Friday, March 24, 2017

Selling Your House? Better Prepare for the Home Inspection

Selling Your House? Better Prepare for the Home Inspection
| Mar 14, 2017
home-inspector-under-houseSLRadcliffe/iStock
You’ve got a contract on your home for sale—congratulations! But before you pop the cork on the champagne, you’ve got to go through an ordeal that could make or break that sweet deal: a home inspection.
The home inspection is a contingency written into most offers, meaning that if the buyers aren’t happy with the result, they can cancel the sale without losing their earnest money deposit, or reopen negotiations and ask for a price reduction.
So it’s important to prepare yourself and your home for this important step of the process. How? Hey, we’re glad you asked! Let’s start at the beginning.
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Will there always be a home inspection?
If your buyers are planning to tear down your home and build their own dream house, you might feel a pang of regret, but at least you won’t need to worry about the quality and condition of your property. These buyers are trying to get the lowest price possible and, if they think a clean contract without an inspection contingency will make them an attractive buyer in a competitive market, they’ll often forgo an inspection contingency.
But most buyers who are planning to live in your home want to know what they’re getting into. They want to know which systems work, and which don’t. They want to know how much money they’ll need to plow into the purchase, and which items you, dear seller, are willing to fix or replace to seal the deal.
The results of home inspections can give buyers peace of mind, or a tool they can use to bargain down the price. In the worst case, people with buyer’s remorse will use results of a home inspection to back out of the deal without penalty.
Sound scary? Don’t fret just yet. That first home inspection will let you know everything that’s wrong with your home. Armed with that information, you can fix problems before the next buyer shows up, adjust the price to reflect necessary repairs, or simply have a ready response when the issue comes up again.
Inspectors will look at everything
A home inspection is no quick once-over. Inspectors have a 1,600-item checklist, according to the National Association of Home Inspectors. Yep, you read that right—1,600.
“If we can get to it, we’ll inspect it,” says Frank Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Here are just some of the areas of the home your inspector is checking, and what a home inspector is looking for:
  • Grounds: Standing water, faulty grading, sick or dying trees and shrubs, crumbling paths and walls
  • Structure: Foundation integrity, rotting or out-of-plumb window and door frames
  • Roof: Defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia; loose and hanging gutters; defects in chimneys and skylights
  • Exterior: Cracks or rot; dents or bowing in vinyl; blistering or flaking paint; adequate clearing between siding and earth
  • Window, doors, trim: Rotting frames, peeling caulk, damaged glass
  • Interior rooms: Water-stained ceilings, adequate insulation, and sufficient heating vents
  • Kitchen: Proper venting, no leaks under the sink, and cabinet doors and drawers operate properly
  • Bathrooms: Toilets flush properly, showers spray, and tubs are securely fastened
  • Plumbing: Drains flow properly; water has proper temperature and pressure
  • Electrical: Proper electrical panels and working light switches and outlets
How can you prepare?
The home inspection isn’t a test that you need to study for. But there are some things you can do before a home inspection to make the process go more smoothly.
  • Clean and de-clutter your home: Yes, inspectors will look way beyond the superficial sparkle of a clean home. But you want to make sure they have easy access to attics, basements, and electrical panels—and aren’t tripping over your kids’ toys while trying to do their job. Think of it as an early start to your packing.
  • Get your paperwork together: You should create a file with documentation of all maintenance and repairs you’ve done on your home. If you’ve had an insurance claim on your house, keep those papers together, too, so you can prove that you took care of the problem.
  • Provide complete access to your home: Make sure you unlock gates and doors to a shed or garage that doesn’t have lockbox access.
You could consider getting a pre-inspection to eliminate any surprises; some sellers choose to hire their own inspector to give the house a once-over and point out any problems, so they can fix them before the buyer’s home inspector arrives on the scene.
But be careful with this tactic.
“It’s not a good idea,” says Bill Golden, an Atlanta-area real estate agent. “If you have five different inspectors inspect the home, you’ll get five different lists of items they’re concerned about. Just because your inspector didn’t have a problem with something doesn’t mean the buyer’s inspector won’t.”
More important, if your inspector points out a problem, you’re obligated to disclose it to buyers.
“This could be a potential turn-off to buyers,” Golden says.
Do yourself a favor, and leave
Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, give the inspector your cellphone number, grab your car keys, and go to a movie or out to lunch when the home inspector shows up. Your anxiety will only make everyone uncomfortable, which isn’t a productive atmosphere during an inspection.
“Inspectors and buyers are not at all comfortable with the seller being present during an inspection,” Golden says. “They need to be able to freely inspect and discuss any and everything they come across. You may think you are being helpful by being present, but you are not; you are impeding the process.”
And don’t play eager hostess. You don’t need to set out cookies and drinks; or provide ladders and other tools the inspector needs. He’ll bring his own.
Check your ego at your own door
Buying and selling a house is a competition: Sellers want to get the highest price, and buyers want the lowest. It’s not personal—it’s business. Remember that when a home inspector presents list of problems with your home as long as your arm.
“A home inspector’s job is to point out each and every deficiency and safety violation they see,” Golden says. “Arguing with the buyers about an inspector’s findings is not helpful.”
Keep your head in the game, and solve the problem with the buyer.
“It may be agreeing to fix an item, it may mean giving them some money toward a repair, or it may simply be providing documentation,” Golden says.
And that’s where an experienced real estate agent earns his or her commission. Agents know how to interpret inspection reports, which issues are vital to address, and which are red herrings designed to reopen price negotiations.
——
Watch: 3 Things That Can Sink Your Home Inspection



