Breaking all the Rules…..


The Official Krisztina Blogsite

All my friends have now been well-educated on the importance of staging in the selling of a house. A close friend of mine recently went to an Open House in her Townhouse complex and was shocked! (For the record, we do love it when neighbours drop by our Open Houses…so never feel ‘nosy’ about doing that!!)Anyway, I’ll let my friend take it from here…

I have watched enough of Krisztina’s videos and read enough of her Blogs to know that a well-staged, well-priced, well-marketed home will sell within 30 days and often sooner. So when a townhouse in our complex went on the market, I had to check it out. Turns out the home was a mirror image to the one I live in, but structure is where the similarity ends. (For the record, no – I don’t live in Oakville…and all names have been changed to protect the innocent!!) I’ll start at my first impression – the lawn. It’s only a postage stamp piece of Canada, but it managed to look somewhat unkempt. Enter. Dark hallway, folk-arty stuff all over the hallway walls and…wait for it…at the top of the half staircase leading to the main floor…a mangy looking cat! Ugh. And to top it off, just below a fridge
completely covered in notes, clutter and magnets – 2 cat food bowls, one with half eaten wet food still in it. I was blown away. I know Krisztina constantly harps on things like this – keep pets out of the house for showings, hide pet food bowls, don’t advertise that you have a pet etc. etc., but I never really believed an experienced Real Estate Agent would be so lackadaisical about an Open House. And this was a very experienced Agent hosting the Open House. As we looked around the open concept kitchen/living room/dining room, my jaw dropped. You couldn’t see the kitchen counters for the clutter, the living room was jammed with large furniture and the dining room was equally mis-sized for the space. I told the Agent I was from the complex and that in fact, our home had the exact same design. I expressed some shock regarding the owner’s décor and furniture choices. The Agent admitted to how dated the property looked, how it needed a new paint job and how over-sized the furniture was for the space. I kept my mouth shut. But my brain was reeling.. Why didn’t she edit the furniture, get a storage unit, lose the folk art and dried flowers, and most of all, why didn’t she paint? The person I was with said that perhaps the Agent was unable to convince the owner to make these changes. I can’t buy that for an instant. That is a huge part of the job for any experienced Agent. Short term pain for a quick selling cycle, and it’s over. Your best price is always within the first 2 weeks. As it stands, this home has been on the market for over 2 months. I’m sure they’ve had to drop the price. I jokingly said to my friend that the Agent should pay us to have showings in our home to see what in fact this townhouse could look like. Someone with the proper vision will end up getting a great deal on this property. It has fantastic potential. And it could have been sold already if the Agent had only pushed their Client harder to properly stage the home. Let it be a lesson for all potential homesellers!!!  (And if Krisztina is your Agent, LISTEN TO HER!!!!!)



Meet Cathy Braun


The Official Krisztina Blogsite

You’ve met Jennifer Patterson and you’ve met Tammy Dubreuil. Now it’s time to meet the heart of my team, Cathy Braun. Cathy and I have been working together for 5 years now. I know you’ve heard me talk of her before – she multi-tasks as our Administrator, Marketing Coordinator, Client Care Manager and General Bullshit Detector. (Can I use that word if it’s in a title?!?) Cathy always has my back and that allows me to function at my best in the field. She is also a licensed Sales Representative so she can back any of us up when needed, be it Open Houses, Home Inspections or Offers. Now that’s peace of mind! We have an excellent dynamic and a great deal of respect for each other.

After earning an Honours BA from St. Michael’s College at U of T (and spending 2 summers in Siena doing courses!!), Cathy started out working for a Builder in the production department and later in sales and marketing. She spent 10 years learning all the ins and outs, ultimately handling all the sales offices and marketing materials. The jump into Real Estate was a natural next step and something she could juggle while raising 2 sons. She is soon going to be an empty-nester though – her eldest, Jeff, is in his third year of a 4 year Flight program at Seneca College and her younger son, Scott, is heading to college in September 2011 to become a teacher in Drama and English.

Although she has numerous interests (making jewellery, gardening, reading and a certain scrabble addiction), I would have to say she is defined by her love of travel. Cruises have become her latest addiction and although she can’t say for sure, she thinks she has been on upwards of 20. Her favourite? Alaska. The whales breaching, bubble net feeding, zip lining, helicoptering to the glacier, float plane over the fjords…who could argue!! (As this is being written, Cathy is currently on a cruise through Turkey and Italy with her son!!) I must admit, I was personally a bit of a cruise snob…not for me, I thought. But in 2010, as a year-end bonus, I surprised Cathy with a cruise for the two of us and it was pretty great – lots of sun and good company. I am proud to say that through the last 5 years, we have gone from being business associates to being friends.

Cathy was extremely supportive of the team expansion and looks forward to the four of us meshing as a Team. As to the future, she has committed to being the glue that holds my team together and in check (and sane!!) for the next 5 years and beyond that…who knows. But I do know that she will always be a friend.

PS Please check out my latest videos in my series, SOLD! below.