Selling Your Home? Here’s What Your Home Inspector Will Be Looking For

field_inspectorAre you thinking about selling your home?

If you’re at that stage of homeownership, you are probably busy contacting the right people, straightening up your rooms, and de-cluttering your home from piles that you might otherwise not have ever touched.

But do you really know what’s necessary to help your home get a passing grade for potential homebuyers?

If you’re unsure of what your home needs to look like in order to sell (or to sell for the amount you would like), don’t fret! Just look at our checklist below to see what your home inspector will be looking for during your home inspection!

Your Yard

One of the very first things that potential buyers will notice about your home is your yard, so be sure that you ready it properly! The inspector will check for proper grading drainage and for any evidence of standing water or leaks. Your trees and bushes should be in good condition, and your landscaping should be well-kept. Remember to double-check that your driveways, sidewalks, patios, and railings on your stairs are in good condition as well!

Exterior Surfaces

Next move to your surfaces outside! Make sure that your paint or stain on your home has no stains or flaking and that your vinyl or aluminum siding has no dents or damage. Your professional inspector will be able to locate any large cracks in your stucco or masonry veneers as well.

Windows and Doors

When it comes to your doors and windows, you will want to make sure you did your seasonal homework! Doors and windows will need to be secured, have no cracks or decay, and be caulked and weather-stripped. Remember, damaged screens, broken windows, and visibly neglected features are a major turnoff to potential buyers!

Your Roof

Take a look at your roof! Do you see any broken, damaged, or missing shingles? Does your roof have any cracks or splits? That could be evidence that you need to get it repaired! Your inspector will also check for decay and stains on your soffits and fascia, your gutters, and much more! Don’t forget to check your chimney, if you have one, for any damaged bricks or cracked joints!

The Attic

When your inspector checks out your attic, he or she will be looking for evidence of decay or damage to the structure and stains on the underside of your roofing. He or she will also be checking for sufficient insulation that is functional and properly installed, along with proper ventilation, and any plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents ending in the attic.

Interior Rooms

To make sure that you’re the bedrooms, offices, and family rooms of your home are ready for potential buyers to see, make sure that you don’t have any stains or significant cracks in your walls and ceilings and that your doors latch properly and easily. Check your paint for cracks and that your flooring is in good condition, too. Your inspector will also check for adequate heating and cooling in each room and that all electrical outlets work properly.

The Kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen, your inspector will check that there are no leaks in the pipes under the sink, that your water flow in the sink is adequate, and that your cabinets are in good condition and that the doors and drawers open and close properly. You will also need to ensure that your dishwasher drains properly, has no leaks, and that it operates correctly.

Your Bathroom(s)

Whether you have one or multiple bathrooms, you will need to be prepared to impress your inspector. He or she will be looking for a working exhaust fan that doesn’t end in your attic space, adequate water flow and pressure in all of your fixtures, proper drainage in your shower, tub, and sink, and that your toilet operates properly, too. Be aware of any and all leaks; if there are any leaks present, please contact a plumber beforehand to correct the issue.

The Basement

If you’re not a fan of basements or not in your basement often, you will need to take extra care of it before the inspector comes! Make sure that your basement shows no evidence of moisture, has no exposed foundation or stains or major cracks, and has no damage from insects. Your insulation and rim and band joints will be checked as well.

Please remember that this checklist shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a home inspection report and that you shouldn’t consider it as a substitute for a professional home inspection. This list is also not a complete list, so please be sure to contact a professional home inspector for a proper inspection!

If you’re ready to sell your home in search of your dream home, then what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone right now and call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. We will find you your dream home and help you sell the home you have now!

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Your Dream Home Is Right Within Reach – See It Here!

Allen house frontImagine this – you’re looking for the house of your dreams, and you’ve been relentlessly searching for longer than you’d like. You’re about to give up all hope when something catches your eye. You turn to see what caught your attention, and you gasp in amazement, eyes dilated to let in all the radiance.

