Dec. 13, 2017

The Guide to Selling Your Home - Quick and For More Money!

Sell Your Toledo Home Now!


Looking to buy or sell a home in the Toledo area?  Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, CLICK HERE for a FREE Home Price Evaluation.  Then you'll know what buyers will pay for your home in today's market.  You may also call us at 419.740.4520 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.

Sell Your Home For Top Dollar in 5 Easy Step!

1) Professionally Marketing to Sell.  We believe the First key element to selling your home starts with the marketing.  90% of all home buyers start their home search online.  Our Powerful Marketing plan, emphasizes online marketing, and will attract multiple offers and get your home sold for the highest possible price.

2) Pricing Your Home to Sell.  We spend countless hours studying the local area market, comparing it with the national market, and reviewing recent sales data.  When it comes to pricing a home correctly, we have the experience and knowledge to offer sound advice.  Together, we will determine the most effective pricing strategy to obtain maximum dollars for you.

3) Proven Staging to Sell.  We focus on professionally staging every home we list. The big 3 items to prep are De-clutter, Clean, and Paint.

4) Choosing the Right Agent.  Not all agents are created equal!  Select a Listings Specialist vs. a Buyer Specialist.  We are listing specialists who specialize in working with Sellers.

5) Closing Essentials.  We handle all Showings, Negotiate Offers, and the Closing process.  We take care of all of the daily work to get your home sold.

Ask for my FREE HOME SELLING GUIDE on maximizing your profits in less time.  If you're thinking about selling or buying a home in the surrounding area, give Paula or myself a call or send us an email.  I'd be happy to connect with you.


Nov. 23, 2017

Why Choose Us?

Toledo Real Estate Pros

6 Reasons You Should Trust Us To Sell Your House

In this video we outline the 6 keys skills we use to get your property sold!

Watch on your mobile device.

Brad Ploce & Paula Nowicki | Brad and Paula Team
210 W Wayne St, Suite 4
Maumee, Ohio 43537
419.740.4520 |

July 11, 2017

That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Don’t underestimate the power of a space based on its size. Sure, your listing may be size-challenged in the yard department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a showpiece.

“As building lots continue to be smaller and scarcer, lot preparation with the goal of maximizing livable outdoor space tops the list of property enhancement desires,” according to Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects. Indeed, the desire for outdoor living space ranked tops among architects for landscaping trends in the first quarter of 2017 AIA survey. Blended indoor/outdoor living came in second. 

In the latest issue of REALTOR® Magazine, we took a look at How to Make a Big Statement With a Small Yard.

There are plenty of ways you can enhance a small space and several design experts showed us how, from setting a focal point to using reflective materials, tweaking the furnishing scale, accenting with container gardens and layering the light. Read tips on each, and take a look at a few examples.

 Show off the green

Prune plants so they’re more vertical than horizontal, training them to grow up rather than out. Also, consider creating a vertical wall of planters, like containers of ornamental grasses. You can also raise plant height by several feet using retaining walls, raised beds, or extra long, slender containers.

Photo courtesy: Dennis Hammett, Ebby Halliday REALTORS(R)


Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals


Create functional, inviting spaces

Even a small backyard can show off a dining space or an area with comfy chairs around a fire pit. Show how the space can be used for entertaining.

Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals ]

Accentuate the far side of the yard

By getting buyers to gaze across a stretch of yard, you’ll help make the space feel larger. For example, place a bench at the far side of the landscape, surrounded by lush greenery.

Photo courtesy Costa Farms


July 11, 2017

Veteran and active-military homebuyers

May’s Military Appreciation Month is a time to honor the country’s veterans and active service members and their families and recognize them for their sacrifices.

One of the most useful benefits afforded to military personnel is access to Veterans Administration, or VA, home loans, which offer  100 percent financing for veteran and active-service homebuyers to achieve their dreams of owning their own home. According to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 18 percent of recent home buyers identified themselves as veterans and 2 percent as active-duty service members; of all buyers last year 12 percent made their purchase with a VA loan.

