Melvin Munk | Parkville Real Estate


Preparing your house to sell can mean different things in different markets. You want your home to be competitively priced and attractive to the buyer, so you put some extra effort into staging and end up with no takers. What happened?

Despite what you see in decorator magazines and on television, sometimes less is more, way more when it comes to staging your home.

Here are some areas to watch out for when following staging “advice.”

  • Over the years, real estate agents have shared the notion that freshly baked cookies or bread evoke a warm and welcoming atmosphere. But unless you're offering the treats to share, leave the baking to the shop down the street. The idea has run its course and appears to be just what it is—a sales tactic that might backfire on you.
  • In the same vein, don't light scented candles all over the place. What seems delightful to you may be overpowering to your potential buyer. They may be wondering just what you're trying to cover up. Instead, open the windows and air it out. Or use an odor-removing spray with a "fresh" or "linen" scent.
  • Don’t cover the windows. Don’t buy new blinds, new drapes, new valances, or sheers. Just don’t! Your windows should be as lightly-dressed as possible. Remove or pull up shades to let the dazzling sunlight stream through the clean glass. Chances are, your buyer has different taste from you, so spending money on new window coverings would be a lose-lose!
  • Leave the music and television off. Since you don't know your buyer's taste in music any more than you know their taste in candles, allow the home's everyday sounds to become music to the buyers' ears.
  • Don’t decorate every surface. It’s easy to do when using magazines or home décor shows as your guide, but savvy buyers want to see the nitty-gritty surfaces. They want to know what they’re buying, and not worry about what you’re covering up with all that stuff.
  • During holidays or events, don’t overdo the celebratory decorations. These become distractions and may turn off your buyers.
  • If you've painted a room a deep shade of red or purple, consider painting it light and bright before your open house. Regardless of how popular they are in theory, homes with darker shades don't sell as quickly as lighter hues.• Don't leave family portraits and very personal items hanging on walls or filling display spaces. You want the buyers to imagine themselves there, not to see you.

When staging your home for sale, opt for less, not more. Less furniture, fewer window coverings, and limited décor give your home its best chance. For more ideas on home staging, talk to your local real estate agent.



Moving into a new home means there is a new canvas to decorate and express personalities. If you love traveling or have a kid that likes to go places, then a new home is an opportunity to incorporate a travel theme into the home design. Even if you are not a frequent flyer but have dreams of visiting many places in the world, there are many ways to showcase it in your home décor style.

  1. Classic Suitcases. Vintage suitcases make for excellent storage spaces and give an antique style to any living area. You can have an old classic trunk in the living room to keep books and other items in the living room instead of a regular storage ottoman. Classic suitcases also work for holding clothes, blankets, and socks in a bedroom.
  2. Travel-themed decorations. You can pick from a selection of countries to represent places you have been in forms of throw pillow covers in your living area. You can even make them places you would like to visit. Picture frames, art, and other travel-related items can show off your quest to visit new horizons.
  3. Map Wallpaper. Turn any wall to a travel map by installing a wallpaper. You can go one step further in your design by using an old-style map instead of the new modern ones. Decorate your map wall further by hanging postcards and souvenirs from places you have visited on the map wall. Sticky notes and pins can also mark destinations that you dream to visit.
  4. Time zone clocks. Fully inclusive time zone clocks show many world destinations alongside a map. Such a clock series can serve as a focal wall in your home. Another way to achieve this time zone look is to buy several different clocks and decorate them with frame labels bearing the city names.
  5. Globe collections. Globes are one of the most popular and obvious representations of travel. They are also one of the simplest ways to make it apparent to visitors that you love traveling. Functionally, there are different globe-themed furniture that can serve other functions in your living space. These pieces include globe bars that can hold several bottles of wine and glasses while decorating your home too. Smaller globes can also be desktop topers or ornaments for your nightstand.

Making your travel-themed home doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out any home décor store for items that will make your home travel-approved!



Does your real estate agent have what it takes to help you streamline the process of buying or selling a home?

Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it pays to hire a housing market expert. With this real estate professional at your side, you can accelerate the homebuying or home selling cycle and improve your chances of achieving your desired results.

There are many signs that a real estate agent is a housing market expert, and these include:

1. A real estate agent keeps you up to date about the housing market.

Ideally, you should be able to find a real estate agent who will go the extra mile to keep you up to date about housing market trends. This housing market professional can help you make informed decisions throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.

In addition, the right real estate agent should have no trouble differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market so you can plan accordingly. He or she will assess housing market data regularly, and as such, be better equipped than other housing market professionals to help you stay ahead of the competition.

2. A real estate agent possesses extensive industry experience.

If you're on the lookout for a real estate agent, it certainly is beneficial to hire a housing market expert with comprehensive industry experience.

