6 Things Every Homeowner Needs to Do Before Selling

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By guest Author Suzie Wilson:


Successfully selling your home takes a little more work than simply listing it and waiting. A few preparations can go a long way toward drawing in potential buyers and gaining more favorable offers from them. This doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult. In fact, some of the most impactful upgrades to your home are also the simplest. Whip your home into shape and get ready to make a great first impression.

1. Remove Personal Items

Staging your home for sale means depersonalizing it so that potential buyers can picture their own lives there. No one wants to hear that their personal touch is unwelcome. But, remember that you're selling your home, not your style. Start by ridding your home of clutter to make the rooms feel larger and lighter. Remove personal items including family photos, children’s artwork, and funky collections, keeping the rooms furnished so they still appear to have a purpose. Don’t just throw all of your stuff in your storage, either. Overflowing and disorganized closets give off the impression that the home lacks storage space.

2. Clean Better Than You’ve Ever Cleaned Before

Thorough cleaning is one of the most cost-efficient ways to make your home more attractive to buyers. Focus on your kitchen, bathroom, and living room, examining these rooms as if you are the buyer. Clean from top to bottom in every room, moving left to right so you don't miss an inch. While you're at it, combat problems with mold and mildew with bleach and non-streaking cleaning products. Remember to also wash both sides of your windows and vacuum your carpets. Then, give your home a good look over to check for carpet stains or grime marks on the walls.

3. Fix Anything That’s Broken

It's time to tackle everything on that maintenance to-do list you've been putting off for months. Repaint the walls to quickly update your rooms, replacing dated wallpaper and old, chipped paint. Make sure that all appliances in your kitchen in good shape and working condition. In your bathrooms, fix leaking faucets and running toilets. If your toilet seat looks well-worn, pick up a new one. You can make your bathroom look newer just by replacing missing bath tiles and cleaning up the grout. Finally, refinish any hardwood floors and then move outside to take care of your deck.

4. Price Your Home Properly

Pricing your home correctly is one of the more difficult tasks you need to do before listing. Zillow recommends avoiding pricing your home too low or too high since changing your price later can turn off buyers.  Determining the true market value of your home is difficult before your house actually sells. However, knowing the average listing price of homes in your area and comparing how long they are on the market can help. You also can tap into online tools to get an idea of your home’s estimated sale proceeds.

5. Pay Attention to Curb Appeal

Fix everything that's broken outside as well, including missing fence boards, shingles, or siding issues. If you don't have time or money to do intensive landscaping, make sure your lawn is immaculately mowed and strategically place some potted plants around. Remove yard clutter and keep your entrance minimalistic. A simple wreath or hanging plant by your door will reflect the season and give off the impression that your home is actively cared for. Simply repainting your front door and replacing your mailbox or house numbers can give your home a beautiful fresh look as well.

6. Let the Light In

According to Realtor.com, strategic lighting can make any room look bigger and more refreshing. You can use lighting to draw attention to focal points or special features in the home and set an inviting mood for buyers. Replace light fixtures in your home with modern ones that produce around 200 to 300 watts each. Add table lamps to bedrooms and office spaces. In the living room, open your curtains wide to let in natural light while using floor lamps to light dark corners.

Selling your home can be stressful, but it shouldn’t be impossible. Although you may be excited to move into your new house and get on with your life, take the time to make the right preparations before selling. Ideally, you’ll be able to sell faster and for more money than you expected.


Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.

How To Tackle Aging In Place

home care franchiseby guest writer Patrick Young

Fomillions of seniors across America, finding a way to stay in their own home after retirement is a major priority. Some are afraid to feel like a burden to their loved ones, while others simply want the comfort of knowing they can live in a familiar environment well into their golden years. It’s not always that easy, however; many homes require modifications to allow seniors to stay safe and comfortable, and while these can be easy DIY projects, some are better suited for a contractor, and that requires funding.

