March 16, 2018

Spark A Bidding War


Ready to make a move? Have a certain figure in mind that you need to sell for? Depending on your market, you might be able to get a little more than what you may be needing. Go over with your agent if setting a bidding war is smart for the sale of your home, and if they give the green light, here are a few things to consider to help get your sales price over asking after starting a bidding competition. 



When there isn't much interest in a property, buyer's get nervous and suspicious that there may be something wrong with the home that they may be missing, and that could sometimes be further from the truth. You want to price your home competitively to entice more showings. When you price your home right under the market standard, it leads to more showings, more appointments, and more excitement around your home. 



You want to make sure your price gets buyers interested in your property. Even if they end up paying more than asking, the excitement from feeling like they are getting a deal and landing your home sets the right mood for buyers to WANT your property. Always price the home in a way that is going to appeal to a large audience. Pricing a home at $399,900 can generally generate more foot traffic than one listed at $400,000. Advertising a home for sale that is listed for slightly under the market value can garner a lot of interest, which can lead to the home selling for more than what the seller originally wanted. 



Make sure you work with an agent that has the ability to start up a coming soon buzz around your home. You want to let the market know that your home is going to be coming soon, and start up conversation and interest. This gives time for word about your home to spread to get more foot traffic and competition on your house.



It's without question that to get over market value for your home, it has to be in tip-top condition. Discuss with your agent the importance of having your home professionally cleaned and stage to attract more buyers. Starting up a buzz won't lead to much if buyers walk into your home and turned off by orders, unappealing lighting, or rooms that are not properly staged. You want to allow buyers and opportunity to see your home in the best light the first time they walk through your door.



Have your agent set a deadline for offers, say a Monday or Tuesday, right after a weekend of doing open houses. This can generate a sense of urgency around your home, letting buyers think there is a large amount of interest and to get offers in quickly. Setting them up with this state of urgency generally makes them want to put their best foot forward with their first offer.



To generate a little more excitement and foot traffic, you can offer an incentive for whomever purchases the home, or set a fun giveaway during an open house. Some people have given away cars, tickets to a major event - like the Super Bowl, given away vacation tickets, etc. Doing an out-of-the-box giveaway helps to generate organic buzz around your home. Some giveaways have even landed seller's homes in the local news. More buzz means more potential buyers, which means a potential opportunity for a bidding war to get you a better sales price.

Posted in Selling
March 12, 2018

Why Rent If You Can Buy

Home ownership rates are the lowest they have been in the last 50 years. Yet a large portion of Americans are still renting properties, instead of enjoying a home of their own. Consumer reports believe this is an issue because of a buyer's lack of trust in their ability to purchase. It is still a long standing notion that a buyer needs 20% towards the cost of the home in order to move forward, but this isn't true. With countless down payment assistant programs, and closing cost roll-ins, a home owner could move in with as little as a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars. Which is a huge difference in the time it takes to save up to make the move. 







With interest rates at an all time low, home ownership in today's market is a great investment. The money saved over a mortgage's lifespan can result in tens of thousands of dollars, if not hundreds. That's more money in your pocket today. Don't wait to buy when interest rates soar again. With low interest rates, that means your monthly mortgage payments are at a significantly lower cost, as well. With such a heated housing marketing, rental prices are soaring, and statistics are constantly showing that home ownership can be equivalent to your rental rate each month, if not less. Why get stuck in a small 2 bedroom apartment, if you can move into a home a pay a monthly rate that is the same, and get a 3 bedroom house with a great backyard? 

There is also a fear that a home can keep you "stuck" or "rooted" to one place, without an easy transition out if you decide to move. Although the future of the housing market isn't easily predictable from location to location, you can always discuss with your agent about buying a home in an area that has a strong turn-over rate when a home hits the market. The equity build up when it comes time to selling is going to be far more beneficial, than if you put money into a rental and decided to move. The money from selling the property can be used to purchase a new home. With renting, there would be no additional funds to transition into a new place. 

