leftMeet Allegra Willis    
REAL ESTATE... SOUTH FLORIDA STYLE
 
Allegra Willis has long been interested and attracted to art and design.  Having been interested in art since her college days at Rhodes University in Memphis, she studied sculpture, painting, and design.  Though her major was in psychology, she had a passion for art and has continued her interest and pursuit since then.
 
Whether it is creating a beautifully landscaped garden, inventing an original faux finish room, or creating a great gourmet dinner of freshly smoked salmon and colorful sushi, Allegra is always pursuing a passion to create and to please her friends and family.  Allegra enjoys planning and putting a lot of attention to detail, focus and care into every project that carries her own unique expression and style.  For Allegra it becomes a work of love that is rewarded by the pleasure and satisfaction expressed by those around her. 
Allegra's natural energy and commitment to perfection shines through in all that she does.  She understands that when you put your heart into everything you do, you get much more out of life.
 
An Artist in Action
 
This admiration for art, design, and presentation brings much insight into Allegra's successful career as a real estate professional.  She knows and appreciates the painstaking care that must go into every detail and the importance of each detail in the final result.  Every home purchase or sale is unique and deserves special treatment and care.  For Allegra, clearly the only way to effectively serve her clients is to treat everyone as an individual with distinct needs and expectations.  That is how she has turned her real estate practice into a work of art.
 
Satisfaction and Exceeding Her Client's Expectations Are the Bottom Line
 
Anyone who knows Allegra will be quick to tell you her dedication to helping people and making a difference in her community comes naturally.  Whether it is being the captain of her competitive women's golf team, or a Board member of her homeowner association, or serving on the landscape committee of her association, Allegra pursues her job with a passion and thrives on helping her team win.  Allegra enjoys making a contribution, such as organizing a neighborhood Bar B-Q or giving a cooking class to her friends. 
 
What Allegra is truly passionate about is Making Sure Her Clients Are Satisfied.  This can only be done through dedicated communication and service.  That is why she invests so much of her own time and money into her business.  She has a state of the art office, works in partnership with her husband Howard in sales and marketing, and dedicates resources to a thorough marketing program that responds to the demands of today's real estate market.  Allegra says "this business is always changing and I'm always looking for a better way to sell a home." 
 
"I take great pride and care in helping people realize their dreams and accomplish their goals of selling their home or finding their ultimate residence.  It gives me a strong feeling of satisfaction knowing I'm making a difference for families I work with," says Allegra.
 
Worldly Experience
 
Allegra is passionate about helping people and enjoys how her career provides her numerous opportunities to meet others.  Her uniqueness begins with her background and early upbringing.  Born to a Colombian father and American mother, she divided her time growing up among Colombia, Venezuela, and the U.S.  Having attended high school in Bogota' and Merida, Venezuela, she later attended and graduated from the University in Memphis, Tennessee where her uncle was a professor. 
 
This exposure to different cultures and languages gave Allegra an edge in appreciating the diversity in many people and a confidence to interact with people from all walks of life.  With the world community shrinking as it is, Allegra feels it is vital to understand the diverse needs and expectations of the many cultures and nationalities found here in South Florida. 
 
This was the solid philosophy she took with her to college in the United States.  After earning her degree in psychology and counseling, she went on to become a counselor and later a manager of a successful behavioral health care program at a major urban hospital.  Allegra earned a solid reputation for integrity, professional competence, and exceptional service. 
 
Home Staging Can Produce Great Results
 
It takes more than a general clean-up and a few flower vases to show your home off to its best advantage. Learn how a thoughtful "staging" of your property can speed up the sale and boost the price.
 
How Staging a house Can Pay Off for Sellers
 
Penny Doherty writes that Mary Summers believed she could have sold her two-story colonial in Severna Park, Md., for $10,000 to $20,000 more if she and her husband had merchandised or "staged" it properly. Her four-bedroom house, originally listed at $470,000 in December, sold for $450,000 in February.
 
Unfortunately, brokers from the Summers's real-estate agency were only learning the sales technique of staging a home as it was closing at the lower price. By the time her agency had learned how to provide this gentle art of temporarily redecorating a house to facilitate a buyer's purchase the sale was complete. But Mrs. Summers, who enjoys decorating and remodeling, decided to let a group of local agents enrolled in staging class practice on her house after-the-fact.
 
"It was the wildest experience I've ever had. They went all over the house, they even went in closets and updated the house with things I'd bought for the new place," she says. Using her existing furniture, the group changed the look of several first-floor rooms. They expanded the dining table in her French-provincial dining room, made creative use of holiday linens, and moved an old trestle-style sewing table from an upstairs room into the dining room. In the living room, they switched pictures and mirrors on the wall with art from other rooms of the house and also traded accessories, such as lamps, from other rooms. "They found props all over the house," she said. "They gave it a whole new feel."
 
Specific Techniques
 
Allegra has applied her own experience from her years of buying and selling homes for herself, in combination with her own interests in interior design, she has developed skills which have helped a number of home sellers.  Realtors forever have advised sellers on techniques -- picking up clutter, hiding dirty dishes in the dishwasher, brewing an aromatic tea -- to make prospective buyers feel comfortable. But effectively preparing a house to show at its best goes well beyond such obvious tips.
 
Allegra has helped owners with concepts such as the "three Cs" (cleanliness, clutter reduction and color) to give homes more appeal.  A student of art and design who began working in real estate, Allegra realized that, rather than decorating to showcase their own belongings, homeowners needed help to show off their home's architectural features. "Buyers are the audience," she says. "I couldn't get sellers to do what I wanted them to do to their houses to make them sell." Sellers who took her advice sold their homes faster and for more money.
 
Marketing a Product
 
Allegra says there are at least three price levels at which a staging professional can stage a home, ranging from simply rearranging furniture to emptying a house out and filling it with rented furniture. Some gestures require only a few minor purchases -- a few ficus trees, new linens -- while sellers with bigger budgets might do minor landscaping, repainting, or re-wallpapering.
 
Allegra relates one experience with a Florida homeowner who approached her during an open house.  Allegra made mention that if the seller considered a few changes the home might attract more interest from other agents and their buyers.  The seller was intrigued, and a bit desperate, as the home had been on the market three months in the high $300's and had seen little activity.  Allegra gave him a list of to-do's including adding plants, re-grouping wall art, cutting down on clutter and putting a number of furniture pieces in the garage, and adding some paint for color.  The owner made these changes over a weekend, and the following Monday the first buyer made an offer.   Allegra has staged and sold a number of homes and won't hesitate to mention this service for her clients. 
 
Staging speeds up sales in a sluggish market or time of the year, and, Allegra says, can bump up prices 2% to 10% in a moderate market. The biggest advantage occurs with luxury homes or in a market with bidding wars over properties, where effective staging can boost prices by 20% to 30%.
 
Allegra applied her technique to a Weston Hills home in the Reserve Community.  Her friend Sawako Kikuchi asked Allegra to help her on her luxury home, listed at $970,000, that had been on the market for five months. The house was ten years old, a bit dated, and painting was not feasible. 
 
Allegra gave Sawako a game plan addressed at re-decorating with plants, minimizing clutter, making changes to the master bedroom, and other details.  The Kikuchi's invested nothing in dollars -- and the owners sold their house to the next buyer who saw the home after the changes for $950,000 -- a price Allegra said they took too quickly. 
 
Contact Allegra Willis today to experience the ultimate in real estate service.
You won't be disappointed!

Keller Williams Realty
Cell (954) 288-6667
Fax (954) 370-7579
E-mail: allegra@thewillisgroup.com

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