It was a great idea at the time. Stone and Story Real Estate Group joined forces with Dultmeier Homes to build a model home where they could not only set up their offices, but also show off design and building options to potential clients.
Then came the pandemic.
“Everything was being framed and we were putting drywall up, and COVID happened” says Annette Stahl, realtor and designer for Stone and Story. “We were going to have events and training. So, none of that could happen. Instead it’s being re-imagined. We do a lot of FaceTime from here.”
Stone and Story, a Keller Williams One Legacy Partner, is a full-service Realtor who not only helps people find or build their new home, but they also help them sell their existing home. Their clients range from first time homebuyers and ones looking to relocate, to people seeking investment properties, wanting to downsize, or build their dream home. The mission is to inspire growth and possibilities to be the hero of their story.
Stahl says, “We don’t want you to make a bad investment because we want to be with you for life. We’re not just here for this transaction. You’re now a part of our family. You’re getting the free pie at Thanksgiving!”
Darin Stephens, Co-Founder and COO, adds, “It’s important that, as we’re putting a house on the market, we’re getting the homeowner back to the honesty. They may not want to hear it, but we’re going to tell them what they need to do to get to where they need to be. That’s why people trust and respect us, because they know we will do it professionally and respectfully.”
In designing the model home, Stahl went for a modern, open-space feel with lots of natural wood. She wanted to inspire clients to have fun and play with their design choices while giving them a sense of how she can help them with paint, wallpaper, flooring, and fixture selections. Her philosophy is to pick solid basics, like flooring and kitchen cabinets, and then have fun with things easy to change out as styles change, such as paint, lighting fixtures and window treatments.
While most homeowners think January isn’t the best time to sell, both Stephens and Stahl emphasize winter as a great time to enter the market. The reason: Buyers at this time of year are serious. They want a house and they want it now, where those looking in other seasons may just be doing it to see what’s available without any real intent to buy. As of now, the majority of the houses put on the market sell within a month.
If someone is thinking of buying a home, these are the top three things Stahl and Stephens want them to consider before getting started:
1. Budget: How do you want to live? How much money do you want to go towards the house verses other interests, such as travel, boating, etc?
2. Why are you moving? Are you running away or moving to? Neither are right or wrong, but it’s important to be clear about the reasons behind the move.
3. What are the three things that are non-negotiable must-haves in the house? For men, it’s typically the garage, yard, basement. For women, it’s the kitchen, master suite, and home location.
“We are hyper sensitive to putting people into a home they can live in,” said Stephens. “There can be a big difference between what you qualify for and what you feel comfortable in. We want to make sure you can go out to dinner, go on vacation, and do the other things you want to do and you’re not sitting at home worrying about how you’re going to make the next house payment.”
Stone and Story is located at 2655 SW Wanamaker. Contact Stephens or Stahl at 785-250-7278 or log onto www.stoneandstory.com for more information and real estate listings.