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4 ways to take “close to home” to heart this season.

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 10, 2018  /  in Blog  /  No Comments

Giving Back Close to Home During the Holidays

In the midst of the season of giving, we often wonder what we have to offer our community and those in need. Most people immediately think of donating money or goods during the holidays or may offer their time at a local organization. But have you considered that your biggest asset– your home — is one of the easiest and best ways to give back? Here are four ways you can take “close to home” to heart this season.

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5 Ways to Make a Small Bathroom Feel Big

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on December 06, 2018  /  in Blog, Uncategorized  /  No Comments

Your bathroom should be a place of comfort; a haven for relaxing in the tub and an efficient hub for getting ready in the morning. Most bathrooms are cramped, awkwardly designed and difficult to work with, but even the simplest changes can make the tiniest bathroom seem spacious.

While a bathroom might not be the first room a potential buyer asks about, it truly can make or break the sale. To ensure buyers’ interest in your house, follow these seven strategies for updating your bathrooms.


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What is the Seller’s Role in the Listing Process?

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on November 23, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

There are many steps in selling your house, and a listing is one of them. In 2017, 89% of sellers used a real estate agent when selling their home, but successfully selling a house requires a partnership between a seller and an agent. Here’s what you can do to fulfill your role in the listing process. . .

When preparing to sell, it’s important to find a listing agent who will put your home on the market and looks after your financial interests. The first step you can take to hasten the listing process is to understand your agent’s policies before entering in the partnership. You’ll want to make sure you know how commission and fees will be paid before signing a contract with an agent, as this will be the monetary motivation for your realtor. Also, before you decide on the commission, be sure your agent can explain the pros and cons of paying a higher commission than competing properties, especially when there are many competing homes.

The agreement you sign with your agent should mention the duration for which your home will remain listed on the market. It is not good for either party to list a house that will not go quickly, and no real estate agent will take on a home that is not ready or in a condition to be picked up by buyers. This is where you come in.

If you want to make sure your realtor takes an interest in selling your house, you must work on your home to get them hooked first. If you’re going to sell a house fast, you will want to make your home desirable for potential buyers. Before actual buyers come in, you’ll need to create a good impression on your listing agent. Of course, home seller resources play an essential role in improving the condition of the house. In fact, home selling strategies used by the listing agent are significantly based on how well the owner has prepared the structure.

You know your home best. Use this expertise to pique the agent’s interest and show off your home’s high points. Think of preparing your home for a mini-staging. Begin with a deep clean and declutter. If you want to make your house attractive, there is seriously no substitute for cleanliness. Clean the floors, walls, windows, kitchen cabinets, appliances, furniture items and the carpets in the house. You want to present a sparkling clean home to your listing agent. Decluttering by removing unnecessary, large and unwieldy furniture items from your house, will also accentuate or create the impression of a larger living area.

Be prepared to disclose the less-than-desirable points about your home so that you can seek your agent’s council on how to proceed. Your agent will be able to advise you on what repairs are essential and what can be “fixed” with a little staging magic. You should also be prepared with general information about your home such as year built, size in square feet and records of previous major renovations. You must ensure that all details about the house are recorded, with no potential issues such as structural instabilities going quietly under the radar. If so much as a single problem is missed, you run the risk of either having to lower the asking price or even suffer legal consequences.

No one knows your home better than you. Use this to your advantage by being open and honest with your agent during the listing process. Once you’ve given them as much information as they need, let your realtor take the reins. A real estate listing agent has the necessary insight and experience to sell a house quickly, so let them do all the hard work. Leave the research, marketing and negotiating in their hands, and bask in the excitement of making the sale. After all, it’s what you’re paying them for!

Is your home ready to be listed on the market? Talk with a listing agent today.

Cozy Up Your Home This Fall

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on November 12, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

November is here, and as much as we’d like to ignore it, colder weather is upon us. 

Lucky for you, gray skies don’t have to mean it’s time to retreat into drab hibernation in your home! There are plenty of ways you can spruce up your home in preparation for winter, turning those dark indoor days into cozy, comfortable ones. Follow these simple steps for warming up your living space this season. . .

