Sharon Smith | Fairfax Real Estate


If you’re looking to save more energy and money around your home, perhaps one of the first places that you should look is your plugs. Take a look around your rooms and see what outlets are being used. If every outlet is full of plugs, you may have some adjustments to make. 


There are so many things in our homes that require plugs including TV’s, microwaves, toasters, clocks, refrigerators, phone chargers, and more. 


Anything that is always plugged in actually adds to your electric bill whether you’re using it or not. This is known as phantom power usage. Even when a device isn’t turned on, it’s still using energy.


You don’t want to go around your home and unplug everything, only to plug it back in when you need to use it. Use this handy guide to discover what you should unplug and what you can leave plugged in your home in order to save some energy and some money. 


What To Unplug


Small Appliances


Large appliances in your kitchen would be impractical to constantly plug in and unplug. Smaller appliances, however, are much easier to manage. These include toasters, coffee makers, food processors, and microwaves. The small digital clocks on many of these devices, for example, are constantly using energy. Do you really need the function? If you don’t need to know the time, you should just unplug it and save your home some energy usage. 


Chargers


We need to charge just about all of our devices including laptops, iPads, phones, and even electric toothbrushes. these items don’t need to be plugged in all the time. Once a device is charged fully, be sure to unplug it. It’s only wasting energy otherwise!  


Computers


Unplug your computer each and every night. Screen savers and sleep modes don’t actually save much power from being used while your computer is plugged in. It’s a good idea to keep your computer unplugged for safety reasons as well. A strike of lighting hitting, for example, can cause your entire system to fry.


Keep These Items Plugged In


There are certain items that you can leave plugged in at your home without worry. These items include:


  • Power strips
  • Nondigital items
  • Items without clock or LCD displays




Power strips are particularly useful for items like entertainment centers and computer setups. Flipping the switch to the off position on the power strip helps to stop the phantom power usage. The convenient thing is that you won’t need to plug and unplug everything in individually, and you’ll still save power. 


Saving energy and money is easy when you have the right strategies put in place.



Buying a home is one of those things in life that requires you to take a certain order of steps to complete the process. First, you’ll need to save up some money for a down payment and all of the other costs that go along with buying a home. Next, you’ll take a look at what you can afford and perhaps get pre-qualified. Then, you’ll hire a realtor and begin searching for properties. Finally, you’ll make an offer, sign for the mortgage and close on the home. After that, you’ll probably buy some furniture and paint the walls to make yourself feel at home. 


Would you ever dream of making that big home purchase without actually seeing the property first? One of the most time-consuming parts of the home buying process is that of viewing homes and visiting property after property. 


There are actually many reasons that a buyer might buy a property without seeing it first. With the Internet, it’s fairly easy to get an idea of what a house might be like. Too, if you’re an investor, it’s sometimes worth the gamble to scoop up a property at the right price in order to score a great deal. 


It’s also usually not detrimental to buyers who are trying to get a home in a high competition market to go after places they really love immediately. The early bird does get the worm, right?


Foreclosed Properties 


Properties in distress may be in poor condition, but for the right buyer can be a great deal. Banks want to get rid of these places as soon as possible due to the expenses incurred by keeping them. 


Pre-Construction Properties


Not all properties that are bought sight unseen are fixer uppers. Some properties can be bought in the pre-construction phase. These homes haven’t been built but are already on the market available for purchase. Many times, buying properties this way can be cheaper than buying the new construction home after it’s built. 


The Risks


There are obviously many risks to buying a home sight unseen. First, pictures can be deceiving. You never really know what you’re walking into until you see it. Photographs can easily hide major damage. Until a home is physically inspected, you may not know what the costs will be to repair it. 


The same risks apply to new construction homes. The layout of the home may not be what you’re looking for, or the home may not include the features that you want.


