Friday, March 23, 2018

Some Home Improvement Thoughts Via First American Home Warranty

The article had so many good points of what not to do and what may be okay to try, I copied and pasted the entire thing! Thanks Dawn Zirbel of First American for sharing!
Maybe it’s the word “shortcut.” It’s hard to find home improvement ideas that make for good shortcuts, but there are plenty of home improvement shortcuts that are bad ideas. Here’s a look at four shortcuts every homeowner should avoid doing, and four that could be good ideas when done right.

Never do these home improvement shortcuts

1. Neglect to get a permit

It may seem like a cost-saving device, but cutting the permit corner is always at a homeowner’s peril. When you don’t have a permit for a home improvement project the completed work may not meet the minimum standards required locally, state-wide, or federally. This invariably leads to additional costs to fix problems created by not having a permit. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring a contractor, a permit protects you and your home. If a contractor tells you a permit isn’t needed, as the homeowner, you need to research to protect yourself.

2. Electrical work

Considering the dangers related to working with anything electrical, unless you’re a homeowner who is also an electrician, spend the money to hire a pro. DIY electrical is a shortcut that could cost you in serious injury, electrical fires, and worse. No amount of cost-savings makes sense when it comes to electrical work. Don’t do it yourself.

3. Plumbing re-piping or replacing

Ill-fitting pipes and old plumbing are disasters in the making. Whether it’s replacing a section of pipe to fix a leak, or removing old piping completely, don’t try this at home. Replacing only a section of leaky pipe can lead to bigger leaks than the one you’re attempting to stop. And removing old plumbing can expose you to hazardous materials such as asbestos. Hire a professional plumber for these two plumbing jobs every time it’s needed.

4. Surface makeovers

A “surface makeover” is the shortcut any seasoned homeowner would say to never try: that is, painting over of old wall paper or putting new flooring over old. It may seem like a quick way to get a new look in place, but in the not-to-distant future you will have to scrap off painted wallpaper instead. And you will have to replace the floor again. What is underneath inevitably rises again and you will pay again.

Sometimes do these home improvement shortcuts

1. Improve drainage

If you notice standing water anywhere on your property after a storm, but particularly near your home, garage, or other out buildings, you can put in a French drain in a day. A quick web search will give you the step-by-steps instructions. The only caveat is when you are ready to dig your trench, request a visit from your local utility company to be sure you’re not going to dig into underground gas or electrical lines. Most utility companies will come out for free.

2. Add GFCI outlets

See shortcut no-no number 2 above if you even a glimmer of doubt, and hire a pro, but if you know how to turn off your whole home’s electricity at the panel, this is the only type of electrical work a skilled homeowner might try. Older homes in particular may not have standard GFCI outlets in kitchens, laundry room, or bathrooms. And GFCI outlets do not last forever, so if you suspect an outlet is more than 10 years old, consider replacing them particularly any closest to sink or other water source.

3. Temporary fixes

Sometimes you just can’t get a plumber in a hurry. But when you find a small plumbing leak, you don’t want to just let the leaking water continue its damaging ways. A quick fix is to buy a repair clamp from your local hardware store. Ask a specialist if you’re unsure what to buy, but a repair clamp can be a great short-term solution to minimize water damage until your plumber arrives.

4. Add heat

If you just can’t get warm enough in winter, you may be tempted to close vents in rooms other than the one you’re in. This is a no-no as it can make your HVAC system work less efficiently and can impact system performance over long run. A better shortcut is to invest in an indoor space heater. For under $100 you can find one to suit the room size you need, and look for one with an automatic shut-off timer and temperature control. If you follow safety precautions, you can keep one room nice and cozy all winter.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Why The Darn 'Open House Is First Showing' Nonsense?

Well, it may feel like nonsense, or a game, or the agent wants to double-end the 'deal', but for me, it absolutely is not.

For me? There were two reasons to have my most recent listings' first showing situation be that way.

1) We have a big dog to take carpet too....oh, and the damn weather.

2) Because I knew it was going to get a lot of activity....I'd have less stress on my Sellers if they only had to leave for one, two, or three times vs. the 30 times for all the agents that brought their buyers on Sunday.

Now, mind you....I was exhausted from their crazy open house! But, a few hours of showing off my newest listing, setting up signs, printing out flyers? Worth it to me to keep a stressful time for my sellers a bit less stressful.

I'm not interested in double ending a transaction. I like a buyers agent to represent their clients, and me to represent mine. What's that phrase.....something about degrees of separation? Go Google it, funny stuff about Kevin Bacon!

He was so hot in Footloose!

At any rate, if me holding off agents til an open house makes it better for my Sellers? I'm doing it. I may annoy a buyer or an agent, two or three for that matter. But, my client is what's the most important.

Questions about how I market, sell, and protect my Sellers from the evil stress?
 Just ask!

Friday, March 9, 2018

It's National Barbie Day!

I swear, that's what my daily list of holidays says on the calendar for today!

Reminded me of a Seller introducing me to his neighbor "Meet my pretty Realtor." I very dryly replied "Pretty doesn't sell homes".

Working hard sells homes. Putting a sign in the ground and putting it in the MLS doesn't sell homes.

I sell homes, I sell a lot of homes. I am not a way, no how. I wear pants, tennis shoes if I need to, dresses when it's hot.

What do I do to sell homes? A helluva lot. A lot more than signs and MLS entries. A lot more than a pretty face Barbie might do.

(She doesn't look anything like me, does she?!?!?)

At any rate, I do whatever it takes to get my Sellers homes sold, for the most amount of money, in the shortest amount of time.

I'm looking at hosting a Million Dollar Listing SCV open house soon. I'm scrounging around for a rug for another Seller. I'm checking in on packing for one more. But, that's just the beginnings.

Reach out to me about what I do. About why I'm not a Barbie. I'd be happy to meet you....likely wearing my slacks.