Real Estate Information Archive


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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.

Four Spring Projects to Boost Your Home's Curb Appeal

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

Spring is a great time to get to work on the following four spring projects to boost your Home's curb appeal that can help improve the exterior appearance of your home. The warm weather means that more people will be out and about in your neighborhood, and you might want to put some effort into making your home look presentable from the road- especially if it's currently on the market and you're looking for a buyer.

Consider the following four maintenance projects if you're keen on making your home look great this spring:

  • Implement a landscape design- Unfortunately, many homeowners engage in landscaping efforts as something of an afterthought. Yet if you get started in the spring, you can revolutionize your home's landscaping and make it so that you're home's surroundings grab the attentions of passersby.
  • Make some touch-ups- As time goes on, the paint job on your home will begin to look aged. A great way to drastically change the appearance of your home through one simple home improvement job is to repaint or touch up the paint job on the exterior of your home. You should also consider pressure washing the surface of your home's exterior to prevent infestations of mildew or mold.
  • Fix up your roof- Any flaws on the roof of your home are very noticeable to those viewing the exterior of your home from a distance. Not only do saggy gutters and missing or damaged shingles look bad, but they can also make your home susceptible to the elements. Protect your home from leaks and other water damage caused by an aging roof by fixing up your roof and gutters this spring.
  • Fence off your yard- If there is a fence that marks your yard's boundaries, you should pay attention to how it's looking. A fence that looks old and damaged can give a home a rundown look. A simple paint job or a pressure washing can work wonders in improving the appearance of your fence. Best of all, this job doesn't typically take up much time. Fixing up your fence should be doable in a weekend, but it makes a big difference in the appearance of the exterior of your home.

You're got plenty of time to engage in one or all of these four spring projects to boost your home's curb appeal to make your home look great this summer!

Tips for Winter Home Selling

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

The fact that days are shorter and colder in winter often means that selling a Home during this time of year is especially challenging. That doesn’t mean it has to be impossible, as there are some tips for winter home selling people can do in order to increase their odds of securing an offer.

Keeping driveways and walkways clear ensures that real estate agents and potential buyers are able to get to a property. If they can’t get to a particular home, they will bypass it and head to another one instead. Those who cannot clear snow and ice themselves should consider hiring a professional service to help them with this.

Outdoor lighting should be bright enough to illuminate a home’s best features, while also making it safe to enter. Adding new lighting or replacing burned out bulbs can ensure the property’s best features are highlighted, and which guests feel comfortable coming and going.

The inside temperature of a home should feel nice and toasty. When people enter, they don’t want to feel cold, as this will make them wonder whether or not the heating system works efficiently. If a home is vacant, installing a programmable thermostat that is operable by smart phone will allow homeowners to turn the temperature up just before visitors arrive.

Just as in the summertime, everything inside the home needs to be clean, tidy and well-staged. Plastic mats near the doorway will contain snow and mud, thereby helping carpets to stay clean. The angle of the sun during winter also makes streaks and grime more noticeable, which is why washing windows inside and out is highly recommended.

Doing some little things to make a home seem warm and inviting will go a long way toward enticing buyers. Simple things, such as flameless candles burning on an end table or warm cider simmering on the stove, can make a house feel more welcoming. Homeowners may not want to burn a wood fire in their fireplaces if they are not home, but simply staging some fire logs in front of the fireplace could still lend a cozy feeling to the home.

Many market reports show that sellers have fewer homes to compete with during the winter. This means that those who follow these tips for winter home selling are likely to make a sale despite there being inclement weather.

Home Buying and Selling During the Holiday Season

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

It doesn't take a Black Friday horde to tell you that the holidays are a busy time for merchandisers, retailers and shoppers. However, what you might not know about this festive time of year is that potential Home buyers who are looking now are serious about purchasing your home.

This is one of the reasons why you, as the seller, should be as flexible as you can during this time when it comes to showing your home. It stands to reason that the more flexible you are for showings, including short-notice appointments, the more chances you'll have of selling your home fast.

In addition, sellers show consider how many decorations are put up for this time of year. Decorations are nice and can make the home more inviting. However, too many decorations inside or outside the home can be distracting. Certainly be willing to garnish your home in holiday cheer, but it would be wise to keep it to a minimum.

On the other side of the coin, if you are a potential buyer searching for a home over the holidays, remember that sellers may not have the ability to be as flexible during these often hectic months due to travel plans, hosting commitments, or any number of other valid reasons. In a word, don’t be discouraged if a seller cannot accommodate a home showing on a moment’s notice.

Both buyers and sellers can capitalize on the increased sense of urgency that is typically ratcheted up over the holidays. This is especially true for homebuyers since the vast majority of each group would prefer to close on a home purchase or sale prior to the close of the year.

