Tammy Stone
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Selling A Home

Should I Sell My House Home

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 Sometimes people have the funds to update their home before they sell it, in order to increase the overall value.

 The question usually asked is, "How much money should I put into my renovation and where should I spend it?"

 The SINGULAR room in your home that will get you the most bang for your buck is the KITCHEN.

No matter what your budget or home goals, there's one simple and cost-effective update that can get you the most money when you sell: updating your kitchen. Whether it's a total gut job or just adding some more efficient appliances, kitchens are consistently one of the biggest sellers in any real estate market. Here are some ways you can update your kitchen - from the full remodel to less expensive options in updating a kitchen.



A new kitchen and bathroom are big ticket items, but they're also some of the most valuable improvements you can make to your home. From replacing appliances to new cabinets, adding granite countertops, and installing a backsplash, these updates have a long-lasting effect on your home value.

Changing Out the Countertops

If you're looking to sell your home for top dollar, you should consider replacing outdated countertops. Replacing outdated countertops will make a huge difference in your house's resale value.


Picking a fresh color or painting a room is one of the easiest ways to make a home feel like it has new life. When you paint, your walls may look new and bright again, and even your old furniture can look modern with a coat of paint on it. Choosing paint colors that are popular for houses in your area will help you get more money when you sell because buyers don't have to worry about stepping outside their comfort zone if they like what they see at first glance.

Bonus - Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances can add over $15,000 to your home's value. If you're planning on selling your home anytime soon, it might be time to upgrade your appliances to stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances will often make buyers think of high-end kitchens and may prompt them to offer more money than if they were seeing a kitchen with more traditional materials like laminate or granite countertops.


Easy Ways to Increase Your Home Value

  • Repaint your door
  • Paint kitchen cabinets
  • Update kitchen handles
  • Add extra seating areas outside
  • New outlets and light switch plates
  • Front porch – flowers – First impression of the home. Same with landscaping
  • Get rid of popcorn ceiling
  • Add visible storage
  • Stash the majority of your specifically personal items
  • Take care of tiles
  • Swap out lighting
  • Neutral paint colors
  • Paint the inside of your window frames
  • Paint older bathtubs
  • Invest remodel money into the kitchen
  • Call the inspector before you list
  • Find out from Realtor what buyers are looking for and then do those things.
  • Update your laundry space – organization spaces
  • DIY Built in Bookcases
  • Add a Bedroom by installing a closet

You've made the decision to sell, now what?  What needs to be done?

First Impressions Count

Here's a few things to think about:

  • You need to take an honest look at everything in your house. The exterior, interior, kitchen space etc… from a fresh set of eyes.  You HAVE to see this from a buyer's point of you and what they would like and not like about your abode.  What would you want if you were the buyer looking at your home for the first time?  If you are unable to see this with clear eyes, have a friend come over and have them give you an honest opinion of your home and what "they see."
  • Take out the emotion. Selling a home is an emotional experience because you have memories tied to it.  When your home goes up for sale, you will receive feedback comments from a buyer's showing experience.  Sometimes, these comments are hard to digest.  It's ok.  That's normal.  As you're getting ready to sell, and looking at items that need to be fixed, try to remove the emotion from that process.
  • Buyers want to be able to move right in and not have to do any repairs or cosmetic changes. Knowing this information, will help you decide what projects need to be a priority to get top dollar.  If you need more advice on whether or not to tackle a project, I'm here to help.

Repair, Repair, Repair

If you know the gutters are falling down and need to be tightened up, Do it!  First impressions count and Curb Appeal is the first impression that someone has of your house.  Take a good hard look at the exterior of the house and see what loose ends need to be fixed.

Let's just make this easy… Fix everything that needs to be fixed in order to sell.  If you are questioning this or money is tight, let's chat.  I'll come over and tell you what has to be done.  FYI, if some items are not repaired, it may have to be reflected in your listing price.


You knew I was going to say this!


