Home closing checklist for sellers

Selling a house can be a long, complicated process. There are, however, several steps you can take to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Following is a home closing checklist for sellers that will help guide you through this transaction.

  • Clean the house from top to bottom, inside and out. Don’t leave a mess behind for the new owners. Would you want someone to do that to you? If you don’t have time to clean, hire a professional to assist you.
  • Gather important documents. You might even make this part of the house-cleaning process. Go through your file cabinets and paperwork and pull anything house-related for safekeeping. Having important documents in-hand and ready will indeed speed the overall selling process.
  • Perform a final walk through and shut off utilities. Make sure nothing is leaking and quickly deal with any issues that could delay closing.
  • When the sale is complete, remember to cancel your insurance policies and close accounts associated with the home such as utilities and even newspaper delivery. You should also change your address with the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Make sure any keys, remote control devices, appliance manuals, etc. are left for the new owners. Other than that, don’t leave anything behind that wasn’t part of the contract. The new owners likely don’t want the old piano or pool table that you didn’t feel like dealing with.
The only thing left to do now is to turn off the lights and secure the home for the next owners! For more information and tips on selling a home, please contact The Olear Team today!


Now that you have read our home closing checklist, learn about 5 Costly Seller Mistakes and request a free report.

Interior design tips to increase home resale value

If you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best for potential buyers. With a few easy tips, anyone can become an overnight interior designer. Following are some interior design tips to increase home resale value.

  1. Make a memorable first impression. You can do this by cleaning up the yard, cutting the lawn, trimming the bushes, replacing burned out lightbulbs, etc.. It’s common sense, not rocket science. Remember that you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression.
  2. Renovate your kitchen and bathroom. Give cabinets a facelift with new hardware, add shiny new towel racks, replace your old laundry hamper and clean everything! These two rooms should sparkle.
  3. Fix your floors. Can they be salvaged with a good cleaning by a professional carpet and floor cleaner? If not, consider replacing the flooring or carpeting with something fresh and new.
  4. Paint the walls. Neutral colors are always a safe bet. Anything too bold or bright might require a buyer of a certain taste, which could limit your ability to get top dollar.
  5. Remove popcorn ceilings. This once popular household feature is now showing its age. Remove the stucco and repaint for a fresh and modern look.
  6. Fine tune your furnishings. The last thing you want is for your home to appear cluttered and busy with too much furniture. It’s always a good idea to choose quality over quantity.

Paging through recent architectural and design magazines and publications is a good way to keep up on current interior design tips to increase home resale value. The professionals at The Olear Team are always eager to help as well. Give us a call today!

Tips on selling an old home

Whether you’re ready to upgrade to your dream house or downsize to a smaller home, selling your current house is priority number one. While your older home might have lots of character, it also might need some serious upgrades if you hope to achieve the most on the open market. Following are some tips on selling an old home:

  • Move from room to room, making any necessary repairs as you go. Look for everything from leaky faucets to cracked windows and make repairs before potential buyers come to take a look.
  • Improve your home’s curb appeal by cutting the grass, trimming bushes, replacing spent lightbulbs, painting the trim, etc. A little elbow grease will go a long way in making a good first impression.
  • If possible, have your home professionally staged to add eye-opening appeal. If professional staging isn’t in your budget, do it yourself by removing clutter and personal items such as photos and rearranging furniture to make the house more open and walkable.
  • Price your house correctly the first time by consulting with an experienced Realtor. Pricing too high could add weeks or even months before you get a serious offer.
  • If repair work is not in your budget, consider selling the house “as is.” By doing so you likely won’t receive an offer that will knock your socks off, but it will likely open the buying process up to more buyers who might not mind a fixer-upper.

For more information and additional tips on selling an old home, please contact The Olear Team today!

Etiquette every home seller should know

How’s your etiquette? Sorry, we’re not talking about drinking a cup of tea with your pinkie finger extended. Today we’re going to talk about etiquette that every home seller should know.

