November 2014

Found 40 blog entries for November 2014.

Have you thought about moving day?

When the time comes to carry that last load to the truck, the car, or the moving van, you’ll be excited, happy, and possibly just a bit tired and frazzled. In that state, it’s easy to overlook a few details.

One of those details is the fact that you’re going to need or want a few specific items just as soon as you reach your destination. Most of them can go into one box, so why not pack that box right now? 

Start by purchasing and packing duplicates of the toiletries you use every day. Remember to include a bar of soap for the kitchen and each bathroom, shampoo, toothpaste and new toothbrushes. Add in a towel and wash cloth for each of you.

Travel can make you feel a bit grubby and disheveled, so being able

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The end result of putting your home on the market for sale is that one day you’ll be packing to move.

We’ve already discussed pre-packing and storing collections, family photos, and other items that needed to be removed in order to “de-personalize” your house. We’ve also discussed pre-packing seldom used or seasonally used items in order to de-clutter and add visual space to the house.

That means that when moving day arrives, you’ll be packing those items you use almost every day. They’re the things you’ll want and need when you arrive at your new home.

So make it easy on yourself. Before you begin to pack, lay in a good supply of packing materials, including bubble wrap for fragile items, package sealing tape, and large, colorful markers.


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When closing day approaches and you’re getting ready to move, you’ll have a list of last minute tasks – and your buyers will have many of the same, but opposite, tasks.

These include informing all your service providers about the change of ownership and your new address.

So why not take the time right now to make a master list of people to contact, along with their phone numbers and your account numbers – then make a copy for your buyers.

Here are a few people and places you’ll need to contact:

  • Your utility company
  • Your cable or satellite TV and Internet providers
  • Your telephone company
  • Your newspaper delivery
  • The post office

In order to avoid an interruption in service, you’ll probably need to provide your utility company

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You’ve probably heard from friends that the home inspector will always find something wrong. And that’s probably true.

No house is perfect, and inspectors would look like they weren’t doing their jobs if they didn’t find the imperfections.

But don’t worry. Most of the time, these are small defects that can be quickly and inexpensively repaired – or they are details that don’t require repair.

Sometimes, the things an inspector notes are simply a “heads-up” to the buyers that they may need to address an issue in a few years.

If something major is discovered, we’ll deal with it when the time comes. This could mean making repairs before closing or giving the borrowers an allowance. But for now, don’t worry. Any problem you know about has already

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Although we’ve discussed this in person, I’m writing to remind you of the importance of being out of the house when buyers are viewing. It’s also very important that you either take your pets with you or confine them in a cage or kennel when the house is being shown.

Why do you need to leave? Because buyers need to spend some time looking at a house before they’ll fall in love and choose to make an offer. Experience shows us that most buyers simply won’t do that if you’re there.

They feel uncomfortable turning on a faucet to check the water pressure or opening a door to see how deep the closets are. And they surely won’t discuss the pros and cons of choosing your home if they think you’re listening.

Additionally, buyers and their agents could

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When you have a busy life, keeping every household chore done all the time can be almost impossible. Even if you’ve been staying on top of things, an early showing request can leave you scrambling.

A friend of mine shared this story about getting a showing request one morning while she was at work – and how her 12 year old son coped with news that an agent and buyers would be arriving in just a few minutes.

First the laundry: He took the basket of laundry to his parents’ bedroom, peeled back the comforter, and spread the clean laundry evenly over the bed. Then replaced the comforter. A good thing that it was fluffy and lumpy.

Dirty dishes and no time to empty the dishwasher: He put the dirty ones in a dishpan and stashed it in the oven.


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You just got the call – an agent will be arriving with buyers in a half hour and you need to get ready and get gone!

What do you need to do before you leave?

That, of course, depends upon what you’ve been doing. If you’ve just finished cooking dinner, you need to stash the dirty dishes and remove the cooking aromas.

You can light a candle and let it burn for a few minutes, and/or you can boil a bit of vinegar and water on the stove to remove the odors. Check for other aromas as well – do you need to take out the trash, empty the cat’s litter box, or do something with a diaper pail?

Avoid using air fresheners to cover up – some people are allergic to perfumes and won’t come in. Others will wonder what you’re covering up!

Hopefully, you and

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You may prefer subdued lighting in the evening, but your prospective buyers will want to really see the house. In addition, plenty of light makes a house seem larger, as well as more cheerful, and your goal is to make a terrific first impression.

So don’t leave it up to the buyers or their agent to search for light switches.

Before you leave the house for an evening showing, turn on plenty of lights. Include every room in the house, and illuminate the back entry as well as the front.

Successfully selling a house in a highly competitive market means taking care of the small details that make a difference. This is one of those details.

I’ll be in touch again soon. Meanwhile, if you have questions or concerns, please do call or email.

P.S. Be

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Quite often we hear from sellers who are upset because an agent and his or her clients showed up late for a scheduled showing. 

That’s understandable. You interrupt your life to be out of the house and come back an hour later to find that the prospective buyers haven’t been there yet, or are just arriving. It’s frustrating, annoying, and can throw your entire schedule off course.

But there are times when it cannot be helped. Agents try hard to allow enough time to view each house that they’re showing, but sometimes buyers take longer than anticipated to view a home. Other times the homeowner hasn’t left during the showing and the buyers engage him or her in a long-winded conversation. And of course, sometimes traffic problems cause delays. Some

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Just a reminder – when you leave the house for a showing, take your house key!

If you’re going across the street to have coffee with a neighbor, or walking around the block while your house is being shown, you might be tempted to leave the doors unlocked because you’re close by.

It’s better if you don’t, But if you do, please remember to take your key. Agents are understandably confused when they find an unlocked door. They don’t know whether you left it unlocked just for them or whether there’s another showing scheduled after theirs. Without clear instructions, they don’t know whether to lock up or not when they leave.

Most err on the side of caution – not wanting to leave a house unlocked because they don’t know how soon you’ll return. So, even

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