Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/28/2020

Photo by Bilanol via Shutterstock

You’ve heard all the sayings: “Location, location, location,” and the line in Robert Frost’s poem, “Good fences make good neighbors.” You’ve even made Abraham Lincoln’s saying your motto, “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.” 

Yet here you are, trying to sell our home, and the neighbors simply are not cooperating. They park vehicles in front of your house so that the “For Sale” sign is hidden, or they leave stuff in their yard that makes it unattractive. In your urgency to get your home sold, you take everything as a personal affront. What happened to those nice, friendly neighbors you’ve shared barbeques and fun with over the years?

It May Not Be You

It’s probably not even on their radar that their everyday actions cause you sleepless nights. The stress level is yours, not theirs. Here are some best practices for being neighborly when you put your house on the market.

Let them know what’s happening. Tell them that you’ve gotten a job change, or are getting married or whatever the case is and that you need to sell your home. That way, they can be ambassadors for you. If they have friends or family that want to live near them, this is the perfect opportunity.

Let them know what to expect. If your agent schedules an open house, let the neighbors know. After all, the street will have more traffic, and parking may be at a premium. The last thing you want is to have your open house the same day as their family reunion with no parking available for anyone.

Invite them to visit your home during the open house. Neighbors are curious. If your homes are similar, upgrades you’ve done might spark ideas for their home. On a few occasions, neighbors have bought the house next door. Perhaps because it’s a better fit for their family, or it lets them remodel theirs without living in it.

Let your neighbor know what will help your home sell, such as keeping the street in front of your house clear. Tell them that the more you sell your house for, the more it improves their home value. See if that doesn’t get them on our side.

Introduce Your Agent

Take a few moments to introduce your agent to your neighbors. That way, they’ll know who’s coming and going, and if it’s okay for people to be in your house when you’re not there. It also gives your agent a chance to talk about neighborhood values and point out the lovely features in your neighbor’s yard. A little flattery goes a long way toward promoting extra effort to make things look nice. 




Tags: curb appeal   neighbors   Parking  
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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 6/14/2020

Getting your house ready to be sold can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. Like any large project, though, if you take it one step at a time, you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

The ideal scenario involves having everyone in the family pitch in to keep your house looking its best for each showing. When you divide the labor and work as a team, things get done a lot faster and more efficiently.

Keeping your lawn mowed, bushes trimmed, and house clean on a consistent basis are among the many challenges of always being ready for the next showing. Another common necessity involves applying a fresh coat of paint to walls and other surfaces. That relatively inexpensive step can help make your home look dramatically brighter, vibrant, and more appealing to prospective buyers.

One thing to keep in mind when preparing to put your home on the market is that you (the owner) are probably "too close to the trees to see the forest." In other words, you may be overly accustomed to the appearance, the imperfections, and the décor of your home to be able to identify what needs to be upgraded, fixed, or changed. An experienced real estate agent can help you develop a cost-effective plan for staging your home, enhancing curb appeal, and making necessary improvements to maximize your home's appeal and marketability.

There are dozens of inexpensive things you can do that often have a major impact on the impression you make on potential buyers. Having your carpets, upholstered furniture, and draperies professionally steam-cleaned, for example, can make a world of difference! So can adding a few colorful flower arrangements, inside and out. Lots of light -- both natural and artificial -- also helps make your home look more cheerful and inviting. Keeping your windows crystal clear is another way to make a positive impression, as well as cleaning out your closets to avoid a cluttered, unkempt look.

A few other critical things homeowners sometimes forget to do is clean up dog droppings in the yard, fix squeaky hinges, and remove visible mouse traps from the basement and garage -- especially if there are mice in them! The cleanliness of your cat's litter box is another major priority that can easily be overlooked.

Even the most meticulous, conscientious home sellers can forget to clean, prepare, or organize important things before potential house buyers come to visit, so it's useful to create checklists and routines to get ready for scheduled house showings.

