Archives for April 2017

How I Sold My House on the First Day and Received Multiple Offers

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It’s spring and as you probably already know the most popular time for selling and buying a home. As I drive around town the realtor and open house signs are popping up left and right! Being the nosey person that I am I hit Zillow anytime one peaks my interest.

When I listed my house for sale two years ago I was ready to move on and had a plan in place. The listing went live and my realtor received many requests for showings. In just the first few hours we received multiple offers! Want to know how?

I hired an amazing realtor. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Everyone knows someone who is fabulous or at the very least can tell you who to avoid. You will be working closely with this person so it is important to have someone that you like and trust. I was lucky enough to have a great realtor as a friend. If you are local to me I will gladly pass along her contact info.

I priced it right. It is very tempting to want to price your home higher. In fact this is what my husband wanted to do. I knew from my own research what comparable homes in my neighborhood had been selling for. When my realtor presented us with our suggested listing price my husband was taken back. We had invested a lot of time and money making improvements over the years. You need to leave the emotions out of it and list your home at a fair asking price. If you list too high your home will either sit on the market or you will receive low offers. Whenever I saw a home that was for sale for a while I questioned what was wrong with it.

I paid attention to the curb appeal. First impressions are everything, especially when looking for a new home. Weed and mulch those flower beds, keep the grass cut, plant colorful flowers and add a few decorative touches. Also be sure to have shutters, railings, gutters and other outside elements in perfect condition. While the buyers are waiting for the realtor to unlock the door they will be looking around. If they see maintenance that needs to be done they will wonder what else you have not been keeping up with.exterior2

I made the house smell good. There is nothing worse than walking into a prospective home with bad odors. It is an immediate turn off. There was a home that I did not even want to step foot in that stunk like moth balls from the front door. Use a light scent or bake something tasty before showings. Please do not put in strong smelling plug ins. That is just as bad as odors and makes people wonder what you are trying to cover up. Take your pets with you if possible. I promise you people (and especially those with allergies like myself) will notice them

I staged my home. Declutter Declutter Declutter. Have you ever visited a model home? They are free from clutter and have a cohesive design throughout the house. Hiring a stager is a great idea. If that is not in your budget and you have a friend who is a good decorator ask them for their opinions.  I staged my home myself but texted pictures to a few friends for opinions. They helped me out very much! As you can see from these photos I kept the accessories to a minimum but still let the home have some personality. Tons of toys were packed up as well as extra decor and kitchen items. We rented a storage unit and emptied most of the contents of our garage. This is a great way to start packing and purging your things!

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I depersonalized the house. People get distracted looking at family photos. I am sure your kids are adorable but they want to envision their own family living in the home. Normally I have a ton of family photos up in our house. To save money I took a few frames and added new neutral artwork to them instead. At Hobby Lobby I found a few decorative posters on clearance. Using the mats that came with the frames I trimmed them to fit and turned them into artwork. I also went through photographs I had taken and printed some scenery and landscape shots in 8×10 prints.

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I made as many repairs ahead of time as possible. We had a window company come out and repair a few windows that had broken seals. Trim was repainted, a few broken blinds were taken down and replaced with curtains instead and grout was redone. When I enter a home as a buyer I take notice of anything that needs to be repaired and start deducting those charges from the price I will be offering. Try to make as many repairs as possible before listing your home. The home inspector will most likely still find some issues but fixing them on your own first will be a big help.

I made the house as neutral as possible and moved rooms back to their intended purposes. I chose paint colors that would be acceptable for many decorating styles. Children’s spaces are fine to remain colorful but main rooms need to be pleasing colors. If you do not agree with me just watch an episode of House Hunters! I personally have no issue since I am the DIY type but to others it is a huge deal apparently. While we lived in this home we used the formal living room as our dining room and the dining room was our office/playroom combo. Seeing the kids while I was cooking was more important to me. I had used the chandelier over my bed in the master and a ceiling fan was in the office. We swapped those back before listing.

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Dining

I took good listing photos. In the virtual world we live in today everyone is looking at online listings. This is the very first impression most people are getting of your home. Make it count! Hiring a professional is a great way to guarantee good pictures but I have seen some “interesting” photos. Prime example is my current home. When I first saw the listing I was turned off by the over edit of the pictures. They had a type of dreamy filter on them which blurred the edges and made the lighting very odd. I was not sure if I wanted to add this home to my showings. Well, until I saw the pool and backyard. When I did my photos I took pictures of space from all different angles. I narrowed it down to the best photos to represent our home.

