Useful Home Products Will Help Your House Sale Profits

Even if you’ve never been involved in the sale of house before and yours is about to go on the market, you probably know enough about the process to be able to repeat, like a litany:  clean it; paint it; fix it.  But do you find yourself asking:  How clean does the house have to be and how do I tackle the job?  Do I really have to paint?  What are the best colors to choose?   What do I need to repair?
When considering these questions, it’s good to remember that most prospective home buyers are an unimaginative lot.  Your house may be immaculate but if the rooms are cluttered, crowded, and dark, they may appear to be less clean and much smaller than they really are.   Picture this:  an old, seven-piece mahogany dining room suite plus a rocking chair and seven boxes of books packed in anticipation of your move are wedged into a dark green room with a brown rug and a window covered by heavy velvet drapes.  Why is this decorating scheme a mistake?  It’s because most people are unable to imagine how big and beautiful the room would look if painted off-white, everything removed but the dining room suite, a pastel tablecloth and a fresh flower centerpiece on the table, curtains stripped from the window, the rug removed, and everything spotlessly clean.  In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, you must “make it so”; otherwise, it might take you a very long time to sell your house and the offers to buy will not only be slower, but lower.Clean, Clean, Clean

Your best friend when cleaning your house for resale will be tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) or its equivalent.  TSP is one of the home products that top the list of must-haves, and it’s not expensive.  Roll up your sleeves, put on your rubber gloves and scrub your walls and ceilings, and anything else that needs your elbow grease.  Unless you can afford professional cleaners, there’s no way out of this one.

Carpet cleaning is another must and there are home products for the do-it-yourselfer or you can hire a cleaning company to take care of this job.  If you have shabby rugs scattered throughout the house, forget cleaning them; it’s probably better to remove them altogether.
There are home products to clean things that require special care – ceramic tile, porcelain, stainless steel, wood cabinets, aluminum siding, etc., and you can find whatever you need at your neighborhood hardware store.  Ask questions and read labels.  When using commercial cleaning products, wear gloves and a mask.  It’s wise to be careful.Paint for a Pristine Finish
As thorough as your cleaning job is, it won’t have much impact on sagging, faded wallpaper, gouges in the walls, or cracked and peeling paint.  Repainting is the solution, and interior painting jobs start with stripping off old wallpaper, attacking cracks and gouges with filler, and then getting to work with your roller and brush.  This is also the time to do all the small repairs that need your attention:  hammer in nails; repair the broken step; replace the broken glass.
When selecting paint, the best colors for your walls and ceilings are white, off-white, cream, creamy off-white – you get the picture.  A light, cool, neutral color can fit into everyone’s decorating scheme.  (You want that young couple to see your home as the perfect setting for their red plush love seats.)  If you have recently painted one or more rooms in quite dramatic colors, leave them as they are.  As long as the walls and trim are clean and fresh, prospective buyers won’t mind a bit of repainting if they want to change the colors – the main thing is not to overwhelm them.
If you need to paint the outside of your house, it’s not necessary to restrict yourself to neutral colors for exterior paint; however, a bright color is not a good choice.  Something fairly subdued is better, but be creative when painting the front door; a dramatic touch might be needed to make your house memorable.  It’s easy for a buyer to repaint a door if he or she doesn’t share your love of Christmas red or purple passion.Remove the Clutter
It’s time to say goodbye to your high school chemistry notes, the clothes you outgrew five years ago, the playpen your twelve-year-old no longer needs, and everything else your family will never use again, read again, or wear again.  Be tough!  Do it!  Take it to the dump; hold a garage sale; donate it to your favorite charity.  Don’t let it take up any more of your storage space – you’re going to need it all to store the things that are currently stacked on shelves and floors and cluttering up counter tops throughout the house.
Important home products that can help you deal with this part of your preparation are closet organizers.  They come in every size and style imaginable, and you are sure to find something suitable.  When you have everything neatly stored in your closets and cupboards, walk through the house and pick up and put out of sight everything else on your counters and table tops that don’t need to be there.  “Clutter-free” means clutter-free and it won’t kill anyone in the family to have to reach under the counter for the dishwashing detergent or the toothpaste for the next few days or weeks.

