Let’s Look Outside: What Buyers Notice

GettyImages-1255835530-scaledIf you are selling your house you may hope that potential buyers are familiar with the idiom “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Meaning, in real estate parlance, that you’re hoping the buyers will overlook the sagging gutters, cracked driveway, tired garage doors, and fall in love the interior of your house.

It’s a fact that your house is being judged by its exterior, the grounds, the lawn, and even the garden gnomes dotting your walkway.

Here are the top 5 exterior items that buyers notice:

Exterior Lights – They should match your indoor “vibe.” If you haven’t updated your exterior lights you may be dating your house.

Gutters – Trust us, worth getting them cleaned, there is nothing more distracting than greenery growing from gutters that need attention.

Porches and Patios – Spruce them up with new furniture cushions, patio pots of seasonal flowers, and even some string lights to make the outdoor space an extension of your living area.

Lawn, Grounds – Get out the rakes, flowers, and mulch, nothing smells better than fresh mulch!

Front Door – Is it time for fresh paint? A new door handle? New welcome mat? This upgrade will make a huge impression.

Looking for more specific ideas for your exterior? Luckily, Jennie is an Accredited Staging Professional and can assess your home’s exterior, as well as interior spaces to help get you the best price in today’s market. Contact us to see how we can help get your home sold!

4 Updates to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

sidekix-media-UDDULE_eIBY-unsplashWe all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to our biggest investment – our home. So how do you get the best price possible when you’re ready to sell? You don’t have to go crazy with expensive renovations, a few small and simple updates can make a big impact.

Here are 4 updates to get your home ready to sell:

Declutter. This one is free! This should be the first step in prepping your home for sale. Take down the family photos and knick knacks and pack them away. If you have a room that feels particularly ‘full,’ edit the furniture – store the excess pieces neatly in the basement, garage, or rent a storage unit.

Fresh paint. A new coat of paint does wonders for any room – and it’s one of the most affordable options to update your home. Stick with neutral colors so that buyers can picture themselves living there.

New lighting. Old (usually brass) lighting fixtures will really date a space. Refresh your home with simple lighting in nickel, black, or even a neutral wood finish. When buyers see these fixtures modernized, it makes them feel the whole house has been updated.

Update hardware. Similar to the lighting – old fashioned brass or porcelain knobs and drawer pulls will make a room look dated. Freshen you kitchen or bathrooms with modern hardware in a black finish or metal finish that matches other elements in the room.

Preparing your home to sell is easier with an experienced professional in your corner. To learn more about getting your home ready to sell, or to start looking for a new property, we can help! Contact The Weaver Team today 😉

Are My Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms Outdated?

hannah-busing-5we-PtvuCyE-unsplashTruth be told, cooking at my house often involves a smoke alarm. It’s tempting to climb on a step stool to disconnect the pesky alarm, but I have become efficient at opening windows and doors to “fan” the smoke out of the house. Once the smoke clears it’s a good time to check on the rest of the alarms.

It’s also a good idea for you to check on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure you have the proper alarms installed.

The State of Vermont’s Fire Safety site (https://firesafety.vermont.gov/) provides homeowner information. It’s always good practice to check on the type of smoke alarm. The site states, “Many existing Vermont homes currently have old outdated ionization smoke alarms installed. These old alarms need to be replaced. The division recommends to homeowners that when you are replacing alarms that you update to a photoelectric smoke alarm now and not wait until the time when home is being sold.”

When you do sell your house the attorney’s require a Compliance Certificate to verify installation to comply with Vermont’s requirements.

Here is the form: https://firesafety.vermont.gov/sites/firesafety/files/files/forms/dfs_forms_smoke_co_cert.pdf

As always, if you want more information on getting your house ready to sell, contact The Weaver Team and we will get you set up for home selling success!

Your Checklist for Home Selling Success

14-1492149877-pic3This is not your basic checklist! As real estate professionals, this compilation relies on our years of experience to help our clients get “ahead” of many issues that come up when a buyer looks at a house.

Grab a screwdriver – You’ll be surprised at how many loose screws you find. Strike plates, knobs, etc. tighten them up for a closer fit.

Mr. Clean is your friend – We swear by the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to clean marks on walls without damaging paint. Works well on flat paint, you don’t have to worry about harming the surface.

Dust busters – Grab a duster that has a long handle and then, look up! Sweep away dust from your fan blades, vents, and corners of your room where dust accumulates on the ceiling

Where are my keys? – Start looking for your front door keys now especially if you typically enter your house through the garage or another door. Make some copies and test them out.

