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Getting ready to put your house on the market in 2017? Or are you just getting ready for spring in general? I can’t write this article any better…check out http://embracinghomemaking.net/2015/04/200-things-to-throw-away/.

Are you hosting for the holidays?  Not sure where to start? Running out of time? No worries!  If it’s calm you’re seeking let us help you get there. This quick guide to prepare for holiday guests will help relieve the stress of hosting and help you enjoy this special time with family and friends!

 

Guests should feel an expected welcome into your home as soon as they step foot through the front door. Keep overhead lights low inside the foyer and add a warm glow either through candles or a lamp sitting in an entry table or shelf. Find a fun, holiday welcome mat or floor rug to warm up the space. To also set a cozy feel, you can add usable seasonal accents like wool blankets or blanket scarves hanging from hooks or rolled up in baskets.

 

Make sure your house smells good! Clean the kitchen and bathrooms thoroughly using great smelling cleaning supplies. Vacuum the carpet and dust the furniture because dust actually smells. Take out the trash and if you have pets, clean out their cages and litter boxes. Add more candles throughout the house to create a warm, calm, and clean smelling space. Stick to one or two similar holiday scents or just a clean linen fragrance that will make your house smell fresh.

 

Besides the house smelling good, you should layer objects such as books, baskets, old trunks, crates, or foot stools under open tables or benches to give your living/family room a cozier feel. Add soft throw blankets to the couches or roll up into baskets for your guests to grab while they watch TV.

 

Lastly, when it’s time to head to bed, guests should feel comfortable in their space. Keep decor simple, but add a wreath or a touch of holiday decor to the guest bedroom and bathroom. Provide an empty closet and dresser. The bedding should have fresh, clean sheets and a couple of extra blankets and pillows left out to suit individual comfort levels. Stack big fluffy towels on the bed and in the bathroom. Set a basket full of essential toiletries and rolled up washcloths on the bathroom counter. You can also create warmth by adding candles, throw blankets, and even a cozy rug by the bed.

 

Bottom line…you set the tone, so if you want calm, be calm!  Relax, enjoy, and happy holidays.

Selling your Naperville area home during the holiday season may sound like a less than ideal game plan, but there are some advantages now present only at this time of year. It’s true that some extra effort may be called for, but it can be worth the endeavor: there are several factors that make showings at this time of year particularly promising.

The first advantage is the flip side of the greatest disadvantage: the slowdown in real estate activity we usually expect over the holidays. That relative scarcity of active prospects means fewer showings, so the number of times you’ll be called upon to put your area property in peak condition will be smaller. The other side of that disadvantage? The showings we do expect will be to particularly motivated buyers. If they are interrupting their own Christmas and New Year’s activities to go house hunting, they probably mean business. And it’s also likely that they are motivated by a timing deadline. This makes those showings especially promising.

Another positive aspect to selling your home at this time of year is how appealing the staging possibilities become—and with little extra effort. Your regular holiday decorations make the place festive and cheerful every year, anyway—usually little else will be needed to bring those enhancements into play for prospective buyers. Yuletide décor is automatically a kind of natural staging that brings out the cheeriest side of any home…and who doesn’t respond favorably to the scent of cookies in the oven or cider bubbling on the stove?

Along with those automatic holiday positives, owners selling their home in the western suburbs do need to be careful to avoid some built-in potential downsides. Right now the sun stays lower—even at noon—than at other times of the year, so it’s important to make the most of the light that is available. Keep rooms well-lit and window drapes pulled back to allow as much sunlight as possible. Even during daylight hours, most rooms show their best with all lamps and ceiling fixtures turned on. Fireplaces are sought-after features—and this is the best time of year to make the most of yours by keeping a cheery fire blazing.

When you are selling your home during the holiday season you should also make the effort to keep your own schedule as flexible as you can—even more so than would ordinarily be called for. Potential buyers will have their own holiday obligations to attend to, and are often forced to jam showings into tight spaces. It can be worth it, though, when you keep in mind that holiday home shoppers are motivated prospects.

If this December and January look like opportune times to be selling your own home in town, it’s not too late to give me a call. I will be active throughout the season, helping area prospects find the home of their dreams—the home they will be making holiday memories in for many years to come!

Let us put a “Sale Agreed®” on your new home this holiday season!

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset
An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.

Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

Bragging about their success
Bragging about their company’s success
An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.

Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares.

People often ask whether they should buy a home now or wait. Recently released data suggests that waiting may not make sense as prices seem to again be on the rise. Let’s take a look at some of the data and commentary on the subject:

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics:
“The current tightness of supply conditions would normally be consistent with much faster price growth. The continued steady growth in home sales that we expect this year will only add to this upward pressure on prices.”

Case Shiller Home Price Index
“The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015 … with a 0.8% increase for the month.”

Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic
“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015… Tight inventories, job growth and the impact of demographics and household formation are pushing price levels in many states toward record levels.”

Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics at NAR
“Even without further acceleration, the pace of price growth remains too high. Strong buyer demand and low inventories coupled with relatively low new construction are helping to push prices up, keeping the housing market tipped in favor of sellers.”

FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis
“The first quarter saw strong and widespread home price growth throughout most of the country. Home prices are now, on average, roughly 20 percent above where they were three years ago. This run-up has been historically exceptional and is particularly notable in light of the limited household income growth and modest rate of overall inflation observed during that same time period.”

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home in the near future, waiting probably doesn’t make sense from a purely pricing standpoint.