Using Faux Painting in Home Staging Your Home

I have been hired over and over to faux paint the walls in million dollar homes to look like the ones they see in designer magazines. The number one requested faux finish is the „Old World“ look or Parchment.

If I say I have faux painted nearly 30 walls by now with the same color faux finish, I would not be exaggerating. So why not use a little faux painting yourself to help sell your home. Let’s face it, if your house looks like one of those expensive model homes in lucrative developments, you will sell it in no time. However, if your potential buyers see your home like some mediocre apartment with plain white or beige walls, they will most likely keep looking or offer you less than what your house is worth. Remember that first impressions can literally make your sale sink or swim.

You can literally transform your home to look like a million dollars with a little decorative adjustments. Faux painting is the fastest growing form of decorative painting. Just take a peek at some high end decorative magazines and there are faux painting articles and tips all over the place. There are many types of faux finishes these days.

Get ideas by viewing pictures of various faux painting techniques in magazines or websites. Some are more difficult to achieve than others, especially textured finishes. However, even applying a simple color wash on the walls can make a huge difference. Faux Painting bricks can really add dimension and interest to your home, too. You can even paint a faux marblelook on your counter tops to look like real marble and your cabinets to look like real wood. Save tens of thousands of dollars with this beautiful form of art instead of installing expensive slabs of marble and putting in all new cabinets.

You can learn how to faux finish, too.

Recently I received some pictures from first time DIYers in faux painting. What a difference! They did a great job and none of them had ever faux painted before. Why not give it a try? You never know, you might just be knocking on the door to a new career in faux finishing. That’s how I got started. I began by practicing on my own walls in my home and in my family’s, too. Then I began to get requests to do friend’s homes and word got around. Most of my clients come from recommendations from others. So begin now to add value to your home by doing the same thing. Do a Google search for „faux painting kit “ or faux painting tools to find a variety of sites that include a DVD that teaches various techniques along with their tools. It’s the best for your money.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Power Hour – Minimum Requirements For Your Listing Agent

When hiring a REALTOR to list your home, you should ensure he will do more than put a sign on the yard and list your house in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This article will address a list of activities a home seller should require his listing agent to perform.

  1. Install appropriate signage at the property. This includes the sign in the yard. But in some cases should also include additional signs. For example, if property is located in a remote place, at the end of a dirty road, or in a gated community, the REALTOR should consider installing an additional sign in a major street pointing to the property. Also if property’s backyard faces a street, the REALTOR should consider installing a sign on the back or side wall of the property.
  2. Create an attractive property flier with multiple pictures, key features, description of the property, and price. Fliers should be printed in color and made available inside the property and at the post in front of the property.
  3. Install an electronic lockbox that will log and track all agents that have visited the property. REALTORS should avoid using mechanical lockboxes because they are not as secure as the electronic ones; and because they don’t track everybody that have been to the property.
  4. Market property to people renting homes and/or apartments in the same neighborhood. Local tenants are usually interested in local properties.
  5. Market the property to local homeowners. REALTORS should attempt to engage neighbors in the selling process. Local homeowners may have family members, colleagues, or friends that are looking to buy in the same area. They are typically motivated to talk about the properties for sale in their neighborhood.
  6. Contact on a daily basis all the REALTORS that have shown the property to check on interest and obtain feedback. This must be done within 24 hours of the showing to ensure the REALTOR have a clear recollection of the property and can provide accurate and specific feedback. Also, sometimes buyers may have an objection to the property that can be easily resolved by the seller. REALTORS should strive to obtain the feedback as soon as possible and address any objections that can be resolved.
  7. Perform open houses on a regular basis. The frequency will depend on the type and location of the property. Open houses is a powerful marketing tool to increase property’s exposure. Even if the house does not sell during an open house, chances are that some of the visitors may know someone who is looking for a house in the neighborhood.
  8. Follow up with all the open house visitors to check for interest and prompt them to share information about the house with their family, colleagues, and friends. Contact them again every time there is a change in the asking price to check if they would reconsider the property at the new price.
  9. Contact all the REALTORS that have shown the property every time there is a change in the asking price or property condition. Check if their clients might be interested in reconsidering the property at the new price/condition.
  10. Visit comparable homes in the neighborhood to check the competition. REALTORS should do that on a regular basis to keep abreast of the competition and ensure the house is still priced competitively.
  11. Perform a market analysis at least once a week to ensure the property is still priced competitively. REALTORS should check for recent sales, pending transactions, and active listings.
  12. Market the property online. Recent research shows that most home buyers start their home search process online. REALTORS should have an active online presence. Property should be included in multiple websites and other online tools. REALTORS need to update property information online several times per week to ensure it will show up when potential home buyers search for properties online.
  13. Take multiple photos from all the key features of the property. Those photos should be uploaded to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and all the other websites and marketing material created to promote the property. Research shows that photos are important to generate interest in potential buyers.
  14. Create a virtual tour of the property and post it on YouTube, MLS, REALTOR’s website, etc. Potential buyers are more inclined to visit a property after seeing the virtual tour.

