10 Shortcuts to Make Your Move Easier

Near or far, there’s no shortage of challenges when it comes to moving. Between organizing an entire household changing addresses and vetting out movers, relocating to a new house can be hectic. And the biggest stress of all? Packing.

To help alleviate some of that stress, here is a list of clever shortcuts that will ease the burden of packing before (and unpacking after) a move.


1. Find Freebies – Forget buying boxes. Pick up free ones through Freecycle.org or the “free stuff” section on Craigslist, both of which list items by location. If you can, seek our boxes of varying sizes. And skip the supermarket cartons because they may contain food residue.

2. Pack to Unpack – The hardest part about packing is figuring out where to start. When boxing up your belongings, start in the kitchen, which typically houses the most items that are not everyday essentials. When you arrive at your new home, unpack you bedroom first, and leave the kitchen for last.

3. Color Code – Besides being time-consuming, labeling a box with its contents can give thieves the upper hand as you settle in. To save time and stay safe, assign each room a color and use coordinating colored duct tape. Stick a piece of tape on both the top and sides of boxes, so that they can be easily identified when stacked or apart.

4. Bag It – Don’t waste time un-hanging (and re-hanging) closet garments. Group a few hanging clothes together with a zip tie, slide black garbage bag over them, and make a hole in the top of the bag for hanger hooks. To “unpack,” simply remove the bad and tie.

5. Cover Up – Save yourself a step, and money, by forgoing the mattress cover sold by your mover. Instead place the fitted sheet you use regularly on your mattress, then cover both sides of the mattress with two older fitted sheets you no longer use.

6. Wrap It – Instead of emptying out the drawers of small-scale furniture, like end tables or corner desks, wrap heavy-duty plastic wrap around the piece of furniture, from top-to-bottom and side-to-side. This will seal the drawers and prevent spillage on moving day, and save you hours worth of unpacking time.

7. Tape Under – If certain furniture pieces require disassembly before moving, keep all of the parts together to save time when re-assembling. Place all bolts, screws and small pieces in a Ziploc bag, and tape the bag with clear packing tape to the bottom of the piece.

8. Fill Space – Damage on moving day is often caused by items shifting en route. To make certain your household items stay secure, use socks to fill in ‘dead air’ space, especially in and around breakables like glassware. If you want to save even more time, use t-shirts to wrap larger items.

9. Even It Out – If you’re using a moving truck, even out the weight when loading furniture and appliances to help prevent damage. To make your move as smooth as possible, place the refrigerator in the front right section of the truck and the washer and dryer opposite, front left.

10. Be Secure – No matter how many precautions you take, there’s no fighting gravity. When loading your plastic wrapped furniture, place the side with drawers against the wall of the truck to prevent them from opening. If your mover provides them, use tie-downs on the side walls for added security.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

10 Shortcuts to Make Your Move Easier

Defining Your Ideal Home

The property you buy will be much more than a house; it will be your home. So before you go out and view houses, understand what you are looking for. Try answering the following questions to help you clarify the things that are most important to you in your ideal home and neighborhood.


Defining Your Ideal Home

1. For some people, “home” means a hub of social activity; for others it might be a place to retreat from the pressures of daily life. What does “home” mean to you?

2. Who will be living in your household? Will you often have other family member or friends visiting for more than a few days at a time? If so, you may want to consider an extra bedroom, or office room than can be used as an extra place to sleep.

3. If you will be working outside your home, what would you consider a comfortable commute (in time or distance)? Will you be working at home? Is public transportation a necessity?

4. What are the most important activities for the members of your household? For example: hobbies, recreation, school, entertaining, religious or cultural activities.

5. What are one or more features you liked most about the home(s) you have lived in previously? This might include: style floorplan, yard, view, and neighborhood. Will these features need to be included in  your new home, or are you willing the add them later on?

6. What are one or more features you disliked about the home(s) or neighborhood where you have previously lived?

7. What are the most important “must have” features of your ideal home and neighborhood? Why are they important?


Once you have answered these questions, you are one step closer to purchasing your next home! Be sure to contact your local Homesale Realty Agent to continue the homefinding process.

AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 27 offices with over 1,200 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium. Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners


Defining Your Ideal Home

How to Prepare for Selling in the Spring Market

If you are planning on putting your home on the market, don’t wait around for the April showers to bring May flowers before you get ready to sell. Preparing a few months in advance allows for an easier selling experience. Spring is an extremely busy season for real estate; make sure you stay ahead of the crowd by being proactive now.


Remove the Clutter

Model homes and staged open houses have something in common; they are both clutter free. Even though everyone has clutter, when buyers walk through a home they want to be able to envision themselves living there with their own things. That is why it is extremely important to keep your house as neat as possible once your home is on the market. A simple way to make this task easier is to decrease the current amount of clutter you have now. For example, pack away items that are collecting dust and knick-knacks that are barely used.

Break out the Cardboard and Tape

Even though you might not be moving for a few months, you will eventually have to, so you might as well get a head start on the process. You don’t have to pack away your entire house, organize items in your storage closets, basements…etc., and determine what you want to sell, toss and keep. Once you box up these items, certain spaces/rooms will look larger and more organized when it comes time to show your house.

Improve Your Home

You should consider minor repairs and improvements that will give your home a fresh look for prospective buyers. Repair little things such as replacing the caulk/grout in your bathroom, old doorknobs, doorbell, outdated fans and light fixtures. Even painting your front door and trim will add curb appeal to your home.

Interview a Real Estate Agent

When choosing a Real Estate Agent to represent your home, your decision should be based on recommendations, experience, compatibility, trust and instinct. Using the right listing agent will make a significance difference in how quickly your house is on the market. Ask your friends to recommend their previous Realtors and interview agents to see which one is the right fit for selling the type of home you live in; price range and location.

If you are planning on selling your home now or in the next few months, then contact your local Homesale Agent for buyer/seller help. For more real estate information, please visit our Homesale website.

How to Prepare for Selling in the Spring Market


the price is rightWhen selling your home, the right price and an attractive appearance are arguably the two most basic essentials.  Buyers have a pool of choices and since no two homes are alike it is crucial to make a distinction between your home and the competition.

Studies have shown that the first 2 weeks on the market are the most important.  During this time, your home will be exposed to the most active buyers, through internet searches and buyers’ agents. Therefore, if you are over-priced, your home could easily get overlooked and you could be forced to endure a slow stream of random buyers who enter the market after that point.

According to one report, homes that sold within the first week of being on the market, earned an average of about 2% over list price, while homes that sat on the market for four months sold for more than 11% below their original list price.

There are several things you should consider:

Request CMAs – Determining the value of your home is the best place to start.  A CMA (comparative market analysis) will show you the prices of recently SOLD homes in your area, homes on the market now, and homes that did not sell.  You should consider the price of the sold homes, not just the current LIST price of area homes.  You should entertain CMAs and marketing strategies from at least 3 Realtors.  Realtors seldom want to list a home that is over-priced for the simple fact that the chance of selling your home would be much lower.

Think like a Buyer – The features you consider important in your home may not be the same features that buyers will consider valuable.  Discuss current home trends with your Realtor.  Your home’s price should be comparable to other similar homes; not be reflective of what you think its worth.

Sweeten the Deal – Some buyers have needs that go beyond the bottom line price.  The ability to close quickly, seller-financing, or assistance with closing costs can be a strong attraction to buyers.  The more flexible you can be in meeting these other financial needs, the more successful you will be in pricing and selling your home quickly.

Do your own Research – It is important to educate yourself and visit open houses in your area.  Make an assessment of how these homes compare to yours in terms of location, size, amenities, and condition.  If all sale prices were the same, would you buy your home or someone else’s?

React Quickly – Immediately after your home hits the market there should be a flurry of interest and showing activity.  If not, this may indicate that your home is over-priced.  If this limited interest continues for a few weeks, you should react.  It’s still not too late to reduce the price, but do it quickly in order to sustain some interest!

Consider the Market – Things to think about: Are homes selling quickly?  Are the interest rates attractive?  Is the economy good?  How is the local job market?

Keep it Clean – You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Clean it up and fix it up.  Make all necessary small repairs, such as fixing minor leaks, patching drywall cracks, or holes in the walls.  Clean up clutter and remove personal items.  Make sure your home is immaculate every time a buyer steps inside.

