Readying a Home for Resale

By Kate Riley June 6, 2018

This week my family is once again in Las Vegas, enjoying some sun and fun but there was also work to be done on the investment properties. The flip house was just listed for sale and I’m happy to announce it had multiple offers right away. It’s a strong seller’s market, and the home has been beautifully remodeled, but I believe the rapid multiple offers on the flip house are due to a few of the steps I took to get the house ready for resale.

I will also be selling the second investment home purchased four years ago, but that house won’t be on the market until the end of the summer. Today I’m partnering with Arm & Hammer cleaning products to share smart ways get your home ready for resale should you be in the same position.

Stage & Declutter

A staged house shows so much better than an empty one, so at the flip house I brought furniture into the living spaces, creating conversation and dining areas. If you’re selling your primary residence, it’s easiest to use your own furniture to stage your house, but it’s so important to remove any personal items and completely declutter the home so potential buyers can visualize themselves living there.


When my younger brother bought his house, staging was one of the things that that home more attractive to him as a buyer. That home when purchased needed some work but he saw the potential and eventually remodeled the kitchen. He credits the fact that the home was cleverly staged and completely decluttered as the reason he could see his family living there.

Upgrade Fixtures & Fans

When my older brother sold his central California home last year, I advised him to replace the 20 year old light fixtures and swap them out for more contemporary versions. He followed my advice and that went a long way toward his quick resale.

Fresher looking chandeliers, sconces, and fans are a worthy investment for resale, they greatly improve the look and feel of any home. For the flip house in Vegas, I did the same, I replaced the old chandeliers and ceiling fans with fixtures with more modern appeal.




Clean Surfaces & Eliminate Odors

Clearing surfaces is an easy task, declutter by removing anything unnecessary from countertops and then make sure those countertops and surfaces are clean! The same is true for functional furniture, clear off coffee tables, end tables, shelves and bookcases and leave only a few decorative objects, the same as you’d see in a model home.

A huge turnoff to a new buyer is any bad odor. First impressions matter, and fresh smelling homes will sell a lot faster! Deep clean carpets for stain removal then give them a fresh smell with a product with a pleasant fragrance from a trusted brand like Arm & Hammer.


Arm & Hammer’s line of cleaning products including their odor eliminating vacuum bags filters have been tested to retain particles 15 times smaller than the diameter of human hair, so pet dander, dust mite debris, and other particles can all be removed from carpets and floors. Their odor eliminating dry carpet cleaner is easy to sprinkle on and vacuum up for a clean fresh smelling home.

Technology has brought us a long way in home cleaning and care. Arm & Hammer’s Premium Allergen vacuum bags are specially designed to help capture even more allergens, dust and pet hair than ever before. For optimal results, replace vacuum filters every 3-6 months and vacuum bags every 1-2 months.


Fresh Neutral Paint

Do you remember when I installed the green link wallpaper in this bathroom space a few years ago? As much as I loved that wallpaper, I thought it best to remove it for resale and paint the bathroom a pale blue hue so it would have more market appeal.  Any space with saturated or bold colors can also be a turnoff to buyers, so I recommend if listing the home, give the walls a coat of fresh and neutral paint.



Clean Up Landscaping

Yards look best spring through fall when plants are in bloom which is why realtors recommend selling in spring and summer. Nice landscaping makes for better curb appeal, one thing all buyers love when they first pull up to a potential future home.


Fresh Flowers & Plants

When photographing a property for sale and showing it to buyers, it’s nice to have fresh flowers and plants scattered throughout community spaces, like kitchens and bathrooms. Organic materials (think lemons in a bowl in the kitchen) make a space feel so much fresher.


Even if you’re not selling your home, keep in mind Arm & Hammer’s dry cleaning products to keep your home smelling fresh and to remove odors and stains from carpet. Visit the new Arm & Hammer website to learn more about their products. :)

It’s been fun traveling back and forth remodeling these two investment properties in Las Vegas for the last few years, but I’m ready for a new adventure! I’ve mentioned before I’m looking to buy a lake house cabin or cottage next, I’ll keep you posted if and when I get my hands on another fixer upper.

*tips for readying a home for resale brought to you in partnership with Arm & Hammer cleaning products. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog! All tips, photographs, and opinions are mine. :)

How to Hide an Ugly Floor + Laundry Room Refresh

By Kate Riley June 4, 2018

For ages I’ve hated the ugly linoleum floor in my laundry room. I covered it up with a rug for a long time but that solution was slippery so I was living with an ugly floor I hated.

Call me cheap and lazy, but I didn’t want to go through the effort of replacing the flooring in this space since I’d have to move the washing machine and dryer out. Someday I’d like to redo the flooring but for now, I just hid my ugly floor with peel and stick vinyl tiles.

I rounded up a bunch of good looking peel & stick flooring a few months ago and I thought it time I give it a go with a trial project myself. My laundry room was the perfect candidate.


I’ll show you how easy it was to install, but first a quick tour of the laundry room refresh. Eight years ago I painted the cabinets white, and the paint job has held up perfectly so no need to make any changes there. I did update the old nickel knobs with the honey bronze Kingsbridge pulls I used in this kitchen renovation.



I also replaced the old painted (and much less sturdy) shelf that used to live in here with a thicker wood one and supported it with really strong yet inexpensive black L brackets I found online.


To make the shelf I bought a ½” sheet of plywood (the more expensive kind with a smooth finish) and had it cut at Lowe’s to the length and width of the wall. I coated the top with clear Polyurethane and covered the edge with a piece of lattice trim, also from Lowe’s.


Instead of staining it, I kept the shelf’s finish a natural hue to play off paler tones in the the bamboo window shade.


I love the new light fixture’s unique shape and its brass and black finish. I linked to this fixture and other similar black pendant lighting earlier this year.



My DIY drying rack that I built nine years ago is so functional and such a great asset to this space. I changed the old sea green base with black spray paint to coordinate with the new black & white palette. That drying rack is still one of my favorite DIY projects. :)



The space looks and feels a lot fresher, much of it due to the new peel & stick flooring.


Installing it was incredibly easy, all you need is an even and super clean floor. The peel & stick tiles are thin, like a decal, so they will show any debris underneath. Be sure to start with clean floors!

Next gather your tiles, figure out the pattern, and decide where you’ll begin. I figured out how I wanted the pattern to look then started at the doorway, working row by row.



What I really like about this solution is how forgiving the adhesive is. You can pick up each tile are reapply it a few times to make sure the pattern is straight and it will still retain a good stick when you get it right.


Cut the tiles or notch them wherever necessary with simple household scissors.


It’s hard to believe but this larger floor pattern is made of just two different printed tiles rotated 180 degrees as you install them. I thought at first it was four different prints but it’s only two!



The whole project took about two hours, not bad!

Can you see the seams between the vinyl tiles? Yes up close you can, but not so much in these pictures. They don’t bother me though since it’s a huge improvement on what lies beneath.



How do they feel? Like you’re walking one great big thick vinyl sticker (because you are).


It’s not a permanent solution, just one I hope lasts a year or two. I love the black and white geometric pattern, don’t you? This Linear Pattern is from Bleucoin on Etsy, I chose the 8×8″ size in the matte finish. Find dozens more patterns in their shop!


I have no idea how well it will hold up over time, but I’ll report back in a few months with an update on how the floor is doing!