Let The Kids Play A Role Too!

Do you have children that can lend a hand? Here are a few ideas on how you can get them involved:

  • Morning clean-up, evening clean-up
    • Set aside time in the morning and evening to do light dusting, vacuuming, as well as put things away where they belong. Start the dishwasher and the laundry, doing a load each day so it doesn’t pile up. This way, when someone wants to see the house in an hour, you don’t have to go crazy loading your car with eight laundry baskets of dirty clothes, or spend time scrubbing the bathroom floors.
  • Laundry Basket Game & Assign “Out the Door Tasks”
    • Someone wants to see the house in an hour but the kids just got home from practice, shedding items as they walked through the house! That’s OK. Make it a game and have the kids put all the toys and other items that are “out” into laundry baskets and take the baskets with you when you leave for the showing. Older children can help with sweeping, turning on lights and younger kids can close toilet lids, do last minute dusting, and help pull loaded laundry baskets to the car as you are all rushing out the door.

Arrange with your real estate agent to have 30 minutes to an hour’s notice before a showing! Then have a written plan!

Who is in charge of what during the 30 – 60 minutes?

  1. Little Susie picks up toys and puts them in the toybox.
  2. Johnny gathers all the dirty laundry he can find and tosses it into the empty dryer.

Do “Someone’s Coming” Drills with the kids. Practice the drill.

Make it fun!

You could come up with a little song that you all sing as you are cleaning the house for a showing.

Let us know if we can help you with your home buying, selling or refinancing!

What in the world is a rate lock?

One of the major decisions we will make together is when to “lock” your loan. This isn’t something you have to worry about right now but I thought I would take a few seconds to explain how this works. Once you find a home and have an accepted offer, you’ll have the option to “lock in” an interest rate.

So, what does “lock” mean?

I often use the “Gasoline” analogy to describe the interest rate locking process. Locking your interest rate is a lot like getting gas at the pump. One day you drive by the gas station and gas is $3.00 per gallon. You’re not on empty so you drive right on by instead of filling up. Three days later you drive by the same gas station and now gas is $3.30 per gallon. What happened? As you may know, the price of oil is constantly changing depending on economic conditions, the stock market and the rules of supply and demand. You’re upset that it shot up so you take a chance and drive right on by again. Two days later you drive by the same gas station and now gas is $3.05 per gallon. You pull over, fill up your tank and give yourself a high five for not settling for the higher price.

Mortgage rates are very similar to gasonline.

As the stock market changes from positives to negatives the interest rates that lenders offer can rise or fall accordingly. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about your interest rate changing every month because before you finalize your mortgage, you’ll be able to “lock” in an interest rate for the life of the loan. Unless of course you choose a variable interest rate, then your rate could change at specified intervals. If you’re considering an adjustable interest rate be sure to talk to me about it so you completely understand the risks involved.

Once you’ve got an accepted offer we can discuss your options on locking in an interest rate. Until then, happy home hunting!

Sweeten the Pot!

Are you having any interest in your home? Before you think about a price reduction, you may want to consult with your real estate agent about sweetening the deal a little for potential buyers.

Some people offer to pay closing costs. We’ve all heard about closing cost credits, but those are almost so common now that buyers expect them – they don’t really distinguish your house from any of the other homes on the market anymore.

What can distinguish your home is leaving behind some of your personal property, ideally items that are above and beyond what the average homebuyer in your home’s price range would be able to afford. That may be stainless steel kitchen appliances or a plasma screen TV, or it might be a golf cart if your home is on a golf course.

It’s one more thing you won’t have to move and may be just the ticket for selling your home! With that said, understand that if you offer up too many items it could affect your buyers ability to borrow all of the money needed to buy your home. There are limits in what you can leave behind but this should get you thinking about something to could make a difference!

Contact us for more info!

Get Out Your Cleaning Supplies!

Scrub a dub! Check out these house listing tips!

  • Keep your house sparkling clean
    • From shining floors and gleaming windows to clean counters and scrubbed grout, every surface should sparkle. This is the easiest (well, maybe not easiest, but certainly the cheapest) way to help your home put its best foot forward. You may want to hire pros to do some of the really tough stuff, especially if you have a large house. Don’t skimp — this step is key!
  • Clear away all clutter
    • If you are serious about staging your home, all clutter must go. It’s not easy, and it may even require utilizing offsite storage (or a nice relative’s garage) temporarily, but it is well worth the trouble. Clean and clear surfaces, floors, cupboards and closets equal more space in the eyes of potential buyers, so store anything unnecessary or unsightly.
  • Strike a balance between clean and lived-in
    • You’ve cleared the clutter, but now it’s time to judiciously bring back a few elements that will really make your home appealing. Think vases of cut flowers, a basket of fresh produce on the kitchen counter or a bowl of lemons beside the sink.
  • Take a good look at your floors
    • At the bare minimum, give all floors a thorough cleaning (and steam clean carpets), but consider having wood floors refinished if they are in poor shape.

If you are in the market to purchase a new home, give me a call. I’m only a call, tweet, Facebook message or email away!