Monthly Archives: March 2019

Tips For Getting Your Home To Stand Out Above the Rest During the Spring Market Real Estate Flood

Spring has sprung! Without a doubt the optimal time to start looking to buy or sell a home starts now.  It has been proven that the most active months in real estate are April, May, and June.  Here are some ways to improve the chances your home stands out above the flood of homes that will hit the market soon.

Wash Your Homes Windows

A home that sparkles will sell better than a home that doesn’t.  Buyers want to feel invited into a space and when the windows are spotless, and the sun shines in without dirt or streaks you are showcasing your home in its best light. 

Cleanup the Landscape

Take time to rake the yard and remove the debris left behind from dead leaves.  Trimming bushes and tree limbs can also bring a pulled together look to your yard.  It is important to make sure that the vegetation doesn’t appear overgrown or block windows or entrance paths.  Not only is important to showcase the interior of your home but also the exterior. It is important to edge the sidewalks and driveways as well; small details count when you are looking to sell your home.

Add Some Exterior Color

After a long, dull winter a little color helps to stimulate buyers urges.  Yellow flowers are the best option when adding color around your home as it is known to stimulate buying.  It is also a color that people associate with spring.  Purchase some planters and start planting tulips and daffodils galore.  A little natural happy induction in the form of some of spring color never hurt.

Clean Window Treatments and Open Windows

A home should be clean from top to bottom.  It is important to have drapes, curtains, and blinds thoroughly cleaned when listing your home.  Get rid of the dust, the cob webs, and built up grime that has accumulated over time.  Crisp window treatments and a crisp breeze are inviting.  Let spring in!

Clean Carpets, Polish Floors

The carpets throughout your home should be professionally cleaned.  The smell and look of clean carpets is appealing to buyers.  They are looking for a space where they can move right in without having to do a lot of effort other than moving in.  Hardwood floors should be refinished if they are in really bad shape otherwise a solid polishing should bring them back up to the level that buyers are looking for.

This list goes on and on.  The more presentable the home, the fewer issues the home has, the less work the home presents for the buyer, the higher the selling price and the faster the home will move off the market.  Let the professional real estate agents at C21 Lady of the Lakes help you today!  Professional realtors working for you.

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at

Step By Step Guide For Buying Your First Home

One of the first things that first-time home buyers should know is that it is going to take a lot of time and effort to find and finally close on a home of their dreams.  In order to make the process as easy as possible and to help buyers make the best choices when purchasing a home.  Below is advice from real estate experts to help you throughout the buying process.

First things first, start researching as soon as you decide to buy a home.  Look through magazines, search the internet, look through trade papers, and so on to find real estate listing and industry news.  With the real estate listings that you have found, follow them through to their sale.  Analyze the time it takes for a house to hit the market through to close.  Note what the asking price was initially and what the home closed for.  These trends will allow you to see the larger picture for homes in your specific location.

The next step is to determine how much you can afford overall and monthly.  Most often lenders recommend that buyers spend no more than 3 to 5 times their annual income on a home when you are able to put down 20%.  It is also imperative to eliminate outside debts as much as possible.  It is also key to figure out the monthly costs of maintaining a home.  There are several online tools that help first time home buyers with calculating costs when purchasing a new home.

It is also important to meet with a lender or mortgage broker to get preapproved for a mortgage.  Obviously before you can buy a home you need the means to do so.  Prequalification means that you have met the requirements set forth by the lender.  Taking into consideration your income, debt, savings, and investments your lender of mortgage broker will tell you how much you qualify to borrow.

Your next step is to find a local real estate agent to work with. Hiring an agent literally costs you nothing; you have nothing to lose when you have a realtor working with you.  The seller compensates the realtor through commissions on the house when it sells. A real estate agent will provide you insight that only comes from living in an area.  They also provide invaluable skills such as negotiations. After going through the process hundreds of times they understand the process better than those of us who only go through it a few times in our lives.

When you start shopping for a home it is important to tour many of the homes in your price range even if they aren’t exactly what you have been dreaming of.  It will help you see what is available.  Take a note pad and camera with you to keep the homes you visit straight.  After time it will be difficult to keep the homes you have toured straight.  In each home you are serious about test out certain features such as the plumbing, windows, electrical, and appliances.  Take a look around the neighborhood and evaluate how well the homes on the block are maintained, the traffic volume, parking, and such.

It is important not to rush the home buying process.  You will find the right home, but it may not happen right away.  Make sure you negotiate a fair price, evaluating the cost at which other homes in the neighborhood have sold for, and reach an agreement.  When your home goes into escrow it is time to finish up the remaining steps within the buying process.  

