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 REMOVING landscaping helped to sell my own house for $53K more!

January 4th, 2008

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 3:27 pm

It’s very easy to be arrogant when you are trying to sell your home however your own cockiness can really get in the way of your home selling plans. I recently sold my own home and I had these two very large tall bushes on either side of my front door (I’m no horticulture expert so I don’t know their official name but they were very nice and they looked exactly like the ones in the video below) and a gorgeous mature pear tree in the front yard. I LOVED that pear tree. It was a gorgeous red color, had beautiful blossoms and it always attracted little birds chirping. BUT because of where it sat it made it nearly impossible for buyers to see my house from the street. My wife INSISTED that we cut it down but I kept whining about the “poor little birdies” and besides, I was PROUD of my awesome tree, so I wanted it to stay. But I’m happy to say that it only took my wife reminding me of how frustrated I always got with sellers who refused to do EXACTLY the right things to sell their homes and then whined at me for months when they could have sold and been on their way had they just put in a little bit of effort on their part. Long story short-chainsaw wins, bushes and tree lose and I sell my house for $53K more than I expected to the 1st buyer who looked at it. Guess what? He “loved how the house looked on the lot”-go figure. Don’t be a hard head. You can’t take a bush with you and the birds won’t even remember you. Do the RIGHT things and smile all the way to the bank!

Click the video below to see an example of how eliminating some landscaping can actually make the house show better from the INSIDE also.

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

post Kill the Neighbor (not really)

December 18th, 2007

Filed under: Smart Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 2:51 pm

WHAT do you do when your neighbor is a PIG?! Well you can’t REALLY slaughter them but you can call the home owner’s association or the local county officials. You need to get past the fear of making your neighbors angry. Heck , it’s YOU who should be PISSED that they don’t have an ounce of respect for you. Get on ‘em like a hungry dog and insist on some repair and cleanup. Heed these words-You will LOSE MONEY when you try to sell your home if you live down wind from a chicken coop! Buyers will surely know WHY you are selling!

Watch the video below to see how these uncaring neighbors are lowering the value of the home for sale next door.

P.S. Remember I said I was KIDDING. You CANNOT and should not actually kill your neighbor! Maybe just slap him around a little bit. ;-)

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

post When bushes attack and your driveway cracks you need to fight back!

December 8th, 2007

Filed under: Smart Exterior Home Sale Tips,Smart Home Sale Tips — CostiganRE @ 11:45 am

Selling FSBO is tough enough-especially when you are clueless! I have helped thousands of people in Atlanta sell their homes successfully by approaching their home as if I were a buyer stopping in on my very first visit. I pay close attention to what the neighborhood looks like, how neighboring homes are taken care of and the “gut” feeling I get about the home when I first see it. I am always BLOWN AWAY at the level of pure laziness that I see from sellers who will inevitably proceed to tell me how shocked they are that their home hasn’t sold. I call it laziness because I know that the problems are either OBVIOUS and they are too lazy to address them or they are just plain too ignorant to see them in the first place. I prefer to think that most are just lazy. Write this down as Real Estate 101 if you need to: Buyers WILL NOT drive up your driveway just to get a look past the landscaping! If your shrubs are overgrown then cut them back. It is that simple to fix a failing home sale.

Just look at the video of this ridiculous attempt to sell a home. You can’t even see the house AND the driveway is totally worn out and cracked. Now you may think that $10K is a lot to spend on fixing a driveway but here’s a tip from an expert: When you do ALL the right things your home sale will NET you more almost every time than if you choose the “As-Is” route. Selling begins with emotion and you will NEVER find a buyer who’s heart just happily beats out of his chest over a cracked up old driveway. You WILL get bargain hunters! Like they say, “If you fish with stinking bait you’ll catch bottom feeders”. Besides, when it comes to negotiating a fix buyers always want to use THEIR vendor to do the repairs and you can COUNT on it being more expensive than if you had done it up front yourself. Trust me on this. When you can create a lot of emotional appeal UP FRONT you have HUGE negotiating LEVERAGE and you’ll almost always be able to grab a HIGHER PRICE!

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

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