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  • 5 Home Projects to Complete in 10 Minutes or Less

    You probably have a laundry list of projects you’ve been meaning to complete around your home. Luckily, there are tips to help you complete some of these tasks in ten minutes or less. Your home can feel more organized (almost) instantly.

    Organize your kitchen pantry: Start by sorting out expired items. Now organize your shelves by function. Separate snacks, baking necessities, spices, and more. Take inspiration from your favorite grocery stores. This ten minute task can save you time when you’re cooking your favorite recipes or making a quick midnight snack. As an added bonus, it reduces the chance of adding salt instead of sugar or vice versa.

    Make natural cleaning products: Skip the store. Make your own cleaning products using things you probably already have on hand. You can save money, have a clean home, and be more environmentally friendly. Get started by making these natural cleaning solutions.

    Organize your closet: Set a timer and organize your closet for ten minutes. We recommend organizing by color, type, or function. For example, hang all shirts, jackets, sweaters, skirts, pants, and dresses with each other. You will probably end up saving time in the long run, because it will be easier to find what you’re looking for.

    Peeling wallpaper: Put a drop of wallpaper paste on a sheet of paper, rub the paper on the underside of the exposed wall, then press the peeling wallpaper against the glue. Smooth any bubbles out with a clean cloth and the wall can look as good as new!

    Sliding glass doors or windows: If your glass fixtures are not sliding as smoothly as they should, spray a cloth with silicone lubricant and wipe it along the tracks. It’ll make it easier to get some fresh air.

    Get off your computer, turn off the TV, and get started!

  • What to Do With the Extra Room in Your House

    What would you do if you had an extra room in your house? Get creative because the possibilities are limitless.

    1. Home Gym: Do you love to start your mornings with a good workout, but hate dragging yourself to a crowded gym? If you have some workout machines at home, transform your spare room into a gym. Even if you just buy some weights, a yoga mat, and other inexpensive equipment, you can turn your unused room into something useful.
    2. Playroom: If you’re tired of tripping over your kids’ toys in your nice, fancy living room, turn that extra room into their own space. Paint the walls with chalkboard paint so they can write on the walls, store all of their toys in the room, and allow them to play. They’ll love a space of their own, and you’ll love not having a mess all over the house.
    3. Contemplation Room: Ever just need some time alone with your thoughts? If you find yourself wanting to escape the craziness of the day and not knowing where to go, consider creating a contemplation room. Decorate it in all white with comfortable furniture, throw pillows, and blankets. This creates a serene space where you can go to clear your head, meditate, and relax.
    4. Library: If you’re a bookworm, you’ve probably always dreamed of having your very own library. Now is your chance! Install bookshelves from wall to ceiling, add comfortable, sophisticated couches, and throw in cozy area rugs to make a comfy and inviting space. Just imagine relaxing after a long day in your library with your favorite book, a cup of tea, and candles.
    5. Entertainment Center: If you don’t have a den or finished basement, and only a formal living room, you may want to consider turning the spare room into an entertainment center. Use dark woods and deep colors, reclining chairs and a sectional couch, and top it off with a flat screen television for the perfect movie theater feel. It can be a great place to have a movie marathon on a rainy day!

     

    Having a spare room in the home leaves you with countless opportunities to be unique and create a special room that’s all your own!

  • 5 Numbers You Need to Know When Buying a Home

    There are so many things to consider when buying a new home, from house features to location, that it’s easy to overlook what’s really important. However, remember that buying a home is more than just picking out floor plans and backyard space — it’s a financial investment. Plan for a home you can afford by keeping these important numbers in mind.

    Buying a home can be daunting, but CENTURY 21® can help. Visit www.century21.com for more home buying resources.

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  • Neighborhood Checklist

    When you buy a home, you’re getting more than just the structure of the house — you’re getting the neighborhood, too. We recommend visiting the new area multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for it, since that may determine your family’s experience while living there. A great house might not be as enjoyable if the surrounding community isn’t a good fit. To help out with your neighborhood evaluation, use this checklist of important items to look out for.

