7 Tips to Help Sell Your House Faster and For More Money!!

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7 Tips to Help Sell Your House Faster and For More Money!!

Is it time to upsize or downsize your current home? Are you thinking about selling your house, “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO – pronounced fizzbo) and need some quick pointers, or maybe you're not ready to talk to a real estate professional but want to get a jump on getting your house ready for the market?

We highlight 7 tips to help get your house SOLD FAST and for TOP DOLLAR!

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PRO TIP: Install the planks to run with the length of the room. It helps draw the eye to the back of the room

FLOORS – carpet in the main living & traffic areas is OUT! Carpet in bedrooms is still ok (but make sure that it’s in good shape and professionally cleaned before listing). Recommend installing a vinyl plank or laminate flooring to get TOP DOLLAR for your home!


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WALLS – while you may have loved your red accent wall, your kids blue and pink rooms…real talk: not everyone is going to like your taste. Paint your walls back to a neutral color before listing; either a beige or gray. New paint helps brighten up the rooms and gives it that fresh feel!

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PRO TIP: The 2 gray colors that are in right now are – Sherwin Williams – Agreeable Gray and Repose Gray. Also, paint your base boards, door trim and doors with a fresh coat of white paint. You’ll be amazed at how much that changes the feel of the rooms.


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If you can only afford to make one upgrade to your kitchen – update your countertops (especially, if you have old fashioned laminate countertops). Consider installing a solid surface countertop, granite, or quartz. If you can afford 2 upgrades – buy an updated appliance package. White and black appliances are out!

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KITCHENS – the heart of the home! Buyers are looking for open concept, clean feel, updated appliances, & updated countertops. White kitchens are in!! White cabinets, quartz or granite countertops with specks of gray, with new stainless-steel appliances.

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PRO TIP: Make sure all of your appliances are clean (stove tops, ovens, and fridge). Buyers are looking at these things. Also, make sure you declutter as much as possible in the pantry and countertops. Put away dirty dishes.


 

BATHROOMS - If possible, update your vanities! Replace laminate with solid surface, granite or quartz countertops. Make sure all of your wet areas are caulked. Common areas – toilet base, shower/tub, and the vanity’s backsplash.

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PRO TIP: DIY the caulk job yourself, takes 15 mins or so, costs less than $10. YouTube some tutorials and make it happen!


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PRO TIP: Sources of pet odors – your pets favorite lounge spot, the carpet, or the couch.

PET ODORS – very sensitive subject for us pet lovers! No one wants to be told that their pet is stinking up the house! But sometimes we just need to hear the truth! If you have a bigger dog or multiple dogs, chances are that your house will have a slight pet odor. Invite a friend over or a neighbor and have them give you their honest opinion.


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CLEAN & FIX THE LITTLE THINGS – Scrub, scour, tidy up, straighten, get rid of the clutter, declare war on dust, repair squeaks, the light switch that doesn’t work, and the tiny crack in the bathroom mirror because these can be deal-killers and you’ll never know what turns buyers off. Remember, you’re not just competing with other resales homes, but brand-new ones as well!

PRO TIP: Tidiness level - Imagine a family friend is coming to stay with you for a while and you want to make them feel as comfortable as possible!


And finally…

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PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY – we can’t stress this enough!! Do not take pictures with your phone, or a simple point and shoot. Invest the small amount of money and have a professional showcase your home the way it DESERVES to be!

PRO TIP: Declutter as much as possible for photo day! Less is more! If you can get a bowl of fresh lemons for your kitchen table, do it – they bring so much life to a space!

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5 Ways to Prepare for a Day of House Hunting

I was driving home after a long, cold, rainy day of showing over 7 houses in a 4 hour period. I realized there are 5 things to consider when preparing to house hunt. As a professional home shopper, I already know these things because I do it almost daily - but maybe you’ve never house hunted before and you have no idea what to expect. This article is for you!

 
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1 - Be on Time.

Real Estate Agents have to schedule appointments for every house you want to see. This takes a great deal of coordination, especially if you’re trying to see more than 2 houses at a time. We plan an optimal route, time between destinations, time at each house to look, and plan for hiccups. Usually an appointment is scheduled for a 15-30 minute time window. Owners need to prepare their house for the showing, pack up pets and kids, and go do something for that time. If you’re late, it can send the wrong message to the Home Owner and totally kill the schedule the Real Estate Agent has planned. Be on time.

2 - Wear Comfortable Shoes.

You will be on your feet - A LOT. Not only will you be on your feet, you will be all over the exterior of the house while shopping. Wear shoes that can withstand the elements. Wear shoes that you can put on and take off quickly as some home owners request you remove shoes before you traipse across their brand new white carpet.

 
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3 - Check the Weather.

Check the weather and dress accordingly. It can rain in Florida - it can also be cold or extremely hot. The temperature can change significantly in a matter of hours. Dress in layers and pack an umbrella.

4 - Pack a Snack.

If you’re out looking at more than 2 houses in a time period, definitely pack a snack. Unless you previously plan this with your Real Estate Agent, chances are they aren’t scheduling time for a quick food run. Pack a snack for the car ride. My go-to snacks are almonds, bananas, veggies, and water.

 
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5 - Take Notes.

You may think you’ll remember that the second house had the fence with the gap that you’ll have to replace because your dog will escape if you don’t. Or wait, was that the third house with the white cabinets and the stain in the carpet? The best thing you can do is discipline yourself to take notes on every house - pros/cons/features/upgrade potential, etc. Take a photo or video even! Anything that will help you remember the fine details of each home.

There you have it! 5 tips for making the house hunting process a little more enjoyable. What best practices do you have? Comment below!

