10 Tips to Consider When Selling Your Home

Couple looking at a new home with a realtor

Preparing your home to sell will take some work, but the results will make a huge difference in how buyers perceive your home. Outside of the typical maintenance such as cleaning, de-cluttering, touch up painting, etc., we have 10 tips that can increase your chances of a successful home sale!

  1. Enlist a professional: Hiring a great real estate agent is key in selling your home faster and for a better price than doing it on your own. They know the area, what other homes in the neighborhood are going for, and have connections to listing sites and other sellers.
  2. Consider professional cleaning: Make the minimal investment and hire a professional cleaning company. Make sure the most common areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms are spotless. If your carpet could use a facelift, get them professionally cleaned.
  3. Clean up your landscape: Your yard will be one of the first things buyers will see when they pull up to your house. You don’t have to have the neighborhood yard of the month – just mow the lawn, trim the bushes and pour some mulch in the flowerbeds! Help a potential buyer imagine how nice their potential new home might look from the outside. The curb appeal uplift is worth it!
  4. Organize the entryway: Another opportunity to make a great first impression is to organize and tidy up your entryway. Add a small bench, entryway rug or small table with fresh cut flowers to jazz it up.
  5. Address all odors: Smell is powerful and can make or break a home sale. Buyers aren’t impressed if they are walking into a stinky home. We suggest using odor-eliminating soy candles and carpet fresheners. Toss some cookies in the oven or grind a lemon in the garbage disposal.
  6. Remove pets during showings: Remove pets and pet odor when showing your home. Having evidence of your pet, including their odors can kill a home sale, especially if a potential buyer has a pet allergy.
  7. Remove personal items: When arranging your home to appeal to buyers, it is important to remove personal items from the home. This may include personal pictures, knick-knack collections, children’s artwork, etc.
  8. Check drains and repair leaky faucets: Clogged drains and leaky faucets won’t leave a good impression on prospective buyers. Be sure drains are clear of clogging debris and faucets are leak-free.
  9. Clean curtains: These dust magnets can turn off prospective buyers. Make sure curtains are clean and fresh.
  10. De-clutter closets: Storage is always at the top of the list when prospective buyers are house hunting. Remove at least half of the inventory (or everything) from closets, drawers and cabinets.

We understand your goal is to successfully sell your home. Consider these 10 tips and you should be on your way! Be sure to check out website for other useful articles about selling and moving. Zippy Shell looks forward to being a worthwhile partner in your new adventure, whether you are moving to a new home or just need storage while staging your current home. Give us a call today at 888-947-7974 or check out our website for a free quote.

Pet Health and Safety Tips for the Summer

French Bulldog lays flat on the floor

June is National Pet Preparedness Month and Zippy Shell knows that pets are part of the family! We have some fresh tips on the best way to keep them safe and happy all summer long.

Make a plan for pets: This time year sees tornadoes, hurricanes and flooding. Be sure your emergency preparedness plan includes how you will evacuate all of your pets, including birds, reptiles, fish, dogs, cats and rodents. Some shelters will not take pets, so plan on where you can go or who can house your pets if the disaster strikes.

Create a first aid kit for your pets: Do you take advantage of the longer days at the park? Go hiking or camping? Then you will want a first aid kit for every type of pet that goes with you with enough items for all of your pets. The ASPCA has a checklist for a general first aid kit. Find it here.

Make a disaster preparedness box just for pets: If the power goes out, your neighborhood is under curfew due to disaster or if you evacuate in your car with your pets, be sure to have a box for each of them. Items could include litter, small litter pans, food, collapsible water bowls, treats, pet-specific blankets or beds, medication, harnesses and carriers (even for cats), toys, and any grooming equipment.

Probably most important is that you should always have all paperwork available. If you camp, then a copy of all vet records should remain in your camper. If you hike, keep a copy in your backpack. Also put a copy in your emergency box for your pets. The records should include vet information and all up to date shot information, especially rabies, photos and descriptions of pets and any medication needs. It doesn’t take much to include your during your planning. Make sure Fluffy and Fido are ready when something happens.

Tips to Increase Your Home’s Value

Beautiful home exterior shot

If you are in the process of trying to sell your home, and you want to increase its value before its sale, use these tips!

Clean it up

A house can never be too clean, and when it comes to home buying, appearances can often mean everything. If a buyer is choosing between a tidy home or one that has been professionally cleaned, , they likelihood of them leaning towards the thoroughly clean home is higher. Frequently cleaning your home gives it a better appeal, as well as helps you locate small problems that need fixing before they become a home buying deal breaker.

Prioritize improvements

Take a little time to figure out what improvements you quickly make to your house. Start from the first one on that list and slowly make your way down what needs to get done. It doesn’t need to be all done in a single day and even quick touchups or additions can add a lot to a home’s curb appeal and value.

Balance

It is okay to come up with a list of dream goals for your home to increase its value but be realistic at the same time. Decide what absolutely needs to get done versus what you really want to do while also including a couple of fun additions as well.

