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Selling a home can be a tumultuous process. While some offers may seem great upfront, it does not signify the process is almost over by any means. Between offer and closing, there is the actual sale that requires lots of time and persistence to make it through. It is often a rapid-fire time of answering and responding to emails, questions, and inquiries about credit histories and property values, and other things that can derail a home sale at any point before closing. Find out some of the top reasons why pending sales fall through and how to navigate this with an experienced realtor.

Pending Sales

Terminology is key when talking about property sales. A sale is considered to be pending when a seller accepts a buyer's offer until the sale is closed. Some agents also call this 'being under contract' or 'contract pending.' There may be contingencies that come up in the process, meaning either buyer or seller has requests that must be fulfilled as part of the contract. This prevents them from getting into the deal and being stuck if major repairs are needed. 

Mortgage Application

A common reason for pending sales to fall through is the buyer cannot qualify for financing. Most buyers finance a home because they don't have enough equity to purchase one outright. A letter is often submitted that they are pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan. This is not a guarantee, but an estimate of how much the bank believes the buyer can afford. This means checking credit history, getting verified documents of income, and making sure they have enough money to continue making payments after the purchase goes through. 

Home Inspection

The home inspection is often where good sales deals go wrong. A professional home inspection can reveal concerns or problems a buyer is not aware of, maybe even the seller, until the report comes back. Some common issues they look for:

  • Mold
  • Foundational issues
  • Roof damage or lack of upkeep
  • Interior hardware like furnaces and water heaters including the age of these appliances

Buyer's Sale

When buyers look for a new home, they are usually trying to sell their primary residence. Doing this at the same time is tricky. If they find a home they love, they might write up an offer and include a home sale contingency. They will have sometimes up to 60 days to sell their home and keep the current offer on the table. Market conditions are important to this process to see if there may be other, better offers, or if the person is definitely a good candidate to sell their home, also, and move forward with the process.

Prevention Tips

When you know what to look for, you can often take preventative steps to keep the process going smoothly. Explore some proactive measures that might be helpful:

  • Keep contingencies in mind: some sellers require a pre-approval letter and proof of funds prior to moving forward. A strong letter and good down payment are signs the buyer can get a mortgage without major issues
  • Pre-inspection: this step will alert you to problems that might hinder the sale of your property and give you time to fix them before trying it out in the market. The older the home, more repairs there will so be/ aware this can actually save money in the long run
  • Appraiser: give them a fact sheet with things like square footage and comps in the neighborhood. The appraisal may be subjective but let them know you are aware of what local averages and ranges are so you feel you get the best appraisal for your property
  • Keep a list of repairs: if you made repairs and upgrades, you are on your way. If you have a good school district, this is often a selling point for families. Consider this a selling point and look at all the things that have been dong as potential upgrades to a buyer

Real estate transactions come with real risk and uncertainty. To have more certainty in the process, it helps to have some ducks in a row ahead of time to make the process go more smoothly on the back end and sell your home or buy the potential home of your dreams. 


Trying to make the process easier is the job of a real estate agent, but there are some things sellers and buyers can do ahead of time to make it go more smoothly. If you are ready to jump into the transaction part of the journey, we will help you navigate the process of selling or buying a property. Choice Properties has experienced agents ready to answer questions and help you get started on the process. Call us to get started. 


The Home Selling Process Step-by-Step

With life comes new adventures whether you are transitioning careers, growing your family, or moving into a new neighborhood. Re-locating is a great way to start fresh and comes with new, exciting opportunities. Many families make the decision to sell their home and move to a new neighborhood. Perhaps you are attracted to the entertainment a new area has to offer, or you simply desire a home with more living space. The first step to starting this journey is to sell your home. When working with a Choice Properties real estate agent, we are sure to guide you through the home selling process step-by-step.

Step 1: Preparing Your Home to Sell

When selling your home, it's important to make the space feel welcoming for potential buyers. First impressions are powerful in real estate, as this gives buyers an opportunity to envision themselves living in the space. When preparing your home to sell, remember to focus on:

  • Cleaning. Although this may be an obvious, having a clean home free of clutter and dirt is an easy place to start. Wiping down ceiling fans and baseboards will do wonders for any home.
  • Fresh Paint. Taking time to give walls a coat of fresh paint can liven up any space. Incorporate it with curb appeal by painting the front door a bold, warm color.
  • Curb Appeal. Maintaining the outside of the home is just as important as cleaning the inside. Guests should be greeted with cut grass and landscaping as they enter the driveway.

Step 2: Listing Your Home for Showings

To get the selling process started, you must first list your home! Our professional agents will assist you in listing your home to guide you on the right path for a successful closing. A trusted agent should be knowledgeable on possessing the wealth of the area, ensuring your home is listed at the correct price. Once the home is listed, showings will be arranged. Showing a home gives potential buyers the chance to take their time when viewing the space.

Step 3: Price Negotiation

The patience from updating small features if your home to hosting showings has finally paid off as someone made an offer, congrats! This phase of the home selling process is important, as your real estate agent will use their knowledgeable negotiation skills. Once you and the buyer have agreed on a price, a formal contract will be written.