Let light set the mood

When the nights get darker earlier, it far too tempting to go to bed at 7 p.m. Instead, resist bedtime without harsh overhead lighting, by adjusting table lamps with warm-toned LED lights. The for a cozy glow will keep you calm, yet awake.

Candles are another key ingredient to a comfortable atmosphere. Not only do they add to the soft lighting you’re looking for, but they can also add scent to your space! Opt for seasonal scents to inspire your desired mood, like a coconut/floral summery scent to remind you of the sun, or sugar cookie scent to prepare you for the holidays.

Texturize with textiles

Cotton and linen are great for warm, Summer months, but heavier fabrics will hold in the warmth you crave in Fall and Winter. Update your bedding with flannel or jersey sheets and a heavier comforter. Plush throws, sheepskins, and quilts make for a much more inviting, cozy space. Cover surfaces in as many luxurious fabrics and pillows as you can find. Use this as an excuse to splurge on those decorative pillows!

Carry this over to the heart of the home, too! Introduce your kitchen to Autumn using darker, natural window coverings and similar table textiles for a cozy effect. Add a Fall-themed kitchen rug in front of the sink and linen slipcovers to your cafe chairs. These will look great juxtaposed with the crispness of fruit and gords on your table, and anytime you can layer some fabric between yourself and bare wood or tile, you’ll feel much warmer.

Feed the plants

Houseplants are fantastic year-round decorations because they typically require little upkeep and add a touch of freshness to any space. They are particularly lovely in Fall because they can double as herb gardens or unique decor.

As the ground begins to cool outside, prepare to keep your indoor plants feeling fresh during the season. Install a small indoor garden on a window sill near the kitchen to have easy access to fresh rosemary, sage, and basil and other desired greens when the weather might not call for gardening.

The leaves changing color indicates the next season is upon us, and your home decor should follow suit. Prevent the negative effects of cold, gray days by warming up your home with these simple tricks.

Share your Fall decor changes with us using #NestlewoodDIY or by tagging us in your photos! (@nestlewood_realty on Instagram.)


Staging your home with Fall decor for an upcoming sale? Let us help you. Contact a Nestlewood Realty seller’s agent today.

6 Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent Before They Help You Buy a Home

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on October 23, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

Did you know that you can wind up paying more for the same property if your agent is inexperienced? With the right realtor by your side, you can find a house quickly and smoothly, but if you hire the wrong broker, the same buying endeavor can become long and cumbersome.

Much of the home-buying process depends on the role of your realtor, so it pays to ask these 8 things when deciding on the right agent for you.

1.) How long you have been working as a realtor?

You want a professional who understands the ins and outs of the business. That level of expertise only comes with experience! Most realtors don’t last more than two years in the business, leaving 20% of agents do 80% of the work. There is no substitute to experience in the world of real estate.

If the realtor you’d like to hire is still a newbie, there’s no need to write them off. Just ask if there will be a team of brokers available for hands-on guidance with the process. Do not hesitate to ask this question before hiring your realtor.

2.) What is the ratio of your list price to sales price?

Your goal as a home-buyer is to pay less than the owner’s asking price. You can judge the negotiation skills (or lack thereof) of the real estate agent by inquiring about their list price to sales price ratio. A list to sales ratio of less than 1 means you should hire the agent as they will be able to negotiate your new home to less than the listed price.

While most agents help both home buyers and sellers, many tend to specialize in one or the other, since the specialties are entirely different. To buy a home, you should team up with a buyer’s agent, someone who specializes in working with home buyers. A listing agent focuses on working with home sellers. If you’re going to be buying and selling, you’ll want to talk with your agent about their practices for both. In a situation like this, you’ll need to be clear on what the agent’s policy is.

3.) How will you determine which homes will match my wants and needs?

A good agent should talk with you or provide you with a comprehensive questionnaire to help pinpoint your interests and needs for buying a home. You should be able to ask in advance what this process may entail. Your agent should also be able to let you know whether or not your list of demands is realistically affordable in your area, and work with you to find a more realistic approach if necessary.

