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Home Inspections Pave the Way to Smoother Real Estate Transactions

By Keith Loria

When it comes to selling your home, the last thing you want to do is hold up a sale because of a simple problem that could have been identified by investing in a home inspection. While it may not be the No. 1 item on your to-do list as you prepare to list your home, a home inspection is an integral piece of the puzzle. Bringing to light any problems or issues that need to be addressed, a home inspection can save you a lot of time, money and headaches.

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Here are some of the most common problems a home inspector can unearth.

Bedroom Windows.

All rooms listed as bedrooms must have an operating window with 5 square feet of clearance for fire escape. Bedrooms must also have heat. If a home is listed with three bedrooms, and one does not meet both these requirements, it cannot legally be called a bedroom.

Furnaces and Compressors.

Rust in the heat exchange is a common problem that shows up during home inspections. Another common problem involves missing insulation where required by code at the time the house was built, or an improvement or replacement was installed.

Electrical Issues.

Common electrical code violations include electrical junctions not enclosed in a junction box, a lack of GFCI outlets in bathrooms and kitchens, or reverse-polarity on outlets. These are inexpensive things to repair, but by not doing so, it can hold up a sale.

Lifesaving Equipment.

Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in most states, and not having them will be considered a code violation.

Plumbing.

A number of plumbing issues are very common, with violations ranging from dripping faucets to loose toilets and improper drainage.

Structural Problems.

While these can be more expensive to fix, if they aren’t taken care of properly, they can prolong a sale. Violations in this area include rotten wood trim around windows and doors, rotten or delaminating siding and missing flashing on roofs or above windows and doors.

Extra Rooms.

If you had your basement fixed up at some point while living in the home, or even added a sunroom, be sure you have the proper permits in place. This will need to be taken care of before any sale can go through.

Don’t put your home sale in jeopardy because of code violations that can be easily fixed. Hire an inspector, make the necessary changes and enjoy the comfort it brings when the closing comes to fruition.

For more information about home inspections and code violations, contact our office today.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

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Selling Throughout The Seasons

by Jacklyn Renz

Whether the flowers are in bloom or the snow is in flurry fury, it may be on your mind to put your house on the market. Perhaps the sell is necessary for a job relocation, or you need to upgrade size. The main thing to note is that there are pros and cons to selling in each season. Here’s a look at both sides of the coin when it comes to selling throughout the seasons.

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Hot Summer Market

The housing market really sizzles in the summer months. Despite the warmer temperatures in some regions of the country, the majority of house hunters and home sellers are in the full swing of things just after Memorial Day. In fact, the housing market in June is 29% above the national average. School is out and many families with children are looking to relocate before school goes back in session. One con of selling during the summer is the upkeep of the quickly growing foliage as well as the costs of keeping your home attractively cool for potential buyers.

Falling Leaves Equal Falling Prices

As the real estate markets begins to taper off during the fall season, the prices of homes fall too. Again, the school year comes into play as less people are looking to move during the academic term. Less demand drives down the price that your home may sell for in the on-season markets of spring and summer. One pro to selling in the fall is the seller will see more motivated buyers. On the other side of the spectrum, you may see thrifty shoppers looking for a deal.

The Winter Months

Everything seems to hibernate in the winter, including the housing market. Things are slow as people save for the holidays and recuperate from travel and gifting expenditures. Again, a pro in the winter is that the buyer that may be in need of a new home will have less options out there, making your home a prize to be won. In addition to chilly, unattractive temperatures, there is less curb appeal to attract the potential buyer.

Springtime is Primetime

Homes really shine in the spring weather. Flowers are blooming and the days are getting longer, so buyers are out looking as long as the daylight lasts. Second only to the summer, spring is a wonderful time to list a home for prime price. The competition for buyers is hot, so one downside to selling during this season is that buyers can afford to be more picky. An upside, which also applies to the summer months, is that buyers may get in bidding wars for your home, thus driving a higher price tag.

Overall, the on-season for listing your home are the spring and summer months. The off-season are the fall and winter months. The best time to list is at the beginning of the spring season as buyers emerge for the hunt. There is still possible potential for a home selling well in the off-season, especially in regions where the weather remains fairly temperate all year long. Equip yourself with knowledge of your local market, professional help when needed, as well as good staging, and your house selling experience is sure to be successful!

sources: realtor.com, forbes.com

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Secrets to Successful Home Staging

One of the first and most important steps when listing your home for sale is to make it appealing to all potential buyers. Staging will help to downplay the house’s weaknesses, highlight its strengths, and catch the eye (and memory) of house hunters. Are you ready to list? Let’s set the stage for a successful sale!

Rid the Home of Clutter

Clutter is that dirty little secret that everyone has but wants to get rid of. When staging your home, let the buyers know that this will be the house they could potentially live in clutter-free! One main source of a cluttered visual that we may overlook is our furnishings. As a matter of fact, a professional home stager may even remove half of the home’s furnishings to help the space feel larger. Remove whatever you can live without, while still maintaining functionality.

Prune the Yard and Outside Spaces

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The curbside view is the first impression that your home gives to homebuyers. Make sure the yard is mowed, shrubs are trimmed, the mailbox and driveway are in good repair, and the home is not needing a paint job. If you have a porch, set it up just like you would an indoor room, adding seating and splashes of color to give off the “relax here” vibe.

Light Up The Space

You want to make your home warm and welcoming from the moment that someone steps inside. A great way to do that is through proper lighting. HGTV suggests increasing the wattage of all of your lamps and fixtures to about 100 watts per 50 square feet. Also, have three types of lighting per room: Ambient, task oriented (such as for reading), and accent lighting.

Furniture Rearranged

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Often we push furniture as far to the wall as possible in order to maximize living space in the center of the room, but for staging purposes, the opposite is true. Create cozy, intentionally purposed spaces by grouping furniture together. Traffic flow of a room can be controlled by furniture placement too, which will help potential buyers flow through the home in a way navigated by you.

Pretty But Not Too Pretty

Yes, it’s often nice to have a home deemed worthy of a spot in any “perfect living” magazine, but not necessarily realistic. Staging involves having the home more minimalist than your conventional state of things, but the normal splashes of life will make the house feel like a home, instead of an untouchable picturesque piece.

Bigger is Always Better

It’s possible for nice things to come in small packages, but not when it comes to houses. Buyers are looking for a space that is usable and affordable. Use paint colors to achieve the larger look. Brighter and lighter rooms seem bigger. Connect the flow of two small rooms by painting them the same color. Achieve a seamless look by making the drapery and the wall match.

Repurpose and Redefine

When staging, we are making suggestions to potential buyers about what a room could be used for. If there is a free-for-all room in the home, now is the time to redefine it carefully. Some ideas include a workout space, craft area, reading nooks, play spaces, music room, or entertainment area. Any of the spaces are subliminally suggested by decor and items in the room, but keep it simple enough for a person to project their own ideas too.

It may feel odd to come home to such a redefined place, but keep it mind it’s all for a good cause. Good staging could be the make or break to a quick sale.

source: HGTV.com

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