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Preparing Your Home for Success

Preparing Your Home for Success

Preparing to put your home on the market takes a keen eye for detail and an impartial assessment. Here are some points to consider when preparing to show your home.

Clean. And then clean some more.

You may have lived in your home for some time. You may accept a few stray pet hairs or some dirty tiles but buyers will not. Walk through your home with a discerning eye and remember that the house must be spotless. Don’t ignore the outside of the property. Buyers will notice unkempt gardens, chipped walkways, and oil stains on the driveway.


Too much stuff not only clutters your home but also clutters your buyer’s line of sight and can make your home appear smaller. If the buyer is looking at the clutter in the home instead of the features, you’ve lost the sale. Rent a storage unit if necessary and remove all unnecessary items from the home. Don’t use the garage – buyers will look there as well.

Eliminate Smells.

If you have pets or kids or smokers in your home, chances are you have become accustomed to their smells. Buyers will react negatively to these smells. A thorough cleaning of your home may eliminate the odors but if necessary, hire a cleaning company to steam clean the carpets and furniture. Repainting walls which are discolored due to nicotine or cooking can help eliminate odors as well.

Repaint if Necessary.

You may love your colorful home but the goal is for buyers to be able to see themselves living there. To that end, it is preferable to repaint any colorful rooms a more neutral color.

De-personalize the home.

Given that the goal is for the buyer to be able to picture themselves living there, it is best to remove all personal items such as photos, trophies and diplomas. You want your home to be as impersonal as possible.

Stage Your Home.

You can enlist the services of a professional stager or you can stage it yourself. Stagers can provide services ranging from a general consultation to bringing in new furniture, and everything in between. If you have an eye for color and design, you can stage it yourself. The goal is to arrange your home so it appears to be a model home: devoid of any personal effects but beautiful and spotless.

What is Showcasing?

Buyers: Stay in budget and open doors!

Work with an agent who understands showcasing! Not every home has been prepped for you to fall in love during a showing. Open doors to opportunities on the market with help from an agent who understands how renovations, interior design, paint, or decluttering can affect a space. Shopping for a home with an agent who does not understand showcasing is not only costing you time on the market, but it can also cost you your dream home.

Why It’s Best not to Overprice

Why It’s Best not to Overprice

“Couldn’t we try for a couple of weeks?”

The majority of prospect activity on a new listing occurs in the early period of marketing. This happens because REALTORS® maintain an inventory of active prospects that have been cultivated over time. When a home is newly listed, REALTORS® arrange for them to see it. Once this active group has seen the property, showing activity decreases to only those buyers new to the market. For this reason, it is important that sellers present their homes in the best condition and at the best price at first exposure to the market.

“But we have time.”

At some percentage over market price, no reasonable amount of time will produce a sale. Even when priced right for the market it may require a month or more of exposure to sell.

“They can always make an offer.”

The wrong price attracts the wrong buyers and the right buyers won’t see it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you tell me about the newest homes available?

The Multiple Listing Service Website provides up-to-date information for every home on the market. We constantly check the New on the Market list so we can be on the lookout for our clients. We will get you this information right away, the way that is most convenient for you: by phone or email.

Will you inform me of homes from all real estate companies or only EXIT Realty Home Partners?

We will keep you informed of all homes. We want to help you find your dream home, which means we need to stay on top of every home that’s available on the market.

Can you help me find new construction homes?

Yes, we can work with most builders and get you the information you need to make a decision. On your first visit with the builder, we will accompany you. By using our services with a new construction home purchase, you will receive the services we offer, as well as those provided by the builder, at no additional cost.

How does for sale by owner (FSBO) work?

Homeowners trying to sell their home without agent representation are usually doing so in the hopes of saving the commission. If you see a FSBO and want the advantages of our services, let us contact the owner for you and make an appointment. Most times the homeowner will work with an agent even though their home is not listed, since the agent is introducing a potential buyer to their property.

Can we go back through our property again once an offer is made but before possession?

Usually, we can notify the seller and schedule a convenient time to visit the property again. Immediately before the closing, we will schedule a final walk-through and inspection of your new home.

Once my offer is accepted, what should I do?

Celebrate and focus on moving into your new home! You will want to schedule your move, pack items and notify businesses of your address change. We will provide you with a moving checklist to help you remember all the details. We will also give you a good faith estimate and HUD statement, which will indicate the amount you will need to bring to closing.

Understanding Closing Costs

Understanding Closing Costs

(2 - 5% of Purchase Price)

The down-payment amount is the difference between the selling price of the property and the amount of money borrowed to purchase the property. The deposit provided with the offer is deducted from the down-payment. Example: Selling price is $300,000. Deposit with offer is $10,000. Mortgage loan is for $270,000. Remaining down- payment will be $20,000.

