Weekly Real Estate Tip! Have a specific topic you would like addressed? Contact Me and I will write about it!

Oct 13, 2017

Top 5 Fall Home Maintenance Steps to Complete Before Winter

Posted by: Pam Evans

Although our afternoons in Georgia are still in the upper 70s or mid-80s, it’s hard to miss the creep of fall that has found its way into our cooler mornings. Autumn is often characterized by cozy sweaters and warm cups of coffee that gently sweep us into the frosty months of winter. However, it’s also the perfect time to put a bit of effort into some do-it-yourself tasks home maintenance tasks that will not only protect your house from the cold, but keep its long-term value intact. 

STEP 1: CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS – Homeowners regularly overlook the impact that gutters can have on their property, especially since gutter systems are not meant to be aesthetically appealing. It’s easy to forget that they divert thousands of gallons of water from our homes on an annual basis, making clogged gutters an issue. Without regular cleaning, gutters can cause water to enter your home, which may lead to an abundance of rust, rot, and corrosion. Before the foliage begins to change, have your gutters thoroughly cleaned and covered with a mesh guard.

STEP 2: STOP LEAKS - When it comes to energy costs, nothing can hurt your wallet like air leaks around windows and doors. Gaps in your weather stripping and caulk may actually add about 10% to your heating bill, so paying attention to leak-prone areas is a worthwhile task. Replace any worn weather stripping and/or damaged caulk and don’t forget to check around all electrical and cable entry points.

STEP 3: DON’T NEGLECT YOUR ROOF - Instead of waiting until there’s water coming through your ceiling, inspect your roof so that little annoyances are stopped before they become massive problems. Clearly, this step may require the services of a professional who can safely navigate your roof. They will begin by checking it from top to bottom to look for cracks and wind damage, as well as missing, broken, or curled shingles. Make sure they also take time to check your gutters since large accumulations of granules in your gutter system may signify that your roof is aging and shedding its outer coating.

STEP 4: INSPECT YOUR FURNACE - Pay attention to things such as noisy belts, erratic behavior, and general poor performance. All of these things can be signs that your parts are faulty, worn, or damaged, or that your heating ducts are blocked. It’s also important to have your furnace inspected by a professional once a year. Yes, this process may cost you a bit of money, but prevention will save you from having to shell out large sums of cash for repairs or replacements. 

STEP 5: FIRE PROOFING - The likelihood of your home going up in flames is pretty slim, but it often happens in the fall and winter months for many unfortunate homeowners, so taking a few extra measures to protect your family is worthwhile. The first step involves not only replacing the batteries in each of your smoke detectors—don’t neglect your carbon monoxide detectors as well—but testing them to make sure they actually work. Next, consider drawing up a few fire escape plans and make sure there’s no furniture or large items blocking potential exits. If you’ve found yourself accumulating things like old newspapers or leftover hazardous chemicals, be aware of the fact that they present an increased fire hazard.

CONCLUSION

In the end, keeping your home in working order throughout the winter doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. If you stay on top of the little things and diligently complete them on an annual basis, then the chances that you’ll have to deal with large issues decreases.

For further advice, assistance, or home service professional referrals, please feel free to contact me.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

Jul 26, 2016

How to Cope When Your Best Offer is Still Rejected

Posted by: Pam Evans

In many ways, trying to settle upon the perfect home is like dating to select the perfect mate.  Finding someone you love who will love you back is always a special thing, and the same can be said for finding a home that simply has “it.”  After all, a home is where you live your life—where you create the memories that tell your story.  While there are times when settling may be the best option, if you have your heart set on a specific house, it can be discouraging to find that the sellers of the home aren’t as keen on you.

Even if you’ve presented your best offer there’s no guarantee that the seller will accept it, so it’s important to understand what to do when your dream home remains out of reach.

REFRAIN FROM OBSESSING ABOUT THE SELLER’S MOTIVATIONS.  Sure, it’s always helpful to have some semblance of understanding about what the seller wants from a potential buyer and their motivation for selling, but you may never find a rhyme or reason for why they reject your offer.  Clearly they may simply not like what’s on the table, but some sellers have an emotional connection to their home and want to feel some sort of bond with the person(s) they decide to sell it to.  As hard as it may be to understand, perhaps you’re simply not that person.

