Home Seller Tips

10 Tips to Spruce Up Your New Home

Buying a Fixer Upper? There are many ways to make a new home livable while you are saving for that new living room furniture you want. Below are some quick tips to get your new home into tip top shape without spending a lot of money!

Make Each Room Your Own.
You've done it! You own your first piece of property. Make a list. Take each room and place a photo, plant, paperweight or personal item that reflects you and your individuality. Your home should show off your unique personality.

True Colors.
Any new room can be made comfy with a new coat of paint. Choose warm colors for rooms you will be relaxing in, and cool colors for offices and bathrooms.

Pay Attention to Light.
Does your new home have a great window that lets in beautiful light? Or maybe you have a sliding glass door that gives you a great view. Be sure to keep these spaces open and unblocked.

Go inexpensive with some pretty, simple curtains. Use white to match with everything, or pick a color that you know would brighten up the room.

While moving in to your new house, make sure to take charge and throw away useless items that you will not use. You are starting over!

Plants and Flowers.
Use your interior decorating eye and find the perfect places for some potted plants and flowers. Instead throwing out withering flowers, hang them upside down and dry them for a great wall piece.

Go Flea Marketing.
Spend a Sunday shopping at a local flea market for a unique piece for the new room in your home that is your favorite. Treat yourself and you just might come across a valuable piece!

Rugs and Carpets.
Find a nice simple rug to save your carpet. A vibrant rug can add a splash of color to any room.

Simple Oversized Mats + Simple Frame 
Instead of a posed Department Store picture, choose a candid action shot. Buy an oversized Mat and simple frame. Try this in two's and three's. It's a great way to dress up a lonely wall.

Chair Makeovers
Give your favorite oversized chair a makeover and buy a plain colored chair cover. These work great and make it look like you bought a new piece of furniture!

Sell Your Home For Top Dollar


Selling a home is a major transaction. Sellers make mistakes that cost them money because they don't often sell homes. Choosing the right Realtor to sell a property and negotiate the sale is the most important step in putting a home on the market.

Show me the credentials
Many sellers choose a friend or family member who is a Realtor to sell their home, be careful when doing this. Friendship alone is not enough to establish a realtor's credentials. Use the same standards when selecting a realtor that you would when choosing a doctor, accountant or other professional. Another reason to think before using a friend or family member as your agent is what if a problem develops while selling your home? Do you want to risk causing friction in that relationship?

Don't be impulsive.
Consider more than one realtor and listen to more than one presentation. Later evaluate the advantages of one agent over another. Making a rash decision after meeting with just one agent could limit your success. Since you will be signing a contract to list your house with the agent for a set time period, you may be unable to change to another agent if you don't like the quality of the service you receive.

Get references.
Don't completely judge a realtor by your own meeting with them. Ask and check up on references. But, keep in mind the agent will only give you positive ones. In order to do a more valid check ask for a list of recent sales and call them! Ask the agent's customers how they feel about their selling experience. 

Also keep in mind that experience is not everything. New agents sometimes have the most energy and drive to sell your home quickly and for the highest dollar.

“I am going to list with the agent who has the lowest commission.” 
You get what you pay for. Paying a cut-rate commission will often get you a sign in the front yard and placement in the Multiple Listing Service, but little additional effort from your agent. 
Realize that agents and real estate companies put up their own funds to market and advertise your home. Marketing and advertising costs money -- the lower the commission, the less incentive for an agent to put up his or her own money to market your home. Incentive plays a very important role in sales. A “full service” agent earning a full commission will often “drop everything” to handle any challenges that come along - an agent earning a small commission does not have that same incentive. 
Incentive is also important to the buyer's agent. Since there are almost always two agents involved in every sale, they split the commission according to the listing agent's instructions. One agent is your listing agent. The other agent is the buyer's agent. When your listing agent dropped his commission, did he also reduce the commission that will be paid to the buyers' agent? If so, you won't find as many agents willing to show your house - they will be showing houses that offer a customary commission to the buyer's agent. Finally, negotiating ability is an important skill in a listing agent. Are you willing to put your faith in an agent who can't even negotiate his or her own commission? 

“The agent is what counts - not the company.” 
Agents who work for large well-established companies with lots of agents do have some advantages. Large companies generally have longer office hours, so someone is always available to answer an ad call on your home. Large offices often have larger budgets and can spend more on advertising. The ad space for your particular home might not be huge, but because the total ad is so large it gets lots more attention. 
Large real estate companies often have lots of agents. This is important because when your house is newly on the market, the company may stage an “office preview” where every agent in the office comes through and tours your home. Every agent who views your home and is impressed is another agent on your sales team. 
Additionally, larger companies are often better at offering ongoing education to their agents. As a result, your agent may be better qualified and prepared to offer a quality service. Although most states require real estate agents to enroll in “ongoing education” to keep pace with changes in the real estate market, many agents only take the “bare minimum” in ongoing education courses. Sometimes, large offices are better at convincing their agents to go beyond the minimum. 
There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Some very effective agents go off on their own and open private offices or “boutique” agencies. 

