Archive for the ‘Home Buying’ Category

How to Style Your House before Selling

Selling a home is a stressful experience, particularly if you are selling it by yourself. Styling your home is important before you put it on the market for sale, since it will help in attracting buyers and may also increase the overall price of the property as well.
Many real estate experts have revealed that if you want to get your property off the market fast, the best way is to style your house before selling. Staging your home properly before you sell it will ensure that you are able to attract a large pool of buyers.
We asked some experts to provide us with styling tips that will enhance the appeal of the home, while also increasing its overall value as well. So here are some suggestions by the experts on how to style your house before selling it:

#1 Paint it all

A fresh coat of paint throughout the house can do wonders for the appeal, the look, and the value of the home. It also allows you to redecorate your house, thereby getting rid of little marks and scruffs that were bringing down the overall look of the house. Make sure that you select a colour that matches with the overall design of your home. To save money, you can try painting it all by yourself.

#2 Enhance the lighting

Replacing outdated lighting fixtures will help in terms of styling your home. If you have got lighting fixtures that are more than 10 or 15 years old, you should probably consider changing them. Also keep in mind the type of buyers that you’re trying to attract when you choose lighting fixtures, and try not to break the bank on them.

#3 Focus on de-cluttering

Make sure that you don’t have any old or unwanted stuff lying around your home, since it is highly unappealing to new buyers. You should focus on de-cluttering your home, and getting rid of all unwanted items and furniture. It will also help create extra space in your home, and will make it look more spacious, roomy, and stylish as well. You can host a garage sale before deciding to sell your home, so that you can de-clutter your home properly.

#4 Renovate the bathrooms

All real estate experts agree that the styling of the bathrooms plays a big role in determining the appeal of the home. New home buyers will often look at the bathrooms in the home to decide whether they want to purchase the house or not. That is why when you’re styling your home, you should renovate the bathrooms, since it will enhance the appeal of the home.

#5 Remove the curtains

When you’re styling your home before selling it you should take down the curtains, so that the new home buyers can get a good look at the window fixtures around the house. Doing so also ensures that more light enters the house, and it makes it look more spacious, which can play a part in increasing the overall price of the home.

Moving Into A New House? Here Is What You Should Do


image 4You have bought yourself a new home and are about to move in. But before you do that, no matter whether the house is brand new or had tenants until recently, you have to get the house ready for your family and yourself. Cleaning, painting, and fixing up the exterior are possibly some of the most obvious tasks, but perhaps you have not thought up of them all. Here are some of the most basic things one should do before setting a new home for a comfortable habitation spot.

  1. Clean It Up

Previous tenants may or may not leave the house clean for you. In both cases, you will want to clean everything yourself. If you are going to do it, set up an area where you will place all the tools and supplies that you will need for the job. Cleaners for various types of surfaces, mops, buckets, brooms, and a vacuum. Protect yourself by using rubber gloves, and make sure there is a healthy supply of it.

  1. New Exterior Doors Locks 

When you move into a new house, other people are likely to have the keys to it – maintenance people, realtors, and previous owners. As you want to be the only one who has the keys, installing new locks on exterior doors should not be overlooked. Have a locksmith to install you a new lock set or buy and install it yourself. It will give you some peace of mind in the future.

  1. Closet Organizers

By getting new closet organizers, your life there would be more enjoyable and moving in will be less stressful. Older houses have those simple a-pole-and-a-shelf closets. Think about where you plan to put and keep all your stuff, from laundry detergent to boots and raincoats.

  1. Painting

Painting all the ceilings and walls can be quite time consuming. One must inspect the walls and ceiling for any potential damage (holes, cracks, and similar defects), and prepare the surfaces for applying fresh paint. If there is no one that could help you with this, you should consider hiring professionals that will do the painting work for you.

  1. Window Treatments

Window treatments should be installed both for a finishing visual touch and privacy. Get some nice temporary and inexpensive shades and place it on your windows while moving in and setting everything up. They probably won’t be the best solution for a window treatment, but that is something you will think about, later after some time passes and you get used to your new premises.

