Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 21-25 of 25

Selling During the Holidays

by The Jana Caudill Team

Who’s to say what conventional wisdom is nowadays: Take the house off the market before Thanksgiving.  No one buys a house during the holidays.  We’ll relist right after the New Year, and maybe we’ll reduce the price then.

Humbug.  I know we’ve already stepped into November, and the family calendar is starting to fill in for the rest of the year.  There’s Thanksgiving dinner to plan for, and Christmas or Chanukah or other religious celebrations that involve travel, and shopping, and decorating, and cleaning.  Then there’s the office holiday party, and don’t forget about the kids finishing the semester strong at school…

There are a million little excuses not to sell your home during the holidays.  Here are a few very compelling reasons to buck the trend and sell your home during the happiest time of the year:

  1. Buyers buy during the holidays.  People who write an offer on a home during the holidays are serious about purchasing.  Businesses relocate people during slow times, and transferees have windows (sometimes small windows) of opportunity to find a home during holiday vacation time.  Remember, January is the busiest month for job transfers.
  2. Your house is clean and decorated.  Whether you’re having guests over for dinner, hosting the office holiday gathering, or Grandma and Grandpa are coming to stay for a week, you’re already planning to clean house and decorate for the holidays.  Showings are fewer and less intrusive, but the buyers are serious.  With holiday decorations done right buyers easily picture themselves living in your home creating their very own holiday memories.
  3. Less Competition.  Makes sense, huh?  There are still those who will take the home off the market only to come back again in January or February.  Your sticking with it during November and December can kick start a very happy New Year for your family.

For more home selling tips for our Northwest Indiana friends, family and neighbors click our links!

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.”

Hiring a Dependable Moving Company

by The Jana Caudill Team

Cross country or cross town, sometimes it pays to hire a moving company to do the heavy lifting.  Did you know moving companies often offer more services than just hauling your belongings to your new home?  Many have packing and unpacking services.  I’ve even seen some offer a house cleaning service to give the home you’re moving into a good once over before you arrive.  It’s important not only to know what options you have available to help make your move run smoother, but also to know exactly what you are getting for your money when hiring a mover.

Tips on hiring a moving company:

  1. Get an in-house quote, then another, and another…A quote is no good if a company’s representative doesn’t come out and take an honest look at each room’s contents and then follow their visit up by putting their price, and what you are actually getting for your money in writing.  And the first quote isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you don’t have a second and a third to compare it too.  Get three quotes.
  2. Ask friends, neighbors, and family who they have used in the past and had success with.  Get the actual name of the company rep they worked with.  A good referral goes a long way in easing stress during a move.
  3. Dig into the quote.  Know if the movers will be assembling furniture like bed frames after delivery.  What’s the delivery window look like?  What about insurance?  You have to know what you’re getting for your money, and you sure don’t want to have any surprises on moving day, or when the bill from the moving company comes in the mail.

Follow these links to our helpful buyer and seller resource pages.

5 Inexpensive Value Adding Repairs

by The Jana Caudill Team

If you’re looking for some inexpensive repairs you can do to your home to add resale value you’re looking in the right place!  All of the entries on this list have reasonable price tags, and some of them won’t cost you anything but a little elbow grease and time to help you effectively stage your home:

  1. Clean up.  That’s right.  Not really a repair, I know, but think about the last time you walked into a home that smelled like the family dog, or had stacks of clutter everywhere you looked.  Let your mantra be “Pick up, put away, get rid of, clean!”  The house will be more presentable, and the rooms will look larger with less in them.  Vacuum then shampoo carpets.  Wash all your windows.  Fall is here with winter just around the corner.  If weather becomes prohibitive focus on the inside, and plan ahead for the outside…
  2. Exterior.  We’re talking curb appeal!  Same thing as above, just outside.  Now that the inside of your home is clean and presentable, don’t turn buyers away with yard clutter, the old broken down lemon in the driveway, or a mailbox slumping sideways on its post.  Tidy up and restore order, both in the front yard and back, before heading into winter.  In the spring and summer don’t let prospective buyers get stuck at the curb by dead grass, weeds, overgrown shrubs, peeling paint.  How about some colorful flowers?  Your mantra here is, “Mow, trim, paint, plant.”  If the entire exterior doesn’t need a paint job, consider painting just window and door trim to freshen things up.
  3. Flooring.  Buyers notice dirty carpets, rough wooden flooring, and chipped tile right away.  Yes, I’ll say it again, shampoo carpets!  Also clean and wax wood floors, and replace damaged tiles.  It may be necessary to completely replace flooring in certain rooms.  Be sure to go with neutral colors if you’re selling in the next few months or planning ahead to do so in the next few years.
  4. Bathroom and Kitchen sink fixtures.  Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens can be cost prohibitive.  Consider replacing leaking or outdated plumbing fixtures with something contemporary.  This is a great inexpensive fix that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
  5. Let there be light!  Change dim outdated lighting for more fashionable and brighter alternatives.  If painting interiors, going from dark to more neutral colors will make rooms feel larger.  Raise blinds and open curtains to let in more natural light!

Here’s a great resource to get an idea of your return on investment for more costly professional versus do-it-yourself projects.

Displaying blog entries 21-25 of 25