December 4, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Guillaume Apollinaire:  “Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”  (Fred)  “The most difficult thing is to realize what happiness is to you and not to over pursue.”

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 608284-From $849,000 to $829,000.  A Millsboro DE Coastal Contemporary home with 5 BR, 5 BA, 2 ½ BA, in 4636 sq. ft. on .12 acre in the Peninsula is available.  The home has 3 levels with an elevator, all the BR’s are Master Suites and there are porches everywhere.  This is a Golf Community.  Call me to see this gem at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comDecember 4, 2013

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November 12, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Buddha:  Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”  (Fred)  “I read it in the paper, I saw it on the Internet, I heard it on the radio, my friend told me; make sure you take Buddha’s advice!”

November 12, 2013

Today’s pick of the day is MLS #606757-From $339,000 to $322,050.  This Cape Cod in Milton, DE that boasts 4BR, 2.5 BA, in 3100 sq. ft. on 1.75 acres is available.  This is a SHORT SALE and is sold AS IS.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.com

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Tips For Upping Your Curb Appeal


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Cartoon-House

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and first impressions are lasting.  We know this, yet when many people put their home on the market they don’t take the time to make sure that the first impression is a good one.  When you’re trying to sell your home, you want buyers to fall in love at first sight!

Here are a few tips to boost your property’s curb appeal:

  1. Take a picture.  You’re so use to seeing the outside of your house that you might not notice it anymore.  If you take a photo (or several photos) you may be able to see the property with new eyes.  Show the photos to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and ask them to point out any concerns they would have if they were thinking about buying the place.  Make a list and address as many of the concerns as you can, especially recurring concerns.
  2. Paint – It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for the exterior of a home.  If the entire home doesn’t need to be painted, consider freshening the trim, doors, shutters, and/or garage door.
  3. Clean & repair the driveway – Take the time to repair small cracks and rent a power washer to get that driveway clean.  If your drive way is a major mess, think about getting it redone.
  4. Spruce up landscaping – Keep your grass mowed and fertilized.  Rake your yard.  Edge along your sidewalks.  Plant some bright, low maintenance flowers – marigolds are a good choice!
  5. Replace your door – If your front door has seen better days, consider replacing it.  Remember, the door is what will welcome potential buyers into your home.  Make it a nice welcome!
  6. Clean – Wash your windows and doors (including screens), rent a power washer and spray down the deck, driveway, sidewalks, consider power washing the exterior of your home if you aren’t going to paint.
  7. Replace light bulbs – check the view of your home at night and replace any burned-out bulbs.  Consider adding lights if the property is in need of better lighting.

Of course the front of your house will offer the first impression to potential buyers, but don’t forget the back and side views as well!

Considering putting your home on the market?  Let us help.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

 

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October 25, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Fielding:  “Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy.”  (Fred)  “Wine-First Pleasure later Pain if abused.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #608361-$275,000.  Here is a 4 BR, 2BA home with 2250 sq. ft. on 6.64 acres in Ellendale, DE.  The home has a deck off the Dining Room and the Master BR.  The entrance is from a bridge and deck over a Koi Pond.  The home has been totally renovated.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.   www.fredsporch.comOctober 25, 2013

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Make A Great First Impression


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Smith Hawken Traditional_Front_Door_Decor-prv

Whether you’d like it to or not, the front door of your home gives people their first impression.  Not only is it where people enter your home for the first time, but it’s often the first thing that catches the eye of anyone who is driving by.  It also helps set the tone for your home, so whether you’re looking to sell your home or just to make it more inviting consider giving your front door a face lift so that it conveys the message and first impression you want it to give.

One very simple thing that you can do is to decorate it and update it regularly.  Decoration could be a wreath, dramatic home numbers, shutters, door knocker and knobs, etc.  This option is great for everybody because no matter what your personality, likes, or budget there is an option for you!  Another quick decoration idea is to add planters to either side of the door.  This is a quick solution for adding color, texture and beauty to your entryway.  If you live in an area where flowers or plants can’t survive year round you can use the planters to display seasonal décor during colder seasons.

