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Many homeowners take pride in their lawns, but the hot summer months can be tough on grass. The key to keeping your lawn healthy during the summer is to provide it with the right amount of water, fertilizer, and mowing. By following these simple tips, you can keep your lawn looking its best all summer long.


Mow Height


A common mistake that people make when mowing their lawn is to cut the grass too short. While it may be tempting to create a putting green-like surface, this can actually damage your grass and make it more susceptible to disease and pests. Instead, you should adjust your mower height to leave the grass about two to three inches tall. This will encourage deeper roots, which will, in turn, make your grass more resilient. In addition, longer grass blades will help shade the ground and prevent weeds from taking root. As a result, adjusting your mower height is an important step in keeping your lawn healthy and looking its best.


Watering Your Lawn


During the hot summer months, your lawn will need more water than usual to stay green and healthy. The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning hours before the sun gets too high in the sky. This will allow the water to penetrate deep into the ground and reach the roots of the grass, where it can do the most good. You should water your lawn deeply and thoroughly, but you don’t want to flood it. A good rule of thumb is to provide your lawn with 1-1.5 inches of water per week.


Pest-Free Yard


A pest-free yard is the key to a healthy and happy lawn. There are many things you can do to keep your yard free from pests, including watching out for grubs. Grubs will munch their way through grassroots, which results in dead patches. To keep this from happening, you’ll first need to identify the type of pests that are in your area. This will help you determine the best course of action to take. Second, you need to keep your yard clean and free of debris. This will reduce the chances of pests taking up residence in your yard. Finally, you need to be vigilant about watching for signs of pests and grubs so you can quickly take action to prevent them from becoming a problem. 


Clean Up After Your Dog


Dead spots in the lawn are not only unsightly, but they can also be difficult to repair. One of the most common causes of dead spots is dog urine. The high concentration of nitrogen in dog urine can burn the grass, causing it to turn yellow or brown. In addition, dog urine can also encourage the growth of weeds. The best way to prevent dead spots caused by dog urine is to create a bathroom area for your pet. This can be done by fencing off a section of the yard and providing some gravel or mulch for your dog to use as a bathroom. If that’s not an option, flush the area with water to dilute the urine. Be sure to also pick up and dispose of waste properly.


Fertilizing Your Yard


Fertilizing your yard during the summer months is a great way to maintain a healthy and green lawn. Fertilizer helps the grass grow thicker and fuller, which helps prevent weeds from taking over. It also provides essential nutrients that help to keep the grass green and the roots strong. However, it is important to choose the right fertilizer for your lawn. For example, if you have a lot of trees, you will need to use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen. If you have a lot of clay in your soil, you will need to use a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus. If you’re unsure which fertilizer is right for you, check with your local hardware store.


Enjoy a Healthy Green Yard


A beautiful green lawn is the perfect finishing touch to any home, and with a little care and attention, it’s easy to achieve. By following the tips above, you can enjoy a healthy green yard all summer long. With a little effort, you can have the envy of the neighborhood in no time.

- Matt Willis, Realtor®?


Items to Leave When Moving Out


Most people assume that they have to pack up and take everything with them when they sell their home, but that’s not always the case! There are some things that must stay with the property. Removing these items could cause issues with the buyer and land you in a legal battle. 

It can be to know what stays and what goes when you’re selling your house; by knowing ahead of time what stays and what goes, you can be better prepared.

Here are a few key items that stay with the house after it’s sold.

Items that Must Stay after Closing

Light Fixtures:

Light fixtures are often one of the first things that buyers notice when they walk into a home. They can also be one of the most expensive items to replace. For these reasons, light fixtures typically stay with the house.

Window Treatments: 

Like light fixtures, window treatments can be costly to replace and are often one of the first things that buyers notice. Window treatments usually stay with the property, but be sure to check with your real estate agent to see if there are any exceptions. 


