For Buyers, For Sellers, Real Estate

Your Guide to Downsizing

It can be hard to imagine downsizing your house. After all, most of us think that bigger means better. But a smaller home can mean less cost, less cleaning, and more time for you to actually enjoy the house you live in. While downsizing may seem scary, living in a smaller home can help simplify your life and take away the pressure of upkeep that comes with a larger home.

Benefits of Downsizing
The math on this is simple — less space means less cost. There’s less square footage to heat and cool down, and less space means your utilities will cost less. Downsizing also leads to minimal maintenance and less time spent cleaning. This leaves more time for you to do the things you actually want to do. All the Saturday mornings you spent cutting the lawn are now wide open. You can take the dog for a walk, relax with a cup of coffee, or even sleep in. A smaller house means fewer chores waiting for you.

Ask Yourself Questions
Downsizing is scary; once the extra space is gone, you might miss it. But how often are you actually using all of the rooms in your house? To find out, try the sticky note method! Put a sticky note on the door of each room in your house. Every time you enter a room, write down why you went in that room. After a few weeks, you’ll have a good idea of how much of your space you’re actually using. Some other questions to ask yourself are whether or not the size of your house matters to you, if you think you’ll miss having extra (even if unused) space, and are you willing to get rid of extra clutter?

Getting Rid of Clutter
Less space means less room to store things. But if minimalism isn’t your style, there are a few ways you can start shedding extra belongings. Start with a “new in, old out” rule. For each new item you bring home, give an old one away. Not only will this make you think about what you’re bringing home, it will encourage you to only keep the pieces you love! If pieces are still in good condition, consider giving back to your community and donating them.

Downsizing your home can lead to less clutter, fewer chores, and more time for you. If you’ve decided to make the switch to a smaller home, Zen Living Realty can help. By delivering personalized, top-notch service, we strive to make the Orlando realty process peaceful. Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a Realtor® or visit our home page at: zenlivingrealty.com.

 

 

 

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For Buyers, For Investors, For Sellers, Real Estate, Zen Tips

To Paint, or Not to Paint; That Is the Question

 

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The first question you might ask yourself after putting your house on the market is “Do I really need to paint?” The answer, for the most part, is often a resounding yes. A fresh coat of paint is attractive to potential buyers; it means less work and maintenance that they have to do, which increases the value of your home.

Exterior
The color of your house is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Homes painted neutral shades, like the popular “greige,” or grey-beige, saw up to $3,496 more than the expected price of the home when selling.

Kitchen
It seems like white kitchen updates are in style; from white cabinets to white countertops, bright kitchens seem to be trending. However, that trend doesn’t look like it’s going to last! Painting your kitchen a blue-gray is a safe bet and can make your home sell an average of $1,809 more! But don’t limit color to just the walls; homes with bold cabinets often sell faster.

Dining Room
Similar to the kitchen, blue-greys are all the rage in the dining room. Compared to white dining rooms, homes with more matte colors had a value of approximately $1,926 more. Stick to lighter colored accents to contrast the muted grey-blue.

Bathroom
A blue bathroom is a classic, and for good reason! Studies have shown that houses with bathrooms painted a light blue bathroom netted an average of $5,440 more than expected. Spruce up decorations with nautical or beach themed pictures.

Bedroom
If you’re noticing a trend, blue is it. Bedrooms painted a soft, matte cerulean sold higher than expected. Pair the blue with bright, white baseboards to make it pop, and add natural wood accents to create a relaxing, tranquil environment for potential buyers.

Living Room
Greige was all the trend in 2018, and it doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon! Light beiges and greys help make homes feel cozy and welcoming and can increase your home value by $2,000. Stick with neutral accents to keep the room feeling clean and comfortable.

Blue is overwhelmingly the color of 2019, and honestly who’s surprised? The color blue has been thought to lower stress, increase productivity, and inspire a sense of tranquility. If you’re unsure what color is right for your house, Zen Living Realty can help. By developing a relationship with each client, we get to know you and what your needs are, making the Orlando realty process a breeze. Give us a call at (407) 499-3919 to speak with a realtor about what color is right for you and your home.

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For Sellers, Zen Tips

Add a spring touch to your home

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Even if the weather isn’t cooperating quite yet – spring is on the way! Cheering up your home with some spring decor is the perfect way to prepare for warmer days and more sunshine. Here are some options to prepare your home for the next season!

ADD AN HERB GARDEN

While they may not last outdoors with the sporadic weather of spring, bringing potted herbs into your home and letting them soak up sunlight in a kitchen window is the perfect way to add life to your home and have access to fresh herbs while you’re cooking.

THINK SPRING 

If you are all about DIY-ing, creating simple decorations can add a pop of seasonal color to your home. Take that pair of rain boots you don’t wear anymore and turn them into planters – add bright floral arrangements and use your new decor item as an inviting piece by your front door.

POPS OF COLOR

Neutral and sleek is all the rage right now, but adding a pop of color in your normal decor can add a cheerful touch to your home. Swap out your kitchen napkins or tablecloth with something a little bit more colorful, like soft blues or pinks. Small changes can do enough to make your home feel different without being overwhelming.

FLORALS ARE ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Whether or not you already include florals in your home decor, take the time to swap out or add something new that feels like spring. While fresh flowers are a great choice, consider picking up some faux florals for the majority of your decor and saving the fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color, specifically yellows and pinks, to create a focal point for the room.

