Recent Blog Posts http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/rss_blog_posts Beds, Baths, - QCFSBO vs. FSBOFox

See how the two Quad Cities FSBO companies compare

We are asked many times how we compare to QCFSBO, so we thought it may be helpful to show you the 3 biggest differences between our two websites...

Renewal Fee’s 

QFSBO charges renewals fees after your initial package choice expires, either 60 or 90 days.

FSBOFox- All of our  packages are list until sold, meaning no renewal fees ever.  One flat listing fee is all it takes to sell your home.

 

# of Photo’s

QCFSBO offers up to 6 photos in its packages, extra pictures available with additional charges

FSBOFox.com- We offer up to 20 wide angle photos in all of our packages. 

 

Restrictive Contract

QCFSBO requires you sign a contract that you will not advertise your home anywhere else.

FSBOFox.com - You are free to promote your home in any way you see fit. We automatically feed your listing to 20 other websites, to help you get the most exposure possible. View Sites

 

After reading this blog you can see why more and more Quad Cities homeowners are choosing FSBOFox.com over QCFSBO. 

We are here to help and are also available on weekends to help you list your home.

Please call or email with any questions you may have.

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/fsbofox-vs-qcfsbo.html MTExLTEzODcxMTE4MDY= Sun, 15 Dec 2013 06:50:06 -0600
Beds, Baths, - As kids around the Quad Cities are heading back to school this year I thought it would be a good idea to offer up some home learning and safety tips to make your family’s year a success.

Bus Stop Safety: As a parent myself, my first concern is always safety. I want to provide my children with a safe and comfortable place to learn. For a lot of people their school mornings start at the bus stop. Make sure your child knows where and how to get to their bus stop in the mornings. You can practice walking to it with them. Make friends with a house near the bus stop so kids have a place to go in case of an emergency. Also make sure your child knows who to call if there is an emergency. For younger children I recommend you wait with them at the bus stop or join a community group where parents rotate escorting and chaperoning the bus stop until the bus arrives.

Learning zone at home: Upon returning home from school it is a good idea to set up a learning area for your child to complete their homework. This could be in their room, kitchen, dining room, or an office. Wherever you decide to make this place have it in a public area of  your home so you can help answer any questions your child has. Make your learning zone free from distractions so your child can focus. Some popular distractions are; television, loud music, siblings, dad/mom making supper, cellphones, and even the Internet. Finally, setup a routine for your learning zone. It may look something like this. Your child comes home and eats a snack. Ask your child what homework they have and verify it with their planner or even a teacher’s website. Establish a length of time your child will spend on homework each night, usually 20-60 minutes is adequate. If they do not have any homework for the night they can use this time to study for an upcoming test, work towards a project due in the following weeks, or read for fun.

Time with the family: This is without a doubt the most important habit to establish in your home. Spending time with your child doing their homework will have dramatic effect on their academics. You will strengthen a bond with your son or daughter, create values in education, and demonstrate good learning habits. As a parent you will be aware of what your child is studying, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and will be able to spend valuable time with them before their teenage independence phase.

Follow these tips to help make your home a fun and engaging place to learn for your child. You may not see the payoff immediately. But trust me, you will when they graduate and are no longer living at home in your basement for the next 40 years.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/back-to-school-reminders-for-your-house.html MTEwLTEzNzY4NDA0NTU= Sun, 18 Aug 2013 10:40:55 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Chances are, you are reading this blog looking for tips, suggestions, and ways to sell FSBO (for sale by owner.) Not only will you learn how to sell your home on your own, but you will learn how to pay yourself tens of thousands of dollars.

We sold our own home in 10 days; I will share with you the secrets and tips we used to sell our personal home fast. Selling our home in just 10 days was awesome, and the hard work we had put into the upkeep of our home over the previous 7 years had finally paid off. We did spend weeks preparing our home for sale though before actually listing it.

The first hurdle we had to overcome was deciding if the time was right to sell. My wife and I had many talks whether or not we were ready to sell. We knew if we were not ready to jump into the FSBO market head first, we would never be successful selling our home.

My wife and I then spent two weeks deep cleaning our house from top to bottom, items such as; kitchen cupboards, window seals, closets, walls, ceiling fan blades, patio, gutters, and everything in between. As homeowners wanting to sell FSBO, we really wanted to make the most out of our pictures and really have them pop.  This is hard work in the bag for when it comes time to show your home.

For the entire FSBO process the most time we dedicated was to the pricing of our home. These talks had been on and off over the 7 years of owning our home to make sure all of our improvements did not exceed our house value. The month before selling our house we really started to study what our house was worth and wanted to get the most for our house, yet sell quickly. This is the most important item when selling a home. Do your homework, and it will pay off financially and avoid stress by not allowing your house to sit on the market for months.

These are a few simple steps to get you well on your way to selling your own home. If possible in your area, locate a reputable FSBO business and look into multiple companies so you are not getting cheated out of money or given poor service. Follow our Pinterest board, Showing Your Home, for tips on how to talk with potential buyers, and sell your home when these buyers arrive at your front door.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-sell-for-sale-by-owner.html MTA5LTEzNzU1NDIzMDI= Sat, 03 Aug 2013 10:05:02 -0500
Beds, Baths, - If you are looking to buy or sell in the Quad Cities, then there is a very good chance Davenport is the place for. Davenport homes typically range from $50,000 - $300,000, but given the diversity of the city you can find a mobile trailer for as low as $1,500 or a mansion exceeding a cool $1,000,000. This housing diversity is just one of the reasons why people choose to live in Davenport and why selling FSBO is so successful.

Davenport homes also draw interest because of the employment in and around the city. The city of Davenport itself employees a high number of people through the public works, school system, and other departments, but looking outside of the city itself there are many more places to work. Some of the larger employers are John Deere, Alcoa Metal Works, Genesis Hospitals, and Rock Island Arsenal. Davenport also provides many opportunities for small to midsize business.

If you are looking for health and entertainment, Davenport offers excellent options, and none of them are very far from your front door. For entertainment, you have a countless amount of restaurants and bars. Some of my personal favorites are The Filling Station, 11th St. Precinct, Azteca, Barrel House, Biaggi’s, and Granite City. Before dinner, you  can take in a movie at the Imax or 53rd Cinemas, watch a ball game at Modern Woodmen Park, or take in some live music at one of the festivals in the summer.

Davenport also has great options for exercise. Many homes live along one of the two bike paths, Duck Creek & the River Trail, or within minutes from either one of these. Walking 18 holes of golf is always great exercise, and of course there a dozen gyms to choose from which include Gold’s Gym, Snap Fitness, and 24 Hour Fitness.

If you are looking to buy or sell Davenport homes there is something here for everyone making it a desirable place to live.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/davenport-homes.html MTA4LTEzNzQ1MjIxNzA= Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:42:50 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Technology can be our worst enemy, especially when you are counting on it the most. Some of the  most memorable times my computer, printer, or Internet quit working on me have been when paying bills, submitting a paper for college, writing a 10 page paper the night before it is due, printing forms for a client, and of course during some pretty intense gaming. All of these are very legitimate reasons to hate using computers, but don’t give up hope. There is a very strong place for the use of computers, printers, and the Internet. Especially when selling your home on your own.

If you are looking to sell your own home, commonly referred to as FSBO, For Sale By Owner, you need to utilize the web. According to the National Realtor Association, "real-estate related searches have increased 253% over the past four years on Google." I have read from various sources that anywhere from 50%-80% of people find the home they purchase using the Internet. What should this tell you? That you HAVE to get your property online as much as possible.  If you are are selling FSBO you have a couple different options for getting your property on the web. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, the social networks, and then there are websites.

Google does offer a very easy to use DIY website resource. The problem with making your own site is how will people find it? It is worth every penny to invest in a FSBO service provided in your area.  Home buyers know of these sites and visit them frequently, it gives them a central hub to find homes for sale by owner.  These businesses will do more than just list your house, they will take pictures,  have yard signs, give you access to pre-made flyers, and some will also provide social network sharing tools.

So if you are looking find how to sell your home you need to get your house on the web for maximum exposure.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-sell-a-home-fsbo.html MTA3LTEzNzM5OTA5MDc= Tue, 16 Jul 2013 11:08:27 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Pose this question to many house wives and house dads across the U.S., and I think you will have an overwhelming response of, “Hell no. It’s not a question. I will take one yesterday!” Having personally had a house cleaner there are perks on top of perks about having someone come clean your house. Sadly, there are two concerns which hold people back from having a person clean your house, trust and finances.

Opening your doors to a family, friends, or possibly a stranger is hard to do. The reason why you are thinking about hiring a cleaner is because you are professional working 40 +hours a week plus you have family to spend time with. You simply don’t have the time to clean like your house needs. Ultimately, you will need to trust someone inside your home while no one else is home. You are giving handing over the keys to your front door! Sounds nuts, and is nuts, if you just let anyone clean your home. You HAVE to trust your house cleaner, so do your own background checking, this includes cleaning services, AND family/friends. A non-trusting relationship will inevitably ruin your house cleaning experience.

On to the second and probably most relevant concern for most people having a house cleaner, cost. Tell your friends you have a house cleaner and they will start busting your chops of living with the rich and famous. It doesn’t take a business mogul, professional athlete, or Hollywood Star to hire a house cleaner. Many blue collar people have a house cleaner; they have been smart with their money and have a solid budget. If you make a plan for what you are going to spend each month you will see if a house cleaner is in the budget or not. You may have a house cleaner come once a week or more commonly visit once every other week. I found a good website about hiring and keeping a house cleaner-check out and see if a house cleaner is right for you. 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/to-have-or-not-to-have-a-house-cleaner-is-it-really-question.html MTA2LTEzNzM4MjMzNzQ= Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:36:14 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The decisions leading up to selling your house can be very stressful, especially if you are contemplating making any home improvements. Sometimes making home improvements is easy if the structural integrity of your home is in question. For example, you have a basement wall that is cracked, leaking, and starting to cave in. Then there are other home improvements which are clearly not needed, but you wouldn’t mind making a few cosmetic improvements, such as adding new curtains to the home even though you just changed them two years ago. These two types of improvements are easy decisions to make before selling your own home. Fix the basement and leave the curtains alone. Unfortunately not all home improvements are easy decisions, such as a roof replacement.

Roofs could make or break a deal. House roofs are mandatory maintence. People want to wait as long as possible before replacing it because you have 30 year shingles and you are in year 27. After 27 years your shingles are bound to look like they have survived tornados, hail storms, and a zombie apocalypse. Any potential buyer is sure to catch this, if they don’t the home inspector will. When it comes to costly repairs that will need to be done in the near future you must take these into consideration when pricing your house. Having a single layer of shingles tore off, replaced with quality shingles, renting a dumpster, and paying for labor can easily cost $10,000 or more depending on the location and size of your roof.

If you choose to have the roof replaced that is great and you need to use this as a huge selling point. Keep in mind that you may not get all of your money back, but could have a much quicker home sale. If you decide to leave the roof as is you will need to lower your asking price or be prepared for the buyer to use the bad roof as a negotiating point. A lower asking price could draw more interest, but may also turn buyers off because they see it as a project home or think it reflects on the up keep of the rest of your home.

Keep in mind the asking price of your home when making these types of decisions. You will also need to consider your audience and how you plan to market your home. Take a couple days to stew over these big decisions talking them over with friends and family. Ultimately this is your decision acting as your very own FSBO agent. Good luck on all home improvements and selling your house.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/should-i-make-improvements-to-my-home-before-selling-it.html MTA1LTEzNzM3NzUxMzE= Sat, 13 Jul 2013 23:12:11 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Bust out the spritzer bottles, lemonade stands, and crank up the AC, the July heat is among us. That’s right, the summer officially arrived on June 21st, and the following months of July and August typically bring the Midwestern heat. Don’t let this throw a wrench into your master plan of selling your home. Rather, use this to your advantage!

Not many people like to be out in 90° heat, especially with high humidity. But if people are needing to buy a home, they will have to brave the heat and cruise around the neighborhoods with their AC cranked up. Your job is to get them to stop at YOUR open house and show your home. Using your FSBOFox banner, message advertise you will have the cool home to check out this weekend. Your message could read, “Stop In and Cool Off,” “Cold H2O & Lemonade w/Showing,” “Feel the AC Work.” Don’t feel like anything is too silly when selling your home. Your job is to catch the attention of anyone and everyone looking to buy a home.

Don’t forget about signage around your neighborhood. Next to, or on your open house sign, have marketing tricks working for you. Stop by your local Sam’s Club and buy 50 or 100 ice-cream cones and give away free ice cream during your open house. Any extra ice-cream cups will be a reward for you and your family’s hard work. Speaking of family, put the kids to work. Have them set up a lemonade stand in the middle of your driveway. This will get more people to stop and check out the open house since they have already walked half way up to your home. Have kids charge a quarter per glass. This will activate the sensee of community and perhaps bring back some special memories from the potential buyers.

If you are showing your home this summer, don’t let the heat beat you down. Use what Mother Nature gives you and work with it. When trying to get the attention of someone, quirky rarely fails. Good luck selling your home this summer.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/showing-your-home-in-the-summer.html MTA0LTEzNzMyNTI1MTI= Sun, 07 Jul 2013 22:01:52 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Selling homes can be an exciting time in your life. Selling a home is much like anything else in life, you will get back what you put in. Some people will list their home with realtors, insert any major Remax, Mel Foster, or Ruhl & Ruhl agent here, or you can go the other route and sell your home on your own.

Selling a home requires a plan complete with action steps. Like my first boss use to tell us, “Kids, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. What I once thought was just a catchy phrase I now realize is truth. I have worked with clients who deicide to throw their property up on FSBOFox and expect it to sell, at their asking price, in 30 days or less. People and banks are smarter with their money now, and unless you list your property well below the market value you will not sell your home fast by throwing it up on any Quad Cities FSBO site.

When looking for a Quad Cities FSBO website you want to look at their pricing to list a home. Usually people sell FSBO to save or make money, FSBOFox is the only QC FSBO service to list your house until it sells. Secondly I would look at the professionalism of their website. Does it look like a high school sophomore put it together last night? This isn’t good if they do. Odds are these businesses do not have a professional website designer and this will hurt you selling your house. Finally make sure you are working with a business who has great customer service. For many people selling FSBO is a first time event and any help you can get should be well taken.

After you have picked a FSBO service to help sell your home it is time to put some work in. You will need to remove furniture, decorations, and even signs of animals. A person selling their home will want to show how spacious their home is. Do some research on staging a home to help you get started on this process. Do this BEFORE pictures are taken for the FSBO site. Lastly you will need to get out there and market your own home as well. One of my clients got really creative and placed the multi-colored flags leading up to their flag pole and had their FSBOFox yard sign at the base. This is eye-catching from blocks away and shows people you have a house for sale. Don’t forget about promoting your house on the web. We are living in a digital world and you can do many things to promote your house on the Internet.

Good luck selling your home and remember if your fail to plan, you plan to fail. Make an action plan for steps to follow when listing your house. Do this and you will have better results selling your home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/selling-homes.html MTAzLTEzNzMxNTQ1NTM= Sat, 06 Jul 2013 18:49:13 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Have you come across a property left to you by a passing relative? Maybe you have just been promoted in your company and need to move states. Or perhaps you are finally going to act on those childhood dreams and head to Japan to become a ninja. Any of these scenarios may have you wanting to unload a property quickly.

If you really want to sell a house­ fast you are not going be able to squeeze every dollar out of the property. You will also need to spend a little money to higher in some help. Call in a home cleaning service and have them give the house a deep cleaning. This may run you a couple hundred dollars but will save you hours of labor time doing it yourself.

If you are selling a house you did not live in think about having a some inspectors in to give you their assessment of the home. Being proactive about this will stop any issues with the closing process. I have seen a housing deal fall through for many reasons such as termites, roofing issues, mechanical problems, or water leaks in the basement. You can find more information on home inspections here.

Lastly, and most importantly to sell your home fast­, you will need to list your home at a price that will catch the attention of many buyers and will give them a good deal on the home. After doing your homework and completing your own market analysis price your house at 5%-10% below market value. This should still bring you a healthy dollar and sell your home fast.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-sell-a-home-fast.html MTAyLTEzNzMwNjkwOTQ= Fri, 05 Jul 2013 19:04:54 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Selling your own house with any Quad Cities FSBO service may seem like a daunting task. You may have been trying to sell your home for months and had just a few bites or nibbles. While others in your neighborhood sold their homes in their first month of listing and other people you know have sold multiple homes over the years. So what’s the secret? How can these people have repeated success or make a quick sell while you are barely drawing any attention? The secret is work. You will have to put time into selling your own home. People higher real estate agents from Ruhl & Ruhl or Mel Foster for a reason, so the agents can do the work for them.  Here are five areas to focus your time on when selling your own home.

1. Pricing: Ask any real-estate agent or veteran FSBO and they will tell you pricing is the number one priority when selling a home. Take the emotion out of it and do some homework before listing. Follow this link for more specific tips on pricing your house.

2. Declutter: There are not many more turnoffs to buyers than seeing a house packed with furniture and walls covered in decorations from the past 20 years. I usually say take one piece of furniture out of every room, but some of you out there need to take out 2-3 pieces from each room. Show off your room space, but allow the buyer to picture their furniture in your home.

3. Clean: Roll up your sleeves, grab the cleaning bucket, throw on a sweatband and start using that antique of a tool called elbow grease. Clean windows, fans, walls, and everything in between.

4. Spread the Word: You’re selling your house, DON’T KEEP IT A SECRET! If you have listed your house for 3 weeks and people you see on a regular bases (inside and outside of work) are surprised to hear you are selling your home then you are doing it wrong. Get your property out there like a mass text using social networks, word of mouth, flyers, and signage.

5. Be Creative: Have fun selling your home. You will have better success with a positive mindset and the creative juices will be flowing. I always like offering a $200 gift card to any person who refers an actual buyer to me. Sure it sounds like a lot of money at first, but you just hired dozens of employees and you will only pay one $200. Plus $200 is just a drop in the bucket in comparison to the sale price of a home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-tips-for-selling-my-home.html MTAxLTEzNzI1NDE5NjI= Sat, 29 Jun 2013 16:39:22 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Hello ,

 

The decision is done, you are selling your home.  Congratulations!

 

Here are some pointers to help you prepare  for an Open House

 

Clean.  Start from the outside –in.  Your property’s curb appeal is their first impression.  If it looks like it’s been uncared for you may turn off a potential buyer from even stopping.  On the inside, try to light candles (all same scent) or even have some cookies or treats baking to make any buyers feel more at home.  Make sure to do a once over of every room right before the open house starts.

 

De-Clutter.  Try to remove any unneeded or unused items.  This will open up any space and make your home look larger.  Also, it’s a good idea to remove personal items i.e.: photos, laundry, etc…  A potential buyer needs to be able to picture themselves living there.  By taking away your personal items this can be done much easier.

 

Pets.  If you have any pets, try to keep them where they can not bother anybody, or arrange for them to visit a friend’s house.  Not everyone likes animals, so you don’t want to turn anybody off.  If you have a cat make sure the litter box has been recently cleaned.

 

When Should I have an Open House?

 

Open Houses should be held on Saturdays or Sundays.  Best lengths of times are a minimum of two hours up to four hours.  The most common times are afternoons usually from 1pm. To 5 pm.  Sunday is  the most popular day.

 

Here is a quick checklist to guide you in your open house preparation:

 

Checklist

 

Make sure you have these items completed before your open house.

 

___ Printed Flyers          

 

___ Offer forms/Contracts

 

___ Signs            

 

___ Advertise your Open House  - Craigslist, Facebook, Newspaper etc…

 

___ Comment Cards Printed

 

___ Cleaned Outside

 

___ Cleaned Inside

 

 Good luck at your open house!

