Category Archives: Real Estate Guides

Preparing your Home to Sell


Fill the holes and new paint

Walls tend to take a beating in a home. It’s just a fact of life. Whether it’s the scrape from moving the sofa out last year, or a dent left by a child’s toy car, or just the nails used to hang thousands of photos on the entry wall. Using a little drywall patch to fill them and putting on a fresh coat of paint can quickly brighten and freshen up your home.

Check for any repairs

Let’s face it, one of the worst parts of being a seller is getting to the inspection date only to have the buyer back out because they find something wrong with your house. While some repairs may just be worth negotiating, there are several quick fixes that can be made to cover some of your bases. Look at things like your gutters, windows, doorways, and even your electrical outlets and covers. They may be small fixes, but sometimes they can make all the difference in a home sale.

Decide what you will keep and what you will leave

Part of selling a home is deciding what you are going to leave for the seller. In the real estate world, these are called inclusions and exclusions. For you, the seller, there are essentially three options with every piece of furniture, decoration, appliance, and knick-knack in your house.
Option 1.
Take it with you. It doesn’t matter what you do with it, it just can’t stay. Move it to your new home, put it in a storage unit, or hide it away somewhere else. These items are all the things you can’t live without, down to the things you think you may want in your new home (until you move it in and realize that you actually didn’t want it).
Option 2.
Leave it for the “next person.” You may decide that you really don’t need that old refrigerator, and that your new home has the space for something twice as big. Remember that washer and dryer that were way too hard to install? If your planning on getting new appliances, give the buyer an opportunity to take them with the sale. Just remember, some of these things can be useful when negotiating.
Option 3.
Throw out the junk. That couch that you’ve kept for thirteen years that’s tucked away in a corner? You know, the one with the stains from your old beagle, and the three tears in the back? It’s time for it to go. If you don’t want to take something with you, and you know a buyer would never want it, then get rid of it. Declutter your home and don’t leave anything that (a) distracts from your house, (b) doesn’t go with the staging, and (c) is garbage.
Remember, the cleaner your home, the faster it will sell.

Freshen up your garden

Let’s talk Curb Appeal. Do you want to know what drops the value of a home in a buyers’ mind faster than almost anything else? DEAD. YELLOW. GRASS. Now here’s the problem. First impressions are a big deal when buyers go on their first date with a home. And if the outside isn’t well kept, you can bet they are thinking the same thing about the inside. Green up that grass, clean those flowerbeds, and make sure the sidewalk and outer walls of the house look fresh. It helps with your photo tour, invites buyers to walk in, and it brings up the value of your home. Who doesn’t want that, right?

Put your feet in the buyers’ shoes

Above all else, if you are thinking about your buyers and what they would like, then you’ve found the key to selling your home. Think about what you would be looking for if you were buying your home. What red flags stand out that would prevent you from putting down an offer. It’s not to say that every buyer will be interested, but with a ready-to-sell home, you are sure to attract a good crowd of qualified buyers. And, having more buyers means selling your home much faster and at a higher price.

Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers


So you’ve decided to buy your first home. It’s an exciting adventure and there are many things you’ll need to prepare for. Before you get going, here is a list of steps to help you along and make the process easier.

Pick your location and browse for homes online

One of the biggest things you’ll want to settle on before you start your search is the location where you want to live. If you’re not set on specific neighborhoods, think about the best area for your needs. Keep in mind the commute, schools, proximity to family and friends, and overall lifestyle.  You can use the tools found on to find homes that match your location and criteria.


Searching online is a great way to find what you’re looking for, but it can be overwhelming and tricky to understand the best process for making an offer on a home. You may be looking at homes that are out of your price range and you don’t want to get your heart set on something only to later find out that it doesn’t quite fit your budget.
Having a professional on your side to guide you through negotiations can help you avoid costly situations that will help you save in the long run. You can find an agent that works in your area on’s Find a Realtor search page.

Talk to a mortgage lender

It is a good idea to research and find a lender so that you can get pre-qualified for a loan. Starting this process early, especially in a hot market, may help bolster your offers on homes.

Improve your credit if needed

When you decide on a lender, your credit will be examined and you will receive a credit score. Anything above a 760 is considered a strong score; 700 to 759 is considered a good score; and 650 to 699 is considered a fair credit score. Your score will play a role in determining the interest rate you receive from your lender
If you find that your credit score is not where it should be, there are things that you can do to bump it up.

Don’t damage your credit report

When you’re in the process of buying your home, be sure to be mindful of your finances. Late credit payments and large credit purchases may lower your credit score or create questions from your lender, which can possibly hurt you in the loan process. Your loan isn’t fully approved until it goes through underwriting, and that can stretch throughout the closing period.

