Posts tagged ‘selling your home’

October 27, 2014

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
August 6, 2014

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.

 

 

January 22, 2014

Is Your Home Priced to Sell?

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

Studies have shown that the first 2 weeks on the market are the most important.  Your home is exposed to the most active buyers, during this time, and if you are over-priced, you will quickly lose their attention.  If that happens, you could be forced to endure a slow stream of random buyers who enter the market after that point.

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!!

December 19, 2013

Wrapping Up Your Home for the Holidays

home-christmas-decorationsIn the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Clark Griswold may have gone a little overboard with his Christmas lights, but if he was selling his house, he may have had the right idea.

“Great decorations really set the tone for the holidays, a time when you can showcase your home in a different way to highlight areas that normally may not stand out,” said Amy Cornwell, President/ Lead Designer for Creative Impressions, which specializes in seasonal decorating.

By creating a festive atmosphere, a home seller allows perspective buyers to envision what their holidays will be like in the property—complete with a beautiful tree, stockings hung from the fireplace mantels and the smell of Christmas cookies in the air.

Home Buyers associate a sense of ‘home’ through the traditions and memories of holiday décor,” Cornwell said. “It’s a great way to attract buyers.”

Nighttime is when many perspective buyers are driving around looking at houses, and nothing will slow them down more than a great Christmas light display. “A well-designed display adds festive elegance to a home, and highlights the already-present features of the property,” said Brandon Stephens, vice president of Marketing at The Decor Group, Inc., Lubbock, Texas, specializing in interior and exterior holiday decorating.

In fact, consider holding an open house at night, when you can serve hot chocolate and better show off the Christmas lights, holiday decorations and all that the house has to offer.

Here are some simple suggestions to ensure your home captures the holiday spirit without interfering in the real estate process:

  • Keep decorations to a minimum so you don’t block views, make rooms feel smaller and disrupt the natural flow of the home. Consider a smaller tree and store gifts in another room.
  • Incorporate fresh evergreen or rosemary into your decorating for a classic look and to promote “the Christmas tree smell.”
  • Make sure light strings and extension cords are tucked away for everyone’s safety.
  • Eschew religious or cultural decorations to not alienate prospective buyers who don’t share your beliefs.
  • Leave a plate of holiday cookies and warm cider or cocoa for prospective home buyers.

 

The holidays are emotional times for most people, including home shoppers. Holiday decorations, presented tastefully and sensibly, can help you wrap a bow on your home for just the right buyer.

Happy Holidays!

October 18, 2013

Quick Tips for Selling Quickly

Sell-your-house-fast-nutleyPatience is a virtue for just about any circumstance including selling your home. Yet sometimes you must sell quickly when a job opportunity arises or you face an abrupt lifestyle change. Assuming your home is in good condition and free of liens, here are several tips to help expedite a sale.

1. Price your house correctly: Working with your agent, choose a price that’s somewhat lower than what you’re seeing in the market, but not too low that it will send up red flags. Let your agent establish a price he or she feels will make your house the buzz of the neighborhood. The amount may not be what you had envisioned—remember, the market has changed substantially over the last five years—yet when priced slightly below comparable sales you should attract serious buyers.
Many Prudential Homesale agents use the Prudential Value Range Marketing SM as an additional pricing resource. Instead of setting a specific price, a value range is selected enabling sellers to entertain offers in a defined range.

2. Be flexible, compromise: know your basement price and don’t be offended by offers within those parameters. Consider negotiating housewares and fixtures that may appeal to prospective buyers, such as those expensive new drapes you just installed, the dining-room chandelier or that slick, washer-drier combo. Conduct a complete inventory of household features to determine what you can and can’t live without.

3. Remove the clutter from your home: This must be done regardless of time frame. Throw away anything you won’t be taking with you and pack in storage items that you won’t miss during the sale process. Consider renting a storage pod that can be picked up and eventually moved to your new home.

4. Offer incentives: One popular incentive for a fast closing is to share or pay for your buyer’s closing costs. You may also offer higher commissions for a fast sale, which may lead to even more showings.

5. Rent to buy: If there’s interest in your home but no one is willing to step up to meet your timeline, offer prospective buyers the chance to rent your property with the right to buy it in six months or a year. Both parties win, as buyers can experience the home and neighborhood firsthand while you transition with cash flow to cover expenses.
Indeed, home-selling requires time and patience yet there are several things you can do to help expedite the process, if necessary. With flexibility and creativity, you can increase your chances of a quick sale.

September 13, 2013

Home Sellers: Check your Home for Storm Damage

housefloodedThe relentless rainfall and flooding in Colorado can be used as reminder that it’s been another crazy year of weather with many big rain and wind storms damaging houses throughout the country. With fall upon us and winter around the corner, home sellers should take a close look at their property for storm damage and make repairs.

