Selling your home is and can be a nightmare while still living in the home, and needless to say It’s one of the largest and most expensive assets most of us will ever own. It’s where we lay our head down at night, the place we make memories and call home. Selling it can be one of the most overwhelming and stressful experiences you may ever go through. So here are some tips for living in your home while it’s for sale to help you through the process:
Yes, make the beds every day!
If you smoke, don’t do it in the house! And if you’ve smoked in the house it would pay to have a restoration company come try to treat it or consider having it completely painted to rid the smell.
If you are selling your house, hire a consultant to do an inspection of the property. A consultant can let you know what changes you can make to make your home more attractive to possible buyers. Sometimes just simple changes like the color of a paint or a change in the landscape can get your house off the market faster.
Dishes up. 🙂
Keep closets and storage areas organized, the larger they appear the better!
If you are selling your residence in the fall, use the colors of the season to decorate your house and help you make a sale. Items like pumpkins or mums are nice accents to place in front of your home; they draw potential buyers into your residence and help make a good first impression.
Keep it smelling nice. If you cook something strange, air it out!
Keep the temperature comfortable and season appropriate.
Staging your house can be one of the most effective tools for selling in a difficult market. Keep your house as neutral as possible, removing personal pictures and painting walls an ivory, light brown, or off white. This allows a potential buyer to picture themselves as the homeowner, rather than you.
Fresh flowers inside and out are always a nice touch.
Keep your refrigerator clean and organized in case they look.
Hiring a Realtor is worth considering when selling your home. Using a Realtor, versus selling on your own, gives you professional advice and opinions, and accurate information for pricing your home. In addition, you’ll receive maximum exposure through MLS listings and advertising. This can help you achieve a faster sale and higher selling price.
Keep your trash cans emptied.
Keep the floors vacuumed.
Another trick to increase your chances of selling your home is to paint all your walls. Choose a neutral color when you do this. It doesn’t have to be a basic white or beige, you can mix it up a little. Try a butter color in the living room or a light blue or green in a kids bedroom.
Keep the yard tidy.
Leave whenever possible and take pets with you; it makes the buyers feel more at ease. You want them to take the time to appreciate your home, right?
Windows are an important part of selling your house. Make sure they’re nice and clean both inside and out. If they’re old, try to fix them up with paint or replace them. You’ll also want to make sure the drapes are wide open to allow natural light into the room.
Don’t talk to the other agent or buyer directly more than you have to. You hired your agent for a reason, so let them do their job.
Be prepared for lights to be left on, doors left unlocked, and heaven knows what else I’ve had happen over the years. It’s not often but it’s also not the exception to the rule unfortunately these things happen sometimes.
Selling a home in the fall may become rather difficult as the market is slowing for the season. Parents do not want to pull their kids out of one school and make them start in another. Be flexible when accepting offers during this time of year or you could find your home still on the market, come spring.
Wait patiently for feedback from your agent. Sometimes it takes a few days to hear back from the other agent and the buyer.
Be as patient as you can throughout the process and try not to blame your Realtor if it doesn’t sell right away. If you chose the right agent, they have no reason in the world not to do everything they can to get your home sold as soon as possible and for that matter, for as much money as possible. They don’t get paid unless and until you get paid.
Leave a bit of wiggle room for negotiations when you are setting up your selling price for your home. Buyers do not like to work with a seller who is not willing to budge, even if the house is priced correctly within the market pricing. You want to appear like you are willing to give a little bit.
Remove any really valuable items. Consider taking them to a safety deposit box or storage unit just to be safe.
Breathe. When it’s meant to sell, that right buyer will come along. 🙂
It’s that time of year again in Greater Oakland County Michigan when winter approaches, so there’s no better time then now to give your home an energy check up. Energy costs have shot up, and you may be paying a lot more than necessary to be comfortable in your home throughout the year. Most homeowners in Greater Oakland County have a number of easy, inexpensive options for reducing energy consumption and energy bills. The older your home, the more likely it is you can dramatically cut your utility costs, improve your comfort level and be environmentally responsible in the bargain. As we can clearly remember Winter 2013 in the Greater Oakland County area was the toughest in years and it really took a toll on may homeowners and their tight budgets.
