Tips for selling a home with pets

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WE LOVE OUR PETS…  However, if you’re selling your home, there’s a good chance your buyers won’t feel the same. Even buyers who are pet owners themselves will have reservations about buying a house from fellow pet owners, particularly if the pet was indoors. But, if you are a pet owner thinking of selling, there simple steps you can take to ensure you furry friend is no turn off.

Relocate temporarily

In a perfect world, you would relocate your pet while your home is on the market. We realise this isn’t as simple as it sounds, so if this is not an option for you, ensure you give your pet limitations around the house and keep on top of cleaning duties daily. When selling a home with pets, at the very least, you should remove them from the property during home open times.

Litter trays and pads

Keep pet mess areas impeccably clean and on home open day, out of sight! Nothing turns a buyer off faster than pet smells.

Pet “stuff”

Whether you are selling a home with pets or not, one of the most inexpensive ways to prepare your home for sale is by de-cluttering.  When a pet is involved, a big part of this is cleaning up their belongings. A pet’s belongings can include their toys, beds, blankets, water bowls, leads etc- if it’s for your pet, store it away for the home open.

Tip: Purchase a large plastic tub that you can easily store away in the garage, shed etc. On the day of the home open, chuck anything that suggests “a pet lives here” in there. Once the home open is over you can easily bring the tub back out. It can at times be frustrating and time consuming but once you sell your home, it would have been well worth it the hassle!

Carpet and floor stains

If you have carpets ensure they are professionally cleaned prior to the home open and that any stains are removed completely. If the staining or odors are impossible to remove, you may need to replace the carpet in the problem areas.

Deep cleaning

Surface cleaning when you own a pet is simply not enough. Doing a through clean which includes behind all furniture, underneath all throw rugs, and inside each cupboard is a must.  Pet hair and dust have a habit of finding their way into those hard to reach areas and you will be surprised what you find when you go looking.  You may also wish to consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned out as pet hair and dust can become trapped and contribute to pet odours around your home.

Furniture

Make sure you give any soft furniture a good vacuum and clean. You may not be selling your couch with the home, but a couch covered in dog or cat hair will be off-putting. If any furniture has been damaged, ensure you repair or remove. Do not allow the buyer to wonder “what else has the pet destroyed?”

Air out your home

Make sure you air your home out daily, and of course, on the day of the home open in particular. It might pay to fragrance your home with a light coconut or vanilla scent to add some freshness. Consider lighting a candle during your home open to send a pleasant aroma throughout your home.

Often we become accustomed to our pets odour, so have a friend or neighbour your trust come over and ask them the big question “can you smell my pet in here?”.

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Simple ways to add romance to your home

Forget saving romance for Valentine’s Day, we think you should celebrate it every day of the year – regardless of whether or not you’re attached! And what better way to start than with your home? Curved, detailed, and embellished pieces spring to mind when we think of romantic decor, and we’ve got some tips to help you effortlessly create this look in your home.

  • Soft lighting

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Soft lighting is one of the easiest ways to give your home a romantic glow. Not only is it more flattering than harsh, fluorescent lighting, it’s also a great way to help you relax and unwind after a long day. We recommend installing a dimmer switch to your main lights, and opting for lamps and candles instead of overhead lighting.

  • Fresh flowers

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Adding flowers can instantly lift the mood and feel of a space, and certainly adds a romantic touch – whether you bought them yourself or not!

Unfortunately for us flower-lovers, constantly buying fresh bouquets every other week can get a bit pricey. But, if you don’t want to miss out on fresh blooms altogether, buying only a few stems can be just as effective, or opt for an orchid, which will look stunning for weeks to come with some care.

 

 

 

 

  • Experiment with textures, colours and prints

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Adding luxurious throws, cushions and rugs to a space, especially in sultry, warm tones like deep reds and pinks, is an easy way to bring romance to a room. The layering of different textures creates a tactile element to a room, ensuring it avoids looking cold and clinical.

If you’re serious about romance, then you can’t go past animal print. However, animal prints can look a bit gaudy when overdone, so restrict the use of this style to one or two accent pieces like a cushion or a throw.

 

 

 

  • Window treatments

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If you’re considering giving your window treatments a soft, romantic makeover, think floaty and whimsical. Sheer curtains are perfect for creating a romantic vibe, and with block out blinds behind them, you won’t have to skimp on privacy.

