A Buyers Guide to Closing Costs

December 12, 2018 // Tammy // No Comments //

Getting Rid of Home Odors

November 25, 2018 // Tammy // No Comments //

Why is it important to get rid of home odors while selling your home? Home buyers don’t just look at homes…other senses also come into play when deciding which home to choose.

For example, they listen for noises from busy streets, airplanes and railroad tracks.

But, of all the senses, smell can be the most powerful – and is (thankfully) the easiest to fix.

As a home seller, your job is to ensure that your home is as enticing to potential buyers as possible – and that includes ensuring that the home’s scent doesn’t give buyers a reason to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, when living with the odors every day, we can become “nose blind” to them (meaning that we no longer notice the odor). Your real estate agent should tell you if he/she smells an odor when entering your home, but there are steps you can do to remove odors even if you’re not aware of them.

  1. First – look for the source of potential odors and remove or remedy them.
    • If you’ve ever had a roof leak, be sure there’s no mildew in the attic and ensure that the insulation is dry.
    • Make sure doors and windows are sealed so water can’t enter the home.
    • Remove or replace old pet beds.
    • If you have a smoker in the home – wipe down the walls (consider a fresh coat of paint).
  2. Be sure to remove the trash daily. Clean the trash can at least once a week.
  3. Avoid making strong-smelling food (such as fish, onions, garlic).
  4. Have carpets professionally cleaned (or replaced if they are stained or worn).

The Easiest Way To Get Rid Of Home Odors

Real estate agents have long used the trick of baking cookies the day of an Open House to fill the home with the inviting aroma. But, what about the day-to-day scent?

To remove odors naturally – without using strong-smelling sprays, candles or plug-ins – consider using this simple solution:

  1. Pour at least 2 cups of water into a crock-pot (slow cooker)
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of baking soda and mix to dissolve
  3.  Set the slow cooker to LOW and leave it for several hours without the lid

The baking soda will actually pull the offensive odors from the air.

You can also add a few drops of any of the following to add pleasant scents to the room:

  • a teaspoon of lemon juice (or a few slices of fresh lemon)
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • a sprinkle of ground cinnamon (you can also add cloves)
  • essential oils such as lavender

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a small pot on the stove for kitchen odors. For other rooms, consider using a candle warmer.

12 Home Staging Fails So Bad, You Have to See Them To Believe Them

October 24, 2018 // Tammy // No Comments //

When done right, staging is an art that not only shows off a home’s best features but also inspires buyers to make a solid offer. Additionally, it can result in a quicker sale. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging, 39 percent of sellers’ agents noted that staging significantly reduced the amount of time a home remained on the market.

But when staging efforts go awry, the results range from comical to cringe-worthy.

Take a look at some of biggest home-staging fails out there. Enjoy a laugh while learning what not to do when preparing to present a home to prospective buyers.

1. Heads up


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We’re guessing the home tour came to an abrupt end after bumping into this big guy. Taxidermy isn’t everyone’s cup of tea to begin with, but leaving this buck’s head in the middle of the room feels wrong on so many levels.

2. Combo gym and masterbath

While most exercise enthusiasts can’t wait to hit the shower after a workout, keeping the equipment beside the tub is a bit much. Yes, this bathroom is spacious, but is it roomy enough to double as a home gym? Not quite.

3. Dinner for one


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When a home is unoccupied, there’s always the temptation to add a little something that helps buyers envision themselves in the space. But one lonely lawn chair isn’t going to cut it. In fact, this sad visual conjures up images of solo TV dinners and is enough to make most would-be buyers bolt.

4. Dangerous playroom


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Having a downstairs area where kids can play is definitely a plus. Unfortunately, that’s not what we have here — no matter how well intentioned this little set-up might be. Seeing the room arranged this way may actually make buyers think, “Hmm, too bad this basement isn’t finished.” And there goes your sale.

5. Lady in red


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Looks like someone forgot to put away this beauty! Even if you’re selling your home during the Halloween season, most buyers find creepy dolls a little off-putting. Without this mannequin giving you the cold shoulder, this room would’ve been just fine.

6. Birds of a feather


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A jacuzzi paired with champagne could be enough to tempt a buyer. But seeing a stuffed flock of birds surrounding the hot tub might make some people want to fly the coop. While homeowners are often proud of their collections, removing personal items that may not match everyone’s taste is always a good idea.

7. Whole lotta litter


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When it comes to staging an unfinished basement, the “less is more” rule definitely applies, especially if the default decor involves feline excrement. Enough said.

