A recent survey from the International Association of Home Staging Professionals shows that staged homes sell three times faster and for a sales price of 5 to 20% more on average than competing nonstaged home. These 10 Steps will help prepare your home for photos, showings, and impress buyers to obtain the best price possible when selling your home.

1) Declutter - Start the packing process by sorting items into pack, pitch, sell, or donate. Choose one space in your home or garage to store boxes and totes. The goal is to clear walkways, open floor and wall space allowing buyers to view the home, not your belongings.

2) Depersonalize - Remove trophies, knick-knacks, posters, most family photos, collections, and don’t forget the refrigerator magnets. Depersonalizing allows prospective buyers the ability to picture themselves in the home by removing distractions.

3) Pack up Seasonal Items – Off season clothing, décor, tools, and things that you will not use for the next 4 to 6 months. This will clear closets and storage spaces, allowing buyers to appreciate the storage the home has to offer. 4) Clean - After you have decluttered, depersonalized, and packed unused items, its time to focus on detailed cleaning. Start with lighting, wall switches, outlets, baseboards, trim, windows, and doors, working your way to the floor. Using a painter’s tape to mark areas to come back to for touch up paint or fix is an easier reminder.

5) Lighting - Clean your fixtures inside and outside your home. Remove dust and bugs, along with replacing missing or non-working bulbs, covers, & globes. Check that your lights are all the same color glow such as a bright white. Electrical is a safety concern and an appraisal issue. Good lighting is important as it is inviting and brightens up walkways and small rooms feel larger.

6) Floors – When cleaning your hard surface floors, check over grout areas and corners, carpets should be vacuumed weekly. Consider a professional cleaning and use a recommended product for pet and household stains. Cleaning up spills and mess right away will help keep you ready for showings on a short-term notice.

7) Painting - Paint color is one of the most inexpensive updates to a home selecting neutral colors such as a beige or gray, will give your home a fresh look and impress buyers. Make sure to choose the right type of paint for the area you are painting, your local paint expert can help you decide on flat versus satin vs eggshell, latex, or enamel.

8) Windows – Clean the glass and the windowsills, painting or staining areas that needs attention. Broken glass and screens can usually be repaired by the local hardware store or a glass company. Well maintained windows impress buyers.

9) Window Treatments - Curtains, drapes, along with the rods and blinds are all considered to be attached to a property and included in the sale. Cleaning the window treatments and ensuring they are in working order is helpful in preventing a surprise later. Removing window treatments not included, dated, or worn is recommended prior to photographing the property.

10) Curb Appeal - House numbers should be easy to read with well-lit entries clear of clutter and clean swept. Store away equipment like rakes, sprinklers, and outdoor toys. Keep up seasonal needs such as mowing, maintaining landscaping, and removing ice and snow.

First Impressions Are Important When Selling Your Home!

Roxanne Johnson, Broker/Owner

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:54 AM

There are closing cost associated with closing a real estate transaction that are traditionally identified as a Sellers Expense or a Buyers Expense. 

Sellers closing cost typically include real estate commission, attorney/title company fees associated with preparing documents required by the county and state to transfer the property to the new owner(s), real estate property taxes prorated as per agreed to between the parties as stipulated in the purchase agreement, state deed tax, and recording fees as applicable.

Buyers will have their own closing expenses associated with title work, loan processing, and closing attorney/title company fees

In the event there are questions or discrepancies regarding the property lines a survey may be required and this is typically a seller’s expense.  It is reasonable to expect an owner of a property to know where the property line is located to avoid future issues with neighbors. In some situations it maybe reasonable for  the buyer  to pay or portion of the expense.

When selling rural properties dependent on a private water and septic system, the property will be valued with the condition of the well and septic in working order and meeting state and county requirements unless otherwise noted.  

Wells are typically a simple water test for bacteria and nitrates. IF bacteria is present chlorination by a professional will be required.  IF e coli bacteria is present and does not clear up after a couple chlorination’s the well maybe contaminated from a failing septic system or other neighboring fecal matter.  Nitrate levels of under 10 ppm are desired in the state of Minnesota. IF unable to clear up with chlorination, water filtration systems may be effective to provide clean filtered water. 

In rural areas that require a private septic subsurface system the local county and state requirements must be met to transfer a property and record the sale. You must have a septic inspection providing a system that  fails to meet current code requirements the septic will need to be brought up to date, typically as a sellers expense and done prior to closing. IF unable to the county will allow the sale to transfer when funds are held in escrow with the closer to provide payment the septic once completed with unused money remaining being refunded to the seller.  In a few situations the buyer and seller may negotiate for the buyer to take over the escrow and possibly even pay for the septic.  Typically, this will be reflected in the purchase price paid to seller.

