Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Feb. 24, 2024

Price It Right: How to Nail the Sweet Spot and Sell Your Home Fast!

Price It Right: How to Nail the Sweet Spot and Sell Your Home Fast!

Hey there, homeowners! Let's talk turkey about getting your house sold pronto and not leaving any cash on the table. You know that old saying, "You've got to price it right"? Well, it's not just talk. Let's dive into how you can become a pricing pro and get those buyers lining up at your door.


1. What’s Your Home Really Worth?

First things first: How much is your property actually worth? Grab an appraisal and a comparative market analysis (think of it as the ultimate reality check). This step keeps you in the know about what homes like yours are going for. And trust me, in real estate, it's all about what folks are willing to pay, not what you feel your home is worth. Know these three things for sure: 

  1. Zillow cannot price your KS/MO home. Sales prices are not publicly disclosed in KS or MO. Only a licensed Real Estate agent is able to pull that information. In fact, it's against state law for anyone other than an agent to discuss a prior sale price with the public.
  2. FHA/VA appraisals will stick with a property for 90 days. Regardless if your home sale closes or goes back on market - if your original sales contract was with an fha or va buyer, that appraisal will not change for a new fha/va buyer.
  3. Agents often have inside details on upcoming listings. Most sites do not have the capability to display PreMLS listings which are usually pre-priced. Knowing your neighbor is about to list 10% lower than you could impact your home's traffic during a sale.


2. Be the Smartest Pricer on the Block

When it's time to set that price tag, be a little sneaky (in a good way). List just a tad under your ideal price to catch more eyeballs. Why? Because people search in price brackets, and you want to be seen by as many as possible. It's like fishing with the right kind of bait.


3. The Mind Games of Pricing

Ever notice how $19.99 feels way cheaper than 20 bucks? That's pricing psychology for you. Odd numbers or super specific ones can mess with buyers' heads in the best way. They'll think they're getting a deal, or that you've done your homework down to the last penny.


4. Got Crickets? Time to Rethink That Number

If you're only hearing the sound of silence instead of offers, it might be time to switch things up. Keep an ear out for what buyers are saying at showings. If the price keeps popping up, they’re giving you a hint. Don’t wait too long to make a move on your price—it's like stale bread; nobody wants it after a while. Do you know the difference between no showings, vs. showings and no offers? Your agent does...


5. Let’s Bust Some Myths

Thinking of pricing high and waiting for someone to haggle you down? Eh, not the best move. Overpricing can make your home the wallflower at the dance, and dropping the price later can make it look like yesterday's news.


Now, let me tell you a quick story. I once knew a seller—let’s call him Bob. Bob was convinced his house was the crown jewel of the neighborhood. He priced it way higher than I suggested. Weeks turned into months, and Bob’s house was still sitting there. Finally, Bob lowered the price, but by then, buyers were suspicious and wondered what was wrong with it. In the end, he sold for WAY less than if he’d priced it right from the start. Ouch.


Conclusion: The Takeaway for a Quick Sale

So you've got the inside scoop. But before you jet off, remember:


  • Use a real estate agent—they're like your personal pricing guru, and only they can dig up the real deal sold prices in KS & MO.
  • Trust your agent’s pricing advice—these folks know the dance floor and can lead you to the perfect pricing tango.
  • Keep your pricing game flexible—markets can change as fast as the weather in the Midwest, and you've got to be ready to move with it.


There you have it—your guide to pricing like a boss. Stick to these tips, and soon you'll be signing off on that sale and popping the bubbly. Cheers to selling smart and fast!

Feb. 23, 2024

Navigating Home Buying: Myths and Realities

KC Home buying Mythbusters - Finance Edition

Hello again! As we dive deeper into personal finance and home buying, I want to remind you that while I share my journey and insights, I'm not a financial advisor, lender, or tax professional. My aim is to spark your curiosity and guide you toward the right professional advice for those big financial decisions. Now, let's debunk some common myths about buying your first home!


1. The 20% Down Payment Myth

The belief that a 20% down payment is always required is one of the biggest myths in home buying. In reality, there are various programs that allow for much lower down payments, sometimes as low as 5%​​​​. This opens up homeownership to more people, making it more accessible than you might have thought. Don't let the myth of the 20% down payment deter you from exploring your options.


