On The Hunt For Your First Home

Buying a home is still considered a key aspect of the American dream, as a home is typically an appreciating asset that grows in value over time. Being a first-time buyer can open the door to tax breaks and federally-backed loans. Once you are ready financially here’s what to look for:

Location. Decide on this first to eliminate “buyer’s remorse” down the road.  Do the homework and research neighborhoods. School districts, local safety, and crime statistics can affect a home’s value. Even if you have found your “dream home”, the neighborhood could be completely wrong.  Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day and night and watch the traffic, how are the streets and sidewalks? What are the neighbors like and how do they take care of their homes? Is the home close to places you might frequent (gym, grocery, schools)? Are there children playing safely outside?

Shop Online: Now that you know where you want to buy a home, there are plenty of online options to start the search. Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and any local real estate agency.  Narrow down the Realtors that you want to connect with by reading their online reviews, looking at their websites, social media platforms and googling. The Realtor you choose will be the expert you will rely on most. Interview several before settling on one.

Be Frugal: Zero in on homes that are listed for less than the amount of money you have been approved for. Many first-time homebuyers don’t calculate the other monthly expenses or problems that go along with homeownership (broken appliances, etc).  Furthermore, other than the down payment, there will be money needed at closing.

Negotiate: This is where having the best Realtor will come in beautifully. Once you make an offer, the seller might come back with a counteroffer and after discussing the pros and cons with your Realtor, you will know if you should offer more or walk away. Keep your emotions out of the entire process. Too many people pay too much for a home because they have “fallen in love” and this type of emotion can lead to very bad financial decisions.

Do an Exhaustive Inspection: Do the homework and find the very best Home Inspection Company with the top ratings. Be there with the inspector and learn about the home, ask questions – you need to know that the home you are purchasing is structurally sound.  See the good and the bad – what repairs will be needed? Is the electric wiring adequate for today’s use? How are the water pipes, heating, and air conditioning systems?  When the inspection is complete, get a verbal and written report. Bonus – the company will be available at a later date for more questions.

The Bottom Line: The above tips are just a few important ones to help navigate the process, save money and avoid common mistakes.  Find a Realtor. While it’s easy to go through online homes and narrow down what you want, it’s not so easy to get from that point to the closing. There is the transfer of the deed, title search, negotiating, asking for “extras” that you might be entitled to, completing all paperwork and being the single point of contact with the seller.

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Live Feeds, Video, Social Media & Real Estate

Social media is a vital tool that realtors should absolutely use to grow their businesses, a way for buyers to discover home listings, show their expertise, and start developing relationships & leads. If you’re not using one or all of the social media platform options, you’re at a disadvantage, because your competitors probably are.

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter & Linkedin are all free forms of advertising the homes you are selling. At this point, anyone with a smartphone, from kids to a retired relative is on one or more platforms. For a small price, you can have the option for boosting any post you make for the ability to become even more visible as well as have the option to reach the “exact” audience you are selling to.

Whether you’re working with an agent or selling your home on your own, how the listing is marketed is crucial. Sharing attractive, important, and relevant content daily is how to play the social media game. The images and videos you use should be of high quality.

These platforms can put Realtors and buyers in the same room together, yet miles and states away via live video. Just like an in-person showing, these live showings should be pre-staged, the walkthrough must provide the clients with a sense of the layout, and the online experience must be easily accessible to all users.

The outside of the home is important, too. It’s where you should begin your live tour as you would normally. You’ll want to make sure the buyer is getting a good look at the exterior from all angles. They will want to get a grasp of the home’s curb appeal, the parking situation, and the surrounding neighborhood as much as possible. Be ready to answer questions from viewers as they watch.

Video messages, live or pre-taped in your social media posts will enable your audience to feel like they know you and slowly want to work with you. Especially when you use the “stories” on Facebook and Instagram as a place on social that feels more authentic and real. Stories are where the viewer will discover more than what you share on your feed. You will be giving them direct access to you as you give them a visual, quick way to clearly see who you are and how you might be able to help them. Don’t be shy, just start talking and sharing. After a few times, this will become part of your routine.

The Bottom Line: All of these platforms are additional opportunities to grow your real estate brand and establish connections through fun, interactive experiences. Building your brand as authentically as possible through beautiful photos and videos is essential to the success of any business. Social media should play an important role in your marketing strategy.

