Nesting In Nashville real estate blog by Stephanie Crawford, Realtor
Realtors specializing in helping home buyers and sellers within Nashville's core neighborhoods at Brokers Cooperative. Get thoughts on the Nashville Tennessee real estate market. We specialize in urban neighborhoods like East Nashville, condos, lofts, and townhomes in Davidson county. First time home buyers and corporate relocation.
Coming to market this May, Village South Unit D7 features one bedroom and one bathroom in 650 square feet. This ground level unit features a large gated patio. Community amenities include a pool, gym, coded access doors, open parking, and a laundry room. Monthly association dues are $180 which includes maintenance and insurance. Investors welcome.
This well-appointed home was built in 1987 and features 1608 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. The park-like yard is fully fenced and ready for Fido. Recent updates include laminate hardwoods, with full kitchen and bath updates.
Now available for preview with an anticipated mid-late May closing date.
Offered at $249,900
When you get ready to place a home on the market for sale, you have to start thinking of it as a product. It needs to appeal to the most amount of people possible. Just like any product on the shelves at your local store, it has features and benefits, pluses and minuses, and there are other products to compare. To gain an edge over competitors in the marketplace you must be priced right, and look better than other homes. If your home seems like a better deal, buyers will flock.
Staging can take a home from *meh* to *WOW*!
When you sell your home you’re going to have to move. When you move you’re
going to have to pack. Most of the principles of staging just mean that you’re going to pack up some of your things early. It shouldn’t cost much, and it is a little bit of work, but you’re going to have to do it anyway, so let’s do it now so you can get top dollar for your property!
If your electric bill doesn’t go up while your house is on the market – you are doing it wrong. While on the market all lights should be left on in case of a showing, and a comfortable temperature should be maintained. For aesthetics, consider removing all screens from the windows.
In every room…..stand in the doorway and look at the room through the eyes of a buyer. What do you see? Be tough on yourself. What can you live without while your home is on the market?
Most carpets need to be cleaned. Have them professionally cleaned before coming on the market. “Buyers only know what they see…not the way it is going to be!” Unless your home is a “fixer”, badly worn or very out of date carpets should be replaced before coming on the market. Offering a buyer a credit to pick their own new carpet or a discount off the price is far less effective and will always end up costing you more money and slow the selling process. Pick a light-colored short plush or frieze carpet. “Real-estate beige” is the safest color.
Check all light fixtures. Are they working properly? Replace all burned out light bulbs.
Look for dark hallways and corners and increase the wattage of bulbs in those areas.
Make sure there are lamps with adequate bulbs for dark corners that are turned on for showings.
Repair and repaint cracks on walls and ceilings.
Repair or replace broken light switches and switch plates. Clean any dirty areas around them.
Keep all curtains and blinds open during the day to let in light and views. The extra cost of additional heating or air conditioning is a necessary cost of selling.
Reduce the number of pillows on couches to zero or two. Remove all afghans and blankets.
Pack up all valuable items to protect them (jewelry, weapons, collectibles). This includes prescription drugs. If necessary, take them to a safe deposit box.
Take a hard look at those beloved house plants. In most cases, they need to be pruned and/or the number of plants reduced to create more space. If plants don’t look healthy and are just barely clinging to life throw them away.
Pack up all collections (you’re going to need to pack them up sooner or later anyway). They become a distraction for buyers from the desired focal point…your home.
Reduce the number of books on bookshelves. Pack up extra books early!
Remove family pictures on shelves, pianos, and tables. Personal photos are acceptable, but they need to be showcase art pieces, not knickknacks in frames.
Be sensitive to odors, because buyers are! Excessive cooking or smoking odors, dog or cat odors, baby, laundry and mildew odors will turn off buyers. If there is a challenge with odors in your home use room deodorants or disinfectant sprays and keep windows cracked open for ventilation even in very hot or cold weather. (There are great products in pet stores for pet odors, and many professional carpet cleaners have special ozone machines that can really help with difficult odors.) You can’t sell it if you can smell it!
