When it comes to selling homes, Anita Bliss and Judy Zumberge have their own recipe to success. This dynamic duo, who have been in the business for over 30 years, combine interior design and home staging skills to get the job done. Together, they call themselves The Designing Agents.
They also have a rigorous commitment to customer service, “We don’t make promises, we make commitments,” they say.
We got together with Judy Zumberge and Anita Bliss to find out more about what they do, what makes them special and to get a little insight into today’s booming real estate market in Plano and Collin County.
Meet Judy Zumberge and Anita Bliss: The Designing Agents
How did you get started in real estate?
It was a culmination of our professional interests and experience. Judy is a Dallas native and owned a design business for over 30 years including a retail furniture and accessory store until 2000. Her talents were featured in many of the “Parade of Homes” in the Plano and Frisco area. She began her investment in the real estate market remodeling homes for sale in 2004. Anita designed interiors for Model Homes in Florida, worked in the Commercial Furniture Industry for Fortune 500 Companies in Texas and California. Our combined knowledge of interior products, space planning, staging, and project management all complement what we do in real estate. With this background there is an ability to see present value vs. optimal value which is valuable to our sellers and buyers.
What do you do? What’s different?
We have a process that we follow consistently with each client. It begins with preparation, planning and solutions. Selling or purchasing a home is one of the most important financial decisions our clients make in a lifetime. We offer a “turnkey” option to take the stress out of that experience. Whether it be staging or remodeling to sell or design and furnishing after the purchase, we are there to make that a smooth transition.
What are the current design trends?
We are seeing lighter colors, neutral tones, cleaner lines and simpler style. Less is more and that makes life easier. We are enjoying the new, organic approach to many products and furnishings.
Is there a popular local design trend that you hate?
I wouldn’t say we hate it but pretty worn out on the shabby chic look! We tend to encourage styles that are timeless.
How would you describe the current real estate market in Collin County. What trends are you seeing?
The Current market is exciting! Dallas is the #1 New Home Market in the nation, not just in sales but the diversity of the builders. The quality of the homes is better here than other parts of the country and all offered at a variety of price points. With the lack of inventory in Collin County we are also seeing greater numbers of buyers willing to purchase older homes expecting to remodel or upgrade.
What’s the biggest mistake people make when preparing their home for the market?
The answer to that is in the question. Preparation! The visual condition and atmosphere of the home directly affects the final sales price. Home buyers are savvier than ever now and most of them do not want to buy a project. Having an expert to consult and guide sellers with staging, remodeling and de-cluttering are all preparations that make them money.
How should people prepare their home for sale?
Have their home inspected. A home inspection prior to placing it on the market makes the seller aware of exactly what needs to be done in order to put your home in Top Notch condition. A responsible seller that can show a buyer that the home has been well maintained will likely have a smoother closing. Hire a professional for advice on staging and/or remodeling. Buyers are visual and are well trained with HGTV! Sellers can create a competitive edge for their home that buyers cannot help but notice and appreciate.
Over the years, how have you seen housing trends change?
Bright and bold colors as accents with lighter, neutrals as a base. Larger, more open floor plans with one main living or dining area. Formal living rooms and dining rooms are going away! Going back to a less congested, cleaner lifestyle using more natural materials seems to be so important. Greener, more efficient, energy saving are all a “big must” for the new buyers. Even landscape that is more drought tolerant which requires less watering is a new trend.
What advice do you have for someone looking for a new home?
Hire an experienced realtor to help guide them through the ENTIRE process! An experienced realtor will be your advocate through the entire transaction. The purchase of a home is one of the most important investments made in a lifetime, so, make sure you are with a trained professional. Anita and I pride ourselves as masters in contractual negotiation whether it be purchasing a new home or a preowned. Do not make that decision without a professional! Prequalify with a local lender, first to determine budget and time frame for closing. Consider the commute for work, schools, church, shopping needs and tollway use. A realtor will be that necessary and valuable asset when they are ready to make that offer on their dream home.
What do you consider your secrets to success?
Our knowledge of the market, our unique talents and consistent communication with our clients. Whether we are helping our clients to sell their present home or purchase their next, we are dedicated to their service. We don’t make promises, we make commitments. We invest in our clients as they are our business!
As a woman is business what are your tips to fellow women?
Surround yourself with like-minded women. Support one another through collaboration. Don’t be afraid to share. Lean in, get the job done and step back and be proud of what you have accomplished.
The Designing Agents: Judy Zumberge & Anita Bliss