Selling your home in today’s market is a pretty big deal. Here are some ideas to consider prior toputting your home on the market that may actually help get you more money and sell it faster.
- Potential buyers will take off points for things that they may need to do, like repairs and updates. Create a warm atmosphere in your home that is as inviting and turnkey as possible.
- Eliminate surprises; hire a home inspector. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to back out based on a problem that their home inspector finds. An inspector will check your home from foundation to rafters to alert you to any problems.
- Give your homes exterior a thorough inspection. If your home needs to be painted - do it, a crisp clean exterior will attract buyers. Is painting the whole house not in the budget? Try repainting the shutters and trim.
- If any major systems like your furnace or hot water heater need to be replaced now is the time to do it. You'll recoup the cost and buyers see the perceived value.
- De-clutter and pare down. Clean out closets, toy areas and maybe even move some things into storage away from the house. Make sure that your home has ample storage space and that buyers can see that space, not your stuff.
MOVING TIPS FOR KIDS! Moving can actually end up being really fun for kids, if their parents help make it so! Here are a few tips to excite the kids about the move...
- Make a positive goodbye to the old community
- Plan a welcoming ritual or party for the new home
- Help everyone prepare "survival kits" in advance for the first few days in the home
- Re-establish routines as soon as possible
- Allow everyone to participate in unpacking
- Allow the kids a say in their new bedroom setup
- Help kids feel comfortable in their new rooms
- Become familiar with the neighbors and new neighborhood
- Help the pets settle in
- Remember that making new friends doesn't have to mean letting go of old
With the right attitude and a little bit of planning, this lifestyle change can be fun and easy for everybody!
Moving to a new home can be stressful on your pets, but there are many things you can do to make the process as painless as possible. Try these helpful tips for easing the transition and keeping pets safe during the move.
1. Update your pet’s tag. Make sure your pet is wearing a sturdy collar with an identification tag that is labeled with your current contact information. The tag should include your destination location, telephone number, and cell phone number so that you can be reached immediately during the move.
2. Ask for veterinary records. If you’re moving far enough away that you’ll need a new vet, you should ask for a current copy of your pet’s vaccinations. You also can ask for your pet’s medical history to give to your new vet, although that can normally be faxed directly to the new medical-care provider upon request. Depending on your destination, your pet may need additional vaccinations, medications, and health certificates. Have your current vet's phone number handy in case of an emergency, or in case your new vet would like more information about your pet.
3. Keep medications and food on hand. Keep at least one week’s worth of food and medication with you in case of an emergency. Vets can’t write a prescription without a prior doctor/patient relationship, which can cause delays if you need medication right away. You may want to ask for an extra prescription refill before you move. The same preparation should be taken with special therapeutic foods — purchase an extra supply in case you can't find the food right away in your new area.
4. Seclude your pet from chaos. Pets can feel vulnerable on moving day. Keep them in a safe, quiet, well-ventilated place, such as the bathroom, on moving day with a “Do Not Disturb! Pets Inside!” sign posted on the door. There are many light, collapsible travel crates on the market if you choose to buy one. However, make sure your pet is familiar with the new crate before moving day by gradually introducing him or her to the crate before your trip. Be sure the crate is well-ventilated and sturdy enough for stress-chewers; otherwise, a nervous pet could escape.
5. Prepare a first aid kit. First aid is not a substitute for emergency veterinary care, but being prepared and knowing basic first aid could save your pet's life. A few recommended supplies: Your veterinarian's phone number, gauze to wrap wounds or to muzzle your pet, adhesive tape for bandages, non-stick bandages, towels, and hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). You can use a door, board, blanket or floor mat as an emergency stretcher and a soft cloth, rope, necktie, leash, or nylon stocking for an emergency muzzle.
6. Play it safe in the car. It’s best to travel with your dog in a crate; second-best is to use a restraining harness. When it comes to cats, it’s always best for their safety and yours to use a well-ventilated carrier in the car. Secure the crate or carrier with a seat belt and provide your pet with familiar toys. Never keep your pet in the open bed of a truck or the storage area of a moving van. In any season, a pet left alone in a parked vehicle is vulnerable to injury and theft. If you’ll be using overnight lodging, plan ahead by searching for pet-friendly hotels. Have plenty of kitty litter and plastic bags on hand, and keep your pet on its regular diet and eating schedule.