This list should be treated as a starting point. As you interview your future listing agent and discuss his specific marketing plan, make sure you address the above items and any others that you deem relevant.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Sell Your Home Fast Within a Month!

The current economic crises has changed a lot of plans for home owners, and you might be asking how to sell your home fast to avoid repossession further down the tack. The truth is that there are currently more buyers on the market than previously, which makes it a great time to sell.

Opt For A Private Sale

Because there are masses of prospective buyers, there has never been a better time to offer your property through a private sale. Selling your house yourself means more profits for you, and no hefty real estate agent fees. It’s truly not as hard as you might think, though you’ll have to put in a little but more time.

See Your Local Property Authority

Property exchanges are generally made legal through a property authority. This is generally a state or provincial body, and you’ll have to go see them before doing anything. They’ll outline the rules, tell you of any sales taxes, etc.. They might even provide resources for private sellers.

Advertise Your Home

You’re going to use the internet and also hard copy publications to promote your house sale. This is the fun part of the process. Try to set your property above the competition. Don’t be scared to take out a half page ad, or even a full page one. Get your house valued before deciding on any asking price, and don’t be scared to ask for something in the upper range. You can always come down later.

Put On A Great Show!

Once you’ve gotten a few calls about the property, offer a showing date. I find that getting as many people into the house at the same time is the best strategy, as it lets people see their competition, and influences people to offer higher amounts. Make sure the place is clean and tidy.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Hard Facts on Foreclosed Homes for Sale

Consumers are sold to the idea of buying foreclosed homes for sale primarily of the low cost of these homes and the potential for big savings. This opinion sometimes leads them to blindly take a plunge overlooking details that can result to a purchase that is much higher than what they intended. Research and due diligence is the way to protect your self from the possible hidden costs associated with significantly cheaper foreclosed homes for sale.

The Hard Facts

Buyers should spend time on the important elements in play when purchasing foreclosed homes for sale. If the property you want will be offered in an auction then you have to make sure you have undertaken a careful research on the property’s cost and condition before placing a bid. There are less than ideal aspects of auction homes. The owners of these homes have the privilege to buy back their property by paying off their obligations even as the property is being auctioned off. The home will most likely have occupants that you need to evict. Consulting a foreclosures lawyer regarding these aspects should be high on the list of things you need to do.

Foreclosed homes for sale are sold as is. The buyer has the burden of paying for repairs and renovation. It is wise to assume that the home will be in poor shape so that you can set aside funds to pay off the repairs. Property damages can either be superficial or structural. Superficial damages can be in the form of stripped walls and floor or a leaky roof. The structural damages on the other hand can be pest infestation or broken water and electricity lines.

Finally, there are foreclosed houses for sale whose titles are not clean. This means that there could be a second mortgage to pay off, hidden taxes and liens or any other holds on the title, which would transfer to the new owner upon completion of the sale.

So do not get blinded with great bargains on foreclosed homes for sale, it only takes an adequate measure of research to get to the real value of these homes.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Real Estate Agents – What to Look for in a Mentor

Is real estate mentoring a good fit for you?

