Posts in category: Selling your home

REALTOR® showing house

One of the things we recommend home buyers and sellers pay close attention to when interviewing a real estate professional to handle their transaction is whether or not the professional they are speaking with is an actual REALTOR®.

The fact is, many people, both inside and outside the industry, use the terms “real estate agent” and “REALTOR®” interchangeably. What those IN the industry are relying on, though, is that the consumer doesn’t really know the difference – and that one is just as good as the other. After all, they both just help you buy and sell real estate. Right?


While they’re both licensed to sell real estate, the names each refer to a specific type of real estate professional, and there are notable distinctions between the two.

What Is a Real Estate Agent?
A real estate agent is anyone who is licensed by your state/county/city to help people buy and sell property (both residential and commercial). They may be a sales professional, an associate broker, or a broker themselves. In Nevada, becoming a Real Estate Agent simply requires completing 90 hours of pre-licensing education, then passing the Nevada Real Estate Division exam. This exam covers national, state, and local real estate law, standards and practices, and also requires continuing education to renew licensing fees.

What is a REALTOR®?
First, “REALTOR®” is a trademarked term that refers to an agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). (Fun fact: This is the largest trade association in the United States.)

Second, to join the NAR, it requires joining one of 1,400 local NAR real estate associations, an application fee, and approval by the Board of Directors.

BUT… the requirements to join the NAR are very specific:

• Agents must hold a valid real estate license
• They must be actively engaged in the real estate business
• Can have no records of official sanctions involving unprofessional conduct
• Not have a recent or pending bankruptcy
• Must adhere to the NAR’s Code of Ethics

At first glance, these may not seem like the strictest of standards, but they do whittle down the field to those who are wholly dedicated to the industry. The truth is a large percentage of ‘real estate licensees’ in any given state are not full-time agents. Many dabble with real estate on the side, list homes only for friends and relatives, discovered that they’re not really the right fit for the industry – but they’ve put in the time and paid the license fee, so they’re keeping it active ‘just in case.’ To put it mildly, these are not the type of people you want to handle the purchase or sale of your home – your most important and personal investment. So those first two bullet points are very important.

The next whittling down eliminates those who have ever been involved in unethical, illegal, or even just shady real estate transactions. (These requirements are starting to sound a little more important now, aren’t they?)

And while hard times (such as bankruptcy) can hit people unexpectedly (which we certainly saw by the boatload when the economy crashed in 2008) – knowing that your real estate professional is not driven by financial hardship can also give you, as a client, some peace of mind that they are acting in your best interests at all times.

Finally, the NAR’s Code of Ethics is what separates REALTORS® from non-member real estate agents. It outlines the agent’s duties to clients, customers, the public, and other REALTORS®.

These five requirements are the reason many serious real estate professionals choose to become REALTORS® – as it verifies the expectation consumers have (or should have) that they are working with an agent who has sworn to treat all parties fairly and honestly.

And now – you know what it means when you see the title of REALTOR® in advertisements or marketing materials for those in the real estate industry. As REALTORS® at New Home Resource, it insures that all of our agents are dedicated to performing honestly, ethically, and legally on behalf of every client we serve. Give us a call – we’d love to explain to you how we do it!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or visit Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Kathy Paterniti and Heidi Colón are all here to help!

image003Homes out here in the Western U.S. are different, as many mid-Western or East-coast transplants have discovered. One reason, of course, is simply climate-related. Especially in Las Vegas, we certainly don’t need to plan for months of snow-covered landscapes. Another reason is that the West just has more room than those Atlantic coast states. (That’s a big reason for the “Go West, Young Man” part of our history.)

But while to some people it seems that all the construction in the western states is pretty “new” (although to be fair, compared to the 13 colonies, we suppose it is) – that doesn’t mean that the home features out west haven’t evolved. In fact, over the past 10-30 years right here in Las Vegas, things have changed quite a bit when it comes to floorplans and lifestyle – which means there are a wide range of home design options available, both for new and resale homes.

So when you begin your home-shopping, give some thought about where the following home features fall on your “Must-Have” or “Eh-Not-So-Much” list.

Laundry Room

image005We live fast, busy lives today – and where once upon a time we could live with a laundry area in our garage, or better yet, inside an interior closet – today it’s different. Now, one of the most popular home features buyers seek (up to 92%) is a separate laundry room, complete with cabinets, surfaces for folding, space for ironing – and just basically, a place to keep the mess out of living areas and contained in an area in a room for all things laundry. (And a laundry sink: Big plus!)



Exterior Lighting

image007Once considered the domain of the well-heeled to showcase acres of gardens and landscape features around high-priced estates – now, exterior lighting has become a necessity for 90% of homebuyers. Any home in a typical neighborhood is going to benefit from illuminating not only important landscape features, but also the walkways and the exterior of the home. These days, it’s actually become a necessary combination of style, appeal, and safety. Highlight those landscape elements you’ve installed that you’re most proud of, grab potential buyers’ attention with expertly placed spotlights, provide safe walkway paths, enjoy the benefit of security motion sensor lighting, and add pendants or other decorative illumination in outdoor entertaining areas. Better yet, you can take it solar – so all the added beauty, drama, and function is eco-friendly, too.

