Preparing Your Home Checklist

Preparing Your Home Checklist


Preparing your home to be put on the market can seem like a daunting task, but I’m here to help! Go to my site http://juneausellersguide.com/staging to download this detailed check list and get your home ready to sell. 


OUTSIDE:

  • Mow the lawn, and trim trees and shrubs away from the house.
  • Remove dead plants, flowers & shrubs.
  • Put away tools, garbage cans, hoses, toys & building materials.
  • Remove window screens while selling your home & keep windows clean.
  • Check for broken roof shingles and clean out gutters.
  • Seal or resurface driveway.
  • Clear patios and decks of planters, flower pots, charcoal & barbecues.
  • Dress up front yard shrubs & lamp posts with fresh mulch.
  • Repaint or refinish trip around windows & doors.

 

KITCHEN:

  • Clean the stove, oven, range hood & countertops.
  • Repair drippy faucets & squeaks or binds in cabinet drawers. Make sure cabinet hardware is also cleaned.
  • Discard old food & leftovers from refrigerator.
  • Remove messages, pictures and magnets from refrigerator.
  • Clear small appliances, dish drainer and cookware from countertop.
  • Wipe down cabinets and clear out items under the sink.

 

FOYER:

  • Clean all light fixtures and replace with bright bulbs.
  • Turn on all the lights before a buyer arrives to show there is nothing to hide.
  • Roll up and remove small rugs.
  • Fill the house with a fresh scent. Heat vanilla on the stove or bake a batch of cookies.
  • Spotlessly clean woodwork & carpeting.
  • Clear window ledges of all objects to give a nice glimpse inside & out.
  • Repaint walls in a neutral color.

 

LIVING AREAS:

  • Clean fireplace & remove any items in front of it.
  • Replace carpet if it has a loud color.
  • Remove magazines, books, video games, toys and other clutter.
  • Create an easy going, relaxed atmosphere.
  • Dust and simplify shelves; remove family photos.

 

LIVING ROOM:

  • Discard worn furniture & move extras to a storage area.
  • Visit a model home to get decorating ideas.
  • Clear away all magazines, books & other objects from furniture.
  • Take down pictures that hide walls. Patch nail holes & paint.
  • Add lamps & lighting in dark areas.
  • Open the curtains.
  • Set out fresh flowers.

 

BATHROOMS:

  • Remove any unnecessary items from the vanity, tub, etc.
  • The fixtures, tile & shower curtain should be immaculate.
  • Caulk & grout tile. Bleach discolored grout.
  • Remove any wall paper that is not “conservative”.
  • Decorate with towels.
  • Check bath vents are working properly.
  • Make sure all fixtures work properly and fix leaks.

 

MASTER BEDROOM:

  • Define areas by furniture arrangement. Keep it simple.
  • Be sure clothes are hung up.
  • Store off-season clothing elsewhere.
  • Clean out closets enough for buyers to get a good idea of storage size.
  • Make sure nothing is left under beds; add bed skirts for cleaner look.

MISCELLANEOUS:

  • Clean or replace HVAC filter. Clean air returns.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Clean chimney, fireplace or woodstove.
  • Remove any wall paper that is not “conservative.”
  • Make sure all windows, door & cabinets open easily without squeaks; replace rusty hinges.
  • Check ventilation in attic, basement & crawlspace; update if necessary.

 

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Real Estate Tips: 7 Home Fixes to Make Before Selling

 

  1. Structural & Mechanical (roof, AC, water heater, pipes, etc.)
  2. Exterior (paint)
  3. Landscaping
  4. Cosmetic (dents, scratches, old paint)
  5. Kitchen
  6. Bathrooms
  7. Flooring 

To read more about fixes you should make to your home before listing, go to https://www.inman.com/2016/07/18/seven-items-you-must-fix-before-putting-your-home-on-the-market/?utm_source=20160723&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailyheadlinesPM&utm_content=3

For more advice on buying or selling, visit my sites at http://www.sellingjuneau.comand http://juneausellersguide.com .

