Tips to help sell your house

When people think about selling their house, they often worry because they think there needs to be huge fixes…bathroom remodels, new floor installations…renovations on a grand scale. But here are three little tips to cheaply give buyers a positive impression of your house:

  1. Clean: Nothing makes your house more inviting than simply cleaning. It lets the buyers see the house in the best possible light, and helps them imagine them living there. It also give you a significant leg up on the competition because a lot of sellers don’t take the time to do this simple step.
  2. Mow: In show biz it’s called the X Factor or “it,” in real estate it’s called “curb appeal.” When a buyer pulls up to your home, they make a split second judgment on whether they like the house or not just based on the outside, and I’ve seen that judgment have an effect on whether the carpet is a big issue or not. Take the time to mow your yard, re-plant your flower beds, and trim your bushes.
  3. Declutter: Almost nobody wants to live a small, cramped house. Make your house feel larger and more open by putting larger pieces of furniture in storage until you move and rearrange areas like the living room to give the impression of space. Also, if you are the knick-knack type of person, consider packing some of your items away. If you are bad at this kind of stuff (like me), I would recommend bringing over a friend or family member that likes to decorate and tell them what you’re going for. They are usually more than happy to lend their expertise.

Just following these simple suggestions will help your house “show well.” Good showings mean more offers, which means you can pick and chooses which deal you take. If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to post below!

3 costs you shouldn’t cut while buying a home

It’ll be two years in September that I bought my first house. It was a crazy, confusing experience that was in the end worth while, made smooth as possible with Mindy as my real estate agent/Mom. Here’s some of the wisdom I learned:

  1. GET AN INSPECTION. This was the most worthwhile $400 that we paid. When you get the paperwork with all the fees and money that will have to be spent, your mind goes into “cut everything you don’t need” mode. But you need to remember that even a small issue in the house can easily exceed the amount the inspection. Also, buyers need to remember it’s a great negotiating tool to get a lower price and/or repairs. My husband and I were able to negotiate about $1300 of repairs with the owner, and the inspection more than paid for itself.
  2. GET THE HOME WARRANTY. That’s an extra $400-$450 at closing, but I don’t regret having ours one bit. A home warranty is basically a form of insurance that helps cover items that if they break are usually expensive to repair but underneath or excluded by your home insurance. For instance, water heaters breaking. That’s a $1200 repair…not worth reporting to your insurance, but certainly not cheap. Home warranties help cover that gap. If you have enough money in savings for those kinds of repairs, then don’t take it. But if you can’t, it’ll bring you peace of mind. This helped us out A LOT when our air conditioner stopped working the first year in our house.
  3. USE AN AGENT. I may be a little biased on this one, but it helped us a lot especially since we were first time home buyers. There is so much paperwork and so many people involved, it really helped to have someone in our corner to keep everything straight. She helped us from discussing how much house we could afford to giving us names of contractors to make minor repairs after we moved in. And she didn’t just do it cause she’s my Mom, but because she’s a really good agent.