What You Need To Know Before Selling Your Home

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home requires some research and time.

Selling your home can be both exciting and stressful. It’s typically a sign of a new adventure ahead, whether it is moving to a new area for a job or even downsizing to start a new milestone in your life.

With the real estate market flourishing right now, depending on where you live, you may have an easier time putting your house on the market now than you did in previous years. However, regardless of how well the market is doing, you still need to be aware of some do’s and don’ts of real estate. Here is what you need to know before selling your home:

Speak with a professional.

Even if you are selling your home on your own, hiring a real estate attorney will be helpful to have some legal eyes look over your contracts and paperwork. Catching any flaws before any sales are finalized can help to save you money in the future.

Put it online.

Online house listings make your home even more visible to the public along with providing quick updates regularly to browsers.

Hire an inspector.

You’ll save yourself so much time and energy by having a qualified individual come in and inspect your home. You should consider doing this before you even put your house on any listings or begin showing it so that you can strengthen your sale price by making any repairs or updates as needed.

Focus on curb appeal.

Take some time to improve the curb appeal of your home in order to attract more buyers. Invest in some simple landscaping and keep your lawn tidy (if applicable), raking leaves in the fall and clearing your sidewalks of snow in the winter. Think about what attracts you to a new property and apply this concept to your own home.

Price your home in line with both the area and market.

As tempting as it may be to price your home that extra 100 grand you feel it is worth, doing so may turn off potential buyers. You can attempt to go a little above market price, but talk with a trusted professional on what they would advise.  If you are in a location that has many individuals selling their home, you will have a hard time attracting a buyer if your price is out of range.

Have your paperwork ready.

Being as prepared as possible will help keep things flowing as best as possible when you are ready to put your house on the market. You’ll be able to answer any questions about taxes, the property and the like with ease by having any and all documents associated with the house on hand. Different questions may arise not only from the potential buyer but also from your listing agent or attorney.

Get rid of the clutter.

Before you even start showing your house, clear out your closets, get rid of clutter and make it look even extra homey by adding in some house plants in various rooms. The key is to show space to those coming to consider buying your home. If they can not only imagine themselves living there but see how much space is available, you will be helping to boost the sales process along so that you can move on with your new adventure.

Hire your own real estate agent.

Although an added cost, having your own agent is a great way to obtain the price negotiations that are favorable to you. Agents representing buyers have more of a loyalty to their client instead of helping you sell your home, so they will be trying to get the best deal for their customer. Thus, if you have your own agent, you’ll be able to counteract professionally with rates that are close in alignment to your selling goals.


Selling your home can be intimidating (and nerve-wrecking), but by following the above tips and doing your research, you will gain a much better handle on the process. Just keep these in mind with each real estate sale.

Own a Retail Store? Well it Just Got Easier.

store-984393_640Retail can be a tough industry. You have the expenses associated with a typical brick and mortar business, plus additional competition that stems from the Internet. Further, in order to have a steady stream of sales, you have to ensure your business is well-stocked.

More than one retail shop has gone out of business because the cash flow out of buying stock didn’t mesh well with the cash flow in of selling it. Even with many vendors offering 30 to 60-day terms, and merchandise return offers, the time to profit can be long enough to make running a retail business difficult. Until recently, there wasn’t much to do besides set up a cash reserve.

Online lending has since become a viable option for business lending, meaning the retail business is about to get a lot easier. Online lenders offer loans and lines of credit specifically geared towards retail businesses. Here are a few of the ways this lending option can help retailers grow their business:

Maximizing Inventory

There are two ways to do retail: you can buy what you can afford to stock and gradually increase your holdings until you’ve become a fully functional store or you can buy a lot of equipment up front and make a big entrance so people take your shop seriously from the start. Unless you have investors with deep pockets, the second option is often out of reach. Traditional lenders aren’t typically open to giving credit to a new or struggling retail shop, but online loans are within reach and provide retailers with the cash to start out strong.

Riding the Wave

Retail business is subject to seasonal waves that are a result of times like holidays or vacations. There are also regional or global economic waves that can make an impact on the retail industry.

