Tips For Staging Your Home

When it comes to trying to sell your home, staging it for potential buyers is incredibly important. It’s understandable that your house probably isn’t always in perfect shape but that’s not what you’d want buyers to see. You should be showing your home’s best features to potential buyers and trying to avoid having them see any weak points to sell it quickly, and at the highest price you can get. If you’re not sure how to go about staging your home for sale, check out a few of these great staging tips.

Clean Your Home

While this may seem obvious at first, you’d be surprised how many people don’t think about it. A clean home shows that you’ve taken good care of it. You should make sure that all of the rooms are in good condition, including the walls, the floors, and the ceilings. If you have older kitchen appliances, clean them as much as possible since they’ve likely built up a lot of grime over time. Your bathroom is likely the same way, so take a good look at the tub, toilet, and sink to avoid turning potential buyers off.


Before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to remove all of the personal items that you’ve collected over the years. This includes all of the family photos, your refrigerator art, and all of the toys that your children may have collected. You should also keep clothes hidden away so that potential buyers can’t see them. While it may be hard since you’re likely still living there, it’s important that you detach your house as much as possible when trying to sell it, in order to allow buyers a better chance of envisioning themselves living there.

Take Advantage of Lighting

When you’re showing your home, take advantage of its natural light. You can add various fixtures and turn on all of the lights in your home to make it look more inviting and brighter. Doing so will allow you to avoid having to search for light switches. If you have older light fixtures that still work great, be sure to give them a good cleaning. If any are broken, you’ll want to replace them. This can be done very easily, and it won’t cost much either.

Spruce Up The Exterior

The entryway and the exterior of your home are two of the most important factors that potential buyers consider when deciding on a home. They can help determine if they’re interested in the property and whether or not they’ll even want to see the inside. Before you put your home on the market, make sure that all of the trees, shrubs, and lawn are well groomed. You should also make sure that your windows are well-dressed and that you have flower boxes in place to add some color to the area. Powerwash the sidewalks and driveways, and set up your backyard to look warm and welcoming as well.

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Great Cities For First Time Home Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be stressful. You’re trying to find your dream home, someplace you can settle down. This likely comes with some requirements, like a safe neighborhood, possibly good school systems for the kids, fun nightlife, and so many other things. All of these requirements can often make finding the perfect home even more difficult. With that in mind, I’ve chosen some of the best cities around the United States that are great places to move to for first-time homebuyers.

Champaign, Illinois

This mid-sized city is located between Chicago, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, and it offers easy access to the Big City while still maintaining a slower pace of life. One of the highlights of this area’s culture is the University of Illinois, which is right near the downtown area. The University even features the amazing Krannert Art Museum!

Charleston, South Carolina

Despite being slightly more expensive than a lot of other cities, Charleston also has the most active listings. This makes it easier to find a home in this area than it would be in other growing regions. Aside from its housing market, Charleston also has a variety of other attractions, such as a waterfront park and a promenade that’s close to the Atlantic Ocean.

Hillsboro, Oregon

Located just west of Portland, Oregon, is the suburb of Hillsboro. This area is often overlooked, and it has a variety of attractions, such as nature trails and a wetlands preserve. It’s also a 20-minute drive away from Portland and its popular attractions, such as the city’s popular shopping and dining options.

Reno, Nevada

Despite being slightly more expensive, Reno is still able to provide a high rate of availability and a variety of mountain views. If you’re not a fan of Nevada, keep in mind that it’s right on the California border and can reach Lake Tahoe in just 45 minutes.

Cranston, Rhode Island

This suburb of Providence is only 15 minutes away from the city center, making it an easy commute. This area also has a variety of attractions, such as the East Bay Bike Path. On weekends, try running around the bike path or playing in the nearby reservoir.

