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A Smooth Relocation Experience


Dallas Fort Worth City LifestyleExcited about your move to Michigan? We are too! In this article by Amber Berger, we’ve compiled the perfect moving checklist for you to have a smooth relocation experience.

Take Care of Your Belongings 

To reduce the hassle of moving belongings it’s best to start early.

  • Donate Items in Good Condition: According to The Chicago Green Box, kitchen appliances, utensils, linens, and furniture can be donated to a local charity or the non-profit of your choice.
  • Organize a Garage Sale: If you need some pocket cash, organize a garage sale or list your items on online marketplaces such as Facebook and Craigslist.
  • Hire Movers: According to, 2-3 weeks before your move, make arrangements with movers. This can include paying an advance and blocking their services for your moving date.

Complete All Formalities

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind before and after relocating:

  • Visit your local post office and submit a request for a change of address. This will ensure your mails are automatically being forwarded to the new address.
  • Similarly, contact your service providers of gas, electricity, and internet and inform them of the cut-off date. If the same provider is present in your new neighborhood, you could simply request to transfer their services.

By choosing to relocate to Michigan, you've picked one of the best locations to live in. We look forward to having you in the Great Lakes State.

The Impact of Professional Photography


" Does professional video and photography really help sell homes? "

Hiring a professional photographer is an absolute must when we put a new listing on the market. I’ve even hired professionals to help market a property listed for 32,000! The price of the home does not matter, every listing of ours is marketed by professionals and here’s why..

Majority of buyers start their home search online. It’s essential to make a strong first impression! Listing photos are the frontline of marketing. Buyers need to be “wowed” from their computer screens before they consider coming to look in person. If listing pictures are out of focus, off-center or blurry, it can create a false impression of the home causing buyer to lose interest. Photos will be the deciding factor whether or not the buyer would like to go visit the property.

Home tours, especially over the last 12 months, have become a crucial part of marketing as well.

Watching a virtual home tour from the comfort of your couch is the “new normal” in today’s market. Regularly, home shoppers watch online home tours before attending an actual showing. This helps sell the property because it can really give the buyer an idea of what to expect and helps them prepare any questions about the property, making the physical showing a more productive experience! 

It’s as simple as this; professional photos make your home more marketable and attract more buyers! That’s why it’s our non-negotiable with every listing.

Increasing Marketability


Marketability and value go hand-in-hand. Taking steps to make your home more marketable to potential buyers can often lead to higher interest and higher offers. Here are few ways to increase the marketability of your home without breaking the bank.


  1. Improve the overall condition of your home. Take some time to look over the fine details. A fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest, most cost – effective improvements to make. It gives the house a clean, fresh feeling. Also pay attention to overgrown landscaping, dusty light fixtures, hard water stains in the toilets and bathtubs, disorganized closets and drawers, and carpet stains.
  1. Offer good terms. Sweeten the deal by offering “a little extra” something with the sale of your home. This may be as simple as leaving the kitchen appliances, mower, or offering a home warranty for new owners.
  1. Improve the way the home shows. Take some time to get your home in show-ready condition. Leave all the lights on throughout the house. Let in as much natural light as possible by opening all the curtains and blinds. Shut toilet seats and shower curtains. Remove personal belongings from shelves, tables and countertops.

  2. Price the home right. Work closely with a professional to ensure your home isn’t overpriced.


A true market value is simply what a buyer is willing to pay. Spending time to increase the marketability of your home before listing it will ideally increase its value too.

Understanding the Home Warranty


A Home Warranty offers a little extra coverage if something were to break in your new home. It can bring peace of mind when buying a previously-owned home. This is how it works: 

  1. Call.

If something breaks, make a call to your home warranty provider. They will let you know if the damage is covered and assign a claim number.

  1. Schedule.

Call a local contractor to come out and fix the damage.

  1. Payment.

As long as the repair is covered by your home warranty provider, you will be required to pay your package deductible, and your home warranty provider will cover the rest of the bill! A Home Warranty package can be paid for at closing, by either the buyer or the seller. The cost ranges per plan, but generally, the average cost is around $600 and is good for the first year in your home. 

Typical items covered in a home warranty are kitchen appliances, roof leaks, plumbing, heating systems, well pumps and water heaters. It’s a good idea to protect yourself against costly repairs and breakdowns, due to normal wear and tear, by purchasing a home warranty.

Pre-Listing Home Inspection


When it comes time to find a home inspector, your agent is your best source for recommending someone. A professional home inspector will spend the time going over your entire dwelling, inside and out, and then review their findings with you so you can determine what the next steps will be in preparing your home for sale. 


How old is your house? This can help determine what issues may arise during the home inspection process.  

Do your lights flicker, breakers or fuses blow?

Do you have a fuse box instead of a breaker panel?

Do you have aluminum wiring or knob and tube?

What condition is your plumbing in? 

Buyers need to replace or repair the plumbing. They will use this as a negotiating tool when it comes to their offer price. 

 How old is your furnace? Do you replace your filters regularly? It would be a good idea to dust off your furnace and hot water tank.  Do you have a water softener? Is it in good working order what condition is your roof and foundation in? These two areas can be Extremely expensive to repair. But if it isn’t done buyers will drastically reduce their offer price or completely walk away. 

Preparing your home for sale is not just about the cosmetic side but the structural side as well. When you’ve done everything from top to bottom inside and out your house will appraise well, and more than likely sell faster than your competition. 

Take Your Personality Out Of The House


Letting go emotionally can be a tough process. You’ve made the decision that you want to move, so now you need to commit to that and remove your identity from the house. The goal is to transform your home into a model home. We all know our home is a reflection of us by the way we have decorated, artwork we’ve selected, as well as the colors throughout. This can be a big distraction to the buyer as they would find it difficult visualizing themselves living in the house.

