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Decorate Your Patio with Eco-Friendly Furniture Eco-friendly, short for environment friendly, is a practice used on manufacturing and other processes to limit the amount of damage done to the environment compared to traditional methods. However, you can’t simply plop the same furniture indoors as you do outdoors because it is subject to damage from the…
Those of you who suffer from yellow toenails are probably suffering from onchomycosis. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the toenails and causes them to turn yellow, smell, thicken, become brittle or cause other infections such as ingrown toenails. One of the ways you can help treat the fungal infections is using a homemade…
There is no career with more demand than one in the health care industry. It is a field that is growing by the day and offers the best job security. It also pays pretty well. Cashing in on the field by doing medical coding can be a great idea ï¿½ but you need to determine…
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How to Go Green: Patio FurnitureApril 13, 2021
Decorate Your Patio with Eco-Friendly Furniture
Eco-friendly, short for environment friendly, is a practice used on manufacturing and other processes to limit the amount of damage done to the environment compared to traditional methods. However, you can't simply plop the same furniture indoors as you do outdoors because it is subject to damage from the weather. Rather, you need different furniture that is solely suited for all of the things nature may throw at it. Here are some tips on how to go green on the patio and make sure that what you pay for is worth the price.
Polywood is an eco-friendly manufacturer that makes furniture, like lawn chairs and tables, for the patio. The furniture uses recyclables, like plastic milk jugs, along with wood to create a durable, sturdy creation that won't fall apart within a year. In addition, the materials are weather-resistant and the pieces come in six colors so you can add some color to your patio. Polywood furniture is also easy to clean; you only need a bit of soap and water to get any kind of insects or dirt off it. In fact, I bought a Polywood chair for my patio at my apartment. After it rains, it's not uncommon to see a couple of dead bugs on it or spiders crawling on it. Other residue is sometimes left on the chair - such is the toll of being outside twenty four hours a day. Either way, it's simple to clean: just throw some water on it and do a little scrubbing before it's all completely gone. Polywood makes a great choice for its simplicity and eco-friendly furniture choices.
Contrary to popular belief, bamboo is a grass, and one that grows incredibly fast too. It is sturdy, abundant, and can grow even during the most adverse conditions. What's great about bamboo for going green is that you don't have to kill trees, which you would do by purchasing wood, to have it in your house. Using less wood is a good thing because this means less deforestation around the world. Less deforestation means more trees which can do their job: eat up carbon dioxide, a main killer of out atmosphere, and release more oxygen. Bamboo is a great alternative to wood, and unlike what you'd expect, fashionable too!
Teak is also a great addition to your patio if you're planning to go green. Teak materials are generally very weather resistant, using natural oils to make sure that it is not subject to attrition. In addition, teak materials generally are harvested in sustainable growth plantations. This means that they're not damaging forests or contributing to the problem of deforestation. Instead, the process is strictly monitored to make sure that the safety of the environment is the first priority. Similarly, you don't have to worry about any offgassing from teak materials, whereas offgassing is common on most other new materials (think of the fresh new car smell). For these reasons, teak is a valuable option when deciding for eco-friendly patio furniture.
If you're having trouble finding the right green furniture, you can go to sleep at night knowing that, at least, you found durable furniture. If you buy furniture that can last the consistent beatings of weather, you've already gone, somewhat, green. By purchasing durable furniture, this means that it won't have to go to the dump any time soon. This also means that less energy will be used, because it actually costs energy to get rid of a piece of trash. Less energy used means less carbon dioxide and other toxic gases released into the atmosphere. So, don't fret: if you're having trouble, look for durable items to put on your patio as a last resort.
Homemade Herbal Anti-fungal Foot SoakApril 11, 2021
Those of you who suffer from yellow toenails are probably suffering from onchomycosis. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that affects the toenails and causes them to turn yellow, smell, thicken, become brittle or cause other infections such as ingrown toenails. One of the ways you can help treat the fungal infections is using a homemade herbal anti-fungal foot soak that contains herbs with antifungal properties to help kill the fungus and heal the toenails naturally. The ingredients needed to make a homemade herbal anti-fungal foot soak are 10 drops of oregano oil, 15 drops of tea tree oil, 1 cup of aloe juice, 5 drops of cypress oil, 2 drops of geranium oil, 3 cloves of freshly crushed garlic and 1 cup of sea salt.
