Crystal's Blog Corner

8 questions to ask a Realtor BEFORE you hire them


Selling a home can be an emotional experience and high-stakes experience, but most home sellers only ask a potential Realtor a couple of questions; how much is my home worth and what’s your commission? But every real estate agent offers a different combination of skills, experience, value and personality that can help determine the experience and success you will have when selling your home.

How long have you been a Realtor and what’s your experience?

This one seems like a no-brainer, but that’s what makes it so easy to overlook. While the obvious decision may be to go with the most experienced real estate agent, there may be some advantages to hiring a new realtor instead. Someone who is newly licensed or new to your area may have fewer listings and more time to dedicate to selling your home. In this case, solid mentorship is key, which brings us to our next point…

Tell me about your agency and the broker you work with most closely.

Whether you’re working with a seasoned pro or the new kid on the block, a brokerage can have a big impact on your agent’s ability to sell your home. Your Realtor has chosen to work with this brokerage for a reason after all! Some brokerages have hundreds of agents working under one roof while others are more boutique and allow for a greater level of mentorship and support from the managing broker and staff.


How do you market your listings?

There’s a difference between homes that are listing on the MLS system and homes that are actively marketed. How does your real estate agent intend to get your home sold quickly and for top dollar? Will they host an open house? How will they make sure that people come out if they do?

Do they take listing photos with their phone, have a professional camera, or hire a photographer for the listing? A dark and grainy photo isn’t going to inspire anyone to pick up the phone and schedule a viewing. In fact, bad real estate photos are so prominent that entire websites are devoted to showcasing the photo fails.

Are you a full-time Realtor?

There are hundreds of thousands of real estate agents who are licensed in North America, which means that there isn’t always enough business to go around. For some, real estate is a part-time job rather than a full-time career. Ideally, you want to work with a Realtor who is dedicated to their profession and focused solely on their clients.

Will I be able to review all paperwork before signing?

You’re going to be asked to sign legally-binding contracts and agreements throughout the selling process, so be sure that you can take the time you need to review them. If you have any questions or something doesn’t make sense, ask your real estate agent.

How do you keep in touch with your clients?

It’s a new era and there are lots of different ways to communicate with your agent when you’re trying to sell your house or condo. Some agents prefer to communicate by phone while others are more comfortable with text or email. The best agents will do their best to adapt and communicate in the way that you prefer and will offer regular updates – even if the update is just that there’s nothing new to report.

Will I be working with you directly?

Some Realtors work as part of a team or have an assistant that may be in contact with you. While there isn’t anything particularly wrong with this approach, you do want to know in advance whether the person you hire is going to be the person who answers your calls. If your agent has an assistant, ask whether they are licensed or unlicensed. An unlicensed assistant isn’t supposed to give you real estate advice as they don’t have their professional training.

What are my home’s flaws?

No matter how fabulous your home is, there is always going to be something that buyers won’t love. This could be anything from your bright purple bedroom to the odd kitchen layout or even the huge tree in the front yard (you see a beautiful, shady spot to read and buyers see a mess of leaves and pollen). A great Realtor will be respectfully honest with you and let you know in advance where they see potential issues or drawbacks.

Hiring a Realtor isn’t always a matter of a simple phone call, but this isn’t a simple business either. Take your time and work with someone who is going to make your experience as smooth as possible while maintaining their professionalism.


Great Exterior Tips for Selling Properties


Selling a home is one of the most challenging and stressful parts of the homeownership process. When you are looking to sell your home, there are many tips that should be followed that can help you to sell your home faster and at a better price. There are also a variety of tips that can help to improve the exterior and curb appeal of your property, which should help to make your home look great.

Make Minor Repairs

One of the easiest and affordable things that you could do to improve the overall curb appeal of your home would be to make minor repairs to your property. If you have some past due maintenance needs or other repairs, making these repairs before you list your home for sale would be a great option. Any past due maintenance and repair needs will look like red flags to a potential buyer and making these repairs yourself could go a long way.

Clean Up Landscaping

When you are looking to improve the exterior of your home, one of the most important things that you need to do is clean up your landscaping. One of the biggest turnoffs that can occur when someone sees a new home is a landscaping plan that looks messy and disheveled. Not only will it look like a big project, but it would also hurt the overall curb appeal of the property. Because of this, you should spend cleaning up your landscaping all over the home before listing it for sale.

