Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Keeping Your Pets Happy While Selling Your Home

Courtesy of Paw Prints The Magazine

How to Keep Fido’s Tail Wagging While Selling a Home
by Stacy Smith
The process of selling a home is both an exciting and stressful time. With the opportunity for new beginnings in a new home just around the corner, homeowners are busy with frantic activity preparing to show the home to potential buyers. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle can cause undue stress on household pets, as their familiar surroundings change. With home sales increasing nationwide, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) is reminding pet parents to consider pet-friendly solutions to minimize trauma throughout the process of selling a home.

“Pets are most comfortable when surrounded by familiar sights, sounds and smells,” explained John D’Ariano, President of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. “It’s important to take extra precautions in keeping Fido safe and happy throughout the transition of a home sale.”

To assist pet parents in helping pets cope with changes throughout a home sale, NAPPS is providing the following tips and recommendations:

Create a Safe Haven – Does your pet have a favorite toy, blanket or pillow? Create a safe haven of familiar objects for your pet throughout the hubbub of renovations, furniture movement and packing.

Maintain a Routine – While the household schedule may change to accommodate showings, make sure Fido maintains his regular diet and exercise schedule. Too busy to take your pet for a walk? Consider hiring a professional pet sitter for daily walks and play time.

Promote Your Home as Pet-Friendly – Is your home the ideal haven for a fellow pet parent? Highlight the specific pet-friendly features – such as a large yard or the perfect sunny window for cat naps – in your home’s description. This could be the quality that sets your home apart from the rest!

Hire a Pet Sitter During Showings – Pets are not able to run loose throughout the home during a showing, so many pet parents choose to hire a professional pet sitter to provide dedicated attention, play time and exercise during visits from potential buyers.

Relax – Tension can build throughout the process of selling a home, so take the time to relax with your pet! A ten-minute break to play fetch in the backyard or a short walk around the block will give you and your pet the opportunity to take a deep breath and enjoy each others company.

Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter

To assist pet parents in the process of finding a professional pet sitter while selling a home, NAPPS offers the following recommendations:

Develop a set of questions and conduct a thorough interview
Ask for multiple references
Request proof of bonding and liability insurance coverage
Make sure he/she interacts well with your pet

Monday, June 6, 2011

Social Media Mantra: "Gain & Give"

RISMedia, June 6, 2011—Make this your transformational mantra for engagement in social media. This means not just characters in tweets, but real actions and sharing with others—whether it’s your knowledge, cool tools or any other valuable information you can share. This will help you build new relationships and lead to more fans or likes, followers and others who connect with you; new business will follow.

Did you know that fans are 41 percent more likely than non-fans to recommend a product they are a fan of to their friends?*

You are the product they may recommend and no matter how big or small your sphere of influence is, treat it as your highly prized fan base. You never thought about it that way? It’s time to because while your sphere of influence is most likely a mixture of family, friends, clients and vendors, as you can see, it has real value.

Muddy waters can form between these personal and professional connections. When you communicate with them, keep your tone informative, positive and casual. Yes, in a very real sense, you have become a publisher. With this comes responsibility, but also a chance to let your personality shine through. You have the opportunity—most likely for the first time—to really influence through a medium and be a friendly influencer.

Some of us do keep our personal contacts private from our professional ones, but many of us don’t and never will. No matter with whom you are communicating—family or clients—never let a difficult conversation start or develop online. Online communication is a time for a no-drama approach. But by all means let your humor and wisdom shine through.

Taking the conversation offline when it makes sense is a good practice, too. Social media is a platform, like any other, and has limitations. Know when to move to a more personal medium to further develop the relationship.

There’s a philosophy about accumulating small amounts of acceptance through the right behaviors, which then promotes full acceptance. One of these key behaviors is to add value every time you tweet, post or commune with your base, and as the old saying goes: boil that frog slowly, and he’ll be oblivious and never jump out of the pot!

*; June 2010

Chris Kaucnik is chief marketing officer for Home Warranty of America. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Real Estate Auctions

The Art of the Auction: Turning Losses into Liquidity
By Walt Zelwak

RISMEDIA, Wednesday, June 01, 2011— The word "auction" is derived from the Latin augeo which means "I increase" or "I augment." Auctions have a long history, having been recorded as early as 500 B.C. There were many types of auctions held during the Roman Empire. One of the most significant historical auctions occurred in the year 193 A.D. when the entire Roman Empire was put on the auction block by the Praetorian Guard who offered the empire to the highest bidder. In some parts of England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries auction by candle was used for the sale of goods and leaseholds. This auction began by lighting a candle after which bids were offered in ascending order until the candle spluttered out. The high bid at the time the candle extinguished itself won the auction. The oldest auction house in the world is Stockholm Auction House, established in Sweden in 1674.

What is going on today?

The National Association of REALTORS® recently reported that distressed homes (typically REOs and short sales) accounted for 40% of the existing homes sold in March 2011. A new report released by Lender Processing Services on May 3rd, 2011 shows that foreclosure inventory as of the end of March 2011 was 2.2 million loans. On May 4th, the FDIC provided detailed information in their "Special Foreclosure Edition" regarding Foreclosure/REO for all companies that they oversee. Banks and mortgage companies/servicers are experiencing foreclosure/REO volume spikes that are at all-time highs. Auctions are being done by the majority of both large and small banks and mortgage companies. Auctions are a valuable loss mitigation tool for collateral management staff as they help reduce inventory and minimize losses on select assets. The fact that auctions substantially reduce the number of units in inventory helps markets move to a more balanced environment.

