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Lee's Summit Real Estate Blog

Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.


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Summer is almost here. Are you ready?

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

Home Staging for Every Season

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

As a home seller or real estate agent, learn how to stage a home throughout the changing seasons.

4 Ways to Keep Your Buyers from Killing a Sale With a Lowball Offer

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

No one wants to feel like they’ve been taken advantage of in a housing transaction. These days, in most markets prices are rising and inventory is still tight, which means that tossing a lowball offer isn’t just bad form; it’s a sure-fire way to kill any hopes of getting a seller to accept your offer.

But many buyers may not realize how much the market has recovered and their price expectations may not be rooted in reality. It’s your job to set them straight and help guide them when it comes to determining what offer will get them a great deal, without totally turning off a seller.

Here’s how to set your clients up for success and keep them from making a lowball offer.

Plus! Love this information? Share it with your buyers all year long with this helpful handout!

1. Give Them a Market Reality Check

Banish any misconceptions about market temperature from the get go by giving buyers the lowdown on how homes in the area are actually selling. Instead of focusing on what’s currently on the market, show them what has sold in the last few months and highlight the difference between the list price and the sale price. That should give buyers a good sense of market temperature and how much they should offer below or above the asking price. After all, they can’t argue with facts (and if they try, it might be a cue to reassess whether you should be working together).

2. Set Them Straight With Comps

Sit down with buyers and show them similar properties that are on the market now or that have sold in the past two months. By showing them how a home stacks up against like properties, you’ll help them understand how factors like square footage, lot size, and age can affect the price. This data should help reinforce everything you’ve already been telling them.

3. Keep Them from Dragging It Out

If your buyers are already fatigued from a few months of house hunting, don’t let them blow it with a lowball offer. Help them avoid wasting even more time and money by reminding them how long homes stay on the market and how much time you have both invested in this process. Research shows that a typical home search takes 12 weeks, so remind them of that fact before they make an offer that will likely send them all the way back to square one.

4. Don’t Let Them Insult the Sellers

Most sellers have an emotional attachment to their homes. It’s a place where they’ve invested time and quite a bit of money making it their own. Maybe they’ve raised their family or celebrated major life events there. You get the idea: the value is sentimental as well as monetary. So if buyers disregard this complex relationship with a lowball offer, they risk insulting the sellers and losing out on the home. Even if the buyers’ plan is to get a counter offer and settle somewhere in between, starting off with a too-low offer can be so off-putting to the sellers that they refuse to work with your buyers. Tell them to put themselves in the sellers’ shoes: How would they feel if they got such an offer? Remind them that, when it comes to buying someone’s home, it’s not strictly business. There’s an emotional element, too. Reasonable buyers should understand this, and with your help, they should be equipped to make a fair initial offer.

Tell us! How do you handle buyers who are set on tossing a lowball offer?

WRITTEN BYTrulia StaffMore about Trulia Staff

3 Costly Spring Mistakes Buyers Make

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

“Oh, how I wish. . .” started no wise real estate decision ever. There’s a reason they call it real estate, folks. That’s because we’re dealing with the most tangible type of property around— land— and the buildings that, formally speaking, represent improvements to that land.

For agents, we realize that real estate is serious business, because—well—itis our business. But for some buyers, purchasing a home can still feel abstract and conceptual. As a result, there are some buyers who attempt to apply fantasy-realm wishes to real life, real land situations. This mindset is never a setup for success. But when the market is hot and you have a goal or a timeline, engaging in wishful thinking is not just foolhardy— it can be downright costly.

This hot selling season is still predicted to be tight when it comes to inventory. That means that buyers need to bring their ‘A ‘game and keep their head on straight if they’re going to snag their dream home. As an agent, it’s your job to help buyers get back to reality.
Here are three common, costly buyer mistakes that often arise when the market is hot, offers are plentiful and prices are rising—and what you can do to help out your clients.

1. Wishing the house was in a different neighborhood

It’s a tale as old as time: A buyer has seen two-dozen houses and put in a dozen offers. No dice. As agents, we know the problem. The home that the buyer wants—a move-in ready three bedroom in safe neighborhood, good school district, a close commute to work—exists. But that home doesn’t exist in the most covetable neighborhood in town at the price point the buyer can afford. The truth is, the buyer simply wants a home that they cannot afford.

As agents, this can be one of the most frustrating situations. You did your job—you found your client a home that’s as close to perfect as it can get, but the buyer can’t realize it because it sits just a mile outside of their “ideal” neighborhood.

And as much as you try to convince the buyer of that, they harp on the fact that they wish they could just pick the home up and drop it in their dream neighborhood.