Before you stands your dream home, a place of infinite beauty and wonder that is guarded behind a robust but ornate and welcoming gate. It’s as if the house of your dreams simply plucked itself out of your mind and presented itself to you in your time in need, as if to say, “I’ve been here for you all along.”

If this sounds like your dream home, then you’re in luck! We have such a house for you for sale right now, and we know you’re going to love it!

allen house 2Located on 5502 State Route 159 in Edwardsville, Illinois and built in 2004, this gorgeous home boasts 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 14,632 square feet. But don’t feel daunted by its large size! Despite how large the home might be, it has truly retained that warm home feel that makes a house a home.

When you see the house for the first time, you will be greeted by a large driveway surrounded by lush green grass, a gorgeous lake, and ornately beautiful bronze doors.

allen house pic 3You will be delighted to entertain family and friends alike in this home’s spacious yet cozy features. Take guests in to chit-chat in the home’s warm living room. Cook a meal to remember together in the well-equipped, sparklingly clean kitchen and serve them in the marble-floored dining room, lit by a radiant chandelier.

You can also enjoy a stunning walkout basement complete with 6 basement rooms, 7 luxurious and spacious bedrooms, and several appliances such as a built in microwave and oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and many more!

allen house pic 4Don’t forget to take the fun outside with your friends and family (or by yourself, even)! This custom-crafted brick and stone chateau also comes complete with a heated outdoor pool, spa, and a boat lift! You can also host parties and get-togethers on the stately patios that encircle the estate.

allen house pic 5Oh, and horse lovers – if you have a horse or wish that you could have one prancing and racing about majestically near your home, this home is definitely for you. Horses are welcomed here!

With this home, there are simply too many fantastic amenities to list! The possibilities are unlimited.

If you’re ready to check out this dream home, just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even view this listing online here!

The 9 Things That Might Be Scaring Home Buyers Away From Your Home

 

Are you having trouble getting people interested in your for-sale home? Have people already walked through your home but showed zero interest in buying it, let alone putting down an offer for it?

You may not realize it, but there may be some things about your home or that you’re doing (or failing to do) to your home that might be scaring away any potential home buyers. Are you guilty of committing one of these nine crimes?

1. Your Curb Appeal is UGLY – And we mean ugly with a capital “U!” If you have shingles falling off your roof, junk scattered in your yard, or weeds taking over your sidewalks and driveway, you may be stopping any potential buyers cold in their tracks. When home buyers see that the outside of a prospective home is unkempt or just plain frightening, they figure that the inside of the home will look the same (or even worse). Be sure to enhance your curb appeal by planting some beautiful flowers, caring for your lawn, putting out a new and inviting welcome mat, and so much more!

2. Your House Stinks (Literally) – Odors can kill the mood and dismantle the enchantment of house hunting in a quick second. If you happen to smoke inside your home, that stench will permeate your entire home from your furniture and carpet to the drapes and even the walls! Pets and mold can also leave horrible stenches that can turn potential buyers off, sometimes permanently. If you’re not sure if your home smells, ask a neighbor or a friend to come over to offer their opinion.

3. Your Bathroom is Filthy – No one likes gross, dirty bathrooms, especially potential home buyers. Make sure that you clean the bathroom thoroughly before you have home buyers in your home. Replace any old fixtures and gross shower curtains, and be sure that your bathroom is presentable and squeaky clean.

4. You’re a Fan of Wallpaper  – Wallpaper is a personal taste, and most of the time it repels buyers, especially if the wallpaper is in every single room of the house. If you really want your home to sell, take the time to remove the wallpaper and put on a coat of neutral paint. DO NOT paint over the wallpaper! It will be obvious that you painted over the wallpaper AND it will be more difficult to remove.

5. You Have Pets – Dogs may be cute, but some people don’t like them or are simply afraid of them. Many people don’t enjoy being jumped up or licked profusely by dogs when entering homes. If you can, remove your pets during showings to show respect to the potential home buyers.

