Category: Uncategorized

06
Oct

5 Secrets About Living in Orange County You Have to Hear

From the magic of Disneyland to the chill vibes of Huntington Beach, Orange County is home to a lot of popular tourist destinations. But what people who are new to the area wouldn’t know is that Orange County is also full of a lot of other hidden gems. Check out these five secrets about living in Orange County that only locals would know!

 

1. It’s not always how it looks on tv

Orange County is known as the infamous backdrop to popular shows like Laguna Beach, The Hills, and The O.C. These shows often depict beautiful stars having the time of their lives as they cruise along the traffic-free coast in their Mercedes or frolic down the empty beaches in Newport. While these portrayals may have some truth behind them, others are pure exaggerations for the sake of entertainment. In reality, some of these shows weren’t even filmed in Orange County. So no, locals don’t actually call Orange County “The O.C.” and not everyone drives a Mercedes, but there are so many reasons why the reality of Orange County is even better than how it appears on television. Good food? Check. Awesome people? You bet. Fun adventures? Of course. Orange County really does have it all and television shows just don’t do this extraordinary place justice.

 

2. Traffic is no joke

…but there are ways to get around it! If you’ve ever been to Orange County, you’ve probably heard people referring to the 5, the 22, the 55, and the 405. These seemingly random numbers are actually names of freeways and talking about the best way to navigate the roads is like another language to Orange County residents. Orange County natives have mastered the art of the sometimes hectic freeways and you can too by following these tips. First, avoid rush hour. Although it varies depending on the freeway and your direction of travel, the weekday morning commute is generally from 7:30am to 9am, while the after-work commute typically lasts from 4pm to 6:30pm. Fridays, however, are a whole different story with the after-work commute starting as early as 1pm. If you’re traveling on the weekend, it’s best to start early or after dinner to avoid the potential traffic from people heading off to their next adventure. Another helpful tip is to download Google Maps or Waze. Unlike some other GPS systems, these apps offer alternative routes and route changes to help you get to your destination as quickly as possible. Since Orange County has so many exciting things to do and something for everyone in each city, the freeways can get a bit crazy, but the priceless memories you’ll make from your day trip to the beach or the many laughs you’ll have during your amusement park adventure will make the commute more than worth it!

 

3. The best day to go to the beach is Wednesday

…or any weekday really. It’s no secret that Orange County is home to some of the best beaches along the West Coast. There’s the infamous Newport Beach, tourist favorite Laguna Beach, and the holy grail of surfing, Huntington Beach, just to name a few! But with the wildly popular beaches comes the huge crowds and parking nightmare. So when’s the best time to go to your favorite beach without all the hassle? Well, from our experience living in Orange County, we found that the middle of the week is the best time to escape the crowds that tend to populate every Saturday and Sunday. If you are going on a weekend, however, try to beat the rush and head to the beach in the early morning. Nothing sounds better than a peaceful morning relaxing on the beach followed by a delicious brunch along the water. Another beach tip is to avoid the peak of summer if possible. Autumn is an ideal time to visit the beach and it’s Southern California so the weather is always perfect regardless of the time of year!

 

4. Orange County is home to a lot of foodies

From the octopus ceviche at Javier’s in Newport Beach to the soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Costa Mesa, Orange County hosts a wide variety of cuisine. Every city has their specialties, so almost every type of food is accessible as long as you know where to go. Want to find the best food without taking all the time and effort to do the research? Check out some of our past blogs to find the best dessert spots , top brunch destinations, and more!

 

5. Orange County really is the best place to live!

Orange County has more than just gorgeous beaches and yummy grub. The fantastic sights, relaxing vibes, and plethora of things to do are giving locals so much to love about their hometowns. Comprised of 34 cities with over three million residents, Orange County is much more diverse than television may lead people to believe. Looking for a quiet place where you can walk around the farmer’s’ market or browse antique stores? Old towne Orange is the perfect place for you. Maybe you want something with a bit more nightlife? Check out Fullerton and everything the city has to offer. In Orange County, there truly is something for everyone!

 

Interested in moving to Orange County? Let us know and we’d be more than happy to help!

