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Friday Five // January 19th, 2018

There are lots of great events to enjoy throughout the Lowcountry this weekend. Get out and experience the tastes of Folly Beach, enjoy a movie and pizza with the kids, eat some oysters at Patriots Point, or attend a puppy party! Whatever you choose to do, the staff and agents at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy weekend.

Head out to Folly Beach on Saturday to experience the Taste of Folly from 10am until 4pm. The Taste Street Festival “will showcase all Folly has to offer with food samples for purchase plus a ton of free activities and entertainment with admission.” Admission is $5 in advance, $10 at the door, and includes a wristband for those age 21 and over, and a commemorative event cup. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, a kids’ kitchen, inflatables, arts & crafts, a hot dog eating contest, an oyster shucking contest, a chili cook-off, and live music.

Do you have a new puppy in your life? Bring them to Dolittle’s on Windermere Boulevard this Saturday morning for Puppy Happy Hour! Early socialization is important for growing puppies. They’ll have a blast meeting other puppies, adults, and kids; play puppy-appropriate games; and get a little bit of an education. Space is limited, so call Dolittle’s to reserve your spot now.

On the third Saturday of each month, Mellow Mushroom in West Ashley presents Mellow Matinee. This month’s family friendly movie is Frozen. From 11am until 1pm, enjoy $5 kids’ meals and $2 mimosas for adults. The full menu will be available. And as a super special treat this month, Queen Elsa will be in attendance for a meet and greet!  

Get your oyster fix this Saturday afternoon at January’s Oysters on the Point, a sister event to Party at the Point. The monthly event lasts from 2pm until 6pm and features $11 buckets of oysters, chili, hamburgers, live music from Guilt Ridden Troubadour, an art walk, a Bloody Mary bar, and plenty of beer choices. Admission is $5 for adults. Children 12 and under get in free.

If you or a loved one happened to get engaged over Christmas, The Charleston Bridal Show is the place to be this Sunday. This event takes place at the Gaillard Center from noon until 4pm. Come see the latest in bridal fashion; sample hors d’oeuvres and wedding cakes; and see what’s trending in wedding decor. Meet Charleston top wedding professionals and start planning your dream wedding!

Client Vs. Customer: Is There Really a Difference?

If you’ve ever bought or sold real estate in the state of South Carolina, you’ve probably been presented with a document that looks like the one pictured below. This document, which spells out the differences between becoming a customer or a client of a real estate company, can be confusing to some people. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a moment to talk about what it means to be a customer or a client of a real estate agency—because yes, there is a big difference.

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CLIENT

Once you sign a written agency agreement with an agent and their company, you are officially a client. Now your real estate agent has the authority to act on your behalf and promote your best interest. Clients receive many services than customers do, including professional advice, counsel, and assistance in negotiations. In addition, your agent is required by law to provide the following:

  • Obedience
  • Loyalty to the client
  • Disclosure of all known facts
  • Confidentiality
  • Accounting
  • Reasonable care and skill

CUSTOMER

If you choose not to enter into a written agency agreement, you are a customer of the real estate company. Essentially, as a customer, you represent yourself. Since the agent and company do not represent you, they are not obligated to promote your best interest or keep any bargaining information confidential. The most common example of this is a buyer who chooses not to be represented by an agent. This makes that buyer a customer of the seller’s agent. Obviously, the seller’s agent represents the seller only (unless you sign a written agency agreement with that agent as well), so they have the seller’s best interests at heart. By law, the the agent is only required to provide the following basic duties to a customer:

  • Present all offers in a timely manner
  • Account for money or other property received on your behalf
  • Provide an explanation of the scope of services
  • Be fair and honest and provide accurate information
  • Disclose known adverse material facts about the property

All in all, it’s best to be represented by an agent as a client of the real estate company they work for. If you need a more detailed explanation of the above facts, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime. Our agents are always ready and willing to help by providing our clients with boutique services and attention.

6 Things Every Homeowner Should Do In January

As we all know, January marks a new beginning for many people each year. While others are busy making resolutions they may or may not keep, you can use this time of revitalization to accomplish a few things around the house. Here are six things every homeowner should do to give their homes a fresh start this new year.

Deep clean the kitchen.

After all the holiday baking and merry-making, your kitchen could probably use a little bit of TLC. Clean out the pantry and fridge, getting rid of the leftovers and half-used ingredients. Scrub the walls, cabinets, and kick-boards. If it’s possible, move the appliances so you can clean around and behind them, eliminating future unwelcome pests. This could be a great kick start to a healthier year!

