Category Archives: Property Marketing

How to Buy a House Without a Bank Loan

There is an unspoken rule in the real estate market. You must have a bank mortgage to buy a house. But did you know there is a secret way to buy a house without a mortgage.

There is a secret financial trick that you can use to buy the house of your dreams in about 8 years and have NO mortgage payment. I know this sounds ridiculous but it’s true. When I write this article, most of the time, I focus on the negative aspects of home ownership and what to avoid when buying a house. This week I thought I would focus on the other side of the table. What to do if you are NOT in financial trouble or at risk of losing your house.

In the last couple of weeks I have gotten emails from people who are trying to get into their first house or upgrade their current house. I rarely get questions on what to do to save a house. So I will try to give more attention to upgrading your current home. Now back to what you really want to know. How do I get a house with no mortgage? Before I tell you how to do this please remember that having no mortgage on a house, while it is a help, it is not the answer to all your financial concerns.

You will still have to pay property taxes and electric, gas, etc. And remember I said the house of your dreams. Not your current house so more than likely you will be facing higher gas, electric, and utility bills. Your taxes also could be substantially higher. So if you are okay with these issues then I’ll share my secret with you. Have you ever heard of compounding, or compounding interest. Compounding is basically when you start with a small amount of money and allow it to build up over time, then you take the money that has built up and reinvest it with the original money to get an even higher return.

Over time you can reach huge returns by just continuing to reinvest your profits. Well if I haven’t gotten too technical, this technique of compounding can be used for a house as well. You can buy a house for a below market price stay in the house for about two years, do some minor improvements and sell the house at a profit. This is because house values over time always rise, and by buying a house under market value the value rises even faster.

Take all the profit from that house and put it down on your next house that you buy below market value also. Do the exact same technique, by the fourth or fifth house you will have a larger house, very little if any debt and you won’t have paid taxes on any of the profit from the sale of your other houses. The reason you won’t pay any taxes is because the government allows you to not pay taxes on the sale of your home if it is your principal residence for two years and you take the profit from the sale and put it toward your new home purchase. It’s the government’s way of saying thank you for stimulating the economy (by selling your house and buying another one).

Now I know you are probably thinking that you don’t want to move every 2 years. You don’t HAVE to move every two years, two years is just the minimum that you have to be in the house to qualify for the tax exemption. This is a great technique for younger couples who don’t mind moving (especially to a larger house) every couple of years. Now for the disclaimer. Before you start selling your house please check with your accountant to make sure that you can qualify for this exemption. Also, this technique may seem a little complicated. If you have questions about how to do this shoot me an email and I can explain it a little further.

Till next time, Good luck and God Bless and remember… If you have any questions about saving or selling your home or any topics on real estate that you would like to know more about please email me and I will answer your questions in this column.

Reasons For Buying, Your Starter Home

Although, we often, consider, home ownership, as one of the core ingredients, in the American Dream, the financial realities of doing so, often, begins, with buying a starter home, rather than, the home of one’s dreams! As a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, in the State of New York, I have often discussed, this concept and approach, as opposed to simply, waiting, and hoping, for the ability, in the future, to buy something else. Life is evolving, and our needs, goals, priorities, and perceptions, often, change over time. Many of us, must, decide, if buying something, focused on now, rather than for the longer – term, may be a smart approach, and alternative, to merely, renting. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some reasons, for purchasing, a starter house.

1. Renting versus buying: When one rents, all the funds, are merely expenses, and go, to your landlord. They become, similar to, paying monthly charges for utilities, and bills. If there is an affordable way, to purchase a house, rather than, merely, renting, you become to build – up, and create, a genuine asset, which usually grows, over time! Wouldn’t you benefit, in a real way, from creating value from your monthly home payments, and, eventually, being able to use the proceeds, towards a down – payment, for something, closer to your dream home? If you have collected, at least some funds (or a family member will provide you, with it), then, a starter home, may be a good idea, for you, and your needs, and priorities!