05
Apr

Fun for the Family in Anaheim

Hello Orange County and welcome back to our blog!! Today Nicole and I want to share a few of our favorite spots to visit with family. Orange County, being as wonderful as it is, is filled with things to do. Trying to list them all would cramp our fingers and put you to sleep. So instead, today, we will focus on fun for the whole family in good old  Anaheim, CA.

First on our list, and for good reason, is Disneyland and Downtown Disney. People travel from around the world to visit such a magical place and we have it sitting in our backyard. How lucky are we? Disneyland is fun for the whole family including entertainment, thrill rides, childhood favorites and amazing food. If you find yourself thinking that you don’t have enough time for the full Disney experience… No worries, stop by Disney’s Downtown area! Full of amazing places to eat (Rainforest Cafe, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen , ESPN Zone and more) we promise you wont go hungry. Downtown Disney is also home to the House of Blues, the Lego Store, live music/entertainment and a movie theater. The park and staff truly never disappoint, so join in with the rest of the world and visit Americas’ favorite mouse house!!!

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Next on our list is the Edison International Field of Anaheim, or Angel Stadium for short. The beautiful home of our Anaheim Angels and America’s favorite past time!! Nothing beats a family day at the ballpark, I can’t tell you how many wonderful memories my family and I have made at the “Big A”. We want you to share the same, so if you haven’t been, its time!  Not only does this amazing place offer baseball games but also concerts,  high flying motocross and Monster Truck Madness, Harvest Crusade in August and a long list of other family oriented entertainment. We promise you and the family a wonderful time. Don’t forget Friday night fireworks and as you pass by on the 57 freeway look up and say “Light Up That Halo!”

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Up next…. and directly across the street from the “Big A” is the Honda Center. Home to our Anaheim Ducks, “Quack Quack.” All I want to say is if you have not been to a hockey game then you have not lived… How can you beat big toothless bearded men and fast paced excitement. It’s a clear cut winner for a family event, go once and I promise you’ll be back. Don’t forget to check for upcoming concerts! Artist like Brad Paisley, J. Cole and John Mayer will be there this summer. Don’t miss out!

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How many of you know about the Anaheim Packing District? I won’t lie, I just discovered this amazing place last year. I sure am glad I did because I feel like I was missing out. It’s a wonderful place to take the family. Set up like a mall, you walk end to end and are tempted with delicious food and desserts. Pair that with live music and adult beverages and you have fun for the whole family.

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And last but certainly not least is Anaheim’s Adventure City. Many of you may have never even heard of this place, but if you have young children it’s is a hidden gem. It’s a fantastic alternative to the other high priced amusement parks in the area and a great way to get the kids to burn up some of that relentless energy. The park is equipped with a dozen or so rides, a children’s theater, petting zoo and a fun filled arcade. The park only opened in 1994 and is looking to expand soon, if you have not been we suggest packing the family up and taking a trip.

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We are so blessed to have been born and raised in Orange County  and also to have the privilege of working everyday out and about… learning more and more about what makes are communities tick, keeps them cohesive and provides memories for so many of us throughout our life times…. Don’t forget, if you know someone who is dying to live in our amazing  area, please  have them reach out to us today! We promise to take great care of them and find them the home of their dreams!!

 

 

 

30
Mar

The Best of Brea

Lookout everybody! Today we are talkin’ food!!! By far one of our most treasured past times…. and if there is anything that Nicole and I know better than real estate it’s where to find the best food in town! Today, we are going to start in our home town and present to you not only our favorite eating spots, but also without a doubt, the best of Brea…..These are all restaurants that we have personally visited and enjoyed.  So, if you are ever out and about and happen to spot us at one of these very fine establishments, please don’t be shy! You know what they say…. Use Stacy and Nicole for all your Orange County real estate needs! Oh, wait…. that has nothing to do with this bog…….carry on!

