Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 12/29/2019

When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

2. Mold and mildew

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

3. Deep dusting

You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

4. Gutters are a giveaway

Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 10/6/2019

Pets are a reasonably common sight in a lot of houses today, with a wide variety of options that can include dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and goldfish. However, these warm and friendly animal companions often come with their own odors, which if left unmanaged may become a tough challenge. However, by following some of the ideas and suggestions listed, you should be able to get rid of pet odors from your home entirely

  • Vacuum Thoroughly. The elimination of any odors must involve the process of vacuuming. It's not uncommon to find pet fur trapped in carpets and furniture around the house, and they need to be gotten rid. Take all the furniture apart, beddings, chair covers, cushion seats, etc., and then vacuum thoroughly. Sprinkle a surplus of baking soda over all the furniture and let them sit for a few hours, and then vacuum once again. The baking soda absorbs all the trapped odor for you.
  • Take Your Stuff Out To The Sunlight. Leave all your furniture, upholstery rugs and any other material that you have got tainted with pet odor, outside in the sunlight. Sunlight is an excellent natural bleaching agent and will help remove any smell trapped within the fibers that the vacuum cleaner couldn't get. It's also a great idea to air out your house for a few days – open up all doors and windows so fresh air and sunlight can make its way home.
  • Find the source of the odors. Before the odors came, the cause of the odors arrived, so find them and get rid of them. Often, the scent may already be worked up into the floors or any other part of the house that cannot be aired. If its dog pee, you'll need to dry it up with paper towels or a mop. When done, you will need to use either a vinegar solution or an enzymatic cleaner to break down the odors. You may also decide you want to go with a professional stain and odor remover to finish the job. Whatever you do, make sure you get a cleaner that is not toxic to the health of your pets to prevent accidents.

Getting rid of pet odors doesn't have to be a big deal, you can easily carry out all these suggestions and have your house selling as good as new. Ask your local pet store for nontoxic cleaners to use at your home.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/1/2019

Let's face it – cleaning a house from top to bottom may prove to be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, we're here to help you streamline your home cleaning efforts and ensure you can get your house ready for the real estate market.

Now, let's take a look at three steps that home sellers should take before cleaning a house.

1. Make a Plan

If you only have a limited amount of time to clean your house prior to listing it, there is no need to worry. Plan ahead, and you can achieve the best-possible results.

Oftentimes, it helps to make a checklist of which rooms need to be cleaned. You also should include the types of cleaning that need to be done in different areas of your home. For instance, if you need to scrub the bathroom toilets or remove dust from the bedroom ceiling fan, you should include these details in your checklist.

With a plan in place, you'll be better equipped than ever before to speed up your home cleaning efforts. And if you need extra assistance as you craft your home cleaning plan, it may help to consult with a real estate agent.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to prepare a house for the real estate market. As such, this housing market professional can offer recommendations and suggestions about how to plan ahead for home cleaning.

2. Establish Priorities

Once you know which areas of your home that you need to clean, you should establish priorities. By doing so, you can further streamline your home cleaning activities.

It generally helps to clean common home areas at the same time. For instance, if all of your bedrooms are located on the top floor of your house, you may want to go from bedroom to bedroom and perform extensive cleaning. That way, you can simultaneously clean all of your home's bedrooms.

In addition, it may be a good idea to schedule attic or basement cleaning first. Cleaning an attic or basement may force you to get dirty. And if you clean these areas right away, you can minimize the risk of spreading attic or basement debris into other portions of your home.

3. Pick Up Cleaning Supplies

Make a list of cleaning supplies that you'll need to make your house sparkle. Then, you can purchase these supplies and return home to kick off your cleaning efforts.

Don't forget to buy gloves, facemasks and any other items that you'll need to protect your face, hands and skin. These items will enable you to stay safe as you work in areas that may be loaded with debris.

Lastly, if you need help getting the best-possible home cleaning results, you may want to consider hiring professionals. With a team of expert home cleaners at your side, you can receive comprehensive home cleaning assistance.