Here’s where to look for opportunities to save as much as $500 a year on energy expenses:
Heating And Cooling Systems
- How old are your systems? If brand-new, you’re likely to have super high-efficiency units. If less than five years old, they’re likely to be high efficiency and certainly worth keeping. Older systems may or may not be costing you more money than necessary. If yours are 20 years old or more, replacing them could keep you more comfortable and cut your utility costs by a third or better. You may want to look at solar heating (free energy!) as part of a heating system upgrade. Though the initial investment in any new system may seem steep, consider that dramatically lower bills will recoup your cost in just a few years. After that, it’s pure savings.
- Make sure your heating and cooling systems get a tune-up every year. For under $100, a professional cleaning and maintenance check annually should more than pay for itself.Do you change your systems’ air filter monthly? Doing so costs little, but improves system efficiency, thereby saving money.
- Do you have an electronic thermostat? If not, install one and program it to use less energy (higher temperature in summer, lower in winter) while you’re away from home during the day, and at night while you sleep.
- Before going on vacation or a business trip, turn the thermostat down to 55°F in winter, or up to 80°F in summer. That’s comfortable enough to keep indoor plants alive, and to keep pipes from freezing during cold weather.
- How old is your water heater? Is it a high-efficiency unit? If your heater has given you 10 or more years of service, you would probably save money by replacing it.
- What temperature is your water heater set to maintain? Most factory settings are at 140°F, usually higher than necessary for a ready supply of hot water. Experiment with turning the temperature down and see if you even notice a difference. Start with 130°. If you find that adequate, drop it to 120°.
- Don’t forget to turn the water heater way down (preferably off) when you’re away from your home on business trips or vacation. Why pay for hot water nobody is going to use?
- Does your water heater have an insulating blanket? Are exposed hot water pipes wrapped in insulation? Keep them wrapped and you’ll spend less.
- Have you installed low-flow shower heads? Again, the cost of the fixtures will be repaid with annual savings, not only in reduced energy to heat the water, but also in lower water bills.
Air In/Air Out
- Do your outside walls and attic have insulation in them? To check the walls, remove a cover plate from an electrical outlet on an outside wall. If you can’t find any insulation, make the investment to minimize the amount of expensive “conditioned” air that escapes your home. Also consider adding attic insulation if you have 3″ or less. Go up to 12″.
- Do some of your air ducts run through your attic or basement? Make sure they’re wrapped in insulation.
- Does your home have more than one return register per floor? It probably should. No matter how many you have, make sure they are not blocked by furniture or curtains.
- Do you use your old fireplace? Though charming, fireplaces are certainly not energy efficient in today’s homes. Consider replacing it with an airtight woodstove or fireplace insert that sends heat back into your home.
- If you must use your old fireplace, make sure it has a flue that closes tightly and keep it closed when you are not using the fireplace.
- Does your home have new, energy-efficient windows, doors and storm doors? If not, consider investing in replacements with low-E or thermal-paned glass.
- Do windows and doors have properly installed weather-stripping and caulking in good repair? If not, it’s an inexpensive fix that takes a little bit of time but pays high rewards in savings.
- Is your refrigerator less than 2 years old and energy-efficient model? Consider replacing refrigerators over 10 years old. At the very least, replace gaskets if they no longer fit tightly.
- Does your dishwasher have an energy-saving feature? Be sure to use it!
- Consider replacing often-used incandescent light fixtures with fluorescent fixtures.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Use lower-wattage bulbs throughout the house.
- Replace outdoor security lights that stay on all night with motion-sensitive fixtures.
Greater Oakland County Moving With Children
Relocating with children in the Greater Oakland County area or any other for that matter can be a stressful situation, not only for you but the children of Greater Oakland County as well. It is important to involve your children in your home search and your relocation plans. When making your list of things to do before, during and after your move, don’t forget to include your pets as they are as much of the family as well. Moving can be stressful, even dangerous, for pets if their interests are not taken into consideration as well.
Child experts agree it’s a good idea to involve the children when family makes relocation plans to move. You may have mixed feelings about taking the kids house-hunting in Oakland County, however. (It’s hard enough for just two people to decide on a new home!) Here are a few pointers that may help in your relocation move and including children in the process.
