November 20, 2020
How to Have a Safe Thanksgiving in the Time of COVID -19

In typical 2020 fashion time has flown, and Thanksgiving is here. Sadly, also in true 2020 fashion we are having to celebrate the holiday a little different this year. Many people will be spending the holiday away from family and friends due to pandemic related travel restrictions or safety concerns. But that doesn’t mean you need to sit at your table sulking, this year is all about thinking outside of the box and Thanksgiving is no different!

There’s a multitude of ways you can still feel connected to family and friends while staying safe and we are here to help you with some ideas!

If you live close to family and friends, you can organize a meal exchange among a few households. Each household signs up for a dish or two to make and then divide it into equal portion and deliver them to the other households on Thanksgiving. Once drop off is done you can all jump on a video call or ZOOM (which has removed its time limit for the holiday) and enjoy your meals together!

For some people what they are going to miss is the joy of cooking together, so since we can’t all be in the same kitchen together, one way to re-create that atmosphere is for each household to prepare the same meals and prepare them together over a video chat.

We know that trying to do all of this virtually isn’t ideal, but we need to take advantage of what we have to try and make the experience the best it can be. If you’re limited to a small screen or laptop think of some of the other electronics you may already have that can make your family a little more life size! Smart displays like Amazon Echo Show or the Google Nest Hub are great ways to stay connected since they are easily controlled by voice commands which is super helpful while your hands are full cooking in the kitchen.

If you know of a family member or friend who will be alone for the holiday and you want to do something other than virtually, you could put together a little Thanksgiving care package if they live close or if they are long distance see if you can get something delivered locally that will make them feel part of the day even being far away.

Regardless of how you decide to celebrate we all know it’s not going to feel the same, but we hope these small tips will help you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2020
Michigan’s New COVID-19 Restrictions

With COVID cases rising Michigan officials have implemented a new series of stricter COVID-19 regulations that will go into effect this week.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Sunday that the new restrictions will be in effect from Nov. 18 through Dec. 8.

What does that mean for real estate?

  • No open houses

  • One–party showings by appointment only

  • Masks are required in the homes

  • No overlapping showings

  • Practice social distancing

For more on the restrictions see the graphic below

November 4, 2020
5 Decor Trends to Try This Fall / Winter at Home

Since we are all spending a lot more time at home due to the pandemic and will surely be spending a lot more time indoors as the weather gets colder, why not make your space even cozier!

We have found 5 new décor trends that will be perfect for this fall and winter, that we are sure you will love!

Trend #1:  Decorate with Fall Leaves

No doubt this time of year there is an abundance of leaves outside and who would have thought they would be the perfect way for decorating your home! Filling a large minimal vase with some branches of fall leaves is the easiest way to add a warm natural touch at home, but you can also explore more creative solutions like garlands and centerpieces.

Trend #2: Add a Touch of Warm Caramel & Cinnamon

Fall always brings the thought of warm colors and hues and this year is no different! Colors like cinnamon, caramel, terracotta, immediately add a warmer touch to any interior. If you don’t feel like completely redoing your house and painting your walls, no worries, you can achieve the same result by replacing some cushions and textiles.

Trend #3: Add a Piece of Textile Art

Have some empty wall space? Consider buying a handmade piece of textile art that can turn a plain wall into the focal point. You could also use a statement rug with a bold pattern, which can not only be used on the floor but placed on the wall.

Trend #4: Cozy up with Tartan

Tartan never seems to go out of style especially in the winter, but we are seeing it become a big trend for this year. If the style seems a little old and outdated to you, consider it in black and white, or grayscale which will modern it up a bit.

Trend #5: Revamp Your Rugs

Modern area rugs are seeing a hug comeback this year and are a must have for your fall and winter décor. The key is to find one with a bold decorative pattern, or right now people are leaning more toward the traditional designed rug altered a bit to make them look older (if you can find a vintage one than that’s a bonus)

October 22, 2020
How to Practice Safe Trick or Treating

Halloween is going to be a little different this year, like everything in 2020. But don’t fret, you can still celebrate but with some changes that we will help you navigate to keep you and your family safe!

