15 Minutes Before a Viewing

modernes schlafzimmer mit dekoration

When preparing your house for a viewing, you’re obviously going to make sure it’s clean and tidy. After all, you want to make the best impression possible on potential buyers. But in the minutes before the buyers are due to arrive, there are a few final touches you need to do in your house to ensure it looks its best.

Put away coats, hats and shoes. Focus around the foyer. You don’t want clutter to be the first thing a buyer sees.

Turn on all lights and lamps. Don’t forget darker areas like nooks and corners. A house that is bright looks more roomy.

Organize your storage space. Make sure bikes, boxes and other items are neatly stowed. Think of your storage space as another room.

Put on some soft music. Choose something that will appeal to most people. Easy listening and classical music work best.

Make sure the toilet lids are down. Even when a washroom is sparkling clean, a raised toilet seat gives the impression – however incorrectly – that things are less than hygienic.

Open all curtains and blinds. This makes rooms look bigger and brighter, even at night.

It only takes a few minutes to do these few final touches, and your home will show better as a result.

7 Simple Repairs That Will Help Sell Your Home Faster

Tools

There’s a lot of competition in the housing market these days. When you put your home up for sale, you’re bound to be up against several other similar listings. That’s why it is important to make sure your property is in a good state of repair so that it makes a good impression on potential buyers.

Here are some things that may need your attention or the help of a reputable contractor:

Doorways. Inspect all your entry systems closely. Look for sagging screens, cracked glass, squeaks, and aging or broken aluminum parts. Consider giving your doors a fresh coat of paint.

Roof. Check for missing shingles and have replacements installed where necessary. Also inspect the gutters. Remove any leaves and other debris that may have accumulated.

Walls. Look for nail pops, holes and dents. Patch and paint where necessary.

Toilets. Make sure all toilets are still secured firmly to the floor and don’t rock when you sit on them. Anchoring nuts tend to corrode over the years. Replace where necessary.

Faucets. Inspect all faucets, including those in the laundry room and other areas. Do you have one that drips? If so, repair or replace it.

Cabinets. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets get scratched and worn in spots over the years. There are many great scratch repair products on the market that can make cabinetry look almost new.

Decks and gates. Any loose boards? Rickety stairs? Sagging gates that you have to lift in order for the latch to close? Buyers will notice. Get them fixed.

The good news about these types of repairs is that they are relatively inexpensive, yet make your home show significantly better.

Are Your Doors and Locks Safe?

Wooden Front Door

Burglary is among the greatest concerns of most families and homeowners, yet home security is something many of us take for granted. Typically, it is only when we become aware of a disturbing incident – or suffer the personal trauma of being a victim – that we actually take steps towards making our homes more secure. The more common access areas, such as front, rear and garage doors are the preferred points of entry for a burglar. A proper security assessment will require a careful professional examination to identify the home’s unique critical areas.

Make An Entrance Examination
Every homeowner should take a close look at the obvious entry points of the home, and ensure they provide adequate protection for family members and their possessions. Typically, burglars seek the easiest and least visible point for illegal entry, such as garage doors and back doors. These doors are usually in darker or covered locations, and often can be compromised simply by breaking a glass panel or applying a swift kick to a weak area. Remember, if you make it difficult for thieves to enter your home, you can effectively discourage burglars and protect your possessions. Don’t invite burglars by offering an easy target. After all, if a break-and-enter requires too much work, skill or tools, the burglar will likely move on.

Standard Doors & Frames
A door is only as secure as its most vulnerable point, and the average door lock is often secured in only a lightweight doorjamb moulding, which might be torn away with a firm kick. Your door and frame should be as strong as possible, and firmly fixed to wall studs. The hinges and “strike area” (where the lock is embedded into the door frame) should be installed with long, heavy-duty screws. Ensure your entrance doors are made of strong solid-core wood or heavy-gage metal, and consider installing an extra chain lock and a wide-angle peephole.

