Wearing your house on your sleeve

Buying or selling a home may be the biggest financial transaction an individual will make in his or her lifetime. Even though it’s business, the challenge often has to do with managing the emotions. While sellers want top dollar, buyers want top value, meaning they will almost always negotiate price. If you’re a homeowner who wants and needs to sell, there are some recurring issues that can become obstacles. Here’s how to mitigate them.

Overpricing the property — To a seller, the home is invaluable. It’s not really possible to put a price tag on the domicile that has offered many intangible benefits. But quantify you must. Researching the price points of other homes in the area and recent sales history is key. A serious seller will want to consult with a savvy real estate professional who can conduct a comparative market analysis, market the property, and help negotiate.

Saying no to an early bid just because it’s early — A seller may feel that such an offer, submitted within the first two weeks, signals that the property was under-priced from the get-go. Avoid this scenario by pricing the home at what the market will support. Of course, you may have other considerations — a small window to sell due to relocation or finances — so adjust accordingly. If the offer is fair, “waiting for a better offer is counterproductive and can result in a property languishing,” says Nick Jabbour, a New York City real estate agent and vice president of Nest Seekers International.

Posting photos that push rather than pull — Potential buyers almost always review photos online before setting up an appointment. If you’re not a professional photographer, hire one. This is one place where skimping can cause buyers to shut the door before they take a real visit. SmartMoney suggests that shoppers want to see many facets of the house. Pictures of the kitchen, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces should be included.

Taking offense at low bids — Remember that what’s highly personal to you is business to others. Rather than reacting out of offense, analyze the bids using hard and fast data. If they are truly below market value, you can sit tight knowing that the right buyer is in the wings.

In any market, the process of selling a home can feel like an emotional roller coaster. Keep the end goal in mind — being free to live how and where you want in the next phase of life — and the ride will end well.

Posted on April 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm
Renton, Inc. | Category: Buying/Selling Tips, Finance | Tagged , , ,

Spring is here… Time to clean!

Household cleaning products may contain harmful chemicals that are toxic to humans, animals, plants, and the environment. A green household should have these natural products on hand — baking soda, borax, distilled white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, olive oil, vegetable-based liquid castille soap, and washing soda. Howdini.com demonstrates some uses of these ingredients and suggests natural substitutes for traditional cleaners. For those who don’t have the time or desire to become mixologists, environmentally friendly products are available for purchase.



Posted on April 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm
Renton, Inc. | Category: Home Repair & Maintenance | Tagged , , , ,

What’s your home repair IQ?

Are you literate in the world of home repairs? Or would you rather enlist the help of a pro? Take the Ultimate Home Repair Quiz and discover your do-it-yourself IQ. And while some projects should be left to the professionals, others can be tackled by the homeowners. How Stuff Works lists five that often come up and entail easy solutions. Here’s what heads of households ought to know:

  • Prepping and painting interior walls
  • Fixing squeaking and sticking doors
  • Using caulk
  • Repairing a faucet washer
  • Unplugging a clogged toilet

Homeowners with shallow knowledge of the basics need not be alarmed. Online help is readily available at sites like How Stuff Works, the DIY Network, HGTV, and This Old House.

Posted on April 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm
Renton, Inc. | Category: Home Repair & Maintenance | Tagged , , ,

Gardening in small spaces

Whether you have a plot of land or a balcony, the possibilities for planting herbs, vegetables, and flowers are unlimited. Just about any plant that grows in the earth can be cultivated in a pot. This Lowe’s video debunks the myth that small spaces constrain gardening. Think outside the box — containers, hanging baskets, raised beds, and vertical planting — and let your corner of paradise flourish this spring.


Posted on March 14, 2013 at 9:07 pm
Renton, Inc. | Category: Gardening, Yard & Landscape | Tagged , , , ,

Tax Time is Here

Around this time of year, tax forms for 2011 are trickling home through the mail. If you have a more complicated return or simply want guidance, enlisting the help of a professional tax preparer can mean the difference between paying more or less to Uncle Sam. For households that run a small business, it’s important to find an accountant who stays up to date on tax laws pertaining to your specific industry. Learn more by watching the Wall Street Journal’s “Experts Explain: How To Choose a Tax Preparer.”


Posted on January 31, 2013 at 10:15 pm
Renton, Inc. | Category: Finance | Tagged , , , ,