2. Perfect Credit Required

Another common misconception is that perfect credit is needed to buy a home. While a higher credit score can get you better interest rates, it's not the end-all-be-all. There are options available for those with less than perfect credit scores​​. It's all about finding the right lender who is willing to work with your financial situation.


3. Buying vs. Renting Costs

The decision between buying and renting is a significant one, with costs and benefits on both sides. While owning a home comes with the potential for equity growth, renting offers flexibility and less responsibility for maintenance. It's essential to weigh the long-term costs and benefits of each based on your lifestyle and financial goals.


4. The Hidden Costs of Homeownership

Owning a home is about more than just mortgage payments. There are hidden costs like maintenance, repairs, property taxes, and homeowners insurance​​. These expenses can add up, so it's crucial to budget for them ahead of time. Being prepared for these costs will help ensure that homeownership is a joy, not a burden.


5. The Ideal Market Timing

Trying to time the market perfectly is a common pitfall for many potential homebuyers. The truth is, the best time to buy is when you're financially ready, regardless of market conditions. Focusing on your personal financial readiness and long-term goals is more practical than trying to predict market trends.


Wrap it up!

If you're feeling fired up and ready to take the next step towards snagging the keys to your dream home, I've got just the thing for you. Dive deeper with "My Home Buyer's Guide" - it's free, it's comprehensive, and it's designed to make your home buying journey as smooth as a freshly paved driveway. Download it now and let's get you moving from dreaming to doing!

Or perhaps you're more of a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen) person? I've got you covered! Contact me to reserve your spot at my next Free Virtual Buyer's Seminar. It's cozy, it's informative, and best of all, it's free! Let's make your home buying dreams a reality, together.

Feb. 23, 2024

Home Inspections: What No One Tells You

Home Inspections: What No One Tells You

The Inside Scoop on Home Inspections

Starting off, let's chat about home inspections like we're old friends catching up over coffee. Remember my first Kansas City home inspection? Picture this: a breezy autumn day, me, totally green about buying a house, and then we find a hidden room during the inspection. Not quite a treasure trove, but hey, extra storage! It was a quirky start to what became a deep dive into the importance of thorough inspections.


Peek Behind the Walls: Surprises from Past Inspections

Now, let's get a little nosy and peek behind the walls. Home inspections can reveal all sorts of secrets, from outdated wiring to surprise mold parties. But here's a kicker from one of my inspections: a beautifully renovated Kansas City gem with an ancient, on-its-last-legs furnace. That discovery flipped the script on negotiations and saved my buyer a cool chunk of change on a new heating system. Talk about a game-changer!


Let's Make a Deal: Turning Inspection Woes into Wins

Speaking of negotiations, mastering the art of the deal post-inspection is like having a superpower. Here's a tale from the trenches: a first-time buyer in Kansas City faced a nightmare list of repairs. We used that inspection report as a bargaining chip, ultimately securing a hefty seller credit. It turned potential heartbreak into a happy ending, with funds to spare for renovations.


Finding Your Inspection Hero

On to finding your inspection hero. My journey to find the best inspector was a bit like dating – lots of meetings, lots of questions. What did I learn? Look for someone with experience in Kansas City homes, who's not afraid to get into the nitty-gritty. A good inspector is your ally, helping you see beyond a home's charm to its true condition.


Brand New But Not Perfect: Inspecting New Constructions

Lastly, even those shiny new constructions in Kansas City need a critical eye. I once helped a buyer with a new build that seemed flawless. Surprise, surprise, the inspection uncovered shoddy electrical work hidden behind those pristine walls. It was a stark reminder that new doesn't always mean problem-free. Always, always get that inspection.


In Kansas City, whether you're eyeing an adorable bungalow or a sleek new condo, a thorough home inspection is your best friend. It's the key to unlocking peace of mind in your home buying adventure. Remember, the right home is out there, and with a little patience and a great inspector, you'll find it. Happy house hunting!