7. Get ready for takeoff. When traveling by air,check with the airline about any pet requirements or restrictions to be sure you’ve prepared your pet for a safe trip. Some airlines will allow pets in the cabin, depending on the animal’s size, but you’ll need to purchase a special airline crate that fits under the seat in front of you. Give yourself plenty of time to work out any arrangements necessary including consulting with your veterinarian and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If traveling is stressful for your pet, consult your veterinarian about ways that might lessen the stress of travel.
8. Find a new veterinary clinic and emergency hospital. Before you move, ask your vet to recommend a doctor in your new locale. Talk to other pet owners when visiting the new community, and call the state veterinary medical association (VMA) for veterinarians in your location. When choosing a new veterinary hospital, ask for an impromptu tour; kennels should be kept clean at all times, not just when a client’s expected. You may also want to schedule an appointment to meet the vets. Now ask yourself: Are the receptionists, doctors, technicians, and assistants friendly, professional and knowledgeable? Are the office hours and location convenient? Does the clinic offer emergency or specialty services or boarding? If the hospital doesn’t meet your criteria, keep looking until you’re assured that your pet will receive the best possible care.
9. Prep your new home for pets. Pets may be frightened and confused in new surroundings. Upon your arrival at your new home, immediately set out all the familiar and necessary things your pet will need: food, water, medications, bed, litter box, toys, etc. Pack these items in a handy spot so they can be unpacked right away. Keep all external windows and doors closed when your pet is unsupervised, and be cautious of narrow gaps behind or between appliances where nervous pets may try to hide. If your old home is nearby, your pet may try to find a way back there. To be safe, give the new home owners or your former neighbors your phone number and a photo of your pet, and ask them to contact you if your pet is found nearby.
10. Learn more about your new area. Once you find a new veterinarian, ask if there are any local health concerns such as heartworm or Lyme disease, or any vaccinations or medications your pet may require. Also, be aware of any unique laws. For example, there are restrictive breed laws in some cities. Homeowner associations also may have restrictions — perhaps requiring that all dogs are kept on leashes. If you will be moving to a new country, carry an updated rabies vaccination and health certificate. It is very important to contact the Agriculture Department or embassy of the country or state to which you’re traveling to obtain specific information on special documents, quarantine, or costs to bring the animal into the country.
When selling your home, it's important to know which repairs and home improvement projects will increase the value of your home and help you get the most interest from homebuyers. Use this checklist to get your house ready for the market.
Carpet & Flooring Improvements:
* If you have pets hire a professional to deodorize carpets
* If needed, replace any worn carpet
* If needed, steam clean carpet thoroughly
* If needed, install new neutral-colored carpet with a thick padding so prospective buyers feel comfortable as they walk on your floors
* Make sure carpets are secure. Stretch and tack down any loose or curling carpet
* Make sure the carpets are vacuumed, free of pet hair and combed
* If you decide to replace a linoleum floor, choose a neutral color that will have wide appeal
* If your home has hardwood floors with room-size rugs, get the hardwood into its best condition with fresh non-slip floor polish or other coating to make it shimmer
* Mop and vacuum floors
* Replace worn out vent covers
* Thoroughly clean linoleum floors in kitchen and bathroom
Clean & De-Clutter Improvements:
* Appliances should be cleaned - inside and out
* Clean all curtains, drapes and blinds
* Clean or purchase new front door accessories
* Clean the entryway carefully; it creates the buyers first interior impression of your home
* Clean the inside of all kitchen and bathroom cabinets and neatly organize items on shelves
* Clean windowsills
* Doors should be oiled and squeak-free
* Dry clean your drapes
* Empty trash cans, recycling bins and ash trays
* Ensure all doors, cabinets and drawers can open completely without any blockage
* Exterminate any insect problems
* Get rid of odors (pet, food)
* Have a garage sale before the home is listed
* Hire a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market
* If needed, remove clutter by renting off-site storage space
