Want a home that’s for sale by owner?

Want a home that's for sale by owner?

Want a home that’s for sale by owner?


4 Things to Put on Your Moving Checklist

4 Things to Put on Your Moving Checklist

Functional Hideaways for Your Home

Functional Hideaways for Your Home

Functional Hideaways for Your Home

Buying a Fixer-Upper? 7 Things to Know

Buying a Fixer-Upper? 7 Things to Know

Buying a fixer-upper saves you on the initial costs of a property and gives you a nearly blank canvas to create a home for you or tenants. But there’s more to it than you might realize initially.

Retirement Savings: Are You On Track?

Retirement Savings: Are You On Track?

Retirement savings should follow a steady upward trajectory over time, but how do you gauge your progress? See how you measure up against the average retirement savings for your age group.

HGTV Smart Home 2018: Take the Tour

HGTV Smart Home 2018: Take the Tour

If you’re looking for smart home design inspiration, HGTV has you covered. This 40-page gallery hits the highlights of HGTV Smart Home 2018, featuring a fire pit, hidden VR room and smart automation.

Rethinking Backyard Shed Design

Rethinking Backyard Shed Design

Single-story backyard sheds are evolving. Thanks to their small footprint and flexibility, these once utilitarian buildings are becoming anything and everything you could want them to be.

Retractable Glass Walls: 8 Considerations

Retractable Glass Walls: 8 Considerations

Retractable glass walls let in natural light and let you enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without stepping outside. But choosing the right glass walls for your home requires careful consideration.

52 Inspiring Landscaping Ideas

52 Inspiring Landscaping Ideas

Are you looking for new and exciting ways to landscape your property? Whether you have a small patch of land or a sprawling estate, this 52-page gallery is sure to provide some inspiration.

Top 10 Threats to Real Estate in 2019

Top 10 Threats to Real Estate in 2019

June 14, 2018
storm cloud near roofline

Rising interest rates and the economy are the top two current issues to watch in real estate, according to the Counselors of Real Estate’s Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate 2018-2019, a list of the biggest threats to the housing market. For the first time, CRE broke its annual list down into current and longer-term issues to watch during the industry’s next year.

Top Current Issues to Watch

1. Interest rates and the economy: As interest rates rise, commercial and residential real estate markets are seeing several changes, such as decreasing demand for commercial property and higher home mortgage rates. Rate increases are making homes less affordable and are also limiting the value appreciation for commercial real estate. “Lack of wage growth for all but the wealthiest population segment is dampening housing demand, and limiting consumer spending that the economy needs for growth,” the report notes.

2. Politics and political uncertainty: Tax reform and policies aimed at balancing trade with other countries will have an impact on jobs, incomes, and both commercial and residential property, according to the report. “Congressional action to relax certain bank lending and asset management regulations was also among developing trends that may improve access to capital,” the report notes.

3. Housing affordability: The lack of affordable homes across income brackets, excluding the most wealthy, is being fueled by low wages, rising mortgage rates, and the underproduction of housing for nearly two decades, according to the report.

4. Generational change/demographics: Four distinct generations are exerting influence on commercial and residential real estate, such as in office design, student and elder housing, amenities, and location preferences.

5. E-commerce and logistics: Volatility in the retail sector, such as from the increase of e-commerce, is leading to a growth in warehouses.

Top Longer-Term Issues

1. Infrastructure: Roads, bridges, airports, water and sewer lines, electricity, and public transit are rapidly deteriorating, the report notes. An estimated $4.5 trillion is needed to improve critical infrastructure by 2025, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. “The lack of serious effort by the U.S. to address its condition and much-needed revitalization leads the list of broader and emerging issues affecting real estate,” the report notes.

2. Disruptive technology: The report highlights advances in robotic manufacturing and warehousing; driverless cars and trucks; the extensive availability and utilization of personal and transactional data (aimed at enhancing business decisions); “smart” building technology that enables efficiency; global connectivity; automated business processes; and information protection through cybersecurity. “Nearly every aspect of real estate is undergoing dramatic change as these types of technology are adopted,” the report notes.

