Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. We offer educational content on staging your home, investing, and renting Airbnb/Vrbo homes for cash flow!

We care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

March 2, 2020

5 Reasons to Consider Investing

5 Reasons to Consider Investing

Not ready to buy a home for yourself but want to take advantage of great market conditions? Consider buying an investment property! It's a trend that's taking over real estate, as savvy investors look to put their money in an appreciating asset. 

Here are five reasons to consider it.

 1. Rates are crazy low. Lower rates mean more affordable lending, or more for your money if you choose to reach higher.

 2. Because it will appreciate. According to CoreLogic, "The overall home price index (HPI) has increased on a year-over-year basis every month for seven years." The long-term price appreciation of real estate can provide one of the safest investments out there.

 3. Because passive income is good. Yes, it's nice to know there will likely be appreciation over time, but the real key to success with investment properties is passive income.

 "The best part about rental properties is that they provide a stable income," said Mashvisor. "What would be better than having a check sent to you every month? In order to have positive cash flow, you have to make sure you invest in a profitable rental property."

 4. To turn it into a short-term rental. The short-term rental market has opened up a new world of opportunity for investors. By buying in the right location—by the beach, near a ski resort, or in close proximity to a popular annual event like Coachella, you have the potential of making a significant return in a short period of time. Just be sure to check the local laws, as lots of cities have been cracking down on Airbnb and other services.

 5. Because it can help you buy the home of your dreams down the line. "Buying an investment property before your first home does not imply that you won't have the funds to purchase your actual home at some point," said Mashvisor. "In fact, investment properties that have been purchased wisely and have grown in value can offer you a sizeable amount of wealth and equity."

Join Us for Our Real Estate Investing Seminar!

March 19 at 5:30 PM






Posted in Investing
Dec. 23, 2019

Staging to Make an Impact Video Series

We have recorded a five-part video series on staging to share some of our experience we have gained through years of walking buyers through homes. This video series is called "Staging to Make an Impact."

Watch Part 1: First Impressions

Watch Part 2: Psychological Spacing

Watch Part 3: Security for the Buyer

Watch Part 4: Lifestyle Promotion

Watch Part 5: Finishing Touches

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

Easy Home Updates Potential Buyers Will Love

Selling your home is a daunting task, and preparing your home to sell is a huge undertaking. However, there are small changes that can make a huge impact on potential buyers, and can even increase the value of your home! Here are a few that you should do right now.

1. Start On The Street

An approachable home can make all the difference! A few things to consider doing at a street level: wash the entire exterior, touch up any paint that has weathered over time, remove any overgrown plants and weeds, mow the lawn, and consider adding hardware such as a door knocker or updated numbers to really add that extra “oomph.”

2. Turn To The Kitchen And Bathrooms

Now is the time to deep clean the areas you may have been avoiding. Repainting adds ambiance and brightens up any room. Not sure what color to pick? Architectural Digest has a list of 10 best bathroom paint colors to help you decide. Adding new tile and changing cabinet hardware can also make a huge impact. This will give these spaces a luxurious, sleek, and modern feel at a low cost! If you have more time on your hands, consider painting your kitchen cabinets. Architectural Digest also provides paint color & design inspiration to take your kitchen “from cookie cutter to high style.”

3. Let There Be Light

A huge factor for buyers is natural light and ambiance. Deep clean and open up your windows to provide fresh air and light—creating instant space.

Don’t have natural light? You can add fixtures such as floor, table, and ceiling lights. Remember to purchase high quality LED bulbs that are consistent throughout the entire home. Adding mirrors can also be a huge help to amplify the light in any room.

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Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

The Perfect Combination for Marketing Your Home

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The Perfect Combination for Marketing Your Home

It is not enough to put a sign in your yard and post your home on Zillow. We are watching some desirable homes shift from three offers in a day to sitting on the market for 30 days. You must have a perfect combination of hand-selling and digital marketing technology to be successful.

Schedule an appointment with us if you would like a customized strategy for selling your home.

Give us a call at 423-682-6728 or schedule a time to meet with us!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

Getting Your Home Back on the Market

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Getting Your Home Back on the Market

Are you discouraged because your home did not sell? We want to encourage you not to give up! Watch this video and the rest in this series to learn tips to help you successfully re-launch your home on the real estate market.

Schedule an appointment with us if you would like a customized re-launch strategy for your home.

Give us a call at 423-682-6728 or schedule a time to meet with us!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

First Impressions on Re-Launch

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First Impressions on Re-Launch

If your first photo is not amazing, you will not be able to compete with comparable homes on the market. Getting your amazing photos out to a network of realtors is a great first impression as well! 

Watch this video and reach out to us for a customized re-launch strategy for your home.

Give us a call at 423-682-6728 or schedule a time to meet with us!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

Appraisal Issues to Avoid


One of the biggest hurdles you may run into when selling your home is not knowing who the buyer's lender is and if the are using a knowledgeable appraiser.  

Schedule an appointment with us if you would like some help finding local lenders that use appraisers that know the local market.

Give us a call at 423-682-6728 or schedule a time to meet with us!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

Qualifying Buyers

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Qualifying Buyers

Who are the people walking into your home? What can they afford? You can use some specific questions to get a feel of which buyers are serious about buying your home. Watch this video to find out!

Schedule an appointment with us if you would like some help finding local lenders that use appraisers that know the local market.

Give us a call at 423-682-6728 or schedule a time to meet with us!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

Thinking of Listing Your Home this Winter?

