Michelle Sebio Savje | Franklin Real Estate, Bellingham Real Estate, Blackstone Real Estate


When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

2. Mold and mildew

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

3. Deep dusting

You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

4. Gutters are a giveaway

Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.


Photo by RawPixel.com via Shutterstock

When it comes to homeowner’s associations, you need to know what type yours is before you determine whether to “join” it. There are two types of associations, covenant-based and voluntary. When homeowners ask about requirements to join a homeowner’s association, they may believe it is optional, but if our association is covenant-based, you have automatic membership by virtue of being a property owner.

Here’s How They Work

A voluntary association is a group of property owners that collectively decide how to improve their neighborhood. By the time you move into the neighborhood, the HOA may be well-established, so you’re not aware of how it started. Such HOAs are more similar to neighborhood improvement clubs, local sports team sponsors and other folks that join in order to develop a sense of community.

A covenant-based HOA is a contract that is part of the land purchase agreement within a development. That means that all property owners automatically must retain membership and that agreement is binding on all future owners within the specified development.

Future Owners

You might question how a contract is binding on future owners, but in the case of a covenant-based homeowner’s association, the covenant “runs with” the property as recorded in the county land records office. The document that spells out the covenants attaches to the property deed. When you buy a lot or home in the development, the original deed and any liens or covenants that attach to it become your responsibility.

Often, the original developer set up and controlled the association until the last piece of land sold or a sufficient number of homes sold so that the running of the association could transfer to the owners. Typically, these determinations are part of the original covenant documents filed with the county records. HOAs run by a board of elected owners from within the development. Unlike a voluntary association, renters or leaseholders cannot become members even though they are bound by the rules and conditions of the association.

Know Which Type It Is

Before you choose to purchase a home in a neighborhood with an association, learn whether it is voluntary or covenant-based. Ask to see copies of the covenants, conditions and rules (CC&Rs) before you commit to purchasing in that development. Your real estate agent can write a contingency into your purchase contract to require approval of the CC&Rs if you’re concerned about living within the HOA.


Ready to sell your house? Ultimately, you should conduct a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market, and for good reason.

A home appraisal enables you to better understand what your home is worth. Plus, an expert home appraiser will be able to offer comprehensive insights into your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can prioritize assorted home improvement projects accordingly.

Preparing your home for an appraisal may prove to be exceedingly valuable. If you allocate time and resources to get your house ready for an appraisal, you can increase your chances of getting favorable results during the appraisal itself.

What does it take to prep your house for an appraisal? Here are three tips to ensure you can do just that.

1. Consider a Home Appraiser's Perspective.

A home appraiser has an eye for detail, one that helps this professional understand whether a house is a viable long-term investment. Meanwhile, a home seller who steps into a property appraiser's shoes may be better equipped than others to enhance his or her residence.

For example, a home seller should evaluate a house's interior and exterior prior to an appraisal. And if you notice chipped paint on a home's walls, cracked shingles on a home's exterior or other cosmetic issues, you should address these problems immediately.

Even minor cosmetic issues can negatively affect a home's value. However, a home seller who goes above and beyond the call of duty to correct these problems may be able to improve his or her house's appearance before a home appraisal.

2. Conduct Plenty of Housing Market Research.

How does your residence stack up against the competition? Learn about the local housing market, and you can find out what you'll need to do to differentiate your residence from similar properties.

An home seller should learn about the prices of recently sold residences as well as homes that are currently available. That way, you can set realistic expectations for your home appraisal.

3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent.

A home appraisal can be a stressful experience, especially for a first-time home seller. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to help you streamline the home appraisal process.

Typically, a real estate agent will guide you along the home selling process. He or she can connect you with qualified home appraisers in your area and ensure you can find a home appraiser who will provide honest, unbiased feedback about your residence.

A real estate agent also will help you maximize the value of your house. This housing market professional will ensure you can set a fair price for your residence and market your home to the right groups of homebuyers. He or she will even set up home showings and open houses and negotiate with homebuyers on your behalf to further simplify the home selling process.