 

— TAPS Fish House & Brewery

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This is always at the top of our list. Filled with mouth watering steaks and jaw dropping lobster tails you can’t go wrong. The staff and management are fantastic, Woody has always made us feel like part of the family.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/taps-fish-house-and-brewery-brea-2

— Yard House

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You can’t go wrong with a trip to the Yard House. We frequent their happy hour often. If you go make sure you try the vampire tacos, you wont regret it!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/yard-house-brea

— Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

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When you combine beautiful people, pups and patios you can’t lose. We know our furry friends love this place and we know you will too.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/lazy-dog-restaurant-and-bar-brea

— Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern

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If you are a burger person this place is a must visit. We didn’t know a cheeseburger could be so good. Get it with parmesan garlic fries…. yum

https://www.yelp.com/biz/jimmys-famous-american-tavern-brea?osq=Restaurants

— Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen

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Prime location in downtown Brea. Enjoy an amazing meal and a stroll through the promenade area before you catch a movie at the local Edward’s Theaters.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/cha-chas-latin-kitchen-brea

–D’Vine

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Looking for some Mediterranean flavor? D’Vine is the answer. A great blend of flavors and wonderful presentation. This place is always a huge hit with my vegetarian friends.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/d-vine-brea-2

— Slapfish

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Slowly becoming one of my favorite places. If you go you must try the “clobster”,  the crab and lobster grilled cheese! If that doesn’t convince you, the lobster burrito will!

https://www.yelp.com/biz/slapfish-brea?osq=slapfish

— The Cheesecake Factory

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Enough said… I’ll leave you with that.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-cheesecake-factory-brea

Those are just a few of the many restaurants that Brea has to offer. If we happened to miss your favorite spot, comment and let us know your ‘Best of Brea.” Now I’m sure you are all good and hungry so we’ll let you get on to planning your dinner.  Remember, for any of your Orange County cravings call the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team, we always have what you looking for.

16
Mar

Ready to Tip Off the Madness?

MARCH MADNESS IS HERE! While some have already filled out their brackets others wonder what all the “madness” is about. March madness if you’re not sure is the Superbowl of college basketball. The top teams from all over the country compete to be the last team standing. I personally, like many of you, have never made a bracket before nor did I know where to start. If you’re like me and you want to be part of the madness, but are not sure where to start, I’m here to help. I’ll share a couple tips about how I picked my winners and possibly even tell you who’s going to win the whole thing (shhhh).

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With very very little college basketball knowledge my pick style may be a little unorthodox but none the less I had a lot of fun and I encourage you to get involved!

So how did I pick my teams……

1. Home Teams or bust!!

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2. Better Mascot

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3. Best Outfits (duh)

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4. Best Student Section

5. and if all that fails… who do I think is more likely to purchase a home from us??

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Both look so eager to get on the Stacy and Nicole Team!

Well now that I’ve given you all the inside tips, its time to get to work!! I would hate for you to miss out on all the fun. Below I’v attached a link to the copy of the 2017 bracket, just click and print. Pick your winners and share your knowledge with us! By the way, I Picked U-C-L-A as my champions, GO BRUINS! Have fun and good luck…. And remember you’re always on the winning side when you play for the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team.

http://printableteamschedules.com/NCAA/marchmadnessbracket.php 

14
Mar

Get Lucky with the Help of the Irish

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Top of the mornin’ to ya! Hopefully your month of March is off to a fantastic start. I absolutely love this month for many reasons (my oldest sons birthday, March Madness, the smell of spring and of course green beer). While I’m sure my oldest (Kyle) would love for me to talk about his birthday, my focus is on the green beer, corn beef and cabbage. I have listed 10 Irish worthy pubs within the Orange County area, some I’v been to and others I’ll visit on Friday the 17th. So wear green or get pinched!  See you out and about!

