What Is a Popcorn Ceiling?

May 17th, 2019

Pamela Higgins (from Homekeepr)

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

What Is a Popcorn Ceiling? Popcorn is great for lots of stuff. You can enjoy a big bucket with family and friends while at the movies, string it on a thread to give Christmas that old-fashioned touch and even turn it into questionable “treats” for Halloween. One place that it’s a lot less welcome is on the ceiling.

Unfortunately, too many homes still have popcorn ceilings. They often create a lot more questions than they answer.

What Is a Popcorn Ceiling?

Back in the day, someone had a brilliant idea.

What would happen if there was a cheaper alternative to meticulously applied plaster ceiling coating and decoration for homes?  This person told themselves. Well, that would be just lovely!

And that person wasn’t wrong in concept. It was practice that turned out to really be the killer.

Popcorn ceilings, the solution to the problem, are still around, largely haunting homes built between the 1930s and 1990s. The ceiling texture that oddly resembles cottage cheese far more than it does popcorn, was popular for its ease of application and, at the time, low maintenance requirement.

Popcorn Ceilings: The Kicker

Even if you don’t object to the generally dated appearance of a popcorn ceiling (hey, maybe retro’s your thing, we’re not judging), think twice before going all in because that house you’re looking at has one that’s still intact.

So many popcorn ceilings contain some amount of friable asbestos that they are generally not a great idea to keep around. Even though popcorn ceiling mixtures containing asbestos were banned under the Clean Air Act in 1979, the remaining mixes that hadn’t been purchased were still allowed to be sold. In some areas, this means that new installations of potentially hazardous popcorn ceilings lingered well into the 1980s.

If the asbestos wasn’t enough, many popcorn ceilings have been painted since they were installed, or were installed using paint as part of the initial mix. Lead-based paint was the norm until it was banned in 1978. It’s kind of a double-whammy.

Friable Versus Non-Friable Asbestos                                                                                                              

There are two kinds of asbestos: friable and non-friable. Friable asbestos is the most dangerous kind, since any amount of disturbance can result in particles floating around in the air and being inhaled. This is not good news. Risks of free-floating asbestos can range from lung scarring to mesothelioma, an insidious and heartbreaking form of cancer. This is the kind in popcorn ceilings.

While non-friable asbestos isn’t a picnic, it’s a lot safer because the asbestos is encapsulated within another material. For example, older homes often have siding made of cement fiber-board tiles. These often contain asbestos, but unless you’re cutting the tiles, it’s safely contained.

There are very specific laws about dealing with both types of asbestos, but those surrounding friable asbestos are as much about protecting humans around the material as the environment. In most areas, homeowners are legally allowed to remove popcorn ceilings from their own homes, but it’s still a really good idea to at least have a test for asbestos before you try it.

Before You Even Think About Scraping That Ceiling

There are few things easier than removing a popcorn ceiling. A scraper and a lot of time will do the job, but the hazard to someone who goes in blindly cannot be understated. So, before you even think about scraping that ceiling, take some samples. Carefully.

Send one to a lab for testing for asbestos. Send another for testing for lead based paint (or use a high-quality at-home test kit). Wait until you have results to move forward.

If you test positive for either or both, consider calling in a pro. They have all the right equipment to ensure that asbestos doesn’t get loose in your home, where you, your family and your pets will be at risk of exposure.

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

Hey, Siri, Shut the Shades! Smart Blinds for Homeowners

May 13th, 2019

February 25, 2019

Pamela Higgines

The Marc Gup Group

From Homekeepr

Hey, Siri, Shut the Shades! Smart Blinds for Homeowners!

It seems that everything is getting smarter these days. You’ve got your basic smartphone, your smart security system, your smart speakers and even smart refrigerators. It should come as no surprise that someone managed to make window blinds that are pretty smart, too.

On first glance, these things look like one of the least useful smart products out there. When you dig a bit deeper, though, it’s clear that smart blinds, much like smart thermostats, are actually a great way to save energy and make your home safer, all while you lounge on the couch conversing with Alexa and Siri.

What are Smart Blinds?

Smart blinds, like most things that are considered “smart,” are literally window blinds that can be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, and, in this case, by the voice assistant of your choice. You can use the app to open the blinds, close the blinds or set them somewhere in between.

