A Mom’s Guide to Selling a Home While Maintaining a Family Life

What do you do to keep your home in showing condition while balancing your family life? Watch this video and tell us your tips and ideas below.


[Video featured in Coldwell Banker’s Blue Matter Blog, Mother’s Day 2013]
[Like the home featured in this video? It’s for sale, 5+ Acres of Southern Charm]

Being a mom is a lot of work, whether you’re working or even a stay-home-mom. Finding time to get everything done in a 24 hour period can be tough and adding keeping your house perfect for a buyer viewing your house at any moment is just icing on the cake.

Here are a few tips that you can do to stay on top of your busy mommy lifestyle, raising kiddos, and keeping your home ready for that perfect buyer to walk in the door.

ORGANIZE & DECLUTTER!
1) Keep it Simple- Pack furniture, toys and other stuff away that’s not being used. Good rule of thumb is if it’s not used on a weekly basis, you won’t miss it if it’s in stored away for a while.

2) Get a System– Whether it’s the playroom, the kids rooms, your office (in this case the crafting mommy’s dream den), or the closets – get an organization system that works for you. If everything has a place, you’ll be more likely to keep it organized that way.

3) Clean out the closets– The simplicity factor should carry over to your closets. If there’s seasonal clothes in there that you aren’t wearing or if you’ve been putting off donating clothes to charity, now’s the time to do it. The less you have in your closet, the more room the buyer has to visualize their own stuff in that space.

CLEAN UP!
1) Curb Appeal & Entry– First impression is everything! Have some family time on a Saturday or after school one day to have the kids help pull the weeds, mow the lawn, and trim up the bushes. This will give the buyer a good first impression as they walk up to the front door. [check out 5 DIY Deck Makeover Projects Under $300 For The Weekend you may also like 5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects]

2) Clean as You Go- Although it may take a little more time to complete your task at the moment, you’ll thank yourself at the end of the day when you only spend a few minutes tidying up as opposed to an hour. Done with dinner, give the kids a chore and rinse/fill the dishwasher! Hamper is full, throw it in the washer before dinner, dryer after, then fold it together watching a movie before bed. I promise you’ll thank yourself later when you get more time to yourself at the end of the night rather than cleaning.

3) Break it Up– I’ll usually take on different cleaning tasks every other night. For instance, one night vacuum, another sweep and mop, and another night wipe down bathrooms. This will keep you from being overwhelmed and doing it all at once when you get a call for a showing, which can be super stressful.

4) Spot/Speed Clean- I’ve managed to get a cleaning caddy that keeps all my supplies together and am able to make a quick sweep of the house once I get a call for a quick showing. Even if you just did a deep clean the night before, the spot clean comes in handy, as it did for me just the other day when I was doing a quick check of each room about an hour before a showing just to find a crayon mural on the kitchen window. After a chuckle, quick picture for Facebook, and some Windex from my caddy, I was on to the next room. Once I’ve finished a room, I turn on the light so I know that room is finished and move on to the next one. Lights (especially accent lights!) liven up the home and make it feel more inviting as the buyers walk through… take the time to turn them on before you leave, it makes a difference!

There’s  just a few tips I have for busy mom’s to help sell their home while keepin’ up with the kiddos.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’re doing to keep your home in showing condition while balancing your family life below!

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Connect with Coldwell Banker (@ColdwellBanker), Lindsay Listanski (@LListanski), and myself (@brokerEXCLUSIVE) on Twitter for the latest in real estate.

For more local real estate information in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood and North Port Florida, check out my personal Realtor source   www.AshleyHouseman.com

Coldwell Banker Agents “Keepin’ it Real” with Social Media

Ashley Houseman, Broker Associate/REALTOR's profile on www.ColdwellBanker.com

Screenshot: Ashley Houseman, Coldwell Banker Associate Broker, profile on http://www.ColdwellBanker.com
(Courtesy of: http://www.coldwellbanker.com/for/Ashley.Houseman)

With the way social media has taken off, it’s no surprise that Coldwell Banker (with the help of their brilliant Social Media Manager, Lindsay Listanski) is on top of it.

When you’re looking for that perfect Realtor, you can not only check out their bio, you can see what they’re up to in real time! Facebook, Google +, and Twitter feeds all appear on your agent’s pages. Just for the fun of it, here’s mine for example (left):

(It’s small, I know. Go here for the real deal):
http://www.coldwellbanker.com/for/Ashley.Houseman

So now you know. Keep up the good work, Coldwell Banker (& Lindsay), keep telling the world how awesome our brand is and always be keepin’ it real!

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Connect with Coldwell Banker (@ColdwellBanker), Lindsay Listanski (@LListanski), and myself (@brokerEXCLUSIVE) on Twitter for the latest in real estate.

For more local real estate information in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Englewood and North Port Florida, check out my personal Realtor source   www.AshleyHouseman.com 🙂

5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects

  • Metal edging around grass in yard


    5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects

    Ramp up your curb appeal with cool landscaping
    projects you can easily pull off in a weekend. Read

  • Use a charged garden hose to lay out a smooth curve.

    Tip: A “charged” garden hose full of water makes for a smoother, kink-free curve; charge up by turning on the spigot but leaving the sprayer off.

