All posts by Karla

Lead Base Paint

Lead Base Paint was banned by the Federal Government in 1978.  Some states actually banned it sooner.  If a Property Owner sells or rents a home that was built prior to 1978, they must complete a Lead Base Disclosure Form disclosing whether they have any knowledge or reports of Lead Base Paint in their home/buildings.  The Buyer/Tenant will be required to review and acknowledge in writing the receipt of this document and the receipt of the booklet, “Protect Your Family From Lead Base in Your Home”.  Even though the Owner has no knowledge or reports of Lead Base Paint doesn’t mean that it does not exist in the house/buildings.  Buyer Beware! Educate yourself on Lead Base Paint.  There are Inspectors that are certified to inspect for Lead Base Paint.    If the house you want to Purchase/Lease was built prior to 1978 visit the EPA’s website and get educated on LEAD BASE PAINT. You may want to consider including a Lead Base Paint Inspection before you purchase.   Read more about Lead Base Paint from the EPA’s site.  Click on the link below!

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Choosing a Lender

Choosing the right Lender can save you time, money, and could prevent (Big, Big) problems during your purchase.  Interview several Lenders. Take the time to ask questions and do your research.   Contact your current Bank first.  Let him/her know that you will be shopping around.  They are more apt to provide you with the best rate and lowest closing costs if they know they have competition.  Compare the different loan programs considering interest rates, closing costs, and down payment requirements.  Choose a fixed loan with no pre-payment penalties.  Even if you have a friend in the business or a friend that knows a friend, do not feel obligated.  Shop around and choose the right Lender and loan package for you and your family.  It will literally save you thousands!

And check out those reviews!!!

Here are some of our recommended lenders!

Tried and True…Just for You!

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PNC Mortgage

PNC Bank
Kim Monroe
819 Eastern Blvd
Clarksville, IN 47130
Phone: (502) 263-3300

Mortgage Loans & Home Loan Options

Which home loan is right for you?
Find the right option based on loan terms, down payment and other circumstances.

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Black Diamond Pet Control and Inspections

About Black Diamond

We are the only FULL SERVICE pest control company serving the Louisville, KY, and Southern Indiana market. This means that whatever your pest problem…from ants, bed bugs, and cockroaches to termites; even animals like raccoons, squirrels, and snakes to birds and bats…we can custom tailor a solution for you.

In addition to pest control, we have full-time teams devoted to K9 bed bug detection, termite and moisture damage repairs, mold remediation, water damage restoration, and turf maintenance (for a thicker, greener, weed-free lawn).

Not in the Louisville Area? Click below for the Black Diamond location nearest you:

877-DEAD-BUG (877-332-3284)
888-DO-MY-YARD (888-366-9927)
844-NO-NO-H2O (844-666-6426)

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Certainty Home Inspections

Certainty Home Inspectors

Certainty Home Inspections  will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Southern Indiana or Louisville area, we can help!

Family owned and operated since 2005, we’ve served over 19,000 happy home buyers. At Certainty Home Inspections, we pride ourselves on being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers.


Who We Are

Our Vision

Raising the industry standard by providing home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals with the knowledge, resources, and reliable services needed to facilitate smooth home inspections, confident decisions, and successful transactions.


Certainty Home Inspections, as a company, values

C.hrist — We have a responsibility to love and serve others. Our actions, words and attitudes are a witness to His ministry. As a company who earns a living servicing homeowners, our outreach focus is assisting those without a home.

H.ealthy Attitude — We understand our attitudes and words directly affect the outcome of our day and life, so we focus on the positive and intentionally encourage one another. We make a conscious effort to approach each topic or person with solutions, not problems.

R.espect – Everyone we encounter, even someone who is treating us badly, will be treated with respect, patience, understanding, and kindness. We do not speak ill of others. We require others to treat our team the same. Our differences are celebrated as what makes us stronger.

I.ntegrity – We do what is right for clients, even when no one is watching, even when it hurts, and always without expecting thanks or recognition.

