Exterior of blue two story home

Selling Your Home

It’s always a good idea to have a thorough list of what you can do to get your home ready to sell. Get prepared so you’re organized and can make the most of your free time now.

Find An Agent Right For You

Meet with a few different Mel Foster Co. agents to start. Grab a cup of coffee and do short interviews until you find an agent you click with. The agent will help ensure your home is priced right for sale and can promote your home through a variety of online marketing tools. They will guide you through the necessary paperwork and represent you during the negotiations for finalizing an accepted offer.

Plan To Do The Work

Before you list your house, make sure it’s in the condition buyers expect. Investing some time and money before listing is a wise investment. Spend your energy on completing tasks like these to get the home ready:

  • Consider a pre-listing inspection to focus your to-do list
  • Have professional photos taken to use online
  • Do a deep clean, especially in the garage and main living areas
  • Hire someone to fix the leaky sink or uneven door if you can’t do it yourself
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint on walls in high-traffic areas

It’s All In The Presentation

First impressions matter when selling a home. The first few seconds of viewing a home set the tone for buyers. And since you get only one chance to make a first impression, make the most of your time boosting curb appeal. Tidy up your landscaping by trimming shrubbery and adding another layer of fresh mulch. Ensure your front walkway is clear of debris and peppered with seasonal accents or flowers so it’s welcoming. Take the time to clean the windows and replace the lightbulbs on your outdoor lighting so things sparkle and look fresh.

Find more tips for sellers.

2023 Fall Parade of Homes

2023 Fall Parade of Homes

Discover the latest trends in new home construction at the 2023 Fall Quad Cities Parade of Homes.
Free admission. Join us to explore the Parade of Homes hosted by Mel Foster Co agents:

Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 from 1 PM – 4 PM
Wednesday, September 20 from 5 PM – 7 PM
Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24 from 1 PM – 4 PM

Fall Parade of Homes located at 355 E. Donahue Street in Eldridge, Iowa
355 E. Donahue Street, Eldridge, IA
  • Ranch Villa
  • 2 Bedrooms and 2 Baths
  • Zero Entry from the Attached 2-Car Garage
  • Quartz Countertops
Fall Parade of Home located at 437 E. Donahure St, Eldridge, IA
437 E. Donahue St. Eldridge, IA
  • 3 Bedrooms and 2.5 Baths
  • 9′ Ceilings
  • 2-Story Townhome
  • Quartz Countertops
2023 Fall Parade of Home located at 4520 Lakeside Drive, Bettendorf, IA
4520 Lakeside Drive, Bettendorf, IA
  • 4 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths
  • Floor to Ceiling Windows
  • 2,000 Square Feet of Living Space
  • Upgraded Appliance Package
2023 Parade of Home located at 3976 Orchard Drive, Bettendorf, IA
3976 Orchard Drive, Bettendorf, IA
  • 4 Bedrooms and 3.5 Baths
  • 9′ Ceilings
  • Eat-In Kitchen with Island Pantry and Breakfast Bar
  • Finished Lower Level
2023 Parade of Home located at 5660 Red Fox Road, Bettendorf, IA
5660 Red Fox Road, Bettendorf, IA
  • 3 Bedrooms and 3 Baths
  • Zero Entry Ranch Style Villa
  • 9′ Ceililngs
  • 4-Season Room or Covered Patios/Decks

To see all the homes in the parade, click here.

Home Insurance Tips

Home Insurance Tips

Updating your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider a few helpful tips that will make you feel knowledgeable and protected.

Start With A Local Agent

Let a local, independent Mel Foster Insurance agent gather and compare insurance quotes from multiple carriers for you. The agent will assess your home coverage needs to help you avoid potential gaps in your protection.

Know The 80% Rule

The 80% rule means that an insurer will only cover damage costs to a house if the owner has coverage equal to at least 80% of the house’s total replacement value. If the coverage is less than 80%, the insurance company will only reimburse a proportionate amount of the required minimum coverage that should have been purchased. Because improvements to a home and inflation affect home values, homeowners should review their insurance policies periodically to ensure their coverage meets the 80% rule.

Bundle Up

Talk with your Mel Foster Insurance agent about bundling, or determining what discounts apply if you also purchase additional policies such as auto or life insurance. Bundling can help you save money on your premiums.

Maintain Home Inventory

An easy way to maintain a home inventory is to take pictures of each room of your house every year. That may mean making it a habit on New Year’s Day. Photos of your belongings will make a significant difference if you suffer an accidental loss.

You Get What You Pay For

The cheapest coverage isn’t always the best. When comparing insurance quotes, look carefully for different coverage dollar amounts and always read the fine print. The lowest priced option may not give you the coverage you need. The goal is to put coverage in place that safeguards your valuables while providing peace of mind.

