The only online publication for women in Greater Cincinnati
Real Estate

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A lot of first-time home-sellers get confused about how listing agents can benefit them and how a listing agent can market their property, so I thought it would be beneficial to clear some things up about marketing a home.

 

Here is how advertising your house works: the main goal of advertising is to generate phone calls. Some of those callers will become clients of the real estate agents who answer the calls. This then builds up a list of homebuyers who are looking to buy a property, and these properties are represented by agents like yours. This allows there to be a large pool of homebuyers in the real estate market at all times.

 

The real estate agents who represent those homebuyers will be aware of your home because it’s listed in the Multiple Listing Service and because of other ways your personal listing agent has marketed it (through open houses, flyers, online postings, and more).

 

These selling agents will try to match up as many available homes as possible to their clients, and one of those homes may be yours. They’ll then show their clients the homes that they are interested in, and the buyer eventually makes an offer on one – possibly your own home. This is how homes get sold.

 

So the main goal is to advertise your home because it alerts other agents about your availability – ads create a pool of potential buyers, and one of them ends up buying your home.

 

This is why it’s important to get a listing agent – you’re not necessarily trying to market directly to home buyers around the area. You want other agents to become aware of your house, and they will market it themselves to their clients.

 

If you’re in need of a Cincinnati listing agent, be sure to contact me! I’d love to help you even if it’s just to answer a few simple questions: beverly.corsmeier@cbws.com.

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Sometimes the difference between selling your home quickly or having it sit on the market for months and being forced to lower the price is just a few simple things – like giving your house an easy makeover, sprucing things up, or putting in some fresh looks. If you need tips on selling a home, the most important thing you can do is focus on staging techniques – that is, presenting your home in a physically and personally appealing manner for those that are looking. Check out these 5 ways you can improve the appearance of your home – without breaking bank.

 

• Clean your bathroom walls: Dirty and grimy bathroom walls can be a major turnoff for home buyers. Even though it just involves wiping them down, the first impression can leave a bad image in potential buyers’ minds. To get the grime off your bathroom walls and make everything appear shiny and fresh, just mix a spray bottle with half water and half bleach. Spray it on the wall, wipe it down with an old washcloth, and then add a new layer of paint. It will look like new in no time.

 

• Keep the Master Bedroom gender-neutral: When selling your home, you want to appeal to buyers of both genders – so if anything in your bedroom is too feminine or too masculine, get rid of it. You want everyone to be able to picture themselves in your Master – so pick a neutral color scheme with matching bedding and decorations. The goal is to make it easy for viewers to picture themselves in your home.

 

• Upgrade your kitchen: Real estate studies show time and time again that new kitchen appliance always have a high Return on Investment for sellers. Simply getting rid of old appliances and getting new stainless steal equipment, your kitchen will go from being outdated to looking brand new. You’d be surprised how quickly buyers will jump at this.

 

• Put unnecessary items in storage: Before showing your house, get rid of any extra furniture, decorations, or items that are too personal. You don’t want any of your rooms to look overcrowded, and you want buyers to think you have tons of space in your home. So clear out anything that’s unnecessary so your home looks even more spacious.

 

• Give each room a specific purpose: When it is unclear what a room is, or if there is multiple, unrelated stuff in one room, buyers can get overwhelmed and confused. Simplify everything – make one extra room an office, one a library, one a spare bedroom – whatever you need to do so buyers can understand exactly how many rooms you have and what they’re for.

 

Although you may be hesitant to open up your wallet, in the grand scheme of things, it pays off to add improvements to your home right from the start. It’ll be less likely that you have to lower the price, and it ensures that you have a much higher chance of selling your home more quickly. Be sure to continually check in on our blog for more home staging tips.

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Buying a home is already stressful enough. So, the more you have figured out ahead of time, the better. One of the best things you can and do in the early stages of house-hunting is calculate your potential mortgage payment.