Following are some helpful hints courtesy of our friends at realtor.com:

  • Leave … and take your pets with you. You hired a Realtor to represent you in this transaction, so leave the property and let the professionals handle the visitors who come to your open house. And for as much as you may love your furry or feathered friend, there are some people out there who just don’t like to be around animals. And as long as you’re leaving, move your car to make any guest visits more convenient.
  • Visitors to open house events like to ask a lot of questions about utilities bills, inspection reports, home warranties, etc. Therefore, locate any important paperwork prior to the open house and leave it with your Realtor.
  • Help your guests feel at home by leaving out some chilled bottles of water. Small treats like freshly baked cookies or mints are also a big hit.
  • Feel free to ask your Realtor for feedback, but be patient. Oftentimes the people who view your house need time to process what they’ve seen and decide whether or not to make an offer.
  • Be willing to negotiate. We all want top dollar, but unless you receive multiple offers you might have to be open to negotiation. Your Realtor can provide you with strategy and advice.

So now that you know some etiquette every home seller should know, you can put your property on the market with confidence. For more information or assistance, please contact The Olear Team today!

How to get your house ready to sell

It’s a seller’s market here in Western New York, leading more people to consider adding their home to the red-hot real estate marketplace. With that in mind, we thought it was time once again to tackle the subject of how to get your house ready to sell.

Following are some tips for homeowners looking to sell:

  • Focus on price. Work with your Realtor to develop a strategy with a goal of obtaining multiple bids and getting the best possible price. Don’t overprice the property and scare away potential buyers.
  • Remove personal items such as family photos, awards and other such items. You want potential buyers to imagine themselves in the home.
  • Declutter the home by removing any items that may be sitting on the floor or a staircase, remove excessive furniture and hide any items that have no real purpose in the home selling process.
  • Check your closets and storage areas and make sure they look clean and spacious. You want to give the impressive that there’s lots of storage space. Consider temporarily renting a storage area to safely store excessive items.
  • Make minor repairs such as a fresh coat of neutral paint where needed, replace the shower curtain, make sure all the light bulbs are working, tighten loose hardware, etc.
  • Clean everything! The house should look and smell fresh. If a nicely scented candle won’t do the trick, consider hiring professional cleaners.
  • Improve curb appeal by cutting the grass and tending to overgrown plants and bushes. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and a messy yard can be an immediate turnoff.
If you want more tips on how to get your house ready to sell, please contact The Olear Team today!
Simple steps to selling a house

Simple steps to selling a house

Thinking of selling your house? Welcome to the fast-paced real estate marketplace!

While every real estate transaction is different and all are usually somewhat complicated, you can make things a lot easier on yourself by entering the real estate marketplace with a plan.

Steps to selling a house

So, what is your plan? If you’re selling, are you also buying? Where do you want to move to? Narrow down your search to a couple of neighborhoods and start attending open house events. In addition to finding the right neighborhood, select the size and style of the house you want, and go over your finances to carefully figure out what you can realistically afford.

Interview real estate agents. Ask friends, family, neighbors and colleagues for recommendations, and conduct interviews. You want someone who is knowledgeable and easy to work with. Ask about fees, preparing your home for sale, how he or she will price your home, etc. Be certain to find someone who knows your neighborhood and community as well as they know their own!

Find a lender. Do you have an existing mortgage? How much will you need to pay it off? What fees are involved in the transaction? Are you also buying a new property? If so, you’ll be taken more seriously if you get pre-approved by your lender. And be sure to work with both your Realtor and lender to determine what you can realistically afford.

In most cases, you’ll also want to sell before you buy because you’ll need the proceeds from the sale of your current home to close on your new property. Very few individuals can afford to be paying two mortgages at the same time.

Quick steps to selling a house

  • Know your home’s real market value. Not all three-bedroom, two-bath homes are the same!
  • Review your home’s overall condition, and then make repairs, clean and remove clutter before scheduling an open house.
  • Watch what other homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and price competitively.
  • Pay attention to your curb appeal and your online appeal. Poor online photos are a good way to turn off potential buyers.

Once you’ve given serious thought to creating a plan, find a Realtor who can guide you through the steps to selling a home. For more information, please contact The Olear Team today!