Jan 152011
 

This is a little video clip of preparing to move a doorway to the kitchen. I had to move the basement stairs so I removed an old pantry. Then I had to remove the wall for the new doorway. The electric wire was disconnected by the way…

 

Dec 052010
 

We just received the first real snowfall in central Indiana, 2 weeks before the official start of winter, but in Real Estate we are already thinking spring! And if you are planning on putting your home on the market next spring you should start working right now.

First let’s explain the real time frame from which real estate works. Most people know that annual property sale transactions peak during the spring. We can verify that as springtime is typically real estates busiest period. But actually buyers start looking seriously soon after the first of the year, in the middle of winter. Sitting around on cold snowy days, searching available homes on the Internet, and getting ideas what to look at as soon as the weather is a little warmer, as in maybe the January thaw we often see here in the Midwest. So the best bet to get those early buyers is to have your home on the market no later than the third week in January. The earlier the better!

The reason you need to get started today is you probably have a few things to do to spruce up your home before you get it listed on the market. And what better time for indoor projects than the cold days of winter. Maybe a room needs a quick paint job. That loose railing you’ve been meaning to repair. A broken light fixture that needs replaced. You want to have all those things done before the first showing. It is hard to explain to buyers that this or that will be done soon, as they base everything on what they see right in front of them. And in some cases what they see can be potential deal killers.

So if you are planning to sell your home, your spring season starts right now. Feel free to contact The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 with any questions. We’d be happy to come by and look at your home and offer suggestions on getting it ready to show. We’ll also do a Free Comparative Market Analysis of your home with no obligations to use us when you’re ready to sell. But we’re sure when you see The Derrick Team Marketing Advantage, you’ll realize we can do the most for you to give your home the exposure it needs to find buyers looking on those cold winter days in January.

Also be sure and download our free booklet Some Tips For Preparing Your Home To Sell

Aug 142010
 

EntryDoorArtworkStart With The Exterior
First impressions count thus the outside ‘Curb Appeal’ is a must for items to be taken care of for preparing to sell a home. If the outside looks rough, they assume the interior is the same.  Step out to the street and note the condition of the following items: trim work, shutters, gutters, shingles, mailboxes, windows & window screens, walkways and the driveway. Then clean, paint, repair, or replace as needed to give the fresh look to prospective buyers driving by. Now look at the landscaping be sure and make it look its best by mowing, edging, seeding, fertilizing and weeding the lawn. Next look  at the trees and shrubs and trim and/or remove overgrown plants and don’t forget to weed and mulch the plant beds. A nice touch is planting colorful seasonal flowers in the existing plant beds. Then continue to clean, mow and trim while the home is on the market on a regular basis, especially for showings & open houses.

Take A Hard Look At Your Front Door!
The front door to your home should invite buyers to enter. Look at the condition of the door and clean, paint, or replace anything that looks really bad. Make sure everything works properly like the latch that clicks shut without fidgeting with it. Look for details like the screen door, the doorbell, the porch lights, and even the house numbers. For the extra touch, place a new welcome mat and a group of seasonal potted plants and flowers by the entry.

Inside: Remove Clutter & Depersonalize
A buyer cannot envision living in your home without seeing it. A home filled with clutter or even too much furniture distracts buyers from seeing how they can utilize the space your home offers. If you have limited storage space, you may want to consider renting a temporary storage unit to place items you wish to keep. Start by holding a garage sale to prepare for your move getting rid of unnecessary items (see our post on Garage Sales). Then box up and store items like books, magazines, toys, tools, supplies and unused items from counter tops, open shelves, storage closets, the garage and basements. Consider storing out-of-season clothing and shoes out of sight to make bedroom closets seem roomier. Go thru the home and organize bookshelves, closets, cabinets and pantries. Serious buyers will tend to look at everything. Depersonalize by putting away most if not all of your personal photographs, unless they really help showcase the home.

Fix Basic Items In The Home
Focus on the minor repairs that will make your home visually appealing such as ceilings and wall cracks, faucets, banisters, handrails, cabinets, drawers, doors, floors and tile. Look at caulking and grouting in tubs, showers, sinks and tile and clean or replace if needed.  Consider painting ceilings, walls, trim, doors and cabinets that are scuffed or have faded or stained areas. Check all the door handles, drawer pulls, light switches and electrical plates and repair or replace as needed. Be sure and lubricate door hinges and locks so there are no creaky scary sounds when they open the doors.

Everyone Looks At The Kitchen
If you are thinking of spending any money on renovations, this is the one area where you will see the greatest return. Even with a modest budget you can focus on a few key areas like replacing cabinet doors and hardware. Or something simple like installing under-cabinet lighting or replacing older style light fixtures. Be sure to clean or replace outdated shelving with pantry and cabinet organizers to maximize space. Consider replacing the sink and/or fixtures if there are water stains that cannot be removed.

Arraigning The Furniture
Furniture placement can enhance the space of your home while giving buyers an idea of how to best utilize the space with their own belongings. Take some time to rethink how different areas in your house could be used. Consider moving couches and chairs away from walls in your sitting and family rooms to create cozy conversational groups. Use a comfy chair with a lamp and table to create a reading corner in the master bedroom. Give empty rooms a purpose with a spare bed & dresser for guests or a desk and bookshelf for an office.