Patio Doors & Security Bars
Sliding glass doors are secured by latches not bolts, so they’re more vulnerable to being forced open from the outside. However, such movement can be restricted by inserting a rigid bar or blocker into the slider track, or installing a hinged security bar that swings into place between the sliding panel (when closed) and the frame on the fixed panel side. Unfortunately, sliding doors can be lifted up and off their tracks and removed despite a bar, blocker, or latch lock. To prevent this, you should install an anti-lift pin that goes through the slider (when closed) and the fixed door panel. There are numerous locking and blocking devices available in most good quality hardware stores that will prevent a sliding door from being lifted or forced horizontally.

Think About Security Every Day
In addition to more secure doors and locks, it is also a good idea to be mindful of other security precautions, such as adequate outside lighting set to motion detection, and variable indoor lighting set to random timers. In addition to more secure hardware and equipment, better habits can go a long way to prevent criminals targeting your home. Make sure you don’t tip off burglars with obvious signs of absence such as an open garage, or stacked newspapers and mail. The more you think about security in your everyday life, the more you can do to protect your life from intrusion.

Uncommon Tips for Making Your Home Show Better

 

carafes of water and lemons in modern kitchen

Most people know the basics of preparing a home for a viewing or an open house: make sure everything is clean and tidy, mow the lawn, sweep the walkway, etc.

But there are a number of lesser known tips — tips you often don’t hear about — that can make your home even more attractive and desirable to potential buyers.

In the kitchen, for example, it’s obvious that the stove, sink, and countertops should be spotless. But did you know that grinding a lemon will help eliminate any lingering smells? You should also arrange the contents of your cabinets and refrigerator to face forward.

In the bathrooms, make sure the toilet lids are closed. Hang matching towel sets.

Moving on to the bedrooms, check that nothing is lying around. Even a shirt draped neatly over a chair can appear messy to some people.

In the kids’ rooms, the toys should be “staged”, not just flung around. For example, set up a train set like an appealing store display. Don’t just have bits and pieces scattered on the floor.

If possible, move half the contents of all closets into storage. This makes a big difference in how spacious they’ll appear.

Turn on everything: all the lights (even the one above the stove), the fireplace, the backyard fountain.

And here’s another uncommon tip. House plants look their best — brighter, more upright and alive — approximately four hours after you water them.

Finally, put on some easy listening tunes to create a pleasant auditory background. Keep the volume low. No one should have difficulty talking above the music.

All these tips take just minutes to implement, but they can make a big difference in how your home shows. Studies prove that a well prepped home will often sell faster, and for a higher price, so it’s worth the effort.

Are You Adequately Insured?

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With so much news about hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and floods, we are becoming more and more aware of the unpredictable power of nature, and the indisputable importance of insurance.

Although we may forget about our home insurance policy for extended periods of time, we should examine it carefully at least once a year, in case we need to make an unexpected claim. It’s also a good idea to keep a photographic and/or videotape record of valuables (with copies saved off premises) to more accurately estimate the cost to replace important possessions, including:

  • Furnishings and equipment
  • Technical hardware, software and accessories
  • Possessions, including books, art, antiques
  • Documents and business materials
  • Personal mementos, hobby equipment, tools, etc.
  • Loss of time and/or revenue (for self-employed home office or small business)

Insurance should serve the purpose of providing good value while protecting material goods and looking after family needs. To prevent irreplaceable loss and enormous disappointment, investigate the details of your policy today, and make sure you fully understand the fine print.

Tips for Checking References

Female hand dialing a phone number

You have no doubt heard this tip before: Always check references before you hire a mover, lawyer, decorator, contractor, or other home professional.

But for some people, picking up the phone and calling strangers to ask for a reference can feel awkward or even intimidating. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Call in the early evenings. This is the most convenient time for most people.
  • Explain that you are checking references and that the professional or company you are considering hiring suggested you call.
  • Ask if this is a convenient time to speak.
  • Ask if they were satisfied with the services.
  • Ask if there were any surprises with the final bill.
  • Ask if they have recommended that professional or company to their friends?
  • Thank them for their time.

What Should You Expect From Your Realtor?

