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A real estate concierge in your hand. Buyers can find what they’re looking for easily

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  • Or just be curious.

All in your hand, on the spot. Share with others. Easy.

Use your smartphone or tablet. Text 87778, Message BHHS 9128 from your mobile device for your app.

Curious about the value of your home? I have a great tool for you.


Are you curious about the value of your home if you listed it for sale today? Want to know the sales price of homes in your neighborhood? As a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate professional, I am a great resource for you.

Visit my website at and click the My Home's Value button to get your estimate now from three separate data sources!




Things to do before Listing Home on Market


Things To Consider Doing Before Listing On The Market

Listing a home or property for sale is no small task, and it takes a lot of preparation for a seller to be ready to list. If you've been thinking about selling your home, but you're not completely ready to pull the trigger (maybe you'd like to list within the next few months or even within a year), consider some of the tips listed below to help prepare your home or property for when you're comfortable listing it on the real estate market.

Remove Personal Items

While you've spent a lot of time turning your house into your home, when you decide to sell and list it on the market, there will be a number of people looking at your property (either in person or via the Internet). A step you can take prior to listing is to remove the personal items in your home. You need to walk through the property as a potential buyer: what do you notice? Are there pictures and other things that stick out? The best thing you can do for your home is to create a neutral space or environment for buyers to look at. By removing personal items from your home, you not only help a buyer envision the property as his/her own, you also help break the emotional attachment you have for your own property.

Another thing to consider is renting a storage unit. If you find that you maybe have too many things, and you're not inclined to part with them, renting a small storage unit once you list your home will give you the ability to free up space in your home but also keep those precious items you can't part with.

Ask a Listing Agent for Input

You know your house, and it's pretty likely that you've developed a strong affection for your home. It's common that when we love something, we may become a little blind to some of its issues or things that could be improved. If you know you want to list your property, but you're not totally ready to do so, have an agent or Realtor do a walk through and provide feedback on what they'd change based on their professional experience. An agent spends a lot of time with buyers, and he or she will be able to point to things buyers might object to or find off-putting in a property.

An agent will also be up-to-date on current trends and will be able to provide feedback on what buyers are looking for in your particular area. Getting a professional opinion from someone that knows the market and talks to other real estate professionals on a regular basis is a great way to prepare your home for a future sale. An unbiased opinion about what works and what could be changed regarding your home is an excellent tool for a future successful sale.

Hire a Home Inspector  

When you think of a home inspection, it's likely you think of one taking place once an offer has been accepted and papers have been signed. If you're considering listing your house in the future, hiring a home inspector and doing a preliminary home inspection can be a huge asset to your future sale.

A home inspection will let you know what needs to be addressed in terms of your property: a reputable inspector will look at the foundation and other structural components, exterior features, the roof (which includes shingles, flashing and any skylights); electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, interior features like doors, windows and floors; and an inspector will check the insulation in the attic and any fireplaces in the property.

Many home sales do not succeed or move to the next step because of issues brought up in a home inspection. If you've decided to wait to sell your home, consider doing a preliminary home inspection well before you put your home on the market so you know where your property stands and have time to fix anything that might put off buyers once you do list.


Get Your Outdoor Living Area Ready For Summer


GET YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING AREA READY FOR SUMMERWhy the <b>Sunshine</b> Policy Made Sense | 38 North: Informed Analysis of ...

As with the inside of your home, outdoor living areas need attention and care to keep them looking their best. While you may not need to dust or vacuum your deck and furniture, there are a few maintenance chores that will get the warm-weather living off to a good start.

Click here for full article Deck Maintenance

How To Organize Your Kitchen to be Easy to Cook In

Great recent article on How To Organize Your Kitchen to be Easy to Cook In.  Wonderful ideas for the new year!
Click pic to go to article

Pastry chef and food writer Katherine Sacks' kitchen

Home Winterization Tips

Timing Is Everything: Plan Now for Home Winterization

Appraisal Institute, the nations largest professional association of real estate appraisers, is urging homeowners to consider winterizing their properties to potentially lower energy costs, increase comfort in cold months and possibly improve resale value.

This is the perfect time for consumers to consider making seasonal updates to their homes, says Appraisal Institute President Sara W. Stephens, MAI. Not only do these types of home improvements enhance living environments in winter months and possibly lower energy costs, but most can provide an above average return on investment in resale value.

The Appraisal Institute encourages homeowners to focus on three main updates for the winter: windows, exterior and furnace.

Adding energy-efficient vinyl windows to the home can have an average payback of more than 69 percent, according to the Remodeling 201112 Cost vs. Value Report, published by Hanley Wood. Vinyl replacement windows offer a higher return on investment than wood replacement windows and also have a higher projected return on investment than many other home improvement projects, including a kitchen or bath remodel, addition of a master suite or new bathroom, or a roof replacement. Replacement windows also can be especially valuable to homes built before 1978, due to the importance of reducing lead-based paint in older homes, according to the Hanley Wood research.

That same study found exterior replacement projects retained the most value in home improvements. For example, updating and replacing fiber-cement siding returned 78 percent of homeowners original investment.

A furnace doesnt just provide heat and comfort during cold months, but proactively tuning or replacing a homes furnace can alleviate issues when considering resale. According to Consumer Reports, the average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 18 years. Homeowners should keep this timeframe in mind when debating servicing versus replacement.