While some homes pose more of a challenge than others when it comes to getting ready for real estate showings, the goal is to make the most of what you have, and do so within your available budget and timeframe.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 5/26/2019

The exterior of your home makes its first impression. It gives outsiders an idea of what is inside. If you are looking to sell your house or you just want your home to look more attractive, then there are many ways that you can make your home look more beautiful without spending too much money.

Flowers and greens

You can make your home more beautiful by adding some fresh flowers and greenery to your home front. Going all out for a garden isn’t totally necessary. A few planters and window boxes can do the trick. Combine standing planters with hanging ones to get a good façade of plants on your home. 

Maintain your lawn

The front lawn is a huge factor that affects a home’s look. Mow the lawn once the grasses are long, rake off the leaves and weeds to maintain a nice, even look. Install a sprinkler to keep it well watered and avoid brown spots from developing. Once if you tend to forget to water your lawn, buy an automated lawn sprinkler, set once and done.

Front door pizzazz

Instead of your front door blending in with the rest of the outdoor look, you can make it pop with a DIY paint job. Use bold, bright colors that enhance your home's exterior color. Don't be shy about your color choice. You can also accentuate your door with a hanging plant, a custom knocker, and fancy door numbers. Sprucing up your front door makes your home stand out on a lane. Check with your homeowners' association to be sure there's no rule against your plan too.

Mailbox Makeover

With less than $150, you can have a lovely mailbox in front of your home. Not only is this easy to do, but the difference is also always clear and attractive. Depending on the kind of mailbox you prefer, either standing or attached to a wall, there are many options to choose from online that will make your home more attractive. You can even get a themed mailbox of your favorite book or movie.

Clean gutters

Take some time to clean your roof gutters regularly. Clearing the gutters involves removing piles of debris that get accumulated over time. Scrub them till they all look shiny again. The effect that clean gutters give your home has to be seen to be appreciated.

Power Wash

Power washing is the equivalent of giving your home a bath! Call a professional power washing company to wash years of dust and grime off your wall sidings, porch, driveway, and garage door. 

Improving your home’s curb appeal can be achieved in a single day if you plan it well. The best part is that the overall effect is worth more than the time and money you will spend. For more ways to improve your home’s look, speak to a home decorator in your area for more ideas.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Thomas Murphy on 3/24/2019

The exterior of your home tells all the story about your aesthetic taste and interior design. Make it a place anyone would love to walk into whether you are selling or not. It is your haven, and it deserves treatment as one. So, don't wait until you are listing your home to make it a paradise worth living. Try these five easy and affordable ideas, and you will be glad you did.

5 Easy Ways to Give Your Curb a Lift

  • Front Door Makeover. Of course, your front door is a good start. It is the focal point of your home as such deserve more of your attention. Even if visitors miss the mailbox, which is unlikely, they will notice your front door. Why? Because that is the doorway into your home. Therefore, it is crucial to pay attention first to your door when it comes to improving your curb appeal. A little makeover like painting the door with a fresh coat is an excellent way to go. Be sure to employ attractive colors. Remember it is the way into your paradise.
  • Bring Florida to Your Walkway. Visitors go through that walkway before arriving at your door. Your sidewalk also happens to be one of the first things neighbors and passersby see as they pass by your home. An excellent way to make a memorable initial impression is to bring Florida to your home by planting flowers along your walkway. Make it enticing. Enliven your paradise!
  • Gift Your Mailbox a New Look. Homeowners quickly forget their mailbox contribute a part to their curb appeal. The small box seats there all year with little or no attention. In a bid to improve your curb appeal, try gifting your mailbox a new look by painting it with a fresh coat or making a beautiful garden around it.
  • Add Colors to Your Home Number. Each home has a unique set of numbers known as a home number. It is one of the first things a visitor or passerby see as they look at your home. Make them colorful by painting them with inviting colors that complement your home.
  • Hand a Window Box. This trendy curb appeal idea helps you to gift your home a sophisticated feel without having to put out a lot of cash. Simply hang it up there and paint to match. Simple, easy and effective!

You don't particularly need to put out a lot of cash or hire a pro to give your exterior a life. You can always complete the job with these easy and affordable ideas. Don't sweat it!




