Marianne Avila - Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty



Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/24/2021

Getting your home ready to sell entails quite a lot. Staging, taking photos, stocking the toiletries, and--in the case of an open house--entertaining guests. You want the visitors to your home to feel welcome and like they could live there someday.

To achieve this it takes planning and an eye for what really “works” in your home. To do this you’ll have to let go of everything you’ve made your home into and turn it into a blank slate where others can imagine it fitting their personal taste.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on preparing your home for an open house or showing to leave the best possible impression on your visitors.

Remove yourself from the picture

It might be sad to take down your family photos and personal effects, but imagine yourself in a visitor’s shoes. When you enter a home you’re thinking of buying, you don’t want to be distracted by what the previous family did with the home. Rather, you want to look forward and imagine your own family making a life there.

Declutter

Even the most minimalistic of homeowners tend to accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. However, walking into a home filled with items is distracting from the features of the home. You want to draw people’s eyes toward the best characteristics of your home--whether that’s spaciousness or architectural features.

We suggest packing your belongings by room and renting out a storage facility while you wait to move into your new place.

Stage appropriately

Working with someone to stage your home is a guaranteed way to make sure your house looks welcoming for your guests and photos. However, if you plan on doing the staging yourself take a look at some similarly styled homes online to find out what looks good in their photos. When we furnish our homes, we do it based on our personal taste, comfort, and utility. Staged homes are about aesthetics and atmosphere.

Once you’ve finished staging, it’s time to clean up after yourself. Wipe down surfaces, polish wood, and clean the windows.

Don’t neglect the exterior

The outside of your home is as important as the inside. It will be visitor’s first impression when they arrive at your driveway. To prepare, make sure your siding and windows are clear of dirt, the lawn mowed, the gutters cleaned, and the doors freshly painted, if necessary. Sweep the driveway and remove any yard tools from sight.

Welcoming guests

Your real estate agent knows how to run an effective open house. However, here are a few key things to remember on the day your guests will arrive.

First, light a candle and use air fresheners where necessary. A neutral smell is the best option, but an air freshener is better than a bad one if there are parts of your home that are prone to bad smells.

Next, make sure the bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper, tissues, and clean towels. If yours are getting old, it could be a good time to replace hand towels altogether.

Finally, welcome your guests with a new welcome mat at the front door to make a great first impression.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/17/2021

Photo by Ricarda Mölck via Pixabay

Moving to a new neighborhood brings with it, well, the new neighbors. Although you may be an exceptionally private person — others, by nature, are naturally curious. They want to know who’s moved in next door. This is particularly true when your house is just a few feet or a few inches away from their house. Sometimes, your window looks right out on their window — and vice versa. When it comes to nosy neighbors, follow these tips.

Be Proactive

Introduce yourself and satisfy their curiosity about your basic information. Without getting too personal, let them know who is living in the house with you and if you moved into the neighborhood for a specific reason.

Be Prepared

Many neighborhoods have a neighborhood watch. If this is the case, meet the people that look out for strangers so that they know who you are. Ask them questions too so that you know what kinds of things trigger a response from the watch or from other neighbors. If your neighborhood has an association, ask about it and meet the officers.

Be Courteous

People that live in one place for an exceptionally long time may fear change. Let them know you hope to love the neighborhood as much as they do. If their questions bother you, deflect and redirect the conversation.

Be Inventive

Builders don’t always pay attention to how one house aligns with another. If your neighbor’s dining room overlooks your bathroom, cover your bathroom windows with a frosted or stained-glass overlay. It’s a simple fix that lets daylight shine in your bathroom without the neighbors peering in, even accidentally. If it’s a bedroom window, cellular blinds let light in but give full coverage.

Be Friendly

When the opportunity arises, invite your neighbor for a cup of tea or simply to share a conversation while you weed the flowerbed. Friendliness goes a long way toward increasing everyone’s comfort level as new neighbors. Moving into a new neighborhood is a time of adjustment for both the old neighbors and the new. 

If you’re proactive, prepared, courteous, inventive and friendly, you’ll soon move from being merely neighbors to being friends. Your real estate professional is a great resource on learning about your neighborhood too, so ask them what they know.




