Archive for the 'homeowners' Category
This guest post was provided by Central Austin homes maven, Allison Allen.
One of the most steps to selling your home is making it attractive to prospective buyers. Showing the house is one thing, but showing it well is a whole different ball game. Even the most seemingly insignificant adjustments can transform your cluttered clamor into the house of people’s dreams. Here are some tips to help you get started.
The first thing to do: remove clutter. Nothing hurts home showings worse than clutter and disorganization and there are plenty of easy ways to de-clutter.
Turn unsightly household objects into home buying appeal. If you have a bunch of old magazines and books lying around, organize them into a bookshelf, or use them to accent other home décor. Old books make great lamp stands when stacked. If you haven’t used the stuff lying around your house in a while, then get rid of it. Whatever attachment you felt towards those things will soon be replaced by a sense of relief for your clutter free household.
Clutter doesn’t just come from knick-knacks and other things lying around, it can also come from having too much furniture packed into your living rooms and bedrooms. Although it my have been a nice set up for you, the potential buyer will be distracted by the lack of space. The less furniture that you have, the bigger the house will look, and that’s a good thing when showing a house. The more space the buyer sees they are getting for their buck, the more willing they will be to meet with asking prices. Before you show your house, take some of your excess furniture and store it away until the move. It will let the house breath and make the space much more accessible to the potential buyer.
Once clutter is removed, and the house is looking nice and open, it is usually a good idea to replace fixtures just to give it that “new house” look. This is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to really give your home a visual kick
Just as important as the inside of the house, the outside must also make a great impression on the potential buyer. Basic steps are to landscape and touch up any blemishes on the exterior of the property. Mulch that flower bed and plant something! Got dirty gutters, clean them! Nothing will hurt a house showing more than a beautiful interior and the second they step into the backyard, there’s potholes, patchy grass, and dirty windows—another inexpensive, sure-fire way to help your For Sale by Owner experience.
But perhaps most importantly in the staging process is the first impression, or as we say in the real estate business, “curb appeal”. The entrance to your home will set the tone for the rest of the house. So, tidy up that entryway. Maybe even give that front door a nice bold coat of paint on it so that the entrance will be fresh and inviting.
When selling your home, the most important element of the selling process is how the home shows. No matter your price, an ugly, uninviting, cluttered home won’t sell and it won’t look good on the part of the seller. So remove that clutter, dust of that lampshade, polish that doorknob and present a respectable and asking-price-worthy home to the buyer. Hey, you never know–after you’re done staging, your home might look so good you’ll want to stay.
When deciding to rent your home or apartment there are numerous questions and a screening process that potential tenants should have. Before you advertise your place you should know exactly what you want in a tenant, and what the rules will be.
Of course you are going to run a credit check and a background check on anyone who fills out your application. But before you even get to that point, there are questions you can ask any potential renter that may help you decide if you even want to get to an application. Get a feel for their answers, such as hesitations or just a gut feeling you may have that they are not being totally honest with you.
• Ask them their full names. If they just want you to call them by their first names, this might indicate they have something to hide.
• Ask them where they work, and if you can contact their employer. Obviously you want tenants that are employed, and if they are not willing to let you talk to their boss, maybe they don’t have one.
• How many people will be living in the apartment or house? Are there children and if so, how old are they? You don’t want a family of eight moving into your one bedroom apartment.
• Do they smoke? If they do, will they be smoking outside? Smoke can really mess up the walls and any furnishings you might have.
• Why are they moving? Does their answer sound reasonable?
• Explain that you will need to contact their landlord. If they have a bunch of excuses why that is not a good idea, that will be a huge red flag.
• Do they have any pets, and if so, what are they? If you have a no pet policy, this should be explained upfront.
• Ask for their social security number. They should have no trouble providing it.
You will probably want to think of some other questions on your own that pertain to issues you may have. Just remember that there are certain things you can’t ask. Be sure and check out the laws for the Fair Housing Act. The more information you can get upfront, the more time you will save screening out people who are just not right for your rental property.
Be sure to throughly check a house before you buy
By Maria Belgado
Special to Relocation.com
Buying a home for the first time doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Several sellers stage their houses to make their homes look attractive, but keep in mind that after their personal belongings are taken away, the house may seem bare. Here are some amenities that you should look for when buying your first home.
1. Kitchen appliances: Appliances are the most costly and important aspect of your kitchen. Some homes have them already built it. When looking at home ask about the age and condition of all appliances – especially the refrigerator and the oven.
2. Materials: After you learn the cost of the house, you should also know what materials were used in the construction. If you are buying less costly homes, be sure that you will receive materials, which are not really top class. Cheaper homes come with cheaper amenities.
3. Look at the ceiling: Check the ceiling for water marks, cracks and leaks. These are indicators of structural damage.
4. Outdoor areas: Look at the gutters, patio, downspouts, and examine the exterior conditions closely. If you are buying older homes, you must have a record of the past major repairs that have been carried out.
5. Research the neighborhood: Before you buy, research the crime rates and accessibility of the neighborhood. You don’t want to live in a neighborhood that is dangerous or has a bad history.
6. Bathroom amenities: Bathroom and plumbing fixtures are one of the most important amenities. If you are going for older homes, you must find out what renovations will be needed for the plumbing, as these can get very costly.
7. Important systems: Closely look at the heating and cooling systems. These systems are costly and repairing them will also take a lot out of your pockets.
8. Upgraded amenities: Several homeowners upgrade their homes. Find out the approximate cost of the upgrades and if there is any difference in the rates that the seller is offering. Do not pay for unnecessary upgrades that may seem attractive but are not useless.
9. The paperwork: If you are buying a house, be it your first or your last, you must take a look the paperwork closely. Do not go for houses that talk about ‘settling the paperwork later’ or ‘the paperwork will be done in a while.’ Always go for houses that have ready papers with a legal stamp on them. You may also do research about the house in local government bodies.
Looking for your first home seems to be exciting, but you must know all that you need to look for. House hunting requires you to have really strong nerves and analytical skills. Before you start looking at houses, you must have a rough idea of the amenities you are looking in your house. Make sure you make detailed lists and stick to lists. However, some flexibility may be required while you are short listing and selecting your home.