Marianne Ganzenmuller, a realtor that is accessible and at the same time refreshingly unique.


Adding a residence to the real estate market can be stressful, particularly for a first-time home seller. Fortunately, we're here to help you maintain a positive outlook as you await offers on your house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a first-time home seller remain calm, cool and collected after he or she lists a residence.

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Although a first-time home seller might expect dozens of offers in the days following a house's addition to the real estate market, it may take some time to stir up interest in a residence. However, a home seller who establishes realistic expectations from the get-go will know how to stay the course throughout the property selling journey.

A first-time home seller should understand both the best- and worst-case scenarios. That way, a home seller will know how to respond to any potential pitfalls that may arise.

Furthermore, a first-time home seller should have a plan in place for what will happen after a home offer is accepted. This will ensure a home seller is fully prepared to vacate a house as quickly as possible.

2. Learn About the Housing Market

The housing market is exceedingly complex, especially for those who are selling homes for the first time. Conversely, a first-time home seller who takes a diligent approach can gain the real estate market insights to make confident decisions.

For example, a first-time home seller should analyze the competition closely. By looking at the prices of similar houses that are available, this home seller can establish a competitive price for a house and increase his or her chances of a quick home sale.

A first-time home seller also should check out the prices of recently sold houses in his or her city or town. By doing so, this home seller can find out whether he or she is entering a buyer's or seller's market and plan accordingly.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

Selling a home may seem like a simple process on paper, but challenges can quickly arise that prevent a first-time property seller from achieving his or her desired results. But with support from a real estate agent, a first-time home seller can get the assistance that he or she needs to remain confident at each stage of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with selling a house and will help a property seller avoid such problems. In fact, a real estate agent is happy to provide expert guidance to help a first-time home seller operate like a home selling professional.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to a first-time home seller's concerns and queries. This guarantees a home seller can obtain unparalleled insights into how to set a competitive price for a residence, how to bolster a house's interior and exterior and much more.

Want to keep things positive as you proceed along the home selling journey for the first time? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can maintain a positive outlook as you navigate the home selling cycle.


Student loan debt does more than keep some millennials up at night, trying to figure out how they will stay current in their monthly student loan payments while they also pay for food, clothing, transportation and rent. Student loan debt is keeping some people from owning a home. As with credit cards and as challenging as it can be, the sooner you pay off student loans, the better.

Steps to Less Student Loan Debt

However,simply paying the loans down could qualify you for a mortgage. So too could setting a limit on how much student loan debt you’re willing to take on. To reduce the amount of student loans you have to repay, consider:

  • Living with your parents until you get your degree
  • Applying for educational grants and scholarships(Don’t just apply for one grant or one scholarship. Apply for several grants and scholarships annually or each semester.)
  • Sharing an apartment or house with two or more roommates
  • Creating a spending budget and sticking with it
  • Working a full-time or part-time job while attending college

Go with low interest student loans when you do take out loans. Compare private loan interest rates against federal rates. Don’t assume that one is automatically lower than another. Whichever route you take, look to student loans as a last option to pay for tuition.

Ask your parents to check with their employers to see if they offer scholarships or grants. If you work, check with your employer’s human resources representatives to see if you qualify to receive tuition assistance. Earning high grades could help you to get most of your tuition paid for by your employer, depending on the type of tuition assistance program your employer offers. Also, check with the college or university you’re attending to see if they offer tuition assistance or know of places where you can apply for scholarships and grants.

Limit the amount of loans you’ll take out compared to the salary that jobs in your major pay. For example, if you’re studying to be a cosmetologist and jobs for cosmetologists where you live pay $35,000 or less, you may not want to take out a $20,000 loan to get a cosmetology certificate or degree.

Which leads to another point - consider enrolling in a community college or technical school to get certificates or your associate’s degree. Two years at a community college could save you hundreds of dollars in tuition. Just make sure that the majority of the credits that you earn at a community college are transferable to a four-year school.