If you are looking to get into real estate or get involved in a new aspect of real estate, it is important to consider how much you know and if you are experienced enough to go about doing it on your own. You don’t even need to know much about real estate to invest in it, through trust deed investing, but if you do make the decision to become a direct investor, then here are a few reasons as to why you might want to get a mentor and how you would go about picking one.

Some of us have possibly have read books on real estate or feel we have a basic understanding of the processes of foreclosures, short sales, or long term investing. That being so, there are still a lot of other things to keep in mind when going to into new investments, that can be easily overlooked and necessary to think about when investing our hard earned cash. Whether a novice or an advanced investor a lot of us can appreciate a mentor to help us through our ventures.

When picking a mentor it is important to pick one who specializes in teaching whatever it is you want to learn, and to make sure they are actively involved in the field you are getting into and who can teach you exactly what it is that you want to learn. For instance, do you want to learn how to be an active investor who is busy full time, or invest passively? Do you want to learn how to manage properties? Do you want to learn how the market works? Do you want to learn how to negotiate deals? Would you like the contracts necessary to perform these deals? Pick a mentor that aligns with your needs. A mentor who is an active investor is important to find because they know the current real estate market and its laws.

Here are a few things you should expect from a good mentor, and reasons as to why it’s extremely helpful to have one. Good mentors hold you accountable in every aspect of the deal. They schedule your calendar with tasks that need to be completed, which helps you build successful habits. They help you understand the process in depth and give you an analysis of what is to happen so you don’t make any irrational decisions.

Expect them to show you multiple ways of approaching offers, and structuring contracts. A good mentor should show you how to market your real estate and bring in offers. Also, they should show you how to close deals and set an exit strategy with alternatives in place to reduce risk. It is also noteworthy to realize that you will, or should, be getting access to their contacts including title, lenders, brokers, and any relevant paperwork.

You want a mentor who is successful, someone who has proven themselves with 15 years of experience, and a well-managed portfolio. That way, you know they have been through the cycles of the real estate markets, and know how to position themselves for the ups or downs. They will also make you a more cost-effective investor because of all that experience and show you how to manage your time and work smart, not hard.

When qualifying a mentor you want to see how many projects they have recently completed in the last few years up until the last few months and check and verify a few of those properties. You should also ask for references so you can speak with other students that mentor has, and see what kind of an experience they had with that mentor.

Find out what their guarantees are! Do they promise to do a deal within a year or six months? Do you get your money back if not? Search many different mentors in your local area or the market that you want to invest in and see who suits your needs. You can expect to spend between $5,000 to $25,000 dollars on a mentor so it is important to find someone who you can structure the payments with in a way that works with you.

Check the website and forum I pointed out in the resources** REIclub, which I regularly look at to learn more about real estate, and mentoring.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Foreclosure and Bankruptcy – What Every Person Facing Foreclosure Should Know

If you are worried about losing your home to foreclosure and are getting behind on your mortgage payments, there are some financially strategic things you can do to save your home. It’s best to learn about the foreclosure laws in our state and understand the well-documented case law. You should probably immediately seek the professional advice of a bankruptcy attorney who has dealt with such issues if you want to prevent foreclosure.

Did you know that once you file Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in California, the bank cannot do a foreclosure sale during the proceeding which take about 3-4 months? The lender can petition the judge to bypass that general rule and foreclose early or ask for a foreclosure sale, but it’s rarely ever granted without extenuating circumstances.

In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you will have to keep up on your mortgage payments and/or make a deal with your lender, otherwise, the lender can ask the judge to foreclose anyway. Depending on your relationship with your lender and your good faith, the judge sometimes allows this. Again, it’s best to ask your bankruptcy attorney what to do and how to do it in order to have the best chances of keeping your home when it is over.

Can You Stay in Your Home After Foreclosure in California?

It turns out that you can stay in your home after foreclosure and up to the final sale, although that would be cutting it close. Generally speaking, after a foreclosure it takes anywhere from 2 months to a year for the actual sale to occur. This is the case for both judicial and nonjudicial foreclosures.