  1. Mechanical Equipment

mage 3Mechanical equipment should be cleaned and serviced before the house is inhabited. Heating and cooling systems should be checked, and there should be a service contract in case the system stops working during winter days, so will not be obliged to overpay to get a service technician to come and fix it. If you have an extensive entertainment system, you will have to install everything in your new home, or can hire professionals, such as Universal Home Theatre, to install your home cinema, mount the TV on the wall, arrange and install the speakers, and even provide you with a complete audio-visual house solution.

  1. New Switch Plates (Along with Other Devices)

In case you notice mismatched outlets, damaged or rusted air vent covers, or discolored and dirty cover plates, give your new house some newness and uniformity by reinstalling them all. It will make a home look newer and cleaner. Switching the cover plates is quite easy and can be done with just a small screwdriver. However, replacing electrical devices is not advisable if you do not know how to work with electricity. Call an electrician or someone who has the skills and expertise to do it.

Completing these tasks before you move into a new home will make your future residing more comfortable and enjoyable. If you leave it for later, some jobs may cost you more time and money than they would while the house was still empty. Take care of security, organization, privacy, and make sure that all the electrical and mechanical systems and devices are safe and reliable. Good luck!



Tips and hacks to help successfully sell your property

image 1For anyone who is considering selling their home and investing in a new piece of real-estate it’s important to make smart choices in order not to fail terribly in terms of money and property investment. In today’s climate, it’s really difficult getting the worth you deserve for anything that’s on the market, especially houses and apartments. Given the situation, most families are rather opting for re-modeling than selling but if you are firm on saying “good bye” to your current home and buying a new one, we’ve got some amazing tips that will help you get the ROI (return of investment) you deserve.

Consult a real-estate agent

Before you dive into any offers and negotiations, talk to an experienced real-estate agent for the initial evaluation that will give you an insight into the actual worth of your home. Be prepared not to like what you hear, as it’s possible you’ll be faced with a much lower price than you’d expected. Naturally, that home has a sentimental value for you which practically makes it unsellable at virtually any price, but the first step to take it is face it all and then decide what next to do.

After you’ve got a feedback from the real-estate agent, give yourself a few days to think about your options and decide whether you want to go through the initial idea of selling.

Invest in re-decorating

Unless your home is a villa that’s been maintained by staff, there are surely plenty of things to upgrade in order to increase its selling value. Truth is, you don’t have to invest too much money but rather the amount that will be enough for touch ups. We’d suggest consulting an exterior design architect as he/she will definitely provide valuable input and ideas that will transform the outside of your home to increase its value. This will mostly have to do with replanting your garden, painting the outside walls another color or just treating it to a fresh coat of paint, fixing loose fixtures, etc. They’ll provide you with a plan you’ll then easily implement. If your budget allows it, consider consulting an interior designer as well – again, for helpful suggestions.

Once you’ve done all the upgrades, talk to your property agent again for a follow up evaluation. You’ll be surprised!

Remove clutter

Clutter is our biggest enemy in everyday life; tripping over your son’s bicycle on your way to the kitchen, or running your jacket on your daughter’s crayon collection is definitely not fun on regular days, and just imagine how terrible it is on the day you are showing the home to potential buyers!

To help your home look clean and presentable, remove all the toys from the driveway and front and back yard, and store them in a shed or your children’s toy boxes.

Also, make sure trash cans are emptied and there are no banana peels around to slip on! First impressions always count the most, so make sure yours is amazing!

Don’t rush it

There are plenty of reasons for selling a home and if yours isn’t that urgent – don’t rush into it. Buyers will (probably) be plenty, everyone offering the amount they believe the house is worth. However, you should trust your agent’s evaluation and never go under the estimated price. Unless you are in a hurry to sell, there is no need to underprice your home.

We hope our advice was of help and that you’ll get your money’s worth for your gorgeous home. Good luck!



How to Increase the Value of Your Home

1 (2)Home is where your heart is, but who says that your heart will remain at that one place for the rest of your life? One day, you may decide to sell the house you are currently living in, for some reason, and when that day comes, it would be wise to be prepared and get the highest possible price. Not only the housing prices are rising, but also the buyers’ demands and meeting them can become even more difficult. So, if you have planned for some renovations, you should know which projects can be more profitable when the time for moving your heart comes.

