Selling your house? Those frequent showings can be a real hassle. You know it’s worth it to do your best to accommodate them, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Here are some easy tips to help keep your house show ready to prospective buyers more doable, plus a handy checklist of what to remember.
- Treat yourself to fresh flowers and other goodies.A bouquet of flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit, the “fancy” soap: These things make your home look extra lovely for potential buyers, but (here’s the secret) they make your daily life a bit better as well. So go ahead and splurge a little — you (and your house) deserve it.
Budget tip: Make a grocery store bouquet go further by snipping a few blooms short and plunking them in bud vases for the bathroom vanity and bedside tables. Or, for a longer-lasting alternative, consider setting out a few small potted succulents and a bowl of bright lemons.
- Make a pre-showing checklist.It’s easy to forget things in the rush to get out the door before the real estate agents show your house. A checklist that you can reference each time will ensure that your home is putting its best face forward for potential buyers. And remember, if you have a large household, you may not always be the last one to leave before a showing, so it’s important that everyone’s on the same page and knows what to do.
Since you probably don’t want this checklist on display, consider keeping it on your phone instead. Here are some items to include:
- Dishes washed and put away
- Kitchen counters and table wiped down
- Dirty clothes in hampers with lids on
- Bathroom sink and mirror wiped clean and toilet seats down
- Hair removed from shower
- Toys put away in baskets and bins
- Coffee table cleared and clean
- Entry cleared of shoes and personal items
- Window shades open
- Make your bed as soon as you wake up. If you’re not in the habit of making your bed every morning, you may want to start now, so you don’t have to worry about it if the real estate agent calls to request a last-second showing. If you have kids, be sure they make their beds in the morning too.
- Hide laundry in a lidded hamper. An open hamper filled with dirty laundry isn’t the sort of thing you want prospective buyers to be greeted with in your bedroom, right? Get a hamper with a lid to conceal the whole rumpled mess instead. (In a pinch, you can use a storage bench.)
- Put nightstand drawers to work. After making your bed, be sure to tuck out of sight any odds and ends that have accumulated around your nightstand, such as magazines, hand cream and jewelry. If your nightstand doesn’t have drawers, keep a lidded box under the bed or atop the dresser, and stash your stuff in there before leaving for the day.
- Simplify children’s rooms. Ifit’s too difficult or takes too long, putting away toys in your child’s room before showings will become a headache for all involved. Simply pack many of them in boxes or bins and tuck them in a closet or storage area, leaving only ones that fit easily within your current toy storage. This way, even if all those toys were strewn over the floor, it wouldn’t take more than about 10 minutes to get the room looking presentable again.
- Stash cleaning wipes in the bathroom. Reusable microfiber cloths for normal everyday cleaning are great, but when you’re selling your house, things are decidedly not normal. It’s incredibly helpful to have a pack of cleaning wipes within reach for wiping down the sink, faucets and around the toilet. Then you can just toss the wipe in the wastebasket and walk away.
- Keep a spare stack of fresh towels on hand. A neatly folded stack of fluffy white towels can make any bathroom look instantly fresher, cleaner and more spa-like. While selling our house, keep a few new white towels folded in the cupboard and put them out before showings. It sounds fussy, but it was actually less stressful than worrying about whether the towels were clean all the time.
- When in doubt, add more baskets. Honestly, it’s so easy to scoop stray items into baskets and close the lids, you’ll be glad to have a few extras. Big baskets are great for clothes, blankets and toys, while small baskets and lidded boxes work well for papers, magazines and random assorted clutter.
By Houzz Contributor, Laura Gaskill
Posted in CNet, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Advantage, Condos, Home Buyer, Home for the Holidays, Home Improvement, Home Sellers, Millennial Buyers, Millennial Sellers, Millennials Buyers, Real Estate, Real Estate Agents, Relocation, Residential Real Estate, Sell, Smart Home Technology, Smart Homes, Southwest Michigan, Technology in Homes, Uncategorized, Where Home Begins
Tagged Preparing Your Home For Sale
Whether you rent a city apartment or own a family home in the countryside, live miles away from your nearest neighbor or are situated close enough to chat from your own back patio—you can make small changes in your community every day by quite simply just acting in a neighborly way.
The importance of being a good neighbor extends far beyond improving bonds with those you live closest to. In fact, Harvard professor and author Robert D. Putnam says, “Communities work better (students perform better, crime rates are lower, kids are safer, people live longer) when neighbors know one another better. Knowing your neighbors on a first-name basis, as National Neighborhood Day suggests, is a surprisingly effective first step toward a better America.”
So to help inspire the practice of neighborly ways in your own community, we’ve gathered a list of top things good neighbors do:
Take the time to establish good terms and build relationships with all neighbors.
Great neighbors make their communities friendlier and safer, while improving the overall quality of life for themselves and those who surround them.
Pay it forward.
Every time a neighbor does something nice, he or she pays it forward to at least two other neighbors. Even simple things—like clearing a neighbor’s driveway before he or she gets the chance to, offering up a piece of lawn equipment to save a neighbor valuable time, or bringing along an extra latte on your morning walk to work—can have a huge impact on a neighborly relationship.
Do your part.
