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First Time Home Seller (Part 2)

by The Jana Caudill Team

More tips for first time Crown Point, Chesterton, and Valparaiso home sellers:

De-clutter.  If you want to stand out among the competition you have to create a lasting impression with buyers who tour your home.  The house was too busy; the rooms were too small; I couldn’t even tell you what color the counter tops were.  Those are all the wrong kind of lasting impression.  Get rid of clutter – in bedrooms, in the kitchen, in the garage – everywhere.  Getting rid of clutter doesn’t change the size of a room.  What it does do is help make a room feel more spacious and inviting.  Now is the perfect time to throw out, recycle, and sell (as in a garage sale).

Clean house.  See above.  The saying goes something like “A house is only a home when it’s lived in.”  That’s great, and kind of touching.  Here’s another one for home sellers: “A house for sale is only a sold home when it’s clean.”  A dirty house gives the wrong impression, and can even keep potential buyers from seeing the true benefits and features of the home.  What it says of the sellers is, I don’t really care about my house, and it invites buyers’ train of thought to take the next step, “If it’s this dirty what else could be wrong with it?”  Clean, clean, clean.

Make the home as turnkey as possible.  Think repair or replace.  Patch holes in walls, paint, replace carpet.  Trim back hedges and keep up on outdoor up keep.  If you’re a first time home seller chances are your home is smaller, maybe less expensive, and will otherwise appeal to first time home buyers or older buyers who are downsizing.  The last thing a growing family or an elderly couple want is a fixer upper.  Anything that can be fixed should be fixed.  Help buyers see just how easy it is to move right in and get on with their lives without having to adopt your incomplete repair projects.

First Time Home Seller (Part 1)

by The Jana Caudill Team

Buying a Crown Point, Chesterton, or Hobart home for the very first time can be a nerve-wracking experience.  There’s shopping and qualifying for a loan, saving for the down payment, finding the right house, and the brand new set of responsibilities that come along with home ownership.  This list is a condensed version of realty for sure, but I challenge you to compare it to the flip side, the downright intimidating list of to do’s for the first time home seller.

As a first time home seller the first thing you should do is contact a Realtor.  Just so we’re clear, yes, if you didn’t already know, I’m a Realtor and I’d love the opportunity to earn your business.  This is a plug, just not the shameless self-promotional kind; you need to work with a good Realtor even if it’s not me.  My suggestion is to call multiple Realtors, interview them to find out how they would market your property for sale.  You want to make sure you work with someone you are comfortable with, and who you trust.  The first benefit of working with a Realtor is they can help you price your home competitively right from the get go by showing you comparative properties for sale on the market today.  More importantly, they can show you what homes in your neighborhood are actually selling for (which is more crucial than the price sellers are asking for).  A Realtor will help you navigate all the necessary pieces to a successful real estate transaction including the contract to purchase, disclosures, showings, closing paperwork, inspections, and on, and on…I believe with all my heart, and all my professional experience, if you want to sell your home for the most money in the least amount of time with the fewest hassles you need to work with a good Realtor.  There, I said it.  Here are 10 great questions to ask any Realtor you are considering for the job.

To piggyback on the first point, price your home right in the beginning.  The economy is dictating a buyer’s market.  There are more folks selling homes than there are buying right now, which translates to higher supply, lower demand and thus lower prices.  That doesn’t mean you’re going to give the house away, it simply means you need to price your home competitively right from the beginning keeping in mind that the vast majority of showings will take place then too, in the beginning.

So, for starters:
1. Contact and work with a Realtor you trust
2. Price your home competitively from the beginning

Tune in next blog for Part 2 on tips for first time home sellers.

Moving Across Country With Pets

by The Jana Caudill Team

We love our pets as part of the family, and just as moving can be overwhelming at times for Mom, Dad, Billy, and Suzy, don’t forget this short “Have to” list for our four-legged family members.  With just a few steps you can set Rover and Fluffy up for their own successful relocation and ensure none of the following important details fall through the cracks.

First, call the state Veterinarian’s office or Department of Agriculture in the state you are moving to.  Check the bottom of the page at this link for most states’ contact information.  Ask for the laws and regulations concerning the types of pets you will be relocating with, keeping in mind the more exotic your pet the more restrictions you may be facing.  This quick call will let you know everything you are going to need, including medical documentation, to license your pets in your new state.

Call your current Veterinarian for copies of medical records including an up to date list of vaccinations.  The reason?  See paragraph above.  You’ll want to have all your paperwork in order as each state has its own set of required documentation for incoming pets.