    Sidewalks – The presence of sidewalks may indicate that the neighborhood is an active one. It may also be safer for those with children, since drivers and pedestrians won’t be sharing the same space.

    Parks – A nearby park might be beneficial for you and your family to get some exercise while meeting new people.

    Schools – Check to see how far away the schools are, and how your children would be getting there. This may not be as important for homeowners who don’t have children.

    Major Roads – Drive around to locate the closest major highways. If big roads are close, they may increase noise level around your home or become a security concern for those with small children and pets.

    Transportation – Depending on the area, you might not always depend on a car to get around. Explore the local public transportation options to see what works for you.

    Shopping Centers – Figure out how close you are to shopping centers so you can estimate how long it will take to run errands on a typical day.

    Restaurants – If your family likes to dine out, check out the food scene near your house to see if you’ll enjoy frequenting those restaurants.

    Recreational Centers – Whatever you and your family do for fun, make sure there’s something within a reasonable distance. Think fitness centers, pools, dance or martial arts studios, painting classes, or anything else that could entertain you and your family.

    At your next open house, bring this checklist with you as you go for a walk around the neighborhood. Your new community might be a perfect fit!

  • Home Buyer Checklist: What to Look for in an Open House

    Open houses may be staged to look like a home decor dream, but don’t let that distract you from the real reason you’re there: to potentially buy a home. Make sure you can look past the neatly arranged furniture and focus solely on whether the house would be a good fit for you and your family. To help, here’s a home buyer’s checklist of things you might have missed at first glance.

    Windows – Look specifically if they are facing the right direction to let sunlight in, and whether they open to a nice view (versus directly toward another neighbor’s window).

    Under the Sink Cabinets – Check for possible signs of water damage due to leaky plumbing.

    Electrical Outlets – Make sure there are enough outlets for the appliances and other electronics you’ll be using. If not, you can decide if that’s a renovation you’d like to make.

    Storage Space – Don’t just look to see if there’s enough closet space, but look for closet placement. Also check that the storage is in a convenient location.

    Appliances – If they’re included in the house, make sure they’re in good condition. They should be on and working while you’re there.

    Under the Rugs – Lift up any rugs to check the condition of the floor underneath.

    Floor Level – Check to see if the floors are level. Place a marble or another small, round object on the floor and see if it rolls consistently in one direction.

    Attic – If the house has one, make sure it’s well insulated.

    Water Spouts – Runoff from the gutters should be pointed away from the house, so take a step outside to see if this is the case.

    This list isn’t all-inclusive, but it’s a good place to start. Talk to a CENTURY 21 ® agent to see what else he or she might add.

  • 5 Moving Day Mistakes That May Slow You Down

    Congratulations! You’ve found a new home. Now it’s time to move in. One of the most important components of a successful move may be staying organized. Avoid making these common moving mistakes and you are likely to have a smoother move.
     
    Packing boxes haphazardly

    You may think that putting everything into boxes as fast as you can is easier, but in reality it is likely to make unpacking a headache. How will you find your silverware without opening up every single box? Pack items by room and label them accordingly so movers can drop them off in the appropriate rooms.
     
    Hiring movers without researching

    Do your research before choosing a moving company. Read reviews and ask for referrals from friends to decrease the likelihood of lost, stolen, or damaged belongings.
     
    Forgetting to set up utilities beforehand

    Call your providers a month before your move. Schedule to have your utilities set up in advance so you don’t have another task on your to-do list on moving day.
     
    Underestimating the importance of measurements

    Can your living room sofa fit through the front door? Take measurements of doorways beforehand to make sure all your large pieces of furniture can fit. If the front door isn’t an option, measure other entry ways, such as the back door or garage.
     
    Not packing a “just in case” kit

    Pack a small suitcase with clothes and belongings you’ll need to get through one week. If anything comes up that delays your movers significantly, you may be relieved to have the essentials on hand.
     