6. You Have a Love of Bold or Dark Wall Paint Colors – Some people love dark or bold paint colors. That’s perfectly fine… that is, unless you’re selling your home! Buyers try to picture their own stuff in your home, and it’s very difficult to envision if your bold wall colors overpower their senses. For the best results, paint your walls neutral colors (which, by the way, doesn’t mean just white or beige!). Remember, you want your potential buyer to focus on the square footage and other positive attributes of your home, not be distracted by the wall colors!

7. Your Home is Overpriced – No matter how much you love your home, if you have it overpriced it will be a rare occurrence if someone serious wants to come take a look. The smart thing to do is to price it correctly the first time and stick with it. If you overprice it but keep dropping the price over time, home buyers may see you as desperate to sell your home.

8. BUGS – Want a guaranteed way to shoe buyers right out of your home? INSECTS. If you have any insect problems, mice, or cockroaches, don’t count on any home buyers stopping by or sticking around if they do come in. If you can’t get rid of these pests yourself, do yourself a favor and call a professional.

9. You NEVER Leave The Buyer Alone – Can you say, “AWKWARD?!” Give your buyers some space and freedom to check out your home unescorted. If you hang around them all the time, they won’t feel free to explore and will feel as if they are unwelcomed guests.

Looking to sell your home? Need some more tips to make your house look the best it can look? Give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9898 or check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you. Stop committing these nine crimes and start selling your home today!

Want To Sell Your Home? Turn Your Yard From Boring To Beautiful!

What is the first thing that buyers see when they see your property? Why, the outside, of course!

Landscaping can greatly influence how a potential buyer may feel about your home; sometimes it can be the end-all point that makes them buy the house or quickly turn around to look for another home. Luckily, a few simple changes can improve the curb appeal of your property and change the “For Sale” sign in your yard to a “Sold” sign!

Put That Power Washer to Good Use! Some areas of our home (including the outside) tend to remain perpetually “clean” in our minds, but we should really try to break that misconception trying to sell! Believe it or not, your deck, driveway, and home exterior can get pretty dirty over time, dulling your home’s colors and liveliness slowly but surely.

The best way to brighten these spaces of your home is by using a power washer. When the first wave of water hits, you’ll be shocked at how much brighter you’re deck, driveway, and exterior look! While a power washer is a great tool, it needs to be used with care – it admits extremely high pressure that can harm skin and housing materials if used unwisely.

Make Your Home “Inviting! – Nothing says “home” like a wreath and a welcome mat! Wreaths and welcome mats are an inexpensive touch to add to your home to draw any potential buyers in. Feel free to get creative by making your own wreath or find an inviting wreath at your favorite store. Already have your own mats and wreaths and don’t want to part with them? No problem! Simply clean them up so that they look like new again!

Give Your Home the Green Treatment – Who doesn’t love greenery and flowers? Not very many people! Done correctly and artfully, greenery may be the trick to landscaping your home to sell. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! You can easily make it look like you do! When you go to purchase your greenery ask the staff member which plants and flowers are the easiest to maintain. All you need to worry about is picking out the right color of pots to complement your home and watering them to their specifications! Now THAT was easy!

Flowers are a Home’s Best Friend – Picking where to place the plants and flowers you have bought can be difficult to do sometimes! When you’re setting them out, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Lining the walkway to the house with pretty flowers can be really inviting to anyone – potential buyer and visitors alike. If you love gardening, then feel free to plant more flowers! Don’t panic if gardening isn’t up your alley – a little really DOES go a long way! (Oh, and here’s a fun tip from us – Place the brightest flowers closest to your entryway to make both the color of your home AND the flowers stand out!)

Make Your Yard into a Work of Art – Greenery is all good and dandy, but don’t feel like you need to turn your yard into a jungle! Try using some landscaping stone as a way to make your yard look even more beautiful! Create inviting walkways with irregularly shaped stones. Frame your flowerbeds with the stones acting as a border. If you feel like stepping a bit out of the box, try creating a mini-waterfall in your yard and fill the basin with koi! If you’re unsure of how to do this, you might want to either read up on the details or call a professional to help make your yard look beautiful.

