Show your home: The ultimate checklist

Show your home: The ultimate checklist

Is it time to show your home? We have the ultimate checklist that will allow you to open up your home with confidence and style. But first things first. Remember that your home is now a property. Yes, you have lots of sweet memories and those memories are important and worth taking with you. But those will now live on in your photos and stories. It is now time to remove yourself from your house and truly look at it as a product. Something that you are selling. You want to remove yourself from the home so that potential buyers can imagine themselves living in your home. Here is a quick list of things to keep in mind before that open house!

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How to find a great real estate agent

How to find a great real estate agent

Is selling your home on your to-do list in the upcoming year? Do you feel like you missed the “Spring Market” ??

Have you waffled between putting your home on the market as For Sale By Owner? Does the paperwork involved in selling your home give you a headache? Do the words “due diligence” confuse you?

It can be completely overwhelming to look at all of the moving pieces involved with the real estate puzzle. Yet, when you consider hiring a professional real estate agent, a Realtor, the stress can almost immediately start to fade away!

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VA Benefits ID Card

VA Benefits ID Card

Introducing the VA ID card! Are you a Veteran of the United States military, and weary of carrying around your DD 214 for proof of your service? Often times, discounts are available to you if you show proof, or you are eligible for programs and opportunities because of your service. The Veterans Administration has recently introduced an ID Card that can be carried in place of your DD 214. Learn more here!

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8 items to leave for the buyer of your home

8 items to leave for the buyer of your home

We love gifting our clients with really practical but amazingly creative closing gifts, as a way to say thank you for trusting our team with the sale or purchase of their new home. We typically take a nod from It's A Wonderful Life and create a beautiful basket, but we've also been known to gift a personalized throw pillow as well. Did you know you too can be a part of gifting something during the real estate transaction?

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How to find a real estate agent

How to find a real estate agent

Wondering how to find a real estate agent? The process can feel a bit daunting, we know! There are literally hundreds and hundreds of Realtors, how do you wade through the ocean of agents to choose the right real estate agent? Whether you are buying a home, selling or renting, here are 8 simple and practical tips to help you with your decision. (Yes, you should utilize a Realtor when renting, as well! Read our post on that topic here: Do you need a Realtor to Rent)

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Does your home smell?

Does your home smell?

Does your home smell? No, really. Does your home stink?

It's a valid question, especially if you're preparing to put your home on the market this Spring. It's a proven scientific fact that we familiarize ourselves with the odors and scent of our home, so much so that we "stop smelling it" and the topic of whether your home does indeed stink becomes a bit awkward.

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SOLD 8 Things the Relocation Companies Won’t Tell You

SOLD 8 Things the Relocation Companies Won’t Tell You

I have worked personally with relocation companies for the majority of our moves. Some were overseas relocations and some were domestic in the United States. After several less than acceptable experiences, I decided to obtain my real estate license and after learning all of the tricks of the trade, want to share with YOU, the eight top things your relocation company won’t tell you before you set out on one of the biggest journeys of your life.

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How to find a great real estate agent

Is selling your home on your to-do list in the upcoming year? Do you feel like you missed the "Spring Market" ?? Have you waffled between putting your home on the market as For Sale By Owner? Does the paperwork involved in selling your home give you a headache? Do the words "due diligence" confuse you?

It can be completely overwhelming to look at all of the moving pieces involved with the real estate puzzle. Yet, when you consider hiring a professional real estate agent, a Realtor, the stress can almost immediately start to fade away!

SO ... how do you find an GREAT real estate agent? How To Find a Great Real Estate Agent

First, let's talk about what to look for when searching for a great real estate agent:

A great Realtor helps you be realistic about pricing.

First and foremost, your Realtor absolutely needs to be truthful about the current market when discussing the pricing of your home.

There are quite a few real estate agents who will accept a listing ... no matter how far off the mark the seller wants to be with the price. This is NOT good practice. Not only does it affect that real estate agent's "production numbers" when they end up with listings that sit on the market for too long, it also greatly impacts your end goal - selling your home.

When a home is not priced correctly at the beginning, it will most likely absorb extra days "on the market" and you will run the risk of potential buyers wondering what's wrong with the house after too many days on. Be smart and savvy and choose a Realtor who is being forthright with the realistic and true market price and list at the very beginning with an appropriate sales price.

A great Realtor will truly understand and LISTEN to the timing of your family's situation.

