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“A picture is worth a thousand words.” We have all heard this sentence at least once in our life, and yet it doesn’t ring more true than when it comes to Real Estate Photography. This article will tell you the best ways to hook a buyer with the perfect real estate photographer.

How to Hook Your Buyer with the Right Photography

Today nothing is more popular than the internet, especially when it comes to buying certain things. Whether it be a new pair of shoes, a car, or even a home; it all starts online. Many sellers only post one or two photos of their home, which results in a lack of interest from potential buyers. Therefore, the property might sit on the market for months. Professional photographers take multiple high-quality photographs that lead to more showings of the property and faster pending sales. First impressions can be the difference between an interested buyer or a perfectly adequate home being passed over, which explains why having the right photographer is vital.

Now I bet you are wondering, “what exactly is real estate photography?” Individual companies hire expert photographers to capture the perfect essence in a home. They use certain angles and lighting to get the perfect shot every time. That way, when customers are browsing online and see a house that catches their eye, it is mostly because of real estate photography. First impressions stick with people forever, so having a striking photograph for the home at first glance is a must.

“How to tell if a photographer is an amateur or a professional?” If you have ever browsed online where lots of homeowners have tried to take photos to sell their home, the lighting is dark, angles are odd, and the photograph itself looks grainy, most likely taken with a smartphone camera. When you get a professional photographer, it changes everything. The angles they use to make the rooms look more substantial, the lighting is flawless and bright, and because they use professional equipment, it always optimizes the very best features of your home. For example, the company Home Shots has very professional photographers who have been providing fantastic real estate photography in San Francisco services for the last 5 years.

The last question I bet you have is, “how much does a professional photographer cost?” Depending on the company, it can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. The price depends on the location, size of the home, and how experienced the photographer. It will attract more potential buyers and add income to your pocket. With excellent photography, you can get multiple bidders on the house and make the price go up due to a bidding war. So, in the end, it is worth it to hire a professional photographer to make the property look as good as it can be. That way, you will have multiple interested parties and are more likely to sell the home quickly.

Even though hiring a professional real estate photographer will cost some investment, the return will outweigh the cost in the long run. You will have flawless photographs that show areas of the home that are well lit and look large (even if the space is tight and cramped), you will attract buyers more efficiently, and the best part is that you could sell the home reasonably fast. You get back what you put in when it comes to selling a home. If you take the time to make the house look appealing, hire the correct people to photograph it, and then list it on the appropriate markets, you will get a higher return on your investment. Like the famous quote states, “With high risk comes high reward.”

 

 

Home repairs don’t need to all be extensive. Some aren’t that costly or time-consuming. These tasks are good to save up, add to a list, and then knock out one at a time over a quiet weekend. If you have a family, then pick a quiet time. Let the family know that you’ll be busy and not to disturb you unless it’s urgent. If you live alone, then it’s just a matter of planning the DIY work around other weekend activities.

Quick Home Repair Tasks for the Weekend

So, what home repair or maintenance tasks should you get done? Here’s a short list to get you started.

Ordering and Replacing Filters

Filters are easy to forget all about. When this happens, they become clogged up and this can cause issues later.

In the case of your refrigerator, a blocked filter can cause it to become overworked and overheat. Eventually, this could cause a mechanical failure. Find reputable refrigerator water filters & replacements to ensure the filter is swapped out for a good one. It doesn’t take long to do either. Order a few days ahead to get the delivery so you’re ready when the next weekend rolls around again.

Also, don’t forget other filters used in your home. Water filtration systems need replacements too. AC units need them too, and it will get them ready for next spring.

Fixing Squeaky Doors

What you might think of as a squeaky door is really a squeaky door hinge. It usually won’t go away on its own, so it’s best to handle it yourself.

Get some WD-40 and apply it liberally on the hinges. The spray works best when moving the door to let the hinge take in the lubrication fully. If the DIY store is out of WD-40, then look for petroleum jelly instead. It’s a little messier though.

Use an old sheet below the door to catch any jelly or WD-40 that escapes the door hinge on the way to the floor.

Handle the Odorous Dishwasher

If the dishwasher isn’t cleaning as well as it used to, and it’s emitting an unpleasant odor too, it’s time to put a little time into it.

Old collected food remnants that have fallen to the bottom are what’s likely causing the bad smell. Remove them and clean any obvious areas where gunk has accumulated.