PUT FORTH YOUR BEST OFFER.  While you may not want to lay all of your cards on the table up front, if you’ve been turned down yet really want the home, work with your Realtor to establish whether you’ve actually presented your best offer and if not, what it would look like.  If you’ve given a realistic price and still find that the sellers are less-than receptive, it may simply be a sign that perhaps they’re either not ready to sell. 

Again, communicate with your Realtor about your limits and set some realistic boundaries.  If the seller fails to return a positive response, be prepared to look elsewhere.

SEPARATE FROM YOUR EMOTIONS.  Purchasing a home is obviously an emotional, yet exciting process.  When we see something we like it’s only natural to develop an attachment; however, such a large financial transaction also requires a bit of practicality.  Buyer’s remorse is a very real thing, so it’s important to maintain the ability to walk away from a purchase that simply doesn’t work.  Just as you can’t make someone fall in love with you, it’s unrealistic to assume that you can coerce unmotivated sellers into accepting your offer.  Spending too much time dwelling on one home will cut into the time you should be spending on finding a house that actually works.

In the long run, there’s really no ONE perfect home, regardless of how much you feel like the object of your desire was meant for you.  Humility is an important quality—whether in relationships or home buying—so when you find that a seller is simply not receptive to what you’re bringing to the table, go back to the drawing board, listen to your Realtor, and move on. 

The next beautiful home may be right around the corner.

If you’re looking to buy and are seeking the assistance of an experienced Realtor, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to help.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

Jul 20, 2016

Strategies to Avoid Buyer's Remorse

Posted by: Pam Evans

Home buying can be a long, emotional, and generally stressful process.  While there are definite steps you can take to make the things easier—such as working with an experienced Realtor who can help you navigate the ins and outs of the market—it’s only natural that such a large change will make things a bit challenging for a period of time.  Even so, buyer’s remorse is a common tale, especially when it comes to sizeable financial commitments that can’t simply be returned or exchanged.  Clearly, such a commitment requires a good bit of homework in advance but it also requires some introspection to properly assess whether you will be truly happy with your purchase.

Before you buy, consider the following strategies to help mitigate buyer’s remorse and place you in a position to buy with confidence.

ARE YOU LOOKING TO BUILD A LIFE OR SIMPLY ‘WIN’ A HOME?  While this may sound like an odd question, buying a home is often a competitive process that may bring out a strong “desire to win,” which can overshadow rational thought and proper planning.  Sure, engaging in a multiple-offer situation or an intense negotiation process may be thrilling for certain individuals, but it’s important to take a step back to make sure the house you’re bidding on is really what you want.  Again, is it about the house or is it simply about winning?

ARE YOU PAYING TOO MUCH?  Along the same lines, if you find yourself engaged in a long bidding war, it’s important to pay attention to whether several rounds of counter offers adds too much to the listing price.  While it may be tempting to overextend yourself for a home that you really want, be careful about spending more than the home is worth or putting yourself in a bad financial position.

HAVE YOU SEEN THE HOUSE MORE THAN ONCE?  We’re all prone to making spontaneous purchasing decisions but it’s important to realize that buying a home requires commitment, which may not be there after one viewing.  No matter how much you may think you love a home at first sight, make a point to go back more than once so you can assess whether your feelings stay the same.  Consider visiting at different times of the day to really get a feel for the home’s overall vibe and listen to your inner voice if you find yourself slightly underwhelmed the second or third time around.

HAVE YOU SPENT TIME IN EVERY ROOM?  Some buyers have a tendency to rush through home viewings, but if you’re serious about buying, it’s important to spend a bit of actual time in each room.  Pay attention to how the space makes you feel and make a point to visit everything from the attic to the basement.  Leave no closet unturned, no cabinet unopened.