Summing it all up

Maintaining your home is key to preserving its value and ensuring your comfort. Besides setting aside a proper annual budget of 1-3% for normal home maintenance, here are three extra quick tips to keep in mind:


  1. Regularly Clean Gutters and Downspouts: To prevent water damage and ensure your home's foundation remains strong, make it a habit to clean your gutters and downspouts at least twice a year. This can prevent costly repairs down the line.
  2. Inspect and Maintain Your HVAC System: An annual checkup of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system can not only improve efficiency and reduce energy costs but also extend the life of the system. Changing filters regularly is a simple task that can have a big impact.
  3. Seal Windows and Doors: To improve energy efficiency and reduce heating and cooling costs, check the seals on windows and doors annually and re-caulk or replace weatherstripping where necessary. This small act can lead to significant savings and a more comfortable home environment.


By incorporating these practices into your home maintenance routine, you can ensure your home remains in top condition, safeguarding your investment for years to come.


Feb. 23, 2024

Top 5 Reasons Why First-Time Home Buyers in Kansas City Should Work With a Realtor

Top 5 Reasons Why First-Time Home Buyers in Kansas City Should Work With a Realtor

Hey there, Kansas City first-time home buyers! Navigating the housing market for the first time can be pretty overwhelming, right? But guess what? Partnering with a realtor can make this journey a whole lot smoother and even exciting. Let's dive into why you definitely want a realtor by your side:

1. They've Got the Inside Scoop

Kansas City's housing market is buzzing, with homes getting snapped up super fast. Realtors have the 411 on all things local real estate. They know which neighborhoods are about to blow up and where you can find that hidden gem of a home. It's like having a secret map that leads straight to treasure.

Cool Story Alert: I once was helping a couple of newlyweds who kept striking out on multiple offer situations. However, with a little bit of ingenuity and a lot of elbow grease, I was able to find them an offer market property that was planning to list later that summer. It gave the seller extra time to buy, and gave my buyer a great deal, and let them finish out their leasing without having to cancel and pay a huge fine! 

2. Bargain Masters

Ever tried to haggle at a garage sale and walked away feeling like you paid too much? Realtors are like your personal bargaining champions. They're all about getting you the best deal and making sure you don't overpay, especially in a market where bidding wars are the norm.

3. Paperwork? No Sweat!

The amount of paperwork involved in buying a home can make your head spin. But, with a realtor, it's no biggie. They'll handle all the complex forms and legal stuff, so you don't have to worry about making a costly mistake.

4. They've Got Your Back

Think of realtors as your guide through the home-buying wilderness. They're there to protect you from making a bad decision and to point out any red flags. Plus, they fight to get your needs and concerns heard.

Another Cool Story: There was this first-time buyer who almost bought a house with foundation issues discovered during inspections. Yikes! Thankfully, I was on the ball and have some great referral partners! We were able to negotiate the seller fixing the foundation, and got a warranty provided!

5. VIP Access to Homes

Realtors can get you into houses that aren't even listed online yet. It's like having a VIP pass to the best homes in town. More choices mean a better chance of finding your dream home before anyone else.

Wrapping It Up

Kansas City's got a lot to offer first-time home buyers, but going it alone can be tough. A realtor not only makes the process easier but also helps ensure you're making a wise choice. From finding the right neighborhood to closing the deal, they're your ally every step of the way.

Extra Tip: Check out the Kansas City Regional Association of REALTORS® for the latest market insights. It's a great resource for anyone ready to dive into the housing market. Remember, buying your first home is a big deal, but with the right help, it can also be one of the best experiences of your life. Here's to finding your perfect Kansas City home!

Jan. 9, 2024

Considering Moving-Up in Kansas City

Blog: Moving Up in KC Navigating Your Home Upgrade in Kansas City’s Flourishing Market by Josh Tarwater


Where you work

The city’s growing tech scene and business-friendly environment make it an attractive place for professionals looking to upgrade their homes within close proximity to burgeoning career opportunities.

Where they learn

Kansas City is home to high-performing school systems each offering top-notch educational opportunities that make communities hot commodities!

Where you play

Kansas City is a hub of culture and recreation. There’s no shortage of exploration. Families can enjoy weekends all kinds of activities - which do you want to be closest to?