These natural herbs contain antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties that kill the bacteria and fungus that cause yellow toenails. They also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help nourish and heal the nails as well. The best way to make the homemade herbal anti-fungal foot soak is to pour all the ingredients directly into a footbath with plant of hot water. Make sure the water is not to hot your burn your feet.
You just want the water hot enough to dissolve the ingredients and help cleanse and relax the feet well. Once the footbath is filled with hot water and the herbal ingredients you will have yourself a lovely anti-fungal foot soak to soak your feet. Next place your feet in the foot soak and soak them as long as possible too really help treat the fungal infection underneath the toenails. After the footbath, it is best to pat the feet dry and rub a little bit of tea tree oil on and under the toenail as best as possible to help treat the fungal infections further using a cotton swab.
You can use the antifungal foot soak as often as possible to help treat the fungal infection underneath the toenails. With constant use of this antifungal foot soak, you should begin to notice the toenails clearing up and becoming less yellow, but it will take some time.
I do hope this homemade herbal anti-fungal foot soak helps some of you treat the fungal infection underneath your toenails naturally, read more from here. I know it worked well for my loved ones and we will continue to use this foot soak to treat other possible fungal infections of the foot in the future. I wish you all the best with keeping your feet and nails healthy and strong.
Determine if Medical Coding is a Viable Home CareerApril 10, 2021
There is no career with more demand than one in the health care industry. It is a field that is growing by the day and offers the best job security. It also pays pretty well. Cashing in on the field by doing medical coding can be a great idea ï¿½ but you need to determine if it's a great idea for you. To know more about the medical coding, read here: https://signalhg.com/.
Think about initial investment. To do medical coding from home you need a computer, special software, and telephone systems or other special equipment that an employer usually won't provide.;
Think about taxes. Many medical coders are hired as contractors, which means that the employer doesn't do a thing about taxes. Instead, you will fill out a W-9 and receive a 1099 at tax time. You will pay your own taxes from there and will need to save for it.;
Think about workspace. Most employers will want to inspect your workspace for safety so that they don't get in trouble with OSHA.;
Think about benefits (vacation, sick leave, paid time off). You don't have to be self-employed to be a medical coder, but if you are doing it solo you don't get benefits. Many employers don't offer work at home employees benefits, either.;
Think about training. Before you can land a job doing medical coding, you have to be able to prove you know the Internet well and can use the most common software. The only way to do this is to be trained on it.;
Think about schedules. Most people who do medical coding at home have families. How will you arrange your work schedule, and how will you make sure your family respects the schedule?;
Think about income wait. It can take a while ï¿½ at least a year, according to the Small Business Administration ï¿½ before you can expect to really earn an income. You will need savings in place to help you through the rough patches.
Check with your local library to see if they know about good, inexpensive computer training classes being offered in your area. Many groups even offer free classes. Every bit of training you can prove you have under your belt will help you start earning an income faster.;
Take the time to learn about computer security and to make your workspace safe. Even if you're never inspected by an employer (but you probably will be!) you want to make sure that you have everything in place to be effective and safe.
There are hundreds of advertisements that ask for a large sum of money to get you started in medical coding. Check with the Better Business Bureau before you send out a single penny ï¿½ because this field is growing so fast, there are a lot of scams out there.
Medical Coding and Billing Career Guide
High Tech Institute's Medical Coding Courses
Free Computer Courses from HP
Get Professional Help to Lose Weight When You Have Ulcerative ColitisApril 10, 2021
Dieting when you have ulcerative colitis is very tricky. Because the disease causes frequent bouts of diarrhea, some of which are bloody, you have to be very careful that your body gets all of the nutrients it needs to function properly. Couple that with the restrictive diet that you have to eat to control ulcerative colitis and you have a very challenging situation.