You probably don’t think of furniture as “clutter,” but clutter is anything that unnecessarily crowds a room, a doorway, or a hall.  If your home has very small rooms and you can manage without some furniture items for awhile, arrange to use a friend’s garage or basement to store them.  It will “open up” the rooms and make your house appear larger and brighter, and that’s a good thing.Let There be Light

Sunlight is a friend to the house seller, and you should try and let as much of it into the house as you can.  Wash windows inside and out and wash or dryclean the window coverings:  curtains, drapes, and blinds.  Before showing the house to a prospective buyer, replace burned-out light bulbs, turn on the lights, open the windows, lift the blinds, and pull back the drapes.Final Touches

Ask a non-smoking, non-pet-owning friend to come into your house when you have finished cleaning and painting.  Are all the pet odors and smoking odors gone?  If the house passes the sniff-test, place some potpourri in open dishes to add a fresh, clean scent; otherwise, get back to work.
Finally, step outside and see what a prospective buyer’s first impression of your yard is likely to be.  Mow the lawn, trim the hedges and bushes, weed the garden, edge the flowerbeds, and sweep and clean the walkway, deck, or patio.  Your yard is another selling feature of your house, and must be clean and tidy, too.
Home products can help make your house appear big, bright, clean, and ready for a prospective buyer to move right in, which is exactly what you want.

How To Discover Your PERFECT Home Based Business – The 1st Of 7 Keys – A Profitable Business

This is the first in a series of seven articles that tell you how to sift through all the home business opportunities you hear about every day, and find the PERFECT home based business for you.

Are you ready to start making some real money in your own home business without working 60 hours per week? Are you ready to stop throwing your money down the “home business opportunity rat hole”?

Read on and I’ll show you how to test every home based business opportunity to make sure it fits the definition of The PERFECT Home Business, before you invest your time and money. Then, focus on the one that fits the best, and make it a success.

Each letter in the word “P.E.R.F.E.C.T.” stands for one of the 7 keys to finding the perfect home based business. Each key is something your home based business opportunity MUST have in order for you to enjoy the financial freedom and lifestyle you want.

What makes an opportunity P.E.R.F.E.C.T.? The “P” in PERFECT stands for “Profitable”. If your business isn’t profitable, why do it? If it isn’t highly profitable, you won’t be able to earn enough to make it worth your time, or you won’t be able to grow your business by reinvesting your profits back into the business.

“Profitable” means:

• High gross profit margin (preferably greater than 65%) and net profits of 20% of sales or better before taxes.

If you sell something for $1.00 and it costs you $.50, your gross profit margin is 50%. That’s about the profit margin most retail stores get. You need to do better than that to survive and thrive in your home business.

All of your other expenses such as advertising, overhead, and so on, have to come out of your gross profit before you have any “net profit”. If you sell something for $1.00 and the costs of your product, including all of your other expenses, add up to $.90, you only have ten cents per dollar in net profit (that’s a 10% net profit).

So, for example, if you want to earn $50,000 per year from home with a 10% net profit, you would have to sell $500,000 worth of your product. Wow, that’s a lot of product. Wouldn’t it be better to only have to sell $250,000 worth of product, or even less, to earn your $50,000 income goal?

That’s why you need a business with at least 20% net profit. And, if you really could sell $500,000 worth of products, wouldn’t it be better to have 20% net profit and earn $100,000 per year on that $500,000 in sales? The PERFECT home based business may even enable you to earn up to 40%-60% or more (sometimes more than 90%) in net profit. Yes, really.

At 90% net profit you would only have to sell $55,556 worth of product to earn your $50,000 income. That’s my kind of home business!

• “Profitable” also means a net profit (your “salary”) before taxes of at least $50,000 per year. And $100,000 or more per year would be more like it (unless your goal is to supplement your income to the tune of $500 to $1,000 per month. But, would you turn down $50,000 per year if you didn’t have to work any harder than you did to earn $10,000 per year?).

Your goals may be different than mine and you may be satisfied with lower profits. But, I believe you need to set your goals high, yet at a reasonable level. Then, even if you fall a little short, you will still be very successful.

• Low overhead (less than 5% of sales). Overhead is all the “fixed expenses” of running your business such as computers, printers, other equipment, furniture, office supplies, and office space rental costs.

A home based business is ideal for keeping overhead low, but you still have to be careful to minimize the space needed, the cost for utilities, and the equipment needed to run your business. Don’t go hog wild buying an expensive desk and file cabinets with your first profits. Instead, reinvest those profits in your business and keep your overhead low. You’ll be glad you did.

• Low labor content for manufacturing, assembly, or shipment of the product(s).

You don’t want to spend all of your time assembling and shipping something you sell. Most of your time should be spent on marketing and growing your sales and profits. The PERFECT home business enables you to sell products that involve little or no labor cost to make them or ship them.

• A high average order. Believe it or not, it takes as much effort to sell a $5.00 product as it does to sell a $50.00 product or a $500.00 product, maybe even more effort. So, the PERFECT home based business offers products with a high perceived value and a price well above $20.00. The exception is when you want to sell a low priced product, or even give something away, just to get customers added to your e-mail list so you can sell them other more expensive items later.

• Low initial investment required (less than $1,000 preferred). I don’t know about you, but business opportunities that require $5,000, or $25,000, or more to start scare me a little, unless the return is well worth the risk. There aren’t too many people that even have that kind of money to invest in a business. Why not find the PERFECT home based business that only requires $1,000 or less to get started, perhaps even a few hundred dollars?

• Small inventory with rapid turnover, or no inventory required. Imagine your garage or basement stacked from floor to ceiling with products waiting for someone to buy them. Yuk! Much better to fill each order as it is received without having any inventory in your home, or at least a very small inventory. The PERFECT home based business will allow you to do that.

• Repeat or backend sales potential. One of the highest marketing costs is the cost of getting a new customer. If that customer buys your product over and over from you (repeat sales of a consumable product or a monthly membership fee, for example), or if the new customer buys other products from you later (backend sales), you can dramatically increase your sales and profit. This is a very important ingredient in the recipe for a successful home based business.

House Cleaning Services – Do It Yourself or Use Professional Cleaners?

Everyone loves a clean house, well almost everyone. However it is quite a challenge to maintain a clean house all year round to a standard where every crook and cranny in the house is cleaned spotlessly. There is no doubt a clean house ensures a germ free environment and one way to achieve this is, to either do it yourself or contract in professional house cleaning services to do it for you.

The advantage of using professional cleaners is of course, they are professional cleaners, it is their livelihood and they have a good understanding of the type of cleaning products and chemicals to use on different surfaces and material furnishings in the house. As well they will undoubtedly clean in areas easily overlooked by the non professional house cleaner. Applying this knowledge to the job will ensure the longer life of surfaces and materials that may be subject to heavy wear and tear.

Using the wrong cleaning products

If you do decide to undertake the task of house cleaning services yourself then it may be advisable to do a little research into the type of cleaning products you should use for the different surfaces in your household. Failing to do this could end in disaster with damage to some of your prized finished surfaces and material coverings including carpets in the house.

Most home owners today live fairly busy life styles with work, family, sports and other social activities so regular house work and cleaning are sometimes put down the bottom of the priorities list of things to do. Busy householders would rather spend their free time engaging in more enjoyable activities. Many I imagine will be more than happy to contract in professional house cleaning services to undertake what can be a laborious and time consuming job.

A quick flick through your local papers or going online will quickly reveal a number of cleaning businesses in your locality that are only to happy to offer a cost and obligation free quoting service. You may be surprised to find a number of very competitive quotes among cleaning businesses in your area.

The benefits of contracting professional cleaners are:

1. They will probably do a better job than yourself, professional cleaners will take the time to clean in obscure areas that home owners sometimes overlook. Eg. cupboards and wardrobe shelves that gather a lot of dust over time, ceiling fans, draws etc.

2. They will use the right cleaning chemicals for the right surfaces, stainless steel, wood, ceramic, Formica, marble etc.

3. They will complete the job within a specific time frame. Once the job is started they will work until the task is completed.

4. The time it would normally take you to do the job can be spent with your family or doing any other activity that you enjoy.

5. You may be surprised to find there are some very good and cost effective professional house cleaning services out there.

Making a good impression

Most home owners will be aware that visitors or family friends who come to your home will usually have an opinion about yourself based on how well you keep your home. Most people are that way inclined unfortunately always judging others either openly or secretly. As they say first impressions are lasting, so it is important to make a good first impression by presenting your home in a clean and tidy fashion.

Unfortunately it is the reason many home owners will not have people around to their homes because they are embarrassed about the state of their homes. Contracting in professional cleaners can definitely help solve that problem.

Cleaning a house spotlessly isn’t for the faint hearted, it requires hard work and dedication. Home owners who have given the big spring clean a go in the past will be the first to agree. It’s a job that can’t be done in half measures and requires a professional approach. Personally I think that engaging professional house cleaning services on a regular basis is the way to go if you enjoy your free time and want to maintain a clean house all year round.