Top 7 Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home | home improvement

Selling your home is a big decision accompanied by many smaller decisions. One of the smaller, but meaningful decisions to be made is how to get your home into showing condition. After all, a clean, presentable home will help sell your home far faster than nearby homes with homeowners who just slapped a for sale sign in the front yard without thinking ahead. Here are seven tips on what you should do before selling your home:Clean the windows on both sides. – A big no no when showing your home is to have dirty, grimy windows. Depending on the climate you live in your windows may need to be cleaned more often. The worst thing that can happen during a tour of your home is for a buyer to look through the window and see the last three years of pollen instead of your beautiful backyard. Clean, clean, clean!Power wash the exterior siding. – Buyers are very perceptive to even the most minor details about your home including dirty siding. If a buyer sees siding that doesn’t look like its been cleaned recently they become set in the idea that you may not take great care of the rest of the home. Power wash the siding at least once every 3 months while your home is on the market.

Replace the kitchen appliances. – This isn’t an absolute must but if your appliances are more than five years old and/or heavily used then your $5,000 investment into new appliances will pay off three fold when you sell your home. Often buyers look at your appliances and try to assess whether they’ll need to be replaced soon after they move in. Take this worry off their mind so they don’t take thousands off their offer price.Professionally clean the carpets. – If you live in your home then you are almost guaranteed to have a few carpet stains from muddy days or accidental spills. Hire a professional cleaning service or rent a carpet cleaner from a home improvement store to freshen your home’s carpeted surfaces.Re-purpose multi-use rooms. – Everyone has a catch-all room that pulls double, triple or even quadruple duty as a home office, dining room and rec room. Redefine this room for a singular purpose so that home buyers don’t need to think about what the space is supposed to be used as.De-clutter workstations and busy places. – Have you ever come home and dropped the mail in one spot while you get settled in? That’s a workstation. Mail drops, key hangers and other central stations in the house are prime clutter zones and serve as eye sores to buyers looking for the best value per square foot in a home. Keep these areas clean while showing your home and you’re likely to sell your home sooner.

Put new comforters on all of the beds. – Comforters are a lot like family heirlooms in that they tend to stick around for a really long time. Sometimes it’s a pass down from an older sibling or family member but after a while you’ll end up with an eclectic collection of bed covers in your home. Spend a couple hundred dollars on stylish, up to date comforters that fit the ambiance of each room. Your guests and visitors will appreciate it!Now that you have seven new ways to improve upon the first impression your home makes on a buyer you can get out there and get your home sold sooner with an offer price much closer to what you’re asking.

the best business to start right now

Nearly everyone likes the idea of being their own boss. Entrepreneurship has long been a popular goal. With the current challenging economic times, this goal is even more desirable – and more difficult – than ever. Many hopeful entrepreneurs are turning to their computers, as internet based businesses typically have low start up costs and are easily managed in one’s spare time. This leads to the question, just what is the best business to open on the internet?

You have probably encountered a variety of get-rich-quick schemes (if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is), and work from home offers (usually minimal pay, and they still include a remote boss breathing down your neck). Along with these simple sounding, yet not feasible, solutions you will find a host of expert advise. If these experts claim to have a one-size-fits-all solution telling you the best business to open on the internet consider this a red flag. In truth, the best business to start online depends largely on the person starting it.

One of the first rules of business is selling what you know. We are all experts in something. Hobbies, interests, life experiences and current or previous employment can provide you with above-average knowledge of skills in specific areas. Likewise, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Think of things you are better at than your peers, and specific strengths such an organizational skills or communication. Make a list of your own special qualifications, and use that to build your own business opportunity.

Once you have determined your skill set and area of expertise, it’s time to decide what to do with it. Here are the top three ways to turn your skills into online business opportunities.

1) Affiliate Marketing. If you have enough knowledge about a subject to create an informative website, you can easily monetize it through affiliate programs. For the cost of a web host, and the time to build a website you will be on your way. There are companies in nearly any niche imaginable, offering affiliate programs. Select the ones you feel comfortable promoting, and post testimonials or advertisements on your site along with the affiliate link. You will receive a percentage of every sale made from a click-through on your website.

To start with, you will need enough content for a 5-10 page website. Make sure you provide valuable information or insight, as this will keep your traffic and page-rankings high. Add to your site weekly at minimum. Fresh content will boost search engine traffic. Affiliate marketing can be easily incorporated into a static website, blog, or both.

2) Outsourcing. Contrary to popular belief, outsourcing isn’t all about sending our jobs overseas. Many companies are streamlining operations by contracting out work previously done in-house. If you have skills such as accounting, preparation of legal paperwork, or art that can be performed remotely, this may be the easiest and best business to start online.

There are a growing number of websites dedicated to freelance work. You can choose one of these or create a website to promote and sell your service. This is very similar to setting up a professional practice with a home office, except your clients come to you virtually.

3) Consultation and Tutoring. If you have truly expert knowledge in any particular area, you can start your online business by selling that knowledge. Whether the subject is world travel, coping with grief, or advanced algebra people in need of an advisor will typically pay good money. This option requires good people-skills, as you will likely be dealing with clients one-on-one.

You will need a website to promote your service, and allow potential clients a way to contact you. It can be a simple one-page site with a description of services and contact form, though websites including valuable information about the topic will lend credibility. Online communities and topic specific forums are often the best, free, places to advertise your business.

Depending upon your specific area of skills and knowledge, the best business to open on the internet may be some combination of the three discussed above. Whatever your choice, remember the first rule of business (sell what you know), as well as the second rule – offer value to the customer. This is always a winning combination.