Upgrade the Kitchen

This is one rule that never gets old: kitchen is what sells the house in most of the cases, especially when a family is buying it. Some rather easy changes that can truly improve the aesthetic of the space are stainless steel appliances and new countertops made from granite or engineered stone. Since an open concept is very popular with today’s buyers, consider knocking down one wall to connect the kitchen with a living room.

Bathroom Facelift

2 (2)Every house flipping expert knows that one of the biggest buyers-repellents is an old, cracked and dirty-looking bathroom. First you should deal with the toilet, especially if it does not flush properly. Replacing it would be the simplest solution. Later, you can install a new, eye-catching and functional vanity that will not only save the space in your bathroom, but also offer a lot of storage space. If you are operating in a tight budget, you do not have to replace the bathtub all together. In most of the cases a simple reglazing is enough.

Take Care of Insulation

This is the best long-term investment and it can be decisive for house buyers. No matter if they are buying a house for themselves or they are planning to renovate and resell it, a proper insulation saves a lot of time and money. It may not be as visible as kitchen and bathroom revamp, but it is one of the first questions that are asked to homeowners, when putting the house on the market. If your house is already insulated, consider adding attic insulation and caulk around the doors and windows.

Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Insulation may not be enough to meet the growing demand for energy-efficient homes. Continue this project by adding ceiling fan in each room or storm doors. If you want to take it a step further than install double or even triple-glazed windows. Other upgrades can be solar water heaters, low-flow toilet and shower head, insulate the HVAC ducts and switch incandescent light bulbs for LED options.

Do a Front Yard Makeover

3 (1)An appealing house should look that way from before you get inside. Some simple and inexpensive changes as adding colorful plants to your planters and making a nice paver pathway could make a huge difference. A lush and nourished lawn is something that cannot be accomplished overnight, so try to regularly devote it enough attention and time. It can make your house stand out and be instantly captivating.

Even if you eventually decide you do not want to sell your home, these renovations will make your staying there more pleasant. In the end, you have nothing to lose.


What You Need to Do Before You Move into a New Place

Family in Front of Their New Home

Family in Front of Their New Home

The dream house is finally there for you to move in. Even though you have arrived at your new home, and the furniture is ready to be unloaded, some things need to be taken care of first. This is what the pre-moving activities should look like.

Pest Control

The best thing would be to check in on your new home a day or two before you start moving in and call the exterminator to see if there is any pest problem that needs solving. Setting a couple of bug bombs or having the exterminator simply spray the place would be enough, for you to have a peace of mind. It is always better to do these things before all the furniture is in the house, because it will be easier for you to catch the rodent or insects than with all the stuff in its place.

Change the Locks

Whether you choose to do it yourself or to call a locksmith, changing the locks on the exterior doors is paramount. Once you have settled in start building your security system. Installing an alarm would be also a great idea, because no matter how safe the neighbourhood is, a burglar can drop in any time if you are not protected enough.

Paint the Walls

The colour of the walls might be the perfect, but you should nevertheless paint all the walls and ceilings in the house. Not only for the aesthetic reasons, but for the hygienic ones as well. On the other hand, the walls can be damaged and not in a good shape, which will require some professional help. Hire someone to help you do it, and save you the time and trouble of doing it yourself.

Check the Leaks

Your inspector should notify you about any plumbing damages before you seal the deal on the house buying. However, sometimes overlooks like this can happen and you might end up with a broken pipe or a damaged faucet. Therefore, double-check all the plumbing and the fuse box for potential electricity malfunction. Better safe than sorry.

Check for Breakage

image 4The moving service usually delivers everything in one piece; nevertheless sometimes the damages are possible. Therefore, make sure to double-check all the sensitive pieces of furniture that might have been cracked or damaged in any way. Especially the glass ones, because they can be very dangerous. If you miss a cracked spot on a jar, or a lamp, you can cut yourself while placing it on a shelf or a nightstand.

Clean the House

The previous owners might have cleaned the house for you, or it may just look spotless. Just in case, start from scratch and wash everything. Get the buckets, brooms, mops, and a vacuum, and start cleaning. If the house is too big or you have not finished some other things try hiring a service to help you with the cleaning and do the work for you. Moreover, there might be some left over rubbish the previous owners have not got rid of, in which case rubbish removal Sydney will do the best job and remove everything you do not need in your backyard.