HAVE YOU HAD ALONE TIME?  It’s one thing to view a house during a public viewing and another to walk the rooms by yourself.  If you’ve only visited a property while others were engaged in doing the same thing, make a point to set up a private appointment so you have time to slowly walk through the house without additional distractions.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While emotional preparedness is important during the buying process, keeping your intellectual wits about you is imperative as well.  Along with doing your homework in advance, make sure a proper inspection is done on the home and ask for full disclosure from the current owner.  A solid Realtor will be able to help you with specifics so you’re protected during each step of the process; however, if you find the home of your dreams yet have not spent any real time assessing your motivation for buying, it’s time to pay attention to whether it represents the type of home you originally set out to buy.

If you would like assistance or additional advice, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I would love to hear from you.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

Jul 8, 2016

HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN COSTLY HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Posted by: Pam Evans

Whether you’re planning to sell your family home within the next few years or are an experienced “flipper” who regularly deals with investment properties, big ticket repairs, upgrades, and renovations can be daunting, especially when they tend to cost a good bit of cash.  Sure, putting money into your home frequently yields a decent return on your investment, but if you’re dealing with a property that’s shabby or somewhat rundown, it’s important to understand which projects should take priority.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?  Most people lack the budget to fix or remodel everything that needs work, but even when money is not an option, coming in under budget is essential as well.  At the end of the day, you’ll want to make a profit upon selling, so consider which rooms of your home are the most important and what areas may need the most money. 

If you’re not sure, utilize the services of an experienced Realtor who can help you understand everything from which projects will be the most beneficial to what buyers are looking for in your area.  In general, it’s safe to say that kitchen and bathroom remodels are going to be your best investment but each situation is different, so they may not be the areas in need of the most work.

SPLURGE AND SAVE.  When going through your home, pay attention to which parts can be salvaged in each room (i.e. cabinets, flooring, and lighting) and then consider the elements or features that will gain the most attention.  If you decide to tackle a kitchen remodel yet find yourself hesitant about your ability to cover the cost of quartz countertops, you may have better luck opting to add quartz to portions of your kitchen (counters lining the walls), while choosing a stylish butcher block or stainless steel top for your island.  The goal is to make sure all elements fit within the overall design of the room.

PAY ATTENTION TO FLOORING.  While most people prefer hardwood flooring, it’s often the look of hardwoods that they want, rather than the actual hardwood.  If real wood seems a bit too pricey, laminate wood flooring has gotten so good that it’s virtually impossible to tell that it’s not true hardwood.

However, if you’re saving money on the materials, make sure you’re not completely skimping on the installation.  While laminate protects you from dealing with some of the moisture issues that come along with real wood, you’ll want to make sure it’s installed properly so that gaps and bubbles don’t appear down the road.

In addition, with this notion of salvaging materials in mind, if your home already has hardwood flooring (whether visible or below the carpeting), instead of ripping everything out, hire someone who can return your floors to their former glory.  Older hardwoods add character, which can go a long way when attracting the right buyer.

OPT FOR SIMPLE CURB APPEAL.  While everyone loves the look of beautiful gardens and lush flowers, not everyone loves the idea of caring for them.  It takes a special type of buyer to want to maintain an extravagantly landscaped yard, so when looking to add curb appeal, opt for low-maintenance shrubs, flowers, and bushes that won’t intimidate certain buyers.  Much like the universal allure of neutral wall colorings, simple outdoor touches help buyers imagine what it would be like to live in your home without overwhelming them.

In the end, when prioritizing home renovations, pick your battles wisely.  Save what you can, update what you can’t, and keep things as simple as possible.  Go for classy rather than garish and consult with experts in the housing and real estate industry to see how to get the most bang for your buck.

If you’d like advice or are seeking a no-obligation consultation about which upgrades will help you sell your home, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to help.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

Jun 28, 2016

Five Tips to Sell Your Home in Summer

Posted by: Pam Evans

Five Tips to Sell Your Home in the Summer

When it comes to selling your home, there are generally set rules that tend to apply throughout the year (i.e. minimize clutter, enhance your curb appeal, take professional photos); however, what people often fail to consider is the fact that seasons also play a large role.  Sure, you may be aware of the fact that warmer temperatures means more people in the market for a new home, but those temperatures may play a greater role in whether your home sells than you realize.

