Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 10/17/2018

If your house is currently on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, the secret of success lies in the lyrics of an old popular song called "Accentuate The Positive." Although it was originally published in 1944, the song has been resurfacing for years on television, in movies, and music recordings.

"Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative" may seem like basic, old-fashioned advice, but when homeowners follow it, they increase their chances of selling their home faster and for the highest possible price.

Although your real estate agent will provide a ton of helpful advice on how to present your house in its best light, there are dozens of things you can start doing now to improve its marketability, curb appeal, and the positive response you get from real estate agents and buyers.

  • Avoid or minimize any aspect of your home and property that gives the impression of neglect. That could include anything from peeling paint and cracked windows to overgrown bushes and weedy yards. Weeds growing out of cracks in walkways, driveways, and concrete flooring often looks the worst -- but weeds, in general, always detract from the appearance of a home for sale.
  • Reduce or eliminate anything that might create a feeling of "unpleasantness" in the minds of prospects. In other words, if there's anything about your home that might cause buyers to cringe, frown, gasp, crinkle their nose (in displeasure) or shake their heads, then you probably need to take corrective action -- and fast! A prime example would be pet odors, stains, and loose fur, which can be major turnoffs for many people -- especially if they have allergies!
  • If little or no interior painting has been done over the past five or ten years, there's a strong chance that your walls are faded, marred, and looking worse for the wear. A couple coats of neutral-colored paint can often infuse a more vibrant, updated appearance to those tired-looking rooms. Subtle, light colors -- although, not necessarily stark white -- are often advisable. The objective is to appeal to as many people as possible, without taking any decorating risks that might alienate anyone.
  • Speaking of "harsh versus eye-pleasing," your home's lighting is another important thing to scrutinize when looking for cost-effective ways to increase the attractiveness, appeal, and marketability of your home.
As you're searching for ways to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, try to view your home from the perspective of someone who's just seeing it for the first time. In all probability, your real estate agent will be enormously helpful in that respect, and immediately begin looking for ways to effectively stage your home. If they've been showing homes in your area for a number of years, they will have a good sense of what attracts and repels today's home buyer. Your agent can provide a professional opinion on everything from flooring and counter tops to wall colors and curb appeal.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 10/10/2018

A lot changes when you move into a new home. For the first few weeks youíll most likely be focused on getting everything arranged and put away in their proper locations. Youíll be adjusting to your new work commute, meeting the neighbors, finding out where to shop, and so on.

Itís easy to forget about updating your budget during the first couple of months in your new home. However, if you want to be mindful of your spending and gauge the true cost of living in your new home, itís essential to start tracking expenses and creating your budget as soon as possible.

In this article, weíre going to show you how to make a new budget for your new home so that you can start accurately planning your long term finances. That way, you and your family can rest assured that you arenít living above your means in your new home and can stop stressing about spending.

Cost of living changes

When most of us move we think about the change of our mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance. However, there are several smaller changes that will occur in your day-to-day spending habits that you might not think to update in your budget.

First off, make a note of how much youíre spending on transportation (whether itís train fare or gas for your car) in your new home and adjust this on your budget. This is hard to predict before you move since you canít be sure of the traffic patterns until your first trip to the office.

Next, make a list of your monthly services, including utilities. Weíre talking about internet, cable, trash and recycling, heating and electricity, and so on. At the end of the first month, add each of those to your budget and decide if you want to spend less on any of them.

One surprise expense that many people have when they move is the cost of internet. Your old plan at your former residence might not cut it if you move to an area with different coverage.

Furnishing your new home

Even if youíre moving with most of your furniture and appliances, there will likely still be expenses that youíll need to plan for in your new home.

It might be tempting to make all of these purchases at once so that you can feel like your move is ďcomplete.Ē However, the best course of action is to include these items into your monthly budget so that you are prepared for emergency expenses.

Decide which items you need the most in your new home, and prioritize purchasing those on the first month. Youíll likely realize after just the first couple of nights in your new house which items you need now and which can wait.

Budgeting apps and tools

Everyone has their own preferred method of record-keeping. Some people keep their budget in a notebook or planner, whereas others like to use an app that they can access on their phone or laptop.

There are dedicated budgeting apps and web applications that link to your bank account and tell you how much left you can spend that month and if there is an issue with your budget. Several such apps are available for free in both Android and Apple app stores.

For a simpler budget, you can simply use the spreadsheet application of your choice (Excel, Numbers, and Google Sheets are all sufficient).

Regardless of what tool you use, make sure you check in on your budget frequently to ensure youíre sticking to it and making adjustments as needed.




Tags: budgeting   budget   moving  
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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 10/3/2018

Selling your home may seem like a relatively simple process. You hire an agent, let them take pictures and show the house to prospective buyers, accept an offer, and then closeÖ right?

In reality, thereís a lot that goes into the selling process; especially if you want to have a smooth home sale.

Matters are further complicated by hr fact that most sellers are also in the process of buying, closing, and moving into their new home.

To make the most of your time in the weeks or months leading up to your sale, Iíve put together a list of tips that you can use to get ahead of the curve, making your sale as problem-free and simple as possible.

Set deadlines

One of the most important lessons homeowners learn when they sell their first home is how quickly moving day creeps up on them. Make a list of all of the things you need to do before you hand over the keys, and set dates and reminders in your calendar for those tasks.

