Shari Marquis' Blog
If you plan to sell your house, you should be proactive. Because, in most cases, a proactive home seller is a successful home seller.
With a proactive approach, a home seller can find unique ways to differentiate his or her house from the competition. That way, this home seller can boost his or her chances of a quick, profitable home sale.
Now, let's take a look at three best practices for proactive home sellers.
1. Upgrade Your Home's Interior and Exterior
Ensure your house looks great both inside and out. By doing so, you can guarantee your residence will make a long-lasting impression on homebuyers.
When it comes to improving your home's interior, it pays to mop the floors, wipe down the walls and ceilings and perform assorted home interior maintenance. If you need extra help along the way, you can always hire a professional home cleaning company as well.
To upgrade your home's exterior, you should mow the lawn, remove dirt and debris from walkways and perform any necessary home siding repairs. Remember, your house only gets one chance to make a positive first impression. And if your home's exterior dazzles, it will increase the likelihood that a buyer will want to set up a home showing.
2. Conduct a Home Appraisal
What you paid for your house a few years ago is unlikely to match your home's value today. Luckily, a home appraisal can help you set a competitive price for your residence from day one.
During a home appraisal, a professional appraiser will examine your home's interior and exterior. He or she also will evaluate assorted housing market data and use all of this information to provide a property valuation.
After you receive a home appraisal report, you should review the report findings closely. By leveraging all of the report data, you should have no trouble establishing a competitive price for your residence.
3. Work with a Real Estate Agent
If you want to be a proactive home seller, you need to work with a real estate agent. In fact, a real estate agent will do everything possible to help you accelerate the home selling process and ensure you can get the best price for your house.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home and will teach you about the home selling journey. Plus, he or she will learn about your home selling goals and guarantee you can accomplish your aspirations.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to set up home showings and open houses, promote your residence to potential buyers and negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf. And if you have home selling questions, a real estate agent is happy to answer them.
There is no need to take a wait-and-see approach to selling your home. Instead, use the aforementioned tips, and you can become a proactive home seller.
If you’re looking to improve curb appeal, don’t forget your driveway. The driveway is the entrance to your home long before you step inside—the first first impression you can make. While many see their driveways as purely utilitarian features used to get in and out of the garage or parking area, the driveway can have immense potential for boosting your curb appeal with some easy upgrades.
Here are the top 3 ways to beautify your driveway and increase your curb appeal:
Define With a Border
Adding a border to the edges of your driveway is a simple way to enhance the entire view. If you choose a contrasting material for the driveway edges, it will create a sense of definition between the driveway and the surrounding landscape and increase safety. Adding a border will make the boundaries of the driveway easier to see for drivers and pedestrians alike. As well as separate the driveway from its surroundings, a border will also help draw the eyes forward toward the home. Brick is a timeless and easy-to-install option for driveway borders, but concrete blocks and Belgian blocks are also common and durable choices. Adding a border is a project you can even DIY as long as you have the right tools, which will save you money to spend on other upgrades you might need.
Light It Up
Clearly lighting the driveway is crucial for curb appeal and for safety. Depending on the design and layout of your driveway you have plenty of options for adequate lighting. You don’t need to go over budget, either. Many outdoor path lighting options are solar-powered and will save you money compared to traditional lighting setups. You can even carry the style of the home’s architecture and decor through your lighting choices. Lantern and pendant style accent lighting will create a rustic and inviting feel to the driveway, while recessed LEDs along the edges can give it a more modern feel. Regardless of the style you choose, you’ll be helping potential buyers—and yourself—navigate more safely to and from the home in the dark.
If you want to boost your curb appeal but don’t have time or budget for an entire landscaping overhaul, you can still add planters full of flowers and greenery. You can even set up formal topiary and hedges and up to accent your driveway quickly and easily without planting or trimming. Small citrus trees in pots are another inviting accent piece, and brightly colored flowers in pedestal containers will catch the eye from afar. You can use planters to serve as visual points of reference for the entire view approaching the home and further enhance your curb appeal.
These are just a few of the ways you can refresh and upgrade your driveway for better curb appeal. Depending on the size, design and layout of your driveway and yard, you have a lot of room to be creative with your choices. Just remember to consider safety and accessibility as well as any neighborhood building codes for every decision you make.