 

  • Add a chandelier

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Romance is drama, and nothing says ‘drama’ quite like a stunning chandelier. Install one in the bedroom, above your dining table, or in your boudoir for a touch of romance and elegance. Aim for understated glamour by considering the size and style of the chandelier and how it is going to work in your chosen room.

 

 

 

 

  • Bed linen

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Bed linen is an effective way to immediately change the way your room looks and feels. There’s sure to be a style to match the type of romance you want to recreate; from fun, flirty and whimsical to sultry, moody and seductive.

You can achieve either look by paying attention to colour choices when shopping for bed linen. The deeper and darker you go with colour, the sultrier the end result will be.

Regardless of the look you want to recreate, the one thing that is sure to ramp up the romance is layers of pillows, a textured throw, and luxuriously soft duvet.

 

 

  • Mirrors

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Mirrors are perfect for adding drama and elegance to a space. Adorn blank walls with charming mirrors for an effortless romantic feel, just like this bathroom!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images via of Domino.com

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Get the Look: 10 pieces for an instant style update

A new year is upon us and, if you’re anything like us, you’re probably already itching to make some changes to your home.

Sure, it’s tempting to knock down a few walls, or start on that bathroom reno but before we get ahead of ourselves – and our wallets – let’s ease into the new year and start off small with the introduction of a few key pieces for an instant style update.

The chair:

Replica Eames Eiffel DSW Dining Chair

 

 

This Dining Chair by Zanui ($49.95) is a great way to add some industrial style to your dining table. But why stop there? This chair would look great in the home office on its own as well.

 

 

 

The accent cushion:

Bocce Teal Cushion

 

A change of accent cushion can work wonders to breathe new life into a room. Depending on your lounge suite or chair fabric, try and contrast the colour to make the update pop. We’re loving this classic, teal design from Boyd Blue ($260.00) at the moment.

 

 

The side table:

Zanui.com.au   Jaha Side Table   $309

 

 

This two-toned side table from Zanui ($309.00) is the perfect piece to get the industrial look with some added warmth of the wood surface. It’d look equally as good by your lounge as it would next to your bed.

 

 

 

The vase:

Dwyer Teal Glass Diamond Pattern 40 cm

 

This stunning vase from The Bowery Home Decor ($82.00) reminds us of breezy summer days by the water, and is sure to add a beachy feel to your home.

 

 

 

 

The bed head:

Grey Linen buttoned behead king and queen

 

There’s only one word for this grey linen, buttoned bed head form Lavendar Hill Interiors (on sale for just $516!) and that’s ‘dreamy’. We can’t get enough of this luxurious style – it’s an easy way to update the whole feel of your bedroom.

 

The shelf:

Amalfi Barnaby Shelving Ladder

 

 

 

 

This ladder-like shelf from Amalfi Homewares is the perfect Scandi-inspired piece ($349.95). Your books, candles, and trinkets will look great in their new home.

 

 

 

 

Something for your living room:

Davi Ottoman Black

 

 

If you mix comfort and style, you get this ottoman from Down That Little Lane ($129.00). There’s no need to blow your the budget and get a whole new lounge set, this piece shows a little can go a long way.

 

 

Something for your bathroom:

Ceramic StarDust Mini Dish Dove

 

Sure, anyone can update their bathroom towels, but bathroom style doesn’t have to stop there. This gorgeous mini dish in dove ($25.00) from The Design Hunter is a perfect place to show off your trinkets and jewelry.

 

Something for your walls:

Zanui.com.au   Pure Wall Clock From $79.95

 

 

We’re loving the wooden face of this Zanui wall clock ($79.95). Hang it up or lean it against a wall on a dresser or table for effortless style.

 

 

 

 

Something for your dining table:

Emporium Chain Link Placemats

 

Instantly update your dining experience using place mats. This chain-link design from Emporium (which comes in a set of 4) will get you excited about playing host in 2016 ($19.95).

 

 

 

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It’s not Australia Day without a bit of LAM…

Bet you thought we were going to say lamb?

Nope. While the rest of Australia is deliberating what to chuck on the BBQ, we’re thinking about the most important part of any meal… the dessert of course!

