Tag Archives: Washington Homes Group

A Good First Impression

Good First Impression

Good First Impression – OnLINE

You should prepare for your photo shoot as much as you would for an open house or private showing. Work alongside an excellent  local real estate agent , and follow these tips to make sure your home looks its best.

Never list your home online without photos

Today’s buyers get email and text alerts when a new home that matches their criteria hits the market. There is nothing more frustrating than to see the desired address come across as an alert, only for the listing to be incomplete.

Buyers (and agents) will punish you for jumping the gun. Will they go back later and look again, once you have the photos up? Maybe — but maybe not.

You’re adding an extra step for them, and it comes across like you don’t have your ducks in a row. That’s not a great way to start out with your future customer.

Clean, declutter, organize and remove

You should spend a good amount of time preparing for your photo shoot. This means that you fluff the pillows, put toilet seats down, put Fido’s bowl and toys away, and ensure the home  is in impeccable condition.

grid-cell-5738-1428950950-5

A tidy home free of clutter appeals to buyers. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

People can zoom in, zoom out and play with photos in online listings. They’ll notice everything. If your photos don’t show your home well, it sends a message to the buyer that you don’t care, and that you are not a serious seller.

The buyer is your customer. You have a product for sale. Take the time to present it in the best possible light.

Poor photos won’t cut it

Images that are blurry, poorly lit, or distorted are not going to sell your home.

It’s a good idea to hire a professional photographer who will take high-resolution photos, and even bring extra lighting or equipment to enhance their work. They’ll also take dozens of pictures and work tirelessly to show your home in the right light and from the best angles.

IS52lnvhhjxe931000000000

Well-lit photos show off your home’s assets. Courtesy of Zillow Digs.

Don’t skimp on the number of photos

When it comes to photos, the more, the merrier. You want to make it easy on buyers to get comfortable with and learn more about your home.

Not only are the listing photos their initial impression, but they serve to help orient the buyer after the first or second showing. Once they have been through the home in person, they are better able to relate to the floor plan and how it flows. Going back to the listing photos allows them to make connections and dig deeper. Encourage them to do so by posting plenty of photos.

BY BRENDON DESIMONE

Tracy Tkac
Direct – 301-437-8722

Office -202-364-1700
Evers & Co.
Tracy@Eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

Home Buying 101

GetMedia-33
Home Buying 101

Home Buying 101

Basic guidelines for the first time home buyer and the home buying process, simplified- Home Buying 101.

by Tracy Tkac 
Making an offer to purchase a house can be intimidating and scary, it’s a big commitment that will require a chunk of your financial resources. It’s also exciting and wonderful! You will be building equity and getting tax breaks for mortgage payments, but importantly , you will have a place of your own to do with what you wish.  Most of all, your home will be the place where you will make memories and entertain friends and family. You will make your house into your lovely home. Below are the basic guidelines and the home buying process simplified or Home Buying 101.

 Making an offer

Even though it’s early in the buying process, you still must sign a legally binding contract. With your signature, you’re committing to moving ahead with the seller. Keep in mind you can add contingencies to many real estate contracts. For example, most real estate buying offers will be contingent on a property inspection, radon inspection, loan approval, appraisal and sometimes other matters. Such contingencies enable buyers to opt out of the contract if unexpected problems or concerns pop up.

 Disclosures

In most states, sellers are legally required to provide buyers with disclosure documents including any know defects, lead based paint information, real tax bills from the current year and the estimated property tax bill for the next year. In addition, sellers must disclose any known issues that might affect the property’s value or habitability. Usually, in a transfer disclosure statement, sellers must answer a series of “yes” or “no” questions about the property, and provide the neighborhood homeowners association/ or condo information. If there have been leaky windows,  work done without permits or plans for a major nearby development, the seller must disclose them. You will have the opportunity to view the areas master plan and the will be provided with a list of nearby airports. The disclosures will need to be signed by the purchaser and will become part of the offer to purchase and then after all terms are agreed to, they will be part of the contract.

