Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Quick Clean-Up Tips Before a Showing

by The Jana Caudill Team

You just got a call that some incredibly motivated buyers are interested in seeing your Crown Point, Hobart, or Munster home.  Good news: this is a second showing.  The buyers originally viewed the house two days ago right after your family completed a marathon cleaning session.  Everything had been oh so pristine…  More good news, your Realtor says yours is the only house the buyers are seeing a second time before heading to the airport.  You see, they’re from out of town, and they have limited time.  In fact your Realtor says they’re already on their way to your house.  She asks you if it’s ok to bring the buyers by in about 20 minutes…

That’s when you panic.  You’ve had a busy weekend since the last showing.  The kids had friends over, your husband had the guys over to watch a game, and housework somehow just keeps on multiplying.  What’s the saying, “A house is only a home when it’s lived in?”  Something like that.  Or, “Life happens.”  Yes, life happens, and then you have to clean up after yourselves.

Here are some quick cleanup tips to help you get your home in show-ready shape when you have no time to spare:

  1. Recruit help.  Children are major contributors to the mess in a house.  Enlist their help for the cleanup as well.  This great article suggests bribery as a means to an end when you’re in a pinch.
  2. Clear away clutter.  Books, toys, dirty clothes, whatever’s on bedroom floors that doesn’t belong there – stash quickly in closets, or safely out of sight under the bed.  In the kitchen and other living areas, clear away mail and other stacks of clutter.  Put everything in a paper grocery bag and store in the pantry for sorting later.  Nothing is so important this next 20 minutes that it needs to be put back where it belongs right now.  What’s important is getting clutter out of site.  To this point, you can store dirty OR clean dishes in the dishwasher, or even inside the oven.  Just be mindful of fire safety and go back after the showing and clear out that oven first.
  3. Entryway.  In a situation where second impressions are just as important as first impressions grab a basket and clear away all the extra shoes near the front door.  Likewise skate boards, school books, anything that’s clogging up the entryway.
  4. Horizontal surfaces.  This means a quick vacuuming of carpets where necessary.  Wipe off counters and sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms.  Check tile, linoleum and wood flooring for dirt and smudges.  Spot clean anything that catches your eye.

Showing Your Home When You Own Pets

by The Jana Caudill Team

You love your pets.  Your neighbors love their pets.  That doesn’t necessarily mean your neighbors love your pets.  The same goes for prospective buyers considering making your home their new home.

When it comes to pets and show shape for your home here’s a simple rule of thumb: Less is better, none is best.  We’re talking about the evidence!  A best case scenario would be to have your pooch or kitty stay with a neighbor, friend or relative during showings.  Be sure all food and water bowls are picked up and put away.  The same goes for toys, kennels, cat boxes, etc.  Get them in the garage or outside on the side of the house.  Pictures of you and the family pet?  Take them off walls and desks and put them in dresser drawers.  Then vacuum!  Try to minimalize or eliminate any evidence that there are pets sharing your home.  Extreme?  Maybe.  Just remember this doesn’t mean you don’t love your furry friends.  All you are doing is removing any hesitation that might come up for a homebuyer upon discovering there is a German Shepherd living in the room where they envision putting their baby nursery.

It’s not always feasible to completely eradicate all signs of pets.  Sure you can pick up, put away, clean, vacuum and even shampoo carpets.  But what about the animals themselves?  If you don’t have another loving home where Fido can take a vacation while your home is on the market, think adventure!  Whether it’s you, a neighborhood teenager you trust, or the stay at home Mom or Pop next door, have someone available to step in at a moment’s notice and take your pets out of your house, either for a walk or just a short visit, so buyers can focus on your home and not on your pets.

Showing Secrets Part 2 - Scents!

by The Jana Caudill Team

You want prospective home buyers to walk away with the best possible impression when they leave your home and head to the next house for viewing, so at the end of the day when they look back and discuss which properties they liked best (and why) you are on their short list for a return visit.

Home sellers naturally focus on how a home looks more so than the home’s potential impact on the other four senses combined.  But let’s not forget, at least for this article, your sense of smell.

Have you ever smelled a wet dog?  How about mildew, cigarette smoke, or cat urine?  Get the stinky picture?  Foul odors in the home can kill a buyer’s interest quicker than anything else.  The reason?  If you see a broken fence slat, or an outdated bathroom, or worn carpet the solution is easily identifiable.  Fix it, update it, replace it, and so on.  When there is an unpleasant odor involved suddenly people think the worst, and may not even get ten steps inside the door before turning to leave, and immediately writing your home off instead of writing an offer.  Bad smells affect us more negatively than ugly paint or chipped tile.  Even if mitigated, we will always remember that one room that smelled like a cat box.

Here are some tips for dealing with potential odor issues, including ground lemon in the garbage disposal and deodorizing sprays versus scented candles.  Think about the aroma of fresh baked bread in the kitchen!  Warm and inviting, huh?  Everyone remember the Easy Bake Oven?

You can find more tips for buyers and sellers at our blog page, and if you ever have a question for our team regarding Real Estate in Northwest Indiana let us know by clicking on of the links.  We promise to get back to you right away!

Showing Secrets Part 1 - Lights!

by The Jana Caudill Team

Staging your home for sale is all about accentuating highlights without drawing attention to negatives or low lights.

Open up all window coverings to take advantage of natural lighting.  A bright home is a cheery home, and natural sun light enhances the positive atmosphere of your great indoors.  One caveat: if you generally leave a set of blinds closed because you don’t like the view a window provides on the rusty water tower, or your neighbor’s obnoxious choice of exterior paint, go ahead and leave those closed.  No sense bringing extra attention where none is needed.

As far as lighting goes, turn on all interior lights for the same reason.  Just keep the television off!  We want potential buyers looking at your home not at reruns of American Idol.  Use spot lights or floor lamps for particularly dim corners, nooks and crannies.

If the season is appropriate light a fire in the fireplace.  Be sure the fire is properly screened for safety, and your fireplace is functioning correctly.  The warmth and glow of a fire in the hearth is a wonderful way to help potential buyers picture themselves living in your home.

Here are some more tips on staging and preparing your home for showings.  Also check out our Seller's Resource Page for great tips on everything from “Making Your Home Shine” to “Hiring a Real Estate Agent.”

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4