Open House Etiquette – What Buyers Should or Shouldn’t Do

Looking for a home can be a tedious process, and if you’ve been to multiple showings and in and out of open houses, you might be starting to lose your cool. On the flip side, if you’ve ever sold a home, you’re probably well aware of the grueling process of cleaning up after folks who’ve been stomping through your home, leaving their mess and their footprints and their bad manners behind. So, don’t be like them. Check your muddy shoes at the door, but bring your etiquette inside. Need more details about the do’s and don’ts of touring homes? Read on.

Wipe your feet

Or, better yet, remove your shoes. Remember that the sellers have presumably gone to great links to clean and stage their home, which probably means freshly shampooed carpets. Your muddy footprints will not be received well.

Don’t leave a present behind

If you must use the restroom while touring homes for sale, make sure you do a few things first:

  • Check that the plumbing is working – If it’s a vacant or brand-new house, that might not be the case.
  • Look for toilet paper – You don’t want to be left in a drip-dry situation.
  • Flush! – Sounds like a given, but you’d be surprised.
  • Clean up after yourself – Just because you don’t lift the seat at home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t here. And if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, wipe up the seat when you’re done. Come on. You know this.

No stealing

Yeah, it happens. More than you might think. If your moral compass isn’t enough to keep you from getting sticky fingers in an open house, consider this: More and more houses now have security cameras that will undoubtedly catch you in the act.

Don’t rifle through the homeowners’ things

Is it acceptable to open and look inside closets and kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers? Absolutely. But going through dresser drawers, nightstands, and other private spaces that have zero relevance when it comes to purchasing the home – not so much. Remember, you’re looking at the storage space, not casing the place. You can be curious all day. But acting on that curiosity is uncool.

Don’t disregard special requests

Is it frustrating that you can’t get into the third bedroom because the seller’s kitty is locked up in there during the showing? Sure. Do you want to be responsible for the cat escaping and getting hit by a car because you ignored the note that says, “Cat in here, please don’t enter?” Nope. If you’re really interested in the home and not seeing that room is a deal breaker, you can always set up a second visit.

Keep an eye your kids

You may be tempted to let them run off and see their potential bedrooms, but if they’re out of eyesight and earshot, they could potentially be doing damage to the house, or getting injured. You don’t want to create a situation where there’s liability involved…especially when you’re trying to buy a house!

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©Realty Times

How To Rid Your Home Of Negative Energy In The New Year

It’s a new year, and what better time to change the energy in your home?! Whether you’ve just moved into a new place and want to make sure you set the energy right from the start or just want to refresh your existing space, there are tips and tools you can use to easily improve the feel – and also the look.

A fresh coat of paint

You can change the feeling of your entire house with new paint, with minimal cost, especially if you do it yourself.

Declutter

Decluttering is tip No. 1 if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market. But the simple act of decluttering your home has also shown to be a great way to declutter your mind. The items you surround yourself with might be the result of years of thoughtless accumulation, but your environment can have a big impact on your health. Clutter can affect your ability to focus and overloads your visual cortex, whereas people who live in a neat space are twice as likely to make healthier food choices. Start off this new year by giving yourself some room to move and some mental clarity by getting rid of stuff you no longer use, need, or enjoy.

Apply a few Feng Shui tips

The art of Feng Shui is intended to help bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life. And while you don’t have to overhaul your everything and make potentially expensive and extensive changes to your home, there may be a few tips worth considering in the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment. Feng shui is about creating a space that’s not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year.

Adding color to your home and decluttering are two principles of Feng Shui. Others include:

  • Making your front door “visible to receive blessings” by ensuring you have easy to ready house numbers and a clear path to your home

  • Bringing plants and a water fountain into your home to improve your health and foster nurturing

  • Positioning “furniture for safety” by making sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door

Smudge it

The idea of smudging, which is burning sage in your home, may sound odd and “woo woo” but, smudging with sage is a practice that dates back thousands of years to indigenous Americans, and one that is used by all kinds of people to improve the energy in a room or structure. The practice of smudging, or purifying a room with the smoke of sacred herbs, can help clear negative energy from a space. And the apparent benefits are steeped in science – when burned, sage and other herbs release negative ions, which research has linked to a more positive mood.

Anything you do to clear space, even the simple act of opening a window, will bring more flow into your home and your life, too!

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ⒸRealty Times

5 Tips to Do When Storing Your Holiday Decorations

It’s all fun when it’s time to decorate for Christmas. But after the holiday is over you’ll probably hear crickets instead of clamors to help with the twinkle lights and wreaths.

Don’t let your holiday finery become a hot mess! Here are 5 tips to do when taking down and storing decorations.

1. Properly protect your decorations

Don’t gloss over this step. Not taking the time to protect delicate items is a big mistake when it comes to putting away holiday decor. It’s normal to want to rush through this tedious job so you can be done with it, but moving too quickly will just result in breakage.

2. Cull (and donate) your decorations

If you didn’t put it up this year, what are the chances you’ll do it next year? Toss out anything that is in disrepair or out of favor. Before you toss your purged decorations in the trash, though, consider donating them. Shelters, public libraries, health care centers, and other nonprofits might welcome the chance to give your used decorations a second life.

3. Storage correctly

If you have garland in four different boxes, you’ll never keep track of it from year to year. Instead, store like with like. Put items to decorate the outside together, and place soft goods in their own bin, such as tablecloths, stockings, runners, and napkins.

4. Label your decorations

On a related note, once you’ve packed things together, get out that magic marker. Try to be more specific when it comes to labeling your containers. Are the lights for the mantel, mailbox, Christmas tree, or something in the yard? It can also be a good idea to label boxes as “X out of X” (e.g., “3 out of 5″). If you do this, you won’t miss out on a box or search for one that doesn’t exist.

5. Keep notes

As you put things away, make notes on what needs replacing or items you need to add your collection (e.g., broken lights, stained cocktail napkins, or a bigger turkey platter for next year). With a detailed list, you can strategically hit those half-price sales in January and fill in the holes for next year.

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Source: Realtor.com