7 Tips for Prepping for a Home Sale during Frigid Winter Weather!

winter-by-audreyjm529Dreadfully cold weather tends to keep most of us in West Michigan inside as much as possible.  Looking outside my window today, this is definitely the case.   With the exception of the snow plow guys, there are few cars on the street.  Even regular dog walkers seem to be sitting in on this one.  If you’ve been thinking about putting your home on the spring market, the prospect of you or someone looking at your home getting stuck in a snow drift in your driveway is a little depressing.  However, there are a number of things that can be done indoors on days like today to keep you on track with regards to being in your new home as soon as possible.

Clear Out Closet Space!

Winter is a great time to reassess the contents of your closet.  If you haven’t worn something once during the year, perhaps it’s time to give it away, donate it or throw it out.  Consider it a small step in the ‘letting go’ process…letting go of smaller items as you prepare to let go of your home so you can make room for new things and new beginnings.

Touch-up Paint

After the holiday decorations are taken down, a home often looks starkly plain.  This is a great time to examine the state of your walls and woodwork.  Is there grime or dirt that needs to be washed or painted?  If you’re stuck indoors, consider picking up a sponge or paintbrush amd doing some touch-up painting.  This is one of the cheapest ways to enhance the appearance of your home.

Organize Garage

Yes, the garage will be cold, but at least it is protected from the elements.  If possible, it is better to clear out your garage when putting a home on the market.  The next best option is to organize it. Neatly staked/arranged boxes or shelves will make even a cluttered garage look as though there is some space for someone else to put their stuff.

Involve Your Kids

On a days like today, most schools have been cancelled.  So kids are home.  And they can be useful, particularly if they have an incentive to help or if an activity is fun.  You know your kids better than anyone else, so think about how to motivate them to help you with getting your home ready for sale.

Collect Documentation for Mortgage Application

If you will require a mortgage to purchase your next home, this is a good time to begin to gather the necessary documentation for your lender.  They are likely to ask for financial records such as a month’s worth of pay stubs, bank statements, last year’s tax returns etc.  Taking the time to put these items in one spot now will save you time in the future.

Update Multiple Listing (MLS) Search Profile

Housing inventory remains tight in the West Michigan area and across much of the country.  Hopefully,  you have created a customized online search profile and are receiving real time updates of available home listings.   If you haven’t done so, that is definitely step 1!  Assuming you have a search profile in place, take the time to review it.  Are there some areas or types of homes which might work which are not included in your current specifications?  The number 1 reason that many people fail to have the best results when searching online is that they make their computer specifications for a home too narrow.  Sometimes, just a little tweak will yield a new set of results for you.

Always feel free to contact us for assistance with your real estate needs.  We’re here to help!

A little goes a long way…5 Cheap Ways to Prepare Your Grand Rapids MI Home for a Quick Sale!


SEARCH WEST MICHIGAN HOMES FOR SALE – Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate Statistics

One thing that showing hundreds of homes through the years teaches you is this…Home Sellers can do a lot to show their home in a manner that gets it SOLD!

I have always found it mildly astonishing that homeowners who spend thousands of dollars in upgrades and improvements to their homes fail to invest time and effort in a few critical areas to ensure that their homes are perceived well in the eyes of potential buyers.

Some homeowners might be surprised to find out how far a little money will go.  Particularly when you put $500 against a backdrop of tens of thousands of dollars which are left on the table because a home does not sell or sells far below the listing price.

Here are just a few Simple Things to Keep in Mind when you are showing your home to ensure it shows Sold!

Show It!…

In a competitive market, there are hundreds of homes vying for a buyer’s attention.  There are some homes which don’t receive even ONE showing request in a 6 month period.  When you place your home on the market, be prepared to SHOW IT.  If you’re not…WAIT, until you are.  Yes, it may cost you a little in sleep and inconvenience, but in this market, if a real estate agent calls to show your home when there are 50 others like it…don’t count on being given a second chance.  COST:  Time & Effort ~ Dollars – ZERO

Clean It!

