Home Sellers Beware: These Are The Biggest Turn-Offs For Property Buyers

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It’s a common sight across the country. Homes with ‘For Sale’ signs on their lawns, some of which have been lying in wait for a home buyer for a long time. Why? There are many reasons. Many people prefer to rent for example, especially if they are struggling to maintain a regular income. Some locations go out of fashion, especially if they have been hit with recession. In some cases, the seller has tried to add value to the property, with little idea about what it is today’s home buyers are looking for, especially the current dominant force in home buying, the millennial generation.

So, are you thinking about selling your home soon? Or has your house been on the market for a long time, and is failing to sell? In either case, we have trawled through the internet for some of the biggest turn-offs for home buyers. Using real estate surveys and expert opinion, we have gathered a list of the things you need to look out for when selling your house. Fixing these problem areas will give you a greater chance for a sale, so you neglect them at your peril. From property issues to human mistakes, these are the common turn-offs you need to be aware of.

A dirty house

We aren’t saying your general housekeeping is bad, though it might be. Unfortunately, a quick vacuum before the prospective buyer comes to look at your property isn’t going to cut it. Your house needs to look immaculate, from top to bottom, with added renovation to improve the overall cleanliness. So, as well as keeping on top of your regular housework, you might also consider replacing old carpets that may be stained or worn. Alternatively, hire a steam cleaner and give your carpets a deep clean. You should grout your tiles too, as well as giving every other area of your home a thorough clean. Hiring a professional cleaning service is also a good idea, as they have the tools to make your home sparkle.

Bad odours

First impressions count, and that goes beyond how your property looks. Any bad odours will turn the viewers off your property, and you need to rectify it before their arrival. However, chances are you have become accustomed to the way your house smells, so it’s worth asking a friend to give you their polite opinion on how fragrant your home is. You may have pets, for example, and they give off their own scent, as well as the expected litter trays and animal paraphernalia. Other odours come from the dirty carpets we mentioned earlier, as well as any damp problems around the house. Smokers need to beware, as furnishings and upholstery will absorb the cigarette smell. You should also avoid cooking any strongly-odoured food the night and day before your viewers arrive, so avoid fish and exotic foods. A deep-clean will deal with some of the smells, as will general repair work in damp rooms. You should also add your own fragrances, such as vases of flowers, air fresheners, and even the homely smell of baked biscuits, which will attract the viewer’s nose, rather than repel it.

Maintenance issues

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Whether large or small, there may be maintenance problems you need to get on top of. We have already mentioned damp, and that should be one of your priorities. Not only does it look and smell bad in your property, but your prospective home buyers will also be concerned with their health. Larger maintenance issues include leaking roofs, faulty heating, and areas with cold drafts coming in. Smaller issues include creaking door handles, dripping taps, and loose floorboards. Our advice is this. While you will probably have a good idea of the repairs you need to do in your house, you should also hire a property surveyor to give your home a once-over before you put it on the market. The buyers will be doing the same thing, so preempt them before they have a chance to grumble about the disrepair in your home. When you know what you need to fix, get on with the job as soon as possible, and hire professionals to deal with fixes that you aren’t qualified to handle.

Curb appeal

The inside of your home may be immaculate, but you need to concentrate on the areas outside of your property. If your grass is overgrown, you need to get the mower out. Your fencing may be worn, so replacing broken fixtures, and giving it a fresh lick of paint will make a world of difference. If you have a driveway, you need to get rid of any built-up dirt that has accumulated around it, including in the gaps. High pressure cleaners will do the job nicely. Then look at your walls. Scuffed paintwork is going to look unsightly, so get the paintbrush out again, and clean up both the walls and frames around your home. Wash your windows, add some hanging plants to improve curb appeal, and throw in a welcome mat at your front door. As we said earlier, first impressions count, and your home exterior is going to be the first place the home buyer sees before they step through your front door.

Too many personal touches

For starters, don’t make any unnecessary changes to your home just before you put it on the market. You might want to replace the wallpaper, for example, as you are liable to go with something you like, above and beyond what the buyer might be interested in. While you should definitely replace old fixtures, especially if they are worn and outdated, don’t replace them with anything too niche. Generic is fine, provided they look good, and the buyer can replace them later if they want too. Then there are the general knickknacks around your home, from collectible items to family photos. When you are showing your house, you need to remove all such items. They are only talking points for you and your friends, and the home buyer won’t be interested in them. The viewer wants to imagine themselves living in the property, and your personal belongings will only get in the way of their imagination.

