Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home

Get your home ready for spring with these cleaning & organization tips!

March is finally here. Although the weather hasn’t quite warmed up yet here in the Northeast, the promise of longer, sunnier days is upon us and we couldn’t be more excited! In addition to anticipating dining al fresco and sleeping with the windows open, spring is also a great time to re-organize your home and simplify the clutter. Here are some tips to get you ready to ring in the spring:
1. De-Clutter Your Closet
Winter clothing items like thick wool sweaters and puffy down jackets take up a ton of space. These storage solutions will ensure everything is neatly tucked away until next winter, and will free up lots of space for those breezy cotton dresses and lightweight jackets.
2. Say Bye-Bye to Blankets
While nothing beats cuddling up with a great movie on the couch on a cold winter day, you’ll likely be spending way more time outdoors once the weather warms up. A few throw blankets can add a nice touch of style to your living room, but keeping piles of heavy blankets all over can just make the room feel messy. Store your blankets in a stylish wicker basket - it looks decorative in your living room and allows you to keep them close by for an unseasonably cool day.
3. Wash Those Windows!
The winter weather can be rough on windows and glass doors. Cleaning them can make your home feel bright and airy again. Stock up on these great non-toxic cleaning products for your home to keep your household routine as natural as possible.
4. Don’t Forget The Great Outdoors
Spring cleaning isn’t reserved only for the interior of your home. The exterior may even need more TLC than the inside, since it’s been exposed to the elements for so many months. Consider hiring a lawn service to get your yard in tip-top shape, especially if you’re planning on putting your home on the market this spring. As we’ve mentioned previously on this blog, never underestimate the power of a well-maintained lawn!
How are you preparing your home for spring? Leave us a comment below or tweet us (@cbtriadrealtors) and let us know!
Written by Alexandra Kozinski

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Expert Advice on Hosting an Open House with Dogs

Avoid making an open house “fur paux” with these expert tips.

At Coldwell Banker, it’s clear that we believe a pet is Home’s Best Friend…

And while we truly believe a pet does make a house a home, we wanted to get the inside scoop on proper Open House etiquette for homes with pets. Here is what our Coldwell Banker experts had to say…
“Want to Go Bye Bye?”
Yes, the #1 tip from nearly every one of our agents was “take your pet out of the home during open houses.”  Christina Koch of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate put it best with “No Family Member Left Behind.” And while some may consider finding a “safe room” for their pet, Deborah Wynkoop of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Badenton, FL offers this advice…
Please take your pet with you during an open house; strangers can be very upsetting to your pets even if they are secured in a garage, etc., people want to see the entire property and no matter how careful everyone is, there is always a chance a pet can escape.
Safety and creating a stress free environment for all parties on open house day plays a major factor.  Heather Ostrom of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Roseville, CA echoes Deborah’s Advice…
Nobody wants a prison break of furry critters, nor limiting access to parts the home, it’s best to make a pet family day out of the home. Whether it’s a hike, walk, visit to the (dog) park or friend’s house. This also  helps with keeping all windows “nose-smudge-free.” 
Andree Hurley of Coldwell Banker BAIN in Seattle, Wa rounded out the idea of removing a pet during open houses with this remark:
While crating is a wonderful training tool and can be a humane way to keep a dog contained for a short time, it always causes me sadness to see a crated dog while I am touring. Consider your open house a time for everyone to take time-out to play! Find a new hike, go to a dog park or window shopping!
The Nose Knows
We laugh at the Febreze® commercials that over dramatize common household odors from cooking and pets but during an open house those smells can be a real turnoff for prospective buyers. Patricia “Patty” Spinner of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Westfield, NJ says:
Keep a bottle of Febreze® handy. Even though we don’t notice our own pets’ smells buyers can be very sensitive.
And while you’re at it, pay special attention to putting away dog beds, toys, etc. Not only are these items distracting but they could also cause your open houses guest to have allergy attacks.
And last but not least, some good news for our friends with gills:)
Dava Behrens with Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers in Corvallis, OR finished off our survey with…
Fish can stay.
Written by Lindsay Listanski

Monday, March 9, 2015

Behind the Scenes of an Offer

So the buyer has finally made “the offer” on your property. Here’s a behind the scenes look at what happens next to get from for sale to sold.

Guest post by Cara Ameer with Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty
The Offer: Every Coin Has Two Sides
So the buyer has finally made “the offer” on your property. For them, it’s the culmination of weeks, months or possibly even years of looking for just the right place. They’ve logged many miles, hours of research, gathered several opinions and may have consulted various “experts” as to what’s involved with all that they want or need to do to the house. They’ve reviewed the market data with their agent. They know when you bought the property and what you paid. They have a copy of your seller’s disclosure and have visually assessed the condition of the home cosmetically and structurally. Based on an analysis of recent sales and local market trends, the buyer has worked with their agent to craft an offer worthy of what they hope is a positive response.
For you as a seller, its a milestone in a journey of keeping the house perpetually clean, living through several showings and an array of feedback on your home. You’ve probably never heard so much feedback from the peanut gallery–agents and their customers. But in the end, the buyers with this offer have chosen your home as the place to have their life happen. It all comes down to this: will you accept, reject or counter the offer?
Written by Victoria Lee