Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 2/11/2019

So, you want to create a command center to enable your family to all be on the same page once in a while. The ideas online are as numerous as they are creative. Your supply list grows along with your doubt; maybe this wasn't such a good idea. As thoughts go, a command center is a great plan when you have several people on different schedules and many activities to attend. A command center doesn't have to be large to be effective. The size all depends on what and for how many people you need to keep track.

What to track

Common things you will see command centers track are:

- Weekly Menus
- Calendar
- Budget/Bills
- Keys/Leashes/Umbrellas
- Chore Lists
- School Bags/Homework
- Quotes

To keep the command center as simple and easy to use, limit the number of things you track to five or six. This way there is a better chance your household will adapt to using this tool and not be overwhelmed. 

Where to set it up

Most of the command center examples show them set up in and around the kitchen area. The kitchen is one place you know everyone in the house will at one time frequent at least once a day, hopefully. Other locations could be a small corner of shared space or even an exposed side of the refrigerator. A mudroom or entryway could work as a more substantial drop zone and command center. Anywhere that you know it will be seen and utilized will work. The key is to make sure the accessibility is appropriate for the entire household, keeping the age of all users in mind. 

How to put it all together

Now that you have a scope of the things you want to incorporate in your command center look around your home and see if there are items you can use before you rush out and start purchasing new things. Old clipboards and corkboards are great for hanging up and controlling papers. Use whiteboards for making menus, tracking chores or writing those inspiring quotes. Even old picture frames with glass can house an updated calendar page, and with a dry erase marker you can create your family calendar. Layout all the pieces on the floor before you hang anything up, that way you can play around with it before you commit.

Visit some open houses this weekend and look for places a command center would be useful. Contact your local realtor for a list of open houses.





Posted by Andrew Abu Realtors on 4/16/2018

Attending an open house is a great way to learn a great deal about a home in a relatively short amount of time. It allows you to see inside the home with your own eyes, enabling you to notice details that are omitted in photos, whether itís a noisy neighborhood or a smelly basement.

Aside from learning about the home, an open house is also an opportunity to help real estate agents learn about you. Being prepared and professional at an open house could set you apart from other, more casual, attendees helping you make a good impression.

Since most of us donít attend open houses on the regular, and since there probably isnít an Open House Etiquette 101 course you can take at your local college, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare for an open house. How should you dress? Should you take notes? Is it rude to take photos? Which questions are welcome and which should be avoided?

In this article, weíll help demystify the open house, leaving you more prepared to leave a positive impression when you go to see what could potentially be your future home.

Appearance

How should you dress when attending an open house? An open house is neither a funeral nor a trip to the beach. The realtor showing the house likely isnít a fashion critic-theyíre there to answer your questions.

In most cases, casual clothing is appropriate. Since youíll be touring the house and yard, however, you might want to avoid heels.

Questions and conversation

An open house is your time to learn all of the relevant facts about a house. Good questions to ask include upgrades to the house, how many offers it has received, and the current ownerís timeline (when they want or need to close by).

There are other topics youíll want to avoid. Donít ask too many personal questions about the sellers. It will make the real estate agent, understandably, uncomfortable. Also be sure not to reveal too many details about yourself. You donít want to mention things like your spending limit as this will remove some of your powers of negotiation.

Itís okay if the furniture and decorations in the home arenít your taste, but itís a bad idea to criticize these items as you tour the house, as you may offend the agent or owners who have decorated.

Being respectful of the owner'sí space

Even though the house is for sale, itís still someoneís home. Itís inadvisable to bring food or drinks without a secure cap into an open house.

We live in a time when everyone photographs and shares everything. But avoid the temptation to take photos when youíre at an open house. Would you want someone going through your home, taking pictures of your valuables, and then sharing them online? Instead, refer back to photos that are available online or from the agent.

When it comes to touring the house, all of the rooms should be viewable. In fact, if thereís a room you canít enter for any reason this should raise a red flag that something is wrong with the home. However, just because you should look in the closets to get an idea of space doesnít mean you should touch or go through the personal belongings of the homeowner.


Follow all of the above open house tips and youíll be sure to leave a good impression.