7 Essential Steps to Prepare Your Home for a Successful Spring Sale

As the winter chill begins to wane, and signs of spring emerge in the Quad Cities and our surrounding areas, it’s the perfect time for homeowners to consider listing their properties. Selling a home involves strategic planning, and for those aiming to maximize their sales price, taking specific steps beforehand is crucial. Here are seven essential things you should do before listing your home for sale in the upcoming spring market:

Deep Clean and Declutter

A tidy and clutter-free home creates a positive first impression. Take the time to deep clean every room, decluttering spaces to make them appear more spacious and inviting. Consider organizing closets and storage areas to showcase the ample storage your home provides.

Curb Appeal Matters

Enhance your home’s curb appeal by investing in landscaping and outdoor maintenance. Spring is the perfect time to trim bushes, plant flowers, and ensure your lawn is lush and well-maintained. A welcoming exterior sets the stage for a positive viewing experience.

Fix Minor Repairs

Attend to any minor repairs or maintenance issues throughout your home. Fix leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and any other noticeable wear and tear. A well-maintained property assures potential buyers that your home has been cared for.

Consider a Pre-Listing Inspection

Hiring a home inspector before listing your property can identify potential issues that may arise during the buyer’s inspection. Addressing these concerns proactively can prevent them from becoming negotiation roadblocks later in the process.

Showcase Natural Light

Maximize the natural light in your home by opening curtains and blinds during showings. Bright, well-lit spaces create an inviting atmosphere and make rooms feel more spacious. Clean windows to ensure optimal light penetration.

Highlight Unique Features

Identify and showcase the unique features of your home. Whether it’s a stunning view, a recently renovated kitchen, or custom-built features, make sure potential buyers are aware of what sets your property apart from the rest.

Call For A Free Valuation Analysis

Before you officially list your home, it’s essential to understand its market value. We offer a free, no-obligation valuation analysis. This comprehensive assessment includes a detailed evaluation of your home’s worth and a personalized list of enhancements that can further increase its appeal and sales price.

Give us a call today, and let our agents work with you to ensure your home is primed for success in the competitive spring real estate market.

Property Virgin Buyers’ Tips.

Property VirginsIf you’re considering buying a home in your 20s, or just for the very first time, it may seem like a daunting task. It may not be easy, but with this helpful guide you’ll be able to confidently search for a home that’s right for you and your plans for the future. Break it down into smaller portions, and it becomes much easier, and less stressful, to buy a home.

The first thing you need to think about is how long you’re planning on staying in this new home. Are you looking for a forever home? Somewhere you can stay for a few years? These are important questions when it comes to finding the house you’re looking for.

You should decide if the house is just for you, or a future family that will live in the house for the next 20 years. Deciding what type of house you are searching for can help narrow the search and help your agent know what you’re looking for in a home.

The last step is extremely important, and may seem obvious, but always needs to be considered when it comes to finding your new home. You have to find a home that is within your price range. Remember to think about how long you could be able to afford the mortgage if you were laid off from your job, or pursuing other personal ventures. Whatever your plans are for buying a house, make sure that they are financially feasible.

Mel Foster agents are experts at finding homes that fit your needs. Click here to view new listings and start your home search today.

Insurance Basics For First Time Buyers.

Insurance Basics
Insurance Basics

You’ve compared the costs of renting vs. owning, and home ownership is in your future. As you budget for new household expenses, be sure to include homeowners insurance, which is usually more expensive than what you are paying for renters insurance.

Having enough coverage with your homeowners insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected. There are a few things that you should consider when choosing a homeowners insurance policy.

You need to be sure that you understand what most standard policies cover. It usually includes exterior and interior damage from vandalism, fire and weather incidents. It also may cover out of pocket expenses, damage to outside structures and even medical costs if someone is injured on your property. It also covers personal property, which is why it’s so important to have photos and to keep purchase receipts of your most expensive assets.

Also keep in mind that whenever you add something to your existing home, such as a porch or an extra bathroom, you should see if your policy needs to be adjusted. Renovations and additions can add significant value to your home and you want to be sure that the new investments you have made are also covered by your insurance.

One thing that is missing from some standard policies is coverage for flood damage. Ninety percent of damage from natural disasters occurs from flooding. Insurance providers usually offer an additional policy that will have insurance for any flood damage that may occur. Keep this in mind if you have a finished basement.

Often it can take up to 30 days for new policies to go into effect. So don’t delay any longer, contact Mel Foster Insurance today.

Mel Foster Co. and movingWOLF Deliver a Suite of Services Tailored to Moving Families

Mel Foster Co. logoMel Foster Co. has teamed up with movingWOLF, a program offered by the WOLFmedia division of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, to offer clients in the home buying and selling process deals on hyper-local and national brands, all providing discounts to save the consumer money.