Say Good-Bye to Overgrown Lawns! – Finally, be sure to tame any wild shrubberies and trees. Greenery is good, but a mess of it can be counterproductive and a huge turn-off to your potential buyers! When your house is on the market, take a couple extra hours to trim and shape any bushes and trees around your home. Make sure that they complement all the hard work you have put into making your home sellable!

If you are looking for your dream home The Massey Team can help you! Contact us today at 618-791-5024. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!

Do You Have Bad Neighbors? Or Are YOU a Bad Neighbor?

 

Ah, neighbors. You either love ‘em or you hate ‘em. If you’re lucky enough, you are surrounded by good neighbors (or, if you yourself aren’t a people person, you’re surrounded by no neighbors at all!). But every now and then we are “blessed” with challenging neighbors. Slowly, we begin to find ourselves at the edge of tearing our own hair out or even packing up and moving away just to get away from them.

But what if it’s not YOUR neighbors who are bad, but rather it’s YOU? Then what do you do? How can you tell if YOU are the good neighbor or the bad neighbor?

That’s why we here at The Massey Team have compiled a list containing all the traits and actions an annoying or bad neighbor has or does. See if you’re a bad neighbor or a good one!

Lawn Woes – Does your yard look like a jungle? Do you feel like you need to invest in a machete to cut through the grass so you can find your way from the driveway to your front door? If your yard frequently looks untended or overgrown or if you simply hardly ever mow your lawn, then you may very well be considered a bad neighbor, especially if your surrounding neighbors keep well-manicured lawns complete with plants and mulch.

Party Animal – It’s not such a bad thing if you frequently have people over at your home for a casual get-together or even a mild party. But when your guests are parking in others’ driveways or all over the street so no one else can park, or if they are blocking your neighbors’ driveways, you could be receiving some animosity from your neighbors soon. Also, if you’re always blaring your music or being obnoxiously loud, you could be considered a nuisance. So tone it down and make sure your guests know where they need to park.

Bad Communication – Here’s a hint. If you plan on building a fence, be sure to talk to your neighbors first about property lines and potential issues the future fence could cause. For example, if your neighbor plants roses on the edge of her yard, you might want to ask her if she’d be okay with your fence being there, especially if it could possibly rob her roses of light and cause them to droop. Trust us – your neighbors will appreciate your consideration!

Noisy Pets – Nearly everyone loves dogs. They’re soft, cute, cuddly, fun to play with, and they make great companions. No one, however, likes a noisy dog that barks and howls, especially if said barking occurs in the wee morning hours and wakes the neighbors. If you have outside pets, consider training or figure out the cause of their barking behavior. If you let your inside pets out to do their business daily, be sure to not leave them outside for a long time unsupervised.

Nosey Neighbor – Nobody likes someone who sticks their nose in others’ business. Don’t be the person who sits inside the house all day long staring sneakily through the blinds, watching your neighbors. And don’t come out only to complain about your neighbors’ activities or to say, “Sooooo, what are YOU up to?” That will win you zero friends.

Enchanting Ghost – Charm and annoyance are part of being a neighbor. It comes with the turf – familiarity tends to breed contempt. Maybe one time you thought that your neighbors’ kids running through the sprinkler was cute but now you complain that your neighbors can’t control their kids.

But in all reality, the worst sort of neighbor isn’t the one who parties too hard or doesn’t care about the lawn at all or has zero interest in landscaping. The worst sort of neighbor is the type that keeps to him or herself a bit TOO much. This neighbor lives at the gym, work, maybe another’s home – anywhere but his or her own home.

A typical neighbor can be seen walking the dog, raking the yard, painting a door, or tending the flowers. They come out and offer comfort to other neighbors when another neighbor has been taken to the hospital or to the grave. They celebrate the birth of a new neighbor’s life with cake and balloons. The share gossip –both the bad and the good.

The bottom line – neighbors aren’t mysterious ghosts who occasionally haunt their own houses. They are real, live beings who take a part in the community and neighborhood.

So all in all, how should you be a better neighbor? Take pride in your home and lawn by caring for it frequently. Be friendly with your neighbors. Make your house a home. And don’t simply reside in your neighborhood – LIVE in your neighborhood.

