5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional Before Entering the Market!

What’s Your Home Worth?

5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional Before Entering the Market! | Simplifying The Market

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite the adventure. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ‘FSBO,’ but it’s not as easy as it may seem. That’s why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal!

The 5 reasons you need a real estate professional in your corner haven’t changed but have rather been strengthened by the projections of higher mortgage interest rates and home prices as the market continues to pick up steam.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true real estate professional is an expert in his or her market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. So you found your dream house, now what?

There are over 230 possible steps that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to ensure you achieve your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. After looking at the list of parties that you will need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll soon realize the value in selecting a real estate professional. From the buyers (who want the best deals possible), to the home inspection companies, all the way to the appraisers, there are at least 11 different people who you will need to be knowledgeable of, and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start in order to attract the right buyers and shorten the amount of time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you its true value. According to a recent article by the National Association of Realtors, FSBOs achieve prices significantly lower than the prices of similar properties sold by real estate agents:

FSBOs earn an average of $60,000 to $90,000 less on the sale of their home than sellers who work with a real estate agent.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional!

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and on the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively and correctly price your home at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has his or her finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic, so why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a real estate professional?

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Source: KCM

Sophisticated Kitchen Designs With Black Countertops

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When choosing a new countertop we often base our choices on two main elements: the material and the color. These two elements can help you find the countertop that’s right for you and for your home and while there are plenty of things to be said about wood, cement or marble countertops, our main focus today is a particular color: black. Black kitchen features have a certain dose of elegance, sophistication and drama which no other color can offer.

With a gorgeous pattern like this one there’s no doubt that kitchen black countertop and backsplash combo can be an awesome focal point for an open kitchen. It’s nice how the cabinetry has a dark coloring but isn’t exactly black, creating a subtle contrast.

A cement countertop can be the perfect feature to balance out a dark kitchen decor without putting too much emphasis on the contrasts between colors, finishes and materials.

It’s interesting how the countertop ensures a smooth and seamless transition between the dark-stained backsplash and the lighter-colored cabinetry. Notice that the bottom of the backsplash is black and that helps too.

Black kitchen countertops have a sleek and stylish look and that’s true in most cases, regardless of the material from which the counter is made. Of course, some materials make this color stand out more. For example, a granite countertop can have this effect.

Contrasts between different colors, materials and finishes often make designs look more beautiful by highlighting the unique characteristics of each surface. In this case what we love most is the contrast between the wood countertop table and surfaces adjacent to it.

A great way to emphasize the coloring or the design of a kitchen countertop is by adding a matching backsplash, ensuring a seamless connection between the two surfaces. This is a refined and elegant example of that.

These minimalist and stylish black kitchen cabinets and this chic island have matching wood countertops with dark-stained finishes. The combination is a very pleasant and sophisticated-looking one.

There are a few nice quartz countertop colors to choose from, not as many as for other types of materials but definitely very charming in their own unique way. The black-based ones tend to be the best-looking ones.

Of course, in some cases minimalism is the best option so a sleek, contemporary kitchen might not look that great with a granite or a marble countertop which tend to be rather traditional and classical materials and would look better with a black counter which lacks any type of visible veins and grain.

It’s not just the countertop that’s black in this case but the whole kitchen, including the cabinetry, the shelves and the accent wall. This ensures a very sleek and elegant look and the layered countertop stripes don’t let the decor become monotonous at all.

A lot of colors look beautiful when paired with black. Yellow is a particular nice choice because its cheerful and bright appearance emphasizes the deep and simple black elements. Yellow also looks great when paired with grays and this kitchen is a great representation of that.

Speaking of grays, a nice design strategy is to mix and match various different shades of this neutral color. Here, for example, the kitchen features dark gray surfaces at the top and gets lighter towards the bottom. The countertop is a transitional element.

It’s important to take into consideration both the color of a countertop as well as the material from which it’s made. Certain combinations stand out, like this one for example.

The countertop in this kitchen extends onto the top section of the cabinetry just under the cooktop. Notice that this trio of modules also has a different color and different proportions compared to the rest of the furniture.

