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Michael Gillis

Michael Gillis
701 W. Market Street  Perkasie  PA 18944
Phone:  215-469-0213
Office:  215-453-7653
Fax:  267-354-6911

My Blog

Super Bowl Drives Most TV Purchases in 2014

January 21, 2014 5:18 am

FatWallet.com announced results from its 2014 TV Buyer Survey. Of those surveyed online, 30 percent said they will purchase a new TV this year (35 percent males and 38 percent under age 30). Almost one third of those will buy a TV during Super Bowl sales. The survey also reveals that their purchasing decisions are influenced most by price (45 percent), followed by TV features (35 percent) and brand (20 percent).

Key survey results for those that said they will purchase a new TV this year:

• Almost one third (32 percent) are most likely to buy a new TV during Super Bowl sales, 25 percent during Black Friday sales, 8 percent during December/Holiday, 6 percent during Cyber Monday and 18 percent noted a wide variety of other seasonal sales event throughout the year.
• More than half said they will spend less than $500 with 14 percent to spend less than $300, 34 percent between $300-$499, 34 percent between $500-$699, and 32 percent will spend $700 or more.
• Samsung was top choice for TV buyers (33 percent), especially with higher annual income shoppers, and is almost twice as popular as Sony (18 percent), followed by LG (16 percent) and Vizio (14 percent) rounding out the top four. Only 4 percent said they will most likely buy a budget brand TV in 2014.
• The majority of TV buyers (80 percent) will seek 1080p resolution and more than one third (35 percent) prefer it to have "smart" capabilities (45 percent under age 50). Only 6 percent said they will be buying a 4K TV (surprisingly 10 percent for those with an annual income under $30k), while 14 percent are still satisfied buying a 720p TV.
• Mid-size 40-54" TV models are most popular with 45 percent (56 percent under age 30), while 31 percent will buy a new TV 55" or bigger. Only 6 percent will purchase a new TV 70" or bigger.
• Surprisingly, more than 7 percent said they will make their TV purchase via mobile device.

"The Super Bowl offers the perfect storm for shoppers to improve their game watching experience while saving money on a high quality, big-ticket item," states Brent Shelton, FatWallet spokesperson.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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7 Steps for Millennials to Define Their Financial Future

January 20, 2014 5:18 am

Like other age groups, not saving enough for retirement is the biggest vulnerability facing Millennials. However, they’re the only generation that doesn’t seem to know it, as Millennials ranked more urgent needs like managing cash flow, getting out of debt and investing as higher priorities. Here are some steps Millennials can take to strike a better balance between the needs of today and tomorrow.

1. Take control over your day-to-day finances. Millennials rank managing cash flow as their top priority. The first step is to find out where your money is going by looking at previous bank and credit card statements and categorizing them on a worksheet or a free site like Mint or Yodlee MoneyCenter that can track spending online or via smartphone apps. You can then search for ways to cut back on some of those expenses to bring your spending in line with your income and free up money that can be used to pay down debt or save for the future.

2. Know the difference between good and bad debt. Getting out of debt was their second most important priority, but not all debt is equal. Debt taken to enhance career opportunities like a student loan, to purchase a vehicle needed to commute to work, or to invest in an appreciating asset like a home tends to be low interest and can be characterized as “good debt.” Credit card debt taken to purchase the latest iPad is typically charged much higher interest rates and should be considered “bad debt.”

While auto and student loans may be frustrating, they don’t typically cost as much in interest or have as negative an impact on your credit score as credit card debt. In fact, it may make more sense to invest extra money rather than pay down these good debts since the investments can be expected to earn more than you save in interest. On the other hand, you should pay any high-interest debt off as soon as possible.

3. Protect your credit. Millennials are already the most likely age group to check their credit report on an annual basis, likely due to the impact it has on their opportunities for jobs and home ownership. You can take it one step further by signing up for free credit advice and monitoring on sites like Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. For even stronger protection, you may want to put a security freeze on each of your credit reports to prevent would-be identity thieves from opening credit in your name.