  1. The Irishman

422 Olive Ave, Hunting Beach CA 92648

     2. The Harp Inn

130 E 17th St, Costa Mesa CA 92627

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       3. Muldoon’s Irish Pub

202 Newport Ctr Dr, Newport Beach CA 92660

      4. Silky Sulivans

10201 Slater Ave, Fountain Valley CA 92708

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      5. Malarky’s Irish Pub

3011 Newport Blvd, Newport Beach CA 92663

      6. Branagan’s Irish Pub

213 N Harbor Blvd, Fullerton CA 92832

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    7. O’Hara’s Pub

150 N Glassell St, Orange CA 92866

    8. The Auld Dubliner

71 S Pine Ave, Long Beach CA 90802

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      9. Durty Nelly’s

2915 Red Hill Ave, Costa Mesa CA 92626

       10. Killarney Pub & Grill

209 Main St, Huntington Beach CA 92648

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While every good Irish lad enjoys an ol’ fashion pub crawl, PLEASE REMEMBER TO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. Please designate your non-Irish (sober) friend as your driver or just phone one of the many available services. (Uber/Lift/Yellow cab). Everyone have a safe and wonderful holiday. And don’t forget, we don’t get lucky at the Stacy and Nicole Real Estate Team we’re just that good!

26
Sep

The Best Way To Choose a Real Estate Agent

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Today I am taking off my realtor hat and I am just going to talk to you as a friend. I have learned so much over the last 10 years in this business. Yes, a lot of it has been by trial and error, fear and failure, but that is what has molded us into one of the strongest real estate teams in Orange County.  Everybody knows somebody that has a real estate license…. There are thousands of us that carry that a little piece of paper with an 8 digit number. That does not mean that every realtor knows how to sell a home. Follow this advice, and you will do just fine….

choosing an agent

DO NOT HIRE A PART TIME AGENT– Here’s the problem with a “part-time agent” Plain and simple, they can not possibly know the market as well as an agent who is out there everyday pounding the pavement. They also are not going to know the other agents in the community as well as someone who is networking with them everyday in every way. Lastly, when that hot buyer or newest property pops on the market for you, chances are that they aren’t going to be at your beck and call if they are busy napping or whatever is that they do during the other “part-time” of their lives.

realtors and social media

MARKETING, MARKETING, MARKETING- I have learned that marketing yourself and your clients home is essential to success. Simply taking a listing, adding it to the Multiple Listing Service and slapping together a flyer from pictures taken on your iPhone, is not marketing. If you are interviewing an agent, you must ask to see their marketing plan in detail! They must have a large sphere, a massive presence on social media, and utilize video. Ask to see what they are going to put in print and make them show you examples. Our marketing plan is so superior that we proudly display it at all of our listing appointments. You must know what you are getting for your money. Talk is cheap…. you want proof.

 

Group Of Friends Sitting Around Table Having Dinner Party

YES, YOU MUST LIKE THEM- Think of it this way, you are going to possibly spend the next 3-6 months with your agents. If you wouldn’t invite them over for dinner and a cocktail… Don’t hire them. Also, you are trusting your agents with one of the biggest transactions of your lifetime, you need to feel that you can trust them and that they genuinely have your best interests at heart. If you don’t, then they probably don’t…

writing a review

UMMM REVIEWS- No brainer… If a client received excellent service and genuinely felt that  they were very well taken care of, they will write about it! Likewise, if they receive bad service, they will write about it! Read them… all of them.

finding a realtor

DAMN VOICEMAIL-  There is a saying in our office and we use it daily, “Time Kills All Deals” Your agent needs to call, text you, or email you back within minutes, not days or even hours…. Hiring a team ensures that your needs are always met and that someone is always available when you need them. Test them before you sign with them!

Don’t believe me?  Try it…. Call us today if you are thinking of buying or selling your home!! (We answer our phones)

22
Sep

The 10 Commandments of Buying a Home

Today my home buying friends, we are going to keep it simple and straight to the point! With over 10 years in the business, I can honestly and most assuredly say, if you break these rules, you will not be buying a home! I know this because in my early years as an agent, I have lost deals by clients doing one or more of these in the middle of the loan process. So please allow me to share with you what not to do so that we make sure that your home buying process is smooth, enjoyable and as stress free as possible!

10 Commandments of home buying

1️⃣ Thou shall not change jobs, become self employed, or quit your job.

2️⃣ Thou shall not use credit cards for large purchases or fall behind on payments.

