Whether Real Estate or Gardens, Matt Hover Is a Successful Producer

As the agent recruitment director for Nebraska Realty for more than five years, Matt Hover has been responsible for growing the ranks at Omaha’s fourth-largest brokerage to more than 425 licensed agents. Family, friends and colleagues note that Matt has a green thumb for growing whatever he touches, figuratively and literally.  

“As a child, I worked in the garden at the request of my father,” said Matt, who has been a licensed agent with Nebraska Realty since 2005 and continues in that role while also serving as the award-winning company’s recruitment director. “I developed a further love for gardening as an adult, and I enjoy growing vegetables. I typically grow six varieties of tomatoes in a garden plot that measures 20 by 40 feet.”

Matt noted that the average frost-free growing season in the Omaha area starts April 29 and generally runs until Oct. 2, about 156 days. Matt loves to see the numerous gardens dotting the Omaha-area residential areas plus the community plots, and he realizes there are newcomers to “urban farming” every year.

While some vegetables – such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, onion starts and potatoes – probably already are in the ground, he offered these suggestions while summarizing general guidelines for the eastern Nebraska climate:

  • Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants can be transplanted into the ground if there is no extended forecast for a late frost.
  •  Generally, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers can go into the ground as late as May 13, and sweet potatoes as late as May 20. These plants generally require 100 days to harvest. 
  • Once the soil is near 60 degrees, beans, cowpeas, corn, squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, gourds and sunflowers can be planted. 

Matt pointed out that gardeners should check the “days to harvest” labeling information that comes with seed packets or transplants, or consult the local nurseries or the Nebraska Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties. << http://extension.unl.edu/statewide/douglas-sarpy/ >> “As a general rule,” Matt said, “if people don’t want to pay attention to the dates, I normally plant a vegetable garden with the warm-weather plants around Mother’s Day (May 14, 2017).” 

Of course, urban farmers often battle hungry critters, such as rabbits, to keep their vegetable and flower gardens intact. These are some of his thoughts about winning the gardening war: 

  • Cottontails prefer weeds and native plants to garden vegetables, so leaving a small “rabbit patch” is sometimes the best way to protect ornamental flowers. 
  • Baby powder can protect flowers and plants, as can several other commercial products. 
  • Coyote urine can be purchased at hunting stores and used as a garden repellent. 
  • Some plants, such as marigolds, planted around the perimeter of a garden, can serve as a deterrence. 
  • Consider a short, chicken-wire fence around your vegetable garden. 

In addition to gardening, Matt enjoys sporting events, hunting, fishing, cooking, concerts, the performing arts and time with his wife Katie and son Will, other family members, friends and his dog Stella. Real estate, of course, is a passion. 

“I love helping my clients and the agents at Nebraska Realty with their real estate needs in the city I enjoy calling home,” Matt said. “I enjoy nothing more than spreading the message of what we have to offer at Nebraska Realty. You will find no other company that places as much emphasis on their agents’ success, along with the best tools, technology, training and compensation, all with zero agent fees.”

To contact Matt, call (402) 578-1425 or send an email to matt@nebraskarealty.com

To learn how Nebraska Realty helps in the home-buying process, check out: https://www.nebraskarealty.com/buyers/home-buying-process.aspx. See why working with Nebraska Realty is different:  https://www.nebraskarealty.com/buyers/faq-buying-selling-home.aspx.

For additional information, contact Nebraska Realty at https://www.nebraskarealty.com/ or reach any agent at https://www.nebraskarealty.com/agents/ or call (402) 491-0100. The Nebraska Realty Building is located at 17117 Burt Street, Omaha, NE 68118, north of the Village Pointe Shopping Center.

Nebraska Realty Agents Offer Advice for Selling a Home Fast


So, you decided to sell your house? Before even thinking about pricing, the first thing to consider is curb appeal, followed by … a sharp-looking garage? Absolutely true, says Brian Carlin of Nebraska Realty, the second-largest Omaha brokerage with over 425 licensed agents.

Putting your home on the market is a bit like dressing up in your Sunday best. But don’t forget the garage. An organized and clean garage is the true measure of a well-kept home, and not just for the purpose of a sale,” said Brian, a 14-year Omaha-area home-sales veteran who holds a contractor’s license and the Realtor designation as a Certified Residential Specialist.

Fellow Nebraska Realty agent Dave Maloy chimed in: “I wouldn’t be quite as strict as Brian on the garage presentation. I’ve told clients to utilize their garage as a staging/storage area while their house is for sale. Buyers understand what people are facing and what it takes to sell a house, especially buyers selling houses themselves. But, to agree with Brian, that garage usage does need to be orderly.

Dave noted: “The most important task, though, which isn’t as common-sense as you would conclude, is to deeply clean the home before buyers walk through. A couple hundred bucks spent on professional cleaning will go further than thousands spent on staging. Neutralize offensive odors – don’t cover them up with ‘fresh-baked-cookie’ or body-spray air-freshener smells – by cleaning the home. If you aren’t good at cleaning, admit it – don’t skimp and save $200 on one of the most important financial transactions you will make.”

Brian couldn’t agree more with Dave on the cleaning and added: “The most often overlooked areas of a home during the big spring clean are ceiling fan blades and HVAC cold air return vents. Apparently, everybody forgets to look up while they clean. Cold air return vents sometimes located on walls near ceiling and ceiling fan blades collect a ton of dust during the winter months.” 