 

For more information on these topics and additional tips on how to get your home ready to sell,  visit our website at http://fsbofox.com/articles/selling-fsbo-articles.php

 

Sincerely,

FSBOFox

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/preparing-for-an-open-house.html MTAwLTEzNzI1MDIwNjU= Sat, 29 Jun 2013 05:34:25 -0500
Beds, Baths, - You have decided to sell your home by owner and wonder:

 

Why Are Real Estate Agents Calling Me?

 

The For Sale By Owner market is a fast growing segment of the real estate sales market.  Even with this fast growth, statistics will show that real estate agents are still involved in around 50% of FSBO transactions.  How does that happen you ask?

 

They represent the buyers of homes.

 

As a seller you have a choice to make regarding this fact…

 

    Say no to all buyers’ agents and risk losing the buyers they represent, but save some money

    Say yes to buyer’s agents but pay them a commission for bringing you the buyers

 

This is a very personal choice and depends on your situation and your goals.  Our objective is to simply inform you that you may receive phone calls or emails from agents representing buyers.

 

If you decide to work with buyers agents you can expect to negotiate a commission rate in order to compensate the agent.  Most commission will run between 2 to 3.5% of your final sales price and are mostly paid by you the seller.

 

We hope this bit of information helps prepare you for your FSBO journey and wish you the best in your home selling!

 

FSBOFox is keeping you informed to help you sell your home.

 

See our website http://fsbofox.com/articles/selling-fsbo-articles.php for more information on tips on how to get your home ready to sell.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-are-real-estate-agents-calling-me.html OTktMTM3MjUwMTk4OQ== Sat, 29 Jun 2013 05:33:09 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Hello,

 

Are you looking to sell your home?  Do you know the 2 most important factors in selling your home.

 

1)Price

2)Location

Since nothing can be done with your location, let’s take a look at a few ideas to most accurately price your home.    Here are three simple items you can do to make sure your home is priced correctly…

 

1)Look at comparable properties thru your assessor’s office that are

                Close in distance to your house, blocks not miles

        Close to the size of your home  +/- 200 square feet

                Sold within the last 3 months but no more than 6

               

2)Hire a real estate appraiser

        A real estate appraiser walks thru hundreds of homes per year and has access to all the sales data for most    homes.  He or she will provide an honest, professional value of your home which can also help avoid any future troubles you may have with the buyer’s lender.

               

3)Tour other homes for sale

Take a weekend and view other homes for sale in your neighborhood and price range. What does your competition look like?  Take a friend or relative with you for some unbiased feedback.  How these homes compare to yours, what do you like better about this house, what do you like less.

 

Here are some straight talk points about the price of your home…

 

A buyer doesn’t care how much you paid for your home.

A buyer doesn’t care how much you owe on your home.

A buyer doesn’t care how much you spent to fix it up.

 

The buyer only cares about the price of your home and its amenities compared to other homes for sale in their price range.

 

We wish you the best in your home selling and home pricing.  If we can be of assistance in anyway, please let us know.  For additional information on your home selling process, please visit our informational page:

 

http://fsbofox.com/articles/selling-fsbo-articles.php

 

 

thank you,

FSBOFox

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/pricing-your-home-for-sale.html OTgtMTM3MjUwMTkxNw== Sat, 29 Jun 2013 05:31:57 -0500
Beds, Baths, - There  are many misconceptions of selling a home FSBO, so here are a few myth busters:

Most FSBO Properties Eventually List With a Real Estate Agent

False. Our hundreds of satisfied customers can attest this is simply not the case. In fact, we have had a number of properties that first listed with a real estate agent and after many months of not selling, made the switch to FSBOFox and sold their home. View our Success Stories for more proof.

FSBO Homes Sell For Much Less Than Real Estate Agent Properties

False. This is one of the most ridiculous claims that real estate agents make. Homes sell for what they are worth period! Some real estate agents will go as far as to make the claim that agent listed properties sell on average for 40% higher than FSBOs. Keep in mind this is data compiled by the National Association of Realtors who gives no details on how they even got these numbers. On top of that, their numbers are misconstrued as million dollar plus homes greatly drive the average up. Most millionaires are not concerned with paying agent commissions thus a small number are sold FSBO. For example say you have ten FSBO homes that are worth $200,000 and that all sell. The average sale price is $200,000. Conversely, take nine $200,000 agent homes and one $1,000,000 agent home and all homes sell. The average sale price on them is $280,000 (9 * $200,000 = $1,800,000 + $1,000,000 = $2,800,000/10 = $280,000). Now if I take those numbers and tell you that agent listed properties on average sell for 40% more than less than FSBOs, it's probably misleading my customer.

My Agent Saves Me Money on Legal Fees and Paperwork

False. Your agent doing legal paperwork for you would be illegal; this is why there is always a lawyer present at the closing. Whether you use an agent or not, you pay for the legal fees, they are usually wrapped into the sale of the property. The only difference in using a real estate agent is that they pick your lawyer for you. Wouldn't you rather choose your own attorney? Or if you don't already have an attorney, FSBOFox can usually recommend one.

It’s Free to Use an Agent to Buy a Home

False. Does the agent charge you any fee directly if you are the buyer? No, but you greatly reduce your negotiating power and may very well pay more for the property. For example: say you are looking at a house in which the seller's bottom line is $200,000. Your offer of $200,000 may get rejected because when you subtract a 3.5% buying agent commission from the $200,000 ($7,000) the seller only ends up getting $193,000 for their home. To meet their bottom line, your offer would have to increase to $207,255 (3.5% of $207,255 = $7254). You end up paying $7255 more for the property then you had to.

Showing Your Own Home is a Pain

False. Showing your own home allows you to do it on your schedule, not the real estate agents. If your agent has an appointment in the middle of the day while you're at work, you're most likely going to have to leave work to go straighten up your home before the appointment. If the appointment is when you are not working, you have to leave your home for a few hours (along with your pets) and find something to do while the home is being shown. Neither of those situations seems more convenient than just showing it on your own.

An Agent is the Best Way to Price Your Home

False. Ask any agent how they price your home and it is simple, they look at recently completed sales of comparable homes in the area. The thing is, anyone can do this. This data is freely available on the web via county assessor websites. Most county assessor websites now days even have a "Comparable Search" feature that makes this easy

 

We appreciate your reading his short article on the myths of selling FSBO.  For more hints and tips, please visit our helpful info section:

http://fsbofox.com/articles/selling-fsbo-articles.php

thank you

FSBOFox

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/fsbo-myths.html OTctMTM3MjUwMTgxOQ== Sat, 29 Jun 2013 05:30:19 -0500
Beds, Baths, - What is your number one hesitancy about selling FSBO? Based on surveys conducted by FSBOFox, most people fear the legal issues in selling your own home. Buying and selling a house sounds like a daunting task, even if you use a Mel Foster or Ruhl & Ruhl realtor. I remember when I bought my first home, it seemed like the paper signing would never end.

The truth of it is, making a home purchase of any magnitude will be stressful for anyone, especially someone in their early 20s. You are entering into what seems like a lifetime of debt and responsibility. Selling your home or buying a home does not need to be loaded with stress. This will completely take away from the amazing experience of home ownership.

The truth of it is, if you want to buy a home or learn “how to sell my home," do not worry about the legal issues in this transaction so much. If you are using a Mel Foster or Ruhl & Ruhl realtor, you will need to get a real estate lawyer just the same if you were selling FSBO. My advice to you is to spend more time talking and interviewing real estate lawyers in your area, and find one you like and has a good track record from friends and family. Your lawyer will take care of all your paper work, this includes; contracts, abstracts, leans, titles, and earnest money. I will save you time before Googling, "how to sell my home." The best piece of advice I can give you is: don’t sign anything until your lawyer reads it over.

Good luck buying or selling a home this year. Make sure you take some time away from worrying about the legalities to enjoy your home transaction.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-sell-my-home.html OTYtMTM3MTQxMTY3OA== Sun, 16 Jun 2013 14:41:18 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you looking to upgrade your current home? Maybe you are leaving the area for work, family, or even a better life. There are a plethora of reasons you may want to sell your home. The bottom line is you want to get the most bang for your buck.  Quad Cities FSBO services is one way you can get the most money out of your investment.

FSBOFox offers many different packages that will match any of our client’s needs. For those selling a home and really have the do-it yourself mentality we offer a $99 package. This package is the ultimate savings and will give you the most complete realtor experience. You will be responsible for taking pictures, writing the description, and building your listing. For anyone who is the tinest bit tech savvy,  has a high quality camera, and strongly feels their home will sell quick, then this may be the best option for you.

On the flip side of selling a home people cannot afford a realtor, and need to sell using a QCFSBO service. For you, we offer our “all-inclusive” package for just $249. FSBOFox will take HD wide angle pictures, build your listing, write the description, and give you a personal tutorial on how to use our listing services and marketing tools. If this wasn’t good enough our all-inclusive package also lists your house until it sells. No monthly renewal fees are required.

Whichever services you need for selling a home, FSBOFox has the customer service and results you are looking for. We wish you good luck selling your home and hope you have a great experience in doing so!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/selling-a-home-in-the-quad-cities.html OTUtMTM3MTMzMTc0NQ== Sat, 15 Jun 2013 16:29:05 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The 6 STEP HOME SELLING PROCESS

 

Are you looking to sell your home?  Are you wondering what the process is from start to finish to sell your home?  Here is a quick and simple 7 step process of selling your home

1)Preparing Your House For Sale

            The first step in the home selling process is to prepare your home for sale.  This includes decluttering, cleaning,  repairing any loose or broken items and most importantly determining your price.

 

2)Marketing Your Home

            How will you sell your home?  For sale by owner, using a real estate agent, or just put a sign in the yard?  Determining your marketing channel is step #2 in the home selling process.  Think hard about this step as thousands of dollars are at stake.

 

3)Showing Your Home

            The next step in the home selling process is to show your home to potential buyers.  His required being available, keeping a very tidy house and make sure everything is picture perfect every day.  The more work put into step #1 makes this step a lot easier.

 

4)Receiving Offers/Negotiation

You have cleaned your house, DE cluttered and priced it very aggressively.  You have decided to sell your home by owner, and have ad few potential buyers looking at your home.  One buyer is extremely interested now what?  Step #4 of the home selling process is to receive and negotiate an offer.  The offer includes price, closing date, any inspections or contingencies.  Each point is negotiable and requires some give and take from you and the buyer.

 

5)Appraisals/Inspections/Due Diligence

After the offer is finalized then the due diligence phase of the buying/selling process is completed.  This includes appraisals, home inspections, walk thru’s, loan approvals. This can be a very frustrating part of the home selling process, but stay positive you are almost at your desired goal.

 

6)Closing

Congratulations you made it all the way thru the home selling process..  You have cleaned, priced marketed, negotiated and withstood the stress of the due diligence phase.  You have officially completed the home selling process and are probably experiencing a similar process during your home buying.

Thank you for reading this quick overview of the 6 step home selling process.  If you have any questions or would like assistance in advertising your home for sale, please contact us.

 

Thank you

FSBOFox

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/the-6-step-home-selling-process.html OTQtMTM3MDg2NzI1OQ== Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:27:39 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Here are some quick tips to prepare your Home for Show

Cleaning

Before showing your home for sale, you should go through it and clean it thoroughly.  Time spent cleaning will go a long ways towards how your home shows. 

De-cluttering

Before showing your home for sale you should also think hard about renting a storage facility to store some of your items.  As a general rule of thumb you should try to remove one piece of furniture from each room.  If you have shelves full of knickknacks, remove them as buyers generally don’t share your style.

Making Repairs

Buyers don’t want a home in which they immediately have to fix things after moving in. Start on the outside of your homes front entrance and look at it as a buyer would.  Go through your house room by room and make a list of items to address.  Does the front porch look rickety?  Could paint or trim used touched up?  Do the carpets need steam cleaned?  Making repairs is the fourth item in showing your home for sale.

Pets

Make arrangements for pets to go elsewhere during your open house.  This goes for signs of pets as well such as litter boxes, dog beds etc.  The presence of pets will make some homebuyers weary of problems with the house caused by pets.

Host a Preview for Friends

Have friends go through the house and ask for feedback on what should be done.  Don’t ask for feedback and then proceed to tell them why they are wrong.  If you do so, they will be hesitant to give future feedback or be completely honest.  Buyers are going to see the same things that your friends will.  Friends are a great resource for information in showing your home for sale

 

We hope you enjoyed these quick and easy tips in showing your home for sale.  If you have any questions or need additional information please visit our quick tips page at:

 

http://fsbofox.com/articles/selling-fsbo-articles.php

Sincerely FSBOFox

Your showing your home for sale experts!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-prepare-your-home-for-sale.html OTMtMTM3MDg2NzE1MA== Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:25:50 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you thinking about selling a home this season? Trying to decide if you want to sell with a realtor company such as Mel Foster? Truth is, sometimes a realtor is the route to go if you do not have the time to show your home. But if you have a little bit of DIY mentality and want to pay yourself thousands of dollars selling your own home, then FSBO is the path better traveled.

Selling a home is a simple process. You will need to hire a real estate lawyer, which is required if you sell a home with a realtor. Before you sign any real-estate papers I would suggest you let your lawyer look over them.

Acting as your own agent you will need to make your house stand out above the crowd. Achieving this status is simple. First, make sure your home is not cluttered. I would suggest removing 1-2 pieces of furniture from every room.  After clearing furniture from all the rooms in your house deep clean your entire home. This includes bathrooms, closets, window sills, and everything outside the house. In my experiences people overlook the details in cleaning. As a buyer I look at the details. I am inspecting closets, cupboards, and fan blades. Nobody wants to buy a home and spend a week cleaning it.

With a little elbow grease and some know how you can put $10,000 in your pocket easy. The internet and qcfsbo services have made it easy to sell your home on your own. It is worth the time looking into a FSBO service to help you sell your home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/selling-home.html OTItMTM3MDgxMzA0Mw== Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:24:03 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The price on home sales are up, and look to stay the course of this progression. This is more proof that if you wanted to have a real “bargain buy” it may be too late. Interest rates have started to rise off the cellar floor and people are buying homes at a faster rate. Many markets across the US are having a house shortage problem actually. Speaking with a realtor from California, who is in my Google+ circles says, “ If homes sell at the current rate, and they do not get any more inventory, then they will have zero homes to sell within 30 days”. I have never heard of such an issue. Looking at the diagram one can see that California homes are selling for a huge price increase, but what does this mean for the QCFSBO market?

I don’t think we will run out of a supply of homes, but there are fewer homes listed in our area. It’s not just QCFSBO services who are feeling the strain of a low supply of homes. Many brokerages, including Ruhl & Ruhl, are feeling the strains of a shrinking inventory. If you find a house you like then you should not wait weeks before making an offer.

If you are going to sell your home, the time is now, especially if you are looking to sell your home fast. Don’t get discouraged by the graphic of home sales in Iowa and Illinois. The truth of it is Quad City homes did not take as a big of a market hit as those states located out West who are seeing a 9.8% -22% increase. A main reason why they are seeing these huge price increases is because the real estate market tanked. So a 1% increase in home price sales is still really good for you.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-sales.html OTEtMTM3MDY1NDQxNg== Fri, 07 Jun 2013 20:20:16 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The real estate market has been a beast of an animal over the past six years. Many people have had to take a loss on their home, if they sold it. These times are starting to come to an end. Home sales are on the rise because the economy is gathering steam.

If you are thinking about selling a home using the FSBO process here are some simple tips to get you through the process:

1.  Make the Commitment. I speak with clients on  a weekly bases and I cannot believe how many people just throw their property out there for a couple months hoping it doesn’t sell. When committed to selling a home you will have better results.

2. Clean & Repair. Before you do anything else with selling your house take a couple weeks to create a cleaning and repair schedule. Using a calendar to break up these tasks will help make them less stressful and setting a date for a professional to take pictures gives you a deadline to meet.

3. Get Some Help. When selling a home it pays to pay. You could take the traditional route and higher a brokerage such as Remax, but you can save tens of thousands of dollars by using the FSBO process. FSBOFox offers a number of different packages to fit the needs of all QCFSBO sellers.

4. Price’s Right. You MUST take the time to price your home for what it is worth, not how many memories you have in it or how much money you spent making upgrades. You can list any house for $500,000 but nobody will pay that price if it’s only worth $100,000. Here are some tips for pricing your home.

5. Selling With Patients. You will need to actively market your house. If you higher the assistance of a for sale by owner service they will help market your home with their website, but you should still hang flyers, post on social networks, and spread the word every chance you get. Finally you need to be patient. Buying and selling a home is a major transaction. Depending on the location and price of your house it could be a on the market anywhere from a few days to a year.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-sell-a-home.html OTAtMTM3MDY0OTA0OA== Fri, 07 Jun 2013 18:50:48 -0500
Beds, Baths, - We are in full swing of the home selling season. The only two things that are working against the Quad City market are the torrential down pours and a low supply of houses for sale. If you are thinking about selling a home the time is now. With a low supply of homes for sale, the price of sold homes is up from previous years.

It’s not just QCFSBO homes that are low on real estate supply, all the major brokerages; Remax, Ruhl & Ruhl, and Mel Foster, are running low on homes to sell. Why is the number of houses for sale low? Well homes are selling quickly. Mortgage rates are staying historically low. Many 30 year fixed mortgages are still around 3.0%. The Quad Cities also has a strong employment base and the economy is doing well. Finally people have decided they do not want to sell. They are staying put and do not want to take on a bigger mortgage they may not be able to handle. This points to a maturity growth in all of us. We are being smarter with our money. Home sellers and buyers are weighing their options for both best case and worst case scenarios.

If you decide to sell by owner and are looking for more information on how to sell my home then visit FSBOFox’s helpful info section for free step by step information on selling homes.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/selling-a-home.html ODktMTM3MDI3NzE2NA== Mon, 03 Jun 2013 11:32:44 -0500
Beds, Baths, - There are many advantages to selling your home using FSBOFox.com,  too many to list in just one blog.  Today we will take the top 5 features we offer to help you sell your home and expand on them.

Tip #1 of why you should choose FSBOFox to help you sell your home is MONEY.  Why pay an agent 7% or other companies numerous renewal fees, relisting fees or additional picture fees, when you can utilize our list until sold option at a fixed no additional fee price.  7%, many additional fees or one low fixed price until sold,  which one sounds the best to you? 

 

Tip #2 of why you should choose FSBOFox to help you sell your home is our vast exposure.  Buyers do not know your home is for sale unless first they see it.  On a daily basis we have thousands of visitors to our website and may hundreds more visit our Social media pages and affiliated websites.  With FSBOFox we help you sell your home by also posting it to Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, By Owner MLS, and Oodle, plus we offer one click access to Trulia and Zillow.  No other company offers you more avenues to sell your home.

 

Tip #3 to help you sell your home is our beautiful wide angle photographs, and lots of them.  We know that buyers are searching FSBOFox daily to find homes to buy,  once we get them there we showcase your home with astonishing photo quality using our 14.2 megapixel wide-angle lense camera.  The quality and the ability to really stretch your room’s appearance and great attention grabbers for a potential buyer.  Our professional photographers shoot many homes and have experience in making your home appear it’s brightest and best.  In addition to our photo quality,  we have unlimited photo available to showcase your home.  Take a look at any other company interested in helping you sell your home and ask them if you can have unlimited photos.  We are the only website to offer this.

 

Tip #4 to help you sell your home is our Home Selling Guarantee.  We are so confident your home will sell using FSBOFox hat we guarantee your success.  FSBOFox is the only site that puts its money where its mouth is!  For more information regarding our home selling guarantee please visit:   http://fsbofox.com/articles/home-selling-guarantee.php

 

Tip #5  of  why to choose FSBOFox is our customer service.  We believe in doing business the old fashioned way.  You call us, we will answer.  We are available 24/7.  Need to list your home on a weekend or at night,  we are available to help you out.  Need to swap photos, change a price or change your listing we are here to help.  Or simply use the username and password we provide.  You have access to your listing at any time.  Our customers rave about our service, and so will you.