If you experienced a powerful storm, it’s a smart idea to check your roof for any damage and ensure there are no missing shingles or cracks around any skylights the home may have. Climb into your attic and look for discoloration of the decking or plywood surfaces.

Also look for light penetrating from around plumbing vents or the chimney, indicating that your roof’s flashing needs repair.

Next, inspect your rain gutters for damage and clear them of leaves and debris. Look for holes, cracks or sags; all three can be easily fixed by a homeowner. (To fix a small hole, first use an abrasive pad to clean the area, then cut a piece of gutter material slightly larger than the hole. Using a stiff brush, spread gutter-repair compound around the hole and place your patch over the top. Cover the patch with another layer of compound to ensure a good seal. To repair minor sags, simply add a new hanging bracket to the sagging area or replace the compromised existing bracket.)

Pay particular attention to areas of your home near trees and shrubs. Limbs can play havoc with your roof, siding and stucco in heavy winds, and can come crashing down under the weight of snow. Prune your trees and shrubs to ensure their health and to safeguard your home.

Finally, be sure to inspect your windows, fencing, decking, which also take a beating in storms. Seal and repair any damage. Sometimes storm damage is unavoidable. But making quick repairs can help ensure your home is safe, sound and ready for sale.

Selling your home? Find more tips for Home Sellers here

http://askhomesale.com/category/for-sellers/

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According to the industry publication REAL Trends, Prudential Homesale is the 13th most successful Realtor nationwide in the combined delivery of home services: real estate sales, mortgage closings, title closings, insurance sales, and home warranty sales. Prudential Homesale is ranked the 4th most successful Prudential Real Estate franchise in the country in sales.

July 1, 2013

Paint Like a Pro

Paint Perfection

A fresh coat of paint is the fastest, most economical way to spruce up any room in your home. Here are some simple guidelines to help you achieve results that will make any professional painter envious.

paint-like-a-pro

Pick your paint type – Water-soluble latex dries quickly, is easier to clean up, and emits fewer fumes. It is also less likely to fade and provides a breathable surface allowing moisture to escape. Oil based paints are trickier to apply, dry more slowly, and require mineral spirits for clean-up. However, they will provide a more durable finish. There are also specially-designed paints for kitchens and baths to resist mold, mildew, and humidity; they are worth the extra expense! That’s actually a good rule for any paint, consider paying a little more for better quality!

Choose the sheen – Flat, low-luster paints disguise flaws making them good for ceilings and low traffic areas. Glossier finishes form a smoother, water-resistant surface that is easy to wipe clean and stands up to moisture, making them a good choice for kitchens, trim, and high-traffic areas.

Test-drive the color – Buy a sample pot and apply 2 coats to a 3’ sq. of white foam board. Move the square around your room to study it at different times of the day and in varying light conditions. Once you decide on a color, purchase all your paint at the same time. (a gallon will cover about 400 sq ft) If you need more than 1 can, a good idea is to mix all cans together. Different cans could have subtle color variations that will become obvious on your walls. If applying 2 coats, only mix ½ of your paint for the first coat and mix the remaining paint before your second coat.

The right tools – For most jobs you will need a roller, brushes, blue painters’ tape, and a paint tray. Nylon and polyester bristles work best with latex paint, while natural bristles are the best choice for oil-based finishes. A 3/8”–1/2” nap roller suits most drywall.

Prep – Clear as much furniture from the room before you begin. Cover the floor and fixtures with drop cloths and remove outlet/switch covers. Fill holes and patch damaged spots with spackle. Wipe down walls and trim with a damp sponge before you paint.

Cut-in – Use a 2 ½” angled brush to paint the border of your work area. This will keep your roller from bumping against adjacent surfaces.

“Lay off” Method – After rolling an area, make a series of long vertical strokes down the full length of the wall, in the same direction. This will distribute wet paint in a thin, even layer.

Removing the tape – If you have used painter’s tape on your baseboards or trim, you’ll want to remove it the same day you paint. Run a putty knife along the edge at a 45-degree angle to “score” the paint. This will allow you to peel off your tape and not pull off the paint, move slowly and steadily.

Other tips
– Paint an outlet cover and write the paint color/number on the back of the cover. You can take this along to the store when you need to match the color exactly!
– Store extra paint for “touch-ups” in an airtight glass jar (ex: mason jar). Cover the opening with plastic wrap before screwing the lid on and store in a cool, dry place.

Grab a brush, follow these tips, and enjoy great-looking, long-lasting results!

These tips are great for homeowners looking to update the look of their home, as well as for home sellers looking to update the look and price of their home for sale.

