Is Your House Ready for the Market?

Tips and Tricks


Getting Your House Ready

A house that “sparkles” on the surface will sell faster than its similar neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained.

A “well-polished” house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can’t see has probably also been maintained. In readying your house for sale, consider:

  • how much should you spend
  • exterior and curb appeal
  • preparing the interior

How much should you spend
In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Buyers will be impressed by a brand new roof, but they aren’t likely to give you enough extra money to pay for it. There is a big difference between making minor and inexpensive “polishes” and “touch-ups” to your house, such as putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room, and doing extensive and costly renovations, like installing a new kitchen. Your REALTOR®, who is familiar with buyers’ expectations in your neighborhood, can advise you specifically on what improvements need to be made. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice before you make the final decision to list.

Maximizing exterior and curb appeal
Before putting your house on the market, take as much time as necessary (and as little money as possible) to maximize its exterior and interior appeal. Tips to enhance your home’s exterior and curb appeal:

  • Keep the lawn edged, cut and watered regularly.
  • Trim hedges, weed lawns and flowerbeds, and prune trees regularly.
  • Check the foundation, steps, walkways, walls and patios for cracks and crumbling.
  • Inspect doors and windows for peeling paint.
  • Clean and align gutters.
  • Inspect and clean the chimney.
  • Repair and replace loose or damaged roof shingles.
  • Repair and repaint loose siding and caulking.
  • In Northeastern winters, keep walks neatly cleared of snow and ice.
  • During spring and summer months consider adding a few showy annuals, perhaps in pots, near your front entrance.
  • Re-seal an asphalt driveway.
  • Keep your garage door closed.
  • Store RVs or old and beaten up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market.
  • Apply a fresh coat of paint to the front door and shutters if possible.

Maximizing interior appeal
Enhance your home’s interior by:

  • Giving every room in the house a thorough cleaning, as well as removing all clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. Some homeowners with crowded rooms have actually rented storage garages and moved half their furniture out, creating a sleeker, more spacious look.
  • Hiring a professional cleaning service, once every few weeks while the house is on the market. This may be a good investment for owners who are busy elsewhere.
  • Removing the less frequently used, even daily used items from kitchen counters, closets, and attics, making these areas much more inviting. Since you’re anticipating a move anyhow, holding a garage sale at this point is a great idea.
  • If necessary, repainting dingy, soiled or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint, such as off-white or beige. The same neutral scheme can be applied to carpets and linoleum.
  • Checking for cracks, leaks and signs of dampness in the attic and basement.
  • Repairing cracks, holes or damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
  • Replacing broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork. Inspecting and repairing the plumbing, heating , cooling, and alarm systems.
  • Repairing dripping faucets and shower-heads. Buying showy new towels for the bathroom, to be brought out only when prospective buyers are on the way.
  • Sprucing up a kitchen in need of more major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.

THANKS, but No Thanks

Ok, so it’s no secret, or maybe just the opposite that I am a licensed real estate associate broker, and a Realtor. I help clients and customers buy, sell, and even rent real estate…houses, apartments, commercial space, land…you name it, if it pertains to real estate, I can help you with it. This is my career, and has been for just over 16 years. I love what I do, I love putting all the pieces together to reach a final goal. Over the years I have worked very hard, and consistently grown my business. I have put in the nights and weekends because in real estate we really don’t have “normal business hours”. With the exception to a few years when I was on maternity leave, I have been one of the top sellers in our office since 2003. With this growth I am often asked why I don’t go work for a larger company, a franchise. While I am so flattered that other companies would like me on their teams, I LOVE where I work and the people I work with, my success is not merely driven by a number, and it works for ME.

So here are my TOP 10 reasons for staying put, but really in all honesty I probably could list out 100.

  1. My broker/owner works her craft every day just like I do. She leads by example and is relevant.
  2. I shop local as much as I can, and I fully support and LOVE that our brokerage is not a franchise. Not one dime goes into some big wigs pocket and isn’t returned to our own local economy.
  3. Guidance, experience and knowledge at my fingertips. My broker’s expertise and knowledge of every facet of real estate is awe inspiring. Her guidance is my most valued tool in my tool belt.
  4. In all my 16 years at Purdy Realty, I have never, not one time, felt like I was in direct competition with another agent. We work TOGETHER, not against each other. This is HUGE in my opinion. There are no side deals, backstabbing, or craziness. We all want the best end result.
  5. My commission split is great and fair, I make a good living and can support my family.
  6. I pay NOTHING to work at my office. I don’t pay an office fee, a phone fee, copy fee…NONE OF IT!
  7. My office is 2.5 miles from my house. ENOUGH SAID.
  8. Our office is BEAUTIFUL, fully renovated Georgian style colonial that sits in the center of our town. Making the area better is a top priority for our company.
  9. I make my own schedule. period.
  10. I AM HAPPY!

