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Seller Tips

Top 10 real estate tips for 2017

By Steve McLinden • Bankrate.com Sean Justice/Getty Images High demand and low interest rates drove housing sales in 2016, and 2017 is shaping up to be another good year, albeit with a few minor caveats. While home prices for starter-to-midrange homes are pushing upward toward pre-recession peaks, especially in secondary markets, they're stabilizing in higher-priced areas. Prognosticators see the robust markets of Seattle, Portland and Denver as 2017's top performers, with 10 percent to 11 percent price growth. If mortgage rates rise modestly as expected in 2017, sales elsewhere ... Read More

Our Economist’s Top Tips for Selling a Home

If you’re planning to sell your house this year, well, you’re in luck. “The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory, and fierce competition between buyers,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. But you could still make missteps on the way to the bank. Yes, your house will likely sell, but when? Remember, time is money. “For sellers, it’s about understanding the ins and outs of their local market so they can optimize the price of their home and close quickly,” ... Read More

5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market

Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and exercise equipment. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards ... Read More

Simple Tips for Better Home Showings

Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, ... Read More

How to Get an Offer on Your Home

Price it right. Set a price at the lower end of your property’s realistic price range. Prepare for visitors. Get your house market ready at least two weeks before you begin showing it. Be flexible about showings. It’s often disruptive to have a house ready to show at the spur of the moment. But the more amenable you can be about letting people see your home, the sooner you’ll find a buyer. Anticipate the offers. Decide in advance what price and terms you’ll find acceptable. Don’t refuse to drop the price. If your home has been on the market for more than 30 days wit... Read More

Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home’s Exterior

Make your home more appealing for yourself and potential buyers with these quick and easy tips: Trim bushes so they don’t block windows or architectural details. Mow your lawn, and turn on the sprinklers for 30 minutes before the showing to make the lawn sparkle. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch. Install new doorknobs on your front door. Repair any cracks in the driveway. Edge the grass around walkways and trees. Keep your garden tools and hoses out of sight. Clear toys from the lawn. Buy a new mailbox. Upgrade you... Read More

10 Tips to Prevent Mold in Your Home

Fixing mold damage is an expensive and time-consuming home repair. But you can save time and money with these 10 tips to prevent mold. Homeowners have good reason to shudder when hearing, “You’ve got mold!” Mold can wreck your health and your finances: An extensive mold remediation can reach five figures. Here are 10 ways to prevent, control, and combat mold in your home. Eliminate ClutterCast a critical eye on household clutter, and pare down your stuff. Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles ... Read More

How to Kill and Prevent Bathroom Mold

Got bathroom mold? Here’s how to get rid of it and prevent future infestations, too. If you’ve never experienced bathroom mold, perhaps you aren’t looking deep enough into the corners of your bathroom. It’s one of the most common problems in any house; it’s also one of the easiest to prevent and cure — as long as you haven’t let it get out of hand. “Bathroom mold occurs primarily because mold loves damp, dark, isolated spaces,” says Larry Vetter of Vetter Environmental Services in Smithtown, N.Y. “Typically, a bathtub, shower, or entire bathroom remains damp enough... Read More

Home Owners Insurance: Is Mold Covered?

Whether mold is covered by home owners insurance often comes down to the source of moisture and the wording of a policy. Mold strikes fear into the hearts of those who’ve heard horror stories about toxic mold, expensive mold remediation, and denied home owners insurance claims. Yet mold can be found anywhere, including in most homes. It’s usually harmless. Mold needs moisture to thrive. Problems can arise for home owners when the presence of persistent moisture goes undetected or unresolved, leading to widespread mold growth. Moisture can result from high indoor humidity, flooding,... Read More

BEWARE SPOTTY MOLD INSURANCE COVERAGE

Owners with mold in the home may face a double-whammy: Their insurance policy may not cover the damage it’s caused. Mold needs water or moisture to grow, but not all causes of water damage are covered by homeowners’ policies, reports the Illinois Department of Insurance. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover water damage caused by “maintenance” problems, such as continuous or repeated water seepage or leakage, humidity or condensation problems, or landscaping or drainage problems. Homeowners policies also exclude water damage caused by floods. The best way to avoid an iffy i... Read More