How to Prepare Your Home to Sell

Home for Sell

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR HOME TO SELL

When it comes to selling a home most people want to do it quickly and receive top dollar. More than luck, achieving these two objectives requires properly planning your home to sell. Most home buyers are able to be highly selective. This means even the smallest grievances can potentially killing a sell. Therefore, when it comes to selling it’s vital to do everything possible to present a pristine, inviting home with maximum appeal. The following thirteen suggestions, which are commonly recommended by real estate experts, will help you prepare your home to sell.

Maximize Curb Appeal
When it comes to home buyers, making a good first impression with curb appeal is important. Make sure the outside of your home’s exterior is clean with appealing landscape, freshly mowed lawn, clear walkways, and an inviting front door. Some home selling experts even recommend painting the home’s entry front door so it stands out.

Gutters and Pressure Wash
To maximize your home’s curb appeal, consider hiring someone to clean out your gutters and pressure wash your home’s siding, sidewalks, driveway, and/or deck. Not only will this significantly add to your home’s curb appeal, it also conveys a well-kept, managed home.

Wash Windows Inside and Out
Make sure your windows are sparklingly clean from the inside, out. Not only does this contribute to curb appeal and a clean home presentation, it also improve how natural light appears in rooms. Also, you will be confidently prepared to open up blinds and curtains when it’s time to show your home.

Declutter
Preparing your home to sell (quickly and for top dollar) requires removal of junk, garbage, bulky furniture and clutter. Many home sellers rent a storage unit for keeping items until they are ready to move or discard.

Deep Clean
From top to bottom, ceiling fans to floors, clean every nook and cranny inside your home. Also, make sure all services shine- floors, counters, fixtures, and so on. Given the importance of a deep cleaning if you do not have time or the desire to deep clean your home, consider hiring a reputable professional cleaning service.

Depersonalized
Ideally, perspective buyers will be able to easily envision living in your home. This ability is improved when a home is depersonalized. Depersonalized means taking down and storing items such as photograph, hobby collections, toys, trophies, fridge magnets, bathroom counter items, and so on.

Fix and Repair
The goal is to present your home in the best possible condition, for maximum buyer interest and sale price. Whenever possible fix problems and repair issues. Some top priority tasks might include repairing a leaky roof, replacing a broken window, paint over scuff marks and so on.

Tidy Up Closets
Home buyers appreciate and want enough storage space which is why it’s a big selling point. Neat, well-organized, spacious will show that your home offers enough space. Conversely, if your closets are jammed packed, they will convey the opposite- your closets will seem too small.

Repaint Walls
A simple fresh coat of paint can uplift and brighten a room. When it comes to selling a home it is best to stick with neutral colors (tans and white tones). These colors appeal to more buyers; they also support room focus without being distracted by the wall’s color.

Remove Unpleasant Odors
Regularly inspect your home for any unpleasant smells and neutralize the air. If you own cats, hide the litter box and make sure there are no pet smells lingering. Some savvy homeowners will strategically place natural inviting smells in rooms prior to a showing- such as fresh flowers or freshly baked cookies. Tip: Avoid using scented air fresheners which may cause an allergic or unpleasant reaction from guests.

Light, Light, Light
Buyers want to see, really see, the home. Consequently, experts recommend opening up all blinds and curtain, while having all lights turned on. Also, add lamps/lighting to any dim areas. Brightly lit spaces look cheerier, larger and are more inviting.

Stage Your Spaces
Do not assume the prospective buyer is going to know how to use a particular room. Instead, strategically stage rooms according to how they might be used. For example, make sure the office, looks and feels like an office. Add neutral décor, art, plants and future that will bring out the best in your home, while appealing to maximum buyers. Some owners hire professional home stagers.

Take Great Pictures
Most people will see your home via photos before they see it in person. Those photos will either attract or repel interest. Consequently, it’s very important to take clear, bright, professional looking photos that presents your home in the very best light.

MY WINDOW WASHING
My Window Washing offers professional and affordable window washing, gutter cleaning and power washing services. Call 1.800.941.2790 to schedule your appointment.

Cleaning and Inspecting Home Gutters

Gutters 3
Cleaning and Inspecting Home Gutters

Spring is the perfect time for home gutter maintenance. Your gutters play an essential role in protecting your home from short and long-term damage. Properly maintained gutters efficiently keep water away from your home. It’s important to keep gutters and downspouts clean otherwise clogs may lead to water backup which can damage to the roof, siding, basement, walls, fascia and soffits.

