In this exclusive interview, Joanne Curtin sits down with one of the brightest stars on the Curtin Team, Agent/ Partner Shari Sautner. Shari’s journey in the real estate industry has been nothing short of remarkable, and in this spotlight interview, she shares her insights, experiences, and the key role that joining the Curtin Team has played in her business’s impressive growth.
Shari Sautner, a dynamic and passionate real estate agent, has made significant strides in the industry since becoming a part of the Curtin Team. With her dedication, knowledge, and commitment to providing exceptional service, Shari has not only thrived but also set a shining example for aspiring real estate professionals.
In this candid conversation, Joanne delves into Shari’s personal and professional journey, exploring the pivotal moments that have shaped her career. From the early days of building her client base to the strategies and support that the Curtin Team has provided, Shari shares invaluable tips, insights, and real-world experiences that have led to her remarkable success.
Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to the Curtin Team YouTube channel to stay updated on more enriching content like this!
Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Agent Partner, Shari Sautner
“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.
“Behind the Curtin” Episode 6 – A Historic Home on Roswell’s Wood Place
Charlie and Sharon McCall live in historic downtown Roswell, Georgia. They have updated and renovated a nearly 100 year old home in historic downtown Roswell, Georgia.
Joanne: Where did you live before purchasing your house on Wood Place?
Charlie: We lived in Chicago. Before that, we were in Atlanta since 1982, coming from Salt Lake City due to a company transfer. Then in 1992, we were transferred to Chicago. After about two and a half years, we decided to move back and bought this house 31 years ago.
Joanne: How have you increased your property’s value over time? What renovations have you done?
Charlie: We remodeled the bathrooms, added a master bedroom suite, created a bonus room in the attic, and continuously landscaped the yard. We also added a pool and patio in the back.
Joanne: Did you use a designer for the renovations?
Charlie: We hired a contractor for the inside work like the bathrooms and kitchen. We also had a friend who is a builder help us with the design for the master bedroom area. He incorporated our preferences, like a walk-in shower, into the blueprint.
Joanne: Since the house is 100 years old, were there any restrictions or requirements for adding on?
Charlie: Our street opted out of being part of the historic district, so we don’t have building restrictions specific to that. However, we still need to adhere to the city of Roswell’s permit requirements.
Joanne: What does your home have that you really needed?
Charlie: The main thing we needed was more space, so adding a master bedroom was crucial. We also updated the bathrooms and kitchen for modernization rather than increasing square footage.
Joanne: Which room in the house is your favorite and why?
Charlie: I love the middle of the house where we spend most of our time. We added a sunroom to bring in more natural light since the older part of the house didn’t have many windows. The charm of the house really struck me in that central area.
Joanne: Are there three fireplaces now that come off that central area?
Charlie: Yes, there are three fireplaces in a triangle formation—one in the bedroom, one in the living room, and one in the den. They all work, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy that part of the house. These three separate fireplaces share the same chimney. We had the chimney rebuilt with new brickwork and mortar, and added gas logs for easy use.
Joanne: Charlie, what’s your favorite part about the property?
Charlie: The den and sunroom are where we spend most of our time. We also love the spacious bedroom and the yard, especially when the weather is nice.
Joanne: It’s interesting how COVID made us appreciate what we value in a property, such as landscape and outdoor spaces.
Charlie: Absolutely, we have added decks and outdoor areas to make the most of our property.
Joanne: Did you have any favorite sources or places where you bought things for your house?
Charlie: We focus mainly on finding items that fit well in the smaller rooms of our house.
Joanne: After living here for 31 years, where do you like to shop for furniture and decor?
Charlie: We do a lot of online shopping and also visit Home Depot and Lowe’s. We also enjoy salvage stores and flea markets for unique finds.
Joanne: Are there any specific salvage stores or flea markets nearby that you frequent?
Charlie: There’s a place called Board of Trade [goboardoftrade.com] where we found our living room sofa and other items that fit well in our small rooms.
Joanne: Was there anything during your home renovations that you splurged on and couldn’t live without?