You have one chance to grab buyers’ attention.  Make sure your home’s price stands out from all the others for the right reason!!


Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

When it comes to selling your home, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. Even though as a seller you may be skeptical to place your house on the market during the winter, take advantage of the lack of inventory and play up the winter season. Here are a few tips on how to sell your home in the winter and the home selling process a little simpler.


shovelingsnowShovel and salt often

If you want prospective buyers to be able to safely enter your home then make sure you keep the sidewalk, driveway and front doorsteps clear of ice and snow. It also helps to make your house look well-maintained; similar to raking the leaves in the fall. If you’re not living in the home, or not home enough to keep on top of the snow, hire a service to salt and shovel the driveway and walkways.






Keep it warm

Part of making a home inviting to an interested buyer involves making it feel warm and cozy. You don’t want potential buyers looking at your home shivering as they walk around inside. Make sure you keep the thermostat higher if you know people are coming to look at the home, and if you’ll be there during the showing, set a fire in the fireplace.




Maximize light

During this time of year when daylight hours are at a minimum, light is important. Open the shades and let in as much sunlight as you can. Also make sure all the light fixtures are clean, and use bulbs with the highest wattage that they can safely handle. Turn on lights whenever you show the home to make it shine.


Have clean windows

Unkempt and dirty windows can turn off buyers before they even enter a house, and a strong light in the winter can reveal grime that otherwise wouldn’t be as noticeable. Make the windows as clean as possible and improve a potential buyer’s first impression.



Make it look comfortable

Keeping with the theme of making your house feel like a home, small touches go a long way; throw blanket or on a sofa and a large folded-over comforter on a bed. Make the buyers see themselves’ comfortably living in the home.


Emphasize conveniences

Is your home on a street that gets plowed often or next door to a school so that kids don’t have to wait in the cold for a school bus? Make sure to emphasize the ways your home makes it convenient to deal with inconvenient weather.


Use timers on lights

In the spirit of keeping your home well illuminated, setting up timers on the inside and outdoor lights can make sure your home looks good at dusk and at night. Also pay attention to the light around the front door, and make sure it’s bright enough to seem inviting.


Make it feel festive

When showing a home, you want to make possible buyers feel like they’re invited guests. Set the dinner table with your good china, if you can leave small snacks and drinks like cookies and cider, do that too. You don’t want the home too look stale – reflect the possibilities the home has for entertaining guests when showing your house.





Keep an inviting aroma

The one sense of the human body that sellers may neglect the most is the sense of smell. Make your home pleasing to the nose. Scents to use for the winter season include: cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and vanilla. Make sure you don’t overdo it with scented candles and incense everywhere – you don’t want buyers to feel like they walked down the perfume isle and can’t breathe. If your home suffers from musty odors and pet smells, clean those areas thoroughly and replace or clean rugs and fabrics that may hold those bad smells.




Appear meticulous

It may seem inconvenient to potential buyers to be asked to remove their shoes or slip on rubber shoe-covers before walking around the home. But some buyers will see that you’re very picky about maintaining a certain quality and cleanliness – and it will reflect well on the state of the house in general.




Decorate to the season

Don’t keep the Christmas tree or Hanukkah lights up after the holidays are over, but other seasonally appropriate decorations can help make a home more inviting, such as decorative wreaths and dried arrangements around the door.




Use winter to your advantage

Some homes can use winter as a selling point. Is there a popular ski resort close by? Is there a great sledding hill down the street? People want to hear about the winter perks they will enjoy living in your home.


If you are planning on selling your home, or know of someone who is thinking about putting their house on the market this winter, contact your local Homesale Agent. For more tips for sellers check out our previous article, Secrets for Selling Your Home.

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

Living In Your Home While It Is For Sale

You have decided it is time to move and put your house on the market. You have made a big decision, congratulations! When the for-sale sign is placed on your lawn, dozens of interested buyers and real estate agents will be trudging in and out of your entire house. You will have unfamiliar people examining every nook and cranny of your home.

Selling your home is a huge financial undertaking, so you will want to give your home the best chance to sell for the maximum price….while you still comfortably reside there.

