American Home Styles and Architecture


When you’re on the market for a new home, you’ll always see descriptions like ‘Victorian,’ ‘contemporary,’ etc. But what do these words actually mean? Take this quiz to see if you’re familiar with American home styles and architecture!

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House 1

This type of home appeared first in the medieval period. Today in America, it is characterized by central fireplaces, steep roofs, and a design to stay cool.

House 2

Towers and diverse design mark this style of architecture. Another staple is the intricate window frames.

House 3

Often seen along the coast, this design is notable for its lack of extravagance with minimal overhang and dormer windows.

House 4

This architecture is associated with adobe construction. Most often seen in New Mexico and surrounding areas.

House 5

Credited as the start of the open floor plan.This popular architecture has a long, low profile. Usually has an attached garage and minimal decorations.

House 6

Usually includes open floor plans, tall windows, and unconventional design.


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What to Expect During a Home Inspection [Infographic]


Requesting a home inspection is always a great idea, but a few things can be overlooked. Here is what to expect during a home inspection.


INSP2 What to Expect During a Home Inspection [Infographic]

The Inspector



What Your Inspector Can Overlook:


  1. The Roof: Some inspectors just use binoculars from the ground to see the roof.
  2. Major Appliances: Stoves and refrigerators are rarely checked.
  3. HVAC: Heating ventilation and air conditioning are commonly overlooked.
  4. Sliding Doors and Windows: Sellers are not obligated to fix windows or sliding doors which may have imperfections.
  5. Carpeting: Underneath the carpet, mold can surface.


What You Can Do:


  1. Ask the inspector how he examines the roof.
  2. Have a technician check all major appliances.
  3. Turn your air conditioner and heat on high for a solid test run.
  4. Keep in mind you may have to replace the sliding door and windows.
  5. Ask the seller to peel back carpet in rooms subject to mold such as bathrooms, laundry, etc.

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Landscaping: Best Time to Mow Your Lawn


Today’s guest blog comes from Bryan Clayton, a landscape industry veteran and co-founder of GreenPal. We’ve discussed on this blog how landscaping is good for resale value and basic curb appeal. But in order to make the most of your landscaping, you need to know how to do it right. Here’s some insight on an often overlooked aspect of the job!

Are you damaging your lawn by mowing at the wrong time of day? Does something like that even matter?  As owner of a large landscaping company for 15 years, people always ask me, “When is the best time of day to mow the lawn?” Believe it or not, there are good, better, best, and worst time of day to cut the grass.  I will outline each of them.

Time of Day Landscaping: Best Time to Mow Your Lawn

Early Morning

First, let’s discuss the early morning around 7:00 AM.  You may be tempted to cut the grass first thing in the morning when it’s not hot outside.  In early morning, however, your lawn is still wet from dew and possibly irrigation if you have a watering system. This can cause clumping in the clippings which will result in additional detrimental thatch build up.  Also, if you have a riding mower, the dampness of the turf may result in undueruts and actual physical damage to your lawn.


You may consider waiting anothercouple hours to mow, say around 10:00 AM.  This is the best time of day to mow because the dew has had time to dry off and you can get the job done before the heat of the day sets in. Be advised, if you wait too long, until around noon the hottest time of the day, you will put your lawn at risk to more stress damage.  You see, you’re not really “cutting” the grass; your mower blade actually tears the grass.  It needs time to rejuvenate. Mowing the lawn in the heat of the day adds undue stress to the recovery process.


If you can’t mow in the early morning, you may want to wait until the afternoon, as this is the second best time of the day to mow the lawn. Around 4:00 is a good time because the heat has subsided and is no longer a threat to the lawn’s healing process. However, do not wait too long, as mowing in the early evening or nighttime is not a good idea.


Mowing in the evening can put your lawn at even more risk.  When you cut the grass, it is susceptible to fungus and disease that can move in and attack during the night time hours.  The cool damp evening hours creates a perfect environment for lawn fungi and diseases to thrive.

So, when is the best time to mow your lawn? Try to mow the lawn in mid-morning or afternoon. Above is an illustration that outlines the pros and cons of mowing during different times of the day. 

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Can You Sell Real Estate on Ebay?


We’ve discussed before about selling real estate on Craigslist. There are plenty of unconventional methods to go about selling real estate. And truthfully, there’s never anything wrong with posting your property on as many different platforms as possible to get it sold! Nevertheless, there are a lot of expectations customers have from an eBay sale that are far from realistic.

ebay Can You Sell Real Estate on Ebay?