Energy Efficiency

image009It used to be that windows like this in a Las Vegas home meant sky-high energy costs (or lots of drapery!). But with the use of today’s more energy-efficient window design and insulating features, along with dual or even triple sealed panes and UV-ray reducing coatings – this is a style that can be enjoyed by many. But windows are just one way of cutting energy costs while adding beauty and more home features. Today’s appliances are Energy Star-rated – offering more size and capabilities at lower annual utility costs. In fact, many homes built in Las Vegas today include energy-efficient standards in a number of areas that are highly rated in the industry – from insulation and roofing, to quick hot water delivery systems and more. Of home buyers out there searching for their next residence – or looking to upgrade their existing home – as much as 90% want included energy-saving features like these.

Garage Storage Space

image011No doubt about it – buyers with growing families need lots of storage space (81% of buyers agree with that statement.) For that matter, it’s even possible for a single person to need that space, too. So many people work from home these days, or have a second job as a sideline, that the need for extra places to keep things orderly and accessible grows all the time. (Just think about your seasonal decorations!) A well-designed garage with storage units and shelving makes it possible to easily keep these things out of your main living areas well-organized, to boot. Unlike an attic, or a backyard shed – or worst of all, an off-site storage space you’ve had to rent – the garage is just a few steps away from your living areas, making it easy to transport items from there to other parts of the home when needed. One of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of increasing the space in your home.

Kitchen with Eating & Work Spaces

image013Perhaps the one area of the home that’s changed more than any other is the kitchen. What was often considered simply a place to prepare meals and then retire to the dining room to enjoy them has truly taken its place as the “heart of the home.” Now, when people create meals, it’s a communal process. The cook enjoys the space to craft healthy meals, try new recipes – and guests enjoy the homey feeling of being part of the process. It’s warm, it’s familiar, it’s entertaining. It’s our favorite place to gather – near the food! So it’s no wonder that over 80% of buyers want lots of cabinets and surfaces to work with – and a generous kitchen island with seating for the family or guests. The kitchen has become the place to congregate, keep up to date with everyone, and share your daily news.

These are just a few of the home features you’ll want to consider before you start your home search and begin whittling-away at your selections. While it’s always possible to rehab your home to include these items, some of them can be a costly proposition, and that investment might be better made in simply buying the home that already includes them.

And unless you plan on this being your very last home purchase, you’ll always want to keep the resale value in mind –along with the fact that other buyers just like you will be wanting these same features, too! The team at New Home Resource will be happy to help you identify those homes on the market that include the things most important to your unique lifestyle. Give us a call and we can make it happen!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for property management, a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to provide just the service you’re looking for. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

When dealing with buying or selling a home, we’ve always maintained that it’s a good idea to over-prepare. For example, we’ve mentioned in several of our previous articles that one smart move not everyone is smart enough to do is to get your loan pre-approval in hand before even starting to shop for a home. Why? Because if a seller has multiple offers to consider, you’ll tip the scales considerably in your favor by having proof that you’re capable of “sealing the deal” – and that’s a big plus for any seller.

But for those thinking of selling their home, thinking ahead is sage advice for them, too. And one of the smartest steps a seller can take before putting their home on the market is to obtain their own certified home pre-inspection.

Right about now, you’re saying – “Wait a minute – the buyer is going to do that anyway, aren’t they?”

Yes, that’s going to be true in nearly every real estate transaction. But there are often some savvy reasons for a seller to have it done first, and here are a few of them:

It justifies your listing price.

By laying all the cards out on the table, sellers gain bargaining power with potential buyers. When you have certifiable proof on paper of the condition and systems in your home, it makes it harder for buyers to (reasonably) lowball their offers. (And if they unreasonably lowball you, you’ll know they’re not worth spending your time and effort on.) The fact that your home has no underlying issues of concern tangibly translates to the fact that there’s no need for a price cut to be entertained.

It builds trust with potential buyers.

By offering a home with a clean bill of health, it gives buyers more assurance and helps to reduce any apprehensions they may have. Many buyers have legitimate concerns about buying a “Money Pit” – so they often start their home-buying search with that bias in mind. But when you’ve shown you have nothing to hide by sharing the details of the pre-inspection up-front, they’ll look at your home more realistically and be able to realize its true value.

It may help you move faster to closing.

Really, there’s no easier way to build trust than to show them your home has been well-maintained and you have the documents to prove it. That trust can go a long way towards achieving a smooth transaction and a seamless closing.

In some cases, however, it might make sense to skip this step and allow your buyer to pursue the inspection after an offer has been made. If you’re wondering if a home inspection would be a wise choice before putting your home on the market, it’s a good query to add to your list of “Realtor™ Interview” questions. When you’re interviewing potential Realtors™ to work with in selling your home – that answer can help give you a bit of insight to the methods that each agent will use to help sell your home – for the best price and in the shortest time possible. (Go ahead, ask us about it. You know you want to!)

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


No lie – there are times when it’s great to be thought of as SuperRealtor! And then there are times, when … well, notsomuch. Helping a client buy their dream home (or sell their existing home to get there) – is a wonderful feeling. Pulling all the details together and helping everyone to reach the finish line is so incredibly satisfying to a Realtor™, both professionally and personally.

BUT…. (you had to see that coming, didn’t you?) Even Clark Kent had a day job.

And by that, we mean at any given time, we have a lot of balls in the air – it’s just the nature of our job. So while we do our best to “be there” whenever a client needs us, there are times we simply aren’t at liberty to drop everything and rush out the door. (Emergencies are, of course, another story. And yes – there are real estate emergencies to deal with at times.)

