Archive for the ‘Real Estate Tips’ Category

When a rental property gets in your hands, should you hold or fold. Are you thinking about outsourcing it to a property management firm or doing it yourself? Do you think you can handle toilets, tenants, and trash?

It doesn’t take a lot to turn your everyday homeowner into a landlord. Perhaps you need to move out of state for work but want to keep your home and have it rented out. Or perhaps you get married and move in to another house. While a lot of individuals would want to have an extra house that they can worry about, managing a rental property can be a headache. Among other matters, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your property worth hanging onto?
  • How do you feel about strangers living into your home?
  • Can you work with tenants from hell?

Can you be a landlord?

The biggest determinant factor on whether you can be a good landlord is your temperament. Ask yourself if you have the skill and time to do this task properly. Aside from the keeping your business afloat, you also need to provide a safe and smoothly functioning house for your tenants. Your rental home’s wiring, plumbing, stairways, and outdoor areas should be safe. You also need to advertise your rental, screen and select the right tenants, and evict (if you must). If this sounds hard for you, then you might just opt for a property management firm that will do all the said tasks for you.

Outsourcing and Getting that Peace of Mind

When you think about all these landlord responsibilities, there is much to be said for getting professional help. Hiring a skilled property manager will cost you around 10% of your home’s monthly rent. When choosing a property management, make sure you ask them a list of services that they provide, professional references, insurance coverage, and etc. Ask the company if they offer a 24-hour maintenance service for all their rental properties.

Check out property management reviews online to prove the credibility and reputation of the company. Always remember that having a rental property is a business. If this isn’t something that you like, it is better to let go and stick to something that you enjoy!



In today’s declining market where supply is greater than the demand, an individual can sell a home faster by reducing the price. However, aside from lowering the price, there are other ways to improve your home’s attractiveness and market value. If you are looking to sell your house in this cool real estate market, here are a few handy tips on how you can generate interest and get the best price for your home.

Differentiate your property from the neighbours.

Make your home more memorable and attractive by adding custom designs or additions, such as high grade windwows, an updated Timberline roof, or perhaps a new landscaping. Aside from improving your property’s aesthetics, this also adds value to your home. Any home improvements or renovations should use designs and colors that appeal to a broader audience. It should also compliment your house and other amenities, such as a patio or deck in front of a swimming pool. In this cooling real estate market, you should take advantage of each small edge that you can get.

Clean and de-clutter.

Make sure you remove all clutter from the house before even showing it to potential buyers. They may have to take pictures of the interior. Remove unnecessary furniture to make the room bigger. Put away any personal items and family photos in the living room. You can also hire a stager to help you maximize the use of space inside your house. Although staging costs may be quite expensive, it is a worthy investment. A lot of homeowners feel that stagers can make their home more marketable and appealing, so make sure you choose the right professional for the job.

Spice up the deal.

Offer potential homebuyers terms that can sweeten the pot. For instance, sellers that provide a few thousands of dollars toward closing costs may receive more attention from homebuyers who are searching for similar homes. You can also offer a transferable home warranty, which costs around $350 for a whole year policy and covers appliances failure such as refrigerators and conditioners.

Enhance your home’s curb appeal.

More often than not, homeowners overlook the significance of a home’s curb appeal. The initial thing that a buyer sees is your home’s facade and how it fits to the neighborhood. Your exterior should have a fresh coat of paint, and make sure that the lawn and bushes are well manicured.

Prepare your home in a “move in” condition.

Although aesthetics are important, having appliances, doors, and plumbing/electrical fixtures with the latest building codes is also crucial. Give homebuyers the impression that they will be able to move in as soon as possible.

Price your home right.

Regardless of how well you stage or improve your home, it is important that you set an appropriate price for it. Ask a realtor, read newspapers, or check out sites like and for prices of comparable homes in your neighbourhood.

Selling a home in a declining real estate market needs a little extra work. Post ads on free home owner listings online. Keep your home in excellent shape and be prepared to make a few concessions at closing. The said tips along with an attractive price increase your home’s odds of getting sold.

Before even purchasing a home, it is crucial that you have the house checked by a credible home inspector. Buying a house is already costly but why do you have to spend an extra $400 when you aren’t really required to? Home inspection services ensure high quality investments by letting them know the condition of the house and raising a flag on any repair/maintenance issues. This will also help improve confidence, relieve stress and reduce legal actions in the future. Here are some of the benefits of a home inspection service.

