Jane Barker | Napa Real Estate, Staint Helena Real Estate, Yountville Real Estate


A home showing is a valuable opportunity for a property buyer. In certain instances, buyers will set up dozens of showings to review a wide range of residences. Meanwhile, a buyer sometimes finds the perfect residence during his or her first home showing.

Ultimately, there is no set number of showings that you will need to attend before you find your ideal house. It also is important to note that there is no time limit on a showing, and some showings may be shorter or longer than others.

Regardless of how many house showings you schedule, it is paramount to do everything possible to get the most out of a showing. Lucky for you, we are here to teach you about property showings and ensure you can optimize their value.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for a house showing.

1. Review a Home Listing

A home listing may include various information about a house's age and condition, but you likely will require additional details about a residence before you decide whether to submit an offer to purchase. Fortunately, a home showing enables you to gain additional insights that may be unavailable in a listing.

Take a look at a home listing and put together a list of questions about a home. Then, when you attend a showing, you can receive instant responses to your queries.

2. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

There is no need to rush through a home showing. As such, you should give yourself plenty of time to check out a house and walk through it during a showing.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to bring a pen and paper so you can jot down notes during a showing too. You also may want to take a camera with you. This will allow you to capture photographs of different areas of a home so you can review them after a showing and decide whether a house is right for you.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to help you prepare for a house showing. He or she will learn about a home prior to a showing and may be able to provide you with insights that you won't receive elsewhere. Plus, a real estate agent will offer honest, unbiased feedback about a residence and ensure you can make an informed decision about a house.

In addition, if you find a home that suits you perfectly, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase. And if you ever have concerns or questions during the property buying journey, a real estate agent can provide in-depth responses.

For those who want to get the most out of a home showing, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can prepare for a home showing and use this event to analyze all aspects of a residence.


After you receive an offer to purchase your house, you likely have only a short period of time to make your decision. Ultimately, determining whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuyer's proposal can be tricky. But if you plan ahead, you should have no trouble performing a comprehensive analysis of a buyer's offer, regardless of how much time is available.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you review a homebuying proposal.

1. Weigh the Pros and Cons

Creating a pros-cons list may prove to be ideal, particularly for a seller who is struggling to decide how to proceed with an offer. With this list in hand, you can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a proposal and determine the best course of action.

Furthermore, it may be beneficial to assess your homebuying goals relative to an offer. If you goal is to maximize your profits, for example, you may want to accept an offer only if it matches or exceeds your house's initial asking price. Or, if your goal is to move out of your current residence as soon as possible, you may be willing to accept a proposal, even if it falls short of your home's initial asking price.

2. Assess the Housing Market

Housing market data is readily available that may help you make the best-possible decision about a home offer. If you analyze this information closely, you may be better equipped than ever before to decide whether a buyer's proposal is "fair" based on the current real estate market's conditions.

Oftentimes, it helps to conduct a home appraisal before you list your residence as well. Following a home appraisal, you'll receive a property valuation that may help you price your residence and evaluate home offers down the line.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to examine a home offer on your own. Instead, collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can receive expert recommendations as you assess a homebuying proposal.

A real estate agent is happy to work with you at each stage of the home selling process. This housing market professional will make it simple for you to list your house and promote it to the right groups of buyers. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence. And once you receive an offer on your house, a real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to help you make an informed decision.

Lastly, if the first home offer that you receive fails to impress, there is no need to worry. You should not feel pressure to accept the initial offer on your house. In fact, you can always counter this proposal to set the stage for negotiations with a buyer, which could increase the likelihood of a successful home sale.

Get ready to review a homebuying proposal – use the aforementioned tips, and you can fully assess any offer that you receive.


Seeing your desire to buy a waterfront property through is a big accomplishment. Before you sign on the dotted lines, there are a few things that you should know about the process of choosing the perfect waterfront property for you. 


Decide What You Need


The first step in finding the right property of any kind is understanding your own needs. How do you want to use the property? Will it be your year-round home, or will you be there only a portion of the year? Really map out what your priorities are when it comes to searching for waterfront properties. From here, you can figure out what areas you’d like to search in and what type of property you want to find to suit you. What types of activities will you be doing at your property? Will a lake property do the job or do you need an ocean escape? Is canoeing or kayaking a part of your dream, or is simply sitting by the water enough enjoyment for your needs? Answering all of these questions can help you to narrow down your needs for a waterfront property. 


Touring Properties


As with any other type of home search, you should take the time to scope out the properties that you’re interested in. This means not only looking at the properties themselves but looking at the communities and neighborhoods as well. What does the area have to offer you? Is it near a town or nestled away in a secluded spot? Remember that with a typical house the size of the home is what contributes to the majority of the value of the home. With a waterfront property, the surroundings are key. The closer to the water you are, the more valuable your piece of real estate is. Consider all of the typical factors when looking at properties along with the additional concerns of being close to the amenities and natural pleasures that you crave. 


