Get it Sold: 10 tips to sell your old home faster.


The right price and location are always important, but shouldn’t be the only concerns for sellers anymore. Some smart planning can help you sell your old home faster and for more money.

Tip #10: Light it up

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is something almost every buyer mentions they want in their new home. Removing drapes, cleaning windows and increasing the wattage in your light bulbs can really brighten up your home. Trimming back large shrubs outside your windows can help bring in natural light as well. A bright home will show much better.

Tip #9: Empty the closets

Every buyer is seeking plenty of storage in their new home. Show off your closet space by removing at least half of the stuff inside. Neatly organize the remainder of the closet and be sure to get the drawers and cabinets clean.  You’ll be prepared for the snoopiest buyers with a clean and organized closet space.


Tip #8: Clean up after the pets

Not everyone loves dogs and cats. Buyers don’t want to walk into your home to see a full bowl of dog food, pet hair everywhere or smell your cat’s litter box. These things can make your home seem unclean. If you have an open house planned, send the critters away to a pet hotel.

Tip #7: De-personalize & De-clutter

Take down many of the personal items in your home. This is a very important step to help your buyers visualize themselves in your home. Take at least half of your personal items off the walls. Memorabilia, heirlooms, curios and family photos should all be stored away during the listing period. Get rid of the clutter. Think about hiring a home stager to help you arrange your furniture and decorations in a way that complements your floorplan and makes the home flow and show well.

Tip #6: Upgrade, but upgrade smart

Small repairs before selling are a great idea and will pay you back. Really big makeovers are a bad idea because huge improvement projects probably won’t pay pay off.  Try several smaller, manageable projects that will pay you back. Get the walls painted and update your curtains (Don’t spend too much on this). New cabinet pulls, fresh door handles and freshly cleaned grout can really spruce up your homes appearance to potential buyers.

Tip #5: Keep it ready for showings

It’s crucial that your house is ready to show at all times. Buyers can show up at anytime and with little or no notice. Keep the home ready to be seen. Make sure the sink and dishwashers are clean and empty and your bathrooms are squeaky clean. The temporary inconvenience will pay off with a sale.

Tip #4: Get great photos

According to Zillow, 90% of all buyers start their search online. The National Association of Realtors estimates that around 50% of those buyers will first view your listing on their tablet or smartphone. Listing photos are the new first-impression and can make or break your chances for a showing.

Tip #3: Price it right from the start

Some sellers think they should start with a high asking price and drop it later if the house fails to sell. That can result in a slower sale at a lower price. The first 30 days your house is on the market is always the best activity you’re going to see. If the price is too high, buyers and their agents might stay away, assuming you’re not serious about selling or you’re unwilling to negotiate.


Tip # 2: Sweeten the deal

Enticements like closing credits and home warranties are so common that most buyers will expect them. Sweeten the deal by leaving some nice personal items behind. If your home is on a golf course, include the cart in the deal. Items like stainless kitchen

appliances or a large HD flatscreen TV can move your home higher on the buyers list.

Tip #1: The first impression is the only impression

You won’t get a second chance to make a good impression on the buyer. By the time they’ve walked in your front door, some perceptions of your home have already been set. Make people feel safe,  warm and welcome as they approach your house.  Bright flowers and new shrub placements can really help your home’s curb appeal and typically pay back at closing.  Make the entryway welcoming. Place a bench or a small table with fresh flowers or cookies by the front entry so the first thing a prospective buyer sees or smells when they walk in will be fresh and inviting.

Top 10 Reasons Home Buyers Prefer New vs. Used

Today’s new homes offer more benefits than ever before. Here’s a quick list of the Top 10 reasons why so many home buyers prefer new homes to used houses:


1) Design Your Dream Home Your Way: Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can select your favorite cabinets, countertops, appliances, carpets and flooring? While you’re at it, you can choose gorgeous bath and kitchen fixtures, lighting and other options that you love. Your new home will reflect your style, not someone else’s taste.

2) Choose a Floorplan and Room Layout that Meets Your Needs: Want a master bedroom on the first floor? It’s yours. With massive his and her’s walk-in closets? Done! Want high ceilings and a luxurious, resort-style master bath? Perhaps you’d like a sitting room with a fireplace in your owner’s suite or French doors that open to your private patio or the pool? It’s easy, when you build your master suite your way.

