Welcome to the Synergy Properties Blog!

Whether you're a happy homeowner, looking to sell your current home, or searching for the home of your dreams, the Synergy Properties team has curated some helpful blog posts to help provide inspiration for your next DIY project, catch up on your real estate knowledge, or answer your hard-hitting questions about the home selling/buying process. Sift through our blog categories and feel free to let us know if you'd like us to cover something in particular. Happy reading!

Buyer Blog  



June 17, 2020

Summer is the New Spring for Real Estate



Some Highlights:

  • The health crisis slowed the market this spring, so buyers are jumping back into the market to make their moves this summer.
  • Check these 10 items off your to-do list so your house is ready to sell while buying is hot!
  • Reach out to a local real estate agent today to prepare your house for the sizzling summer market.

Seller Resources:


Posted in Seller Blog
June 16, 2020

Three Reasons Homebuyers Are Ready to Purchase this Year



A recent survey by Lending Tree tapped into behaviors of over 1,000 prospective buyers. The results indicated 53% of all homebuyers are more likely to buy a home in the next year, even amid the current health crisis. The survey further revealed why, naming several reasons buyers are more likely to move this year (see graph below):

Let’s break down why these are a few of the key factors motivating buyers to actively engage in the home search process, and the corresponding wins for sellers as well.

Low Mortgage Rates

The biggest reason potential homebuyers indicated they’re eager to purchase this year is due to current mortgage rates, which are hovering near all-time lows. Today’s low rates are making it more affordable than ever to buy a home, which is a huge incentive for purchasers. In fact, 67% of respondents in the Lending Tree survey want to take advantage of low mortgage rates. This is no surprise when comparing historic mortgage rates by decade (see below):

Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac recently said:

“As the economy is slowly rebounding, all signs continue to point to a solid recovery in home sales activity heading into the summer as prospective buyers jump back into the market. Low mortgage rates are a key factor in this recovery.”

Reduced Spending

Some people have also been able to save a little extra money over the past few months while sheltering in place. One of the upsides of staying home recently is that many have been able to work remotely and minimize extra spending on things like commuting expenses, social events, and more. For those who fall into this category, they may have a bit more saved up for down payments and closing costs, making purchasing a home more feasible today.

Re-Evaluating Their Space

Spending time at home has also given buyers a chance to really evaluate their living space, whether renting or as a current homeowner. With time available to craft a wish list of what they really need in their next home, from more square footage to a more spacious neighborhood, they’re ready to make it happen.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

With these three factors in play, the demand for housing will keep growing this year, especially over the summer as more communities continue their phased approach to reopening. Buyers can take advantage of additional savings and low mortgage rates. And if you’re thinking of selling, know that your home may be in high demand as buyer interest grows and the number of homes for sale continues to dwindle. This may be your moment to list your house and make a move into a new space as well.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to buy or sell – or maybe both – reach out to a local real estate professional to put your plans in motion. With low mortgage rates leading the way, it’s a great time to take advantage of your position in today’s market.

Buyer Resources:


Posted in Buyer Blog
June 15, 2020

Is a Recession Here? Yes. Does than Mean a Housing Crash? No.



On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession. This did not come as a surprise to many, as the Bureau defines a recession this way:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, normally visible in production, employment, and other indicators. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of economic activity and ends when the economy reaches its trough. Between trough and peak, the economy is in an expansion.”

Everyone realizes that the pandemic shut down the country earlier this year, causing a “significant decline in economic activity.”

Though not surprising, headlines announcing the country is in a recession will cause consumers to remember the devastating impact the last recession had on the housing market just over a decade ago.

The real estate market, however, is in a totally different position than it was then. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explained:

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”

Four major differences in today’s real estate market are:

  • Families have large sums of equity in their homes
  • We have a shortage of housing inventory, not an overabundance
  • Irresponsible lending no longer exists
  • Home price appreciation is not out of control

We must also realize that a recession does not mean a housing crash will follow.  In three of the four previous recessions prior to 2008, home values increased. In the other one, home prices depreciated by only 1.9%.

Bottom Line

Yes, we are now officially in a recession. However, unlike 2008, this time the housing industry is in much better shape to weather the storm.