Other Important Things To Consider


Other things that you should consider in finding your perfect piece of waterfront heaven are things like:


  • How close is the beach?
  • Does the beach or lake have easy access?
  • Is there an adequate amount of privacy at this property?
  • What kind of view is there?


The more breathtaking the views and the more space between you and your neighbors will give you an advantage not only in your own living situation but in renting out the property and even selling it in the future. 


There are a lot of things that go into making the decision of finding the right waterfront property. Sometimes, hiring an experienced realtor in the area can be just what you need to understand all the aspects of your investment from the area to the type of home you choose. Don’t be afraid to hire an experienced realtor to help you in your search.   



If this is your first time buying a home, you might be worried that you aren’t asking enough questions. Or maybe you’re concerned you’re not asking the right questions--the things that matter the most when making a financial decision as important and life-changing as buying a home.  

While everyone’s situation is unique when buying a home, there are some questions that all buyers could benefit from asking. These questions will help you learn more about the home, how competitive the house is, and how much work you’ll need to put into it.

Since time is usually of the essence for people buying a home, it makes sense to ask questions early on so that you don’t waste too much time exploring an option that isn’t ideal for your situation.

In this article, we’re going to give you 5 important questions to ask when you talk to a seller and their agent so that you can be prepared to make the best decision for you or your family.

1. How flexible is the asking price?

While few sellers or agents will outright tell you if they’d accept a lower offer, it’s still a good idea to ask this question, as it will open up a conversation about the seller’s feelings toward the home and whether they’re pricing high with the hopes of receiving slightly lower offers.

2. How many offers has the home received?

It may seem counterintuitive, but most agents and sellers will be quite happy to tell you if they’ve received other offers. They know that once you know the current offer you’ll have to either come up with a higher offer or move on. It’s a win-win for you and the seller, as it equips both of you with information you need to make the best choice.

3. Why are the sellers moving away?

This question can be personal, so if you receive an answer that suggests it’s a family matter, don’t press for too many details. However, some sellers and agents will let you know exactly why the house is for sale. From this simple question, you can learn the seller’s timeline for making the sale, details about the schools or neighborhoods, and any other reason that might drive someone to move out of the neighborhood.

4. Are there any problems with the house that you know of?

Although you’ll have an inspection contingency in your contract if you do decide to make an offer on the home, it’s better to know if there are any issues with the home before going through the bidding process.

Most sellers understand this and will be upfront about any problems with the home, including repairs that need to be made now or will need to be made soon after you move in.

5. What is the average cost of utilities?

Buying a home comes with a lot of added costs and fees. However, many people forget about the changes in the cost of utilities that comes with buying a home--especially if you’re moving from an apartment where some utilities may have been included.

The seller will be able to give you a good estimate on the cost of electricity, garbage removal, internet, heat, and more.


Whether you're planning on selling your home in the near future or just enhancing it now for your own enjoyment, your kitchen is a great place to focus some of your attention.

If your kitchen is dreary, disorganized, and grungy, then several aspects of your life could be negatively impacted.

One surefire way to start your day on a sour note is to be "greeted" first thing in the morning by stacks of unwashed dishes, dirty cookware, and spills! Sound familiar? It happens to everyone occasionally, but it becomes a major issue when it occurs on a regular basis. Messy kitchens can not only leave you feel frustrated and irritable, but they can be a contributing factor to family squabbles.

Here's a related scenario that's worth avoiding at almost all costs: Leaning your arm on a dirty counter and realizing you're now wearing last night's tomato sauce or Cabernet on your work clothes! We won't even go into that sinking feeling you get when an important document, research paper, or business report gets placed on a wet counter top!

There's no solution that works flawlessly every time, but establishing consistent habits, routines, and family responsibilities is a great starting point. While it may be a bit of hassle to keep reminding your kids to clean up after themselves and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher, it's usually worth it when you know you're not going to have to wake up to a messy kitchen!

Other ways to ensure your kitchen is an inspiring place, rather than a depressing one, is to remove clutter from counter tops and tables, keep windows clean and unobstructed, and make sure artificial lighting is adequate in dining and food preparation areas. Replacing old, heavy window treatments and installing recessed lighting with dimmer switches can also enhance the look and feel of your kitchen.

Besides doing a partial or complete remodel of your kitchen -- which many homeowners need to do at least once -- there are a lot of small, more affordable touches that can make your kitchen a more inviting and enjoyable place to spend time. Colorful wall art, a bowl of fresh fruit, a flower arrangement, and the use of citrus-scented cleaners are a few simple touches that can set the stage for a cleaner, more cheerful living space.

Painting or re-staining kitchen cabinets may be more of a cumbersome job than you're willing to tackle, but it can dramatically freshen up the appearance of your kitchen. For some homeowners, cabinet refacing is an economical choice that is relatively simple and budget friendly.

Cleaning and organizing your pantry, kitchen cabinets, and refrigerator is also a good way to weed out expired grocery products and take inventory of what needs to be replaced. When ingredients and food supplies are easy to find, mealtime tends to be more relaxing and enjoyable for everyone.