The number one goal is to sell your home as quickly and painlessly as possible.  Correct?

Realize that buying a home is an emotional process for the buyer (and for you, the seller).  The less stress you create, the better chances of selling are for you with a higher price tag.  So not to sound like a broken record but...


Declutter, Organize and Tidy Up


Your clutter stresses people out.  Here are some helpful tips:

  • Tackle one room at a time
  • Have the following bins: Trash, Recycle, Donate
  • Remember less is more. That is the less furniture and items in the room, the larger the room looks.  People want to see the space so if you don't need it and don't want to move it to the next home, then get rid of it!
  • Tidy up kids toys with storage cubes and container.
  • If you plan on selling and moving – start packing!
    1. Ziplock bags for bolts/screws. If you are taking apart furniture and reassembling at a later date… put the screws in the Ziploc and tape them to the furniture.
    2. Towels are a great source for packing up the fine dinnerware and glassware.
    3. Dollar stores are a great place to secure extra boxes.
    4. "Saran wrap" the furniture if you don't want it to be knicked up in the moving process.
    5. Label all boxes with the room it should be unpacked in.
    6. Garbage bags work great for clothes and pillows.
    7. Tools, cleaning supplies and food should be packed last.
  • Exterior – Remember First Impressions Count. So be sure to take care of the exterior of the home and the yard.  It's the very first thing the buyer looks at!
  • Depersonalize your home. The buyer needs to be able to see their furniture in your house so try to make the rooms look as big as possible and remove the unnecessary furniture and items and keep it as generic as possible.
    1. Bathrooms - All personal items need to be removed including the bathroom. Clean countertops are the best.

All people really want is a clean house!


Simple Steps in the Staging Process

  • You want buyers to visualize themselves in that space. Kitchen… they are cooking in their kitchen.
  • You want the buyer to be attracted to the beauty and style of the kitchen or space.
  • Space needs to be clean and ready to use.
  • Stagers create a story. Place settings are out on the table for example.
  • Use high end finishes to make a statement.
  • Replace light fixtures
  • Replace kitchen hardware
  • Use space more efficiently by adding built-in storage
  • Add architectural interest – Have a focal point in room
  • Storage!!!

Balance – Sometimes, the "against the wall theory" is not the greatest idea.  Is the room balanced?  Is all the furniture to one side?  Create a balance so that there's a natural walking flow path around the sitting area.

Function - Lighting, use natural and ambient lights.  Living rooms (even formal) should have a coffee table and a place to put down a drink.

Color Neutral with a splash of color.


Zestimate, Realtor.com.  What Should you be looking at when it comes to pricing your home?

  • Location, Location, Location – Famous Real Estate words. Fact: It is all about location because some locations will pull more $ than others. More specifically, for the greater West Michigan area, school districts tend to be buyer's deciding factor in purchasing a home.  The good school districts will usually reap the best rewards in home equity.  That or lakefront.
  • Apples to Apples – Appraisers will value your home based on the area, homes within a certain mile radius, same style of home (ranch, two-story Ie.), same age, similar square footage especially on the main floor and then number of bedrooms. Adjustments will be made for extra add-ons to a house (for example, granite countertops) in comparison to the other home that sold that didn't have granite countertops and the value will either add or subtract from the base price based on those extra features.  Again, the point is trying to find homes that sold in the area that are an "apples to apples" comparison.
  • Price per square foot – The value of the home is largely dependent on the ANSI (above square footage – not including the basement). I look at this figure to see what the other homes in the area are getting based on the average price/per square foot.  It gives a good base of about where the home should land for pricing on the real estate market.
  • SEV – State Equalized Value – This is the value the state values your home at. Way by when, we used to take this value and times it by 2 to get a sales price.  I have a formula for this one as well just to see where the sold homes are landing in this comparison on average.
  • Appreciation Rate for Area – how much has your specific area increased in value per year since you first purchased your home?

