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? That was something I loved about my mom’s house while I was growing up. People always commented on how great our home 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

  • Arm up homemade potpourri in your crockpot

  • 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

Mistakes to Avoid on Your First Buy/Sell

If this is the first time you’re considering buying a home, or selling your first purchase, there are a lot of possible challenges you can end up facing. Having the right agent can ensure you’re able to get through these challenges, but since some of the issues are universal, let’s review some mistakes you want to avoid making.

1. THE RIGHT PRICE

Pricing a property is a science of its own. There are a lot of components and factors and so many small details that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Although there are a lot of sites with estimates, namely Zillow, the technology used on online sites to determine property values are simply not accurate. Zillow even states that their numbers can be inaccurate up to a whopping 20%. Without a background as a real estate professional, it is virtually impossible for a consumer to be able to know the proper components needed to price a home. When you’re purchasing a home, your eagerness to find a deal can lead to stubbornness about what you’re willing to pay and what you think a home is worth. But what you WANT it to be worth is the complete opposite of what it should sell for. If you’re a first time seller, you may want to sell your home for as much as you can squeeze out of it, but this can lead to unrealistic expectations, and ultimately lead to an overpriced home that never sells. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what a home’s value should be. Instead, partner with a real estate agent that truly is working for your best interest, and let them provide you the tools to support home values, so you can place an offer, or price your home, at a number that makes sense.

2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE

If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, dead-set on what you want without exception, you’re more than likely going to cause a lot of grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you have to have an open mind about negotiations. They are a common practice within the industry, with buyers wanting to spend less and sellers wanting to net more. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. Having a great agent will help you ensure you make negotiations that are reasonable to lead both parties to the closing table, without compromising your interests.

3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS

Although we all have an idea in our mind what our dream home should be, sometimes the market, and your budget, can’t realistically checkmark everything off of your list. Find an agent that helps you look for the most important needs in your dream house, but keep an open mind to a home that fits most of your needs, but not necessarily all of them. Having too many expectations within a home can become stressful and result in never finding a home that really matches your needs. If a home has the major components you are seeking, get creative and see if the other things you want can be added down the road. Have a certain number of non-negotiable items, like bedroom/bathroom count, but then have a list of “wants.”

4. YOU’RE NOT ALONE, DON’T GO IT ALONE

Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as ever. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From legal terms, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs inexperienced buyers and sellers may not think about, which can lead to losing value on your home or never finding the right one. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.

Visit Fort Collins Itinerary – Foodies Delight

Fort Collins has something for just about anyone and conveniently Visit Fort Collins has suggested itineraries to choose from. Whether you’re new to town, have someone visiting or want to rediscover this awesome town, check out the Visit Fort Collins website. See below for their Foodies Delight itinerary.

Fort Collins is a Foodie’s Paradise. From fine dining to pub fare, vegetarian and tapas as well as a robust food truck scene, there are cuisines for every type of palate in the Choice City. Let’s not forget about the great cocktail and craft beer options throughout Fort Collins as well.

DAY 1

Explore Old Town

Old Town- the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Enjoy the ambiance of one of ‘America’s Best Downtowns. Multiple stores around the area offer the perfect gifts or ingredients for making that perfect dish at home.

The Cupboard

The Cupboard is a 10,000 square foot kitchen specialty store that has been a downtown institution in Fort Collins since 1972, with many loyal customers. Visitors to Fort Collins often make The Cupboard one of their top stops in town. Find a diverse array of kitchen themed items from food preparation to food presentation.

152 S College Ave
(970) 493-8585
www.thecupboard.net

Nuance Chocolate

At Nuance you can enjoy decadent truffles and chocolates made in house from bean to bar, and on a cold winter evening try their sipping chocolate, similar to a thick cup of hot chocolate that is all made from scratch, in-house.

