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Eliminate Pet Odor To Sell Your Home

by Scott Darling

You must eliminate pet odor to sell your home!

If you have pets you know all too well just what a mess they can make, what you may not be aware of however is that they have a smell all their own that others who walk into your house may be able to smell more than you can.  If you have your house on the market you may need to do your best to eliminate the pet odor before you home starts showing so that you will be better able to sell your home.  Below are a few ideas and tips to help you get a head start on eliminating pet odor.

  • If your pet has an accident inside of your home douse it with baking soda as quickly as you possibly can after you soak up the urine with a towel.  Allow the baking soda to dry and then pat the area with a dry towel.  Once you have done all of this, be sure to vacuum the area.  The smell that once would have lingered behind after cleaning the soiled area will no longer exist.   
  • Another great way to rid your home of pet smell so that your home may have a better chance of selling is to make a fabric spray out of white vinegar and baking soda.  1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar will do the trick.  Put these ingredients together in a spray bottle and you will have a great way to get pet smell out of your furniture and other fabrics.  Spraying this concoction over your furniture before a showing is a great way to know that your potential buyers will not be able to smell that you have pets living inside of the house with you. 
  • A  HEPA  air filtration system is also a good thing to have if you have pets and you are planning to try to sell your home.  These types of systems cost as little as $100 and can make all the difference when it comes to the sale of your home.  One hundred dollars may sound like a lot of money but when you think that it may make or break the sale of your home it is nothing.  Be sure to always clean you’re air conditioning filtration system as well so that you will have clean air flowing throughout the house at all times just in case you have someone who wants to take a tour of your home at the last minute.  

​​Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

 

Things to Avoid Saying When Buying a House

by Scott Darling


Things Buyers Should Not Say

When buying a home there are several things you should avoid saying in front of the owners of the home and their Realtor.  Of course you want to be upfront and honest as possible with your Realtor when buying a home but you need to remember that some things are taboo and may  come back to haunt you if they are spoken before making an offer on a house, especially to the seller's agent.  Let’s take a look at what NOT to say when buying a new home.

  • When thinking about making an offer on a new home, never ever say “this is my dream home and I can’t live without it”.  This statement makes the Realtor, the seller and all those involved in the sale of the home know that you are set on having that particular house and that you may be willing to pay whatever is asked without question.  Be careful with your words when you are in front of the sellers and their agent.    
  • Be careful not to let it be known exactly how much money you have to spend on a new home when you are in the process of buying one.  This will safeguard you from letting too much information out and perhaps spending more than you might have.  The last thing you want to do is to end up in a house that is more than you can really afford on a monthly basis. 
  • When walking through a home on a home tour be careful not to share your distaste for decorations or colors that are used in the home and especially don’t mention how you want to renovate or remodel the house because the sellers may decide against your offer simple because they do not want their home changed into something they don’t recognize.  Even though folks sell their home it doesn’t mean they will no longer have an attachment to that home. 
  • It’s also a good idea not to ask the sellers of a home why they are selling.  It may be a very personal reason why they have decided to sell their home and they may not want to share that reason with you. 

These are just a few ideas of what not to say during the process of buying a house.  Hopefully, if you keep these ideas in mind you may be able to make a fair offer on a home and become the new owners of the home of your dreams. 

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

keeping cool

Once spring cleanup is done, you may feel ready to tackle some renovation projects this summer. If so, you're not alone: 62 percent of homeowners plan to undertake a home improvement project this year, according to a Harris poll. Homeowners will renovate to improve their home's appearance, livability and energy efficiency, the survey found.

It's possible to make renovations that are stylish and also reduce your energy bill. With temperatures heating up this summer, take on renovations that not only make your home more beautiful, but make it cool and comfortable as well.

Here are a handful of projects that can accomplish those goals:

Replacement windows

You're probably aware quality new windows can help your home retain heat in the winter, but did you know they can also keep your home cooler in the summer? By tightening your home's envelope and reflecting heat, energy-efficient windows can help maintain more even temperatures inside your home. What's more, because they're energy-efficient, new windows can help your heating-ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems operate more efficiently.

Air conditioning

If you live in an older home, you may not have the space you need to install a traditional central HVAC unit with ductwork. Adding ductwork can be costly and troublesome, yet you probably don't love the look of window air conditioners, either.

Window treatments

Limiting the amount of sunlight that enters and warms a room is an important way to supplement your home's cooling units. Summer decor cries out for light, airy window treatments, but you don't have to give up that bright look to better control sunlight. Window blinds or shades in a slightly darker hue can work well with a lighter looking window treatment while still allowing you to limit sun exposure when you draw them shut. What's more, cellular shades also have an insulating effect to enhance your windows' ability to reflect heat in the summer.

Cooler lighting and appliances

Electrical appliances and incandescent light bulbs all contribute to the amount of ambient heat in your home. As you're renovating, replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient options that give off far less heat, such as LEDs or CFLs. Most light fixtures are now able to use these cooler bulbs, so replacing them is easy - and can also help reduce your electricity bill since they use about 80 percent less energy than incandescents, according to the Energy Star program. You can also reduce heat output from appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and dryers by upgrading to more energy-efficient models.

Outdoor improvements

You can also make outdoor renovation choices that will enhance your home's beauty and help keep the interior cooler. Strategically plant shade trees to shield windows from the hot sun in summer time. Or, consider adding awnings that will shade windows and doors. For patios and decks, choose materials that reflect heat away from your home and outdoor spaces. Finally, paint siding in a lighter color to help minimize heat absorption.

