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10 Things To Do Before Realtor Comes to List or Show Your House

by Terri's Team


1. Get rid of any extra furniture- This means that any furniture that doesn’t serve a real, functional purpose needs to go. It can be sold, or just in storage, but it needs to get out of the house. Excessive furniture usually makes the room size shrink.  And Buyers like big spacious rooms, so let’s open up that room space.


2. Pick up the mess - Before your Realtor comes to take any listing photos or show your house, hide the toys, pick up the clutter and throw everything into bin or laundry tote and put in your car if you do not have any other storage pace. Buyers want the spaces they are looking at to feel fresh, clean, and grown up.


3. Open doors- Be sure to open all of your interior doors when your house is being shown. And when Realtor comes to take photos, it helps the photos flow together so that the potential buyers can understand the layout of the home more easily. When showing, you don’t want any big surprises. The potential buyers need to be able to easily walk from one room to the next.


4. Turn on lights- When showing your home, turn on all of the lights before you leave. This is especially the case if your house has light switches in strange places. The last thing you want the potential buyers to do, is search for your light switches. By having the lights on, it makes the home feel brighter and cozy.


5. Good smells- The smell of your home will be one of the very first things that the potential buyers register in their brains when looking at your home. Be sure it is a good smell! I like to leave all of my warmers on. And use a scent that is not to overwhelming.  Buyers use all of their senses when choosing a home.  So make your house smell great!


6. Ask your Realtor to have a professional photographer to take photos - Chances are, the first impression of your house will be by the photos that potential buyers will see on your listing. Make sure they are good! There are so many times I see pictures that have awkward angles that make the rooms look much smaller than they are. There are also several listing photos out there with clutter all over the place! Potential buyers want to look at photos of a clean house. Pay attention to detail when you get your house ready for listing photos to be taken.


7. Fix up the curb appeal- This doesn’t mean that your front yard needs an entire makeover, but make sure that it looks warm and inviting. Plant some flowers, fix your fence, and mow your lawn. It is the little things that really make a difference.


8. Clear off counter tops- Nobody wants to look at clutter. Put your bread and bananas in the cupboard before your house is shown. Do not leave cleaning products out.  You want potential buyers to feel like there is plenty of counter space. While you are at it, take down the cutter off of your fridge to make your kitchen feel fresh and clean.


9. Clean doors- You don’t realize just how dirty your doors are until you start scrubbing them down! Clean the doorknobs to make sure they aren’t sticky and make sure there aren’t dirty fingerprints all over the door. It is a small detail that most people won’t notice unless they are dirty most likely. You don’t want potential buyers to notice dirty doors.


10. Clean your windows- There is so much dirt, dust, and who knows what else that gets stuck to windows. Clean them inside and out. It is amazing to see how much more light comes through when the windows are clean. It makes the entire room feel cleaner too.

Reasons to Buy New Construction

by Kecia Burkart

1. You can tackle your wish list instead of the dreaded repair list

Wake up on a Saturday morning with a plan of decorating your home. You hang a piece of art on the wall and shop for that new coffee table on your wish list. Sounds good huh?

When you buy an older home, you may not get to this stage for quite some time. Your weekends will most likely be spent scraping popcorn off the ceiling, replacing the faucets or installing a bathroom fan. The quickest way to stop the renovation blues is to buy a brand new home. With a new home, you can trade your repair list for your wish list.

2. Storage for a new century

Sixty years ago, closets were smaller. Wardrobes weren't as large and people only tended to own a few pairs of shoes. Flash forward to the twenty-first century and things have changed. From holiday decorations to kids' toys, to simply larger wardrobes, the modern closet needs have grown. When you purchase a new home, the storage areas will match the needs of the modern lifestyle. No more trying to cram your clothing into a 1960s closet!

3. Energy efficiency

Even small features can make a difference when it comes to energy efficiency. With an older home, you may be facing energy-sucking appliances, bad insulation and more. New homes are built tighter—and that's before you add in many of the energy efficient features available today.

4. Modern layouts for modern families

The great thing about new homes is they are designed for the modern lifestyle. Kitchens often overlook the family room so you can keep an eye on your kids while you cook. No more slaving away behind a stove while the rest of the crowd enjoys the game! Work from home? Many floor plans offer a separate home office. Have a bunch of kids plus their friends? Add a bonus room.

5. Design you’ll love

One of the worst things about buying a resale home is settling for someone else's taste in decor. Even renovated homes may have different finishes and fixtures than you would have selected yourself. With a new home built from the ground up, you're in the driver seat

6. Safety

Asbestos, lead paint and lack of adequately placed smoke detectors are just a few of the things you may find in an older home. Put your mind at ease! With new construction, you won't have the hassle of adding and replacing items to bring your home up to current safety standards.