1. LUSH LANDSCAPING: While keeping your lawn beautiful and green may be a challenge, especially here in the South where it’s not unusual to experience weeks of hot sun without much rain, it’s important to make sure your grass is getting enough water and fertilizer, even without the presence of adequate precipitation.  However, many cities place restrictions on when you can water your lawn and during which days of the week, so you may want to do a little research before turning on those sprinklers.  With the warmer temperatures, it’s also a good time to take advantage of the abundance of colorful blossoms that add a great deal of life to your yard.  Even if it’s just pots of flowers near your front door, a bit of color will go a long way.

2. CHECK YOUR AIR CONDITIONER:  Clearly you’ll want potential buyers to feel comfortable when they look at your home, but it will also help to be able to present them with a recent inspection report stating that your AC is in good working condition.  While no one expects all of your appliances to be brand new, they do want to see that they still have life in them, especially something as important as your HVAC system.

3. LET THE LIGHT IN:  This one is a bit of a given throughout the year—since no one wants to tour a dark home—however, while many of us have a tendency to close the blinds to keep things cool in the summer, potential buyers are generally looking for homes that are open and filled with light.  If you know that you will have people coming through your home, make sure your blinds are open and the lights are turned on.

4. TURN ON YOUR CEILING FANS:  Along with keeping things cool and making sure you have fresh air moving through your home, ceiling fans are considered an asset in many homes and make a big difference here in the South.  However, before you turn them on, make sure the blades are clean and that they’re moving in a counterclockwise direction.  No one wants chunks of dust falling on them from blades that haven’t seen a duster in a while.

5. SHOWCASE YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE:  Backyards are great for socialization, especially during the evening hours.  In fact, many people view porches or patios as a separate living space, so feel free to treat it as such.  While it’s nice to be able to feature a sitting area with a grill, make sure the furniture is clean and the grill is sparkling.  No one wants to look at a yard with dingy, dusty seating or a grease spackled cooking surface.  At the end of the day, your patio should say, “Come sit!  Relax!”

If you’re looking to sell but still have questions about how you can use the season to your advantage, please contact me.  It’s always smart to utilize the services of a competent, experience Realtor who can help you develop an effective marketing strategy for your individual home. 

Please call me, I’d love to hear from you.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

 

 

 

Jun 14, 2016

Are You Ready to Buy? Four Factors You Should Consider

Posted by: Pam Evans

Are You Ready to Buy?  Four Factors You Should Consider

You’ve probably heard it before: purchasing a home is a solid investment option, especially if you consider the fact that, aside from general variations in the market, investing in real estate tends to be financially beneficial over long periods of time.  The problem, however, is that—as the saying goes—“It takes money to make money.” 

As with anything, there’s always a right time to shop for certain things, but when deciding whether you’re in a smart position to buy a home, you may want to consider the following factors.

FINANCIAL STABILITY:  While you may be currently killing it at work, it’s important to take some time to consider the actual long-term stability of your present income level.  It can be exciting to be making a comfortable amount of money, especially if you’re in your 20’s; however, if you are unsure about whether your finances will be a constant over the next few years, it might be wise to wait until your funding is a bit more secure.  Whether that means holding off for a few months or a few years, it will be worth it if you are hoping to avoid the pain of a future foreclosure.

CREDIT SCORE:  Sure, you may still be able to take out a loan if your credit is somewhat less than stellar, but you’ll pay with an increased interest rate.  Plain and simple, a few simple points in either direction can dictate whether you’ll be spending or saving a few thousand dollars on your loan, so it’s generally wise to wait until your credit score is where you want it before you buy.

CURRENT SITUATION:  Although kids might not be in the picture or even a spouse, for that matter, life is clearly variable, which means it’s wise to plan for the unexpected.  While there is no one-size-fits-all advice when it comes to purchasing a home that fits into your current reality, one of the most important aspects of assessing what you want out of a home is paying close attention to what you want out of your life.  From selecting a property within a good school district or something within walking distance to trendy shops and restaurants, make sure you enter the buying process with a bit of a plan in place.