 

When you jump head-first into the house-hunting process knowing exactly what you can and cannot afford, it will make your experience much more controlled, stress-free, and fun. We’ve chosen 3 different Mortgage Calculators that will help you figure out your financial standing – so pick one, or all three, and get calculating!

 

1: BankRate.com 
BankRate is a very useful and informational site when it comes to your personal finances in general, but their Mortgage Calculator is especially easy to use.

 

2: MLCalc.com 
This site lets you calculate both your potential mortgage payments as well as loan payments.

 

3: HomeGuides.com 
If you prefer to do each and every small math equation yourself, HomeGuides gives you a step-by-step explanation on how to calculate your potential mortgage payment

 

You can never be prepared enough when it comes to househunting information, tips, financial calculations, and more. So be sure to check back weekly with our blog, as we share several helpful blog posts each week.

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So you’ve made the exciting decision to purchase a condo – congratulations! While buying a condo is extremely exciting, there are also a lot of differences in comparison to purchasing a house. But as long as you know what you’re getting into ahead of time, you should be all set. Here are a few things to think about to make purchasing a condo much easier and enjoyable for you.

 

Finances:
Something you need to keep in mind is the monthly cost of Homeowners Association (HOA) fees – this covers the cost of typical maintenance and repairs. Dues can range up to over 50 cents per square foot of your condo – every month.

 

But when it comes to getting a good deal on your condo, it’s not always just about the lowest monthly fees. Sometimes, condo community fees pile up for years from not collecting enough dues from residents, and then current residents end up paying huge amounts to fix doors, walls, elevators, and more.

 

So when it comes to getting the most out of your bills, don’t just look at the price of the condo and the lowest monthly fees – think about the value. If two properties come fairly close in price, make sure to look into what amenities you’re getting for your monthly dues – a doorman? a cleaning service? a pool? a work-out facility? Looking into these assets will help you figure out where you’re getting the most for your dollar.

 

Make sure to sit down with your real estate agent and look through the financial documents of the community you’re considering moving into, so that you’re aware of upcoming assessments, and whether or not the property can afford to cover all needed repairs and upkeep. After all, this is an investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting enough value out of this purchase. If you don’t have a real estate agent yet, get one!

 

Community Policies
The rules and regulations of the community you move into will actually be just as important as the finances. These are most often known as covenants, conditions, and restrictions – or CC&Rs. It’s crucial that you pay special attention to these policies BEFORE you purchase your condo, so that you know exactly what you’re getting into, what’s allowed, and what’s not. For example, you don’t want to purchase a condo and then find out that they don’t allow pets if you have a special companion.

 

Other regulations can affect how you decorate and invest in your condo – including bans on hardwood floors, design aspects, and more. Sometimes the regulations can be extremely specific too – such as whether you can put something on your front door, or your balcony, and more. This could mean that the grill or patio furniture you’ve dreamed about may not be allowed.

 

You’ll also want to ask about parking rules, if you can have guests park overnight, how many spaces you get, and more. There are plenty of communities that will have exactly what you want and need, but there are also some communities that won’t give you what you hoped for. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into.

 

The Condo-Living Lifestyle
You also need to remember the condo lifestyle – you’ll be working a lot with the property’s management, so you’ll want to make sure they’ve gotten good reviews from other residents. Community living also means sharing walls with neighbors, occasionally having to abide by quiet hours, and more.

 

There are plenty of positive aspects of purchasing a condo as well – there’s a strong community feel, you get to know your neighbors easier, it often feels safer if you are living alone, and more. Think about all of the pros and cons when it comes to deciding if you want to purchase a condo or a home. The more you have thought about ahead of time, the readier you’ll be!

 

Make sure to sit down with your real estate agent and look through the financial documents of the community you’re considering moving into, so that you’re aware of upcoming assessments, and whether or not the property can afford to cover all needed repairs and upkeep. After all, this is an investment, and you want to make sure you’re getting enough value out of this purchase. If you don’t have a real estate agent yet, get one!