Charlie: The pool and the kitchen were definitely splurges. We didn’t necessarily need them, but we’re glad we have them now.
Joanne: What did you learn from the process of building the pool and outdoor kitchen?
Charlie: We love being able to enjoy the pool and cookouts outdoors.
Yeah, that’s a nice extra-large patio. And then there’s the outdoor fireplace out there. Gas Grill built in and gas cooktops and sink with hot and cold water.
Joanne: It’s all about being outside and enjoying the space, right?
Charlie: One thing we would do differently is to prioritize privacy in our outdoor area, especially around the kitchen. The neighboring house was torn down, and the new one overlooks our property, making it feel exposed. We added a fireplace to block the view of the pool, but we still plan to find a way to enhance privacy. Overall, we are happy with everything.
Joanne: Let’s discuss your impressive pool. What type of lining does it have? Is it lined with pebble tech? Is it a mineral or a saltwater pool?
Charlie: It’s actually a saltwater pool. The company that constructed it used to be located on Highway nine. The pool is made of concrete with steel walls and steel posts surrounding the edges. Concrete was poured on the floors and slides, and then they applied a hybrid membrane, which I believe is a combination of different materials.
Joanne: And could you please spell the name of the pool company for me?
Charlie: Is it spelled as DESJOYAUX. [www.desjoyaux.com]
Joanne: So now that you’ve completed your pool and everything, if money was not a concern, what would be your next project or improvement?
Charlie: We would focus on the floors. Currently, the floors are a bit challenging because the house is old and uneven. We actually laid tiles in the dining room and sunroom as one of our initial projects. However, due to the unevenness of the house, it’s difficult to lay flooring throughout consistently. We want to match the existing hardwood floors but aren’t sure if they can be laid or if we need to replace them entirely.
Joanne: I agree with you. It might be better to cover the existing tile with something rather than removing it completely. That seems to be the trend nowadays. After completing the pool and the outdoor kitchen area, is there anything you believe should not be compromised when making additions or improvements?
Charlie: Yes, I think getting a reliable contractor who will do more than just come in and install a product, but can also help with issues that older homes have.
Selling a home is a big decision, and one of the most important aspects of the process is determining the right price. Unfortunately, some sellers make the mistake of pricing their homes too high, which can lead to a host of problems down the line. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why people price their homes too high when they sell them, and the potential consequences of doing so.
1. Testing the Market
One of the most common reasons why people price their homes too high is because they want to “test the market.” In other words, they want to see if there are any buyers out there who are willing to pay more than what they think their home is worth. While this may seem like a logical strategy, it can backfire in a big way. Overpricing your home can make it less appealing to buyers who are looking in your price range, and it can also turn off potential buyers who might be willing to pay more for a home that is priced appropriately. For example, a home that is worth $600K and the list price was $600K, it would be more likely to get that amount. However, if you listed a home that was only worth $575K for $600K, price reductions might eventually lead to a sale price of only $540K.
2. Leaving Room for Negotiations
Another reason why people may overprice their homes is that they want to leave room for negotiations. They may assume that buyers will try to negotiate the price down, so they start with a higher price in order to end up at the price they really want. However, this strategy can also be counterproductive. If your home is significantly overpriced, buyers may not even bother making an offer, or they may assume that you’re not serious about selling.
3. Believing a Higher List Price Will Result in a Higher Sale Price
Some sellers mistakenly believe that if they list their home at a higher price, they will end up selling it for more money. However, this is not necessarily the case. Buyers are savvy, and they will typically do their research to determine what a home is really worth. If your home is priced much higher than other similar homes in the area, buyers may simply choose to look elsewhere.
4. Misinformed About the Market
Finally, some sellers may overprice their homes because they are misinformed about the market. They may have received bad advice from a friend, neighbor, or another realtor who is not familiar with the local market conditions. It’s important to work with a realtor who has experience selling homes in your area and who can provide you with accurate information about pricing and market trends.