Another easy thing to do to improve your home’s first impression is to install lights at your front door if you don’t already have them.  Lighting is another thing that has many options.  You can opt for sconces on either side of the door, spotlights installed at the ground and aimed at the door, or overhead lighting if your front door is under a porch are all great options.  And while we’re on the subject, please make sure your house number is well lighted too.

Finally, if you’re trying to sell your home, studies show that replacing your home’s front door can increase the perceived value of your home, so you might want to think about a full replacement if it’s needed.  In the study, the home’s perceived value when the entryway was updated was as much as five times the cost of the door itself.  If you’re going to update your entryway with something new, consider enlarging it to include a windows to the side or above the door as well to add natural light to the home as well as increase the value of the entryway.

No matter what you decide to do, remember that your entryway is the first and last impression that your guests and potential buyers see, so make the lasting impression a good one!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Boosting Curb Appeal


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curb-appeal-landscaping-1

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and first impressions are lasting.  We know this, yet when many people put their home on the market they don’t take the time to make sure that the first impression is a good one.  When you’re trying to sell your home, you want buyers to fall in love at first sight!

Here are a few tips to boost your property’s curb appeal:

  1. Take a picture.  You’re so use to seeing the outside of your house that you might not notice it anymore.  If you take a photo (or several photos) you may be able to see the property with new eyes.  Show the photos to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and ask them to point out any concerns they would have if they were thinking about buying the place.  Make a list and address as many of the concerns as you can, especially recurring concerns.
  2. Paint – It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for the exterior of a home.  If the entire home doesn’t need to be painted, consider freshening the trim, doors, shutters, and/or garage door.
  3. Clean & repair the driveway – Take the time to repair small cracks and rent a power washer to get that driveway clean.  If your drive way is a major mess, think about getting it redone.
  4. Spruce up landscaping – Keep your grass mowed and fertilized.  Rake your yard.  Edge along your sidewalks.  Plant some bright, low maintenance flowers – marigolds are a good choice!
  5. Replace your door – If your front door has seen better days, consider replacing it.  Remember, the door is what will welcome potential buyers into your home.  Make it a nice welcome!
  6. Clean – Wash your windows and doors (including screens), rent a power washer and spray down the deck, driveway, sidewalks, consider power washing the exterior of your home if you aren’t going to paint.
  7. Replace light bulbs – check the view of your home at night and replace any burned-out bulbs.  Consider adding lights if the property is in need of better lighting.

Of course the front of your house will offer the first impression to potential buyers, but don’t forget the back and side views as well!

Considering putting your home on the market?  Let us help.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Keep Up Curb Appeal


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Curb Appeal

Whether you’re putting your home on the market or just looking to enjoy your home’s curb appeal yourself, there is more to it than just landscaping your property and maintaining your lawn.  To really up your curb appeal be sure to maintain your home’s paint and siding by periodically checking for damage, mold growth, or peeling paint and fixing it.  In addition, you should regularly check your roof and gutters for damage and debris as well.  Keep windows and doors clean and fix any broken screens and shutters to prevent eyesores.  Finally, clean up your driveway and sidewalks by weeding the cracks, sealing any cracks, and keeping them clean.  By maintaining your home’s curb appeal you will cut down on the possibility of any of these problems becoming more dangerous or expensive to fix later on down the road, which is well worth the time and effort now.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Improve Curb Appeal to Help Your Home to Sell


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house_curb_appeal

Selling your home can be a stressful experience, but you can make it easier on yourself with a few easy improvements to make your home stand out in the market.  The first thing to do is to up your curb appeal.  Curb appeal is the first impression potential buyers get of your home, so make it the best impression possible by improving your landscaping.  Keep the lawn mowed, prune your bushes and trees, weed the garden, and plant flowers.  In addition to landscaping, pressure wash your home’s exterior, clean the gutters and shutters and clean up any clutter in your yard as well.  To really help your home’s curb appeal pop, give your front door a fresh coat of paint in a color that contrasts with your home and add new house numbers that are easily visible.  Finally, add a new welcome mat to send the subliminal message that your home is open and inviting and that they are welcome.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Patching Up Your Driveway


