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  • 8 in 10 homeowners expect the value of their homes to go up either "a little" (55 percent) or "a lot" (26 percent) in the future.
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    November 18, 2014
    Moving Tips: Unpacking

    Buying a home and selling your old one can be a very difficult process. But, it’s also fun! You get a fresh start, new neighbors, new scenery- and looking at houses is exciting. In my opinion, the absolute worst part of moving… Is the actual process of moving. Packing, loading, unpacking- it’s physically and emotionally exhausting. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for tips that make it a little less horrible. Check out this post by JamieLyn at I Heart Nap Time for some great ideas:

    -Clean and sanitize everything in your new home before you start

    -If possible, dedicate 1-3 days to unpacking after moving. It’s nice to get it done within a week.

    -Get empty boxes out of the way as you go, or they will pile up.

    -Go room by room, and have helpers. Do bedrooms and bathrooms first, then the kitchen.

    -Turn on some music, invite friends, and have fun!

    Photo Credit: Joe Hall 

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    November 17, 2014
    For Realtors: Working With Picky Buyers

    In today’s market, buyers can’t really afford to be too choosy- if they want to actually get a house. Homes are being sold in record times- many within a few days (or even hours) of putting them on the market. However, there are always going to be those kinds of buyers. Overly critical, and finding fault with every minor detail- they are the nitpicky buyers that every agent dreads. Now, it’s fair to assume that anyone buying a home will have certain things they look for, and it’s okay to be a bit demanding (a house is a huge purchase!). That’s totally normal and expected. But there’s a difference in being selective and being difficult. If you’re an agent, read this post at The Ready Agent on dealing with picky buyers:

    When the homes you show them meet all or most of their criteria and they’re not making offers; you’ve got yourself a picky home buyer. The answer? Take your picky home buyers to a new home builder!

    Many new agents (and even some experienced ones) forget that most new home builders love working with real estate agents.  In fact, many new home builders even offer bonuses to Realtors for bringing them a buyer.

    Photo Credit: j4p4n 

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    November 14, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: What Not To Do As A Seller

    Learn some common seller mistakes from this video- and how to avoid them.

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    November 13, 2014
    Housewarming Gift Idea

    Whether you’re welcoming a new neighbor to your area, or giving away a closing gift as a Realtor, new home owners always appreciate the thought. Popular housewarming gifts that I’ve seen people give before include: gift cards to local restaurants and entertainment spots, personalized household items (cutting board, key ring, you name it), wine, and gift baskets with stuff that new homeowners need. I’m always on the lookout for new, creative gift ideas. That’s why I love this post by Jordan at Oh Happy Day. Their idea? A Housewarming Gift Jar:

    All you need is a printout and a paint pen to trace it on the jar. Then just stop by a hardware store to stock up the jar and you’ve got a present.

    Materials: A variety of housewarming goods, a large glass jar with a lid, a printout of your desired text, tape, opaque paint pen, ribbon.

    Check out the full post here for a beautiful photo tutorial.

    Photo Credit: GloboChem 

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    November 12, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Lush Library

    Photo from Belle Vivir

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    November 11, 2014
    Happy Veteran’s Day! Buying A Home As A Veteran

    First of all, Happy Veteran’s Day to all! If you are a veteran, I thank you for your service to this country. Buying a home can be a difficult process for anyone. That’s why it’s important to have a real estate agent! However, being active or retired military can present its own set of challenges. You may have to move around a lot, deal with getting a VA loan, and might not be there for some of the process. That’s why you should look for a military-friendly real estate agent! Read this post by Christian Losciale at Veterans United for more information:

    Wise realtors know about VA loans.

    It doesn’t hurt that they’ll understand your desire to take advantage of your VA loan benefit

    While civilian homebuyers are also on budgets, military homebuyers often have stricter fiscal limits. Real estate agents who frequently work with military families understand this need.

    Real estate agents familiar with their area know the pros and cons to living on a nearby military installation. They won’t pressure you into living on or off a base, but rather they’ll ask how you feel about commuting, living close to your obligations, and your overall preference.

    Photo Credit: 143desc 

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    November 10, 2014
    For Realtors: How To Find Clients

    While being a real estate agent is a great job, it does have one major caveat: your income is based on commission, rather than a monthly salary. Now, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing- if you have lots of clients, or multimillion dollar homes, you can have an extremely lucrative career as a Realtor. However, finding clients can be tricky- especially when you’re first starting out. So, if you need to meet new customers, there are plenty of creative ways to do so. Read this article at By Regina for ideas:

    -Get the word out to family and friends, who will pass your name on to their friends, and so on.

    -Do some good ol’ fashioned advertising- on Facebook, Google, Bing, Craigslist, magazines, etc.

    -Send old fashioned and attractive mail

    -Ask for feedback when the answer is “no” and use it to improve your service.

    -Start a blog and make everything shareable

    Photo Credit: Geoffrey Franklin 

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    November 7, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Tallest Apartment

    It looks awesome, but the swaying (and the $95 million price tag) is a no-no for me.

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    November 6, 2014
    Making Cleaning Fun

    The first step to getting your home ready to sell is, of course, deep cleaning and decluttering the entire house. Now, I am not a fan of cleaning. Yes, I pick up trash and make sure that I don’t have week-old food lying around- but dusting and vacuuming every day? Not gonna happen. Let’s face it- cleaning isn’t fun, but we all have to do it. Only children require constant entertainment to get stuff done- right? Wrong! There are plenty of ways to make cleaning more enjoyable. If you are getting ready to sell and are faced with the daunting task of getting your home showroom ready, read this article by JL Penner at Frugal Living Mom:

    -Have a de-cluttering party complete with food, music, and a prize at the end. This is a great way to get your family on board with the project. Try a de-clutter award for the person who bags up the most items to give away to a charity.

    -Host a giving party. Have everyone bring a bag of gently used items they no longer love that they can swap for stuff they will use. Then you can donate all the leftovers to a local charity.

    -Give yourself a reward! After your organizing session treat yourself to something fun, anything but shopping!

    Photo Credit: Vox Efx 

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    November 5, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Yes, This Will Do

    Photo from Infinite Tonight Tumblr

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