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My Favorite Closing 2016

by Colleen Lawler

I sell a lot of houses, but each one was a home to someone, and is going to be a home to someone else. Over the past 30 years, there is always a home or two every year that has extra special meaning to me.

This year, I listed an older home in Ballwin.  Mom had moved into a retirement home, and Dad had passed away several years ago.  All 3 children met me at their parent's home to discuss how to go about the sale. The proceeds would continue to support Mom in her new home.  

Sometimes when I meet a family like this, they give new meaning to the FUN in "Dysfunctional".  This family is NOT that way at all. They were respectful of each other and it was very clear that they loved this little home on a pretty piece of land in the heart of Ballwin.  They love each other, and they love their mom. Their sole focus was to do right for their mother, but they hoped that a family would purchase the home and love it as much as they knew their mom and dad had.

The middle of this story is sort of sad, with a buyer who was mean and greedy and reminded me a lot of the Grinch.  But the END of the story...let's just say that a lot of god happened.

The Gary Sinise Foundation purchased the property and will be building a home for retired Ballwin Police Officer Michael Flamion and his wife Sarah.  It will be a smart home and will accommodate his needs as he navigates life from a wheelchair after being shot during what should have been a routine traffic stop.  The house is about 1 minute from the Ballwin Police Department, so that even though he had to retire from the force to receive the benefits he needs, he will continue to be a part of the Ballwin Police Department.  The officers of the Ballwin Police Department do not want to lose touch with Officer Flamion and they intend to stay involved in his life.

The Fischer family is thrilled.  They really wanted to participate in something that would benefit this officer. Sitting in my office as we worked through the details, one of them said,  "The honorable Fischer Family wants more than anything to convey this home to the honorable Flamion Family"

There were lots of big and little things that happened as all this played out.  Like the day one of the Fischers got a magazine with Gary Sinise on the cover.  That Jim Schubert is on the Sinise Foundation Board, is from St Louis, happened to be at a board meeting when Officer Flamion was shot, and had big a hand in putting this together.  That the Ballwin Police Department is pretty amazing. That the Fischers met their goals, to see this home go to the right family for the right reasons, and to take good care of their mom.  

I am so moved by the spirit of the Fischers, and by the commitment the department has to their fellow officer, that organizations like the Sinise Foundation make such a difference. God Bless the Fischers, the wonderful people at the Sinise Foundation, the Ballwin Police, and Officer Michael Flamion.  Each and every one.


10 Easy TTD's as you prepare to list your home

by Colleen Lawler

When I show a home, little things can mean a lot.  Consider addressing these easy little things to make a great first impression:

Front porch - sweep it, clean it, and make sure the exterior lighting is shining inside and out.

Air Return Vents - use a vacuum attachment to clean these of dust bunnies.

Ceiling Fans - clean the tops of those fans! 

Window Sills - open the window and clean between the window and the screen

Inside plants - get rid of brown leaves and overgrowth - if they don't look great, give them a decent burial.

HVAC - have your furnace and a/c serviced, then use that vacuum attachment to clean the top of the appliance, and if you have something "gucky" where the condensation hose drains, clean it.  Purchase a pack of furnace filters and change every 30 days.  For the rest of your life.

Water Heater - clean the top of the hot water just sits there collecting dust for years.  

Linen Closets - PURGE!  get rid of all the mis-matched towels and linens.  Pull everything out, and put on your OCD to put it back together again.

Decks, sidewalks and patios -  Power wash all these surfaces, everything will look 5 years newer.  Guys love to power wash things so if you are woman, go find a man, hand him the power washer and let him have that fun.  

Basement - Go to the unfinished part of your basement and look up.  See cobwebs? Go on attack with your vacuum attachment.  

Some of these chores will take less than 15 minutes.  All of them will help your buyer see your home as cared for.  It's not like buyers are going to stare at the water heater and marvel that it's the cleanest one they have ever seen, but they will come away with an overall impression that is positive.  

Remember that you are in competition with other sellers,  Some of them will be tooth brushing the lint out of the dryer vents and replacing dirty light bulbs!

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Contact Information

Photo of Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam Real Estate
Colleen Lawler & The IrvineTeam
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
111 Chesterfield Towne Centre
Chesterfield MO 63005
Office: 636-391-2100
Toll Free: 800-791-3276
Fax: 636-536-3018