Five Tips on How to Sell Your Home in a Competitive Market

Five Tips on How to Sell Your Home in a Competitive Market

What does it take to sell a home in a competitive market – a fresh coat of paint or a kitchen overhaul? Lowering the asking price or offering incentives?

What does it take to sell a home in a competitive market – a fresh coat of paint or a kitchen overhaul? Lowering the asking price or offering incentives? From cosmetic to strategic, smart sellers can take advantage of a few simple tips to get the most out of their properties. Here are five suggestions on how to help secure a “sold” sign:

Price Point is Paramount When getting ready to put a home on the market, determining the right listing price is the number one most important element in the home selling process. After you have carefully chosen an agent, the trust you have established will come into play immediately. Have those tough discussions with your agent about where to price your home. Make certain you understand how the agent has arrived at the price, including how previous sales and current homes on the market make an impact. If necessary, jump in the car with your agent and see some of the homes on the market in the area. This will provide first hand knowledge on homes that are available in your neighborhood.

Appeal to Your Audience Work with your agent to determine how to get your home to stand out. Providing incentives is a great way to draw in potential home buyers, and monetary bonuses don’t just have to come from negotiation of the listing price. Sellers can also choose to contribute to closing costs, or conduct pre-home inspections, which can comfort potential home buyers in knowing that the property is in top shape.

Leave a Great First Impression Everyone talks about curb appeal, but a first impression is truly lasting. Remember, your agent is your trusted advisor. They will know the necessary updates and upkeep you should make to get the home ready for showings. But some of this is fairly easy and the front door is particularly important. This is the area where a buyer will first step up to a home – and likely wait for a moment providing time to look around. Do this ahead of time, stand directly in the front door and look up and around at the home from all angles – cobwebs that have not been noticed in years could be the first thing greeting a potential home buyer, so it’s important for this area to give a great first impression.

Everything is in the Visual Don’t underestimate the power of visuals in marketing your home. The National Association of Realtors found that, more than 90 percent of home buyers begin their search online. Your agent may push hard for you to have the home prepared for vivid pictures and video of the property that can be posted on websites such as Coldwell Banker On Location

Hit the Right Note with all Five Senses When a buyer comes to look at a home they want the full experience. To help a home stand out, your agent may ask you to focus on appealing to all five senses. Small and inexpensive upgrades to the home such as getting the walls painted, de-cluttering and making minor improvements to the outdoor landscape. In terms of “touch,” remember that buyers aren’t just going to look – they’ll be turning on your faucets and opening closets, so make sure closets are clean and organized. When it comes to making a home smell good, many agents prefer the smell of baked goods rather than fresh flowers or air fresheners which can be overwhelming. All of this is being done to allow the buyer to properly visualize living in the home.

Housing Report: Spring Selling Season

Housing Report: Spring Selling Season

Coldwell Banker agents share the top spring selling season trends they’re seeing in their markets.

Spring selling season is in full swing, and everyone knows that means real estate markets are heating up all over the country.  But what does that really mean — and how do these trends vary from market to market? We turned to those who know best – Coldwell Banker agents, of course – to see what type of activity they’re seeing in their areas. Here’s what they had to say:

“Buyers are better prepared and have more knowledge of the market to make a quick decision. Inventory is picking up for the spring selling season. Smart homes are becoming a norm.” – Lev ShalomayevColdwell Banker Kueber Realty in Glendale, NY

“Even though the weather may not be hot and may not feel like spring yet, our market is crazy hot! Things are selling in days of being listed, with multiple offers!” – Brandon Grass, Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty in Kelowna, BC

“It’s important now, more than ever, to have your buyers truly qualified. With more competing offers than I’ve seen in my whole 8 years, sellers want squeaky clean schedules with as few conditions as possible. So I try to confirm that they can (where the risk is low) go in with no conditions at all.” – Melissa Mummery, Coldwell Banker Coastline Realty, Port Dover, ON

