A Home Sellers Guide To Energy Saving Upgrades

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No one wants to think about winter time in the heat of the summer, but as summer winds to a close it’s the perfect time to make sure that you’ve done all that you can around your home to save money and energy. Homeowners have so much to think about; burning money on energy shouldn’t be one of those worries. Besides, with today’s conscious buyer’s market, lower energy options are great selling points for any home.

Identify Problems
Before you make any changes, take the time to audit your home for problems. You have two options for this; you can hire someone professional to do it, allowing you a detailed report on the problem areas in your home and how to fix them, or alternately you can do it yourself. While doing it yourself may not be as thorough, it is a way to conserve cash where necessary. You can find lists online that will help you find the problem areas in your home, and identify whether they’re causing you to waste money and energy throughout the winter season.

Attack Plan
Once you have a good idea of the things in your home that require attention, make a plan to fix them. It’s unlikely that you’re going to want to tackle everything at once, so consider taking the time to make a list of each item by urgency and tackle them one by one. This may mean hiring consultants or contractors to give you quotes so that you have an idea of what you’re up against before you start.

Be Vigilant
In a lot of ways, homeowners can be really great at do-it-yourself projects. You may find that for many small upgrades or changes, you have confidence and ability. It’s important, in the name of your home and resale value, that you don’t cut corners or over-step your comfort level just to save a buck. When you find that big things need doing, make the decision to have them done right. This will save money and headaches in the future.
When making upgrades to your home, be sure that you don’t become so overwhelmed by big projects that you let the rest slip. Return to your urgency list and work through it little by little. You will be glad that you did.

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Real Estate Agent

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When hiring a real estate agent, it’s important that you find someone that you can work well with over a period of time, someone with great credentials and someone that you’ll be able to trust. Hiring an agent is about more than their numbers, but rather the satisfaction of past customers. Here are some tried and tested ways to get the most out of your real estate agent.

Ask Questions
When you’re hiring a real estate agent, you’ll want to dig a little deeper.  Sure, the prospective agent might have impressive listings under their belt, but find out how long each of those listings stayed on the market and you’ll have a better idea of customer satisfaction.

Avoid Pocket Listing
Pocket listing is a tactic employed by many real estate agents which allows a seller to ask a higher price, but it only exposes your listing to a very limited buyer pool. If a pocket listing is suggested, it’s best to avoid this.

Be Realistic
All homeowners want more than their home is probably worth, and all homebuyers want to pay less wherever possible. It’s easier for your real estate agent to do his/her job when you are realistic about the market and value of your home or prospective home. When you think your asking price is set in stone, your home will be on the market longer.

Find an Agent Privy to Your Neighbourhood
Has your real estate agent got any experience with the neighbourhood that you’re looking at? If not, it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Experience is an important part of buying or selling a home, and neighbourhoods vary greatly.

Study The Market
Yes, you’re hiring someone so that you don’t have to do the dirty work, but it’s still advisable to be familiar with the market. Otherwise how will you know whether or not you’re getting what you should be? Pay attention to houses in your desired area to see what the going rate tends to be and you’ll have a better idea of what you should hold out for.