Immobilienmaklerin

You probably know that a Realtor does more than just post a FOR SALE sign on your front lawn, or guide potential buyers through your home. But how much more? What exactly will a real estate agent do for you?

Taking the time upfront to understand what to expect from your agent will help to reduce misunderstandings, and make the selling process less mysterious and stressful. You’ll be able to anticipate what’s going to happen next, be prepared to ask the right questions along the way, and be aware of whether your Realtor is meeting expectations.

Typically, you should expect a good real estate agent to:

  • Explain the Listing Agreement to you. (This is your contract with the real estate firm.)
  • Describe the home selling process, and answer all your questions and concerns.
  • Prepare a realistic appraisal based on the expected market value of your home by comparing it to similar property sales in your area.
  • Provide you with advice on how to make your home more appealing to potential buyers, especially during showings and open houses.
  • Create a comprehensive marketing plan to promote your home.
  • Screen enquiries, schedule appointments, and show your home to potential buyers.
  • Field offers from potential buyers, deal with counter-offers, and negotiate the best terms and selling price possible for your home.
  • Help you throughout the entire selling process to make it as easy and stress-free as possible.

These services should be the minimum you expect from a good agent. The best agents will actually do more. They will be there for you in the weeks, months, and even years after the sale to make sure everything continues to go smoothly in your new home.

Improving Indoor Air Quality

Äpfel auf  dem Tisch

There’s an old saying: What you can’t see won’t hurt you. But, that’s not true. Less than ideal air quality in your home can result in allergies, colds, languor, and even sleepless nights.

Here are some tips that can help:

Let in the fresh air. Weather permitting, open windows and doors to help circulate stale indoor air with fresher outdoor air.

Change the furnace filter. According to studies, most filters on forced air heating systems in homes do not get changed regularly. Tip: Change the filter when you change the batteries in your smoke detectors – at least twice a year.

Easy on the household cleaners. Cleaners that are tough on stains can also have the same effect on your health. So use them with care. After cleaning any surface, wipe the residue dry with a clean absorbent cloth.

Keep things dry. Mould spores thrive on moisture. So make sure bathroom fans adequately remove humidity. A fan should be strong enough so that a piece of paper clings to the intake.

Give Buyers the Red Carpet Treatment

Luxury Home Exterior 25

You don’t have to roll an actual red carpet down your walkway every time you show your home. (But it wouldn’t hurt!)

The most important thing is to make sure the journey to your front door is a pleasant one. That’s when buyers form their first impressions.

Make sure the walkway is swept clean and is clear. The last thing you want is for a buyer to trip on a broken paving stone, or get matted clumps of freshly-cut grass stuck to their pant legs!

5 Minute Tips for Preparing Your Home for Viewing

kitchen sink still life

Obviously, your home should look its best when potential buyers arrive. However, time is not always on your side. There may be times when you have only a few minutes to get things ready. What you do with those minutes can mean the difference between an interested buyer… and one who crosses your home off their list.

Here are some things you can do to help your home look its best in just five minutes or less:

  • Put away coats, hats, and shoes. Clean up, especially around the foyer. You don’t want clutter to be the first thing a buyer sees.
  • Turn on all lights and lamps. A home that’s bright looks larger.
  • Put on some soft music. Easy listening is the best choice. Don’t play rock or jazz music because some people might dislike it. Think elevator music.
  • Make sure the toilet lids are down. Even when a washroom is sparkling clean, a raised toilet seat gives the impression – however incorrectly – that things are less than hygienic.
  • Relocate the pets. Put pets in the backyard or basement, or at least segregate them in a separate room. Better still, take them away from your home entirely.
  • Close the garage doors. Most garages don’t look great on the inside.
  • Hide the waste bins. Keep them out of sight.
  • Wash the dishes. If possible, don’t leave them on a drying rack. Put them away.
  • Put away personal items. Put family pictures, bills, and other personally identifying information away. You want the buyers to visualize themselves living in your home, not you.
  • Open all curtains and blinds. This makes rooms look bigger and brighter, even at night.