Your Next Home as Unique As SeaGlass

From B&B Owners to Real Estate Owners, SeaGlass Realty is Here!

STORY BY: LESLIE FOSTER

Each of us is uniquely and beautifully made and so it is with your home. Whether you find it on a tree-lined street in the historic district or oceanfront on Oak Island, SeaGlass Realty lists and sells homes all over our beautiful Cape Fear region. Linda Pukenas and Lisa Fosbury, Owners (and sisters ) of Sea Glass Realty have decades of combined experience in both real estate and marketing between them. Last Fall, they hung out their shingle in Southport, adding their expertise to our fast-growing real estate marketplace. The name chosen for their business is not accidental. The name conveys a coastal message to buyers and sellers alike, that like SeaGlass the process of buying and selling a home will be as special and unique as finding SeaGlass along the beautiful beaches of Brunswick County! Linda Pukenas and Lisa Fosbury, owners of SeaGlass Realty

Q. When did SeaGlass Realty hang its “Open for Business” sign in SPT? After combining decades of real estate and marketing skills together, my twin sister, Lisa and I launched Sea Glass Realty in fall 2016. It is a family-owned, boutique firm with a focus on customized, quality real estate services. Our goal is not to be the largest but to be one of the best in a market with many good Realtor choices. Lisa (Fosbury) is a former real estate appraiser and was a leading broker in the Raleigh (Triangle, Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wake Forest) market for over 15 years. Prior to that, she was in sales and markting in the pharmaceutical industry. Lisa has worked with countless buyers and sellers through the years and has experience in relocation (certified), buying & selling, broker market analysis and bank short sales & foreclosures. In the Raleigh/Triangle area, she worked with Remax United and most recently for many years with Coldwell Banker Advantage. She is also part owner of Captain Newton’s Inn on Moore Street in Southport.

Lisa and her husband, Hugh have a daughter, Melissa (27) and son, James (24). I celebrated over 20 years of senior marketing positions with leading brands including Commerce Bank (now TD Bank), Harrahs’ Entertainment and GMAC Residential before landing in Southport full time to own/operate the Robert Ruark Inn with my husband, Rick. I have had my real estate license for over 10 years and more recently hung my license with Margaret Rudd & Associates in Southport where I enjoyed working with the great folks there. My husband Rick (Pukenas) and I have many years of buying/selling/investing behind us as well. I’ve personally worked with 1031 Exchanges and land development in Cape May, NJ before moving to North Carolina in 2005.

Q. I’m a seller…. start to finish walk us through the steps you take from the first phone call to listing, to SOLD sign! It is important to process as much information from the first call so we can use it to evaluate the property’s primary and secondary markets before we meet in person or have the second call. After the first call, we will evaluate recent sales, current activity levels and current “competition.” A primary market/competitor is one that closely matches the property you are discussing. A secondary market/competitor may be a home that isn’t exactly like the property to sell but it fits within the price range and therefore is competing for “wallet share.”

After the second discussion, we should have the listing price, market positioning and be ready to process the listing documents. We then create and execute a final marketing plan that will include all tools (pictures, tours, marketing material, signage, etc.). Once listed, we keep in contact with the seller on a regular basis to let them know of showings, feedback and updates on the status of competing properties that could influence their sale. We re-evaluate as needed. Once an offer comes in, we commit to negotiating and maximizing results. We stay close through the settlement process and believe in 100% plus when it comes to communication. We believe in making the process easy for everyone. We also believe in helping our clients through the moving maze. Lisa has been a relocation specialist for years and knows all the ins and outs quite a bit. In addition to our previous experience, we also both own bed and breakfasts in town which helps us know and appreciate all the local “go to” trades.

Q. In addition to the MLS how else do you Market a sellers home? As with so many businesses today, the Internet is where most buyers see homes and often “meet” their future Realtor. Real Estate sites (that our County’s MLS links to include Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia) showcase properties and are optimized for website searches. That is why it is so important to have a listing that best showcases a property. All our listings will have professional photos, 3D tours and aerial shots when applicable.

We also believe in full, colorful marketing material that captures prospective buyers when they tour our listed homes. Marketing to other brokers/Realtors and neighbors can also be a useful tool in many instances. The Internet, signage, marketing to various SOBs (sources of business such as Realtors & neighbors), marketing material and good ‘ole networking (including showcasing open houses) are all very good tools. At the end of the day and most important in this market, however, is differentiating the property being sold. Lisa and I truly believe every property we list and sell is unique!

Q. SeaGlass is unique! Your tag line, “Every home is as unique as SeaGlass “ speaks to your business…. give our readers some examples of your “ uniqueness” in the competitive real estate business. My background in strategic and creative marketing as well as successes in personal real estate investments helps me position listings appropriately for sellers and research and evaluate listings with buyers. Every real estate purchase or sale has to meet the objectives of the client. Although the main objective is to sell or buy property, there are always factors that drive decision-making more than others.