Your Mel Foster Co. real estate agent will be supplying exclusive email offers to home buyers and sellers. Each email delivers discounts on items relevant to where the home buyer or seller is in the moving process. Offers range from products and services needed before, during and after the move such as moving trucks, boxes and supplies, home services set-up, home security, restaurants, decorating and renovations.

“We are thrilled to partner with movinWOLF in a marketing benefit to offer our clients money saving opportunities with some local and national brands and assist them in organizing their move”, mentions Lynsey Engels, President Real Estate Brokerage of Mel Foster Co.

A study by the National Association of REALTORS® found that movers spend, on average, $9,000 on goods and services during their move. In an effort to help clients transition into their new home, Mel Foster Co. has joined the movingWOLF program to provide savings along the way.

The program also serves as a reminder to consumers of the services and products they’ll need throughout the moving process. Moving can be hectic and reminders to get boxes or book the moving truck, along with a discount for those products and services, helps consumers stay organized and ahead of the game, alleviating stress and pressure during a move.

“Consumers spend more money in a 180-day window during their move than they will in any other time in their lives,” says Scott Oakley, Vice President of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies’ WOLFmedia Division. “The value of the service is not only the money-saving offers to alleviate the cost of moving but also the reminders to book services and pick up products they’ll need before, during and after their move. This improves the experience for consumers and reinforces their decision to work with their real estate agent.”

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.

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 About Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies

Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies Inc. is the North American leader in real estate solutions and services with almost 10,000 offices utilizing their fully integrated product lines. Lone Wolf’s Complete Enterprise Solutions is comprised of its core products and services – brokerWOLF back office management solution, WOLFconnect front office management solutions, globalWOLF website solution, loadingDOCS paperless office solution, mobileWOLF mobile solution, WOLFmedia ad revenue generation service, WOLFwatch accounting service and Lone Wolf’s newest service specific to the agent marketplace, agentWOLF. The Complete Enterprise Solution is ideal for real estate offices looking to seamlessly manage their data from the back office to the front office to brokerage and agent websites, providing a single point of entry for data, significant time savings and profitability opportunities. The Complete Enterprise Solution is an invaluable component of a successful real estate brokerage. Lone Wolf has offices in Cambridge, ON, Langley, BC, Las Vegas, NV and Show Low, AZ. For more information please visit www.lwolf.com.

About Mel Foster Co.

Founded in 1921, Mel Foster Co. is a Real Estate Leader of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois serving Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island and the surrounding Quad City area, and it is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate company. The company specializes in residential sales and offers services in insurance, commercial, farm and land sales, land development, relocation, career development, and new construction. Visit their website at http://www.melfosterco.com  for more information.

From Vanilla To Va Va Voom.

Does your home have curb appeal?
Does your home have curb appeal?

Help make your new construction home stand out among the sea of vanilla by adding a little color and style to the front of your home.

Paint the front door

If you got a boring builder’s special door, a little color will make your house pop. Make the job even easier and take the door off the hinges and paint the door while it’s laying flat.

Accentuate your address

It’s inexpensive to buy decorative house numbers and it’s fast to swap out the old numbers with new.

Dress up the porch

Just two chairs in a bright paint color or with bold accent pillows will make your porch stand out and serve as an inviting gesture to your new neighbors.

Pot some plants

You can go bold with colorful annuals or more sophisticated with urns and greenery. If you don’t have a green thumb, opt for a small shrub or dwarf evergreen. It’s hard to go wrong with something hardy that doesn’t require daily watering.

Welcome mat

Let your neighbors know you’ve now moved in with a colorful welcome mat.

Mel Foster Co. Receives Relocation Recognition

MF LOGO WITH LRE LOGOLynsey Engels, President, Real Estate Brokerage at Mel Foster Co. Inc. is pleased to announce that their Relocation Division, lead by Deb Boland, has been recognized as a recipient for the 2014 Global Alliance Club by Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global network of over 500 premier real estate firms.  Leading RE is comprised of select independent real estate companies who set the standard of quality service, while generating a highest volume of referral, relocation, and real estate business opportunities for its members.

Mel Foster Co.’s Relocation Department is one of 37 real estate companies to receive this honor.  In order to be a part of this prestigious club, at least one referral must be sent and closed across country borders. The referral was to Alberta, Canada, therefore Mel Foster Co. can make it happen anywhere.

Not So Fast…Five Things To Check Before Writing An Offer.

Do they work?
Do they work?

You’re in love. The house seems perfect and you almost don’t want to know if it’s not. But before you blindly make an offer, be sure to check these five things.

