Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Have Children? Watch Out for These Home Buying Mistakes

Do you want to make sure your children have the absolute best, right? When parents are buying a new home, it's pretty common to look for one that's ideal for your growing family. Be careful, though! Many parents make two fairly common mistakes when they purchase a home to fit the needs of their children.


Mistake #1 - Buying Too Big


One of the biggest mistakes families make is purchasing a home that is too large. Perhaps you buy a home thinking that you'll expand your family a bit. Maybe you just buy additional space so the kids will have plenty of bedrooms and play space. The problem is twofold. First, you may search outside of your desired area so you can get the space upgrade you want, and that can lead to buyer's remorse later. Second, kids grow up quickly. Before you know it, they'll be at university, and you'll be left with a lot of empty space. The solution? Buy just enough space to support your family, but make sure it's in a location you love.


Mistake #2 - Choosing a Home For A Phase


Maybe you select the home because a playset would look great in the backyard. Maybe you choose it because of an added playroom. It's essential to remember that your children will shift from one phase into another, and selecting a home based on their current ages may not be the best option. Instead, select one that will mean you can move from the playroom to den for teens to home office seamlessly. Choosing a home that has the ability to change as your family does is an absolute must.


Buying a new home for your growing family is always a good idea, but make sure that you’re thinking about the future when you start browsing for homes. Don’t make decisions just to suit your young children, and don’t be afraid to have children share a bedroom if it means that you can keep living in a neighbourhood that you’re comfortable with. After all, once the children are grown and on their own, your home will still be your living space.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Four Concerns Every Pet Owner Should Have Before Selling

There’s nothing like owning pets. They become a part of your family. They’re always there, ready to comfort you and can bring more joy to your life than even the best dessert. But selling your home when you own pets can be challenging. Believe it or not, owning a pet can actually lower the value of your home. If you're ready to sell, make sure these four things are on your mind.


1.    Your Landscaping: Animals can change the landscaping around your home. When your dog heads out in the morning, he may dig up various spots in your back garden. Your cat could leave tell-tale scratch marks in various places. Take some time to clean up your garden, and ensure you can't tell a pet lives near your home.

2.    Claw Marks: Cats sometimes scratch the door casings. A dog's claws can scratch your flooring. If you find any of these scratches around your home, do what you can to cover it or replace the damaged area. It may seem like a small problem to you, but it can be a massive issue for potential buyers.

3.    Carpet Stains: If there are any stains on the carpet, make sure that you focus on getting rid of them. If you try a number of different cleaning products and nothing works, including using a steam cleaner, you may need to replace the carpet entirely.

4.    The Smell: Odours are a huge problem when you’re selling your home. Pet owners become so used to the smell that it can be tough to realise one exists. Have a trusted friend or family member come into your home and ask them to be honest about what they smell. Usually, a thorough deep cleaning and a carpet cleaning can help to eliminate any smell.


Your pet doesn’t have to be a liability when you’re selling your home. Just make sure that you take a good amount of time honestly looking for signs of pet ownership in your home and do everything you can to make it look like the house is a pet-free zone.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How Do You Know You’ve Found the Right Home?

When you’re house hunting, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of homes you’re viewing because you're not sure which one is right for you. How can you know that you’ve found your perfect home? As it turns out, there are a few things you'll do when you realise you've found the perfect home. 

?     You envision wall colors. When you walk into each room, you suddenly start to imagine what the room would look like if it were painted a different color. What if this beige was blue, or that became an accent wall and you painted it white? If you can imagine colors, you’re already invested, and it's best to place an offer now. 

?     The first 3 seconds. What happens the moment you walk into the home? Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel as though the home invites you to explore it? Usually, you can tell how you feel about the home within the first 3 seconds (although it’s a good idea to give it at least a full minute or two before deciding). 

?     You’re possessive. If your agent starts talking about other people looking at the house, and you’re instantly worried or frustrated, it’s a sign that you're ready to invest in the property. 

?     You can’t sleep. If you go home and can’t sleep, it’s a good sign that you may have found the right house for you. If you can’t sleep because you’re excited about the idea of owning the home, or because you’re imagining what the rooms would look like when you get done, you have certainly found the perfect home for you. 

Ready to locate that perfect home? Give us a call today.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Selling Your Home? Deep Clean Your Bathroom

The bathroom can always use a good cleaning. Even if you already give it a good weekly scrubbing, if you plan to sell your home, a deep cleaning is nothing short of absolutely necessary. Here are a few tips that will help you to get your bathroom sparkling clean! 

Cleaning the Tub?

Getting those stubborn stains and spots off of your bathtub can be tricky. Try using an all-purpose cleaner and letting it sit for a bit. If that doesn’t work, add a fairly deep layer of sodium bicarb and let it sit for around 15 minutes. Then, use a microfibre cloth to wipe everything down. If that still doesn’t get it clean, you can soak a cotton coil with bleach and line the water marks with it. Let it sit overnight and then rinse, and those stubborn stains should be gone. 

