Buying a Home: Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney

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Buying a Home: Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney

When I bought my first home, I basically signed whatever was placed in front of me. The idea of becoming a homeowner overshadowed any concerns that I might have. Besides, the agent seemed to know just what needed to be done. It was only later that I learned there was some confusion about the location of the property lines. Two years and several thousand dollars later, I finally got things straightened out. When I bought my second home, you can bet that I had a real estate attorney by my side. Everything was checked and double-checked before I signed anything If you are thinking about buying a home, take nothing for granted. Let me tell you more about my experience and why you need your own legal counsel. In the long run, you'll save a lot of time and trouble.

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Staging Tips That Can Be Done Quickly

If you're planning on selling your home, it's important to stage it to highlight its good features and minimize any negative ones. Your real estate agent will undoubtedly give you advice on what you should change. Busy families often find it difficult to find the time and money to make updates. Here are some projects that you can get done in a matter of hours, rather than having to devote an entire weekend to a particular task.

Updating the Kitchen

Even if your kitchen does not have granite counters and stainless steel appliances, all hope is not lost. There are a few small projects you can do that will make it look good and attract buyers.

  • Scrub down the pantry shelves. Then, organize the boxes, cans and packages. Storage space is often key for buyers, and seeing a well-organized pantry can tip the odds in your favor.

  • Replace kitchen cabinet hardware. You might not have the time or funds to replace all of your cabinets, but you can certainly update the hardware if yours is old-looking.

  • Put out new dishtowels and perhaps a new valance. Your faded, worn fabric accessories will make the kitchen look shabby. Invest in a few plush dishtowels and potholders to leave out. Choose a valance in a neutral shade since it will likely be staying with the house anyway.

Sprucing Up Your Outdoor Areas

Curb appeal is important for a great first impression, and many buyers will want a comfortable outdoor area to use during the mild parts of the year.

  • Use a pressure-washer to clean the driveway, walkway, outdoor entryway and patio or deck. This alone can add up to a tremendous change if you haven't been keeping these areas clean!

  • Plant flowers that are in bloom. If you don't currently have garden beds in the front, buy a few large containers to fill with flowers. Hang flowers on the porch and place a few containers on the deck, too.

  • Furnish the deck or patio for entertaining. If you don't have nice outdoor furniture, borrow some from neighbors or friends. Arrange it in a way that feels inviting. This step can add square footage to the perceived space of the home, since it will feel like an additional living area.

Appealing to the Senses

You've probably heard tips to bake cookies or boil cinnamon sticks and cloves before showings. It's true: The way your home smells can impact whether and how quickly it sells. Here are more ways to appeal to the senses.

  • Remove all hints and traces of your pets. You love Fido and Fluffy, but your potential buyers don't want to catch a whiff of a cat litter box or see a chewed-up rawhide bone in the toy basket. Pack up the pets and their paraphernalia!

  • Freshly launder sheets and blankets. Every week, wash the throw blankets on the couches, your sheets and even your comforter. Linens that have been slept on by humans and sat on by pets can pick up stale odors; making sure everything is freshly cleaned is key.

  • Clean the bathroom with scented cleaner. Give the bathroom a fresh cleaning, but choose your products wisely. Avoid the use of straight bleach, and don't use anything floral. A crisp lemon or pine scent can make a bathroom smell as clean as it looks.

Follow the advice of your real estate agent when it comes to staging your home, but don't be afraid to tell your realtor what your limitations are in terms of price and time. He or she should be able to give you some great tips that won't break the bank or make you feel like you're spending every free moment updating your home. Click here for more information on home selling.