Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate

Posted by Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate on 3/16/2018

Adding your home to the real estate market may prove to be challenging, particularly for a property seller who fails to plan ahead. Lucky for you, we're here to eliminate the guesswork commonly associated with the home selling process.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you list your house and streamline the home selling journey.

1. Enhance Your House's Curb Appeal

How your home looks to prospective buyers can make a world of difference during the home selling journey. If you house fails to impress buyers right away, it may take many days, weeks or months for your house to sell. Conversely, if your home instantly dazzles buyers, you could boost the likelihood of a fast, profitable house sale.

Ultimately, you should allocate time and resources to bolster your house's curb appeal before you list your residence. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform assorted home exterior maintenance and upgrades. And if you need assistance with home exterior projects, you can always reach out to local home improvement professionals for additional help.

2. Eliminate Clutter

Although you may have collected a massive assortment of antiques, decorations and knick-knacks over the years, these items may do more harm than good when you decide to sell your house. In fact, myriad personal belongings scattered throughout your house could make it difficult for homebuyers to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence.

Prior to listing your house, you should remove as much clutter as possible. You don't necessarily need to dispose of excess items, but it may be a good idea to rent a storage unit so you can store these items until your residence sells. On the other hand, if you no longer need certain belongings, you can sell these items at a yard sale or online or donate them to a local charity.

3. Hire an Expert Real Estate Agent

If you are unsure about how to proceed along the home selling journey, you may want to hire an expert real estate agent. That way, you can receive plenty of support as you navigate the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to list a house in a buyer's or seller's market. He or she will learn about you and your home and develop a plan to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence. And if you ever have concerns or questions about the home selling cycle, a real estate agent can respond to them.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent will provide after you accept an offer to purchase your house, either. A real estate agent will guide you through the home closing process. By doing so, he or she will help you avoid stress as you finalize your home sale.

Prepare to list your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can add your home to the real estate market and move one step closer to selling your residence.

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Posted by Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate on 3/9/2018

The housing market presents many opportunities for homebuyers. And after the right amount of research, you're sure to find plenty of exceptional houses that suit you well. But how do you know when you're ready to submit an offer on a residence? Determining the "perfect" offer for a house is key, and if you feel comfortable with your proposal, you may be better equipped to receive a resounding "Yes" from a home seller. Improve your chances of submitting the perfect offer on a residence – here are three tips that you can use to submit the right offer on a home: 1. Consider the Home Seller's Perspective. Of course, when you submit an offer, you likely want to make a proposal that fits your needs and budget. On the other hand, you must consider the home seller and ensure your offer represents a fair deal for both sides. If you submit a "lowball" proposal, there's a strong chance that a home seller will reject it immediately. Conversely, if you submit an above-average proposal, you may wind up paying a price that exceeds your budget. To make the right offer, evaluate the home seller's price as well as the price of similar homes in an area. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to make an offer that corresponds to the current housing market. Also, don't be afraid to discuss your proposal options with your real estate agent, as this professional may be able to offer insights that you can use to boost your chances of getting a "Yes" from a home seller. 2. Prepare for Plan B. Even if you consider your offer to be fair for both you and a home seller, there are no guarantees that a home seller will feel the same way. Thus, you need to be prepared to act quickly in the event that a home seller declines your offer. If a home seller says "No" to your proposal, you can always submit another offer. Or, you may want to consider moving on and evaluating other homes that are available. 3. Be Realistic. It is essential to feel comfortable with an offer you submit on a house. And the moment things start to make you feel anxious, you may want to reconsider your options. For example, a home seller may counter your initial proposal, but you might lack the finances to meet this seller's expectations. In this scenario, you should be unafraid to walk away. That way, you can avoid the dangers associated with over-extending your budget, which could put you in a tough financial position down the line. Remember, the perfect offer on a residence is one that fulfills the needs of both a homebuyer and home seller. If you feel uncomfortable with a home seller's counter offer, you need to understand the situation and act accordingly. Submitting the perfect offer can be tricky, especially if you're dealing with a home seller who sets the bar high for his or her residence. Fortunately, your real estate agent can help you alleviate the stress commonly associated with making an offer and ensure you are fully supported throughout the homebuying process. Work toward submitting the perfect offer on a home, and you can bolster your chances of a home seller accepting your proposal.

Posted by Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate on 3/2/2018

We’ve all had those times when we can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. If you recently moved to a new home or if you’re on vacation, the new environment or mattress can make it difficult to fall asleep.

It’s even more frustrating when you’re in the comfort of your own home but are still having trouble sleeping.

In this article, we’re going to give you some tips and habits you can build to help better your sleep. We’ll talk about ways to get to sleep on time, how to improve your sleeping habits, and how to sleep through the night.

Getting to bed on time

Most of us live busy lives that make it hard to unwind at the end of the day. Others simply have a hard time calling it quits on the show or movie they’re watching when they should be getting some sleep. Either way, it’s essential to build a good bedtime routine to make sure you’re falling asleep at an appropriate time each night.

To start, you’ll want to make sure you assign yourself a bed time. Though bed times seem like a rule for children, it can help adults vastly improve their sleep. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each morning reinforces your body’s natural sleep cycle.

To ensure you go to bed on time, you can set a reminder or alarm on your phone for a half-hour before you need to be in bed. This will give you time to finish what you’re doing and get ready for bed.

