MONTHLY (FEED) CONTENT
OCTOBER 1 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Before you hang up those Halloween decorations, stop here for your October homeowner tips! 🍂🎃🍁
Fall is definitely in the air and I am ready for all of the pumpkin spice, hot apple cider, fires in the fireplace and stocking up on candy for trick or treaters! (Well, except for the _____, [your favorite Halloween candy] that's all mine).
Tap the bookmark icon below to save this post so that you can reference it as you check items off the list!
🍂 Decorate your front porch for fall
⚙️ Change your HVAC filters
🔥 Clean and redress your fireplace
🧯 Check fire extinguishers and make sure you have a safety kit
🏡 Seal your outdoor surface areas
🧽 Clean or shampoo area rugs and carpeting
🚪 Replace weatherstripping on doors and windows
🎬 Have a scary movie marathon with popcorn and candy
🧹 Tidy up your mudroom and invest in a new doormat
🌬 Clean your dryer vent
⛱ Store summer outdoor furniture
💡 Replace outdoor lightbulbs
🧼 Wash drapes, blinds, window screens and windows
🍭 Stock up on candy for trick-or-treat
🎁 Start planning and shopping for holiday gifts
Since we're on the topic, what Halloween candy are you most looking forward to buying? 🍫🍬
OCTOBER 2 - COPY & PASTE
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October is here and and I think it stands to reason that the next three months are some of the most fun months of the year. I mean, I love the summer, but now not only do we have holidays to look forward to, but we have pumpkin picking, pie baking, holiday shopping and cozying up on the sofa for a movie marathon with a fire in the fireplace. My favorite!
What are you most looking forward to about this month? Are you a lover of fall or do you miss the summer already?
OCTOBER 3 - COPY & PASTE
Here’s the truth...
...online home estimates are only as valuable as the data behind them. No computer is going to know as much about your home as a real estate agent who has been inside your home, seen the property firsthand, and factors in upgrades or improvements that you made.
If you are wondering how much your home is worth, try to resist the urge to check the online estimates! I can run a comparative market analysis for you that will provide a more accurate estimate of your home value and equity.
Whether you're thinking of selling or simply just curious, feel free to drop me a DM and I'd be glad to send you your home value and a net sheet to help you come up with a plan to sell, rent out your home or decide if it makes sense to wait.
OCTOBER 4 - COPY & PASTE
Fall is in the air and if you're like me and love seasonal decor, it's in your home, too! I love staging & decorating during the fall because it is literally the perfect time to play up all of the aspects of your home that a buyer will love.
Think cute curb appeal with pumpkins and a fun fall doormat, changing leaves and blue skies to bring your backyard to life, and all of the coziest decor to help your buyer picture movie nights in front of the fireplace or putting chili in the crockpot and warming up some apple cider to sip.
Whether you're staging to sell or settling in to hibernate for the winter, here are a few of my favorite tips to help you make your home ultra-cozy:
🍂 Add throw pillows and blankets. Adding layers to what you already have creates that cozy look that we love for this time of year. A chunky knit throw blanket along with some new holiday pillows can go a long way! And, if your home happens to be for sale, it's a tasteful way to decorate.
🍂 Use lighting and candles. I like to add some string lights, seasonal candles, maybe even some mercury glass candleholders to add a little bit of the sparkle that reminds us of the holidays.
🍂 When in doubt, add a plant! Incorporating more fall and winter colors into your florals can make a huge impact. For fall, try blooms that are orange and winter white (fresh or faux) and as the holidays approach, add more red and green for a subtle but festive look.
🍂 Incorporate fall scents into your home. Light an autumn spice candle or make a fall simmer pot -- simmer your favorite fall spices with some warm apple cider on the stove or crockpot to make your home smell heavenly.
🍂 Make the fireplace a focal point. If you have a gas fireplace, we can turn it on for showings, and if not, a few tasteful fall decorations on your mantle can help draw attention to this cozy and coveted home feature.
Do you decorate for fall? What are your favorite ways to play up the cozy factor at home?
OCTOBER 5 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Is there a pumpkin 🎃 on your doorstep yet? If not, it might be time to head out to the pumpkin patch. Sure, you can get a pumpkin from _____ [your local grocery store] but isn't it more fun to pick your own straight from the farm, enjoying apple cider donuts and riding haunted hayrides?
Here are a few of the best pumpkin patches in _____ [your city].
Tell me your favorite in the comments!
OCTOBER 6 - FILL IN THE BLANK
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Time for some real talk: we know that there are a lot of awesome real estate agents in _____. So how do you find one that is going to be a great fit?
Here is my advice ⬇️
1️⃣ Start by asking your family & friends for referrals. It's a good idea to interview a few agents and see who you think you'll get along with best.
2️⃣ Google it! Once you have a few names to start with, read their reviews on Zillow, Facebook, Google. It's good to do a little bit of homework.
3️⃣ Scope out your agent on social media. I like to use my social media pages to show you what it's like to work with me and my team. Social media will also help you see who is a local expert in your community.
When you interview your agent, here are a few questions to ask:
➡️ How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood?
➡️ How many homes have you helped buyers find in my neighborhood?
➡️ How many homes have you sold/helped purchase at my price point?
➡️ How will you market my home? Do you use social/digital marketing?
➡️ How is the market and how will it impact home prices?
➡️ How do you like to communicate?
➡️ Will I be working with you directly or do you have a team?
If you're considering starting a search or listing your home, drop me a message anytime and I would love to set up an initial conversation!
OCTOBER 7 - COPY & PASTE
Spring is considered the "best time to buy a home" but hear me out: there are a lot of great perks to buying in the fall 🍂☕️🍁
💳 Interest rates are still low: Rates are low, but experts expect that they will rise in 2022. Waiting for home prices to drop could actually cost you more in the long term because you'll end up paying more interest on your loan.
📈 Price appreciation is slowing down: Buyer demand drove prices up in 2021, but the market is definitely quieter now then it was back in April or May. Prices may continue to rise, but at a slower rate.
🏡 Inventory is balancing out. Although demand still outpaces supply, more inventory becomes available each day and with kids back in school and some buyers waiting for 2022 to get started, you might be able to secure that dream property by getting out there now.
Better weather for moving day ⛅️🍂 If you buy now, you'll probably be moving in November or early December. No soaring temps ... and (most likely) no snow banks to wade through!
☃️Settle into your new home before the holidays ✨ When you're settled into your new living room, fireplace on, warm drink in hand and holiday movie on Netflix, you'll be super happy that the hectic days of home searching and showing prep are behind you (for now!).
What questions do you have for me regarding fall home buying?
OCTOBER 8 - COPY & PASTE
Here's a quick tip: in a competitive market, it's a good idea to get a fully underwritten mortgage pre-approval before you start your home search.
Let me back up: sometimes home buyers get pre-qualified for a home loan before they get pre-approved. A pre-qualification is essentially a verbal estimate of how much you can borrow from a lender. But going one step further -- getting a letter indicating that you've been fully vetted and pre-approved for a loan can help your offer stand out in a multiple bid situation.
Being pre-approved sends the message to the seller and seller's agent that you’re a serious buyer with the credit and finances necessary to obtain a mortgage loan. In a seller's market, this can give you a competitive edge over other home buyers who only have a pre-qualification.
And don't forget -- if you have questions about getting pre-approved I can connect you with a trusted lender for an initial discussion.
OCTOBER 9 - COPY & PASTE
You might not be moving this year, but you probably know someone who is, right? Here's a fun housewarming gift idea for friends + family:
Step 1: Find out the new homeowner's favorite store for home goods. Target, Crate & Barrel, West Elm, Home Goods, Jayson Home.
Step 2: Go to said store and shop the aisles. (this is the fun part). Start with some type of decorative bin or basket (this is part of the gift!) and fill it with new homeowner essentials: wine or champagne, scented candles, fancy cleaning products, a comfy throw, a miniature plant or succulent, maybe even a gift card you know they'll need.
