Category: Helpful Hints

July 24, 2012

Now Offering Personalized Websites For Your Home

Just recently, we joined a website called Through this website, we can add your property, that you list with us, and give it a domain name so that we can market your house directly with that website. It may look something like, This website provides buyers with a list of features, a description, a photo gallery, a virtual tour of your home, community information, schools near you information, and more. We believe that by doing this, your home will sell itself to all its visitors. Call us today and let us market your home for you!

March 29, 2012

Agent of The Month: Renee Goodman

Renee Goodman

 Featured Listing:


Featured Rental Listing

Must see inside to appreciate!  This home sports 3 large bedrooms, a bonus room, nice size livingroom and a remodeled kitchen.  I can’t wait until you see the big master bedroom and HUGE master closet.  Can you say SHOES!!!!  A cozy screened in porch is nestled in the back.  It even has a MAN-CAVE.  Call me today to set up an appointment.

November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


In observance of Thanksgiving, the McLeRoy office will be closed Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th. However, you will be able to reach an agent at any time by calling our phone #:770-567-3030 and following the prompts for the agent on duty. If we can be of any assistance this holdiay weekend, please feel free to call. Enjoy your long weekend and Happy Thanksgiving!!


November 14, 2011

Before You Buy Your First Home – Tips for a First-time Home Buyer

Tips for a First-time Home Buyer:

According to a recent article written by , from, here are a few tips for a first-time home buyer.

How Many Homes Will a Home Buyer See?

Studies show that your memory dramatically improves after consumption of carbs and slows upon consuming sugar. So, lay off the soft drinks and have a hearty meal of carbs before venturing out to tour homes. The average number of homes that an agent shows to a buyer in one day is seven. Any more than that, and the brain is on overload. Therefore, don’t expect to see 20 or 30 homes; although it’s physically possible to do so, you probably will not remember specific details about any of them.

The “Red Shoes” Experience for a Home Buyer

Women will relate to this. Say, you need a new pair of red shoes. You go to the mall. At the first shoe store, you find a fabulous pair of red shoes. You try them on. They fit perfectly. They are glamorous. Priced right, too. Do you buy them? Of course not! You go to every other store in the mall trying on red shoes until you are ready to drop from exhaustion. Then you return to the first store and buy those red shoes. Do not shop for a home this way. When you find the perfect home, buy it.

How a First-Time Home Buyer Can Rate Inventory

  • Bring a digital camera and begin each series of photos with a close-up of the house number to identify where each group of home photos start and end.
  • Take copious notes of unusual features, colors and design elements.
  • Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What is next door?
  • Do you like the location? Is it near a park or a power plant?
  • Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.

View Top Choices a Second Time Before Buying That First Home

After touring homes for a few days, you will probably instinctively know which one or two homes you would like to buy. Ask to see them again. You will see them with different eyes and notice elements that were overlooked the first go-around.

Making the Selection To Buy a Home

Remember, real estate agents are required to point out defects and should help buyers feel confident that the home selected meets the buyer’s search parameters. So, feel good about buying a home!


October 18, 2011

7 Deadly Sins of Overpricing

According to a recent report from, it is tempting to many sellers to take a few percentage points onto the price of their home to “leave room to negotiate.” This temptation should be avoided, let’s take a look at the seven deadly sins of overpricing:

