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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-HOMES FOR SALE. SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!!

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-HOMES FOR SALE. SELLERS, LIGHTS PLEASE!!

Helpful tips on getting your home sold from your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent.

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Lights, please??  You may be asking what your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent is talking about with this article of  our Seller, Get Top Dollar Tips.  Everyone has lights in their house, obviously-but is your lighting helping or hurting the sale of your home?

Quick example of the importance of lighting:

Professor Von Helsing approaches the house with trepidation – the lone light is from the moon and even that scarcely illuminates the entry way.  He wonders what horrors are hidden in the shadows…

A potential buyer for Count Dracula’s castle might also question what is tucked in the dark corners and hallways of the eerie abode.

Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and old Hollywood horror-movie directors understood the impact proper lighting has on a situation.  A multitude of horrible, dirty, dangerous, unsightly, disgusting surprises can be lurking about, waiting for the most opportune time to make their presence known.

But while Von Helsing overcame his fears and entered the castle despite them, potential homebuyers may not make it past the unlit foyer, no matter how attractive it is.  If buyers can’t SEE it, they can’t love it.  Even worse, they can fear the unseen (and quite possibly insignificant) qualities, and become uneasy in a home that may be just perfect for them.

Lighting can be a relatively inexpensive but effective way to highlight the positive qualities of your home or downplay areas that are less attractive.

The most desirable and inexpensive lighting is natural sunlight.  The easiest way to capitalize on this natural resource is to show your home during the daytime when the sun is shining brightly, throwing open blinds or shades, de-cluttering windowsills, and washing panes to allow light inside.  This is also a good time to move Aunt Gerties’s antique walnut wardrobe away from the window.  To do its job, light needs to enter a room unhindered.

Unless your window overlooks a neighbor’s collection of rusting cars or a grimy, graffiti-ridden wall of the building next door, it’s good to keep curtains open when showing your home.  It makes the room look bigger and more inviting. If the view is less than attractive, hang sheer curtains over the window that will allow some light in while subtly distracting the buyer’s attention from the unsightly scene.

If the house is dark with few or very narrow windows, take heart.  A trip to your local home improvement store can lighten things up quickly.  Even naturally lit houses can benefit from the addition of appropriate electric lighting.

Begin by slowly walking through your house, taking special care to flip all switches and look at each light fixture and lamp.  Are there burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced?  Keep a list of all the size bulbs you need to purchase.

In part 2 of Sellers-Lights Please, we will discuss in more detail how to get the best lighting for your home.  Until then, remember, lights are for the living!!

For more tips on getting your home sold visit the rest of this series:

Sellers Top Dollar Series

Thinking of selling your home, or just want to know what it might sell for in the current market?  Call me direct at 503-931-1846.

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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-SPEND A LITTLE, GET A LOT SELLERS TIPS PART 2

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-SPEND A LITTLE, GET A LOT SELLERS TIPS PART 2

33378386_thmIt’s time for the second installment of our Spend a Little, Get a Lot series for Salem Oregon Home Sellers courtesy of your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent.   When preparing your home for sale, there are many quick and easy tips that can get your home in top showing condition.  Here are a few more to get started on:

  • Don’t have the time to keep the house clean?  Consider hiring a cleaning service to keep your house in shape while it’s on the market.
  • If your wall-to-wall carpet looks fine except for a couple of worn spots, have it professionally cleaned and cover the imperfect areas with small rugs.
  • Make sure stairways are safe by freeing them of toys or slippery mats, securing the handrail, and installing good lighting.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to call professional painters because their schedules may be filled.  Hire them as soon as you make the decision to sell.
  • Keep your lawn looking thick and green by fertilizing during the appropriate season.

Now, mind you on the carpet tip-a good buyer’s agent will look under your throw rugs.  So, you aren’t trying to hide anything from the buyer concerning the carpet, you are just trying to give the home an overall better presentation.

If you are considering selling your home and would like more tips on preparing your home for selling, or would like a complimentary market analysis to give you a better idea of what your home will sell for in the current market, you can contact me directly at 503-931-1846.

For more seller tips visit:

Spend a Little, Get a Lot Part 1

Salem Oregon Sellers Top Dollar Series

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SELLERS, SELLERS, SELLERS-WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

SELLERS, SELLERS, SELLERS-WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?  THIS TITLE MAY BE A DEAD GIVEAWAY THAT I HAVE NOT HAD A GOOD SHOWING, AND THERE IS SOMETHING THAT COULD BE DONE ABOUT IT!!

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So, I may have already “showed my hand” on this blog by my title, but really-this needs to be addressed!  For the sake of Real Estate Agents and Buyers everywhere.

I have this wonderful family that has been searching for “the home” for a few months now.  We are limited to a small town in the Salem Oregon area/Polk County.  The amount of listings that come on the market each month is limited because it is a smaller town.

