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How to Prepare Your House to Sell
Buying a Home
Questions for Every Room of an Open House
Open houses provide more than the opportunity to showcase your clients’ listed homes; they also allow you to exercise your knowledge as a real estate agent by fielding questions from potential home buyers. While these questions can range from the common to the rare, most of them are focused on the house or neighborhood in general. However, as they walk through your open house, different rooms may inspire inquiries that are a bit more specific in nature. With CENTURY 21® Real Estate’s insight, you may find it easier to anticipate these niche questions and prepare for them in advance. Take a look at what questions each area of the house might elicit from potential home buyers.
The Front Door
Some, if not most, potential home buyers are already taking stock of the house before they step in the door. Just seeing the exterior of the house in its neighborhood may lead to the following:
When were the windows installed?
How old is the roof?
What are the neighbors like?
Structural renovations, such as replacing drafty windows or aging roofs, may be costly. Since roofs tend to need replacement every 20 or 25 years, the home buyer will want to factor in maintenance costs. Neighbors are not so costly, but they may affect quality of life. Try talking up positive aspects of the relationship between the current homeowners and their neighbors.
This room is often the hub of family homes, so it’s important to know its quality beforehand. Expect questions similar to the following:
What are the cabinets made out of?
When were the appliances installed?
Is the countertop sealed?
Cabinets made of solid wood tend to last longer, and newer appliances usually function better. Answer honestly and accurately, but remember to focus on the positive or memorable aspects of these features.
Maintenance issues with this room are often the most inconvenient, for obvious reasons. The home buyer will want to make sure that everything is functional before they commit. You might hear things like:
How old is the plumbing?
Where does the sewage lead to?
Has it ever been treated for mold?
While these aren’t the most glamorous of topics, they’re key to the quality of the house. Be truthful about the facts, but this might be an area where you stay away from anecdotes.
Whether or not the basement is finished, potential home buyers are sure to take a look at it. After doing so, they may ask:
How old is the wiring?
Have you ever experienced water damage?
Has there ever been flooding?
Here, it’s crucial that you discuss past issues you may have had because they may pose an indication for future events that the home buyer should be aware of. For example, if the basement flooded only once during an unusually strong storm, just tell them. It might not be a deal breaker, but it may be something they’d like to know to prepare for in severe weather. Just be sure to include information on how the current homeowner dealt with the problem, and the precautions they took to prevent it in the future.
Develop answers to these questions for your next open house and you may enhance the home buyer’s experience while showcasing your skills as an agent who’s SMARTER.BOLDER.FASTER.®
How to Stage a Perfect Family Holiday Card
A family holiday card is a great way to show your friends and family your beautiful home. Between finding the time take the photo and choosing the right setting, mailing the holiday card can be a daunting task. These holiday hints can help make the process much more pleasant.
Avoid Matching Outfits
Your family should be dressed in clothes that are of neutral color and similar style, but wearing the exact same outfits hides each family member’s uniqueness. Let their personality shine while still creating a cohesive look.
Choose the Right Backdrop
Your home can provide the perfect setting for your holiday card. You may choose to shoot it outside to capture the weather of the season, in front of your home’s main entryway. Alternatively, you can utilize any well-lit and well-furnished area inside the house, such as in front of the fireplace or Christmas tree.
Pick the Right Time
Time of day matters when considering the natural lighting that will make your card shine. The hour before sunset is referred to as the “golden hour” and provides stunning lighting for your card.
Clean and Prep
Once you’ve chosen a place and time, prep and check the area before shooting. This includes cleaning, straightening pictures, aligning furniture, and checking for any blemishes that would stand out in the photo.
You want your holiday card to seem warm and inviting. Having your family awkwardly pose in unnatural positions can have the opposite effect. Encourage your family to be composed, but casual.
Plan for Restless Children
The last thing most children want to do is sit still, smile, and wear clothes they might find uncomfortable. To avoid difficulties be sure to choose a time of day when they’re well rested, fed, and generally complacent. Make them smile with a joke or the promise of a holiday treat.
Distract your Pets
Holiday cards are a great way to show off a new pet or keep your friends and family updated on the family’s furry friend. Pets, like children, aren’t always eager to be photographed. Have the photographer catch their attention with a treat or one of their toys.
The holidays will be here soon enough, so get started on your family’s perfect holiday card to show your relatives and friends.
How to Survive the Holidays With Your Family
The holiday season is about being grateful, giving back, and spending a copious amount of time with your family. Sometimes being around your family so much can go to your head. If you have a dysfunctional family filled with big personalities, it can be treacherous at times. Here are some tips to help you get through the holidays with your family.
1. Smile and nod: The best way to avoid probing questions and unsolicited advice is to agree. Make like a bobble head doll and smile and nod.
2. Stay in the kitchen: Hide in the kitchen. No one will come in because that means they’d have to help with setting the table or washing dishes.
3. Overpowering Christmas music: When things start to get heated at the dinner table take to the radio to blast “All I Want for Christmas is You” at a ridiculous volume. Tune out the fighting. Everyone will thank you – and hopefully start singing along.
4. The kids: Pull up a chair at the kid’s table. They’ll keep you entertained, and they don’t have strong opinions on politics or your life. They probably won’t ask you why you aren’t married yet or whether or not you are dating someone. Kids always save the day, plus they have coloring books and would rather discuss Play-doh than Plato.
5. Read a book: Get lost in a good book. There are so many good reads to help you escape the drama and make your family seem normal. For example, check out Where’d You Go, Bernadette or Beautiful Ruins.
From Your Friends at Century 21 Zaytoun-Raines!
Wishing You and Yours a Safe and Happy Holiday Season