June 25, 2013

Your Kitchen- Decorate on a Dime!

Are you bored with your kitchen or selling your home and need a new look? Here are some great ideas that will help you decorate and spruce up your kitchen without breaking your bank account!

June 2013 IOV - Ecard
Wall Color – Change the wall color, choose a neutral shade such as gray or beige. A bright color tends to “date” a room while neutral shades stay fresh and give you a better building block for your other fabulous decorating ideas!

Rugs – Area rugs will add a splash of color and can cover an old floor. Rugs used under your table should be large enough to accommodate chairs that are fully pulled-out.

Slipcovers – Covers can be used to add holiday and seasonal charm to your kitchen. They will also help to soften the room and enhance the décor.

Drawer/Cabinet Pulls – There are so many patterns and textures available! You will easily find a design to compliment your kitchen style and they are a breeze to install!

Cookbooks – No budget for accessories? Use the cookbooks you already own to create an interesting display. Group them in different, interesting configurations with some standing and some lying down or align them in graduating heights.

Touch of outdoors – Hang a plant from a bare ceiling corner to add warmth and life to the room. Plants will provide points of interest. Silk plants could work too, but take the time to shop around and choose ones that look realistic!

Accessorize – A few carefully placed accessories can take a room from dull to dramatic! Choose a theme and give your kitchen a new look by replacing just a few key items, like dish towels, canister sets, salt and pepper shakers, and pot holders.

Border – A wallpaper border is easy to install and fairly inexpensive. They can be used to add color at the top of the walls, to break up a tall, drab wall in the middle, or try a new twist and place the border underneath the cabinets!

Check with the pros – Books, magazines, television, and the internet are all great resources for endless decorating ideas!! Find a design you really like and have fun trying to re-create the look in your own room!

Big space or small space, big budget or small budget; it doesn’t matter what you start with. As long as you bring your creativity, and enthusiasm; you can end up with the charming, cozy kitchen you’ve always wanted!

May 30, 2013

Homeowner Survival Skills

Sooner or later, little things around your home will start to go wrong. 

Use this information to help you correct these common mishaps.

Fix a leaky faucet

Usually due to a bad washer or cartridge in the handle.  Turn off the water supply (under the sink), and cover the drain so no small parts go down it.  Pop the cover on the handles, remove the screw, and the handle.  Disassemble the stem next, using a wrench and lining up the parts in order so you will know how to put it back together.  Remove and replace the damaged or cracked parts and reassemble the stem and handles.

  keylockOpen a seized dead bolt

Spray some WD-40 into the keyhole to lubricate the mechanism. Prevent it from seizing by spraying once a year with Teflon spray.

Stop an overflowing toilet

The float inside the tank drops when the toilet is flushed and water from the tanks moves into the bowl.  It then rises as the bowl and tank are re-filled.  To prevent more spillage when the bowl is brimming over, lift the lid on the tank, grab the float and lift it to close the valve.  While holding the float, turn off the toilet’s water supply.  Now it’s clean up time!

  Pick an interior lock

Toddler locked in her bedroom?  Look for a small hole on the knob or the plate around it.  Take a slim piece of metal (screwdriver for eyeglasses, ice pick, metal skewer) and slip it into the hole to compress the spring inside.  In some cases, you will need the flathead screwdriver to insert into a slot on the spring and turn it.  Either way, you’ll disengage the lock and set your little one free!

fireUse a fire extinguisher (remember PASS)

P – Pull the Pin

A – Aim nozzle at the base of flames

S – Squeeze the trigger

S – Sweep the spray from side to side

Work calmly but quickly!! (most extinguishers have 8 seconds of life)  Call 911 and let the pros confirm that the fire is really out.

  hedgePrune a sick hedge

Trimming a shrub from the top only will make it too bushy and will prevent the sun from reaching interior branches and roots.  Pruning from the interior out will help bring it back to health.  Pull back outer branches so you can reach the interior to clip away dead branches.  Cut back tall shoots where they join the branch rather than snipping the end.  Use this method to prune about 1/3 of the bush for 3 years and your bush will thrive!

Unclog a sink

Skip the liquid drain cleaner and remove manually.  Remove the stopper and block off any overflow holes.  With water in the sink, use a flat-faced plunger to plunge the drain and remove clog.  If it doesn’t move, use a wrench to remove the U-shaped trap under the sink and look for the clog there.  If the clog is deeper, rent a hand-snake to reach it.  Slowly feed the coil into the drain, when you get to the clog carefully, twist, pull and push the coil to dislodge the clog.

