REALTOR Referrals…please!

Imagine you’re at a dinner party and someone brings up the topic of plumbing. They’ve had some difficulties with hot water pipes during a renovation and they’re telling the story of what happened. Then, another person in the room says, “I have a friend who’s a plumber. I always call him with my plumbing questions.”

Wouldn’t that make you think it would be nice to have a friend who’s a plumber that you could call? (In fact, you might just have that kind of a friend!)

Well, for valued clients like you, I try to be the kind of friend you’d like to have: Your friend the real estate agent!

I want you to feel comfortable calling me whenever you have a question or concern regarding the housing market, buying or selling a home, or anything else that’s real estate related. Even if you have no plans to move in the foreseeable future, please consider me your source for real estate answers and advice. My handy information:

Cathi Pospisil Cell: 928-273-0538, Email:

Should You “High Ball” Your Listing Price?

One of the most important decisions you make when selling your home is setting the listing price. It can be tricky. After all, if you price your property too low, you leave money on the table – perhaps thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you price your home too high, many buyers won’t even bother to view it because they believe it is too expensive.
Even with that reality, there are some sellers who contemplate setting a high listing price in the hopes of a windfall. They want some unsuspecting buyer to fall in love with the home and buy it – even though it’s overpriced. That rarely, if ever, happens. Instead, the listing often languishes on the market because its listing price is conspicuously much higher than its market value. Think about it. If two similar homes, side-by-side, are for sale, and one is priced $40,000 higher than the other, wouldn’t you wonder what was going on? That’s exactly what the market thinks. “Why is that home priced so high?” Of course, many buyers, who might otherwise be interested in the property, won’t even consider seeing it, simply because it’s outside their price range. It gets worse. When an overpriced home sits on the market with no offers for several weeks, the price will often need to be adjusted down. That helps the situation a little. However, you’ve lost the excitement created by a “new listing.” Yours is now an old listing struggling to get attention. There’s a better way… Set your list price at or near the market value and it will be much more likely to generate interest from qualified buyers and maximize how much you make on your home. That market value may even be higher than you think! Interested in finding out what that value is in today’s market? Call today. 

Get Buyers Running to Your Door: Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Every seller wants to make a lot of money on their home, but many don’t know exactly what goes into the pricing of a property and think that their home is worth more than it actually is. Outside factors, like the local market and economic trends, play a large role in the final selling price. But there are also elements that you can control to get a better deal. Here’s what you can do to fix up your home before selling and boost its final value.

View Your Home Through A Buyer’s Lens

Before deciding to make any major changes to your home’s appearance, view it from the perspective of a buyer who has never seen it before. Walk through the property just like you’re attending a showing or open house––visit each room and spend time analyzing it. Look at everything, from the walls, ceiling and floor to the windows and appliances. Even bring a pad of paper or your phone to take notes on what looks good and what needs work. It might sound tedious, but you’ll be surprised at how many observations you make that you wouldn’t have if it weren’t for flipping your perspective.

Plan Out Major Renovations

After you’ve had the chance to look closely at your entire home, you can decide what really needs work and plan for it to happen before you sell. Here are some ways that you can break down the renovation process to make it seem a little less overwhelming.

1) Separate Projects By Room

This is one of the easiest ways you can prioritize what work needs to be done. Write down each room in your home, and then list out the renovations that need to happen in each one. You can then tackle one room at a time. This will ensure that your whole home isn’t under construction at once and it’s still a livable space.

2) Separate Basic Renovations from Fancy Upgrades

You can also get your priorities in line by organizing projects by complexity. Basic renovations have the largest influence on your home’s value and could make or break the sale of your home. These can include repairing plumbing leaks, insulating the attic, and replacing old or leaky windows, just to name a few. Fancier upgrades, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily things that you need to sell your home, but would still boost the home’s value and be in your price range. For example, an energy-efficient property is highly thought of in many markets. Though your home doesn’t require an energy-saving air conditioner or solar-powered water heater, these are things to think about if you have old units that aren’t doing the job. 

