Archive for December, 2008

Southeast Michigan Real Estate – For Sale by Owner Could be a HUGE Money Loser

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 29th, 2008

Thinking of selling your Southeast Michigan real estate For Sale by Owner?  Consider this!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has recently published its 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers which is based on a survey of approximately 10,000 people who bought homes between July 2007 and July 2008.  During this period of time, the average for sale by owner (FSBO) home seller did poorly.  According to the data, FSBO sellers only had a 7% chance of selling to someone that they did not already know.  To make matters worse, that FSBO home seller sold the home for 29% less than he or she would have had they used the services of a REALTOR® to sell their home. 

The NAR Report provides some insight as to why the numbers are so bad for the FSBO home seller.  The survey also asked how the home buyer actually found the home that he or she purchased. 34% found the home through a REALTOR® and 32% through the internet.  Most FSBO home sellers attempt to sell their home by placing a For Sale By Owner Sign on the front lawn of the home and do little else if anything.  By doing so, they effectively eliminate 66% of all buyers who might be looking for a home such as theirs!

If you’re thinking about selling your home by yourself, think again.  By hiring a REALTOR® you’ll increase your chance of success!  Most likely you’ll end up netting more money, and find the process a whole lot easier and convenient than you would by trying to go at it alone without the help of a professional.

Are you thinking about selling your home?   Preparing your home for market is very important, especially in today’s real estate market.  Homes that have been “staged” sell quicker and for more money.  Order your free book, “Staging Tips to Prepare Your Home for Market.”  Absolutely no obligation or strings attached!

Ready to work with one of the best Southeast Michigan real estate agents, one who can help you get Top Dollar for your home or property…and keep you from making costly mistakes?  Learn more about my 30-Day Marketing Plan that gets proven results. 

Give me a call at 248-514-2640 or drop me an email at now for more information.

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Owners of Troy Michigan Real Estate – Dos and Don’ts of Homeowner’s Insurance

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 24th, 2008

No matter where you live, you are at risk for some sort of natural disaster, crime, or accident. Since you never know when disaster will strike, owners of Troy Michigan real estate need homeowner’s insurance to protect from loss. Finding the right insurance policy is extremely important, so here are six ideas to consider when looking for homeowner’s insurance for your home.

  1. DO make sure you choose a reputable agent and insurance company. Unless you’re well versed in current insurance laws and practices, you will rely heavily on your agent’s advice. This is not the time to do your own work.
  2. DO buy the right amount of insurance. A lower premium may seem like a great idea now, but you may feel differently if you suffer a major loss. Consider what it will cost you to replace everything in your home.  Purchase your insurance policy based on that amount.
  3. DO pay attention to your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out of your pocket when you file a claim. In most cases, you are better off paying for minor damages on your own without filing an insurance claim.
  4. DON’T choose your insurance company by price. You may save money on your premium, but ask yourself what you stand to lose if you ever have to file an insurance claim. Make sure you have adequate coverage through a reliable company.
  5. DON’T lie to your insurer. If you underestimate the value of what you own, you may not have enough money to replace it. If you overestimate the value of what you own, you can be prosecuted for insurance fraud
  6. DON’T rely on your home’s purchase or tax appraised value when choosing the amount of insurance you need. You need insurance that will provide enough money to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss.

When you own Troy Michigan real estate your home may well be your most valuable asset.  So make sure you purchase the appropriate amount of homeowner’s insurance.

Are you looking for Troy Michigan real estate in Southeast Michigan?  I can help you find and buy the best home for your needs and budget.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or drop me an email at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – 7 Tips for Packing to Move into Your New Home

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 22nd, 2008

You’ve just bought Troy Michigan real estate and you’re ready to pack and move into your new home.  If you find yourself staring at your rooms in bewilderment, wondering how you’re going to pack it all, take a look at these helpful tips.

Tip #1:  Have plenty of boxes.  Too many is better than too few.  If you buy boxes from a moving company you can return them for a refund.  Extra boxes from a grocery store can just be thrown away if you have too many.

Tip #2:  Pick a color for each room.  Use color-coded stickers to mark which boxes go where.  There’s no need to open a box to see what it is; just look at the sticker color.  Be sure to make a list of the color associated with each room.

Tip #3:  Pack heavy things in small boxes.  This makes them less bulky and easier to carry.  It also makes it less likely that you’ll drop them or that the box will break.