Client Resources:


Posted in General Blog
June 4, 2020

Is it Time to Sell Your Vacation Home?



The travel industry is one of the major sectors that’s been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, it’s hard to know how long it will take for summer travelers to be back in action and for the industry to fully recover. Homeowners who rent their secondary properties on their own or through programs like Airbnb, which has over 660,000 listings in the U.S. alone, have been impacted in this challenging time. Some of these homeowners are considering selling their vacation homes, and understandably so.

A recent CNN article indicated:

“With global travel screeching to a halt during the pandemic, a number of Airbnb hosts are planning to sell their properties…These desperate moves come as hosts face the possibility of losing thousands of dollars a month in canceled bookings while bills, maintenance costs, and mortgage payments pile up.”

If you’re one of the property owners in this position, you too may be feeling the pain of decreased travel, especially as we prepare for the typical busy summer vacation season. A recent survey notes that 48% of Americans have already canceled summer travel plans due to the current health crisis. In addition, 36% indicated they don’t have vacation plans, and only 16% said they did not cancel their summer travel.

The same survey also asked, “How long will you wait before traveling again?” Not surprisingly, only 29% of respondents are planning to travel within the next 6 months. That means 71% are putting their plans on hold for at least 6 months, or are still unsure about future travel. That can continue to add to the significant income loss that many property renters felt this spring.

If you’re considering selling your rental property, know that there are two key factors indicating that selling your vacation home now may be your best move as a homeowner.

Inventory Shortage

The inventory of overall homes for sale is well below the demand from potential buyers, so many eyes may be searching for a home like yours. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), total housing inventory, meaning homes available to purchase, is down 19.7% from one year ago (see graph below):

Inventory across the country continues to be a challenge, with only a 4.1-month supply of listings available at the current sales pace. For a balanced market, where there are enough homes available for interested buyers to purchase, that number would need to bump up to a 6-month supply. This means we don’t have enough inventory for the number of buyers looking for homes, so selling in this scenario is ideal. Buyers are looking now, and some vacation homes make a great primary residence or second home for those eager to escape from more populated urban areas.

Home Prices

The lack of inventory is also keeping homes from depreciating in value. Today, prices are holding strong and experts forecast home price appreciation to continue throughout this year. Selling your home while prices are holding steady is a sound business move. You’ll likely have equity you’ve earned working for you as well. If your home has been vacant for the past few months, the forced savings you have built in your equity may help balance out possible rental income loss due to the slowdown in the travel industry.

Seller Resources:


Posted in Seller Blog
June 3, 2020

Why Now May be a Good Time to Buy



With social distancing being an important part of life at the moment and so many parts of the economy suffering the effects of state lockdowns, some are worried about how all of this will affect the housing market. This is especially a concern for those who were hoping to buy a new home and have seen their plans potentially derailed by the pandemic. Is this a good time to consider buying a new home, assuming that it’s even safe to do so?

Depending on where you live, the answer may be surprising.

It’s a Buyer’s Market in Some Markets (but not everywhere)

With the current state of the world, the demand for real estate has dropped significantly in some parts of the US and Canada. This has left many of those who have already listed homes for sale or who were planning to list over the summer in a position where there are far fewer people looking at their properties. For some sellers, this isn’t much of an issue; they can simply wait it out and stick to their previous plans. A lot of sellers don’t have that luxury, though. This creates a buyer’s market where a lot of sellers are willing to consider offers that they wouldn’t have in the past, giving potential buyers a lot more control in the home-buying process.

As the name suggests, it’s always good to buy in a buyer’s market. It isn’t necessarily a great time to list a home for sale, of course, since you’d likely have to settle for a lower offer than you were expecting if you want to move the property. This usually helps to balance out the market, with listing rates slowing down to meet demand until things pick back up again.

With all of that said, not every market is experiencing this pandemic the same way.  In fact, many markets remain a seller’s market due to low inventory, mortgage rates, or any number of other local demand characteristics.

Demand Is Staying Low in Most Markets

Most of the time, a buyer’s market is caused by shifts in the economy that have people trying to save money; an example of this would be a recession. These economic shifts temporarily reduce the number of people who are willing to take on large debts, creating a glut of sellers trying to entice a smaller pool of buyers. The buyer’s market typically fizzles out once the number of sellers shrinks or the economy stabilizes.