One of the best things you can do when you want to lose weight and you have ulcerative colitis is to take a very high-quality multivitamin. You should tell your health care professional that you want to lose weight and ask her to prescribe you an appropriate vitamin.
You have to make sure that you stay hydrated when you try to lose weight. This is very difficult when you have ulcerative colitis. In addition to drinking at least ten glasses of water, an ulcerative colitis sufferer may need to drink an electrolyte replacement solution when dieting, know more.
Electrolyte replacement solution, such as Pedialyte, can be found in the baby section of most stores. These solutions help to replace many of the electrolytes and other minerals that are lost through diarrhea.
Finding a diet program that is appropriate for you when you suffer from ulcerative colitis can be almost impossible because a lot of diets focus on eating large amounts of vegetables and fiber. Both of these can trigger flare ups in some ulcerative colitis sufferers.
When I wanted to lose weight for the first time after I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, I made an appointment to see a registered dietician. She helped me to plan out meals that would help me lose weight without using any foods or spices that would cause a flare up.
If you are going to do this, you should sit down before your appointment and make a list of all of your trigger foods. This will help the dietician to come up with meal suggestions that don't include those foods. Make sure that you list any spices or seasonings, such as cinnamon, that may cause you to have a flare up. Think about cooking methods too. For example, tell her if stir-fried foods cause you to have a flare up.
It is also important to tell her about all of the medicines you are taking. Some medications may react with certain foods and you definitely do not want to put your treatment plan in jeopardy in order to lose weight.
You should follow a good exercise program when you are trying to lose weight. Exercise is a wonderful way to help you to lose weight and it can also help you to better manage the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Exercise helps all of the systems in your body to work as efficiently as possible.
Lastly, a note of caution. You should avoid any fad diets or quick weight loss programs when you have ulcerative colitis. These can prove to be deadly if your body doesn't get what it needs to function properly. A lack of necessary nutrients can cause a person with ulcerative colitis to become very sick very quickly.
Use caution and be vigilant about your health when you try to lose weight if you have ulcerative colitis.
Lowering High Blood PressureApril 6, 2021
Lowering high blood pressure should be a priority for everyone who has it because left untreated it can lead to very serious medical conditions and premature death. Specifically, high blood pressure can cause coronary heart disease, kidney damage, harm vision, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Unfortunately, many people who have high blood pressure don’t know it because there are usually no symptoms. There are a number of controllable lifestyle factors that contribute to this dangerous condition; controlling these can help in lowering high blood pressure of those who have it and help those who don’t to prevent it.
Facts About Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is a function of the amount of blood that a heart pumps and the resistance to blood flow from arteries -- which varies with the size and condition of the arteries. When arteries lose their elasticity and become narrow, high blood pressure results, find out more.
Blood pressure is measured in terms of millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) when your heart beats (systolic pressure) and is at rest between beats (diastolic pressure) and is categorized as follows:
- Normal BP – under 120/80 mm Hg
- Prehypertension -- either a systolic pressure from 120-139 mm Hg or a diastolic pressure of 80-89 mm Hg
- Stage 1 Hypertension – systolic 140-159 mm Hg or diastolic 90-99 mm Hg
- Stage 2 Hypertension – systolic pressure greater than 160 mm Hg or a diastolic reading of 100 mm Hg or higher
More than 90% of high blood pressure conditions in adults have no identifiable cause and develop gradually over a number of years (primary or essential hypertension). Five to ten percent of high blood pressure cases result from another underlying condition and can arise suddenly (secondary hypertension). Causes of secondary hypertension include certain medications, some illegal drugs, some congenital heart defects, adrenal gland tumors, and kidney conditions.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a number of complications that can result from uncontrolled high blood pressure, including:
- Damage to the arteries resulting in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
- Aneurism or a weakening and bulging of blood vessels. Aneurisms can rupture and lead to death.
- Heart failure resulting from the thickening of the heart muscle trying to pump blood against the high pressure in the blood vessels.
- A blocked or ruptured blood vessel in the brain leading to a stroke.