2. What is a starter home?: What is meant, by a starter house? Generally, it means, accepting your current financial abilities, and situation, and creating a process, for building up your total assets, when the time comes. Since, needs, goals, priorities, etc, change and evolve, over time, as long, as this home, meets your current needs, as well as an apartment rental might, it’s often, a smart approach! Many younger couples begin this way, before they have families, or other needs. Sometimes, this permits someone to sell, and buy something more appropriate in the future, while, for others, if the property and neighborhood, permit (and it makes sense), you might expand it, renovate, and enjoy living there, for a longer- term.

Historically, real estate has been, one of the best overall investments, because it handles, both our housing needs, as well as builds equity, while doing so. Since, for most, our house represents our single, biggest, financial asset, doesn’t it make sense, to take advantage of, the possibilities?

How Much House, Can You AFFORD?

If you wish, to enjoy, the happiest experience, from your home, doesn’t it make sense, to avoid the unnecessary stress and tension/ hassle, from buying, a place, beyond your comfortable, financial – means? In my, over 15 years, as a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, in New York State, I have come, to believe, the happiest home buyer, is, almost always, one who purchases a house, he can AFFORD, which meets most of his key needs, and requirements/ personal priorities, etc! How much house, can you AFFORD? This question must be considered, seriously, before purchasing, what to most of us, is our single – biggest, financial asset. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Assets; attention; assumptions: Begin the process, by carefully reviewing all your current assets, and determining, how much, you feel, comfortably, is needed, to maintain, your perceived, nest – egg! During this consideration, one must pay keen attention, to his, other – than – housing needs/ expenses, and, what, he can really afford! It’s important to align one’s assumptions, with a well – considered, focus, on aligning your personal comfort zone, with, your true needs, etc!

2. Finances: Take a close, objective look, at your total financial picture, both, at – present, and into the future! How can anyone, fully enjoy their home, unless/ until, they examine their finances, and, objectively, know, what is currently, within their means, and, perhaps, their future potential?

3. Future: What is the objective of the house purchase? Are you considering it, as a starter – home, or your longer – term solution, to your, and your family’s housing needs, requires, and wishes? Depending on this, and, what the future, might bring, your decision, and action, should vary!

4. Options; opportunities; organized: What are your options, in terms of financial affordability, personal comfort zone, region/ area/ neighborhood, commuting to work, safety, etc? Does a specific house, often, any opportunities, because of it’s bones, region, area, neighborhood, lot – size, safety, schools/ educational system, etc? Your search will be better and more effective/ focused, if/ when, you proceed, in an organized manner!

5. Revenue; realistic; reasons; region: Is a single – family house, best, for you, or would you be better off, and feel more comfortable, with owning and living in a multi – family residence? If so, what is the probable, revenue source? Is your approach, realistic, and are your reasons, in your personal, best interests? Is there any flexibility, in terms of the region, etc?

6. Delve deeply; discover: Go beyond the surface, and delve deeply, into your best interests, etc, so you might discover, the best path, for you!

If you know, and are comfortable with, knowing what you can, truly, AFFORD, you will benefit. Are you ready to proceed, wisely?

Have You Ever Purchased a Hoarder House?

When I first saw the TV show ‘Hoarders’, I wondered how they found all those houses.

After buying houses for years, I realize that hoarder houses are everywhere. Shocking!

The above photo is from one of the hoarder houses we purchased. Hundreds (thousands?) of dolls. They were in EVERY room on both floors with only a path to walk through. And boxes. And all of the accessories. I never walked through that house alone. Chucky?

But so many people have houses stuffed with things. Sometimes they’re forced out – this woman was moved into a retirement community by her children. Sometimes I guess they’re just done? We’ve had multiple houses where it looks like the sellers have just gone out to run an errand – all their furniture and clothes still there – dresser, kitchen and bathroom cabinets full – closets full – refrigerator full – personal items still left lying around. Perhaps they just packed a suitcase and left? I guess when you’re done, you’re done.

How do you, the buyer, get rid of all the stuff? That can end up being a huge expense.

One house we purchased had 62 tires inside. What?!

