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

Advertisements

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!

Blog Signature

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.

Blog Signature

What Are Your Responsibilities As A Cosigner?

Are you considering being a co-signer for someone’s home loan?

Co-signers are required in many cases and for many people. If a person has poor or no credit, an unsteady job, a high debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, or other credit issues, it can be nearly impossible to be approved for a home loan. In these cases, a person can have a mortgage co-signer who “agrees to back up your loan, guaranteeing the lender that the loan will be repaid”, according to The National Association of Realtors®. A co-signer essentially enhances your credibility as a borrower, making it much more likely that you will be approved for the loan, but picking the right co-signer is vital.

Here’s what you need to know about the responsibilities of a co-signer:

If the main owner of the loan fails to make payments, the co-signer is financially responsible for the loan and their credit score could suffer.

Co-signers should be:

  • A trustworthy person

  • Have good credit/someone who will be approved by lenders

  • Willing to be part of a long lasting agreement

  • Have a good income

  • Be 18 years or older

  • Be willing to have their income, credit history, credit score, assets, and debts scrutinized by the potential lender

Agreeing to be a co-signer for a home loan is a very serious agreement, so it is best to draw up a formal contract that both parties will have to sign. “A real estate lawyer can help you and your co-signer draw up an agreement that specifies who will pay the bills, who will occupy the residence, and contingencies, like what happens if the main mortgage holder cannot make the payments”, according to the National Association of Realtors®. This contract can help protect both the main owner of the loan and the co-signer against any fall-outs or worst-case scenarios.

Who would make a good co-signer?

  • A lot of people ask friends or family members to co-sign for them because these types of relationships are often built on trust.

  • Younger people, perhaps someone purchasing their first home, may ask their parents to co-sign on the mortgage.

  • With married couples, typically a spouse will be the co-signer for a home loan.

  • Siblings

  • Aunts or uncles

  • Grandparents

  • Business partners

  • Long-time friends

The National Association of Realtors® says that in an ideal agreement, “the co-signer should never have to hear from the bank after the papers are signed”. Before asking someone to be your co-signer, be sure that you are ready for the responsibility of owning a loan.

To read more on the responsibilities of a co-signer, check out this article.

Blog Signature

Do You Need To Stage Your Garage Before Selling Your Home?

Here’s a tip you can’t ignore when preparing to show and sell your home.

Most homeowners know the importance of staging the inside and outside of the home when trying to sell. Your home should be staged for all pictures that will accompany your listing and for all showings and open houses. According to the National Association of Realtors®, when staging your home you need to make sure that the curb appeal extends “all the way up the driveway and into the garage”. The the National Association of Realtors® recommends staging the garage, along with the rest of the house, because research that indicates that 78% of home buyers purchase a house with a garage. The garage is an important feature for many buyers because it’s essentially a storage space, whether they’re keeping cars or boxes in there.

Here’s how to stage your garage for a successful showing:

  1. De-clutter. Just as you got rid of unnecessary furniture and items inside the house, you need to eliminate clutter in the garage.

  2. Consider having a garage sale to get rid of unwanted/unused items from the garage and from inside the home

  3. Donate whatever doesn’t sell to a local charity

  4. Hang bikes and large equipment on the walls (or put them in storage) to free up space in the garage

  5. Organize cabinets, shelving, and other storage systems. Put anything you don’t need in the trash or in storage.

  6. Clear the floor. Get everything off the floor of the garage and into cabinets, bins, hooks, or shelves.

  7. Keep all dangerous tools and chemicals stored away and out of reach of children.

  8. Make sure you have a working smoke detector installed in the garage.

  9. Clean-try to get rid of all dust, dirt, and stains on the walls and cabinets.

  10. Apply a fresh coat of paint on the walls and cabinets if necessary.

  11. Make sure the garage is well-lit. Change burnt-out lightbulbs and add light if needed.

  12. Your garage should have a working automatic opener (automatic light, automatic reverse, wall control panel, remote).

  13. Clean the floors. Remove all stains if possible, repaint the floor if necessary.

  14. The garage door itself should be clean and new-looking.

The outside of your home is the first thing potential buyers will see – you don’t want to ruin your curb appeal with a dirty or cluttered garage, so make sure you take the time stage your garage before showing your home.

Read more about staging your garage from Realtor. com.

Blog Signature

What Are The Advantages To Buying A Home With Cash?

Making a cash offer on a home eliminates the need for bidding wars and gives peace of mind to the buyer and the seller. Here’s why:

If you’re in the market to buy a new home, you may have heard about some of the advantages of buying a home outright with cash. According to research by the National Association of Realtors®, almost a third of all residential sales are cash transactions and more than 70% of properties bought by investors and international buyers are cash transactions as well. So, you may be wondering, what exactly are the advantages to buying a home with cash and how can I make a cash offer?

Preparing yourself to be able to make a cash offer on a home requires patience and self-control. Follow these tips to increase your chances of being able to purchase a home with cash:

  • Set aside any unexpected money that comes in (inheritances, bonuses from work, etc.).

  • Lock your money in a long-term CD to earn interest.