“The market is very healthy at all price points. If you price it to sell, it will. Properties under $1 million are going under contract in 7 to 21 days. In our luxury market, listings over $2 million have had recent success. Multiple sales over $5 million are averaging around $8 million.” – Chris McDonnellColdwell Banker Distinctive Properties in Vail, CO

“Our market is smoking hot! Day on market is lowest we’ve seen in quite some time, and we’re seeing a lot of multiple offers.” – Pamela Smith, Coldwell Banker Seaside Realty, Kitty Hawk, NC

So there you have it! If you’re considering putting your house on the market or looking to buy this season, please call me at 617-372-1870.

5 Ways to Sell Your House Stress-Free

5 Ways to Sell Your House Stress-Free

Selling your home can be stressful. Here are 5 ways to stay focused and positive as you sell your house stress-free.

You’ve made the decision to sell your house. You may have been mulling it over for years, or perhaps a sudden life change has prompted you to make the leap. Whether you’re relocating for a job, empty-nest downsizing, or just need a change, you’ve made it past the first hurdle of reaching the decision!

But the many complicated logistics of selling your house may feel overwhelming. Before you get stressed out and change your mind about the whole thing, know that there are some great ways to stay focused and positive as you navigate this important step. Here are some tips to help you sell your house stress-free to make this leap a very positive one.

Be Clear About Your Objectives Up Front

two ladies talking

A lot of communication is required when selling a house, so it’s critical to set a clear set of objectives to yourself and everyone else involved in the process: your real estate agent, your family, and your friends. From the outset, determine an attainable selling price for your home with your real estate agent, and set up clear and reliable lines of communication.

Be clear with your family and friends about what they can expect during the process, and what you’ll need from them to help facilitate the situation with as little stress as possible. Determining your goals and expectations and sharing them clearly with those closest to you is a critical step in eliminating undue stress as you maneuver through the process of selling your home.

Stay Flexible

You may have an idea in your head of how long it will take to sell your home. If it begins to take longer than what you expected, the stress will grow. Keep in mind that there are so many variables at play—the location, the price, the market—and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you set your mind to a too rigid deadline. An immediate house sale is rare, so it’s best to curb your expectations and stay flexible as the process unfolds.

Keep Things Tidy

bedroom white

You may be required to show your home to potential buyers at a moment’s notice. Maybe they’re in the area and want to pop in to view your home, or perhaps some out-of-towners want to add your house to their list before ending their visit. You won’t be so easily rattled by these last-second requests if you work diligently to keep your house tidy and in order at all times.

Make beds before leaving for work in the morning, never leave dishes in the kitchen sink, and keep up with the laundry and vacuuming. Thoroughly clean the bathrooms every week. If this is overwhelming, consider hiring cleaning help during this transition period. You may want to consider enlisting the help of a willing friend or neighbor who can help with last-minute tidying up if you can’t leave work. Keeping things neat consistently will dramatically reduce your stress level when last-minute showings come up.

Leave the House for Social Activities

Sometimes the pressure of unexpected showings and persistent phone calls can begin to take an emotional toll. To stick a pin in the building stress of selling a home, give yourself permission to get out of the house on occasion.

Go out to dinner with friends. Take a long weekend trip. Go to a museum or sporting event. Think of this time as an investment in your personal well-being, by getting your mind off the house sale for a bit. Getting out of the house can work wonders, especially during the first few weeks your house is listed.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

man stretching

No matter how all-encompassing it may seem, selling a house is never more than one piece of the large pie of life. Don’t forsake your other needs and demands while navigating the process of selling a home. Maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the process by eating healthy meals and getting plenty of exercise and sleep.

If you plan to move out of town, you may not be inclined to get a gym membership or join a yoga class. But you can still walk for a half hour every day or take the kids to a park where you can blow off some steam together.

Getting the appropriate nutrition is a natural way to help your body fight stress. Drink more water, pass on the fried foods, and get more hours of sleep than normal. You’ll thank yourself for the extra effort.