Ready to clean your house? Follow the aforementioned steps, and you can quickly and effortlessly prepare to clean your residence prior to adding it to the real estate market.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 6/9/2019

The last thing you want at the house is a mold problem. Because they are allergens, molds can trigger rash responses in homeowners. It is impossible to permanently terminate mold spores because they are initially floating in the air. They only grow into colonies when they find a spot suitable for them.

Mold is a fungal growth that develops on wet materials or in a damp atmosphere. Though they are essential in nature, they can pose serious health risks and deteriorate your home if they grow indoors.

If your home develops mold problems, it can be tricky and expensive to control. Trying to get rid of the mold may even lead to its spread to other parts of your home without careful mitigation. Mold remediators are the only professionals to help you with this, but why wait for it to get out of hand when you can prevent it?

Since you can't permanently displace the airborne spores, and you certainly want to save money, mold prevention should be your next line of thought.

Here are the best ways to prevent mold infestation in your home:

Get a regular roof inspection

Molds arise as a result of excessive moisture from leaks and cracks. The roof is a critical component of the house often overlooked until there is a significant reason to attend to it, but this shouldn't be so. Carrying out routine roof inspections will reveal hidden leaks and holes in your roof where water seeps in. You also get to find out if there are parts of your roof that need to be fixed before they become serious issues that may even lead to roof replacement.

Seal off all holes and cracks

Whenever you find any hole or crack that can serve as a passageway for water in your roof, walls or other places water isn't supposed to penetrate, it's important to seal it up. Ensure the cracks are properly caulked, so the water is kept out entirely from causing damages. If you have a leaking faucet in your kitchen, you should get it fixed too because water damages to the wooden parts of the kitchen cabinets can accommodate these messy molds.

Use disinfectants

As you now know, mold spores are ever present in the atmosphere within your home. With suitable fungi disinfectants, you can control them before they get out of hand.

Keep your home's temperature stable

Because molds can only thrive in a moist environment, it is essential to keep your home moderately dry and cool. Make sure the rooms get proper ventilation and the right amount of sunshine because direct sunlight prevents mold growth. If you use a smart thermostat, set your home to be between 68°F and 72°F.





Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 4/28/2019

Microfiber cloths have become incredibly popular in recent years. Especially within the “green clean” crowd. And with good reason, while they might look like just another cleaning cloth they are actually in a class of their own.

In fact, you could think of them as the heavyweight champions of the cleaning cloth world. Because of the “micro” in microfiber, these clothes are able to do a lot more of the grunt work without the aid of a cleaning product. And those instances you would pair it up with a cleaner? You would need far less of it than you would if using another cloth material.

I know using less cleaner or even none at all sounds counterintuitive. But here’s why eliminating the need to use cleaning product is a good thing - if you don’t properly clean the surface of cleaning product residue you are going to be creating a dirt magnet. Huh?
Yup! You see it comes down to the chemistry of how cleaning products clean. There are specific molecules inside the cleaner that when combined with water are actually attracted to dirt and grime and able to carry them away. They pick them all up and hold them close. So when they haven't properly cleared away from the surface they keep doing their job! They attract more dirt and more grime, holding on to every last bit they can.

As you can imagine the more product you have to use to clean up, the higher your chance leaving residue behind. This is where microfiber cloths save the day. Their unique two-pronged fibers that are indeed micro are able to pick up and hold onto anything it comes across. All without leaving anything behind it in its tracks.

Use dry for regular dusting and wet for all other uses. And how many there are! Tackle tile, counters, shower walls, and mirrors. All with just water and your microfiber cloth. Seriously, you won’t need glass clean or any sort of cleaning product here.

Use on a Swiffer in lieu of disposables for both dry and wet mopping floors. Keep one on hand in either your bag or car to spot clean any accidental spills on clothes. Yes, they can even tackle clothing stains! Replace germ breeding loofahs out for a microfiber. Store one in the bathroom cabinet for easy access to wipe down the counter and sink each day. And use one to wipe down the shower after use.

The care and keeping is simple. Daily clothes can be rinsed in warm water after use, machine washing weekly. However, avoid bleach and fabric softener as each will damage your cloth and reduce its effectiveness. “Refresh” clothes by boiling them in water with baking soda.