Help Oliver Sterling! I want to buy a home, but have NO idea where to begin…


Oliver Sterling says:

Alright… step one.  Get Pre-approved.  Meet with a mortgage broker and find out what price range you are comfortably able to afford. Not sure where or who to go to? No problem, Margot will be happy to refer you to an excellent mortgage broker.  This step is very important, as it lets you know what price range you can shop.  There is no sense in test riding and falling in love with a Butet, when your budget only allows a Crosby.

Next! Organize and create a plan.  Much like when my canter is a bit strung out on the long approach to the 5 stride, my business partner Margot needs to get my canter collected and organized. Well, at least this is what I hear the lady that stands in the center of the ring telling us to do all the time.  This way, we have a plan when jumping in and our out is easy right?! Right!  Same idea in formulating your plan regarding purchasing a home.  Make a list of things that you like, and don’t like.  Must have’s, definitely not’s, and things you are willing to budge a little on.  Be sure to include in your list appealing neighborhoods, schools, 10 minutes to target, Starbucks etc.  Get this list together, check it twice, and bring it to your first sit down with your super duper buyers agent Margot.  She will then help you graduate to step 3, aka THE FUN PART.

Step 3 – Margot will take into valuable consideration steps 1 & 2, and compile a list of excellent options to show you that fit your pre-approved budget and search criteria.  Then we will see all the homes that are perfect on paper, and go from there.  Maybe we find “the one” very early on (yee-haw!) or maybe we don’t. But rest assured, Margot will not stop until your dream home is found.  If such a home was built and it is out there, she will find it.  This I can promise you.

Yay- We FOUND IT! Next is handling the big stuff. Paperwork. Offers, counteroffers, agreements, inspections, etc. alllll the way to the closing table.  Margot will walk you through step by step, all of these important items starting with how to submit an offer on your potential new dream home.  A very wise associate once told us ” My sales skills are not focused on selling YOU a home, my sales skills are put to work on the seller/sellers agent when negotiating the BEST possible deal on your behalf”.  Everything throughout this very important step will be handled with the utmost care, and thoroughly explained as we move further through the process. Any questions at any time? Just ask!

Now… onto the Big Move! Need help with reputable movers?  Margot can refer you.  Interested in an interior designer? Margot can refer you.  Interested in a celebratory glass of Malbec? Margot would love to cheers you.

Nothing will give Margot more pleasure than to shake your hand the day you close on your new home.  And I will give you a congratulatory victory gallop around my paddock, and even throw in a squeal and a buck for good measure.



Help Oliver Sterling! What are some easy things I can do myself to make my home appealing to potentials?


Oliver Sterling says :

Well, first things first… you don’t live in a barn like Me, and even if you do it’s important that your home is neat and tidy when potential buyers are visiting.  Have a friend, or my business partner Margot, put an unbiased set of eyes on your home.  Ask for some ideas about minimizing clutter, and clearing areas.  Clear countertops in the kitchen and bath are important.  Put your stuff away.  Give it a home.  Even if it’s home is back on your countertop 5 minutes after your visitors leave. Your potentials need to be able to visualize their items in your home, help them to this task by creating a near blank palette.  Less is MORE.

Next!  Assess the “problem” areas.  Old wallpaper? Outdated hardware in the kitchen? Grungy looking area rug? Haven’t weeded your flower beds since the late 90’s?  Make a list and peck away at it.  A fresh coat of paint can change the whole look and feel of a room.  And its a quick update that is inexpensive.  Same with the hardware. You can pick up some new knobs at Home Depot and install them yourself.  Instant update to your cabinets without the zillion dollar price tag.  If you have some less than new looking carpet areas, pop in to your local DIY ‘store and pick up a steamer.  Or, pull the rug up and see what you’ve got.  You just may reveal a beautiful floor below!

Don’t forget to stage the outside!  Do you have a great patio space?  Show it off.  Spruce and organize the outdoor space, sweep or spray down the patio, add a plant or two, roll up the hose, and let your potentials get to visualizing.

Gender neutral.  Invest in a nice gender neutral color scheme for the master bedroom.  The master is important, and MUST appeal to both a man and woman’s taste.  This really is just as easy as a new comforter set!  Keep it cool and classy with some nice earth tones, some soft blue, green or greys.  Stay away from the flowers and the swirly shapes.  Again, less is MORE.

Due to the fact I am an animal myself, I do not whole heartedly agree with this next one, but my partner says it’s important.  Muffy and Fluffy need not be present when potential buyers are touring your home.  With that said,  a visit to the puppy park, or a nice walk on the tow path would be a nice treat for your pets on showing days.  Kitties, I’m told, are a little more acceptable as they are usually sleeping somewhere or minding their own business.

First impressions are everything.  I have heard my partner, Margot,  refer to it as “Curb Appeal”.  Your potentials begin their assessment of your beloved home, the minute they step foot out of their vehicle.  So make the path to the front door, an esthetically pleasing one.  Some nicely pruned hanging baskets, a trusty Kimberly fern, some pumpkins during fall time, a holly wreath in the winter, you get the point. All of these things will make the first impression of your home an inviting one.

Oliver Sterling & Margot McKenna

Margot McKenna & Oliver Sterling