Step 3: Deliver to said new homeowner and have fun (maybe you can even pop the champagne together, too!) 🥂🍾
Easy enough, right? Tell me your favorite housewarming gift to give or receive!
OCTOBER 10 - COPY & PASTE
BUYER Q&A: Is housing inventory increasing?
After a historic inventory shortage this year during the spring and summer market, a lot of us are wondering when the tides will turn. Although it may seem like things are slowing down, what we're seeing a very normal seasonal shift in activity on both the buy and list side.
If you are in the market to make a move -- there is no reason to stress. Here are a few reasons why inventory may begin increasing very soon:
➡️ There is pent-up supply coming onto the market as homeowners become comfortable putting their homes on the market post-pandemic lockdowns.
➡️ Lumber prices are stabilizing and more new homes are built, home buyers will have more options and sellers will feel more confident in their next move.
➡️ As the forbearance program ends, homeowners who have plenty of equity will be able to sell vs. going to foreclosure, generating new listings.
If you're looking to buy a home soon, stick with it, because new listings are coming on the market every day!
OCTOBER 11- COPY & PASTE
OCTOBER 12 - COPY & PASTE
⏰ Here's a real estate terminology refresher: this industry is full of jargon and abbreviations and a lot of them show up on your mortgage statement.
The APR, annual percentage rate, reflects the interest rate and costs associated with obtaining a home loan. This includes broker fees, discount points, private mortgage insurance and closing costs. The APR offers a more accurate reading of your true borrowing costs than the mortgage rate by itself.
If you have questions about the mortgage process, drop me a message and I'd be glad to connect you with one of my favorite trusted lenders.
OCTOBER 13 - FILL IN THE BLANK
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Today I'm going to take you behind the for sale sign and tell you a few things about me that a lot of people don't know.
🍕 If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would be _____ [your most favorite food or meal]. I especially love the _____ [specific dish] from _____ [local restaurant].
🤩 I seriously think that _____ [celebrity] is my spirit animal. I just love _____ and _____ [list a couple of things that you relate to that person].
🎓 My college degree is in _____ [list your degree]. I always thought that I would be a _____, but now I can't imagine doing anything other than real estate!
🏡 I was born in ____ and raised in ____. I have lived in ____ [your city] for ____ [years] and love the _____ [a few things you love about your city].
🏖 As much as I love ____ [your city], my happy place is _____ [a place you absolutely love - and give a sentence or two about why].
So tell me something about you. Do we have anything in common?
OCTOBER 14 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Can you believe we're already talking about 2022? It feels like we just turned the page to 2021 but if you're thinking about selling your home during the next spring market, then it's time to get started.
Analysts are expecting another busy real estate market, so if you're going to buy or sell in the next six months to a year, now is the time to start making your game plan.
1️⃣ Start cleaning, donating, decluttering, organizing, purging your closets and cabinets and selling any old furniture that you're going to replace when you get to your new home anyway. The more you can do now, the less stressful it will be to prep for showings.
2️⃣ Start making your plan -- once you sell, where are you going to go? What will you do if your home sells before you find a new one? How will you prepare to compete in a multiple offer situation? (I can help you answer all of these questions!).
3️⃣ Get your professional photography taken now. Chicago homes present much better in photography and video when the skies are blue and the trees are full. And wait to put up any seasonal decor until that photo shoot -- we don't want to market your home with a pumpkin on the front steps in February!
4️⃣ Have a "pre-inspection" if your home is older and in need of repairs. The inspector can help identify any potential red flags to buyers so you can have them fixed prior to showings.
5️⃣ Meet with your agent earlier than you think you need to. We can talk through your goals, priorities and make a strong strategy to help get it done. If you're ready for an initial conversation, drop me a DM anytime and we can set up an initial Zoom consultation 🙌🏼
OCTOBER 15 - COPY & PASTE
OCTOBER 16 - FILL IN THE BLANK (USE CORRESPONDING EMOJI)
OCTOBER 17 - COPY & PASTE
Here's a reminder for anyone who needs it: pricing your home competitively is the most important part of your marketing strategy.