When it comes to homeownership, NAR’s 2016 Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, found that young active-service buyers (ages 18-35) value owning a home of their own and bought at a far greater rate (51 percent) than non-military buyers (34 percent), despite having a lower median incomes. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun surmised that more stable job security and no down payment financing options, like VA loans, give potential home buyers in the military a deserving advantage over their civilian peers.

The report also found that VA loans –– which are the most popular loan type for active-service and veteran buyers – lead to the majority of active-service buyers financing 100 percent of their home purchase and veterans putting down a median down payment of 5 percent. For non-military buyers, the median down payment was 11 percent.

On behalf of the nation’s 1.2 million Realtor® members, the National Association of Realtors® thanks our nation’s military members for their service.

July 11, 2017

Realtors® extend support for 200 years of home history


The National Association of Realtors®, in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution, is helping keep alive the history of a house whose story is a snapshot of America itself.

Since 2001, the National Association of Realtors® has sponsored the “Within These Walls” exhibition at the National Museum of American History, which chronicles the story of one home and five families whose lives intersected with American history at different crossroads. This week, NAR and the Smithsonian announced that the association will extend and expand its sponsorship, becoming exclusive sponsor of “Within these Walls” September 2018 through 2030.

You can read more about the sponsorship and exhibit in the Smithsonian’s June 13 announcement:

“Real estate is more than just a structure, it’s a home,” said Bob Goldberg, NAR senior vice president of Sales and Marketing. “The stories of the occupants are what makes a house a home. We were particularly intrigued by this home as it provided an opportunity for NAR to share the importance of homeownership through the stories of the five families who called this structure home.”

The exhibition is built around a 250-year-old two-story house from Ipswich, Mass., which is the largest artifact in the National Museum of America History.

In the early 1960s, the Ipswich House was saved from demolition by a handful of local citizens. Smithsonian staff took the house apart piece by piece, transported it, and reassembled it inside the National Museum of American History on the National Mall.

“Within These Walls” will continue to be expanded and updated with new stories. In 2018, the museum will install a new artifact case to feature objects marking the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, which was signed in April 1968 to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Other future enhancements to the exhibition include experiences to further engage younger visitors in piecing together exhibit stories and the ways enslaved people staked their claim to liberty as well as additional interactives throughout the exhibition.

The “Within These Walls” website shares more history and photos of the exhibit:

July 11, 2017

Up...Up...and Up

New Home Sales Rise But So Do Prices

Sales of previously owned homes rose in May.

New home sales are up 9% over 2016.

New home prices are now at a record high.

Average sales price of new homes sold in May was $406,400.

Price increases are largely being driven by a low inventory and high buyer demand.

But why, if there are so many buyers, aren't builders building more houses?

Lack of available building lots.

A strengthened labor market and still-low mortgage rates are keeping buyers interested and active in the market.


July 11, 2017

Low Inventory Is Pushing Prices Up and Days on Market Down

Existing-homes rebounded nicely in May as more buyers navigated the headwinds of weaker affordability and limited listings in the affordable price range.

It’s very evident that supply this spring severely lags demand in many parts of the country. It’s a big reason why home prices continue to outpace incomes and reached a new peak high last month of $252,800.

Take a look at these additional eye-opening stats about how low inventory is affecting the market:

  • Existing inventory is 8.4 percent below last May and has now decreased year-over-year for two straight months

  • The median days on market was 27 days, which is the lowest since NAR began tracking in May 2011

  • Fifty-five percent of homes sold within a month (also a new high since May 2011)

Will these conditions linger into the summer? NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun believes they will. “Several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkably fast pace of under a month,” he said.

Check out the charts below for a recap of last month’s sales activity:

July 11, 2017

Home Staging Decreases Time on the Market, Finds Realtors® Report


WASHINGTON (July 6, 2017) — Sixty-two percent of sellers' agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Profile of Home Staging,

"Realtors® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR's most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers," said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. "While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value."

