Donna Plouffe - RE/MAX Professional Associates


An open house offers an excellent opportunity for a seller to showcase his or her residence to a large group of buyers. As such, it is important for a seller to plan ahead for an open house. If a seller devotes time and energy to prepare for an open house, his or her residence may make a positive impression on buyers.

Ultimately, there are several things that sellers need to consider before they host an open house, such as:

1. Home Interior and Exterior

A home's interior and exterior must dazzle buyers during an open house. Otherwise, a home is unlikely to make a long-lasting impression on a buyer.

To upgrade a house's interior, a seller should clean each room. Mop the floors, wipe down countertops and ensure each room is neat and tidy. Also, professional home cleaning companies are available that can help a seller quickly remove dirt, dust and debris from his or her residence.

Meanwhile, to upgrade a home's exterior, a seller should repair any damaged or cracked siding. If a seller requires extra assistance, he or she can reach out to local home improvement professionals to perform house exterior repairs as well.

2. Lawn Care

A home's messy, weed-filled lawn is unlikely to garner buyers' attention. In fact, this lawn may prove to be an instant turn-off to buyers when they attend an open house.

For sellers, it can be quick and easy to enhance a home's lawn. By mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges and performing other lawn care tasks, a seller can transform a drab lawn into a stunning one.

A seller should continue to take care of his or her lawn throughout the house selling cycle, too. If a home has an amazing lawn, this residence may capture buyers' attention, regardless of when a seller hosts an open house.

3. Clutter

Antiques, knick-knacks and various decorations may fill your house, but these items may appear to be "clutter" in the eyes of homebuyers. Therefore, you may want to put your personal belongings into storage before you host an open house. This will allow you to keep your personal items safe during an open house. At the same time, it will help buyers envision what life could be like if they purchase your residence.

Preparing for an open house sometimes can be difficult. Thankfully, you can hire a real estate agent who can help you plan for any open house, at any time.

A real estate agent can provide recommendations to help you prepare for an open house. Plus, he or she can share buyers' feedback following an open house and ensure you can make your residence into an attractive option for buyers.

Ready to host an open house? Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can get ready for an upcoming open house. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood that an open house leads to multiple offers to purchase your residence.


Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

If you choose to live in a city, you’ll find a number of benefits to your location. 

Community: Most cities are densely populated and home to people from many different backgrounds. When you live in a location like this, you’re likely to find a community of folks who share similar interests and find more organized opportunities to interact with them. People tend to live closer together within an urban setting so it’s easier to get together without introducing commute time.

Job Opportunities: Businesses are often based within cities because they thrive where human activity is present. As a result, an abundance of employment opportunities are available in urban locations. You’ll find service jobs like baristas and restaurant servers as well as opportunities for doctors, lawyers and independent business owners. 

Shopping and Restaurants: Because of the high concentration of people within cities, you’ll find more access to shopping and restaurants. These opportunities will often be more diverse and specialized than those found in more rural locations because they have increased foot traffic to support them.

Public Transportation: Bus and subway systems within cities create simple ways to get around without having to own a car. Not only can you avoid the cost of maintaining a vehicle, you also save on gas, parking costs and commute time.

Culture Opportunities:

You will find museums, galleries and music venues within a city setting that provide opportunities to experience cultural events first-hand. Well known musicians and high profile art exhibits often schedule shows in urban settings so you’ll be closer to the action if you want to participate.


Let's face it – the thought of entering the home selling market can be stressful, even if you don't plan to put your house on the market for several weeks or months. However, there are many simple ways to ensure you can enjoy a fun, exciting and successful home selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to kick off an unforgettable home selling journey.

1. Examine Your Home's Interior and Exterior

How will a potential homebuyer view your residence when he or she sees it for the first time? This is a question that you'll want to consider closely, as a homebuyer's first impression of your residence may dictate whether he or she moves forward with an offer.

Take a close look at your house's interior and exterior from a homebuyer's perspective. If home improvements are necessary, now may be the ideal time to complete these tasks. That way, you can enhance your house's interior and exterior before you add your residence to the real estate market.

Also, a home appraisal may help you identify problem areas with your residence. This appraisal enables a property inspector to examine your residence from top to bottom and can help you better understand your house's strengths and weaknesses.

2. Declutter Your Residence

Unfortunately, clutter can accumulate in a home over an extended period of time. But if you start decluttering your home today, you may be able to avoid the stress of cleaning out your residence as you get closer to adding your home to the housing market.

To declutter effectively, consider items that you need to keep and store them safely. Then, take the items that you no longer require and consider all of your options to get rid of them quickly and safely.

In many instances, you can sell excess items or donate them to charity. Or, you can always offer these items to family members and friends as well.

3. Meet with a Real Estate Agent

What does it take to get your house ready for the real estate market? Meet with a real estate agent, and you can learn everything you'll need to know about selling a house.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the real estate market. As such, he or she can answer any questions that you may have about the home selling journey and help you plan accordingly.

In addition, after you list your residence, your real estate agent will streamline the home selling cycle. This housing market professional will set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to large groups of potential buyers and much more. By doing so, your real estate agent will do everything possible to help you maximize the value of your residence.

When it comes to getting ready to sell your home, there is no need to worry. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be able to enjoy a memorable home selling journey.


Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.

It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.

Straighten out your credit

If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.

Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing  interest at the same time.

Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals

A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.

Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.

Rethink your insurance coverage

Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.

Automate the headaches away

With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.

First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.


If you find your dream house, there is no need to leave anything to chance. But if you submit a "lowball" homebuying proposal, you risk missing out on the opportunity to acquire your ideal residence.

Putting together a competitive offer to purchase can be easy. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you craft an aggressive homebuying proposal.

1. Study the Housing Market

The housing market fluctuates constantly. If the real estate market favors buyers today, it may shift into sellers' favor tomorrow, or vice-versa. As such, you should study the housing market, determine whether it favors buyers or sellers and craft a homebuying proposal accordingly.

Oftentimes, it helps to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your area, as well as how long these homes were listed before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you may be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. And as a result, you can boost the likelihood of submitting a competitive homebuying proposal.

2. Know Your Budget

If you know how much you can spend on a house, you can minimize the risk of submitting an offer to purchase that stretches beyond your financial limits.

To establish a homebuying budget, it generally is a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Banks and credit unions can teach you everything you need to know about different mortgage options and help you select the right mortgage. Plus, if you have any questions as you evaluate your mortgage options, banks and credit unions are happy to respond to your home financing queries.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

If you hire a real estate agent, you can submit a competitive offer to purchase on any house. In fact, a real estate agent can offer in-depth housing market insights to help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal that may receive an instant "Yes" from a seller.

A real estate agent is a homebuying expert who understands what it takes to purchase a home in any housing market. He or she first will meet with you, learn about you and your homebuying goals and create a personalized property buying strategy. Next, a real estate agent will help you pursue houses in your preferred cities and towns until you find one that matches your expectations. And after you discover your ideal residence, a real estate agent will make it simple for you to submit an offer to purchase that fulfills the needs of all parties involved.

Of course, if your offer to purchase your dream home is accepted, a real estate agent will guide you through the final steps of the homebuying process. Or, if your homebuying proposal is rejected, a real estate agent will help you reenter the housing market.

Avoid the danger of submitting a lowball offer to purchase your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can craft a competitive homebuying proposal and move one step closer to acquiring your ideal home.




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