Real Estate Information Archive


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7 Home-Selling Blunders To Avoid This Spring

by Cardany Realty Group

7 home-selling blunders to avoid this spring

Buyers continue to have the upper hand, which means you’ll have to play it smart. Your first move? Avoiding these common pitfalls.

Amid falling home prices, near-record-low mortgage rates and even an $8,000 tax perk from Uncle Sam, prospective buyers have plenty of reasons to dive into the real-estate market.

But with the teetering economy and financial markets, real-estate experts don't expect an aggressive bounce in sales this spring. "I don't think (home) sales will really pick up until the job market has stabilized — and that won't be this spring," says Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's

Despite some encouraging housing data, buyers will continue to have the upper hand in this home-selling season. But that doesn’t mean your house won't sell; it just means you'll have to make smarter moves to land a buyer. With the help of several experts, U.S. News & World Report compiled a list of seven home-selling moves to avoid this spring.

1. Thinking your home is the exception: It's natural to be emotionally attached to your home, especially if you've lived there a long time. But allowing this affection to obscure the realities of today's real-estate market is a serious mistake. If your local market is declining in value, you'll need to price your home at a compelling level. That will require a painful decision: to price the property at or below comparable homes in the area, even if the price point is less than what you think your home is worth. "There are still sellers out there who think that their house is the exception," says Judy Moore of Re/Max Landmark Realtors in Lexington, Mass. "They think that the other houses that are on the market are really overpriced, yet when you get to their house, they think that it should have a higher price because it is better." Overpricing a home because of an emotional attachment only makes selling it that much more difficult.

2. Not scouting the competition: Another reason sellers might price a home too high is that they're simply unaware of the dynamics of their real-estate market. To sell your home, it's essential to have a firm grasp on the conditions in your area. Sellers should study the pricing trends and sales data in their local market. But the data tell only half of the story. To fully understand the market, sellers should get a first-hand look at the nearby homes that are also up for sale. "I would recommend my sellers go look at open houses so they see how [their homes] really compare," says Ron Phipps, a broker with Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I.

3. Not checking your agent's references: An effective, experienced real-estate agent can be a big help in selling your home in today's sluggish market. But finding such a broker may not be easy. "[Real-estate] agencies these days are pinching pennies, too," says Joshua Dorkin, founder and chief executive of, a real-estate networking and information site. "A lot of them think you can just put something on Craigslist and it [will] sell, and that's not how it works anymore." To ensure you're doing business with a solid real-estate professional, contact some of his or her previous clients and ask about their experience.

4. Not prepping the property: Since buyers have many options these days, home sellers need to ensure that their property is in tip-top condition for showings. That means making any and all home repairs, ensuring that the indoor and outdoor portions of the property are immaculate, and removing clutter. "It is a very picky buyer right now, and they are ready to seize on any little thing that they see," says Elizabeth Blakeslee of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Washington, D.C. "You want your house to look cared for."

5. Being present during open houses: It's important for the sellers to be away from the home during open houses, as their presence can be unnerving to would-be buyers. "Some sellers have the mistaken idea that they are the best people to sell their house, and that is absolutely not the case," Blakeslee says. If a seller remains at home during an open house, she says, "buyers will have an uneasy feeling, and that is the feeling that they will take away from the house."

6. Taking negotiations personally: The negotiation process can be tough on sellers, as buyers may demand concessions such as price reductions or help with closing costs. Although such requests might be irksome, it's important that sellers consider them just another part of a business transaction. "It is not meant to be personal; the buyer is looking to buy as carefully as they can and pay as little as they can," Phipps says. "It is not about you, it is about them."

7. Sneering at offers: Even if you aren't crazy about a buyer's offer, don't dismiss it out of hand. "You need to be willing to negotiate with anyone and everyone who puts in an offer, even if it is one of those low-ball offers," Dorkin says. "Don't ignore it, because those people might really want the property."

This article was written by Luke Mullins of U.S. News & World Report.

The Best Time To Sell a House Is...

by Cardany Realty Group

The Best Time To Sell A House Is...

The sun is shining, the days are longer and people are wearing jean shorts and ordering chardonnay in droves. It's spring, which means that it's also the best time to sell a house. It makes sense that after a long winter spent hibernating on the couch in a Snuggie that potential homeowners would want to spend sunny weekends strolling and looking for a new home.

Jonathan J. Miller, the president of the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, confirmed our beliefs in a recent New York Times piece. "Based on the number of contracts signed each month, the spring is still the ‘Super Bowl’ of annual real estate sales,” Mr. Miller said. June is the top month for the number of contracts signed which means the properties were most likely listed in May. In fact, June sees 90 percent more sales than December.

Are you thinking of selling your property? Here, five reasons to take the leap:

1. Gorgeous weather puts everyone in a good mood. "May weather is ideal for selling a home because gardens are in bloom. In the fall, home seekers are reminded of the leaves they'll need to rake, and in the winter they'll often see how much snow needs to be shoveled. In the spring they'll be imagining the barbecues to come," Ryan Nickum, a blogger for told The Huffington Post.

2. School's out! Changing schools is a big deal for families, so people with kids prefer to move during the summer so the children have the summer to get adjusted before the school year begins.

3. Potential buyers and real estate agents are hungry for new inventory after winter. "April officially kicks off Open House Month and home buyers are pounding the pavement in search of the perfect fit,” said Alison Schwartz, Vice President, Corporate Communications at

4. Spring weather shows the property in its best light. Potential buyers are less likely to think about the exorbitant heating and cooling costs when it's 70 degrees outside.

5. Tax refunds are in the air (and in wallets). Potential buyers may have a little extra cash in their pockets and may be more excited to look for a new home.

No matter when you list your home, it's imperative to consider the details. "Little things like presenting and photographing the home correctly, pricing the home just under what it's worth in order to get a bidding war started, listing the house mid-week with the intent of picking an offer the following Monday or Tuesday and doing open houses in markets where people expect them," CEO Galen Ward told The Huffington Post.

Basic Lawn Care Tips

by Cardany Realty Group

Basic Lawn Care Tips

A lush, green lawn is one of the pleasures of summer. Soft under foot and soothing to the eye, healthy grass can stand up to a surprising about of warm weather abuse from kids, pets, sun and drought. Fortunately, basic lawn care tips can keep your grass strong and resilient all season long.

Seeding and Patching

If your lawn is thin or patchy, use a high quality seed to restore thickness. For small bare spots, there are combination seed, fertilizer and mulch kits available. These all-in-one products can be used on small bare at any time during the growing season. Larger areas can be overseeded using a broadcast spreader during cooler weather in early spring or fall. Overseeding is used to fill in thin spots and improve the overall vitality and thickness of the lawn. Thicker lawns hold moisture and crowd out weeds. To prevent dog urine spots, flush the area with water each time your dog urinates. This is a more effective--and cheaper--alternative to urine acidifiers.


The best time of day to mow is late afternoon or early evening. This gives the grass blades time to recover from the trauma of cutting. recommends that "most grasses should be maintained at a height of about 2 inches during the spring and fall and at 2½ to 3 ½ inches during the hot summer months." Longer grass blades shade the soil to reduce water loss and weed growth. Cut no more than one-third of the grass blade length to prevent thatch buildup and protect the tender undergrowth from the scorching sun.


Early morning watering discourages fungal diseases and conserves water. Deep, infrequent watering discourages shallow root growth and improve the plants' drought resistance. Apply 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water once a week. Grass can survive during periods of drought with very little water. The blades will turn brown the the crown and roots will survive with only 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water every two weeks. When cooler, wetter weather returns, the grass will regrow.


Fertilize your lawn during its active growing periods in spring and fall. In the spring, do not apply fertilizers before the grass has broken dormancy and begun to green. If you have a crabgrass problem, use a corn gluten-based pre-emergence weed control. This non-toxic "weed and feed" product give spring grass a needed nitrogen boost while preventing the germination of annual crabgrass seeds.


10 Ways to Sell Your Home in the Spring

by Cardany Realty Group



10 Ways to Sell Your Home in the Spring

Tips for Winning Over Spring-Time Home Buyers


Spring is the optimum time to sell a home. Regardless of whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market, inventory almost always rises in the spring. Why? Because the largest number of buyers are actively searching for a new home during the months of April, May and June.


Here are 10 things you can do to improve the odds that your home will stand out among the sea of new listings flooding the spring-time real estate market:

1) Wash windows inside and out / polish all mirrors

Sparkle is free, and sparkle sells homes. A potential buyer may not realize why your home seems so inviting but will feel drawn to it if the windows are spotless and your mirrors reflect sunlight. Cleaning is the first step to preparing your home for sale.

2) Rake the yard / trim back bushes

Clean out dead leaves and debris in your lawn. Don't let overgrown vegetation block the windows or path to the entrance. Cutting bushes and tree limbs will let the sun inside and showcase the exterior of your home.

3) Mow diagonally and edge lawn along driveway / sidewalks

Artfully manicured lawns are edged and tell buyers you pay attention to small details. Diagonally mowed lawns make your yard appear larger.

4) Transplant tulips and daffodils or buy flowers in containers

Yellow flowers stimulate buying urges. After a long winter, everybody is anxious to see the first signs of spring. Yellow tulips and daffodils induce feelings of happiness and contentment. Arrange containers in groups of three or five near the entrance.

5) Clean drapes, curtains & blinds and open every window

Send your window coverings to the dry cleaners or wash, dry and press. Toss blinds into a soapy bathtub for a quick wash. Get rid of all accumulated dust and spider webs. Crisp linens and a spring-time breeze through the windows invites the season inside.

6) Set out fresh-smelling flowers such as just-clipped lilac branches or peonies

Why not flatter your neighbors and ask if you can borrow flowers from their yards? Natural scents are more appealing than artificial and trigger fewer allergies among those susceptible. Peony vases are designed to hold peonies upright, but wash the flowers first to avoid carrying ants inside. Clever home staging brings color and fragrance indoors.

7) Polish floors to a high gloss

Your hardwood floors should be refinished, if necessary. Make your ceramic and linoleum floors twinkle and shine. Bleach dull grout. Thoroughly clean all area rugs.

8) Utilize towels, throws, pillows in light colors – yellows, pinks, pale blues, lavenders

Even if it means replacing items, towels, linens, throws and sofa pillows are inexpensive accents you can buy. In soft spring colors, they will light up a room. Layer towels on bathroom towel racks and place rolled wash cloths on the counters in a fashionable pyramid.

9) Offer an outside mat for cleaning shoes & put umbrella stand at entrance

No matter where you live, spring weather is often unpredictable. In some states, it can be 72 degrees one day and snowing the next. If it's raining, give buyers a place to stash umbrellas and wipe their feet before entering your home. Some sellers lay down plastic runners across floors for protection, but that tends to ruin the effect of a glittering polish job.

10) Set tables with fresh linens and table settings.

Set the stage for potential home buyers to tour your home as if it were a model home.  Use a table linen to cover a scratched table or polish to show off one in good condition.  Set at least two table settings with plates, cloth napkins, silverware, and glassware to add that special touch of elegance. 


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