time of year. Whether you’re selling your house this season or simply searching to beautify your winter nest, Ellen knows just the tricks to make your house a welcoming, cozy home this winter.

  1. HAZARD – FREE – The first tip to making your house a place of inviting warmth is to prioritize safety.
    • Start by clearing snow and ice from your drive and walkways. A nasty slip and fall is not the kind of way to break the ice with your relatives or with potential buyers. Ensure that any and all steps and handrails are accessible, free of ice, and repaired if necessary.
    • Lighting is crucial to your home’s safety, but it can be done in a tasteful and inviting way; hanging lights in the yard or putting a lantern out front are wonderful ways to warm up your home’s exterior.
  1. OUTDOORSY – Once you are reassured that your home is a safe place, Ellen’s second tip for curbside appeal is to invest in creating a lovely winter wonderland around your home.
    • Most plants lie dormant during the winter months, but there are types of winter flora that will add signs of life to your front yard. There are several varieties of spruce, cypress and boxwoods. If you don’t quite have the time to upkeep winter plants, Wreaths and garlands are an excellent and festive way to decorate your front door or even the fence posts by your driveway
    • Birdhouses and feeders will also help to add life and warmth to your yard. There are plenty of birds that stick around during the colder months; besides the cardinals and blue jays, keep your eyes out for snowy owls, bluebirds, nuthatches and chickadees. If a little winter bird watching intrigues you, invest in your very own feeder to keep your feathered friends close this season!
  1. MERRY AND BRIGHT – Your home should be an inviting and cheerful place, especially during the grey winter months. In order to create a welcoming atmosphere, it’s essential to pay attention to the details of your home.
    • Don’t wait for spring cleaning! A deep clean of your windows, shutters, front porch, and fence may be just the thing your home needs to brighten up. While we’re sprucing things up, it may be time to repaint those address digits, your mailbox, or your porch and shutters.
    • Welcoming guests is a little trickier to do when you’re unclear of their arrival time; fix that doorbell so your guests don’t have to wait in the cold! With the ups and downs of the temperature, one thing you can count on is a lot of mud so make sure to purchase a sturdy doormat that will keep the mess outside.
  1. EXCEPTIONAL – When it comes to home décor, Ellen knows the importance of balancing unique pieces with a sense of class; it’s important to keep in mind the type of visitors you are expecting this season, especially if you are selling your house. Since you don’t know who will be interested in your home, it’s best to keep décor tasteful and simple. That being said, there are still options to make your house stand out!
    • Add lights around the driveway to create a warm, inviting entrance. You can also string lights along a front fence or use them to highlight majestic trees in your yard.
    • You could even paint your front door to draw interest! The color you choose should blend well with the neighborhood palette, but don’t disregard a warm dark wood or even a bold red to make your home unique!

There are plenty of ways to stay busy around the home this winter; whether you’re staying home for the holidays or selling your house to a new family, it’s the season to create a warm and comforting place! Take Ellen’s tips for creating a cozy winter home and enjoy a relaxing and cheerful atmosphere!

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How Girl Scouts Changed My Life – 50 Years a Girl Scout

To many, the end of October means Halloween and the beginning of the holiday season, but this time of the year holds a vivid memory for Ellen Zetmeir. As most of Ellen’s friends and family know, she is actively involved with the Girl Scouts. What many may not know, however, is that 2019 marks her 50th Anniversary of being involved with the Girl Scout organization!

Ellen frequently mentions how growing up as a Girl Scout and her ongoing involvement with the organization has made her into the strong, independent woman she is today. We wanted to take the time to interview Ellen to find out more about her Girl Scout passion.

Q: What are your first memories of becoming a Brownie?

Ellen as a Brownie

A: “I became a Brownie in 1969! It was the first time I’d ever worn a uniform and I remember every detail. I had my whole outfit with my little pins and an orange tie that my dad taught me how to correctly tie – it was so special. Girl Scout day was on Tuesdays, so we got to wear our uniforms to school. That was a really big deal as well!

In my hometown, Parsons, Kansas, we had what was called The Girl Scout Little House – a house that had been donated to the Parsons’ Girl Scouts and was used for events and storage. There was a big hill at the house that we used for ingathering. Ingathering was a big city-wide event and sing-along for Girl Scouts in celebration of Juliette Low’s (the founder of the Girl Scouts) birthday on Halloween. At this event, all of the troops would donate money benefiting the Juliette Low World Friendship Fund – funding international travel for Girl Scouts. The coolest part of the event was if someone had been on an international Girl Scout trip, they would bring home ashes from the final fire and add them to the fire at the ingathering. We were a bunch of wide-eyed little girls watching all of this happen – it was so cool!

