Spring, is traditionally, the best time to buy or sell real estate, even through the downturn. Al Heavens from The Philadelphia Inquirer writes about how to set the stage for a home sale. For sellers, it is time for real estate theater; the house is the star. “The cast includes agents and brokers, home inspectors, title people, mortgage companies, lenders, underwriters and, obviously, buyers.” Some sellers are very hands on, while others do not want to bother with the day to day. Paul Leiser of Avalon Real Estate in New Jersey said he believes that the internet has empowered the sellers and buyers. Realtors are dealing with more informed involvement on both buyers and sellers, so confrontation can be minimized if an agent keeps the seller informed. Sellers seem open to agent’s suggestions, the home staging will be up to the owner rather than the agent. The seller who thinks he or she knows all may end up disappointed and a house that sells for less. The house should be available for showings but at no point should the seller enter into conversation with potential buyers, the agents, appraiser, or home inspector. The job of the agent is to educate the buyer and seller on the present climate and conditions.
Leader-Telegram publishes can article about how the location of cracks can reveal what is happening to your foundation. Wall cracks appear as the result of overloading, settlement or heaving, which may give you information on what is going on with the foundation. Vertical cracks are often caused by “settlement of the home, soil compacting and soil washing away under the footings.” This occurs when an upward force is next to a downward force, while angle cracks occur when the up force and down force offset each other. This can appear when there is a difference in the soil under the house from one another, which causes the soil to push up. Horizontal cracks can be caused by pressure from the outside, which can be attributed to pressure against the wall, improper backfilling, and surface problems. “Skrinkage cracks appear on the foundationwalls as part of the curing process. These cracks can appear because there was too much moisture in the concrete when it set.” This could be caused by mortar set in cold weather that froze and later expanded before having a chance to cure.