Now imagine if you were renting a home for $2000/month. If your landlord is renting to make a profit, think how much less you'd be paying on a monthly basis towards your mortgage, if the home was yours. Then you wouldn't be paying a landlord to profit off of you, you'd be paying a reasonable rate, and get to call the property your own. Discuss with your agent and lender the steps you need to take towards home ownership, you might be happily surprised about the type of home you can afford to move into. 

Posted in About Buying
March 9, 2018

Top 5 Home Staging Props



Orchids are an incredibly versatile prop. They are beautiful, elegant and add class into any interior, regardless of the style of home. They will pair well with just about any room. You can add it into a bathroom for a spa-like feel, group it into containers for a grand entryway centerpiece, or make it the highlight of the dining room. Adding high quality florals can be the perfect way to decorate any space, and the variety of flower types and arrangements can blend into any decorating theme.


Books are wonderful space fillers and can introduce you to subtle pops of color into your living space. They can also be used as risers to add dimension to your room by propping other decorative pieces. 


Ceramic containers can really add a calming and organic effect into a decorative scene. They have a beautifully subtle, and can be the right touch to bring a room together. Using vases, trays, and bowls allow a lot of versatility. Vases can be used as a creative way to hold utensils in a kitchen and bowls can be used for small plants. The right container, paired with the right filler, can set the scene and create a warm and inviting space.


Fillers are the perfect couple to the types of containers noted above. Fillers can be wicker balls, moss balls, faux lemons or other fruits, limes, bread, lemons, flowers, and just about anything else you can think of. Fillers can bring in a lived-in look to any space, warming up what could otherwise feel like a bare room. 


Having lifestyle elements in your home can really set the pace for the theme you want to incorporate. Lifestyle elements are things that breathe life into any room, and prevent it from feeling too staged. These can be things such as a teapot on a night stand, a bowl of fruit on a dining room table, little figurines on nightstands, books on a coffee table, etc. You can even add a breakfast tray on a set bed. Use lifestyle scenery sparingly so it doesn't come off too cheesy and over-done. 

Posted in Selling
March 6, 2018

Add Charm To Your Bedroom

With a new season upon us, you might be wanting to spruce up your bedroom to add a little charm and "newness" to your space. Here's some tips to decorating your bedroom by adding some charm and elegance. 


Your bedroom furniture is what makes the biggest impression on you, first thing in the morning, and at the end of each day. You'll want to add pieces to your bedroom that you'll love, unique pieces that add character and charm to your personal space.

  • Canopy Beds

A modern style canopy bed can add a lot of simple beauty into your bedroom. Use a four-poster frame that is clean and matches your current finishes. A simple design allows you to dress up the bed as you please. Keep it clean for a masculine touch, or add a soft look by hanging gauzy panels. 

  • Daybed

Have an empty corner in your bedroom? You can consider adding a traditional style daybed and bring it to life with an elegant French countryside flair. Add lots of layered pillows and throws to bring out the character of your set. 

  • Antiques

Don't be afraid to incorporate antique pieces throughout your modern decor. Adding a fun vintage trunk or even an antique dresser with a crisp bedding set can really coordinate a beautiful theme. Antiques can give your bedroom a lot of personality and provide a conversation piece.



Sometimes, all a bed need is a new bedding set. Brands these days carry an array of fabric options, allowing you a large variety of textures and patterns to fit any bedroom style or mood.

  • Silk Bedding

If you want to do something outside of cotton sheeting, you can add a luxurious touch with some silk bedding. It's naturally hypoallergenic and provide a less friction sleep on your skin. Silk is beautiful and really stands out in a bedding set.

  • Linen Bedding

If you want a more lived-in look, linen helps achieve that in a modern and classic way. Use neutral colors to create a layered look that's simple and relaxed.

  • Cable Knit Bedding

Expanding beyond the typical sofa throw, cable knit blankets are soft enough to use as your coverlet and add the right amount of texture for your decorative shams. Cable knits are the perfect blend of practicality, elegance, and comfort.



Your bedroom furniture and bedding have a large role in making your master functional, but it's the little things that will really bring out the personality and charm. Consider the type of mood you want your bedroom to have and decorate to match that mood. Do you want a dark cozy room? Do you want a spa like feel? Or do you prefer a beach theme? Whichever mood you want to go with, adding decorative pieces can bring it together.