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10 Tips to Help Prevent a House Fire

The Christmas season is underway and many homes are already decorated with live trees. Christmas trees are usually the focal point for every decorated home, but they also quickly burn if there is ever a fire. Some causes of these fires are the electrical distribution or lighting equipment as well as some type of heat source (such as a candle) being too close to the tree. One of the most common causes of real tree fires is a dried-out one. Check water levels daily and keep them hydrated.

Stay safe all year round – there are many fire safety tips you can use to protect your family and home and avoid a tragedy, here are 10 to get you started.


Smoke detectors are your first line of defense against fire because of their early warning capability. These days, they’re hardwired into homes to monitor smoke and carbon monoxide and have the ability to send alerts to your phone.

If you’re using a battery-operated one, do a routine check every six months to be certain it is still working. All it takes is pressing a button on your alarm. A weak beep means it’s time to change its batteries as soon as you can.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says heating equipment is the top cause of fire in American homes. Any faulty heating sources like space heaters, central heating systems, and fireplaces could trigger fire when ignored or left unchecked. Have a professional check-up once a year to be sure they are working safely and optimally.

In the meantime, do some prevention maintenance like cleaning the air filters regularly. If you are using a space heater, position it away from flammable objects. These little details are critical if you consider how debris and dust can be fire hazards when they get too close to a heat source.

3. Keep your oven/stove clean

Make sure to clean your stove and oven after every use. In particular, cooktops and gas stoves should be wiped after cooking. Modern ovens have a self-cleaning function that you should take advantage of every few months.


More than half of kitchen fires are caused by cooking disruptions. Remember that all it takes is a few seconds before things in the kitchen begin to catch fire.

Avoiding minor to major interruptions while cooking is a top priority to ensure the safety of your home. Some things you should remember:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking — if you must leave the house for any reason, turn the stove or oven off until you return.
  • For food that takes a long time to prepare, check back frequently. This will help prevent potential causes of fires, for example, if the liquid has boiled away and food is cooking dry.
  • Keep items that can easily catch fire — oven mitts, paper towels, cloth towels, food packaging, wooden utensils — away from the cooking source.
  • Be especially careful with oils and grease. These combustibles can’t be extinguished with water. Either smother the flames or use a kitchen-rated fire extinguisher.


Dryer fires occur in 2,900 homes in the United States each year due to clogged vents or a filter buildup that can cause a fire. However, this situation is highly preventable if you follow best practices.

Get your dryer inspected annually or every few months – there is no substitute for this. Next, always check if your lint trap is clean before putting in a new load of laundry.

Lint or small clothing items like socks can also get stuck at the back of the machine. So make sure to look for those and remove them prior to operating your dryer.

6. BE CAREFUL WITH CORDS, appliances & Outlets

Make sure that you don’t have too many appliances plugged into an outlet, which can cause it to overload. If this is the case, you should immediately lessen the load and keep things manageable for each of your outlets. Unplug countertop appliances like toasters or air fryers when you’re not using them.

Another instance to avoid is ignoring frayed or chewed cords. One spark from the exposed wires is all it takes for a fire to start. It’s a necessity to replace damaged wires as soon as you notice them, to avoid the risk of fire.

Check your cord placement. Cords tend to get hot so you want to avoid running them under a rug or between your wall and furniture.

Often, homeowners can see signs of potential electrical problems long before a fire actually occurs. Here’s what you should watch out for:

  • Lights dimming or flickering
  • Wall plates sooty or turning brown
  • Hissing sounds in the wall or in fixtures when they turn on
  • Switches or outlets feel hot while operating


Common hair products, cosmetics, and household cleaners can all be classified as flammable products. They all tend to combust when placed too close to a large heat source.

To err on the side of caution and avoid fire and smoke damage, you should always check the label of items you purchase, to know which products are prone to catch fire when exposed to heat sources like space heaters. Then, ensure you keep your flammable products in a cool, dry place.


Scented candles are commonly used in households, especially around the holidays. But if you don’t use them carefully, they could cause fire and smoke damage. Handling them with total awareness of their potential fire risk is key. Here are some rules to remember:

  • Always put the candles out if you’re leaving a room.
  • Blow them out before you fall asleep.
  • Place them in a spot that is far away from objects that can easily catch fire like curtains and blankets.
  • Never position them on an uneven surface such as a  carpet to prevent them from tipping over.
  • Keep lit candles away from your pet.


Your fireplace can be a source of fire if not maintained correctly. For safe usage, fireplaces must be maintained properly – they should be inspected and repaired at least once annually (even if you only burn a fire in the fireplace one time per year, cracks in the chimney, or the presence of bird nests can cause fires). Household fires start when chimneys fall into disrepair or when fires are burned unattended. When you have a fire going, it is also advised to stay in the room. Dispose of the ashes properly, giving them more than enough time to cool down. To be sure, put them in a metal container specifically designed for the disposal of ashes.