In fact, in California, there is a terrible problem where the family that once lived in the home before foreclosure leaves as requested, but then a new party, a homeless squatter, moves in and stays in the home until it is sold, often until the new owners try to move in. Sometimes the new owners have to go and get an eviction notice, which also takes time. It’s an interesting world we live in but that’s what’s happening here in California.

In Ventura County, there has been a whole slew of cases where this has happened. Squatters learn about the loopholes in the law on the Internet, often watching YouTube Videos. Some of the advice is garbage, some is valid. Either way, it is causing a problem in neighborhoods around the Ventura County area and nearby adjacent neighborhood that are in Los Angeles County.

Can You Buy a New Home After You File for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

The answer to this question might shock you. After all, people assume that filing for bankruptcy is the kiss of death, and their credit will be shot forever or at least a decade. Not so. Indeed, 24-months after the date your bankruptcy is completed you will be able to qualify for a home loan and mortgage providing you have adequate income at that time to service the loan payments.

For Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, the situation is similar, but there are other things you need to know and you should contact a bankruptcy attorney in your area who specializes in these venues for all the correct details.

What Can I Keep from My Home If the Bank Forecloses?

This is a very important question and if you get it wrong you could find yourself in jail for grand theft. You cannot take solar panels, hot water heaters, or any built-in appliances. Don’t attempt to take garbage disposals, trash compactors, built-in ranges, dishwashers, or air-conditioning systems. You cannot take burglar alarms, smoke detectors, or smart house systems that are built into the home as an integrated system. You may take televisions, refrigerators, and washers and dryers.

You cannot take an outdoor patio system that is anchored to the house on one or more sides or on top. Basically, the law reads that you cannot take anything affixed to the building or land. Again, take these rules seriously, and if you have any questions, ask your bankruptcy attorney. If you have to go and you’ve exhausted all other avenues, do it right. You don’t want to begin your fresh start with a new criminal conviction – that doesn’t look good on any resume.

There Are Ways to Prevent Foreclosure in California

The easiest way is by asking your lender for a loan modification. The bank doesn’t want to take back your home, they just want to get paid. Thus, it is in their best interest to work out a favorable deal that will have you back making payments until that mortgage is paid in full. Sometimes lenders won’t move an inch on the first request, but when an attorney contacts them on your behalf, it’s amazing what you can negotiate.

If you pay off your mortgage the lender cannot foreclose obviously, which is one more option. Get a loan from another source and pay off the mortgage. You can also sell your home in a short sale, or for the amount left on the mortgage. Although you won’t get any equity back, your credit will be great having paid it off.

Other Considerations

After the housing crash of 2008 many servicers made errors in the paperwork. The court no longer takes their word over the borrower. If they made a serious mistake, your attorney will now be in a very favorable position to negotiate for you. At least, your bankruptcy and foreclosure attorney will have the lender start the process all over again, and at best, might save you 10s of thousands of dollars and a truly stellar renegotiated mortgage rate and terms. Be sure to learn all the facts.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Successfully Sell My Property Without an Agent?

For sale by owner‘ can save you a huge fee when you eliminate the typical 7 percent commission fee for the real estate agents. Homeowners, who are worried about selling their house without an agent, remember that it is a learning process.

Price your home right

If you are one of those people who don’t know the actual value of their own house, don’t worry, you are not alone. A home’s fair market value defines what you could expect to receive if you were to sell your home on that day. This value can differ while you are asking different estate agents and realtors. Most of the homeowners are absolutely clueless about their home’s true worth. Use the online home valuation tools and perform a market analysis. In addition to this, you can also hire an appraiser who can help you calculate the value of your home in terms of square footage.

Hire a lawyer

Even though it’s an additional expense, hiring a lawyer who can assist you with the legal work can do wonders for you. Unless you are significantly experienced in selling a house, having a real estate lawyer by your side will provide you the peace of mind that you will need during the process. The lawyer will not only help you reviewing the contracts, evaluating complex mortgages or leases and complex offers, but will also tell you what things, by law, you need to disclose to potential buyers and help you formulate a disclosure agreement.