Are you relocating to Kansas City?

As a member of a military family - relocating is no stranger to me. At kcHOMEGIRLS & Associates, we are prepped and ready to assist you with your transition. 

Up-to-date with local and national housing trends, as well as using new methods of showing homes, digital paperwork solutions, and modern communication methods, Joshua Tarwater Realtor is here when you can’t be.

Need a local agent to help you move to KC? 

Download my Buyer’s Guide here

Deciding to upgrade

Are you a homeowner in the dynamic KC real estate market pondering a move to a larger, more luxurious abode? Or perhaps you're ready to sell your Kansas City home and climb the property ladder. As the go-to Kansas City realtor for move-up buyers, I am here to guide you through each step, whether you're buying a bigger home in KC or aiming to navigate the bustling KC property sales landscape with ease.

The journey of upgrading homes in KC is both exhilarating and complex. Move-up homes in KC offer a gateway to a lifestyle enriched with choice and opportunity, especially for those keen on exploring the best neighborhoods in Kansas City for move-up buyers. Your aspirations might include more space, modern amenities, or access to Kansas City's top-tier schools and vibrant community life

As a dedicated real estate agent with expertise in the KC Metro, I offer more than just transactions—I offer experiences. Whether it's crafting tailored strategies for selling and upgrading in KC or providing a step-by-step guide to moving up in the Kansas City real estate market, my approach is designed to meet your unique needs.

A solution to your move-up needs

Targeted Kansas City Property Sales: 

Selling your first home in Kansas City to upgrade? Let's position your property as a prime opportunity in the KC real estate market, ensuring it's seen by serious buyers looking to invest in the area's charm and potential. Remember why you bought it in the first place, and make that a selling point!

Finding Bigger Homes in Kansas City Suburbs: 

Whether it's the family-centric neighborhoods or the appeal of green spaces, I am going to find your bigger home that promises the perfect blend of comfort and convenience. Most folks moving up are looking to be closer to where they live/work/play... and where their kids go to school. Does this sound like you?

Strategic Upgrading Homes in KC: 

I offer personalized home upgrade advice in KC, leveraging real-time market trends to ensure you make an informed decision when you sell home in Kansas City. You’re going to sell an investment, and move some of that equity into your next home. We should find a home that fits your budget AND your lifestyle.


Consider some of the following when you want to live closer to where you:

Work around Kansas City *

Play around Kansas City

Learn around Kansas City **

Pause your house hunt this January? Here’s why you shouldn’t

Real estate is cyclical and having traveled around the calendar many times, here’s what I always see in the last month of the year: 

  • Fewer buyers in the market 
  • Greater negotiating power for buyers
  • Sellers eager to close ASAP

With that in mind, here are a few questions to ask yourself or your agent during your January house hunt:

  1. Are the driveways and walkways well-maintained? Does the exterior of the property exude a welcoming and well-lit ambiance?
  2. Has the home been adequately insulated, and is the HVAC system in sound working order? 
  3. How is the natural light in the home? Given the shorter winter days, ample natural light can significantly enhance your emotional well-being and overall mood.
  4. Is there any evidence of storm damage within the property, such as water spots, frozen pipes, or roof issues?
  5. Are the neighbors decorating their homes for the holidays? This is a good indicator of a warm and inviting community.


If interested, reach out for more thoughts on the nuances of purchasing a home during the winter season!


Happy New Years!




* list provided by The Kansas City Business Journal

** list provided does not imply any preference or endorsement for or against any school system, public or private.  Information provided here is for your reference only. I recommend for a proper analysis of performance

Jan. 4, 2024

Benefits of Downsizing Your Home in Kansas City for Financial Freedom | Downsizing in Kansas City: Is Now the Time for a Simpler, More Affordable Life?

Owning a large home in Kansas City has its perks, but it can also bring financial challenges. The allure of spacious living is often offset by high maintenance costs, impacting your financial freedom. Discover the financial and lifestyle benefits of downsizing in Kansas City. Learn how a smaller home can be a giant leap towards a balanced, fulfilling life.

