Selling a House as Part of An Estate

How To Sell An Inherited Property

Losing a loved one inevitably stir up a wide range of emotions and even create a sense of overwhelm, particularly when it comes to the issue of inheriting property.  It’s not uncommon for a beneficiary to choose to part ways with an inherited home, but this type of real estate transaction will vary a bit from a typical home sale.


What To Do When You’re Ready To Sell An Inherited Home


Step 1: Wait For The Estate To Go Through Probate


Even if you’re confident that the home has been left to you, the will must be probated before any action can be taken to sell the property.  This is the process through which the court determines the validity of the will, thereby permitting the executor act on behalf of the document’s terms.


Only after a will goes through probate is a beneficiary able to claim inherited property.


Step 2: Contemplate How You’d Like to Move Forward As The Home’s Owner


If you share ownership of the property with others, discuss your plan for the home together.  Even if you have no interest in occupying the home, you may prefer to rent it out or to simply sell.  Regardless of what you decide, you’ll need to explore these options with the rest of the home’s owners, if the property isn’t exclusively yours.


When siblings inherit a home from deceased parents, for example, there are often disagreements surrounding whether or not to keep the house.  If you would prefer to sell, but your siblings want the property to stay in the family, they can buy your portion from you as a way to compromise.


Before making any final decisions, however, meet with an accountant who can explain the potential tax implications that you may experience whether you choose to occupy the home, rent it out, or sell.


If you’re leaning towards selling the home, give yourself ample time to think about this decision and make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of parting with the property.


Step 3: Prepare To Put The Home On The Market


Prior to listing the property for sale, you’ll want to walk through the home to get an understanding of its current condition.  If the home has significant clutter or damage, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to hold off on listing the property or accept a lower selling price than if the property were in pristine shape.


It’s not a bad idea to hire a home inspector as well; even if you don’t intend to make repairs, at least you can determine a realistic asking price.


Alternatively, if you’re not in a hurry to sell the home and can afford to spend the time and money on improvements, consider some simple cosmetic upgrades to increase the property’s curb appeal.


Once you’re confident the home is ready to put on the market, the next logical step is to find a Realtor who’s familiar with the neighborhood.  Whether your goal is to sell the home for the best possible offer or to simply make a quick transaction, make sure you communicate this to your agent.


Don’t be afraid to ask plenty of questions before you decide which Realtor to hire.


Are You Ready To Sell Your Home?


If you own a home in the Houston area and would like to discuss your options as a seller, we should connect!  Please contact me today for assistance with your listing, and feel free to send me a note with any questions you may have.


Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel on YouTube for more information about the local Houston market.

How To Make An Offer On A Property For Sale

How To Make An Offer On A Property

You’ve chosen your new neighborhood, looked at several homes for sale, and now you’ve found the perfect place.  You can’t picture a better home for your new start, and you can already see yourself moving in.  Before that can happen, though, you’ll need to make sure you can put together an offer that’s both fair for you and attractive to the seller.


Of course, the first step you must take before creating your offer is getting pre-approved for a mortgage (if you don’t intend to pay for the property in cash).  A bid from a potential buyer who’s already secured financing will inevitably be more appealing than a bid from a buyer who has not done so.  Sellers are simply more inclined to consider your offer when you can eliminate any doubts about your ability to pay for the home.


Additionally, try to find out what the seller’s motivation is for listing the property; while some sellers can afford to wait for the highest offer, others may be on a tight timeline and more willing to negotiate if it means a quicker transaction.  Consult with your Realtor to identify the best way to appeal to the seller’s interests.


Writing Your Offer Letter


Creating a compelling offer is equal parts art and science; every real estate transaction poses a unique situation, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to offer letters.  There are, however, some common components of an offer letter that you should be familiar with and include in your own offer.


7 Common Elements Of Offer Letters


1. Property’s address


Of course, the first piece of information you’ll want to include is the correct address of the property you’re interested in buying.


2. Offer price and financing method


Included with your offer price should be a breakdown of how you intend to pay for the home; you’ll need to state clearly how much money will be acquired through financing and how much cash you’ll be paying at closing.  The sum of these two amounts equals the final sale price for the home.


3. Earnest money requirements


In addition to your offer amount, the contract should also specify how much you will deposit as earnest money and the date by which this payment will be made.


4. Details surrounding title policy and survey


The contract should indicate whether the buyer or seller is responsible for the cost of title insurance.


There should also be clear terms describing who will pay for professional land surveying and when the survey is to be completed.


5. Contingencies


Contingencies outline the conditions that must be met in order for the transaction to take place.  As you’ve probably guessed, the purpose of including contingencies is to protect the buyer and minimize ambiguity in the contract.  If the deal is not completed for a reason outlined in the contingency clauses, these stipulations allow the buyer to recoup his or her earnest money.

There are many potential factors that could cause a deal to fall through.  For example, a buyer who’s been pre-approved for a mortgage may still be unable to pay for the home if the appraiser determines the value to be less than the agreed-upon price.  Including an appraisal contingency in the contract allows the buyer to walk away from the deal if this should happen.


Other common types of contingencies relate to inspections for property damage or safety hazards that may require costly repairs; for instance, many offer letters include contingencies for property inspections, so that buyers aren’t forced to complete a transaction that involves a home in need of significant work.


6. Offer expiration date


Including an expiration date and time for your offer is another way to help protect yourself as a buyer.  By making your offer valid for only a given period of time, you can avoid wasting time waiting for an answer if the seller is holding out for higher bids.  This strategy also gives you the freedom to pursue other options if you do not receive a response from the seller.


7. Closing date and requirements


The offer letter will also include information about when the deal will close and any final steps that need to be completed on either party’s end during closing.


Home Buyer Offer Letter Sample (Downloadable PDF)



Home Buyer Offer Letter Sample - Download

Still Have Questions About The Home Buying Process?


I’m here to help!  Send me a message if you’re thinking about buying a home in the Houston area.  I’m especially familiar with the Memorial, Uptown, Galleria, and Tanglewood neighborhoods.


If you’d like more information about the Houston market, please make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as well!

