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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!! PART 2

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-HOMES FOR SALE.  SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!!

Helpful tips on getting your home sold from your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent.

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Lighting is a very important thing when selling your home.  In Part 1 of Sellers, Lights Please!!  we went over the basics of why lighting is so important. Part 2 will give you some ideas on how to make the most of the lighting that you have.

Do shades or domes have dead insects or dust in them?  Clean them and see how much brighter the room looks.  Are there scratches, dents, dings or tarnish on fixtures?  If they can’t be buffed or cleaned, consider replacing them.

If fixtures need to be replaced, consider your target buyer and the style of your house when choosing the replacements.  For example, if the architecture and furnishings of your home are traditional, modern-style fixtures of polished gunmetal would look inappropriate.  Or if you’re targeting younger buyers, the original circa 1970 pea green mod-style hanging lamp may need to go.   For some great examples of light fixtures that will “light” up your home, visit local home stager, Margaret Oscillia’s blog.  She discusses lighting and gives some good examples of what not to buy.

Lighting can minimize a room’s idiosyncrasies, creating optical illusions that make a room seem wider, a ceiling higher or hallway longer.  Long, narrow hallways, common in today’s condominiums, can be transformed from wasted space to an art gallery with the addition of track lighting to illuminate artistic treasures.  Is there a room that feels like the ceiling and floor are gradually closing in on you?  By avoiding hanging fixtures and using those that throw light up a wall, such as floor can lights, one can make ceilings feel higher.

If your ceiling has cracks or other blemishes, light that flows down to the floor moves the eye in that direction, and away from a negative feature.  On the other hand, bowing walls of older houses require lighting that moves straight from floor to ceiling without hitting the wall.  Here, the lamps or fixtures must be placed away from the wall and face the ceiling.

Often one can take fixtures already used in the house and move them to more appropriate areas.  Life’s little horrors, real or imaginary, tend to disappear when rooms are lit properly.

Have a particularly small room?  A mirrored wall will look double the size that it did when it was only painted.  If the mirrored wall is across from a window, the natural light will be reflected and the room will seem brighter.

It’s important to remember that it isn’t enough to just have the proper light fixtures.  You need to use them.  Even during the day, lights should be on in every room of the house, including hallways, closets, bathrooms, on the stove, in the oven and under hanging cabinets.  At night, be prepared for an evening buyer drive-by with lamps illuminated in rooms with windows that face the street.  Also, remember to leave your porch light on for those after dark showings.  It makes it much easier for the buyer’s agent to program their key card so that they can gain entry to your home.  After all, folks need to know that Dracula isn’t lurking in the shadows.

You can find other articles in the Top Dollar Series for selling your Salem Oregon home under Salem Oregon Sellers Top Dollar Tips Series. If you are ready to sell your Salem area home, you can contact me directly at 503-931-1846.

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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-HOMES FOR SALE. SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!!

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-HOMES FOR SALE. SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!!

Helpful tips on getting your home sold from your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent.

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Lights, please??  You may be asking what your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent is talking about with this article of  our Seller, Get Top Dollar Tips.  Everyone has lights in their house, obviously-but is your lighting helping or hurting the sale of your home?

Quick example of the importance of lighting:

Professor Von Helsing approaches the house with trepidation – the lone light is from the moon and even that scarcely illuminates the entry way.  He wonders what horrors are hidden in the shadows…

A potential buyer for Count Dracula’s castle might also question what is tucked in the dark corners and hallways of the eerie abode.

Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and old Hollywood horror-movie directors understood the impact proper lighting has on a situation.  A multitude of horrible, dirty, dangerous, unsightly, disgusting surprises can be lurking about, waiting for the most opportune time to make their presence known.

But while Von Helsing overcame his fears and entered the castle despite them, potential homebuyers may not make it past the unlit foyer, no matter how attractive it is.  If buyers can’t SEE it, they can’t love it.  Even worse, they can fear the unseen (and quite possibly insignificant) qualities, and become uneasy in a home that may be just perfect for them.