 

If you have any questions about selling your home or the many features employed by FSBOFox, please call or email.  We want to earn your business and look forward to helping you sell your home.

 

Thank you FSBOFox

admin@fsbofo.xom

563-265-0959

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/the-advantages-of-using-fsbofox.html ODgtMTM3MDI2MzkwMw== Mon, 03 Jun 2013 07:51:43 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you looking to sell your Quad Cities Home?  Are you thinking of selling your quad cities home by owner or with an agent? 

Did you know the market is extremely hot to sell your quad cities home?

We are FSBOFox and we would like to take a few second to tell you about the benefits of selling your quad cities home by owner.

1)Savings.  Selling your quad cities home by yourself can save you thousands of dollars in realtor commissions.  Why pay someone to advertise your home when you can do it yourself, better and cheaper.

2)Marketing and pricing assistance.  Selling a home is about marketing and pricing and these are the two key roles that a real estate agent offers.  If there was a company to help you advertise your home on the internet, where 80% of home searches begin, would you be interested?  What  about pricing.  There are many resources available to help you sell your quad cities home by owner.  These include your county assessor, and appraiser or our partner company called Tru Home Value.

3)The biggest concern of most quad cities home sellers is the legal aspect of selling your home.  This problem is easily solved and the solution is called an attorney.  You used an attorney when you bought your house, you will use when you sell your house.  An attorney can help you with all the contracts, disclosures and very other form associated  with the home selling process.  If you need a referral, we will gladly share a few who we have worked with.

In summary, selling your quad cities home is easy to do.  The question is which way is best for you?  The way of the past using a real estate agent and wasting thousands of dollars in commissions, or by owner and keep your hard earned equity in your pocket.

We are always here to help you advertise and sell your quad cities home,  please call or email for any further questions.

Thank You

FSBOFox.com

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-home-for-sale.html ODctMTM2OTY4NjMwNQ== Mon, 27 May 2013 15:25:05 -0500
Beds, Baths, - How good does it feel to say these words in regards to your house, sale by owner? For me it was an amazing day when I sold my very own home, and it took only 10 days to have an accepted offer. The relief that came with selling my very own home and saving literally thousands of dollars was awesome. I actually had a realtor friend tell me I could not sell my house for what I was asking. He wanted to list it for about $15,000 less then where my starting price was at. So if you factor in what my selling price would have been with him then I saved tens of thousands of dollars.

The truth of it is was, I was not an expert at selling homes. I did however, know how to sell a home. My personal interest in homes over the years had prepared me for home selling and buying. Several of my friends had recently sold or bought homes and it was my turn in the rotation. Picking their brains over a few cold beers gave me a ton of knowledge that would prove to be very valuable. I say this because all of my friends had a house transaction using Mel Foster, Ruhl & Ruhl, or Remax.  None of them had sold with qcfsbo, qc homes, or any other quad city homes fsbo site. I had to do my home work and found out that FSBOFox offered a home selling guarantee and would actually list my home until it sold with no gimmicks, renewel fees, or nickel and dime me to death for extra pictures, descriptions, or making changes to my listing. These are features I found to be highly desirable. Coupled with their A+ customer service I was able to sell my house and parlay our relationship into helping others sell their homes.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/sale-by-owner.html ODYtMTM2OTYwMDg0NA== Sun, 26 May 2013 15:40:44 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Home sale, what do these words mean to you? Maybe you are looking at recent home sales in your area gathering comp prices for your sale by owner home. If this is the case then you want to make sure you do your leg work and QCSFBO Fox has the tools for you to build your personalized market analysis. Time spent pricing your home sale will pay dividends down the road. This is just one step in how to sell a home.  Other items to consider are pictures, descriptions, features, and neighborhood. Try your best to make your home stand out as the best house available in the area.

Selling homes can be done with a realtor such as, Ruhl & Ruhl, or on your own. Whichever method you decide to go with make sure you are comfortable with the services you will be given. It is well worth your time to interview multiple realtors and for sale by owner services before settling on one method, person, or business. Take the time to reacquaint yourself with your home, community, and real estate services to increase your chances of selling this summer.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-sale.html ODUtMTM2OTUzNTA4Mg== Sat, 25 May 2013 21:24:42 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Bettendorf is the fastest growing city of the Quad Cities Area with a population of 33,327 in 2012, according to City-Data.com. That is up 6.6% from 2000. The housing value has gone up considerably. By 2011, the median house/condo value skyrocketed near $190,000, up from $114,000 in 2000. These numbers are both staggering and impressive.  If you live, work, or wish to join the real estate profession, then you must jump in on the growth of Bettendorf.

Bettendorf has become the most desirable city of the QC to live in. While Davenport, Rock Island, and Moline all have benefits to being a resident of their cities, Bettendorf seems to have the most to offer if you look at the data. There are many different features that attract people to the Bettendorf area, perhaps the most significant are the schools. Home to both the Bettendorf Bulldogs and Pleasant Valley Spartans, these districts are always on the cutting edge of education, technology, pushing students to be better, and have great athletic programs. Both programs send kids to D-I colleges every year on academic and athletic scholarships. One notable athlete to play for Iowa and the Indianapolis Colts is Pat Anger.

Outside of the rich educational programs Bettendorf has, there are many other desirable features to the area. Bettendorf has several excellent parks which are always well maintained and have copious amounts of clean playground equipment. The pavilions are clean, trash pulled, and the grass is cut. Softball and soccer fields provided by the city, such as Crow Creek, are some of the best fields in the area and provide hours of entertainment to hundreds of people nearly every night of the week. Bettendorf also has another less common yet popular park, a dog park. Dog and dog owners gather here to let their canines run free and to socialize themselves with other dog lovers.

Bettendorf is a growing city that looks to continue their growth with new housing expansion. Bettendorf is land locked to the east by Davenport and to the south by the Mississippi River, so real estate growth is primarily in the North Western region of the city. The housing market within the current city is still very strong, as the numbers above prove. This is all great news if your Bettendorf home is for sale, but there is also great news for investors. Rental prices are up, and the length of time a rental is on the market is down. Real estate is good in the Quad Cities, but at its best in Bettendorf.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/bettendorf-homes-for-sale.html ODMtMTM2ODAzNDY4Ng== Wed, 08 May 2013 12:38:06 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Curb Appeal, that simple phrase which can make or break any home selling deal. The allure of curb appeal has people investing more money and time into their yards, namely the front yard. The outside of your home is a reflection of the home owners themselves and what the house will probably look like on the inside. Not everyone is a DIY master or has a green thumb, so I have created a list of 5 simple ways to improve the curb appeal of your middle class mansion.

1. Pressure Wash: Perhaps the easiest improvement on the list. Do not reach for the garden hose and expect to get the same results as a pressure washer. It’s like comparing a squirt gun to a fire hose. A pressure washer gives you the water pressure you need to wash away years of dirt and mildew that has been neglected for years or even decades. Many pressure washers also have the option to use chemicals for cleaning and mildew prevention. I have never used any of the soaps or mildew preventers on my house, patio, driveway, or retaining wall, but have been entertaining the idea over the last year. I have power washed all of these critical areas, and it will take years off of your property.  It gives the property that clean zest appeal buyers are looking for.

2. Fertilize, Water, and Mow: To me, one of the biggest curb appeal impressions comes from the front lawn. When people drive up to the home you are selling they want to see a lush, full, and well groomed front yard, not some janky yard that has been used for boarding dogs. To obtain this desired look you will need to take the time every year to spread fertilizer and weed control during spring. If needed over-seed your lawn as well. The time it takes to do this is literally less than an hour for homes sitting on a half-acre or less. If going through a dry spell in your area square feet, that’s a lot. Finally, remember to mow your lawn as needed. Depending on the amount of rain you receive, or how often you water your lawn, this could be once every 4 days or once every two weeks. I prefer a longer cut because it allows for stronger root growth and healthier grass.

3. Mulching and Flower Beds: Many people mulch around trees, flower beds around the house, and around walkways. If you do use mulch, have your 3”-4” base of mulch and every year after add an additional 1”-2”s of mulch for that fresh vibrant look. For flower beds, make sure the boarders are clearly defined with bricks, stones, vinyl, or any other type of small barrier. These clean edges are a small detail that will really make your curb appeal pop. Replant you annuals in mid to late spring to allow the flowers to bloom and show their colors. I like to wait and address pruning trees and hedges once they are green, so I can shape the plants better as I make my cuts.

4. Outdoor Lighting: Many people forget what their house looks like at night or feel like it is not important. Well, it is important, and outdoor lighting can really take you to the upper epsilon of curb appeal. There are some really simple ways to improve outdoor lighting, for example using solar walkway markers for your sidewalk. A slightly more involved outdoor lighting is using low voltage lighting. This is a more professional look and will ultimately yield better results. More can be seen about outdoor lighting here.

5. Paint Doors, Shutters For Windows: Finally, we have every homes flippers dream product, paint. Why do house flippers like paint so much? Because it is an inexpensive way to give a house a new look or make any feature stand out. A well designed and inviting entryway could mean thousands in your pocket. Fresh paint or stain on an entry door will revitalize your home. With the addition of updated light fixtures and couple unique potted plants can give the front of your home the focal point it has been missing.  Another good way to use some paint is on shutters, if you have them. Updating the trim colors of your home leaves one less task for a potential buyer to address when they move in. Freshly painted shutters and trim will give your home a new look and can bring back potential buyers if they already passed on your house once.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-simple-ways-to-improve-your-quad-cities-home-curb-appeal.html ODItMTM2NzQzOTE3MA== Wed, 01 May 2013 15:12:50 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The Quad Cities is made of four major metropolitan areas, these are: Rock Island, Moline, Davenport, and Bettendorf. The QC also extends out to smaller outlying towns areas such as; Buffalo, Eldridge, Muscatine, Port Byron, Andalusia, Geneseo, and Milan. The For Sale By Owner (FSBO) force is strong with these areas and has been for the past decade. So what has changed with this process? Well, 10 years ago you may have seen a newspaper advertisement that says, “Moline home for sale” or “Bettendorf home for sale."  Today, you are more likely to see these advertisement banners on the Internet. This has been a huge benefit, and even more so to the smaller outlying towns like Park View’s homes for sale or Andalusia’s homes for sale.

Businesses, such as FSBOFox, have sprung up helping people sell their own home. A for sale by owner business acts like a marketer for your property, and they also give buyers a single Internet location to review multiple homes for sale by owner. What is the benefit to a central location for FSBO homes? Well, homes being sold by owner will not appear on the multiple listing service (MLS), as this is strictly a real estate agents tool. Agents from Mel Foster, Remax, and Keller & Williams will list their homes on the MLS. Because a FSBO home cannot be listed on the MLS, it is very important you list your Davenport home for sale on a FSBO website.

Another benefit to using Quad City’s FSBO services is the use of a high quality yard sign combined with your personal Internet listing. The yard sign will let passerby’s know your Bettendorf home is for sale. Especially if you are located on a busy street with speed limits excess of 25 mph or higher. Buyers still know your home is for sale, and if they like what curb appeal, you offer then they know where to go to find out more information on the house such as: price, number of bedrooms & bathrooms, and additional interior pictures. The combination of good signage and a HIGH QUALITY QCFSBO service will substantially increase your odds of selling your own home and moving into your next dream house.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities%E2%80%99-home-for-sale.html ODEtMTM2NzQyMzU3OA== Wed, 01 May 2013 10:52:58 -0500
Beds, Baths, - How many times have you Googled, "Davenport home for sale," hoping to find the house you just listed on Mel Foster or FSBOFox? If you are anything like me and finding ways to kill time on the computer, then I am sure you have tried it at least once. You probably did not see your house on the first couple results pages either. The truth is, people do not find for their next home with Google alone. There are a number of different ways people use the Internet to search for next house, and actually 60% of homes bought are first seen via the Internet.

If you live in Davenport, take the time to get to know your area well, if you haven’t already. Knowing the area can help you sell your Quad City home on the Internet. Buyers are looking for more than just a house. They want to buy a home in a neighborhood that will fit their needs. Neighborhoods can range from family friendly editions to the growing downtown lofts. When marketing your home, decide who you think will most likely buy your property. Is it a bachelor/bacherlotte, family, or a couple looking to downsize since their kids have moved out? Once you have decided who your audience will be, plan your staging, open houses, and listing descriptions to appeal to these people as they should be the most likely interested in purchasing your house.

Living in Davenport, everything is within a 15 minute drive. So lace up the sneakers and hit the pavement. Start walking around your neighborhood and find features which would be desirable to buyers. Look for parks, pools, golf courses, restaurants, stores, bars, and any other form of entertainment or necessity. The attractions around your house can be what closes a deal, or can be a decision maker fot a buyer who is interested in multiple properties.

If you don’t have the time to get out and learn more about your area, or are unable to get outside for a walk, then turn to Google Maps to see what is located in your area. Google Maps work great on computers and mobile devices. This tool can give you a bird’s eye view of all the attractions in your area and will give you more real estate tools when selling your home FSBO.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/davenport-home-for-sale.html ODAtMTM2NzE4MDM4Ng== Sun, 28 Apr 2013 15:19:46 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Winter is fighting tooth and nail to let go, but spring is upon us, and now is the time to start addressing your home's lawn. I have been looking at Bettendorf and Moline homes for sale. What catches my eye first? The lawn. Many of the photos were taken with snow on the ground or grass that is still dormant. Then, I came across a Davenport home for sale that has outdoor pictures which show off their lush, green lawn and bloomed flowers. Getting your lawn to look fuller and thicker is not hard at all. You will need grass seed, Scott’s 4-step lawn care plan, spreader, and water.

Before beginning, take the time to measure out your lawn to figure out what the square footage is, (length x width = area). Having this number will guide you in how much material you will need to treat your yard. Next, visit your local, gardening, hardware, or even department store. If you are unsure what grass seed to buy, I suggest a sun & shade mix. This mixture is good for a novice gardener. For fertilizer, pick up Scott’s 4-step plan for seeding. This is very important you get the plan for seeding as the original 4 step plan will not allow your seed to grow because of the crab grass blocker. I have asked friends, professionals, and scoured the Internet, and this is the best choice for a full season’s treatment.

I began the 4-step plan last weekend, and the whole process took me less an hour to treat over 3,000 sq. feet. It took me a little longer to treat the yard since there were some pretty bad bare spots I had to cultivate first using the garden weasel for a better chance of seed germination.

First, make sure your lawn is mostly debris free. If you did not rake you leaves last fall, then you will need to do this step first. Second, you will over seed your lawn to increase the thickness. On the back of the grass seed package, you will find where to set your spreader for proper seeding, and how much seed you will need to pour into the spreader. If using Scott’s Sun & Shade, you will need to set your batch spreader to 8.5. The spreader will cover a 4-8 foot diameter. Do a small test run in the middle of your yard to see how far the seeds will fly. Once the diameter is covered make passes across your yard moving along the longest path possible and overlapping seeds six to eight inches until you have covered your entire lawn.

The next step is fertilizing. This is very similar to seeding. Read the package for quantities needed and spreader settings. Begin covering your yard making passes using the longest direction of your yard.  Be sure your freshly seeded & fertilized lawn gets water within a day or two to prevent burning. Water, as needed, for the remainder of the season.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/beautify-your-qca-homes-lawn.html NzktMTM2Njg1MTIyMg== Wed, 24 Apr 2013 19:53:42 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Still trying to decide if a realtor is for you, or not? Good news, we will finish up our 2 part series on the perks of using a realtor. Before covering what else a realtor can offer you, let’s take the time to share how to choose a realtor.

When hiring a realtor to list your home, begin with asking family and friends who they used in the past and what their impressions were of those realtors. You will have the advantage of choosing a realtor rather than having one assigned to you. Make a list of possible realtors and set up a time to share your house with them and have a set of interview questions. Some questions you may want to include are:

What makes you stand out from other realtors?

How do you plan to market my home?

What is your average selling price to listing price ratio?

How long have you been with your current broker?

Essentially, each realtor is self-employed, but by law they must use a brokerage, such as Ruhl & Ruhl, to sell homes as a real estate agent. While conducting your interviews you may come across some realtors that you just don’t get a good vibe from, do not let this discourage you from using that particular broker at all. Instead, keep looking at what each realtor may offer you and what additional perks they have with their parent broker. For example; you may have three interviews set up with realtors from three different brokers and you like them all. So, your decision might come down to what benefits a broker has to offer. You may decide to use Ruhl Homes because they are more popular in your area.

Onto the benefits of using a Quad Cities realtor to sell your Davenport home. Your realtor should be keeping an eye on the market and should be able to tell you about any trends they have noticed over the past weeks, months, and even years. This can be very helpful when planning to buy or sell a Quad Cities home.

Do you have a hard time deciding what updates need to be done to help your house sell more quickly? Maybe you need an outsider’s opinion on what colors or furniture will look best in your home before you list it. If this is the case, then this is another area a realtor can help. Real estate agents are in, and around, dozens of houses each month, and they are hearing what people like. If you do not have the time to research what changes need to be made, this is another area an agent may help with.

Finally, FSBOFox has conducted surveys, and the number one concern is legal issues connected with closing. The real estate lawyer you use will do most of the talking and clarifying at the closing. This experience may still be a little overwhelming for you. Your realtor can help calm your nerves and coach you along the way.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/perks-to-using-a-qc-realtor-part-2.html NzgtMTM2NjQ3ODkxMw== Sat, 20 Apr 2013 12:28:33 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Selling your Davenport or Bettendorf home can be a fun and engaging learning experience. Selling your very own home can have a real sense of accomplishment, seeing the whole process through from the beginning to the end. Typically, the people who take on the exciting task of selling their home are motivated do-it-yourselfers, someone looking to save money by not having to pay realtor fees, or they simply do not have the financial flexibility to use a realtor. To be honest, sometimes homes do not sell like you would expect. For one reason or another, a home may sell better as a FSBO property or by using a realtor. Some people do not have the time or interest to sell on their own, so what can a realtor offer you? Thanks to Twitter, I have gotten in touch will a reputable real estate company, Ruhl Homes, a.k.a. Ruhl & Ruhl, and they shared some tips for using a realtor to sell your Quad City home.

If you are looking to buy a home, maybe in the Rock Island or Moline area, you may consider using a realtor. Some people have a hard time narrowing down a group of houses they like best. This is a time to call in a realtor. They have resources and the know how to help you narrow down your house hunt using objective information on each property. Realtors may also help you find a property on a short sale or a foreclosure.

Realtors can provide you with financial information. These questions can really vary, from wanting to know what you can afford to insurance or tax costs. They can also point you in the right direction of a good mortgage lender. I would recommend Valley Bank or National Bank. Some realtors are also knowledgeable about housing assistance programs. I remember working with my Ruhl & Ruhl agent and they provided me information which led to thousands in purchase savings and home improvements.

If looking to use a realtor to purchase a home they can help negotiate a buying price. They can look at home values in the area (market analysis), if there is a potential in increased property value, what inspections need to be done, and give you the comfort of having to organize all of the inspections.

There are other services a realtor may provide in a housing transaction. Look for these perks in part 2 of my blog.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/perks-to-using-a-qc-realtor-part-1.html NzctMTM2NjMzMzM3MA== Thu, 18 Apr 2013 20:02:50 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Did you know the Quad Cities is the largest metropolitan area along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Louis? Spanning across two states, the Quad Cites has much to be desired for singles and families. One of the biggest attractions is the Mississippi River, the 4th largest river in the world, stretching 2,320 miles. The Mississippi also makes up the largest watershed in North America, draining 40% of the 48 contiguous United States.