In the current buyer’s market, the economy certainly plays a factor. There is an external factor at play here as well, however: The physical distancing that COVID-19 requires has added additional worry about open houses and other forms of interpersonal contact that are traditional when buying or selling a house. There’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, including how long it will last, so with this external factor and the currently stunted economy we could see demand stay low for longer than you would expect in a buyer’s market situation.

Market Recovery

This isn’t to say that the market won’t recover, of course. Some states have already started reopening non-essential businesses and other parts of the economy, and other states have plans to start reopening soon. The economy will likely stay sluggish for a while, but reopening is the first part of recovery. Even the pandemic is becoming something less of a factor as people continue to practice social caution and science continues to work toward treatment and vaccine options. While market recovery may take longer than in the past, a recovery will happen, and the good deals that buyers can find now will become less common as things move forward.

Buying Safe

If you do decide to shop for a home in the current market, make sure that you’re smart about it and stay safe. Maintain all physical distancing practices while looking at homes, even if there is only a seller or agent present. Ask whether no-contact options such as virtual tours or virtual closing with digital signage are options, and if touring the property request that any doors or other barriers be opened before you arrive to reduce contact. Wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer and take the same precautions that you would in any other social situation. This may seem excessive for viewing a home, but keep in mind that these practices not only protect you, but also protect the seller and agent as well.

Buyer Resources:


Posted in Buyer Blog
June 2, 2020

Top Reasons to Own Your Home


Some Highlights

  • June is National Homeownership Month, and it’s a great time to consider the benefits of owning your own home.
  • If you’re in a position to buy, homeownership might help you find the stability, community, and comfort you’ve been searching for this year.
  • Reach out to a local real estate professional today to determine if homeownership is the right next step for you and your family.

Client Resources:


Posted in General Blog
June 1, 2020

June 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Synergy Newsletter
May 30, 2020

Create an At-Home Spa Retreat



You don’t have to leave your home to “get away from it all.” With a little planning, you can create a private spa experience and escape within the confines of your home.

Here are eight simple ways to turn your master bathroom into a personal oasis where stress melts away, and little intensive self-care is your top priority.

White Towels and Wood

Invest in several uber-thick, oversized white bath towels and washcloths, plus a cushy white terrycloth robe to wrap yourself in. Nothing says “spa” like luxurious all-white robes and towels.

Heat your towels while you soak. If you don’t have a heated towel rack, try tucking a hot water bottle into the folds and stacking the towels on a wooden stool, placed inches away from the tub for fingertip access. Imagine how good the warm towels will feel against your skin.

In addition to a wooden stool, add a bamboo mat, to improve the spa vibe and avoid soggy rugs.

Scented Delights

The spa experience isn’t just for your skin. Delight your nose with bath salts, bath oil, calming essential oil diffusers, or candles in your bathroom. Be sure to select safe, nontoxic candle options.

Consider flowers or an aromatic green plant (eucalyptus, rosemary, cotton lavender, lemon verbena, or chocolate mint). The more senses you involve, the more effective the spa experience will be.

Go Natural with Colors and Textures

Take your cues from nature when selecting colors and accessories. Paint the walls soft shades of gray, brown, blue, or green. Add a wooden bowl filled with smooth round rocks that beg to be touched, a large quartz crystal, a simple vase of flowering tree branches, or an orchid.

A Luxury Shower

If you have the money and inclination, consider creating a walk-in shower that uses earth tone tiles and includes a glass half-wall or a frameless glass door to expand the visual size of the shower. Install an overhead rainfall showerhead and a hand-held shower with a massage head.

If you can’t do a complete shower overhaul, there are other ways to move toward a spa-like experience. Start by hanging a high quality, heavy white shower curtain. To step up your spa game, trade an old or basic showerhead for something more exclusive.

Legendary Lighting

Bright white lights have no place in a spa. They are too harsh. You need relaxing, “mood lighting.” Install dimmers to your bathroom light switches or improvise with a low-wattage bulb in a lamp. Try draping a cloth over the shade to dampen the light further.

