The Blog

Your Dream Closet Is Here

Categories: Featured Home of the Week | Posted: February 20, 2017

Are you the type of person who needs a separate closet just for shoes?  This home has all the space you’d need!  The unique angles of this home give it very large spaces in the master and living areas.  It still needs a couple of updates, but why not make it look exactly how you like it?  Couple all that with an amazing neighborhood and a great yard and you’ve got someplace you can stay for years!

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I Wish That Pesky Salesman Would Just Shut Up And Listen

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: February 17, 2017

This morning I met with a wonderful couple that needs to sell their home in Liberty, MO. I’d spoken with the wife briefly on the phone a few days earlier and got quite a bit of the information that I needed. We took about one hour to tour their home, then sat down at the table and went over the market analysis I brought with me. During this time I continued to ask questions about their family, the home improvements they’d done, and what they hoped to get in their next home purchase.

I typically like to let the clients talk about 70% of the time, and I try to talk no more than 30% of the time. It’s been my experience that I need to let them do most of the talking so I can determine if I can help them. If I do all the talking, it does not work.

When we finished, I thanked them and stood up to put on my coat. At that point the wife glanced at her husband and then back at me and said, “Ron, I think we’re both on the same page and we want you to help us with our home sale and finding a new home.” I said, “Judy, that makes me very happy to hear that. Would you mind sharing with me how you were able to make this decision so quickly?”

I loved Judy’s answer. “Well we read through many of your past client reviews on Zillow so we already knew a lot about you. I guess everything you’ve said here today makes sense to us, but I guess what I love the most is that you seemed to care about us more than the other agents we interviewed. They just wanted to tell us how great they are and how much they know.”

What Judy and Tom did not realize is that I really didn’t talk that much about me. I simply asked a lot of questions about them and their needs. Judy had already read everything she wanted to know about me online. She clearly thought I was capable of helping them or she wouldn’t have invited me to their home to meet with them. Great salespeople know that by asking a lot of questions, you get to know the clients needs, but it also makes them feel like you care about them. It makes them feel like they are important. There are plenty of very smart people in the world that know their business inside and out, but research shows time and again, people buy from people that care about THEM!

Let me give you an example that I just had happen to me personally. I’ve been using the same carpet and flooring contractor for the last 10 years. When Sam Byler decided to close the doors and retire at the end of last year, I knew I would need to find a replacement. To Sam’s credit, he’d taken such good care of my clients that I never needed another carpet guy. I decided to interview several flooring contractors to make sure I found “another Sam Byler.”

Several agents recommended one particular lady and said, “She’s awesome!” I booked an appointment to meet with her in my office so we could talk and make sure she understood exactly what I need and expect from one of my vendors. When she arrived, she seemed scatterbrained and unprepared. She plopped a bunch of samples down on the conference table and proceeded to vomit all of the information that she just learned at a flooring trade show in Las Vegas. Apparently she thought the way to sell me was to tell me everything she knows and then I would clearly be impressed enough to buy from her. Sure, this was all great information, but when she left I seriously doubted that she knew anything about my needs. She interrupted me several times and when I tried to talk she just wouldn’t shut up and listen. I even told my Chief Operations Officer, Elizabeth Gilbert, “I don’t think she even heard a word I said. My concern is that if I send her to meet with one of our clients, she won’t listen to them either.”

A few days later, I drove to Liberty to meet with Richard Nibarger of Richard’s Carpet and Tile. It was late in the day and I knew they were about ready to close up and lock the front door when I arrived, but Richard greeted me, gave me a quick tour of their store, and then asked a lot of questions to determine my needs and the needs of my clients. We didn’t talk about how many brands of carpet they carry. We didn’t talk about how long they’ve been in business. We didn’t even talk about Richard’s background or experience, although he clearly knows the carpet and flooring business. All he did was listen and ask questions to make me feel like I was important. That’s what great sales people and business owners do. It’s not about them, it’s about the customer. That’s why I’m now recommending them to all my clients.

Have you ever had a great experience with a sales person in the past? I’m willing to bet it’s because they made it about YOU and not about THEM.


Things to Do This Weekend – Feb 17-19

Categories: Kansas City North Lifestyle, Newsletter | Posted: February 15, 2017

Has winter got you down? Commiserate with others over a glass of wine (or several) at Let’s Wine About Winter in Downtown Liberty on Saturday from 1PM – 5PM. This wine crawl includes over 20 wine stops and unique shopping and dining.