If you can’t clean your home…hire someone else to do it for you.  Why deduct Thousands of dollars from you life through a possible sale just because you can’t or don’t know how to clean a home.  Buyers love the smell of ‘clean’ about as much as they like the smell of ‘new.’  A good new home cleaning crew will cost about $250…loss of a sale or a discount on a home on the market for over 6 months…15-20 percent of your initial asking price.  COST:  approx $150 – $250

Clear It!

De-Cluttering is probably the single biggest thing that most homeowners can do fairly inexpensively to Show their Home Sold! Hire a storage unit…beg your friends to store stuff in their basement; whatever you have to do…get your stuff out!

But, to clear your home most effectively will require going beyond the basics of clearing out excess furniture and belongings and neutralizing.  Sometimes you need to do just a little more to be most effective…

COST:   approximately $50/month for storage if required

Stage It!

Hiring the Services of a professional stager to primp your home may be the best investment you can make in the home selling process.  Staging does not need to be an exorbitant cost.  In fact a good staging experience will probably save money  by attracting more potential buyers or creating a better response to your home when it is shown.

COST:  Initial Staging Consultation:  $75 – $150

Price it for the Market!

Today’s Grand Rapids Mi real estate market is changing so rapidly that even real estate agents find they must regularly check to verify that listing prices for homes are in line with the reality of the marketplace.  A decade ago, an appraisal was valid for at least six months.  Today, it  may only be valid for 30 days.

As a home owner, it’s important to invest time in getting professional counsel about how to price your home.  You can contact a real estate broker to get a FREE Certified Market analysis, or hire an appraiser for several hundred dollars.  What’s most important is that you ensure that whoever you hire does have the experience and proven results.  Hiring the right person is even more important in challenging times.  The wrong one can be a draining tax on time and resources.

COST:  FREE ~ CMA (Certified Market Analysis)  Appraisal:  $ 275 – $350


Quicker Sale

Less Time & Hassle on the Market

Better Offers

Moving on with your Life!

Think about this…What bank or investment fund would give this sort of potential return on your investment of $500?  Where else could you put in $500 and enjoy living in a nice, clean well arranged environment with the potential of making it back fairly quickly by a Sale?

Copyright 2010  Audu Real Estate All Rights Reserved

The Story Behind the Scenes…1497 Meadowview St. SW Wyoming, MI 49509

Exterior view - 1497 Meadowview St. SW Wyoming, MI  49509

Exterior view - 1497 Meadowview St. SW Wyoming, MI 49509

The story begins with him.

With him it was all about a place to catch some sleep, grab a bite to eat and maybe relax a little.  The house fit the bill.  The home was located in a neighborhood with close proximity to the expressway and the clean, crisp white walls were simple and required little maintenance.

Then she appeared on the scene.  Elegant, sophisticated and very beautiful, it was clearly a match which ignited his heart.  Her presence evoked a comfortable warmth which the space had not felt before. 

The clinical blue and white decor now seemed chilly  She embarked on a project  to channel soulful brilliance through the warm hues of autumn gold, tawny chocolate and complementary earth tones.

The transformation of the space through their story has resulted in  a home in which the cathedral ceilings are anchored by the strong, warmth of the earth. 

Spotlights throughout several rooms of the home highlight key decor accents.  Drama is envoked through the movement of color along architectural lines.

Why it’s now about you…

With 4 Bedrooms, 2 complete baths, ample closet space, a well designed kitchen, central air conditioning, a 2 stall garage and a good sized backyard…this home is now about YOU. This is a space in which you can splash the colors of the palette that make up your life in living color.  This is a space you can call home!

The story of this home can be experienced by arranging a private pre-view 1497 Meadowview St. SW Wyoming, MI  49509 through the assistance of your real estate agent.  It is ready to move into and neat as a pin!  Additional features include a recreation room downstairs large enough for a pool table AND exercise equipment.  Take advantage of this value priced home.  At $145,000 in this neighborhood..it won’t last long! 





*Click the picture link above to view a LIVE Real Estate Show!

MLS # 742166

Wealthy at Charles, A Delight for the Senses!

Wealthy at Charles, Grand Rapids MI

Wealthy at Charles, Grand Rapids MI

Although, it’s the start of fall, the garden is still open. This bountiful display of greenery is what initially catches my eye as we are cruising down Wealthy St.  