We are big fans of Australia Day here at Peard Real Estate (and we have a bit of a sweet-tooth). We love what the day stands for and are always excited to get together with our mates and celebrate all that is this beautiful country of ours. We’re all about making the day as Aussie as possible, and if you ask us, the day would not be complete without a true blue, Aussie dessert.

This year, we’re choosing the famous lamington! If you’re hosting a BBQ at your place, this yummy treat is sure to be a hit with your friends, and this one comes with a little “pink” twist.

So here it is… our Aussie Day dessert pick:

                     THE PINK LAMINGTON

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RECIPE (Serves 12)

What you will need

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

300g caster sugar

4 medium eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

500g self-raising flour

A pinch salt

250ml milk

 

Icing and coating

385g       icing sugar

125ml    milk

20g         unsalted butter, finely diced

a little    pink food colouring

250g       shredded coconut

 

Filling

250ml double cream

15g icing sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons raspberry jam

 

Method
1.    Heat the oven to 170°C. We recommend using a baking tin that is approx. 20cm x 30cm and roughly 3cm deep.
Grease the tin and cover with baking paper.

2.    Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs little by little, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.

3.     Sift the flour and salt together. Mix with milk and flour. Take care not to over mix the batter. Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and level the surface with a palette knife.

4.    Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is well risen and golden and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger. Leave to cool in the tin,  remove from the tin and leave in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.

5.    Using a long, serrated knife, cut the sponge into 12 equal pieces.

6.    Sift the icing sugar into a heatproof bowl. Gradually add the milk, whisking to keep the mixture smooth, then add the butter. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the base of the bowl. Stir continuously for 3-4 minutes, until the icing is hot. Remove from the heat and stir in a little pink colouring.

7.    Put the shredded coconut in a bowl. One at a time, dip each lamington into the icing, using a fish slice or spatula to lift them out. Make sure the excess icing has drained off back into the bowl of icing, then place the lamington in the coconut and roll to coat. Lift on to a tray lined with baking paper and leave for 2 hours to firm and set.

8.    To make the filling, put the double cream, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to medium peaks. It should be thick enough to spread.

9.    Split each cake in half and sandwich together with the raspberry jam and whipped cream.

Note*  Once filled, eat within 3 days. The unfilled cakes can be frozen for 3 months.

Recipe and image courtesy of Cooked.com

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A fallen tree is given new life by turning it into a bookshelf

tree bookshelf

Source: Inigo del Castillo (Lost a e minor)  Chilean artist Sebastian Errazuriz is no stranger to turning unwanted items into functional art pieces.

Errazuriz’s latest artwork was made from a tree branch he simply found on a Santiago City street. He took it back to his studio, painted and polished it, then put in panes of glass. The result is a one-of-a-kind shelf that’s organic, minimal, and striking.

His collection also includes similar shelves and coffee tables. All of which are fallen trees combined with his signature surrealism. ‘It’s important to me that a project consist of just a little twist’, Errazuriz explains, “because I ultimately want people to see the obvious, the everyday differently’.

See more of Sebastian Errazuriz’s works here.

A fallen tree is given new life by turning it into a bookshelf

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5 ways to help you make life easier outdoors

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No one wants to waste the weekend away trying to tend to the upkeep of the backyard. We’ve got some long term solutions to some of most time consuming chores you face outdoors.

  1. Properly maintain your pavers

Pavers have always been a great flooring choice for the outside, but unfortunately they rarely stay as clean and grime-free as the day they were laid. But don’t despair, there is a way to help minimise the build-up of dirt and grime that comes with the outdoors. We recommend using a clear sealant and a top coat to protect pavers and help prevent the initial build-up of filth. That way you only need to use a high pressure hose to touch up in the future.

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  1. Mow no more

If you find yourself spending half your Saturday mowing the lawn, then it might be time to fake it.

Synthetic turf really is the way to go if you want a low maintenance lawn. There’s no watering, mowing or mulching required and you won’t see any pesky weeds popping up either!

If you’re worried about the look and feel of it, synthetic turf has come a long way, with many manufacturers producing more realistic looking and feeling turf.

  1. Self-watering systems

By setting up your very own self-watering system you’ll be given the gift of time. You and your plants will both be happy with the automated, regular watering settings and when you go away on holidays, there’s no need to ask a friend to pop round to water the plants.

These systems can be installed during construction, or afterwards. We recommend heading to your local garden and hardware store and chatting to a professional about the best way you can set one up in your garden.

