The Mills Team Real Estate Blog

I have kept quiet on this issue, until now...

Please don't misunderstand my intent here, there are some flippers that do a great job of improving a house and, as a result, the neighborhoods in which they work. They deserve some profit for their hard work. I would buy one of these homes with no hesitation. 

However, there are too many flippers that really don't know what should be done or how to do it. They make the house look good for the sale and ignore some of the basics like insulation, electrical, and heat distribution. They may have gone to a seminar or just thought this was an easy way to make some money.

In any case, they are performing work on a home that is typically reserved for a contractor that is licensed, insured, and obtains

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One of the most common subjects that is brought up from both our buyers and our sellers is about Zillow and its “Zestimates”. This topic seems to be very confusing to those trying to buy or sell a home.  

If you’re not familiar with Zillow, it’s an online real estate database company which offers to give home buyers or sellers an estimated market value on a home. Because Zillow has such a strong online presence, clever marketing, and name recognition, it takes up all the energy of search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Buyers and sellers continue to get drawn into its advertising platform, which is anything but accurate locally.

For buyers, the negatives of using Zestimates include overpaying, under-offering, potentially losing the home to

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If You Can't Say Something Nice...

You may remember this old adage from your childhood. Your mom may have even used it against you.  Maybe you use it with your kids: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."   With the prevalence of social media, what we say, whether nice or not, becomes highly visible and public.  It also becomes permanent, potentially lingering in cyberspace for years.  We've all done it... used social media to vent, thinking that it's only being seen by our "friends."  However, have you considered that your comments on social media may harm your chances of selling your home?

You Are Part of Your Sales Team

Although an experienced and professional REALTOR® is an essential part of selling your home, so are

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Central Indiana homes sales dip in August, but climb year to date

Fewer homes on the market result in increased sale prices, up 4.9 percent this year

F.C. Tucker Company reported August 2015 home sales were down 11.1 percent for the nine-county central Indiana region, but up 8.2 percent year to date. Fewer homes were on the market last month compared to August 2014, showing a continuing trend toward a more balanced market. Average year-to-date home sale prices, however, climbed 4.9 percent to $186,087.

All nine central Indiana counties experienced varying declines in inventory. Madison County experienced the biggest drop at 23.9 percent. Marion and Shelby counties had the smallest changes, both reporting 2.7 percent fewer listings in August 2015

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So How Does One Select a Home Inspector?

When purchasing a home, the selection of a home inspector can be confusing. The knowledge, experience, and professionalism of your inspector can have a huge impact on whether or not your transaction successfully closes. Finding the right home inspector is critical to a successful closing and to protecting your interests. So where do you start?

Where to Find An Inspector.

Your best source of information will come from your real estate representative.   A successful real estate agent will have seen hundreds of inspections from many different inspectors and companies. Your REALTOR® can help you find an inspector and company who will do a quality, thorough inspection for you. 

Be cautious of referrals from

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YTD Pending Sales and Sale Prices Up Over 2014

F.C. Tucker Company reported more than 19,000 pended home sales in the first seven months of the year, resulting in a year-to-date increase of 8.9 percent compared to this time last year. Year-to-date sale prices also increased more than 5 percent. The average year-to-date sale price for a home in the nine-county area was $185,529.

July 2015 pended home sales, however, slipped 4.5 percent compared to July 2014. F.C. Tucker reported 2,602 homes sold, a modest decline of 123 homes. Four of the nine Central Indiana counties reported decreased sales compared to July 2014.

In July, Hancock County home sales surged 28.3 percent, raising the number of pended home sales to 127 from 99 in July 2014. Boone

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For many homeowners, building their own, brand new home is the fulfillment of a dream. Building gives you the opportunity to put your unique stamp on a home and know that it is tailored to your tastes and lifestyle. It is a rewarding experience, but can be overwhelming to those who are new to the process.  We hope this information will give you helpful information to help you decide if building is right for you.

Do We Have the Time?

Building a new home can be exiting. But the first question you must ask yourself is, "Do we have the time?"  Both production-built and custom-built homes require an investment in time, though custom-built homes require significantly more.  For more details about what type of time commitment to prepare for, see our New

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A New "Normal"?

After the real estate bubble (and subsequent collapse) that we saw earlier this decade, a lot of things changed in the real estate market.  Many homeowners saw a sharp decline in the value of their homes and ended up "under water" (owing more on their mortgage than the home was worth).  Foreclosures and short sales became not only common -- but the norm -- in some real estate markets (Florida is a good example).

While the Indianapolis real estate market was not immune from these forces, we fared much better than some areas, and our housing market has begun to return to "normal." However, one phenomenon of the housing bubble that outlasted both the bubble and the collapse is the bidding war.

If you watch any of the real estate

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A Seller's Market in the Indianapolis Area?

There is no question that parts of the Indianapolis real estate market have a lack of inventory right now. This can mean better sale prices and quicker sale times for those with Indianapolis homes for sale. However, it doesn't mean that home sellers don't need to take steps to attract the right buyers at the right price.  Here are some of the top items that home buyers are looking for... and what will make them run away!

What Indianapolis Home Buyers Want

  • A Separate Laundry Room: 93% of home buyers say that they want this feature.  Even if your space is very small, consider staging in order to make the most of it. Good paint choices and a few well placed, practical accessories can show the
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If you’ve ever watched the real estate shows on television, you probably already know that landscaping is an extremely important component of staging your home to sell. Research indicates that home buyers make up their minds about a home in the first 7 seconds, then spend the rest of their time validating that decision. Is it any wonder that your home’s landscape is so important?  It creates the first impression of your home to potential buyers.

Finished and Staged Landscaping is a Must

Just as most home buyers want a move-in ready interior, they also want “move-in ready” landscaping.  A recent survey by the National Association of Professional Landscapers reveals these very important statistics:

  • 91% of Americans believe it is important to
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