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Are Your Clients Prepared for Home Inspection?

hiby Courtney Soinski

As a real estate professional, it is very important that you fully prepare your clients before meeting with a home inspector.

Here are some of our favorite tips that REALTORS® can provide their clients for a successful and smooth home inspection.  You’ll be happy to know that these can be done at little to no cost!

1.  Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof.

2.  Trim trees, roots and bushes back from foundation, roof, siding and chimney.

3.  Seal asphalt driveways, if cracking.

4.  Clean or replace HVAC filter.

5.  Test all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition.

6.  Don’t do quick cheap repairs.  You may raise questions that will unfairly cause great concern to buyers and inspectors.

7.  Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper working condition, including repairing any cracks.

8.  Check and fix any leaks on plumbing fixtures.  Apply caulk if needed.

9.  Have clear access to attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected.

10.  Make sure all utilities are turned on if the house is vacant.  This includes water, electric, water heater, furnace, air conditioning and breaks in the main panel.

 

It’s important that your clients understand what they need to do and the issues they need to fix before getting their home inspected.  A pre-listing inspection is also recommended for potential sellers to identify items that they need to be aware of.  After all, surprises are never a good thing when it comes to home inspections and selling a house!

 

Source: The National Association of Home Inspectors

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Your April Home Checklist

checklistby Courtney Soinski

Now that Spring is in full swing, the month of April is a perfect time to do some spring cleaning and get your house in tip-top shape.

Also, with Earth Day right around the corner, go ahead and adopt a few green habits for a happy, energy-efficient home.

Here are some easy home projects that you can start checking off your April to-do list!

1. Tune-up lawn tools.

Make sure you have all your lawn equipment ready for springtime.  This includes tools like your lawnmower, leaf blower, pruners, rakes and anything else you may need for spring cleanup.

2. Check driveway and walkway for cracks or damage.

Depending on the type of climate you live in, driveways and walkways have a tendency to form cracks over the winter.  It is best to repair cracks as soon as possible in order to avoid larger issues.  Walk around the perimeter of your home looking for any damage on walkways, as well as on the foundation and fences.

3. Clean gutters and exterior siding.

You can only imagine what your gutters have collected over an entire winter season.  Get up on that ladder to clean leaves out of gutters and downspouts with a shovel or scoop.  You should also wash your house’s exterior with a pressure washer or regular hose with cleaning attachment.

4. Get air conditioning serviced.

Ensure you’re ready for warmer weather this Spring and soon to be Summer by getting your A/C serviced.  If needed, change the filter on any window air conditioning units.

5.  Give away excess belongings.

Don’t be a hoarder.  If you don’t use it, give it away and simplify your life.  Grab some boxes and try to fill one box per room with excess stuff to get rid of, whether it be to sell, recycle, give away, or toss.

6.  De-clutter and refresh your mantel.

Once you take everything off your mantel and clean it, bring springtime into your home with potted flowers or blooming bulbs.  For an extra touch, decorate your mantel with scented or plain candles.

7. Apply a fresh coat of paint.

We all know that weather can take a real toll on your home’s exterior paint job.  It may be time for a fresh coat of paint if you notice that your shutter or siding are a shade lighter or if they’re starting to look a bit dull.  You may even want to get a bright, new color for Spring!

 

Use your “April Home Checklist” this Spring for a clean, organized house.  You can also go greener by using real napkins instead of paper, shutting the lights off when you leave a room, and my personal favorite, check out the local farmer’s market for fresh produce.

April is the month to renew your home both inside and out!

 

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Selling? 5 Marketing Tips from Top Agents.

by Courtney Soinski

forsale

If you’re putting your home on the market to sell, you should know your real estate agent’s marketing strategy.  Having a solid marketing plan in real estate most definitely impacts how fast you sell your home.  And, the best agents know the best marketing strategies to quickly and effectively reach buyers with a high likelihood to be interested in your home.

5 Marketing Tips from Top Agents

  1. Good photography. 

Buyers see photos of your home before they see your home in many instances, and the best photos will drive interest – and traffic to your house.

  1. Don’t rely on the web to sell your home.

Sure, lots of people shop on the web for homes and there are lots of homes on the web.  Stats say that 65 million shop for homes in the U.S. every month.  However, only 5 million homes are sold in the U.S. every year.  It’s a very crowded space and your home should be on as many sites as possible, but it’s drowning in a sea of online data.

  1. Make sure your agent includes mobile technology in your marketing plan.

Today, we rely on our phones to look up everything, including real estate.  Your home should have a marketing plan that includes mobile tools as a significant element.  For example, your home should have a yard sign with a text code on it so that potential buyers driving by can look it up on their phone right away.  The Real Estate Book’s mobile tools actually .captures the potential buyer’s phone number so your agent can follow up.

  1. Market your home offline – locally.

Good agents know where potential buyers of your home live, work, shop and play.  They use free local real estate publications, targeted direct mail, brochures, and other tools to interrupt the day of the local home buyer.

  1. Keep your home looking good.

Part of the marketing plan for your home is in your court.  This includes how potential buyers perceive it when they walk through the door.  Living in a home and keeping it ready to show is a challenge, but it will pay off when buyers find your home more attractive than others they may be considering.

Put simply, don’t just wait around for home buyers to find you.  Get out there and find them through advertising – both online and offline.

Whether in a magazine ad on your agent’s website, a text code from a yard sign in front of your house that will drive people to your mobile listing, or a postcard in their mailbox with a code that captures their phone number, you’ll be in all the right places.

Above all else, don’t hesitate to ask your agent questions.  Know their marketing plan.  They are here to help you, and most importantly, sell your home.

 

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