A Native Plant and Natural Landscaped Oasis Right in Your Own Backyard

Nature sometimes needs very little intervention. It is an unwanted intervention that is sometimes the downfall of what nature can create all by itself. Native plants and natural landscaping provide an ecosystem that when left to its own devices, can pretty much thrive on its own.

While much of nature can figure things out for itself, you can play an important role in your very own backyard in sustaining our vital ecosystems. If you are considering redesigning your backyard, using native plants and natural landscaping is a wise choice indeed. Not only will you be doing a good deed for Mother Nature, you will also reap the benefits of your own private ecosystem oasis right on your doorstep.

What Is Involved: From Beginning to End

Natural landscaping does not just involve nice plants, tall grasses, and a lily pond. No, natural landscaping needs several components to it in order to survive and thrive:

* Microorganisms
* Minerals
* Nutrients
* Water
* Air
* Leaves, twigs
* Plants
* Insects
* Birdlife
* Wildlife

As you can see, there is more than meets the eye to just simply redecorating your yard with pretty plants and flowering shrubs.

The Lay of the Land

First, you need a good design for your natural landscape oasis. Seeking the advice of a professional is always helpful, as you will need to know where to plant your oasis, what types of soil you will need, and how to get water to that section to properly care for your garden oasis.

The best type of soil will probably be a complex soil that contains microorganisms, minerals, and nutrients. Learning how to make compost is also beneficial to the process. Soil becomes the foundation of your natural landscape design.

First Soil, Then Plants

The plants that you choose should of course be attractive in their natural beauty, but moreover should incorporate space for the ecosystem to continue. Various groups of plants grow alongside other plants and have similar needs as part of a similar community.

Insects, butterflies, birds, and wildlife are attracted to these different communities for different reasons. You can group many different plants together to attract different types of wildlife.

This is how you can turn your backyard into a naturally landscaped community for critters and wildlife alike. Once you see how many butterflies you have attracted because of your choice of plants, you will be amazed.

You have the power and potential to create a sanctuary - not only for yourself but for local wildlife as well.

©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved   

How Long Does the Realtor Listing Agreement Last, and Are the Commissions Negotiable?

A realtor listing agreement is a written, binding legal document between you as the seller of your property and a real estate agent who will help handle the sale of your home and earn a commission from it once the sale is made.

The realtor earns their commission through marketing your home in a range of ways and handling a lot of the important paperwork involved. 

It is up to you to decide how long you would like to list your home with that particular realtor. You can negotiate with the realtor in terms of duration and payment of commissions. For example, they may list it for you, but you might be the person who finds the buyer in the end - in which case, they would not get the commission.

The Average Duration

The average duration of most contracts is six months. If the house does not sell by then, you can list it with another realtor. The term should be no less than three months, because that gives the realtor the chance to get to know your property and market it effectively. They can build up momentum in order to make a good sale and thus earn a good commission.

Commission Clauses

The average commission on a home is 6% of the final closing price of the property. However, you might be able to go lower if the house is in good repair and in high demand due to its location and desirability as a property.

Protection Clauses

It is important to note that in some cases you might still have to pay commission even if the listing has already expired. If the person who eventually buys is someone that the realtor brought to the table, the clause will usually state that the commission is payable for up to 90 days after the contract has expired. This helps protect realtors from having all their hard work taken advantage of by unscrupulous sellers and buyers trying to cut them out of the deal and save money.

Exclusion Clauses

If you have been in discussions with other interested parties prior to the contract with the realtor, such as family members or neighbors who might want to buy your house, you can include the names of these people in order to show you are bringing in the sale and therefore there is no commission due to the realtor. 

Early Cancellation of Contracts

Your contract with the realtor can be cancelled early for a number of reasons. If you don't feel the realtor is doing enough to market your property effectively, you are legally entitled to ask for an early cancellation. Be clear about the responsibilities and obligations of each party, and see if you can get them to be more proactive on your behalf. If they are not meeting the terms of the agreement, ask to cancel.

If they make a fuss, remind them that word-of-mouth referrals are important, and they certainly would not want to hold you to a contract when you are so unhappy with their services.

©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved

How Does the Inspection Phase Work?

The inspection phase of a home will vary from county to county, but in general, all inspections will involve evaluating certain aspects of the home before a seller can sell their home to a prospective buyer.

Health and safety are important considerations. Basic amenities expected of a modern building should also be in place and functioning properly.

Inspections are crucial to help arrive at a final sale price as well. If there are any serious issues, the bank may determine the seller needs to fix them before the sale can go ahead. In some cases, the prospective buyer might agree to make the repairs, but would also expect to get the house for a lower price in consideration for the work and money they will be putting in.

The Required Areas of Inspection

The usual areas of inspection are:

* Structure
* Exterior
* Roofing system
* Plumbing system
* Electrical system
* Heating system
* Air conditioning system
* Interior
* Insulation
* Ventilation
* Fireplaces  

They will also look for problems like radon gas, carbon monoxide, asbestos, termites and more.

Inspection Standards

The American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI, has "Standards of Practice" which stipulate what must be inspected, and how far home inspectors need to go to report those findings. Sellers who want to get a clear idea of the state of their home and what needs to be attended to urgently can hire their own inspector, who will then give them an evaluation of all that needs to be done. Inspections usually take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the house.

Hiring an inspector will cost money, but it can also prevent your sale from falling through further down the road because "deal breakers" have been discovered.

Buyer Inspections

Once a buyer makes an offer on your home, they will come with an inspector to assess the property. This is bound to make most sellers nervous, but again, if youíve hired your own inspector and done all the chores on your to-do list, you should get a good evaluation.

The prospective buyer will usually walk through with the inspector. This can be very nerve-wracking, so it is probably best to leave the house while they are doing the walk-through. However, do make yourself available by mobile phone if they have any questions. 

The Report

When the home inspection is complete, the inspector will write a report and give a copy to the prospective buyer detailing everything that has been found. If there are major causes for concern, they will usually require immediate attention before the sale can go through. They might also report on potential future issues, such as the boiler only having another three years under warranty. You probably wonít be required to buy a new boiler, but you will most likely have to lower the price of the house.

You will have time to fix the issues, and there will be a follow-up inspection. Once all the parties are satisfied that the house is in good condition, the sale can proceed.

©2019 Lon Levin Real Estate  All rights reserved