Regardless of where you are moving your family, it's going to be stressful. New jobs, schools, friends, perhaps even new climates will need to be adjusted to. When you choose a great real estate agent who has experience (even better if it's their OWN personal experience) of relocating, the sharp edges of this process start to fade away.

It is very important that your Realtor not only have compassion, but also empathy. Look for a Realtor who has a great understanding of the timelines your family will need to meet and the stressors you are likely to encounter.

A great Realtor assists in every way possible to eliminate challenges.

This is also a BIG one! Listen when your Realtor speaks. Are they not only knowledgeable about the market, about the process of selling/buying real estate, but also "on point" when it comes to your local area? Do they have a good rapport with other Realtors in the area? How tough of a negotiator are they? Do relationships matter to them and do they operate with ethics and values that match yours? Do they look ahead of the transaction and help minimize challenges based on their innate knowledge of the situation?

A great Realtor has resources and assets in place to help with the literal moving parts of your relocation.

The timing of your real estate experience is extremely important. More often than not, the sale of your home or the purchase of your next home is not the only transaction happening simultaneously. If you are selling your home, it's possible the buyer for your home has to sell their current home. If you are buying your next home, chances are, the seller has to now find another home ... the domino effect of this situation can be difficult unless your Realtor is right there by your side to make sure all of the moving parts work together in tandem.

A great Realtor can guide you along the process, including top tips for preparing your home and showing to potential buyers so you can SELL your house!!!

Even if the current housing market isn't leaning in your favor at the moment, you should absolutely *lean* on your Realtor to drive the sale of your home. Ask yourself what your Realtor is doing to get the job done. What is your Realtor doing to inject calm and anxiety-free moments during the process for your family? Is your Realtor savvy with all aspects of the transaction, including how to correctly stage your home? Do they know how to offer suggestions about purging and packing away personal items?

Finding a great real estate agent is easier than you might think!

This article on finding a great Realtor talks about eight main things to keep in mind when interviewing for a real estate agent.  It is important to choose several real estate agents and then interview them. This is a big financial decision you are making and finding someone with the right expertise who also is the right fit for your situation is very important.

The 8th & Home Team has established an amazing network of fabulous real estate agents, almost literally the world over. No matter where you are moving to or moving from, we have a recommendation for you! The Realtors in our network have been personally vetted by us, and interviewed to learn about not only their expertise, but their values and ethics, as well as their marketing prowess and their ability to find the right homes for buyers.

If we can be of assistance to you as you look for a great real estate agent, fill out the form below and we'll be in touch!

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Timeline for selling a house

No matter what time of year you are planning to put your home on the market, it is important to understand the timeline that should be applied to the process. Many times, you may not be in a position to utilize the entire timeline as we are going to share with you, but in a perfect world, the following is an ideal plan for your timeline for selling a house.

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8 tips to declutter your space

Whether you are going to be selling your home soon or want to take some time to purge your belongings, take some tips and tricks from the professionals on the topic of how to declutter your space. declutter your space

1. Go the old school route and gather three black bags (black is important!). One will become a donation bag, one will become a trash bag and the third will be a keepsakes bag. Be ruthless as you choose one room to start in and separate every single item into either one of the three bags OR determine where that item's home will be. Promptly take the trash bag out to your curb/trashcan and place the donation bag into your vehicle to drop the next time you run errands. The keepsake bag can simply go into a closet for ease of access!

2. Starting with what you KNOW you don't want, remove the 'easy stuff'...old paper wrappers, empty hangers, expired foods. Lisa Rigoni from The Organizing Mentors says to then move onto the items you know you don't want to take with you...if you are moving or even not. Donate the 'stuff' that is taking up space; mentally and physically. You and your environment will feel more open and free. Make sure to find a local charity you trust and believe in. Having a place to donate will help you make decisions quicker and easier. Donating items that are gently used and most likely in fine working condition to a non-profit can change someone's world...starting with you.

3. Offer your family incentives for the clean out of their belongings. Offer a favorite home cooked meal in exchange for a reduction in the stuffed animal collection or go on a fun little excursion once a box is fill with never-watched dvds!

4. Focusing on the kitchen, Dinna Eckstein of Audrey Kate Design and Staging says to be ruthless on your coffee mugs. Are they truly collector items or can you reduce the mugs down to simply the ones you use on a daily basis? Moving to that junk drawer, Dinna says "if you have keys, remotes, plugs, pieces of papers, pens and pencils, business cards, etc...and you have no idea what they are for...PURGE!"

