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House Sale Prep Tips

Hey ya’ll, so it’s been a hectic past couple of weeks, and that’s because I have been preparing a house to sell. If you’ve never done this process before, you may not realize just how much goes into it, which is why I’m here to share this information. To warn you, so you know just how much time and effort is going to go into this, I have some tips on preparing a house to sell. Some of it you can do yourself, others you should definitely hire out, because it is just so much work on your own.

  1. Clean the outside of your house. That’s right, you either need to repaint your house or have it cleaned in some way. I figured that wasn’t a huge thing, but my realtor assured me that was incorrect, and it definitely needed a cleaning. Now, I decided that was something I could do myself, so I took out the pressure washer, and started pressure washing. It took hours, not to mention, I had to be very careful not to actually chip off the paint, because then I would have to repaint the house which I was trying to avoid. This is where a company like ZAP Cleaning comes into play. They offer a service called Soft Washing. For those who didn’t know, like me, soft washing is a different way to get the same sparkling results from pressure washing a house, but without the potential damage to the paint! This method of cleaning is a great way to get mold, mildew, grime, all of that nasty stuff off your house, without potential damage. If you happen to be in the Sarasota area, you are in luck, since ZAP Cleaning will be able to do this for you. There are several service areas they offer, including Sarasota, Venice, Southgate, Osprey, Bee Ridge, Fruitville, Naples, Siesta Key, and more. Check out the full list of service areas and see if they are near you!
    house cleaning image
    ZAP Cleaning is well-known for providing wonderful customer service and they believe that customer satisfaction is number one. Not only do they offer soft washing cleaning options, they also do pressure washing, window cleaning, and roof cleaning. These services are offered for residential and commercial buildings, so you can easily get this cleaning done whether for your personal home or for your office building. Consider this an investment in your home or business, as you’ll bring in more people. I know it worked well for my house 😊
  2. Pressure wash your driveway. Again, this is something I’d highly recommend you hire someone to do, I wound up with a lovely sunburn on my shoulders, sweat at least 10 pounds out, and had to drink gallons of water to stay alive out in the Florida heat. I spent hours working on it, and while my driveway now glows and looks beautiful, it was a very tough job. That’s one thing that while it seems relatively easy, it definitely is harder than it seems, especially in 100 degree weather. So my suggestions: either do it yourself in the winter or hire someone else to do it during summer hours.
  3. Repaint doorframes. This is an indoor task that is easy enough, just takes a little bit of time, and is completely worth it. I did the door frames, as well as the baseboards, and it looks so much better than it did. Even if you don’t notice it, the paint does fade as time goes on, and they definitely need to be freshened up for a sale. This can also help cover up any potential scuffs or marks that occurred during your time living there.
  4. Grout cleaning. Again, this is one of those tasks that you probably don’t think about too much, but definitely needs to be done before selling your house. It’s not something we think about in the day to day cleaning and going about with our lives, and if you regularly mop your floors and keep up with things, you may think that you are good without doing this step, but it makes a huge difference. There are different types of cleaners you can get at different stores, the one I used is an acid base, and it brought up grime that the mop didn’t get.
    grout pic.jpg
  5. Clean the windows and mirrors. You may clean the mirrors every time that you clean your bathroom, but you likely don’t clean your windows on a weekly basis. If you do, good for you, send me that motivation! I had to go through and clean the inside and outside of the windows, and again, not something I initially thought of, but all of it goes into creating a beautiful, desirable home that people will want to buy.

There is definitely much more to it than just clearing out the clutter, and doing the traditional cleaning. Make sure you’re aware of the amount of time this will take and plan accordingly. I’ve been rushing around quite a bit, and wish I had started some of these tasks ahead of time, so I could have gotten a head start on the whole process. However, I’m glad I know it now, and am happy to share this with you. Happy cleaning! 😊

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House Hunting Tips

*This is a sponsored post

Hey y’all, sorry it’s been a while. I have been in the very busy stage of trying to find a new house. That’s right – I’m moving and it is hectic, as anyone who has been house hunting knows. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the dream house yet, but the search is on. Luckily for me, I’ve brushed up on some house hunting knowledge and compiled it here for you. And I promise, this is way better than an episode of Property Brothers, because my budget is realistic and a little more down-to-earth than what we see on those shows.

Red and White Sale Illustration

  • Make a list of what you must have in your house. 

