Home Tips

Sellers Behaving Badly: The Top 3 Ways to Turn Off a Buyer

Not all real estate transactions turn sour. In fact, few do. But once in a while, a bad apple ends up either selling or buying a home, and can throw the entire transaction into chaos.

From buyers allowing their children to run wild through a house they’re viewing to sellers trying to hide home defects, the potential to behave badly in a real estate transaction is ever-present.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways homeowners sabotage the sale of their homes.

Dirty Houses

If you’ve ever sold a car instead of trading it in, you probably spent some time spiffing it up: cleaning the upholstery, vacuuming the interior, washing and waxing the exterior. Why? Because you know that to get top dollar for the vehicle, it needs to look like a car worth paying top dollar for.

Yet so many homeowners don’t seem to understand the value of thoroughly cleaning their homes before putting them on the market. A home is the one thing most people own that is probably worth more than any other possession, but many don’t take the time to ensure that it brings top dollar in a sale.

A messy, cluttered house screams out to homebuyers that you don’t care. They may imagine that if you put off cleaning your house, you might have put off maintaining it as well. This, in turn, justifies lowball offers.

Clean the house until it is immaculate. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring professionals to do the job for you.

Overpriced Houses

Pricing your home over market value does not leave room for negotiation. It leaves your home sitting on the market for so long that homebuyers get the impression that there is something wrong with it.

When a new listing hits the MLS, it begins the “honeymoon” phase, with a flurry of showings. It’s during this phase that you are most likely to attract the highest offer. By overpricing the home, you are wasting this valuable marketing time, and the home may eventually end up listed for less than market value just to attract attention.

As special as we all think our homes are, they are not worth more than a buyer is willing to pay for them – which is market value. If your home is in good condition, yet still sits on the market for more than 30 days, your price is too high.

Failure to Disclose

If you’ve ever sold a home before, chances are good you are familiar with the disclosure process. If you aren’t familiar with the process, you will need to get up to speed before you respond to an offer to purchase.

As the seller, you are required to provide the buyer with any information about the house that might affect his or her desire to purchase it – including any material facts that might affect the home’s value or desirability.

For example, if you painted the ceiling to hide water stains, you wasted your time. Leaks must be disclosed to the buyer. The items that must, by law, be disclosed vary by state. California, for instance, has some of the most stringent disclosure requirements; such as deaths on the property, neighborhood problems like barking pooches or loud parties, and more. Environmental hazards must be disclosed, as well as known sex offenders in the area.

In other words, the very things you think might sabotage the sale must be disclosed to a potential buyer. Some sellers still keep secrets, which is a big mistake.

The penalty for nondisclosure? Big, fat lawsuits with big, fat payouts for the buyer. Sellers run the risk of having the contract rescinded as well.

No matter how tempted you are to keep quiet about problems with the home or the neighborhood, don’t do it. Disclose every defect that is not readily observable and that is significant to the home’s desirability. In other words, disclose everything.

There are few simple steps to avoid behaving badly when selling your home. Cleaning well, making small repairs and pricing the house right will bring in a buyer. Then treat that buyer with the respect the law demands, and you’ll have yourself a sale.

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STAGING YOUR HOME TO SELL!

In a manner of speaking, staging your home is putting its best foot forward: you’re setting up each room to look inviting to prospective buyers of all types. Showcase your home’s best features, and minimizes any flaws.

Clean and clear
Ideally, you’d start with a completely empty home, painted in neutrals and perfectly clean. In reality, you get as close to this ideal as you can by boxing up personal items, clearing out closets and stacking everything neatly in your tidy and [now] organized garage and attic. Items that must stay out in the open need to go in bins or baskets to keep your home free of clutter. This includes toys and kitchen and bathroom items you need to use daily. And of course everything must be dusted and cleaned of fingerprints and footprints!

Start the staging
Your rooms should look inviting, but they still need to have the minimum furnishings possible so buyers can imagine their own belongings in there more easily. Play to the strengths of each room by accenting its best features. Create conversational groupings in common areas.

Light it up
Bright lighting make the room look warm and welcoming. Chase away dark corners by using both ambient lighting and accent lights.

