Must-Do September Home Maintenance

Today on the show Dave and Robert talk about must-do home maintenance projects before the arrival of fall. See the short list of tasks below and listen to the show for all the details.

Must-Do September Home Maintenance
  1. Check your walkways for cracks or loose paver material. Fix any damage before cold weather sets in. An icy and damaged walkway is a recipe for disaster.

  2. Pressure wash your home.

  3. Inspect your home’s siding and trim for any damage.

  4. Check for leaking or dripping faucets.

  5. Check that your windows are sealed tightly before cold weather sets in.

  6. Sweep the chimney if you have one!

  7. Change your air filter and tune up your furnace.

  8. Care for your lawn mower. Change the air filter, oil and fill the tank with a gas preservative mixture.

  9. Clean your gutters to prevent ice damns and water damage.

  10. Now is a perfect time (and temperature) to recondition your deck or patio.

  11. If you’ve been thinking of replacing your old grill all summer, but haven’t gotten around to it, now might be the perfect time. Most grills will be on sale!

How to Ensure Your Neighbors Don't Cost You Money When You Sell Your Home

Few sellers consider their neighbor's home when going to sell their own home. They're too busy getting their own home clean, painted, landscaped and ready to hit the market. But if your neighbor's home is lacking in curb appeal or there's an issue with the property line, your neighbors can impact the sale of your property. The good news is there are a few things you can do to help the situation if you put in the work ahead of time. The first thing you can do is develop a good relationship with your neighbor. See the short list of tips below and then listen to the show for more detailed advice from Dave and Robert! 

How to Ensure Your Neighbors Don't Cost You Money on Your Home Sale

1. Develop a good relationship with your neighbors! Having a relationship with your neighbors not only enriches your life, it makes it easier to approach them if you need their help during the sale of your home. A few ideas to grow that relationship:

  • Bring the neighbors food! Whether you're introducing yourself for the first time or you just haven't talked to them in a while, cookies, fresh veggies, or homebaked bread can break the ice with your neighbors.

  • Good neighbors rarely gossip. Don't get sucked into gossip, move the conversation on to something else.

  • Exchange phone numbers with your neighbors. It's almost guaranteed that you will need your neighbor's phone number at some point!

  • Help out before you're asked! If you see that your neighbor struggles to mow the lawn in the summer heat, ask when it'd be best to stop by with your riding lawn mower. Or if they are in need of a babysitter, ask them when you can help out!

  • Be tidy! An untidy neighbor can make it hard to sell your home, don't be that untidy neighbor yourself!

  • Mow the lawn! This goes along with being tidy. A mowed lawn goes a long way in helping not only your curb appeal, but your neighbor's curb appeal!

  • Good neighbors communicate. If you see that your neighbor's fence is starting to wobble, communicate with them before it falls over and offer to help fix it! Establishing open communication will go a long way when you go to sell your home.

2. Keep your neighbors in the loop. If you plan to sell your home in the future, give your neighbors a heads up before it hits the market. If you think you'll need their help in any way during the selling process, it will be easier to approach them if they know the situation ahead of time.



Should you hire a friend or family member as your Realtor?

Once word gets out that you're looking to buy or sell a home, it's almost guaranteed that you'll get bombarded by friends and family asking you to hire them for the job. While it might sound like a good idea to hire someone you know and trust, hiring friends or family can actually turn your home buying or selling experience into a stressful and dramatic experience. Check out the short list below for advice on why hiring friends or family is not the best option for buying or selling your home. Listen to the show for Dave and Robert's advice on the topic!

Should you hire a friend or family member as your Realtor?