Selling your house can be stressful, but if you set realistic expectations and come to terms with the certainty of uncertainty for the time being, you’ll make it through with a smile.

Selling the Family Home?

Selling the Family Home? Three Questions to Consider About Your Homeowners Insurance

Getting ready to sell your home? Make sure you have the answers to these three questions.

By Ryan Hanley

 

The number of home sellers continues to increase across the United States, which is reflected in new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

According to the NAR, 5.54 million homes are expected to be sold in the United States this year. The NAR also has predicted the national existing-home price will rise around 4 percent in 2017 — a positive sign for home sellers.

Although the U.S. real estate market is improving, selling the family home may seem impossible at times, particularly for those who still need to find a real estate agent and complete various home improvement and maintenance tasks. Plus, there often is an aspect of selling the family home that goes unaddressed — homeowners insurance.

With the right homeowners coverage in place, you’ll be able to safeguard your home and personal items as you navigate the home selling process.

Before you sell the family home, here are three questions that you’ll want to consider about your homeowners insurance, including:

  1. Are sufficient coverage limits in place?

 If you remain in your house while you’re trying to sell it, your current coverage will stay intact. However, you may want to check your homeowners policy to guarantee that sufficient coverage limits are in place.

For example, many potential homebuyers may view your residence over the upcoming weeks and months. Your homeowners policy likely includes personal liability coverage that protects you against damages to people injured by you or your property, but the standard amount of this coverage is usually about $300,000 per occurrence. Thus, you may want to boost your personal liability coverage accordingly.

It also is important to note that your personal belongings will be covered by your homeowners policy as long as you stay in your home. Conversely, if you own rare antiques, collectibles and other valuable items, you’ll want to insure these belongings properly.

Contact your insurance agent if you’re uncertain about whether sufficient personal property coverage limits are in place. This will enable you to provide details about any valuable items in your home, establish the optimal coverage limits and guarantee that you’re protected throughout the home selling process.

Furthermore, if your home will remain vacant while you sell it, you’ll want to notify your home insurance agent immediately. A vacant home presents some unique exposures, so the risks associated with insuring this residence are higher than those associated with a traditional house. Therefore, you’ll want to make sure that your home insurance agent can offer supplemental coverage for your unoccupied house — or find out whether you’ll need to purchase a separate vacant home insurance policy.

  1. Will you need a renters policy?

 If you intend to move into temporary housing while you sell the family home, you may want to purchase a renters policy.

Renters insurance represents an ideal option for property owners who plan to rent an apartment, condo or house temporarily. It covers losses of personal property such as computers, furniture and electronics. In addition, renters insurance safeguards you against losses due to natural and manmade disasters, theft and vandalism.

On the other hand, if you decide to move in with a family member or friend until your home sells, your personal belongings will be covered under his or her homeowners policy. This family member or friend may need to bolster his or her homeowners policy’s coverage limits as well, however.

Remember, a family member or friend who offers temporary housing will need to account for his or her personal belongings, along with your personal items. As a result, this individual may need to increase his or her homeowners policy coverage limits to ensure that an entire home and all of the belongings stored in it are insured.

  1. Are you moving out of state?

 Let’s face it — moving can be a hassle, especially if you are relocating out of state. You’ll need to pack up all of your belongings and ensure that they can reach your final destination quickly and safely. Perhaps most important, you’ll need to guarantee that your personal items are fully insured for the time it takes to move them from one location to another.

If you plan to hire a moving company to assist you with an out-of-state move, find out what types of insurance are available in advance. In many instances, a moving company may require you to sign a release bill of lading, which means that you will be covered for a given value of your personal belongings based on an amount of money per pound. A moving company also may offer full coverage for the value of your personal items, but keep in mind that the fees associated with this type of coverage can be expensive.

Lastly, your home insurance provider may offer moving coverage that comes with your existing homeowners policy. There are numerous third-party moving insurance options at your disposal, too.

