Alli Henning 


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Make That Small Closet Look Bigger
If there is one thing that can turn a potential client away from a home they may be on the fence about, it is a tiny master closet. When a potential buyer falls in love with your large bedroom only to find that the closet is a fraction of the size they expected it to be, it could make them want to keep looking at other houses on the market. While that may not be the case for everyone, there are plenty of women (and men) who enjoy having a nice closet space. While you may not be able to expand the square footage, here are some steps you can take to make that small closet look bigger and more appealing to potential buyers!


1. Marie Kondo your closet

The KonMari method is all the rage today so many people are cleaning out their closets - and the rest of their homes - in an attempt to live a little more like a minimalist.  With this movement being so popular, many people searching for new homes might be even more aware of clutter, especially in small spaces. Declutter your closet and donate anything that doesn’t “spark joy.”

2. Add some paint and light
Even large closets can look small if they are have dark walls and not much light. Since most closets don’t have windows, consider adding a light fixture to brighten the space and a mirror to multiply the amount of light bouncing throughout the closet. By painting the walls a nice bright white or off-white, the room will expand and look inviting.


3. Organization is key

Once you’ve removed the clutter, you may still have a lot of items that you aren’t willing to let go of. By adding shelving or even a closet organizational system, you can fit more into your closet without taking up as much space. If you want to stay on budget, try a DIY closet system that is easily installed and can be purchased at your local home improvement store!


4. Show off your favorite items

While decluttering is key, displaying the things you love on nice hangers or placing those handbags/shoes you adore on your newly installed shelving can help potential buyers picture their own favorite items in your closet. Keep it neat and organized, but show off the things you love most!


These tips will help you ensure that your closet space doesn’t prevent you from selling your home. Remember, if you are ready for a home with a bigger closet, call me and we will find you the walk-in of your dreams!

ADD A SPRING TOUCH TO YOUR HOME

Even if the weather isn’t cooperating quite yet - spring is on the way! Cheering up your home with some spring decor is the perfect way to prepare for warmer days and more sunshine. Here are some options to prepare your home for the next season!


ADD AN HERB GARDEN

While they may not last outdoors with the sporadic weather of spring, bringing potted herbs into your home and letting them soak up sunlight in a kitchen window is the perfect way to add life to your home and have access to fresh herbs while you’re cooking. 

THINK SPRING

If you are all about DIY-ing, creating simple decorations can add a pop of seasonal color to your home. Take that pair of rain boots you don’t wear anymore and turn them into planters - add bright floral arrangements and use your new decor item as an inviting piece by your front door.

POPS OF COLOR

Neutral and sleek is all the rage right now, but adding a pop of color in your normal decor can add a cheerful touch to your home. Swap out your kitchen napkins or tablecloth with something a little bit more colorful, like soft blues or pinks. Small changes can do enough to make your home feel different without being overwhelming.

FLORALS ARE ALWAYS THE ANSWER

Whether or not you already include florals in your home decor, take the time to swap out or add something new that feels like spring. While fresh flowers are a great choice, consider picking up some faux florals for the majority of your decor and saving the fresh flowers for a centerpiece. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color, specifically yellows and pinks, to create a focal point for the room. 

TOUCH UP TIME

Is there a room in your home that is just feeling drab? Maybe it is dark and uninviting, or maybe it has white walls that have started to fade. While you are spring cleaning, consider adding a fresh coat of paint to a place in your home that needs a boost of light. Spring is all about being fresh and new, so your home should feel that way too!

First Time Buyer Advice

If you’ve never purchased a house before, you may have no idea where to begin when preparing to become a homeowner. You may be on the fence about buying,or you may feel like you are ready to buy a home today. Either way, these tips can help anyone feel a little more prepared for their first home purchase!

MONEY IS KEY

It is easy to begin scrolling through beautiful homes on the market without considering your budget. Sale postings can be all over your social media feeds, tempting you to just take a peek. While looking can be fun and exciting, you should prepare financially before you start eyeing any homes. It is much better to know what your price range is so you don’t fall in love with a house you just can’t afford (for now!)

MAKING A LIST, CHECKING IT TWICE

While you need to be realistic and recognize that you likely are not going to find a home with every single thing you wish to have in a house, making a list of the things that are a priority for you (room count, big backyard, master walk-in closet, etc.) will help you to make sure you’re only looking at houses that will fit your wants and needs.

PHOTOS DON’T TELL THE WHOLE PICTURE

It is easy to fall in love with a home after seeing the listing photos. These perfectly lit, well-staged photos show off houses in their best light, but that doesn’t mean you are getting the whole story. Listing photos are a great place to start, as they will help you to narrow down your options. Unfortunately, there are home traits that may not be portrayed well in photos, whether it be low ceilings, a drafty build, or anything in between.  Once you’ve made a short list of the homes that appear to be a fit for you, always do a home tour. 

