Home Cleaning Tips

Maintain the inside and outside of your home with these great natural tips.

clean-with-vinegarPull those weeds with a natural solution: The weather and warm, the rain is abundant and the weed pulling isn’t always easy. Use vinegar to pour over weed-ridden areas, say by the porch or deck. (You can also use vinegar in a spray bottle with a little bit of Dawn dish soap.) It will help loosen the weeds to pull and help prevent weeds…or at least slow down the growing process. If you have pets, use caution to protect their paw pads. You will probably want to hose off after the solution sits for a couple hours.

Remove build up from shower heads and faucets: They can harvest bacteria/mildew and should be regularly cleaned. Place vinegar in an appropriately sized ziploc bag and place the bag over the shower head and faucet (secure with a rubber band or another fastener). Let sit for a couple hours. Use a toothbrush to scrub the surface to remove any build up.

Disinfect your sink and unclog the drain: Drainers and cleaners can even smell toxic. To unclog the drain and clean your sinks, pour a kettle of boiling water down your sink. Follow with 1/2 a cup of baking soda and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Then use 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of boiling hot water to rinse the sink and drain. Cover/plug your drain (it will react) and let sit for another 5-10 minutes. Follow with another kettle of boiling water.

Note: do not mix vinegar and baking soda in advance and store. The results will be different.

Clean the microwave: While it is better to cover anything being heated, microwaves can get messy if something goes awry. Use a glass, microwave safe bowl filled with water and add a tablespoon or two of vinegar. Microwave for approximately five minutes and then wipe down the inside of the microwave. The solution should help when wiping down the inside.

 

The Judy Glockler Group is a three person award-winning real estate team with the premier real estate firm, Coldwell Banker Residential. If you are interested in buying or selling, call them today at 708-529-5839 cell.

 

20 Ways to Add Curb Appeal

The spring market is here – and our listings are selling in record time. Mortgage rates are low, buyers are out buying. If you are thinking of listing your property, aside from calling us ( we have a nationwide network and can help you find a real estate professional throughout the United States), you will probably want to spruce up your yard and the curb appeal of your home, given the extreme winter we (and most of the country) had.

Better Homes and Garden - ways to add curb appeal

The basics:

- pull weeds ( there are various natural solutions that help: vinegar, dish soap/water mixture, etc.)

- water plants and greenery

- replace/freshen up mulch, if applicable

- trim bushes

- add grass seed to any sparse spots on the lawn

- seal coat your driveway if you have asphalt

- clean the inside and outside of your windows

Curb appeal is important…especially when listing your home. Let any potential buyer’s impression be a  good one – showing that you care for your home. Better Homes and Gardens lists their “20 ways to add curb appeal” to your property. 

(photo source: BHG)

 

 

 

 

Coldwell Banker Residential: #1 in Chicagoland

Coldwell Banker Residential: #1 in Chicagoland in closed transactions and closed units!

We’re proud to be with the Chicagoland real estate market leader. Judy started with Coldwell Banker early in the career, and rejoined the brokerage in 2010 because of their increasing market presence, strategic marketing and professional reputation that I don’t think is offered anywhere else.

Coldwell Banker #1 in Chicagoland - transactions 2013

 

Coldwell Banker #1 in Chicagoland - volume 2013

 

Winter + The Importance of Safety During Home Showings

Sure, there has been a lot of snow this winter. If you own a property that is for sale / being shown this winter, or if you are the listing Agent of a vacant property, please, please, please… make sure your driveway is plowed/shoveled, your walkway is clear and ice-free. At one property, a foreclosure, the snow was over 2.5 feet deep in the driveway, preventing any cars from pulling in the driveway, nor was there a cleared path/walkway to the door. Not only did one of us fall, but there were three kids as well and the snow was that high.

Disclose if a driveway has not been cleared.  If the snow has not been removed or if icy conditions exists, many would not feel comfortable viewing. We usually have a portable shovel, even though clearing is not the showing Agent’s/buyers responsibility – it is up to the sellers/owners to take care.

ice-snow-removal

Illustration: Chris Gash   (source)

Additionally, this snow and rain combination has caused  ice, so please make sure to salt, with animal paw friendly salt, all walkways and stairs (if you have them) leading up to your home. 

It doesn’t stop outside. Place a large rug (or if you don’t have one, a couple large towels) in the foyer as the water tracks all in…especially on the more slippery surfaces like tile and hardwood. First impressions when viewing the property are important. Don’t make the buyers’ first impression of your home one where they are more worried they are going to fall. It happens and you can be held liable.

If you are too busy and can’t find the time to make your home safe for showings, it may be best to hold of on showings until you can remove the snow and de-ice. I would much rather wait than fall or slip, and I am sure I am not alone.

 

 

Working with the Right Agent

If an Agent’s motto is: “I don’t advertise,” then that Agent is not for you. I kind of laugh when I hear some Agents say that. Why would you not advertise your listings and do so minimal? This was a topic of conversation today. By working with an Agent who does not even have a website, advertising presence or any marketing materials or so forth,  you can’t expect your home to compete with others. As one person mentioned it today, not working with an Agent who markets your home, is like saying “I don’t care if it sells”…and we all know the longer a property sits on the market, chances are the lower the sales price will be.