The Mississippi River offer Quad City Area (QCA) homeowners entertainment and employment. Thousands of residents enjoy recreational boating in calm water sloughs, or sun bathing on beaches, and the occasional sand bar. The Mississippi offers diverse fishing, from largemouth bass to spoonbill snagging, but there is no question catfish is the most sought after fish. Campgrounds also surround this beautiful river. So, when you do buy a house in the Quad Cities you might focus your search for an Iowa home in Davenport, Bettendorf, Princeton, or Buffalo. If you are looking to buy a home in Illinois you can find great views of the Mississippi in Port Byron, Moline, Rock Island, and Andalusia. There are countless bars, restaurants, distilleries, and shopping centers along the river. Le Claire, Iowa, has all of these, plus is the home of History Channel’,“American Pickers” and is great couples get away for a day.

Home ownership in the Quad Cities is also great for those looking for golf, softball, movies, museums, night life and much more.  When buying or selling a home, keep your surroundings and interests in mind. Whether you are looking for great night life or time with the family, the Quad Cities has much to be desired. Good luck finding your next home, and don’t forget how great the QC really is.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-to-buy-a-house-in-the-quad-cities.html NzYtMTM2NTg3MDMzMg== Sat, 13 Apr 2013 11:25:32 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Have you ever dreamed of what it would be like if you never had a monthly rent payment, or even better no mortgage? This idea may seem so farfetched that it has never crossed your mind. I remember the first house I bought, the day I became a broke man. It was a proud moment in the life and times of Tim Riley. I was just a young guy just starting his career, and owned a new car.  It is a fact the number one purchase of all college graduates is a vehicle. I had great friends, and now I owned my own home. Sayonara landlords and rent payments, I had officially joined the ranks of a lifetime of debt… I actually broke the news of homeownership to my friends by saying, "I joined the club of forever in debt.”  

I was a blind idiot to accept the fact of being in debt my whole life. A young and irresponsible twenty something kid who didn't have a clue about finances. The reality of it is, you do not have to live a life of debt just because you buy a house. I did not realize this until I read Dave Ramsey’s, “Total Money Makeover.”  His lessons are old school and simple to explain but harder to follow because you need to change your behaviors.

I could step on my soap box a praise Dave for an amazing program and how it is the best thing since balloon mortgages, insert sarcasm here. Reality is, I do not follow Dave’s baby steps to a "T." He did give me an avenue to travel down, and more importantly gave me hope to one day keep the money I make, or spend it as I see fit. Imagine having an extra $500 to $2,000 every month! It would be like winning the lotto every month.

There are different methods to paying your house off early, ALL of which require you to pay extra towards your principal amount. Be sure to specify this with each payment otherwise the lender may apply the extra cash to principal and interest, which will not help you out much.  Ask your lender for a Amortization Schedule to become familiar with your mortage situation. All the mortage plans I have read aim to attack this schedule by throwing extra cash at it. The easiest way to pay your loan off early is by making at least one extra monthly payment every year. This could knock 4-6 years of your loan alone. Another popular route people take is refinancing their home from a 30 year loan to a 15 year loan. You will pay your house off in half the time and pay a fraction in interest. The downside is you will payout more money each month, but you will also receive a lower interest rate. There are many methods to choose from to help pay your house off early, so find what works for you, and remember someday you will live mortgage free.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/living-mortgage-free.html NzUtMTM2NTY0NjI2Ng== Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:11:06 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Most of my blogs circle around selling your home FSBO (For Sale by Owner) style in the QC and QCA, however with spring finally arriving, I find myself looking at houses to buy. The problem is, I am by no means in the need of a house. I simply enjoy looking at houses for sale and seeing what they have to offer for décor, style, size, and of course price.I’m not sure why I have such an interest in the housing market.

I suspect it goes back to my childhood when my dad would take me out to homes being built in our area. This might be frowned upon in today’s society where thieves and vandals break into houses to throw a party or steal the copper, but back in “the good ol’days” nobody thought twice about this, or maybe they did... Anyways, he would study how each carpenter was constructing their middle class mansion. He was always looking for ideas and critiquing their work, building his knowledge of home construction. It soon would pay off for him as he built most of our house on his own.  Being just a little tike, I followed in my dad’s footsteps soaking up the unique fabrication of each home.

I still love to see how each home takes on the personality of the builder, yet lends itself to be customized and updated to each new owner. This is why I love my job and love studying real-estate. I am guilty of taking a Sunday stroll in Bettendorf, Davenport, Buffalo, or Parkview to see what Quad Cities’ homes are for sale and take a glimpse of what the inside looks like on a flyer. Have you ever found yourself driving by a house and notice a For Sale sign stuck in the front yard, and say, “Wow, I wonder what the inside looks like?” This is quickly followed up with, “I wonder how much it is?”  Of course, this ends as if you are on Price’s Right’s final showdown trying to guess the asking price.

As you take your Sunday stroll this spring I hope you find yourself discovering the house of your dreams, or maybe grab a flyer for a friend or family member looking for their dream home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/taking-a-real-estate-sunday-stroll.html NzQtMTM2NTI2MjUxMg== Sat, 06 Apr 2013 10:35:12 -0500
Beds, Baths, - A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog informing residents of Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, and surrounding areas like Eldridge and Andalusia about how good the housing market has been doing. The only “problem” with the market is supply is down and continues to stay low. BUT this does help out the seller. With more people looking to buy homes and fewer on the market the sold price has gone up. I found you evidence of what the sold price looks like over the past three years.

Iowa Association of Realtors, which reports on half of the Quad Cities real estate market, published the inset graphic. We have known the supply for houses is down in the area and based on the simple concept of supply vs. demand we assumed prices have raised some. Boy was I wrong. Don Marple, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors® said, “Both median and average sale prices rose significantly in February, likely due to reduced inventory levels.” Don also highlighted the increased sold price vs. list price, which stands at 94.6%. This ratio indicates sellers are receiving offers that are closer to their asking price than in 2011 and 2012, both of which were at 93.4%.

Keep these trends in mind when pricing your own home. Don’t get a swollen head either. Thinking your house will sell for $200,000, when in reality it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but is only worth $125,000 can lead to your home losing interest quickly and staying on the market much longer than the average of 104 days.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-real-estate-market.html NzMtMTM2NTAxNTcxNA== Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:01:54 -0500
Beds, Baths, - This week I am starting my backyard make over, which appears to be a full summer project. When we first bought the house, which by chance happened to be FSBO, one of the features we loved the most was the backyard. It added space, trees, and privacy, something hard to find in the urban Quad Cities. Trust me we scoured the MLS using Ruhl Homes and Mel Foster for months. Anyways the house was what we were looking for, but it needed some TLC, inside and out.

Our backyard offers close to a dozen trees and includes a wildlife habitat. I refer to this area as the “dead space”. The dead space is heavily shaded by trees, three of which are pine trees that leave a heavy mess. The previous owner must have started a “save a hosta foundation” and declared the corner a free dumping area for mulch. This space is overgrown and unusable.

We have decided to invest in a professional arborist to kick off our backyard make over. For what they can do matched with professionalism and speed it is money well spent. Plus a professional arborist should be bonded and insured for any accidents. After the tree trimming is done we still need to figure out what to do with the dead space in our yard. Living in the QCA we have cold winters and hot summers and we would like to make this space useable throughout most of the year. I personally would like to make it a home selling point when we do decide to sell. There is the option of just cleaning it out and keeping the hostas and mulch, but that’s a little bland for us. A small garden would be great but feel like there is not enough sunshine to support a good Iowa crop. So we are going to make it into a family space and build a playhouse. Not much can grow there so the structure will add aesthetic beauty while providing hours of family fun. We can keep a number of the hostas already planted along with the mulch.

When planning your back yard makeover take the time to gather multiple ideas, get some feedback, and have some fun with it. If you enjoy what you are doing then it will make the backyard work that much more enjoyable.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/qc-backyard-landscaping.html NzItMTM2NDcwMzk1MA== Sat, 30 Mar 2013 23:25:50 -0500
Beds, Baths, - If you have been following my blog, then you know the housing market is doing better yesterday, today, and tomorrow than it was six years ago. If you are in the QCA and are thinking about listing your house then you need to list it TODAY! The supply of homes on the market is down, which will inversely make the market value of your home go up. This includes the larger cities such as Moline, Rock Island, and also the smaller surrounding areas like Eldridge, Muscatine, and Long Grove. We actually listed a home in Long Grove, IA and the seller had 8 showings in his first two days on the market. So, what’s his secret?

The real magic in selling a home is pricing it correctly and being in the market which favors the sellers. This homeowner has both of these working in his favor. The next step in FSBO (For Sale By Owner) is acting as your own agent. Like any good real estate agent you need to get your property out to the masses. Focus your efforts where people will be looking, FSBO websites, Craigslist, Trulia, and Social Networks. Hanging flyers is a good idea but a very low percentage of people find the homes they buy using printed marketing tools. If you opt for a real estate agent from Ruhl Homes, Mel Foster, or Remax then you can get your house on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

The bottom line is, houses are selling better now than they have in the past six years. So make like Jessie J and put a Price Tag on that beautiful home, and sell it. Mortgages remain at an all-time low according to National Associations of Realtors President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., "In the history of mortgage interest rates since 1971, the 30-year fixed rate has been below 4 percent in only 15 months, and those have all been in the past 15 months," he said. "Even with rising home prices, affordability remains historically favorable because home prices over-corrected during the downturn. This means there is still great value for buyers in the current market."

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-homes-for-sale-needed.html NzEtMTM2NDM0ODc3OA== Tue, 26 Mar 2013 20:46:18 -0500
Beds, Baths, - February is following in its predecessors footsteps. January was a good month in real estate, especially for Quad City homes. National statistics have been released for the month of February, and the real estate market is still trending upwards.  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Realtors Organization, reported, “Home sales in the month of February increased 0.8%, to a seasonal adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million unit pays." This kind of news should really boost the morale of those trying to sell their house now or who have had their home on the market for several months. If you fall into the latter category, you may want to think about your asking price. Take away the emotional attachment you have with your home and ask a more appropriate market value. If you do need a certain dollar amount for your home there is still good hope.

Mr. Yun went on to report, “In a year over year bases existing home sales were higher by 10.2%. Which marks 20 months of year over year increase. The national median home price was $173,600. An increase of 11.6% from a year ago." Increase in home prices are related to the continued low amount of real estate supply. This does not necessarily mean you will sell your house for more now than what you were asking 6 months ago, but what it does suggest is you will not have to drop the price of your home $20,000 over night. In the Davenport or Bettendorf market, this might mean a $5,000 price adjustment will suit your needs better and will still help bring a reenergized interest in your home.

I have talked with several clients this week who have had their house listed for roughly one year. A change in marketing plans, and a fresh price, could help them unload this financial burden early this spring.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/real-estate-trends-still-on-the-rise.html NzAtMTM2NDE3NDE0OQ== Sun, 24 Mar 2013 20:15:49 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Spring has arrived, technically, and those “honey do” lists are soon to appear on the fridge. Before the list is filled by your significant other, add a couple items you want to accomplish this spring. Thanks to another poor performance from Poxatuny Phil, Quad City home owners will be able to procrastinate their outdoor spring chores at least one more week. That being said, be prepared to complete these 5 tasks over the next 4-6 weeks.

1. Car – Your vehicle takes a beating over the winter months, even more so if you live in a Midwest city like Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, or Moline. If the weather is warm enough, pull out the garden hose and soap to wash all the road salt off your car. If applicable, take your grocery getter or speedster to a car wash. For $8 you can power wash your own car and put a nice glow back in your ride. Don’t forget to wash the bottom off really well, too. This is where most of the rust will occur.  A good waxing is also a great idea to protect the paint on your car.

2. Garage – Many holiday items get, more or less, thrown onto a work bench or on the ground because we don’t want to deal with packing away these items during the cold months. Clean up any lose trash, sweep the floor, and reorganize all the tools you had to bust out to fix your leaky toilets, faucets, furniture, and anything else gets may have broken.

3. Gutters – Will chore ever go away? Only if you cut down every single tree within a twenty foot radius of your house. Admit it, you procrastinated on cleaning your gutters last fall and now you have to clean them. This will always be one of those home ownership chores which will not go away.

 

4. Closets – Spring will still offer some chilly days, so your top 5 cleaning list needs to include some indoor chores. You have been hitting the gym every day since New Year’s and you lost that tire around your waist. Get rid of the clothes are not going to wear anymore and get some new threads, you deserve it. Take the time to touch up paint, hardware, doors, and organizer shelves while in your closet. I remember looking at a QC home for sale several years back, and all I remember about that house is a dingy bedroom closet.

5. Grill & Smoker- If you’re like me, then you have an eternal fire to grill most nights of the week. Remove the cover, clean out the sticks and leaves, and start breaking your grill or smoker down.  Clean the grates, drip pan, burners, and even the belly of the grill. Look for any wear and tear which might require repair, such as a bad burner.

 

Some may not look forward to spring chores, but cabin fever has possessed my body…and I need an outdoor exorcism. If you’re like me, then you can’t wait to get out there and mark some chores off your list.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/honey-do-spring-cleaning-list.html NjktMTM2NDA5MDI2Ng== Sat, 23 Mar 2013 20:57:46 -0500
Beds, Baths, - How many times in your life has someone told you, “Hey, you need to start smoking," probably not often, if at all. I am not referring to the plant which made Virginia and the 13 colonies so successful. What I am talking about is smoking meats. Smoking has been around since "prehistory" to preserve meats and more recently used to give a rich authentic taste to BBQ.

Smoking meat is more than just a 2-15 supper prep, there is a lot of planning, preparation, comradery, and beer drinking involved. It can take years of practice to perfect but just days of cooking to get a good tasting product.

Smoking meats is perfect for outdoor temperatures between 50° and 90°. Family members can’t wait to get a taste of chicken, pork, beef, or vegetables. That’s why smoking is perfect for birthdays, holidays, reunions, and other family events. If looking to gain a relationship with your neighbors, nothing draws their interest more than a succulent smell of hickory.

Smoking meats is not just about cooking a meal, it’s about the effort, story, and experience. If you are looking to expand your Quad City hobbies around the house, and want to spend more time engaging your friends, family, and neighbors then smoking meat is for you.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-you-need-to-start-smoking.html NjgtMTM2MzQ5Mjk1MA== Sat, 16 Mar 2013 23:02:30 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Let’s face it, the weather in and around the QCA has been basically miserable. I never understood how Puxatony Phil could predict an early or late spring. As it turns out he can’t. I have lost all faith in groundhogs predicting the weather. None the less you are still trying to sell your home and no over-hyped critter will ruin your sale…or will it?

Davenport and Bettendorf got out to great start this year in the Quad City real estate market. Then came the snow and chilling temps. For the most part, snow fell in the early parts of the week, (Monday-Wednesday). Good news is not too many residents are driving around looking for QC homes on these days. Of course the bad news is you have to shovel. A few inches of snow can really help your house sell and stand out from the rest of the market. That new layer of snow will add a fresh look to your home. I suggest not letting your dog out in the front yard to keep the snow freshness as long as possible. Another QCFSBO insider tip is to get out there and shovel/snowblow your driveway and all sidewalks. This will help your curb appeal during the winter and show potential buyers you care about your home inside and out.

People living in the in the Quad Cities, including Rock Island and Moline, expect snow in the winter. Do not think the snow will turn buyers away. Do your best to use it to your advantage. If you are showing your home in these cold months have your furnace turned up and a fresh crockpot of chili or stew cooking in the kitchen. Nothing says comfort like a warm and inviting home.

Don’t let the cold weather and snow bog you down during these weather conditions. Take this opportunity to highlight your Quad City home for sale. While the competition is crying and whining about the weather you will take this awesome opportunity to show how your house is better than the rest.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/will-cold-weather-halt-the-sale-of-my-quad-city-home.html NjctMTM2MzQ4NDAwMA== Sat, 16 Mar 2013 20:33:20 -0500
Beds, Baths, - DIY – Do It Yourself, three little words can save you so much money. Some people are all over DIY projects like white on rice, while others avoid these projects like the plague. Whatever your opinion is, I encourage you to attempt some DIY projects.

How familiar you are with hand tools, power tools, electrical circuits, plumbing, and carpentry skills will dictate where you start your home improvements. I purchased my first home for $59,000. A deep cleaning was needed along with updates throughout the house, inside & out. I saw my first home as an investment property, and it would prove profitable.  

One of the easiest DIY projects is demolition. Generally, nothing more than a crowbar, hammer, and a destructive attitude is needed. Be cautious of all electricity and plumbing. This includes fixtures inside and outside of the floors, ceilings, and walls. You will come across some “unique” artifacts such as antiques, collectibles, photos, and in my case a crack pipe, yes a crack pipe. I bought a rental property in a neighborhood that was transitioning back into a safe. family-oriented neighborhood.

Once you have completed demolition the amount of DIY projects for your house varies from putting in tile floors to new ceiling fans or adding a deck to installing kitchen cabinets. Odds are, you are not a master carpenter so become familiar with home improvement websites such as; Hometime, DIY Network, and Youtube.

I would also suggest you buy a DIY book lik,e “Home Improvement 1-2-3." My biggest help came from family and friends. You will buy a lot of pizza and beer and not always get a lot done in a day, but you will enjoy the time spent on your home and learn how to become a DIY expert yourself. I paid cash for all the materials, food, and beer. Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to sell my home for a $24,500 profit. Not too shabby for a six year investment.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-you-should-diy.html NjYtMTM2MjgwMTE0Ng== Fri, 08 Mar 2013 21:52:26 -0600
Beds, Baths, - http://www.landscapingnetwork.comYou have narrowed your next home down to 3 houses in similar neighborhoods. You drive by each one multiple times and can’t decide which one you like the most. Finally, one night you are out doing some house stalking and see the second home lit up with an ambience of outdoor lighting. The walkway has a soft path glow, garden lights highlight bold plants and mature trees, and the entryway is highlighted with candle lit lanterns hanging on both sides of the entry door.

The use of lighting to dress up your curb appeal is often overlooked because many people assume it must be professionally done and is expensive. This just isn’t the case.  Hanging a couple wall anchors next to your entry door just requires a couple screws and candle lanterns. Solar powered lights don’t give off a lot of light but are perfect for creating a walkway and incredibly easy to install. Low voltage kits provide brighter lights if desired and can be set with a timer. They work off of a transformer which is plugged into an outdoor outlet. Low voltage kits are affordable and can be installed in an afternoon.

So, if you are looking to send your Quad City home for sale screaming to the top of the market or just want to add a few highlights to your home, look into outdoor lighting to increase your curb appeal.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/light%E2%80%99em-up.html NjUtMTM2MjQ1Mzc5OQ== Mon, 04 Mar 2013 21:23:19 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Will my house sell in this market? Who has heard someone ask this or even asked this question yourself? People are concerned how well the housing market is doing. We spoke with hundreds of people at the KWQC Women’s Health & Lifestyle Fair this weekend, and many of those individuals were concerned if their home will sell in this market. I have a simple answer for you, YES!

I was reading a 2012, 4th quarter report that Ruhl Homes published. They gathered their data from Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The report told me that Eastern Iowa real estate is having a steady rate of success with the most consistent real estate occurring in the Quad Cities. QC real estate prices have increased 1.58% over the last year and 2.09% over the last 5 years. Looking at the 2012, 4th quarter National Ranking of 302 MSAs (Metropolitan Statistical Areas), the QCA comes in at #77.  This is fantastic news for you as other areas, such as Des Moines, are still struggling and house prices have decline 4.82%.

