How to Prepare for a Showing (in a hurry!)

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Don’t stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

When selling your home, it is important to try to keep your house decluttered & clean, so that it is in tip-top shape for when you get that call from your realtor that he/she is bringing over a prospective buyer. However, in our hectic lives, we all know that it is impossible to always to ready! These 10 tips will help you prepare for a showing in a hurry:

Sweep or Mop

Sweep the kitchen, bathroom, & entryway.

Dust the Furniture

A quick wipe down of the furniture, TV screens, and computer monitors.

Clean off Counters

All counters should be clean and clear of clutter.

Make the Beds

Empty the Garbage Cans

Vacuum Carpets

Focus your efforts on the entry and living room.

Turn the Lights On

Make sure your windows are clean too.

Load the dishwasher

Clear the dishes off the counters by loading the dishwasher (don’t start the cycle if it will be running during the showing).

Load the washer & dryer

Pick up any dirty clothes and place them in a hamper or loaded into the washer or dryer to get them out of the way.

Dont’ stress; if you can’t do everything, do the most important things first!

 

For more great tips from Trulia, click here.

– See more at: http://activerain.com/blogsview/4296671/how-to-prepare-for-a-showing-in-a-hurry-#sthash.NTLyuSby.dpuf

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist – 2013

Is your home ready for winter’s frosty temperatures and severe weather?

We all know about “spring cleaning”, but it is just as important to clean and prepare your home in the fall-before winter is here. This checklist, from Better Homes and Gardens, covers all the necessary maintenance for your home and will help homeowners prepare and protect their home this winter.

  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts to protect exterior surfaces and keep water out of the basement

  • Seal any gaps or cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk to reduce drafts and to keep the heat in

  • Inspect roof for damaged or curled shingles, corroded flashing, or leaky vents-putting this off can be detrimental and disastrous (it’s much harder to find and fix the leak when its under snow and ice)

  • Repair damaged sidewalks, driveways, and steps-look for cracks more than 1/8-inch wide, uneven sections, loose railings on steps, disintegration of asphalt, or washed-out materials on loose-fill paths-these may not seem dangerous now but when it gets cold and icy out they can be hazardous

  • Drain and winterize all outdoor faucets and irrigation systems-it’s easier than dealing with a busted pipe later!

  • Clean or replace dirty/old furnace filters-filters that are clogged can make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature and can increase your utility bills during the winter months

  • Have a professional inspect your HVAC system

  • Check fireplaces for build-up; hire a professional chimney sweep (better)-accumulations in a flue or chimney can result in a devastating chimney and/or house fire

  • Inspect any gas-fired room heaters-an improperly maintained gas heater can spew poisons into the air of your home, which can be very dangerous

  • Inspect wood stoves before firing up-cracks in wood-stove-stovepipes can release toxic fumes into your home,  so check for corrosion, holes, or loose joints often

  • Test smoke and CO monitors and replace the batteries

  • Inspect (or install) fire extinguishers-there should be at least one fire extinguisher in your home

  • Review fire escape plans

  • Rid your home of old newspapers and other fire hazards

Be sure to do regular cleaning and maintenance along with the specific chores on this list to ensure that your home and your family are prepared and protected this winter. For more great tips from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, click here!

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Affordable Decorating Tips For Fall

Is the look of your home seasonally appropriate?

Changing temperatures mean it’s time for changing the look of your home as well. Decorating your home for fall, and not summer, can really help you enjoy this special time of year when Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. Simply changing the colors and accessories in your home can make it feel fall-ready. The National Association of Realtors® offers these great tips on affordably decorating your home for the fall season.

All-over:

  • Less natural sunlight means a drop in temperatures and less warm color. Warm up your home by adding warm tones like gold, yellow, burnt orange, sage, or olive green.

  • Make reading, writing letters, and paying bills more pleasurable with new lampshades in warm cream, sand, or red.

  • Change bulbs to full spectrum to give your home a warmer and more flattering light.

  • Add a nice, warm throw to keep you warm in the cooler weather.

  • Break out some candles will fall-scents like cinnamon apple pie or clove.

Kitchen

  • Pick a warmer palette for dish towels and other kitchen accessories.

  • Brighten up darker mornings with bright colored or fun patterned dishes.

  • Add a bright rug in front of the sink.

  • Bring flowering plants indoors and set them on your windowsill.

  • Go for rich colored candles, candle holders, and placemats in the dining room.

Living room/family room and den area

  • Decorate the mantle with “topiaries in colorful pots, fall leaves or dried hydrangea”, suggests the National Association of Realtors®.

  • Warm up the area with wool or velvet pillows, quilts, wool blankets, or fake-fur throws.

  • Add heavier rugs in the area.

  • Change any spring or summer themed art to autumn themed prints or family photos from past autumns.

