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11 Hacks to Make your House More Valuable and Sell it Faster

11 Hacks to Make your House More Valuable and Sell it Faster

When on the market to purchase a new home, many buyers think that they know exactly what they are looking for. The truth is that they likely will not find exactly what they want, but this is your chance to show them how something different will work for them. Depending on the amount of time and money that you put into making your home more attractive to buyers, if priced correctly, you will get a great return on the investment when the house sells. These tips will put you way ahead of your local competition and potential home buyers will be able to visualize themselves happily settling into your house.

1. Have Open and Clear Communication

Sherman Foster of shermanfoster.com asserts that your real estate agent should always be totally transparent with the client, and this relationship goes both ways. Be honest with your agent about everything concerning your home. Even if there is something that might be seen as bad, they can communicate it to the home buyers in a different light.

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2. Know Your Competition

Your agent should know the area and what you are up against. Consider all the variables of other homes that are for sale in the area – you may even attend the open houses of these homes. After all, the buyers will be seeing these homes as well, so you might as well too.

3. Stage Your Home

This is very important for successfully selling a home. It should look clean and spacious. Rooms will appear larger with limited furniture, and all pieces of furniture should match. Make a room fresh with a vase of real flowers or a bowl of fruit.

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4. The Kitchen Needs to be Sold

A kitchen will literally sell a home. The quickest way to update a kitchen is to repaint it and add new hardware. If your renovation budget is a bit larger, all new stainless steel appliances should be purchased. Buyers will offer tens of thousands less than asking price if the kitchen appears outdated.

5. Get Inspected

Make sure that the home is ready to be inspected. John Rota of JohnRota.com states that this is a vital part of the selling and buying process. It may save buyers a lot of money in the long run, and will let them feel confident in their purchase when they know everything about the house.

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6. Get Rid of Abundant Storage

Having storage is a must for many buyers, so make yours appear attractive by leaving them half empty and organized. If your house does not have much storage space, you’ll need to creatively make it appear that there is more.

7. Put Out Amazing Photos

For many home buyers, the search will start online, and then they will decide which homes they will visit based on what they see online. If you can, have a professional photographer take the photos. Real estate agents usually have a relationship with a photographer.

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8. Market the Home

Once for sale, the home will automatically appear in some places, but request that your agent put your home on websites like Trulia and Zillow, and even the Craigslist. The home will also need to be mapped correctly on each site.

9. De-Personalize Spaces

You should aim for potential buyers to see the house as their own, so remove most of the things that make the house your home; this includes photos of your family, religious symbols, or any kitschy collectibles. All of these things get in the way of potential buyers seeing the home in their own future.

10. The Pricing Should be Right

Pricing a home to sell is actually a strategy. Yes, you will want the most that you can possibly get, but pricing too high has consequences, just like pricing too low. Ideally, your home should receive multiple offers, so a price that is too high will scare off a portion of the buyers.

11. Prepare Appropriately

In order to sell your home quickly and at the right price, Jacki Mayo of IslandHomes4Sale.com says that you should be adequately prepared for anything. Clean the home thoroughly and repair anything like a leaky faucet or toilet. The landscaping should be pristine, interior paint should be touched up, and plenty of light should enter the home. Home buyers will form their opinion the moment that they lay eyes on the home, and in general, the money spent preparing the house is included in the purchase price.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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