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Home Warranties Offer Great Benefits to Agents, Buyers & Sellers

homeumbrellaBy David Glenn

If there was a magic formula for selling real estate quickly and easily, you can bet every real estate agent would be signing up. Real estate sales affect agents, buyers and sellers one way or another. Although homes need to be in good condition and offer what buyers are currently seeking, the real estate agent ultimately drives the sales. To stay on top of their game and work a little magic, smart agents have learned that a home warranty, also called a home protection plan, can work miracles for increasing sales and quick turnarounds. Learn how agents, sellers and buyers benefit from home warranties and all come out as winners.

Home Warranties

Home warranty programs are available for purchase by consumers who want protection for home appliances and major home systems in the event they fail or break down. If any of the items under warranty in the program should fail, the consumer simply contacts the home warranty company and they see to it that the item is inspected, repaired or replaced by a qualified contractor.

Agents Start the Process

Once a real estate agent learns about the advantages of home warranty programs, work takes on new meaning and they see the possibilities for success. Skeptical buyers are no longer afraid to consider older homes when sellers pay for a home warranty. After an agent explains that the warranty covers appliances and major heating, electrical and cooling systems, clients become eager to see a home that was once not considered. The agent just got a shot at another sale!

Real estate agents have more time to devote to selling homes because they are not continually working out last minute problems and negotiations with sellers and buyers over failing appliances and air conditioners. REALTORS® can sell any home that comes with a home warranty faster. Home warranties are almost like having insurance. Customers like the idea of buying a home and not worrying about troubleshooting repairs, hiring contractors and forking over more money. Home warranty programs provide the magical solution for problem homes that aren’t turning over. Some homes may have the most wonderful qualities, but it’s often the bonus of a warranty program that seals the deal.

Warranties help agents to get satisfied sellers and buyers, which in turn, leads to more referrals and increased future business. Real estate agents stand to make more money when they sell more homes. There is no doubt about it; REALTORS® are in business for the money. Selling homes with warranties provided by the seller goes a long way to increasing REALTORS’® incomes!

Sellers Take the Lead from Agents

Sellers are overjoyed at the prospect of a home warranty that gives their home an edge when selling in a competitive housing market. Homes with a warranty typically sell for more money than those with no warranty. Any seller would be pleased to get top dollar for their home. Faster sales are appealing to sellers. Constant cleaning and showing the house weakly is tiring on sellers. The faster the home sells the better!

Buyers Dive at the Opportunity to Purchase Homes with a Warranty

Homes that come with a home warranty help to assure buyers that repairs for warrantied items are covered by the seller through warranty coverage. Interested home buyers don’t have to speculate on mechanical problems down the road and how much it’s going to cost them after they move in.

If we all had our way, homes would sell instantly and would always be a snap. However, life is full of surprises. Sometimes you’ve got to work a little magic with home warranty plans so REALTORS®, sellers and buyers all win.

 

David Glenn is a home improvement expert. He freelance writes about home maintenance and DIY home repair. He’s also knowledgeable about topics like how to improve social presence and build a reputation online.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

5 Strategies for a Safe and Easy Move

By Shelley Little

There’s no doubt about it—moving is stressful! Amid all of the deal negotiations, packing and trying to turn your new place into your perfect home, there are almost too many things to think about. But while you’re focused on your to-do list, others may be taking an interest in your new home—not because of its beautiful exterior and excellent floor plan, but because moving can make you an easier target for crime.

In fact, both your new and old homes and belongings could be at risk. According to the FBI, moving can open you up to a lot of criminal activities, from burglars who spy an empty house to fraudulent movers looking for a quick buck.

So what can you do to increase your odds of staying safe during this stressful, transitional time? From smart preparation to taking advantage of new wireless security cameras, you have plenty of options for keeping your belongings safe.

Here are five tips that will help you protect your property and let you focus on settling into your new home.

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1. Spread the Word

The simplest method to protect your former and future homes is to recruit other people to help you watch them. Your realtor, for example, should be aware of your timeline so they know when your property will be vacant.

The neighbors that you hate to leave (and even that nosy one a few houses down) can become extra eyes to watch your property. Advising the neighborhood watch and the local police department of your move is another wise precaution.

2. Mind Your Paper Trail

It’s already on your to-do list: “Complete a change of address with the Post Office.” That simple form is an important part of making your move as safe as possible. Your items should now be headed to your new address and not piling up at your old home. Don’t forget about your newspaper subscriptions, as well.

Those neighbors you asked to help earlier? Request that they also pick up any phone books, pizza flyers or informational brochures left on your doorstep. Nothing gives away a vacant property like paper piling up outside.

