Friday, April 12, 2019

Keep Your House Smelling Great (Every Single Day)

Have you ever walked into someone else's home and were overwhelmed by how incredible it smelled? Or maybe you couldn't wait to leave because there was a not-so-great scent as soon as you entered? Often, we become so accustomed to the way our own home smells that we don't notice if the scent is bad or good. It can be frustrating to wonder what others think about the scent of your home. If you feel like your house doesn't always smell fresh, follow these steps to make sure that it smells amazing all the time.

ELIMINATE BAD SMELLS
  • Empty garbage cans regularly
  • Clean out your refrigerator once a week
  • Sprinkle baking soda or carpet deodorizer before vacuuming
  • Open the windows when the weather is nice
  • Invest in an air purifier
  • If you have pets, brush and bathe them often
  • Get rid of old musty towels
  • Use a daily bathroom cleaner spray to prevent mildew smells
  • Pour a little drain cleaner in your sinks on a weekly basis to get rid of any unwanted scents
ADD NEW SCENTS
  • Add a few drops of essential oils on your air filters
  • Use linen spray daily
  • Burn candles
  • Use a wax melter
  • Place car vent clips in your air conditioner vents
  • Buy fresh plants for your home
  • Invest in good-smelling cleaning products with scents you love
  • Use an essential oil diffuser


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Is a neighborhood with a homeowner's association right for you?

Homeowner's associations (HOAs) - some people love them, some people hate them, and most people fall somewhere in between.  But first, let's define some terms to make sure all of the potential elements of an HOA are clear.

HOA - an organization of the homeowners in a particular subdivision, generally for the purpose of enforcing the CCRs (see next definition) and/or managing the common areas of the development. 
Example: All homeowners in the Happy Acres subdivision are members of the Happy Acres Homeowner's Association. The association maintains the neighborhood pool, common areas, playground and sidewalks. The Happy Acres Homeowner's Association (HOA) assesses each owner a $450 annual fee to pay for those expenses. 

CCR - most commonly, the thing that people love/hate about the HOA. 🤣 No seriously, CCR stands for Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions. These are rules written into the deeds or bylaws that define how property may be used. They prevent property owners from making changes to or allowing their individual properties to adversely affect other owners. 
Example: The Happy Acres subdivision CCRs ban houses over 3 stories, ban fences over 5 feet and require all resident's trash cans to be kept out of sight except for garbage collection day. 

Just to be clear, all HOAs do not have CCRs. In some older neighborhoods you may see a fairly low HOA annual fee ($125/year or less) listed on a property, but no real mention of restrictions. In that neighborhood you are probably just paying for the landscaping in the common areas with your annual fee, and otherwise you can pretty much do your own thing. 

Now you may say, "none of this sounds that bad". There are positives and negatives to living in a neighborhood with an HOA/CCRs. 

Positives:

  • Neighborhoods where the HOA fees pay for the front yard maintenance/landscaping. Cool! No mowing the front yard!! 
  • CCRs that state no cars up on blocks in the driveway. (for some people that would be a negative)
  • CCRs stating that your garbage cans must be out of view except for garbage day.
  • CCRs stating that you can't put a sign in your front yard advertising a business. 
Negatives:
  • CCRs that state no cars up on blocks in the driveway. (see what I did there?)
  • CCRs that state your grass cannot measure more than 3 inches in height. 
  • CCRs that state you must decorate the exterior of your home for the holidays.
As you can see, it's all in the eye of the beholder. What makes most people cringe is when they get that letter from the HOA notifying them of an infraction. For instance, maybe you were on a long vacation during the summer and your lawn reached 4.5 inches in length. The horror! Or if you always enter your house through the garage and missed the fact that one of your flower bushes in the front yard had died, until you got THAT LETTER. But on the other side, you aren't going to have your next-door neighbor's Cousin Eddie living in his broken down RV in front of their house to look at either. 

Before buying, read through the CCRs to make sure that you can live with them, and make sure that you can afford the HOA dues. These are a legally binding part of the purchase of your house and you want to make sure that you can live with them.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

What does customer service mean to me?

When I became a REALTOR, I wanted to create an exemplary customer service experience for my clientele. 
I found myself thinking back to client relationships I had in the past, with real estate related and other professionals, and remembering situations that made me feel angry or unimportant. I told myself that my clients would not feel that way dealing with me. 

So how do I accomplish this level of customer service?

  • Put myself in your shoes. If you have contacted me with a question, I respond. Even if I don't know the answer, I will be honest with you, and I will find the answer. 
  • Answer calls, and respond to messages. If you send me an email at 1am, I won't respond to it until later in the day - you know, after the sun has come up - but you will get a response. Same with phone calls and texts. I remember the frustration as a buyer, leaving multiple messages for a real estate agent that wouldn't return my call until 24+ hours, if at all. That won't happen when you hire me.
  • Fight for you. I will put forth my utmost effort to fight for the best deal possible for you. It goes back to putting myself in your shoes. 
  • Don't pass you off to other people. You know those agents, the ones that are so big they have "people". Assistants, and other agents that cover certain parts of the business for the agent that is so busy focusing on the next deal, they don't have time for you. That is not me. Frankly, I don't want to have a business that is so big I can't focus on my clients individually, like I do now. When you hire me, you get me - not people you don't know and have never met.
This premise guides my work everyday, and there is a difference in what you experience as my client, versus other real estate agents in the marketplace. If you need further proof, check out my client reviews.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, or helping a friend asking for a recommendation, I'd appreciate it if you thought of me. I promise to make it a great experience!

Keep Your House Smelling Great (Every Single Day)

Have you ever walked into someone else's home and were overwhelmed by how incredible it smelled? Or maybe you couldn't wait to leave...