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1659

If your driveway is in need of a little TLC, now that the weather is warming up, it’s a perfect time to patch it up.  You definitely want to patch driveway cracks because it will slow deterioration and keep moisture out.  When moisture gets into your driveway it can cause expansion and contraction that works away at the concrete, further damaging it.  Patching the cracks before they become a huge problem will give your driveway many more years of usefulness and will save you the time and money of a massive driveway overhaul.  When you are getting ready to patch your driveway you should begin by finding and eliminating the origin of the problem.  The most common causes of driveway cracks are roots and water.  Once you are able to find and eliminate the source problem, it is time to prep the cracks.  If there is grass or weeds growing up between the cracks in your driveway you should kill them with a strong herbicide and give them time to die.  Make sure to kill them at the roots.  Afterward, or if you don’t have plants, chisel off any loose pieces of concrete and use a wire brush to loosen debris.  What you need to do is create a clean, solid surface so that the patching material will bind well.  Once you’ve chiseled and brushed, use compressed air or a shop vac to clean all the dust, stones, etc. out of the crack.  If your cracks are small, about a half inch in width or less, there are several easy options for sealing them, including concrete sealer, pourable concrete, and textured caulk.  Just make sure you choose a product that will flex with the movement of the driveway, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely.  For cracks that are wider than a ½ inch you need to chisel out a piece of the driveway under the crack so that the bottom portion of the crack is wider than the surface crack.  This will keep the patching material stable so that it will stay fixed even with the expansion and contraction that concrete undergoes.  Whatever option you use to seal the cracks, again, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and be sure to work in multiple steps of about ¼ inch of depth at a time to ensure that proper drying and shrinkage takes place so that the seal will hold tight.  When you are finished patching your cracks be sure to blend the sealer with the surrounding area  with a brush or broom to form a good seal.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Flowers To Plant Now


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phlox

In keeping with this week’s theme of landscaping, one great way to up the quality of landscaping in your home is to add some color with flowers.  Here are five options you can plant now:

1.  Petunias.  Petunias come in a wide range of sizes and colors, so they work in many situations.  They are fast growing and will grow just as well in a pot as they will in a garden.  For best growth, plant petunias in full sun to part shade areas.  Petunias are annuals, meaning that you will only get one growing season from them.

2.  Impatiens.  These impactful flowers come in hues of reds, pinks, oranges, and white.  They can survive with limited watering.  These flowers do need some shade and also do well in areas that are fully shaded.  Like Petunias, Impatiens are also annuals.

3.  Carnations.  Always popular, carnations are a fragrant flower that grow naturally in pinks, whites, and yellows.  Carnations need full sun and are a perennial, meaning that they will grow back each year.

4.  Geraniums.  These flowers are hearty and colorful.  Once you plant them they will bloom until frost, which gives them a nice, long season.  Geraniums do best in areas that are partially or fully shaded and are a perennial bloom.

5.  Phlox.  This vertical flower is a great choice for adding multiple levels of interest to your garden.  It comes in shades of pinks, blues, purples, and whites.  Planted behind ground level blooms, Phlox makes a brilliant and colorful backdrop.  Phlox is a perennial bloom that does best in areas of part to full shade.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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3 Options For Your Adding Shade To Your Yard


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shade-tree-summer

This week I wrote a couple of posts about how to have a lush lawn.  With landscaping on the brain, here are three great options if you’re looking to add a bit of shade to your yard:

1.  Plant a tree.  Obviously… trees are good for the environment, fantastic for the local ecosystem, and provide shade to boot.  But not all trees are created equal.  You have a lot of options, everything from evergreens to deciduous trees, from trees that fruit or flower to trees that only leaf.  What you plant should depend on your budget, taste, and of course climate.  The downside is that trees may take several years to provide the kind of shade you’re looking for, and they require care and clean-up throughout the year.