While this doesn’t sound like much, if you think about the regularity at which you perform these mundane tasks, having smart blinds take care of themselves is a huge time saver in the long run. But, that’s not really what’s so cool about them. Here are a few things that are, though:

  • They help people with disabilities. People with a variety of disabilities are benefiting from smart homes in lots of ways. When it comes to blinds, it means making it easier for everyone to let the sun shine in or to shut the blinds at night for a little privacy.
  • They increase safety. Whether you’re going on vacation or you’re just working late, having blinds that are able to shut on their own makes it look like someone is home, even when you’re not. It helps to deter crime, which is a good thing, for sure.
  • They can save energy. By cleverly orchestrating the times that your blinds are open or closed, you can help reduce the use of your HVAC system all year long. More on this later.

There are few drawbacks to having smart blinds, if you can get beyond the price point. Many manufacturers are still treating these devices as luxury buys, pushing the cost of a single blind into the hundreds of dollars.

Ikea recently announced it would be releasing its own line of basic smart blinds in the US on April 1, 2019. They’re still not in everybody’s price range, but are far more accessible with units starting around $135.

How Do Smart Blinds Save Energy?

Before you rush out to buy smart blinds because your electricity bill is out of control, keep two things in mind: first, not all blinds will perform the same or have the same features, so make sure to read the packaging or ask a knowledgeable person about those energy saving functions. Secondly, smart blinds are only as good as the person telling them what to do. So, if you don’t tweak your programs a little bit to dial in your settings, you’re not going to get great results.

Like any blind, smart blinds can be used to help reduce the strain on your HVAC system. This is done largely by blocking the sun’s rays that warm up your home. Other types of smart window treatments can act as insulators against the cold. Neither is perfect, but they do work pretty well.

When it comes to saving energy, you will have to tell the blind what you want it to do. If you want the smart blinds on the west side of your home to close entirely around 1 pm and stay closed until 4 pm, set it in the app. Some blinds, like those from MySmartBlinds, can automatically determine when to open or close, but you’ll need to enable this feature if you want your blinds to close in response to solar radiation.

Smart blinds are a great investment if you plan to stay in your house for a while. Not only are they neat and gadgety for anyone interested in the Internet of Things, they can really reduce your utility bills. It could take a while for them to pay for themselves, though — shop carefully!

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

The Three Vital Goals of a Spring Cleaning

April 18th, 2019

The Three Vital Goals of a Spring Cleaning

From our friends at “Homekeepr”

It’s officially spring again, everybody and their great aunt Erma are abuzz with cleaning and organizing advice. We’re not sheep at HomeKeepr, but we figured it was important to throw our voice into the ether, just in case you needed a different perspective. After all, we’re a little less Good Housekeeping and a little more Family Handyman.

The Three Vital Goals of a Spring Cleaning

Before we get into the tips, it’s a good idea to set some goals for your spring cleaning. A lot of people get into trouble because they fail to actually establish what it is that they hope to accomplish with their cleaning efforts. They aren’t going to be able to clean their home top to bottom over the course of the next month, contrary to the claims of some magazine (no, not the Weekly World News).

What ends up happening is that one room gets really clean, the next one is pretty clean, and diminishing returns follow until they give up and take a nap. Establishing goals gives you a way to know you’ve achieved something and those goals can tell you pretty precisely how much further you have to go.

Your vital goals may be slightly different, but odds are that these are in the ballpark:

  • Increase the feeling of openness in your home.
  • Make it easier to find things that disappeared last year.
  • Declutter. All. The. Things.

Before we proceed with these three goals, please understand that nothing in this article is meant as a judgement on you or anyone else. Everybody has their challenges and blind spots. Maybe you’re not very good at organizing, but you’re great at chess. We can’t all be great chess players.

Attacking Your Vital Spring Cleaning Goals

Whether you’re going to sort of just jump in the middle of your goals and attack them from all angles or you want a more organized approach, you need a plan of action that works for you. Don’t even start without one. If you have something working well for you, go with it, but if not, we’ve got a short attack plan for each goal above down below.

Keep in mind that some of these lists can be done simultaneously if you really want to be efficient. If not, that’s ok, too. This is your spring cleaning. Own it.

