Downsizing Tips for a Stress Free Move

Laura and I are in the middle of downsizing, so this week’s blog is timely!!

Buying a new home can be extremely stressful. One of the biggest things to send you into anxiety overload is how to move all of your stuff. So what is the easiest way to transport it all? One way to make your move less miserable is downsizing. While it’s true that sorting, donating, and tossing stuff can be a headache itself, it is so worth it in the end. Although I have not purchased my first home yet, I have moved over fifteen times. Tired of moving everything I own,I learned to become less of a hoarder and more of a down-sizer.


After doing some research, I find these six steps to be most effective in downsizing.

1. Consider your new space

Whether you are downsizing or upgrading your space, keep in mind what will and won’t fit. This includes style as well as size. If you aren’t willing to pay to store it, it probably isn’t worth keeping.

2. Dig through the closets

Consider following the “two-season rule” and donate/toss any clothing you haven’t worn in two seasons.

3. Sift through old electronics

Whether they’re old laptops, broken cellphones, or numerous micro-USB chargers, more than likely they are just taking up space. Instead of just throwing them away, check out an electronic recycling bin near you.

4. Sort, sort, sort

Go through each room in your house and create three piles of what you should keep, donate, or toss.

5. Create an “open first box”

The last thing you want to do your first night in your new home is sift through boxes to find your basic needs. Some things you may want to consider adding to this box is toilet paper, light bulbs, toiletries, basic cleaning supplies, and bed sheets. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to label each box to make unpacking a breeze.

Deciding whether or not you should sell, donate, give away, or throw away is stressful and time consuming. However, in the end, you will have less to sort through and move in your new home! For more tips on downsizing, visit

-Kaylee Monteleone



Open House: Safety Tips For Agents

During my internship with Ces, I shadowed another agent at an open house. As we sat there it came across my mind that If I were not there, she would be alone. Being the paranoid person I am, I began asking her what she thought about the safety of doing open houses alone.  Especially as a female realtor, you must be cautious and use your best judgement. Not only is the house advertised as open, but chances are people assume only one realtor is present.


September is Realtor Safety Month. With these unique safety concerns present, I researched some tips to take when holding an open house or maybe even meeting with clients. According to the National Association of REALTORS these are some tips agents should follow when doing an open house alone.

  1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
  2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial.
  3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
  4. Make sure that if you were to escape by the back door, you could escape from the backyard. Frequently, high fences surround yards that contain swimming pools or hot tubs.
  5. Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and email.
  6. When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you.
  7. Avoid attics, basements, and getting trapped in small rooms.
  8. Notify someone in your office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you.
  9. Inform a neighbor that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary.
  10. Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. Be prepared to defend yourself, if necessary.

Follow this link To take a Real Estate Agent safety survey.

-Kaylee Monteleone


top secrets

Top Secrets to Selling Your Home For Top Dollar

Who doesn’t want top dollar for their home on the market? When it comes to putting your house on the market with expectations of top dollar, a homeowner needs to give their home a competitive advantage to really ‘WOW’ a buyer. Luckily, HGTV has shared their 10 best-kept top secrets for selling a home.

Top Secrets to Selling Your Home

top secrets

Selling Secret #10: Pricing it right

  • After you find out what your home is worth, you may want to take 15-20% off of the price. This will increase the chance of multiple offers from buyers that will bid up the price over what it’s worth. Although it is a risk, it’s a great strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

Selling Secret #9: Half-empty closets

  • Every buyer finds storage to be advantageous. You can never have enough! Buyers enjoy snooping so make sure you keep all of your closets and cabinets clean and tidy. Neatly organize your closet and taking half of the stuff out to create the idea of more space.

Selling Secret #8: Light it up

  • Good lighting is important to buyers. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. A bright and cheery home is a sellable home!

Selling Secret #7: Play the agent field

  • One of the number one sale killers is hiring the wrong broker. Make sure you have a broker that constantly monitors the multiple listing service (MLS). They must be informed on what properties are going on the market and know the comps in your neighborhood. A broker who embraces technology has enough tools to get your house sold.

Selling Secret #6: Conceal the critters

  • Not everybody is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have pet hair all over them. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

Selling Secret #5: Don’t over-upgrade

  • Small, quick fixes before selling usually pay off. With mammoth makeovers, you take a big risk of possibly not getting your money back. Make sure you are doing updates that will pay off and get you top dollar for your home. A fresh coat of paint on the walls, replacing the door handles, cabinet hardware, and making sure closet doors are on track are some little repairs you can do to enhance the home.

Selling Secret #4: Take the home out of your house

  • One of the homes Ces and I showed was filled with family pictures covering every inch of the wall. The couple viewing the home spent more time distracted by the photos on the wall than the actual home itself. The more personal stuff in your home, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. You should consider putting a third of your stuff in storage. You may even want to hire a home stager to maximize the full potential of your home.

Selling Secret #3: The kitchen comes first

  • The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. For instance, it may cost you a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off of the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. When people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

Selling Secret #2: Always be ready to show

  • Your home should be “show-ready” at all times. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners.

Selling Secret #1: The first impression is the only impression

  • Before buyers even walk into your home, they have judged it. You will not get a second chance to make a first impression. It is important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Give the home some curb appeal! Buy inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. Don’t forget about entryways. Make the entryway welcoming by putting a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

By using these top secrets of selling your home, you are one step closer to getting top dollar for your home!

-Kaylee Monteleone