After all, if you were the client with whom we had scheduled an appointment in advance to view homes, or to take care of paperwork, inspections, etc. on your home purchase or sale – you wouldn’t be too thrilled at the idea of being ‘ditched’ because of someone else’s poor planning – right? And (it’s always amazing to us that people don’t think about this until we point it out) ….we’re Real People, too! That means we have a work life and a home life (okay, sometimes). There are hours we’re awake – and hours when we sleep. (Aaaaack! What a concept!)

We’re the first to admit that with the 24/7 nature of Las Vegas, sometimes people forget those little details. So we’d just like to point out three little courtesies that will help you and your Realtor™ get along even more swimmingly.

• Respect Your Realtor’s Time – As Much As You Do Your Own

Do you have an appointment scheduled with your Realtor™? We’d really love it if you’re on time. But we also know that ‘things happen’ and get in the way of even the best-laid plans. Just keep in mind – it takes us time to drive to that appointment, too. So if you know (or even think) you may be late for a scheduled appointment, please give us a call as soon as possible. Often, even a 15-30 minute hitch in our schedule can inconvenience many other clients, the other agent, the sellers, and staff that we work with. It can be the difference between having a productive day or seeing our schedule thrown into complete havoc (and having to play the “I apologize/Catch-Up” game the rest of the day). So those clients who appreciate that we have a schedule, too, well – we appreciate they recognize that fact more than they know.

• Failing To Plan Ahead

Ideally, buyers and sellers choose a Realtor™ to work with because they believe we’re good at what we do. Most people will ask friends or associates for a referral to a good agent because hey! – we live in a “social” world anymore. There is simply more trust placed in a business or a professional because someone you trust has had a good experience with them.

The news flash that goes along with that? It means we work hard. And that our schedules are busy – just like yours. Let’s face it – would you want to hire the Realtor™ who has nothing but “free time”? Nope. You value us because we’re dedicated to doing a great job for every single client. All that, while practicing the delicate balancing act of maintaining a personal and family life, too. (And yes – we know that’s not a problem exclusive to Realtors™. All the more reason to empathize…because we know everyone deals with that.)

That said, it’s a pretty safe bet that most people have a sense of when they plan time in their schedule to view homes. Talk with your Realtor™ about a mutually beneficial schedule – and then you’ll both be on the same page to find a day and time that works for you both. Because it all falls back on that “respect for time” we mentioned above.

• Expecting “Instant” Communication – At Every Hour

Vegas is a tourist town – we get it. And we love it! However, just because you’ve come to town shop for a home and chose to utilize this trip to catch up on your casino recreation at 3am, it doesn’t really follow that we’re sitting at home waiting for your text to come through about that time. Sometimes, there are reasons we must be available by phone, just as you have had such situations occur. But we also have the hope that our clients will respect our off-hours and not shoot us messages at any hour of the day or night, asking to go look at homes in 3 hours! Ahhhhh……yes, it all boils down to – once again – respect of time.

But that respect is absolutely a two-way street. A professional Realtor™ is completely dedicated to giving each client the time and attention needed (and then some!) to make sure their real estate needs are met – – and exceeded. We work hard, during long hours to know our market, to know the always-changing laws and regulations, to get our clients exactly what they’re in search of, and still manage to get it all right. And we love doing it, too! We just also happen to love it when our clients realize we’re just like them . . . we need to play, rest, and take care of our personal lives, too. We promise, if you’ll keep that in mind, you’ll get the very best of every service we have to offer!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


There’s definitely a formula for success in selling a home. And when it’s time for you to think about selling yours, if you’re working with an experienced and knowledgeable Realtor™, they’re going to let you know what it is. The formula will change depending on the home, the community, the city, and the surrounding area – but there are a few ‘universal’ concepts that you should be aware of. That way, when it’s time for you to plant that “For Sale” sign in your yard, you’ll be a few baby steps ahead – and sometimes, that’s just enough of a leg-up to get to a happy finish line sooner.

1. Buyers Know Within Seconds If They Want To Buy Your Home.

Yep – buying a home is a huge investment, so you would imagine people want to weigh all the pros and cons, maybe even make some spreadsheets to compare features, costs, and benefits.

You would be wrong.

Why? Because the mind processes far more information in less time than previously thought; one recent study shows that 80% of prospective buyers know if a home is right for them within seconds of stepping inside. That’s a daunting thought, isn’t it? But all the more reason that we drive home this fact: No detail is too small for the Seller to consider. Sweep the front sidewalk, clean up the leaves; tidy up the entryway, unclutter every horizontal surface. And of course, we’ve never heard of a Buyer complaining that a house is “too clean.” That’s worth remembering, too.

2. Pricing Makes A Difference – But Not For The Reasons You Think

First off, we’ll say this: Your home needs to be priced right to take advantage of every sales opportunity. We addressed that at some length in a previous article – “5 Reasons Why Your Home Didn’t Sell” – check it out here. But there’s a bit more to it than that.

It’s one thing to think you’re getting a great deal at Nordstrom’s Rack when you see that $14.99-price tag. It’s another thing to be shopping for a home with a price like “$299,999.” (You just felt a little “thunk” didn’t you?) There’s a certain sense of ‘bargain-hunting’ that is out of place with all those 9’s in a home’s sales price. Even without setting a foot on the property yet, it’s enough to turn off many buyers because it feels dishonest and “cheap.” Just don’t go there.

