7 Things to Remove From Your Home When We list It
When listing your home, there are a lot of things to think about. How you stage your space should definitely be at the top of that list. While you may not have the means to bring in a pro stager, you can put your best foot forward by removing the following from your space.
Family photos. While these treasures may mean the world to you, personal items like this make it difficult for a potential buyer to imagine themselves in your space. Pack up these photos for the move—you’ll need to do this eventually anyway, so consider it a head start.
Odors. From a musky basement to the closet where the kitty litter box is kept, odors in your home are a huge turn off. Rip up mildewed carpet, open windows, light candles–whatever you need to do to keep a buyers nose from wrinkling.
Clutter. While you may love your corners stacked high with books and your shelves piled with mementos and knick-knacks, clutter can be distracting for buyers. Pick a few key items to leave out on shelves and pack the rest away.
Non-neutral design elements. Black lights in the basement or lacy, frilly curtains in the sunroom may seem fun to you, but these bold design elements can throw a buyer. Create a neutral atmosphere wherever possible.
Junk. Clear any old, unused items from your closets, storage spaces, basement and attic. You’re going to have to get rid of these items when you move anyway, so you may as well do this now so your buyer can envision their own items filling up these spaces.
Pets. While it may not be possible to banish your furry friends while your home is for sale, you can make sure they’re out of the way when a buyer is visiting. You never know what allergies or fears buyers may have, so put the animals outside or bring them over to grandmas for an hour, if possible.
Worn-out furniture. That sagging, stained couch in the basement may not be a big deal to you, but it can be an eyesore to an outsider. An empty space is better than a poorly furnished space, so adjust where needed.
When listing with me, I provide a complimentary stager, who will go over the items that need to be taken care of prior to staging and sale to help get you top dollar for your home.
Contact me for more details. Judy Gratton 206-276-3289
There are many words that are used in a real estate transaction that most people don’t understand. This week we are going to talk about the word(s) “Earnest money.”
Earnest Money. A sum of money paid by a buyer upon entering a contract to indicate the intention and ability of the buyer to carry out the contract. Normally such earnest money is applied against the purchase price. … A deposit of part payment of purchase price on sale to be consummated in future.
Earnest money is something many buyers don’t anticipate when buying a house. But it’s an important part of presenting a strong offer to a seller. As mentioned above, earnest money is paid upfront by a buyer when making an offer on a home. If the offer is accepted generally the money must be deposited with the escrow company handling the transaction immediately. It can be in the form of a personal check made out to the escrow company. This money is part of your down payment. It is your way as a buyer of showing that you are making this offer in good faith.
There is no set amount for earnest money. The more you put down the stronger you look as a buyer. However, if for some reason you break the contract to purchase the home the earnest money could be forfeited to the seller as a remedy for taking the home off the market while under contract with you. In Washington state, a seller cannot take more than 5% of the purchase price as damages from earnest money though.
An experienced Realtor knows that part of their job is to make sure that the buyer is informed of all the time constraints on the contract, to make sure that they understand and perform the required acts during those time frames, and the risks if they don’t. The biggest risk for the most part is losing the earnest money. As long as you the buyer perform according to the contract there is no risk. But, make sure you know when and what you are required to do to stay in contract.
4 Habits of Productive People
(Family Features)—Appointments, meetings, tasks…life can get hectic both professionally and personally. Staying productive on a packed schedule can be difficult, but it’s not impossible—especially if you practice the following habits:
1. Rest – It seems counterproductive (pun intended), but without enough rest, it’s all the more challenging to stay on top of your schedule. It may be difficult initially to carve out time to rest, but it will pay off in the long run—even if you do something as simple as putting away your computer or phone an hour before bedtime.
2. Schedule Everything – Schedule all obligations on a calendar—mundane included. Having this information readily accessible frees up brain space for the more important tasks in your day.
3. Embrace Technology – Many tools today make keeping track easier than ever. One such tool is the “smartpad,” an alternative to paper notebooks with the benefit of digitizing every idea or reminder so that they’re available from any device.
4. Keep Clean – Messy areas can make you feel disorganized and overwhelmed, hindering your ability to be productive. Sprucing up at the end of each day helps you “wind down,” preparing you to be just as productive tomorrow.
What habits do you practice to stay productive?
Have Your Cake (and Eat It, Too) at the Betty Crocker House
By Suzanne De Vita
Fresh out of the (cake) box is the Betty Crocker House, now on the market for $675,000.
The Cape Cod-style confection, located in Norwell, Mass., was home to Janette Kelley, one of the first contributors of cookbooks and recipes to Betty Crocker, a brand with a persona cooked up by advertisers. (Consider our soufflé deflated.)
The antique house is far from cookie-cutter. Built in 1681, the home spans 2,808 square feet and has a gambrel roof, clapboard siding, a sunroom and a chicken coop, in addition to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It also features a first-floor master suite, and a carriage barn-turned-family room overlooking a fenced-in garden.
The house is not the only one with the Betty Crocker misnomer. Another Betty Crocker House resides in Valley Center, Calif.—this one the former home of Agnes Tizard, who voiced Betty Crocker on the nation’s first-ever radio cooking show.
Betty Crocker is now at the (ooey gooey) center of a flour recall by General Mills—but we still hope there’s a cake at the closing table.
Savor the home, sweet home below:
This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends.