Spring Clean Now To Be Ready For Spring Showings

spring clean tips

Who could have ever guessed it would be April and we would all be stuck at home? Use your time wisely now to get your home ready to sell in the Spring market this year or follow these tips to spruce up your home before summer.

Inspect the Gutters

Everyone’s least favorite task, but it has to be done. Check for loose and damaged gutters. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear of debris as poor drainage can lead to water build-up in the basement or crawl spaces. These are an easy fix now that could save you from a major issue down the road.

Check the Windows

How old are your windows? Experts suggest replacing residential windows every 15-20 years. Well maintained windows can sometimes last a little longer. Check the caulking and weather stripping around your windows each spring and winter. If there is damage, warm summer air and cold winter air will come into your home. TIP: If you have condensation inside the glass on windows during the winter months, the weather seal has been compromised, and either the glass or the window will need to be replaced.

General Cleaning Inside the Home

Spring is a good time to clean areas of the house that often go neglected. Dust or vacuum chair rails, window casings, and ceiling fans. Dry clean fabric draperies, vacuum upholstered furniture and schedule a carpet cleaning. Removing settled dust, mites, and allergens will make for a cleaner, and healthier, home.

Test the Air Conditioning Units

Now is the time to make sure the air conditioning units are in good shape for the upcoming warmer months. Change the air filters inside the home, check hose connections for leaks, make sure the drain pans are draining freely, and vacuum any dust that has settled on the unit during the winter months.

Fertilize and Seed the lawn

Outdoor entertaining season is upon us and now is the time to get your lawn in perfect shape for everyone to enjoy! Rake the lawn to remove any branches, debris, and leaves that may be leftover from the winter. These items can prohibit the grass from growing. Check the outdoor water sources (pipes, faucets, and in-ground sprinkler systems) to be sure they are in working order. Take stock of your garden tools and lawn maintenance equipment, including lawnmowers, trimmers, and hoses and replace them as necessary.

Being a homeowner can be a lot of work, but starting each season with a list of items to maintain will make the work easier in the long run. If you are getting your home ready to sell, contact your preferred Dickens Mitchener agent to help you get started. We wish you happiness in your home.


We Are Here For You

Dickens Mitchener Receives High Honors at Agent Summit

catharine pappas dickens mitchener relocationEveryone at Dickens Mitchener is thrilled to share with you that our company has won the coveted Diamond and Crown of Excellence awards for unparalleled service and performance within our relocation department for 2019. These awards were presented to our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas, on stage this past week at the annual global conference for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the premier referral network of independent real estate brokers. We were also recognized for our company marketing, our partnership with Relo Direct and for holding the MBA of Relocation, the RQC.  We are one of only 26 companies worldwide out of our network of 565 companies that holds the RQC-The Relocation Quality Certification designation.

Our relocation department is determined to offer the best experience to employees that are transferring in and out of Charlotte.  We also excel at finding top agents that have time to devote to you in any market, whether you are relocating for work, retirement or searching for a second home.  Please reach out to your Dickens Mitchener agent or the relocation department if we can help.

We could not have achieved this pinnacle of success without the trust of our valued friends, clients, and industry partners.  Thank you for relying on us to help you with your real estate needs across the country and around the world.

Where Are The Booming Luxury Home Markets?

luxury real estate markets

What comes to mind when you hear “luxury real estate”? Visions of coastline properties with newer homes that feature outdoor living areas overlooking a beautiful water view? Or maybe a mountain retreat with beautiful sunsets each evening? In recent years, the luxury home market boom has been found in coastal towns. You may be surprised by a new report that has come out looking at cities from middle America that are booming in luxury home markets.

Booming Luxury Home Markets

Recently a report was released with the top 5 luxury markets to watch including:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Fort Worth, Texas

The report used these factors to determine the rankings: sales price to list price ratios, days on the market, median list price, and inventory. Other factors included the range of lifestyle amenities offered, education experiences, airport accessibility, ease of doing business, and more.

Charlotte, NC has been in the news for the past 5 years for many of the factors listed above, so it is no surprise it is on this list as well. Growth in the Queen City was previously attributed to the banking industry, but most recently technology, health-related jobs, and advanced manufacturing have all brought big business to the area.

Luxury Home Trends To Follow

It will be exciting to follow the new trends that are emerging in luxury real estate in 2020. Recently, we have seen luxury home buyers interested in eco-friendly homes, smart tech homes, and energy-efficient homes in the past year. The expectation of green-certified building has also been on the rise.

Dickens Mitchener’s award-winning relocation department can help you find the luxury home you are looking for in Charlotte, NC and around the world. Contact Catharine Pappas at 704.661.2402 to get started today.

