Here is a safety tip sheet I hand out to sellers. Feel free to print out, download or share.
Here is a safety tip sheet I hand out to sellers. Feel free to print out, download or share.
When you were in the market to purchase a house, chances are you wanted one that was in really good shape; no…you wanted one that was perfect, right? Now that you are selling, don’t you think a potential buyer wants to find your house in perfect shape?
I suggest to all sellers, whose homes I list, that they make obvious repairs before putting the house on the market.
Some people choose to, and they either fix the things that they know are a problem, like a door that sticks or a faucet that leaks, or pay for an inspection and fix those recommended repairs before the seller sees them. An inspection in Oxford will run approximately $350.00.
Buyers will touch everything in your house: they’ll open the refrigerator, open and close cabinet doors to see how well they are made, turn on faucets, look under cabinets checking for leaks or damage from previous leaks. They’ll turn on the fireplace, ceiling fans and lights. Buyers will test the locks on the doors, the garage door, and look for cracks in tile floors and counters. A serious buyer will check everything…at least that’s what I’ve experienced with buyers I’ve worked with.
So, if something is leaking or off its hinge, fix it before a potential buyer sees it. Enough problems will leave buyers shaking their heads and moving on to see a house that they consider less of a project.
It’s so simple to do many of these pre-selling fixes, so take the time to do it. These can include the following, although depending on your house, there could be a few more items:
I also suggest, that before you list your house, you have it deep cleaned. There are many detail-oriented professional house cleaning businesses in Oxford. Hire one to deep clean: wipe down doors, windows, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, behind washer/dryer and refrigerator, baseboards, windowsills and frames, ceiling fans, fireplace, oven/microwave, floors, sink faucets (that crusty stuff around the base of faucets), dust around all light fixtures and crown molding. They will surely find more to clean, but you get the idea. Make your interior sparkle.
Outside, trim your bushes, remove anything dead, cut and edge the lawn, replace a missing fence board (a fenced yard with a missing post is not a fenced yard if Fido can escape). Plant some in-season annuals for extra color and wow.
I understand you may not be able to do all of this. Job relocations require you to move fast but if you are in the running for a transfer or a new job elsewhere, I’d get the house ready now just in case. A good looking house, in great condition will sell faster.
Another reason that you might not be able to make repairs ahead of time is due to something major. If you plan to fix a large issue but cannot before the house sells (price or having to move out to have it repaired), you’ll be disclosing it anyway so offer to have it fixed before the closing date or offer to pay some of the buyer’s closing costs in lieu of making the repair.
By making repairs pre-listing, you aren’t covering up problems. You’ll need to disclose the fixed leak, the screen repair and the replaced window, but you’ll be passing along, to a new homeowner, a house that is in good condition…one that is perfect, like when you bought it.
Here’s an overview of what’s going on in Oxford, MS housing. Every 6 months I put together a summary of stats on condo sales and single-family-home sales for Lafayette County which includes the city of Oxford. Since I found the numbers to be close when looking separately at Lafayette school district properties vs Oxford school district properties, I have combined the two and the report below reflects condo and SFH sales trends for Lafayette County MS.
Questions? Feel free to call or email me.
The surface can make an elegant statement. It can be simple. It can be warm. It can be casual.
The surfaces to choose from include wood, stone, concrete, laminate and much more. Many kitchen designers even mix counter surface types within one room.
Wood surfaces are not your regular butcher block from the 1980s. I had a eucalyptus counter in a house I rented several years ago. It was lovely and warm. The wood needed annual upkeep with a specific oil treatment but it was one of my favorite counter tops. Just be sure not to use that space as a cutting board.
Many local homes I’ve viewed had a single counter space in wood and the rest in another surface type. Other wood choices include bamboo, walnut, cherry, mesquite.
Stone surfaces vary widely and include popular choices like granite, quartz, soapstone, travertine, Jerusalem stone and slate. Most require particular cleaners as some may damage easily from improper care. Stone surfaces also come in a variety of color choices to add personality to your kitchen. The downside to stone is that the busier the design of the stone the easier crumbs and dirt can hide on the surface. However, solid surface colors can only accent the fact you need to clean it. My favorite counters were black quartz in another house I lived in. I loved the look when they were clean but I was constantly wiping them down (there were children in the house which accounted for the dirt and crumbs).
