Monday, July 7, 2014

First Taste of Charleston

One of our first trips to Charleston was to house-hunt. Exploring the local community and culture, we were ready to start checking out the local FLAVOR that Charleston is so famous for. RB's on Shem Creek in Mt. Pleasant was highly recommended, and it will definitely stay of my list of favorites. I have been craving the Sashimi Tuna ever since! If you are a Mahi Mahi fan, the Stuffed Mahi was amazing! Definitely add this one to your list of places to eat!

Lovin' Life in the Lowcountry, 


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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Our Life in the Lowcountry

Moving to a new town, city, state, country----Always comes with a period of exploration of unfamiliar surroundings.  Moving to Charleston, which is made up of three counties, is not just a lot of beautiful landscape to enjoy, but a lot of things to do, places to shop, communities to live, places to get away to on vacation, beaches to enjoy, places to wine and dine, and more!

As part of my move to Charleston, I started a new Facebook page to share with friends and family, as a way to keep updated and informed of our new coastal life.  Since I am moving my real estate career to Carolina One-Central in Charleston, I am finding this is an excellent way for me to get a more in-depth understanding of a lot of the places that I may be asked about.  While the knowledge will be a beneficial resource to my clients and customers, I am enjoying the added benefit of learning so much interesting history behind many of these places.....It isn't just an alley, bridge, restaurant, historical home or garden......There may have been wars fought, loved ones buried, films made, books written, or ancestors that, when traced back, were somehow involved in some way of the structures and landmarks we are seeing as we are walking, strolling or driving over, under or by!

So join me on this fun journey to check out this town full of tales, treasures and truths!

My Facebook page is:

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Last Lap

In my younger days, I was a competitive swimmer and diver. One thing I learned was that you have to get a good start off the block, stay consistent and focused and as you get to the final lap, you give it all you've got to touch the wall before anyone else does. For me, the most exciting part of a race is the last lap, when the adrenalin kicks in and you give it all you've got!  What a rush!!!

In real estate, it’s the same way.  Reaching your goal requires you to get off to an aggressive start, remain consistent along the way, and to give it all you've got to the very end, and if necessary, kicking it up a notch to come out ahead. You never know how much you can accomplish until you give it more than you ever thought you were capable of giving.

Well, my friends, it is time for me to finish my last lap in Houston County. My family and I will be moving to Charleston, SC in late August-early September, 2014. Never one to hold back and tread water to pass the time, I will be going full speed ahead to the very end, especially with my real estate business.  This means new buyers and sellers to the very end, then referrals after that! When it comes time to say goodbye, I will be leaving my clients in the care of one of my amazing Golden Key colleagues.  I will hand-pick an agent to take care of your real estate needs, and I will be just a phone call away when you need me!  I have chosen to transfer my license to Carolina One Real Estate in the Charleston area, but will still be available to you for referrals in and out of Houston County!

Leaving is bittersweet.  While we are excited about our new adventure and what lies ahead, my family and I are sad to leave our “framily” that has grown exponentially every year.  We have been blessed with the most amazing friends, many of whom started out as my clients. Each and every friend and colleague I have had the pleasure to meet has played a huge part in making me the person I am today, whether it be in my personal or professional life. I have God to thank for the time we have spent here, and for the people that He has put in our path over the years.  So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for crossing my path and being YOU! God has always been the Captain of the boat in our journey over the years, and now He has chosen to turn the direction of the ship, and sail us on over toward the East Coast.

I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of real estate.  I have seen a strong and healthy market, and I have seen one that was more like struggling through a horrendous storm. I have laughed with my clients, and cried with my clients.  (Yes, there are tears in real estate---I have been so frustrated that I cried myself to sleep at night when I couldn't "fix" what just wasn't meant to be.) I have been mentored. I have been a mentee. I have been a student, and I have been a teacher. I have obtained certifications, designations and more continuing education than the law requires.

I have been part of your family as you went through, not only buying and selling your homes, but in sharing all that life has to offer:  marriages, divorces, celebrating new life and remembering and honoring lives that have been lost.  We have celebrated birthdays, engagements, graduations, championship ball games, weddings, sunsets and Saturdays.  My time here has certainly been productive, rewarding and unforgettable! Life has been good, and I am blessed.

But now we come full circle.  Eight years ago, I was the new kid in town.  And as a seasoned resident and Realtor®, I have become a bit of a "Welcoming Committee", ready to lead my clients to every resource you could possibly need.  Now it is time for a new adventure in a new town, and I will be the new kid on the block again. (My new Face Book business pages will officially begin sometime in late August/early September, so be on the look out!  I hope you will join me along the way, and hopefully you will come visit me along the beautiful coast in South Carolina!)  I will be putting our house on the market in the next few days, so stay tuned for more info and details on that!  If you are in the market (or know someone who is) for a great home in a fabulous neighborhood with amazing neighbors, let me know!

