READY TO SELL?

It’s important to get your property in the best possible condition prior to listing it.  pexels-photo-186077.jpeg

The simple truth is that homes with great curb appeal, that are very clean, well maintained, and have pleasing decor, sell faster and for more money than homes that don’t measure up.  We suggest working  your way through this checklist to be certain you are presenting your home in its best possible light.

Curb Appeal

  • Make sure your lawn is manicured.  Fill in bare spots in your lawn with grass seed, and eliminate as many weeds as possible.
  • Run the edger along the driveway and sidewalks for a clean line, and keep the driveway and walkways swept or hosed clean.
  • Trim all shrubbery, remove dead branches from trees, and remove/replace any old or dying bushes.
  • Thoroughly clean all your outdoor furniture, and touch up paint where needed.  Dress your patios/decks up with some fresh flowers now that they are clean and inviting.
  • Keep your front entryway super clean and freshly painted.  This includes the front porch, pillars, stairs, and door.  Once it is clean and painted, dress up the front door with a welcoming wreath or a new door knocker.  A potted plant or two also dresses up the entry and makes a great first impression.
  • Check that house numbers, mailbox and exterior lighting are all in good condition.
  • Thoroughly clean all windows and screens, and re-caulk or repaint where necessary.
  • Stand back at the street and take a good hard critical look at your property.  Do the roof, gutters, downspouts, siding, and chimney look good?  Would a good cleaning do them wonders?  Are repairs in order?  Get the cleaning, repainting, repointing and repairs done.

Garage

  • Get rid of items taking up space in your garage.  Buyers need to see that their cars will fit in the space.  If you can’t part with your belongings, rent a storage unit for a few months while your home is for sale and take everything there that you don’t need right now.
  • Thoroughly clean the walls, shelves and floor, and repaint where necessary.  It’s not difficult or expensive, but having a freshly painted garage floor leaves an amazing impression.
  • Ensure the garage door opener is working properly and put some WD40 on a squeaky door.  Oh, and make sure the garage door has been thoroughly cleaned and windows washed.

Kitchen

  • Determine whether you need small kitchen appliances, canisters and things that clutter up  countertops.  Put them away or pack them away.  You will have much more usable counter space and buyers will notice.
  • Sinks, appliances and counter tops should sparkle!  They should also be in good working order.  Fix any faucet leaks and replace any damaged appliance knobs.
  • If your cabinets are outdated, new hardware may make them look freshened up.  For a small amount of money you can add an ‘updated’ look to your tired old cabinets.
  • If you have ceramic tile,  thoroughly scrub all the grout, or paint the grout if it is beyond cleaning.  Home Depot sells a great grout pen that we recommend. Soft Scrub used with a stiff brush produces good results as well.  Professional cleaning may be in order.

Bathrooms

  • Thoroughly clean mirrors, glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces.  
  • Replace shower curtain and bathroom rug with something fresh and tasteful.
  • Fix any faucet leaks or drips.
  • Check the caulking around the tub and shower and replace with fresh caulking where necessary.  

Closets

  • Pack away all seasonal clothing.  Neatly store in boxes in the basement, garage or rent a storage facility.  Remember that closets are never “big enough”, and the least amount of items that are taking up space, the larger your closets look.
  • Organize your clothes and shoes neatly on bars and racks.  The more organized and clean and better!
  • Doors and drawers should open and close easily.  Make sure all tracks are clean and free of obstacles, and any squeaks are oiled.
  • Check all the basics around the house . . . all doors, windows and cabinets . . . to make sure they don’t stick, squeak or are loose, and that all the hardware is in good condition.
  • Apply fresh paint where needed.  If a room needs re-painted, use neutral-toned paint to brighten up the space. We can help you choose a color!
  • Carpets, draperies, and furniture should all be clean and looking their best.
  • Replace all burned out light bulbs.
  • Clean your furnace and water heater, and replace furnace filters as needed.  All buyers are looking at these things and are impressed by a home that shows good care and maintenance.
  • Does your home smell pleasant?  Place diffusers or air fresheners with a pleasant and mild scent around your home.  Vanilla is always a good choice!

Well, we hope this list is helpful in getting your home ready to sell. Give us a call and we’d love to assist you.  There’s truly a difference when you partner with the Maves Group! Let us show you why…

STAGING YOUR KITCHEN

kitchen

1. CLEAN IT and then CLEAN IT some more!

A clean kitchen is a happy kitchen.  And trust me the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. Even if you’re not a cook, the next owner might be.  They want to be able to imagine themselves cooking up a Food Network quality meal and serving it to their ever thankful family.  They want to picture holidays with lots of people crowding in and around all the aromas.  They want to picture long talks over coffee with their children or spouse.  See how important the kitchen is now?