- Weakened or narrowed blood vessels in the kidneys, preventing them from functioning properly.
- Damage to blood vessels in the eyes which could lead to the loss of vision.
- Trouble with memory or understanding. The abilities to think, remember and learn can affected by high blood pressure.
Knowledge of these serious potential complications should motivate people to reduce high blood pressure if they have it and to prevent getting it if their blood pressure is acceptable now.
Factors Contributing to High Blood Pressure
Age, race and family history are risk factors for high blood pressure that people can’t control. The incidence of high blood pressure increases with age and is higher among black people and those with a family history of it.
However, there are many risk factors for high blood pressure that people can control by changing their behavior. These include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Being physically inactive
- Too much salt or sodium in the diet
- Not enough vitamin D in the diet
- Not enough potassium in the diet
- Consuming too much alcohol
- High levels of stress
Strategies to Lower High Blood Pressure
One should always comply with the advice received from a physician and take any blood-pressure-lowering medications prescribed. In addition to listening to one’s doctor, lifestyle changes can help in lowering high blood pressure. The following are some of the recommendations of the Mayo Clinic:
- Eat healthier foods. Adopt the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet which focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and low levels of saturated and total fat.
- Decrease sodium intake. Limiting sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day will help lower high blood pressure.
- Lose weight if overweight or obese.
- Engage in regular physical activity – at least 30 minutes per day.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Consume no more than one drink a day if a woman and no more than two drinks a day if you’re a man (one drink daily if a man over 65).
- Don’t smoke or stop if you do. Tobacco use accelerates the process of hardening of the arteries. Get whatever help you need to quit.
- Reduce stress. Get sufficient sleep and practice relaxation and deep breathing techniques.
Reducing High Blood Pressure Saves Lives
Lowering high blood pressure can help a person avoid the serious possible complications it can cause, including premature death. There are numerous lifestyle behaviors that can help manage hypertension and even affect the risk of getting high blood pressure in the first place. Adopting a healthy diet, decreasing sodium intake, increasing physical activity, achieving a healthy weight, managing stress effectively, and not abusing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs are life-saving strategies if they become firm habits.
Teeth Whitening by LaserApril 5, 2021
Today, more and more procedures are done quicker and more efficiently by using a laser. Among the procedures now done via laser is that of teeth whitening.
While most people are familiar with bleaching teeth, not many people know you can have your teeth whitened by using lasers. This is ideal for those that like the efficiency of lasers and can't stand the pain that comes with going to the dentist. One of the top reasons people choose to have their teeth whitened by using lasers is the fact that you don't have the waiting period to see results that often comes with bleaching or whitening strips.
After just a single treatment, you will see that your teeth have become whiter. The speedier results are in themselves are having people put down their whitening strips and turning to laser treatment. If you have an impromptu presentation to give, this may be your most effective method of whitening your teeth, look at more info.
The process isn't as complex. The first step in laser treatment is having your teeth cleaned by a professional. It is vital to get rid of any plaque or other bacteria present on your teeth before having the procedure done. The end results depend largely on how clean your teeth are before undergoing the laser treatment. After the teeth are cleaned, a whitening gel is then applied to them. After this painless application, you will then be prepared to have the laser treatment done. The laser then comes into play as it quickens the job the gel is placed on to do. Without it, the gel would take much, much longer to get into the cracks of your teeth. However, with the laser, the gel is agitated and can begin doing its job almost immediately. For teeth that are discolored quite severely, it will take more than one treatment to get teeth the color you desire. If this is the case, your dentist will simply ask you to return for another session. However, this is for extreme cases only, and for those with only a mild case of discoloration in the teeth, a single session should do the trick.
Laser whitening does have its drawbacks however. For example, the price you are paying for the convenience is more expensive than other teeth whitening procedures. These prices vary on the number of procedures as well as the doctor performing them. For this reason it is best to compare prices before having the treatment done. In the long run, it is best to save up money and have it done. The amount of money most people spend on whitening process over a few years time would equal that of this same procedure, so that is something to keep in mind before being scares off by the price.
