Ask Jean Archives for February of 2015

Jean Allard, SRES is Vice President and Sales Associate with Keystone Real Estate Group. Feel free to comment on Jean's blog posts and ask any questions you may have on all facets of real estate!

Seniors and Real Estate

Published 02/20/2015

Did you know that there is a specific designation that identifies a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)? That's because working with seniors who are transitioning from their homes is delicate business. In today's technological world of texting, e-mail and Skype, elderly folks are out of the loop. They need old fashioned face-to-face meetings. Phone calls. Family involvement. Where will they go when they can no longer live alone? Do they have a health care proxy? Who will wr...ite checks for them if they become hospitalized? They need a team of professionals to guide them along the way. A holistic approach is the key to an easy transition.

It's advisable to have a family member with them to meet with the Realtor. Perhaps it will take a few meetings before they are comfortable putting their house on the market. A good SRES will guide them toward other professionals to remove the stumbling blocks ahead. It's frightening enough to buy/sell your home, but when your next move could possibly be your last, it can be downright terrifying. Be sure to work with someone who specializes in this field. If they are worth their salt, they will make that transition as seamless as possible.

What's That SMELL??

Published 02/23/2015

We know you love your pets.  They're part of the family, right?  Over time, we become nose-blind to just how badly they can smell.  When you're listing your house, be sure you've eliminated all traces of pet odors.  Having the house professionally cleaned is the best way to be sure your home smells and looks fresh. 

Pet dander can trigger allergic reactions to a lot of potential buyers.  Your sale will be lost before you can say "achoo!" Remember that you want to attract the most people as possible to your home.  Make it a welcoming environment. Not everyone is as enamored with Fido and Fluffy as you are.

Once the place is clean, remove all pet paraphernalia.  This includes food bowls, dog beds, litter boxes and cat climbing towers.  Take the pets out of the home during all showings. While it's inconvenient to you in the short term, it will help buyers to see the space itself.  The other items are a distraction.

Placing candles strategically throughout the house helps.  Or, put a pot of simmering water on the stove.  Fill it with cinnamon, apples and nutmeg to mimic the smell of apple pie.  If you have time, bake some brownies and leave them on the counter.  Not only will it be comforting to smell, you've now left a sweet taste of home in their mouth. 


Published 02/24/2015

Say it isn't so! It's February and you still have Santa on your roof? Holiday lights are hanging from the bushes and wooden reindeer are still on the front lawn?  What message does this send to a potential buyer for your home?  Subconsciously, they are wondering if they even want to bother looking inside.  The message they get is that you just don't care. If you don't care enough to take care of seasonal items, what else have you let go? Roof leaks? General maintenance?

It's been a loooong, cold and snowy winter.  We get that. While the winter months typically slow down for listings, serious buyers are still looking, however.  Here's the opportunity to shine. Go ahead. Take down that inflatable Grinch. He's been buried under the snow and needs to go back in the garage. Untangle those lights and put them away. Hang a wreath of fresh lemons or oranges on the front door to add a pop of color.  It's SO much more welcoming than dead twigs.   

Who IS that lovely child?

Published 02/26/2015

Your house is on the market.  It's clean and ready to put its best face forward, right?  Here's something to keep in mind. A prospective buyer needs to see open space, and to envision living there with their family.  If you have created a photographic shrine to honor little Susie, the buyers get distracted.  While your child is obviously the most beautiful creature in the universe, the buyer gets stuck.  You see, they need to imagine that wall filled with photos of THEIR family.  Not everyone has the imagination to see past YOUR beautiful children. Pack away those family photos.  You can create a new collage in the new house.  The one you are selling needs to be neutrally pleasing. If buyers are admiring your pictures, they are ignoring what you WANT them to see - the house!