The challenge of flat screen televisions, especially those hung on walls and above the fireplace is what to do with all the cables. You will have the electric cord, the cable cord and maybe the DVD player cord. Okay, maybe there is the satellite cord with a PVR. It is not a pretty sight. Those cords dangle down from the TV cross the wall and snake over to the machines and outlets.
Depending on your budget, the solutions include wireless cable, covering the cords by running them through a channel mounted on the wall, drilling into the wall and running the cords behind the wall or, if on brick, digging out a bit or mortar and wedging the cables in between the bricks (I don’t like this option). You may need a combination of these. All of them cost a bit of money and or effort but will improve the appearance of the wall mounted TV enormously.
De-tangle a home sale with a well installed television.
Photo credit: Mimi’s TV
Your house is on fire…. The standard Purchase Agreement has a clause saying that the sale is conditional upon the buyer being able to get the home insured. If you have never had home insurance then start shopping for insurance (through an insurance broker) at the same time as you shop for your mortgage. It takes time. You want the right coverage and the right price. Make sure that you get insured on the day of possession at 12.00AM, even if you don’t get the keys until 6:00 PM.
You cannot get a mortgage for an uninsurable home.
Photo credit: ladybug
Are you fighting to get a king size duvet in a duvet cover? It is a Herculean task – too much sheet with too short arms. Tempted to toss that duvet out the window? Stop. You too can have a duvet without the work. This tip will save you aggravation and minutes of time.
To get that hotel look:
- Give away your duvet cover – you are never going to use it again.
- Buy 2 flat sheets bigger than the duvet and a fitted mattress sheet (plus any number of pillow cases that you want).
- After putting the fitted sheet on the mattress, put one of the flat sheet on the bed, then the duvet, then the other flat sheet.
- Tuck the bottom between the mattress and box spring.
- Fold back the two flat sheets so that the top of the duvet is encased.
- Toss a throw on the bed to make it look like a hotel bed.
To make it look clean and even more like the Westin / Soffitel, use plain white sheets and pillow cases. The throw is actually just a strip of heavy beautiful fabric that is placed at the end of the bed from one side to the other. Search the fabric stores for just the right piece of fabric and sew it into a srip. Ah, lovely and the bed will look so inviting.
I fought the bed and the sheets won.
Photo credit: DSC_3270
Some Home Sellers do not want a “For Sale” sign in front of their homes. It might be that they are private people and don’t want the neighbours to know their business. It might be that they don’t want to mow around the sign or have their view blocked. It could be any reason but…. I highly encourage Sellers to agree to a sign. It is cheap, visible advertising. It lets neighbours and passers-by know that your home is available. Some of the best prospective Buyers are the friends and relatives of the neighbours. Why? Because they already know the area and know people in the ‘hood’.
When you are selling, use every form of marketing available
It is spring. For Sale signs should pop up on the lawn like dandelions.
When you finally put your house on the market, the real estate agent is going to ask you for a set of keys that prospective Buyers and their agent can use to get in the house and the yard. Well in advance of the sale, make sure that you have that set of keys made and then put away all the other keys that are scattered everywhere in your house.
Managing keys reduces time you spend every day locating keys that you need or looking at keys and wondering what they open. Also, it is a security risk to leave keys all over the house when you have an Open House or unattended visitors. Here are 5 tips on how to manage your keys.
- Always put your keys in the same spot in your purse or briefcase and, when you get home, in the same spot in the house. This will save you months of time over the years that you would normally spend searching for keys.
- Tag all the keys in your house. Sometimes we don’t use a key for a couple of years and then are left wondering what the key opens. Especially tag the neighbour’s key and the key to your relatives’ homes so that you can find them in a hurry – should you get the emergency calls.
- Find a nice tin and put all the spare and infrequently used keys in this one spot. You will be able to quickly find those tageed luggage keys, safety deposit box keys, locker keys, shed keys, cottage keys, your parents’ home keys, etc. We do have a lot of keys to keep.
- Many key shops sell fancy metals for their keys. If you have trouble distinguishing keys on your chain, try having them made in leopard print, blue and the third one in flowers.
- Never leave your whole key ring at the auto repair shop. Find a key ring where you can remove your key – or better yet – give them your spare key so that you will be able to keep a car key yourself.
Photo credit: Keys 1
You are getting your house ready to sell. You have read a lot of advice on things that you should do and buy in order to improve your home and its appearance. Oh, those ideas are so wonderful but you have at least 3 problems with those ideas.
First: there is going to be a change and change is difficult. We just get very comfortable with the way things are and making a change is a little like rattling our brains.
Second: Getting the house ready might cost money. No, not might, it will cost money. The amount depends on you, the Seller, your ability to make money available and the current state of your home. It might be a case of spend a little now to get a much better return later.
Third: It is not just that it is work to do but it will take your time and physical effort. Painting, shopping, rearranging furniture, raking, washing – all ‘ing’ words that sound like a lot of effort. It is going to be worth it when Buyers come into your house and do their own ING – as in Buying.
As real estate agents and stagers we don’t often hear you argue making improvement from those three vantages. You know that if you talk about resisting change sounds like you might be 100 years old and boring; not spending money sounds like you are too cheap and not willing to work to sell your home sounds like you are lazy. What do you say? You may fall back on Good Money and Good Enough.
- Often we hear an excuse such as “But I paid good money for this X.” This means that you have not yet got your value out of it and that it is still too good to throw away.
- What is good money? What is value and what is the real cost of keeping something that isn’t what you want or need?
- Sometimes when I hear (even myself) say “But I spent good money on this.” I want to respond “as opposed to what. drug money?”
- This is when we keep some things that are not wonderful or even make us happy but they are ‘good enough’ to have around the house.
- What this is really saying in a loud way is that you don’t value your home or your ‘audience’ enough to make the effort.
- Remember when you are sick and feeling blah – your ragged housecoat is good enough for dragging yourself around the house. Imagine how much better you would feel after a shower, a change of pajamas and a decent robe. Well, the same applies to your house and how it will make you and Buyers feel.
When it comes to getting your house ready for sale
Be ready for change, to spend money and to exert a little effort.
Photo credit: International Money Pile in Cash and Coins
Yesterday I was finally moved to do something that I have put off for years. Yes, years.
I have wooden blinds on many of the windows in the house. They get dusted and occasionally vacuumed on a semi-regular basis. They do not get washed. Now, I notice dirty blinds in homes that Buyers and I look at and also those in my own home. Real dirt can accumulate on blinds as they get their fair share of household grease, dust, sprays, air born pollutants, etc. Over time, dusting no long does a good job.
Maybe it is because I want spring to really get underway or maybe it is genetic programming to do some spring cleaning but yesterday I finally got the wherewith-all to start washing the wooden blinds.
Oh sure, there are those of you who have metal blinds that you pop in the tub or take out to the driveway. Lucky you. Wood blinds, however, are not made to be soaked. So, with a bucket of warm sudsy water, yellow rubber gloves and several cleaning rags I got the job underway. It took hours and a couple of breaks but it was a start.
Next week if I hear the same call or you hear the call to sell your home, get out the bucket and cleaning rags and wash those slated wooden blinds and shutters. It will surprise you how much brighter and lighter the clean blinds will make the room.
It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.
Photo credit: Blind Perspective