London Transport Museum: Two Hundred Years of Transport History in the CapitalApril 3, 2021
London has had a series of transport museums since the 1920s. At first it was the London General Omnibus Company (LGOC) that preserved a number of Victorian vehicles. Then, in the 1960s, the Museum of British Transport opened in south-west London in an old bus depot. This subsequently became the London Transport Collection in 1973.
Flower Market - Home to London's Transport Museum
The collection moved again, in 1980, to London's old Flower Market in Covent Garden and became known as London Transport Museum in 2002. The museum welcomes more than 200,000 visitors per year and hopes to become the capital's most popular attraction, find more about this.
The museum holds more than 375,000 items from posters and original artworks, uniforms, cap badges, photographs, maps and engineering drawings to a sedan chair, bicycles, road vehicles, steam locomotives and complete Tube trains. The collection reflects all aspects of public transport in London from 1800 to the present day and is the most comprehensive collection in the world. Every method of transport is covered from walking and cycling, taxes and river transport to trams, buses, the Underground and Overground. The museum is currently showing The art of the poster, an exhibition featuring 60 posters, original art work and artists' materials, which will be on show until 31st March 2009.
Highlights of the Exhibition
The museum displays 25 vehicles at Covent Garden including a sedan chair, dating from 1780. These enclosed chairs, carried by two men, could be hired for short journeys around the city. The chairs were numbered and licensed and were usually hired by London's wealthy.
One of the largest items on display is a Metropolitan Railway A Class steam locomotive dating from 1866. This is the museum's oldest engine and was used on the world's first underground railway, the Metropolitan Railway, which brought commuters from north-west London to the centre of town.
Also on display is a Stephenson horse drawn tram dating from 1884. London didn't get horse drawn trams until 1870 although they were well established in New York by the 1840s. Trams were much larger than their predecessors, the horse bus, and brought mass mobility to the suburbs. The tram on display, "No. 284", manufactured by the New York tram builder John Stephenson & Co., was imported from the USA in 1884. Trams went out of service in around 1905 and this vehicle was discovered on a farm, some 70 years later, in use as a hen house! It has now been completely restored by the museum.
Within a few years the B-type bus, the first mass-produced motor bus came into service. Designed by Frank Searle (Chief Engineer of the LGOC) in 1910, these vehicles proved very popular as troop transport on the Western Front during World War I. This particular vehicle was one of the first to be preserved by the LGOC.
Open Days at the Museum Depot at Acton
Some of the museum's vast collection is stored at the Museum Depot at Acton Town, west London. London Transport runs open weekends at the Depot once or twice a year. The next such weekend is scheduled for 7th/8th March 2009 when visitors will be able to see several thousand items from the Museum's collection as well as current preservation projects.
LTM offers a comprehensive programme of public events for children and adults. Full details of opening times, admissions policy and all public events and open weekends can be obtained from the London Transport Museum.
How to Use Aromatherapy for Stress ReliefApril 1, 2021
How is aromatherapy a useful therapy for stress relief? Essential oils contain compounds known as volatile oils. These phytochemicals are responsible for the unique aroma profiles of the plants that the different essential oils are derived from. When the aroma molecules are picked up by the olfactory nerves the smell is transmitted to the brain and a reaction is triggered. They also enter into the bloodstream through the process of inhalation, effecting the nervous system and body tissue.
In this way essential oil blends can help to put the nervous system at ease and improve mental well-being. Which essential oils are the most useful for relieving stress? What are the different ways to use aromatherapy for stress relief?
Essential Oil Blends to Create a Serene Atmosphere
One popular and straightforward way to use aromatherapy for stress is inhalation. It is possible to enjoy the stress relieving benefits of essential oils simply by placing one drop on a cloth, tissue, or cotton ball and breathing in the aroma. To create a relaxing environment you can diffuse the scent molecules into the air using one of the many available types of essential oils diffusers. Follow the instructions for the specific diffuser and remain nearby inhaling and enjoying for no more than twenty minutes at a time. To know more about the aromatherapy, read here: www.laweekly.com/magnesium-breakthrough-reviews-best-stress-killer-supplement/.