So where do we begin? Scrub everything!  Wipe out the drawers.  Polish your sink and get in all tiny grooves to make it look as new as possible.  Use a non-scratch cleaner like Soft Scrub to really make it sparkle. Make your oven and stove shine. Wipe your cabinets – they do get greasy and dirty. If you have stainless appliances, be sure they’re polished and have no fingerprints.  Make sure the garbage is removed and there’s no lingering odors.  A good tip is to cut up a lemon and run it through the garbage disposal prior to showing.  Makes it smell fresh and clean.   Make sure you’ve run the dishwasher and it’s empty.  No one wants to look in the dishwasher and see dirty dishes.  Wipe down and clean out the refrigerator while you’re at it.  If you have tile counters, make sure the grout it clean. You can easily touch up grout with a grout pen or sprinkle baking soda on it, spray with white vinegar and scrub with a brush.  It cleans really well! Make sure your floor is super clean! Remove excess rugs.  Limit your floors to one rug.

2.  GET RID OF IT!

Don’t neglect the inside of your cupboards and drawers. If they’re chock full of stuff you’re sending a message to the buyer you don’t have enough storage space. Definitely not a good thing!   Start packing up all the items you won’t need on a daily basis. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to organize the pantry.  Make those shelves look like grocery store shelves! Toss random items into baskets or bins to make it look more tidy and organized.

3. DECLUTTER

Decluttering is probably one of the hardest aspects of staging for sellers. It’s hard to put away all the “stuff” you’re so use to seeing on a daily basis and that you use on a daily basis. But my thought is, I’d rather get my toaster out each time I use it and have a SOLD sign in my front yard!  Pack away cute collectable items, magnets, calendars, silk plants, and countertop appliances. If you’re gonna leave one appliance out choose your favorite -for most people that’s the coffee pot. Hee hee.

The easiest way to start the process  of decluttering is to completely clear off your counters, then only put back a few decorative items to fill in and soften the corners or a long expanse of countertop.

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4. ACCESSORIZE WITH JUST THE RIGHT ITEMS

Once you’ve decluttered, begin to decorate like a decorator.  Not sure how to do that?  Don’t think about what you like personally, think about what makes it most appealing to a buyer.  Add just enough decor to make the room come alive but not overwhelm it.  When they see neat and tidy with trendy little touches here and there it makes them think about it staying that way when they live there or gives them ideas on how they could add to it. And our favorite… FRESH FLOWERS.  There’s never been a better reason to buy yourself flowers than to help sell your home. There – we helped you justify the splurge.  Make sure if you do this that they are changed out weekly and always look fresh, with clean water for showings.

5. PAINT AND UPDATE IF POSSIBLE

A fresh coat of paint in the kitchen is a quick and easy way to refresh the space.  Again, think about colors a buyer would enjoy.  Just because you love bright blue doesn’t mean a buyer will.  Think neutral tones that are light and bring a brightness to the room. Also, consider replacing outdated light fixtures, old kitchen faucets and cabinet hardware.

So there you have it, our Top 5 Tips for Staging Your Kitchen to Sell.  Try these tips out whether your staging your home to sell or just need a little organization and freshness in your home.

How To Find The Right Real Estate Agent

ChoosingBuying a home is a BIG deal.  It is likely the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime.  You don’t want to just “hope” to work with the right people, but you want to make a decision based on your needs with an agent who is not only qualified but has the set of skills and passion to get the job done – and done well!

There are many real estate agents out there, as you can see by all the signs around town in the yards of hopeful sellers.  Some of them are smart, intuitive, passionate, focused and willing to go the extra mile.  And some are just not.  Let us help you by giving you some tips and questions to ask  for when choosing the right agent for you.

  1. How much? Ask potential agents how much they think they can sell your home for. “If two agents say $200,000 and the third says $300,000, think hard. It’s likely the high bid is an exaggeration to attract your business.” says Alison Rogers, author of Diary of a Real Estate Rookie. In the trade it’s known as buying a listing. In the end, you’ll be the one who pays because the high price will scare away potential buyers before you inevitably drop the price.
  2. How will you market it? Running a few classified ads in the local paper, listing it on the Internet and holding an open house shouldn’t be the only answers. They should be able to talk about what kinds of people are likely buyers and how he will reach out to those specific people. This is the time you will want to hear about smart phone apps, virtual tours, facebook markting, mailers and more.
  3. What’s your specialty? If you’re selling a starter home in a community full of young families, hiring an agent who specializes in seniors is probably a bad idea. It doesn’t mean that if he only sells condos that he can’t sell a house, but he may not be geared up to do the best job.
  4. How many people are you selling homes for right now and what are you doing for them? It may not be a bad thing that a high-powered agent is juggling 15 homes, but she may not be able to give a high level of personal service, although she should then have an attentive assistant. On the other hand, be wary of an agent with no other customers because she may lack experience and contacts.
  5. What do you expect of me? A good salesperson will have expectations. He may want you to leave and take the dog when the house is shown, paint the garage, move some furniture around and scrub the tile in the bathroom. It shows that he can think like a buyer – and that’s a good thing!
  6. Can I talk to one of your previous clients? References and referrals are a great agent’s  best advertising tools.  You will get the real low down on what type of agent they are and if that is someone who you may want to work with.  Many agents have a list of referrals or may even have a few clients who would be willing to give you their personal experience. A good reputation around town goes a long way.
  7. What is your business philosophy? This may not seem super important but it’s very nice when you can find out what’s important to the agent and determine how closely the agent’s goals and business emphasis mesh with your own.