We had a good one, or so it sounded, come on the market.  So, we immediately set up a time the following evening to view this wonderful home.   I arrived before the buyers and obtained the key from the contractor’s box on the front door.  I then proceeded to open the front door.  What happened next, I cannot even describe with appropriate words.  Here is this lovely home, in a well established neighborhood, where all of the other homes are kept up.  The door opened and I immediately was blown over by one of the worst dog/urine smells I have encountered.  So, okay, I am a trooper, and my buyers were really excited about this home from the outside.  I knew right away, there is NO WAY I would be able to spend any time at all in this home without some fresh air.  So the first thing I did was open all outside doors for some air, and then bravely sauntered through to turn on the lights.

Shortly thereafter, my wonderful buyers arrived.   I met them at the door to welcome them, and they stepped inside.  Now, in some areas of the home, the smell was not as bad at this point.  Mind you, the sellers did have the carpet cleaned, and had two rooms that they were going to replace the carpet.  Unfortunately, those are the two rooms that do not have the extra thick carpet.   My buyers liked the layout, the backyard is fabulous…. we have discussed the smell somewhat, and that my buyers would rather have a flooring credit than new carpet in the two rooms that are planned to have new carpet.   As we spend more time on this other plush carpet… we are really noticing that the biggest smells are coming from these rooms.  As we stand in the kitchen, where there is no carpet, debating on an appropriate offer, considering all the flooring will need to be replaced, and possibly some sub flooring….  I am now itching, really itching…. and trying to be cool about changing from one foot to the other, scratching my legs…. one of my buyers says….. “I’m sorry, I have to go outside”.  Okay, I had been feeling a little itchy, okay, maybe a lot itchy.   All of sudden we are all scratching madly as we make our way through to be sure the doors are locked, and the lights are off.  By the time that we are outside discussing the home, I am scratching everywhere, not just my legs, as are the buyers.

Sellers, when people cannot even remain in your home…. that may be a sign that you need to replace all of the flooring, or at least set off a bug bomb or two.

Needless to say, as much as my buyers loved the layout and the backyard.  We will not be making an offer on this home. Yes, once I shook off my pants legs and entered my car, I did lift up the legs of my pants in between scratching my head to see if there was anything crawling on me.   Thankfully, it was my last appointment on Friday night and I headed home at high speed.   I am blessed to have a hardwood entry on my main level that leads to the laundry room where I immediately put my clothing in the washer, wrapped up in a folded towel from the top of the dryer, and hit the shower. To my great delight, after the shower, the itching had stopped.

Sellers, smell is a very important part of getting your home sold.  If your real estate agent makes suggestions for you because of the smell of your home due to pets, or anything else…. listen to them!  If you have animals, be prepared that you may have fleas or other irritants….   take care of these issues before you list home and you won’t lose good buyers……

Thanks for listening to my vent for February….  I don’t think I can top this one, this month….. at least I hope not!!

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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-SELLERS-LET’S TALK ABOUT CURB APPEAL PART 2

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE-SELLERS-LET’S TALK ABOUT CURB APPEAL PART 2. HELPFUL TIPS ON GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD FROM YOUR SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE AGENT.

In Part 1 of “ Sellers, Let’s Talk About Curb Appeal” we set the groundwork for the basics, in Part 2 we will go more in depth on the subject of curb appeal.

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Improving the appearance of the driveway can be as easy and inexpensive as cleaning up oil spills, pressure washing to remove mildew or moving extra cars to another location. For damaged driveways, excessive cracks may be more unsightly if they’re filled with patches. In this case, resurfacing the driveway may be necessary.

Landscaping and lawn maintenance create the backdrop for the house. Like the scenery in a play, it showcases the main attraction. In his book, Sell It Yourself, Ralph Roberts vividly describes the ideal lawn. “You want your yard to look like a golf course fairway – lush, green and meticulously maintained.” This requires filling bare spots with grass plugs or sod, applying fertilizer and bug killer, and regularly watering the lawn.

For those with little spare time, it may be worth the money to hire a maintenance service to shape up your yard and keep it maintained as long as your house is on the market.

Add some color with a flowerbed or two of various annuals. A newly mowed and edged lawn accented with flowers makes a good first impression. The yard should look clean and green…with a few splashes of color.

Of course, once the lawn is golf course quality, you don’t want to spoil the effect with a cluttered yard. Neatly trim bushes and hedges so they accent the yard. Keep leaves raked and walkways swept daily. Trash cans, hoses, yard tools and toys should be stored in the garage or a shed. And while lawn ornaments – pink flamingos, elves, concrete geese or a statue of David – may make your life brighter, someone else might find them offensive. Put them in storage.

Want the most dramatic improvement in appearance for the best value? Paint the exterior of your house, including trim, window frames, shutters, gutters and downspouts, mailbox and front door. Opt for neutral shades of white, light grey, or pale beige, which are more universal.

If the existing paint on the outer walls is in good shape, consider touching up everything else in the list. This will make the house look brighter.

