Reno Real Estate and Community News

May 29, 2020

Tips to Quickly Make Your Home Show-Ready

Everyone dreams of living in a model home – a beautiful modern room with the perfect vase of flowers sitting decoratively on a glass side table. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work this way. Our homes tend to look more “lived in” with a pile of shoes by the front door, school books on the kitchen table, and cat hair on the sofa.  If you have your home listed for sale, then you also know the stress of looking around your home after a phone call requesting a showing with a few minutes’ notice. You want your home to show well so the buyers can see the beauty of the home you love, but with such short notice, how can you convert the lived-in look to a show-ready property? 

Fortunately, there are a few tricks for helping you keep your home show-ready at any time. 

• Plan in Advance – Before you even list your house, consider the adjustment you’ll need to make in your lifestyle. Move non-essential items to a storage unit, to not only create visual appeal but make it easier to clean quickly. 

• Containers – A simple way to quickly eliminate toys, clothes, shoes, sports equipment, and other items is storage bins. Keep some handy to throw excess items into before a buyer shows up, and move them to the garage or basement, or even the back of a vehicle. 

• Establish a Routine – Get everyone in the family involved in establishing a daily routine. The less clutter that accumulates, the easier it is to move out of sight quickly. All family members should have morning and evening duties to keep the home tidy. If things are kept up on a daily basis, it will make the clutter and mess less overwhelming.

Unfortunately, your life doesn’t stop just because you’ve listed your home for sale. Keep it show-ready by preparing in advance, so those last-minute buyers can see your home’s charm and not the day’s clutter. 

May 22, 2020

At-Home Family Night Activities

During the past couple of months, families have been asked to stay at home. It can be challenging to keep everyone entertained when we aren’t able to go out of the house except to work in essential jobs, enjoy fresh air, and get groceries. Luckily, there are plenty of fun activities that the entire family can do together at home. Here are a few to inspire your own family to make lasting memories while spending quality time together at home. 
 
1. Movie Night—This is a simple activity that everyone will enjoy. Every time you have a movie night, let a different family member pick their favorite. That way, everyone will have a turn choosing something to watch in the coming weeks. Better yet, consider a movie marathon over the weekend and allow each family member to choose one leg of the marathon. Don’t forget to bring popcorn and treats. In fact, make it part of the activity and make a delicious treat as a family to share during the movie. 

2. Homemade Pizza—Many families have a tradition of ordering pizza once a week (or when no one feels like cooking). Do things a little different while you’re all at home together and learn to make pizza at home. Choose one type that everyone enjoys, or let everyone make a personal-sized pizza and add whatever toppings they’d like. Learning to make pizza at home is also an excellent opportunity to teach your kids a new skill. 

3. Backyard Camping—Just because you can’t go out on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t have a family outing in nature. Involve the whole family in setting up the tents and sleeping bags in your yard. Have a campfire, sing songs, tell stories, and roast marshmallows. Before bed, take some time to admire the stars. The best part is that everyone can get ready for bed in the house, and it’ll be easy to make a delicious breakfast when everyone wakes up in the morning. 

4. Dance Party—Make a playlist of your family members’ favorite songs. Gather together in one room and dance to your new playlist. It’ll be a great way to laugh together and let go of any stress you may be feeling at the moment. It’s also a great way to get moving and get some exercise!

5. Art Night—Bring out the crayons, pencils, watercolors, and paper. Come up with a theme, such as summertime, animal friends, or family portraits. It’ll be fun to see what everyone comes up with while allowing them to get creative. 
 
During an uncertain time, it can be challenging to know how to keep your entire family entertained. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to make memories and do things that you don’t always have time to do together. Cherish these fleeting moments with your loved ones.
 
 

Posted in Community News
May 15, 2020

Preparing Your Home for a Virtual Tour

Technology is helpful in so many areas of life, even real estate. Twenty years ago, if someone were moving across the country, they'd have to wait to buy a house until they arrived to start their new life, or they’d have to buy a home without seeing it in person beforehand. Both options would cause extra unwanted stress on top of moving to an unfamiliar place. Luckily, with the rise of technology, virtual tours are here to save the day! 

When it comes to creating a virtual tour, don't panic. Your real estate agent will be there to guide you through the entire process. An agent may help to schedule a videographer to come to your house, or utilize software like Tour Wizard or My360 to create a virtual tour of their own that can be added to the listing. Real Estate Agents can also use FaceTime or other apps to give their customers a tour of a house that doesn't include a virtual tour of the listing.

There are a few ways to prepare your home before filming a virtual tour. Start by turning on all the lights in your home and opening the blinds or window coverings. You'll need optimal lighting to get the best footage, so your realtor will most likely schedule filming in the morning or late afternoon. Take time to clean your house before the virtual tour and remove all clutter and any furniture you don't want to be seen. Your realtor will help you with a simple staging of your home beforehand so it looks presentable in the video. The great thing about staging for a virtual tour is you'll only have to keep it that way for a couple of hours before you can put everything back where it belongs. 

