Category Archives: Tips & Advice

Tips for Selling Your Home in 2022

Thinking about putting your house on the market?  There are a few things that should be at the top of your to-do list before you even consider contacting the realtor and listing your property. You might think your home is perfect, but that’s because you live in it. You need to take an outsider’s perspective. Let’s have a look at some top tips to sell your home.

Four things that many people need to consider before putting their house on the market are to declutter, deep clean, make vital repairs and consider the exterior. If you follow these simple steps before selling your property, you’re likely to sell your home much quicker. So, let’s get started.

Declutter

Decluttering is a very important task you must do or should we say endure to sell your home. The reason behind decluttering is to get rid of all your stuff that is laying around and find a home for it. This is done for two reasons.

First, when prospective buyers come and take a look around your home they don’t want to see your belongings cluttering up the place. They need to be able to envision their own items filling the spaces. Second, if you spend some time decluttering then you are opening up the rooms and making them seem more spacious. Bigger homes command bigger places. Decluttering increases the size of your home in the minds of potential buyers. It’s like magic.

One major tip for decluttering is to go through each room and sort your belongings into three different piles. First, you should look at the items you want to keep. Second, stuff you want to throw away. Finally, a third pile should consist of the items you want to sell. Holding a yard or garage sale is a great way to make a little extra cash on the stuff you no longer want.

Although this task can appear a daunting one, there are a few ways to make it easier. Don’t try and do everything at once, start with 5 minutes stints throughout the day. Give items away, choose one to two and give them away daily. Donate things you don’t use or wear. Envision your home as a potential buyer, or ask a friend to. This will help you get rid of those items you’re unsure of letting go. Make, and refer to a decluttering checklist. Again, when you find it difficult to let go, this list will remind you of why you’re doing this.

Deep Clean

After you have spent time decluttering you must deep clean your home from top to bottom. This is to ensure that there is no dust or debris leftover from the time you have spent there. If you have pets it is a great way of getting rid of pet fur and dander that has gathered in hard-to-clean or reach places.

Notorious places that gather excess dust seem to be the extractor fans and oven hoods. You should make sure these aren’t missed when you thoroughly clean your property.

Worried that you won’t do a good enough job? Or perhaps you simply don’t have the time. Why not call in the professionals? There are cleaning companies out there who are used to doing major house cleaning. They will ensure your home is sparkling and looks brand new. Especially important for when the photographer comes to take pictures of your home.

Make Repairs

Decluttered and cleaned your property? Next, you should make sure you mend any repairs that need doing. You may have been putting these off for some time, but they need to be done. This is one of the top tips to sell your home that many forget. You can claim on your home warranty if you have any general wear and tear problems within the home. You may notice your roof has been leaking, this is covered under your home warranty.

Repairs do need to be done, even if it seems easier to leave them to the next owner. When you sell your home, the buyers will send in a home inspector to report on the house. If they find any damage this will be in the report and some buyers could pull out of the sale. Buyers don’t generally want to carry out repairs on a property they move into.

If the leaky roof has caused damage to the walls then you will need to fix these. Give them a fresh coat of paint to repair the damage to make them look brand new. This is a sure-fire winner.

Consider the Exterior

One final thing to mention before you list your home on the market is to make sure your exterior matches the interior. The outside of your property is the first thing buyers will see when they drive up to view. It is important this looks appealing and welcoming. Make sure the grass has been mowed and any weeds are gone. You could add some flowers to bring a bit more color to the property.

Make sure windows and doors are not looking worn and tired. If they are you could paint them to bring them back to life. Another thing to mention is once you have revived the doors be sure to give the door handles a lick of shine.

One way to check what the house looks like from the outside is to take a view as if you were the buyer or get a family member to do it. They will give you an honest opinion on how your home looks and how you could improve it to make it seem more welcoming.

We hope these top tips to sell your home help you understand what you need to do before you get your house listed on the market. Fingers crossed you get a speedy sale at a great price. And if you’re moving on to somewhere new. Good luck with that too.

We are always here to help.  Give us a call.

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion and Commitment to Excellence!

Fall Maintenance Check List

With the changing of the seasons comes the checklist of maintenance chores around the house to keep everything in tip-top shape and prevent costly repairs in the future.  Below is a list of suggested maintenance projects to get and keep your home in working order.