Step 4: Closing on The Sell

The final step in the home selling process is to close on the home. During this time, paperwork will be reviewed by all parties to ensure details are set in place. This details include transaction costs, adjustments, tax details, and other information. Your Choice Properties agent will assist you with the final documentation of the closing of your home to assure all questions are answered.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


How to Determine the Value of Your Home

Are you wondering what your house, or the house you might buy, is really worth? The short answer is however much someone is willing to pay for it. The long answer depends on the market and whether you have reached out to a lender. Although it is wise to hear from a professional, it's also smart to do your own research. Knowing how to calculate your home's value with the help of online tools while gaining insight from a professional will better prepare you to buy, sell, refinance, or tap into your home's equity. Learn how to determine the value of your home:

Use Online Valuation Tools

A simple google search of "how much is my house worth" will bring up a list of home value estimators. These tools will use public records of property transfers, deeds of ownership, and tax assessments to predict your home's value based on recent sales and listings in the area. Take advantage of these online tools will help you gain insight on the current real estate market in your neighborhood and allows you to compare the prices of home against each other.

Get a Comparative Market Analysis

If you are ready to dive deeper into your home market value, consider asking a local real estate agent for a comparative real estate analysis. Although this is not as detailed as a professional appraisal, a CMA provides an agent's evaluation of a home to provide an estimate value. This is typically done for listing purposes, but can also be a useful tool. The agents at Choice Properties are eager to assist you with any needs, helping you get on the right track to selling your buying your home!

Hire a Professional Appraiser

Lenders will require an appraiser before they will approve a mortgage, but as a property owner you are able to hire an appraiser any time to receive a home estimate. Other key points an appraiser will evaluate include:

  • Market: including the region, city, and neighborhood in which the home is located
  • Property: Characteristics of the house, including improvements and the land
  • Comparable properties: This includes sales, listings, cost, and vacancies within the area



Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Tips on Boosting Curb Appeal This Spring

Whether you just purchased your new home or you are interested in listing to sell, curb appeal can greatly influence the exterior of a home. Curb appeal refers to the level of attractiveness one may have on a property when viewing it from the outside. There are many ways to add pops of color and a fresh look to the exterior without having to keep up with maintenance. Consider these tips on boosting curb appeal this spring, greatly enhancing the aesthetic of the home.

Power Wash the Exterior

Winter is sure to leave a layer of dirt and debris on outside windows and siding. A bucket of hot, soapy water and a long soft-bristled brush will easily remove dirt from wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, and brick. Perhaps consider renting a power washer to scrub harsh dirt from your driveway, revealing the true cleanliness. Take this time to wash outside windows as well, while clearing gutters of fallen leaves and sticks.

Freshen Up the Paint

Although you may not want to completely repaint the outside of your house, there are still small steps you can take to give the fresh, new look. Giving the front door a new coat of paint will do wonders for your front porch. Go bold this spring with a deep violet or bright yellow paint color!

Tackle the Lawn

A well-manicured lawn includes fresh mulch, pruned shrubs, and cut grass. Replacing overgrown bushes with leafy greens and colorful annuals is great to add a pop of color to curb appeal. Surround any trees with dark or reddish-brown mulch for an easy, yet classy look. Pulling weeds and planting seasonal flowers in your garden beds makes your home feel welcoming and well-groomed.

Keep Up With Maintenance

There are certainly steps you can take each spring to make your home feel new, but keeping up with yearly outdoor maintenance is key to maintaining curb appeal. Tending to hanging gutters or peeling paint as it is occuring will save you time, trouble, and money.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Avoid These Mistakes When Selling Your House

Whether you are relocating for work or need an upgrade for a growing family, selling your home often comes with a wave of emotion. With packing and moving on your mind, stressing about selling your home is the last thing you should be worried about. The award-winning agents at Choice Properties are here to help make the process smooth and worry-free. However, there are a few key points to keep in mind when making this transition! Avoid these mistakes when selling your house to make the move easier.

Staying Emotionally Attached

When owning a home for the past few (or many) years, it's natural to form an attachment to a place you have nested and created memories with loved ones. Once you decide to sell, you will have to learn to detach and think objectively about your home's strengths and weaknesses.

Not Making Repairs

It's no secret that most homes need some maintenance or repairs. Most buyers are not interested in purchasing a home that comes with a list of updates. If your cooling/heating system is broken or the roof is missing some shingles, consider repairing these issues before listing your home on the market. Expensive repairs may be deal breakers for buyers but updating small stuff, like a broken door knob or leaking faucet, will leave a positive impression.

Not Staging Your Home

Staging your home is perhaps the most important step when selling. This gives buyers an opportunity to envision themselves in the space, increasing the likelihood of them making an offer. After you've thoroughly cleaned and decluttered, consider whether your furniture arrangements show your home at its best. If your rooms feel crowded, consider donating, selling, or giving away some items, or put them in storage.