Wash all windows and make sure they operate freely. If the seal is broken on a double-pane window, replace it now.
Repair items that are broken. This will show that your home is well-taken-care- \of. In most cases, buyers will ask for them to be repaired anyway, so do it now.
Don’t be afraid to move furniture from room to room. That extra chair from the living room or dining room may just look great in the master bedroom.
Dog & cat dishes, pet bedding, and toys should be placed in the garage.
In general pack up the little things. Little things create clutter and they need to be packed up anyway, so pack them up now.
Remove all ashtrays. Absolutely no smoking inside the house while it’s on the market.
If you go into a model home that is newly constructed, you will see that they are usually sparsely decorated. In a resale home, you need to create space for buyers to mentally move into the room by reducing clutter and the overall number of items.
Living Room, Family Rooms
Clear off all coffee tables and end tables to just 2 or 3 magazines and one nice vase or statuary. Tuck remotes into a drawer.
Make sure all DVDs and games are out of site.
Fireplaces need to be cleaned out. Glass doors should be cleaned. Mantles and hearths need to be cleared off except for a very few necessary items.
To create more space you may want to remove a chair, a love seat or other pieces of furniture.
Clear off dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.
Remove tablecloths from the table.
Remove extra leaves from the table to make the room look bigger.
Remove extra dining room chairs if they crowd the table or fill up the corners of the room. Four or six chairs are plenty. It will make the room look bigger and you can put the extra chairs in the garage or storage unit.
Reduce the number of items on display on shelves, hutches, buffets, and cabinets.
The main question in the kitchen is…what can you live without? Clear off counters leaving only a very few items that you have to use on a daily basis. Everything else should be kept off the counters to create space. Most homes have far too many small appliances and other items out that should be stored out of sight. Leave out a few large decorative items like a bowl of fruit or a basket with bread in it.
Scrub the cabinets clean.
Repair any tile or Formica countertops and edges that have been damaged or come unglued.
Clean tile grout with bleach if it is stained.
Remove all magnets, photos, children’s drawings, etc. from the front of the refrigerator. If there are a couple of truly necessary items put them on the side of the refrigerator.
Clean the stove top and oven. Replace old burner pans if they are badly stained. Clean all exhaust fans, filters, and hoods.
Clean the kitchen floor and keep it clean for showings
Keep the kitchen sink clean and empty on a daily basis.
Make sure the kitchen faucet is working smoothly without drips and that it is clean.
Clear everything off the window ledge above the kitchen sink.
Remember to pack up the collections in the kitchen. Pack up your antique plate collection or whatever will distract buyers and take up space.
Keep all soaps, towels, scouring pads and cleaning supplies out of sight under the sink.
Some kitchens have too many scatter rugs in them. Too many rugs make a room look smaller. If space allows, one large Oriental rug in the middle of the kitchen looks great – or no rugs at all.
Empty the garbage regularly to prevent kitchen odors.
Move dog and cat dishes so that they don’t interfere with buyers walking around the room – preferably to the garage.
Make the bed every day.
Invest in a new bedspread if necessary.
Clear off bedside tables and chest of drawers except for a very few necessary items.
Store extra books and magazines underneath the bed.
Keep closet doors closed. If you have a walk-in closet, keep the floor clean and free of laundry and clutter.
Pack up out of season clothing to make the closets seem extra spacious. This is true for closets throughout the house.
Reduce the number of photos on tables and chest of drawers to a minimum.
Remove plastic runners on carpet or hardwood floors.
Make sure the smoke detectors have working batteries.
See master bedroom guidelines.
In children’s rooms take down all the posters except for one favorite over the bed. Repair nail holes and paint walls. Consider repainting if the color is vibrant.
Put soaps and cleaners in a cupboard or reduce the number and organize them neatly on one shelf.
Just like in the kitchen, keep counters and sinks clean and empty.
Get rid of excess hangers and hanging laundry.
Make sure that light bulbs are working and have adequate “bright white” wattage. Many laundry rooms are too dark and need to be brighter.