Appliances are another big-ticket item that can be costly to replace, but they could also be considered personal property. Generally, appliances that are built into the kitchen in any way or customized for the home stay with the house, but stand-alone appliances are typically considered personal property. 


These items are all considered to be part of the house and must stay with it after it’s sold. They are not only expensive to replace but can also be difficult to remove without damaging the property. 

Alarm Systems:

Alarm systems are often a key selling point for a home. They can be expensive to install and even more expensive to replace. For this reason, alarm systems usually stay with the property when it’s sold.


Like light fixtures, mirrors are often one of the first things that buyers notice. They can also be difficult to remove without damaging the property. For these reasons, mirrors typically stay with the house. 

Home Features and Structural Parts:

 Those hardwood floors that you spent thousands on or the custom bathtub you had installed stay with the property. Any features or structural parts of the house that are connected to the home must stay.

Outside Features:

Outdoor landscaping such as plants, shrubs, and trees that are planted in the ground must remain with the property. Any in-ground sprinkler systems or outdoor lighting also stay with the house. Items such as patio furniture, lawn chairs, tables, portable fire pits, swings, and grills are considered the seller’s personal property. Swing sets can be conveyed, but it’s not guaranteed, so the buyer should be upfront if they want it to stay.

What if I Want to Keep Some of These Items?

The best course of action would be to replace the items before putting the home on the market. For example, if you have a chandelier that’s a family heirloom, you could replace it with a more modern light fixture. This way, you can take your time finding the perfect replacement and avoid any legal issues down the road.

The Bottom Line:

While there are some things that must stay with a property when it’s sold, most everything else is fair game. Be sure to consult your real estate agent to get a better understanding of what stays and what goes in your specific situation. By knowing what stays ahead of time, you can avoid any potential issues down the road.

The Normal vs the "Right Now": Inspections/Appraisals & Closings


Home Inspections & Appraisals. 

  • The Norm: The typical inspection lasts for about 1-2 hours depending on the square footage of the home with a termite inspection only taking about 45 minutes depending on if there is a crawlspace.I tend to tell my buyers who wish to and are able to be at the inspection to arrive about an hour after they begin so that when the inspector is finished they can discuss anything that they found that concern to them. Most of the times when the home is vacant I will bring my own lawn chair and just hang out in the front room and when the clients get there we usually walk around, look at the home again, and discuss plans for each room. When the inspection is complete we are usually staying in the kitchen for a living room huddled around an iPad to look over everything.
  • The “Right Now”: I arrive and go through the procedure of turning on all the lights just like I did when I showed the property. Most real Estate brokerages here in town are requesting that no more than two people plus the agent are inside the home at one time. A lot of home inspectors tend to have an assistant so, when you add them to the termite inspector, you’ve hit your new home limit. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a couple inspections so I have just been staying in my car and catching up on work with my iPad or laptop and also requesting that my buyers do the same when they arrive. When the inspection is completed, the inspector will still discuss things that they found with the homebuyer however it is in that 6 x 6 x 6 triangle formation I mentioned earlier.


  • The Norm: Closings are always such a fun time for everyone involved in the process. The buyers are finally getting their new home, the sellers are most likely getting one too, and the agents get to be with their clients on a huge day in their lives. My favorite part of the day is getting to hang out with everyone and just talk. While the other agent is back with their clients I’m getting to sit in the lobby and talk to mine in a new setting where we aren’t looking to the perfect house and focusing on the home search. This is when we get to have more personal talk, we learn more about each other’s lives but, my favorite part is when everyone has signed all they need to sign and both the buyer, seller and both agents are talking together. The sellers tell stories and memories about the home they just sold and the buyers tell about what drew them to the house that they now call home. When all the background work is done, we pass out the keys and take pictures. The home is now theirs to make their own memories. 
  • The “Right Now”: Closings now are not the social event that we are all used to. When we arrive, my buyer remains in their car as I go to the door and let them know that we have arrived for the closing and return to my car. We wait until the closing officer comes out and lets me know they are ready, I then text my client and meet them at the door. If my clients request,  I will still accompany while still observing the social distancing and being mindful of where we sit at the table as the closing officer gives everyone a new pen. When they’ve signed all of the paperwork, we still take our pictures, being sure to wipe down the fun signs with bleach wipes afterwards and then….. back to our cars! We wait, the sellers come out to their cars, we wait….. and then, we see the closer, coming towards us with their stack of papers to pass out. It’s done! The homes is theirs. We don’t shake hands but, we still congratulate and thank them while handing over the keys to their new homes.


