$2,949,000 :: 932 PILGRIM AVE, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

5 beds, 6 baths
Home size: 5,680 sq ft
Lot Size: 15,681 sq ft
Added: 10/30/17, Last Updated: 10/31/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21384853
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: THE HEIGHTS
Status: Active

Designer residence in Quarton Lake Estates w/complete renovation in 3 phases: architectural, mechanical & aesthetics. Gourmet kitchen w/ Wolf appliance package, Asko dishwasher, Scotsman ice makers, Subzero refrigerator &~freezer. Marble countertops; hand glazed cabinets, Ann Sachs glass tile backslash & LED lighting. Great room w/vaulted 20 ft. ceiling, hand scraped hickory flooring hand laid in herringbone pattern, wired for HDMI video surround sound w/~Sonos. Master suite includes his, hers & off season closets, bath w/custom vanity & Swarovski sconces, heated herringbone marble floor, Euro glass shower. In law/au pair suite w/ living area, marble kitchen. Finished lower level. New~mechanicals in 2017 include roof, generator, A/C units, electrical & plumbing. Oversized corner lot, private backyard, stone paver patio, custom pergola, Detroit Garden Works fountain & grilling area.~A short walk to Quarton Lake, neighboring parks, playgrounds & downtown. 3 car garage.

Listed with Max Broock, REALTORS~-Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$399,000 :: 1648 DORCHESTER Road, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

4 beds, 1.1 baths
Home size: 1,996 sq ft
Lot Size: 11,325 sq ft
Added: 10/30/17, Last Updated: 10/30/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 217097704
Community: Birmingham
Tract: BIRMINGHAM ESTATES – BIRMINGHA
Status: Active

Classic center entrance brick Colonial in the heart of the prestigious Birmingham Estates. This 4 bedroom 1.1 bath home offers hardwood floors under carpets on the main and upper levels, 2 fireplaces, screened in back porch all on an 80′ wide lot with private setting. A chance to make this home your own. Expand the existing footprint or build your dream home. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to live in one of Birmingham’s most quaint neighborhoods with walking distance to schools and parks. All at a GREAT price!

Listed with Hall & Hunter-Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$699,000 :: 1450 BIRD AVE, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 2,391 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 10/29/17, Last Updated: 10/29/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21384500
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: LEINBACH-HUMPHREY’S WOODW
Status: Active

Remarks: Newer built colonial! Updates include New Hardwood Floors, Replacement Windows, New Custom Bath includes Multi Fixtures and Steam Room, Better than new condition… Quality construction with attention to detail. Limestone surround fireplace, granite gourmet kitchen, stunning master suite with lots of closet space. Upper Stairs Laundry , solid doors and elegant mill work.

Listed with Kelly Esman & Associates


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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$699,000 :: 1450 BIRD AVE, Birmingham MI, 48009

Property Photo

3 beds, 3 baths
Home size: 2,391 sq ft
Lot Size: 4,791 sq ft
Added: 10/29/17, Last Updated: 10/29/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21384500
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: LEINBACH-HUMPHREY’S WOODW
Status: Active

Remarks: Newer built colonial! Updates include New Hardwood Floors, Replacement Windows, New Custom Bath includes Multi Fixtures and Steam Room, Better than new condition… Quality construction with attention to detail. Limestone surround fireplace, granite gourmet kitchen, stunning master suite with lots of closet space. Upper Stairs Laundry , solid doors and elegant mill work.

Listed with Kelly Esman & Associates


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

There’s a reason that spring and summer are the major seasons for selling houses. Most people want to move at a time that allows them to be settled by the fall, when kids go back to school and daylight shortens.

However, you might find yourself having to sell a vacant home in the off-season. The home might be empty because the seller had to move on for reasons of work or had to move into a house he or she was paying for.

There are really two issues here. The first is selling a vacant house. The second is selling a house in the off-season. Here are some tips on how to do both:

Selling a Vacant House

Keep Up Maintenance and Repair – Even with no one around, surfaces need to be dusted and kept clean. Once people move out, minor items needing repair, like a leaky faucet or a burned-out light bulb, might not be noticed. It’s your job to notice, though, because signs of even minor disrepair or lack of maintenance can quickly turn off prospective buyers.

Clean the house or hire someone to clean it at least once a month. Surfaces need to be dusted, for example, and floors mopped or vacuumed. Do a walkthrough looking for repairs once a month, or hire a property manager to do it.