1. Prioritize What Matters in Kansas City

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the demands of your large property in bustling Kansas City? It's understandable - the constant upkeep can make it difficult to find time for hobbies, travel, or spending quality moments with family. But what if there was a solution that could open up a world of new opportunities? Downsizing to a cozier home in KC neighborhoods can allow you to prioritize what truly matters. And with the help of a trusted realtor, selling your current home and finding the perfect downsized space can be stress-free. Embrace the exciting prospect of a lifestyle that brings joy and fulfillment - make a move today and start living your best life in Kansas City!


2. Leverage Kansas City's Real Estate Trends

If you're thinking about downsizing in Kansas City, there's no better time than now to make a smart investment for your future. With the current real estate market trends, selling your larger home could significantly boost your finances. As a realtor who has been in the business for years, I can confidently say that the 2024 housing outlook predicts a rising demand for smaller, more affordable homes in areas like Shawnee and Blue Springs. So why not leverage Kansas City's real estate trends and capitalize on this opportunity? By working with me, we can navigate the market together and find the perfect home to match your lifestyle and budget. Let's start this exciting journey together!


3. Eco-friendly Living in KC

Are you looking for a budget-friendly way to reduce your carbon footprint? Consider downsizing your home in Kansas City. Smaller homes in areas like Brookside and the Crossroads Arts District not only give you a more sustainable lifestyle but also provide you with energy-efficient living spaces. As a real estate agent in Kansas City, I've noticed a growing trend of homeowners downsizing their homes, and for a good reason. Living in a smaller space not only reduces your environmental impact but also simplifies your life. Plus, with the market trends favoring smaller homes, it's an excellent time to sell your larger house and cash in on the real estate game while doing your part for the planet. 

4. Tailor Your Downsizing Plan in Kansas City

Downsizing can be an exciting and liberating experience, especially when you're moving to a city as vibrant as Kansas City. With so many neighborhoods to explore, finding the perfect home can be a daunting task. That's where a talented realtor comes in. With their expertise in local market trends and knowledge of the real estate landscape in Kansas City, they can help you navigate the sometimes tricky waters of home selling. By choosing a neighborhood that matches your lifestyle, you can optimize your downsizing strategy and make the most of your space without sacrificing essential amenities. Whether you're eyeing a modern condo in Downtown KC or a quaint bungalow in Waldo, there's a perfect neighborhood out there waiting for you.


5. Embrace a Life of Experiences Over Possessions

When it comes to real estate in Kansas City, there are plenty of market trends to keep an eye on. But one thing that's becoming increasingly popular is downsizing. Selling your home and opting for a smaller space might seem daunting at first, but it's also an opportunity to take a step back and re-prioritize what truly matters to you. Maybe that means investing in more experiences, exploring new passions, or simply enjoying the vibrant community that the city has to offer. With a trusted realtor to guide you through the process of downsizing in Kansas City, you'll be able to embrace a life that's focused more on the moments that matter than on accumulating possessions.


In conclusion,


Owning a large home in Kansas City may have its perks but it can also come with financial challenges. However, we shouldn't let the fear of change stop us from living a balanced and fulfilling life. Downsizing in Kansas City is not only a practical solution but it's also an opportunity to prioritize what truly matters to us. Imagine having more time for hobbies, travel, and spending quality moments with family without the constant burden of maintenance costs. Plus, with the current real estate trends in Kansas City, this could be the perfect chance to make a smart investment for your future. As a trusted realtor who has been in the business for years, I am here to guide you through every step of the downsizing process. So why wait? Let's explore your options together and find your dream downsized home in one of KC's charming neighborhoods. What are your must-haves for your next cozy space? Don't hesitate any longer - make a move towards a more fulfilling life in KC today!


Want to see some of the most popular downsize homes around the metro? Click HERE to see the most recent options!

Dec. 19, 2023

December Update | Kansas City Real Estate

December Update by Josh Tarwater

Posted in Monthly Update
Dec. 9, 2023

Getting Your Home Ready to Sell in 2024 | kcHOMEGIRLS & Associates

The kcHOMEGIRLS & Associates Top Tips to be sale ready in 2024

We've all heard the phrase "less is more," and when it comes to selling your home, this couldn't be more true. Buyers want to see a clean, clutter-free space that they can envision themselves living in. As a real estate professional, I've seen firsthand the impact that decluttering can have on the sale of a home. In this blog post, I'll share tips and tricks to help you de-clutter your home like a pro.