Head outside
Your patio and yard should also be selling features. Clean up the furniture, make sure the cushions aren’t sun-faded, and get the garden in shape. If you don’t have a green thumb, large potted plants can dress up the exterior.

Make every space count
Dress up a Spartan guest room with a comfy chair and pretty lamp to create a cozy reading spot. The guest room should be obviously a guest room; the same goes for the office. Ambiguity in a room’s purpose can be confusing to homeshoppers. Make it clear what each room is for. If you have an oddly shaped landing, or a little nook in the living room, don’t ignore it: show its potential.

Keep up daily
This can be the hardest part! But while your home is on the market, you need to keep the garbage empty, the laundry folded, the pet toys out of sight, and the cap on your toothpaste.

It’s hard to show your home while you’re still living in it, but you need to think about what a new homeowner will be looking for: a fresh start and a place for their family and their belongings. You want your home to appeal to the most number of people possible. Keep these tips in mind to help your home sell quickly and for more money!

 MAGGIE PANIAGUA
Senior Loan Officer
direct: (214) 290-8090
cell: (863) 602-5970
fax: (864) 469-0994
NMLS: 398878
2611 Cross Timbers Rd., Ste 100
Flower Mound, TX 75028
Email Me
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Makeover Monday: Creative Design Ideas for Themed Childrens’ Bedrooms

There are many exciting ideas you can play around with when planning a themed design for your child’s bedroom. When picking out décor and choosing a theme, be sure to have fun, be creative and, most importantly, let the child’s individual personality and interests be your inspiration.

Be mindful of what is age-appropriate and also choose décor that your child won’t outgrow quickly, or that could go out of style in a year’s time. Rather than following fleeting trends, lean towards a design with an originality that matches your child. Boundless options exist and, with a bit of effort and imagination, can accommodate any style or budget.

DIY Decoration Ideas

One way to easily and affordably establish a theme for your kid’s bedroom is by adding some statement wall art. Consider painting themed murals or utilizing stencils to paint your child’s name, the alphabet or words of inspiration in oversized letters. Stencil and paint farm animal or jungle themes, floral or garden scenes, sports themes, underwater, or even outer space scenes.

Wall decals are another great option. Like stencils, an extensive variety of designs exists for you to choose from and they are easy to apply and remove, which makes updating décor to accommodate age or changing tastes a breeze.

Paint the walls in school colors or those of a favorite sports team for another inexpensive and easy theme. A few key pieces, such as team pennants, ball caps or jerseys are all it would take to finalize this simple theme.

Start Simply With Bedding

If you’re looking to devise a more subtle theme in your child’s bedroom than bold wall art provides, consider starting with the bedding, and then accenting the space with complimentary colors and simple décor.

You can purchase themed or patterned comforter sets that include everything from sheets and shams to bed skirts and accent pillows. This effortlessly establishes an overall design theme, and how far you decide to go with the rest of the room is entirely up to your personal preference. Adding complimentary or matching area rugs, window treatments and table lamps is a great way to subtly tie your style together and finalize the look.

Add Accent Pieces

Once you have established the overall theme and color scheme for your child’s bedroom, let the fine tuning begin. Be mindful of adding age-appropriate furniture, either new or refurbished. Consider painting the pieces or including some stenciling to match your chosen theme. Add decorative drawer pulls to establish a unique, yet simpler, statement.

For the walls, add framed art to compliment the theme, or consider framing your child’s own artwork in colored frames that match the room. Add crafty shelving to help maintain organization by storing books, toys and other miscellaneous child essentials. If you choose to add statement wall décor, such as decals or stencils, keep the remaining wall decoration to a minimum to avoid making the room look too busy or even cluttered.

Add a matching rug to compliment the theme, and also protect flooring. Remember to embrace your young child’s imagination and creativity by establishing an area dedicated to play. Add theme-related tents or a small set of a complimentary table and chairs to promote play and assist in the child’s social and emotional development.

The options are endless for inspiration! When settling on the theme for your child’s bedroom, be imaginative, and of course, be sure to keep their interests in mind. Use creativity to guide you, and have fun as you craft this magical space for your very special little someone.

