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Spring House Hunting Tips For Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Forget the groundhog, you can tell it’s almost spring by all the “For Sale” signs in the yards.  

It’s shaping up to be a competitive home buying season, inventory is low and demand is high!  So, if you snooze, you lose!  Literally.  

Lack of preparation is the number one reason people lose their dream home, so here are some tips to keep you ahead of the competition.  

Close your laptop!  Get out of the house and look the old fashioned way

Using Real Estate sites to search for your home is the norm.  90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process.

Starting your search online is a good idea, but don’t get so caught up that you forget there is a world outside too.  Inventory, in most markets is expected to be tight, so you want to get out and look as soon as possible.  Remember when demand outpaces the inventory of homes, buyers need to be ready to move quickly.  So get pre-approved, know what you are looking for and when you find it, pounce!  

Another thing to remember is that photos online are taken to make the home look it’s absolute best, so it may not accurately represent what you see when you pull up, rather just what the Seller wants you to see.  So, use the internet as a tool, not your whole strategy.  

Some sites let you select certain neighborhoods and then receive alerts when new homes become available, this is the perfect use of the internet, you become alerted and then can go see the home for yourself.

Educate Yourself .  Know the Market Values and Market Trends

Rely on your Realtor for this.  The best source of information is a well connected Real Estate Agent.  They’re the expert and have a wealth of information to share with you.  Ask questions and be sure you really understand the bigger picture.  You can also check out sites like Curbed.com for trends in particular areas and to see where new inventory is popping up.  

Everything isn’t always exactly as it appears.  There could be “micro trends” which are little trends unique to a certain area in your region that could affect prices.  Things like, maybe new homes are selling at a premium to older ones or the demand for condos outpaces the demand for single family homes.  These things will affect your price.  Be aware, too, that there could be micro-trends in your region that 

BUY NOW.  Snag A Low Mortgage Rate—Now

Mortgage rates are going up.  So, now is definitely the time to buy.  Take advantage of the low interest while you can.  

Mortgage rates are still historically low, so buyers are getting a lot more bang for their buck and at payment levels that will be affordable for decades.  Mortgage rates are so low right now that monthly payments are lower than rent in a lot of markets.  

It’s predicted that these low interest rates will stay through the spring.  Home Buyers received another gift recently, when The Federal Housing Authority, which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments, lowered the annual insurance premium required from 1.35% to just .85%.  It’s estimated that this will save more than 2 million FHA homeowners about $900 a year.  

What this means: It’s a prime time to jump on a home loan. Mortgage rates can be unpredictable—and a decision by the Fed to raise interest rates mid-year, as many economists predict, could cause them to spike.

Build A Home Buying Dream Team…Then Make A Bid

To be a serious contender in the Home Buying game, you need to be organized and ready, especially if a bidding war begins.

You will need a savvy real estate agent obviously, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector and attorney to be ready so you can move fast.  

Complete your mortgage application and get your loan amount determined in advance.  Things move faster today and if you are not 100% pre-approved, you probably won’t get the house.  Some people, the most successful buyers are even going one step further and getting fully approved before purchasing.  Not all lenders offer this, but some do, and if they do, it’s a way to ensure you are the top contender.  And the better known your lender is locally, the more likely you’ll win the confidence of the seller.  Lenders from the Internet can seem sketchy in the eyes of Sellers and their agents.  It’s always best to use someone who is known locally.  

Don't Be Afraid To Sweeten The Deal

So, what if you are stuck in a bidding war with an equally qualified buyer?  How do you win?  

One way is to include an escalation clause, which is an amount that you are willing to pay above a competing bid.  

For example, if you included an escalation clause of $3,000 to your bid of $200,000 and the second offer came in at $205,000, then your bid would get bumped to $208,000. 

You can also consider removing contingency clauses.  Contingencies are terms of a contract that must be met or the buyer or seller can walk away from the deal; home inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies are among the most common.  All of these presents a certain level of risk, so consult with your Realtor and team before removing any.  These can often be removed just by doing due diligence.  For instance, you can remove the financing clause if you get fully approved.  Also, be sure to conduct a pre-inspection prior to making your offer, this way, you won’t have to include an inspection contingency.  

There are also smaller but nice gifts you can use to entice a Seller.  Find out what date the Seller prefers to close, then use that date in your contract.  You can also offer to close as quickly as possible, and offer to accept rent payments from the Seller until their planned move date. Adding these little perks can mean a lot more than you think.  There have been times my seller ultimately went with a lower bid, simply because it had NO CONTINGENCIES. Many Sellers prefer NO RISK as opposed to a few extra bucks.  