According to the report, which is in its second iteration, nearly two-thirds of sellers' agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market, with 39 percent saying that it greatly decreases the time and 23 percent saying it slightly decreases the time. Sixteen percent of sellers' agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home's time on the market, while 8 percent believe that it has no impact.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers' agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online. However, 38 percent of buyers' agents said that staging positively affects a home's value if the home is decorated to the buyer's taste, meaning that a home's staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

Forty-nine percent of buyers' agents said that staging has an effect on most buyers. Another 48 percent stated that staging has an effect on some buyers' opinion of a home, but not always, and only 4 percent said that it has no impact on buyers. 

Realtors® representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room in a home to stage, followed by the master bedroom, the kitchen, and then the yard or outdoor space. The guest bedroom is considered the least important room to stage. 

The highest share of buyers' agents, 31 percent, reported that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1 to 5 percent. Thirteen percent said that staging increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent, while 25 percent stated it has no impact on dollar value. Only 1 percent of buyers' agents felt that staging has a negative impact on a home's dollar value.

Sellers' agents report even more value is added from staging: 29 percent reported an increase of one to five percent in dollar value offered by buyers, 21 percent reporting an increase of 8 to 10 percent, and 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent. No sellers' agents reported a negative impact.

When deciding which homes to stage, 38 percent of sellers' agents said that they stage all of their sellers' homes before listing them, 14 percent will stage only homes that are difficult to sell, and 7 percent stage only homes in higher price brackets. Thirty-seven percent of sellers' agents said they do not stage homes before listing them, but they recommend sellers declutter their homes and fix any faults with the property.

When it comes to paying for home staging, 25 percent of the time the seller pays before listing the home. Twenty-one percent of sellers' agents will personally provide funds to stage the home, while 14 percent of agents will offer home staging services to sellers.

Beyond staging, agents also named the most common home improvement projects they recommend to sellers: Ninety-three percent recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning, and 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning. Other pre-sale projects include depersonalizing the home, removing pets during showings and making minor repairs.

In March 2017, NAR invited a random sample of 53,760 active Realtor® members to fill out an online survey. A total of 1,894 useable responses were received for an overall response rate of 3.5 percent. At the 95 percent confidence level the margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.25 percent.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


July 3, 2017

The History of the 4th of July


On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. Each year on July 4th, also known as Independence Day, Americans celebrate this historic event.


Conflict between the colonies and England was already a year old when the colonies convened a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in the summer of 1776. In a June 7 session in the Pennsylvania State House (later Independence Hall), Richard Henry Lee of Virginia presented a resolution with the famous words: "Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved."


Lee's words were the impetus for the drafting of a formal Declaration of Independence, although the resolution was not followed up on immediately. On June 11, consideration of the resolution was postponed by a vote of seven colonies to five, with New York abstaining. However, a Committee of Five was appointed to draft a statement presenting to the world the colonies' case for independence. Members of the Committee included John Adams of Massachusetts, Roger Sherman of Connecticut, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Robert R. Livingston of New York and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. The task of drafting the actual document fell on Jefferson.


On July 1, 1776, the Continental Congress reconvened, and on the following day, the Lee Resolution for independence was adopted by 12 of the 13 colonies, New York not voting. Discussions of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence resulted in some minor changes, but the spirit of the document was unchanged. The process of revision continued through all of July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4, when the Declaration was officially adopted. Of the 13 colonies, nine voted in favor of the Declaration, two -- Pennsylvania and South Carolina -- voted No, Delaware was undecided and New York abstained. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock's signed his name "with a great flourish" so England's "King George can read that without spectacles!


"Today, the original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States laid down its claim to be a free and independent nation.

July 3, 2017


Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you're probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you're promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It's worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It's good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It's pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner-your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven't spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.