When it comes to selling the family home, review your homeowners insurance carefully and talk to your agent before you introduce your residence to the real estate market. By doing so, you’ll be able to safeguard your house and personal belongings and focus on what’s important — showcasing your residence to a wide range of potential homebuyers.

About Ryan

Ryan Hanley is the Vice President of Marketing at TrustedChoice.com and the Managing Editor of Agency Nation. He is also a speaker, podcaster and author of the Amazon best-seller, Content Warfare. Ryan has over 10 years of insurance expertise and blogs frequently to help consumers understand complicated insurance topics.

Lindsay is the the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and recently welcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016. Lindsay and her two Joes love spending their time playing with their cat Rory, watching sports and vacationing in Cape Cod.

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (required)

Website

New Year New Home?

New Year New Home?

If buying a house is on your “to do” list this year, now is also the time to begin preparing.

It’s officially 2017 so let me start by wishing you a happy new year.  In early January, many of us are planning and setting goals for everything we want to do and achieve in the year to come.  While many people think of spring as the primetime home buying season, the winter months often offer an even greater selection, and the opportunity to settle into the new home before warmer months arrive.  If buying a house is on your “to do” list this year, now is also the time to begin preparing.

I remember when I bought my home.  There were so many things to get in order– it was confusing to decide where to begin! So, even if you plan to buy in the spring, January is a good time to get ready. Here are some tips to help you get on track to reach your 2017 home buying resolution:

  • Select a qualified and trusted real estate agent: At Coldwell Banker, we have a network of knowledgeable, trustworthy agents.  Agents understand the local market and can help you find all the information and resources you need to get started. Researching on your own is important, and using free online tools is a great way to start, but meeting with an agent will ensure you don’t miss any important steps along the way.  In fact, the next three tips were sourced from the great advice of our agents.
  • Create your “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves” list: Easier said than done, right?  But it’s next to impossible to find a first home with everything.  You’ll need to think about your lifestyle needs and prioritize the non-negotiable home accommodations, such as a bedroom for each family member, over items you may want, but not need, such as a large master suite. Everyone’s list is different, but knowing your “must-haves” in advance will help you stay focused.
  • Determine your budget: Be realistic about what is affordable. An agent can help you find comparable home prices and hone in on approximately how much the payments will be.  You should also plan to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Doing this prior to house hunting will let you know how much money you qualify for, and how much you can afford. You’ll also be able to figure out which mortgage type is best for you.
  • Identify the perfect “location, location, location”: Everyone has heard this phrase before, and while the surrounding neighborhood and home itself may improve over time, the physical location will remain the same. Determine in advance how close you would like to live to work, schools or extended family. A short commute to work, proximity to family or having easy access to highways and mass transit will often be items for your “must-haves” list.

Hope your year is off to a good start. If you’re starting your home search in 2017, we’d love to hear what you’re doing to get the home search process started.

5 Super Simple Ways to Sell Your Home Fast

Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals share their tricks of the trade for how to sell a home quickly without sacrificing profit.

When you need to sell your home fast, there are a few simple ideas that can help. We asked Coldwell Banker Real Estate professionals to share their tricks of the trade for how to sell a home quickly without sacrificing profit.

PRICE IT EVEN
“Price it even! I find pricing a home at $350,000 rather than $349,900 is much more effective. We are in the digital world and Realtors set up searches online and the consumer searches online for homes. When everyone searches, they set parameters (for example $350,000-$450,000) if you are at $349,900 you will not be in the search! It creates the most exposure for the seller, which translates to a quicker sale. Let’s stop pretending people don’t know about the $100 mind game and price it for the day we live in!”- Nathan Morrissette, Coldwell Banker Momentum Realty, Brokerage in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada

5520 Mossy Creek Drive, Dublin, OH / $174,000 / Listed by Tamara Oakley with Coldwell Banker King Thompson

FIND THE RIGHT BUYER
“CBx + Facebook Targeting. As a Coldwell Banker agent, our exclusive CBx [app] has allowed me to have one more tool in my belt.” Using the CBx buyer profile, we’re able to not only dynamically evaluate what the price of the home should be listed for, but also use big data to know who the buyer is going to be so you can appropriately target the right buyer using powerful tools like social media marketing. – Lev Shalomayev, Coldwell Banker Kueber Realty in Glendale, NY 

OPTIMIZE FOR THE ONLINE SHOWING
“Amazing pictures and floor plans are essential since the first showing is now online. Make sure you have that money shot. A bad image online equates to bad curb appeal creating an obstacle to overcome with the consumer.” – Andrea Geller, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago, IL

“I was told once that the first 8 seconds sells the house. So from the curb, to the door and often just the first few feet inside the door, are the most important; Clean, bright and appealing. Online photos need to be exceptional or buyers may rule out a property without ever stepping inside.” – Marcella Manuel, Coldwell Banker The Brokers in Red Lodge, Montana

“Pictures are a thousand words…inviting pictures on the internet, after serious decluttering will benefit the seller! Curb appeal…some new plantings and a freshly painted front door set the stage and invite the buyer home! Pricing that excites the buyers to want to see the home and make an offer! There is always a magic number so carefully prepare a CMA for the seller!” – Leila Chaucer, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Milford, CT

“Maximize your listing visibility by doing two things, which cost you zip: schedule an open house and…record a walk-through video. Do these two things and watch your online traffic soar.” – Brandon Tate, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

627 E Lincoln Park, Cranford Twp., NJ / $800,000 / Listed by Sharon Steele with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

FOCUS ON THE DETAILS
“We had a client that would have soft jazz playing quietly in the home when there was a showing scheduled. People looking at the home always remarked how great it showed and how homey it felt. Not an expensive listing, but what a great (free) way to improve showings.” – Amanda Ashley, Coldwell Banker Faucette in Rogers, AR

“I put a ton of detail into each and every listing prior to it hitting the market, garden beautification, house cleaning, staging, special scent throughout, open houses that impress with excessive open house signs and marketing collateral that will impress the pickiest critic! Details really matter!” – Laura Steffen, Coldwell Banker West in Bonita, CA

218 Calle Diamante, Sedona, AZ / $1,399,000 / Listed by Gina Tartamella with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

PRICE IT RIGHT

“Market price is a neighborhood. Offers are open to negotiation.” – Rose Indon

“Bury gold in the backyard.” – Jimmy Rose, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Green Remodeling Projects With Major Aesthetic Appeal

Green Remodeling Projects With Major Aesthetic Appeal

These green home renovations have big design potential!

The following is a guest post by Erin Vaughan with Modernize.com


Let’s face it: some remodeling projects are a lot more fun than others. Rearranging the living room? Count me in! But blowing in insulation in the attic? Meh, I’ll pass. And unfortunately, the home projects that have the most environmental impact usually don’t exactly let you bust out the Pinterest boards and interior design magazines. There’s nothing exciting about air sealing, after all.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any green renovations with big design potential. Upcycled and reclaimed goods especially can add a certain editorial panache to your home—while diverting cast-off materials destined for landfills. Or you can go for a new lighting feature, landscaping design, or window treatment that will help you reduce your water and electricity use. Take a look at these five remodeling projects that are all super eco-friendly and pretty easy on the eyes, too!

modernize1

Redo the Kitchen Countertops in Terrazzo
Every week, US residents throw away enough glass bottles and jars to fill a 1,350 square foot building. Terrazzo, a countertop material made from crushed glass suspended in concrete, helps give some of that glass a purpose—and it has a unique, glittery look, as well. The majority of terrazzo countertops come from post-consumer products, like wine bottles or car windshields. For an extra modern edge in your kitchen, go for sharp, clean lines and install a tiled backsplash in an unexpected pattern behind it for extra oomph.