Road from Student Loans to Home Ownership

Should you take out student loans, start paying extra on the loans. Even if you pay $50 extra a month on loans, it can make a difference over the lifetime of the loans. Create a student loan repayment plan. Avoid taking on new debts while you’re repaying your loans. Another option that you could consider is to work with an experienced financial advisor. This option might prove beneficial if you invest a portion of your money and start building long term equity.

Consider a rent to own option. Include a clause in your rent to own agreement that allows you to walk away from the mortgage should you decide not to buy the property at the end of the lease agreement. If you're a school teacher or public servant,check with the government to see if you qualify for loan forgiveness. Serving in AmeriCorps or the military could also offer you repayment options that could put home ownership within reach.

Move to a rural area and you could take advantage of a USDA home loan. Think about what you want to do after you graduate from college. If your work aligns with a rural lifestyle, check into how much you'd pay on a house in a rural neighborhood. Home ownership might also come through the purchase of an older home that you fix up.


We all love to put off our household chores until the last minute. The secret to cleaning is to actually clean more often for less time. Just taking a few minutes out of each day can save your house form being a mess and save you hours of time scrubbing. Take a look at some of these cleaning tips that will become shortcuts for you to clean your home. Once you get into the habit, it will be much easy in the long term. 


Clean Up Spills Immediately


Waiting to clean up spills is simply creating a nightmare for yourself later in the week. Stains will be much tougher to remove the longer they sit there. Everywhere from kitchen countertops to the bathroom sink should be wiped down frequently, especially when something spills. Baking soda, vinegar and even simple dish soap are great tools to help lift various stains and return surfaces to like-new. 


Spot Clean


Without full on scrubbing everything down, from time to time you should spot clean areas of your home like refrigerator door handles, door knobs and cabinet doors. This way, when you go for a deeper cleaning, it will take less time.


Use Door Mats


This tip sounds oh so simple but can make a huge difference in how clean your home is. Getting a good doormat can help to clean up dirt and debris from the shoes of people who are entering your home. Keep a mat on both sides of the door at entryways, and this can help reduce the need for frequent vacuuming throughout the home. 


Start At The Entryway


A tidy entrance is so welcoming to guests. Aside from quick cleaning touch-ups, you can add a few things to the entryway to make it even more inviting. Make sure that the entry to your home is presentable. Add some plants to help improve the appeal of your home.  


Make Sure There’s Clear Paths Throughout The Home


Inside of the house, make sure that you have clear paths everywhere with nothing in the way. You don’t want a lot boxes, clothes, or furniture in the way of paths where people walk. Clutter can also pose a safety hazard, causing people to trip. 


Put Everything Away


Done right, everything in your home will have a place to go. If you don’t have enough storage, your quick clean-ups are a good time to recognize this, so you can set aside a time for more serious organizing. The more things that you have out, the more clutter your home will accumulate. Each day, remember to put things away. You’ll need to accessorize with practical things like shoe racks, baskets for keys and containers for utensils in the kitchen.


A persistent home seller may go above and beyond the call of duty to promote his or her residence to potential homebuyers. And as a property buyer, it is up to you to decide whether to proceed with a home purchase or walk away from a persistent home seller altogether.

Ultimately, dealing with a persistent home seller can be challenging, particularly for a first-time homebuyer. Lucky for you, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of negotiating with a persistent home seller.

Here are three tips to help you get the best results during a negotiation with a persistent home seller.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

Although a persistent home seller wants to do everything possible to find a buyer for his or her residence, it is important for a homebuyer to determine whether a residence is worth the price. As such, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market.

Look at the prices of available homes that are similar to the one that you're currently considering. By doing so, you can determine a price range for your home search.

Also, check out the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. This housing market data will help you determine whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market so you can plan accordingly.

2. Establish Realistic Expectations

It is common for homebuyers and home sellers to negotiate with one another. However, it is essential to establish realistic expectations before you enter a homebuying negotiation; otherwise, a homebuyer may struggle to acquire his or her dream residence at an affordable price.

