Christine Molla's Blog
There's a misconception many home sellers have that may be causing them to miss out on opportunities to have their house sell more quickly. Perhaps you're among them.
If you believe your home does not need to be staged, neatly organized, and thoroughly cleaned well in advance of the first scheduled showing, then you're overlooking one crucial step in the marketing process: having professional quality photographs taken of your home -- inside and out -- and posted online to make your listing more enticing!
Unless you happen to be an exceptionally good photographer with professional equipment, you probably won't be able to get the optimal results needed to show off your home and attract buyers. Not only will those photographs be the first impression of your home that many buyers are exposed to, but it may end up being the only impression they come away with. If prospects don't like what they see online, there's no chance they'll move on to the next step, which would be scheduling an in-person visit. That's why it's so important that the photos your agent uploads to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) depict your home in the most favorable way.
Online photographs can work either for or against you, depending on the quality of the photos and the condition of your home and property. Ideally, you should have photos taken of virtually every nook and cranny of your home -- with the exception of areas you want to underplay. Only the best ones would be used, of course. Views of your front yard, backyard, and sometimes even an aerial view can help give buyers the perspective they're looking for.
The good news is that most real estate agents work with one or more professional photographers who make it their business to take photos that are properly lit, effectively cropped, and well composed. Experienced real estate photographers can quickly identify the most advantageous angles from which to take photos, capturing the best view of your rooms, your yard, and other property highlights.
While they might occasionally make a few adjustments to the placement of furniture, pillows, or other decor, their main objective is to snap photos that will inspire prospective buyers to envision the beauty, the charm, and the many possibilities of your home. In addition to making sure the photos are crystal clear, well lit, and visually appealing, photographers also aim to make your home look as spacious and welcoming as possible. While they can't perform miracles, a talented photographer will typically find creative ways to bring out the best qualities in any home.
Your real estate agent can also give you valuable tips on enhancing your property's curb appeal, minimizing clutter, and adding simple touches -- both inside and out -- to maximize the warmth and appeal of your home for sale.
From Big Sky, Montana, to Kissimmee, Florida, many Americans crave vacation homes. One feature of a vacation house is that it's typically located as far from home as possible, preferably in another temperature zone, landscape, or climate. The worst part about a vacation home? Finding time away from work to fly out to your choice destination to find a home to call your own. There is an answer, however, and more and more home buyers are giving it a go: It's called remote home buying. We've come up with four solid reasons why you might want to buy your next vacation home remotely:
Location Is No Obstacle
Because you're not investing money in plane tickets or hours flying back and forth between multiple cities, the location of your vacation home isn't limited by time or finances. The world is, quite literally, an option. Odds are excellent that there's a qualified real estate agent available in or nearby the town you're considering. Once you make that connection, your agent will handle the legwork and the heavy lifting.
You Have Nothing But Time
Because you're not taking time away from your responsibilities at home, there's no need to rush into a decision. Every vacation home your agent recommends can be viewed online or viewed real-time via an app such as Skype. You're free to consider multiple options in the search for your perfect vacation home without investing days or weeks away.
The Price Is Right
Buying a vacation home in another state or even in another country can save you tons of money. States such as Texas, where land and homes are abundant, offer terrific deals on real estate. You'll score a vacation home here for much, much less than you would near a city such as Washington, D.C. Property taxes are another reason to consider purchasing a vacation home in another area. You might be surprised to learn that the beautiful islands of Hawaii actually offer the lowest property taxes in America.
The Process Is Easy-Peasy
It's easier to purchase a vacation home remotely than you may realize. Most of the work happens on the other end of the transaction. You don't even have to present for inspections or closing unless you choose to be. Your agent will handle all the nuances of your property purchase. All you have to do is sign documents and wire money.
When you're ready to invest in a new vacation home, consider buying it remotely. You're going to love the ease and convenience of this long-distance transaction.
Your outdoor lighting is perhaps one neglected area of your home. For both safety and beauty, the outdoors deserve a certain amount of attention when it comes to lighting. There are plenty of ways that you can make your outdoor lighting both welcoming and practical.
Just as you would inside your home, you should try to layer your lighting. To do this, you should include many different kinds of lighting especially lighting that brightens the outside walls of the home, highlights landscaping elements, and even some overhead lighting.
Use Decorative Lighting
Decorative lanterns and lamps are an easy way to add lighting to your outdoor spaces. You can let them stand on their own, spread them out, or you can group them and line them up in certain areas like a wall or a table. Candles are also a great way to multi-purpose practical lighting with decorative lighting.
Light Your Steps
It’s important to provide adequate lighting on stairs and decks. Anywhere that people can trip is a place that needs adequate lighting. Solar powered lights are perfect for these uses.
Use String Lights
String lighting hung overhead can be perfect for courtyards, decks, roofs, or even trees and shrubbery. If you don’t have anything to hang string lights from, you can always get creative using posts and planters. This is a great non-permanent solution for you to have some pretty lighting available.
Don’t Draw Too Much Attention To Your Property
While you want adequate lighting on the outside of your property, you also don’t want to draw attention to an area of your yard. The whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know that you’re out on your deck, hanging out. Choose lighting that provides an inviting glow without an overpowering brightness.
Use Table Lamps
You may have thought that table lamps are only for the indoors, but think again. Your outdoor setup can be the same as your indoor setup. Put table lamps down on your outdoor tables for adequate illumination. Be sure that the lamps you’re using are rated for the outdoors.
If you use the right techniques and always be sure that you’re following safety protocols, you can find success with your outdoor lighting scheme. When your home is properly lit, the best part is that you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors of your home much more thoroughly during seasonable times. You’ll also have an increased sense of security and comfort in and around your home. It’s well known that burglars are deterred from intruding on well-lit properties. Set up your outdoor lighting right and get the outdoor season off on the right foot.
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