Posts tagged ‘tips for sellers’

October 28, 2013

Appliances – What is the Life Expectancy?

Not ready to face the expense of replacing your stove, dishwasher, or even your vacuum??  Read on to discover some preventative measures you can take to keep many of your household appliances from reaching an early demise.  Also, discover when it might be to consider finding a replacement…

appliances

Appliance

How to care for it

When to replace it

Stand Mixer Never overload the mixer, causing it to work harder and put extra strain on the motor.  When cleaning, make sure ALL parts are cleaned including the attachment socket! If the mixer won’t turn on at all, you probably have a dead motor.
Microwave Always use proper microwave-safe plates and bowls.  Keep the interior clean and the turntable rotating smoothly. Takes too long to heat food or it won’t turn on.  Beyond replacing a fuse, the cost to repair could exceed the cost to replace.
Drip Coffeemaker Rinse pot and grind basket after each use.  Once monthly, run 1 part vinegar/2 parts water solution through it to clean, followed by 2 brew cycles of plain water to rinse. If your coffee isn’t really hot after brewing.  The heating element has probably died.
Vacuum Cleaner After every few uses, clean the filters, the opening to bag or canister, hoses, etc.  Keep all air flow and parts moving properly. If the motor dies.  The cost to repair typically costs as much as a replacement.
Hair Dryer Clean lint and dust from the rear filter regularly. Replace if blowing cold air or has a burning smell!
Range Wipe up spills and messes right away, keeping burners clean and preventing fires.  The same applies to spills in the oven which can smoke or ignite! Time to replace when the buttons or knobs no longer work the burners, gas burners won’t light, or the oven doesn’t heat up.
Dishwasher Check the filter located in the bottom of the machine for clogs and debris.  Use a cleaner made for dishwashers regularly. If the machine is cracked, rusted, leaking from the bottom, and if the motor or pump stop working.
Washing Machine Keep machine level, never use more detergent than instructed, and always remove objects from pockets to avoid damage to the machine. If the washer sounds like a freight train during the spin cycle!  This indicates a bad support bearing and a very pricey repair!
Clothes Dryer Clean lint screen after each cycle.  Hire a professional to clean vent duct and interior of dryer once a year. Time to replace if you need to repair more than one part at a time, like a motor and timer.
Refrigerator Once a year, use a vacuum to clean the coils located in the bottom or rear of the fridge.  Also test the doors seals periodically to keep cold air from escaping. Replace if it no longer keeps food cold or frozen.  Almost every other part is repairable or replaceable except for the cooling system.

With a little extra time and TLC you may be able to squeeze a few more days, months or years out of these frequently-used home appliances!

Homeowner Tips | Tips for Buyers | Tips for Sellers | Home Buyer Resources | Home Seller Resources

September 17, 2013

Renting Your Home – Can you handle it?

 
forrentAlmost anyone can be a landlord and the extra income can be great…but owning even one rental property can be a huge headache! Do you have the time and skills to handle it properly?

A landlord is responsible for providing a safe, smoothly functioning home for their tenants. That means making sure plumbing, wiring, and appliances are working, outdoor areas and stairways are safe, and having the ability to quickly respond to all problems. It also entails advertising the rental, screening potential tenants, and evicting them if necessary…all while staying within the strict guidelines of the law!

Before you even begin to tackle these tenant issues, you should determine whether or not your property is a good, potential money-making candidate.

Things to consider:

  • How much will it cost to keep it going…including mortgage payments, utilities, maintenance, repairs, etc.? Is it in good repair, in a safe part of town?
  • Estimate your rent price. Adding up the costs involved is not enough. Check around your area for competitive rates on other similar rentals.
  • Compare the rent to your costs. Create two Profit and Loss statements, one best-case and one worst-case scenario. Will it make a profit? Are there other reasons you want/need to hold onto the property?

Once you have determined your property is a good rental, you need to decide if you can handle those tenant issues we mentioned earlier; maintenance, tenant screening, and the law. Yikes! It might be time to consider calling in the cavalry…or in this case, a property management company.