New Switch Plates

Dirty and discoloured cover plates, mismatched outlets and rusted or damaged air vent covers are very common in old places that were renovated more than once. It is highly recommendable you change these after you have painted the walls, because then there will be no more old and dirty spots anywhere in the house.

Every new house needs a couple of fix-ups before the family moves in. Now that you have considered all of these suggestions get to work and have the house in order. Once you have all of these things done, you will be able to start decorating and designing the beautiful interior.


What to do before moving to a new house

image 5According to experts, moving houses is the third most stressful situation in a person’s life, not only because it affects the entire family and the amount of things you need to move, but also for the thousands of other aspects one has to keep in mind. To make the move easier and less stressful, you must carefully plan all the activities that are going to happen, so making a list to keep track of all of them is a good idea.

Get everything in order

Choose what you really want out in your new home and get rid of the things you no longer need. Make an inventory of belongings. Once you have everything sorted out and packed, find the company that performs the move. Make a list of correspondence and report the change of address, and, of course, do not forget to tell your family and friends about you changing house. If you have children, notify the school and make arrangements with school buses.

Inform everyone important about your move

Report the new address in the mail and tax agencies and change the address on a driver’s license and vehicle registration. Confirm new phone number and date of connection. It is important to take the time and cancel newspaper deliveries, subscriptions, domestic services such as gardeners or cleaning, etc.

Change the locks on your new home

When it comes to your actual new home, do not forget to change the locks. You never know who could have the copy of the key. This might seem pretty unimportant to you if you have a good connection with the previous owner, but it will still bring you a peace of mind later on.

Thorough cleaning

Even if the house seems to be completely clean, clean it again. You are the one who is going to live there so make sure that everything is nice and sanitized according to your own needs and personal requirements.

Take care of your walls and ceilings

image 3If you do not like the current paint or wallpapers, paint them again according to your taste. This is quite a time consuming task, so, if you do not have any of your friends and family members to help you, it is best to hire a professional, especially if the walls have some kind of damage on them. If you are not sure what color to choose, it would be wise to paint everything in some kind of neutral tone, to avoid any unnecessary cost at the beginning of your new life in a new home.

Check the installations

Be sure to check water meters, gas and electricity, especially if you bought an older house. Most of these houses do not have an adequate fire protection and therefore, getting professional services to be fire safe and installing everything essential for a calm living is of utmost importance.

Pack the most necessary things separately

Prepare a ‘survival kit’ with items that will be needed immediately in the new home, such as electric kettle, soap, dishes, openers, clean clothes, flashlight, screwdriver, toilet paper, knife, etc. These items should be packed in a separate box, to ensure that it is taken first.

Moving is stressful and it is hard work. Take leave from work to avoid added pressure of the office. This will allow you to focus on the move, get things done and keep your sanity. The time out from work should also allow you more time with the family, since the most important part of a new house are the people who live there.


How To Fetch A Better Price When Selling A House

When selling a property, you will, most certainly, always try to get as much money as possible for it. On the other hand, buyers will try to lower the price. You both have interest in doing so. Here are some tips and tricks on how to increase the value of your house that no buyer could argue against.

Freshen up the colours

Two generation family looking at a house for sale

Two generation family looking at a house for sale

It may seem a bit off the clock to repaint the house you intend to sell, but it will do more than you could think. Opt for bright colours, white, beige, champagne, to open up the space, and make sure you mention to buyers that no further investment into walls is necessary for a while.

Doors, knobs, windows

The first thing a buyer sees are your entrance doors, as well as door knobs. You want them to look good, so fix anything that is broken, any paint that is peeling off, and the like. Also, inspect windows and fix them if necessary. Maybe some of them are not as tight as they used to be, maybe some are leaking when there are rain showers. Fix it before your buyers start coming.

                Floors, tiles, wood furnishings

It is very important how a person feels when walking. You want your buyers to like how they feel when they enter your property, so any slippery spots, any tiles that move, any screechy spots, and the like, are something you do not want. If you can’t fix it yourself, call a neighbour, a relative, or an expert. It will pay off in the long run.