Neglecting Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything when listing your home on the selling market. Landscaping and gardening should not be neglected during this time. Make sure the lawn is properly mowed, and even plant some flower to bring color and life to the area. Consider adding a new wreath or doormat to the front porch so buyers feel welcomed and relaxed.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Sell Your Home Fast With These Easy Updates

While preparing to list your home on a busy market, you may be wondering what repairs needs done to catch the eye of interested buyers. Big home improvements may not be necessary, but taking the time to focus on small updates will help you find a buyer in no time. To impress potential buyers, you should focus on five areas of your home. Sell your home fast with these easy updates:

Update Curb Appeal

Setting a good first impression of your home is the first step to helping it sell. Remove all clutter from the lawn and porch, like old shoes, dead plants or gardening tools. This is a great time to pressure wash your side walks and house, making it look brand new. Try hanging a new wreath or laying a new welcoming doormat by the door. Cleaning the walkway of debris and dirt will do wonders with minimal effort.

Create a Warm Welcome

Once an interested buyer has entered the home, it's important to continue the flow of cleanliness and simplicity. Entryways often consist of clutter from shoes, mail, or jackets. Clearing the space and adding baskets for mail and keys or hooks for jackets are easy updates. Adding simple art or a mirror adds a little flare to the space and keeps the area from feeling empty.

Update Your Kitchen

Kitchens are the focus point of any home. Although a full kitchen remodel isn't necessary, there are small updates that can be done to the space. Switching out cabinet hardware is one of the most common tricks in the books. This is a small task yet makes cabinets look new. Adding a tile backsplash or refreshing your grout in existing backsplash adds beautiful details.

Update Your Bathroom

Bathrooms can be a big seller point to a home buyer, where even a dated bathroom can benefit from small updates. Replacing the shower curtain can provide a color inspiration when making other changes, such as linens. Investing in a matching set of towels and a bathroom rug pulls the room together and creates a clean space. Lastly, consider replacing the mirror with a modern option that matches the faucets and counter.

Taking the time to tackle these small updates are great ways to boost selling your home. Welcoming potential buyers into a clean, updated space is the most important step and will have your home sold in no time.

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.


Tips on Selling Your Home During the Winter Months

Although winter is not the peak season for home selling, it is becoming more and more common to sell during the cold months so don't get discouraged! While it can be a challenge to sell during the holiday season, with some helpful strategies, a motivated selling agent, and marketing tips, you can find a great buyer for your home any time of the year. Learning the ins-and-outs of selling your home in the winter will prepare you for what is ahead, making the most out of the market and potential buyers.

Who is Buying in the Winter?

It is a common misconception that all home buyers purchase in the summer to prepare for their children's school year. According to Zillow, more than half buyers don't have kids under 18 living at home, meaning they are not limited with specific school schedules. To answer the question of who is buying home during the winter season, it's everyone!

Benefits of Selling During the Winter


  • Motivated buyers. While more buyers are actively looking in the spring and summer months, the buyers who are shopping in the winter are more motivated to settle.
  • Less seller competition. With fewer homes on the market in the winter, that means less competition from other sellers in the area.  
  • More time off work. People tend to take the holiday season for time to themselves, which means more free time to attend showings and open houses.


Challenges of Selling During the Winter


  • Curb appeal is limited. Winter is full of short, dreary days where darkness comes earlier and earlier. This can make it a challenge to express the exterior of the home. Consider adding appropriate lighting to the landscape and walkways.
  • Less likely to get multiple offers. In the spring and summer months, sellers usually find themselves with multiple offers to choose from. This can be less likely during the winter, where you may only have one offer at a time.
  • Financing can be delayed. The holiday season could cause banking establishments to be closed more often, making it a longer process to get financing finalized.


Selling your home in the winter can be done with perseverance and the right real estate agent. It's important to not give up, stay motivated, and stage your home accordingly. This is a chance for interested home buyers to envision their life within the space, so consider playing off the season by adding a level of coziness to the home.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


5 Home Selling Hacks for Fast Results

Selling your home may feel like a stressful time, but it doesn't have to be! The award-winning agents at Choice Properties are ready to help you sell and prepare for the next adventure in life. However, there are a few tips and tricks that will help boost the perceived value of a home to a prospective buyer. Consider trying these 5 home selling hacks when staging a home for fast results, and leave your agent to handle the hard work.


Express Statement Pieces


Potential buyers viewing your home should be welcomed to a clean, open space. Avoid clutter by packing up small nick-nacks around the house and only leave statement pieces behind, such as a couch and dining room table. This gives the buyer a chance to envision the space with their own personal items, making them more inclined to be interested.

Maximize Space With A Mirror

Perhaps the easiest trick to making a room look bigger is to hang a mirror. Place the mirror on the opposite wall you want it to reflect. For example, hanging a mirror on the opposite wall of a window will bring more greenery and natural light into the space. This hack is perfect for smaller rooms you wish to feel bigger.

Lighting Matters

Introducing proper lighting to a room can turn any space into a dreamy vision. Poor lighting instantly displeases buyers and is not worth the risk! Taking time to research the best lighting for poorly lit bathrooms and bedrooms is a simple way to bring a warm-feel to the room.

Make the Space Cozy

Be sure those viewing your home feel comfortable by leaving the thermostat on an appropriate setting for the temperature. The environment of the home is crucial, as most families enjoy a sense of feeling cozy in their space. The key is to bring a sense of coziness without being overbearing. Consider baking fresh cookies for guests to enjoy during open house, leaving buyers to feel welcomed and content.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you.

Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


How Do I Determine My Home's Value?

When going through the process of buying or selling a home, you may be wondering how to find the value of the home. The first step selling a home is determining an appraisal. Although many are familiar with the meaning of appraising a house, new home buyers are worth noting the steps and explanations behind the concept. Some may find frustration when appraising a home, due to the ever-changing process because of new Federal Guidelines. When buying or selling through Choice Properties, it is our priority to ensure the buying/selling process is smooth, free of frustration. If you find yourself asking, "How do I determine my home's value?", here is what you should know.  

Appraisals Take Longer

Unfortunately, appraisals take longer than what they used to, meaning the process now takes a couple weeks rather than a few days. It used to start with mortgage brokers who would then hire their own appraisers to determine the value of a house. Following the financial crisis, the federal government decided the arrangement was not the most efficient. Issues between appraisers and sellers disagreeing on pricing made it so appraisers weren't getting hired, therefore determining the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, which are a set of rules that strictly determine how appraisals should be made.

Cost of Appraisals

Not only do appraisals take longer than they used to, they also cost more. The cost of appraisals have gone up a couple hundred dollars, and are leaving sellers with an overwhelming amount of frustration. Those within the industry have mentioned the new crop of appraisers are inexperienced and unfamiliar with the selling market. The appraisal management companies will send appraisers anywhere from 50-100 miles away from the property, leaving them clueless on market trends.

Get Engaged in the Process

We recommend involving yourself in the appraisal process rather. Making it clear that you are interested in every step, and that you are willing to answer any questions while the appraiser is walking through the house. Clearing up mishaps, such as mistaking a countertop for laminate rather than granite, will definitely pay off in the long run. Afterall, your home deserves to be sold at the highest value possible.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


Adapt Your Home to its Selling Season for Best Results

There is a home-selling myth that spring is the best season to sell a home. Although spring is the busiest time for real estate, people are looking to buy homes everyday of the year. When making the decision to sell your home in the off peak season, consider adapting your home to its selling season for best results. Emphasizing seasonal amenities will gain the attention buyers who are looking to enjoy every feature a home has to offer. At Choice Properties, we look forward to helping you sell your home during any season, focusing on the home's features and amenities.

Decide Your Selling Season

The real estate market starts to heat up as early as February, since most families are looking to move in the spring or summer. Moving before a new school year and summer vacations is a goal commonly shared, making spring a popular season to buy or sell. Although these are peak dates to sell, not everyone's situation will be the same. Deciding how quickly you need to move will determine the urgency of needing to sell. If your moving dates are flexible, you may consider holding off until early spring for a higher sale price.


The location of your home also plays an important role on when to sell. Early spring and summer are ideal times to sell a beach or lake house, while a ski cabin is more likely to sell in the winter. Playing off the features your house offers will attract the interested buyer.

Staging Tips for Selling a Home

Stage the Outside

With selling a home comes with staging the space, offering a chance for potential buyers to envision their future. Playing off the season will make the home feel welcoming and inviting, such as hanging beautiful door wreaths in the winter or planting colorful flowers in the summer.

Lawn Maintenance

Ensuring your lawn is maintained and weeds are pulled will give buyers a clean perspective on the house. If selling in the winter, consider sprinkling salt after shoveling the driveway and walkways to create a safe entryway. The outside of your house is the first impression buyers will see, so it is important to present a well-cut landscape.

Tidy Up the Inside

When entering your house, guests should walk into a space that is clean, well organized, and comfortable. Be sure to take all factors into consideration, such as welcoming smells, comfortable temperatures, and simple staging. Giving individuals inspiration with how you stage your space helps them envision their own design.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your Home

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it is definitely a journey that brings exciting challenges. Although one may feel it is not necessary to hire a real estate agent with the internet at our fingertips, a professional guide will help guide you on the path towards your ultimate goal. The award winning realtors at Choice Properties make it their mission to go beyond your expectations, making the home selling process a stress-free experience. We have listed 5 reasons to hire a real estate agent to sell your home, eliminating unwanted stress and worry.

Correctly Price Your Home

Experienced agents know every little detail of your local home-selling market, allowing them to correctly price the home. Pricing your home too high adds a risk of no bids meaning your home will sit on the market for a long period of time, whereas pricing too low puts you at risk for losing money. An experienced Indian Lake real estate agent will assure your home is priced accordingly for the Logan County market, helping you sell in a faster time frame.

Negotiating the Final Steps

Negotiations can be stressful and you do not want to go blindfolded into a market you don't fully understand. Selling your home is a huge business transaction and should be handled by a professional seller. The selling process has three negotiations: the initial offer, the counter offer, and the post-offer with inspection. Being unfamiliar with how to negotiate these steps may potentially cause you to lose the offer, having to start over with a new buyer. At Choice Properties, we want to see you sell your home in the most profitable way, so we ensure the negotiation is handled properly.

Home Exposure and Marketing

Not only does a realtor put your house up for sale, they also handle all the marketing involved. You want your home to gain maximum exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers, which is part of your realtor's duties. A devoted realtor will go above and beyond, marketing your house the best way possible. This goes with posting online listings, hosting open houses, and networking with other agents who have similar buyers.