If you’re happening to look for a home to call your own in a good neighborhood, don’t hesitate to call us right away here at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. Visit us also at our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see available homes in a neighborhood you want to join!

Ten Ways To Add Curb Appeal to Your Humble Abode!

 

You know how a house has great curb appeal? Every time you walk or drive by it, you just can’t help staring at it. You might even find yourself stopped in front of it, jaw agape and drooling at its beauty. In fact, you might even find yourself driving by that house more and more, simply to look at it and lament that your house is nowhere near as awesome as “that house.”

Luckily for you, there are quite a few easy and relatively cheap ways you can increase your own home’s curb appeal and make a great first impression on others! Check out these ten improvements you can do in a day, a week, or a month below!

CURB APPEAL IN A DAY:

Focus On the Front Door – Your front door is the focal point of your home and reflects your home’s interior, so be sure that it looks the way you want it to! Clean off all dirty spots around the knob, polish the fixtures, and paint your door a bold or zippy new color!

Makeover Your Mailbox – Is your mailbox sad-looking? Does it just scream, “Hey, kids, come hit me with a bat!”? If so, you need to do some serious work! Your mailbox isn’t just for receiving mail – it’s also there to complement your home and express your personality. Spring for a new mailbox or give it a facelift with paint and new house numbers.

Install Outdoor Lighting – Low voltage landscape lighting will make a huge impact on your home and can also provide you with added security. Light fixtures can add accent lighting on plants, trees, or the house, and they can also illuminate a walking path for visitors to see. Can’t use wired lights? Try out solar fixtures! Just be aware that the light levels won’t be as bright as wired lights.

Add Some Plant Life to the Scene – Plants add a punch of color to your curb appeal quickly and affordably. You can buy ready-made containers from a nearby garden center or grow your own favorite plants. Try to incorporate leafy plants with flowering plants in an asymmetrical arrangement to create a dynamic ambiance.

CURB APPEAL IN A WEEKEND:

Add Outdoor Art – You don’t need to become Van Gogh to make your yard look beautiful! Simply choose weather-resistant pieces of art that complement your home. Find a birdbath or sculptures that you love to set outside, and add music to the air by tacking on a wind chime! You can even add water sculptures – just e sure that they’re out of any leaf-dropping range!

Replace Gutters and Downspouts – Are your gutters peeling paint or have rust spots? Are your downspouts nearing non-function? Time to fix them up! Replace your old gutter system with newer, snap-fit vinyl gutters. You can put them together with few tools and no painting! You will boost your curb appeal and help prevent basement flooding when you replace those old gutters of yours!

Create New Planting Beds – If you don’t have a planting bed in place, you should get to it right away! The best places to have a planting bed include in front of the house, along driveways and walkways, and in the front corner of the yard. Choose features for the bed that will frame your home, not block it off. Edge the bed with stone and include a different arrangement of plants in size, color, and texture.

IN A MONTH

Renew Painting, Trim, and Siding – Give that house of yours a well-needed facelift with new paint, siding, and trim! Any cracked or rotting material will automatically downgrade a home’s curb appeal and chase away potential buyers, so do your best to maintain your home’s exterior. You’ll be amazed how your home’s look will be transformed with just a fresh coat of paint and trim!

Make Your Walkway More Inviting – There are several ways you can make your walkways better. You can dress them up with brick and stone borders (and maybe plant a few small flowers on the side), or you can replace your straight, boring concrete path with a dynamic, contoured one made out of brick or stone!

Show Love to Your Driveway – Give your driveway an upgrade without breaking the bank! Repair any cracks and stains and pull weeds out of the driveway. You can then stain the driveway’s concrete, place flagstones nearby, or plant more flora on the sides.

Remember, by adding more curb appeal to your home, you are not only upgrading its price but also enticing potential buyers to come by and check out your home!

If you’re ready to sell your home or maybe want a few ideas for adding more curb appeal, call us here at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even visit us at our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you!