Five Feng Shui Concepts to Help a Home Sell

To put the best face on a listing and appeal to buyers who follow Feng Shui principles, keep these tips in mind.

1. Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.

2. Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.

3. The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.

4. The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.

5. The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

Source: Sell Your Home Faster With Feng Shui by Holly Ziegler (Dragon Chi Publications, 2001)

12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

1. Get at least three written estimates.
2. Check references. If possible, view earlier jobs the contractor completed.
3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
4. Be sure the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
5. Make as small of a down payment as possible so you won’t lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
7. Check that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn’t. Also, remember that in many instances you can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
8. Ask if the contractor’s workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will be involved too.
9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
11. Guarantee that the materials that will be used meet your specifications.
12. Don’t make the final payment until you’re satisfied with the work. 

Paint Colors That Attract Home buyers
Whether you’re ready to list your home for sale or you’re just beginning the process, there’s one crucial step to consider: paint colors. The colors you put on the walls can help make your home easier or harder to sell, so it’s well worth considering repainting before you put your property on the market.

But before you grab a roller, make sure you’re choosing colors that will help your home sell. Remember: the right colors will attract homebuyers.

Colors that attract home buyers #1 - Not-so-boring neutrals
If you’re looking for a sure bet for all ages and income brackets, you can’t go wrong with neutrals. A soft beige is an easy sell – it adds warmth to the walls and gives buyers a chance to imagine the potential of the room. If you’re still living in the home, off-white neutrals are easier to keep clean while you’re in the process of selling.

Colors that attract home buyers #2 - Shades of gray
Gray is a fantastic alternative to beige for many reasons. A cool gray feels relaxing and soothing in a bedroom or bathroom. It’s a conservative but still chic color that appeals to many people, particularly older buyers, who may be seeking relaxation, rather than excitement, in their new home.

Colors that attract home buyers #3 - Wonderful whites
Although white seems like a default color, it’s anything but. There are hundreds of shades of white to choose from, and they each have benefits. A bright white makes any space look larger, while a warm white is inviting and cozy. White is universally appealing, and works especially well with younger first-time home buyers, since they’ll easily be able to repaint in their preferred color scheme after the purchase.

Colors that attract home buyers #4 - Beautiful Blue
There’s a blue hue for everyone, but to expedite the sale, stick to lighter shades. Go light blue in the bedroom for a peaceful oasis feeling, or choose a more energetic (but still pale) blue for kids’ playrooms. Blue makes a great alternative to more neutral colors if you just can’t stomach the thought of living in a blank white or neutral home until it sells.

Colors that attract home buyers #5 - Warm brights
If you’re dead set on using orange or yellow, make sure the tone is soft enough to maintain a neutral feeling. Many buyers balk at brights, since they take extra time and energy to repaint. Sunny hues work best in kitchens and other energetic spaces. Plus, warm tones are known to make people hungry – so confine your orange paint to the kitchen.

Colors that attract home buyers #6 - Easy earth tones
Earthy, rich colors like brown and green are best avoided when you’re trying to sell. However, depending on the neighborhood, lighter browns and greens could be appealing. Country homes do well with these rustic colors; just make sure you use them sparingly to avoid overwhelming potential buyers.

Painting a home is one of many steps to selling a home, but it’s also one of the most important. The wrong paint color can turn off potential buyers, so put some thought into the decision. Good luck and happy painting!

How to Get an Offer on Your Home

1. Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range.

2. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it.

3. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer.

4. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable.

5. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days without an offer, you should be prepared to at least consider lowering your asking price.

The Dos and Don’ts of Home Selling

Selling a home in the recession-hit times of today is no less than an ordeal that one needs to pass before they get a fairly compensated deal for their property. The nuances of home selling are many and they all need to be heeded if you want your home to sell quicker and at a good price. But many a home owner end up making mistakes that cost them heavily in the deal.

We throw some light on some common mistakes that you should avoid:

1) Inappropriate Pricing
Bad prices are great deterrents to fast home-selling. They include both – too high and too low prices. It is important to remember that real estate prices fluctuate like tides and need to be kept track of if you are going to put your home up for sale. If you market your home on too high a price, it will ward off clients, whereas a price too low will rob you of the profits you very much deserve.

2) Wrong or Incomplete Marketing
Good marketing is essential for selling a house effectively. Thinking that selling a house is local business is a big mistake that home-owners make. Make your house on sale visible to as many people as possible. Use the Internet and its valuable resources like social media to market your house to a global audience; you never know who is moving to your city from around the world.

For doing the same, use pictures, as many of them as possible because a humble little picture is worth a thousand words. Click high resolution photos of your house at its visual best. If you get a lot of natural light in the house, it is best to click day time photos on sunny days, otherwise use appropriate artificial lighting to get the best results.

A disastrous mistake to avoid is shooting photos of an untidy residence. Therefore, it is strongly advised that you de-clutter your house before you begin your home selling marketing campaign.