Here’s the truth: The buyer’s expectations aren’t based in the reality that the hot market dictates. It’s time to get real with your buyers and it’s in your best interest to give it to your clients straight—tactfully of course! When a buyer has been outbid a double-digit number of times, something about their approach is not working.

Show them list price and sale price data on the recently sold-homes in their desired neighborhood. Do mini case studies of their past failed offers and set up a bit of time to walk through them one by one. It’s not just that there were multiple offers, it’s that the buyer’s offer wasn’t up to snuff.

It’s time to work through a priorities list with your clients. They either need to downgrade their specs in terms of properties they seek—looking for something smaller or in less-pristine condition—or they need to shift their location criteria.

Part of the reason that wishing a home is in another neighborhood is dangerous is that the white-hot markets in many towns are hyper-localized in the Most Desirable Neighborhood in Town. That’s where the competition among buyers and bidding wars are the most intense. If buyers are not prepared to house hunt for homes quite a bit lower than their top dollar to set themselves up for success, or if there simply are no homes in that neighborhood listed below their top dollar, they might need to face the reality check that they simply can’t afford to buy there now.

Remind your buyers to stop wishing the home they can afford were in a different neighborhood, because if it were, chances are good they wouldn’t be able to afford it, either! Gently tell them that they’ll be able to level-up your neighborhoods as time goes on and they buy their next home. After all, inflexibility can paralyze a house hunt so long that prices all over town rise even more.

2. Hoping that perfect house gets no other offers, even though every other house you’ve bid on has had 54.

There’s a fine line between wishing something were true and denying the reality of what actually is true. For some buyers, facing reality, even when it’s painful, allows them to make an action plan for getting the best possible results with the resources they do have —or a plan for getting more resources.

Ultimately, only a buyer can decide how much they can offer on a home. Agents can advise and provide data to help frame the decision, but the client is the be-all, end-all.

But buyers who opt to make a lowball or at-asking offer in situations where they are virtually guaranteed to run into high levels of competition are setting themselves up for failure. And when buyers fail, they also add to the demotivating, depressing, discouraging momentum in times when they get overbid despite giving it their legitimate best efforts. That frustration often leads to analysis and calling a house hunting time-out. And that, in turn, often leads to buying at a time when prices are even higher, and getting ultimately even less home for their money.

As an agent, it’s important to depend on the data in these situations. Poor decisions by buyers most often result thanks to a lack of education about the situation. Exercise patience. When a buyer continually self-sabotages a deal by going against your initial advice, it can be tempting to just stop making an effort. Fight past that feeling. Remember: Most buyers aren’t purposefully making deal-killing offer. A little education about the market—complete with charts and visual aids, can help get the buyer off the train to Never Neverland.

3. Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast.

Here’s the deal: when prices were flat or falling, buyers were (understandably) stressed at the prospect of buying a depreciating asset. Now that they’re ascending, it’s not at all uncommon to hear buyers bemoan that, too. But the moment escrow closes, the fact that prices are rising, and fast, will shift in your buyer’s mind’s eye from curse to blessing. Remind them of that.

Rising prices and a recovering market might be what emboldened your clients to buy to buy, empowered them to sell a formerly underwater home, and certainly have been inextricably intertwined with the increase in jobs. If prices weren’t rising, many of these other things might not be materializing, either, and that wouldn’t be so great.

Wishing prices weren’t going up so fast contributes to a costly denial that prices aren’t really what they are. This can cause buyers to make lowball offers and waste their precious time on homes they can’t compete for within in their budget range, all while their smart targets are appreciating rapidly—and that’s how people get priced out of the market, right under their noses.

Don’t let your buyer’s dreams fall prey to this costly wish-based pitfall. Keep buyers in the know on how prices are trending throughout their house hunt, and encourage them to use that knowledge to power their decision-making about what price range to house hunt in and what price to offer for target properties.


WRITTEN BYTrulia StaffMore about Trulia Staff

The 6 Most Essential Homebuyer Tips

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.


by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

You already know the smart way to sell your home is through a real estate professional, but you may not realize how much your agent really does for you.

A real estate practitioner is licensed and regulated by the state to sell real estate, but service levels are far from standard. Most practitioners offer full service, but what does that really mean?

It means you should have an agent's most professional advice and services - from pricing your home to preparing your home for market, to finding the right buyer, to shepherding the transaction to a smooth closing.

A great agent has a wealth of data and personal experience to share with you about local real estate market conditions, comparable homes on the market, and current lending and appraisal requirements. Her knowledge and experience will help you develop a pricing and marketing strategy that will bring about the quickest sale for the highest amount and best terms possible.