    Avoid these mistakes and your move may just fly by, stress-free. Looking for more tips? Use our Ultimate Moving Checklist. (And don’t get take moving advice from stock photos).

  • How to Transition Your Kids’ Rooms

    As your children grow and change, so should their bedrooms. However, if you were to revamp their rooms with every changing interest, favorite color or boy band, you would not only be spending a lot of time, but also a lot of money. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re looking to transition a child’s room as he or she continues to get older.

    Start With Change in Mind

    Designing a child’s nursery when you’re expecting is a fun and exciting experience. What parents may not plan for, though, are the unforeseen changes that the room might need as the child grows. Create a nursery with neutral wall colors and an open floor plan for playtime. It makes an easier transition that you can work with each changing year.

    Consult With Them

    When you’re planning to revamp your children’s room after a few years, make sure to consult with them. It’s likely they won’t hold back in letting you know what they want. You can enhance a child’s creativity and production levels if their rooms are filled with things that excite them.

    Choose the Right Items

    There are certain pieces of furniture and décor that can grow with a child. For example, a desk is a piece of furniture that can be added into a room and never seem to lose its importance, whether they’ll be endlessly creating works of art in coloring books or filling out college applications. Other items can include a classic bedframe and a monochromatic comforter.

    Work Slowly but Surely

    Make sure to try not to overwhelm your child with a lot of changes at once. If you’ve decided that it is time to “grow up” from the nursery, it may be best to do it little by little. Most parents choose to start with a new bed before gradually continuing to swap out the old with the new.

    Remember Teen Tips

    During the teen years, make sure to declutter (that garage sale money can go to their college fund), freshen up with a new paint job, and provide grown-up accessories. Allow room for self-expression, but with limits. For instance, you can frame posters instead of using thumb tacks or tape directly on the walls. A bold rug is fine for the time being, especially if it protects the carpet or floor from food spills or shoe marks.

    Raising children can be one of the greatest joys in life, so make sure their room reflects that! Take these tips with you over the years and let the DIY project become a fun one you and your child can look back on.

  • Protecting Your Home: Safety Tips for the Homeowner

    We often like to think good things about our new home, such as the memories our family will make there. However, there’s a less than wonderful thought that should also be considered: the risk of burglary. As a new homeowner, you may be at risk for this opportunistic crime, but you can take certain precautions to better protect your new home sweet home.

    Install an Alarm System
    One of the simplest ways to protect your home may just be to install an alarm system. When doing so, make sure to pick a smart location for the keypad. Choose a spot that’s convenient for you, but away from any doors or windows. You don’t want someone outside to be able to peer in and see whether or not the alarm is set. Also, request a decal from the security company to display on your lawn or window. A mischievous passerby noticing the added protection may decide to leave the house alone.

    Plant Gardens Strategically
    Gardens can be essential for creating aesthetic curb appeal, but did you know they may add to your home’s security as well? Planting a garden underneath ground floor windows may prevent people from casually walking over to your window to look inside. While it’s possible to just walk through the garden, doing so is a bit peculiar and may look suspicious to anyone nearby. Not wanting to call attention to themselves, potential burglars may just move on.

    Don’t Leave Spare Keys Outside
    Having spare keys to your house is a great idea, since we all have one of those days where we accidentally lock ourselves out. However, stashing a spare key outside, such as in a planter or under the doormat, is a mistake. Potential criminals know to check these areas. Instead, leave a spare with a trusted neighbor. You may have to work around their schedule in the event of being locked out, but the added security can make that worth it.

    Keep up Appearances
    Everyone needs a vacation, but you shouldn’t let on to everyone that you’re out of town. While you’re away, time both indoor and outdoor lights to go on at night and off during the day. This way, no one passing by will find a dark, seemingly unattended home. Also, ask a neighbor to collect any newspaper, mail, or packages that may be dropped off at your door, since a pile up of unattended items signals that no one is home.

    With the added protection that these safety tips may add to your home, you can have peace of mind to relax and attend to more fun aspects of being a homeowner.