The plat is surrounded by a attractive wrought iron fence.  This segment of land, brimming with a variety of plantings is an unexpected respite in the city.

It is the garden which beckons me to stop into Wealthy at Charles and take a look around.  The store is situated within a beautifully restored  home which has been transformed into an intimate shopping experience for home style enthusiasts.  The wall colors are a dove gray and muted eggplant framed by burnished wood floors.  Very simple, very elegant…very calm.

The store features an eclectic and ever changing array of products for the home, gifts, accessories and stylish floral creations.  In between attending to clients, Mike one of the owners shares about the history of the home and the artistic accents which fill the store with elegance and color.

You feel as though you are in an artists’ studio…the displays evoke moments of unexpected spontaneity.  Luscious pillow displays and beautiful area rugs transition into whimsical mini statues and riotous bouquets of flowers.  You could spend an hour in this place and still have trouble deciding what to purchase.

I finally settle on my purchase which is carefully wrapped up with a bow and tissue.  This is certainly a store worth visiting…as much for the experience of first class service as the creativity which illumines every spare square inch of retail space.

wealthy at charles, llc
738 wealthy street se

grand rapids mi 49503


telephone: 616 458 6664


Setting the Stage to Successfully Sell Your Grand Rapids, Mi Home.

DaisyStaging a home for sale has become one of the big buzz words in real estate during this past year.  In a market which has witnessed a 100% increase in the competition of home on the market, this is understandable.

For home owners in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, selling a home successfully has involved enhancing the Value Perception to potential buyers who are distracted with news of the housing crisis and sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer volume of homes available.

It is important to understand that an agent who shows up at your door for a scheduled showing is probably showing 5-10 properties in single day to their buyer.  After about 5 homes, all of them begin to look the same and it can become difficult to remember what you saw or liked.

A well organized agent will remind their buyer to bring a digital camera or may even furnish one for them.  This is very helpful but in the event that you are not fortunate enough to have an agent with this type of foresight ring your doorbell, there are some things that you can do as a Homeowner to make your home showing a memorable experience for potential buyers and for the real estate agent who may have other buyers for whom your home is just perfect!

For starters…pick up all clutter.  Your home should be neat and clean.  This includes doing the dishes (not having the dishwasher running while buyers are touring your home); emptying trash cans, clearing all counters including those located in the kitchen and bathrooms, and in winter having a good mat at the front door unless you want ice and snow tracked through your clean house.

In addition, I always recommend putting on all lights.  The reason for this is that dark corners are never inviting.  Light encourages us to explore the unfamiliar…remember this is what your home is  to potential buyers right now.  Bathrooms and kitchens are inspected with the nose and eyes.  By this I mean that they should smell clean and look clean!  This is where the most intimate moments are spent; potential buyers are repelled by evidence or essence left over by previous inhabitants.  I recommend rubbing down counter-tops with a paper towel in the kitchen and bathroom areas soaked in Lysol Fresh Scent prior to leaving your home for a showing.

All beds should be made and clothing items picked up from the floor in the bedroom.  You do not want a potential buyer to make the unwanted discovery of dirty socks or lingerie in an unexpected way.  These are not the kinds of memories you want to remain with a buyer after they leave your house.

It is a welcoming site to come into a neat cheerful kitchen and to see the snack bar or kitchen table set with an inviting table setting.  Remember the kitchen table is where most of us make important decisions.  A plate of cookies strategically placed on the table or counter encourages potential buyers to linger and consider your home as an option.  That is what you want. 

Lastly, don’t forget the music!  Music helps us to relax and can release stress if its the right type.  At Audu Real Estate we offer detailed Staging appointments which will help you with the proper arrangement and/or purchase of furniture items and accessories to make your home look its best.  Studies indicate that a properly staged home can increase the market value of a property up to 10% above one which is not well presented.  To Book a Staging appointment, please contact our office at  616-791-0511 or e-mail us at info@auduhomes.com.  In a challenging real estate market, no advantage should be unexplored!

©2006 Audu Real Estate All rights reserved