Bathrooms

  • Add fall-themed candles around the tub

  • Use warmer, brighter colored towels

  • Use autumn-scented soaps

  • Change curtain valances to a warm rich color.

Bedrooms

  • Use heavier fabrics, like wool or tapestry, for pillows.

  • Add a warm throw to your bed

  • Change sheer curtains to heavier ones, like velvet.

Keep up with (and enjoy!) the seasons while on a budget using these simple tricks to transform your home into an autumn wonderland in no time.

To read more on transitioning your home to fall, check out this article from realtor.com.

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Avoid These Home Audio Wiring Mistakes

Considering adding a surround system in your entertainment room? Be sure to avoid these common home audio wiring mistakes.

Adding a surround system can transform any room into a first class entertainment area and can help create the perfect room for entertaining your family and friends. However, to achieve the best possible sound and look, it’s important that homeowners are aware of common mistakes that people make when adding a new wiring system. From Realtor.com, here are the top mistakes homeowners make, and things you need to avoid.

Don’t run audio wires too close to other electrical components or cables. The flexible plastic ‘casing’ that goes around the wires protects them from radio frequency interference and noise, but the environment has to be right. For instance, if you run your audio wires too close to electrical components, like a computer, or other voltage-carrying wires, like lamp cords, phone lines, extension cords, then you’ll likely experience interference with your audio wires. Also, avoid running audio wires too closely to compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Make sure cables are well insulated and shielded. If you have to run audio wires close to electrical components or other cords, course, sometimes it is impossible to prevent running audio cables near other electrical components or electrical cords, so if you must, make sure that you use cables that feature very high quality insulation and shielding materials.

Don’t use a busy circuit for your home theater. Your home audio system can be negatively affected by voltage spikes and drops, which happen when motors, compressors and other types of appliance equipment turn on and off. It’s important to take care of your media equipment, so make sure that the circuit that powers your media equipment is only used to power  your media equipment.

Make sure you choose the right cable length. The longer the cable, the lower quality sound you’ll get. Cables that are too long can cause distortions in high frequencies and looping or folding up the excess cable can cause all kinds of nightmares because of the magnetic fields being produced. Choose a cable that is just long enough and always keep the cable as straight as possible.

Know how to make the right connections. Sloppy connections, poorly attached conductors, and over-stripped shielding can cause all sorts of problems for you because it can ruin the cable’s integrity. Make sure you have the right tools for the job so that you can avoid unnecessary problems.

Don’t accidentally reverse the polarity of the wires. One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing audio wires is simply wiring the speakers wrong. Connect the right wires to the right ports so that you don’t end up with a terrible, flat sound from your speakers.

If you follow these home audio installation tips from Realtor.com, your project should run smoothly and you’ll be able to get back to enjoying music and movies quickly. To read the original article from Realtor.com, click here.

5 Tips To Stage Your Home To Sell

When it comes to selling a home, staging plays a part in the amount of time a home stays on the market as well as the price of a home. Here are a few tips to stage your home to sell…

1. Curb Appeal

When a potential buyer drives by your home or even pulls up for a showing, the first impression they will get is the front of your home. Make sure that you prepare your home for it’s best first impression…

  • Powerwash doorway, windows, garage door, etc.

  • Touch up paint around front door and garage door trim

  • Add flowers for a pop of color

  • Pull weeds and make sure to mulch

  • Cut grass and edge all the way around for those clean lines

  • Touch up the driveway

2. Clean it up

Make sure to do a deep clean before listing your home for sale. For a deep clean you can hire some help your invite your family over to pitch in. Here is what to remember…

  • Look up, there is dust and spider webs in the corners of your ceiling

  • Vacuum and clean all floors and carpets

  • Touch up paint around high traffic areas with scrapes and fingerprints

  • Wash knobs, handles, cabinets, railings and anywhere else someone would touch

  • Scrub appliances inside and out to make them look like new

There is more to the list for sure, so make sure you go through your home with great detail whether you are the cleanest person or the messiest person.

3. Declutter

This means rooms, closets, cabinets, basement, and even your crawl space. When a buyer comes into your home, they will probably not be looking for less closet space or not as many cabinets right? So show them the space your home offers by…

  • Removing pieces of furniture to open up your living room

  • Organize and remove items from your closets

  • Organize your Kitchen cabinets and pantry

  • Organize bedroom closets to show off the space

  • Organize your basement whether it’s finished or unfinished

This is where a second opinion or an expert could come in handy. They will let you know how to stage and organize your home to sell.

4. Set the table

Giving a little push to let home buyers see themselves living in your home doesn’t hurt. Try setting the table with place mats, plates, cups, silverware, and a center piece. Don’t over do it, but just enough to make it feel like a staged home.

