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Maximizing Space In Your Home

Carrie Sink Invites Us In

Carrie Sink, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Realty, has her feet on the street to help clients navigate the ins, outs, and intricacies of buying and selling a home in the Twin Cities. After spending years in the academic world as a high school Language Arts teacher, she entered the world of real estate equipped with patience, the ability to formulate relationships built on trust, a strong work ethic, and a love of learning.

After reading her inspiring article, “How Many Square Feet does a Family Need to live Harmoniously?” we decided to tap into her insights and explore the much-debated question, “Is a bigger home always better?” Through her research and personal experience with clients, Carrie concludes, “Buyers seem to be most concerned with floor plan, flow, and function because it helps to eliminate clutter, conflict, and chaos within the home.” She explains, “When buyers say they need more space, it’s usually space for a specific function within the home. This needed space is usually an additional bedroom, a mudroom, a home office, or a bigger kitchen with room for an island. Ironically, homebuyers who voice the need for more space will sometimes end up downsizing. For example, they may end up choosing a smaller home that lacks a formal living room and dining room, but is equipped with extra storage space to hide the mess or an additional bedroom that will help offset sibling rivalry and scattered bedtimes.”

When we asked her for an example of a home with a desirable floor plan, flow, and function, she invited us to her listing in the Fulton neighborhood of Minneapolis, 4912 Abbott Avenue South. Carrie noted, “The home really appeals to buyers looking for a home with an open concept, with ample storage for clutter, and with smart utilization of space. Today’s buyers with young children particularly appreciate the mudroom located just off the back entrance, the walk-in pantry, and the visibility between the kitchen and living room. The large kitchen island provides the perfect space for family and guests to congregate while the cook in the kitchen has a clear view of the outdoors through the expansive windows.” Carrie adds, “Although the home is open concept, two features really define spaces within the home. The rustic wooden beams on the ceiling of the living room help establish a separation of space without the need for putting up walls. The sliding barn door serves as a beautiful statement piece, yet allows for separation and a screen for privacy in the office.” In a perfect world, every home would provide the floor plan, flow, and function that buyers desire, but how does a realtor effectively market a home that be lacking in one of these areas? Let’s say for example, the home doesn’t have a mudroom? Carrie responded, “When I list a home, I hire a stager to help maximize functionality and flow while accentuating the positive attributes of the floor plan. Bringing in a professional stager is an investment in my clients that is totally worth it! In the instance where a home lacks a mudroom, the stager may find an empty hallway to hang hooks and to place a narrow bench. Overall, the stager provides my sellers with specific information on how to declutter, how to repurpose space, how to use what they already have, and how to make the home look its absolute best. The transformation always amazes the sellers and the outcome is really rewarding.

When asked what’s most rewarding about working with buyers and sellers, Carrie shared, “In working with buyers, I enjoy the whole process. It starts with understanding their goals, their lifestyle, how they want to live in their home, and then finding the home that will fulfill their needs within their budget. Additionally, the former teacher in me enjoys educating home buyers on the market, the home buying process, and how we can best structure an offer and negotiate the contract. When working with sellers, it’s very rewarding to be recognized for working hard and to know I played an important part in helping them achieve their goals. But most of all, when working with buyers and sellers, it’s really about building relationships and knowing I’ve earned their trust.”