There are some easy ways to make sure you and your loved one can age in place, however; it just takes some planning and a little research. Safety should always be your first concern, but comfort and ease of mobility will help you get through your daily activities without worry and will keep you active and vital.

Here are a few of the best tips on how to change up your home so you can stay in it for as long as you want.

Add lighting

Many seniors suffer from vision issues, which can lead to trips and falls or other injuries. Adding lighting to your home is relatively inexpensive and will keep you safe, and it will also help boost your mobility so you can stay independent. Whether it’s in closets and pantries or in the bathroom, extra lighting can make a big difference in your everyday life.

Let technology work for you

If you have medical or mobility issues, it might be a good idea to look into medical alert buttons that pair your cell phone with a service to help keep you safe, or you can install a surveillance camera in the most-used area of your home and have the feed sent to a loved one’s smartphone. There are many different types of technology out there to make life easier on seniors; do some research online to find the best ones for your needs.

Think ahead

Even though you’re in good health now, it’s important to think ahead and make considerations for your future health. Many seniors battle mobility issues that require a wheelchair or walker, which might necessitate widening the doorways in your home. All entrances inside your home should be at 32 inches wide to accommodate this equipment; the key here is to find a good contractor who will work with you and your needs. Here is the full list of great tips on how to get started with upgrades.

Ask for help

Living at home after retirement sometimes means asking for help with chores and other household tasks. Look for ways to make your life easier, such as hiring a dog-walker or using online ordering for grocery shopping. Don’t be afraid to look for help, or to ask a friend or loved one to give you a hand once in a while. If there are other seniors in your community, you might consider working out a lawn-mowing trade-off so that you can get a break now and then.

Making home modifications can be a big job, so it’s imperative that you hire the right people to get the work done. You can also look for state or federal funding; there may be grants or loans specifically for seniors that will help offset the cost of the changes your home needs in order to keep you safe and mobile. With a good plan in place and a little help from your loved ones, you can create an environment that will sustain you for years to come.

People with disabilities: Guide helps moving to a new home easier

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 By:  Patrick Young 


If you’re disabled, chances are you’ve already got a handle on how to live your life independently. But if moving is on the horizon, you’re entering the same realm of stress as anyone else going through this process. Even so, it’s important to note that there are a few extra precautions — and benefits — to consider as you prepare and execute a move.

Scope out services

Unless you’re living in an assisted living facility, it’s crucial that you check out what type of services— especially in the medical arena — before choosing your next location. Health care aside, consider what’s important to you from a recreational, social and general convenience standpoint before you begin your new life.

Your disability benefits

While you shouldn’t seen any change in your benefits (with Social Security Disability Insurance and SSI) — even if you move to a different state — it may be necessary to inquire further if you’re applying for state supplemental benefits.

Finding the right mover

Before you make a final decision on a mover, ask whether or not they have experience assisting people with disabilities. This can include anything from full packing at your original home to unpacking at your new destination. Be sure to mention to your mover if you requested financial assistance to ensure you have a reduced rate that you can count on for your budget.

Make modifications to new home

There are many considerations to make before randomly choosing a new home. Unless it’s already been inhabited by a disabled individual, you’re going to need to make the necessary changes to ensure your new abode is adaptable to your new life. This includes anything from wheelchair ramps at the entryway to hallways that are at least 42” wide to specialized door knobs in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s crucial that budget be instituted before moving into the proper home (a low-level ranch or bungalow sans stairs is best) before moving in.

Ask for help

While it may feel awkward to ask friends for help, extra assistance can go a long way in terms of physical and mental support. Just don’t wait until the last minute — knowing how much help you have in advance will make it easier to plan the packing and moving process. Make the experience like a fun get-together by providing some food and an energetic playlist.

Utilities services?

Nothing is worse than moving into a new home without proper electricity, gas, heating and air conditioning. This should be done at least one day prior so lack of utilities doesn’t disrupt the move-in process.

Check your new home for safety

Before you move in, make sure that all areas of the home — from the entryway to general living spaces — are safe and free from clutter or any other potential hazards.

