Archive for the ‘Seller’ Category

Have The Smartest Home On The Block

Hi, there. I’m Gwen Daubenmeyer with the Integrity Team, here at RE/MAX Defined, with a message about what is hot and what is not in real estate. In 2017, it is most definitely the year of the Smart Home Device. In 2016, it is reported that over 80 million Smart Home Devices were shipped worldwide. Including mine. In 2017, we are poised to have an even bigger year. From saving on energy bills, to arming our security system, turning our air conditioning on just before you get home. There’s so many ways that Smart Home Devices can make our lives more convenient.

If you’re not quite up-to-speed, we have included an article below, which will fill you in on all of those details, and if you are using Smart Home Devices, we would love for you to tell us what you’re using, how you’re using it, and if you like it or maybe you’re in the camp that does not like them.

Also, we’d really like to hear from you. So, hit Reply, let us know what you’re using, and thank you. Look forward to talking with you.

To receive a monthly video like this one and other helpful real estate related information, please click through to our CONTACT US page and fill out the quick form. We want to be of service to you.


Orion Schools Sinking Fund – Wise Decision

Sinking FundWe have a crucial Sinking Fund proposal on the ballot Tuesday, August 2, 2016. The proposal is smart, responsible and affects your property value.

I don’t have school-age children, so I don’t personally utilize our school district, but 30 years selling real estate has proven to me that the quality of the schools in the district in which I live is foundational to maintaining the value of my home.

Why am I in favor?

A Sinking Fund is a very smart, affordable and financially responsible method of paying for capital repairs and improvements in which the state will not contribute. It’s like a savings account that the district accesses to pay for repairs and maintenance. By using the funds from this account, we avoid unnecessary costs of interest and fees associated with bonds and loans saving residents money in the long run!

There is strict accountability. The state has strict rules regarding how districts may use a sinking fund. For example, it cannot be used for operating costs including salaries. There are harsh penalties for abusing a sinking fund making it a wise decision for taxpayers.

It is affordable. The cost would be about $200 per year for a home with a value of $200,000. While the terms of sinking funds vary, they must be clear on the proposal. This particular proposal is 2 mils, and it ends in 10 years; it isn’t permanent.

The WHY. Orion residents failed the last two millage proposals; this is long overdue. I think of Orion as a young, vibrant community and was surprised to learn that of the 15 buildings utilized by the Orion school district, eight buildings are more than 40 years old, and four are 60 years or more. Even with the superior care taken by our district in maintaining our buildings, fixtures have a life span.

The need is real. Our community needs this sinking fund.

Join me in voting YES on Aug. 2, 2016. It benefits everyone for this proposal to pass.

There is some great information in the ballot proposal link below:

Orion Sinking Fund FAQ



Is Offering a Buyer Agent Bonus an Effective Sales Strategy?


Buyer Agent Bonus offerings are back, but is offering the agent a bonus an effective sales strategy?

Let’s break it down
I suppose a few agents might be motivated to show a home based on the additional compensation, but not most. Buyers are typically choosing what they would like to see based on the search criteria they have defined in their profiles on the multiple listing service (MLS) or other search portals. Since the additional compensation does not typically appear on the Buyer’s information, the bonus would have no impact at all on what they choose to see.

We can’t make them love you if they don’t
Additionally, no matter how many homes an Agent shows their Buyer client, they can’t make them like a home they don’t, so in my opinion, it is a misguided gesture. It is the Buyer who is making the decision to offer; any incentives should appeal to them, not the agent.

Agent bonuses are a market indicator
One thing these bonus offerings do mean? The market is slowing; especially in higher price points here in metro Detroit. That is why there is an incentive offered to begin with. To agents who study the market and their data, this is no surprise.

What to do instead
Sellers serious about selling should have their agent pull the last six months of market activity, meet with their Agent to interpret the data, and make intelligent adjustments to the changing market. The seller must be objective and view this data through the eyes of the buyer in a cautious economy.


  • Which homes in your price range did you lose to since you first listed? How does your home compare to those?
  • Have the average days on market changed from 6 months ago to those homes sold in the last 30 days?
  • What is the current average list price-to-sold price percentage?
  • Did the homes sold have price reductions before selling?
  • Have interest rates change recently?
  • Have you had any offers during your listing?

This information, accurately interpreted, will guide you to intelligent pricing decisions.

Forecasting: One of the biggest benefits of carefully hiring your real estate agent is their ability to forecast the real estate market. You don’t have to be a weather channel anchor to determine it is currently raining, it’s their ability to predict ahead that makes them specialists.

You must be ahead of the market in order to win the buyer. The most common mistake made by agents and sellers alike is looking at data from a rear view perspective and applying it to a market currently in flux. Don’t do that.

Keep your bonus. Competitive pricing is still your most effective sales strategy.



Is Demand for a Dedicated Home Office Dying?


The demand for home office space is dying.

What do we do with this space?


