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5 Natural Home Fresheners You Can Make

Making your home smell delicious isn’t something you have to spend a lot of money on. Especially if you’ll be showing your home to potential buyers, or having an open house, you’ll want a fresh, clean scent to permeate your entire home so that it smells as great as it looks!

Here are five all-natural home fresheners that you can create yourself for a fraction of the cost of store-bought room fresheners, and without all the potentially harmful chemicals, too.

1. Lemon and rosemary

All you’ll need to create this fresh, clean scent is: a small stockpot, water, a few sprigs of rosemary, a lemon, and about a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Fill your pot a little over halfway with water, add a sliced lemon, the rosemary sprigs, and the vanilla extract, and let it simmer on the stove and fill your home with a lovely scent. You can also place the mixture in jars with holes in the lids around the house, but you’ll want to change the solution every other day or so.

2. DIY reed diffuser

You’ve probably seen expensive reed diffusers in home stores. You can make one (or several) yourself very easily! The supplies you’ll need include a small vase, baby oil or mineral oil, essential oil of the fragrance you desire, and a few bamboo skewers or rattan diffusing sticks.

Fill the bottom of the jar with a half-inch of baby oil or mineral oil. Add the scented essential oil you’ve chosen (lemon and orange always smells clean, and lavender is very relaxing). Add your skewers or reed, and tie a ribbon bow around the vase for decoration. The oil will diffuse up the skewers or reeds, and will fill your home with your amazing essential oil fragrances!

3. Scented wood blocks

To make these easy and long-lasting fragrance diffusers, you’ll simply need some wood blocks, a small paint brush, and your choice of essential oil fragrances (or perfume oil). Cover the outside of the blocks in scented oil using the paintbrush, and let them sit overnight to absorb the oil fully. Wipe off the excess oil, and place these in inconspicuous places around the house (but make sure you place them on a small plate, jar lid, or any other glass or plastic container as the oil will leach onto any porous surfaces.) If you find your blocks need refreshing, simply “paint” them with more essential oil!

4. Au naturale orange candles

When we say natural – we mean natural! For these easy to make candles, you’ll need an orange (or oranges), a knife, any type of vegetable oil, and a candle lighter (not matches or a cigarette lighter). Cut the orange in half, and carefully run the knife around the edges of the orange to loosen the fruit. Remove the fruit, but be careful not to remove the inside stem – the white stem that sticks up from the orange’s center.

Once the inside of the orange is cleaned out, add oil to fill it just over halfway full. The stem will absorb the oil in about 45 minutes. Now you can “light” your orange.

The reason you’ll need a candle lighter is because it’s going to take a few minutes to dry the orange stem out enough for it to catch a flame. So hold the flame from the candle lighter to the stem, and just keep it there. Once it turns brown or black, it is ready to light. Keep trying to light it until it “catches”, and there you have it – an entirely homemade orange candle!

5. Easy refreshing room spray

Instead of buying bottles filled with chemicals you can’t even pronounce to refresh your rooms, why not make your own room spray out of completely natural ingredients? It’s easy, and you can create any scent you can imagine. We’re going to make lemon basil spray.

You’ll need: a 16 ounce spray bottle (you can use an old hairspray pump bottle, just make sure you rinse it out really well), ¾ cup of water, ½ cup of water, a tablespoon of vodka, 4 tablespoons of dried basil, a coffee filter and 5 drops of lemon essential oil.

In a small pot, bring the ½ cup of water to a boil and add the basil. Let that steep for four minutes. In a separate pot, bring the ¾ cup water to a boil. Line your funnel with the coffee filter, and place the funnel in the opened spray bottle. Pour the steeped basil water into the funnel, letting the coffee filter catch the basil. Now pour in the ¾ boiling water, vodka, and essential oil. Shake it up to mix, and then spray!

You can refresh this on a weekly basis using any essential oil and herbs you want, and you can also add extracts such as almond or vanilla – you’ll only need a few drops. Get creative and come up with deliciously scented room sprays of your own!

* Article Provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

4 Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Home

Selling your home is, in a nutshell, a complicated process. There are a million factors to consider: when to sell, how to sell, and how much to sell for, to start. In order to successfully sell your home, it’s important to avoid the many potential pitfalls along the way that can threaten to bring the selling process crashing down and cost you immeasurable time, money, and hassle.

Here are 4 mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid when selling your home:

Over or Underpricing

When selling your home, it’s imperative you price it in a way that’s in line with your current market. If you mis-price your home, no matter what way you look at it, you’re leaving money on the table: if you underprice, you’ll sell your home for less than it’s worth. If you overprice, you won’t be able to compete with other homes and your house will sit on the market, costing you time and money.

Before you list your home, do your research to understand what’s going on in your local market. Get to know the average listing price of comparable homes in your neighborhood and look at the price where most homes seem to be closing. You’ll want to price your home in the same range to both stay competitive and ensure that you’re getting the best price for your home.

Not Investing In Repairs

Many homeowners neglect to invest in minor repairs on their home, presumably since they’re selling the house and figure the new homeowners can take care of it. But listing your home as a “fixer upper” and not investing in the necessary repairs can drive down the value of your home and end up costing you a significantly higher amount of money than just handling the repairs yourself.

Prior to listing your home, evaluate any areas that might need repair. Does the exterior need a fresh coat of paint? Does your plumbing need to be replaced? Is there landscaping work that needs to be done? Getting these repairs out of the way before you start showing your property will end up getting you higher offers and will save you money in the long run.