NOTE: Because wells and septic systems are costly improvements lenders require both the well and septic be in compliance as required by local and state ordinances  or funds are escrowed out of the closing proceeds to cover the expenses and ensure issues are addressed to protect the property taken as collateral for the loan.

There may be some other expenses that related to your property specifically outside of these traditional expenses, such as probate or other estate and trust situations, these expenses will vary and are personalized to the transaction.

Have questions? Feel free to contact us for all your real estate needs! 

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS,GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:53 AM

Are you thinking about selling your home? Here are 10 things to consider when preparing to sell your home.

  1. Updated to neutral paint colors - Yes a buyer will appreciate this!
  2. Update flooring that is worn and outdated.
  3. Clean woodwork & cabinets, touching up marks as needed. 
  4. Update hardware on cabinets.
  5. updated light fixtures as needed.
  6. Change lighting to LED white light to brighten your home. 
  7. Replace broken blinds and remove dated window coverings.
  8. Replace broken switch plats & outlet covers. 
  9. Clean sweep your basement and garage - Buyers want to see your storage space looking neat!
  10. Make your entry inviting inside and out. 

Of course some things are clean, retro and add a charming style to perhaps that is part of the appeal. We offer a free staging consultation in preparing to market your home for sale, helping you save money and time while addressing the items that matter.

Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties

Call us whether you're buying or selling, "Because Every Move Matters!"

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:52 AM

Should I list my property this winter? This year the season is quite different as the pandemic has limited social gatherings and events.  We find ourselves reassessing our living space and our day-to-day lifestyle. With a shortage of homes and pent-up demand, buyers are watching the market for new listings and are ready to make an offer when the property fits their lifestyle.  Wooded and Ag land are also in demand, as it has become a bit of a challenge for buyers to find a place to hunt, camp, or build their dream home.   You may have an ideal parcel to sell or split off that could give you the cash make improvements to your property, purchase a second home, or invest in other ways.

In November, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 30,000 and the interest rates hit another low, home prices have risen 15% and selling in an average of 45 days, according the SE Minnesota Association of Realtors MLS reporting.  The economic indicators support a positive market moving forward for sellers.  We find buyers are looking to take advantage of the low interest rates.   We are happy to visit with you about selling options available, the selling process, and guide you step by step along the way.   Call today for your free confidential consultation and put our experience to work for you!


Roxanne & Kelsey, RE/MAX Select Properties


Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:50 AM

6 Tips to Get Your Home Cold Weather Ready

October is one of my favorite months! I love everything from the colorful mums and pumpkins to the falling leaves and crisp clean air! It’s easy to be caught up in visiting corn mazes and haunted houses and forget the cold weather moves in and we will soon be scraping frost from your car windows.

Here are 6 tips to help prepare your home for winter and save on your heating expense.


  1. Disconnect your exterior water hose and drain the hose. If your faucet is not a drain back style you may need to shut it off, then drain the line in the basement to prevent the hose bib from freezing and cracking the water line.
  2. Check the exterior of your home and garage for loose or missing caulk around windows, doors, AC unit piping, and other openings. Apply caulk wherever you see cracks, gaps, or holes to prevent cold air, insects, and rodents from getting in.
  3. If your basement windows are not double paned add a 1-inch insulation board on the inside. Remove debris from exterior basement window well and cover with a hard plastic window well covers. This will keep snow and rain out of the window wells and help prevent leaking.
  4. Hire a professional to inspect your heating system annually to ensure it is operating properly and efficiently. Change the furnace filter monthly for efficiency, this is also helpful to reduce dust and allergens in your home.  SAFTEY TIP: for gas mechanicals and appliances ensure your CO2 detectors are in your home to the state guidelines.
  5. Clean the rain gutters, removing leaves and debris before winter as this will help snow thawing and rains come spring while maintaining the integrity of your gutters. Make sure your downspouts are clean and in place directing water 3 to 6 feet from your foundation.
  6. Check the Insulation level in your attic to prevent heat loss and ice dams. Insulate the rim joist in your basement which will prevent heat loss and drafts.  This will save on your heating costs and keep your warm your toes!


Tips for Fall Showings


                What a fun time to decorate your home inside and out! While preparing your house for fall showing keep in mind, we are on the countdown to cold temperatures. Pack away items such as outdoor furniture and lawn art to ensure its not frozen in when it comes time to move!  

