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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Adding Value To Your Home Through The Garage

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By nature, garages are places where we store many things we don’t want or need in the house.
 They’re also places where oil and gasoline are spilled due to cars, mowers, snow blowers, roto-tillers, etc.

Garages tend to store toys, mementos and many other items that, at one time, we thought vitally important. Then, when we go through them, we wonder why in the world we thought they were so important in the first place!

Well, as you can guess, all those boxes, stains, smells, unorganized tools, etc., can add up to an unsightly mess in the eyes of potential buyers. So, that means it’s time for a cleanup and, just as important, a rigorous re-organization of the garage to make it “shine” in the eyes of buyers.


Go through all those boxes in your garage and sort out the items. Be ruthless and toss out anything that no longer has any use or meaning. Even better, donate items that are still useful to your favorite charity. You’ll feel great and make somebody else happy at the same time. By clearing out all the clutter, you’ll make it easier to take the next step.

Clean the garage as thoroughly as possible. Get rid of dust and dirt anywhere you find it. If you have minor oil/gas stains on the floor, you may be able to pressure wash them away. 

However, if they’re large and/or long-standing, then you’ll need to find a cleanser like TSP (trisodium phosphate) or specially-made cleansers like “Gunk,” “Swab,” etc. that can be found at paint/automotive stores or in sections of “big box” stores like Wal-Mart.

Consider a “garage organization” system. Usually, the cheapest ones consist of storage bins and wall hooks. But, if you want to spend the money, there are also ones available with wall panels and flooring.Depending on your needs, an organization system can range from approximately $40 to thousands. 

Simply google “garage organization systems,” and you’ll find plenty of links to companies selling these products.No matter what system you choose, it will definitely give your garage a clean and professional look.

I can’t stress how impressive it is to potential buyers to have a well-organized garage.

This tells them that you’re a person who takes care of every detail of your home and property.And that, in turn, lets them know that buying your home will be a great investment on their part and well worth the asking price.

Need more hints on how to spruce up your garage or any other part of your home and property? If so, contact me today.

Monday, August 15, 2011

5 Things To Look For When Choosing Your Real Estate Agent

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All agents are not created equal.  Anyone can become a Realtor ©. You can get your license in a few weeks or a few weekends and pass a test.   But what really sets the quality agents apart?  How can you tell you are dealing with an experienced professional who gets the results you are looking for, whether on the buying side of the fence or seller?  The difference between a Realtor © and real estate agent is the client level versus the customer service level. It's the difference between experience and professional experience and strictly the facts.

Good Agents Know How To Emphasize the Positives and Sell Them

Not everyone can be a good sales person.  It takes the ability to recognize positive (and negative) attributes and the professional judgment to be able to know which ones should be highlighted at what time.  A good salesperson also has the innate skill of knowing their client and understanding their needs so they can adapt to them during the entire process.

Negotiation is a Very Important Part of the Home Buying and Selling Process

There is a significant amount of back and forth during real estate transactions.  Negotiating is a huge part of the process and it can make or break a sale if you do not have a good negotiator on your side.  There are several areas where this will come handy – beginning with the initial offer.  Then, following inspection results if there are any adjustments and/or concessions to be made, also for issues like deciding on a benchmark price when putting up a new listing.

Negotiations are most prevalent during the time an offer is made and/or countered but can also be equally as significant after a home inspection, when some of the parameters of the offer may need to be changed.

Staying Up-To-Date Marks A Knowledgeable and Interested Agent

Keeping up with the skills that are in tune with technology, the latest tools offered in the industry or even useful and beneficial professional characteristics is an important component of being an effective agent.  Someone with extensive marketing experience will be an asset to a real estate deal because his or her market savvy will come into play at many points throughout the buy/sell process.  An agent who is adept at using the latest tools like social media to enhance their existing functions stands far apart from those who still employ old school techniques.  As long as your agent is one who demonstrates the creative use of professional skills and modern technology, you can bet you will have an edge.

Accessibility and Communication; Key Aspects of Real Estate Success

Nothing is worse than needing or wanting to get in touch with your Realtor © but not being able to reach them.  Conversely, the agents who make sure to maintain regular open lines of communication with their clients enjoy huge success.  Not only because they have happy clients who are not always chasing to be heard – but also because it ensures that there are no mismanaged expectations, inaccurate information, discrepancies, etc.

Communication is the second part of this important trait of a great real estate agent.  Being able to adapt to varying levels of client communication; managing stress during lengthy transactions (such as short sales that can take months); understanding clients’ needs – all these are parts of a whole where your agent connects with you on a grander scale.

Realtors Who Take Ownership to the Last Degree – Win 

Since not all Realtors © are created equal, it is the ones who are willing to walk that extra mile for their clients that almost always succeed.  Though this trait relies on all other traits of an excellent agent, it stands alone in one area – attitude.  Having the attitude that a client’s best interest is the first priority easily separates the top producers from the mediocre.
As you embark on your quest to find the perfect agent who is right for you – remember that the connection you have with your agent must “feel right”.  At the end of the day, this person will be representing your interests in what will probably be the largest purchase of your life so it is important that you are comfortable.