How To Attract Talent From Other Cities

How To Attract Talent From Other Cities To Your Company

Thanks to popular job posting sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Zip Recruiter, it’s become increasingly easy for companies and talented workers to connect with just a few keystrokes.


One challenge that still remains, however, is being able to convince candidates from out of town that they should, in fact, relocate for a given position.  In today’s competitive job market, even glowing online reviews may not be enough to encourage jobseekers to pick up and move for work.


Here Are 4 Simple Ways To Attract Qualified Candidates From Other Cities:


1. Be transparent about salary and benefits


Many companies tend to post job descriptions without sharing information about the corresponding salary or benefits.


This strategy may attract local workers who can stop by for an interview on their lunch break.  Candidates who live out of town, however, are not likely to spend time and money traveling for an interview without first knowing if the opportunity meets their salary requirements.


In order to encourage talent from other cities to at least apply for a position, make sure the job description includes accurate information regarding benefit and pay.


2. Be familiar with your company’s online reviews

There’s no getting around the fact that candidates can and will research every prospective employer as much as possible before they apply to a job.  When it comes to candidates outside of the area especially, your company’s online image is going to have a significant impact.


Regardless of whether the majority of online reviews are positive or negative, it’s wise to make sure interviewers are familiar with the content of these posts and can address any questions or concerns candidates may have.  Before encouraging a candidate to relocate, it’s important to ensure that he or she has a clear, accurate understanding of the company’s culture and structure.

3. Provide clear information about the role and responsibilities

Additionally, before a candidate decides to relocate, he or she must understand what to expect in the new role.  Providing as much information as possible will help insure that the most qualified candidate is selected for the role.  At the same time, candidates will feel more eager and confident to relocate when they know exactly what’s expected of them.


Of course, every new employee requires some degree of onboarding, but this, too, can be made easier when the employee already has a solid understanding of his or her new role.


4. Create a compelling offer with corporate relocation benefits


Any assistance an employer can offer to help ease the stress of moving will inevitably make the company more attractive to talent from outside the area.


If your company doesn’t already offer relocation benefits, I highly recommend looking into Kinetics, a program that allows Houston companies to create their own custom relocation packages.


Learn More About The Kinetics Corporate Relocation Program For Houston-Based Companies


I’m excited to share a brief Q&A with Kinetics director and fellow Realtor, Vanessa Hadrych.  Below, Vanessa has been kind enough to provide more information about the Kinetics program:


Q:   What makes Better Homes & Gardens – Gary Greene’s Kinetics program beneficial for employees relocating to Houston?


Kinetics was designed to help ease the stress of relocating, allowing the transferee to focus on arriving at their new destination city ready to hit the ground running.


The goal of Kinetics is to offer a seamless and rewarding experience for the transferee, whether they are looking to buy, sell, or rent. This commitment to service is paramount, and we pair that with our cost-saving offerings which include a cash-back benefit, zero standard mortgage closings costs through our preferred lender, Gibraltar Mortgage, and preferential pricing and services on everything related to the move. These services include temporary housing, business travel lodging, van lines and storage, pet transport, and more.


Whether a transferee is relocating from Seattle or Shanghai, Kinetics has leveraged Gary Greene’s 55-year legacy as a preferred relocation partner to ensure their relocation needs are met. We can assist transferees who are offered a lump sum, a managed relocation, as well as those moving at their own expense. Let our legacy work for you!


Q: What is the cost for a company to enroll into the Kinetics relocation program?


Kinetics was designed to benefit both the employee AND the employer. We offer our relocation and real estate benefits to employers at ZERO COST and with no contract.


Our goal is to knock it out of the park for your talent every time, so that you and your team WANT to work with us. We get paid when your talent buys or sells a home, and we give part of that back to your talent in their cash-back benefit. In addition to our services for your talent, we offer advocacy services for employers including: candidate tours, relocation policy advisement, networking opportunities (our professional network is highly curated and invaluable), and more.


While we do offer a level of premium services that have a cost associated with them, many of our clients find that our complimentary services are more than adequate to fit their company’s needs.


Q: Is Kinetics very complicated or difficult to work with from the employee’s standpoint?


Kinetics was designed with ease of use in mind! The process starts with a phone call or email to alert the Kinetics Houston team of your relocation needs. We’ll reach out to complete a needs assessment and then take care of the rest! You will have one point of contact for any questions, concerns, or needs. We’ll coordinate with our Realtors and vendors to ensure your needs are met and all necessary services are filled. Our concierge team will monitor your relocation from our corporate office and ensure all time-sensitive details are properly managed, all while keeping your HR team in the loop with custom reporting and update options!


Are You Ready To Start Recruiting Out-Of-Town Talent For Your Houston Company?


If you’re interested in receiving more information about the Kinetics corporate relocation program, please contact me today!


You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’d like to receive updates about the Houston real estate market.

2018 Houston Restaurant Weeks

Your Ultimate Guide to Houston Restaurant Weeks: 2018

It’s finally that time of year again: the 2018 Restaurant Weeks have officially begun!


Restaurant Weeks is a Summer tradition here in Houston.   During the Dog Days of August when so many people are winding down their Summer vacations, the restaurant industry has created this event to raise money for the Houston Food Bank.   Each specific participating restaurant has a special daily menu to choose from and a certain percentage of the tab goes to the Food Bank!   It’s lots of fun and has become a wonderful time to reconnect with friends, former clients, and prospects!


25 Of The Best Restaurants To Visit During 2018’s Houston Restaurant Weeks*

1. Willie G’s


  • Address: 1640 W Loop South Houston, TD 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Seafood and Steak
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Willie G’s is practically famous for their fresh seafood and delicious steaks.  The restaurant’s atmosphere can best be described as casual, yet elegant, and there’s even a great outdoor dining area!


2. Bloom & Bee


  • Address: 1600 West Loop S Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Known for their extensive menu and beautiful atmosphere, Bloom & Bee specializes in fresh cuisine inspired by the local Houston culture.


3. Etoile Cuisine Et Bar


  • Address: 1101 Uptown Park Blvd Suite 11 Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: French and European
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 brunch and lunch, $45 dinner


Etoile Cuisine Et Bar is best known for their amazing French dishes, served in a European-inspired atmosphere.


4. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood


  • Address: 1151-01 Uptown Park Blvd. Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Steak, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


McCormick & Schmick’s is one of the best restaurants to visit for seafood or steak.  They also have a wide selection of drinks, ranging from classic cocktails to more trendy concoctions!


5. Songkran Thai Kitchen

  • Address: 1101-8 Uptown Park Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


If you love fresh, authentic Thai food, you have to visit Songkran Thai Kitchen!  Not only are the meals delicious; there’s even a fun list of signature drinks to try, too!


6. True Food Kitchen


  • Address: 1700 Post Oak Boulevard Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American, Farm-to-Table, Vegetarian/ Vegan
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


True Food specializes in delectable options for health-conscious diners.  Whether you’re on a strict vegan diet or just prefer to eat clean, organic meals, this is a great restaurant for a fun night out with friends!


7. Le Colonial


  • Address: (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Vietnamese, French, Contemporary Asian
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Le Colonial is known for combining the flavors of French cuisine and Colonial Southeast Asian dishes for a truly unique experience.

8. Emmaline


  • Address: 3210 W Dallas St Houston, TX 77019 (Midtown/ Montrose)
  • Cuisine: American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Emmaline describes itself as a “laid-back interpretation of an American Trattoria,” and is known for combining American dishes in a European-inspired atmosphere.


9. Fig & Olive


  • Address: 5115 Westheimer Road Houston, 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: French, Mediterranean
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Despite having only opened earlier this year, Fig & Olive has already established a reputation for its authentic Mediterranean dishes, focusing on flavors from the coastal regions of France, Italy, and Spain.


10. Pappas Bros Steakhouse


  • Address: 5839 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 77057 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Steak, American, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Pappas Bros boasts in-house dry-aged steaks that pair perfectly with their award-winning wines.  This fine dining experience is one you won’t forget!


11. Ouisie’s Table


  • Address: 3939 San Felipe Road Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Southern, American, Comfort Food
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 brunch and lunch, $35 dinner


Named for chef and founder Elouise Adams Jones, Ouisie’s Table offers a wide range of award-winning Southern comfort foods and a fantastic wine list!


12. Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette


  • Address: 4224 San Felipe St Houston, TX 77027 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Seafood, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Known for its Oyster Bar, Liberty Kitchen and Oysterette is another go-to seafood restaurant in Houston.  Some of the most popular choices here include grilled oysters, sushi, and seafood towers, though this restaurant also serves many delicious meals featuring local Texas Beef.


13. Toulouse Café and Bar


  • Address: 4444 Westheimer Suite E Houston, TX 77027 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: French
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Toulouse combines French cuisine with imaginative recipes in a casual, elegant setting for a sophisticated dining experience.  They’re also known for their amazing desserts made completely from scratch!


14. Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou


  • Address: 1 Birdsall Street Houston, TX 77007 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, American, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Brenner’s combines an elevated, rustic atmosphere with mouthwatering American cuisine.  Make sure you check out the award-winning wine list when you visit!


15. B&B Butchers & Restaurant


  • Address: 1814 Washington Ave Houston, TX 77007 (Heights/ Washington)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


This upscale steakhouse is known for serving some of the finest Texas and Japanese Wagyu beef.  They even dry-age their steaks in-house!


16. Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors


  • Address: 2400 Midlane Suite 100 Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Bistro, Lounge
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Eloie Nichols is the perfect spot for a casual happy hour with friends.  This restaurant is famous for their American comfort food and exciting new cocktails!


17. Grace’s


  • Address: 3111 Kirby Drive Houston Houston, TX 77098 (Upper Kirby/ Shepherd Corridor)
  • Cuisine: American, Comfort Food
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Inspired by Sunday family lunches, Grace’s specializes in comfort foods like fresh bread, homemade soup, and original sauces.  It’s the perfect casual dining experience!


18. Season 52


  • Address: 4410 Westheimer Houston, TX 77027 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: American, Contemporary American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Season 52 specializes in seasonal dishes inspired by fresh, locally-grown ingredients.  In addition to the fantastic food, they also offer a massive wine list including more than 100 different international wines!


19. Brassrie 19


  • Address: 1962 West Gray Houston, TX 77019 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: French, American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


With an elegant atmosphere, Brasserie 19 combines French cuisine with American influences to create a one-of-a-kind experience.


20. Masraff’s


  • Address: 1753 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Seafood, Steakhouse
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


Masraff’s is the perfect place to visit for American favorites with a hint of Southern Europe.  Once you’ve eaten here, you’ll understand quickly why it’s a favorite spot among Houstonians!


21. Armandos


  • Address: 2630 Westheimer Houston, TX 77098 (River Oaks)
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Seafood, Steak
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


Inspired by Spanish and French colonial Mexico, Armandos combines exquisite Mexican food with an elegant, sophisticated atmosphere.


22. Maggiano’s


  • Address: 2109 Post Oak Blvd Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Italian-American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $35 dinner


If you’re looking for Italian-American cuisine in a warm, casual environment, Maggiano’s is the place to go!  The menu ranges from classic to contemporary dishes, including signature salads, fresh fish, homemade pastas, steaks, and more.


23. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House


  • Address: 5061 Westheimer Rd Suite 8060 Houston, TX 77056 (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: Steakhouse, Steak, Seafood
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $45 dinner


Del Frisco’s is best known for providing guests with a truly luxurious fine dining experience.  With prime beef, seafood, and an extensive wine list, Del Frisco’s is one of the classiest steakhouses in the Houston area.


24. Peli Peli


  • Address: 5085 Westheimer Suite B2515 Houston, TX (Galleria/ Uptown)
  • Cuisine: South African, Contemporary American
  • Restaurant Week Special: $45 dinner


This award-winning restaurant combines South African delicacies with Southern hospitality and is even currently ranked the #1 restaurant in Houston by Trip Advisor!


25. Goode Co. Kitchen & Cantina


  • Address: 9005 Katy Fwy Houston, 77024 (West Side)
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex, Mexican
  • Restaurant Week Special: $20 lunch, $35 dinner


Goode Co Kitchen & Cantina seamlessly blends authentic Mexican dishes with delicious Southern Texas cuisine.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a few margaritas with friends or family!