On the other hand, while those last two numbers should always end in “00” – you don’t necessarily want tooooo many of them showing up in the rest of the price, either. You know that feeling you get when you’re at the grocery store and your total comes out to EXACTLY $20.00? Yeah. That almost never happens – and when it does, it’s pretty memorable. If your Realtor™ has performed an accurate price evaluation of your property, the odds of it coming in to show five 0’s in a row are just about as common.

The fact is, a sales price of $200,000 seems arbitrary – like you just plucked that figure out of thin air – and that makes your valuation suspect, to say the least. Stick with the facts, and base your final listing price on firm data.

3. There’s A Reason Why There’s A Home-Staging Industry

Buyers. Love. Staged. Homes. How do we know that? Those homes sell faster. Often by 50-70% faster. How’s that for an eye-opening thought? You don’t necessarily need to shell out the money to hire a professional stager – because these days, you can find a myriad of helpful tips online about how to do much of it yourself. But it does boil down to two things:

1. If you’re still living in the home during the listing period – consider renting storage space to streamline what furniture and belongings are on display. After all, you are moving, right? May as well take this opportunity to start packing and simplify the look of the house. It takes a good eye and a commitment to a bit of heavy lifting – but more often than not, it will pay off with a quicker sale.

2. If you’ve already moved out of the home – think about adding some furniture and accessories back into it, even if it’s only to stage the main living areas. For a potential Buyer, viewing an empty home is a little like making whoopie with the lights on (ack!) — i.e., every flaw is visible. (Unless you’re J.Lo.) PLUS, most people aren’t capable of fully visualizing the potential of space in a home when it’s completely empty. Help their imagination see your home for what it really is: The. Awesome. Place. They. Want. To. Live.

As we referenced above, your specific home has unique attributes that a professional Realtor™ will help you recognize and capitalize on to help you get to that fabulous trifecta of “Offer-Escrow-Closing.” But knowing these handy tips can help, too. If you’re planning to sell your home soon – we’ve got a lot more of them we can share with you. All you’ve got to do is ask us!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

image003“What’s the big deal? A Realtor® lists your home for sale, and then earns a big paycheck just for punching a few keys into MLS. I can sell it myself for cheaper!”

Been there? Said that? And if you’ve ever actually tried it, you know (to coin a phrase) “it just ain’t so.” But for those looking to sell a home who don’t know any better (yet), here’s a little peek behind the scenes of what goes on after your real estate agent accepts your listing.

1. This is important, so read it twice: Your agent doesn’t get paid unless your home sells. Let’s try that again. Your agent doesn’t get paid unless your home sells.

It’s easy to forget this part – but Realtors® don’t get paid by the hour. In fact, you might consider them the original gamblers, because if your home doesn’t sell – all their time, work, and energy doesn’t net them a dime. The rule of thumb is pretty much that for every 1 hour your agent spends with you, they’re spending 9 more hours working on behalf of your listing. “Working on what?” you ask? We thought you might say that, so read on.

2. They’re researching.

Arriving at the optimum listing price for your property takes time and research. It’s not enough to simply look at online listings to compare the square footage and price of other homes currently on the market. Your agent will often take the time to visit the current listings in person because it’s the only way to truly compare the characteristics of each home. Just because two homes have the exact same floorplan doesn’t mean they possess the same value. If your home is in a quiet cul-de-sac location and another listing is on a busy avenue – that is going to make your listing more desirable to potential buyers. And that’s only one example among dozens that can make a difference not only in whether you sell your home, but for how much. Plus, listings come and go fast in the real estate world, so agents need to check their multiple listing service database constantly or they can miss opportunities that could provide benefit to your listing.

3. They’re marketing your property.

Remember that part about ‘not getting paid unless a home sells’? That’s one reason your selling agent will also put their money into multiple avenues of marketing your home to potential buyers. Even the best home in the world isn’t going to sell if people don’t know it’s available. So the more exposure your agent can get for your listing, the better the odds that you receive an offer, or even multiple offers (and who doesn’t love that!?). Once again, it takes time to prepare ads and list them– whether online, in magazines and newspapers, fliers, direct mail postcards, premium placements on listing sites, and more. In fact, depending on the property, these efforts can run into thousands of dollars. All paid from their own pocket before ever earning a dime.

4. They deal with buyers and their agents.

Your home is on the market – and people are going to want to know about it. That means phone calls, emails, and correspondence from buyers and other agents – and knowing how to sort through the ‘qualified’ from the ‘not-so-much-qualified’ takes time (and skill, if you want the truth). Without a listing agent, there’s a good chance that you can get within days of the closing ‘finish line’ only to discover your buyers can’t seal the deal (bummer – you just lost 3-6 more months of valuable time). So – not only are they saving you all the time of dealing with buyers – they’re also making sure when you do have a buyer, they’re for real.

5. Paperwork. Lots of paperwork.

It starts with the listing itself, and following up to make sure every obligation required in your state is met with regard to real estate laws. If you try to do it yourself and miss even one single disclosure or timeline, you are leaving yourself open for lawsuits for years to come. Seriously.

And, of course, offers – obviously the most exciting and important part of the transaction. How they’re handled can save or net you thousands of dollars on a sale. Yet getting to the right price requires written offers and counteroffers every step of the way. It’s time-consuming, meticulous, and detailed – and your listing agent addresses every part of the transaction with an eye to your benefit. Not to the buyer’s; and certainly not their own. This is one time in your life you can be assured you’re the “Star” of the show.