Plumbing and electricity installations

One very important thing to pay attention to are any sort of installations, be it plumbing, electricity, gas, or the like. Besides regular yearly checks you are supposed to do, you should check them once again before going on the market, and make sure they are immaculate, because that ensures a buyer the house is reliable.

Bathroom and kitchen

Some consider the kitchen the most important room when buying a new property, so if there is anything you can do to make it more appealing to your prospective buyers, do it. Make sure no taps are leaking; no tiles are moving; that all the doors and knobs are in order. If possible, replace any old elements; clean up everything; and use air fresheners to produce a pleasant, yet mild, scent.

Clean up

If your house has an attic or a ceiling, make sure to clean them up. Of course you cannot remove everything in no time, but at least make sure they are not woven in spider webs and filled with dust and stench. Same goes for any space: take out all you no longer need to make the space seem bigger.


Consider your house location and neighbourhood and emphasize to buyers the possibilities of public transport, good local schools, pleasant people around, neighbourhood watch area, and use them as an advantage to your house. Once they see they could settle in a safe and family area, the price should be no problem.

Agent or agency

These are all things you can do yourself, but there are some others that are more suiting for an agency. You do not want to overpay an agent, so experts from Think Conveyancing are a bull’s eye here. They are an enormous help, they know the market, they know both buyers and sellers, they can estimate how much your house is worth and can negotiate a good price for you. They work for you, not vice versa.


Avoid making some of the Worst First-Time Homebuying Mistakes

image 1Although you might be excited for purchasing your first home, you need to be careful how things transpire, because even the slights of mistakes can cost you thousands. Moreover, if you do not pay attention to the small details in your possible new home, or the fine print on a contract, you might end up buying a pile of junk.

Budget It Out

First things first, having a dream is great, but do you really have the money for it? And, even if you do not, it does not mean you should not go into buying a new home, rather, it only leaves you with the option of taking out a loan. You will have to consider your budget and whether or not you can afford to pay back the loan, without having to go into the red zone of debts.

Do Not Assume That Buying A Home Is Just Paying and Getting the Keys

Until you get the keys to your new home, some time will have to pass, and you will have to make sure that in the meantime you do not end up paying a lot more for hidden costs. Be sure to lockdown all costs when signing a contract, and that you explore every possible expense your new home could bring with it, so that you can rearrange your budget to handle it.

Understanding the Housing Market

Selling homes is also part of the supply and demand chain, and it would be prime to only buy a home when the demand is low for them, because the overall price will be lower. But, in order to do that, you will have to research the housing market trends in your desired area. Even though it is possible, you will be only getting estimates, because in order to fully understand what is going on, you will have to become part of the realtor scene.

Buying a New Home Means That You Should Check Everything

image 3Listening to your agency is a good way to ensure that you will not get swindled out of your money, but, you should not take their words blindly and lightly. If they do not want to call in a professional inspector to check on the home, then you should be scared, as there is something fishy going on. Never skip the home inspection phase, as you might discover issues you have not known about, and when you summarize it all, you could end up having to pay a lot more than you bargained for.

Go With Trusted and Reliable Agencies

Finding good realtor agencies will be hard, because nowadays advertising is done a lot differently, and even the most appalling businesses can seem great. However, Sydney-based property buyers have a background that can be used as a prime example of how to set up a good agency. Nevertheless, always be sure to look at how many people have used their support and whether or not they are happy with the new home customers have bought.

Unfortunately, you will always have hidden costs when buying a new home, and it will be hard to eliminate them right from the get-go. But, you can lower their impact by being prepared and by inspecting your home-to-be to see if there are any issues the seller forgot to mention. After all, it will be a lifelong investment, and you cannot just take lightly what you are buying. Moreover, taking out a loan can affect your budget if you are not careful, because your positive standing can quickly turn red.


Buying New? 10 Ways To Make The Process A Total Breeze

Buying New- 10 Ways To Make The Process A Total BreezeThe real estate market is booming as key economic indicators are pointing up again. There’s no better investment to make to secure your family’s financial future than real estate. If you’re buying a new home, here are ten great tips for making your purchase a total breeze:


1. See the Specs

There’s no better way to determine whether you will like a new home than to check out the model. Walk through the model. Open drawers. Check out the closets. You can see the construction and detail quality for yourself.