  • 10 Bedroom Hacks That May Improve Your Quality of Sleep

    Are you up all night after being up all day? You’re not alone. You may have tried counting sheep, but have you thought about changing your environment? These simple changes may improve your quality of sleep and help you recharge for the next day.

    Block out light

    Sunrises are beautiful, but that early morning sunlight can wake you up before your alarm does. Choose thick, dark curtains so your bedroom can remain in optimal sleeping conditions until you’re ready to rise and shine.

    Keep noise to a minimum

    While you can’t always control sounds outside of your home, try to decrease the volume inside. A thick area rug may muffle noise. If someone in the family likes watching television late at night, consider buying cordless headphones.

    Get rid of distractions

    Ban electronics from your bedroom. This means TVs, computers, and cellphones should reside somewhere else. Buy an alarm clock and switch to traditional books. Technology stimulates the brain, making it more difficult to relax when it’s time to sleep.

    Avoid blue light

    Blue light, such as the light from electronics and fluorescent lighting, has been known to disrupt your circadian rhythms — another reason why cell phones shouldn’t be in your room. Eliminate blue light even further by replacing your lights with warm, yellow colored lights.

    Find storage elsewhere

    Experts say a bed should be elevated so that the space underneath it is available for air circulation. So if sleeping better is your goal, don’t use under-the-bed storage. Find a different spot to stash stuff.

    Stick to cool paint colors

    Cooler shades such as blue, green, purple, and grey, are known to reduce heart rates and slow respiration. Because of their physically calming capabilities, they may be the best choice of color to choose for your bedroom.

    Pick a perfect pillow

    Believe it or not, pillows are not “one size fits all.” Your sleep position should determine your pillow firmness. Are you allergic to something in your current pillow? Consider a hypoallergenic one. Spend some time researching the right pillow for you.

    Buy your dog a bed

    Your dog may be your best friend, but that doesn’t mean you two have to shareeverything. Give your buddy his own bed so he’s comfortable even when he’s not in yours. You might find that having your own space improves your sleep.

    Keep your cool

    Having just a little bit of air circulating through the room at night may improve air quality (and sleep). Open a window or use a fan or air conditioner.

    Embrace Feng Shui

    Bringing Feng Shui into your home may bring calmness and serenity, both of which may help you relax into a deep sleep.

    Start with some of these tips today and you may catch more zzz’s with ease.

  • Tips for Growing Fruits and Vegetables at Home

    There may be many benefits to growing your own garden, including better quality of produce, saving money, and having a healthy hobby. If you’re just getting started, use the guide below.

    Here are our tips for growing fruits and vegetables at home!

    ● Gather your tools: Before you get down in the dirt, gather your gear. If you aren’t properly equipped already, head to your local home improvement or gardening supply stores to stock up on the essentials. To get started, you will need: a trowel (weeding, digging small holes), gardening gloves, a watering can and/or hose, a wheelbarrow, a shovel (digging large holes), a rake, shears (pruning), and sun protection.

    ● Decide how your garden will grow: Once you’ve planned the spot for your garden, you’ll need to decide which type you will grow. The traditional route is an in-ground garden, which uses natural soil and should ideally receive at least six hours of natural, direct light. If you have poor soil, you can choose a container garden instead by using store-bought potting soil (just make sure the container you use has proper drainage and enough space for deep-rooted plants). If you’re looking for something between the two, consider a raised-bed garden or thesquare-foot gardening method to get better control over the soil.

    ● Prepare your soil: Set your garden up for success by using high-quality soil. It should be well-aerated, free of stones and sand, and rich in compost for plenty of nutrients. Test the pH as well to make sure that your soil is only slightly acidic (unless you’re growing something like blueberries which prefer acidic soil).

    ● Pick your plants: Deciding what fruits and vegetables to grow is entirely up to you (and your growing conditions, of course). Plants like tomatoes, squash, beans, eggplant, corn, and peppers all love lots of sunlight, while leafy vegetables, potatoes, carrots, and turnips can do with less (which means they can be planted in early spring or late summer). If you’re a beginner, consider starting with seedlings from your local nursery.