  1. Check Smoke Detectors and carbon monoxide alarms – Make sure safety inside of the home is covered. Check the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries. Check that a ready-to-use fire extinguisher is in a safe, known location within the home along with a first aid kit in the case of emergency.
  2. Inspect Heating System and change the filters and contact a professional to inspect the systems for carbon monoxide leaks and other issues that could cause house fires.
  3. Have the Roof Inspected – At least once or twice a year it’s important to inspect your roof. Inspect to ensure there are no loose shingles that may cause leaks.
  4. Clean Out the Gutters – Remove fallen leaves and debris from the gutters and flush them out with water to prevent ice from accumulating and causing damage. Check for any tilting in the gutters as well and make adjustments as needed.
  5. Clean the Chimney and Fireplace – Check the chimney and have it swept to remove the soot build-up that is present if over 1/8’ thick. It’s important to have the soot removed because the burning build-up is a health hazard, emitting toxic chemicals into the air and lungs.
  6. Check Windows and Doors – Check the windows and doors for any damage or noticeable drafts. Sealing up any openings can save up to 20% on heating costs by keeping the cold air out of the home and the heat in.
  7. Seal Cracks in the Sidewalk and Drivewalk – Untreated cracks will continue to grow and cause greater damage to the property. Sealing up driveway and sidewalk cracks in the winter also helps prevent water from pooling up and freezing.
  8. Prep the Lawn – It’s important to rake the leaves regularly as leaves can kill your grass if left on the ground for long periods of time. Keep your soil healthy by mulching with the mower every four days. Cut down any dead branches to prevent them from crashing down when frozen.
  9. Protect Outside Faucets and Irrigation Systems from Freezing – Disconnect the garden hose from outdoor faucets and store them coiled in a flat dry area. To freezeproof an in-ground irrigation system, follow the manufacturer’s procedure for draining it and protecting it from winter damage.
  10. Touch Up Exterior Paint – A touch-up can help prolong the life of your siding and trim.

If you are a first-time homeowner and not sure what to do when it’s a good idea to have a reputable home inspector come out and give you some tips and what to look for and what to do when.

If you’re not a DIY person, give me a call, I have a preferred list of vendors I trust and depend on.  You can also check my preferred list of vendors at https://www.dinsmoreteam.com/welcome-services/

Happy Fall,

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

How to Finance Your Home Renovations

Have you ever watched the TV show ‘Love It or List It?’  Perhaps you’re thinking of staying put until the market gets a little calmer, but you would like to do some home renovations.  Outdated kitchen. Overrun backyard. Unusable basement space. If you have a home renovation project on your mind, the first thing you must consider is how are you going to finance it. Here are some of the most common options to make your dreams become a reality.

Cash. Paying in cash is the most straightforward financing option, just save until you have enough money to cover the expenses. This will help eliminate spending outside your budget; however, it can also extend your timeline.

Mortgage Refinance. If you’ve been making payments on your home for a few years and your interest rate is higher than the current market rates, you may be eligible for a mortgage refinance, reducing your payments and freeing up some money.

Cash-Out Refinance. You can tap into your home equity and borrow up to 80 percent of your home’s value to pay off your current mortgage plus take out more cash to cover the renovations. This option is encouraged only when you’re making improvements that will increase the value of

your home, as it can add a lot of interest and fees.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments but may be worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

Whichever option you choose, consider the renovations carefully in regards to resale.  You want to make sure the renovations will increase the value of your home but not overprice it for the neighborhood.  And of course, after you do the renovations and you decide you want to list, give me a call.

Hope you found these tips helpful.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence

What does Back to School mean to the Real Estate Market?

It’s that time of year when kids fill their backpacks and wave goodbye to Mom and Dad as they board the school bus or are dropped off in the carpool lane. Summer vacation for the most part is over.  The last thing on most family’s minds is packing and moving.

Typically, when school starts, the housing market slows down, but with this tumultuous market, it is hard to predict.  Many are still looking for homes in this seller’s market.  If there is a lull, it will be short-lived.  After Labor Day there is usually an uptick as it is the unofficial start of the fall season. Sellers and buyers will now want to buy and close quickly to get settled before the holiday season.

It is still a good time to sell as there is still a shortage of inventory.  If you have a plan in mind as to where you’re going to live once your home sells.  Many sellers have gotten creative.