Most of this has to do with preparation and knowledge.  Don’t get caught off guard and lose your dream home because you weren’t properly prepared.  This starts with your Realtor.  Find a trusted expert and then work hard with them!

If you're looking for more information or tips on the buying process in Champaign IL, call The Rose Price Team, experts in relocation and led by Rose Price, a trusted Real Estate Agent since 1989.     

 

 

 

Top 100 School Districts in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Once again the Champaign/Urbana IL area has 3 area school districts that have earned spots on the highly coveted list of the TOP 100 SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ILLINOIS for 2016! With 863 School Districts in Illinois, earning a spot on this list isn't an easy task, you have to be truly outstanding in virtually every category. For the 3 School Districts that have found their way to this list, I feel they exemplify this type of achievement in their school programs on a daily basis. These districts are:

URBANA SCHOOL DISTRICT #116

 

 

TUSCOLA COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #301

 

MOUNT ZION COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #3

 

 

 

 

Urbana IL Makes the List for Best Main Streets in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Everyone knows that the heart and soul of a town is their "Main Street", and in Central Illinois we have many wonderful, quaint downtown area's that have great Main Street's!  Now, however, we have two town's in Central Illinois that can actually lay claim to the phrase "One of the Ten Best Main Streets in Illinois"!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....Urbana  & Monticello IL have made this coveted list!  What makes these two downtown's worthy of the Best of the Best? Let's dig deeper.

                           

Urbana IL has gone through quite a bit of revitalization over the last few years. during that time they have also brought back many great small businesses to the Main Street to service the great University of Illinois community as well as the growing millennial generation. From quaint Diners and unique Shops that cater to every type of personality to the Sports Bars and incredibly delicious BBQ Joints you'd more than likely find in bigger cities! Yes, the Urbana downtown has something for everyone while still keeping the charm of the older days very much alive and well.

                             

Monticello IL is the newcomer to this fabulous list of Main Street "must visit" locale's and I must say, it most certainly deserves to be on this list! Monticello was, and always will be, a TRAIN TOWN. From the Wabash Depot and Monticello Railway Museum as it's anchors and definitely the highlights of downtown,  Monticello is actually accredited as a National Main Street Community! It will endear you to it's lovely little shops and restaurants from the moment you step on the streets of this charming little community. But don't be fooled! While the looks of yesteryear are very much alive and well in Monticello, the technology of today is very much being used behind the scenes!

The best way to learn about both of these extraordinary, and Best Main Streets of Illinois is to come and visit them yourself! The people are friendly, the establishments are excellent, the service, food and merchandise is always top notch and there's always Champaignrose.....that's me, to be your personal tour guide of our excellent central Illinois oasis!
 
If you're interested in homes for sale in either Urbana IL or Monticello IL please give me a call or visit my website at champaignrose.com.

Fall Selling Tips

by Rose Price

Fall Selling Tips

Fall officially began Sept. 23, but don’t give up on selling your home. October, November and December can actually be very good months to sell. 

Conventional thinking has always been that if you miss the spring selling season, your done, forget it, wait until next year.  However, things have changed.  More single, first-time and millennial buyers as well as baby boomers are looking to buy (and sell).  The market is great.  Also, almost all sales begin online and via apps. Buyers don't have to take time to drive around -- they can sit down with a tablet in their pajamas and search for homes.  An additional bonus when selling your home in the winter is that there will be fewer homes on the market, so yours will stand out that much more.  

So, thanks to the internet, ever more hectic schedules and mobile lifestyles, the fall months are no longer a real estate dead end. Buyers are still out there and with less competition, your odds are actually pretty good!  So, put that sign back up. 

Here are some extra tips to help you sell your home in the fall. 

 

Add Curb Appeal

This is always important.  A home sale begins with the first look; whether they are driving past the home or viewing it online. So it’s important to keep the exterior of the home looking it’s best. Also, you live in your home, you’re there every day, so it may be hard to take an objective view, so ask a friend or neighbor to give you a brutally honest opinion.  Don’t be sensitive to the response, it will ultimately help you sell your home faster.  Are the leaves picked up? Are there balls in the yard? Bicycles? How do the gutters look?  Are the downspouts clogged with leaves?  It’s a good idea to pressure wash your siding, deck, patios, and driveway to really make them pop. You could also snazz up that lawn and plant seasonal flowers like  Mums.  It’ll add that little something extra, and make your home more inviting. 