To find out how The Maves Group can help you get that SOLD sign in your yard and have a team go the extra mile for you, contact us at (970)414-0956 or kelly@mavesgroup.com
or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MavesGroup

New FHA Rule Allows Some Foreclosed Homeowners to Buy After 1 Year

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently announced a significant mortgage rule change that will allow some borrowers to get a new FHA loan just one year after a foreclosure, short sale, deed-in-lieu or bankruptcy as part of the new “Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances” program.
To be eligible for the program, borrowers must be able to prove that a major economic event such as a job loss or severe reduction in income (20 percent for at least six months) was the main catalyst in losing their home. In addition, borrowers will need to show that their income has since fully recovered, and their credit score must be satisfactory. Finally, potential borrowers will need to complete a one-hour one-on-one housing counseling session. Borrowers will need to meet all other FHA eligibility criteria.
To be deemed with “satisfactory credit,” borrowers will need to meet the following guidelines for a minimum of 12 months:

  • No history of delinquency on rental housing payment.
  • No more than one 30-day late payment due to other creditors.
  • No collection accounts/court records reporting (other than medical and/or identity theft).

Prior to the major economic event, the borrower’s credit must have been satisfactory and in good standing.

However, even with the new rules, whether a particular borrower actually gets financing is ultimately at the discretion of individual lenders — even if the FHA rules say they can lend, individual lender rules could be significantly tighter, prohibiting them from lending below certain preset standards.
Do you know somebody who this could apply to? Contact The Maves Group at kelly@mavesgroup.com or 970-414-0956 to see how we can get you back on track towards home ownership! 

What’s Your Walk Score?

Grand Junction Walk Score Real Estate

As people become more active in cultural/community events it becomes ever more important for them to live close to those activities. But how by simply looking at a listing can you tell whether that property will work for you? 

Visit www.walkscore.com 
It will give you restaurants, grocery stores, outdoor places, schools, etc that are all within walking distance of the home

Take these current listings for example:
Click on the walk score or property address to learn more


Grand Junction Real Estate Maves Group Walk Score
926 N. 9th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently listed at $135,000
2 bedroom, 1 bath built in 1937

Grand Junction Real Estate walk score Maves Group
 1353 N. 24th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently Listed at $132,500
3 bedroom, 1.5 bath built in 1954

Grand Junction Real Estate Walk Score


636 N. 4th Street, Grand Junction, CO 
Currently Listed at $133,900
2 bedroom, 1 bathroom built in 1905

2721 Patterson Rd, Grand Junction, CO
Currently Listed at $137,000
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom built in 1977
As you can see the walk score can vary greatly! If being able to be free from your car is important to you contact The Maves Group at 970-414-0956! We can help you find the perfect property, although we may drive you there to take a look! 🙂 

Listing Losers – 8 Reasons Your Home Isn’t Selling

Why do some homes linger on the market for months — or years — while others are snapped up in a matter of days?

While much of it has to do with price and local inventory, a whole host of factors can conspire to make a home sit and stagnate on the multiple listing service without showings or offers.
“The longer a house sits on the market, the more it gets stigmatized,” says Deirdre Lohan Conway, of Schooner Properties near Cape Cod, Mass. People ask, “What’s wrong with that house?” and “Why hasn’t it sold?”
If you don’t want your home to be the listing that won’t budge, read on for eight listing no-nos and four tips to help you sell lickety-split.

1. A ‘what the heck are they thinking?’ price tag

Grand Junction homes Kelly Maves

Price is usually the overriding factor in any home that doesn’t sell. Whatever its problem, it can usually be rectified by adjusting the price, says Kathy Opperman, broker-owner of Century 21 Alliance in Philadelphia.
“It’s always price for condition or price for location,” Opperman says. “That’s one of the main reasons [homes] sit.”
Why are some homes priced so far above the pack? While many nostalgic sellers have unrealistic ideas about what their home can fetch, others simply can’t afford to take less because they are underwater on their loan.