Where Will You Be Dining During This Year’s Restaurant Weeks?


I would definitely like to reconnect with many Houston friends, so hit me up and let’s coordinate our schedules!


Restaurant Weeks


Planning A Move To The Houston Area?


If you’re thinking about buying a home near Houston, let’s connect!  Please contact me today for assistance in your home buying journey!


For more updates on fun and exciting Houston events, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page!  You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel for updates about the Houston real estate market.



*Based on ratings from Open Table



21 Real Estate FAQs Answered

21 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Buying And Selling Homes

As a Realtor, I always make sure to provide my clients with as much guidance and information as I possibly can.  Whether it’s your first real estate transaction or your fifth, there’s no shame in having some questions about the process; that’s what your Realtor is for!


While every transaction is as unique as the homeowners themselves, there are a handful of questions that tend to come up regularly.


Top 21 Real Estate FAQs Answered:

Questions Related To Buying A House:

1. What should I know about buying my first house?

You can never be too prepared for your first real estate transaction!  Every home purchase can be broken down into a series of small steps.  Ideally, once you’ve identified the neighborhoods where you’d like to look at houses, the best plan is to find an experienced Realtor who knows the area and can walk you through the homebuying process.


When you hire the right Realtor, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly which properties can realistically fit your needs, and determine where to go from there.  A good Realtor will work with you to establish a budget, view homes for sale, and create an effective negotiating strategy.

2. What are some tips for choosing a neighborhood?

Where you choose to live can have such a significant impact on your overall lifestyle!  I recommend spending some time writing down your top priorities and using the resulting list to find neighborhoods that fit your needs.  Don’t be afraid if you can’t single out a specific neighborhood right away; as long as you know where to start your search, the rest will usually fall into place.


3. Can I save money by buying a fixer-upper?

Unfortunately, there’s just no way to know for certain what to expect from a fixer-upper.  Remodeling a property is always easier said than done, but if renovating a home is something that interests you, just make sure you do your research first!


4. How do you know if a house is overpriced?

Determining the value of a home is not an exact science, however, the following circumstances usually indicate that the asking price of a home is too high:


  • Similar homes in the neighborhood are being sold for less
  • The house in question has been sitting on the market much longer than other homes in the area
  • The seller in question hasn’t received any offers


5. How do I choose the right home for my family?


To find the right house, you’ll need to consider your priorities.  Here are some questions to think about:


  • How much space do you need?
  • What neighborhood do you want to live in?
  • What amenities are important to you?
  • What sacrifices are you willing to make?
  • Do you expect your family to grow?
  • What kind of lifestyle is important to you?
  • Would you like to be part of a homeowners association?

6. What’s the best time of year to look at homes for sale?


In terms of available inventory, the best time of year to look at houses is usually in the spring, before the end of the school year.  Conversely, if your goal is to save money on a home, then it’s better to start your search in the winter, when decreased competition typically results in lower asking prices.

7. Is a home inspection necessary?

The short answer is: absolutely.


While it may be true that home inspections won’t uncover every problem, most contracts have a home inspection contingency that allows the buyer to back out of the deal if the inspection uncovers significant problems.  Rather than trying to save a few bucks upfront by foregoing an inspection, do your research to find a trustworthy inspector; it could save you plenty of frustration in the long run!

8. What is earnest money?


As the name suggests, earnest money is the deposit a buyer makes to the seller to prove the offer is sincere.  In some places, this is also known as “good faith money.”

9. What is the Option Period?

After the buyer deposits earnest money, the seller will take the home off the market, signifying the start of the Option Period.  The length of the Option Period should be stated explicitly in the contract, and during this time, the buyer has an opportunity to have the property inspected and, if necessary, can back out of the deal and still recoup the earnest money.


10. What can I do to understand the contract?

Initially, you and your Realtor should read over the contract together to discuss its terms and address any concerns you may have.  Prior to signing, however, it’s always wise to meet with a real estate attorney who can provide legal advice and help you revise or update any sections that you aren’t comfortable with.

11. What if my offer does not get accepted?


Sellers may either reject your offer, make a counteroffer, or, sometimes, not respond at all.  If your offer is rejected or you do not receive a response, you can try to reach out to the seller’s agent (or the seller, if there is no agent representing the home in question) for more information.


If the seller has not accepted your offer because he or she is holding out for more money, you can make the decision to either accept a counteroffer or walk away.  Ultimately, your choice should be influenced by your budget and timeline.


Always leave emotions out of the negotiating process!

Questions Related To Selling A House:

12. What is the best way to handle multiple offers?

It may be tempting to simply accept the highest bid, but keep in mind other factors that could affect the transaction.

For example, buyers who intend to take out a mortgage typically require a longer time frame to close, so if you need to move quickly, a cash offer could be the better choice.


You might even be more comfortable accepting one offer over another based on the bidders’ contingencies, so pay close attention to these details as well!

13. How long should I wait to lower the price?

If you have effectively marketed the home and buyers are aware of the listing, but simply aren’t making offers, then it may be time to lower your asking price.  Generally speaking, the longer a home stays on the market, the less likely the seller will get the full asking price.


Do not be discouraged if you need to drop your price; sometimes this is the only way to get a response from the market, especially if you need to sell your home quickly.


On the plus side, when you do lower your asking price, you could potentially catch the interest of multiple buyers and start a bidding war!


14. Why is it necessary to think like a buyer?

It’s important to keep in mind that the emotions and love you feel for your home are not shared yet by the buyer.


Without an effective marketing plan, you cannot expect buyers to know what makes your property a dream home.  Conversely, you have to remember that buyers are also considering other options; you and your Realtor must therefore convince buyers that your home is the best choice in their price range.