It is also very unique and advantageous to have a former appraiser on our team. Lisa’s appraising skills and experience in the luxury home market is invaluable. The majority of her market in Raleigh was in luxury home sales with most of her clients in the $1 million plus market. This helped land her in the Triangle’s Business Journal’s coveted “Book of Lists” with a ranking in the top 25 Realtors in the Raleigh/Durham market. She was a leading agent with Coldwell Banker/Advantage for many years. As a former appraiser, too, I do not know anyone who can price a home as well as she can. She not only uses sound appraisal factors but has a keen sense for intangibles within the market. Together we bring great insight on the most important factors for listing and selling homes and other type properties. We also bring a strong commitment to professionalism and ethical real estate practice to our roles.

Q. SPT is growing! (which we love) How do resale properties compare with new construction in the SPT area.? As our tag line says, “Every Property is Unique!” With every property, it is good to do a simple SWOT analysis. It is important to sit down and put a plan together that spells out and addresses the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT) of a property. It helps identify internal and external influences. For instance, a resale property in Indigo Plantation may be an older home but it benefits from a neighborhood with large treed lots, nice amenities like a pool & tennis courts and being close to downtown Southport and several marinas. Although the house may not be new, the location and the setting are strengths. If the house has been renovated, that is a strength, too. With every property purchase, there are always SWOTs. Q.Describe your “ideal” client? We know they must exist! Truly….”Every Buyer and Seller is Unique.” Ideally, however, everyone benefits from clients who are honest, straight-forward, reasonable and think of their Realtor as a partner in the process. This being said, however, selling and buying real estate is a very emotional process for most people. Sometimes there are ups and downs that get the better of the client. That is why we are here! Realtors are here to help their clients through these emotions as well as through the entire process.

Q. What trends are you seeing in our local real estate market? Lifestyle Living! Although there are always first-time and move-up buyers, our market, as we all know, sees a lot of empty-nesters heading toward or into retirement. Buyers are looking for a quality of life that keeps them active, sociable and in an area that nurtures them physically and emotionally. The Southport/Oak Island/Boiling Springs and entire Cape Fear Region offers buyers the opportunity to enjoy a naturally beautiful area with many opportunities for social and other meaningful endeavors. Proximity to the Coast, smaller (less than 2500 sq feet whether new or renovated) homes with lifestyle benefits is important. Lifestyle benefits can include being within walking/ biking distance to restaurants, shops and the waterfront (Downtown Southport) or a full amenity package that includes fitness centers, clubhouses, restaurants & golf courses, etc. (St. James, Winding River for example) or developments with some amenities like pools & a clubhouse (Indigo Plantation, Cades Cove, Arbor Creek, Rivermist, etc.) or areas with lakes like Boiling Springs or the Beach (Oak Island, Caswell, BHI). There are so many great neighborhoods and areas in which to choose.

Q. Is it true that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses? Yes. In this market, we can also add outdoor living space, first floor master bedrooms and open floor plans. Kitchens and bathrooms are always tops in every market.

Q. Location. Location. Location! Which neighborhoods(OI, BSL, St James, SPT) are the most desirable? We are seeing a lot of activity in all the areas right now. Again, it depends on the “Unique Buyer” as to what is most desirable. We see a lot of movement in homes priced $400,000 less with the majority under $300,000. Buyers generally like being close to the water whether in Southport, on one of the Islands, in Boiling Springs Lakes or when choosing a planned neighborhood. We have a lot of neighborhood communities such as Arbor Creek, St. James, etc. The size, age and ability to build new homes impacts the activity level. I think all areas and neighborhoods are in a good position for this upcoming market including higher priced custom homes and luxury estate homes.

Q. Historic properties are such an asset to our community. What are the pros and cons of selling these special homes? This is my favorite question as I truly love every historic home whether totally restored or one that needs a lot of love. Rick and I have owned and restored numerous old homes and have loved every one. The pros: You can’t truly duplicate a historic home. You can’t duplicate or reinvent the history of the home or the role it played in developing a community. Historic homes are usually built to last with special details and charm. A historic property needs to be loved, admired, respected and preserved to the best of the owner’s ability.

Buyers should always (as with any house) get a home inspection (and survey) so they know what they are buying. They can then assess their threshold for any upgrades, maintenance, etc. The cons of a Historic home are sometimes immediately apparent; they often need restoration or at least renovation. Unless a historic home is completely restored, basic upkeep may be more than a new home. Historic homes are usually located closer to the waterfront thus also warranting a higher price tag. The types of materials used in historic homes can also increase the cost. A good option is also for a buyer to purchase a lot and built a home designed to look and feel like a historic home. There are several good local builders in our area who have been very successful achieving this for their clients.

FUN QUESTIONS:

FAVORITE FOOD: Linda: Ice Cream Lisa: Strawberries

FAVORITE BOOK: Linda: Anything historical Lisa: Ginny’s Chairs

FAVORITE MUSIC: Linda: Country Lisa: Country

FAVORITE PLACE TO TRAVEL: Linda: Cape May & Budapest Lisa: Exuma, Bahamas Cays

FAVORITE THING ABOUT SOUTHPORT: Linda: Front-porch living Lisa: Sunsets

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