Candles are an instant and portable option that can be placed on your sink or even around your tub! If your bathroom is large enough, try threading a string of white lights through a ficus tree, which can light up a corner and add a soft glow to the whole room.

No Clutter, Easy Access

Bathrooms are notorious collection spots for personal care products and related accessories. Clear the clutter from all your surfaces and place the products you need for your spa experience in a wooden bowl, a basket, or a bamboo tub tray. Clutter has been shown to cause stress, and your spa should be a stress-free zone!

Tasty Treats

Be sure to offer your sense of taste something delightful to enjoy during your spa experience. Options include a mug (or china cup and saucer) of herbal tea, ice-cold seltzer water with a fruit garnish, a square of dark chocolate, or a glass of wine. Sip, nibble, and soak!

Music, Of Course!

No spa experience would be complete without soft, relaxing, meditative music. You can pipe in a full-blown music system to fill your bathroom and bathe yourself in sound.

Or, rely on your phone and use a small, waterproof Bluetooth speaker to bring your music next to the tub, while keeping your phone a safe distance from the water. Create your own spa playlist or try a meditation music app.

Look for ways to envelop all of your senses in a private spa experience. Just be sure to put a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the bathroom door and inform everyone else in the house that you are officially off call!

Client Resources:


Posted in General Blog
May 29, 2020

How Covid-19 has Changed the Homebuying Process



Less than a month ago, real estate showings, purchases, and closings in the U.S. were mostly unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic. Now, homebuyers and sellers face a completely different landscape. 

In most markets, real estate is considered an essential service. Homes are still being listed for sale, and buyers are still able to purchase them. The process, however, is dramatically different and will continue transforming throughout 2020.

These changes stem from multiple sources. Federal, state, and local public health guidelines are routinely issued and modified. Brokerages are instituting new policies to protect their agents and clients. 

Also, every buyer and seller is making their own decisions about what feels risky and what feels safe. With all these factors in mind, here are five ways that home buying has changed:


In some markets, virtual showings may be offered instead of in-person showings. Where in-person tours are allowed, understand that sellers may be hesitant about letting strangers into their home. 

You might be asked to leave non-essential items outside and wear a face mask, gloves, and booties over your shoes. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to stay off the furniture, keep drawers and cabinets closed, or spend as little time as possible in the home.  

You may need to fill out a health screening questionnaire, asking about any current symptoms and exposure to individuals with COVID-19. 

While these measures may seem “unfriendly” to buyers, they are only intended to keep everyone safe, as much as possible, until the risk of infection subsides or better solutions are found.

Social distancing

The practice of social distancing may become the new normal for many buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals, even after “flattening the curve.”

Fortunately, there are several easy ways to practice social distancing with your buyer’s rep. Instead of piling into your agent’s car, for example, meet your agent at the property in your own vehicle. While touring a home, maintain at least six feet of distance with your agent.

After seeing a home, instead of discussing your reactions at a nearby coffee shop (if they’re open) or your agent’s office, consider regrouping over a conference call, using FaceTime, Zoom, or similar platform.


All offers and counteroffers may be presented over the phone or in virtual meetings, using electronic signatures.

Resist any temptation to take advantage of sellers by tossing out lowball offers or making unrealistic demands. Fair offers usually yield better results, regardless of market conditions. 

Your Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®) can provide the most timely guidance, especially during quickly evolving market conditions. 

Yes, some sellers will opt to reduce their listing prices to attract buyers. It’s also possible that pent-up buying pressure will drive prices up, once economic conditions begin moving in a positive direction.

Closing and moving

Once you and a seller have agreed to contract terms, numerous steps must occur before your transaction closes. It’s never a simple process, but the coronavirus pandemic has added complexities. Real estate transactions are still closing but may take a little longer.

Everyone involved in the process, including inspectors, lenders, appraisers, and title companies are creating workarounds, but also encountering unavoidable setbacks.

For buyers, the best way to manage the situation is to give yourself a little more time to move into your new home. If you’re terminating a lease, consider extending it for a month or two to accommodate potential delays.

It may also be challenging to schedule moving crews during this time, even though moving services are considered an essential service in most locations.