  • Throws & Quilts

Piling up on extra blankets can be a great way to add decorative pieces throughout your bedroom, that can also be functional. Quilts and silks add a cozy element to the room, where as cotton can add a modern clean feel. Drape bed scarfs over chairs to add a lived-in look.

  • Flowers & Candles

The aroma of fresh flowers or a lit scented candle can help you unwind and enjoy the quiet moments in your bedroom. Scents can elevate the mood, but they also help you relax. Get one that isn't too strong, can be enjoyed long term, and fit's into the decorative mood of your room.

  • Style Your Nightstand

Keep your nightstand free of cords and electronics. Clutter can bring a negative mindset, and when it's the first place you look at in the morning, you want to keep the electronics and mess off your tables. Add a stack of timeless books, an elegant tray, or a decorative pieces of art. Only keep the necessities, like reading glasses, a glass of water, or your favorite book.

Posted in Around The House
Jan. 30, 2018

6 Reasons Your Home Won't Sell

Are you ready to sell your home and want it to have a great first impression on the market? Or maybe your home has been listed for a few weeks or months, and you can't figure out why it won't sell, and you know your agent is working hard to market it. We've listed below the top 6 reasons your home may not make a good impression and end up stagnant on the market.


To be clear, an overpriced home is the #1 reason a home won't sell. We often times want our homes to be worth a lot more than we may see based on the data, but if you put your home on the market for the number you wish it will bring instead of the price it actually needs to be, your home can sit on the market for months without getting a single showing. If you're thinking you need to price high to leave room for negotiations, statistics show that views for your property, for buyers in your price range, can drop a whopping 90% if it's priced too high. Discuss with your agent what the market says the value of your home is, then price it competitively to potentially get a bidding frenzy instead of low offers or having it expire.


Making sure the house is clean and having to leave on a daily basis for buyers to tour the home may get a little overwhelming, but it is crucial to have open availability to have your home shown. You could end up missing out on the perfect buyer if you decline too many showings. The longer it sits on the market, the less value buyers will see in it. Talk with your agent about having a 24 hour notice period if the extra time is needed, but make sure your home is available to be shown as often as possible.


Buyers want to walk into a house and envision their lives in that home. This is difficult to do if your home is cluttered with personal belongings. They are instantly given the feeling of invading someone else's personal space, instead of the satisfaction of being able to see a future in your home. Make sure your property is clutter free before putting it on the market; and store away any family photos.


If you smoke or have pets, it's easy to get used to the smell to the point that you don't even notice it anymore. But it's important to understand that the scent can be picked up by new people visiting your home, and it can really turn them off from making an offer. Before a showing, make sure to dispose of any garbage, don't cook fish or other strong smelling food, and ensure the home is freshened up so there are no pet or smoke odors. 


Selling your home as-is may sound appealing at first, but being unwilling to make repairs could cost another mortgage payment that far exceeds the cost of repairs if you refuse to work with the buyer on their requests and the home goes back on the market again. It's wise to be open to repair requests, and simply go over with your agent what you can afford to do and make a reasonable counter offer during the repair negotiations. 



It's important to have an open mind about requests that will come from buyers when it comes to purchasing your home. These requests can come in the form of price negotiations, repair requests, or even requests to cover closing costs or home warranties. With your agent on your side advising you of the best steps to take, it's best to be open to working with the buyer's on some of their requests to ensure a successful closing.


Posted in Selling
Jan. 29, 2018

Use The Right Paint Finish

Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and recommendations on where they are best applied to.


Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections.  It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms, and interior walls.

Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim, high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.


Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces

Posted in Around The House
Jan. 26, 2018

10 Staging Tips To Get Your Home Sold

Ready to sell your house? Here is a few staging tips to get your home prepared for the market. When listing a home that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, you want to make sure it's presented in the best light. You wouldn't buy a $50,000 dollar car if it was filled from top to bottom in someone's personal content and trash. This is the same mindset you need to carry into selling your home that will be worth well over a $100,000.


