Make Your Home Stand Out This Summer

As May comes to a close, school ends and the summer officially begins, that means one important thing – home selling season is upon us. With the kids home from school and vacation time accumulated, both buyers and sellers are ready to enter the market as the weather heats up. As the market begins to grow, you may wonder how to make sure your home stands out among all the others trying to sell during the summer months. Here are a few tips to make sure you can catch the eye of potential buyers during busy season!

1. Tour Other For-Sale Homes
Check out open houses for homes similar to yours that are also on the market. As you are preparing to list, use these tours to see what decor and design-types are attractive to you and potential buyers. If there are things you notice that you do not like, be sure to remove those features from your own home if you have them. Sometimes stepping out of the box (or in this case, your own home) will allow you to look at your home through the lens of a potential buyer.

2. Complete Your Home Inspection Up Front
The home inspection can be a dreaded part of the closing process. Instead of waiting for a buyer, complete your home inspection ahead of time. The goal is to set your home apart from the others on the market, and an easy way to do so is letting those potential buyers know that your home is not just for sale, but it is already inspected. If you repair any issues found by the inspector, you’ll be one step ahead and gives potential buyers peace of mind.

3. Completely Remove Clutter
Decluttering and cleaning is always the first step on the list when you are preparing to list your home, but often we don’t take the clutter ‘removal’ part as seriously. Instead of just moving clutter from a room to a closet, completely remove the clutter from your home. Whether that means donating, storing, or just tossing those items, removing clutter will allow potential buyers to picture themselves in every part of your home, including your closets and garages – rather than just picturing your clutter stashed away there.

4. Curb Appeal Is Key
With spring quickly transitioning to summer, your yard may need a little love. Spring rains and warmth might’ve left your lawn a little overgrown. Take the time to remove weeds, mow your lawn, and add new plant life around the outside of your home. The outside will be the first thing potential buyers see, and you want them to be drawn in by your yard, not turned away by it.

5. Use Refreshments To Your Advantage
Whether you’re a baker or just love buying baked goods, open houses are the perfect opportunity to draw potential buyers in with sweets. With rising temperatures, a thoughtful treat with a glass of lemonade or ice water adds a personal touch to your open house that will, at a minimum, guarantee that potential buyers cross the threshold of your home. Sometimes, getting them in the door is all you need.

Posted on June 3, 2019 at 7:28 pm
Allison Higgins | Category: Selling, Summer | Tagged , ,

Tips to Get Settled In A New Home

Moving into a new home? We know how exciting it can be! We’ve compiled a list of a few things you can do after your move to make sure your experience is comfortable. The hardest part of a move is getting settled in, after that, you just’ll need to handle a few loose ends that sometimes get forgotten about until the last minute.

CHECK MAJOR APPLIANCES
Be sure to check all the appliances to ensure everything is still in working order after the move. You want to make sure nothing was broken in the move or stopped working suddenly. Look at things such as your stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, and microwave. If you brought any appliances yourself and you used movers, you’ll want to make sure everything still works as soon as possible, since mover’s insurance companies give a limited timeframe for when you can make a claim.

CHECK ALL OF YOUR BOXES & FURNITURE
Be sure to go over all your boxes and furniture to make sure nothing got damaged during the move. Be sure that everything has arrived and nothing got lost in the process. If you notice something is missing a month later, it may be too late to file a claim with the moving company. Even if you don’t plan on unpacking everything as soon as you move in, just do a quick review and inventory everything you brought to protect yourself and your belongings.

SET UP UTILITIES
Did you remember to set up your utilities before moving in? There’s nothing more frustrating than moving into your home to realize the lights don’t work. Make sure you’ve gotten with all of the necessary utility companies to have everything turned on in time for your move.

REGISTER INTO A GOOD SCHOOL
You may have already known to look for a school for your kids prior to your move, but if you haven’t yet found one, be sure to research all the schools local to you to find the right fit for your family. The sooner you can find the right school and register, the easier and less stressful it will be to get them in and settle.