I’ve tried lots of things to avoid hauling it all to the dump (think expense). I’ve tried “moving” sales, selling to vendors at flea markets (“for only $X amount you can have everything”), salvation army, any donation pick-up sources, Craigslist.

One time, I had a house with a number of larger items left. Lots of old, worn furniture but certainly still usable. I put photos on Craigslist and said, “FREE. House open from 12 noon to 12:30pm. Come with a truck.” I left the house open and went back by after 1pm. Nothing left but crumbs. It was fabulous.

Naturally, we have also spent $thousands at the dump emptying houses. We ask sellers what they plan to leave (and hope they’re honest) then reduce our offer by approximate costs to clean out the house.

Real estate investing is interesting on so many levels. We’ve also kept some amazing finds left behind – I have a wonderful and beautiful piano. One seller texted after move-out that he’d left his motorcycle in the garage and the signed title on the kitchen counter. After my husband had some fun on it… we sold it for thousands. Again, shocking. Why didn’t the owner sell it instead of leaving it for us? Who knows – I gave up thinking for the sellers years ago.

So many stories and so much fun.

What hoarder houses have you gone into? What fabulous finds have you gotten with purchase?

How Can You Sell Your House in "As Is" Condition?

There are a large number of house buying companies all across the country that advertise as wanting buy houses in “as is” condition, in addition to being able to pay cash for them and close much faster than a conventional buyer. So why would you want to contact one of these companies in your area if you have a challenging house to sell? Also isn’t it true that those types of companies just want to try and rip you off? These are two very important questions that I’m sure you have asked yourself if you have a fixer type house to sell that may not be best suited for the retail market in its present condition. For the remainder of this article I am going to address these important questions and more in order to help you better understand why these “We Buy Houses” companies exist and how you may be able to utilize the services they provide in your area.

If you happen to be in a situation where you need to sell a house that is in dyer need of major updating and/or some renovation and repair you can be sure that the traditional way of selling a house will be a bumpy ride for you. When people have a “pretty house” to sell they generally call their local realtor, have them come up with a list price that is supported by comparable properties and they list the house for sale on the RMLS realtor network. The hope is that other realtors will see the property and have a buyer for it, then soon thereafter you will be presented with an acceptable offer for the property and you will be on your way to a hassle free closing. Although no real estate sale is that easy these days, that is the general process for houses that don’t need and major updating or repair.

If you do happen to be selling a house that is in need of minor TLC and updating to major renovation and repair, you can pretty much expect a bumpy sales process if you plan on going the traditional route that was just described. The first reason is because most people will always contact a realtor or two in the beginning stages of trying to sell a property….and in this type of case that is where the first misstep can take place. The problem with houses that need major updating and repair (besides the obvious) is that realtors generally have no clue what they are really worth, so quite often they will throw out a number that sounds great in theory but will never come to fruition. I like to call this buying the listing and some realtors will do it intentionally to help secure a future paycheck while others will do it out of pure ignorance because they just don’t know any better. The 2nd major stumbling block that you will hit going this route is that you run a large risk of having multiple sale fails. This is because your home will be on display for every inexperienced rehabber in your market to make an offer on, and after they have wasted 10-15 days of your time most of them will finally realize that they are paying too much for the house and back out of the deal. My house buying company buys a number of houses every year from unhappy sellers who have been highly irritated by the process of listing at one price, having multiple sale fails and ultimately selling at a much lower price. Now don’t get me wrong, there are many houses that should be listed at higher prices and will eventually sell at close to that, but if you know your home is in need of some major renovation and repair you might want to think twice about listing the property with a realtor if you want to see it sell anytime in the near future.

