5 ways to Kill the sale of a home

It’s early morning. I’ve got my coffee and chocolate donut ( yeah… I’m not a very healthy person lol) and I sit down at my computer to start my day. First things first. I head over to the MLS and check the hot sheet. I like to see what the newest listings are, who expired, and who just sold. But as I sit there reading, I find myself rolling my eyes at times….

“Seller says sell!”  (Really?? I would never have guessed. Why else would the seller list their home? Just to have random people walking through their home, peering into their closets and opening kitchen cabinets to see what kind of stuff they have?) My favorite is “MOTIVATED SELLER!” hooked on to a listing that is more than likely overpriced by about $20,000 – $40,000.  How motivated can you possibly be? And if you really did have a motivated seller (i.e one that just commited a crime and needs to get out of dodge tomorrow lol) then as their agent you would legally be obligated to keep that to yourself… Ok.. I’m sure it doesn’t extend to crimes but still you know what I mean. If you have information on your seller that would cause them to be at a disadvantage you wouldn’t tell.

Truth is, while many sellers are ready to sell, some here in the Triangle are simply not motivated to do anything but KILL the sale of their home.  Here are just five ways sellers commit murder when it comes to selling their Raleigh/Durham home.

#5. Hindering Showings.  This seems silly. Why hinder showings?  I have no idea. But there are plenty sellers out there who: refuse to have a lockbox on their home, or demand the listing agent be present at all showings (making it very difficult to coordinate schedules for both agents plus the buyers and any other clients the listing agent may have), or who want an extremely narrow time frame.  Truth is, when taking buyers to multiple homes over a large geographic area like Raleigh, or anywhere in Wake and Durham County, it is impossible to peg down exact times; be satisfied when agents give a 2 hour window.  Inflexible sellers will discover their listing has gone into the circular file in lieu of easier homes to show.

Puppies are cute, but when selling your home, keep them confined…and odor free!

#4. Being a Stinky Pete. Homes that smell are generally not homes that sell.  Sellers who smoke, have pets, who need a dehumidifier, and have a love affair with Febreeze are not helping their cause. First step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So fix it before Buyers walk in, plug their nose, and say “NEXT!”

#3. Thinking All Buyers Are Pet Lovers.  Benji and Lassi need to be restrained when buyers come.  Buyers who are greeted at the door with barks or hisses may wish to skip and go to the next home. Also realize some buyers may have allergies. So do what you can to help ease their fears. ( Like offering a carpet cleaning allowance or even better… NEW CARPETS (gasp!)

#2. Hiding Behind Door Number 3.  If a door is locked, and buyers can’t see behind it, they are going to assume something horrible and catastrophic is behind the door.  When someone is contemplating spending a $100,000 or more, they want to see what they are buying.

#1. Auditioning for the Next Season Of Hoarders.  Seriously, buyers do not want to tiptoe around your junk – and that is how they see piles of personal belongings. They do not see treasures, memories, and keepsakes. They see overwhelming piles of junk and may make the conclusion that the home lacks enough storage space.  The problem is escalated in the case of damp basements and storage: if your junk smells bad…you are not only a hoarder, but a Stinky Pete, too…a double whammy.

Nobody expects your home to look like Martha Stewart just left the building.  But by the same token, nobody wants to buy a home if all they see are mountains to overcome: mountains of mess, mountains of odors, mountains of challenges.

In this challenging real estate market, do all you can to make sure your home is neat, tidy, and available to buyers. And if you ever want an honest opinion of if your home stinks 😉 give your Real Estate Wonder Woman Kalyn Ringwold a call!

My Picks for Affordable Family Fun in the Triangle

Fall is winding to a close for most kids on the traditional school calendar here in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas…and really everywhere else in the country truth be told. Just a couple of weeks left to play outdoors, ride that new bicycle you got for your Birthday (or last Christmas). Thank God we live down south, and we still have 70 degree days in our future, but those days are rapidly coming to an end. Soon all the leaves will be gone from the trees, the weather will be chilly, and you will be sipping (spiced?) hot chocolate from the comfort of your home. So, what is a family to do in the final days of fall freedom? I’ve got some picks for you!

Spend an afternoon hiking at Raven Rock State Park

Located about 45 minutes from downtown Raleigh and just over an hour from Durham, is one of the most beautiful state parks the Piedmont region of North Carolina has to offer – Raven Rock State Park in Lillington (Harnett County). With miles of trails of varying difficulty (including some for horses!), options for picnicking, canoeing, or fishing, there’s something for every nature lover in the family. For the price of a few gallons of gas and a priceless journey, this might be one option to take the family to.

Go for an adventure at Adventure Landing in Raleigh or at Wheels Fun Park in Durham

If mini-golf, go karting, laser tag, and perfecting your baseball swing at the batting cages are your thing, check out Adventure Landing, especially on Friday nights. Their Friday Night Family Fun Night is a GREAT deal. For $24.99, a family of four can enjoy unlimited mini-golf, unlimited laser tag, and a large pepperoni pizza to curb the hunger after playing all those games! Not bad….and inexpensive too.

