Gordon Avery | Westfield Real Estate, Southwick Real Estate, West Springfield Real Estate


Although clutter in your home may seem like an insignificant problem, it can actually have a negative impact on everything from your personal productivity to family relationships.

When dirty dishes pile up, clothes gather on the floor, and toys are scattered everywhere, it often creates a feeling of discouragement that can seep into every aspect of your life.

While most people view clutter as an annoyance or an eyesore, studies have shown that it can contribute to stress, feelings of guilt, and even depression. Books have been written on the topic and well-known websites have devoted countless pages to the connection between stress and clutter.

In addition to feeling embarrassed when guests drop over unexpectedly, household clutter makes it difficult to find important things, like car keys, homework assignments, or cell phones. A disorganized, messy home can also lead to bills being paid late, which can bring with it a whole separate set of problems, such as late payment fees, collection letters, and credit rating issues. For people planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, a damaged credit score could adversely affect interest rates, loan terms, or even their chances of obtaining a mortgage.

Fortunately, there are ways to turn the tide on your battle with household clutter. The first step, of course, is to recognize that you have a problem. The second step is to begin writing a plan or set of goals for taking charge of the clutter. The third step is to begin taking action and to set aside 15 to 30 minutes a day for organizing your home and putting clutter in its place!

If you're considering putting your home on the market in the near future, you may need to bump up that time allotment! Cluttered closets, storage areas, and countertops are sure to send the wrong message to prospective home buyers. Living areas that contain too much furniture, stacks of magazines, or piles of unsorted mail will convey an unwanted image of chaos, messiness, and disarray. Clutter can also have the effect of making rooms look smaller and less appealing.

In addition to establishing new and better habits for keeping your home organized and looking its best, it's also important to enlist the cooperation of your family. When everyone does their part to keep your home looking presentable and well maintained, fewer things will get misplaced, moods will be lifted, and you'll no longer feel embarrassed when company drops by!

The best time to begin attacking the problem is now. If the project seems overwhelming, the solution is to start small, but stick with it on a daily basis. As the famous quote says, "The race does not always go to the swift, but to those who keep on running."


A confident home seller is a unique individual, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. In fact, this individual likely possesses many traits that are sure to help him or her enjoy a successful home selling experience.

Now, let's take a look at three key attributes of a confident home seller to better understand this individual's approach to the housing market.

1. Proactive

A confident home seller may be more likely than others to go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the best-possible results. As such, he or she will do what it takes to list a home and promote it to the right groups of buyers, which may result in a fast, seamless home selling journey.

With a proactive approach, any home seller can boost his or her confidence. Taking a proactive approach may even help a home seller maximize his or her home sale earnings too.

Typically, a proactive home seller will allocate time and resources to improve his or her house's interior and exterior. Because if a home stands out from the competition, the probability of a quick and profitable home sale will increase.

A proactive home seller also won't settle for subpar results. Instead, this seller will constantly search for ways to improve his or her home, as well as explore new opportunities to promote his or her house to buyers.

2. Knowledgeable

A confident home seller is willing to learn new things. Thus, he or she may be willing to learn about the housing market to discover innovative ways to speed up the home selling process.

To learn about the housing market, it generally helps to meet with a real estate agent. This housing market expert can teach a home seller about different aspects of the real estate market. And if a home seller has housing market questions, a real estate agent can respond to them immediately.

Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to help a home seller build his or her confidence. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations throughout the home selling journey, ensuring a home seller can make informed decisions as this journey progresses.

3. Patient

A confident home seller understands that no home selling experience is perfect, and various home selling hurdles may arise along the way. Fortunately, this seller also knows how to stay calm, cool and collected under pressure.

As a confident home seller, an individual will stay patient, even when the worst-case home selling scenarios occur. This individual will be able to look at the big picture throughout the home selling journey. Perhaps most important, a confident home seller won't let small problems escalate; conversely, he or she will try to quickly resolve problems and take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening once again.

Becoming a confident home seller is no small feat. But if you understand the key attributes of a confident home seller, you can build your real estate expertise and work toward achieving the optimal results during the home selling journey.


Photo by La Miko from Pexels

If you're getting ready to sell your home, then you might suddenly find yourself faced with deciding which home improvements are the best to tackle. Though it can seem like a hassle -- and it's going to cost you some time and money -- the reality is that even a few improvements could be beneficial. You might find that not only does your home sell more quickly than you expect but that the final sale price is above your listing price. 

1. Landscape Your Yard

Your home's exterior is the first thing interested homebuyers see when they show up so make sure the yard is welcoming. In addition to keeping the grass mowed, be sure that any trees and bushes aren't overgrown. Plant some perennials if your yard needs some color or put some in a couple of pots by the front door. 

2. Paint the Interior

Even though painting the interior of your home has one of the lowest costs of all home improvement projects, it also has a high rate of return. About 36 percent of homeowners decide to tackle this project. Be sure to opt for a neutral color though you might need assistance from a professional to determine what that is. It really depends on aspects like the flooring and cabinets, for example. Gray has been trending as a paint color for a number of years so it's a safe choice for interiors. 