Prepaid Utilities
The buyer is responsible for paying utilities as of the closing date and may also need to reimburse the seller for prepaid utilities.

Prepaid Property Taxes
Property taxes are calculated based on the value of the property. If the seller has prepaid property taxes, the buyer may be required to reimburse the seller.

Interest Adjustment
The interest adjustment is the amount of interest accrued between the closing day and the date of the first mortgage payment.

Legal Fees/Disbursements
Legal fees include conducting a title search on the property, putting title insurance in place, registering the home in the buyer’s name, and facilitating financial disbursements upon closing.

Transfer Taxes (Land, Estate, etc)

Down Payment

Prepaid Utilities

Prepaid Property Taxes

Interest Adjustment

Legal Fees/Disbursements

Transfer Taxes (Land, Estate, etc)

What to Avoid When Purchasing a Home

What to Avoid When Purchasing a Home

The following is a list of rules to adhere to before and during the process of applying for a real estate loan:


Changing jobs, becoming self-employed or quitting your job before or during the loan processes will create a real problem in qualifying you for the loan.



Your loan officer will advise you if it is necessary to pay off bills tohelp you qualify for a loan, and what the best way to pay off any bills would be.


This includes a new car, furniture or other major purchase.







If you must do any of these things contact your loan officer. They can help you by re-qualifying you if necessary and advising you of your options. By avoiding these pitfalls you can look forward to a successful loan closing and living in your new home!

Your Home Inspection

Your Home Inspection

If you are purchasing a resale property, we highly recommend that you have a professional home inspector conduct a thorough inspection. The inspection will include the following:

  • Appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Air conditioning and heating
  • Ventilation
  • Roof and Attic
  • Foundation
  • General structure

The inspection is not designed to criticize every minor problem or defect in the home. It is intended to report on major damage or serious problems that require repair. Should serious problems be indicated, the inspector will recommend that a structural engineer or some other professional inspect as well.


Your home cannot “pass or fail” an inspection, and your inspector will not tell you whether he/she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. Their job is to make you aware of repairs that are recommended or necessary.

The seller may or may not be willing to negotiate completion of repairs or credit for repairs, or you may decide that the home will take too much work or money. A professional inspection will help you to make an educated decision. In addition to the overall inspection, you may wish to have separate tests conducted for pests and radon gas.


In choosing a home inspector, consider one that has been certified as a qualified and experienced member of a trade association.

We will be present at your inspection, so we will coordinate our schedule with the inspector and the seller (the seller will not be present for the inspection). We recommend the buyer being present for the inspection. This is to your advantage for many reasons. You will be able to clearly understand the inspection report and know exactly what areas need attention. Plus you can get answers to many questions, tips for maintenance and a lot of general information that will help you once you move into your new home. You will also see the home through the eyes of an objective third party.

Buying Your Home Step-By-Step

December 2020

The Power of an Entire Organization Behind You

December 2020

EXIT Realty Corp. International was founded in Canada in 1996 and has grown steadily boasting real estate brokerage locations across the North American continent. We are a by-invitation only company meaning each real estate agent has to be invited to join. Our unique business model fosters an atmosphere of empathy, mentorship and teamwork. Each and every person has a vested interest in the success of the organization. When you work with an EXIT Realty professional, you have the power of the entire organization behind you.


EXIT Realty professionals are highly trained and knowledgeable with access to in-depth teaching, training and coaching at the corporate, regional and brokerage level in specialties such as negotiation and market knowledge. In particular, our agents learn how to recognize distinct personality types to give us an edge in the negotiation process. Knowing how to speak the language of each personality type not only helps us communicate effectively with the other agents involved in the transaction but often results in a more efficient and effective negotiation process.

“The mission of a real estate professional is to establish good teamwork with all customers and clients. Working together with deliberate harmonious intent produces the best results.” 

Steve Morris, Founder & Chairman, EXIT Realty Corp. International.

Your Ally in the Home-Buying Process

Your Ally in the Home-Buying Process

We are your trusted advisor; your ally in the home-buying process. When you find a property you like we will help you develop an offer including the offering price and other terms. We will advise you about the importance of a home inspection and other inspections, if any, required by law in your area. We can assist you in understanding different financing options and assist in identifying qualified lenders. We work with a team of professionals to help you smoothly navigate the home-buying process from beginning to close.