For me, being a Brownie was a really big deal! In my hometown, that’s just what you did – everyone was a Girl Scout. You went to church on Wednesday nights and Girl Scouts on Tuesday nights.”

Q: What are some of your most memorable experiences as a Girl Scout?

A: “The first really cool thing I remember doing was going primitive camping off horseback in Wyoming for a week or two when I was in 9th grade. We got to ride through the mountains with an elevation map and a compass – no grown-ups around! We would ride our horses, find a place to eat dinner, sleep on the ground and then pack everything back on our horses. It was a truly amazing experience!

Preparing for Her Trip

The following year, I got to be a delegate to a national convention in 1978. This was the year the Girl Scout logo was changed from the original logo with the eagle on the trefoil to the three faces on the envelope – showing girls of all ages and backgrounds. It was a huge deal to be there as a voting delegate!

On the way home from the convention, I began filling out paperwork to go on an International Wider Opportunity. After going through the interview process, I was selected as one of three Girl Scouts from the United States to go to South Africa. This was a game-changer for me! South Africa was in such turmoil at the time that we were even briefed by the State Department prior to our trip to be certain we knew what to expect upon arrival. We were representing the United States as Girl Scouts. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

South Africa and Her Return Home

Q: How did being a Girl Scout change you? What life lessons did you learn?

A: “Girl Scouts empowered me, gave me confidence and taught me that I could be a smart woman. I also gained leadership skills, how to run a meeting and brainstorming skills. We learned important life skills including how to go to a fancy restaurant, how to tip and make reservations. Because of Girl Scouts, I had no fear and I still have no fear to this day. It was just even more amazing as a young girl. Plus, we didn’t have the distraction of boys at a young age!”

Q: Why should girls join Girl Scouts today?

A: “Girl Scouts has STEM programs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and a number of other opportunities that are truly amazing. Girl Scouts has lots of travel available for girls in small and large groups that teach girls life skills they wouldn’t have without travel. It’s an all-girl environment and that’s so important today!”

Ellen’s Halloween Costume

Q: What have you done as an adult with Girl Scouts and what are you currently doing?

A: “For 14 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I was an advisor for the Youth Leadership Council with GSWISE  (Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast.) It gave me the opportunity to advise over 400 girls and share my skills and confidence, preparing them for

life as an adult. To advise them and lead by example was probably the best work I’ve done with the Girl Scouts, period! It was just amazing and life-changing for not only the girls, but for me as well.

Today, I’m currently involved as an assistant troop leader with a cadet group at St. Peter’s School. I would LOVE to start doing some older girl leadership training here in Kansas City!”

Want to hear even more great stories about Ellen’s Girl Scout history? Stop by her store-front office and ask her anything! Plus, you can find out how to get involved with Girl Scouts yourself. It’s another way to get involved with a special program in the community of Brookside and Waldo.

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Discover Ellen’s Favorite Spots in Brookside

A Few of Ellen’s Favorite Local Brookside Haunts

Ellen Zetmeir doesn’t just live and work in Brookside – she’s the go-to-gal with all of the little tips and tricks of navigating the Brookside/Waldo area like a true local! Established 100 years ago, Brookside is now home to over 70 shops, restaurants, boutiques and small businesses. We recently spent the day with Ellen exploring the heart of Kansas City and got up close and personal with 4 of her favorite local haunts in Brookside.

Bella Napoli

Family-owned from the beginning, Jake Imperiale opened Bella Napoli almost 20 years ago with a dream to offer an ambiance of a true Italian ristorante. Serving only traditional Italian family recipes with market items for purchase imported directly from Italy, Bella Napoli is Brookside’s very own corner of Italy. From the moment you walk through the door, you’re treated like family! Bella Napoli’s friendly and personable staff always greets Ellen with her favorite Pellegrino at her preferred table. “Sitting in Bella Napoli, eating traditional Italian pizza, is the perfect evening get-away to Florence – all from the comfort of your own neighborhood,” says Ellen. If you’ve yet to try Bella Napoli stop in and see for yourself why it’s Ellen’s Brookside go-to!

