Posted by Peggy Farber on 10/3/2018

Moving day is an exciting day but itís also a lot of work and can even be a little stressful. Everything is boxed up and feels near impossible to find when you need it. Avoid scrambling through boxes to find a trash bag or paper towels.

Be prepared on moving day no matter what comes your way with a cleanup toolkit on hand.

Messes happen even on moving day. By packing a special box that is clearly labeled with these items inside youíll be ready for anything.

  • Ziplock bags

  • Permanent marker

  • Trash bags

Have ziplock bags on hand to wrangle up loose screws and other bits and bobs. Use a marker to write on the bag what the contents belong to. Trash bags are for the obvious: trash. No matter how much you clean out and clean up you will find you have some sort of trash on moving day. Have at least one ready and waiting.

  • Dustpan and brush

  • Paper towels

  • Window spray

  • All-purpose spray

  • Dusting clothes

  • Microfiber cloths

  • Spray bottle

For messes left behind by the previous owners and any spills that may happen. Dust items before putting them away on shelves or hanging back up on walls. Wipe down windows and mirrors. Run a dusting cloth over shelves and banisters. And always have a few paper towels at the ready - just in case.

  • Hand soap

  • Hand towels

  • Toilet paper

  • Plunger

Because the bathroom will be the first to be used so have the essentials in place. Letís be honest, these are not the things you want to dig to the bottom of a box for. Pull these out and set up the bathroom as soon as you first step into the new house.

  • Air freshener

  • Disinfecting wipes

Not necessities, but certainly nice-to-haves. Wipe down counters, doorknobs and switch plates with a disinfectant wipe. Air fresheners take care of any funky smells left behind from previous owners or from sitting vacant for a while.

Having a cleaning kit on hand and at the ready allows you to clean up as you go. You donít want to start cleaning up after youíve unpacked and put everything away. Do it beforehand for an easy, seamless moving experience.  

Tackles messes as they come up, proactively clean as you start moving items in and avoid digging through boxes to find disinfectant wipes or a trash bag. Clearly label your box in large print and/or color code it with a bright colored packing tape. This way youíll know exactly which box has your supplies and where it is at all times.

Make your new house your home by freshening it up before unpacking. It will feel so good to have a clean organized home from day one.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/26/2018

When youíre short on space, it can be difficult to see how you could ever possibly declutter your closet. It is, after all, a convenient hiding space for all of your items that you have no idea where to put! Thereís a few tips that can help you to get on the road to decluttering your closet and getting organized.


Make Things Accessible


One reason that clutter builds up is that things are not very accessible. As youíre trying to find something, items fall and become misplaced. By spreading out your organization system a bit within the closet, youíre able to see what you have and exactly where it is. 


Group Like Items Together


In the same light of being able to find things that you need, grouping like items together makes it easier to find what you need. If you know that all of your haircare items are in a certain bin, youíll be able to reach in the same spot without thinking.   



Find Places You Can ďDropĒ Things


Closets tend to be that kind of space where we just drop things and forget about them. We always think ďIíll deal with it later.Ē When later never comes, we end up with quite a cluttered closet. Keep baskets or trays handy in the closet in order to keep things that you may empty out of your pockets or put away at a later time. This way youíll only have to clean out one basket instead of the entire closet. 



Make Use Of Drawers


Drawers are incredibly useful in a closet space. You can place a dresser in the closet if space permits. If you donít have room for a dresser, you may want to create your own drawer units. For an alternative option of storing things, try installing shelving units and placing baskets across the shelves, giving the illusion of drawers.   


Encourage Tidiness


Everything that you do to organize your closet should have the goal of keeping tidiness in mind. If the closet is a walk-in, youíll organize it much differently than if you have a smaller space. No matter the size of the closet, youíll want to divide the space into zones of sorts. This way, youíll know where everything goes and how to keep it neat.   


Light The Space


Without adequate lightning in the closet, itís pretty difficult to find what youíre looking for, no matter how organized you are. If your closet doesnít have a lot of natural light, youíll need to install some lighting. Whether you put in overhead bulbs, or install touch- activated portable lights, the brighter the better when it comes to your closet. Be sure that thereís lights in key areas like darker corners where the main light source doesn't reach. 





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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/19/2018

When youíre shopping for a home, itís essential to find a balance between being respectful of the ownerís privacy and being open enough that you ask the right questions and find out what you need to know about the home.

In todayís post, Iím going to cover all of the etiquette and best practices when it comes to viewing someoneís home that youíre interested in buying.

Basic etiquette

Before we get into the fine details of questions to ask and what areas are okay to explore, letís take a minute to discuss the basic etiquette of entering someoneís home.

First, make sure you arrive on time and ready to tour the home. Being late will give the seller and their agent the perception that you might not be a serious buyer if you arenít arriving at the showing on time.

Additionally, when you first enter the home, itís a good idea to ask if you should take off your shoes. Some homeowners have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy that they extend to guests as well as friends and family. But, at the very least, make sure that your shoes are clean so you donít track mud around the home.

In terms of cleanliness, make sure you dress appropriately for the showing and that you donít bring in food or drinks. You donít want to be dropping crumbs or spilling coffee in a home that is being kept meticulously clean for house showings.

