Imad Massabni - ERA Key - Morrison


Let's face it – cleaning a house from top to bottom may prove to be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline your home cleaning efforts and ensure you can get your house ready for the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three steps that home sellers should take before cleaning a house.

1. Make a Plan

If you only have a limited amount of time to clean your house prior to listing it, there is no need to worry. Plan ahead, and you can achieve the best-possible results.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a checklist of which rooms need to be cleaned. You also should include the types of cleaning that need to be done in different areas of your home. For instance, if you need to scrub the bathroom toilets or remove dust from the bedroom ceiling fan, you should include these details in your checklist.

With a plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to speed up your home cleaning efforts. And if you need extra assistance as you craft your home cleaning plan, it may help to consult with a real estate agent.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to prepare a house for the real estate market. As such, this housing market professional can offer recommendations and suggestions about how to plan ahead for home cleaning.

2. Establish Priorities

Once you know which areas of your home that you need to clean, you should establish priorities. By doing so, you can further streamline your home cleaning activities.

It generally helps to clean common home areas at the same time. For instance, if all of your bedrooms are located on the top floor of your house, you may want to go from bedroom to bedroom and perform extensive cleaning. That way, you can simultaneously clean all of your home's bedrooms.

In addition, it may be a good idea to schedule attic or basement cleaning first. Cleaning an attic or basement may force you to get dirty. And if you clean these areas right away, you can minimize the risk of spreading attic or basement debris into other portions of your home.

3. Pick Up Cleaning Supplies

Make a list of cleaning supplies that you'll need to make your house sparkle. Then, you can purchase these supplies and return home to kick off your cleaning efforts.

Don't forget to buy gloves, facemasks and any other items that you'll need to protect your face, hands and skin. These items will enable you to stay safe as you work in areas that may be loaded with debris.

Lastly, if you need help getting the best-possible home cleaning results, you may want to consider hiring professionals. With a team of expert home cleaners at your side, you can receive comprehensive home cleaning assistance.

Ready to clean your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can quickly and effortlessly prepare to clean your residence prior to adding it to the real estate market.


When buying a home, nothing could be worse than getting down to the hour of closing only to discover you don't have enough money in your account for all those insane fees you didn't know about. These fees are due to the lender and other third parties such as the title company at the close of the deal and appear on your HUD-1 settlement statement. Here’s a shortlist of the most common fees.

  • Activation fee: see “Points.”
  • Application fee: lenders charge a few to cover the costs of processing your loan information.
  • Appraisal fee: the appraiser that completes the appraisal report receives either a fixed amount or a percentage of the property's estimated value.
  • Attorney fees: if a real estate attorney coordinates the closing of the property and reviews the documentation, title examination, and a plethora of other actions, fees are due to the attorney.
  • Credit report fees: during the mortgage qualification process, lenders request a credit report. The agency that creates the report charges a fee regardless of whether or not the loan actually is disbursed.
  • Documentation fees. Commonly referred to as doc fees, these are the fees real estate brokerages charge for preparing documents for both seller and buyer.• Escrow deposits: during the negotiation period, earnest monies, seller payments toward closing, seller payment of property taxes (because they are paid in arrears), and prepaid private mortgage insurance monies go into a separate account established just for this transaction known as an escrow account. The escrow company releases the funds as required when the transaction completes.
  • Escrow fees: the escrow company charges a fee for setting up the account, holding the monies and then disbursing them upon completion of the transaction. These fees may also include wire transfer fees, legal and document preparation fees, notary services, demand order fees, and fees for any other service provided by the escrow company.
  • Flood title certification: loans on homes in certain flood zones sometimes have different requirements that require specific flood-related title searches for which there may be fees. In addition, homes located in flood zones need a policy for flood insurance, which may generate additional escrow fees.
  • Inspection fees: most often, a home inspection is part of the real estate transaction. The company completing the examination charges either a flat fee or one based on the square-footage and time required to research comparable listings and prepare documentation. Either the buyer or the seller will pay the inspection fee, determined in the negotiation process.
  • Loan original fees: see “Points.”
  • Pest control fees: many lenders require pest inspections and mitigation before completing the loan process. Either the buyer or the seller will pay these fees, determined in the negotiation process.
  • Points: In basic terms, a “point” is one percent of the total amount of a mortgage loan. Several types of points exist, but the two common to most real estate transactions are discount points and origination points. Discount points are prepaid interest a borrower may purchase to reduce interest rates on future payments. Origination fees are a percentage of the loan charged by the mortgage broker for servicing the loan. These are also known as activation or loan origination fees.
  • Recording fee: the municipality that records the sale and transfer of ownership (usually the county clerk) charges a fee.
  • Survey fees: if your title company required a survey to determine the exact boundaries, payment is due.
  • Taxes and insurance: during closing, property taxes and homeowner's insurance fees are prorated to cover the time between closing and when the first mortgage payment comes due and collected in advance. The escrow company continues to hold these funds until payments to the government agency and insurance company come due.
  • Title search and title insurance fees: a title search reviews historical records to make sure there or no liens or prior claims on the property that would preclude you buying it. Also, you pay for title insurance to protect your lender's interests in the event something was missed in the title search.
  • Underwriting fees: lenders charge for processing the loan and providing it to you. This fee appears on the closing statement.

Your professional realtor can give you a good idea of what closing costs are for your purchase so that you're not in for a nasty surprise on closing day.


No two vacation residences are alike. As such, it pays to be diligent as you conduct a search for the optimal vacation home. Otherwise, you risk purchasing a vacation house that fails to accommodate your long-term needs.

Ultimately, there are lots of things you can do to find a vacation home that complements you perfectly, such as:

1. Establish Vacation Home Must-Haves

Think about the features you want in your vacation home. By doing so, you can hone your vacation house search to residences that offer the features you want.

