5 Easy Ways to Sell Your Home If You Have Pets

Dog looking out windowJust about everyone loves pets and loves having them around! Everyone, that is, except for the homebuyer who could potentially be purchasing your home. Not only do pets provide an unnecessary distraction for the homebuyer, but they can also turn them off with potential odors, hair, and behavior.

As adorable and loveable as your pets are, don’t let them hold you back! Sell your home with these five easy tips!

Take Your Pet Out For the Day – If you’re having your home shown to a potential homebuyer, try your best not to leave your pet home with them. You wouldn’t want your potential homebuyer to be prevented from viewing a home or area in the home because your pet is in there. There’s nothing more off-putting for a homebuyer than being greeted by an overly excited dog, a hissing cat, or growling, barking dog. If you can’t take your pet out of the house for the day, ask a trusted friend or relative to watch your pet for you while you work.

Hide the Evidence – Make sure that your potential homebuyers’ attention isn’t taken away from the beautiful features of your home because of pet toys and dishes! Pick up and place your pet’s toys somewhere that is more unnoticeable. Clean the area where your pet eats and drinks, and put away the treats, leashes, and litter box if you can.

Make Your House Smell Great – Not everyone who has a pet has a home that smells like their pet, but it’s always a good idea to freshen up your home for a showing. Instead of spraying massive amounts of air freshener in your home, try airing it out by keeping your windows open during pleasant weather and maybe baking an apple or cherry pie. Don’t forget to clean your fabrics, carpets, curtains, and cushions as well.

Clean Up Hair – If your pet sheds, you will need to make sure to stay on top of all of the shedding when your house is on the market. No one wants to see hairs on the couch or puffs of hair in the corner. Vacuum and sweep daily, if possible, to keep your home as hair-free as possible – you never know who might want to drop by to see your home!

Make Trouble Spots Disappear – Accidents happen, especially with very young and very old pets. Regardless, your floors are going to be quite a challenge when it comes to de-petting your home for a showing. Make sure to clean all the trouble spots you know where your pet has messed in the past, and be sure to test all cleaners on a small, less-seen area first to test for colorfastness. To find all the spots your pet has messed, consider using a battery-powered black light – in complete darkness, it will show all the locations in which your pet has messed.

Need more tips? Ready to sell your home? Let us help. Call us at (618) 791-9298 or at (618) 791-5024 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!


10 Ways You Can Conquer the Move!

Moving boxesWhether you’re moving out of Mom and Dad’s house for the first time or are an experienced mover, there are things to learn each time you move.  The more prepared you are, the easier the transition will be. 

One bit of advice is to not underestimate the amount of time it will take to prepare for the move.  While a move, if necessary, can be thrown together in a couple weeks, the most successful moves are those that are thoughtfully orchestrated.  Starting the process a few months ahead will leave fewer things that can go wrong when the date actually arrives.

You’ll want a fresh start at your new place.  This is a good time to purge the things you thought you needed to save from the last move or some of the many things you may have accumulated over the years.  Think about weeding out some of the items that you haven’t used or even seen for the last year or two.  How much do you love those items? Do they coordinate with your new home?  Do they deserve your attention and time going forward? Do the clothes fit? Do you even like them?  Have your kids outgrown their toys?   As you move along keep the three R’s in mind:  reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Reduce your stuff to things you really love or need at your new residence. Reuse blankets, soft t-shirts, and even socks to wrap fragile items, and recycle anything you can by passing it on to someone who wants or needs it, maybe even a member of your moving crew. 

In our June 5 blog we mentioned some essential moving tools that you truly won’t want to be without.  They are so important that it bears repeating.  Here’s a quick list:

·      Sharpies

·      Tape gun

·      Box knife

·      Blankets

·      Furniture dolly

·      Rope

·      Plastic wrap

·      Walkie-talkies

Armed with these tools you’re ready to begin.  

As soon as you know that you’re moving is a perfect time to start packing.  Don’t let it overwhelm you; just starting is step one.  Don’t let the move defeat you!  Conquer it!  Here’s how.

Start early.  Don’t wait till there’s not enough time.  Start by setting the exact moving date and assemble your moving crew or your moving company.   Enlist your soldiers—family and friends—and promise them to reciprocate when they move next.  (wink, wink) They’ll appreciate the advanced notice.

