Laura Sandvik | Greenfield Real Estate, Shelburne Real Estate, Buckland Real Estate


A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.

Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.

Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.

If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.

Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.


A closing represents the final stage before a buyer acquires a house. At this point, a buyer and seller will meet and finalize an agreement. And if everything goes according to plan, a buyer will exit a closing as the owner of a new residence.

Ultimately, there are several steps that a buyer should complete to prepare for a home closing, and these are:

1. Review Your Home Financing

Typically, a lender will provide full details about your monthly mortgage payments for the duration of your home loan. This information is important, as it highlights exactly how much that you will be paying for your house.

Assess your home loan information prior to a closing. That way, if you have any home loan concerns or questions, you can address them before your closing day arrives.

If you allocate the necessary time and resources to review your home financing, you may be able to alleviate stress prior to closing day. In fact, once you know that all of your home financing is in order, you can enter a closing with the confidence that you'll be able to cover your mortgage expenses.

2. Perform a Final Walk-Through

A final walk-through provides a last opportunity to evaluate a residence before you complete your purchase. Thus, you will want to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure that a seller has completed any requested repairs and guarantee that a house matches your expectations.

Oftentimes, a final walk-through requires only a few minutes to complete. The inspection generally may be completed a few days before a closing as well.

It is essential to keep in mind, however, that a final walk-through won't always go according to plan. If you give yourself plenty of time for a final walk-through, you should have no trouble getting the best-possible results.

Try to schedule a final walk-through at least a week before a closing. By doing so, you'll ensure that a seller can perform any requested repairs prior to closing day.

3. Get Your Paperwork Ready

During a home closing, you'll likely need to provide proof of home insurance, a government-issued photo ID and other paperwork. If you get required documents ready ahead of time, you won't have to scramble at the last minute to retrieve assorted paperwork for your closing.

If you need help preparing for a home closing, there is no need to worry. Real estate agents are available nationwide, and these housing market professionals can guide you along each stage of the homebuying journey.

A real estate agent will help you find a house, submit an offer on it and conduct a house inspection. Plus, this housing market professional can provide recommendations throughout the homebuying process to help you achieve your desired results. And as closing day approaches, a real estate agent is available to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions too.

Prepare for a home closing – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can seamlessly navigate the home closing process.


There’s a lot that goes into the process of buying a new home. Buyers often think that once the closing process in complete they can move their stuff in and things will go back to normal. But they are often caught off guard throughout that first initial year by maintenance tasks. Tasks that they could have been prepared for at the beginning if only they had known. So today I want to talk about how to stay one step ahead when you first move in to avoid surprises months later or worse years down the line. For the most part, these should each take you all of ten minutes a few times a month.

Be sure to write in reminders on your calendar for monthly maintenance and annual inspections to stay on top of any issues that may arise. Maintenance is key to good homeownership. You’ll save money in the long run as you find and repair issues when they are still minor. You’ll be so glad you didn’t find out the hard way - by a burst pipe or major crack in your foundation.

Speaking of maintenance and saving money, wait to invest in top to bottom renovations, especially those that are purely cosmetic. Buying a new home is a large investment and most families need time to bounce back financially from the buying and moving process. Funnel what finances you do have towards initial repairs that will need to be made. And since you no longer have a landlord to depend on when repairs need to be made it is wise to start building an emergency fund for future home repairs.

For initial repairs that will need to be made be sure to hire professionals to take care of any and all that are technical. Don’t try to fix repairs yourself that you aren’t qualified to do. And no a Google search isn't enough to qualify you to do electrical or plumbing work. You’ve just made a major investment. So ensure to protect that investment for years to come by having things done the right way the first time. This also saves you money in the long run from having a professional come to undo your mistakes and set it up the right way. Or worse, from medical bills.

Keep a binder to track and save receipts for all home improvements. Doing so will help you to maximize your tax-free earnings if and when you decide to sell your home. And while the line between home improvements and repairs can get vague in some areas it’s best to track everything. Invest in an accountant, especially for your first year of homeownership, to help you sift through these receipts and maximize your returns. This binder will also come in handy for years to come. You’ll be able to refer back to when you purchased a new water heater or last had a home inspection done, for example.

Invest in sufficient home insurance. Not all basic plans include fire and flood protection. You will also need life insurance policies if you have dependents. This will ensure that if anything were to happen to you, your dependents would gain ownership of the house. And since you now own a large asset it is wise to ramp up your car insurance policy.