For example, if you want a vacation home that includes a state-of-the-art heating and cooling system, you can focus on finding a house that offers this system. Or, if you would prefer a vacation house that boasts an in-ground swimming pool, you can explore residences that offer this amenity.

Don't forget to make a list of preferred cities and towns for your vacation home, too. With this list in hand, you can check out residences in cities and towns that meet your expectations.

2. Create a Homebuying Budget

A homebuying budget is crucial, particularly for an individual who wants to purchase a vacation residence as quickly as possible. Because if you know how much you can spend on a vacation residence, you can focus on houses that fall in line with your finances.

To establish a homebuying budget, it often helps to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can help you evaluate different mortgage options for a vacation home. Plus, if you have any mortgage concerns or questions, these specialists are happy to respond to them.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent

When it comes to searching for a vacation house, there is no reason to work alone. In fact, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you take the guesswork out of finding and acquiring a quality vacation residence.

A real estate agent works with a homebuyer and helps this individual achieve his or her desired results. Thus, if you want to find a vacation home in a warm-weather destination, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you would like to purchase a budget-friendly vacation residence, a real estate agent will help you map out your house search accordingly.

Let's not forget about the guidance that a real estate agent provides throughout the vacation homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent goes above and beyond the call of duty to help a homebuyer achieve the best possible results. They will work closely with you throughout the property buying journey, and as a result, will make it simple for you to purchase a first-rate vacation residence.

Kick off a successful vacation home search – use the aforementioned tips, and you could accelerate the process of purchasing a superb vacation residence.


Ready to transform an ordinary kitchen into a stellar one? With a kitchen cleaning checklist, any home seller can revamp a kitchen's look and feel.

Ultimately, there are several things to include in a kitchen cleaning checklist, such as:

1. Countertops

If you cook regularly, your kitchen countertops may become messy. Plus, if you store a wide range of items on your kitchen countertops, these items may collect dust over time.

Fortunately, it usually doesn't take long for a home seller to clean kitchen countertops and improve their overall appearance.

It may prove to be worthwhile to clean the kitchen countertops daily. Wiping down the countertops regularly ensures that dust and debris can be eliminated before they cause long-lasting damage.

Furthermore, don't forget to eliminate as much clutter as possible from your kitchen countertops. This will enable you to show off the true beauty of your kitchen countertops, thereby increasing the likelihood that potential homebuyers will be impressed by your home's kitchen.

2. Floors

If food particles fall onto the floor while you're cooking – and you fail to clean them up in a timely fashion – serious problems may arise in your kitchen. However, a diligent home seller will know how to keep the kitchen floors looking great at all times.

Cleaning the kitchen floors typically is a weekly task that may require just a few minutes to complete.

If you have tile floors in your kitchen, warm water can be used to wipe down the floors as needed. Also, sweeping or vacuuming tile floors will enable you to get rid of loose soil and grit.

Comparatively, if you have hardwood floors in your kitchen, boiling water may prove to be essential. Wash your kitchen's hardwood floors thoroughly, and you can enhance their appearance in no time at all.

3. Sink

Believe it or not, the kitchen sink can make a world of difference in the eyes of potential homebuyers. If you dedicate the necessary time and resources to clean the kitchen sink, you should have no trouble impressing homebuyers any time they check out your house's kitchen.

Using a general-purpose cleaner is all it takes to clean a kitchen sink. After you apply the cleaner, wipe the sink dry, and you're good to go.

Daily kitchen sink cleaning is paramount. If you spend even a few minutes each day cleaning the kitchen sink, you can maintain the sink's appearance both now and in the future.

If you need additional help with kitchen cleaning, don't hesitate to reach out to a home cleaning company for assistance. This business hires professionals who understand the ins and outs of cleaning a kitchen – as well as other areas of a home – and will help you revamp a house's appearance.

Lastly, feel free to contact a real estate agent for support throughout the home selling process. With an expert real estate agent at your side, you can boost your chances of getting the best price for your residence.


You don’t have to wait until you become ill before you think of getting a family doctor. You always tend to spend more than necessary when you don’t have a family doctor that will attend to your medical needs or if you select a practice that rejects your insurance. If you don't know how to go about choosing a good family doctor, here are 5 great tips for you:

Importance of network. When you select a family doctor that is part of your network, you will not only pay less out of your pocket when you visit them; you will also not need to pay any additional fees or unexpected costs. Your insurance provider is in the best position to give you information about the in-network doctors near you. In case there is none, look for a family doctor that will accept your insurance. 

Consider distance. Distance is overlooked most times by those seeking a family doctor. There are a lot of benefits involved when you have your family close to you. Apart from the quick and easy accessibility, it saves you the stress of embarking on a long-distance journey whenever you have an appointment with your family doctor. In case there are no doctors close by, schedule your visit whenever it is convenient for you. 

Specialized care. You must put the specific needs of your family into consideration when looking for a family doctor. This is very important especially if any member of your family needs specialized care. If you cannot get a family doctor in that area of specialty, you'll need to have a specialist referral.

Schedule a visit. A doctor may seem perfect, but you may not be delighted with their quality of service. Therefore, most doctors will offer you a free initial consultation to enable you to get acquainted with their mannerism and commitment.

Ask for referrals. We are in an era where there is an online review for almost everything, and family medicine is no exception. While you should not base your decision on these reviews, they can always provide you with information that will guide you towards choosing the right family doctor. A good testimonial will give you reliable answers to the following questions – what are the wait times? Are the office staffs friendly and dedicated to duty? Is there a specific doctor that is preferred by many? These and many more questions will give you insight that will help you choose the right family doctor.