214 Pine St
(970) 484-2330
www.nuancechocolate.com

Vern’s Toffee House

Vern’s Toffee is a well-known family-owned and operated toffee manufacturer based in Fort Collins. The small, family-owned business has the best original toffee recipe around. Vern’s has been a part of the local foodie scene since 1976, serving up delicious, all natural, hand-crafted toffee.

444 S. Link Lane
(970) 493-7770
www.vernstoffee.com

Old Town Spice Shop

This spice shop claims to hold the highest quality spices, blends, salts, sugars, extracts, peppers and teas in the country. They fresh grind many of the spices themselves, making them fresher than you can get at many other spice shops. Their large variety of products allows them to serve everyone, from the person that says they can’t cook to gourmet chefs.

130A S College Ave
(970) 493-7206
www.oldtownspiceshop.com

Turtle Mountain Fermentery

Turtle Mountain is a non-alcoholic kombucha brewery that makes for the perfect pit stop to refresh. The taproom features seven rotating taps and they ferment their own sauerkrauts and kimchi in house, which you can also get tastings of. Turtle Mountain has a great non-alcoholic bar vibe that is really worth the visit.

513 N. Link Lane, Unit C
www.turtlemountainfermentery.com

Lunch and a cooking class at Farm Fusion in the Kitchen

Farm Fusion in the Kitchen is a small farm-to-table cooking school located in north Fort Collins. They offer hands-on cooking classes, tours and experiences on their farm. Farm Fusion aspires to bring awareness and exposure to small businesses and farms in the community, and to teach the public how to make incredible tasting food with the freshest ingredients.

2627 Cattlemans Road, Fort Collins, CO  80524
(970) 219-7711
www.farmfusion.org

Rocky Mountain Olive Oil

This store believes sharing their line of Ultra-Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamic Vinegars will help others discover a healthier and more flavorful way to prepare and enjoy their food.

123 N College Ave #173
(970) 484-8101
www.rockymountainoliveoil.com

Savory Spice Shop

Savory Spice Shop offers a large variety of blends and spices. Their spices are ground fresh in weekly batches, so that they can offer the freshest possible product.

123 N College Ave
(970) 682-2971
www.savoryspiceshop.com

Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop

Joining with the other Old Town specialty and local food shops, The Welsh Rabbit Cheese shop is your destination for purchasing and enjoying artisan-crafted cheeses from around the globe. Also pick from their charcuterie, chocolate, crackers, and other related items.

216 Pine St.
(970) 232-9521
www.thewelshrabbit.com

Happy Lucky’s Tea House

Visit this tea house for all your tea needs, buy tea to go, sit and have a cup in store, buy their tea sets or learn about their wall of teas from the expert staff.

236 Walnut St
(970) 689-3417
www.happyluckys.com

Evening:

Fort Collins Foodie Walk
(Offered on the 3rd Friday of each month)

Downtown Fort Collins offers a culinary adventure in a beautiful historic pedestrian area of the city. The Fort Collins Foodie Walk is a self-guided walk that occurs each month and will feature new presentations, tasting opportunities, and themes each month. Visit participating local culinary shops and eateries for a taste test and recipes.

Dinner at The Kitchen

The Kitchen Fort Collins is a community bistro located in the heart of historic Old Town, open seven days a week at 11am. The menu focuses on rustic, organic plates sourced from local farmers and purveyors. The atmosphere and service reflects The Kitchen’s philosophy: community through food.

100 North College Ave
(970) 568-8869
www.thekitchenbistros.com

Late Night at Social

Social is the place in Fort Collins for properly crafted cocktails, sommelier selected wines, and charcuterie. Located underneath an Old Town shop, at the entrance into Old Town Square, Social is designed with a soft modern/industrial decor as to keep the focus on what they are best at…quality food and beverage.

1 Old Town Sq
(970) 449-5606
www.socialfortcollins.com

DAY 2

Morning:

Lucile’s Creole Café

Experience Creole cooking from around the world in this one of a kind, Victorian-style restaurant. They offer wonderful food and an authentic New Orleans ambiance which includes Cajun music, decorations and a great sense of community.

