Monday, July 21, 2008

10 Ways to make sure your house does NOT sell!

Pretty funny...from

1. Leave out your pictures, magazines, books, and knickknacks. You want a prospective buyer to feel that they know you, right?
Wrong. You want the buyers to immediately begin imagining themselves living in your house, and they'll have a hard time seeing beyond the pictures of your family at Beaver Creek and the old issues of Gun & Garden.
Even worse, they might find your taste in books laughable or your choice of evening wear tacky and decide they couldn't possibly live in your house.
So clear every surface, every side table, every coffee table, the sideboard, the desk and the dining room table. You can put one item in each room, and it should be a plant or flowers.

2. Don't change the cat litter. After all, you changed it yesterday, right? It doesn't smell that bad yet.
Or.....give your house the sniff test. It should smell fresh and clean. Nothing is more off-putting to a prospective buyer than a house that's stale-smelling, or worse.
Often, you become so inured to the smell of your own home that you don't notice scents that might offend a visitor. Empty the garbage cans, load dirty clothes into the washing machine, run a lemon through the disposal, give wood furniture a quick swipe with polish, and for goodness sake, change the litter box.

3. Express yourself! Indulge in your favorite colors in vividly painted walls and furniture. Paint an accent wall a bright color. It's fun!
Or...make your house a place anyone could imagine making their own. This means removing most evidence of your own personality. Decorate with a rigorous devotion to beige.
Neutral walls, pale furniture, soft lighting, and inoffensive art all go a long way towards creating a crowd-pleasing interior. Remove your collections to a safe place for the duration of the selling process, since you want a prospective buyer to look at the space, not get distracted by your Beanie Baby collection.

4. Stash your dirty magazines and movies in your oven or drawers! No one will open them to look inside.
Oh, yes they will. Get rid of everything you wouldn't want your mother to see. Prospective buyers will open the oven, investigate drawers for function and capacity, and study your closets and your medicine cabinet.
Part of preparing your house to sell is a ruthless purging of all these places and a thoughtful review of potentially embarrassing items in your house. If your bedroom is your personal love palace, remove any evidence of your rollicking sex life, at least temporarily.

5. Leave your furniture arranged as it is. That way people can see how much you can fit into the room!
Or....remove those extra pieces of furniture that make a room livable but add to the sense of clutter -- side tables, foot stools, magazine racks, and rocking chairs, which take up more space than a fixed chair. Create simple arrangements with maximum impact.
Often people arrange their living room as if they're hosting the neighborhood watch association meeting, with all the furniture lined up along the walls. Instead, place a sofa facing the fireplace, and flank it with two chairs facing a coffee table in between. This will create visual depth and an inviting vignette.

6. Make sure buyers know your team loyalties. Don't forget to fly that Red Sox flag!
Or...put your fan-of-the-year behavior on hold for a while, and stash your team merchandise away in the attic. What if your best prospect is a Yankee's fan? You don't want to lose a buyer over a big sponge #1 finger. The same goes for religious paraphernalia, although that may actually be less of a deal-breaker than the wrong team loyalty.

7. Don't worry about the breakfast dishes in the sink. People will understand you were in a rush to get out the door that morning.
Or....they'll think you're a slob who couldn't be bothered to put the dishes in the dishwasher, and probably hasn't taken very good care of the house. Other people's dirty dishes are especially revolting, and conjure images of squalor. If it means you have to take your family out to breakfast, make sure you leave the kitchen pristine. My Home Ideas: Company-ready kitchen
The same goes for the bathroom. Dry the inside of the sink and the surrounding counter completely before you leave the house.

8. Let the buyer fix the hole in the wall and the broken light fixture. They may want to choose their own! prepared to lose a sale over the poor condition of your house. Everything in your house must be in good working order before you put it on the market. This process can take a couple of months, but you need to fix all broken fixtures, change all burned out light bulbs, repair any flaws in the walls, and refresh any paint that needs it.
The same goes for outdated or worn wallpaper. Some things do not get better with age, and nothing dates a room more than eighties wallpaper.