So what is your alternative you ask? Well that is where the “We Buy Houses” companies come into play…..You see some of those companies are seasoned real estate rehabbers who have a very educated eye when it comes to buying houses that are in need of major renovation and repair. So now think about the process I described above and compare that to receiving a cash offer with a quick closing from an educated individual who will absolutely honor the contract and close the deal on time. Now you may not always like the cash price that some of these companies will offer if you have already spoken with a realtor, but you have to remember that the property is only worth what it will sell for and not what a realtor or Zillow thinks its worth. When people buy houses in need of major renovation and repair they are taking a risk by basically paying you to take on a major project. So in return for that risk and the work that goes along with it there must be a reward; otherwise nobody would ever buy houses that need repairs. To make it very simple to understand nobody is going to buy a house for $150,000 that needs $50,000 in repairs for it to then be worth $200,000. They may look to purchase the property for between $100,000-$120,000 but probably no more than that, and if they are looking to buy it for more you can be pretty sure that the sale will fall through at some point. This is a major reason why some people believe that the “We Buy Houses” companies are just trying to rip you off, when in actuality they are just trying to purchase your property at a price that will adequately compensate them for all of the risk and effort they will be putting into it.

So how do you know which “We Buy Houses” company to call to get the best deal? This is a great question and one that I’m sure you have asked yourself at some point. Make sure to do some research on the company ahead of time to see if they have a website, vanity phone number and anything else that makes them look like they are running a real organized business. Also make sure to ask if you can see pictures of some of there previous renovation projects, that way you know you are dealing with an actual rehabber and not just a real estate wholesaler who will be looking to sell the property to a rehabber for a profit. For my house buying company we actually built an entire website around showcasing all of our renovation projects, and I always share it with every seller that we meet with so that they can check it out in order to see what we are capable of. If you are able to find a quality “We Buy Houses” company in your area I would absolutely suggest selling your fixer property to them if you feel that the price they offer you is fair based on the amount of repairs that are needed. Just remember that there will need to be a profit in the deal for whoever buys your property, otherwise it will just sit on the market until you lower the price to a point where it makes sense to take the risk of purchasing it. I hope you enjoyed this article and found the information useful when it comes to selling a house in need of renovation and repair.

Organization Is the Backbone – Staging a House for Sale

A good organization system is invaluable in any household – but you can live without it in your day to day life if you choose to. However, when your house is listed for sale you absolutely must organize every space in the home. If you skip this step in staging your house for sale it could cost you money at closing with a lower offer or cause buyers to pass on your house altogether.

Organization can be elusive. People have the best intentions of getting and staying organized. They go out and buy boxes and baskets and promise themselves they are going to use them from here on out. And sometimes they do – but more often than not – it doesn’t work out that way. Most commonly these people end up with boxes and baskets full of stuff – and more stuff everywhere else. This is fine for everyday life, but when the house is listed for sale it just won’t do.

One of many reasons it is so difficult to live in a house while it is listed for sale: All areas of your home simply must be well organized while the house is listed. Why? Because buyers are curious (nosy) and rightfully so.

When a potential buyer decides to visit your house in person there are so many obstacles to overcome to even get them through the door. Do the online photos look great? Is the house priced right? Is the curb appeal great? Does anything smell funky from the front walk?

When you actually get them into the house you are solidly in the game. You have overcome all the initial obstacles to selling your house to these particular people. These just might be your buyers so don’t blow it with “behind the scenes” chaos.

Behind the scenes chaos occurs when a house looks good on the surface, but underneath the clean windows, great furniture arrangement, and strategically placed lighting there is disorganized space. Cabinets, drawers, built-ins, and closets have a huge impact on the buying decision. If buyers cannot easily see how their things will work in the space they will emotionally disconnect from the house. You do not want this disconnect to happen. It is the buyer’s emotional connection to a house that brings the best offer. Chaos disconnect causes them to want to leave the house – not buy a home.

Buyers are a nosy bunch – and rightfully so. They want to inspect every space they are considering for purchase. Wouldn’t you? Buying a home is most often the largest purchase people make in their life time. They need to feel confident in making an offer. They need to feel connected to a home to be willing to pay for it.

They need to see every single inch of space the house has to offer. This includes every built in drawer, cabinet, and closet in the house. Every. One. Of. Them. It is reasonable to think buyers will not be opening drawers and cabinets in furniture pieces that will not be included in the sale of a house – but don’t count on it. No realtor can be in every room at every time. Drawers will be opened, inspected, and judged. Keep this in mind.