    With the hose as your guide, use a lawn edger or spade to cut away excess sod and make an incision for the edging. Tap in the edging with a rubber mallet and add the stakes. Trim the edging with a hacksaw, using a speed square to mark for cuts.

    Specs and cost: Steel — $1.25 per lineal foot; aluminum — $2.25 plf; rigid plastic or fiberglass — $1.65 plf.

    Tools: Garden hose, flour or powdered chalk, lawn edger or spade, shovel, speed square, hacksaw, rubber mallet, hammer.

    Time: 1 day to edge a typical yard.

    Read on for more easy landscaping projects:

    Add an Earth Berm
    Build a Wall for a Raised Bed
    Install a Flagstone Path
    Add a Brick Tree Surround

    Project #2: Add an Earth Berm

    The setup: Create an eye-catching front yard feature by shaping a few cubic yards of topsoil into an undulating berm. Topped off with mulch, groundcover, and bushes, a berm adds interest and buffers street noise.

    Use a charged hose to outline the berm. Remove sod a couple of feet in from the perimeter. Add a few mounds, but max out at 3 feet high.

    Specs and cost: Three cubic yards of soil is enough for a good-sized berm. Expect to pay $15-$20 per cubic yard and $15–$60 for delivery — a total of $60-$120.

    Tip: Don’t be tempted by those bags of topsoil at the home center: At $2.50 per cubic foot, a cubic yard (27 cubic feet) will end up costing you $67.50.

    Have a cubic yard of mulch dropped off as well ($15–$20). A dozen periwinkle starts, plus a few boxwood bushes and evergreens, will set you back another $140.

    Total for an 18-foot-long berm: $215–$280.

    Tools: Wheelbarrow, spade, shovel, garden rake, trowel.

    Time: A day to form the berm, another half-day for planting and mulching.

    Project #3: Build a Wall for a Raised Bed

    The setup: A stacked flagstone wall for your raised beds has an old-world look that mellows any landscape. Best of all, you don’t have to be stonemason to build one.

    Begin by laying out the wall with stakes and mason’s line. Tamp a level bed of sand for the first course. As you add courses, stagger joints at least 3 inches. Set each course back ¼-inch so the wall leans backward slightly. Once finished, back the wall with landscaping fabric before filling with topsoil.

    Specs and cost: Choose a stone of consistent thickness. Flagstone might be limestone, sandstone, shale — any rock that splits into slabs. A ton of 2-inch-thick stone is enough for a wall 10 feet long and 12 inches high.

    Cost: About $300 for stones and sand.

    Tip: Permanent retaining walls should be backed by pea gravel for drainage. In some locations, walls taller than 3 feet high require a building permit.

    Tools: Stakes and mason’s line, spade, shovel, a 2-by-4 that’s 8 feet long, a 4-foot level, garden rake, tamper.

    Time: 1 day for a 10-foot-long wall that’s 12 inches high.

    Want to see some cool retaining walls? Check out our slideshow, 8 Retaining Wall Ideas.

    Project #4: Install a Flagstone Path

    The setup: For a welcoming addition to your yard, add a flagstone pathway. Use a charged garden hose to mark a meandering path about 3 feet wide. Arrange flagstones within the path so they are 2–4 inches apart and mark their location with sprinkled flour.

    Tip: Sprinkling flour over the stones creates a “shadow” outline on the ground. When you remove the stones, you’ll have perfect outlines for cutting away the sod.

    Cut away 3–4 inches of sod beneath each stone, add a layer of sand, and level the flagstones as you place them.

    Specs and cost: For a 40-foot path about 3 feet wide, plan on 2 tons of flagstones and about a cubic yard of coarse sand. Cost: About $550.

    Tools: Garden hose, flour, spade, trowel, level.

    Time: 1 day for a 40-foot path.

    Want more detail? Get the inside scoop on our start-to-finish DIY paver project.

    Project #5: Add a Brick Tree Surround

    The setup: Installing a masonry surround for a tree eases mowing and looks great. All it takes is digging a circular trench, adding some sand, and installing brick or stone.

    Tip: To create a nice, even circle around the base of your tree, tie a big loop of rope around your tree. Adjust the length of the loop so when you pull it taut, the free end is right where you’d like the outer edge of the surround to be. Set your spade inside the loop with the handle plumb — straight up and down. Now, as you move around the tree, the loop of rope keeps the spade exactly the same distance from the base of the tree, creating a nice circle.

    Use the spade to cut into the sod all the way around the tree. Remove the rope, and dig out a circular trench about 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Add a layer of sand. Set bricks at an angle for a pleasing saw-tooth effect or lay them end-to-end. Fill the surround with 2–4 inches of mulch.

    Curious what trees to plant? Our popular slideshow tells you which trees you should never plant in your yard.

    Specs and cost: This is an instance where buying small quantities of materials at the home center makes sense. Brick pavers cost $.50-$1 each — figure about 20 per tree. A bag of mulch, enough for one tree, costs $2.50.

    Tools: Rope, spade, trowel.

    Time: 3 hours per tree.

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    5 Awesomely Easy Landscaping Projects

    By: Dave Toht

    Published: February 26, 2013

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