3. Replace the Flooring

More than a quarter of home sellers decided to replace the flooring before putting their home on the market. Upgrading to wood or faux woods floors throughout your home has several advantages. It creates a seamless flow from one room to the next. The right kind of wood flooring is also easier to maintain than carpeting. 

If it's too costly to replace all the flooring in your home with wood, then new carpeting can still be a strong selling point. Just make sure that you choose a neutral color. 

4. Update the Bathroom

Did you know that your bathroom can make your house seem outdated? Adding a few new touches such as new cabinets, countertops, fixtures and flooring can breathe fresh life into one of the important rooms of the house. Just make sure to go with a minimalist look to make the room look bigger. 

Opting for any of the four home improvements noted above can really boost your return on your investment. If you aren't sure which project is the best one to tackle, ask a real estate agent. Their objective advice is grounded in the realities of what's selling in your area currently. 


Although preparing your house for a real estate showing can be hectic, there are ways to make it easier and less stressful. One source of stress for many people is that nagging feeling that they're forgetting to do something important.

Admittedly, overlooking some things could result in lost sales or even lost valuables, but a little advance planning and organization can help prevent those problems from happening.

The solution is to create a checklist of important reminders and tasks you have to complete before leaving the house. Your real estate agent will provide helpful guidance and tips on effectively preparing your house for showings.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

When your house is up for sale and it's being actively marketed, appointments with prospective buyers are sometimes made on the spur of the moment. While real estate agents will be scheduling the appointments and conducting the tours, it's up to you to ensure that your home is always in tip-top condition. Hopefully, you'll be able to enlist your family's help in picking up clothes, putting dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and cleaning up after themselves. If you have small children, they will undoubtedly need assistance in putting away their toys and making their bedrooms look civilized! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when getting ready for house showings:

  • Cleanliness (or a lack thereof) will be one of the many things that house hunters notice. While your house may meet their requirements for number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall layout, they could quickly lose interest if your floors, countertops, and sinks are visibly dirty.
  • Pets can be a potential issue if your home is scheduled for a showing. Not only can dogs be a distraction if they bark a lot or have other undesirable behaviors, but some people are allergic to dogs and cats. The ideal solution is for a friend, family member, or neighbor to take care of your dog while the house is being shown. Unfortunately that's not always possible. Sometimes confining your dog to a fenced-in back yard (briefly) or a comfortable crate that they're accustomed to may be a viable, short-term solution. Several factors would come into play, including the weather, the temperament of your dog, and whether it's going to bother the neighbors by being outside.
  • Doing your best to eliminate clutter throughout the house is another strategy for making the best possible impression on potential buyers.

Protecting Your Valuables and Privacy

Another priority that some homeowners forget is to hide valuables, such as jewelry, mobile devices, checkbooks, and cash. It's also a good idea to make sure your computers are password-protected, and that you turn them off before leaving the house. If you have any concerns about security during home showings, you might want to hide computers, personal items, and yesterday's mail in a secure place. Although most people touring your house will only be interested in its features, décor, and condition, it's always good to exercise a little caution when opening your house up to the public.


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

If you are ready to move into a luxury home. You'll find options in most locations in any state you desire. Before you choose, especially if you plan on moving to another state, you should first tackle some other questions.

Work

Do you need to keep working to enjoy the lifestyle you have now? If you do, can you find work that will provide you with a similar income? If you own a business, how hard will it be to get that business going in another state? If your business is conducted online only, that is one less thing you will have to worry about — but you do have to find out how businesses are treated in the state you choose to move to. It is not beneficial to run a business in some states because of the extra taxes and regulations that some states have.

Urban, Suburban or Rural

It’s no secret that you can get more house for the money in certain states, and, breaking it down further, more house for the money in certain areas of the state. For example, to get a luxury home with at least five bedrooms near or in a large city, you’re going to have to shell out much more than you would if you picked the same house 100 miles away from the city, as long as the location is not near another large city or a tourist area.

Are you looking for something that doesn’t take a ton of maintenance? You might prefer a luxury home in the city with a small yard. If you like the idea of spreading out, having a large pool, hot tubs, stables, riding trails, ATV trails and other amenities on your property, you’ll have better luck finding that in a rural area.

Commuting and Schools

If you have school-age children, check the rating of the schools. Just because you live in a luxury neighborhood doesn’t mean that the schools for that neighborhood have a good rating. Additionally, you might have to take your children to school if you live too far out for the school bus. And, on the subject of commuting, if you have to work to maintain your lifestyle, you’ll have to commute if you choose a rural luxury home. How long is the commute? Is it something that you can manage or will that commute take too much time away from your family?

Nightlife and Attractions

If you like to go out a lot, living an hour out of town might not be for you, as much as you like a property. If you have to be in the thick of things, you might prefer a luxury neighborhood in an urban or suburban setting. If you want peace and quiet, and prefer connecting with nature, then you might choose a rural luxury home, such as a large ranch or a home with large acreage.




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