6. October 2014

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Stage Your House: Cure Clutter Blindness

To stage your home, cure clutter blindness

To stage your home, cure clutter blindness!

If you are trying to sell your house, you need the space to put its “best foot forward.” You need a clutter-free home to enable others to see the potential your house has to become their home. Clutter is a hurdle you must clear to make that happen.

What Is Clutter Blindness?

Once you live in a space for awhile, you no longer see the clutter. It “blends” into the background and your eyes skip over it. Your brain no longer registers the over-full bookshelves, the stuff on surfaces or the stacks of things in that dark corner. Clutter blindness is part self-defense (you don’t have to worry about and deal with what you don’t see) and part familiarity.

To stage your home, you need a method to break that pattern of blindness so you can see the clutter that needs to be cleaned.

How To See the Clutter Again

A simple trick you can use to see your own clutter (if you don’t plan to hire a professional stager to help you see it and deal with it), is to use a video camera. You can borrow one, or you can even use the one on your smart-phone.

Go room by room and film every inch. Pretend you are showing the house, on video, to a potential buyer. Open all the cabinets. Film inside every closet. Visit the basement, attic, and garage with the camera recording.

Next Steps: Clutter-Busting!

Watch that video (preferably on a large screen monitor or television) and take notes. Pause the film as needed to make complete notes on clutter you see and things that need to be handled before potential buyers visit your house (or even before your real estate agent sees it for the first time, if you have recently decided to sell).

Go room-by-room and handle everything on your list. Once you have completed a room, video-tape your “tour” again.

When the video looks the way it should, for every room, storage area and utility space in and around your house — you are ready to call your agent and announce that you are now ready to sell.

NOTE: The same clutter-busting methods work outside to help you improve your curb appeal!

We bring you the truth. Real answers, real results. Now.
Call today Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley (518)435-9944 or email: info@tvhre.com

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    22. September 2014

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    Pamper Yourself During the Sale

    Hire the Help You Need, When Selling Your House

    Hire the Help You Need, When Selling Your House

    Surviving (and allowing your family to survive) when you are trying to sell your house can be a challenge. It can be especially challenging if the adults in the family are working outside the home. Sometimes, taking advantage of a few luxuries can make all the difference. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to hire some help, and it may save your sanity.

    1. Maid Service

    Find a highly-recommended individual to come once a week and do your household chores. Ask your neighbors or your real estate agent for suggestions.

    2. Laundry Service

    If you can find someone to come in and do the laundry (maybe even the individual who does your laundry!) once a week, you will find life easier to manage during the transition period.

    3. Clutter Busters

    There is an entire professional industry that has sprouted around helping people rid themselves of unwanted “stuff.” This may include professional organizers, decluttering experts, EBay assistants, and yard sale organizers. If you need help determining what to eliminate, contact the decluttering expert. The professional organizer will help you to deal with what’s left and the EBay and Yard Sale entrepreneurs will sell your excess stuff (for a percentage of the profit).

    4. Lawn Care Service

    Again, consult with your real estate agent or your neighbors to find the best, most dependable, and reasonably priced lawn care service in your area.

    5. Food Preparation

    Consider hiring a meal delivery entrepreneur to deliver home-made meals once a week so you can keep the meals in the freezer until you need them. This is a healthy, mess-minimizing option for those days when you have showings. If you don’t have an entrepreneurial service like this in your area, look for ready-made entree meals at your local grocery store and complete the meal with a side of vegetables or a salad. You can also visit the local deli and keep healthy versions of lean meats, cheeses and vegetables to make healthy sandwiches (on whole grain bread, of course)

    Once you use some of these services, you may not be willing to go back to a “do-it-all-yourself” model — even after your house sells. But, for the period of time when you are trying to accomplish so much, having a little help may save your sanity. It’s ok. Get some help. You have permission. You’re welcome!