The Buyer's Agents Prefer to Work With a Seller Agent

Most home buyers are represented by a local agent, who prefer to work with a seller agent during the home buying process, rather than with the seller directly. If you are a For Sale By Owner listing, that can push away agents who are seeking to work with another real estate professional. Avoid losing potential buyers by working with an expert realtor.

Stay on Track

Licensed realtors know each step involved in the home-selling process, making it easy to stay on track. They have the experience needed to work through the sales process efficiently, know when there are financial issues, and are knowledgeable on how to deal with negotiating.

If you are ready to list your home, it's important to remember the benefits an expert realtor can offer. Going through the process alone can feel overwhelming, not knowing which step is next or how to handle little details. At Choice Properties, our award-winning agents are eager to assist your home selling journey.

Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.


Real Estate Seller's Survival Guide ; A 5 Step Checklist

As a homeowner, coming to the decision to sell your home brings a wave of emotions and stressors making the process feel overwhelming. You will learn to cherish your memories spent as you prepare to take the next adventure in life, giving your family the chance to make new, enjoyable moments. Don't let the anxiety of selling your home take away from the excitement! We have created a real estate seller's survival guide ; a 5 step checklist to help ease the stress.

Define Goals

Creating a defined list of goals will gauge your need to sell. Weighing the pros and cons of selling your house is a great way to show the advantages or disadvantages of selling your home in this moment. When doing this, make note of the length of time you are able to have your house on the market. Defining your goals will determine your readiness, and will create milestones for you to proudly accomplish.

Calculate Selling Expenses

Selling a home comes with updating spaces, making small renovations, and preparing the house for viewings. You want to show the buyer a clean, updated home that is suitable for their lifestyle. Calculating your expenses allows you to see what projects you can afford, potentially increasing the value of your home.

Create a Strategy

Upon defining your goals, it is time to create a strategy. How fast do you need to sell your house and what price are you seeking? Do you have a trusted real estate agent? Having a real estate agent to help you through the process will ease a tremendous amount of confusion and stress. While creating your strategy, it is important to compare your home in the market around you to grasp an idea of comparable listings.

Determine Market Value

Comparing listings while creating a strategy prepares you for setting a realistic value on your home. Your agent will also compare in the area, ensuring your home is on the market at the best price. If you have renovated additional space or even small updates to the bathroom or kitchen, the value of your home will increase. Little changes, such as updating hardware or fresh paint, are an easy way to increase the desire of the space.

Stage Your Home

Decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary items is a great start to preparing your home for a showing. The first impression home buyers create is impactive, therefore it is important to be sure it's bold. Simple tasks such as having a clean, fresh-cut lawn will draw in a buyer's attention. When a buyer is interested, keep in mind the value of your home rather than accepting the first bid. Know the worth of your house but remember to be realistic with the pricing.

Having a positive mindset is the first step to ensuring a smooth home selling process. When selecting an award-winning agent, your home is bound to sell holding it's true value in a timely manner. Don't let the stress keep you from enjoying the future!


Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your home selling process today.



Staging your home to sell quickly

5 Home Staging Blunders That Can Frighten Home Buyers Away

For many homeowners, hanging up spooky decorations at Halloween, too many Christmas lights or even overdoing the outside decor can make a potential home buyer think twice about the property before ever setting food inside. Home staging is a crucial part of home selling preparation. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 32% of buyer's agents and 37% of sellers' agents believe a staged home can increase value to buyers by up to 5%. This may add up to thousands of dollars to the price tag of the home. Find out if your home is effectively staged to sell and how to get it ready for the market.

Dark Entryways

The front entry is first point of contact for buyers when entering a home. Peeling paint, deep shadows or uninviting colors are not apt to create a good first impression. Turn the front entryway into a focal point with a nice, bright color to complement the home.


During a showing, buyers inspect almost every nook and cranny. Light fixtures, closets, ceilings and other nuances. Cleaning thoroughly from top to bottom (with help from professionals if necessary) help make it look new. Asking a friend or neighbor to play the part of a potential buyer can be helpful prior to a showing.

Bright Colors on Walls

One of the goals of home staging, besides selling for the best price, is to help buyers visualize living in the home. With bold, bright colors on the walls, more neutral colors may appeal to all potential buyers.

Menacing Decorations

Staging a home around Halloween or other holidays can be difficult with all the decor and lawn ornamentation. It is best to stage the home in moderation for potential buyers. Not everyone will find the decor festive and may be a turnoff to the property.

Hovering During Showings

How a home is presented is crucial to success in the marketplace. Staging is of huge importance so making the property available and making oneself scarce during showings is critical. Potential buyers may find it creepy if the current homeowner is lurking in the shadows or can be heard from somewhere else in the house.



Thinking of selling your home? Staging does not have to be a scary experience. Contact Choice Properties for a wealth of tips on how to stage a property for a quick, easy sale and at top dollar. Give our top real estate agents a call to get started!


How to prepare your home for sale

3 Steps to Prepare Your House for Sale

Selling your house and preparing for the next step in life is an exciting moment. When putting your house on the market, there are a few key points to remember to help attract the best buyer. Here are three steps to prepare your house for sale:

Get Organized

The importance of cleaning and de-cluttering cannot be overstated. Some of the following ideas help to streamline the process to make it easier.