Don’t feel like trekking into Raleigh for all you can play mini-golf? Well, if you live in or around the Durham area, check out Wheels Fun Park. There you get all the same attractions and then some! Try your hand at skateboarding in the skateboard park, strap on some skates for some old fashioned roller skating, or check out their indoor play gym. Prices are relatively inexpensive. The smiles on the faces of your children …priceless.

Take the family to a NC State or UNC football game!

Grab your grill’s and head to either of the two college football teams we have in the Triangle. Whether you live in Chapel Hill or Raleigh or somewhere in between there’s some fantastic football to be had. Each stadium has its own schedule for additional family fun promotions so be sure to check each link.

Take your family (including the pooch) to Lake Benson Park in Garner

Being that the park is located just 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and 30 minutes from the Durham or Wake Forest areas, Lake Benson Park is easy to get to and full of all kinds of options for family fun.

With 3 miles of trails spanning the park and its sister location, White Deer Park, you can jog, walk, or bike to your hearts content. There are two playgrounds for the little ones and an expansive field covering several acres for you Frisbee® throwers, football tossers, or if you just want to throw a blanket down for a picnic.

There you have it – a few of my favorites for family fun as the summer winds down. Of course, there’s plenty more to do in the Triangle. Please, if I missed your favorite activity/attraction, share your thoughts in the comments below.

In the meantime, you can catch me tailgating at the football games, enjoying a nice picnic at the lake, and looking out at the scenic vistas.


As always feel free to contact your Real Estate Wonder Woman for any other suggestions on things to do :)

www.RealEstateWonderWoman.com or kringwold@yahoo.com

5 small home improvements that give BIG results

The very mention of ‘home renovation’ in the Raleigh/ Durham area can cause anxiety in homeowners, particularly those who have already gone through the process. Extensive remodeling projects can be expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming, but that does not necessarily apply to every project. There are a number of upgrades that can dramatically improve the look and feel of your home without breaking the bank or creating total chaos in your life. If you are trying to sell your home in Wake County, you will find that inexpensive improvements can yield big returns. Here are five enhancements that fall relatively low on the hassle scale:

1. Hardwood Flooring Installation

Installing hardwood flooring should, in most cases, be left to a contractor, as it requires special equipment and expertise. On the other hand, glue-down hardwood floors are less costly, especially if your home is on a concrete slab. The installation of nailed hardwood floors over concrete requires that a layer of plywood or other suitable wood medium be applied first so that the new product can be attached with nails. However, glue-down flooring eliminates this step because an adhesive is used for the attachment process. It is generally a faster installation as well. For instance, a 400 square foot room floored with 3-inch flooring can usually be completed in 1 to 2 days.

If you already have hardwood floors that are worn, you might want to consider refinishing. Again, this is a job for the well-skilled craftsman, but it will dramatically improve the look of the room and require much less time than a complete replacement. In fact, approximately 86% of homebuyers in 2011 chose a home with hardwood floors, so this renovation is a worthy investment if you plan to sell your home somewhere down the road.

2. Kitchen and Bath Hardware

One of the simplest upgrades that can be performed is the installation of new hardware such as towel racks, cabinet handles, toilet paper dispensers, and other wall-mounted hardware. Several aesthetically pleasing designs are available for a range of prices. If you are handy, this is a true do-it-yourself project.

3. Cabinet Upgrades

Replacing cabinets is an extensive process, particularly in a kitchen. Unfortunately, this process will make that area practically unusable during the renovation. If your cabinets are not dated or damaged, you may opt to refinish the doors and drawer panels instead. In addition, you may want to replace old hardware like pull handles and knobs. This is a much cheaper option and will reduce the disruption since the cabinets themselves do not require demolition.

4. Exterior Door Replacements

The front entry is one of the first things a visitor sees when approaching your home. If the front door is old, warped or damaged, replacement should be considered, not only for cosmetic reasons but for energy efficiency benefits as well. Standard size doors can be purchased at virtually any home improvement center. They may also have an installation option as well, and that can make this a truly painless upgrade.

5. Wall Painting

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for any room. Walls and ceilings get stained and dulled over the years, and a fresh application of paint not only brightens but protects these areas. Painting is a true do-it-yourself project; it does require patience and attention to detail but the outlay for materials and paint is minimal for the benefits gained.


If you head to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore you can score some great deals for remodeling! There’s a location in Raleigh and Cary! If you would like to learn more feel free to send me an email! kringwold@yahoo.com

2420 Raleigh Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27604

181 High House Rd. Cary, NC 27511

Real Estate Wonder Woman Mobile!

Here she is folks! The Real Estate Wonder Woman Mobile!! Let me know what you think :)

Get that home sold!

