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It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason!    

1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!    

2. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

 During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2 And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.    

3. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

 Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.    

4. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.    

5. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.    

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?   Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move. Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you need to move quickly or you simply want to take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market. Give us a call today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!    

Sources:

  1. Redfin – https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI
  2. Top Resume – https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search
  3. National Association of Realtors – https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
  4. Angie’s List – https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm
  5. Build Direct – https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/
  6. National Association of Realtors – https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf

According to the National Association of Realtors, staging a home prior to listing it can result in a faster and more profitable sale.1 In fact, the Real Estate Staging Association estimates that professionally staged properties spend 73 percent less time on the market, receive more foot traffic, and typically sell for more money.2


The following are 10 tips you can use to get your home “show ready” prior to hitting the market.

These easy and cost-effective ideas will help your house look its best—and help buyers visualize themselves living there. Even if you’re not currently in the market to sell, you can use these tactics to breathe new life into your existing home decor.

To get a plan customized for your particular property, give us a call to schedule a free consultation.

We’d be happy to share our insider knowledge of the buyer preferences in your neighborhood … so you’ll know where to focus your time, money and energy to maximize your results.
 

Source: National Association of Realtors

1. REMOVE CLUTTER

Decluttering is typically the first thing we tell clients to do to prepare their home for sale. And according to the National Association of Realtors, a whopping 93 percent of agents agree.1 Decluttering is the act of removing excess “stuff” from your home to make it appear clean and spacious.

Overflowing closets and cluttered countertops can make your house feel small and cramped. In contrast, sparsely-filled closets and clear countertops will make your home appear larger and assure buyers that there will be plenty of room to store their belongings.

Don’t neglect drawers, cupboards and even your refrigerator in your decluttering efforts. Serious buyers will check out every nook and cranny of your home, so pack up anything you don’t use on a daily basis and store it off site. The same goes for jewelry, sensitive documents, prescription medication, firearms and other items of value. Store them in a locked safe or storage unit before opening your property to buyers.

Make sure any items that remain are clean, tidy and well organized. The good news is, when it comes time to move, a large portion of your packing will be done!

2. DEEP CLEAN AND DEODORIZE

From carpets to bathrooms to appliances, having a clean home is a MUST. If you’ve ever checked into a dirty hotel room, you can imagine how buyers can be turned off by a home that hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned.

If you have a large home, or are short on time, you may want to invest in a professional cleaning service. And if you have carpet, we generally recommend you rent a steam cleaner or hire a company to clean your carpets for you.

In addition to cleaning, it’s equally important to neutralize odors in your home that can be off-putting to buyers, especially pet smells and cigarette smoke. If the weather allows, open your windows and let in fresh air. Empty the trash frequently, and especially before a showing. Avoid cooking any strong-smelling food such as fish or heavy spices. You may need to clean (or remove) drapes and upholstery if odors are particularly strong. Try to keep your home in clean, show-ready condition while it’s on the market. You never know when a potential buyer will want to drop by for a viewing.

3. DEPERSONALIZE Your family photos and personal mementos are often your most treasured possessions. For many of us, they are what make a house a home. However, buyers will have a hard time envisioning themselves living in a place if it feels like YOUR home.

​Pack up any items that are personal to you and your family, such as photos, books, children’s artwork, travel souvenirs and religious items. Collectibles and excessive knickknacks can be distracting to buyers. Instead, keep your decor items minimal and generic to appeal to the largest number of buyers.

4. NEUTRALIZE YOUR COLOR PALETTE Along those same lines, bold color choices may not appeal to all buyers. By incorporating a neutral color palette throughout your home, buyers can better visualize the addition of their own furniture and decor, which may contrast with your current color scheme. But don’t limit yourself to white and beige. Incorporating earth tones and midtone neutrals—like mocha and “greige” (grey-beige)—can add a touch of modern sophistication to your decor.3

One of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to neutralize your home’s decor is with paint. Walls painted in dark, bold or bright colors can turn off buyers. A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color like greige (try Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter) or warm white (such as Kelly-Moore’s Rotunda White) offers a clean palette upon which buyers can visualize adding their own personal touches.4

If your sofa is worn, stained or has a bold pattern, consider purchasing a neutral-colored slipcover. Dated or overly busy window coverings should be taken down or replaced. Instead, bring in tasteful pops of color with throw pillows and accessories.
 