Find more insurance tips.

Packing and Moving Tips

Packing And Moving Tips

You’re moving and want to make the best use of your time and money. Consider the following suggestions that will simplify the moving process and aid in getting you settled in your new home.

Before You Move

  • Set up mail forwarding at the post office
  • Transfer and set up utilities about two weeks before the move
  • Pick medium-sized boxes (18x18x15 or 22x16x15) for household items
  • Compare pricing on a round trip or a one-way moving truck rental, and reserve the truck at least a week in advance
  • Pack a moving day bag with a phone charger, change of clothes and body care products
  • Don’t forget water and snacks for packing day

Get Packing

  • Save money on packing materials by using your clothing to protect breakables
  • Start early so you don’t feel so rushed
  • Use labels on the outside of the box to note where items will go in your new space
  • Pack room by room
  • Pack the kitchen last

Moving And Unpacking

  • Place heavy items on the bottom of the truck, with large furniture items in the back
  • Distribute heavy items evenly inside so the truck stays balanced
  • Position small stuff on top of furniture and nearest the door for easy removal
  • You don’t have to unpack everything at once. Put things away correctly in your new space the first time
  • Make a music playlist that will motivate you to unpack

Wrapping Up

  • Donate non-perishable food you’re not using
  • Transfer and set up utilities right away
  • Save money by filling the rental truck gas tank yourself instead of having them do it upon return

Find more tips for homeowners.

Going Green Saves Green

Going Green Saves Green

Homeowners can take simple steps that help save some green when going green. Try practical and economical alternatives when making changes to your home:

  • Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED lights to save on energy costs.
  • Refresh it, don’t remodel it. Use salvaged materials like barn wood for updating.
  • Change out old toilets, showerheads and faucets to reduce water waste.
  • Purchase power strips and connect major electronics to them. Turning the power strip off when you leave saves on your energy bill.

Are you planning to purchase a new construction home instead of modernizing your current home? Request key green features during the planning process:

  • Build small, which keeps expenses and bills lower.
  • Install programmable thermostats to manage energy usage effectively.
  • Request low-emittance windows to maintain preferred internal temperatures.
  • Choose sustainable lumber and energy-efficient lighting.

Are you still looking for more ideas for spending less and being green? Start new habits that keep money in your pocket and help the environment.

  • Shop farmer’s markets for produce, which reduces transportation emissions by buying locally.
  • Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full.
  • Use washable rags instead of paper towels.
  • Ditch disposable plastic and refill with stainless steel bottles.

Find more tips for homeowners.

Set the stage for top dollar returns

Set The Stage For Top Dollar Returns

Set up your home for sales success. Staging your home can help buyers visualize how space can be used with furniture and make the house more attractive to potential buyers. Try these five staging tips when preparing to sell.

Eliminate Clutter

No one likes clutter, especially when looking at a home. The disorder could turn potential buyers away as they see the home as messy and in need of more storage. Instead, get rid of unnecessary items in storage areas, cabinets, on shelving, and table decorations. Depersonalize the area so buyers can visualize their belongings in the home.

Rethink Furniture Placement

When staging your home, the furniture placement makes a difference. Enable space for potential buyers to easily move throughout the home’s rooms and configure the furniture to make the area seem bigger and the most functional. Removing unnecessary furniture that makes the space seem more cluttered (as mentioned above) can allow for different furniture reconfigurations.

Add Funcational Office Space

Dedicated office space has become a necessity for many home buyers. Having an office space set up can help buyers visualize the use of the office space and check off a box on their must-have list. Or create an area in a guest bedroom or a corner of a room to stage an office.

Show Off Storage

Having ample storage is one thing that many home buyers search for when looking at a house for sale. People want space to store all their items, so showing how various areas can be utilized for maximum storage potential throughout the home is key. However, ensure these storage spaces are organized to appeal more to the buyers.

More Lighting

Great lighting is vital to making a home look warm and welcoming. When staging a house, ensure that the natural light from the outside can flow into the inside spaces. In every room of the home, a variety of lighting options should be turned on, such as lamps and overhead lights, to make the rooms as bright and inviting for buyers.

Find more selling tips.


Lynsey Engels, president of Real Estate Brokerage at Mel Foster Co. is pleased to announce that several of its agents have been named as one of America’s most productive agents as a part of the 2023 REALTrends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list.  This ranking report by REALTrends, the Trusted Source in residential brokerage, and Tom Ferry International, a top coaching and training company, ranks the most productive agents by state and metropolitan area based on closed transaction sides and closed volume in 2022.

