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Home Buyers

Home buying objectives Part 1 ... Read

As a home buyer, the most important thing that you can do is make a list of your home buying objectives. Work out the pros and cons of these objectives and then stick with them. The list below is a good start.
  • Location Location Location
  1. Suburbs: Pros – Newer home, bigger space Cons: Work, entertainment, restaurants further away
  2. Urban: Pros – Walking distance to many things Cons: Smaller space, noisy streets
  3. Busy Streets: Pros – Usually cheaper Cons: Noisier
  4. Side Streets: Pros – Good for kids Cons: Nosy neighbours could be a problem
  • Type of Home
  1. Detached
  2. Semi-Detached
  3. Town house
  4. Row House
  5. Condo
  • Condition of Home
  1. Immaculate, move in condition
  2. Minor, coat of paint will do
  3. Fixer upper
  4. Disaster, house will be gutted
  • Number of stories
  1. Single
  2. Multiple
  3. Split

Home buying objectives Part 2 ... Read

  • The insides
  1. Number of bedrooms
  2. Number of bathrooms
  3. Finished basement
  4. Fireplaces
  5. Plumbing
  6. Electrical
  7. Heating and cooling
  8. Overall size
  • The outside
  1. Backyard size
  2. Pool
  3. Garage
  4. Landscaping
  • Other considerations
  1. Schools
  2. Parks
  3. Restaurants and entertainment
  4. Public transit


Figure out what features and benefits are the most important to you. Figure out what features you can live without and what features you cannot live without. Work out the numbers that you can realistically afford. STICK by these numbers.

Home buying process ... Read

NutKoo buy process

Home Sellers

Home selling tips part 1 ... Read

  • Make room. Clear out as much furniture as you can. Put it in storage, give it to Goodwill Industries or have a garage sale. What you want to do is open the house up so it does not look cluttered -- it looks spacious. Hallways and doorways, in particular, need to be clear and open. You want people to imagine their own stuff in your house."
  • Use counter intelligence. Go through the house and clear off all the horizontal surfaces like kitchen and bathroom counter tops. Old magazines? Toss 'em. Knick-knacks? Pack 'em. Counters need to be clear and clean.
  • Follow your nose. A home should smell good. That means no noticeable odor -- no pet scent, no stale cooking smells and no cigarette smoke. A lot of people who smoke or have pets become so accustomed to the smell, that they don't even notice it. Most people just don't realize how much odor plays into a buyer's decision. Instead, have a friend whose judgment -- and nose -- you trust give your home the real sniff test. Remember the old story about the smell of baking bread or steaming cinnamon potpourri? Today's real estate pros say it's a no-no. Ditto the scented candles and air freshener. If you just go through with Lysol before a showing, it won't help. Instead, get rid of scent problems at the source: scrub the house, have the air vents cleaned, replace old, smelly carpeting and smoke outside.
  • The next buyer is as lazy as you are. If the property needs work -- dated wallpaper, ratty carpet -- have it replaced now so that all buyers have to picture is moving day. Most people want it before they move in. The more changes buyers calculate they'll have to make in the home, the more concerned they get.
  • Do the baby test. Does your potential market include families with young kids? If so, ask yourself, "Would I put my child down on this floor to crawl around the room?". If not, you know what you have to fix. Likewise, if your walls sport grimy smudges or handprints, it might be worth it to paint.
  • Deep-six the cigarettes. Buyers are much more sensitive to cigarette smells. If somebody's a smoker, he doesn't smell it. Having a smoker in the house also eliminates a lot of potential buyers. Many shoppers won't even want to tour a home if the owner is a smoker.
  • Make your home ageless. There's a difference between an old house and a classic home. If the house looks 40 years old with 40-year-old paint, 40-year-old appliances and 40-year-old carpet, that's a hard sell. Keep everything fresh and up-to-date (read well-maintained) and you have a solid home in an established neighborhood -- a real looker.
  • Let there be light. People buy space and light, for the most part. One dark room is "cool. But if the whole house is dark, that's a problem." So open the blinds. Turn on all the lights. Add lights in rooms that are dark. And if Mother Nature isn't cooperating with your marketing efforts, use more flowers and things that suggest sunlight. One seller who really understood staging was marketing her home during a spate of bleak weather. Before a showing, she threw a couple of beach towels over the rail of the deck, put up the sun umbrella and set out a pitcher of lemonade and some glasses. You want a space that's crisp and sharp and vibrant. "Happy space" being the kwy phrase.
  • Get a home inspection. Most buyers will have one done anyway. Do it now -- and make any needed repairs before you put the home on the market. Depending on where you live, the service will probably run about $350 to $600. NutKoo can recommend a good inspector in your area.