6. The Best Part? They make it all look easy.

Not every sale goes smoothly—buyers and sellers (and even other agents) get difficult all the time—but good agents try to shield their clients from the high drama unless there’s a reason to fill them in. It’s a talent – putting out fires (many times, before buyers and sellers are even aware of them). And when the drama does rear its head, they know the steps to resolve it – all the while helping to keep you calm when the pressure is on. People get emotional about their home, so being a problem-solver and keeping a step ahead of potential issues is more important than either buyers or sellers realize.

So the next time you hear someone say “Why get a Realtor®?” I’m just going to sell my house myself!” – you’ll know just how to reply to that. With either: “Hey, take a look at this article!” – or, “I hope you have a lot of free time on your hands, then.”

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

image003Your home didn’t sell. Are those four of the most depressing words EVER? It certainly is to us, and we’re going to make a safe bet that that’s not something you want to hear, either.

The fact is, it happens more than real estate professionals like to admit. Or, rather, than their clients like to admit. An experienced Realtor® can most likely tell a seller exactly why their home didn’t sell – the problem is many buyers don’t want to hear – or believe – the reasons. That’s because it just might have less to do with the property – than it does with seller.

If you do an internet search, you’ll find a lot of lists that attempt to point out the reasons why a home might not have sold. But in reality, they all boil down to five things.


As we mentioned in a previous blog post, in our 24-hour-news-cycle age, it’s what is fresh and new that counts. It might seem that starting out with a listing price that’s, shall we say, “optimistic” (aka, high) isn’t a big deal. After all, if it doesn’t sell right away – that’s okay. You’ll just drop the price if you don’t get any bites, right?

Bad. Idea. Why? There are many factors that go into listing and marketing any property – but among the most important is perception. People love, Love, LOVE to be “the first,” to get the gem, claim the prize – and the only time your home is going to be able to be that particular brass ring they want to grab quickly – perhaps even attempting to outbid others to get it – is when it first comes on the market. Buyers and their agents know exactly how long a house has been for sale, whether the listing price has changed, if it’s fallen out of escrow, and many other details specific to your property. By dropping your initial listing price, it can signal to potential buyers that your expectations are unrealistic, which could make them think you’re unreasonable, or even difficult to work with. And this can all take place without even meeting them! Unfortunately, that’s the way our world works. Appearances count – and that applies to the seller as much as the property.

So when your agent explains their reasons for a suggested list price, remember that it’s based on their knowledge of the area and expertise. (That is, if you did your homework and listed with the right agent.) If you don’t agree with the price they recommend – ask them for an in-depth market analysis so you can see what homes like yours, and in your area, have sold for recently. Request a comparison showing how your home differs from the ones that have sold. As a seller, it’s crucial to take emotion out of your pricing decision. Your memories of your home may be priceless to you – but to a buyer, it’s just one of many houses they’re considering that they hope to make a home. And speaking of appearances . . .


It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with your lifestyle – it’s that potential buyers just want to look at homes much like the perfectly-decorated, non-lived-in models that new home builders have on display. It may be unrealistic – but that’s really not the point. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So the goal is to make your home look as appealing as possible. In other words, MORE appealing than any other home currently being offered. Competition is stiff, and whatever you can do to gain an advantage in a buyer’s mind is worth any amount of trouble it takes you to get. (for the most part!)

But when it comes to evaluating the condition of a home, many owners simply don’t see the flaws that others may see. They have a hard time taking an objective look at their home’s condition to determine what needs to be done to prepare it for sale.

Once again, this is where a good agent is invaluable. They can help you identify those things should and must be corrected in order to make your home show well. You might even consider hiring a professional staging company to make recommendations; or at the very least, find some tips online that will be helpful. (And by the way, few things will turn off potential buyers more quickly than smoke or pet odors. Trust us when we tell you that taking the necessary steps to eliminate these problems will be vastly rewarded when all is said and done.)


This is an easy lesson: If the buyer can’t see your home – they are NOT going to buy it! Many times sellers underestimate the effect of not making their home available to show upon request by a buyer’s agent. How to solve this one? Simple: Allow a lock-box to be put on your house to give agents easy access. Through the years, the technology and security of lock-boxes has improved to the point that there are few, if any, reasons for a seller to have a concern about having one their home.

Second Rule: When your home is being viewed – Get Out. Take your family and leave ahead of time. Why? Because it allows the buyer and their agent to freely and comfortably walk through your home, look it over, and discuss it in depth. (By the way, if you have any pets, take them with you, too. Not everyone will think Fido is as wonderful as you do.)


If you did your homework in selecting a listing agent, this really shouldn’t have been a problem. But that’s a big “If.” Sellers need to be aware that not all Realtors® work the same. Reaching today’s home buyers may be much different than it was when you purchased your home. The internet has given us new ways to reach prospective buyers, and fully 94% surveyed indicate that they use the web for their new home search. But traditional marketing still counts. Your agent should know the benefits of each, as well as when and how to implement them. No two homes are exactly the same, and no marketing program is one-size-fits-all. Online, print, MLS, advertising, and often just hammering the phone to let other agents know your home is new to the market – these are all important factors in the exposure and the action that your listing receives.


