Tip Tuesday: Selling a home with a pet

You’ve decided that you’re ready to sell your house!  Fantastic!  You’ve chosen your Realtor….hopefully, us!  You’ve made the necessary adjustments/fixes to your home.  You’ve priced it appropriately according to the current market.  And, now the showing requests start flooding it.  Woo-Hoo!  But then it suddenly occurs to you; your beloved fur babies call this home of yours home too.  How will they react to showings?  Will they affect your potential to sell your home?  They shouldn’t…not if you take the necessary steps.

Everyone loves their own pets and considers how their pets would live in a new home.  Does it have a big enough backyard?  Is it too many stairs for an older dog?  Is it too much carpet for the cats? However, buyers don’t want to know if your pets live there because it could affect the condition of the home they’re buying.  In order, to ensure that your pets aren’t negatively affecting the sale of your home, we recommend the following tips:

  1. Take them out of the house for showings.  Even if your pets are very friendly or crated, the odds are that people coming in and out of their home can create anxiety for them.  They may consistently bark or may try to come up next to the potential buyers who may not feel comfortable with that at all.  Obviously, this can be difficult to do.  So, be sure to request to your Realtor that you have a certain amount of notice in order to properly remove your animals from the property for showings or even arrange with a neighbor to help you with this task.  Whatever the process, we assure you that having the animals off of the property is the best bet for showings.
  2. Get your carpets cleaned.  If you have carpets, have them cleaned regularly  This may seem excessive but potential buyers not only don’t want to see your pet on their new home’s floor, they also don’t want to smell your pet.  You may even consider having your furniture cleaned regularly while conducting showings.
  3. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.  Multiple times a day.  Don’t let the dander and smells build up.  This includes on hardwood floors as well.
  4. Clean those litter boxes, crates and puppy pads.  Litter boxes and crates should be cleaned on a constant basis.
  5. Don’t use candles or plug-ins.  For many reasons, this one is a must.  First, potential buyers may think that you’re trying to cover up a smell and they’ll be skeptical of that.  Secondly, they may be allergic and it would inhibit their ability to view your home.
  6. Use different noses.  Your nose may be accustomed to the pet smell.  Ask a neighbor, friend or family member every so often to come by and take a whiff!  They’ll be able to tell you if the smell is there and if its overwhelming or not.

With the proper arrangements and keeping on top of these necessary tasks, you and your pet will still be able to live comfortably in your home and get it sold as quick as possible.

If you’re anything like us, your pet is an important part of your family!

Tip Tuesday: Decorating Your Outdoors for Fall

Looking for new ideas to decorate the outside of your home this Fall?

cornstalkAre you looking to sell your home in this fall market?  Then decorating the outside to make a great first impression is essential! 

Here are some quick fall decorating ideas:

  • Add a cornstalk to your mailbox along with some mums to give your home instant notice and attention.




  • Purchase wood crates from you local craft store and place mums in it to give simple, fall mums a new look.mums-wood-crate








  • Pumpkins don’t have to be just orange.  Consider painting them different colors to add pops of color to your doorstep!pumpkin-glitterHave fun and be creative!  But remember, if you’re trying to sell to keep the decorating simple and something that every “average” buyer can appeal to.

Hump Day Love: Aqua Turf Club, Planstville, CT

When we got engaged, there was no doubt about where we would get married.  We knew that it had to be Aqua Turf.  Besides the fact that its beautiful and spacious enough to fit our large wedding in a cohesive manner, we also knew how great they were.  We had been there before for many occasions including New Years Eve and other weddings.  Every single time we went service was exceptional, food was delicious and they had a phenomenal assortment at the bar.  It was always consistent so we knew our wedding day would be no different and to be able to count on that on such an important day is invaluable.  

In the planning process, they were so accommodating.  They were easy to reach and very responsive.  We wanted some options switched out on their standard menus and they took care of it.  We wanted some speciality wine and brandy due to my Portuguese heritage and they took care of it.  The florist was phenomenal and matched my centerpieces exactly to what my bouquets would be (which were done by a different florist).  We also really did find the value of what we got to exceed what it cost. It was by and far the best bang for our buck.  

2 days before the wedding, I brought in boxes of decorations and things that needed to be placed on tables.  I had a prior career in event planning and was a little nervous that it was going to be all laid out with the same attention to detail that I would have done, but I was wrong.  Every single staff member there was dedicated to making sure that our night and every detail of our night was perfect.  I’m so very grateful for that.

I really can’t say enough about how delicious and delightful everything was that night and I couldn’t think of a better place to have an event.  After my wedding, I ended up using the Aqua Turf for my former employee’s annual fundraiser (which they continue to use today) and now our office, Coldwell Banker goes annually for the small company business holiday party they have.  We will continue to be patrons and supporters of their establishment and highly recommend it.



Tip Tuesday: Recognizing and Creating a Strong Offer

Are you selling or buying?  Is it hard to understand what factors make a deal strong?  

Know what to look for and what to offer in home negotiations

Let us help you with these 5 tips!