In my professional opinion, I look at all these items to get you the most money possible when selling your home.  If you are thinking about selling, I would love to meet with you to discuss what the best price will be to list your home for sale on the market today!


With a little bit of forethought, selling a home doesn't have to be a difficult process.  Here are some things you should think about:


Starts with the Decision to Sell

  • Why are you selling?
  • Do you have equity?
  • Do you understand what's going on in the market?
  • Are you looking for something different in life?  A different lifestyle?
  • Do you need to move?  Job change? Loss of job


What's the Plan?

  • How are you going to find a buyer??
  • What about the paperwork?
  • Who's going to negotiate with the buyers?
  • A good Realtor should be able to answer the typical time frame for selling in your neighborhood, the best marketing strategy for selling, how the listing price will be determined, what the staging process looks like, the hurdles in selling your home, the best way to stay in contact with you.


You've made the decision, now what…

What needs to be done? Fix Repairs, Declutter etc… Staging. How can you stand out from the competition? Curb appeal, Move-in condition

 Make the List!

How do we determine home price?

Zestimate, Realtors. What you should be looking at.


Listing a Home – What to Expect

1) Marketing Buzz

2) Someone to give you advice on which improvements to tackle

3) What the listing contact says and how it reads

4) Communication within 24 hours.  What we expect of you … that you're flexible, try not be offended, and that you do respond and communicate as well.


Marketing Buzz



Everything is Negotiable – Go through contract – Price, Closing time, possession time etc…) See if from the buyer's perspective (meeting of the minds)  Results – What's your End Goal?


Let's Chat.  I can help!


Ok, so that was just a tease because I am a great Realtor and I do hope you use me to help your sell home.  What I will do, is say it like it is, give you all the information you need, and lead you through all the steps.

How much time do we have?

Let's face it, all you care about is that your home gets sold for top dollar, in your time frame, and with the least amount of hassle.  Correct?

First Question… What is your time frame for selling?  If you need to be at a new job in 60 days out of state, and once you receive an offer on your house (typical time frame is 45 days from start to finish), then there's not much time to do much of anything but put your home on the market.

Few things to remember:

  • Your home selling price is determined by the sold homes in your neighborhood and like qualities. Apples to apples.  A Ranch home with 3 bedrooms compared to another ranch home with similar features that sold within the last six months in the area.
  • Buyers want to purchase a move-in ready home. The condition of your home will be reflected in your selling price.
  • What is the time for selling in your neighborhood?


If you truly want to sell for top dollar

  1. You need to have a plan!
  2. How are you going to find a buyer?
  3. What are the buyers looking for?
  4. What should you fix?
  5. Should you put money into repairs?
  6. How are you going to determine a price?
  7. What about the paperwork?
  8. Who's going to negotiate with the buyers?

Here's where a good Realtor comes into the picture.  They should be able to answer the typical time frame for selling in your neighborhood, the best marketing strategy for selling, how the listing price will be determined, what the staging process looks like, the hurdles in selling your home, the best way to stay in contact with you.  Their job is to take care of you their client and handle all these things that you may not have time to deal with.

If you would like some help, you have my number and email. :)



  How are you going to find a buyer for your home?  You need to think like a buyer.  Put yourself in their shoes.

What are the buyers looking for?  Does your home have those features?  What type of buyer is the perfect fit for your home?

Market – Demographic/Psychographic

In order to think like a buyer, you need to know WHO that person may be?  Does your home attract the first-time home buyer or someone looking for a second home?    About how much they would have to make in order to buy your house at your price range?  What makes them tick?

The Typical Buyer

  • Wants at least 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths
  • If they have kids, they are driven by school districts and being in a good one!
  • Women usually are concerned about the living space – bedroom size, living room, kitchen.
  • Men usually need a man cave, garage or basement space.

Who is YOUR perfect buyer for your home?

  • How old are they?
  • What gender?
  • Interests and Hobbies?
  • Occupation?
  • Level of Education?
  • How much do they make?  This determines how much they can afford to buy.
  • Do they have kids?

