Prudential Real Estate has released the results of its third quarter Consumer Outlook Survey indicating men and women tend to take up different tasks in the home-buying process and view homeownership through a slightly different lens. However, both say their real estate agent helped ease the decision-making process. Take a look at the infographic in this moew insight into each role in the home-buying process.
Before you head out the door to your favorite summer vacation spot, take a few minutes to run through this checklist and prep your home before you leave; it could make your return just a little bit sweeter.
- Light it up – the kitchen (usually in the rear of the home) is a favorite break-in spot. Move a lamp into the kitchen and arm it with a timer that you can set to come on at random times. Also illuminate the main exterior entrances of your home with outdoor timers as well.
- Keep it Quiet – Don’t post pictures on Facebook until you are home and don’t change voicemail greetings to say that you are out of town.
- Keep it Cool – Don’t turn off your homes AC, mold and mildew can grow in a few days with warm temps. Instead set the thermostat to 82 Fahrenheit and your home will stay cool enough to prevent both.
- Power it down – A power surge can damage small appliances or cause fires. Unplug all items that are not plugged into a surge protector, such as a toaster and coffeemaker; and turn all surge protectors to off.
- Flush it – Flush the toilets and leave the lid up (just this once) so you won’t come home to icky, stagnant water.
- Clean it – Run the dishwasher to clean all dirty dishes. Remove them and leave the door open. This will allow the interior to dry completely and it won’t smell musty when you return.
- Trim it – Prune tree branches that extend over your house, especially if they are dying or are dead. Doing this will help prevent expensive damage if a storm hits while you are away.
- Stop it – Have your mail held while you are gone and suspend your newspaper deliveries.
- Lock it – Most burglars will use force to gain entry, but they often look first for open windows and doors. Double check that all are locked (even on the 2nd story), replace any broken window panes, and bring in any hidden keys.
- Arm it – Set the alarm and notify your security company that you will be away. Give a relative or friend the security code, the company name, your itinerary, and your contact numbers just in case. Also test your smoke alarms before you depart to make sure they work.
- Get help with it – Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your home every other day if possible and to bring in any unexpected deliveries like a phone book or circulars. Make sure you give them a key.
Taking time to prepare your home can help give you greater peace of mind while you travel.
Go on, relax and have fun!
Take a look at these Homeowner Survival Skills for more tips on taking care of your home.
Looking for a career as a Maryland or Pennsylvania Real Estate Agent? Visit our Real Estate Careers website for more information.
Yes, it looks like it might finally be the right time to put the For Sale sign in your front yard! Rising home prices and lower inventories are creating new opportunities for home sellers; sometimes even bringing multiple offers to purchase on the same home, as buyers become more confident and try to take advantage of lower interest rates.
Read on to discover more reasons why you should list your home NOW instead of waiting…
- Prices – Homes prices are slowly making a comeback. However, it is still your best bet, to price your home reasonably from the beginning. A newly listed home will have its largest viewing audience the first few days on the market and a properly priced home could see 8+ showings that first week!
- Inventory – The supply of homes is at its lowest point since 2005! Typically, the home inventory increases in the spring season. A stronger demand from buyers and a currently low inventory of homes could help you get your desirable sale price!
- New Construction – The home building industry took a hard hit the past few years, but it is showing signs of making a recovery. Builders are becoming more confident and more active, creating competition for sellers of existing homes.
- Household changes – Family formations are changing and growing, creating a need for “move up” homes. Rental occupancy is also nearing all-time highs. And those that may have fallen on hard times are getting their credit repaired; creating buyers who are more than ready to purchase!
- Interest Rates rising? – It has been projected that interest rates may start to inch up during 2013. This possibility is enough reason to push some homebuyers off the fence and onto the path of becoming homeowners.
- Selling faster – Statistics also show that homes are selling faster. The average days a home was on the real estate market in January was 71, compared to 99 days on the market one year ago!
Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, here are some other items to consider:
Find the right agent – Interview several, until you feel confident that you have found the right match!
Clean it up – Clean and prep your home right away: do a little painting, some carpet cleaning, and make minor updates. You want your home to make a great first impression!
Consider offers carefully – especially competing offers. Consider ALL terms of the offer, not just the sale price. Things to think about……closing date, inspections, cash down, appraisals, etc.
Plan for the appraisal – Provide the appraiser with comparable sales in your area and be sure to point out special features of your home they might miss!
When selling your home, your home shouldn’t just look good, it should smell good as well. Every home has a “smell”…..so make sure your home has a good one. Homeowners are often coached to create pleasing aromas when potential buyers are paying a visit or an open house is scheduled. Recent research reports that simple smells are the best smells to help you sell your home. An important concept to take away from this article….less is more.
The best place to start is with a CLEAN palette.
Baking Soda – It’s safe, cheap, and versatile. Keep an open box in closets and laundry room to absorb odors. Sprinkle on carpets prior to vacuuming.
Open up – Open windows to allow fresh air into your home.
White Vinegar – Mix equal amounts with water in a spray bottle. Lightly spray drapes, carpets, and other fabrics. This is a great odor neutralizer! Placing a bowl of this mixture in a room for several hours will also help to absorb bad odors! Great for burnt food smells, pet odors!
Keep it Clean – Don’t let garbage pile up, clean the litter box daily, put dirty laundry in a closed hamper, clean-up spills promptly, and toss old fruit from baskets on the counter.
Vacuum – Use a fresh vacuum bag to prevent transferring old, stagnant odors trapped in an old bag.
Once your home is clean, you can create the aromatic environment you desire. In the past, baking cookies, cakes, or bread, lighting candles, and using potpourri were all very popular trends. But now, researchers recommend keeping it SIMPLE and NATURAL. Complex fragrances can actually distract potential buyers. They can become focused on identifying the scent rather than focusing on your home’s fabulous features! Here are some easy, popular suggestions…
Citrus – A powerful deodorizer, it also brings a feeling of more energy! Cut a few quarters of a lemon or lime and toss into the garbage disposal. Run for a minute to deodorize the disposal and to re-fresh your kitchen.
Vanilla – Pure vanilla extract is a comforting aroma. Soak a few cotton balls with vanilla and place in small bowls around the room / home.
Cinnamon/Cloves/Spices – Conjures up memories of holidays and home. Fill a small saucepan with water, add some cinnamon sticks, cloves, a few drops of vanilla or even an orange rind. Simmer on the stove, keeping a close eye on it so the water doesn’t boil down.
Pine/Cedar – Terrific, all-natural fragrance for a mountain home! Decorate with some fresh sprigs of pine or place cedar chips in a bowl. Keep in mind; this may not work very well for a beach home or city residence. It may come across as un-natural and might suggest you are masking other odors.
Homemade Room Spray – Can be personalized and contains fewer chemicals than commercial sprays. Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vodka (a cheap brand will work), and 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil…lavender, cinnamon, clove, lemon, or orange are all good choices. Find the mix that works best for you. Put into a spray bottle and use whenever the air needs a burst of freshness! (Keep out of reach, along with your other home cleaners)
Baked Goods – Some folks will still swear by this trick……keep the smell simple and familiar, like home (pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls, raisin bread). Be careful not to let them burn!
It’s time to put away the harsh, artificial sprays and fresheners. Here’s a chance to be clean, fresh, and creative.
Keep it all-natural, all organic………….keep it simple!
We take pride in our efforts to expand our online exposure to help people achieve their dreams of homeownership. These are some stats for our web traffic from January – June 2012 to PrudentialHomesale.com, our cutting-edge real estate website that helps home buyers and sellers through all aspects of the real estate transaction.