9. Leave the yard as is. After all, it's the house they're coming to see!
Or...learn to see your yard an extension of the house, and give it a thorough once-over. Trim unruly bushes, pull weeds, spread fresh mulch, and keep it mowed.
Your yard sets the expectations of the buyer before they've even stepped in your house. Consider installing attractive outdoor lighting. It goes a long way, for a little investment, toward creating a dramatic mood. And if you have a dog, go on a hunt for "land-mines" and clean them up.

10. Leave your dog in his crate while people look at your house. He's well-behaved.
Or...he's not so well-behaved when you're not there and strangers are tromping through his house. Nothing is so distracting as a barking dog when prospects are trying to get a detailed look at your house. Even though he might be contained, his voice will carry. Take him with you if you can, or drop him at a pet-friendly neighbor's house and repay them with house-sitting or a similar service.

Foxfield golf course

The Foxfield golf course as been receiving some great press. Here is a sample from and

Scott-Taylor Designs Six-hole Course in Pennsylvania

Welsh golf architect, Ian Scott-Taylor, has completed the design and construction of a six-hole golf course for an over-55 community called Foxfield Clubhouse Community in Garnet Valley, Pa.
Last year, project developer The McKee Group contracted Scott-Taylor to design and build the "Old World-style" course as part of the project. In addition to the course the project includes a 9,200-square-foot clubhouse and pool and tennis facilities. Europe's first six-hole course opened in 2006 at the Northwick Park Golf Course in the Watford Road section of London. A handful of six-hole courses exist in the U.S. Today, more six-hole golf courses have been built and in planning in the States for time-strapped golfers and sites with smaller tracts of land.
Foxfield is located 20 miles outside of Philadelphia. The course will serve as a centerpiece in the development, which will also contain single-family, carriage-style, and villa homes.
Of the course, George T. Hyjurick, McKee's VP of Land Development says, "We had originally wanted a nine-hole course but Ian knew the space we had allocated for the course was not large enough. He proposed a fairly new concept - the six-hole course - that ended up being a win-win for both McKee and the homeowners. Not only can we offer an attractive and enjoyable amenity to current and potential community homeowners but also the short and long-term maintenance costs will be much less to the homeowners association than a nine-hole course due to the decision to use synthetic materials for the tees and greens. We estimate that 20 percent of our signed contracts were confirmed due to having this course."
Scott-Taylor added: "In general, residents of 55-plus communities are savvy and discerning consumers. They expect a certain level of lifestyle and amenities that can be commanded by age-specific neighborhoods. The McKee Group was able to meet those needs at the Foxfield location where land is a premium by committing to build a marketable 'Old World Style' golf course while at the same time keeping the maintenance costs in line with the community's other compelling amenities - the pool and tennis courts."

For details about the development, visit

Tips for Living Green


1. Turn off your tap. While brushing your teeth, remember to turn off the faucet.

2. Unplug! Pull out cords for cell-phone chargers, microwaves and other "occasional" appliances when not in use. Yes, even your cell phone charge uses up energy when plugged in.

3. Ditch paper napkins. An elegant way to conserve, cloth napkins save both kinds of green (that's money and trees). Wash in cold water and line-dry for bonus points.

4. Stop unwanted catalogues! Go to and they will handle it all for you.

5. Buy local produce. You are supporting the local economy and reducing fuel consumption. It takes a lot of gas to ship fruits and veggies!

6. Try the Method line available at Target. Eco-friendly products are people-friendly products!

7. Turn down the thermostat. Doing so not only conserves fuel and money (even a couple of degrees counts), but studies show it may also help you fall asleep more quickly and have a more restful night once you do.

8. Use Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs.

9. Use a new McKee Grocery tote when shopping. Save any plastic bags you do get for pet cleanup.

10. Recycle and re-use recycled paper.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July!