You

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No offence, but you may be putting off the home buyer yourself. Yes, you may have showered and combed your hair before arrival, but your behaviour can put off the viewer. What do we mean? Well, you may be keen to engage in conversations the buyer isn’t interested in. Trying to persuade them to buy is another no-no, unless you are fluent in the art of a sales rep. You might only come across as being needy and persistent. If you in any way emotionally attached, the buyer might sense this. Not only will the sight of you crying in the corner be a concern to the buyer, but you might also impose your opinion on how the buyer should live in the house, what they should do with it, and what they need to leave alone. Once you have handed over the keys, it’s theirs to do what they want with, so you need to keep your opinions to yourself. You might also grumble about their muddy shoes and sticky fingers, and this is only going to make them feel uncomfortable. So, leave the showing to your real-estate agent. They know what they’re doing, and will have the sales patter down to a tee. Make yourself scarce, and distract yourself with something else while the experts do their job.

And so…

Those are the biggest turn-offs for home buyers. If any of them are true to your property, you need to deal with them as soon as possible. You should then consider the features that are going to attract buyers, especially the young millennials who are looking to get onto the property ladder. This includes the following:

Energy efficiency – Being environmentally aware, today’s buyers want a home that is both economical and planet-saving. Adding green features to your home will add a huge amount of value to the property.

Storage space – Even the smallest home can include extra storage, so add shelving and walk-in closet spaces, and highlight the storage spaces you do have by removing your own clutter.

Modern technology – Especially for the younger generation, having a house fitted with the latest tech is guaranteed to impress. Automated thermostats, LED lighting, and smart features are some of the things you should consider adding before selling.

Modern decor – You need to be careful here, as you don’t want to put off the buyer with your personal taste. Still, look online at the latest decor, especially for the kitchen and bathroom, and consider updating your rooms with something that is in line with the latest trends.

By avoiding the turn-offs and adding the turn-ons, you are going to have a greater chance of selling your home. Always speak to your real-estate agent for professional advice, and keep an eye on the property market for the best time to put your home on the market. So, if you are selling anytime soon, we wish you every success and happiness in your home move.

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Are You A Diligent Driver Or An Accident Waiting To Happen?

Did you know that you’re more likely to be injured in a car accident than almost any other mode of transport? Most of us get into the car every day without any anxiety, but there are always risks involved with driving. Modern cars are built for safety, as well as performance, but even the most innovative of vehicles cannot correct or prevent driver errors. Mistakes and a lack of care and attention account for more than 90 percent of accidents on the roads. Bearing this in mind, do you consider yourself a diligent driver or could you be an accident waiting to happen? Here are some of the most common causes of crashes and some golden rules to follow to steer clear of trouble.

Monitoring your speed

If you drive on a regular basis, you may have come across signs that encourage you to reduce your speed and stick to restrictions. You may think that it’s fun to drive fast and that there are no risks involved in driving above the speed limit if there’s nobody else around. However, there are speed restrictions in place for good reason. When you drive fast, there’s a higher risk of losing control of the vehicle and the impact of a crash is likely to be much more severe at speed. If you crash at 30 mph, damage to the car may be minimal, and injuries are likely to be minor. If you crash at 70, 80 or 90 mph, the story could have a very different ending. It’s worth bearing in mind that if you exceed the limit, you will be liable if you have an accident and you may face legal charges and be required to pay a fine or even spend time in jail. Just as going too fast is dangerous, it’s also important to make sure that you don’t drive too slowly. If you’re holding up a line of traffic behind you, this can also be dangerous. Use the speed limits as a guide and adjust your speed in line with conditions. If it’s raining or there’s snow or ice on the road, reduce your speed and keep well back from vehicles in front, as your stopping distance will increase.

Image by https://www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/3489625168

Focusing on the road

Be honest. How often do you take your eyes off the road to mess around with the radio or make a phone call or send a text message? When you’re driving, you need to maintain your focus at all times. Even if you only glance away for a second, this can put you and other drivers at risk. Keep your eyes on the road ahead, pay attention to other vehicles around you and always be wary of hazards, such as animals, pedestrians and obstacles in the road. If you’re not looking and you’re involved in an accident, it’s highly likely that you will be held liable. If you need to make a call or you want to change the CD or program in a new radio station, find a safe place to pull over. If you tend to do business on the go, invest in a Bluetooth headset or look for a car that has an inbuilt system that enables you to make calls without using your hands or taking your eyes off the road.