Lighting can be a relatively inexpensive but effective way to highlight the positive qualities of your home or downplay areas that are less attractive.

The most desirable and inexpensive lighting is natural sunlight.  The easiest way to capitalize on this natural resource is to show your home during the daytime when the sun is shining brightly, throwing open blinds or shades, de-cluttering windowsills, and washing panes to allow light inside.  This is also a good time to move Aunt Gerties’s antique walnut wardrobe away from the window.  To do its job, light needs to enter a room unhindered.

Unless your window overlooks a neighbor’s collection of rusting cars or a grimy, graffiti-ridden wall of the building next door, it’s good to keep curtains open when showing your home.  It makes the room look bigger and more inviting. If the view is less than attractive, hang sheer curtains over the window that will allow some light in while subtly distracting the buyer’s attention from the unsightly scene.

If the house is dark with few or very narrow windows, take heart.  A trip to your local home improvement store can lighten things up quickly.  Even naturally lit houses can benefit from the addition of appropriate electric lighting.

Begin by slowly walking through your house, taking special care to flip all switches and look at each light fixture and lamp.  Are there burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced?  Keep a list of all the size bulbs you need to purchase.

In part 2 of Sellers-Lights Please, we will discuss in more detail how to get the best lighting for your home.  Until then, remember, lights are for the living!!

For more tips on getting your home sold visit the rest of this series:

Sellers Top Dollar Series

Thinking of selling your home, or just want to know what it might sell for in the current market?  Call me direct at 503-931-1846.

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SALEM AREA HOME SELLERS! HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR GETTING YOU TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR HOME! THE BATHROOM PART 1.

SALEM AREA HOME SELLERS! HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR GETTING YOU TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR HOME! THE BATHROOM PART 1.

I am starting a new series of articles based on my Seller Newsletters full of tips for selling your Salem area home for top dollar even in the current Salem Oregon Real Estate Market. If you would like to be added to my free newsletter list, please contact me, and I will get you added right away.

We are going to start this series off with the bathrooms. When a house is on the market, it becomes less the owner’s home and more of a display item. Nowhere is this more important to remember than in the bathroom. Buyers don’t want to see the seller’s personal hygiene items, moldy remnants of steamy showers, or a soap scum-covered collection of empty shampoo bottles. They want to be confident that this most private of rooms is well maintained and sanitized. The trick to make the area seem less, well…private.

Preparing a bathroom for potential buyers is a four step process:

  • Clean
  • Repair
  • Sanitize
  • Spruce

Every surface that can hold something – vanity, toilet tank, shower window, floor – should be cleared of as many objects as possible. The same thing applies for anything that can be opened – medicine cabinet, drawers, and linen closets.

Cleaning begins with throwing out any expired medication, make-up that hasn’t been used in a year, nearly empty containers, and any other useless objects found while emptying cabinets and drawers.
The process continues with wiping each shelf, drawer, and cabinet door. When everything is out from under the sink, take the time to check the faucets and pipes for leaks.
If faucets leak, washers probably need to be changed. In some cases, the faucets may be corroded and need to be replaced. If this is the case, opt for an inexpensive and very plain model. Fill the sink with water. If it drains from the sink slowly, pour in some drain clog remover and see if this helps. When everything is clean and in working condition, neatly return items to the cabinet under the sink, using containers for small objects like bath toys, sponges or cleaners.
While the top of the toilet tank is bare, lift up the top and check the water level and condition of the inner mechanisms. Flush the toilet. Does the water refill to the correct level? Does the water shut off when it reaches this level? If not, then the inside mechanism with the seat and stopper at the bottom of the tank will need to be replaced.