3) Tackle the Basics First

Once you’ve separated basic projects from fancy upgrades, you can start to work on some of the items on your list. Depending on your budget, you might not realistically be able to invest in every upgrade you want for your home before selling. So if you’re going to invest anywhere, make sure that you start with the basic renovations that will make the biggest difference in your home’s price.

Do Some Cleaning

Even after you’ve tackled the larger projects, you’re not done! No matter how many upgrades and renovations your home has, it won’t impress anyone if it doesn’t show well. Before letting your agent or prospective buyers check out the property, it’s important to make sure that it looks presentable for visitors. You can do some basic cleaning first and then focus on the presentation so that guests can see everything your home has to offer without distractions.

Basic Cleaning Tips: Go through each room in your home and cover the basics––vacuuming, sweeping, dusting and cleaning off countertops are just a few examples of simple ways you can show off the property to guests.

Presentation Tips: After taking basic measures, think about how the home appears using your five senses. For example, making the beds and letting in natural light can make the home look friendlier. Taking out the trash and adding a candle can make for a pleasant smell. Playing some soft, ambient music can add a nice sound. It’s the little things like these that can make a big difference in how others perceive your home.

Look Outside

The outside of a property is equally as important as the inside! Whether it’s doing major projects or simply touching up your curb appeal, a polished exterior instantly adds value. Think about small ways you can give the outside of your home a glow so that when buyers pull up, they’re instantly impressed. You can add a personal touch with a doormat and wreath on your door or a colorful pot of flowers, for example. Even having a mowed lawn, raked leaves or a shoveled driveway makes a big difference in how your home appears and sells.

Get Help From A Professional

Raising the value of your home isn’t always an easy task. With so many rooms to fix up and renovations to pay for, many sellers get overwhelmed trying to get their property buyer-ready. When you try to manage this on your own, you might end up neglecting an important part of your home or spending money on unnecessary projects. Long story short: the best way to get the most money for your home is to work with a real estate professional. In 2017, the average agent-assisted home sale sold for $25,500 more than those listed for sale by owner.

Do you have what it takes to be a FSBO?

No, this isn’t a trick question. If you’re selling your home, you might have thought about listing it “for sale by owner” (FSBO). But you might not have taken the time to honestly evaluate if you have what it takes to do it right…  Don’t worry, I’m not trying to judge but understand that FSBOs are a popular choice for many sellers. On the outside, they appear to be everything a seller could want: no commission to pay out to an agent and all of the control. However, when sellers actually dive into the process of a FSBO, they often realize that it isn’t all that it’s made out to be. They miss out on having the help and expertise of an agent, often times causing them to make mistakes that can cost them great amounts of money and peace of mind.  Despite their appearance, FSBOs have several disadvantages that you should consider. As you go through these drawbacks, be honest with yourself and decide if you really can afford to list for sale by owner. You might be surprised.

Disadvantage #1: You’ll Sell For Less

First, let’s talk about pricing your home. Sellers who list FSBO are usually not real estate professionals who know the market inside and out, so it can be difficult for them to accurately price their home from the get-go. Some sellers let their personal feelings take over and think that their home is so special that they end up overpricing it. Others end up underpricing their home by assuming that their home is worth the same as another home that sold near them. Either way, at the end of the day the result is the same: the home sells for less than it’s worth. In 2017, the average FSBO sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales. That’s right––even with commission, you could still make more money on your home by working with an agent rather than selling it yourself.

Disadvantage #2: Marketing Can Be Difficult

Before a home can be sold, people have to hear about it and want to take a look. When working with agents, sellers usually don’t have to worry too much about the marketing piece of the transaction because their agent will take care of it for them. But with FSBOs, getting the word out is completely up to the seller. This can be tricky for sellers who don’t know the marketing strategies that have worked best in their market. In the 2018 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the #1 method of FSBO marketing was no marketing at all. Coming in 2nd were yard signs, at 22%. However, only 7% of buyers stated that they found their home from a yard sign. Mistakes like these can cost FSBO sellers time and money down the line when their house doesn’t sell as quickly as they hoped.

