Staging Your Home For The Sale!!

We call today’s Real Estate Market conditions  “Price War and a Beauty Contest.”  If you can’t win at at least one of those, you might as well take the ‘for sale’ sign out of your yard and plan on paying that baby off!  What we mean by this is that either you have the prettiest/best home on the market within your price range, neighborhood, square footage, etc, or you list with the best price out of the bunch.  A little Staging of your home could do wonders for getting that top dollar for your home AND getting it sold in the time frame you desire.


Take this Master Bath at my previous listing for instance:



It has all the requirements most buyers are looking for… Double sink vanity, separate shower,  jacuzzi tub, and room to move around.  Yet whoops, they didn’t ask for the pink cultured marble, pink toilet, pink tiles, and original gray carpet that also surrounds the tub and toilet, YIKES!


Buyers are already calculating how expensive of a job it is to bring this bath out of the funky 80’s to the present luxurious master-en-suite that HGTV keeps talking about!  Not to mention the time and effort to take the job on – Let’s face it, most people can’t  envision the room any other way than what they see.

As a home owner who wants to sell, you have two major options:  1.  List the home with a rock bottom price, or 2. Do few of the harder tasks to make it easier for the buyer to concentrate on what they can really love about your home.


These sellers chose a combination of the two.  They set the price competitively with the neighborhood, and similar style homes in the area, and they tackled a few of the major objections they were hearing from every showing – mostly surrounding this master bath.










The changes may seem subtle in these photos, yet with a little creative sourcing of materials, labor, and a few decorative pieces, the sellers were able to transform the space from “No way No How” to “not perfect, yet I really love that Pool and back yard!”   New 18in tiles on floors, new lighting, faucets, new WHITE toilet, spray painted door knobs/drawer pulls, and few simple decorative items) They had an offer within a month of the changes, and relatively close to their asking price (relative to all the feedback they got before the changes).

Take this kitchen – Before and After:










Nothing major, yet a huge transformation, not only in the showings for this home but the feedback sellers received! Keep in mind, some of the feedback from previous showings said this house  ‘will receive offer 70% of listing, if any’, to ‘total gut job’.   Total investment for the Seller, $7,000.  The reward:  an offer within a month after changes, and at 94% of listing price!!

When you finally decide to sell your home, choose a realtor who can help guide you as to what would be the most helpful changes your home needs, if any.  They’ll know how to price your home effectively and what you should invest your pre-listing dollars on to maximize the offer!


To see all central Arkansas area listings, come visit my website!  www.GreatHomesInLittleRock.com

or Call Mitsy Tharp @ 501-944-7147





Little Rock Home Buying Process: Pre-Approval for Home Loan

Pre-approval is one of the most important steps in the home buying process. Even in the Little Rock Home market, many wait until they find that “perfect home” to iniitate a relationship with their mortgage lender.

Here are some reasons why being approved at the beginning of the home buying process is so important:

1. Pre-approval for a home loan will determine your price range. Based on your down payment and that pre-approved mortgage amount, you’ll know what you can afford before you start looking. This saves you time and allows you to focus on houses that you can actually purchase.

2. Pre-approval strengthens your offer and negotiating position. Home sellers tend to accept an offer from a buyer who is pre-approved for a home loan over someone whose financial picture is still in question.

3. Pre-approval often cuts days or even weeks when you close. The lender has already analyzed your credit and approved you for a mortgage.

What is the difference between being pre-approved and pre-qualified?

There is actually a big difference between buyers who are ôpre-qualifiedö and those who are pre-approved. Lenders pre-qualify buyers and determine how much they can borrow based only on information the buyer has provided. The buyer still must fill out a loan application and go through the lender’s approval process. If you are pre-approved, lenders have already done a credit check and verified employment and deposit. Pre-approval is a commitment to lend you a predetermined amount. The only piece missing is the lender’s appraisal of the home to confirm its value.

How long should a pre-approval for home loan take?

If you are dealing with an experienced mortgage representative who uses an automated approval system, it should only take a few minutes to get a pre-approval. However, if your lender is not using the most up-to-date automated systems, pre-approval for a home loan could take a few days. The automated system takes all of your income, debt and asset information and enters it into their computer. The pre-approval process is usually pretty fast as long as the loan officer is certified to use the DU underwriting system (automated underwriting). The final loan approval comes once you have an actual property and then the lender re-verifies all of the property, income, debt and asset information.

