Real Estate Information Archive


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Stage Your Home To Sell

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty


With a nationwide clearance sale on homes, many people are out there looking for a great deal on residential property. If you’re looking to Sell your home, it’s more important than ever that you take steps to make sure your house, town home or condominium outshines all of the others!

We are here to help you identify ways to spruce up your home’s appeal. We know what features interest local area buyers and can give you the inside track on ways to stage your home to Sell.

If you’re ready to put  your home on the market, don’t spend another minute worrying about what you should or should not do to make it appealing to buyers. Contact us today and we’ll get you started.

Stage your home to Sell:

1. Depersonalize your home. This is the hardest part for many sellers. People love to decorate their homes and feel warm and comfortable in their own surroundings. The idea here is to make buyers feel comfortable in imagining their own personal favorites on the walls and open spaces in the home you want to Sell. When you stage your home to sell, remove personal photos from the walls.

2. De-junk your home. Clear all visible clutter to make your home look more spacious when you stage your home to Sell. Remove all but a few items from visible shelves. If you can’t part with important items that make your house seem cluttered, box them up and store them for placement in your new home! This is an important step to take when you stage your home to sell. Think about renting a storage unit if you have to in order to make your home seem cleaner and brighter.

3. Organize, organize, organize. Sometimes when people tour a potential new home they look inside cupboards and closets. When you stage your home to Sell, make it a point to organize storage areas to make a great impression on potential buyers.

4. Eliminate unnecessary furniture. Consider removing a few pieces of furniture when you stage your home to Sell. Place them in a storage unit or store it with a friend or family member while you are in the process of showing your home.

5. Fix it! When it’s time to stage your home to Sell, it’s time to do some handy work. Small cracks in paint, leaking faucets, broken screen doors, can all have an unconscious (and conscious) negative impact on a potential buyer.

6. Paint. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the appeal of your home. When you stage your home to Sell, use neutral colors and disregard your own tastes so buyers can imagine their favorite colors in the home.

7. Clean. Scrub those windows, have carpets professionally cleaned, mop the floors and don’t forget the baseboards. When you stage your home to Sell, make sure it smells and feels clean.

8. Create curb appeal. The yard is your first chance at making a good impression. Don’t forget the yard when you stage your home to Sell. Clean up debris, mow and water lawns, sweep and wash walks and trim bushes. Repair and paint the exterior of your home if necessary.

9. Do a walk through. When you stage your home to Sell, do a walk-through. Pretend you’re seeing it for the very first time. Try to see it from an objective perspective. Identify problem areas and fix them or clean them up.

10. Make yourself available to show your home. Once you stage your home to Sell, work closely with your realtor to offer the most convenient access possible. Buyers who are interested in your home may want to see it immediately. Make arrangements for someone to show your home when you’re not available.

If you are looking to Buy or Sell real estate, or for more tips on how to stage your home to sell, contact us today. We have the experience you need to stage your home to sell.

Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty


I felt this article was so important to read that I copied and pasted it into my Blog. The title tells it all; "Mortgage Rates Hit Record Low". If there was ever a good time to Buy a home, it is now. Enjoy the article, and if you or someone you know is looking to Buy or Sell a home in the Central Oregon area, I can help.

By Les Christie September 15, 2011: 5:45 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Mortgage rates hit yet another record low this week amid ongoing economic concerns both at home and in Europe.

The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate loan fell to 4.09% this week, its lowest level in 60 years, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Last week, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.12%. The average rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage -- a popular option among those who wish to refinance -- sunk to 3.30%, down from 3.33% last week, Freddie reported.

"Continued investor concerns over the state of the European debt markets kept U.S. Treasury bond yields low and allowed mortgage rates to ease once more this week," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac in a statement.

The low rates have done little to boost the beleaguered housing market, however. While mortgage applications increased 6.3% last week, only 23% of applicants intended to use the loan to Buy a home, according to a weekly mortgage survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The remainder of applicants were homeowners seeking to refinance existing, higher-rate mortgages.

There are more than 8 million homeowners with mortgage issued through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who have loans carrying interest rates of 6% or more, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

0:00 / 2:07 Mortgage denied despite perfect credit

The average interest rate of mortgages outstanding in the second quarter was 5.28 percent, according to Freddie Mac's Nothaft. By refinancing into today's 30-year fixed mortgage, homeowners with a $200,000 loan could shave almost $1,715 a year in interest payments.

However, not every homeowner or buyer would qualify. Many lenders require borrowers to have stellar credit and large down payments before they will give them mortgages with favorable rates.

Will rates continue to drop?

The latest decline in mortgage rates marks the second week in a row that mortgage rates have fallen, according to Freddie.

"It would be hard to continue to forecast record lows week after week," said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of mortgage information. "But there is some expectation that the Federal Reserve will pull something out of its hat next week to make interest rates go down."

Foreclosures rise in August

In August, the Fed promised to keep interest rates low through at least mid-2013.

Treasury yields, however, rose this week from near 1.9% on Monday for a 30-year to 2.09% Thursday.

According to Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for, 30-year fixed-rate loans and 10-year Treasury yields usually rise and fall in tandem, with mortgage rates normally about 1.6 percentage points to 1.8 percentage points typically higher than yields. That difference represents the premium investors demand as compensation for taking on the extra risk of mortgage-backed securities, he explained.

Obama's housing scorecard

These days, however, the spread is closer to 2 percentage points. So if that decreases to normal levels, interest rates would fall further.

McBride, however, does not see the spread shrinking for the time being. Economic conditions are in such turmoil that investors are putting a higher value on the risk premium, which means mortgage-backed securities must offer higher returns than during more stable eras. To top of page

First Published: September 15, 2011: 3:25 PM ET

Why Do I Need An Agent For My Short Sale?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

   Posted by Mark Rieger

There can be many different personal reasons you decide to proceed with a short sale on your home. The short sale process can be very complicated, and if you don’t hire a competent real estate agent with short sale experience, you may end up dealing with much more stress and hassle than you need to.

Not all lenders will accept short sales or discounted payoffs, especially if it would make more financial sense to foreclose on the property. Not all properties qualify for short sales either, so before you make the decision, speak with your lender first.

You may think you’ll save money trying to go through the process on your own. However, it’s important that if you choose to place your home on the market as a short sale, you hire an experienced short sale real estate agent. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • In many short sale cases, the bank requires it. The bank wants to ensure that your property will get the marketing exposure it needs to Sell for top dollar. Many properties that are For Sale By Owner (FSBO) don’t get the exposure they could by listing with an agent.
  • The bank generally pays for the real estate agent as part of the short sale. For that reason alone, you should hire an experienced agent.
  • The short sale process is very complicated and can take time. Let an agent with short sale experience handle the process, deal with the bank, gather and submit all necessary paperwork, and market your property to Sell. Banks know that if they work with a Realtor, the paperwork will likely be processed in a timely manner.
  • The laws regarding short sales continue to change and are bank specific. If you have any questions, an experienced real estate agent can help you get them answered.
  • A real estate agent with short sale experience knows how to communicate and negotiate with the bank.
  • An experienced agent can also communicate and negotiate with the buyers’ agent.

Real estate agents work in the market every day helping people Buy and Sell houses. They are familiar with the process. If you qualify for and plan on a short sale for your home, hiring a real estate agent with short sale experience is your next crucial step. I'm ready if you have any questions.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3