No matter the wave, there are two kinds of retail businesses that have to face the ups and downs:

  • Those that have enough money as their business begins to fund the addition of more inventory, better advertising and additional staff
  • Those that have to wait for the new income of the better times before they can invest in growing to catch up with the new economy

If your business does not fall into the first category and you don’t have the funds on hand, online lending can provide them and give you the funding you need to ride the seasonality and economic waves.

Making it Through Lean Times

Retail is sometimes a “feast or famine” proposition, with famine causing two problems for small businesses. The first problem occurs in the short-term. In the short term, slow seasons tend cause a store to close because funds just aren’t there to keep the doors open. The second problem occurs in the long term, when businesses with thin cash reserves lack the money to leverage new opportunities. They lag behind better-funded competition and close just as times become easier. An online loan can help retail businesses solve either or both of these problems.

Marketing Mojo

One of the great things about marketing in the 21st century is how data-driven and responsive marketing is. Retail marketing can therefore be very powerful if properly-planned and executed. The biggest shops and most national brands tend to have an advantage when it comes to marketing, as they tend to have the operating funds to execute large marketing initiative. Borrowing online gives the little guy access to marketing money at the right time, allowing them to stand out even against larger competitors. Obtaining something like a revolving line of credit can help these retailers “double down” on the most effective methods once they analyze the data from their first round of funded marketing.

Early Expansion

Retail sales in a physical shop are limited mostly by the size of their showroom. Many retail operations get stuck in a stagnant spiral where they could make enough money to afford larger space if they had the larger space, but they are never able to achieve those expansion funds with the showroom funds they are receiving. An online loan can make that expansion a reality and can ensure those retail businesses can continue to afford the expansion thanks to the extra profits the additional space will permit.

Borrowing the right amount of money at the right time for the right reasons is key to success in any small business, and this is truer of retail than almost any other industry. You are on your own for making sure you only borrow for the right reasons, but online lenders make obtaining the right amount at the right time easier now than at any other time in the history of small business lending.

Does More Time or More Money Cause Happiness?

Does more money cause happiness?

Does more money cause happiness?

They say money can’t buy happiness, but research over the years shows that those better off financially do tend to have a better well-being…to an extent. Everything has a limit, of course, but if money does not cause us to be happier what does?

Those who are able to pay bills on time and not struggle financially do appear to be happier in general terms, but money being the cause to happiness seem to actually be more about what we buy, according to some research. It is suggested in recent studies that what we spend our money on does determine our happiness, and that actually, spending money on experiences has a longer lasting effect. Although, this is a thought that could have been assumed even without the study.

Conversely, a popular study by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton expresses that a higher income does improve your life but not necessarily your emotional well-being. It goes on to say that those with an annual income of $75,000 seem to have the best of both worlds (looking fondly on their life and associating quality with everyday experiences).

There is a point where money begins to no longer provide your well-being and seemingly starts to cause more heartache due to losing satisfaction or desiring more, which becomes a never-ending cycle with needing more money in order to satisfy your urges or new financial demands. Of course, this does also partially depend upon what is important to us as individuals in life and our desires. Is it money that really makes us happier? Or would more of something else solve all our problems?

A study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science journal found some interesting data to this question.  The researchers at UCLA and Wharton School involved in this latest article (published May 25) found that roughly two-thirds of 4,400 people surveyed mentioned that they would prefer having more money over time. However, the one-third who chose more time were happier. This does come with gray areas, though, and raises a couple important questions.

Are people who want more time truly happier? Is it that not desiring more money makes them more content or is that they already have enough money so now they want more time to enjoy their income?

The researchers did use the $75,000 salary amount to evaluate questions such as these. When asking which was preferred, more time or money, to individuals with this base income, those who answered more time did appear to still have more happiness in their lives on average.

So, which is better? Time or money? Does one cause more happiness than the other? While still up for debate, it appears better to be in a situation where you have enough money to take care of all your needs and obligations in life while wanting more time rather than the other way around. Although, if you have minimal to no debt, money may be of little concern and, thus, more time may be better in those particular situations as experiences in life tend to fulfill us more, according to the study mentioned previously in this article.

There is definitely a difference between needing more money to better your financial situation and wanting more money for superficial reasons. At the end of the day, only you can determine what makes you happy. It’s all about creating balance, both with time and money.

What are your thoughts on the topic?