Even the most beautiful staging in every room of a house is blown by closets or cabinets crammed full of disaster. If you have stuff just thrown about in any space, large or small, it tells a buyer there is not enough storage space in this house to live in peace. Buyers don’t necessarily hear the chaos clearly or in those words, but they will strongly feel the discord in the space. They will “feel” a reason to pass on the property or to make a low offer because they don’t feel there is enough storage space. They may move on to the next house because they believe their things will never fit in this one.

Your de-cluttering process should have helped you pare down to only those things that bring you joy or that you really need. The next step is to organize the things that stay in the best way possible so that it brings you and, more importantly, your buyers a sense of peace.

Buyers are willing to pay for spaces that they can envision living calm and peaceful lives in. They want to think that if they lived in your beautiful organized house they would have the calm and peaceful life they aspire to. They believe they will be able to find their car keys, sunglasses, and cell phone at all times.

Organized spaces are the “bones” that hold up the quality seen in a staged home. Without organization even the best staged room doesn’t hold up to a buyer’s inspection.

When staging your house to sell make sure you organize every space as part of your process because you know buyers are going to look everywhere! You will be glad you took the time on closing day with cash in the bank!

Buying A House In Probate

Everybody loves a good deal and buying a house in probate can be a fantastic opportunity to own property with a lower cost to acquire it. Purchasing a probate property means that the property was once owned by a person now deceased.

There Are Two Ways That A Property Can Go Into Probate:

  1. The heirs of the deceased inherit the property. Many times heirs want to sell a property quickly so they aren’t responsible for insurance, taxes, maintenance and other associated costs of homeownership.
  2. There is no will or heir. In this case, it’s the state’s responsibility to sell the property and this often means the property will sell below the actual market value.

Real estate listings don’t actually state that a house is in probate. Real estate insiders will keep a pulse on the local probate market and watch for obituaries to see potential probate property becoming available. Many real estate investors utilize probate sales as a primary means in which to purchase investment property.

Often an estate representative or probate attorney will hire a real estate agent to market the property just as they would a traditional real estate listing. When an offer is presented, the estate’s representative can either accept, counter or reject the offer. There are specific rules to follow and every state is different. So, having a knowledgeable person on your team who knows your state’s procedures is key.

Things To Think About Regarding Real Estate In Probate:

  • Purchasing a probate property can take longer since there may be a probate court process that can take a number of months.
  • Cash talks. If you are able to make a cash offer, then that may speed up the process of probate.
  • Learn as much about the property as possible. Because a property is sold in as-is condition, make sure you have the property thoroughly inspected before committing to purchase it. Additionally, if any debt is attached to the property, you could become liable for it without even knowing it existed. Do your homework!
  • Know the terms and conditions of a probate sale. In general, no contingencies are accepted.
  • Work with a real estate professional that knows the ins and outs of a probate sale.
  • Be prepared to go to court. While in some cases you can make an offer on the property and it is accepted while another scenario may involve appearing in court (in some states) to overbid somebody else’s offer. When this takes place, you must be prepared with money in hand to complete the transaction.
  • Many probate properties are in need of “TLC”. Often times elderly homeowners fail to make necessary home improvements on account of a tight budget, physical condition or they are unable to recognize that the property needs repair. Make sure that you recognize problems (and costs) that could arise from neglected home improvement projects.

While buying a property in probate can be a financially savvy move, it can also be overwhelming with all of the details and court-regulated steps involved. Keep in mind that probate laws will vary from one state to the next. It is always a good idea to consult a knowledgeable real estate professional that is well versed in the ins and outs of probate sales.

There are pros and cons that go along with purchasing probate property. In some cases, you can find probate sales that are great bargains. On the flip side, some can be overpriced because of greedy heirs. Whichever the case may be make sure that you know the practice of probate real estate in your state and have a knowledgeable real estate professional on your side to help guide you through the process.

How to Buy a House For Back Taxes, Dirt Cheap, Without Competition

So you’re looking for a smarter way to buy a property, either to live in, or to invest in. Congratulations. If you’re reading this article, it means you’ve leapt out of the “thinking” phase and into the “doing” phase, and most people never make it that far. There are many deals to be had, if you’re willing to do a little research.