Spruce up those sills and screens – Exterior window sills are often neglected, inspect them for peeling paint and rot. Survey window screens for rips and tears and replace any that are missing.

HVAC tune-up time – It’s tricky to schedule these in the winter months, but call to get your furnace serviced and inspected yearly. If you have central a/c get this done during the summer.

Radon test – Safety first. You can read all about radon gas here: https://www.epa.gov/radon. Get your house tested in the winter months as your house needs to be “closed up” for a few days.

Is your chimney safe for Santa? Call a chimney company to make sure!

Walkway safety — Get ready for winter weather with salt/sand and a shovel. Replace or repair any tripping hazards on the way into your house such as loose bricks or cracked concrete walkways.

Contact The Weaver Team for additional items to get your house in tip top condition for selling!

Laundry Room Safety Check: My Story

6a9356e5a1f3b04b68ec25490352d2e5If you follow our blog you know that the real estate biz is not all glitz and glam as represented in the media. If you watch “Million Dollar Listing” or other such shows you may be lulled into thinking that we drive around in our luxury vehicles all day and host lavish buffets at our listings.

On the Weaver Team we spend our time helping clients navigate all aspects of their sale including laundry room safety. This month, Carolyn hired a Dryer Duct Cleaning company to check out her 8-year old dryer duct. Surprisingly the technician found that the dryer duct had separated and lint and hot air was blowing in the attic. Luckily he had the tools to fix the problem. We never would have known if we hadn’t had it serviced.

This month’s blog focuses on safety in the laundry room. There are three things to check in your laundry room:

Dryer Duct Cleaning – one of the main causes of house fires is a clogged dryer duct. Getting this cleaned and inspected is worth the time and effort.

Electrical Outlet – check to see if the outlet servicing your washer and dryer is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).

Hoses – swap out your hoses for a higher grade model.

If you need trusted service providers to help with getting your laundry room up to today’s codes, get in touch.

We specialize in helping you get your house ready to sell – from staging, quick fixes, and pre-inspections, we’ve got you covered! Contact us to see what your home may be worth in today’s market.

Do’s and Don’ts for Staging Your Kitchen

photo-of-white-kitchen-4682110Everyone’s first question about staging their house is, “What should I do with my kitchen countertops?” Most days none of us have our countertops “photo-ready.” Right now my countertop boasts a blender, a toaster, a large white pitcher, a bowl of fruit and bananas and random dishes drying on a dish towel. Yours may have a coffee maker, knife block, canisters, and assorted water bottles. What stays? What goes?

Don’t take everything off your countertops. Some Realtors will tell sellers to “take everything off.” Others ignore the clutter and say, “oh, it’s fine.” In our opinion the “take everything off” approach gives the impression that the house is vacant. When you leave everything on the counter the photos tend to look too busy. We suggest a balanced approach to give the impression of a well-organized countertop. So, yes, if you have a classy cannister set, leave it. If your coffee maker is overtaking your counter then stash it in a cabinet. Fruit is always a good idea.

Do invest in some new dishtowels. Coordinated dishtowels help define your dishwasher or range.

Don’t remove your rugs and runners. Keep your rugs and runners as long as they are coordinated.

Do clean off your kitchen island and find an appropriate accent piece. Flowers are passe.

Don’t forget about your lighting. If you really want to make a your kitchen “pop” then consider updating your light fixtures. A quick trip to the lighting aisle yields a big return.

Do call us if you need an electrician to install your new lights. Don’t mess with the electric unless you really know what you’re doing.

And, lastly, don’t forget you’re never alone when you’re transforming your house with The Weaver Team. We’ll help you get your kitchen “show ready.” Contact us today for a virtual staging appointment to get your house in tip top shape.

Safe Showings: Do’s and Don’ts

98197322_666623473898167_8624237915972567040_oWhat does it mean to be safe when you’re looking at houses in the midst of a pandemic? While there is no way to be 100% protected, you can minimize your risk of exposure. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. Don’t attend weekend Open Houses. 25 people are allowed to be in a house at the same time. These events are hard to manage. Touching, coughing, sneezing, and the inevitable dropping of one’s face mask to breathe, etc. are just some of the activities that will occur.
  2. Do wear a mask. This is a requirement by the sellers.
  3. Don’t wear gloves more than once. Use fresh gloves for every house. If you must open drawers, doors, refrigerators, etc. grab a pair for each house.
  4. Don’t take off your shoes. Wear contractor booties. We have never been a fan of walking barefoot in stranger’s houses. Now, even more so.
  5. Do use wipes on surfaces that you touch after you leave the house. Once you get to your car wipe your hands, phone, steering wheel, keys.
  6. Don’t plan on using the restroom.
  7. Do spritz some Sanitizer on your hands. For the extra special scent of “clean.”
  8. Don’t linger in the house. Look at the house and talk outside.
  9. Do bring a trash bag to dispose of used items.