Terrazzo Floor texture background pattern and color

Install a Solar Tube in Place of Recessed Can Lights in the Hallway
As experts have begun to study the effect that light has on our productivity, alertness, and overall well-being, they’ve noticed that interior lighting that more closely matches the intensity and hue of natural daylight consistently demonstrates the best responses from study participants. A solar tube is what it sounds like—a small, rounded tube cut into the ceiling that reflects natural light from the outdoors into your home’s interiors. Use them in place of recessed lights in a sunroom, hallway, or powder room, and enjoy the positive affect they have on your circadian rhythm—and the electric light they offset, as well!

Repaint Your Furniture with Homemade Milk Paint
Milk paint is exactly what it sounds like—an ancient surface covering mixed from lemon juice, color pigment, and of course, milk. Painted on furniture, it gives pieces an edgy, distressed feel. And it doesn’t contain harmful fumes, like VOCs, that can affect the air quality throughout your home. You can buy milk paint ready-made, or make it yourself using this recipe. Try it on an aging bureau, dresser, or on a side table that could use a lift—and pat yourself on the back for not adding to our landfill footprint!

Install a Solar Shade to Ward Off the Heat
If you live in a warm climate, you may already be aware of how excess solar radiation can affect your cooling bills. The sun raises the interior temperature of your home, meaning your AC has to work harder to keep things cool. And if you have old or outdated windows, the environmental toll may be even greater. While eco-friendly frames and glazings do exist, if you aren’t ready to spring for new windows for your whole home, you can at least protect your HVAC and furniture from solar heat by installing a solar shade over your most sun-prone areas. These green window treatments use specialized materials to block excess light and heat from entering your home. And they come in a variety of styles and colors as well!

Real young girl in casual wear illuminated by the setting sun near the sea with her hand covering her face from sun light. black and white

Replant a Patch of Lawn with Native Grasses
Here’s one just for you, green thumbs! Every year, thirsty lawns pull billions upon billions of gallons off the water table. In fact, the EPA estimates that lawn irrigation accounts for 30 percent of residential water use—or 9 billion gallons per day. That’s a shocking statistic, and it means that our outdoor spaces could really use some help when it comes to cutting back on the sprinklers. Ornamental native grasses add an eclectic verve to your landscape design—and go well with other water efficient features, like hardscaping or manmade dry creek beds. What’s native will differ according to your area, of course, but reedgrass, oatgrass, and maiden grass are all popular choices—and grow without too much encouragement in many climates. They make the perfect accent next to a line of bushes or along pathways. After all, why shouldn’t green look good?

Tips and Tricks for Living in a Staged Home

Tips and Tricks for Living in a Staged Home

Feeling like you are walking on eggshells in your staged home? Try these tips and tricks.

Guest Post via by NorthStar Moving Co-Founder Laura McHolm

Your home is on the market, pristine and expertly staged to get it sold. Now what? How do you still live in your home and keep it in perfect condition – especially for the unexpected showing?

First and foremost, you have to change your mindset; it is not “your home” anymore. Treat the house as if it were a five-star hotel; you need to maintain the staged look and keep everything spotless. You do not want it to appear that anyone is living in the home; there should be no dishes, family pictures, or piles of personal stuff visible. You want your potential buyers to easily envision themselves living in the home. The good news is that keeping your house like a five-star hotel will also enable you to treat yourself and your family to a mini-vacation – no cooking and lots of fun outings!

So how do you and your family eat, sleep and live in your home without leaving any evidence? Here are some simple tricks:

KEEP IT CLEAN

Kitchen:

Remove all of your kitchen appliances from the counters. Do not use them; keep clean and hidden.
Have one set of cups, plates and utensils for each family member neatly stored in a cabinet. Use only these dishes and hand wash after every use. Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or out in a dish rack. Eat, drink, wash, dry and put away.
Use recycled paper plates and cups to limit dishwashing.
Keep only the essentials in the refrigerator and pantry (potential buyers are known to look inside). Unused pantry items can be donated to your local food bank.

