Category Archives: Homeowners

Laugh All The Way To The Bank!

From leaving the house for showings and open houses to having to keep the place spotless at all times, having a home on the market can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. Once you’ve made the decision to sell, you want to know that you won’t be in this anxiety-filled limbo forever. You want to hand over those keys, collect your check and move on — literally!

So, without lowering your asking price, what can you do to sell your home in a hurry? Here are 11 strategies that will help your property sell quickly without your wallet taking a heavy hit.

1. Declutter.

Few things detract from the beauty of a home quite like clutter. Though straightening and organizing is rarely the way most homeowners want to spend their days, it makes a huge difference. We’re not just talking about scrapping the junk mail either. Rid your entryways and mud rooms of extra coats, bags, and boots. Keep your countertops clear, and don’t forget to straighten up inside the kitchen and bathroom cabinets!  Yes, buyers look there.

2. Rent a storage unit.

Try removing one third of your items — especially from closets — before putting your home on the market.  This will make your home appear more spacious. Consider renting a storage unit rather than stuffing your basement or attic — because buyers look there as well!

3. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before!

Whether you’ve lived in a home for a few months or a few decades, some stains become invisible to you. While not every visitor will perform the old white glove test, they will notice things like dirty windowsills and dusty shelves. (And that crusty stuff on the bottom of your oven needs to go too.)  Don’t forget the ceiling fans! Continue reading Laugh All The Way To The Bank!

Why Do Realtors Ask That?

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Have you ever gone to an open house? Or called a real estate agent because you were curious about a listing? Maybe you e-mailed an agent about a property he/she has listed?

Did you just want to check out the house?  Maybe you’re curious about amenities. Or, perhaps you’re really serious about buying a house. Doesn’t matter. All you’re doing is asking a question. That’s it. You just want an answer.

It must seem like one of the first questions we ask you is, “Do you have a house to sell?

I’m sure you wonder what difference it makes and I suppose it does seem a bit cart-before-the-horse.  It might even come across as pushy and forward, and beside the point.  (Well…that’s sort of characteristic of Realtors, right?)

You don’t even know if you like the house – and you aren’t even really thinking about selling your house, until and unless you find the house you want and actually have an offer accepted.

So, why is it asked?

Maybe you think it’s because we’re hoping you do have a house to sell, so we can list the home you own, sell you the one you’re asking about, and get two sales off you.  Or that we want you to list your home, and get it under contract, so that you have to move…(again, so we can get two sales off you).

Which makes you feel like we’re just looking to make as much money as possible, as quickly as possible, and all from you!  All of your fears and perceptions about real estate agents seem justified…but… Continue reading Why Do Realtors Ask That?

Box It Up!

Container Home

Upcycled homes are becoming a new rage among home builders that want something eco-friendly, stylish and unique. Nowadays you can find upcycled tiny homes, earthships, and other various examples of the environmentally conscious construction movement. Here is an upcycled home style that makes use of large shipping containers, which happen to provide plenty of security and only start at $2,000 to build.

Most containers are sized at 8′ X 20′ (160SF) or 8′ X 40′ (320SF).  They can be stacked, angled or placed side by side.  They’re very affordable and construction time is minimal.  The greatest challenges appear to be insulation and temperature, rust and corrosion, and toxic materials (What was the container used for before it became a house?).

Still, houses contrived in this way intrigue me.  Here are a few that might intrigue you too!

Spicy Kitchens


According to several sites – HGTV and US News among them – a minor kitchen remodel (minor defined as $15,000) can bring homeowners as much as a 92% return.  There’s a caveat with that, of course.  A leaking roof, stained and frayed carpet, plumbing or a/c in need of repair are items that can’t be glossed over.  Buyers won’t notice your amazing kitchen.

What does renovation look like to you?  It may be simple (but costly) with the addition of new appliances or you might consider your kitchen a canvas.  Grab your paint brush and make a few bold strokes with new cabinets or countertops, then soften the atmosphere with lighting reflective of your lifestyle.

I frequently meet people who’ve just completed huge renovations prior to putting their homes on the market and I often hear ‘I wish I’d done it sooner so I could have enjoyed it before selling.’  Whatever you do, make your home the place you love to be.