Think thin. By that we mean to lighten your load; take just the important things.  You’ll be so much happier if you get to the new house and aren’t looking at and trying to find places for things that you don’t even use. 

Label everything.  You won’t be sorry.  Label your boxes according to which room you want them to be placed in as well as what’s in the box.  You’ll probably not be able to unpack every box at your new home on day one, so you’ll appreciate not having to dig through 10 different boxes to find your favorite pair of shoes.

Pack one room at a time.  This will help you stay organized and help keep from having random boxes all over the place. 

Think outside the box.  If you know for sure that some of your things will go straight to the basement, garage, or attic at your new home, invest in some plastic storage bins for these items.  Try to get clear bins so that you can easily see what’s inside.

Nest boxes.  By that we mean if you have some small boxes, put several into a larger box.  It will be less likely that one of the small ones will be misplaced during the moving process and require less back and forth trips. 

Keep your personal information with you.  Transport your personal documents, checkbook, and financial documents yourself.  This will eliminate the possibility of identity theft, losing or misplacing any of these items, and make them available if you need them right away.

Keep your valuables with you.  Of course, everything you have is valuable, but we’re referring to jewelry, artwork, and other collections you may have. 

Have a box for essentials.  Essential items will vary from family to family but could include things like bathroom tissue, sheets, paper towels, soap, bath towels, basically anything you might need right away. 

Take inventory.  Make a list of everything you’re moving, especially if you’re using professional movers.  Have someone check as the items go on the truck, and then again when they are taken off the truck.

Now you have everything you need to prepare for your move.  A new adventure is waiting.   If you’re just beginning your home search give us a call at 618-791-5024 or 618-791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!  We’ll help you every step of the way!

7 Amazing Reasons Why You Should Live in Edwardsville!

Downtown Edwardsville IlEveryone wants to live in a good town. Somewhere safe, secure, socially alive, and full of opportunities typically qualifies any place on the globe as a good place to live in many people’s books. So often we have to choose a location that doesn’t have it all. Usually, we choose to live the city life with little privacy but great opportunity and social activities, or we elect for the country life in which there’s plenty of space to spread out but not a lot to do.

Did you know that there’s a wonderful little city in Illinois that has all that you could be looking for and more? Of course, this gem of a city has probably been under our noses the whole time. That city is, of course, Edwardsville!

Read the 7 reasons below to see why Edwardsville is THE best place for young families (and pretty much everyone else) in Illinois to live!

It’s Close to the City – If you want to live in a place with a small-town feel yet close to the city, then this is definitely the place for you! Edwardsville is less than 30 minutes away from downtown St. Louis and is very close to the St. Louis International Airport. Only minutes away from shopping, countless job opportunities, major sporting events, and so much more, you’ll never run out of great things to do!

Wildey TheatreGet a Good Education Here – Quality educational systems always make a location that much sweeter to live in. From kindergarten to high school all the way through the university level, Edwardsville features excellent quality of education in both private and public schools with near-perfect ratings. With Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville and Lewis and Clark Community College nearby, getting a good education for a negotiable price has never been easier than in Edwardsville!

Diverse Housing Options Are Aplenty – No matter what your housing needs are, Edwardsville has it all! Ranging from new home construction to grand historic structures along mature, tree-lined streets to apartments, you can easily find affordable housing to suit all of your housing needs.

Business Is Booming – It’s common for people to want to live where the jobs are, but oftentimes that isn’t very likely anymore. A good majority of the jobs lie within larger cities, but living in the city can prove to be expensive. In Edwardsville, you can live in a great home AND have an array of available, diverse, and skilled workforces at hand. With the growth rate up in the city, finding a good job only minutes away from where you live is much more possible in Edwardsville!

St. Louis interstatesTransportation Is Never a Problem – Bordered by 3 major interstates, Edwardsville offers fantastic and easy access to all areas of the nation and incredibly easy access to the city of St. Louis. The city of Edwardsville also features a progressive public and recreational transportation system, which includes a hub and spoke mass transit system with bike racks and WiFi on buses, and much, much more! Bicyclists will also find a way around with the city’s multiple connections to the county’s 100-mile interconnected bike trail system!

The City is Rich in History – Did you know that Edwardsville is the 3rd oldest city in the state of Illinois? Incorporated in 1818, it is a city rich in history, a land that even Abraham Lincoln visited – TWICE. The region around Edwardsville is also rich in history and gorgeous geography, many tales of lore and legend, and countless ghost stories. With nearly every corner you turn, you’ll find something new and exciting to learn about the city and the region around it!

