Jeffrey Harrington's Blog
One aspect of house hunting that some prospective home buyers overlook is security. Perhaps it's because they're looking at homes in "nice neighborhoods, where you shouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing happening." Maybe another reason they're paying little or no attention to security issues is that they're more preoccupied with the layout of the kitchen, the size of the backyard, and the condition of the master bathroom.
Even though there are dozens of details to compare and think about when you're house hunting, security features are important enough to include in your checklist. By letting your real estate agent know that home security is a high priority for you, they'll hopefully point out security features that they notice and perhaps ask the listing agent for any additional information on things like installed alarms systems, deadbolt locks, or security lighting on the property.
As a side note, if the present owner has recently installed an extensive security system in the house, you can also use that as an opportunity (excuse) to inquire about crime in the neighborhood and whether there have been any recent incidents in the area. Additional research may need to be done to ferret out that information.
As you check out different houses that your buyers' agent shows you, here are a few security-related checkpoints to keep in mind:
- Do the doors look solid and are they secured by deadbolt locks?
- Do first-floor windows have functional and securely locking mechanisms?
- Are there any outside floodlights, lamp posts, and/or other forms of illumination around the house?
- Are there any overgrown bushes next to the house that could conceal a burglar's attempt to enter the house through a window?
- Are there any fences on the premises that might discourage a burglar from entering the property?
- Do the main entrances have locking storm doors that provide an extra layer of security?
- Are there any other security vulnerabilities that you or your real estate agent think need addressing, either now or in the immediate future?
When you do find the ultimate house for you and your family, it's always a good idea to change the locks on all external doors as soon as possible. You never know how many duplicate keys have been circulated over the years to contractors, neighbors, cleaning people, pet sitters, house sitters, and family members. One way to take control of your new home's security situation is to make sure there are no extra house keys floating around in the hands of people you don't know.
If you want to achieve the best-possible results during the house selling journey, you need to be flexible. Because if your initial home selling strategy fails to deliver the desired results, you need to be ready to make adjustments.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you revamp your home selling strategy.
1. Analyze the Local Housing Market
The local housing market may play a role in your house selling success or failure. If real estate market conditions have changed since you originally listed your home, you need to adapt accordingly. Otherwise, you risk falling behind rival home sellers in a fierce real estate market.
Oftentimes, it helps to monitor home sales in your city or town. This will allow you to see if houses similar to your own are selling quickly. It also enables you to understand how your house stacks up against the competition and may help you find ways to differentiate your home from comparable residences.
2. Review Your Home Listing
If you find that buyers rarely set up home showings or visit open house events at your residence, now may be the perfect time to assess your home listing. That way, you can explore innovative ways to use your home listing to engage and inform buyers about your residence.
Generally, it helps to make a home listing as clear and concise as possible. If buyers can read your home listing and retrieve accurate information about your house, they can determine if your residence matches their expectations.
You may want to include high-resolution images of your home in your listing as well. These images can help you show off the true size and beauty of your residence to buyers. Plus, they may help you distinguish your home listing from all others.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
For those who are struggling to stir up interest in a house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance as you navigate the house selling journey.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to make a home an attractive choice to buyers. He or she will learn about you and your home and analyze your past house selling efforts. Then, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers.
In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to showcase your residence to buyers. And if a buyer submits an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will help you determine whether to accept, reject or counter this proposal.
As you try to sell your home, you may want to consider revising your house selling plan. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can revamp your home selling strategy and move one step closer to enjoying a fast, profitable house selling experience.
You may not think much about your hot water heater. Unless of course, your hot water heater ends up breaking down. Hot water is so important in our homes, yet we take this resource for granted. Hot water does a lot in our homes from clean our laundry to disinfect our dishes to heat up our showers. We use it without thinking about it.
If you neglect your hot water heater it can cause some costly damage to your home. Your basement could end up flooded. Pipes can burst. You can be without the use of hot water for days- even weeks- if you’re not vigilant about taking care of your hot water heater.
Once water is gushing from the source, the best course of action is to simply shut the water off to your home. Before you even get to that point there are some tell tale signs of damage to your hot water heater that can be detected before major issues arise. First, if you notice any type of water around your hot water heater, you should get it checked out. Don’t look at it as “no big deal.” Any type of moisture or water stains around the water heater itself are a sure sign that something isn’t right with the unit.
As a homeowner, you should know just how old your hot water heater is. Usually, the installation date on the heater is noted somewhere along with the serial number. The typical hot water heater lasts about 9-11 years. If you live in an area with hard water, this number can vary.
Once the damage is done to your hot water heater you’ll likely have a large cleanup project on your hands. You’ll need to call water extraction services that will help dry out the area and clean up any baseboards that can become hazardous. Sometimes, these projects can get a bit bigger than you’d ever expect. After the water is pumped out, the cleanup has only just begun.