Make Sure the House Doesn’t Look Vacant A vacant property shouldn’t look vacant for two reasons: First, it’s uninviting to see an empty property. It’s less likely that a buyer will see themselves in the space; second, it’s an open invitation to thieves, vandals and even squatters. You don’t want to open the door one day and see that vandals spray-painted all over the walls.

Develop a plan. Pick up mail if the seller isn’t having it forwarded. Place lights on timers so that they go on automatically in the evening, just as they would if someone still lived there. Many have remote apps that make this easy.

Turn Heat or Air Conditioning on Regularly Don’t leave the heat or air conditioning off for long periods of time. Lack of heat can cause pipes to freeze or burst. Lack of air conditioning may make it difficult to cool the house properly when it comes time to show it. In addition, lack of proper ventilation can make the house smell musty and unused.

It’s best to run the heat and air conditioning at regular intervals while the house is vacant.

Focus on Curb Appeal Don’t skimp on curb appeal just because the house is vacant. If anything, making the house look inviting becomes even more critical if no one lives there. Keep the grounds and garden in the same pristine condition as the house. Paint the door a vibrant color. Place small trees on either side to frame it.

Stage the Interior When prospective buyers come, they need to see an interior that looks welcoming, and that allows them to visualize themselves in the house. They may not be able to do that fully if the house is completely empty.

On the other hand, completely furnishing an empty house may not be practical. What you need to do is stage the interior. Put focal pieces in each room, for example. You don’t need to create a functional room; you just have to give clients a sense of how the room would look if they lived there. In other words: a fireplace with wood, a lamp and a sofa in the living room might be enough. No need for matching armchairs and two more lamps!

Selling in the Off-Season

Price to Sell While you likely won’t attract the maximum number of buyers in the off-season, some people do look in the fall and winter. To move the house, the most prudent move is to price it to sell. If you’re in a hot market, that may be at a market price. If demand is a tad sluggish, price it slightly under. For most sellers, it’s better to sell at a price slightly under the asking price in October than to wait five more months, especially if they’re carrying the mortgage.

Sweeten the Offer Sweetening the offer may also help sell the house in the off-season. Nicely enough, sweeteners abound, depending on the property. Does a patio look as if it may need replacement in the next five years? See if the seller will replace it as a sweetener. Do the same with any major appliance that may go in five years, such as water heaters.

The other sweetener strategy is to wait for buyers to suggest things. Some may want a reseeded lawn or pruned trees. Entertain these offers if they look likely to result in a sale.

It can be more challenging to sell a vacant home in the off-season, but by utilizing these tips, you’ll place yourself at a strategic advantage in moving a house in the off-season.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season appeared first on RISMedia.

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How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

There’s a reason that spring and summer are the major seasons for selling houses. Most people want to move at a time that allows them to be settled by the fall, when kids go back to school and daylight shortens.

However, you might find yourself having to sell a vacant home in the off-season. The home might be empty because the seller had to move on for reasons of work or had to move into a house he or she was paying for.

There are really two issues here. The first is selling a vacant house. The second is selling a house in the off-season. Here are some tips on how to do both:

Selling a Vacant House

Keep Up Maintenance and Repair – Even with no one around, surfaces need to be dusted and kept clean. Once people move out, minor items needing repair, like a leaky faucet or a burned-out light bulb, might not be noticed. It’s your job to notice, though, because signs of even minor disrepair or lack of maintenance can quickly turn off prospective buyers.

Clean the house or hire someone to clean it at least once a month. Surfaces need to be dusted, for example, and floors mopped or vacuumed. Do a walkthrough looking for repairs once a month, or hire a property manager to do it.

Make Sure the House Doesn’t Look Vacant A vacant property shouldn’t look vacant for two reasons: First, it’s uninviting to see an empty property. It’s less likely that a buyer will see themselves in the space; second, it’s an open invitation to thieves, vandals and even squatters. You don’t want to open the door one day and see that vandals spray-painted all over the walls.

Develop a plan. Pick up mail if the seller isn’t having it forwarded. Place lights on timers so that they go on automatically in the evening, just as they would if someone still lived there. Many have remote apps that make this easy.

Turn Heat or Air Conditioning on Regularly Don’t leave the heat or air conditioning off for long periods of time. Lack of heat can cause pipes to freeze or burst. Lack of air conditioning may make it difficult to cool the house properly when it comes time to show it. In addition, lack of proper ventilation can make the house smell musty and unused.

It’s best to run the heat and air conditioning at regular intervals while the house is vacant.