Pressure Wash

Nobody wants to move into a property that looks dirty and messy. Because of this, you should do everything you can to make the exterior of your home look as clean as possible. One of the best ways to do this is to use a pressure washer to clean all of your siding and walkways. This will help to make your entire home look fresh and clean and will give great curb appeal. When using a pressure washer, you need to make sure that you use the right setting for your type of exterior walls.

Pool Installation

Depending on where you live, one of the best things that you could do to your home would be to install a pool. A new pool will not only help to improve your outdoor living space, but it will give a great place to entertain. If you have a pool already, you may want to have it repaired and give it a face-lift. Both of these options will help to improve the overall appearance. When hiring swimming pool contractors, residents will be able to receive some additional ideas that could be used to make the pool look more attractive.

Structural Repairs

If you are selling your home, all of the potential buyers will likely want to have a home inspection completed. Because of this, you should look out for things inside and outside of your own could be alarming to buyers. For the exterior of the home, one of the biggest things that you should look for are structural concerns. If there are any structural issues that you see, you should hire a professional to examine them. This could help to prevent your home sale from falling apart during the inspection process.


If you have lighting on the exterior of your property, you should make sure that it is functional and turned on. This will help to ensure that your lighting system is working right. If you have a visitor at night, it will also give a great curb appeal improvement to any buyer.

When you are looking to improve the landscaping and overall exterior of your home, you should consider the individual needs of your property. A local real estate professional should be able to provide you with a fair assessment of your property to get you a better sense of what needs to be done.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Vincent Stokes

Top Ways To Increase The Resale Value Of Your Home


If you're considering selling your home this summer, it's likely that you want to get the most amount of money out of it as possible. While there are many things that you can do to increase the value of your home, not all of them bring the same amount of return to the closing table. Today, we're going to look at upgrades that will bring you the most bang for your buck when it comes to selling your home.

Bathroom Remodel

When most homeowners hear the word remodel, they immediately think of writing a check for thousands of dollars. The truth is that remodels only have to cost as much as you're willing to budget for them. While complete bathroom remodels can be in the 15 to 20 thousand dollar range, that's not what you have to invest. Rather, you can invest a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars to make your bathroom look more modern. The biggest things you'll want to attack are the tub, shower, vanity, flooring, and toilet. It should go without saying that updating the paint and lighting fixtures can really help to modernize a bathroom for a cheaper cost.


In-Ground Pool

Pools tend to bring in a larger return on investment for homeowners as they're a very desirable amenity. While above-ground pools can add value, they're typically not as desirable as in-ground pools. There are many options in pool sizes, depths, and shapes. Speaking with a pool construction Charleston company will allow you to get a better idea of what you're going to need to budget for your desired in-ground pool project.



Landscaping tends to be the most undervalued upgrade to a home in a lot of people's opinions. The landscaping of a home can actually provide you with a 100 percent resale value for your investment. Think about it like this, you have a buyer driving up to your home and the first thing they see is the landscape. When you have a beautiful landscape complete with trees, flowers, fences, and other features, it draws in people's attention. That homey feel is what will allow potential buyers to fall in love with your home.


Kitchen Remodel

It's no secret that kitchens and bathrooms tend to sell a home. These are the rooms that you'll be using often and you want them to be clean. Minor kitchen remodels can really help to sell your home for a higher price. Consider some stainless steel appliances, tile backsplash, and faux granite countertops. There are so many different materials out there which you can use to give the look of higher quality materials. For example, tile backsplash can be easily affordable when using sheets instead of individual tiles.


Exterior Housing Updates

The exterior of your home is the first part of your home that a potential buyer will see. This means that you should put a lot of emphasis on making it look perfect. Depending on your budget, there are multiple upgrades you can do to the exterior of your home. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, you can repaint shutters, your front door, and the porch. On the more expensive end, you can opt for repainting your entire home, replacing the doors, and upgrading the shutters. Always stick with the three color rule of thumb for painting. This is one main color for the exterior, one color for the doors and shutters, and one color for the trim.


