Tina Niemann’s Selling Tips

Tina Niemann’s Selling Tips

Set a good price

In today’s highly competitive real estate market, you must price your home right!  Consult with me on comparable home prices, current market conditions, current interest rates and available financing before arriving at the “asking price” for your home.Improve your home’s marketability. It’s no secret that making your house as attractive as possible helps it sell.

concept of the modern engineer working

Follow these suggestions:


  • Keep your lawn mowed and trim shrubs and hedges
  • Consider applying a fresh coat of paint if needed
  • Clean windows (you would be amazed at how much this helps)
  • Mulch flower beds
  • Make sure shutters, gutters, windows and siding are in good condition
  • Clean garage and keep space uncluttered


  • Touch up marred woodwork
  • Keep carpeting clean
  • Keep kitchen appliances spotless
  • Maintain clear counter space
  • Clean and organize basement area
  • Paint walls and clean floor to add sparkle
  • Make bedroom closets look larger by storing some items neatly elsewhere
  • Plumbing & appliances should be clean and in good working order
  • Replace any burned-out bulbs and keep house well-lit at all times
  • Neutral, non-controversial colors are best
  • Everything should be clean and immaculate
  • Try to remove any inherent odor due to pets, etc.

Attracting prospective buyers

I will promote your property in several ways; through advertising in several media newspapers, a “for sale” sign in your yard, my contacts after 25+ years of selling homes in the St. Louis area, a feature listing on my web page, the Internet and the multiple listing service. A brochure of your home will be prepared and  is sent to agents in the market area of your home.Showing your propertyWhen making an appointment to show your property, our office will make every effort to allow you time to get ready.  If you are not at home, a message will be left on your recorder with the time, agent and company that will be showing your home.  If you will not be at home, agents will use Supra, unless other arrangements have been made due to pets, etc.

Understand the mechanics of the offer

The selling broker will notify the listing broker when a buyer makes an offer.  All offers must be in writing and signed by the buyer.  We will discuss the offer and clarify any terms and conditions.  If the seller accepts, the written offer becomes a contract.  The contract should include:

  • Property’s address, purchaser’s name and date
  • Sale price
  • Amount of down payment and how balance will be financed
  • Amount which will be held as earnest money
  • Proposed closing and possession dates
  • Contingencies, if any, such as building, termite, environmental and sale of buyer’s present residence, if applicable
  • Time limitation of offer

A contract does not exist until all parties have ratified the terms with their signatures.

What to do after acceptance

Buyer will apply for their loan, and proceed to complete all the inspections according to the time called for in the contract.

Getting ready to move


The seller can now make definite moving plans.  The buyer is entitled to a final walk through, which is really a final inspection to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was the day of the contract acceptance.The big day arrives.

Closing day is for signing paperwork and paying closing costs/down payments.  The home seller’s closing costs may include:

Brokers commission, paying the current mortgage off, recording fees, any mortgage interest, prorated real estate taxes and sewer fees and any other charges the seller has agreed to pay.  The final step is finished when the buyer completes his closing, and funds are available to the seller for the proceeds of the sale of his home.


Housing – The Never Ending Story

Housing – The Never Ending Story

Living in Southern California, it’s hard not to be influenced by “The Business” (movies) even if one toils in less admired or profitable ventures, like housing finance.

Were the Federal Reserve in “The Business” it’s latest publication “The U.S. Housing Market: Current Conditions and Policy Considerations” probably would have gone directly to the discount DVD racks at Target and Wal-Mart.


In reading the Fed’s whitepaper, I’m reminded of an attractive actor in a movie trailer that fails to deliver at the box office; “the REO to Rental” scene in the Fed’s whitepaper had potential, but the plot collapsed in the tired retelling of every under-inspired effort to fix housing to date.

Like late-night talk-show hosts reviewing an entertainment project, Goldman Sachs and Fitch were underwhelmed, if polite, in their comments.   However, neither Cameron or Spielberg would green light this script as written, but unlike the imagined world of Hollywood, the housing issue is drama that must be addressed.  We can’t keep putting this script back on the shelf and hoping Brad Pitt’s agent will find it and turn it into a light-hearted comedy.

In old-fashioned western movie style, the Fed advises bringing a loaded gun to the housing fight because there are more than a few bad guys and a conflicted sheriff (played by the GSE’s regulator) who is torn between supporting housing values while minimizing tax payers losses.

The Fed warns there is no “silver bullet” or in Fed speak “bazooka” that can re-inflate the economy or housing market to the extent it has collapsed.  That a great deal of the REO inventory must be converted to investor properties is a well received plot feature, but the storyline is so complex it loses the audience’s enthusiasm in the telling.

In many ways this latest telling is a sequel to earlier projects like HARP and HAMP.  Aspects of those earlier efforts point to the dangers of complexity and the management of such complexity by student film makers, otherwise known as “folks learning on the job.”  Despite the investing public’s lukewarm response to those projects, the latest “REO to Rental” suffers from an absence of financing, complex script, and the need for an entourage of “A-listers” to carry the project, which is filming on location in such tough environments as Detroit, Atlanta, Riverside, etc.

Is there star making potential here?  Sure.  I’ve personally managed messy books-of-business like this.  I know for a fact this is a workable project, in the hands of an experienced team.  Presently, there are more under-employed mortgage finance people than there are out of work actors in Hollywood.  The GSE REO inventory has the potential to be a “franchise” if the director can have the freedom and patience to break up the property  into workable scripts.  As the Fed’s paper points out, two fifths of the inventory has the potential to rent out at cap rates in the 8% range.  Those are the kind of yields that make bankers cry as though they’ve won an Oscar.   However, the OCC & GSE standards around REO management practices are so outdated to the times, they make the Screen Actor’s Guild work-rules enviable.  Only in America can the banks and GSEs find a way to get black-listed from their own projects.

Stack of One Hundred Dollar Bills U.S.

When it comes to Housing – The Horror Movie, we’re about $7 trillion (in lost equity) into this project and counting.  We (the tax payers) own about 250,000 homes we need to sell or rent in a market with millions of other units ready to join the chaos at the first sign of life.

As Stephen Spielberg reminds us, “People have forgotten how to tell a story.  Stories don’t have a middle or an end any more. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.“

We’ve seen the first five years of this drama, it’s time to put a Hollywood happy ending on this Never Ending Story.