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How to Prepare Your Home for Sale

For most people, the main goal of selling their home is to get the best price. This can be hard in an area where there are plenty of great homes available. That’s why it’s important to make your home stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to make your home more enticing to buyers, including paying attention to staging and cleaning. You’ll also want to avoid making common seller mistakes, like charging too much or not hiring a real estate agent. Below, you’ll find many great tips on selling your home:

  • Open the curtains: Homes look better when you let in plenty of natural light. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep your blinds and/or curtains open whenever you’re showing your home to potential buyers. Natural light can make the space look larger and allow buyers to envision where they would put furniture and other items.
  • Keep it clean: Preparing to sell your home should always involve a good cleaning. Even one unclean room could turn off some buyers. That’s why many people consider having their home professionally cleaned before showing it. If you’d rather clean on your own, just be sure to watch out for corners and any other spots where dirt and dust may hide.
  • Consider the smell: Your home should always smell nice when showing it to buyers. That means you should avoid cooking anything with a strong scent on the same day as your showings. This could include bacon, onions, spices and other fragrant ingredients. Also, consider investing in a good air freshener to spray your rooms with before potential buyers arrive.
  • Repaint some of the walls: Repainting the walls can be a low-cost and easy way to make your home more enticing to buyers. Be sure to go with a neutral tone, as extreme colors can distract prospective buyers.
  • Make small renovations: While some renovations can be expensive, there are inexpensive options for improving the look of your home. For example, consider replacing any hardware in your kitchen or bathrooms that look a little worse for wear. These could include faucets, doorknobs and more.
  • Don’t forget the outside: Increasing the curb appeal of your home is just as important as improving the inside. Buyers want to be impressed as soon as they take their first look at your home. Be sure to trim the hedges, cut the grass and clear any debris from your yard.
  • Hire a good real estate agent: It’s usually not a good idea to try and sell a home on your own. Real estate agents have plenty of experience in selling homes, and are thus better at negotiating prices. A good agent will even help you come up with the perfect listing price to attract interest and bids.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to make your home more enticing to buyers. For more tips, or if you’re preparing to sell your house, contact the professionals at Valley Executives Real Estate & Property Management. We will pair you up with a good agent to handle your needs and get you the best price for your home.

A Helpful Guide for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be an exciting, yet jarring process. There’s a lot the goes into the home buying process that most first-time home buyers aren’t prepared for. Learning about the home buying process can help you save plenty of time and avoid making costly mistakes. In our home buyer’s guide below, we cover some of the most important things to consider before deciding on a home.

Are you sure you’re ready?

Buying a home shouldn’t be a hasty or spur-of-the-moment decision. If you enter into a contract and are unable to pay your mortgage, you could end up losing a lot of money. It will also have a major negative impact on your credit score, meaning you’ll have a much harder time buying a home in the future.

Purchasing a home is a major commitment, as you’ll likely be making monthly mortgage payments for the next few decades. That said, if you have a stable income, good credit score and the desire to own a home, now’s a good time to start saving.

Create a budget

One of the first steps every home buyer should take is creating a budget they will stick to. This means getting all your finances in order and figuring out a good price range. Consider your income and debt to best determine how high of a mortgage payment you can afford each month. Be sure to also think about how much you want to put down for a down payment. Once you have a good budget, you can start looking for homes within that price range.

It’s important to consider all the expenses and extra fees that go along with purchasing a home. This can include closing costs, renovation expenses and much more. You don’t want to end up emptying your savings to purchase the home itself and have nothing left for other expenses.

Get pre-approved

One thing that will help speed up the process is getting a pre-approval letter from your lender. This will show sellers and real estate agents that you’re serious about purchasing a home. Pre-approval letters also show what you can afford and allow you to start figuring out closing costs.

The first step in getting a pre-approval letter is finding the right lender. There are likely plenty of lender options in your area, so it’s important to do your research. Find a lender that’s willing to work with your needs and wants.

Work with a good real estate agent

While it’s possible to find and purchase a home on your own, the process is daunting without a good real estate agent. Real estate agents have plenty of experience in finding homes and negotiating prices. They can usually get you a better price and save you a lot of time. One of the best things about working with a real estate agent is that they can take care of all the paperwork. Buying a home requires a lot of paperwork that most people find confusing and time-consuming. If you’re a first-time home buyer in the Mesa, AZ area, contact the experts at Valley Executives Real Estate & Property Management. This home buyer’s guide barely scratches the surface of what we can tell you about the process!

