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Every year, it is a tradition to resolve to make some changes in our lives.  Rather than the same old and trite New Year’s resolutions, consider one of these three to help you this year.

Selling a home this year?

Your resolution is to not overpay real estate commissions.  2019 will be remembered as the year when consumers felt in control of how much they pay when selling a home.  Home sellers have always been able to negotiate real estate commissions.  But agents are increasingly transparent about fees and costs, giving sellers more clout in deciding what’s fair compensation.  Besides negotiating real estate commissions with a traditional real estate agent, there are many other ways to sell a home today.  Look into your options, and do your due diligence.

Have you been putting off repairs?  Make home maintenance your resolution.  If you’ve been deferring maintenance projects, you should know “the cost of doing nothing.”  Putting off those small projects can be costly.  Deferring home maintenance is cumulative over time.  Meaning that the areas or systems that need attention, could affect other areas and systems over time.

Although average home prices have steadily increased since the end of the Great Recession, many home sellers found that years of deferred maintenance can be an impediment to selling a home.  Homes for sale that are in need of repair typically take longer to sell, and usually sell for less than their updated and well-maintained counterparts.

Many home owners and real estate agents believe that years of deferred maintenance can be overcome by only making some repairs, even though most home buyers want turn-key homes.  Making a few updates and minor repairs can improve the appeal of a home.  But unless the all deferred maintenance issues (and updates) are addressed, the home sale price may still be less than what is expected.

Thinking of making your home green?  Make a resolution for a healthy home. A 2017 exposé revealed that green designed and energy efficient homes can be bad for your health.  To explain the potential hazard, Marisa Mendez uses the analogy of opening up the air-tight sealed bag of clothes from the summer and breathing in the odor of stale, plastic air (Breathing Easy: An Introduction to Healthy Homes; remodeling.hw.com; June 22, 2017).  But the green and efficient building trend has moved to make homes healthy environments with an emphasis on good indoor air quality.  Mendez stated that the good indoor air quality can be achieved by continuously exchanging the indoor air with conditioned outdoor air.  There are physical and environmental benefits of a healthy home, which include increased emotional wellbeing and reduced respiratory distress.

Bill Hayward of Hayward Healthy Home has been a leading voice of the healthy home movement.  In a 2016 Builder Magazine interview, he discussed how his own experience transformed his life (Advocating for Fresh Air in Homes; builderonline.com; September 29, 2016).  He started Hayward Healthy Homes after he realized his home made his family ill.  Hayward stated “After my family got sick inside our home, I started researching. Thirty percent of the population has allergies and is physically affected by the indoor air quality. The worst air that Americans breathe right now is the air within their house.”

For more info on creating a healthy home, visit Hayward Healthy Home (haywardhealthyhome.com).

Dan Krell is a Realtor® with RE/MAX Platinum Realty in Bethesda, MD. You can access more information at www.DanKrell.com.

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