TOUCH UP TIME

Is there a room in your home that is just feeling drab? Maybe it is dark and uninviting, or maybe it has white walls that have started to fade. While you are spring cleaning, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to a place in your home that needs a boost of light. Spring is all about being fresh and new, so your home should feel that way too!

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For Buyers, For Sellers, Real Estate

The Catch You Shouldn’t Fall For

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With the growth of online tools, companies are quickly building products to serve the real estate community. After all, it’s a lucrative industry, home buying and selling will always be a thing – even if it does slow down, and companies around the world are diving in to make as much money off consumers as possible.

What are they selling? The ease. The ease of buying or selling a home online. The catch? You actually don’t benefit from these online quick-sale services. In fact, you could find yourself out of tens-of-thousands in cost difference. If you’re in the market to buy or sell, and are considering foregoing a real estate agent for an online service, be sure you read the fine print. You’ll often times find that you aren’t benefiting at all. Will they buy your home upfront to resale, so you don’t have to worry about the headache? Sure, but you may have been able to get $50,000 more for your house using a Realtor. Can you see and purchase your dream home through said services and “save” on agent commissions? Sure, but you’ll probably be overpaying for the home anyway.

The real estate industry is heavily regulated for licensed professionals to ensure the consumer is always getting the best representation for the best savings. These online services don’t require regulation and licensing, therefore, they can get away with fine print “scams.”

Be sure you do your research. A Realtor is there to make YOU the most money. Quick online services are focused on making their business the most money – not focused on how much you can sell your home for or how much you can save when you buy. Licensed professionals exist for a reason, be sure you don’t lose more than you can afford to by using a gimmicky online service that dubs buying and selling an “easy” process. Any good agent will make the process easy, minus general lending issues that may arise.

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For Buyers, For Investors, For Sellers

Mistakes To Avoid On Your First Buy/Selling

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If this the first time you’re considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you’re able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let’s review some mistakes you want to avoid making.

1. THE RIGHT PRICE

Pricing a property is a science of it’s own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology uses on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it’s virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you’re purchasing a home, you’re want to find a deal, can lead to stubbornness about what you’re willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you’re a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what a home’s value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.

2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE

If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you’re more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising you.

3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, don’t fit realistically into check marking everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of “wants.”

4. YOU’RE NOT ALONE, DON’T GO IT ALONE

Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

 

For Sellers

Residential Property Disclosures

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When selling your home, you’re obligated, by law, to disclose certain information about your property. Most states require that all sellers complete a written property disclosure form. Majority of the forms have a required set of questions that must be answered.

THE BASICS

Most states require sellers to complete this form when listing for sale. Nearly all of the questions are a basic yes/no/unknown response. The questions will address material facts, major defects, special disclosures, and federal disclosures. All forms vary by state and require different information.

MATERIAL FACTS

These include the age of the property, it’s condition, known problems, and defects. These are all of the information that would influence a buyer’s decision to purchase your home. These disclosures require you to address known defects, things that are reasonably apparent, to ensure you don’t knowingly hide a major defect.

MAJOR DEFECTS

All major defects MUST be disclosed. For instance, fire or flood damage. If your home’s electrical system isn’t up to code, and you’re aware of this, it must be shared with potential buyers. Repairs you have completed, as well as improvements and upgrades, should be noted as well.

Since all states have varying federal and special disclosure laws, it’s imperative that you reach out to a local real estate agent to get assistance with the sale of your home. They’ll have a copy of the required disclosures and can assist you to ensure you don’t find yourself in hot water, legally, if an important disclosure isn’t shared with buyers.

 

For Sellers

Cleaning 101 Before Listing

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Before you put your home up for sale, you’ll want to ensure it’s clean for all of the buyers that will come through. A dirty house isn’t appealing, and you won’t get a good offer, if you get one at all, if your home isn’t in tip-top shape. Cleaning your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming, below we’ve listed the top things to remember to clean for each room.

FOYER:

+ Clean the door and hardware.
+ Wipe off all fingerprints on windows/furniture.
+ Clean off scuff marks on floors and door.
+ Replace all light bulbs and ensure light fixtures are working.
+ Tidy/clean up the coat closet. People WILL look in there to see the size.

KITCHEN:

+ Wipe down all cabinets.
+ Clean all appliances, inside and out.
+ Clean stove hood, on top and bottom.
+ Clean behind the refrigerator, on top and bottom too.
+ Ensure the microwave is clean of food splatter.
+ Clean the space behind the sink.
+ Wipe down blinds/shades.
+ Wash any kitchen rugs, clean the floors and baseboards.
+ Store all of your pet food/food out of sight.

BATHROOM:

+ Clean behind toilet and under sink.
+ Only display absolute necessities, declutter.
+ Organize and clean under the vanity.
+ Scrub floors and clean grout lines.
+ Keep dirty clothes and towels off the floor.
+ Be sure to lock away any medication.
+ Clean the fan and make sure it’s functioning.
+ Replace any dead lightbulbs.

BEDROOM:

+ Wash sheets, comforters, and blankets.
+ Clean the curtains and rugs.
+ Dust furniture.
+ Remove any obvious stains from fabrics.
+ Keep closets clean and organized.
+ Store away dirty clothes and personal photos.
+ Clean marks on walls.

These are just the basics you don’t want to forget about. If it’s within your budget, we highly recommend hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your home is in its best condition. As an experienced agent, I can help coordinating any of these services and even find the best price for you! Let me know how can I help you!