When you do decide to buy a home sight unseen you need to weigh the risk versus the reward in the transaction. It can be a valuable decision, in the long run, to take a chance on buying a home that you haven’t been able to physically inspect.       

 




If you plan to sell your home, you should consider how you can stir up interest in your residence. Because if you know how to promote your house to buyers, there may be no shortage of home showing requests as soon as your residence becomes available.

Ultimately, it is important to give buyers lots of reasons to view your home. If you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers, you could reap the benefits of a quick, profitable house selling experience.

To better understand how to achieve the best-possible home selling results, let's take a look at three tips to help you showcase your residence to buyers.

1. Focus on Curb Appeal

Your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on buyers. Fortunately, if you allocate time and resources to improve your house's curb appeal, you may be able to differentiate your home from other available residences in your city or town. And as a result, you may receive lots of requests to view your home.

To enhance your house's curb appeal, you can mow the lawn, trim the hedges and perform other lawn care tasks. Don't forget to repair or replace any damaged home siding as well.

Remember, the better your home looks to buyers, the more likely it becomes that buyers will want to check out your house in-person. If you prioritize your home's curb appeal, you could make your house an attractive option to dozens of buyers.

2. Craft an Engaging Home Listing

A home listing often represents a great starting point for buyers to learn about your home. Thus, if you craft an engaging home listing, you may be able to transform your house into a must-see residence for buyers.

As you create a home listing, consider your house's features. Include relevant information about any distinct house features in your listing, and you may be able to help your home stand out from other available residences in your city or town.

Provide accurate information in your home listing, too. If you make it simple for buyers to use a listing to learn about your house, you can help these individuals determine if your residence matches their expectations.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

For those who want expert assistance as they promote a home to buyers, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. In fact, if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the house selling journey.

A real estate agent understands how to generate interest in a house. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events, ensuring you likely won't have to wait long before you receive an offer to purchase your residence.

Take advantage of the aforementioned tips, and you can make it easy for buyers to fall in love with your home.



For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:

1. You can determine if a home is right for you.

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.

During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.

Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.

2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.

A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.

You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.

3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.

As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.

Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.



Let's face it – a first-time home seller may encounter many problems as he or she tries to navigate the home selling journey. Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of listing your residence and ensuring you can maximize your house's value.

Now, let's take a look at three common challenges that first-time home sellers might face:

1. You don't know what your home is worth.

What you paid for your house several years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Fortunately, a property appraisal can help you gain the insights you need to better understand your house's current value.

During a property appraisal, a home inspector will evaluate your residence from top to bottom. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that highlights your house's strengths and weaknesses so you can plan potential home improvement projects accordingly.

When it comes to figuring out what your home is worth, don't forget to assess the prices of homes that are currently available too. With this housing market data in hand, you can find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses.

2. You don't know how to enhance your residence's interior and exterior.

Consider the homebuyer's perspective as you examine your house's interior and exterior – you'll be glad you did. This will enable you to think about the best ways to enhance your house and ensure it will dazzle homebuyers consistently.

Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on property buyers. And if you allocate the necessary time to mow the front lawn, trim the hedges and remove dust and debris from walkways, you may be able to boost your house's chances of generating substantial interest from property buyers.

Don't forget to declutter your home's interior, either. By doing so, you can make it simple for property buyers to envision what life would be like if they purchase your residence.

3. You have no idea what it takes to add your house to the real estate market.

Adding a house to the real estate market should be simple, but myriad problems may arise that prevent you from listing your residence and getting the best price for it. However, if you work with a real estate agent, you can avoid any potential pitfalls throughout the home selling journey.

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a house. As such, he or she can serve as an expert guide through each stage of the home selling cycle.

Typically, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open houses, market your house to potential homebuyers and negotiate with property buyers on your behalf. This housing market professional also will be happy to respond to your home selling concerns and queries at any time.

For first-time home sellers, there's no need to panic. Use these tips, and you should have no trouble getting the optimal results during the home selling journey.