Follow these steps to maintain a livable home and still sell it at the highest possible price.

Start Packing Now

As of right now, you may only have 3-4 months until the moving truck arrives and it is time to move. Therefore you need to remember that you are not going to need all of the decorative furniture or little knick-knack items that are currently filling your rooms and closets over the next few months. So if it is October and you lviein Maryland or Pennsylvania, you won’t need your spring and summer clothes; pack them up. The secret to getting a house clutter-free is to have the mindset of removing all the things you can live without while your home is on the market (it’s only a temporary).  With that in mind…….


Keep it, Store it, Toss it or Donate it!

Clutter can eat away equity and kill potential deals. The concept of less is more – removing clutter – is at the heart of preparing to sell a home because space is an important commodity. Showing that you have a little extra breathing room and a sense of expansiveness in your home gives off the feel of luxurious, calming and uplifting. As obvious as this seems, buyers will be more attracted to a home that feels like it has extra space, which is why removing unnecessary clutter from your home is essential when preparing for an upcoming move.


Scrub Away

After you have de-cluttered your home, it is time to start cleaning. Say farewell to all the cobwebs, dust, grime, rust, mildew and carpet stains. The windows, glass and mirrors must sparkle. The sinks and toilets should look ‘five-star hotel perfect.’ Most people dread cleaning, but the payoff is worth it in the end.


Maintain your Privacy and Safety

Believe it or not, people are nosy and may look through your drawers, closets, medicine cabinets, etc… at your open house or showing. Don’t keep anything in the house that you do not want other people to see; personal documents and valuables. Don’t leave mail sitting around, lock up all checks, credit cards or any other personal information. Be extra cautious about anything of monetary or sentimental value. Although this type of behavior is rare, it is better to be safe than sorry in this case,


Send your Pets on a Holiday

Animals are a wonderful addition to any household; however they may not be the best addition to an open house or listing. Therefore you should plan accordingly, ask friends and family to take your pet(s) for the day or at least a few hours, while the house is being shown.


Prep Like a Pro

When you are living in a house that is on the market, you need to be prepared to “Show Prep” you home for each showing. Even though your real estate agent is constantly working hard for you, they are busy and often arrive at the same time of the potential buyers. This means they may not have the opportunity or time to prep the house. When those buyers arrive, your house must be ready to go. Every light set perfectly, the doors and windows open if weather permits and the temperature exactly right.


Involve Your Kids in the Process

If you have children, you most likely have a lot of toys laying around to entertain them. And of course, your kids need to be able to play and continue on with their everyday lives. So how do you get the house looking perfect for every showing? Involve your kids. Make the process a game and get them to participate. Let them understand that it’s time to put the house “on show” and you all need to set the stage together. Have them pick up their favorite toy and stuffed animal to showcase in a perfect spot each time for the show, and put the rest of the toys away. You will be surprised how cooperative kids are and how much fun they have when you announce its “Show Time!”


Get it Ready and Get Out

Once you have gone through the checklist and completed everything that needs to be done before each showing, it is time to get out! You want the potential buyers to feel that this could be their future home. After you have worked so hard to create the perfect atmosphere for their experience, the last thing you want to do is ruin it by hanging around. The real estate agents and the potential buyers need to be able to speak openly and honestly with one another, and if you are present, this most likely won’t occur.


Final Panic – “I can’t live like this!”

Don’t let the pressure of maintaining a clean house overwhelm you. You will be concerned that you won’t be able to keep your house sparkling clean every day. But don’t worry, if you truly dress up your home for sale the process of prepping will be easy. Since your things are packed and organized, and your down to the essential basics, moving will be a easy-breezy.



Source: http://goo.gl/1EIPfq
Living In Your Home While It Is For Sale

Are you ready to sell?

Have you been thinking about selling your home? Your patience or perhaps procrastination may have paid
off in a big way. Experts say this is the year to sell your home, sooner rather than later. Many current factors
are fueling a sellers’ market; read on to uncover a few reasons why you shouldn’t wait any longer:


Aug 14 IOV - Ecard



Whatever your reason may be, take control of the situation. Start your home selling process today so you’re able to find your dream home sooner.



Are you ready to sell?