S.ervice – 100% effort in all we do, resulting in consistency our clients can count on, and service that delivers more than what we promise.

T.eam Enrichment – Our team is our family and we could not succeed without our employees. Therefore, our internal goal is to invest in and empower our employees to be the best version of themselves, for the sake of their families and futures. We care about one another, we spend time with each other’s families, and we are dedicated to actions we consider to be best for everyone involved.

This is not just a business model, but a way of life.


We walk through the door with a fresh, positive start to every day.

We acknowledge our blessings and our responsibility to “pay it forward.”

We own our attitudes, knowing our thoughts and words shape our day and that of those around us.

We rejoice in the success of others. There are plenty of blessings to go around.

Our team is our family. We share our successes, failures, blessings, and heartaches.

We invest in and encourage one another to help us reach our full potential in life.

We celebrate differences of opinion and approach, knowing our differences make us stronger.

We treat every person with respect, patience, understanding, and kindness, even those who mistreat us.

We do what is right, even when no one is watching, even when it hurts, and without expecting thanks or recognition.

We put 100% effort in all we do, creating consistency our clients can count on.

We create results, not excuses. We bring solutions, not problems.

We deliver more than we promise.

Certainty Home Inspections, serving Southern Indiana and the Louisville, Kentucky area. | Our experienced home inspectors can keep you from buying The Money Pit.

Call (866) 417-9591  today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

Certainty Home Inspection
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Ways to Invest Real in Estate

Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Real Estate can be a wonderful Investment.  I know many people that have made a career out of it. Here are a few ways many people have profited from Real Estate Ownership.

Rental Properties – Your Real Estate Agent or an Appraiser should be able to help you set your lease amount.  If you price it too high your tenants will be moving out frequently.  A fair rent could land you a long time tenant.

Nothing is better than a good Tenant. Be diligent and  check past rental  references, the Sex Offender Site and conduct a criminal back ground check before you sign the lease.

Spend time finding a lease that protects you and know the State Laws and your obligation as a Landlord.  Believe me, the Tenant will know theirs.

Resale – Buying a property at the right price, some properties require repairs or/and remodeling, then reselling the property for a profit. Of Course, these Investments can also turn into a not so good Investment.  It is  important that you take your time when purchasing a property.  Hire a Professional Home Inspection before you purchase a Property.  Buying AS IS is nice for the Seller but can be a nightmare for the Buyer.  Do the math and make sure you allow for hidden defects. If the numbers don’t add up its best to move to the next venture.

Contract Sale – Some Sellers like to be the bank for the Buyer. This is great for the Buyer if they are unable to obtain a loan right away.  Profitable for the Seller because of the Rate of Return on their money is favorable.  Qualify your Buyer like a Bank Underwriter would before they close the loan.  Be thorough.  Pull their credit report, check credit  references, check the Sex Offender Site and conduct a criminal back ground check.  You might still wish to proceed but know your Buyer before you become the Bank.   Allow the Buyer time to conduct a Home Inspection.  Know that they can afford the house. An Attorney is a must and should prepare all the legal documents accordingly.

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Before you Buy an Investment Property…

Before you Buy an Investment Property…!

Investing in Real Estate is a great way to create income.  Of course, you can make plenty of money but you can also loose money if you are not very careful.   When considering a purchase, consider all the costs associated with that purchase and owning that property.   And always add a buffer.  Guess low on profit and high on costs.

  1. Cost of the property
  2. Cost of financing
  3. Reoccurring expenses  (Mortgage, Utilities, Insurance, Association Fees, Assessments and Property Taxes)
  4. Repairs, Maintenance and Remodeling expense (Interior and Exterior).
  5. Advertising for Tenants
  6. Accounting (Capital Gains, Bookkeeping)
  7. Expenses to resale if that is what you plan to do.

Financial Planning is the key to a successful Investment.