Disadvantage #3: So Much Paperwork

When it comes time for their home to actually sell, many FSBO sellers aren’t prepared for the extensive amount of paperwork that comes with it. Depending on the state, there may be several different legal forms to complete which can take time for the seller to understand and fill out properly. Without the help of a professional, this can seem like a daunting task. In fact, understanding paperwork has been proven to be one of the most difficult tasks for FSBO sellers during their transaction.

Disadvantage #4: The Liability Is All On You

One of the more obvious disadvantages of a FSBO is that if you make a mistake at any point during the transaction, you’re the one who has to pay the price. There’s no agent who’s there to check your work and catch your mistakes for you before it’s too late. You might be thinking, “There’s no way I could mess up! I know my home so well.” But it’s important to remember that there are so many working parts of a real estate transaction, and even making a small mistake could create a big cost down the line. From something as big as overpricing the property to something seemingly small like mislabeling the type of flooring your home has, mistakes always happen in a real estate transaction––but in a FSBO, you’re the one who has to deal with all of them because you’re the one who’s on the hook.

Disadvantage #5: Negotiating

Another important point to remember is that the buyer isn’t the only person you’ll be working with during your transaction. On top of all of the responsibilities that come with selling your home, you also have to communicate with several other individuals and affiliated businesses every step of the way. From the buyer’s agent and buyer’s bank to the inspection and title companies, there are various people involved at every point in the sale.

Disadvantage #6: Takes Away Your Time

When sellers decide to list FSBO, they often don’t realize the time commitment it takes until they’re stuck at home all day waiting for potential buyers to show up. When you sell your own home, you don’t have an agent to schedule showings for you. This means that buyers can call you up at any moment wanting to come see your home. If you really want to sell, you’ll have to be available to let them in the property. This required flexibility can take away a lot of your precious time and add unnecessary stress to your life, not to mention that there’s a safety risk involved. When you’re doing everything on your own, you never know who will show up at your door. By hiring an agent, you’ll get more of your time back and not have to worry about the trouble of letting strangers into your home.

From the outside looking in, selling a home looks pretty straightforward, so it’s understandable why you might think you can handle it all on your own. But a real estate transaction is so much more complicated than simply exchanging a home for some money. Before choosing to list FSBO, assess whether or not you have the time and necessary skills to dedicate to the process. If you don’t keep up with the responsibilities, you won’t be successful.

If you’re even slightly unsure that you’d be able to handle the time commitment of a FSBO, please consider calling me!  I can provide exceptional, professional help.  My 31+ years selling residential homes will help you feel much more comfortable and confident through all stages of the transaction, from pricing to marketing to closing the deal and everything in between. I care about you as a person, and we’ll make sure that your home selling experience is the best it can be.   Cathi Pospisil, (928) 273-0538, EM:, Blog:, HomeSmart Chandler, AZ 85248                           Tags:,,,,,,

Gentle Ways to Deal with Insects in the Home

Gentle Ways to Deal with Insects in the Home

A growing number of homeowners are uncomfortable using traditional pesticides for a variety of reasons, including health and environmental concerns. If you’re among them, here are some natural ways to deal with insects in your home:
  • Use a mixture of unsweetened lemon juice and water to deter spiders. Spray the solution near doorways and window sills where these arachnoids can enter.
  • Combine an equal mixture of vinegar and water to create an effective deterrent for a variety of crawling insects, particularly ants. Spray the solution on floors and countertops that are close to these creatures’ food sources.
  • Believe it or not, invest in a fake wasp nest (which you can purchase at your local home improvement store) to deter real wasps from building a nest on your property.
  • Experts recommend that you test any surface spray you plan to use to make sure it doesn’t stain or otherwise harm the surface.