Anyone that knows me well knows I don't do "good-byes," because I get all sappy and cry. My mascara will run and I will get my “Tammy Faye” look going on. Of course I will probably have to stop by Kroger on the way home to pick up some milk or something, I will run into everyone I have ever known in Warner Robins, and they'll wonder why I look like a train wreck. So I don't do "good-byes." I do "See you soons"! So until then, I remain, humbly thankful for our paths crossing, the times we have shared and the memories we have made.

See you soon!

#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Showtime!

Getting Ready to Show Your Home!

Now that we have your house on the market, it is time to start showing it!  To always be ready, even for last minute showings, get into the habit of these basic, daily chores, especially before leaving the house every time:

---Make all beds, as soon as you get up.  Please note:  Be sure you keep clean sheets on the bed, by washing/changing them at least once a week.  The scent of stale linens creates an unpleasant distraction.

---Make sure all dishes are in the dishwasher or have been put away.
---Keep the kitchen and bathroom counters and appliances wiped off.  Disposable disinfecting wipes are a great convenience to have under all sinks.
---Keep the trashcans emptied.
---Toilet should be flushed and lids should be closed.

If you get a call for a showing, and you have less than 30 minutes to prepare?  No problem.  You already have the basics covered.  (And if not, get them done, pronto!)  Then finish up with these other last minute details you can take care of in no time:

---If you have random clutter, toys or clothing laying around, grab a laundry basket, toss everything inside, and throw it into your car before you leave the house.  You can sort and put everything away later.
---Put out the fresh, decorative "showing-only" towels in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Again, please note:  Remove any "soured" towels from the house during showings to prevent distraction from unpleasant odors. People have a tendency to "label" houses.  You don't want to be labeled and referred to as the "Sour Towel House."
---Open all curtains/drapes/blinds.
---Turn all the mood-lighting on in your home.  (Think about the lighting you use when you have company or are entertaining.)

Extra trick of the trade:  In a pinch, wipe down the door facings with a pleasant, fresh-smelling cleaner before the showing.  House will smell clean and fresh as guests walk through the door.

If you have more time to prepare for the showing:
---Do everything listed above
---Vacuum all floors, no matter the floor covering.
---Hit the tile and vinyl floors with a quick mop----Best way to keep it fresh is to use a Swiffer.  You don't want to take chances you might have a soured mop.
---Wipe off mirrors and glass surfaces with a fresh-smelling cleaner/vinegar and water product.
---Give the toilets, sinks, tubs and showers a quick swish and swipe on all surfaces, top, bottom, inside and out.  Don't forget to close the lids.
---Make sure all laundry is folded and put away.  If you have any dirty laundry and not much time, put it into a basket and stash in your car.  No one wants to see your dirty laundry.
---Flip on some subtle, soft background music.  No heavy metal, head-banging rock and roll, please!  If you parents or grandparents would call it "racket", put on something more soothing!
---Make sure the front porch and sidewalks are swept off.  (While I appreciate humor as much as anyone, make sure your door mat conveys the classy "WELCOME to our home" message you want to portray.)
---If you have potted flowers or plants at the front door, make sure they are pruned of dead blooms and leaves, and have been watered so they will be perky---no droopy first impressions!
---If your agent prepares materials for your showings, (message me for more details) make sure you have them out and accessible for the buyers to take.
---Take it easy on the aromatic plug-in devices and candles----Many people have sensitivities to these.  Overdoing it on the artificial scents can appear to be a cover-up for something.
Get in the car, head out and relax.  You did your part, now hopefully your agent will call you with excellent feedback, or even better?  An offer!

Ready to list your home for sale?  Give me a call at 478-973-2684. And don’t forget to visit me at my website: to make use of not only my Seller Showing Checklist, but my many other useful tips for selling or buying your next home!

My website:
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#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Getting Ready to List Your House For Sale

This is the time of the year when lots of folks are preparing to put their houses on the market---School is almost out, and summer is a good time to move, especially if you have kids that you don't want to disrupt during the school year.  Moving can be an overwhelming experience, but if you go about it in an organized, carefully planned manner, you can avoid a lot of unexpected problems.

Initial Assessment:
First step, grab a notebook and assign a page for each room in your house. Go through every room, with a critical eye, as if you were a buyer looking at your house for the first time.  Recruit the help of a friend if you need to.  Make sure you tell them you want their HONEST opinion.  This is not the time for thin-skin.  You may LOVE the chartreuse walls in your dining room, but what do others think of the color?