The appraisal

Most buyers put a certain amount of money down toward the purchase price. The balance will come in the form of a bank loan (usually). But a bank isn’t going to hand over that money without due diligence. An appraisal is the financial institution’s way of making sure the contract price is the right price. So the lender sends out a third-party appraiser, which the buyer pays for, to confirm that the contract price is in line with the neighborhood’s comparable sales. If it’s not, the bank can deny the loan or change the terms.If a property does not appraise, the contract price can be renegotiated or contract voided.

Inspections

As part of the real estate contract, you have the right to a property inspection One of the most common, is a “specific” property inspection, in which the inspector checks the home from the foundation to the roof and investigates all major systems and components. As the buyer, you should follow along with the inspector to learn more about the property. For example, you’ll want to know about the components (such as the water heater) and have a plan in place for maintenance.

After the property inspection, the inspector may suggest having a specialist come out. This could be a roofer, electrician, HVAC specialist or even an engineer. Listen to the inspector and have any recommended follow-up inspections. Remember: This is your one chance to approve the property from top to bottom. If issues arise, you may be able to negotiate repair or a buyer credit.  If something major arises and it’s not what you signed up for, you can void the contract via your inspection contingency.

Loan approval or commitment

In addition to making certain the property appraises at no less than the contract price, the bank will want to fully approve your credit, debt and income history. The bank will also want to approve the property’s preliminary title report to make sure there are no liens recorded against the property that might affect its value. The bank can take up to 45 days to complete its review, which should result in a loan commitment or full loan approval. Once that’s completed to the bank’s satisfaction, you’re guaranteed a loan, and you’re one step closer to closing. How much money do you need?

Final walk-through

Before closing, you will do a final walk through in the property to make sure it’s in the condition it is supposed to be in, if you have negotiated for repairs, check the receipts and repairs to make certain they were done correctly. Make sure the seller didn’t remove any fixtures, make modifications or leave behind garbage or debris. Check the plumbing, air or heat and that everything that is supposed to remain at the property is there- this your your last chance to make sure all is as it should be!

 

Settlement

Depending on the market, the closing may happen at an attorney’s office or at a title company. In some situations, the buyer and seller don’t ever meet. Each goes in to sign their closing papers separately. In others, the buyers and sellers sign the closing documents together. Regardless of how a closing happens, if you’re a buyer and getting a loan, plan on signing dozens of documents at closing. You’ll need to show photo ID, as your signature will be notarized. Prior to the closing, your lender will work with the settlement attorney and send you a closing disclosure statement to review at least 3 days previous to the settlement. The statement details your final closing costs and the money you need to bring to the closing. The funds can be wired in or paid with a cashier’s check on closing day.

 

Enjoy your new home

Don’t be afraid to call your realtor and ask questions, for direction or help. She is a great resource  for the big and  little things that come up when owning your own home.

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

 

 

Buy and Sell Simultaneously

Buy and Sell Simultaneously
GetMedia-58

GetMedia-58Buying a home while selling a home – and trying to close both deals at the same time — requires great timing and coordination, a little luck and the understanding that at least one of the parties involved is probably taking a risk. In a sellers’ market, buyers often face more risk and frustration than sellers. It can be tough to buy and sell simultaneously, but with the right help-it can be done!

What is a “sellers’ market”?

It’s a real estate market in which sellers are more likely to sell their home for close to asking price and where listings spend less time on the market. Those factors give sellers more power when it comes time to negotiate.

Buying a home can be stressful, selling a home can be stressful; doing both at the same time is almost sure to result in a few sleepless nights. Accepting that fact upfront and doing some advance planning will help your situation.

Most people buy homes that need some work done before they move in, and time is limited, so they need to get plumbers and painters and floor people in when they need them and in the order that they need them.

There are a lot of details that need to be handled very quickly, If you approach this like you’re managing a major project at work, and you can adhere to a timeline, your transition can be a fairly smooth one.

Start planning early

If you are in a simultaneous buy-sell adventure, seek professional advice early on. Meet with your real estate agent and lender far in advance. An agent who has experience in your local market will be able to help you understand your home’s value and should be able to talk you through the various buying-selling scenarios.

Option 1: Buy first, then sell

Buyers who qualify may want to buy their new home before selling their old one. Understand that you’ll likely need to prove to your lender that you have enough cash in the bank to make a down payment, pay closing costs and cover mortgage payments for two homes. Yes, buying a new home while you already own a home may be a financial stretch, but in a sellers’ market, there are typically fewer homes for sale than you’d find in a buyers’ market. That fact may add difficulty to the task of finding a new home that suits your needs and budget.

Option 2: Sell first and buy second

If you sell first and buy second, you have the advantage of knowing exactly how much money you have to invest in a new home. Because sellers have the power in these situations, you can likely include a rent-back clause in your sales agreement, through which the buyer allows you to rent your home back for 30 to 60 days after closing, to give you more time to find a new place.

Many variables can come into play when you’re buying and selling property, and any one of them can affect the decisions you make along the way. Take time upfront to prepare yourself, your home and your finances so your real estate transactions go as smoothly as possible.

Start your search here

 

Tracy Tkac
301-437-8722
Evers & Co.
Tracy@eversco.com
www.WashingtonHG.com

 

Why Use A Real Estate Agent?

Why Use A Real Estate Agent? The road to homeownership can be bumpy, and it’s often filled with unexpected turns and detours. That’s why it makes sense to have a real estate pro help guide the way.

According to the National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88 percent of buyers purchase their homes through real estate agents or brokers. That reliance on real estate professionals has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.

While real estate websites and mobile apps can help you identify houses you may be interested in, an experienced agent does much more.

Real estate agents:

1. Guide. Before you tour your first home, your agent will take time to learn more about your wants, needs, preferences, budget and motivation. A good real estate agent will help you narrow your search and identify your priorities.

2. Educate. You should expect your agent to provide data on the local home market and comparable sales. The home-buying process can be complicated. A good agent will explain the steps involved – in a manner that makes them understandable – and provide counsel along the way.

3. Network. An agent who is familiar with your target neighborhoods will often know about homes that are for sale – even before they’re officially listed. Experienced agents tend to know other agents in the area and have good working relationships with them; this can lead to smooth transactions. Your agent may also be able to refer you to trusted professionals including lenders, home inspectors and contractors.

4. Advocate. When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who’s contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you. If you find yourself in a situation where the same agent represents both the buyer and seller, things can get trickier, advises Scottsdale, Arizona-based real estate agent Dru Bloomfield.

“A lot of people think they’ll get a lower price by going straight to the listing agent, but that’s always not true,” she says. “If I was representing both the buyer and seller, I’d be hard-pressed to take a low-ball offer to the seller. But, as a buyer’s agent I’d do it, because I have no emotional ties or fiduciary responsibility to the seller. Buyers should work with an agent who can fully represent them.”

5. Negotiate. Your agent will handle the details of the negotiation process, including the preparation of all necessary offer and counteroffer forms. Once your inspection is done, the agent can also help you negotiate for repairs. Even the most reasonable consumers can become distraught when battling over repair requests; an agent can do “the ask” without becoming overly emotional.

6. Manage minutia. The paperwork that goes along with a real estate transaction can be exhaustive. If you forget to initial a clause or check a box, all those documents will need to be resubmitted. A good real estate agent understands the associated deadlines and details and can help you navigate these complex documents.

7. Look out. Any number of pitfalls can kill a deal as it inches toward closing; perhaps the title of the house isn’t clear, the lender hasn’t met the financing deadline or the seller has failed to disclose a plumbing problem. An experienced real estate agent knows to watch for trouble before it’s too late, and can skillfully deal with challenges as they arise.

Professional real estate agents do so much more than drive clients around to look at homes. Find an agent you trust and with whom you feel comfortable working; you’re sure to benefit from their experience, knowledge of the local market and negotiation skills.

MN-AG739_CLUBHO_D_20140729163743

5 Myths and 5 Truths About Selling Your Home

5 Myths and 5 Truths About Selling Your Home

5 tips for showing your home for sale
Washington Homes Group
www.washingtonhg.com
AUTHOR:

Seems everyone has advice to offer about the real estate market. Unfortunately, not all that unsolicited information is true.

Misinformation can waste your time and cost you money. When it comes time to list your home, you’ll need to do your research so you can separate fact from fiction. Real estate agents participating inZillow’s 2014 Home-Selling Season Survey identified five top real estate myths; the debunking of them should put you on the fast-track to selling your property:

Myth No. 1: I need to redo my kitchen and bathroom before selling.

Truth: While kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of a home, you won’t get a large return on investment if you do a major renovation just before selling.

Minor renovations, on the other hand, may help you sell your home for a higher price. New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer. Check out comparable listings in your neighborhood and see what work you need to do to compete in the market.

Myth No. 2: The outside of my home isn’t as important as the inside.

Truth: Home buyers often make snap judgments, often based simply on a home’s exterior. Therefore, curb appeal is very important.

“A lot of buyers I work with have done some preliminary online searches or they’ve driven by properties before they even enlist my services,” says Bic DeCaro, a real estate agent Westgate Realty Group in Falls Church, VA. “If a property looks bad, if the yard is cluttered or the driveway is all broken up, there’s a chance they won’t ever enter the house – they’ll just keep driving.”

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal

The great news is that it doesn’t cost a bundle to make some big changes to your home’s exterior appearance. Start by cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and clearing away any clutter. Then, for less than $50, you could put up new house numbers, paint the front door, plant some flowers or install a new, more stylish porch light.

Myth No. 3: If my house is clean, I don’t need to stage my home.

Truth: Clean and tidy is a good first step, but as more and more home sellers across the country have enlisted the services of professional home stagers, the bar has risen. It’s not enough anymore to toss dirty laundry in the closet and sweep the front steps.

Stagers strive to make homes appeal to a broad range of tastes. They can skillfully identify ways to highlight your home’s best features and compensate for its shortcomings. A stager might, for example, recommend removing blinds from a window that has a great view or replacing a double bed with a twin to make a bedroom look bigger. It’s common for stagers to de-clutter and depersonalize homes by putting furniture and family photos into storage. Or, if you’ve already moved out, a stager can move in furniture to give potential buyers a sense of how rooms might be used.

You don’t have to hire a professional stager. But if you don’t, you better be ready to use some of their tactics to get your home ready for sale.

If staging is a trend where you live, an unstaged house will pale when compared to others on the market. And if staging is not yet something buyers in your area are used to seeing, your results will be even more impressive.

Myth No. 4: Granite and stainless steel appliances are no longer “in.”

Truth: The majority of home shoppers still want granite counters and stainless steel appliances.Quartz, marble and concrete counters also have wide appeal.

granite_398 w valentino st meridian id

Granite countertops are still highly desirable.

“Most shoppers just want to steer away from anything that looks dated,” says Dru Bloomfield, a real estate agent with the Realty ONE Group in Scottsdale, AZ. “When you a design a space, you need to decide: ‘Am I doing this for myself or for resale?’ If you’re not planning to move anytime soon, you can decorate any way you like. If it’s likely your house will be going on the market within the next couple years, stick to elements that have mass appeal: neutral paint and tile colors, matching appliances or top-of-the line appliances.
“I recently sold a house where the kitchen had been remodeled 12 years ago and everybody thought it had just been done because the owners had chosen timeless elements: dark maple cabinets, granite counters and stainless appliances.”

Myth No. 5: Home shoppers can look past paint colors they don’t like.

Truth: Moving is a lot of work and, while many home buyers realize they could take on the task of painting walls, they simply don’t want to.

That’s why one of the most important things you can do to update your home is to apply a fresh coat of neutral paint. Neutral colors also help a property standout in online photographs – which is where most potential buyers will get their first impression of your property.

Hiring a professional to paint the interior of a 2,000 square-foot house likely will cost $3,000 to $6,000, depending upon labor costs in your region. You could buy the paint and do the job yourself for $300 to $500. Either way, if a fresh coat of paint helps your home stand out in a crowded market, it’s probably a worthwhile investment.

How to Get Multiple Offers on Your Home

unnamed

 

 

 

How to Get Multiple Offers on Your Home

 

Buyers in any market look for perceived value. Homes priced 10 percent (or more) over their market value won’t get noticed. Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close. Then, the price officially becomes the home’s market value. Until that time, agents can provide sellers with a value range. Have a good location? Does your home show well? Are you in a strong sellers’ market? Price your home on the bottom of that price range and you’ll be sure to attract buyers — and possibly multiple offers.

Buyers in any market look for perceived value. Homes priced 10 percent (or more) over their market value won’t get noticed. Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close. Then, the price officially becomes the home’s market value. Until that time, agents can provide sellers with a value range. Have a good location? Does your home show well? Are you in a strong sellers’ market? Price your home on the bottom of that price range and you’ll be sure to attract buyers — and possibly multiple offers.Homeowners hear that the real estate market has finally turned a corner and assume that means multiple offers and bidding wars are back. Even if your town is buzzing with real estate activity and sales are picking up, it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed multiple offers, or even one offer for that matter. For a seller to get lots of activity on their listing, there are three must-haves: location, price and presentation.

Must have a good location

One thing is common among all properties that receive multiple offers these days: the home is in a good location. Location is nearly always what drives homebuyers in their search. Before considering price, number of bedrooms or size of home, a buyer looks for location.

If your home is on a busy street, not in the best school district or near a freeway on/off ramp, chances are you won’t receive the kind of activity that a well-located home would. In that case, work closely with your agent to price the home correctly.

Must be priced right

Buyers in any market look for perceived value. Homes priced 10 percent (or more) over their market value won’t get noticed. Pricing isn’t an exact science, and it’s nearly impossible to pin a precise number to a home until buyer and seller sign a contract and close. Then, the price officially becomes the home’s market value. Until that time, agents can provide sellers with a value range. Have a good location? Does your home show well? Are you in a strong sellers’ market? Price your home on the bottom of that price range and you’ll be sure to attract buyers — and possibly multiple offers.

Must show well

A generation ago, sellers simply did some deep cleaning and maybe some de-cluttering before their first open house. Presentation wasn’t as important then as it is today, given online listings. More buyers today develop an emotional connection to a home. They want to imagine themselves in your home and not feel like they’re a guest. What does that mean? Appeal to the masses. If you have a good location and you plan to price your home realistically, then you need to make sure you give buyers what they want. If you can afford it, make cosmetic upgrades; invest in some staging and work to turn your home into a “product.” Emotionally disconnect from your home and try to see it more objectively.

Plan on having the home in perfect condition for the photo shoot. A buyer’s first impression of your home likely will be via the Internet or an email from their agent. Make them want to step inside. The more buyers you attract to your home, the more activity.

Know your market

Don’t assume that national trends apply to your region, city or neighborhood. If you’re not in a strong sellers’ market or you spend a fortune on last-minute upgrades, you could be in for a giant surprise. Just because you hear about bidding wars and multiple offers on the national news doesn’t mean that applies to your market. For example, while properties in San Francisco may receive multiple offers, a town like Port Chester, NY, still sees short sales and homes often spend many days on the market.

Work with a good local agent. A local agent has likely toured all the nearby homes for sale as well as ones that have sold over the past six months to a year. Knowing those homes, having walked inside and personally knowing the agents who have sold them matters. This is market data that an outsider just doesn’t have access to. This knowledge empowers good local agents to educate their sellers.

 

It’s Spring — Time to Clean Up Your Finances

It’s Spring — Time to Clean Up Your Finances

After one of the most brutal winters we’ve seen in years, it’s finally time to put away the down coats, spruce up the house and, yes, even tidy up your personal finances. Here are a few tasks you may want to tackle:

Clean up bad credit        

Money parachuting inHave you been subject to high interest rates? Denied a loan altogether? Been unable to rent an apartment or perhaps even land a job? If you have bad credit, then you’re aware of these consequences and others. Dedicate spring cleaning time as the annual time to review yourcredit report, and boost that all-important score.

