Month: January 2016

5 Unspoken Etiquette Rules When Selling Your Home

Re/Max Balloon1. Don’t stay: It’s a good idea to leave your home during a showing; allow potential buyers to freely explore your home while not feeling pressure from your presence.

2. Don’t leave your pets at home: Take your pet to the park or for a car ride during showings; some buyers may be uncomfortable with pets around plus it may be stressful for your pet to be home with strangers.

3. Move your car out of the driveway: Make it easy for buyers to park and see your home. Don’t make them park on the street or look for parking elsewhere if possible.

4. Have important documents available: Leave out the appraisal, home inspection report, utility bills, proof of any major repairs, and any other documents you think may be helpful.

5. Serve refreshments: Make buyers feel welcome and at home by having water or coffee and small snacks like cookies or crackers out.


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Buying Or Selling? 5 Reasons You Need A Realtor


1. Assistance with paperwork: Every state has varying requirements for contracts regarding real estate sales and these guidelines are always changing. A Realtor is an expert and can help you successfully navigate the mountains of paperwork that go along with a real estate transaction.

2. What do you do after you find your dream home?: There are hundreds of actions that need to happen during the course of a transaction. A Realtor is a professional and is experienced in how to handle the numerous tasks that need to be done in order to get your dream home.

3. Do you know how to negotiate?: Maybe you think you can handle your own during negotiations but did you know that there are over 11 different people that you will need to negotiate with? From home inspection companies to the buyer or seller, there are several different parties that will be involved.

4. What is the home you are buying or selling actually worth?: It is imperative that your home is priced correctly in order to attract buyers. A Realtor can guide you in pricing your home in order to bring in buyers and shorten the time your home is on the market. According to the National Association of Realtors, the average for sale by owner home sold for $210,000 while the average home sold by a Realtor sold for $245,000.

5. Are you aware of what’s actually going on in the market?: There is always information on the news about what’s happening in the world of real estate but do you know exactly what’s happening in your market? A professional realtor will know exactly what’s happening in your neighborhood and will be able to pass their knowledge onto you, making your experience both a successful and educated one.

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5 Tips For Buying Your First Home

House1. Go shopping for a loan: Be sure to check with at least three different lenders. Don’t get into a loan unless you are comfortable with sticking with the terms for at least 3 years. Also, be sure to compare the same types of loans between lenders so you are getting good comparisons.

2. Create a budget: Setting up a budget will allow you to see what you can realistically afford each month. Set up a budget and then stick to it. Eliminate or pay down credit cards, students loans, and car loans if possible before obtaining a mortgage.

3. Don’t procrastinate: Don’t wait until right before you need to move to start the mortgage process. Look around to find the best loan for you and research all options available for first time home buyers. If you don’t have a lot of cash for a down payment, there are plenty of ways to make the costs of buying a home more affordable.

4. Create realistic expectations: Speak with your partner about what items are absolutely essential to both of you in a home and what you might be willing to do without. This will make the home search easier when you can identify must have’s in a home.

5. Detect any issues: It’s extremely important to hire a licensed home inspector to evaluate a home before you buy. It will be priceless to know that there are no major issues with the home before the big purchase.

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4 Ways To Create A Home Gym With Little Space

    Woman working out
  1. Set aside a space: Even if your workout area isn’t an entire room but rather a small corner of a space, it’s important to separate the space from the rest of your living area. Using a room divider is a good way to achieve this important separation.
  2. Check out your reflection: Investing in a cheap mirror for your exercise space will allow you to check your form,  keep from getting injured and also to see your progress.
  3. Choose your equipment carefully: If you don’t have a lot of space to work with, look for treadmills, bikes, and other equipment that can easily fold up. Go for an adjustable set of weights instead of a full weight set which will also cut down on the amount of space used.
  4. Crank up the tunes: A great playlist can help to motivate you to achieve your goals.  If your budget allows, install speakers in your workout space or find portable ones that can connect to your phone.
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3 Ways To Spend Less and Cut Down On Clutter


