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Posts Tagged ‘Property’

Tips for Selling Your Home Effectively

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

When the time comes to sell your home, whether you choose to enlist professional services or to sell without an agent, you will need to present your property at its best. Nobody will instantly love your house as much as you do; potential buyers need to be able to see the house as a home – their home, not yours. While it can be tricky to make a house that is still being resided in look like it’s not being occupied by others, there are some ways in which a vendor can depersonalise their home sufficiently to attract an enthusiastic buyer.

First impressions really do count, not least in the impressions formed when a property is entered and viewed for the first time. While we have little control over factors such as weather conditions when presenting a property for viewing, it’s not difficult to showcase your property to its best advantage.

Paint and lightiing
A fresh coat of paint gives you more bang for your decorating buck than anything else. Even if your current palette is relatively new, any scuffs or wear marks will channel an unkempt vibe. And an unusual colour choice – even if the height of fashion – may limit your home’s appeal. So break out that roller and slap on a couple coats of crowd-pleasing warm white or sand paint. About your home lighting, replace any old light fixtures asap. How can you tell if it has to go? If it’s over 15 years old and looks it – yet isn’t a vintage (50-75 years old) or antique piece (older) – it should probably go.

Take the collectibles off the mantel, put the mismatched armchair into storage (or better yet, donate it) and pare your closets down to what you’re actually wearing this season, packing away the rest. Ideally, all this extra stuff would head to charity (if in good, saleable condition), the garbage dump, or into storage. The more you store onsite, the more cluttered and small your home appears.

Give dated bathrooms a facelift
A nice bath helps sell a house but, don’t invest in a total renovation. Renos are costly, and you won’t recoup your costs unless you find your exact décor doppelganger. Bring an out-of-date bath up to speed with gleaming white walls whether via a fresh coat of white bath and kitchen paint or ceramic tile and new lighting (Home Depot excels at affordable, stylish bathroom vanity lighting). Buy neutral new shower curtains, a simple new bath mat and vanity set, and have fresh flowers in the room during open houses.

Take down curtains
Dated window treatments need to come down, pronto (if it’s over 10 years old, get rid of it). If privacy isn’t an issue, just leave the windows bare to maximize natural light and make the room’s dimensions seem more generous. Otherwise, buy basic-issue cotton or linen drapes from Linens ‘N Things or another well-priced retailer. Always tie drapes back during viewings and open houses.

Put up mirrors
Make small rooms appear bigger and dark rooms seem brighter by adding an attractive wall mirror. A boxlike dining room will benefit from a leaning floor mirror (Lowes sells well priced ones, and HomeSense often has great deals) and an entranceway more welcoming with a console mirror.

Update porch hardware
Increase your home’s curb appeal by updating the hardware on your front porch. Buy a doorknocker or bell, mailbox, kick plate, doorknob and lockset in a set or in complementary styles. Brushed nickel is a neutral finish that will never date, while oil-rubbed bronze is another favourite. Update your porch light to coordinate with the new hardware, if needed. They don’t have to be an exact match or even come from the same period, but the finishes and styles should look pleasing together.

Spiff up the front yard
Refresh your front yard according to the season. In spring, summer and fall, trim back dead plants and foliage and plant attractive annuals or perennials in flowerbeds. In winter, keep the walkway shoveled and cut back any tree or shrub branches damaged by heavy snowfall. A pair of planters flanking the front door and filled with seasonal arrangements instantly conveys pride of ownership.

Tend the backyard
Simple fix-its will make the most of your existing yard layout. Replace any damaged boards on your deck or fence, and apply a fresh coat of paint, or stain and sealant if the finish needs it. Weed and groom your garden and add some perennials for colour when in-season. If kids’ toys are taking over the space, put some in storage. Think “tidy,” “update” and “refresh”: never do anything costly or major like adding a swimming pool or pond, which may put off potential buyers.

Choosing a Reputable Real Estate Appraiser

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Whether you are buying or selling a home, business or parcel of land the need for an expert opinion about the worth of the property is critical to all parties involved. Real estate appraisers are trained and experienced in the art of figuring out how much property is worth. They take into consideration many factors and come up with an professional opinion about the monetary value of the property. The consumer should interview the appraiser to qualify them to appraise the property. The following will address some areas to identify how good a real estate appraiser is.

Service Area: Look for an appraiser that specializes in your market area. An appraiser from another county may not be as knowledgeable as a local real estate appraiser would be. Some appraisers service two or three counties while others specialize in a single county. It would only be reasonable to consider the local appraiser would have more first hand knowledge of the area. This would be more important for the residential user as commercial properties have more common value attributes requiring the appraiser to research outside the market area.

Years of Experience: The appraisal profession is difficult and takes a minimum of 5 years working with a variety of properties, good education, and a good mentor to produce a competent appraiser. It is said that it would take 10 years to be a good appraiser and after more than 25 years in the business.

References: A list of local appraisers can be obtained from the Yellow Pages, Chamber of Commerce, Association of Realtors, and Internet. Be a wise consumer and gather references prior to hiring the first one you find. Ask a lender, real estate agent, attorney, or accountant for a reference. These professionals are users of appraisal services and are a good place to start.

Qualification of Appraiser: Every appraiser has a qualification sheet that provides background on the types of properties, education, licensing, and associations. Ask the appraiser to email, fax, or mail you a copy for review. The appraiser with a designation from one of the appraisal organizations mentioned has gone beyond the state requirements. This should say they are not satisfied with the minimum requirements and wish to be better than average.

Experience in the type of property you need appraised: Even though an appraiser may have a license to do all residential or commercial type properties, it does not mean they have experience in all types. There is a competency ruling appraisers must follow. If they are not competent in a particular type property, they should not accept the assignment or should align themselves with someone that is competent or take measures to make themselves competent. If you were going to have brain surgery wouldn’t you want someone that has done the surgery before? Apply the same logic to hiring professionals.

Fee Charged: The fee charged should be the last criteria. Not all products are the same and not all fees charged will be the same. Make this your last consideration keeping in mind; you often get what you paid to receive.