First, it’s important to understand that eBay is rarely used for luxury housing. It is filled with fixer-uppers that people intend to flip for profit. Like we said earlier, it’s always beneficial to post your listing in as many places as possible. No publicity is bad publicity. Just don’t expect your most serious buyers to come from eBay if you’re trying to sell in the six figures or higher.

Perhaps most importantly, eBay advertises that putting your property on their site creates urgency in the market because of the auction-style environment. This is misleading for a handful of reasons. First, the auction option makes it so that you could easily undersell your property and lose a significant chunk of change. (Granted, you could start the bidding at something you’re comfortable with, but then it will fail to “create urgency” because people will gloss over the comparably high dollar property.) Second, the auction option sets you up for legal issues down the road. What if the property was misrepresented online (or even if it wasn’t; you just have a jerk buyer)? What if something unexpected comes up in the inspection? There are all kinds of scenarios that could discount the selling price from an auction.

To prevent the legal troubles of selling a house like it’s a rare collectible, we recommend still hiring a real estate agent. Have this person handle all the paperwork in the transaction and make sure he/she also lists the property in the MLS. You could also negotiate a lower commission for an agent if the house sells on eBay since their work is cut in half with that method.

Use a fixed-price option instead of the auction. If someone wants to negotiate around your fixed-price, they can contact you or your agent personally.

So can you sell real estate on eBay? Absolutely! As a matter of fact, if you learn how to work the system, eBay could become a major source of revenue for you. But you have to go into it with realistic expectations and professional systems in place.

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What to Ask a Listing Agent


When you interview a listing agent, you are essentially an employer. You are looking for the right candidate to entrust with a very valuable job. Many agents make it their goal to secure the job before leaving their listing interview. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with that (if anything, it’s a good way to keep the ball rolling), but it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for before you meet with your first candidate.

Here are the most important questions to ask in a listing interview, and what kind of answers you should be listening for:

ask a listing agent What to Ask a Listing Agent

What kind of homes are you used to selling?

Your agent should be compatible with your home in every way. The agent should be used to selling homes in your area, in your price range, and close to your expected timeline.


How many homes did you sell last year?

There needs to be at least one good résumé question early on in your interview. For a question like this, the actual number of homes sold is irrelevant; it’s more about how the information is presented. A low number isn’t necessarily a problem if the houses sold fast at a good price. Many agents aim to sell at least one or two houses per month, but it depends on what kind of company they represent.


How does your selling price usually compare to your listing price?

You want as little discrepancy here as possible. It sounds appealing for the agent to sell homes for way more than the asking price, but that could mean they always low-ball the asking price and you’re still losing money. If they normally list for way more than what is offered, they are likely not marketing the home correctly or lack an understanding of the local market.


What needs to be done to this home before it will be ready to sell?

Any agent worth his keep started the listing interview by taking a tour through the home, presumably while introducing himself and his company. When he answers this question, it’s okay if the answer sounds a bit brutal. It’s better to have an agent that will be realistic with you than try to always make you feel like everything is perfect. Just bear in mind they may not fully answer your question because they don’t want to reveal all their tricks before they officially land the gig.


What’s your marketing plan for my home?

Again, the answer to this question may be broad until they officially take the job, but this question should still give you an understanding of an agent’s strategy. How many websites is she listing the property on? What broker previews or open houses does she have planned? Would there be any creative initiative in marketing?


What broker do you typically work with?

For your benefit, it’s usually better if the agent has a standard broker that s/he has developed a lasting working relationship with. However, the decision is ultimately yours. If the agent refuses to work with a different broker, s/he should be able to refer you to a better fitting agent.
What moving company do you recommend? Contractor? Etc?

Ask about any resources you may need during the selling or moving process. A good agent should have all these connections in his/her back pocket for whenever you need them.


Discuss home pricing.

Few Realtors will lay out a price in a listing interview. Many won’t even lay out a price after being hired. But they should be knowledgeable when they walk through how YOU can price your own house. They should know how many comparable houses have sold in the area recently, what they’re selling for, and how long they sit on the market.


These essential listing interview questions are designed to cover all the bases you’ll need to familiarize yourself with a Realtor’s methods, experience, and knowledge. If you know what to ask a listing agent, you should be able to make a decision about your Realtor with confidence.


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