Posted by Joe Houghton on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 11:13 PMBy Joe Houghton / March 20, 2020Comment
Ways to Enjoy Your Home
Here on our blog, we write about buying and selling homes often. It is what we know, what we do, and what we share. But the concept of what a home means to our families and us is also an important topic. We frequently refer to home as a haven, a place where we share joys and sorrows, raise our children, and plan how to make our dreams for the future come true. So after we help you find the perfect home, we also offer advice on how to make it the safe, comfortable place you want for your family. Now that is more important than we imagined just a short time ago.
Enjoying your home while social distancing
It isn’t easy today to read or hear the news without Coronavirus and social distancing being part of the conversation. Schools have closed, and the kids are home. With most social events and activities canceled, retired seniors stay home. Those not employed in essential services are primarily working from home. The structure of both our professional and private lives has changed rapidly. We are told to expect this new norm to continue for weeks and, yes, perhaps even months. We can brood, and we can pout, or we can make the best of a less than perfect situation. Here are some suggestions on turning adversity into an opportunity to cherish your time at home.
1. Clean and Sanitize
It’s Spring. What goes with spring? Tulips, daffodils, robins, and cleaning, of course. Besides, one of the ways to protect your family from Coronavirus is to sanitize your home. Since you also have more free time at home now, the perfect opportunity to go room by room and make it sparkle and shine.
2. Organize Everything
If you have been inspired to organize your entire home since watching Marie Konda on Netflix, now you have the time. You could opt for an organizing marathon....
Posted by Lindy Medeiros on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 1:58 PMBy Lindy Medeiros / September 24, 2019Comment
Moving to Minnesota
It’s a sure bet that we can all agree that moving is a stressful life event. However, a process will make a move emotionally and physically easier. You can transform moving day from a potentially stressful experience into a fun event with the correct attitude. Yes, it is true. I know these things because I have moved 22 different times in my life and five times over the last eleven years. Sounds exhausting, right? Not really. I like to move most of the time,and I was excited and optimistic. It was an adventure, and I was up for the challenge. Stressful? Some stress is expected, but it can be rewarding if you focus on the positive change ahead, be it a new job, a new city, a new neighborhood, or a newly purchased home.
Advice from a Top Team of Relocation Realtors in MN
In addition to having a positive attitude, there are other steps you can take to make a move go smoothly. Here are my best tips for moving without losing your mind in the process.
Good organization is critical to the success of the...
Posted by Joe Houghton on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 3:14 PMBy Joe Houghton / April 24, 2019Comment
MN Home Selling and Short Notice Showings
Anyone that has sold a home before will tell you that it can be an intense and stressful experience. Strangers coming through and looking in your closets, judging your décor and housekeeping habits is an invasion of privacy. Not to mention that you will sometimes get those requests that fly in the face of that 24-hour notice you want.
Both as a Realtor and a former home seller myself, believe me, I feel your pain. With four active young boys and a dog, I know families' challenges to keep their homes ready to show when on the market. But when that short-notice request from an out-of-towner pops up, it’s hard to take a pass because you know an eager buyer when you see one.
First Impressions Matter - A Lot
Because you get one shot at making an excellent first impression, I put together this list of quick, easy pre-showing tips for sellers. These tips have proven successful personally and for many of my clients over the years. Make your home shine and put a gleam in the eye of the most critical buyer by following my simple checklist.
√ Pick Up Clutter in Every Room
Get those size 12 Air Jordan’s off the floor and into the closet. Dirty laundry should go straight into the washer. Get the kiddo's toys into the storage bin and forget about newspapers and magazines. Any stray dishes or glasses hanging around should go directly to the dishwasher.
√ Make the Beds
If one thing goes a long way towards pulling your bedroom together, it is a well-made bed. Be particular and smooth out the comforter or bedspread, and don’t forget to fluff the decorator pillows and throw...