Once the virtual tour of your house has been edited, it'll be ready to show potential buyers. Your real estate agent will show you the final footage and add it to your listing. Anyone interested in taking a virtual tour can easily watch it online to get a good idea of what to expect in person. 

When you’ve decided it's time to sell your home, a virtual tour can be a great way to get more people to see it and secure a buyer in less time than a traditional open house. Not only does it give potential buyers a first glimpse, but it also ensures that only people who are seriously considering purchasing your home request a tour or show up to the open house.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
May 8, 2020

Quick Tips for Mother's Day at Home

 

Just because you’re staying at home doesn’t mean Mother’s Day can’t be special! Look through some old scrapbooks to reminisce on treasured memories. Host your own “DIY Wine Tasting” for some at-home luxury! Or, you can do the classic breakfast in bed. She’ll love it!

Let us all celebrate the act of "Motherhood:" to care for or protect like a Mother. Happy Mother's Day weekend!

Posted in Community News
May 1, 2020

7 Ways You Can Help Your Neighbors

In this difficult time, there are countless stories of heartwarming gestures and people coming together (while being socially distant from each other). Here are some ideas of how you can help your neighbors and friends during these tough times:

1. Do door-side drop off’s and check-in’s for groceries or other necessities.
2. Make the best of cancelled events. If you’ve had an event cancelled with catered food that has already been prepared, consider donating it to  families in your area!
3. Write letters to your local nursing home. Letters bring joy and comfort to the residents during this difficult time.
4. Become a virtual volunteer. Kathy Green in Alabama started a Facebook group to organize local residents in sewing face masks for their hospital!
5. Create some inspiring window art. Shona Richardson’s school in Scotland launched a campaign to encourage students to paint rainbows to display in their windows at home.
6. Hold a different kind of block party. Neighbors in Eugene, OR held a dinner party from their individual front yards complete with pizza (and even a dining table with a tablecloth!)
7. Celebrate birthdays from afar. Neighbors in  Madrid, Spain came together for a woman named Charo’s birthday. They brought her a cake and sang “Happy Birthday.” Being socially distant doesn’t mean skipping important celebrations!

Posted in Community News
April 24, 2020

Your Starter Home vs. Your Forever Home

Buying a home is exciting. Most people have visualized their dream home—large, inviting kitchen; multiple bedrooms for family and guests; perhaps a backyard with built-in BBQ, pool, and fireplace. Yet this dream is often out of reach financially for first-time homebuyers. These buyers are ready to find a starter home and perhaps are wondering if saving for a forever home makes more financial sense.  Before making this decision, it’s important to consult with a professional financial advisor about your unique situation; more often than not, getting a starter home makes the most sense. 

Things to Look For in a Starter Home vs. a Forever Home

As we already mentioned, a starter home probably won’t have all the features you dream about, so it’s important to understand the difference between “want” features and “need” features. For instance, the number of bedrooms might be more critical than the huge, eat-in kitchen. Finding a home near a park for the kids might take precedence over the expansive view of the water.  Focus on affordability and find a home that suits not only your immediate needs but offers the ability to grow in equity. Your starter home should be viewed as a financial tool to build wealth and position you to move up to your forever home. Building wealth through homeownership is a great way to ensure you’ll be able to buy that dream home when you’re ready. 


 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 17, 2020

New Construction: Is It Right for You?

New construction home developments have sprung up across the country. They show beautiful new designs in both living spaces and exterior details. It’s appealing to have the ability to choose your flooring, countertops, cabinets, lighting, and other features—moving into a home no one has ever lived in. Yet, there are also good reasons to consider a resale home as well. Understanding the advantages of each, you can decide if new construction is right for your needs.

Brand New Construction Home

The first advantage for new construction is that everything is new, fresh, modern, and includes the latest design trends. Appliances and windows will be energy efficient and include all the newest features. Homebuyers will also find no need to budget for repairs since everything is new and should include a warranty.

Resale Home

A resale home can offer great value to homebuyers. The home will already have landscaping and upgrades installed, saving out-of-pocket costs. Resale homes also tend to have larger lots in established neighborhoods. Property taxes may also be lower because the infrastructure is already in place. Finally, the buyer can easily research schools, safety, and amenities which may still be under construction in new developments. Both new construction and resales homes have benefits. If you are in the market for a new home, consider the options in your area and compare real costs and benefits. Knowing the difference can save you money and help you find the right home for your needs and lifestyle.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
April 10, 2020

5 Questions Sellers Have About the Market during the Coronavirus Outbreak Answered

There are so many questions and concerns amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. The real estate market is especially hard hit and sellers are concerned. Real estate at its core is a people business. It relies on person-to-person interaction and the coronavirus necessarily limits this contact. As the spring selling season gets started, home sellers will have questions and it’s important to acknowledge concerns and offer practical advice and concrete information to help sellers make the best decision for themselves and their families. 

