Posted tagged ‘home improvement’

How to prepare your home to sell for top dollar

March 13, 2014

Flower Mound Realtor, Selling Your Home in Flower Mound, Texas Real EstateYou stopped noticing your cracked driveway over a year ago, and the broken light fixture on your front porch has been long forgotten. Pet owners are not immune from it either – “normal” odors they are no longer sensitive to could be a big turn off for prospective home buyers. When something has been a part of our lives for so long, details that stick out like a sore thumb to anyone else can become invisible to us.

When it comes time to sell your home, you want to make it as attractive as possible to your ideal buyer. This means you want to prepare the space in such a way that they can easily see themselves being happy and worry free within the walls of your home.

To do this, it would be wise to hire someone to stage your home for you. If that isn’t an option, clear your mind and do your best to look at your home like a prospective buyer. Is there clutter on the counter? This would immediately put the thought of having to ‘clean the place’ in the mind of the person looking to buy, which will put a mark in the negative column regarding the home tour.

Are the carpets stained? Are the walls too bare or too bold? These are also considerations of buyers when looking at homes. They typically don’t want to be saddled with the need to immediately repaint purple walls or install new carpet. That alone could cause them to turn away without making any kind of offer on the home.

Another topic that is touchy for some home owners is that of family pictures. We love our family, and many of us decorate our home with years of photos that tell the story of our life. However, when selling your home, being surrounded by a ‘strangers life’ can subconsciously create tension that might block a prospective buyer from feeling like this could be their family’s new home, since it so clearly belongs to someone else. For better results, replace family photos with inviting landscapes, seascapes, mirrors, and nature prints.

If you are able to afford it, be sure to take care of any major repairs or updates that could deter a buyer from making an offer on your home. This includes:

  • Replacing any broken windows
  • Replacing a leaky roof
  • Fixing cracked driveways, sidewalks, and walls
  • Update old or outdated appliances, cabinetry, and/or flooring

It is also important to work on your home’s curb appeal. Remove any weeds, dead plants, bushes and/or trees to make your landscape look pristine. Make sure the grass is green and maintained, and plant a few annual flowers in noticeable spots near your front entryway. It is also appealing to plant greenery and flowers in decorative outdoor pots that can later be moved. These can be placed along the sidewalk, by your driveway, or set by the front door.

For a few other quick fixes that don’t cost a lot of money but can help you get top dollar for your home, be sure to visit our Ideal Real Estate Group’s Website. Go to the Seller’s Resource Page and see our article on Common Questions and Answers about Selling Your Home.

As an expert real estate agent in the Dallas / Fort Worth area for over two decades, I can help you make sure your home looks its best when buyers come knocking, so contact me, Sandy Luedke, today and we’ll get started on selling your home for top dollar!

Starting to work with your Agent

October 10, 2009

The first thing that your real estate agent will do for you is to have a relaxed, but thorough, conversation about what kind of home you are looking for. He or she will listen carefully at what you want in your new house and clarify the main details so that he/she will have a very clear picture of it. Another main consideration to be discussed is of course, your price range.
Having the right information about what you are looking for will help the agent in focusing their search, and will avoid wasting the time of both parties. Once the agent is clear on everything, including how much you are willing to spend, the search for the most fitting home will speed up.

Save Money on Homeowners Insurance

January 12, 2009

With the tough times many of us are facing today due to the economic downturn, we’re all re-evaluating the fixed costs in our lives and businesses and seeing where we can cut corners.

For those of us living in Texas, we now have a valuable resource to determine if we are paying a competive rate on our home and auto insurance. Consumers can now shop for better rates at a new state web site: www.helpinsure.com

The site, run by the Texas State Department of Insurance, offers a breakdown of premiums for areas around the state. Comparisons show that the cost of homeowner’s policies can differ by hundreds of dollars a year for similar houses within the same zipcode!

An example based upon rate from the 27 largest home insurance companies in Texas reveals, that a typical $150k brick home in Dallas County, where the owner had an average credit rating and no insurance claims for the previous 5 years…shows a range from $704 to more than $2200 a year. Now that’s a significant spread and worth looking into!

Consumer watchdog groups have contended for years that we in Texas pay rates that are far too high (one of the highest in the nation), so this service may be invaluable, especially in these penny pinching times.

Bottom line…rates can vary dramatically and it pays for people to shop around for home insurance, just like we now do with car insurance!

-Sandy Luedke
Broker
Ideal Real Estate Group

Is Home Rennovation For You?

November 7, 2008

Here’s a wonderful article that should be beneficial to anyone who’s a homeowner.

Replacing items is often more costly than fixing them

The word “renovation” implies that you’re replacing something old and worn out with something new and better. Yet too many so-called renovations simply involve replacing things that are old and substantial with ones that are cheap and flimsy but just happen to be new. That seems less like renovation and more like ruinovation.

If every modern building product were better than its counterpart of 50 years ago, meaningful renovation would be easy. But they’re not, and so it isn’t. While some things really have improved — modern heating systems, for example, are vastly superior to those of years past — the sad fact is that many building products are mere wisps of their former selves.

The euphemistic “economic pressures” we’ve all heard about — put plainly, “greed for fatter profit margins” — are the real culprit behind the declining quality of so many building items. The practice of outsourcing to cheap labor overseas means many name-brand products are now manufactured in places with indifferent or nonexistent quality control, regardless of what manufacturers claim to the contrary. The fact that many venerable American brands are now haphazardly manufactured in Third World countries may do wonders for corporate profits, but it won’t do wonders for your home. You’ll merely be replacing things that have lasted 25, 50 or even 100 years with new ones that’ll break in four or five.

Therefore, before you replace any item in your home in the interest of sweeping renovation, ask yourself two questions. First: Does it still serve its purpose well? If so, it shouldn’t be high on your renovation agenda — certainly not for reasons of fashion alone.

Second: If it no longer serves its purpose, can it be fixed? Here’s where many stalwart Americans seem to have lost their Yankee grit. We’ve slowly come to believe the fallacy that throwing things away and replacing them with new ones is easier and cheaper than fixing them. In the case of many items in a house, however, this is just plain bull.

Windows, for instance, are a frequent candidate for ruinovation, due mainly to cunning marketing by window replacement companies. Many people are talked into replacing their windows to save on utility bills, but the truth is that, in an average house, heat loss through windows makes up a relatively modest fraction of total energy use. Therefore, upgrading your home’s attic insulation or even replacing your furnace would probably be a much more cost-effective way to conserve.

Moreover, no matter what the problem with a home’s original windows might be, chances are it would take less money, effort and resources to have them repaired by a local window shop than it would to replace them wholesale with new ones. The fact that this approach also best maintains a home’s original style is just icing on the cake.

But whether we’re talking about windows, doors, flooring, hardware or plumbing fixtures, there’s little to be gained by replacing sound original items en masse just to experience the brief thrill of newness. On the other hand, there is something to be lost: As often as not, you’ll actually be downgrading the quality of your home, and spending good money to do it.Copyright © 2008 Inman News – Written by Arrol Gellner

Sandy Luedke                                                                                                         www.idealrealestategroup.com


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