4 Reasons to Think Twice Before Hiring a Friend or Family Member as Your Real Estate Agent

  1. Your friend or relative has a biased perspective. Sure you want someone who is looking out for your best interest, but you also want someone who isn't afraid to tell you the truth when it's hard to hear. Telling hard truths about your home buying budget or your home's list price will be difficult for your friend because it could create tension in your personal relationship. It's much easier for someone who has a solely professional relationship with you to tell it like it is. They will care more about selling your house for top dollar than whether or not they will hurt your feelings!
  2. Your friend or relative might not be an expert agent. Your home is one of your biggest financial investments. You need an experienced professional to help you with home buying or selling so that you can make the most of your investment. If your friend or family member is an inexperienced agent, let them practice on someone else! You want someone who knows the ends and outs of negotiating offers, contracts, and inspections. You also want someone who knows about upcoming listings and other homes similar to yours on that have recently sold.
  3. The home buying or selling process can be tense. Negotiating repairs and closing terms can get emotional for everyone involved. A lot of times it takes an unbiased viewpoint to find a solution. And what if things get so rough that you need to fire your friend or family member? That's going to lead to some awkward family get-togethers in the future!
  4. You will be revealing A LOT about your personal financial portfolio. If you don't want your friends or family to know the intimate details of your bank accounts or debt to income ratios, think twice before hiring them as your agent!

What You Should Know Before Buying a Fixer Upper

People love the idea of fixer uppers and flip houses, but in real life they aren't always as glamorous as they look on HGTV. Before you set out to find a run-down house to transform into your dream house, make sure you know how to find a diamond in the rough that won't turn into a money pit. You should also know how to do the math to make sure the home is worth your investment. See the short list of things you should know before purchasing a fixer upper and listen to the show for extra details and advice from Dave and Robert. You'll also hear from James about options for financing a fixer upper.

Old cute house
  1. Find the worst house on the best block. Aim to spend 20-25% less than what a property in good shape would cost in that area.
  2. Find a fixer upper that only needs cosmetic fixes. Avoid homes that have structural, plumbing or major mechanical problems.
  3. Look for a home with strong structural elements, a floor plan that works, a home with no infestations (pests, mold, etc.) and a home that has been recently occupied.
  4. Have a contractor check out the property before you make an offer on it. They'll help you get an idea of how much your renovation budget will need to be.
  5. Do the math to figure out if it's a sound investment and stick to your budget once you start the renovation!
  6. Have a strong team that you trust around you every step of the way.

The Ultimate Moving Checklist - 20 Things to Do Before Moving into a New Home

With all the excitement of a new home, it's easy to forget small tasks that need to be done before you move in. Be sure to check out this ultimate moving checklist to help you out! Putting in some extra preparation before the big day will make the process smooth and prevent undue stress. See the list below and listen to the show for extra details and tips from Dave and Robert.

Move. Cardboard boxes and cleaning things for moving into a new home
  1. Make a moving day schedule for your whole family (don't forget your pets!).
  2. Plan and stick to a moving budget.
  3. Hire the right moving company, or get the right people to help you.
  4. Remember not to establish new lines of credit, like purchasing a car or all new furniture for your new home. This could interfere with your new home's financing and prevent closing!
  5. Turn on the utilities ahead of time. Call and establish electricity, water, etc. in your name.
  6. Be sure to set-up or transfer your internet and cable service ahead of time.
  7. Order an energy audit on your new home to see if there is any room for savings once you move in.
  8. Make sure to complete any needed repairs before you move, no matter how small!
  9. Do a deep clean. It's never easier to do then when your new home is empty.
  10. Replace the home's locks and put an extra key in a lockbox.
  11. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  12. Plan and do any major renovations.
  13. Consider purchasing a home warranty to cover future home repairs.
  14. Buy a fire extinguisher for every level of the home, kitchen and garage. 
  15. Create a fire escape plan with your family.
  16. Get to know your new home, including where your circuit breaker and water main shut off is located.
  17. Label your home's electrical panel. This will make things so much easier for you when you need to use it!
  18. Childproof your new home before moving in!
  19. Don't forget to update your address with the postal service and any online billing services you use.
  20. Make sure to update friends and family with your new address!

7 Tips to Create and Maintain a Beautifully Landscaped Yard

When you think of your dream yard it might be spilling with flowers and lush green grass, but the reality of your current yard doesn't quite match. If you're thinking of boosting up your curb appeal with new landscaping, listen to this week's show for tips on planning your new yard plus how to keep it looking beautiful.

