Archive for ‘For Sellers’

September 29, 2014

Cleaning Projects

Cleaning ProjectsView in Piktochart

http://goo.gl/0bs627

September 25, 2014

Neighborhood Spotlight- Annapolis, MD

Main Street, Formerly Church Street, Annapolis, Maryland, USASource: http://www.expedia.com

Thinking about moving to Maryland? Anne Arundel County is known as “the land of pleasant living”, and has a diverse selection of neighborhoods and locations to choose from. The Chesapeake Bay area’s quality of life and rich history, makes Anne Arundel County a great place to live and work.

Situated on the Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the Severn River, only a few miles away from Baltimore and Washington D.C., is Annapolis. There are three distinct regions of Annapolis and the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis City, the State Capital of Maryland, is world-renowned as America’s Sailing Capital. The Annapolis Countryside, offers hundreds of miles of Chesapeake Bay Shoreline and a wide array of American history. Annapolis-Baltimore is home to Arundel Mills Mall, Maryland Casino and BWI Thurgood Marshall.

If you are considering moving, you should take a few days to explore your potential new town. Whether you are solo, moving with friends, a significant other or your family, here are a few ideas to get you acquainted with the new area.

 

 

Take a Day to Relax

Are you in the mood for little R&R? Have a spa day and get away from it all at the highly rated Robert Andrew The Salon and Spa. Take advantage of all their exclusive offerings and be sure to check out their “Zents-ability” services, which will leave you feeling calm and at peace.

 

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Have Fun with the Children

When it comes to family-friendly activities, there are a handful to choose from. A great idea is to check out the action with the various sports Annapolis has to offer. Get ready to start cheering on the Chesapeake Bayhawks Major League Lacrosse, Baltimore Ravens and U.S. Navy sports teams. Since it is football season, plan a trip to watch a U.S. Navy game, while also exploring what else Annapolis has to offer.

 

 

Source: http://navylive.dodlive.mil/

Go for a Walk 

If you thought Annapolis was all inner harbors and boats, you are dearly mistaken. The Annapolis Countryside region will open your eyes to numerous acres of historical land. Experience history, archaeology and horticulture on the Historic London Town & Gardens. The 23 acre park features reconstruction of colonial buildings, tours of national landmarks, an 8-acre woodland garden and 2 historic gardens.

 

Shop until you Drop

Even if you come to Annapolis to enjoy the water, take in the history or simply appreciate the surrounding beauty, is it easy to make shopping part of the experience…..or the entire experience. Annapolis is filled with boutique shopping, convenient malls and town centers, and the largest outlet mall in Maryland, Arundel Mills Mall.

 

 

blackwallhitch

 

Wine & Dine

Stop by one of the town’s newest restaurants in Eastport, called Blackwall Hitch. It gives off an “urban chic” ambiance. Inside includes an oyster bar, two large dining areas, several private dining rooms, rooftop dining space, and a private VIP room, called “The Living Room”. The restaurant serves modernized American cuisine, while accommodating plates for seafood lovers as well.

 

 

 

Real Estate Overview

With a desirable combination of highly rated school, low crime, and historic locations, Annapolis fits the features that families look for when choosing a good community to raise children. If you’re interested in buying a home in Annapolis, please contact one of our local real estate professionals.

 

 

September 18, 2014

Freshening Up for Fall

With the season beginning to change, you may want to refresh the interior of your house. Refreshing may mean some light cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, new air fresheners, etc. However, you may want to consider some places within your house that you probablly have been neglecting to clean.

 

5 Places You May Be Forgetting to Clean

 

1.) Air conditioner/heating intake vents

Out of sight, out of mind is how many people treat their vents. Your intake vents may not be visible or are purposely hidden, which allows you to “unknowingly” forget to clean them. It is important to keep your vents clean in order to reduce potential damage inside your heater/air conditioner system. Cleaning off the vents will allow for better air flow and reduce the amount of dust/dust bunnies floating around your home. To clean the vents, you can simply wipe them down, thoroughly clean them by unscrewing the vents or you can have a professional come in and clean them (if necessary).

vacuuming-vent

 

2.) Curtains

Your curtains are another place that hair and dust are able to easily accumulate. If you have medium to heavy weight curtains, you can use the upholstery brush on your vacuum to give them a quick once over.
 