Bathrooms:

No personal care products (soap, shampoo, lotion, toothbrush, etc.) should be left out. Give each family member a bathroom tote to hold their daily-used products, to be put away into a closed cabinet after each use.
Keep antibacterial wipes under the sink for quick and easy cleanup after each sink and shower use.
Use stick-on toilet cleaners inside the bowls to keep toilets clean and smelling fresh.
Only guest towels should be displayed in the bathrooms. Each family member should have his or her own set of towels, to be washed regularly and kept out of sight.

Bedrooms:

Keep all nightstands and dresser tops clear of personal items. Purchase plastic containers with lids that can easily slide under beds to store reading glasses, books, journals, medications, tissue boxes, etc.
Be sure to make the beds each morning; that way there is one less thing to do when a showing is scheduled.
Keep all clothing items neatly put away and laundry baskets hidden in closets.
Wash, dry, fold and put away laundry on a daily basis if necessary.

Living Room:

To maintain a tidy living room, keep daily-used items (remote controls, DVDs, video games, children’s toys, etc.) hidden away in closed drawers, cabinets or storage ottomans.
Do not let newspapers, magazines or mail stack up; file away or recycle immediately. Perhaps keep the latest newspaper in your car; it may come in handy when showings are scheduled and you need to head out to a coffee shop or other fun destination.
Eating & Entertainment

By now you may be thinking, “How does my family eat?” It is best to go out to eat during this time. Even take-out is a no-no; the goal is to keep your home smelling like fresh flowers, not fried chicken.
To stay on a budget, visit websites like Groupon or Restaurants.com for deals and coupons. Also, look into daily/weekly meal deals at your local restaurants, like $2 Taco Tuesdays or where kids can “eat free.”
Get your whole family involved and make a list of activities to do on the days your house is scheduled to be shown. Ideas include bowling, going to the beach, zoo, museums, amusement parks, or even visiting relatives.

Pets

Unfortunately, Fido and your feline are not staged-home friendly; it may be best to find another place for them to stay while your home is staged. Perhaps a family member, friend or neighbor can take care of your beloved four-legged family members. Another option would be to send them to a kennel-free boarding “resort” for their own vacation.
If they must stay in your staged home, designate 1-2 rooms for your pets to live in. This will keep the fur cleanup to a minimum.
Living in a staged home may not come naturally, but if you and your family can adjust your daily routine, it can be a lot of fun. Take the opportunity to go out, explore and do things you all had always hoped to do. Motivate every family member to get in on the challenge and it can turn out to be a memorable time spent together!

Laura McHolm is an organizational, moving & storage expert and co-founder of NorthStar Moving Company. NorthStar Moving Company is an award winning, “A+” rated company, which specializes in providing eco-luxury moving and storage services. http://www.northstarmoving.com

Your Home’s November Honey-Do List

Your Home’s November Honey-Do List

Prep your home for the holidays and cooler weather with this list of home to dos that you’ll be especially thankful for.

This month, we’re especially thankful for home. Home is where the family comes together, where we’re protected from the elements, and where love abounds. Your home’s November Honey-Do list will make sure your home is ready for the holidays, prepared for colder weather and loved inside and out.

1. Winterize your home – For most of the country, November is the time when we can no longer deny that the colder weather has settled in. Now is the time to winterize summer tools and appliances like air conditioner units, grills and lawn mowers. Bring garden hoses indoors and check your windows and doors for drafts.

2. Make a Turkey Game Plan – No coach would head to a big game without a game plan up his sleeve. Likewise, no chef should hit the kitchen without thinking through the menu and timeline first. Determine what menu items you can make ahead, decide what responsibilities you can delegate, and take an inventory of your pantry and china cabinet. Oh, and now’s the time to clean that oven, too.