If you had one or more offers on your house while it was listed but could not come to an agreement with the buyer, then it’s probably worth reviewing the deals to try to discover what kept you from reaching one. Most sellers are, understandably, attached to their homes – and many times this can cause some emotional, and even irrational, reactions to offers from buyers that impede their ability to come to mutual terms.

Don’t take it personally. Try to look at all offers without emotion, and even if it seems you’re too far apart, don’t just give up on the deal. And don’t get hung up on “but it’s the principal of the thing.” Too many times, a potential sale will fall apart not because of anything to do with the price, but because feathers got ruffled on one side or the other. One example: a seller refusing to correct a defect in their home – not because of the cost, but because they didn’t feel it needed correcting.

You may find many more potential reasons to explain why your home didn’t sell the first time around, but when you boil them down, they’ll more than likely fit into one of these five categories. We’re not saying if your home didn’t sell during your listing period, you’re out of luck. What we ARE saying is this: Be realistic, make any necessary changes, and forge ahead! This time, it will happen – because you’re armed with the knowledge you need for success.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!


If you’ve ever sold your home or an investment property before, at some point you’ve probably asked yourself: “Why shouldn’t I just sell it myself and save the commission?” That’s a great question. And although we touched on this topic in our last article, we thought it might be a good idea to delve a little further into the details.

In fact, we’re going to champion that idea for you and help you prepare for the task! So grab your pencils and highlighters, because we’re about to give you a Crash Course in For Sale By Owner techniques.

1) Remember, anyone – including you – can sell your home. All you have to do is underprice it. That’s been proven by studies showing that “for sale by owner” properties lose between 14%-20% on the price they could have gotten by using an agent. (So saving that 3% Selling Agent commission will come in handy.)

2) Great news! You get to keep your schedule wide open! At least, that’s if you want to make sure you don’t miss any prospective buyers. Because without an agent, you need to be on-call 7 days a week to show your property. If you’re not, of course, that means fewer offers and even less possibility of receiving a full-priced offer. (Then again, you might want to put a value on your time as you’ll be losing income for taking off work.)

3) That also includes taking time to market your property – whether with flyers, or online ads, or signage, or any other non-MLS methods you can think of. You’ll be paying for the cost of all this marketing, along with putting in hours of your time to let the public know your home is available for sale. Of course, without the instant and mass exposure of an MLS listing, you won’t have as many places to market your property as a real estate professional. That will mean less showings, fewer offers, and a lower sales price.

4) Tell yourself: “I can always list it later if it doesn’t sell.” If you first attempt a “for sale by owner” without success – and later decide to list with an agent – you may have already eliminated many potential buyers who saw or knew of your home in the first place. One of the reasons is this: In real estate, the first week your home is on the market is considered its “Golden Time.” That’s typically when you will get the most interest and the most money for your home. And the longer it’s on the market, the less money people are willing to offer.

5) Put on your “negotiating” hat. Because you’ll be the one to field all the phone calls, emails, and inquiries that come in about your property – and you’ll need to know the right things to say – such as how to ask pre-qualifying questions to determine if a buyer is financially able to buy your home. (No sense taking the time to show it if they aren’t.) That’s all before you find a buyer, of course. Once an offer comes in, keep in mind all it takes is one missed call to potentially kill a deal. But if you do get a contract – then you’ll need to make sure to meet with the appraiser and home inspectors, too – so be sure to schedule your time accordingly. (Oh, and know that “More than one in three appraisals contain inconsistent property ratings.” So you need to brush up on how appraisals are done, too.)

6) Put your attorney on stand-by. Because the odds are you probably don’t understand the contract process well enough to avoid legal problems, or how to explain to a buyers’ agent how you want things drawn up. You’ll also need to have the right forms and real estate disclosures on-hand to comply with the real estate laws in your state. Without an attorney (and they’re cheap, right?) – you won’t have any protection between you and potential buyers. And by the way, with the new TRID regulations that have recently gone into effect, buyers have even more protections than ever before.

7) You may still need to pay a Buyer’s agent commission. Most serious buyers are already working with an agent, so some of those phone calls will be to see if you will “cooperate” with them. If you don’t, they won’t even bother to show your home to their client. If you do, you’ll be paying them the standard commission at closing (generally 3%). That means you’re putting in all your time and money into saving only half of the full commission (3%). You might want to make sure that pencils out.

8) Be prepared to do it all more than once. Not every real estate transaction gets through to the end, for many reasons. Some can be avoided (with the help of an experienced professional), and some can’t – but estimates of real estate sales that fall through range from 10-20%. If yours is among them, you’ll need to take the time, effort, and money to start over again (more marketing, calls, showings, inspections, paperwork, contracts, fees, etc.). Of course, you’ve lost your “Golden Time” opportunity – so it will probably take longer, and you’ll get fewer and lower offers – but you’ll never be bored!

Okay, we do have to admit to a little bit of tongue-in-cheek with the foregoing information – but the point is, all of it is true. And while some sellers may be up to the task, potential FSBO sellers should be aware of these facts:

• Only half of home sellers who try “for sale by owner” actually sell their home on their own.

• In 2013, the typical FSBO home sold for $184,000 compared to $230,000 for agent-assisted home sales. (That’s a difference of 20%.)

• FSBO sellers list the following difficulties with selling on their own:

o Understanding and performing paperwork

o Getting the price right

o Preparing/fixing up home for sale

o Helping buyer obtain financing

o Attracting potential buyers

o Selling within the planned length of time

o Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale

All of that is contrasted with these most recent statistics:

• 88% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.

• Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 97% of the listing price.

• The typical home sold was on the market for 5 weeks.

Perhaps the biggest mistake made by most FSBO sellers is this: Placing too little value on their own time. In truth, working with a professional real estate agent will more often than not net you better results.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

(Or: How To Lose Money By Not Hiring One to Sell Your Home)


Everyone loves “a deal.” In fact, if you’re like most people, finding a great deal on a product or service doesn’t only save money, it just plain makes you feel good. You were smart enough to know where to look, you put in the time to do the research – so you should feel good, because these days we all need to spend our money wisely.

Which means it’s only natural that for any big-ticket expenses, people are going to look around for the best price. But unlike a discount on a new appliance or a smokin’ price on an airline ticket, when it comes to real estate there’s more to take into consideration than simply the commission rate you pay an agent. Or for that matter, you may even wonder if you need to hire an agent at all.

We hear that a lot, actually. And to be truthful, we completely understand the motivation. The mere fact that you are about to sell your home means you’re dealing with big numbers. So it only makes sense to ask questions about the value you’re receiving for those fees.

If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably got more than a few more questions on your mind about the benefits of hiring an agent vs. doing it yourself. But whether you decide to work with a Realtor or not, it’s only smart to have all the information in order to make an informed decision. In our experience, many sellers don’t stop to consider some of the following points – and as a result, it can end up costing them money.

1. “Why should I pay an agent’s commission at all?

Naturally, this is a common question. So common, in fact, that studies have been done to see how transactions fare when handled with and without a real estate professional. The results show that when an agent is not used – transactions typically net the seller between 10-20% less cash when it’s all said and done. What does that mean? That working with an agent to list your home will generally pay for itself – and then some.


Part of why that happens is explained below. But it’s not only a matter of counting the actual net proceeds at closing. There are many other ‘intangibles’ that sellers need to consider if they’re going to forge ahead on their own.

2. “What, really, does an agent do for me – that I can’t do myself?”

Great question! Without an agent , here’s what happens:

Sellers need to determine the value of their home in the current marketplace and neighborhood. Contrary to what people think, it isn’t simply a matter of getting a “Zestimate” on Zillow. For one thing, the estimates calculated by Zillow are created by mathematical formula. That means they don’t take into account the specifics of your property – such as upgraded items, water features, cul-de-sacs, and other potentially desirable features that set your home apart from the competition. Independent research has shown that Zillow estimates can range from 8-20% off actual market pricing. For a $200,000 home, that can mean an incorrect valuation between $16,000-$40,000. (Can you see that money leaving your net profit already?)

On the other hand, not only does a real estate professional have access to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) historical data and proprietary information gathering systems – they also know the area, and in many cases, are even familiar with the specific homes that you will be competing with for a buyer. Providing a detailed analysis of what has sold and is for sale in your specific area is part of an agent’s service – and allows you to ensure your property is priced right, seen often, and gets the best results.

Sellers need to market their home themselves. Without the mainstream access of the MLS, sellers must spend time and money on advertising and getting the word out that their home is for sale at all. Whether it’s through newspapers, online ads, flyers, direct mail to Realtors – it takes a lot of effort to make your single home noticed in a busy real estate environment. Taking photos, putting up signage – it’s a lot of work; and worse, without a network it might net you only minor results. At best, sellers are able to make a small local part of the market know their home is for sale. At worst, it means that having a much smaller pool of potential buyers limits the offers and opportunities for a speedy sale at the best possible price.

Of course, this is all in addition to the time it takes you, as the seller, to maintain your property in ‘show-ready’ condition at all times. There may be repairs to be made, or even just the day-to-day maintenance of living in a home and trying to make it as welcoming as possible to potential buyers by keeping it clean and clutter-free. (Many sellers consider that a full-time job in itself!)

On the other hand, a professional agent not only has an internal network of support and services that takes care of creating both an online and print identity for your listing – but your home gets marketed to all the other agents in the area. You know – the ones who are representing real, pre-qualified buyers. The combined reach of the MLS and the broker’s own marketing programs mean that once your home is listed, the word is OUT.

Sellers need to handle the paperwork, contracts, and documentation on their own. That can be a scary proposition if you’re not familiar with the laws concerning real estate transactions. Failure to provide information or contractually cover all your bases can not only result in failing to close the deal – but can involve potential legal ramifications via lawsuits and costly settlements – both now or even years down the road. And all for an oversight you simply weren’t aware of.

On the other hand, real estate agents know the law. And a good one not only knows what is required to meet its demanding specifications, but also knows how to anticipate and head off potential problems – simply by the scale of their experience.

Sellers may still be working with a buyer’s agent, even if they’re going the “For Sale By Owner” route. If you think about it, here’s what that means: You’re going to pay the buyer’s agent to protect the buyer’s interests – but you’re not willing to pay a seller’s agent to protect yours. Ouch.

On the other hand, having an experienced agent on your side, who knows the market, often knows the other agents, knows the business, and follows-through – can give you a considerable leg up in negotiating a deal more beneficial to you.

But even if you’re not going to agree to a buyer’s agent fee, there’s another drawback. (And just so you’re aware – that’s how most FSBO listings start, by saying “No real estate commissions paid!” But due to lack of activity, it doesn’t take long for sellers to agree to pay the buyer’s agent commission just to get people to see the property).