Narrow the Field First
The kids don’t need to visit every potential house on the list in Oakland County. If possible, wait until you’ve selected two or three serious prospects of homes before bringing the children along. In any case, limit your kid-accompanied tours to three houses or less per day
Provide Behavioral Guidelines
Remind the kids to treat the home owners and their property with respect. Make sure the kids stay in the same room with you at all times and they “keep their hands to themselves.” If the home owners are present, your family members should also keep their thoughts about the house to themselves until after you leave the property. Making positive comments in the presence of the home owners could work against you when negotiating the price, while negative comments could spark a hostile reaction, causing the home owner to sell to another home buyer.
Make the Kids Your Secretaries
If they’re old enough, your children can each keep a log of the homes you look at I Greater Oakland County, including detailed information about the house — location, size, types and numbers of rooms, etc. Have them describe their feelings about the house, too, particularly what they think it, and what would be like to live there for them.
Locate the Nearest Playground
A post-tour trip to the park (or local mall, if you have teenagers) can be a great motivator for good behavior during tours of Oakland County properties and a nice way to get to know the area as well. Walking the streets in the Oakland County neighborhoods will also give you and the kids a better feeling for the local lifestyle and whether there are other children the same age as yours in the area. Also look for local parks and recreation for children to visit and become a part of.
Bring along books or games to help your kids through the “I’m bored” stage. If you’ll be driving for extended periods, bring some audio books or favorite music. Nowadays usually it is a I-Pad or tablet that keeps them busy, but make sure they pay attention to the particular homes of interest that you have and get their opinions as you go through each.
Time Your Tours for Success
Plan to look at homes in Greater Oakland County early in the day or just after (certainly not during) nap time. Be prepared with snack foods and drinks to keep energy levels up.
Let Them Know Their Input Counts
Although the final decision is yours, your children will feel better about the move to Greater Oakland County if they know you value what they think about their potential new home and neighborhood.
How to Help Your Kids Adjust To the Move to Greater Oakland County
- Children can find a move to Greater Oakland County overwhelming, even to a home within the same area. Here’s how you can help:
- Parents’ positive attitudes about a new environment inspire positive attitudes in children. Try to focus the children on what they can gain, rather than on what is being lost.
- Keep schedules as normal as possible to give children the extra security needed in the new surroundings.
- Call on new neighbors in Oakland County early so your children can meet other children who live nearby.
- Seek counseling or academic tutoring immediately if a child runs into trouble in the new Oakland County School, being sure to give the child lots of encouragement and praise in the process.
- Be available at mealtime, bedtime and (if possible) after school to listen to and share new experiences.
- Sign up your child for one or two activities, sports or lessons so he or she can meet new friends and establish or continue special interests.
- Consider requests for clothing, bikes and other equipment that may not have been a “necessity” in the previous area but can help a child fit in with new peers.
- Visit the old home and invite old friends to your new home in Oakland Country to help your child maintain a sense of roots.
- Exercise patience during the adjustment period. Finding a new sense of “home” takes time.
Timings everything when selling a home in Greater Oakland County. Is now a good time to sell? I think so. Today’s affordable interest rates have encouraged lots of buyers into the market — and we know who they are. If you’re ready to sell your home, listing with us will plug you into a broad network of well-connected real estate professionals in Greater Oakland County who can deliver buyers to your door. Give me a call to find out how I can help you sell your home quickly for top dollar. If you’re selling in today’s market, you want to make your house outshine the competition. Buyers in Greater Oakland County are most likely to choose your house if it offers something special. Here are 12 ways to make sure you land a “Sale, Sweet Sale.”No matter how hot or slow the market in Oakland County MI, selling a home can be a complicated and stress-provoking experience. But it doesn’t have to be! Taken one well-informed step at a time, the process can be smooth — even easy. And that’s what our HOME SELLERS COURSE is all about.The course’s 10 lessons will arrive regularly in your e-mail, guiding you through the home-sale process, step by step, from listing through settlement.
Whether your selling in Novi, Northville, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Plymouth or any other area in the Greater Oakland County area, this information will help you stand out and get your home sold for the best price possible.
12 Incentives to Offer Home Buyers
1. Offer a warranty.
Purchase a buyer’s home warranty to protect against future problems.