                Curb appeal is important all year round. During the autumn months keep up on mowing, trimming trees and shrubs plus raking leaves and cleaning up the landscaping.  We recommend placing a few mums and pumpkins for color and creating a festive and inviting feel for buyers.

                Indoors, keep the house cozy and well-lit. Make sure your windows sills and glass are clean and maintained, many buyers like to check over windows and doors considering colder weather is on the way. Take care of the little To- Do List as a well-maintained home is a great first impression.

 If you really want to make every effort to impress, bake. There is nothing more inviting to a potential home buyer in the fall than the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie, breads, and cookies for your guests.  Supper in the crock pot is always a welcoming aroma for potential buyers and is a great way to have supper ready when you get home!

Posted in:sellingPosted in:Home MaintenancePosted in:home owner
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:49 AM

One of the most important pieces of information homeowners need when considering buying or building a new home, is knowing the value of their current home. A Comparative Market Analysis otherwise referred to as a CMA is a report prepared using properties that have recently sold that fall within an acceptable range as a comparable to the seller’s property.  Factors to consider when comparing properties will include many factors such as square footage of the home and the land, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, upgrades, effective age of overall mechanicals, improvements made to the property to name a few. Other influences requirements for zoning requirements, loan guidelines, and of course supply and demand. A CMA is different from an appraisal as an appraiser looks back in time to support value as of the date of the appraisal given historical data. A Comparative Market Analysis is based on similar information including recorded sales plus as your Realtor our professional experience gives consideration to current market conditions, supply and demand, interest rates, loan products, and more looking forward determining an accepted value range to expect your property to sell within.

A CMA is a very helpful to you as a seller and to your lender when prequalifying you for a loan and estimating the cash proceeds from your sale that may be used for the purchase of your new home.

IF you are interested in a Comparative Market Analysis report for your home, simply reach out and we will schedule a visit with you and gather information about your property.   Once prepare we will visit with you review the CMA with you, answering questions you may have about the selling process.

Roxanne Johnson

Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:47 AM

To Paint or Not to Paint?

You will realize a higher sale price with the least amount of time on the market Investing by painting and staging your home for that ultimate first impression. According to KINDHOME SOLUTIONS 2022 most homeowners can expect 107% ROI for when painting the interior of their home.  

The Benefits of Painting.

  1. Provides a fresh and clean appearance.
  2. Shows the house is well maintained to buyers.
  3. Can highlight features of the house & offers an inviting appeal. 
  4. Offers a move in ready appeal.
  5. This will lead to more competitive offers.

Selecting Paint Colors.

  1. Identify areas of high traffic, wear & tear, and need some repair. 
  2. Select neutral colors that look good in your lighting.
  3. Avoid bright and bold colors when painting. 
  4. To get a visual of what a room will look like when painted with ColorSnap® Visualizer – upload a photo of your room and virtually paint it to preview paint options.

Consider what the color does for the room. Does it look larger or smaller, brighter, or darker, and enclosed?  Is it inviting for the space?

DYI or hire a contractor?   Establish a time frame to have the painting completed. Consider hiring a professional painter if you are unable to do it yourself or reach out to friends & family to share their talents (Don’t forget to offer to pay or treat them to a fancy dinner!)  When tackling the task take time to prepare to paint.

  1. Measure your rooms to figure out how much paint to purchase.
  2. Purchase supplies: paint roller or paint pads, paint tray and liners, trimming brush, painter’s tape, paint cleaners for brushes, drop cloths, or plastic, and rags, and ladder.
  3. Pay particular attention to clean edges when painting. IF you are not experienced at trimming use the painters tape to keep from getting the wall color paint on  base boards, door frames or ceilings as an example. Drop clothes or plastic is used to protect the floors and more.

Generally, going with neutral colors are more appealing offering buyers the creative freedom to add their personal touches.  You will create the WOW factor  inviting  the buyers to fall in love with your house as their  new HOME!

Reach out to schedule a personal home consultation to prepare your home for sale including recommendations on paint selections and staging.

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:46 AM

You may have found yourself here because you have been thinking about selling your property. Which means you have been watching the market to see how quickly or not so quickly homes have been selling. You have heard others talk about homes receiving multiple offers, while others are on the market for a month.  And you’re wondering, what’s is going on!? Buyers are always comparison shopping, they watch the market like hawks, which makes it all that more important to position your property correctly in the current market against other competing properties. Over the past 25 years I have experienced many changes in the market and have successfully implemented incentives to match the seller’s situation when needed.  

