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A Fresh New Look For Your Kitchen

Something different - no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

Something different – no emphasis on granite counters or stainless steel

As a Realtor® I am continually asked about granite counters and stainless steel.  Are these kitchens pretty?  Absolutely… But then again, they all start to look so much a like. I am not quite sure when the page turned to only exist with granite and stainless, but it happened.  Yes there will always be followers for the materials because they are really beautiful.

So it is always refreshing to me when I see someone mixing things up, without using granite or stainless.  The kitchen cabinets in the above photo are custom but they are done in a mint green, the hardware and fixtures are brass and the trim is in oak with oak stools. The one wall adorns wallpaper with an Arts & Crafts feel, the refrigerator and dishwasher are covered with matching panels.  The built in ovens do show metal, but it adds to the nice blend of differences.  The wood adds warmth that is inviting and looks like someone actually would use it.

kitchen ideas

The above kitchen before remodel

Updating your kitchen always adds value to your home when done with care.  When updating consider how long you plan to live in the home.  If you are completing the upgrade just to sell, then you want the improvements to give the kitchen a fresh clean feel, yet using a minimal approach.  If you plan on staying for many years, then go ahead and think about the little added touches that will make the kitchen say it is all yours.

For more ideas about remodeling your kitchen, what you should do when selling and what you should not do, then give me a call 315-719-8377.  I want to make sure that your kitchen is “picture perfect” when home buyers are looking at it and to also sell it quickly.  Let’s chat…

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Are You Ready For The “Hot” Selling Season?


I know you are most likely thinking of Summer when you hear the word  “hot”, but really the hot selling season is the Spring and for the Finger Lakes Area, it starts to wind up in mid February.  (just around the corner).  Why February?  Well buyers know that if they are really serious, looking in February will allow them to find a property and start enjoying during the first available part of the Summer season.  If they close before then, they will have time to freshen it up and furnish to their liking.  I already have buyers looking for new property listings. If your home is listed at the beginning of the selling curve, you are most likely to obtain the highest selling price. Competition is the strongest during the Spring.  So let me help you stay ahead of the crowd with the following tips below. The longer you wait to list, the more buyers there are that have decided on a home that is already listed.  So lets get going… 7K0A0947

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The Top Three Items To Stop A Buyer In Their Tracks

real estate for saleWhen your home goes up for sale, your Realtor® will be working hard to find and attract buyers to your home.  Once these buyers arrive there to view your property, you want to make sure that your home is ready, everything is in place and tidy and that the buyer will want to continue through your doors and eventually decide this is going to be “their” new home.  But if certain items are not addressed, this will not happen as planned.

Your home will have professional photos taken and even the best photographer can not remove the clutter. The top three things that will stop a buyer in their tracks are:


  • Pet Odors…Many owners do not realize that there are odors present, either because they have become raining cats and dogsaccustomed to them, or they just are not sensitive to odors.  There is nothing like walking through the door and being knocked out with pet odors and the worst are usually cat odors.

But dog odors can be just as bad, depending on the type of dogs or if the owner breeds them.  If you have cats or dogs ask one of your friends to be honest about the odors, and actually kids are most likely to tell you the truth.

With cat odors you will want to wash everything down with a neutralizing solution (visit your local hardware store for their recommendation), set out odor capturing containers and thoroughly clean out the litter boxes.  If the cats have sprayed on the furniture, you will have to remove it.  Do not just put out fragrance containers or candles, they do not remove the odors, and sometimes those odors can be just as overpowering.  The best fragrance in a home, is something very mild.

For dogs, make sure their bedding is kept clean.  If your dogs are used to getting up on the furniture, you may want to keep covers on them.  These covers can then be removed when showing the home.

  • Curb Appeal…When a Realtor® drives up to your home with the clients in the car, the last thing your agent wantsc56241_aa083b1b02b243469c4b0645f6c24fc6_jpg_srz_257_343_75_22_0_50_1_20_0 to hear is “No, we do not want to see this house.” because at that point, there is no forcing them inside.

Make sure your entry way is clean and inviting.  Windows on doors should be clean and sparkling, doors should be freshly painted and all trim work painted as well.  Any toys or gardening implements need to be put away, leaves and or snow should be removed and it does not hurt to have a nice seasonal item such as a planter or wreath to welcome you. The lawn should be cut and trimmed and trash containers put out of view.

I had one client that insisted on leaving a burn barrel in the side yard, and you would not believe how many buyers questioned the burn barrel being there.  The burn barrel detracted from the beauty of this million dollar home.

Many times we enter our homes through side doors or back doors and forget about the attraction or lack of, of our front door.  Take a fresh look at your entry way today.

  • Smoking Odors…Gone are the days of smoking being acceptable.  Non-smokers will notice the odors much more smokethan smokers.  Smoke will work it’s way into all of your material items such as sofas, chairs and drapes.  It will also yellow your walls and fixtures.  So if you  are a smoker or someone in your house smokes, you will have to address the behavior and thoroughly clean everything in your home,  including your ceilings.  This may be the opportunity to encourage the end of the smoking habit.

When meeting with prospective sellers, I have the talk with them.  The bad pet odor talk, the smoke in the house or the curb appeal talk and sometimes the conversation includes all of the topics.  If I am not honest with them, I am not doing my job.  I know what it takes to get buyers into your home.  Some buyers have pet allergies and just knowing there are odors , sets the stage for them, the one that says this home just will not do, even if the odors are minimal. And non-smokers will pick up the slightest hint of tobacco smoke.   Becoming mad at the potential buyers will not sell your home, but addressing the issues will.

Let me know if I can be of assistance to you, to help you prepare your home for sale.


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The Best Real Estate Blog ??? Last Year… This Year ???


mortgage ratesOk, so now we are into a new year and it has become customary to look back on last year for the best and worst and to look forward to this year to make it the best.  So who is it that judges these blogs?  I belong to a very large group of bloggers and  one of the Real Estate Tomatoes.  We do not have a contest, though we do notice and recognize our fellow bloggers that have great content and graphics.  We look to each other to improve our sites.  The “Big Tomato, Jim Cronin” is always looking for better ways to capture and post content as well as ways to keep our sites secure.   But there are bloggers out there on paid sites, free sites and even those that are “guest” bloggers.  Is it even possible to view all of these sites?

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Will Your Home Pass The First 60 Second Test ?


It seems like a short amount of time, but researchers state that the first 60 seconds of viewing a home is when the buyer has made their decision.   That means the focus of your preparation and staging should start at the front door.  The rest of the home needs to be staged as well, but you want to “Wow” them at the entry. So take a little extra time to “stage your entry”.

For homes that have many entry ways like so many lake homes do, it is important to establish the desired entry for all buyers.  This is where you all viewings will start from.

  • Make sure the door is freshly painted
  • All windows in this area should be sparkling
  • A new welcome mat that is inviting
  • A great pot of flowers will add a punch of color
  • Insure that all trim around door is freshly painted
  • If there are any steps involved, insure they look nice and are safe
  • Stop in front of your door and look around to see what buyers will see
  • Make sure the hardware is clean and sparkly and definitely make sure it works well.  A door that does not open well is a huge turn off

These all seem like easy steps to follow and are.  Many people are just so used to their everyday routines, they just do not think about the image the front door gives to prospective buyers.

When you give viewing instructions to other agents, always insist on where the tour should start.  Use that first 60 seconds well to move your listing from “For Sale” to “Sold”.



For more information about preparing your home for sale, contact known waterfront specialist Mary St.George, Associate Real Estate Broker, ,  315-719-8377

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