Local Bermuda was born out of our love for our homes, love for our community and a desire to keep us connected together. In line with our mission, we have reached out to local businesses and asked them to share their thoughts on various subjects with you. Today, we are pleased to introduce to you a new guest contributor to our blog, Heather Chilvers. Heather’s post highlights tips for prepraring our homes in Bermuda for buying or selling while on lockdown.
Heather is amongst Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s. leading Sales Agents. She has over 30 years, experience in Real Estate. If you have a question for Heather, please contact her at email@example.com or 332 1793. All questions will be treated confidentially. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram. Welcome Heather and thank you for your contributions!
– Happy Reading Bermuda
Best Tips on How to Prepare your Homes in Bermuda During the Lockdown
Here’s how to spruce up your homes in Bermuda to sell post-coronavirus, and what to do if you were hoping to buy or sell after lockdown.
Whether you planned to buy your first home or sell your old one, it will have been put on hold by the coronavirus, leaving you with the feeling that there’s nothing you can do except sit and wait…
However, people with unexpected time on their hands can take practical steps now that will save valuable time and effort when life returns to something closer to normality — and your time is once again in short supply.
Here is my useful checklist:
Top Tips for Buyers
1. Go virtural
You may not be able to physically view homes here in Bermuda right noow. But an online search is a valuable research. Even if you are a buyer, it sometimes pays to work with one good Agent (they can show you everything), as they can get a good idea of your needs. And if something comes up they think you might like, they can often give you a heads up before it hits the market.
Real Estate Agents have traditionally put pictures online to give you an idea of what a house is like before you view it. Moving forward, you are going to see this changing to more virtual tours of both the interior and exterior. This is so that you can get an idea of the layout of the property and how you could make it work for you. Most people in Bermuda are familiar with neighborhood’s. However, if you see a house and you like the look of, it has always paid to do a ‘drive-by’ to see what the neighborhood is like particularly in evenings and weekends. On lockdown, of course, that isn’t possible, contact your Agent for the address (not always put online for privacy reasons). Perhaps a google search might give you an idea of the location
2. Learn to read a floorplan
Top Agents are going to supply a floor plan as part of their marketing package, and you may not be used to reading these. If square footage doesn’t mean that much to you, measure your existing rooms at home so that you have a good idea of whether it will be bigger or smaller than the space you currently have.
3. Get preapproved
The banks are still working mostly virtually from home, and, they are still processing preapprovals. Call your loan officer, to find out what paperwork is needed to get you qualified and preapproved for a home purchase. Paperwork is likely to take longer under the current circumstances. Plus as we come out of lockdown, sellers will probably request that buyers that view their properties have proper preapproval letters already in place, for safety reasons.
Top Tips for Sellers
1. Finish any DIY jobs
Hardware shops are on the Government’s list of permitted retail outlets, even if it’s only for curbside pickups. So, use this time to sort your Bermuda homes. Replace broken tiles, paint the scuff marks, wash windows, paint over watermarks on ceilings, clean the carpets, fix or replace that leaking faucet, etc.
2. Sort out indoors
Declutter every room and place flowers and pot plants where they will be noticed by a virtual viewer. Put away personal photographs and keep spaces as clear and ‘stuff free’ as possible. Most buyers like to imagine their belongings in a house, which is almost impossible if it’s full of yours. You are going to have to sort it when you move in any event. So why not use the time and do it now? Contact me for a list of things you can get started on if you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. It’s quite easy once you get going.
3. Sort out your garden
If you have a garden, make it look good. Wash down patios, fill planters, mow the lawn, take away the rubbish, mend and paint the fence. Box up or bin the contents of the loft, garage, or garden shed. Go through all those boxes of old photographs and papers. This stuff takes hours — and you do not normally have the time.
4. Offer video tours of your Bermuda Homes
Become a video star. As stated above Agents are one step ahead of the competition if they offer video tours. Usually, your Agent would do this for you. However, during lockdown, it might be the seller that has to produce walk-through videos of their home (even on a cell phone, it can be good enough at the moment). This can be viewed by prospective buyers from the safety of their own four walls. These tours give a good opportunity to ‘window shop’ while stuck at home. Keep it fairly short, no longer than 2 minutes if possible.
5. Tackle those exterior projects
First impressions count. Paint or varnish your front door. Paint shops are open for pre-order curbside pickups. Clean windows and shutters, tidy up the driveways and hedges, think ‘Curb Appeal’. If I was driving by this house for the first time, would I like what I saw from the road? Sometimes it pays to take a candid photograph. Details that are not always obvious to the human eye, because you are used to it, become very real when caught on camera. There is going to be a rush on painter-decorators when all this chaos is over. So whilst they may not be able to come to you right now, you can certainly get an approximate quote and get the job booked in.
Local Bermuda is about the Bermudian way. If you would like to contribute a story to be shared on our blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a request here and we’ll reach out to you. Stay safe everyone!