    ● Tend to your garden: After the seeds are in the soil, keep a close eye on them. You may want to add more compost to help control weeds or cool roots during the summer. Depending on the weather, you may need to supplement the rain with additional water. Be careful not to water too much, though (watch out for leaves and stems that start to lighten in color or turn yellow).

    Impress your friends and family with great, fresh meals all season long.

  • Back to School: Home Office Essentials

    Back to school season is in full swing, and that means your kids will be coming home with more and more homework. They will need a productive space to study, and your home office can be a good option. But the office may need a few essentials before it’s ready for the school year.

    Get Good Lighting

    Studying in the dark can strain your eyes or put you to sleep. To avoid the likelihood of snoozing during study time, you’ll want to have adequate lighting. Add a small desk lamp, a floor lamp, or a brighter bulb in your overhead lighting.

    Create Comfort

    Your kids will ideally spend a lot of time studying in the office. Make it comfortable. Invest in a good chair or a lumbar support cushion.

    Keep Supplies Within Reach

    Your kids may need pens, pencils, paper clips, glue sticks, and all of the things on their long back to school shopping list. Try to fit the necessary supplies in arms reach. Set up pencil holders on the desk surface, or dedicate a drawer to school supplies. If they can simply grab what they need, they’ll be likely to save time and stay on track.

    Be Organized

    People are more productive when they work in an organized space. So instead of throwing supplies and papers anywhere, make sure everything has a place. Invest in folders, binders, and a file cabinet (and make sure the entire family uses them).

    Decorate

    Creative work is done best in a visually pleasing space, so don’t skimp when it comes to interior design. Personalize the space and make it one where your family actually enjoys spending time.

    Get your home office in shape. Your entire family may be more productive as a result.

  • FACTORS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR PROPERTY DEAL

    Real estate is a difficult trade but making investment in it can be a great decision if done intelligently. Most individuals often spend their entire savings and take loans to buy a property. So this has to be done with huge concern to ensure that the money invested does its work. The top factors that can make or break your property deal are as follows:

     

    AFFORDABILITY

    Budget is the most imperative thing you need to take into account even before you start looking for properties. Make sure to first determine a budget range in mind and see to it that your finances are in order. It is because if you purchase a property that exceeds your budget then you will have to pay a large EMI that will further leave your pocket empty by the end of the month. Make sure that your EMI does not go beyond 40% of your monthly income.


    RESEARCH


    Once you have set your finance target, the next big thing you need to focus on is the research part. Make sure to look for locales that get along with your needs. And to make this happen, you need to focus on these factors:


    – Convenience and connectivity
    – Presence of social as well as physical communications
    – The projected infrastructural growths 
    – Safety and security
    – Livability

    Make sure you do not invest in areas which don’t provide basic amenities such as road, water supply as well as drainage system. And then, it would be unwise on your part to get carried away with the promise of future infrastructural developments and invest your money blindly. After all, infrastructure projects usually take time to start off and few also fail to take off. Hence, make sure you don’t trust simply fake words unless you see the evidences right in front of your eyes.

    BUILDER’S CREDIBILITY:

    If you are a resident of Lucknow, then you may have come across various Lucknow real estate projects. In fact, the real estate market in this city is vast and the industry has both dependable and undependable builders. Hence, it would be unwise on your part to invest your hard earned money blindly after seeing lucrative offers from any small time builder. Instead, what you need to do is check the dependability of the builder by checking their earlier projects. This will give you a clear objective about the reliability of the builder.

    AUTHENTICATE LEGAL DOCUMENTS:

    For any property related transaction, title deeds play a critical role. You need to check whether the seller has an influential title deed of the property; in case they don’t, make sure you do not buy the property.