Put a large bowl of Tide detergent (not liquid) on top of the dryer with a scoop in it. Use it and it gives that clean fresh smell to the entire area.
Clear off counters. Reduce toiletries down to a decorative few (4 at most) and consolidate them on a tray or decorative basket. Put everything else in drawers or cabinets.
Scrub those cabinets.
Replace hand soap bars with a neat bottle of liquid soap.
Coordinate all towels with one or two colors. Fold in thirds and hang neatly every day.
Clear everything out of the shower except for absolute necessities.
Clean or replace the shower curtain. Keep shower curtains drawn at all times.
One common problem in a lot of bathrooms is cracking or peeling just above the top of the shower tile or tub enclosure where it meets the drywall or ceiling. Repair using caulking and paint or install wood trim coated in polyurethane
Get rid of mold and stains throughout the bathroom, especially in the shower and bathtub area.
Many tubs and showers need a fresh new bead of silicone caulking around the edges to make them look neat and clean.
Remove all cloth toilet lid covers. Keep toilet lids down every day.
Small scatter rugs in front of the sink, toilet and shower make the room look small. Use one larger rug in the middle of the room or none at all.
Hide all cleaning supplies and the garbage can under the sink or out of the line of sight.
Be aware of smells, musty odors, and dampness. Do your best to alleviate problems by repairing and cleaning problem areas. Use room deodorants and disinfectant spray to help with any odors.
If you use the basement for storage, condense the piles to one corner of one area of the basement.
Clear any drains.
Carports should be completely cleaned out.
Garages should be swept out and organized. If you have to use part or the entire garage for storage, that’s fine, just keep it neat.
Always keep garage doors down while your home is on the market.
If you’re not using the garage for storage, keep cars in the garage and not in the driveway.
Move boats and RVs to a storage facility or neighbor’s home several homes away until your home sells.
If garage floor is very stained, paint with gray or beige concrete paint.
Rent a storage unit or a POD.
Have a garage sale. I made nearly $1,000 with my last sale!
Give it to charity. (ARC will pick up!)
Put it in the attic.
Store it in the crawl space.
Use a portion or corner of the basement.
Use part or all of the garage.
As a last resort, sacrifice a third or fourth bedroom and fill it full.
The first impression when a buyer drives up to your home is critical. Walk across the street and look at it through the eyes of a buyer. Be tough on yourself. What do you see?
Take a hard look at the front door and trim. Give special attention to this because this is where buyers will get their first opportunity to make a close inspection of your home. Does it need repainting or staining? Repainting the doors and trim to help make the house look crisp and in good condition is one of the least expensive things you can do to dress up a home.
Sweep all decks, walks, porches, and patios and keep them swept.
Remove any moss/mildew from all decks, walks, and patios.
Decks should be pressure-washed, stained or painted if they are in need of it.
Reduce clutter on decks, porches, and patios so that they look bigger. Get rid of old flowerpots, barbecues, charcoal, planters, toys, construction materials and excess furniture.
If you have outdoor furniture, create one simple ‘room setting’ of clean furniture that will remind buyers of the usefulness of the space.
Decks & patios should look like you are going to entertain there.
Clean all debris and moss from roof and gutters. Caulk exposed areas.
Repair broken fences and paint if necessary.
Plants are like children…they grow up so fast! First, they are little and cute, then they seem just right, and all of a sudden they’re so big we hardly know how to take care of them! You can’t trim the kids, but you can trim the plants. If they need it, do it now.
Rake and weed flower beds. Spread new mulch such as beauty bark, pine needles, gravel or lava rock to put a finishing touch on the landscaping.
Mow lawn and keep it mowed on a weekly basis during the growing season
Trim branches around roof line to prevent animals, insects, and foliage from getting on the roof. Inspectors will notice any foliage touching the house and mark it in their report.
“Curb appeal” is important. Has your landscaping overgrown the house? Remember… “You can’t sell it if you can’t see it!” Cut back all shrubs to window height that block light or view from windows.
Move all children’s toys to the backyard.
