Top Tips to finding the Best Buyer’s Agent

1. Check out their recommendations online. Do they have more recommendations than most other agents in their area. Get the names and numbers of their former Buyer Clients that you can call for a reference and a list of the properties they have sold as a Buyer’s Agent.

2. Confirm their local real estate experience. Make sure they are full-time, successful agents who know your marketplace with years of experience. Many agents are part-time and don’t have a full understanding of the current market.  Ask them exactly what they will do for you and what you should expect from them. Make sure they fulfil your expectations. They should be a really good listener and a great negotiator.

3. How many clients do they work with? They may be a “turn and burn” agent who just wants to get the deal done!  Your Realtor needs to be willing to ask questions, listen to your request, and help you to focus your search on homes and areas that are going to appeal to you. Some agents will show you EVERY home on the market. This is a waste of your time. They already should be clueing into your needs to make sure you are only seeing the best valued properties that meet your needs.

4. Do they have a blog that includes both local information and current market reports? This will be a quick way for you to bring yourself up to speed on the real estate market in that area.

5. Do they have a team of professionals that will help you along the way?  They should have trusted  Mortgage Brokers, Inspectors, Transaction Coordinators, Escrow Officers, and Contractors. Legally you can use whomever you want. However, most buyers don’t have a team of professionals that can help them along the way.  As a Concierge Realtor, I will handle all the details so you can focus on the important decisions about buying your luxury home in the North Lake Tahoe area.  Buying a home should be a dream not a nightmare. Make sure you pick the best agent for you.

For more information on how I serve my clients as a North Lake Tahoe Concierge Realtor, please click here.



Spring Cleaning & Decorating Tips to refresh Your Home

A great way to refresh your home, whether you’re planning to sell or just want a change, redecorating a room or two may be just the thing you need. Better Homes and Garden has a fantastic list of spring decor ideas. I’ve highlighted some of them for you here.

1.  Make it Welcoming – Buy a new doormat or deep clean the old one…everything starts at the front door, so maybe add a new pot of foliage or flowers to give your home a “welcome” face.

2. Add a Color Pop:  Bright colors are in – It’s easy to give a new look to you Tahoe toned house with  pops of color from bright vases, colorful pillows or fresh flowers.

3. Windows and Fixtures: When it’s cold no one feels like cleaning, especially items like windows and fixtures.  But now that the weather is warming up, get those windows cleaned so you can enjoy the view without the spots.  Don’t forget fixtures like overhead lights and fans – bugs can collect and dust can settle on top of fan blades if they haven’t been used this winter.

4. Sheer Panels Add Dimension: Sheer Panels offer a bit of privacy, add texture and a splash of color. Curtains are also easy to change if you decide on another style or color later on.

5. On the Surface: Don’t overlook the places that rarely get cleaned…the drip marks on outside of the dishwasher, the entry wall shoe scuff marks….a little soap and water can clean up wall spaces that you don’t realize have gotten a little dingy.

6. Take Your Time:  Instead of trying to get it all done in a day, do one room at a time.  De-clutter before you clean and get rid of those items that have been sitting there for a few months instead of cramming them in the back of the closet.

7. Take off the Dust: Break out the patio furniture and refresh your old lounge cushions or add a few new outdoor pillows.  Touch up the paint to patio sets if it’s chipped over the winter for a fresh start to the summer.

To check out all of Better Homes and Gardens spring decorating tips, click here. Maybe you need a little more help with some creative design ideas for your home. If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, hiring a professional designer can save you time and frustration. I highly recommend Sue Pipal of Dragonfly Designs for your interior design needs.

For information about selling (or buying!) your home, please give me a call at 530-386-0302. I’ll be able to tell you what your home is worth and develop an efficient marketing plan that fits your needs.