THE MARKET:  Having an understanding of what real estate is doing in your area is extremely important if you’re considering a home purchase.  Conducting research on your own about what housing prices are doing is a worthwhile venture; however, it’s also wise to use the services of an experienced Realtor who can provide you with details and expertise that you simply cannot find on your own.  If prices have drastically gone down in your area, they can help you move quickly or, if they’re at an all-time high, can help you make a choice that works for your budget.

FINAL WORD

Purchasing a home is most likely going to be one of the largest financial transactions you ever make, so the decision is clearly a personal choice that may take a bit of reflection and honesty about what your life looks like now and what it may look like in the near future. 

If you’d like some assistance or even simple advice regarding what will work best for you, please feel free to call me.  I’d love to help you along the way.

Pam Evans |  Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

 

Jun 6, 2016

How to Market an Older Home to Younger Buyers

Posted by: Pam Evans

Selling an older home can be tricky, especially if you’re in a growing area that’s rife with new construction.  While it may be easy to assume that an aging home should be marketed to middle-aged buyers, especially since past statistics have suggested that millennials are opting to rent instead of buy, new census data paints a different story.

In short, homeownership among young adults is on the rise; therefore, if you’re looking to sell an older home, it’s important to make sure it’s marketed in a way that will appeal to a range of demographics, particularly millennials who may be looking to buy for the first time.

While working with an experienced Realtor to develop an effective strategy is clearly a huge piece of the puzzle, when marketing an older home, it’s important to have an understanding of which features will have the most appeal to young couples and families.

HOME INSPECTION: If you’ve struggled to maintain your home, obtaining a reputable home inspection prior to listing is a worthwhile venture since it will help determine if there’s anything wrong.  Part of the allure of a new home is the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ll most likely have years before anything will need to be replaced (i.e. roof, furnace, air conditioning, etc.).  If you’re trying to sell an older home, an inspection will help provide the same piece of mind to potential buyers.

RENOVATION PLAN:  Oftentimes, young buyers may not realize that simple updates or renovations can make such a big difference, especially if the interior of your home is relatively dated.  While you may not have the money or desire to replace those pea green tiles in your kitchen, it may help to pay for a few simple drawings that will offer some options for future changes so that buyers can see the home’s potential.

PROVIDE LOAN INFORMATION:  If your home is 20 or 30 years old, chances are good that most buyers will want to make some kitchen or bath changes.  While may house hunters may already be pre-approved for a loan, others may be interested to learn about popular renovation mortgage programs, such as an FHA 203(k), which allows buyers to wrap renovation costs into their mortgage.  Although it’s important to get your Realtor’s opinion, you can always provide loan information with your marketing materials to show interested buyers that renovations are an option.

LIGHTEN UP:  Aside from having smaller windows and closed-off rooms, many older homes were constructed with darker materials, so removing heavy window treatments and trimming any shrubs blocking the flow of light is important.  Consider removing any dark, heavy furniture and minimize the clutter.

HIGHLIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD AMENITIES:  Even though many younger buyers may not have children, chances are good that they will still consider your home’s location.  Highlight all of the great things in your area and make sure your marketing mentions attributes such as public transportation, shopping, recreational activities, and schools.

OPT FOR NEUTRAL COLORS:  Paint is one thing that will go a long way, especially if you’re operating on a budget.  Younger buyers generally prefer “Pottery Barn colors,” so consider freshening things up with soft earth tones which offer a great deal of flexibility.  If your home still has wallpaper, this step may be even more important.

In the end, along with the current market in your area, marketing an older home to younger buyers is all about strategy.  While the above tips may offer some assistance, it’s still important to work with an experienced Realtor who can help you develop a strategy to find the right buyer.  If you’d like to learn more or want to discuss what options are available to you, please feel free to call me.

