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If you’re trying to sell your home, there are many things you need to think about. One of the reasons that it’s wise to hire a realtor is that they can handle a lot of the difficult stuff for you. From home showings to phone calls to sealing the deal, your realtor will be with you every step of the way. 


One thing that you can do to help your realtor out is trying to avoid things that will scare off buyers in your home. While some things are out of your control (we’re looking at you radon), you can check and remedy a lot of problems before a buyer even sets foot in your home.


Leaky, Aging Roof


Roofs last around 20-25 years. If it’s been forever since you have paid attention to your roof, you’ll need to take a second look before selling. Your buyer is going to either ask for some kind of rebate or go for a home with a newer roof. Roofs are one of the things that home inspectors often see the most problems with.  



Outdated Gutters


If your gutters are in disrepair, you might want to have them cleaned or replace them altogether. Faulty gutters are often what causes problems with the roof. If rain water or snow melt can’t properly drain from the gutters, more leaks may be found in the home.  


Old Appliances


If your appliances are outdated, consider replacing them. Buyers don’t want to move into a new home only to need to head out to buy a new refrigerator, range, or dryer. Buyers like things to be ready for them, and they’re willing to pay for it. You’ll definitely get a return on your investment when you buy new appliances.    


Outdated Or Neglected HVAC System


It’s important to keep up with regular maintenance when it comes to your heating and cooling system. Keep it clean and keep regular maintenance appointments. These systems are costly to repair and buyers do not want to deal with these issues immediately (or ever if they could avoid them!) Get the HVAC system serviced before you put a for sale sign out front to keep your buyers happy throughout the inspection and sale process.   


High Price


Your realtor will be a big help in assisting you to price your home right. They will perform a CMA (comparative market analysis) in order to help you find the sweet spot for pricing your home. An overpriced listing will make buyers wonder. A property must be priced right in order to get buyers through the door to even look at the home.


Although all home buyers have different tastes, expectations, and preferences, there are several things you as a home seller can do to make your home more appealing.

Three priorities worth keeping in mind are spaciousness (or, at least, the appearance of it), brightness, and cleanliness.

Whether your home is a compact cottage or a large colonial, a feeling of spaciousness will enhance its visual and psychological appeal.

Sometimes getting a second opinion can make all the difference in identifying ways to improve the look and feel of your home. As an example: If you're unsure whether a bulky piece of furniture, a huge plant, or a rarely used side table is detracting from that desired look of spaciousness, your real estate agent or an interior decorator can provide you with helpful feedback.

One common room decorating mistake that many people make is to choose a coffee table that's either too big or too small for the furniture or available space. It may seem like a small detail, but it's one of many elements that can throw off the balance and flow of a living room.

Another staging tip for home sellers is to have groups of chairs and couches face each other to create "conversation areas." That effect often helps to add warmth to a living room or family room, and makes it easier for potential buyers to imagine living there and enjoying the space with friends and family.

Lots of illumination, whether it's natural light or artificial light, can make your home appear more cheerful and inviting. It also reduces shadows and dark corners, which can detract from the beauty of your living space. While there is the possibility that some of your lights may be too harsh or glaring, dimmer switches can often be a quick and easy solution to that problem.

Keeping your home impeccably clean every day is one of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market and making it available to agents for client showings. Since first impressions are one of the most important aspects of attracting a serious buyer, cleanliness should be among your main priorities. The good news is that keeping your home clean will become easier when you get into a routine. As you scramble to make sure your home is ready and presentable for the next showing, you'll find yourself becoming more and more adept at streamlining the process.

One strategy for increasing efficiency might be to get your family in the habit of cleaning up after themselves on a consistent basis. It may require a little gentle nagging now and then, but if it helps get your house sold faster, it'll be worth it! Create a cleaning checklist you can refer to when you're getting ready for a house showing to improve your efficiency. Evenly divide the work among family members, and make sure nothing important is overlooked along the way.


Image by wavebreakmedia from Shutterstock

If you've owned your house for a long time and are putting it on the market, take time to consider how the buying and selling process has changed. Today’s buyers are both smart and cautious. They have access to more information than was possible a decade ago. Research shows that buyers begin shopping twelve to eighteen months before they're ready to buy. Your real estate professional has inside information on the local market, they can help you navigate the new selling terrain.

Take advice to heart in these essential areas:

  • Choose a reasonable price. Setting the wrong price gets your market plan off on the wrong track. When it’s too high, it will sit on the market for days or weeks derailing your plans to move. You want to get the most that you can from a home sale, but the market will bear only so much. Smart shoppers already know the comparable homes recently sold and come armed with a wealth of information before making their offer. Setting the price too low can backfire too. If a buyer is not interested in rehabilitation or renovation work, they may pass over a property that is not priced competitively.