Fire extinguishers can save lives, making them a worthwhile investment. Having them at home can bolster your feelings of safety. At the same time, they are also genuinely useful in case a fire breaks out. Put them in the high-risk areas of the house, such as the kitchen and laundry room. Also, check if your units are not yet expired. They usually last an average of 5 to 15 years.

A quick inspection of the pressure gauge is also needed. Just check if the needle falls in the fire extinguisher’s green area, and you’re good to go.

The Bottom Line: House fires can be deadly if you’re not prepared. Fortunately, there are many things above and beyond the 10 tips listed here that you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from fires. Be sure to have a plan in place to evacuate your home in the event of a house fire. Know where all of your fire extinguishers are located, and teach everyone in the home how to use them and where they are located.

Practice fire safety and response to fires with the children in your home. If you have pets, live with very young children, or live with someone elderly, work with people in your home to ensure safe evacuation.

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New Build Title Insurance

Most people know how important it is to have title insurance when buying a new home. The buyer needs to have protection against defects or problems because of liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title when there is a transfer of property ownership.  But, what if the home being sold is new construction since there isn’t an actual previous home that has a title? Many prospective homeowners wrongly assume that newly built homes are free of title defects.

When a home is sold, the original seller transfers the title deed to the buyer. The hope is that the seller has had full possession of the title without any liens on the property and has the right to sell it. A title company will research public records looking for problems that might be associated with the property – filing errors, forgeries, undisclosed heirs – and once searched will provide a policy to protect the buyer from any issues that may be uncovered later.

All of the above makes sense if a home that is being bought has been owned by someone else. What happens when a buyer is purchasing the land to build a new house on? Why would title insurance be needed? Because the land was owned and may have been broken up from an even larger parcel that has undiscovered claims. The title to that land may come into a dispute in years to come. Most land is not completely claim-free, thus there is history. Furthermore, the builder may have bills unpaid to subcontractors and suppliers resulting in a lien on the new home. 

A title policy is a best and safest way in protecting the buyer of the land where the new home is being built.  There will be no question of ownership in the future, especially if the home in the new subdivision was not properly subdivided. 

The Bottom Line: The lender will want to be sure that there is a clear title on the property.  Someone owned the land on which the new home is being built before the buyer and the title to that land may at some point come into dispute. And, while there is no question the owners could experience disruption during a dispute, title insurance will ease the pain by covering the bills during the process. 

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Holiday Home Selling

Winter season is not the most optimal but if you hire a Realtor that knows your market well, you still can sell your home at a competitive price. If you are living in the Northeast, Midwest, or other cold areas, the following are some ways that can help to sell your home faster and at a fair price during the busy month of December and then through the darker months of January and February.

There are fewer homes being sold now, and winter in general, which makes people nervous about putting their homes on the market. More home buyers are house-hunting in the Spring months when the weather is warmer, and the days are longer. But, you might be surprised to find out that Winter could actually be a great time to put your home on the market. The new year is a time when most people are back at work after the holidays and will often search the web for their next big move. If you are serious about selling your home, it should be online and marketed early to ensure they don’t miss this audience.

Because it isn’t a high-selling time, you will need a very experienced Realtor to help price your home as it can be complex. You don’t want to scare off buyers by pricing too high or even too low, causing buyers to wonder what’s wrong with your house. When your home is put on the market in the winter, buyers often assume you are desperate to sell your home and may lowball you thinking you’ll sell for any price. Buyers that are house hunting during this traditional off-season time, usually mean they are eager to buy and more willing to negotiate the price.

One of the beauties of the holiday months is that many people adorn their homes with festive lights and decorations. People purchasing a home during that time may see the neighborhood in a different light—more festive and cheerful—and may be more willing to consider an area that they may have been on the fence about.

Stirring up some interest during cold January is to price your home slightly under comparable homes in order to draw in multiple offers. More offers tend to drive up the value of your home prompting more competitive bids from buyers who often will end up paying more than the initial asking price.

The real challenge might be to help dress up your home after the holidays in dreary January and February weather. To help make your home feel more welcoming, shovel the walks, add outdoor illumination along paths, light candles indoors, add cozy throw blankets, and have holiday-type smells such as cinnamon or cookies.

