You are probably already aware of the major things you need to do around your home to get it ready for sale. These include getting rid of clutter, doing minor repairs, and making everything clean and tidy so every room is as much of a showcase as possible.
But there are a myriad of little touch ups you can do that you may not have thought about before… touch ups that can make a big difference in how attractive your home looks to potential buyers.
Here are just a few:
Paint or replace the mailbox.
Add a couple of flowering plants to key areas, such as the dining room, living room, and just outside the front door.
Patch up any minor cracks in the driveway and walkways. (If there is a major crack, consider getting it repaired by a professional.)
Put out the welcome mat. Literally! If it's not clean and completely free of stains, replace it.
Clean your stainless steel kitchen sink using a special stainless steel cleaner and brightener. The effect will be dramatic; the sink will look like new.
Use a special spot cleaner to lift any stains from carpeted areas.
Replace plain or out-of-style light fixtures in the main areas of your home, such as the hallway and living room. Without spending a fortune, you can make a big difference in how these areas look.
Consider replacing the hardware on the doors and drawers of old kitchen cabinetry. That, along with some touch-up paint or varnish on worn areas, can make your older kitchen look young again.
These simple ideas can have a big impact on first impressions, yet they don't cost much to implement, and you can probably do most of them in less than a day.
Want more tips on making your home appealing to buyers? Call today.
Plan Your Move Well In Advance
One of the most common mistakes made by home buyers and sellers is not arranging for moving day well in advance. Even if you've just put your property on the market, or are only in the beginning stages of shopping for a new home, you should start planning for moving day now. If you don't, you might find yourself scrambling to make arrangements, which can be – to put it mildly – stressful.
Start now by researching moving companies and making a short list. You should also find economical sources of boxes, bubble wrap and other packaging materials you may need.
If you plan to do some or all of the move yourself, don't assume that uncle Ned is going to help you. Get rock solid commitments from any family or friends who have volunteered to be there on moving day.
Check Your Credit Report
Have you seen the humorous TV commercial that features someone lamenting the consequences of not having checked his credit score?
Of course, having something negative on your credit report is nothing to laugh about. When shopping for a home, it can even get in the way of securing a good mortgage.
If you don't know what your credit report says, it's relatively easy to find out. Just visit the websites of Equifax or Trans Union. You can order a copy of your credit report from either of these companies for a reasonable fee.
If there is any incorrect information about you – which isn't uncommon on credit reports – you can request an immediate correction.
If there is derogatory information that isn't a mistake – such as a few late payments – you're entitled to have your side of the story included in your credit report. For example, if you were unemployed for a few months, and that's the reason you were behind on a few bills, then it may be helpful to let lenders know.
When to Consider a Less-Than-Ideal Home
Obviously, when you’re searching for a new home, you want to find one that is ideal. It should be your next dream home. However, sometimes it pays to consider at least some properties that don’t meet all your criteria. After all, you never know whether one of them is actually your next dream home - in disguise!
Say you’re looking for a home with a beautiful kitchen - the kind you envy on TV cooking shows. Then, you view a property that has everything you need - except that big kitchen.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Can you fix it? Perhaps some redecorating or a renovation can turn that so-so kitchen into one you’ve always wanted. Take some time to imagine the possibilities.
2. Can you live with it? The kitchen might not have everything you want. It may be smaller than you’d hoped. But, can you make it work? Can you compromise a little given that the home has so many of the other features you want? Perhaps you can live with a smaller kitchen - that still looks great.
If you need help considering the possibilities and understanding your options, call today.
Smart Packing Tips for Moving Day
The last thing you need after a long moving day is to discover that a valuable item was damaged. That’s certain to dampen your spirits when you’re just getting settled into your new home. Here are some packing tips to help ensure that doesn’t happen:
Avoid worn-out or damaged boxes as they are more likely to tear open during a move.
Pack glass and similar items in bubble wrap or foam chips – but not too tightly. Include just enough to ensure there’s no rattling.
Use small boxes for heavier items. A big box of books is difficult to lift. (Experts say a box shouldn’t weigh more than 50 lbs.)
Use anti-static packing materials for sensitive electronics, such as computers, cameras, and flash-drives.
Purchase specialty packaging for items such as dishes, musical instruments, and valuable clothing. It’s worth the investment.
Don’t pack a box so full that there’s a bulge.
Wind and tie electrical cords.
Finally, if possible, personally carry irreplaceable items (such as family photographs) with you to your new
What a Buyer is Thinking While Viewing Your Home
Ask any good salesperson for an effective selling technique and he’ll probably say something like, “Understand the buyer. Try to figure out what she’s thinking.
That’s good advice for you to consider when you’re putting your home up for sale. You need to imagine what a buyer might be thinking while viewing your property, so you can prepare your home more effectively for that sale.