2. Help with closing costs.
Cash-poor buyers concerned more with out-of-pocket costs than monthly payments will especially appreciate this one.
3. Consider financing help.
Provide seller financing or buy down the buyer’s mortgage rate for the first year.
4. Help with utilities.
Pay some or all estimated utilities for 6 or 12 months.
5. Help with fees.
Pay a year’s condominium or homeowners association fees.
6. Pre-pay memberships.
Buy a one-year pool or community golf club membership, cable TV subscription, or other recreational activity.
7. Consider a moving allowance.
Pay the buyer’s documented moving expenses, or provide an allowance toward moving costs.
8. Treat them to window treatments.
Offer redecorating cash for new carpet or drapes.
9. Mow down any objections.
Buy a lawn-maintenance service for a year, or offer a riding mower if the lot is large.
10. Give them a dock on the bay.
If you live in a waterfront community, offer to rent a boat slip for a year.
11. Reimburse buyer the cost of points.
This is often a double benefit for buyers, who save both on the points themselves and on their federal taxes. The IRS now allows buyers to deduct the cost of seller-paid points as a Schedule A mortgage expense.
12. Price your home below comparable properties.
Prove your home’s good value in greater Oakland County by having an appraisal done and setting the price below the appraised amount for better results. Ask what buyers are looking for in the Greater Oakland County area. What are they saying about the homes they don’t buy? And what is it about the homes that are selling that makes them so popular? By determining your ideal target buyer, you will better understand how to merchandise your home. My experience in your specific neighborhood can help you answer all these questions and more.
Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are Free and no obligation, these Free Home Buyer & Home Seller Guides are very valuable for any Home Buyer or Home Seller in the Greater Oakland County Mi area. These Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are packed with 52+ pages of information to assist Home Buyers and Home Sellers in the real estate market in the Greater Oakland County area. Buying or Selling a Home is one of the biggest investments anyone will ever make, these guides give you insightful information that is FREE and will help you sail along in the Home Buying and Home Selling process. Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are emailed directly to your email inbox and are a valuable tool regardless if you Buying or Selling a Home in the Greater Oakland County Area.
Sign, sign everywhere a sign
We all know this song, and it couldn’t be more accurate and appropriate this time of year in the Greater Oakland County area. As a Realtor the signs are not only an annoyance but also make it very hard for my buyers to find the property as the yard signs are buried around in the mass of political signs. I’m not clear if the home buyers are offended or if the political signs have any impact on their choice of neighborhoods in the Greater Oakland County area, but some ask me more details about the neighborhoods than usual and others aren’t shy about sharing their political views.
Growing up I was told never to discuss politics with anyone, now as a relator trying to avoid my political views with my home buyers and sellers is a task, for some reason this year seems especially heated so I avoid at all cost. This political season seems to resemble the Bush and Kerry election time when that was quite heated to some. The question that bothers me is “why do some home buyers choose a neighborhood based on a political view?” some buyers not wanting to live near republican’s or others that don’t want to live near democrats. Areas in Greater Oakland County such as Novi, Northville, Plymouth, West Bloomfield and Farmington Hills seem to be diverse and reserved, but something seems to be a little different this go around.
Do the signs influence the home buyers? Do the home sellers even care?
When discussing this with my home sellers they don’t seem to care much about what the buyer thinks of their signs or political views this time around, but they don’t realize that this could be detrimental to getting their home sold in some cases but their political views are so strong it’s useless to try and convince them otherwise about their signs. Some home buyers on the other hand don’t seem to care either, once they see the signs and feel that based on the signs they are not interested in the neighborhood. A seller cannot discriminate against a buyer and it isn’t even about that, it’s about political views and not getting or finding the right home based how strongly their views are either way.
It’s important for neighbors to have common values, and for the next couple of weeks at least, values and voting preferences seem to be one in the same, but in my opinion it shouldn’t matter to either Buyer or Seller. It is their choice to have a political sign In their yard and to support any candidate they wish, home buyers if they wish can also make their decision based on any reason they wish, but as Realtor s it is a fine line to walk and can be detrimental to our hard work every day to get caught up in politics when it comes to both buyers and sellers. Me for one will be happy when this political season is over and things get back to normal for a short time, but please don’t let the signs be up all winter till spring.