4. Run a retirement calculator. With retirement so far off, only 29 percent of Millennials have run a retirement calculator, the lowest percentage of the generations. This lack of awareness is their greatest weakness. Using an employer-provided program like Financial Engines or Schwab GuidedChoice, or a retirement calculator can be an eye-opener.

5. Start saving for retirement. Millennials are the generation most likely to not be saving for retirement at all. While their incomes may be relatively low, and many are struggling with student loan payments, Millennials should still begin building the habit of regular saving. One place to start is to make sure you’re contributing at least enough to your employer’s retirement plan to get the full match and not leave any of that free money on the table. This also forces you to save money before you even have a chance to spend it. You can then gradually increase that contribution rate over time.

6. Open a Roth IRA. One place to put additional savings is a Roth IRA, which can be used to save for both short-term goals like emergencies, going back to school, or buying a home, and long-term goals like retirement. That’s because whatever you contribute to a Roth IRA can be withdrawn tax and penalty free at any time and for any reason so the money won’t be tied up. (Earnings can also be withdrawn penalty-free for education expenses and up to $10k for a first-time home purchase.)

On the other hand, whatever isn’t withdrawn grows to be tax-free after age 59 1/2. (Any earnings withdrawn before age 59 1/2 could be subject to taxes and a 10 percent penalty.) The key is to leave the Roth IRA invested someplace safe and accessible like a savings account or money market fund until there’s enough emergency savings (at least 3-6 months of necessary expenses) accumulated somewhere else. At that point, it can be invested more aggressively for retirement.

7. Get investment help. Investing was the third highest priority for Millennials and an area where their behavior trailed the other generations, probably due to their lack of investment experience. Target date retirement funds can simplify the process but they may actually be too aggressive for many Millennials as 43 percent characterized themselves as conservative investors. See if you can get more customized guidance and advice through your employer or use online tools like FutureAdvisor and Jemstep for free investment recommendations (there are fees if you want to have them manage the money for you).

Source: Financial Finesse

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Sticking with Your Financial Resolutions

January 17, 2014 5:15 am

(Family Features) With the new year underway, there is a heavy focus around resolutions. Whether you are making a resolution to celebrate a fresh start or looking to make a change no matter the time of year, maintaining resolutions can be difficult. In fact, a recent survey from Bank of America found that 49 percent of respondents don’t make New Year’s resolutions because they prefer to set goals throughout the year.

Goals tied to the new year, and those set at various points in the year, are all aimed at making significant life changes. According to the survey, 81 percent of resolutions involve health and fitness, 45 percent involve personal finances and 30 percent are targeted toward making changes in social life and relationships. With the large number of people planning to make changes in their finances, it is helpful to determine how to best ensure you achieve your goal.

Research shows that consumers who understand their behaviors and motivations are more likely to build and keep positive habits for the long term. That’s why it’s so important to have strategies to keep those financial resolutions throughout the year. A few pointers to stick with your financial resolutions include:

Prepare before your resolution begins
Putting thought into your resolutions before you spring into action can put you on the path to change. Starting early with a few small changes can also improve your odds of staying the course to achieve your goals.

Develop an action plan
It’s fine to make a resolution, but the odds of sticking with it improve dramatically if you create an action plan of smaller steps to support your goals. Creating a budget? Start by tracking your spending to see where the money is going. Then create a budget that’s tight but workable, to give you more flexibility to pay down debt, increase savings or invest for retirement. If you have to carry a balance, but want to responsibly manage your credit card, consider a card that helps build positive habits.

Write it down
Forty percent of survey respondents say they use written reminders to help stay on track with their resolutions. Try writing your resolutions on Post-it notes, in Evernote, in calendar reminders or on notes stuck to the refrigerator — whatever you’ll look at regularly — to keep yourself committed and on track.

Get a little help from your friends
Sometimes a gentle reminder from a family member or friend can work wonders. Share your resolutions with a trusted person and ask for occasional reminders.

Partner up
Find a friend or loved one with the same resolution and agree to motivate and support one another to stick to your goals. It’s easier to manage a diet, exercise plan or budget if you have support. Twenty percent of respondents plan to partner up to keep to their resolutions.

Start your New Year’s resolutions thinking today, and keep the big goals in mind every day, whether they aim for better health, sounder finances or better relationships. With the right attitude and commitment, 2014 could be a very good year.

