Monday, September 28, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
- De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter. If you do nothing else on this list, DE-CLUTTER! A potential buyer should never see stacks of mail and papers on the countertop, laundry piles, toys stacked in corners, shelves full of odds and ends... do you have a "catch-all" room? It's time to clear it out. Better an empty room than a room full of miscellaneous junk. Pack up the loose items around your home and store them in plastic containers, organized in the attic space or in the garage, or consider renting temporary storage space. The less a buyer sees of yours, the better... remember you want someone else to move in now! Which brings me to #2...
- As much as you love your home, when you make the decision to put it on the market, you also need to make the choice to "de-personalize" it. A buyer should be able to walk into your home and begin to see it as their own. Without making your home look like a cold, empty vessel, remove as many family photos as you can. Remove diplomas & trophies, clear your refrigerator of graduation announcements, pictures of your family, or the latest drawing from Sunday School. Your home should be "anonymous" to the viewer. Remember, do not pack these things up and stick them in a closet, a corner, or elsewhere. Once they come down, they need to be packed away and stored.
- Did you turn your dining room into an office? Or the 4th bedroom into a home gym? It's time to convert back to its intended purpose. For the sake of helping your buyer invision this home as their own, you need to set the stage, just as it should be. Remember, if they are in your home, it's because they like what they know about it... it's a 4 bedroom, or it has a study... or a gameroom upstairs. They want to see these elements of the home in their purest state, so that they can begin to imagine their families living there.
- "They say" one investment in your home that you can always guarantee to get a return on is updating hardware and fixtures... especially in bathrooms and the kitchen. Do you have brass door knobs, cabinet & sink fixtures circa 1990? A trip to Home Depot can rid you of the dated look and give your home updated appeal for very little money.
- Do you have unfinished projects, home repairs, or minor issues that you've put off? Now is the time to replace the cracked window, faulty door knob, or chipped bathroom tile. These little fix-it jobs can turn away a buyer or make them think the home is in disrepair. By getting out that honey-do list you've put on the back-burner, you can avoid potential issues and present a well maintained home.
- Does your daughter have a pink princess bedroom? And your son a bright blue sports haven? Consider neutralizing the walls in your home. Have I said that a buyer wants to see this home as their own? A neutral palette will allow them to envision their furnishings, their decor, THEIR new home.
- Keep your yard tidy, plant inexpensive colorful flowers, remove weeds or other obstructions from pathways, sidewalks, and entry ways. Curb appeal is key to selling your home quickly, and it will be the first thing your potential buyer sees when they pull up to your home.
- Remember that remodeling is for new buyers... if you're ready to move, updating and getting your home in selling condition is your job. Flooring is very important to buyers, if you have carpet in your home... consider having it cleaned. Unless it is badly stained, an unusual color, or extremely outdated... let the new owners replace it.
- Organize! Your cabinets will be opened, your pantry will be assessed, every closet will be entered... so it's time to stow away the personal items, neatly stack your dishes, clean out 10 or 12 cereal boxes and make the nooks and crannies of your home look orderly, cared for, and visually pleasing.
- Odor control... do you have a pet? Chances are your home smells like your family... and that's not a bad thing. But to the potential buyer, you want a pleasing "homey" smell. No kitty litter boxes, no smoke, no pet dander. Consider sprinkling your carpet with freshener regularly, do not smoke in your home while it's on the market, and if possible (weather-permitting) keep pets outdoors during showings to minimize pet odor.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Yields: 6 servings
- 3 yellow tomatoes
- 3 red tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Garnish: fresh basil sprigs
Cut tomatoes in half; thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300° to 350°) 10 minutes, turning skewers often.
Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil; drizzle over kabobs. Garnish, if desired.
Martha Stewart's All American Potato Salad
- 4 pounds russet potatoes (about 8 potatoes)
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Homemade Mayonnaise, or prepared
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (3/4 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/2 cup)
- 1 medium onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
- 10 cornichons, cut into 1/4-inch dice (1/4 cup)
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon paprika Directions:
American Flag Cake, a Greer Family Tradition