Molly Hood Monette | Naples Real Estate, Bonita Springs Real Estate, Estero Real Estate


Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.

As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.

Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.

As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.

Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.

Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.

Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!


Let's face it – hosting an open house may seem like a major hassle. Cleaning a home and getting it ready for an open house could prove to be costly and time-consuming. Plus, despite your best efforts to prep for an open house, there are no guarantees that the event ultimately will help you sell your residence.

Although hosting an open house initially may seem difficult, the advantages of holding an open house generally outweigh the disadvantages. In fact, there are many reasons why you should host an open house, and these include:

1. You can gain a competitive edge.

The real estate market is fierce, especially for sellers who are competing against one another for buyers' attention. Fortunately, an open house can help you gain an advantage over the home selling competition, as it enables you to show off your residence to large groups of potential buyers in a short period of time.

When it comes to selling a home, it helps to explore any competitive advantage that you can get. And if you host an open house, you may boost your chances of differentiating your home from the competition and generating lots of interest in your residence.

2. You can make it easy for buyers to picture what life would be like if they purchase your home.

A detailed home listing can make a world of difference for buyers. Yet a home listing alone probably won't drive buyers to instantly submit an offer to purchase your residence. Thankfully, an open house provides buyers with a stress-free opportunity to check out your house and determine whether to proceed with an offer.

Of course, during an open house, buyers can picture what it would be like if they own your residence. And if buyers like what they see, it may be only a matter of time before you finalize a home sale following an open house.

3. You can increase the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.

As a seller, you should strive to promote your residence to as many potential buyers as possible. With an open house, you'll be able to do just that.

An open house makes it simple to showcase your residence to dozens of prospective buyers at the same time. Meanwhile, the event empowers buyers to learn about your residence and gain deep insights into the condition of your house. And if a buyer is impressed with your residence after an open house, the likelihood increases that an offer could come your way soon that leads to a fast, profitable home sale.

As you try to sell your house, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. A real estate agent knows the ins and outs of selling homes and can teach you everything you need to know about how to host a successful open house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can help you achieve the optimal results at each stage of the home selling journey.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know AI (artificial intelligence) assistants are the new must-have tech gadget. They are quickly popping up in homes everywhere and making families lives so much easier.

Google Home with its Google Assistant has the deepest wealth of knowledge to pull from (ahem… Google Search) and can sync up with your existing Google account preferences. Which means you don’t have to worry about downloading extra apps, creating new accounts or recreating the content and information you already have elsewhere.  

To perform tasks Google Assistant uses pre-established “Home Commands” that trigger an action. To signal that you are speaking to the assistant you start your request with “Okay Google”. If you have an Android you might already be familiar with this process. Which is another tick on the pros column for Google Home for those who are keeping tally.

Get your itinerary by asking “Okay Google, what do I have planned next week” or “What do I have planned today”. Google Assistant will pull right from your Google Calendar and remind you of upcoming appointments, reminders, and events.

Set a timer when cooking by simply stating how long you need one to be set for. You can also set alarms by request. Change your morning alarm or set up daily reminders to take a medication or start dinner, for example.

Control your smart home devices with Google Home. The Assistant can raise or lower the temperature of your home if you have a smart thermostat. It can also turn lights and devices on or off to those hooked up to a smart outlet.

Of course, there is always the option to ask Google Assistant to play music, radio, podcasts or an audiobook. Perfect for to keep your mind busy during those deep cleaning days or when exercising at home.

Never forget anything again by asking the Assistant to remember things for you. It can be anything - to call your mother, pick up a birthday present to your nephew or know how long that sauce has been in the fridge. Then when you need to know you can simply ask for the Assistant to remind you.

Order pizza through Domino’s. Pizza on demand. Need I say more?

With face recognition capabilities Google Home hooked up with a smart doorbell can tell you who is at the door. The Nest Hello doorbell has a built-in camera to allow Google Assistant to recognize faces that you’ve configured it to remember.