  Unstick a door

Excess humidity in summer can cause a wooden door to swell and stick.  A gap of 1/8” to 3/16” between the door and jamb is recommended to accommodate seasonal changes.  Note where the door sticks and use a bench plane to shave off the high spots.  Round over any sharp edges with sandpaper and paint the exposed wood.  Allow to dry completely before closing the door.

Bypass garage door opener if your power  is out

Pull the red cord that dangles from the ceiling-mounted operator to disengage the electric chain drive.  Then you can slide the door open manually.  Be careful, a full-size garage door can be very heavy!

  Remove the base of a broken lightbulb

Unplug the lamp or turn off the fixture.  Cut a potato (russets are best) in half and gently press it onto the jagged glass.  Turn slowly to remove the base.

 

 

Did you like this article? Then you may like our article on “Repair or Replace

Have a real estate question? Contact a Prudential Homesale real estate experts today to find out more about the home buying and selling process.

May 16, 2013

Planting your Garden

planting“No two gardens are the same. No two days are the same in one garden”.

~Hugh Johnson 

It may seem like there is no end in sight to these cold days of winter but time passes quickly and spring will be here before you know it.  Now is the perfect time to do a bit of garden brainstorming.  Some things to consider may be what type of garden you want to plant, how big or small it will be, and what purpose will your garden serve.  Read on for some helpful gardening tips…

 

Wildlife Garden

One perk of a garden is watching the wildlife it attracts.  If you provide food, water and a place to nest, they will come.  Some plants attract more wildlife than others.  If you want to ensure you’ll always have guests in your garden, it’s good to know which ones to plant.

 

Butterflies -A butterfly bush will attract them, but a wider variety of plants will entice other species to visit your garden.

  • §Butterfly bush, Red Hot Poker, Iris, Lavender, Rosemary, Zinnia, Bee Balm, Phlox

Birds- Trees or plants that produce seeds or berries, a birdbath and a nesting “space” will draw wild birds to your backyard haven.

  • §Eucalyptus tree, Yucca, Iris, Beech Tree, Lime Tree, Rosemary, Crabapple, Elderberry, Oregon Grape

Hummingbirds- Hummingbirds are drawn to things that are red and very fragrant.

  • §Honeysuckle, Red Hot Poker, Yucca, Iris, Lily, Lavender, Canna, Cardinal Creeper, Bee Balm
 

Fragrant Garden

Now you can enjoy a fragrant garden by creating a sweet-smelling haven right in your own backyard.  Where you live will dictate the kind of plants you grow and what time of year to enjoy them.  Also consider whether you are looking for plants to enjoy in the garden or to cut and bring indoors.

 

Gardenias – They don’t have much of a stem, but float well in water and make beautiful short bouquets

PeoniesLow-maintenance, deer-resistant flowers that are easily cut for bouquets and arrangements

Irises - Look delicate, but are actually tough, drought-tolerant flowers that thrive in sunlight

Sweet peas – Come in a variety of different colors, some with stronger scents

Lilies – Come in many vibrant colors, making them great both for bouquets

Rosemary – Brings fragrance to the garden and flavor to the kitchen

Lavender – Smelling lavender helps reduce anxiety

     

Family Garden

This garden isn’t about finding all the right plants, it’s about creating a space children, adults, and pets can all enjoy together.

 

Create play areas surrounded by cheerful plants that attract butterflies

Rotate toys to prevent boredom

Include plants children can help with and call their own

Hang a simple tire swing from a sturdy tree branch

Water features are nice, but be sure your children are old enough to enjoy it and it doesn’t pose any danger

Look for and talk about the various wildlife that visits your garden

Dogs can enjoy the garden too by creating a shady rest spot for them and setting clear boundaries (raised) to keep them out of other areas

Plant a pad of catmint for your feline family members; they love it!

 

 

Vegetable Garden

Enjoy the delicious harvest that a small vegetable garden can provide.  Things to think about…

 

Start small so you are not overwhelmed by care and maintenance.  A 10’x12’ garden provides a surprising amount of food

Most vegetables enjoy 6 hours of sunlight a day

A healthy garden requires rich, well-drained soil.  Use an organic fertilizer.

Soil temperature is as important as air temp.  Don’t plant your seeds too early!

Have protective gear readily available for unexpected frost

Keep a layer of organic mulch on your garden to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

A low fence can help keep unwanted guests from enjoying the fruits of your labor

Plant a marigold border, they help ward off bugs

Pick as soon as they are ready, do not allow them to deplete energy from future growth

Keep it close, you will be more likely to use it

 

Your garden is your creation.   One final thing to keep in mind; if you have allergies avoid those plants that trigger a reaction, as well as other plants in the same “family”.

 

“Gardening requires lots of water – most of it in the form of perspiration”. ~Lou Erickson

 

 

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