Selling Your Home In The Summer

Summer has traditionally been the best time to sell a home. Not only do many families take advantage of moving when the kids are out of school, but in climates where winter weather is unpredictable or severe, the warmer months make it easier to be away for showings.

With more homes on the market, how can you maximize your potential for a great offer among the options?

Fortunately, you can take a few steps to ensure your home stands out from the crowd. Tips for Selling in Summer

 Control the Climate – The first thing a buyer will notice when they walk into a home is the temperature. If the weather is warm and humid, it’s critical you keep the home cool. A larger air conditioning bill is a small price to pay for a top dollar offer.

 Let in the Sun – It might be tempting to close the blinds to save money on air conditioning, but bright, sunny rooms are always more appealing; leave enough open to showcase natural light.

 Extend Outdoors – Today’s lifestyle includes the outdoor areas and more and more homes feature outdoor living and dining areas. Regardless of your home’s features, maximize the impact of your yard with furniture, BBQs and manicured landscaping.

 Spring Clean – A fresh, decluttered home with a lighter, seasonal color scheme will be visually appealing to your buyers. Replace dark pillows, linen and accents with softer colors which make the rooms seem larger.

The summer selling season is here. Make sure your home is dressed for success. Welcoming outdoor spaces and bright sunny rooms combined with inviting an air conditioned rooms will ensure you get the best possible offer.

🏠Choosing the Right Offer🏠

Congratulations, you have multiple offers on your home listing. It’s exciting to hear that you have a choice in buyers. Yet how can you make sure that you choose the right offer?

With varying sales prices and terms, comparing offers might be harder than you expected. Still – it’s a great problem to have. If you find yourself in a multiple offer situation, the first step is to meet with your agent to discuss each offer in detail. What are the actual differences? It’s easy to see what price they offer, but what about the other items – the terms, the financing, the contingencies.

 Sales Price – This is the easiest to compare. Start with the sales price and then check to see if they are asking for extra concessions; these could include seller credits or paying for closing costs.

 Terms – Determine when the buyer intends to close and when they want occupancy.

 Financing – Financing can vary dramatically and affect your decision in choosing a buyer. For instance, a buyer who offers a slightly lower price but is going to put 50% down might be a better offer than someone using a FHA, 3.5% down loan which could be harder to close.

 Contingencies – Most offers come with contingencies for items such as inspections, appraisal, loan approval and more. An offer with less contingencies, or shorter time frames to remove them, could be a better offer than others.

Working with your agent, consider all the elements which go into an offer; then you’ll be in the best position to determine the best option for your financial goals, timeframes and needs.

What You Should Do Right After Moving Into a New Home

It can be very exciting to buy a new home. But a new home also brings many new responsibilities. Becoming a new homeowner will put a lot on your plate from additional financial responsibilities to ongoing maintenance. While you may hope to live in your home for years to come, when you move into your new home, there are a few things you should do right. Consider completing these simple tasks during homeownership's first few days. 

Test Safety Alarms

Your fire alarms and detectors of carbon monoxide are essential safety devices that need to be operational. Make sure every alarm works properly before you move into your home. Simply press the "test" button to test these alarms. The alarm works if it beeps. Try replacing the batteries and testing again if you don't hear a beep. Fire departments recommend testing this devices once a month.

Deep Clean 

Starting with a clean slate is the best way to ensure your home stays clean while you're living in it. Before you move your furniture and other belongings inside, take the time to give the whole house a deep cleaning. It's also a great idea to call an exterminator to spray the home for pests before you move in.

As you clean your home deeply, make sure you also clean the appliances. Besides cleaning your oven and refrigerator, do not forget to pull the refrigerator off the wall to clean the coils on the back of the appliance as well. Then clean the dryer vent, lint screen, and dryer duct to the laundry room. Finally, replace the filter from the furnace and clean the outdoor HVAC unit outside. 

Change All The Locks 

It's a good idea to change all the locks on the house to make sure your family is safe in your new home. While previous homeowners may have given up their keys, you have no idea how many duplicates are in the hands of strangers from the keys of your home. It's a simple DIY project you can tackle in a few hours to install new locks on each door.

Look at the Attic & Crawlspace

It's important to get to know every inch of your home as a homeowner. This means entering the crawl space and attic to ensure that there are no leaks, bugs or molds in those spaces.

Find the Main Shutoff Valve

Start by finding your main water and gas shut-off valves, enabling you to shut down water or gas to the entire home in an emergency situation. This valve is located right after your meter near your home on most homes. Then check for isolated shut-off valves for those areas under each sink.

Find & Inspect the Electrical Panel

The electrical panel in your home will allow you to cut power to the entire house as well as various sections easily. This will be handy when you do home repairs or an emergency that requires you to shut down the power of your home. The main circuit breaker panel of the home is typically a gray metal box in the garage, basement, or closet of a utility room. Open the door to enter the panel. You will find the main breaker at the top of the panel. Rows of other breakers that control individual circuits are below the main breaker. The breakers often have labels telling you which section of the home they are controlling. If there are no labels, add each breaker to your own by shutting off to determine which part of the house they turn off and then make sure to label it for your own and future homeowners’ sanity!

Inspect the Condition of Your Water Heater

It is essential to inspect the water heater to ensure that it is in proper functioning order. Make sure that the heating element heats the unit and that the pipes entering and leaving the appliance are secure. Finally, take the time to drain the unit to avoid buildup of sediments, which may cause problems later.

Check & Test Your Sump Pump

If you have a basement in your home, it is important to check your sump pump. To ensure that your sump pump works well, pour a bucket of water into the hole and wait until the pump turns on. Older sump pumps can rust and seize, so make sure that your sump pump works before a major rainstorm can prevent future flooding.

Keep an Emergency Fund

Homeownership means that you must be prepared for anything. If your hot water heater leaks or your refrigerator stops working, you need to repair or replace those appliances. And that's not going to be cheap. For instances like this, having an emergency fund will enable you to have money set aside to take care of the issue immediately. Buying a home is a big investment, so it's a good idea to take small steps to increase your emergency fund. Simply open a separate savings account to create an emergency fund that will only be used in case of emergency, then add as much money as you can to that account with a goal of keeping $2,000 to $3,000 in the fund.

Sellers! Home Inspections Are Not Just For Buyers

Selling a home can be a stressful time, there is so much to think about; keeping the home clean, heading out on a moment’s notice to accommodate last minute showings, not to mention planning a move. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Then you get that great offer and enter escrow. You’re relieved until you realize there’s a home inspection coming. Even a home meticulously maintained can have hidden issues. The good news is that you can prepare for the home inspection and make sure you pass with flying colors.

Items to Check before a Home Inspection
 Doors, windows, cabinets and drawers – check that they slide smoothly
 Run water in sinks, tubs and showers – snake any that drain slowly
 Evidence of water leaks – Garage ceiling, under sinks, around water heaters, etc.
 GFIs – check your local code and put GFI plugs where required
 Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors must be in working order
 Gutters and Roof – replace any missing roof tiles and clean gutters
 HVAC – Consider a HVAC servicing to replace filters and check for problems
 Water Heater – is it properly strapped and vented
 Deferred maintenance – anything that has been neglected should be addressed before the home inspection

The best defense is a good offence. This is true in home inspections too! The best way to ensure you have a great home inspection is to have a prelisting home inspection. It could be the best couple hundred dollars you can spend – uncover the issues before the buyer does.

Ready to find out how much your home is worth? Free Evaluation:

Choosing The Right Contractor for Your Remodeling Project

On a new home, the day you close is an exciting one. One of the greatest experiences of adulthood is the thrill of owning a home and making it your own. However, there are also many responsibilities with all the great advantages of homeownership. Keeping your home in good repair is important as it grows older to avoid more expensive repairs in the future and to ensure that the value of your home is maintained or even increased.

Finding the right contractor is important for all home improvement projects. While finding, vetting, and then hiring a contractor may seem overwhelming, it doesn't have to be. Taking time to do your research and finding the best contractor for the job will produce better results and fewer headaches.

Prepping for the Project

First, set up a budget that is comfortable for your family with each home improvement project. If it is possible to split the project into stages, set a budget and plan for each stage. Consider also the project's timing as it relates to weather, family schedules and demands. A total kitchen remodel, for example, may not be the best project to plan for the same month as the graduation of your child.

 Get Referrals

Ask contractors who do the work you need for referrals. Poll friends, neighbors and members of the family who have completed similar projects and ask who they have hired. Consider asking for recommendations from friends or community groups on social media or links on neighborhood apps such as NextDoor. Ask the people who made the referral key questions about the contractor they used after narrowing down the top vote getters, including:

·      How did they work with them?

·      Do they do a good job?

·      Did they stay within budget and schedule?

·      Have they been communicating well?

·      Have they kept the area of work clean?

·      Was your family and neighbors respected?

·      Any worries?

·      Are you going to hire them again?

 Selecting the Top Options

The next step is to make direct contact with each of them after determining the top three contractors’ options. Call them and schedule an appointment on the work you need to do for a complimentary quote. Pay attention to how your questions were answered by each contractor and how eager they seemed to schedule an appointment. Evaluate how prompt they were during the meeting, their evaluation of what needs to be done, the materials / supplier suggested for the job and the quoted price.

Recall that you get what you pay for is a good rule of thumb; price often reflects quality. Ask what permits the job requires and if they have the right insurance. Knowing the credentials of the contractor is also important. Finally, ask for all details in writing before starting the work. Always carefully review contracts and make sure that everything stated, including the fine print, is comfortable.

Evaluate the Products and Materials Recommended

Discuss the specific products required for the job after selecting a contractor for your home improvement project. Whether the project is large or small— whether you're in need of new flooring, painting and minor repairs, or adding to a new room or whole floor, take time to discuss details. For example, if you replace appliances as part of a kitchen renovation, ask the contractor what appliances they would recommend and why, as well as the ratings for energy efficiency. Find out if buying appliances directly from a retailer is more economical for you or if it is better for the contractor to buy them at cost from a supplier. Learn about factory warranties and if the remaining warranties are valid if the contractor purchases appliances.

 Also, if you replace your water heater and other plumbing, the details matter. Determine first whether you want a conventional water heater, either gas or electric, or a tankless system. Learn about the pros and cons of the transfer as well as the pros and cons of the proposed new system if you are transferring from one type of system to another. Get information about manufacturers, their reputation, how often they have to serve their systems and the lifespan they expect. Find out about warranties, replacement parts and recommended ways of cleaning / protecting to keep "like new" condition with plumbing fixtures. Make sure all types work in the desired space with toilets and sinks and if the space has the necessary ventilation. Make sure that all pipes are made of high-quality materials that last for many years and are installed in a way that ensures proper drainage.

 Home enhancement projects well done can make a big difference in the quality of your home as well as the living conditions. Taking steps to find the right contractor for the job will ensure that projects are done well and that you can be proud of the results.

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash

Top Reasons you Need Your Own Agent When Buying New Construction

Have you ever walked into the model home showroom of a brand new housing development?

There is nothing more exciting than the prospect of building a home from scratch and starting absolutely fresh in a new space. You get to pick the colors of the carpet, choose the countertops and flooring and watch as the home goes up. The nice sales people in the showroom are happy to help you through the process, but did you know that you can bring your own real estate agent to represent you?

Yes you can and here are the top reasons why you should have your own agent.

 Choose the Right Development – It’s not enough to find a lovely development; understanding the neighborhood and schools play a big part of home values.

 Choose the Right Lot – You might love the corner lot, but your agent can help you consider resale before you buy.

 Consider the Cost of Upgrades – Not all upgrades should be handled through the sales office; your agent can help you understand customary costs for upgrades.

 Contact Negotiation – Did you know that the price and terms of new construction homes can be negotiated? Your agent can get you the best deal.

 Contact Review – Your agent will ensure everything is written correctly in the contract.

 Home Inspection – Your agent will arrange a professional home inspection.

 Your Agent is Free – All this representation and help, yet the home development pays their commission.

New home construction is fun! Take advantage of all the benefits having your own agent representation brings and let the housing development pay for it.

