The holidays are almost behind us and the new year is right around the corner...Another year gone, can you believe it? I wanted to say THANK YOU to all my wonderful clients. It's been such a pleasure helping you find your forever homes this year! Most of all though, I hope all of your holidays were bright and that the new year brings with it plenty of luck and love!
Happy Thanksgiving and Thank You!
It's that time of year – time to be thankful for friends, family and all we have – so I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to all my wonderful clients! Helping you find your forever home brings me a great deal of joy so thank you for bringing me along for the journey. You all are simply amazing.
Also a reminder that if you're planning on selling in the new year (because that will be a great time to sell OR buy), make sure you're getting your home market-ready! Here are a few things that will give you an edge in the market:
Clear Your Hallways. In addition to clearing out the clutter from your living space, make sure you remove everything from hallways and doorways. Buyers need to be able to get around your house easily. Any furniture or clutter in the hallways will slow them down and make them think your space is cramped.
Empty Your Storage. While you’re cleaning, clear out as much as possible from closets, cupboards, and bathroom vanities. Storage space is always valuable, and a nearly empty closet looks much larger than a full one.
Freshen Up. Homeowners tend to get used to odors from pets, smoke, or just the general smell in a home. Have a friend come over and give your place an honest assessment. Experts say you can’t mask odors with air fresheners or fresh-baked cookies. You’ll need to eliminate smells by cleaning furniture, cleaning or replacing carpets, and scrubbing your house from top bottom.
Repair Things. If anything in your home needs to be updated, fixed, painted, or replaced, do it. Most buyers aren’t looking for a fixer-upper. They want their home to be move-in ready, and even a small project can turn them off.
Decorate with Plants. Fresh green plants and fresh cut flowers give the impression of light, even if your house is dim. Bright arrangements also give buyers something to focus on and remember. Make sure the plants are healthy and in good shape, not droopy or dying. Also, stay away from silk or plastic plants, since they attract dust and can look dingy.
A happy Thanksgiving to all! Enjoy the time with your friends and family!
Have a Safe & Spooktacular Halloween!
Halloween is a blast, no doubt about that, but it also brings with it certain safety concerns. From costumes to trick'r'treating, this kid-friendly holiday is a busy one! Sometimes, however, when we rush too much, we get a little careless. And everyone wants to have a safe and happy Halloween for their children and themselves! So here's a friendly reminder of safety tips to keep things running smoothly:
Halloween is a time for decorating! Keep a close eye on any decorating going on though. Obviously you know not to have any small children carving pumpkins but double check that the carving knife is up and out of reach when you're done. Also do the same with scissors if you're making handmade crafts to decorate with. And if you DO have a pumpkin, complete with lit candle, remember to place the pumpkin on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. I actually recommend using a flameless candle instead of a real one.
What else is Halloween known for? Costumes, of course! If you can, choose a costume that is light-colored but if not, stick some reflective tape on the back of the costume or your child's bag so they can be easily seen in the dark. Also have children carry glow sticks or flashlights so cars can see them. As for sizing the costume, make sure it IS the right size and not too long, to prevent any trips and falls. And if masks are involved, just remember your child's peripheral vision may be blocked by it.
Finally, the most fun part of all? Trick'r'treating! First things first, if you're trick'r'treating, go in groups. Easy enough. If you have teenagers who'll be out by themselves with friends, try to know the route or places they'll be at beforehand. Have them check in with a text at certain times.
As you and your child are out trick'r'treating in your group, remember the following: Always walk on the sidewalk or path. Always cross the street where you're supposed to. With younger children, make sure their hand is being held while crossing the street, and for everybody LOOK BOTH WAYS FIRST. Be careful of cars backing up or turning around. Take notice if anyone seems to be driving faster in the area than they should. On the opposite of this, if you're the one who'll be out driving on Halloween, keep in mind that you need to drive extra slow and be extra alert for possible kids, people and animals in the streets.
Once you're wandering out safely about, make sure to stop at the houses with a front light on (signifying they're giving away candy) and stay away from darkened houses. Approach the front door in groups and of course, safe that candy till you get home!
A lot of people these days are making things much easier by taking their children to Trunk'r'Treats in their areas. Check your local Patch, Tap or newspaper to find out where your closest one is, if you prefer that. It does make things a bit easier, with all kids in one parking lot or area.
Anyway you do it, just stay safe! Halloween is a fun, scary and exciting holiday, especially for the little ones. Let's make sure we all have a wonderful time!
Fall Curb Appeal
September is here – warm colors, falling leaves, crisper temperatures, FOOTBALL…that’s right autumn is nearly upon us. While you've long finished your back-to- school shopping for the kids and probably started changing up your décor to reflect the seasonal change, have you started getting your yard and garden ready for fall?The outside of your home is the first thing people see when home-shopping and fall lawns and gardening differ quite a bit from summer care. Too often people fail to prepare early enough which means instead of working on a nice sunny day, you’ll most likely be stuck with a rainy, cold day to do the work you should have done. So what’s on the list of things you might want to get a head start on? What should you be doing to get the outside of your home looking wonderful for fall homebuyers?