Tip #4:  Put all furniture accessories in one boxFurniture knobs, feet, screws or legs should all be in one container, clearly marked, so the parts won’t get lost.

Tip #5:  Load what you’ll need first, last.  Make sure that items you’ll need as soon as you get in your new Troy Michigan home, such as a telephone or cleaning supplies, are loaded last. 

Tip #6:  Pack for the first day.  Use a separate bag for toiletries, a change of clothes, etc – whatever you might need for the first day.  This way, there’s no need to run to the store for things you can’t find or dig through boxes to find them.

Tip #7:  Save extra boxes for moving day.  You will forget something – it’s guaranteed.  Rather than try to stuff it all in your car, have extra boxes set aside for any last minute items such as blankets, towels and pillows.

When you’re ready to move into your Troy Michigan real estate home, follow these tips to help make the move a smooth, easy transition.

Would you like to move into a new home?  Let me help you find Troy Michigan real estate that fits your needs and budget.  I can help you find and buy a home that’s perfect for you.  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email right now!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Southeast Michigan Real Estate – What is a High Rise Condominium?

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 18th, 2008

If you’re in the market for Southeast Michigan real estate and you’re looking for a new condominium, you may have run across “high rise” and been unfamiliar with the term.  Here is a brief explanation of what high rise condominiums are, as well as a few pros and cons for living in one.

What is a High Rise Condominium?
As you may have guessed from the name, a high rise condominium is a tall building with several stories, usually five or more, with a necessary elevator.  Typically, high rise condos are all about luxury.  As you might imagine, they boast a variety of amenities which may include a doorman, concierge service, pool or sauna.  Some even offer a 24-hour valet, wine cellar or rooftop clubroom. 

Pros and Cons of a High Rise Condominium
People choose to live in high rise condos for many reasons, and there are just as many reasons why they don’t.  Whether something is a pro or a con all depends on the person looking.

  1. Amenities – This is one of the biggest reasons people choose high-rise condominiums.  Who doesn’t like to jump in a pool, move to the sauna and then go to the clubroom?
  2. No or low maintenance – Exterior maintenance will be taken care of by the building association.  You may be responsible for some or all of your interior maintenance.  Be sure you get this information in writing and read it thoroughly before purchasing.
  3. Quiet – This could be a pro or con.  Some buildings have “quiet periods,” from early evening until early morning.  If you like to listen to loud music or have a home theater system that you like to listen to at full volume, this could be an issue.
  4. Pet Free – Most buildings are either pet-free or have size restrictions, and don’t allow exotic pets.  This could be a problem if you own a 20-foot python or a Great Dane.
  5. HOA Dues – You will have to pay membership dues for the Homeowners’ Association.  The dues range from building to building; dues depend on the amenities offered, the number of people in the building and how old it is, to name a few.

If you are thinking of purchasing Southeast Michigan real estate, do you think a high rise condominium is right for you?   If you’re looking for luxurious, relaxed living, a high rise condo may be exactly what you need.

Whether you want a condominium or a single family home, as an experienced real estate broker and lawyer who knows the area well, I can help.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or email me at so we can get started!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – Fixing Up Your Home for Sale

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 15th, 2008

If you own Troy Michigan real estate and are thinking about putting up your home for sale, you may start to look around the house with an eye for increasing its value.  Here are some inexpensive things you can do to increase the value of your home:

The Kitchen
When buyers walk through a Troy Michigan real estate home for sale, one of the first places they look is the kitchen.  A well put together kitchen is a big plus, so make sure it looks clean and up-to-date. 

  1. Replace old lighting fixtures with brighter, more energy-efficient ones.
  2. Replace the old kitchen faucet set to something more modern and clean.
  3. Add new cabinet doors and drawer handles
  4. Reface your cabinets – this takes a little more time and money to do, but the results can be outstanding.  Or, you could order replacement doors and door fronts and install them yourself.
  5. If your appliances don’t match, you can order a face panel.  Also, check with your manufacturer; some appliance panels have another color on the back (white on one side, black on the other, for instance), and you can just flip them over.

The Bathroom
This is another “first go” place for buyers.  Again, most of these are inexpensive and easy to do yourself.

  1. Install a new toilet seat – even a little change can make a difference.
  2. If your bathroom is small but you have a large vanity, try installing a pedestal sink instead.  It can make the room look larger.
  3. Regrout the tile if your tub and shower look dingy.  Replace any cracked tile.
  4. If need be, try a prefabricated tub and shower surround. It may be a little more expensive, but it can make a bath look brand new.

