MARK WIEGAND | Clearwater Real Estate, Dunedin Real Estate, Safety Harbor Real Estate


Buying a home is a very detail-oriented process, and there's a lot of important things you can overlook if you're not organized.

Home buyers generally have the opportunity to do a last-minute inspection of the premises to make sure everything's up to standards prior to closing on the property.

A real estate buyer's agent can accompany you on the final inspection or provide you with advice on what to look for.

If you've already visited the home a couple times and had the house professionally inspected, you're probably well-acquainted with any major malfunctions, flaws, or repair issues. In many cases, home buyers may reach an agreement with the seller to fix, replace, or make allowances for mechanical or cosmetic problems. While real estate negotiations and sales agreements are as varied as the people and properties involved, there are typically dozens of things buyers need to check on before they sign the final documents and accept ownership of the property.

Final Walkthrough Tips

As you're doing the final walk-through of the house, it's necessary to remember or have notes on the condition of the home when you last looked at it. You'll also want to have a clear idea of what appliances, fixtures, and window treatments are supposed to be remain in the house after it's been vacated by the seller. Depending on how close your final walk-through is to the actual closing, that has probably already happened.

If there's anything missing that the seller agreed to include in the sale, then that's an issue you'll want to discuss with your real estate agent or attorney. Any property damage that may have resulted from moving furniture and other belongings should also be discussed before final papers are signed. The same thing would apply to landscaping changes that appear to be inconsistent with the sales agreement. Your buyer's agent and/or lawyer can serve as intermediary in getting these issues clarified and ironed out.

To make sure your final inspection is thorough, it's a good idea to have a "final walk-through checklist" to help keep you organized and focused. You'll want to take a last-minute inventory of items that are supposed to be included with the property sale, such as appliances, lighting fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, children's play structures, hot tubs, and anything else that was agreed to in the sales contract.

Other items you'll need access to may include garage door openers, manuals for appliances and mechanical systems, warranties, invoices for repairs made, and remote control devices for things like ceiling fans, alarms, and other systems.

Your checklist and final walkthrough should focus on a variety of items, including the working condition of appliances, the electrical system, plumbing fixtures, and the condition of walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and landscaping features. For a complete checklist, look online or consult your real estate agent.


For those who want to sell a house, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. By doing so, you can identify potential home selling hurdles and address such problems.

To better understand how to prepare for the house selling journey, let's take a look at three questions that every home seller needs to consider before listing a residence.

1. What is my home worth?

What you originally paid for your house likely is very different from your home's current value. Fortunately, a home appraisal makes it simple to receive an accurate property valuation based on the current condition of your residence and various real estate market factors.

A home appraisal report generally can be prepared in just days. To obtain this report, a home seller will need to hire a property appraiser to analyze his or her residence. Also, a property appraiser will evaluate the current state of the real estate market, the prices of comparable residences that recently sold and other relevant housing market data.

Once you receive a home appraisal report, you can establish a competitive initial asking price for your residence. And with this price in place, you may be able to speed up the home selling journey.

2. Is my home an attractive option?

Think about what sets your house apart from others – you'll be happy you did. Because if you can differentiate your residence from the competition, you may be able to stir up lots of interest in your house as soon as it becomes available.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a house inspection prior to listing a home. An inspection enables you to identify any underlying problems with your home. You then can prioritize and complete home repairs based on the inspection results.

You may want to allocate time and resources to bolster your house's curb appeal too. Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a great first impression on prospective buyers. If you enhance your residence's curb appeal, you can boost the likelihood that potential buyers will immediately fall in love with your home.

3. How can I maximize the value of my house?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to promote a house to buyers. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available who can help you craft a custom home selling strategy.

A real estate agent is a home selling professional who understands what it takes to promote a house to the right groups of buyers. He or she will work with you throughout the home selling journey and do everything possible to ensure you can optimize the value of your house.

Best of all, a real estate agent is an expert home selling resource. And if you ever have concerns or questions as you sell your house, a real estate agent can respond to them at any time.

Want to streamline the home selling process? Hire a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to listing and selling your house.


Autumn represents a season unlike any other, and for good reason. Fall brings about the transition from summer to winter, and as such, provides cooler temperatures and shorter days. Furthermore, autumn represents an ideal time for homebuyers to browse the real estate market and find the perfect residence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to buy a house in fall, including:

1. Home sellers often are ready to make a deal.

If a home seller added a property to the real estate market in summer but failed to finalize a purchase agreement, he or she may be more inclined to make a fall deal. Thus, autumn homebuyers may be able to land great residences at discounted prices.

For fall homebuyers, it is important to check out many properties that are available. By doing so, homebuyers can explore a broad array of houses and find out how long various properties have been on the real estate market. As a result, homebuyers may be able to discover terrific houses at below-average prices if they complete a comprehensive home search in fall.

Of course, if you submit an offer on a home in autumn, be sure to provide a fair proposal. If you submit a "lowball" offer, a home seller likely will decline your offer, and you may fail to secure your dream house. On the other hand, a homebuyer who performs plenty of housing market research may be able to improve his or her chances of submitting an offer that receives an instant "Yes" from a home seller.

