8 Things to Ask Your Realtor When Selling Your House

If you have decided to hire a real estate agent to assist you in selling your home, then you have probably made the right decision. A real estate agent can help you with a lot of things when you’re in the process of selling your home and can answer a lot of your questions. These are some of the things that you may want to ask your realtor when you’re preparing to sell your house.

1. Are You Licensed?

It’s always a good idea to check your real estate agent’s credentials first. Make sure that he or she has a state license and has access to the multiple listing service. If you’d like to hire someone who has had plenty of training, you may want to choose a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors.

2. How Many Sales Did You Make Last Year?

Of course, if a real estate agent doesn’t get a lot of sales in a rough year for the real estate market, then it does not mean that he or she is not good at his or her job. However, it is a good idea to ask how many sales your real estate agent had in the past year or so to get an idea of how successful he or she might be at selling your home.

3. What is the Real Estate Market Like in My Area?

It’s not a bad idea to do some research about the current real estate market yourself, but few people will have as solid of an understanding about your local real estate market as a real estate agent. Asking him or her how the market has been lately can help you get an idea of whether it will be difficult or easy to sell your home.

4. How Much Will We Be Listing My Home For?

Your real estate agent should have a big part in coming up with the listing price of your home. Make sure that you ask your real estate agent how much the home is going to be listed for and how he or she arrived at this number. You may want to work with an appraisal service to get help in determining how much your home might sell for.

5. How Much Will I Have to Pay?

You can expect to pay a commission to your real estate agent, and there might be closing costs and other costs associated with selling your home. Ask your real estate agent how much all of this will cost so that you will be prepared.

6. What Can I Do to Get the House Ready?

Your real estate agent should help you get your home ready for sale. He or she can give you advice about ways to spruce up your home so that it will be more appealing to potential buyers.

7. What’s the Best Way to Communicate?

You’re going to need to stay in contact with your real estate agent throughout the process of selling your home. Ask about the best ways to get in contact with him or her when you need to, and don’t be afraid to tell your real estate agent about your own communication preferences.

8. How Long Can We Expect it to Take?

Of course, your real estate agent won’t really know for sure how long it will take to sell your home. However, he or she may be able to give you an idea of how long it has taken to find buyers for other homes in the same area and price range. Additionally, he or she can tell you more about how long you can expect for the closing process to take.

As you can see, it’s good to ask your realtor a few questions when selling your home. Then, you can be well-informed about the entire process. Luckily, answering your questions is one of the main things that a real estate agent can assist you with.

5 Actions To Take Following An Accident At Work

Accidents still happen even after companies have taken appropriate actions to ensure workplace safety. However, what makes the difference is how employees react to workplace accidents and the actions they take. Workers are entitled to compensation after sustaining injuries after a workplace accident. However, you are required to take specific steps after an accident to increase your chances of getting compensation.


Report the accident


The first thing you should do after a workplace accident is to report to your employer or manager irrespective of the magnitude of the injuries. You should not overlook the importance of reporting and filling an accident form even if you don’t feel pain. Make sure you report to your supervisor if you get exposed to harmful or toxic substances. Also, sometimes workplace compensation is primarily affected by the length of time you take before reporting an accident.


Seek medical attention


The other important step to take after a workplace accident is seeking medical care immediately after the accident. Make sure that the hospital or doctor records the details after seeking medical treatment. You should be accurate by giving your doctor or the hospital the details of how the accident occurred because the defendants request for the medical records of the first attendance after the accident.


Secure and manage the scene


Sometimes the responsibility of securing the accident scene is left to the manager or supervisor. However, you should also be alert to make sure that the scene is secured and managed. You should clear employees from the scene, get rid of imminent danger, and make sure that there are no disturbances besides what is required to offer first aid to the injured employee. Disturbing the accident scene means that you interfere or alter, remove things related to the accident, and destroying evidence at the scene.


Take photos


It is necessary to take pictures of the accident scene as well as your injuries. However, you should know that it is not always allowed to take photographic evidence, but you should do so. However, discretion is advised. Make sure that the photos are clear enough because they will act as evidence, and will play a huge role in ensuring that you get the rightful compensation.


Involve a personal injury lawyer


You need to know that you will seek compensation from your employer after the accident. Therefore, you should start involving a personal injury lawyer immediately so that you get legal advice and increase chances of getting rightful compensation. Avoid discussing details of the case with the insurance company of your employer or your employer.


Sometimes emotions take over, and you forget to take necessary steps after a workplace accident. Keep calm after a workplace accident and make sure you take these steps. Remember to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.