Clean And Keep Clean
The cleanliness of your home also influences a buyer’s perception of its condition. The appearance of the kitchen and bathrooms will play a considerable role in a buyer’s decision process, so pay particular attention to these areas.  Be sure and clean all windows, fixtures, hardware, ceiling fans, vent covers and appliances. Don’t forget to clean inside the refrigerator, the stove (especially if included in the sale) and all cabinets. Unless you’ve just installed new flooring be sure to remove all stains from carpets, rugs, and floors. And most importantly be very sure to eliminate any source of bad odors, especially if you have pets as we’ve seen buyers walk in and turn right around if they smell something bad. A nice touch would be using air fresheners or potpourri but you have to be careful as some buyers might think you are hiding something.

Light Up
Create a sense of openness and cheerfulness in your home through its lighting. Simple items, like opening shades and drapes to let the sunshine warm and brighten rooms are easy (make sure the windows are clean). But consider the next step by installing brighter light bulbs in rooms that tend to be dark or adding additional lamps for ambient lighting. And be sure to turn on all the lights for a showing.

Final Touches
You can easily add color and style to your home by adding fresh touches throughout. Consider placing fresh floral arrangements in the entry and master bedroom and placing bowls of bright-colored fruit in the family room and the kitchen. Fill an empty corner with a (healthy) potted leafy plant or an antique table or rocker.
In the bathrooms always have new hand soap and clean fresh towels near the sinks.

While all this seems like a lot to work on, consider you want to sell your most expensive asset for the highest amount the market will bring. Nice looking correctly staged homes will always sell faster for more money than those that are worn and will need a little work by the buyer to get move in ready. When you are just in the beginning stages of preparing you home be sure and call The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110 as we will gladly come take a look at your home and suggest what items are most important to help sell your home. Roll up your sleeves and get to work!

Jul 012010
 
Many people get ‘the bug’ to get a new car occasionally. No real reason to replace the one you have, just ‘they see something new and just gotta have it’. Most people view this as they’re already making a payment, might as well make it a few more years. This mentality can lead to perpetual car payments for the rest of your life. Great when things are good but, well you get the idea.
Derrick Team Transport

My Reliable 10 Year Old Car

So the best advice I’ve heard when you get ‘the bug’ is really true. Since you get the best bang for your buck if your trade-in vehicle looks top notch, spend a day cleaning, waxing, and making it look its best before you head to the dealership. The reason that’s such a good idea is that you might sit back and realize your current car looks great and will be paid off next year. And common sense kicks in and you keep it and save a lot of money.

OK, now let’s think about your home the same way. There are always reasons that trump this way of thinking like job relocation, don’t like the area, or just tired of walking up and down stairs.  But if you just think it’s a tired old home and you want something new, keep in mind you need to freshen up the look to sell it, so what the hell, figure out what you don’t like and work out a budget. Then decide if you made those changes to the house it would be fine. Need more room? Maybe you can add an addition for less than all the moving expenses would add up to. Kitchen just not up to par? Would a remodel be worth the effort instead of an entire house replacement? Just sit down and write up a list and get some quotes. Then check with a REALTOR® to see what the current market is like. This gives you an idea of what the real costs of staying vs. moving are.

If you find yourself in this position, feel free to call or text The Derrick Team at 317.563.1110. I’ve done a lot of remodeling myself and can give you real world advice on what’s worth the effort, and what to walk away from. And we’ll help research the market to see what’s the best approach.

You’ll get a much better feeling with whatever decision you make then as you know it was the ‘common sense’ approach to dealing with ‘the bug.’

Jan 092010
 
This 'lean to' was to far gone. I had to tear it down and build a new garage.

This ‘lean to’ was to far gone. I had to tear it down and build a new garage.

Are you handy person who likes to bang nails, cut wood, and slop some paint on the walls?  Well I’m that type and am still working on my old farmhouse I purchased back in 1997 known as ‘This Old Dump’. I had a plan to have the total project completed in 5 years. 13 years later I’m still working on that 5 year plan. I now know that it will never be ‘complete’ as I’ve already started redoing things that just seemed to need a little more attention. And of course sometimes one just likes to change their mind….

Why do I mention this now? Well there are a flood of older homes listed for sale that need a little TLC. Many are bank owned and the prices reflect that because the banks do not want to be homeowners.

Maybe you are looking for your first home. Youth helps as many projects require a lot of physical work, I know as I don’t put in the long days on projects now like I did many years ago when I worked on my first home in the 1980’s. Older people may be looking for something to put money in as an investment. They just need to be aware that it can take awhile for the home to increase in value as the market drives that, not what you put into it. Then others want to become landlords and buy homes as rentals.

Whatever reason you are looking, now is a good time to look for these deals. With my personal experience with my own adventures of This Old Dump, The Derrick Team is ready to help you search and purchase a great deal today! Call or text us today at 317-563-1110 or use our handy Contact Form.

 

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