Posted by Lindy Medeiros on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 7:46 PMBy Lindy Medeiros / March 27, 2019Comment
MN Home Selling Tips
When your home is for sale, the most significant challenge is keeping it ready for people who want to drop in on the short notice. I’m not talking about a neighbor that might pop over unexpectedly to borrow a cup of flour. She won’t think twice about the dirty dishes in the sink and your unfolded laundry occupying prime real estate in the living room.
But those other people will care. They will look in all your corners, open all your cabinets, peer into your closets, and they will judge. They are picky and often quick to find fault and not shy about voicing their opinions about the condition of your home or your housekeeping habits. They are called buyers.
The Goal - Ready to Show at All Times
Before you listed your home, you developed a plan for preparing for this event with your Realtor. You got rid of clutter, you organized, and you cleaned. You repaired, refurbished, and recycled. You gave up a month of precious weekends, your book club night, and Netflix to get it done, and never hardly ever did a complaint escape your lips.
Now you have to do one thing. Keep it tidy, clean, and show-ready until you find a buyer. That is the one request your agent will make while your home is on the market. I know you have kids. You work. You have a dog who thinks...
Posted by Joe Houghton on Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 3:39 PMBy Joe Houghton / July 31, 2018Comment
Success-driven Home Selling
Most people have two primary goals when they sell their home. These are to sell quickly at the best price possible. Both are attainable and if your location is TheTwin Cities metro and your home value is under $500,000, the market favors you in a big way.
However, please do not think that you will achieve these goals if you ignore the basic rules of how to prepare to sell your home. If you want multiple offers and you want them in the first few days of listing you need to accept the fact that preparation is necessary. If your home’s list price is in the higher tiers, it becomes even more critical.
Convinced? Fabulous! Here are my ten commandments of home selling. Follow these, and you will present your home at its finest.
Clutter is not aesthetically appealing. It makes your home look messy and lacking in storage space. The goal is to go through every closet, cabinet, drawer and storage space from basement to attic. Don’t forget the garage and any outbuildings as well. Everything you decide you do not need should be for sale, consignment, donation or disposal.
For some, this step is no big deal, and for others, this is the most...
When you sell, curb appeal is the first impression your home will make on a buyer. Do it right, and you could end up with an offer, just like that! Do it wrong, and a potential buyer may decide not to walk through your front door. So when evaluating your curb appeal as you prepare to sell your home, be critical because I promise you that buyers will be.
Pretend you are a buyer. Take a look around the outside of your house and yard. Now ask yourself, if you were buying today would the exterior of your home inspire you to take a look inside? If the answer is anything less than, “I can’t wait to see the inside of this house” then you have a bit of work to do. Here are a few steps that will send your curb appeal rating meter over the top.
Just as you do inside your home, you should “pick up” in the front and backyard, porch and deck. You want it clean and tidy. Remove any remaining dead leaves, branches, and other debris from the previous season. Oil stains on the driveway or garage...
When you sell a home, the experience has the inherent potential to be stressful. Not only is the rhythm of your daily life at the mercy of showings, but your home has to look tip-top for potential buyers. Your privacy is held hostage to strangers opening closets and drawers as they snoop into your nooks and crannies. Yikes! That is enough to get the calmest nerves twitching.
There are many moving parts to the sale of a house. There are many individuals involved in that sale. Any of these or a combination of several can become the stress source for the homeowner. These are factors the seller has no control over, zip, zero, none! However, there are many aspects of the home-selling process where the property owner can have power over the outcome. Making better decisions at the beginning of the process increases the likelihood of having a superior selling experience.
Since I have sat in the seller seat myself on a few occasions, I have gathered some morsels of wisdom on the subject. Since I love to share, as one seller to another, here are my best tips for a successful home sale.
Hire A Great Real Estate Agent
There are a few different ways people go about finding a real estate...
Posted by Lindy Medeiros on Monday, February 12, 2018 at 4:49 PMBy Lindy Medeiros / February 12, 2018Comment
Do Your New Year’s Resolutions Need a Reboot?