The time to sell is now. Don’t wait for next month, or next year. It is hard to let go of the emotional connections you have with your home. One client said it best, “Usually people selling FSBO (For Sale By Owner) are scared to sell their house, so they over price it because of the emotional connections they have. Using a realtor takes the emotion out of pricing and listing your house."  This is so very true, and it is difficult to let go of the memories you made in e thhouse you are planning to sell. The time will come when you will need to sell, and if you are on the fence of this year or the next, the best advice I can give you is jump in and start the process. The market will treat you well.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-city%E2%80%99s-homes-for-sale-good-news-in-the-neighborhood.html NjQtMTM2MjMyOTM1OQ== Sun, 03 Mar 2013 10:49:19 -0600
Beds, Baths, - There are many ways to market your Quad City Home. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the top 5 ways to market your home are; Internet, realtor, yard sign, open house, and print newspaper advertisement-in that respective order. The Internet has undeniable changed how real estate is sold over the two decades. People can shop for their dream home wearing pajamas in the comfort of their living room.  Don’t let this illusion baffle your marketing process. Yard signs are the third highest ranking way to draw attention your home.

Realtytimes.com reviewed a report in 2012, stating 55% of home buyers looked at yard signs for locating their new home. Living in a larger city people may or may not take a “Sunday drive” and cruise through neighborhoods they want to live in. Buyers scanning properties with For Sale Yard Signs is a valuable resource. This strategy works especially great for those second and third level tier cities such as Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, and Moline.

So what does a quality yard sign need to have? First, is a color and font scheme that really “pops.' A quality yard seen needs to be seen from a distance and clearly state, THIS HOUSE IS FOR SALE, STOP & CHECK ME OUT. If not, many people will continue their drive onto the next house down the street. One thing that really bugs me about bad signage is a white sign with poor font, staked into snow covered backdrop.  Who is going to see this in late November, December, January, and February? Secondly, your sign needs to be made of a durable material that can with stand the color fading sun rays, brittleness of the winter, and not get blown over in 30+ mph winds. Metal signs will cost more up front but are well worth the money.

Don’t overlook the singles and families who still enjoy a relaxing evening drive and find the excitement of collecting flyers from houses they are interested in. Stats don’t lie, take the time to research the signage you or your company will be using to help sell your home.  It could be the difference of your home being on the market for six weeks or six months.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-signage-will-help-you-sell-your-house-this-year.html NjMtMTM2MTg0NTczMg== Mon, 25 Feb 2013 20:28:52 -0600
Beds, Baths, - In the brief 8 weeks we have had in 2013, the housing market in doing what most predicted, better than previous years. This graphic provided by the Iowa Associaton of Realtors is evidence. The market is slowly beginning to sway from a buyer's market to a seller’s market. This will not come into full fruition for several more years, but it does speak towards real estate rebounding and our economy growing. http://www.iowarealtors.com/images/default-source/news-and-meetings/january-2013-iowa-home-sales.jpg?sfvrsn=2

The number of sold houses has a correlation with the workforce slowly growing, as well. According to the Iowa Work Force Development, employment rates have slightly increased by nearly 1% over the last year. More people working is more homeowners. In the Quad Cities alone, houses under $100,000 have been selling like hot cakes. With a steady job, lenders are more likely to approve loans in this price range. I have even heard from some Ruhl & Ruhl realtors that houses under $150,000 are selling really well.

The Quad Cities housing market has always been in its unique little bubble. We have several large employers in the area including John Deere, Rock Island Arsenal, and Genesis, just to name a few. With these stable employers, and we hope the Arsenal will remain strong over the year, more employed young people are looking to become homeowners for the first time. If you are looking to sell your home to a first time home buyer don’t be afraid to make some upgrades to target the ages of 25-34 years old. A neutral colored wall is no longer white, soft colors such as “Mantis Green” are considered neutral. Your buying audience is something to keep in mind when preparing to sell your Quad City home this year.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/2013-update-on-the-quad-city-real-estate-market.html NjItMTM2MTU5MjUwMQ== Fri, 22 Feb 2013 22:08:21 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Do you find yourself looking around your home this winter wanting to find ways to spruce it up and personalize it? As I had these ideas come, to me I posted them on Twitter and Facebook. It would be nice to be in the situation where I could just call up anyone of my self-employed construction buddies and have them add a bathroom to my basement, but the Dave Ramsey budget does not allow that. So keep in mind I am looking for low cost but high upgrade,s which will help any Quad City home for sale. Here is a short list of those ideas:

1. Update cabinet hardware – This is a very simple upgrade anyone can make with a screwdriver. Most handles and knobs in the kitchen and bathrooms are old and dated. Head to your closest hardware store for dozens if not hundreds of options. Keep in mind hardware can range from $0.69 – per unit upwards towards $50 and higher per unit.

2. Shampoo carpets – Choose carpet areas that are not located in high traffic areas, especially exterior doors. Yes, this may fall under the category of “cleaning” but a freshly shampooed carpet brings out that new home smell. For as little as $25 a night, plus cleaner, you can shampoo bedrooms and the basement. You also get a head start on your spring cleaning. If it’s too cold to open the windows, box fans work great to dry the carpet.

3. Change light bulbs – Walk around your house and see if all your bulbs have the same color, otherwise known as color temperature. My parent’s house has a bright white, soft white, and a yellow hue collectively in one ceiling fan fixture.  Make sure you color temperatures are organized by room. You will also save on your utility bill, which takes a beating during harsh winters.

4. Outlets, switches, and covers – I am going to start this off by saying, IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ELECTRICAL CIRCUTS, HIGHER A PROFESSIONAL. Believe it or not, outlets and light switches all have a life expectancy and will fail to work properly after heavy use, not to mention looking old and dilapidated. If your outlets show these signs it is time to change them. How do you know if your outlets are worn out? If the vacuum does not stay firmly plugged in. They also sell child proof outlets. These outlets have the safety plastic built into the plug-in and they work great! Most new homes require you to install this new build of outlets .

5. Ceiling fans and globes – Light fixtures have a globe surrounding the bulbs. These are usually very easy to change and bring a much needed fresh look to every room. Most globes screw in or may require a nut to be taken off, that’s it. If you're wanting to change one or two ceiling fans see #4 above, and if you do decide change the unit yourself make sure the breaker is flipped OFF before beginning work. I would suggest changing these during the day for obvious reasons.

Good luck sprucing up your home this winter, and if you have any other tips please share them!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-this-winter.html NjEtMTM2MTQxNzE1Mg== Wed, 20 Feb 2013 21:25:52 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Your big day has arrived, and I’m not talking about marriage. You are finally closing on your Quad City home and there is just one last hoop to jump through before contracts are signed and checks are written. It’s time for the final walkthrough. Sounds so…..professional, doesn’t it? While the lingo sounds like business, some people approach this more casually.

Don’t fall into the latter category. You have been hoping, dreaming, and working for the past several weeks or even months to sell your own home. You have had Ruhl & Ruhl realtors walkthrough your open house, Mel Foster contact you about their services, but you stayed strong and sold your place as a qcfsbo and saved thousands of dollars.

The final walkthrough will be performed within a few days of the closing if not actually on the day of the closing. Before this day arrives make sure everything in your home is in working order; appliances, toilets, sinks, lights, fans, sprinklers, furnace, air conditioning, windows, and anything else the buyer may be double “inspecting”. Finally make sure any and all agreed upon repairs are completed by your final walkthrough. If anyone of these items is left unresolved it could blow a closing out of the water or push the closing back weeks.

Finally, be respectful. Make sure the house is clean and ready to move in. This is not a must unless previously agreed upon, but I do believe in Karma. Nobody wants to move into a dirty house, and since you are selling your QC home, you will be moving into a place and hopefully it’s clean.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/qcfsbo-final-walkthrough.html NjAtMTM2MDk4MTU4OA== Fri, 15 Feb 2013 20:26:28 -0600
Beds, Baths, - I found my first Quad City home scanning local MLS sites such as Mel Foster and Ruhl & Ruhl. Just in case you don’t know all real estate websites have the same houses listed with the Multiple Listing Services, (MLS). So there is no need to scan multiple realtor websites for different houses. I chose the real estate company with the best user friendly MLS interface and scanned homes there.

I also found great local organizations that will help you purchase your first home and also educate on home ownership. One such company in the QCA is United Neighbors, who offers the DREAM Program. The DREAM Program makes purchasing a home more affordable for moderate to low income families and educates home buyers. As first time home buyers don’t most of us fit into this category? One educational area they focus on is lead paint. It is a federal law to provide a lead paint disclosure for the purchase of any home built before 1978. Any known lead in the house or lead test results must be shared with the buyer.

The government banned all lead based paints in housing structures prior to 1978 because of harmful toxins found in lead.  Some of the side effects of lead poisoning include brain damage, slowed growth, nervous system damage, pregnancy difficulties, high blood pressure, digestive problems, headaches, and even muscle & joint pain. Lead can affect anyone, but small children are at the highest risk. Young children will pick up a paint chip from a door jam or window seal and put in in their mouth without hesitation.

The lead disclosure laws gives the buyer 10 days to have any lead inspections completed. As the seller make sure you disclose all information you know regarding lead based paint in the home. I would even hand the home buyer an EPA lead information pamphlet.

Also be sure to share all material facts with home buyers. Materials facts are anything which could affect the home buyer’s decision on purchasing the property. If you know of any problems or repairs that have been recently made share these with the home buyers.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/full-lead-disclosure.html NTktMTM2MDYyODMxOQ== Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:18:39 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Full home inspections are usually one of the last hurdles in selling your own home (FSBO). 99.9% of people will have one of these completed because receiving a loan from most Quad City Area lenders will require you to have this done. If you are fortunate enough to pay cash then you may not get a full house inspection but I would strongly advice against this. A full house inspection looks for many possible “hidden” problems which can financially sink you later. Here is a list of potentially costly items home inspectors will be looking at:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Structure and foundation of the home
  • Appliances
  • Mold & mildew
  • Damp basements
  • Roofs & chimneys
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems

If you know there are problems with any of these it is best you repair them before listing your house. Some of the items such as water in the basement or a leaky roof must be listed in disclosure forms according to Iowa & Illinois real estate laws. Selling your home in the Quad Cities will present a few particular items an inspector will be looking for; cracked basement foundation, outdated electrical system, worn out shingles, and termite evidence. If an inspector does see termite evidence they will refer you to a pest control specialist for another, more thorough, inspection.

A home inspection can last 1-4+ hours depending on the size of the home. Home inspectors are working for the buyers so make the inspector’s job as easy as possible to keep them happy. Have clear pathways to the utility room, make sure there is easy access into your home, and don’t agree to an inspection the day after a Super Bowl party.

Inspectors will find items wrong with the house, it is their job. Don’t take this as a negative or as deal breaker. The home inspection is not a wish list for the buyers and your contract will dictate if something has to be repaired or not. Since I am a DIY I used the inspection on the house I bought as a price negotiating tool and settled on a lower buying price.

When I sold my Quad City home I had an issue with old termite evidence. Laws had change from when I bought my house to when I sold it. Basically what came of the inspection was I needed to have the house treated again for termites even though I never had any issues personally. I could have opted out of the sale and relisted my house, but I would just come across the same issue the next time we came close to closing on it. I forked over $700, sold my home, and thanks to selling QCFSBO I still made a healthy profit and was able to make a nice down payment for my next home.

 

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-city-home-inspections.html NTgtMTM2MDUxMDE1NQ== Sun, 10 Feb 2013 09:29:15 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Some people looking for Quad City homes for sale might be turned off by a wood burning fireplace, but I on the other hand, had it as a must. I love the smell of a wood fire; it brings me back to my childhood and seeing my dad cozied up next to the fire place like a dog on a bed. The crackling and popping collimated with the deep orange flames and red burning embers really creates the perfect date night with your spouse, while not having to hire a baby sitter.   

While viewing homes on Ruhl and Ruhl and Mel Foster, I saw many more gas fireplaces then the traditional wood fires.  The thought and work which goes into making a successful fire isn’t easy, but isn’t hard either. I am the type of person who thrives on instant results and this presents the perfect light hearted challenge to get me through the day. I think most people would want a wood fireplace if they thought of them as a backup plan to your electricity going out in the winter. MidAmerican recently reported 9,000 homes losing power during this erratic winter. I would hate to be without power, which is required to run my furnace, with temperatures below 0° this year. So, I will be heading out to my local tree trimmer and picking up some soft woods (to start the fire) and hardwoods (which burn longer, slower, and hotter) to heat my family and home just in case during this percurious winter.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/furnace-back-up-plan.html NTctMTM1OTc2NzU3MA== Fri, 01 Feb 2013 19:12:50 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off for you and one or more persons want to make an offer on your house…….so what’s the next step?

First, make sure you have the proper paper work for your property type and state. FSBOFox has forms available for all Quad City homes for sale. Believe it or not,  there are different forms for the Illinois QCA, (Rock Island and Moline) and Iowa QCA, (Davenport and Bettendorf).

Second, collect a “good faith” deposit, otherwise known as earnest money. There is no set number or legal amount you have to give but the general rule of thumb is 3% of the selling price. Most often this money will be held by the seller’s attorney, insurance company, or an Escrow company as a “trust.”  I have seen multiple friends selling their homes get jipped by not collecting any earnest money. The potential buyer backs out or can’t get the financing and your house was off the market for 30-60 days while waiting on the closing. Earnest money is insurance for you the seller, and if the buyer backs out you can recoup any lost money by the purchase falling through. A good faith deposit shows me the buyer is serious about the house and is confident they can get the financing. YOU NEED TO COLLECT A GOOD FAITH DEPOSIT.

Finally make sure whichever offer form you use it includes; the price, any contingencies, who pays for closing costs, closing date, and when the buyer will take possession. Many lawyers will draft these up for you. When I was a QCFSBO agent, the average cost for this service was $100 from various lawyers around the QC area.  Regardless if you have a lawyer draft the form or not, make sure your lawyer looks it over before SIGNING ANYTHING.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/someone-wants-to-buy-my-house-now-what.html NTYtMTM1OTY4NjY5MQ== Thu, 31 Jan 2013 20:44:51 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Clean, Inside & Out: I mentioned cleaning in my blog earlier this week, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to clean your home thoroughly before a showing. Cleaning takes some elbow grease but can close the deal on your house and help put thousands in your pocket. Don’t forget the outside of your home. Rent, or better yet, borrow a power washer from a friend or neighbor. Wash the siding, driveway, sidewalks, and any retaining walls to give your home a fresh sparkling feel. A garden hose rinse simply won't cut it.

Lighting: Let the light shine in! Pull back the curtains and open the blinds. Natural light allows all the craftsmanship and a well-staged home to pop. Opening the curtains also makes your house feel bigger and open. After speaking with dozens of QC home owners, people want an open feel in their next house.

Be a Host Who Does the Most: Make a slow cooked roast in the Crock-Pot, bake 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies, or if weather permits throw a pork shoulder or brisket on the smoker out back. These elegant smells speak right to the owners bellies. The best way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and the same can be said about getting to his wallet. Place the warm batch of cookies next to your QCFSBO flyers so buyers don’t forget to take one before they leave. Finally, introduce yourself with a smile and say good bye with a smile, always have potential buyers leaving with a positive impression of you.This really speaks to your character.

Make your Home Comfortable: I have been inside hundreds of open houses, and on occasion, I have felt like we were intruding. The people showing the house were tense and anxious. As humans, we transfer these feelings to others when in a small group setting, so relax. Turn the heat up in the winter and air down in the summer. Put on some quiet music that will appeal to your potential buyers. Since this can be a wide range of people you better leave Ludacris off the playlist. I personally use local radio stations which broadcast in Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport. People can connect with local stations, and it will help them connect with their new home...

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-show-your-quad-city-fsbo-home.html NTUtMTM1OTE2MzgyNg== Fri, 25 Jan 2013 19:30:26 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Congratulations on your success at this point in the game. You have taken pictures and listed your home with a QCFSBO service. You are ready to show your house for the first time. Here are 5 easy to follow steps to preparing your home for buyers.

http://photos.foter.com/66/rack_l.jpg1. De-clutter your house: This is one area I see most people overlook when showing their home. You don’t want to empty a house out, but your house should not look like an episode of hoarders, either. Leave some simple furniture in your QC home, so people can imagine what the house will look like furnished.

Woman cleaning the mirror in the bathroom2. Clean: Sounds simple enough, but don’t forget to dust the fan blades, wipe down window ledges, and put a little extra elbow grease into the bathroom and kitchen.

 

 

Couple painting wall3. Repair: Strap on the tool belt and pound those deck nails down and touch up interior walls. Make the simple repairs first and leave the bigger repairs for when your budget can afford it or factor them into a discounted house price. Two major repairs people look for in Davenport and Bettendorf homes are windows and roofs.

 

animals,boxers,canines,dog biscuits,dog bones,dogs,mammals,nature,objects,pet foods,Photographs4. Pets have got to go, for the day at least: Remove any and all signs of pets including, food dish, litter box, and dog beds. Spray Febreze if your family pet frequents a room or a particular piece of furniture. Some people have pet allergies or feel animals can’t control their bowels and have surely tinkled all over the house. Don’t take the chance of scaring off any buyers because you just never know how people feel about pets.

Friends enjoying BBQ5. Soft showing: Such a fancy term in opening a new business but can be very beneficial for your Quad Cities home for sale.  If you are located in Moline or Rock Island, have friends and family who live nearby stop in and be brutally honest about what they like or don’t like. Try to fix the “don’t likes” and show case the “likes."

 

Follow these simple tips and you will have another excellent Quad Cities For Sale By Owner tool in your treasure chest of ideas.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-steps-for-showing-your-qc-home.html NTQtMTM1ODgxODgxNA== Mon, 21 Jan 2013 19:40:14 -0600
Beds, Baths, - When looking to purchase a Quad Cities’ home don’t forget to look for local housing assistance programs. Housing assistance will typically have some stipulations associated with it. For exampl,e I was reading a Ruhl & Ruhl article that mentioned a program called Davenport NOW. I did a little research and discovered this was a housing tax rebate started in 2009. This program gives, "homeowners a rebate for 50% of the City’s share of your property taxes for 10 years based on your increase in assessed value” (discoverdavenport.com). To qualify for this rebate, you must be building or buying a newly constructed home or making historical improvements.

Another program I highly recommend for first time home buyers is called the Dream Program. The Dream Program is overseen by United Neighbors, and you will get $1,000 towards a down payment.  You could also receive some home improvements if they have extra grant money. They paid for all new windows in my home, and the cost was off set with a 5 year forgivable plan. I stayed my 5 years and used the new windows as a selling point. You will have to take a couple classes that last an hour, and this class will take you more informed on housing concerns, such as lead paint.

Take the time to do your research. All of the surrounding Quad Cities have programs to help you buy a home or even make updates to the current home you are living in. If you need help locating the assistance programs in your city, speak to a  qualified mortgage lender. I recommend checking with National Bank or Valley Bank for helpful and friendly customer service.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-buying-assistance-programs.html NTMtMTM1ODU2MzU1MQ== Fri, 18 Jan 2013 20:45:51 -0600
Beds, Baths, -      1. Prepare your house: Take time to declutter your home and make any maintenance repairs you have put off for the last 3   or 4 years. These repairs can be filling nail holes from your great grandmother’s family portrait to having your roof replaced. Work within your budget and fix anything you can. Otherwise, be prepared to “get negotiated on” from a potential buyer.

     2. Price your house: I can’t stress enough how important it is to price your home correctly. I have discussed and read multiple Ruhl & Ruhl realtors’ and Mel Foster realtors’ articles from the Quad Cities confirming this. Your house will draw some of its heaviest attention just the first few weeks of being listed, and you don’t want or scare anyone off or lose any potential profit.

     3. Attack from the outside in: Spend time this year increasing your curb appeal. I personally like the DIY Network, Home Time, and HGTV for ideas. I am also falling in love with Pinterest. I know a lot of women enjoy their boards, but fellas, you need to check out this resource for outdoor ideas, too.