Even though it is a seller's market, an overpriced home is not going to sell. In fact, sometimes the best strategy is to price a home ever-so-slightly *below* market value to increase the likelihood of multiple offers. In a situation with multiple bids and buyers competing against one another, you'll probably wind up selling for over list price.
Of course, the best price for your home is going to depend on a lot of factors: market trends, local data, what comparable properties in your neighborhood are selling for, and what kind of updates you've made to your home.
If you're interested in taking a peek at what your home is worth, drop me a note and I'd be glad to run some comps for you.
OCTOBER 18 - FILL IN THE BLANK
The holiday season is fast-approaching and this year is not going to be a normal year for holiday shopping (Is anyone really surprised? 😂)
Retailers are predicting massive shipping delays and product shortages, mostly due to COVID-19.
Here's what this means for your family:
1) If you need to order gifts from big box retailers, you'll want to start ASAP! Expect backorders and longer shipping times.
2) Shopping local is always the best option! There are so many great local shops in _____ so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite go-to shops for gifts:
Have you started thinking about holiday shopping yet? When do you typically start?
OCTOBER 19 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Cozy wine bars, hot apple cider and haunted hayrides. Fall is a great time to bring back date night and explore some of _____'s best spots before the weather gets colder. Here are some of my favorite fall date nights to cozy up next time you want to hit the town.
What are your favorite spots to go for date night around this time of year?
OCTOBER 20 - COPY & PASTE
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When you hire me as your real estate agent, we're not just going to work together for a few months. When we work together, I want you to become my client for life!
That means there are a lot of ways I can support you as a homeowner well past closing day. There are too many to list -- so I'm sharing five of the most common ways I work with my clients after your deal is done.
1. CONNECT YOU WITH LOCAL RESOURCES: If you need "a guy" then I have one! Whether you need a house painter, an exterminator or an orthodontist, I've got a referral for you and if I don't, I can easily get you one.
2. PROVIDE HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS: And I do a lot of that right here on social media! Your home is your biggest investment so it is incredibly important to maintain it well. Be sure you have notifications turned on (tap the little bell icon at the top of my profile page) so you never miss an update from me.
3. KEEP UP WITH THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME: Online estimates are rarely accurate, because those computers haven't been inside your home. I can help you assess the value of your home accurately and completely free -- just let me know if you'd ever like me to run an equity analysis for you.
4. HOME DESIGN TIPS & IDEAS: I'm in people's homes every day, so I keep up with the latest design trends. If you need a second opinion on that wallpaper pattern or your new entry table, I'm a text away!
5. SUPPORT YOUR LONG-TERM PLANNING: Real estate isn't all HGTV and glamour shots. Real estate patterns shape the economy and real estate investments help secure your family's future. While I'm not a financial planner, if you're thinking about buying a home in 3-5 years, or downsizing when the kids head to college, I am always happy to have a conversation.
OCTOBER 21 - COPY & PASTE
You know your credit score is important numbers during your the home buying process, but what does that little number really mean?
Your credit score helps lenders determine the amount of risk they are taking on if they give you a mortgage loan. Scores range from 300 – 850 points and are based on your payment history and ability to repay your debts on time. Late and missed payments will both lower your credit score.
Higher scores can make creditors more confident that you will repay your loan. Most consumers have credit scores that fall between 600 and 750 and in 2020, the average FICO® Score in the U.S. reached 710.
If you don't know your credit score, DM me and I'd be glad to help you check your credit without a hard inquiry, or refer you to one of my trusted lenders for more information.
OCTOBER 22 - COPY & PASTE
📣 If you're saving money to buy a home, listen up. Today I'm giving you a tip to help you avoid one of the most common first-time homebuyer mistakes -- draining your savings account to buy your home.
A lot of first-time homebuyers will save and save to put 20% down and avoid mortgage insurance, which can be a big cost savings over the length of your loan.