Things to do in Juneau: Gold Rush Days!

WHAT: Gold Rush Days
WHO: Everyone!
WHERE: Sandy Beach Savikko Park 504 St Anns Ave, Douglas, 99824
WHEN: Saturday June 18th and Sunday June 19th
COST: FREE (bring a little spending money for food)

Most locals look forward to Gold Rush Days! (If you’re new to the area or visiting, it’s definitely worth stopping by to watch the events and enjoy some great food.) Gold Rush Days is two days long, June 18th and 19th this year, and is filled with exciting logging and mining competitions to watch and participate in, exhibits, TONS of wonderful food and lots of family-fun activities. The event is held at Sandy Beach in Douglas (Savikko Park
504 St Anns Ave, Douglas, 99824). There’s a good amount of parking, but if you live or are staying close by, I would suggest the short walk. Weather pending of course! It is Juneau after all! 😉

For more information and updates on the Gold Rush Days, visit www.facebook.com/JuneauGoldRushDays/ .

For more advice on buying or selling, visit my sites at http://www.sellingjuneau.com and http://juneausellersguide.com .
*Featured image from KTOO. 

Real Estate Tips: Terms & Definitions in Real Estate

Buying real estate can be a stressful process especially if it’s your first time buying and you aren’t familiar with the terminology. Below are the definitions to some of the common real estate terms you’ll hear throughout the process. 

“Appraisal “
A written justification of the price paid for a property, primarily based on an analysis of comparable sales of similar homes nearby.

“Appraised value” 
An opinion of a property’s fair market value, based on an appraiser’s knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

“Closing”
This has different meanings in different states. In some states a real estate transaction is not consider “closed” until the documents record at the local recorders office. In others, the “closing” is a meeting where all of the documents are signed and money changes hands.

“Closing costs”
Closing costs are separated into what are called “non-recurring closing costs” and “pre-paid items.” Non-recurring closing costs are any items which are paid just once as a result of buying the property or obtaining a loan. “Pre-paids” are items which recur over time, such as property taxes and homeowners insurance. A lender makes an attempt to estimate the amount of non-recurring closing costs and prepaid items on the Good Faith Estimate which they must issue to the borrower within three days of receiving a home loan application.

“Co-borrower”
An additional individual who is both obligated on the loan and is on title to the property.

“Contingency” 
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.

“Contract”
An oral or written agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.

“Credit history”
A record of an individual’s repayment of debt. Credit histories are reviewed my mortgage lenders as one of the underwriting criteria in determining credit risk.

“Deed”
The legal document conveying title to a property.

“Down payment” 
The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.

“Earnest money”
A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

“Escrow”
An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the earnest money deposit is put into escrow until delivered to the seller when the transaction is closed.

“Escrow account”
Once you close your purchase transaction, you may have an escrow account or impound account with your lender. This means the amount you pay each month includes an amount above what would be required if you were only paying your principal and interest. The extra money is held in your impound account (escrow account) for the payment of items like property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when they come due. The lender pays them with your money instead of you paying them yourself.

“Fixed-rate mortgage”
A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.

“Home inspection”
A thorough inspection by a professional that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.

“Homeowner’s insurance”
An insurance policy that combines personal liability insurance and hazard insurance coverage for a dwelling and its contents.

“Homeowner’s warranty”
A type of insurance often purchased by homebuyers that will cover repairs to certain items, such as heating or air conditioning, should they break down within the coverage period. The buyer often requests the seller to pay for this coverage as a condition of the sale, but either party can pay.

“Lender”
A term which can refer to the institution making the loan or to the individual representing the firm. For example, loan officers are often referred to as “lenders.”

“Pre-qualification”
This usually refers to the loan officer’s written opinion of the ability of a borrower to qualify for a home loan, after the loan officer has made inquiries about debt, income, and savings. The information provided to the loan officer may have been presented verbally or in the form of documentation, and the loan officer may or may not have reviewed a credit report on the borrower.