Start your free home search today

Creating a Home Office with Limited Space and Money: The Best Tips

Creating an office is important for individuals who do a lot of work at home, but it’s not always an easy feat to pull off. If you have limited space or are on a tight budget, you may find that carving out a workspace is a huge challenge, and that can quickly cause stress or anxiety. There are several factors to consider when creating a home office, from the location to its ability to hold all the tools and resources you need, so you’ll need to make a solid plan. Think about what the costs will be for the changes you need to make and start searching for the best deals before you make any decisions.

Think about all the ways you can make the office as efficient as possible. When you don’t have a lot of room to work with, you want to find dual uses for as many items and pieces of furniture as possible. You’ll also want to make sure your office has a door so you can work without distraction.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to create a home office on a budget.

Get Everything You Need

Whether you own a business or work remotely for a company, it’s important to think about what kinds of tech and equipment you’ll need at home. A dependable laptop, wireless printer, and comfortable chair are three main components, and you can look for savings at big box stores like Best Buy or on sites like Amazon to help you save money on all three. Look for slim, compact items for your office that will be easy to put away when not in use; this will help you save space.

Look for DIY Projects

If you already have an area in your home that will work as an office, you don’t have to go overboard with changes. Adding a coat of paint and some storage solutions will go a long way; you won’t need much in the way of furniture since the space isn’t that big. Doing what you can yourself will help you save money, so rather than hiring help, have a painting party and ask a few close friends over for pizza and a night of rolling color onto the walls.

Get Organized

When you don’t have much space, it’s crucial to stay organized to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Having lots of clutter around can lead to anxiety, so it’s best to make sure you have plenty of storage solutions. Look for ways to utilize the space to your advantage, such as hanging box shelves that will keep your supplies neat or organizing your files in an accordion folder. Use labels for everything so you can stay on top of your paperwork and keep everything separate. Retailers like Office Depot or Staples have lots of affordable options to help you out.

ake It Outside

If you just can’t give up space for an office in your home, it might be time to consider a detached office space. If you have a structure on your property that can easily convert into a home office, this is a perfect option for carving out workspace. If you don’t have a shed or garage space, look to prefab steel garage spaces that can be built quickly. Most of these buildings are highly durable and energy-efficient, plus, having detached office space is a great way to ensure productivity.

Keep It Modern

One of the best ways to save money when creating your home office is to keep things modern and uncluttered. This might mean refraining from adding a landline since it will be a monthly bill plus a large deposit, and you can simply use your cell phone when needed. You can also look to free online resources, such as Gmail or a website creator, to stay in touch with your business contacts.

Creating a home office when you don’t have much room or money to work with can be a real challenge, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or anxiety-inducing. With some preparation and a little help from your friends, you can make a space in your home that will help you stay on top of your business.

Written By:
Alice Robertson

Priority Tasks Before Moving In

You did it. You moved into a new home you love and now you’re dreaming of how you’re going to decorate it. But before getting into all of that, there are still some other tasks that need to be at the top of your priority list.

Changing the Locks
Double check them even if you’ve been told that there are new locks installed. It’s better to take safety measures and know that no one else has keys to your home. Call in a locksmith if you want to spend a little money or it can be done yourself.

Call an Exterminator
A great exterminator can take care of any pests that have been lurking in your home.

Get the House Cleaned Up
If it isn’t already, clean out the refrigerator, wipe down counters, cabinets, oven if needed, and plumbing fixtures. Prior occupants might have had pets or young children so it’s best to steam clean. This will free your floors of any junk or allergens.

Mechanical Equipment Cleaned
Getting your heating and cooling systems cleaned is crucial and make sure to get a service contract just in case it stops working suddenly.

Get some Closet Organizers
Keep in mind of where everything is going to get placed so it can accommodated in your closet space. A shelf or a coat hook can go a long way for making room for organization.

Meet the Neighbors
You want to reach out to your neighbors as soon as possible. It’s good to establish yourself within the community and you can get advice on some home repairs like which plumber to use. Also download the app called “NextDoor”. It’s a great way to connect to your neighbors and events!

Having these as priorities will help you move into a clean, working home. And then, you’re ready to move in with all your belongings and start making it yours!

Ready to make your move? Let’s Go….