  • Peace of mind. A home inspection helps you make a sound purchasing decision.
  • Savings. A home inspector reveals to you all the replacements and repairs to be done before signing the deal.
  • Knowledge. Gives you a good understanding of whether you are purchasing an old or new house.
  • Lesser surprises. Home inspection minimizes the number of issues that you will likely encounter as soon as you move in.
  • Education. A professional home inspection report offers invaluable details about your new home and the overall condition of your investment.

Qualities to Look for in a Home Inspector

Before even looking at home inspector reviews or a home inspection directory, make sure you review some of these inspector qualities. Choosing the wrong company may cost you thousands in replacement and repair costs.

  • Home inspection training. Did your inspector go through comprehensive home inspection training? Does he have a license?
  • Experience. How long has your home inspector been working in the industry? Find someone who is well versed in the industry and who has inspected thousands of homes.
  • Liability insurance. Does your home inspector have insurance if ever legal issues arise?
  • Organizational memberships. Is your home inspector a member of a professional organization? Among the most popular associations include the National Association of Home Inspectors and the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Read on home inspection service reviews online and find out the best professionals in your area. Don’t attempt to save money by settling with a cheap provider—this might cost you more in the long run.

In today’s struggling real estate market, you probably need all the help you can get. So how do you attract more potential homebuyers to view your home? Nowadays, you are going to need more than just a ‘For Sale’ sign and an advertisement in paper. For decades, hiring the services of a professional real estate agent has always been the effective tool in selling your house. Your realtor lists your property on a multiple listing service.

A multiple listing service is an exclusive collection of private databases used by realtors and agents who have agreed to share their listing agreements with each other to help potential homebuyers find properties faster. Brokers ear a certain commission whenever their listed property is sold and when they help sell as a buyer’s representative. Along with the multiple listing services, realtors can also resort to real estate listing services like, and

What are some of the benefits of multiple listing services to consumers? Homeowners can now expose their homes to thousands of homebuyers around the country that you would otherwise never reach. And as a homebuyer, you get to have instant access to homes that match your criteria, aside from location and average price range.

You can also find a real estate listing site that will give you an estimate on mortgage payments, real estate taxes and utilities on a specific property. This feature saves people who are involved in the transaction (that includes sellers, buyers and real estate agents) the legwork in going through millions of properties available in the market.

Because of the advancing Internet search functionalities these days, buyers and sellers have realized their less need for the MLS. Today, there are plenty of online service providers that specialize in real estate listings. Whether you are selling or purchasing a house, make sure you look into real estate listing sites. Expand your online reach as much as you can for positive results.

Are you looking to rent out your property in the market? Here are a few tips to help you find the best property manager for the job. Try to find someone who acts on your best interest without robbing you off the bank.

Watch the cost.

There are plenty of companies who will charge you for a week’s rent on top of their five to ten percent service charge whenever a tenant decides to move in. If you have a six month lease period for new tenants, then you could end up paying two weeks worth of rent to your agent annually. It is crucial that you analyze the offers that you get from property managers before even hiring them.

Check for professionalism.

How does the staff treat you when you enter the office? Are they putting on a good impression? Is the staff courteous and friendly? Are they well informed about the different property management procedures? There are some property managers who display little know-how and the lack of procedures when you set foot on their office.

Check for market knowledge.

Make sure you hire a property manager who is familiar and knowledgeable about your city or town. You may want to get someone who already established a good relationship with a pool of tenants. If they are aware what the tenant wants, they will most likely match your home with the right individual who will reduce the potential for complications and issues in the future.

Ask your agent for an appraisal.

A rental property appraisal is a free service that most real estate agents can provide you. Agents can look at your property and appraise it before you put it up in the rental market. A good property manager should be able to provide with a written quote, a summary of all fees and charges and the required documents for you to secure.

Find an agent who is readily available.

Another important aspect that you should consider in hiring a property manager is to find someone who will likely stick around. Customer support is the key in ensuring long term business relationships. It is pretty hard to keep respect and trust upstanding if you always end up dealing with an office apprentice for months down the track.

Meet and greet your property manager.

Make sure you meet your property management agent in person before even signing a contract. Read and understand all legal implications of the deal, including costs and the expectations placed on you.

