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When selling your home you should consider staging. Staging a home for sale needn't be obvious or expensive. Ask your agent how to prepare for a home inspection, and what you could do to make your home look bigger and better. Staging advice probably will center on clearing out and getting rid of pieces that make rooms appear crowded. Here are some inexpensive home inspection tips: Think new, spa-quality white towels and accessories to give that dingy bathroom a more tasteful appeal without having to renovate.; Painting interior walls a neutral color; Clearing the front yard of weeds and kids' toys, basketball hoops etc.
Remember, this is not a company merger or acquisition; it's the sale of a family home to another family. You'll get a better outcome if you negotiate with that in mind. One example of this style of negotiation: Send a personal letter with your counteroffer, Say something along the lines of, "This is a great house, we've really enjoyed it, and here's why we've really enjoyed it." Understand your buyers, and remember that money is not the only motivator as you negotiate the best price on your new home.
A Russian proverb goes: "Don't buy the house, buy the neighborhood." Most buyers visit prospective neighborhoods only at midday and don't see their complexions change. Inspect the neighborhood at varying hours. Park the car down the street and walk around the block on a Saturday night. Are there any deal breakers such as rowdy neighbors, dogs that bark nonstop, street racing or airplanes flying low overhead?
See and think beyond your immediate block. That empty lot on the corner entrance to your subdivision looks like a great place for neighborhood touch football or soccer, but it may contain an unsavory surprise: commercial zoning. Instead of just another house, that lot may some day yield a convenience store or fast-food restaurant, with the requisite noise, lighting and traffic. Find out from your agent or the city what's allowed there.
It's crucial to plan carefully and build up slowly to bigger projects, Do-it-yourselfers actually make money for the contractor because they mess up the work, and then they have to hire a contractor to redo it. Know your limitations and study up on any projects you’re not sure of. Some types of remodeling require permits, don’t forget to check to see if you need them.
Energy experts say about 35 percent of heating and cooling is lost through the roof, and more escapes through the walls, windows, doors and by air leaks. Making your home energy-efficient so that it's ready for a home energy inspection, means starting with the basics and the most important of these are the proper sealing of air leaks, and insulating sufficiently for your climate. Unless it's thoroughly water-damaged, fiberglass insulation rarely needs replacing, though that doesn't stop unsavory contractors from recommending changing it out. Go ahead and fluff out those areas that have been compressed from excessive attic tromping because fiberglass insulation needs trapped air to be effective. Air infiltration is fancy lingo for "drafts." One time-tested way to detect air infiltration is to hold a lighted candle a few inches from doors, baseboards, window frames, pipes and vents -- after turning off all fans, heating and air conditioning. If the candle flickers or is blown out, sealing is needed. A programmable thermostat that adjusts temperatures automatically will set you back between $60 and $120, but save you about $180 a year, according to Energy Star. That's a quick return on investment. Standby power, also called "vampire" or "phantom" power, is consumed when electrical devices idle in standby mode. These phantoms can suck the life out of your energy budget, accounting for as much as 10 percent of the average home's electricity use. Most computers, video game consoles and other gizmos with standby connections have settings that you can adjust to power-saving mode. Do so. Older power strips and adapters (typically those warm to the touch) with standby current should be replaced. Strategically planted trees can literally overshadow home energy waste. The original layouts and tree positioning of most lots were governed by builders' profit models, not energy savings, so it's up to homeowners to position clusters of trees to shade windows and rooftops in summer. These natural insulators can reduce the air temperature surrounding homes by as much as 9 degrees. Deciduous trees, which provide shade in summer, then shed their leaves to admit sunlight in winter, are the best choice in most climates. What's more, shading your outdoor air-conditioning unit can increase its efficiency by 10 percent. The U.S. Department of Energy says that such energy-efficient landscaping provides a return on investment in about eight years.
Some Other Useful Home Buyer Tips
Conduct a check on any permits and open violations on your home through the local building department. You need to complete your inspection within the time stated in your contract, otherwise you will lose the right to use the inspection, and you will be purchasing the home in an ‘as is’ condition. Always have any repairs done by a licensed contractor and get receipts and warranties (if applicable) for all work performed.
Make a note of items such as ceiling fans, wall sconces, washers, dryers, etc. If these items are not specifically listed in your contract, they may not be part of the sale. Attend your home inspection. This way you can ask questions, and see for yourself any deficiencies that may be present. The home inspection report reinforces what you have already seen. Therefore you will be able to make a more informed decision.