35 Pienza Open House 12 – 4pm, 8/11/18

I will be holding open 35 Pienza in American Canyon on Saturay from 12 – 4pm.

This home does need a little bit of TLC (new carpets and paint) but it has a fantastic layout. This 4 bed, 2.5 bath has an open concept living area that is just perfect for entertaining. There is ample space in the backyard to create your oasis away from the craziness of life. Blocks to award winning American Canyon High School and easy freeway access, this home has just what you need to get started in the Gateway to the Napa Valley.

7 Tips to Help Avoid Common Moving Day Mishaps

Today I have another guest author ready to give you tips on how to avoid costly moving day mishaps. Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.


 

Moving is exciting! It’s also stressful and tiring. If you throw a few blunders into the mix, the event can quickly go from becoming a pleasure to being a pain. Here are some tips for keeping your moving day positive.Image courtesy of Pixabay hand truck

Hire help. One of the best things you can do is hire a moving company to assist with your move. You’ll be exhausted even with help, so paying someone else to do the grunt work will literally take a load off. If you’re nervous about allowing a stranger handle your fragile or valuable items, one solution is to hire a company that drops the moving truck at your house, you pack it, they deliver it for you to the new place, and then you unpack. You still do some heavy work, but at least you’re relieved of the driving duty.

Another great service: hire someone to assemble furniture for you. Assembly can be a headache, especially if you’re in the middle of pointing to where boxes go and living out of your suitcase. Opt to get help through a trusted service like HireAHelper.

Arrange ahead. Good moving services get booked up well in advance, especially during summertime. Some experts recommend locking in your mover months in advance. Also, note there are some moving companies who are fly-by-night. Check references and go with a trusted service. Make sure you read through estimates and paperwork carefully, as some companies may hide fees in the fine print. Then once you’ve reached your destination, read the inventory sheet carefully and ensure all your items are present.

Don’t take it all. Most of us have more “stuff” than we really need. Take a hard look at what you own, and do some decluttering in advance of the move. Less belongings will mean less to pack, less to move, and less to unpack. Besides, if you’re staging your home for a sale chances are you need to reduce clutter anyway. If you opt to store items in another location during your home sale, box them in an organized manner. Label appropriately and store them in a way that will be logical when it comes time to move.

Last-minute packing. This is a big no-no. Don’t wait until the morning of the move to pack your kitchen, or any other rooms for that matter. You won’t be able to do a good job since you’ll be rushed and you’ll add to the chaos of the day. Some experts suggest allowing eight to 10 weeks to pack up your home.

Keep necessities handy. Think through what you may need when you get to your new location. Keep some fundamentals in a convenient location; include basic tools and cleaning supplies. You won’t want them at the back of the moving van or buried under boxes.

Secure items. Don’t pack in a manner that allows things to shift out of place. Falling items can not only become damaged, they can hurt someone. Secure your belongings with ratchet straps, shrink-wrap, and rope as needed. Also, ensure your heavy items are packed low with lightweight items higher.

Don’t rely on Mother Nature. Be prepared if the day turns out to be inclement. Have tarps, plastic sheeting, towels and plastic bags at the ready. If you need last-minute additions you can drop by a local home center for supplies, but it’s best to have some items accumulated just in case.

Also, Better Homes & Gardens recommends considering the time of day you decide to schedule the move. Chances are you will be better off planning around rush hour or big local events.

Moving success! Moving can be both exciting and overwhelming. Do some planning to avoid turning your moving day into mayhem. With smart strategies in place, your move should go smooth as silk!

Moving Today Could Change Your Tomorrow

Death of a loved-one is never something that we want to think about; but for many of us it is a closer reality than we want to admit. Today I welcome guest author Lucille Rosetti. Lucille is an expert in the field of loss and bereavement and kindly agreed to pen a guest piece. She has a book titled Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved coming out this spring.


The decision to move from your home after the loss of a spouse, parent, or child is one of the toughest you’ll ever make. There are so many emotions that go along with moving, but when coupled with leaving a part of your life behind, it can be very intimidating. But a change of scenery and a fresh start may be just what you need to heal.

Is it time to go? After losing a loved one, there are so many reminders each day that things are not the same, even if the backdrop is. If you find it difficult to imagine yourself in that environment without your loved one, you may do well to give yourself a new place to call home. People move for many reasons, including, according to Unpakt, to get a fresh start and combat financial issues, which you may have if your spouse has passed away. When your reasons to leave outweigh your reasons to stay, you’ll know it’s time.

Cleaning and saying goodbye. One of the hardest parts of the moving process is cleaning out the home before packing your boxes. Combined with the emotional struggles associated with going through our loved one’s belongings, this can be almost crippling. In order to move forward, you’ll need to let go of some personal belongings. Start with items that don’t have any direct emotional connection, such as old shoes and books that haven’t been read in years. You may wish to donate clothing or household items to a local shelter or community center so that these things can bring joy to someone else. Purge as much as you can but hold onto sentimental treasures. Pocket Sense warns to be careful when tossing paperwork, as the decedent must have taxes filed on his or her behalf.

