I’m a Kansas City native – growing up on Morningside Drive in Brookside and I now live, work and play in Overland Park, KS. I attended the prestigious Barstow School when it was all girls. I’m a single mom of two grown children, Chad who owns Plan B Catering and McKenna who now lives in Florida (with her beach body) after winning $10,000 from the 2015 Spring Lifetime Fitness Transformation Challenge. WOW!
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I learned about sales, real estate, home décor and running a business at an early age. My parents were divorced but both operated hugely successful businesses. My brother started his first home based business at the age of 10.
My dad was a real estate broker and owned numerous apartment buildings throughout the city. He also worked as a manufacturer’s representative selling all the latest commodities. My mom owned several businesses centered around home décor, decorating, catering and event planning. My brother, Roger Calkins, at the age of 14, started the first garage band in Kansas City, The Fabulous Silver Tones. In 2007, he was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Roger passed away on January 13, 2016.
Prior to real estate, I co-owned an antiques shop and tea room with my mom. It was a very busy time of my life being a single mom with two little ones. Retail is where I learned the art of design, display and merchandising. The shop was constantly changing and when one piece went out I learned the art of rearranging. Then when my mom suddenly became ill, I decided to close the shop and followed in my dad’s footsteps and got my real estate license. It was 1987.
My dad taught me the rules of salesmanship: work smart, work hard and build good relationships. Over the years, I’ve done just that and over 90% of my business comes from referrals of people I have served well.
During my early real estate career, I earned many designations (CRS, e-PRO, GRI, WHS) that built my knowledge. Then in 2006, I learned the art of home staging from the woman who created the concept back in 1973 and became an Accredited Staging Professional Stylist. That built my brand.
The awards followed with the Five Star Professional Real Estate Agent Award I’ve received every year since 2006. Less than 5% of the Realtors in the city receive this prestigious award that is based on closed transactions, customer service, communication, integrity, negotiation skills, marketing homes, market knowledge and overall customer satisfaction.
I believe real estate is a personal service business. Hire an individual not a company. You should “click” with the agent you hire and don’t hire an agent because they have sold the most houses or they say they can get you more money than what your neighborhood will bear. Many agents may tell you what you want to hear. I tell you the truth!
You are hiring an agent to protect your hard earned equity and money when selling your home. The agent you choose determines the results you get. Your money diminishes every day your house is on the market. My Fast Sale Visual Marketing Plan works to sell your home fast, with multiple offers and for over asking price. That’s money in your pocket. Is your agent an experienced negotiator and problem solver? If not, your money may be flying out the window.
Your goals in selling your home, protecting your money and taking responsibility for your success matters to me. I walk my talk.
How Real Estate Works
Real estate has changed over the years with the formation of groups, teams and mega agents. That is one segment of the real estate community. Those agents are on a mission to do as much production as possible to reach the #1 place in the office, the city and now the world. They may have anywhere from 15-30-60-300 listings at one time. But they may also have 15-30-60-300 people on their team to make that happen. Do you want to be one of their 30 listings they have for sale?
How I Work
I, however, make up the other sector that chooses to remain a solo agent. My mantra is to work with one seller at a time, get the house looking the best it can be to SELL YOUR HOME FAST. You will never sell your house for more money than the first day on the market.
By focusing on one client at a time, I can reach my yearly goals. Having 15-300 listings doesn’t serve either of us well. I would rather have 1 listing SOLD FAST than 15-300 listings that haven’t sold!
Working with you to find your next home and coordinating your two moves is all in a day’s work for me.
One thing is for sure. Real estate is a very diverse industry. There is no right or wrong way to do business. I have chosen what works for me and my clients. It doesn’t mean being a mega agent is wrong. You have lots of options when choosing the best agent for you.
My Target Market
As a baby boomer who has downsized twice, my focus is on educating, inspiring and coaching other boomers to do it now. The average baby boomer uses 40% or less of their home. You want to move but you procrastinate. Time is not on your side and every day that you put off getting out of that big house is more of your life wasted.
I’ve developed a system to help you downsize your home and your belongings so you can move on to the next phase of your life. Moving is never easy but it’s always easier when you are still capable of doing it.
My Communication Style
People tell me I’m very direct because I tell them the truth about what it takes to sell a house in today’s market. I treat people the way I want to be treated. I like constant communication when something is happening so I always keep people informed about showings, feedback and anything that’s going on with their house. That alone is a full time job when you have 15+ listings. That’s why I choose to work on selling one house at a time and get it SOLD FAST! It doesn’t take a team to do that. I like things that are simple, do-able and that get results.