Here are some things buyers may be wondering:
Is this the type of home we’re looking for? Does it have the ideal number of bedrooms, etc.?
Are the rooms spacious enough for our needs?
Are there any repairs or other maintenance issues that need to be addressed?
How old is the property? Is there anything major, such as a furnace, that will need to be replaced soon?
What is the neighborhood like? Will we be happy living in this area? Is it safe?
Is this home going to fit our lifestyle? Is there an area for the kids to play? Is there ample room for entertaining? Is the dining room large enough for dinner with family and relatives?
Of course, these are only a few of the many questions a buyer may have while viewing your home.
The more you can anticipate these questions and prepare your home accordingly, the better the chances that you’ll sell it quickly and for a good price.
For example, remember that clutter will make a room appear smaller. So, make sure to de-clutter your home – especially the smaller spaces and cupboards.
If your house is in a desirable neighborhood, create a list of area features (i.e. local parks, access to public transit, walking paths, etc.) to help buyers appreciate the value of living there.
Basically, when you’re preparing your home for sale, think like a prospective buyer!
Need help? Call today.
Donít Forget the Commute
Some home buyers consider purchasing a home that is less expensive but farther away from work. In particular, people who work in an urban area sometimes consider living outside the city, where housing costs a little less.
Is that a good option? It depends, to some extent, on the cost of commuting.
People often underestimate commuting expenses when they consider buying in a particular neighborhood. Knowing these costs is important if you want to make a smart, informed decision.
For example, there are many expenses associated with a 45-minute commute to work: gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, insurance, parking, etc. There’s also value to the lost time – almost seven hours a week spent in the car.
If you find a home that you love, and have considered the commuting time and expenses, you might find that it makes sense to purchase a home in the suburbs. Lots of people commute and find ways to make the experience pleasant.
As with all aspects of a home purchase, having all the information is key. So, make sure you know the true cost of commuting so you can make the right decision for you and your family.
Reasons to Consider Making a Move
When is it a good time to sell your property and buy another home? Whenever there’s a good reason to do so! There are many things that may motivate you to consider making a move.
Your current home no longer meets your needs. You may have more space than you need or you might be looking for a larger home to accommodate a growing family.
You’re looking for features your current property can’t accommodate. For example, you might want to install a pool but don’t have the backyard space or you might want a larger living room for entertaining but don’t have room for a renovation.
You want to live in a more desirable neighborhood. This is one of the most common motivators since the area you live in has a huge impact on your lifestyle.
You want to move closer to work, school, family, shopping, theater, etc.
You’re simply bored of your current property and are ready for a change.
Whatever your reasons, if you’re thinking of looking for a new home – even if you haven’t made a firm decision yet – we should talk. As your REALTOR®, I can help you understand all your options.
Be a Savvy Home Viewer
The last thing you want to experience after purchasing a home is “buyer’s regret”. That’s the sinking feeling you get when you realize, days or weeks later, that you may have made the wrong decision.
Say, for example, you bought a home based on your first impressions. When you viewed it, you thought it was just perfect. Then, a few weeks after you moved in, you discovered that the bedrooms are smaller than you had originally thought and the street is loud and busy. That wouldn’t be a very good feeling!
That’s why it’s important to become a savvy home viewer. When you visit a property for sale, you need to move past your first impressions and take a comprehensive look at the property and the neighborhood. That way, there won’t be any unpleasant surprises later on.
Here are some tips on how to do just that:
Take the time to carefully view each room, including closets and storage areas.
Make sure you have measurements of all the rooms.
Imagine yourself living in the home. Where will you have dinner? How will your furniture look? What is it going to be like to travel to work and school each day? Where will your kids play?
Get a professional home inspection. Then, make sure you read and understand the report.
Understand and get estimates for any maintenance and repair issues, such as required bathroom upgrades or roof shingles that need replacement.
Walk the neighborhood and get a clear sense of what it’s going to be like to live there.
Carefully consider any negative issues before telling yourself, “I can live with this.”
The best way to ensure you don’t get buyer’s regret is to work with a good REALTOR® like me! Call today.
Creating a Realistic New Home Budget
Creating a Realistic New Home Budget
You’re probably aware that there’s more to the cost of a new home than its purchase price.So to help you make an informed decision, ask yourself the following questions:
How much do you expect to pay for moving expenses? Don’t forget to include packing materials in your calculations.
“Closing costs” are the extra charges you will have to pay at closing. How much do you expect your closing costs to be?
Estimate how much you’ll pay for activating your phone, internet service, cable television, and other utilities at your new home. These little costs can add up.
Will your new property require painting, repairs, and other preparations once you move in? How much will they likely cost?
Will you need to purchase new furnishings, decor, and other items for your new home? What’s your budget for those items?
The more aware you are of the true costs of a home you’re interested in buying, the better choices you’ll be able to make about that home. If you decide to buy, you’ll be able to do so with much more confidence.