12 Affordable Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home


Realtor Showing Hispanic Couple Around New Home

When it comes time to put your home on the market, you want it to stick out above the thousands of other homes for sale in Utah. Knowing where to start on improving the value of your home can be an overwhelming thought for anyone. Often people focus on the end result, the bigger picture, the cost, and are unsure on how to get the ball rolling. However, when you focus on one step at a time, you’ll see that upgrading your home isn’t nearly as daunting as you may think, and making your home shiny and new doesn’t have to come with a sizable dent in your wallet.
Here are 12 affordable ways to add value to your home and give it the ultimate buyer’s appeal:
#1 – Talk to a Professional
A professional opinion is free, and a REALTOR® can give you suggestions on where to start and what will be the most effective. Easy and small improvements are often overlooked without a professional eye. They can also suggest a staging professional who can help with things such as paint color or furniture placement.
#2 – Talk to a Home Inspector
You may not be aware of problems within the home that, if left unchecked could become expensive to fix. Having a professional give your home a “checkup” can keep small things from becoming expensive problems.
#3 – New Coat of Paint
A gallon of paint, on average, will cost around $25, so this is an easy way to freshen up the home. Keep it simple and stick with neutral colors. You may love that aqua-green wall in your kitchen, but it could be unappealing and distracting to someone else.
#4Be Aware of Energy Costs
Talk to your local utility company for a free energy audit in order to learn about the efficiency of your home’s energy. The more energy efficient your home is the more money you save, and lower bills is always attractive to someone in the market of buying a home.
#5 – Landscape
Having plants outside of your home gives it “curb appeal.” Think low maintenance, which means the plants should require little water and be native to where you live.
Planting a tree or multiple trees is another way to add value to your landscape. Not only do they add beauty and curb appeal but, when properly placed, they will provide shade which lowers energy cost during the hot summer months.
#6 – Where the Green Grass Grows
Patchy, overgrown, or dead grass will lower the value of your home. A potential buyer will look at the big picture, which includes the amount of work they may have to put into having a green lawn. Take the time to eliminate that worry from their buying process and make sure your lawn is in tip-top shape.
#7 – Keep It Clean
Cleanliness counts. This is one of the easiest ways to add value to your home. A top-to-bottom scrubbing will make your home sparkle. Hiring professionals may be the best choice for this situation, nooks and crannies can often get overlooked when you do it on your own.
#8 – Know Your Space
The size and space of your home is essential and even though you can’t physically change the square footage, you can visually make it appear larger, more open, and spacious. Clear out all the clutter, keep your furniture to a neat and tidy minimum, and open window blinds to let sunlight in. Having large mirrors on walls will also make a room appear larger than it actually is.
#9 – Bathrooms Matter
Even small updates to a bathroom will make a big difference, such as replacing old wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint, and updating lighting fixtures. These are simple ways to improve your home without breaking the bank. However, the return on full bathroom remodels is big. By replacing old plumbing, such as the sink and toilet, or replacing old tile, you give your bathroom a cost-effective modern appeal.
#10 – Replace Old Carpet
That old shag carpet may have been all the rage in the 70’s, but it will most definitely bring down the value of a home today. If replacing the carpet is not in your budget, take the time to deep clean the existing carpet. Visually this will be more appealing to a potential buyer.
#11 – Showcase Your Backyard
Everyone loves a summer barbeque, so having a place for patio furniture shows that your home is the perfect place for hosting cookouts. Having space to entertain friends and family will add a lot of value to your home.
#12 – Add Storage
A buyer will pay close attention to amount of storage a home provides. We all have stuff and knowing that there is a place to store it all is an intriguing selling point for any home. Upgrading and installing cabinets, either inside the home or the garage, allows a buyer to get a feel for how they will fit their “everything” into the space.
Adding value to your home can be as simple as a fresh coat of paint or as elaborate as a full remodel, but knowing these few tips will help you make your home attractive and competitive in the buyers’ market. The better the appeal, the better the price. Remember… you don’t have to break the bank. Keep it simple, look at each detail as a potential buyer, and the value of your house will rise.

Five Easy Ways to Get Your Home Ready to Sell


Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

You want to put your home on the market and sell it fast–and you’re ready to get started. This may be the best time to take a step back and look at your home. Is it ready to sell? Will it sell quickly and for the price you’d like? If the answer to either of these questions is “not sure”, you may want to do a few quick easy fixes to prepare.

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

Here are top 5 things that will help prep your home and get it ready to sell.
#1 Clean
While you’re staging, be sure to take down your family photos. Buyer’s want to picture their family living in the home so this allows them to do so without being distracted.

Take the time to deep clean your entire home. Get the areas that you’ve forgotten about or just told yourself that you’d get to them later. Not only will this help make it look great, but also a good clean will help with any smells that could make a buyer want to walk out the door.
#2 Repair

Go through and fix those leaky faucets or patch up the holes in the walls. Little repairs around the home can save a lot of headache during the selling process.
#3 Increase Curb Appeal

Newly painted exterior of a North American home during summertime with green grass and flower beds

First impressions are everything. Most people will make a judgment about a house within 7-10 second upon arriving on the property. Wow them by trimming, adding color, and cleaning up the yard.
#4 Consider Staging

Staging a home can be one of the most important things you can do. 90% of listings are found on the internet, so good staging will set yours apart even before showing. Make the rooms bright but neutral. This allows a buyer to visualize his or her own palette and furniture in the space.
#5 De-Personalize Your Decor

While you’re staging, be sure to take down your family photos. Buyer’s want to picture their family living in the home so this allows them to do so without being distracted.