“All realtors passed the same test so they must know the same things.” 
The real estate profession is constantly changing and, as mentioned above, the best real estate professionals stay abreast of those changes by continuing their education. Some go beyond the required minimum requirements. Many agents acquire “professional designations” that show they took additional specialized courses. 

“This agent will hold an open house every week.” 
Open houses can and do sell homes, but usually not your home. Only a small fraction of the homes held open are sold as a direct result of the open house. More often, “open houses” are a way that real estate agents “prospect” for potential clients. If they develop a rapport with those visitors to your open house, they can find out about their housing needs and sell them the home that most closely matches those needs. Meanwhile, the person who eventually buys your home may be visiting someone else's open house. Good agents know better than to pin all their selling efforts on an open house. They use their time in more effective marketing methods. The most effective marketing is not directly to the public, but to other agents. By getting other agents interested in your home, your listing agent multiplies your sales force beyond just one individual. 

“I want an agent who lives in my neighborhood.” 
Knowledge of the local market is not only acquired by living in the immediate neighborhood. Sure, your agent should have intimate knowledge of recent sales, models, schools, businesses, and so on, but that is easily achieved through extensive research. Convenience should not be the primary reason for choosing an agent. 

“This agent sold more homes last year than anyone else.” 
That should only be the beginning. What is more valuable -- an agent who listed 32 homes and sold 25 - or an agent who listed twelve homes and sold all twelve? So you need to ask some questions. How many of their listings did not sell? How many were reduced over and over before they sold? How long were the houses on the market? How smoothly was the process handled? How accessible was the agent when there were questions or problems? 
Quantity is important, but only if all of the quality questions have been answered satisfactorily. 

Don't leave doubts with potential buyers
Selecting an agent who will closely analyze comps to make sure your property is priced correctly is crucial. Originally, it was thought "sure let's price the home way above market and see if we can get it." This strategy in many cases is real problem. Asking for top dollar makes sense. Asking for a price that is way outside of the market range is an issue. If a property is priced so high that it sits on the market for an extended period of time, guess what, people start to wonder what the problem is with the home. This concern comes from both other real estate agents and potential buyers alike. So step one in getting top dollar is pricing the home in the correct range.

Work with an agent who will expose your property to the world
In addition to correct pricing, it is critical that you work with an agent who can give your property the type of exposure it deserves. Advertising on the Internet is one tool that is a must. An agent without a solid web presence means that your listing is less likely to get seen by the marketplace. Furthermore, working with a real estate agent who is not only an association member, but also a member of the multiple listing service is imperative. If the goal is getting best possible price for your property, maximum marketplace exposure is what you need.

Communication gives you the comfort you deserve
Asking questions of your listing agent will mean the selling process happens in a way that you want it to. A responsive agent will be willing to address your questions and concerns, as well as discuss a comprehensive overall strategy.

The best agent is the one who will do the most effective job of marketing the property, negotiating the most favorable terms and conditions, and communicating with the seller to make the process as smooth as possible.

Quick Tips For Short Notice Home Showings

A large part of selling your home is having it look great when it's shown to prospective buyers. But, what do you do when an agent calls to say they have a buyer and will be dropping by in a few moments to do a walk through?

Plan Ahead.
You can count on the fact that there will be times when an agent will stop by on short notice. To prepare for this have a plan for quick pick ups. Assign each member of the family a room to tidy. Also plan ahead of time where you will go to allow the agent and buyer time alone in your home. The park, library, grocery store or long walk are all good options.

Brighten it up.
Flip on the lights and open curtains and blinds to let in the light. Rooms look larger and more appealing when they are bright. Open curtains also allow for any good views you may want to show off.

Kitchen fix ups.
While selling your home consider using paper plates, this will allow you to clean up quick if a showing should happen around dinner time. Quickly wipe down counters and shine facets, everyone likes a sparkling kitchen.

Laundry clean ups.
Throw dirty laundry in the washer to hide messy piles. Put clean laundry in a basket in a closet to move out of the way.

Toy holders.
If your children have toys all over invest in under bed drawers. Then when you are in a hurry toys can be put out of site quickly. They will also work for books, dirty socks or what ever else is lying around during a last minute pick up.

Make a “run through”
At the last minute make a dash through your house to ensure nothing is left out that shouldn't be and that your home is in the best possible shape.

Sell Your Home Fast


If you need to make a quick sale of your home, it isn't luck that will get it done. In this day and age there are a few things that must be done to get your home sold right away. Follow the three tips below and your home will be on the fast track to being sold!