Make The Price Right

All home buyers comparison shop and with help from their realtor they will definitely know when a home is overpriced. The price you want for the house has nothing to do with the price you’ll get for the house.  Price your home to sell and trust your realtor.  Really, it’s what you’re paying them for and if you don’t absolutely trust them, then you shouldn’t be working with them.  Remember, if your home is priced too high, buyers won’t even look at the property.  The other good part of the fall is that this time of year buyers are ready to make an offer quickly, even more of a reason to price the home correctly the first time.  Overprice it, and you’ll be holding on to it all winter.

 

 

Web Appeal

Web appeal is the new curb appeal,  even more so.  This is the reality of today.  You need to pay attention to how you are presenting your home on the web.  All home buyers start their home search online, so the first impression of your home will come from viewing the pictures in the listing. So, make sure you have a lot of photos; both exteriors and all of the rooms, any unique features, close-ups, wide shots, all of it.  Make your home stand out.  That being said, don’t take any photos until you first de-clutter, de-personalize and clean.  Add some extra ambient lighting and try to make the rooms appear as big as possible (achieved from taking photos at certain angles).  Also, as the seasons change, so should your pictures.  You don’t want a home you are trying to sell in the winter to be presented in the summer. This is really beneficial in the fall, because of all the warm colors of the leaves, make your home look beautiful. 

Make Your Home Move-In Ready

It’s ever more important to make your home move-in ready!  Take care of small improvements and repairs now.  If the home needs new carpet, put it in. If rooms need a fresh paint job, get them painted. When buyers look at your home they are imagining living there…they don’t want to imagine all of the time and costs of doing these things themselves. The same goes for repairs. Replace damaged screens, dripping faucets, repair scratches on floors and cabinets, replace broken tiles, etc. Fixing these problems gives you a competitive advantage over other sellers not willing to take the time.  Staging has also become important. Staging presents the best features of the home as well as the home’s potential. If you can’t afford to hire a professional, google it.  You’ll find plenty of tips online or you could always ask your realtor for tips!  They’ve done it before. 

Get Comfy Cozy

With colder weather buyers want to feel cozy.  Before showing your home, fill the home with pleasing aromas of the season by burning a cinnamon-scented candle or baking pumpkin cupcakes. And turn the hear up, make sure it’s warm in the house.  Viewings in the fall are also subject to the changing light patterns; it gets darker earlier, so make sure there is enough lighting throughout the home to compensate. Emphasize comfort in your home!  Maybe a satin table cloth, and comfy plush towels. Use the natural beauty of your house.  If you have a fireplace, accentuate it!  All these things will help you sell your home quickly this fall. 

Mahomet IL is One of the Best School Districts in Illinois!

by Rose Price

BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ILLINOIS

I am so happy to work in the communities that I service!  Four of the school districts that I work with clients who Buy & Sell Homes in everyday have been ranked on NICHE'S Best Public School Districts in Illinois, which ranks 8,738 school districts based on dozens of key statistics and 4.6 million opinions from 280,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly. In addition to that, Illinois has 200 School Districts in the state.  200...that means that our wonderful, albeit small in comparison to many in the state, has 4 that have ranked extremely well, in a category that is a PRIORITY for every family that is living here today and is contemplating a move to our communities in the future!

So, without further ado...let's take a look at those districts that made this coveted list!

Mahomet Seymour Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #25

Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in the Mahomet Township, Illinois. It has 2,981 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 74% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $30,358,000, spending an average of $10,454 per student. There have been 65 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Tuscola Community Unit School District #301 Ranked #38

Tuscola Community Unit School District No. 301 is centered in Tuscola Township, Illinois. It has 1,010 students attending 3 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 66% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $9,992,000, spending an average of $9,903 per student. There have been 14 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Monticello Community Unit School District #25  Ranked #63

Monticello Community Unit School District No. 25 is centered in Willow Branch Township, Illinois. It has 1,664 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 71% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $17,451,000, spending an average of $10,302 per student. There have been 55 reviews written and they have been mixed.

Mount Zion Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #85

Mount Zion Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in Mount Zion Township, Illinois. It has 2,410 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 76% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $22,448,000, spending an average of $8,968 per student.

**Some extra special news for those of you considering a move to the gorgeous Mount Zion area!  I have an incredible new, premier development...WOODBINE PARK PRAIRIE ESTATES that offers the "Peaceful coexistence between Neighbor and Nature"! An amazingly beautiful community that offers Home Buyers  Premium Lots in sizes of 1 to 10 acres....almost unheard of today!

                                  

If one of these School Districts sound like a place you'd like to live & raise your children...Give me a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at Champaignrose.com!