While not as powerful as a nebulizer of electric diffuser it is also possible to use aromatherapy to ease tension and stress by placing three drops in a bowl of warm water to diffuse the scent. A spray bottle can also be used to freshen the air and improve mood at the same time; use five drops of an essential oil or blend for every four ounces of water.
The following are great essential oils blends for stress relief:
- Clary sage
Aromatherapy Stress Relief Bath Recipes
Another incredibly relaxing way to enjoy the stress relieving benefits of aromatherapy is to bathe with essential oils. The warm water serves to ease tension. With the addition of essential oils a bath becomes a therapeutic experience. To do this first draw your bath water. Before getting in add eight drops of your essential oils to a carrier substance, then add to the water. This can be a cup of milk or water, a tablespoon of almond, jojoba, olive, or avocado oil, or a cup of sea salt and/or epsom salts.
Try any of the following recipes for a stress relief aromatherapy bath:
- 1/2 cup epsom salts
- 1/2 cup sea salt
- 4 drops of neroli essential oil
- 4 drops of rose essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil
- 4 drops of linden essential oil
- 4 drops of helichrysum essential oil
- 1 cup of milk
- 4 drops frankincense essential oil
- 2 drops of sandalwood essential oil
- 2 drops of lavender essential oil
How to Use Essential Oils for Tension-Relieving Massage
Massage is in itself a therapy for stress relief. Aromatherapy oils can add their own healing properties for stressed nerves and tense muscles. To make a massage oil blend fifteen drops, trying one of the essential oil blends listed above if desired, with one ounce of a carrier oil, such as sweet almond or grape seed oil. Rub into the skin in a circular motion.
The Benefits of Using Aromatherapy for Stress
Why use aromatherapy for stress? How effective is this natural therapy? How safe is it? Essential oils can assist the process of relaxation. They do effect both the mind and body, but the impact is subtle and gentle. While aromatherapy is a wonderful natural method for easing stress and tension it is also important to address factors that contribute to stress.
Essential oils are highly concentrated extractions from plants. They are safe but should only be used in very small amounts and they are not intended to be ingested. Talk to your doctor before using aromatherapy if you are pregnant.
Telescope Types for Astronomy: Reflecting Telescopes and Refracting TelescopesMarch 31, 2021
Refracting telescopes use a lens as their primary optical element. When the light rays from a star hit the primary convex lens, they converge or focus to a point - called the focal point. Placing the eyepiece at this focal point will magnify and focus the image. The larger the diameter of the primary lens, the better resolving and light gathering power the telescope will have.
For a given diameter, high quality refractors produce better image quality than reflectors, but there is a price. A high quality lens must be optically perfect on the front surface, interior, and back surface. A mirror on the other hand only needs to be optically perfect on the front surface. Therefore refractors are more expensive than reflecting telescopes of the same diameter. There are also many small cheap refracting telescopes on the market with poor optical quality lenses.
Reflecting telescopes use a mirror as their primary optical element. Light rays reflected off a concave mirror will converge or focus to a focal point. Placing the eyepiece, eye, and the attached rest of the astronomer at this point will cause the obvious problem of blocking the light from the star being observed. However for extremely large research telescopes, four or more meters in diameter, only a small fraction of the total light is blocked. On these large research telescopes, this configuration can be used and is called the prime focus.
For smaller telescopes a way must be found to place the eyepiece and observer out of the incoming light path of the telescope. Many ways have been found to do this, but the most common are the Newtonian and Cassegrain designs.
The Newtonian reflecting telescope, devised by Isaac Newton, uses a small flat secondary mirror placed just before the focal point. This secondary mirror is tilted at a 45 degree angle so the eyepiece can be placed outside the incoming light path at the top of the tube. Newtonian reflectors have the advantage of the lowest cost for a given diameter and quality. They can however be bulky. While having the eyepiece at the top is no problem for small telescopes, it is inconvenient for larger instruments.