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3. Look Like You Live There

Along with a pile of newspapers and mail, other signs of a vacant location are fairly easy to prevent. Make sure the lawn continues to get mowed, even after you have moved on. If it’s a winter move and your area gets snow, have the driveway and sidewalks cleared.

Leaving curtains closed will offer some protection against prying eyes. Keeping a few inexpensive lamps on timers in different rooms on varied schedules will give the illusion that someone is home. You might even ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.

4. Go With the Best

When selecting movers, make sure to do your homework. There are certainly many reputable and conscientious moving companies available that you can verify by checking reviews and asking questions. This is probably not the time to go with the lowest bid without doing your homework—it may end up costing you in the long run.

Sensitive documents, irreplaceable heirlooms and valuable items should go with the very best mover—you! There is nothing wrong with protecting those items by packing and transporting them yourself. In fact, it makes for a very smart move.

5. DIY Security

You can’t be in two places at once. Even if you have done all of the things on this list to help stay safe, there is one more thing you can add to your security protocol—a wireless home security system at each property.

You may think that leaving a property is not the time to add a new system, but in reality, it can save you from a lot of potential trouble and can even be a selling point for your old home if you choose to leave it there. It can be a benefit to new buyers while simultaneously allowing you to keep an eye on your vacant property. Another option is to install a security system at the old location and then take the system with you to your new home when the property sells.

Thanks to developments in the industry, keeping your transitional home safe is now a task that you can easily handle yourself. Technology has made reliable and cost-effective security cameras and systems available for the DIY-er. Many of these security systems can be controlled with a smartphone, making them even easier for you to start using immediately—and from anywhere. Best of all, the set up can often be done very quickly—literally within minutes, you can have a stream of the camera’s view to your phone.

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Finally, don’t forget to change the locks on your new home—you never know who may have a key!

Shelly Little writes about keeping you, your belongings and your home safe during a move. She especially likes to provide tips on how to use wireless home security systems to keep an eye on your house. Visit online or in store to see a variety of Home Security Systems from The Home Depot

Simple Solutions for Your Outdoor Space

Gone are the days of basic backyards outfitted with plastic furniture and folding lawn chairs. Today’s outdoor spaces have evolved to become true extensions of the home offering all the style, comfort and function of an interior living area. From furniture and accessories to fully-appointed outdoor kitchens, the lines between indoors and out have blurred beyond distinction.

“More and more, homeowners are taking indoor activities outside and creating true outdoor rooms,” explained Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex, a manufacturer of high-performance, wood-alternative decking. “We’ve seen a tremendous increase in demand for decks with more integrated features like built-in benches and storage components, along with accents both functional and decorative such as deck and landscape lighting, as well as railing styles and balusters similar to those found inside the home.”

Regardless of the size of your deck—or budget—there are myriad ways to get in on this timely trend. Here are some simple DIY tips for adding interior function and flair to your outdoor oasis:

Focus on furnishings

shutterstock_148713014 copyFew categories have evolved further or more beautifully than outdoor furniture. Today’s offerings span the style spectrum and feature all the comfort and performance of interior furnishings. When selecting furniture for your outdoor space, look for durable materials that will withstand the environmental elements. Trade in those flimsy folding chairs for more substantial pieces made of heavy duty frames with soft but durable cushions for optimum comfort.

Maximize function

shutterstock_117303511 copyWhen designing your outdoor space, define functional areas for different activities just as you would inside your home. Dedicate a space for grilling that affords a safe distance for guests and children from active flames and irritating smoke. Accompany large chairs with upholstered ottomans to create an inviting atmosphere and increase available seating. Finally, keep your outdoor space organized and eliminate all those pesky trips back and forth into the house with storage components similar to those you’d find indoors.

Illuminate with lighting

shutterstock_191295572 copyAccording to a recent Outdoor Decorating Survey conducted by “Casual Living” magazine and ApartmentTherapy.com, outdoor lighting ranks as the number one product that consumers want to add to their outdoor living spaces. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to install lighting thanks to “plug-and-play” components. Consumers can choose from a wide array of lighting options that can be easily installed into a deck, railing or landscape to significantly enhance the atmosphere and safety of any outdoor living space. Or, for entertaining, incorporate string lights into the space.

Add the accessories

shutterstock_185452442 copyTo make your outdoor space truly feel like a “room” and a seamless extension of your home, incorporate interior-inspired accents such as decorative area rugs, but be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines – as some rugs react with materials like PVC. Other “indoor” accessories to consider include cushions, pillows and throw blankets made of weather-resistant fabrics. Forego paper plates and plastic cups for sturdy, stylish and eco-friendly reusable outdoor tableware. Add personality and color with plants, flowers, artwork and whimsical accessories, just as you would inside.

Source: www.trex.com

 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2015. All rights reserved.

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