Start in the driveway, and make note of everything you see that needs attention.  Enter through the front door.  How does it look?  How does it smell?  If you were entertaining guests, would you be proud to open the door and welcome them to your home?  Make note of walls that need to be painted, closets and cabinets that need to be decluttered, carpets that need to be steam-cleaned, staging that needs to take place.  In the yard, make note of landscaping that needs to be done, repairs, pressure washing, etc.

Don't forget to start to consider arrangements for any pets you have, whether they be inside or out.  Some people are allergic or afraid of animals, so having a plan to have them out of the house and/or yard during showings will ensure your potential buyers will stay and take a good and thorough look, inside and out!

Now that you have started your “Master Success List” for getting your house listed, lets break it down:

Step 1:  Declutter and Purge:

This will get you off to a great start, and for some people, it is half the battle!  You won't believe how good it  feels to get rid of the clutter in your house!  As you go through each closet, cabinet and drawer, identify if you really want to move (or store) each item.  Do you really need three different sized wardrobes because you might lose that extra twenty pounds some day?  Moving clothes can be a real chore---they are cumbersome and heavy.  So why move them if you are never going to wear them?

Step 2:  The Purpose of the Room:

Do you have exercise equipment and a desk in the dining room?  A bed in the keeping room?  Make sure each room is set up for the room's intended purpose.  (One exception to this might be a dining room, since many people don't use dining rooms to dine anymore.)  You may need to put some things in storage-you want your house to look more spacious, and too much furniture or equipment can make a room look smaller than it really is.

Step 3:  Make Necessary Repairs:

Repairs that need to be done may be very obvious, and should be fixed prior to listing.  But to avoid potential unexpected expense, and possible deal-breakers, have your house professionally inspected before listing it for sale.  The buyer will probably have their own inspection done, but if you have an inspection before you list it, you can take care of the repairs in advance, and you can also leave a copy of the inspection report out for potential buyers to review when their agent shows them the house.  This is a value-added bonus because it is an expense the buyer wouldn't have to incur.

Step 4:  Stage Right!

After you have completed the first 3 steps, have your critically-eyed friend come back and take a look around.  What is their reaction?  If it still doesn't “work” for them, consider hiring a professional stager to come for a consultation. Homes that are professionally staged may sell quicker and for more money.  Stagers can suggest how to arrange furniture, accessorize rooms, what color to paint the walls and landscape touches for a great first impression.

Step 5:  Stager Recommendations

Do them! Your home stager should have given you an itemized list of things you need to do.

Step 6:  Great Curb Appeal!

First impressions are so important, and you never get a chance to make a second one!  Curb appeal can be the deciding factor whether a buyer wants to go in or not.  I have had clients in the car with me as we pull up to a house that have said, “No, keep going----Not liking the look of that one!” Make sure your house/landscaping is neat and tidy on the outside. Give the landscaping a good trim and prune, get rid of the weeds and keep the lawn mowed.  A fresh coat of paint , some pops of color with some pots of flowers and a new welcome mat at the front door will prepare them for the feeling they get when they step inside:  “WELCOME to your new home!  Come on in!”

Step 7:  Spic and Spotless!

When you clean the house, clean everything from top to bottom:  Light fixtures, ceiling fans, window treatments, windows, baseboards, carpets, grout, etc.

Step 8:  Interview and Hire an Agent

Of course you can list your house to sell on your own, but I wouldn't recommend it unless you have a lot of time, marketing and real estate expertise.  Selling your own house is a lot like representing yourself in a lawsuit instead of hiring an attorney:  You have no one working for or protecting you that is licensed to do so.  Marketing the biggest investment/asset of your life is a big deal, so to get you the highest dollar for your house, you should put it in the hands of a licensed real estate professional.  Since I just did a blog series, "Finding the “RIGHT” Realtor®!," I won't re-address the interview process here....just click on the link to go to the interview questions.

Step 9:  Create a Brag Station

If you have an electronic photo frame, load pictures of your home at various times of the year and leave it on the kitchen counter.  You can put pictures of the spring landscaping, beautiful tablescapes, feature rooms with beautifully accessorized d├ęcor or the home decorated for various holidays. You can also prepare a notebook to leave on the counter with a copy of the home inspection, the seller's disclosure, neighborhood comps, etc.  And if you list your house with me, a “Home Book” is prepared for you to leave on the counter for prospective buyers to take with them when they tour your home, and includes this information and more!

If you are either ready to or considering putting your house on the market, view the Selling Your Home Checklist on my website or just give me a call to schedule a consultation to create a plan!  Call me at 478-973-2684.


#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes

Monday, April 7, 2014

Southern Charm: The Final "Ah-Ha!"

Today we cover the final three questions to ask when interviewing a real estate agent:

Question #10:  What percentage of your business comes by referral and how much is repeat?