     4. Make a marketing plan: How will you market your house? There is Craigslist, Social Networks, News Papers, “For Sale” signs, and Quad City For Sale By Owner services. Use Alexa to track up-to-date website traffic for choosing the best QCFSBO website.

     5. Communication and showing: If you are single, then this will be an easy decision of who will be in charge of taking phone calls, e-mails, and showing the house. But keep in mind people may want to see the house when you are not available. Do you have a close relative or family member who can stand in for this in a pinch? If you're married or have a partner, designats one person to be in charge of taking the calls to keep a consistent flow of communication with buyers. Do the same for showings. This will help your buyers and you stay organized with any questions from clients.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-qcfsbo-tips-this-year.html NTItMTM1ODIxMjUwNg== Mon, 14 Jan 2013 19:15:06 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Ruhl & Ruhl, Remax, Iowa Realty, and Mel Foster real estate agents will tell you the single most important factor to selling your home is the listing price. Acting as your own QCFSBO, agent you will need to decide at what price to list your home.  If you list your house too high you could scare off dozens of potential buyers and never get them back with “reduced price,” not to mention your home will draw the most interest in its first month of listing. If you ask too low of a price you could lose out on thousands of dollars. So, how do you properly price your home? Surprisingly it’s not hard, but will take some leg work on your part.  

Start pricing your home by looking at comparable homes within a ½ mile of your home and in the same neighborhood. If you live in a rural area or a neighborhood which has not had many people sell their homes recently, you may need to go outside these boundaries. Key similarities to look for are: square footage, age of home, number of bedrooms & baths, and updates, if Pictures courtesy of http://www.merchantcircle.com/possible.

I started looking at Quad City real estate brokers’ sites and other Quad City homes for sale websites. These webpages will have house pending and recently sold markers on them and will have an idea of what their starting price was. You can look at houses which have not sold, too, but remember, the house has not sold yet. Another huge resource is your county assessor. Most of these sites will allow you to search for comparable sold homes and the price they sold for.

Acting as your own agent, you can also look towards outside resources. You will want to consider hiring a real estate appraiser. You will get an accurate market value of your home and will take the emotional and hopeful wishing out of your hands. Some realtors out there, such as Sarah Broyles, will help you with a market analysis. Don’t be afraid to give them a call and ask for a market analysis. Some realtors will do this for free.

Being your own QCFSBO agent gives you an excellent advantage vs. realtors. Realtors may include their fees into the asking price and you will not have to do that. Let’s say you decide to leave your agent because your home has drawn very little interest over the past 6 months. Your agent had it listed for $200,000. Subtract the usual 7% realtor fee and you would have received $186,000. Acting as your own agent, you can now list it for $192,000. You will draw more interest with a lower price, draw a different clientele, and you will make $6,000 MORE than your realtor’s asking price... WINNING!

Pictures courtesy of http://www.merchantcircle.com/

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-price-my-quad-city-home.html NTEtMTM1Nzk1NjM0OQ== Fri, 11 Jan 2013 20:05:49 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Do you remember going to your great grandmother’s house as a child, and it smelled like mothballs? I hated that smell, and I bet you did, too. While mothballs have a functional purpose, they don’t have a functional smell. A house with a funky smell is a deal buster.

So, what should a QC home owner do about the odor coming from years of pet ownership? There are a few different options. The most expensive, but a great home seller, is to lay new padding and carpet. If you just put new carpet on top of foul smelling padding, your house will still stink. Plus, you just ruined hundreds of dollars in new carpet.  Padding is expensive, so get one that is within in your budget and not top of the line.

If you can’t afford new carpet, rent a carpet shampooer. These can be found at most local rental business; I have even seen them that Davenport, Bettendorf, Rock Island, and Moline Hy-Vees. For under $100, your carpets could be looking new and smelling fresh.

If you have a few extra dollars before a showing by some scented carpet powder and sprinkle it on the floor, (I would not suggest this for dark solid colors like green). Let the powder sit for 15 minutes and vacuum. Your house will smell like a fresh bed of flowers on a warm spring day. This could be what sells your QCFSBO home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/a-fresh-carpet-smell-can-make-or-break-a-sale.html NTAtMTM1Nzc4NjE1MQ== Wed, 09 Jan 2013 20:49:11 -0600
Beds, Baths, - You may not realize how unique the Quad Cities are. There is nothing flashy about our community. We don’t host a professional team, have a vacation destination, Von Maur is probably our highest end clothing store. There are several nice restaurants with Duck City leading the way, but this is nothing like the Brazilian steak houses I have been to in Chicago. So what makes the Quad Cities real estate so strong? The companies which surround our area.

In and around the Quad Cities you can find; John Deere Headquarters, Alcoa, Rock Island Arsenal, Kraft Food, and even a network of Genesis hospitals to name some of the top employers. According to quadcitiesfirst.com these five companies combined employ nearly 25,000 people. It is our workforce which makes selling your home easy. This is why you need to at least attempt for sale by owner in the Quad Cities. People with money are here and looking to buy. Yes we are clawing out of a recession, but we were never devastated like Detroit or Kansas City. We took a hit but never fell down, and you shouldn’t get discouraged because of the market. Believe it or not the QCA is unique in real estate. It is also unique because the QC is the largest urban area along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Louis.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-homes.html NDktMTM1NzYxNTYxMA== Mon, 07 Jan 2013 21:26:50 -0600
Beds, Baths, - There is yet ANOTHER social network site to take over our computer screens and mobile devices. How many can one person follow? First there was MySpace, then Facebook and Twitter. You can find thousands of blogs out there, and 90% are updated once a decade. You also have Linkedin, Google+, foursquare, plus many more. When will it ever stop, ahhh?!?! Well you can take a breath and relax, welcome to Pinterest. Pinterest is a social network that will actually make your life easier.

I cannot believe it took this long for someone to create a site which will keep all of your favorite websites in order, and allows you to share your favorite websites. This is far and away better than your classic Bookmark Menu.

If you are looking to sell your Quad City Home as a FSBO or using the services of a realtor such as Ruhl & Ruhl or Mel Foster, Pinterest will help you show, sell, update, and decorate your home. I have created 7 boards on Pinterest for FSBOFox, our clients, and anyone else you who enjoys anything around the house. Pinterest will give more ideas and options than you thought fathomable. Creating an account is worth the 5 minutes it takes to do so. Check out my youthful boards to see what a beginners account would look like.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-you-need-to-join-pinterest.html NDgtMTM1NzM1NzQ5OA== Fri, 04 Jan 2013 21:44:58 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Trash the junk food, join a gym, pitch the cigs, and get ready for a great year as to which you will drastically change your life for at least month or even a couple weeks. New Year’s resolutions should be filed under “controversial topics”. They always start off with the best of intentions but seem to wither away like a poorly kept hydrangea.  What you think is an indestructible goal gets lost in work, family, friends, and finances. I propose that you make a resolution this year which allows you flexibility yet keeps your attention for the entire year. Make a “To Do” list for your home.

Quad City homes and lawns need to be durable to last through the artic conditions of winter and still withstand 115 degree summers. Making your home energy efficient should be at the top of your list. I have talked before about getting an energy audit done. Many local companies such as Mid-American, who Bettendorf, Moline, Davenport, and Rock Island home, will do these for free. If you are a handy person, then they will even pay you to make some energy updates.

Pick one room to update or completely renovate each year. Let’s face it, updates can be really expensive. Doing a whole house renovation is practically impossible. Budget a room or multiple rooms to update each year. This year it’s the bathrooms, next year is the bedrooms, then a new roof, etc.

Make a resolution to resolve the constant mess pile of dishes in the sink. Make a contract with yourself or the family that every other day dishes will be done. If your single and eat out a ton, (which is an excellent way to burn through cash) write a contract with yourself to clean the kitchen once a week.

Making a New Year’s resolution to spruce up your house this year will give you flexibility and the since of accomplishment that we often don’t get with bodily resolutions.  Love your house, take care of it, and give it the attention which it deserves. Your home is probably the single largest investment we make, yet we tend to overlook the most. 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-make-a-house-new-year%E2%80%99s-resolution.html NDctMTM1NzE3OTg1OQ== Wed, 02 Jan 2013 20:24:19 -0600
Beds, Baths, -

 

 

Chances are, you have little knowledge about FSBO services in your location or the exact opposite. You are quite knowledgeable about the process, and there are multiple FSBO services. When I worked with the Dubuque, IA FSBOFox markets, I connected with hundreds of clients and most had no idea they could even sell their house without a realtor. Many of the people I worked with loved the idea of being able to have the flexibility of being their own realtor and saving thousands of dollars. Now if one mentions For Sale By Owner in the Quad Cities, most people would understand the process and who to call for services. In the Quad Cities, there are four FSBO businesses with Quad Cities-FSBOFox being one of them.

These markets seem to be worlds apart, when in reality only 81 miles separates Davenport and Dubuque. Clients in both of these cities will have the same question, “How do I choose a good FSBO company?"  Multiple aspects need to be looked at such as: quality of website, services provided customer service, and productivity. Some of these items are subjective, and you may not like that. If you are like me at all then you want evidence, some cold hard proof, as to how well your house will sell. Without having immediate access to the FSBO data for sold houses, there is still one easy way to see how your house might fare on their FSBO site.   It’s called site ranking. Think of the ranking as popularity; try not to flash back to the glorious or not so glorious high school years. Websites that are more popular get more visitors on a regular bases. This means more people are looking at the house you are selling. How do you check a webpage’s popularity? With Alexa. This web information service will tell you how the FSBO website ranks globally and in the U.S. It will also tell you where most of the views are coming from for example, Rock Island, Davenport, Moline, Bettendorf etc.

Good luck selling your home, and please take the time and do your research for a good FSBO business.       

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-choose-a-good-fsbo-company.html NDYtMTM1NjcyNTYwOA== Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:13:28 -0600
Beds, Baths, - People question if their house would sell using the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) route. I get this question a lot, as if certain types of houses sell this way. The truth is there is no house suited better for FSBO or using a realtor. I have been working with FSBOFox for close to ten months. Within these ten months, we have helped list and sell dozens of houses using our young FSBO services. During this time frame, clients using our site have sold their house at prices ranging from $69,000 to $299,900.

                                               

Listed for $69,500 and sold on FSBOFox                                                                              Listed for $299,900 sold on FSBOFox

I will have to admit that some homes try to sell FSBO, and they don’t. A few clients have found success using a broker service like Ruhl & Ruhl Homes. On the other hand, some houses have sold better using FSBO, check out this testimonial from a Quad City FSBO Client:

“Ours was listed with Mel Foster for 5 months and nothing then listed with fsbofox for one month and sold!”

- Lora Green | East Moline, IL

There is no magic formula for which route to sell your house works best. You need to see what option works for you. If you want to save thousands of dollars and don’t mind a little bit of work, then FSBO is where you need to be. On the other hand, if you don’t have any free time at all and money is not a concern then using a real estate agent is the best path for you to purse first.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/will-my-house-sell-using-fsbo.html NDUtMTM1NjE0NjQ2MQ== Fri, 21 Dec 2012 21:21:01 -0600
Beds, Baths, - A couple times a week, I like to scour the web for information pertaining to real estate. I typically focus on Quad City homes, but I also read a lot about Midwest homes and the national market. I have found some of the best locations to find information about local real estate are broker companies. For example,  in the Quad Cities this would be, Why USA, Iowa Realty, Remax, Mel Foster, and Ruhl & Ruhl.

According to Ruhl Homes summer 2012 report, which compared the first 6 months of ’12 to the first 6 months of ’11, homes sales ARE UP! To be more specific, Iowa Quad Cities sales are up 21% and the Illinois Quad Cities are up 18%. This is good news for anyone trying to sell their home. With the unemployment decreasing and interests rates dropping like a rock, this trend makes sense and it is real, not some phenomenon.  There are many first time home buyers, investors, and young families looking to expand their square footage.

Ruhl Homes also cites that the average home in the Iowa QC has a sales price of $173,500 and Illinois QC is $107,200, both of which are up from last year. What I found to be most interesting is the supply. Both Iowa and Illinois houses listed for sale are down, 4% and 16% respectfully. If this trend continues, then you can expect the market to slowly sway from a buyer’s to a seller’s market. I doubt this will happen overnight, and it could take years. If you are looking to sell or buy, the time is right. Low interest rates and a lower supply will have both sellers and buyers on the move as we enter 2013.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/what%E2%80%99s-the-2012-quad-city-housing-market-like.html NDQtMTM1NTk3NTkwMA== Wed, 19 Dec 2012 21:58:20 -0600
Beds, Baths, - I checked the local Quad Cities forecast today, and they are saying substantial snow will fall sometime this Wednesday and Friday. Some Davenport home owners look forward to the first snowfall, and others despise the soft, white flakes with a passion. Either way, you need to make sure your snow blower is ready to go at 6 a.m. on the first morning of a big snowfall. Here is a quick last minute checklist to make sure your “back saver” doesn’t poop out on you.

  1. You have easy access to your machine and don’t have to tear apart your garage or shed just to get at it.
  2. Your tank is filled with fuel, or you have a separate gas tank filled and ready to pour into your snow blower. Some people prefer not to fill their machines until the first snowfall. Occasionally, the weather is so unpredictable it may not snow significantly for months into the season.
  3. If your snow blower has a separate well for oil, check to see if it has been drained and filled from the previous season.
  4. Make sure your snow blower starts. Give it a couple test starts to see if the spark plug is firing.
  5. If your auger has rubber on it, use the finger test. If you can fit a finger between the housing and the rubber then it may be time to replace it.
  6. Check the air pressure in your tires, if needed.
  7. Check all filters, tubing, and belts for dirt, cracks, or other signs of aging.

You may not need to complete all of these tasks; it depends on your snow blower. Typically a two stage snow blower requires more maintenance than a single stage, and has the power to make you king of the block. Follow these steps to make sure your Quad City Home is not barricaded by a snow storm this year.

             Two Stage Snow Blower                                                              Single Stage Snow Blower

                                            

http://www.accesssportsmed.com                                                                                         http://www.popscreen.com

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-to-prepare-your-snow-blower-for-winter.html NDMtMTM1NTc5NzczMw== Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:28:53 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Picture this:  you and your significant other are having a delicious breakfast, peering through your window to the backyard. You notice the spring grass has returned to its vibrant shade green and the sun rays bring refreshing enjoyment to your breakfast together. You and your spouse have been waiting for an amiable day to be outside and view your next humble abode.  Today is it; you just know you will find your new home.

I have spent many days similar this in the Quad Cities preping for my real estate hunt. Many mornings start this way for home buyers. They wake up early, plan to view houses they have seen online, and will look at 7-10 houses in a single day. The big question is how will they remember the house you are trying to sell? Curb appeal, price range, the Internet, and how you show your house is very important. But when people are contemplating what their top 5 favorite houses are, they need to compare them side by side. None of the previous items listed can do this for you, but a quality flyer will. A good flyer will leave a lasting impression potential buyers can discuss & view over lunch.

A flyer can give home sellers so much selling power if created well, used appropriately, and taken care of. Here is how flyers will work for you.

Have a well-designed flyer with relevant information, (number of bedrooms & bathrooms, size of house, kitchen, & living room, price, tax information, any recent updates, etc…) Use multiple colored photographs from inside and outside of your home (front, back, kitchen, bathroom, any special features like a pool).

Weather is predictably unpredictable so have proper storage for the flyers attached to your “for sale” yard sign. Use a container that will keep your flyers dry yet visible to people driving buy. If someone thinks there might not be any flyers in the box they’ll keep driving and forget about your house like a one hit wonder.

Use your flyers as a selling tool. I never left more than 15 flyers in my box when selling a home. There were enough flyers to hold potential buyers over until I returned from work, yet gave them a since of urgency if they only saw a very small stack of flyers left. I always tried to add a sense of, “my house is going to sell today” to any potential buyers. If they think other people are taking all the flyers then this must be a great house. Last thing is make the flyers available to people during a showing. Have a short stack on a kitchen countertop.

Take these simple steps and apply them to your arsenal of home selling information. Flyers should never be looked over because they are selling your house 24 hours a day 7 days a week while hanging-out in your flyer box.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-you-need-to-use-flyers-to-sell-your-home.html NDItMTM1NTU0MDIyMA== Fri, 14 Dec 2012 20:57:00 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Thanks to technology, people who are looking to buy a home take a very different approach today from twenty or thirty years ago. The Internet has changed this a lot, and when you list with a Quad City FSBO your house will be up for thousands of people to see from the comfort of their own home. More people viewing your home increases the rate at which it sells, and can even drive the selling price up if there are multiple interested parties.

Another huge change has been in cameras and lenses. Digital cameras allow FSBO and real estate agents to take multiple pictures, review, and upload them to the Internet within minutes. Perhaps the biggest improvement has been with the quality of pictures.  I personally use a 14 megapixel, wide lens camera. This produces excellent photo detail and captures more of the room with a single snap of the camera. You can see what I am talking about in the pictures below. A camera using a wide-angle lens is far superior to a classic 35 mm standard lens. One picture and you have a complete view of the room. Professional pictures are worth the money. The equipment I use for pictures is well over $1,000, and it cost just a couple hundred dollars for a picture package. You can see how you are better off enlisting the services of a local FSBO business.

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/professional-house-photography.html NDAtMTM1NTM2MzYzNw== Wed, 12 Dec 2012 19:53:57 -0600
Beds, Baths, - We have had a very mild winter so far. Actually, I am not sure if winter started yet. Temperatures were in the upper sixties just a week ago, yet today the temps dropped into the teens with the wind chill. As I drove home from work I noticed many Quad City FSBO yard signs such as FSBOFox, and broker signs like: Ruhl & Ruhl, Mel Foster, and Remax. Between real estate brokers and FSBO homes in the QCA there are well over 6,000 homes currently on the market. Given recent reports that the housing market is on the rise I see a lot of happy home sellers in the near future, even during the “off” real estate season. Especially with how nice the weather has been. But don’t expect this to last long.

Long Range Expert Joe Bastardi of AccuWeather.com, believes we are in for a bone chilling winter freeze based on all of his scientific data. The Farmer’s Almanac, which I really have no idea how they predict weather but a lot of people swear by this, confirms Bastardi’s prediction. The Farmer’s Almanac also predicts a wet and wild winter with heavy precipitation in 2012. I wanted to bring this information to my reader’s attention because you should not delay getting your house on the market thinking our winter will be mild. It is easy to put things off, especially this time of year when there is so much focus on the holidays. Take the time to talk with a consultant and do a little pre-winter cleaning for pictures. Besides, most of you will be hosting a dinner or party in the coming weeks. A sparkling house will woo your guests and help spread the word on how spectacular your home is when you do go to sell.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/don%E2%80%99t-wait-to-list-your-quad-city-home-this-winter.html MzktMTM1NTE5NjU0Nw== Mon, 10 Dec 2012 21:29:07 -0600
Beds, Baths, -  

How much damage could a spouse do in one weekend painting an old rocking chair? My first thought is none. But after I spent a weekend hunting in the woods, I have a different opinion. As I was trying to pack for my weekend hunting trip, I was getting drilled about what she would need to do to refurbish this decrepit rocking chair she bought off Craigslist. I have to admit, I gave her a bit of the breeze because I could only focus on getting out in the woods. What damage could she really do? I quickly set out all the sandpaper, brushes, and paint she would need and jetted for my trip to renew my man card. I told her if she had any questions go to our local Quad Cities Menards and they would help. I have used this hardware store hundreds of times for home DIY projects, and they are very helpful.