5. Create an "on its way out box" like Amy Lynn Andrews. This is a simple, no hassle way to collect the items in your home that your family no longer needs or is using on a regular basis.

6. The garage can be the biggest source of junk collection! How many cans of paint currently take up residence in yours? How about bikes that no longer fit your children or sports equipment no one is playing any longer? Dinna says "rethink their current importance to you".

7. Speaking of garages ... utilize your vertical space! "Keep out of season and hazardous (to children) items up high to keep the floor clear for cars or playing", says Nicole Athas of Practically Organized.

Nicole Athas Practically Organized Garage

8. Janet from JLynn Maximizers has this to say about purging: "The word purge is thrown around a lot when it comes to organizing & decluttering – I think it often frightens people.  They have every card their children or spouse or sister ever gave them; asking them to toss that is asking them to toss a piece of their heart!  Maybe they have the stub from every concert they’ve been to since they were 13.  Or all the artwork their children ever made in school.  Instead of purging these items, let’s keep them……differently.  Make a collage – take those cards and cut out portions of sentiments or special handwritten notes or pictures and arrange them as artwork. Now it can be hung and enjoyed instead of stuffed in a box in the basement. Turning treasures into artwork can be done in a variety of fun & inventive ways."

Thank you to our organizing experts who weighed in on this topic today! Please check them out and if you are in the need for their services, tell them that 8th & Home sent you!

How about you? Which room in your home currently needs to be purged?

Fall Cleaning Tips

8 WAYS - prep - FALL  

Even if you are not planning to sell your house any time soon, a little bit of effort today goes a long way towards the moment when you DO decide to list your home. These fall cleaning tips will allow you to be intentional – on a quarterly basis – and prepare your home, well in advance of that listing appointment with your trusted Realtor©!

 1. Gutters: Whether you live in a rainy climate, your gutters need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep the leaves and other debris from clogging the passageway for water. Now is the best time to clean your gutters!

 2. Baseboards: The baseboards of your home may not seem like a big deal, but if they are neglected for too long, it can be a source of frustration when the time comes to shine up your home. Start by sweeping along the top edge of all baseboards, then follow up with a cleaning rag and warm soapy water (use dish soap or your favorite mild detergent). If you find the corners a bit difficult, use a cotton swab or a toothbrush.

 3. Window Tracks: If you are anything like us, the window tracks are often the last thing to be cleaned, yet they likely contain the most grime! Vacuum your tracks first (depending on how big they are), then using vinegar and a cotton swab, douse the tracks and wipe away! If you are feeling extra motivated, take some vinegar to your sliding door tracks as well!

 4. Lubricate your Locks: Locks are the often forgotten superheroes of our homes! Often times, however, we forget to maintain them like the rest of our home. Simply purchase a lock lubricant (graphite or Teflon based!) and insert the stem into your lock. Spray, and wipe up any drainage that comes from the lock. Repeat until you no longer have any grime escaping from your lock. To clean your deadbolts, simply open them to the locked position, spray and wipe any dirt. Repeat on all doors.

 5. Furnace: One of the simplest ways to protect yourself from an expensive furnace repair or replacement is to regularly change the filters. Do this at LEAST once a season, if not more often.

 6. Carpets: When was the last time you deep-cleaned your carpets? Don't save your steaming just for when someone has spilled or had an oops moment. Neglecting to properly care for your carpets can mean a much shorter life, and you'll find yourself replacing them sooner than you might have planned.

 7. Refrigerator Coils: A dirty set of coils on your refrigerator can increase the energy usage and limit the efficiency of your fridge! To clean your coils, first unplug your fridge and locate your coils. Older units likely will have the coils along the back and newer ones will either be under the fridge or in some cases, on the top. After you've located your coils, vacuum thoroughly and wipe away any remaining dirt or grime with a wet cloth or baby wipe.

8. Set your Thermostats: It's time to check your thermostat settings! If you have a programmable thermostat, consider scheduling your heating to operate at it's highest and most efficient settings. If your family is away from the house during the day, consider allowing the thermostat to begin warming up the home just before everyone begins to arrive at home. Plan out your overnight temperatures as well and watch to see if your heating bills are reduced!

 

Stay tuned for the winter version of our prep and cleaning tips!

Are you curious as to the current value of your home? We are happy to provide a free home evaluation, simply complete the following and we'll be in touch pronto!

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