Heather E Driscoll Signature Black

Services you will receive:

Advantages of A Buyer Agency Agreement

Advantages of A Buyer Agency Agreement

1. Your Interests are Professionally Represented

A Buyer’s Agent will take care of all details of your real estate transaction, letting you concentrate on your life and full-time job while we do our job. We will guide you through the home-buying process from the beginning by exclusively representing your interests as we assist you with finding the perfect home for you, presenting and negotiating your contract, working through the inspection and appraisal process, and finally closing on your new home!

2. You Get a Personal Specialist Who Understands Your Needs

A good Buyer’s Agent gets to know your specific real estate needs and concerns. This partnership is developed through great communication. Your Buyer’s Agent will save you time by providing you with details about a home before you even see it, and listen to your feedback about each home to make better educated decisions during the search process.

3. You Will Quickly and Conveniently Get a Great Home

It is nearly impossible to find a great home that meets your needs, negotiate a contract and close the transaction without an experienced agent. When you tour homes with your professional Buyer’s Agent you will already know that the homes meet your criteria and are within your price range.

4. Advantages of a Buyer’s Agency Agreement

Entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement has countless advantages. When you sign the agreement you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his/her ability. All of this personal service is available at no cost to you! The Seller’s Agent is responsible for paying your Buyer’s Agent fee at closing.

Benefits of a Buyer’s Agent

Benefits of a Buyer’s Agent


Heather E Driscoll Signature Black

Note: Having a Buyer’s Agent during construction doesn’t cost you, the builder has allocated funds for consumers represented by a real estate agent (if buyer doesn’t use an agent, those fund are saved by the builder or their representative is paid more – the savings are not passed on to the buyer/consumer).

Why use a REALTOR®?

Why use a REALTOR®?

Only Sales Representatives who are licensed members of organized real estate (National Association of REALTORS® for US and Canadian Real Estate Association in Canada) can call themselves REALTORS®. Only REALTORS® are held to a high code of ethical and professional conduct by these organizations. Only REALTORS® have access to MLS data to provide you with current information to guide you through the buying process.


Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power. You need to know how much house you can afford before you start the search. Your REALTOR® will provide detailed information on properties that meet your criteria from the Multiple Listing Service® and other information resources only available to REALTORS®.

Heather E Driscoll Signature Black


Almost 90% of buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent.

Buyer Statistics, National Association of REALTORS®, 2015

Congratulations Brian & Mary!

📣 CONGRATULATIONS BRIAN & MARY!! In the month of November, Brian Kasper took the #1 spot for Top Closed Ends and #2 in Top Gross Closed Commission; and Mary Driscoll landed on the Top Agents in Closed Ends at #8 for EXIT Realty in the state of Michigan ‼️👏🎉 We’re so proud

Troy Davis

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Born and raised in Michigan, I live with my German Shepherd Zeus here in the Greater Lansing area and have been lucky to be a part of all the change and growth that has occurred in our area! 

Approach to my Real Estate career:  Professionalism, honesty, marketing and knowledge are the foundations of my career. I believe these qualities are most important when it comes to deciding who will protect the most valuable investment you have…your home.


Why should you choose me as your Realtor?  Each time I help a new client buy or sell a home I see it as the beginning of a lifelong relationship.  Relationships with my clients do not stop at the closing table, it is where they begin. I make sure that my clients receive up to date information about the local real estate market and the effects it has on their homes value. Whenever my clients have questions regarding their home, I am there for them, regardless if they are buying or selling. I do not pass your name and file onto my assistant or team member. When you hire me, you get ME! 


I believe the more information and 100% honesty I give to my clients, the better decisions they will make for themselves and their family.

Mary Driscoll

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A little about me: Mary Driscoll is a Realtor licensed in Ohio and Michigan. She is an associate with the office of EXIT Realty At Home with an office located in the heart of downtown DeWitt, MI. In June of 2017, she achieved the GRI-Graduate REALTOR ® Institute designation. It is an industry designation such as: CPA-Certified Public Accountant.   Each of her clients benefits from her focused effort to find their home, buy their home, or sell their home —as the case may be.  Mary’s extensive background with commercial interiors and building design and construction continues to serve a diverse group of buyers and sellers in their real property pursuits.  She recently added residential project management to her list of real estate services.  A long time proponent of high performing buildings, Mary was founder and principal of Plan It Green, LLC,  providing consulting services for green building and promoting a holistic approach to produce smarter, healthier and more efficient buildings. She is Greater Lansing Association of Realtors’ only GREEN designee as well as an Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and a LEED Accredited Professional.  Mary is a Toledo native and was a long time Perrysburg, Ohio resident before moving to Michigan.  She is a proud alumnus of the University of Toledo (GO ROCKETS) and a die hard supporter of MSU. Spartans Will!