When you've owned your house a long time, getting it ready to sell may seem like a daunting task. If relocation is on the horizon for you, get an early start and organize your spaces.
Ideas to help you get organized right away!
Resist the temptation to add items to your home that might not be needed or used in the short term. If you tend to purchase commonly used items in bulk, try to reduce the quantity you store to no more than you can use up within a month or so.
Sort your belongings and donate or throw away items or clothing you no longer need. Move items designated for donation into the trunk of your car right away so you have them with you the next time you pass by a donation center.
Start small. Choose one thing to organize at a time but make sure you can tackle the project in one day. A drawer, cabinet, or closet would be a great place to start. Every week — or if you're especially motivated, every day — choose another place to organize. Throw away or donate unused items as you go.
Get a handle on paper. You will need to keep some physical documents like marriage licenses, certified birth certificates, and passports but for other things like invoices and receipts, a digital version is all you need. If mail is an issue, consider switching to electronic delivery for bank or credit card statements and removing yourself from mailing lists for catalogs or other marketing that you don’t need to receive anymore.
Check the sentiment. When an object is received from a special person or under special circumstances it can be hard to part with even if it’s not an object that is used or displayed often. If there are items like this in your home, consider passing them on to someone who will use them. Memorialize the sentimental value with photos or journal entries, the memory is often more important than the thing.
Organizing is step one toward preparing for a sale.
Your real estate professional can help you plan for a home sale. They’ll walk through your house with you and show you what items to repair, what to update, and what you might want to pass on or put into storage, contact your agent today to get started.
There are a lot of factors that can cause one house to sell quickly, while others in the neighborhood languish on the market for months.
In many cases, homes are scooped up because of a desirable location, a great school district, or irresistible curb appeal.
While all buyers have their priority items and wish lists in mind when shopping for a new home, final decisions are often based on psychological factors, emotions, and gut feelings -- not just cold, hard facts!
If you're getting ready to put your house on the market, here are a few strategies for improving your chances of making a fast sale:
Good feelings help sell houses. Prospective buyers are going to be drawn to your house if it looks impeccable from the street and well cared-for on the inside. When your home conveys a sense of pride in ownership and attention to detail, it sends a positive psychological message to house hunters. Very often, the power of suggestion can work in your favor when you're trying to make a favorable impression on potential buyers. Displaying fresh flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit, or even table settings in your dining room or kitchen can help create a more inviting, appealing atmosphere. The right furniture arrangements can conjure up images of family gatherings, intimate conversations, or relaxing afternoons on the backyard deck.
Clutter creates discomfort. If you notice visitors side-stepping past your furniture or walking through your home as if they're navigating a maze, that's a sure sign your house is cluttered. Too much furniture or furniture that's too large and bulky for the space it occupies will make your rooms look and feel cramped. Creating a feeling of spaciousness and openness, on the other hand, helps bring out the best in all areas of your home.
Small touches make a difference. Displaying vases of fresh-cut flowers, an appetizing bowl of fruit in the kitchen, or colorful, new towels in the bathroom can help enhance the ambiance of your home. When conditions permit, the smell of fresh muffins, bread baking, or coffee brewing can infuse your home with a comforting and inviting fragrance. A house that looks and smells clean will also help create a positive multi-sensory experience for your visitors.
The right price can clinch the deal. Ideally, the price of your home should be based on comparable properties in your neighborhood and what they recently sold for. If your home is not in the same ball park, you could easily scare away qualified buyers who would otherwise be ready to make an offer. Working with a real estate agent can help ensure that you're house is competitively priced and that it doesn't linger on the market longer than necessary. Once you get caught in that cycle, the perceived value of your home and it's overall desirability can begin a downward slide. Take steps to prevent that from happening by having a comparative analysis done.
As a home seller, it is crucial to do everything possible to get your residence "buyer-ready." In fact, if your house dazzles a buyer, you may be better equipped than ever before to optimize your home sale earnings.
Ultimately, it can be quick and easy to get a house buyer-ready – here are three tips to help you prepare your residence for prospective buyers:
1. Bolster Your House's Curb Appeal
When a potential buyer goes past your home, you'll want your residence to make a great first impression. And if your residence has outstanding curb appeal, a prospective buyer may choose to set up a property showing right away.
To improve your house's curb appeal, you should mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and do whatever it takes to make your residence attractive to potential buyers. Of course, if you need extra help to bolster your home's curb appeal, you may want to employ professional contractors as well.
2. Remove Clutter
Antiques, paintings and other décor may help you transform your house into a home. However, these items may do more harm than good when you try to show your residence to prospective buyers. And in some instances, various personal belongings may make it tough for you to show off the true size and beauty of your residence.
