School Supply Drive for YESS!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


It’s back to school time, so we're teaming up with YESS (Youth Emergency Services & Shelter) for a school supply drive. We're collecting donations through Aug. 27 at our Westown Parkway office. See the list of items below and call your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agent with any questions! 

Choose Your Open House (or Houses)!

Thursday, July 19, 2018


Every weekend all over Des Moines and beyond, there are hundreds of open houses! Most people don’t even think about attending an open house until they’re serious about buying, but really, open houses are a good way to see what’s out there and get a taste of the homebuying process. You definitely don’t have to be a serious buyer to attend! If you’re thinking about buying a home but it’s still a little ways down the road, here are a few open house plans you can put into action over the next few months as you narrow your options! 

New Construction Tour

Pick out a three or four builders you like and attend an open house for each one. It’s a good way to compare styles and price ranges, plus the agent at the open house will be an expert on that particular builder, so if you find a builder whose style you like, you can ask about other locations, prices, or building a custom home. Find a list of local builders here

Price Range Comparison Tour

Even if you haven’t been pre-approved, you probably have a general idea of your budget. Take that number and choose one open house right at that price, one that’s slightly below that price, and one that’s slightly above it. This will be a good way to really see what you get for your money so you’ll have a better idea of what you can afford.

Get to Know the Neighborhood Tour 

You probably have a certain area you’ve thought about living in. Choose two or three open houses in that area and make a day of it! Take a walk around the neighborhood and maybe visit a local park or coffee shop. Pick a local restaurant for a lunch break. If you don’t know where to go, talk to the agent at the open house. He or she is an expert on the area and might even guide you to a spot Google won’t tell you about! 

Now it’s time to get started! 

So, how do you find out about open houses? It’s easy! There’s a full list of open houses on the First Realty website that’s continuously updated! Simply visit: Once you’re there, you can search by price, location, and a plethora of other factors! 


Prepping Your Kitchen for an Open House

Friday, June 29, 2018


Real estate experts sometimes say the kitchen sells the home. That might not always be the case, but the kitchen is never going to be overlooked during an open house, so it’s important to put a little work into getting it in its best shape! Here are a few tips as you prepare.

Clear Away the Clutter 

Countertops covered in appliances and random items can be a huge turnoff, even if that’s the way you normally use your space! Find ways to put things away and clear out the area, even if it means taking the blender you haven't used in a year off the countertop and to a friend’s home for safekeeping! 

Don’t Forget the Refrigerator! 

Potential buyers might peer into your refrigerator, and even though they're obviously not buying everything inside it, if the refrigerator is crammed full of old food, spills, and smells, it won’t make a good impression. Take some time to clear it out. 

Organize the Pantry

It's the same situation as the refrigerator. The open house attendees aren’t shopping for your food, but if it’s organized neatly in your pantry, the entire kitchen will look better. 

Organize the Cupboards and Drawers
It's the same story with the cupboards and drawers! Potential buyers will be peeking in to get a sense of the space, so you don't want them to seem overstuffed and cluttered. If there isn't any way to make things look less stuffed, it might not be a bad idea to take out a few old pots and pans to store somewhere else.

Watch Out for Any Smells 

Fully clean your sink and dishwasher to get rid of any lingering smells and make sure everything is fresh and clean! 

Depersonalize the Space
Just like you should be doing with the rest of the home, it's a good idea to take down personal photos and momentos. You want potential buyers to picture themselves in your kitchen, and taking down photos from your neice's dance recital will help with that! 

Finally ...

Talk to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First Realty agent. Your agent will walk through your home and give you personalized advice for putting it in its best light during an open house! Plus, he or she will give you feedback after every open so you know what potential buyers are looking for. 

Three Historical Homes

Friday, June 15, 2018


For certain homebuyers, historical charm and character are at the top of the list. At the same time, it’s important that a historical homes is still livable for a modern family. The three homes below were built in 1910, 1920 and 1922, and they've all been beautifully maintained and updated as needed. Click on the images to learn more and call the listing agent with any questions! 

5001 Country Club Blvd., Des Moines

Built in 1920 | 4 Beds | 4 Baths | $650,000 | Listed by Sandra Gustafson — (515) 480-2730

915 Wilson Ave., Ames

Built in 1910 | 3 Beds | 2 Baths | $153,900 | Listed by Sarah Pesek — (515) 556-7548

5605 Waterbury Road, Des Moines

Built in 1922  | 5 Beds | 3 Baths | $585,000 | Listed by Martha Lebron Dykeman — (415) 254-3619 and Stephanie Asklof — (515) 991-3329

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Receives Harris Awards

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, parent company to First Realty, was named "Real Estate Agency Brand of the Year" and "Most Trusted Real Estate Brand" in the 2018 Harris Poll EquiTrend Study. 

Just last year, Berkshire Hathaway HomeSerives was honored in J.D. Power and Associates Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study for "Highest Overall Satisfaction for Repeat Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms."