What To Do WhenYour House Smells Bad

I’ve been going on quite a few staging appointments lately. Helping our clients get their homes ready for the market is one of my favorite things to do.

Most of the advice I give out is easy for me to give, declutter, remove the personal pictures and paint that red wall please. But I often find one piece of advice hard to give and that’s when your house smells.

Everyone’s house smells to some extent and that’s normal but what’s not normal is when the scent is overwhelming. It’s that strong scent that greets you at the door and doesn’t leave until well after you leave.

There’s never an easy way to tell a client their house smells. Even when I can pinpoint what the scent is; pet smell, a cooking scent or smoke. It’s always hard to broach. It’s also not so easy to eliminate.

It’s usually a several step process to truly rid the home of the smell, not mask it, because air fresheners don’t work. (They actually create another problem for the scent sensitive.)

First thing you need to do is stop what’s causing the scent. If you smoke inside the home go outside. If the kitty litter needs to be cleaned clean it.

Next you need to air the house out and clean. I guess you could consider these two steps but I like to do them simultaneously. Open all the windows and start scrubbing. You may have to leave the windows all day or maybe for a few days but it’s worth it. Sometimes we get lucky and that’s all it takes.

But sometimes we don’t get lucky and we have to try a few more things. A product that we’ve found that works wonders for most cooking and pet related scents is called DampRid – it’s promoted to get rid of musty scents but it works for so much more. If you’re local you can pick it up at your local ACE Hardware.

And finally if all else fails it usually means that the scent has been absorbed by your furniture and carpet and that means we need to deep clean those items. That usually requires hiring a professional carpet and furniture cleaners to do the work. In extreme situations we also suggest paint because believe it or not even the walls absorb scent

Now this may feel like a lot of work for a scent you may or may not notice but the bottom line is this strong scents can and do turn off buyers so it’s worth your time and effort.

Paint Colors to Sell Your Home

When you’re selling your home you want to appeal to as many buyers as possible. Which is why Realtors have been asking their sellers to paint their walls for decades when getting their home ready to sell.

Why? You always ask since paint is so cheap and personal can’t the buyer just do it after they move in? Here’s why.

First a coat of fresh paint goes a long way in making your house feel fresh, clean and updated.

Neutral walls don’t offend. They don’t become that thing that gets stuck in a buyers head. You don’t want to be that awful house with the red walls. Because that’s what starts to happen. It’s the one thing that set them off, now they’ll find more and soon they don’t want your house.

Buyers want to move right in. In addition they want the house to look like all those houses they’ve been saving on Instagram and drooling over on HGTV.

So how do you select the right paint colors to sell your home? The first thing you need to do is take a look at your current decor and existing woodwork. If you have a lot of brown tones in your home I typically recommend Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige. And before you start to tell me that beige went out in the 90’s let me explain. This beige is different. But seriously trust me it’s not the same. Accessible Beige is a soft neutral that leans gray without showing any yellow or orange and works beautifully in almost every room. (You should always test it first.)

Paint Colors to Sell your Home | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog
In this kitchen because of the wood tones we used Accessible Beige.
5734 Garfield Avenue, Minneapolis

Another neutral color I highly recommend if I don’t have to worry about existing woodwork is Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter. This is a very popular color at the moment. It’s a light gray that does’t overwhelm and it looks great against white trim.

Paint Colors to Sell your Home | Matt Engen Group | Real Estate Blog
In this living room we used Revere Pewter
1204 Jefferson Avenue St Paul

One final tip I always recommend when it comes to painting your home for sale is to paint the whole main floor one color. It improves the flow of the home. It’s also faster and cheaper to paint with fewer colors because the painters can be more efficient.

Your Fall To Do List

  1. Rake and bag the leaves.
  2. Clean the gutters.
  3. Prune/trim/care for your plants and trees.
  4. Store hoses, turn off the water. If you have a sprinkler system blow out the lines.
  5. Empty and store your outdoor containers.
  6. Put away your outdoor furniture.
  7. Get your furnace serviced so it’s ready to go.
  8. Get your chimney cleaned, fire season will be here before we know it.
  9. Stock up on wood for the fire.
  10. Check the batteries in your fire alarm and CO detectors.

#fallcleanup #todolist #fall #home #mattengengroup

Decorating for Fall

Adding fall decor to your home when it’s for sale can be tricky. After all you want to appeal to as many potential home buyers as possible, keep the clutter you worked so hard to remove at bay and still enjoy the season. Not an easy task if you ask me but it is possible.

The key is to focus on a few key area’s to decorate, without going overboard. This way you can still enjoy the season without distracting potential home buyers.

The front door. This is a great and easy place to add some seasonal fall decor. This can easily be done by refreshing your front pots with seasonal flowers like mums, aster and purple fountain grass, placing a harvest themed wreath on your door and adding a few pumpkins.

The dining room table and/or kitchen island. Another favorite of mine and super easy to accomplish. All you need is a tray, a vase filled with seasonal flowers or grasses, a candle and a pumpkin, preferably one painted to match your decor, then place them together on the tray and viola you have a centerpiece that’s easy to move on and off the table or island when needed.

The fireplace. Tis the season for fireplaces so it’s a great idea to highlight the fireplace and cosy up the space around it. This can be accomplished by adding a few pumpkins in a row across your mantle, placing a few candles and some greenery and either end and finishing off the space by placing a basket filled with plush pillows and a faux fur throw next to it.

Simple fall decor ideas when your house is listed for sale. This image is highlighting the fireplace.
Here’s a beautiful example.
I found this one on Pinterest too!