Opinion of Value. Have an  experienced Agent or Appraiser provide you with an Opinion of Value or Appraisal.  Be pro-active!  Review any information that they provide you and do get  a second or third opinion.   Don’t worry about hurting anyones feelings.  This is your investment only if you do this right.

Complete a Home Inspection.  Know what you are Buying Inside and Out.  A thorough home inspection should be completed.  Obtain a total cost to make any and all repairs and improvements.

Accounting.  Create a spreadsheet with all of your estimated costs.  Create a duplicate to include your actual costs so your can compare.  The first investment is usually not a profitable one for most.  Most chalk it up as a good learning experience.

It pays to have an Experienced Real Estate Agent as a part of your team.  He/She can help you find the right properties to purchase and can provide you with a wealth of information being a very valuable part of your transactions.  I have helped many people become Investors and I would love to assist you also.

Be a smart investor and follow the rules.  Do not Buy based on emotion.  If the numbers do not work.  Don’t walk away….RUN!

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Southern Indiana Cleaning Crew

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TBF Mortgage Company

TBF Mortgage Company is owned by the Bohn Family. You will find a team of extremely knowledgable and dedicated professionals that will assist you with your mortgage needs finding the right loan for your situation. Family taking care of Families. Thats what they do best.

Aaron Bohn | Regional Manager |502-345-8520 cell


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New Washington State Bank

 New Washington State Bank


The New Washington State Bank mortgage team can help with various types of home loans. We offer mortgage loan products customized to meet your specific needs. Below are some examples of popular loan programs we currently offer.

      • FHA and VA Government Loans

      • USDA Loan

      • Conventional Fixed Rate Loans

      • Conventional Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) Loans

      • Primary Residence, Second Home and Investment Property Loans 

      • Condominium Loans

Pam Kimmel.   NMLS ID. #8488
River Ridge400 Patrol Rd. Charlestown, IN 47111
812-256-5462 office       502-550-7672 cell 

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A Real Estate Career

Some people thrive with careers that ensure they will have steady, weekly incomes. Others like to have a bit more freedom and are less concerned with a regular paycheck. For the latter, a career in the real estate business might be the perfect option, because it offers so many benefits to those who don’t want to work at a traditional nine-to-five job. But, as with everything in life, there are pros and cons to consider before getting into this line of work.

If you have been considering a career in real estate, it’s time to do your research and learn both the good and the bad sides of the business — here are a few of the top pros and cons.

Your Schedule

Pros: If you have ever dreamed of being able to plan your schedule and not be tied down to a desk all day long, real estate may just be the ideal career choice for you. It offers flexibility and freedom so you can do things your own way. This is appealing to many people, especially those who tend to be free spirits and don’t thrive in a typical nine-to-five setting. If you prefer working in the afternoon or evening, you will be free to do so.

Cons: Just because you have the freedom to set your own hours, it doesn’t mean that you are going to have a lot of spare time. In fact, you could end up working at some pretty strange hours and working more hours than you would if you had a traditional office job. You could end up showing houses later in the evening, but still have to get up early in the morning to take care of the business side of things, such as dealing with banks, lawyers, etc.

Your Responsibility

Pros: This is your opportunity to really shine, and use your knowledge that you have to help others find their dream homes, commercial property, etc. You will have specific knowledge that your clients are going to greatly rely on. You will be able to tell them which properties are closest to schools, whether the properties they are interested in are in areas that are prone to flooding, and many other things that only the best real estate agents know.

Cons: Your clients will almost literally be putting their lives in your hands (or at least their life savings). You could end up costing them a lot of money if mistakes are made. For instance, you might get them to put in an offer, but then you miss the inspection contingency deadline, so they have to buy the house because they are contractually obliged to do so. They will be taking some great risks based on your advice, and this can be pretty nerve-wracking for many agents who only want the best for their clients.

Your Money

Pros: If you are good with numbers and enjoy the process of creating value through renovating properties, then working for real estate investment companies  would be a perfect fit. You will have an exciting career that will require many different skills. iThis type of position is generally more lucrative than one as a conventional real estate broker. There is much more work than acquiring and selling the property. Extensive research and due diligence are necessary along with the ability to see value in properties that have some type of limitation or problem holding them back from their highest and best use.