We, The Glockler Group, pride ourselves on our marketing. The list of outlets is extensive and the surface can’t be scratched on this post alone. We strategically market, advertise and promote our listings – hence, why I received my master’s degree in marketing from Northwestern University’s acclaimed program. Real Estate is an industry where those who are nice and proactive benefit. It is not for the non-marketer types.

To have your property seen everywhere buyers are looking, contact us today. You will benefit from our network and marketing reach, and Coldwell Banker’s top award winning marketing tools.

trulia                             Realtor.com logo Homes-and-Land-logo   Real Estate book logo

 

Cold Weather Tips for your Family and Home

It may be fall, but these cold days and freezing nights can be hard on your house and family. Below are some tips to keep you, your pet(s) and your house warm and safe now and throughout the winter season.

Replace your furnace filters. Clean furnace filters will improve air flow and efficiency and lower your utility costs.

- Place a mat or rug and boot trays next to entries. This will help keep hardwood floors and carpets from becoming damaged from the winter snow, mud and salt.

- Inspect your fireplace. Have the fireplace chimney and flue inspected each year by a professional and cleaned if needed.

- Use pet friendly salt. Whether you have a pet or your neighbors do, pet safe ice melt is best to keep all safe (regular salt burns their paw pads).

- Dog boots. Just as these cold temps are tough on us, they are tough on animals. When outside (briefly and quickly), your dog should be wearing boots to prevent frostbite. Pawz dog boots work great. 

- Pets are to be safe and warm inside – and away from the garage. Avoid antifreeze poisoning. Antifreeze is a deadly poison. It has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and people.

Winterize. Make sure to winterize your home, if it will be vacant, to prevent damage.

 

Five Reasons to Sell Before Spring

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the fall and winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to sell now…

Vermont-Autumn

 

Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

And, Orland Park, Homer Glen, Lockport, Lemont New Lenox and the other areas we cover, this time of year is cold. If buyers are out in this weather, chances are they are ready to make a move.

There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. The choices for buyers will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2013 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.

There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 25% from now to 2018. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.

It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

 

(source: KCM)

 

For Sale by Owner?

The value of good Real Estate Agents is immeasurable. Working with a top-award winning Agent, with over 30 years of experience,  I can attest to how important it is to work with a knowledgeable Realtor. Judy is a very smart professional – and she knows the local market…and over thousands of clients knew that, too.

If you are in a different market, outside our coverage area (the southwest and west suburbs), and are wondering what it means to be for sale by owner (FSBO), please read below. If you are in the Chicago area, we’d be happy to help you buy or sell. Contact The Glockler Group today.

2013-NAR-research-home-sellers

 

If you are at all considering FSBO, here are some questions to ask yourself:

-  do you truly understand all of the necessary paperwork, disclosures, and requirements as a seller? Who is going to order title?

- do you have connections to the local media (print and digital) and are you prepared to pay the fee that can be at least a few hundred dollars, to start, to advertise?

- gone is the time that you can put an ad only in a paper and expect calls. do you have access to premium listing options on websites and other buyer lead generators?

- are you an experienced real estate negotiator?

- do you know what is legally required of you as a seller?

- are you comfortable having these discussions in your home face to face with the other party and take emotion/your ties to your home out of the equation?

- do you have the time to track and monitor showings, including cancelations, last minute request, obtain feedback and more?

- are you ready to negotiate and be in contact with these people regularly?:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale

(source KCM)

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Being Realistic on Market Value (and List Price)

Imagine yourself in their shoes. If the seller were the buyer(s), they too would want to get the most property for a fair market value. If the buyer imagined themselves as the sellers, they wouldn’t want to make an offer that is below fair market value.

The changes in the market should in no way affect the seller’s (or buyer’s) opinion of fair market value. Fair market value is a finite number and what one paid for the property alone does not alter that number. Sure, well done upgraded features and amenities may. A home is worth what the closed comps show it is worth – and it is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. Therefore, whether the owners paid a fraction of the list price and are original owners, or whether they purchased within the last decade when prices were higher, does not make a difference. Market value is market value and that is the truth.

With that said, here are the dangers of being unrealistic on market value and pricing too high:

Importance of price

 

 

I Want to Sell My House. Don’t I?

Shopper’s remorse. Buyer’s remorse. Seller’s remorse. It could happen. Before you even contact a Realtor, list your house, get it looking in its best condition possible and accommodate showings, make sure you indeed want to sell your home! 

Once in a while, once an offer arrives, a seller(s) decides that he or she (or they) no longer want to sell.  Why list your home if you do not want to move or sell? On the flip side, if you are a buyer, why start looking at properties before you even know if you are approved for a loan, let alone for how much?

I am not one to waste anyone’s time, and with that being said, I respect people’s time, money and efforts. When I spend time, money and our efforts doing my job (bringing buyers/offers for our seller) when people haven’t made sure they indeed want to buy or sell, or finding buyers homes that they ultimately learn they can’t afford, it hurts. That isn’t how I work.
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