Clean or change filters throughout the house.

Don’t forget about the many different types of filters in your home. While we’re used to changing our air conditioning filter frequently, there are others throughout the house that need attention too. Water and icemaker filters can become clogged, which slows down the flow of water and leads to mold accumulation. The same goes for dehumidifiers. Vacuum cleaner and dryer filters can become fire hazards if not cleaned frequently. Check the instructions for any other filters around your home and create a schedule for cleaning and changing them to make sure you keep a healthy and safe environment in your home all year.

Clean sink and shower drains.

Bathtub and sink drains need love too. Hair and debris build up in the drains and can cause the flow of water to slow and back up into the tub or sink. This can lead to mold and mildew growing in the basins as well as the pipes. While this isn’t the most fun job on your chore list, it’s not the most difficult. Simply remove any drain grates and insert a drain stick a few times to clear out the debris. Once the drain is clear, pour a cup of bleach in and let it sit to make its way through the pipes. Flush the drain with hot water. Make sure to give the tub or sink a good cleaning when you’re finished.

Clean and organize closets.

Throughout the holiday season we all undoubtedly accumulate new items that need a home. If you’re stuck indoors when it’s cold outside, why not take the time to organize your closets to make space for your new items? Start by taking stock of your closet situation. Is there enough space for your hanging clothes? Are your shoes taking over? Do all your belongings have a place to go? Next, clear out absolutely everything and purge items that you can donate, sell, or hand down to a friend. Once the closet is clear, give it a thorough cleaning. Maybe even give it a makeover with new paint and storage options. When you refill your closet, make sure you do so in a way that makes it easy to stay organized throughout the year.

Compile or update home inventory.

No one wants to think about a disaster that could leave you without your home and belongings, but it’s something every homeowner should be prepared for. Keeping an updated inventory of your home and belongings will make it much easier to deal with insurance companies if something should occur. Using a video or still camera, capture images of all angles of your home, inside and out. Any individual items of value should be catalogued by brand, model, and serial numbers making sure to have documentation to prove your ownership of items. However you choose to create your inventory—on paper or digitally—make three copies and keep one at home, one in a safety deposit box, and one in a different location.

Make plans for spring and summer projects.

If the winter blues are starting to get you down, start thinking about how you want to spend your time at home during the warmer months. Make your plans for spring and summer home improvements so you are ready when the time comes. If you need a contractor or other professional to help with the work, planning early will ensure that you have someone secured in a timely manner. Just thinking about that new outdoor living space and all the fun you’re going to have there may help shake you right out of the winter doldrums.

 

How-To Tuesday: Choose Paint Colors To Fix A Room’s Flaws

A good paint job can go a long way to fixing the little shortcomings and imperfections any room presents. Here are just a few suggestions for choosing the right paint color to fix your room’s flaws.

Small Rooms

Whites, creams, pastels, and cool colors like dove gray reflect light, giving the illusion of a larger space. White and cream colors direct your eyes toward the ceiling, which also creates the appearance of taller walls. If you are more into dark colors, try a high sheen gloss that also reflects light. Use a similar color on walls and trim to make it look seamless, adding to the illusion of space. Think about extending the wall color six to twelve inches onto the ceiling to make the room seem taller.

Large Rooms

Warm and dark colors help to draw the walls in and give the feel of a cozy space. Painting high or vaulted ceilings with warm and dark colors can help as well. Try a two-toned look using wainscoting to divide the room and draw the eye down. If wainscoting’s not your thing, just tape a line and use it as your guide while painting. You can also use paint to create different sections of a room, dividing the space up into smaller nooks.

Less-Than-Soothing Vibes

Bathrooms and master suites are places that should act as an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Try soft and muted tones to create a tranquil space. Examples include pale lavenders, light blues, soft greens, and grays.  

Unpleasant Features

Uneven walls and other flaws can throw off an entire paint job, no matter how meticulous you are about the quality of work. If you can’t take the time to correct the flaws in the sheetrock or plaster, try using low-sheen paint in a lighter color. Paint radiators and large intake vents the same color as the walls to help them blend in.

Bring out the Best

Paint focal points like fireplaces, doors, and beautiful trim work a contrasting color from the walls. Using a high sheen paint on trims and window casings will also create a crisp edge.