Organize as you unpack

Perhaps one of the best things you can do to when unpacking is to organize as you go. This means setting up your home to meet the needs of your schedule, as well as your disability. Make sure necessities are easy to reach and in a safe place.

Moving can be an exciting milestone, but it certainly comes with its fair share of weight. There are many details to consider, so it’s not a bad idea to create a timeline and checklist to alleviate as much stress as possible. By the time you move  into your new home, you’ll be able to get settled faster and begin the next chapter of your life.


Patrick Young created AbleUSA to offer resources to people with disabilities and offer advice about navigating various aspect of life.  Thanks for your contribution, Patrick! 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Keeping it Simple

By Chris Perna


Loneliness, helplessness, and boredom are silent killers. The “three plagues”, as we call them, exist in all sorts of places, but they are particularly evident wherever elders live. Unfortunately, our society with its ageist tendencies has segregated our elders into nursing homes and other living situations where these three plagues are rampant. The results aren’t pretty. Just close your eyes and think about a lonely elder sitting alone in a quiet room with no human interaction, no purpose, and no reason to live.

Now let’s imagine how it can be different. I bet you’ve never heard of The Eden Alternative. We’ve been written about in many magazines and books over the past 25 years, but usually in the context of nursing home care. Yikes! If you want to make people run the other way, start talking about nursing homes. So, I’m never surprised when someone tells me they’ve never heard of The Eden Alternative.

Now let me tell you what The Eden Alternative is and why you should want to know about it. It is a philosophy based on a very simple premise. If you can eliminate loneliness, helplessness, and boredom from someone’s life, their quality of life and state of well-being go way up. Loneliness, helplessness, and boredom or the “three plagues” as I mentioned earlier are insidious and deadly. They destroy quality of life and well-being and the end result is life just isn’t worth living.

Armed with a philosophy based on 10 simple principles, we teach people how to create a life worth living for elders no matter where they happen to live, in a nursing home or in the family homestead.  We teach about creating a “human habitat” where there is variety and spontaneity to daily life; where plants, animals, and children offer elders the opportunity to give as well as receive care; where elders can experience an ongoing sense of purpose by engaging in activities that they enjoy and find meaningful; and where elders can continue to grow and share their wealth of experience, knowledge and wisdom with their family and neighbors. Aren’t these all things most of us would want in our daily lives no matter our age?

None of this is rocket science. In fact, it is amazingly simple. So why do we get it wrong so much of the time by isolating our elders into living situations that we would never accept? It’s an important question that we should all be asking ourselves and others around us as we witness the silver tsunami happening all around us. I hope you come to the same conclusion as those of us at The Eden Alternative…it can be different!



Chris Perna joined The Eden Alternative, Inc. as its CEO in June, 2010. For the prior ten years Chris was president of MedAmerica Insurance Company, a long-term care insurance company based in Rochester, NY. Transitioning into Eden Alternative from MedAmerica was a natural progression for Chris who had developed expertise in the financing of long term care and wanted to learn more about care delivery.

Since joining The Eden Alternative Chris has led the organization to expand their training and educational offerings and most recently has led the organization’s efforts to grow through large grant projects funded through CMP funds. In another exciting development Chris has led the expansion of the Eden Registry to include providers across the continuum of care including home and community-based service providers as well as providers of residential care for individuals with special needs. Under his leadership The Eden Alternative has developed the most complete package of person-directed tools and trainings available in the market today to support deep organizational culture change across the continuum of care.

Chris was recently profiled as one of “20 To Watch” long term care professionals in Provider Magazine published by AHCA/NCAL.  Chris is a regular speaker and exhibitor at industry events and conferences. He is an advocate for elders as a member of the board of Pioneer Network and as a leader of the Dementia Action Alliance. He is also a board member of Minuteman Health Plan, a cooperative health plan created under the Affordable Care Act, and a former board member of AHIP.


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