3. Polish the Silver and Dust off the China – Thanksgiving is a special meal, which deserves the best of your entertaining arsenal. Because we don’t often use our special dishes year round, it’s smart to give them a good deep clean and polish before setting the table on Turkey Day.

4. Give your living room a refresh – With the holidays ahead, your living room is sure to get plenty of use. Give the space a refresh by changing out the window treatments for a new look.

5. Use some pest control – Rodents and other pests are opportunistic and seek warmer environments when the temperatures drop. Be sure that they don’t call your house their home by implementing these 5 surefire tricks to pest control.

6. Clear out the gutters – Avoid drainage problems and damage to your home’s foundation by clearing out the gutters before snow and ice wreaks havoc. Here is an easy how-to guide to cleaning rain gutters on your home.

7. Be ready for snow – Before the first winter storm, it’s a good idea to make sure your snow shovels and/or snow blower are in proper working order. Ready to invest in a snow blower after the brutal winter last year? Here is a buying guide from Home Depot that will help you make an educated purchase.

8. Start tackling the December to do list – The holiday to do list is notoriously the longest of the year. Get a head start by ordering your holiday cards, updating your address book, and making a gift wish list for each of your family members NOW. You can even start stringing twinkle lights on your shrubbery before the deep chill sets in. After all, the most important part of the holidays is taking the time to enjoy our family and friends.

Next month we’ll cover everything you’ll need to know to make your home holiday ready.  Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

6 Tips Every First Time Home Seller Should Read

6 Tips Every First Time Home Seller Should Read

Before you plant the yard sign on your front lawn and start packing boxes, take a look at these wise words on selling your home from our network of Coldwell Banker professionals.

Selling your home is a big move.  Literally. But a few small steps can set you on the path to a successful sale.  Before you plant the yard sign on your front lawn and start packing boxes, take a look at these wise words from our network of Coldwell Banker professionals. See their insight on the real estate process, how to sell your home with kids, and even what the home buying process can teach you about selling your home.

“Pack or purge.” – Chavi M. Hohm, Coldwell Banker BAIN in Seattle, WA

“Think about what position the home will put you in when you are ready to sell and how it will help you buy your second home. Sweat equity is your friend here!” – Kevin Lawton, Coldwell Banker Schiavone & Associates in Yardville, NJ

This Ballard Beauty is located at 7351 Mary Ave NW in Seattle, WA and is listed by Team Diva with Coldwell Banker BAIN.

“When you were negotiating and came in with a low offer that probably irritated the sellers… it may in fact happen to you. Remember that when you are on the receiving end. Try to keep emotions in check. Of course in a hot market perhaps not as much but the same goes for pricing. Be aware of the market and what your home’s actual worth is.” – Melissa Mummery, Coldwell Banker Coastline Realty, Brokerage in Ontario, Canada

“Remember what you noticed before you moved in. The HVAC, outlets and switches. Where are they placed, How many in each room/area? ” – Tina Kerr, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

This remarkable historic colonial is located at 129 Bayview Ave in Amityville, NY and is listed by Jennifer Ronzo with Coldwell Banker Harbor Light.

“Detach from the emotions. To make the best decisions and start moving forward, you need to emotionally detach from the house and the moving process.” – Sunny Lake, Coldwell Banker BAIN

“Staging and decluttering really does matter. I had a young family that had 3 children ranging from infant to 3 years. They totally decluttered/depersonalized. Every time we had a showing they had their kids throw their toys in a suitcase and threw them in their trunk and took off for a clean empty home to show! Sold in no time and the buyer could not believe how many kids they really had! Buyers don’t want to see toys (kids or pets) so put it away or take it with you!” – Jennifer Ronzo, Coldwell Banker Harbor Light in Amity Harbor, NY

Most importantly, you don’t have to go it alone.  Working with a real estate professional can be one of the best things you can do to navigate the real estate process. If you’re looking for a real estate agent in your area, visit coldwellbanker.com.