Three (Easy) Steps to Big Growth

Humans are amazing creatures…we desire achievement and growth, yet very few are able to overcome the obstacles required to achieve it. If you want to climb the success mountain, you absolutely must be intentional. I want to share with you a simple, powerful tool that you can use RIGHT NOW. Think of it as your GPS (Goal/Priorities/Strategies). Get out a piece of paper and get started!

goals

Step 1

At the top of the page, write down ONE overachieving GOAL. It can relate to your business, or it can be about any other aspect in your life. Just make sure it is a S.M.A.R.T. goal – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

Step 2

Right below your big goal, identify THREE PRIORITIES for achieving that goal. If you want to lose 20lbs. this year, one of your priorities may be to increase your time spent at the gym, or modifying your caloric intake.

Step 3

Finally, beneath each of your three priorities, identify FIVE SPECIFIC STRATEGIES for achieving that priority. Your strategies should be tactical, like “go to the gym 5 days a week”. You are breaking down your priorities into specific actions that you can track. be sure to include a due date for each one.

A GPS plan is a powerful way to clarify your thinking and keep you focused on the activities that generate results.

HINT: if your goal is to purchase a property this year, let me help you create a specific GPS plan with you. I’d love to be a part of making that dream goal a reality!

-M xo

Posted in Buyer, House Hunting is a Sport

Vast Majority of Millennials Looking Towards Homeownership

If you follow pop culture news, you’d think that all millennials are concerned about is SnapChat and avocado toast. But according to a recent report, there’s something much more important on millennials’ minds these days—and that’s buying a home.

According to the 2018 Home Buyer Report from NerdWallet, a whopping 82% of millennials say buying a home is a priority, significantly higher than older generations (which came in at 75% for Gen Xers and only 69% for Baby Boomers). And the reason? 64% say they want to buy a home because it’s a good investment—an even better investment than padding their retirement accounts. 56% of millennials surveyed agree with the statement “I would rather have a home I own appreciate in value than have more money in retirement savings”.

Takeaway: If you are a millennial who’s looking to purchase a home, you’re not alone. And with still competitive interest rates, and new inventory set to hit the market this year (which should drive down prices), there’s never been a better time to start your home search.

Please do yourself a favor though, when looking online at homes for sale, keep in mind that the bigger websites typically do not have accurate information as far as what is still available (or already pending sale or sold)…visit http://www.michellesaputo.com

for the most updated listings available!

-M xo

Posted in Buyer

Crowdfunding For Home Purchases On The Rise

For many potential buyers, one of the biggest obstacles on the road to homeownership is saving for a down payment. But thanks to a new technology trend, some savvy buyers are turning to their friends, family, and social networks for help.

While crowdfunding has long been a popular trend, until recently it’s been mostly limited to the business world. But according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, crowdfunding for home purchases is on the rise. There’s even a crowdfunding platform specifically for homeowners. HomeFundMe is the first crowdfunding platform specifically targeted to potential homeowners looking to crowdfund a down payment. Potential homeowners are given 12 months to reach their down payment goal, and all funds are wired from an escrow account to the seller when buyers make their property purchase.

HomeFundMe is still new (the platform launched in October 2017), but results so far are promising; according to the WSJ article, approximately 400 buyers have used the service to help crowdfund their home purchase since the launch.

The Takeaway: If you have been thinking about buying a home but haven’t been able to save for a down payment, crowdfunding could be a way to make your dreams of homeownership a reality.

-M

Posted in Seller

7 Pricing Myths You Need to Get Past If You Want to Sell Your Home

When homeowners are preparing to put their properties on the market, one aspect is usually foremost in their minds: money. Setting the asking price accurately can mean the difference between getting an offer quickly and having a house languish for months, drawing little interest.

With that in mind, it’s important that potential sellers block out a lot of the noise that often surrounds the intricate art and science of pricing. There are plenty of myths that may cause sellers to lose sleep at night as they attempt to separate fact from fiction.