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As most of you already know, I am so passionate about my career, not just because I love real estate, but because I love the place where I work in real estate – Cincinnati. This is an incredible city and outside area, with thousands of things to do every year, including festivals, concerts, shopping extravaganzas, art programs, and more.

 

Cincinnati is a city rich in culture, thanks to its many diverse neighborhoods, and there’s something to do here for everybody, no matter what you’re into. I’ve rounded up 3 of my favorite sites that give you the 411 on everything you need to know about Cincinnati events, so that if you’re new to the area or looking to get more active, you can start having fun in no time!

 

1 – 365Cincinnati.com 
365 Cincinnati is a blog that was started by a Cincinnati resident, and contains things you can do every day in Cincinnati – from city tours, to marketplace visits, to concerts, and more. The site contains an event calendar, a mailing list, tour information, and pages about parks, indoor fun, just for kids, food events, and more. Be sure to check it out if you’re looking to spice up your social life or get to know the area more.

 

2 – CincinnatiUSA.com 
CincinnatiUSA is a fantastic travel guide for the area of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The website contains some great information about the region, as well as special offers for various events. There are plenty of pages and special offers for hotels & lodging, special events and attractions, dining & shopping, and more. If you’re thinking of moving to this area and want to know more about your options, or you just want to plan a fun weekend for you and your friends or family, this website has everything you need.

 

3 – Trip Advisor 
If you want to learn more about Cincinnati and everything it has to offer directly from hundreds of other people that have experienced it, Trip Advisor is a great place to start. There are lists of events, museums, outdoor fun, cultural events, sports, amusement parks, and more. Better yet, you can read real and personalized reviews from other Cincinnati dwellers and visitors. Check out this website for some great ideas for ways to plan a great weekend – or even a fun week night!

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Home Sellers: This Is the Most Important Room in Your House

 

When it comes to selling your home, you need to make sure every room, pantry, closet, shower, and crevice is in tip-top shape. And the first place to start: the kitchen.

 

For most people buying a home, whether they are first-time buyers or seasoned veterans, the kitchen is the most important room to them. It’s where they’ll spend lots of their time – cooking, spending time with family, eating meals, hosting dinner parties and events. People moving out of small rented apartments are looking for a vast new space to cook and dine, and previous homeowners are looking for something that will far exceed what they had previously experienced.

 

The first thing you need to do is remove everything from the counters. This means everything – toasters, blenders, food – everything. The more you clear off, the larger the space is going to be, and the more visible your countertops will look.

 

You also need to clear out all of your drawers and cabinets. Keep some nice pots, pans, plates and other utensils in the space so it looks lived-in, but don’t make it overcrowded. You want it to look like your kitchen has more storage and space than any other home these people look at. So the more you can put into storage, the better.

 

Finally, don’t forget the under-the-sink area! Most potential buyers are wary of stumbling into any trouble or maintenance issues. So clean out everything under the sink, including cleaning products, and scrub the area down. You want to take care of any needed repairs and keep it as clean as possible – you’d be surprised how much a clean and well-kept under-the-sink area can impress a homebuyer.

 

These are just a few of the key aspects you have to remember when it comes to selling a home, so be sure to check back with our blog every week for more useful tips!

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In the past five years, the real estate market – and the entire world of communication for that matter – has evolved into a mass of social media, mobile marketing, and new way of thinking. With the recent crash of the economy the market has taken a hit on home values across the nation. However, we’re currently very low on inventory in the Tri-State, which means the demand is very high and prices are on the rise.

 

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Beverly Corsmeier

In today’s industry, far too many professionals are overlooking the great benefits modern technology can provide to their clients. However, I’ve not only embraced technology but utilize everyday to provide better services to my clients while growing my business. Here’s just a sample of the many technologies I’ve embraced to better serve you:

 

Smart Phone: While this seems like a necessity to many of us, there is still a majority of agents not utilizing smart phone capabilities. I’ve equipped my phone with email capabilities so I’m not more than a few moments away from any questions you have. I make it a priority to make myself available by email, phone, or even social media through my smart phone.

