Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/9/2020

In a competitive selling market, it’s vital to make sure you take advantage of any way to give your home an edge over the competition.

Many sellers make expensive home improvements in the hopes of attracting buyers. But, even if you’re on a budget, there are ways to boost curb appeal and increase the value of your home to make your home competitive in today’s seller’s market.

In today’s post, I’m going to cover eight low-cost upgrades you can make to your home today. We tried to keep all of the upgrades under $100 so that you can stick to your budget while still making a big difference in your home.

1. Paint the front door ($30)

One of the first things a potential buyer will notice about your home is the front door. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, especially one that pops and contrasts with the color of your home, will help to make it stand out on the block.

2. Paint your interior trim and baseboards ($75 - $100)

Baseboards often get dirty or scuffed up over the years. Putting a fresh coat of paint will make the entire room look like new. Stick with white for most rooms--it will brighten them up and make them feel clean.

3. Replace your outlet and light switch plates ($20)

They get dirty, they crack, and they get covered in messy paint every time you repaint your walls. Outlet and switch plates see a lot of wear and tear, and a dirty one can be off-putting for potential buyers.

For just a few dollars each or less, replace them all to give the rooms of your home a facelift.

4. Replace fixtures ($50 - $100)

Whether it’s the knobs of your kitchen cabinets or faucet fixtures, there are a number of small items in the kitchen and bathrooms that can be upgraded.

Stainless steel is now out of style, with homeowners choosing brushed nickel and bronze over the traditional stainless.

5. Choose a new shower head ($30 - $50)

Installing a shower head is a lot easier than it looks. Plus, luxurious looking shower heads can be purchased for less than $50 on Amazon, making them a great choice to add a touch of indulgence to the shower.

6. Add new bright, energy efficient lighting ($30 - $50)

Bright LEDs can make a room feel more spacious and modern, and it can save you a few dollars on the electric bill. Installing new lights throughout the home is a good way to show off what lies within.

7. Paint or replace your mailbox ($20 - $80)

Mailboxes can easily get dirty and dented over the years and most of us pay little mind to them. But prospective buyers likely will be on the lookout for any signs of neglect when they view your home. Having a freshly painted mailbox will leave a good first impression.

8. Rent a pressure washer for a day ($50 - $100)

Pressure washing the exterior of your home can make a huge difference when it comes to upgrading curb appeal. Vinyl siding gets dirty quickly and isn’t all that easy to clean.

You can rent a pressure washer from The Home Depot or your local hardware store for typically less than $100 a day.





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  
Categories: Uncategorized  


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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