When it comes to getting a home appraisal, there is no need to worry. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead for a home appraisal.


You probably know that in your home surface cleaning is much different than deep cleaning. Once you get the right spots down that need to be dusted, next, you need to vacuum up all of that dust and dirt. A well-vacuumed house is a happy house (and a dust bunny-free home!) The areas listed below are easy to miss, but once you get the hang of cleaning them, your home will be that much cleaner.


Between The Chair Cushions


Your kids may surf the couch cushions for extra change, but there’s another treasure to be had under there: plenty of crumbs and dirt. People eat on the couch and hang out there a lot. That means there’s dust, dirt, crumbs, hair, and more under those cushions of each chair in your home. Take the time to vacuum and get up all of the gunk. 


The Stairs


You probably go up and down your stairs at least a dozen times a day, but do you always take the time to vacuum them? The problem is that it can be hard to find an outlet for the vacuum and it can be a pain to move the attachments in order to get in all of those nooks on the stairs. Your best bet is to use a separate vacuum all together on the stairs. Use a lightweight cordless unit to make your life easier. 


The Windows


Your windows and window treatments are most likely neglected. Take the time to vacuum these up the next time you have the vac unit out. Curtains and blinds can harbor a lot of dust that’s difficult to remove. Use the brush attachment to achieve squeaky clean windows.   


The Doormat


You wipe your feet on it every time you come in the house, but o you remember to clean it? Start by shaking out the doormat outside to get loose debris off of it. You should take the time to vacuum up dirt and debris that collects around the doormat to keep anything leaves or dirt from entering further into your home. 


Lampshades


This part of the house may be a less obvious place to vacuum. If your lampshade is dirty, the light won’t correctly shine through the lamp. Remove the lampshade then use a hose attachment to remove dust from the inner and outer portions of the lampshade.


Mattress


The next time you change your bedding, flip your mattress, or the seasons change, take the time to vacuum your mattress. Dust mites and all kinds of things can be harbored in the mattress. It’s important to give your bed some TLC every once in a while.     



The neighborhood you live in has just as much to do with the value of your home as the features of the house itself. The right amenities in a community can increase the value of your home significantly. Read on to find out the most desirable features of any area.


Places To Walk


Whether it’s immaculate sidewalks, hiking trail, or parks, anywhere that you can be outdoors and walk easily increases the value of the nearby homes. This is because it’s great for families to get out, get some exercise, and not have to go very far. This feature can bring in anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars above your home’s asking price.  


Trees


We often take trees for granted, but trees that have grown up around a property can add some value to the home. Think of it in the context of, however natural a neighborhood is, the higher the value of the homes in it. Before you think about cutting down any trees around your house, consider the fact that grown trees can increase the cost of a home by up to 5%!


History


Neighborhoods that are surrounded by historic districts, landmark homes, or other places of historical interest have the higher value. For one, these are usually walkable neighborhoods. Second, your area has a story unlike any other. It’s a fun place to get out and explore. All homes in these historic districts aren’t ancient; you can find some newer construction homes in these areas, which means that there’s truly something for everyone! 


Dog Friendly


A dog-friendly neighborhood is a valuable neighborhood. People love places that they can take their dogs like dog parks. This especially holds true in the city where yard space is limited. Even better is a neighborhood where dogs can be seen in restaurants and coffee shops. If you can drive around the block and see people walking dogs everywhere, it’s a good bet that it’s dog-friendly! People love their pets and want them to be a part of the family, so they need to live in a place that allows them to do that. 


All The Essentials


If your neighborhood is near all of the essential things that people need on a daily basis, your home’s value may increase. Places like grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping malls, hospitals, and safety support services all play a role in improving the value of homes in a neighborhood.


A Sense Of Community


If a neighborhood has community groups, a neighborhood watch, or other organizations that help to bring about a community feel, your home may be a bit more valuable than you think it is.   





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