The following are statements that can stand in the way of a successful sale.

1. ‘If we keep waiting, a better offer will come along!’

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When sellers receive an offer from the first showing, they may be skeptical or hesitant to accept it, wondering if other prospective buyers would be inclined to pay more. Thoughts of potential bidding wars could cause sellers to want to wait and see who else falls for their place. But, remember the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” There’s no guarantee other would-be buyers are waiting around the corner. If the offer is a fair one, entertain it and count your blessings.

2. ‘Getting an offer right away, means the agent priced it too low!’

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When sellers receive an offer early in the process, as excited as they might be, many can’t help but wonder, “Should we have asked for more money? Did our agent price it too cheaply?” While it’s natural to be skeptical (and even a little greedy), receiving an offer on the early end of the spectrum most likely means your home was priced accurately and attractively. If you trust your agent, you know he or she didn’t pick a number out of the sky, but rather based it on extensive market research. So, be glad your sale is moving in the right direction.

3. ‘We should price it so there’s room to negotiate!’

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Let’s be honest: Most sellers would love to get top dollar for their homes. But overpricing it with the intention of being willing to accept a lower offer may just leave you empty handed in the long run. Plus, if you have to drop your ask multiple times, buyers may begin to wonder what’s wrong with the place — other than the price, that is.

4. ‘That’s not what my Zestimate says it’s worth!’

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Have you ever noticed how homeowners are eager to believe Zestimates or other automated valuation models when that price exceeds their expectations? Yet, when the opposite happens, they assume it’s outdated or erroneous information? The point we’re making is, these numbers can be inaccurate, so again, trust your agent over the Internet. Enough said.

5. ‘We can add all renovation costs to the asking price!’

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Sellers may adore the improvements and renovations they’ve made and want to add in those costs to the asking price. But remember, not every change is going to land a huge return on investment. If you’re curious about what you can expect on those fixes, check out Remodeling Magazine‘s annual ‘Cost Versus Value’ report to get an idea of which upgrades yield the biggest bang for your buck. Also, as you’re making changes, bear in mind that the infinity pool you view as an asset may just seem like a huge liability to a buyer.

6. ‘My Realtor® overpriced my house to make a larger commission.’

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Agents are paid a percentage of the selling price of the home. However, even if they were to raise the ask by $25,000, in most cases that would yield an additional $1,500 in commission, which would then be divvied up between the broker the agent is working for and the buyer’s agent, leaving your agent with less than $750 more in his or her pocket. It’s hard to imagine an agent would blow a potential quick sale — and take on weeks or months of additional showings and marketing expenses — for a few hundred dollars.

7. ‘Reducing the price is a sign of weakness!’

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While no homeowner is eager to drop the listing price, if time is passing and there’s been little interest, it could be time to consider lowering the ask. Remember, time is money. While you’re waiting for someone to meet your price, you’re still paying the mortgage, taxes, utilities, and insurance etc. Plus, sometimes, lowering the price can put your home in front of a group of new buyers, which could generate a lot more interest and, ultimately, get the price back up closer to where it was in the first place.

As always, if you or someone you know needs assistance with selling a property, please feel free to reach out!

-M xo

Posted in Fun Stuff, Organization

12 Ninja Tricks To Make Your House Seem Cleaner Than It Really Is

You know how it is. Your home is your domain, and your sanctuary. You don’t always need for it to be perfectly clean. In fact, there’s almost that strange sense of satisfaction that comes from having a house that has just enough flavor of mess to be yours. It’s your place, and you don’t care what anyone thinks until you suddenly learn that company is coming over.

company's coming

But, no worries! Take that dread and channel it into excitement! Because…I have 12 simple tips to help you declutter and make your place look cleaner than it really is.