  • Look for homes that you can afford with the money you have (the goal is to not have to borrow).

  • Homes outside of the city limits are likely to be cheaper-look there.

  • Manage your spending habits; don’t make impulse purchases.

  • Ask your family and friends for support and help to keep you spending smart.

Here are just some of the advantages to purchasing a property with cash:

  1. Most sellers favor buyers who can offer cash payment. Sellers don’t have to worry about a cash buyer being approved for loans, so it’s a very reliable choice for the seller. Plus, a cash transaction means a quicker and smoother sale. So, cash buyers have greater negotiating power on price, closing time, repairs, and more.

  2. Some sellers will discount the cost of the property if the buyer pays in full, upfront, with cash.

  3. When using cash, and not a loan, the home-buying process is quickened and becomes much easier for both parties. Without loans, there are no stacks of paperwork to fill out and you don’t run the risk of being delayed for approval.

  4. Cash buyers can save money on closing costs, bank appraisals, mortgage applications and fees, title insurance, and more.

  5. There is no risk of loan denial with cash purchases.

  6. Mortgage interest on a typical 30-year loan can double or even triple the original purchase price of a home. Cash buyers don’t have to pay interest on any loans, so they end up paying much less for their homes in the long run.

  7. Cash buyers are able to save valuable time by eliminating the need to search for the optimal lender (which can be hard to find) and gather the necessary documents for the lender.

  8. Cash buyers have a better sense of security about their home. Paying in full and upfront eliminates the chance of losing your home if you can’t afford to repay mortgage loans. Losing a job, becoming injured, or facing other hardships doesn’t affect the cash buyer’s sense of security-no matter what the circumstances, there is never the risk of losing the home to foreclosure.

  9. Cash buyers gain full, immediate, excellent equity in their home. In the case of any type of financial emergency, homeowners can draw on that equity for quick cash.

  10. Cash buyers are able to avoid mortgage applications, which can often prevent a buyer from being able to afford the home. This can happen when a low appraisal of the home causes the lender to reduce the loan amount offer to the buyer, making it impossible for the buyer to afford the home.

When a buyer purchases a home up front with cash, both they and the seller benefit. Financially and emotionally, cash transactions are beneficial to everyone involved in the transaction. Cash transactions save time and money and allow homeowners to be more secure in their purchase. Cash transactions can, in many cases, take away a lot of the uncertainty associated with buying and selling a home.

For more information on the advantages of buying a home with cash, read the original article from Realtor.com here.

Blog Signature

How To Find Storage In Your Kitchen

Feeling claustrophobic in your kitchen? Having a hard time finding the right utensils? Time to free up some space!

The kitchen is one of the most-used areas of the home, with a lot of traffic going in and out all day long. So, it’s easy to see how a kitchen could get to be cluttered and completely overrun by junk in just a few days. It’s important though to maintain a clean and clutter-free kitchen, since it’s really the hub of your home. Also, in terms of real estate, “A functional and attractive kitchen adds tremendous value to a home”,  according to writers at Realtor.com. You can easily clear out some space in your kitchen and effectively de-clutter by thinking creatively and and really dedicating some time to organizing.

Stop holding onto junk.

  • If you’ve been hoarding broken appliances or utensils with the noble purpose of fixing them some day, get rid of them to help free up kitchen space instantly.

  • Broken plates or cups? Toss ‘em. They’re an eyesore and a hazard.

  • Go through your refrigerator and kitchen cabinets-get rid of any condiments, spices, etc. that have expired or that never get used.

  • Tons of mismatched and warped-by-microwave tupperware? Time for those to go too.

Organize.

  • Keep countertops clear of unnecessary junk. Reserve countertop space for regularly-used appliances or simple decorative items like a vase of flowers.

  • Don’t keep sponges or dish towels on display. Try storing them in a wire basket that can easily be hung from the inside of a cabinet door.

  • Store appliances that don’t get much use. If you don’t use your blender or panini-maker at least every week, store them to make room for things you do use.

  • Make use of flatware trays to keep silverware organized and maximize drawer space.

  • Use larger flatware trays to keep larger utensils, like spatulas, whisks, and ladles organized.

  • You could also use a decorative canister to store larger loose cooking utensils.

  • Hang a pot rack from the ceiling to quickly clear out an entire cabinet (or two). Pot racks make pots and pans easy to access and free up tons of space for other kitchen items.

  • Drawers and shelves within cabinets also help keep things organized

  • Consider using food storage canisters to hold staple items like cereal, snacks, flour, and sugar – these canisters are easy to stack, which helps you maximize cabinet and counter space.

  • Invest in a spice rack to keep all spices together and correctly labeled.

  • Store cleaning supplies in the laundry room or a hall closet to free up even more space.

These quick and simple tricks can help transform even the most cluttered kitchen into a manageable, functional, attractive room. Freeing up space in the kitchen will allow you to feel more organized yourself, will make cooking and baking easier, and will ensure that your kitchen is the hub of the home again.

For more tips on home and kitchen organization, check out this article from Realtor. com.

Blog Signature