Yes, things are different right now but life must go one even with the changes. It may feel a little weird not getting to shake hands, huddle around to discuss things or pat each other on the back. But, homes are still selling, people are still relocating, and lives are still moving forward. As your Realtor, I am here for you throughout the process and after, no matter what “normal” we are going through.


The Normal vs The "Right Now": Showings & Offers


A lot of people ask me how everything going on in the world right now with COVID-19 has impacted me & my real estate business. While others will see the effects of this differently, I haven't seen much of a downward turn of people looking to buy or sell their home. The one thing that has truly been affected the most is HOW I do my work so, I thought I would lay out the differences of each step of the home buying process as they are normally & how COVID-19 has changed out "Right Now" normal. 

Showing Homes:

  • The Norm: The process of showing someone a home is usually pretty straight forward. If this is the first time meeting we typically shake hands, introduce ourselves & walk through the home observing all of the features together, room by room.
  • The "Right Now"l:  I try to always be at the home a few minutes before my clients getting there so that I can get the home opened up so that they aren't waiting on me. With gloves, mask & disinfectant spray in tow. As I walk through the home, I use the can to flip on all of the lights (trying to miss the garbage disposal so that it doesn't yell at me) & open all of the doors. When my clients arrive, I hang out in the front room, allowing them to walk the home by themselves as to observe social distancings & to be mindful of anything they touch so that ti can disinfect it fo the next showing. When they have completed their walkthrough, we stand in the now normal 6'x6'x6' triangle formation either in the living room or front yard as we discuss the pros & cons. As we wrap up, I walk back through the home, turning off all of the lights & spraying each light switch, just in case, as well as anything they let me know they may have touched or opened.

Making & Signing an offer:

  • The Norm: Very rarely do I ever have to meet with clients to sign the paperwork as most things can be securely & electronically signed through Authentisign on a phone, tablet or computer as I walk them through each section over the phone. If they are pen & paper people, then we do it pen & paper. We meet at my office, sit just across from each other at my desk, use pens directly from my cup that other people may have used prior & talked through each section of the offer. We shake hands, grab a drink from our coffee bar on the way out as they begin eagerly awaiting my call.
  • The "Right Now": I go to my "home office" (I put that in quotation marks as it is used as a very loose term seeing that I simply have a desk set up very awkwardly in my front room) get everything typed up & sent electronically & then talk them through each section of the offer. But, what if they are pen & paper people or cant' access their email through their phones? To the office we go, but not as simply & carefree as usual. I still go to my house (as my computer is no longer at my temporarily closed office), type up the offer & print everything out. I arrive at the office 10-15 minutes early so that I can set up & make this as easy of a process as I can. I make sure everywhere they will need to sign is highlighted & color-coded so that we don't have to take too long as a precaution to each other & then I set up shop in the conference room (our conference table is right at the 6 feet mark compared to my 2 1/2 foot wide desk). I offer up the hand sanitizer that is stationed by the front door, grab them a drink if they want with my own freshly sanitized hands & then show them to the conference room. We each sign with brand new, straight out of the box, Matt Willis RE/MAX Kinect Realty pens which are now their souvenirs. When we finish up, I wipe down all surfaces touched with bleach wipes.

On the next blog, I will discuss Home Inspections & Appraisals as well as Closings. 

If you have any questions or are ready to buy or sell your home, fill out the contact form and I will reach out to you immediately. 

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