Home selling tips part 2 ... Read

  • Learn to love white walls. When it comes to walls, color is popular. The problem is that the next buyer might not like the same colors. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way to make a house look clean and fresh. And if you're going to repaint prior to selling, stick with neutrals. Despite the fact that it's more boring to live in, it's still an easier sale. Remember that white reflects the light best and makes rooms look their largest.
  • Take a close look at the carpet. Get the carpet shampooed to get out any stains or smells. If that doesn't work, replace it. Get rid of carpet that looks dirty, soiled or stained. Consider, if you can, wood or laminates as an alternative. It makes the house look bigger and people love seeing the fact that it has wood floors. And as a added bonus, it's a lot easier to keep clean."
  • Avoid controversy. If you have a deer head on the wall, you might want to take it down. It will be a turnoff to some buyers. Play it safe with a display of books and magazines. Anything provocative could turn off buyers.
  • Replace deteriorating wallpaper. If wallpaper is peeling -- especially in bathrooms -- remove it and consider replacing it with a coat of paint. Go with a neutral or match the tile. Likewise, if the kids' rooms need a fresh look. That way, buyers are looking at the house, not your decorating skills. And it's easier for them to see their things in the space.
  • Clean your closets. Sellers need to "empty the closets of half the things they have in them. Partially empty closets look roomy -- and space sells. Do the same thing with kitchen cabinets. If you donate your extra clothes and surplus food to a shelter or food bank, you won't have to worry about moving it to your next home or your mom's basement.
  • Harness flower power. Use flowers to spruce up the space. It will gave the home a nice, softer feel. You don't have to spend a fortune on flowers, go for less expensive bouquets, green plants or seasonal flowers from the yard..
  • Open the windows. If it's a cool summer day, have the windows open. Conversely, if it's cold and dreary, light a fire in the fireplace.
  • Take everyone's advice with a grain of salt. When an owner sold his condo, one real estate expert told him it would sit on the market because of the emerald green carpet in one of the rooms. But the home "was a showplace," and a buyer quickly snapped it up -- green carpet and all. Putting colors and tastes aside, if a person drives by and the home is exciting and it's showy -- even if your colors may not be as neutral as they like -- they'll be turned on."
  • Keep it clean. No dust, cobwebs or trash. People looking to buy a home are extremely observant and meticulous.
  • Set your house apart. Numerous real estate study in which potential buyers were shown many different houses in similar neighborhoods, all with similar features and amenities. The one that stood out? A home that had yellow roses on the dining room table. People not only remembered the detail, but they rated the home higher as a result. You need to give the home a hook, something that makes it different in a positive way from the other houses."
  • Keep it real. You don't have to go to the extreme of one buyer -- who before a showing set up the bedroom to look like the night maid had just been through and pulled down the comforter, fluffed the pillow and placed a book open on the bed. You don't want it to look so staged that it's artificial. What you want is for them to walk in there and say "I could put myself here."

General

Changes in real estate ...Read

In the days before the popularity of the internet, access to home listings (MLS) used to be restricted to real estate agents. This meant that if you wanted to buy or sell a house you had to go through a real estate agent. You had no real choices. A home listed for sale in the MLS provides the maximum exposure to agents with home buyer clients. The property parameters of a potential buyer can be quickly searched and located in the MLS database. Up to 85-90% of home buyers first learned about the home they bought through a listing in the MLS. You had to have a MLS listing if you had any chance of selling a home. Selling through one of the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) packages did not provide any real exposure to the buying public.

Now consumers have a choice of using a traditional real estate agency or sites like NutKoo. Home buyers are using the internet to take a more active role in finding and viewing homes for sale. Home buyers are also using the internet to do research on their potential neighbourhood through a multitude of social websites. Gun Crime statistics

Want to know about gun crime or median income in your neighbourhood, look no further then the internet. Wow !

Are we complacent about saving money because we don't buy or sell our home everyday ...Read

Buy with NutKoo and put more money in your pocket On average, we will own and move to 3 different homes in our lifetime. After all a house is the largest investment we will ever make. After living in our house for many years, we will sell it and usually make a nice tax-free profit. We will pat ourselves on the back for making such a fine investment and coming out on top with $160,000.

What if we made $169,000 instead of $160,000, would the $9,000 make any difference to us.

Now we have to go buy another house. After all the negotiation we pay $480,000 for a house that was listed for $500,000. We feel great about the price we have paid. What if we only paid $475,000 instead of the $480,000, would the $5,000 make any difference to us.

NutKoo can help put thousands of dollars in your pocket when you buy a home.
NutKoo can help you keep more money in your pocket when selling your home.

 

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