5 Home Maintenance Tips to Save you from Repair Headaches

 

  

Homeownership is great; especially in Northern Itasca County.  Having a place to call your own is what we dream about but what they don’t tell us is that along with having a nice home comes the maintenance piece.  While there are professionals that can handle the more detailed issues that might arise, there are some things that you can do to keep your Itasca County home or cabin in tip-top shape and avoid having to bring in the professional.  Here is a list of my top 5 maintenance tips to help to avoid repair headaches:

 

  • Air Filters:  Check your air filters monthly.  Did you know that when you change your air filters regularly as needed, you can cut your energy bill by as much as 5-15% annually?  This is certainly an easy way to not only cut energy bills but also a much needed maintenance piece for furnaces and AC units. 
  • Have your AC unit tuned-up:  With spring making its appearance, summer is not far behind.  To keep you cool this summer, schedule an AC tune-up early.  It’s better to have your unit is top condition before the heat of summer arrives and the technicians are too busy to get to you quickly.   
  • Check your Roof:  As winter finally gives way to Spring weather, the snow is melting and you can see your roof.  Spring is the best time to check your roof.  Look for broken or warped shingles or damage to a metal roof.  Having shingles repaired early will save you from water damage on the interior of your home later.  
  • Clean Your Gutters:  While you’re up on your ladder checking the roof, take a peek at your gutters.  Nobody likes cleaning out gutters, at least nobody I know.  But damaged or clogged gutters can damage your roof or force you have replacement gutters put up.  Do yourself a favor, clean them up and keep them happy.  
  • Clean your refrigerator coils: Here’s one that most people do not think about.  All kinds of grease, dust, and dirt can build up on the coils behind your refrigerator.  That makes it not only inefficient, it can be dangerous as well.  It’s very simple to clean them off.  Just unplug the frig, pull it away from the wall and use your  vacuum cleaner’s brush attachment to work the build-up away gently.  Don’t force it.  Then use a cloth to wipe away anything that the vacuum missed.  Piece of cake!  

 

Follow these 5 tips to help get ahead of any costly repairs.  Fishing opener is approaching quickly so why not get the house in order before putting that boat in one of the 1000’s of beautiful lakes Itasca County has to offer?  

Sellers: This will most likely happen

Listing your home for sale in Itasca County, MN this year?  Your Realtor has probably talked to you about listing contracts, inspections, staging your home, and all of the normal Realtor stuff.  But, did he or she tell you what to expect once your home is live on the MLS and all over the Internet?  At Edge of the Wilderness Lakes & Homes Realty, we want to ensure you know what’s likely to happen before it does.  Communication is key! As Noble prize winner George Bernard Shaw said “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. At Edge of the Wilderness, we love communicating with our clients. That is why we want you to  know ahead of time what might happen so you can prepare.  Here’s a quick list of what to expect:

 

  • Expect lowball offers; at least it is a starting point
  • Other Agents will miss showing appointments and not call
  • Some showings will last 5 minutes and others will last 2 hours
  • Showing appointments will be made and cancelled at the last minute
  • There will be a day when I call you and say someone wants to see your house and you will ask me “when” and I will say “pull back the curtains, they are sitting in your driveway”
  • I will call you 3 minutes before your scheduled showing and cancel.  
  • Other Agents are going to knock on your door or even drive by and see you in the yard and ask if they can see your house.  (If this happens, call me!!)
  • You may not get feedback from every showing.
  • Some buyers will ask for everything including your dock, lawnmower, and even great grandma’s kitchen hutch.
  • The closing date on your contract will most likely change; it is a guesstimate and subject to many variables
  • You will most likely be asked to have your septic system inspected AND it may not pass
  • Buyers might walk away after the septic inspection, home inspection, or because of financing difficulties.  

 

Your Edge of the Wilderness Lakes & Homes Realtor will work hard to lessen the stress associated with selling your property; we are here to help and get your home sold.  

6 Questions to ask BEFORE hiring a Realtor

When you are ready to sell or purchase property, you’ll want a Realtor to help with the process.  But how do you know which Realtor will be best to work with?  To help you select the best Realtor for your needs, here’s a few questions to ask:

 

  1. What top 3 things separate you from your competition?  Most Realtors are pretty good at selling themselves on how many transactions they’ve completed and how much volume they’ve sold, but what truly separates them from their competition?  Ask what they do to help you buy or sell vs what other agents in the market do.  If you’re selling, you want someone who has a unique and solid market strategy.  If you are buying, you want someone who listens well and can help guide you through from start to finish.
  2. Can you provide me with references from previous clients?  A Realtor should be more than willing to provide you with solid references.  Take some time to give the clients a call and find out how their experience went.  A great Realtor will have no trouble getting this information for you.
  3. How often will I hear from you? How do you like to communicate?  One of the biggest complaints that clients have about working with a Realtor is the lack of communication. To avoid disappointment or frustration, ask your Realtor these questions so you have a better understanding of when and how you will hear from them.  Also let them know the best way to contact you.  With all of the technology available to us today, there are many ways to reach out.  What works best for you?  Text? Email? Or, a good old fashioned phone call.  Set those expectations upfront. 
  4. Who is on your team?  Will I be hearing from people other than you?  Not all Realtor’s have a team, but some do have office help.  It is nice to know if you will be hearing from other people in addition to your Realtor.  At Edge of the Wilderness Realty, we have an AWESOME Office Manager that will reach out to clients to assist with gathering paperwork, setting up showings, and such.  We have a very TEAM focused office so if your Realtor has an emergency or has to go out of town for a few days, rest assured that we have back-up.  It is nice to know that your sale or purchase is handled by a team of folks.  
  5. How long have you been in business?  What’s been your most satisfying sale?  Experience is important but so is success.  A newer Realtor can be a great asset to your real estate transactions because of the energy and enthusiasm.  If you “click” with a new agent, ask about their support network?  Do they have a broker that is available for questions and able to assist if needed?  I’ve been very fortunate during my first year at Edge of the Wilderness Realty to have not one, but three brokers that are available.  Not to mention, a wonderful team of Realtors that brainstorms together, assist each other, and celebrate each other’s success.  Don’t discount the newer agent; they can bring a lot to the table for you.
  6. How can we best work together? Let’s face it, Real Estate transactions are a Team Effort.  A Realtor should be willing to express that by not only telling you what they are going to do for you, but also how you can help.  For sellers it might be better staging your home or improving curb appeal.  For a buyer it will be mean working your lender so you are pre-approved for a mortgage and putting together your list of “must-have’s” in your new home.  

 

About all, when you are choosing a Realtor, you should feel comfortable with them.  You’ll be spending time with this person so that connection is important.