I had the opportunity to sit down and visit with Christine Mino-Williams of Keller Williams, Premier Ohio Sales Team. Christine is a very friendly real estate agent who was kind enough to allow me to interview her.
Not only does she have a lot of real estate experience, she also genuinely cares for her clients and works hard to look out for their best interests. I hope you enjoy my interview with Christine!
Jamie – Tell me a little about yourself. What got you into real estate?
Christine – I am the youngest of 10 kids; grew up in Lakewood. When my husband and I married, we bought our first home soon after our wedding. Our experience was lukewarm, so I went to Tri-C to take classes about real estate so the next time we bought/sold I would know what to expect. I had no intention of ever pursuing a career in real estate, but after my teacher @ Tri-C called me several times after classes were over encouraging me to take my exam, I took his advice. 21 years later, here I am.
Jamie – How long have you been an agent?
Christine – 21 years.
Jamie – That’s awesome! That’s also exactly how long I have been appraising. We’ve certainly seen a lot over the years. What is your favorite part of being an agent?
Christine – I love being a part of something so special in my client’s life.
Jamie – How do you help people to know if a home is going to fit their lifestyle?
Christine – We talk about how they live in a residence. The first walk through is essentially based on appeal. If I see that spark in their eye, we further the conversation about how they see themselves living in the house… for instance, where will the vacuum cleaner go? When they unload groceries, what does that look like in their mind? Where will they put their keys, their shoes? How will their “stuff” fit in the house? How long will they fit in this house?
Jamie – That’s a great way of helping the prospective buyer determine if the home is a good fit. Very cool!
Let’s talk trends for a minute. What are people looking for right now, when it comes to kitchens, bathrooms, lighting and décor?
Christine – Many clients are looking for the trendy, white cabinets, dark flooring, solid surface countertops that we all see on the home and garden tv shows.
Jamie – What are some things that people are turned-off by?
Christine – The little things are the big turn offs. The cabinet designs from the 80’s where there is a soft curve in the detail of the cabinetry can sway a buyer… something as simple as that. Lower profile bathroom vanities are an easy indicator of age and give a buyer the sense of “work” as they feel the higher/taller profile vanities are more in line with today’s consumer and lifestyle.
Jamie – What advise can you give a person to get their home ready to sell?
Christine – I advise my sellers to meet with my stager before doing anything else. The stager is in tune with what today’s consumer is looking for and expects. Decluttering is a given, detaching themselves from their home, and understanding that they (the seller) is going to transition from living in “their home” to living in “a house”. The ability to make that emotional transition makes every part of the process that follows much easier.
Jamie – What is a common mistake you see homeowners make when trying to sell their home?
Christine – Often times a seller will move into selling their home with the “well I live here and I’m happy” mentality and decide to not make small adjustments/minor improvements to their home before catching the eye of a buyer.
Jamie – You had shared a hip analogy that you use to educate your sellers about what they can expect to see in terms of return on their investment dollars, for things like installing a new furnace, a new roof or things like that. Can you share that with our readers?
Christine – Ah, yes! So, few years ago I had a hip replacement, and I’ll tell you what, the difference in my quality of life was profound. Did it make me a more valuable wife/mom… no. The new hip just ensured that I could continue to work at the same level and live with the same comfort as my peer group. Sellers have to realize that when they maintain their homes, it solidifies their houses value in the market. Every buyer in today’s market is house hunting with the expectation that certain things work… the furnace, the A/C, the roof are some of the most costly mechanical components to a home. It is expected that a home owner/seller maintains, repairs, and when necessary replaces them. When the house is in good/excellent condition the buyer will look at their home with a more favorable cost of ownership perspective. The more you do as a homeowner, the more attractive your house will be to a buyer.
Jamie – I’d say that’s a hip analogy on numerous levels. I love it! And I’m glad your hip replacement was a success! You didn’t need to add any value to yourself anyway, because you are priceless to your family no matter what.
What tips can you give people who are in the market for a home?
Christine – Buy for the long run. IF you can afford a little more, look at that price point and weigh the financial ability to live there. Why? Here’s why… Let’s say for instance you are looking at 3-bedroom homes as a newly married couple. Is it likely that your family will grow in 5-10 years. Yes. When the 1200 square foot home no longer serves your needs, you will be selling. Assuming that you cannot predict future value on a property, one thing remains true, there is a cost of selling a home which currently is about 9% of the home’s value. That can be expensive. If your budget allows to purchase more, do so. You will be able to stay in the house longer, and your long-term finances could be positively affected. Additionally, be willing to do the work. If you are looking at 2 homes and one has the cosmetics done, but the mechanical components are in need of repair replacement, and the other has sound mechanical components but needs a facelift, weigh your options. As the buyer, you know what your resources are. Do you have a great peer group that can offset the expenses in one of the two scenarios I presented? Take the time to talk to your Realtor and your friends/family. They’ve been through home buying and selling before, and their experiences and insight are invaluable.
Jamie – Sage advice!!!
Since I am a real estate appraiser, inquiring appraiser minds want to know, if you could pick 3 things you would like to see in an appraiser, what would they be? (Above and beyond the home appraising at or above selling price. That’s a given😃)
Christine – LOL! Yes, at or above selling price is always a bonus! I like the human connection with appraisers. I don’t believe that many of my colleagues or clients are aware that you (an appraiser) are available to them as a resource. I really enjoy the fact that you are actively trying to engage with your colleagues and the homeowner, it’s so important to know you are a valuable resource!
Jamie – Thank you so much for saying so! Many of us appraisers are working hard to change that. I think some agents are afraid that they cannot talk to the appraiser. But that’s not really the case. There are lots of things we can discuss, that can be mutually helpful. Even if an agent never orders an appraisal from me, or even refers me, I am still always more than happy to help answer any appraisal questions.
The more we can communicate in a positive way, the more we can benefit from each other’s expertise. I feel the same way about agents like yourself. It’s so nice to know other real estate professionals that can be a valuable resource, like yourself!
Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you! It has been a true honor to meet you. You can find out more about Christine’s team at www.premierohioteam.com. You can email her at Christine@premierohioteam.com or call her at (216) 695-6972. Christine also has awesome posts on social media! You can follow her on her Instagram page, aboutthathouse by clicking here. If you’re looking for an awesome real estate agent, give Christine a call!
In the coming weeks, she invited me to have a Taco Tuesday lunch where we will Taco-bout real estate over a Facebook live feed. I can’t wait! Stay tuned.
If you’re looking for a real estate appraiser, and your not in Northeast Ohio, check out www.FindMyAppraiser.com. There you can run a search for a qualified appraiser in your area.
As always, thanks for being here to read my articles!
Here are some links to other articles and videos I enjoyed recently! I hope you will also…
From Pink to Purple; Get Ready For The Housing Ride of Your Life – Housing Notes by Jonathan Miller
ND Requesting a Waiver for Five Years – By Jonathan Miller on Appraiser Blogs
Appraisers don’t use race when valuing homes – Sacramento Appraisal Blog
The Risk of Waiving Your Home Appraisal – Birmingham Appraisal Blog
What Are The Purposes of Graphs? – George Dell’s Analogue Blog
MLS Cyber Attack – McMansions – FHA and Risky Loans – APPRAISAL TODAY
Communicating With Non-lender Clients is Different – Appraiser Coach Podcast
Here are some articles from the Cleveland area! Enjoy!
Blaze on, big River! The Blazing Paddles #Cuyahoga50 race in photos – Bob Perkoski – Cleveland FreshWater
Inside the Lead Safe Summit and the quest to save CLE kids from lead poisoning – Annie Zaleski – Cleveland FreshWater
Happy trails: Final state of Towpath Trail extension to get underway in July – Karin Connelly Rice – Cleveland FreshWater
A river runs through it: In honor of #Cuyahoga50, our 50 reasons the Cuyahoga River rocks – Ken Schneck – Cleveland FreshWater
Cleveland Heights moves ahead with ‘living street’ Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook Plan – Karin Connelly Rice – Cleveland FreshWater