  1. Just add mulch

If your garden beds are looking a bit sad and dry, all you need to spruce them up is some bags of mulch. The great thing about mulch is that it also prevents the growth of weeds, which is another backyard chore we could do without. We recommend using organic mulch, so that the soil improves over time.

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  1. All fabrics should be weather-resistant

Outdoor furniture can be a real feature (and necessity!) outdoors, especially when we enjoy such a beautiful climate. But it can get a little spoilt when all the fabric on your cushions are faded and dirty.

That’s why we recommend making sure that any outdoor set you choose has weather-resistant, or weather-proof, materials. That way you can minimise the amount of time washing them before guests come over for a barbeque.

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School holiday fun- muffin tray crayons

We’ve shared this before, but it’s the school holidays and this activity is still one of our all-time favorites! It’s also a great indoor activity during the hotter days when no one wants to leave the house, and boy has Perth had some of those lately…

If you have old, broken crayons laying around the place, whatever you do, don’t throw them out- try this instead!

Crayons

What you’ll need:

  • Non-stick slice pan
  • Non-stick mini-muffin pan
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Crayons (Caution: Make sure you are using non-toxic, wax crayons)
  • Sharp knife
  • Biscuit cutters
  • Scissors

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 140 degree Celsius (fan forced). If your pans are old and battered, give them a light spray with cooking oil before you begin. If you have pans with a good, non-stick surface they shouldn’t require any greasing.
  2. Sort your crayons by colour, then divide each pile into big chunks and small pieces.
  3. Fill the slice pan with the bigger pieces until you’ve covered the base of the pan.
  4. Working with one colour pile at a time, cut remaining crayons into small lengths, about 2cm long. Fill each hole in the muffin pan with crayon. Try mixing similar colours, such as red and pink, with a few pieces in a complementary colour.
  5. Place the muffin pan in the oven for around 6-8 minutes and the slice pan for around 10 minutes. The muffin-pan crayons are ready when the crayon has softened, but not become liquid. If some pieces melt quicker than others, use a toothpick to give the mixture a gentle stir. When ready, remove the pan from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool, then pop in the fridge for half an hour. The slice-pan is ready to remove from the oven when the top layer of crayon has turned to a swirly liquid. Carefully remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  6. While the slice-pan mixture is still warm and slightly soft, turn out onto a chopping board and use the biscuit cutters to cut out shapes. The muffin-pan crayons should just turn out of the pan once completely cooled.

Idea & imagery via Home Life – http://www.homelife.com.au

 

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Bringing the outside in

The design concept of the indoor/outdoor space has become extremely popular, and is well on it’s way to becoming a fundamental aspect of the Australian home. In Western Australia, we are particularly blessed with the perfect climate and laid back attitude to make the most of the space.

Whether you currently have a porch, patio, games room or pool area, you can make the most of the spare space by creating an extension of your home to bring the outside in. Gone are the days when the spare room was labelled a “sunroom”. Instead, indoor/outdoor or alfresco areas have set a new standard, that often include kitchens, bars and bathrooms.

 

The main concept is to create a multi functional alfresco area. Typical elements of the space include:

Bifold doors

Bifolds are a great way to create space and light. They also ensure that you can use the space all year round by opening or closing different sections depending on the time of year, wind and rain.

Fashionable yet durable furniture

In recent years a large range of furniture has become available to suit external household use. Before you make a purchase, ensure that the furniture is made of high quality materials.  As the furniture is exposed to harsh elements, it needs to be able to withstand the sun, wind, sea salt and rain. Such furniture may be more expensive, but it will be worth it when you don’t have to replace the furniture annually.

Colour

When deciding on what colour scheme to use, we suggest sticking to neutrals for your walls and furniture. This will brighten up the space and compliment the indoor colour scheme. To add some colour you can use bright cushions, glassware, and plenty of green tropical plants!

Outdoor kitchen

 

Of course your kitchen depends on the scale of your budget, but if you’re going to dream, why not make it a luxurious full scale kitchen and bar?! Preferably it would be complete with sinks, fridge, gas mains connection, modern BBQ, pizza oven and of course a blender to make all the cocktails that you’ll be enjoying in your new area!