Traditional trick-or-treating is considered a higher risk activity because of the typically large groups of children, and potential for face-to-face and high-touch moments (like grabbing candy) but if you follow these simple guidelines you should be able to have a fun filled and safe trick or treating experience.

  1. Wear a mask (and not just the costume kind): Yes, most costumes come with masks, but those masks alone aren’t effective at stopping the spread of germs. So, make sure your child wears at least a two-ply face mask, under their costume one. Or a better way to go – a Halloween-themed two-ply face mask!

  2. Limit the group size: Keep your trick-or-treating group to a max of 5 people that have been in your sphere of exposure.

  3. Limit the houses you visit: To limit unnecessary exposure to others, visit just the houses that you know or if that is not possible just go to a few homes on your street.

  4. Social distance: Leave lots of space between any other trick-or-treaters.

  5. Avoid contact: Whether passing out candy or walking with your children you should wear masks and gloves and stay outside their front door or at the end of their driveway or yard, so kids don’t have to touch door surfaces.

  6. No Communal Bowls: Instead of having kids reach into a communal candy bowl, people passing out candy should use gloves to hand out individual bags to each child, or better yet you can go buy a big PVC pipe to pass candy through which not only keeps you social distanced but it creates a fun new way to pass out candy!

  7. Practice good hand hygiene. Remember to have kids use hand sanitizer in between homes to further reduce risk.

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe Halloween!

October 16, 2020
Prep Your Entire Home for Cool Weather

It’s finally happened, the warm weather had released its grip and the cool weather of fall has arrived. Which, it bears the question is your home winter ready? Fall is a short season in Michigan and snowflakes can fly at any moment so it’s important to make sure your home is ready to withstand the upcoming winter.

The easiest way to tackle this is to work from the outside in. Start with the roof and make sure there are no loose shingles, that your gutters are cleaned out and that the exterior faucets are turned off to prevent pipes from bursting. Also, if you have nice landscaping that you want to protect, simply add more mulch which will help those perennials withstand the cold.

Next is to move indoors and start with your ceiling fans. Yup, you read that right! Most people don’t think about their ceiling fans during the winter but if you reverse their spin direction it can actually help you save energy by pushing rising heat back into the room! Speaking of heat, seal all your window gaps to prevent cool air from entering your home and hang up heavy duty drapes to help keep the drafts out!

Lastly is the fun part! Making your home cozy, because that’s one of the perks about winter! Swap out your bedding for some thick flannel sheets, add some holiday scented candles, and hang up some string lights to create a nice warm glow!

September 17, 2020
Tips for Getting a Tough Listing Off the Market

We’ve either encountered one or heard the horror stories about it. The dreaded tough listing…

Even the most experienced agents have issues with these, so that’s where we want to help so let’s dig in!

It’s happened the property you listed weeks ago is still on the market, it’s had its peak of showings with no signs of budging. First thing you need to do is mentally re-list the property. Go through a checklist of things that you can do to help your sellers realize they need to either make some updates to the home or lower the price.

With that being said it is important to tread lightly. To start it’s a good idea to avoid using certain language. Avoid using “highest price,” and instead use the term “fair market value.” You can also use phrasing like, “This is the initial list price,” and, “We have an ambitious list price.” That way your sellers are mentally prepared to bring the price down, if needed.

 Selling a home can be stressful and in turn sellers can be on edge especially when their home has no signs of moving off the market. If your sellers want to keep their home at a certain price point, then they need to entertain the idea of making improvements to the home. If they want to keep their home as-is without making any updates, then they need to understand that they may have to lower the price after 30 days on market. It’s not a pleasant topic but one that necessary to discuss.

The key to navigating this whole process is “don’t give up.” Once you’ve reached the point with your sellers that they have decided to either make upgrades or change the list price, you then just need to change your marketing plan from a 30 day to 60, and that’s ok! Know that you can manage the process for your seller to get their home sold successfully and get them to where they want to be.