Cons: You aren’t going to become a top seller at a top real estate company for a long time. You really have to pay your dues, and prove that you have what it takes to be successful, which can take many years. Taking a course in real estate is just the beginning. You won’t know everything you need to know overnight, and you are going to have to put in a lot of hours.

Wearing Multiple Hats

Pros: As a realtor, you will be taking on a lot of jobs and wearing many different hats. This means that your work is never going to get boring. One minute, you might be working as a financial coach, the next, a babysitter or a life coach. You will basically be filling the needs of your clients in order to make buying a home easy for them, so that you can earn great commissions.

Cons: You will likely find yourself in many positions where you have to think on your feet. Sometimes, you might feel like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to take care of all of the things that your clients need. For instance, there may be last-minute repair issues that need to be taken care of before your clients can move into their new homes. There are a lot of issues that can arise in real estate, and many of them are completely unforeseen.

Earning Commission

Pros: Agents can earn a very comfortable income when the market is strong. If you are really good at what you do, you will have cash on hand, live in a nice home, drive the nicest cars, etc. The world will be at your finger tips because you will have the income to be able to do most of the things you have always dreamed of doing without having to worry about whether or not you can actually afford it.

Cons: When the real estate markets are down, there aren’t as many opportunities to make money. You might start to feel like you are working for nothing. This is why it is so important to save some of the money you make when the markets are good — to help supplement you during the lean times. Unfortunately, many people who get into real estate don’t plan for the days when the housing market is low, and then they don’t have anything to fall back on when they are not selling enough houses to pay the bills.

The real estate career path certainly isn’t for everybody, so it’s worth thinking long and hard about what you value most in a career and what you hope to ultimately get out of it. But now that you know some of the top pros and cons, you will hopefully be able to make an informed decision.

Jane Hurst is a content manager from San Francisco. She is a business writer and writing coach

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Become a Real Estate Investor

Investing in real estate can be very rewarding. Every piece of real estate including your home is a part of your portfolio.

If you think you would like to become an investor you need to start interviewing.  Yes, that is right!  You need to have a team of professionals that can help you make decisions.  The right decisions.   A good Team Member will be a great asset and will save you a lot of time and money.  The wrong Team Member will not be on your Team but will still have cost you.   I think you got the picture.   Be careful in the selection of your team.  Choose Members based on Knowledge, Experience and Proven Results (Honest Reviews).  Referrals are Nice.

Who do you need on your team you ask?

Let’s start with choosing a Lender.  Unless you have cash to purchase and remodel you will need to borrow.  Even if you have cash, sometimes it is cheaper to spend someone else money.  Do the math before you make your decision.    A good Lender  will explain financial options and should have recommendations to assist you.  Ask lots of questions.  Remember when you are budgeting a project to include financing costs.   Interview several Lenders before you choose.

You will need a Real Estate Agent also.  If you find a good Agent… this could be your Golden Nugget.  An eager Agent will work aggressively to find you properties to purchase.  They can also assist you in valuing real estate providing you with a current value and a remodeled value to assist you in your decision on whether a property is a wise purchase or not.   Your Agent should be able to offer valuable recommendations, be verse in real estate offer and document preparation and  have excellent negotiation and closing skills.  A good Agent can save you thousands and open doors of investment opportunities.

A Title Company / Attorney will complete the title work and assist with the closing of your transactions.  If you stick with one company then they typically provide you with a discount.  Building relationships is very important.  Call around and talk with several asking them about title and closing costs.  You will need all of these fees when you Budget your project anyway.  If you are using a Lender then they will have a list of Title Companies they use and the fees are a part of your closing costs.  Again, building relationships can save money.

Remodeling can take a lot of different professionals to make it all come together.  So start making a list of Electricians, plumbers, roofers…and more.  Your list will start to grow and always be on the look out for another team member.