What can the right property management company do for you?? The right company will act on your behalf in all matters concerning the upkeep and management of your rental. Some of their most common duties:

  • Advertising
  • Repairs and maintenance problems
  • Collecting rent
  • Performing credit checks and background checks on prospective tenants
  • Keeping current with local tax codes, as well as building and neighborhood requirements

The major benefit is the amount of time saved and hassle that is avoided by you, the owner. Typically the property management company will charge a fee based on a percent of the rent collected and amount of work involved to maintain the property.

Tenants will benefit by having a central contact for reporting issues, asking questions, and response times can be much faster!

How to pick the right one? Ask about the following items when you are interviewing…

  • Communication – Is there fast and easy communication? 24 hours/7 days week??
  • Evictions – Do they handle them? Is there an extra fee?
  • Additional fees – Discuss any and all of them up front!
  • Agreement Terms – What if you decide to end the relationship? Is there a penalty?
  • Advertising – Where do they advertise? Newspaper, online? Will they put up a rental sign?
  • Rent Checks and Deposits – Will they mail them to you or direct deposit?
  • Landscaping / Yard Work – Do they handle these services? Cost?
  • Section 8 Tenants – Do they handle them? Are they familiar with the rules and procedures? This requires a lot of extra time and paperwork each month!

Rental properties can be a real challenge for investors. Find the plan that works best for you…reduces your stress, AND maximizes your profits!

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/

—————————————————————————–

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.

April 18, 2013

Plant a Tree (Earth Day)

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

earth-dayEarth Day is right around the corner (April 22) and planting a tree is a great way to show your support.  Finding the perfect tree is not as simple as it sounds.  Here are some suggestions on those you should consider planting in your yard and the trees you may want to avoid.

You should first consider what you are looking for in a tree; amount of shade, the size, shape, blossom production, and the attraction of birds or wildlife.  Then do a little research to find out which trees thrive best in the area where you live.

A few top choices…

  • Red Maple –     Most common tree in Eastern U.S., it is adaptable to a wide variety of conditions.  Often used for shade and medium to high quality lumber.
  • Yellow Poplar –     Also called the Tulip tree because of the beautiful yellow blooms that reach from top to bottom.  It is a tall, fast growing tree, without the common problem of weak wood strength.
  • Red Oak –     Not usually very tall, but great for shade.  Leaves in the spring are a delicate silvery, pink and change to a yellow, green before finally turning red in the fall.
  • Dogwood –     A beautiful, blooming tree in the spring that attracts small birds.  Historically popular for wood strength, it was also used in inks and dyes and for the treatment of dogs with mange, which may be how it got its name.
  • Sycamore –     The sycamore is able to endure a big city environment and has been extensively planted as a shade tree.  It bears transplanting well and grows rapidly.
  • American Holly –    It will grow in both dry and swampy soil, but grows slowly.  Holly is also a cold-tolerant plant, playing an important role as a survival food for birds, who will eat the berries after other food sources are exhausted.
  • Redbud –     They are characterized by simple, rounded to heart-shaped leaves and pinkish-red flowers borne in the early spring on bare leafless shoots, on both branches and the trunk.
  • Conifers –    Conifers are of immense, ecological importance. They are the dominant plants over huge areas of land.  They are also of great economic value; primarily used for timber and paper production.

Skip these…

  • Silver Maple –     Great shade tree, but the speed at which it grows makes for weak, brittle wood that may break during severe storms.  The shallow roots invade sewer pipes and drain fields and are notorious for cracking driveways and walkways.
  • Ash –     Threatened by the emerald ash borer beetle that is on track to wipe out this tree species.  If you want something long term, look elsewhere.
  • Quaking Aspen –     Root system sends up suckers that try to turn into new trees.  Once established it just takes over.
  • Willow –     Beautiful on the outside, yes, but the willow has an aggressive, water-hungry root system that terrorizes drain fields, sewer lines, and irrigation pipes. The wood is weak and prone to cracking, and the tree is relatively short-lived, lasting only about 30 years.
  • Eucalyptus —     This tree has a bad reputation for suddenly and unexpectedly dropping big, heavy, resin-filled branches.  The showy bark peels off annually and adds to seasonal maintenance chores.
  • Mountain Cedar –     This bushy tree releases massive amounts of pollen during the cooler months, causing severe allergic reactions in many people. Even if you don’t have allergies, planting one in your yard may affect neighbors.
  • Mulberry –     Big surface roots, lots of pollen, messy fruit, and shade so dense that grass refuses to grow underneath…and silkworms love it!!  The mulberry is the silkworm’s only source of food.