Goal: Increasing the Feeling of Openness In Your Home

Increasing the feeling of openness in your home comes down to one thing: light. The more light in your home, the bigger and more open it feels. Achieving this seemingly impossible goal is actually really easy and you can do it without replacing a single window or tearing down walls. See, it’s all about that glass. It’s about the paint on your walls, too, but for the amended spring cleaning, focus on the glass. That includes:

  • Windows. Scrub these things like they’ve never been washed. They probably haven’t. Wash the insides and then go outside and wash the outside. Just washing the windows will brighten up your space enough that you may end up stopping at this point.
  • Mirrors. Those mirrors are bouncing light around the room. Just because your windows are letting more light in doesn’t mean that it’s going to survive long once it hits that dirty mirror. Clean, clean away.
  • Light fixtures. By light fixtures, we mean those light kits on your ceiling fan, the bulb enclosures on chandeliers and the shades on ceiling huggers. Anything glass, take it down and clean it. Most of these items can go into the dishwasher, but put anything thin or fragile in the top rack.
  • Light bulbs. Oh, the lowly lightbulb. How we forget you all the time when doing almost anything. You’re just a magic tube that gives us light… unfortunately, bulbs also get dirty, so grab your Swiffer duster and give all your bulbs a good once-over.

Goal: Make It Easier to Find Things

This one has a single, simple solution: The Container Store. Or any other sort of place where you can get every kind of organizer you could dream up. The reason homes get cluttered too often is because there’s simply not any kind of proper storage to begin with. Of course you’re going to struggle to find things when those things don’t have a permanent home!

You really don’t even need a list here. It’s all in the organization. Go room by room and take stock of what lays out a lot of the day. Do the kids throw their coats on the couch and wander off? Coat rack by the door should fix that. Does your closet look like it exploded? Check out some of the super impressive closet systems they make these days.

Sure, it’s going to take a little bit of an investment to make this goal manageable, but ultimately you’ll find that it’s worth it when you don’t end up buying three of the same top because you couldn’t find the one you needed the day you were going to give that big presentation.

Goal: Declutter

You can and should probably work on this while you’re working on organizing stuff. Decluttering has become a meme, you know what it’s all about. You take all the stuff that you own and then you subject it to your hardest judgement. Will you use that spork set again? Is that pair of duck shoes really necessary in the desert? So many questions and decisions to make.

Getting stuck trying to decide what gets to go? Ask these questions:

  • Am I using it regularly?
  • When I am using it, do I enjoy using it?
  • Have I effectively replaced this item and simply keep it around for nostalgia?
  • Am I really going to “fit back into these jeans?” Be honest. Cake is delicious.
  • Do I really want to finish this project?
  • Do I have too many of this item? (belts, shoes, microwave bacon cookers)
  • Am I keeping this item out of some sense of guilt? (gifts, mainly)

Once you’ve done this, grab the boxes and bags. Sort the items you don’t need into “useable and worth donating” and “garbage, only good for trashing.” If any of the trash is recyclable, you know, a third recycle bin is probably warranted

Achieve Your Spring Cleaning Goals This Year or Go Down Fighting!

With defined goals and plans in place to tackle each one, spring cleaning should be so much easier this year than it was in the past. Doing some regular cleaning might not be a bad idea, either, but you can always leave the basic stuff like doing the floors and washing the walls to home pros from your HomeKeepr network. People who make it their business to clean and organize your stuff are among the elite ranks of home pros that belong to the community. Just ask your real estate agent for a recommendation and you’ll be well on your way.

Is a Rental Income Property For You?

March 25th, 2019

Is a Rental Income Property For You?

Brittney Barr

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

Owner occupied rentals are an option I’ve seen many buyers contemplate. It sounds great right? Live on one side of a duplex, rent out the other side and have renters pay your mortgage. This can be a great decision, but the questions you need to ask yourself is: do you want to be a landlord? Is being a landlord worth it? I bought my first duplex when I was 26 years old. It’s been great to be a landlord, although it was a huge learning curve. It has given me freedom to own property and soon will become steady income flow. It’s a great option if your ready to take on more responsibility and education. Three things to think about before you consider buying a income property written by Patrick Johnson a successful property manager/landlord; Managing rentals is a business not a hobby, keep things professional always, organization is the key to growing your real estate portfolio. Be prepared to handle issues with the property and issues with tenants. Having a qualified and reliable handyman on call can be one of the most important parts of managing a property. Also be prepared to track expenses and income to maximize tax advantages and understand your cash flow.  If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord there are many great options in this great city we live in! The Southern Maine area has many options from single family rentals to 10 unit apartment buildings. Own your own business and be your own boss!