A great agent will help you prepare your home for sale in a critical marketplace. He will offer staging, cleaning and repair suggestions, as well as help you understand what buyers are looking for in today's market.

A great agent will market your home on the MLS, third-party sites and on signs, flyers, blogs and other media. But don't be surprised if your first showings come from your agent's community of contacts such as previous clients, current buyers and other personal and professional contacts.

A great agent will qualify buyers to make certain they're serious and financially able to buy your home before letting them into your home. Your agent can help you evaluate and negotiate offers of purchase, and write counter-offers with a sales price and terms as likely to meet your goals as possible.

Murphy's Law was written for closings. Your home can fail to meet the buyer's appraisal price, or the buyer's inspection may reveal a water leak. Your agent knows how to react defensively and help you solve any problem that comes up. Your agent also takes preventative and curative measures to keep lenders, closing agents, contractors, and you on task. Her goal is to get you safely to closing.

A great agent's job isn't finished when you turn over the keys. He can help you find and buy your next home, providing the same level of service to you when you become the buyer. Your agent can keep you alerted to good housing investments, second homes or homes for your children.

For great agents, professionalism is about building a relationship that lasts a lifetime, from helping you buy your first home, to helping you sell your home and move up, to downsizing when you become an empty nester.

The only way to do that is to give you the results you want.


Author : Blanche Evans

First-time homebuyer's guide to open houses

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

There’s more that goes into buying a home for the first time besides shopping online for mortgage rates. To find the perfect home, you have to log off of the computer, get in your car and see homes for yourself. One way to do that is visiting open houses.

First-time homebuyers might naturally be reluctant to attend an open house held by a Realtor. After all, no one likes to be hassled by a pushy salesperson. But in fact, open houses can be a good opportunity.

As Ken Pozek, a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Northville, Mich., explains, "It's a cool idea."

Instead of calling around to find a real estate agent you like, you can go out on your own, see some of the homes that are for sale and meet the agents in person.

"You don't have to be nervous," Pozek says. "It can be fun. If there is a sign there, they want you to go in and they expect you to look around."

The best way to find out about open houses is to search real estate listing websites. You can also get this information from real estate websites, newspaper ads or by driving around your target neighborhood any weekend.

Sign in

Even though the house is open to the public, you'll still probably have to give the agent your name and contact information to be allowed inside, says Wendy English, sales manager at Century 21 Commonwealth in Medfield, Mass.

"We have a responsibility to know who was in the house for the security of the seller's property," she explains.

Some agents use a guest book or sheet of paper as a sign-in system. Others, such as Ed Finlan, managing broker at Keller Williams Western Realty in Burlington, Wash., use an electronic device.

"I have an open house app on my iPad," Finlan says. "People who are techie want to do it themselves. For the ones that aren't, I'll do it for them. They have to put in their name, email and phone number. That goes into our database, and the app will follow up for me, too."

Do's and don't's

An open house is "your time to look at the property," says Renee White, a broker associate at Keller Williams Realty East Bay in Walnut Creek, Calif.

That means it's fine to walk into all the rooms, open closets or even take a seat and stay a while if you're genuinely interested.

It's not okay to snoop.

"Sellers are advised to put away valuables and medications. You don't want to be opening their furnishings, wardrobe or drawers. Kitchen cabinets, closets -- it's expected that people will look there," English says.

Nor is it OK to let your children smear cookie on the walls or touch toys that belong to the seller's children.

That, English warns, "is a definite no-no."

If you want to take pictures, you should get permission from the agent first.

And don't block a neighbor's driveway when you park your car.

A super-busy open house "can get a little annoying for the neighbors," English says. "Those people could be your future neighbors, so you want to be respectful."

Sometimes houses that were scheduled to be open aren't, English adds. That happens because some houses sell quickly and the information posted online isn't always current.

If you're disappointed about a particular house, that might be a sign you're ready to commit to a Realtor so you'll be able to get the most up-to-date information, she suggests.

What to ask

A good agent should be knowledgeable about much more than the color of carpeting.

Here are some questions White suggests you should ask at an open house:

  • Have the sellers received any offers?
  • How well is this home priced?
  • What are the comps -- prices of similar homes recently sold in the area?
  • What are the schools?
  • Are there any disclosures?
  • What other for-sale homes should I see besides this one?
  • Who do you recommend for a lender?

Finlan says he gives buyers a hot sheet of more than a dozen bank-owned, newly built and resale homes for sale in the area along with information about the purchase process.

Motivated buyers

Agents hold open houses not only to market homes, but also to meet people who are ready, willing and well-qualified to buy, says Shantee Haynes, a Realtor at Prudential PenFed Realty in Washington, D.C.