4.) How will we stay in touch during the home-buying process?

It’s generally best if your agent’s preferred method of communication aligns with your own. Are you an email person? Enjoy phone calls? If your agent prefers text while you prefer a conversation on the phone (or visa versa), this may not be the right fit for you.

It is also essential to understand how often you should expect to touch base with your agent. Buying a home requires frequent communication between you and your agent, so you will want a realtor who will stay in touch and check in with you on at least a weekly basis. In a fast-moving market, your agent may be touching base with you almost daily. Along with this, you can also ask how many clients the agent is currently working with. You want an agent who’s busy but not too busy. Someone juggling far more than 10 clients might be too busy to provide you with high-quality, one-on-one service, especially if you’re looking to find a home fast.

5.) Do you have references?

Your potential agent should be able to provide you with a long list of their previous clients. What others think of the agent will quickly answer any lingering questions you may have about them. It’s entirely reasonable to ask about the past employers and performance of the real estate agent.

To get a better understanding of your potential agent’s style, check out their online presence. Examine the agent’s website. How professional is it? If you Google them what do you find? Include online reviews and testimonials in this endeavor. After perusing online reviews, ask for previous clients’ phone numbers to talk to them personally and know their experiences with the realtor.

6.) Do you provide any guarantees?

Not all real estate agents can deliver your desired results. Ask your agent if he gives any guarantees or not. There are no set prices or terms for all agents; everyone has a different policy. You should be clear on what their policies are and what you’re entitled to when entering a contract.

Buying a house can take time– generally 30-60 days of shopping and 14-60 days from contract to close. This, of course, may vary from market to market and person to person. If you are all in on the process, your agent should be able to close quickly and efficiently. It may be a red flag if your agent quotes 6 months to 1 year to buy a house. You should be able to cancel the agreement if you are not satisfied with your realtor’s performance.

Few buyers take the time to interview their prospective agent and ask additional questions before hiring them. A better approach would be to treat your first meeting with an agent as an interview: ask a wide of questions and understand your mutual expectations before making a decision.

Whether you’re looking for an uptown bungalow or a million-dollar estate, Nestlewood Realty can match you with the right agent for the job. Contact us today to set up an appointment and hear our answers to these questions.

7 Staging Tips That Will Sell Your Home this Fall

Posted by Nestlewood Realty on October 05, 2018  /  in Blog  /  Comments off

You may have heard that Spring and Summer are the times to sell your home, but don’t be fooled; Fall is still a great time to put your house on the market!

During  Fall there is less competition, but the market is still very active. Even better, you can now use the spirit of Autumn to decorate your home for potential buyers! Who wouldn’t want to buy a cozy looking, pumpkin-bearing home?
Staging is a crucial step in the selling process that is often overlooked by sellers. It prepares the house and makes it attractive to prospective buyers, helping them imagine the potential for their future home. Staging can be largely dependent on a home seller’s resources, but many home staging secrets are inexpensive and extremely effective. Here are our top 7 staging tips that will sell your home ASAP.

Make your house sparkling clean
This one is simple and important: clean and tidy homes make or break any visitor’s first impression. When trying to convince a stranger to move in, you must make the extra effort to get a sparkling clean house inside and outside to make the desired positive impression on your visitors.

From shiny floors and clean, fragrant carpets to streak-free windows and scrubbed gout, every surface in the home should glisten. This includes hitting the outside of your home– power washing that siding and sweeping that driveway of any fallen leaves or debris. If you’re not willing to get those hard-to-reach spots, try hiring the services of a professional cleaning company to get a sparkling clean house. Cleaning should be at the top of the home seller’s checklist. This is the easiest way to show off your home’s best features, and feel confident in what you’re selling.

Improve the curb appeal
Many buyers will have already made up their mind about your house just based on what they see when they approach the property. Upping your curb appeal is one of the most important home staging tips. Simple acts like cleaning the sidewalks and driveway, pruning large bushes, adding flowering plants in pots and fresh greenery, mowing the lawn and weed whacking will take your home’s curb appeal to the next level.