Are you among those people who started the New Year with some well-intentioned resolutions only to find that your resolve has dwindled? Perhaps those goals that have slipped below the horizon of your consciousness during the day come back to haunt you at night like an insect buzzing around your head as you try to fall asleep.
According to statistics, by February 42% of us who made resolutions have not maintained them. We share your pain. We know the feeling when our willpower is on life-support and the loudest voice we hear is shouting self-criticism and blame.
It’s not easy to feel like you set yourself up for failure back on January 1. Statistics also tell us that 42% of Americans fail to achieve their established goals on a regular basis with only 9% feeling they had a successful outcome. However, and here is the good news to hang your hope on, people who start out the year with defined resolutions are ten times more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not make any.
Posted by Joe Houghton on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 at 6:54 PMBy Joe Houghton / December 12, 2017Comment
Twin Cities Buyers Know What They Don't Want
The one thing most sellers have in common is that they are unable to look at their property with a dispassionate and critical eye. The longer they have lived in their home, the more emotionally attached they become. Many simply cannot understand that the cracked tile in the foyer they have lived with for 10 years, should be of concern to a buyer. Or the magenta bedroom walls they adore would be another person’s decor nightmare.
After being a realtor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro for 16 years and closing on close to 1000 properties, I have shown my share of homes that made buyers run for the exit shouting, “next please”! I have been the listing agent challenged with marketing the lime green home with hot pink trim. So over the years, I have probably not heard it all, but enough to tell you what makes a buyer look like he just sucked a lemon. Sellers can and should take matters into their own hands before they put their home up for sale to avoid having their home sit on the market for a long time and sell for less money.
Big Ticket Replacement Items
A house with a roof that is at the end of its lifespan or siding that needs to be updated is a major red flag for buyers. The same holds true for old electrical systems with fuse boxes and ancient plumbing. If an Octopus furnace, the monster in the basement also known as a gravity furnace, with asbestos wrapping around the ducts lives in the basement that will generally have buyers looking for the door quickly.
It would be in the seller’s best interest to address major issues such as these beforehand, but if the circumstances make that impossible,...
Posted by Joe Houghton on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 2:50 PMBy Joe Houghton / March 15, 2017Comment
That All Important First Impression
It’s well established that a first introduction is vitally important. That initial handshake can either lead to a meeting of the minds, or to no deal. “I hope I make a bad first impression,” said no one ever! In real estate, we see this play out again and again.
When you are selling, the first personal impression when a buyer tours your home is like the handshake. If they don’t like what they see pulling up to the curb, walking into the lobby, or opening the front door, the cash register is going to ring up “no sale”.
Although a good first impression of your home may not always end up in making a deal, it is always the first step into getting to that important offer to purchase. Here are 10 ways to make a great first impression on prospective buyers.
1. Get Buyers To See Your Home
Today, most real estate transactions are born on the internet. The first interaction a prospective buyer has with your house is online. If there is no connection with them in those first photos, it’s extremely unlikely to go to the next step with a private showing. Make sure you have an agent that takes quality photos of your property, preferably professional ones.
Posted by Lindy Medeiros on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 6:25 PMBy Lindy Medeiros / March 9, 2017Comment
With April just around the corner, our thoughts turn to spring. For many, spring not only signals the onset of warm weather, flowers, and birdsong but heralds the time to sweep out the winter detritus from hearth and home, otherwise known as Spring Cleaning. The first logical step in the process is removing all that stuff you really don’t want, don’t need, or never use, your clutter.
For those of you preparing to sell your home this spring, an absolute must for you is to take your cluttered chaos and turn it into organized harmony , but even if you are staying put, what better way to start the new season than with a home free of extra stuff to get in the way of your feng shui. Now that you are sold on the idea of paring down and organizing, there are a couple ways to approach the process of organizing your home.
the intense weekend (or two) decluttering boot camp
the series of multiple shorter de-junking sessions
Personally, since I am not a fan of pain and suffering, I prefer the “take-it-in-smaller-bites” process. Keep in mind, regardless of whether you opt for the intense program or the low impact version, you still need to perform the same tasks which...