Amber Castonguay
Direct: 920.988.0048
Fax: 866.211.2826
www.AmbersHomeFinder.comhttp://www.ambershomefinder.com/blog/
http://ambercastonguay.blogspot.com

Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Office: 262-567-2455
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Saturday, December 31, 2016

5 Trends We Can't Wait to Say Goodbye to In 2017

5 Trends We Can't Wait to Say Goodbye to In 2017




See which design trends our editors are ready to see phased out in the new year.

The past year brought us new home design trends that we absolutely love (bold wallpaper and colorful kitchens, for example), but some are in need of a refresh. Check out which trends our editors feel have had their time in the spotlight and need to evolve in 2017.




Shiplap / Farmhouse-Chic

A Ship-Shape Farmhouse Kitchen With Wood Paneling



I’m tired of shiplap and the whole cottage-inspired, farmhouse-chic look. There. I said it. I like when Joanna Gaines does it because that’s her signature look. But if you have a 'Fresh-Baked Pies Here' faux vintage sign, then I expect there to be real pies in your kitchen. — Kayla, Managing Editor
Acrylic Furniture

Light and Bright Home Office With Pink Acrylic Chairs
Lindsay Pennington



I personally don’t think it does anything for a room’s design aesthetic. And let’s be real here—it’s just glorified plastic. — Farima, Assistant Editor
Open Floor Plans

White Modern Great Room With Gray Fireplace
Jim Tschetter



I’m all for optimizing the home for entertaining and functionality, but when there’s an echo in the living room, that’s not 'open' — that’s cavernous. It seems like opening up the kitchen, dining and living spaces just creates more room for clutter (and noise) to spread. I’d like to see more creativity in home flipping, making outdated floor plans work for modern life. Let’s embrace the quirkiness of old homes and be more judicious about knocking down walls in 2017. — Molly, Apple News Editor
Gate-in-a-Frame

Wood and Metal Panel
Courtesy of the manufacturer



These faux gate-in-a-frame things need to go away — quickly. Hang pretty pictures on your wall instead. — Jackie, Editor
Industrial Decor

Modern Industrial Kitchen



The warehouse aesthetic is one I’m definitely hoping to leave behind in 2016. I’m all for modern decor, but I draw the line when it comes to exposed duct work, concrete countertops, Edison light bulbs and floating staircases. Millennials may love it, but I’m hoping to see these design elements used in a more practical way. — Ryan, Editor
By: Ryan Reed



Amber Castonguay

Direct: 920.988.0048 Text: 920.988.0048
Fax: 866.211.2826
www.AmbersHomeFinder.com
http://www.ambershomefinder.com/blog/

http://ambercastonguay.blogspot.com
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Office: 262-567-2455
Connect With Me

Find Me on Facebook Connect with me on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter Follow me on Google+ Active Rain Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Trulia

Search ALL Homes Here!

