Saturday, August 21, 2010

Common Sense Home Security Do’s and Don’ts

Your home is an important financial asset. But more than that, it’s the center of your family’s life. It’s a place where you find shelter and should feel safe. Unfortunately no matter where you live break-ins can occur. According to recent FBI data a burglary occurs every 14 seconds. For residential burglaries, 63% involve forcible entry, more than half occur during daylight hours. These are frightening statistics, but here are a couple of steps you can take to minimize your chances of becoming a victim.


• Protect you doors. Statistics show that 80% of all break-ins are through a door.

• Keep your doors visible and well lit.

• Install dead bolt locks. Simple door locks are easy to get past.

• Purchase a timer that will automatically turn your lights on and off when you’re away.

• Have your mail and paper delivery stopped if you will be out of town for an extended period of time.

• If you see a strange vehicle on your street, jot down the license plate number.

• Keep important papers in a safe deposit box.

• Mark all your electronic equipment with a permanent etching of your name and address. This helps identify property and makes it harder for a thief to sell.


• Hide a spare key in the mailbox, over the doorway or under the mat. These are the first places a thief will look.

• Leave a note on the door, saying that you’re gone. You don’t want to announce to the world that your house is empty for the weekend.

• Keep a lot of cash in your house.

• Enter the house if you arrive home and see any signs of a break-in. Call the police and let them go inside first.

For the ultimate in home security, you may want to consider an electronic security system. As a Realtor® I am seeing more and more homeowners install electronic systems they all commit to me that it has defiantly made them feel more at ease about there family’s safety. Also keep in mind that when selling your home a security system can be a valuable amenity. These systems typically include a combination of door and window censors, motion censors and smoke detectors. The cost of an electronic system will vary with how extensive a system you install. With a monitored electronic system you have the assurance that someone is watching your home at all times. No matter what kind of system you chose remember to keep it activated during the day, when most break-ins occur.

An investment in a home security system may earn you a discount on your homeowners insurance. You should contact your insurance agent for more information.

The above information should be used as an informational tool only.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How To Make Home Buyers Hate Your Home

Through the years home buyers have made comments to me about what they like and dislike about homes they view. In this article I decided to share some of their dislikes.


House odors are number one on the home selling no-no list. Odors from cigarette smoke and pets take top billing, with mildew not far behind.

• Dogs that meet you at the door or in the driveway

Being a pet lover myself this comment always hits close to home. Dogs frighten some people and irritate others. You’ll have a much better response from showings if you control your pets–dogs, cats, whatever. Some sellers attempt to place the pet in a bedroom or garage and then ask people not to open the door into that area. This is a bad idea, would you buy a house you can’t inspect. Remove pets during showings if possible. If you can’t remove them then you should place them in crates for their own safety and to get a more positive showing.

Dirty Bathrooms

Grimy bathrooms are an instant turnoff. Scrub them, paint them, and buy a new shower curtain, rugs and towels. Do what it takes to make it shine. If you’re serious about selling your house, the extra work is a must.

Dimly Lit Rooms

Dark homes are a turnoff to most home buyers, so brighten them up. Try some of these hints.
Replace dim light fixtures and add bulbs with the maximum wattage allowed
Install additional light fixtures
Remove heavy drapes to let the sun shine in
Trim tree limbs and bushes that block windows
Repaint rooms that have dark wall colors
Dirty and fogged windows are another buyer turnoff. Clean them inside and out. If possible replace any double-pane windows with broken seals.

A House Full of Busy Wallpaper

Busy wallpaper in every room turns off most buyers, even people who love wallpaper rarely like what you’ve chosen. It’s a personal decorative touch that they want to choose for themselves. It’s the masses you must appeal to when selling your house, so take a hard look at your wallpaper and decide if it should be removed and replaced with paint. Never paint over it, because it will be obvious that you did and buyers know that makes removing it even more difficult.


Roaches, spiders, any insect that shouldn’t be in the house. Get rid of it.

Poor Curb Appeal

You must grab a buyer’s interest from the curb if you want to sell your house for top dollar. I have had home buyers who refused to go into a house with and unkempt yard, or peeling paint. Okay sometimes you can’t afford to paint, but you should still get the yard in tip-top shape.

Gutters with Plants Growing in Them

Some people never clean their gutters, more than once buyers have said to me what else have they not maintained. Gutters that do not have an open flow can cause drainage problems.

Sellers Who Hang Around for Showings

Sellers should leave the house during showings. Home buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors and lingering for a really good look. Buyers are reluctant to give a true opinion of the house when the seller is present. This makes it harder for your REALTOR® to get positive or negative feedback from the buyers. Therefore, the REALTOR® has no way of knowing why they did not like your house it could have been something simple you would be willing to replace or repair, but because you were there they were afraid to offend you.

Most of these issues can be corrected without spending a lot of money. Do it now before your house gets a reputation among buyers as the house that smells, the house with the huge barking dog, or the house where the owners won’t leave buyers alone, once your house gets this reputation your house will be last on the list of the homes buyers want to view.

The statements made above are the opinion of  Deborah Burton Realty, LLC and will not guarantee the sell of your home.