Real Estate Information Archive


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Getting Your Home Ready

by Dan Groteboer

Getting Your Home Ready


CLEAN!  CLEAN! – Have the carpet shampooed; wax the floors, wash the walls, windows, blinds, drapes and lighting fixtures.  Consider engaging a cleaning service, recognizing that it is a justified moving expense.

KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS – Clear off counter tops.  Leave your canisters and little else.  Maximize the available counter space.  These rooms should be gleaming.  If unsightly, have the tub re-caulked and remove mineral deposits and grime from the shower walls.  Clean the stove, microwave and refrigerator.

PRIMARY STORAGE AREA – like the garage, its time has come to be liberated.  Remember, you can do it now and benefit with a more attractive home on the market, or you can do it several months from now, in the process of moving when there is no advantage.  Do it now.

REPAIRS – Identify and repair dripping faucets, sticking or creaking doors, etc. 

When people see areas of disrepair they begin to wonder whether there may be other unseen problems. 

CLOSETS – Remove out of season clothing.  Organize your clothing and the shoes on the floor.  Remove all clutter from cabinets and closets.

FURNITURE – The less furniture, the larger a room appears to be.

A LIGHT APPEARANCE – As a rule, do everything to lighten the appearance of the home.  Raise the blinds, open the drapes and use light colors.  Repaint any room beginning to look shabby.


Walk the property with a pad and pencil. List anything that you think is less than satisfactory without regard to cost or time.  You can review the list afterwards to determine what you can and can’t repair.

THE HOUSE – Take a close look as you walk the property.  Clean anything that looks unkempt or dirty; repair or replace anything that looks loose, dingy, rusted or broken.  Make sure the door bell works.  Replace a tired-looking mailbox; clean the exterior light fixtures and wash the windows.  Try to spot hanging or rusty gutters, crooked antenna, loose shingles or shutters.

THE YARD – Turn and weed the beds; trim the trees and shrubs.  Lay in ground cover.  Mend the fence, fix the gate latch.  Pick up litter.  Consider a landscaping/lawn service. 

OUTDOOR FURNITURE – Examine and spot paint your out door furniture.  If it’s rusty or un-repairable consider disposing of the pieces. 

FRONT ENTRY – It’s the first thing our buyers see as they stand and wait for the door to open.  It’s worth the extra effort to spruce it up.

THE GARAGE – The time has come.  Discard virtually everything in the garage that hasn’t been used for a year.  Wash it down.

NOTE:  Think in terms of a home that is sparkling clean and uncluttered.

Take advantage of the tools on my website, ie: using the search tools, buyer and seller information, etc.

Tax Credits Provide Outstanding Opportunities for Home Buyers

by Dan Groteboer

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has extended the tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence. It also authorized a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified repeat home buyers.

Please feel free to give me a call at 507.254.0957 if you have any questions.


Why It Is So Important That Your Home Is Correctly Priced and Marketed Properly

" need to beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings..."

While many agents may promise to sell your home for the money you want, the reality of the real estate market today is that this simply doesn't always happen. The fact of the matter is, the majority of homes sell for a price which falls short of what sellers may have been lead to believe.

There are two factors at play here. On the one hand, you need to beware of agents who set the list price on homes at unrealistically high levels simply to get listings. This is really unfair because it can set homeowners up for disappointment and failure.

On the other hand, you have homes that are priced correctly, but are marketed ineffectively. Without a proper marketing program in place to ensure a home is exposed to the highest number of qualified buyers, many homesellers feel forced to accept a lower offer.

There's nothing worse to a homeseller than to have their home sit unsold for many months because of improper pricing and/or marketing techniques. Needless to say, either of these situations is highly frustrating to any homeseller. But more than that, it can be financially crushing if you're counting on the full proceeds of the sale of your home to fulfill some other obligation.

To prevent this scenario when selling your home here are some points to consider before choosing the agent you want to represent you.

Deciding Upon an Agent

A good agent knows the market and has information on past sales, current listings, a marketing plan, and will provide their background and references. Evaluate each candidate carefully on the basis of their experience and qualifications.

Are they pricing your home correctly?

Home prices are determined by the marketplace not by your emotional attachment or by what you feel your home is worth. You should work closely with an agent who will suggest establishing a realistic price for your home. They will help you to objectively compare the price, features and condition of all similar homes in both your neighborhood and other similar ones which have sold in recent months. It is also important to be familiar with the terms of each potential sale. Terms are often as important as price in today's market.

Do they set themselves apart from the others by offering innovative marketing plans to sell your home fast and for top dollar?

Will they set up an aggressive marketing program to ensure your home is exposed to hundreds of qualified buyers? How much money does this agent spend in advertising the homes s/he lists versus other agents. In what media do they advertise, (newspaper, magazine, TV. etc.) Do they use a 24 hour hotline, "For Sale" signs, lock boxes, a Tour of Homes program, and Talking House signs and transmitters? What does this agent know about the effectiveness of one medium over the other?

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