Picture credit http://www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/15866

Drunk driving

Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of major accidents on the road. Alcohol affects your ability to react quickly, it can alter your mood and your behaviour, and it can also cloud your judgment. You may think that you’re absolutely fine after a couple of drinks, but often, the impact of drinking isn’t immediately visible. If you want to drink, arrange a lift or book a cab. It’s much better to be safe than sorry. If you’re out on the road and you’re hit by a driver who has been drinking, you have every right to get in touch with experts like those at Mirian Law and find out more about claiming compensation. Drunk driving puts everyone at risk, and often, it’s innocent people who haven’t touched a drop of alcohol that get hurt. Legal limits vary depending on where you are, so the safest thing to do is avoid alcohol altogether if you plan to drive.

A set of car keys in the foreground and glass of whiskey behind.

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/99329675@N02/11064883376

Tiredness

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you can’t physically keep your eyes open? Driving tired puts you and other drivers at risk of injury. When you’re tired, it takes you longer to react, it’s harder to concentrate, and you could even fall asleep at the wheel. If somebody suddenly walks into the road, a tree falls, or a car in front changes lane without looking, you may struggle to hit the brakes fast enough, and this could have disastrous consequences. If you feel exhausted, don’t risk driving. Take a nap and make the journey later. If you’re already on the road and you start to feel tired, pull over in a safe place, have a coffee, stretch your legs and get some fresh air and then get back on the road. If you struggle to stay awake, try and avoid driving late at night and plan journeys in advance. If you’ve got a long drive ahead, schedule an overnight stop and break up the journey. It may take you a little longer to get from A to B, but at least you’ll make it in one piece.

Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/comapre/7478206746

Most drivers have opinions about other drivers, but have you ever thought about your performance on the road? Surveys show that most people think they’re good drivers, but the statistics would suggest that not everyone is quite as diligent as they may think. The vast majority of accidents arise as a result of driver errors. Although some accidents are impossible to avoid, most could be prevented. Next time you head out in your car, think about what kind of driver you are and do everything possible to keep yourself and those around you safe. Take your time, stick to speed limits, focus on what you’re doing, avoid drinking and take a break if you’re tired.

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It Takes More Than One Pair Of Hands To Build A Construction Business

When starting a construction business, your first and most serious concern might be filling your team with a roster of experienced, reliable builders bringing together all the skills you need to handle the average project professionally. There’s no doubt that’s important, but it’s not all you need. For a truly successful business, you need to look at the personal, both hired and outsourced, that is going to make sure you can build more than a property, but a fully functioning business.

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Soil testers

Unless you have a structural engineer on the team, this is always going to be a service relevant to preparing any business site. Testing the soil is essential for making sure that any building will be foundationally secure. They can tell you a variety of things about the site, including soil strength, density, compaction, contamination, soil content and much more for a variety of areas around the site. Many soil testing services also offer a range of structural engineering tools to help more evenly distribute the load of the project in any site that might not normally be able to withstand it. In most cases, construction teams work hand in hand with soil testers and civil engineers as opposed to hiring them directly.

Suppliers

Your relationship with your material suppliers is going to be one of the most important relationships in the business. How well you’re able to negotiate costs will drastically affect the estimates you can give, which can be one of your primary tools in winning more leads. As soon as your business opens its doors, look for your material suppliers with a view to creating a long-term relationship. Suppliers are much more willing to offer price cuts and deals to those teams that can guarantee and prove ongoing repeat sales. Get to know your supplier’s supplier, too, identifying risks that might impact their supply, and have a backup option at the ready so you’re not caught out if those risks come to pass.

Equipment providers

You might want as many assets and skills in-house as possible. However, acquiring them costs money and attempting to grow too fast can make once-profitable jobs highly unprofitable. So, leasing equipment is most likely going to become a common affair for you. Learn which equipment needs are more consistent from project to project and keep them in-house to make them more cost-effective. For things like soil removal, in which your needs can change from site to site, be more flexible in your approach, and hire equipment as is necessary. Investing in purchasing equipment that you’re not going to use all the time is much less cost-effective when you have to consider ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs beyond just the initial purchase.