Then purchase a dishwasher cleaner and run this through a cycle or two on an otherwise empty machine. At the end of this, the machine should be playing nicely again. And while the cleaning cycle is running, there’s time to attend to something else.

Replacing Broken Roof Vents

Roof vents made from metal or plastic can become broken due to storm damage. The vents are usually nailed in place and once these are removed, they come free. The nails are situated below the shingles to avoid them rusting.

While a broken vent can be temporarily resolved using caulking, that will only last so long. There’s usually no effective way to fix a vent that’s seen its best days. Removing and fitting a replacement is the right move.

Get some help with someone holding the ladder to avoid having an accident. Many Americans every year hurt themselves using ladders at home; don’t be one of those. If in doubt, hire a handyperson to fix the roof vent for you.

Batch up tasks over a weekend to knock them out quickly. This will help you avoid getting bogged down with home maintenance and never getting caught up.

 

 

Having a garage is ever so convenient! You’ve got a place to keep your car secure and have great storage space. If you’re into repairs and crafts, you probably spend there a lot of time. To some people, their garage is like their own kingdom.

But what if the gates to the kingdom stop guarding it as well as they used to? Most likely, the culprit is easy to detect, and it all comes down to a set of garage door springs. It’s a quiet hero of the whole garage door system, and if this part malfunctions, the best solution is to replace it. This article will give you answers regarding all things related to garage door springs. If you want to learn more, keep on reading!

Types of Garage Door Springs

Let’s start with the basics. Your garage is equipped with one of the following types of garage door spring systems:

  • A torsion spring system uses one or two tightly wired springs, depending on the garage door size. The springs are placed on a steel shaft and run parallel to the door, serving as a counterbalance. It’s an option that’s generally considered to be safe and reliable.
  • An extension spring system is made of two springs that are mounted on either side of the garage door track. When the garage door goes up or down, a mechanism of cables and pulleys extends and contracts them. Experts from A1 Garage point out that while this system is cheaper and easier to install, it’s less reliable and doesn’t last that long.

How Long Do Garage Door Springs Last?

Once again, it all comes down to the type of springs. Typically, extension springs have a life expectancy of 4 to 10 years or between 5,000 to 15,000 up-and-down cycles. Torsion springs are more durable, with the expected lifespan of 7 to 14 years or between 10,000 and 20,000 cycles.

Replacement: When and Why?

Now you know how durable each system is. Mechanical parts, such as garage door springs, undergo the wear and tear process, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. At some point, you’ll have to replace them; otherwise, the excessive tension might be too much, and the springs will break. As a result, the door may come crashing down and seriously injure whoever will be underneath.

There’s a couple of factors that can indicate your garage door springs might be having some issues, and their lifespan might be coming to an end. These include:

  • Imbalanced springs – this one is easier to detect than to correct. Your springs are likely out of balance when you notice your garage door is crooked, closes way too fast, and doesn’t open as smoothly as it used to. What’s more, your garage door may open and close on its own.
  • Excessive noise – if your linear garage door opener starts making a sound while opening or closing doors, chances are the springs are beginning to wear down.
  • Rust – if you see rust on the springs, it’s time to replace them. If you leave them as they are, they could potentially break at any time.

Garage Door Springs Replacement Cost

Again, the cost depends on the type of your garage door springs. Obviously, if you decide to do it by yourself, you’ll have to pay for the springs and any additional tools that can make your task easier. However, it’s a dangerous task, and it would be best if you considered hiring a professional to do it for you.

That being said, a professional replacement cost will vary from $120 for a single extension to $350 for a double torsion. Keep in mind that experts advise replacing both springs, even if only one is broken or damaged. This way is more cost-efficient, and the garage door is more balanced.

How Much Time Will It Take?

Garage door springs have a relatively long lifespan, compared with the time needed for them to be replaced. An expert should be able to do it within 30 minutes to 1 hour. If you want to replace them on your own, keep in mind it can take you more time, especially if you’ve never done this before, and you’re not familiar with all the tools needed to get the task done.

The Bottom Line

Just like any part of your house, your garage door needs to be properly maintained in order to serve its function. In case you notice any wear and tear, or you suspect that the springs’ lifespan might be nearing an end, consider replacing the springs before they break. If they’re broken already, don’t wait! If you’re not comfortable with doing the repairs yourself, hire a professional. A team of garage door experts will have the experience, skills, and tools to do the job safely.