5. INCREASE YOUR CURB APPEAL

You only get one chance to make a first impression. According to a 2017 report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.5 That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

Walk around your home and look for any neglected areas that might seem like “red flags” to buyers, such as missing roof shingles or rotted siding. Trim trees and shrubs if needed, and make sure your lawn and flower beds are well maintained. Add some colorful flowers to your front beds and/or flower boxes to brighten up your landscaping.

Make sure the exterior of your home is as clean as the interior. This can often be accomplished with a simple garden hose. But if your siding, walkway, or driveway are stained or dingy, you may want to rent a pressure washer.

Thoroughly wash windows and screens, and remove and store dark solar screens if you have them. Open shutters, curtains and blinds, which will not only make your house look more inviting from the outside, it will brighten the inside.

Consider a fresh coat of paint on your front door, trim and shutters. And small, cosmetic improvements like new house numbers, a colorful wreath and a clean front doormat can have a big impact.6
 

6. FRESHEN KITCHENS AND BATHS

Kitchens and bathrooms will show better and appear larger if all items are cleared from the countertops, except for one or two decorative pieces.7 You should have already packed up non-essentials during your decluttering process, and the remaining items should be neatly stored in pantries and cupboards.

If your cabinets are dingy or outdated, adding a fresh coat of paint and new hardware is an easy and inexpensive way to make them modern and bright. Consider purchasing new shower curtains, bath mats and towels for the bathrooms and new dish towels for the kitchen.

Before each showing, make sure kitchens and baths are spotless and trash cans are empty and out of sight. To add a comforting aroma, try baking cookies, or in the fall, simmer some cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot of water before you leave the house. In the spring, try a vase of fresh cut lilacs.7

7. SET THE TABLE

Buyers often imagine hosting family gatherings in their new home, and the dining room plays a large role in that vision. If your dining room chairs are stained or outdated, you may want to recover them or use slipcovers. In most cases, an imperfect table can be camouflaged with a neutral and stylish tablecloth.

Be sure the table is centered underneath the chandelier and on the area rug if you’re using one. If your dining room is small, remove all other furniture and leave only four chairs.8

Dress up the table using nice tableware and cloth napkins or a table runner and centerpiece. For a long table, try lining up a series of small vessels down the middle.

8. REARRANGE FURNITURE

Start in your living room and think about what you want to emphasize (and de-emphasize) about the space. For example, do you have a beautiful fireplace or a stunning view? If so, arrange the furniture with that focal point in mind. Use a symmetrical seating arrangement to create a cozy conversation area adjacent to the focal point.

If the room is small, consider removing some of the furniture to make it feel larger, especially oversized pieces. That includes oversized television sets, unless it’s a designated media room. Pulling furniture away from the wall can make the room feel more spacious, and placing your largest furniture piece in the far-left corner (as opposed to near the entry) can create the illusion of a larger space.9

For small bedrooms, remove all the furniture except the bed, bedside tables and a dresser. If it’s a large room, add one or two chairs and a table to create a seating area. Place lamps on the bedside tables and seating area if you have one.10

Make sure each space in your home has a clearly defined purpose. For example, if you’ve been using an extra bedroom as a catch-all storage space, stage it as a guest room or office instead. Turn an awkward alcove into a workstation or a reading corner. Help buyers imagine how they could use the space themselves.3

9. LIGHTEN UP

Lighting can have a drastic impact on the look and feel of a home. Few buyers seek out a dark house; most prefer one that’s light and bright. Make sure windows are clean, and open curtains and blinds to let in the maximum amount of daylight.

Each room should have three types of lighting: ambient (general or overhead), task (such as a reading lamp or under-cabinet light), and accent (such as a floor or table lamp). Aim for a goal of 100 total watts per 50 square feet.11 If your mounted light fixtures are dated, replacing them with something more modern is an easy and inexpensive upgrade that can have a big impact.

Strategically placed landscape lighting can add a dramatic effect to your home’s exterior. Welcome evening visitors with a lighted walkway, or use a spotlight to accentuate trees or other landscaping features. Solar lights require no wiring; simply place them in a sunny spot and they will turn on automatically at dusk.
 

10. HIGHLIGHT YOUR BACKYARD’S BEST FEATURES

While your home’s interior often takes center stage, don’t forget about staging your home’s outdoor areas to help buyers imagine how they could utilize the space.

Even a small patio can become a selling feature with the addition of a cafe table and chairs. Add a tray of plates and coffee cups to help buyers envision a peaceful breakfast on the back porch. Place chairs and wine glasses around an outdoor firepit or hang a hammock with a book in your favorite shady spot.3 These small, simple additions can help buyers visualize the possibilities your backyard has to offer.


BEFORE YOU GET STARTED

If you’re in the market to sell your home, this list provides a great starting point for your preparations. But nothing beats the trained eye and expertise of a real estate agent. Before you do any work, we recommend consulting a professional for advice about your particular property.

We offer free, no-commitment seller consultations and will walk through your home with you to help you assess which projects and upgrades are worth your time and money, and which ones you can skip.

As local market experts, we are intimately familiar with buyer preferences in your area. We’ll run a comparative market analysis to find out how your home compares to others currently on the market, as well as those that have recently sold. Then we’ll tailor a custom plan to suit your particular property, budget and needs.

Please call or email us today with questions or to schedule a free consultation!

Sources:

 

  1. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/migration_files/reports/2017/2017-profile-of-home-staging-07-06-2017.pdf
  2. Real Estate Staging Association –
    http://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
  3. Houzz –
    https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2661221/list/sell-your-home-fast-21-staging-tips
  4. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/10-curb-appeal-tips-from-the-pros-pictures
  5. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf
  6. The Spruce –
    https://www.thespruce.com/must-try-neutral-paint-colors-797983
  7. HouseLogic –
    https://www.houselogic.com/sell/preparing-your-home-to-sell/home-staging-checklist/
  8. StageMyOwnHome.com –
    http://www.stagemyownhome.com/staging-the-dining-room.html
  9. Realtor.com –
    https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/small-living-room-staging-tricks/
  10. SFGATE –
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/stage-master-bedroom-34573.html
  11. HGTV –
    https://www.hgtv.com/shows/designed-to-sell/15-secrets-of-home-staging-pictures

Are REALTORS® still needed to help Sell your home?

by Lorna Calder

 

Short answer, YES! If you're thinking about selling your home, don't do it alone! Although some sellers may initially try to sell their home themselves, they soon realize they need an experienced professional on their side to help them through the process. Here are 10 reasons you need a Real Estate professional to work for you!!

 

1. UNDERSTAND THE LOCAL MARKET

The internet gives you access to more information now than ever before. An experienced real estate professional, like me, is able to help you understand this information in the context of the local market and interpret what it means to sell your home. 

 

2. PRICE YOUR COME COMPETITIVELY

When you list your home, you want it to sell quickly and for top dollar. Having professional assistance will help you do both, especially in competitive markets. 

 

3. OPTIMIZE ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGIES

Buyers are savvier than EVER! To find the right buyer, we have to go where they are. We'll do more than put a sign in your yard to attract buyers; we'll utilize the latest online marketing tools to show your home at its best and entice buyers to learn more. 

 

4. TARGET THE RIGHT BUYERS

A marketing strategy means nothing if you're not targeting the right buyers. The first few weeks a house is on the market are vital. The longer a home remains on the market, the more likely a seller will have to reduce their listing price and/or offer incentives, such as a home warranty policy or assistance with closing costs, to attract buyers. A real estate pro has the experience and connections to find the right buyers for your home. 

 

5. GET MORE MONEY FOR YOUR HOME

All sellers want their homes purchased at the listed price, if not more. Studies show that enlisting the aid of an agent to sell your home will net you more money than trying to sell it yourself. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average for sale by owner (FSBO) sold $210,000 compared to an agent-assisted home sale which sold for $249,000.

 

6. NEGOTIATE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST

Buyers are looking for a deal on a home, and they'll hire an experienced agent to negotiate the sale for them. Having a real estate pro on your side will even the playing field and help you negotiate the terms of the sale with your best interest in mind. 

 

7. SPOT POTENTIAL CHALLENGES

Every real estate transaction is different. While we hope the transaction goes smoothly, setbacks and other hiccups often occur, and at the most inconvenient time. Sellers who have listed their homes themselves may not have the experience and know-how to deal with these issues as they arise; however, a real estate agent pro can tap into their experiences to handle potential problems, such as issues with a home inspection or problems with title, and mitigate their impact. 