So, what are the consequences of overpricing your home? The most obvious consequence is that your home may sit on the market for longer than it should. This can lead to a variety of problems, including:
• Reduced interest from buyers
• Fewer showings
• Lowball offers
• A lower eventual sales price
In addition, if your home sits on the market for too long, it can start to develop a stigma. Buyers may assume that there is something wrong with the home, or they may wonder why it hasn’t sold yet. This can make it even more difficult to sell the home in the future.
In conclusion, pricing your home appropriately is crucial if you want to sell it quickly and for a fair price. While it may be tempting to overprice your home for any of the reasons mentioned above, it’s important to resist the urge and work with a realtor who can provide you with accurate information about pricing and market conditions. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfalls of overpricing and increase your chances of a successful sale.
The Curtin Team’s CEO, Tom Curtin and Director of Sales, Christy Smith explain the benefits of mortgage rate buy downs for buyers and sellers. Like many practices in the world of Real Estate, mortgage hacks depend on Buyer/Seller goals, timelines, and preferences. Buy-downs are unique, though, because they offer direct benefits to both Buyers and Sellers in the short term and long term. They allow houses to be sold more efficiently, less stress with high monthly payments for Buyers, and less interest payment over time. If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, don’t forget that there are ways for you to save money during the process.
On a successful real estate team, everyone has a specialized role that aligns with their skills. Agents are talented at contract negotiations and pricing. Administrative teams are talented at paperwork, details, and organization. Marketing specialists are talented at getting houses as much organic exposure as possible. Essentially, every team member provides value to the business by serving clients and always looking to help their teammates when possible. Over the years, many of the Curtin Team’s clients have expressed that they enjoy having a contact available to answer their questions, which is exactly what our team is available to do. Unlike solo agents who might be constantly busy and out in the field showing homes, our staff is in the office and able to help our clients with anything they need throughout the buying or selling process.
Working with a team means you get combined experience, which leads to smoother deals and less headaches. As a team, we invest in the best systems, tools, technology, knowledge, and talent available. We feel the scope of today’s real estate transaction goes beyond one person and that an agent acting on their own can’t possibly provide the level of service needed to get the job done well. This is why clients prefer team interactions, and previously solo agents are so glad they’ve found the right group once they’ve made the switch. An individual real estate agent won’t have the time, cumulative knowledge, or assets required to invest in the best tools and execute the marketing strategies required to give homes maximum exposure and quick selling times, but well-established groups can provide all of these and more.
As an agent working on a team, there’s greater fulfillment developing your inherent skills and being able to trust teammates to work behind the scenes for your clients. Many studies have linked employee happiness with customer satisfaction. A company’s ability to deliver a greater customer experience relies on hardworking team members who always look out for each other. When an agent works on a team, they enjoy a more balanced life. The work is divided and the responsibilities are shared. They can lean into their team for help when things don’t go their way, and they have a support system that brings the peace of mind that is so difficult to find when working alone. And most especially, their clients are happier. The stability, camaraderie, and effectiveness of real estate teams like the Curtin Team make everyone’s lives easier – both our clients and our agents included.
There are endless possibilities of what you can spend money on to improve your home. From simple upgrades to massive renovations, it can be overwhelming deciding where to start. To help, we’ve put together a list of priorities as we see it from a Realtor’s perspective. It’s important to start with what you love and enjoy (especially if you plan to be in your home for at least 4 more years) and prioritize the area of your home that you know you’ll get the most enjoyment out of first. On the other end, if there’s something in your home that causes you stress every time you see it, change it. Renovating can be a challenge, but assessing your wants, needs, and budget is a great first step.
Up To $5,000 Budget
1. Interior Paint – Fresh paint gives you the best bang for your buck. Depending on the size of your home, you may be able to get most of your main living area painted for under $5,000.
2. New Kitchen Backsplash / Updated Light Fixtures – An eat-in kitchen, dining room, or foyer chandelier provide a fresh, updated look without breaking the bank. If you have the builder-standard fluorescent rectangle in your kitchen: get rid of it! Replace with a new modern handing light or recessed lights.
