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Don’t Overdo It When Decluttering to Sell Your Home

If you’re preparing your home to sell, you already know that it’s important to
declutter. A clean, tidy space allows potential buyers to see the beauty of
your home and to imagine themselves living there. But there is a fine line
between decluttering and denuding – removing too much can leave your
home looking cold and uninviting. Learn the difference and make sure your
buyers feel “at home” in your property.

Decluttering involves carefully removing excess personal items and décor
to create a clean and appealing space. On the other hand, some home
sellers go too far and end up with sterile rooms that lack any warmth or
personality. Buyers aren’t attracted by stark white walls with minimal
furnishing any more than they are by wall-to-wall clutter. Buyers want a
home with style and energy.

As you prepare for showings, start by removing extra “stuff.” Remove
excess items from tabletops, countertops, shelves, and personal items. You
do want a lived-in feel but allow some empty areas that make rooms look
larger and brighter. Once you’ve removed unnecessary items, strategically
return special décor and the occasional family picture or two.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a balance between decluttering and
maintaining the charm and personality of your home. Your buyers are
searching for a family home, so keep some “family” in the mix.

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Is Your Vacation Rental Ready For Winter Guests?

Owning a vacation rental, like an Airbnb or VRBO home, is a great way to
earn extra income. Much of the year, all these properties need is a way to
manage access and a cleaning service. When winter comes, however, it’s
important to add some extra care – both for the safety of your guests, but
also to keep the home in top condition.

Here is a quick checklist for anyone managing a vacation rental this winter:

· Inspect, Repair, and Maintain Heating Systems – Before
temperatures drop, hire a professional to inspect and adjust heating
systems. Replace filters to increase efficiency.

· Seal Drafts and Insulate – Short term tenants will want to stay warm
and don’t care about your heating bills. An afternoon spent
weatherstripping or caulking can save hundreds of dollars each month.

Also consider adding extra insulation to the attics, walls, or basements to
keep the warm air inside.

· Have Clear Expectations – Leave clear instructions for guests.
Discuss how to protect pipes from freezing, how to report issues if they
arise, and have an emergency contact available at all times. Explain how to
turn off water properly, if necessary, and any other precautions required.

Always make sure you have adequate liability insurance as well. Winter
can cause its own share of challenges for vacation rentals. Proper
preparation and maintenance will ensure your vacation rental is a
money-maker and not a money-pit this winter.