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Date Archives: February 2015

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February
23

So you're going to show your house to prospective buyers.  Congratulations on getting everything ready to go up to this point.  You've likely decided on a price and put out some advertising to indicate that you're ready to sell.  Now comes the hard part.  A house that shows well is far more likely to sell, and for a higher price.   Here are our 10 basic tips for getting the most out of your own showing.

 

Clean Everything

A clean home signals to the buyer that the house has been well kept and cared for and is more than likely in good repair.  Messy and dirty homes indicate a lack of attention and consideration on the part of the seller and can dissuade a buyer from interest in your property.

 

 

Unclutter the House

Clear out the place before you invite buyers inside.  Make a trip to the Goodwill, have a garage sale, empty closets, and generally reduce the amount of "stuff" hanging around.  The less furniture and stuff you have in the home, the bigger and more spacious it will look, especially in the closets.

 

Let the Light In

Sunlight sells.  Raise the shades and open the blinds to let as much natural light into the house as possible, in every room.  A bright, open room is much more open and inviting that a dark and stuffy cave.

 

Let the Fresh Air In

You don't always have the option to open a window in February but a house that is closed up for too long can develop musty odors that are unattractive to home shoppers.  Make a point to use fresh flowers, potpourri, incense, and any other means of creating a pleasant, fresh air smell throughout the home.  Buyers are most offended by the odors of cigarettes, pets, garbage, and sour laundry.

 

Fix Anything that's Broken

This includes plumbing, electrical wiring, doors, fixtures, and any other cracks or wobbles that may indicate a sub-standard quality in the home.  Leave nothing to chance and present the strongest home possible.

 

 

 

Send Pets Away

Stow pets away in a safe, secure place while prospective buyers are guests in your home.  Some people don't like certain animals and have allergies.  It's a courtesy to the buyer to eliminate this factor while showing the place and increases your chances of selling.

 

Send the Kids to Grandma's

We all love the little ones but a rambunctious group of children can be distracting to someone interested in looking over the property.  Take them for a walk around the block if necessary while your guests are viewing the house.

 

Paint

The easiest way to improve the look of the home (and the cheapest) is to give a fresh coat of paint to the walls.  It's easier than scrubbing them clean.  Use neutral tones like off-white or light creams and definitely avoid black, pink, and anything too outlandish.  The buyer wants to imagine their own style in the house, not yours.  A neutral base allows their imagination to take over.

 

 

 

Keep the Noise Down

While removing pets and children can help to eliminate noise pollution, it's important to silence any offensive appliances or tools that give off unpleasant noise.  If anything, play soft instrumental music like jazz while folks are browsing the home to give it a pleasant atmosphere.  Nothing too loud, of course.  

 

Be a Showman

The last tip is to present yourself with your best face forward.  Greet your buying guests in clean clothes and neat grooming so as to communicate a person whom they can trust is selling them something of value.  Politeness and friendly charm go a long way to make someone want to be the next family to live in your home.

February
16

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you're likely to make in your lifetime. Therefore, you should take some time to get to know the process and decide what you're looking for.  During the process of shopping for a new home, you'll want to enlist the aid of professionals who can help you navigate the legal and financial hurdles, as well as keep your best interests in mind and help you make a sound decision.   

 

 

Rely on a Knowledgeable Agent

Some people are comfortable with all the steps of buying a new home, especially those who have purchased a home in Ohio before.  However most folks are more comfortable working with a licensed professional who knows all the little details of the process and can go to bat for you if needed.   A certified real estate agent can help you stay within your budget, choose the most appropriate neighborhood for you and your family, and track the necessary paperwork.  Our award-winning agents take great pride in their attention to detail and the service they provide to prospective homebuyers.  

 

What Sellers Must Disclose

It's important that you get all the details and information about the property you're buying, which is why sellers in Ohio are required to disclose anything that may be wrong with the property.  Your agent can help you attain a Disclosure Form that outlines anything you need to know about the property ahead of time.  It's illegal for a seller to hide major issues, such as plumbing problems or a shoddy foundation.

 

Get an Inspection

In the same vein as disclosure, you'll want a professional to inspect the property for any damages or concerns, just to protect yourself.  This is a good step because an inspector may find issues of which the seller wasn't even aware.

 

Get in in Writing

When it comes time to make a deal, you should spell out all the details of the transaction including cost, terms, deadlines, and any points of interest or concern that may affect the transfer of the property.   An agent can help you draft up an agreement that will benefit both you and the seller in fair and even terms.

 

Foreclosures, Short Sales, and Special Considerations

In Ohio, a foreclosing home can be purchased at the courthouse and is sold "as is" with no warranties or protections once you acquire the property.  This is why getting your own inspection is important.  Short sales allow you to buy from a seller who is struggling with payments for less than what is actually owed.  This can't be done between family or business partners, as it is a special consideration to help those bound for foreclosure, and also serves to help buyers find great deals on excellent homes.

 

If you're interested in buying a home in Ohio, get in touch with our successful staff to set up a no-obligation appointment.  

 
February
10

The weather in Ohio is infamous for being unpredictable and ever-changing and, while the winters aren't as harsh as our northern neighbors, January and February can be a rough time for Ohioans who are used to being outside in the forests, fields, and parks.  But there are still winter recreation options just a short drive from Columbus, Dayton, and the Indian Lake area.  

 

 

Mad River Mountain is the largest ski resort in Ohio and offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing activities for families during the winter months.  Their own restaurant bar features a concert series and several events to keep things interesting all winter long.

There are family and group lift ticket specials and membership perks, as well as training and club activities.   If you and your family are interested in the winter festivities available in Central Ohio this winter, check out the slopes at Mad River Mountain.

 

  

 

For the winter trekker who isn't so fond of barrelling down a mountain, there are some beauitful winter hiking trails around the Indian Lake State Park that are sure to give you some breathtaking photographic moments.  

If you're interested in going a bit further away, there's also the Snow Trails and Clear Fork Winter Resorts in the Mansfield area.   

February
6

While the winter is known for many things in Central Ohio, being an ideal time for selling your home is not necessarily one of them.  However, you might be surprised by the statistics.  Real Estate company Redfin recently published the results of a study they conducted across all 50 states that suggests, surprisingly, that December through March are excellent months to list and sell your home.

  

 

It may not be the most convenient time to move, but people are motivated in the winter months to get out of their current situation.  Winter and the snow it brings can sometimes show us the worst side of our neighborhood and location.  This is when people get restless in their cabin fever and start to look for a new place to live.  The Redfin study showed that 74% of homes listed in February of 2014 sold within 90 days.  That's some incentive to get listed, isn't it?!

 

When you decide to take the plunge and get listed this month, don't worry about those major remodeling overhauls.  It's often not worth it.  Instead, focus on the smaller renovations that can be accomplished in a weekend and on a small budget.  These will be more beneficial in the long run.  Home shoppers in the winter, while motivated, are also aware of the effects the snow season has on the appearance of a property and can be more forgiving than in the bright light of summer.

 

Some simple fixes to get you ready to sell in winter include a paint job to the porch or rooms with scuffed or worn walls and replacing simple fixtures in the entryway and major living areas.  These can often make the place look new with just a subtle touch.  If you intend to go a bit further, one of the most successful renovations you can make to improve the value of your home to prospective buyers is to refinish the countertops and cabinets in the kitchen.  Replacing them entirely is an option if necessary but a fresh update to the kitchen is always welcome to those looking to relocate.

 

Enjoy the snowy months because you may just find a motivated buyer.  As always, your friendly neighborhood agents at Choice Properties are just a phone call away.

 

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