Furthermore, during the cold, any problems you may have in your home can become more prominent including drafts and leaks. To help lessen these potential problems, crank up the heat so buyers feel toasty warm and will be less likely to notice any issues.

While it may be difficult to sell your home during the holidays and January and February, it’s not impossible especially if you hire an experienced Realtor who knows your neighborhood well and can guide you to list your home at the best possible price. Sometimes, waiting to list your home during the beautiful Spring months when the sun is out and the trees are blooming and flowering can mean that you could miss out on potential buyers. Many Realtors will tell you, some of their best sales happened in the new year.

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3 Types of Real Estate Fraud

Buying, selling, and owning real estate is often the most expensive transaction many individuals will undertake in their lives. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are involved and dishonest tricksters and scammers are out there hoping to take advantage of those involved.

Con artists may use several methods to swindle you in one of their schemes. Foreclosure bailouts, home equity fraud, home renovation scams, rental fraud, and deceptive timeshare scams, are just a few types of real estate fraud that may be performed. Here are three of the most common:

Foreclosure Bailout

A foreclosure rescue scheme is a type of fraud that takes advantage of homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.  The fraud perpetrator approaches the homeowner with promises of paying off the delinquent mortgage and helping the homeowner stay in the property. 

There are many variations of a foreclosure rescue scheme.  Some schemes require the homeowner to unknowingly transfer the property title to a third party.  Other schemes will promise homeowners that if they transfer the title, they can continue to rent the home and repurchase it at a future date.  The purchaser of the property, sometimes the foreclosure rescue artist, is now free to refinance the property or to sell the property to another party.  Sometimes the foreclosure “rescuer” charges the borrower high ‘service fees’ up front and then disappears with the money without providing the promised service. 

Home Equity and Home Renovation Fraud

According to the Council of Better Business Bureaus, home-remodeling contractors ranked slightly behind car salespersons and auto mechanics in generating the most consumer complaints. Be very careful when using your home or your home equity as security for a home improvement loan. Fast-talking salespeople will offer to refinance your home at a lower interest rate to provide cash to the homeowner, the cash can be used to pay for home improvements or to pay off bills. Victims are frequently asked to sign blank contracts or contracts that they were not allowed to read before signing. Later, the homeowner discovers that they signed a contract that contains terms in contrast to the originally promised terms. This results in the loss of equity in the victim’s home, and also they have signed a mortgage in which they have incurred considerably higher interest rates. The homeowner is now faced with a higher mortgage payment, one that they may not be able to afford.

Rental Fraud

Rental scams occur when the victim has a rental property advertised and is contacted by an interested party. Once the rental price is agreed upon, the scammer forwards a check for the deposit on the rental property to the victim. The check is to cover housing expenses and is, either written in excess of the amount required, with the scammer asking for the remainder to be remitted back, or the check is written for the correct amount, but the scammer backs out of the rental agreement and asks for a refund. Since the banks do not usually place a hold on the funds, the victim has immediate access to them and believes the check has cleared. In the end, the check is found to be counterfeit and the victim is held responsible by the bank for all losses.

Another type of scam involves real estate that is advertised online. The scammer duplicates postings from legitimate real estate websites and reposts these ads, after altering them. Often, the scammers use the broker’s real name to create a fake e-mail, which gives the fraud more legitimacy. When the victim sends an e-mail through the classified advertisement website inquiring about the home, they receive a response from someone claiming to be the owner. The “owner” claims they’re unable to show the property without payment because they are either out of town or out of the country. If the victim is interested in renting the home, they are asked to send money and shortly thereafter the property is no longer available.

The Bottom Line: Be suspicious of unsolicited email or telephone offers. Scammers often find victims through these spam emails. They may send tens of thousands of those emails, hoping to find a handful of individuals who will respond. With advanced technology and interacting digitally with victims, it can be challenging to avoid real estate scams. However, it’s important to stay vigilant about protecting your personal information and bank accounts. Only work with qualified professionals you trust and familiarize yourself with some of the common warning signs. If you believe you’ve been involved in a real estate scam, make sure to contact the authorities immediately.

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What is Home Equity

Home equity is the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the current value of your home. You can build equity as you pay down your loan balance and as the market value of your home increases. If you still owe money on your mortgage, you only own the percentage of your home that you’ve paid off. Your mortgage lender owns the rest until you pay off your loan.

With each mortgage payment you make, the balance of your loan decreases, and you build more and more equity (assuming your home value doesn’t decline). When your mortgage is finally 100% paid off, you have 100% equity in your home.