THAT GUT FEELING

If you walk into a house and it feels like home, trust your gut. There is no better way to know if you should buy a home than seeing how you feel when you walk through the front door. Your home purchase will probably be one of, if not the largest, purchase you’ve made in your life so far. Pictures can only do so much, and nothing can help you decide whether or not a house is made for you better than getting inside it!

NOTHING ELSE WILL DO

Do you get upset at the thought of losing the house you just toured to someone else? Does it already feel like home when you are inside? These are two signs that you have found the home for you! If you see a home and are ready to stop looking at others, you are one step closer to buying a home you will love.

THE BEST AGENT

Finding a great real estate agent is going to be the part that ties everything together. A quality agent will help you find homes within your budget that possess your must-have items and they’ll offer you guidance through every step of the process. 

Eliminate Pet Odors From Your Home






Eliminating bad odors from your home is incredibly important, you want to make sure you've removed them before putting it on the market. Often times, the first thing buyers notice upon entering your home, is how it smells. If there is an odd odor, it will instantly put them off. No matter how beautifully staged and presented it is, strong odors or stale air can make your home unappealing to prospective buyers. Opening windows and exhaust fans will only go so far in removing foul odors, but won't generally eliminate it completely. To ensure you don't lose potential buyers, follow these odor eliminating tips to ensure your home smells and feels fresh and new.

Don’t Use Artificial Freshening Sprays

Don't make the mistake of spraying artificial room freshener sprays in hopes that it will remove the bad odor. Deodorizers will quickly fade, and only mask the smell, sometimes in an overwhelming way. If a buyer walks into your home, your air freshener can cause a reaction, like a runny nose or a headache, and will make them suspicious of an underlying foul odor. Instead of trying to mask it, locate the actual source of the bad odor and get rid of it.

Best Pet Carpet Cleaners for Accidents

We all love our furry friends, but unfortunately, they can get your home pretty smelly. Whether the smell is on the carpet, furniture, or even on the walls - it's essential to have it removed. Most odors stem from accidents. You always want to attend to the accident right away. Blot them with a paper towel and use mild dishwashing liquid to help remove the odor. Once completely cleaned, blot again with fresh paper towels to dry the spot. If the accident is not recent, use an enzyme cleaner to eat the bad bacteria. Another great idea is to use activated charcoal. It is a form of carbon that has been activated to make it extremely porous. You can get activated charcoal meant for pet odors at most pet stores. 

Green Cleaning Products

Using natural odor eliminators is a great green alternative to most of the chemicals sold at stores. One of the most recommended products is to use baking soda. You can place an open box of it in a room to help absorb unwanted smells. It also helps to remove musty aroma in dark spaces, like a basement. On top of being used to remove pet odors, it also works great for cigarette smells. If you don't wish to use baking soda, most pet supply stores will have green cleaning products that help remove odors, while still being safe for your household. 

Save Your Home From Dryer Fires

Every year, more than 2900 home fires are started by clothes dryers. The leading cause of these fires are from a build of up lint from lack of maintenance. The removable lint filter unfortunately doesn't catch all of the cloth and fabric particles, so maintenance requires a little more than just emptying the filter after each load. Whether you live in your own home or plan to purchase in the near future, it's important to have safeguards in place for the utilities that you use that could put your home at risk. You want to make sure that the lint that gets trapped in crevices and in the hose on it's way outside are thoroughly cleaned.

Here are a few warning signs to look for that may indicate your dryer is getting clogged up by lint:

Clothes are taking a lot longer to dry, and sometimes not even drying all the way.

Clothes may be hotter by the end of the cycle.

The outside of the dryer starts to get really hot.

The outside exhaust vent flapper isn't opening much.

The laundry room begins to feel really humid.

There is a burnt smell in the laundry room.

If this seems to be the case, then you'll want to evaluate your dryer. The tools you need to clean it are as follows:

A vacuum with a long hose attachment.

Dryer vent brush kit.

Screwdriver

UL listed metal foil duct tape

Here are 4 steps to cleaning your dryer:

1. Remove the lint trap filter and make sure it's completely cleaned off. You want to make sure you're cleaning the filter after every load to help prevent lint build up.

2. Vacuum the space that houses the lint trap filter. The filter doesn't capture all of the particles, and this is the second place the lint will begin to accumulate.

3. Disconnect the dryer duct and clean out the duct with a long hose from a vacuum. You can also use a duct brush to help you complete a more thorough job.