    • The title deed is an important document for the deal without which you will have legal issues in the days to come.
    • Ensure to get the original title deed confirmed with a lawyer before purchasing the property.
    • Before purchasing the property, ensure that all the clearances for the property are in place.
    • If you have plans to purchase an under-construction property, do not forget to get the allotment letter as well as the development agreement from the builder
    • The allotment letter has multiple details such as the floor plan, price of the property, delivery date as well as liability details in case there is any impediment in delivering the project. Whereas the development agreement has information related to the terms and conditions under which the landowner permitted the builder to use his property
    • Make sure the taxes associated with the property are cleared before you purchase the asset.


    Finally, you should not vacillate to get an expert’s help whenever you have doubts.

    Paarth infrabuild
  • A GUIDE TO DIY NATURAL CLEANING PRODUCTS

    With so many cleaning products available in the market, is it possible to keep your family and yourself safe from harsh chemicals? It certainly is. You can clean your house just as effectively with homemade natural cleaning products using ingredients readily available at home! They’re cheaper, improve indoor air quality and are much much safer, especially for children. Everyday products like baking soda (helps break down stains by loosening grime), vinegar (deodorizes, disinfects, and whisks away dirt and grime) , and alcohol (germ eliminator) make for great cleaners. So the next time you want to clean your home, try these simple DIY cleaning products.

  • What Millennials really want out of the home buying experience

    Millennials are growing older, and, while not ready to buy homes yet, they are still slowly starting to enter the market. Lenders will need to prepare for this new generation as they turn their interests to settling down and buying a home.

    So what makes this generation tick? What makes them different than other generations?

    A recent blog by Lexa Michaelides for Inc. talked about 10 reasons why Millennials are getting seriously discouraged.

    Well, I'm a Millennial, and I couldn’t disagree more.

    Her first point is that very few are passionate about their job, and that they choose being practical over their passion. First of all, not only is that not something that’s specific to Millennials, but it’s not necessarily bad, it’s just part of growing up. At some point every generation will do it; they will become responsible and get a job that will pay the mortgage.

    The second point she mentions is that “the wild fantasies of many of my peers are really basic lifestyles,” as Michaelides puts it. She mentions Millennials just wanting a simple apartment, a dog and "manageable" debt.

    She’s right about student debt, it has become a growing problem that seems impossible to escape. That being said, I’ve never gotten, or seen another Millennial get “seriously discouraged” because one of their peers holds the simple dream of getting a small apartment and a dog.

    Actually, we really don’t care. Maybe I’m in the wrong circles? After all, there are more than 75 million of us. Either way, we still don't care.

    She mentions that many Millennials are ready to get involved with their social beliefs and politics, however they are criticized for either being too young to understand or not getting involved enough. If someone truly felt strongly about their social belief and wanted to do something, but all it takes to stop them is a little criticism from the older generations, there’s a problem.

    Her Inc. piece also talks about social media.

    She writes that interpersonal relationships can be just as meaningful online as face-to-face. Yet, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center, the average Facebook user never even meet 7% of their online friends. So, that is a very small number to make the statement they are just as meaningful or important.

    She continues on to talk about a couple different things in her article including nostalgia from looking back at the difference between now and our childhood, and Millennials not truly feeling like adults yet. Are these true? Yes. Do they distinguish us from other generations? No. Are we “seriously discouraged” by this? No, we’re really not.

    We may not make everlasting friendships online but we are perfectly comfortable conducting our financial affairs in an 100% digital environment. Michaelides is sad because she misses the point of being online; there is a huge power to get things done. I'd argue that Millennials are perfectly comfortable getting a loan online, in fact, we prefer it. 

    Yes, Millennials are different from previous generations, just like every generation has been different from the generation before. What makes us different is that we are more connected through social media and the web, and we have the ease of technology at our fingertips, and therefore more access to information. What’s more, Millennials expectmore from lenders when it comes to technology.

    But expecting more and having our own wants and needs is a far cry from being “seriously discouraged.”

    In fact it's deeply motivating; I plan to apply for a mortgage online in a couple of years and nothing is going to stop me.

  • The Secrets to Selling a Home for Over Asking Price

    No one puts their house up for sale hoping for an average offer. You want a good offer. A great offer, even. Dare we say it? You want an all-out, claws-bared bidding war that will push your home’s price well over what you’ve asked for in your listing.