Clean and sweep paved driveways. Rake, weed, or re-gravel gravel driveways.
Remove any extra items from the yard, such as tools, piles of lumber or auto parts.
Children’s toys should all go in one area in the backyard.
Folex – Instant spot carpet remover. Perfect for rust, red wine or pet accidents. Available at Lowe’s or Bed, Bath & Beyond
Polyshades by Minwax – Brightens all wood cabinets in the home (kitchen, bath etc.)
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser – Works well on cabinets and scuff marks.
Holloway House Quick Shine Floor Finish – The green bottle plus a washable, microfiber mop. So much more effective than Swiffer.
Dyson Animal Stick Vac – A bit pricey, but this little cordless vacuum works amazingly well on hard floors.
Sherwin-Williams Paint in light neutral grays. Beige colors are out of fashion at the moment. If you need to neutralize a room, this color works wonders. It’s bright enough to reflect light and neutral enough to go with just about any decor.
Air Fresheners – If you are going to use aromas, studies show that citrus is the best scent when selling a home; it conveys cleanliness. Many folks think that cinnamon, cookies, and florals convey warmth, but studies show that they bring to mind images of “grandma’s old house” instead. Stick to orange and lemon scents. Yankee makes a scent called Vanilla-Lime that knocks my socks off. If you don’t care for citrus, try something like “clean linen” or Febreze.
When you begin your quest for a mortgage broker in Nashville, don’t be afraid to interview several. Below you will find a list of documents that most brokers will require be loan qualification. If you compile these items in advance, your process is assured to run smoothly.
TIP – Try keeping these documents neatly in a folder in your Dropbox or Google Drive for quick and orderly access when needed.
Social Security Number
Payment to cover application fee
Name and address of landlords (past 2 years)
Copy of diploma if recently graduated
Employment history, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and length of time with that company (past 2 years)
New employer offer letter if appropriate
Copies of your most recent pay stubs and W-2 form
Verification of other income (social security, child support, retirement)
If you are self-employed: Copies of signed tax returns including all schedules (past 2 years), and a signed profit and loss statement for the current year
If you are retired: tax returns (past 2 years)
If you have rental property income, copies of all lease agreements
Copies of bank statements from checking/savings accounts (past three months). Include all pages of statements
Copies of all stock/bond certificates and/or past statements/retirement accounts
Prepare a list of major household assets and their values
Credit cards (account numbers, current balances, and monthly payments)
Installment loans (car, student, etc.) Same details as for credit card
Mortgage loans (property address, lender with address, account numbers)
Monthly payment and balance owed on all properties presently owned or sold within the last 2 years). Proof of sale for properties sold
Valentine’s Day Always Jumpstarts The Spring Real Estate Market
Happy Valentine's Day from the sweetest Nashville Realtors! - YouTube
If you are considering a sale this spring, you can’t start planning early enough. We like to meet with sellers as early as February to talk about preparations, strategy, and timing. Even if you are still months away, it’s smart to engage your agent now.
Springtime buyers should reach out immediately and beat the rush. Fewer buyers means fewer competing offers, which could save you thousands.
Oh and Happy Valentine’s Day!
We Love and Appreciate our wonderful friends and clients!
After a home is under contract, the buyer typically has between 7-14 days to have the property inspected. During these days the buyer can hire as many inspection vendors as they wish. Most buyers will go for a basic home inspection report which typically costs between $350-$500 depending on the age, location, and size of the property, as well as a $60 termite inspection. Buyers may also opt to add additional inspections for radon, air quality, or lead-based paint. Heck, they can even have the feng shui analyzed if they wish. Additionally the buyer may want to have specialists to look over unique items such as pools, chimneys, and flat roofs. Surveyors and structural engineer services may also be engaged. The buyer is always responsible for payment of inspections at the time they occur.
Once the reports are complete, the buyer has three options:
Accept the property in As-Is condition and drop the inspection contingency. This is often the case with foreclosed homes and estate properties.