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Subcontractors

The same goes for the skill set that you have within the business. You’re going to want a well-rounded set of skills amongst your core team, and you shouldn’t fall into the trap of only relying on temporary hires that can often result in a scarcity of skills within your actual business. But for vehicle qualifications and skills that you don’t use as often in your primary services, you should look to subcontractors. This can include things like electricians, plumbers, drivers of specific vehicles, painters, and much more. The services that don’t fit your core expertise but are going to be an essential part of completing most projects.

Accountants

It’s not all about the building, either. Any business owner needs to have a firm grasp of the finances of the situation. Learning to make accurate cost breakdowns and estimates, a comprehensive understanding of your overheads, budgeting decisions, taxes, you have to be familiar with all of them. Being cost-savvy helps you stay competitive, after all. But there’s no denying the need for an accountant in just about any business to focus solely on the money. Rather than a standard business accountant, think about hiring construction-specific accountants who are well-versed in the many unique financial considerations within the industry. Beyond acting as a bookkeeper, accountants are trained to offer advice, including legal advice when tax time comes around. Having an accountant won’t just help you save money in the long-run, they’ll help keep you compliant with accounting and tax laws.

Marketers

How do you win leads for your business? Making bids and networking within trade associations and trade shows are likely going to open a lot of doors for you, but there’s no denying how powerful a tool that branding can be when it comes to convincing leads. What’s more, having an effective, far-reaching brand can help you catch the attention of leads you might never have considered. Nowadays, it is essential for most businesses, including construction firms, to have some investment in digital marketing. It can provide the professional face, the portfolio, and the reputation you need to improve your chances of winning over potential clients. Branding your construction company might sound as simple as showing your qualifications and experience, but the average homeowner looking for a builder is going to need more, and marketers are great at finding the extra appeal your brand needs.

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Safety officers

Safety should always be of a concern and it likely is. Beyond making you legally compliant and reducing the worker’s compensation you have to pay out, you want your team to trust you. Regular safety training and providing the right equipment can help the team become more conscious. But safety isn’t always their first thought; getting the job done is. That’s why you should create a position for a permanent safety officer whose sole role is highlight safety risks, unsafe work practices, and come up with solutions to help you minimize them.

Whether in construction or another industry, the business owner must always be surveying the business and its needs, considering whether or not they have the skills and resources to handle those needs. Think about whether those needs are regular and integral enough that you should make a permanent position to handle them, or whether they’re temporary enough to justify outsourcing.

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Are You Ready to Stop Micromanaging Your Startup?

Micromanagement has long been one of the most frustrating business practices that any manager or entrepreneur could use. It’s overbearing, it’s not productive and it tends to cause more trouble than it’s worth. Sadly, there’s not much we can really do to stop ourselves outside of being self-aware, and many employees are far too concerned about their job security to bother telling you when you need to stop being so controlling.

While it’s natural to want to oversee everything as a startup, it’s a mentality that you need to break out of if you want to be successful in the future. To help you out, we’re going to list a couple of ways to help you stop micromanaging your workplace to ensure your company has a promising future with a strong office culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Micromanagement can be detrimental if it doesn’t stop early. (Source)

Have Faith in Your Employees

One of the biggest factors that will help you stop micromanaging is to have faith in your employees. Trust is a huge component to any healthy office culture and if you’re not being at least somewhat trusting of your employees, then you need to take a good look at why you have a lack of faith. Is it because they’re not performing well enough to your standards, or are you just being too harsh on them? Building trust with your employees isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it’s certainly worth the effort and one of the easiest ways to break out of your micromanagement habits.

Start Looking at the Bigger Picture

If you want to grow your business then it’s important to start looking at the bigger picture. Whether it’s growing your home-based business and moving into an office or achieving international recognition, you need to focus on long-term goals instead of using your time to micromanage your employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s natural to want to keep an eye on your employees, but it can’t continue for long. (Source)

Hire Help When Needed

Some managers feel like they need to micromanage because their employees just aren’t able to cut it. For example, a manager might get involved with the work their employees do (this is more common in startups than small or medium businesses) because there’s a deadline coming up or because they need to teach their employees about certain things such as technology or how to use certain software. During times like this, you may want to consider managed IT services or other professional services that can help lighten the load. This will give you the peace of mind knowing that you have trained consultants advising your staff and it will take a load off your mind.

Final Words

Micromanagement is a habit that needs to be removed if you want to have a stable company culture that is ready to embrace growth. If you start growing your business and stick to your overbearing nature, then you’re going to have a tough time being a productive and efficient business in the future.

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