General Rules Of Thumb For Choosing Paint Colors

Sample paint colors on a few different walls to get a feel for what it will look like from different vantage points. When sampling, use a large space so you can really see what the color will look like in the room’s lighting. Check the colors at different times of day and in different types of weather.  

 

Trends To Consider For Home Staging in 2018

Staging a home might sound like a pretty straightforward and standard process, but it’s actually the opposite. Every house has different features that need to be either highlighted or played down. If you think of staging a house like staging a production, each room in the house is a different character, and staging those rooms is like costuming the characters. You want the “costume” to say something about that room, its purpose, and its best characteristics. You wouldn’t put a main character in drab, out-of-date clothing if you want him or her to shine. So why would you allow potential buyers to see your house outfitted with dull, dingy paint on the walls, dated fixtures, and tired furnishings? When you put your home on the market, you want it to be at its very best and outshine all the others. Here are a few home trends to follow in 2018 to help your house stand out among the rest.

Vibrant Colors

Bright and bold is the way to go right now in home decor. Neutrals are still the best choice for wall colors if you’re putting your home on the market, but you can bring in pops of bright, vibrant colors in furniture, accessories, curtains, or rugs.

Neutral Blue

Instead of giving walls the beige treatment, go for a more modern neutral. Blues that trend toward gray are a great alternative to other neutrals that could be seen as boring and basic. Neutral blue shades give a room a calming yet modern effect while also being quite versatile.

Metallic Accents

Metallics have been big in home design for a while, and the trend is expected to continue through 2018. These accents can give a luxe feel to any room, but make sure to use them sparingly. A pair of small end tables, a gilded mirror, or a pretty chandelier can be the perfect touch to elevate any room.

High Class Kitchen Elements

The kitchen is a main selling point for most homes, so it’s important to keep this room looking modern and smart. This year, high class elements are all the rage in kitchens. Try quartz countertops as an alternative to granite. Give lower and upper cabinets different finishes. Add in appliances in fun colors and cement tiles for backsplash if you’re going for a very of-the-moment look.

Geometric Patterns

Geometric patterns are trending big time in the design world. Go big with patterned wallpaper, which goes extremely well with features like wainscoting and crown molding. If you’re not quite brave enough to paper a room in a busy pattern, try incorporating geometric patterns with quilts, throw pillows, or even tiles.

Vintage Lighting

Wait a minute. Didn’t we just say, “You don’t want your home to look dated…”? Well, yes. But dated and vintage aren’t necessarily the same thing. It’s the difference between a basic brass chandelier and a really cool copper fixture outfitted with Edison bulbs. Instead of a boring, utilitarian desk lamp, consider a green glass banker’s lamp.

Concrete Fireplaces

If your fireplace surround needs an upgrade, think about a concrete finish. This can be an inexpensive, totally customizable project if you do it yourself. If you do plan to tackle this project on your own, please have your chimney inspected and consult a pro first to make sure it’s safe to do so.

Velvet Furniture

Pair velvet sofas and/or chairs with those bold accessories, metallic accents, and vintage lighting we mentioned above, and you’ll have the perfectly updated living room for 2018.

Minimalist Bedrooms

Bedrooms are trending back toward minimalism this year. The “less-is-more” look allows the focus of the room to be calming and restful. This minimalist look is perfect for home staging, as it shows buyers the purpose of a room while also highlighting its best features.

Natural Furnishing

In keeping with minimalism, natural furnishings are having a moment right now. Maybe it’s a desire to have a little something of nature around when we’re so engulfed in technology in our daily lives. Maybe it’s just a desire for clean lines and a simple feel. Either way, natural furnishings are definitely on trend.

Mini Subway Tiles

Subway tiles have been wildly popular for a few years, but they’re getting a shrunken look this year. Mini subway tiles create a sort of cleaner, more neutral mosaic effect as a kitchen backsplash or on bathroom walls.

Iridescent Accents

Thanks in part to the recent pop culture craze over mermaids and unicorns, iridescent accents have made their way into fashion and home decor. This is one trend you really don’t want to go overboard with, though. Introduce a little iridescence with smaller accessories like barware, flatware, small light fixtures, coasters, vases, or serving bowls.

Bold Typography

Typography has been popular in home decor for a while now, but this year it’s out with trite sayings and clichéd vinyl transfers and in with big, bold typography as wall art. This works best with short, simple phrases or names and pairs very well with minimalism mixed with bold accent colors.

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