Hidden Garden
  1. Put heaps of love and care into your lawn. Lush, green grass is the foundation of any beautiful yard. Plus taking care of your lawn will get you a whopping 303% ROI when you go to sell!
  2. Plant with a plan! It's hard to envision your lawn 5 to 10 years from now, but planting your yard with a plan will keep your yard from turning into a jungle over the years! Research the plants that you're choosing and create a map of how to plant them. If this seems overwhelming, you can always hire a landscape architect to help you map out your landscaping so that everything will mesh together beautifully!
  3. Make sure to find your hardiness zone before planting. Hardiness zones will tell you which plants will thrive in your geographical location. Checking your zone will help you pick plants that will flourish.
  4. Don't go overboard with your favorite flower. Planting only one type of flower will only give you a short time of beautiful blooms. Pick plants that bloom during all four seasons so you always have a pop of color in your yard.
  5. Don't plant shrubs, trees or flowers too close together. They may look far apart when you first plant them but remember they will grow! Don't plant them so that they become overcrowded once they grow into their full size.
  6. Water correctly, especially in the summer! Water your plants less often, but deeply. A deep soak will allow the water to soak into the roots instead of just running off and evaporating. Remember to water in the early morning or the evening for the best results!
  7. Don't let dead plants linger! Nothing wreaks curb appeal like dead plants and overgrown weeds. Keep up with your yard maintenance to reap the ROI of the hard work you put into your landscaping.

Is It Time To Sell Your Home? If One of These 7 Things Rings a Bell, It's Time!

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision and one that is often times emotion. Today Dave and Robert talk about how to figure out if it's time to sell your home. See the short list of signs it's time to sell below and listen to the show for all the details!

red door and cat
  1. Your home is starting to feel cramped! Maybe your family is growing, your closets are crammed full, or you started a new job working from home. Whatever the reason, if you're feeling tight on space and remodeling isn't an option, it's a good sign you need to upgrade to a bigger home.
  2. Your home has too much space! If the kids have moved out and you have way too many rooms, downsizing might be a great option for you.
  3. You have a lot of equity on your side. An experienced agent can run a free value analysis on your home to figure out exactly how much equity you may have. If you have enough equity to cover a 20% down payment on your next home, you will not have to pay private mortgage insurance--which saves you money in the long run!
  4. A strong overall real estate market. If you notice that the average days on market in your area is decreasing and the values are increasing, that's a good sign of a strong market and a great time to sell!
  5. Ask yourself if you can afford to sell your home. It's not free to sell your home and move to a new one. Before you consider selling, make sure you have money to not only cover moving costs, but preparing your home to sell.
  6. Your neighbors just made bank on their home. This is a good sign that you could make a lot of money on yours as well!
  7. You're tired of your neighborhood. Maybe you just need a new area to call home! Listen to your gut!

You Received an Offer on Your Home! Now…to Accept it or Reject it?

It's a great day for you as a home seller when you receive an offer on your home, but what should you do next? On today's show, Dave and Robert talk about what you should consider before accepting or rejecting an offer. It's not all about what price they offer! See the short list below and listen to the show for all the details, plus input from guest James Pulsipher with Fidelity Mortgage.

Real estate agent offer hand for customer sign agreement contract signature for buy or sell house. Real estate concept contact agreement concept

When considering an offer, the offer price isn't the only factor to consider! You should also consider:

  1. The amount of earnest money they will deposit. This is a good indication of how serious they are about their offer. A higher amount of earnest money, makes an offer stronger.
  2. The total number of contingencies. Contracts that have fewer contingencies are more likely to close in a timely fashion.
  3. The amount of the buyer's down payment. A higher down payment most likely means the buyer has the financial wherewithal to make it to the closing table if anything comes up along the way.
  4. The closing date the buyer is requesting. The buyer might need to close sooner than you are ready to move. On the flip side, the buyer might not be able to close soon enough for your circumstances. Keep this in mind!