Lisa Sledzik
Pot ‘o Gold

‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’…
 
Dreams come true! This time it can be found around the beautiful in-town parks of Atlanta; and on average we’re looking for it every 5 to 7 years (more often for corporate transferees!) Before we get into the details on the pot ‘o gold, let’s talk about what is happening in and around Wilmington over the next couple of weeks!

 
We have what looks to be an amazing forecast on tap for the next week! Sunny skies and high temps just in time for St. Paddy’s Day, March Madness and Azalea Festival preparations. After what feels like a long, cold winter~ the birds are singing, trees are budding and the pollen is back.
 

St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect occasion to share a pint with some close buddies ~ Fibber’s off of Wrightsville Avenue & Grand Union Pub (aka ‘the GUP’) are always lively, green destinations and something tells me Dockside will be hopping as well.
 

On Sunday, Wrightsville Beach and Landfall will roll out the red carpet for 2,000+ runners participating in the Quintiles Marathon. Congratulations in advance to all of the first timers; you have been training for months and I have tremendous respect for your hard work & perseverance. Bravo!
 

Azalea Festival is right around the corner. Get your tickets now for Darius Rucker and the Cole Bros. Circus! Put the Art Show and Garden

Tour on the calendar and make time to see some world class tennis as John McEnroe takes on Todd Martin at Trask Coliseum. For details on all events, click here.
Back to business! I was very fortunate and flattered to have been asked by some dear friends to accompany them on a recent house hunting trip to Atlanta. It was a real treat for me, both personally and professionally. Two days and 30 houses later—I have some words of wisdom, or what I hope are words of wisdom for both buyers and sellers.

 

For Buyers— my friends are very methodical, organized and with their permission, I share with you the spread sheet they devised for our trip. This spread sheet contained all of the pertinent data on the homes they were interested in seeing & was forwarded to their local real estate agent in advance to facilitate scheduling. Fred & Ginger (to protect the innocent) had some preliminary knowledge of the Atlanta area but they had also spent hours and hours pouring over multiple web sites for months.
We landed in Atlanta, grabbed some lunch, our spreadsheets, and our agents and headed out to house #1. That is the last time I saw my copy of the spread sheet.
 

The spread sheet exercise was worthwhile for Fred & Ginger because it gave them the opportunity to articulate and prioritize individually and as a couple. From afar and on a computer, things often look very different than they do in reality and you need to be able to go with the flow but it’s great to be able to refer back to what you have already determined to be important or a deal breaker. Go with the flow is exactly what Fred & Ginger did and with an open mind.
 

Agents Jan and Randy were very accommodating and overall, trust your local experts, solicit their opinions and give them some leverage. At the end of day two, what ended up being Fred & Ginger’s top three home choices never even appeared on the original spread sheet. Look at the house with the ugly kitchen tile—you just never know!
 

For Sellers— if you read my last blog post I am going to sound like a broken record but it bears repeating! You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Houses were ruled out based on photos. Houses were ruled out based on photos. Houses were ruled out based on photos. With inventory levels being what they are, every effort needs to be made to make your home stand out and get that prospective buyer through the door. Keep in mind that if you have out-of-towners sitting in front of your house wanting to take a peek, LET THEM IN! A less than tidy house is better than a missed opportunity. Props to the mom of newborn triplets—clearly a motivated seller doing whatever it took! I am still not sure how she does it.
 

A great brochure is a nice reinforcement of a positive experience. I took every piece of paraphernalia that was available and constantly referred back to the favorites. There are so many things you have no control over; step it up for what you do.
Atlanta was a ball and it’s a reasonable drive or a quick flight away. Thai, Tapas and one of the best breakfasts I have ever had at TheFlying Biscuit in Midtown (goat cheese and eggs DO go together!)
 

Lots of green space too—Piedmont Park was lovely and getting ready to burst with color. The shopping is awesome but I had to take a rain check this time, no worries, I will make up for it later.

 

In next month’s post, I will revisit Fred & Ginger’s relocation experience and delve into pricing/negotiating strategies from both a buyer and seller’s perspective in a challenging market.
The Fukushima tragedy in Japan unfolded during our trip and for various reasons it unfortunately became the latest addition to the ‘you will never forget where you were when this happened’ list. Thoughts and prayers for all of those affected and involved.