  1. Appraisal Problems: Even if you do find a buyer willing to pay an inflated price, the fact is over 90% of buyers use some kind of financing to pay for their home purchase. If your home won’t appraise for the purchase pric,e the sale will likey fail.
  2. No Showings: Today’s sophisticated home buyers are well elected about the real estate market. If your home is overpriced they won’t bother looking at it, let alone make you an offer. 
  3. Branding Problems: When a new listing hits the market, eery agent quickly check the property out to see if it’s a good fit for their clients. If your home is branded as “overpriced”, reigniting interest may take drastic measures.
  4. Selling the Competition: Overpricing helps your competition. How? You make their lower prices seem like bargains. Nothing is worse than watching your neighbors put up a sold sign.
  5. Stagnation: The longer your home sits on the market, the more likely it is to become stigmatized or stale. Have you ever seen a property that seems to be perpetually for sale? Do you ever wonder – What’s wrong with that house?
  6. Tougher Negotiations: Buyers who do view your home may negotiate harder because the home has been on the market for a longer period of time and because it is overpriced compared to the competition.
  7. Lost Opportunites: You will lose a percentage of buyers who are outside of your price point. These are buyers who are looking in the price range that the home will eventually sell for but don’t see the home because the price is above their pre-set budget.

Most buyers look at 10 -15 homes before making a buying decision. Because of this, setting a competitive price relative to the competition is an essential component to a successful marketing strategy.

Learn more at

October 14, 2011

5 Steps to Avoid Buying a Money Pit

According to, here are 5 steps that will help you avoid buying a money pit.

  1. Attend Inspections. When you’re there in person, the inspector is able to physically show you the items that may need repair, and give you their professional opinion of how serious and large needed repairs may actually be at a level of clarity a written report may lack. Sometimes, written inspection reports convey minor items (like reversed hot and cold faucets) as a red-flagged health and safety issue, and more major items (like a problematic foundation) as something that needs further inspection. If you are at the inspection in the flesh, you can brief the inspector on what level of cost and effort you consider major (and vice versa), and ask them to help you understand roughly where the property overall and any individual repairs needed fall, from that perspective.
  2. Read the Reports and Disclosures. Reading the inspectors’ reports is critical to avoiding a money pit. Things to watch for and investigate further in the sellers’ reports and disclosures include:  repairs the seller completed themselves, repeated repairs to the same home system, water and leakage issues, and any reports of non-functionaing mechanical or other systems in the home. In your inspectors’ reports, make sure to notice: repair estimates they offer, items that seem like they will have to be completed soon (versus upgrades you can do over the long run), items that seem like they might run into big ticket dollar amounts, and especially watch for any recommendations that you get a specialist to look at something. Follow up on your reading of reports and disclosures by working with your agent to: list your questions and concerns, ask the inspector and seller any follow-up questions you have, and obtaingin reliable repair estimates.
  3. Get Multiple Repair Bids. Money pits often occur when buyers take a place knowoing it needs what they thought was a little work, that actually turns out to be a much more costly or involved repair once the actual repiar contractor takes a look or starts the work. Get multiple repair bids from reputable contractors while you are still within the inspection contingency time frame of your contract. These repair estimates can also provider the basis for any renogotiation you and your agent choose to initiate with the seller for price reduction, repairs or increased closing cost credits.
  4. Stop Overconfidence In Its Tracks. Even if you expect to cut costs by doing some work yourself, I urge you to contact and obtain bids on the repairs and upgrades you plan from actual professionals, so you can at least be armed with the information about what it will cost to get them done if you can’t complete them for any reason.
  5. Prioritize Price Reductions and Credits over Seller Repairs. For the most part, buyers will select their own materials and repair contractors with more care and are generally more deeply invested in ensuring that repairs are completed to their satisfaction than an outgoing seller. If you are negotiating with your home’s seller over repairs that need to happen, discuss with your agent whether it might make sense to ask for a price reduction or a closing cost credit to offset the cost of the repairs so you can have them completed to your standards, and with the materials and by the contractors of your choice, after clsoing.                       





September 28, 2011

Things to Remember when Buying a House

According to a recent article on suite 101’s website, Buying a house will probably be the most expensive purchase in most people’s lives. Here are some tips to help make sure everyone gets the best deal.

Mortgage Hints

Always get pre-approved for a mortgage. Most banks will do this for free, and with no obligation. Make sure to get good estimates of property taxes and insurance so this can be factored into the pre-approval decision. Some towns have much higher taxes than others.