2. Tacky or dated decor

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

Everybody’s taste is different, so less is more when it comes to decor at sale time. Loud patterns and bold colors can be big distractions.
In one of his recent upstate New York listings, Don Moore, an agent with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Tech Valley, says that wallpaper played a starring role in every room, as did colorful and dated window treatments and furniture.
Even the foyer was baby blue with pink trim. The gaudy decoration obscured what was a gem of an energy-efficient house, complete with 37 acres of land. The home had been on and off the market since 2010; its price dropped from $879,900 to $549,000 before selling recently — good thing, because the buyer had to invest quite a bit of money to remove all that wallpaper.
Other buyer turnoffs include time-capsule interior treatments such as mirrored walls, cheap wood paneling and 1970s kitchens.

3. Poor condition

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

If a home looks as if it’s going to cost half as much to repair or renovate as it does to purchase, it’s going to take a long time to move, agents say. Indeed, today’s buyer is a lot more reluctant to take on a “project,” says Conway of Schooner Properties, especially if there are houses around it that don’t need as much work.
Ditto for homes that have strong pet or mold smells. So fix it, or prepare to lop a large amount off the price, agents say.

4. Bad location

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

A wonderful house can’t always overcome a bad location. Homes that are close to a power plant, waste-treatment facility or busy freeway will often sit, unless the seller is willing to take a major hit on the price, Opperman says.
She experienced this when a freeway moved into her backyard, forcing her to slash her home’s price. “We had to disclose that they were putting one of those [turnpike] barrier walls 10 feet into my property,” Opperman says. “We sold for $100,000 less than my neighbors across the street.”
Moreover, when a neighborhood has disintegrated, pushing values down and crime up, it’s hard to find a buyer who wants to purchase there, and owners are forced to rent out the home, possibly under the federal government’s Section 8 housing program. Once renters are in, it’s also more difficult to show a property to potential buyers, agents say, because tenants don’t want to be disturbed — or uprooted.

5. Bad design

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

With many homes, it’s an inefficient or strange floor plan or design that acts as a barrier to a sale.
In some cases, it’s a matter of functional obsolescence, when a dated design no longer serves today’s population, such as older homes where you have to walk through one bedroom to get to a second bedroom.
This home in Catskill, N.Y., is missing one important element — a driveway — says listing agent Ted Banta III of Premier Realty Services. Located on a steeply graded street that doesn’t encourage parking – and with no room on the lot to add a driveway – it has lingered on the market for more than four years.
Sure, the buckled linoleum and rough interior aren’t selling points either, but those could be overcome with the right price. Good thing it’s close to Main Street, since an eventual new owner may be doing a lot of walking.

6. A fancy hacienda among humble homes

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

While it certainly feels nice to have the largest, most elegant home in the neighborhood, it won’t do you any favors when it comes time to sell, agents say. People are paying not only for the house but also for everything around it. If the homes around yours don’t mirror yours in size or polish, you might have a hard time getting a luxury price.
Moore, who sells properties near Albany, N.Y., tells of one golf-course property that has been on the market intermittently since July 2011 because its scale and amenities are so much richer than those around it.
Originally listed at $799,900, it’s now priced at $579,000, a step closer to the ranch homes around it, which are selling in the low- to mid-$200,000 range.
“This is the most expensive house on the street for blocks around,” Moore says.

7. Investor-owned condo projects

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

Some condos can be a hard sell for banks, including those in largely investor-owned communities.
This unit in an upscale, master-planned, student-housing development near Clemson University in South Carolina could be attractive for parent investors — if they could get a loan on it, says agent Susie Kohout of Carolina Real Estate, who has the listing.
In recent years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made it more difficult to get a loan on a condo in a heavily investor-owned complex, which most college condo complexes are. This property has been on the market for three years, according to Realtor.com.
So, sure, the development with its game room, pool and lazy river looks great, but its pool of available buyers may be limited as few banks will fund it.

8. Frightening photos

Grand Junction Real Estate Kelly Maves

If a seller can’t be bothered to clean up before the sale, the agent probably shouldn’t include many interior photos. In these horrifying photos of a Chicago-area home, posted on a real-estate message board, dirty clothes, hoarding and clutter dominate the shots, giving would-be buyers pause about the hygiene and condition of the rest of the house. Where is the storage if people need to dump their belongings throughout the house?
“As a buyer, would you even want to go look at something like this?” asked “blub blub blub,” who posted the photos. Yet, according to “blub,” this listing comes from a building in which units are selling briskly.  
Only a certain set of plucky buyers will see past the mess and cosmetic issues to realize that there’s a bargain to be had.

Original story from www.msn.com http://realestate.msn.com/listing-losers-8-reasons-your-home-isnt-selling-and-what-to-do-about-it#1

To find out how The Maves Group can help you get that SOLD sign in your yard, contact us at (970)414-0956 or kelly@mavesgroup.com 
or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MavesGroup