 
3.) Under Your Area Rugs

Dirt, dust, allergens and pet hair all seem to gravitate underneath the rugs. You don’t want this grit and grime rubbing into your nice hardwood floors with all the foot traffic; therefore you will want to vacuum or sweep when needed.
Cat-under-the-rug

 

 

4.) Upholstered Furniture

Eating snacks and other foods that easily fall in between cushions can cause quite an accumulation of crumbs overtime. Be mindful to vacuum underneath your furniture’s cushions, and you may even find some loose change…….don’t spend it all in place.

 

 

5.) Above your cabinets

The tops of your cabinets have most likely not been cleaned for a long time. Dust and cobwebs accumulate quickly up there, so every now and again you should dust and vacuum along that top area.

 

 


 

Now that your home is looking great, your hope is to have it smell great as well. Whether you want to add an extra touch to your home because your house is on the market or you are feeling adventurous, here are a few ideas on DIY Fall Air Fresheners. These DIY recipes will put your kitchen scraps to good use while creating a really wonderful welcoming atmosphere.

 

The Scent of Fall

yum

What You’ll Need:

  • Apple peels and cores
  • Peel of one orange or one lemon (optional)
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon dried cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried allspice
  • Small saucepan
  • 4 cups water

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to the small saucepan, fill with water, and simmer over low heat. You can keep adding water as needed, which makes this pot-o-happiness smell wonderful all day.

At the end of the day, toss what’s left in the pot in your compost, or store in a zip-top baggie overnight and then boil again the next day for scenting your space, adding water as needed. After three days, the mixture should be dumped and made fresh.


Fresh and Clean (Crockpot)

fresh

What You’ll Need:

  • A few drops pf lavender essential oil
  • 2 lemons (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Water

 

 

 

That’s just “Pine” (Crockpot)

pine

What You’ll Need: 

  • A few sprigs of fresh pine
  • A couple of teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • Water

 

 

 

Apple Cider” (Crockpot)

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 1.46.00 PM

What You’ll Need:

  • Peels of 2 apples
  • 4-5 cinnamon sticks
  • Cloves
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • Water

 

 

Directions for All Crockpot Recipes:

Add all the ingredients into a crock pot, fill with water, and turn on. As the water cooks away, you can keep adding more.

 

 

September 15, 2014

Preparing Your Home for Fall

The days are becoming shorter and the weather is becoming cooler; fall is right around the corner.  Now is the perfect time to get a jump start on accomplishing a few house chores before the cold weather strikes and it is too late. A lot of things are overlooked by homeowners when making the change from summer to winter. So, here is a guide on Preparing Your Home for Fall to help you remember all of the important tasks to get done to guarantee a safe and warm home for the upcoming cold weather.

 

 

Clean Out Your Gutters

gutterSource: http://www.pondarosahomes.com

It is best to put this first on your list of things to accomplish. You will want to clean out your gutters during the last few days of summer or the first few days of fall. However the most ideal time for gutter cleaning is after the last heavy rain or thunderstorm. The rain will have washed away any debris that accumulated on your roof down into the gutters. You will want to start at the opposite end of the downspout and then work your way down the gutter. Once you reach the downspout, take a hose or a bucket of water to flush out the spout. If your downspout appears to be clogged, you will want to eliminate it with a plumber’s snake. Clogged gutters are prone to rust and corrosion, can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in the basement.  Stay ahead of the weather, have your gutters cleaned then covered with mesh guards to keep debris from returning.

 

 

Put Away Your Gardening Tools

garden-tools-cleaningSource:  http://sjcmastergardeners.wordpress.com/

Once you are finished with your gardening projects, you should properly clean your tools and store them away for winter. Thoroughly clean off all your spades, clippers, shovels, etc. and consider coating them with a thin layer of mineral oil to prevent having to replace them due to rusting over the winter months. After cleaning and coating your tools, make sure you put them in a safe spot like a garage or shed so they won’t be affected by the cold weather.

 


Check the Weather Stripping

window-weather-stripping-replacement
Source: http://beyondinteriorsdesign.com/


Gaps around door frames and windows can account for roughly 10% of your heating bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Don’t lose money by not checking for air leaks in your home. Weather-stripping is a cost-effective way to take control of your home’s heating and cooling costs. It is important to check this material periodically because it can deteriorate over time. If the weather stripping in your home appears to be questionable in certain areas, there are a few options for checking.
– Close the door or window on a piece of paper. If the paper slides easily or automatically falls, your weather stripping needs to be replaced.
– Or light a candle and trace the frame of the door or window. If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, then there is an air leak.
You should also check for missing or damaged caulk areas around windows, door frames, and any other entry points (pipelines, electrical wiring). If there are any areas where air is leaking seal the gaps with caulk.