Equity is an important financial tool and one of the greatest financial benefits of owning a home. If you sell your home, your equity will be a factor in how much buying power you have when purchasing a new home. If you plan to stay in your current home longer while you build more equity, you can borrow against that equity to secure a home equity loan. When you take a home equity loan, you are putting up your equity as collateral in case you default on the loan.

There is usually a lot of flexibility in how you use a home equity loan. However, If you are thinking of selling your home in the near future, the home equity loan would be paid in full at the time of the sale.

Typical ways to use a home equity loan:

  • Funding a student loan for yourself or your child 
  • Paying off or consolidating credit card debt 
  • Funding a vacation 
  • Paying for weddings or important celebrations 
  • Starting a business 
  • Making home improvements and upgrades 
  • Paying medical bills 
  • Making key purchases, such as a car or a truck 
  • Funding investments 
  • Set aside for an emergency fund

Advantages of a home equity loan:

  • The interest rates for home equity loans are fixed, instead of variable, and your monthly payment is consistent, so you never have any surprises.
  • You can pay for big purchases little by little.
  • The interest rate you pay on a home equity loan is often lower than those for credit cards or other types of loans.
  • You can usually get access to funds quickly, sometimes within days of completing the loan documents.
  • You also might be able to deduct the interest you pay on a home equity loan.

The Bottom Line: Home equity loans are a great tool to help you borrow against your home’s equity. However, they’re not the only way you can access the money you’ve built up in your home. Before you can decide if a home equity loan is a right choice for your needs, you need to understand your options. Borrowing against your home’s equity is always risky, as the lender can foreclose on your home if you fail to make payments. Be sure to get excellent financial advice before making any decisions.

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Beware Overpricing Your Home!

We all want to get the most money possible when we put our homes on the market so it’s natural to want to ask for top dollar. After you and an experienced realtor review the comps from your neighborhood, you believe you should price it high so that you have room to come down and still make some good money. But the most important part of selling a home is knowing the current market value so you don’t price it too high. There are problems associated with listing your home too high that can actually hurt the sale.

Problem #1: Listings get the most showings in the first 30 days of being on the market. If a home is priced too high, buyers may choose to ignore it or put it in a “wait and see category.” The longer the home sits unsold, though, the more negatively it is viewed. Buyers will think it must be overpriced or there is something wrong with the home. If you wait too long to drop the price, most of those “wait and see” buyers will have already moved on and there will be a smaller pool of buyers interested in your listing as the days on the market increase.

If the home is on the market too long, potential buyers will think they are in a better negotiating position and you may end up receiving a lowball offer, which can be frustrating. Even if you can negotiate up, it will be for far less than your original asking price. If you want to attract as many potential buyers as possible, it’s important that the home is priced correctly from the onset of its going on the market. 

Problem #2: An overpriced home helps your competitors. When a buyer looks at your home and then visits another that is priced the same but comes with more features, your competitor’s home will look like a much better deal.

Problem #3: If your home sits on the market for too long, neighbors and potential buyers will assume that there is a problem with it. The home will be stigmatized, and buyers will either be too turned off or too afraid to check it out.

No one wants to buy a house that nobody else seems to want. A house that sticks on the market for months often generates suspicions that some undisclosed feature or element is making it unsalable.

Problem #4: A buyer is interested in your house and willing to pay the price you are asking. But they need to get money from the bank to pay for it. All banks demand an appraisal of any property they loan out money for, and yours will not be the exception. The market runs the appraiser and they will appraise your property in accordance with it. When the appraiser comes back with a noticeably lower market value than the price the buyer is offering the bank will likely refuse to give the buyer a mortgage. This can lead you from a safe sale to an unsuccessful mortgage application leaving you with no option but to seek more buyers.

The Bottom Line: Find an experienced Real Estate Agent and listen to their advice for pricing your home, stay realistic in your pricing and accomplish your ultimate goal of selling your home. Know that 75% of real estate marketing is the price you set in the beginning. All of the marketing and advertising in the world will not sell an overpriced home.

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What Home Inspectors Look For

As a homebuyer, you get to choose your home inspector, so it’s important to find a good one who’s experienced and educated. Ask your realtor for a couple of recommendations and then do a simple search on google to find any reviews there may be.

An inspection is the buyer’s greatest opportunity to determine the home’s condition. You will get a full picture of the home from the inspector spending time documenting the big and the little issues. This is not a test that the house passes or fails, but rather it’s a way to identify problems that will need to be dealt with.