  • Declutter before cleaning. Get rid of unnecessary and unwanted items. Donate them to charity or consider selling or giving away items on Craigslist or neighborhood share groups. People who recycle may be willing to pick up and haul away large metal items as well.
  • Deep clean the house. The biggest investment of time will come from getting everyone involved to spiffy up the home from floor to ceiling. Kitchens and bathrooms are especially important. Clean the inside and outside of windows to create a better overall aesthetic for the home.
  • Storage areas should be clean and organized. This ends a signal to potential buyers the home is cared for and not in a haphazard way. Keeping spaces up will benefit sellers.

Make Repairs

Problems with the house need to be taken care of prior to resale. Look for easy fixes that can be done without too much help from outside contractors (which can cost lots of extra money).

  • Fix leaky faucets and running toilets
  • Replace caulking around tubs, showers and sinks
  • Freshen up and repair grout as needed
  • Repair walls and repaint them in neutral colors
  • Fix cracked or broken windows
  • Replace or repair damaged screens
  • Replace bulbs that are burned out

Curb Appeal

First impressions go a long way to making a deal on a property for sale. Potential buyers want to love the outside of a person's home before stepping inside. Extend spring cleaning to the outside of the home for maximum appeal.

  • Trim bushes, shrubs and trees. Vegetation should not touch roof or siding.
  • Repair broken downspouts and gutters
  • Apply mulch, river rock or pea gravel where appropriate to improve landscaping
  • Dress up the outside with seasonally appropriate plants to freshen up the yard along with hanging plants near the front of the house

With a little bit of elbow grease, a home can look good as new for potential buyers who are excited to see the beautiful, welcoming home of their dreams.



Choice Properties helps sellers and buyers get off on the right foot with tips, tools and resources. Call us to find out how our top notch realty specialists can assist you with your buying and selling needs.





Buyers and sellers in the housing market have many fees to consider when purchasing and selling a home. One of the costs, closing fees, can be confusing to understand who pays for the fee. Learn more about closing costs when buying or selling a property.


Buyer Costs

Closing fees can be present for both buyers and sellers. Typically, the buyer is faced with more line-item expenses than the seller (who typically pay more). Most buyers are getting loans to make the purchase of a home and many charges stem from the loan itself. A buyer should receive something called a loan estimate form early on in the sale process. The document spells out all approximate costs a buyer will face when making the purchase of a home so there are no surprises at closing. Some buyers may use the information on the loan estimate to shop for different lenders, interest rates and costs.


Buyers getting a loan will see some of the following costs:

  • Appraisal fee

  • Origination fee

  • Prepaid interest

  • Prepaid insurance

  • Flood certification fee

  • Tax servicing fee

  • Credit report fee

  • Bank processing fee

  • Recording fee

  • Notary fee

  • Title insurance


It is prudent to go through all listed fees line by line with the mortgage professional to understand what the fees include and how they apply to the loan. Aside from expenses of getting a loan or buying a home, some expenses (such as property taxes or HOA fees) are pro-rated and paid at the time of closing. If an individual is buying a home and closes toward the end of the property tax period, it is likely the person will need to pay the balance of taxes upfront. This also includes prepaid loan interest. If a person closes toward the end of the month, the lender may ask for first month's payment up front.


Negotiate Sharing Costs

Part of the negotiation on a home sale can include asking the seller to pick up some of the closing costs as part of the negotiation. Credit for $5,000 reduction in purchase price can save a fair bit of money in the closing costs up front, even if it only saves a little bit monthly over the life of the loan.


Sellers Commission

The seller will usually bear the biggest brunt of fees: the real estate commission. Commission is based on a percentage of total sale price. In addition to real estate commission, sellers may have to pay the balance of property taxes, if it has not already been done, as well as any prorated homeowners association dues.


It can pay big dividends to pay attention to closing costs so as not to get charged fees which can be negotiated or lowered. Any real estate agent will be happy to work with individuals and families on home closing paperwork to provide the most for overall satisfaction.




Feeling lost in the home buying or home selling process?

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Whether a first-time buyer or one with experience, inventory is slim but lots of competition exists which can lead to a frustrating seller's market. Quick, easy sales are best for buyers. Sellers and buyers can benefit from some of the following tips for maximizing home selling and buying and the current competitive market.


Sellers and Buyers

The following tips will help any person selling a home or purchasing know what to look for when stepping into the current market.


Seller: Prepare, inspect, disclose and plan ahead. The market is less forgiving if a person makes a mistake. A home which goes 'back on the market' may mean less money in an eventual sale. Holding onto the first buyer is critical. Put issues out front for potential buyer. Be prepared to disclose any issues such as a leaking roof or other defects that may kill the deal before it is sealed.


Buyer: Be ready to move. Buyers are aggressive, motivated and ready to go. To compete with the market, be serious about becoming a homeowner. When a desirable listing pops up, make time to go see the property as it may not be available for long. With a seriously motivated seller, the buyer make work with the seller and take it off the market which leads to disappointment for other potential buyers who missed the boat.