May 27, 2016

Creating the Perfect Master Bath to Sell Your Home

Posted by: Pam Evans

When it comes to selling your home, it’s no secret that buyers love beautiful master bedrooms—especially ones that simply say, “Come and stay a while.  Relax.”  However, if you’ve spent time turning your bedroom into an oasis of calm, it would be a mistake to neglect similar touches in your master bathroom.  All-too-often, bathrooms become an easily ignored room filled with rumpled towels, dirty laundry, and cluttered counters.  While a keeping a beautiful bedroom is clearly important, buyers will want to see the same loving attention extended into your bathroom.

In general, buyers love the allure of fresh, spa-like bathrooms that make them feel as if they’re staying in a beautiful resort.  The goal is to help them believe that, should they choose to purchase your home, they will have the ability to enjoy such luxury every day.

To make this happen, start by maximizing your bathroom’s strong points.

  1. As with every other part of your home, get rid of the clutter. Buyers will want to see nice, clear counters that are devoid of everyday toiletries such as lotions, makeup, and toothbrushes.  In fact, when cleaning your countertops, it’s wise to extend the organization into your shower or bath area.  Again, no one wants to see a host of various shampoos and soap.  Think clean.  Fresh.
  2. Get rid of all cleaning products. Your bathroom should scream calm, not “house cleaning in progress.”  What this means is taking out extras such as toilet brushes, bathmats, and even spare toilet paper rolls.  While these things may be a necessary part of everyday living, they will not fit into the spa-like atmosphere you are trying to create for potential buyers.
  3. When attempting to get rid of any unnecessary items, don’t simply throw them under your sink and call it good. Remember, buyers are concerned about storage space and they will certainly be looking in your drawers and cupboards—and that means the spaces under your sink.  Realistically, you’ll probably need to store some things, but try to make sure any storage space is only about half-full and well organized.
  4. While you may feel like your bathroom needs a lot of work, chances are good that you won’t have to do a complete remodel before selling. Instead, stick to simple upgrades such as repainting the walls, replacing leaky or old taps, adding new light fixtures, or installing new towel bars.  A little tends to go a long way, so start with small changes and see how things progress.
  5. Once you’ve removed all of the clutter, performed a deep cleaning, and made a few upgrades, things may seem a bit bare, so don’t be afraid to beautify with a few accessories that play into the spa motif. Opt for accessories that bring an added dimension of warmth, luxury, and elegance, and select soothing hues.  Things like bath salts, natural loufas, and candles can make a great deal of difference; however, avoid the impulse to scatter them around and instead, display them in groups.

In the end, design is not everyone’s strong point and what we think looks beautiful may not be what will sell.  Therefore, it’s always wise to seek the advice of an experienced Realtor who can properly market your home to the right audience.  Selling your home is all about showing it in the best light, so asking for advice is often a great starting point.

If you would like some assistance of creating a sellable master bath or need help with any area of your home, I am always available to offer a bit of guidance.  Please feel free to contact me.

Feb 19, 2016

Which is Better for Your Home: Hardwoods or Carpet?

Posted by: Pam Evans

When it comes to putting your house on the market or simply making a few equity-increasing renovations, one of the most common upgrades chosen is the installation of wood flooring.

In general, wood flooring tends to add value to your home more easily than carpet or laminate because, aside from staying in style, it has a tendency to be extremely long-lasting.  Since there are so many different types to choose from, the actual cost of making this switch may vary greatly depending upon whether you opt for an exotic or high-strength wood or choose to go for a more eco-friendly choice like bamboo.  Still, even with some of the more pricey options, the switch to wood from one of the other flooring alternatives will almost certainly add value to your home.

A study conducted by The National Wood Flooring Association showed that 99% of U.S. real estate agents suggest that homes with hardwood flooring are easier to sell.  Still, it’s important to remember that carpeting can increase the value of a home if it is being used to replace old or cheap vinyl options.  Some homeowners or buyers simply prefer the warmth and feel of carpet, especially in upstairs bedrooms; however, if you ultimately decide to go that route, you may want to take into consideration that not only does carpet wear out more quickly than sturdy hardwoods, with the array of colors and styles to choose from, it can rapidly fall out of style and decrease the value of your home (think 70’s-style shag carpeting).