Like sports? How about taking in a Missouri Mavericks hockey game? They take on the Quad City Mallards on Saturday at 7:05PM.

If you like BBQ, take a trip to Riverside and get the burnt ends at Hawg Jaw. You won’t be disappointed! (But get there on Friday or Saturday; they’re closed on Sunday!)

Love the Lake Life in this Completely Updated Home

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 13, 2017

Love the lake life, but don’t want to deal with 1970’s decor?  This one is for you.  Weatherby Lake is a great community with a lot of really unique style.  However, it’s difficult to find a home at a reasonable price that’s been updated for today’s tastes.  This one looks great, but is functional too.  It’s got a great open layout and tons of light coming into the living areas.

To see additional photos click

Inspection Repairs Cost This Seller $7,850

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: February 10, 2017

As a Realtor, I’ve sold over 650 homes in the last 11 years, and delayed repairs is the number one thing I see that ends up financially hurting sellers in the sale of their home. Choosing the wrong agent is a very close number two on the list, but in reality those two are mutually related. Let me tell you a story as an example.

Two weeks ago I was showing a home in Liberty, Missouri, to one of our first time home buyers. The home had just come on the market that morning and it was very updated with new interior and exterior paint, new light fixtures, newer appliances, one updated bathroom, and the kitchen even had granite counters with a modern tile backsplash. To be honest, I thought the home was under-priced at $124,000 and I told our buyers that too.

About that time, the front door opened and a man stepped in. He apologized and said he was the homeowner and that he just needed to leave a new door handle for the handyman to replace on the sliding glass door. I told him I thought he’d done some nice updates to the house. He thanked me and then said, “I sure hope someone is interested and makes an offer. I’m tired of spending money on this home. We actually put this home on the market five months ago at $137,900 but buyers complained about all the different paint colors, the carpet needing to be replaced, the kitchen being outdated, and they thought it was overpriced.”

I asked him where he’s living right now. He said, “We bought our new home and moved out several months ago because my Realtor said this home would sell super fast. We lowered the price five times down to $124,000 and still no one was making an offer. My agent said I needed to take it off the market and do some updates so we spent about $10,000 for new paint inside and out, replaced some light fixtures and updated the kitchen and the bathroom downstairs.”

I thanked him for the information and as he was walking out the front door, he mentioned the insurance adjuster may be coming by to check on the roof. Some other roofs in the neighborhood have been replaced due to recent hail damage so he thought he should have his insurance company take a look. As he shut the front door and got into his car, I turned to our buyers and said, “Wow! That guy has gotten some bad advice from his agent. If he would have done some of this work before putting it on the market, he would have sold it immediately and probably gotten another $10,000. As it stands now, he spent $10,000 to update it and he’s now selling it at a discounted price too.”

Our clients did end up making a full price offer later that day, and it’s a good thing we moved fast because I’m sure this home would have gotten multiple offers if we had hesitated in making our offer. Unfortunately, when we completed the home inspections with David Moore of Advantage Home Inspections, we found that the furnace and air conditioner need to be replaced. As a matter of fact, the furnace has elevated levels of carbon monoxide pouring out into the home that could be dangerous. The filter is filthy and it’s doubtful the homeowner had it serviced in the last five years. On top of that, there are several plumbing issues and the home has elevated levels of radon gas so that will have to be remedied at some point.

We got an estimate from Res-Q Services to replace the A/C and furnace for $5,100. The radon mitigation system from Certified Radon is $750 and we guess that fixing the plumbing issues with Taylor Plumbing can be somewhere in the ballpark of $1,000 to $2,000.

To be honest I feel sorry for the homeowner. At this point he’s had the home for sale around five months, he’s lowered the price about $12,000, he’s made improvements to the home at a cost of around $10,000, and now he’s about to get hammered with inspection items of $7,850. He really does not have much of a choice at this point. If he refuses to make the repairs, he will have to put the home back on the market and I guarantee the next buyer will want all these items fixed. Oh, and the roof does have hail damage so that has to be replaced too.