A real estate agent with extensive industry experience will know how to handle tough homebuying or home selling situations. That way, he or she can help you identify and overcome myriad hurdles as you try to buy or sell a house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent who possesses in-depth experience likely has plenty of confidence. This housing market professional should be able to help you alleviate stress and remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.

3. A real estate agent can answer any of your housing market questions.

Navigating the homebuying or home selling journey can raise many questions. Fortunately, the right real estate agent will be ready to answer your housing market questions at any time.

A real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the housing market can provide you with the insights that you need to succeed, regardless of the current real estate sector's conditions. Plus, he or she will listen to your homebuying or home selling concerns and offer honest, unbiased recommendations to help you accomplish your goals.

Lastly, it may prove to be worthwhile to hire a real estate agent who is a great communicator. This housing market professional will be able to explain complex real estate concepts in simple terms, making it easy for any homebuyer or home seller to make the best possible decisions.

Ready to buy or sell a house? Collaborate with a real estate market who is a housing market expert – you'll be happy you did. This housing market expert can help you proceed with confidence and accomplish great things throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.



The home selling journey sometimes can be complicated. Lucky for you, we're here to remove the guesswork commonly associated with selling a house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you enjoy a fast, successful home selling experience.

1. Identify Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

You may have taken great care of your house over the years, and now, your hard work is about to pay off. In fact, if you assess your home's strengths and weaknesses, you may be better equipped than ever before to transform your residence's weaknesses into strengths.

Sometimes, it helps to conduct a home inspection before you list your residence. An inspection enables a property expert to evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, you can receive an inspection report that details any underlying problems with your house and correct these issues prior to adding your home to the real estate market.

2. Set an Aggressive Initial Home Asking Price

Establishing an aggressive initial home asking price is paramount. Because if you set a competitive initial home asking price, you likely won't have to wait long before you start to receive offers to purchase your house.

To determine how to price your house, you should review the prices of recently sold houses in your area and other real estate market data. Plus, it may be beneficial to perform a home appraisal to receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's condition and the current state of the real estate sector.

3. Hire an Expert Real Estate Agent

Navigating the house selling journey often is tricky, particularly for sellers who choose to work alone. Fortunately, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer expert guidance throughout the property selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the home selling journey varies from seller to seller. As such, this housing market professional will craft a custom home selling strategy to help a seller achieve his or her desired results. A real estate agent also will do everything possible to promote a residence to potential buyers and ensure a seller can optimize the value of his or her house.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to provide a recommendation about how a seller should proceed with an offer to purchase a house. He or she can help a seller determine whether to accept, reject or counter a property buying proposal. And if a seller has any questions about an offer to purchase, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

When it comes to selling a house, it is crucial to get as much help as possible. If you collaborate with an expert real estate agent, you can gain deep insights into all aspects of the home selling journey. Perhaps most important, you can receive comprehensive assistance throughout the property selling journey and increase your chances of enjoying a fast, successful home selling experience.



If you’re ready to buy a home, you probably have done a lot of research. One thing is sure: You know you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s perhaps the most critical step in the process of buying a home for a variety of reasons. There’s down payments and debt-to-income ratios, and other financial issues to worry about. You need to know what type of mortgage you should get. To help you understand what kind of mortgage you need, you should get pre-approved.


Understand The Pre-Approval Process


There are many misconceptions about pre-approvals. First, buyers need to understand that there is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification merely scrapes the surface of your financial state, while a pre-approval goes through everything a mortgage company will need to grant you a loan. You may be pre-qualified for a much higher amount than you can actually afford, for example.


Pre-Approval Defined


A pre-approval is a lender’s written commitment to a borrower. The approval states that the lender is willing to lend a certain amount of money for a home. The lender obtains the following from the buyer:


  • Employment history
  • Credit report
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements


The time and effort that it takes to get a pre-approval is worth it because everything will be ready for the lender to grant the mortgage once an offer is made on a home. It also gives the buyer an upper hand in finding the home of their dreams. Many sellers require a pre-approval with an offer.


When To Get A Pre Approval


As soon as you know you’re serious about buying a home and are ready to start the house hunt, you should get pre-approved. Pre-approvals do expire after a certain amount of time, but lenders can renew them with proper notice. 


The Importance Of The Pre-Approval


Many buyers feel that they can skip the pre-approval process altogether. It has many benefits. Besides giving you a better look at your finances and how much house you can afford, pre-approvals can:


  • Give you the insight to correct your credit score and help you correct credit problems
  • Help to avoid disappointment when you find a home you love
  • Allow first-time buyers to see all of the costs involved in buying a home


A pre-approval is a handy thing to have, and it’s not just because the experts say it’s essential. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help you to be more on top of your finances going into one of the most significant purchases you'll ever make in your life.