Buyers will Love your Storage Areas if…

Potential buyers come to view your home. They explore each room with interest. Then they open the closet door in the master bedroom. Will they be impressed with the space and imagine their clothes adorning the racks and shelves?

That likely depends on how you use and manage that storage space.

Of course, their first reaction will be based on size. Short of doing a major renovation, there’s not much you can do about that.

However, there is plenty you can do to make the space seem bright and roomy. Your first step is to remove as much of the clutter as possible. If the closet doubles as storage for boxes and other items, for example, move those items elsewhere. (It might make sense for you to temporarily rent space at a local self-storage.)

Next, make sure the space isn’t over-filled. You don’t have to remove all your clothes, but consider removing enough to fully accentuate the roominess of the space and make it look neat and organized.

Finally, don’t forget about lighting. It also plays a key role. A dimly lit closet will make the space look unappealing. Use enough wattage to create a pleasant glow throughout the area.

Don’t forget to do the same things for all your other storage spaces too.

What to Look for when Viewing a Home

Shopping for a home is a little like shopping for a car. Unless you know what to look for, you risk being swayed by first impressions and buying something that does not truly meet your needs.

For example, you might fall in love with the recreation room and unconsciously overlook the fact that the home doesn’t have enough bedrooms to accommodate your growing family.

So when you’re viewing a potential new home, make sure the home meets your needs.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there enough room for my family, now and in the future? Remember, as kids grow so does the space they require!
  • Are there enough bedrooms, bathrooms, closets and storage space?
  • Is the yard big enough?
  • Will my furniture fit the space?
  • Do I like the community? Always take a walk around and explore the area.
  • Does anything need to be repaired or replaced? If the seller won’t be taking care of such issues, repairs or replacements could add thousands of dollars to the true cost of buying the property.

Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions when viewing a home. After all, it’s a major purchase. You want to get it right!

Need help finding homes to view that meet your requirements? Call today.

How to Sell your Home Super Fast

If you put your home on the market, chances are you want it to sell quickly. However, there are certain circumstances in which sellers don’t just want their home to sell quickly, they actually need it to sell super fast. This may be due to a sudden relocation, the purchase of a new home with a tight closing date, or any number of other reasons.

Obviously, this can be a stressful situation. However, there are some practical things you can do to help your home sell super fast:

  • Find out the current market value of your property. This will guide you in your decision on the listing price.
  • Be reasonable about the listing price. You can sell quickly and still get a good price for your home. But, realistically, you won’t be able to hold out in the hopes of getting an “above market value” offer.
  • Be as flexible and accommodating as possible when it comes to scheduling viewings. If you’re going to restrict buyers to seeing your home on Saturdays from 3 to 5, then you’re going to reduce your chances of a quick sale.
  • Clean and declutter your home. This is the fastest way to dramatically improve how it shows.
  • Tend to the outside of your property. Cut the grass. Trim the hedges. Fix the creaking back gate. Do everything you can to increase your property’s curb appeal.
  • Apply fresh paint wherever possible. Painting is the quickest and least expensive “renovation” you can do. It can significantly improve the look of any area of your home.
  • Spread the news that your home is on the market and that you’re looking for a quick sale. Tell your friends, family and co-workers.

Diffusing Disputes with Neighbors

Even if you live in a beautiful home in a great community, a dispute with a neighbor can make living there a miserable experience. That’s why it makes sense to settle such disputes quickly and amicably.

How do you do that? Here are some tips:

  • Deal with the issue quickly. It’s tempting to avoid facing an unpleasant dispute with a neighbor and hope the problem just goes away. That rarely happens. To settle a dispute, you need to act quickly.
  • Avoid displays of anger. Acting angrily typically only gets the other party on the defensive. It can escalate the situation and rarely, if ever, leads to a resolution.
  • Isolate the problem. Never generalize a dispute with a neighbor. Be specific.
  • Don’t complain; propose. Rather than complaining about loud music at night, propose a solution. For example, “When our front lights have been turned off, that means we’ve gone to bed. Would it be possible to turn down the music at that time? Thanks!”
  • Say thanks when there’s a resolution. You may never be close friends, but being cordial will go a long way toward easing the tension.

Understanding how Homes are Priced

Whether you plan on putting your home on the market someday soon, or you’re just interested in how much your property is worth from an investment perspective, it makes sense to know how homes are priced.

When a home goes on the market, there is an overwhelmingly high probability that it will sell for somewhere close to its market value.

So if a three-bedroom, detached home in a community sold for X dollars, then you can expect a similar home down the street to sell for roughly the same price.

That’s why real estate professionals look closely at recent home sales in the area in order to advise clients on the best listing price.

Are there other factors that determine the selling price? There are many. Home improvements, special features such as a large deck as well as the general attractiveness of your home, can all increase its value to potential buyers.

While some of these characteristics may help boost its selling price, others may simply help you sell your home more quickly.