 

 

Driveways, Walkways and Steps

justiceconcretedrivewayrepairbefore
Source:  http://www.signature-concrete-stain.com/

When any of these concrete areas are damaged it becomes a hazard year round, but the real danger arises when the weather turns icy. Fixing this type of problem in the fall is important in preventing a minor problem now from becoming an expensive headache down the road. Look for cracks, uneven sections, loose railings, crumbling of asphalt and loose-filled pathways. The majority of the cracks you will encounter will be within the ability to do-it-yourself.


 

Inspect your Fireplace

Bert-mary-poppins
Source:  http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Bert

No matter how often you use your fireplace, it is important to check it annually for damages and hazards.

- Flue: Check your flue (chimney) for creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood. If accumulation occurs, the result poses great danger to your home.

Therefore you should consider having your chimney inspected annually. For most people, the best option is to have the entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform an inspection yourself by shining a flashlight up the flue. Look for deposits approaching 1/8inch in thickness. If you suspect any deposits, then it is highly advised to have the deposits cleaned by an experienced chimney sweep.

- Look for flue blockages: Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue. A chimney cap can prevent this from happening. If you don’t have a cap, look up the flu to ensure that there are no obstructions.

- Exercise the damper: The damper is the metal plate that opens and closes the flu just above the firebox. Move it to the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.

 


Check Your Smoke Alarm Batteries

A lot of local fire departments will run campaigns urging you to change your fire alarm batteries during Daylight Savings time changes. Take this into account. Always be sure to check that any alarms you have that run on batteries, or ones that are connected to your home’s electrical system to ensure that they’re working.

 

 

Change Your Heat Filters

filterSource:  http://www.timesrecordnews.com/

If your home has a forced air centralized heating system, you need to replace your air filters. Whether they have been running continuously all year, or if your heater has been turned off all summer, you need to change them regardless. They will either be dirty from running all year, or they will be stale and possibly growing mold or mildew due to inactivity. Luckily, filters are cheap and easy to replace. When you’ve decided on a time to replace your filters, set aside a day to turn on your heating system for a few hours so it can blow out all the dust that built up over the summer months. A good time to do this would be when you’re going to be away from the home for awhile so you don’t have to endure a heated house, and the smell of burnt dust, when it’s still warm outside. Once you’ve had the heating system on for a few hours or more, turn it off and let your home air out.

 

 

Preparing your home for the fall can sometimes be a tedious job, but you’ll be thankful once the winter weather arrives. Whether you just moved into your new home or are planning on selling in the near future, stay one step ahead by preventing minor problems from escalating, while also saving money.

 

 

 

September 4, 2014

10 Secrets for Selling Your Home

When it comes to selling your home, you want the process to move quickly and smoothly. However, that it typically not the case. Selling your home can be time-consuming and stressful, so here are a few selling secrets to make your home selling process simple and fast.

 

Selling Secret #10: Price 

Find out what your home is worth, and then shave 15 to 20 percent off the price. Buyers will be rushing to place multiple bids on your house. Even in low markets, with multiple buyers interested, they will bid over what the price of your home is worth. Choosing to price below the true value of your home takes real courage. Most sellers are apprehensive to take on the risk, however it is the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

 

 

Selling Secret #9: De-clutter your storage space

cleanclosetSource: http://4homeinterior.com

 

Buyers are constantly on the lookout for storage space. A great way to emphasis your storage areas/closets is to remove half of the items and then neatly organize what is left. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your storage, closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

 

 

Selling Secret #8: Light it up

Increase the lighting in your home. After location, amount of natural light and interior lighting is the next thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. To brighten up your home and draw in buyers, take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what is necessary to make your house bright and cheery to make it more sellable.

 

Selling Secret #7: Scope out the agent field

A secret sale killer is hiring the wrong agent. Make sure you have an agent who is totally informed. They must constantly monitor the multiple listing service (MLS), know what properties are going on the market and know the competition in your neighborhood. Find a real estate agent who embraces technology; a tech-savvy one has many tools to get your house sold.

 

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the pets

animalsSource: Crescentmoon06666b tumblr

You may think your friendly and charming dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and smell kitty litter, see a bowl full of dog food, or have pet hair stuck to their clothes. Even though your house may be clean, it can give buyers the impression that your house is not. If you’re planning an open house, you may want to consider sending the animals to a pet hotel for the day.