     It’s a dream for any home seller. And if you want to sell a home for over asking, it doesn’t necessarily boil down to luck, timing, or even location, location, location. As proof, read these true-life tales of how Realtors® helped home sellers wheel and deal their way to profits well above their expectations, and learn how you can (hopefully) do the same.

    Aim low in order to go high

    “The most fruitful strategy I’ve seen is to aggressively price the property roughly 5% to 10% below the going market rate. This will always generate more traffic to the property and give buyers a chance to fall in love with the home, when a higher purchase price might have kept them away initially. Not only does it get more people in, but once the buyers see the place, they’re more likely to offer over the purchase price, which often leads to bidding wars.” – Collin Bond, Realtor for the Boris Sharapan Team of Douglas Elliman

    Lesson learned: While pricing your home a bit below what it’s worth may seem counterproductive, sellers who take this leap of faith are often rewarded in spades. After all, a bidding war is a surefire way to push your home’s price over asking, and you can’t have a bidding war without multiple buyers. So price your home conservatively to up the odds that it will rise exponentially.

    ———

    Don’t leap at your first offer

    “Several years back we listed a three-bedroom home in Star, ID, at a fair price; it received four offers almost immediately. But instead of biting right away, we held back. We notified the buyers there were other offers, and used that position to gain an advantage. In the end, we had two offers well above asking price.” – Nick Schlekeway, broker for Amherst Madison Legacy Real Estate

    Lesson learned: Don’t immediately accept your first offer (or offers, if you’re lucky). Instead, consider it a launchpad for cultivating some fierce competition that could ultimately boost your home’s price.

    ———

    Approach investors

    “I was selling a small studio apartment that needed a gut renovation, and received a lowball offer from a buyer who was very stubborn and didn’t want to budge on price. I knew I had to get another offer to create competition, so I showed the property to an investor, presenting him with a floor plan from another unit to prove this one could be remodeled and rented for a high price. The investor made an offer, but I wasn’t done. I went back to the original buyer and used the second offer to create a bidding war. Finally, the apartment sold to the original buyer for over asking, all cash—and I broke the record in the building at that time for getting the highest price per square foot in the building’s history.” – Dan Burz, Realtor for Douglas Elliman

    Lesson learned: Investors may not be the first people you think of selling to, but they’re always shopping for a good deal, and can provide some much-needed incentive for other buyers to pony up more cash.

    ———

    Make your place stand out

    “We had one home in a neighborhood with sluggish sales. So to stand out, the seller updated the basement, repainted the home, and redid the landscaping. Although we listed at a modest $150,000, as soon as it hit the market, we got offers. By the weekend, the bidding was around $165,000. We ended up getting an offer for $168,500, more than 10% over asking.” – Joshua Jarvis, founder of Jarvis Team Realty

    Lesson learned: Granted, coughing up money for renovations will eat away at your profit. But it could also be a way to help your home shine in a lackluster market—and possibly get more money than you would have otherwise. Just make sure to pick renovations that offer a high return on investment, like your basement or attic. Better yet, you can save money by tackling a few of the simple upgrades (like painting) yourself!

    ———

    Highlight the divine in your home

    “My team once listed a home for a pastor. It was wild. We had a couple of folks walk through and say they could feel the spirit of God in the house. By the end of one weekend, we had 22 offers, many waiving inspection contingencies, including handwritten letters, and all sorts of other incredible gestures. The sellers studied each person’s situation, then prayed about it, and selected the offer that felt right. We gave the property the same treatment we give all our listings, but I wouldn’t for one second claim we were the cause of all the incredible things we experienced with this house.” – Chandler Crouch, founder of Chandler Crouch Realtors

    Lesson learned: Maybe it was divine intervention in this case, but it never hurts to highlight any unique features of a home—or you! So go ahead and announce you’re moving to join the Peace Corps, or that the home once housed a famous artist or pillar of the community. That extra selling point could just push those offers over the top!

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