5 tips for teaching children how to surf

Surfing is a fun surface water sport that can be enjoyed by persons of all ages, children included. Though it may be challenging, teaching children how to surf is feasible.

You can do it yourself as a parent or enroll them for surfing classes by a professional coach. If you are introducing your child to surfing here are a few tips that could ease the journey for you.

1. Be patient

Children are always eager and ready to learn because of their curious minds. In the same aspect, their morale is easily diminished and have a very short concentration span.

As the trainer you will need to learn how to exercise patience; when the child is feeling frustrated or scared do not shout at them, instead encourage them.

If they do not want to train but want to hang around the beach, let them be. An unwilling child is not easy to teach, and you will be taking steps backward instead of forward.

2. Have the right gear

Ensure you purchase the right surfboard and wetsuit for the young one. At first, the surfboard should be the biggest one you can find to help in making the surf ride a lot safer.

wetsuit should fit properly, if possible a size smaller as it is warmer and more comfortable. A large wetsuit rubs against one’s skin causing rashes and bleeding in addition to making it harder to stand up and saddle.

3. Make the child feel safe on water

Help the child learn how to swim first then help them understand the relationship between the two. Allow them to have a sense of security when standing near water to help them gain confidence.

You could also introduce them to surfing in warm water to help them feel comfortable and less afraid.

4. Allow them to play with the surfboard

When at home, allow the child to take the surfboard lay it on the carpet and crawl or stand on it. This will help the child feel comfortable once you go out for the lessons again.

5. Surf along

Children are great imitators of what adults do, so give them something to copy. If your child feels that they are not ready to surf, they will eventually want to join you if they see you doing it.

It also helps them feel secure as they can see that the water is not dangerous.

Keep it simple. Make the lessons as fun as possible. Make goals with the child and give gifts when the goals are achieved.

If surfing turns out not to be their favorite sport, don’t force them, instead enjoy each other’s company at the beach.

7 Tips for Finding the Perfect Gift

For years, gift giving has been the best way to show appreciation and care, to friends, spouses and, family or colleagues, pets and acquaintances. Furthermore, presents are the perfect way to express emotions and thoughts to another person without the need to verbally communicate.

Finding the perfect gift can be a headache especially when the idea of choosing a bad one haunts you every step of the process. Yes, selecting a gift is a process and a lot of variables have to be considered to avoid disappointing the recipient of the present.

1. Examine the relationship between the person you are purchasing the gift for and you

Relationships form the base of every encounter in life. They are one of the most natural pointers, especially when finding the perfect gift. The relationship category might be an acquaintance, colleague, friend, family or even your spouse. Consider how you relate with the person who is going to receive the gift and then choose the best gift. You wouldn’t give your fiancé the same gift you would give your colleague. There is a clear distinction between the degrees of both relationships.

2. Think of the message you want to send or emotions you seek to evoke

Every gift comes with its own emotion. Unique emotions found in most of the ordinary gifts in gift shops include love, care, an excitement. It is therefore vital to take care not to send the wrong unintended message whenever we are selecting gifts.

3. Occasion

Gifts vary by circumstance. The most common events are birthdays, weddings, graduation ceremonies among many other. Considering the occasion makes it easy to find the perfect gift.

4. Personal likes and interests

Many people love gifts that speak to their inner self. Everyone prefers a gift that shows that you know them well enough. A gift selected without knowing the person has no use and is most likely not even a gift in the first place.

If someone is interested in art, get them a painting or even a paint set for them to start painting. If someone is interested in reading, get them a book.

5. What do they need?

There is no use of buying someone a gift that would end up in the memorabilia basket and never be used. Finding out what the person needs or lacks is critical. Little decent stalking would help in cases where you do not know what the other person needs.

6. Examine the past

Examining the reactions and emotions people show when talking about past gifts might help you in deciding which charity to take home. It would be advisable to avoid gifts which the person speaks negatively of.

7. Ask

When all has failed, ask. It is the simplest way of knowing what the person wants. It might seem like a shortcut, but most people would appreciate if you dared to seek to understand what they wanted before you went ahead and made the decision yourself.

All said, finding the perfect gift might prove to be a very daunting task. It requires a lot of time, financial and energy input. With patience, strategical planning and using the tips as mentioned earlier, finding the perfect gift might eventually turn out to be just as easy as it sounds!

5 Easy Maintenance Tips for Lawn Mower Care

Regular lawn mower maintenance is an essential task in order to ensure your mower lasts you many years to come. Keeping up on just a few quick and easy tasks will increase the lifetime of your lawn mower and ensure peak performance. Most lawn mower maintenance can be done on your own and cost little to no money so it is a no-brainer to heed the advice that follows!