For example, a homebuyer who expects a home seller to accommodate all of his or her requests may be disappointed if a property seller submits a counter-proposal. Conversely, a homebuyer who keeps an open mind and listens to a home seller's concerns can determine the best course of action.

Also, it is important to remember that a homebuyer can walk away from a persistent home seller at any time. This means if you feel uncomfortable with the price or other terms associated with a home purchase, you can step back and restart your search for the perfect house.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you are uncertain about how to deal with a persistent home seller, don't hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent for extra help.

Typically, a real estate agent can act as a liaison between a property buyer and seller. This housing market professional will do whatever it takes to ensure a negotiation fulfills the needs of all sides. Plus, he or she can provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to help you make informed decisions throughout the property buying journey.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will answer any of your homebuying questions, at any time. This housing marketing professional understands what it takes to deal with a persistent home seller, and as a result, will do everything to help you simplify the homebuying cycle.

Ready to acquire your dream home? Use these tips, and you should have no trouble buying a house from a persistent home seller.


A brand new house offers you more than upgraded amenities, modern floor designs and a vibrant lawn. When you purchase a new house, you get the luxury of waiting three or more years before you start performing general maintenance on the property. You could pocket $4,000 to $6,000 over those three years off the maintenance savings alone.

It’s a welcomed luxury that could create the wrong expectation. Just two years of a maintenance free lifestyle could tempt you to wait until something at your house breaks before you start conducting regular inspections,replacing worn parts and keeping your house up to code.

Regular maintenance on your home leads to huge cost savings

Wait until parts start to break and you could erase the entire savings that you built up during the first few years you owned your new house. Avoid that headache by making minimum performance checks and maintenance updates to your house. Included among the items that you should regularly inspect and repair are:

Fire alarms - At the minimum, check the batteries in fire alarms once a quarter. As a tip,if your fire alarms start beeping, it could be a sign that the batteries need to be replaced.

Check and replace fire extinguishers – A fire extinguisher should be checked at least once a year by a company that manufactures fire equipment. Certified home inspectors can also test fire extinguishers.

Look for frayed wiring – Repair frayed wires when you see them. Also,check breakers and circuit boards to see if they spark. Contact an electrician to replace damaged wires.

Uneven flooring – Bubbles in flooring could be a sign of water damage. Flooring can also bubble or become uneven due to wear and tear. Replace floor panels after they become misshaped, uneven or bubble. It prevents injuries and could help to keep more floor panels from becoming uneven.

Wall discoloration – Stains and discolorations on your walls could be a sign of a roof leak. A leaking roof could erode insulation and walls. Dampness can also create mold. Contact an inspector to check for roof damage and to see if there is interior damage to your home.

Driveway – Start inspecting your driveway annually. Look for cracks and unevenness. You could repair small cracks yourself using concrete sealers, con create patch and resurfacing materials.

Roofing – Things to look for in your roof are rust, buckled shingles, torn rubber boots, discolorations and missing shingles. Replace missing or damaged shingles early and you could avoid having to replace your entire roof.

Lawn – Holes, dryness, patchiness and brown spots are things to check your lawn for. If you spot problems with your lawn, you may need to test the soil to see if it has become acidic or has too much alkaline. Holes in your lawn could also be a sign that pests are damaging your property. In that case,you may need to install lawn screens or put up a fence, especially if you have plants or vegetables in your yard.

Garage door – Pay attention and notice if your garage door sticks when you open or close it. Also, test your garage door automatic opener. Call a technician if the door sticks, the automatic opener malfunctions or the door becomes off balance. It could keep someone from getting stuck in your garage.It could also keep the garage door from falling on someone.

Pests – Spot pests early. Put down traps and apply environmentally safepesticides. A single pest left undetected could turn into a swarm.

These regular house inspections and maintenance steps could save you thousands of dollars. They also help you to enjoy your home without constantly feeling as if you’re replacing a part on your house. Each of the steps also helps to keep your house safe.




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