2.  Add a pergola.  A pergola can be a great option for adding both shade and style to a lawn.  You can build a pergola to any kind of specification that you want top it with beams with an outdoor material woven through.  Another option is to top it with lattice and vining plants intertwined with the lattice.

3.  Consider a cover.  A patio cover, that is.  A patio cover can be as simple as a sloped roof that is either attached to your home at one end with beams supporting the other, or with beams supporting all four sides.  Depending on your budget you can have a patio cover shingled to match your roof so it looks like a cohesive structure.  Patio covers can be expensive to build, but they offer solid shade and year round protection from the elements, which can be a benefit to some people.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

 

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Steps To A Healthy Lawn


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Yesterday I wrote about how landscaping and a healthy lawn can actually bring up the value of your property.  But how do you get that money-making, weed-free lawn?  Whether you do it yourself or pay a professional, the best thing to do is start by removing any weeds.  If your lawn is primarily covered in weeds, you may want to use an herbicide or other weed-removal product that you can pick up at your local home improvement store.  Otherwise, you can remove the weeds yourself manually.  Just be sure to remove the weeds by the root; using a handheld weeder or hoe (there are several types of each) is your best bet.  After you remove the weeds you should detatch your lawn.  Dethatching is loosening the matted debris that settles under the grass, stealing nutrients from the grass.  You can detatch your lawn with a thatching rake or power dethatcher.  Be aware that after detatching you will wonder if your lawn will ever look good again, but it will heal in a month or so.  After dethatching you should check a section of your lawn to check on the roots.  You want the roots of your lawn to extend 2 or more inches below the surface.  If that’s not the case, you should water your lawn and aerate it a day or two later.  Finally, find out what type of grass you have and overseed to cover any any bare spots, but be sure to evenly spread seed over the whole lawn.  If you have a cool-season grass you should seed in early spring or early fall.  If you have a warm-season grass you should seed in early summer.  Whenever you seed, be sure to water immediately to help set the seed.  Of course, once you go through all the trouble of establishing a healthy lawn you need to be sure to mow, water, and feed consistently and appropriately.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Maintain Your Lawn To Increase Your Property Value


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Now that it’s Spring and hopefully Spring weather will be on the way soon, it’s time to start thinking about landscaping projects.  Landscaping is a great way to add both curb appeal and value to your home.  All good landscaping starts with a lush lawn.  An ugly yard brings down your home’s value, while a lovely lawn creates an excellent first impression and actually raises the value of your property.  To bring up the value of your lawn on your own start by removing any trash, clutter, dead plants and weeds from the area.  Spread seed or sod in areas that are just dirt patches and follow up by watering and mowing your lawn consistently.  Look for lawn maintenance products such as fertilizers, etc. at your local home improvement store and use them for maximum impact.  If you have the money, consider hiring a lawn professional who can treat your lawn for pests and fertilize it.  Just keep in mind that proper watering and consistent maintenance is the key to a healthy lawn.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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April 1, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Florence Nightingale:  “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”  (Fred)  “It is always best to lead by example and hold others to your standards.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 653003-$13,300.  Here is a great top level townhome trailer that features awesome views of the city landfill, 1 BR, and outside BA, a great kitchen with a new Coleman Stove, and a college refrigerator.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this gem!    April FoolsApril 1, 2013

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March 8, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Zhuangzi:  “Those who realize their folly are not true fools.”  (Fred)  “God keep us from true fools and idiots.”

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 601621-$1,295,000.  Here is a Rehoboth Beach, DE, Contemporary Beach Condo/Cottage with 4 BR, 5 BA, a first floor master, all high end finishes, furnished, a great rental history and only 1 block from the Ocean.  Call me to see this gem at 301 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comMarch 8, 2013