  1. Finances: Every offer should be accompanied by a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender.  If you’re selling, ask your agent if they know anything about the buyer’s lending company.  Is it efficient?  Does it tend to close on time?  As a buyer, ask your agent for recommendations to a lender because they know those that are easy to work with and great at their job so that you can get into your dream home with no issues!  Also, offer a 2nd deposit. Upon presenting a contract you put forth a deposit to secure the home.  Consider putting forth a 2nd deposit in another 7, 10 or 14 days.  As a seller, its important to know that this is the buyers way of showing that they are serious enough about the home and confident in their ability to purchase that they’re willing to put forth more money up front.  As a buyer, this is a great offer but only do it if you’re truly confident in your ability and intent to purchase the home.  For example, if you could possibly get transferred for a job and end up getting transferred much further than you’d really like to drive from your home and no longer want this home, its now a breach of contract and you won’t get your deposit make.  Make sure everything is secure!
  2. Remove or Modify Any and All Contingencies: If possible, remove any contingencies such as needing to sell a home first.  Also, modify other contingencies such as inspection.  The average time line for getting an inspection is 14 days from date of contract.  Reduce that to 10.  Contingencies mean risk to a seller so lowering or removing them means lowering or removing risk.
  3. Be Responsive: As both a seller and buyer, its important to respond quickly to each other.  (This is an important factor when choosing a Realtor: how quick are they at responding?!)  Working with each other’s timelines only proves to be someone that’s easy to work with and thus, an attractive business deal.
  4. Be Aggressive: With low-inventory, well-priced, good condition homes will go fast.  As a seller, price your home according to the current market.  And as a buyer, be quick about making your offers.  This includes any resources your agent may have.  Do they have electronic signatures if you want to write up an offer later at night and submit it before anyone else does in the morning?
  5. Write a letter: Sometimes pulling at the heartstrings and giving a face to your offer is more successful than any number can be.

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, it’s important to create a strategy and know off-the-bat what you’re willing to offer/accept and negotiate/not negotiate on.  Find partners that you really feel comfortable with and who you can trust in the process.  This includes your Realtor, Mortgage Lender and Attorney.  As always, Harrison Realty Team is here to give you the service you deserve from a team you can trust.


Photo Credit: http://www.forbes.com

Tip Tuesday: Moving in Together for the First Time? Think about this!

Photo credit: http://www.moving.com

We saw this blog post and thought it was the perfect post for today’s Tip Tuesday!  If you’re moving in together as a couple for the first time, it’s a very exciting yet scary time. Top Interior Designer (and a Dance10 friend of Krystal’s…..did you see our Hump Day Love post on Dance10?), Taylor Spellman brings you the best advice to make this transition and your new living space a happy, peaceful home.  


P.S.: Don’t forget to watch her new reality show, Yours, Mine or Ours, premiering on Bravo in October.

Hump Day Love: Old Wethersfield Country Store

Are you craving a small town feel?  Are you craving  store that has unique finds that you really can’t get anywhere else?  How about a place that specializes in local goods?  Or a place that brings you back to the “good old days”?  We’ve got the place for you!

Old Wethersfield Country Store is just that and more.  Looking for a good bottle wine?  Connecticut Vineyard Wine bottles are featured here.  How about a good jam or bbq sauce? Local brands are specialized here.  Home-made dog treats?  Fun gifts like beer glasses that feature “I love Wethersfield” or “I love CT” on them?  Craving a Nora cupcake?  Need some gluten free rolls?  How about filling your body with sthe endless benefits of Kombucha juice…on tap!?  Check, check and check!  This store has it all and don’t forget about the old fashioned candy display….perfect for both adults and kid.  wethersfieldstore

Recently, they’ve been featuring their ability to create and cater cheese plates for your next party.  It’s a great idea for your next picnic or trip to the vineyard.

The owners of this beautiful, small-town store are always welcoming and do a fantastic job of keeping the store consistent yet updating it throughout the year to offer fun, new surprises and features that are consistent with the seasons/holidays.  Be sure to “like” their Facebook page as they are always highlighting their daily in-store features and it makes you want to rush right in as to to be sure not to miss anything!

It’s certainly worth a visit whether you’re in Wethersfield or anywhere in the area; be sure to stop by and trust us….get some Kombucha juice!

Tip Tuesday: Thinking of Rain Barrels on This Rainy Day

Lately, it seems that everywhere I go I see rain barrels…even at our son’s preschool!  So on this rainy day, it has me thinking; should we install a rain barrel?

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

Well, in case you’re like us and trying to figure out if this provides a benefit for your household, we did some research for you.

You may be surprised to learn that according to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American uses 320 gallons of water per day and out of that, 30% is used outdoors.  By investing in a rain barrel, you’re actually making a long-term savings investment in your personal water bill as well as helping to conserve water for the planet.

Beyond benefitting your wallet and the planet, you’ll also be providing the best water for your planets.  Rainwater has natural nutrients and minerals that your plants will love and is absent of all of the salts and chemicals that the treated water from your home has.  

So, the next question is how does it work?  It’s a very basic concept that’s dated back to ancient times; collect and utilize water from a natural source.  Rain is collected in a barrel through the a downspout, water is filtered through a screen to catch any sticks and leaves and is then directed into a barrel.

You can make one yourself (directions here) or buy ones ranging in price depending on the style you choose (this one is my favorite).

Overall, a basic concept that’s worked for generations and generations.  The benefits are consistent and is something we’ll be looking into installing in our home!  How about you?