Not Staging Your Home

Staging is an essential part of the selling process. By staging your home properly, you’re showcasing your property in the best light and maximizing its appeal to potential buyers.

But many sellers (particularly first time sellers) decide to skip the staging process. They either show their home as is or, if they’ve already purchased another property, move all of their things out and show the home empty.

Both of these scenarios can have a negative effect on potential buyers.

If you show your house as is, with all of your furniture, decor, and personal belongings, your house will look lived in – by you. It’s going to be hard for potential buyers to picture themselves in your home when pictures of your family are staring back at them from every wall surface.

On the other hand, if you showcase your home empty, it can be challenging for potential buyers to picture the home as a liveable space. It will seem cold and impersonal, which can hurt your chance at selling.

If you want to sell your home, invest in proper staging that highlights the best parts of your property and makes your home feel attractive and appealing to potential buyers.

Trying To Sell On Your Own

With so many potential mistakes that could prevent you from selling your home at the highest possible price, the biggest mistake you could make is trying to navigate the process on your own.

Working with an experienced real estate agent who understands your market and the selling process is invaluable. Agents handle the entire process from beginning to end and can help you avoid major mistakes on the way. They know how to price your house to sell and how to get your home from listed to sold in as little time as possible.

Do yourself a favor – if you’re considering selling your home, don’t try to do it on your own. Get the right support by partnering with a qualified real estate agent.

There are a lot of mistakes that can be made on the road to selling your home. But if you know what to look out for, you can avoid those mistakes and get your home sold quickly, easily, and profitably.


*Article provided by the Lighterside of Real Estate

4 Behind-The-Scenes Ways Your Real Estate Agent Supports Your Home Sale

When you hire a real estate agent to sell your home, there are obvious things you notice them doing to help your house sell. Things like: hosting open houses, bringing potential buyers on home tours, and marketing your property in multiple ways to make sure it gets enough exposure.

But when it comes to adding value to your home sale, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A huge percentage of your agent’s job takes place behind-the-scenes, and they’re working around the clock to get your house sold — even when you’re not looking.

Here are 4 behind-the-scenes way your real estate agent is working to get your house sold:

1. Performing market research

When it comes to pricing your home, your agent doesn’t just pull a random number out of a hat. Your agent’s recommendation is a result of extensive market research to ensure your home is priced in a way that’s attractive to both buyers and you, the seller.

Agents pull data on comparable properties in your area (from both the MLS and any public databases) for the past 12 to 18 months. They research how each home was priced and how the price correlated to the average time the property sat on the market before coming up with a CMA (comparable market analysis) to determine the market value of your property and suggest a listing price.

All the insights gathered from your agent’s behind-the-scenes research are crucial to pricing your property correctly — and wouldn’t be possible without your agent’s hard work.

2. Gathering relevant information for buyers

A critical part of the home selling process is providing accurate and complete information to potential buyers. But most of the information buyers want isn’t something you, as a seller, will have ready and available.

Your agent gathers all the information a potential buyer might want to know so that if and when they request it, it’s ready to go. Agents research things like the average utility usage of your property for the past 12 months, a breakdown of the home’s floor plan, and a list of all available electricity and gas vendors in the area to make it available to buyers, which saves you a ton of time and hassle.

3. Phone calls and scheduling

As part of their marketing efforts, your agent likely has your property listed on both the MLS and multiple public forums in order to get your home in front of as many potential buyers as possible. And while the increased exposure is great for driving interest in your home, someone needs to manage all the inquiries, follow up with interested buyers, and schedule viewings.

And that person is your real estate agent.

When your agent calls you to schedule a tour, that’s just a small part of the process. Before they called you, they’ve already answered email inquiries, fielded multiple phone calls, talked to buyer’s agents, and weeded out people who aren’t serious about viewing — and potentially buying — your home.

The call you get to schedule the tour is the last step in a lengthy scheduling process — most of which your agent manages behind-the-scenes.

4. Managing the close (and all the logistics that go with it)

Now, once a qualified buyer makes an offer on your home — and you decide to accept it — your agent’s job goes into high gear. Now, that’s not to say that managing the close happens entirely behind-the-scenes; obviously, your agent is going to work with you to get the job done. There’s plenty of the closing process (from negotiating with the buyers to reviewing contracts) that you’ll get to witness up close and personal.

But there’s a lot more that goes into managing the close of your home then what you actually see from your agent.

They have to make sure the signed contracts are sent to everyone who needs a copy, including the lender, the buyer’s agent, the title company, and any involved attorneys. They have to file a status change with the MLS from “For Sale” to “Pending” and, finally, to “Sold.” They need to schedule the final walkthrough with the buyers and their agent.

Closing on your home? It’s kind of a logistical nightmare.

But luckily for you, when you work with a real estate agent, they take care of all the (many) details and logistics that need to be managed throughout the closing process, saving you immeasurable time, money, and frustration.

When you work with a real estate agent, it’s easy to see the value that they bring to the table during the process of selling your home. But what you see is just the beginning. The hours you see your agent putting in — the home tours, the open houses, the phone calls — are just a tiny fraction of the work they’re actually doing. Your agent is working around the clock to get your home sold… and the majority of that work takes place behind-the-scenes.

*Article provided by The Lighter Side of Real Estate