The front door is the transition area. At its best, it carries the pleasant look of the lawn – and the opinion of the buyer – over the threshold of the house. At worst, it undoes everything you achieved with the lawn and casts a pallor on the rest of the house. The buyer won’t miss the entryway, so the seller must not overlook it. Pressure wash the front steps, railings, and door. Clean out light fixtures, replace burnt-out bulbs and fix the broken doorbell. If the door is solid and in good working condition, give it a fresh coat of paint. If it’s damaged, cheaply made or otherwise unsightly, invest in a new, hardwood door. When this is done, add the final touch to the threshold: A brand-new doormat. After all, with all the work you just finished doing to spruce up the place, you want buyers to feel welcome.

By the way, Pam’s place now looks like a European country house, complete with shadow boxes, a wrought iron gate and English gardens. But the very first thing she did was paint the exterior…soft beige.

I hope you found these tips helpful to get you started on some great curb appeal for your Salem Oregon Home for Sale. For more selling tips from your Salem Oregon Real Estate Agent check out:

  1. The Bathroom – Part 1
  2. The Bathroom – Part 2

If you are considering selling your Salem Oregon Home, feel free to contact me for any questions that you may have, and a copy of my free book, “How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar, Fast“.

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TOP FIVE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR DOGS

HERE IS A LITTLE HUMOR ON THIS NEW YEAR’S DAY FROM SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE AND HOMES FOR SALE.  HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVERYONE!!  MAY YOUR YEAR BE FILLED WITH GOOD HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND MUCH SUCCESS!!

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5.    I will not suddenly stand straight up when I am lying under the coffee table.

4.  I will no longer be beholden to the sound of the can opener.

3.  I resolve to get a bite into the guy who gives me shots every year.

2.  I WILL break into the pantry and decide for myself how much food is “too” much.

And the #1 New Year’s resolution made by dogs……

1.  I will not chase the stick until I see it leave the hand!!

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SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE AND HOMES FOR SALE-Tips for Selling Your Home-Part 2-The Bathroom

Tips for selling your home-the bathroom

SALEM OREGON REAL ESTATE AND HOMES FOR SALE – Tips for Selling Your Home-Part 2-The Bathroom

SALEM AREA HOME SELLERS TIPS FOR GETTING YOU TOP DOLLAR FOR YOUR HOME IN THIS SALEM, OREGON REAL ESTATE MARKET.   THE BATHROOM PART 2.

Welcome to Part 2 of The Bathroom!! In Part 1 I talked about cleaning the vanity, cabinets and drawers, and also suggested some repairs that you may need to consider when selling your home. In Part 2 we are going to address some other tips to make your bathrooms sparkle and appeal to buyers.

Buyers will notice a filthy shower, and nothing turns a buyer off quicker. So, spend some time here.

Remove personal items – cleanser, shampoo and conditioner, shave cream, razor, body sponges – from the shower/tub area.

Discard items that are unnecessary and store the rest under the sink. Test the faucets and showerhead. Do the faucets turn off all the way? If not, change the washers. Is the water spraying freely from the showerhead? No? Then remove it and check to see if it’s clogged. If it still doesn’t work properly after cleaning, replace it.

Carefully examine tiles and the tub. Does the tub have chips and discoloration? It may need to be resurfaced or replaced.

How do the tiles look? Any loose pieces or chips? Are there cracks in the grout? Scrub the bathtub, tiles and grout until they are mold and mildew free. Regrout gaps between tiles. Scrape and replace discolored caulking.

When the shower and bathtub have been overhauled, top off your repairs with a new, crisp shower curtain or liner in a neutral color.

Take a good look at the ceiling and walls. Do you see any mold, mildew, fingerprints or grime? If so, scrub it with bleach. Cracking or curling paint should be scraped and repainted in a neutral color.
Here is a good rule of thumb: Place only three items on the vanity area. Many real estate experts suggest these include potpourri, a new or clean, filled soap dispenser, and a plant. It’s a good idea to keep the toilet tank top cleared as prospective buyers and inspectors may want to peek inside it.
After the big clean-up and repair job in the bathroom, it’s important to maintain the fresh smell and appearance each day the house is on the market. The space should be kept uncluttered, clean and sanitized. It should reflect well on the house of which it is a part and offer few glimpses of the personalities who currently live there.

At this point, a homeowner enters the sprucing-up stage. After cleaning every nook and cranny in the bathroom, it’s time to add the finishing touches. All dirty towels and wash cloths, bath mats and robes should be removed. A clean set of towels should be displayed before the house is shown. Trash baskets should be emptied and floors wiped daily. All personal grooming items – tooth brushes, make-up, combs and brushes, hair dryers, perfume, etc. – should be tucked away, preferably in a container and stored in a drawer or cabinet.

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Now that you have your bathrooms sparkling, let’s talk about something else that is important!  CURB APPEAL!!  That will be the subject of the next blog post in this series of Tips for Selling Your Home.

Wondering what your home may be worth in the current market?  Request a complimentary market analysis from me.  I will also include a copy of my “How To Sell Your House For Top Dollar, Fast”.

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