 

Website: Have you ever had a hundred questions about buying or selling a home? Are you hoping to find more information about a Realtor but their company website provides limited information? You won’t find those difficulties with me. I maintain a full-service website with hundreds of individual resources for you. I provide information about everything from community statistics to home values in your area. Also, if you’re interested in finding some properties in a specific area of Cincinnati, I’ve provided the tools to assist you in this process.

 

Social Media: The growth of social media over the last decade has change the real estate industry. Today’s agent must be readily available on several mediums of communication. That’s why I pride myself on the expansive list of social media networks I belong to. Many of these networks not only share my services but help to advertise your property. I have integrated my system to automatically feed your listing and pictures to dozens of popular websites. Just to name a few websites that you can find your listing on: Facebook.com, Trulia.com, Zillow.com, and Realtor.com. These websites continuously channel high levels of traffic towards your listing providing the most exposure possible.

 

Online Lifestyle Resource: I also developed a website you might enjoy, LiveandPlayCincinnati.com. It’s not as a “real estate” website, but instead, it’s an information hotspot. After living in other parts of the United States, the one thing I found difficult with each move was learning the various neighborhoods within a metropolitan area, and what to do in each. I often wondered why there wasn’t an easy way to get an unbiased opinion of different suburbs and what areas were suited to my personality. That’s what I strive to offer with this site and I hope you enjoy it!


In the video below, I share some updates on the market and a little more about my experience in the industry. Please feel free to email me at Beverly.Corsmeier@cbws.com if you have any real estate needs. I look forward to hearing from you!

This is a special advertising supplement, paid for by Beverly Corsmeier.

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What can a great real estate agent do for you? Run you around and show you houses? Perform internet research for you? Help to determine current property value? Provide information?

 

All of these are great, but it doesn’t take rocket science to do any of it. A great agent relies on the experience from different transactions and previous client issues.

 

Every transaction is different….there truly are no two alike.

 

How much does your agent know about lending? Why does it matter since you have a loan officer that handles your loan?

 

All too often I run into buyers that would greatly benefit from greater lending knowledge. Here’s an example: Did you know we have different lenders in Greater Cincinnati that have different loan programs. Some lenders require higher credit scores, lower debt to income ratios while others have specialized programs for lower scores and higher debt to income ratios.

 

Did you know only some of the lenders offer housing grants? Did you know there were grants available for buyers? There are a lot actually and they are not hard to get if you fall within the necessary matrix. An experienced agent knows about these options and doesn’t just leave it to the loan officer.

 

Real estate agents are required to know lending, however, having such knowledge has saved many a transaction from falling apart. Let’s say you go to your local bank and get “pre-approved.” This may or may not mean that they pulled your credit. Sometimes it is just a series of questions that you are asked about time on job, income, credit cards, car loans etc. Your pre-approval letter just states that you look pretty good and “IF” after you turn in your bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs and credit is pulled all the numbers still look good then they will consider giving you a loan. (Please note, this is just a very brief explanation. There is more to it).

 

We often run into problems once the documentation is actually provided and now the bank says the debt to income is too high and the bonus or overtime you get isn’t included in your income they base the decision on. A better one is that you are a 1099 self-employed individual and you show as little as you can on your tax return. Now we have another problem. It just keeps going..

 

Where an agent can help is by knowing the different products offered by the different lenders in the area. I approach life with the philosophy of “if there is a will there is a way!”


Here are a few examples: Shannon Scott 513-254-8238 – Shannon.Scott@mortgagefamily.com Coldwell Banker Home Loans is my in-house loan officer that I love and trust with my clients. He bends over backwards to help and the loans close on time. He is spectacular with VA Loans which can be 100% financing. He has a very fast loan approval process!


Kathie Brahaney (513) 258-1704 – Kbrahaney@stonegatemtg.com Stonegate Mortgage is my favorite rehab loan specialist – they have amazing products for doing simple renovations like putting in a granite counter and tiling the bathroom to full blown rehab projects.