 

Selling Secret #5: Don’t go crazy with improvements

waste of moneySource: moneysmartguides.com

Quick fixes before selling always pay off, but large makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, consider updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Simple improvements can make a significant difference such as; giving the walls a fresh coat of paint, cleaning the curtains or buying some inexpensive new ones, replacing door handles, updating cabinet hardware, making sure closet doors are on track, fixing leaky faucets, etc.

 

Selling Secret #4: De-personalize your home

One of the most important things to do when selling your home is to de-personalize it into a house. The more personal  stuff you leave out, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. This does not mean you have to get rid of all your personal items. Get rid of a third of your stuff and put it in storage. This includes: family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. You may want to consider hiring a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home’s floor plan. The stager will arrange your furniture to maximize the use of space.

 

Selling Secret #3: The importance of your Kitchen 

neutralkitchenSource: Pinterest User ssknerr

You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops, while on the other hand, a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-palette so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance, because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

 

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show

Make sure your house is “show-ready” at all times (or at least the majority of the time) because you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You should be available as frequently as possible. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

 

Selling Secret #1: First Impression

foyerbenchrealSource: Pinterest User Architectural Digest

No matter how beautiful the interior, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they enter your home. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entry-ways are a great way to welcome potential buyers by putting in a small seating area, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some homemade cookies.

August 6, 2014

Are you ready to sell?

Have you been thinking about selling your home? Your patience or perhaps procrastination may have paid
off in a big way. Experts say this is the year to sell your home, sooner rather than later. Many current factors
are fueling a sellers’ market; read on to uncover a few reasons why you shouldn’t wait any longer:

 

Aug 14 IOV - Ecard

 

 

Whatever your reason may be, take control of the situation. Start your home selling process today so you’re able to find your dream home sooner.

 

 

May 7, 2014

Why Use a Realtor?

Are you considering buying or selling a home?  A real estate transaction is most often one of the largest financial decisions that you will make in your lifetime.  It is important to work with someone who has the knowledge and experience to guide you through the real estate process.  Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent:

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AskHomesale.com provides real estate advice and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Prudential Homesale Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Prudential Homesale has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Prudential Homesale’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore CityFederal HillFells PointWestminsterand Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include YorkLancasterWyomissingChambersburgGettysburgHarrisburgand Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

April 7, 2014

Credit Karma

For many of you, the thought of buying a home raises some financial concerns such as CreditKarmagetting pre-approved and affording the down payment. Getting pre-approved is often based off your debt-to-income ratio, your credit score, work history, etc. Take note, that just because you pay everything on time, doesn’t necessarily mean that your credit score is perfect. It is important to have a sense of where your credit stands; check out creditkarma.com to find out.

CreditKarma.com provides you with a free credit score; no credit card required. By creating a free account and becoming a Credit Karma member, you will have safe and secure access to four different credit scores including your TransUnion Credit Score, Vantage Score, Auto Insurance Score, and Home Insurance Score. This system also includes a simulator that allows you to plug in variables and see how your credit score may be affected.

Staying up-to-date on your credit score and working to continuously improve it, will keep you on track so you know when buying a home is right for you.

March 24, 2014

Prepping to Sell

Every seller wants his/her home to sell quickly and at the best price possible;  it takes more than just good luck to make this happen.  With careful planning and a little bit of know-how you can highlight your home’s strengths and downplay the weaknesses; turning it into a very desirable home!

De-clutter and de-personalize are typically the top two suggestions for making a home more marketable.  The buyers need to be able to imagine themselves, not you, in the home.  Photos and family heirlooms will distract buyers from looking at your home’s fabulous features.  Removing extra clutter and furniture will make rooms appear larger and also makes it easier for buyers to move around your home.  Rent a storage space if necessary to hold extra items while your home is on the market.