Don’t get caught off guard. Take 10 minutes a few times each week after you’ve closed on your house to set up these appointments and systems. For such a small amount of time, they have major pay off. And come tax season or time to make a repair you’ll be so glad you did.


If you’re a first-time homebuyer you might be worried or anxious about the process of making an offer on a home. After all, negotiating isn’t something most of us look forward to on a day to day basis and we try to avoid it when possible. When it comes to buying a home, however, negotiating is usually part of the process.

One of the benefits of working with a real estate agent is that they have the knowledge and expertise to help you out through the negotiation process. Not only will they help you formulate your offer, but they’ll also present the offer for you and handle the in-person negotiations.

Buyer’s vs seller’s market

Whether or not the odds are in your favor depends on many things. One important factor is the state of the real estate marketing. In a seller’s market, which is what we’re in right now, there are more buyers looking for homes than there are sellers trying to sell them.

However, you can still edge past the competition in a seller’s market if you plan accordingly. This is when negotiation comes into play, and when effective negotiation can get your offer accepted where others are declined.

Time is of the essence

When you’re shopping for a home in a seller’s market, you’ll need to be swift with your offer and counteroffers to stay ahead of other prospective buyers. However, being too hasty with your offers can seem imposing or reckless. It’s better to take a day longer to come up with a more effective offer than it is to make an offer that looks bad to the seller.

Be clear and concise

Just as you’re nervous making offers on a home, sellers are usually nervous fielding them. So, if you want to make things easier for you and your seller, make sure your offer is simple and straightforward.

This involves removing unnecessary contingencies and sticking to the contract basics--inspection, appraisal, and financing. If the seller receives another offer that is riddled with contingencies, they might prefer to work with you since you presented them with a simple contract.

Be prepared

Having your paperwork in order, getting preapproved, and making yourself available as much as possible will go a long way in the negotiation process. Now more than ever it’s important to be well-organized.

Do your homework on the house and neighborhood you’re interested in. Make sure you know if there is a lot of interest in the area and the house in particular. This will let you know how much breathing room you have.

Getting preapproved will not only help you know the limits you can offer but it will also signal to the seller that you’re a serious buyer.


Many people hardly consider the fact that their dishwasher needs cleaning after it is done washing all the dishes. Because of that, a lot are confused about how to go about cleaning and maintaining their dishwasher. Yet, cleaning and maintaining a dishwasher doesn’t have to be tedious. With proper maintenance, you increase the lifespan, giving it all it needs to run smoothly and effectively. 

With just fifteen minutes every month, you can give your dishwasher a thorough cleaning. Your dishwasher, in turn, will reward you with years of excellent service and dedication to you. Some simple ways to maintain and repair your dishwasher are:

Consult the Owner’s Manual

The owner's manual is an excellent place to start in cleaning your dishwasher. If you cannot find your owner's manual, I am pretty sure there will be one available online. In the owner's manual, I am pretty sure you will have instructions about maintenance as well.With the make and model of your dishwasher, getting it online shouldn't be much stress if you do not have a copy.

Unclog the Sprayer Arms and Nozzles

To get to the sprayer arm, you would have to remove the dishwasher racks. Then, check the nozzles on the sprayer arms and get rid of any clogs with a pipe cleaner or toothpick.

Clean the Drain

The plug for the sink is under the strainer. Hence, you should unplug the dishwasher, especially for built-in models. Also, turn off the circuit breaker to be sure. Be sure to refer to the owner's manual to confirm if the tray by the drain can be removed entirely or just slides off. Get rid of debris or food drain under the unit. 

Inspect the racks

Check the racks for chips and repair. If you discover that the dishwater rack looks bad or worn, rack paint for dishwashers comes in assorted colors. You will be sure to find a shade of paint that goes with the rack. You can get one from the manufacturer or online. You can get replacement racks if your dishwasher is already severely rusted.

Get rid of Soap Scum by running Vinegar through the Dishwasher Cycle

Allow the touch-up paint to dry up if you replaced the racks. You need to run a cup of vinegar on the top shelf of the dishwasher and run a complete cycle. We recommend using a packet of unsweetened lemon-flavored drink mix alongside the vinegar. You should pour it in the detergent compartment and run it through a cycle. 

 If your dishwasher is still showing signs of water wastage or inefficient cleaning of dishes, contact an electrician to help you check it out.