If you’re thining of selling your Troy Michigan real estate, try these inexpensive tips and then look around the rest of your home.  You’ll be surprised what a few dollars and a little time can do!

Are you ready to sell your home for top dollar?  As a licensed real estate broker and lawyer I can not only help you sell your home for top dollar, but I can prevent you from making costly legal mistakes.  Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Oh Christmas Tree – Safety in Your Southeast Michigan Real Estate Home

Posted in Southeast Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 11th, 2008

It’s Christmas time, it’s Christmas time – which means if you own one of the Southeast Michigan real estate homes, it’s time to get a tree.  Whether you get a real tree or an artificial one, it’s also time to think about Christmas tree safety.

There’s a potential fire hazard that comes with real trees, a danger that’s lessened with artificial trees, but artificial trees have their own safety issues.  For instance, those that spin on their bases shouldn’t be left to rotate on their own.  Make sure the motor is turned off whenever you leave the room.

Even though safety precautions are more necessary with real Christmas trees, sometimes you can’t resist the fresh pine smell filling your Southeast Michigan home.  Should you decide to go with a real Christmas tree, here are some safety precautions that should be followed to avoid fire hazards.

  1. Place the tree as far from any heat sources as possible.  While it may seem picturesque to have your tree close to the fireplace, the heat can dry out the tree and make it more susceptible to burning.
  2. Fresh cut the tree.  While you may have cut the tree down before bringing it home, you still need to cut a little bit more off the bottom just before you put it in the Christmas tree stand.   This gives the tree a better ability to absorb the water in the stand, which stops it from drying out.
  3. Don’t let the water run out.  It’s important to stress that your Christmas tree needs to stay moist and green.  To check for dryness, lightly grab the end of a branch and pull on it.  If several needles come off, it’s time to take it down. 
  4. Don’t burn the tree to get rid of it.  A dry tree blaze is hard to control, and pine generates a lot of creosote that can catch fire.  There are safer ways to dispose of your tree including recycling your Christmas tree.  To learn more about safe disposal of your tree, contact your local city or state.

Have fun decorating your Southeast Michigan home for Christmas.  Just remember to be safe as you celebrate the season!

If you have buying Southeast Michigan real estate on your Christmas list, I’d love to help you fulfill your wish.  I can help you find and buy the right home and keep you from making a costly mistake that could cost you thousands. 

Give me a call today at 248-514-2640 or email me at

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Troy Michigan Real Estate – Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree for Your Home

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 8th, 2008

It’s coming up on Christmas time, which means that people are decorating their home with lights and tinsel.  It also means that it’s time to pick a Christmas tree.  If you own Troy Michigan real estate and you’ve never had a real Christmas tree or you don’t seem to get the right tree, these tips and tricks can help you pick the perfect tree:

Buying Your Tree

  1. Measure where you’re going to place the tree in your home, from ceiling to floor.  You’ll want your tree to be at least a foot shorter than the ceiling, so take a measuring tape with you when you shop for your tree.
  2. When measuring for height, adjust for the star, angel or topknot that you’ll be using; most can add as much as twelve inches to the height of your tree.  Measure the opening of your Christmas tree stand, so you know how wide the base of the tree can be.
  3. The base of the tree should be straight and at least six inches long to fit nicely into your tree stand.
  4. Run your fingers along the needles of the tree you’re looking at, and give the tree a shake.  Very few needles should fall off.
  5. For the best shape, full branches, rich color and good needle retention on Christmas trees,  choose a Balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, Noble fir or Scotch pine.
  6. Buy as soon as you can for the best quality, or wait longer for best price.

Taking Care of Your Tree

  1. After you get it home, cut an inch off the base so your tree can take in water more easily.  Make sure the cut is straight.
  2. Use a stand that holds at least one gallon of water.
  3. Make sure you water your tree often.  This keeps the needles from drying, as well as keeping the fragrance strong.  Check the water level every few hours.
  4. Don’t add anything to the water – no aspirin, soda water, bleach, etc. – to keep it fresh.  According to the experts, lots of plain water is best.

When you own one of the Troy Michigan real estate homes you’ll want to find the perfect Christmas tree, one that’s lush, brightly decorated, and keeps the cheerful Christmas spirit alive. 