The witty side of life…

Let me introduce you to my friend Ella. She will be guest blogging from time to time. She is, as she likes to tell everyone, and you’ll soon see, my spinster single mom friend, who is working her butt off going to nursing school and raising a toddler, pre-teen and teenager. She is 100% REAL LIFE, all the time, nothing fake or made up. This girl has got a knack for funny Facebook posts and she is finally letting me blog them out for her! Everyone, I mean, every. single. one. of. you. needs more Ella in their lives.


I got busted by the toddler. She saw her latest “creation” in the trash. She turned to me and said “Who would do this!!!”…. I looked at the dog, realized she wouldn’t fall for that, so I told the truth while she pulled it out of the trash with shhhtuff stuck onto it. We looked at the disgusting shhhtuff dripping from it and then laughed and laughed because we both knew I would be the fool to get the shhhtuff off. So I placed some chocolate cake in front of her and all was forgiven. It was then the delicious, chocolate frosting gave me my super mom powers back and I realized, Santa. I should have said Santa.

January 31st Facebook Post


Woke this morning to a nice, good old fashioned debate with The Teen….gun control. I started with all countries should be run by a woman, look how efficient she is…to which he gave the classic response of “bad guys are always going to find a way to get guns”….. Then he uttered those words… you know those words… “relax”….so I chased him out the door and down the driveway. He underestimated his mom thinking I wouldn’t run outside barefoot. At least it wasn’t his bus that was driving by.

March 22nd Facebook Post


Today I decided to park at the end of the driveway, blocking it, in case the kids wanted to play outside (basically to save my car from Mid Kid’s lax balls).
So when The Teen goes to complain and says “Yeah so my bus couldn’t get me off today”…….
And I exploded laughing….to which made him realize what I was laughing about…so he burst out laughing and he and I both laughed for fifteen minutes while the other two just stared.
Because yes I have the sense of humor of a 14yr old boy. All of you are so very wrong for being friends with me.

March 19th Facebook Post


I remember dreaming about a day that my children would sit around the table and all do their homework together. Now add me also into the mix and I think I am going to have a heart attack or be the leading lady of a Lifetime gone wrong Movie special. The smart one is talking out loud his genius math work, Toddler keeps singing the ABCs so she can do her ABC homework that she gave herself and Mid Kid just keeps asking me if the cookies are done….
The Teen to Toddler: Could you keep it down a little, the singing is distracting me
Toddler to The Teen: NO
The Teen to Toddler: Couldn’t you go do that in your room?
Toddler to The Teen: No, I can not, my room is to messy
The Teen to Toddler: Well why don’t you go clean it?
Toddler very seriously: I can not, today is not cleaning day…poopy headed grandma
The Teen to me: what is the square root of x to the 75th?
The End: I quit (Now they are wrestling)

February 26th Facebook Post


My confidence in the The Teen this morning was not at its highest as right before he bolted out the door he reassured Mid Kid, “If I forget and lock you out and don’t pay attention to letting you in…. ring the doorbell to the CPR song in the Office and I will let you in”……

February 12th Facebook Post

Carrot Cake, Must Make!

If you are a lover of carrot cake, this one can’t be beat.  I have tried many carrot cake recipes over the years and this one is definitely the best by far.  I have to thank my good friend Katie for this amazing recipe.  She brought this to my house one night for happy hour years ago and I beg her every time she comes to bring it again!

Mrs. D’s World Famous Carrot Cake

Batter:

1 ½ cup oil

2 cup sugar

4 eggs

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups grated carrots

Chopped nuts (optional)

Combine sugar and oil and eggs.  Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.  Add to sugar mixture and beat well.  Add vanilla and grated carrots.  Bake in a 13×9” pan at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  When cool, ice with icing.

Cream Cheese Icing:

1 stick margarine

8 oz. cream cheese

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

 

LipSense…my new must have!

My friend Heather started selling SeneGence products and in particular the LipSense product (you can find her page here Heather’s Luscious Lips).  The company stated that the lip product was an “all day wear” color which could last from 4-18 hours.  I love to support my fellow Mom’s in their endeavors, so I ordered.  I had never heard of it before, and figured why not try it out.  I did a little research to find out that their products are made in the USA, no testing on animals, made with only a handful of ingredients.  In my research I did see that some celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Christina Aguilera also use it.

I decided to order the starter kit…always a good place to start…LOL!Starter kit was $55 and came with one tube of the color choice, gloss, and oops remover.

I choose my color PRECIOUS TOPAZ as it was most like other lipsticks that I wore and knew it would go with most of my clothing options.  With over 79 different colors, choosing one was the hardest part of the process.

I received my product a few days after ordering and off we went to apply!  I did watch an application video provided on her FB group page  Heather’s Luscious Lips.  It was very easy, three very light coats with 3-5 seconds of drying in between and it was done!  Yesterday was a busy day for me and I knew I would really be putting this product through its paces and would be a great day to really review it.  We had a baby shower to attend (lots of eating and drinking) we also had church and plans for dinner and drinks after with friends.  I showered and dressed, makeup applied at 10:00am…you can follow the picture progression, but I applied it ONLY ONE TIME!

Application:

3 coats of color, 1 coat of gloss

Longevity:

NO RE-APPLICATION of color!

Off to baby shower, I did lots of eating and drinking.  No lip stains on the glasses.  Next to church, added a little more gloss. Dinner and drinks with friends.  Lots of hugging, kissing cute kiddie faces hello and goodbye, and eating/drinking.  No lip prints left behind.  Several times I wiped my mouth with a napkin just to see if anything came off…NOTHING was there!

After almost 12 hours, still going strong!

Removal:

By 10:00pm I was ready for bed!  Off I go, taking the advice of the application and removal video I watched I put a generous coating of the Oops Remover on and let it sit while I took off the rest of my makeup.  I would say it sat for maybe like 5 minutes total.  I took on clean tissue and with no rubbing, just a gentle wipe, it was off.  No tugging or massive scrubbing at all.

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Great saturation and pigmentation of color
  • Lots of color selections
  • Gloss was VERY hydrating and NOT sticky at all (felt like a nice lip balm)
  • Did not wipe or kiss off
  • Easy to remove

Cons:

  • Lips did feel a little dry when the gloss had worn off.
  • By 9:30pm I could see that the color was stronger on the outside of my lips than it was on the underside.  With my lips together you could not tell, but when I looked in the mirror with them apart I could see it.  Not a huge con as it was almost 12 hours after application and only myself would have noticed it.

Verdict:

LOVE and will definitely purchase again.  The $25 tube of LipSense will last me a lifetime with only three very light coats applied a day.  I love that you can get other colors and mix and match a coat from two different tubes to make your own special color.  The colors combos are endless.  They have a great selection of lighter shades/hues to dark and rich ones to suit everyone’s tastes and styles.

*This is an honest review of this product.  I have no affiliation with this company and I purchased this product for my own personal use.  I was not given any compensation for this review.

Stitch Fix GUY!

You can check out my LIVE box opening Heidi’s Happy Hour to see the whole reveal.

My guy’s turn to Stitch Fix !

If you want to try STITCH FIX, click here.

After having success with my last Stitch Fix box, I decided to introduce my husband to the world of subscription boxes.  He reluctantly agreed and I he is very happy with the results!

What’s in the box?

Weston Crew Fleece: Great piece by Threads 4 Thought – Basic black pull over, but super soft.  Lightweight and can easily be paired with jeans or even chinos.  Can wear a tee under it or a collared shirt.  Husband like casual comfort, so this was a great choice for him.

Verdict: Keeper


 

 

Kingston Burnout Vee Tee: This piece was a great choice for hubby.  The casual wear is great and the color was spot on for him.  He will get a lot of use out of this one.

Verdict: Keeper

Lancaster Chino: Flag & Anthem brand, love them!  Theyar eLove the style, colors are fun, and fabric is very nice.  I am not thrilled about the pattern and think for me its a little too trendy and not sure I would wear it after this season.

Verdict: Keeper


Long Sleeve Button Down Shirt: Hawker Rye brand, color and style was right on.  It was not quite the fit that he was looking for as it was a ‘slim’ fit and hubby is more of an ‘athletic’ fit.  Quality was very good, heavy cotton blend.  It will need very little ironing when traveling.

Verdict: Keeper*

Painted Leather Belt: Boconi brand, great belt and his wardrobe was missing this color.  He had a great pair of shoes recently purchased and it matches perfect.  Nice quality.

Verdict: Keeper

Styling sheet is one of my favorite things about Stitch Fix, you see different ways to wear the pieces, day to night or casual to work.  I also love the personalized note that my stylist left for hubby.  Emily really did a great job on this box.

The million dollar question

and the one that I have gotten asked often is this…what is the cost?  Hubby set his parameter for “cheaper the better” and for his box, I thought it was spot on!  His total box (including the bonus 25% off for taking all items) cost less than $150 for FIVE items of clothing.  I was very pleased at the quality of the items as well.

*The button down shirt was not a perfect fit for hubby, but we kept it because it was essentially free (if you purchase all five items, you get 25% off, well that discount was right around the cost of the shirt).

Final verdict…

Hubby is already signed up for his next Fix!!  He thought the stylist did a great job.

What’s Next?

I’m a goer, a doer, a fixer…I’m not a good wait-er. Patience is something that I struggle with, something I pray for daily.  I hate being stagnant as it only creates more havoc than good in my life.  That being said, my meditation mantra, something that weirdly enough has just morphed for me is “be still and wait”.  Sometimes I think we just need to sit back and see what comes next and not always push forward and ‘make’ or ‘force’ things to happen.  Of course nothing happens without hard work, determination, and vision we all know that, but sometimes just being still and waiting to see what the universe is saying is just as strong an asset as any of the others.

So, for now, I will leave this here….I’m strong and ready for what is next.  Bring it on!

Thank you to Helene at Center for Clarity, Compassion, and Contentment for the wonderful free 40 Days of Meditation that I have been following.  It has been so beneficial for my focus.

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