  1. Use the time rule: Instead of throwing something into your online shopping cart and purchasing it right away, leave it in the cart for an hour, a day, or even a week to give yourself time to figure out if you really need/want that item.
  2. Use a shopping list: Always head to the store with a written list; when using a mental list it’s way too easy to both add items to the list as you shop that you don’t need and also to forget needed items.
  3. Uncover your “clutter weaknesses”:  Your “clutter weaknesses” are items that you seem to buy quite often that you don’t really need. These items could be toys for your kids, collectibles, clothing, etc. It’s important to identify these items and to make a conscious effort to cut down on buying them. Buying less of these items will not only save you money, but it will also cut down on the clutter in your home.
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Terms Every Seller Should Know


Seller Key Home


  • Affidavit of title: A written statement that sellers make under oath certifying that they are in possession of the property, and that since the examination of the title on the date of the contracts no defects have occurred in the title. Marital status is also listed here.
  • Appraisal: The estimated current market value of a property.
  • Assessed value: The value of real estate property as determined by an assessor, usually from the county.
  • “As-is”: A contract or listing clause stating that the seller will not repair or correct any problems with the property.
  • Back on Market (BOM): When a property or listing is placed back on the market after being temporarily removed.
  • Back-up offer: When an offer is accepted contingent on the fall-through or voiding of an accepted first offer on a property.
  • Bidding war: When two or more buyers compete for a property by submitting higher offers than the first.
  • Brokerage: A firm engaged in buying and selling real estate for clients, using brokers and real estate agents to handle the deal.
  • Broker’s tour: A set time and day when real estate sales agents come to view listings by multiple brokerages in the market.
  • Buyer’s agent: The agent who shows the buyers the property and negotiates the contract for the buyer through closing.
  • Buyer’s market: A market condition characterized by low prices and a supply of properties that exceed demand.
  • Capital gain: Profit earned from the sale which is above the original purchase price.
  • Chain of title: The document that shows the succession of conveyances, from some accepted starting point to the current holder of title.
  • Closing: The end of the transaction process, in which the deed is delivered, documents are signed and funds are dispersed.
  • Closing costs: Expenses above and beyond the purchase price of a house and land that is paid by the buyer or seller at the completion of the sale.
  • Closing statement: A detailed cash accounting of a real estate transaction showing all cash received, all charges and credits made and all cash paid out in the transaction.
  • Commission: The compensation paid to the listing brokerage by the seller for selling the property, a percentage of which is also paid to the buyer’s agent.
  • Commission split: The percentage of commission which is split between the real estate sales brokerage and the real estate sales agent or broker.
  • Comparable: A property used in an appraisal or comparative market analysis (CMA) report that is equivalent to the seller’s property.
  • Competitive Market Analysis (CMA): A comparison of the prices of recently sold or listed homes that are similar to a seller’s property in terms of location, style and amenities. This is usually prepared by a listing agent for the property’s seller.
  • Contingency: A provision in a contract that requires certain actions before the contract is binding or the transaction can be finalized or closed.
  • Contract for deed: A sales contract in which the buyer takes possession of the property but the seller holds title until the loan is paid. Also known as an installment sales contract.
  • Cost approach: Determination of the estimated value of a property that comes from adding, to the estimated land value, the appraiser’s estimate of the replacement cost of the building, less any deprecation.
  • Counteroffer: An offer made in response to an offer received from the buyer.
  • Curb appeal: The visual impact that a property projects from the street view.
  • Days on market: The number of days that a property has been for sale on the market.
  • Depreciation: A loss of value in property due to physical or functional deterioration.
  • Disclosures: Federal, state, county, and local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges.
  • Down payment: The amount of cash put towards a purchase that the borrower provides.
  • Dual agent: A state-licensed individual who represents the seller and the buyer in a single transaction.
  • Earnest money: The money given as a good faith deposit to the seller at the time the offer is made. Once accepted by the seller, it is held in a trust account until closing.