Sharpen the Blade
Making sure that that the mower blade on your lawn mower is sharpened regularly is a simple task and will ensure that your grass is cut evenly. You can either do this yourself if you are comfortable with it or take it into a lawn mower repair shop to have it done for a small fee. According to towayshomeowner.com, if you intend on doing this yourself it is a good idea to disconnect the spark plug wire to avoid the mower potentially turning on.

Clean the Undercarriage
If you are not regularly cleaning the deck or undercarriage of your mower, it is likely to be caked with dirt and old cut up grass. According to angieslist.com, neglecting this simple step can result in the clogging of the mower shoot. Other potential issues that can arrise from this are the corrosion of the mower or the spread of plant disease around your lawn.

Again, it is advised to remove the spark plug wire and/or empty the gas tank before starting this task. Once you have ensured it is safe to continue, use a brush or garden hose to remove any stuck on debris from the undercarriage.

Empty the Gas Tank At End of the Growing Season
According to thisoldhouse.com, unused gas left in the tank at the end of the growing season can result in rust due to the gas gumming up during the colder winter months. Running the mower until it no longer starts or draining the tank ensures that your mower will function as good as you left it come spring!

Change the Spark Plug
Changing the spark plug on your lawn mower once a year will ensure that it continues to start easy and runs at peak efficiency. To do this, make sure the spark plug wire is disconnected and then remove the old spark plug with a pair of pliers or spark plug wrench if necessary. Replace with the new spark plug and then reconnect the spark plug wire.

Clean and/or Repair the Air Filter
Running your lawn mower with a dirty air filter can result in reduced running efficiency and ends up costing you money as your mower burns through gas faster. It is a good idea to replace the filter once or twice a year, whenever it looks dirty, to avoid these issues and ensure top performance.

Keeping up on your lawn mower’s maintence by following doing these simple task will save you money over the course of years in avoided repairs and decreased performance due to suboptimal efficiency. Taking just a little time out of your day, a couple times throughout the grass growing season, is all it takes!

7 Tips for Electrical Safety

Electricity is integrated into almost every part of our lives, and using it without putting in safety measures could lead to damage and severe self-harm. Every year, thousands of people do not use proper procedures when dealing with their electricity at home. When you don’t know how to properly use electricity safely in your home, it can result in some severe injuries and electrical fires that could quickly take down an entire home. By learning and following the below tips on electrical safety, you can easily prevent any injuries and fires from happening.
Getting acquainted with your home electrical panel is of utmost importance. Essentially, the panel is like one giant light switch with smaller switches within it that control the electricity that goes out into your home. It has a main breaker that controls the panel and smaller switches control each room in the home. If some of the breakers trips, you can turn them off and on to reset them so they can go on working properly, however, if it trips again immediately you could potentially have an electrical problem that could cause a fire. Simply have an electrician come out for a consultation to see what is going on!
Grounding your older appliances will protect you from electric shock, injury, or fire. This means that you connect appliances to an electrical neutral so that the breaker automatically trips of there is any type of fault.
If by some unfortunate circumstance an electrical fire should happen, remember not to throw fire on it. Water conducts electricity and would only end up making the fire worse. Remember to instead always use a fire extinguisher to put out an electrical fire.
Always use extension cords the way they are supposed to be used. First, make sure it is the appropriate size for what it is connecting, never connect extensions cords to each other and never put them across doorways or under carpets as it can cause a fire.
Switches and outlets can come loose from the stud in the wall. Any face plates that are warm when touched means that there are existing electrical issues too. If there are existing issues coupled with a loose stud could result in a fire happening and catching on quickly.
Immediately take appliances out of a plug if they are working incorrectly or are causing sparks. If you are cleaning or repairing an appliance, always unplug it to avoid shock. Always cut the power to the outlets before making repairs or investigating anything at all.
Never hire an electrician that isn’t both qualified and licensed. Working with electricity can be dangerous so use someone who is qualified and trained to work with it to avoid any injury or damages.
Electricity is a tricky business! It can be dangerous to work with it, but putting forth these safety procedures can keep you and your home safe!


3 Things You Should do to Your Crawlspace Before Winter

Preparing your crawl space for the Winter season isn’t only about keeping it warm. You also need to ensure that moisture doesn’t leak in. This means constantly checking for leaks and making sure everything is airtight. Important components to your home’s functionality is present in the crawl space, so maintaining this part of the home is paramount in keeping your house comfortable.