Sources:

http://www.hgtv.com/design/rooms/kid-rooms/12-decorating-ideas-for-kids-rooms-pictures/
http://www.digsdigs.com/27-cool-kids-bedroom-theme-ideas/

Reuse, Refurbish and Recycle: How to Go Eco-Friendly With Your Home Design

Furnishing, decorating or redecorating a home can be expensive, tedious and sometimes a bit frustrating. We must try to keep up with the latest, ever-changing fashion trends while also attempting to carefully balance expenses with the social responsibility of not creating additional landfill waste. We live in a crowded world where the unnecessary dumping of bulky furniture items or interior finishes that are still in good shape shouldn’t be tolerated.

Try to keep sustainability in mind as you decorate your home. Seek out items containing recycled content or made from eco-friendly materials. Donate or sell items that could be salvaged whenever possible, as they should be given the opportunity for a second life in another home.

Here are a few simple design ideas with a sustainable approach, to help give a fresh look to your home while remaining eco-friendly.

Focus on the Finishes

If you’re starting bare bones with your home décor, you can select interior finishes that contain recycled content or that are made from rapidly renewable resources. There are many flooring options available today that provide style and are also quite cost effective—bamboo, cork or linoleum, to name a few. For carpeting, look at selections bearing recycled materials, or that contain wool or even corn fibers, for a sustainable choice.

For bathroom or kitchen countertops, consider ceramic tiles or beautiful glass made entirely from recycled content. More exclusively for kitchens, look for counters made from concrete, stainless steel, recycled paper or even reclaimed wood. Consider cabinetry materials that are sourced from sustainably harvested forests, such as from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and steer clear of products containing added urea-formaldehyde to offer a healthier interior environment.

If you’re redecorating your existing home, try and salvage what you’ve already got! Refinish those beautiful hardwood floors that can last another lifetime, instead of replacing them. Refurbish existing cabinetry or interior doors by adding a fresh stain, a coat of paint, or updated hardware.

“New” Furniture Doesn’t Have to Be New

Shop at thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets or second-hand online retailers for one-of-a-kind treasures and give them a fresh look. Consider stand-out pieces such as oversized wooden or metal headboards, table and chair ensembles, distinctive dressers, buffets or armoires—then refurbish them to compliment your existing décor. Vintage pieces establish an effortlessly unique appeal and help divert unnecessary waste from already overflowing landfills.

Another eco-friendly and cost-effective option is to refinish the furniture you’ve already got at home. Some sanding, new hardware, and a fresh stain or paint color added to a single piece of furniture—or a complete ensemble—will give a room an entirely new look. Consider a distressed look or even add stenciling or texture. Encourage a family project and the whole gang will take pride in the finished product!

Use some imagination and creativity to give new meaning to existing pieces or eclectic, previously-owned treasures. Antique dressers make gorgeous bathroom vanities; and with a reclaimed wood top, you can make exceptional kitchen island creations. Search out vintage lockers for storing mudroom essentials and display houseplants on rustic hutches or armoires left lazily ajar.

If you absolutely must have something new, seek out furniture derived from eco-friendly products and those made from recycled plastics or metals. Consider ethically sourced wood or accent pieces made from rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo.

Addressing the Finer Details

Don’t forget to also think sustainably when fine-tuning your home décor. Seek out throw rugs or blankets derived from natural or recycled fibers. Do the same for your fabrics and textiles, and consider green options such as organic cotton or linen, hemp or jute.

Most importantly, instead of buying new, search again for unique, second-hand treasures. Make a bold statement by adding one-of-a-kind light fixtures to any room. Refurbish vintage mirrors or antique picture frames. Utilize abandoned window panes for your photo collections.  Consider rustic galvanized tubs, wicker baskets or ornamental canning jars for your storage needs and add a touch of classic elegance with a single glass vase or antique table lamp.

As consumers, it is our social and moral responsibility to think about how our individual actions affect the world we live in. We can help not only to divert unnecessary waste from already overcrowded landfills; we can have a lot of fun doing it.

Eco-friendly home design resources:

http://recycledinteriors.org/being-green/
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/Ecofriendly-Kitchens
http://www.bhg.com/kitchen/remodeling/planning/eco-friendly-kitchen-ideas/