Make sure to first check all local banks for their rates. Some offer better rates for current customers. It can also be convenient to be able to stop by in person for any questions that pop up, and have local numbers to call. Local banks and credit unions will accept same-day loan payments in case you are running late.

Don’t take out the full amount of money that you are pre-approved for. The monthly mortgage payment should be based on one’s budget, not on how much the bank thinks they should spend. Remember, they want to lend as much money as possible so that they can collect as much interest as possible. Whatever you budget that you can afford, try to reduce that amount even further. Remember, the income you make now could change with lay-offs, injuries, pregnancies, etc. It’s always better to be able to save some money every month for emergencies.

Try to put down as much of a downpayment as possible. Many banks require that home buyers take out Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, if their downpayment is less than 20%. This is an additional cost that can be avoided by saving up for at least a 20% downpayment before thinking about purchasing a home.

Finding the House

Do as much research before meeting with a real estate agent. It pays to narrow down your options to a few locations. Then you can get to know the areas well and research home prices. This can allow you to make sure you are getting the most house for your money.

Most people should avoid purchasing a fixer-upper, or a house that needs a lot of work. Unless the buyer is extremely handy around the house and has a lot of free time, things often don’t end up getting done. Also, if you buy a house that needs some work, make sure the important things (kitchen appliances, electrical system, plumbing) all work. Then, if for some reason the economy tanks, other smaller renovating projects can be put off for later.

Visit Suite101 for more tips.

September 26, 2011

Beginning Your Search for the Perfect Home

Before you get too attached to a certain property, make sure that you have thought through the issues that are most important to you and what you want out of this new home. Consider using the Key Features Wanted in New Home worksheet provided here by (homebuying) as a guideline and think through the issues that are most important when comparing properties.


Distance to employment __________________________________
Proximity to family __________________________________ 

Proximity to child care __________________________________

School district __________________________________

Access to public transportation __________________________________

Proximity to airport, train station, and so on __________________________________

Desired amenities nearby (parks, walking or bike trails, and so on) __________________________________

How does this property compare to others in the neighborhood? __________________________________

Are home values in the neighborhood stable? __________________________________

Is the neighborhood undergoing revitalization? __________________________________

Are there any special assessments or taxes for this neighborhood? __________________________________

What other issues involving location are important to you? __________________________________

Features of property:

Number of bedrooms __________________________________

Number of bathrooms __________________________________

Garage capacity __________________________________

Style of home __________________________________

Master bedroom on first floor __________________________________

Master bathroom __________________________________

Laundry facilities on first floor __________________________________

Handicap accessible __________________________________

Washer and dryer __________________________________

Formal dining room __________________________________

Dine-in kitchen __________________________________

Built-in dishwasher __________________________________

Formal livng room __________________________________

Seperate space for home office ________________________________

Basement ____________________________________

Ample stoarage space ____________________________________

Fireplace __________________________________________

Deck or patio ___________________________________________

Fenced in yard ___________________________________________

Shade trees ___________________________________________

Level driveway _________________________________________

Ample space for gardening or outdoor activities ________________________________________

Home association dues __________________________________

Amount of initial repairs or remodeling required _________________________________________

Other critical features you’d like in your new home ____________________________________________

September 20, 2011

4 Strategies to Customize and Personalize Your New Home

One of the true joys of homeownership is your ability to truly make your home yours – customizing and personalizing it to suit your tastes, your family, and your lifestyle to a t. According to a recent article from, Here are four smart strategies for customizing your new home.