“Principal” 
The amount borrowed or remaining unpaid. The part of the monthly payment that reduces the remaining balance of a mortgage.

“Private mortgage insurance” (PMI)
Mortgage insurance that is provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. Most lenders generally require PMI for a loan with a loan-to-value (LTV) percentage in excess of 80 percent.

“Purchase agreement”
A written contract signed by the buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions under which a property will be sold.

“Recording”
The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note, a satisfaction of mortgage, or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.

“Title”
A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

“Title company” 
A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.

For more advice on buying or selling, visit my sites at http://www.sellingjuneau.com and http://juneausellersguide.com .

 

Real Estate Tips: VA Home Loans

If you qualify for a VA Home Loan, it is a great opportunity to purchase a home without putting any money down towards the sale price.

You may be eligible for a VA Home Loan if you meet one or more of the following:

  • You have served 90 consecutive days of active service during wartime,
                                                                 OR
  • You have served 181 days of active service during peacetime,
                                                                 OR
  • You have more than 6 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves,
                                                                 OR
  • You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service-related disability.

Once you have determined if you’re eligible, there are a few things you can do prior to finding a home to buy that can make the process go much smoother.

Run your own credit report. Errors show up sometimes, so look it over closely before the lender runs your credit report.

Obtain your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. This certificate isn’t necessary to start your home buying process, but it will be required later to verify your length and character of service. This tells the VA is you are eligible to use the VA home loan benefits. To start the process yourself, you can visit the Veterans Administration site at http://benefits.va.gov/benefits/ .

Gather some of the necessary documents your lender will require:

  • Bank statements for the last2 months.
  • All W2s for the last 2 years.
  • Last 2 years of Federal Tax Returns.
  • Pay stubs for the last 30 days.
  • Copy of each borrower’s identification.

For more advice on buying or selling, visit my sites at http://www.sellingjuneau.com and http://juneausellersguide.com .

 

 

4 Spring Cleaning Tips for Sellers

spring-header

The countdown has begun! (Well, some of us may have started counting down a while ago.) Only THREE more weeks until SPRING!

Here’s a few tips for spring cleaning and preparing your home to sell it.

#1. Wash the walls using soap and warm water. Dust and grease can stick to walls and make them look dingy over time. 

#2. Take care of any funky smells! Remove everything from your refrigerator and deep clean the inside with baking soda and water for a fresh scent.  Put lemon peel down your garbage disposal and run the disposal for a few seconds. To clean your dishwasher, boil some lemon juice and add it to your dishwasher for a cycle. 

#3. Let the beautiful Spring sun into rooms! Clean all blinds and windows (inside AND outside of windows). Put up light weight/shear curtains to allow more light in (this will make rooms more appealing to prospective buyers!). 

#4. Freshen up around the yard. Give the garage and front doors a good clean by washing them with a rag and soapy water to loosen all the dirt and grime built up over winter and then hose them down with a power washer or strong setting on the garden hose. Clean up any debris around the yard– sticks, trash, etc. left under the melted snow piles. 

4 Questions to Ask About the Neighborhood

neighborhood

#1. Is the economy stable? Be sure the property values and average income in the area are rising or at least staying stable. 

#2. Is it a good investment? Ask your realtor about price appreciation in the neighborhood you’re interested in. They may not be able to predict the future, but they can give you a good idea based off of the neighborhood’s history and if a home’s value in the area will grow. 

#3. Do you like what you see? How does it feel to you? Are the houses in the are maintained nicely? Do the neighbors seem pleasant? Pick a nice day and walk around the neighborhood/s you’re interested in to get a feel for how it would be like to live there. 

#4. How’s the school district? If you have children, this is probably one of your number one concerns. Visit the schools in the neighborhood and ask for feedback from friends, family or coworkers who have children enrolled in those schools. A good school district is also great for your resale value!

For more information on finding the perfect house and neighborhood for your family, go to my site http://www.sellingjuneau.com .