Posts tagged: real estate

Home Selling or Buying Requires Work – part 2

In today’s housing market being the Buyer is the best of both worlds. The cards are all stacked in your favor. You can choose the best realty agency in your neighborhood and interview the agent you want to work with. You can determine the time and places you would like to visit as well as being firm on the price range you will pay. Don’t hesitate to ask all and every question that is of utmost importance to you, such as location and types of schools in the area, what the house originally sold for, taxes, maintenance expenses, association fees, all improvements done on the house, etc.

Being the Seller is a whole different bag. You have your work cut out for you even before you sign a contract with a realty agency. So let’s go through these step by step:

1)      Be prepared to accept that the value of your home is likely to be below what you think it is worth or what you think you can get for it.

2)      Make sure your agent knows the lowest price you’re willing to accept.

3)      Study the comparables in your area and read the latest housing trends.

4)      Pick the realty agency you feel will meet your needs and has a good track record in selling homes in your area.

5)      Interview an agent from that office and make sure you can work comfortably with him or her.

6)      Let your agent know how you want your showings scheduled. However, be flexible.

7)      Be prepared in advance for a showing by doing the following:

    • Unclutter: remove all family and personal photos, toys off floors and neatly stored away; magazines and newspapers out of site, arrange books neatly in book cases or stacked neatly, or put in cabinets, remove religious items as not to offend any religion; remove items that show a political preference.

    • Closets: Neatly hang and arrange clothes, organize shoes, handbags, belts, ties, etc. Now is the time to donate your unused, non-fitting clothes to charity. Make closet space appear larger.
    • Linens and towels should be neatly folded and arranged on shelves or drawers (imagine a store display).
    • Carpets, floors, tiles cleaned. Remove loose carpeting that could be tripped over.
    • Bathrooms sparkling and counter tops cleared off.

    • Basement: if storing in basement arrange items neatly and put in containers or plastic cartons.
    • Clean or repaint if there is staining, mildew, or signs of aging. Recaulk where needed.
    • Open windows, air out house and turn on ceiling fans if you have any. A light spray of a room deodorizer is alright, just don’t overdo. Fresh baked cookies give a homey touch.
    • Outdoors: clear grounds of all fallen tree limbs, rake leaves, keep pathways swept, grass mowed/snow shoveled, hedges and flower beds trimmed and mulched. Fresh mulch is always impressive. Power wash or touch up mildew or mold. Lysol Mildew and Mold Remover  spray works very well.

  • Once a showing is scheduled, be prepared to leave the premises, take your pets with you, remove any signs of pets on the premises i.e. food dishes, litter boxes, pet toys and beds, vacuum/remove any animal hair (people with allergies will be very appreciative).

You are now on your way to selling your home. Good luck. Stay calm even when the offer is not what you expected!

Selling a House Today – part 1

It’s been quite a while since I posted on my Blog and it is mainly due to the fact I have been busy trying to sell our homes, one in Ohio, and our home in Florida. My husband George and I, now in our senior years, have decided to plan our retirement years in a smaller dwelling and one free of “stuff”. For many out there it must seem like such a luxury to have two homes. Yes, it may seem that way in today’s economic environment, but after many years of dedicating our lives to working and raising children, having a second home was more than just a luxury. It was something we worked towards to enjoy our retirement with family and friends.

It didn’t’ take long for us to realize that planning vacations and time with our grown children and grandchildren was not as easy as it appears. Adult children have their own life and work schedules, their children have school and may live far away, so those times together are limited and were not as frequent as we thought. So we changed our outlook and want to simplify our life with less space and clutter. However, there will always be a guest room available.

Downsizing was the way to go. So here we go, trying to sell two houses in the worst housing market ever. It is an eye-opener with many lessons to be learned.

In our 50 years of marriage we have moved several times mainly due to career requirements, and prior to 2005 the real estate market was very favorable for the Seller. In our past moves we have worked with many real estate agents and learned the process of selling or buying a home.

In those days you didn’t object if the Seller was in the home at the time you were viewing the house or if there were children or pets in the house. Whoever thought that family or personal photos were not to be seen? And thank goodness it wasn’t proper to mention you smelled any household odors.

It’s a whole different bag today. It is definitely a Buyer’s market and the poor Seller must meet the demands of realtors today. They will insist you remove yourself, your children and even your pets from the premises when showing your home. Not to mention, that you don’t spray, put out incense, or anything to make the buyer think you are masking any “odors”. But it would be nice if you baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies before they arrive. Sure, as if they didn’t know that is a set-up aroma to make you think “doesn’t this house smell homey”?

We have been going through this experience as a Seller and a Buyer and believe me it ain’t fun. In my next post I will provide you with some tips that will make this experience a lot easier for you.