This is the million dollar question!  Competent, well-known agents get a large portion of their business from satisfied clients and people in their sphere of influence.  If an agent gets less than 25% of their new business through referrals it may be due to their quality of service (or lack thereof), their lack of marketing expertise, or they don’t cultivate their own contacts from their sphere of influence, either personal or professional.  If they aren’t cultivating their own contacts, they won’t be talking to many people about selling your property.  When someone is completely satisfied and appreciative of your services, the highest compliment they can pay you is a referral.

Question #11:  Do you have your own website (other than the broker website) and/or a blog?

Most agents have their own website, but many don’t have blogs.  Get the web addresses for every site the agent markets their services and properties.  Go visit these sites, and check out the content.  Do you like what you see?  Are the blog posts informative and fun?  Are the marketing pictures and videos creative and of good quality?  Is their content unique and contain timely news? If you type in the address of a currently listed property, how many sites does it pull up on, and does the listing look spectacular?

Lastly…..If you haven’t had the final, “Ah-ha!  This is THE Realtor for me!” moment….

Question #12:  Why should I hire you and not someone else?  What makes you different from everyone else?  Can you give me some examples?

If you still need to cover a few more details and specifics, most people want an agent that is:

Honest, of high ethical standard, hard-working, confident, personable, experienced with the local market, a creative thinker, readily available by phone, text or email, a good communicator, techno-savvy, an excellent negotiator, politely aggressive, results-oriented, prompt in returning calls, an excellent manager of time and tactful.  (If you have an agent like Cameran Eubanks on the new reality series, "Southern Charm" that bluntly tells a potential client from her sphere of influence, "You need to hire me as your real estate agent because you need a house, and I need cash...", you might want to consider asking a few more questions!

If you are ready to hire a Realtor that has all these characteristics and qualities, I can refer you to some happy clients that will refer you to me!  Or you can just give me a call and we can sit down and get to know each other!  I can be reached by phone/text at 478-973-2684 or by email at  And if you want to do a little pre-appointment homework/research to answer question #11, check out my sites on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Active Rain, my website, YouTube, Pinterest…..

My website:
My blog:

#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes

Monday, March 31, 2014

Finding the “RIGHT” Realtor®! Part 3

We have covered the first 6 questions to ask when hiring a Realtor®, here are the next 3:
Question #7:  How Many People Do You Talk to About Real Estate Every Day?

This question will help you gauge the agent’s amount of focus and motivation.  Agents should be prospecting for buyers and sellers, all day, every day.  This can be anywhere from making phone calls to past clients, networking with other agents at Agent Open houses, public open houses, giving public educational presentations, talking to the person in the chair next to them getting a pedicure…(Who just so happens to be there with all the bridesmaids in her wedding party…. Ahem….Newlywed?  May need a new house?  And the bridesmaids getting their toes done, too?  Pass your cards out to the whole bunch!) If an agent isn’t talking to at least 40-50 people every day about real estate, they may not be as proactive as you need them to be.

Question #8: Who Pays for Advertising Your Services Or Homes For Sale?

Don’t worry about asking this question for fear that it is none of your business.  Since marketing your property is included as part of the real estate fees and it is one of the primary responsibilities of the agent, you need to know what it is you are paying for.  Marketing is a huge part of an agent’s overall operating expenses, so it is appropriate to ask how much and how they are spending their marketing dollars.  I would also ask if they have determined what types of marketing works and what doesn’t? Is placing a $50 classified ad in the Sunday paper really effective, or is there a better way that produces more results?  And while you are at it, ask them WHO does their marketing?  Do they write their own ads?  Do they have an in-house marketing department?  Or do they have a combo of marketing partners?

Question #9: Will You Personally Handle Contract Negotiations?

How confident is your agent?  Do you think they are aggressive enough to go to bat for you to negotiate the best deal, and work on your behalf?  I recently had a client that came to me from another agent because they didn’t think the agent was working in their best interest---they felt like they were working more for the other side.  You have to have an agent that is dedicated to making YOU the top priority, and getting what is best for you.  Did you ever see the movie, “Jerry McGuire”?  Once Jerry got focused, dedicated and passionate about his client, (after his client screamed at him to, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”), they became a winning success!  You want an agent who has excellent negotiation skills, who is committed to your best interest. 

If you are ready to sit down and talk strategy and success, give me a call!  I can be reached at 478-973-2684, or you can email me at:

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#Realtor®, #buyingahouse, #sellingahouse, #WarnerRobinsRealEstate, #RobinsAirForceBase, #RAFB, #relocation, #movingtoanewarea, #findingaRealtor®, #whattolookforinaRealtor®, #GoldenKeyRealty, #listingyourhouseforsale, #homebuyerquestionsandanswers, #homebuyerq&a, #homesellerquestionsandanswers, #homesellerq&a, #findingtherightRealtor®, #janiepughsellshomes