The demand for dedicated home office space is dying. We see fewer and fewer buyers requiring a dedicated home office when setting their search criteria for buying a new home. Unless we find other, very practical uses for that first-floor office we couldn’t live without a decade ago, it is going to be a challenge on resale.

With software like Quicken, Google Drive, Evernote and Kindle, the amount of paper we keep in our homes is decreasing. We no longer need a dedicated home office in which to store our important documents and family photos, we’ve migrated to the online Oz of Google. When we show homes, we see once dedicated office space awkwardly staged as reading rooms only without the books. Nobody believes this, by the way.

Most of our clients don’t own a desktop computer, so working from home is no longer relegated to that room across the foyer from that big formal dining room we couldn’t live without a decade ago either. That was before our kids took jobs in other states and now can’t afford the time off to travel home. So, we fly out to see them and the big dining room table for family dinners that we planned to have, collects dust. As least this is the way it is in our house.

We should begin to be very thoughtful about other practical uses for these once-loved, but now dusty rooms. The way we live has changed. Most people do not use their offices anymore. They’re in the kitchen on the laptop. Plus, we learned a lot from the housing bubble. Buyers aren’t willing to pay for rooms they aren’t going to use, the furnishings required, and a housekeeper to dust it. We’re smarter now, we want more functional space.

We show a lot of homes. There are laptops and tablets in every home but various rooms. We see strangely staged home offices, obvious that the sellers no longer use the space.

We’re calling it. Dedicated home offices are on their way out. It’s time to figure out what to do with that room. I’m working on some practical ideas for our staging clients, and one idea that I love is using the old office space for an inspirational playroom.

Log on to Pinterest and take a look at my Gorgeous Playrooms board. These are ideas worthy of first-floor space. It might be time to let the kids out of the basement.




Snow Day Superheroes Wanted! There’s someone on your street or down the block who can’t shovel this snow. You’ve probably never even spoken to them. They need you. There are no coincidences. If you’re reading this, you’re the ONE.

Go outside and look around. Maybe they’re elderly, have some health challenges, or maybe you’ve seen the handiStock_000019409619_Smallicap plate on their car or maybe you’ve seen the lady down the street who walks with a cane. You can help them.

The Integrity Team at RE/MAX Defined is putting up $500 in Pay-It-Forward Rewards!!

Use your Snow Day to shovel someone’s driveway, email us a picture at, and we’ll send you a $25 reward card of your choice and enter you into a $250 Pay-It-Forward drawing!

Come ON Kids! Grab a shovel and change the world for somebody today!

Contest ends Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 9:00 pm!

Do it!


#1 in a Series of Fun Real Estate F-Bombs from Gwen!


Scoop. Your. Poop.

dog welcome home


It’s that time friends! The snow has melted and spring is officially here.

We love our pets but let’s face it: winter leaves behind a nasty poop-soup, and it’s time to go. We agree that it’s a good idea that people should remove their shoes before entering your home, but we don’t think the fear of tracking poop inside should be the reason. There’s nothing worse than showing a great house and having to tip-toe around pooch piles in the back yard while trying to sell the littles playing baseball in the same green space.

Everyone is busy, I have two dogs, myself. If you don’t have time to maintain the pooch poop, a maintenance service is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and your family. Plus, that barbecue will taste so much better with a clean yard!

By the way, if you’re thinking of selling, we are offering FREE poop-scoop service with every listing through the end of May, because, well, we know it’s a crappy job.

Click the link below for more information.
Scoopy Doo Pet Waste Service


Top 10 Reasons You Are a Bad Neighbor

Just for laughs, because you know we all have one…

Top Ten Characteristics of a Bad Neighbor




1)  They walk their dog around the neighborhood without a baggie.
3)  They watch their neighbor’s house, even when they’re home.
4)  Their security light creates shadow puppets in their neighbor’s bedroom.
5)  They trim their neighbor’s tree until sap runs because the branches are on their side of the fence.
6)  They put their compost pile in the farthest corner of their yard, right next to the neighbor’s patio.
7)  They send their kids over to the neighbor’s to play uninvited, and the neighbors have no children.
8)  They bring you their leftover barbecue. (No. Just, NO.)
9)  They ask you to carpool their kids to school and never take a turn.
10) They refuse to mow the 2-foot strip of grass between their property line and their neighbor’s driveway.



For Sale By Owner Guru Hires a Real Estate Agent


BLOG Cheating


Well, well, well…The owner of “” has hired a real estate agent to sell his own private residence.



11 Dates and Deadlines That Can Derail Your Real Estate Deal

Frustated businesswoman

Missed dates and deadlines can derail the best of transactions. Timing is the most difficult thing to coordinate in a transaction. Timing is what gives us the most angst, robs everyone of sleep, even real estate agents; timing is the one thing that can spin a great transaction sideways in a second.

The dates below* relate to both buyer and seller. (more…)

The Integrity Team