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Buy for Today and Tomorrow.

Young, growing families often find themselves looking for far more home than they need and it can lead to confusion, stress and discouragement when they don’t find it within their budget.

I recently worked with a young family (husband, wife and new baby) who were excited to find their first home.  They planned on having more kids but couldn't say when.  Both were in upwardly mobile jobs and planned on being in Atlanta indefinitely.  At first, they were adamant about finding a large 4 bedroom home with a basement and large backyard fit for the large family they dreamed of having.  Sounds right.  

The problem was their budget.  They simply couldn’t find the home they wanted except in neighborhoods that weren’t a fit.  Despite my best counsel, discouragement soon set in.  Like many young families, they assumed that this was there one shot to find the perfect home to raise their family.  But here’s the catch, although they had a plentiful budget, the home...

When your priorities are clear. Decisions are easy.

Think about that headline"When your priorities are clear, your decisions are easy”.  When it comes to Buying and Selling Real Estate, this is a foundational principal.  Even after being in the business for 13 years now …  helping hundreds of families and selling many hundreds of homes, I stop,  get connected to my priorities, center myself and align my goals with what's most important to me about them.  I repeat that phrase to myself to help keep me grounded.  See, my purpose as a real estate consultant is spelled out in that phrase and I’m always searching for creative ways to share this insight with my clients as I introduce them to the market.  

Look around.  Huge varieties of living situations are abound.  From dark, one room, cement floor, basement apartments to sprawling, water-front, marble villas…  there is a castle for every man.  And, most Buyers I meet...

Patience & Planning

Sellers that don't sell in this market are often impatient and shortsighted.

Impatient because they won't invest in the longer term, purposeful planning to get their home "market ready".

And shortsighted, because they get hooked on the erroneous belief that merely because the neighbors house sold for $650,000 in 6 months then that must be what their home is worth. And shortsighted because they believe the price they deserve is all about what they want, not what the buyer (aka "market") is willing to pay.

Selling a home doesn't happen by accident. It takes purposeful planning and a strategic approach to the market to cause a home to sell for the right price on a timeline that works for you and your family.

Selling your home is simple.

Simple. 

But not easy. 

It takes patience and planning....

Would You Like To Be Your Neighbor?

In the perceived fast paced world of the internet, Facebook, smart phones and virtual video games you rarely hear folks talking “old style” about meeting or welcoming new neighbors.  That’s not to say that the idea of living in a close-knit community with friendly neighbors that watch out for each other is dead.  I do come across small communities where efforts are put forth by residence to bring neighbors together.  

Case in point- I recently helped a family buy a wonderful family home in a community of 12 homes where the neighbors were very active and involved.  During the home inspection, three neighbors came over to meet my clients (the would-be new neighbors) and it came with an invitation for all of us to join them at their every Thursday “Wine at the Pine”.  This is where they would all gather under the big pine tree in the Cul-de-sac with the kids and a few bottles of wine.  I thought it was brilliant and it got me thinking...

Tis' Always The Season

I believe in "Karma" and have experienced good deeds coming back to me 10 fold.    What goes around comes around.

As a Seller in this market, it's worth you believing too...

  • Leave a bottle of chilled bottle of wine and a plate of cheese for the Buyers to snack on during during the Home Inspection.
  • Leave the shelving in the garage for the buyer because you don’t need it where you're going.
  • Label the paint so the new owners don’t have to figure it out for themselves.
  • Clean the gutters even though you didn’t agree to in the contract.
  • Leave the house (professionally) clean.
  • Patch hidden holes in the wall and paint.
  • Replace burnt out light bulbs so the Buyer doesn’t have to.
  • Go ahead and repair the broken TP holder the Buyer didn’t notice.
  • Make extra keys and leave 2 garage door openers.
  • Mow the lawn the day before closing.
  • Don’t leave trash on the curb...

Please Invite Me to Your Holiday Party!

It’s that time if year.  You know, the holidays.  And I'm sure you'll, like me, be attending a number of holiday house parties.  The other day I heard an unnamed friend complaining about the parties he had to attend making the comment that he wished he wouldn't get invited anymore because it was "just too much".  He went on and on and on.  Scrooge!

I love holiday parties.  You know why?  Well, of course I enjoy myself and love meeting new people.  But really it’s because they’re memorable.  The festive aura, the lights, the tree and tasty food… the wine.  And, I always meet at least one person or family that can use my help and there’s nothing better than reminiscing with my clients years later about how we met at that holiday party.  We never forget it and for that reason I’m grateful for every invitation.

Happy Holidays!

...