8. A safari crime scene


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An aerial view of this zebra is enough to break any animal lover’s heart. If a family with young children pays a visit, however, this may be the cautionary tale they need to convince kids not to fool around on the stairs. Grown-ups too may think twice before leaning over those railings.

9. Sadder than a bowl of plastic fruit


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Pasta is typically a crowd-pleaser but not when it’s presented this way. It may be preferable to leave the countertops bare rather than resort to a strainer full of dried spaghetti. It’s just not that appetizing.

10. Mirror, mirror on the wall


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Sometimes you’re in such a rush to get a home in tip-top shape, you forget to remove the items you’ve purchased to spruce the place up from their original packaging. In this case, the cardboard looks like a frame, so they almost got away with it.

11. Barren backyard


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That sad little table and plastic chairs don’t exactly make you think about hosting lavish barbecues in your new backyard. This is another instance where placing the wrong items in a space could be worse than leaving it empty. Trust in the power of the buyers’ imaginations.

12. Going a little too green


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Adding plants to a home brings the outdoors in and offers a nice pop of color. But putting them on the floor in the middle of the room seems like a good way to trip an unsuspecting prospect. Also, overloading a space with greenery can distract from some of the room’s nicest features — like that built-in bookcase.

If you’re preparing a home for a showing, keep these silly mistakes in mind and avoid your own staging fail.

Thinking of Selling Your Beach Area Home?

March 25, 2017 // Tammy // No Comments //

Did you know that every 1% increase in interest rates reduces the number of potential buyers for your home by half?

It’s true – the higher the rate, the less buyers are able to borrow. So fewer people will qualify for the loan amount they need. Ultimately, this means that home prices will have to drop (which means less money in your pocket at the closing table!) So far, we haven’t seen it impact home prices in the area, so that’s good news.

Interest rates have already increased several times over the past several months – and the Feds are considering more hikes as the economy continues to thrive.

“When you combine higher mortgage rates with increasing home values, mortgage affordability starts to suffer, and buyers will have to spend more and more on their monthly payments,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell noted in a recent press release.

There’s good news, though – we’re still seeing rates between 3.5%-5% – which means a $300,000 mortgage loan is going to cost around $1,500/month.

If you’ve been thinking about selling, you’ve already lost some potential buyers – so it may not be wise to wait until the next increase.

As a matter of fact, home buying has increased recently as a result of the increases. Why? Because people who have been on the fence and haven’t moved forward on buying a home are acting now before the rates go up again. They’ve seen really low interest rates for the past several years and now they realize it’s time to act if they don’t want to miss the low interest rate opportunity.

If you’re planning to buy a new home when you sell the one you currently have, that’s another reason now is the time to act.

Complete the form below and we’ll prepare a Market Study letting you know how much your home could sell for in today’s market. You might be surprised how much the market has improved in the last couple of years. Please include information about any updates you’ve done (along with the year they were completed) so we can get a more accurate picture of how your home compares to others that have recently sold or that are currently on the market.

As a bonus – when we meet to discuss selling your home, you’ll receive a special “thank you” gift just for meeting with us:

8 Day/7 Night Resort Getaway – choose from 50+ popular destinations, including Hawaii, the Bahamas, several Caribbean destinations and many more.

Complete Bath Remodel for under $1,800

October 30, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Updating a bathroom is one of the best investments you can make in your home – whether you’re staying in it or selling it. This DIY couple was able to completely revamp their outdated bathroom for less than $1,800!

The Mortgage Process

October 8, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Looking to buy a new home? Before you start looking, get your mortgage financing in place (most sellers want to know the buyer has been pre-approved before accepting your offer).

Here’s what to expect:

Best DIY Bang for Your Buck

October 5, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

Remember that DIY doesn’t mean you don’t need permits. Be sure to check with your city to determine which permits you need.

Quick and Budget Friendly DIY Fixes

October 3, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //

How to Paint Like a Pro

September 19, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //



If you can’t view the videos – try opening the page in Internet Explorer

What she doesn’t talk about here is how to avoid paint “bleed” under the tape. With the textured walls and ceilings many of us have here in Florida, it’s difficult to get the tape tight enough (well, it is for me, anyway).

After you put tape along the edges – go over the tape and an inch of the wall with the color of the neighboring surface (i.e. ceiling white next to the ceiling, wall color of the touching wall, etc.)

By going over the tape, the ceiling color will bleed under the tape and form a seal – then, when you go over the wall with the new color, it won’t bleed under.

Happy Painting!!


The 4 Potentially Most Expensive Words in Remodeling

July 5, 2016 // Tammy // No Comments //
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