Here’s the setting. You’re living in a home. You want out. You don’t just want out but you NEED out. It’s time to go because the cops are after you… o.k I hope that’s not the case, but I know there are situations when you’re trying to get out of there as if the cops were after you! 😉 So what do you do? You don’t know the first thing about getting your home sold. All you know is that it’s a buyer’s market and you’re scared. Let me try to ease your fear a little bit… Here are a few helpful tips. Best tip being to USE YOUR REAL ESTATE WONDER WOMAN! I’m here and it’s what I do :)

Negotiating the sale of your home is not just a one hit kind of thing, but a step-by-step strategy that begins long before the first potential buyer walks through the front door.Following strategic steps not only increases the salability of your home, but it may increase the net sale as well.

· The first and most important step you must take is getting the house ready to sell. That’s right I said it. You actually need to dust those cobwebs from the corners… pick up the laundry from the floor, spruce up the paint job, and maybe put a flower pot outside.– Looks are everything in selling your home and you want the buyer to fall in love. The more they love your home, the more negotiating power you retain. Which = more $$ in your pocket at the end.

· You will need to eliminate any attachment to your home. Do not      allow any emotional ties to linger as you fix, clean, scrub, paint, update, and stage your home. Let the importance of selling your home override any memorable moments of your life associated with it. This way, you won’t be offended if the myriad of agents, appraisers, and potential buyers put anything in a negative light. Some use negative input as a negotiating tactic, so try to be impervious to blunt comments or criticisms. Remember that buyers, no matter their behavior, are making one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

· Keep Quiet! During the sale process, you will be communicating with many people. If they are not your agent do not let any person troubles slip. It CAN and WILL be used against you during the negotiations. Your agent is the only one on your side, do not be fooled by friendly potential buyers or buyers agents. Their job is to get the best deal for their client.

·  Find a great Realtor, that has your best interests at heart. Make sure they are available to you, and communicate with you on a weekly basis. Realtors that provide effective ways to market your home or show you staging techniques to make your home stand out are generally willing to work to get the best price. Find yourself an innovative real estate agent who will come up with great ways to bring buyers to your property. Make sure your Realtor has them prequalified first so that you don’t waste time on people who can’t purchase your property. When selling your home time is of the essense.

· When the final stages of negotiation are on the table, respect the buyer’s efforts to purchase your home. Especially with it being a buyers market you will more than likely have to make some concessions. Be prepared. Expect to contribute to closing costs at the very least. At the same time they should be willing to work with you as well. Respond quickly to offers, keep your emotions out of the game, and keep the lines of communication open.

When an agreement to purchase is made, the negotiating does not stop. Houses generally take about 30-60 days to close with the inspection, the appraisal, the purchase contract, and financing process to consider. Your active involvement is helpful to all of those working to finally close the deal. At the end of the day, if both the seller and the buyer walk away satisfied, the real estate transaction will be considered a success.

Lastly CELEBRATE you have gotten your home sold. Your run from the cops can proceed. 😉

Tuesday Food Day!!

Good Morning… Good Morning… How are you?!( In my head this was done in a sing song voice. If you didn’t sing it to yourself please re-read and apply :) )I hope everyone has gotten over their case of the Mondays, because we have officially begun (drum roll please…) TUESDAY FOOD DAY! A day that I’ve decided to dedicate to something we (literally) could not live without! Each week I will present you with a new food related item. It might be a restaurant that I have tried, might be a recipe that I have decided to share, might be just a picture of a burger… Ok it probably will always be more than that, but still anything goes! Why?? Because it’s TUESDAY FOOD DAY!

When I’m not out there being your Real Estate Wonder Woman, and fulfilling all of your real estate needs. I am out hunting for hidden gems within the Triangle.

With this being the start of an epic saga I figured we should kick it off right (football reference in case it went over your head lol), by telling you about one of my favorite hidden gems in the area.

Cloo’s Coney Island-2233 Avent Ferry Rd, Raleigh

In the Mission Valley shopping center

Hidden Gem

Ok here’s the deal. If you haven’t been there before, then you’re wasting time. Stop reading and go NOW! NOW! NOW!

I found this place a while back when I was having a craving for a Chicago style hot dog. Being a Chicago native but living in the south; It’s like finding the Holy Grail for me. Lots of places advertise “Authentic Chicago” but very few deliver. My first time going in I thought I was in heaven. I ordered the Chitown hotdog, cheese fries, and a cheesesteak with everything. :) O it was yum. It was Delcious. It was Outrageous. It was like a little piece of happiness with each and every bite…. Ok maybe I’m overexaggerating a bit but still it was honestly good enough for me to come back every day that week, and I’ve been going there at least 3-4 times a mt since then. The only downside that I know a lot of people complain about is the fact that you have to wait a little bit of time for your food. I myself am O.K with waiting so long as my food tastes great. I mean there is one cook (normally the owner), everything is made to order, and when the line gets long he is doing the best he can!

So if you (like myself) enjoy hot, yummy, greasy food :) This is the place to go! And if you go make sure you come back and let me know. I would love to hear what others have tried. Even though I’ve been going there for a while I have yet to order anything else because my go to is so great lol.

And Remember if you ever need help buying a home or selling your current home within the Raleigh/Durham area, Your Real Estate Wonder Woman Is Just A RINGwold Away!! (get it ring…ringwold…ring…ringwold… ehhh I think you get it) 😉