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The Top TED Talks For The Real Estate Industry

One of the best ways to find new inspiration and motivation in the world of real estate is to watch a few good TED Talks. TED Talks are short discussions held by prominent leaders from industries all over the world, and they’re usually meant to inspire and educate those watching while also occasionally presenting solutions to problems within whatever field they’re discussing. Real Estate is no stranger to these talks, as there are hundreds of real estate agents who are looking for guidance all around the world each and every day. Let’s take a look at some of the best TED Talks discussing real estate.

Moore’s Law Of Real Estate – Gunnar Branson

In this talk, Gunnar Branson talks about the concept of Moore’s law and how it applies to real estate. He states that the physical spaces that we inhabit are constantly changing and will eventually affect how we live and work. His talk is full of examples that will help you understand what’s happening in the field. The talk is to everyone who owns a home, but it also applies to landlords. Branson states that people tend to get selective when it comes to choosing products, and this is why he believes that the increasing number of people buying homes is causing the physical space requirements of their houses to decrease. This could eventually be an issue for commercial real estate.

The Real Estate Deal That Could Change The Future Of Everything – Ben Miller

In this talk, Ben talks about how he rebuilt his business following the 2007/08 crash and how technology will affect the way people buy and sell real estate in the future. He believes that innovation can change the way people think about investing in the industry. This talk is very interesting because it shows that if you’re willing to work on a revolutionary idea, then you can make a difference in the industry. It also provides insight into the future of real estate.

The Four-Letter Code to Selling Anything – Derek Thompson

The ability to sell is very important to your success in real estate. Besides selling properties, you also need to understand how to effectively communicate with clients and sell yourself. This is done through your interactions with potential buyers and your reputation within the community you serve. Derek Thompson, an editor at The Atlantic, provides a four-letter code that will help you sell anything that you can think of. This will allow you to effectively negotiate a price for a property that you’re interested in, or convince a seller to give you their listing.

The Skill of Self Confidence – Dr. Ivan Joseph

In this talk, Dr. Ivan Joseph asks listeners to think about the successful real estate agents they know. He talks about how while they likely don’t share physical characteristics and they’re all from different backgrounds, they all likely share one thing: their ability to be confident in themselves. According to Dr. Joseph, the best real estate agents aren’t naturally confident – they master their confidence like they would any skill, meaning you can do it too.

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Worthwhile Real Estate Podcasts For 2022

Having a job in real estate means always being on the go. You likely won’t find the time to catch up on the latest real estate news or educate yourself on the latest trends in order to improve your business. A great way to keep up with everything going on in the world of real estate and perhaps learn a thing or two is by listening to real estate podcasts. Many successful individuals in the real estate industry have taken it upon themselves to create podcasts in their spare time as a way of discussing something they’re passionate about, and hopefully help other like-minded individuals out along the way. Here are a few of the most worthwhile real estate podcasts to check out in 2022.

The Massive Agent Podcast

The Massive Agent Podcast, created by Salt Lake City realtor, Dustin Brohm, is a great way for agents to get the most out of their marketing efforts. He offers a variety of advice and ideas that are geared toward helping them level up their game without the need for trial and error. He also runs a variety of programs, including one-on-one coaching and training on Facebook Advertising.

Real Estate Rockstars: With Pat Hiban

Pat Hiban is commonly considered to be the Joe Rogan of real estate podcasts by many within the industry. With over four million followers and a vast amount of downloads, it’s easy to see why he’s regarded as one of the most prominent individuals in the industry. Hiban was an early adopter of podcasts and was able to greatly influence the way other people communicate with each other. Pat’s Real Estate Rockstars show, which started in 2005, has managed to bring the best of the industry to listeners. It features interviews with some of the most prominent individuals in the industry, as well as deep dive into the latest strategies and technology. While there is a lot of content to sift through, agents will most likely find value in listening to Pat’s archived interviews with some of the industry’s best agents.

Kevin Ward’s YES Talk

If you’re feeling like you’re running out of energy after a long day of selling homes, then listening to Kevin Ward’s YES Talk is a great way to get back on track. He’s able to help people tap into the excitement of the industry by providing them with a variety of strategies and ideas that will help keep them motivated. In addition to being able to provide a variety of advice and ideas, Kevin also makes sure that his listeners are able to keep up with the latest trends in the industry.