What happens if I change jobs after getting pre-approval for a home loan? Do I have to go through the process again?

Unfortunately, the answer is usually yes. Your pre-approval is good as long as none of the information provided to the lender changes. You will need to notify the company that pre-approved you that your employment status has changed. They will have to enter your new income data. The good news is that if you took a new job that pays more, you might be able to afford a larger house.

What happens if I decide to work for myself after getting pre-approval for a home loan?

There will be complications when going from W-2 employee to 1099 or Schedule C income. You will probably need a two-year history of self-employment to qualify with that income. In this instance, you might want to ask your lender about undocumented home loans.

Want to learn more? Come and become a Market Insider!

Get to know the Little Rock Real Estate Market!


Little Rock Home for Sale – 69 Dartmouth Drive, Little Rock, Arkansas 72204

An amazing new listing located conveniently in the Kensington Subdivision in Little Rock, 69 Dartmouth Drive offers many amenities families are looking for.  A 2005 construction that feels brand new, this home has a beautiful brick exterior and pretty landscaping to welcome you home!

Immaculately maintained, this one owner home has an open concept Living Room- Dining Room space with a 12 Foot ceiling, and a beautiful gas log fire place, making for an ideal haven for entertainment.

In addition to the Formal dining room, this home features an eat-in Kitchen equipped with stainless steel appliances.  Beautiful white cabinetry offers ample storage for the growing family, and includes two pantry areas, and great prep spaces, all necessary for the budding chef.

Through the kitchen is the separate Laundry room, also with storage, and works as a mud room for the two car garage entry.

At the end of the day, escape to the Luxurious Master Suite.  Good size bedroom with a stunning tray ceiling and chandelier make for the perfect serene getaway.  You can snuggle up to a great book in the adjoining sitting area with a custom window looking out to this wonderful neighborhood.  Relax in the master en-suite Bath featuring Double Sink Vanity, Jetted Spa Tub, and Separate Shower.  The Walk-In Closet has ample storage and there’s even a separate water closet for ultimate privacy.

Two additional bedrooms and a bath complete this family friendly home.  The back yard is spacious with a good sized deck for wonderful outdoor entertaining.

Come schedule a tour of this amazing home by calling Mitsy Tharp at 501-944-7147

Or, take a tour while you sit with your computer:     69 Dartmouth Drive Virtual Tour

If you’re looking for any other spaces in the central Arkansas area, click here to see all Great Homes In Little Rock!


Goals – How in the World do you Get There???

Leading a class on Goal Setting tomorrow, and I thought I’d share (with all random persons who might stumble on this).

Sifting through many quotes on goals, it really comes down to motivation.  If it’s not there, nothing else will happen.  Look at all the New Year’s Resolutions already being tossed aside like last season’s big thing.  I was just reading that most people set New Year’s Resolution as something they ‘should’ be doing, rather than something they ‘want’ to accomplish.    We should: want to lose weight..quit smoking…exercise more…clean better…be nicer to our family we don’t like….set more goals!

The key in making goals is that you actually want them. Once you identify that, then it’s all     about being S.M.A.R.T.!

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achieveable

R – Relevant

T – Time-Bound

If you can verbalize your goals in this manner, the next step is to write it down.  There are a number of ridiculous statistics that show once you write down your well defined, measurable, achievable, relevant, goal within a specific time frame, writing them down, and having them where you can view them regularly makes a significant difference in your success.

The next step can be quite a trick.  You must make it public!!!  Now, in the day of Facebook, twitter, my space, Linkedin, email, webmail, and yes, even Tumblr, the idea of ‘public’ may sound quite ridiculous, and absolutely ‘out of the question’.  No, the word public only refers to professing your goals and intentions to at least one paticular person.  Preferably one of your advocates who will actually make you accountable in a manner you can tolerate.

If you get this far, you probably have achieved more than your fellow resolutioner. It’s one thing to have a goal, yet another to actually find a way to make it happen; You must create a plan of action based around your well defined goal. Have your end in sight, written, professed, then work backwards to set incremental goals that aids your intentions. Not many people come up with an actual plan that executes a goal. There in lies the real problem.  Make up small milestones with timelines that you can celebrate along the way.  Gotta give yourself some snaps for getting part of the way, as long as you keep your eye on the final destination.