REGISTER YOUR CAR
If you’ve moved to a new state or country, you’ll want to make sure to register your car in your new hometown and update your driver’s license, tags, and plates.

CONNECT TO YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Join sites like Nextdoor.com or get a subscription to your local magazine/newspaper to stay in touch with what’s going on in your neighborhood. Be sure to also join local community Facebook groups. You can find out about events or concerns relating to your community.

GETTING YOUR MAIL
Have you updated your address for all the people you’ll be expecting to get mail from? Like your bank, friends, family, and services you still pay for after your move. Check with the post office to have things redirected to your new address while you work to update your info with everyone else.

FIND THE RIGHT PROFESSIONALS
If you’re moving far from your last home, you’ll want to have the right connections. Find a new doctor, dentist, vet, handyman, plumber, etc. Add them into a contact book that’s easily accessible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST
If you’re moving to a new country, 911 won’t be the local emergency number. Make sure you have all the correct numbers in the case of an emergency. This can also include doctors, the local police station, a vet, etc.

INSURANCE COMPANIES
More than likely, you handled home insurance and home warranty during the purchasing process. If you haven’t, be sure to get those taken care of right away. You’ll also want to get your auto, health, and any other necessary household insurances sorted for your move.

Any other questions or still looking for your next home, call me and I can help!

Posted on April 4, 2019 at 7:29 pm
Allison Higgins | Category: first time home buyer, help | Tagged , , ,

How to Protect Your Home During Winter Weather

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. Here are some tips on how to protect your home during cold winter weather:

First let’s talk about some things you can do in the late fall to prepare the outside of your home for the cold:

  • Disconnect all garden hoses, cover facets with insulating foam and turn off the water to all outside faucets.
  • Make sure all sprinkler systems are turned off and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them well.
  • Locate all the outside vents and pipes that need to be open and free to exhaust at all times.
  • Cover or remove air conditioner units
  • Caulk or repair any holes or cracks on the exterior of the home

Here are some things you can do inside your home to prepare for the cold winter weather:

  • Have the furnace inspected, install a clean air filter and make sure everything is working properly
  • Inspect fireplaces and chimneys, see if they need cleaning and there are no drafts
  • Repair or replace weather stripping around doors and windows
  • If you know of a draftly spot install sheet plastic window insulation
  • Buying curtains that help keep the cold out and warmth in is a great investment for your home.
  • Have contact information for a plumber, an electrician, a HVAC technician, roof repair services, tree removal companies etc. It is nice to have the name and number of someone who is trusted in your area before an emergency happens!

Now a storm has arrived!  You are ready to go, you feel confidant that your home is ready and warm. Here are a couple things to prepare you besides getting enough bread and milk!

  • Fill your car with gas
  • Add antifreeze to your windshield washer fluid and run it through the system
  • Have working flashlights and batteries in the house
  • Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have updated batteries
  • Get your phones charged fully
  • If you have any prescription medications get them filled in advance
  • Get enough food items that you can eat with or without heat or power. Here are some ideas of things that you do not need to cook:
    • Vegetables and fruits you can eat raw
    • crackers and cheese
    • nuts and dried fruits
    • deli meats

After the storm had finished check the exterior and make sure everything is safe:

  • Check the vents and pipes that need to open to expel exhaust
  • Check for leaks or spots where snow or ice is building up
  • Treat areas where there may be ice in a walking path or driveway
  • You may be in charge of a sidewalk in front your house
  • Keep your mail carrier safe as well by making a clear path to your mailbox

Now you can go back to playing a game with your kids or building a snowman with the great feeling that your home is in good condition this Winter.  It will continue to be a safe warm place for your family to live, grow and enjoy for many years to come!

If you are looking for a home or looking to move don’t forget to contact me, I can help. I have many featured properties that you may want to see.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, any questions please submit them below.

Allison

Posted on February 6, 2018 at 7:00 am
Allison Higgins | Category: winter | Tagged , ,