In addition, a question that’s worth asking is whether you prefer vacuuming or sweeping.  While wood floors require polishing and a bit more care when it comes to things like wearing heels or moving furniture, sweeping tends to be a lot easier than vacuuming.  With that, it’s no surprise that carpet holds an abundance of dust, allergens, and germs, which can be troubling if you’re someone who already deals with allergies or respiratory issues.  While periodic cleaning by a professional floor cleaner is important regardless of whether you’re dealing with wood floors or carpeting, the long-term maintenance on wood floors tends to be much less labor intensive.

In the end, while both choices have pros and cons, if you’re not planning on making the jump into the real estate market anytime soon, don’t be afraid to reflect on your options and go with whatever works best for your family and budget.  If you’re simply someone who loves carpets and likes the warmth they bring to your home, don’t feel like you have to go with hardwoods simply because they’re popular.

When in doubt, feel free to contact a local Realtor who can help you weigh your options and select a choice that will keep the integrity of your home’s value intact.

If you’d like some assistance or want an assessment of your home before making a final decision, I’d love to help.  Please feel free to contact me.

Pam Evans | Hello Pam Evans Real Estate | www.HelloPamEvans.com | 678-778-6551

 

Feb 13, 2016

Five Home Staging Tips on a Budget

Posted by: Pam Evans

While purchasing a home is generally a very emotionally driven process for most buyers, when it comes to closing a deal, appearance still sits at the top of the list.  Some sellers are fortunate enough to be able to afford professional “stagers” who prepare their home for prospective homeowners; however, while their services often help create the right buying atmosphere, their expertise can run sellers anywhere from $50-$200 per hour.

Fortunately, hiring an expert to style your home isn’t the only way to get buyers to take an interest.  In most cases, you can easily (and affordably) take matters into your own hands and produce a product, which will help move your property as quickly as possible.

De-personalize your space:  Although your family photos and hobbies may be important to you, they inhibit potential buyers from viewing your home as their future residence.  In general, humans are often drawn towards pictures depicting other people, especially ones which portray things like happy family vacations and weddings from years past; however, if want your home to show like a model, the longer potential buyers spend looking at your photos, the less time they will be taking to truly look at your space.

Get rid of the clutter:  Yes, it’s normal for us to accumulate a lot of “stuff” after living in the same house for an extended period of time, but many of us fail to realize the affect that it may have on individuals looking for a future home.  With this in mind, it’s important for sellers to step back and accept the fact that simplicity wins out.

By giving you someplace to store all of those kid’s toys, knick-knacks, and other various collections dominating your home, a 5-foot-by-5-foot storage unit will go a long way towards helping you get top-dollar for your home.

Give each room a purpose:  Don’t be afraid to rearrange your rooms so that they are not only accessible and open, but also have a distinct use and purpose.  Perhaps that fourth bedroom served as an “everything room” (office, storage space, play room, etc.), but when it comes to staging your home, you may want to isolate one use so that buyers will have a better vision of how they can turn your space into their own.

With this, make a point to touch up paint where it is needed so that each room will appear clean and new.  In fact, studies have shown that sellers who paint the interior of their homes generally see a better return on their investment.

Clean, clean, clean:  While it may seem self-explanatory, no one wants to tour a home that not only appears dirty and unkempt, but also carries with it an array of unpleasant aromas.  Scientifically, our sense of smell is tied directly into the area of our brain which is responsible for memory and emotion; hence the reason that certain fragrances have the ability to immediately take us back to another time in our lives.

Therefore, if your goal is to help buyers imagine their life in your home, along with considering the services of a professional cleaning company, you may also want to consider baking cookies or lighting a few candles to bring in some added feel-good scents.

Enhance curb appeal:  Although I’ve already spoken about curb appeal in previous posts, it would be foolish to downplay the important role that it plays in getting buyers interested in your home.  Yes, when many of us think of staging, we think of the interior; however, part of the process means taking care of what’s on the outside of your house as well.

Therefore, clean those gutters, mow the lawn, and add some fresh mulch around your bushes and trees.  Attention to detail will truly make a great deal of difference when making everything appear trim and neat.

If you have any questions or would like some additional advice, please feel free to contact me.  I’m always listening.