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

New Venue in Westbrook? Positive or Negative Impact on Home Value?

March 25th, 2019

New Venue in Westbrook? Positive or Negative Impact on Home Value?

New venue in Westbrook? Positive or negative impact on home value?  Being a homeowner means investing in the town and community you live in. Staying up
to date on events in your area is an important part of home ownership,as new construction of houses, apartments, or even concert venues can have an impact on the value of your home.
Recently I learned Westbrook, my community, is undergoing construction on a concert venue a  
couple miles away from my home. I wondered if this new venue would have a negative or
positive impact on the value of my home.
In a recent article on Realtor.com the general impact on surrounding houses near a venue
actually improved the value of their home by 9% compared to other homes in the surrounding
area. Jonathan Smoke, a chief economist for Realtor.com was quoted. “Walkability to
restaurants and shopping has become an increasingly important feature for home buyers over the last few years, especially millennials. Our analysis shows the desire for close proximity also extends to live music”. In one study they conducted they compared homes within a one mile radius to concert venues to surrounding homes in the area and found that Tallahassee, FL the homes were 78% more expensive in a 1 mile radius than the surrounding homes. There are good and bad factors that go along with an outdoor concert venue. Some positive effects could be added value to your home, more foot traffic for local business, and the excitement in the community. It also means more traffic and more noise.

I’m personally excited to see Westbrook grow and bring more to offer to this town and it’s residents. I look forward to walking to the venue or ubering a short distance to see live outdoor
concerts. Staying up to date with events and growth in your neighborhood and community means I have the first hand knowledge to decide where I want to invest or continue to invest.

Brittney Barr
Keller Williams Realty
Reference:
Sounds of Summer: Homes Near These 20 Concert Venues Sell For a Premium. By Cicely
Wedgeworth. Jul 7, 2016.
https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/outdoor-concert-venues-home-values/

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

Top Tips for House Hunting Online

January 31st, 2019

Top tips for house hunting online. Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.  

  1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.
  2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.
  3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

 

The Current 3 Best Places To Eat Around Portland Maine

December 17th, 2018

The Current 3 Best Places To Eat Around Portland Maine

Kirsten Milliken

The Marc Gup Group

Keller Williams Realty

 

Before I give you a few of my favorite places to eat around Portland, you should know what you are in for….

Legend has it that Portland Maine has one of the highest number of restaurants per capita of cities in the US.  With 67,000 residents, that is a lot of restaurants to choose from! These are not chain restaurants.  Our restaurants are run by James Beard finalists and winners.  They are owned by locals who love all the foods that New Englanders crave- from regional to international. We have tiny holes in the wall with only a few tables, take out only, and large lavish dining halls.

One of the best resources for keeping up with all the new and changing cuisine in Portland is the Portland Food Map .  Another resource that I often fall back on is Yelp .  Yelp is a great place to find reviews and search for restaurants by price, kid-friendliness, or type of cuisine.

My absolute favorite restaurants in the Portland area (right now) are:

 

  1. Vinland 593 Congress St. Portland.  Owner and head Chef, David Levi, was a James Beard finalist.  VInland boasts that it was the first restaurant in the US to serve 100% local, organic food. Their menu is also gluten-free and paleo-friendly. My mother recently went to dinner with me and proclaimed that this was the best meal she had ever had in her entire life! One Yelper recently left this comment,  “Easily 5-stars if this is the type of experience you’re looking for. The food is excellent; thoughtful, balanced, and beautiful without being pretentious or complicated.
  1. Taco Trio119 Ocean St. South Portland- This is the neighborhood hole in the wall that always has a line of people going out the door.  Thankfully, they are quick at taking orders and making food- so the wait is not long.  This is authentic food by the nicest family.  I love the Carne Asada tacos.  But honestly, everything is tasty here! Another Yelper said it well, “Awesome authentic Mexican food. Don’t go for the no frills atmosphere, go for the food.”
  1. Noble BBQ – 1706 Forest Ave. Portland- owned by brothers Richard and Ryan, who also have Fire and Ice catering. Noble has daily specials like pulled pork tacos with jalapeno pineapple salsa and slaw. Their regular menu is populated with mouthwatering pastrami, brisket, and a rotating fried chicken special.  I admit that I eat here about once a week.  Love it!