Investment properties are supposed to earn you money, and not cost you overtime. Find the right property management company that will spare you from all the money and headaches. Try to give each offer respect and due care and then decide which property manager works best for you.


When the real estate market transition from being a seller’s to a buyer’s market, realtors tend to put more money and work into listings. Good marketing strategies may not be able to sell your home, but it will make the phone ring. And if buyers won’t call, you may not be able to sell.

Photograph the front area. A lot of home buyers start their online search so good images are essential. Listings without an exterior photo are often ignored and passed over. Crop out streets and sidewalks. Remove vehicles from the driveway. Clear away any plants blocking the front door.

Exterior photos. If you are selling a condo or a townhome without a yard, try to take photos of the pool, spa, clubhouse or tennis court. If you have a yard, buyers may want to see that too. Emphasize spaces in your images. Remove any evidence of pets inside the home. Pack away toys and other kid stuffs. Mow lawn and trim the bushes before taking pictures.

Interior photos. Take pictures of each room. Open blinds and drapes when shooting. Turn on the lights, remove trash bins, close toilet lids and use floral arrangements in dining rooms and kitchens. Avoid shooting mirrors since they will reflect your image.

Virtual tours. Every home should have a virtual tour even if it is only two spins. Virtual tours aren’t just for million dollar homes anymore. A good virtual tour will capture the attention of buyers. You can add music, sound or exciting descriptions to showcase your virtual tour.

Signage. Signage encourages buyers to call your listing agent. There are some homeowner associations which don’t allow real estate signs. There are also HOAs which only allow window signs.

Free Classifieds. There are hundreds of free online classified sites where you can post your property today. Craigslist is a popular classifieds site that divides its ads into communities, which makes it easier for potential homebuyers. Kijiji, Zillow, and Trulia are popular posting sites as well.

Open houses. Not every house is a suitable for open house because of its location or some other factors. Place open house signs in your neighborhood to direct buyers. Advertise your open house online and in the papers.

These are just some of the most cost effective tips on how you can market your property online. Happy selling!

A successful home staging process starts with a detailed checklist that allows a homeowner to prepare the house before listing it on the market to sell. Here are easy tips to help you make the most out of the sale.

Clean, declutter and tidy up!

Create a lasting first impression by tidying the entry and ensuring a nice and attractive façade of your home. Brighten address numbers, get rid of debris or any unwanted spider webs, improve the front door’s look, and mow the front yard to improve its curb appeal. Make the entry and living room more welcoming by removing any toys, shoes strewn at the floors. Add a nice bouquet of flowers and turn on the lights to welcome guests. Vacuum floors and fluff up pillows to ensure that the room is tidy and clean.

Showcase rooms during the staging process.

Create a spotless kitchen by getting rid of any unnecessary appliances. Make sure the dishes are done and nicely put away in the cupboard. Wipe away any fingerprints and water spot from stainless steel items and prepare a bowl of citrus to accent the kitchen.

Turn the master bedroom into a sanctuary of tranquility and peace. Put on a nice set of beddings and pillows to show off the bed, the room’s focal point. Add new towels and specialty salts to the master batch as it remains to be an extension of the master suite. Clean up the closet and keep your old clothes somewhere else to showcase a better storage space.

Present a fresh and exceptionally clean bathroom by washing tiles and everything inside it with a disinfectant cleaner. Inspect and repair shower stalls for molds and spots. Replace towel rods, soaps and discard all the other toiletries you might have.

Maintain the house while home staging.

Tidy all the closets and pack away your extra belongings. This can help enlarge the closet space. Make sure that the closet floor is clean, the walls painted and all the scuff marks repaired. You can also brighten up the walls by adding nice neutral colors. Get rid of any worn out wallpaper in the rooms.

Address every detail during the selling period.

Prepare the backyard, pet kennel and the garage by packing up all belongings in boxes and making sure that the space is organized. Every homeowner is planning to move and they want to see a household that is ready to vacate. Clean up the backyard and add some flowers to add more color to the yard.


As soon as you have registered your home to free home listings or with a listing agent, make sure you remove any personal aspects of your home such as family portraits, paintings, religious artifacts and etc. In today’s tough real estate market, you need to make sure that your home stands out from the rest. Guarantee the sale of your residential real estate property with the help of these home staging tips.