Nebraska Realty agent Molly Amick offered her tack: “I always advise sellers to depersonalize the setting so potential buyers can fall in love with the house instead of trying to figure out the residents’ story with pictures, medications and mail on the counters, children’s items and more. Those things can give pointed information about why people are moving or how motivated they are. I also tell people instead of decluttering, ‘get packing!’ Every horizontal service should be clean and free of accessories, pictures, knick-knacks and things you don’t use every day. In fact, everyday items should be put in drawers. Sellers will be so amazed how beautiful their home and listing photos look that they may decide not to move!

Nebraska Realty agent Deda Myhre added: “I always ask my sellers to clear out closets, under sinks or any storage areas and then organize them to make the spaces appear as big as possible. Fold and stack towels, and organize smaller items in inexpensive baskets for the biggest impact.”

Furthermore, the Nebraska Realty agents agreed: “Repairs, absolutely yes (never leave a repair project unfinished). Improvements, not so much,” pointing out sellers shouldn’t get carried away with improvements. Most important are getting the house on the market quickly and then being sensitive to prospective buyers’ feedback to guide the most needed improvements. Sellers also may offer to negotiate credit and let the buyer decide where to spend money.

Among other advice to consider:

  • To improve the curb appeal, consider new paint, replace rotting wood or add landscaping mulch. Don’t forget to sweep the entry or porch and knock down any cobwebs.


  • Don’t replace the carpet, clean it. The new owner might want flooring and would possibly rip out new carpet anyway. Consider giving a carpet or flooring allowance.


  • Update or replace electrical items such as ceiling fans. Have electrical panels checked for replacement, especially Federal Pacific or Zinsco panels.


  • Paint or remove old wallpaper as needed, and opt for neutral colors.


  • Roof replacement. It is the most common repair on a deferred maintenance list, and a repair that is one of the highest concerns for a lender, insurance company or buyer.


  • Small details: Use door stoppers to protect walls; move furniture that may be hit by a door opened too quickly or fully.

Finally, get an inspection from a professional who is certified by American Society of Home Inspectors and make the recommended repairs yourself or hire a handyman. If the buyer hires an inspector, things could get far more expensive because they will dictate using licensed professionals who will have to warranty the work.

To learn how Nebraska Realty helps in the home-buying process, check out: https://www.nebraskarealty.com/buyers/home-buying-process.aspx. See why working with Nebraska Realty is different:  https://www.nebraskarealty.com/buyers/faq-buying-selling-home.aspx.

For additional information, contact Nebraska Realty at https://www.nebraskarealty.com/ or reach any agent at https://www.nebraskarealty.com/agents/ or call (402) 491-0100. The Nebraska Realty Building is located at 17117 Burt Street, Omaha, NE 68118, north of the Village Pointe Shopping Center.

More to Design Than Meets the Eye

Despite the overwhelming popularity of home improvement shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brothers, most people still want a move-in ready home versus a fixer upper. It can be daunting to consider buying a place that needs major renovations but no matter how new a home is, it’s not really home until the resident’s style signature is on it. With the help of Interior Designer, Courtney Otte, owner of The Modern Hive, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming to add personal flair and unique design options to a home.

Courtney is an Omaha-area interior designer who works in both commercial and residential design. Her knowledge and creativity shine when she shares design ideas and decorating tips. She has a real passion for her work and her vision is inspiring. During a recent visit to Nebraska Realty, Courtney shared some of the most current design trends like white cabinets are on their way out, blue is currently a very popular color in paint and décor, but green is up and coming. When it comes to accents, global spice mixed with white tones, as well as nature-inspired prints are what’s next. Go check out the wares in any chain home décor and furnishings store and you’re sure to see these trends waiting for you to take them home and try them in your current space.

To hire Courtney is to allow her into your mind to explore your personality and style preferences. Each new client completes a survey that allows her to get to know her clients tastes, whether casual or formal, relaxing or always ready for entertaining. For the more eclectic tastes, Courtney said, “I recommend that one room be tackled first to help narrow down the client’s style rather than taking on the whole house at once.” This helps ensure time and resources are spent wisely and the final product is as expected.

As with most segments in today’s world, interior design also has a tech version to it. For those who are on limited time and maybe even a limited budget, Courtney provides her services through E-design. E-design requires measurements of the rooms to be designed, but once Courtney has those she can provide recommendations for furniture placement and décor.

Courtney provided stellar tips for staging a home to sell. In any market, you want your home to be presented in the best light possible to increase interest and perceived value. “I offer a walk-thru service where I give advice on light renovations such as replacing countertops and flooring, and furniture placement,” Courtney said.  

Here are Courtney’s top 5 tips for preparing a home for sale:

  1. Apply a fresh coat of paint. To keep things neutral, Courtney recommends a warm, mid-tone gray.
  2. Make sure there is consistent flooring. While a transition from hardwood to carpet is okay, it’s best to avoid multiple rooms having different types or colors of carpet or flooring.
  3. Clean up the clutter. Once you’ve cleaned up each room, go back and do it again. Less is more when it comes to making your home a showcase.
  4. Take drapes down, but leave blinds and shades on the windows. If drapes are neutral then they can be left up, but if they are part of a very personal design style with unlikely patterns or colors, Courtney advises it’s best to take them down.
  5. Reconsider the furniture arrangement. Oftentimes moving a few pieces can help open up a space making it seem larger and more aesthetically pleasing.

Looking over that list, we'd say those are tips we could all use whether we are in the market to sell our homes or not. Studies show that freshening up our living spaces helps to invoke creativity, elevates mood, and creates resourcefulness. One call to Courtney could result in a change that brightens your living space and also renews your mind.