post If you can make your Entryway look like THIS then you can sell in ANY market!

January 13th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 10:28 pm

Wow! sometimes I walk up to a house and they have done such a fantastic job that I want to buy it myself. I’m just going to let the video speak for itself. If you are thinking about selling your home you should watch this video and learn from these home sellers.

Visit to learn more or Click Here to list your home with Mike now and…Start Packing!

post Start at the Front Door

January 13th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 10:28 pm

I’m always advising clients to “stop by and look at your home through the eyes of a completely unbiased buyer” when you are getting ready to sell. I mean “stop by” quite literally. When you are preparing your home to sell you should get in your car, drive around the neighborhood and look at other homes for sale then return to your home as if you are a buyer seeing it for the first time. Look for ways that your home is visually more or less appealing than the homes you saw and take notes. Then get out of the car and approach the front door and notice how you immediately form an impression of the home you are about to enter. There is a phenomenon that causes buyers to form instant opinions of homes within the first second of first seeing the home. I can’t explain it but I know with absolute certainty that it exists. You can actually FEEL it if you are very honest with yourself when you approach your own door. It goes without saying then that the appeal of your entryway is a very important thing to consider. Unless you have recently painted (less than 1 year) the trim and front door of your home you should ALWAYS do so immediately before listing. Be careful to notice any rotten trim, damaged kick plates and other unsightly defects that may be in view and take care to repair those issues. Picture a buyer who is waiting for the agent to mess with the lockbox and get the keys out, put them in the lock and open the door. There’s a lot of time to look around and notice things. Don’t cut corners on dressing up your front entryway. This is where making the perfect impression is critical.

Click the video below to see how a half-hearted effort can actually make the entryway look worse than if you had done nothing at all.

Visit to learn more or Click Here to list your home with Mike now and…Start Packing!

post Ahhh…If you can do these simple things then your house can sell as FAST as this “Dollhouse” did.

January 8th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 1:13 pm

Sometimes I spot a house that just makes me drool as a real estate agent. If all of my listings looked like this one I’d go ahead and book a 9 month cruise. ;-) This home immediately caught my eye from a distance as I was driving through a cute little neighborhood this weekend. I knew I spotted a winner. The grass was trimmed, the landscaping looked manicured, the paint was light and bright and fresh and the driveway was so white and clean that I wouldn’t have dared to park on it. These are the simple but critical things that you need to do to the exterior of your home to get buyers inside. Did you know that a recent report revealed 98.3% of home buyers do their shopping on line? Makes sense that the OUTSIDE of your home better look PERFECT or they’ll eliminate you quickly and “click” right on to a home that DOES look great. Oh yeah……when I got a little closer to this home I spotted the “Under Contract” sign in the yard. Coincidence? I doubt it.

Watch the video below to see how these smart sellers sold their house fast in a so-called “tough” market…ha!

Visit to learn more or Click Here to list your home with Mike now and…Start Packing!

post Avoid these TWO DEADLY PITFALLS that can KILL a home sale – even for a GREAT home!

January 7th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 11:59 pm

Having a great home on a wonderful lot is NOT enough to get a home sold today. Because foot traffic is a little slower than in years past many sellers get complacent and frankly just plain lazy about selling their homes. What they don’t realize is that slow foot traffic does not mean that they aren’t getting “lookers”. In fact, today MORE PEOPLE THAN EVER ARE “LOOKING” AT HOMES. They are just looking at them in a different manner. You’d be a fool not to realize that technology has changed our world forever. People no longer see agents as the gatekeepers of information and they just don’t call us first when they want to know more about a house. They simply dial it up on their computer from the privacy of their own home, they look at the pictures and they call us when they want to know more. But imagine what happens when buyers DO drive by your house and cars are parked in the driveway. They drive by quickly hoping to avoid running into an anxious seller who attacks them with questions and insists that they “come have a look”. Bluntly, it scares them to know you’re home. And think about the picture it paints in their minds when they see toys in the driveway or in the yard that aren’t put away neatly-hhhmmmmmm…..”If they didn’t bother to pick up the outside then I can only imagine what the INSIDE must look like.” Look, if you really are serious about selling your home then you need to understand that it’s the silly details that make or break a home sale. Selling a home isn’t brain surgery but it isn’t easy if you’re a slacker either. Get off your butt and pay a little attention to the small things. Check out this video of a home for sale that would actually have a fighting chance of selling if they would just pick up the trike, move that truck (well at least it’s hiding more toys that you can’t see) and put those trash cans out of sight.

Visit to learn more or Click Here to list your home with Mike now and…Start Packing!

post How NOT to correct Drainage Issues (and simple and cheap things you SHOULD do)

January 5th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 10:12 pm

Drainage problems are a very big thing to consider when you are selling your home. A little insider secret you should know right off the bat is that “Drainage” is one of the check mark items on the clipboard of most home inspectors. Whether you “think” you have a drainage issue or not here are two things you should do right now if you are thinking about selling that will save you a headache during your inspection.

1. Put splash blocks under ALL gutters.

2. If you have an area that gives ANY indication that the “grade” of your lot just might hold the tiniest bit of water up against your home then go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy some black flexible drain tubing and attach it to your gutters and roll it out to a point where the water will safely runoff away from your foundation. This stuff comes in a big roll and costs less than $50. Believe me it is a heck of a lot cheaper than the recommended “fix” that the inspector will suggest to the seller which very well may be to “re-grade” your lot. Don’t fool yourself. This really DOES happen. Ignoring this advice could blow a deal or cost you thousands of dollars to keep one together. I recently closed a deal for a builder where an overzealous inspector recommended tearing out an entire portion of a sidewalk when all that was necessary was a little drain tubing. We ended up having to hire a structural engineer to prove the inspector wrong. Buyers ALWAYS believe what their inspector tells them and are skeptical of your biased response. A little care up front is well worth your time and money.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all I come across something that literally gives me a good laugh. Check out this crazy home seller did to learn what you should NOT do to fix a drainage problem.

Visit to learn more or Click Here to list your home with Mike now and…Start Packing!

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