Once you decide which personal keepsakes to hold onto and which to donate or sell, consider hiring a cleaning service to help you clear things out before you pack. HomeAdvisor reports that the average cost for a one-time interior house cleaning is between $115 and $241 and takes about four hours.

Buying and selling, don’t go it alone. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to partner with a real estate agent that can help you manage the buying and selling process. U.S. News & World Report’s experts explain that there are several ways to effectively sell your home quickly. But since you also want to get the most out of your investment, you’ll also need the advice of a Realtor®, who can offer suggestions on which projects to complete and the best way to stage your house to make it as inviting as possible for potential buyers. On the buying side, an experienced agent can help you find a new neighborhood close to amenities that add value to your life. The agent can guide you toward financing options and will be able to point out issues you may not have considered, such as high homeowner’s association costs or proximity to higher-crime areas.

Another thing to consider when moving is hiring a professional moving service. This will help ease some of the pressure and ensure safe transport—or financial compensation in case of an accident—of your furniture, electronics, and other household goods.

While it’s overwhelming, know that things will settle down, and you’ll soon be able to see the horizon over the hills. Moving can offer you the chance to rebuild your life and write a new chapter for yourself. The biggest obstacle is overcoming your emotional attachments and letting go of the guilt of leaving your home. You deserve to be happy, and your deceased family member would encourage you to do what’s best for you.

This Psychology Today post by Kristen Meeholf offers additional advice on how to create a new life after loss. 

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Image via Pixabay

A Wrinkle in Time…

One of my all time favorite books. If you haven’t read it, make the time. It’s well worth it…but today’s blog isn’t about that. Today I want to talk about time wishing the offer process. There is often a lot of confusion surrounding what happens – in fact, I just went through a similar process where the time for the other party to respond expired…twice! There are a few key points to keep in mind. Some may sound rudimentary but you would be surprised at how the pressure of the situation can affect an individual’s sound judgment. But that’s what you have us there for, right?

  1. Just because you submitted an offer, doesn’t mean that it has been accepted: Simple, right? People generally only get confused about this part a little later into the counter offer process but I’ve seen it start at the very beginning. Buyer rights an offer and asks, “So what’s the next step? When and where do I give my deposit too?” Unfortunately, next step is to wait until we see what the seller says. Boiler plate language on the contract states that the seller has three days to respond.pexels-photo-280254.jpeg
  2. Three days starting…now? Yes, but this can get a little confusing…but it’s still better than it used to be. The day you submit an offer (or counter offer) is day zero. You then have three additional days to wait for a response. For example, if you submit an offer on Monday at 3:30pm, the seller has until Thursday at 5pm (close of business) to respond. Feels like four days, right? The waiting can be interminable. If your agent knows that offers are due on a certain day, you can always ask them to shorten the time frame to respond.
  3. What happens when time runs out? You’ve blown past day three and still haven’t received a response from the seller or buyer. Hopefully your agent is in contact with the other side so that you know what’s going on. But if they aren’t…what now? Officially your offer has expired. If the other side wants to accept it they can but you are no longer bound by it. You do have a couple of options. You have the right to leave your offer open and go into contract. You also have the right to walk away. Your offer has expired and it is no longer valid. Just because the other side wants it now doesn’t mean that you still do. Make sure, however, that your agent communicates to the other side your intention.

Real estate is not a zero sum game. It is meant to be a win-win situation for all parties involved. There are times when it is difficult to get all parties on the same page because of distance; some times parties aren’t as technologically savvy as others and so you still need a “wet” signature rather than a digital one. Just make sure that your agent is talking to the other side as well as you. Communication the most important assets in real estate.

When Things Fall Apart…

Casey Stengel once said, “There comes a time in every man’s life and I’ve had plenty of them.” That is certainly true for trying to get a transaction closed in real estate. There are any number of ways to delay closing. My first mentor (who also happens to be my mom…in fact I got into real estate helping her with marketing) told me that there is a point in every transaction where it looks like things are going to fall apart. This was sound advice. It is a rare transaction where things breeze through.

There are several choke points in a transaction (as illustrated in the CAR info graph below) but I’ve found that the hardest is the request for repairs. Lorna Hines says that the true power in any negotiation is being willing to walk away, but the art is in never having to do so. Buyers frequently want more than the seller is willing to give. Here is where an agent’s negotiating skills come into play. The beauty of real estate is that it is supposed to be a win-win situation. Both sellers and buyers should walk away happy. If that doesn’t happen, then one of the agents isn’t doing his/her job.

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Thinking about selling?

Almost every home needs a little bit of staging to get things ready for market. Whether it’s decluttering or bringing in all new furniture, there is always work to do. Some times it is just a bit of sweat equity.

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The white ceramic tile countertops in the kitchen is the item that I hear about the most from buyers. Thinking about selling? Contact me today and we can talk about a marketing plan that will sell your home for the highest possible price.