  • Escrow account: The trust account established by a broker for the purpose of holding funds, such as the earnest money, on behalf of the seller until closing.
  • Exclusive-right-to-sell listing: A listing contract whereby the owner appoints a real estate broker as his or her exclusive agent for a designated period of time, to sell the property on the owner’s stated terms, and agrees to pay the broker a commission when the property is sold.
  • Expired listing: A property listing that has expired per the terms of the listing agreement.
  • Fiduciary relationship: A relationship of trust and confidence between the real estate agent and the client, as under the terms of a listing contract.
  • Flat fee: A predetermined amount of compensation received or paid for a specific service in a real estate transaction.
  • Inclusions: Fixtures or personal property included in a contract or offer to purchase.
  • Lease option: When a lease gives the tenant an option to purchase the property during a lease term.
  • List date: The actual date the property was listed with the current broker.
  • List price: The price of a property through a listing agreement.
  • Listing agreement: A contract between an owner-seller and a real estate broker to have the broker find a buyer for the owner’s real estate in exchange for the owner paying a commission.
  • Listing appointment: The time when a real estate agent meets with potential clients to secure a listing agreement.
  • Lockbox: A device with a combination or keypad that hangs from the door knob and stores the keys to the property for sale, so that agents can gain access for showings.
  • Market value: The estimated price that a property is likely to sell for under normal conditions on the open market.
  • Multiple-listing service (MLS): A group of member brokers who agree to share their listing information with one another in the hopes of procuring buyers for their properties more quickly than they could on their own.
  • National Association of Realtors (NAR): A national association of real estate agents.
  • Parcel Identification Number (PIN): A county or city tracking number for a property.
  • Pending: The status of real estate under an accepted contract that has not yet closed its transaction.
  • Preview appointment: When a buyer’s agent views the property alone to see if it fits his or her buyer’s needs.
  • Quit-claim deed: A document that releases the grantor/seller from whatever interest he or she has in the real estate.
  • Realtor: A registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors that can be used only to refer to its members.
  • Re-list: Property listed by a broker that formerly was listed by another broker.
  • Severalty: Ownership of real property by one person only; also called sole ownership.
  • Staging: Preparing a home for sale through the neutral but appealing placement of furniture and accessories.
  • Survey: The process by which boundaries are measured and land areas are determined; the on site measurement of lot lines, dimensions, and position of a house on a lot, including the determination of any existing encroachments or easements.
  • Temporarily Off Market (TOM): A listed property that is taken off the market for a short time.
  • Title search: The examination of public records relating to a real estate parcel which determines the current state of its ownership.
  • Transaction: The purchase process from offer to closing or escrow.
  • Under contract: A property that has an accepted real estate contract between a seller and a buyer.
  • Walk through: A showing before closing that permits the buyers one final tour of the property they are purchasing, usually so that they can check for any changes or defects.
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5 Home Design Features That Can Hurt A Sale


Home Designs



  1. Transforming a bedroom: If you have a four bedroom home, you want buyers to see four bedrooms. Altering a bedroom to become a walk-in closet or hobby room may be great for you, but less bedrooms will be negative to buyers.
  2. Carpet: While carpeting may be comfortable, many potential buyers are likely to see it as a trap for dirt and odors. In many cases, hardwood floors are preferred over carpeting.
  3. Accent walls: While these are a great way to quickly  and cheaply personalize a room, they may not appeal to the masses. Many buyers see changing paint as stressful and only adding to work that needs to be done.
  4. Small appliances: Although you may be short on space and prefer a slim version of an appliance, most buyers will prefer the full sized version. Appliances are expensive and a lot of buyers won’t want to buy new ones.
  5. Pools and hot tubs: Although these may be great to have in your yard, buyers often don’t see them as desirable. Families with young children may see them as a safety hazard and many buyers don’t want one because of the cost of maintenance.
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