3. New Bathroom Vanities – If you have any bathrooms that have laminate counters, this signals that the vanity is dated, too. You can purchase a new vanity that also has a built-in stone counter and new sink all together. You’ll just need to purchase a matching upgraded fixture to go with it.
4. New Front Door/ Refinishing Wood Doors – A new front door adds great curb appeal. Front doors make such an important first impression! When you’re selling your home, you always want the entrance way to be in top shape. Picture this: the buyers and their realtor approach your home, the buyers are eagerly looking around to assess the entrance, and the Realtor is trying to open the lockbox. Entry is not immediate — it can take a minute or two to get the lockbox open and enter the home. If you have rotten wood or an old pealing door, this will set the stage for a buyer’s negative impression of your home.
5. Exterior Cleaning – Power washing can be a surprisingly affordable way to make your exterior look new again. Your house, driveway, walkways, and roof can all be power washed for a fresh look. Add professional window cleaning and you’ll be looking great!
Up To $25,000 Budget
1. Flooring – Wood floors in main living areas and new carpet in bedrooms make a big difference. Real hardwood flooring is a timeless style and will never be an outdated choice. Color choices can vary and add personality but try to avoid extremes. And, you can refinish hardwood and change the look if needed.
2. Kitchen Appliance Upgrades / New Kitchen Counters – If your home is in a luxury price point, buyers will expect high-end appliances. The stove or cook top is the center piece, so consider this first.
3. Bathroom Vanities – We covered this in the $5,000 budget section, but if you have multiple bathrooms to upgrade, you’ll easily spend more than that. If your primary bathroom doesn’t have a dual vanity and you can find a way to add one, that will be a great investment. Pro-tip: This may also save you from arguments with your significant other if you’ve been sharing a sink.
4. Retiling – Primary shower and floors can often use new tiling, along with adding a standalone tub. Avoid trendy or colorful tile. Remember, light and bright is timeless.
5. Cabinet Makeover – Painting or refacing cabinets and changing out hardware is a simple but effective project.
Budget up to $100,000
1. Full Kitchen Update – New appliances, quartz or quartzite counters, backsplash, fresh paint; depending on size of kitchen, you may or may not be able to fully replace cabinets with this budget. Style and trends in kitchens change frequently. If you’re worried about making the right design choices, it’s always best to go light and bright, aiming for a timeless look that will last. The average cost of a full kitchen renovation in our area now averages over $150,000, so to stay on budget, consider hiring a professional designer who can help you find cost savings and make the right design choices.
2. Finished Basement – Adding additional finished space is a big bang for your buck. Adding a media room, an exercise room, office space, an additional bathroom, or an additional entertainment area will add huge value to a home.
3. Outdoor Living Space – An exterior gathering area like an outdoor fireplace, a new porch, or an upgraded deck are great additions. Consider high performance composite decking, a common brand is Trex, for great quality and value.
4. Exterior Upgrade – Fresh paint, a new roof, and new landscaping can transform the look of your home completely and even make your neighbors jealous with this project. Maybe they will follow your lead and paint their houses, too!
5. New Cement Siding / Windows – Many homes in our area built between the 1980s-90s were built using a siding referred to as OSB, or Orient Strand Board. One of the common brands that was used is called “LP” siding. This siding is a wood fiber glued together that deteriorates over time and is susceptible to moisture and other weather damage. New cement board siding, one of the popular brands is “Hardie Plank,” is made from a cement fiber that can withstand moisture and weather damage. If your home was built using OSB siding, it is also likely to have wooden single-pane windows. A major upgrade that will pay off when selling your home is replacing all of the siding and windows. Upgrading your windows to new dual-pane windows will enhance the curb appeal of your home and you’ll realize energy savings + noise reduction.