Dessert is often a favorite part of any meal. But what if you could bring a little more fun and a lot more smiles after a family dinner or friendly get-together? Here are a few of the best miniature grab-and-go desserts for any occasion.
Cake has been a favorite dessert for centuries. The ancient Greeks used to make small, heavy, flat cakes in ancient times known as “satura.” However, cake and sutra have come a long way since then, especially in size, shape and portability.
Cake pops are an astounding way to share a fan favorite with a variety of people. As a bonus, cleanup after the fact only involves a trash can or small dish to put reusable pop sticks for washing.
Cake pops are great because they also come in a cadre of colors, flavors, designs and shapes, so everyone gets their favorite type of cake in a fun and portable package.
If you and yours are looking for something a little lighter, try making miniature mousse cups. You can opt for the traditional glassware or opt for funky drinkware options like 2 oz shot glasses or cordial glasses to give them a little extra flare.
Looking for less cleanup afterwards? Try compostable or recycled disposables such as cupcake containers or small cups with fun designs painted around the outside.
You can also add fun spoons to complete the aesthetic. Just make sure the spoons are small enough to fit into the mouth of the container and don’t offset the balance of the dish. This will help you avoid any accidental messes.
Cheesecake is the denser, richer cousin of cake pops. Most people enjoy cutting into a large decorated cake, but making miniatures can be just as appealing. You can create the cake as usual, choosing your own cheese, cream cheese and crusts. However, instead of packing it all into a pie container, try packing it into cupcake sleeves.
If you have a “bake” recipe, make sure you adjust the cook time for the new smaller size. After they’ve been prepared and have time to rest, place them in a chilled environment and serve to your guests, friends and family with your choice of topping. And, once again, cleanup is as easy as throwing away the cupcake sleeve and depositing the utensils (if not disposable) into the sink or washing tray.
Smaller desserts are often just as much fun as, if not more than, their counterparts. These three are excellent starting points, all with a wide variety of audience members you will delight when you serve up these fun, miniature versions.
29 Cordage Ter, Plymouth, MA 02360
Multi-purpose furnishings are always budget-friendly, especially when you make them yourself. With only a few inexpensive materials you can make a trendy and modern-style concrete stool that doubles as a plant stand. Here is all the information you need to make your very own DIY concrete plant stool.
What You’ll Need
A bag of concrete mix
Stirring stick for concrete
Measuring tape & pencil
Paint or stain
Use your measuring tape and pencil to divide up the dowel into three equal pieces. Saw along the marks to create the legs of the stool.
Scoop some concrete mix into the bucket per the instructions on the bag. While gradually adding water, stir the mix into a smooth consistency. Use the included concrete instructions to determine the best amount of water to use.
Once you’ve mixed the concrete sufficiently, tap on the outside of the bucket to get rid of air bubbles. It’s a good idea to do this for about 30 seconds or until you don’t see any more bubbles on the surface of the mix.
Take your three dowels and push them into the concrete mix so that the ends meet in the middle of the bucket. Lean them on the sides an equal space apart.
Wait at least 24 hours or longer if the concrete mix instructions call for it. You’ll want to store this in a dry, level place while it hardens.
When the concrete is dry, bend the sides of the bucket to loosen the concrete from the inside walls. Use whatever you’d like to bend and pull the plastic to make some room. You can also use the dowel legs for leverage, however, you risk damaging the edges of the concrete stool.
Carefully lift the concrete out of the bucket by the dowels. Flip it over and stand on the stool on the floor or ground to test for any wobbling. If the legs are uneven at all, you can use a sander to even them out. You can also sand the concrete edges with a sander or sandpaper to make them smoother.
Use your choice of paint or wood stain to add a coat to the dowel legs. This is easiest to do with the stool standing upside down. If you want to use the stand outdoors, a coat of sealant is a good idea.
Wait for the paint, stain and seal to dry completely before flipping the stool upright again.
You’re all finished! Now you have a simple and modern-style stool or plant stand perfect for any space indoors or out. Use it to display a houseplant or flower pot or use it as a fun extra seating option on the patio. With this quick and inexpensive process, you’ll be able to make stands of any size you need and customize them to your liking.