 

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

 

 

7 ITEMS TO CHECK BEFORE THE BIG FREEZE

December 17th, 2018

November 29, 2018 Pamela Higgins via Homekeepr

Along with the provocative spending and lavish feasts that are hallmarks of the holiday season also comes the cold, the ice and the snow. Like those extra three helpings of stuffing at Aunt Linda’s have just derailed your diet, the coming weather is capable of causing significant damage (and swelling) to your home if you aren’t prepared. Here are 7 items to check before the big freeze.

Winterizing means a lot of different things to people in different locations. For example, in New Jersey, you really need to go full bore and ensure anything that might be holding water is emptied, heated or insulated. In Texas, though, you might not even realize winter has come. With that in mind, take a long look at these seven things and check them all before the first freeze comes (or do it right now if it’s already freezing!)

The Big Seven Winter-Ready Check-boxes

Winter comes with a myriad of hazards, from black ice and deep snow to blowing winds in the negative digits. Please make sure that you’re wearing proper winter weather gear before you attempt to get your house ready for the cold. After all, you’re not going to be able to get through the list if you freeze to the ground.

#1. Protect Plants, Trim Trees and Empty Sprinklers

Even if your plants are hearty as they can be, it’s nice for them to have a fresh pile of mulch to hunker down in during the cold season. Apply two to four inches of an organic mulch over the roots and at the base of any plants that are still above ground, then pull it slightly away from the plants themselves so there’s a little moat in between. Herbaceous plants that die back and the pop up in the spring should be covered with just as much mulch to keep them from freezing.

While you’re out there, trim any overhanging branches from your trees so that accumulating ice and strong winds won’t bring them down onto your house, car or garage. If you have a sprinkler system and haven’t emptied it yet, now is the time to disconnect the water and blow it out according to your system’s design.

#2. Check Your Gutters (Again).

When the autumn leaves finished falling, you cleaned your gutters out (you did, right?), but as really frigid weather settles in, you need to check them one last time. Gutters are one of the big causes of ice dams, which can cause water to back up into your attic. This is all bad stuff if it happens over and over, so to be safe, check those gutters again and clean out anything you missed or that has accumulated since your last round of cleaning.

#3. Cover Your Outside Faucets

Pop into the nearest home improvement store and grab a Styrofoam cover for each of your outdoor faucets, even if they’re frost free. You should have already removed any hoses as soon as the nighttime temperatures started to dip, so now it’s just a matter of putting a little hat on them. Some people wrap their faucets with pipe insulation, but for the long run, the Styrofoam caps can’t be beat. They’re easy to install, hold tight all winter and are easy to store until the next year.

#4. Wrap Your Pipes

Homes with crawl spaces are especially susceptible to frozen pipes during the winter. First, make sure your foundation vents are closed to keep cold wind from blowing into the space, then get a little more hands on with the pipes. Anything on an outside wall should be wrapped with pipe insulation (the more popular types look like small diameter pool noodles), pipes with chronic freezing problems should have heat tape installed. Frozen pipes are no fun for you from a convenience angle, but when they go a bit further and burst it’s kind of a big deal.

#5. Caulk and Weatherstrip Doors and Windows

Go around your windows and doors with a caulk knife and remove any caulk that’s loose or dried up, then grab the caulk gun and go like mad, making sure to push the new caulk into the opening as you dispense it. You should angle the tip so you can move across a section of trim with a single motion to create an uninterrupted bead.

This is also the right time to check your weatherstripping. Whether it’s between a door and the jamb or helping the windows to seal properly, these are major entry points for cold air and drafty drafts. When you’re replacing weatherstripping, take a sample of the type you need with you to the hardware store because the options are pretty impressive.

#6. Have You Had That Chimney Checked?

Some websites will advocate for you to check your own chimney before using it in the fall or winter, but that’s not the kind of advice to give to a person. Sure, you can do your own chimney inspection. You can also do your own root canals, but it’s really a bad idea. A quick check by a chimney sweep is an affordable alternative to a chimney fire. The thing is that what you can see from the hearth isn’t much, a lot of chimney fires start further up — you might not even know you’ve had one.

If you have a wood stove with a double or triple walled flue, you may have better access to the entire length of the chimney, but don’t ever take a chance on anything that burns as hot as a wood stove or fireplace. This is one item in your house that can have disastrous results if you don’t treat it with respect.

