Sherry Bourque - RE/MAX Main Street Associates



Posted by Sherry Bourque on 9/13/2020

When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 8/2/2020

One of the many challenges of putting your home on the market is keeping it clean!

That task can be even more difficult if you have kids, pets, and a busy schedule. If everyone is always rushing off to their jobs, classes, lunch dates, meetings, practices, or appointments, it's hard to keep your home in a perpetual state of cleanliness and order.

Probably the first step to keeping your house ready for real estate showings is to remind your family to clean up after themselves. While this may require more than one reminder, any amount of cooperation will help keep messes to a minimum. Implementing some sort of reward system or even a competition among siblings, can go a long way toward maintaining a semblance of order in the house. Some parents even post a calendar of assigned chores to make sure everyone does their fair share.

Professional Help May Be Needed!

Getting your home ready for real estate showings can feel like a monumental task, especially if you have a large house and a messy family! The good news is that you can hire some outside help without depleting your kids' college funds! Many households already have a house cleaning person or service that comes in at least a couple times a month to keep things looking civilized. If your house is actively being shown to prospective buyers, however, you might want to consider having your housekeeper clean the house a little more frequently than usual. That way, you only have to do some minor tidying up when your real estate agent notifies you about a scheduled house showing in a few hours or tomorrow morning.

If any of your rooms are carpeted and the floors haven't been professionally steam-cleaned for as long as you can remember, it may be time to hire a carpet cleaning service. Carpeted floors have an unfortunate tendancy of locking in stains, allergens, and ground-in dirt for months, if not years! Although you can often improve the appearance of your carpets by cleaning them yourself, it often requires the services of a professional carpet cleaning service to really get those stubborn stains out. You can often get recommendations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or coworkers, and can look for online reviews of carpet cleaners on social media websites.

Once you've cleaned, dusted, and sanitized the inside of your house, there may be one more area to tackle before you're ready to have your house shown: its exterior! Your home's siding may be covered with filmy layers of dust, grime, splatters, and environmental pollutants -- a condition which thankfully can be reversed by using the services of a local power-washing company. While not all power-washing services are created equal, a reliable one can remove years of accumulated filmy deposits from pollen, birds, spider webs, acid rain, snow blower splatters, rust, smoky emissions from backyard barbeques, vehicle exhaust emissions, and other miscellaneous air pollution.

So even though the environment, your family, and the wear and tear of normal, everyday use will take its toll on the appearance of your home, there are many things you can do to reverse that process and restore many aspects of your home's original freshness, charm, and appeal!





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 4/26/2020

There's no question about it: Being a homeowner can be a very satisfying and rewarding experience! However, enjoying that added privacy, control over your environment, and pride of ownership does not come without a price.

When you go from being a renter to an owner, a lot of things change! In additional to being responsible for property maintenance, repairs, and improvements, home ownership requires an investment of time. For many people, devoting a block of time to painting a room, organizing a closet, or cleaning out the basement can be the trickiest part of getting a project done!

One of the biggest obstacles to starting a home project is the natural human tendency to procrastinate -- especially if the project infringes on your relaxation or recreation time! On the other hand, the satisfaction you'll experience when the job is done will more than justify the time and effort. The overriding question is: "How can I motivate myself to tackle the project and get it done?" While there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to self-motivation, here are a few ideas which might help!

Create a To-Do List: Writing down a list of priorities and revising it several times a week is a tried-and-proven method of getting things done around the house. Writing down your short-term (and long-term) goals engages your attention, serves as a visual reminder, and sets an intention for taking action. When you create a to-do list and look at it a couple times a day, it helps to focus your mind on what you want to accomplish. By organizing your thoughts, it makes it much easier to organize your home and your life. It's definitely not a panacea for all of life's ills, but it can be a darn good starting point!

Announce Your Intentions: Once you tell your spouse, your best friend, or your mother that you're going to clean out your garage or paint the spare room on Saturday, it makes it a little harder to wiggle out of it -- especially, if you've used that project as a reason for declining an invitation or postponing a favor. By stating your intention, it's almost like you're promising to do something. Since most of us are inclined to live up to our promises, announcing your intentions to complete -- or at least start -- a home-improvement or organizing project may be all it takes to get the ball rolling!

Buy or Gather the Supplies: Whether you need supplies for cleaning, painting, or screen repair, having them on hand will make it much easier to get started. On the other hand, not having them in the house makes it all-too-convenient to say, "I'll get to it tomorrow!" And as you may know, "tomorrow" either never comes or it turns into "next year!"