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Make Your Entrance Grand


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Whether you believe it or not, the front door of your home is a powerful tool to help you sell.  Your front door provides the first impression for everyone who comes to your home and helps them form an opinion of your home before they ever even come inside.  To help give your home the grand entrance that architecturally appealing homes have, first you need to be sure that your entrance is apparent from the street.  This doesn’t mean it has to be magnificent, just that any old person passing by needs to be able to identify it.  Some ways to do this are add a pediment, trim it out, or place it under a roofed porch.  An unsheltered front door should never be flush with the house – that will give it the look of a side door.  At the very least the front door should be recessed or projected from the house a noticeable bit.  For the most welcoming atmosphere, provide a separate path for walking to your front door and keep electric meters and other utilities, garbage cans, or other unfortunate outdoor storage areas out of the path and vision of your entrance area.  Remember, a great front entrance means a better first impression, which can mean an easier sale!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Ways To Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Yesterday I talked about how to update your home’s entry way to increase your curb appeal. Here are five more ways to increase your home’s curb appeal:


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Yesterday I talked about how to update your home’s entry way to increase your curb appeal.  Here are five more ways to increase your home’s curb appeal:

1.  Use container planting to create an instant garden and add color to your home’s exterior.
2.  Pave an entry walkway with stone or brick.
3.  Add shutters or trim around windows and doors – paint it in an accent color for even more appeal.
4.  Replace your garage door with more a more visually interesting model.
5.  Trim any plants and trees that block views of your front door and make sure all walkways are clear too.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Thursday Three: 3 Ways To Update Your Entryway

These suggestions will spruce up your entry way and add instant curb appeal to your home:


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These suggestions will spruce up your entry way and add instant curb appeal to your home:

1.  Replace the light in your entry way with a fixture that has visual or historic appeal.
2.  Paint your front door a stand out color… bright red is the most appealing choice!
3.  Replace the hardware on your door with an attractive and modern set for a great, updated look.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Preventing Tree Damage

Believe it or not, trees can add considerable value to your home. In fact a well placed tree could be contributing up to 10% of your property value. But whether your property has many trees or just a few, the concern that a major storm could send a branch crashing down onto your roof is a legitimate concern.


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Believe it or not, trees can add considerable value to your home.  In fact a well placed tree could be contributing up to 10% of your property value.  But whether your property has many trees or just a few, the concern that a major storm could send a branch crashing down onto your roof is a legitimate concern.  Tree damage can be an especially big concern heading into winter, with ice and snow weighting down branches and causing problems.  Now is the perfect time to take preventative action.  If you are worried about any of your trees, you can have them inspected by a local tree service.  This is usually a free service that tree companies offer.  An inspection like this can tell you if you have any weak branches that need to be removed or if any limbs need to be tethered to protect against high winds.  Usually, if this work does need to be done it can all be taken care of for under $500 and can save you many headaches down the road.  It is wise to have your trees inspected every 3-5 years so that you can stay on top of preventative maintenance which is the best way to avoid problems!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

 

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Prepping Your Home To Sell

When you’re prepping your home for sale there are a few things you can do to give yourself a “leg-up” in this market. Things such as improving your landscaping, cleaning your gutters, pressure washing your siding and driveway, and keeping your lawn manicured all add to your home’s curb appeal and can ultimately help improve its chances at selling.


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When you’re prepping your home for sale there are a few things you can do to give yourself a “leg-up” in this market.  Things such as improving your landscaping, cleaning your gutters, pressure washing your siding and driveway, and keeping your lawn manicured all add to your home’s curb appeal and can ultimately help improve its chances at selling.  Painting your door with a fresh coat of paint that contrasts with your home’s exterior color and replacing worn house numbers with new, easy to see alternatives will also help increase your home’s appeal.  You should also consider making necessary repairs such as changing broken windows, fixing a leaking roof, or replacing cracked flooring.  You want your home to make its best first impression, and to do that you need to maintain it so that buyers will be interested in a second look.  When staging your home, be sure to remove all unnecessary clutter.  Removing at least one piece of furniture from each room and clearing out clutter will not only simplify your life, it will help your home sell.  While you’re decluttering, you should also remember to clean out closets and drawers.  When your closets and drawers are stuffed to the brim or disorganized it makes your home appear as if it is short on storage space, which doesn’t work in your favor when trying to sell.

To give your home the best chance in today’s market, you should definitely consider these and other staging and sprucing tips.  The difference between homes that sell and homes that don’t are often in the small details.

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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