Source: Bank of America

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Eat Clean, Eat Simple

January 16, 2014 5:15 am

Potassium Sorbate? Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate? Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate? Good Food Made Simple – a brand committed to using clean, simple ingredients – believes that if you can't pronounce an ingredient, or don't know what it means, you should be highly skeptical of eating it. That's why the company is launching "Eat Clean, Eat Simple," a national campaign that helps people take control of what they put in their bodies by educating and inspiring them to read and understand ingredient labels – not just glance at the Nutrition Facts.

A recent survey reveals that despite warnings about harmful ingredients found in packaged foods, Americans still purchase and consume foods that contain ingredients directly linked to long-term health problems. According to the survey, only 35 percent of Americans always read ingredient lists before purchasing packaged food. Of those people, only half of them do so to make sure that all of the ingredients are clean – with no preservatives, no additives, no hydrogenated oils (a source of trans fat), no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners.

"Consumers are used to the convenience that comes with packaged foods, however, convenience often comes with a trade-off of less than wholesome ingredients," said George Gavris, managing partner at Good Food Made Simple, Inc. " We are launching Eat Clean, Eat Simple to inspire educated label reading, providing clarity and context along the way, so people can understand the importance of eating real, wholesome foods and how it affects your health," he said.
People don't always understand what's in their food.

• Real stat: Despite 87 percent of respondents stating that clean food products are important to them, 57 percent of these respondents report having purchased a leading macaroni and cheese product that is filled with preservatives and additives in the past two years.
• Real food for thought: Carry a cheat sheet – which can be found on www.goodfoodmadesimple.com/eatclean – in your wallet to further educate yourself on unacceptable ingredients. It's simply expected that preservatives and additives are in our food.

• Real stat: Sadly, 50 percent of respondents say they would expect to find additives and/or preservatives – such as Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Caramel Color and Vitamin A Palmitate – in instant oatmeal.
• Real food for thought: Next time you purchase this common breakfast food, look for options that only contain recognizable ingredients. People need to make time to learn what ingredients mean for their health.

• Real stat: 41 percent of people say they only sometimes read ingredient lists because they don't have time. Just over one in five say it's because they don't understand most of the ingredients.
• Real food for thought: You might be rushed and you might be tongue-tied, but that's no excuse for not understanding what you are putting in your body. Look for foods with ingredients you understand and trust. Studies have shown that even a small amount of trans fat can result in an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

• Real fact: When asked if they would buy a product with trans fats, only 11 percent of people say never and 34 percent say sometimes.
• Real food for thought: Know your fats! Even if you are making foods at home you could be adding ingredients that include trans fats. Over time, trans fats clog your arteries and can harm your health.

Source: Good Food Made Simple

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Consumer Sentiment Up as 2014 Begins

January 16, 2014 5:15 am

As the new year begins, consumers are feeling better about the economy than they have since last summer, according the latest monthly NACS Consumer Fuels Survey that examines how gas prices affect consumer sentiment.

Though most consumers still say that they are pessimistic about the economy, 43 percent of consumers say that they are optimistic about the economy, the highest level of optimism since July 2013. The rise in optimism is seen consistently across all parts the country, even in the Northeast and Midwest, where consumers were affected by record-cold temperatures during the January 7-9 polling period.

For more than a year, at least 83 percent of consumers have said that gas prices impact their feelings about the economy and that sentiment continued in the first month of the new year, with 85 percent of consumers indicating that.
However, for only the third time in the past 12 months, a rise in gas prices did not lead to a rise in pessimism, or vice versa. The increase in optimism occurred in a month of rising gas prices in which gas prices increased by roughly a nickel a gallon.

Instead, consumers are feeling very optimistic about gas prices in the near future. More than half (53 percent) of consumers say that gas prices will be the same or lower in the next 30 days, with a record-low 7 percent saying that prices will be much higher.

Also reflective of the current consumer optimism, drivers say prices would have to increase significantly before they would consider reducing the amount that they drive. On average, gas purchasers say prices would have to reach $4.04 a gallon before they would cut back driving— a 71 cent price increase beyond the current national average. This price differential is the second-largest since NACS began measuring this statistic in May 2013.