Dickens Mitchener Style: Digital Issue 1 Available Now

Dickens Mitchener Style: Digital Issue 1  | Inside the first digital issue we wrap up 2019 with information about the top neighborhoods in Charlotte. In our relocation spotlight, we share some amazing homes in New York City and South Africa that we have referred to other Leading Real Estate Companies of the World brokerages. We celebrate our Top Producers of 2019, our rookie of the year and our Spirit Award winner. Last but not least, we introduce our new program, the Homeowners Impact Fund to help local homeless initiatives, and much more.

The contents of Dickens Mitchener Style, our regionally focused lifestyle magazine, showcases some of Charlotte’s most beautiful homes and gives readers a look at some of the wonderful things that the greater Charlotte area has to offer. Inside we share exclusive insights from our Style team of full-time real estate experts.


Dickens Mitchener Nominated For 8 Relocation Awards

relocation awards dickens mitchenerWe are so proud of our Relocation Director, Catharine Pappas for bringing in EIGHT award nominations for the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World conference in Las Vegas, Nevada next week. At the conference, the top real estate companies in every major market across the globe gather to network and celebrate their accomplishments of the past year.

Pappas looks forward to this conference as she serves as the Chair of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Advisory Council. In this role, she advocates for the members of the network and ensures that projects that are identified by the board of directors are carried out to make the best real estate companies even better.

The companies in this network pride themselves in doing the best job possible for every client. Pappas thanks our talented Dickens Mitchener agents who make this success possible when we are always trusted to find the best new home for people relocating to Charlotte, NC.

To learn more about Leading Real Estate Companies of the World: click here.

Dickens Mitchener Nominations for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, 2020 Annual Conference:

(1) 2019 Diamond Award Nomination
(2) 2019 Agent Production Award Nomination
(3) 2019 RELO Direct® – Direct Connection Leads Award Nomination
(4) 2019 Pinnacle Award Nomination
(5) 2019 Award of Excellence, Equivalent Closings Sales Production Nomination
(6) 2019 Award of Excellence, Outgoing Sales Production Nomination
(7) 2019 Award of Excellence, Outgoing Referral Production Nomination
(8) RELO Direct® LeadingRE Partnership Award Nomination


Closing On A Home – The Final Walkthrough

Final Walkthrough Checklist Dickens Mitchener

You’ve found the home of your dreams and your offer was accepted. You made it through due diligence, had the items fixed on the inspection list and are now counting down the days until you move-in. But, there is one more thing you must do before closing, the final walkthrough.

Oftentimes, the final walkthrough takes place just hours before closing. We have some tips for you to look out for as you get ready to close on your new home.

The Home Isn’t Empty

Unless previously agreed upon, sometimes sellers wait until the last minute to completely empty the home. If the home isn’t in the condition you agreed upon, you may need to contact the seller to have them clean up before closing. In this case, you will need to do another walkthrough.

The Utilities Have Been Shut Off

Agents should always stipulate that utilities stay on through the final walkthrough. You will need to flush every toilet, turn on every faucet to check for leaks, turn on every light fixture, check garage door openers, oven, microwave and any other appliances that are being left behind. If any of these items are in need of repair, you can then ask for an allowance before closing.

There Is Damage To the Walls

Did a wall get damaged while the seller was moving out? Was a TV removed from the wall leaving holes? These can be big issues and you can ask for an allowance to have these repaired before you close on the home.

The HVAC Systems Are Not Working

Test the heating and cooling of the home during the final walkthrough. If the home is not heating or cooling properly, a negotiation would need to take place.

Final Walkthrough Checklist

The final walkthrough is the final time you have to be sure that the home is in the condition agreed upon and move-in ready. Take this handy checklist along with you to ensure you don’t miss any steps.

  • Turn all light switches on and off to ensure light fixtures and ceiling fans are working.
  • Bring something along to test all of the electrical outlets.
  • Run all sink and bath faucets, and check for any leaks under the sink.
  • Test all of the kitchen appliances and run the garbage disposal.
  • Ensure the garage door opens and closes, and the remote(s) works.
  • Run the heater and air conditioner.
  • Turn on and test the fireplace.
  • Open and close all windows and doors.
  • Flush toilets to check for leaks or problems.
  • Run the exhaust fans in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  • Inspect the walls, flooring, and ceilings.
  • Check exterior for damage or new cosmetic issues.
  • Make sure all garbage, personal belongings, and other items have been removed.

Buying a new home can be stressful, but with the right professional by your side, it will be one of the major milestones of your life. If you are interested in learning more about the real estate services offered by Dickens Mitchener, give us a call at 704.661.2402 or contact us here.