However, sometimes they neglect to account for all of the other costs involved with homeownership: property taxes, closing costs, home maintenance, homeowner's association fees, homeowner's insurance and -- this is a big one -- home repairs.
Even if the home you buy is in pristine condition, it's unavoidable that you're going to have an appliance break, roof leak, or plumbing emergency at some point down the road. As a homeowner, it's a good idea to have three to six months of living expenses set aside in an emergency fund -- especially after closing day.
If putting 20% down means you won't have that emergency fund to fall back on when the dryer breaks down or the dishwasher causes a minor kitchen flood, you might consider a different loan option that would allow you to keep a cushion in the bank.
While we're on the topic of savings: what is your favorite money-saving tip or trick?
OCTOBER 23 - COPY & PASTE
The Scary Truth About Home Inspections 🕸
When you're buying a home, the home inspection is your best opportunity to identify any problems -- or potential problems -- with the property that you're going to purchase. The process can feel really daunting, because the home inspector is always going to find problems -- but the good news is, most of the things they will find are minor issues that can be easily repaired or negotiated.
While most issues are minor, there are a few things that could come up that are potential dealbreakers.
I've talked before about red flags to look for on your inspection report, but with Halloween less than a week away I thought I would share five of the scariest words and phrases that can appear on a home inspection report.
Swipe to see what they are and then tell me in the comments: do any of these surprise you?
OCTOBER 24 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Note: the cider recipe is non-alcoholic; the mimosa recipe contains champagne.
🍂 Stop here for your new favorite fall recipe. Today I'm whipping up a batch of _____ [apple cider mimosas/pumpkin spiced cider]. Don't they look good? 🤩
Grab your glass and let's get to know each other over _____ [beverages/cocktails]. Here are three random facts about me:
1. My favorite holiday is _____. I love it because _____ [describe a fun tradition you have that you love to do to celebrate].
2. I never by expensive _____ because _____ [reason. i.e. sunglasses, because I always lose or break them and I just cannot be trusted!]
3. It's a simple pleasure, but I really love _____ [buying fresh flowers for my home -- they just brighten up any room!]
Tap the bookmark icon below to save this post and tell me something random about yourself in the comments below ⬇️
OCTOBER 25 - COPY & PASTE
Is there anything more fun than decorating a new home? Fresh paint, new bed linens, and a few gratuitous Target runs for cleaning supplies that almost always cumulate in the candle aisle.
Although decorating a home can be expensive, most homeowners only need to invest in a few key pieces to start making a house feel like a home.
Generally, I tell my clients to think about what items in their home they tend to use/enjoy the most -- if you're a movie lover, a cozy couch and a big TV might be the areas where you decide to splurge. If you're known for your dinner parties, a solid dining table and comfortable chairs is a better bet.
Here are some general guidelines for what to save on/what to splurge on in your home:
-Beautiful artwork: consider investing in a few statement pieces, gradually, over the years.
-Kitchen cabinets: you use them every day, so invest in quality construction and they'll last a lifetime.
-Luxe bed sheets: nothing beats a high thread count! Everyone should own at least one pair of sheets that makes you feel like you're in a luxury hotel.
-A quality couch: performance fabric will save your life when that glass of red wine spills on your new white sofa.
-The bigger rug: always size up -- a bigger rug can help make your room feel bigger.
-Seasonal decor: you're only using it for a few months, so this is a good area to cut back or even DIY.
-Bathroom fixtures and finishings: they're easy to change when your bathroom needs an update, so don't go ultra-high end.
-Window curtains: changing your curtains is a simple way to change the entire vibe of a room and you can get beautiful ones at
-Shaded lamps: simple table lamps rarely make a statement, so save the big purchases for other home accents.
-Wall mirrors: a good mirror doesn't need to be pricy, not when there are so many budget-friendly options available.
What do you think? Did anything on this list surprise you?
OCTOBER 26 - COPY & PASTE
An appraisal gap occurs when your lender's appraiser says a home is worth less than you offered to pay, so you agree to cover any shortage between the offer price and the appraised value or renegotiate the sale price.