  • Take great photos. Most serious buyers begin their search online. If your agent suggests hiring a professional real estate photographer, it’s often worth the investment. Internet shoppers quickly pass over blurry, out-of-focus, dark, or cluttered shots. Clean the windows and take pictures with the shades and curtains wide open. Bright and inviting photos encourage the buyer to visit in person.

  • Staging is more than décor. Take the time to remove personal objects, family photos, and collections. Organize your furnishings to make the best use of your space. Downplay dated areas that need updating and focus on the “bones” of the home and curb appeal if the entire house requires a makeover.

  • Test drive the online experience. Go online yourself to see how the photos look. Upload new ones until you're satisfied. Also, check out the street view on Google or Safari Maps. If they post outdated images where curb appeal is lacking, take a similar shot, and post it instead.


Make sure you know how the buyer sees your house when you put it on the market. Modern buyers are cautious. They come armed with information. Let your agent help you address issues relating to how your house appears online.



It must have been frightening, in the days before the internet, to move to a new place that you knew little about. The culture, the people, the things to do--all of these things are now at our fingertips thanks to Google and others.

However, it can still be difficult to get used to a new town, especially if you’re moving far away from your previous home. So, in this article, I’m going to give you some tips on how to investigate your new town. That way, you’ll have a good idea of what kind of things you can do for fun, where to eat, and countless other things you might want to know about the place you’ll soon call home.

The lay of the land

A good place to start your search is on Google Maps. From here you can explore your future neighborhood; find out how close you are to grocery stores, parks, hospitals, and even get an estimate on how long your work commute will take each day.

Since many of these places will have ratings and reviews, you can also take some time to read the reviews for popular places around town.

Eating around town

It can seem like you’re always flipping a coin when you eat at a new restaurant. When you move to a new town, you’ll have to discover new favorite places to eat. However, you don’t have to do these experiments on your own.

Check out Yelp reviews for local restaurants and cafes to get a sense of the pricing and atmosphere. This way you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of enjoying the experience.

Meeting new people

Making friends is hard enough as an adult. In today’s world, many people meet their friends online or through other connections, rather than simply hanging around with their neighbors.

Luckily, sites like Facebook and Meetup make it easier to introduce yourself to like-minded people.

Browse local meetups that you’re interested in, and don’t be afraid to try out a new activity or attend a paint night--you might meet new people and discover a new hobby all at once.

Most towns have a strong presence on Facebook in terms of things like groups and events. Joining local groups will give you an idea of the type of things people do for fun around town and give you a way to introduce yourself to new people.

Read the news

Many towns are covered by a local or regional newspaper. They can often be found online or at a local library or cafe. These newspapers are often the key to discovering the good and the bad about your new home, tipping you off to the things you’ll want to pay attention to when you move.


Photo by Allison Gillett via Pixabay
 

You can create a stunning outdoor kitchen using basic components and pulling things together over time. Entertaining outdoors has become so popular that supplies and materials for cooking are easy to come by in a variety of price points. Follow the steps below to make the most of the process. 

Foolproof Steps to Creating an Outdoor Kitchen you'll Love

Determine what you need. A kitchen showroom can be overwhelming -- but you may not need everything you see. If you love the look of the striking pizza ovens, but no one in the family eats pizza, you may get little use from this purchase, and miss out on the space you've used later. What do you like to cook, what do you like to serve and what components matter most to you? These should go to the top of your list. 

Where will people sit?: The best part of an outdoor kitchen is the entertaining you can do in the space. You should think about how many people you like to host at a time, where they'll sit and what you envision for the space. An outdoor kitchen that is designed for the family and a guest or two may need to seat six people, but if you entertian large groups, then you'll need to allot more space to seating -- 12 to 16 people is an ideal start. 

Where will you keep the food? Do you want to prep inside and cook outside? Or do  you prefer having everything together? If you need the food on hand, a fridge should be included in your plans. If you want to keep the food inside, consider adding a wine or beer fridge instead; it will take up less room and get regular use. 

What will you cook? A grill is a great starting point, since you can cook a variety of foods. Determine if you want to buy a freestanding piece or have something built in -- this will likely be the largest and most expensive component. Once this is in place, decide what else you need; other cook surfaces, a sink or specialty surface could be next on your list. 

Begin with your largest pieces, like your grill and table, then add items as you need too. Your pillows, textiles and accessories can be chosen last, then added and used as needed to create a space that is uniquely yours. 

Your outdoor kitchen can be a work in progress; you don't have to complete it all at once. Adding something new each season or year allows you to spread out the cost of your new kitchen and add components as you need them. 




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