Real Estate Staging Association Member Lori Murphy and Team Makes a Difference For a US Army Veteran and Widow.
Heather Whaley is a US Army Veteran, the mother of two beautiful girls and a recent widow. Heather found herself needing to sell her home after the unexpected death of her husband, Kelly.
Heather contacted a real estate agent and was told because they’d just bought the home there was not enough equity to be able to pay off the loan. The agent suggested she list the home at $105,000 and advised that even if she received a full-price offer, she would have to bring a considerable amount of money (around $15,000) to the table in order to sell her home.
Desperate to find help, Heather contacted Shell Brodnax, CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) to ask about home staging.
Shell Brodnax knew that this situation was something that RESA could help with, since RESA promotes giving back to the community; many RESA chapter members pool their resources to do pro-bono projects to help others in need. However, there were no RESA chapters in Heather’s area. Determined to assist Heather in any way possible, Shell reached out to a local stager and RESA member, Lori Murphy with Element One, and told her about Heather’s story. Shell asked Lori to take the lead on the ground locally and Shell would head things up at RESA headquarters, so that together they could do what needed to be done.
Lori Murphy previewed the property in order to help develop an action plan. RESA’s goal was to provide Heather’s home the upgrades and attention that it needed in order to sell quickly. This would not only help Heather sell the home, but could also potentially eliminate a short sale or the necessity to bring in money out of pocket at closing. RESA hoped to grant Kelly’s wish of getting his family back to West Virginia.
Lori Murphy pulled together a fantastic team of volunteers to help with this process. The following people provided their services pro-bono:
- Lori Hicks, HER Realtors and listing agent
- Sherol Saxton, HER Realtors
- Tom Karavolos, President First Ohio Title Insurance covered the closing fees
- Rodney Middendorf of R. Middendorf Media, LLC provided the photography services
- Jery Quarles, Industrial Solutions - Handyman Services donated supplies and products including painting the entire exterior and interior, lighting, shutters, flooring and many repairs
- Tony Evans VP of Evans Carpet Junk Yard donated the carpet, Ken Dulaney 3B Carpet & Floor Covering provided the remainder of the carpet at cost and traveled from Parkersburg, WV to install the carpet
- Jerry Goodson - donated many hours of painting; and Sherwin Williams donated the paint.
The house was listed and an offer was received after only 3 days on the market. The home sold for $127,000, $22,000 more than the original listing agent thought it would sell for.
RESA, Lori Murphy and the entire Heather’s Heroes team would like to wish Heather and her daughters the best of luck in the future.
About Element One
Element One works with real estate agents and homeowners to prepare homes for sale. By showcasing the best features of the home and making it appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers, they offer homeowners a competitive edge making the process of selling a home faster and more profitable. For more information or to speak with Lori Murphy, call or email at (740) 972-4714 / lori@ElementOneHomeStaging.com or visit www.ElementOneHomeStaging.com.
The Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®), a 501 c 6 tax-exempt organization, is the trade association for professional home stagers. RESA® is the portal to the staging industry and is the source of education and business tools focusing on the needs of stagers. RESA provides support services and educational resources for professional stagers in addition to providing vital information regarding the benefits of staging to Realtors and consumer. For more information on staging or to hire a professional stager, visit the RESA Web site at www.RealEstateStagingAssociation.com or call 800-201-8687. ####
The Original Story
Heather Whaley is a US Army Veteran, the mother of two beautiful girls Madison, 15 and Olivia, 8, and is also a recent widow.
Heather served in the US Army for four years and left the military to raise her family with the love of her life, Kelly Whaley. Kelly and Heather were like most working couples with children, trying hard to make ends meet and working towards their goal of home ownership.
Kelly took a job at Kroger’s Bakery in Columbus in April, 2012. He commuted between Columbus, OH and Vienna, WV, often working overtime and trying to save money with the long commute. Heather works for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. After all of their hard work and dedication they decided it was time to start making that American dream of home ownership come true.
The family decided to relocate to Circleville, OH to be near Kelly’s job, Heather applied to her employer for approval to work from home, knowing that approval would take a few months. Their dream of home ownership came true in November 2013 when Kelly and Heather bought their first home in Circleville, OH. Their goal was to fix up this home over the next few years until their oldest daughter Madison graduated from high school. They were taking steps to prepare themselves and their children for a brighter future.
With Heather’s application to work from home not yet approved, Kelly moved into their new home in December 2013; Heather and their two girls stayed behind with her parents until she was approved for her employers’ work at home program. In February 2014, Heather’s father took ill and was hospitalized. That month, Heather and the girls were finally able to move into their new home and her mother also moved in with them to be near her father, who was recovering nearby.