Home Owners Fixes before you List

MHome Improvement Arrowany folks know that a few small upgrades go a long way with curb appeal and making your home desirable.   If you’re looking to list soon and don’t mind spending a little now to make more later, here’s a few things to consider…

  • Storage – Most new home are well designed with lost of storage, however most of the homes in North Lake Tahoe don’t necessarily fall into that category.  Many homes were built as cabins and lack the much needed storage space.  The cost is low compared to the benefits of expanding storage space.  Whether you have to build new spaces or re-design the spaces you already have there are stores out there that specialize designing storage solutions.
  • Kitchen Upgrades – You don’t have to spend a fortune to upgrade an outdated kitchen.  Having a carpenter add molding to existing cabinets, or a new paint job and cabinet pulls can vastly improve your kitchen space.  Light paint colors make spaces seem more roomy and new curtains can pull a look together.  Vinyl or linoleum flooring can be easily replaced with relatively inexpensive laminate flooring as well as new sink and lighting fixtures.  If you can’t replace these items yourself, then a handyman or carpenter is well equipped.  Ask me about some of my favorite vendors I recommend for repairs and upgrades.
  • The Entry – The front of your house makes the first impression.  Upgrading your front door, house numbers or entry door handle can impact a first impression.
  • Painting suppliesDecks – Many Tahoe houses come equipped with a outdoor deck of some sort.  If you have a wood deck that hasn’t been refinished in a few years and you’re planning on listing now’s the time.  I suggest letting the pro’s handle this as it’s usually a quick turnaround for great results when your wood goes from a worn fading color to bright and inviting.
  • The small upgrades – Small amenities can make a big impact.  Adding a security system, or steam shower can those small added luxuries appealing to buyers.   It always helps in older home to add the appearance of modern amenities when not all of the home has necessarily been updated.

February Home Maintenance Tips

Kitchen InteriorTypically we see lots of snow in February, however this year we’ve had warmer temps and sunny days.  Although we all still hope for more winter weather, the warm spell give you a little break do deal with some home maintenance that usually would have to wait until Spring.

– Get your driveway sealed.  I suggest doing this once a year as driveways are expensive to replace and sealing your driveway can ensure you get those extra years out of  driveway with the typical winter snow load.

– Do some inside small item maintenance:  Cleaning Products

  • Clean and sharpen your garbage disposal by crushing ice and washing with baking soda and citrus fruit.
  • Clean your ceiling fans and light fixtures…bugs like to collect inside bowl like fixtures.
  • Vacuum behind fridge and oven…no need to leave temping crumbs for rodents.
  • Kitchen Cabinets – clean & polish
  • Check your fire extinguisher expiration dates and make sure you have one in the kitchen that’s accessible

– Clean out your pantry.  If you’ve stocked up for the winter, pull out the older items and check expiration dates.

-Turn Mattresses (if you still have the kind that need to be turned)…this is something that many home owners forget to do.



January Home Maintenance Tips

Here’s a few tips this winter season to keep your Tahoe home in tip-top shape as snow continues to fall!

firewood1.  Replace your furnace air filter – if you want to keep your furnace from having issues, make sure you replace your air filter every few months if you run it constantly.

2. Check your wood or pellet covers for leaks and moisture if you store them outside.  Make sure the snow isn’t melting and ending up in your dry wood!

3.  Change direction of ceiling fans. It’s a fact that hot air rises, so now’s the time to reverse your fans and keep the heat down if you haven’t already done so.

Snow on stairs4. When temperatures drop, pipes can freeze. See my tips for avoiding frozen pipes.

5.  If you’ve never inventoried your home, now is a great time.  An easy way is a video inventory that you can then put in your safety deposit box for safe keeping.  If you’re out of town or your home is used as a vacation rental, accidents happen and the last thing you want is a flooded house with no record of your valuables for the insurance company.

6. Check hoses on your appliances that use water for leaks.  Dishwashers and ice makers tend to leak the most and you don’t want water collecting somewhere you can’t see until the damage is done.

7. Make sure your deck railings and steps are secure and shovel off excess snow to keep the weight on your deck low to prevent damage to the beams.



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