15. What can I do to make sure my home sells?

The first thing you should do when selling your home is to carefully select an experienced Realtor who understands your local market.  He or she should be able to discuss the following topics in detail:


  • Asking prices vs. selling prices of comparable homes in your area
  • The average number of days homes similar to yours have stayed on the market
  • Top concerns and preferences among buyers who will likely be interested in your home
  • Appropriate marketing strategies to help you sell your home quickly


16. Is it necessary to hire a stager?

You want your home to look inviting in photos and during walkthroughs.  In addition to making sure the house is clean and free of clutter, it’s always a good idea to help buyers visualize themselves enjoying the space.  While it’s not necessary to stage every room, adding some strategically placed furniture and décor can leave a strong impression on buyers.


17. How can I determine the right listing price?

Again, the best resource is a Realtor who’s familiar with your neighborhood.  Aside from your property’s unique features and selling points, market conditions and buyer demand will have a significant impact on the price your home ultimately sells for.  By hiring a Realtor who has worked in your neighborhood before, you’ll be able to cut out the guesswork and trust an expert instead.


18. What do I do if my house sells before I’ve closed on a home?

Sometimes, despite careful planning, sellers find themselves in a situation where they’ve sold their home and are not yet ready to move.


If you find yourself in this situation and aren’t willing or able to stay somewhere else, you can usually work out an rent-back agreement with your buyer.  Like the name implies, this allows you to rent your former home for an additional timeframe while you finalize the purchase of your new place.


19. What’s the best time of year to sell a house?

In general, demand starts to increase during the spring and summer seasons, but keep in mind that market conditions can always vary for a myriad of reasons.


20. What’s the best way to market my home?

As we discussed before, you always want to put yourself in the mindset of your buyer.


Work with your Realtor to identify the most attractive features of your home and neighborhood; from there, you should be able to determine what type of buyer would most likely make an offer on your home.  Use this information to create a marketing strategy that gets the attention of your ideal buyer and effectively communicates the property’s top selling features.


21. Should I pay for professional photos?

Most buyers will see your home for the first time via online photos.  If you aren’t confident in your own photography skills or you plan to take photos using your phone, it may be best to trust a professional.


On top of making sure your home is represented properly in photos, many real estate photographers also create video tours that can be shared online and are quite effective in attracting the attention of qualified buyers.



Still Have Questions About Buying And Selling Houses in Houston?


For nearly 30 years now, I’ve proudly assisted buyers and sellers in the Houston area, and am happy to answer all of your questions!  Please contact me today if you’re thinking of making a move, and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for regular updates about the Houston real estate market!

The Truth About Buying A Fixer-Upper

8 Facts About Buying Fixer-Uppers You Won’t Learn From HGTV

If hours of binge-watching HGTV have sparked an interest in buying your own fixer-upper, it may be time for a quick reality check.  Despite what network executives may want you to believe, renovating a fixer-upper is often much easier said than done; buying a home that needs serious work is, quite literally, a gamble, as there’s no definitive way to predict just how much you’ll end up spending.  In fact, buying a fixer-upper may not be so budget-friendly in the long run after all.


8 Biggest Secrets About Buying Fixer-Uppers (That Reality TV Doesn’t Want You To Know):


1. It’s not always easy (or possible) to stay within your budget


When it comes to buying a fixer-upper, there’s just no telling what you’ll get yourself into.  Aside from estimated remodeling costs, you may be responsible for additional expenses like correcting building code violations, resolving open permits, and even additional costs resulting from unpaid taxes.


While no homebuyer is safe from unexpected surprises, fixer-uppers are notoriously associated with unplanned expenses that can quickly spiral out of control.


2. You may not end up saving any money in the long run


On a related note, by the time you’ve finished making your fixer-upper habitable, you may not end up saving very much, if anything, at all.  Don’t forget, aside from the cosmetic upgrades you’ll likely want to make, the home may require other serious expenses like HVAC system repairs or replacements, new appliances, mold remediatiation, or even pest control.  These types of high-priority projects require immediate work and are not often cheap.


Even if you buy a fixer-upper at a low price, you actually could end up spending just as much in the end as if you had purchased a move-in ready home.


3. Between looking at homes for sale and renovating your fixer-upper, the entire process may easily take several months


After money, the resource you’ll need most if you’re buying a fixer-upper is patience.


Regardless of whether you hire a contractor or do it yourself, most home improvement projects just don’t get finished on time.  Unfortunately, the more work your house requires, the more likely you are to fall behind schedule (and realistically, most fixer-uppers easily require at least 4-6 weeks’ worth of work).



4. Your projects won’t always be completed correctly on the first try


Be prepared to face setbacks.  When it comes to large-scale projects, you can usually anticipate some margin of error.


Materials don’t always ship on time, and sometimes arrive with damage or in the wrong quantity.  Certain projects require approval from the town, which may take days or weeks to receive.  You might make mistakes as you’re working through a project and have to start over from the beginning.


There are countless ways that your remodel can get delayed.  If you’re determined to buy a fixer-upper, first make sure you can handle extending your remodeling timeline as needed.


5. You may not actually be able to afford luxurious design features


As we discussed, the best way to approach a fixer-upper is with a conservative budget.  Until you know for certain how much money the home will require, don’t expect to pour the money you saved by buying a fixer-upper into high-end flooring and custom features.


6. Buying a fixer-upper is not exactly the most responsible financial choice


If you’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper to avoid racking up debt with a large mortgage, make sure you crunch your numbers carefully.  Depending on the scope of work that your fixer-upper requires, you may have no other option than to take out a home improvement loan.  Even the cost of materials alone can add up much faster than you may expect!


Again, there’s no way to know with complete certainty just how much you’ll need to spend on remodeling projects, but keep this in mind as you’re calculating the overall cost of buying a home.


7. The end result may not look exactly like your “dream home”

As you begin your remodel and explore the home more carefully, you may find yourself altering your original plans in order to make room in budget for new projects that come up along the way.  Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t still create a beautiful home, but be prepared for the final product to be slightly different from what you envisioned initially.


8. Contractors aren’t always reliable


Possibly one of the most frustrating parts of owning a home is having to deal with unreliable contractors.  Before you make the decision to buy a fixer-upper, spend some time researching contractors near you.  The same goes for any other professional you intend to hire, whether that includes a plumber, electrician, landscaper, or any other type of specialist.  Avoid wasting time and money on incompetent workers that you don’t trust!