CarrotCast With Trevor Mauch

Trevor Mauch, the CEO of Carrot, provides great ways for real estate agents and investors to get the most out of their tech skills in this podcast. He’s able to help them improve their online presence by providing them with a variety of advice and ideas that will help them keep up with the latest trends in the industry. Whether you’re working in a specific niche or not, Trevor has a podcast episode that will appeal to your interests.

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The Most Worthwhile Books For Real Estate Agents In 2022

Whether you’re a successful real estate professional or someone just starting out, there’s always going to be something new to learn about the industry. One of the best ways to go about furthering your real estate knowledge is to read a few great books on the subject. A myriad number of books have been written by successful real estate professionals discussing their triumphs and their losses, as well as generally trying to educate the next generation of real estate professionals. Here are a few of the most worthwhile entries.

The Transformational Consumer – Tara-Nicholle Nelson

In this book, Tara-Nicholle Nelson explains how to turn one-time sellers and buyers into lifelong clients. She says that doing so will allow you to forge a strong relationship with them, and it’s easy to implement, but the execution can be a bit challenging. Nelson holds a Juris Doctor and a master’s degree in psychology from Berkley, and she worked as a vice president of marketing for some of the world’s biggest tech and athletic brands, which is what really makes the book worth your time.

16 Strategies For Sale – Sean Moudry

One of the foremost experts on how to leverage one’s unique personality to achieve success in sales, Sean Moudry has spent years studying various personality types and tests. In his book, he shares 16 strategies that will help you find success in real estate (and any other sales position). While there is no “perfect” sales personality, he also shows that there are many ways to develop one’s own unique gifts to achieve success in the industry.

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – Gary Keller

If you’re looking to earn a million dollars next year, this book is for you. Many new real estate agents don’t realize that most of their hard-earned commission doesn’t go into their pockets. This book gives you a comprehensive economic blueprint that will help you minimize your expenses and maximize your take-home pay. If you’re a new agent, this book should be on your reading list. It’s full of step-by-step instructions and diagrams, as well as many “how-to” lessons.

Shark Tales – Barbara Corcoran

If you’re planning on starting a real estate firm or team, then Barbara Corcoran’s “Shark Tales” is a must-read. In this book, she shares her amazing story of growing up poor in a large family and eventually becoming one of the wealthiest real estate professionals in New York.

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5 Types of REITS

A REIT is a company that owns and operates real estate. This type of investment can be attractive to investors for many reasons, not the least of which is the tax benefits. The IRS offers favorable treatment for investments in REITs by offering a special lower rate on capital gains and dividends received from these types of investments. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 different types of REITs: equity, mortgage, mezzanine, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), and fund-of-funds (FoF).

Equity REITs:

An equity REIT owns and manages properties that produce income from rents. The company typically earns a commission for finding tenants and collects rent payments from them. Equity REITs can be divided into two categories: retail and industrial. Retail REITs own shopping malls, department stores, and other types of retail spaces. Industrial REITs own warehouses, storage facilities, and other areas that are well suited for businesses.

Mortgage REITs:

A mortgage REIT uses a large portion of its capital to purchase mortgages which they then earn interest from every month. The company can grow by purchasing new mortgages or by acquiring existing pools of mortgages from another lender through a “pooling-of-interest”. Mortgage REITs can be further divided into two categories: Agency and non-Agency.

Mezzanine REITs:

Mezzanine REITs provide capital to other real estate-related companies in the form of loans or high yield debt securities. The investments can be in the form of first mortgage loans, subordinated debt, or preferred equity. This type of REIT typically charges a higher interest rate on its debt investments and also enjoys some tax benefits.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS):

CMBS are securities that are backed by mortgages on commercial properties. These types of investments usually offer a higher yield than traditional bonds due to the increased risk involved with lending money to businesses. The interest payments on CMBS are usually pass-through payments which means that the company that originated the mortgages is responsible for making monthly interest payments to the CMBS holders.