I hope this gets you started in the right direction.  I am always available to answer questions so don’t hesitate to reach out to me or one of my team members.  We would love to be your Agent.

Remember,  Buy Low…Sell High.

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The Home Inspection Process

Home Inspections

A home inspection is a professional, third-party inspection of a property that you intend to buy. Its goal is to evaluate the home from a structural and safety standpoint, as well as to ensure you’re buying a hazard-free, up-to-code property that’s a good investment of your dollars.

Home inspections aren’t required, but there are few cases where you’d want to forgo one. Use this home inspection checklist to learn more about the process — as well as what to do afterward.

Step 1: Include A Home Inspection Contingency In Your Contract

Your first step is to make sure there’s a home inspection contingency — also referred to as a “due diligence” contingency — in your sales contract. This gives you a specified time period in which to have a professional inspection performed on the property.

Step 2: Understand How Your Home Inspection Contingency Works

In most cases, the inspection period is anywhere from one to two weeks from the date your sales contract is signed, though it depends on your specific agreement. The contingency period is supposed to give you enough time to:

• Find a good inspector.

• Set up your appointment (and, ideally, attend it).

• Receive your inspection report.

• Get any follow-up or additional inspections (more on that later).

• Decide how you’d like to move forward.

Step 3: Hire A Good Home Inspector

Hiring a thorough, experienced home inspector is incredibly important. They should be current on all certifications (NACHI, ASHI, etc.) and up to date on all training and educational coursework. They also need a full insurance policy (this protects you if they’re injured on your property) and should have deep experience in the area you’re buying in. This ensures they’re aware of any current problems with soil, pest and even home builders in your region.

Step 4: Make Sure Your Inspector Follows This Home Inspection Checklist

Every inspector does things a little differently, but there is a basic, standardized home inspection checklist they’re supposed to follow. Certain inspectors may go above and beyond this, or they may report their findings in a different way.

Step 5: Read Your Home Inspection Report

Once the home inspector is done on your property, they’ll put together a full report of their findings. The report should have a section for each room or area of the house, as well as a note about anything that needs repairs, is damaged or isn’t functional.

Generally, you’ll see the following terms for any issues they spot:

• Material defect: An issue that might pose a potential safety hazard or have a significant impact on the home’s value.

• Major defect: A system or component that is not working, not functional and needs replacement or repair.

• Minor defect: A small issue that can usually be fixed by a contractor or the homeowner themselves.

• Cosmetic defect: A superficial flaw or blemish that doesn’t impact safety or functionality.

Step 6: Get Additional Inspections

You should also use your report to gauge what other inspections might be necessary. If the inspector sees potential termite damage, you’ll want to get a termite inspection. If he notes mold on the report, you’ll want to have a mold inspector evaluate the property.

Just a few of the additional inspections you may want to consider include:

• Asbestos inspections.

• Pest inspections.

• Radon inspections.

• Termite or wood-destroying insect (WDI) inspections.

• Mold/mildew inspections.

• Lead inspections.

• Sewer or drainage inspections.

• Structural inspections.

• Chimney inspections.

• Geological inspections.

Step 7: Decide What’s Important — And What’s Not

Once you have the results of all your inspections, it’s time to decide what to do with those findings.

You’ll want to consider:

• Which issues pose a hazard to you and your loved ones?

• Which ones would cost a lot to repair?

• Which ones would prevent you from moving in on time?

• Which repairs can you handle on your own?

Step 8: Make Your Decision

After you’ve reviewed your inspection reports and determined which issues are big and which aren’t so important, you’ll need to make a decision. Do you go through with the deal, renegotiate it or go back to the drawing board?

As long as you’re within your contingency period, you’ll have these options:

• Continue as planned, with the same sales price and terms as you initially agreed to.

• Renegotiate the price with the seller or ask for credits toward your closing costs to cover the damages/repairs.

• Ask the seller the make certain repairs.