Make Sure You Know What You’re Getting Into Before You Make Your Next Home Purchase!


There are so many pitfalls and “traps” involved in remodeling a home.  I’ve seen patchwork jobs that individually looked ok, but viewed as a whole made the home look like a quilt of stitched-together projects.  My best piece of advice would be to create a “road map” for the entire project and use a qualified, reliable contractor to complete the entire job at once or to complete it in phases that make sense.   Financial restrictions will always be a factor, so plan the budget carefully, communicate with your project director, and listen to the professional advice.


Whether you’re a first time homebuyer, investing in real estate, or you’re moving to start a new job, you can never be too prepared when it comes to buying a property.  If you’re looking to purchase a home in the Houston area, and are interested in the Uptown, Memorial, Galleria, or Tanglewood neighborhoods, please contact me today for assistance!


Still researching the Houston market?  Subscribe to my YouTube channel today so you can receive updates on all the latest real estate news!

Things To Do In Houston This Summer

12 Exciting Things To Do In The Houston Area This Summer

If you’re new to Houston, you’ll probably learn pretty quickly that there’s always something fun to do here.  Whether you’re interested in art, music, or spending time outside with your family, you can always find plenty of activities to enjoy in your free time!


Check Out These Fun Upcoming Events Around Houston:


1. Trivia Night At The Ginger Man Midtown – 7/16, 7/23, And 7/30

The Ginger Man in Midtown Houston hosts a weekly trivia night on Mondays, starting at 7:30 PM.  Test your knowledge and win fun prizes!


Visit The Ginger Man’s site to learn more!

2. Family Night At Palava Family Entertainment Center – 7/18-12/26

Every Wednesday from now through the end of the year, Palava Family Entertainment Center in Spring is offering a discounted package that includes 1 large 2 topping pizza, 12 baked wings, 1 family salad, and 4 unlimited play passes for laser tag, minigolf, and Playstructure.


Visit Palava Family Entertainment Center’s site to learn more!

3. Houston Zoo After Dark – 7/19

Thursday, July 19 will be the final installment of the Houston Zoo After Dark series.  From 6 PM to 8 PM, adults can enjoy viewing exhibits while the zoo is closed to children.  Then, from 8 PM to 10 PM, a live country band will perform so attendees can enjoy line dancing, cornhole, or a game of horseshoes.


Buy your tickets online!


4. Weekly Farmers Market At Imperial Park Recreation Center

Every Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM, the Imperial Park Recreation Center hosts a festival-like farmers market, where shoppers can purchase local-grown produce and grass-fed meats while enjoying live music from local artists.


Learn more!


5. Nightly Spirits Haunted Pub Tour – Weekly On Fridays And Saturdays

Every Friday and Saturday from 8:30 PM to 11:00 PM, Nightly Spirits offers a haunted pub tour that starts at Charbar and takes guests throughout Houston.  Learn about local history and visit haunted sites while you enjoy a few drinks with friends!


Find out more about upcoming tours!


6. Summer Saturday Nights At The Blue Field Market – Weekly On Saturdays

Every week from now until August 18, Blue Field Market will host a free event from 6 PM to 7 PM, where guests can enjoy shopping from local jewelry makers, clothing designers, and makers of home goods.  Food trucks and live entertainment will also be present, and there will be plenty of games to enjoy with the whole family!


Learn more!


7. Party On The Plaza – NOLA Nights – 7/27

From 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM, Sugar Land Town Square is celebrating New Orleans culture with authentic, live music, plus snacks and beer!


See more about this event!


8. Party On The Plaza – Summer Luau  – 7/28

On Saturday, July 28, Sugar Land Town Square is hosting a Hawaii-themed party from 7:30 PM to 9:30 PM.  Entertainment will include live music from Hanna’s Reef (a Jimmy Buffet tribute band) and hula dancers.  Bar Louie will also be selling cocktails.


Learn more!


9. Beer Fest USA – 7/28

White Oak Music Hall is hosting Beer Fest USA on Saturday, July 28!  Guests can enjoy live music, DJs, food trucks, and at least 17 different varieties of beer.  The event will take place from 1 PM to 10 PM outside the venue in the lawn area and into the parking lot.


Get your tickets online!


10. 3rd Annual Fajita Festival – 7/28

The Annual Fajita Festival will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 1 PM until 8 PM and is guaranteed to be a fun time for the entire family!  In addition to authentic Mexican food, drinks, and entertainment, there will be plenty of kid-friendly activities and even a wrestling match!


Best of all, the proceeds will benefit the Texas Lions Camp, a charitable organization that provides free camping experiences to children with conditions in Texas.


11. Bayou Bikers – 8/5

For the rest of the year, Bayou Bikers will meet on the first Sunday of every month at Market Square Park at 8 AM.  From there, cyclists will embark on long-distance rides throughout Houston, ranging between 25 and 40 miles each.


Learn more!


12. 2018 Houston Food Fest – 8/18

On Saturday, August 18, this year’s Houston Food Fest will be held in Hermann Square Park from 12 PM until 10 PM.  There will be food from more than 70 different vendors, as well as games and live music.  Kids ages 12 and under can even attend for free!


Purchase your tickets online!


Want To Learn More About Living In Houston?

As I mentioned earlier, there’s always plenty to do for fun when you live in the Houston area!  If you’re thinking of moving to a home near Houston, we should talk!  Contact me today to learn how I can assist you in your home purchase.


For more information about Houston’s real estate market, please subscribe to my YouTube channel today!


How To Sell A Luxury Home

Selling Your Luxury Home This Year? Here’s What Buyers Want To See!

Whether you’re getting ready to move this year or you’re planning to sell at some point in the future, it’s always helpful to know what buyers want to see in a property.  


When you understand what buyers are looking for, you can work with your Realtor to create an effective marketing strategy and find a buyer who’s willing to pay you the full asking price.


Even if you aren’t planning to update your home or make renovations, knowing which features buyers are most interested in allows you to structure your online listing in a way that emphasizes your home’s most attractive qualities and sell your home as quickly as possible.


