Melisa Gagne's Blog
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Finding out the quality of furniture at a furniture store can be difficult. Product descriptions are written with the goal of getting you to buy. What’s more, floor sales employees will boast about the quality of their “genuine bonded leather,” how easy it is to clean and how long it lasts.
What many people don’t know is that words like “genuine” don’t mean “real” leather, but rather a grade of leather. Genuine leather is, in fact, the second worst type of leather in terms of quality and durability.
To help you avoid this and other blunders at the furniture store, we’ve written a simple guide to furniture leather that aid you in making the most informed decision possible the next time you’re at the furniture store. After all, furniture is expensive, and you want to make sure you get the best option for you and your family.
Bonded. The most basic thing to understand about leather are the grades. At the bottom of the list, or the lowest grade leather, is bonded leather. The word “leather” is actually generous in this scenario because bonded leather is really made up of fragments of leftover leather that have been glued together (or “bonded”) with latex or poly.
Bonded leather is often used for furniture because large items like sofas require so much of it. Manufacturers won’t soon tell you just how much of the sofa is comprised of leather and how much of it is composed of latex, so be wary of spending a lot of money on bonded leather furniture.
Genuine. Genuine leather, also known as “corrected grain” leather has artificial grain applied to its surface. This top grain is designed to increase the visual appeal of the leather by changing the texture and pigmentation to create different colors.
While genuine leather is a step above bonded leather, it is also subject to wear as the surface isn’t true leather.
Suede. Suede is a type of “split grain” leather, meaning that the top of the piece of leather has been removed and sanded forming the soft, suede texture and color we are all familiar with.
Top and full grain. The highest quality leathers are top and full grain. Top grain has had the split removed which makes it both easier to work with as well as softer and more flexible. Full grain, on the other hand has not had the split removed and is often unbuffed and unsanded. It isn’t as common to see this type of leather used in furniture because the imperfections are often removed in favor of a more visually congruent leather. However, since full grain hasn’t had any layers removed, it is easily the most durable type of leather.
Now that you know more about the types of leather, here are some tips for when you hit the furniture store.
Each manufacturer may use their own numbering system for grading leather, so don’t count on them being accurate.
Treated leather, in spite of seeming lower quality, may be more resistant to stains and thus preferable for a family with kids and pets.
Leather furniture that has received minimum treatment and includes the top grain requires specific cleaning. Don’t attempt to condition the leather with oils like you might a leather shoe that has been subject to the elements. Rather, use warm, damp, soft cloth to wipe down the leather every month or so. Soaps and cleaning solutions can do more harm than good to quality leather.
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As a home seller, it is essential to do everything possible to promote your house to the right groups of property buyers. However, as you approach the finish line of a home sale, you may encounter a "persistent" homebuyer. And if this happens, the home selling process may come to a screeching halt.
A persistent homebuyer may be more likely than others to demand home improvements or a price reduction to finalize a house sale. As a result, you may need to decide whether to accommodate this homebuyer's requests, continue to negotiate with him or her or walk away from a potential home sale altogether.
So what does it take to deal with a persistent homebuyer? Here are three tips to help you do just that.
1. Understand the Housing Market
Are a homebuyer's requests valid? If so, they are likely to be based on housing market data. Therefore, if you analyze the housing market closely, you can better understand a persistent homebuyer's demands and proceed accordingly.
Take a look at the prices of comparable houses in your city or town. By doing so, you can determine how your house's price rates against the competition.
Also, don't forget to assess the prices of recently sold homes in your area. This housing market data will help you understand the demand for houses in your city or town and determine whether you're operating in a seller's or buyer's market.
2. Stand Your Ground
A persistent homebuyer may be in a hurry to purchase your house. As such, he or she may push you to make rash decisions that may not be in your best interest.
For home sellers, it is important to take a step back and evaluate all aspects of any home selling decisions. And if you feel uncomfortable with a homebuyer's requests, you should feel comfortable walking away from a possible home sale.
Ultimately, declining a homebuyer's requests and walking away from a home sale is far from ideal. On the other hand, doing so will allow you to reenter the housing market and restart the home selling journey with a fresh perspective.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure about how to deal with a persistent homebuyer, you're probably not alone. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available nationwide to help you handle tough negotiations with any homebuyer, at any time.
A real estate agent understands the art of negotiation and can share his or her housing market expertise with you. That way, you can get the support you need to make informed decisions at each stage of the home selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will respond to your home selling queries as the property selling journey progresses. No question is too big or too small for a real estate agent, and this housing market professional is happy to answer your home selling questions time and time again.
Take the guesswork out of dealing with a persistent homebuyer – use these tips, and you can boost your chances of getting the best results from the home selling journey.