We’ve always been clean freaks on the Weaver Team, little did we know that our cleaning fetish would now be necessary for all real estate agents! Carolyn stocks her showing bag with bleach wipes, sanitizer, 409 spray and paper towels to ensure that our buyers are ready for any house they enter. We also prep our sellers on best practices and ensure other agents showing our listings are prepared.

If you’re a bit skeptical about looking at homes or listing right now, contact us to walk you through the new process.

Pandemic Precautions in Real Estate: Video Touring, Vetting, and Sanitizing

pexels-photo-3769717We get it. We fear germs and viruses just like all of you. Federal, local, and town governments have cautioned us to stay home and practice social distancing. We want to do our part as responsible citizens so we, too, are working from home.

The Weaver Team has implemented the following business practices since we started and they are more relevant than ever. Videos, Vetting Buyers, and Sanitation is truly “business as usual” for us.

Videos – We have been proponents of video for several years. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to view our past listings and the video tours.

Vetting Buyers – We set up all showings and always fully vet buyers and buyers agents prior to setting up showings. This protects Sellers from unnecessary showings. Some agents rely on Showing Time and other services and they have no knowledge of the buyers.

Sanitation Measures – In our daily real estate practice we are conscious of germs, viruses, and bacteria every day, no matter what the season. We carry hand sanitizer, wipes, Lysol, booties, and gloves in our vehicles that we share with buyers when showing houses. As we face a virus that we haven’t tackled before, COVID-19, coronavirus, we are adding a basket of sanitation supplies at our listings for everyone’s protection. Buyers and their agents are encouraged to wear booties and now, gloves during showings.

If you want to sell or buy during this time reach out for more information on our safety measures.

Moving In 2020? 3 Simple Steps To Get Started

It’s time to move! Where do I start? Sometimes, the decision to sell your house is planned. Other times, it happens quickly, unexpectedly. In either case you will want to do these three things right away. Of course, the first thing you should do is call or email us for our “Prep for Success” program. Next, get started with these 3 simple steps:

Take a tour of your house. Assess your decorating, furniture, and organization. Note items that can be removed, moved, packed, or reorganized. Include closets, kitchen drawers, and wall decorations.

Gather your utility bills. How much did heating fuel cost last year? What was your electric use? Who is your internet provider? Do you have a water or sewer bill?

Assess your needs. Do you need to get a storage unit? Should you repaint your ceiling? Is it time to get a plumber to fix a pesky leak? Don’t get overwhelmed at this point. Make a list and show it to us. We have a trusted network of vendor partners that can help.

Planning is key to a successful move. Don’t underestimate your ability to get packed, organized, and moved this year. We will be with you every step of the way providing personal solutions to all of your problems, issues, and challenges that inevitably occur. Our professional advice has saved our clients time, money, and stress during this process.

Thinking about making a move? Contact us today to get started!

Selling Your House This Winter? The Weaver Team Is Your “Winter Team!”

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. After all, we do live in the Northeast where winter means snow, ice, and cold weather. But, does it mean you will be miserable if you have to sell your house before April?

There’s a reason that most sellers wait until spring to put their houses on the market. Most sellers would rather not deal with salting and sanding walkways, plowing driveways, and gathering kids, dogs, boots, shoes, and mittens, to leave a warm, cozy house to accommodate a showing. Should you wait until the snow melts?

What if you have to sell? Don’t bother jumping online and googling “selling house in winter” or “should I wait until spring to sell my house” instead, follow our 3 steps:

You Need our “Winter Selling Strategy.” We both love the cold and snow. Get out a calendar and strategize with us. We know the ideal times to put your house on the market in any month.

Identify your goals and we will get it done. Need to be in another house by March? We will outline the process to get you there.

Don’t worry about winter showings. Because we list and sell houses in all types of weather we will share our tools, tricks, and tips to make it easy on your lifestyle and your household.

We look forward to helping you in any season. Don’t despair if you find yourself moving in the winter, we’re here to get you into your next home no matter what the weather.