Seller Incentives are simply tools used to satisfy concerns that may be holding a buyer back from making an offer.  Incentives can be implemented at various times during the selling period Whether you have been on the market or are preparing to list your property here are some options for you to consider.

  1. Update Paint, Lighting, & Flooring – Giving your home an updated look is very attractive to buyers that are overwhelmed with all the moving expenses and do not have extra money to address those items once moved in.  
  2. One Year Home Warranty Plan - Alleviates worries by providing the buyer with a repair or replacement warranty on mechanicals, appliances, and other components for 1 year after closing.  Plus, as a Seller you may elect coverage for you from list date to closing date. The fee is paid upon closing, out of your seller proceeds.
  3. Pre-Sale Home Inspection – Gives Sellers the opportunity to address any repair items prior to marketing the property.  The Inspection report is then made available for buyers review when viewing the property.  Usually, buyers will then waive the Home Inspection Contingency when offering eliminating the inspection time period when accepting an offer.
  4. Price Reduction- Reducing the price is a useful tool to revive the listing on internet sites and opens potential to a new pool of buyers that may be admiring the property, but too shy to make an offer lower than list price for fear of insulting the seller.
  5. Closing Cost Allowance – IS paid out of the sale proceeds upon date of closing towards the buyers closing costs for loan processing and closing of the transaction.  Closing Cost Allowances are regulated and capped by loan requirements.   Many times, buyers have good credit but are short of cash to make the down payment plus all of the closing costs, prepaids, and escrow requirements.  This can be a great tool to assist the buyer without lowering the price.
  6. Rate Buy Down- Sellers may offer to buy down the buyer’s interest rate as an incentive. This is typically a set dollar amount that would lower the rate for a the first 2 to 3 years of the loan.

It gives the buyer the opportunity to purchase a home with an affordable payment hoping to refinance to a lower rate at some point.  The Buyer must be qualified to make the payment at the current interest rate. This is a viable option for Buyers that are in a short-term home and/or believe the rates will readjust lower within the next few years.

Our goal is to attractively market your property implementing incentives when needed that will invite buyers to view your property and make an offer that works for both of you. Let’s explore these options and how best they can work to sell your home faster and for the price that makes your move happen!

Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:45 AM
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If you’ve ever bought or sold a home before, you are probably familiar with the standard practice of a home inspection contingency when making an offer. The home inspection provides a closer look at the home from the roof to the foundation, including mechanicals, listing items that need attention. The buyers have three options once they have reviewed the report; 1) accept and move forward 2) request the seller correct the issues or ask for a price adjustment, OR 3) cancel the offer with a refund of the earnest money.

 When preparing to list your home, and addressing the “laundry list” of items such as clearing, cleaning, and trying to decide which projects to tackle, why not seriously consider a Pre-Sale Home Inspection before listing?  A Pre-Sale Home Inspection will help identify items and help focus time and resources. The big benefit is getting a home inspection in advance might be able to cut down on these types of negotiations, as well as help you close the deal at or above listing price. Buyers are impressed by a property that is well maintained.



Address repairs in advance.   Gives the seller options to research options, select the professionals to do the repairs, and obtain bids to control costs without paying a rush fee to make closing date.

You might be able to close faster. By getting a jump start on repairs you will have more time to complete the repairs by closing, With an Inspection Contingency an extra 7-10 days is needed for the inspection time.

Obtain a better price for your home. Homes that are well maintained typically sell for more than a home that is not maintained, as buyers tend to discount the price by far more than the actual cost of the repair.  Addressing issues can make your home a lot more attractive to buyers, and possibly result in a multiple offer situation.

Provide a copy of the Home Inspection Report for buyer’s review.  The home inspection is your private report, IF you elect to share it with buyers you will want to make notes in the report of items addressed and include copies of the repair statement from professionals if there were any.   


All Sellers are required by law to disclose material facts that impact the buyers use and enjoyment of the property.  IF an defect is discovered during an inspection you will have the opportunity to consult with professionals and determine what that best way to address the issue.

The buyer may still opt for doing their own home inspection.  Buyers may want to do have the experience of going through the property with the same inspector you had or hiring their own.  

When homes are well maintained and pre-inspected, there is less negotiating, and it opens the opportunity for offers at or above list price when multiple buyers are interested.   The home inspection report provides a peace of mind to the buyer to make an offer.


Roxanne Johnson, Broker, ABR, CRS, GRI

Posted in:selling and tagged: home seller
Posted by Kelsey Bergey & Roxanne Johnson on October 25th, 2023 10:45 AM

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