Can you now see how choosing the wrong agent and not doing a proper evaluation of the home up front can hurt you? To be honest though, this guy did have options available to him. If I were his agent he would have never been in this position as I would have advised him to have the furnace checked, repaint some of the interior, and maybe replace a few light fixtures before putting it on the market. I don’t know what the kitchen counters and backsplash looked like before, but I never would have suggested he replace the counters with granite in a $124,000 to $135,000 home. Save your money there because buyers won’t expect granite in that price point.

After we emailing all the inspection reports to the sellers agent, our transaction manager, Courtney Downer called his office phone to speak with him. The receptionist at the office said, “He teaches school full time during the day and only works part-time as a Realtor. You’ll have to call him on his cell phone after 3:30pm when he’s available.” Courtney rolled her eyes and said to me, “Of course he is!”


Things to Do This Weekend – Feb 10-12

Categories: Kansas City North Lifestyle, Newsletter, Remodeling | Posted: February 8, 2017

Help out a furry friend on Saturday by attending Chocolate 4 Paws, a fundraiser for Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter. Gobble up some heavy hors d’eurvres, chocolates, and other sweets and perhaps indulge a bit at the cash bar.

Take in a night at the opera! Phantom of The Opera is playing at the Music Hall this weekend. Get your tickets here.

Need to update your home or garden? The KC Remodel + Garden Show takes place this weekend at the American Royal Center.

“Ron and his team were truly amazing.”

Categories: Reviews | Posted: February 7, 2017


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Looking for that perfect neighborhood?

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: February 6, 2017

Looking for that perfect neighborhood? You know the one; when you drive home in the evening, people are running, walking dogs, kids playing in the front yards and cul-de-sacs? Thousand Oaks is that neighborhood. This home is on a wonderful small cul-de-sac, one block away from the swim team pool. It’s almost impossible to find a really nice home in Park Hill Schools under $350,000 right now, so this is a steal!

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Above and beyond

Categories: Reviews | Posted: February 3, 2017

Made in America

Categories: Newsletter | Posted: February 3, 2017

Is it just me, or is the “Made in America” movement making a big comeback? Tonight I was watching ABC News and David Muir was interviewing a custom suit tailor in New York City that’s been hand making custom suits for over 50 years. Ok, so custom tailored men’s suits are nothing new, but I found it odd to see an evening news broadcast that was showcasing a small business owner under the banner of “Made in America.” I don’t think we’ve seen that during the last decade.

Just a few months ago I was browsing the GE website looking at GE’s new “Slate” appliances line (which by the way, are awesome) and I do not remember ever seeing a “made in the USA” logo on that website, but today the GE site has a whole page devoted to this.

Last September, Budweiser even threw a big party in Philadelphia with the illustrious title, “Budweiser – Made in America Festival“. That too caught my attention and I get that Budweiser is simply using a large festival to align themselves as an “American brand,” but Budweiser sponsors all kinds of shows, events, and festivals. Why the term, “Made in America” and why now?

I’m guessing it’s because President Trump has made it cool again? He was criss-crossing the country last year with his “Make America Great” campaign slogan and telling workers in Midwestern to Northeastern cites that he’s going to bring the jobs back to America. No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, you can’t argue that America needs good paying jobs and keeping more jobs in the US means a healthier economy. When Americans are working, everyone is a little bit happier.

I for one couldn’t be happier with promoting jobs in the US, but even more so, promoting our local economy right here in Kansas City. Companies such as HallmarkSprintDSTCernerH&R BlockGarmin and Russell Stover Candies all call Kansas City home. When one of these companies goes through a hiring faze or round of layoffs, we definitely feel it in the Kansas City real state market. In researching this article, I even found a company that promotes things that are made right here in Kansas City:

The statement “America does not make anything anymore” is a lie. China only passed America in net-output manufacturing in 2011–a fact that media and policymakers often overlook. True, we’ve lost some major iconic brands that were originally made in America. Rawlings baseballs are now made in Costa Rica, Gerber Baby Food is now a Swiss-owned company, and Mattel manufactures 98% of its toys outside of the United States, but the US still produced 16.77 trillion dollars of domestic products this last year.

I think we’ll start to see a “Made in America” logo popping up on more products in the next year or so. It’s obvious that many companies will take advantage of this movement, but let’s hope it does continue and that some new businesses develop because of this. Once the media begins to jump on the bandwagon and broadcast it, you’ll see it even more. What have you seen recently?



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