This is just typical – the weather gets cold and she takes us to the groomer’s and has all of our hair removed. On top of that she finds these awful headbands that make us look like White West Highland Terrier fools. Oh well, there is often a treat involved after the humiliation so we endure. I have the angel on my head and Hoover has the snowman. He certainly looks like he would prefer to be miles away. We have enjoyed having her home more this year with her strange real estate hours. I know she likes all of her clients and helping them look for or sell their homes. We hope she has even more fun next year. Maybe she will stop getting us these ghastly headbands.
HAVE A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY AND A HEALTHY AND HAPPY 2009.
You can say all you want about winter but one good thing about having snow on the roof of a house and icicles is that they are indicators of whether or not there is adequate insulation in the attic. If all the houses on the street have snow on the roof and one does not (and it has a similar pitch) then there is a likelihood that heat is escaping through the roof and melting the snow. As the snow melts, it forms the icicles at the edge of the roof. While fascinating, 1) do not stand or park your car underneath these as they could impale you and your car and 2) as they melt, skating rinks of ice form underneath that are sneaky accidents waiting to happen. Notice in the picture that the dormer window does not have snow on top. This is an indication of poor insulation. Dorm windows are particularly difficult to insulate.
The home inspector will take the lack of snow (sometimes in only spots) and the icicles possibilities of heat loss and will look in the attic to determine what type and what depth of insulation has been used. Buyers are shocked at some of the insulation types. Old newspapers were sometimes used in very old homes. From time to time, buyers will find old Eaton’s catalogues. What? We think of the pink bats of fibreglass but vermiculite and sprayed in cellulose are just two more types. As a Buyer, you want a decent amount of insulation to prevent heat loss and keep your heating bills in the winter and air conditioning in the summer in a reasonable price range.
Embrace winter for what it can tell you about your house.
Photo Credit: Weather Watch – Ottawa 0308 @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeygottawa/2311107448/
Valerie Zinger ~ Ottawa, Canada ~ 613-723-5300 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave your outside lights on while your house is for sale. This will make it easier to find your house in the evening and will prevent potential buyers from tripping on your walk or steps due to inadequate light.
Don’t depend on moonbeams to light the way to your sale.
What do reindeers say before telling you a joke?
“This will sleigh you…..”
Photo credit: santa’s sleigh @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/pkeleher/336752314/
If your shower or tub shelves have a myriad of bottles of shampoo, shaving lotions, bath oils and conditioner, you may want to buy a plastic carrier that keeps the bottles together and can be put under the sink after each bath. Don’t have the buyers think you are a Shoppers Drug Mart shareholder.
Work to get a clean deal.
Have you got some old, oddly coloured carpeting installed in your home? Have you spent time trying to decorate around the carpet, finding furniture that will go with putrid green, orange shag, purple morning mist, etc. If you can’t stand the carpet, why do you think buyers will like it? My advice is to get the carpet removed and, depending upon the value of your house either install hardwood or, if the market will not defend hardwood, then new linoleum or wall to wall carpet. If there is carpeting in the bathroom, please, please remove this. It just makes people a bit queasy to think of what may be in the carpet. Here are two examples that should have you thinking linoleum and hardwood.
Photo credit: Stairway to heavan @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/yarhargoat/1796838151/
Photo credit: carpet in the bathroom? @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/spine/2103894277/
It is so annoying to think that you are fixing up the house just so someone else can enjoy it. Now, why are you waiting? Fix it now. Enjoy it now. Hope for a good return when you sell at some later date. There was one home I lived in that had a large hump in the middle of the living room wall to wall. It bothered me every time I was in the room. When did I get the carpet stretched and fixed? Yes, you guessed it. I had the carpet guy come to the house and kick out the hump just before putting the sign on the lawn -
Valerie Zinger ~ Ottawa, Canada ~ T 613-723-5300 ~ E. email@example.com
When selling a home there are some emotional stages that sellers may go through. In 1969 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote about the stages of grieving after a death. The loss of a home or of an ideal may elicit some or all of the same grieving emotions. If I use these same emotions for listing a home and then going through the selling process, the stages may be:
Denial: “The price is not too high. Someone will buy this house because I think it is worth the asking price. There is nothing wrong with the location. We have lived here for years.”
Anger:“What? No one has made an offer on my house. It must be the agent. Is every buyer stupid? I got one low ball offer. Are you kidding? I will not accept this!!”
Bargaining: “Okay, bring in an offer and I will actually entertain it. I might just be willing to sell for less than my asking price if the buyer also………?“
Depression: “What is wrong with this wonderful house. Why is no one interested in buying it. Maybe I should just stay here. No one is going to buy it. I am so tired of trying to sell it.”
Acceptance: “Well, we have an offer. I know it is never as much as we hoped for but at least now we can move. It is time to move on and this will all be in the past. Now I will say good-bye to this house and move on.”
Some houses sell in days – the right price, the right buyer and all the forces collided to make it happen. For those homes that take longer to sell, be ready for a bit of an emotional roller coaster. Remember, when you are most angry with low offers or no offers, that this is just one more phase you are going through towards selling your home. In the end, I want all sellers to find something that will make them happy to move out and buyers for to move in.
Valerie Zinger ~ Ottawa, Ontario ~ T. 613-723-5300 ~ E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you hear the toilet tank refilling all by itself. Your rubber flapper is either worn out or not sinking on centre. Don’t let the buyer get in a flap and think you have major plumbing problems. Buy a kit to replace the flap. Do a little repair job
Stop leaking water and buyers.
As I go out with Buyers and host Open Houses, there are things that Buyers will notice in homes. This series looks at the good and not-so-good things that Buyers notice.
Everyone knows that the Buyer is not buying the furniture and decorations. Sellers will often argue that there is no payback in “staging” their home. The hope and feeling is that Buyers can look beyond the owners’ decorations and personal items. In fact, there is a payback. Look at the picture of how a hotel bed is made. What does a bed that looks like that, with crisp linens and fluffy pillows, say?
To a buyer, who is spending time imaging themselves living in your home, a bed like this will have the Buyer saying:
I can see myself sleeping in this room.
This bedroom is a retreat where I can go at the end of the day.
Look honey, we can put a lock on the door and keep the kids out.
If the bedroom is any indication, the rest of the house must be as neat and clean.
Well, the bedroom is updated so I am expecting this same level of maintenance to extend to the rest of the home.
…All of this just from a bed. So, as an owner, you are right that the people are not buying your furniture but they are interpreting the value of your home from how you set it up. The bed is only one area where your attention to detail will pay off.
Don’t let your house become a market sleeper.
Photo credit: Caesars Palace Hotel Bed @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/zesmerelda/1429950406/