Lastly, make sure all animals are tagged with identifying information, including phone number, and that you have photographs handy of each pet should a certain someone wander off while the family takes a break at a highway rest stop.  Many lost pets have been known to find their way home after getting lost.  Not so during a move.  Take the time to make sure the whole family arrives safe and sound at your new home on move in day.

Here’s another handy checklist to assure a smooth move for your pets, and don’t forget to check our resource pages for more buyer and seller tips!

Packing for Your Move - Part 2

by The Jana Caudill Team

This is a continuation of our last blog, “Packing for Your Move - Part 1”.

  1. Use your move as an opportunity to de-clutter.  We all have stuff we have been hanging onto for far too long.  Clothes we no longer wear, or that have been out of style for decades; that old barbershop chair in the basement gathering dust; VHS tapes, rotary phones, vinyl record albums.  Some of it may very well be collectable.  Some of it may just be gathering dust.  Have a garage sale, and donate any leftover stuff.  Now’s the time to pull out everything that really has no business on the back of a moving truck, and no place in your new home.  Use the proceeds from your garage sale to buy pizza for lunch for your moving crew.
  2. Have a toolbox handy for taking apart bed frames, tightening loose screws, removing wall-hanging hardware, etc.  Be sure to have one or more box cutters in the tool set for unpacking, and be sure the toolbox is placed in a central location in your new home on move in day, like the kitchen, so you don’t have to look for tools when it comes time to reassemble bed frames, etc. at the end of an exhausting day.
  3. Use blankets to drape over delicate surfaces like electronics and furniture to prevent breakage and scratching.  Plastic garbage bags full of t-shirts or towels are excellent for stabilizing fragile items in the back of the moving truck, as are couch cushions and bed pillows.
  4. Ask for help.  Moving is by all means a daunting job, so don’t be shy.  Friends, neighbors, family – even the children!  If you’re worried about things getting broken then handle the computer monitor and your great-grandmother’s antique full-length mirror yourself.  Enlist more troops to handle the rest of the grunt work.  Children can help more than we often give them credit for.  They can carry smaller boxes, or at a minimum babysit the family dog in the back yard while the adults take care of all the lifting.  Kids love to feel included in all the excitement, and to have their own very special job assigned to them is all it takes.

This by no means is a comprehensive list of helpful tips to ensure a successful move for your family.  Check out this detailed checklist for more useful information.  And don’t forget to call on us when buying or selling in Northwest Indiana!

Packing for Your Move - Part 1

by The Jana Caudill Team

It takes more than boxes and tape for a successful move into a new home – it takes planning, organization, and a little help.  Here is the first of two beefy installments with some packing and moving tips that will ensure a minimum stress, minimum trouble, maximum efficiency move.

  1. Start early.  Begin saving empty boxes well in advance of the big day.  Visit local grocery stores and ask for their good used boxes, just be sure to take a pass on boxes that have produce residue or traces of odor.  Purchase good packing tape; duct tape doesn’t adhere very well to a cardboard surface.  You want to make sure what you put inside the box stays there until you’re ready to unpack.  Visit your dry cleaner and ask for some used plastic garment bags.  These can be used to protect clothing on hangers from dust, and tied off at one end they double as trash bags.
  2. Pack up any off-season belongings you may have first.  If you’re moving in June go ahead and pack up your Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations, and cold weather wardrobe.  The more you can get done ahead of time the better.
  3. Pack heavier items, like books or music CDs in smaller boxes; pack lighter items in larger boxes.  The fewer boxes you have to move the better, however you don’t want to pack boxes so heavy you risk a back injury.  Be sure to securely tape boxes as well.  We’ve already covered this, AND it bears mentioning again.  An over-packed box bursting open on its way to the moving truck is not the way to start moving day.
  4. When packing, label the box with a permanent marker for the room it is being moved into, not the room it is moving out of.  You may have two children currently sharing one room who will now each get their own bedroom in the new house, or you may have decided to store some items from your basement into your new spacious garage.  Label individual boxes for the appropriate destination room.

Check back next week for Part 2 of “Packing and the Move” for more tips.  In the mean time here’s a great comprehensive moving checklist to help keep important tasks from falling through the cracks.  And remember, whether you’re moving into, out of, or around Northwest Indiana we’re here to help.

Displaying blog entries 1-5 of 5

Contact Information

Photo of The Jana Caudill Team Real Estate
The Jana Caudill Team
Redkey Realty Leaders
503 East Summit St., Suite 2
Crown Point IN 46307
219-661-1256
Fax: 219-663-5949