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Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/5/2015

Selling a house is a stressful experience. You have to look at your home with the eyes of a potential buyer and, when you do, all those nicks, stains, scratches and worn finishes become glaringly obvious. The same thing happens when you look around your yard: all those flaws you've managed to ignore all these years suddenly become visible. There are many things you can do--with or without professional help--to fix up your property and get it ready for sale. Most people focus on the house itself; after all, freshly painted walls and steam cleaned carpets do make a big difference. But there's one area that's often overlooked--one that can make a big difference not only in attracting potential buyers but also in sales value. "Curb appeal": you've probably heard the phrase before. But what exactly is it and what can you do to achieve it? Curb appeal is evident in that first glance at your property: does it look well-kept, is it attractive, does it look like someplace your prospective buyer would like to call home? The first step is to take a walk around your property, looking at it as if you were a stranger. It can be very helpful to have your realtor take this inventory with you--a trained eye can make a big difference. Look for the obvious things first: bald spots in your lawn, overgrown shrubs, cracked steps, dandelions, piles of leaves and sticks. Make a list of everything you see. It may seem overwhelming and you may not have the means to take care of everything, but prioritizing will help. If you can afford professional help, all the better; if you can't, there are things you can do yourself to improve the appearance of your property. The following list will help: • Start with general yard clean-up: remove any branches, piles of leaves or dead plants. If you have a dog, make sure there are no "land mines" on the property. • Reseed and fertilize your lawn; make sure it's kept mown and watered at all times while you're trying to sell. Take an edger and neaten up where the grass meets walkways and foundation. If you have areas of dead grass, consider treating for grubs. And, get rid of those dandelions! • Trim overgrown shrubs, especially those close to your house. If you don't have any shrubs, consider buying a few. Even a small evergreen on either side of the front door can make a welcoming difference. • If you have flower beds, make sure they're free of weeds. Renew or add a layer of mulch around flowers, shrubs and any trees you have in your yard. Not only does mulch keep weeds down and help retain moisture in the soil, it makes the beds look neater. mulch comes in different colors: choose one that will complement your flowers and your house. If your yard slopes, a low stone retaining wall will not only hold the soil (and flowers) in place, but it will also make the bed look neater. • What about the approach to your house--do you have a walkway? If you do, it may need replacing. If you don't, now is the time to add one; even a few simple pavers between the driveway and the front door can make a difference. If you don't have a railing on your front steps, consider adding one. Make sure your front door is clean and in good shape. • Do you have a driveway? If you have asphalt, look for cracks and oil stains. If you have dirt, consider laying down some gravel or pea stone. • Fencing can make a big difference in your home's salability. People with young children or dogs will most likely want one for safety's sake. Privacy is another reason for fencing; it doesn't have to be a stockade fence--a few fast-growing evergreens like arborvitae can make a big difference. Aesthetics is another reason to edge your property. If your home is in a rural area, you may already--like many homeowners in New England--have a stone wall around your property. If so, check it for loose or fallen rocks. • If you don't have any perennial flower beds, consider planting some annuals. Flats of bright, long-lasting blooms like marigolds and impatiens are inexpensive and add to your yard's beauty. As with any plants, consider the growing zone in which you live. If you're purchasing shrubs or perennials, choose ones that are hardy and require little maintenance. If the soil has a high clay concentration, loosen it up and enrich it by mixing in some loam. • If you have a deck, you may need to power wash and re-stain or paint it. Check for loose support beams; sand any areas that feel rough and might produce splinters. If you have a patio, make sure it is free of weeds and cracks. Consider replacing a cement patio with slate or brick which not only look nicer but are easier to replace. • Check your outdoor lighting; replace the bulbs, remove any dead insects. If you don't have any, consider adding some. If you can't afford wiring, solar-battery stake lights are inexpensive. If your mailbox is battered or wobbly, replace it. It sounds like a lot to consider and there's no denying that selling your home can be a difficult thing on more than one level. You want the highest price you can get, however, and these things that add curb appeal will increase your home's value and can make the difference between someone who makes an appointment to look at your home and someone who drives by and keeps on going.