Dennis McGirl | Germantown Real Estate


Even a first-time homebuyer can become an informed shopper, i.e. someone who understands the ins and outs of the housing market. In fact, some of the best ways to become informed as you move along the homebuying process include: 1. Determine How Much Money You'll Need. How much money do you have to spend on a home? Find out by getting pre-approved for a mortgage and establishing a homebuying budget. Pre-approval for a mortgage may help you speed up your journey from homebuyer to homeowner. And with the right homebuying budget, you'll be able to narrow your home search to residences that fall within a set price range. Plus, you'll be able to avoid the dangers associated with overspending for a home, along with the risk of falling behind on mortgage payments down the line. In addition, try to determine how much you'll need to cover the down payment, closing costs and other fees you may encounter during the homebuying process. By doing so, you'll be prepared to manage your expenses and ensure you have enough money to purchase your dream home. 2. Evaluate a Wide Range of Houses. Although you might fall in love with the first house you view, it is important to keep in mind that the real estate market is filled with a variety of exceptional residences. Therefore, if you spend some time attending open houses and home showings, you may be better equipped to find the right home quickly. For homebuyers, it usually is a great idea to create a list of must-haves for your house. This list will allow you to search for residences that fit specific criteria. Furthermore, don't forget that an informed homebuyer frequently asks questions as he or she assesses a residence. There is no such thing as a bad question to ask during an open house or home showing, and ensuring all of your concerns and queries are addressed is paramount in your quest to find the right home at the right price. 3. Collaborate with a Friendly, Experienced Real Estate Agent. When it comes to finding your dream home, who says you need to navigate the homebuying process alone? Instead, find a friendly, experienced real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying journey, and you can reap the benefits provided by a housing market expert. Your real estate agent will serve as a key contributor in your efforts to discover your ideal home quickly and effortlessly and will help take guesswork out of the homebuying process, too. Moreover, your real estate agent will be able to set up home showings, keep you up to date about new real estate listings in various cities and towns and provide comprehensive insights and resources into the housing market. As a result, this professional will make it simple for you to move along the homebuying process and guarantee you're satisfied with the end results. Be an informed homebuyer – use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble purchasing your dream residence.


If you plan to sell your home, it often is a good idea to learn about property showings. That way, you can prepare for showings and boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable property selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three things that sellers need to know about home showings.

1. A showing may make or break the house selling journey.

As a house seller, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression on a potential buyer. And if your home fails to impress a buyer, this individual is likely to move on to other residences.

By taking care of your home, you can make it easy for a buyer to fall in love with your residence during a showing. In fact, completing home maintenance tasks can make a world of difference in the eyes of property buyers.

Mowing the front lawn and trimming the hedges can help you bolster your residence's curb appeal. Meanwhile, removing clutter, vacuuming the rugs and scrubbing the floors enables you to improve your home's interior. And if you perform these home maintenance tasks prior to a showing, you can help a buyer envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your residence.

2. Even an unsuccessful home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity.

If a home showing fails to result in an offer to purchase your home, there is no need to worry. A home seller should view each showing as a learning opportunity and use it to find ways to upgrade his or her residence.

Remember, there is always room for improvement, especially when it comes to differentiating your house in a competitive real estate market. And if you take a buyer's feedback after a showing to heart, you can use this feedback to explore innovative ways to improve the look and feel of your home.

3. A home seller should strive to be flexible with property showing requests.

Ultimately, a seller may receive home showing requests on short notice. And in these instances, it helps to accommodate buyers' requests.

If a seller is willing to temporarily vacate his or her house to accommodate a last-minute showing request, this individual can make it simple for buyers to view the residence without delay. As a result, this seller can show his or her house to many potential buyers to speed up the property selling cycle.

As you get ready to show your residence to buyers, it usually helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you everything you need to know about the house selling journey and ensure you are fully prepared for any challenges that may come your way. Best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you promote your residence to dozens of prospective buyers so you can maximize your home sale earnings.

Hire a real estate agent today, and you can start showing your residence to potential buyers.



If you buy or sell a home, it is normal to expect negotiations after an initial offer is submitted. However, differentiating between a "fair" counter proposal and an exorbitant offer sometimes can be difficult.

Lucky for you, we're here to help homebuyers and home sellers submit a successful counter offer at any time.

Now, let's take a look at three best practices to help you create a successful counter proposal.

1. Consider Your Counterpart's Perspective

If you are buying a home, consider the seller's perspective. Or, if you're selling a house, evaluate the buyer's perspective. In both scenarios, you can gain insights into what your counterpart might be thinking and tailor your counter offer accordingly.

For example, if a house has been available for several weeks or months, a homebuyer should consider this information as he or she preps a counter proposal. By doing so, a homebuyer can weigh the pros and cons of waiting out a buyer's market and craft an effective counter offer.