Want a new home to decorate?  I can help.  Call me now at 248-514-2640 or email me at  Have a Merry Christmas!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


The Facts About Bloomfield Hills Real Estate Agents

Posted in Bloomfield Hills Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 4th, 2008

Many people think that Bloomfield Hills real estate agents have it pretty easy. Once they start investigating, however, they find that being an agent is a difficult and time consuming job.

Real Estate Training
All states, including the District of Columbia, require agents to be licensed which requires hours of training and taking tests.

Depending on the state, you need between forty and ninety hours of specific coursework.

Once the coursework is completed, you have to pass the Michigan state exam on real estate law and practice. Generally, an agent will then have to find a real estate broker to work with.

To become a broker and be able to manage their own brokerage, Bloomfield Hills real estate agents have to gain experience. This means more coursework, as well as a broker’s state exam on real estate law. Only then, can agents work on their own as licensed brokers.

Real estate agents and brokers have to take more courses and another exam approximately one year to eighteen months (depending on the state) after they become licensed, and then every four years. In addition to this, the top real estate agents constantly take courses to stay current on industry rules and regulations and to learn more about specializations such as representing seniors, buyers and sellers.

Nature of the Job Includes:

  1. Research – Agents spend a large amount of time learning about the homes in the neighborhoods in which they specialize.  Once they obtain a property listing, they compare the property with similar types that recently sold to figure out the market price for the property.
  2. Marketing – A large percentage of an agent’s income is spent on marketing.  They have to pay to market their services as well as market the homes they list for sale. 
  3. Negotiating – One of the keys to being a great real estate agent is outstanding negotiating skills.  You must be extraordinarily knowledgeable and talented to successfully negotiate real estate contracts that benefit your clients.  As a licensed real estate broker and real estate lawyer, I’m uniquely qualified to help you find and buy Bloomfield Hills real estate and will help prevent you from making costly mistakes when buying a home.
  4. Overtime – There’s no such thing as being paid overtime as an agent, though most successful agents work well over forty hours a week.  They’re frequently on call for their clients, and working weekends is mandatory.

This is just a small portion of what it takes to be a real estate agent who helps people successfully buy and sell homes. 

Are you thinking about buying Bloomfield Hills real estate in Southeast Michigan?  Would you like to work with one of the most successful Bloomfield Hills real estate brokers?  Give me a call now at 248-514-2640 or email   I’d love to hear from you!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640


Bloomfield Hills Real Estate: 6 Qualities to Look for When Buying Vacant Land

Posted in Bloomfield Hills Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 1st, 2008

Vacant land is like a blank canvas and the ultimate in the American dream of property ownership. When you purchase Bloomfield Hills real estate, you can build the architectural style of home you wish without the limited design styles of a developer. However, buying vacant land is very different from buying property with a building already on it. There are certain qualities to look for in vacant land.

  1. Buildability. Vacant land comes in many different forms and conditions. Will the property need to be cleared or built up? Is it uneven? Is it on solid rock?  Any work you have to do will cost you more in time and money.
  2. Check the water and sewer codes. Each municipality has its own set of regulations for water and sewer. These regulations even specify what kind of system you need for the property. You need to know if you can hook up to the local sewer and water systems or if you need your own septic system and well.
  3. Zoning. Land parcels are zoned for certain uses and buildings. Before you buy vacant land, check the zoning. If the Bloomfield Hills real estate property isn’t zoned for the type of home you want to build, you’ll need to find out what you need to do to request a zoning change. Sometimes this is a simple procedure; sometimes it is a complicated process.  You may be better off finding another piece of land that is zoned for what you want to build.
  4. Total cost. When you purchase vacant land, you have to take into consideration more than just the purchase price. Unless you plan to use the land for grazing animals, you will probably need to add sewer, water, and electric hook-ups. You will have to pay for this and need to include it in your budget.
  5. Building restrictions. Environmentally protected lands have restrictions as to what you can and cannot build. You may not be able to cut down certain trees or fill in parts of your property that are too low. There may even be limits to what size or style structure you can build on the property.
  6. Location/Accessibility. You have to carefully consider where the vacant land is located before you buy it. Living on a country estate away from the busy city means longer drives to everywhere. Make sure there is an access road so you can easily reach your property.

As one of the best Bloomfield Hills licensed real estate brokers and real estate lawyer, I can help you find and buy the perfect Bloomfield Hills real estate to build your dream home on.  And I can keep you from making mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars.  Call me today at 248-514-2640 or email now!

Lee Morof
RE/MAX Showcase Homes
Birmingham, Michigan
Call:  248-514-2640