One room at a time

Focus your efforts on one room at a time to be more efficient. You can quickly become overwhelmed if you begin multiple projects in different rooms. The last thing you want is to have a room half painted when you are planning to show it to buyers the next day! Better to have one or two rooms touched up than several half completed.

Start small

If you cannot take on many big upgrades to your home, start with a few small ones. Simple fixes like replacing lights or old faucet pipes can go a long way.

Curb appeal

Add some color to the front of your house to give it a more attractive look. You can add a coat of shiny new paint to your shutters or plant a few bright flowers in your front yard. Be sure to rake up any stray branches or leaves and trim your bushes, to give your yard a nice clean look.

Once you are ready to make your move to your new home, contact Zippy Shell to move your belongings to your new location! We can service moves of many sizes, and even offer storage options if you need it. Contact us today for a free quote and see how we can make moving and storage simple for you! 

5 Simple Ways to Save Water in the Summer

old fashioned water pump

In the high heat of the summer, water can become a luxury, and it is tempting to overuse it when we have so much access to it. Use these tips to help save your wallet as well as the environment this summer.

  1. Be precise with your watering

When watering your yard or plants, water them when the sun is not strong, such as in the morning or the evening. This will prevent water loss from evaporation. If using an automatic sprinkler system, make sure you are only watering your yard and not the sidewalk or driveway to avoid wasting water.

2. Check for leaks

Leaks can cause gallons of water to be wasted if you don’t catch them. Test to make sure your toilet isn’t leaking by putting a drop of food coloring into the tank, then see if color appears in the bowl. If it does, there is a leak. Double-check that none of your sinks are leaking from the pipes below them onto the cabinets or floor too. These are leaks that can be easily fixed if you take five minutes to check.

3. Don’t hand wash

Washing anything by hand always ends up using more water than if you had used a larger water appliance. This applies to scenarios such as using your dishwasher or going to a car wash instead of hand washing your dishes or car.

4. Turn off wasted water

Make sure to turn off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, even if you tell yourself this is just going to be a quick brush. The water will add up. On a larger scale, turn off the showerhead while you are soaping or shaving.

5. Use water buckets

In the shower you can collect runoff water that would otherwise be drained and put it to use in your home for activities such as watering your plants. Outside, you can also use a rain bucket to collect rain water. This can also be used to water your plants and prevent runoff from polluting our local rivers.

Preparing Your Home For Fall

Check for drafts

Check around windows and doors if there are any spaces where cold air could leak in.  Seal these spaces with new frames, drapery, insulation, etc.

Turn off outdoor faucets

To prevent water from freezing within your pipes, turn off your outdoor water faucets.  Disconnect hoses and sprinklers so the remaining water can drain out.

Put away all seasonal furniture

If you haven’t done so already from summer, clean off and stow away all outdoor furniture.  This will ensure they will not be moldy or pest infested in the spring.

Inspect your chimney

If you have a wood fireplace, and use it often, consider having it cleaned out to have it in good shape for when it gets cold.

Stock up on snow gear

Buy salt for your driveway and sidewalks so that you are ready for when the first snowstorm of the season hits.  If you live in an especially cold area that receives a lot of snow, consider buying a snow blower.

Inspect trees

Look around to make sure none of your trees have weak branches that could result in thousands of dollars of roof repairs if they were to land on your house.

Clean your gutters

As the leaves start falling from the trees they are going to fill up your gutters.  Make sure to get up there and clean them out, so that when it rains water does not overflow onto the foundation of your home.

Fertilize your lawn

After fertilizing your lawn in the fall, it stands a better chance to survive the winter with minimal damage to your yard.

Drain your lawn equipment

Any machines you use for your yard that require gas, such as your lawnmower, should be drained.  Keeping excess gas in the tank can lead to a messy buildup and make it hard for the machine to return to work in the spring.

7 Essential Grilling Tips You Need to Know

1. Clean your grill

Before even starting to grill anything, you must make sure your grill is clean. Scrub the grill grates with a grill brush to remove any leftover debris. Make sure to clean out the grease tray too.

2. Marinate

Marinate what you are cooking. This simple step doesn’t require much time and will bring out the flavors in your food.

3. Keep it closed

It is very tempting to check on your food while it is cooking but try to avoid doing so. Opening the lid lets the heat escape which will make it take longer to cook as well as possibly dry out the meats.

4. Perfect burgers

When grilling burgers, make an indentation in the middle of the burgers with the back of a spoon. The center will rise as it cooks, allowing the burger to puff up perfectly.

5. Soak your skewers

If you’re making kabobs, soak your wooden skewers in water for an hour prior to grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.

6. Tin foil

Wrap your food in tin foil when using a saucy marinade that you do not want dripping down into the grill. This will keep the flavors centered around the food and will allow the taste to be at its full potential. This also makes for an easy cleanup.

7. Remove from heat

The food will continue to cook briefly after removing it from the grill. Take your food off the grill slightly before it is cooked to perfection.