Friday Five // October 3, 2014

Need something to do this weekend? Check out two cultural festivals, participate in a surprise dinner, and more!

On Friday from 5-8pm, art lovers will have the opportunity to connect with the local art community at the French Quarter Art Walk.  Art from over 500 artists will on display, representing a wide variety of styles and media from traditional to contemporary. Pick up a map at any one of the 27 art galleries located within the French Quarter and begin your stroll. The event is free and open to the public, and wine and refreshments are available at no cost.

Learn about Central American, South American, and Caribbean culture at the Latin American Festival on Sunday from 12-6pm at Wannamaker Park. Food vendors will be serving up delicious tamales, empanadas, chorizo, and jerk chicken. There will be a salsa dance competition and Capoeira demonstration, and for the kids, a jump castle and arts and crafts.

Get ready to dine and dance at a moment’s notice! The Charleston PopUp Dinner will take place this Saturday from 5-10pm. Wear white and be ready to go when the location is announced on Saturday afternoon. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to the guest list.

What If? Productions presents a Broadway & movie musical themed Karaoke Smackdown this Saturday at 8pm. Ten contestants will perform their favorite Broadway numbers during the first round, and the second round will showcase four finalists singing the judges’ selections. Audience members will have a chance to participate in karaoke roulette during intermission.

The 45th annual Charleston Greek Festival, a favorite among Charlestonians, takes place this weekend, Friday through Sunday. Enjoy gyros, kebabs, and baklava while you  listen to music from A Night in Athens, Nick Trivelas, George Antonopoulos, and Joanna. For wine lovers, there will be Greek wine available from over thirty distributors. Other events include traditional Greek dance, church tours highlighting the Greek ecclesiastical tradition, and a Sunday church service. Parking is free, and a shuttle is provided from the MUSC employee parking lot.

Whatever you do this weekend, we at Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Company wish you a safe and happy time!

How-To Tuesday: Use Descriptive Language to Make Your Listing Stand Out

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to selling a home, photos cannot tell the whole story. If you want to draw buyers in, it’s important to understand how descriptive language can attract buyers or turn them off completely. Creative words and phrases help keep your listing from becoming a total snoozefest. Here’s how to make that listing stand out among a sea of boring descriptions. yawn

  • Sellers and agents should be wary of overused terms when describing a home. There are several words you’re guaranteed to find in an average home description; spacious, great, must-see, cozy, quiet, desirable, and charming are just a few of these. Think of more creative ways to describe a home’s features. For instance, half bath sounds boring and tired. Say powder room instead. Don’t say a home is clean. That should be a given, not a selling point. A caveat: as you search for new descriptive terms, make sure to avoid exaggeration. Don’t tell prospective buyers a home is renovated or remodeled if it’s only partially renovated. If a property is near a prime location, you may mention that it’s near the area, but do not misrepresent by saying that it’s in that location.
  • Similarly, be specific in your verbiage. As mentioned above, don’t use “faint praise.” Even positive words can sound weak. Saying that a home is a “must-see” is a cop-out. Talk about the features that make that home a must-see property. In 2005, the National Bureau of Economic Research said that specific words like granite and maple draw more attention. Think about the details that will appeal to buyers most and describe those specifically.
  • Sellers—especially those who are trying to sell their homes on their own—should be aware of the laws and restrictions under the Federal Fair Housing Act. Some verbiage could be seen as discriminatory toward protected classes. The protected classes under FFHA are race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin. Seemingly harmless language could be misconstrued. For example, you cannot refuse to sell your home to a family with young children (unless it’s in a 55+ retirement community).
  • There are certain details that could be seen as guarantees when they might not work out that way. For example, it’s common to say that a home is in a specific school district, but be careful of highlighting that information. Attendance lines could be redrawn at any time, and if that happens before closing, the buyers might blame the seller or agent for misrepresentation.
  • If you feel like there aren’t enough creative terms to adequately describe a home’s positive points, pitch the lifestyle it offers. Is it located in a popular, upscale, or transitional neighborhood? What quality of life does the home offer? Does it offer mountain views? Is it on an oceanfront golf course? One of those things might be the main selling point for a buyer.

Are there terms that you see way too often in real estate listings? Are you guilty of using tired language in your own listings? Tell us in the comments below!



How-To Tuesday: 8 Fast & Free Ways to Revamp Home Decor

It's officially fall! Time to break out the cozy blankets, autumn decorations, and all things pumpkin-flavored. The changing of the seasons usually brings about the desire for other changes, the simplest of which is a quick creative refresh of your home. Here are 8 fast and free ways to revive your decor for fall.

1. Rehang artwork or change it up. Exchange artwork from other rooms, lower existing frames on the wall (most are hung too high, anyway!), or if the art is abstract, turn it on its side or upside down.

2. Another way to mix up your wall art is to replace it with something unexpected. For example, a beautiful hat collection hunghat-collection-2 on a wall makes a really cool statement.

3. Add greenery to any room. It creates a fresh feel and provides a little bit of texture to a room. Plants are fine, but bringing in grasses, fronds, or evergreens is even better.

4. Rearrange furniture. This is another extremely simple way to create a completely new feel to a room. Move furniture away from the walls and create smaller, intimate spaces.

5. Trade decorative items from another room. Bringing in a different vase, lamp, rug, bowl, or throw might not seem like it would make a big difference, but you'd be surprised!

6. Add some texture. Texture creates warmth, which is essential for fall decor. Cable-knit, leather, wood, suede, and felt are all perfect for autumn.

7. Add touches of white or color. If you have an especially dark room, a few strategically placed, bright white items can add visual interest. The same goes for a lighter or more neutral room, except in this case, you would bring in pops of color for interest.

8. Group objects of like color together. If you already have a colorful room, combine items of similar color to make an eclectic, visually pleasing collection.

What other ideas do you have for a quick and easy, seasonal revamp? Tell us in the comments below!


Friday Five // September 19, 2014

Time for another exciting weekend! There's plenty to keep you occupied in the Lowcountry this weekend. Run a 5k, learn about music, watch ancient games, listen to bagpipers, and more.

On Saturday, September 20th, Chamber Music Charleston presents the Little Mozart Circus in Marion Square. From 8:30am-1:30pm, families will have the opportunity to watch a variety of mini-performances, participate in interactive performance opportunities, and learn about local music-based educational opportunities.

The 43rd annual Scottish Games and Highland Gathering takes place on Saturday from 9am-5:30pm at Boone Hall Plantation. Athletic competitions will feature demonstrations of brawn like the sheaf toss, the stone of strength, and the caber toss. Cchildren’s activities will include a Scotch egg relay, face painting, storytelling, and a bounce castle. There will be music from Scottish-themed bands, a piping and drumming competition, and a Scottish dance exhibition.

To kick off its annual Fright Nights Boone Hall presents the Running Scared 5K this Sunday from 12-3pm. Register as a zombie or a runner. Runners will not be timed, but they WILL have to dodge hordes of feasting zombies attempting to steal their life flags. Zombies will receive a gory makeover and acting class. Spectator tickets are also available.

It's six months until we deck ourselves out in all manner of shamrockery! Molly Darcy's would like you to join in their 4th annual Halfway to St. Patrick's Day party on Saturday beginning at 12pm. Festivities will include live music, bagpipes, step dancers, giveaways, and prizes. There will also be a special menu that includes corned beef and cabbage. Yum!

If you're looking for a more laidback event this Sunday, check out the Carolina Green Fair at James Island County Park from 12-6pm. See how businesses stay green at exhibitor booths, participtae in the Re-Trends clothing swap, and learn how to make eco-friendly meals. There will also be an eco-carnival featuring an inflatable slide, a jump castle, mechanical bull rides, and interactive demos from the S.C. Aquarium and Reptile Innovators.





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