Get your home in shape!
To make your home appealing to a buyer, it has to be inviting. Many buyers don't want put forth the effort or take the time to fix up a home. Get your home in move-in condition for them!! This will do a lot to speed up the selling process.

Don't Over Price!
The more competitive the asking price, the faster your home will sell. If you inflate the price of your home it has a good chance of sitting on the market a lot longer than you want it to. Find out what homes in your neighborhood are selling for and compare your home's features with them. Take in to consideration your home's special qualities and any improvements you may have done that will add value to your home. This will get you on the right track to pricing your home for a fast sale.

Market your home right!
Now that you have a price, the next step is a great marketing strategy. Your home can't sell quickly if people don't know it's for sale! To gain exposure, give tours to familiarize other agents with your home, show your home to qualified buyers, and advertise only in places with known success.

Also offer the buyer extra reasons to buy your home over another one. You could provide a home warranty, offer to help with closing costs, give allowances for carpet or window coverings, or pay utilities or lawn services for a limited time. By doing this, you will make your home stand out from the competition.

Exterior Home Appeal – Make a Great First Impression


As a Home Seller you must take into consideration first impression. The first thing a prospective home buyer will see is your driveway, the front of your home and your front yard! Below are a few tips to help you make a great first impression!

Clean Up.
Remove any trash, loose leaves, trash cans, etc. away from the front of the house. Store unneeded things in an undisclosed place. Straightening up will give your front yard an automatic face lift.

Trim and Cut.
Make sure to mow the lawn, and trim plants and flowers in a nice neat fashion. If you have empty soil, spend a couple of dollars and place a potted plant in the needed area.

Sweep and Water.
Nothing gives a your front yard a face lift like a good old fashioned broom and a garden hose! Spray your driveway or walkway down. Find a rake, and broom and groom your lawn and driveway. Make sure your cement areas are spick and span.

Get off the fence!
If you have soil areas that lie flush with the cement, try an inexpensive wire fence. This will appear neat and tidy, and allow the prospective home buyer to imagine the garden they can grow.

Front Porch Fabulous.
Dress up your front porch : invest in a brand new welcome mat, by some small plants or flowers that line the walkway to your door.

Front Door Fabulous.
Make sure you clean and scrub your front door, and surrounding areas. Using soap and water, make sure there are no cobwebs, dirt or grime in corners.

Sparkling Windows.
Start with soap and water, and finish off any front windows with glass cleaner. You want your front windows sparkling!

Handle It.
Out with the shabby, in with your home being sold! Don't be afraid to invest a couple extra bucks in a new door handle or door knocker.

Flag It.
Many home stores inexpensively sell seasonal flags, that add an extra touch to a front yard. Entice your prospective home buyer with imagination.

Accentuate your Selling Points. 
Every home may have a different characteristic that makes it home beautiful. A great window, an attractive lawn, etc. Whatever you special characteristic is, make sure to show it off to your prospective home buyers!

Prepare Your Home For Sale – Home Staging


Marketing plays a huge part in everything we purchase. Think about this for a moment.. when you look through a magazine, or watch a television commercial, you are probably drawn to a certain product simply because of the way it is presented to you. You have to have that certain something, and will go out and buy it.

In the same way, when your house goes up for sale, it is important to think about how you want your house to be presented.

Every home has unique qualities that should be "shown off" to a potential home buyer.
Home Staging means to simply 'stage' your home correctly to highlight these special qualities. 
Below are a few tips to make sure your house is looking its best when you are
showing your home to potential home buyers.

Follow these quick steps to get started on Self-Home Staging:

  • Make a list.
    The first thing to do as simple as it sounds, is to make a list. This can seem like an overwhelming process at first, but if you write things down, and check them off as you go, things will go a lot smoother.
  • Curb Appeal. 
    The outside of your home is the first impression a potential buyer will have. Assess what needs to be done to make your home more attractive from the outside. You may need to buy a couple of new plants or flowers, or hire a reasonably priced landscaper. This can be a big help in speeding the home selling process along.
  • Cleanliness is key.
    Professional Cleaning is recommended to get that model home look. It is important that your house is spick and span. This can include carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning etc. .Money on this service is well spent, and will be worth it to you when you get the selling price you asked for. If you can't afford professional cleaning, do some of the cleaning yourself. A new coat of paint, patch up a hole with some putty, etc.
  • De Clutter.
    Get rid of any clutter in your home. Put away family pictures, and things unique to you. You want to have the potential buyer to be able to imagine themselves living there.
  • Determine the selling points of your home.
    Do you have a special view or a favorite room in your home? 
    Maybe your driveway is extremely attractive. You get the idea!
    Chances are there is something unique and special about your home that other people will enjoy as much as you. Figure out what these are, and write them down.
  • Be sure to Accentuate the selling points of your home. 
    For example, if you have a great fireplace, make sure you add some framed pictures ,pieces of art , or flowers turned in towards the fireplace.
  • Try to look like a model.
    At some point you have looked in a magazine, or been to a model home. Try to think of your home like a model home, and act accordingly. Don't be afraid to buy a couple of lifestyle magazines to emulate what you see. You may even have some fun!
  • Temperature.
    If you home is cool, make it warm, if your home is warm, make it cool. You want to create a cozy atmosphere to your potential buyers feels at home.
  • Smelling Great.
    Make sure your house is smelling its best. Invest in a few scented candles and set them around your kitchen, and bathrooms. Flowers are a great idea as well. Set flowers out on kitchen tables, and coffee tables. These are a great source of scent, and visually pleasing as well.
  • Soothing Sounds.
    Be sure to have soft soothing music on when showing your home. Make sure there is no outside noise to distract the home buyer from enjoying the different rooms in your home.