Get the word out

Getting the word out about the sale of your property is the way to go when you sell your house without an agent and unfortunately, sticking a ‚for sale‘ sign in your yard and hoping for the best is not enough anymore. Use your social media presence to your advantage and put up an advertisement on various Facebook and Instagram pages. Most homebuyers search for properties online nowadays so advertising your home online is really important. You can also list your property on various listing websites such as,,,, and many more through In addition to this, you can also create a few flyers and brochures and distribute them around the town.


In order to sell your house and make a hefty amount of money, you need to be objective. Yes, it’s your home and you have your memories in that house, but at the end of the day, it’s a financial asset. So negotiate the pricing of the deal as much as you can but don’t push it too far that you scare the buyer off. Also, there are other things you can negotiate beyond price. This includes appliances, closing date, and closing costs.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The "Blind Side" to Buying and Selling Real Estate

Recently my husband and I went to see the award winning movie „The Blind Side“ starring Sandra Bullock. The movie is based on the extraordinary true story chronicled in the New York Times bestseller book with the same title by Michael Lewis. The story is about football, but as a Realtor I immediately saw parallels to the buying and selling of real estate.

In football, the blind side for a quarterback is where they can’t see whoever may be coming to block them when they look over their shoulder. It didn’t become a common phrase in football until Lawrence Taylor altered the environment and forced opposing coaches and players to adapt. Specifically Lawrence Taylor altered Joe Thiesmann’s life on November 18, 1985 when he came out of nowhere and ended his football career. As Taylor said afterwards when imagining himself in a quarterback’s skin he had knocked from a game: „We all have fears. We all have fears.“

So how does this apply to real estate? The buying and selling of a home is statistically the largest financial transaction that most people enter into. Wouldn’t you want someone blocking your „blind side“? Perhaps you have fears about this process. That’s where the experience of a trusted Realtor comes in Think of your real estate agent as a coach.

There are so many steps to the process, I will list but a few: understanding comparables and establishing value for the property; determining terms for an offer and negotiating the contract; obtaining Homeowner’s Association documents, delivery per jurisdictional law and review; following up on the purchaser securing property insurance and the Earnest Money deposit; working with the Settlement Company on necessary documents such as obtaining the survey and title information from them and resolving any issues.

Coordinating inspections (home, radon, well, septic, wood-destroying pest, mold, etc.) and negotiating the outcome between the parties; working with the appraiser on the market value of the property; following up with the lender on securing the financing and providing required documentation; preparing paperwork for warranties; working with all parties to prepare the property for walk through and settlement according to the contract; completing the process by preparing parties for the closing and actually the consummation of settlement.

Outlined above are the majority of the standard steps in the process of purchasing and selling real estate, but there are thousands of other issues that can crop up, literally hit you in your blind side! That’s where, in my opinion and experience, you REALLY need a seasoned Realtor to navigate the process.

After Taylor altered the football scene, the second highest paid position on a team became the tackle that protects the quarterback’s blind side. That position became the insurance policy for the quarterback. All lenders require borrower’s to obtain property insurance for homes with a mortgage, and there is a reason why. It is to protect the asset. In the purchase and sale of a home in my view the best insurance someone can obtain is to follow the guidance of an experienced Realtor.

Whom do you want to assist you with the purchase of your largest asset? Whom do you want to work with on the marketing and sale of your largest asset? I recommend an accomplished Realtor who has experience in the complexities of the process and can protect your front side and your „blind side“!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Northville Michigan FSBO: Whether You Need to Sell or Want to Buy

With prices on Northville Michigan FSBO condos starting around $170K and Novi, Michigan FSBO single family homes closing at a half million, first time buyers, with not so perfect credit or little money to put down, may think that home ownership is out of their reach.

Likewise, investors looking at properties listed as „For Sale by Owner“ in Northville, Michigan might think there is no money to be made here. But, with a little help, buyers, sellers and investors alike can find the right opportunities for their specific situation to create win/win/wins for all parties concerned.