 

8. OFFER TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME'S VALUE AND MAKE IT MORE ATTRACTIVE TO BUYERS

​Seller typically update their homes before they list. While some simply paint each room a neutral color and do a thorough cleaning, others may do a kitchen or bat h remodel to boost their home's value and/or help it sell faster in a competitive market. What should you do to boost your home's value and give it the competitive edge in our market? Ask me!

 

9. TAP INTO A NETWORK OF AGENTS

I work alongside other local real estate professionals, and have a database of thousands who may have clients looking for a home just like yours. Marketing your home to other agents is another way to help us find a qualified buyer. 

 

10. TAP INTO A RICH NETWORK OF SERVICE PROFESSIONALS

Real estate professionals work with a variety of service and tradespeople, including contractors, landscapers, movers and more. There is an average of 26 services involved in a real estate transaction in the 30 days before and after it has closed; however, you may need to tap into these services long after the ink has dried. From a plumber to a gardener, a real estate pro can refer you to a reputable trades person in your local area. 

 


 

 

Here is a PDF version of our Flyer with all of this information if you want to share!

 

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Buffini & Company. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. RMMK JUNE MF S

What it takes to get your Home ready for Listing Photos!

by Lorna Calder

 

 

Let's get your Home marketed the best we can with these simple tips!

See below!

                                     

Below is a great comprehensive list for what a Seller can expect to be asked to do when it comes time for the Listing photos. We market your home with the utmost care and consideration. In turn we ask that you help us to get your Home seen as many times as we can by doing these simple things. 

 

Inside

General Areas of the House

  • Have all light bulbs working and turned on prior to the photographer’s arrival
  • Turn all fans off
  • Blinds down and open/window treatments pulled back
  • Hide pet related items including bowls, kennels, beds, toys, etc.
  • Place pets in a separate room or garage
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

Kitchen

  • Remove all magnets, photos, etc. from refrigerators
  • Hide garbages
  • Empty the sink and remove dish soap and cleaning supplies
  • Turn on lights above the sink, stove and under cabinets
  • Clear the kitchen counters, less is more

Bathroom

  • Hide all toiletries (shampoo/conditioners, soaps, toothbrushes, etc.)
  • Hide robes, dirty clothes and scales
  • Remove all rugs in the master bathroom

​​

Outside

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house so they can’t be seen from inside the house
  • Absolutely no contractors can be working outside or inside the property at the time of the shoot
  • Mow grass and remove all debris from the sidewalks and driveways
  • Remove pet waste
  • Remove children’s toys including larger items such as trampolines, playhouses, sandboxes, etc.
  • Put garbage and recycling cans inside the garage
  • Roll up or store hoses
  • Hide any pet related items like chains, bowls, toys, etc.
  • Neatly arrange patio furniture
  • Remove and store pool cleaner, nets and chemical bottles
  • Cover or clean exterior of grills
  • Make sure water sprinklers do not run for two hours before (we need driveways and patios dry)
  • Remove all seasonal decorations

 

Twilight Photos

  • Park vehicles away from the front of the house
  • Turn all lights on inside and outside the house including pool and spa (no flood lights)
  • Turn all fans off on the inside and the outside of the house
  • Spa and water features on
  • Outdoor fire areas lit

 

Approximate times for photo shoots

Under 2,000 sq ft: 30 to 45 min
2,000 – 2,999 sq ft: 45 min
3,000 – 3,999 sq ft: 45 min to 1 hour
4,000 – 4,999 sq ft: 1 to 1.5 hours
5,000 – 5,999 sq ft: 1.5 to 2 hours
6,000 – 6,999 sq ft: 2 to 2.5 hours
7,000+ sq ft: 2 to 3 hours

 

When you are ready to put your home on the Market, please give us a call. We are ready to help you sell your home quickly and for the most money. With great photos, it will only make it easier! (281) 361-2280

Hot Home Color Trends for 2015

by Lorna Calder

It’s a strategy interior designers often use to create stunning rooms that wow the instant someone enters them: the use of creative color. Homeowners looking to deliver impressive interior style can take cues from what will be the trendiest hues of 2015 and beyond.

Homeowners can convey a variety of emotions in their favorite rooms by embracing different color palettes. From the sweet charm of pastels, to the comfortable ambience of neutral tones, to majestic deep and bright tones, 2015’s top color trends include:

Dreamy tones – Fantastical pigments like teal, charcoal and eggplant evoke a sense of wonder. Escape the everyday and recharge with dream-like shades in the master bedroom. Pair them with crisp white trim and opulent gold or zingy citrus accessories.

