When should ‘home staging’ take place?

If a home is cluttered, the rule of thumb is: Remove all personal photos and 50% of accessories. The sleeker, crisper and more open the home looks, the better able a buyer is to visualize themselves living in the house. If a house is empty, it is sometimes worth it to have one or two main rooms staged as well. The home should be freshly painted, old carpets removed and landscape trimmed. Contact us for more information and resources on staging services.

How important is photography?

Most buyers shop on the internet, at least initially. The better the house shows on the web, the more likely a buyer will make a phone call to the agent, otherwise the home will be eliminated. We hand select the best photographers in the area for your home. A picture is worth a thousand words online and in print advertising.

Should I have a home inspection and how can I find a good inspector?

We always recommend a thorough home inspection to our buyers. Once you have a signed contract on a home you want to purchase, ask your attorney and your realtor if they can give you a list of inspectors. It is important to have a licensed inspector do a comprehensive check of the structure from the roof to basement, internal and external, a pest infestation inspection, radon, environmental, septic and pool if applicable. Normal wear and tear is not what you are looking for but environmental, mechanicals, appliances, roof etc., and any structural issues-may be something the homeowner may be expected to correct or credit. Even when purchasing in “as is” condition, this due diligence should be done.

How can I make the moving process as manageable as possible?

Keeping track of belongings during a move doesn’t have to be complicated. Suggest these tools to help your clients stay organized. Plus, these programs can also help them create an inventory as they settle in to their new home, which will be especially useful in the event of a future insurance claim.

Sortly features a free version that allows users to add up to 100 items with custom tags, serial numbers, purchase dates, warranty dates, value and price, notes, and more. The premium version, at $4.99 per month, also includes tracking unlimited items, barcode scanning and exporting of information. Free and premium versions available for iOS. Android access is web-based with premium subscription.*

Encircle is a web and mobile documentation tool that lets users add photos or videos of rooms, property and individual items as well as item notes and details. PDF and Excel reports can be easily created. Information is automatically synchronized across smartphone, tablet or web devices. Free for web, iPhone and Android.*

Google Keep is a free program that is often used to create shopping and to-do lists, take notes and set reminders, but it’s also the perfect app to create a home inventory. Users can easily jot down their list of belongings and upload images of items and receipts. Notes and photos are searchable for easy access. Available for web, iPhone and Android.*

Microsoft OneNote also allows users to create notes with images and videos. For users of Microsoft Office products, the interface should be intuitive. Free for web, iOS and Android.*

Share these easy-to-use tools for logging personal possessions and help your clients stay organized!

*Prices and availability at time of writing.

Written by Bob Wilderotter, Mortgage Loan Originator
HomeBridge Financial Services

Sources: Forbes, The Balance



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