If you’re planning to put your home up for sale, you probably already know that any deferred maintenance issues need to be addressed beforehand, clutter needs to be swept away, and the property needs to look its best inside and out.
Here are nine industry secrets that will help you shape up your home faster than you ever thought possible:
FOCUS ON THE ENTRY – Your front door, and everything surrounding it, makes a big first impression on potential buyers. Ideas for improvement include: repaint the steps and porch; buy a new door mat; update the address numbers; put out potted flowers; replace the mail box and/or porch light; or replace your whole front door with something more modern, attractive and/or secure.
SAY HELLO TO THE SUN – Buyers, especially young buyers, want to see interior spaces that are filled with natural light. Trim any trees or shrubs that may be blocking windows. Wash the windows inside and out. Replace the window coverings, if necessary.
CONSIDER A HANGING FIXTURE – Changing a plain, ceiling-mounted light fixture for a hanging model with character can transform a blah room in no time. Before making the switch, ensure that the ceiling wiring is designed to support the weight of a hanging fixture.
REMOVE SCUFFS AND COFFEE RINGS – The “magic cleaning sponges” that are made by several manufacturers let you wipe away stubborn marks from hard surfaces like countertops, floors, walls, grout, appliances and more, all without harsh chemicals. They are abrasive though, so avoid using them on fine furniture or surfaces where the lighting spotlights your scrub marks.
INSTALL NEW HARDWARE – To update the look of built-in cabinets without repainting, install new hinges, handles and pulls.
KEEP INSECTS AT BAY – If ants and other insects typically get active around your home once the warm spring weather arrives, be proactive by hiring a professional pest control contractor now.
RESTORE OLD HARDWARE – To remove layers of old paint from door hinges and other metal hardware, uninstall it, place it in a crock pot (one no longer used for food) with a teaspoon of dish soap, and set it on low heat overnight. The next morning, you’ll be able to easily scrape off all the old paint.
SWAP SOMETHING OLD FOR SOMETHING NEW – Installing a modern, digital thermostat is an easy way to give your old heating system a new-and-improved look. Swapping an old toilet seat for one that’s shiny and new can make the whole bathroom look better.
Some great homes just received new prices!! Call me for more information or to schedule a showing appointment. 503-717-2154
The price has just been reduced on this beautiful custom built home in The Highlands at Gearhart. Ocean, mountain, and golf course views!! Four bedrooms, family room, master with en-suite, large deck, and more. Great vacation rental history. Call me for more information and to schedule a showing appointment. 503-717-2154
Surf Pines is a gated community filled with natural beauty and wildlife, beach access, and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Tillamook Head. Located between Warrenton and Gearhart, close to Astoria and Seaside. Surf Pines is home to year round residents as well as summer and holiday residents. For more information or to schedule a showing appointment, please call me at 503-717-2154.
Enjoy estate privacy in this gate guarded community of prestige homes. The Highlands at Gearhart is a quiet, peaceful community where property owners share ownership of The Highlands Golf Course and tennis courts. Highland homes offer spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Tillamook Head, the lighthouse, and the golf course! For more information or to schedule a showing appointment, please call me at 503-717-2154.
SPRING HOME MAINTENANCE
Even if you don’t plan to put your house up for sale this spring, these six maintenance tasks should still be high on your list of to-dos:
Poke and press the wood siding on the exterior of your house (especially just above the soil line) in search of rotting soft spots.
Schedule any painting now, before the summer rush.
Re-stain wood decks, fences, railings, trellises and other outdoor structures every year or two (but only if they were previously stained; if they were originally painted, they’ll need to be re-painted).
Inspect asphalt/concrete driveways and walkways for cracks and wear. Pressure wash any sections covered in moss.
Do not pressure wash asphalt-shingle roofing (which will damage the shingles). But do use binoculars to assess the current condition of your roof.
Check any crawl spaces for water accumulation, mold, missing insulation, rodents and other troubles.
THE DIFFERENCE: “PRE-APPROVED” VS. “PRE-QUALIFIED”
Before you get serious about your house search, you’re going to want to meet with a mortgage professional, who will review your finances and tell you how much money a lender will be willing to loan you. That certification comes in two different forms: pre-qualified or pre-approved.
PRE-QUALIFICATION is an easy first step. You provide the mortgage professional with some key information about your finances, and they tell you what size loan you would most likely qualify for. However, it’s not a sure thing; it’s an estimate based on information you supply.
PRE-APPROVAL is a “conditional commitment” based on an extensive analysis of your finances and credit history. Having this commitment shows sellers that you’re a serious shopper, and allows you to react quickly once you find a house you like. In a hot housing market, pre-approval is almost a necessity.
It’s a home most people only dream about! Only half block to the beach and close to The Cove and Seaside’s famous Prom. Just some of the features of this home are nice ocean view, living room with fireplace, gourmet kitchen, bonus room, bunk room, large upper deck, patio, new landscaping, and fenced yard.
With fewer homes available (especially affordable homes), and more well-qualified buyers hunting for homes, it’s tough for a first-timer – but not impossible.
MANAGE YOUR EMOTIONS
After three or four weeks of searching for a home to buy, most first-time buyers come to understand what a “competitive real estate market” really is. And some become so frustrated with the situation that they give up too early.
Persistence is a very important part of the buying process. Be prepared for a long search. Don’t allow yourself to get too emotionally attached to any home until your offer is accepted. And let any lost deals quickly fade from your memory. Believe me, the right home for you is out there.
If you’ve already given up on your search for a home, allow me to suggest a new approach.
BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR WISH LIST
Many first-timers set out with an overly optimistic perception of the homes that will be available to them. It’s important to communicate your ideal neighborhood, architectural style and amenities, but consider the alternative neighborhoods your real estate agent suggests, and be willing to tour homes that aren’t a match with your list of wants.
GETTING PRE-APPROVED IS KEY
When it comes to determining how much you can afford, online calculators are helpful. But for a far more accurate assessment of your buying power, I’ll refer you to a mortgage professional who specializes in first-time home loans. That person will educate you about the different types of loans, review your finances, then pre-qualify you for a maximum loan amount. In a hot housing market, it’s very important to get pre-approved because it makes you even more attractive to sellers when competing with other buyers for a home.
This is the time to start cutting your spending, because any money you manage to save between now and the day a seller accepts your offer can be applied in very important ways.
- A larger home-loan down payment
- A home inspection
- Homeowners insurance
- Attorney’s fees, transfer fees and other closing costs
- Furnishings, repairs and/or home improvements
For more information about any of the above, as well as help getting started before the busy spring selling season, call me at 503-717-2154!
PLEASE JOIN ME FOR AN OPEN HOUSE!
WHERE: 5020 High Ridge Rd, Gearhart, OR
WHEN: Saturday, December 30
TIME: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Please call me for The Highland’s gate code at 503-717-2154.