You’ve probably heard that tax foreclosure property is a great investment, and you haven’t been led astray; but now, you’re going to learn how to buy a house for back taxes, dirt cheap, without dealing with the headache of competition. If you’re looking for a cheap property to buy for yourself to live in, stay tuned as well- this technique will work even better if you’re not an investor!

Right now, throw out everything you’ve heard or read about tax sales. If you’re smart, you’re going to figure out quickly that you can’t compete with all the big companies that will be clamoring to bid against you at the sale. Tax sale, be it for deeds or liens, is not a place for the savvy investor in today’s market. There’s a much better way for you to buy a house for back taxes: from the tax delinquent owner himself.

Most people overlook this strategy, which is why you’ll find next to no competition. If you’ve ever tried buying directly from an owner in mortgage foreclosure, then you understand why this is so widely unappealing to failed mortgage foreclosure investors. Frequently you can’t get these owners to return your call for the life of you– and if you do get a deal, then you have to deal with mortgage, the second mortgage, the back bills, the back taxes; but when you buy a house for back taxes, it’s a different animal.

Why?

Because these houses almost never have a mortgage!

That’s right. The mortgage company takes care of any tax problems to avoid losing their interest in the property. So you’ll find almost all these houses are free of a mortgage, or they wouldn’t be up for tax sale in the first place.

Another thing that might seem counter-intuitive is that the owners will almost always return your calls, and when they do, they’re eager to make a deal with you to sell to you, and for dirt cheap, just to get the property out of their name! This is because, as you’ll see, many owners of these properties aren’t people who are down on their luck, and are losing their homes. They’re people who inherited property, or absentee landlords, who have had it with this economy, and actually let the property go to tax sale on purpose, just to get rid of it.

This gold mine of owners can be hard to find, making them great prospects, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how many of these owners are ready to hand over their deed for a couple hundred dollars to you, just because they’d rather see it go to a nice, small-time investor like you, than to see it go to the government. If you’re looking to buy a property for yourself to live in? Even better. Expect to find owners even more excited to give it to you- for almost no money.

Advantages Of Hiring Property Lawyers When Buying Houses

It is essential for everyone to have the house of their dreams in order to create better future and improve their lifestyle. However, with the increasing number of houses available in the market, individuals will have a hard time examining and evaluating houses if it meets their needs and preferences such as the safety of their family.

One option that individuals can choose is to hire reliable real estate brokers. These experienced individuals can help house buyers assess the property and the house. From the land property aesthetics, the interior features and even the house condition, agents can surely help house buyers determine if the house can provide the features they need and determine the right value of the property. In addition, in case that you wish to find better houses, real estate agents can do the job for you in order to make your ventures a lot easier.

After choosing the house you wish to purchase, it is essential for house buyers to also hire property lawyers. These lawyers are also needed in order to ensure a better purchase and help you address all the legal documents you need. Here are other advantages that house buyers may obtain by hiring lawyers.

Legal consultation – For first-time house buyers, they need to understand the rules and policies of purchasing houses. Therefore, by hiring lawyers, individuals can learn and understand the different rules that encompass a house and property.

Review sales contract – Lawyers can help house buyers carefully review the sales contract they need to sign in which can help them determine if the agreement is properly done and there are no hidden terms in the document that may affect your purchase.

Assured house and property title – This is one of the most essential aspects in house buying since individuals must be sure that the house has legal documents and titles, giving buyers the assurance that the property has no certain problems.

Learn local zoning laws – Some local areas have certain laws with regards to building houses. Hence, house buyers can learn about the essential zoning laws in the area which can also help them determine if they can improve the property they purchased.

With the help of reliable property lawyers that offer these amazing features, house buyers can ensure their purchase and make their lifestyle better. They can also find the ideal house that can help them improve their future and make their ventures easier. For more, click here.