Also, moving companies may prefer to provide estimates by doing a virtual walkthrough of your current home.


On the bright side, mortgage interest rates are at historic lows, making this an extremely favorable time to lock in long-term financing for your home, even if it does take a bit longer to process your application.

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has also made it difficult for many people to meet their monthly mortgage obligations. If you or someone you know is facing financial setbacks, learn more about the mortgage forbearance provisions in the CARES Act, and contact your mortgage service provider.

Looking Forward

Undoubtedly, the home buying process will continue to change in the months ahead. Regardless of how it evolves, one thing is certain: Now, more than ever, it’s essential to have a trusted real estate professional by your side, watching out for your interests. 

An agent who has earned the ABR® designation has special training and proven experience in representing buyers. You can count on an ABR® to deliver the highest level of buyer-representation services!

Buyer Resources:


Posted in Buyer Blog
May 27, 2020

10 Home Repairs You can do You on Your Own



Do you have some repairs that need to be made around the house? Use this time to work on minor tasks that you’ve been putting off. You can still order parts, or better yet, fix things with just the elbow grease you already have at home! It can be as simple as replacing any burnt-out lightbulbs or, if you’re up for a challenge, try fixing that leaky sink or patching up any holes in the walls. Don’t wait until you’re ready to sell. Use your extra free time to get started on these 10 DIY projects now. 

Replace Burnt Out Lightbulbs

Walk around your home and take an inventory of which light bulbs need to be replaced, both indoors and outside. This is an easy task that can make your home feel more bright and inviting. Learn how to pick the best lightbulb for each room. 

Fix Leaking Pipes

If you have a leaking plumbing pipe, it’s important to fix it before it causes serious damage. Leaks are common around drains, sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers. Here is how you can fix each of these leaks. 

Patch Any Holes in the Walls

Any knicks in the wall from moving furniture or holes from multiple attempts trying to hang a painting? Take some time to fill those holes with a fast-drying spackle or joint compound, and then paint over them to give your wall a smooth look. You can save time fixing larger holes by using a self-adhesive patch and joint compound. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to repair a wall with holes of various shapes and sizes. 

Revive a Dead Lawn

It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune to get a bright green, perfectly manicured lawn. You can bring any dead patches back to life with some grass seed, lawn food, water, and some care. Growing a lush lawn is about knowing what to give the grass and when to give it. Fresh green grass will enhance your home’s curb appeal in the front yard and create a great space for entertaining in the backyard.

Fix Loud Cabinet Doors & Drawers

Use peel-and-stick bumpers on cabinet doors or drawers that bang shut to minimize the sound. The key is to make sure the area is clean before applying the bumper so that it will stick. You can get a pack of 75 for just a few dollars on Amazon. 

Clean a Smelly Washing Machine or Dishwasher

If your washing machine has started having a strange smell, run a cycle with a mold-killing tablet and leave the door open to dry for a bit. You can clean a bad-smelling dishwasher in a similar way. Start by cleaning food scraps from the tub and run a cycle with just a dishwasher cleaner. 

Replace Old Doors

Upgrade your home’s look by replacing any worn-out doors inside. Swapping out and hanging a new door is easier than you would think. This video shows you how to install an interior door on your own with the right tools. Changing your door handles is another easy way to improve your home’s appearance.

Weatherstrip Exterior Doors

Check your exterior doors to see if there is any light escaping beneath them. If there is, chances are that air is also getting out. You can fix this by taking self-adhesive rubber foam weatherstripping and sealing all outside doors. This article will show you exactly how to do it. 

Caulk and Grout Your Bathroom

Recaulking a bathtub or shower and regrouting wall tiles may seem like a daunting job, but it can easily be done at home without help from a pro. Make sure to repair any missing caulk around the bathtub or broken grout in order to avoid water damage. 

Treat Hard-Water Buildup on Faucets

You can easily remove hard-water buildup on your faucet with this simple trick. All you need is half of a lemon, a small plastic bag, and a rubber band. Put the lemon on the end of the faucet and wrap the plastic band around it. Secure everything with the rubber band. Remove the lemon after a few hours and you’ll be good to go!

Seller Resources:


Posted in Seller Blog