3. Natural disasters and climate change: The ongoing threat of natural disasters and climate change can result in high-priced property and environmental damage. This includes everything from severe storms, wildfires, and floods to earthquakes, volcanic activity, and rising sea levels.

4. Immigration: “If reduced by law, will have a negative impact on new housing starts and home purchases as well as worsen the current skilled labor shortage in the U.S.,” the report cautions.

5. Energy and water: Natural resources that are vital to property and quality of life are being threatened by environmental damage (manmade and from changing climates) as well as “entangling state and local regulations that are complicating development and lack the standardization that national regulations would provide.”

CRE additionally notes several other issues making its “watch list,” including rising construction costs; urbanization/suburbanization (with suburbs adapting citylike development and amenities); tax cuts (which may positively impact commercial properties; legislation is still developing); and societal leadership (social activism among younger Americans that is fueling business and social reform at many levels).

Elegantly Imperfect: The Wabi-Sabi Home

Elegantly Imperfect: The Wabi-Sabi Home

Elegantly Imperfect: The Wabi-Sabi Home

Real Estate Investing: Secrets and Fraud

Real Estate Investing: Secrets and Fraud

Thanks to reality TV and celebrities who promise get-rich-quick solutions for a price, house flipping has become popular with would-be investors. But if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


Using Your IRA to Purchase a Home

Using Your IRA to Purchase a Home

The IRS allows limited, penalty-free IRA withdrawals for home purchases. But just because the option is available to you today doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you long-term.

The Perfect Blue for You: 20 Pro Shades

The Perfect Blue for You: 20 Pro Shades

Designers love blue for its versatility. While one shade calms the senses, the next evokes the romance of Paris on a rainy day. Which is right for you? Here are 20 shades worth considering.

Adding a Home Bar? Advice From the Experts

Adding a Home Bar? Advice From the Experts

With the right design, a home bar can add a touch of personal style to your existing decor while creating a night-on-the-town vibe in the privacy of your own home. Here are a few inspirational ideas.

14 Ways to Add Gold Finishes to Your Decor

14 Ways to Add Gold Finishes to Your Decor

With metallics currently trending, there’s never been a better time to incorporate gold accents throughout your home. Here are 14 ways you can add the Midas touch to every room.

Bathroom Tile: What's Trending in 2018?

Bathroom Tile: What’s Trending in 2018?

Your choice of tile can make or break your bathroom aesthetic, and the results are something you’ll have to live with for years to come. Before you decide, check out this year’s top six tiling trends.

How To Sell Your House Fast.

How To Sell Your House Fast

  I want to show you how to sell your house fast. This article will explain pricing strategies, how to prepare your home for showings, should you have your home pre-appraised, how to find the right real estate agent, and even how to sell by owner.

Wondering what the value of your home is? Get your 

There are 4 components that must work together to get any home sold in any market.  Those factors are PRICE, CONDITION, LOCATION, AND MARKETING. All four are not “created equal” as we will see.

The Price is Right

seller in love with house


The primary factor in selling your home is price.  Who determines if the price is right? Would it surprise you to learn that it is the buyer? In order to sell a house, it must be priced to meet the buyer’s criteria. How do buyers come up with the price range that they might be willing to pay?  They shop and compare.  So, we have to think like those buyers.

The first thing you will need to determine the right asking price is a comparative market analysis.  We have to look at houses with similar amenities, size and location that have recently SOLD, those currently on the market, and those that were marketed for sale that did NOT sell.  If a house sold, we know a Buyer and Seller agreed to that price for that home.  Those currently on the market will be your competition, and those that did not sell were priced too high for what they were offering.

BLINDED BY LOVE Sellers often overestimate

the value of their homes for emotional reasons.
Sol Linero

The “Goldilocks Effect”

We all know the story of The Three Bears and the very discriminating Goldilocks. Too big, too small, “just right.” Too hot, too cold, “just right.” Your home needs to be priced “just right” in order to get the most potential buyers interested. Thanks to the internet and HGTV, today’s buyers are pretty savvy when it comes to pricing. Take a look at the chart below. We can see that overpricing will drive away potential buyers before they even view the home.

asking price to property appeal

Another important strategy for pricing your home is to always price it in terms of round numbers. Never list for $xxx,900 or $xxx,999. People don’t search for homes that way! If you are looking for a $200.000 home and the home is listed for $199,900 or $199,999, guess what. They aren’t going to find your home even though you are basically asking $200,000.

The National Association of Realtors® compiled a short list of tips for correctly pricing your home.

Tips for pricing your home

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact me.

Setting the Stage

In today’s market, we are in a pricing war and a beauty contest.  When a buyer walks through your home, they are looking for any reason they can to offer you less than what you are asking. Staging will help you overcome those objections before they ever see them.

You need to maximize that beauty of your home so that you stand apart from your competition. “Paint in a can is worth $100.  Paint on the walls can be worth $1,000’s of dollars.” The colors you choose can have an effect on how people feel when they enter the home.

Choosing neutral colors in lighter shades will make it easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves in the home. In the past, everyone painted their walls white. Then we moved to off-white and beige. For 2017, gray is the new beige. By the way, if you have wallpaper that is outdated, be sure to remove it. NEVER paint over wallpaper.


Top 3 Colors


Here’s a great article by Tori Toth, home staging expert, author of Feel at Home: Home Staging Secrets for a Quick and Easy Sell, Founder of The Stage 2 Sell Strategy, and Owner of Stylish Stagers, Inc. a NYC based home staging company.

She answers many questions sellers have about how to make their home stand out in their market.

Article “How to Stage a Home to Sell”

Another big piece of the staging puzzle is cleaning. Make sure to give your home a thorough, deep cleaning before you have photos taken and begin showings. Nothing makes a buyer want to run through the showing more than unpleasant odors. I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials about being “nose blind” to odors in your environment. It happens to all of us. So, even if you don’t notice any odors lurking, others might.

De-clutter and depersonalize. Closets should be half full, not overflowing. Too much furniture in a room can make it feel small. It may be necessary to rent a storage unit or a “POD” storage for those things you don’t need right away. Remove all photos of your family. Your goal is to make it easier for the next homeowner to see their family living in the home.

Once you have staged your home, it’s important to keep it looking sharp for showings.Here’s a quick video to help you get ready for those last minute showings.

The Real Estate Staging Association, recently released their 2016 Home Staging Statistics Report, based on home staging statistics self-reported by professional home stagers nationally. Homes staged before listing sell 90% faster than homes listed on the MLS unstaged. Unstaged homes spent an average of 184 Days On Market (DOM). That’s more than 6 months! Yikes! Once those same homes were staged, they sold, on average, in 41 days. However, homes that were staged prior to listing sold, on average in 23 days!

Choose the Right Agent

How do you choose the right agent to sell your home fast? For most of us, buying and selling our home is the biggest financial transaction of our lives. Finding a skilled, well trained, and honest agent to represent you is of the utmost importance.

In today’s world, consumers have many ways available to them to learn about agents. Probably the best way to find out what an agent has to offer you is by interviewing them. It may seem obvious, but many people don’t take the time to do it.