Upon my return, just a day and a half later, I found there was white elf hand prints on our garage floor, the black kitchen sink had white rings, spots, faded wash, and our kitchen faucet was covered in what appeared to be crusty whiteout. No matter how hard I scrubbed the white would not go away. I asked my wife what type of primer she used, her classic response was, “what Menards told me to use.” Yes that was her response. After rephrasing the question she told me it was oil based primer. I messed my pants a little. This is why; unlike a water-based paint, commonly known as latex paint, oil based paints DO NOT clean up with soap and water. Oil based paints require paint thinner or mineral spirits to have any chance of cleaning up after a mess. The longer you let them dry, the harder it is to clean up, if they even clean up. I can see why the hardware store recommended an oil based primer. It does cover better, especially a glossy finish over a dark stain, which is what the rocking chair had. But the mess it leaves behind is not worth it. Latex based paints are easy to clean up, dry faster, and still look great if used properly. Reflecting back, I wish I would have spent 10 minutes helping my wife with her project. As it looks right now, her weekend project just earned me my own weekend home improvement project.

A small sample of white oil-based primer on a black sink and nickle brushed faucet.

.White primer on the faucet and black sink. This isn't coming up easily.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/what%E2%80%99s-the-difference-between-oil-based-and-water-based-paints.html MzgtMTM1NDkzMjI3NA== Fri, 07 Dec 2012 20:04:34 -0600
Beds, Baths, - So, I have spent over 5 days sick in the past 2 weeks. The “sickness” seems to be spreading like a rapid plague trying to extinguish the healthiness of the human race over the holiday season. Perhaps the Mayan’s have it right, and the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. It certainly seems to feel like it. I am not kidding when I say everyone and their brother has been sick, just ridiculous. The most current wave of sickness has got me thinking, how grandma’s home remedies would stack up against a nuisance bug. These are the 5 remedies I have put to the test.

Drink Orange Juice, Lots of It: Both my mother and mother-in law swear by Vitamin C. Naturally,  OJ is stacked with this “miracle” vitamin. I sipped on the juice for 2 day; by the third day I felt like an ulcer was going to eat through my stomach like an Alien from Space Balls.

Break the Fever: This is my mother’s personal favorite. The philosophy is simple, when you have a temp. keep blankets piled on you like you’re camping during an Arctic winter. This will help get your body temperature high enough to where it will “break” the fever and begin to cool down. Yeah, I simply went for the Tylenol and Ibuprofen instead of a trip to the ER.

Pound Water: This method has the most logic behind it, and if you are attempting to “break the fever” then I recommend you drink as much water as possible. Plenty of water helps keep the body hydrated and will speed up the recovery process. After all, the body is roughly 70% H2O.

Hot Toddy: This one came from a 70 year old woman I used to live next to. I am not sure how well it works, but she swore by it. If she was ever getting a sore throat or a case of the sniffles it was time to get mildly sauced with whiskey. I still don’t know why I haven’t tried this method.

Sleep and More Sleep: Of all the home remedies listed above, I think this has to be the best one. Sleep allows the body to recover and fight any bacterial or viral sickness you may have. I personally spent the last 2 days in a flu coma, and I awoke late last night feeling much better.

I am by no means a health expert, and I do know if your temperature gets over 102° seek medical attention immediately.  But, if you are willing to try a home remedy give it a shot. They could save you an unneeded trip to the doc.

More Cowbell:  I couldn't write a blog about curing fevers without mention more cowbell.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-remedies-for-fever.html MzctMTM1NDg0MjE0NQ== Thu, 06 Dec 2012 19:02:25 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Once you go to sell your QC home you will wonder, how am I going to advertise my house if I do not have a realtor? What a great question, and if you are asking this question you are already in the mindset of a realtor.  Acting as your own agent,  you need to enlist the services of a FSBO business. I have rarely seen a house sell from just a sign in the yard or an ad on Craigslist. A lot of people using only these services come to us unable to sell.  People are busy in today’s world and want a good look at the interior of your house before they will commit the time of day to come see it personally. Some local Quad City FSBO services include professional house pictures.

After listing your home with a local FSBO site, which will post on their webpage, and sticking a professional grade yard sign in the dirt it’s… time for you to get creative.

Use Social Networks:

Facebook is the second most populous website according to Alexis, a website monitoring program, just behind Google. There are currently over 155 million Facebook accounts and 140 million Twitter US accounts. Social media is how people share images, thoughts, and large ticket items they want to sell. FSBOFOX offers both of these services with a quick share tool which includes an image of your home in the posting and a direct link to you listing. Ask family and friends to share your listing on their site as well.

Craigslist:

I wasn’t knocking Craigslist earlier. Most of the time people put the total square footage of their house, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and maybe four tiny pictures. This does not provide a good enough sample of the spectacular home you are selling.

Host An Open House:

Post a sign in your yard saying, “Open House Today” or, “Open House This Saturday.” Have the sign hint at unique features your home might have such as, pool, custom kitchen, and fresh remodel, something that will draw a potential buyer’s interest. When hosting an open house, have a scent that most people will fine irresistible. A batch of cookies or a slowly cooked roast seems to work well. An abused kitty litter box, not so much.

Get Downright Creative:

Make people feel like they are getting deal if they buy your house. Offer a gift card to a nice restaurant here in town, maybe $100 gift certificate to Granite City or Duck City. Offer referral compensation if the buyer of your house was referred through another person. Gas cards seem to be attractive on most people’s list.

Bottom line is-do anything you can to get your house and the listing link to the masses. You never know who will buy your house and for that reason, make sure your house is always ready for show inside and out.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/how-do-i-advertise-my-house.html MzYtMTM1NDU3MzU5OQ== Mon, 03 Dec 2012 16:26:39 -0600
Beds, Baths, - My wife and I had come to the “understanding” it was time to sell our home. Our family was growing and space was at a premium. We had also been following Dave Ramsey’s Financial Plan and were able to pay off close to $40,000 of debt in just a couple years’ thanks in part to a very cheap house payment.  We also paid cash for all of the remodels we completed, practically the entire house. It was hard for me to let go of the house because all of the work had been completed by family, friends, and myself.  The house was exactly how we wanted it and had the financial freedom to go on vacations on a whim.  So we would needed to get the most bang for our buck when selling to reatain our financial security and live in the house of my wife’s dreams. She didn’t want a palace, but a home we could stay in for 30 years and have more than one commode.

We finally decided to sell as the market picked up in early spring. Our first questions were how to handle the legalities of selling a house and what would our listing price be. I contacted consultants at FSBOFOX for services and point me in the right direction. For any legal issues I needed a lawyer. There are many good ones throughout the Iowa and Illinois area. I asked family and friends, searched the Internet, and ultimately called three real-estate lawyers and interviewed them.  All of the lawyers prices where in the same ball park, $400, and I was happy with all three. I chose to go with the lawyer who my bank used for buying our new "middle class mansion". This made communication easy with both buying and selling a house at the same time. It was stressful time in my life and a few more hair follicles closed up on my head.

When it came time to set an asking price we scoured realtors’ sites (Ruhl & Ruhl, Mel Foster, and Remax) for comparable homes in our neighborhood. We also checked the local assessor’s page for homes which have sold recently in the area. We spent hours going back and forth between $70,000 and $85,000. One number is on the low end of our market and the other at the high end. Finally after several cold drinks we decided to list at $85,000 for three reasons. One, our house was worth every penny, and the best house on the block with new mechanicals. A similar home up the street with about as much character as Lurch sold for $80,000. We could also negotiate down with the price but not up.

After ten days of anticipation and excitement of filling our flyer box, sharing our house on Facebook, Craigslist, and watching the number of views on our listing’s page go up we were able to show the house and sell it to the first buyer who walked through. HALLELUJAH the fat lady had sung!  After 45 minutes on the back deck playing it as cool as Doc Holliday and enjoying a cold Summer Shandy we settled on $83,500. The FSBO gods rained down on us from the heavens above and gave us the opportunity to purchase the home of my wife’s dreams, well I guess I kind of like too.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/my-expericence-selling-fsbo.html MzUtMTM1NDMyMTE1Nw== Fri, 30 Nov 2012 18:19:17 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Being the proud owner of an Iowa home, I do look forward to the winter months. I love the cool temperatures and white fluffed snow. I actually enjoy shoveling snow, as long as it’s not two feet deep. What I do not like are the 30 MPH winds carrying temperatures from the North Pole, good gracious - it gets ridiculously cold here some times. This, in return, seemingly sucks the heat of your house and can cause a plethora of problems in return. So here are 5 easy tips to make sure your home is prepped for Ol’ Saint Nicks favorite time of the year:

  1. Manage your gutters and downspouts. I hate cleaning gutters as much as the next fella. It’s grimy, uncomfortable, and just plain crappy work. However, if gutters are left neglected you can run into very expensive repairs ranging from roof or gutter repair all the way down to foundation repairs. Taking a couple hours during late fall to clean your gutters and make sure your downspouts are at least 10 feet away from your foundation. This will save you many headaches and wallet-aches down the road.
  2. Shut off your outside water from the inside. First, drain all the hoses you have attached to a spicket and unhook them. Second turn the outside water supply off from the inside. These controls are usually in the basement near the ceiling where the spicket is located outdoors. Then, turn on the outdoor spicket and let any remaining water drain out. Water in your hoses and pipes can freeze and actually make your pipes burst. This is not good.
  3. Winterize your windows using a kit. Head to any of your local hardware stores and pick up a window kit. They normally run $5 - $10 and will cover five averaged size windows. The process is simple:  apply double sided tape around the window trim, stick plastic to the tape over the window, and finally use a blow dryer to seal the plastic tight. This alone will save you hundreds of dollars over winter, especially if you have drafty windows.
  4. Don’t forget about your outdoor power tools. A lawn mower to me is like newborn infant to their momma. I love my mower. I will nurture it, clean it, and prepare it for harsh times like the winter. As the years pass, my mower in return will rarely let me down and give a pristine cut week after week. If you don’t change the oil, change the air filter, sharpen the blades, stabilize or empty your tank, your mower will let you down.  Do the same for your weed eater. Also, make sure your snow blower is in fine running condition, has oil, and is filled with gas. Wouldn’t it just suck to wake up at 6 a.m. and run to the gas station and auto shop to get gas and oil?
  5. Contact your utilities provider for a free energy audit. Both Iowa and Illinois homes commonly use Mid-American Energy as their utilities provider. Contact them and request an energy audit. They will come inspect your house free of charge and will tell you how you can make your home more energy efficient.  They will even give you rebates on the improvements you make. Recently, I was approved for $1,400 in insulation rebates and received all new florescent lights as needed. Visit Mid-American Energy’s Efficiency for more information.
  6. *Bonus Tip - Get the sleds out and polished. After all your hard work, it’s time for fun.  Have the sleds, inner tubes, skis, and snow boards ready to go. Meet up with your kids, family, and friends to let the good times roll. I cannot wait to Clark Griswold down a hill and take a 3 foot ramp with a sled. Just be careful of your tailbone.
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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/5-ways-to-winterize-your-house.html MzQtMTM1NDE1MjUyMw== Wed, 28 Nov 2012 19:28:43 -0600
Beds, Baths, - We are happy to announce we have joined forces with Quad City Area bushiness and are participating in the Home Party Expo this Saturday December 1, 2012 at Army National Guard Building 3615 N. Brady St. Davenport, IA. The event is free admission and is an awesome opportunity for all of us to support Veterans Memorial Park. This event will also be a drop off for Toys-For-Tots. There are many individuals and families who could use some financial assistance this time of year. My family has helped gather gifts for the surrounding Quad City Area families and there is nothing more rewarding then supporting those who are truly in need.

FSBOFox will have a booth established to answer any questions you may have about selling your Davenport home, Bettendorf home, Rock Island home, Moline home, or any other surrounding Quad City home. Be sure to ask us about our home selling guarantee. This will come in very handy if you look to list your house over the winter months when the market slows down a bit.

For more information on the Home Show Party Expo and vendors please visit the Facebook Page here.  A big THANK YOU to Tiffany Hunt for organizing this.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/veterans-memorial-park-charity-%26-toys-for-tots.html MzMtMTM1Mzk4Mjk0OQ== Mon, 26 Nov 2012 20:22:29 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Thanksgiving, one of the best holidays ever, I mean EVER. The basic premise is to show your appreciation for all the loved ones you have had in your life and eat turkey. Not often enough do we show our appreciation for having great family, friends, and even coworkers in our lives. We even lose sight of the material things we own and forget how lucky we are to have some of the basic needs such as a home, running water, or a pet that has been with us for 15 years. Thanksgiving is a great time to gather and show everyone our appreciation. But let’s face it people, we look forward to the mashed potatoes, stuffing, dips, and of course, the turkey. Ahh the turkey. Everyone looks forward to this majestically cooked bird. Until this yea,r I took for granted the preparation and cooking of the fabled gobbler.

My family and I recently purchased a Quad City home and felt it was time to host a holiday gathering. I took on the responsibility of seasoning the turkey and attempting to fry it. I have never fried a turkey personally but have seen it done many times, mostly on YouTube. At first, there was huge excitement about frying this delicate bird that would be so juicy your mouth would have an explosion of happiness.  But the days leading up to this moment, everyone grew more frightful of me burning down the house, rightfully so since I have Missouri blood running through my veins. “All State” did not help concerning ears with their commercial mentioning 15 homes burn down every year from frying a turkey, thanks guys.

After thawing for and eternity in the fridge and sitting in a brine all night, I finally had the oil up to a sizzling 375 degrees I cautiously and methodically lowered Mr. Butterball into the fryer. With everything cooking properly I assumed my position of turkey watch with a chair, football game, and cold beer for the next 60 minutes. I actually had a rather relaxing time watching this bird turn to a golden brown. 

When the timer dinged I pulled the turkey from the fryer and let it sit for 15 minutes.  I slowly carved one of the most succulent birds I have ever tasted. The whole experience was amazing and really it solidified one thing for me; home ownership and the pride which comes along with it. Having to host a holiday gathering and be master chef of the main course gave me a since of accomplishment and reminded me to be thankful for everyone in my life. These are the ones who have helped me be the person I am today and allowed me to have many accomplishments. Thanksgiving helps you forget about the mistakes you have made and focus on the successes you have had. It was an epiphany, and I have one 17 pound golden fried turkey to thank, happy Thanksgiving.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/what-is-the-purpose-of-thanksgiving.html MzItMTM1MzcyMDIyMA== Fri, 23 Nov 2012 19:23:40 -0600
Beds, Baths, - I have had multiple friends and family members ask me if selling your own house is difficult. I understand this question quite well since I too had the same feelings before I sold my own house using FSBOFox. I smile and give the most complete answer I can to them, no. Selling any Quad City home is easy and fun.

People have a hard time getting to the “fun part” of selling their own home until they understand the legal process that deals with selling a home. There really is not much to worry about selling your own house. Some companies like FSBOFox offer copies of every legal document you will need. For Iowa homes these include: offer letter, contract for sale, seller disclosure, lead paint disclosure, Radon fact sheet, and even an overview booklet, which isn’t required but helps guide you through the process. Illinois homes have very similar forms. The one BIGGEST piece of advice I would give anyone is: Don’t sign anything until you have had your lawyer look it over. If you don’t have a lawyer Google “Real Estate Lawyer,” and you will find multiple results.

After all legal concerns have been addressed and cleared it is time to have F-U-N! All the hard work you have put into your house through DIY projects, cleaning, and landscaping is about to pay off, in cash. As people begin to show interest in your house, you will be entangled with a cat and mouse match using wit, cleverness, and negotiating skills. These are the joys of selling a home and can be really exciting. Don’t stress about selling, have fun with it using multiple techniques to draw the interest of potential buyers.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/is-selling-my-own-home-hard.html MzEtMTM1MzUzOTE0MA== Wed, 21 Nov 2012 17:05:40 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Before I dive into the fun and legal perks of selling FSBO, I thought I would share this article from CNNMoney with you. It fits into our “Why Sell FSBO Blog,” and will give you another reason to sell your own home.

http://www.money.cnn.com/2012/11/19/real_estate/existing-home-sales/

This brief article states the National Realtors Association released information saying annual home sales are up 2% as of October, and that includes the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Two percent may not sound like a lot, but there are a few ways to look at this. One, when you are looking at the number of homes sold annually in the mid to high 4 million unit range a small percentage actually means a lot of houses changing owners.

Secondly, this really excites me because it shows people are buying more homes across the nation! CNNMoney believes this could be attributed for several reasons including a rise in supply and demand coupled with the continuation of mortgage rates declining. I knew I should have held out for a lower mortgage rate back in May, damn.

Take this as gentle dose of confidence when selling your home, and be patient. Buying a home is a major transaction for people. They have every right to take their time and see which home is best for them. Now if you have a delightful aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies in your house, it may help persuade them a little faster. Have fun with selling your home, and if you have any questions feel free to ask through my blog comment section.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-sales-on-the-climb.html MzAtMTM1MzM3NjE0OA== Mon, 19 Nov 2012 19:49:08 -0600
Beds, Baths, - In my last blog I mentioned the number one reason to sell FSBO, you save thousands and possibly tens of thousands of dollars. This is what draws people initially, but as you begin to research selling your home by yourself you learn there are multiple perks. I have seen all of the following perks helping people sell; Davenport homes, Bettendorf homes, Moline homes, Rock Island Homes, Eldridge homes, and many other areas in the Iowa/Illinois border.

Personally, I like everything that goes into selling a house. So doing some leg work is not a big deal. For starters YOU will have to price your home. To do this you need to look at comparable home prices in the area. I love doing this and can get lost in it. Plus, if you are selling then you are probably buying and you are getting a feel for the market. In the end, listing on your own allows you to list your house cheaper than most realtors would. What does this mean? You will get more action then a Hollywood socialite. If you still have no idea what to list your home for some realtors will give you a free market analysis.

Let’s think about the marketing of your home. Ten or fifteen years ago it would have been very difficult to market your home by your lonesome. In today’s technology savvy world there are fsbo businesses that take professional pictures, create flyers, and have websites to list your house on. Another huge advantage of technology is social networks. Literally millions of people are connected with Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, etc. You can share your house via social networks and have your friends and family share too. This alone helps market your home to well over a thousand people.

Ok, I need to get off my soap box.  I pledge to keep my blogs short, sweet, and to the point (SSTP). Next time I will tell you the legal perks of selling solo and how much FUN it is!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/selling-for-sale-by-owner.html MjktMTM1MzExNDc4MA== Fri, 16 Nov 2012 19:13:00 -0600
Beds, Baths, - #1: It’s a small financial investment with a huge return possibility:

There are reasons upon reasons to sell your Davenport home on your own, otherwise known as For Sale by Owner. The biggest reason why people sell on their own is because you literally save THOUSANDS of dollars, I mean bookoo bucks. On average a realtor will charge a 7% commission fee. These rates would stay fairly common across the board for popular local companies such as Mel Foster, Ruhl and Ruhl, and Remax.  The percentage doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re talking about a home sale price of $100,000-$300,000, the commission fee works out to be $7,000-$21,000!

I am not saying realtors are the evil spawn come to steal your money. They are actually quite nice and can be very helpful resources.  But wouldn’t you want to try and sell on your own to save thousands of dollars of hard in cash? Take for example FsboFox. If you buy the largest package with all of the bells, whistles, and even expertise it will run you a cool $399. This price even lists your house until it sells with no renewal fees.  Or,  you can be economical and look into the $99 package. Are you willing to spend a couple hundred dollars to save thousands and thousands? I am, and I did. After all, the wife’s yearly shopping excursion isn’t cheap, and I like to keep the misses happy and have some extra cash in my wallet, CHA-CHING!