Now, if you can actually stick with your plan til the bitter end, oh how sweet it is!!!  Now you can Woot Woot til your heart’s content and really relish in your accomplishment!  Then, it’s time to set your next Goal, and start over again…until you’re done with all you’ve ever wanted to do!  Whew!  Congratulations to you for Your Something Great!!!

                          Get S.M.A.R.T.                                    Sample Goal Tracker     


Obituary – Mr. Common Sense…funny repost

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: – Knowing when to come in out of the rain; – Why the early bird gets the worm; … – Life isn’t always fair; – And maybe it was my fault. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies, don’t spend more than you can earn and adults, not children, are in charge. His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I’m A Victim Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on!!!!

This has nothing to do with my business… but then again, it has everything to do with my business, and yours!!

For Common Sense Look at Little Rock Home Trends.


Foreclosures and Short Sales: Current Dilemma – Tomorrow’s Opportunities

With the doom and gloom of the “financial crisis” today, Foreclosures and SHORT SALES are inexplicably the dreaded monster homeowners fear.  As harsh a reality it is for the homeowners, this does present opportunities for those who are looking to invest.  If  you’re a seasoned real estate investor, no need to explain the intricate details to you.  Yet for the fearless adventurer entrepreneur new to this form of investment,  here are some simplified features.

SHORT SALE:    This is a process when the bank allows the mortgage carrier to sell the home for less than what is owed on the note, thus it is sold ‘short’.   Not to mistake that this is a short process.   Not everyone can qualify to sell their home under short sale conditions.  The homeowner must be late on payments and must have some financial situation that has caused the situation (unemployment, divorce, illness, etc).  Bank must determine fair market value and deliberate whether this property qualifies.

Investing in Short Sale Properties is not for the faint hearted.  You must have patience, know-how, and even more patience to see the deal through.  Many deals can take weeks or months before you see the closing date. This process not only involves negotiating with the seller, but with the bank as well.   If successful, however, you not only help yourself get a great deal on a property, you may be helping the homeowners from a cataclysmic credit doom (still a hit on their credit, yet not as dismal as foreclosure).  It’s a win-win!  One of the first things to consider is consulting an attorney to clarify all legalities of purchasing short sale properties,  consult your accountant so you’ll know exactly what type of tax consequences might be associated with your purchase, and most important, a Real Estate Professional who can help maneuvour  through the Short Sale Buying Process.

FORECLOSURE:  Properties that are under foreclosure status  (aka REO, bank owned), banks now own the property and the homeowners are no longer involved.  The Process is a little simpler, and more foreclosure deals tend to get to the closing table compared to its short sale counterparts.  Don’t mistake, this can still be a complicated process, take time, and exhaust all your spiritual reserves, yet again , it may be a great way to pick up on a great deal!

Always keep in mind, Short Sales and Foreclosures may not always make for the best deal in Real Estate investment.  This is all dependent on how much is/was owed on the property, capital needed to repair the property (many of them are in shambles),  and how much time you’re willing to spend to see the deal through.

If you’re looking for great forecloure or short sale properties in the Little Rock area, take a look at the link below!  Then contact me to get started!!

Little Rock Area Foreclosures / Short Sale Properties


Adorable Little Rock Bungalow Home!!

Come see this adorable bungalow style Home for Sale in the Union Depot neighborhood in Little Rock!  This 1935 craftsman charmer features 3 bedrooms and 2 bath with 2 living areas and a good sized kitchen!  Hardwood floors through most of home, tall ceilings, and great storage make this a must see.  Close to both Heights/Hillcrest and Downtown Little Rock  makes this house very convenient for all types of living.   The wrap around front porch and the spacious fenced back yard makes for great outdoor living!

Check out this site for more information about this home and many other Little Rock area homes!

Great Homes In Little Rock!


Benton, AR home with a Splash!!

Welcome home to 3700 Beaver Circle in the much established Dark Forest Subdivision in Benton, Arkansas!  Great location, close to I-30 and minutes away from all things Benton and Bryant, with a 15 minute drive to Little Rock.  Enjoy the 4 bedrooms, 3.5 Baths, over 4000 square feet with 2 Living areas both with fireplaces, wet bar off the great room, formal Dining, and a spacious eat in kitchen just waiting for a family to add their own special touch.  Amazing outdoor living space with an in ground Pool, Hot Tub, a Gazebo for rest, and still enough yard for the kids to play.  Nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac on a half acre lot, you won’t find a better value than 3700 Beaver Circle!

Come get details of this Benton Home, and any other Central Arkansas Real Estate Info!!


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