Top 10 Reasons to Use a Real Estate Agent

When deciding whether to use a real estate agent or sell on your own, be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons so that you make the best decision for your family and situation. Here is our list of top reasons why most people use a real estate agent.

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  1. Real estate agents have market knowledge. Because of their access to the most recent market data, agents are able to give you advice on realistic purchase and listing prices. Plus, they can provide you with a report of comparable homes for sale and historic market data, so that you can ensure you’re getting the most for your money.
  2. They negotiate for you. One of the most difficult tasks whether buying or selling a home, is handling the negotiations. Many times, real estate agents can help you to get creative with your offers, so that you end up with a deal that has your best interests in mind.
  3. They coordinate and host your showings. Whether you’re buying or selling, real estate agents can be a lifesaver when it comes to doing the hard work for you. When selling your home, it is almost impossible to coordinate showings and open houses in between your work and life schedule. A real estate agent will be there for you when a last minute showing comes up in the middle of the day or when you need to schedule 15 appointments on a Saturday.
  4. Real estate agents offer additional ways to find and sell homes. When looking for a new home, real estate agents have the inside scoop on the latest listings. Through their relationships, they’re able to quickly assess the seller’s situation in order to give you advice on offer negotiation tactics. When selling, real estate agents will leverage their networks in order to sell your home more aggressively to other agents. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts.
  5. REALTORS® know how to sell homes. Today, prospective buyers expect professional photos and videos to accompany your listing. Let your real estate agent handle staging and marketing your home across various channels. Plus, let them screen candidates before you spend your extra time cleaning your home for a showing.
  6. They will help you negotiate inspections. If you’re planning on buying a new home, expect your inspector to find problems with the property that need to be addressed. Your real estate agent will help you wade through your inspection report and decide which items should be fixed prior to closing. On the selling side, your real estate agent will provide the same guidance when your buyer comes back with repair requests.
  7. Real estate agents will connect you with trusted partners. As you buy or sell a home, you may need to hire additional professional services, including: inspectors, lawyers, moving companies, plumbers, title companies and more. Let your real estate agent recommend people who have a good reputation in your community.
  8. Your REALTOR® will guide you through the closing process. At the closing table, your real estate agent will be right there with you as you sign your documents. It will make you feel more at ease with the process.
  9. They will help you stay objective. Whether buying or selling a home, it’s important to stay objective during negotiations in order to get the best deal.
  10. Great agents will help you buy or sell a home quickly. If you are thinking of buying or selling your home, please give me a call at (253) 381-7170 or email me at                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Article by

Posted on January 24, 2017 at 1:39 am
Kristin Niebergall | Posted in Buying Real Estate, Real Estate, Selling Real Estate |

10 Tips for Downsizing Your Home

It’s time. Maybe the children are all finally gone. Perhaps a job is taking you to a city where square footage is more precious and expensive than before. Maybe your life situation or health has changed and the home you are in no longer makes sense. Or perhaps you are just plain ready for the next chapter and want to lighten your load.

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There are many reasons to plan a move that includes moving into a smaller space, or, downsizing. “Downsizing” has become a popular term, especially among Baby Boomers who are making lifestyle moving decisions at a younger age than their parents did. Whatever the reason, the realities are the same: before you move, you are going to have to decide what possessions to take with you and what to leave behind. You’ll have to decide what to sell, what to donate and what to give to friends or family.

Here are ten tips for downsizing your possessions so you can move into a smaller space:

  1. Calculate, don’t guess.Get the exact dimensions of your new space – room by room. Then measure what you have now in similar rooms in your current home. You’ll quickly start to see what will fit and what will not.
  2. Make a listof all the things you do not plan to move with you to your new space. Once that list is compiled, it will be easier to start deciding which of these items you want to sell, donate or gift to family members or friends. If you have adult children, it will also help them decide what they want.
  3. Come up with a system.Whether it’s putting color-coded stickers on items as you decide where they go, creating room by room lists or even using a spreadsheet, decide what system works for you and use it.
  4. Start with the easy stuff.No matter your reason for moving, there is emotion involved and some rooms and items will be more emotional than others. Start with the less sentimental rooms (like the laundry room) and work your way up to those more memory-laden ones.
  5. Ask yourself the hard questions.We’ve all done it – moved boxes and clothing from home to home without ever opening the boxes or wearing the sweater. Ask yourself, honestly, when was the last time you used this item? Will it really fit in with your new home and lifestyle?
  6. Ask a friend to help.Downsizing decisions can be difficult and tiring. Invite the most organized friend you have to come over and help. Sharing your memories with a friend as you make the hard choices can relieve a lot of the stress of this process.
  7. Hire a professional.There are people who do this for a living. Some organizers even specialize in helping people move and downsize. The National Association of Professional Organizers is a good place to find one in your area.
  8. Set aside specific blocks of time.The sooner you start the better. Try setting a schedule and working on your downsizing decisions a couple of hours at a time. Or sort seven items per day. Try not to overwhelm yourself by pushing too hard for too long at a stretch.
  9. Keep your eye on the prize.There are good reasons you have decided to downsize. Remind yourself of the excitement and benefits of your new destination to pull you through the downsizing process.
  10. Talk to your real estate professional. I look forward to helping you make these important life decisions. Please call or email me and we can schedule some time to talk!

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Posted on January 24, 2017 at 1:36 am
Kristin Niebergall | Posted in Buying Real Estate, For Seniors, Real Estate, Selling Real Estate |

Getting the Most out of Lifestyle Living

There is a growing segment of the population who are reconsidering what they really want out of life and adjusting their residence choices based on these preferences. They are remodeling their homes, moving, and relocating sometimes thousands of miles to live the life they have dreamed of.

For example, in the past a homeowner may have may have accepted that their suburban home has a small deck off the back, but now they are now pulling out the stops for a bigger deck, and perhaps a complete outdoor entertainment area. This may be done via a new home purchase or remodeling their current home. Other ways homeowners are adjusting their home to fit their lifestyle include: renovating homes to bring the outside in, installing the gourmet kitchen they have always wanted, or creating a master spa retreat.

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Location is extremely important also. One trend is for empty-nesters opting for a hip urban lifestyle rather than the suburban one they may have been living in for the last 20 or 30 years. Grandparents are moving across the country to be nearer to their children and provide care for grandchildren. Some retirees are even considering their chosen sports and hobbies and determining how they can take those to a whole new level. For example, someone who enjoyed a once-a-week skiing lifestyle while they were working and raising kids may now decide to move somewhere like Vail for a full-time skiing lifestyle. Another who used to only kayak once in a while may now be looking for a waterfront home so that they can take their kayak out every morning.

While Baby Boomer retirees are driving this trend, it is also taking hold in other segments of the population. There are people who are shunning traditional work environments and are choosing to live where they want first and then building their career around that. Freelance writers, programmers, designers, and consultants are examples of careers that are easily done from anywhere.

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If you have been thinking you are ready for an extreme change, you may not know how to convert your “wouldn’t it be great if” dreams into a plan. It is difficult to know how to budget for what you want, where to go, or your return on investment if you stay and create an amazing space within your existing four walls. This is where the help of a qualified real estate agent can come in handy. I have resources in areas around the country which will help zero in on spots that will support your preferred lifestyle. If staying in our area is in the cards, let’s talk about what is important to you in your space and I will show you some solutions on how you can achieve that.

I look forward to helping you make your dream space and location a reality. Please give me a call at (253) 381-7170 or send an email to and we can schedule some time to plan!


Posted on January 24, 2017 at 1:30 am
Kristin Niebergall | Posted in Buying Real Estate, For Seniors, Real Estate, Selling Real Estate |