Upgrading your home prior to selling it can bring in some more cash. This can be especially helpful when the return that you get on your upgrades far exceeds what you invested in making them happen. The above improvements are going to be the ones that will give you the most bang for your buck when trying to sell your existing home for the most amount of money as possible.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Vincent Stokes

Get Your Home Ready for Spring in 7 Simple Steps


Whether spring-cleaning is an ongoing ritual for you or a once-in-a-blue-moon struggle, the spring months are an ideal time for a home scrub down. From the standard deep clean to the budget review, make sure these seven tasks are on your spring-cleaning checklist for a summer-ready home.

1. Embark on a Deep Clean

It wouldn’t be a true spring-cleaning without a full house sweep. From dusting the fans to scrubbing the oven, deep clean your home at least once a year. Make this easier to manage by creating a checklist for each room. Which rooms need the carpets vacuumed and scrubbed or the floors mopped? Are there blinds and fans that need dusting or mirrors and windows that need washing? Along with cleaning, clear out closets, cabinets, and pantries. Toss expired food and anything broken, and donate gently used furniture and clothing you no longer need.

2. Dust Off the Air Conditioner

After months of hibernation, inspect your air conditioner to make sure it’s working efficiently. Run the unit and listen for strange sounds like squeals or rattling, which may indicate a part is wearing out. Test its efficiency by running it ten degrees below the outside temperature for ten minutes. Then place a refrigerator thermometer inside one of the air conditioning air ducts, as well as in the return air duct, to check the temperature. Lastly, look at the air filter and clean or replace it if it’s clogged.

3. Feed Your Greenery

With spring comes new growth, and with summer, rising temperatures. Make sure your yard is ready for the changes. Fertilize the lawn for a boost of nutrients and use a turf builder to fill in any barren patches of grass. Make sure to use a metal rake to first dethatch any dead grass and clear out twigs, leaves, and dead branches. If weeds start rearing their ugly heads, using a weed killer during a string of dry days will help it work better. You may need to apply it a few times to clear out more stubborn weeds.

4. Scrub the Grill

Your grill and outdoor furniture likely haven’t seen much use these past few months. Give them a thorough scrub down so they’re ready for beautiful sunny days. To clean a BBQ grill, heat it at a high temperature for ten minutes, which will make it easier to scrape off any built-up grease or food residue in the cook box. Just make sure to let the grill cool before cleaning the grates, burners, and drip tray.

5. Reconsider Your Subscriptions

Along with cleaning your home, tidy up your subscriptions. You may find that you aren’t using all of them. Do you really need Hulu and Netflix, or can you cancel one? Are you still reading those magazine subscriptions arriving in your mailbox every month? By adding up the amount you spend each month on recurring subscriptions, you may be surprised to see just how much you spend. Play with your budget to see how you may be able to save by condensing or cutting back on your subscriptions.

6. Review Your Bills

While you’re reconsidering your subscriptions, run through your credit card statements and bills—from utilities to cable services—and make sure you’re being correctly charged. Reviewing your bills also helps you catch any subscriptions or services you forgot you had. This is also a good time to research comparable services and companies, as you can often save by bundling or switching carriers. For example, if you live in a rural area, check your internet plan to see if the speed you’re experiencing matches the plan you pay for. You may find that satellite internet offers higher speeds than your other options outside of cities.

7. Conduct an Energy Audit

With summer comes rising energy costs. Beat the heat money-wise by assessing your home’s energy efficiency. While you can pay for a professional assessment, you can easily perform your own DIY home energy audit. Start by assessing major energy drainers, including air leaks from gaps along the edge of flooring, windows, or doors. Next, check ventilation near appliances and insulation in your walls and ceiling. You can make several small fixes too, like swapping inefficient light bulbs with LEDs and installing a smart thermostat.

Now is the season to get your home ready for summer so you can relax and enjoy the sun and warm weather. Tackle these tasks all at once or spread them out over the next few weeks. Either way, your future self will thank you when you can fire up the grill and kick on the AC.

SOURCE: Realty Times- by Victoria Schmid

How to Prepare for Retirement


Retirement is a much-anticipated event marking the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. For some, retirement is an eagerly-awaited occasion, while others prolong their career years. Regardless of which group one falls in, it's good to have a plan. While Social Security is still functioning today, its future is unclear with the potential for higher retirement ages or partial payouts in the future.

In order to make the most of your retirement, it's important to know where many Americans go wrong – and how you can avoid the common pitfalls in preparing for what comes ahead.