The Appraisal Institute also encourages homeowners to contact an appraiser on the front end of their winterization projects. Beyond the typical valuation services, an appraiser can be a valuable resource when consulting on home improvements, Stephens said. A qualified, competent appraiser can make recommendations about which updates will provide the most impact on resale value, as well as what is the norm for the local area.

Homeowners can also make updates now to see an immediate saving in their energy bills.

Clean the gutters Remove leaves and debris so rain and melting snow can drain, preventing backed up water or ice that can clog drains and allow water to seep into the house.

Add insulation Most homes need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in the attic, regardless of climate conditions. If ceiling joists are visible, the insulation needs to be beefed up because these are typically 10 to 11 inches.

Check the ducts Ensure ducts are not exposed and are well-connected. Otherwise, homes with central heating can lose up to 60 percent of heated air before it reaches the vents, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Homeowners should also check for gaps and pinches in pipes and repair them to make sure heated air flows easily into the home.

Keep drafts out of windows If replacing windows isnt in the cards this winter, insulating them with plastic and double-sided tape is extremely effective and much less expensive.

Tune the furnace Clean and tune a furnace annually to increase efficiency and the life of the furnace. Check the furnace now to make sure it does not produce a smell, which will require attention before continuous running in the winter.
Copyright 2012 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

Five Pitfalls That Keep Buyers From Finding The Right Home

  September 28, 2012

Five Pitfalls That Keep Buyers From Finding The Right Home
by Phoebe Chongchua

Buying a home is like searching for a mate. You'll go on many first dates and in the end, the one that has most but maybe not all of the characteristics that you want, will win your heart.

However, first-time buyers and sometimes even serial homebuyers are disappointed by how long the process takes. Yet they may not understand how their expectations, beliefs, and lack of action may be causing the delay in finding the right home.

Here are five pitfalls that buyers can fall into that cause them to let the right home slip by.

  • Seeing a home "as-is". I don't mean that buyers should not view homes on the market that are listed for sale "as-is"; rather I mean not being able to see beyond the "as-is" home. In other words, some buyers walk into a home and are immediately turned off by something as simple as the color of paint which can be easily changed, or maybe it's the carpet or wallpaper. Regardless, when buyers see the home "as-is" without the ability to envision it differently, they do themselves a huge disservice and fall into a pitfall of thinking that the home is not right simply because of the condition they are currently seeing it in.

  • Not working with an expert agent. Buyers can weed through the paper and click around the Web looking for open houses and listings but a quality agent can help identify the best-suited properties much faster. An expert agent also often knows about other listings that are about to come on the market and would not be in the paper or on the Web yet. It's worth it to spend time interviewing agents to find the right one who can help you find the right home. If you fall into the pitfall of trying to do everything on your own, you're likely going to miss seeing some of the houses that might offer the best match for your wants and needs.

  • Letting the important things slide. We've all done this when making an expensive purchase. We compromise on something that is important simply because it's less expensive. Later we regret it. Whether it's a new car, new house, or flat screen TV, when you're making large purchases, you need to know which things are important and non-negotiable and then stick to that list. Of course, there may be some small, less important things that you'll compromise on, but if you compromise on something big that is important to you, you're likely going to be disappointed down the road.

    There is a reason you were searching for a three-bedroom home. So, for instance, when you fall in love with that quaint, cozy two-bedroom home, remember that you had specific reasons for needing an additional bedroom. If you've clearly defined your living needs and wants before you begin house hunting, you'll have guidelines to keep you on track.

    You might find that the smaller home has a secondary unit on the property and, while it's not a third bedroom, it will suit your needs. So, yes, be flexible and think of the possibilities, but do remember your list of what you originally deemed important. The tendency is to get caught up in the moment, either because a home is so charming or because it appears to be such a good deal that you start to say, "Well, I can make-do without that." Maybe you can...but you'd better be certain before you close escrow.

  • Living strictly in the moment. Most of the time I write about practicing living in the moment because so many of us lead hectic lives. But when you're buying a home, you'd better be thinking about the future. What's good for you today will likely need to be good for you for many years to come. So, do your homework to find the right home. Work with your agent to find out how the neighborhood is changing. What future plans are there for the community? Pay attention to the congestion of an area and to the types of retail shops and restaurants that are coming into the community...then compare that to your future plans. You can't always know what lies ahead but many times you can see what types of projects have been proposed for undeveloped land in the area.

  • Skipping an inspection. I've written a lot about this one. Inspections are critical. They're the equivalent of taking a car you want to buy to your car repair shop for a look before you buy. Just like you don't want to end up with a lemon for a car, you don't want a home that has too many and too costly repairs needed. Inspections give you a "health" check of the home. They let you know what you're in for should you buy the home. You'll be glad you have a report to help validate your reasons for wanting to purchase this home over others.

    Avoiding these pitfalls will help you more quickly find the right home and the right investment for your future.

  • Copyright 2012 Realty Times. All Rights Reserved.

    With an award winning staff of writers providing up to the minute real estate news and advice, thousands of REALTORS® in North America reporting daily market conditions, and a nationally broadcast television news program, Realty Times is the one-stop shop for real estate information. That's why over 10,000 real estate professionals have turned to us for their publicity needs.

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