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I made updates that appealed to buyers. Not long before we sold our house the stove had been giving us some trouble. Instead of just repairing it we spent a little bit more money and replaced it. A brand new stove was appealing and looked great on the listing. New floors went in the master bathroom and laundry room. They are now fresh and clean with minimal cost to us.  While we owned the home we had made many updates like trim, hardwood flooring, Travertine tile, new carpeting, granite counter tops, painted cabinets and updated light fixtures. These are all things that buyers are looking for and set us apart from some other homes for sale in the neighborhood that still had the builder grade original finishes.

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I wish you luck on the sale of your home and hope you enjoy house hunting!

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Spring style: JORD Wood Watch

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As you all know I am a huge Instagram fan. I have been seeing posts about these cool JORD wood watches pop up and instantly fell in love. They are truly statement pieces.

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I have been given this wood watch by JORD in exchange for a product review.  Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review are my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

My husband is not a big jewelry guy but when I showed him the wood watches he was really impressed. Their collection of men’s watches is unique compared to other watches I have seen before. JORD watches are stylish enough to wear to work yet also casual for weekend wear as well.  Comfort is important to him as well as style. It’s a perfect addition to his spring wardrobe.

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Ultimately he chose the Dover series Olive and Acacia. JORD makes the ordering process so easy. All we had to do was measure his wrist using their guide, send in the measurements and our custom fit watch was on the way. My husband likes the fact that you can see the gears at work inside of the watch. JORD watches are splashproof and the face is made of sapphire crystal glass. He does not need to worry about it getting wet or damaged while playing with our boys or working around our little farm. One thing I like about it is there is no battery to be replaced.  They also provide a cleaning cloth and oil to maintain your watch in the packaging.

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JORD really has thought about everything! The wooden boxes are perfect for both gift giving and storage. I am very picky about our home’s style and the storage box looks like part of our decor.

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Ladies we have not been forgotten about! JORD also has a line of women’s watches. They would be a perfect gift for Mother’s Day, a birthday gift or just because. I am going to purchase one for myself! The Zebrawood is my favorite but I can not decide between Rose or Turquoise. What do you think?

I have an exciting offer for you! JORD is offering my readers a $25 off gift code on the purchase of their own watch. Use the code: j17jerseygirlinthesouthblog25 at checkout. You can visit the site here.


Watch Gift Ideas

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Easter Decor Farmhouse Style

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I love spring and all of the soft pastels surrounding Easter decorations. Any holiday that allows me to decorate with more bunnies is perfect for me! Egg hunts, dressing up and attending the Monument Avenue Easter on Parade in Richmond are just some of the things we look forward to as a family during this season. My kids love it because they know the bunny is going to bring them candy and some goodies!

I haven’t changed the porch since I put up my spring decorations but I did add this cute Easter bunny sign to the door.

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As you come into my  foyer you will see the cute new goodies I found. I love my ceramic egg! Can you believe it was only $6 at TJ Maxx! Those sweet Victorian style eggs were on sale for $.59 at Michael’s! I want to go back and buy more.

 Easter decorating farmhouse style entryway

Easter decorating farmhouse style entryway

My dining room always changes with the holidays. I love styling my buffet for the different seasons. Rae Dunn Easter platters go perfectly with the sweet little chick and bunny decorations. The garland is from the Target bargain area last year and the burlap carrots were this year’s finds.

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Next stop is my kitchen. I kept it simple in there using fresh eggs from our chickens and a linen table runner for a natural look. You may have noticed that I have different kitchen chairs. While browsing Goodwill for outdoor decor to make over I came across these chairs. One of them is damaged so they sold me all 4 chairs for $35! Can you believe it? They need a fresh coat of paint and a little wood glue but that’s it.

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Lastly I added a little Easter fun to the family room. A cute ceramic bunny from the Target bargain area joined my tray on top of the green dresser (also a Target bargain score!).

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I did not add much to this room besides some jelly beans in a candy dish (which lasted all of 2 minutes in the jar before my youngest devoured them).

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Spring time and Easter make me think of the outdoors and baby animals. Bunnies, baby chicks, ducklings, spring flowers are all part of the season to me. My son talked us into buying two sweet Rouen ducklings at Tractor Supply. Sadly we had to rehome them after only a week because I was severely allergic. I had no idea or I would not have bought them. The ducklings grew so fast and my kids were in love with them. They understood we had to give them away but there were plenty of tears from the little one.

Rouen ducklings in Rae Dunn mugs

My picnic basket was purchased to resell but I couldn’t part with it. Luckily Bun Bun willingly participates in my photos. She’s the sweetest!

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The yard is blooming and I love it!

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One last tradition is giving our teachers fresh eggs from our chickens. Last year’s teachers loved it so I hope this year’s do as well! The printable is from Eighteen 25. It’s meant for a sweet treat but I think it’s perfect for eggs too!

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I hope you enjoyed Easter at our house! What traditions does your family have?

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