Experts recommend having your gutters professionally cleaned and inspected at least twice a year (usually in the spring and fall). This will extend the life of your gutter system, allow you to catch issues early and ensure things are properly cleaned. If you decide to clean your own gutters, make sure to follow professional instructions and take appropriate safety measures. Also, while cleaning out your gutters and downspouts, make sure to conduct a careful inspection. The following seven signs may indicate that it’s time to replace your utter system.

1. Gutter Cracks or Splits
Initially, small cracks in your gutter may not seem to be an issue. However, they can turn into big ones sooner than you may anticipate. These seemingly harmless spits allow the water to further damage your gutters, along with the fascia boards behind the gutters, your foundation and home’s shingles.

2. Peeling Paint and/or Orange Flecks
The paint on your gutters is intended to weather basic wear and tear. Peeling paint or orange flecks indicates the beginning stages of rust. This means water is present on a continuous basis and that it’s not properly draining.

3. Water or Mildew Around Foundation
Gutters are designed to keep water flowing away from your home’s foundation. If you notice pools of water or mildew near the foundation, this is an indication that your gutters aren’t performing as intended. This could be caused by something as simple as a clog or by something as complex as a gutter system defect. Water can easily damage the foundation, leading to time-consuming and costly repairs.

4. Water Damage or Water Marks
Carefully look for any water damage or marks underneath the gutter. This indicates that water is escaping and that your gutters aren’t properly performing.

5. Gutters Sag or Beginning to Pull Away
Your gutters should never sag or pull away from your home. If they are sagging or starting to pull away from your home, it’s a clear sign that it’s time to replace your gutters. Most people can spot the issue without needing to climb a ladder. If they do, it is because the gutters are dealing with the weight of water, which indicates the system is not draining properly or there is a blockage.

6. Several Broken Fasteners
Fasteners are the pieces of metal that hold your gutter to your roof and keep it level. If you notice frequent broken fasteners, the gutters themselves may be the issue.

7. Separated Gutters.
Gutter systems only function if they are fastened together in a continuous channel. If they begin separating from one another frequently, it may be time for a gutter replacement. Also make sure to check the downspouts for any connection issues.

Serving Chicagoland and surrounding suburbs, My Window Washing offers professional and affordable gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation services. Call 1.800.941.2790 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Window Washing 10

Window Cleaning: Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?

Maintaining clean and healthy windows is important to protecting your home investment. Also, streak-free panes significantly improve a home’s overall appearance, while providing additional benefits. Experts recommend at least bi-annual window cleanings. In this article, we ask: Is it better to wash your own windows or hire a professional window cleaning service?

Do It Yourself
Some homeowners choose to wash their own windows to save some money. However, this is somewhat initially negated if tools, equipment and products need to be purchased. For window washing novices, following is a list of what might be involved.

1. Plan to devote a full day to cleaning your windows and screens (inside and out).
2. Research the best way to clean your particular windows (anticipate a learning curve).
3. Learn how to properly clean windows and screens to ensure optimal results.
4. Make a list of all needed tools, equipment and products. (e.g. washer wand, high quality squeegees (customize as needed), scrubber, scraper, bucket, lint-free rags, ladder, etc)
5. Buy needed tools, equipment and products.
6. Move furniture away from windows and remove screens.
7. Properly wash windows (inspect window functionality, sashes, sills and screens).
8. After washing the window, move furniture back and replace screens.
9. Clean up.
10. Relax and enjoy your clean windows.

Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional window cleaning service provider will save you time and ensure your windows are properly clean. However, it may also cost a bit more than the DIY option. Following are some reasons why homeowners choose to hire a professional cleaning service.

1. Save energy
2. Save time
3. Service provider is equipped with proper tools and products
4. Ensure windows are cleaned correctly
5. Eliminate possible safety concerns (no need to climb ladders!)
6. No need to move furniture or remove window screens (depends on service provider).
7. Detect potential window issues early, perhaps saving you money.
8. Expertise in removing stubborn stains/spots.
9. Provider will do all the cleanup work.
10. Relax and admire your clean windows.

CHICAGOLAND RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
As an award winning professional window washing company, My Window Washing Inc., has served residential and business customers throughout Chicagoland for over 13 years. The company offers excellent service with 100% money back guarantee. Contact us for a free estimate (1-800-947-2790).

17 Things to Know About Home Windows

17 Things to Know About Home Windows
17 Things to Know About Home Windows

1. In general, window manufacturers recommend replacement after 20 years. Replacement warning signs include draftiness, difficulty opening and closing window, panes collect condensation and just general wear and tear.

2. Homeowners can reduce unwanted outside noises with double-pane windows. Thicker glass and wider air spaces will yield greater noise control.

3. Solid wood home windows provide solid weather insulation. However, they tend costlier and require more maintenance than other types of windows due to moisture induced swelling and contracting.
4. Vinyl home windows require little maintenance and are affordable but overtime the color is likely to fade.