Refresh & Revitalize With A Neutral Palette: Paint & Style With Buyers In Mind

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to revitalize a room and make it more appealing to buyers. Neutral colors like beige, gray, and white are popular among buyers because they allow them to envision their own furniture and decor in the space. When choosing a color, also consider the natural light in the room. A well-lit room can handle a darker color, while a darker room may need a lighter shade to brighten it up.


Curb Appeal That Calls Out "Come On In": Tidy Exterior Spaces And Front Door Pop


First impressions are everything, and curb appeal can make or break a buyer's interest in a home. Make sure your exterior spaces are well-maintained by trimming bushes, mowing the lawn, and power washing any outdoor surfaces. Add some color and personality to your front door with a fresh coat of paint, a new welcome mat, or a decorative wreath. These small updates can make a big impact on a buyer's first impression of your home.


Light & Bright Is Right: Update Lighting Fixtures For A Modern, Airy Vibe


Lighting fixtures are an often-overlooked detail in home staging, but they can make a big difference in the look and feel of a space. Updating outdated or unattractive fixtures can give your home a more modern and airy vibe. Consider swapping out your ceiling fan for a sleek pendant light or replacing an old dining room chandelier with a statement piece.


Welcoming Warmth And Comfort: Refresh Flooring, Furnishings For Maximum Coziness


When it comes to making a home feel cozy and welcoming, flooring and furnishings play a big role. If your flooring is worn or outdated, consider replacing it with high-quality laminate or hardwood. Add warmth and comfort to your space with cozy area rugs and throw pillows. Keep furnishings minimal to create an open and inviting feel.


Spotless Spaces Sell Spaces: Deep Clean From Top To Bottom With Pro Tips


A deep clean is an essential part of preparing your home for sale. Scrub every inch of your home, including floors, walls, and surfaces. Pay extra attention to areas that tend to accumulate grime, like the bathroom and kitchen. If you're short on time or energy, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to tackle the job for you.


Curb Those Costly Repairs: Inspect And Fix Issues Before Listing For Peace Of Mind


Before listing your home, be sure to inspect it for any necessary repairs. Fixing these issues before listing can save you time and money in negotiations with buyers. Common problem areas include leaky faucets, broken windows, and damaged roofs. Don't let small repairs turn into costly negotiating points down the line.


Staging Savvy: Strategic Styling Helps Buyers Visualize Living There


The final step in preparing your home for sale is staging. This involves strategically placing furniture, decor, and accessories to help buyers envision themselves living in the space. Keep in mind that less is more when it comes to staging. Too much furniture or decor can make a space feel cluttered and cramped. Consider hiring a professional home stager to help you create a welcoming and inviting space.


Photogenic Perfection: Picture-Ready Presentation Sells On Social And Online


In today's digital age, an online presence is an essential part of selling a home. Make sure your home is picture-perfect for online listings and social media marketing. Invest in professional photography to present your home in the best possible light. Highlight your home's best features in your listing and social media captions, and be sure to include plenty of high-quality photos.


Work With A Pro: Consult An Expert Local Realtor For Maximum Home Value Boost


Finally, don't underestimate the value of working with a local real estate professional. An experienced agent can help you price your home competitively, market it effectively, and negotiate with potential buyers. They can also help you navigate the complexities of the selling process and provide valuable insights into the current market conditions in your area.




De-cluttering and preparing your home for sale can feel like a daunting task, but it's well worth the effort. By following these tips and tricks, you can create a fresh and welcoming space that will appeal to potential buyers. Remember to focus on the details, from cleaning to styling, and consult with a local real estate professional for additional guidance. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can make your home stand out from the competition and achieve your desired sale price.


Aug. 19, 2022

Ways to Invest in Real Estate

Investing in Real Estate - One goal, many solutions

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Aug. 17, 2022

10 Easy Ways to Lose Your Mortgage

The 10 Easiest Ways to Lose your Mortgage!

In Partnership with Clear Mortgage KC's Adriana Bates

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