Keeping the neighborhood looking beautiful is a community effort, and good neighbors keep all spaces that are visible by others clean and well maintained. They keep up with basic yard work, making sure that the lawn is mowed, hedges are trimmed, and weeds are kept at bay; they understand that these tasks not only impact the value of their house, but also the homes around it.
Follow up with seasonal maintenance.
This includes sweeping up leaves in the fall, shoveling sidewalks and driveways in the winter, and cleaning up lawn clippings during warmer months. The neighbors that brighten up their outdoor space with flowers and other landscaping set the precedent for the rest of the street.
Good neighbors take care to put their trash out on the right night, and in proper receptacles, so that the whole street doesn’t see (or smell) what they’ve tossed.
Be conscientious about outdoor decor.
Decorating for the holidays is a great way to spruce up an outdoor space, but make it a house rule that your haunted houses and lights come down within a few weeks of the holiday passing.
Don’t fight for the right to party.
When having additional people over, the noise level can go up very quickly. The most courteous neighbors inform others of get-togethers, and ask to let them know if the gathering has gotten too loud. Better yet, they invite all the neighbors to the party!
Take an active presence in change and community decisions.
Caring neighbors stay informed on community issues and make it a point to vote. It’s likely that you and your neighbors have busy lives and schedules, but if the community comes together as a group, change can happen more efficiently, and issues can be resolved more quickly. Plus, just showing up at community meetings and offering input shows that they care about the community and the people who share it.
Good neighbors teach their kids what both literal and figurative boundaries mean by explaining where their property ends and the neighbor’s begins, and any rules that go along with that. They also reinforce the concept that being on one side of the property line doesn’t mean noise levels can be ignored.
Know how to bring people together.
If their community doesn’t already have a method of sharing news, good neighbors would start a neighborhood e-mail list as a means of staying in communication with all of the neighbors in one fell swoop; and the best part is, once it is started, they don’t have to be the only one who keeps the momentum going. Any participating neighbor can spread the word about news, events, crimes, special garbage pickups, special event parking restrictions, weather hazards, school closings, and even the awesome weekly deal at the local market.
Eventually, the positive energy that these good neighbors spread will create a ripple effect of random acts of kindness and make the community a happier place to live. The next time new neighbors move in, consider welcoming the newcomers with a friendly hello and some local insider tips to quickly become the favorite neighbor on the block. The road to a neighbor’s house is never long.
Source: American Lifestyle Magazine
Posted in Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Advantage, Condos, Home Buyer, Home for the Holidays, Home Improvement, Home Sellers, Millennial Buyers, Millennial Sellers, Millennials Buyers, Real Estate, Real Estate Agents, Relocation, Residential Real Estate, Sell, Smart Home Technology, Smart Homes, Southwest Michigan, Technology in Homes, Uncategorized, Where Home Begins
Homeowners obviously know their homes better than anyone, but that doesn’t mean they’re the best salespersons for their properties.
Some sellers are tempted to try a For Sale by Owner (FSBO) transaction because their local community is in the midst of a sellers’ market and they think they can sell easily without help. Others try the FSBO route because they want to maximize their profits and avoid paying a commission to a Realtor.
However, statistics show that selling your home with the assistance of a professional real estate agent will garner you a higher profit, enough to cover the commission as well as put more money in your pocket. According to the National Association of Realtor’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the average FSBO sales price was $174,900, while the average price for a home represented by an agent was $215,000, a difference of $40,100.
Why to Sell With a Realtor
Choosing to sell with a professional rather than on your own makes sense for a variety of reasons:
A Realtor has access to market data about recent sales and other homes on the market that can be used to price your home appropriately. Studies show that homes priced right when they’re first listed sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that linger on the market.
A Realtor can show your home when you aren’t available, can respond to inquiries from potential buyers and their agents, and can get valuable feedback from visitors – all things that save you time.
A Realtor can look at your home objectively and suggest ways to improve its appearance – by staging and minor repairs – so it appeals to more buyers.
Buyers typically prefer to look at a home without the seller present so they can feel more comfortable exploring the rooms and visualizing themselves in the property. At an FSBO sale, the seller must be present.
A Realtor can screen visitors to your home, which provides a measure of safety that FSBO sellers don’t have. In addition, by checking to see if the buyers are legitimate and can afford to purchase your home, a Realtor can help you avoid wasting time showing your home to unrealistic buyers.
Realtors have professional marketing expertise, contacts with other Realtors who work with buyers, and the support of a brokerage that can market your home more widely than you can as an individual.
A Realtor can help you negotiate a contract that not only garners you an appropriate price for your home, but that meets your needs for a settlement date and perhaps includes a period when you rent back your home from your buyer. In addition, a Realtor can make sure your contract is in compliance with all local regulations.
Most buyers today work with a buyers’ agent to represent their interests. If you choose to sell your home on your own, you’ll be negotiating with a professional and relying on your own skill to finalize a contract. Not only could you end up selling your home for less money, you could leave yourself open to potential legal problems unless you have the contract vetted by an experienced real estate attorney.
FSBO transactions can be successful, of course, but 90 percent of homeowners prefer to work with a professional rather than risk an unsatisfactory home selling experience.
(National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com)