Catharine Pappas Nominated For Prestigious Relocation Award

Catharine Pappas Nominated Relo Direct AwardWe are excited to congratulate Catharine Pappas for her recent nomination for the RELO Direct® LeadingRE Partnership Award. These awards recognize the LeadingRE members who have consistently demonstrated excellence in service and lead generation, as well as the overall Ambassador of the Year to RELO Direct®. Catharine was invited to represent Dickens Mitchener at the exclusive RELO Direct’s Corporate Forum Awards Luncheon next month during the RELO Direct® Corporate Forum in Las Vegas.

Pappas currently serves on the Relocation Directors Council Board of Directors as the Membership Chair. She is also the current Chairman of the Advisory Council for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World where she was inducted into the Relocation Hall of Fame in 2018 based on her service to the organization.

Dickens Mitchener is the Charlotte representative of LeadingRE. With a global membership that spans over 70 countries, LeadingRE connects top independent firms with more than 130,000 sales associates who produce over 1.1 million real estate transactions each year. As a member of LeadingRE, Dickens Mitchener provides a quality real estate experience, global marketing reach and access to top real estate professionals in virtually any market worldwide.

To learn more about our Relocation Department click here.

Where Are The Top 10 Cities To Move To Right Now In The US?

Charlotte, NC ranked as one of the top 10 cities to move to in the US right now.

Do you ever have the urge to move somewhere new and aren’t quite sure where to go? Curbed, a website by Vox Media, has recently ranked cities across the US based on walkability, park access, diversity, housing costs, job opportunities, and more. These criteria add up to livability.

Two metro areas in North Carolina found their place on the “10 best cities in the US to move right now”, Charlotte and Raleigh.

Charlotte has long been associated with banking and skyscrapers. But recently the Queen City was noticed as one of America’s boomtowns by attracting workers and businesses to our area, especially millennials. The Queen City has added nearly 50,000 apartments attracting the young workers to Charlotte. Office construction has also been on the rise especially around the light rail line. The Rail Trail has created a walkable area for the residents around Southend to Uptown.

See our tour of Charlotte below.

Charlotte and Raleigh were also recently ranked by the website Numbeo for having the best quality of life in the world based on a study of factors that contribute to residents’ happiness.

Are you interested in learning more about life in Charlotte, NC? Our Director of Relocation, Catharine Pappas would love to hear from you and show you around the Queen City. Contact her today.

Top 5 Winter Home Projects You Can Do Now

top 5 winter home projects charlotte nc

There is nothing better than curling up on the sofa in your warm home when the weather turns cold. And, after the holidays the last thing on your mind is getting out the tools to check off your honey-do list.

However, the winter months are the ideal time to complete home improvement and maintenance projects, especially if you’re planning to list your home in the spring or summer. NOW is the time to get started with your home prep. We asked our top agents and these are the top 5 winter home projects to get started on to improve your home’s value when you are ready to sell.

Fresh Paint 

Give rooms, paneling, or cabinetry a fresh coat of paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to update your home to get ahead of the spring market. Many things can be painted to give your home a fresh look, tile, paneling, cabinets. Sprucing up these items can make a big difference. Pro tip: Manufacturers offer the best deals on paint during the late fall and winter.

Get Your Lawn Ready For Spring

Do you want to have the best lawn on the block? Preparing your yard in the fall and early winter guarantees a lush and beautiful lawn in the spring. Bermuda and bluegrass are two “cool season” types of grass that should be fertilized before the first freeze. To ensure that the grass won’t grow too tall in winter, and offer mice and other burrowing animals a warm hideout, be sure to mow the lawn before the first freeze. Be sure to pick up any items in the yard (logs, toys, furniture) before it begins to snow, as these can create dead spots in the grass in the spring.

Add Insulation

Looking for a way to save on utility bills? Adding home insulation can improve your home’s energy efficiency. While it isn’t the most exciting project, it could help make your home more energy-efficient which will benefit you by saving money in the long run. Start by checking your attic, basement, and crawl space to see if more insulation is needed.

Install A Programmable Thermostat

This is a simple do-it-yourself project that will end up paying off in the long run by increasing the energy efficiency of your home. The thermostats are wi-fi enabled and automatically adjust heating and cooling temperature settings in your home for optimal performance. They can also learn your temperature preferences and establish a schedule that automatically adjusts to energy-saving temperatures when you are asleep or away. There are many options available to fit any budget or lifestyle.

Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo

When Spring and Summer get here, you’re not going to want to spend your time going through the piles of junk in your basement, you’ll want to be outside, enjoying the fresh, warm air. Marie Kondo was the rage last year, and we gave our top lessons we learned from her here. Take a page from Marie Kondo’s book and tidy up! Winter is the perfect time to work on getting organized. Pro tip: Don’t try to tackle the entire house at once. Start small, and go slow.

These top 5 winter home projects are the perfect start to getting your home refreshed. Are you looking for advice on how to get your home ready to sell for the lest price this spring or summer? Give us a call and we can connect you with a professional, knowledgeable agent today.