Greg Tudor (513) 238-5462 – gtudor@warsawfederal.com Warsaw Federal has several grants available. I was introduced to Greg by a buyer. He did such a fantastic job I have kept him in my “go to” file! PLEASE NOTE! There are a lot of loan officers out there as well as lending institutions.


The above are just a few of my personal favorites that I have been extremely pleased with their above and beyond service for my clients.

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You are thinking about selling your home. You have young children and pets. But I have a scary scenario to consider.

 

You talk to a real estate agent about getting your home ready. “It’s already Pottery Barn cute” you think to yourself.

 

After all, your pet’s names are on their food mats and dishes; their leashes hang by the back door. You have some spectacular photography of your children in expensive frames that look perfect where they hang. Now move into the children’s bedrooms where their names are on the wall, their headboard and various other furniture pieces.

 

Your home is immaculate and ready to be photographed. Photos will be posted on the internet in preparation for being listed. It’s going to look so great to prospective buyers.

 

Have you given thought to how many people are looking at the photos of your house? Your home is on the market now and an open house is scheduled.

 

Postcards have been sent out to all your neighbors inviting them to see your home. Still sounds great right, right?

 

Now take a step back and think about WHO has access to all this information that has been given to the public. We all hear about people parked in cars near bus stops or schools or the person that drives through a neighborhood and offers candy or says they have a dog they think belongs to the child to lure them into the vehicle.

 

Stop and think! You have just put pictures and possibly names of your kids along with the names of their beloved pets out to the public. An open house is just that and anyone can come through – now they really know quite a bit about the kids in the house just by looking around.

 

What would your child do if someone knew them by name as well as the name of their pet and of course the name of their mom and dad? Most of this can be prevented.

 

Before putting your home on the market, de-personalize! Remove pictures of young children. Remove items with names of the children and pets. While these things help to make a home look warm and inviting, they really don’t sell homes.

 

It takes me longer to hustle buyers out of a home with lots of pictures because they stop to look just out of curiosity. If these things aren’t something you’ve thought about, it’s time to think safety first.

 

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Clean everything! Seriously, all baseboards, light fixtures, windows, window sills, door frames and light switches. Make sure you get every inch of the house. There are quite a few professional cleaning crews that do this. I personally have used one many times to “Spring” clean for me. They wiped the backs of pictures on the walls and actually scrubbed around the toilet with a toothbrush type tool. It is amazing how much a sparkling clean home speaks to potential buyers.

 

De-clutter! Knick Knacks can all be boxed up. Same with personal picture frames everywhere. A nice neat stack of packed boxes in the basement, garage or even a spare room looks better than a lot of items that collect dust and personalize the home to the seller not the buyer.

 

Fix the broken stuff! We all have little “honey do” lists! All those maintenance items that we keep saying we will get to – time to get to them! If you are able, one of the best things a seller can do is to hire a really good home inspector to PRE inspect the home. Besides giving you a maintenance checklist to work through, you will also be able avoid issues when a buyer has the home inspected. Sometimes the buyer accepts the inspection report that you had done and is satisfied with repair receipts for items that were called out.

 

Paint Professionally! Crappy painting is just, well, crappy and can quickly decrease value to a buyer. If your walls, ceilings and trim work don’t look that polished it can be well worth having a professional spruce up your paint and neutralize your home to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

 

Wallpaper? Remove. Period. Number one reason I have buyers walk away from otherwise great homes.

 

Landscaping – clean it up! Think curb appeal! Nice, neat and tidy with fresh mulch and sharply edged. Doesn’t cost a lot but does take physical activity.

 

What does your front door and garage door look like? These are major welcoming points and need to give a great first impression!

 

Haven’t been able to sell and want an honest answer why? If you can handle brutal honesty give me a call. I am more than happy to create a “to do list” for you to increase your chances of selling your home quickly. Feel free to give me a call (513) 623-7756 or send me an email at Beverly.Corsmeier@cbws.com. Please note, I am unable to offer this to any home that’s currently listed.

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