New trends in counter tops are concrete, copper-wrapped and recycled-glass counters. Copper-wrapping seems to be popular on counters that are separate from the main countertop in the kitchen but not necessarily on the island. Recycled-glass counters are higher-end because of the process to make them. A mix of colorful glass chips from various broken glass items are blended with concrete and sealed for a smooth finish. Terazzo is making a comeback in both flooring and countertops for homeowners making that mid-century modern statement.
Other trends include eco-friendly counters like composite countertops. These can be made of recycled paper or fly ash and are sealed to resist bacteria. They are heat resistant, too. Engineered stone, stainless steel, solid surface and “upscale” laminate are also popular choices.
Tile counters are still popular although most people I had shown houses to do not like them. Tile can be a less expensive way to have an expensive looking counter. And while it is pretty, there is the grout to consider when cleaning. Scrubbing stains out of an unsealed grout can be tedious, so be sure to seal it. Grout can also crack, leaving the homeowner to maintain it more often than they would need to with solid surfaces. With these factors in mind solid stone is an unoffical winner of my countertop experience.
But you decide. When choosing your counters go to a store that specializes in stone for their expertise, and visit some other kitchen design centers for their expertise. Be sure to investigate wood as well.
Although I suggested mixing surfaces in your kitchen, do consider matching your other counters throughout the house to the dominant kitchen counter surface. These would include bathrooms and laundry. If you ever have to sell your house, this is a design issue that comes up often with buyers. Buyers like to see continuity of design and most of my buyers, who have passed on a house, stated that it was because of the expense to match counters.
And my last piece of advice is this: a desk built into the kitchen is a great space to have but consider not using stone on the desk surface; it gets cold. I speak from experience on this matter.
For more info on picking your countertops read this great article on countertops and your personality.
Many people live in small towns where the job market just doesn’t quite fit their needs but they enjoy living there. Others have a specialty job which may require moving to a new city in order to stay in the career field of choice, especially when tele-commuting is not an option.
These people might be homeowners in the town where they went to college or grew up. The kids are in a good school system and the whole family is connected someway to the community: church, soccer, scouts, volunteer work.
But the job! A new one comes along, an hour away. What to do? Should you continue living in your current home and commute or should you move? In a large metropolitan area, commuting might be the norm but where your small town is separated from others by miles and miles of highway, moving might be necessary.
Consider a few things:
Since the job is just an hour away it might be a great thing to consider the commute, at least temporarily. Make sure you like the job and the opportunity it provides. Sure, you’ll be away from the family 2 extra hours a day but once you get a feel for the job and the new area you can make the determination to move or stay. Be sure you have a fuel efficient car to help ease the pain of the additional gasoline cost during this time. You might find that commuting works for you and your family.
Although the new job and your current home are just an hour apart, the housing markets could be very different. One could be robust; the other stagnant. You could find both doing well at the same time. Review the cost of living in both towns using websites that can give you accurate cost of living comparisons. Then ask for the help of a real estate professional in each town to give you a market analysis which can also help you decide if moving or staying is the best financial choice. You need to know if you stand to lose money on your current house or would benefit by selling and moving on.
With the kids in school, comparing the school systems is another important consideration. Also, do you have a high school student nearing graduation? Do you want to pull your children from their current school at this time or can you wait to move after graduation? Consider, too, that if you decide to move just over the state line and the graduating child wants to attend a college in the state you are leaving, you will lose resident status for tuition. On their own, at least in Mississippi, they need to be 22 or married (if younger) to obtain their own resident status. Otherwise they are under the parent’s resident status until a year after they become 21 as long as they are living in Mississippi. Grandparents who live in the same state as the college must take legal guardianship of the student in order to use their residency status and save tuition. There are some loopholes and other states may have different rules but be prepared in case you do choose to move across state lines.
Look into the cultural, entertainment and shopping aspects of each town. Consider dining options and grocery stores. Will the children be able to continue their sport of choice? Investigate church options. And, is the new town easy to get around?
Talk about this new adventure with your spouse and children. If senior parents are living with you or provide a hand in raising the kids, they’ll need to be in the loop as well. What are the benefits of moving or staying? How will your decision to stay and commute affect career advancement and personal fulfillment. Getting your spouse and the kids on board and having them ask questions about your decision or even help you make the decision is an important family exercise. It’s important to find out how your decisions affect the family. It’s important to get their questions and feedback. Lack of communication within the family structure can cause tension which, in turn, can affect your personal fulfillment and job performance.
Sometimes, the situation is an easy no-brainer…move on. Many times, there are so many “what-ifs” that it is a hard choice to make. Should I go or should I stay? Only you and your family can make that decision, but once made, stick with it. No regrets.