Focus on Curb Appeal Don’t skimp on curb appeal just because the house is vacant. If anything, making the house look inviting becomes even more critical if no one lives there. Keep the grounds and garden in the same pristine condition as the house. Paint the door a vibrant color. Place small trees on either side to frame it.

Stage the Interior When prospective buyers come, they need to see an interior that looks welcoming, and that allows them to visualize themselves in the house. They may not be able to do that fully if the house is completely empty.

On the other hand, completely furnishing an empty house may not be practical. What you need to do is stage the interior. Put focal pieces in each room, for example. You don’t need to create a functional room; you just have to give clients a sense of how the room would look if they lived there. In other words: a fireplace with wood, a lamp and a sofa in the living room might be enough. No need for matching armchairs and two more lamps!

Selling in the Off-Season

Price to Sell While you likely won’t attract the maximum number of buyers in the off-season, some people do look in the fall and winter. To move the house, the most prudent move is to price it to sell. If you’re in a hot market, that may be at a market price. If demand is a tad sluggish, price it slightly under. For most sellers, it’s better to sell at a price slightly under the asking price in October than to wait five more months, especially if they’re carrying the mortgage.

Sweeten the Offer Sweetening the offer may also help sell the house in the off-season. Nicely enough, sweeteners abound, depending on the property. Does a patio look as if it may need replacement in the next five years? See if the seller will replace it as a sweetener. Do the same with any major appliance that may go in five years, such as water heaters.

The other sweetener strategy is to wait for buyers to suggest things. Some may want a reseeded lawn or pruned trees. Entertain these offers if they look likely to result in a sale.

It can be more challenging to sell a vacant home in the off-season, but by utilizing these tips, you’ll place yourself at a strategic advantage in moving a house in the off-season.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season appeared first on RISMedia.

Continue Reading →

How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

There’s a reason that spring and summer are the major seasons for selling houses. Most people want to move at a time that allows them to be settled by the fall, when kids go back to school and daylight shortens.

However, you might find yourself having to sell a vacant home in the off-season. The home might be empty because the seller had to move on for reasons of work or had to move into a house he or she was paying for.

There are really two issues here. The first is selling a vacant house. The second is selling a house in the off-season. Here are some tips on how to do both:

Selling a Vacant House

Keep Up Maintenance and Repair – Even with no one around, surfaces need to be dusted and kept clean. Once people move out, minor items needing repair, like a leaky faucet or a burned-out light bulb, might not be noticed. It’s your job to notice, though, because signs of even minor disrepair or lack of maintenance can quickly turn off prospective buyers.

Clean the house or hire someone to clean it at least once a month. Surfaces need to be dusted, for example, and floors mopped or vacuumed. Do a walkthrough looking for repairs once a month, or hire a property manager to do it.

Make Sure the House Doesn’t Look Vacant A vacant property shouldn’t look vacant for two reasons: First, it’s uninviting to see an empty property. It’s less likely that a buyer will see themselves in the space; second, it’s an open invitation to thieves, vandals and even squatters. You don’t want to open the door one day and see that vandals spray-painted all over the walls.

Develop a plan. Pick up mail if the seller isn’t having it forwarded. Place lights on timers so that they go on automatically in the evening, just as they would if someone still lived there. Many have remote apps that make this easy.

Turn Heat or Air Conditioning on Regularly Don’t leave the heat or air conditioning off for long periods of time. Lack of heat can cause pipes to freeze or burst. Lack of air conditioning may make it difficult to cool the house properly when it comes time to show it. In addition, lack of proper ventilation can make the house smell musty and unused.

It’s best to run the heat and air conditioning at regular intervals while the house is vacant.

Focus on Curb Appeal Don’t skimp on curb appeal just because the house is vacant. If anything, making the house look inviting becomes even more critical if no one lives there. Keep the grounds and garden in the same pristine condition as the house. Paint the door a vibrant color. Place small trees on either side to frame it.

Stage the Interior When prospective buyers come, they need to see an interior that looks welcoming, and that allows them to visualize themselves in the house. They may not be able to do that fully if the house is completely empty.

On the other hand, completely furnishing an empty house may not be practical. What you need to do is stage the interior. Put focal pieces in each room, for example. You don’t need to create a functional room; you just have to give clients a sense of how the room would look if they lived there. In other words: a fireplace with wood, a lamp and a sofa in the living room might be enough. No need for matching armchairs and two more lamps!

Selling in the Off-Season

Price to Sell While you likely won’t attract the maximum number of buyers in the off-season, some people do look in the fall and winter. To move the house, the most prudent move is to price it to sell. If you’re in a hot market, that may be at a market price. If demand is a tad sluggish, price it slightly under. For most sellers, it’s better to sell at a price slightly under the asking price in October than to wait five more months, especially if they’re carrying the mortgage.

Sweeten the Offer Sweetening the offer may also help sell the house in the off-season. Nicely enough, sweeteners abound, depending on the property. Does a patio look as if it may need replacement in the next five years? See if the seller will replace it as a sweetener. Do the same with any major appliance that may go in five years, such as water heaters.

The other sweetener strategy is to wait for buyers to suggest things. Some may want a reseeded lawn or pruned trees. Entertain these offers if they look likely to result in a sale.

It can be more challenging to sell a vacant home in the off-season, but by utilizing these tips, you’ll place yourself at a strategic advantage in moving a house in the off-season.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post How to Sell a Vacant Home in the Off-Season appeared first on RISMedia.

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$594,900 :: 2316 WINDEMERE RD, Birmingham MI, 48009

4 beds, 4 baths
Home size: 2,276 sq ft
Lot Size: 8,276 sq ft
Added: 10/27/17, Last Updated: 10/27/17
Property Type: Single Family
MLS Number: 21384062
Community: Birmingham (63192)
Tract: PEMBROOK MANOR SUB – BIRMINGHA
Status: Active

Immaculate 4 Bed 3.1 bath, 2,276 sq/ft 2004 built corner-lot colonial neighboring Pembroke Park. Hardwood floors, high ceilings and crown mouldings flow with the natural light throughout the home. Custom Kitchen with upgraded maple cabinets, granite and high end SS appliances. Spacious master suite offers vaulted ceilings plus a spacious walk-in closet. Master Bath provides dual sinks, multi-head shower, jetted tub and a water closet for privacy. Library/study has french doors and natural fireplace. Dry finished basement has high ceilings and half bath. 2 car garage, brick paver patio, sprinkler system and more. House sits nextdoor to the park and easement on cross street provides access without crossing the street. Also provides for additional parking. Extremely efficient home with consistently low utility bills. Close to shopping, dining, schools, thoroughfares and more. BATVAI

Listed with Max Broock, REALTORS~-Birmingham


Brought to you by Janet Hull and Thomas Bush, Real Estate One, Inc.. Call me today at 1-855-Janet-Tom, or visit my website at www.JanetandThomas.com!


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4 Home Staging Horror Stories to Haunt You This Halloween

Man hiding in closet

By Jessica Santina, guest contributor from MoneyGeek.com

As little ghosts and ghouls appear on every corner, how about settling in for a few scary stories of home staging horrors?

The following tales of botched staging jobs, homeowners from hell, and nightmarish décor will likely give you some real-life shivers.

The Scary Screamer

Lori Matzke, owner of CenterStageHome.com, is a home staging expert in the Minneapolis area. As a new stager in 1999, she encountered a horrifying homeowner.

“Unfortunately, at that time, staging had a really bad rap,” Matzke says. “People were so offended if a [an agent] wanted a stager to come into their home — the perception was that you must really live in a pit if you needed staging.”

That was the case with this job. Matzke received a call from a real estate agent asking her to do a staging consultation on a home that was going on the market. Matzke agreed to meet the agent at the home that Sunday morning.

She arrived on time and knocked on the door, only to be greeted by a furious homeowner.

“What do you want?” he barked at her. When she explained who she was and why she was there, he replied, “Oh, yeah, you’re the one who’s coming to criticize our house.”

Matzke politely explained that she only wanted to help them to sell it. The man’s wife came to the door, apologized for her husband, and invited Matzke in. Once she was inside, the man slammed the door so hard that three items fell off the wall.

The agent was running late, so Matzke proceeded to do a walk-through of the home. But every suggestion she made, including the need for a neutral paint color to replace the dark gray, was met with intense hostility.

“He went crazy and started cursing me out,” she says.

Over the course of the next 90 minutes, Matzke feared for her safety as the man repeatedly hurled personal insults at her, screaming, and slamming doors until — at long last — she was able to make her getaway.

Since then Matzke has made it a policy to warn clients not to take offense of her staging suggestions.

“It’s not personal; it has nothing to do with the homeowners’ taste. It’s just about the buyer experience,” she says.

The Body in the Closet

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Another time, Matzke was asked to meet an agent at a home for a staging consultation. The two of them walked through the empty home, which Matzke thought was quite nice and needed only a little editing — things like moving furniture around a bit.