The 3 "D's":: Deep Clean

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call the "3 D's" ::

The final step in successful home staging is not as “clean” as it may seem.  That’s because “clean” is widely interpretable.  Experience has shows the best and worst.  It’s amazing what you can learn about someone from their definition of clean.  Wow.  But  I’ll forego the judgement and get to the point.  When it comes to the definition of clean, there is only one for the purposes of good show quality.   The cornerstone definition of clean when it comes to show quality is "make it cleaner that it ever was and cleaner than it will ever be again".  No dirt, no grim, no liquid, no mildew, no dust, no debris. ...

Masterclass Lesson Plan :: The Art, Science and Psychology of Home Buying & Selling

It is our choices…that show what we really are, far more than our abilities.
—J.K. Rowling

A secret is something hidden or known only to insiders. A few behavioral scientists and market researchers might be acquainted with some of the ideas in this masterclass series, but these concepts have not been available to our clients until now.  Our team is committed to change that fact by equipping the home buyers, sellers and landlords we consult with “insider information” that can help them become more comfortable (and savvy) about whatever housing decisions they might contemplate.

Because housing decisions are crucial.  They can involve the most money you ever spend, the highest debt you ever incur, and the best (or worst) investment you ever make. A moving decision can result in either a frustrating or fulfilling experience that affects not just your life, but the lives...

The 3 “D’s” :: Depersonalize

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call  the "3 D's" of home staging ::

And the second step in a successful home staging process is to depersonalize. At this point, you’ve likely painted and decluttered your home… it looks great, feels neat and organized.  Now, it’s time to take a close look at the personalization of the space.  Personalization is anything that makes your home distinctly yours and no one else’s.  It’s those things your close family and friends would identify as unmistakably and uniquely yours.  It’s your signature on you personal space.  Personalization is anything that would make a buyer feel “this is not my home- it’s theirs.”  And,...

Masterclass Introduction :: The Art, Science and Psychology of Successful Home Buying & Selling

This is the preface post in a new Master Class series we're calling " The Art, Science and Psychology of Successful Home Buying & Selling". Taken together, this series will be a guide to help you navigate the complex and emotionally charged process of buying, selling or renting real estate. Feel comfortable leaving comments, asking questions and engaging with other readers when it strikes you.  Simply leave a comment in the section below.

As a military family, our dad's work required him to travel, and many times to foreign places far from what we'd ever think to call "home".  And until recently, the longest our family lived in one geographic place was four years.  During the 18 years I shared a roof with Ben and Adam - we lived in 4 countries (United States, Portugal, Germany and England), 5 states (South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Wyoming and Georgia).  I attended 4 high schools in 3 different countries and moved a total of 19 times...

The 3 "D's" :: Decluttering

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call the "3 D's" of home staging ::

And the first step in a successful home staging process is to get rid of the clutter.  Clutter is anything that makes your home (and rooms) look small, cramped, disorganized, busy or untidy. Clutter can be too much furniture, too many photos, piles of mail, too many accessories or even clashing paint colors. Clutter is anything that might distracts your buyer from seeing the good features of your home.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."

...

Land of the Lost ... Decade.

Between 1999 and 2009 the US economy experience zero net job creation. Middle-income households made less in 2009, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999.  And the net worth of American households ... also declined when adjusted for inflation.

And Corporations pay the nominal price for years of systemic fraud.

...

You Make Money When You Buy—Not When You Sell

Here’s the bottom line: while you may actually receive the profits from your house when you sell, the amount of those profits is largely determined by which house you bought and how much you paid. If you make poor decisions when you buy the house, you won’t make money when the time comes to sell the house. It’s that simple. 

You’ve probably heard that location is everything in real estate.  It’s true, and if you buy well, you’ll sell well. This truism is the cornerstone of real estate investment strategy; here’s why. In less desirable locations, homes are cheaper, and so-called good deals are easier to find. Less desirable locations are often  in areas of older and smaller homes, and buying a home there will involve higher upkeep costs and lower appreciation. In other words, the years of mortgage payments and the cost of upkeep will yield less return on your investment when you sell.

The two important keys to remember are, the better the location, the more...

Three Prices for Every Home

Experience shows there are three prices for every home ::

There is the price the buyer would love to pay.
There is the price the seller would love to get.
And there is the price the home will eventually sell at.

...

Lower Anxiety and Improve Marketability

One of the anxiety highpoints during the sale of a home is waiting for the buyer’s home inspection report.  Though most sellers willingly disclose what they know about their home to any potential buyers ... the concern stems from the inspector finding something that they’re totally unaware of and that it will either cost them a lot of money to correct or the buyer will simply use it to void the contract.

If the inspection does reveal some unknown problem with the home, it’s probably as big a surprise to the buyer who is not as emotionally or financially invested as the seller.   And it's human nature to fear what you don’t understand.  So when a report identifies defects, your buyer may simply opt-out of the home.

A simple solution to the situation is for the seller to have the home inspected prior to putting it on the market.  There is still a risk of becoming surprised by an unknown defect which at that point, would have to be disclosed to potential...

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