Viewing your Home From a Buyer’s Perspective

There is an old adage in marketing and sales: Before trying to sell something, you need to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. When it’s time to sell your home, you’ll need to do the same thing. Imagine that you’re the potential buyer and then view your property from that perspective.

Start with what a buyer sees first, the outside of your property from the curb. Does your home look inviting and attractive? Are there ways you can improve the look of your home from this vantage point?

It may be as simple as trimming the hedges.

Then, walk into your home through the main entrance. What is your first impression? Does your home look clean, uncluttered, and appealing from the foyer? Is there anything you can do to improve the look?

Even a small change, such as moving a coat rack that is cluttering the space, can be a significant improvement.

Finally, tour the rest of your home. Most buyers viewing homes will visit the kitchen, the living room, and other rooms on the main floor and then check out the upstairs bedrooms. As you are pretending to be a potential buyer and looking around, what impression are you getting? What features do you especially like? What don’t you like? Are there any issues that concern you?

Don’t forget to view your garage and backyard too.

By doing this simple exercise, you’ll be able to see what changes and improvements will make your home show better.

Want more ideas on how to sell your home faster and for the best price? Call today.

S.M.A.R.T. Get Smart With Your Success Goals

At this time of year, people traditionally set goals for next year. Do you have something you want to achieve over the coming months? If so, then you’ll have a much better chance of reaching your goal if you make it “SMART”.

SMART is an acronym that refers to the five ingredients of a successful goal: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. It is based on the work of famed management guru Peter Drucker, but the technique is equally applicable to personal goals.

Here’s how it works:

Let’s say your goal is to lose weight.

To make this goal SMART, you would need to make it specific – lose 7 pounds; measurable – track your weight every week; achievable – find a good program to follow; realistic – check with your doctor to make sure your weight loss goal is sensible, and time-bound – six weeks.

Studies prove that if your goal is SMART you’ll have a much better chance of achieving it. Good luck!

Why Bargain Hunting Is a Bad Idea

It seems like every month there is a new website offering deals on everything you can think of. In fact, the “coupon industry” is booming.

This trend has conditioned people, more than ever before, to look for bargains and become determined to pay well below the market price for merchandise. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all want a deal!

But when it comes to shopping for a home, bargain hunting can be a bad idea.
First of all, the real estate market is competitive. The overwhelming majority of homes sell for a price that is at, or close, to their respective market values. Your chances of finding a property that is listed significantly below its market value is slim to none.

Secondly, if you become fixated on finding a bargain, you may not notice all the great properties on the market that are within your price range and meet your criteria.

In other words, you may inadvertently pass on what may, in fact, be your next dream home.

So, when shopping for a new home, focus on finding the right property at the right price, and not on finding a bargain.

Where To Put It All

As you’re probably aware, one of the key steps to preparing your home for sale is to get rid of as much clutter as possible. You want to make every room look spacious and comfortable.

But what do you do with the pictures, boxes, clothing, tools, furniture and other stuff you need to take out of your home?

For items that you don’t want anymore, you have two options: dispose or donate. You can dispose of items at your local waste depot or recycling center, (but be sure to call ahead to confirm which items they will accept.) Donations can be made to organizations like Goodwill and The Salvation Army. These organizations are interested in good furniture, clothing, appliances (that work), bikes and other toys (that don’t need repair), and tools.

For items you want to keep, consider renting space at a local self-storage facility. Most offer a variety of storage options from lockers to garages, and typically charge by the month. As for security, most self-storage facilities have fencing, gates that require a passcode, cameras and other security features. You can also lock your own unit.

One of the drawbacks of self-storage is that you have to move your stuff twice – first to the storage unit, and then to your new home. An alternative that’s becoming increasingly popular is a Mobile Storage Unit. The unit is placed in your driveway for a few days while you load it with the items you want stored. Then it’s picked up by the mobile storage company and taken to their warehouse. When you move, the company simply drops the unit off at your new home for unloading.

How to Decorate a Room on a Shoestring

It would be ideal if you could hire an interior designer and completely remodel your living room. But, let’s face it, that could be very expensive.
That doesn’t mean you can’t make your current room look a lot better. Here are some simple, low-cost decorating tips that will accomplish just that.

  • Put a covering over your worn sofa or chair. A simple throw blanket placed at an angle can make a dramatic difference.
  • Plants, real or artificial, make just about any room look better. Just don’t overdo it.
  • Don’t try to hide problem areas. Instead, accent them. For example, if the window sill is worn and aged, place a couple of antique-looking ornaments on it!
  • Re-do the walls. Move pictures around. Consider adding other wall decor, such as plates and mini-shelves.
  • Place your favorite hard-cover books around the room. Add illustrated books in the living room and cookbooks in the kitchen or dining room.
  • Lamps, especially interesting looking ones, can go a long way toward enhancing a room.
    Don’t be afraid to experiment. Be daring. Sometimes just moving a picture or a piece of furniture can make all the difference.