2. Talk to Others

If you’re hiring a contractor or developer to build your perfect dream home, make sure you talk to other customers. History does tend to repeat itself, and happy prior customers are a great sign.


3. Compare Online

Do you homework online. Nearly everything you want to know about new home construction is available to you online with a quick search.


4. Use a Trusted Builder

Reputations are built on hard work and honest interactions. Builders who are known and trusted in your community are a safe bet. You can also go check out other new home developments in your area, see what options you have and what you like or dislike about different layouts.


5. Use a Contractor Who Has Been in Business Longer

It’s better to hire someone with a history of building homes than to hire a newly formed company. Experience counts- you don’t want to pay a new builder to learn on the job.


6. Select Products You Know

When you buy a new home, you will get to select finishes such as sinks, bathtubs, flooring, lighting and more. Take the mystery out of selections by using a brand you’ve come to love.


7. Call the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List

You can also check your new builder’s company out by calling a business group such as the BBB or Angie’s List. Sometimes, these groups can help you avoid problems by pointing out issues with the builder or company.


8. Check References

You should ask your builder for personal client references. Then, call the references. After you call them, if they are satisfied with their home, drive by the home and check it out for yourself.


9. Buy In a Known Neighborhood

If you are buying a new home, be sure to buy in a location that you already know. If you are new to the area, check out the schools. Check out whether there are conveniences nearby such as shopping and libraries.


10. Compare Prices

When you buy a new home, you will be given an estimated per-foot building cost. Compare these costs to other builders for similar finishes so you know that your builder’s pricing is in line with competitors’.


There’s no better way to build financial security for your family than the purchase of a home. New homes are a blank canvas to inspire and invigorate us. When you purchase new construction, you get the be the first person to live in a beautiful brand new space tailored to your own specifications.

Selling Your Home in a Balanced Market

Sold HouseWhen the real estate market is hot, it’s really not that difficult to sell your home. But when we move into a more balanced market, things become more difficult, you can’t just list your home and expect it to sell; you need to take some basic steps to ensure your home as the best possible chance of selling.

In a competitive real estate market you really need to keep an eye on the competition. Buyers will view multiple listings and pick the one that’s right for them; this could be the cheapest, the one in the best area, or any other criteria which they deem important. In order to ensure your home sells you have to ensure that your home stacks up well against the competition. If you are using a good Realtor they should keep on top of this, keeping you informed of new listings and prices changes of similar properties in your area. It is often a good idea to take a tour of the competition, that way to can see exactly what you are up against. And remember the competition may not only include resale homes, it can also include new construction.

Condition, Condition, Condition

Ensure that your home is in the best possible condition; don’t give the buyer an opportunity to form a negative opinion just because of a few easy DIY jobs. Ensure that all those honey to do jobs have been completed, your home should be in a condition where the buyer thinks they could move in without having to decorate or fix anything. Remember that this also included the flooring, if your carpet has seen its best days get it cleaned and if that does not work consider replacing it. Spending money on your home when you plan to leave may seem like a waste but it may mean the difference of selling and not selling.

Stage It

Ensure your home is staged for selling. Everything should be neat, tidy, free from smells and free of clutter. If you have to rent a storage unit rather than stuffing everything in the basement (even that needs to be neat and tidy). Remove anything that people may find offensive, this includes but is not limited to religious artifacts, nude pictures, and stuffed animals.  If you want to see how a home should look for selling take a look at a new construction modal home.

Outside matters too

Don’t forget the outside, especially the front. This is the first area a buyer sees and should create a good first impression. Your garden should be neat, tidy and free from weeds. If it’s the right season consider planting some flowers. Your front door should be clean, and work properly. It’s amazing the number of sticking doors or difficult to open doors I come across. For that extra touch even consider purchasing a welcome mat.

Trela Bird is an experienced Realtor working in the Salt Lake Real Estate market.  She specializes in helping people who are relocating to the area, and is an expert in the Daybreak Real Estate market.