Don’t forget to make sure you clean your bath mats as well! Throw them in the washer while you’re cleaning the bathroom, and they’ll look amazing when you're finished.

Bathroom Extractor Fan

When was the last time you cleaned your bathroom extractor fan? If you haven’t cleaned it in awhile, you might be surprised at just how much buildup is on it. Make sure you take the cover off, clean the fan and then clean the vent cover. You can even use a coat of wax to stop build-up in the future!

The Toilet

Did you know you can take two denture tablets, plunk them into the reservoir of your toilet tank, let it sit overnight and any stains inside the tank will be gone? Also, make sure that you actually remove the toilet seat when you’re cleaning to get a thorough clean.

Sometimes a serious clean is all it takes to attract a potential buyer. To get the help you need to sell your home, contact us today.


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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Selling a Home with Significant Problems

You can legally sell a property in absolutely any condition. Realistically, though, who wants to buy a home with significant problems? You might be surprised at the answer.

Getting Into the Market at Any Price

Younger homebuyers are often willing to get into the market with the perfect fixer-upper. Wondering why? It's far cheaper than renting, and whether that means replacing a water damaged bathroom floor or dealing with holes in the siding, younger buyers are sometimes willing to deal with damaged property in exchange for a much lower sales price.

In addition to the younger crowd, real estate investors are also often looking for a great deal on a home, and a house that comes with significant problems, like a need for all new windows or some sheetrock work may be just the investment someone wants to make.

Disclosure is Everything

If you do find a potential buyer for a property that has problems, disclosure really matters. According to the 2008 Consumer Protection Against Unfair Trading Regulations, you are required to let any potential buyer know material information that may affect a consumer's decision. Whether it's a boundary dispute, a major defect, or even neighbourhood regulations, you must let someone know before the property is sold. Being vague with your answers may mean problems in the conveyance process, and that could mean a long court battle ahead, even after the home is sold.

A Good Estate Agent Can Help

At Doorsteps, we've worked with buyers who have beautiful, perfect properties and those who have properties that seem almost unsellable. We're the 14th largest estate agent in the UK, and we know how to move properties. Ready to learn more about how we can help you deal with your difficult property? Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Selling an Empty Home

The home has absolutely nothing inside. Every buyer who walks in is going to quickly realise that, and while you've probably read every blog available on decluttering, what you may not understand is that a vacant home can be just as tough to sell as a cluttered one. Whether you're trying to move your home on and off the market after a divorce, you're selling your home after  you've already located a new one, or you're trying to sell an elderly family member's property after they've gone to a care home, it's important to understand that vacant houses present an interesting problem. These tips can help you sell your vacant property much faster.

1. Maintain the Curb Appeal - The home may not have any furniture inside it, but curb appeal remains an important factor. It can't look abandoned from the outside. Make sure you hire a lawn care service to handle the routine trimming necessary, and you may want to make a few updates to the outside to help make it look like a home that has been well cared for over time.

2. Clean and Paint - If a home is vacant, a buyer is far more likely to notice the scratches and scuffs on the wall as well as the damaged flooring in spots and dirty carpeting. Before you even list your home with Doorsteps, hire a carpet cleaning company to do a thorough job on the flooring. Hire a painting team to give the walls a quick, neutral facelift as well.

3. Set the Thermostat - Ensure your heat remains on in the home the entire time it is on the market. The last thing you want is a buyer who walks into the home to view it and is freezing cold the entire time. You may even want to install a smart thermostat. It's not only a great selling point, but you can control it from your mobile, too, to help turn up the heat before a buyer comes in.

 Vacant homes can be harder to sell, but we'll help you do it quickly. Contact us today for more helpful tips. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

My Neighbourhood is Awful! What Can I Do?

Not every home has the perfect location. Some areas just aren't appealing to homebuyers, and that can mean that properties for sale often sit on the market for much longer than they might in prime neighbourhoods. If you have a home located in a spot that may be less than desirable, is there any hope? Absolutely! 

Curb Appeal

This concept matters in almost every home sale, but if you're in spot buyers won't love, it matters quite a bit more. The idea behind curb appeal is that the moment a potential buyer sees your home, he or she will immediately fall in love with it, and there are several things you can do to make that happen. Do some landscaping. Paint or replace the front door. Powerwash the siding. Check the trim to see if it needs a quick paint job, and don't forget to add some cute outdoor furniture to the front. Replacing your exterior lighting can help too, as it gives your home the look you want, even at night. 

Consider a Fence

If other homes in the neighbourhood are detracting from yours, you may want to consider privacy fencing around your property. It will help segregate your home from those around it, and that may be the added touch buyers will need to see your home in a completely different light. Select a style that works with your home for an added touch. Keep in mind, however, that this type of fencing can be a bit pricey, so weigh the cost of installation against the sale. 