Here are some other great suggestions:

Neutral Appeal

Paint the LR in a fresh, warm, neutral shade to tone down any out of date finishes.  A good rule of thumb is to use neutrals in all large spaces. neutral

 

Make Minor Repairs

Replace cracked tiles, patch holes in walls, fix leaky faucets, fix doors and drawers that won’t close or jam, and replace burned-out bulbs. repair

Three’s Company

Accessories can make a room more inviting.  Odd numbers are preferable, especially three.  Imagine a triangle and place an object at each point.  Be sure to vary height and width, with tallest in the back.  Group by color, texture, or some other unifying factor. threes company

Polished Appearance

Take a little extra time to make the bathroom tile and fixtures sparkle.  Consider accessories that will give off that spa-feel!  Put out items like rolled-up towels, decorative baskets, and candles.  This gives the bath a polished look and doesn’t cost much. polished

A little pop

Visit your garden and bring a little fresh color indoors.  Fresh cut flowers will add color to your home and also herald the seasons.  Bright and sunny for spring and summer, a little fall foliage, or how about evergreens and holly berries for a smashing winter look. a little pop

Curb Appeal

Your home won’t sell if the buyer won’t get out of their car. Keep the sidewalks clear, trim lawn and shrubs, paint faded trim, and add a few colorful flowers (weather permitting). 

First impressions are very, very important! curb

So Inviting

Create a relaxing bedroom setting with soft colors and luxurious, comfy linens.  Remember to de-clutter your closet, flaunt the storage space! inviting

Groupings

Furnish your space by floating furniture away from walls.  Position into cozy groups and create an obvious traffic flow for the room.  This will open up the room and make it seem larger. grouping

 A few final suggestions:

  • Great lighting makes a home warm and welcoming.  Increase the wattage in lamps and fixtures.
  • Paint a small room the same color as an adjacent room.  A seamless look will make both rooms feel like one large space.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a dark paint in a small room, like a powder room, for a cozy, intimate feel.
  • Display art in a creative way, not just encircling your room.  This is a great way to show off your space.
  • Remove and replace favorite items you wish to keep, like curtains or fixtures.  If a buyer doesn’t see it, they won’t want it. 
  • Make your home sparkle inside and out.  Clean windows, polish chrome, vacuum daily, wax floors, replace worn rugs, etc.

 The work is done, your home is now ready to shine and impress all those potential buyers.  Happy Selling!

February 6, 2014

Moving Day Etiquette, Mind Your Manners

blog feb 5Moving is a hassle, no matter how much you pack, plan, and prepare for the big day.  You will most likely hit a few bumps along the way!  It is highly recommended that you use a checklist to help you survive this arduous task.

Aside from being organized for the actual move, you also need to take into consideration those around you who will also be affected that day.  Like your mother always said, “mind your manners”.  Here are some etiquette guidelines:

Time of Day – The most recommended moving time slot is between 9am and 4pm on a weekday if possible.  During this time most neighbors will be away at work, therefore reducing any inconvenience to them.  Also remember to keep noise level low; do not allow movers to blare music from the moving van, etc.

Last Impression – Make sure the last moments spent in your old neighborhood are good ones.  Be careful not to block driveways and streets with vehicles or furniture.  Keep an eye on the moving crew; some will take short cuts they shouldn’t, through yards, flower beds, etc.  Be considerate of others!

First Impression – The same consideration described above should also be given to your new neighbors!  If you see that the moving truck will be blocking a neighbor’s access, knock on the door, introduce yourself, and explain the situation to them.  Apologize in advance for any inconvenience!  Be readily available if something needs to be moved.

Help – Don’t just sit around and watch or give orders.  Roll up your sleeves and help out, even if you have paid movers.  You can always start unpacking boxes in your new home, be busy!

Refreshments – Offer some basic refreshments to your trusty “crew”, whether it be a group of hired pros or your family and friends.  Provide some snacks, as well as some refreshing bottles of water and sodas; consider offering coffee or hot chocolate if you are moving during colder weather.

Clean up – Once your old home is vacant, take time to clean up any trash, vacuum, dust, and leave it in presentable condition.  Also make a trip around the exterior, cleaning up any debris left behind from the move.  The same holds true for your new home keep an eye out for trash or debris that may be left outside.  Clean it up immediately so your neighbors don’t have to.  Also try to avoid leaving a large trash pile by the curb for pick up. Instead, make a trip to the dump to dispose of these items.

Pets – If possible, take them to the home of a friend or family member, vet, or pet daycare.  If not possible, keep them comfortable in a room away from the noise and commotion.  Pets can become agitated and noisy during a move.  The risk of them getting out and getting lost is also higher during a move.

Thank you – Don’t forget to tip and say “thank you”.  For paid movers it is generally 5% of the total bill.  If using family and friends, show your gratitude by buying a few pizzas for dinner and saying thanks.  People like to feel appreciated.

How you handle yourself on moving day goes a long way in determining what type of relationship you will have with your new neighbors.  Make sure you get started on the right foot!

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