5. Neutral Colors

No one wants a hot pink Kitchen or a lime green bedroom. Well, maybe they do but make sure that you keep it neutral. If you have any dark colors or bright colors, you might want to repaint. Stick with the neutral white, off white, beige, tan, neutral grays and blues, etc. If there is a bold color in a room, if the home buyer doesn’t like it all they will see are dollars signs and work to fix it.

6. Define rooms and areas

Have you ever walked into a home with an awkward space or a small room and think to yourself, “what do we do with this space?” If you have something like this in your home, try to give it a definition. Whether it is just a sitting area, storage area, or a playroom make sure to stage it that way for the potential buyers. Having more space is not a bad thing, but when it is awkward space it might throw off the buyer.

Money Saving Landscaping Tips For Homeowners

Landscaping is a great way to increase your home’s curb appeal and create a perfect hang-out spot for family and friends. So, whether you’re looking to sell or stay, landscaping is an important area of your property to focus on. However, if you’re not careful, landscaping can also be a very expensive investment. Here are some tips from Better Homes and Gardens for saving money on your landscaping this year.

1. It’s very important to plan before you buy. You should sketch out a complete, detailed landscape design before you buy anything. If you don’t know exactly what you want and what you want to do with it, you could end up wasting a lot of money, so plan first!

2. Decide how much design you actually want. Keeping things simple by building a deck or just a square patio helps keep the cost of landscape designing down, but if its not what you want and you aren’t going to get use out of it, then it’s a waste of money. If instead, you want a lot of design elements (a gazebo, a rock pathway, a small pond, an outdoor kitchen, etc.) it may be useful to hire a landscape architect or designer to help you create a perfect space that you will love and actually use.

3. Consider a consultation. Even if you’re not looking to hire a professional landscape architect or designer to work on your yard, it can be very helpful to simply set up a consultation with an expert. From $50-$100, you can typically get an hour-long consultation with someone who can help you figure out exactly what you want to do and who can give you tips, which will save you from making costly mistakes later.

4. Take your time in buying. Most people aren’t so well-off financially that they can afford to design and landscape their property all at one time. It’s easier and more cost-effective to divide your landscaping project into phases and buy what you can when you can. Only spending what you can at the time will save you from having to make loan or credit payments later. Dividing the project into phases will also help you reassess the project as it moves forward.

5. Buy reasonably priced, quality materials. Warehouses that specialize in landscaping materials often will have items for the lowest price, but the quality may not be the best. Typically, more specialized stores will offer a greater selection and higher quality materials. Plus, such stores usually can provide a more personal service, expert advice, and better guarantees for their products than many warehouses can. Better Homes and Gardens says, “Plant prices may be higher at specialty nurseries, but many offer money-back guarantees on trees, shrubs, and bedding plants”.

6. Make use of online and mail-order sources. Shopping through catalogs and websites can exponentially increase the choices you have for landscape materials. These sources are typically the best if you’re looking for rare plants or specialized products, since most warehouses and stores don’t carry rare or specialized materials. Sometimes you can get a great deal on a product by shopping online or through a catalogue, but don’t forget about the shipping prices.

Read the full article from Better Homes and Gardens here.

Pros and Cons of doing a home pre-inspection in New Jersey

What is a pre-inspection?

A pre-inspection is when you are going to list your home for sale, but inspect your home before putting it on the market. This way you know about and can fix issues that arise before listing. A home inspector will check everything from the outside to the inside of your home checking the mechanicals, electrical system, plumbing, and more. The buyer who purchases your home will most likely do a home inspection and have that as a contingency when they write an offer on your home. Letting the buyers see the pre-inspection and the items you remedied could give the buyer peace of mind before they even write an offer.

A pre-inspection can be great for selling your home, but it also has it’s bad side. Know the pros and cons of a pre-inspection before you decide for yourself…

Pros

  • Allows you to know potential “deal killer” defects with your home so you can fix it

  • Allows you to provide peace of mind to potential buyers by showing them the pre-inspection report and things you have fixed (if any were needed)

  • Can improve the likelihood of the sale of your home to close on time by avoiding time consuming repairs and inspections

  • Improves chances of passing the buyer’s home inspection

Cons

  • You might discover a bigger, larger, more expensive issue with your home than you were prepared for. The buyer would likely find these issues anyway.

  • Once you or your real estate agent become aware of an issue with your home, you must disclose it to the potential buyer

  • Cash out of pocket before even selling your home is never ideal, but you can always adjust the price of your home accordingly

  • Even if you fix issues on your pre-inspection report, a buyer may come back with more things their home inspector found that they want fixed

Before you decide to do a pre-inspection, think about the pros and cons. Sometimes it is worth it to inspect your home before listing it. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense for your situation. Talk to your real estate agent about doing a pre-inspection, get their opinion on whether or not it could help the sale of your home go faster and smoother.