  1. Paint to create that feel you want, inside and out. Studies show that color choices can have a massive impact on the mood and even the happiness of a home’s residents, so get to painting!
    Exterior: Consider your dream home, what color was it? Repainting your home can make a massive change to its look and curb appeal, and can turn a home you can afford into the home you’ve always dreamed of.
    Front door, shutters, and fences: If you bought a home that has a relatively fresh coat of paint job or an overall color you like, consider painting just the front doo to inject some color and your personal touch. Painting shutters, fences, and other exterior accents a contrasting color of your choice are additional quick and inexpensive – but powerful – tweeks that can also make your home look buttoned up and , well, yours.
    Interior: Aim to match colors to a room’s purpose, so that bedrooms have a sense of restful santuary, bathroom walls read “clean,” and common living areas are warm or energizing, as you wish!
  2. Inventory your space and your stuff before you unpack. Moving in presents an opportunity to truly customize your living spaces for the activites you want to do and things you want to “live” in them. Make a chart that divides all your home’s spaces – all of them, including any seemingly wasted spaces or nook-ey areas under the stairs or in the garage, before you move in.  Then decide what you want to do and what you want to store in each area. This approach empowers you to make sure every person, activity and thing in your home has the right amount and type of space.
  3. Build organization in. Built-ins make a world of difference. It’s relatively low-cost and low-effort to build in items like:
    a. clost organizers,
    b. window seats,
    c. desktops and bookshelves,
    d. pantry-optimizing shelves, spinners and drawers, and
    e. medicine and linen cabinets
  4. Match your furniture to your space, your activites and your stuff. Remember the space issues you couldn’t stand in your last place? Anticipate them, and as you plan to buy your furniture, look for things that offrer extra organizational or storage features.
    Also, if your space inventory (see #2 on the list) showed up lots of stuff with no place to go , make an effort to buy armoires, storage closets and sheds to give your home a polished look that reflects your organized and personal style.

Visit for more tips.


September 19, 2011

4 Need-to-Knows for Buying and Selling Homes at the Same Time

According to a recent article from, here are four need-to-knows for those who want to sell their current home and buy a new one, at the same time.

  1. Meet with a local agent who actively sells homes in your neighborhood, far in advance of listing or house hunting.  You need them to brief you on items like how long you should expect your home to take to sell on today’s market, what you can do to move it faster, as well as get their professional opinion as to what price you can expect to get for your home. This will impact whether or not you need to consider a short sale.  This is all information you will need to provide your mortgage pro with, so collect it as early as possible in the process. A year before you need to move is not too soon to have your first meeting with your agent.
  2. Meet with your mortage broker before you start looking for homes or put your own home on the market. It’s essential that you have them walk with you through both your sell and your plans to buy, before you do either. Why? A good local mortgage broker can work with you and your agent to help you do the math on what you’ll net from your home sale, help you know how much you (a) can qualify to buy, and (b) will need to come up with for your purchase, understand whether the sale will impact your credit at all and by how much, and help time your sale with your purchase.
  3. Know your options for staying in after closing – or moving in early.  Many homeowners try to buy and sell at precisely the simultaneous moment, with very little overlap, because they don’t want to throw money away on rentals. The reality of today’s market is that very, very few sales close precisely when they are expected to, mostly for reasons entirely out of the control of either party. In any event, if you are selling your home, before your purchase will be complete, know that it’s okay to ask for a “rent-back” where you can stay in the property for as long as a month or more after the sale closes by agreement with the buyer to pay them rent on the property in the amount of their mortgage payment, taxes and insurance for the time you remain in the home. On the other hand, if you are buying after your sale closes, some sellers will alow you to move in before closing on a similar arrangement. Before you start to freak out at the thought that your ‘buy’ won’t close when you need it to, know that this option might be available, and talk with your home’s seller to see if they’ll consider it.
  4. Plan for gaps – and for overlaps.  There is very little in this world we can be sure of, except the high probablility of your escrow closing date. Having a back up plan in place just in case you close one or both transactions off-schedule is essential to avoiding the surprise-induced panic attacks. So, if you want or need to buy before you sell, build a cash cushion that can cover double payments for a couple of months. If that’s not in the budget, or if you’d like to try out your new neighborhood or town before you buy, close your home’s sale, then plan on renting a place during your house hunt.