400 South Meldrum St
(970) 224-5464
www.luciles.com

Local Farmers Markets

Enjoy our local Farmers Market all year long, offering three different options during the summer and our Winter Farmers Market during the colder months. This is the perfect way to spend a weekend morning no matter what season you visit. Connect with our local growing season and find produce to make that perfect, fresh and Fort Collins local meal.

Afternoon:

Lunch at Café Vino

This local restaurant features a diverse European-inspired menu created by local chefs. Here you can explore your most discerning tastes in a casual-yet-classy setting, where the ingredients are the finest available and local or organic whenever possible. Try their tapas inspired menu for a small bite or their full menu for plates sure to fill your belly and please your taste buds.

1200 South College Ave
(970)-212-3399
www.cafevino.com

Use the afternoon to discover Fort Collins, with activities from outdoor recreation and brewery tours to shopping and drives through the Poudre Canyon.

Evening:

Tapas at Welsh Rabbit Bistro

As the Welsh Rabbit Cheese Shop’s accompanying bistro, here you can come in, sit down, and enjoy flights of cheese paired with wines and beers that have been crafted both near and far.

216 Pine St.
(970) 232-9521
www.thewelshrabbit.com

Dinner at Restaurant 415

Restaurant 415 is a young and fresh addition to the Fort Collins dining scene, a menu that features local, seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers. Restaurant 415 perfectly combines a fresh, fun environment while making a positive impact on the community through local sourcing.

415 S. Mason Ave
(970) 407-0415
www.thefourfifteen.com

Drinks at the Forge Publick House

Tucked away in Old Firehouse Alley in Old Town Fort Collins, this cozy bar offers a great environment to relax and sip on some brews. The bar houses 10 rotating taps with beer that never disappoints.

232 Walnut Street
(831) 332-8060
theforgepub.com

 

Avoid the Wrong Real Estate Agent

In what will likely be the biggest investment you make in your life, buying a home needs the attention and assistance a professional real estate agent can provide. But not just any real estate agent, it’s important to find the “right” one. With the ease of being able to land a license, you will want to make sure you’re hiring an agent who has the experience and drive to ensure you’re provided the tools and skills to walk away from a closing knowing your needs were met. Let’s jump into some issues you can face if you don’t have the right agent on your team.

1. THE “WRONG” AGENT WON’T LISTEN.

It’s important to find a real estate agent that sits down with you and actually listens to your needs. What type of home do you want? Where do you want to live? Does the commute to school or work have to be a certain distance? Etc. Working with an agent that doesn’t take the time to listen to your real estate needs will end up wasting your time and sending you homes to look at that don’t match your needs. Sit down with an agent that wants to get to know your needs and wants to help you achieve your goal of buying your dream house.

2. YOU’LL GET TERRIBLE ADVICE.

Choosing the wrong agent could mean finding yourself in situations with terrible advice. Make sure you choose an agent that is able to give you the proper direction when it comes to the whole sales process. From negotiations to repairs, you want to ensure you choose a trusted adviser that can guide you on the right path.

3. THEY WON’T NEGOTIATE THE BEST DEAL FOR YOU

A great agent will negotiate for you to get an amazing deal. Now this isn’t to equate to unrealistic negotiation expectations of what the market will sell a home for – because that can mean losing your dream house. But the “wrong” agent won’t bother to negotiate on any part of the sales process. You want to find an agent that not only negotiates for you, but does it in an effective way and advises you on the best steps to take, to ensure you still get the right home.

4. DIFFICULT TO GET IN TOUCH WITH

A great agent has a set and active schedule that allows you to get in touch with them, or a member of their team, in a reasonable time frame. The “wrong” agent will be difficult to get in contact with, and they may even not get back to you during the sales process (for days or sometimes even weeks). To find a great agent, you want to find one that has dedicated business hours that allow you to get in touch with them at any time during those hours, and is available to call you back if they miss your call in a timely manner. This is incredibly important during the sales process. If something needs immediate attention and your agent is nowhere to be found, you can lose the deal.

5. CAN LEAD TO A LEGAL MESS

The “wrong” agent can be unethical, or simply not have the proper knowledge about the legalities within the industry that is standard for agents to follow through on. As a professional in an industry with a lot of accompanying laws, it is an agent’s job to know how to protect you throughout the sales process. They rare responsible for providing the necessary contracts and guidance to ensure you’re protected by the decisions you make as well.

6. AN UNHAPPY BUYING EXPERIENCE

Buying a home is an important and big process in a person’s life. If you’re buying your first home, or you’re purchasing your dream home, you don’t want the experience to be traumatizing. A great agent will be able to navigate the bumps that come up within the sales process in an experienced and professional manner. The “wrong” agent will create a mess of the sales process, not find you the right home, and you can end up with a home you don’t actually love – or one with too many issues. Find a great agent that knows the process and can ensure it goes as smoothly as possible, giving you the time to prepare for common situations that may cause delays. Although some things can occur that neither party may be aware of, having an experienced agent will help you through general hurdles that could arise throughout the sale.

Let me know if you think we might be a good fit!

Spark a Bidding War

Ready to make a move? Have a certain figure in mind that you need to sell for? Depending on the local market, you might be able to get a little more than the typical asking price of your home. Let’s take a look and see if setting a bidding war is smart for the sale of your home. If so, here are a few things to consider to help get your sales price over asking after starting a bidding competition.

1. ATTRACT MORE BUYERS

When there is not much interest in a property, buyers get nervous and suspicious that there may be something wrong with the home that they may be missing, and that could sometimes be further from the truth. You want to price your home competitively to entice more showings. When you price your home right under the market standard, it leads to more showings, more appointments, and more excitement around your home.

2. PRICE IT TO MOVE IT

You want to make sure your price gets buyers interested in your property. Even if they end up paying more than asking, the excitement from feeling like they are getting a deal and landing your home sets the right mood for buyers to WANT your property. Always price the home in a way that is going to appeal to a large audience. Pricing a home at $399,900 can generally generate more foot traffic than one listed at $400,000. Advertising a home for sale that is listed for slightly under the market value can garner a lot of interest, which can lead to the home selling for more than what the seller originally wanted.

3. START UP THE BUZZ

Make sure you work with an agent that has the ability to start up a “coming-soon buzz” around your home. You want to let the market know that your home is going to be hit the market soon to start up conversation and interest. This gives time for word about your home to spread to get more foot traffic and competition on your house.

4. STAGING IS KEY

It is without question that getting over market value for your home requires it being in tip-top condition. Discuss with your agent the importance of having your home professionally cleaned and staged to attract more buyers. Starting up a buzz won’t lead to much if buyers walk into your home and are turned off by odors, unappealing lighting, or rooms that are not properly staged. You want to allow buyers an opportunity to see your home in the best light the first time they walk through your door.

5. CREATE A DEADLINE

Have your agent set a deadline for offers, say a Monday or Tuesday, right after a weekend of doing open houses. This can generate a sense of urgency around your home, letting buyers think there is a large amount of interest and encourage them to get offers in quickly. Setting up this state of urgency generally makes them want to put their best foot forward with their first offer.

6. SWEETEN THE DEAL

To generate a little more excitement and foot traffic, you can offer an incentive for whomever purchases the home, or set a fun giveaway during an open house. Some people have given away cars, tickets to a major event like the Super Bowl or vacation tickets, etc. Doing an out-of-the-box giveaway helps to generate organic buzz around your home. Some giveaways have even landed seller’s homes in the local news. More buzz means more potential buyers, which means a potential opportunity for a bidding war to get you a better sales price.