Our planet is in desperate need of more trees to replace the billions lost in development.  Planting a tree every year will add beauty to your yard, increase your home’s value, and help to make our planet a better place to live!

April 17, 2013

April To-Do List

April 2013 IOV - Ecard

——-

“April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
– William Shakespeare

Spring is in full-swing….let it inspire you to make the most of this month! It’s a terrific time to get out into the fresh air and to let the fresh air in as well! Here are a few ideas to get you started…

  • Inspect window screens for tears/bent frames, clean with a mild soap and soft bristle brush; allow to dry thoroughly before installing.
  • Cleaning the carpets is another way to bring a fresh feel to your home. Rent a carpet steamer or call in a professional.
  • Get out into the garden. Clean up leftover leaves and debris, turn the soil allowing it to breathe, and get prepared for planting.
  • Check garden hoses for leaks; repair or replace damaged hoses. Do not leave hoses connected to an outdoor spigot until the danger of frost is completely over!
  • Pre-plant your herbs. Start them in smaller, indoor pots and transplant to larger outdoor pots or beds when the time is right.
  • Inspect outdoor structures for deterioration – especially signs of rot. Check fences, railings, window sills. Plan to repair or replace any damage you discover once the weather turns fair.
  • Prepare for the outdoor cooking season! Inspect your grill; replace any worn or damaged parts. Remove and clean cooking grates with soapy water and a brass bristle brush. Remove grease from lava rocks or briquettes by turning them over, igniting the burners, and allowing the heat to “clean” them for 10 minutes. Check propane levels to ensure your grill is ready when you are!
  • For a real seasonal shift…change over cushions, sheets, and throws to lighter or brighter colors. Pick colors that will compliment what is already there.
  • Inspect the washing machine. Turn off the water, remove the supply hoses and examine them and the washers. Replace worn or damaged parts.
  • Last but not least….Get your bikes out of the shed, dust them off, and have them tuned-up by a pro!

Tackle these items early in the month so you can get out, get active, and make the most of the warm weather before it is gone again!

April 1, 2013

Clean like a Pro

Clean-like-a-pro…or at least make your home look professionally cleaned! Can’t afford a cleaning service, you’re not alone. Here are some of the best tips from the pros. Follow these and your home won’t just look clean, it will look polished!!

Get streak free glass
No special, expensive cleaners needed. Spray regular glass cleaner on your windows and wipe off with a newspaper. Newspaper is lint free and leaves nothing behind.

Use the right cloth
Look for microfiber or terry cloth that feels comfortable in your hand. Fold into fourths, using a clean area as you move through your tasks. When laundering, avoid fabric softeners that reduce the effectiveness and absorbency of microfiber.

Don’t just mop the floor
Mopping isn’t enough, mop your floors and then wipe them dry with a microfiber towel. A wet floor can dry with streaks and attract dust from the air. It takes a little longer, but the floor will look better and stay cleaner about a week longer.

Invest in a good feather duster
An ostrich-feather duster is a fast, effective way to remove dust (unless you have allergies). They are great for knick-knacks, vents, and light fixtures. Some even have handles that can extend your reach to get to shelves, fans, etc. A good one can last for years.

Vacuum Cleaner
A good vacuum cleaner is essential. Frequent, thorough vacuuming will help extend your carpet life and control allergens. A nimble, lightweight vacuum with a high-efficiency filter and good airflow is the best. You’re more likely to vacuum, if it is easy to operate and move around. Onboard tools are great, if they stay on board. Make sure they fit snugly and are in the right spot when you need them. Good cord length is one that allows you to clean the largest room in your home from one central outlet.