"Future prospects are outweighing current conditions in defining consumer sentiment," said NACS Vice President of Government Relations John Eichberger. "While it remains to be seen if conditions do in fact improve, consumer optimism is great news for consumers, retailers and the economy as the new year begins."

Source: National Association of Convenience Stores

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Simple Tips to Stick to Your Resolution

January 15, 2014 5:15 am

The start of a new year is often a time for reflection and a resolve to change. Whether the resolutions are big or small, most people by now are already starting down the path to a new and better version of themselves. A new WebMD survey about resolutions revealed that one in three people are making 2014 resolutions each January but almost 60 percent end up dropping them by the end of March.

While the WebMD survey results indicated that most people resolve to exercise and lose weight, others vow to commit to different healthy habits such as getting organized (39 percent), being happier (39 percent), and learning something new (37 percent) – all of which make the list for 2014 resolutions.

An overwhelming 79 percent said that the best way to get them motivated to stay on course would be by following small, achievable tips and advice that would make a measurable impact on their health. These tips, provided by Colgate, offer easy-to-follow steps to help you stay on track for a better, healthy lifestyle this year.

See Your Doctor – Many of us can fall into the habit of just going to the doctor when we aren't feeling well. Break that cycle by scheduling your annual physical and check-up and start going to the doctor when you are feeling fine.

Take a Walk – Working in front of a computer all day can lead to poor posture and eye strain. Try taking a short walk every 30 minutes to give your eyes a break and get a boost of energy.

Disconnect – Technology is everywhere. Take some time to disconnect and get away from the TV and other gadgets. Spending time away from the screen with your family or even alone may be just the break you are looking for.

Bring the Gym Home – Expensive gyms aren't the only way to get fit. Purchase a jump rope or resistant bands and look for small pockets of time throughout the day when you can get in your own personal workout without having the leave your house.

Refresh Your Mouth Health - Add oral care to your healthy checklist this year.

Source: www.ColgateTotal.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Manage Hunger with Wholesome Foods

January 15, 2014 5:15 am

(Family Features) Whether you’re following a weight loss plan or simply maintaining healthy habits, finding foods that are nutritious sources of protein and promote satiety can help curb your urge to snack throughout the day.

Wholesome soy foods can replace other foods in your diet that might be adding too much fat, sugar and cholesterol. Soy foods also provide high-quality, complete protein, shown to increase satiety, the feeling of fullness.

“Soy protein can play a major role in satiety,” said Russ Egbert, director of protein research at Archer Daniels Midland Co. “We know that diets that are high in protein are more satiating than diets that are high in carbohydrates or high in fat.”

Regardless of your lifestyle or age, protein is an essential nutrient your body needs, and compared to other common protein sources, the soybean is a giant. The soybean is upwards of 38 percent protein, says Karl Weingartner, director of the International Soybean Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Fish such as salmon contain about 18 percent protein, while a T-bone steak is about 22 percent.

In addition, a recent study published in Molecular Food & Nutrition Research found that soy fiber has “favorable effects on body weight, body mass index and fasting LDL-cholesterol levels in overweight and obese adults,” all factors that are helpful in weight loss and managing high blood pressure.

“The soy bean by its nature is a complete food. It’s very high in protein, it contains valuable oils, essential fatty acids, fiber, even the sugars in it are considered to be prebiotics,” said Peter Golbitz, director of international business development for the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group.

Simple substitutions make it easy to incorporate soy into your favorite dishes:

-Combine an avocado, a cup of extra-firm tofu and salsa for a lighter guacamole
-Substitute soy milk into garlic mashed potatoes
-Energize your child’s morning breakfast with protein-rich soy yogurt
-Fix a quick, healthy dinner with soy-based burgers in place of traditional ground beef
-Toss fresh edamame on top of your favorite salad
-Select delicious whole soy nutrition bars as snacks

Or, you can experiment with new recipes such as this protein-rich, low-carb Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip for guilt-free indulgence.

Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip
12 servings

1 pound silken tofu, crumbled
1 pound low fat cream cheese, cubed
1 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 pound marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

Beat tofu until smooth. Mix in cream cheese, mayonnaise and pepper in mixer bowl. Fold in spinach, artichokes and green onions.

Divide mixture equally into 12 (4-ounce) au gratin dishes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve with low-carb crackers or bread for an all-around low-carb snack or lunch!

Nutrition per 4-oz. serving: 62 calories, 6.6 g protein, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 1.4 g fat, 254 mg sodium

To find more recipes featuring soy protein, visit www.soyfoods.org.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Tips for Getting a Better Night's Sleep

January 15, 2014 5:15 am

Adults need on average 6 to 9 hours of sleep a night. If you wake up already feeling tired, then you probably aren't getting enough sleep. In 2007, motivated by her own struggle with insomnia, Cool-jams founder and CEO Anita Mahaffey launched her signature line to help everyone sleep easier. Seven years later, Cool-jams has a few suggestions for getting a good night's sleep based on their continued research combating insomnia.

"A good night's sleep is controlled by temperature," Mahaffey explained. "Research shows that decreasing core body temperature is essential for falling and remaining asleep."

While the ideal temperature varies from person to person, experts suggest keeping bedroom temperatures no higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Other ways to help regulate body temperature is taking a bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime, sleeping with a hot water bottle at the foot of the bed, and sleeping in comfortable, moisture-wicking sleepwear and temperature regulating bed sheets.

"Light governs sleep patterns," Mahaffey said. "Your body's wiring tells you to get up when there is light and to sleep when it is dark."

When it is dark, the body produces melatonin, a hormone that initiates sleep. This hormone not only promotes good sleep, it also impacts long-term health. When sleep is disrupted by light, it leads to lower melatonin levels, which can increase cancer risks. To reduce insomnia, avoid TV before bed, sleep in a pitch-dark room, install blackout drapes, cover up the clock radio's light, and avoid night-lights.

"What you eat plays a role in how you sleep," Mahaffey said. "Certain foods keep you awake while others promote a better night's sleep."

When consumed late in the evening, grains and sugars make it harder to sleep because they cause blood sugar to rise, which inhibits sleep. Yet, eating a high-protein snack near bedtime can aid in melatonin and serotonin production, helping promote a solid snooze. Additionally, it's wise to avoid alcohol.

"Even though alcohol causes drowsiness, it prevents you from falling into the deeper stages of sleep," Mahaffey explained.

Source: Cool-jams

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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'Soft Modern' Trends To Drive Home Design in 2014

January 14, 2014 5:12 am

Cool, soft colors, open spaces with natural lighting and modern, angular details are the top home design trends of 2014, according to newly released information by Pulte Homes.

"Many of the prevailing trends from 2013 will be seen in 2014, but with a softer and more modern edge," said Janice Jones, vice president of merchandising for PulteGroup, Inc.  "We'll still see soothing colors, bold accent pieces and open layouts, but 2014 is about mixing and matching a warm, comfortable environment with modern finishes and angular details."

Jones, along with her 20-person design team, uses direct merchandising experience and expertise to implement the latest trends when designing interiors for nearly one million square feet of model homes on an annual basis.  Gleaned through experience in space planning, as well as consumer focus groups and surveys, Pulte Homes has identified the following home design trends for 2014:

Open layouts and natural light: The company's consumer research also reinforces that buyers continue to prefer open layouts. The kitchen continues to serve as the home's "hub" while the rest of the home freely flows off the kitchen. There's also a growing trend toward large windows and the use of natural light. Traditional, hanging, decorative light fixtures are being replaced with simple can lighting and under counter lighting and spotlights, which offer more flexibility for furniture placement and room design.

Shades of grey: Color continues to be a driving force in shaping the mood of a home. While blues are shifting to lighter, brighter hues to create relaxation and serenity, it's really grey that's providing the broadest spectrum of opportunity. Grey tones continue to have a multi-dimensional affect as they range from cool shades to warmer, heather tones. Paint and highly textured woven wall coverings in light grey, illuminated with blue tones, are a growing trend.  These shades create a calming effect on the senses and are complimentary with the increased use of purples and plums. Grey cabinets, wood flooring, and hard surfaces continue to grow in popularity, too.