"The agent tries to get to know people and figure out what their motivation is not just for being there, but whether they have the motivation to buy at all," she says.

If you're open to buying a house, a house that's open might be a grand place to start.


Thank you Marcie Geffner for the info.

Thinking of making a move? Move to Lee's Summit!

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.


With a population of almost 94,000 people and land area of 65 square miles, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, is the sixth largest city in the state. Just 20 miles southeast of Kansas City, MO, Lee’s Summit is an award-winning community with a high quality of life. Some of the recent accolades include:
•2010 Creative Community Award by the Missouri Arts Council
•2010 Great American Main Street Award® by the National Trust for Historic Preservation
•2010 Gold Medal Award by the National Recreation & Park Association
•2010 #27 Best Places to Live by Money magazine
•2010 Best Old House Neighborhoods by This Old House magazine

Downtown Lee’s Summit is the heart of the community and offers the best of suburban living in an urban enclave. Neighborhoods are walkable, parks are plentiful and activity is abundant. Apartments, condos and single family homes are all available in Downtown Lee’s Summit. A wide variety of architectural styles appeal to diverse groups of people. Come see why Downtown Lee’s Summit is a great place to live, shop, work and play.

Let me help you make your move happen!  "Real estate is my business.  Lee's Summit is my home."

~Toni Tygart, Remax Elite








Spring Market Tips for Homeowners and Buyers

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

Spring is here and that means increased activity for the housing market. offers valuable information for homeowners and buyers alike.

~~Homeowners and buyers: 6 things to watch this spring

By Tim Manni of


The U.S. economy is off to a bit of a rocky start in 2014, something that might actually benefit homebuyers this busy spring homebuying season. The unsteady – and frankly, at times unpredictable – economy has allowed mortgage rates to hit yearly lows as recently as the first week in March.

But just as the economy seems to be taking a turn for the worse, surprisingly positive figures (see the February job numbers) send mortgage rates higher. Regardless of the turbulence, interest-rate conditions are expected to remain quite favorable this spring.

What is anticipated to negatively impact home seekers in the coming months is housing inventory. No stranger to the headlines, limited inventory has been stymieing homebuyers for a while now. Improving home prices throughout 2013 and the prospect of moderate price growth throughout 2014 will allow some owners to put their homes up for sale, but many are predicting the pickings to remain rather slim.

With the wicked winter weather behind us (hopefully), the market needs a jump-start, and perhaps warmer temperatures will do the trick. But can warmer temps thaw strict lending standards? With the new federal regulations just underway, it's unfortunately too early to say.

This is going to be an interesting spring for borrowers. Will there be enough quality, nondistressed homes to compete with demand? Will lending conditions ease enough to accommodate the nation's underserved mortgage borrowers? Will investors continue to have a strong presence within the marketplace? Can young homebuyers overcome common obstacles to reclaim their share of the market?These are all questions that will be answered in time.


Home Inspection Tips for Sellers

by Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.

~With spring having sprung and the housing market revving up, sellers should prepare to have their home inspected. 

David R. Leopold, owner of Pillar to Post Home Inspection in Fairfield County, Conn., says home sellers and their real estate professionals have an important role in preparing for a home inspection to help ensure it goes smoothly. Leopold offers up some of the following tips in a recent article in RISMedia, including:

1. Don’t hide what isn’t working: If an appliance isn’t working, leave a note that indicates what isn’t working and how you’re getting it fixed. Don’t try to conceal defects because it can make the inspector start to view you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding.

2. Make things accessible: Ensure the location of the attic and crawlspace are identified and easy to access. Don’t make a home inspector move your belongings in order to gain access.

3. Check the lightbulbs: If a lightbulb isn’t working, the inspector will need to determine if the fixture is inoperable. Save them time by making sure all the lightbulbs in the home operate, including those in the crawlspace, attic, and furnace rooms.

4. Note septic systems: If you have a septic system in the yard, be sure to leave a sketch that includes the location of it. It’ll avoid home inspectors, buyers, and real estate professionals having to conduct prolonged searches for it, Leopold says.

5. Keep appliances clear: Don’t leave dirty laundry in the washing machine or dryer because the inspector will need to test the appliances, and he doesn’t want to have to pull out dirty clothes in front of everybody, Leopold says. “Also, make sure your oven and stovetop are clear and clean, so we can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm,” he adds.

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Contact Information

Photo of Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc. Real Estate
Toni Tygart Real Estate Group, Inc.
RE/MAX Elite
4243 NE Lakewood Way
Lee’s Summit MO 64064
Office: 816-795-2500
Mobile: 816-591-0275
Fax: 816-795-5005

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