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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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    May 21, 2015
    Tips For FSBOs

    Let me start this off by saying that selling your own home without the help of a Realtor is generally a bad idea. Unless you have extensive real estate experience, chances are that your home will sit on the market for a while, or that you’ll undersell yourself and lose out on lots of money. I recommend to everyone that they enlist the help of a real estate professional instead of going the FSBO route. However, though it is difficult, it is possible to successfully sell your home yourself. For tips on becoming one of those successes, read this article by Abby Hayes at Us News:

    -Market pricing- See what other homes with similar square footage, rooms and features are going for in your area.

    -Good pictures- You best bet is to use a high-definition camera and natural lighting.

    -Write a detailed listing

    -Be available to potential buyers

    Photo Credit: Images of Money 

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    May 20, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Love That Arch

    Photo from Roses and Rust

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    May 19, 2015
    Do You Need A Real Estate Agent?

    Short answer: yes. Whether you are looking to buy a home, or sell your current house, Realtors will make the process so, so much easier for you. Some people think they don’t need to hire one, either because it isn’t mandatory, or they think they can handle everything themselves, or because they simply don’t want to pay them. However, this could not be farther from the truth. In fact, most agents will be able to save you money (usually more than their commission fee) with their negotiation power and experience. They will speed the process up and save you lots of major headaches, and steer you away from potentially deadly financial mistakes. Still not sold? Check out this post by Lisa Ross at the Tour Wizard blog for why you should hire a Realtor:

    -Real estate agents can help you sort through the most complicated issues and through things that are completely unfamiliar to you. 

    -As any other industry, real estate has its own secrets, procedures and stages. Not being aware of this may get you into serious trouble or even loss of valuable time or money. 

    -Paperwork will be flying around during the transaction. Can you keep up? It will be very helpful for you to have someone familiar with this; for experienced agents this is just second nature!

    Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver 

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    May 18, 2015
    For Realtors: Out Of The Box Marketing Ideas

    Finding ways to reach new clients is a real estate agent’s most important, and most challenging jobs. Standing out above your local competition is imperative, and the way to do it is through creative marketing. Fliers and newspaper ads just don’t cut it. Most new home buyers expect Realtors to have a strong online presence, and to be technology savvy. Check out this post by Jessica Schweppe at the Zurple blog for new marketing ideas for 2015:

    -Share helpful content on your social media sites, and your own blog

    -Go to lunch meetings more often

    -Cater to your community- write blog posts about local attractions, talk about local market conditions, and become an expert on local stats like crime rates and schools.

    -Capture testimonials from satisfied clients and add them to Active Rain, Trulia, Zillow, and your website. 

    Photo Credit: Sodanie Chea 

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    May 15, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Entryway Ideas

    The first thing you see when you enter a house is what’s just behind the door. Make a good first impression with these tips!

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    May 14, 2015
    What Closing Fees Does The Seller Pay?

    Usually, buyers assume most of the closing costs when a deal is met. In fact, as a buyer, it is important to include closing costs in your budget when buying a home. However, there are some fees that the seller is responsible for. For more info, read this article by Teresa at the Teresa Cowart blog. Here are the costs that the seller must pay:

    -Seller’s real estate agent commission

    -Inspection finds / repairs

    -Transfer taxes

    -Notary fees

    -Property taxes

    -Mortgage interest during closing.

    Photo Credit: Got Credit 

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    May 13, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Sun Room Reading Nook

    Photo from My Ideal Home

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    May 12, 2015
    Renting Out Your Home

    When I was very young, my grandpa had a house on Myrtle Beach that we would go to every summer. But, he wasn’t rich- he was an Army veteran, and his wife stayed home. So, how did they afford it? He rented it out! He lived at his normal home during most of the year, and leased the vacation home out to renters on a monthly basis. Their rent paid for the home all year, and he basically had a free vacation home. Are you thinking of renting a home, or even a room? Read this post by Elizabeth Bennett Colegrove at The Reluctant Landlord for things that you need to get done:


    -Clean the whole house, including carpets

    -Repair EVERYTHING. Tenants will not like a leaky faucet or broken dishwasher.

    -Landscape- make it look neat and easy to maintain

    -Declutter- make it as neutral looking as possible.

    Photo Credit: Beatrice Murch 

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    May 11, 2015
    Natural Ways To Freshen Up Your Home

    Bad smells are a deal breaker when it comes to selling your home. You can have the best priced, most immaculate, most gorgeous home, but if it smells funny, no one is going to want to buy it. Obviously, the first thing you should do when getting rid of bad smells is remove the source of the smell. Garbage, kitty litter, and dirty bathrooms should not even be around during an open house or showing. Once you’ve done that, check out this post by Monica at The Yummy Life. Here are some natural recipes to cook up that will have your home smelling heavenly all year long:

    -Citrus- Lemons and oranges are particularly fragrant and have the best staying power in these scented waters.

    -Herbs- My favorites for room scents are rosemary and thyme

    -Pine / Cedar leaves, needles, twigs

    -Extracts- vanilla or almond

    -Spices- cinnamon and cloves are the best.

    Cover ingredients with water and heat on stove!

    Photo Credit: John Morgan 

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    May 8, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Making A Bedroom Look Larger

    These are great decorating tips, and will also help if you are trying to stage your home for sale!

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