How to Sell Your Home Without an Agent

1.Set a fair price for your home. Study the sale prices of comparable homes in your neighborhood. (You can get this information from a local real estate office, local newspaper or the county courthouse.)
2.Complete all required inspections and make repairs on your home.
3.Clean your house thoroughly and get rid of all clutter. Pay particular attention to the front of your home and the entryway.
4.Advertise in local newspapers and put a sign in your yard.
5.Contact a mortgage broker who can provide home-loan information to potential buyers at no charge.
6.Hold an open house on a weekend to maximize the number of people who will see your home.
7.Consider hiring a real estate attorney to go over contracts and help with the negotiations. 
Take the time to thoroughly understand contracts and discuss anything you don’t fully understand with a lawyer. One wrong move on a contract can cost you dearly.
Find out what laws you must adhere to as a seller. Contact your state’s or county’s real estate division or the local Board of Realtors.   

How to Stretch Before Telemark Skiing

1.Warm up before you stretch. Take an easy run down the mountain.
2.Stretch the arches of your feet by grabbing the ball of each foot and pulling up toward your shins.
3.Stretch your calves. Lean forward against a wall, slide one foot back and try to place that heel on the ground. Feel the calf muscle stretch, and then switch feet.
4.Stand next to a wall for support, grab your ankle and pull one foot up to your buttocks to stretch your thighs. Repeat with the other leg.
5.Sit down with both legs extended in front of your body. Bend your right knee and place that foot on the left side of the left knee, grab your right knee with your left hand and pull to stretch your buttocks. Switch legs to stretch the other side. 
Tips: When you feel the muscle stretch, hold that position for 20 seconds for best results. 
Warnings: Telemark skiing is a physically demanding sport that could result in serious injury. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity. 

How to Do a Pre-sail Safety Check

1.Check federal carriage requirements for the size and type of boat you're using.
2.Locate and inspect all required safety equipment. Items such as fire extinguishers need special attention paid to their expiration date and charging.
3.Count the number of approved Type I, II, III and V personal flotation devices (check regulations for applicable requirements).
4.Locate and inspect all suggested safety equipment. Find a published list of recommendations or make a list of logical safety items that you should always carry onboard.
5.Open and air out all enclosed compartments. Run the bilge blower if your boat is so equipped.
6.Inspect the water level in the bilge. If the boat has a bilge pump, operate it and make sure it pumps. If not, locate a bucket or other bailing device.
7.Check and fill all fluids, such as oil, fuel and water.
8.Listen to a weather report or find local weather forecasts from available sources.
9.Stow all gear and equipment.
1..File a float plan.
1..Prepare sails for raising in open water (see Related Hows). 
Tips: Avoid shortcuts. Adopt the good habits of our friends who navigate the skies. Perform a thorough check before departure. 

How to Find Credit Counseling

Local Agencies
1.Interview several agencies to choose a qualified credit-counseling service.
2.Ask each agency if it is a nonprofit organization, what services it offers and how much the services will cost you.
3.Find out if its counselors are certified and if the agency services are confidential.
4.Inquire as to how soon a counselor can take your case.
5.Request that the agency send you information about its organization and services. Any reputable credit-counseling agency should send you free information. If not, consider this a red flag and go elsewhere for help.
6.Check with the attorney general's office or a local consumer-protection agency to find out if consumers have filed complaints about the provider you are considering. 
Using the Internet

7.Check the Internet for credit-counseling information and services (see Related Sites).
8.Look up the Debt Counselors of America, a Web-based nonprofit organization. Its Web site includes a wealth of information to help consumers improve their financial lives.
9.Check the Web site of the National Foundation for Consumer Credit. 
Avoid scams by staying away from businesses advertising easy credit repair. While the ads pitch a promise of debt relief, they rarely say relief may be spelled b-a-n-k-r-u-p-t-c-y.
Although bankruptcy is one of the ways to deal with financial problems, it's generally considered the option of last resort.
Bankruptcy has a long-term negative impact on your creditworthiness. It stays on your credit report for 10 years and may hinder your ability to get credit, a job, insurance, or even a place to live. 

How to Find the Gay Community in Any City

1.Pick up a copy of a local gay and lesbian newspaper or magazine. You might find them in the lobby of some mainstream bookstores or on college campuses; or check out GayScribe's Ultimate Listing of Gay and Lesbian Publications (see Related Sites).
2.Search to see if there is a gay guide Web site for the city. You can find a pretty good list of guides at GayGuide.Net (see Related Sites).
3.See if the folks at Out & About can help you. On the organization's Web site (see Related Sites) it sells "master files" that tell you everything you would want to know about a large number of selected cities around the world.
4.Find out if the city has a Metropolitan Community Church by searching on the denomination's Web site (see Related Sites). These churches are predominantly gay, and the people there can help you find the rest of the community.
5.Call the city's gay and lesbian switchboard or gay and lesbian chamber of commerce. If there is one, it should be listed in the white pages, and it should also show up in Web searches.
6.Look under "gay" in the white pages and see what you can find, if all else fails. Then call up one of your finds - perhaps a gay community organization - and ask for help. 
Tips: Some cities have only one small gay bar, while other cities of the same size have a thriving gay and lesbian section of town. If you don't find much of a community, there may not be one - or at least not a very organized one.   