You can do this if youíre in the beginning stages of finding out when you want to sell by, or if youíre in the final stages of packing and moving your belongings to your new home. Regardless of where you are in the home sale process, you can always benefit from preparedness.

Find an agent

To get the ball rolling, reach out to a real estate agent sooner rather than later. Theyíve been through this process several times before and will be able to give you advice that is catered to your specific situation.

Make sure your home is ready for sale

We all love our homes and value the time and effort we put into them. But, to get top dollar for your home and ensure a smooth sale, youíll probably need to do some work.

This can include getting an inspection to ensure that the vital components of your home are working properly. Knowing this now can save you time and headaches if a buyerís inspector finds an issue with your home that you werenít aware of.

Similarly, youíll want to make your home move-in ready by making small repairs, putting a fresh coat of paint, and cleaning up the exterior of the home.

Do your research when setting a price

Setting the price of a home is not a road you want to take shortcuts on. Research prices for comparable homes in your area, consider recent repairs you made, and value the home at what you think is a fair price.

However, donít get too attached to one number and be prepared to adapt based on the offers you receive.

Have a moving day plan

Planning for moving day could be its own separate blog post. Youíll want to start packing things you donít need early on in the process. Then, make arrangements for young children or pets, so that you can focus on the move rather than keeping track of everyone else.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/26/2018

If a seller approves your offer to purchase his or her house, conducting a home inspection likely will be the next step of the property buying cycle. Although you may have the option to forgo a house inspection, you should not avoid this evaluation. Because if you forgo a home inspection, you may wind up purchasing a house that fails to meet your expectations.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to perform a house inspection before you finalize a home purchase, and these reasons include:

1. You can gain deep insights into a house's condition.

A home showing enables you to get an up-close look at a residence so you can determine if a residence is right for you. Meanwhile, an inspection goes one step beyond a showing, as it allows you to work with a property expert to analyze all aspects of a house.

During a home inspection, a property expert will walk through a house and analyze the residence's underlying condition. Then, this property expert will provide an inspection report that details his or her findings.

It is important to assess an inspection report closely. That way, you can learn about a home's condition and decide whether to continue with a house purchase.

2. You can review potential property repairs.

If you want to identify potential house repairs, a home inspection is key. If you conduct a home inspection, you can find out about possible property repairs, review the costs associated with them and plan accordingly.

Of course, if the costs of home repairs are significant, you may want to request a price reduction from a house seller. On the other hand, if various home repairs are simple to complete on your own, you may want to proceed with a home purchase.

3. You can make the best-possible homebuying decision.

Let's face it Ė buying a home may be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime. If you make a poor decision, you may suffer the consequences of your choice for an extended period of time.

Thanks to a home inspection, you can gain the insights you need to make a data-driven home purchase. Best of all, you can use a home inspection to perform a full analysis of a house and feel good about your decision to buy a residence.

As you get ready to pursue a house, you should hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can help you prepare for a house inspection and complete other homebuying tasks.

For example, a real estate agent will attend a home inspection with you. And after a home inspection is finished, you and your real estate agent can review the inspection results together. Finally, your real estate agent can offer an honest, unbiased recommendation about how to proceed following a house inspection.

Ready to find and acquire your dream home? Conduct an inspection as part of the homebuying process, and you can learn about a house and determine whether a residence matches your expectations.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 9/19/2018

Once you have bought a new house, you may feel lost as to where to start. Thereís a long checklist of things that you should do to get yourself established in a new space. Here, you'll find a plan on what to do next. 


Get Recommendations On Local People You Can Work With 


Your realtor is a good place to start in asking who they recommend for many types of workers including plumbers, electricians, contractors, and more. You may even want to talk to your next door neighbors and see who they have used in the past for these types of handy work jobs. Even if you donít need any kind of work done immediately, itís a good idea to have some names and numbers on hand for future reference.


Donít Paint Right Away


Although it seems much more practical to paint an empty house, once you live in your new home for awhile, youíll get a sense of where the light hits and what colors will complement your furniture. When you pick colors in a rush, you run the risk of choosing shades that you may not love in the long term. Focus on properly lighting your rooms before you even start to paint.


Donít Forget The Housewarming Party!


If you plan a housewarming party for a date thatís not too far after you move in, it will give you motivation to get things done in the house. The housewarming party is your accountability partner to get you to unpack those boxes and get decorating. Try to plan the party somewhere between one and two months after your planned move-in date. This will give you time to get things done, just not too much time!  


Meet The Neighbors


You should take some time very soon after you move in to meet your new neighbors. They can be a great resource for you as to what happens in your new neighborhood. Find out if any of your new neighbors have dogs that your own dog could meet for a friendly walk. Your new friends will even give you information about a neighborhood watch or important community activities as well.


Safety First


Youíll want to check all of your smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and alarm systems. Be sure that they work. Then, change the batteries in each system to start fresh. You should also equip your house with a fire extinguisher or two. You can never be too prepared for an emergency. 


Next, you should check all of the door and window locks. Replace anything that used a key. You never know who had keys to the home before it was sold.

When you start small in a new home, things will begin to come together slowly but surely just like puzzle pieces.




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