Fashion Do’s and Don’ts When House Hunting

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home offers homebuyers fashion home runs and strikeouts when shopping for a home. It might not be obvious that what you wear when house hunting can impact what you pay for a home. Years of showing homes and introducing prospective buyers to home sellers, the way buyers project themselves fashion-wise makes a big impression.

First impressions by real estate agents and home sellers are all they have when assessing potential buyers. If you appear well-groomed, under-stated and wear home price-range-appropriate clothes you could pay less than the tattooed, big-hair, over-jeweled and torn-blue jean buyer your in competition with in multiple-offers for the same home. Buying a home is a business transaction, think business wear when shopping for a home.

Women

-Pants are fine, but make sure they’re not low riders.

-Ditch the tee shirts, tank and tube tops. House hunting is not a vacation.

-Skirts are great. Minis send the wrong message.

-Wear comfortable but presentable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, climbing up stairs and in and out of transportation.

-Forget high-heels. Spiked heels on shoes can easily dent bamboo and other softer wood floors. Plus if you got into the yard to take a look at the roof you might end up aerating the lawn.

-Leave the animal prints for when you’re out to a nightclub. Busy or fussy fashion looks can be distracting and not on everyone’s top ten fashion list.

-Simple jewelry and limited amounts accent your business perspective. Omit the” bling” otherwise you might end up paying more for a home, because the sellers think you can afford it.

-Simplify make-up, hair and manicure styles to appeal to the majority of people. You’re not going to get a better deal because the sellers love your fabulous acrylic nails.

-No fur coats, ever. It’s a political and extravagant statement that could cost you a home or an additional $10,000.

-No low cut or revealing looks. Very rarely do homebuyers get a discount for sex.

Men

-Verify shoe soles aren’t caked with mud before you enter any open house. Many a homebuyer never made it to the kitchen after walking across freshly cleaned carpet with dirty shoes.

-No jogging, gym-wear, bike shorts or swimsuits. Unless, you’re testing the workout facilities in a condominium building on your second visit.

-Business-casual pants are best, but if you must wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not ripped.

-Open collar shirts work fine, but realty agents and home sellers don’t need to see your buffed or not so buffed chest or four gold chains.

-Think twice about sporting more than one earring. If we were all the same life would be boring.

-Omit muscle and tee shirts and no underwear elastic waistbands displayed please. You might turn Ms. home seller on, but Mr. home seller might not appreciate it.

-Limit tattoo exposure, they’re the rage, but not for everyone. Ditto the ladies on this one.

-Wear simple patterned shirts with matching plain pants. Remember that red denotes power.

-Don’t over-dress to impress. Leave the cuff links and French cuffed shirts at home.

Both

-Coffee “go-cups” aren’t a fashion accessory. Coffee is easily spilled on carpets when walking up stairs or opening closets and cabinets when touring properties.

-Baseball caps are for bad hair days. Plus they send the wrong negotiating message when purchasing the largest asset you’ll own.

-Wet umbrellas should be parked outside the front door, not on hardwood floors or entry tables and chairs.

-Wear slip on shoes when touring open houses. You might be asked to remove your shoes out of cultural respect to the owner, inclement weather or newly installed floor coverings.

-If you don’t want to take off your shoes buy and carry blue disposable surgical booties-or ask your agent for a pair.

-You must wear socks or stockings. No sandals, period. If you are asked to remove your shoes, owners don’t necessarily want your bare feet on their floors.

-Cell phones. If you need to make or receive a call go to a place where you won’t disturb others at the open house. Never negotiate a home purchase contract on a different property contract while your viewing a home.

-Carry bicycle and motorcycle helmets with you. Ask before your park them on any surface.

-Shorts are okay if they are close to knee length. No torn or overly tight styles.

-Dress for the season. Don’t wear shorts in snow or black wool in August, even if it is your best house-hunting outfit.

-Remove your sunglasses when inside buildings. People expect some eye contact.

-Go easy on the perfume. Many people have allergies to it today and they could be the owners of the house you fell in love with.

-Put cigarettes, cigars and pipes out of view. They’re not exactly a popular fashion or political statement in 2006.

Children

-Tops, pants, shoes and socks required.

-Diapers are not fashion.