How to Apply to Film School

1.Research. Go to your school library, your local library, the Internet, friends and acquaintances to find out what schools are most recommended and appropriate for what you want to do.
2.Keep in mind that a school with a top name and a great reputation will help you in your career. Some top film schools can be found at New York University (NYU), the University of Southern California (USC), The American Film Institute in Los Angeles and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
3.Talk to everyone you know who attended these schools. Ask them if they recommend the school and, if so, whether they'll serve as a reference to help you get in. Connections are extremely important.
4.Get catalogs, application materials and financial aid information from the schools that interest you.
5.Prepare all work you have done in film, television or mixed media for your portfolio. The school will want to see your work included in your application. Have your "reel" (a tape of all work you have done) professionally mastered at a film laboratory; have a professional recommend the best lab.
6.Fill out the application, then send in your reel, references and other supporting material by the deadline.
7.Sign up for an interview and dress nicely for it; dressing neatly and professionally shows respect and seriousness. Many people underestimate the importance of this first impression. 
Make sure the supporting materials you send in, like your reel, are professionally mastered and not amateurish.
Who you know in the film business is extremely important. Even if you have a second cousin twice removed who attended the school or is successful in the film business, call her up and find out if she can put in a good word for you.   

How to Kill Time at Portland International Airport

1.Figure out how much free time you'll actually have. Check to see if your flight is late and whether it will arrive in or depart from concourse A, B, C, D or E.
2.Browse through unique specialty shops that carry gifts made in Oregon, gifts with animal themes, Northwest arts and crafts, apparel and accessories, and a variety of floral gifts. Be aware that you may have to check in larger purchases or have them shipped (see Warnings, below).
3.Relax in sit-down restaurants, snack shops or fast-food spots.
4.Consider renting a DVD player and movie at InMotion Pictures (503-281-2760) in the Oregon Market. You can relax in the terminal during flight delays with your own private screening of a favorite film. If your destination airport also has an InMotion Pictures store, you can even take the player and movie on the plane and return them after you land.
5.Periodically check the arrival or departure monitors located throughout the airport for any changes pertaining to your flight. 
Use information booths for help regarding your trip or terminal information. They are located in the ticket lobby and in baggage claim.
Look for information kiosks in the terminal for airport information in Chinese, English, German, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.
Always have a good paperback in your carry-on bag to help keep time moving during unavoidable delays in terminals and aboard airplanes. 
If you are departing on a flight, you must check in at your gate at least one hour before the flight, longer on international flights. Check with your airline.
Keep in mind that many airlines have new carry-on restrictions and that you may have to check in larger purchases or have them shipped.   

How to Play Cutthroat in Racquetball

1.Set a service rotation for all three players. This rotation does not alter.
2.Start the game with the server facing off against the other two players.
3.Play as if it's doubles when you're serving.
4.Use a singles strategy when you're part of the duo returning serve.
5.Alternate hitting the ball between the solo player and the doubles team during a rally.
6.Score points only when you're serving.
7.End the game at 11, 15 or 21 points. 
Strategies change quickly because you have to play with and against both your opponents.
Communicate. The court may seem a little crowded with three people. Talk out loud to avoid bumping into each other.
When you have the serve, try to split the doubles team by aiming your shots between them.   Overall Warnings: If you have any condition that would impair or limit your ability to engage in physical activity, please consult a physician before attempting this activity. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. 

How to Choose a Flashlight for Camping

1.Look for a flashlight that's guaranteed to be corrosion-resistant, scratch-resistant and waterproof. This should be easy to find for as little as $10.
2.Consider a flashlight with an adjustable beam.
3.Purchase a flashlight that converts to a lantern or freestanding candle for maximum ambience.
4.Select a flashlight that's small enough to fit into your jacket or pants pocket so it's easily accessible after dark. Many mini lights are available that offer intensive light despite their small size.
5.Purchase a biteable handle that slides onto your mini light, allowing you to hold the light between your teeth while freeing your hands. These can be found for a little more than a dollar.
6.Consider buying a headlamp instead of a flashlight, or a headband designed to hold a mini light. This will allow you to keep your hands free for tasks. 
Overall Tips: If you're buying a flashlight as a gift, consider purchasing a mini light and Swiss army knife sold together in a special gift box. 

How to Get Stock Advice Online

1.Check CNN online for news, advice on the market and current research.
2.Browse the Hoover's site for recent news and company descriptions.
3.Use Quicken to find out a company's profile and quotes.
4.Go to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) site for information about filings and enforcement. 
Stock tips are sometimes written by the companies that are trying to sell the stock. Look for a disclosure statement on Web sites and electronic newsletters to see who wrote the information.
File any complaints about a suspected scam with the SEC by e-mailing Include details such as the Web site, newsgroup, e-mail addresses, names of companies or people, and your own name, address, e-mail address and phone number. 
Beware of advice dispensed in chat rooms and on bulletin boards. Always check information with reliable sources.
There's no way to know whether someone giving you a tip is getting paid for it.