Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Consider a Fixer-Upper?

Thanks to many renovation shows on tele these days, many people are purchasing a wreck and creating their dream homes. While it's unrealistic to expect that you’re going to buy a brand new home and be completely happy with it exactly as it is, not everyone should consider buying a fixer-upper and moving forward with renovations. How do you know if the process is right for you?

How Much Will It Cost?

Understanding the true cost of the home, renovations included, is step one. One mistake that you don’t want to make is to assume that you know how much any potential renovations will cost. Unless you’re a carpenter or contractor you’ll likely not have the ability to accurately determine exactly how much the renovations will cost. If you’re serious about buying the home, but you want to do renovations, ask your realtor if you can have a day to bring a contractor over to the home. The contractor will be able to give you an idea of exactly how much your renovation will cost. Then you can figure out if you’re able to swing the renovations immediately once you subtract the cost of the house from the amount of loan you’re able to secure.

Doing It Bit by Bit

If the amount it will cost to renovate is more than you want to spend right off, think about doing the changes a little bit at a time. A lot of homeowners take time to make the changes they want to their homes, and it’s often a good idea as you might change your thoughts about what you want to renovate the longer you own the home. In some cases, though, this idea is a deal-breaker, as if the home isn't in liveable condition for your family, it may not be a good idea to do it in pieces. Moreover, you may not have the patience to do so.

Making the Decision

The right choice is going to depend on several factors, and affordability has to be at the top of the list. Additionally, though, think about whether you like to take on new projects, your patience level, and what your ideas for the home might be. As you shop, we'll help you find the perfect model in the right shape to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should I Repair My Roof Before I Sell My Home?

There are many expenses a homeowner can anticipate, but perhaps the most dreaded is the replacement of your roof. If you're not sure about the condition of your roof or you know it's not in good shape, you may be wondering whether you should have it repaired or replaced before you sell your home. What makes the most financial sense?


Getting It Inspected


The first thing you may want to do is have your roof inspected. Choose a local roofing company with a good reputation, and give them a call. Get a professional inspection along with an estimate, then you can decide whether to move forward with the repair or to negotiate the selling price with the buyer with the understanding that a roof repair is in the home's new future. Keep in mind that once the inspection is complete, you will need to disclose the results to a potential buyer.


Making the Decision


Once you're aware of the condition of your roof, trying to decide whether to repair and sell or negotiate a lower price can be difficult. You will definitely sell your home faster if the roof is up to par. Buyers don’t have to be concerned about fixing a roof, and it can make them sign on the dotted line faster. However, you may choose to not repair the roof if you don’t have the funds available currently to do so or if you’re looking to sell as quickly as you can without having to repair the roof. Look at the current market and nearby sales activity to help with your decision. If the market is hot enough that you're going to end up with multiple offers, it's very possible to wait it out. If homes just aren't selling in your area, though, the roof is going to detract from your home, and it may make it tougher to sell.


If you’re unsure as to whether you should repair the roof or not, give us a call before we help you list your home. We'll discuss your roof and any other potential problems. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

What Inspections Should I Have Done Before Listing My Home?

Deciding to sell your home isn’t easy, and once you start thinking about all of the things you have to do before listing, your stress level may increase dramatically. Luckily, you can eliminate some of that stress by scheduling a few inspections that will help give you the peace of mind you need to bring potential buyers into your home.


Boiler Inspection


When was the last time your boiler was inspected? It is supposed to be inspected once a year, but it’s often something that homeowners let slide because you get so busy with your life. Make an appointment to have your boiler fully checked and cleaned. You may even want to request a written report from the company that you can show to potential buyers to help them understand what good shape it's in.


Pest Inspection


From the pests you see to the wood destroying pests you don't, a complete pest inspection of your home is a great idea. It can help you understand any potential problems buyers might notice that you didn't. It's not uncommon for homes to suffer from woodworm and other infestations, and a full report and a clean bill of health from a reputable pest inspection company can go a long way toward convincing potential buyers that yours is the home they want to buy.


Home Buyer Report


Some sellers invest in a full homebuyer report, particularly those who are motivated to move their homes from "For Sale" to "Sold" quickly. In many cases, however, it isn't necessary as most buyers will invest in this type of inspection before they sign the contract to purchase.


It may seem like a bit of a hassle to have inspections done, but really it can give you significant peace of mind. Take the time to have these inspections done before you list your home and save yourself a bit of stress.


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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Two Serious Curb Appeal Mistakes

One of the most important things when it comes to selling your home is curb appeal. The curb, after all, is the first thing that any prospective buyer will see. You want it to look amazing from the outside, but if you've neglected these two things, it's not going to be attractive to potential buyers.


Mistake #1 - A Cluttered Space


Bicycles, rubbish bins, garden tools, yard ornaments - these are all things that might be cluttering up your space. It’s far too easy to leave things outside, so it’s a good idea to first start by taking a rubbish bin and walking around the outside of your home picking up any little bit of trash that you might see. Make sure that all of the dog waste is picked up as well. If you have a number of chairs outside, clear it out until there are only a few, and make sure that everything you have outside has a storage space. If you have too many yard ornaments, you may want to store a few away for your new home.


Mistake #2 - Your Front Door


It may not seem like a problem, but that front door could stop any potential buyer in his or her tracks. If your door looks like it belongs in another decade, or it's starting to show wear and tear, you may have a problem on your hands. Revive it with a new door, or add a coat of paint and new hardware for a quick style makeover. While you're at it, take a bit of time to clean up the front stoop. If you have furniture near your front door, clean it carefully, and if it's possible, add a gorgeous pot of flowers or greenery beside the front door for a great touch.


Simple things like cleaning up the yard, power washing the drive and freshening up the front door can increase your curb appeal in a very dramatic way without breaking the bank. To get a few more tips on how to increase your curb appeal, contact us today.

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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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