There are also apps that will help you do this, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

Monitor your sleep

Sleep is deeply important to how we function throughout our day. A poor night’s sleep is a short-term hindrance, putting us in a bad mood or making it difficult to focus. But, in the long run, lacking sleep is a health risk that has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

The takeaway? We should all take sleep seriously. To do so, a good way is to monitor your sleep. One easy way is to download an app that does just that. For iPhone users, the pre-installed Bedtime feature (part of the Clock app) is a simple way to set reminders and gain insight into your sleeping habit.

A more thorough way to monitor your sleep is to keep a sleep journal or to buy a smartwatch that tracks your sleep for you. Regardless of your method, keeping tabs on your sleep quality will help you prioritize your health and wellness.

Quick tips for improving your sleep

  • Go to bed at the same time each time

  • Avoid bright screens (phone, TV, laptop) for an hour before bed

  • Read, knit, or do some other relaxing hobby before bed

  • Don’t eat for two hours before bed

  • If you can’t sleep, try listening to calming music or a guided meditation

  • If you’re a light sleeper, try wearing comfortable earplugs and an eye mask to bed

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Posted by Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate on 2/23/2018

Stopping by local garage sales in search of bargains and treasures is a lot like panning for gold. Some days you'll be sifting through a lot of rubble before you discover the hidden gems. Other days, you'll hit the mother lode, right away! Whether you're looking for cheap books, antique furniture, unique jewelry, retro clothing, statues, gardening tools, or gently used toys, you can expect to stumble upon some very interesting and worthwhile items -- usually at extremely low prices. Keys to Bargain Hunting Success Many people who attend garage sales on a regular basis seem to have developed a system to ferret out what they're looking for, spot bargains, and negotiate the lowest possible prices. They often don't even get out of their cars if the items displayed fail to catch their interest. Yard sales attract a wide variety of people, but the ones who find the best stuff at the lowest prices know the value of persistence, getting an early start, and advance planning. Many are quite adept at surfing the Web, clippings ads, and using social media to find promising yard sales to check out. The Seasoned Garage Sale Hunter In addition to a natural curiosity about the unexpected treasures they might find in their travels, they recognize the following underlying truths about garage sales.

  • There are two main reasons that people hold garage sales: to make extra money and to get rid of things they no longer need or want. In most cases, they're highly motivated to make sales and do not expect to rake in boatloads of money. If they happen to be in the process of selling their house and getting ready to move, they should be especially motivated to clear out all their garage sale inventory. The last thing they want to see is an interested customer with a wad of cash in their hands walk away because the price wasn't right. If you make a reasonable offer, chances are they'll either accept it or make a counteroffer. By cultivating some basic negotiating skills and learning to have fun with it, you can pick up some amazing deals in your neighborhood.
  • At first, going to garage sales may seem like a hit-or-miss proposition. However, persistence pays off. Good timing, a little bit of luck, and being in the right place at the right time will eventually work in your favor. It's sort of a "numbers game," so if you plan to visit a few different yard sales in one morning, you're bound to find all kinds of worthwhile treasures and bargains.
  • If you know what you're looking for and have a pretty good idea of what its worth, you'll be in a good position to make reasonable offers and walk away with exceptional deals.
Whether you're looking for a used guitar, an inexpensive desk for a college student, or some hard-to-find first-edition books, you never know what you're going to discover when you dedicate a Saturday or Sunday morning to some serious garage sale shopping!

Posted by Fitzgerald and Associates Real Estate on 2/16/2018

You know there are certain household items that need to be replaced regularly. But just how regularly is where things might start to get fuzzy. Especially those big tickets items that need to be replaced on a yearly span rather than months or days. Keep reading to discover how often you need to replace items around the home. Pillows. You want to replace the pillows in your home every couple of years. You’ve probably heard by now that up to a third of a regularly used pillow’s weight can be attributed to dust and dead skin cells. You may not, however, made the connection that a dust filled pillow equals dust mites. While dust mites do not carry communicable diseases, they do pose as an allergy and/or asthma irritant. HVAC filters. During the summer and winter months when your system is working longer hours to maintain your home’s temperatures you will want to change your filters each month. Meanwhile, in the spring and fall, you can do so less frequently, changing it around the three-month mark. Changing your filter regularly will keep your system running efficiently and save you money on energy costs in the long run. Fire extinguisher. You have a fire extinguisher in your home, right? If you don’t I suggest you run out and get one right away. Fire extinguishers can be replaced every ten years, however, they do need to be tested monthly and inspected regularly. Toilet brush. This is one not many homeowners think of, if ever. However, it advisable to replace your toilet brush every six months with regular cleanings in between. As you can image, toilet brushes are host to all kinds of germs and bacteria you don’t want to hang around your home. Toothbrushes. If your family stays on top of their recommended regular teeth cleanings every three months this point shouldn’t be an issue. However, it is one worth mentioning. Your family’s toothbrushes should be replaced every three months as they can develop bacteria that lead to gingivitis and/or tooth decay. And isn’t that what we’re trying to avoid when we brush our teeth? Smoke detectors. It is best practice to proactively replace the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year. With that said it is a good idea to also replace the smoke detector itself every ten years to ensure you have an up to date model. Throughout those ten years, however, you should be regularly testing your alarms. If you have recently moved to a new home and are unsure of how old your smoke alarm system is it is a good idea to plan on replacing them in the near future. Hopefully, you already regularly maintain these items. However, if you can’t remember the last time you have replaced any of the items mentioned you should consider making a plan to invest in some replacements. Making a spreadsheet in your home binder or setting up alerts on your virtual calendar will help you stay on top of the regular maintenance your household items require.

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