Live In an Award-Winning City – Have you heard the fantastic news? Edwardsville has recently been named the #1 City For Young Families in Illinois! This was determined from three essential aspects of a good city – good public schools, affordability of living, and if the town is growing and prospering. Edwardsville was the city that dominated the list of requirements and became the best city in Illinois for young couples to live in! Also notable is the fact that the city was ranked by Family Circle Magazine as one of the 2010 Top Ten Towns and Cities for Families.

(Oh, and in case you’re curious, the other 9 places named in the list include O’Fallon, Charleston, Grayslake, New Lenox, Geneva, Huntley, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, and Orland Park, respectively.)

Ready to move? Want to find an even better home in Edwardsville? You’ve come to the right place – we can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online to see our listings and what we do at www.DianaMasseyHomes.com! Together, we can help you find your dream home in the state’s best city to live in. Visit us or call us today!


First-Time Home Buyer? 10 Must-Know Tips to Buying Your First Home

Keys to the new home!Are you getting ready to stop renting and to buy a home for the first time? That’s fantastic news! You will no doubt love being a homeowner and enjoying all the freedom that comes with owning your own property; however, you definitely need to do your homework before you just pick a house.

Think about your dream home for a minute. What does it look like? Where is it located? What about your dream community? What is it like? These are actually very serious questions to consider before you go out there and try to find a home. But where do you start?

Below are 10 tips outlined to help you get started and help you along your way to finding your very first home!

1. Know Your Credit Score – Before you do anything else, check your credit score! This is the most important factor in getting your mortgage qualifications assessed. Lenders will connect your credit score to the interest rate you will have to pay, so ideally a score between 720 and 800 is what you should aspire to have in order to pay the lowest mortgage rates. If your score is 620 or below, you might not even qualify for mortgage at all until you improve your score.

2. Set a Budget – When it comes to buying a home, a budget is essential. It will be your guideline to what you can and cannot afford, and it will help keep your searches in check. Create an easy budget for yourself with income and spending to figure out how much you want to spend on house payments, and definitely set it before you go house hunting. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house that’s way out of your budget range.

3. Stop Spending and Start Saving – As soon as you set your budget and have figured out how much your potential mortgage payments will be, start saving the difference between that payment and your current rent every month. This will help you save money and will help you get more accommodated with paying higher payment amounts.

4. Find a Lender – Before you start looking at houses, get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan! Make sure that you ask your lender about all the different loan options and figure out an idea of how much money you’d need for a down payment and for closing costs.

5. Find a Trustworthy Realtor – There’s nothing more vital to buying your first home than finding a reputable realtor. This realtor should be experienced, knowledgeable, and familiar with where you want to live. You will need someone who will be reliable in representing your interests during times of negotiation – and that’s what we do!

6. Nail Down Your Top Priorities – We know that there are a lot of things on your first house wish list, but sometimes you won’t be able to afford or find all that you want with your first home. Time to make some compromises! Ask yourself, “Is it more important to live in a particular type of home or in a particular section of town?” You will need to hone in on your top priorities before you can discern for yourself what you truly want.

7. Select Your Desired Neighborhood – Remember in your house searches that some neighborhoods hold onto their value more than others if the housing market is rocky. You should work with your realtor to find a neighborhood that meets your needs and that will keep you happy and make you feel safe. Your safety is of utmost importance, so please choose wisely before settling!

8. Make an Offer – Found a home you love and adore and simply can’t live without? Time to make an offer! Don’t place your offer at too low of an amount, though; many sellers are willing to negotiate, but many others simply won’t. Have your realtor walk you through the process so that you can be assured that you will receive fair treatment.

9. Get It Inspected – This is one of the most important items on this list. Never, ever, EVER buy a home without an inspection! A professional home inspection will help identify the weak spots and flaws in the home and will help identify which systems and appliances will need to be replaced.

10. Seal the Deal – Congratulations! The contract is signed! After the contract is signed, be sure to be in frequent contact with your realtor and your lender to make sure your financing is taken care of. A good realtor will keep a checklist handy to ensure that everything is completed in time for settlement.

Are you ready to find your first home? Then give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find the best house out there for you! Visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see all of the services we provide!