Everything Matters

When you're trying to sell a home in a spot that buyers may not jump at, everything matters. You'll want to declutter and hire a professional cleaner to make sure your home looks amazing from top to bottom. Consider staging your home too. The best possible price you can change the way people see your home as well. Perfection is nothing short of a must in this situation.

To learn more about how we can help you sell your home, no matter what the neighbourhood looks like, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How Do You Buy and Sell a House At the Same Time?

First-time homebuyers often have an easy task. They simply find the home of their dreams, get the perfect mortgage, then make that purchase. When you already own a home, though, things are a bit more complicated. Can you really buy a home and sell your current one at the same time? It is possible, but it may take a bit of extra work on your part.

Step 1: Know Your Market

If you've ever heard the phrase "All real estate is local," you know that while homes may be hot on the other side of town, they may have trouble selling in your area. Understanding what is selling and what is not in your area will help you know how quickly to move forward. You'll want to complete this research even before you start shopping for another home. Know how long it might take you to move your home from "for sale" to "sold," and understand how to price it correctly to help that happen faster.

Step 2:  Plan, Then Market

Your next step is to begin marketing your home with Doorsteps. We'll help you get your home in front of all of the right people almost immediately, and that can result in a faster sale. Before you jump into that step, though, come up with a plan. If your home does sell immediately, how quickly can you be out, and where will you go if you haven't hit your closing date on the home you're buying? A bit of preparation at this stage can prevent some serious problems down the road when your home does sell.

Step 3: Find the Right Property

The moment you put your home on the market, it's time to start searching for the perfect property to meet your needs. It may help to have an understanding of what (and where) that property is going to be. For example, if you want something that's close to the M4 for business purposes, you have a specific area to search. If you want a large garden, you're going to be able to eliminate a number of properties immediately. You won't have much time, especially if your home sells quickly, so you may need to clear your schedule for a couple of days.

Keep in mind that if it's financially feasible, it may be possible for you to buy the home of your dreams while you're working to sell yours. Chat with your mortgage lender about your options before you begin searching for that perfect property. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Only Three Tips You Need to Get Your Home On and Off the Market Fast

You need to sell your home, and you don't have a lot of time. Whether you're changing jobs or you simply can't deal with a sale that drags out over the course of several months, there are a number of ways to get your home on and off the market quicker. These three tips can help.

·         Price it Right: We've written at length before about how to ensure your home is priced right, but it matters far more if you're trying to get your home off the market immediately. The activity you see the moment your home hits the market, and for the fifteen or so days that follow, is the best activity you're going to see during the entire sales cycle, and buyers know a good deal when they see one. If your price falls within that "perfect" range, you're going to get the results you want.

·         Stage It: There's always some debate about whether to stage your home or not, but most experts agree that a properly staged home is one that sells much faster. If a potential buyer can walk into every room in the home and see a space that's lacking clutter and one in which they can immediately envision themselves, you're going to have more buyers than you might if you're using the breakfast nook as a play area for your toddlers instead.

·         List Online: Zoopla, RightMove, PrimeLocation - if you're not listed on sites like these, you're missing buyers. Statistics suggest that nearly half of all property buyers in the UK begin their search online, and if you're not listed there, you'll miss buyers who are ready to move immediately. At Doorsteps, we list your home with hundreds of property sites from day 1, so you'll never miss an opportunity with a buyer.

You're ready to sell right now, and we can help you do it. Contact us today to learn more. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

How a Yard Sale Can Help Sell Your House

When was the last time you went to a good yard sale? Perhaps never. While boot sales are common and church rummage sales are advertised on a regular basis, yard sales are often only seen across the pond. Fortunately, they're catching on over here, and not only are they a wonderful way to get affordable items or accent pieces for your home (especially if you’re even a bit crafty!) but it’s a fantastic way to make some money! If you’re in the process of getting ready to sell your home, a yard sale may be just the trick to help you to sell your home faster. But how can a yard sale help?

A yard sale gets rid of all of the clutter in your home. Take everything in your home that you honestly don’t need, like furniture that you don’t use or that is a bit older and looks well loved, and sell it! This helps by clearing out the home of both clutter and furniture. The more open and clean-looking your home is, the faster it should sell. 

Next, make sure that you use your yard sale time to clean up the front of your yard. If you have a garage, this is the perfect time to clear it out. It has to be clean to have people nearby, right? And you want the yard to look great if you’re going to be selling things on it. By cleaning out the garage and clearing up the yard you’re adding curb appeal to your home and making your yard sale look much more appealing as well.

Selling these items also gives you the opportunity to let people visiting your yard sale know that your home is for sale. Depending on where you live, dozens of people could pop by your house during the sale. These are all people who will learn that you’re selling your home, and they can spread the news to friends and family who may be looking to buy in your area. This is completely free advertising and could be a fantastic way to get potential buyers to come check out your home!


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