#7. Your Second Home

If you own another house, even if it’s in a warmer climate, this is a good time to give it a lot of thought. It’s going to need similar care — location appropriate, of course. Winterizing the plumbing in a house is a DIY trick you can pull yourself, or you can hire it done and know that you didn’t forget to do something important. When DIYing, make sure to test all the shut-off valves as you go. This is a good time to replace them since you’ll also be turning the water off at the main.

 

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

Showing off your home in pictures

November 27th, 2018

Kirsten Milliken, PhD

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

November 27, 2018

 

Showing off your home in pictures.

As a seller, one of your jobs is to prepare your home to be seen by buyers.  You want to make the best impression possible.  Some sellers think this means making the house smell good with some home baked cookies.  But even before buyers step foot in the house, the Realtor will have pictures taken for the online and print listing.  This is often the very first impression a potential buyer will have of the home.  Until we have scratch and sniff listings, those home baked cookies won’t help.

As a Realtor I strongly suggest my sellers look online at other people’s homes to see what makes a home appealing in pictures.  If your house is painted in all neutral tones, I would not suggest painting accent walls to create some “pop.”  But it’s important to pay attention to making sure anything on the walls is hung straight, making the beds, and hiding any “stuff” that distracts from buyers seeing the home’s potential.

As a seller you may love all your pictures of family, kids toys, and your vintage glassware collection.  But this may not fit with the interests of potential buyers. You want them to see themselves- not you- in the house.  Clearing all but the necessities in a room can facilitate the buyer’s imagination.  Take a look at the pictures below and think about which image seems more appealing.

Neither of these is really “cluttered” or disheveled.  But in the first picture there are toys, items on the shelf, and a few clothes strewn about.  It looks like a “family home.”  What if the most qualified buyer is retired couple without grandkids?  By simply removing some of the “extra” stuff on the walls, picking up a bit and organizing the room in an open way, the room can look similar to the one on the right.  This provides a “blank canvas” for buyers to imagine themselves in the home. The Marc Gup team provides staging advice for our clients to help them, using the items they already have, to present their home in its best possible light, and outshine the competition!

 The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

Or visit www.WhatsMyPortlandAreaHomeWorth.com for an INSTANT value!

Start your home search HERE

Or meet the team HERE

 

WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT A PRE-LISTING INSPECTION FOR YOUR HOME?

November 27th, 2018

Kirsten Milliken, PhD

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

November 27, 2018

Why wouldn’t you want a pre-listing inspection for your home?

Most sellers expect that potential buyers will have the home inspected after they make an offer.  But what if the home SELLER beat them to it?

At the Marc Gup Real Estate Group we strongly encourages our sellers to consider a pre-listing inspection of their home.  Some sellers resist.  This is typically because they do not want to invest the $400-500 for an inspection. Yes, a home can sell without a pre-listing Inspection. However, as a seller, you may be leaving a lot more money on the table by not taking the initiative to have your home inspected before listing it.

Reasons to not want a home pre-listing inspections                                                                                                                    

As a buyer

  • You want to buy a home you intend to bulldoze
  • You love surprises

As a seller

  • You can’t afford to pay for a pre-inspection.
  • You would rather put the money towards other updates and improvements.
  • Once a problem is identified in a pre-inspection, the home seller is obligated to disclose this to buyers if the problem is not remedied.

 

Why get a pre-listing inspection?                                                                                                                                                               

  • Investing in a pre-inspection could help you to price the house to attract buyers, sell quickly, and avoid leaving money on the table.
  • Home buyers have more confidence in the seller’s (and home’s) integrity. This could mean better offers from buyers.
  • Fewer surprises for everybody. Home owners can choose to disclose any problems found and price accordingly, or fix it before they list the home.  Likewise, knowing the condition of the house can alleviate the stress of worrying that a sale might fall through because of something that turns up in an inspection.
  • Pre-inspections can lead to fewer negotiations before the home closing. Buyers often ask for concessions and home repairs based on the results of the inspection.  A pre-listing inspection can help you avoid the typical interaction that follows a buyer’s inspection.

While there are some situations that make a pre-listing inspection undesirable (wanting to demolish the existing building, etc), for most sellers a pre-listing inspection is a proactive step that positions you to attract buyers and get the best price for your home.

The Marc Gup Real Estate Group

Keller Williams Realty

207.232.6127

FindYourMaineHome.com

Call or email lnorris@kw.com for a free market analysis on your home!

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