You can also search homes in each of these cities by clicking on the links below:

Homes for Sale Mahomet IL          Homes for Sale Tuscola IL       Homes for Sale Monticello IL       Woodbine Park Prairie Estates

10 Fall Maintenance Projects for your Champaign IL Home

by Rose Price

1. Time to Stow that Mow...errrrr!

Two Words: Fuel Stabilizer.  If your mower sits for months with gas in the tank, it will start to deteriorate and damage the internal parts of the engine.  You can protect from this with a $10 bottle of stabilizer.  This way, you can keep your mower in good condition over the winter.

Another mower tip is to cool and remove the spark plug the pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. After, pull the starter cord a couple times to distribute the oil.  This will keep the pistons lubricated and ensure an easy start in the springtime. Lastly, turn the mower on its side and clean out the grass and debris from the mower deck, finish and stow. Goodnight Mower til spring!

2.  Secure your hoses..

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and plumbing.  Doing this can result in cracked pipes, water damage and lots of "green" spent on your end! Don't gamble with the weather. If the water does freeze and expand...it's already too late.

3. Give your sprinklers a long break

Drain your irrigation systems.  Even deep buried systems can freeze, which again, leads to broken pipes and sprinkler heads. It's pretty simple:

Turn off the water to the main valve, then shut off the automatic controller. Once complete open the drain valves to remove water from the system. Once you've drained the water completely from the system, remove any above ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out.  If you don't have valves, then you may need to hire a pro to blow out the pipes with compressed air.  It may cost you a little bit of money, but it's well worth the time & money spent!  

4. Caulk your Cracks

Purchase a couple of tubes of colored caulk to match your exterior color then walk around your home and seal the cracks between the trim, window frames, door frames, and entry points of cables, pipes & vents. This is one of the simplest and most important jobs you can do to ensure you're not wasting energy this winter.

5. Get your head in the Gutter!

Clogged rain gutters may be one of the jobs you dread most, but they can be one of the costliest repairs if left undone. These can cause ice dams to form which often lead to expensive repairs, not just at the gutters & roof, but the attic, ceilings of your rooms and even the walls and floors!  So make this a priority; After all the leaves have fallen, remove the leaves, and other debris- including the gunk that forms from the gutters and flush them out with a hose. Make sure your gutters aren't sagging; tighten gutter hangers and downspouts.  If you find any colored sand or grit it is most likely from your shingles.  If you find enough of this, it may be time to replace the roof or at the very least have it inspected by a professional.  Click here for Recommended Roofers in Champaign/Urbana

*Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet from your home to prevent foundation problems

6. Raise the roof!

Look for warning signs of damage or any loose or missing shingles.  If shingles are missing, you should replace immediately.  Black algae stains are normal, but masses of moss could be a sign that a roof is decaying underneath.  If you do find moss, call a roofer for an evaluation. 

You'll also want to check your plumbing vent stack, which is usually lined with a rubber collar (called a boot) that may crack or loosen.  They will definitely wear out before your roof does.  So check it annually to ensure it's not cracked or loose.

7. Drains

Look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your home at least 6 vertical inches and ideally over ten feet away.  This way, you'll keep water from soaking the soil around the foundation, which often leads to cracks and leakage.   

8. Check your furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional before winter. These checks should take place annually.  Make sure to check the filters, which should be replaced every 2 months. If your HVAC includes a humidifier, make sure to replace this filter as well. Remember, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Don't put your lives at risk! Get your HVAC checked at regular intervals.

 

9. Prune the plants

Late fall is the best time to prune your plants.  The goal is to keep branches 3 feet from your house, so moisture doesn't continually drip on your roof and home during the winter and damage your home.  

10. Check your fireplace

This is important for safety.  Grab a flashlight and take a peek inside.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  Look into the flue to make sure it's free of birds, nests, branches and any other obstructions.  Check for missing or cracked bricks and replace damaged ones immediately. Next check for creosote buildup and clean your chimney thoroughly. Because creosote is a dangerous & highly flammable substance, using a certified Chimney Sweep is highly recommended.   

 

 More Winterizing Tips Below  

For more Home Maintenance Tips give me a call or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

 

Items That Can't Be Moved By Your Champaign IL Moving Company

by Rose Price

It's Moving Day, you've waited for this day for a long time and it's finally here! It's early morning and you're armed with your Moving List, Breakfast is ready for the family and everything in the house is packed and ready to go. You're super prepared,  just like you always are....it's going to be a SMOOTH MOVING DAY!

Just one thing, are you aware of the list of items that are banned by Federal Law from being moved from your home?  Common sense tells us that they won't be able to move things like a Gas Tank, Propane Tank and Ammunition, but the list is actually much longer than that! So we've put together the list for you so you're not caught off guard and left having to make other choices for these items and taking up valuable time on moving day, or holding up your moving day altogether, until you can take care of these items before you can leave the home.  