Use IFTT, the automation app, If This Then That, to come up with your own commands. Use it to create commands that trigger an action of your choosing. You can add to your to-do list, iPhone calendar, and other apps. Ask for the Assistant to call your phone when it inevitably gets lost (probably between the couch cushions).


There are many different ways to upgrade and create the perfect outdoor space. You can upgrade what you already have by adding simple things to it, you can accessorize, or you can overhaul the entire area by starting from scratch. It’s always a good idea to take these three approaches and use a mix of the strategies.    


Go For Durable


Sometimes many different types of patio furniture end up being a little stuffy and high maintenance. While these sets can be beautiful, they may not be practical to suit your needs. If you live in an area where you need to put away your furniture for the fall and winter season because you don’t have use of the outdoors, plan accordingly with the type of outdoor accessories that you buy. 


You’re better off going for value and finding durable, yet stylish furniture that will stand the test of time. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing your furniture every year without fail. Go a bit more traditional than bold and work your outdoor style around that.


Choose Your Colors First


If you start with furniture, you’re left to figure out how to accessorize. There’s no rule that says you can’t find the accessories you want first before you begin to buy furniture. Find your cushions and outdoor rugs first. Then, move on to finding furniture that meshes well with those colors and styles.


Use The Outdoors To Accessorize


Whether you’re replacing your existing patio furniture, or just looking to recreate your space, you can use more than throw pillows and an outdoor rug to accessorize. Find planters that match well with the style you’re looking to achieve. Add in greenery and flowers that will only accent the look. There are a number of options of the types of planters that you can choose from hanging plants to large pots to planters on pedestals. Get creative with your plants and spice up your space. Is your outdoor space near your vegetable garden? Be sure to highlight your hard work and use that as a sort of focal point for your entire outdoor space.


Be Practical


If you’re spending a lot of time outside grilling, you’re going to want a table and chairs available, so there’s no need to truck food in and out of the house each night for dinner. It also would be a good idea o have some storage for food prep items like grilling tools, extra plates, and more just to keep everything you need in one place. These storage items are an important piece to your outdoor space. Whether you are primarily using a deck, patio, or the pool area, thinking practically can really be a big help in decorating.


If a seller is motivated and your offer is the only one that comes in on a home for sale, you may have an easy time getting the home of your dreams. If there are multiple offers on a property, it’s a different story. 


If there’s competition, it’s simple math that your odds in favor of you getting the home are reduced. You need something that will grab the seller’s attention. Writing an offer letter can be just what you need to sway the decision in your direction. Even if your offer is less than what other people have put on the table, an offer letter is a perfect way to get the attention of the seller.


What To Include


You may wonder what you should include in an offer letter. You’re charming the sellers in a way, but also giving them an opportunity to get to know you. If someone has lived in a home that they have loved for a long time, they’ll be happier knowing the next occupants will be just as happy living on the property.


What Do You Like About The Property?


You should include a lot of positive things involving the property and your ability to care for and maintain it. Tell the seller about the features you most love about the house. You should let the seller know that they hard work they have done over the years has paid off and you appreciate it. Do you like the skylights? Does a remodeled kitchen get your attention? Is the deck a great feature for you to entertain on? Let the seller know any and everything that enticed you to put an offer on the property in the first place. 


Share Some Of Your Life


You don’t have to get overly personal or mushy, but you should include a bit about yourself and why you chose this property among the many you have seen. Maybe you grew up in the neighborhood. Maybe the home is perfect for your expanding family. Whatever the reason is for you to want this particular house you need to let the seller know. 


In addition to personal details, you can include a pre-qualification letter, demonstrating your ability to afford the home. This helps sellers to feel comfortable with your financial background and continued upkeep of the property.  



What Not To Include


While your plans for a property may be grandiose in your mind, don’t tell a seller what you plan to do with the proeprty in your offer letter. It’s nice that you want to update the kitchen, or re-do the bathrooms. It’s an insult of sorts to the seller so just omit these items. Keep your offer letter positive and brief and you may be well on your way to securing the property of your dreams.       




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