Posted by Betsy Graziano on 8/8/2016

As a home seller, you'll need to declutter your residence before you add it to the real estate market. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to ensure that your home makes a positive first impression on homebuyers. Decluttering also guarantees that you'll be able to get rid of unnecessary items prior to an upcoming move. Clutter may seem overwhelming, especially if you encounter tall stacks of items in your attic or basement. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to get rid of unnecessary items, including: 1. Donate your items to charity. Do you have quality clothing, housewares or other items that you won't need in your new home? Donate them to charity, as this will allow you to give your items to an organization that will be able to provide them to families in need. Donating your unnecessary items to charity may enable you to receive a tax write-off as well. That way, you can provide these items to an inspirational charity and save money on your annual taxes. Many charities are available in cities and towns nationwide, too. Thus, you should have no trouble finding a charitable organization to accept your donations. 2. Sell your items online. Numerous websites are available that are designed to help you sell your items without delay. Therefore, you can list your items online and sell them to local or remote buyers. Listing your items online usually takes just a few minutes to complete. Plus, you can add descriptions and images to highlight your items to prospective buyers. Remember, when you list items online, you may or may not receive instant responses. But with a patient, diligent approach, you'll be better equipped to find interested buyers who will pick up items at your home. Or, you may be able to ship items to buyers in remote locations. 3. Throw out items that cannot be reused. If you find that you have many items that are in poor condition and can no longer be used, you should dispose of these belongings. In many cases, you will be able to put these items out with your weekly trash or drop them off at a local junkyard. On the other hand, an item like an old TV or a mercury thermometer may need to be taken to a hazardous waste facility for proper disposal. Are you uncertain about how to dispose of specific items that cannot be reused? Consult with your real estate agent, as this professional should be able to provide guidance and support. A real estate agent possesses the skills and know-how to help you simplify the process of decluttering, and ultimately, selling your home. As a result, this professional will be able to assist you during every step of the home selling journey. Take advantage of the aforementioned tips to ensure that you can enjoy a clutter-free home. By devoting the time and resources to eliminate excess items from your residence, you'll be able to minimize stress and guarantee that your residence is ready to be shown to prospective homebuyers.




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Posted by Betsy Graziano on 6/27/2016

home fireplaceOdds are if you're reading this you have at least one camera within your vicinity. Whether it's on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet cameras are built into many of our daily-use electronics. The temptation is there, for someone selling a home, to just take out their phone and snap some photos to easily upload to listings. However, there's a lot more to taking great real estate photographs that will catch the eye of potential buyers and set you apart from the competition. Follow these tips to create professional looking photographs without spending hundreds on a professional photographer.

Step 1: Do your research

Photography is an art. Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between photos taken by a professional and those taken by the layperson. But that doesn't mean you can't take photos that will stand out--with a little practice. The first step is to hit the books, or better: the internet. Find some real estate photos that look great to try and emulate. Notice the angles they're taken from and the lighting they use. You'll notice that many photos give a wide view of a room. That's because they're probably taken with a wide-angle or fixed lens. Notice the room setup as well. This will come in handy later when we talk about room staging.

a well-positioned, knowledgeable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world.

Step 2: Know your equipment

Equipment for real estate photography often includes multiple cameras, lenses, lighting fixtures, a tripod, and so on. But a well-positioned, knowledgable photographer with an iPhone can take a better shot than an amateur with all the equipment in the world. In fact, much of real estate photography includes combining images to get the perfect amount of highlights and shadows in the room (this is called HDR photography). If you own an iPhone 6, you'll be happy to learn that it boasts a built-in HDR feature that takes great photos.

Step 3: Room staging matters

Have you ever moved something in a room, say a coffee table or couch, and noticed that the room looked entirely different afterward? The arrangement of objects in a room can make it look breathable and spacious or claustrophobic and stuffy. Staging a room allows you to highlight the best features of the home. If there's something you want buyers to notice first, such as a fireplace, make sure there are no objects in front of it and put it close to the center of the photo. Another important tip for staging a room: remove personal items. You don't want your photos to look like you just happened to walk through someone's home with their children's portraits on the wall and magnets on the refrigerator. These are distracting and can make buyers feel like they're spying rather than envisioning themselves owning the home. Removing picture frames is also an easy way to make a room appear more spacious.

Step 4: Take many photos

Have you ever been to a wedding where it seems like the photographer is in several places at once, snapping what appears to be an endless amount of photos? This is something you should emulate with your real estate photography, especially as a beginner. The more photos you take, the more you learn. Plus you'll have a better chance at having a few gems to show off if you take hundreds of pictures. Remember, you're shooting digital, you don't have to worry about wasting film. Just carry an extra SD card for your DSLR camera or upload your photos to a site like Flickr if you're on a smartphone. Taking hundreds of photos isn't an excuse to take poor or unplanned photos. Every time you hold your camera up you should be thinking about framing, lighting, and what you want to show off with that photo. Follow these steps to start taking great photos. And don't forget to share them with us!





Posted by Betsy Graziano on 2/22/2016

You have made the decision to put your home up for sale. Before you stick the sign in the yard there are a few things you will want to do. Buyers can be picky and the competition can be stiff. So now is the time to do all the little repairs you've always meant to do but never had the time for. Here are just a few of the basic repairs you will want to conquer before the first prospective buyer walks through the door: 1.Tackle the Entrance This is the first thing people see when they come to your home. Paint the front door and trim surrounding the door. Repair sagging screen doors and replace any missing or corroded hinge screws and tighten the rest. 2. Spruce up the Perimeter Walk the perimeter of your home, clear away dead plants, clip blossoms, and clear away leaves and other yard waste. 3. Recheck the roof Any problem that has the word roof in it scares a buyer away immediately. Replace missing shingles and fix hanging gutters.  Remove any moss growing on the roof as this shows signs of neglect. 4. Clear and caulk gutters. Clear all the debris out of the gutters and recaulk the gutter end caps. 5. Patch nail holes and repaint. Patch up nail holes in the walls of your home. Use a lightweight putty to fill the holes and paint the repaired spots. 6. Clean the Grout Deep clean tile grout with bleach.  Regrout tiles where needed and recaulk cracks between sinks, tubs, toilets, counters and floors. This will give your tile a whole new look. 7. Stop Dripping Faucets Fix leaky faucets before the buyer notices them.  You may need to call in a plumber to do this task. Before you do that you can shut off the water supply and check for moisture on the wall around the valves and on the floor of the sink cabinet. Many hardware stores carry faucet rebuild kits that contain the 6 to 12 parts most likely to fail, including the metal ball, O rings, springs and gaskets.    







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