Tags: community   neighbors  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/10/2021

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.





Posted by Marianne Avila on 1/3/2021

Photo by PixaBay via Pexels

Even if you find the perfect home on the ideal property, if you do not jibe with your neighbors, your homeownership experience could be in jeopardy. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure that your neighbors and you will get along well before committing to buy. All you have to do is follow these steps to see if the community will be all that you hoped and more.  

Visit the Neighborhood at All Hours

When looking for a home to buy, you will undoubtedly swing by for the open house or to take a tour, but your visits should not stop there. To really get a feel for the neighborhood dynamics, you have to visit at various times of the day and into the evening hours. And if your initial visit was on a weekday, make a weekend visit a top priority as well. When everyone is home from work and school, the neighborhood will likely come alive with activity, showing you just what to expect while living there.

Take a Walk & Have a Chat

During your visits, do not just drive through and call it good, as that may tell you little about the community at large. Instead, park your car and go for a long walk through the neighborhood, taking in all the sights and sounds. As you move down the sidewalk, keep your eyes open for opportunities to say hello and chat with your future neighbors. As you encounter friendly residents, ask them what they love about living there — and what they might change, given the chance.

Join Online Community Groups

After visiting your future neighbors in person, you can go one step further by taking an in-depth look into the neighborhood by joining online community groups. To do so, go on your favorite social media platform and search for groups made by community members in your desired city. Join a few and introduce yourself to start learning about all the different aspects of that neighborhood. If you feel comfortable, create posts asking for input about the things that are most important to you, like schools, events, and crime rates.  

Talk to Your Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are always happy to help you find the neighborhoods that suit your ideal living experience best. Using their wealth of knowledge, they can help you pinpoint dog-friendly neighborhoods, for example, or find ones with a quieter atmosphere. All you have to do is let them know your ideal community dynamics, along with what you want to avoid, and they will guide the way to your perfect neighborhood.

When you use these tactics to vet your future neighbors, you will quickly find the locations that are most likely to offer your ideal living experience. Then, you can dive into the search with confidence you are looking in all the right areas for your dream home.




Tags: community   neighbors   new home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Marianne Avila on 12/27/2020

An open house is a big deal, particularly for a homebuyer who is intent on finding his or her dream residence as quickly as possible. If you plan ahead for an open house, you can make the most of this event.

Ultimately, there are many reasons for a homebuyer to craft a list of questions prior to an open house, and these reasons include:

1. You can optimize your time and resources.

Let's face it – few homebuyers have time and resources to spare. And if you attend an open house, it is important to do everything possible to maximize its value.

With a list of questions in hand, you can attend an open house and learn everything you want to know about a residence. Then, when you have answers to your questions, you can decide whether to submit an offer on a residence or continue your search for your dream house.

2. You can obtain in-depth home insights.

In many instances, homebuyers will attend an open house and leave with many questions about a residence. Yet homebuyers who create a list of questions prior to an open house can quickly gain the insights they need to identify their ideal home.

For homebuyers who want to obtain in-depth home insights, preparing a list of questions prior to an open house is a must. Homebuyers who ask questions about a house's interior, exterior, condition and age can learn about many different aspects of a residence. As a result, these buyers can use all of the information at their disposal to determine whether a house matches their expectations.

3. You can make the best-possible decision regarding a home.

Buying a house is rarely a simple decision. Fortunately, attending an open house with a list of questions can help a buyer make an informed decision about any residence, at any time.

When pursuing homes, there is no reason to leave anything to chance. By preparing questions before an open house, a homebuyer can take a data-driven approach to evaluate a house. And after a comprehensive assessment, a buyer can move forward with a home offer or reenter the housing market.

As you get ready to attend an open house, it may be beneficial to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you may be able to achieve your homebuying goals faster than ever before.

A real estate agent understands the housing market and its intricacies. As such, a real estate agent can keep you up to date about open house events and help you plan accordingly.

Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will do everything possible to take the guesswork out of buying a house. If you ever have questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.

Prepare a list of questions before you attend an open house – you'll be glad you did. By doing so, you should have no trouble discovering your ideal residence.







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