Fiddly Fig

If you ask Ellen where her favorite florist in the city is, she’ll always say, “the Fiddly Fig is the most phenomenal florist in the world.” Another locally owned neighborhood gem in Brookside, the Fiddly Fig offers only the highest quality floral arrangements. The longtime florists have great style, work with unique flowers and will custom arrange a bouquet to meet your specifications for any and every occasion. Not only does Fiddly Fig offer the most beautiful floral arrangements in Kansas City, but it also is home to one of the best gift shops in the area! With fall flowers in full swing, stop in Fiddly Fig and check out their exceptional floral arrangements, décor and one-of-a-kind gifts for every occasion.

Brookside 66

With crisper mornings in the air and colder weather just around the corner, one of Ellen’s neighborhood staples will take you back in time to a more carefree day in Brookside. The locally owned Brookside 66 on the corner of 63rd and Main is one of few remaining full-service gas stations – and Ellen’s go-to. “There’s nothing nicer than stopping by the Phillips Gas Station in the winter for gas and not even having to get out of your warm car, you just feel very cared for,” says Ellen. “As a single woman, I always feel safe and never like I’ve been taken advantage of. This isn’t always the case with other car shops,” Ellen continued. Even if it’s just a quick stop for the coldest Diet Pepsi around – Ellen always supports shopping local. Stop by the Phillips Gas Station at 63rd and Main and see for yourself why it’s the best in Kansas City.

A Store Named “Stuff”

A Store Named “Stuff,” located right here in the heart of Brookside, is home to some of the best unique gifts in Kansas City! This Brookside treasure is owned by two sisters who are very supportive of local non-for-profits and organizations that give back to the community. One of the “Stuff” sisters also also happens to be a Girls Scout – just like Ellen! This, of course, is right up Ellen’s alley as it’s, “A fabulous organization to help give back to the community and raise up powerful women in business.” Hosting frequent shopping nights to help fundraise for great causes benefitting Kansas City, Ellen can’t get enough of A Store Named “Stuff.” Not only does Ellen love how the “Stuff” sisters give back to the city, but they also offer the best Christmas ornaments in the city. Stop by A Store Named “Stuff” for Christmas décor that will set your home apart from the rest!

Take a stroll, enjoy the beautiful fall weather and check out Ellen’s go-to Brookside haunts for yourself! While you’re in the neighborhood, stop by 9 West 63rd St – the home of Brookside Real Estate Company – and visit Ellen in her storefront office today!

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Introducing Ellen’s New Video Series – I’ve Got a Guy

If you know Ellen, there’s a likely chance you’ve heard her famous words, “I’ve got a guy for that,” on more than one occasion – and she’s not wrong! Ellen does indeed have just the right guys for your home-related questions, concerns and issues. In fact, her neighbor once said, “Ellen, if I woke up one day to a mob of kangaroos in my backyard, you’d be my first call because you probably have a guy for that!”  

It takes a lot to become one of Ellen’s “guys.” Having worked with a lengthy list of contractors in the Kansas City area throughout her career, Ellen’s developed her own list of specialists who represent the best of the best in old-home work. And now she’s here to help with her new video series, “I’ve Got a Guy.”

With a passion for older homes in the Brookside area, Ellen’s greater passion is for the people who live in those houses. When you purchase a home with Ellen, she doesn’t just walk away the minute the sale is done. She wants to be the first person you call with any home issue whether it’s days, months or even years after you’ve made your purchase! With her new series, “I’ve Got a Guy,” it’s now easier than ever for Ellen to share helpful information from her go-to old-home specialists with those looking for advice.

Join Ellen on her journey throughout the Brookside and Waldo area as she discusses old home issues with some of the best professionals in the business. If you have any specific questions about vintage homes and their maintenance, drop Ellen a line at ezbrookside@gmail.com or stop in and see her in her storefront office across from Charlie Hoopers in the heart of Brookside!

The First Episode: The Sewer Doctor

Take a look at Ellen’s first “I’ve Got a Guy,”  episode featuring John Vaughan from The Sewer Doctors. Since the sewers of the Brookside and Waldo neighborhoods are often over 100 years old, there may be serious issues lurking 6 feet below the surface of your lawn. Join Ellen and John as they discuss need-to-know facts and important homeowner sewer maintenance tips and tricks – that might even save you big money!