• Cancel your purchase contract outright and back out of the deal.

Step 9: Confirm Any And All Repairs Have Been Completed

If you choose to have the seller make repairs to the home, you’ll need to make sure these are completed to your liking. Have your agent schedule a walk-through of the home once the repairs are made, so you can check in on the work and keep your closing on track.

In the event you had the seller make major repairs to the foundation, roof or other important features in the house, you might want to have your inspector come back out for what’s called a “reinspection.” These allow the original inspector to come back out and verify that issues have been properly resolved. They do come with a cost (though usually a small fraction of the original inspection price), but considering that they can prevent safety issues and future repairs down the road, they’re usually worth the nominal investment.

Step 10: Close On Your Home

Finally, after you’ve renegotiated and confirmed that the appropriate repairs were made (and made properly), you can move toward closing. As long as things go well with your lender, you should be able to sign your paperwork and get those keys, come closing day.

Written by Kevin Miller

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Preparing to get pre-qualified to purchase.

Preparing to get Pre-qualified!

It is likely that your real estate purchase will amount to one of the largest single purchases you will ever make.   So it is important that you remember that  Real Estate even if your purchase is your your home, it is also your INVESTMENT!  How exciting is that!  So you are an Investor!  This may be the first item in your portfolio.

Analyzing your Finances is the first step in making any purchase.  Remember the saying, “Don’t try to keep up with the Jones’”.   They look like they have it all.  They may be up to their eyeballs in debt too.  Financial peace is a better goal.   If you want that too,  then gain and keep control of your finances.  Know how much you can comfortably afford.    There are numerous computer programs, applications, spreadsheets, and even financial booklets that can help you keep track of your Income and Spending habits.  Find what works best for you.  You will need all your financial records that pertain to your current income and expenses to proceed.  

Have you created a Budget?

If you have an accounting program already in use that includes all of your financial income and expenses, and it is up to date, then you are ahead of the game.  If not, then you will need to gather your income, banking account, credit card accounts, and any other financial information.  This will take time and some effort but it will be worth it.   Create a list of all income and expenses for the previous (full) year.  Take your time analyzing your expenses.   Where is your money going?  Calculate totals for the different categories. Then create an active budget listing all your household income and expenses based on the past 12 months.  If you use an accounting program then make sure it is current and up to date and print out copies to review.  Where is your money going?

We have provided a sample budget link below.  Don’t worry, this link keeps you on this website.  It is just another page.  Budget Sample 

Here are some Questions to Consider…

Income – How much do you have coming in? Tip: I do not recommend calculating Overtime into your income when determining how much of a house payment you can afford.

Expenses – Where does your money go?  Tip: Use this time to decide where you may be spending frivolously.  Don’t pick on your spouse.

Net –  How much is left at the end of the month?  Tip:  Don’t pick on your spouse.

How much do you have in your savings?

Is there a loan you are about to pay off within 6 months or a year? Tip: Lenders typically do not include payment amounts with fewer than 6 months left in your debt ratio.

How much credit card debt do you have?  Tip: Do not pick on your spouse.

What is your Debt-to-Income Ratio?    This is calculated by your lender.  It is  Expenses divided by Gross Income (before taxes).   Note: Expenses like groceries, clothes, utilities, gas, and your income taxes are generally not included in calculating your Expenses for this equation.  The lower your ratio, the less “risky” you are to the Lenders.  So where does your ratio need to be?  Read below…

FHA Manual Guidelines require no more than a 43% ratio.  The housing (expenses) ratio cannot exceed 31%. Those expenses include principle on the loan, interest, property taxes, insurance, and any association dues.

Once you feel comfortable and know what you can truly afford to move forward, then you can start interviewing lenders.

Please take the time to interview several Lenders and review my Things to consider when choosing a Lender.

Find our recommended Lenders below.

Please check out our recommended Lenders.  

Tried and True.   Just for you.