3️⃣ Thou shall not spend the money you have set aside for closing

4️⃣ Thou shall not buy a new car or truck (or you might end up living in it )

5️⃣ Thou shall not omit debts or liabilities to your lender.

6️⃣ Thou shall not buy furniture on credit

7️⃣ Thou shall not let anyone run your credit besides your lender.

8️⃣ Thou shall not change bank accounts.

9️⃣ Thou shall not make large deposits without first checking with your lender.

🔟 Thou shall not co-sign for a loan for anyone or apply for a line of equity during the loan process.

 

Buying a home and even thinking about starting the process comes with a certain amount of stress. You need to be educated by a team of patient and knowledgeable agents who will assume that burden for you. You need us, Stacy and Nicole…. because your success is our success!  Call us today and we’ will walk you through the entire process step by step.

21
Sep

Empty Nesting Can Be The Besting!

empty nest

Today I will speak of a subject that I know very well….The dreaded empty nest.  As we are raising our children we dream of the day that they will be grown, happy, and on their own. After all, if they are, we have done our job right? Then the time actually comes and you find yourself aimlessly walking around a big house, quiet, lonely and with no one to pick up after. You and your spouse, who by the way feels the same way, look at each other from across the couch with the “What do we do now?” looks on your faces. Well, the way I see it, we have two choices. We can play the echo game down the empty halls and vacant bedrooms  (hello, hello, hellooooo) or we can get out there and enjoy what life has to offer!! After all…. we have a whole lot of years left, it’s time to reconnect with your best friend and go have some fun! Here are a few ways to get that party started!

Create a Dream Board- The first thing that you and your spouse should do is create a dream board! Pull out books and magazines, maps and and old photos of the things that you did before the children… Now is the time for you guys to daydream…. No, the years of raising kids did not suck the life out of you! Put your imagination caps back on and light that fire under each other , this is an exciting time!

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Reacquaint With Your Spouse- Let’s face it, raising children not only ages us, but it changes our perspective on life. Many times we find with the sleepless nights, working hard to try and feed and clothe them and scurrying to keep up with their busy schedules that we haven’t had time to really share our new found thoughts and desires with our spouses. Remember a long time ago, it was just the two of you… best friends, in it to win it, ride or die kind of love…. Now it’s time for the two of you to jump back on that bike called life, feel the wind in your hair and pull the bugs out of your teeth together!

motorcyle couple fun

Get MOVING- Ok…. now we have some free time to fill… Get of the couch!! Do you guys love Country music? How about line-dancing classes? You’d rather be outdoors you say? Then I say it’s time to buy that travel trailer you’ve always talked about. That is exactly what my husband and I did and we couldn’t love it more! The awkward silence while sitting on the couch watching T.V is not the same as the silence cuddled under the stars and around the campfire together!

Young couple sitting at a campfire in the evening, lake Ottenstein, Lower Austria, Austria, Europe

Play- Play, play, play. Play music, play board games, play cards, play golf, play tennis, play hide and seek for gosh sakes…. who cares…. just remember what it’s like to feel young and laugh!

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Get Healthy- Have a goal, whether you need to lose a few or just need to start exercising… Do it together. After all, you two have a lot of years to spend together and those grand kids will start coming soon! You’re going to need to stay active to keep up and watch them grow! Plus, when you feel better, you do better!!

hiking together

Now, if you really take our fist 5  suggestions and you find yourself suddenly having a good time, laughing and carrying on in that big old house and just decide it’s too much up keep for your new fancy free lifestyle…. You need to call us! We will get that house sold in no time and find you a more manageable home for you to enjoy for the years to come!!

Orange County homes

20
Sep

Are we moving into a Buyer’s Market?