The drawback we’re talking about? You need to screen potential buyers. Are they financially capable of completing the purchase? Are there any mortgage lender requirements they cannot overcome? You’ll have to do the footwork, make the phone calls, and ask the ‘uncomfortable’ questions about their personal situation so that you can protect your own position. Believe it or not, people will make an offer, you’ll take the property off the market, and only discover weeks or even months later that they may have to sell their own home first, or they don’t have the ability to get a mortgage loan at all. So the closing never happens. And in the meantime, you’ve lost the chance to sell to a truly qualified buyer.

On the other hand, (are you sensing a pattern here?) your agent knows the dance. They set the conditions, they follow up to make sure they’re met, they talk with the escrow and mortgage companies to keep on top of every single requirement the buyer has agreed to. That means problems are discovered and dealt with quickly – and all on your behalf, because your agent is working for you.

Buying a home is an emotional investment, not only a financial decision. And for that reason alone, it is critical that every step in the process is properly handled – the first time around.

Why is that so important? Because perception matters when it comes to real estate. The length of time a home has been on the market, whether the listing price has changed and why, if it has gone into and then fallen out of escrow – all these facts and many others will collectively play a role in the success of your sales efforts.

If it’s all done right, the property is considered “hot” and “in demand.” If not – as in the case of a failed FSBO effort that is ultimately then listed with an agent for sale – it can give potential buyers the perception that there’s something wrong with your home. And quite frankly – with all the other homes available for sale – it’s not worth the risk to them of finding out.

Much like people – a home doesn’t get a second chance to make a great first impression. If your goal is to sell at the right price in a reasonable time frame, a decision not to hire a real estate professional can be a very costly one, indeed.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!

No two real estate transactions are ever going to have the exact same set of circumstances. But there are things that are rule of thumb for both buyers and sellers, and your Realtor has experience with what those things are. Without them, the odds are that getting to the finish line will be tougher for you, no matter which side of the transaction you’re on. These are some tips that can make the difference.

A List of “Do’s” for Sellers

You love your home and you just assume that everyone else will see what you do and love it, too. Maybe they will – maybe they won’t. But if you don’t make an effort to focus on the positive aspects of it, how do you expect a prospective buyer to see in the few minutes they have to view your property (and compare it to all the others they see)? Here’s a list some of the most important “Do’s” to make your property the one they want to buy:

1) Yes, staging your home by getting rid of clutter and bringing in furniture or accessories can help it sell. (And that includes the garage.) Also, buyers love to see lots of wide-open counter space – so be sure to clear off countertops in the kitchen and the bathrooms.

2) “Does it really matter if we have the carpets cleaned or take the family photos off the wall?” Yes! A buyer needs to walk in and have it look good, feel good and smell good. Put yourself in the shoes of the prospective buyers as if seeing it for the first time. Perhaps unmade beds or laundry on the floor shouldn’t make a difference – but a mess leaves an impression that’s hard for a buyer to overcome. And whether or not it actually matters to them, you should take advantage of every opportunity to make your home as appealing and showroom-ready as possible.

3) At a minimum, you should follow these steps for every prospective buyer:

a) Have your home clean and smelling good. (By the way, keep in mind that not everyone is a fan of plug-in air fresheners or scents. In fact, some people are quite physically sensitive to them, and an adverse reaction may mean they have to leave your home before they were able to fall in love with it.)

b) A comfortable temperature – whether heated or cool depending on the season.

c) Turn on the lights – it’s welcoming and inviting – and makes it clear there’s nothing about your home to hide.

d) Consider their comfort – set out some snacks or even just bottled water. If nothing else, it will cause them to remember your house out of the sea of competitors they visited that day.

4) The takeaway from all the above? The longer a house is on the market, the less likely you are to get fair value. So you really want to position yourself to be the one that sells, not the one that languishes on the MLS listings.

And a List of “Don’ts” For Buyers

You found “The House.” The one you want to live happily-ever-after in. It’s great to be excited and enthusiastic; to plan for the future and begin creating the home you’ve always dreamed of. But buyers need to remember to do first things first:

1) For many buyers, the minute they get preapproved for a mortgage – they start planning. Not for how to get to the closing date – but for how they’re going to decorate, furnish, and get all the things they’ll need once they move in. So they start running up the cards and opening new lines of credit to buy things for their home-to-be. But that preapproval letter is just one of the first stops in the home buying process — it’s not the end-point.

2) Many (especially first-time) buyers don’t realize that just before closing, a lender will re-examine a prospective buyer’s financial situation — complete with a recent copy of the credit history and other financial re-verifications. If those numbers have changed for the worse (salary decrease, higher card balances, new lines of credit), then it could mean the terms of the loan have changed. You may be charged a higher interest rate, or even lose loan approval entirely – because the changes to your credit and financial circumstances have changed your debt ratios. In fact, the number of buyers who get denied as a result of these reasons is significant. Don’t be one of them.

3) The hard lesson that you don’t want to learn by personal experience? Never get new loans or start using credit cards more heavily until after you’ve actually closed escrow on the home.

Since the first order of business is to complete either your purchase or sale transaction, these are important facts to keep in mind so you can go on to enjoy all the benefits of ‘life-after-close-of-escrow’ – whatever your plans may be.

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly-built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, Lance Partin and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!