Here are some questions you may want to ask your agent before signing a Listing Agreement:

  • * Do you have a marketing plan for my house?
    • Most agents do the “3 P’s” of marketing. They Put it in the multiple listing database, the Place a sign in the yard, and they Pray that someone comes along to buy it. Ask them if they do the 4th “P”, Prospecting. If they don’t do all 4 P’s, they’re not the right agent.
  • *Do you work full-time?
    • A full-time agent is likely to give you more time and attention than a part-time agent. A part-time agent may not be the right agent for you.
      • * How will you communicate with me?
        • According to the National Association of Realtors, the biggest complaint that sellers have is that they don’t hear anything from their agent. Once the Listing Agreement is signed, they disappear and become “Secret Agents.” If they don’t have a plan to keep you informed, they’re not the right agent.
      • Is your Real Estate License in good standing?
      • * Do you have any client complaints against you?
        • There are websites to check an agent’s license. Ask the agent to provide it to you.
      • * Can you provide me with references who are not relatives?
        • Talking to past clients is a great way to find out if the agent will do what they are telling you they will do.
      • * Can you help me with staging my home?
        • You are in a pricing war and a beauty contest when it comes to marketing your home. The right agent will be able to help you with making your home look it’s very best.
      • * Who takes the photos of my home?
        • Does the agent come in with their cell phone and snap some pics? You only have one chance to make a first impression. This is especially true online. Home buyers look at pictures! If your pictures are blurry or poorly lit don’t expect to get many showings. You’ve worked hard to get the house ready to show. The right agent will hire a professional to take photos that will showcase your home in its best light.
      • * What documents do I need to sign?
        • These should include, of course, the listing agreement and sales contract. If the listing agreement does not have a cancellation clause, ask if you can cancel if you are unhappy with the services. If you have the free right to cancel, the length of the listing agreement does not matter much. Read all documents and ask questions if you don’t understand anything.
      • * Do you have a website and/or blog?
        • Virtually all agents have a website. Visit it to get a sense of the agent and the brand. Not many agents have blogs so don’t hold it against them. But if they do have a blog, visit and read their posts and comments. In my (biased) opinion, you will get enormous insights into the agent’s personality & local expertise, among other things.
      • What past clients have to say about Chris:

Chris was instrumental in helping me to decide to relocate to Mesquite. I retired in Virginia last Fall with a plan to relocate to Las Vegas where I have family. I was unable to find affordable housing on a fixed income in LV and decided to explore Mesquite. In just one day I found the perfect  home. Chris was helpful by allowing me to mail boxes of books to his office until I closed on the home. I was able to use his resources to check emails and/or fax needed documents. Since closing on the house, I have Chris on speed-dial and he has continued to be responsive to any requests. I highly recommend him.
He has been very helpful in finding a house for me. He goes out of his way to find just what I am looking for. I really don’t know of a real estate agent that will do as much. Dottie

Chris went above and beyond the call of duty when we changed our minds on a property on which we’d made an offer. We found the place we eventually purchased in the exact location we desired and Chris provided advice and expertise that helped us close quickly and painlessly. He was friendly,  courteous, and, most importantly, knew the real estate process inside and out. Great guy.
Tom & Julie 1-18-2018

Chris is very knowledgeable in real estate buying or selling. He gives you spot on advice and stayed cool, calm, and collected when I wasn’t! It all turned out to be very positive and we got the home that was perfect for us.
Jerry and Mary 1/22/18

      • To set up an interview with Chris, call or text 435-962-1923.

        Should You Have Your Home Inspected and/or Appraised?

        Selling a home is really a series of milestones that have to be completed. You and your agent will do a lot of hard work to get your home to market. Pricing it right, getting it looking its best, and marketing it to potential buyers are just the beginning. There are two milestones that can make or break the deal. One is the Home Inspection and the other is the Appraisal.

        What’s the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal?

        Simply put, the home inspection concerns the house’s systems while an appraisal concerns the house’s value. Of course, the condition of the home affects the home’s value so doing repairs will definitely help you get a good appraisal.

        Here in Delaware, buyers want a home inspection performed (usually at their expense) and then the seller is asked to perform necessary repairs. Getting a pre-inspection can save you, as the seller, a lot of heartache down the road. Finding a major defect can derail a sale if the seller is unprepared to complete the repair.

        Choosing an Appraiser

        When having your own appraisal done, you get to choose the person who will perform it. In Delaware, all appraisers are licensed.  The Council of Real Estate Appraisers website can provide information about licensed appraisers. When choosing an appraiser, it is important to choose a local appraiser. A local appraiser will be familiar with conditions in your market  Click here to find a local appraiser.