Finally, it looked like Heather’s family would be together at last. However, during the time that Heather’s father was ill, Kelly was not feeling quite right. He guessed this was due to the stress of moving into a new home and helping to take care of everything while Heather’s father was ill. On April 1st, 2014 however, Heather took him to the emergency room.
Kelly’s chest was swollen and he had pressure in his abdomen. After multiple tests including a CT scan, Kelly was diagnosed with cancer. After spending a week in the hospital, Kelly was released and ordered to come back the following week to start chemotherapy. The next day, Heather rushed Kelly to the hospital due to serious complications at home. The doctors found multiple blood clots in his lungs and legs. After two weeks, it was determined that the cancer was spreading at an alarming rate and his kidneys were failing. Kelly was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer but was unable to receive chemotherapy. He went into hospice care and passed away two days later with his wife and children by his side. He died less than one month from the date he was diagnosed, just shy of his 39th birthday.
During Kelly’s last few weeks, he told Heather to do what she needed to do to get the girls back to West Virginia so that their daughters could be with their friends, and for all of them to be near her parents.
Heather contacted a real estate agent and was told because they’d just bought the home that even if she received a full-price offer, she would have to bring a considerable amount of money to the table in order to sell her home. If she did not get a full-price offer she would have to make up the difference and perhaps even have a short sale. Desperate to find help, Heather contacted Shell Brodnax, the CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association® (RESA®) to ask about home staging.
Shell Brodnax knew that this situation was something that RESA could help with, since RESA promotes giving back to the community; many RESA chapter members pool their resources to do pro-bono projects to help others in need. However, there were no RESA chapters in Heather’s area, but Shell was determined to help Heather. She reached out to a local home stager named Lori Murphy and told her about Heather’s story. Shell asked Lori to take the lead on the ground locally and Shell would head things up at RESA headquarters, so that together they can do what needs to be done.
Lori Murphy previewed the property in order to help develop an action plan. RESA’s goal is to provide Heather’s home the upgrades and attention that it needs in order to sell quickly. This will not only help Heather sell the home, but could also potentially eliminate a short sale or the necessity to bring in money out of pocket at closing. RESA hopes to grant Kelly’s wish of getting his family back to West Virginia.
Here is a look at the finished home. Video Provided by R. Middendorf Media, LLC
To view this home on the MLS and for contact information for viewing please click here.
With just a few phone calls, some amazing heroes have stepped forward to help:
Project Coordinator Shell Brodnax, CEO of RESA, is the main contact overseeing the project and handling all contributions and media.
Click to read more about Shell Brodnax
Project Coordinator and will be doing the home staging.
Click to read more about Lori Murphy
Lori Hicks, REALTOR
Listing agent. Lori is providing her services 100% Pro-Bono
Hicks Elite Realty Professionals
Click to read more about Lori Hicks
Tom Karavolos, President
First Ohio Title Insurance Agency
77 East Nationwide Blvd.
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Covered closing fee, overnight fee, binder, and search for a total of $445.00
Rodney Middendorf will be donating 100% of his services to photograph the property so that it can be listed on the MLS.
R. Middendorf Media, LLC
Jery Quarles, Industrial Solutions - Handyman Services
Jery donated many supplies and products and gave a generous discount for the labor; he and his team:
Repaired and replaced:
- Ceiling tiles, chimney flashing
- Painted: entire exterior, interior walls, window trim and baseboards
- Replaced: front storm door, lighting fixtures throughout entire home, outlets and covers, switch place covers, laid vinyl flooring in dining room, kitchen and office area
- Installed shutters on the home
- Made minor repairs needed
- Installed mini blinds throughout the home
Tony Evans, V.P. Evans Carpet Junk Yard - donated part of the carpet
665 North Hague Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43204
3B Carpet & Floor Covering
Ken provided the remainder of the carpet at cost and came from Parkersburg, WV to install all of the carpet.
Note worthy: Jerry Goodson, Jery Quarles and team, and Ken Dulaney did their parts on their own time; working in the evenings and weekends after their "regular" jobs.
Sherwin Williams 5 Gallons of Paint
Manager - Alan
Columbus store #1118
7370 Sawmill Rd Ste B
Columbus, OH, 43235
Sherwin Williams 5 Gallons of Paint
Manager - Glenn
Circleville store - #1915
1260 N Court St
Circleville, OH, 43113
Jerry Goodson - donated many hours of painting
Heather proudly served her country and Kelly sacrificed to give his family the American dream. We hope to be able to give back to Heather and Kelly by getting their property up-to-date, staged, and ready to sell. Please consider helping us! We hope to address all of the needs of the home so that it sells quickly and so Heather will not have to come up with additional funds to close the sale. We want to give Heather and her girls the best possible start for a new life.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we look forward to sharing our progress on Heather’s Heroes project with you!