How to Keep Renters Cool and Save Money This Summer

The summer heat can be oppressive—and that’s especially true when you’re a renter. Most energy-saving, heat-repelling tips are for homeowners who can replace their insulation, plant trees or install blackout shades. Renters, however, are limited by their lease and the limitations of their landlord’s good will.
If you’re a landlord, you might be wondering how to keep your tenants cool in the summer—especially so they’re not subject to massive utility bills. Here are some tips you can pass along that can ensure they stay comfortable all season long:

  • Keep the air conditioner at a reasonable temperature: You might want to crank the air conditioner down to a chilly 65 degrees, but it won’t cool your apartment down any faster. In fact, it will just cause your air conditioner to work overtime, which could lead to damage or blown fuses. Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees.
  • Cook outdoors: If possible, cooking outdoors can be a great way to keep the interior of your home cool. (Landlords, consider adding a grill to your backyard space as a nice amenity!) This helps save on air conditioning bills. If a grill isn’t available, use your microwave.
  • Line-dry your laundry: Clothes dryers can generate a lot of extra heat. Try washing your clothes late at night or early in the morning, then line-drying your laundry in the morning to take advantage of the summer heat.
  • Turn off the furnace pilot light: If your rentals have furnaces, turn off the pilot light once it’s clear there won’t be any more cold snaps until the fall.
  • Shut down electronics when not in use: Electronics like computers, large televisions and other appliances can generate a lot of heat. Shut them down completely when you’re not using them—you’ll notice an instant difference.
  • Replace your air conditioning filter: You should already be replacing your filter every 30 to 90 days, but this is especially the case in the summer. The less accumulated dust there is, the easier it will be for your air conditioner to push cool air through the filter.
  • Use LED bulbs whenever possible: Incandescent bulbs generate plenty of heat. Whenever possible, switch to LED bulbs. They’ll not only cut down on the heat, but they’re cheaper to operate, too.
  • Close closet doors and doors to unused rooms: If you’re not using a room or closet, close the door. It will help cool the rest of your home more efficiently—and your clothes don’t need the air conditioning like you do.
  • Look for money-saving improvements: There are plenty of money-saving improvements landlords can make. Rebates abound for energy-saving, cooler appliances. If you want to be a stellar landlord, look for ways you can get money back on your taxes and keep your tenants comfortable at the same time.

Looking for renters or a property manager? Valley Executives Real Estate & Property Management LLC can help you find great tenants and care for your property. Reach out to us today to get started with a consultation.

Six Easy and Affordable Design Tips for Renters

When you move into an apartment, you’re limited as to how much you can decorate your apartment. Depending on how laissez-faire your landlord may be, you may be able to paint walls, hang new shades or even add fixtures to the walls. On the other end of the spectrum, you might not be able to put any nails in your walls or do anything that could risk losing your deposit. Here are six design tips for decorating your apartment:

  • Ask your landlord for leniency: Many landlords use standard lease agreements that state you can’t do anything to your apartment without permission—including hang artwork, paint the walls or otherwise make it more to your taste. If you plan to be in your apartment for a while, however, it’s worth talking to your landlord. They may allow you to paint or hang artwork as long as you agree to repaint over it when you’re done.
  • Add some interest to your walls: Even if you’re not allowed to repaint your walls, you can still add interest by buying some peel-and-stick wall art. Whether you want to add bold stripes, geometric designs or even a city skyline above the bookcases, beds or couch, these will allow you to change up the look without jeopardizing your deposit.
  • Try new light fixtures: If you have room to store the old light fixtures, why not swap out the ugly, cheap ceiling fans and light fixtures with something pretty and modern? If you move, all you have to do is put the old fixtures back in place for the next tenant. Try pendant lights, modern fans and other fixtures that complement your own décor.
  • Make your own “built-ins”: Your apartment probably didn’t come with any interesting built-ins—but you can make your own! Try adding large bookcases on either side of doorways or to make your own room dividers. You can paint them for a pop of bright color, or let them blend in with the rest of your surroundings. Not only is it a visual treat, but it will add much-needed storage to your apartment.
  • Use mirrors: If you want to make your apartment look a lot bigger, invest in some mirrors. Lean large mirrors up against a wall to make the room appear instantly larger. You won’t have to hang them up, but they’ll double the visual space and natural light.
  • Only keep the furniture you love: Finally, make sure you invest in good quality “transitional” furniture (pieces that can go from apartment to apartment with you). Choose furniture in neutrals that can work with a number of different design styles. While you might need to invest a little more at the outset, you’ll get far more use out of these pieces in the long run.

Decorating your apartment doesn’t have to be limiting when you follow these design tips.
If you’re looking for helping renting out or managing a residential property you own, call Valley Executives Real Estate & Property Management LLC today to learn more about how we can assist you.