Use the season to your advantage by decorating with mums, pumpkins, wheat or anything else that makes your home feel like Fall. If the house has a front porch, make sure cleaning and arranging its furniture are also a part of your checklist. Even if you only have a tiny stoop, welcome guests, home with a clean doormat, working porch lights and an inviting wreath or other door decoration. You can also hang new address plates and replace any old doorbells or knockers to create a good impression on your visitors. If they like what they see when approaching your house, they are more likely to be interested in what’s inside, and eventually, make an offer.

Pay attention to windows
Clean windows will add to the curb appeal of your home, but what can they do for the inside? Working on the windows of your home will make a world of difference. Once the windows are clean inside and out, check out your curtain and blind choices. Curtains can quickly transform a room, making it feel more complete.

When showing your home to potential buyers, make sure the blinds are pulled and curtains are drawn to allow natural light to come inside the rooms. You can also create a wonderful ambiance by opening or closing windows depending on the time of the day. Do not use nets as they neither cover nor reveal windows properly. Consider using lighter curtains in tighter spaces, and shifting color palettes to reflect the season when possible.

Rearrange furniture
Free up your space by removing large and unwieldy furniture items. This will give you leverage to think creatively about different combinations your furniture items. Removing stocky furniture will free up space in the room and provide a lighter feel.

Instead of stacking furniture against the walls, play with arranging it in the middle to create a new feeling in the room. In the living room, symmetrical arrangements usually work well. Use pairs (of sofas, chairs, lamps) to create inviting conversational areas. Free your bedroom(s) of personal items and clutter. You can’t go wrong with clean, crisp linens, tasteful artwork and a blanket folded at the foot of the bed. Consider adding autumnal accents to the room with throw pillows and subtle decorations, but be careful not to overload rooms with too much decoration clutter.

If arranging furniture sounds daunting, you can call a professional staging company to rearrange and organize furniture items inside your house. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can sell a house with a simple reorganization of furniture items.

Improve lighting inside rooms
Lighting can work wonders in uplifting the ambiance of a place. In addition to opening your rooms up to as much natural light as possible, you can make your rooms appear warm and inviting by simply changing the artificial lighting of your rooms.

Placing more lights in as many appropriate areas as possible. Even if you were living comfortably with additional lights before, you should still ramp up lighting as part of your staging efforts. You will be surprised how much you can enhance home value by simply improving the lighting. Vamp up your lighting and sensory experience with the addition of lit candles and wax melters in rooms.

Undertake necessary repairs
Fixing minor issues and carrying out home improvement projects as recommended by your realtor is a crucial selling tip. Sure, there are parts of a home that buyers will need to touch up themselves, but anything you can fix yourself is a must.

Spend a day or two hitting all of the minor fixes your home requires. This might mean a fresh coat of paint, replacing cracked tiles and countertops, re-caulking the tub and shower and fixing any leaking faucets. You’ll want to tackle the most obvious, visible improvements first. It helps in making your house more desirable for potential buyers, and seem like less of a project for them.

Improve the condition of floors
One of the first things visitors will notice when entering your house is the flooring in each room. Some flooring may be old, so at the bare minimum, give all floors a deep cleaning and use decorative area rugs to your advantage. Area rugs placed strategically, capture the imagination of the visitors and distract from imperfect flooring. You may want to consider having wood floors refinished if they are in seriously poor shape.

If your home has carpeting, shampoo, and steam to remove stains and odor. If you have animals in your home, be especially aware of your pet’s odors. This can be difficult if you don’t regularly deep clean, so be extra vigilant about vacuuming and washing surfaces. Also be sure to keep any pet toys and doggie bones hidden when tours are scheduled. The use of candles and wax melters will help mask any residual odor that may linger.

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market, you are probably hoping it will sell quickly, and that you’ll get an offer at your asking price. The speed and ease of a sale is especially important if you want to sell your home before the holidays hit. Let the agents at Nestlewood Realty help you prepare your home for the market with little stress. Contact an agent today!