Low Inventory Real Estate Markets

by Kecia Burkart

If you have been keeping up with real estate news, you know we're in a low inventory housing market. There are fewer homes for sale and the competition for the best homes can be brutal. For the first time in years, bidding wars are making a comeback in many markets. Despite these challenges, now is still a great time to buy a home. Interest rates are low and prices have yet to skyrocket back to where they were in 2005 when things were really booming. But how do you make a smart move in a low inventory housing market?

Consider new construction

Tired of losing the bidding war battle? Build from the ground up! You can choose your floor plan, choose your lot and watch your home go up from start to finish. Homebuilders usually sell lots on a first-come basis, so the day you contract is the day you reserve your land. No more worrying if another buyer is going to come in with a better offer. Plus, many floor plans have options for personalizing the layout with extra bedrooms, a study or a finished basement. So you can buy a home and pick out all of the finishes.

Consider a remodel

Even in a low inventory market there are homes that simply take longer to sell. Choose a home that has been on the market for a long time, needs updates that many Buyers cannot see around or one that has a strange layout.  Then hire a contractor and make it your own.  You could get a good deal on a home that has been on the market for a long time and has a motivated Seller.

Make your offer stand out

In this market, once a “hot property” hits the market you need to get out there and preview the resale home, make an offer (and make it a good one) seek a Realtor’s advice of comparable properties have sold for to determine what a good offer would be, if you want to secure the property. Gone are the days of viewing the property and then take a week to think about it and then come in with an offer thousands below the asking price. If you want the home to be yours you do not need to wait or another Buyer will out time or outbid you.  Don’t forget to come with your pre-approval letter in hand and earnest money in the bank.

Seven years after the recession began, only one in 50 U.S. counties has fully bounced back, according to a study the National Association of Counties released Monday.

The 2014 County Economic Tracker shows that 65 of the nation’s 3,069 counties have met or surpassed pre-recession levels in four measured categories: jobs, unemployment rate, economic output and home prices.

Those places range from Anderson County, S.C., to McKenzie County, N.D., to Kodiak Island, Alaska.

National employment surpassed 2007 levels during 2014 and the U.S. gross domestic product had fully recovered from the recession by 2011. But the national unemployment rate was 5.6% in December compared with 5% when the recession began seven years earlier. And housing values in much of the country have yet to fully return.

The recovered counties are largely located in energy-rich areas and have small populations. Of the 65 recovered counties, 24 are in Texas and 16 are in North Dakota. The others are generally in the middle of the country, including nine in Minnesota and eight in Kansas.

None of the recovered counties has more than 500,000 residents.

Only one large county, Kent County, Mich., has bested its prerecession unemployment rate. That county had a 3.5% unemployment rate in November, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. That was down from 5.3% in November 2007. But housing prices in the area that includes Grand Rapids, Mich., have not fully recovered.

Strong job growth and a national economy forecast by the Federal Reserve to near 3% GDP growth in 2015 should allow more counties to fully recover this year. But shifts in population and industries could mean that many counties struggle for extended periods to match 2007 economic readings.

Cobbs Glen Subdivision - Anderson, SC

by Kecia Burkart

Cobbs Glen is an amenity rich community with a manicured golf course, community swimming pool, numerous well maintained tennis courts, club house and children’s playing area.  These amenities are offered through optional memberships through Cobbs Glen Country Club.

Cobbs Glen is one of Anderson County’s larger communities and is well established with homes that have been built 25+ years ago and others are new. Cobbs Glen has a wide variety of home designs; that range from the traditional to contemporary and even craftsman styles. More than half of the home sites back up to fairways/green providing nice golf course & pond views. The average home size is 3000 square feet with a range of 1500 to over 5000 square feet.

This established neighborhood offers mature trees and winding roads for wonderful homestead feel. A wide variety of homes sizes and prices can accommodate almost any life style.

If golf is your true love you will enjoy the fact that Cobbs Glen golf course is managed by AAG Golf Group.  How is that a benefit?  When you join the Cobbs Glen Country Club under the Palmetto Membership, you will have unlimited access to play all of their area golf courses - Anderson Country Club, Boscobel Golf and Country Club, Brookstone Meadows Golf and Country Club, Pickens Country Club, & Woodhaven County Club.

How to Choose the Realtor Right for You

by Kecia Burkart

If you read our blog regularly you know that I am always saying hire the right Realtor and interview several before deciding.  A good Realtor and Mortgage Lender can make a REAL difference in your real estate experience. Here is a list of questions to help guide your selection process.

You should interview at least three agents before hiring and signing a buyer representation or listing contract. You can find agents through online research or ask for referrals from your friends and family.

When interviewing agents make sure to listen carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand the lingo

1. Are you a full-time agent?

A part-time agent puts you at a disadvantage in terms of your ability to compete with other buyers and sellers. It limits speed of action and knowledge of changing conditions.