Addressing The Challenges in Saving

Saving for the future can be equal parts stressful and overwhelming. There are so many questions with so few good answers, especially for those without direct exposure to estate planning, financial management, or financial advising. How much money is enough? Will Social Security cover me? How can I calculate for the future? When should I retire? 

Several things can stand in the way of successful savings. Initially, many individuals or couples don't know how much they need. Some tend to underestimate, assuming what Social Security will provide will be good enough, while others simply and fail to plan at all. Additionally, it's hard to guess on retirement age. While some plan to work until 65 and not a day more, others hope to work to 70 or beyond, only to be sidelined by unsuspected illnesses or family troubles far earlier.

While there's no perfect way to know what's around the corner, there are steps you can take now to ensure financial security in retirement. 

Do the Math

Rather than shooting at a savings number blindly, do your best to estimate what you'll need. While the standard expert advice is to save an amount six times your take home salary at the end of your career, it's possible to be even more specific in identifying goals. Take advantage of the retirement calculators available online or set up a meeting with a financial advisor for a better breakdown of your spending habits and future plans. 

Automate Savings

If you're like most employed adults in the U.S., you likely get paid via direct deposit. While convenient in terms of paycheck delivery, direct deposit also offers another major benefit: automated savings. Instead of struggling to find leftovers at the end of the month, send a portion of your paycheck to a savings account every pay period. When money is sent to savings before you start spending, you'll learn to make do with the amount left over. If your employer offers a pre-tax savings option, like a 401(k), be sure to take advantage of this, too. 

Consider Selling Your Home

Consider downsizing now, before you enter retirement. If your real estate market is strong, your children have moved out, and you no longer need ample living space, selling your home and moving into a smaller house or condo can translate a real estate asset into liquid cash. In the future, it may not be so easy to sell your property if an urgent need for money arises.

Plan for Increased Cash Flow, Just in Case

It's easy to assume your expenses will decline in retirement, but that's not always the case. In fact, many new retirees spend more than they're used to when the burdens of employment are no longer a problem, ramping up the funds spent on eating out, entertainment, and travel. It's also good to budget for increased costs of healthcare, just in case. When planning savings, always err on the side of saving too much.

Continually Evaluate Spending

Take steps now to minimize spending and increase savings. Cut all unnecessary bills or expenses that you can live without, like cable television, home phone lines, excessive dining out, or fast food. A few small changes today can do wonders for you tomorrow, helping you to increase the cash you have available. You don't have to cut out everything that you like—just look for recurring expenses that don't bring you as much entertainment or enjoyment as they used to. 

Retirement is a bright new horizon of opportunity after years invested in work. With these tips, you can brace yourself for what comes ahead, ensuring you have enough in savings to maintain the independent lifestyle you deserve. 

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Pete Deinnger

Signs That There May be a Hidden Leak


Sometimes, plumbing leaks are obvious. That annoying, continued drip, drip, drip from your faucet. You wake up one morning, go to get the laundry from the washer and end up in ankle-deep water. Or, you find water dripping from an upstairs room or neighbor.

Plumbing leaks can be obvious. They can also play hide-and-go-seek like a pro.

“A hidden plumbing leak can not only lead to a higher water bill, but it can result in potentially hazardous conditions, like a loss of structural integrity or even black mold,” says Steve Lewis, president and CEO of Plumbing by Jake.

There are a few ways to tell that you might have a plumbing leak. Look for these signs.

Ceiling Spots and Stains

Apartment dwellers and people with upstairs bathrooms might notice this sign first. The ceiling might sag, as well. The stain may appear dark, brown, or copper colored. The stain may be further away than directly below the bathroom as well.

Musty or Moldy Odors

Sheetrock, wood, and drywall all begin producing a musty odor when they get wet. If you have such an odor that persists, then you might have to play “follow the smell” to locate the leak.

Loose Tiles

Water can get beneath tiles found in bathrooms and make them loose. Finding the source should be relatively easy: look behind the access panel for the faucet and look for dampness or stains. Checking the caulking and grout for gaps can help too.


Bugs love water. An influx of roaches, silverfish, or earwigs might indicate that you have a leak, especially if you haven’t had any problems before. Wet wood from cabinets and drywall attract them, and they’ll make themselves at home.

