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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Should I stage my house for sale

"Staging" is the new buzzword in the real estate industry. Real estate agents can now obtain the ASP designation (Accredited Staging Professional) and you would be surprised how many professional stagers are out there, whether working for large companies or for themselves as entrepreneurs. Watch any HGTV show about homes and the buy/sell process, you'll hear the word staging. But what exactly is it? I can hear you now, asking the question "Should I stage my house for sale?"

Staging my house to sell

Selling your home quickly is a recipe that includes ingredients like location, the market and pricing. Another very important ingredient is staging and the condition of your home! If selling your home is a beauty contest, then staging it is like putting on the dress to help your home really shine and sparkle.

Staged homes spend 83% less time on the market than homes that are unstaged. ~National Association of Realtors

How many home listings have you personally clicked past simply because of the first impression you had when viewing the photos? How many times have you been turned off during the showing of a home because it was too cluttered or you couldn't imagine yourself living in the home?

When it is time for your home to be at the focus of the search, it is important that the rooms inside create a mood, a visualization of home for the buyers looking.

 

The average investment to stage a home is between 1-3% of the asking price, and staging generates an 8-10% return on investment. ~National Association of Realtors

Stagers will come to your home shortly after the initial listing appointment. After previewing your home, they will make suggestions such as rearranging furniture, removing personal photos, providing alternate lighting and more. Some staging companies will offer additional services and will come in to personally perform the staging transformation (imagine it, you could be out for a coffee or shopping while this takes places!), and other times the seller chooses to make the changes themselves.

Stage my home

By utilizing a professional and chosen stager (and taking advantage of their suggestions), a buyer will be truly impressed by your home when they enter, and your home can be one of the quick sell properties in the 83% range!!

When you sell your home with 8th & Home, we will provide a complimentary consultation with one of our amazing team of stagers and will guide you in all aspects of the process to ensure buyers have that same "WOW!" opinion of your home.

Home Inspections 101

Home Inspections 101 Once the contract has been fully signed by both the buyer and seller, the buyer's agent will arrange to schedule a home inspection! The inspectors have access via lock box and/or the buyers' agent will be present. This is an exciting time for the buyer and they will likely attend the inspections as well, however, the seller is not present in the home. This allows the buyer a chance to see the home again and review the findings with the inspector.

Depending on the size of the home, a home inspection typically takes one hour per every 1,000 square feet in the property. The seller should make sure all doors (attic and crawl space) are unlocked and all equipment is accessible. Seller will also need to ensure the power, gas and water is on before and during the inspection, as well as any pilot lights lit.

Once the buyer receives the full inspection report (some inspectors provide it on the spot, others usually send within 24-48 hours), they will review it with their agent and decide if they want further inspections or ask for any repairs. The buyers will make an official request for repairs as an addendum to the original contract. Once the seller's agent receives the addendum, along with the inspection report, the seller will be made privy to the findings.

Major points of concern may include moisture or water issues. Structural issues will be found during this inspection process, as well as any electrical, plumbing, heating or air conditioning concerns.  Minor concerns may be cosmetic in nature, siding or trim damage, leaking fixtures or dirty filter issues.

It is the duty of the buyer to review the inspection report with their agent to determine what, if any, concerns they wish for seller to remedy. The addendum will note those concerns and requests for repair. Seller has the option to accept the request in full, negotiate which items they will remedy or refuse to undertake the repairs.

Because the home inspection takes place during the Due Diligence period, the contract may be cancelled if buyer discovers concerns that are notremedied to their liking.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Home inspection and repair addendums are not an opportunity for the seller to return the home to like-new condition. This is an opportunity for buyer to be aware of any major issues and concerns going into the final stages of the contract before the settlement, and to allow the seller to have a chance to remedy, should the agreement be reached.

Cosmetic items are typically not included in the repair addendum as those were visible during the initial viewing of the home, and prior to the offer to purchase being made. Things like carpet stains, markings on the wall, loose or ill-fitting fixtures or wall plates would likely not be included in a repair addendum.

Structural or environmental issues are morelikely to be addressed in the repair addendum and should be dealt with by hiring licensed professionals for any repairs.

Once any requested repairs have been agreed to, the contingency for said repairs is removed and the contract moves out of the Due Diligence phase. Receipts will be requested prior to settlement and a preliminary walk through will be held a couple of days before settlement is planned for buyer and/or the buyer's agent to review all repairs.

 

Spring Cleaning Tips

Spring Cleaning  

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 spring cleaning tips will allow to be intentional - on a quarterly basis - and prepare your home, well in advance of that listing appointment with your trusted Realtor©!

1. Assess your landscaping.

Spring is the perfect time to make changes to your landscaping. As new blooms are appearing, take stock in whether you have bare spots or if some of your existing plants could be split to allow for better growth and to fill in spots in other areas of your landscape design. If you have neighbors with flourishing gardens, consider a plant swap and share the love!

2. Change those Batteries (and prevent fires!).

When you change your smoke alarm batteries (recommended every year when the clocks spring forward), cover the battery terminals with black electrical tape before recycling so that the terminals don't touch when you recycle them.

3. Clean your Oven.

If you want to skip the harsh chemicals and hot kitchen, mix a paste of baking soda and water all over the walls. Follow by spraying white vinegar on top of the paste and let it sit overnight. The next morning, wipe the oven clean with a damp rag and rinse with water.

4. Declutter your Pantry.

If your pantry is anything like mine, it could use a good purge. Throw out anything with an expired date, and try a pantry challenge (creating a meal just based on items found in the pantry!).

5. Eliminate Clutter.

Moving right along from clearing out your pantry, it is now time to move those winter items (coats, boots and mittens) to your storage area. Clean the closets out and consider donating anything that family members have outgrown.

6. Scrub the Laundry (Room).

Take this opportunity to clean your lint trap thoroughly, washing the floor of your laundry room and cleaning your washing machine and dryer. It's easier to stay on top of the cleaning of these appliances instead of waiting until you are selling. The laundry room is often forgotten by the seller, until a prospective homebuyer peeks under the lid of the washing machine.

7. Return Screens.

Spring is in the air and it is almost time to open windows again! Remove the screens from their winter hiding spots and get them ready to work again! Take this opportunity to also wipe the windowsills, using a q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol for those extra small spaces.

8. Don't forget the Deck.

It's exiting to start thinking about grilling out, but don't be surprised when you open your grill lid for the first time and see that it's not quite kabob-ready. While the last of the snow is melting, get out there and scrub the grill. Wipe down your patio furniture and freshen up the pillows.

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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