Three Common Mistakes Made By Home Sellers, And How To Avoid Them
Follow these guidelines and you will substantially reduce the often stressful and sometimes expensive mistakes made by hundreds of home sellers in our area each year. For FREE help and guidance in selling your home, call Chen Liang, Keller Williams Legacy Partners Inc at 7854387874
How to Prepare Your Home for Showing
Special Report : How To Prepare your home
|OUTSIDE: Trim all shrubs. Pull all weeds. Flowers planted. Leaves raked. Water lawn to keep green. Pick up and discard or store all implements, materials and debris that are not part of the lawn decor. All windows washed. Garage should be swept, neat and tidy. During the winter, all walks and drives should be shoveled and salted.LIGHTING: Open all shades and draperies during the daylight hours. Replace all burned out light bulbs with the maximum light producing bulbs. Turn on all lights throughout the house and basement prior to showing the house.
STORAGE: All clothing, shoes, hats, accessories, tools, papers, magazines, books and personal items not contributing to the decor of the room should be stored in closets or dressers. All closets should be tidy, neat and clean. Basement storage areas should be neatly arranged. Kitchen counters should be clean and free of any articles not contributing to the decor of the room. All magazines, books, ashtrays, food, bottles, containers, boxes, cans, toys, hobby accessories, tools, dishes, cookware, etc. should be stored in the proper cupboards or closets or storage areas.
CLOSETS: The interiors of all closets should present an organized, tidy and uncluttered appearance. All unneeded or unused items should be discarded. Display your storage and utility space by removing all unnecessary accumulations in attic, stairways, basement, closets and garage.
BASEMENT: Should be neat, clean, dry and tidy. All materials and tools should be stored on shelves or in cabinets. Discard as much unneeded material as possible prior to showing the house to prospective purchasers.
WINDOWS: All windows should be spotlessly clean inside and out. All window sills, as well as any space between the window and storm window should be spotlessly clean and free of any flaking or loose paint. All windows should be in good repair with no cracks. Screens should be clean and in good condition, free of rust and holes. Any paint on glass should be removed with a razor blade prior to cleaning.
FIXTURES: All bathroom and kitchen fixtures and counters should be sparkling clean. Polish chrome faucets and handles in the tub and sinks. All sinks, tubs, toilets and counters should be clean.
FLOORS: All flooring should be clean and waxed if necessary. All carpeting should be very clean regardless of its age. If the carpeting has not been steam cleaned for more than two years, now is the time to do it. Basement floors should be swept and mopped.
DOORS: All doors should be free of scotch tape, posters, decals, or stickers. All door handles should be clean and in good repair.
CERAMIC TILE: All joints between tiles should be clean and white. Use DAP bathroom tile sealer to reseal the joint between bathtub and wall and floor.
WALLS: All walls should be clean and free of gouges, scratches, smudges, scotch tape, posters, thumbtacks, etc. Walls should only have decorative items. Posters and paper pictures taped to walls should be removed and all evidence of the tape markings removed.
ODOR: Nothing smells better than fresh air. On warm days, have your windows open and shades up. Make your home feel and smell bright, fresh and clean and you will have a faster sale. KEY POINT: Make very sure that there are absolutely no pet odors.
For more information and tips about how we can help you further: Call Chen Liang, Keller Williams Legacy Partners Inc 7854387874
Inspecting Your Roof to Get Ahead of Problems
Inspecting Your Roof to Get Ahead of Problems
Your roof takes care of you — return the favor with a yearly inspection that’ll stop moisture damage and head off expensive repairs.
Inspect your roof once a year to make sure the shingles, flashing, and other features are in good shape.
A roof inspection is one of those preventative maintenance jobs that’s easy to overlook. Don’t. Add a once-a-year reminder on your calendar to go out on a warm day and fix any problems you find.
If you’re squeamish about heights, don’t worry. You can do a thorough inspection from the ground using a pair of binoculars.
Or, you can get up close and personal with your roof using a ladder. However, there’s no need to get up on your roof just yet. The less you walk around up there, the better for your roofing — and the safer for you. Work your way around your house, noting any potential problems.
Here’s what to look for:
- Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
- Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
- Missing or broken shingles.
- Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
- Missing or damaged chimney cap. (OK, that’s technically not part of your roof, but since you’re looking anyway.)
- Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.
If you find piles of colored grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign — those sand-like granules cover the surface of roof shingles and shield them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Check the age of your roofing and see if it’s nearing the end of its life cycle.
Easy Fixes for Roofing Problems
Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately. Check for popped nails that need to be hammered back in place.
If you’re comfortable working on a roof, then it’s not too difficult to replace shingles and caulk flashing yourself. Cost: $24 for a bundle of shingles, $6 for roofing caulk. Allow a half-day to make a few shingle repairs.
Metal and vinyl flashing around chimneys, skylights, and attic vents that has separated needs to be resealed with caulk. However, flashing and vent boots that are beginning to rust or deteriorate should be replaced.
Cost of Professional Repairs
Contact pro roofing companies and seek at least two bids for repair work. You can use a handyman for minor fixes and possibly shave costs, but the person should be bonded, have proof of liability, and have workman’s compensation insurance.
Some costs for common repairs include:
- A few broken or missing shingles: $100 to $150.