Rust Particles or Other Sediment

If you notice that your water has sediment in it, it could be indicative of a leak. Finding rust in your water can also indicate that your pipes are aging and while you might not have a leak yet, a leak can develop if they are not replaced.

Testing for a Leak That is Not Obvious

If you’re sure that you have a leak, but none of the above telltale signs are present, there’s a simple way to test. Begin by shutting off all water in your home. This includes water running to outdoor areas like water hoses, and indoors to your refrigerator, washer, and dishwasher. Once that is completed, go outside and check your water meter and write down the number. Keep everything turned off for at least three hours and go back and check the water meter again. If it has changed, you probably have a leak.

Many leaks are fixed by tightening washers or adding caulk or grout. However, some leaks require the knowledge of an experienced plumber to root out and repair. If you notice any of the signs listed here and are unsure of how to proceed, contact a licensed plumber in your area for a diagnosis.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES by James Stevenson

Seven Steps for Spring Storm Preparedness


The arrival of spring means warmer weather and wildflowers and flip-flops instead of winter boots. But, in many areas, it can also mean dangerous storms are likely on the way. The key to staying safe is preparation. Here are the steps you’ll want to take to protect your home and loved ones this season.

Stay informed

Have you downloaded the aps for your local news and government? They’re critical lifelines for information in an emergency situation. You can also sign up for alerts with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who send out text message updates during storms.

Clean out your storm shelter

Did your pantry or walk-in closet become cluttered and overrun with stuff that belongs elsewhere over the past year? Same. This should be No. 1 on your spring cleaning list. Sure, having a nice and tidy garage would be great, but that’s not where you’re heading when a storm is coming your way. Getting the area you use as a shelter in order is crucial; you don’t want to have to scramble to clear the space when the sirens are blaring.

Stock up

Do you have sufficient water for everyone in the house and a first aid kit and emergency batteries and all the other stuff you need in an emergency kit? Great! You’re halfway there. Now ask yourself, Where are they?”

Stocking up on safety items and must-haves is only half the battle. Making sure they're accessible to you in a storm is key. Experts recommend having everything you need in a storm in one place, and making sure you can reach them easily should you lose power and access to other parts of the home.

Check the exterior

You should be doing a thorough evaluation of your home’s exterior at least once a year, and, if you’re in an area that is prone to spring storms, now’s the time. Here are a few things to look for, according to American Family Insurance:

• “Loose shingles that look rippled or ones that have already fallen to the ground.
• Check the siding to see if it’s firmly in place.
• Tree branches extending over your house or dead branches that could fall in a storm.
• Note loose patio furniture and décor that should be secured or pulled inside when a storm comes.
• Gutters should be firmly attached and all downspouts need to be in place.
• If you have shutters, make sure they’re secure.
• Check to see if your fence needs repair.”

You’ll also want to make sure your gutters are cleaned out so water flows through them smoothly when the rain is heavy and your home doesn’t flood.

Make a plan

Family meeting time! Every member of the household needs to know what to do and where to go when a storm hits. “Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area,” said” Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.” FEMA has a great template for a family emergency communication plan.

Check your insurance coverage

Did you have any changes to your policy in the last year? We’re all guilty of ignoring the small print sometimes. It wouldn’t hurt to give your insurance agent a call as a double-check. “Every homeowner should know exactly what their policy covers, or doesn’t cover, so there are no surprises in the event of storm damage,” said Farmer’s Almanac. “Damage to your swimming pool, for example, may not be covered.”

Prepare for power outages

Having a bunch of candles and a lighter is just the beginning. If you lose power, it could last for just a few minutes or hours, or several days or longer. Farmer’s Almanac has some great tips for dealing with an outage.

• You can make an “old time icebox” by filling up empty soda bottles with water and freezing them. You’ll also want to make as much ice as you can.
• Get a battery-operated radio.
• Use a cooler. Fill it with that ice you make to keep food cool and closeby, without having to open the fridge.
• “If you have an electric garage door opener, be sure to disconnect it before you’re stuck in the dark, without a vehicle.”
• Think like a camper. “Either get a camp stove (always use it outside), or use the grill to cook if you’ve lost power. If you have a lot in the freezer and it’s going to be a long time without power, you may just want to invite the neighbors over and grill up as much as possible before it goes bad.”
• Keep cell phones, laptops, and tablets charged.


11 Improvements To Your Garage That Will Add Value To Your Home


Many homeowners view their garage simply as a place to store their car when it is not in use. However, other homeowners look at their garage with much grander expectations. Garages have been used as a place to perform work or to provide additional living space in the home. More and more homeowners have also become conscious of the fact garage upgrades and renovations are a great way to add value to the price of a home.

A Functional Garage Door

Heavy garage doors that must be opened manually are not very appealing to potential homebuyers. Homeowners interested in maintaining the value of their home should install fully automatic garage doors if the garage does not already have one. A new garage door can provide a significant increase to the bottom line of a home when it is time to sale. Homeowners should consider replacing a garage door with a color that goes well with the house.

Improve Ventilation and Insulation

If your garage is attached to your home and you live in an area that experiences extreme weather conditions, it is a good idea to insulate the ceilings and walls of the garage. This will help you better control the climate inside your garage and offer protection for you and your car against the weather.

In addition to providing relief from the heat and cold, insulation will also provide a barrier between the inside of your home and the noise that is present outside your home. There are multiple types of insulation to choose from and you should find the insulation type that best suits your garage. You can also add weather stripping to the sides and bottom of your garage door to obtain additional protection against drafts from outside.

Be Smart With Storage Space

It is common practice to store objects that are out of season or not in use in garages. However, cluttering the garage spaces with boxes of old clothes, old bicycles, and broken appliances may send the wrong message to a buyer interested in your house. The buyer may feel there is insufficient storage space inside the home.

It is suggested that homeowners use plastic bins to house these unused items. Once the bins are filled, they should be labeled and placed onto shelves. A little additional shelf space can do wonders for increasing the number of items that can be neatly stored so if there are not enough shelves present in the garage, you should add a few.

One solution is to install wire shelves along the walls of the garage. You can also purchase shelves that stand on their own and are specifically designed to work with large plastic bins. You should always be careful that these freestanding shelves are attached to the wall securely so that they do not fall over and injure anyone.

Make Sure Lighting Is Adequate

Motion sensor lights are excellent selections for a garage. If your garage already has motion sensor lights but they are not bright enough, consider adding a few more lights to the space. Adequate lighting in a garage is not just a matter of aesthetics but also provides for better work efficiency and safety for your family.Traditional fluorescent lighting is more than adequate for most garage space.

Don't Overlook The Garage Floor

There are a number of projects available to the homeowner that wants to upgrade their garage floor. Some possibilities are the addition of a floor cover that attaches itself to the garage floor, adding tiles to the floor, or choosing to apply epoxy shield paint.

Painting your garage floor with an epoxy finish will cause it to become easier to keep clean. The finish will prevent any oil or other fluids that may leak from your car from staining the floor. Epoxy finish is also great for adding a shine to the floor that will attract the eye of potential buyers.

Provide A Comfortable Work Environment

If your garage is a place you like to work, there are a number of additions you can make to the garage to make so that you are more comfortable while you work. An anti-fatigue mat placed in front of the main area of work is a good first step. A good anti-fatigue mat will decrease the amount of fatigue in your legs and preserve your ankles and feet while installing louvers, scoops, and other Mustang accessories.

A wall-mount fan is excellent for keeping the garage cool in the summer months. You can outfit these fans with motion sensors that will assure the fan comes on whenever you enter the garage. These upgrades will definitely catch the eye of potential homebuyers who also see the garage as a great place to perform work and indulge in their hobbies.

Electrical Outlets

It is suggested that two wall outlets per wall should be present in your garage up to a total of six for a one car garage. If your garage does not possess this number of outlets it is a good idea to hire an electrician to make this upgrade. The cost of adding these outlets is relatively minimal but could have a huge impact on the sale price of your home.

Keep The Space For The Car

Many home experts believe that garages which are partially outfitted to double as things like painting rooms or craft shops not only fail to add value to the price of the home but may actually decrease the sale price of your home. This fact is especially true if the buyer considering the home does not agree with the vision you possess for the garage.