Hi Friends,

Orange County homes

If you find yourself reading this blog, it means you are a very important person to us in one way or another.  As your expert Orange County Realtors, we’d like to have a very candid conversation with you. A good agent is an honest agent, even if it means waiting for a paycheck…(remember we’re being candid )
So here’s the cold hard truth, our market is changing quite rapidly and home values are coming down. We typically start to see this after a long run of a seller’s market when values peak, which we’ve been in for several years now. In our experience and with all the research that we do, we can confidently say that we are seeing the trend migrate towards a buyers market. Also, with interest rates rising, inventory increasing and a very unsettling presidential election we see the buyers hesitating due to uncertainty as well. All of these will result in longer days on the market for sellers. So, for our friends who have been thinking about selling, but aren’t really sure it’s the right time, I strongly believe that if you hesitate much longer you’ll have to wait another 5-7 years before you could try to sell it again in order to get the money you are wanting today out of your home now…and that is if the market rebounds to today’s market value again. 5-7 years is the typical turn around time. With that being said, as your friends and advisors, we strongly urge you to ask yourself the question, “Do I want to stay or do I want to sell?”
If your answer is sell… then pick up your phone and let’s get the party started!
As for our buyer friends, interest rates are still low and people buy homes in all types of markets and for different reasons and we know, because we sell them! If you are ready, then now is the time…But if you are merely thinking of buying and are not quite ready, WAIT. Use this time, save more money and firm up any credit issues. We believe that next year is going to be a much better market for our buyer friends!!

Don’t forget, We are here to help you meet your goals, whatever they may be.  We can’t wait to work with you!

06
Sep

A Great Big List of Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home

First impressions are everything when selling your home. Making sure that your potential buyer is comfortable and not only enjoys the tour of your home, but wants to make it their own, is a pretty simple task. Here are a few things that you can do to ensure a great experience for the buyer and not only multiple offers, but top dollar for your listing!

  1. SAY NO TO CLUTTER- My golden rule is, if you haven’t touched it for 6 months and you do not need it for daily living, PACK IT UP! Buyer’s want to imagine themselves and their things in a home when they are looking. Plus, you are moving, it’s going to make the process so much easier for you when the time comes… You’re welcome 🙂
  2. CLEAR OFF COUNTER SPACE- Clear off those kitchen and bathroom counters and wipe them clean! Less stuff of yours, makes the buyer feel that there is more space for theirs!
  3. DE-PERSONALIZE THE WHOLE HOUSE- Time to pack up the Little League trophies, family photos and the snow globe collection… Keep decorations neutral and to a minimum. Remember that photos of your home will become very public once you are listed and unless you want to feel like the whole world is creeping on you, go ahead and pack it away!
  4. CALL THE HANDYMAN- This is the time that you want to fix obvious issues with your home. For example… leaky faucets, drywall holes or repair, broken windows or cabinets that don’t close…. ALSO, remember to replace any burned out light bulbs. Besides keeping it light and bright, this assures buyers that even the little things are maintained.
  5. BATHROOMS- You can really change the look of the bathroom with a few simple steps from your local hardware store. Update out dated faucets or light fixtures and put fresh caulking around the tubs and sinks. A steam cleaner works wonders on dirty grout and tile… a new shower curtain and a bath mat and BAM it feels brand spankin’ new!
  6. FRESH COAT OF PAINT- This never hurt anyone… covers imperfections and little handprints. A fresh coat also smells fresh, covers up old musty odors that maybe lingering from pets or cooking.
  7. CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS AND WASH DOWN- Let the light shine through! It is also important to pay attention to dusty window sills and blinds… Also, pressure wash the outside of the home and hose away any dirt and cobwebs that may have accumulated over the years.
  8. CURB APPEAL- water grass, plant flowers and cut back overgrown shrubs and trees that may be blocking the beauty of your home.
  9. CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PETS- Always clean up after your pets! Besides the fact that there is not one buyer out there that wants to look at it or smell it… You do not want them accidently stepping in it and tracking it through your home!
  10. LAST BUT NOT LEAST- Find a realtor that you connect with and trust. Do not hire a realtor because they tell you what you want to hear, this can be a very costly mistake! Hire a realtor that knows your city and neighborhood, one that “works” and is familiar with the ever changing market and most importantly, one that listens to your needs. After all…..You are the boss!

We know that by following these simple steps you will find great success and we absolutely would love to be apart of it! Remember, we have an extensive list of vendors that we work with everyday that can help you complete these tasks. We know that life is busy and getting started can be overwhelming, let us help you now!