What does YOUR perfect buyer need?

Are they looking for a certain school district?

How many beds/baths will they want?

Want a backyard?

Need a basement?

Want an updated or open kitchen?

They work from home and need great internet speed?

Marketing – Find/Attract Them  Where are They?

Everything Virtual

In the good ole days, we used to advertise in the newspaper.  What's a newspaper, you say?  Exactly!  Now, it's a race to see who finds your home the fastest and what's the best way to market online?

  • Obviously, the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), is your best option. Yes, you need to use a Realtor and pay a commission to use this service but EVERYTHING pulls from the local MLS.  Zillow, Realtor.com and all those beautiful sites, actually pull from the local MLS boards.  So don't shoot yourself in the foot and NOT get the most exposure that you possibly can get when marketing your home.
  • Google search – how do you find a home? Well, we just googled, "homes for sale in ada mi."   2nd best way to get exposure but tricky for everyone to make the front page of google unless they (Realtors) are paying for Ad words.
  • Facebook Ads – another tool that Realtors use to push out a home. This one works well, but because it's an "Ad", there is obviously a cost associated with it.
  • Virtual Tours these are popular to add on to a listing since it works like a video and video ranks high in searches.
  • Videos – my favorite!!! I love video walk throughs on listings.  I do this quite often for buyers who are out of town and I need to be their eyes.  You physically video tape while walking through the home.

There is a lot that goes into marketing your home.  The goal is to give you the most exposure to drive up the price, to have you bank the most money!  Creating a Marketing Buzz is the best way to get that result!

Contact me if you are interested in seeing how I create a "Marketing Buzz" around your home!


So, you've been thinking about selling your home but are questioning if NOW is the time to sell?  How's the market?  Is it a buyer's market, seller's market?  Will my home sell quickly?  Do I have enough equity? If I do sell, what's next? 

It Always Comes Back to Your Why

First things first, the home selling process begins with the decision to sell.  Here's what's funny.  As a Realtor, we tend to forget how this process goes until we actually have to go through the home selling process ourselves.  And while I know the ropes inside and out, it was still stressful, it was emotional, and it was a lot of work to get the home ready to sell BUT…

It was also worth it!  I knew what I wanted. 

I sold my home three years ago after making the decision that it was too much work for me to maintain.  I went through a divorce a few years back and held onto the house, for a secure place for my kids to come HOME to.  Once, they graduated from high school and were heading off to college, I knew it was time for me to move on. It was my opportunity to pursue what I really wanted, which was a home on an all-sports lake.  I have so many fond memories of going to my grandparent's cottage and spending time on the lake, that I know this is my dream home. My lifestyle changed.  My kids moved out of the house.  Now, it was time for me to pursue my dream home.  

You can't time the market or your life… but you can make a plan (Be sure to check out LifeHack below).

 Start planning ahead…

  • In the next year… what does your family need? Do you need more space?  Would you like a bigger kitchen? 
  • Is your family getting bigger? Is there a possibility that parents/grandparents may have to live with you?  Will you be an empty nester soon and want to think about a smaller home?
  • Do you want a better lifestyle? Do you like the hustle and bustle of city life?  Love suburbia?  Prefer the woods and no neighbors?  Love the peace and enjoyment with lakefront living?

 One of my Favorite Life Hacks I use this life hack every year when I reset my goals.  I absolutely love it!  Thanks to Dean Grazoisi and his book Millionaire Success Habits.) Check it out…

If you could fast forward a year and then look back and it was the BEST YEAR of YOUR LIFE, what does that Best Year look like?

  • How much money are you making? How much money do you have saved?
  • Where do you work? From home or in the office?
  • Are you taking your company to the next level? Do you own your own business?
  • How does your significant other look at you in the morning after a long day?
  • How is your relationship with your family, kids, and friends?

Sometimes, we need to look at the bigger picture of life, and then make a plan to get there. I have the plan to get you where you want to go and lead you through the process!

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