Most large astronomical telescopes are therefore Cassegrain reflectors. A Cassegrain reflector uses a small convex secondary mirror placed before the focal point. The secondary mirror reflects the light through a small hole in the center of the primary mirror. The focal point and eyepiece can then be at the bottom of the telescope, which is more easily reached in the case of a large telescope, read more from here.
Catadioptric telescopes, such as Schmidt Cassegrain telescopes, employ both a lens and mirror. In simple terms they are Cassegrain reflectors with an additional lens, often called a correcting plate, placed in the light path before the light strikes the primary mirror. The correcting plate improves the image quality, so these telescopes have very good quality images. They are also more compact that Newtonian reflectors of the same diameter. They cost more than Newtonians but less than refractors of the same diameter and quality.
How to Sell My Home or Williamsburg Condo in 5 Easy StepsMarch 30, 2021
Step One: Hire A Broker, or Sell Your House By Yourself; What's the Best Choice?
There is no "right" choice when it comes to deciding whether to use a broker to sell your house. Ultimately, what you choose will depend on the amount of time and resources you have to devote to selling your house. There are many factors to take into account when making this decision.
If you decide to sell your house yourself, you will need to be prepared to spend a sizeable amount of time researching the market in your area and what prices homes similar to yours are selling for. You will also need to handle all of the advertising of your home yourself, and set aside a budget for doing so. You will want to advertise your home in as many venues as possible to attract the maximum amount of potential buyers; look into popular online listing sites in your area as well as the local newspaper, periodicals, and real estate specific listing magazines. You will also need to plan your schedule to include showing your house to potential buyers; it is important that you factor the cost of time off of work for showings and your advertising budget in your consideration of whether or not to hire a broker.
Another important factor in deciding whether or not to hire a broker is the time frame within which you need to sell your house. If you have already purchased another home and are currently making mortgage payments on both properties, time is most likely of the essence to you; a broker may be a good choice to expedite the selling process. A broker will already have clients they are working with they can bring to your house, and they are already familiar and experienced selling houses in your local market, so they will probably be able to sell your house quicker than you will be able to on your own. You will also sign a contract with your broker that gives them a period of time in which to sell your house; if your house is not sold by the end of that period, you can terminate your relationship with the broker, giving them a great deal of motivation to sell your house before the end of the contract.
Using a broker often makes the process much easier as they have a lot of experience and can walk you through the entire process up until the closing. There is a lot to do, so think about it carefully if you want to do all of that yourself. Of course, it costs usually 5-6% of the sale price to hire a broker so you have to consider that. A broker may get you a better price too, so this is something is a plus. Why is that? Negotiating directly with a buyer can put you at a serious disadvantage so you need to think through whether you want to "show your cards" directly to a buyer. Brokers know what information to share and should know how to negotiate for you. Savvy buyers look for For Sale by Owner Listings (FSBO listings) because they feel that they can get a better price, so beware.
If you do decide to hire a broker, you will want to be sure you are hiring the best possible one who will be able to facilitate your home sale quickly and easily. Ask family, friends, and neighbors who have sold their homes for recommendations. Ask potential brokers how many homes they have sold in your area, how they plan to market your home to potential buyers, and what services they are offering you for your money.
Step Two: What Price Should You Sell For?
Choosing the right price to list your home for sale at is one of the most important factors in selling your house. If you overprice your home, it will likely sit on the market too long, and as time passes interest in your house will lessen. If you price at or below market value, you will often receive multiple offers, allowing you to negotiate with interested buyers to get a better price.
The most important tool for pricing your home is looking at comparable home sales and listings in your area. If you are using a broker, they will present a list of comparable properties in your market that have sold recently and their listing and selling price so you can get a good idea of how to price your home best. Your broker can advise you based on their knowledge of the market on the best listing price for your home.