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 9/29/2019

You recently moved to a new house so, good for you! You upgraded to a larger living space. The kids each have a room, and the house has a living room and a den along with a kitchen nook and a formal dining room, office and plenty of bathrooms. You're all set to start your new life of entertaining, playing and enjoying your new home. There's just one thing, you have all this new space, and now you have to clean it. Tackling housekeeping with a large house can be daunting and exhausting if you can afford a cleaning service, excellent! Do it. If not, here are some tips to making housekeeping manageable in your new home.

Little by little. Not all at once. 

You might be tempted to set aside one day a week, or every other week for cleaning. Don't make the novice mistake of believing you can quickly knock out all rooms and get your house in tip-top shape all in one day. You might pull it off the first couple times, but it's exhausting and can easily lead to burning out and not cleaning at all, ever. You don't want that. Instead, inventory the rooms in your home and the chores you need to tackle to keep your home looking pristine. Then, create a schedule with a couple of tasks assigned to each day. Depending on your home size, you can create a weekly schedule or bi-weekly plan. In your planning don't forget to give yourself a day or two off each week that can be hassle and chore free.

Room by room, or task by task? Tackle your housekeeping in the best way that works for you. If you function better and get a better sense of satisfaction from completing an entire room, then schedule a room or two each day and stick to just that room. It might work better for you to plan a specific task and apply it to the house as a whole. Start with dusting all rooms, then sweeping all floors, then vacuuming or mopping. Have one day for laundry or do a load every other day to stay on top of the dirty clothes. Whatever your preference, find a way to split up the work over a week or two weeks to keep yourself from burn out.

Hold your family members accountable. 

Employ your family to help you maintain your home. Put each child in charge of keeping their own spaces clean. If they share a bathroom have them take turns cleaning it each week or have them clean together. Assign daily dish duty and laundry folding to stay on top of constant cleaning needs. Ask your partner for help in maintaining the home. Maybe they sweep, and you mop or they pick up the daily clutter and run loads of laundry while you tackle the cleaning projects.

Moving into your new house should be exciting and exhilarating. Don't let the task of maintaining your new home negatively impact enjoying your new life. If you're in very early stages of your home search talk with your real estate agent about your living space needs and about your lifestyle and available time to find the best house to suit your family without bogging, you down with housekeeping.





Posted by Sherry Bourque on 4/28/2019

Leather is a costly material, so buying bags, shoes, sofa or clothes in this material can set you back a few dollars. Having paid top dollar for the leather sofa or purse, you logically always want to keep the item in good shape. Sadly, leather is tough to clean. Regardless of their durability, using too much water or washing them with a washing machine can destroy the material. What do you do when you notice a stain on your leather item? Below are effective tips on how to properly clean an article with leather material.

How to Clean Leather Purses or Bags 

Leather purses and handbags are prone to stains as they are often placed on the floor and used outdoors. Some people use soap or detergent to get rid of the stains, but this is wrong - Soap or detergent remains on the leather and may result in cracking and dry patches. If you want to get rid of a stain effectively from your leather bag or purse, follow these steps;

  1. Get a mild facial soap and one part with eight parts of clean water
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
  3. Spray the mixture on a towel
  4. Use the towel wipe the grain of the leather. Do this gently until the stain removed.
  5. Leave the purse or bag to air dry inside your home. Do not expose to sunlight.
  6. When the purse or bag has dried completely, use a small amount of leather moisturizer. This helps to protect the handbag or purse. 

How to Clean Leather Furniture 

Leather furniture, such as cushions and sofa are standard in most homes, but only a few homeowners know how to clean leather furniture. Some homeowners make the mistake of using strong household cleaners on their cushions, the aftermath of such action is a worn-out cushion. To prevent such, here are some tips on how to clean leather furniture.

  1. Before cleaning, use a vacuum to remove dust and particles.
  2. Using a microfiber cloth, wipe a pea-sized amount of a mild detergent onto the furniture.
  3. Using a separate cloth, wipe the furniture gently with clean water.
  4. Continue wiping with clean water until there is no sign of soap residue on the furniture.
  5. Close blinds or curtains and allow the furniture to dry naturally. 

How to Clean dry stain from leather 

Shoes Whenever you notice a dry stain on your leather shoe, do not clean it off with water. Get an eraser and rub the stain until it disappears. Do this gently, or else you may damage the material.

Caring for your leather items requires some skill and patience. Try some of these tips today and breathe new life to your leather furniture, bags, and shoes.




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