1. Clean Drains

After the Fall season your drains may be full of leaves. It is important to keep the drains clean in the Winter season. If there is not a clear way for the water to run it will run into your crawl space.

Adding additional drains around the home is a great way to reroute water traffic. Using slanted concrete slabs with drains in the middle is also a good way to keep water out of your crawl space. Simply position the slab outside the doorway to your crawl space. Water that pools up outside the door will flow down the drain instead of under your door.

2. Insulate your Pipes

This is a necessity. You don’t want your pipes to burst during the Winter season. You’ll have to crawl under the house to make repairs during the coldest, wettest time of the year.

There are lots of options when it comes to insulating a crawl space. However, experts recommend foam spray to citizens of Buffalo, NY, one of the coldest cities in the United States.

To maximum heart retention in your crawl space you should use several types of insulation. Place fiberglass insulation between as many boards as possible and staple it in. Use foam spray insulation in all the corners, cracks, and crevices. You can also use foam spray as a sealant around the edges of your fiberglass insulation.

As for the pipes, special insulation is made for pipes. Polyethylene pipe insulation is the best product to purchase to wrap your pipes with. Alternatively, you can use fiber glass insulation and wrap it with plastic wrap and electrical tape to keep it secure.

3. Install a heat source

This may seem pointless after considering no one will be spending time in your crawl space; however, since heat rises, the entire home will benefit from heaters under the floor.

Heavy duty heaters, which are specifically made for crawl spaces, are available for purchase. However, it is pointless to use a heater in the crawl space if it is poorly insulated.

Don’t wait Another day

Winter is upon us, so don’t wait another day to insulate your crawl space. It can save money on your electric bill and prevent the need to replace or thaw pipes.

5 Facts About Direct Mail Marketing

Contrary to popular belief, the digital age has not killed direct mail marketing. In fact, this traditional form of advertising has seen a sort of resurgence in both popularity and effectiveness as of late because of the onslaught of digital advertising messages people are flooded with on a daily basis. The oversaturation digital advertising, whether they be through personal emails, Facebook Messenger, or video sales letters only magnifies the obvious advertising need of the day, namely get creative with your marketing tactics or maybe even better, go old school with them.

If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you are going to get what everyone else is getting. How can you make your business stand out above the rest, despite the fact that almost every form of online advertising today is connecting itself with an algorithmic coldness that makes numbers predictable but leaves the audience feeling unloved?

Direct mail marketing can give you that personalized touch that seems to be missing in today’s cold-hearted digital marketing landscape.

Not so long ago, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), analyzed data pairing response rates between direct mail and email. The stats showed that direct mail receives a higher response rate than does email marketing, 4.4% vs .12% to be exact. This is an amazing fact that puts the “direct mail is dead” belief in the vaults of urban legend.

The following set of facts further illustrate why direct mail is not only far from dead, but actually thriving despite the current marketing belief that if you are not advertising online, you are not marketing at all.

1 – Over 70% of people still like receiving mail offers. This can be attributed to the sense of tangible value direct mail offers appear to provide. In the past, most offers received in the mail were thrown out no sooner than they were picked up. Today, they are swiped away with one click of a mouse or a tap on the screen. What’s the difference? The sense of touch seems to bring backs some human quality that is missing in today’s Internet reality and could be the reason why people still like to see something in their inbox, even if it is just another one of those offers again. At least, they can still pick it up and throw it away with their own hands.

2 – Over 40% of people who receive some form of direct mail advertising visit the website of that company after viewing it. This only goes to show how direct mail marketing can complement online digital marketing strategies. As was stated before, everyone these days seems to be doing some form of advertising online and the one factor they are looking to establish is credibility. When a person receives an actual piece of mail from a company, they feel that the company actually exists – that it is real – and so are more likely to go online and visit their site to see what they have to offer.

3 – 36% of millennials under the age of 30 like receiving something in the mail. Why would anyone who grew up in the digital age of paperless mail enjoy receiving actual mail? It is pretty obvious. Because it is something new to them. As this specific demographic is poised to wield an impressive $1.4 trillion in spending power by 2020, it makes sense as a business or marketer to send them offers they are only happy to receive. At least, happier to receive more than the digital counterpart which they view as “traditional” and “boring”.

4 – Direct mail creates more emotional triggers for purchasing. A study done by the Postal Service Inspector General’s office (OIG) has proven that direct mail ads were more effective than online ads in 8 out of 9 psychological and emotional categories proven to induced a buying response. Simply stated, direct mail ads encourage consumers to take action more so than digital ads and that too the actions most marketers want them to take – purchasing ones!

