Jim Sheridan | Burlington Real Estate, Billerica Real Estate, Reading Real Estate


In some instances, a home seller has limited time and resources to list his or her house and promote it to prospective buyers. Fortunately, there are many ways for a seller to make the most of his or her time and resources throughout the property selling journey.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help a house seller get the most out of his or her time and resources.

1. Create a Plan

A home selling strategy can make a world of difference for any seller, at any time. Because if a seller knows what to expect after he or she lists a residence, this individual can plan accordingly.

As you put together a home selling strategy, think about your property selling goals. Then, you can determine the steps you'll need to take to achieve these goals – something that may help you streamline the house selling journey.

2. Learn About Your Target Audience

Consider the buyer's perspective – you'll be glad you did. If you understand why buyers may consider your residence, you can ensure your home listing hits the mark with them. And as a result, you could boost your chances of enjoying a fast, profitable home selling experience.

Don't forget to analyze your home's strengths and weaknesses too. Oftentimes, it is beneficial for a seller to conduct a house inspection before he or she lists a residence. With an inspection report in hand, a seller can identify any underlying home problems and correct these issues before they can slow down a potential home sale.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you need help to sell your home, you can always hire a real estate agent. There are many qualified real estate agents available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals will do everything possible to ensure you can optimize your time and resources throughout the house selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the home selling journey varies from person to person. As such, he or she first will meet with you and find out why you are selling your residence. Next, a real estate agent will provide a personalized home selling strategy. A real estate agent then will promote your residence to prospective buyers, host home showings and open house events and much more.

Of course, if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent is ready to help you determine the best course of action as well. Performing an in-depth analysis of a homebuying proposal sometimes can be difficult, but a real estate agent is happy to help you make an informed home selling decision.

For those who are looking to achieve the best-possible results during the property selling journey, it generally is beneficial to explore ways to maximize your time and resources. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you'll be better equipped than ever before to use your time and resources to enjoy a quick, successful home selling experience.


Image by pascalhelmer from Pixabay

You’ve spent months scouring home listings and viewing houses. Once you found your dream home, you signed the contracts and successfully closed. Congratulations! It’s time to get started on this next exciting chapter of your life.

While you’re probably eager to move your belongings into your new home, it’s a good idea to pause for a moment and plan to give your new house a deep cleaning. Here are five areas you’ll want to focus on before you start hauling in your possessions.

1. Bathrooms

Bathrooms are a priority because you’ll want to eliminate any potential germs lurking about. Even if everything looks clean, you can’t know for sure if it’s only been surface-cleaned, so you’ll want to give it your own deep cleaning. This way you can ensure any bacteria or other icky germs aren’t lingering. Focus on the toilet, sink, and tub. Don’t forget the toilet seat—ideally, install a new one.

Tip: Change the shower curtain and liner or, if you’re keeping the existing curtain because it matches the décor, give it a good machine wash.

2. Kitchens

Kitchens are another room where germs tend to linger. To start, clean the interiors of the oven and refrigerator. Next, use disinfectant to wash down the sink, faucet, counters, cabinets and all appliance exteriors. Don’t forget any handles and knobs.

Once you’ve got the kitchen clean, cover the cabinet and pantry shelves with new liner. Not only will it help protect your dishes and other wares, but it’ll give these spaces a fresh clean look and feel when you place your items in it.

3. Floors & Carpets

If you aren’t immediately replacing carpets, give them a deep cleaning with a rug cleaner. If you don’t own or have access to one, you can rent one from a grocery or hardware store. Wash any hardwood floors. To avoid harsh chemicals, you can use water and white vinegar, they’ll eliminate most bacteria and remove most dirt and grime.

Give the bathroom and kitchen floors additional attention by thoroughly washing these floor surfaces with a disinfecting cleaner. Be sure not to miss any nooks and crannies. Clean tile, vinyl or linoleum with a bacteria-killing cleaner and don’t forget any grout—a baking soda paste works nicely.

4. Air Filters

It’s hard to know when air filters were last changed. It’s always a good idea to replace them, just to be on the safe side. Mark the filters with the date, so you know when it’s time to swap them out again.

Tip: Don’t forget the vent filter above the stove if you have one.

5. Door Knobs

Door knobs are easy to overlook but they are a prime area for lingering germs. Go through your home and disinfect doorknobs, cabinet pulls and drawer handles. Don’t forget the handles on sliding glass or shower doors.

Tip: Use disinfectant wipes on doorknobs if you’re short on time

Once you’ve given your house a deep cleaning, you can confidently move your possessions into your home with a fresh, clean start.



 Photo by Jay Mantri via Pixabay

A deck adds valuable outdoor living space to your home's square footage, but to be an asset, it needs to be well-maintained. If your deck has missed a few annual cleanings or is showing popped nails, splintered boards or water damage, consider resurfacing it instead of replacing it. The money you save will be significant. Here's how:

Inspect Your Existing Deck

Look for rot, termite damage, warped or weakened boards and missing screws. Fix any problems you find by replacing individual boards and railings with similar materials. Make sure everything is structurally sound and sanded smooth before moving forward with the next step. 

Choose the Right Deck Wash

Step two involves giving your deck a good scrubbing to remove all traces of algae, dirt, mildew or mold that may have formed. You'll need a good wire broom or brush, eye protection and waterproof gloves, because some deck wash can be damaging to skin. You'll want to protect any nearby plants as well. Cover them in plastic while washing down your deck. 

Deck wash can be painted on, sprayed on with a garden hose, or applied with a pressure washer. A simple mixture of laundry detergent, bleach and warm water may be all it takes to begin bringing your deck back to life. Once applied, work the cleaning solution into the wood using your brush or broom. Rinse clean and allow the wood to dry before proceeding to the next step in resurfacing your existing deck. 

Apply Deck Stain

Lastly, you'll need to re-stain to apply a protective coating to your freshly cleaned decking. For older wood that still shows imperfections, try using a semi-transparent stain, instead of something that's clear. This will help to hide flaws and resistant stains.

You can spray, roll or brush the stain onto the deck, or you can use a combination of techniques such as spraying the stain down, then using a brush or roller to even out puddles and to trim out around railings. Apply the stain evenly, and then add the second and third coats while the stain is still damp. This helps keep old, thirsty wood from absorbing all the stain. Once applied, you'll need to re-stain your deck every other year to keep it looking its best. 

The total cost to replace your old deck can run upwards of $10,000, says ProRemodeler. Compare that with the $4,000 you might spend to replace worn boards and connectors, and you're looking at a significant savings. If your existing deck is worth repairing, that's usually the better option. But it must be structurally sound by the time the work is done. If you're unsure, call in a pro for an inspection. 


We live in a world of convenience and endless choices. To watch a TV show, you can find it on cable, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, and more. Sometimes, all of these options make it easy to spend more than necessary on monthly services.

If you’re hoping to buy a home in the near future, one way to save a bit more each month is to cut corners wherever possible.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover some tips that will help you start saving toward the down payment on your first home.

Cutting down on monthly services

They’re enticing, the myriad of entertainment services that we can now take advantage of. For a seemingly low monthly cost you can have hundreds of channels through cable. However, many cable users have noticed that their cable bill keeps creeping up each year and the service doesn’t get any better.

One way to start saving more each month is to ditch cable altogether. For news and the weather, there are many websites available. And, some local news stations stream live on their websites for free.

But, what about watching your favorite TV shows and movies? One of the world’s best kept secrets is that of interlibrary loans. Most public libraries are part of a system that allows you to get books, games, movies, and TV shows shipped to your local library for free. You simply reserve the latest season of Game of Thrones and wait for an email from your library.

Another issue many people have with monthly entertainment services is their tendency to add up. Reassess your monthly bills. If you’re paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, do you really need all three?

Be smart about your savings

To save effectively, make sure your savings account is seeing a high return on its interest rate. Online banks tend to have higher returns than their brick & mortar counterparts, and most people don’t need to make regular visits to a bank anymore anyway.

Similarly, for credit cards, choose one with cashback rewards. Only use your credit card for necessities, like groceries and gas. Then, pay off each statement in full each month. Once you get your rewards, use them for more groceries and gas or put them in your down payment savings account, if possible.

Don’t forget about CDs (certificates of deposit)

One of the most effective ways of saving for a down payment is a certificate of deposit. CDs are perfect for down payments because you aren’t able to withdraw from them until they have matured--i.e., until you’ve reached your savings goal. They can be set for 6 months, a year, or more, and they tend to have higher returns than savings accounts.


Using a combination of these methods will help you start saving more each month so you can achieve your dream of owning a home sooner.




Photo by Tania Van den Berghen via Pixabay

When your kitchen or another part of your home could use a bit more light, consider adding skylights instead of lamps or light fixtures. Skylights can provide your home with some important benefits. As long as you have these lights properly installed, they can offer the following advantages for your home. 

 

Increase Natural Light

Installing skylights results in more natural lighting in your home. Exposure to natural light is associated with several benefits, including improved mood. This can be a major benefit during winter when it’s hard to get enough exposure to sunlight thanks to shorter days. Natural light from skylights can also create a more pleasant ambiance in your home, resulting in a more cheerful and calming environment. If you’re planning on selling your house, keep in mind that having plenty of natural light can improve your home’s appearance and make a great impression on home buyers during showings and open houses. 

 

Reduce Energy Usage

Skylights can help you save on the amount of energy your home normally uses. With skylights installed, you’ll gain solar heat from the sun during the winter months, which means you won’t have to run your heating system as much. This reduces wear and tear on your heating system and leads to lower heating bills. When it’s warm out, you can open your skylights to get cross-ventilation inside your home, which helps cool it off. Doing this can reduce your air conditioning bills during summer. 

 

Improve Ventilation

Skylights that open up provide your home with improved ventilation. Throughout the day, hot air rises and gathers near the top of a room. This can make rooms feel stuffy and uncomfortable, especially when it’s hot out. Skylights give you a way to release this hot air while also letting in fresh air from outside, resulting in better ventilation and improved indoor comfort. 

 

Make Rooms Feel Bigger

Having a skylight or two in your home can make the room they’re in seem more spacious. While this might not be a concern in a larger home, it can do wonders for smaller homes or older homes that don’t have an open floor plan. 

 

Offer Outdoor Views

Skylights in your ceiling give you a great way to enjoy views of sunny skies during the day and starry skies at night. Depending on where you live and where you have your skylights placed, you might also have good views of forests, mountains or other natural surroundings. 

 




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