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      Curb Appeal on a Dime: Getting the Outside Ready to Sell

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      As spring approaches take a critical look at the outside of your home. Look at your home as if you were a buyer, what do you see? Take a look at the front and back of your yard. Is it inviting? Do you need to de-clutter? Is it time for a yard sale? If so get er done by taking some trips to the thrift shop and dump, and while youre at it, ask your neighbors if theyd like to join you for a neighborhood yard sale.

      staging exterior yard sale pic

      Is there an old shed in the backyard?

      shed needs painting

      If it looks like this give it a coat of paint and organize the inside. If you don't have paint to match your house, visit your local Restore, Habitat for Humanity store and choose a neutral paint to spruce it up!

      On the other hand if your shed looks like this

      falling down shed

      Tear it down and remove it! If the floor is still solid you might consider repurposing it as a raised wood patio.

      outdoor oasis

      A couple of outdoor chairs a fire ring or table a few potted plants will make this area a sweet outdoor oasis!

      Now that youve de-cluttered the yard, its time to focus on the exterior of your home. Either pressure washing or repainting the exterior of your home is well worth the cost and effort. Pressure washers can be rented at your local hardware or building centers. But if you have never done this before ask for a detailed demonstration. Use caution, pressure washers when used on too high a setting can damage surfaces. There are also professionals who you can hire and many handymen have this skill as well. If cleaning a painted exterior you may find you need to repaint when finished with pressure washing. Look at the value power washing or painting to add to your home!

      after power wash

      Before and after powerwashing your home!

      Finally, adding greenery & plants are an inexpensive way to soften, enhance, and make the outside of your home inviting. Invest a few hours in trimming, weeding, and mulching and often that is all it takes to create that curb appeal!

      trim in front of home mulch and plant before and after planting

      Trim tall bushes! Weed and mulch gardens!Inexpensive way to add curb appeal!

      Remember, if you don't have gardens you can always addpotted flowers to entryways or the front of your home!

      Plus, you can take them with you when you move into your NEW home!


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        Oh No! Mold in my bathroom!

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        What is the best way to clean mold from the bathroom ceiling or other painted surfaces in a bathroom? And ensure you wont have it return???

        ceiling mold photo

        First step prep; by cleaning the mold. The best product to clean mold is not bleach; it is Pine-sol, believe it or not. Use original Pine-sol in a spray bottle. In a well ventilated space spray the Pine-sol directly onto the moldy areas. Let set for 30 minutes or more and wash off using a damp absorbent cloth. Let the ceiling dry overnight.


        Day two; paint prep. Definitely take the time to seal the effected area and possibly the entire ceiling, with Kilz or other mildew resistant primers. Most interior paints are advertised as having primers built in. for this application I would seal the mildew stains with a heavy-duty primer for the best results. These dry in 30 min. or less.

        Kilz paint brush

        Finally when the primer is completely dry paint with a quality ceiling paint. Most interior paints are mildew-resistant, but check with your paint department to make sure. I just tried the newer ceiling paint that goes on purple and dries white, which allows you to see where you have painted. I loved it! Check out the video clip.


        Once you have a single finish coat of paint on the ceilingyou are done! Mold gone! To keep it gone make sure your ceiling fan is working well. Be sure to clean out any dust build-up in the cover of the fan and make sure everyone in the family is using it when they shower! If you dont have a fan, crack a window open a few inches each time you shower. I hope these few tips will keep your bathroom mold free for many years!

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                            QR Codes

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                            QR codes this, QR codes that. No doubt you have heard the hub-bub about QR codes as a powerful new (are they really that new? They've been around since 1994) mobile marketing tool. If you are not familiar with them, I like to think of QR codes as a web link, in the real world. It's a way for people to use their smart phone to be taken to a website, video, somewhere on the web automatically.

                            I recently had a conversation with one of my agents who was a little bit confused about how she could/should be using QR codes in her business. We discussed the pros and cons of putting them here, there and everywhere. On a website, a link would be better than a QR code. However, in the real world, since you can't actually get someone to click on a link when they pick up your flyer, a QR code gives them an easy way to use their smart phone to be taken to a video of the property.......or wherever you want to take them.

                            Marketing Your Home with QR Codes

                            QR Codes Are Essential for Marketing Your Home

                            Maybe you want them directed to your lender to get pre-qualified. Maybe you want them directed to your virtual tour. Maybe you want them directed to a video of you dressed up in a chicken suit screaming "I will lay an egg before you get a better deal on a house". Maybe you want them taken to the video you shot with your Video Camera. It doesn't have to be a flyer. It could be on your postcards that you mail out after a home sells in your neighborhood. The QR code could point them to a video you did about how you rank #1 in Google when someone searches for homes for sale in their sub-division and that's why you were able to sell that last home so fast. Another great idea would be to attach a neighborhood video tour to a QR code on a listing flyer so people can 'get to know the neighborhood' just by picking up the listing flyer.

                            The bottom line, I want my agents to get creative with their use of mobile marketing applications. QR codes are the most obvious one, but you may very well have something even better.


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