5 – Marketers spent over $45 billion on direct mail last year. This statistic is not surprising as it is backed up by the fact that stellar ROI’s were produced from such mailings. In particular, catalogs have really gained ground as of late and even as far back as 2 years ago (2016) over 100 million adults in the United States made a catalog purchase of some sort and that trend has only risen since then. As long as people are buying, it makes sense for both online and offline marketers to keep mailing.

Actually, direct mail marketing is not making a comeback because it was really never dead. The attention over the last decade just switched to digital forms of advertisement instead. Direct mail continues to produce higher response rates than email marketing, engages the prospect better, and generates more sales than many of the online advertising methods do. Not too bad for something that was supposed to be dead.

5 Reasons Football Players Crossover in Rugby

When looking at the sports of rugby and American football, it is easy to see parallels. To the layman, the shape of the ball, the physicality of the competition and scoring play similarities can seem strikingly alike. That said, it is easy to understand why players would transition from one sport to the other.
Because these sports are similar, rule differences can be picked up pretty quickly. If an athlete can’t have the career they would like in football, rugby provides another option. In American football, the goal is to take the ball across the opponent’s goal line or kick it through their goalposts to score points. In rugby, points are scored by placing the ball on the opponents touch line, or by kicking it through their goal posts as well. With the general purpose of the game being so alike, making the switch to rugby seems like a natural fit.
The biggest concern with football and its longevity moving forward is concussions. Frequent high-impact plays are producing an alarming number of head injuries. Rugby has shown less potential for these injuries. An athlete looking to prolong their career may want to make the switch from football to rugby. In fact, some National Football League, NFL, insiders want the league to do away with facemasks claiming it would cut down on head injuries.
Another reason for possible transition, is a football player’s potential to excel. In many cases, football players begin training at a very early age and are some of the best conditioned athletes in the world. Even football players who may not make active professional rosters often have the ability to translate to other athletic endeavors. Switching sports isn’t entirely one sided. There have been several rugby players who have tried their hand at American football. The latest being Jordan Mailata, who was drafted by the defending Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles in April.
The popularity of these sports varies depending on what part of the world you live in. In the United States rugby takes a back seat. Internationally rugby can be more popular. The United Kingdom and Australia are two good examples of this. That said, an athlete moving from the United States to another country may have no other choice than to pursue other options.
Another reason football players may want to pursue rugby is that the game is still so new in the States. Players can get in on the ground floor to help develop and steer the US version of the sport for future generations. They can also compete on the world stage as a part of the Summer Olympics. That is a perk that America football just cannot match.
Regardless of the reason, football players are slowly moving toward rugby. Both games have plenty to offer athletes looking to partake in contact sports. It is important to weigh the pros and cons to decide what is the best option for a given athlete.

5 Habits to Protect Your Privacy Online

More people are becoming highly concerned about their privacy in a world that is rapidly growing with online technology. Nowadays, we’re not sure whether or not if our private details have any kind of safeguarding. That’s said, here are five basic ways you can protect your privacy while online.

1. Social media 
It’s very tempting to log on to these sites or applications and fill out forms with all of our personal information. We have to keep in mind that the more information we share the more someone has. Your goal here is to not fill out a social media profile in its entirety. For any applications or software that you have signed up, it’s best to keep your profile barren.

2. Social security numbers 
Providing your social security number can be a big privacy issue and you should lead with caution. If you are filling in information for a bank or credit bureau, then that’s is okay. However, you should always be skeptical when anyone online wants a social security number or a portion of it to verify your identity. However, for other apps constantly asking for your birthday, address and social security number, may be setting you up for identity theft.

3. Passcodes 
You should have a firm bulletproof passcode on all of your electronic devices. It doesn’t matter if you have a household of family members or not, your laptop can easily be stolen or become lost. You should also install applications that can locate your device when you misplace it. All of your devices should have anti malware software.

4. Browsing 
When you are surfing the Internet, it is a good idea to turn on private browsing. This protects you when you are on your computer and you don’t want people seeing what you are searching on. This setting can be found on any major web browser on the market. It will automatically delete temporary Internet files and cookies along with your browsing history after you shut down the window.

5. Google Alert 
It is very wise to setup a Google alert for your name or even family members. This will certainly give you an immediate result of what is happening regarding your personal name online. You are basically telling Google to look for your name or any other information and send you a direct alert.

Our privacy is everything and with all of the new technology coming at us from new companies it best to develop a habit of protecting yourself. Take caution in giving out your entire life in a profile.

These are just a few things you can do on your own. You can protect yourself and your computer even more with a VPN or other security software. It is better to be safe than sorry.