Cleaning Products
You don’t need to have every type of product that you find in the grocery store. A few good ones will do just fine. For routine cleaning you should have a glass or all-purpose cleaner, soap scum remover, floor cleaner, furniture polish and a gentle scouring powder.

Don’t forget the Fixtures
Many of us are guilty of cleaning only what we see. A good rule-of-thumb…clean from the top to the bottom. Use a long handled duster to reach the ceiling, light fixtures, and other high spots. Continue cleaning your way down, until finally reaching the floor. Cleaning above your sight line makes a room look much cleaner.

Simple, essential tools and a little bit of knowledge will get the best results in the shortest amount of time. Save yourself time and money by following these terrific suggestions.

Are you selling your home and want more advise on how to prepare your home for sale? Check out some of these other great real estate articles;

Smells that make your house sell | De-cluttering your home | Fixing up your garage

Tips for Sellers

October 11, 2012

Fall Clean Up Tips

The kids are headed back to school, the leaves are turning, and a chill is in the air. If you’re like most homeowners, fall also means opportunity to spruce up your yard and cut down on the work you’ll need to do when Spring arrives. Take these Fall Tips into consideration while preparing for the upcoming winter season.

October 8, 2012

Garage Makeover (Part 2)

In today’s economy, homeowners are trying to make every inch of their home useful. They want more active and functional living space. Reclaiming attics, storage rooms, closets, garden sheds and garages is the easiest way to utilize wasted space. Garages are often full of “junk” that we no longer need or use. By giving your garage a makeover you can transform that cluttered space into a totally new and functional living area. By using these few tips you will feel confident and ready to show off your new space.

 

Furniture
Use a modern modular couch. They are
easily re-arranged and come with removable
slipcovers that can be washed easily.
Garage Door
Use colored sheets of plastic to dress-up
the garage door. These can be found at any
hardware store and can be easily screwed into
the door frame.
Windowless?
Peel-and-stick mirrors will reflect light,
creating a brighter space.
Storage
Movable partitions are the easiest way to hide
unwanted items.
Accent Color
Pick an accent color and use it sparingly.
Incorporate this color into accesories like
pillows and centerpiece for a table.
Lighting
Hanging lights create the illusion
of height and create dimension
against a flat surface.
Floors
Remove old oil stains using an acid cleaning solution.
Use paint (formulated for garage floor use), carpet,
or colorful interlocking tiles to give the floor a more
comforting and appealing look.
Door
Don’t forget about the door! Purchase a new door that fits
the style and look of your new room. Make sure to get the
correct size and allow space for weather stripping.

Information courtesy of ThisOldHouse.com and hgtv.com2010.

These tips can also help sellers who are looking to sell their home; by helping to increase the overall look of their home, and entice home buyers.

 

January 25, 2012

Where Will Housing Prices be in the Spring?

Sellers are often under the assumption that they should wait until spring before putting their home on the market.  They believe that they will attract more buyers and sell their home at a higher price.  Typically, this makes sense.  However, the foreclosure properties that are being released by the banks will affect the market.  It is believed that this increase in the supply of homes will prevail over buyer demand, and cause home prices to decrease

“U.S. foreclosure activity has been mired down since October of 2010, when the robo-signing controversy sparked a flurry of investigations into lender foreclosure procedures and paper work. While foreclosure activity has registered well below levels from a year ago, there is evidence that this temporary downward trend is about to change direction, with foreclosure activity slowly beginning to ramp back up.” –RealtyTrac 

With today’s market, you may get a better price for your home by selling now, instead of waiting until spring!

Visit www.PrudentialHomesale.com to find an agent.

November 15, 2011

Selling Your Home? Improve Your Curb Appeal!

Listen to the podcast below for tips on how to improve your curb appeal and attract more buyers. 

 Curb Appeal

For more information visit www.PrudentialHomesale.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 731 other followers

%d bloggers like this: