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Selling Your Home in the Fall

by Sherrie Toth

Ways to Make Your Home Stand Out in the Fall

Fall is a great time of year to sell your home. While springtime may be the most popular season to put a house up on the market, there is no reason to wait if you want to sell when autumn rolls around. People are ready to buy homes any time of year – especially if you know how to prepare the property to sell.

There will likely be fewer homes on the market during this time of year, meaning a well positioned home can sell fast if you draw in the right buyer. Most people have an aversion to moving when the weather is stormy and cold, so the fall is your last chance to accommodate buyers before the winter season rolls in. For many people this one of their favorite times of the year due to the crisp air and the colorful changes of the leaves on the trees. For these reasons, autumn is a time of year not to disregard when deciding whether to sell.

Keep The Exterior Clean

When selling a home a common buzzword you will hear is “curb appeal”. No matter what season you are selling a home in curb appeal is very important. One of the challenges you will face during the fall is the die-off of various plants you have around your house. Some will be going into hibernation and some will fully expire. Either way, this will leave a bit of a mess on your property that needs to be cleaned up if you want to attract buyers. The exterior is the first thing people see when coming to look at a property.

Depending on what time you is selling; your landscape may be producing a noticeable amount of dead and decaying plant matter. This includes leaves that fall from the trees; flowers that die in the first cold snap and any other plants to noticeably wither as the year advances. You need to clean all of this up and discard it before you show the house. This is an ongoing process, so stay on top of it to keep your house looking good and avoid having it associated with decay. Buyers still want to be able to see your lawn and if it is completely covered with leaves this will not be possible.

Make sure any mold and mildew is kept to a minimum on your deck and siding. Buyers will still be looking over these areas with a keen eye. The fall is the perfect time of year to pick up plants and shrubs at a local nursery. There are often times some really good deals as the nurseries get ready to shut down for the winter. You can use this opportunity to pick up some nice seasonal plant to highlight your entryway.

Embrace The Fall Selling Season

There are certain advantages to selling during the fall. People have quite a few holidays to look forward to, including Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas come wintertime. Depending on the exact time you are showing your house, you can take advantage of the associations buyers have with these special dates.

Keep your decorations and the general feel of your house in tune with the holiday that is coming up. Just like businesses and retail stores do, you can invoke the feel of the holiday for your potential buyers. They can then see themselves and their families enjoying the same holidays in your home.

Of course it is possible to overdo this. You don’t want to seem ridiculous. However, everyone can appreciate silly monsters for Halloween and the smell of fresh-baked pies on Thanksgiving. If you hit the right note you may achieve a sale without even trying.

Price Accordingly

One of the most important tips to sell your home in the fall is to price it properly! Work with your real estate agent to set the right price for your home – one that takes into account the season you are selling in. Some people claim that a house must be priced lower in off-seasons like fall and winter to actually sell, but this is not necessarily true. A home needs to be priced to compete in the current market, whatever that happens to be at the time.

Your Realtor will be able to pull comparable prices to your property and advise you on the right price for your home. Just do your best to listen to his or her advice, because the last thing you want to do is price your home too high. If you are in an area where homes sell for a bargain during the fall, putting your home up at a noticeably higher price than similar homes is a sure way to push away buyers.

The longer it sits on the market the more of a stigma it will get, making it even harder to sell. It is far better to price it right the first time and get the best offer you can. Days on market can accumulate fast in slower times of the year. When you are not in the top selling season and will be heading into an even slower time (winter) it really makes sense to be smart about the right asking price for your home.

Get Serious About Selling in The Fall

Fall and winter are not times to mess around when you are selling. The temperatures are dropping, the holidays are coming and buyers are motivated to close now. This can work to your advantage as long as you are really intent on selling. Yes, you might get a slightly higher price if you listed right as spring rolled into summer – when temperatures are perfect and everyone is feeling great. But there is a reason you are selling in the fall. You have a house to sell and it is time to get to it.

Pick a real estate agent you like working with, one that has a solid record of selling houses year-round at prices that are near what he or she lists them for the first time. Pick a Realtor that has a good reputation by talking to references that have worked with him or her recently.

Be Prepared For Moving

When you have followed some of the best advice for selling a home your property will probably go under contract fairly quickly. At this point it is very easy for the stress to build if you start worrying about your impending move. There is no question that one of the worst parts of selling a home is the actual move. This is why I have put some of the best moving advice together that will help ease the burden of your move. One of the worst parts of moving is the preparation for the big day. When you are well prepared beforehand at least a small part of the stress will be relieved.

 

Winterizing a Vacant Home

by Housecall

By Housecall

Top Tips for Winterizing a Vacant Home

For a home to remain in good shape throughout the winter it needs regular care and attention. When a home is occupied, many of the things that are necessary to keep it in good working order happen by default. But when the home is vacant, it is up to the owner or the property manager to prepare it for freezing temperatures and other winter risks.

The worst risk comes from bursting pipes, which can lead to water damage that can significantly impact the value of the home. Left alone, water can ruin everything it touches – walls, floors, electrical systems, etc. It can even damage the foundation. Other risks exist as well, such as pest infiltration, that can leave nasty surprises for the homeowner.

Taken together, the dangers of failing to winterize a home are too severe to ignore. Any real estate agent who has been involved with selling bank owned properties or vacant short sales can certainly tell you the necessity of knowing how to winterize a vacant home! In order to get an informed opinion on the subject we reached out to a well known real estate agent in Westborough, Mass., Bill Gassett, who has been selling homes for nearly 30 years. Gassett runs a popular real estate blog known as Maximum Real Estate Exposure that offers numerous tips to buyers and sellers. Below he shares all of his tips for getting your place winterized.

When readying a vacant home for winter weather, there are several things you can do to prepare before freezing temperatures and other winter risks arrive. These include:

Bring in a plumber.

Hiring a professional plumber to winterize the pipes and water system in the home is extremely important if you want to avoid the incredibly expensive water damage that can occur from freezing pipes. The plumber can examine the entire system, inside and out, and then prepare it for freezing temperatures. The plumber will drain all areas where water is stored, like water heaters and hot tubs, and will use an air compressor to expel water from the pipes throughout the house. With the water removed, you do not have to keep the house heated to prevent freezing. The pipes are protected and you save money in utility costs.

Drain outdoor garden hoses.

Water hoses must be disconnected from the home and drained of water to prevent damage to both the hoses and the spigots where they attach to the house. Left undrained, the water inside will freeze and burst not only the hose, but often the spigot as well. If winter watering must be done to keep landscape plants alive, make sure the person who does the watering drains the hoses and disconnects them from the house after each use.

Close up all openings to the house.

To prevent animals and insects from entering the home for shelter, you will need to close up all openings throughout the house. These include dryer vents and the chimney.

Have the gutters cleaned and repaired if necessary.

Gutters must be free of debris and attached properly to the house to funnel water away from the roof, siding and foundation. When debris accumulates, the gutter may stop working properly. If enough water collects and a freeze hits, the weight of the ice can pull the gutter away from the home, damaging the siding and leading to potential ice hazards where water collects at the base of the house. If you live in a cold weather climate then you understand just how bad ice damning was last year. Knowing how to prevent ice dams is something every homeowner should have a grasp of. Ice dams can cause serious damage to a home including mold behind ceilings and walls that you may not be able to detect! Have the gutters cleaned periodically until all leaves have dropped from the trees, and make sure they are in good repair.

Remove anything touching the side of the house, such as leaves and firewood.

Water and insects can accumulate in firewood and debris, causing damage to the siding and leading to potential infestations. Keeping everything away from the house creates a safe barrier and prevents water damage. This includes shrubbery and other landscaping. Keep a minimum of a couple of feet to allow the home to breath.

Have trees trimmed over the home.                                         

Remove any tree branches that may touch the house or hang too closely. Tree branches increase the leaves that accumulate in the gutter and can also break and fall on the house in a snow or ice storm. If you are negligent about keeping branches over your home it could lead to insurance denying your claim.

Use moth balls to keep insects out of the house.

Moth balls may smell unpleasant, but they are effective at keeping insects away. Use them anywhere you think insects may be a problem.

Talk to the gas company about disconnecting the gas supply.

A gas explosion can cause even more damage than frozen pipes. Let the gas company know the home is vacant and ask them to disconnect the gas supply to the home. Obviously if you are not living in the home this becomes important because if a gas leak were to form it would be too late for you to do anything about it. This is one of the major reasons why nearly all bank owned properties get winterized.

Make the home appear occupied at a glance.

It is better for potential buyers and discouraging to unwanted visitors if the home appears occupied. You can setup lights on timers and have the landscaping tended to periodically to keep things looking nice. If snow is an issue you can also have the driveway cleared. We provide a list of many tips on how to sell a home in the winter. This advice applies to both occupied and non-occupied homes. Keep in mind that if your home is on the market you are going to need to get it un-winterized with fairly short notice when the buyer schedules a home inspection. Buyers will want to be able to check the heating and plumbing systems and will not be able to do so if the home is winterized.

Hire a landscaper to perform a fall cleanup.

As the weather gets colder, plants will die and you will be left with a disheveled looking yard and landscape. It is beneficial for the sales process if you have someone come in and cleanup around the home after the first freeze or two, when most of the vegetation has died off. The landscaper can cut back any dead growth, rake up leaves and prepare plants for the winter.

Check on the home periodically.

An unoccupied home, even when the lights come on and the driveway is plowed, can be appealing to burglars and to squatters. It can also be a destination for kids in the neighborhood to come hang out for fun. The only people you want visiting are potential buyers, so you should maintain a schedule of visiting the home periodically to make sure it is being left alone and to discourage unwanted visitors.

Use of all these tips and your experience with winterizing a home should be a breeze!

DRONE: 5 Fairway Court Golf Course Front!

by Sherrie Toth

Super cool perspective of our 5 Fairway Court Condo on the beautiful Hiawatha Golf Course in Mt Vernon, Ohio! Also see our 5 Fairway Court Full listing

 

 

 

2015 Home Gadgets

by Sherrie Toth

Top Home Gadgets to Really Wow a Buyer

and are really cool to just have!

                             

Kevo by Kwikset

 

The premise of a smart lock is simple: Quit carrying around little chunks of metal to unlock your door, and instead be greeted by an open lock through the magic of technology. Unfortunately, it’s also one of those futuristic devices we’ve been promised for years that seem to be taking their time arriving.

There are only handfuls you can buy now, and not all of them are as “smart” as you’d think. Kwikset’s Kevo was one of the first smart dead bolts to hit stores, and also the first to require neither key nor keypad. Instead it relies on a Bluetooth signal from your smartphone to automatically unlock and lock as you come and go. Using this technology, the $219 Kevo promises to make your life easier and more secure.

 

Kwik Set Kevo

                          

Nest Home Thermostat

 

We know, we know, who cares about their thermostat? Well, not too long ago your amazing smartphone used to be a clunky handset wired to the wall; we've come a long way, and there's no reason controlling your home's basic functions should be any more difficult than checking your email. But Nest does even more than turn on your AC: by learning your habits and your home's unique thermal profile, it can automatically save you energy in ways a standard programmable thermostat can't, and provides you an energy usage history to boot. It's gorgeous and thoughtfully designed, top to bottom, which is part of the reason why installation far less intimidating than we expected. The 2nd generation version is even better looking than the first model, and is now easier than ever to connect to your home's heating system.

 

Nest Home Thermostat

 

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Toth & Team
RE/MAX Consultant Group - at the lake
22021 Coshocton Road Suite A
Howard OH 43028
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