Real Estate Information Archive


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Winning a Bidding War

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

There are numerous reasons that help to cultivate bidding wars. One of the most common is when the market has fewer homes than interested buyers. This increased competition doesn't mean that you can't get the Home of your dreams. Winning a bidding war is easy when armed with these helpful tips:

  • Being prepared is the best strategy when trying to win a bidding war. This includes having your financing ready. Sellers are more likely to accept an offer that is backed by a preapproval letter. Since preapproval can take a while, having accomplished that step is appealing to the seller.
  • Be sure to avoid making lowball offers. In the case of a bidding war, low offers aren't considered to be serious offers and are rejected immediately. If the home is out of your price range, keep it off of your list. In a competitive market, placing an offer on a home that is out of your range only wastes time and leads to disappointment.
  • Money isn't the only thing that makes an impression during a bidding war. Flexibility can go a long way towards having your offer selected. That flexibility can be shown by offering the buyers preferred move-out date or by the willingness to waive the small items that come up during an inspection.
  • While you may not be able to offer much more than the asking price of the home, using your cash creatively can help your bid win. This could be offering more earnest money than required or offering a larger down payment that necessary. Both of those items can be appealing to sellers.

While a bidding war is a dream for a seller, it can be a nightmare for the buyers involved. Winning a bidding war seems like a daunting task, but is actually something that is very possible when the buyers go in with all of the necessary information.


Creating a Functional Backyard

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Summer is here and with it comes children playing outside, backyard barbecues, and time spent enjoying the summer sun. Creating a functional backyard can be an easy process and is attainable on any budget. Use these tips to create the backyard of your dreams:

  • Adding a deck to a Home helps to extend the indoor living space and greatly adds to the outdoor appeal. In addition to helping to define the space, a deck provides a place for seating, dining, and entertaining. It is estimated that almost 88% of the cost of a deck is recouped when a home is sold.
  • Whether it is constructed from wood, bricks, or stone, a patio provides the perfect setting for outdoor gatherings. This budget-friendly backyard addition can be personalized with a fire ring, flowers, patio furniture, or a wide-variety of other items. Small patios help to create an intimate feel in a garden, while a larger area is ideal for entertaining.
  • Gardens are a great way to add personality and color to a space. Whether it is flowers or vegetables, a garden is something that provides beauty, enjoyment, and produce. Adding a water feature to the garden continues to enhance the space.
  • Adding a sunroom is the ultimate way to create a functional backyard space. A sunroom provides a comfortable way to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while also containing a protective element during inclement weather. Sunrooms are noted as one of the top ten ways to add value to your home, and coming in at about half of the cost of a regular room, it is easy to see why sunrooms appeals to so many people.
Creating a functional backyard helps to define the outdoor spaces of your home, showcases your personal style, and adds value to your home. With outdoor living spaces being in high demand from home buyers, a little time improving your outdoor spaces could pay off.

The Importance of Seller Disclosures

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

The decision to sell a house is filled with important things to know about. One of those items is the importance of seller disclosures. The state and federal laws regarding those disclosures are strict. A buyer cannot see what is behind the walls of a house that they are interested in, so it is necessary that the sellers are honest about the condition of the Home. Follow these tips to help make the disclosure process as easy as possible:

  • One of the first things that a real estate agent will do when selling your home is to give you a Real Estate Disclosure Statement. This statement asks you to disclose items like lead, asbestos, radon and other toxic substances.
  • While the form asks you to disclose issues like lead or radon, it does not require you to test for those substances. It is important to remember that the buyer's lender always has the right to request proof of testing.
  • You are required to fill out the forms yourself. Your real estate professional cannot fill out the forms for you, but they can provide assistance with helping you understand what each item is asking for.
  • It is always best to fill out the form as completely as possible. Putting too much information is always better than not putting enough information. It is also important to remember that while the form has an "I don't know" box, it is best not to check that box unless you really have no idea. Having a home inspection is sometimes the best way to feel confident about filling out the form.
  • Be sure to keep all work orders and reports to share with potential buyers.

If you've never considered the importance of seller disclosures before, consider how you would feel if a seller didn't inform you about major issues with a home that you were Buying. This is one place in the real estate market where trust is crucial.

Pending Home Sales Increase in March

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

The recent downturn in the economy affected many sectors of the business world. The real estate market was no exception. After a stagnant market, real estate professionals were pleased to see pending Home sales increase in March. This came after a nine month lull where the market saw no gains.

According the Nationals Association of Realtors, the Pending Homes Sales Index rose 3.4%. This index is the leading indicator for national pending sales. A pending sale occurs when the contract has been signed, but the deal has not yet moved to closing. Most often the sale is closed within a month or two of the contract being signed. The Pending Homes Sales Index is based upon a large national sample, which usually represents approximately 20% of all existing home sales.

This 3.4% gain is still approximately 7.9% below where pending sales where in March of 2013. Pending sales being under where they were a year ago was observed all across the country. Sales were down 10.1% in the Midwest and 5.3% in the South compared to a year ago. The dismal winter was concerned to be part of the reason for the gain in pending sales. More people were starting to get out and more homes were beginning to go on the market. Sales activity is expected to continue to rise as more inventory comes onto the market and financial confidence continues to improve.

Home sales are expected to exceed 4.9 million this year, down from 5.1 million in 2013, and limited inventory is expected to cause home values to rise between 6 and 7%. Analysts predict that now is a great time to place a house for sale.

Seeing the pending home sales increase in March gives many people in the real estate industry confidence that the rest of the spring and summer market will follow.

Deck Railings - Annual Safety Check

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team


If you took all the people who were injured last year in falls related to railings, they would fill a large stadium. The injury rate is highest among children.


Check your railings.


During the summer.


Each year, roughly 40,000 people in North America are treated for injuries related to handrails, railings and banisters. Approximately 1,200 die from these injuries                                            


First, ensure that existing railings are well secured and not deteriorated. This requires a visual examination for rust or rot, followed by a low-tech approach -- grab the railing and shake it. Be careful you don't fling yourself off the porch or deck by breaking the railing. 

Secondly, make sure the railing will do what it's supposed to do -- keep people from falling off a deck or a porch and make it difficult for children to climb over or through the railing. 

Building codes vary from region to region and the intent of this reminder is not to ensure that your railings comply with local codes (most older railings do not). We will however, tell you what modern codes are trying to accomplish, and you can assess how far off the mark your railings are. 

Modern railings are usually 42 inches high if the deck or the porch is more than six feet off the ground. If the fall would be less than six feet, railing heights drop to 36 inches. On stairs leading up to decks or porches, railing heights are often 31 to 34 inches.


Modern railings have spindles spaced so that a ball with a four-inch diameter cannot be passed through the spindles. This is to ensure that toddlers cannot squeeze through or get their heads caught between the spindles. 

The design of the spindles should not create a "ladder effect." In other words, the railing should not have horizontal components that can be easily climbed by a child.



Flower boxes, benches and the like should not be placed against railings or fastened to railings. They make it easier for kids to climb.


Please check out the other Links on this website including the property search links above.  Have a great summer!


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Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5