Freshen your budget

We’re three months into the new year. How are you doing so far? Under budget? Over budget? Have you spent more or less than you planned in certain areas? If you’re close to your expectations, great, but if you have veered off track — perhaps because you’ve changed jobs or undergone another life-altering event — make any necessary adjustments now, before things escalate.

Plug financial holes

I’m not only talking about canceling memberships you’re not using, avoiding late fees, passing up valuable tax breaks, or revisiting your insurance policies to make sure the coverage is both adequate and affordable. I’m also talking about putting more money in your pocket by reducing your biggest monthly expense: your mortgage debt. Did you know that a 1 percent savings on your mortgage rate, in just one year, could save you about $2,400? That’s the equivalent of a week-long vacation for a family of four! Point being, even small amounts can make a big difference.

Pay it down

If you’re still carrying credit card debt, check the cards’ interest rates and balances. Then, make a plan to pay off this debt using a strategy that works for you, whether it’s targeting just one card first, transferring your balance to a lower (or 0 percent) card, or even making two minimum payments each month. Consider this example: If you’ve got a $2,000 balance on a card with a 17 percent interest rate, if you only make the minimum payment, it will take more than 21 years to pay off the balance. But if you make an additional payment of the original amount two weeks later, you’ll be debt-free in less than three years. How is this possible? Card issuers typically charge interest on a daily basis so the sooner you make a payment, the faster your average daily balance is reduced.

Get shredding

Spring is the ideal time to shred any old financial documents. While ATM deposit slips, withdrawal receipts and canceled checks that don’t pertain to your taxes can be thrown out as soon as you’ve verified that the transactions are accurately documented on your bank statements, you’ll want to keep tax records for seven years, pay stubs and bank statements for a year, and credit card statements for at least 45 days.    

by Vera Gibbons

More Banks Lower FICO Score Requirements

imgres-2

More Banks Lower FICO Score Requirements

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014

More banks are lowering minimum FICO score requirements in an attempt to shore up lending for underserved borrowers.

Carrington Mortgage Services is the latest company to announce that it has lowered its minimum FICO score to 550. It also has expanded guidelines on several FHA, VA, and USDA loan programs to aid those with FICO scores below 640.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, said in February that it was lowering its minimum FICO score requirements on FHA-backed mortgages from 640 to 600. The move, bank officials said, was aimed at “opening up our credit box more.”

One in three consumers have a FICO score below 650, according to Carrington. The lender is refocusing its business on targeting the underserved segment and eliminating conventional and jumbo loans. It is limiting its acceptance of wholesale submissions with FICO scores above 680 starting April 1, except for VA loans, HousingWire reports.

“Effectively meeting the needs of clients in the underserved market requires the ability to both originate quality loans and appropriately service them after the fact,” says Ray Brousseau, executive vice president of Carrington’s mortgage lending division. “Both Carrington’s lending platform and specialty servicing business were created to serve this particular market segment. That uniquely positions us as the lender of choice for this population of borrowers and the mortgage brokers and real estate agents who work with them. Our message is clear: You can count on Carrington to serve the underserved and get the tough loans done right.”

Top ways to find storage in a small bathroom

Call washington Homes Group for more Staging Tips

www.washingtonhg.com

202-719-0078

6 DIY Bathroom Storage Tricks

 

DATE:MARCH 10, 2014 | CATEGORY:HOME IMPROVEMENT | AUTHOR:

By Joe Provey

My wife and I have a very small bathroom. The tub, toilet, and sink are lined up shoulder-to-shoulder along one wall. An in-swinging door assaults anyone foolish enough to linger in front of the mirror.

And, this particular bathroom is the smallest in a long line of small bathrooms I’ve owned. For that reason, it may be that I’m the world’s leading expert on finding ways to increase bathroom storage.

Here are my top ways to find storage in a small bathroom:

1. Install a big medicine cabinet

For much of the last century, medicine cabinets were small, because a) people knew how to get by with a lot less stuff, and b) they were typically set into the wall between studs (typically only 14-1/2 inches apart). If you’re not into the asceticism of the past, rip out the old unit and install a large wall-mounted cabinet. Yes, it will encroach a bit into the room, but your compensation is thousands of cubic inches of usable storage.