To best facilitate these transactions in a timely fashion, buyers and sellers alike would benefit from the knowledge and experience of a real estate agent.


Tom Stachler is a licensed Broker and Builder marketing homes and properties in the Ann Arbor and surrounding area including properties, houses, and condos for sale in Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, Milan and the Ypsilanti real estate markets.  Check out the handy Links for realty related information and and MLS inventory access above.  Please keep us in mind if we can help you or an associate with their real estate pursuits in 2019!

Curb Appeal

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

One of the first things to think about when you are selling your Home is curb appeal. That is the magic that draws all eyes to your home when potential buyers are passing by. You want them to stop and take a long hard look as they slow down to pick up a flyer. Curb appeal is that critical element that brings your home to the front of the line. Here are a few tips to make sure your home invites them back:

An attractive entryway – Repainting or replacing the front door with a splash of color is like an engraved invitation that says, "Come on in." The path leading to the door and the lighting above or to the side both add attractive details that welcome visitors. Make sure the doorknob and hardware are painted or polished to complete the package.

Pristine yard – Whether your home has a carefully manicured lawn or desert landscaping, the key is a neat, trim exterior with no weeds, debris, or clutter of any kind. Nothing says "fixer–upper" like needless mess. Since many buyers enjoy creating their own gardens, many sellers find that potted plants provide a finished look to complete a positive vision without making permanent changes to the landscape.

Repair and update – Simple hardware replacements can bring a house forward in time by years. Shiny upgrades are inexpensive, attractive and send a message that the home has been well–maintained. Make sure all minor repairs are completed before you sell your home.

Add artistic flair – Fountains, bird baths and wind chimes all work to make the exterior pleasant and attractive. These are the finishing touches that make houses feel look unique and homey.

Shutters and accent trim – Shutters help control light and ventilation, as well as providing a measure of added security. They add another level of visual interest that stands apart from the rest of the neighborhood.

Gutters and downspouts – Replacing these and any fascia that are bent or peeling creates a visual frame around the front of the house that looks new.

When you think you are ready to list your home, take a few photos from different angles to help you spot details you might have missed. Be prepared to make more small changes your real estate agent may suggest to ready the home. In today's market, curb appeal is more important than ever before to help you get your asking price quickly.

Ann Arbor Real Estate - A Sellers Market

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

Ann Arbor real estate Home For Sale signThe positive news about America's real estate market bouncing back from the infamous bubble bursting has reached the Ann Arbor real estate market, and reflections of this optimistic outlook have actually taken on a physical manifestation, at least in statistics form.

According to the “Monthly Housing Statistics” - a publication produced by the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS®, which reports on the housing activity in Washtenaw County and is based on data from the Multiple Listing Service - the overall state of the residential real estate market in the county is strong so far in 2013.

Listed below are some of the numbers published by the Ann Arbor Area Board of REALTORS® that back up the positive rhetoric:

  • Residential sales up 6 percent - 183 units sold versus 173 in January 2012
  • Condo sales increased 32 percent over January 2012, with 41 units sold
  • Amount of residential listings fell by 20 percent compared to January 2012
  • Average sale price in January 2013: $232,751, 34 percent more than $173,865 in January 2012

Some of the factors involved in creating this real estate enthusiasm, according to the National Association of Realtors, include a pent-up or repressed housing demand, a general increase in employment opportunities, and the near-record low mortgage interest rates.

One nagging cloud in Ann Arbor real estate's otherwise clear blue sky is inventory. As the stats above show, the listings of residential real estate dropped by 20 percent in the last year. So, the fact that more and more people are wanting to buy a Home (demand), coupled with the fact that the number of homes being listed for sale is not keeping pace (supply), has caused the average price for a home to rise accordingly.

According to the latest (February) Multiple Listing Service information and figures from, homes in the U.S. continue to sell at a quick pace as demand from potential buyers increases, resulting in an extremely low inventory of homes for sale. The website goes on to report that homes sold faster last month than any other February since 2007, averaging a median of only 98 days on the market. This is 123 days less than February 2011.


If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, give us a call at (561) 880-2626 or send us an email to explore your options and to find out when is the best time for you to make a move.

Tea Cafe Locations in Ann Arbor Michigan

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

Explore the Tea Culture and Locations

Ann Arbor Michigan

Watch this video covering various Tea Cafe locations and owner comments.

 Let us know your favorite places!

Video Link:

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7




Contact Information

Photo of Tom Stachler Real Estate
Tom Stachler
Real Estate One, Group One Realty Team
555 Briarwood Circle
Ann Arbor MI 48108
Direct: (734) 996-0000
Fax: (734) 661-0102