A home inspection is a must to make sure the home is a good investment and free of costly repairs.  Home offers should be made on a contingency that the home passes inspection.  If major issues are found the seller has a chance to fix the issues or renegotiate the sale.  You as a buyer can withdraw the offer if you decide it is not in your best interest to purchase the residence after the inspection.

Working with the lender you will then select your loan and have the home appraised.  This process should be fairly simple and straightforward. As long as you are responsive in working together it will make this process painless. Once the paperwork is coordinated and you have determined the seller is the rightful owner and can legally sell the house you are buying you are good to set a closing date. 

Last but not least close on your home.  Sign all of the paperwork (there will be a lot of it) and move into your new home!

C21 Lady of the Lakes is a full-service realtor serving Livingston County and the surrounding areas with all their real estate needs.  More information can be found at

6 Things Your REALTOR® Can Provide That the Internet Can’t

According to a 2018 Pew Research study, 77 percent of Americans visit the internet daily. Shopping, social media, news, banking, you name it…we can do it all online. In fact, with so much available at our fingertips, some people are even using the internet to buy and sell real estate. But, with an investment that large, can you really use the World Wide Web as a replacement for a REALTOR®? 

Here are just a few of the things you’ll miss out on if you choose the internet over professional representation.

Strategic Pricing Strategy
Several websites offer automated valuation models (AVMs), that allow you to type in an address and get a price based on an algorithm. However, these AVMs should be considered estimates only.   

REALTOR® Frank Vicenté with EXIT Realty Home Partners says these discrepancies are why algorithms can’t take the place of a local REALTOR®’s knowledge. 

“While these websites can give you a ballpark figure, they can’t effectively determine a home’s value if they’ve never set foot inside,” he said. “A website doesn’t know the condition of a home or if there have been recent updates, and these are important factors in determining an accurate price range.”

Extensive Market Knowledge
REALTORS® live and breathe real estate every day, and they know the ins and outs of every neighborhood. They can identify comparable sales and point you in the direction to find information on schools, crime, and more. 

REALTORS® also have in-depth knowledge of the local market, which is critical because market conditions dictate the selling and buying process. Data such as average sales price, average days on market, inventory levels, average price per square foot, interest rates, the current economy, the time of year, etc. all have a bearing on how you proceed with buying or selling a home. 

Of course, you can research market trends online, but it’s important to remember that real estate is very local in nature. Just because something is true on a national level or in a major metropolitan city, doesn’t mean it applies to your area. Only local REALTORS® possess the intimate knowledge that is necessary in a successful real estate transaction. 

Networking and Marketing Tools
It’s true that the Internet provides some great networking capabilities. However, posting your home on Craigslist or sharing it on Facebook doesn’t compare to the marketing tools available when you work with a professional REALTOR®. 

When partnering with an agent, not only do you get widespread exposure for your home through the multiple listing service (MLS), but your agent will also promote your listing to fellow agents and through their well-established social media presence and professional networks.

Top-Notch Negotiating Skills
Not just anyone can skillfully navigate a real estate negotiation. In a fast-paced market you can expect tough competition, multiple offers, bidding wars, and even some cutthroat tactics. Should you decide to go it alone, chances are the other side will be represented by an experienced agent, and you’ll automatically be at a disadvantage. 

And, when it comes to the complex paperwork, unless you have a background in contracts or law, it’s best to leave the paperwork to the pros. 

Industry Connections
REALTORS® know just about everyone in the industry who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home.

You can search online for reviews and recommendations, but agents can give you a list of references they have successfully worked with on previous transactions. Lenders, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, contractors, interior designers, landscapers, home stagers…if you need one, your REALTOR® most likely has a few referrals. You can always turn to your REALTOR® for suggestions on home professionals, even if it has been five years since moving in. 

Experience and Education
The bottom line is you don’t need to know everything about real estate if you hire a professional who does. While this may be your first, second, or even third buying or selling experience, your REALTOR® handles hundreds of transactions during his/her career. And, because they are required to participate in continuing education, REALTORS® are always “in the know’ when it comes to the ever-changing regulations and laws. 

“Think about it this way, there is an unlimited amount of medical information available online, but if a health issue comes up, chances are you’ll head to the doctor,” said Vicenté. “The internet can be a powerful tool, but when it comes to one of the biggest investments of your life, it’s important to hire a trusted professional who will look out for your best interests.” 

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Original Date: Feb 27 2019

Written by: Meghan Webber