Assess the grounds

Even if it’s cold and snowy, do a thorough walk around of the yard checking for drainage issues, major concrete shifts or cracks in the foundation.

Open every door and window

Check the locks, evaluate the operation and make sure every door and window opens and closes properly. Also check for any cracked glass that may be hidden behind window treatments.

Turn on every appliance

Be sure to check the stove, refrigerator and dishwasher in the kitchen and don’t forget the washer and dryer if you are asking for those items to be left for you. Also run both the furnace and central air to be sure the systems are functioning properly.

Check the water

Turn on each faucet and check for water pressure and leaks. Also flush every toilet. Be sure to check outdoor faucets.

Turn on the lights

Every interior and exterior light should be turned on. Also test the speed of ceiling fans and check the fan in the bathroom and the vent hood above the stove. If a light is not functioning, determine if it’s a burned out bulb or an electrical issue.

Doing this quick checklist will uncover major issues, before you write up an offer or schedule a home inspection. For added peace of mind after you move in, consider purchasing a Mel Foster Co. Advantage Home Warranty Plan.

For more information on The Mel Foster Co. Advantage Home Warranty Plan, contact one of our experienced professionals.

Living Large In A Tiny Home.

Tiny-HomeThe days of the ginormous McMansion are coming to an end. People are starting to downsize, understanding that less is more when owning a home. Have you thought about the option of a micro home? These miniature homes, trailers, and even converted shipping containers are growing in popularity nationwide. With this growing niche in real estate, perhaps it’s time to give micro housing some serious consideration. Ask your agent to search for homes with less square footage or find a small parcel of land to build your own micro home.

Take a look at just a few of the benefits of living in a tiny house.

Reduced Cost

A smaller home can mean lower building costs, insurance, taxes and utilities. If you decide to build, you may be able to afford the construction cost outright, eliminating the need for a home loan. As a homeowner, who wouldn’t want more disposable income!

Reduced Clutter

With a micro home comes the idea of a simpler life. Less space means less room for unnecessary clutter. You may find that all that “stuff” you thought you needed was simply just junk taking up space. In a micro home, a minimalistic lifestyle becomes a necessity. With less square footage, you are more likely to only keep necessities. And think of the time you’ll save cleaning a smaller house!

Green Living

Micro homes use far fewer resources than a traditional home. Micro homes use less land, fewer materials, and make a much smaller dent in natural resources traditionally utilized to keep a traditional home running.

Mel Foster Co. Receives Website Quality Certification

Mel Foster Co. Earns Designation
Mel Foster Co. Earns Designation

Mel Foster Co. has been awarded the Website Quality Certification (WQC) from Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® , an international network of more than 500 premier real estate firms. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) presents the certification to member companies that demonstrate best practices in website design, technology and service.

Mel Foster Co’s website, www.melfosterco.com, earned the certification after achieving superior marks on a range of measurements, including usability and performance, design and content, interactivity, customer service and Internet lead management, search engine optimization and mobile. The website was evaluated by Virtual Results, LLC, a real estate internet and social marketing firm enlisted by LeadingRE to review the websites.

WQC is a program available only to firms affiliated with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and is awarded based on criteria that is updated annually to reflect the latest in internet marketing strategies. To maintain the certification, companies are re-certified every two years.

“We are delighted to recognize the 117 companies that earned the WQC this year and applaud them for creating websites that attract and engage today’s consumers, providing useful information on homes and communities and supporting them with local expertise,” said Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® President/CEO Pam O’Connor.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation again as we continually enhance our website to ensure users are getting the best possible experience and pertinent details from our site,” said Mel Foster Co. President of Brokerage, Lynsey Engels.

For more information about Mel Foster Co., please visit www.melfosterco.com.


Get A Jump On The Spring Home Buying Season.

Get a Jump on Home Buying
Get a Jump on Home Buying

With winter’s cold weather still lingering, spring can seem far, far away, but now is the time to get a jump-start on preparing yourself for the spring home buying season. Here are a few good tips to help you prepare.

Create Your Wish List

Curl up by the fireplace and make a wish list for everything you’d want in a new home. Now is the time to really think and prioritize when it comes to must haves in your new home. What does your new home need to have? What can you live without?

Pick A Neighborhood

Do a little research on the area or areas where you want to live. Do you have a school district in mind? Do you want an urban space? Are you looking for acreage in the country? Have you had your eye on that new subdivision just north of town? Now is the time to learn as much as you can about your potential new area.

Find An Agent

It is important that you consider working with a licensed real estate professional in order to save yourself time, money and hassle. There can be a lot of confusion and guesswork if you are out there navigating the market on your own, especially as a first time buyer. Working with a Mel Foster agent will give you the expertise and guidance you need to reach your home buying goals. You can find an agent by name or office location by clicking here.


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