The best thing you can do for your home for sale is to get rid of all of your clutter! Make a rule for your home that for every new piece that comes in, one must go. One of the biggest factors to a cluttered home is too much furniture. Generally, in a professional staging, half the home owner's furniture is removed to make the house look much bigger. Look around your house and see what you can pack away. It'll be worth the investment to get a storage unit for a couple of months to store away a lot of your furnishings and goods.


It's largely misconceived that furniture pushed directly up against walls make a room look bigger, but this is far from true. Instead, you'll want to float your furniture in reach room and away from the walls. Position your sofas and chairs into cozy conversational groupings. Be sure the furnishings are placed to make the traffic flow in a room obvious. This will make the room more user-friendly and will make it look larger.


If you have a room that has only served to collect boxes or other junk, it's important to purpose the room to something that is functional. You can make it into an extra bedroom, a small cozy nook/reading room, etc. If it's in the basement, hid the boxes and turn it into a gaming room or family area.


Great lighting is the trick to making a staged home look warm and welcome. Most homes are improperly lit, which makes rooms look dark and dreary. There is a quick fix to this issue. Increase the wattage in your fixtures and lamps, aiming for about 100 watts per 50 square feet. Add three different types of lighting to each room: ambient (general overhead), task (under cabinets or pendants), and accent lighting (table lamps and wall accents).


The simple trick to toning down dated finishing in any space is a little bit of fresh paint. You don't want to go stark white, but look into neutral grey and beige colors. Beige colors can also consist of warm honey like colors, soft blues and greens, and a variety of undertones that add a little life to a general neutral color. If you do want to use bold colors, be sure to only keep it on accent walls to help enhance structural features.


If you want to make a room bigger than it is, paint the room the same color as an adjacent room. For small kitchens and dining rooms, a seamless look will make the space feel like one, open it up, and make it seem much larger. Using drapes that match the wall colors can also add an emphasis to the room's size.


Staged homes have an emphasis in fresh flowers and pricey floral arrangements. If you don't have the money to go all out on florals, you can get this same effect by raiding your garden space. You can DIY beautiful pieces with fern fronds, magnolia clippings, and more. Use the spring and summer months to find cheerful flowers and use them in your arrangements.


So you can't afford new cabinets? Then you can just get new doors and drawer fronts. Then paint everything to match and add new hardware to them. Instead of replacing the entire dishwasher, you may be able to get a new front panel, go for stainless steel if you can pull it off. Check with the manufacturer to see if replacements are available for your model.


Unfinished home projects can really scare off potential home buyers, so you'll want to be sure to make required repairs. Missing floorboards and large cracks in the sidewalk on the way to your door tend to be a red flag. Holes in walls and scratched up door frames can really look unattractive. These repairs cost you less to fix than buyers might deduct from the asking price.



Aside from de-cluttering, the most important step to staging your home is to clean it. A dirty house is a quick turn-off for potential buyers. Most homes, especially with children and pets, and smokers, have a smell that may go undetected to home owners, but are quickly picked up by strangers. Be sure to have your home professionally cleaned prior to staging to appeal to all buyers that your home is nice and fresh.

Posted in Selling
Jan. 26, 2018

The Incredible Joy of Owning Your Home

If you haven't bought a home yet, you're missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, "Finally, it's ours (or mine)!" And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that's a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don't often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home. 

There is a sense of security, and a sense of "this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment," that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can't be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year's Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships. 

Buying a home isn't about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it's just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you've been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

Posted in About Buying
Jan. 25, 2018

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms


Is your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house. I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.


  •  Medicine Cabinet
    If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space.

  • Shelving
    If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.

  • Hooks
    With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.

  • Towel Racks 
    A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet.

  • Vanity with Cabinet
    I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick.

Posted in Around The House
Jan. 24, 2018

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your 1st Home

The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.


Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!

·      Is your family expanding?

·      Does your family feel safe?

·      Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your     children can get the education they deserve?

·      How about that unbearable landlord?


DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.

Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.

If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.



The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.



If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.

Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!

Posted in About Buying