Call me to get the conversation started about the market in Northern Colorado and how to position your home to get the best possible price.

It’s Because of the Price

Are you getting frustrated that your home hasn’t already sold? Has it been sitting on the market with little to no showings, while houses nearby are going under contract almost immediately? I’m here to tell you the solution is simple: lower the price! I know, I know, you probably already heard this from your agent and thought that it was worth the price you wanted. But the truth of the matter is, the market is hot. It’s at the hottest point it has been in a long time, and if your home isn’t selling in today’s market, and your agent is working their butt off to market it, then the price is too high.

Who doesn’t want to sell what they own, and cherish, for the most they can get? Your agent wants to sell your home for top dollar as well! But, if you still haven’t received an offer in such a strong seller’s market, it’s time to sit down with your agent, re-evaluate your motivation to sell, and talk about a new price. Do you have goals when it comes to moving? A new house, a new state? That’s awesome! So if you want to move forward with your life, cut out the stress of slowing down your sale and make the best decision to ensure your home can get under contract. Keep in mind there is a highly likely chance that by pricing lower than market value, you can anticipate a bidding frenzy that can get you even more than you anticipated. Supply and demand – it works wonders when you let your agent play the numbers to get buyers in a frenzy for your home. Drop it down to what your trusted agent recommends, and you’ll be putting your best foot forward in your market.

Kitchen Improvements Under $100

Want to spruce up your kitchen but stuck on a tight budget? Check out this list of improvements you can get started on for under $100. These tips can come in handy when you’re ready to list your home to sell on the market.

1. REFRESH THE SINK:

If your sink is starting to look outdated, find an affordable, yet stylish, replacement. If you have the eye for DIY, you can also purchase some sandpaper and a $4 can of spray paint that is made for metal, and use it to refresh and brighten the color.

2. HANG A NEW LIGHT FIXTURE

A decorative light fixture doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can generally find some decent ones that are under $100. Go for a chrome finish or choose the rustic route, whichever suits the current decor in your kitchen. You can also add LED lights under your kitchen cabinets for around $10-$20.

3. PAINT THE CABINETS

With care taken in the prep work, you can refinish the paint on your cabinets. You can generally get a kit for around $75. Refreshing the paint color or the stain can make your kitchen feel brand new.

4. TURN YOUR FRIDGE INTO A CHALKBOARD

Chalkboard finishes are a hot trend, especially on the fridge! They add more functionality by allowing home owners to write grocery lists, menus, and even to-dos. Use painters tape to outline the shape and size you want to use as the chalkboard, then coat it with magnetic primer followed by chalkboard paint.

5. REPLACE OUTLET PLATES

Replace the outdated outlet wall plates for your light switches. You can add some character to it by using bold patterns, bright colors, or elegant textures. If they look faded, yellow, or chipped, they’re a cheap fix to replace.

6. CHANGE HARDWARE

Replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers can provide a drastic change to your kitchen. Not only can you get rid of hideous outdated hardware, but you can add a completely new feel to the theme of your kitchen just by updating the hardware throughout it.

7. EXPAND STORAGE

Have empty wall space? Search your local home stores for cute baskets or storage containers you can use to fill the space. Not only can it add some character to your kitchen, it also adds functionality and more storage options – a feature buyers love if you’re thinking of listing your home.

8. DRESS UP YOUR DECOR

Bring some color to your kitchen. Throw out decor that looks like it belongs in the 90’s, rugs that are falling apart, and anything else that weighs down a fresh look. Add in some new rugs and hand towels that match your personality and the theme you’re trying to achieve. You can also add some plants and decorative pieces for character.

9. CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER

The best cleaning tip I can give my clients is to remove the clutter. Nothing is a bigger eye sore than too many things. It can also mess with the energy in a home. Throw out the things that are taking up too much space. If it’s sentimental, see if you can store it in a new place or store it if you are preparing for a move.