Check in on Friday for more great reasons to sell fsbo in the Quad Cities.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/why-sell-fsbo-in-the-qc.html MjgtMTM1Mjk0MTIzOQ== Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:00:39 -0600
Beds, Baths, - Hello everyone! I would like to start by saying thank you for tuning into my blog. My name is Tim Riley and yes I am a first time blogger. However I have spent many collegiate hours pumping out paper after paper which at times I felt like an unemployed author. I find Facebook and Twitter to be more my speed; short, sweet, and to the point, much like my blog will be. I have lived in the Quad City area nearly all my life living in both a small town and “big” city atmosphere…ehmm, Davenport. I did a short stent up north, otherwise known as my college years at UNI.  I have always had a passion for nearly anything related to homes, which is what I will spend most of my time chatting about here. So if you share the same interest in real estate, DIY, lawn and garden or just “talking house shop” be sure to check in and share. I will share my around the house experiences, personal FSBO experiences, and hope to hear from you as well.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/a-fresh-fsbo-blog-in-the-qca.html MjctMTM1Mjc3Mzg3Nw== Mon, 12 Nov 2012 20:31:17 -0600
Beds, Baths, - If you are one of the people selling Moline Homes, you should consider listing with FSBOFox.com.  At FSBOFox, we can usually list your Moline, IL Home within 24 hours of you first calling us.  We will come out, photograph the Moline property and take down some basic information.  Once we get back to our office, we’ll post your Moline home for sale on our site which gets hundreds of visitors a day.  Better yet, we’ll provide you with a login account so you can make changes to your listing 24 hours a day!  Just one of the reasons we are the best For Sale By Owner Moline Real Estate website!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/moline-homes-listed-within-24-hours.html MjYtMTMxNjQ4NzUxMg== Mon, 19 Sep 2011 21:58:32 -0500
Beds, Baths, - At FSBOFox we are currently giving away a free IPad.  All you have to do is be one of the first 500 people to like FSBOFox on Facebook!  Just another reason we are the top FSBO Quad Cities Real Estate website.  Being our friend on Facebook also has the benefit of allowing you to be notified of new Quad City Homes for sale as we post them all to our wall.  For more information and to learn how to become eligible visit our page here: http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/race-to-500.html

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/win-free-ipad-fsbo-quad-cities-real-estate-website.html MjUtMTMxNTk2MzMwMQ== Tue, 13 Sep 2011 20:21:41 -0500
Beds, Baths, - One of the things that makes all the difference in selling Quad City Homes is the quality of the pictures.  FSBOFox uses top notch camera equipment with wide angle lenses that capture more of the rooms of the Quad Cities Homes we photograph.  We also color correct and lighten photos when necessary.  Take a look at the below photographs,  one taken with a regular camera and another with our special wide angle lens.  The difference in how big it makes the room look is remarkable and really shows off the QC Homes we photograph.

Living Room taken with regular digital camera.  Room looks small.

Living Room taken with wide angle lense.  Room looks much bigger.

Dining Room taken with regular digital camera.  Room looks small and cluttered.

Dining Room taken with wide angle lense.  Room looks much bigger.

Living Room photo not adjusted properly for the light.  Makes room appear dim and unwelcoming

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-city-homes-professional-photography.html MjQtMTMxNTUyMjQ0OQ== Thu, 08 Sep 2011 17:54:09 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you one of the many people with Davenport Homes For Sale?  At FSBOFox we have the tools to help you sell.  Not only do we post your quad cities property to Facebook, Twitter, Craigslist and more that 20 other real estate and classifieds type sites, but we provide a “Share this Listing” button that allows you to post your Davenport IA home to your own Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Linked-In and many many more accounts.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/easily-share-davenport-homes.html MjMtMTMxNTUxNjY5NQ== Thu, 08 Sep 2011 16:18:15 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Recently FSBOFox launched it rentals section.  We now offer all of the same great features we do for home sellers to Quad City Rental Property owners!  Users interested in Quad Cities Properties for Rent can access them by going to View Listings > Rentals.   At FSBOFox, our goal is to become the top resource for both Homes for Sale and Homes for Rent in Quad Cities.

If you know any rental property owners, let them know that FSBOFox is currently offering FREE rental listings!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/now-offering-quad-cities-rentals.html MjItMTMxNTI2NjgzNA== Mon, 05 Sep 2011 18:53:54 -0500
Beds, Baths, - FSBOFox is proud to announce that we have recently developed maps on our search result pages.  How does this benefit you the customer?  It’s simple, we make our site more user friendly for buyers which keeps them coming back!  Say for example the user searches for Davenport Homes.  The map at the top of the page will display pin points of homes for sale in Davenport.  If the user only wants to look at homes in a certain part of Davenport IA, they can focus their search on those areas.  Each pin point can be clicked on to see a pic of the house as well as amount of bedrooms and bathrooms.  Users can click more info to see the full listing.

At FSBOFox.com we are constantly looking for ways to improve our site for both our buyers and our sellers.  The new search results map is just one of the many ways that our site allows users to easily find Quad City Homes.  FSBOFox is the only Quad Cities FSBO website that offers this feature!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/easily-find-quad-city-homes.html MjEtMTMxNDY2MDE4Mw== Mon, 29 Aug 2011 18:23:03 -0500
Beds, Baths, - FSBOFox is the only Quad City For Sale By Owner website that offers a featured listing option.  A featured listing gives your home added exposure by placing it at the top of the search results for quad ciites homes and surrounding areas.

Here is how it works.  If a user clicks on “All Listings” on the top menu of our site, they will be presented with all the quad cities and surrounding areas properties listed on FSBOFox.com.  This will be several pages worth of listings.  If you are featured then you appear as one of the first properties on this search and with a highlighted yellow background.

Featured listings also apply to specific search criteria.  For example, if a user only searches for Davenport Homes, then your home will show at the top of the search results IF it is a Davenport IA Home.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/featured-for-sale-by-owner-real-estate-listing.html MjAtMTMwODAxOTQ2NQ== Mon, 13 Jun 2011 21:44:25 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Have you ever noticed the “Share This Listing” button on all or our Quad City Real Estate listing pages?  What exactly does it do you ask?  It allows you or potential buyers to share the listing on over 50 popular internet sites.  On top of that, you can also email the quad cities real estate listing or have it texted to a friend from the Share This Listing button.

We are the only Quad City For Sale By Owner website that offers this feature. One of the many reasons FSBOFox is the premier FSBO Quad Cities website!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/share-your-quad-city-real-estate.html MTktMTMwMjczNDIzMg== Wed, 13 Apr 2011 17:37:12 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Did you know that FSBOFox is the only Quad Cities FSBO site that allows you to edit your own listing?  Other sites charge you to make changes or require that you call them to make changes to your listing.  What if it’s 6pm, or on a Saturday or Sunday and they are not open?  You’ll be forced to wait until the next day and call when it is convenient for them, not you!  Not only are we the only QC FSBO site that offers this option we are also the only site that offers a do it yourself option for selling Quad City Homes.  This options allows users to save over 50% in most cases.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/only-do-it-yourself-qc-fsbo-site.html MTgtMTMwMjU1Nzc1NQ== Mon, 11 Apr 2011 16:35:55 -0500
Beds, Baths, - If you are shopping for Bettendorf IA Homes, then look no further than FSBOFox.com.  We’ve got plenty of Bettendorf Homes For Sale to choose from.  For those looking for homes in Bettendorf, here are some handy statistics:

  • Population: 35,128
  • Population Change Since 2000: +6%
  • County: Scott County
  • Zip Code: 52722
  • Median Home Cost: $144,950
  • Home Appreciation in Last Year: -8.26%
  • Bettendorf Public Schools: spend on average $4,710 per student and average 15.2 students per teacher
  • Unemployment rate: 6%
  • Recent Job Growth: 0.20 percent


Bettendorf Real Estate
data courtesy of bestplaces.net
 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/bettendorf-ia-homes-on-fsbofox.html MTctMTMwMjE3NTIzMA== Thu, 07 Apr 2011 06:20:30 -0500
Beds, Baths, - For many buyers with children, the schools in the area are important.  Our FSBO Quad Cities website allows sellers to list the schools that the house belongs to.  Additionally, through integration with GreatSchools.org they can click on a button “School Profiles” on the listing page and learn about schools in the quad city homes neighborhood.  From this site, buyers can read about school test scores and read parent reviews.   

FSBOFox serves the Quad Cities and outer lying area and you can find out about schools from any of these neighborhood.   To see homes from a particular city, click on the links below:

 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-school-profiles.html MTYtMTMwMjA1ODEzNw== Tue, 05 Apr 2011 21:48:57 -0500
Beds, Baths, - If you are one of the many people selling QC homes and are going the For Sale By Owner route, then you may need to fill out some various forms.  There are a few forms that your state will require you fill out as well as a lead based paint disclosure that the federal government requires.  FSBOFox packages these all together in a home selling kit to make things easy for you.  Whether your are selling Quad Cities homes in Iowa or in Illinois we have a kit for you.

These kits also include an Offer Letter and Contract to Sell form.  We offer these home selling kits for $25 and are the only QC FSBO site to offer this service.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/home-selling-kit-for-qc-homes.html MTUtMTMwMTg1Njc5Nw== Sun, 03 Apr 2011 13:53:17 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you a twitter user?  Would you like to have a way to get notified of Quad Cities Real Estate easily?  Well we have the perfect solution for you!  FSBOFox posts all of its quad city homes to twitter automatically.  All you have to do is follow us on twitter and when we tweet a new home for sale you'll know.

We are the only real estate quad cities site that posts to Twitter!  Mel Foster doesn’t, Ruhl & Ruhl doesn’t, QCFSBO doesn’t, QCHomeShow doesn’t.  Only FSBOFox.com!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-real-estate-on-twitter.html MTQtMTMwMTY5OTIyNQ== Fri, 01 Apr 2011 18:07:05 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Did you know that when you list with FSBOFox, we provide you with a free Quad City For Sale By Owner yard sign.  Our yard signs are 18 x 24 and come with a stake.  The sign lets people that pass by know that your property is for for sale by owner and that they can view details and photos online.  These attractive Quad City FSBO signs are sure to draw more attention to your property.

FSBO Yard Sign

Our FSBO Yard Signs are free to use with any listing, we just ask that you return them once your property sells.
 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-city-for-sale-by-owner-yard-signs.html MTMtMTMwMTUyNzg4NQ== Wed, 30 Mar 2011 18:31:25 -0500
Beds, Baths, - When you list your property online you want the best possible home show in the QC.  So why would you list your QC FSBO property with a site that displays the photos all the way at the bottom of the listing or makes you click to another page to see extra photos?  FSBOFox displays your photos in an interactive slideshow that allows users to easily click through.  No scrolling to the bottom of the page or clicking to open tiny thumbnails.  For this and many other reasons, more and more users are choosing to list their QC Homes with FSBOFox.  FSBOFox also allows up to 8 photos with any other their packages, with other FSBO Quad Cities sites you have to pay extra for extra photos.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/best-qc-homes-photo-display.html MTItMTMwMTIyOTE4OA== Sun, 27 Mar 2011 07:33:08 -0500
Beds, Baths, - FSBOFox.com has a large selection of Moline Homes for sale. If you are interested in knowing more about Moline Real Estate, see the below statistics from bestplaces.net

  • Moline Population: 42,313
  • Moline Population Growth Since 2000: -3%
  • Moline ZIp Codes: 61625, 61626
  • Median Moline Home Cost: $95,440
  • Moline Home Appreciation Last Year
  • Moline Cost of LIving: 16.60% lower than U.S. average
  • Moline Public Schools: spend $5,074/student, 20.3 students per teacher
  • Moline Unemployment Rate: 10.20%
  • Moline Jobs: decreased by 3.14%

View our selection of Moline IL Homes here. 

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/moline-homes-for-sale.html MTEtMTMwMTEyNjg2OA== Sat, 26 Mar 2011 03:07:48 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you tired of going back to Quad City Realty sites over and over looking for homes that match your preferences?  With FSBOFox's email alerts there is no longer any need. 

All you have to do is search for Quad City Properties that match your preferences on the site.  You can search by many criteria such as price range, city, beds, baths as well as for homes that have specific features such as a pool.  After you conduct the search just click the "Save Search" button.  Register for an account and input your name and you'll be emailed Quad Cities Homes that match your search preferences when they post to the site!

Email alerts are just another one of the many features that FSBOFox is the only QC FSBO website to offer!

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/get-notified-on-quad-cities-real-estate.html MTAtMTMwMDkyMDMxMQ== Wed, 23 Mar 2011 17:45:11 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Did you know that FSBOFox offers a Quad City Real Estate market analysis?  For $49, we'll research what similar homes in the area are priced at as well as what QC Homes in the area have sold for recently.  We'll provide you with a full report to help you in pricing your home.  We are the only Quad City FSBO website that offers this service!

If you choose to research home price on your own here are a few tools that might aid you in your search:

  • Scott County Tax Assessor: this site allows you to do a comparables search with other properties that have sold recently in the county.
  • Clinton County Tax Assessor: allows you to search for comparables through the Sales Search feature
  • Rock Island County Tax Assessor: allows you to search the property tax evaluation of properties but not recently sold properties
  • Mel Foster: local real estate agency. Browse to see what similar homes in your area are listed for.
  • Ruhl and Ruhl: local real estate agency. Browse to see what similar homes in your area are listed for.
  • RE/MAX: local real estate agency. Browse to see what similar homes in your area are listed for.


Note: Market Analysis may not be available for some smaller towns due to small amount of recent home sales and current properties listed.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-city-real-estate-market-analysis.html OS0xMzAwODExMDg5 Tue, 22 Mar 2011 11:24:49 -0500
Beds, Baths, - FSBOFox is proud to announce that we are now posting all of our Quad Cities Homes For Sale on our facebook page.  That means that when you list with us you'll be getting added exposure for your property.  FSBOFox is the only QC FSBO website that offers this service!  Best of all, it's included free of charge with any package.  Before listing with another QC FSBO site, ask yourself, what all do they do to promote my QC home?  For most sites, all they do is give you a yard sign and post your property info on their website.  That's not the case with FSBOFox who posts your property numerous other places including Facebook.

You can visit our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/FSBOFox/160266794023522 to follow us.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/qc-fsbo-homes-on-facebook.html OC0xMzAwNzM1MDY4 Mon, 21 Mar 2011 14:17:48 -0500
Beds, Baths, - If your shopping for Quad City Real Estate and have a real estate agent, you should ask your agent whether or not they are looking at FSBO, For Sale By Owner properties.  If your not looking at FSBO Quad City Homes, you are missing out on a lot of potential properties.  Often times you can get a better deal on FSBO's because the seller will be paying much less commission therefore they have more room to negotiate on price.

Here is how a FSBO sale will work through an agent, your agent will call the FSBO property and ask if they are willing to pay agent commission.  Most sellers will agree to pay the commission as they are still saving a lot of money since they are only paying the buying agents commission and not the sellling agents commission.  Some sellers will refuse and the buying agent simply won't notify the buyer about the property.

What if I found a Quad Cities Home For Sale By Owner on my own and want to check it out?  In most cases, you are free to do so without an agent and neither you or the seller will have to pay commission leaving more room to negotiate.  You will end up having to hire a lawyer for things like making an offer and other paperwork that an agent would normally take care of though.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/save-money-on-quad-city-homes.html Ny0xMzAwNjQ5MDQ4 Sun, 20 Mar 2011 14:24:08 -0500
Beds, Baths, - WIth the warm weather it means more and more people are going to be looking for Quad Cities Real Estate.  Our FSBO website has seen continued growth over the last few weeks in the amount of traffic visiting it, a trend we expect to continue as the weather gets nicer.  Knowing that buyers are going to be looking for Quad Cities Homes soon if not already, it's important that you get your QC Home ready for sale and list with FSBOFox soon!  Remember that no other Quad Cities For Sale By Owner site goes as far as FSBOFox.com does to promote your property.  See our packages page for more details.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-real-estate-picking-up.html Ni0xMzAwNTgzNTgx Sat, 19 Mar 2011 20:13:01 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you shopping for Davenport IA Homes?  Well look no further than FSBOFox.com.  We've got a large inventory of homes for sale Davenport to select from.

For those unfamiliar with the area, Davenport IA is located on the Iowa and Illinois border right on the Mississippi river.  Here are a few statistics:

  • Population: 99,395, growth of 1% since 2000
  • County: Scott
  • Zip Codes: 52801, 52802, 52803, 52804, 52805, 52806, 52807, 52808, 52809
  • Medium Home Cost: $109,300
  • Cost of Living: 15.4% lower than the U.S. average
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (U.S. average 10.2%)
  • Schools: spend $5,783 per student (U.S. average $5,678).  About 15 students per teacher

*Data Source: bestplaces.net

View FSBOFox.com's inventory of Davenport Real Estate

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/davenport-homes-for-sale.html NS0xMzAwMzcxMzk2 Thu, 17 Mar 2011 09:16:36 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The term "FSBO" stands for "For Sale By Owner."  It is becoming more and more popular to list your home for sale by owner Quad Cities for a number of reasons.  The number one reason for selling FSBO, is saving thousands in realtor commissions.  There are a number of other benefits to selling FSBO though:

  • Work Around Your Own Schedule: set showings when is convenient for you and not your realtor
  • You Have the Most Knowledge of Your Home: a realtor has many properties they represent so can't possibly remember all the features of your home as well as you can.
  • Priced Quick to Sell: without having to pay realtor commissions you can lower your price and sell quicker than the competition
  • National Exposure: agents generally work with local buyers.  Listing on FSBOFox.com gives buyers moving to the area and shopping for homes for sale quad cities the ability to find your property in searches.  Our site gets thousands of page views a day
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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/what-is-fsbo.html NC0xMzAwMjgxMTY4 Wed, 16 Mar 2011 08:12:48 -0500
Beds, Baths, - The Quad Cities has welcomed with opened arms the new For Sale by owner website called FSBOFox.  FSBOFox brings a tech savy marketing approach to selling your home by owner.  With integration to Facebook, http://twitter.com/fsbofoxTwitter, Craiglist and also postings to QCStuff, FSBOFox is leading the Quad Cities FSBO Market.  Browse our homes for sale, check out our packages page and let us know what we can do to help you buy or sell real estate in the Quad Cities.  FSBOFox where yo can find your home for free and sell you home for less.  Thank you Quad Cities.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-fsbo.html My0xMzAwMTkyNTk1 Tue, 15 Mar 2011 07:36:35 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Are you in the process of looking at QC Homes?  You'll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan.  One option you should seriously consider is going with a 15 year loan as apposed to a traditional 30 year loan.  Your monthly payment won't be that much more and you'll pay off your house 15 years sooner.  Right now the interest rate on a 30 year fixed  loan is 4.8% compared to a 15 year fixed at 4%.

On a $200,000 30 year loan you'll have a monthly payment of about $1049.33.  The same loan for 15 years would cost $1479.38 per month.   $400 a month is a lot of extra money, but considering you'll pay off your loan 15 years sooner may be worth it.  Also consider that with the 15 year loan you end up paying $266,287 total with interest as apposed to $377,759 with the 30 year loan.  That's more than $100,000 savings!

The figures above will vary based on the interest rate you get as well as the amount of the loan.  If your shopping for Quad Cities Real Estate, we recommend that you shop your loan with 3 different lenders and compare rates, and fees.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/consider-a-15-year-mortgage-for-your-qc-home.html Mi0xMzAwMTEzNjkx Mon, 14 Mar 2011 09:41:31 -0500
Beds, Baths, - Welcome to the FSBOFox.com Quad Cities Real Estate blog.  Here we will be posting news and information on the real estate market as well as Quad Cities FSBO homes.  In the meantime, if your looking for a home you can browse listing for free at FSBOFox.com.  If your looking to sell, you can save 1000's in realtor commissions by listing with us.  Packages start as low as $99 for 60 days.

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http://www.quadcities.fsbofox.com/blog/quad-cities-real-estate-blog.html MS0xMjk5OTQ2OTQ0 Sat, 12 Mar 2011 10:22:24 -0600