 

 

For me, that list is pretty simple, I need a decent sized kitchen because I love to cook and bake sweet treats, as y’all have seen on my blog, which means I need the space to do so. I also think the kitchen is the heart of the home, so I want it to be in a central location, something that is open and easily reached by all. Same thing with the floor plan – I hate too many walls because it makes me feel trapped, so I want to have plenty of natural light and a nice open floor plan. Nothing too crazy yet, right? Next up – decent sized bedrooms and bathrooms, preferably no carpet, but if it is in the house, I’ll rip it up. There is no problem there. Finally, I have got to have a laundry room in the house. Others know that many houses put it in the garage, and I just cannot stand that. So for me, those are my must-haves when I’m house hunting. Other things aren’t as important. I’d love a front porch, but it’s not a necessity, so if I don’t get it, I’ll survive. 

  • Know what is a deal-breaker for you. 

Again, this goes back to that first point. If you have to have a nice kitchen, you need to make sure you have that. If you do not make your wants or needs a priority, you may be back on the house hunt earlier than you wanted to, if you go with a space that doesn’t work for you.

  • Research the neighborhood. 

I’m looking in several different cities, all in one area at this point, and since I’m not sure about all of them, I do my research. In some cases, I ask friends who know the area and live around there for advice about whether they’ve heard good or bad things about the neighborhood and area. Then, if I don’t know anyone that lived there, I pull it up on a map. That’s right guys, old school. Not a real map, a digital one, but you know what I mean. That gives me an idea of what’s around the area. I can also look at local schools in the area, as that can sometimes help you gauge if it’s a good area or not. 

  • Know what to look for. 

There are some obvious red flags when you tour a home that you have to keep an eye on. First for me, is looking at the outside. Are there any obvious signs of damage, whether it be wind or water or anything else? If not, so far so good. Next, let’s look up at the ceiling when you get in the house. Check for any discoloration or even fresh paint in only a few areas, that could indicate they are trying to hide a stain or leak that occurred. Look at the walls for the same thing – freshly patched or painted sections could indicate that there was some damage to the wall and they did a hasty repair. Check the tile flooring and make sure it’s laid evenly. I was just looking at one house, that the tile was so uneven my shoe got caught in it, and I nearly tripped. Also, notice the smell. People have joked that my nose is similar to that of a Bloodhound. If there is a nasty smell, I will find it, and I am always very suspicious when there are multiple candles in each room. Of course, everyone wants their house to show well, and smell nice, but too many candles can be a bad sign. I’ve also caught the smell of smoke before, and that stuff can go into the walls and the carpet, so even if it’s just a faint whiff, if that’s a no-go for you, take your offer and leave. 

 

  • Find a good realtor. 

 

This is key. If you and your realtor don’t mesh, or if your realtor is not showing you the houses you want, it might be time to find a new one. A good realtor is someone who will listen to what you want (so this means that you also need to be verbal and give them a good description about what you are looking for. The relationship goes both ways!) and make sure to suggest houses that fit what you want and what you are looking for. This person should be almost as invested as you, and won’t try to just sell you the first house you’re looking at. It takes time to find the right house for yourself, and it’s important that your realtor doesn’t try to rush you into a bad decision. 

I can tell you from experience how important that last one is. I’ve gone through a few realtors, mainly because they decided that they wanted to show me houses they wanted to sell, and didn’t really care if it fit the requirements I was looking for. They would also get angry when I wouldn’t make an offer above budget, and that’s just wrong. 

With Erin King Jax Historic Realty, you won’t run into that issue. If you’re in the Jacksonville area, and especially if you are searching for a historic house (which who isn’t – they are beautiful), then this is the realtor for you. Erin King is a realtor who is a Best of Zillow Realtor. He specializes in historic homes and neighborhoods. Not only that, but he’s been buying and selling these homes and helping people find their new home for 20 years now. That’s a pretty good track record. Erin holds an MBA with an economics focus, so you can rest easy that he has plenty of experience and education to help find the perfect historic home. Not only that, but he has a 1924 home in Avondale, which is a beautiful area, and he renovated it to fit his needs. He brings his clients not only the expertise he has on buying and selling these historic homes, but also has a team of contractors he offers for them to use for the renovations to bring these houses up to the modern standards they need, without losing the historic value.

Welcome

According to Erin King, it is currently a seller’s market, so if you were considering making a change, now may be the best time to do it. Until then, wish me luck on house hunting!

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