* Keep baseboards clean and dusted
* Keep bookshelves, entertainment units organized neatly
* Keep clothing hung neatly, shoes organized
* Keep screens clean and vacuumed
* Keep shower curtains fresh and free from mildew
* Keep stairways and corridors clear
* Make bathrooms sparkle; sinks, toilets and tubs should be immaculate
* Make stairwells and corridors clutter-free
* Mop and sweep all floors
* Organize closets
* Polish all interior woodwork
* Remove appliances from kitchen counters to give a look of spaciousness
* Remove oil spots from garage
Exterior Painting Improvements:
* Paint door and doorframe
* Paint exterior fixtures
* Paint mailbox
* Paint or clean front door and garage door
* Paint or re-stain fence if it is peeling or dirty
* Paint over any rust spots or streaks on downspouts
* Paint shutters; make sure they are hung straight
* Paint window ledges
* Polish door handles and knockers
* Remove rust from railing
* Repair any damage to chimney
* Repair holes in gutters and repair any separations from eaves
* Repair or replace shingles or tiles missing from the roof
* Sand and repaint areas with blistering or peeling paint
* Seal cracks on porch and remove any standing water if concrete. If wood, secure railings and seal or paint as necessary
* Straighten and clean antenna
Interior Painting Improvements:
* Add new wallpaper if the current wallpaper is torn or withered. Make sure it adheres to the wall
* All woodwork like stairwell railings and doors should be repainted and/or stained
* Have leaks repaired & watermarks covered
* If needed, repaint faded, worn or stained interior walls
* Make sure that cracks in ceiling/walls are repaired
* The windows should be washed and stain free. The window frames should be painted if necessary and the hinges should not squeak
* Tone down bright room colors by painting them white or a neutral color
Kitchen & Bathroom Improvements:
* If the appliances are included with the sale of your home, make sure they are operating and have proper documentation such as warranties and repair information
* If there are missing or damaged tiles, have them replaced
* Re-touch or repaint kitchens and bathrooms if the color is dated or the paint quality is poor
* Make sure sinks are clean and stain-free
* Repair damaged countertops, sinks or tubs
* Make sure that there are no leaky faucets
* Re-caulk damaged caulk on shower, sinks, tub or toilet
* Clean tile grout and make stain-free
* Paint, touch-up or refinish kitchen cabinetry
* Tighten or replace loose doorknobs or cabinet pulls, sticking doors and drawers and wobbly hinges
* Replace toilet seat
* If appliances are dated or not functioning, consider replacing
* Repair sticky windows which do not open
* At night, turn on porch light and outdoor lighting
* Clean all switch plates
* Clean all windows, inside and out
* Clean existing shutters, blinds or drapes
* Clean skylight for leaves and other debris
* Increase the wattage of bulbs to maximum possible wattage
* Install dimming switches in common rooms such as dining rooms and living rooms to allow you to create lighting for different occasions
* Install new window treatments if those you have are damaged or dated
* Keep curtains open and use natural light as much as possible
* Make sure all outdoor lighting works
* Prune outside trees to allow natural light inside
* Turn on lights so home is well lit during showing
* Wipe all light fixtures with a rag and cleaning solution
Plumbing & Electrical Improvements:
* All drains should be clean and free flowing
* All toilets should be in good working order
* Clean up, paint or replace old plumbing fixtures in all bathrooms
* Have your well or septic inspected or repaired
* If needed, hire a plumber to replace badly rusted and corroded plumbing pipes
* Inspect, clean and change filter of furnace
* Make sure that all bathroom and kitchen faucets are in good working order
* Make sure that all smoke and burglar alarms are functional
* Remove mildew stains and repair any loose, crumbling caulk or grout around tile and tub areas
* Repair broken doorbell
* Service sprinkler system
* Check all recreational equipment and review outdoor safety tips
* Check your wood deck or concrete patio for possible deterioration
* Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs
* Check exterior siding
* Check all window and door locks for proper operation
* Have your roof inspected for potential leaks once every few years
* Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
* Check your home for water leaks
* Check the water hoses on the clothes washer, refrigerator icemaker and dishwasher for cracks and bubbles
* Check your water heater
* Clean the clothes dryer exhaust duct, damper and space under the dryer
* Socialize your dog to help reduce potential dog bites