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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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    April 1, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: The Most Perfect Kitchen

    Photo from Zsa Zsa Bellagio

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    March 31, 2015
    Advice For Beginner Realtors

    Being a real estate agent is one of the coolest jobs in the world, and is perfect for anyone who loves homes and working with people. However, it is also quite challenging, especially since your income is totally commission based. Doing your research and knowing if the field is right for you before you start is absolutely essential! Check out this post by Tyler Zey at Easy Agent Pro for advice from top real estate bloggers….Here’s what they wish they knew when they were just starting out:

    • Teamwork is an odd concept to many Realtors, but can lead you to respect and referrals. Get a mentor, help out others in your office.”- Marcia Boston
    • Create a community page on your website to establish yourself as a local expert”- Bill Gassett
    • Have enough funds to sustain you for the next 12 months as you are starting out”- Anita Clark
    • Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it!”- Connor Maclvor

    Photo Credit: Maryland Gov Pics 

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    March 30, 2015
    The Biggest Seller Mistake: Being Too Emotional

    Let’s face it; we’re all attached to our homes in some way. I love how cozy my bedroom upstairs is, especially when I can hear rain on the roof. I love the window in the living room that lets me watch the sunrise every morning. I love having shelves built in to the walls, and I love my big yard. It would probably be difficult for me to sell my home. But, if I ever decided to, I’d know that I’d have to start cutting those emotional ties.

    Nothing will tank a potential sale faster than seller sabotage. Most of the time when this happens, it’s because sellers become too emotionally involved in the sale of their home- they overestimate its price based on their personal sentiment. Check out this post by Lisa Ross at Tour Wizard for emotional mistakes to avoid when trying to sell:

    -Being too emotionally attached to the property- Make sure you are actually ready to sell at all before you list.

    -Taking the matter too personally- Do not take lower offers as an offense. Instead, negotiate calmly and highlight your home’s strong points.

    -Asking for exaggerated prices and unrealistic negotiation- consult your real estate agent and let your pride take a back seat.

    Photo Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer 

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    March 27, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Population Boom- Fastest Growing Cities

    Surprisingly, these population booms are not due to births or job growth. Instead, they have to do with seniors moving down South to Florida, South Carolina, and Texas. This reminds me of something I saw on my Aunt’s Facebook this morning: “Say what you will about the South, but no one ever retires and moves up North.” :)

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    March 26, 2015
    The Importance of Pre-approval

    In today’s seller’s market, it would be self-sabotage to not do everything you can to make yourself more attractive as a buyer. The number one thing you can do to make yourself stand out is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. This shows the seller that you are serious about buying, and have the finances to back yourself up. Many sellers will not even consider buyers who are not pre-approved- and for good reason. Why go through all that work for someone who may not even be able to afford the home? It just saves you and the seller lots of time and heartache. Check out this post by Michael Dagner at Active Rain for more:

    Knowing how much you can spend is paramount to avoid disappointments and wasting everyones’ time. Then, there’s the fact that sellers now-a-days want to see a pre-approval letter with any offer you may make. An experienced real estate agent will always make sure their clients are pre-approved for a mortgage before they even start shopping for homes.

    Photo Credit: Daniela Vladimirova 

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    March 25, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Front Balcony

    Photo from Houzz

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    March 24, 2015
    The Worst Cities To Rent In

    Generally, I think renting is a necessary evil. It’s fine as a temporary situation if you are saving up for a down payment, but I think that it’s ultimately a waste of money. Some people’s lifestyles are better suited for renting, though, especially if you travel a lot and can’t afford the commitment of owning a home. Either way, if you’re a renter, you’ll want to steer clear of these cities. Check out this article by Ben Rooney at CNN Money for cities where monthly rent could even be more than an entire down payment. Some are actually pretty surprising:

    -Albuquerque, NM

    -Las Vegas, NV

    -Omaha, NE

    -Syracuse, NY

    -Providence, RI

    -New Orleans, LA

    Photo Credit: Kenny Louie 

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    March 23, 2015
    Don’t Get Bugged! Why You Need A Home Inspection

    Buying a home is going to be the biggest purchase that most of us ever make. That’s why it’s important to make sure everything is ship-shape before you shell out the cash. The best way to do this is by getting a home inspection done before you buy. Check out this post by Kyle Hiscock at the Rochester Real Estate blog for reasons why getting an inspection done is crucial:

    -Peace of mind

    -It’s inexpensive compared to how much you save

    -Uncover safety issues

    -Reveal bug and insect problems

    -Find structural issues

    -Get a better handle on price negotiations

    Photo Credit: Chris Baranski 

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    March 20, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: “Cottage Style” Modern Decor

    I LOVE the birch tree wallpaper!

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    March 19, 2015
    Writing the Perfect Listing

    Let’s face it, not everyone is a writer. Not every real estate agent is a writer, and sometimes, it shows. Even if you have beautiful photos and online presence, if your listing is riddled with spelling errors or doesn’t have enough info, it will turn most buyers away. But! You don’t have to have a Masters in English Literature to write great, irresistible listings. Check out this post by Brendon Disimone at Zillow on how to write listings that buyers will flock to:

    -Get to the main selling point right at the top

    -Less is more- keep listings under 250 words

    -Use bullet points when possible- include location, number of beds and baths, square footage, etc.

    Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk 

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