Here are some possible solutions:

  • Do you have rental property? Many sellers are moving into one of their rentals until they can find their next home
  • Do you have vacation property? Same scenario.
  • Move in with relatives.
  • Find a short-term rental – Those who do have rental property who are willing to take a month-to-month lease situation are offering this alternative until the sellers can find their next home.
  • I’ve even seen some move into their RV or houseboat until they find their next home. You might have to store your household belongings for a while, but if you do, consider using a pod, that way you don’t have to have a moving company move you twice.
  • Buy before you sell. Some have taken their equity out of their current home and used it as a down payment on the new home.
  • New Construction. When the new home is move-in ready, then you list yours.

In this area, the market is extremely hot, because of the great schools, which is great.  The good news is homes bring a premium price tag.  The bad news is, it makes buying a home in the school district you want a little challenging, but not impossible.  Another reason you need a seasoned agent.

If you’re thinking about selling or buying, give me a call and let’s devise a plan that will work for you and your family.

Marie Dinsmore

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence!

Prepping Your Pet for Your Big Move

Your moving day is set and it’s time to start preparing. As you’re making your lists and checking them twice, don’t forget to factor in your 4 legged family members.

Moving can be stressful for all of us, but pets often experience stress that they can’t communicate leading up to a big move. Our pets are perceptive, and they notice when big changes are happening, but they don’t understand why we’re packing up. Then, once you’ve arrived at your new home, they have to get comfortable with new sights, sounds, and smells before they can settle in. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help get your family pet get ready for a big move and reduce their stress.

Here are some tips for making sure the process goes smoothly.

Medical records. When moving to a different city or state, one of the main things you need to take into consideration is finding a new veterinarian that is the right fit for you and your pet. If you have family or friends in the area, ask for recommendations or do your own research by reading reviews and news articles. Once you find one, contact your current vet to initiate a transfer of medical records. Then schedule a “get to know you” appointment shortly after your move.

Have Collars and Paperwork Handy. While you’re preparing, it’s also a good idea to have all paperwork and contact information handy. Make sure cats and dogs are wearing a collar with your phone number on it, as well as their rabies tags and any other relevant information. If there is a mishap during your move and one of your pets escapes through an open door, you want to be able to find them. If they aren’t already microchipped, now is a good time to have this simple procedure done.

Don’t Overfeed. Some animals have a tendency to overeat when they are stressed, especially if they believe you are going to be leaving them alone for a while. Make sure to watch your animals in the days leading up to the move and avoid overfeeding them. Cats especially are likely to get sick from stress and anxiety if they have overeaten and then gone for a car ride. Dogs are somewhat less likely to react negatively in the car, but each pet has its own limits.

Transportation. Whether it’s a short drive or a long plane ride, the safest way to relocate a nervous pet is with a crate.  However, if you’re in a hurry on moving day and you shove your pet into a crate and slam the door, you’re only going to make matters worse. Instead, you need to bring the crate inside your home several weeks in advance so they can smell it and explore it in a low-stress environment.  For most pets, this is a foreign concept, and they require time to get comfortable with it. Start acclimating your pet as early as possible and use comfort items like treats and favorite toys and blankets to make the experience is a positive one for your pet.

Prepare a Place for them. Pad your moving schedule with ample time to get your dog or cat acclimated to their new home. Cats and dogs react to new spaces differently, but when it comes to moving day, you’ll probably want them out of the way while you finish unloading the furniture and heavy boxes. The easiest way to manage this is to have food, water, and their favorite toys already set up in a spare bedroom or bathroom so you can open their crate and let them explore in a quiet corner of the house. Once all your other furniture is moved in, you can open the bedroom door and let them see more, but the first few hours should be quiet and calm. Once all the moving of furniture and boxes is done, make sure to clear anything that could be dangerous and block off areas as necessary then let them free to get a lay of the land on their own.

Walk Through the new House with Your Pet on a Leash. Your pet picks up on many sounds and smells that you can’t. As a result, they may react to certain scents left behind by the previous owner, or new sounds from the HVAC unit or neighborhood traffic. The best way to handle this introduction is with a leash so your pet can explore without getting beyond your reach. Help them explore inside the house, room by room, and set clear boundaries if they are not allowed in certain spaces. Likewise, walk the front and backyard slowly with a leash attached so you can inspect the fence and handle any interactions with wayward animals or children.

All of these tips will help your pet handle move-in day as peacefully as possible. Just remember, your pet will likely need a few days to adjust to the new space, and having plenty of familiar items and toys around can help them make that adjustment.

Hope you found these tips helpful.

Sincerely,

Marie

The Dinsmore Team

Experience, Passion, and Commitment to Excellence