    We bring you the truth. Real answers, real results. Now.
    Call today Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley (518)435-9944 or email: info@tvhre.com

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      28. August 2014

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      Five Steps to Decluttering Your House This Fall

      Five Fresh Approaches to Decluttering

      Five Fresh Approaches to Decluttering

      Spending less of your life dealing with stuff is an attractive concept. It’s especially attractive when you are planning a move. People planning a move often wonder, “How did I accumulate so much ?!?!” Continue reading…

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        15. July 2014

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        Unexpected Costs: Pre-sale Home Repairs

        Replacing outdated doorknobs will help you sell your home

        Outdated, broken, or too-worn features like this doorknob need to be replaced prior to listing your home.

        When you decide to sell your house, you are probably looking more at the money you will receive than the outlay of cash that may be necessary to secure a sale. Be sure to set some money aside to deal with pre-sale upgrades and get started early for the most trouble-free sales experience.

        It’s not a big deal, is it?

        Sure, you may have lived with that doorknob that always sticks, that back step that isn’t as secure as it should be, or the basement window with a hairline crack — but a potential buyer won’t be interested in learning to live with the issues that have developed over time as you have occupied the home.

        After all, you know that the “combination” for the doorknob is a slight lift and a quick left to right motion. Everyone in the family just skips that back step and the hairline crack in the window is not even visible… with the curtain up. No problem, right?

        Wrong.

        Skipping little repairs can cost you the sale

        When you go into negotiation for the sale of your house, the little things like this “add up” in the potential buyer’s mind. It gives them an indication — real or imagined — of how well the house has been maintained. It’s not merely a matter of fixing the little annoyances you have lived with for years — it’s a matter of  presenting the “whole package” of your house in a way that will solicit more offers at higher prices for a quicker, more hassle-free sale.

        The familiar becomes invisible

        You may not even see all the little blemishes your home has. Ask your family to make a list of such things, solicit the input of your Realtor, and ask friends who visit often to help you to rediscover them.

        Make the necessary repairs before showing the house to put your house’s “best foot forward” and to survive the sale with a little less stress. If you plan to make the repairs yourself, getting a head start will offer you the latitude to hire help if you find that’s necessary. It means your schedule won’t have to be re-arranged to make last-minute repairs. If you are working with a contractor, getting started early means that any potential twist or kink in their schedule doesn’t leave you in a bind or cause you to lose a sale because you can’t get things fixed in time.

        Remove all the stress you can

        The last thing you want is to be trying to pack your personal belongings, find your next home, juggle your personal and professional life and schedule repairs while under a deadline. Planning ahead means life will be easier on your schedule, on your family and on your sanity.

        We bring you the truth. Real answers, real results. Now.
        Call today Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley (518)435-9944 or email: info@tvhre.com

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          13. June 2014

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          How to Begin Your Declutter Journey

          Declutter before you pack up to move

          When going through your stuff consider the following:

          1. Is it necessary?
          2. Does it bring joy to your life?
          3. Is it useful?
          4. Is it in good repair?
          5. If it disappeared tomorrow, would you rush out to replace it?

          If the item in question doesn’t bring joy, utility, or ease to your life, why do you own it? The more you clean out before your move, the easier your move will be and the more enjoyable your new home will be!

          Enlist a Declutter Buddy

          Finding it difficult to declutter? Recruiting a declutter buddy can make it a little easier. A trusted friend will be honest with you if your attachment is irrational or emotional and can help you to see the value of the item more clearly. If you can find someone who also needs a “declutter buddy” — so much the better! Let them help you with yours and you help them with theirs!

          The Joy of Giving

          Experience the joy of giving to others. If you have items you no longer need or want, donate them to someone who would like them — or to an organization that will sell them to raise money to help others. Hoarding is a selfish act, whereas giving is a generous one. If you finish a good book, share it with a friend, your local library or go to a swap-shop and trade a couple already-read books for one you still want to read.

          One for Two

          When you are trying to declutter, pay careful attention to what you bring into your home. If you really must have a new blouse, be sure you discard two not-so-wonderful ones.

          If you take a few steps every day, you will find that your life and your home is much less difficult to manage. And if you are in the middle of preparing for a move — you will be able to get set up quicker with ONLY those items that improve your life, jettisoning all those items that don’t. Moving is a pain, but you can turn it into an opportunity to improve all areas of your life — now is the time!

          We bring you the truth. Real answers, real results. Now.
          Call today Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley (518)435-9944 or email: info@tvhre.com

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