REALTrends America’s Best Real Estate Professionals honors American’s finest real estate agents from across the country.  Over 27,500 U.S. real estate sales associates from every state are featured in America’s Best.  Those ranked are among the top 1.5% of the 1.6 million real estate professionals in the United States. 

The real estate agents are ranked in these categories:

  • Small team – Sales volume
  • Small team – Transaction sides (in each real estate transaction there are two sides that can be represented by a real estate agent; the buy side and the selling side)
  • Individual agent – Sales volume
  • Individual agent – Transaction sides (in each real estate transaction there are two sides that can be represented by a real estate agent; the buy side and the selling side)

Top Small Teams by Volume & Sides in Iowa

Geri Doyle, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Geri Doyle Group, #4 by Volume & #13 by Sides

Top Individuals By Sides in Iowa

Lucky Lang II, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Lucky Lang II, #24 by Sides in Iowa
Lisa Carstens REALTOR with Mel Foster Co.
Lisa Carstens, #40 by Sides in Iowa
Jill Sorrell, REALTOR®
Jill Sorrell, #45 by Sides in Iowa
Scott Kelling REALTOR with Mel Foster Co.
Scott Kelling, #78 by Sides in Iowa
Shawna Burrow, REALTOR with Mel Foster Co.
Shawna Burrow, #78 by Sides in Iowa
Bob Allmandinger, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Bob Allmandinger, #101 by Sides in Iowa
Candy Reaves, REALTOR with Mel Foster Co.
Candy Reaves, #123 by Sides in Iowa

Top Individuals By Sides In Illinois

Dee Shepherd, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Dee Shepherd #81 by Sides In Illinois
Debbie Wright, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Debbie Wright, #110 by Sides in Illinois
Eve Anderson, REALTOR® with Mel Foster Co.
Eve Anderson, #209 by Sides in Illinois

Ms. Engels commented, “With this year’s release of the 2023 America’s Best Real Estate Professionals list, we are incredibly proud to have 11 of our agents be recognized with other elite real estate agents across the country and continue to be in awe of these agent’s dedication, hard work and commitment to serving clients throughout the region.”

To qualify for inclusion, an individual agent must have closed 40 residential transaction sides or $16 million in closed sales volume in 2022. A team must close 60 residential transaction sides or $24 million in closed sales volume. The rankings are compiled based on surveys from virtually every national branded network, many state and local associations of Realtors®, multiple listing services, all applicants from past years’ rankings, and the 900 largest brokerage firms in the United States.  Verification from an independent source is required from all submissions.  In addition, REALTrends senior staff reviews every submission for completeness and accuracy.

Front exterior entry of home for sale

What Buyers Want In A Home

Most buyers looking for a home seek specific features. The following summary is what buyers want, and this may help prioritize your home improvements to attract those buyers.

Structural Features

  • Separate laundry room on the first floor
  • Open floor plan between the kitchen and dining room 
  • Patio space for outdoor entertaining
  • Walk in kitchen pantry
  • A front porch or covered outdoor space

Accent Preferences

  • Exterior lighting
  • Ceiling fans
  • Hardwood or tile in main living areas
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Smart home technology

Energy Elements

  • Energy-efficient windows
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Proper insulation

Contact a Mel Foster Co. agent if you’re ready to sell.

Think Buy Be Local with Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. Gives

Mel Foster Co. is a family-owned, local business serving the Quad Cities region for over a century. You see our name on banners at big community events, like Quad-City Times Bix 7, Quad Cities Marathon and Festival of Trees. We have our logo on the quiet signs held up at the John Deere Classic. But Mel Foster Co. contributes to many other causes in various ways.

We Volunteer

Agents and staff of Mel Foster Co. devote time volunteering in the community. We volunteer as a company to support families and children by sponsoring teens through organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters. We encourage individuals to volunteer with personally relevant causes, knowing that improving the lives of others improves our whole community. We collect toys and coats for those in need.

We Get Involved

The Mel Foster Co. team gets involved. We recognize the value of working with other community leaders. Agents and staff serve on boards and committees to help drive success through strong local economic development. We brainstorm with executives on advancing mental health awareness and care through institutions like the Robert Young Center. We spend time at community events getting to know people and learning how to improve our businesses and neighborhoods.

We Support

We give more than financial gifts to support non-profits like the River Bend Food Bank. We create teams to participate in fundraisers and organize mobile blood drives during the work week so it’s convenient for eligible donors to give. Agents choose a few favorite local establishments during Small Business Saturday and show patronage to restaurants, cafes and boutiques. We collect donations for animal welfare centers and libraries alike.

Mel Foster Co. cares about the Quad Cities and our sourrounding communities. Consider working with a local Mel Foster Co. agent today.


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