1. Hit the most noticeable surfaces first.

It may not be the most pleasant, but some suggest starting with the “three T’s” first. Toilets, obviously an important to have shiny and disinfected. Tabletops, used in all sorts of activities. Finally your television, because you never know when that special someone might want to stay over and watch a movie. If you have time, go ahead and hit the other kitchen counter tops and the sinks of the home as well. If there’s time still, get those mirrors nice and sparkly.

2. First impressions are everything.

Consider what rooms will be seen first, then how the flow will likely go. Work on them in that order. Clean the entryway first, and then the living area, and continue with the pattern. Focus on clutter and cleaning noticeable dust and grime off of surfaces, first. If you have time, you can do the floors as well.

3. Bathrooms!

If there’s one thing that can make or break a person’s comfort in the home, it’s the bathroom. By now, you should have already flushed and cleaned the toilet. You can close the shower curtain to help offset any unpleasantness that could be spotted in the bathtub. Close all drawers and medicine cabinets, and see if you can improve the look of any wet, hanging towels by placing a bathrobe over them. If you have a little more time, clean off the mirrors, the sink counter and the inside of the sink. If you have more time, scrub the shower out, just in case a post-movie encounter leads to a shower scene.

4. Correct the clutter.

If you have books or magazines out of place, stack them or put them in a bookshelf. Collect your remotes and place them side by side in a neat arrangement, out of the way, or place in a small basket. Get all random, dirty clothing and hide in a laundry basket, out of sight. If you don’t have time to take things to their appropriate rooms, place in some baskets by which room they belong so that it’s out of the way for the time being. You can take care of it later.

5. Towels are often overlooked.

Replacing the hand towels in your kitchen and bathroom are a wonderful way to increase the feeling of freshness for your guest. If you don’t have time to iron any of them, spray them with a little starch to give the appearance.

6. Pet hair patrol.

Not only is pet hair a bit messy, but it can also aggravate some allergies. If you don’t have a lot of time, and your cushions are clean underneath, just flip them. You can also throw a sheet or blanket over the furniture. If you have time, use a lint roller or vacuum cleaner to thoroughly remove the hair. Also, did you know, you can even use a rubber glove to help get the hair off of your upholstery?

7. Deal with those dirty dishes.

Obviously, it’s best to have your dishes cleaned and put away. If you don’t have time, and your dishwasher is full, you can place them in the oven as long as you don’t plan to cook dinner later. If you have a bathtub that won’t be seen, you can get some hot soapy water going and place the dishes in it. Be sure to pull the shower curtain to, just in case.

8. The nose knows.

Febreze is one way to remove strong odors from rooms. Another is to light some incense, or open the windows if it is a pleasant day outside. You can also boil a number of random things on the stove to fill the home with the scent. A few examples would be cinnamon, lemon or citrus peel, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.

9. Let there be light.

Again, if it’s a nice day, open those windows. You can also just open the shades if it is too hot or cold out. At night, lower lighting helps keep imperfections invisible, and makes things feel a little more relaxed. If you light candles, set them in places for optimally lighting where you’ll probably spend the most time. Be sure not to mix too many random scents if the candles are scented.

10. Window washing time.

You can hide blind dust by turning them upward, or raising them all together. If you have time and are lacking window cleaning solution, spray some vinegar on a newspaper and you’ll be amazed at how well it cleans the glass.

11. People love shiny things.

Placing something shiny in the room can help naturally attract attention away from what you don’t want people to notice. The more you light it up (without blinding them) the better the effect.

12. Finish with the flooring.

With wood, tile or linoleum, get some final touch ups with the appropriate swiffer tools. With carpets and rugs get that vacuum out and make sure you hit the areas that will be most visited. Once finished, you can leave the vacuum or swiffer out to let your guest know you cared enough to clean what you could. It can help take the edge off of anything left undone.

And if all else fails… ask for help! Why make things harder than they have to be? If there is any help you can quickly recruit, do so! You never know when a friend will do you a solid for friendship sake, or trade you for a later favor.

-M xo