2. You can capitalize on year-end bargains to enhance your property.

For a homebuyer who is interested in a "fixer-upper," i.e. a house that requires extensive maintenance, there may be no better time to purchase a property than fall. In fact, homebuyers may be able to take advantage of numerous fall sales to upgrade their residences in no time at all.

Remember, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and other fall holidays frequently are accompanied by unprecedented retail sales on a large assortment of home items. And if you purchase a home in autumn, you could reap the benefits of fall retail savings and find new ways to enhance your property without breaking your budget.

3. Many real estate agents are available to help you find your dream residence.

Looking to buy a home in fall? You should have no trouble hiring a friendly, experienced real estate agent to guide you through the homebuying process.

Real estate agents can offer expert advice as you inch closer to owning a property. These real estate professionals are happy to respond to any homebuying concerns or questions, ensuring that you can gain the insights you need to discover the perfect residence. In addition, real estate agents can set up home showings and negotiate with home sellers on your behalf.

When it comes to searching for a home in fall, there may be no better option that working with a real estate agent. With assistance from a real estate professional, you can accelerate your journey from homebuyer to homeowner.


When you hire a house cleaner or maid service, you expect that your house will be neater and cleaner. There are certain rules that you should follow to keep your house maid happy. Your maid is not there to clean up after you for absolutely everything you do in your home. You need to give your cleaning person the tools to do his or her job well. 


Here’s What You Should Do Before Your Cleaning Service Arrives


Pre-cleaning before you are paying someone to clean your house may seem counter intuitive. They are there to clean for you, right? The problem is that the more your cleaning service has to clean, the longer that it will take. This means that the messier your house is, the more expensive that it will be for you to have your home cleaned. Here’s what you should do before the maid service gets to the home:          


Clean Up Your Dirty Dishes


You should take the time to load your dishwasher and clean up your sink a bit. It can take a lot of time for your house keeper to take care of these small things that should be a part of your daily tasks. 


Do Your Own Laundry


It is advisable for you to take care of your own laundry if you have the time to do it yourself. Doing laundry could take your house keeper hours of time. They could use that time to do other things like dust, scrub, and deep clean your home. 


Put Away Your Own Things


Do you have leftovers in the kitchen that need to be put away? Are there clothes on the floor of your bedroom? Do the kids‘ toys need to be put away? Some of these tasks can be done simply by you in a matter of minutes instead of by your house keeper.


The bottom line is that you don’t want your house keeper to see you as a slob. While they are more than happy to clean your home, they aren’t your personal servant. Also, your house cleaner probably isn’t showing up to your home daily. You want to keep up your clean home in between professional cleanings. 


What You Should Let The Housecleaner Do


Your house cleaner is there to help you complete certain tasks around your home. In fact they really want to do certain things in your home to help you get a deep clean that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Your housekeeper wants to help you with:

 

  • Vacuuming
  • Scrubbing
  • Deep cleaning your bathroom sink
  • Cleaning your toilet
  • Deep cleaning your kitchen
  • Mopping the floors  

How To Assist Your House Keeper


There are a few things that you should do to help your housekeeper do their job well. These tasks include:


  • Keep pets out of the way
  • Tell your housekeeper exactly what you need
  • Make the maid aware of any special tasks you need to be completed 


If you cooperate with the housekeeper, hiring a cleaning service can be one of the best time-saving decisions for you for a cleaner home.  


Experienced, knowledgeable real estate agents are experts in attracting potential buyers to home showings.

When you initially meet with prospective real estate agents to determine which one would be the best fit for your needs, you can get a pretty good sense of how marketing-savvy they are.

Since marketing is one of the most important parts of their job description, a well-trained, motivated real estate agent will know how to effectively use the Internet, their network of personal contacts, and a variety of other techniques to draw in qualified prospects.

Is there anything that you, as the homeowner, can do to help market your home?

Although it's your real estate agent's role to advertise, promote, and publicize your real estate listing to targeted groups and the general public, there is one huge thing you can do to help: Try to keep your house and property looking impeccable at all times. While that goal may be easier said than done, it's worth some extra time and effort to make your home as inviting and appealing to house hunters as possible.

Here are two ways you can increase your home's marketability and help spark more interest among prospective buyers:

  1. Meticulous neatness and cleanliness gives your home instant appeal. On the other hand, a messy, disorganized home or yard will send the wrong message to people touring your house. While it may be counterproductive to have your house reeking from ammonia and harsh cleaning chemicals, keeping countertops, floors, and walls clean will help your real estate agent present your home in its best possible light. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist the help of everyone in the family (except pets) to clean up after themselves and keep their rooms and play areas looking civilized!
  2. Help maintain curb appeal! As the cliché goes (or was it an old mouthwash commercial?): "You don't get a second chance to make a great first impression!" For that reason, it's vitally important for your lawn to look well manicured and your house to be free from peeling paint and yard clutter. Another eyesore that detracts from first impressions is the sight of weeds growing out of cracks in your driveway or walkway. The cracks, themselves, are a problem you might want to address, but the weeds (or grass) poking through them is like adding insult to injury! If you don't want to spray them with some toxic, store-bought weed killer, then research natural ways to kill weeds.
Although your real estate agent will gladly handle 99% of the marketing for your home, you can help give their efforts an important nudge by making sure your home and property always look their best!



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