Four Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Current Home

Four Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Current Home

It’s not uncommon for couples with growing families to trade in their compact cars for something roomier, like a mini-van. The same thing happens with homes. Sometimes families simply outgrow them.
How can you tell if that’s happening with your property? Here are some sure-fire signs:

  1. You need more space.
    This is the most common reason people upgrade to a new home. They need more room. For any number of reasons, you might want an extra bedroom, a larger living room, a bigger backyard, or a more spacious kitchen. Rather than put up with feeling cramped, consider exploring the extra space a new home can provide.
  2. A renovation won’t fix it.
    Sometimes, when a property doesn’t fit its owners’ needs anymore, they consider a renovation. For example, if they need more space for a home office, they convert a spare room. However, a renovation doesn’t always fix the problem. For example, building a double, rather than single driveway and garage, may not be possible given the constraints of your property. Only a new home can solve that problem.
  3. You’re interested in a new neighborhood.
    The neighborhood may have been perfect for you at one time. But needs evolve. You may now be looking for something the area doesn’t provide – like closer access to a recreational activity your family enjoys, or a more convenient commute to work. If that’s the case, it might be time to look at other neighborhoods you’d like to consider, and see what types of homes are currently available there.
  4. It’s time for a change.
    Sometimes you simply feel it’s time for a change. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel you need a practical reason to sell and find a new home. If this feels like the right time for you and your family to move, go for it.

Sellers need to know…

5 Things Buyers Hate to See

When you show your home to prospective buyers, there is probably a long list of things you’re hoping they’ll notice. For example, you’ll want them to see the beautiful chandelier in the foyer or the spacious backyard and large deck, or the kitchen with the island big enough for a whole family to sit down for breakfast.
But what about those things you’re hoping buyers will not notice?

Every home has some features that are less than enticing to the typical buyer. You may not be able to do much about a small kitchen or a home backing onto a noisy main street.

However, there are several things buyers don’t want to see that you can change. Here are five of the most common:

  • Clutter. Closets stuffed full of clothes or rooms crammed with too much furniture are distractions. Clutter of any kind makes buyers feel uneasy – and gets in the way of showcasing the wonderful features of your home.
  • Maintenance issues. Buyers definitely don’t want to see a lot of things that need repairs or replacement, such as dripping faucets, faded or chipped walls, or overgrown lawns and shrubbery.
  • Smells. Of course, you can’t see smells. But buyers will notice the lingering aroma of exotic cooking, cigarette smoke, and pets. These smells may even limit the amount of time they want to spend exploring the home.
  • Personal items. Buyers will understand that a family is living in the home they’re viewing. However, constant reminders – in the form of vacation pictures, trophies, or scattered children’s toys – can make a buyer feel like an intruder.
  • You. It’s nothing personal, but buyers prefer to view your home without you in it.

Fortunately, all these things can be easily dealt with before you show your home.

Looking for more ideas on selling your home quickly and for the best price? Call me today.

Better Home Security!

Preventing Burglaries Requires More Than Locks and Alarms

There’s no doubt about it. If you want to keep your home safe from break-ins, you should have good locks on all doors and windows and ideally have an alarm system in place.

But home security doesn’t end with locks and alarms. There are other less obvious ways to keep your home safe. For example:

  • Install exterior lights with a motion detection feature. A light suddenly going on will almost always send a potential intruder away.
  • Look for – and, if possible, eliminate – potential hiding spots around your property.
  • Always leave some lights on in your home when you’re away for an evening.
  • Never announce that you’re on vacation or otherwise away from your home on social media sites. (Ask your kids not to do this either!)
  • Don’t leave tempting valuables where they can be easily seen through a window.

In addition to good locking systems on doors and windows, simple precautions like these will significantly lower the risk of a break-in.

Dog days of Summer!


Your referral would mean a LOT to me!

As you know, word of mouth and referrals are a major part of my business. I’m always looking to help anyone who could use my services.

I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of talk about today’s competitive housing market. You probably even know someone who dealt with a bidding war on a home they really wanted.

Competition is so different from one neighborhood to the next, and it’s vital to work with a local agent who understands your needs. More importantly, I know how to make this market work for you.

Whether you or someone you know needs help finding your first home, or you’re trying to coordinate selling a house while buying a new one, I’d love to help with your real estate needs.  Call today (928) 273-0538 or email me via “” Cheers!