Are you thinking of selling your home in the Spring? Why wait? Nationally, existing home sales have increased from November to December an average of 4.5% in the past three winters. Buyers are still out there buying at a steady or increased pace, even though there are less homes on the market. This is the advantage for winter sellers!

If you're ready to sell your house, you don't have to wait. Selling during the holidays doesn’t have to be a challenge. Surprisingly, there are many advantages to selling your home in the winter! We have listed some in this blog.

There are no seasons online

Traditional home buying and selling seasons have evolved as a result of instant internet access to property listings. Everyone knows that Spring is still the hottest home-buying season; but serious home buyers are always on the lookout, checking out the latest listings on their phones before bed or while in the waiting room on an appointment. Buyers today do most of their home browsing online and this is especially true when the weather is dreary. Plus, buyers have more time off to search for homes online during the holidays!

It is even more important in the winter months that your online listing and photos are spectacular. Make sure you use high-resolution photography that shows off your home’s top selling points. 

Photos of the exterior in all seasons can help, as can including a video tour and night shots of the exterior with all the lights shining brightly.

Make sure you work with an experienced listing team to get your listing stand out online for home buyers. The more internet and social channels that your listing can be exposed to, the better the results. Make sure your real estate team  utilizes the latest technology and is up-to-speed on the latest social media marketing techniques.

Less Competition

When spring arrives, sellers will flood the market and your home will be just another fish in a great big ocean of listings. But right now, you’ve practically got the market to yourself!

Since 2014, existing home inventory has fallen an average of 15% from November to December. That means 15% less competition on the market if you list your home during the winter. You could sell your house faster because buyers have fewer homes to choose from!

Tax breaks for the New Year

Winter home buyers may also be motivated to capture the tax benefits of buying a home before year-end.

Typical tax-deductible expenses for home buyers:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums
  • Real estate taxes

Tax benefits could make a potential home buyer more motivated to get a house closed before the new year. And if you’re selling your home and buying another home, these same benefits can apply to you!

Staging for the winter months

You can easily create a warm, inviting ambiance in your home this winter. Here are a few tips to help you set the stage.

  • Less is more. Decorations should accent—not overpower—a room.
  • Create a welcoming ambiance. Light candles or a fire in the fireplace, play soft holiday background music, & prepare holiday cookies or mulled cider for guests.



  • Outdoor lighting for curb appeal. Brighten your home’s exterior with a few tasteful white lights, spotlights and a few holiday touches. Remember, less is more!

The Lea Team is an expert team of agents and marketing professionals who know the best techniques to launch your home like the grand opening of a business! Contact The Lea Team to set up a consultation and let us show you what we have to offer.


Get started on listing your home!

With these helpful tips and the right real estate team, hopefully selling your home in the winter won’t feel like such an overwhelming task. We know you are probably busy this time of year, so we’ve put together some resources to help you check everything off your home-selling list.



Download our free Guide to Listing Your Home!

Posted in Seller Tips
Dec. 23, 2019

7 Ways to Sabotage The Sale of Your Home

Through the years, we’ve worked with countless sellers. The sale of your home relies on a number of factors, and we understand it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. Don’t let these traps sabotage the sale of your home. 

We’re here as a resource for this potentially stressful transaction to be a smooth sail from listing to closing.


Mistake #1 - Not Knowing The Local Market


Knowing the sold price of homes in your neighborhood gives you a good idea of how much you should list your home for. Overpricing can leave your home on the market for longer than anticipated, putting things on hold. We keep track of the neighborhood statistics for you, so you’ll always be up to date.


Mistake #2 - Overlooking Easy Fixes Before An Appraisal


Pass your home inspection with flying colors! Low-cost updates throughout your home, especially in the kitchen, bathroom, family room, and the overall curb appeal can boost your appraisal. Be sure to keep a record of all major home renovations!


Mistake #3 - Keeping The Clutter 


First impressions are long lasting. You may be blind to your home’s disorganization, but it will be the first thing a buyer will notice. When a buyer is serious about a home, they'll want to see every inch of it. Don’t forget to clear out closets, drawers, and all those small places where clutter can build up.


Mistake #4 - Poor Photography


When most home buyers begin their search online, photos are your home’s first impression. Instead of using an iPhone, we hire a professional photographer to show your home on its “best” day. Professionally staging your home paints a picture for potential buyers, which is a service we’re happy to offer.


Mistake #5 - Weak Marketing Strategy


Most sellers don’t work with realtors who have a strong online presence. When you sell with us, we make sure your home gains maximum exposure to potential buyers. Our website and email blasts, coupled with our use of targeted Facebook marketing, allows our properties to reach thousands.


Mistake #6 - Selling Your Home FSBO (For Sale By Owner) & Not Using An Agent


Some think selling a home on their own is easy, but at the end of the day, you’ll most likely need the help of an expert. Not only will we provide invaluable market insight, but we’ll help you through all the paperwork and negotiate for you. Homes also tend to sell for more when working with a realtor. (According to NAR, FSBO's accounted for 7% of home sales in 2017. The typical FSBO home sold for $200,000 compared to $265,500 for agent-assisted home sales.)


#7 - Life Happens


Some buyers might get cold feet or have a change of heart. This is one area where sellers have minimal control over, and most of the responsibility is on the buyer. Some need to make a big purchase right before closing, which can cause their loan to fall through. Some things are out of your control… but we’re here to ensure everything in our control goes smoothly.

We're here to help! 

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local insights.

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Posted in Seller Tips