Real Estate Dictionary For the Home Seller


Interest Rate
The monthly effective rate paid (or received if you are a creditor) on borrowed money. Expressed as a percentage of the sum borrowed.

IDX, or broker reciprocity, is a listing sharing arrangement between brokers within a Multiple Listing Service. 

Market Value
An asset's market value is the price it would fetch in the market, if it were sold immediately.

Title Insurance
A type of insurance which guarantees the ownership and quality of title to land.

An educated estimate of the value of a property on a certain date given by a person, usually after an inspection of the property.

As is
Implied in most Agreements of Purchase and Sale, suggests the buyer is accepting the property in it present state and relinquishes and responsibility from the buyer.

a person who has done any of the acts that by law entitle his creditors to have his estate administered for their benefit b : a person judicially declared subject to having his estate administered under the bankrupt laws for the benefit of his creditors c : a person who becomes insolvent.

to offer (a price) whether for payment or acceptance.

Property Tax
a tax levied on real or personal property

Interest Rate
the percentage usually on an annual basis that is paid for the use of money borrowed from another

Home Loan
money lent at interest b : something lent usually for the borrower's temporary use.

Credit Risk
An estimate of the amount of credit that can be extended to a company or person without undue risk.

Credit Union
A cooperative organization that makes loans to its members at low interest rates.

Prime Rate
The lowest rate of interest on bank loans at a given time and place, offered to preferred borrowers. 

A mortgage whose interest rate is raised or lowered at periodic intervals according to the prevailing interest rates in the market.

Home Equity Loan
A loan or credit line that is secured by the equity the borrower has in a home.

A temporary, conditional pledge of property to a creditor as security for performance of an obligation or repayment of a debt.



When selling your home, the atmosphere you create as a part of a staged home are very important. The prospective home buyer, needs to be relaxed and at ease to imagine themselves living in your home. Below are a few tips for adding a special touch and creating atmosphere for your home.

Music Subtlety is Key
This is not a rock concert! The key to nice music in the home that is staged is volume. You want the volume as faint as possible. The music should go almost unnoticed, the goal is to relax and create a pleasant experience for the prospective home buyer.

Music For the Main Rooms
Make sure to have subtle music playing in the main rooms of your house. Set up inconspicuous speakers. This includes your living room, main entry way, kitchen, etc.
Music For the Bathroom and Bedrooms
Try a slightly different effect in these rooms. Sound effects, water or Rain Forest would be great in these rooms. Again, a good rule is low volume.

Light Piano
Light Piano music is great for the staged home. Piano is generally liked by all people, and can have very relaxing effects on the brain. This choice is recommended for a luxury style home

Easy Listening
Easy listening combines piano along with many other instruments to produce an unique and relaxing sound. No Elevator music! You do not want your home buyer to feel like they are in a drug store.
This choice is recommended for a modern, warm home feel.

Light Jazz
Be careful, some Jazz is very noisy! However, light Jazz is often relaxing and pleasant and can add an acre of elegance to your home. This choice is recommended for a classic, traditional home feel.

Soothing Sounds
There are many atmosphere soundtracks that have wonderful atmospheric sounds. ocean sounds, rain forest , and sounds of nature, are just a few examples.

Fabulous Fragrance
Another way to relax and entice the prospective buyer is to make sure your house smells great. Use subtle fragrance including linen sprays, potpourri, scented candles to add an appropriate sensory atmosphere.

Natural Fragrance
Don't count out nature! Many flowers, plants , and small trees and shrubs create wonderful natural fragrances. Have some fun!

Fragrance Arranging
Make sure to choose appropriate fragrances for different rooms in your house. Stay away from mixing fragrance, and strong fragrance. Choose subtle spice or cinnamon for kitchen, and elegant floral or freesia type scents for bathrooms.

Aroma therapy | Audio Relaxation
Many studies prove the senses have strong affect on our state of being. Aroma therapy and audio relaxation are serious techniques used to create a pleasant state of being, and are extremely effective in mood elevation.