2. Go with a vanity over a pedestal sink

Source: O Interior Design, Inc.

Source: O Interior Design, Inc.

The temptation with a small bathroom is to install a pedestal sink. The idea is that it will make you bathroom “feel” bigger. And, it will. But if storage is what you need, install a vanity and set your sink into it, or on top of it — vessel sinks are a nice compromise between pedestal sinks and vanities.

Vanities with deep drawers are much more convenient than ones with doors — no bending to search in dark recesses for what you need. Sure, it may take some clever plumbing work to keep pipes clear of the drawers, but it can be done. If you’re stuck with a door-style vanity, consider retrofitting a pullout shelf. They’re available as kits that come with slides and preassembled wooden trays.

3. Use the space over the toilet

Above toilet

Source: Deborah Bettcher Decorating Den

Shelves or cabinets (which aren’t too deep) are great ways to use this underused space. Just leave enough room between the bottom shelf and the top of the toilet tank, so you can easily access the flush mechanism to make repairs. There are hundreds of over-the-toilet organizers available. Some mount to the wall, while others have legs that straddle the toilet tank and rest on the floor.

4. Hang hooks behind the door

Door storage

Source: Encore Construction

There are all sorts of racks designed to take advantage of the space behind the bathroom door. Some racks install over the door top; others hang on the hinge pins. Keep in mind that towel bars are better for hanging wet towels, but hooks are great for robes and clothing. In a pinch, use a classic back-of-door shoe bag and fill the compartments with extra soap bars, shampoos, bandages, combs and so on.

5. Hang stuff in the shower area

I don’t like hanging organizers from the showerhead. Who likes staring at toiletries? A better way is to hang your organizer near the back of the shower area. Doing so may require that you install a hook in tile, but that’s easier than it sounds. Use a punch to nick the tile and bore an anchor hole with a masonry bit. While you’re at it, install a few extra hooks for hanging brushes, shower caps, washcloths, etc.

6. Use less stuff

The first rule of organization is to get rid of stuff. Clear out hair and skin products you tried once and never used again. Do the same with old medicines (but check with your municipality for properdisposal). Turn old towels you rarely use into rags. And limit your stock of bathroom cleaning agents — you’d be surprised how versatile a big bottle of white vinegar and a jar of baking soda are.

 

Sell Your Home For The Most Money

Sell Your Home For The Most Money  

P1010941

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Tracy Tkac

Washington Homes Group

www.WashingtonHG.com

Sell Your Home For The Most Money

#10: Price it right
Find out what your home is worth by looking at what homes like yours in your neighborhood have sold for in the previous six months, (that is the criteria an appraiser will use to value your home for the bank for a buyers loan). When sellers “test” the market, many times their home will sit un-sold and become stale on the market. Agents and buyers will think something is wrong with the house or it is undesirable because it hasn’t sold or that it is over-priced. Price it right from the start and you should sell your home for the most money possible.

#9: Half-empty closets
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers open every door and will notice over-stuffed spaces. De-cluttering is something you should do across the board- take the sporting equipment out of the garage; remove that collection of dishes on display and too many kid’s toys.

#8: Light it up
Maximize the light in your home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more attractive and sellable.

#7: Hire the Right Real Estate Agent
Make sure you have a broker who is totally informed, educated and motivated. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. Find a broker who embraces technology – a tech-savvy one has many tools to market your house and get it sold!

Se #6: Take Your Pets With You
Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If a realtor has made an appointment to show your house or you’re planning an open house, take your pets with you.

#5: Make Repairs
Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Your updates will pay off and get you top dollar. Put a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

#4: De-personalize
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Less stuff means more room.

#3: The kitchen comes first
It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops and floors where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. You may even consider painting the cabinets. Use neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy stainless steel appliances. Be sure to keep the counter tops clear and clean and thin out small appliances from your cabinets.

#2: Always be ready to show

Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

#1: The first impression is the only impression
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. No matter how great the interior of your home is, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with shrubs and flowers. Make sure there are working light