Prior to any kind of action, the owners of these distressed homes must first establish worth of their asset. The real estate community is sometimes challenged to obtain the level of information and reports that would support valuation and sale analysis of distressed homes. Auction companies should be able to provide detailed feasibility studies that contain multiple metrics that support asset valuation and assumptions regarding the future performance of the real estate market near the subject property. A realistic schedule and timetable of anticipated cash flows from the asset should be established based upon realistic future market scenarios/assumptions. An auction is a great way to ensure that the cash flows can be net present value factored to a correct date in order to establish an accurate value. The Internet and modern technology has made a positive impact on auctions. Some auction company websites generate hundreds of thousands of page views per month from multiple countries. Interested bidder’s activity is closely monitored and is available to sellers 24/7.

Why sell via the auction method?

The auction method accelerates the sale of real estate assets. Auctions generate global consumer/investor interest via the World Wide Web. Non-contingent contracts and quick settlements are required of all buyers of auctioned properties. The seller sets the terms and conditions of the auction sale and the date and time of the sale and closing. Auctions do away with multiple showings and often stressful pricing negotiations with buyers. The bidding process creates competition that increases prices. The marketing strategy targets buyers matched to specific properties and bidders come prepared to buy. The auction bidding creates competition that increases sale price.

Why buy via the auction method?

The potential buyers obtain detailed information on each property from a due diligence package. The buyer knows the seller is seriously committed to sell. Auctions avoid extended negotiation which saves time. In multi-property auctions buyers can view many properties in the same place at the same time. Buyers determine the purchase price. Buyers know they are competing fairly and on the same terms as all other buyers.

Auctions are offered with or without a reserve. A reserve is a minimum number/price at which the property will transfer into new ownership. Auction laws vary by state with differing terms, definitions and rules and regulations can be different, so check with your attorney, REALTOR® or auctioneer. If you are looking for an auction firm consider first those with membership in the National Auctioneers Association and perhaps your state auctioneers association (

The auction method is a concept that dates to antiquity for a reason—It works!
RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Memorial Day Activities in Kansas City

Looking for things to do in Kansas City this Memorial Day weekend, Check out VisitKC's list of things to do.

1. Bank of America Celebration at the Station • Take in a FREE patriotic concert by the KC Symphony.
2. Monet's Water Lilies • See Monet's famous triptych reunited at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
3. Jiggle Jam • Groove with the kids at Crown Center's family music festival.
4. Kansas City Royals • Cheer on the boys in blue as they take on the Los Angeles Angels.
5. Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark • Make a splash with the region's only surf ride.
6. Diana, A Celebration • View Princess Diana's wedding dress, jewelry and more at Union Station.
7. Planet Snoopy at Worlds of Fun • Let the kids loose to enjoy 18 new rides, devoted to pint-size play.
8. National World War I Museum • Honor veterans at the only museum dedicated to the Great War.
9. Jurassic Gardens • Go prehistoric at Powell Gardens with giant dinosaurs and ancient insects.
10. Hot Air Balloon Invitational • Catch more than 30 hot air balloons in flight in Overland Park.

Monday, May 23, 2011

KC Ambush Makeover

Last week was the first ever KC Ambush Makeover by the KC Glam Squad.
I was their first "victim."
The Team Includes:
Anna Mc Connell - Wardrobe Stylist
Julie Hengel - Hair Stylist - Esthetician
Candice Diddle - Photographer Kristin Mudgett - Realtor and Marketing Guru
The Clothes were donated by Saffees
And the Reveal event was sponsored by Taste

I had a great time getting my makeover, trying on clothes then celebrating with my friends! Thanks to everyone involved!!

The Adventures of Jayden & JoJo

Mother's Day weekend I had my friend Ashley's daughter Jayden for the weekend. I picked her up around 1pm on Thursday and we were together until 6pm on Sunday. We had a BLAST!! Jayden will be two in July and is always on the move!!

Friday we met my friend Angie & her daughter Isla at Little Monkey Bizness in Shawnee. The girls had a blast!!

That afternoon we went to Cassy's dress fitting (I have a cute picture but for obvious reasons I can't post it - you'll just have to trust me!). Then we went to the mall. Needless to say we were exhausted by the end of the day!

On Saturday, we worked out then decided to head to Deanna Rose in the afternoon. I had never been there and it was a beautiful day!! We had a blast seeing all the animals, petting the small goats & going on a hay ride.

Jayden had a ton of fun playing with the girls. And of course the girls LOVE Jayden as well!

Jayden & I had a GREAT weekend together!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Great Starter Home!

Looking for your first home? Love the charm of Waldo? I have just the home for you!! This cute 2 bedroom, 1 bath Waldo home sits on a large corner lot and has a partially finished basement!

Contact me for more information or to set up an appointment! 816.289.3032