2. How many purchase and sale transactions have you completed?

A minimum level of expertise is generally acquired after closing about 20-30 transactions of various types.

3. Are you a Listing Agent or a Buyers Agent or both?

Some real estate agents specialize with either Buyers or Sellers.  These agents likely have expertise in their area that real estate agents represent Buyers and Sellers may not.

4. If you are looking to sell your house? 

Ask what Marketing strategies the real estate agent would use to sell your home.  Also ask if they have any PAID online ad packages so you know your home is getting the most exposure as possible. 

5. Describe your negotiation strategies and describe how they might change based on circumstance.

Good agents will adjust their strategies based on the personality types involved in the transaction and the supply and demand of a property.

Winter Is Best Time to Sell, Study Shows

by National Association of Realtors

The housing market doesn’t hibernate in the winter. Sellers who list and buyers who buy often find the winter season the most advantageous time to make a move in real estate, according to a new study by the real estate brokerage Redfin. The winter season officially takes place between Dec. 21 and March 20, and real estate professionals should be ready for a season that often brings in more focused and active sellers and buyers.

In an update to a two-year analysis it completed last year, Redfin researchers studied nationwide home listings, sales prices, and time-on-market data from 2010 through October 2014.

The study found that February is “historically the best month to list, with an average of 66 percent of homes listed then selling within 90 days,” according to Redfin’s research.

Even in cold weather cities – such as Boston and Chicago – researchers found that home sellers were better off listing their homes in the winter than during other seasons.

The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November. Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.

Redfin researchers found that in 2012 December listings were producing the highest percentage of above-asking sales for the entire year at 17 percent.

Researchers say the winter market is less competitive for sellers since many people tend to wait until the spring to list. The smaller inventory of active listings help sellers get more attention from buyers on their properties. Also, many large corporations often transfer employees or hire new ones early in the year, creating opportunities for winter sellers from very motivated purchasers.

Homes that are “priced right and show well can sell any time” of the year, says Nela Richardson, chief economist for Redfin. Winter buyers tend to be “serious buyers... Most people are not window-shopping” in December and January, like they do in the spring months, Richardson adds.

Sellers shouldn’t worry about the holidays hampering their chances either. A 2011 study conducted by® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

As for buyers, they may find winter a good time to make a move too. Sellers often are more flexible about negotiations over prices and terms than they would in the spring, real estate professionals say.

“People get more realistic at this time of year,” particularly if their homes hadn’t sold during the summer and fall, says Mary Bayat, a broker in Washington, D.C., and chairwoman-elect of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Source: “Best Time to List a Home for Sale? Winter, Redfin Says,” Los Angeles Times (Dec. 14, 2014)


DIY Home Repairs

by Kecia Burkart

In the winter we tend to stay indoors more often and you start to look around and maybe you notice a few repairs that need to be made.  These may be small repairs that were overlooked in the warmer months when you spent your time at the pool, lake and enjoying the outdoors.

So here are a few things that I have noticed at my house and if they are at your house too this is how to fix them.  Simple repairs that a lady with a basic tool kit can accomplish so I am sure you can too. 

First of all walk through all of the rooms in your house and look at the little things that may need attention. Forget about the major renovations that is a subject for another blog post.  Make a list and head to the home improvement center or hardware store.

* Scratched Wood Cabinet or HW Floors - Hardware stores sell a number of scratch fillers that look like pencils or crayons. Find the shade that most closely matches your cabinet and rub it into the scratch. Or you can try a similar product that is more like a felt-tip pen and comes in different shades of ink.

* Loose Laminate Countertops - Buy an adhesive such as Liquid Nails and apply it beneath the laminate. Press the laminate down and put something heavy on top until it dries. Liquid Nails and similar products are available at hardware and home improvement stores.

 * Squeaky door hinges – One can of WD40 with the extension on the nozzle and that door no longer squeaks, it is quiet as a mouse.

* Loose handles or hinges on furniture, cabinets, and doors. You can probably fix these with a few quick turns of a screwdriver.

* Drippy Faucet - First, turning off the water that flows to drip at valves under the sink. Once the handle is off, remove the chrome cylinder underneath, then remove the nut that holds the stem in place. Next just pull out the stem and replace the washer. New faucets have "seats" that serve the same purpose as a washer, but you need to buy one that's specifically for the brand and model of your faucet. So just take the faucet to a hardware or home improvement store if you need help identifying the model.

* Creaky floor boards. Dust a little talcum powder into the seam where floorboards meet and the talcum acts as a muffler to quiet boards that rub against each other.

* The burn out light bulb that is stuck.  Now what? First, unplug the fixture. Then, wearing leather work gloves and safety goggles, carefully twist the bulb until it loosens. Cover it with a rag for extra protection. If it shatters, remove the glass shards. Then unscrew the base of the bulb by firmly pressing a raw, unpeeled potato or a bar of soap into the socket and giving it a good twist. If the spud or soap slips, press it in harder and try again until the base breaks free.