It's important to pay special attention to this list because your Moving Company WILL NOT move these items, under any circumstances, and you can't just leave them in the home your vacating.

HERE'S AN UP-TO-DATE LIST:  

  • Gas Tanks
  • Propane Tanks
  • Ammunition
  • Car Batteries
  • Charcoal
  • ​Darkroom Chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Nail Polish
  • Scuba Tanks
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Household Plants
  • Lawn Chemicals:  Weed Killers & Pesticide
  • Pool Acids & Chemicals

* Some Movers will NOT take Lawn Movers or Generator's you'll need to check ahead of time. If your mover does take these, remove as much gasoline as possible before moving day!

** We have provided you with a complete list as it stands within our resources. Because Federal Guidelines change & Moving Companies have their own rules and regulations, it is critical that you check with your Moving Company PRIOR to your move to find out exactly what THEY will and will not move for you.

For more helpful Home Selling and Moving Tips, check out my website and Facebook Page, or give me a call anytime at 217-202-8843.

Have a POWERFUL day!

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

Getting your Champaign IL home ready for a walk through can be frustrating, especially when you're still living in your home, but keeping your home clean as you take all the necessary steps to sell your home is key; things like removing the personal items, staging, and ramping up your curb appeal.  Hiring a professional cleaning service isn't a bad idea, but those expenses add up over time.  So, here are some tricks to help you clean your house in a hurry, and  you'll be ready for a walk-through or a surprise visit from your inlaws, at a moments notice!

The trick is to start with the big rooms and move to the small:

1. Kitchen 15 minutes

  • Remove Clutter from all counter tops, cabinets and tables.
  • Clean Counters and Cabinets Wipe down counters and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner, speed up your process by brushing all crumbs and such on the floor (you'll sweep later).
  • Wipe Appliances Wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop areas as well as microwaves, toasters, etc.  
  • Load Dishes into your dishwasher.
  • Sweep and Mop Starting from the back and working your way to the front sweep those crumbs up and mop.  

2. Living and Dining Rooms 10 minutes

  • Clean Up The Clutter put anything that's out of place in boxes or drawers...if you put it in boxes, you're going to have to neatly hide the boxes somewhere.
  • Ditto for the Dust! Dust tables, fireplaces, mantels, window blinds and shades.  If any dust happens to fall on the floor, no worries, you will vaccuum at the end.  Don't forget to dust the ceiling fans and bookshelves... get yourself a long armed duster.  
  • Make that Glass Sparkle! Use glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Ramp up the Vaccuum Now... vacuum all the dust you just put on your floor and on to the next room. 

3. Bathrooms 10 minutes

  • Start With Sink and Tub wipe down the sink and shower/tub with a good all purpose cleaner.
  • Clean the Toilet Thoroughly scrub the bowl with a brush, finish by scrubbing the outer area with a rag.
  • Wipe Mirror with your glass cleaner.  Start from the top corner and work your way down in a circular motion, think karate kid, "wax on...".
  • Wash The Sink Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush to free up the grime, then finish with a rag and cleaner.  
  • Wipe the Shower/Tub Use a damp rag to wipe the shower and tub, if there are any tough-grimey spots, use a hard cleaner and brush to remove it...but don't scrub too hard. 
  • Mop the Floor Use a mop to quickly clean the floor of your bathroom, starting at the far corner and then working your way back to the door.

4. Bedrooms 10 minutes

  • Remake the Beds Remove the linens and replace with fresh ones so they look clean and crispy.  Don't forget to tuck the sheets in at the corner, go for the 5 star hotel feel, neat and crisp!​
  • Clear the Clutter Everything out of sight! Use drawers, baskets, the closet...you can organize more later.
  • Clean Furniture Wipe down furniture with a moist cloth or use a vacuum with hose attachment to suck up the dust.
  • Dust everything! tables, furniture, lamps, closets, shelves, ceiling fans, mirrors...everything.

Try these steps before your next showing, and be amazed at how quickly this can all be done.  If you are no longer living in the home or will be out of town you can hire a cleaning service and have this done for around $150. Check out my website for area businesses who are trusted individuals or companies who will provide these services in the area:  Preferred Vendors

For more Home Selling tips you can visit my website or check out my Facebook page.  Better yet, give me a call or stop in to see me!  I've been helping people Buy and Sell homes in the Champaign/Urbana area for 20+ years very successfully....and I'd like to do the same for you!

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