One of the many benefits of listing your home with me is that at Coldwell Banker Mountain West, we have a group of handymen that are employed by our company to do basic handyman repairs on our seller’s homes for as long as your home is on the market, and on our buyer’s homes for as long as they own their home. It’s called our Lifetime Handyman Repair Service. They will take care of any leaking faucets and shower heads, toilets that are not working correctly, and they will put fresh caulking in your bathroom once you have everything else ready to go in the bathroom which helps to provide a cleaner and fresher appearance. Our Lifetime Handyman Repair Service has saved our sellers and buyers a great deal of money by providing free repairs.

So, there you go, some tips to get you started on getting your bathrooms in order before putting your home on the market. Stay tuned for part 2 of The Bathroom.
Would you like a free copy of my book “How to Sell Your House for Top Dollar, Fast”?   Or, would you like me to do a walk-thru of your home to provide you with a pinpoint price analysis of your home, along with a copy of my “101 Quick and Easy Tips to Make Your Home Show Like a Model Home”?  If you would like more information about the services that I offer to my sellers, you can contact me directly at 503-931-1846 or MelWagnerBroker@msn.com.
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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR SALEM OREGON HOME BUYERS AND SELLERS—THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT WAS OFFICIALLY EXTENDED TODAY AND NOW INCLUDES SOME HOME SELLERS THAT WILL BE BUYERS!!

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE HAS GREAT NEWS FOR SALEM OREGON HOME  BUYERS AND SELLERS—THE FIRST TIME HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT WAS OFFICIALLY EXTENDED TODAY, AND NOW INCLUDES SOME HOME SELLERS THAT WILL BE BUYERS!!

Earlier today President Obama signed the unemployment bill which also includes an extension for the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, and a new tax credit for sellers who will also be home buyers once they sell, if they qualify.

Here is a basic rundown of what exactly this means to Salem Oregon Home Buyers and Salem Oregon Home Sellers:

  • Extends the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit of up to $8,000 to first-time home buyers until April 30, 2010.
  • Expands the credit to grant up to $6,500 credit to current home owners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

There are some qualifications that buyers must meet to be eligible for the tax credit:

  • First time home buyer must not have had an interest in a principal residence in the last 3 years.
  • Sellers must have lived in their home for 5 out of the last 8 years as their primary residence. 
  • All purchases must be in contract by April 30, 2010.
  • Buyers have until July 1, 2010 to close on their purchase.
  • Home purchase must be $800,000 or less.

Buyers must also meet income guidelines:

  • The single person income cannot exceed $125,000 to qualify for the full credit.
  • The married persons’ income cannot exceed $225,000 to qualify for the full credit.
  • There is a “phase out” in place for incomes exceeding that which may still qualify the buyer for a partial tax credit.
  • Married persons filing separately have different amounts of credit that they can qualify for-first time home buyers is $4000, and current homeowners is $3250.

If you would like to view a comparison of the previous credit vs. the new credit, the National Association of Realtors has put together a chart.

So, what could this mean to the Salem Oregon Real Estate Market, you may be asking?  The hope is that by extending the credit, it will keep those first time buyers buying.  In addition, by extending this credit to current home owners, these home owners will be moving up or down in size, which will bring more buyers into the market for those middle and higher price range homes.  That portion of our market has been lagging behind for some time now.

If you are a first time buyer, or a seller, that has questions, or would like assistance to get started, you can contact me directly at 503-931-1846, or MelWagnerBroker@msn.com.    

If you are relocating to the Salem Oregon area, I have a relocation package that can provide you with current information on home prices in Salem, Oregon.

If you are a Salem Oregon Home Seller that would like to know what the current market value of your home is, you can request a free, no obligation market analysis here.

If you would like to stay updated on new and breaking information regarding Salem Oregon Real Estate and Homes for Sale, be sure to join my business page on Facebook, and subscribe to my blog.

If you are just curious about whether or not the Salem Oregon Real Estate Market is stabilizing, or would like more information about a neighborhood that you may be interested in moving to, you can visit my Salem Oregon House Values site to see what is going on in any neighborhood that you are interested in.

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