I’ve been in the real estate business for quite some time, and often clients hesitate to ask me questions about getting their home ready to sell because they may think the questions seem frivolous or silly. Well, there truly are no silly questions in real estate! Every home is unique, and every situation has its own set of intricacies. If you’ve never had a house for sale before, or if a problem arises that you may have never anticipated, that’s all part of the process. I’ve compiled some questions over the years that homeowners have asked me and thought I would pass the information on to you.
Curbside appeal. What do I need to do?
I’ve written about first impressions before, but did you know that people looking for new homes notice things about your entryway that you may assume they won’t notice? You’ve spent a lot of time getting the interior of your home ready, but what about the entryway? The threshold of your entryway, from the steps to the welcome mat, will be critiqued by new home seekers. Is it dusty and needs to be swept? Is your welcome mat old and tattered? Make sure your mailbox is standing tall and without chipped paint. Pay attention to everything from your front door windows being clean to the walkway being inviting. “Curb appeal” may begin at the curb, but buyers will notice so much more as they approach your front door.
Not sure? Yes, you DO need to do the windows!
Another recommendation I give homeowners that are trying to sell their home is to not neglect the patio doors and windows. This may seem like an obvious tip, but when people are walking through your home and open the blinds or curtains to get a view of the backyard, you really want the frames to be dust free and the window’s glass crystal clear. Patio doors and the door tracks should also be cleaned and any obstructions cleared away, especially times during the year that may be considered “unseasonal” for using outdoor spaces. Wondering if hiring a window cleaner is worth the additional expense? Most definitely, especially if you don’t have time to do it yourself. Having your windows professionally cleaned at a price range anywhere from $6 to $8 a window, which includes the inside, outside and the screens, is well worth the return on that investment. And also make sure your outdoor spaces are tidied up, too.
Should I think about a heating and cooling system check-up?
When trying to sell a home, don’t forget about one of the biggest expenses associated with home ownership…and that’s your home’s energy costs. Heating and cooling your home can be quite expensive, and well-informed people looking to buy may inquire about the last time your HVAC system has been serviced. If your home is newer, it’s easier to present them with any installation and warranty information. For older homes, it’s a good idea to have a certified HVAC company come to your home and give a check-up of your system. Whether you simply need to change your filters or have a bigger maintenance issue to resolve, it helps to know what you are dealing with before you put your home on the market.
What do I do about our pets, pet toys and kid toys?
Homes can get messy, and pets and kids can often be the culprits! Think about walking into a home that you know has pets. Are you preoccupied with the smell you’re noticing or the toys you’re seeing, scattered around the home? When getting your home ready to sell, it’s best to keep the smells as neutral as possible, and always pick up remnants of toys, whether from Fido or your 5 – year old. Think about investing in a toy box for your kid’s room, if you don’t already have one, because it’s an easy way to collect toys and keep them organized. If an interested buyer wants to see your house within the hour, think about ways to keep the stress level contained. Ideally, load up the car with kids and pets before a house showing with snacks, games, and videos ready to keep your family occupied while out of the house!
This is only a sampling of questions sellers and buyers ask me. Throughout the year, I’ll share those questions and some tips as they arise. Attention-to-detail can make the difference between a sale or a snub. Let me help you get your house ready for an open house that is sure to impress! Contact me with any questions that you have about any of your real estate needs. My number is (618) 978-2384 or email me at Sandie@SandieLaMantia.com.
Today, all of us strive for a simpler way of life. In many ways our days have become simplified with the invention of robotic vacuums that can sweep floors while we’re at work, camps for dogs that can exercise your pet for you, and cars that can even parallel park! There’s even a new refrigerator that can tell you what items you may be running low on if you didn’t have time to make a list before grocery shopping.
The definition of “simplified living” means something different to all of us. In terms of home ownership, simplifying your home’s upkeep can help homeowners focus on other things, like their golf game or travel. Smaller homes are becoming more popular and trendy, especially for “empty-nesters”. Empty-nesters often include parents that for the first time in decades have an empty home, with children that have either left for college or started families of their own. Unless you have regular out-of-town guests or a large family, downsizing a home’s size offers many advantages. If you’re on the quest to find a new home, it’s best to set your priorities first and figure out what simplified living means to you.
Just because a home is smaller, doesn’t mean it lacks the amenities that many of us prefer. Any homeowner can appreciate the benefits of an organized home. An organized home takes away the stress that goes along with not being able to find your son’s football jersey or your daughter’s homework assignment. When you have designated spaces in the home for items, it’s easier to be organized. Having a desk or alcove in the kitchen for paying bills, plentiful closet space, and an organized mud room are all simple concepts but can make a big difference in your daily routine. There are many, lovely Metro east communities that offer newer homes with all the “bells and whistles” but with less square footage.
For instance, the new development @Cloverdale, located in the heart of Edwardsville, offers a lifestyle of single-family living in a designed community that focuses on front porch living and outdoor activities, and offers freedom from home ownership upkeep. In Bethalto, there are the Villa’s at Sportsman Park with lots still available. These homes are an ideal size for empty-nesters or smaller families, offering many amenities (and bragging rights) that the larger custom homes offer. Contact me if you want to see any of the newer communities and I’d be happy to give you a home tour.
If you are focused on simplified living, it’s important to be realistic about what you have time to maintain within your home. If your work schedule goes beyond the normal “9-to-5”, it may not make sense to purchase a new home with a big backyard or pool. Unless you have budgeted a lawn care service or pool service to take care of those outdoor spaces, opting for a neighborhood with a community pool or a smaller lot may be the best route to take. Luckily, the Edwardsville community and beyond has many beautiful parks and trails to enjoy if you are worried there isn’t enough backyard space for your child or a pet. Make sure you prioritize how you want to spend those weekends, and mowing a 2-acre lot may not be on the top of your “fun things to-do” list.
The purest definition for “simplified living” means to make things better, not worse. Is your home offering you the simplified, happy living space you deserve? Your house should be your joyful haven, and as a licensed Realtor I have helped families find the best home for their unique lifestyle. Whether you are selling your existing home or looking for a more suitable home to simplify your life, I can help. Contact me for all of your real estate needs at (618) 978-2384 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.