These Are The Top 13 Features Luxury Homebuyers Want To See:


1. Quiet, peaceful neighborhood


Luxury homebuyers looking for homes in the suburbs typically prefer calm, tranquil neighborhoods where they can relax at the end of the day without being disturbed by street noise or loud neighbors.  


In my experience, the buyers that can isolate the area where they would like to purchase are usually most successful in the shortest amount of time.  


As a buyer, when you narrow the search by geographical area, the homes that meet your physical requirements will present themselves in short order … usually!   It’s easy to filter for bedrooms, sq/ft, lot size, pool, stories etc. But, when buyers pinpoint the neighborhood, they begin to establish their proximity to schools, work and other important lifestyle concerns.  


Make sure your Realtor knows how to market your house as well as the neighborhood you live in, and let buyers know what makes the area a desirable place to live.


2. Plenty of bedrooms


Aside from making sure your online listing states the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, include plenty of photographs of each bedroom so buyers can appreciate how much space your home has to offer.


3. Walk-in closets


In addition to bedrooms, most luxury homebuyers prioritize having ample storage space in a home.  Walk-in closets are a major selling feature in any property, and luxury homes are no exception!


As you’re preparing to sell your house, empty out and photograph each closet.  If you do have walk-in closets, be sure to mention this explicitly in your online listing as well.

4. Clean, simple staging


One of the most effective ways to appeal to buyers is with simple, sleek staging.  Too much furniture or decor can quickly create a cluttered or cramped appearance. Instead, stage each room with just enough items to demonstrate the area’s potential, without overcrowding the space.


5. Well-manicured lawn


Maximizing your home’s curb appeal is another excellent way to attract the attention of luxury buyers.  


Nothing makes a home feel more luxurious than a yard with a luscious, healthy, green lawn.  As you prepare to list your house, be sure your yard doesn’t get neglected. Luxury homebuyers often prefer move-in ready homes that require as little “fixing up” as possible, and that includes the landscaping.  Keep up with regularly watering and mowing the lawn so your property makes the right impression, even before buyers see the inside.


6. Smart features


Smart features like appliances, security systems, and thermostats that can be controlled from a single device will never cease to impress buyers.  The more you can do to modernize your home and simplify everyday maintenance tasks, the better your chances will be of appealing to buyers able to pay your full asking price.


7. Spa-like master bathroom


No homebuyer can deny the appeal of an elegant, spacious master bathroom.  Whether your home includes a deep soaker tub, a wide double sink, or a spacious walk-in shower, make sure these details are communicated to buyers, and include plenty of photos in your online listing as well.


8. Open floor plan


Luxury homebuyers love seeing fluidity between common areas like the kitchen, dining area, and living room.  If your home has an open floor plan, use simple, strategic staging to show buyers just how much space is available in each room.  


Don’t forget to take photos from multiple different angles to illustrate the extra living space in your online listing, too.


9. Outdoor entertaining space


Homebuyers always love to see a large backyard with plenty of room to entertain friends and family in the nice weather.


Even if your yard doesn’t have a pool or deck, a well-groomed lawn with room for a barbecue and outdoor furniture is sure to impress your luxury buyer.


10. Grand entryway


A beautiful entryway is a classic, timeless feature that will always create demand for a home.  


If your house has a grand entryway, stage the area with simple decor and make sure your photos capture the full effect.  Luxury buyers love to see an entryway that makes a statement!


11. Clean, enclosed garage


Homebuyers always love seeing a space to protect their cars from the elements.


If your home has a garage, take the time to clean out any power tools, gardening equipment, or other belongings that you’ve accumulated prior to listing.  In your online listing, post at least one photo of the garage, and let buyers know how many cars can fit.

12. Proximity to top-rated schools


If your home does happen to be located near top-rated schools, make sure your Realtor includes this information to market the property effectively.  Keep in mind that luxury homebuyers will be interested in both public and private schools; talk to your Realtor to find out which nearby schools, if any, are worth mentioning in your listing.  


13. Energy-efficient laundry room


While it’s certainly not necessary to replace your appliances prior to moving, if your home already has an energy-efficient washer or dryer, luxury buyers will absolutely appreciate this.  Make sure you include photographs of the machines in your online listing, and any helpful information about the appliances should be included within the written description.


Get Personalized Assistance When You Sell Your Luxury Home!


If you’re in the Houston area, please contact me today for help selling your home.  From setting the right listing price to creating a customized marketing plan, I’ll walk you through each step of the selling process and help you sell your house with ease.


For more information about the Houston real estate market, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today!

How To Sell Your House Quickly

7 Mistakes You Need To Avoid If You Want To Sell Your House Quickly

It’s every seller’s biggest fear: putting your house up for sale and then hearing nothing but crickets.  Waiting for weeks on end to receive an appropriate offer.  Having to put off moving because buyers aren’t showing interest.  Worrying about plans being ruined if your home doesn’t sell quickly enough.


Luckily, there are several precautions you can take to prevent unwanted delays when selling.


Beware Of The Following 7 Mistakes If You Want To Sell Your Home Quickly:


1. Setting the wrong listing price


Nothing can deter buyers like setting your listing price too high.  And while there’s no definitive way to determine the exact value of a home, there are certainly steps you can take to ensure your asking price is within the realm of reality.


The first step is to consult your Realtor and discuss whether or not the asking price you have in mind is, in fact, appropriate.  Determining the right asking price may require a fair amount of research, however, hiring a Realtor who’s familiar with your neighborhood can help expedite this process.


Once you and your Realtor have settled on a number, prepare the property to your best ability in order to get the full asking price.


2. Sharing low-quality photos online


Many buyers begin their home searches online and won’t even entertain the thought of visiting a listing in person if they aren’t impressed by the photos first.


Your Realtor will probably know of at least one professional photographer who specializes in real estate photos and can help you effectively market your home.  While it may be tempting to take your own photos for free instead, this small investment can make all the difference in attracting a qualified buyer, saving you time and money in the long run.