My Signature Style
Having grown up in a 3 story house on Morningside Drive with a mother that was a show stopper herself, I learned to love decor and I developed my own signature style at an early age.
Our house was constantly changing with the times. From gold flocked wallpaper, to Hollywood Glamour to traditional pieces that were made to last forever, I still love blending different décor styles.
Today my signature style is vintage pieces layered with fun surprises. I like old and new mixed together in both furniture and accessories. After all, your home is more than a place to hang your hat. It tells your story, who you are and what you like. It’s your book that hasn’t been written. It shows your style, personality and your dreams. It tells where you’ve been and where you’re going.
Creating Your Home Selling Style
“The way you live in your home and
the way you sell your house
are two very different ways”
– Melinda Bartling
When selling your home, much of your signature style needs to be packed up to move to the next house. I know, I had to do it too when I sold my last house. It’s not easy but it works to get your home SOLD REALLY FAST! Plus, believe me, you’ll be happy you did that pre-packing when the offer comes in!
Some homes sell themselves. Unfortunately, most homes need a little spiffing up before they come on the market. My sellers, Keith and Marilyn were in their 80’s and their home looked like it. They told me “do whatever you need to do to sell our house fast.” I did it and their home sold the first day on the market, with multiple offers and for 102.8% of asking price! They were not only amazed but then referred me to two of their neighbors!
If you need accessories or furniture to create your perfect model home look that all buyers want (like Keith and Marilyn needed), I have a full array of furniture and accessories in inventory. I will bring things in if you need to spice up your space to bring it up to “Pottery Barn” standards for today’s picky buyers. Sometimes you need a little freshness to seal the deal.
As a Home Staging Stylist, I know the best arrangement for your furniture and accessories to get your home SOLD FAST – so we can negotiate your price up so you get more money! Many agents will bring in their home stager for one hour to give you suggestions. That’s called a consultation. I don’t tell you to put certain things away, I actually come in for as long as it takes and re-create your look as necessary. It’s what I do to make sure my listings are SOLD FAST so you get more money! My sellers tell me how much they love their home selling look and they appreciate the extra effort I put into helping them sell their house. They benefit from selling quickly and for more money.
Remember, the way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different ways. I know what buyers want and I have the right eye to create your home’s best love at first sight, model home selling look.
Working with Me
I am committed to working with you one on one until your house is SOLD FAST or you find the home of your dreams as a home buyer. If you are moving out of town, I help you with that as well. Keller Williams is the largest real estate franchise in the world. We don’t use a 3rd party company for your relocation needs. I go online, find you the best agent for your situation and interview them for you – quickly and easily.
How I Benefit You
In 2006, I formed, Another Staged Home, which has become Overland Park’s busiest Home Staging Company. Shortly thereafter, I saw a need for creating a training program for people that wanted to become Home Stagers. In 2008, Home Staging Stylist was created with 4 training courses offered each year.
I have a wide array of Home Stagers available to work with me on each house I list for sale. Each home is assigned its own personal “Home Staging Stylist” to work with me for as long as it takes to create your home’s best look.
Also available to you is my reasonably priced team of Professional Vendors that will help with any home projects you may need to complete before your home comes on the market.
Selling Your Home is Simple
But it’s not easy. My Fool Proof 3 Step Smart Seller Home Selling System is combined with my Fast Sale Marketing Plan. It’s chocked full of easily digestible bite-sized secrets that have successfully worked for many other sellers like you. It’s designed to eliminate your competition so buyers swarm to your home like bees to honey.
Rick and Karen’s house in Leawood South sold the first day on the market, with excellent multiple offers and closed with a cash deal in two weeks. It sold for more than $12,000 over asking price. That alone paid my side of the commission! Doesn’t selling your house come down to how much money you keep in the end?
Some of My Best Blog Posts
Here are some of the most popular articles I’ve written:
Other Ways to Connect with Me
My website is my home base. You can also connect with me through social media:
Stay in Touch
I hope you make wise decisions in choosing the right Realtor to sell your home. After all, it’s your money that’s lost when you don’t. I’m not your average Realtor. Some Realtors make promises. I get you fast results so you get more money! Check out what my other clients have said about me here.
Once a month I send out my newsletter, “The Inside Scoop on Real Estate.” It’s full of tips for selling, buying, home staging, home decor and home maintenance. If you want to know how to protect your money and you don’t want to miss a thing, you can subscribe here.
Call or text me today at (913) 515-3250 for a quick phone conversation to see if what I do helps you move on to the next phase of your life, quickly and easily! Or if you prefer, you can contact me here.