Renovating in today’s market requires patience and flexibility. The pandemic has caused price increases due to supply shortages and rising labor costs. Labor is hard to find, and you’ll need to plan ahead carefully with materials. We suggest that you make a plan and order supplies before you begin. Some appliances and fixtures can take weeks or months to come in, certain paints are hard to find, and the list goes on. In the end, it will be worth it! We hear it all the time: “I should have done this years ago!” Don’t delay and wait until you’re about to sell your home. Do it now and enjoy it without breaking the bank!
You’ve signed the listing agreement and now you’re getting ready to have your home photographed. As a Curtin Team client, you have the benefit of our Home Stylists who provide exceptional home staging services. But there is plenty that you can do to prepare your home before it hits the market.
We all know that staged homes sell for more money. But very few of us have the time or energy to clean and declutter every square inch of our homes. So, let’s focus on the rooms that will make the most impact and get those potential buyers excited to make a great offer on your home. Take a tour of your home as if you were a potential buyer. What stands out to you? It will probably get their attention as well.
Front Porches – staging means cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing. Does your front porch feel inviting? Does the front door need to be repaired or repainted? If you have enough room for a seating area, make sure it is clean with fresh cushions and some potted plants. Buyers will feel welcome before they even enter the home.
Living rooms – or whatever is the very first room you see when you walk in the front door. Get the carpets cleaned, dust and declutter shelves and tables, and paint it a neutral color, if necessary. Also, be sure to clean the windows (or have them professionally cleaned).
Kitchens – the number 1 staging rule is to clear those countertops! Time spent cleaning and organizing the kitchen will definitely pay off. Updates to lighting and paint color are worth it too. Something as simple as fresh hand towels can brighten up the space.
Bedrooms – specifically the owner’s bedroom. Minimizing the amount of furniture can help buyers imagine their own items in the space.
The best staging tip we’ve found is to clean, clean, clean. If you do nothing else, that will make your home feel fresh and welcoming.
Mortgage rates rose today, but rates overall are at historical lows. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.47%, according to Bankrate.com, and the average rate on a 15-year mortgage is 3.64%. On a 30-year jumbo mortgage, the average rate is 4.48%, and the average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 2.96%. These rates are just averages and subject to change daily. For current rates contact your preferred lender.
During the pandemic we had historically low rates. The factors that most affect the rate increases today are inflation and economic growth. But rates can change for various reasons. Overall though, rates are expected to continue to go up this year.
Does this mean you should cancel your home buying plans? Absolutely not! Even though rates are higher than in 2021 they are still very low. 30-year fixed rates were in the high 5%’s just a few years ago.
Buying a home isn’t just about interest rates though, it’s also about making a lifestyle choice. It’s best to find right house for you when the time is right for you. Home values have historically risen and now is a good time to get in to your dream home.
Kanani Briggs, Realtor, and Cheri Bartlett, Space Strategist, discuss the ways you can start organizing your home in preparation of a Spring sale. Cheri offers tips on tackling difficult areas to organize as well as the services she offers homeowners to help them move items out of their homes.
For more information, contact Kanani Briggs at email@example.com or 678-287-4848.
Successful home sellers know that the key to a quicker, less stressful sale begins with an appropriate listing price. Before boxes are packed or walls are painted, understanding your home’s market value should be your number one priority. General Market Analysis Summary also known as a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is the first step to estimate the value of a home sale relative to comparable properties in your area.
Factors that influence a CMA include:
– Square footage
– The number of bedrooms and baths
– The age of the home
– Construction and style
– Neighborhood and schools
However, not all CMA’s are the same. There is no standard process for creating CMA’s. Each agent has their own tools and methodology. The CMA you receive from the Curtin Team is different than CMA’s developed by other agents because we use a variety of tools such as the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), tax records, and an understanding of off-market sales. This deep knowledge of the local market makes our CMA’s invaluable to sellers looking to price their homes appropriately for the market.
A CMA from the Curtin Team helps match buyers and sellers with the best options in their price range and desired location and allows sellers’ homes to spend the shortest possible time on the market. Our List to Sale price ratio (seller’s asking price to the actual sale price) is above industry averages because of the way we strategically analyze this data to accurately price your home.