Fund-of-Funds (FoF):

A fund of funds is a “fund of companies” which means that it invests in other entities such as equity and mezzanine REITs, CMBS, and FoFs. The advantage to investing in these types of securities through an FoF is that investors do not need the expertise needed to analyze individual investment opportunities. Instead, they rely on an experienced partner to choose their investments for them.

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Curb Appeal Tips for Small Yards

What do you think of when you see a small yard? Many people have yards that seem to be too small for anything other than a few flowers and maybe an outdoor table. It might seem like there is nothing else you can do with your small space, but that isn’t true! In this blog post, we’ll discuss 4 curb appeal tips for small yards.

Add A Small Lawn

A way to make an otherwise empty yard look finished and not so empty is by adding a small lawn or two. You can also add some garden paths which will fill up the space and give your home a nice little touch while bringing in some flowers! Adding flower pots is another great idea: they bring life into your home while making it look more vibrant and appealing. It’s up to you whether you want to add single plants or create little garden beds; both options are very affordable and either way, it adds an interesting aspect to your small backyard.

Plant Climbers Along Fences

When planting climbers like wisteria, jasmine, or climbing roses, you should keep in mind that they will grow quite large over the years. If you want to enjoy them for an extended period, it is best to line your fence with them so they will not over-grow the fences and create some shade. This way you can escape from the sun on hot summer days while enjoying the beauty of your garden. You can also plant climbers along with pergolas; this gives a great look!

Add Raised Beds

Adding raised beds that are filled with flowers is also another great idea if you don’t like having lawns in your backyard (or even if you do). These small flowerbeds will give life to any yard regardless of its size; I love how they make my home look more appealing and inviting. They catch people’s attention when they see them.

Install Fences

Last but not least, another great idea is to install fences which will create a small private space for you and your family members. Luckily, nowadays there are so many types of fencing available that you can find anything matching your style or budget. You can even use landscape timbers for a more rustic look! There are also garage screen kits that will allow fresh air during summer days while giving you some privacy at the same time.

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Tips for Decorating your Home for the Holidays

This time of year brings a lot of joy and comfort around many homes downtown. Here are seven helpful tips to make your home the holiday destination for friends and family.

Color-Coded Bulbs

Top decorators pay a lot of attention to the details, and one thing they’ll never miss is color coordination. For instance, when you replace your current bulbs with colored ones, you can do so right up until New Year without any concern of “white-out.”

If you’re not a fan of traditional holiday colors and want to add a little splash of seasonal flare, try using shapes that represent the season. Many enjoy using stars, snowflakes, and bells. Your visitors will definitely notice the extra touch.


If you’re not sure how to decorate the inside of your home, try using some scrapbooking tape to mark where pictures go on the wall. Guides can also help you draw a straight line from the fireplace to the front door in case you want a string of garland there.

Wreath on Every Door

In order to make your home look festive from the outside, try hanging a wreath on every single exterior door. You can also add colored lights or bows that coordinate with your main color scheme, making your house stand out from the rest.

Inappropriate Artwork

Although it’s a Christmas tradition to hang stockings by the chimney with care, it’s also a great way to add a little humor to your holiday décor. If you have an old piece of artwork lying around that doesn’t look cheesy or festive, try taping it to the fireplace, hidden by your stockings. Your visitors will understand the joke, and it’ll definitely bring a smile to their faces.

Ornaments Galore

For those who are decorating their home for the first time, or looking to shake things up a bit after many years, try using lots of colorful ornaments all over your house. Although it’s customary to keep them only on the tree, ornaments are perfect for wreaths, garland, even your mailbox.