Although the countertop in this kitchen is gray, visually we associate it with the black elements present in the room’s design. A black countertop could have look nice in here too but we actually like the gray better. It adds diversity to the decor.

A black kitchen can in some cases feel small, cluttered and claustrophobic. A few strategic accent details can change that. For example, even something as simple as the white veining on the black countertop and backsplash can brighten up the space. Some LED accent lights would help too.

It’s very common for kitchens to feature matching countertops and backsplashes. It’s a strategy which somehow makes the space look more familiar, better-balanced and more welcoming. A black countertop is able to make a statement on its own but the effect is stronger when there’s also a matching accent wall.

The coloring on the countertop of this kitchen island is very similar to the nuance on the body of the island and yet the two elements contrast quite a bit. That’s due to the different finishes and textures.

A waterfall countertop looks stylish no matter what its color is but we have to admit that a black countertop has a more striking visual effect compared to one in a lighter color.

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Source: All About Shawnee

RECAP: Abandon hope, ye who enter

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Aside from losing again (of course they lost, do grow up), there were some real positives for the Kansas City Royals in Monday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.


Okay, so I can’t think of anything off the top of my head. For the 40th time this season, the Royals managed less than three runs. And sure, I’m going to spend another 700 words on this, but that’s something I feel like you, dear reader, need to know. The Royals have played 112 games; more than a third of them have featured less than half the MLB average of 4.45 runs per game. That’s probably why the Royals have done all that infernal losing.

One feels for Jakob Junis. He hasn’t been great of late, but his five innings five-hit, one-run ball that included eight strike outs were more than enough to win. He got the ERA back under 5.00. Maybe he hasn’t ascended to the No. 2/3 starter that many hoped he’d become, but good golly ain’t nobody gonna get many wins when they’ve got to throw a shutout and pray that the bats and bullpen do something to help.

Right out of the gate, things were looking good for the Baby Blues. Cubs leadoff hitter Anthony Rizzo lifted a lazy fly into shallow left and a hard-charging Alex Gordon snared it. In the second, Rosell Herrera gunned down Willson Contreras attempting to stretch a single into a double.

The defense was holding up its end of the bargain, and the offense came to life long enough to give the Royals a lead in the second. Herrera singled ot lead it off and moved to second on a Jorge Bonifacio tapper. With two down, Alcides Escobar earned his next multi-year extension with a run-scoring single to make it 1-0.

Junis would enjoy the lead for all of eight outs. In the top of the fourth, Ben Zobrist’s return to Kauffman Stadium, which had earned him a nice ovation in his first at-bat, was met with slightly more derision after he led off with a triple. Jason Heyward walked, Javier Baez struck out and then, with runners on the corners, Junis’ 1-2 slider missed by a sizable margin and got away from Salvador Perez behind the plate, allowing the wily Zobrist to race home from third to tie the game.

Both teams loaded the sacks in the fifth but came away with nothing. Addison Russell and Albert Amora Jr. picked up one-out singles to turn the lineup over to Rizzo, who walked. Zobrist hit a grounder to Drew Butera at first, who made what I’m sure was an awkward throw home for a guy who had played all of 50 innings at first in his career and none in 2018. Either way, Russell was out at the plate, and Heyward’s ground out to Hunter Dozier at third ended the threat.

The Royals bases-loaded failure felt very Royalsy, in that it was always likely to lose but gave hope either way. Butera singled with one out before Whit Merrifield struck out. But then Gordon singled and Perez was hit by a pitch to load ‘em up for cleanup man Hunter Dozier, who worked the count full… and grounded out to Rizzo at first to end the inning.

After 87 pitches, Junis was removed for Kevin McCarthy. Baez was happy to see him, because he launched a homer  on McCarthy’s first offering to put the Cubs ahead for good. For funsies, he added an RBI double in the eighth inning to score Zobrist after a leadoff single and provide the hardly-needed insurance run.

Your Tweet of Despair

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Source: All About Shawnee