 

 

 

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DIY Soy Candles

Looking to create a unique gift? Or do you need an activity to keep the kids entertained these school holidays? Look no further! Soy candles are simple to make and best of all they are non-toxic, deliciously scented, and slow burning. What’s not to love?

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What you’ll need:

Soy Wax – Soy wax is 100% vegetable, made with pure Soybean oil, which means it is all natural and biodegradable. We bought the supplies from Perth Candle Supplies. You can place the order online and pick up in-store or they can ship Australia wide!

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Small Jars  – This is where you can get creative with how you like the candles to look. Small glass cups, mason jars, tea cups or tins make great containers.

Pretabbed wicks – these wicks have a flat surface so you can attach an adhesive (like candle stickers or hot glue) to the bottom and secure to the container.

Wick bar – Wick bars sit across the container to hold the wick straight as the candle wax sets. How many you need depends on how many candles you make at once. We recommended at least 6.

Scent – You can buy many scents online or use essential oils. Our favourites for summer are French pear or anything fruity!

Dye Chips – Soy wax is usually white so if you would like to change the colour you can purchase dye chips or bars.

Glass Thermometer

Small Pouring Pitcher – what you use depends on how you will heat your wax.

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Method – Melt your soy wax using one of the methods below.

Place into a microwave safe container, heat for 30 seconds and then stir. Keep heating until it has melted and is clear. The other alternative is to heat on the stove, over a low to medium heat. Fill up a pot with water, once it has boiled add a small pot or jug with a lip for easy pour. Stir continually until wax has melted and is clear. Remove wax from the heat and leave to cool slightly. Please note – Soy wax is very easy to clean from the container or pots with just hot water.

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Next you can add in the colour chips. For pastel colours use less chips, or add more for a brighter colour!

Stir in your fragrance. How much you use depends on your personal preference. We suggest 8g of fragrance for every 100ml.

Place a sticker or adhesive onto your wick and centre in the jar. When the wax has cooled to around 75℃, carefully pour the wax into your jar. Place the wick bar on top of the jar and press the wick into the bar so that it stays upright.

Now leave your candle to cool at room temperature overnight! Tomorrow, you can trim the wick, light and enjoy!

For more information or to order supplies, visit the Perth Candle Supplies at http://www.perthcandlesupplies.com.au/.

 

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Having trouble selling?

83290881Are you wondering why your home is struggling to sell after months of being on the market, while the house down the road sold in a matter of days? Perhaps you need to look at your price…

While there can be various factors contributing to a properties lack of interest, too often, it can come down to unrealistic pricing.

Price to sell

While it’s understandable that sellers want to yield the highest price for their property, the main concern in the current market should be, in fact, selling the property… With plenty of homes out there for buyers to choose from, pricing too high will limit your chances of a quick sale. Gone are the days of fierce competition- buyers are currently in control and if they cant see value at your listed price, they will simply walk away.

Testing the waters

Sellers have been known to list at an inflated price as a means of ‘testing’ the market. However, we would always (and particularly in Perth’s current market) advise against this approach. The savvy buyer conducts their own market research before visiting home opens, arming themselves with a general understanding of property values in the area. If your 3×2 property is priced at $550,000 and a few doors down there is a similar property priced at $470,000, questions will be raised, naturally.

For this reason, we always recommend speaking to an experienced professional. Your real estate agent will know the market like the back of their hand and can typically price your home (within a range of course) from the second they walk through the door.

They will also conduct research on your behalf on similar homes in your area which are selling or have recently sold. Keep in mind, supply and demand in your area will also be a major factor, as well as the current state of the property market.

Avoid the highest price

Remaining realistic is the key…

If you are “shopping around” for you real estate agent and seeking multiple property appraisals, it’s important not to disclose how much a previous agent appraised at to ensure a completely unbiased approach by each individual agent.

The highest appraised price should not necessarily be your deciding factor. Rather, your decision should be based on the agent’s familiarity with your local area, their real estate knowledge, marketing approach and sales history.

The danger associated with expired listings

If you choose an agent based on their high valuation, you run the risk of advertising an overpriced property which will typically sit on the market for weeks, even months.

Lack of interest will eventually result in a necessary price reduction which can sometimes be off putting to buyers who have been watching your property closely- the key is to price correctly from the start.

If you’re thinking of selling, conduct your own market research first, consider where your property sits realistically and seek help from a professional real estate agent!

Need professional advice with no obligation? click here!

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