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Hands4Hire June Newsletter

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Handy News
June 2010
Keys to Securing Your Home: 5 Easy Ways to Help Protect Your Home
2Many high-tech, high-priced home security products are available today. Fortunately, there are less expensive - but no less effective - ways to protect your home, too. Check out these smart home security tips!
Eliminate Hiding Places. Keep all entry points to your house well lit. Trim shrubs and trees that could provide cover for an intruder. Trim tree limbs that could enable intruders to gain entry via an upper-floor window or balcony and keep items such as ladders locked inside the house.
Don't be an easy target. Burglars want to hit the easiest target on the block so give them reasons to skip your house. Home-security decals or "Beware of Dog" signs are good deterrents. Home security alarms are also good. A subscription to a monitoring service isn't always necessary. The sound of an alarm is often enough to scare off a thief.
Lock windows and doors. Department of Justice statistics report more than half of all burglaries occur with no sign of forced entry -- meaning a robber was able to enter the house through an unlocked door or window. Use a heavy-duty deadbolt that is bolted to the door frame with three-inch screws.
Appear to be home. When you're away, have someone pick up your mail and newspaper or have them stopped for the duration of your trip. In addition, have someone mow your lawn. Also, use timers to turn specific lights on and off in the house to make it seem as if someone is home.
Know your neighbors. Make sure neighbors know when you're planning to be away and how they can reach you in an emergency. Leaving an extra key with a trusted neighbor is a good idea. It's better than hiding one under a mat or in some other outdoor hiding place.
Home Staging Helps Homes Sell
As an Accredited Staging Professional I have been professionally trained to look at homes for sale using "buyers eyes".   People have biased opinions when it comes to their home. Accredited Staging Professionals know the features of homes that are selling, and unfortunately, sometimes homes need to be updated in order to sell. In this article I am going to walk you through my latest home Staging® success story, a waterfront home in Cornelius that received 2 competing offers the first two days it was listed (of course Staging® was completed prior to listing) and the home just closed this week, about 30 days after listing!
The seller is a real estate agent that I have been working with for over two years now. In late February she informed me that her family would be relocating to Texas, and they needed my help getting their home ready for market. They gave a deadline of two months to list. Because this was a corporate relocation, she would not be the listing agent so there would be no conflict of interest. They hired Katherine Falkner-Hansen at Allen Tate Realtors to list the property. The seller's goal was to get the property sold in less than 90 days, a challenge in today's real estate market and economy, especially with their waterfront price tag. The sellers hired me to perform a consultation on what needed to be done and help them get it done. I went through their home making recommendations and followed up with a typed "to-do" list of these suggestions. I told them they needed to invest the most money in updating their master bath which had hunter green vanity tops and brass fixtures to boot.
The sellers quickly got to work and called many of my vendors I had recommended in my consultation. They started the bathroom update by installing Granite in the master bath, using Richard DesRochers at World Stone Fabricators. The sellers told me how they loved Richard's sense of urgency to get the job completed for them as quickly as possible. Their two panel shower door trimmed in dated brass was replaced with a single panel, frameless glass shower door by Malibu Shower Enclosures located in Cornelius. The sellers painted their master suite in a neutral shade called Sand Dollar by Sherwin Williams. New plumbing and lighting fixtures were installed in the master bath along with new mirrors and hardware. Of course we called on our most reliable professional handyman service for these installations, Hands4Hire also based in Cornelius.
About six weeks later after the most labor intensive work was completed, the sellers said they were ready for me to implement the final touches. I purchased new bedding for three bedrooms, show towels, plants and greenery and other accessories. I hung pictures, working mostly with what they already had in that department, and also helped with furniture placement throughout the home. In the end, two months of hard work with a little help from an Accredited Staging Professional was well worth the investment in Staging® with a sale in two days above asking price!
Staged® Homes traditionally present themselves better than the competition by being clean, clutter-free, and ready to show to prospective buyers. Writer Jamie McNeilis is an Accredited Staging Professional and owns Centerpiece Home Staging LLC in the Lake Norman area of Charlotte. She has studied and learned the proven techniques of Staging® and is committed to the principles and practices of marketing properties as Staged® Homes. Her company web site:
In This Issue
We Reward Referrals
Green Tip of the Month
We Reward Referrals
Our goal is to always be so good that you tell your friends about the great work that we do.  In fact, they say that it is THE true indicator of whether a company is truly customer focused. 
If you think that we are doing great work, TELL YOUR FRIENDS.  We would love to help them with their projects as well. Enjoy a Starbucks GC from us as a thank you!
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Quote of the Month
If you see an unacceptable act and you do not correct it, you have set a new standard; an unacceptable one.
Re-Use Your Newspapers
Newspapers can replace paper towels when it comes to cleaning windows or mirrors in your house and cars. Remember to recycle them when you're done!
Save 10% Off ~ Summer Sale on interior repairs. 
 *May not be combined with other offers, this offer is not redeemable for cash, cash equivlents, Gift Cards or online Gift Certificates and is not valid on past purchases.  Labor only.  Maximum discount of $200.
Hurry - Offer Expires: 8/15/10.