John Colby
Colby Realty | 978-249-5871 | [email protected]


Posted by John Colby on 9/20/2020

Moving to a new home can be a stressful time for a new homeowner. Packing up a house-full of belongings is a strenuous process that can take up a lot of time and energy. And, if youíre working with movers, youíre going to have to pay for everything you want to move.

One way to make the process of moving easier and to save some money is by listing some of your unwanted belongings for sale online.

There are a number of places to list your unwanted items, but some are better than others when it comes to heavy and bulk items.

When to start listing and selling

The best time to begin the process of listing and selling some of your bulk items is at least two months before your move.

Why so long?

The answer lies in how much time it takes to list items, field responses, and ship the items or meet up with the buyer for pickup.

To list your items, youíll want to do some research on them to find out the brand name, year, condition, and model number for things like large televisions. Youíll then want to see what the items are selling for used online.

Once you have a price in mind, youíll want to take some high quality photos of the items. Good lighting and a decent camera (a newer smartphone camera should suffice).

Next comes the process of listing. Regardless of where you list your items, youíll want to make sure you provide as many details as possible. This will help provide the site youíre using with enough keywords to make your items show up in popular searches. It will also help reduce the number of questions you receive from buyers who want to know more about the item--the listing should tell them everything they need to know to make a purchase.

Where to list

For large items that would be costly to ship, itís best to use local listing services like Craigslist and Facebook groups. However, donít give out too many details (like your address or date of moving); you donít want to tip off would-be scammers or thieves to the fact that youíre moving.

For smaller items that still carry some value, a site like eBay or Amazon can produce top value for your belongings. Just factor in shipping costs and the chance of returns into the price.

Tips for success

One of the reasons I recommend listing your items months in advance of your move is because it can take time to list your items, field inquiries, then finally ship them and receive your payment.

One way to ensure that you successfully sell your items is to stay on top of inquiries. That means making yourself available whenever possible to take phone calls and answering email questions.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to turn a profit off of the items you would have otherwise had to pay to move. Happy moving, and good luck!




Tags: moving tips   sell online  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 9/13/2020

Photo by Melinda Nagy via Shutterstock

Buying your first home is exciting, and your dream-book is full of magazine cutouts and interior design sketches. But many entry-level or starter homes do not come with the built-in shelving of your designer-inspired visions. What do you do on a budget? Use your imagination, a little ingenuity and flat-pack furnishings.

What Are Flat Packs?

Furniture from in-store and online retailers sell shelving and cabinet units that arrive in flat boxes. They have all the parts, and often the tools, so you can put together the pieces. The main advantage of ready-to-assemble, flat-pack furniture is its affordability. If youíre even a little bit handy, they are simple to set up and offer a lot of sizes to fit most spaces.

The challenge is that it can look sterile and universal. Your stark-white, four-cube by three-cube shelf looks just like everyone elseís.

Hacking to the Rescue

No, not computer hacking ó furniture hacking!

Personalize your furniture with some creativity, elbow-grease and experimentation. The Internet abounds with ways to hack your flat-pack furniture. Some websites devote their entire content to ways of updating low-cost furnishings to fit your style. Options range from changing hardware to painting laminate and all ideas in between. Here are some top contenders for getting a built-in look with your flat packs.

  • Add trim. Often, basic, ready-to-assemble shelving has simple square corners and flat faces. You can change the face of your cubes or bookshelves with wood, MDF (medium-density fiberboard) or PVC trim. All you need is a sharp handsaw, miter box and some strong glue. The glue you use depends on the composition of the trim. Add a twisted rope design to the face of your shelves for a vintage look or give them some class with crown molding along the top. Choose to merely cover the front with straight cuts, or trim around the sides using your miter box to get beautiful, fitted corners.
  • Attach it to the walls. Most ready-to-assemble furniture comes with wall brackets to keep it from tipping over. Use these to attach it to the wall. Then, add half-round (outside) or curved (inside) corner molding at the seam with the wall. Glue the molding to the furniture but nail it into the wall with finishing nails.
  • Add feet. If your furniture would benefit from molding along the floor to match your wallís baseboard, add feet cut from a 2-by-4. Cover the feet with baseboard and paint it to match your walls.

A Word About Paint

Unfinished wood, MDF and primed PVC materials readily accept paint. Laminate and foil veneer over fiberboard (also called thermofoil) are different. Before you start, make certain you know the composition of the furniture. Trust your paint dealer to direct you to the perfect product. But remember, you cannot sand foil veneers easily. Doing so will tear the finish and damage the furniture. Instead, consider using chalk paint.

For more ideas about making flat-packs appear built-in, talk to your local DIY store professionals. When preparing your home to sell, some built-ins may increase the value, so run it by your real estate professional.




Tags: home decor   Budget Decor  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 9/6/2020

As a seller, you want to make the right improvements to allow your home to sell fast and at a good price. Many sellers end up making unnecessary improvements to their homes in an effort to sell. Itís important to know what improvements will actually make a difference in how your home is sold. Read on for more tips. 


What Do Buyers Expect


This is a broad question because it depends on a variety of factors. First, a buyers expectations dictates what theyíre looking for. Is a buyer looking for a fixer upper or does the buyer want a move-in ready house? What buyers see also greatly depends on a few factors including the time of year, the location of the home, how hot the market is, and how much inventory is available. Your home will sell based on what kind of real estate market climate itís in.       