Mistakes First Time Buyers Make

by Kecia Burkart

If you are a first-time home buyer, everything is exciting!  Searching hours online, touring homes, dreaming big and then you go to the bank for pre-approval.  You cannot believe the amount of money they are going to loan you (it could be a larger amount than you expect or quite a shocker of how less or even not at all). Helpful tip – Go get pre-approved first!

There are a multitude of decisions to make and numerous houses to see.  Before you start looking, make sure you’re not going to make a newbie first-time buyer mistakes.

1. Back to that tip I already mentioned – Get Pre-approved

If you haven’t been pre-approved, don’t go shopping. Go to your local bank, or a mortgage lender and talk to them about what your needs are.  They are likely to run your credit, take income information and various other information and presto they will let you know how much they will lend you.  Next comes the important part, how much is your monthly payment and can you afford the full amount they will lend you or should you pare down and look at lesser expensive houses.

2. Thinking You Can Do It By Yourself

All of that online research you have done I am sure that you feel that you are an expert but a Realtor is a valuable.  Choose a Realtor that is experienced and an expert in YOUR area that you are looking at.  The Realtor is paid by the Seller so you are getting all of their expertise and negotiation skills for FREE.  To me that is a no brainer.  Find the best Realtor you can.

3. The Perfect House

In many cases, your budget and your dream home do not align.  The best thing to do in this case is to shop the market.  There will be a home that has potential. A potential home should have good curb appeal – this means that the homeowners have taken the time to fix up their home and have most likely made the home move-in ready.  Maybe the dream home has a swimming pool and picket fence but if you do not have the budget get as much square footage you can with the features you can afford.  You can always add the pool or features you did not get later when you update the house.

4. The Home Inspection

You have done it!  You and your Realtor have found a house, the contract has been negotiated, you have your pre-approval letter from the Lender and the earnest money to put down.  Whew!  Next a very important step, even if your bank doesn’t require it, you should always have a home inspection contingency on your home purchase. Hiring a licensed and experienced home inspector who will thoroughly inspect your home is an important step on the home buying experience. Regardless of the age and condition of the home, first-time home buyers can benefit from the expert advice of a home inspector. Home inspectors spend several hours assessing a home and provide a lengthy, written report on their findings.



Tips for Selling Your Home over the Holidays

by Kecia Burkart

Well here is the good news!  If your home is on the market over the holidays you have a great chance to sell it if it is priced right.  Why?  Less competition! Many people will wait until after the holidays are over before putting their house on the market (usually after Super Bowl is over) because they do not want their holiday to be disrupted.

More good news!  Holiday Buyers mean business.  They are not your “looky loos” that are out looking for the fun of it.  Everyone has plenty to do during the holidays and that is not something an “iffy” Buyer wants to put on his or her to-do-list. Supply and demand take over the last quarter of the year.

So if you’re selling your home this holiday season, then there are some things you need to know about decorating. You will have potential buyers requesting showings. This means you need to consider more than just your personal style and taste when bringing out festive decorations. Houses show better when they’re decorated over the holidays but the question is what kind of decorations?

Before Listing

It is better to have professional photos done before you decorate.  This way your listing will not be dated when the holidays are over.  There is nothing worse than seeing a home decorated to the hilts after the holidays.  So talk to you Realtor and get those photos done before the decorations go up.

Less Can Be Better

A home that is covered in holiday décor can easily appear smaller and overwhelming to Buyers.  They often cannot see past the decorations to see the house you want them to buy.  Many Buyers have problems seeing past things such as large furniture in the regular buying season so you can see how tinsel and a plethora of holiday decorations can hurt your odds of selling. 

You want buyers to fall in love with your home, not the decorations. If you are going to put out pumpkins and fall wreathes, put away your everyday style pieces. If you have a tree for Christmas, pack up your end table or extra chair nearby. Getting rid of clutter, unnecessary furniture and keeping just a few simple decor pieces makes your home appear bigger and better.

Décor Should be Neutral & Natural

Natural holiday decorations are a great choice because they bring the outdoors in and are subtle yet sophisticated. For fall choose pumpkins, gourds, colored leaves and pinecones as accents. For winter decorate with fresh evergreen wreathes, berries, rosemary branches and lights.  And just think of how great that pine rosemary is going to make your house smell.

Holiday Music

Turn on some festive holiday music during your showing.  There is nothing like Bing Crosby singing White Christmas or Nat King Cole singing The Christmas Song to get a Buyer in a good mood while viewing your home.



Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 119

Contact Information

Terri's Team
Keller Williams Realty - Western Upstate
4107 Liberty Highway
Anderson SC 29621
Fax: 864-226-9238

Terri’s Team is licensed in SC & GA and located in SC