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Home For The Holidays! Preparing your Home for your stay-over Guests!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!  The decor is in place and your guests will soon arrive! Here is a quick check-list to make sure you are ready:


1. Stock up on your staple items: dry cereals, milk, bread, cold cuts, eggs, snack bars, peanut butter, fresh fruit, etc.  A bowl of cereal,  sandwich fixings or a fresh banana can certainly come in handy when you have a crowd to keep warm and fed throughout their holiday visit.


2. Buy extra paper products.  No one wants to spend the holidays washing and putting away dishes! Gather disposable plates, cups, bowls, cutlery and paper towels and turn your cleaning time into fellowship time. Tip: Stopping by your local discount store where most of these items run around $1.00 can really help you save money on these often expensive items.  (Oh and don't forget the extra TP!!) 


3. Prepare for the little ones. If tikes and toddlers are visiting be sure to check a few safety items. Cover outlets, get a safety gate for stairways, lock up your cleaning products, put away sharp objects and medications, scan your home for small items that can be swallowed, check the tree for low hanging ornaments that can be dangerous or appear edible. Tip: When the parents arrive have them scan your home for possible dangers that you may have missed. 


4. Don't forget about the four-legged visitors.  Many pet owners bring their pets to the family festivities. Be sure and put away food scented candles and potpourri, real chocolates, nuts and other items that may be appealing but harmful to you're furry guests. Low hanging ornaments can also be dangerous if the pets are overly curious.  


5.  Plan your menus and shop prior to your guests arrival.  Last minute meal preparations when the guests have already arrived can be stressful amd time-consuming.  Account for everything you are going to cook, make a list of ingredients for each item and get your shopping done before your guests arrive.  Alert:  Check with your guests for food allergies before creating your menu and shopping list.


6.  Prepare some foods ahead of time.  This can be a real time saver when entertaining and preparing large meals.  Casseroles and soups often freeze well, these items can be easily heated for a quick meal or side dish. Additionally some ingredients for your recipes can be cooked ahead of time. For instance the sweet potatoes for your yams or pies can be baked, pealed and refrigerated for several days before the final product is created saving time. 


7.  Clean the bed linens, leave fresh towels and stock the guest baths with new toiletry items such as toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo and a box of tissue. These simple accommodations will go a long ways in making your guests feel right at home! 


8.  Don't leave anyone out!! Make your guest list and check it twice! When doing gift or ornament exchanges, stockings or even little cookie pouches be sure to have enough for everyone. Suggestion: buy or make one or two extras of everything just in case.  When entertaining its best to have too many gifts than not enough.

Enjoy these simple, helpful and useful tips when preparing your home for your visiting guests during the Holiday season or any other time that you are expecting House Guests!! 

Wishing everyone Seasons Greetings from my family to yours! Merry Christmas! 





Written by:

Amie Bozeman, Atlanta Real Estate Pro



Should I Renovate My Home for A Real Estate Sale?

With the recent housing market conditions showing rapid improvements many homeowners are now entertaining the idea of a Real Estate sale.  One common question that I am asked as a Realtor is "Should I renovate my home for a Real Estate sale?"  The answer of course varies, however here are some key things to consider:

1.  Will the makeover cause the home to sell quicker?  Most renovations, let me add 'well done' renovations, can cause a quicker sale.  Often home buyers like to see more modern amenities and an updated look when purchasing homes.  The less they feel they need to do to home to make the home move in ready the more comfortable some home buyers feel about the purchase. However, this may not always be the case, if the price is right some home buyers prefer to "make it their own."

2.  Will you have a return on your investment? This is a big factor to consider.  Many renovations, while they may bring you a faster real estate sale, don't always put the money back into your pocket.  Be cautious and speak to a local Realtor before making costly renovations so that you can get a good market estimate for selling your home in it's current condition verses having it renovated.

3.  Do it yourself or hire someone?  Yet another big question to consider.  I cannot tell you how many DIY renovations gone wrong that I have seen actually kill the home owner's  Real Estate sale.  If you are going to spend the money and take the time to make renovations please be sure the improvements are completed properly.  When it comes to your home, if you are not an expert please don't try to become one overnight by watching YouTube and HGTV.  Your Realtor is a great resource for connecting you with local professionals.  Ask for referrals and get some estimates, then make a good decision on what's best for your home and budget.

4.  Will you need a permit?  Keep in mind that many aspects of home remodeling and renovations are regulated by your local government.  Check with your local officials to see if your renovation will require being permitted.  Often home owners renovate without pulling permits only to find out later by their buyer's home inspector that the renovation is not up to current code standards.  Don't get yourself caught up in this situation, it could cost you the home sale or a costly 'renovation' of the renovation.

Renovations can be a great perk to a home buyer but they can also be a costly project to a home owner.  Each property is different and each home owner must decide on options that best fit their individual situation.  

For more home selling tips and ideas concerning a home renovation in or around Atlanta, GA I am happy to help, contact me anytime.  


Written by:

Amie Bozeman, Atlanta Real Estate Pro
Direct: 770-855-5590


How Do Real Estate Agents Get Paid?

The Simple Answer:  Sales Commission. 

That's right, Real Estate agents are paid when they sell a home.  It seems that much of the public is unaware of how Real Estate agents earn their living, this blog post is intended to bring simple clarification to this matter. 