Refresh Your Flooring


Buyers see the floors as soon as they get in the door of a home. Itís what either adds to or detracts from the house. Old creaky floors certainly wonít add to the appeal of your home. Itís one less thing a buyer will have to worry about before they move into a house, making it a great improvement. 


Carpets


In the same realm as flooring, you should be aware of the quality of your carpets. Do they need to be ripped up? Should you have your carpets professionally cleaned? If you have simple carpets over hardwood floors, this isnít much of a concern. Wall-to-wall carpeting is where this is a major concern. 


Upgrade Appliances


Upgrading your appliances will always be worth your investment. Buyers love to know that a home is equipped with exactly what they need and ready for them when they move in. No one wants to buy a home knowing that the dishwasher or oven may need to be replaced at any moment. 


Refresh The Walls And Ceilings


Putting a new coat of paint on your walls and ceilings will be very attractive to buyers. You want to avoid buyers seeing things like smoke and grease stains. The wear and tear of everyday living can cause scuffs and scratches to occur on the walls. Fresh paint can really help to fix these cosmetic details.


The same thought process applies when it comes to wallpaper. If your wallpaper is old and tired, you may want to take it down and either replace it or paint the walls. Steering away from wallpaper may be the best practice, but if you canít avoid it at least replace it. 


Remember that buyers want to see themselves in the home. Personal style touches usually arenít the best way to go when it comes to prepping your home. The more neutral and basic the changes you make, the better. 






Posted by John Colby on 8/30/2020

If you recently bought or sold a house and need to move in the near future, there is no reason to put off packing. However, procrastination sometimes can get the best of people and lead individuals to wait until the final possible moment to pack.

Packing items at the last minute can be stressful. As such, it is important to do everything possible to avoid the risk of packing procrastination.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you prep for your upcoming move and ensure all of your belongings are packed and ready to go for moving day.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that you can use to overcome packing procrastination.

1. Plan Ahead As Much As Possible

Although it may be several weeks or months before you need to leave your current address, it never hurts to start planning for moving day early. That way, you can identify any potential moving day hurdles and eliminate these obstacles as quickly as possible.

To plan ahead for moving day, take a close look at your belongings and determine which items you intend to keep. If you have excess belongings, you should sell, donate or dispose of these items as soon as you can.

In addition, you may want to reach out to local moving companies. If you hire a moving company today, you'll be able to receive expert support when you finally transport your belongings to your new address.

2. Eliminate Distractions

Let's face it Ė life is busy, particularly for those who are moving to a new city or town in the foreseeable future. Therefore, it pays to eliminate distractions that may hinder your packing efforts.

For example, if you spend several hours each day browsing the web, you may want to use some of this time for packing. You can even reward yourself with a few minutes of exploring the web for every hour that you pack.

Remember, you need to pack your belongings to ensure you can vacate your current address by a specific date. If you remove distractions along the way, you can increase the likelihood of packing all of your belongings in time for moving day.

3. Reach Out to Family Members and Friends for Assistance

Contact family members and friends for assistance as you prep for moving day Ė you'll be glad you did. These loved ones may be able to lend a helping hand with packing. Plus, family members and friends likely will hold you accountable for your actions and ensure you can stay on track with your packing goals.

Lastly, if you require additional help with your upcoming move, you may want to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can put you in touch with the best moving companies in your area to help you streamline the moving process.

Remove the risk of packing procrastination Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble preparing for moving day.




Tags: packing   packing to move  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by John Colby on 8/23/2020

Photo by ?? ? via Pixabay


Your bathroom can be a considerable source of energy use in your home. The Department of Energy states that water heating accounts for up to 18 percent of energy bills, which is the second largest expense in your home after heating and cooling. Showers and baths aren’t the only reasons for high energy use in bathrooms, though. Lighting and exhaust fans also add to this amount. The good news is that you can make your bathrooms more energy-efficient with the following tips. 

Limit Hot Water Use

Since water heating uses up so much energy, finding ways to use less hot water can add up to significant energy savings. You can do this by taking showers instead of baths, which use up more hot water. Taking shorter showers, such as limiting them to about 10 minutes or less, also helps reduce the amount of hot water you’re using on a daily basis. Installing a low-flow shower head and using cooler rather than hotter water can help you save even more energy.

Use Your Exhaust Fans Efficiently

Bathrooms have exhaust fans to help reduce the risk of mold and mildew growth from moisture. While it’s important to run these when you shower or bathe, keep in mind that they use up energy while they’re on. You can lower this energy usage by only keeping exhaust fans on for about 15 minutes after getting out of the shower. Switching to a more energy-efficient exhaust fan can also help you use less energy while still keeping your bathroom safe from mold and mildew. 

Consider Your Bathroom Lighting

The lights in your bathroom can use up more energy if you’re using incandescent bulbs, especially if you have several vanity lights around or over your sink and mirror. Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs cuts down on your energy usage when your bathroom lights are on. These bulbs also typically last longer than incandescent bulbs and produce less heat, making them safer and more cost-effective. Installing motion sensors for your bathroom lights can also save energy by ensuring that they’re not accidentally left on for long periods of time. 

Unplug Curling Irons and Hair Dryers

Leaving curling irons and hair dryers plugged in when they’re not being used might not seem like a big source of energy use. However, these devices keep drawing small amounts of electricity the entire time they’re plugged in, even if they’re not turned on. You can save on your bathroom energy usage on a regular basis by getting into the habit of unplugging these devices when you’re not using them. 

If you plan on selling your home or purchasing a new home, please contact us.







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