        Prep the House

        Make list of all the problems with the house and fix as many as you can afford. Some of those items may include:

    • woman fixing faucet
      •                       *Stained carpets
      •                       *Loose woodwork
      •                       *Torn window screens
      •                       *Chipped paint on the walls or loose wallpaper
      •                       *Faulty locks and broken hinges
      •                       *Faulty heating and/or cooling system
      •                       *Faulty appliances
      •                       *Leaky roof
      • Once all of the repairs are completed, give the home a thorough deep cleaning. A dirty and/or cluttered house suggests that there may be other problems with the home. Wipe down all surfaces inside the home, including windows and doors. Make sure to clean up the garage and yard as well. De-cluttering makes rooms look larger. Get rid of things you no longer need. Consider a storage unit for things you want to keep.


Talk to the Appraiser

Share any information you may have about other homes in the area that have recently sold. For example, if your neighbors were going through a divorce and lowered the price for a quick sale, the appraiser may not be aware of that information. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Here are some benefits of having your home inspected and appraised:

  • Get higher offers – a pre-home inspectionand home appraisal will lead to higher offers. The buyer knows the home has been recently inspected for termites, repairs, and problems. This also makes you more honest as a seller (in the mind of the buyer) because you will have a report for them regarding the findings of the inspection and appraisal. This gives them a sense that they are getting exactly what you say you are selling, and they do not feel you can be dishonest in such circumstances. This often leads to higher offers due to the fact that buyers believe what you are saying more since there is an appraiser’s signature to back it up.
  • Get more offers – Just as doing a pre-inspection and appraisal leads to higher offers, it can also often lead to MORE offers. As word spreads that you have had the home inspected, repaired, and appraised, it will increase the number of people who are interested in your home. This is why you will want to place this in a prominent location in your ad once you have had this process completed, so that people will know that you have taken the extra steps to ensure that your home is up to par before listing it.  This will also lead people to trust you more and that leads to more offers too.
  • Smoother closing process – The ultimate goal is to get to closing. You can do all of the work to get the home under contract and have the deal fall apart at the last minute because of problems with the home inspection or appraisal. Having the home appraised and inspected eliminates the element of surprise.
  • Give potential buyers the whole picture – The appraisal gives them the market value according to a certified appraiser, and the home inspection ensures the buyer that the home has been checked out from the inside out and meets up to standards. Both of these pieces of the puzzle are important as you prepare to put your home on the market.  These two together, along with a record of whatever repairs or additions you have done, will add greatly to the value of your home and increase the likelihood of closing the sale with buyers in the final analysis.Nothing is guaranteed, but getting your home inspected and appraised puts you head and shoulders above the crowd in terms of presenting your home and yourself with the highest standards and allowing potential buyers to feel that they are getting a straightforward approach to your real estate offerings.

How To Handle The Stress Of Selling Your Home

How To Handle The Stress Of Selling Your Home

How To Handle The Stress Of Selling Your Home

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes … and undue stress caused by moving. Whether or not you use the services of a REALTOR® to help you wade through the uncertain waters of the buy-and-sell process, moving is stressful, period. And there’s not much you can do to avoid it. And we’re not just talking about packing and paperwork. Moving is an emotional process. If your’e not calming down your nervous children, you’re trying to reassure yourself that you’ll meet people in your new neighborhood, that you bought the best house within your means, and that your kids’ new schools will measure up.

It’s easy to forget while we’re dealing with all of these jitters that moving actually can represent an exciting adventure, a growth opportunity and the prospect of new beginnings. Once the dust settles after your move, you’re entering one of the most memorable times of your life. With any luck, you’ve recruited a REALTOR® who’s familiar with the obvious stresses as well as the insidious (and subsequently more detrimental) ones. Depending upon your relationship with your Realtor, you should be able to rely on him or her for more than just closing the deal. Your Realtor also should be able to calm your trepidations by giving you the support you need — giving you the facts about that new school district, reassuring you that your jitters are perfectly normal, and giving you as much information about your new hometown as possible, increasing your familiarity with the previously unknown.

