Olear Team plans informational seminars for older adults and caregivers

Olear Team plans informational seminars for older adults and caregivers

Michael Olear, a licensed real estate broker and member of the Olear Team at MJ Peterson, will present educational seminars at senior communities this spring. Seminar locations include Sandra Lane Apartments in North Tonawanda and the Elderwood Residences at Wheatfield.

The seminars are open to the community and focus on real estate topics relevant to older adults and their loved ones and caregivers, including right-sizing and simplifying a living situation, legal and regulatory issues to be aware of, and available resources and tools related to these matters.

Seminars will be held on the following dates:
March 18 at 11:30 a.m. at the Sandra Lane Apartments, 705 Sandra Lane, North Tonawanda.
• March 23 at 11:30 a.m. at Elderwood, 100 Crestwood Court, Wheatfield.

To register for either event, please contact the Olear Team today at (716) 880-4442 or [email protected]

Olear is a licensed real estate broker with 30 years of experience. He has specialized in helping older adults with their real estate needs since 1999. The Olear Realty Group, Inc. is organized as a sub chapter S corporation and supports the Olear Team/MJ Peterson Corporation in the sale of residential real estate throughout Erie and Niagara County. The team has decades of experience in meeting the real estate needs of Western New York residents. Please visit olear.wpengine.com to learn more about the Olear Team’s work assisting senior citizens and their families.

Staging tips for home sellers

Staging tips for home sellers

A recent article on the Houselogic website identified seven tips for staging a home that will boost your home’s value and speed up the sale process. We thought we’d share them with you today in a condensed format.

Clean the slate. Before you worry about where to place furniture and accessories, do a thorough cleaning and make sure all the rooms look spotless!

Clear out clutter. Pack up your personal decorations such as photos and collectibles. However, leave accent pieces on important visual points such as mantles and coffee tables.

Fewer furnishings. Remove one or two pieces of furniture from each room so that rooms appear larger.

Go with the flow. Showcase the flow of rooms by arranging the furniture to guide potential buyers from one room to another.

Add a pop of color. While neutral colors are always recommended when selling, a vibrant throw or accent pillows will brighten any room. Also, add high-wattage bulbs in darker areas of the home.

Set a scene. Thoughtful touches will make a house feel homey. Add logs to the fireplace, set the dining room table, place fancy soaps in the bathroom, etc.

Make a grand entrance. The first impression is the most important. Mow the lawn, trim hedges, and add a new doormat or seasonal wreath to make all visitors feel welcome!

Seniors need safe flooring options

Seniors need safe flooring options

With a rapidly aging population, many homeowners are making renovations to their homes, or the homes of loved ones, to ensure a safe living environment. If you find yourself in this situation, consider starting at the bottom — the floor — and working your way up.

Slips and falls are a problem in any home, especially one that houses aging residents. Here are some tips to ensure that a walk across the floor is as easy as a walk through the park!

• Whether your choosing wood, tile or carpet, it is wise to employ a sharp color contrast to identify any changes in elevation. This will help identify where the floor ends and walls, stairs and doors begin. For example, in a home with hardwood flooring, an end cap that is a few shades darker can improve both appearance and safety!

• If you or your loved one is using a walker or some other mobility aid, hardwood, linoleum or tile are the best choices as they are easily navigated and do not drag or pull when in contact with sneakers or rubber-covered devices.

• If installing tile, ask the sales representative about slip resistance, which can differ from product to product.

• Consider the flooring finish as well. Following changes in level, glare is the next largest impediment to safe mobility. For example, a matte finish on a wood floor reduces glare considerably when compared to a gloss finish.

Finally, it’s important to note that area rugs, when placed over any type of flooring, are always a slip and fall hazard!

Two tips to ensure you get the most money when selling your house

Two tips to ensure you get the most money when selling your house


Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW 

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

Instead of the seller trying to “win” the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With that being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

Pre-qualified Vs. Pre-approved – Know the Difference!

Pre-qualified Vs. Pre-approved – Know the Difference!

Most people are not trained when it comes to the world of real estate and the terminology involved, which makes some of the language used tough to understand. So most people can easily get lost in all the fancy mumbo-jumbo that agents can throw around.

One important thing to remember: pre-qualification and pre-approval don’t mean the same thing. Some inexperienced agents can use these almost interchangeably but the difference between the two terms is great.

Pre-qualification means that the lender has provided an estimate of what the buyer can afford. This is based on the information received from the buyer such as income, assets, debt, and down payment. The lender will also provide an opinion of what the buyer’s potential is based on the information provided.

Pre-approval is defined as a commitment rending confirmation to receive a loan. What this means is that the lender has done more than have a conversation with the buyer and has, in addition, verified the buyer’s income, assets, debt, and down payment with a document review and a trimerge credit report. The lender will also provide an approval letter, which explains the conditions to be met as well as a finite mortgage amount. Furthermore, the buyer has already filled out a full loan application, paid the fee associated, and finished the necessary forms to complete the application. All that is needed to complete the process is a house to buy and a formal appraisal.

When you see sold signs come off, that usually means the buyer was only pre-qualified.