Frosted pastels – Soft blues and greys replace traditional pastels. For high contrast in the living room, combine these muted colors with striking accents, like ebony fireplace tiles or mauve window treatments.

Vibrant hues – Set the stage for lively conversation in the kitchen with energetic, attention-grabbing pure shades like red, blue, or orange. Balance brightness with grey on adjoining walls.

Nuanced neutrals – Weathered, rustic colors, like pea green and copper, bring a dusty earth palette to a whole new level. Marry function and comfort in the guest bedroom with a mix of sandy beige and soft burgundy in the guest bedroom. 

Lorna Calder is a RE/MAX Broker Associate helping home buyers and sellers in Kingwood, Atascocita, Humble, The Woodlands and Houston. Ranked in RE/MAX Top 500 for 2013 and 2014 YTD, and #7 in 2013 at RE/MAX Associates Northeast, Lorna continues to exceed her clients expectations by delivering Outstanding Service That Moves You.

Licensed content reprinted with permission. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

 

Getting your Home Ready for Sale in 30 Days

by Lorna Calder

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! Prepare Your Home for Showing Season

By Keith Loria

Getting your home ready for sale in 30 days can be a challenge, however, for some sellers, it’s often a reality. Whether it’s a new job, a better opportunity, a marriage proposal or anything in between, there are a host of reasons that can necessitate the need to get out of your house quickly. If you find yourself pressed for time, the following tips will help you take advantage of the limited time you have to get your home ready for a showing.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is discard the clutter and pack up as much as possible. Since you’ll most likely be out of the home in a short period of time, you might as well begin the packing process. Be sure to keep out a month or two worth of clothes and supplies and put everything else into storage. This will most likely be a time consuming process, so spend a few hours each day packing your belongings and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help.

Make a list of all the little things that need to get done and start crossing them off as soon as possible. Change all broken light bulbs, patch up any nail holes, make spackle repairs in the bathroom, fix any drips and take care of any little things that a potential buyer might use as an excuse not to buy.

There’s nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to give a home an updated look and feel, so once you’ve moved as much as you can to storage, get out those paint cans and throw a painting party with your friends and family. Use neutral colors and be sure to start with the most visible rooms.

Hire a cleaning service to come in and do a detailed cleaning, which will include everything from the drapes to the rugs to the inside of appliances. You want your house to give off the impression that it’s clean and comforting.

Remember to take care of the outside as well. Mow the lawn, have the leaves picked up, remove any trash or toys lying about and create a focal point outside that will enable prospective buyers to envision themselves living their life in their new space.

Don’t wait too long before talking with a real estate agent as they’ll be able to offer you tips on how to get your home sold quickly.

Contact my team today for more tips to prepare your home for showings.

Lorna Calder is a RE/MAX Broker Associate helping home buyers and sellers in Kingwood, Atascocita, Humble, The Woodlands and Houston. Currently Ranked #7 at RE/MAX Associates Northeast, Lorna continues to exceed her clients expectations.

Licensed content reprinted with permission. Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

Getting a Home Inspection

by Lorna Calder

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime, and it can also be one of the most stressful. By having a home inspection it can help to ensure that the quality of your potential home is in good condition and help to eliminate surprises by making you aware to any problems.

So how do you go about selecting a home inspector?    One good way to start is one of the two nationally recognized professional associations for home inspectors; the American Society of Home Inspectors or The National Association of Home Inspectors.   In order to be listed with either of these organizations one has to go through a certification process. Both of these have a search engine to help you find “state certified home inspectors.”  Once you have a few names it doesn’t hurt to check with the Better Business Bureau.  Make a list of inspectors that have been recommended.  Avoiding anyone who has a negative report can help you avoid any potential problems with your inspection. 

A few things questions to ask when talking to your potential home inspector:

• What is the inspector's experience? How many years have they been in the business and how many inspections do they do a year?
 
• Exclusively inspections? Beware of contractors who do house inspections "on the side"--they may be looking for work and this isn’t necessarily what you want.

• What type of report? Will it be written or oral or both? Will the report contain suggestions for remedying deficiencies?   Preference should always be to get it in writing. When will the report be ready?

• How long will it take? Depending on the size of the house an inspection should take between 2 and 4 hours.

• What will be included in the inspection?

• What certifications do they have? Are they ASHI or NAHI certified?

 

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