On the other hand, if a home seller has several offers in hand, this seller may want to consider submitting a counter offer that matches or exceeds a house's initial asking price. With a seller's market in place, a home seller should have no trouble stirring up plenty of interest in a home, even if a buyer rejects a counter proposal.

2. Evaluate the Housing Market

Take a look at the prices of available houses in your city or town. This housing market data can help you differentiate between a buyer's and seller's market – something that may prove to be exceedingly valuable as you put together a counter offer.

Also, examine the prices of recently sold houses that are similar to the home that you want to buy or sell. By leveraging this housing market data, you can evaluate the prices of similar properties and boost your chances of submitting a competitive counter proposal.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

If you're struggling to create a fair counter offer, it certainly helps to consult with a real estate agent.

Ultimately, a real estate agent is committed to helping homebuyers and home sellers achieve their respective goals. This housing market professional can provide a wealth of housing market data to help a homebuyer or home seller craft a viable offer. Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased home offer recommendations, ensuring both buyers and sellers can make informed decisions.

Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent provides throughout the homebuying and home selling journey, either. A real estate agent will be ready to respond to a buyer's or seller's questions without delay. Plus, this housing market professional will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure all parties involved in a home sale enjoy a seamless experience.

Ready to negotiate a counter offer? Use the aforementioned best practices, and you can quickly and effortlessly create a successful counter proposal.



A home seller must consider the initial asking price of his or her residence closely. Because if a home seller sets an unrealistic initial asking price, he or she risks alienating potential buyers.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you set a realistic initial asking price for your house.

1. Review the Local Housing Market

The local housing market may favor buyers or sellers. Fortunately, if you analyze the local housing sector, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market – or vice-versa – and price your house accordingly.

In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of quality residences and a shortage of buyers. And if you're operating in a buyer's market, you may need to price your house aggressively to stir up interest in it.

Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is a shortage of quality residences and an abundance of buyers. In a seller's market, you may be able to generate lots of interest in your house, even if you set an above-average price for it.

Regardless of whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market, you should assess housing sector data. Find out how your residence stacks up against available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. Then, you may be better equipped than ever before to set a competitive initial asking price for your home.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

By performing a home inspection, you can receive comprehensive insights into your house's condition. Following an inspection, you can prioritize home repairs. Plus, you can use an inspection report to help you determine how to price your residence.

In addition, you can conduct a home appraisal prior to listing your residence. Thanks to an appraisal, you can receive a property valuation. And as a result, you can use this property valuation to price your house appropriately.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. Thus, he or she can help you establish the right price for your house.

Ultimately, a real estate agent is unafraid to be honest with a house seller. He or she will teach a seller about the housing market and provide unbiased recommendations about how to price a residence. Best of all, a real estate agent will promote a house to prospective buyers and ensure a seller can get the best price for his or her home.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide during a negotiation, either. A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a buyer on your behalf. As such, a real estate agent can help you optimize your house sale earnings.

For a home seller who wants to determine the right price for his or her house, it helps to prepare as much as possible. If you take advantage of the aforementioned tips, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your home and boost the likelihood of enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.



If you list your home and fail to stir up interest in it, there is no reason to panic. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to ensure your house consistently garners homebuyers' attention.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you showcase your home to dozens of prospective buyers.

1. Bolster Your House's Curb Appeal

How your home looks to potential buyers can have a significant impact on the house selling journey. If your residence appears drab and cluttered, buyers may be reluctant to set up a home showing. However, if you enhance your residence's curb appeal, you could make your home an attractive choice to buyers.

To upgrade your house's curb appeal, it is essential to mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. Don't forget to repair or replace any damaged home siding too. Because if you make your home's exterior appealing to buyers, you may find that many buyers want to check out your house as soon as possible.

2. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter is a problem that home sellers must eliminate. Otherwise, excess items scattered throughout a home may make a residence appear small.

For those who want to cut down on clutter, it may be beneficial to rent a storage unit. You can rent a storage unit close to home that enables you to keep various belongings safe until your residence sells.

If you are ready to get rid of assorted items, you can host a yard sale or list these items online. You also may want to donate unwanted items to a local charity or give them to family members or friends.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to generating interest in a home, it often helps to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional knows how to promote a residence to buyers, and ultimately, ensure a seller can reap the benefits of a quick, profitable property selling experience.

Initially, a real estate agent will walk through your home and perform an in-depth analysis. He or she next will work with you to craft a house selling strategy and showcase your residence to buyers. Finally, if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you assess this proposal and determine how to proceed.

Let's not forget about the assistance a real estate agent provides after you accept an offer to purchase, either. At this point, a real estate agent will guide you through the closing stages of the home selling journey. And if you have any concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is happy to address them.

If you find that buyers are hesitant to view your house, you may want to revamp your property selling strategy. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revise your house selling plan and take the necessary steps to get buyers interested in your residence.