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Blog :: 07-2014

Bright Ideas for Better Home Lighting

Whether you're selling your home or not, here are a few ideas to create better ambiance and brighten up your home. If it is on the market, you definitely want to make sure your home is well lit inside and out when showing it to prospective buyers. Check that all bulbs are working and replaced with the appropriate wattage for the room. For smaller rooms, place lamps in the corners of the rooms to help open up the space and make it appear larger. Lights pointed towards the ceiling are known as "up-lights" and help illuminate architectural features like crown molding or arched windows and doors. Also, don't forget to clean chandeliers and light fixtures - taking care to remove all bugs, dirt and fingerprints - yuck! It's best to use halogen lighting in kitchen and dining areas. The natural white light makes food look more appealing and appetizing. Consider florescent bulbs for hard to reach fixtures. they are more energy efficient and last much longer than incandescent bulbs. Installing dimmer switches for your overhead lighting will give you enormous flexibility to alter the mood and appearance of a room. And don't forget the driveway and outdoor lights either. Illuminating outdoor paths and porches is not only great for safety, but makes these areas very attractive. Use solar powered lights to save energy and eliminate the need for complicated wiring.

In addition, CFC light bulbs are a great choice because they are known to significantly reduce energy costs. So if you're in the market for them and live in Vermont's Chittenden County, you can purchase them at our local co-op grocery store, City Market. For more energy saving tips, you can visit Burlington Electric's website.

For more buying and selling tips, click here! Feel free to contact Geri Reilly with any questions! 802.862.6677

How to Sell Your Home Faster!

As we all know, the real estate market has been relatively slow for the past year or so - especially when comparing to the housing bubble of the early to mid-2000's. The homes that are selling fast these days are A) priced right and B) in immaculate condition. Here are some tips to getting your house in tip top shape to hopefully get your home sold in under 90 days:

1) The Basics - As the saying goes, "You never have a second chance to make a first impression!" This could not be more true! The first few things a buyer sees when they pull up to your house is the front yard and entrance. Make sure your yard is spotless - rake, weed, add some new flowers (whether in the garden or in hanging baskets), etc. Also, give the front door a fresh coat of paint if needed and replace the house numbers, mailbox and outside light (if necessary). If not, at least make sure they are all clean.

2) Clean the Windows - Consider having them professionally cleaned or save money and do it yourself. Use Windex, then wipe the windows off with newspaper to avoid streaks - it works wonderfully! Also, remove dated window treatments, unless they are wooden blinds or Plantation shutters. But make sure these blinds are open if you've got a view - a stunning view is a huge selling point!

3) Clean & Declutter - If you want your home to sell fast, clean everything! This means you might have to get up on a chair or ladder to clean hard to reach spots like chandeliers, ceiling fans, and shelves. Be sure to wipe down any grimy light switch plates and to keep your bathroom mirrors spotless. Have your carpets professionally cleaned as well and if that's not enough, have them replaced. Don't forget to clean out your closets, guest room, and garage too! These spots are notorious for collecting random junk. Have a yard sale or donate unwanted and unneeded household items. Minimizing your belongings will also make your future move much easier! Make sure your kitchen is spotless and that the counters are bare by removing unnecessary appliances such as toasters and coffeemakers.

4) Depersonalize - If you remove most of your personal items from various rooms, prospective buyers can better visualize their personal belongings and decorations in the home. Remove knick-knacks, personal photos, collections, paperwork, etc.

5) Paint - Use neutral colors that will appeal to more people. Again, it's all about making it easier for buyers to imagine your home as their new home.

6) Staging - Home stagers have become part of an entourage to  help real estate agents and sellers get homes ready to be someone else's. That frequently means depersonalizing the home and making it "model home" neutral. This will appeal to more buyers.

7) Check Out the Competition - Go online and check out some real estate websites - there are a ton of them!,, and are just a few popular sites. Look at photos of other homes for sale to get some ideas. These sites will also offer suggestions and questions to ask your agent.

Ultimately, your goal is to give your home that WOW factor that will make it stand out and be memorable for prospective buyers. This, along with a good price, will give your home value, which is what today's buyers are looking for. For more information, advice from a seasoned real estate expert, or to set up a free home consultancy/market analysis of your home, give Geri Reilly a call! 802.862.6677