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Top 10 Pumpkin Patches, Corn Mazes, and Festivals in and around Jacksonville

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It's that time of year again...October. Or as I like to call it OCT-Pumpkin-Spice-Everything-OBER. I grew up in Upstate New York where Fall was idyllic. We're talking Hay rides (Haunted and Apple orchards), leaves changing color, and of course - pumpkin patches and corn mazes. 

Thankfully Jacksonville FL seeks out plenty of opportunities for us to enjoy fall festivities. Take a look at the list below, you're sure to find a local pumpkin patch or maze in your neck of the woods!

Pumpkin Patches

Hidden Fields Jax Pumpkin Patch

Join us for Fall at Hidden Fields! Activities include: Pumpkin Carving and Decorating, S’mores, Scarecrow Building (you supply the clothes, we provide all the accessories), Hay Ride to the Pumpkin Patch for the family, and of course PONY RIDES!!!!!

This Pumpkin Patch opens October 15th and runs on Saturdays and Sundays through the end of the year from 12pm - 5pm

2259 Forest Blvd, Jacksonville FL 32246

Mandarin United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch

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The Pumpkin patch is a family friendly place in Jacksonville to grab pumpkins and other fall themed decorations and support the youth ministry.

This Pumpkin Patch opened September 30th

11270 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville FL 32233

 

Christ United Methodist Church Neptune Beach Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkins of all sizes & varieties including gourds. Hay available and fun patch games including a small hay maze! **October 21st is the Fall Festival with crafts, face painting, hay maze, and more!

Opens October 14th through the end of the month. Hours of operation include Monday-Saturdays 10am-8pm and Sundays 12pm-5pm

Free entry, Pumpkins with donation

400 Penman Rd, Neptune Beach FL 32266

Southside United Methodist Church Pumpkin Patch

Come to Southside United Methodist Church during the month of October to experience our "Famous" Pumpkin Patch! This Southside tradition not only has your pumpkins for Fall decorating and fun, but we have some cool events in store as well!

Opens October 15th and operates on Saturdays and Sundays form 1pm-8pm

3120 Hendricks Ave, Jacksonville FL 32207

Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church Pumpkin Patch

Make your fall schedule complete with a trip to a pumpkin patch. Great variety and selection of pumpkins, maze, photo hot spots, friendly service and convenient location! Come and enjoy the patch and some great photo ops.

Opens October 15th and operates 7 days a week. Monday-Friday 9:30-12pm, 3pm-7pm; Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 11am-7pm

Free Admission

6595 Colombia Park Court, Jacksonville FL 32258

Isle of Faith Methodist Church

Isle of Faith's Pumpkin Patch is one of the best Pumpkin Patches in Jacksonville. There are fun children's play areas, lots of photo ops, the best and freshest pumpkins in Jacksonville. Admission is Free. Pumpkins are sold by donation.

Operates 7 days a week. Monday-Friday 1pm-8pm; Saturday 10am-8pm; Sunday 12pm-8pm

1821 San Pablo Road S, Jacksonville FL 32224

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Corn Mazes 

Amazing Grace Crop Maze

Attractions include: Barnyard Ball Zone, Corn crib, Corn hole, Cow train, Crop Maze – Fall Only, Duck races, Family Photo ops, Farm animals, Haybale Maze, Jump Pad, Playground, Pumpkin Patch – Fall Only, Rat Rollers, Wagon Rides

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Open Fridays 5pm-10pm and Saturdays 10am-10pm

Ages 3+, $13 Admission for access to all attractions

2899 Wisteria Farms Rd, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043

Conner's A-Maize-ing Acres

A maze plus lots of other features. Come enjoy a pedal cart track, animals, playgrounds, rubber ducky races, horseshoes, volleyball, hayrides and a “cow train.” Enjoy “corn boxes,” loaded with a half ton of dried corn kernels to play in. There is a General Store, several food stands and a pumpkin patch.

Opens October 14th and operates on Saturdays 10am-10pm

Admission for 3-4 years olds is $12; Age 5+ is $15; 23 months and younger is free

October 21st honors Military (past and present), Police Officers, Fire Fighters, and EMT with free admission. Dependents are admitted at a reduced rate of $8.

19856 County Road 121, Hilliard FL 32046

Sykes and Cooper Farms - Corn Maze

We combine a 9-acre corn maze full of “cornfusing” twists and turns, “live” entertainment including, Jack, the loudest hee- hawing donkey around and lots of farmtastic family fun!

Opened October 7th and operates Fridays 6pm-10pm; Saturdays 10am-10pm; Sundays 11am-5pm

General Admission $10 (Military and Senior Citizens $8)

5995 Brough Rd, Elton FL 32033

Rype and Readi

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Rype & Readi Elkton Farm planted its local roots at our 22 acre farm at the intersection of State Road 207 and County Road 305. Located 12 miles from St Augustine. Seasonally, we offer hayrides, and bonfires. Our gardens always feature local seasonal fruits, vegetables and flowers.  Rype & Readi is a family-friendly St. Johns County destination for families, farmers, and foodies who appreciate local, fresh, quality foods. 

5780 County Rd 305, Elkton FL 32033

If you have a favorite Pumpkin Patch or Corn Maze we forgot, be sure to comment below! 

Happy Fall, Y'all!

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Pricing your House to Sell. FAST.

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Pricing your House to Sell. FAST.

How much is your house worth in today's market? 

You may have heard buzz words around the Real Estate industry like “Seller’s Market,” “Low Inventory,” and “Low Interest Rates.” As a homeowner, you may be thinking – easy day! Selling my home will be no problem with these ideal market conditions! 

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Monthly Newsletter (Feb 17)

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Monthly Newsletter (Feb 17)

We will be sending out updated content each month, current market trends, and honoring a HERO group each month! Sign up to stay current with the latest from First Coast Heroes!! 

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