 

 

The current pandemic has changed life as we know it. Right now, if you want to sell your home, you will have to approach it in a completely different way. Depending on whether you need to isolate, you may not even be able to welcome viewers to your property. The good news is that it can still be listed on the open market, and as long as the price is right, you’ll find a buyer.

How to Sell a House During a Pandemic

Staging the Property

Staging a property makes it more attractive to buyers. However, you might not want professional stagers traipsing around your home at this time. Strangers are potential disease vectors, and any new furniture brought into your home could be infected with the virus.

One way to avoid being infected is to use a virtual staging company.

What is virtual staging? Virtual stagers use software to remodel your rooms virtually. This is especially effective if your home is slightly dated or has a bespoke look your buyers might not appreciate. It’s also cheaper than a traditional staging company, so it’s definitely worth considering.

Virtual Viewings

Viewings can be done virtually, too. Instead of inviting buyers into your home, you can let them view it all via a virtual 3-D tour. It’s not quite as good as an actual tour, but it does let buyers see the layout of each room, so they can decide whether the property meets their requirements. If they decide to take it further, you can then offer them a virtual viewing via video link.

Use software such as Facetime to show people around your home. You can do this yourself or ask the realtor to do it for you. Viewers can request a closer look at anything of interest and you or the realtor are on hand to answer questions. It’s a great way of showing off your home without risking infection.

Open Weekends

Instead of booking regular viewings as normal, organize an open house event and get it over and done within a couple of days. Open house viewings tend to be popular, and when organized in advance, they can generate a nice buzz of interest in the property.

The great thing about an open house event is that viewing slots can be booked by appointment and social distancing measures adhered to. Your realtor can show viewers around, with everyone wearing masks and using handwash stations at each entrance.

If you prefer not to be involved, you can stay somewhere else for the weekend, such as in a hotel. This ensures you are not coming into contact with multiple strangers.

Extra Hygiene Measures

It’s vital that extra hygiene measures are adopted when you are conducting viewings or showing realtors around your home.

  • Make sure everyone wears face masks and takes off their shoes before they enter the property.
  • Maintain social distancing at all times.
  • Ask visitors to use hand sanitizer before touching anything
  • Once visitors have left, wipe down all door handles and surfaces, to minimize the risk of infection

Follow the protocols above and you can keep yourself and your family safe while selling your home.

 

 

While they are words that most people don’t want to hear, the fact of the matter is, winter is coming. In just a matter of months much of the country will be into the winter season and with it comes the strong and rather harsh winter storms. Everyone is well aware of how much damage a strong summer storm can do, but the reality is that winter storms can be just as fierce, bringing with them high winds, ice, snow, hail, and plummeting temperatures that can do a real number on the exterior of your home. This is exactly why it’s important to prepare in advance.

Top Tips to Help Prep Your Home for Winter Storm Season

So, let’s dive right in and look at the steps you can take now in order to prepare your home for winter storm season.

Repair Any Existing Damage

A great place to start is by repairing any existing damage. Perhaps the exterior suffered damage during the summer storm season, such as roof damage, issues with the gutters, a cracked window, siding damage and so forth. As Advantage Construction points out, these damaged areas no longer have the same strength and integrity, which means they are going to have a real hard time standing up to the winter.

Fixing these sorts of problems will help prevent water leaks in the home, heat loss, and prevent a small issue from getting bigger and therefore more expensive to repair.

Secure Loose Items Outdoors

You’ll also want to do a walk around the perimeter of the house and the yard looking for any loose items that could potentially be tossed around in the wind. This can include things like outdoor furniture, toys, planters, and so forth. These items should either be secured, tied down or stored indoors until spring.

Trim Branches that Overhang the House

Again, it’s all about looking for potential issues and any large branches that are overhanging the house, or even close to the house can pose a potential problem. It’s best to trim them back now and eliminate the risk completely. At the same time, any dead branches should also be trimmed so that they don’t fall off and cause damage.

Clean Out the Gutters

Making sure water is able to flow and drain away from the home and the foundation will be another important step in prepping your home. This is the time to inspect the gutters, clean out any debris or build-up, and make sure the water can flow freely.

