Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/25/2017

Selling a home may seem simple at first, but negotiating with a homebuyer sometimes can be problematic. Fortunately, home sellers who understand the art of negotiation may be better equipped than others to accelerate the home selling process and optimize the value of their residences.

What does it take to become an expert home selling negotiator? Here are three negotiation tips for home sellers:

1. Stay Patient

It is easy to become emotionally attached to your residence, especially if you have lived in a home for many years. However, a home seller will need to do everything possible to keep his or her emotions in check during negotiations with a homebuyer.

In some instances, emotions can get the best of a home seller. And if this happens, a potential deal with a homebuyer may collapse.

For home sellers, the goal of a home selling negotiation is to maximize the value of a residence. Keep this goal in mind as you navigate negotiations with a homebuyer. By doing so, you may be able to maintain a calm, patient approach as you work toward selling your house.

2. Evaluate the Real Estate Market

Although you've allocated substantial time and resources to enhance your home over the years, the value of your residence may fluctuate based on the current real estate market's conditions. But if you conduct plenty of housing market research before you enter negotiations with a homebuyer, you can understand exactly what your home is worth today.

Conducting a home appraisal usually is a good idea. This appraisal will enable you to learn about your home's pros and cons and identify potential issues that may prevent you from maximizing the value of your property.

Furthermore, study the prices of comparable homes in your area. With this housing market insights at your disposal, you can enter a home selling negotiation with the information that you need to make data-based decisions.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Home selling negotiations can be tricky, and for home sellers who want extra help, hiring an experienced real estate agent is essential.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of home selling negotiations. As such, he or she will share expert negotiation insights with you to ensure that you can get the optimal price for your residence.

Your real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions throughout the home selling process and may even help you avoid negotiations altogether. Plus, this real estate professional is happy to negotiate on your behalf. That way, you can avoid the stress and anxiety commonly associated with negotiating directly with a homebuyer.

With an experienced real estate agent at your disposal, you may be able to accelerate your journey through the home selling process. Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about offers on your home and ensure you can get the best results possible.

Employ an experienced real estate agent, and ultimately, you can boost your chances of stress-free home selling negotiations.




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Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/18/2017

Everyone knows it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping when you're hungry, but we all do it occasionally!

Going to the supermarket on an empty stomach not only causes you to spend more, but it weakens your resolve to avoid foods with empty calories and unhealthy ingredients. When hunger pangs undermine your self discipline, you may also be more likely to buy a jumbo bag of potato chips, pick up a block of cheese and some crackers along the way, and maybe order a pound of Genoa salami while at the deli counter.

Then, of course, there are all those chocolatey temptations at the checkout counter -- peanut butter cups, for example! Maybe you're stronger willed than that, but I know plenty of people who are not!

Although I haven't read any scientific studies on the topic, I'd make an educated guess that when you go grocery shopping hungry, there's a tendency to buy more food than you ordinarily would -- probably to compensate for your hunger. So perhaps having a healthy snack first or going grocery shopping after breakfast or lunch would be a good strategy for avoiding the pitfalls of food shopping on an empty stomach.

Here are a few more ideas for saving money and limiting junk food purchases:

  • Create a grocery list and stick to it! That's often easier said than done, but it can make a big difference in the quantity and quality of food you buy. Impulse purchases may provide immediate gratification, but they can wreak havoc on your waistline and your budget.
  • Avoid bringing your children grocery shopping, whenever possible. When childcare is not available, there's no way around it. However, with kids in tow, expect to be buying "a few" additional items that you hadn't planned on. Try as we might to resist the requests, suggestions, and demands our kids make at the grocery store, it's not unusual for a parent's resolve to weaken -- especially if they happen to be tired or stressed out. A lot depends on the age of your children, how persistent they are, and whether they're hungry when you're out food shopping. Many factors come into play!
  • Using coupons and taking advantage of discounts, special promotions, and two-for-one sales can noticeably reduce your grocery bill and, consequently, leave more money in your wallet. It may require that you pore over weekly newspaper inserts, clip coupons, and keep them organized, but getting in that habit can help reduce the strain on your household budget. It also pays to shop at supermarkets that offer double coupons. They're often the ones that are the most competitive and willing to help you stretch your dollar.

So if you've been noticing more junk food appearing in your kitchen cabinets, and your grocery bill seems to be taking on a life of its own, consider some of these economical ideas to help reign things in.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/11/2017

Motivating yourself to be more frugal and manage your money more effectively can be very challenging!

One strategy that may help is to focus on multiple benefits, rather that just the most obvious or immediate one. A prime example is using your car less often. Although the price of gasoline isn't as steep as it used to be, daily use of your automobile could easily result in less money in your pocket (or bank account) at the end of the month. While many of us are in the habit of jumping in our car every time we need to pick up a few odds and ends at the corner drugstore or neighborhood supermarket, you'll invariably save money --and often enjoy other benefits-- if you consider alternatives to automobile use.