If you are selling your house yourself, you will need to research what prices homes similar to yours are listed at and what prices homes similar to yours have sold for in the past 6 months. The Internet is an invaluable resource for this research. Websites like keysagentmichael.com (not available in all areas), trulia.com, zillow.com, and streeteasy.com will show you homes in your neighborhood that have sold recently and the price they sold at. You can also look at local real estate listing websites, newspapers, and real estate listing periodicals to help you figure out what price to list your home for sale at. Take notice of how many days homes were on the market before they sold and what price they ultimately sold at. You should also visit other homes in your neighborhood for sale and consider how they compare to yours and how you can make your home more desirable than these listings. Choosing a price that is consistent with the price homes that are similar to yours in terms of size, amenities, and location will make your home an attractive one for home-buyers and prevent your house from sitting on the market for too long.
Step Three: Preparing Your Home for a Quick Sale: A Little Work Goes a Long Way
Imagine you are a potential buyer walking into your home. What are the first things you notice? You want potential buyers to be able to imagine themselves living in your house, and not be distracted by clutter, mess, or things in need of repair in your home.
Go through your house and remove clutter. This will make your house look bigger and more attractive to buyers. Store away excessive knick-knack, photos, books, magazines, etc. Make sure your counter spaces are clear of clutter. Think of this as a head start on packing!
It is also crucial that your home be clean and tidy for all showings. Wash windows, clean out your refrigerator, dust, vacuum, thoroughly clean all bathrooms, wax and mop wood floors, and organize your closets and cabinets. Equally important is your home's curb appeal; wash down your sidewalks and walkways, tidy up your front and back yard, and make sure your house looks attractive as soon as buyers pull up in front of it.
Make your home as inviting as possible for potential buyers; consider the layout of your furniture and color of your walls; you may love your neon green living room, but a potential buyer may not feel the same way. Make sure your home is free of any unpleasant odors; consider purchasing plug in air-fresheners to keep all your rooms smelling great throughout the showing process.
You will also want to make any minor repairs that are needed, such as patching any holes in your walls, fixing leaky faucets, and replacing light bulbs. You want buyers to feel that your house is in good condition and has been taken good care of.
Step Four: Why You Need a Lawyer
Unlike the decision to use a broker, a competent real estate attorney is a must for selling your house. For most people buying and selling a home will be one of the biggest and most important transactions you ever make; certainly a transaction worth having an attorney assist you with. After you find a buyer for your home, there are many things that must be done before closing; home inspection, appraisal, contract negotiations, title transfer, disclosures, etc (we will go over all the steps from offer to closing in the next section of this guide). You will want an experienced attorney by your side to make sure all of these processes go smoothly, and to prevent any issues from arising. The person buying your home will most likely have an attorney working for them, and you do not want to be the only person in the transaction without an attorney on your side.
Your attorney will help negotiate the terms of the sale with the buyer, and be able to examine all legal documents and make sure there are no terms that are disadvantageous to you. They will be able to explain all the legal terminology and legal issues that are involved with the paperwork and documents for selling your house. Many real estate attorneys charge a flat fee for handling the sale of your house, keeping your expenses down.
When it comes to finding a good attorney, the first thing you will want to check is that they are licensed and in good standing. Ask questions about their experience, and make sure they specialize in real estate law. Ask friends and family for recommendations of good real estate attorneys in your area.
Step Five: You Have a Buyer, Now What?
Once a buyer has made an offer on your home that you accept, your attorney and their attorney will negotiate the final details of and prepare the purchase agreement. This will include the legal description of your property, the amount of "earnest deposit" the buyer will be depositing into escrow, the sale price of your home, the size of down payment to be made and how the remainder of the purchase price will be financed, the proposed closing and occupancy dates, contingencies such as attorney review, home inspection, and appraisal, and a breakdown of who will pay what closing costs. As we have already reviewed, having an attorney is crucial for these negotiations.
If a home inspection or home appraisal is a contingency included in your purchase agreement, these will need to be scheduled and conducted before the final closing date.
At the closing, typically you, the seller, your attorney, the buyer, the buyer's attorney, a closing agent from either the lending or title company, and your real estate broker (if you have one) will be present. At the closing your attorney will go over all the closing documents with you and walk you through signing all the necessary paperwork. All closing and escrow fees will be paid and properly distributed. At the end of the closing, congratulations! Your house is formally and officially sold!
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