Cancel the contract with a full reimbursement of all earnest money. If something unanticipated is uncovered during the inspection, the buyer may withdraw from negotiations at this point.
Negotiate for specific repairs or for a change in contract terms based on inspection results. This is the most common outcome.
Words of Wisdom For Home Buyers
As a buyer, when you find your dream house, you’re usually okay when you notice small defects upon your own visual inspection. You can overlook the fact that the fridge doesn’t have a kick plate or that bathtub needs re-grouting. You won’t let these little things stop you from making an offer. But after a few intense rounds of pricing negotiations, you probably won’t be as flexible when the inspector’s report comes back with a big laundry list of items. Keep in mind that you can only ask for repairs that show actual damage – not aesthetic issues like wall color. If you can’t stand the color in the baby pink nursery and don’t want to paint yourself, you’ll need to have asked for this in the actual offer.
Also, the inspector will compare the house to the standards and codes used in today’s building practices. If you are buying an older home, you can’t ask that the seller bring the house up to today’s codes. The home only has to be current as to the year it was built. You can ask for repairs, but not upgrades. I see this come up often with GFCI outlets. If the home was built in 1950, it probably won’t have GFCI protections near every water source. It also likely won’t have ground three-pronged outlets throughout the home.
Finally, be thorough when making repairs requests. Don’t ask the seller to “fix the fan in the bathroom.” Instead ask the seller to “clear all debris on air vent plate, replace missing screws, and ensure that the air is venting to the exterior of the home, not the attic.”
TIP: The home inspection vendor choice is made by the home buyer. We recommend Premier Home Inspection, but you may choose any vendor you like. We highly recommend that an ASHI-approved home inspector is employed.
Bad Inspections. Agent Advice For Home Sellers.
We deal with inspection reports every day and nothing can kill a deal faster than the ill will that often results from a bad inspection. Some items might sound like a big deal when in reality it may only cost a few dollars to fix. As a seller, you can easily head problems off at the pass if you’ll tend to these small items before the inspector arrives. Here are a few recommendations:
Exterior Home Repairs
Make sure all landscaping, mulch, and dirt are at least 8 inches from the siding. If not, re-grading may be needed. If less than 8 inches, it can be seen as inviting to termites and other insects.
Ensure there are handrails installed on stairs, porches, or decks that are more than 36 inches off the ground. If the inspector doesn’t make note of this, the appraiser will. It’s a safety issue.
Have you got peeling paint around your wood trim? This can be seen as a Lead Based Paint safety risk. Make sure you check all windows, doors, and fascia for wood rot. This repair is typically easily completed by a handyman.
Make sure your foundation doesn’t have any open invites to critters. Culprits could be a misshapen cellar door, a missing dryer vent cover, or loose circulation air vents.
Do you have dirt in your crawl space? Consider adding black plastic sheathing for ground cover. It will make the space clean and inviting. It will discourage water intrusion. It may also help protect against radon emissions.
Make sure your gutters are free of debris and that the water downspouts are charging out in the correct places. Downspout extenders are very cheap.
Cracked window panes. This should be repaired before you even put the home on the market. Not only will the inspector make note, but the appraiser will require this repair before funding a loan.
Interior Home Repairs
Old house? Make sure that none of your windows are painted shut. This can be a fire safety hazard.
Missing switchplate covers. A simple and cheap fix.
Missing junction box covers or incorrect electrical connections. This one will get you every time and the plastic boxes and covers cost pennies.
Slow drains. Clean all shower and sink drains and ensure that the stoppers are working correctly.
Replace all burnt out light bulbs. ALL of them.
Double tapped breakers. This is a big fire concern.
Keep in mind that the inspector will ALWAYS find something. That’s his job after all and he’ll be examining every nook and cranny with a looking glass for 3-4 hours! But I promise the transaction will flow much more smoothly if you’ll knock these small items out when preparing for the home inspection. As a bonus, you can save a bit of cash because I can guarantee that if these items show up on the report, the buyer will ask that you use a “licensed and bonded repair person to make all repairs” they will also ask for a receipt as proof of repairs.