- Large repairs (10-foot-by-10-foot section of roofing): $100 to $350 asphalt; $200 to $1,000 wood.
- Replacing flashing or boots around chimneys, skylights, and vents: $300 to $500.
- Repairing flashing in valleys: $15 to $25 per running foot.
Clearing Your Roof of Moss
Moss eradication begins in the fall. Apply a moss killer intended for roofs (granules for lawn-use contain iron which will stain a roof).
In the spring, use a broom to remove remaining dead moss. Spread moss killer along the ridge of the roof and on any remaining green patches. Cost: $20 for moss killer to treat 3,000 square feet of roof. Allow about three hours to sweep the roof, clear the gutters, and apply the granules.
Be Alert to Early Signs of a Roof Leak
A yearly roof checkup is great, but problems can occur at any time. Early signs of trouble include:
- Dark areas on ceilings.
- Peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs.
- Damp spots alongside fireplaces.
- Water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace.
If you find worrisome signs, especially if the roof is old or there’s been a storm with heavy wind or hail, get a professional assessment. Some roofing companies do this for free; specialized roof inspectors, like those who work through the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association, charge about $175.
Replacing Your Roof
If your asphalt roof is 15 years old or more, it may be due for replacement. The national median cost for a new asphalt shingle roof is $7,600, according to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. You’ll recover a healthy 105% of that investment if you should decide to sell your home, making a roofing replacement job the only project in the “Report” that repays more than the initial investment.
Not only that, but you’re bound to be glad you replaced your roofing. Homeowners polled for the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report” gave their new roofing a Joy Score of 9.7 — a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their remodeling project, with 10 being the highest rating and 1 the lowest.
How to Spot the Top Problems Home Sellers Try to Hide
Whether you’re a seasoned house hunter or a first-time buyer, the process of purchasing a home has plenty of pitfalls. And while you may assume that sellers are being upfront, it’s not uncommon for them to gloss over some of their home’s shortcomings.
All homeowners sign a disclosure document about their property so buyers know what they’re getting into; however, it can be very tempting for some to tell white lies or conveniently forget facts. In fact, a very large number of real estate lawsuits stem from owners misrepresenting their property.
So, just to be on the safe side, here are some common cover-ups and how you can crack them.
Water stains aren’t just ugly; they’re also signs of leaks, and a breeding ground for mold. And they’re fairly easy for homeowners to hide with strategic decoration or staging.
Many sellers try to conceal water intrusion in the basement, for example, with a pile of cardboard boxes or suitcases,” he says. You could always ask the homeowner to move the furniture a few inches and shine a pocket flashlight around. If the home has obvious red flags (an odd odor or visible wall cracks), it’s not unreasonable to request removing a large picture frame to take a peek at what’s behind it.
Another popular tactic for concealing water damage: a coat of fresh paint. Always ask the homeowner when they last painted. If it was a year ago, they’re probably not trying to hide water stains.
A contaminated backyard
If you’re looking at an older home—specifically, if it was built before 1975—odds are it used to run on oil. Back then, homeowners typically had large oil tanks installed in the basement or underground in the backyard to conserve space and maintain the home’s aesthetic.
The problem is that oil can contaminate soil, and because it’s incredibly costly to remove, some people try to hide evidence of the tank.
So while walking through a home’s backyard, look for a small fill pipe sticking up from the ground (sometimes covered by patches of grass), a dead giveaway that an oil tank is on the premises. Or double-check by asking the seller if the home was heated with oil in the past.
A shaky foundation
If the paint job in a home looks a little uneven around the door frames or windows, take a closer to look to see if it’s concealing any jagged cracks in the wall, advises Flynn. Those zigzags can signify foundation problems, a costly and potentially dangerous situation for potential buyers.
A weak foundation can prevent cabinets and doors from closing, cause supporting beams to snap from stress, or even result in a poor home appraisal, which can affect your loan and the home’s resale value.
Another clue that the house has a weak foundation: “if you feel as though you’re suddenly walking up or down—even slightly—as you move through the home,” says Flynn.
Barking dogs, rocker teens, and blaring horns are all factors that can turn off potential buyers. That’s why some owners try to downplay these situations with well-timed open houses and neighborly negotiations.
Homeowners have an obligation to disclose what are called ‘neighborhood nuisances,’ but if they don’t, buyers have to rely on their word. I know people who have asked their neighbors to keep noisy dogs inside during showings or only open their homes during strategic times of the day.
Even well-intentioned owners may not be candid if they’ve become accustomed to their environment. One workaround, is for buyers to take a stroll around the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a more authentic feel for the area. And don’t hesitate to make small talk with the locals, who can offer a more objective view of their surroundings.
Weird temperature changes
Anyone who’s lived in a home with a freezing bathroom or unusually warm bedroom knows that a temperature imbalance can result in avoiding a room altogether. That’s why tapping into your senses is key when viewing your potential new home.
If you walk into a room and there’s a subtle shift in the atmosphere—maybe the air feels dry or damp—ask the owner what the room feels like throughout the seasons. The culprit is usually poor insulation, sometimes as a result of the owner adding a second room or floor to the home. Oftentimes, an owner isn’t trying to outright conceal extension work.
For More information contact Chen liang at 7854387874
(originial source: Realtor.com)
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