4. Make sure the duct is connected properly. You don't want it cinched in any part of the duct, to prevent crevices where the lint can get stuck.

No one knows the value your home has as much as this real estate pro, keep it protected by taking some simple cautionary steps to keeping everything in running order. And if you're in need of a brand new laundry room altogether, don't forget to give me a call.

Avoid The Wrong Real Estate Agent

In what will likely be the biggest investment you make in your life, buying a home needs the attention and assistance a professional real estate agent can provide. But not just any real estate agent, it's important to find the "right" one. With the ease of being able to land a license, you want to make sure you're hiring an agent who has the experience and drive to ensure you're provided the tools and skills to walk away from a closing knowing your needs were met. Let's jump into issues you can face if you don't have the right agent on your team.

1. THE "WRONG" AGENT WON'T LISTEN.

It's important to find a real estate agent that sits down with you and actually listens to your needs. What type of home do you want? Where do you want to live? Does the commute to school or work have to be a certain distance? Etc. Working with an agent that doesn't take the time to listen to your real estate needs will end up wasting your time and sending you homes to look at that don't match your needs. Sit down with an agent that wants to get to know your needs and wants to help you achieve your goal of buying your dream house.

 

2. YOU'LL GET TERRIBLE ADVICE

Choosing the wrong agent means you'll find yourself in situations with terrible advice. Make sure you choose an agent that is able to give you the proper direction when it comes to the whole sales process. From negotiations, to repairs, you want to ensure you choose a trusted adviser that can guide you on the right path.

 

3. THEY WON'T NEGOTIATE THE BEST DEAL FOR YOU

A great agent will negotiate for you to get an amazing deal. Now this isn't to equate to unrealistic negotiation expectations of what the market will sell a home for - because that can mean losing your dream house. But the "wrong" agent won't bother to negotiate on any part of the sales process. You want to find an agent that not only negotiates for you, but does it in an effective way and advises you on the best steps to take, to ensure you still get the right home.

 

4. DIFFICULT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH

A great agent has a set and active schedule that allows you to get in touch with them, or a member of their team, on a reasonable time frame. The "wrong" agent will be difficult to get a hold of, even not getting back to you during the sales process for days (sometimes even weeks.) To find a great agent, you want to find one that has dedicated business hours that allow you to get in touch with them at anytime during those hours, and is available to call you back if they miss your call, in a timely manner. This is incredibly important during the sales process, if something needs immediate attention, and your agent is nowhere to be found, you can lose the deal.

 

5. CAN LEAD TO A LEGAL MESS

The "wrong" agent can be unethical, or simply not have the proper knowledge about the legalities within the industry that is standard for agents to follow through on. As a professional, in an industry with a lot of accompanying laws, it's a great agent's job to know how to protect you throughout the sales process. While providing the necessary contracts and guidance to ensure you're protected by the decisions you make as well.

 

6. AN UNHAPPY BUYING EXPERIENCE

Buying a home is an important and big process in a person's life. If you're buying your first home, or you're purchasing your dream home, you don't want the experience to be traumatizing. A great agent will be able to navigate the bumps that come up within the sales process in an experienced and professional manner. The "wrong" agent will create a mess of the sales process, not find you the right home, and you can end up with a home you don't actually love - or one with too many issues. Find a great agent that knows the process and can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, giving you the time to prepare for common situations that may cause delays. Although some things can occur that neither party is aware of, having an experienced agent will help you through general hurdles that could arise through the sale.

You need the right agent to find you the right home.

Home Chores To Do Annually

Sing me some graces, there is such a thing as over-cleaning! Here are ten chores around the home that you really only need to do annually, minus special circumstances. Let's dive in!

1. Curtains & Drapes

Unfortunately, we don't mean the dusting part. You'll want to dust at least once a month, but when it actually comes time to getting them cleaned, you only really need to do that once a year. You can take them in to get dry cleaned or follow the instructions on their tags if you choose to wash them at home.

2. House Gutters

Gutter guards can be a great investment, especially if you live around trees that shed all year long. These can keep your gutter cleanings minimal, generally about once per year. You'll want to do this in the autumn when all of the leaves from the trees have already fallen.

3. Fireplace & Chimney

After the winter, you'll want to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. You can use a shop vacuum to clean up the embers. Make sure to wash down the fireplace tools as well. Go an extra step further and schedule an appointment with a chimney sweeper.

4. Carpets

We wish we meant vacuuming, but that's pretty much a weekly or biweekly task for most households. In this case, we mean a deep clean. The best time to get this taken care of is right after summer.