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Preparing your Home to Sell


It is important to make your home look its best before putting it on the market.  Impressing the people that walk through your home could result in better offers and more of them.  Here are some tips to help you get started.

 Start a list of things to do.  Then read below adding to your list as you go.  This list is pretty detailed.   Don’t be overwhelmed just do what you can.


Landscaping can make a home look stunning!  Make a trip to the nursery and add fresh mulch and  color to those flower beds. A landscaper might be a wise investment.  Keep your lawn watered, mowed and trimmed.  Your yard should be free of debris.  Keep trash containers, lawn equipment and bicycles housed in your garage or behind the house.  Does your driveway, porch or deck need sealed or repaired?  Clean out gutters.  Calk around windows and doors.  Completing any general maintenance items makes potential home buyers and home inspectors happy!  

The front door is where the potential buyer(s) stand while the real estate agent is preparing to enter the home.  Try a fresh coat of paint or a good cleaning on your door and porch.  A new WELCOM mat and a wreath or door decor adds an inviting touch.  Fresh flowers in a pot will add beauty and fragrance.


Reduce Clutter! Closets, cabinets, drawers, counter tops, book shelves, garages and storage sheds: Eliminate and Organize.  Consider adding hangers, racks, hooks or shelves for your mops, brooms, rakes, shovels or anything that needs stored.  It will make your closets and garage look neat and impressive.  Too much furniture?  Your home will seem to grow as you get rid of things you really don’t use.  Time for a garage sale or a visit to the Good Will or Salvation Army.  If that does not work and you still look cluttered try a storage unit or a relatives basement.

Clean, Clean, Clean!  If you have thought about hiring a house keeper, now is the time.  Clean your home like you have never cleaned it before.  Your windows, doors, walls, floors, appliances and toilets should sparkle.  Your home should look and smell fresh and clean!   

Replace any damaged, stained or dated flooring.  This is a wise investment because of the impact it has on the buyer.  Steam cleaning can also make a big difference for lightly soiled carpeting.  Choose neutral colors if you are replacing any flooring.  Remember to protect your flooring during showings by providing door mats in your foyer and entry ways.

Consider replacing any outdated appliances, counters and cabinetry in your kitchen and bathrooms.  Replacing cabinetry and vanities can be a vast improvement but can also be a costly one.  Sometimes a new countertop, a fresh coat of paint or new appliances can make an outdated kitchen look new.  The same with bathroom vanities and fixtures.  Be careful with the extent of your makeover.  These improvements might not add more value to your home but they may help you get an offer sooner and closer to your desired list price.  Again, Be careful what you spend on updates!  Get your real estate agents opinion before you make changes.

Fresh paint can make a home look new!  Eliminate dated paint colors and wall paper.  Bold colors are never recommended by your real estate agent although certain colors that are in style are inviting and actually makes your home more appealing.  Get your real estate agents opinion before making changes.

Repairs.  If your home has maintenance issues, it is more likely that potential buyers will lose interest.  If  you do receive an offer a bad home inspection can kill the deal.  Complete any repairs needed. Paint anything that needs painted. Loose door knobs or handles should be tightened.  Any broken windows should be repaired.  All light fixtures should have working light bulbs.  Rooms must have sufficient lighting.  Use highest wattage to make your rooms bright.  It is also wise to have your HVAC system and chimney cleaned and serviced for the year if you have not already.  Leave the receipt for the potential home buyer and inspector to review.  Any routine maintenance completed by the seller shows pride of ownership.  If you are unsure about completing a repair, ask your real estate agent.

Staging your home. Remove items usually left on dressers and counters such as small appliances, personal care products, photos and jewelry.  Put them in cabinets and vanities.  Replace them with a plant or a piece of decor that will compliment the room.  Photographs and refrigerator magnets need to be removed from sight.

Decorate each room as if your home is going to be plastered on the Internet…because it is!   Spend a little money on new rugs and towels for the kitchen and bathrooms.  Also try sprucing  up your bedrooms by updating bedding comforters, pillows and window treatments.  


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