  1. Walk instead of drive. If you're fortunate enough to live relatively close to stores that you frequent, you could save money on gas and automobile maintenance by putting on your walking shoes more often and hoofing it. As a secondary benefit, you'd also be getting exercise, burning calories, getting fresh air, and taking in some essential vitamin D from the sun. By taking steps to maintain your health, you'll also have more energy, be more productive, and tend to miss fewer days of work. Not everyone lives close enough to local stores to be able to walk there on a regular basis (or at all), but for those who do, there are many advantages.
  2. Carpool to work. This option doesn't occur to everyone because, among other things, we're creatures of habit. We get in the well-worn habit of driving back and forth to work by ourselves, every day, and we don't stop to think that there is a money-saving alternative. When you share the cost and responsibility of driving, you're literally cutting your commuting expenses in half. You're also getting a break from the stress and tedium of commuting in rush-hour traffic. Having someone to talk to during the drive can also make the trip go by much faster -- assuming you enjoy the company of your carpooling companion(s)!
  3. Public transportation may be a viable alternative. If you happen to live and work in an urban environment, you may already be availing yourself of the benefits of public transportation. In addition to saving money on gas and avoiding driving-related stress, there's the added benefit of being able to read a book, listen to relaxing music, or prepare for a presentation on your way in.
  4. Telecommute whenever possible. More and more employers are helping themselves and their employees save money by offering work-from-home options. If you have the opportunity to telecommute a couple days a week, the savings in gas, wear-and-tear on your car, and the cost of lunches out can add up quickly!

If it looks like you're filling up your gas tank every time you turn around, not to mention burning through your paycheck too fast, then finding ways to reduce gas consumption may be one way to stretch your dollar farther.





Posted by Colleen Griffin on 6/4/2017

When you’re short on space, it can be difficult to see how you could ever possibly declutter your closet. It is, after all, a convenient hiding space for all of your items that you have no idea where to put! There’s a few tips that can help you to get on the road to decluttering your closet and getting organized.


Make Things Accessible


One reason that clutter builds up is that things are not very accessible. As you’re trying to find something, items fall and become misplaced. By spreading out your organization system a bit within the closet, you’re able to see what you have and exactly where it is. 


Group Like Items Together


In the same light of being able to find things that you need, grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you need. If you know that all of your haircare items are in a certain bin, you’ll be able to reach in the same spot without thinking.   



Find Places You Can “Drop” Things


Closets tend to be that kind of space where we just drop things and forget about them. We always think “I’ll deal with it later.” When later never comes, we end up with quite a cluttered closet. Keep baskets or trays handy in the closet in order to keep things that you may empty out of your pockets or put away at a later time. This way you’ll only have to clean out one basket instead of the entire closet. 



Make Use Of Drawers


Drawers are incredibly useful in a closet space. You can place a dresser in the closet if space permits. If you don’t have room for a dresser, you may want to create your own drawer units. For an alternative option of storing things, try installing shelving units and placing baskets across the shelves, giving the illusion of drawers.   


Encourage Tidiness


Everything that you do to organize your closet should have the goal of keeping tidiness in mind. If the closet is a walk-in, you’ll organize it much differently than if you have a smaller space. No matter the size of the closet, you’ll want to divide the space into zones of sorts. This way, you’ll know where everything goes and how to keep it neat.   


Light The Space


Without adequate lightning in the closet, it’s pretty difficult to find what you’re looking for, no matter how organized you are. If your closet doesn’t have a lot of natural light, you’ll need to install some lighting. Whether you put in overhead bulbs, or install touch- activated portable lights, the brighter the better when it comes to your closet. Be sure that there’s lights in key areas like darker corners where the main light source doesn't reach. 





Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Colleen Griffin on 5/28/2017

Once you have moved into a new home the first thing you might want to do is paint the walls. After the paint dries, however, you’re left with bare walls. You’ll need to find some great pieces to fill up that wall space. You don’t want to choose just anything to hang on your walls. Here’s some tips to help you find the perfect artwork for your home. 



Find What You Love


You shouldn’t base your art purchases solely on value. If you like something and it inspires you, you should buy it! Anything that you will enjoy looking at in your home each day should be a part of it.  


There’s More Than One Kind Of Art


You don’t need to fill wall space with all pictures or paintings. You can choose from a variety of types of artwork. From sculptures to photographs to canvas art, by using a variety of pieces, you’ll add layers of depth to every room of your home.


Shop Around


There’s so many places to buy art. From local shops and vendors to wider selections in common retail stores, there’s plenty of art to choose from. Find pieces to help you express yourself and keep good vibes flowing throughout your home. 


Find The Right Size


You’ll need to measure the dimensions of your walls and bring a photo of the room you’re trying to decorate with you to the art stores. This will make it easier to help you envision what the art will look like in your home.  


Keyword: Focal Point


The most important thing to determine in decorating any room is to find the focal point. You will either need to find a central piece for the room, or find some pieces to complement what’s already there. The design elements of the room need to be spaced accordingly in order to help you avoid a cluttered room.  


What’s Your Color Scheme? 


You may want to choose your art based on its “wow” factor. Everything has a color within a room, and this will be one element in choosing your artwork as well. You’ll need to think of everything from the wall color to the throw pillows. Art that is within the same shades of the room can work well, but sometimes you need something that gives the room a bit more “pop.” 


What’s In The Picture?


You don’t want to buy a picture of a palm tree if the room has a country theme! Consider the theme and mood of a piece of art in order to have it complement your room.


Most of all, shopping for art should be fun! Find pieces you love. You can even use what you already have. As long as it inspires you and won’t add clutter, you should keep the art in your home.  







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