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Every real estate brokerage is pretty much the same -- right? Even though this seems like common knowledge among buyers, the truth is that the real estate brokerage where your agent hangs their shingle can have a pretty big influence on your home buying experience. Some brokerages excel at holding buyers' hands while others really leave you to your own devices and depending on which style you'd prefer, you can find a brokerage that caters specifically to what you need. Here are a few things that an average buyer can expect from their real estate brokerage. Read More

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Style is as individual as human beings are, but we can generally agree that there are some style trends that should be left in the past -- some in the very recent past, others long ago -- because they make your rooms look, well, terrible. And dated. Before you jump on the latest home decorating bandwagon, consider how these super-popular decor trends have fared and imagine whether you're still going to think your latest design obsession looks cutting-edge in a year or three. Read More

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If you've always rented before, then you might not have put too much thought into which neighborhood you were planting your (temporary) roots. After all, most leases are up after a year, so you can change your mind in a matter of months. Buying a house, however, is a different story: if you don't want to pay capital gains taxes, then you'll have to stay there for at least two years, and depending on which concessions you made when you bought the place, the neighborhood can affect everything from the home's appreciation to how easy it is to sell. Read More

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In most parts of the country, the strong seller's market we've been experiencing for several years is softening -- which means that as a seller, it might not be as easy to find a qualified buyer for your home as you'd hoped. If you're in a situation where you really need to sell sooner rather than later, don't panic; there are still plenty of options you can leverage if you want to grab buyers' attention and get them through the front door to take a look ... and hopefully all the way to the closing table. Read More

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In a seller's market, it's easy for a lot of sellers to reach the conclusion that they don't actually need a real estate agent to offload their homes. After all, there are buyers everywhere, and home prices are skyrocketing; how hard can it really be to just do it yourself and save some money on agent commission? Read More

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Winter is coming ... so what does that mean for homeowners? There's a lot of information out there about the best way to winterize your house for the approaching season, but the actions you take should depend more heavily on the climate where you live, the typical weather-related risks you might encounter, and the best ways to stay comfortable when the temperature drops. Read More

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Conventional wisdom states that the very best time of year to sell a home is in the springtime -- but conventional wisdom doesn't apply to every home sale, or even every real estate market. If you're thinking about selling your home and you have some flexibility in terms of timing, then you'll want to carefully consider every season before you blindly decide to list your house in the spring just because some nationwide research indicates that spring is a good time to sell. Read More

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When it comes to neighborhood expertise, one real estate agent is pretty much like any other -- right? Not so fast! Depending on where you live or where you're moving, a neighborhood specialist could be heads and shoulders above the competition, and for that reason it doesn't always make sense to list with your cousin's best friend or old college roommate, even if you already have a personal relationship with that person. Read More

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Selling your house can be a very stressful experience for homeowners. It can be emotionally challenging to make repairs or upgrades to a house that you're about to hand over to a buyer; you often need to keep the home in pristine condition for marketing and showings; and even if you find a buyer who's perfect for your place and everything seems to be going swimmingly, a last-minute loan problem can derail your deal and send you back to the beginning -- through no fault of your own. Read More

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There are plenty of good reasons why you might want to buy a house in a different state from your current location -- and thankfully, modern technology makes it possible to shop for a home and work hand-in-hand with trusted professionals who can make the process easier for you. Whether you're going to be living in the house full-time and want to have the purchase handled before you move, you'd like to find a vacation home in one of your favorite places to visit, or you are hoping to invest your money in real estate somewhere you don't actually live, you're not alone! Read More