Ask the right questions

As you are viewing the home, itís appropriate to ask questions that may come up. Feel free to ask about the age of the home and when repairs and renovations were made.

Itís also fine to ask questions about the neighborhood and town if youíre unfamiliar with the area. Traffic and noise levels are pertinent information for any serious buyer. And these are questions that will be vital to understanding the home better and whether itís a good fit for you at the moment.

Where can you snoop?

Itís a good idea to ask before opening cabinets, closets, and doors the first time. But these are all reasonable things to expect to be able to look inside of when buying a home.

Itís not a good idea, however, to look inside nightstands, dressers, and other compartments that are more private and personal.

If a homeowner or agent asks that you donít enter a room entirely, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or basement, this is a major red flag that thereís an issue with the room in question. Every room of the home should be in-bounds when it comes to viewing a home that you might someday buy.

At the end of the viewing

Once the viewing is over, itís best to simply compliment the home, offer your thanks for the tour, and head home to consider your experience.

Avoid making any sharp criticism of the home before leaving, and donít mention any negotiations or ask questions about the pricing at this point. Itís better to leave on a positive note and have these discussions in private with your family before taking your offers to the seller.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/12/2018

Sometimes, being in the hunt for a home feels like being in a race you canít win. You should craft an offer that they cant refuse in order to get ahead on the house hunt. The real estate market can be hot or cold. No matter what the market is like, having a solid offer can be very beneficial to you as a buyer. Hereís some tips for you to get the offer you make accepted:


Get Preapproved


When you get preapproved, youíre showing the seller that youíre a serious buyer. Being preapproved gives you a shorter closing time and helps you to clear any financing hurdles before you get to them.


Avoid Lowball Offers


Make sure that you check out the prices of other homes in the neighborhood. Your real estate agent can help you to do this research. Often, youíll need to offer the asking price or above if itís a sellerís market. If all the research leads you to offer somewhere in the neighborhood of the asking price for a home, youíll want to abide with that.


Too Many Contingencies Turn A Seller Off


The financing contingency is the agreement that is put forth to help a buyer get out of the deal if financing falls through. Youíll need to be sure that you actually have the cash on hand to help you if the appraisal falls short, however. While this isnít recommended, it can give you a leg up in the buying process if you know what youíre doing. 

Another thing that you might consider is waiving the inspection. This does however, remove the ability to be sure that a home is in livable condition. This is another way to give yourself an advantage in the home search process, but itís not recommended. A better way to keep the inspection and streamline the process is to shorten the inspection time by having the inspector ready to go immediately.  


Add A Clause To Increase Your Amount


You are able to add an escalation clause into a deal. This will automatically increase your deal by a predetermined amount if the seller gets more than one offer on the home. Thereís a cap on these deals, so it doesnít work like an auction. Itís a good option and it causes sellers to have to disclose the competing offers. Typically, this wouldnít be the case. The only way youíd be out of the deal is if other offers exceed your cap.


Be Smart With Negotiations


You can offer to pay closing costs and home warranties instead of the seller having to pay them. Costs associated with the closing can be extensive, so offering to pay these fees can be very appealing to the seller. 


Get Personal


Itís difficult for sellers to part with the home that they love. If you get a bit personal and write a letter or send a video message to the sellers, you may often appeal to them on another level. In the letter, you may want to address how well the sellers have taken care of the home and express your desire to continue your life in the home in the same fashion. Many times, this is really a great way to connect with your seller and give you a better chance of getting your offer accepted.




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Posted by Peggy Farber on 9/5/2018

Attending open houses is common for property buyers in cities and towns nationwide. However, there is no set number of open houses that a homebuyer will need to attend to discover his or her dream residence. In some instances, a buyer may find the ideal home after attending his or her first open house. Or, a buyer may attend dozens of open houses and fail to find a residence that matches his or her expectations.

As a homebuyer, it is important to do everything possible to make the most of an open house. Lucky for you, we're here to help you get ready for an open house and ensure that you can maximize the value of this event.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready for an open house.

1. Create a List of Home Questions

You may have learned about a home from a listing. Yet a listing only offers a limited amount of information about a residence. And if you have additional questions about a residence, an open house provides you with a great opportunity to receive responses to your queries.

Craft a list of questions before you attend an open house Ė you'll be glad you did. With this list in hand, you can ask questions about a home and gain the insights you need to help you decide whether a residence is right for you.

2. Perform Research

Try to collect as much information as you can about a home prior to an open house. That way, you can have a good idea about what to expect when you attend this event.

Also, you may want to put together a game plan before an open house. This plan allows you to prioritize different areas of a residence that you want to check out. Plus, it may help you conduct an in-depth review of a residence.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is happy to help you plan ahead for any open house. If you employ a real estate agent today, you can receive comprehensive assistance as you conduct your house search.

Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about open house events in your preferred cities and towns. This housing market professional can attend an open house with you and offer immediate feedback as well. In addition, if you want to submit an offer to purchase a residence after an open house, a real estate agent can help you do just that.

Let's not forget about the expert housing market insights that a real estate agent can provide, either. A real estate agent can offer insights into housing market patterns and trends. By doing so, a real estate agent can help you narrow your home search and ensure that you can find a great house at a budget-friendly price.

Ready to attend an open house? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can attend an open house and learn about all aspects of a residence.




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