It generally is a good idea to remove as much clutter as you can from your residence. Remember, your goal as a home seller is to make it simple for a buyer to envision what life may be like if he or she purchases your house. If you eliminate clutter from your residence, a buyer should have no trouble imagining what life may be like as the owner of your home.
3. Clean Each Room of Your Home
A neat, tidy home is sure to impress prospective buyers. Thus, if you allocate time and resources to clean each room of your house, you could boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable home sale.
Oftentimes, it helps to hire a professional home cleaning company. With this company at your disposal, you can get the help you need to improve the appearance of each room of your home.
As you get ready to add your house to the real estate market, you also may want to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to help you get your house buyer-ready, as well as prepare for each stage of the property selling cycle.
A real estate agent will offer expert guidance throughout the home selling journey. He or she will provide recommendations and tips to help you showcase your residence to the right groups of prospective buyers. In addition, if you ever have concerns or questions during the home selling journey, a real estate agent is ready to address them.
Get your house buyer-ready – use the aforementioned tips, and you can improve your home's appearance and increase your chances of enjoying a seamless property selling experience.
Before you sign on the bottom line, know which items are negotiable and which negate the deal entirely. Clearly defining these in advance can save you significant headaches when the buying bug takes over. Your agent will remind you of your non-negotiables and keep you on the right track.
Here are some big-ticket items to keep in mind before closing out a contract:
- Major construction issues. During the inspection, if issues with the roof, a significant system like the wiring, plumbing, or HVAC comes up, negotiate to have them fixed or walk away.
- Review any protected or wetlands designations that apply to the property. Even though the home, pool, fence, pond or ditch is already there, these designations mean you’ll have to get permission from a conservation committee or agency in order to make any changes to your property.
- If any questions come up in the title search, and it seems there may not be a clear title, walk away. Even though the legalities could eventually get sorted, you’ll be out attorney fees, stress and time lost.
- Review the right-of-way, easements and utility access. Utilities with lights, poles, pipes or wires crossing the property have the right to inspect, repair, dig and otherwise take care of the utility. Before you can put in a pool, fence or flowerbed, you may need their permission. In addition, some cities have right-of-way clauses meaning they can add berms, boulevards or widen roads into your property. They also have the right to approve where you can locate a driveway and the setback (how close structures are to the property line, roads or easements), which may severely impact how you can build.
If there is land behind your property that does not have egress, that landowner may have easement rights. That means, they may install a driveway right through your land to get to theirs. Easements are listed on the deed, so have your agent or title lawyer clarify anything you don’t understand.
Make sure your real estate agent knows what’s non-negotiable for you so that the property you fall in love with is the one of your dreams, not your nightmares.
Most of the time, we build homes to our taste rather than to their environment. And while it’s important to have a home that you love to look at, it’s also necessary to take your local climate and surroundings into account.
One of the best up-and-coming home architecture styles features something called “passive solar” design.
In today’s post, I’m going to introduce you to passive solar and talk about why so many homeowners are choosing passive solar homes in today’s age of rising energy costs.
What is a passive solar home?
Passive solar homes utilize four main things to ensure the lowest possible energy usage:
The building site
The area’s climate and weather
Strict building standards involving top quality materials and airtight construction
Let’s talk a bit about how these three features help make passive solar homes the most energy efficient homes currently available.
Choosing a site for a passive home can be a complicated and scientific endeavor. In colder climates, this means allowing the home to utilize as much sunlight as possible. The building site, therefore, has to take into account the sun’s path throughout the year to provide the home with the best angles for maximum sunlight.
Since sunlight travels lower on the horizon in the winter months and higher in summer months, roofs and overhangs are designed to let in maximum light in the winter time and block out light that would overheat your home in the summertime.
Airflow throughout your home is vital to maintaining comfortable temperatures year-round. Passive homes rely on a heat exchanger system that uses heat from warm areas of your home to heat air that is vented in from the outside.
This means that the air in your home is constantly being circulated and heated without relying on too many outside sources.
Building materials are another key part to passive solar homes. To make an airtight home, special types of sealing and insulation is used.
Furthermore, insulated areas of your home are designed to absorb sunlight throughout the day and slowly release heat after the sun goes down, providing a natural source of heat for the entire 24 hour cycle.
Can I convert my current house into a passive solar home?
While making a home adhere to passive house standards typically requires planning at the construction phase, there are some ways to utilize passive solar techniques in your current home.
Making your home airtight, using thermal mass to slowly heat your home overnight, and taking advantage of heat from the sun are all things that can be retrofitted to a home.
Making these improvements can take time, especially if you plan to change window locations or build an overhanging roof. However, you might find that the upgrades will save you money on energy costs and add to the resale value of your home.