3. Neglecting to emphasize your home’s top selling features


Sellers who create their own online listings tend to organize their photos as if to create a tour through the home, starting with a shot of the home’s exterior, followed by subsequent photos of the home’s entryway, and so on.  While this organization may seem perfectly logical, you need to remember that prospective buyers are looking at multiple listings online; if your listing doesn’t demand attention, a buyer may only look through a few of your photos before choosing to explore other options.


Make sure your photos and written descriptions highlight the home’s most attractive features right from the start, so buyers are eager to visit in person.


4. Not offering flexible showing times


Possibly one of the toughest challenges sellers experience is making their homes available for buyers to view at a convenient time.  A good rule of thumb is to make the home available until at least 8 pm, so buyers are able to walk through the property after the workday.


5. Being present during showings or home inspections


Make arrangements ahead of time so you can avoid being present when buyers are viewing the property.  Instead, leave a key in a lockbox for the agent to let the buyer in.


Watching a buyers or inspectors walk through your home creates unnecessary tension, and may even cause buyers to reconsider whether or not they’re interested in the listing.


6. Having open permits


Open or expired building permits are generally viewed as problems that buyers do not want to deal with.


Depending on the type of work that has been done to your home, you may run into problems trying to close on a sale if the appropriate permits have not been secured.  The best way to avoid these unwanted delays is to research your town’s unique requirements for whichever renovations or modifications were made to your property and take the necessary steps to make the home compliant.


7. Marketing the home without thinking about your buyer


One of the most effective ways to sell a home quickly is to identify the needs and characteristics of the type of person most likely to buy the home for the asking price.  While this may be a challenging task for homeowners to take on, experienced Realtors can provide valuable insight to help create a profile of the ideal buyer.


Factors such as your neighborhood, local schools, the size of your home, and any other unique amenities the property includes are all examples of the type of information that Realtors use to determine an appropriate marketing strategy.


I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to trust your Realtor.  Your agent is on your side; he or she is on your team!  Communicate openly and ALWAYS LISTEN to what your agent suggests regarding improving or marketing the property (did you notice I didn’t say “your home”?).


Begin the emotional detachment and review he feedback your agent provides to see the property from the buyer’s eyes.


Planning to sell your luxury home?


If you live in the Houston area and are planning to sell your home, we should connect!  I specialize in using creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to help my clients sell their homes as quickly and with as little stress as possible.  Get in touch with me today for more information about how I can assist you!


For more information about Houston’s real estate market, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel today!




Things To Do Before Leaving For Vacation

The Ultimate Guide To Preparing Your House Before Summer Vacation

It’s finally summer, and before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags and taking that long-awaited trip.


Vacation in the summer is a time of excitement for all.  There is so much planning that goes into departing for exotic locations near and far!   Sometimes it’s easy to forget to plan for the care and maintenance of your most valuable commodity: your home!


Take a few minutes to review this week’s blog; it could jog your memory on some important To Dos before you head out on vacay!


3 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Prior To Leaving For Summer Vacation


1. Tackle routine chores so you can return to a clean house


When it comes to traveling, you can never be too certain about arrival or departure times.  In case you experience delays on your way home, make your life easier by cleaning and organizing before your trip.


  • Clean every room so you’re not coming home to a mess.
  • Wash and put away laundry to make sure you have clothes ready to return back to work.
  • Deep clean the kitchen so there’s no chance of attracting pests while you’re away.
    • Clean out the refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Leave only items like bottled water or unopened jars so your fridge can still run efficiently.
  • After you’ve finished cleaning, empty all trash cans and arrange for pickup, if necessary.
  • If you have a pool, make sure the pump stays on so the water stays clean while you’re away.


2. Make arrangements so your home appears occupied while you’re away


One of the easiest ways to deter robbers while you’re away is to make sure the home appears occupied.  The goal is to make sure only a small handful of people are aware you’re not home.


  • Use a timer or motion sensor to keep outdoor lights on at night while you’re on your trip.
  • Arrange for the lawn to be mowed. In addition to making the home’s emptiness less obvious, this will also keep unwanted pests and other wildlife away.
  • If you have a landline, make sure your calls are sent to voicemail after 2-3 rings. Hearing your phone ring loudly without being answered could tip off robbers about your absence.  Similarly, don’t mention you’re on vacation in your voicemail greeting.  Instead, get in touch with friends and family members who should know of your trip prior to leaving.
  • Make sure all curtains and blinds are closed before you leave town.
  • If your vacation isn’t a road trip, ask a friend to move your car periodically while you’re away. When robbers are casing a neighborhood, they’ll look for cars that haven’t been moved to identify homes that are most likely empty.


For added safety, don’t announce your upcoming trip on social media.  Instead, wait until you return to share photos, stories, and other updates from your adventures.


3. Prepare for potential emergencies


Most homeowners can agree that when a small issue goes unnoticed, it can quickly escalate into a disaster.  Avoid coming home to unwanted surprises.


Home maintenance steps and precautions to take in the weeks leading up to your trip:


  • 1-2 weeks before you leave, carefully inspect your entire property so you have ample time to make any necessary repairs before your trip.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts to protect your home from damage if a storm hits while you’re away.
  • If you have an outdoor draining system in your backyard, check that this is working correctly no sooner than 1 week before you leave.
  • Ask someone you trust to visit your house once or twice a day to collect the mail and make sure windows and doors remain locked. If no one is available to stop by while you’re gone, contact the post office about holding your mail for the duration of your trip.


Safety measures to take right before you leave:


  • Turn off the water in your house. This can save you thousands of dollars in water damage that could result if there’s a plumbing leak while no one’s around to act.
  • Test the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure these are connected to your home’s alarm system.
  • Contact your home security company to let them know how long you’ll be on vacation. Confirm your emergency contact’s name and phone number as well.
  • Leave your air conditioning running on a schedule to protect items from high temperatures and humidity. To avoid paying for unnecessary energy, set the temperature a few degrees higher than usual.
  • If you keep spare keys hidden outside, collect them and put them away, or leave them with someone you trust.
  • Unplug laptops, exercise equipment, printers, and any other small appliances that will waste energy while you’re away.
  • Double-check all windows and doors to ensure they’re locked.


Knowing your home is well taken-care of will help you relax and recharge on your trip.


Get more helpful home maintenance tips!

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