5. Composite home windows are more durable and stronger than vinyl or wood windows. The cost tends to fall somewhere in between the cost of wood and vinyl windows.

6. Aluminum home windows are budget friendly, strong and require little maintenance. The main downside is they conduct cold and heat.

7. Clad home windows, the most expensive type, have inner wood frames and exterior aluminum or vinyl. The benefit is that the wood reduces heat/cold transference and the exterior allows for low-maintenance upkeep.

8. According to the U.S. Department of Energy inefficient and leaky windows and doors account for more than 25 percent of the average household’s energy bills. Homeowners are able to cut these costs through energy efficient windows, coatings and frames.

9. A window’s R-value measures its resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the window.

10. A U-factor is the rate of heat transfer from inside to outside of your home. The lower the number, the more efficient the window.

11. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much heat your home gains from the sun. The lower the SHGC, the less heat is gained.

12. Concerning energy efficient windows, Low-emissivity (low-E) glass can keep heat inside a house in the winter and outside during warm summer days. Consequently, Low-E coated windows help to reduce energy costs, while blocking potentially harmful UV rays. Low-emissivity glass has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat back to its source.

13. Shatterproof glass, which is two to four times stronger than regular window glass, offers additional protection during severe weather and against possible break-ins. These windows are now required by code in some hurricane-prone areas. They also offer the added benefit of being as energy efficient as low-E glass, while also offering some noise protection.

14. Opening windows and letting the light stream through is a pleasant way to create the day. However, overtime the sun’s UV rays can cause fading to furniture, floors and fabrics. Some homeowners chose to use professionally applied window coatings to block UV rays, cut glare and reduce energy costs.

15. Home Energy magazine reports that light-color shades reduce a window’s solar heat gain by as much as 43 percent, while awnings reduce it by as much as 77 percent.

16. Here’s some interesting technology. Suspended Particle Device technology, allows homeowners to use a dimmer switch to tint glass panes to regulate the light coming in. This smart system can be applied to new and existing windows.

17. Routine, regular window cleaning can protect and extend the life of home windows. It also offers a way to detect small problems before they become costly issu

7 Benefits of Professional Window Washing

7 Benefits of Window Washing

7 BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONAL WINDOW WASHING

Save Time and Energy
Cleaning home windows takes time and energy. By hiring a professional cleaner you can focus on other projects or spend time with family and friends. A company like My Window Washing will carefully move furniture, remove/clean screens, clean your windows and clean up. The right experts do all the work, so give your time and energy on something else.
Continue reading “7 Benefits of Professional Window Washing”

How to Keep Your Windows Clean During the Winter

Cleaning Winter Windows

How to Keep Your Windows Clean During the Winter
Keeping windows clean during the winter months poses unique challenges, particularly when you add Chicagoland’s bone chilling wind. Windows are subject to dirt, debris, and grime year-round, which can be harsh on glass. Also, who wants to look out of dirty, grimy windows- while waiting for Spring to arrive. Continue reading “How to Keep Your Windows Clean During the Winter”

8 Inexpensive Ways to Weatherize Your Home

Winterize Home

8 Inexpensive Ways to Weatherize Your Home

As chilly days settle over Chicagoland, heating bills tend to rise. However, there are several inexpensive ways to weatherize your home to reduce costs.

Window Insulation Kits
Window insulation kits offer a low-cost way to reduce and eliminate drafty windows. The kits include clear, oversized plastic that fits over a window’s interior. A hair dryer or similar heat source is used to shrink the plastic for a secure fit that adheres to the window. This approach also eliminates wrinkles and leads to a less noticeable outcome. Some claim it this window insulation can almost double the R-value of a single-pain window. Continue reading “8 Inexpensive Ways to Weatherize Your Home”

Chicago- 2018 Cost vs. Value Report

Home Remodel

Chicago- 2018 Cost vs. Value Report

Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Cost vs. Value Report compares the cost of 20 popular mid-range to upscale home remodeling projects in 100 U.S. markets. The annual Cost vs Value reports are based on data gathered on real remodeling projects for the purposes of determining average cost and return on investment for specific project categories. Continue reading “Chicago- 2018 Cost vs. Value Report”

How Often Should Business Windows Be Cleaned?

Restaurant Windows

How Often Should Business Windows Be Cleaned?

Given the demands of day-to-day business operations windows can get overlooked. However, business windows impact the overall aesthetic quality and professional impression. This can impact how clients and customers perceive your business. Moreover, unaddressed dirty windows can negatively impact the lifespan of commercial windows. With the changing seasons and weather conditions, debris can gather on windows. Continue reading “How Often Should Business Windows Be Cleaned?”