Novi has grown fairly constantly since the 1950s and is currently considered one of the fastest growing cities in Michigan. Home of the recently renovated multi-million dollar Twelve Oaks Mall and less than thirty miles from Detroit, property values are good. Some of the Novi Michigan FSBO properties are waterfront, which is highly desirable for many people.

Northville is right next door. The people who live in these suburbs, according to the most recent census, are mostly married couples with children and the median family income is between $90 and $100K per year. With nice neighborhoods and good schools, it is not unusual to see a newer Northville Michigan FSBO home in good condition priced in the upper $400s.

On the other hand, it is not unusual to see ads like this, „For sale by owner in Northville, Michigan, price recently reduced, owner must sell quickly.“ In January 2007 alone, more than 20 homes in the area came up for auction and even more are in pre-foreclosure status. What’s the problem? For the most part, auto industry layoffs. According to Governor Granholm whether you like her or not, the state has 635% more automotive jobs than any other state in the country.

Experienced investors like us here help facilitate transactions because for every „motivated“ seller, there is an equally motivated buyer. Currently state and local governments are working to attract more „economic diversity“ to the state, in other words, jobs that do not rely on the automobile industry. The people who get those jobs will be looking for a place to live.

The trick for us as investors is to use our knowledge and experience and bring the buyers and sellers together…helping them „find each other“, so to speak, without a real estate agent. Cutting out the real estate agent means more money in everyone’s pocket, although we can even work with Realtors as well if one happens to be representing you.

Homeowners in trouble should know that there are ways to avoid foreclosures. Buyers, even those with problem credit, should know that they can own their own home, usually on a rent to own basis, thereby creating equity for themselves rather than throwing away money to a landlord.

And sellers should know that if they are having problems selling their homes, and are motivated to work on terms, investors like us can employ various strategies in helping them achieve their goals, such as land contracts, finding a buyer for a lease option, and helping get that buyer financed.

The real tragedy in reading the Northville Michigan FSBO ads as they linger for months on end, is that there are creative yet simple solutions. can help by bringing buyers, sellers and other investors together.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Property Investments Made Easy With Investment Property Listings

Nowadays, people interested in buying and selling properties make use of investment property listings to hasten the purchase and sale of properties. Initially, people used to advertise only in the classified sections of the newspapers, but now internet listings are becoming more popular. This is because most people access information related to real estate on the Internet during the buying process.

Keys Benefits Of Investment Property Listings

Access To A Huge Amount Of Information

To reap good profits from a real estate investment, you need to invest in the best property available. However, for this, you need to have access to a large amount of information on it on sale. Getting this information through a realtor’s agent or contacts is not possible. But now with the availability of different types of real estate property listings by government organizations, property management companies, and mortgage lenders, you can gain access to the information of a large number of investment properties. If you want to invest in a foreclosed property, you should check foreclosure them, but if you are interested in a new home, you should check new ones. For commercial property investments, there is commercial property listing.

You Get Detailed Information On Each Property

A real estate listing usually gives detailed information on each and every listed property. You can get information, such as location of the property, area of the property, amenities available, age of the property, and so forth. Above all, some investment them also have the pictures of property on sale. This helps the prospective buyers have a glimpse of the property on the Internet, which helps them make decisions. Instead of visiting every listed property, a person can visit the ones he or she likes.

They Offer Affordable Services

While some investment property listings are free, some others are paid. Free listings are good, but they usually do not give detailed information on every property. Moreover, the number of properties that you can view as a free member is also limited. Paid listings usually have a huge database. They are updated regularly and give better information.

Investment property listings can help you shortlist several good properties, but to buy the best one, you need to make extra efforts. Once you have collected information about the buildings in which you are interested, you should start visiting them personally to have a reality check. It is best to take along a person who is experienced in buying and selling them, such as a realtor’s agent with you during such visits. They have good experience of assessing the them. Moreover, they know how to handle the buying process. After looking in and around the property, they can estimate its sale price. This helps you buy the building at a reasonable rate. While choosing a realtor, make sure that he or she has the experience of buying and selling them in which you are interested. For example, for commercial investment property, you should hire an agent who has the experience of dealing in offices, self storage, warehouses, commercial land, and so forth.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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