1. Should I still try and sell my home? – Of course, there are many aspects to this question. First and foremost, the health concerns of the sellers’ family have to be taken into consideration. Unless absolutely necessary, the elderly and those with underlying health issues should not allow unnecessary people into their homes; including buyers and agents. 
 
If the household is essentially healthy and not considered high-risk, then this could be a great time to sell. Consider the advantages of lower inventory coupled with low-interest rates; as listings become rarer, the remaining inventory will get more attention which could create better offers. 
 
2. Is it safe to have people through my home? – This is certainly a concern, but there are practical steps you can take to ensure safer home showings.
 
3. What can I do to protect my family during showings? - Protect the home, family and visitors alike by taking the following precautions. 

a. Keep hand sanitizer at the front door to offer buyers and their agents when they enter the home. 

b. If there is a guest bathroom, keep disposable hand towels and soap for guests to use and make the request known to the showing agent. 

c. Offer disposable gloves for use with a receptacle for used gloves. 

d. Limit the showing days and hours so you can properly clean between showings. 

e. Have cleaning wipes handy. Request agents to wipe surfaces, door handles, and banisters which are touched during the showing. 

f. Ask your agent to offer virtual showings or host virtual open houses
 
4. What happens if my buyer loses their job? – Most real estate contracts include a contingency for the buyer loan approval and funding. Now more than ever, it’s critical to keep that contingency in place. In the unfortunate event the buyer loses their job or can no longer qualify for the loan during the contingency deadline, the parties cancel typically cancel the contract. 
 
5. Will I get a higher price if I wait to list my home? – The truth is no one knows. We don’t know how long or short the crisis will be and we don’t know how the financial market will weather the outbreak. While this is a question the seller will ultimately need to decide, the old adage about a “bird in the hand” is important to remember.
 
This spring selling season has proven to have unique circumstances – please contact your real estate agent to learn more about the current outlook and opportunities in your local market.  


 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 3, 2020

5 Questions Buyers Have During the Coronavirus Outbreak Answered

Everyone is being affected in some manner by the outbreak of Covid-19 coronavirus. During this time, buyers will have more questions than normal about the home buying process and their ability to buy a new home. While we can’t predict what the next few weeks and months will bring, the more we can educate ourselves, the better we can help buyers navigate the buying process smoothly during the pandemic. Here are a few common buyer questions as they related to the Coronavirus outbreak and real estate answered.

1. Can we still go see home listings in person? – This is the hardest question to answer and it will depend on the home, the seller, the agent and any fast-changing governmental policies put in place. Agents should be able to offer a Skype or Face Time home tour virtually. Talk to your agent to find out what they have available for the buyers to prescreen the home virtually before setting up the visit; they might have virtual tours already available which can help rule out those that don’t suit their needs.

2. How can I stay safe while visiting homes? – Everyone’s health has to be the priority; this includes the buyers, sellers, and agents. If you are going to see a home in person during this time, carry hand sanitizer and wipes to use before, during and after the tour. Drive separately from your agent meet at the homes. During the tour, designate one person to open doors, drawers, and closets and use disposable gloves during the showing.

3. What happens if I lose my job during the escrow period? –Most real estate contracts include a contingency that protects the buyer in the event they can’t get final loan approval and close the loan. Typically during the process, this contingency is removed after a set time frame, or after receiving the loan approval. Since every aspect of real estate is negotiable, consider asking for the contingency deadline to be extended and in place until the close; talk through this aspect with the seller and their agent in advance to set the right expectation.

4. Will I still have access to the home during the escrow period? – It’s very common for the buyer to have easy access to the home during the escrow period; home inspections, appraisals and just measuring are all common reasons to visit the home during escrow. Consider grouping these activities whenever possible.

5. Will I get a better deal if I wait to buy a new home? – We all know there’s no crystal ball, but with everything that’s going on, sellers on the market should be very motivated to sell. There are also historically low-interest rates on home loans. There is no way to predict the future, so if the right home comes along, it makes sense to consider it.

The Covid-19 outbreak is causing some uncertainty among home buyers, sellers, and even agents. However, with the use of technology and following best practices, you can still find the home you’ve been waiting for during this time.

Posted in Buying a Home
March 27, 2020

Natural Cleaning Tips

With the uncertainty of current events, I wanted to send out a message to you, my dear friends.

Below are some helpful tips for natural cleaners, something that could help us take those precautions recommended by the CDC.

We are all in this together, and we will make it through this unpredictable time.

Wishing you and your loved ones good health.

-Candi

 

Posted in Community News