First, grab a camera, notebook and pen, and go outside your house. Try to look at it from a perspective buyer's view. You see your house everyday so there may be things that you tend to overlook. Taking photos and viewing them carefully can give you an idea of whether there are any small or big signs of neglect outside that you may be missing on a daily basis. If your curb appeal isn’t appealing, buyers sometimes won’t even enter the house. Then try these things:
Keep your lawn raked. Leaves fall like crazy in autumn and while the changing colors are beautiful, they're not so much when they cover your lawn for potential buyers.
Spruce up the outside with touches of fall, however. Add a few extra touches outside your home by putting up a small fall wreath on the front door or setting a pumpkin by the front steps. Making your home really look the season will draw the buyer's eye!
Pressure wash the exterior of your home and clean the windows. There are tons of little things you can do after that but one thing people often overlook is touching up exterior paint. Fresh paint will not only make your home look better but fresh paint will increase the value of your home. It will also protect exposed wood and siding from the elements.
Clear out the gutters! Staying on top of yearly and monthly maintenance lets buyers know you care about your home's upkeep. During the fall, be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris, which will protect your home from water damage.
As the days get shorter, add some extra outdoor lighting in the form of decorative lighting to provide safe passage to your front door for potential buyers.
Although grass appears to stop growing in the fall, the roots are growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize. Feeding the lawn early in autumn will give the roots a boost before winter arrives.
Clean your outdoor furniture from the pollen and dirt collected over the summer.
This handy list will help you quickly and easily prepare make your home look attractive during the fall season. The home maintenance required for the changing of seasons may seem a daunting task at first but tackle it now and you’ll soon be keeping warm and cozy inside instead of struggling with last minute tasks in the bracing cold.
Have questions or need help finding or selling your home? Call me today!
Why Fall is the Perfect Time to Sell Your Home
While it may be true that the majority of house selling is done in the spring and summer, the fall season still sees houses on the market and could be the perfect time for YOU to sell your home. Every season brings its reasons. In fact, autumn offers certain benefits to home buyers, including year-end tax breaks (that also benefit you as a seller), pleasant weather conditions work in your favor while the fall ambiance equals instant curb appeal and only the serious buyers are out.
One, purchasing a home has tax benefits, especially for first-time buyers. If you purchase in the fall, before the new year, you can claim deductions on your taxes. Owning a home can yield great dividends in tax returns. This means that as a seller your home listing is more likely to be snapped up as people try to not only find their forever home but take advantage of those breaks.
The weather is usually perfect. Selling in the fall means no suffering the heat of summer or the deep freeze of winter. It also means that the changing leaves and their bright colors provide a natural curb appeal, while fall foliage can make your house look perfect in real estate marketing photos. Just make sure to keep your walk and driveways clear when the leaves start falling.
As fall can sometimes be an off season, it means that fall buyers and sellers tend to be motivated to move, unlike the window-shoppers who sometimes come out in spring. Particularly during the holiday months and into early winter, only purchasers who are really serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace for the most part, meaning you and your family are saved the hassle of the "lookers only". And if you need to sell quickly, whether to relocate for work or to free up funds, you may find negotiating easier.
Fall is a wonderful time to sell your home so don't put it off if you're ready to sell. Give me a call today and we'll start working together to get you out of your old home and into your new!
Right Pricing for your Home
So your selling your home? Do you know what your asking price is yet? Make sure you don't overprice it from the beginning! Its a proven fact that homes that are priced right sell more quickly and end up selling for more money during the first few weeks of their listing. So if you price too high, say in the hopes that you can negotiate down to the price you actually want, you're really doing yourself a disservice.
Still not convinced? Let's talk about some of the perils of overpricing then. Overpricing can lead to more days on the market, which in turn eliminates buyers' sense of urgency. Why should they be worried about someone else getting the house they might want when they know that house has already been sitting around for awhile and will likely stay that way because of the price? And buyers and their agents do know. Starting too high and then continuously reducing the price is not a good strategy. It actually reduces your control of the selling price by attracting " bottom feeders" with discounted purchase offers. And you definitely don't want that!
Here's the reality: if your home has been on the market between 30-60 days without selling and you've had showings but no offers for sale, then your overpriced by 5% or more. If your home has been on the market for the same time frame 30-60 days with plenty of showings and no offers for sale you are overpriced by 5-10% and depending on the market maybe more. If you have had no recent showings and no offers you are overpriced by 10% or more.
So remember the rules of marketing: 1) the right price lands a higher selling price 2) overpricing takes money from your pocket and transfers it to the buyer's and 3) if buyers won't pay what you think your house is worth, maybe it's time to re-evaluate that worth. Selling or buying a home can be a tricky business and that's why I'm here to help, but I need your cooperation as well.
Call or email me anytime so we can make sure you're getting exactly what you deserve