The consultation with the agent went on for some time, and she thought it was going well until suddenly, to their extreme shock, the hall closet door swung open and the homeowner jumped out.

“He’d been waiting there a long time in that closet, wanting to hear what people said about his house when no one was there!” Matzke says.

As if this weren’t bad enough, Matzke heard later the house had remained on the market for a long time, mostly because the homeowner had a nasty habit of jumping out of closets and startling visitors.

“The moral of the story is, you can’t be hanging around,” Matzke says. “Some sellers take it very personally when people come to view their homes, but it makes buyers very uncomfortable” for you to be there (especially if you’re hiding in a closet).

Hall of Severed Heads

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Nothing kills a sale like a room full of dead heads. That’s what Matzke suggested to one client whose small house was packed with at least 20 taxidermied animals, including a giant moose head.

“You literally couldn’t walk into the kitchen or you’d be gored by an antler,” she recalls.

Of course, as an experienced stager, Matzke recommended removing the heads to make the home more appealing to potential buyers, and reminded the homeowners their new home would have plenty of space for these treasures. They reluctantly agreed, and when Matzke returned the next week to paint and finish the job, the heads were gone.

“It looked beautiful, like a totally different space,” she says.

Matzke arranged to have a friend go take pictures of the home a few days later so she would have photos for her portfolio. But when the photos arrived in her email, Matzke made a horrific discovery: “The first photo I opened, there was that giant moose head again!”

Nightmare Décor

Slide070

Photo credit: Shell Brodnax, Real Estate Staging Association

In this age of DIY reality shows, many people fancy themselves as amateur home stagers, says Shell Brodnax, CEO of the Real Estate Staging Association.

“We love HGTV, and they’ve definitely shined a light on staging,” she says. “But it also leads homeowners to believe they can do stuff on their own. But, like anything else, you need a professional to make it look professional.”

Brodnax has seen some truly frightening faux pas as a stager — forlorn tableaus like card tables set up in the middle of empty rooms, or armchairs and throw blankets stuffed into awkward spaces.

Or this head scratcher: “I saw one where people just put a pile of throw pillows on the floor. We’re not sure why, but it was bad,” she says.

Don’t leave staging to hobbyists, she cautions. Instead, collect bids from at least three stagers, check out their professional portfolios, and call references. Even in the staging world, you get what you pay for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jessica Santina is a freelance writer, editor and contributor to the mortgage and home buying channel at MoneyGeek.com. She is an award-winning arts and culture, travel, food, and lifestyle writer and blogger whose work has been published in numerous local and regional publications.

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5 Smells That Sell Houses

What’s that smell? The sense of smell is the strongest of all the senses to connect buyers to a home. While a bad smell can really deter buyers, a good smell can tempt buyers to a sale. From “green” scents to seasonal scents, discover the right smells for triggering positive emotions and home sales.

  1. Clean Smell
    Most of us associate “clean” with strongly scented cleaning products and disinfectants. It can even make buyers nostalgic. But remember, a little goes a long way. You should dilute your cleaning solutions so buyers don’t get overwhelmed.
  1. Citrus
    Using actual fruit is one way to get a clean smell without all the cleaning products. Lemon, orange and grapefruit scents are best. One great tip is to grind up lemon or orange rind with a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal. This will freshen up the kitchen, one of the most important rooms in the house.
  1. Natural Smell
    Sometimes the best scent is no scent at all. Try using “green” cleaning supplies, baking soda and other non-scented products that neutralize odors. The idea is that simpler is better, so you want to avoid complex, artificial smells from potpourri, sprays and plug-ins, which can actually distract buyers and turn them off.
  1. Baked Goods
    Nothing can make a house smell more like home than freshly baked goods, but be sure to stick to simple smells like vanilla, cinnamon and fresh bread. You don’t have to really bake anything. One trick is to boil some water and throw in a few cinnamon sticks an hour before a showing.
  1. Pine
    Don’t we all love that fresh pine scent? Especially with the holidays around the corner, it’s a great scent to greet buyers when they walk in the door. If you don’t want to put up a live tree, you can simply hang a wreath of tree trimmings or some fresh garland. You can’t go wrong with setting a holiday mood to inspire a sale.

There’s a lot that goes into the sale of a home. Make sure a great smell is at the top of the list. And to increase its value even more, add an American Home Shield® Home Warranty to every transaction.

For more articles like this, please visit the American Home Shield Blog at ahs.com/home-matters.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post 5 Smells That Sell Houses appeared first on RISMedia.

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