Disconnecting yourself from your house will allow the buyer to emotionally connect. We don’t want them to feel like they are just a guest in your home. When it comes to family photos, it's best to remove them. Yes, we are all thrilled with our accomplishments but these need to be packed up and stored until you move into your new home. It’s all about getting the buyer to connect with the house and having them imagine hanging up and placing their special items.

Do you have potentially offensive belongings in your home? We don’t want to lose even one potential buyer. Make sure to remove any items that could be potentially disagreeable and pre-pack them. Buyers want to make an offer on a house that they can have a positive emotional connection with.

Depersonalizing and disconnecting emotionally from your house will in turn get you more money in your pocket in the long haul.

3 Ways to Improve Home Security



You should feel safe and secure in your home.

Here are a few different ways to boost your security:

Landscaping & Fencing. High fences, a gated entrance and tall, thick hedges and trees can all be smart ways to insulate your property and improve privacy.

Tech Savvy Security. It probably goes without saying, but check out your options and secure your home with the latest smart locks, doorbells, cameras, sensors and more. You can monitor most of these straight from your phone.

Outdoor lighting. Well-lit properties are much less of a temptation to burglars and other potential trespassers. Consider installing lights in the garden, along walkways and at all entrances. Motion-activated lights near the garage and other more remote parts of the property are a good idea, too.

Are you looking for a more private home? Looking to buy a neighboring property? Get in touch today.



Furniture placement is critical. To see the home's full potential, remember to keep in mind the flow of the furniture. Imagine how the buyers will walk through each and every room. The natural flow of traffic during potential showings is important to recognize and plan around.

If your furniture is worn or dated, you will lose the focal point and can give the impression that the house is not well-maintained. 

How much lighting do you have in each room? Dark corners can make the room appear smaller, so create lots of light! Keep the curtains and blinds open too. Dimmer switches are a great way to add ambience in a room and buyers consider it an upgrade. 

If your permanent light fixtures are dated or in poor condition, buyers will make note of this when considering an offer. 

Properly placed furniture and fixtures show off prime features in any home, and allow buyers to see the function of each room. Just ask Amber if you’re in need of some specific staging tips for your home! 

Buyers and Sellers Guide To The Home Inspection


Buyers Guide to a Home Inspection

A home inspection is oftentimes not required for your loan. It’s up to the buyer to decide to have an inspection done or not. Although not required, we strongly recommend having your home inspected. We’ve never had a client regret making the decision to hire a home inspector.

A home inspection will help you understand the exact condition of what you’re buying. At the end of the inspection, you are given the choice to pull out of the deal, or to move forward knowing all the home’s flaws. The average cost of a home inspection is roughly $350. Prices depend on the size and age of the home and the rates of the home inspector you choose to hire.

Another great thing about getting your home inspected is all the pictures! Imagine: months down the road, you’re sitting on the couch in your new home, and you notice something out of place. You ask yourself, “Did it always look that way?” To find out, simply refer to the catalog of photos from your home inspection! The report can be 60+ pages full of pictures to use for future reference.

Lastly, home inspection can assess the life expectancy of your home’s mechanicals. Your home inspector will give you the life expectancy of things like the furnace, kitchen appliances, water heater, roof, etc. This knowledge allows you to prepare for any maintenance or repairs you’ll need to make in upcoming years. Home inspections give homeowners a “heads-up” to know what to budget for down the road. 

All in all, even if you think the house is perfect, we still recommend that you get that home inspection. The benefits are numerous, worth far more than the cost of the service.



Sellers Guide to a Home Inspection

"I’m selling my home. What will the buyer’s home inspector be looking for?"

Even if your home is pristine and perfect, the buyer will still normally request a home inspection. The home inspector will be looking for any underlying defects in the home that cannot be detected by the untrained eye. Here are some of the items the home inspector will assess: 

  •  Foundations, basements, and structures
  •  Basement floor and walls, proper drainage and ventilation, evidence of water seepage.
  •  Exterior siding, windows, and doors
  •  Porches, patios, decks, and balconies
  •  Roof type, material and condition, including gutters and downspouts
  •  Interior plumbing system
  •  Hot-and-cold water system, the waste system and sewage disposal, water pressure and flow, and hot-water equipment
  •  Electrical system including type of service, number of circuits, type of protection, outlet grounding and the load balance
  •  Central heating system, including energy source, type of cooling equipment, capacity, and distribution
  •  Interior walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors
  •  Stairways, cabinets, and countertops
  •  Attic, including structure, insulation, and ventilation
  •  Fireplace - chimney, damper, and masonry, and all functionality and components of a gas insert
  •  Garage - doors, walls, floor, opener
  •  Built-in appliances; dishwasher, range, microwave, refrigerator ?and washer and dryer, if included
  •  Ground slope away from foundation, condition of walks, steps, and driveway
  •  Radon levels

As a seller, the home inspection can be a nerve-racking process. Save yourself time, money, and disappointment by taking care of any deferred maintenance before the house hits the market.

Understanding The Appraisal


If the buyer plans to finance the house with a mortgage, the bank or lender will require an appraisal. A home appraisal is an expert’s opinion of how much the house is worth. The bank will send a third-party, certified, appraiser to the property to determine the fair market

value before closing. This value is non-negotiable.

The purpose of an appraisal is to protect the buyer from overpaying for the house. If the appraiser does not think the house is worth the amount of the offer, we will need to renegotiate terms.

On average, the cost of an appraisal is around $500. It’s important to know that this cost varies for each lender. While the bank arranges for an appraisal, it is the buyer’s responsibility to pay the bank before it is scheduled.

Plan for this process to take about 10 days.

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