Mix and match: Mixing reclaimed furniture and natural wood tones with high-gloss, bright white accent pieces offer a rustic, yet contemporary look and feel. The introduction of natural textiles, such as linens and cottons, keeps with the trend while creating a fresh, organic look to the room.

"The contrast of whites mixed with rustic wood furniture creates an aesthetically pleasing affect," commented Jones. "An easy way to accomplish this is to pair a modern white sofa or slipcover with accent tables made from reclaimed barn wood, box cars or even driftwood."

Squaring off the details: Muted colors, wood furniture and organic textiles create a soft, vintage appeal, but Pulte Homes is also seeing a trend toward strong, angular details to add a modern flair. For example, countertop edges are now squared off and simple, while angular trims are replacing ornate crown moldings. Rectangular flooring and wall tiles of varying sizes are becoming more popular. Fireplaces, too, need to fit in with the modern surroundings. They're becoming more linear and less ornate to match the growing trend toward angularity.

Source: Pulte Group

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Top 10 Home Staging Tips

January 13, 2014 5:12 am

With all the competition in today’s marketplace, professionally staging your home has never been more important. Here are some top tips from Sure Fit on how to beat your competition and allure the attention of buyers.

1. Consider curb appeal
You may not have the funds for a professional landscaper, but homeowners should make sure lawns are freshly mowed, leaves raked, and paths cleared. Scrub the front door, porch, railings and steps, pick up a new mailbox and welcome mat, and add a fresh coat of paint where needed. Add seasonal potted plants and a bench to the entryway to welcome visitors into a clean, fresh and relaxing space.

2. Forgo Family Photos
You may consider it the crown jewel of the living room, but future buyers will see outdated family photos as years of wear and tear. Clear the room of family portraits and other items that say "you don't live here" to potential buyers.

3. What Once Was Old, Should Be Newly Slip-covered
No need to splurge on new furniture and home assets when your budget is already tightened up, especially in the midst of a move. Cover up outdated, worn and loud furniture with neutral colors. Even coordinating your curtains and dining room sets can make your home décor look like new.

4. Rearrange Refresh
Arrange the room in a conversational way. You may have preferred for every piece of furniture to face the television, but potential buyers will appreciate more of an open room vignette.

5. Kitchen Clean-Up
Kitchens play a big part in home resale value, so make sure buyers are impressed. Spend extra time scrubbing, cleaning and de-cluttering, and make sure counters are clear of appliances. Re-stain shabby cabinets, replace any mismatched hardware, add fresh cut flowers, turn on lights and open curtains for a clean, bright and attractive gathering space.

6. Let in Some Air
Keep stuffiness and odors at bay by opening windows for at least 10 minutes prior to showing. Go easy on the air freshener, but bring in fresh cut flowers for a natural look and smell.

7. What’s Behind Door #3?
While shoving everything into a closet has been your go-to cleanup plan since your teen years, potential buyers will undoubtedly look behind every door in your home. Keep bedroom, linen closets and storage spaces neat and tidy to avoid any embarrassing surprises.

8. Scrub Until it Sparkles
Clean bathrooms until they look like the model sets at Home Depot. Signs of use, like soap scum and toothpaste stuck to the sink, will turn buyers off. Replace any outdated fixtures with sleek and modern ones, and add fresh cut flowers to help with aroma and appearance.

9. Sleep Tight
Keep bedrooms neutral, comfortable and spacious. Buyers want to picture themselves relaxing here, so use soft colors, light scents and earth tones to “set the mood.” Make bedrooms appear larger by limiting items in the room to a bed, dresser and small seating area for the Master Bedroom. Update any outdated bedding and use a lavender oil diffuser to keep relaxation a priority here.

10. Better Backyard
Outdoor living spaces have become exponentially more important to potential buyers. Treat your back deck or patio like any other room in your home. Scrub down patios, touch up worn fences and banisters, and make sure your yard is free of clutter. A few decorating touches can make your space much more than just a “backyard.” Cover a worn picnic table with a bright tablecloth and replace worn chair cushions with new ones.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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