Old Fashioned Christmas Pageant

If you’re hosting a dinner party during the holidays, try adding some extra spice by reenacting an old-fashioned Christmas pageant. For instance, if you have a fireplace, simply ask your guests to arrive dressed as one of the three wise men and try to guess which. Or, if you’re hitting the town with friends, stop by a local bar and sing some carols for extra holiday cheer.

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Tips for using REITs

REITs have become rather popular among investors looking to diversify their portfolios. These provide an easier way to gain exposure to real estate than purchasing a property. However, not everyone understands what they are or how they work. Here are a few tips to help you gain a better understanding of them.

What Is a REIT?

First, let’s talk about what REITs are. They’re companies that have invested in real estate, and you can purchase shares of them. Companies must invest three-quarters of their assets into real estate to be a REIT.

Also, they’ve got to earn three-quarters of their revenues from rents and mortgages. Finally, they must pay out 90% of their income in the form of dividends. That means if you invest in them you’ll get a share of whatever revenue they’re bringing in.

What Are the Benefits of Investing in REITs?

Now that we know what these things are, we can discuss why they’re good investments. Above all, investing in REITs provides an easy way to expose your portfolio to the real estate sector.

Traditionally, the only way to do that before would have been to purchase properties. Doing that tends to require large amounts of capital to invest, though. So, not many people could benefit from real estate investments. However, by investing in them, you’ll begin exposing yourself to the real estate sector.

Second, these tend to pay out pretty large dividends. Dividends are a form of payment sent to investors by a company. Usually, they’ll send them out every 3 months. People looking to create passive income should consider investing in REITs.

How to Invest in Them

Investing in REITs is as simple as purchasing any other stock. Simply research your preferred shares. Then, you can submit a purchase order for them. There are a ton of ETFs that also have REITs as part of their portfolios. Once you’ve purchased your shares, you can sit back while collecting dividend payments.

Investing in REITs for Beginners

If you’ve been looking to invest in real estate, REITs offer an easy way for anyone to get involved. Still, don’t invest more in them than you can afford to lose. While they’re typical stable investments, they can be a little volatile at times.

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How to Study an Apartment in One Visit

Finding the perfect place to call home takes quite a bit of legwork. Often, you’ll have to move from one apartment to another until you identify an apartment that suits your needs. But when searching for an apartment, you’ll need to move fast. Otherwise, you’ll spend too much time viewing a couple of apartments and miss out on other great deals. Bearing that in mind, here are some factors that can help you evaluate a property quickly in one visit.


While it may seem like a no-brainer, one of the first things you’ll want to evaluate is the apartment’s size. Carry a tape measure and take measurements of the rooms to ascertain your existing furniture will fit. Also, take measurements of the property’s entrances and hallways to help you plan if you decide to relocate.

Room Layout

Early planning is essential to a successful apartment search. Try to obtain the floorplans of the apartments you intend to view before you visit them. Examining floorplans before visits can help you eliminate properties with odd layouts and save you time.


Thin walls may mean you’ll experience trouble with noise pollution. Noise pollution is undoubtedly something you don’t want to contend with once you move into a new apartment. Test the apartment’s soundproofing by having the realtor or the person who’s accompanied you stand in one room while you stand in the opposite room, and try to have a conversation. If you can hear each other well, the apartment probably has poor soundproofing.

Storage Space

Check out whether there’s sufficient storage space for your needs and the people you live with. If the storage space is insufficient, evaluate whether the property’s square footage is adequate for modifications.


Apartments with large windows generally let in plenty of light, and they can feel bright and cheery. Conversely, apartments with small windows allow less light in, and they can feel dark and dreary. When studying an apartment, pay close attention to the lighting. Look outside to see if any buildings may obstruct natural lighting. The last thing you want is to experience buyer’s remorse after moving into a poorly lit apartment.

Cell Reception

Often, in some apartments, there are places where there is terrible cell coverage. When viewing apartments, check your cell signal from room to room to identify any areas with poor reception.

Final Word

Apartment hunting can be pretty time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be. Save time and get value for your money by considering the factors above during your house search.

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