Click here to download my personal RE/MAX App! AGENT KEY: ambercastonguay

Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Choose the Right Paint Color

How to Choose the Right Paint Color



Posted in Remodeling Adviser, by on December 26, 2016

paint1

Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest and most affordable home improvement projects to tackle prior to a home sale that can make a big difference.
Sara McLean, color expert and blogger for Dunn-Edwards Paints, offers some of the following tips on how to choose interior colors that will appeal to the biggest buyer pool:
Don’t go too monotone. McLean cautions on painting everything white or beige. The home might end up looking more like an apartment, rather than an upscale home. An occasional accent wall in a darker or complementary shade may add appeal.
Stick to earth tones and natural-based colors. Warm browns and milky tans – think latte. Light greens and blues are classy, and even some reds and oranges. Warm grays are popular now, rather than cool grays, she says.
Take into account flooring. Lay the color chips along the flooring to see how well they pair together. Warm tones tend to look better with most hardwood. Whereas tile, terrazzo or carpet may make you want to opt for other colors.
Give a room life without getting personal. “Many people have a visceral reaction to bold colors and buyers’ first thought is that they will need to repaint,” McLean says.
Brighten up kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens and baths work well with brighter colors that can help make them look fresh, clean, and inviting. In the kitchen, soft buttery yellows with slight brown undertones are popular and cheerful colors. “Olive and sage greens, make it feel garden-y and fresh,” McLean notes. ” If you don’t have a tile backsplash, create one with an eggshell or semi-gloss paint — either a solid color or with a decorative stencil.”
paint3
Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

Try brighter color palettes in smaller rooms. Baths, laundry room, and powders may benefit from brighter colors because they’re smaller. Oranges and reds are trending now and through next year, as well as teal and turquoise.
Test it out before you commit. “Once you have chosen a color, pick up a few samples and paint a section of the wall, near permanent structures like fireplaces, flooring and cabinetry,” McLean recommends. “Live with the samples at least a full a day to see them in all light sources. What looks light and bright in the morning, may look dungeon-y at night.”
paint2
Photo courtesy: Dunn-Edwards Paints

Choose the right gloss level. Flat, velvet or eggshell are­ good for interior walls, while a higher sheen looks pretty on trim and in kitchens and bathrooms. The higher gloss levels are easier to clean so they tend to be more ideal for high traffic areas. Look for trim paint that is water based but with the upscale look of oil based.

Amber Castonguay

Direct: 920.988.0048 Text: 920.988.0048
Fax: 866.211.2826
www.AmbersHomeFinder.com
http://www.ambershomefinder.com/blog/

http://ambercastonguay.blogspot.com
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Office: 262-567-2455
Connect With Me

Find Me on Facebook Connect with me on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter Follow me on Google+ Active Rain Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Trulia

Search ALL Homes Here!

Click here to download my personal RE/MAX App! AGENT KEY: ambercastonguay

Monday, December 19, 2016

TRICKS THAT HELP HOMES SELL FASTER DURING THE HOLIDAYS

TRICKS THAT HELP HOMES SELL FASTER DURING THE HOLIDAYS


Amber Castonguay

Direct: 920.988.0048

Text: 920.988.0048
Fax: 866.211.2826
www.AmbersHomeFinder.com
http://www.ambershomefinder.com/blog/
http://ambercastonguay.blogspot.com
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Office: 262-567-2455
Connect With Me

Find Me on Facebook Connect with me on LinkedIn Follow me on Twitter Follow me on Google+ Active Rain Follow me on Pinterest Follow me on Trulia


Search ALL Homes Here!

Click here to download my personal RE/MAX App! AGENT KEY: ambercastonguay

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

SOLD in 30 days! 2896 W Oak Rd Ixonia, WI

SOLD in 30 days! 2896 W Oak Rd Ixonia, WI

This home had Multiple offers giving my seller options and they got over asking price! If you are waiting to put you home on the market, there is no reason to wait. I can do a FREE no obligation market analysis of your home and help you get moving today! Visit www.AmbersHomeFinder.com or Call/Text: 920.988.0048 #wirealestate #wihomeseller #remax
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Amber Castonguay


RE/MAX Realty Center
357 W Wisconsin Ave
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Office: 262-567-2455

Connect With Me



Click here to download my personal RE/MAX App!  AGENT KEY: ambercastonguay