Archive April 2019

5 DIY TIPS

As a homeowner, there’s no landlord or engineer to ask for help. So Realtor.com recommends you learn to handle these five basic problems:

1. Change HVAC filters: Replace quarterly to keep your system running smoothly and cut energy bills.

2. Cutting the water supply: Find and tag the shut-off valve when you first move in. When you need to turn it off, turn the handle 90 degrees.

3. Unclogging drains: Chemical drainers may work, but a drain snake is also an excellent option.

4. Resetting a circuit breaker: Open the panel cover and find the breaker in the “off” position, then turn to “on.”

5. Clean gutters: When gutters aren’t cleared of debris, water can get trapped, seep into your house and cost thousands in damages. Clean them annually or every two years.

SMALL FLAWS can be a big deal.

What may seem like small problems in your home can be a big deal to prospective buyers who will want to discount the price. Realtor.com names six of the minuscule things that could be big hurdles to closing:

An old electrical panel. Buyers will want it “up to code.” Get bids from multiple electricians to try and get a reduced repair quote, or offer that amount as a credit in lieu of repair at closing.

Ripped window screens. Window screens will wear out over time, but tears should be taken seriously. Either replace them before listing or offer credit at closing.

The location of the laundry room. The laundry on the ‘wrong’ level can be a big negative, especially in a three-level house or townhouse. Offer to move the washer and dryer to a new location if possible.

The bathtub or shower. Some people prefer showers, others want bathtubs, especially parents with small children. A bathtub with a showerhead above is the best option.

Kitchen walls. Many people prefer open kitchens. If you think your kitchen’s walls make it feel cramped and that’s stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself.

Small closets. There isn’t much you can do to ease these concerns, but try to make your closets look roomier by de-cluttering. Hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or pointing out to buyers that they can do this themselves – is another fix.

Forgotten Chores

A lot of work goes into owning a home, and while you’re busy maintaining the obvious, you may be missing smaller, hidden tasks that could lead to damage or health and safety hazards if left unattended. Here are several to consider:

➊ Test for water leaks. Water leaks not only waste water, but can also increase your water bill and cause serious damage inside walls or other hard-to-see places.  The easiest way to check for leaks is to take a reading of the water meter, avoid using your water for a few hours and then take another reading. If it changes, then you have a leak.

➋ Seal stone countertops. Natural stone countertops are porous and absorb liquids, bacteria and stains, leading to irreversible damage.  To seal countertops, clean them with a stone-safe cleaner or soap and water, then let them dry.  Then apply the sealer, wait 15 minutes and wipe off any excess.

➌ Clean dryer ducts. Lint, dirt and other residue can build up on the dryer screen, inside the lint trap, and around the machine and vents.  Buildup blocks airflow, leading to less efficient drying or fires.  Wash the lint screen with soap and water, use a long brush to clear out the lint trap, and vacuum out the tube and any stray lint.

➍ Reseal tile grout. Most grout is a mixture of sand and cement, which can absorb liquids, bacteria and stains.  Before sealing, scrub the grout and tiles to remove dirt and particles.  Then apply sealant and wipe off the excess.  Wait 15 minutes, apply a second coat and remove the excess.  Grout is successfully sealed when water beads on top.

3 Steps To Effective De-Cluttering

Spring cleaning is a yearly ritual that most homeowners find themselves tasked with annually. While some people enjoy the activity, others find it tedious and difficult. When attempting to sell your home, you may be even more wary, as such daunting tasks can cause added anxiety and stress.

Here are a few tips on how to help get rid of your stuff:

Look for support. Friends and family are often great motivators for getting rid of clutter. Think about asking other people’s opinions on what should stay and what should go. If you’re in the process of selling your home, your REALTOR® could be a trusty resource. They have experience in helping people just like you prepare their homes for prospective showings and eventual moves.

Professional help may be necessary. Sometimes the task at hand may be a bit too much for homeowners to handle. Years of clutter and storage build up quickly and figuring out where to even begin can be tough. So enlisting the help of a professional organizer could go a long way to speedily cleaning your home.

Consider your options. When you are actually ready to declutter, the question then becomes: Where should all the stuff go? There are a few options to think about when cleaning:

  • Sell. Some things you may want to consider selling, such as antiques or collectibles.
  • Donate. Old clothes and furniture that you don’t use anymore may be better suited for others in need.
  • Store. Consider getting a storage unit off-site, if you are unsure about getting rid of your possessions.
  • Trash. Some items you have stored have no value or are damaged. Throwing them away is a quick way to create much needed space.