Eric Kaler, New U of M president. I just met him!

 This Morning I was fortunate enough to meet the new U of M President. I also heard him answer some very tough questions at a forum two days ago. As I was listening to him, I thought, “It’s as if he has graduated from Toastmasters, learned the English language from Shakespeare, and learned how to pinpoint the answer to a major issue before you can finish explaining the problem!” I think we will watch in awe, the improvements that he will make at that school!

When will the ice be off Lake Minnetonka? Ice melting off a lake means spring and melts away spring fever.

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Everyone is anxious for the ice to be off the lake. We live in an area where we get cabin fever at this time of the year and we just can’t wait for one of the first signs of spring; the ice totally melting off the lake. istock_000005379973small1istock_000001025366small

Many people try to predict the exact date, people have “Ice Off” parties, and the winter blaas just seem to melt away along with the ice!

It is tax time. Deductions, exclusions, rebates, expenses, can I just get an extension?

I'm over my head. It's tax time!
I’m over my head. It’s tax time!

So I’m starting my taxes and it’s a little overwhelming. When you have your own business, and when you are your own business, it seems to take a long time to go through all the paperwork to get your taxes to the accountant. I think I will just go take a nap!

Do you want to move off the lake…

If you want to move off the lake, it is easier to just move yourself, not your house too!If you are moving off the lake, just move yourself, not the house. It's too much work!

Small houses are cozy, big houses provide privacy

Are you comfortable with the size of your house? I am just wondering because I have listed a beautiful house on Lake Minnetonka, close to Wayzata, Minnesota and last weekend I showed it to a nice family. They were concerned because the house was a little bit smaller than the one they live in now. They weren’t sure if they would be comfortable with less space. I have dealt with so many buyers who think they know just how many square feet they want in their new house. They know that their present house is too small or too big. But sometimes they find the perfect house, that has the pool, the big deck, but it is much smaller or bigger than they predicted they wanted. They move in and discover the house to be cozy, if it’s smaller, or provides more privacy, if it’s bigger.

But then, I wonder if anyone ever moves into their house and declares, “this is not right. I want to return it for another size.”  

 Shafer's 8x12' Front Gable model                   www.VirginiaLord.com

To Stage Or Not To Stage Your House, That Is The Question

If you are thinking of putting your house on the market you are probably thinking about how much time it will take to clean out the closets, get the carpet cleaned and clear out the garage. In this market you need to add something else to your list. With almost every house that has recently sold there was a difficult conversation initiated by the seller’s real estate agent.

The conversation probably went like this; the real estate agent says; “I can tell you have loved living in your house. It certainly is a great home. But any buyer needs to see it in a totally different way. Once we put the for sell sign up it no longer is your house. It now belongs to a future buyer. That buyer needs to be able to walk into your house and feel like it could be theirs at any given moment. If they walk in and see all these wonderful pictures of your family, they are going to think they are in your home, not theirs. They will feel like they are an uninvited guest in a strangers house. It is an uncomfortable feeling for them, to tell you the truth. They will walk in and then quickly walk out.  They will also compare your house to the one down the street which was professionally staged. In that house, the carpet was cleaned, some of the walls were painted, and the stagers brought in a few pieces of furniture, and many accent pieces to make the house look like a model home. People walk into that house and as soon as they are in the door, they say “WOW.”  Every room has been purged of clutter in that house. A storage unit was rented and many boxes containing their treasures are kept there. So, I have shown you all the many ways I am going to market your house, how many open houses we will have, how many days on average it will take to sell your house, and I strongly suggest you stage your house. Staging may shorten the time it is on the market, and it certaintly will help sell the house.”

The seller says; “Do we have to stage our house? You don’t understand, we have loved living here, just the way it was built, totally untouched, for the last twenty years!” The realtor says, “I think you just helped make my case. Buyers today want a house that has a more updated look than a house built twenty years ago without anything done to it. Painting, cleaning the carpets, decluttering and staging will certainly help.”  The seller says; “O.K.”

Virginia Lord
Raising the Bar in Real Esate
612.799.1700