Seller: Have a strategy. Don't move too quickly on an offer if others may come in. Work with a reputable agent who knows going in what to expect from the market (and prospective buyers). It may work to wait a week to 10 days, have more showings then review offers. It may also work to act on the offers that come in. The wrong approach may result in missing a better offer to come or lose momentum of the current (motivated) buyer.


Buyer: Win some, lose some. A few houses will go by the wayside before the right one comes along. Go with the flow to avoid frustration. Missing out can be a motivating factor to up the ante next time.


Seller: Know the competition. A smart seller will hit open houses well before homes hit the market. Pricing is key in a competitive market, especially with today's herd mentality. When someone wants a home, it must be desirable and have value to other people. Well-priced homes that show well grab immediate attention of buyers and sell faster (often for more money).


Real estate is not a cheap investment and the process can be stressful. Sellers and buyers need to be on top of the game to find success. Sellers have the advantage to plan in advance of going on the market. Buyers must be reactive and prepared to move on a dime. It may feel like a wild ride, but the home of one's dreams is worth fighting for in a hot market.


Get more advice on the tips to this year's seller's market.

Contact one of our agents today.



A homeowner who desires a property to stand out from the competition must view everything as a business transaction. Emotional attachment to a home can impact potential buyers and make it difficult to detach from the property. Sellers who transition away from emotional connection into investment mode reap more financial rewards. Learn what potential buyers are looking for and how to make an existing property for sale more marketable.


Wish Lists

Homes sell quickly that have desirable features on a buyer's wish list. Retailers work to understand this market and corner it for profit. The same goes for selling a home. Mentioning the top features in a listing description can net a premium in how fast the home sells and the final sale price. Features such as 'barn doors' or 'subway tiles' can net as much as 13 percent more than expected and nearly 60 days faster than homes without the features. Carefully worded listings have an impact on a person's impression of a property.


Some of the following features are on the top of buyers wish lists in the current market:

  • Barn doors: homes with this description net 13.4 percent more than expected. Rustic sliding doors can be found in craftsman-style homes, in bedroom closets or kitchen pantries.

  • Shaker cabinets: homes featuring this item sold for 9.6 percent above expected value and 45 days faster

  • Farmhouse sink: homes with the trendy but functional kitchen sink net a nearly 8 percent sales premium

  • Subway tile: the added aesthetic and design feature of subway tiles catch a buyer's eye and sell for nearly 7 percent more than expected and 63 days faster.

  • Quartz: typically found on kitchen or bathroom counters, listings with the word 'quartz' sold for a 6 percent sales premium while homes with 'granite' only saw a 4 percent sales price boost.


Buyers in today's market prefer turnkey homes to renovations, updates and bells and whistles. The more features to entice a potential buyer, the better.


Big Rooms

Two of the biggest spaces in a home that have potential to sell a property are the kitchen and bathrooms. If a kitchen or bathroom is outdated, modest upgrades can really add value to the home and overall appeal to potential buyers. Splash some white paint on the cabinets, freshen the look, buy some stone countertops and replace old faucets with shiny, new ones.


Buyers Market

Certain features help sell a home more quickly. Even with time at a premium, it is beneficial to hire contractors to come in and do some minor upgrades to help sell a property with features from a buyer's wish list. Subway tiles in the kitchen or bathroom, barn doors and craftsman features have a proven track record of selling homes faster. Play up the features to help sell property in today's market.


Get more advice on how to create a home that attracts buyers.

Contact one of our agents today.


The start of seller season in real estate begins April 1st, which also happens to be April Fools' Day. The time to sell a house is list it now and get ready. Homes show better in springtime. A seller is more likely to move a house quickly at good market value this time of year. In a competitive market, sellers may make a mistake by waiting to list property. Spring is a great time to showcase a home's best assets and help people envision living in the property. Some simple, yet effective, tips can position a seller's home on the market, save stress and help retain power of negotiation for fair market value.


First Impressions

Curb appeal is very important when selling a property. Landscape can take time to maintain. Instead, go with low-water grass and drought-tolerant plants. Visit the local garden center and explore native plants. Spruce up the front yard and back patio. Potential buyers love to see how relaxation and entertainment is possible in a new space. Make the front porch and entryway as attractive as possible as potential buyers will stop at this point to get into the home and have time to look at surroundings.


Model Home

The emotional connection to a home is an important selling point.. A home that sells fast is one which follows these get-ready tips:

  • De-personalize the space to help potential buyer envision living there

  • Remove family photos and kids artwork

  • Edit collections, books, closets, cabinets, pantry and end tables

  • Make home look as big as possible to showcase rooms

  • Focus on big spaces in the home which will be used often like the kitchen (functionality, neutral design choices)

  • Splurge on a few main spaces which have a lot of resale value (master bath, living room)



A house will not sell itself without some help. Think of the process in three parts: pricing, listing, showing. View comparable properties in the area then set a competitive price point to ensure a quick sale.


Get more people to the open house by listing the property on a Friday before opening the home the following Sunday. The long exposure helps before showing. Following the open house, compare all offers on Sunday night. In a good market, multiple competing offers will be given and the home can sell at or above the list price.