Typically Real Estate agents will enter into a signed contractual agreement with a home owner and in that agreement the home owner agrees to a certain percentage or commission that will be given to the Real Estate agent(s) when their home is sold and closed.  Once the agreement is signed the Real Estate agent begins their listing duties of posting the home to the MLS (in which they have paid a lucrative amount to join), advertising with all of the important Real Estate marketing avenues, holding open houses, alerting other agents about the listing, and so forth and so on all in the hopes that the home will sell resulting in them being paid their promised commission. If the home that the Real Estate agent has listed does not sell, the agent in the vast majority of cases, does not receive any compensation no matter the extent of their prior investment. 

Some of you may be buyers and are wondering how it works for you.  The answer is simple, if you buy a home through your Real Estate agent and the home is listed with a Real Estate company, your Real Estate agent will be paid by the seller.  This means that your Real Estate agent's services are free to you. The services in which your Real Estate agent will provide to you is locating and showing homes to you, advising you and helping you through your offer and negotiations, assisting you through the inspection processes, processing your paperwork with the attorneys and lenders to ensure a successful closing and so forth.  Please keep in mind that no matter how many hours your Real Estate agent invests into your home search and negotiations they will not be paid unless you purchase and close on a home with them. One of the hardest pills for a Real Estate agent to swallow is having spent hours invested with a buyer who ultimately purchases with another agent, buys a "for sale by owner" property, etc.  Keep in mind that if you are working with a Real Estate agent they can call and negotiate "for sale by owner" homes for you.  Often these by-owner sellers will compensate your Real Estate agent for you if you purchase their home. 

Having a better understanding of how Real Estate agents are paid will hopefully bring about better customer and client loyalty.  I have often said that Real Estate agents work when everyone else doesn't: nights and weekends.  Please be considerate of our hard work and time spent away from our homes in an effort to find or sell your home! 

Final Point:  Hire an experienced agent that will work hard for you, be honest with you, give you their best in loyalty and in return you be loyal to them. 

Buying or selling around the Greater Atlanta area?  I would appreciate the opportunity to work for you!

Amie Bozeman, Atlanta Real Estate Pro
Direct: 770-855-5590

A Buyer is Coming - Be Sure to Prepare Your Home for Your Buyer Showing!

Your Realtor has completed the CMA, the listing agreement has been signed, the sign is in the yard, the lock-box is on the door, and a call has just come in announcing a buyer is coming for a home showing!  This is your time to let your home shine!  


Here are some Seller Home tips on ways to prepare your home for your buyer showing: 

1.  Clean!  Be sure the home is sanitized and clear of all debris, clutter, odors, etc.  An unclean home is one of the biggest turn-offs to a buyer, no matter how awesome your home is, most buyers just can't get past filth and clutter. Do not miss this huge step, if you don't have time to do it-hire a professional! 

2.  Pack!  That's right begin removing unused furniture, decor, and the 'dust collectors' we all have.  This will allow the home to appear neater and show off more space.  Tip:  use one side of your garage to start storing boxes, this will get them out of the home and ready for you to move on after the sale. 

3.  Clear the walkways and front entrance.  Buyers do not want to fight past your shrubs, cobwebs and bees to see your home.  Trim the hedges, clean the outer entrance, place a fresh flower or two, get a new welcoming mat, and remove any outside pests. In your absence, a welcoming entrance will invite buyers in for you. 

4.  Neutralize the air!  One of the worst mistakes sellers make just before a showing is cleaning with harsh chemicals or hosing the home down with perfumed air fresheners, plug ins, etc.  Do not do this, buyers only assume you are hiding black mold and 20 cats.  Bake some cookies or use a light clean fragrance if you have a little stench to cover. 

5. Turn on all lights, lamps, and some soft music.  This really sets the tone for a welcoming home showing.  Often when lights are left off the feeling is cold and uninviting.  

6.  Lock up your valuables and medications.  When a Realtor is showing your home to buyers they cannot always see everyone at all times.  With large families sometimes everyone splits off in different directions potentially leaving your valuables and medications at risk.   

7.  Leave!  That's right, unless you have an emergent reason to stay get the kids, get the dog and get out!  Buyers want to freely look at your home with an opportunity to discuss the likes/dislikes, ideas and so forth with their Realtor and family.  When an owner is home the buyer feels constrained, like an unwelcome guest. 

While this list may not cover all items needed to prepare your home for a buyer showing, these must do tips will give you a great start.   

Thinking of selling in the Greater Atlanta area?  I will be happy to stop by and give you personalized home tips on ways you can prepare your home for today's Real Estate market. 

Amie Bozeman, Atlanta Real Estate Pro
Direct: 770-855-5590

Tell Everyone That You Love Your Realtor!

That's right!  If your Realtor worked hard for you and your Real Estate transaction was a great success, tell your friends and family that you love your Realtor!!  Realtors are commission based sales persons and to be honest with you one of our #1 resources in keeping our businesses going is the word of mouth testimonials that you share about us! 

I am so grateful that much my Real Estate business success has been based from the referrals of others.  Having said that, I still hear of the stories about family members and friends of my past clients that bought through another agent.  When I say "so awesome, but why didn't you tell them about me," I often receive a 'deer in the headlight' look followed by "I am so sorry, I just didn't think about it."   

If your Realtor did a great job for you please tell your family and friends.  And when your inner circle mentions to you that they are thinking about buying or selling a home, let them know that you have a great Realtor that will take good care of them in their home-buying or home-selling process.  Then say "I am going to send your name and number to my Realtor and they will contact you, is that okay?" Likely they will say yes, you send over the information and your family and friends will receive the same customer service that you received.  To boot, your Realtor has just received the best gift you could have ever given to them: your referral. 

Thinking of buying or selling in the Greater Atlanta area, I would appreciate the opportunity to work for you!

Amie Bozeman, Atlanta Real Estate Pro
Direct: 770-855-5590