It’s written into your offer and usually will include a specific cap on high you will go. The purpose of an appraisal gap is to show the seller that you are so serious about buying the home that you're wiling to pay more than it's worth.
An appraisal gap is different than an appraisal contingency, which is a condition in place so buyers can walk away from a deal — with their earnest money — if the appraisal comes back low.
OCTOBER 27 - FILL IN THE BLANK
Want to know my secret to helping home buyers? 🤫
Social media. Social media is not about marketing for me: sure, I like to share my listings and keep you apprised of what's going on in my business, but my top priority is to connect with you and build real relationships on this platform. Social media is also an incredible resource for getting to know a neighborhood while deciding where you want to live.
Here is how social media can help you during the home buying process:
📲 Get to know your neighbors: we have some of the best locally-owned businesses here in _____ [your city] and most of them are on social media. For example, I follow _____ [a restaurant you love] for menu updates and _____ [a boutique you love] to see when they're dropping new inventory. You can also check out the local chambers of commerce for new store and restaurant openings, events and other local need-to-know info.
📲 Get a first-person look at living in _____ [your city]: You can learn a lot about your neighborhood by scoping out the local hashtags that businesses and individuals are using. I follow #_____ and #_____ [list two local hashtags you follow] and love seeing everything from beautiful architecture photography to how residents are decorating their front porches for fall.
📲 Find off-market and coming soon properties: I am connected with dozens of local real estate agents on social media. I keep an eye out for off-market properties, pocket listings and coming soon properties to see if they fit the bill for any of my buyers before they even hit the market.
If you have any questions about using social media in your home search, drop me a DM anytime. And if there's anything you'd like to see me post (or post more of!) please let me know. I want this space to be a helpful resource for you and guide to all things _____ [your city].
OCTOBER 28 - COPY & PASTE
This post is for all of my buyers who are thinking about adding HOMEOWNER to your title in 2022 🏡
After a busy 2021 another busy real estate market, so if you're going to buy or sell in the next six months to a year, now is the time to start making your game plan.
1️⃣ Get your financial house in order: come up with a savings plan, check (and if necessary, improve) your credit, and figure out your debt-to-income ratio.
2️⃣ Meet with your agent earlier than you think you need to. In a competitive market, planning ahead is the best way to set you up for success. Even if your purchase is a year or more away, we should talk now. And anyway, your goal of homeownership may be closer than you think!
3️⃣ Get a pre-approval letter from a trusted lender. Even if you aren't planning to home shop for a few months, your lender can help you determine how much home you can afford and what rates might be available to you when it comes time.
4️⃣ Start researching and spending time in your priority neighborhoods. My clients always ask me for my opinions on neighborhoods, but the only way to truly know for sure if you'll be happy living somewhere is to spend some time there. I know it's not always possible (if you're moving out of state) but if you can get to the neighborhoods in different times of day, walk the streets, visit the coffee shops, go out to dinner, etc. you'll have a more accurate picture of what your lifestyle will look like.
5️⃣ Start previewing properties and attending open houses. We'll set you up with an online home search so you can preview properties online and get a feel for what you like and don't like. Visiting open houses can help you narrow down your list of priorities and must-haves: for example, maybe you thought a walk-in pantry was a must-have but after viewing a few homes, you realize that you'd rather have more cabinet space and a smaller pantry.
If you have questions, remember that I'm only a call, text or DM away!
OCTOBER 29 - COPY & PASTE
Elsie de Wolfe, sometimes referred to as the "first lady" of American interior design, wrote The House in Good Taste in 1913 and so much of her design advice holds up today!
She was one of the first interior designers to advise her clients to let go of the Victorian penchant for dark furniture, bric-a-brac, and heavy draperies and instead let in natural light, to replace gaudy colors with beige and ivory, and to abandon clutter.
I love her philosophy -- that even if you follow design trends, home design is still hugely personal. Whether you intend for it to happen or not, your home is going to reflect your tastes and personality.
Do you have a favorite interior design style?