It’s important to remember throughout the entire selling and buying process, however, to reserve time for yourself and your family. It’s not a waste of time, but rather an insurance policy for your sanity and continued happiness. Stress is sneaky, as we’ve all discovered. It can eat away at us during what are supposed to be the happiest of times, because after all, any major change in life is stressful. If it’s supressed, it can wreak havoc both emotionally and physically and spread throughout the family. And there’s nothing worse than moving a grumpy family across the country. For the sake of your continued family unity, keep in mind the following stress-relieving measures:

First, remember that it’s perfect normal to feel unsure of your decision right now. You’ve just made a major commitment, and all of us experience those last-second “What on earth did I just do” worries after signing contracts and making life-changing decisions. Instead of becoming overwhelmed with “what ifs” and dread, reframe this decision as a prime opportunity to begin your lives in a new environment. The old saying “When one door closes, another one opens” definitely applies here. Trust that your Realtor is looking out for your best interests, ask as many questions as you need to throughout the entire process (that’s part of what your Realtor is paid for), and look forward to the adventure that lies ahead of you.

If you can, keep an emergency fund in case you run into any unexpected costs. One example: If your buyer comes forward after a home inspection is completed and requests a series of repairs prior to move-in, you’ll be prepared. Chances are good that you won’t necessarily agree with the buyer’s requests, but at least you won’t face the additional stress of being short the money for repairs if you plan ahead and save some extra cash (no set amount — just as much as you can handle. A goal you might try to shoot for would be in the range of $2,500). It’s probably in your best interests not to try to guess what the buyer will want to repair, and then fix it ahead of time. That’s because buyers have a habit of isolating areas of your home that you never considered having repaired, and not even noticing the ones you expected them to pinpoint. So save yourself any expenses until you’ve determined their requests.

And while we’re on the subject of finances, try to anticipate and prepare for the initial expenses you’ll face upon move-in. Resign yourself to the fact that during the moving process, you’re going to feel as if you’re holding your wallet upside down, and everyone — movers, contractors, buyer, etc. — is sitting underneath, catching the windfall and demanding a larger share. Keep in mind that this is an investment for the good of your family, and that these costs are a one-time inevitability.

Remind yourself of why you’re moving in the first place. A job transfer, or is it a voluntary choice? Obviously, whether or not you had some degree of control over the decision will affect your outlook. Regardless of your answer to that question, round up as much information as you can about your new hometown. What kinds of cultural offerings does the town/city offer? What are its landmarks and natural attractions? Research some possible day trips you might take with the family once you’re settled. Is your new hometown near state borders, giving you the opportunity to explore different regions of the country without much effort?

Envision your new home. Where will you place the furniture? Remind yourself of the home’s primary selling points. Will you have more space? More closets? A large backyard and/or swimming pool? What does your new streetlook like? Do a lot of young families reside there? If so, your children are likely to be reassured by that knowledge. As often as possible, try to picture yourself and your family fully adapted to your new environment.

Remember to have a little fun occasionally. You’re still allowed, even if you feel as if you don’t have a penny left to your name. Take the family out to dinner, to a movie or a picnic — anything that gets all of you out of the house and away from boxes, paperwork, emotions and all of those pre-move concerns. Keep a regular “date” to get out together — for example, every Friday night leading up to the move. Take your mind off your stress for a few hours, and remind yourself that your family members are experiencing many of the same emotions. Like misery, stress often loves company, so enjoy your time together and remember that this stress won’t last forever. Regardless of what you’re feeling now, the move will happen and everything will eventually fall into place. Journeying into the unknown is what makes life rewarding, so trust in your Realtor’s expertise and in your family’s resilience, and look forward to the journey ahead.