A Look Back at our Week

I can’t believe we are already wrapping up our third Week by Week blog post and the final week of September. Time really does fly when you’re having fun.

September is always a great month for our family. I love the opportunity to re-set, the cooler temps give me energy and the boys going back to school brings back some much needed structure to our days.

We used that time to cross a variety of things off our to do list, our business income/expense worksheets for one. I’m not a huge fan of collecting and organizing receipts but I’m a huge fan of being organized and understanding what we need to do for the next 3 months to achieve our business goals.

We closed on 3215 Wellington Lane in Plymouth. This house was seriously one of my faves. I’m a huge fan of mid century ramblers, 3 season porches and updated kitchens. I’m sure the buyers are tickled pink to be moving in and getting settled.

3215 Wellington Lane | Matt Engen Group
3215 Wellington Lane | Matt Engen Group

Matt and I escaped to the SLS Baha Mar in the Bahamas to celebrate our soon to be sis-in-law and even with the rain we had a great time. I had no idea we were going to a mini Las Vegas. There was a full blown casino in our hotel. In addition there were multiple restaurants (and they were all so good) fun bars and multiple swimming pools. We also had the opportunity to get up close and personal with flamingos, nurse sharks and sea turtles. If you ever find yourself in the Bahamas we highly recommend staying here.

SLS Baha Mar Swimming Pool | Matt Engen Group
Our favorite swimming pool.
SLS Baha Mar | Matt Engen Group
The cabana’s were to die for. So cute!
The flamingo’s were incredible. A highlight of our trip.

Sold signs & A Coming Soon!

The week of September 16 was a pretty good week for our team. We put a sold sign on two of our listings!

And we spent some time getting our latest listing, a 3 bed, 1 bath, side by side duplex prepped and ready for the market. It’s not officially ready to go yet but it’s coming soon.

Outside of work we managed to shop for our upcoming trip to the Bahamas and enjoy a few dinners with the fam.

We booked our trip prior to Hurricane Dorians arrival. Thankfully the island and hotel we are staying at did not get hit. But as you know there were a lot of people affected by the storm. So the staff at Baha Mar are asking us to pack with love and bring some much needed comfort and supplies for those affected by the storm. Now that is something we can do.

We’re looking forward to visiting the Bahamas and can’t wait to share the highlights with you when we get back. Cheers!

Declutter your closets

Decluttering your closets is an important step when getting your home ready to sell and this task should not be overlooked! Seriously, potential home buyers will look in every single closet and you want to show them that your home does in fact have ample storage.

To get started set aside some time and get some boxes or bags. Depending on your closet you may need to schedule a whole day, but for sure a couple hours.

Next step is to take everything out of the closet and separate it into 2 piles. Love, it’s going back. No longer love, it’s going away.

Now, clean the closet. Wipe down the walls and vacuum or scrub the floors.

After you’ve cleaned the closets it’s finally time to put everything back in. A few tips to keep things looking orderly; try to keep things off the floor including shoes, organize by color, if you’re using bins, label them and if possible use all the same color or type of hangers.

Once everything is back in your closet give yourself a quick pat on the back but don’t forget about that other pile. You know all that stuff you no longer want. It’s time to load it up and either throw it out or donate it. You are not done until this step is complete.

#closetorganization #stagingyourhome #mattengengroup

Back to school and back to work!

Sharing the highlights of the week. From work to home and everything in between. Some weeks will be better than others.

The week of September 9, 2019

School started last week and it may have taken us a few days but I think we got our groove back. I love the structure back to school brings, for me it proves to be a great time to re-focus on exercise, sleep and family dinners.

Dillon’s first year as a freshman at Southwest High School.
Preston is a Sophomore this year. It’s so nice to have them at the same school.

We introduced two new houses to the market this week. I know the Spring market gets all the attention but Fall really is a good time to sell a home.

We helped our clients sell this adorable house and buy a new one. We closed both houses on Friday and couldn’t be happier for everyone involved.

And that’s it for this week. See you next time!

#weekbyweek #thesearethemoments #remaxresults #mattengengroup

Is Buying a Duplex a Good Idea?

Interested in real estate investing? Buying a duplex may be a good option for you to consider.

The unique thing and what we like most about investing in a duplex is that it gives you a few additional options as a real estate investor.

You can chose to owner occupy one of the units while collecting rent on the other unit or you could rent out both units. Both should provide some additional cash flow.

If you chose to owner occupy the unit this extra income can help you live cheaper while paying down your existing mortgage. And if you chose to rent out both units you can stockpile the extra income for a future investment while having someone else pay down the mortgage.

Another benefit to purchasing a duplex if you’re a first time home owner is that it may increase your borrowing potential since you can often use the rent as income to qualify.

And live there or not owning a duplex comes with newly added tax benefits as a Landlord.

Want to learn more, we’d love to help.

Southwest Minneapolis Homes

If you follow us on Instagram it’s no secret, I have a thing for pretty houses, some would say I’m obsessed. Good thing Minneapolis has a lot of pretty houses to keep happy. Here are a few of my current faves.

Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
The front porch, the hydrangea’s, the details under the soffits, it’s all so good.
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
Again with the front porch and the landscaping!
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
I love how the window boxes match the chairs in the front yard.
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
This house has always been a favorite, it’s just so grand!
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
Yes please to the curves, the peaks and that door.
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
Sweet and detailed simplicity.
Southwest Minneapolis Homes | Real Estate Blog | Matt Engen Group
The tulips compliment the house.