David Higgins' Blog
15 Park Ave, Hull, MA 02045
There are basically three types of clutter that tend to emerge in most homes, and it usually gets worse as time goes on.
Homeowners often get so used to their own clutter, that it becomes virtually invisible to them.
That's one of the reasons it can be extremely helpful to work with a real estate agent when preparing your home for sale. Not only can an experienced agent provide an objective point of view, but most agents have a trained eye that can spot unsightly clutter "a mile away"!
There are several reasons household clutter is an issue when trying to stage a home for sale. First of all, it's an eyesore. It makes your home look less inviting to prospect buyers, and, in many cases, in makes rooms look smaller. Clutter also makes it more difficult to keep surfaces and floors clean, which is one of the cardinal rules of effectively staging a home.
Three Types of Clutter to Target
There's a delicate balance between having just enough --or too many -- items on countertops and tables. In most cases, it's too much! You're usually better off "erring on the side of sparseness," rather than the other way around. Unless something serves either a decorative or functional purpose (preferably both), it probably should be stored away in a drawer or cabinet. If it weren't for the fact that buyers typically look in closets when touring a home, then that would be an obvious place to hide clutter. However, that's sure to make a bad impression.
When you think of the word "clutter," what's the first thing that comes to mind? A typical mental image is that of a room crowded with too much furniture. That's a common problem with improperly staged homes, and it's a surefire way to send prospective buyers scurrying -- ones who might have otherwise made an offer. Cluttered rooms look smaller, messy, disorganized, and -- in some cases -- chaotic. None of those characteristics are going to create a good feeling in people's minds, which is a primary objective when showing a home to potential buyers.
The third type of clutter, which is also pretty typical, is wall clutter -- specifically: too many paintings, photos, art prints, posters, wall clocks, and other miscellaneous objects which make the walls look "too busy"! For some home sellers, this can be the most difficult aspect of visual clutter to fix because there's an emotional connection to family photographs, children's drawings, and so on.
If you're torn between what to display and what to hide, your real estate agent can be the best source of objective, unbiased advice. In many cases, "less is more," but it pays to get a professional opinion!
15 Park Ave, Hull, MA 02045
If you’re hunting for a new home, it can be tempting to make an appointment to view as many as possible. However, it can be a better use of your time to narrow down the search beforehand and eliminate houses from your list based on some at-home research. That way you can use those extra hours for fine-tuning your home search and make sure you visit only the houses that will suit your every need.
In this article, we’ll teach you some ways to research a home, neighborhood and town before you take the time to visit.
Things to Research about Your Potential New Neighborhood
So you’ve found a listing that looks nice. Your next step should be to find out as much as possible about the area the home is in to make sure it suits your needs.
A good first step is to head over to Google Maps to find out which amenities are in the area. Schools, banks, grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, parks… the list goes on. This is also a good time to map out how long it will take you on average to drive to work from this house and to see if it will lead you through any high-traffic areas that might affect your daily schedule.
You can also research other homes in the area to see if the house is selling higher or lower than average. This will give you a question to ask the real estate agent if you choose to reach out for further information.
Another step to take on Google for this home is to look up statistics for things like neighborhood crime, ratings for the school district, and the state of local businesses.
Is the area up-and-coming with healthy businesses and low crime? If so, it could be worth pursuing further.
If you’re planning on having children or already do, the quality of the education could be of importance to you.
Finally, get an idea of the local tax rates so you know how much you’ll owe the government for your property and excise taxes.
Researching the house itself
If you’re comfortable with the town and neighborhood, there’s still some research you can do online before you schedule a showing.
See if you can find out if the house belongs to a homeowner’s association. Look up their rules and fees to see if they’re agreeable to you and your family’s lifestyle and plans for the future.
Look up the sale history for the home. If there are several recent sales, this could be a sign of problems with the home or neighborhood. Similarly, if the price has increased or decreased dramatically more than nearby houses, consider asking the real estate agent why this is.
Finally, see if you can view the number of days the home has been on on the market, commonly abbreviated as “DOM.” This will give you some insight as to how desirable the home and neighborhood are.
Once you have all of the information at your disposal, you’ll be in a position to decide whether or not to schedule an appointment to view the home.
Buying your first house can be scary because, admittedly, there are a lot of things that can go wrong! That's one of the reasons that working with a real estate agent is such a good idea. An experienced agent can guide you through the complicated process of buying a home and help you navigate the potential pitfalls of becoming a new home owner. He or she can also zero in on your priorities and assist you in getting the most for your money. A real estate agent can help you stay on track, find the resources you need, meet closing deadlines, and locate homes that live up to your requirements. In choosing a buyers' agent to assist you in matching your needs (and budget) to the available real estate inventory in your area, three important attributes to look for are experience, knowledge of the real estate market, and negotiating skill.
When it comes to negotiating, the vital truths that many first-time home buyers forget are that "everything's negotiable" (or pretty close to everything) and that the asking price of a property is often not the lowest price a seller is willing to accept. A lot depends, of course, on market conditions and the demand for a particular property, but it pays to have a real estate professional in your corner when making offers. Good agents have a knack for identifying "bargaining chips" that can help you negotiate a lower price, gain concessions from the seller, and potentially save thousands of dollars now and over the term of your mortgage.
One of the biggest things first-time homeowners forget is that "there's more to a house than meets the eye". That insight can be viewed from both a positive and negative perspective.
- The negative side: Even though a real estate listing may look like the house of your dreams, there could easily be hidden problems like termite infestations, plumbing repair issues, structural problems, hidden mold growth, noisy neighbors, and so on. Except for the potential problem of noisy (or nosy) neighbors, a reputable real estate inspector can help you identify a wide range of structural flaws and other "red flags" before you sign on the dotted line.
- The positive side: One key thing that many home buyers don't always consider is the future potential of a house or property. With a little imagination, budgeting, and planning, a less-than-perfect house can be developed into exactly what you and your family want and need. Kitchens can be updated, bathrooms can have new vanities and fixtures installed, porches can be screened in, and backyards can have fences built or hedges planted for improved privacy.