3) All New, Under Warranty: A used home likely has tired products that may soon need replacing. Your new home — and the products that comprise it — are brand-new and under warranty. What’s the cost to replace a roof, appliances, countertops or a water heater on a used home? Those components of your new home feature the latest designs and building materials and should offer you years of comfort and enjoyment before needing replacement.

4) Energy and Cost Savings: Today’s new homes are far more energy efficient than homes built just five years ago. Versus homes built ten or 20 years ago, it’s game over, advantage new.Why settle for drafty, energy-wasting single-pane windows in a used home? Many new homes offer double or even triple-pane windows. Special window coatings and inert gases between the layers of glass are often available, saving you even more energy and money in both heating and cooling season.

5) Comfort and Indoor Air Quality: Today’s new homes meet stringent energy standards and codes not in place in the past. They combine high-performance energy efficiency with state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration. The result is year-round, draft-free comfort and higher indoor air quality.

6) Low Maintenance: New cars today are computer-designed and computer-equipped. That’s why they perform much more reliably than a car that’s 15 or 20 years old. Homes are the same. Today’s new homes have open floorplans and high ceilings that reflect the way we live today. They’re also made of cutting-edge building products that require less care and maintenance. Another plus? The latest building systems and components are designed and engineered to work together.

7) Community Amenities: Many new homes are built in lavish master-planned communities with resort-style community centers, pools and clubhouses. Many new home communities also feature hiking trails, protected open lands and some of the best new schools and shopping near (or even within) your new home community.

8) Advanced Technology and Design: It’s possible to replace all of the single-pane windows in a resale home with today’s high-performance windows. It’s also possible to add insulation to a used home. However, it’s very expensive to replace dated appliances, cabinets and countertops in a used home — and you still won’t have the high ceilings you dream of on the first floor of an older two-story home. All are reasons to build your new home your way, to reflect the way you live today.

9) Safety: State-of-the-art circuit breakers. Electric garage door openers with infrared beams that stop if a tricycle or child is too near. High-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners that use the latest environmentally-friendly coolants. Cabinets, carpets and paints that use fewer volatile organic compounds, so that you and your family can breathe easier.

10) That New Home Feel: A used home was someone else’s dream, not yours. It reflects their choices and family memories. You may learn to love avocado-green appliances (and you may be willing to scrub stained countertops or grease-encrusted ovens and cooktops) but more and more people prefer that never lived-in feel.

After all, when was the last time you went to a department store and selected used clothes? Or visited a car dealer and paid more for a used car than a new car?


Top 5 Things to Consider When Deciding to Build Your First Custom Home

If you are new to the home building market, those first few steps can seem rather daunting. We have gone through the home building process with my own home – and we know how overwhelming that beginning phase can be. After going through it ourselves and working with dozens of prospective builders, we’ve put together a list of the most important things you should consider when deciding to build your first custom home.image016

  1. Commitment

Make sure you choose a builder you can trust and see yourself working with for the long haul. Be wary of builders and developers who overly assure you that it is an easy process. Building your own home takes time, patience, and engagement; however if you prepare yourself for the challenge it can be a very rewarding experience.

  1. Budget

Next, you should take a very pragmatic look at what it will take to build your new home. From the get-go, you should determine what you can and cannot afford and stick to it. It is highly recommended to allow for some wiggle room – about 10% of your overall budget, as issues will arise.

  1. Lifestyle

After you have committed and laid out your budget, the next step will be to figure out what you expect from your new home. Walk through your current home and make a list of everything that works well, as well as the things you wish you had. From there, organize your list starting with the necessities down to the desires with extreme prejudice!

  1. Location

When you begin looking for where to build your home there are a few things to keep in mind:  A flat site will help to eliminate many headaches during the planning process. Also, consider the costs paying the city for permits, adding power and sewer hookups, and any excavation and landscaping that must be completed as part of the building process. Get to know your lot thoroughly to identify any potential problems.

  1. Planning

Once you have figured out what you need vs. what you want, as well as what you can afford, it is time to start planning. Communicate heavily with your builder, contractor, and designer to find a plan that best fits your envisioned lifestyle. Be clear and be honest – make sure your build partner knows what it is you want and that they are committed to making you happy.