Keep Area Outside Garage Clean

All the interior changes in the world will not add value to a home whose garage looks old, junky, or dilapidated outside. Most buyers form their impression of a house before they ever step through the front door. A failure on your part to tidy up around the outside of a home can discourage them before they fully consider all the great features your home has to offer them.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Vincent Stokes




Tips to Making a Good Impression While Selling Your Home


Selling your home can be a difficult thing to do if you don’t know where to start. However, there are certain things that you can do in order to create a home atmosphere that entices potential buyers. Learning how to make a good impression while selling your home will help you make the sale much more quickly than you could have ever expected.

Don’t stay emotionally attached to your home

It is going to be difficult to sell your home when you are emotionally attached to it. You will end up making excuses for doing important things like listing your home and taking great pictures of it. If you stay too attached to your home, you might never even take a deal that comes your way. You will make excuses that no deal is good enough for this home that you love so much. If you need to sell your home, you need to make sure that you are emotionally detached from it first.

Have a great story to tell

For example, D Gary Young has a rags to riches story about growing up in a tiny cabin without running water or electricity. Young eventually ended up creating a multinational corporation and lived in a giant mansion. Telling your story can be a great way to build rapport and help you connect with potential buyers. You can also ask your potential buyers about their story, too. It will be a great way to get connected and find out why they want your house.

Invest in curb appeal

Curb appeal is going to be a great way to add to the value of your home and interest buyers from the start. First impressions are everything. The curb appeal of your home is going to be a big factor in what the initial impression about your home is. Simply painting your door can be a great way to make your home look more inviting. Hiring a landscaping company to clean up your yard could greatly increase the odds that your home gets sold quickly.

Pack up or get rid of your personal items

While it can be ok to leave your furniture in your home, you don’t want to have a bunch of your personal items left out. Potential buyers want to be able to envision themselves in your home. It will be important to get rid of items like family photos and your mail. This will make your home look and feel cluttered, like it is still yours.

Make sure nothing is broken

If you have cabinet doors that are unaligned, squeaky stairs, or leaky faucets, you will want to take care of these issues before you start showing your home. This will help you to wow potential buyers instead of turning them off to the idea of purchasing your home. There are many of these fixes that you can do yourself by simply looking up tutorials online. It can also be a great investment to hire a handyman to take care of problems that are too advanced for you.

Create a welcoming vibe in your home

There are many things that you can do to create a welcoming vibe in your home. Playing nice music in your home will be a great way to set the mood before showing your home. Also, you will want to make sure your home smells nice. Changing the lighting up to create a warm vibe could also create an atmosphere that will help to let your potential buyers feel like this is a place they could live in.


Making a good impression while selling your home is a very important thing to do. This will be a large determining factor in the price that you will be able to sell your home for and how quickly it will be able to sell on the market. Implementing these steps will make selling your home much easier than it may once have been.

SOURCE: REALTY TIMES- by Carol Evenson

Spring Clean Your Home with These Easy Tips!


It’s ALMOST spring cleaning time! It is certainly that time of the year when dusting away some winter blues is in order. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure of where and how to start. Fret not, we’ve compiled some spring cleaning tips to make your seasonal transition a lot easier. 

FIX WHAT NEEDS FIXING  Why wait for summer to start home fixing projects when you can get them done during spring cleaning? Small repair projects like a simple furniture repaint or replacing a fixture will take just a few hours. Doing this will also give you a better start at your other spring cleaning agendas by giving you a boost of self-accomplishment.

REPAINT AND REFRESH  Using paint is one of the cheapest yet most transformative tricks in home improvement. 

REARRANGE FURNITURE   Spring cleaning isn’t just about throwing out things that you don’t need but also about finding new uses for things you already have. While you may find it better to store some furniture and décor, rearranging them can make a huge change that will make your home a lot more cheerful and open. Don’t forget to go for lighter window treatments as well!

  • Vacuum or steam your bed to get rid of dirt. The same goes for your couches, carpets, and areas under furniture. Don’t forget to flip your mattress!
  • Give your closet a makeover my sorting through clothes and tucking away winter garb. This way, you’ll have more room in your closet to showcase clothes suitable for warmer weather.
  • Organize and clean one drawer at a time. The task of cleaning out an entire room may be too daunting. There is nothing wrong with cleaning just a drawer or two at a time on top of your other household chores. 
  • Give away or sell what you don’t need. Things that have no use for you only serve as clutter. It’s great if you can clean your home while helping others make theirs a better place by giving away some items you no longer want. You can sell these as well for a discounted price to turn them into cash.
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