3) Homes in an untidy or ill-maintained condition
Unkempt homes give a negative vibe that may lower the chances of a prospective buyer finalizing a deal with you. Append sufficient efforts and money on getting things fixed in the house. Leave no walls with paint peeling off them. Do your home maintenance assignment right if you want to influence clients to like your home better.

4) Not treating the buyers right
The happier a buyer feels on visiting your house, higher are their chances of fixing a deal with you. So always treat any prospective buyer with utmost respect and hospitality. Give them a warm reception and serve some snacks to eat. Most importantly, don’t stick to the visitors while they see your house. This makes them tad uncomfortable. Just give them some time to view the house on their own.

Home selling is serious business and demands a great deal of patience from you. It is important to stay calm even if you have had your home in the market for pretty long because this is just the plight every home seller has to go through, and it eventually passes!

10 Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home.

There are many things to do before you sell your home that will maximize the perceived value of your home. Today’s housing market is intensely competitive and anything you can do to make your home appear neat, inviting and well maintained can give you an edge in a crowded field.  Important Things To Do Before You Sell Your Home Although it seems daunting, you can get your home ready for sale if you stay organized and focused. Concentrate on your goal—to help the house you love to look its best.

Here are the basic checklist of 10 things to do before you sell your home:

1.Pest free? Get your home professionally inspected for termites and other pests and once any are removed, get rid of any evidence of having had them. Having a recent inspection certification in hand will give prospective buyers solid piece of mind that there are no creepy-crawlies hiding in the woodwork.

2.First impressions. The first things buyers will see when they walk up to your home are the landscaping and exterior features of your house. Make sure the yard and shrubs are neatly trimmed—plant fresh flowers in existing beds. Paint or power-wash the exterior of your home if years of weather have taken their toll. Make any repairs to gutters, trim or windows as needed. And apartment dwellers should make sure all common areas are neat and clean as well, so clear out those strollers and bikes from the hallway.

3.Go generic. As buyers walk through your home, they’ll want to imagine themselves living in the space. You can make this easier by keeping personal effects out of view. Store collectibles and family photos and try to decorate with simple landscapes or commonplace objects.

4.That deep down clean. It is understood that your home should be kept neat and clean, but you’ll need to go beyond surface cleaning. Dusting and vacuuming are a given, but don’t forget to clean windows and molding, light fixtures and ceiling fans and appliances and other fixtures. And clean should mean the place smells great too. If you can’t bake cookies for each showing, at least make sure all offensive odors are eliminated at their root cause.

5.Down, Spot! Consider an alternate place to board your pets during the selling process. Remove all pet supplies and things like litter boxes, beds and feeding stations before showing your home.
6.Getting steamed. Add carpet cleaning to the list of things to do before you sell your home. Industry experts recommend professionally cleaning your carpets every three years or so. Even if your carpets have been cleaned in the last 18 months, it’s a small investment to have them cleaned before you begin showing your home.

7.Reduce, remove and reorganize. Eliminate clutter in bedrooms, on counters and wherever else your family tends to leave things. Have a yard sale to get rid of as much as you can and then work as hard as you can to organize what is left behind. And if you don’t have a yard, log in to and start your own virtual garage sale. Resist the temptation to shove things in the basement or a back closet—prospective buyers will want to check out your storage areas. And if you simply can’t get rid of that Nordic Trac, rent a storage locker and get it out of your home.
8.Important rooms. The kitchen and baths are the most frequently used areas in any house. Pay particular attention to cleaning, organizing and repairing these rooms. Remove and replace stained or damaged caulk; clean grout in tiled areas and repair or replace appliances or fixtures as needed.

9.Slap on a coat. There is much debate about the value of painting before you sell your home. While the new owner may want to paint with her own colors, you should certainly consider a coat of paint in areas that are chipped, peeling or stained. Be sure to use neutral colors and do a neat job.

10. Keep up to date. Consider replacing cabinet pull or door handles that are damaged or dated. While replacing these fixtures can be a cheap fix, the replacements will keep your house looking current and well cared for.

How to stage your baths for buyers

Staging your home properly creates an inviting and welcoming environment for potential buyers. It can mean the difference between a property languishing on the market or a quick sell. Here are some bath ideas that are sure to delight potential buyers.

Clean is king. First and foremost, baths should be clean. Generally, buyers do not spend much time viewing baths, so
the first impression should be a lasting one. Take the time to scrub tiles, shower doors, and mirrors.

Simple updates. Change the hardware to reflect current trends. An inexpensive makeover entails updating knobs, pulls, faucets and towel racks.

Fresh linens. Set out matching guest towels that accent the wall color to bring the room together. Less is more. Remove personal pictures and items and instead opt for a hotel chic.

Win by a nose. Consider placing flowers, scented soaps or room deodorizers to enhance the space. Lit candles are discouraged for safety reasons.

Personal effects. Remove any personal items you would not want potential buyers to see. It's a good idea to store all clutter out of view.

Don't be a drip. A constant drip can be a distraction and turn off to potential buyers. Repair any leaky faucets or clogged drains.