Blog :: 2018

Discover Abigail Douris Real Estate blog providing Home Buyers and Sellers with useful information and relevant industry perspectives. Abigail Douris is a licensed real estate broker with 20 years of hands on experience working with buyer and sellers throughout southern Maine and Coastal New Hampshire.

Home care myths

8 top home care myths that are a waste of your time and money.

 

1. Stone countertops are indestructible In fact, stone countertops are easy to stain and scratch. Plus, regular household cleaners and mildly acidic substances, like soda, coffee and wine, can dull stone surfaces over time.

2. Your smoke detector’s test button is foolproof. The test button tells you the sound is working,not if the sensor that detects smoke is working. Use real smoke to check it. Light a match, blow it out and hold it near the detector. If the alarm goes off, it’s working.

3. Gutter guards are maintenance-free. Gutter guards may keep out leaves, but small debris can still get through. It’s best to clean them every two years— or once a year if your home is surrounded by trees—to prevent damage to your gutters.

4. A lemon is a great way to clean a disposal. A lemon’s acidic juice will corrode the metal parts of your disposal, and coffee grounds will accumulate in pipes and clog them. The best natural cleaner is baking soda, which will clean the blades but won’t damage the metal.

5. Mow your lawn short and you’ll mow less often It’s important to leave 1 to 3 inches of grass above the roots to keep your lawn lush. Removing more will leave your grass too weak to withstand weeds and pests. It also exposes the roots to the sun, causing the lawn to dry out.

6. CFLs cost too much, and are dangerous. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) aren’t as expensive as you think and don’t contain enough mercury to cause any harm. Plus, CFLs last an average of five years.

7. Trendy kitchen redo will increase my home's value. Home trends come and go quickly. Instead of remodeling in the latest look, try repainting with trendy colors. If you do opt for a full remodel, choose elements with a timeless style, like wood floors and subway tile.

8. A contractor recommendation from a friend is good enoughLook for a contractor as if it were a job inter- view. Before hiring, talk to a couple of sources, check the contractor’s online reviews and ask a local building inspector which contractors meet code on the properties they inspect.

Increase your home value

Increasing the value of your home before putting it on the market is important, and your budget shouldn’t hold you back. Here area few, simple tips to improve the look and feel of your home fast— all for under $400:

page2image19685025761. Low-maintenance lawn care: Overgrown lawns and bushes will cause your home to stand out—in a bad way. For a few hundred dollars, hire a landscaping service to tidy up. Adding plants and trees native to your region will also help boost the home’s curb appeal.

 

page2image19685028642. Deep house cleaning: Make sure your home says “clean” to potential buyers when they walk in the door. Even if you clean your home regularly, hire a cleaning service for a thorough top-to-bottom scrubbing.

 

page2image1968503152 3. Make your home feel bigger: You can’t change the square-footage of your home, but you can make each room in your house feel larger. A sunny room feels more open—replace heavy drapes with vertical blinds or shutters. Also, clear the clutter. Add shelving or storage space to help organize.

page2image19685036004. Replace and update: Dated wallpaper, old lighting fixtures, popcorn ceilings and broken features, such as ceiling fans, could turn many buyers away. Making these changes will add dollar signs to the value of your home instantly.

 

page2image19685039525. Add money-saving efficiencies: Updates to make your home more energy-efficient are a big bonus for buyers because it will save them money in the long term. Many utility companies provide free energy audits so they can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. Installing a water filtration system is an inexpensive addition that will also lower the buyer’s grocery bills—no more bottled water.

As a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, I will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.

To earn the CRSDesignation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements—including high-volume sales—and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the National Association of REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.

Work with a REALTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact metoday.

 

 

 

 

Pre-listing checklist

There’s a lot that needs to be done when you sell your home, from repairs to cleaning to staging. Here are three things you should do on your own and set yourself up for a successful sale.

 

 

Research your home online   List every repair and improvement you made   Note the obvious flaws

Most buyers start their home search online, so know that information about your home is already out there before you officially list. Google your home and see what comes up, what it looks like and if it has an estimated value. Now is the time to fix any errors. You can contest estimated values you see on your home on sites like Zillow. 

 

Walk through your house and write down every-thing you can think of. Did you buy a new fridge? Install a new hot water heater? Rebuild your deck? Replace the roof? You also want to list any problems you have addressed, and then talk to a professional about what and how to disclose.

 

Maybe there’s a ding in the wall from moving a piece of furniture. Or perhaps your landscaping needs a major refresh. Note the obvious, fixable problems that could affect the sale of your home in order to have an idea of what you’ll need to do to get it market-ready. Buying or selling a home can seem like an overwhelming task. But the right REALTOR® can make the process easier—and more profitable.

As a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), with years of experience and success, I will help you make smart decisions in a fast-paced, complex and competitive marketplace.

To earn the CRS Designation, REALTORS® must demonstrate outstanding professional achievements—including high-volume sales—and pursue advanced training in areas such as finance, marketing and technology. They must also maintain membership in the National Association of REALTORS® and abide by its Code of Ethics.

Work with a REALTOR® who belongs in the top 3 percent in the nation. Contact me today.

 

 

The 10-Year Fix

Fix-itOnce your home hits the 10-year mark, it’s probably time for some home maintenance. Here are nine updates your home will benefit from the most:

Get new carpet. Replace your carpet if rips, tears, stains and odors remain, even after a good cleaning.

Replace the hot water tank. A water heater may not show signs before it leaks or fails, but if it’s been around for 10 years or more, it should be replaced.

Update ceiling fans. If the fan’s light bulbs seem to burn out more quickly than usual, it’s time for a new one.

Buy a new dishwasher. You’ll likely get a more energy-efficient model that’ll pay for itself over time.

Replace the garbage disposal. The average garbage disposal lasts about 10 years because the blades become dull over time.

Replace the washer and dryer. The average lifespan of both appliances is eight years. Replace them before problems pop up.

Repaint inside and outside. There’s no rule about when to repaint—it depends on where you live, humidity and
other factors. But if it’s been 10 years, it's time to repaint.

Re-caulk the tub, shower and sinks. It’s a simple update that you can easily do yourself.

Re-glaze windows. Re-glazing old windows is easier and more cost-effective than replacing them.