Foundation: A home inspector takes a close look at the structural integrity of the home you want to buy. Part of that means he will be looking for cracks, moisture, water damage, and sticking windows and doors, which could reveal that the foundation of the home is shifting or sinking. The inspector won’t have the final say as they can’t officially diagnose or offer repair solutions for the foundation issues. They identify and find all the hidden problems and gather the overall sense of the issue and if it is believed to be serious, a structural engineer would need to come out. Most of the foundation repair companies won’t charge a fee to come to inspect in the hopes that you will hire them to fix the problem.

Roof: The inspector will check if the peak is straight and level. if the roof is sagging between rafters, if shingles show any signs of deterioration, if roof vents are visible, and if there is any loose flashing near the chimney. He will want to make sure the roof is well-constructed and will protect you from the elements. As part of the report, you can expect to be provided with an estimate of how many good years the roof has left before the consideration of replacing it.

Plumbing: He will look inside and outside the house and he will check to see if the water is running from the taps including the spigots, see that they drain empty, and make sure that the toilets flush. The inspector will look for any leaks around the plumbing, pipes, and fixtures. There will be an assessment of the toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaky showerheads.

Electrical: One of the leading causes of house fires is the electrical system, so expect this to be a very thorough examination. In addition to checking the electrical panel to make sure wiring and grounding are up to code, the inspector looks for corroded wires and correct amperage ratings. Common electrical issues include exposed wiring, painted outlets, reversed polarity, aluminum wiring, and lack of GFCI protection.

HVAC: Inspectors will check the thermostat, air conditioner, furnace, heat pumps, and ducts to assure that all are in working order. He will look at service records and determine the system’s age, evaluate the cleanliness of each component, and the safety mechanisms.

The Bottom Line: There is much more to a home inspection than those above but these are the most costly to repair or replace if issues are found. With this report, you are more able to identify what you can or can not take on if you buy a home. Furthermore, a home inspection can uncover potentially life-threatening problems like mold or faulty wiring that could cause a significant fire.

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DIY Quick and Easy Reboot to Sell Your Home

If you are preparing to put your home on the market, it might not make sense to complete any big home improvement projects. Once you have met with your realtor and are convinced there aren’t any major repairs to make, consider doing some easy refurbishing yourself to make your home more appealing to buyers. These updates shouldn’t take long to accomplish, and they won’t break the bank.

The First Impression:  Start with the first thing potential buyers will see online, driving by, or coming to a showing – your home’s curb appeal. Check all your landscaping and keep your grass cut. Clear your yard of dead plants, weeds, sticks, and leaves. Trim the trees and the bushes and consider adding a few bags of dark mulch around them. If your home has a front porch, adding a couple of pots of seasonal flowers on the front porch can make a huge difference. Update and possibly remove any accessories such as a doormat, wreath, or rug.

The Front Door: A little sanding, a fresh coat or two of paint, clean or paint the trim, and put on a new doorknob. A knocker will add some charm. Fix or replace any exterior lighting that needs some help.

Bathrooms and Kitchen: Outdated lighting and plumbing fixtures can drag down the entire vibe of a home. But by replacing the old fixtures with either timeless or trendy ones, you breathe fresh life into the space. If your cabinets have old and tired hardware, replace them for a quick, easy, and cheap facelift. Regrout and replace chipped tiles. This may take some extra elbow grease but will make your tile look new and give it a fresh look that buyers love.

Fresh Paint: Brighten up your home with a new coat of paint in a color palette that will appeal to today’s buyers. Doing this will help in covering up stains, marks, scratches, and any odors.  Choose a warm neutral color to appeal to the widest range of buyers. Talk to your realtor for advice on what is currently popular. Painting can be done on a weekend and absolutely won’t break the bank.

Flooring:  A huge selling point for potential homebuyers. Remember that odors linger especially in rugs and carpets and worn, dirty, or badly colored carpeting can turn a buyer off in seconds. If you have good hardwood floors, consider ripping out the carpet and exposing the wood. If that isn’t an option, your realtor should have recommendations on who or what to use to bring life into your carpeting – replacing or deep cleaning it.

Window Treatment: Get rid of any town window shades, dreary curtains, bent mini-blinds, and dusty old drapery. Remove and replace with simple white mini-blinds or wood blinds. Easy fix and refresh that can be done in a day.

The Bottom Line:  Adding any or all of these updates can easily and cheaply get your home ready to sell with confidence.  If you want to sell your home as quickly as possible you’ve got to put your best foot forward for potential buyers, especially those who come in to take a physical walk-through of the property.

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