Competitive markets may be more aggressive. Direct mailers may be needed to potential buyers to let everyone know about the property for sale. A 'broker's open' invites brokers and real estate agents to view the property before an open house to receive feedback on selling more quickly.


Forget Perfect

Highlight the positives of the property such as access to schools, health clubs or green space like parks. A positive approach will help the property sell quickly and easily, a win-win for all parties involved.


Get more advice on how to get ready for this years selling season. It's a hot one!

Contact one of our agents today.


Here are some tips for smooth lining the selling process when listing a property that you no longer live in, for whatever reason.

For a major tax break, be sure you've lived in the house as a primary residence at least two of the last five years. If you haven't, then you'll be looking at a tax gain on the sale of an investment property. If you have lived in the home, then the US federal government allows for single homeowners to sell their home without paying taxes on the first $250,000 in gain. For married couples, it's $500,000.

The next most important thing for you to do is to early on get a good, trustworthy agent on board. A local agent is a local resource for you, the seller. If you're renting, these agents can field renter's issues such as leaky faucets or broken garage doors. If you're selling, these agents are going to be priceless for knowing the local market and making sure the property is kept open house ready. Potential buyers are also more open to working with a real person as opposed to internet deals.

Even with a local real estate agent, it won't hurt you to stay on top of what the market is doing in the area where you're selling. Keeping yourself knowledgeable will let you react quickly when an offer to buy does come in. Knowing if what they're offering is high or low is good business. It's the sign of a smart homeowner.

So is taking care of your tenants if you are renting the property. If they've been loyal tenants, you may want to offer them the first opportunity to buy the property when you decide it's time to sell. At the very least you'll want to give them a good lead team to know they'll need to be moving if they aren't interested in purchasing. Keeping them happy should translate to them continuing to take care of your property while they reside there.

 If you're looking to sell a house long distance, contact the award-winning real estate agents at Choice Properties for advice on plannign the best possible sale.



Get more advice on listing and selling your home from long distance.

Contact one of our agents today.


When staging your home to sell, there are a couple of key points you want to keep in mind. First, is that first impressions really do mean everything. Second, less is more. A potential buyer wants to walk into an aesthetically pleasing space which they can easily imagine themselves living in, not some place that is cluttered or decorated with bold bright colors or other personal touches.

Any professional stager will tell you it's all about selecting great décor pieces which utilize the existing space. The ultimate goal is a positive impact on potential buyers.


Here are five staging suggestion tips to turn a home listing into a sold home;

Spend some time with your realtor and get to know your potential audience. Remember, you aren't selling to yourself but to a broad market. Trust your realtor to help you stage to the buyer demographic most likely to be viewing your home.  


We can't stress enough that you want to remove your personal touches when putting your home on the market. First thing you should do is pack up the family photos. Empty walls are much easier for a potential buyer to see as a canvas of possibilities should they decide to purchase the house.


Design trends do tend to have a short lifespan; however, a well-staged and marketed home should have a short list time as well. Taking a gamble on a current fad, like airy aqua or bright Mediterranean blue accents, could give you the leg up with a 'fresh' feel to the property, so don't be afraid of trends.


While you want a space to overall be neutral—a blank space for the buyer to visualize with—adding a splash of color can go a long way to making a property memorable. Think subtle, but striking. A room with the main walls painted a beige tone with an accent wall in teal can then be finished with teal and cream accent items throughout the room. The result will be a chic, trendy space where the buyer has room to add their own personal touches, but can see the potential the space has because of the decorating start.


Continuing the idea of showing the buyer a space's potential, you'll want to stage a space with as many functional pieces as possible. Avoid overcrowding. Simple, practical, and functional furniture pieces will demonstrate how livable the space is.


For more tips on how to stage your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.



Selling a home rarely happens overnight, yet sellers can find it frustrating if it seems that too much time is passing without closing the deal. On average, a home shouldn't take more than six weeks to sell—if the market is strong and the property is priced appropriately. If it sits much longer, buyers can become wary, so let's look at some ways to generate interest if your home isn't selling as fast as you'd like.


Location, Price, and Condition

While you can't just move your home to a different part of town if traffic is low, you can reassess the price you're asking, and whether it's comparable to other homes in the area in addition to what the property itself offers.

If you've got some time, and have received consistent feedback over issues with the house, then you may want to go ahead and take the house off the market for a short time to address those issues. There are low-budget fixes you can do to make a house more desirable. Sometimes it's as simple as decluttering, slapping on a coat of a fresh paint, and putting out fresh flowers. In other instances, it could take a little more . . . maybe updating the kitchen and/or baths will be what it takes.

If you are unable to spare the time or money for a remodel, or the location is out of your hands no matter how nice the house actually is, another option is to go ahead and reduce the asking price.


Do You and Your Realtor Have the Same Goal?

As large an investment as a home is, you want to be sure that your Logan County real estate agent has your back. Be honest with your expectations from the first meeting with them. Also, be open to their suggestions and recommendations. Remember, they do this for a living and it's their job to know the market you're trying to crack. A good agent won't let you undersell or overprice, and will be willing to pursue offers by following up with any potential buyers who've shown interest.


If you are having trouble selling your home, let us help!