Summer home renovation projects can be exciting, beautiful and energy efficient when you keep a cool head about your design choices. (BPT)

Top 2016 Trends In Outdoor Living

by Scott Darling

desitn trends

Take a deep breath of fresh air. Feel the warm sunshine on your skin. Kick back and listen to the peaceful sounds of nature. There's a reason people are investing in spaces that allow them to spend more time relaxing, dining and entertaining outside.

In addition to expanding livable space, outdoor enhancements also offer a strong return on investment at the time of sale. Convinced this is the year you're going to jump on the outdoor living bandwagon? To refresh your space and start enjoying the outdoors from the comforts of home, consider the top outdoor living trends of 2016.

Eclectic design

Homeowners are embracing the same eclectic trends that they love indoors and bringing this same design approach to their outdoor spaces. Mixing materials is at the heart of this trend. From all-weather wicker and teak to concrete and aluminum, using different materials means creating durable spaces with one-of-a-kind looks. Beyond the hardscape, using a variety of patterns, textures and shapes adds visual appeal.

Upholstered soft seating

This year, homeowners are revamping patios and decks by bringing the comforts of indoors outside. The perfect example of this movement is the use of upholstered furniture for the outdoors.

Outdoor cooking
 
Summer entertaining is enhanced when meals are cooked outdoors. Home chefs are thinking beyond the grill to incorporate other useful mediums for al fresco cooking. For example, hearths and stone ovens offer undeniable outdoor ambiance while providing a unique way to cook pizzas, bread and other baked goods. The finishing touch: add an herb garden for quick access to the fresh flavors of the season.

Customization

Customizing helps create outdoor spaces that are a reflection of the homeowners' personalities. More than just personalized decor, the customization trend is evident in outdoor furniture.

Evening entertaining

Outdoor entertainment shouldn't be restricted by daylight, so homeowners are making thoughtful additions to ensure when dusk arrives the party can go on. Strategic deck lighting on posts and stairways illuminates gathering spaces. Torches, pathway lighting and string lights are great for landscaped areas. Finally, propane and citronella gel fueled fire pits are the ideal gathering place and bugs will stay far away.

Reconstructed stone

Re-constructed stone is in demand for tabletops on dining, coffee and accent tables. When researching options, it's important to remember not all reconstructed stone is created equal. (BPT)

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for May 2016

by Scott Darling

When putting a home on the market, there is a lot to consider. How will you find a REALTOR®? What should you price the home? And the big one—is the home ready to sell? Most sellers know to get rid of clutter and fix any big or obvious problems. But what else can sellers do to get top dollar for their home? The National Association of REALTORS has identified some staging tips for various rooms in a home. After all, NAR research shows that 81 percent of buyers believe it is easier for them to picture themselves in a home when it’s staged. To appeal to those buyers, NAR recommends scrubbing the fireplace, focusing on symmetry in decoration, packing up dishes that don’t match your main set in your cupboards, making the extra bedroom a fun activity room to showcase other functions (like a sewing room or office), and keeping all closets as empty as possible.

Check out how many local sellers were successful selling their homes in May:

Chester County PA Real Estate Market Trends for May 2016

2,984 Chester County PA single family homes were for sale in May 2016 which is a 6.76% increase from May 2015. 557 homes sold in May with a median sales price of $324,000, a 0.30% decrease from May 2015.

The supply of inventory was 6.1 compared to 5.2 in May 2015 and the Sales vs List Price was 95.9%.

Date Homes For
Sale
Months Supply
Inventory
Homes
Sold
Median Sales
Price
Sales Price vs
List Price
May 2016 2,984 6.1 557 $324,000 95.9%
 May 2015 2,795 5.2 591 $325,000 96.2%

Curious about the value of your home? Get your home's value here!

You’ve Moved into Your New Home—Now What?

by Scott Darling

Congratulations! You’ve survived the process of leaving one home and finding another and the onus of packing everything up and then unpacking the same boxes.  You’ve found a new bank and a new doctor; you’ve investigated trash pick-up times, licensing requirements, and car registration; and your mail is being forwarded on a regular basis.  So far so good, but now that you’re somewhat settled in your home, it’s time to become familiar with your new environment.

The following tips are designed to help you become part of your new community and re-create the sense of belonging you had in your previous location.

  • Go online to learn about the new area and what it has to offer. Look at the city or chamber of commerce website. Research religious facilities, cultural opportunities, parks and outdoor activities, and so much more!
  • Acquire a regional map and drive around. Explore shortcuts and pinpoint the location of shopping malls, medical services, libraries, the post office, city offices, etc.
  • Talk to neighbors. Ask advice about home maintenance companies, babysitters, doctors, or the civic league or homeowners’ organization association. .
  • Take a walking tour of your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to and initiate conversations with neighbors who are outside. Compliment their yard or ask directions, for starters
  • Attend garage/yard sales in the vicinity of your home. Shoppers at these events are generally friendly and gregarious, so talk to them/
  • Read the local newspaper to discover places of interest and happenings in the area. Look for clubs or group meetings that focus on your interests--art, gardening, books, sports, crafts, e.g.
  • Join a recreation center or gym. Attend classes there or work out with a group that you know will share your interests.
  • Volunteer. Check with a church or synagogue, a hospital, library, or school near you. Volunteering is a terrific way to meet people and to make you feel an integral part of the community.
  • Give a house warming party and invite all your neighbors. Such an occasion is a good reason to finish unpacking and decorating your new home and a wonderful way to make friends..

Before long you will become familiar with your new environment and be comfortable there. Best of all, you’ll “belong” once again!  

Courtesy of Chester County PA Realtor Scott Darling.

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Photo of Scott Darling Real Estate
Scott Darling
RE/MAX Action Associates
403 W. Lincoln Highway #101
Exton PA 19341
(610) 594-SCOT
610-363-2001
Fax: (610) 363-5275