5. Outdoor Furniture

The best time to clean outdoor furniture is when you bring them out of storage for Spring. Of course, if messes up happen while you're using them, you want to clean the spots right away, so you avoid an accumulation of stains in a short period.

6. Mattress

Mattresses have improved through the years but they still need a little bit of attention. At least once a year, give your mattress a thorough cleaning and change the position of it.

7. Kitchen Cabinets & Pantry

Early November is a great time to clean out kitchen cabinets, drawers, and the food pantry to get them ready for the holidays. Do a section of cabinets at a time and empty them out completely. Wipe down the shelves and reline with shelf paper if needed.

8. Linen Closet

Just once a year, empty out your linen closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Take time to vacuum away dust and spiderwebs and reline any shelves.

9. Garage, Basement, & Attic

No one is expecting you to have a perfect garage, basement, or attic. However, a good cleaning at least once a year can help you keep an eye on things, such as moisture or insect problems. It can also feel good to get rid of junk that tends to accumulate in these hidden spaces.

If you're in the market to sell your home, you can always give me a call, and I'll refer over some preferred vendors that can help you knock out your cleaning tasks.

CLEANING 101 BEFORE LISTING


Before you put your home up for sale, you'll want to ensure it's clean for all of the buyers that will come through. A dirty house isn't appealing, and you won't get a good offer, if you get one at all, if your home isn't in tip-top shape. Cleaning your home doesn't have to be overwhelming, below I've listed the top things to remember to clean for each room.

FOYER:

+ Clean the door and hardware.

+ Wipe off all fingerprints on windows/furniture. 

+ Clean off scuff marks on floors and door.

+ Replace all light bulbs and ensure light fixtures are working.

+ Tidy/clean up the coat closet. People WILL look in there to see the size.

 

KITCHEN: 

+ Wipe down all cabinets.

+ Clean all appliances, inside and out.

+ Clean stove hood, on top and bottom.

+ Clean behind the refrigerator, on top and bottom too.

+ Ensure the microwave is clean of food splatter. 

+ Clean the space behind the sink.

+ Wipe down blinds/shades.

+ Wash any kitchen rugs, clean the floors and baseboards.

+ Store all of your pet food/food out of sight.

 

BATHROOM: 

+ Clean behind toilet and under sink.

+ Only display absolute necessities, declutter.

+ Organize and clean under the vanity.

+ Scrub floors and clean grout lines.

+ Keep dirty clothes and towels off the floor.

+ Be sure to lock away any medication.

+ Clean the fan and make sure it's functioning.

+ Replace any dead lightbulbs. 

 

BEDROOM:

 + Wash sheets, comforters, and blankets.

+ Clean the curtains and rugs.

+ Dust furniture. 

+ Remove any obvious stains from fabrics.

+ Keep closets clean and organized.

+ Store away dirty clothes and personal photos.

+ Clean marks on walls.

 

These are just the basics you don't want to forget about. If it's within your budget, I highly recommend hiring a professional cleaner to ensure your home is in its best condition. Contact me anytime to get a great local recommendation.



YOU’RE MAKING YOUR LANDLORD RICH!

While you’re fussing over your bills, did you realize you’re making your landlord rich? Rentals are the most lucrative business to get into. It turns ordinary people into multi-millionaires. The next time you’re afraid of committing to a mortgage, keep in mind that you’ve already committed to paying off the mortgage of someone else - every single month you rent. The only time home buying doesn’t make sense is if you’re still living with your parents rent-free. Or you prefer to live out of an R.V. or tent. But if you prefer to live in a home, or a condo, it always makes the most sense to buy.

Stop making your landlord rich and start building your own net worth. You can still enjoy owning a home - even if you don’t intend to stay in an area for long. You can always resell your home, most often for more money than you put in, or turn it into a lucrative side business by hiring a property management company to rent it out on your behalf. Whatever you decide, don’t be afraid of a mortgage commitment - you’re paying one regardless. Now ask yourself, do you want to make yourself money or make your landlord money?

ALL MY SINGLE LADIES

In 2017 alone, 60% of women millennial buyers were single! Buying a home seems to come with the idea that it’s the step AFTER you get married and have a family - but that simply isn’t true! Not only is home buying an incredible investment, it provides stability. If you’re worried that a home is too much of a commitment, while you still enjoy travelling around the world, having a great Realtor on your side can help ensure you aren’t tied down by a home.

No one ever said your net worth is a burden. Build your net worth by owning your own dream house and recoup your investment when the day comes to sell. If you’re paying the same amount on rent as you could on a mortgage payment, doesn’t it make sense to put that monthly amount into a home you could actually get the money back on? Of course it does! Since I know you’re a smart woman, give me a call! It’s time to invest in yourself and your future.

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