Why Hot Water Heaters Fail
The minerals from water tend to build up (especially in the case of hard water) and cause the unit to rust out form the inside. While the inside of the tank contains glass, it does have metal pieces that can rust. You can replace certain parts of the hot water heater from time to time to keep it in good working order, the best prevention is to replace your water heater when the time is right. Don’t let the unit sit until way past its expiration date.
Being The Homeowner
As a homeowner, you probably wonder if something like a broken water heater were to happen if your insurance would cover the cost of the damage. The insurance will cover the cost of cleanup and repairs. The insurance will not cover the cost to replace the hot water heater or any labor costs. The only way the entire cost would be covered is if you have a home warranty.
A simple thing that you can get to help alleviate major damage to your home from a hot water heater is to get an alarm. This little device is inexpensive and will alert you when any water hits near the areas of the alarm. This could save you a lot of costly damage and repairs. The most important thing that you can do in your home to prevent major damage from a hot water heater is to stay vigilant and keep on top of maintenance and replacement timelines.
Want to add your condo to the real estate market? As a condo seller, you'll want to do everything possible to prep your residence so you can streamline the property selling process. Fortunately, we're here to help you do just that.
Here are three tips to help you simplify the condo selling process.
1. Conduct a Property Appraisal
What you paid for your condo a few years ago is unlikely to match what your residence is worth today. Therefore, a condo seller should conduct a property appraisal to understand the true value of his or her residence.
A property appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable for a condo seller. This appraisal ensures a property expert will examine your residence both inside and out and help you uncover any problems with your condo. Then, you can allocate the necessary time and resources to complete any condo repairs or mainteanance to boost your property's value.
With a property appraisal, you can learn about your condo's strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. You'll also be able to establish a "fair" price for your home based on your property's condition.
2. Declutter Your Condo
For condo sellers, decluttering a property is paramount. With a clutter-free condo, you can make it easy for condo buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.
To declutter a condo effectively, you'll first want to remove any personal belongings from your property. Antiques, photographs and other personal belongings can be put in storage until your condo sells.
Furthermore, don't forget to clean your condo's interior as much as possible. A pristine interior can boost your condo's chances of making a positive first impression on property buyers as soon as they walk through the front door.
If you need extra help with condo cleaning, don't hesitate to hire a professional cleaning company. By doing so, you may be able to transform an ordinary condo into an awe-inspiring property.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to selling a condo, why should you be forced to leave anything to chance? Conversely, work with a real estate agent, and you can take the guesswork out of selling your condo.
A real estate agent with condo selling experience understands what it takes to promote a residence to the right groups of property buyers. This real estate professional will go the extra mile to ensure you can move quickly and effortlessly through the condo selling process.
For example, a real estate agent will set up condo showings and open houses. These events will make it easy to showcase your residence to property buyers and increase your chances of receiving multiple offers on your condo.
A real estate agent also serves as a housing market expert. He or she will be ready to respond to any condo selling queries, at any time. That way, you can receive the support you need to make informed condo selling decisions.
Leverage these tips, and you can simplify the condo selling process.
When you find a house that you love a lot, your main concern may be that other people really love the home too. How can you make your offer stand out? You might want to write an offer letter to go long with your proposed purchase price for the home. While making the highest offer s typically the best way to secure a bid on a home, if sellers get a few similar offers, they may be enticed by an extra bit of effort on the part of the buyer.
There are certain ways that you can craft an offer letter to help a seller be intrigued a bit more and accept your offer. Many times, sellers have a certain type of attachment to a home. They want someone who loves the home as much as they did. Most sellers who have taken pride in their homes want to pass that on to the next owner. Be sure you tell the owners that you appreciate the care that they have taken to keep their home nice. You can also mention that this home will be a great place for you and your family to grow. If you let your enthusiasm stand out, you’ll be able to shine among other offers.
Give Your Backstory
If you happen to be expecting your first child, or maybe your family is expecting another addition, you may want to note that in your letter. Getting personal with a stranger may seem kind of odd, yet sharing a bit of your story can help a seller feel more comfortable about accepting your offer as opposed to any others. If you have family or good friends that live in the neighborhood, let the seller know about that as well. Sometimes, sharing your story gives that extra touch that you need to have a winning offer.
Just as you would praise the seller for taking good care of the home, you also want to point out any specific updates that will make your life easier. If there’s a newly landscaped backyard, mention it. If the new roof looks great on the house, include it in your letter. If you notice that the sellers have dogs, let them know how much your dogs will love being in the house as well. You’re not brown-nosing, you’re just giving the sellers a little something to be proud of, letting them know that you took notice!
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Sentimental
If the home happens to be in the same neighborhood that your family grew up in, then by all means include that in your letter. If your mom lives a few blocks away and is hoping to be closer to the grandkids, it doesn’t hurt to tell the seller about it. The bottom line is to get a bit personal and let the seller know why you want the home. From the home itself to how it will suit your needs, a seller will feel good accepting an offer that they have a connection to.