Make Sure Windows and Doors Are Weather-Sealed

Your windows and doors can act as a huge heat loss in the winter, allowing for drafts and the warm interior air to escape. The good news is that there’s an easy solution, and that’s to caulk and weather-strip the windows and doors. This will provide a tight seal and thereby eliminate that energy loss.

Your Home is Ready for Winter Storm Season

Using these tips will help you to prepare your home for winter storm season no matter how cold and fierce it gets.

 

 

Having a pet at home brings so much joy that you simply can’t compare it to anything else in the world. But with all the joy, also come so many responsibilities. If you are a pet owner, you probably already know how hard it is to keep up with all the extra work around the house. Creating a safe environment for your furry friend while having a clean house, especially carpets, won’t be as hard as it sounds, as long as you are cautious. Knowing what to use and what precautions to take is crucial because pets (especially dogs and cats) spend such a long time on the carpet. These three are the basics that all pet owners need to check out:

Stay Safe With Carpet Cleaning Products

Knowing the good and bad ingredients in pet carpet cleaners is so important. Check out the labels each time you’re buying cleaning products. The safest place to shop is a pet store, after getting advice from your vet. There is a wide range of pet-safe cleaners to shop from, always opt for the most natural, bio-friendly option. Cleaning with pet-safe products is one of those DIY projects that you don’t need a pro for and do so much good for the entire family including the pets. Some of the ingredients you have to stay away from are ammonia, formaldehyde, pesticides, chlorine, sodium hydroxide and more.

If you are not really sure how to do all of this safely yourself, then you might want to consider a professional carpet cleaning service. Make sure to do your research to find the right fit for your needs. It’s best to opt for a service that uses pet-friendly products and has experience with cleaning carpets from homes of pet owners.

Say No To Regular Carpet Shampoos, Powders, And Dry Shampoos

Carpet shampoos, powders and dry shampoos can cause a range of problems for your pet. If you’re planning on cleaning your carpets, make sure to avoid these types of products. Let’s start with the powders and dry shampoos. One of the biggest ‘no’s’, aside from the possible harmful ingredients, is that they leave a residue in the carpet, which is very hard to completely remove. In other words, your pets will inhale all those bad ingredients and strong scents as well. Powders and dry shampoos have a smell that can easily cause irritation and do more harm than good. This is how skin, eye, and respiratory conditions occur.

Regular carpet shampoos can be so tricky because they are often based on chemicals that are harmful to you and the pets. They tend to leave a sticky residue after cleaning, which only makes things worse. No matter how hard you clean, there will still be shampoo left on the fibres. Dirt, dust, urine, will adhere and cause a buildup. Your carpets will not only remain dirty, but your pets will be inhaling all of the dust and dirt while laying on them. This can, unfortunately, cause a range of problems, especially issues with the respiratory system, skin irritation, allergies and more.

Water Is Safe

Water is the safest ingredient when it comes to carpet cleaning in a house with pets. Now, the main question is how to get a clean carpet using only water. This is one of those precautions that might cost you, but it will be a great investment for everyone in your home. If you want to be very safe with the choices you make and want to avoid using any chemicals on the carpet, try a wet/dry vacuum.

Buying a wet/dry vacuum can be costly, thankfully there are many different options on the market to consider these days. If you first want to try it out, you can rent one, then decide whether it’s the right fit for you. This device uses only water to clean the carpet, which makes it perfectly safe for your pets. Let’s not forget that it’s safe for the flooring as well. Eventually, if all of this sounds like it’s too much or you simply want to be 100% safe you can always turn to a professional cleaning service.

Conclusion

Keeping a pet happy and safe, while also having a clean home can be a bit challenging. But with the right information and precautions, your carpets will be clean and your furry friends will feel great. Using the right products and tools is important to prevent any health problems of your pet, including respiratory and digestive issues, eye irritation, allergies, skin irritation and more. You know what they say- ‘better safe, than sorry’.

These three precautions will help you understand how important it is to opt for natural alternatives and to stay away from chemicals. Make sure to keep your pet outside, in a different room or different house while you’re cleaning and 24 hours after you’re done, even when using safe products.

 

 

 

Tony is the CEO of Love Your Rug – Canada’s largest rug cleaning & restoration facility. Apart from successfully leading his team, Tony loves to share professional advice on how to give a fresh look to carpets, rugs and peoples homes. He is an industry leader and authority in area rug restoration. 

 

 

 

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