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Ashley Hibberts

Sales Associate

My Blog

Winter Landscape Checklist

1/31/2015

If you are a list maker like us, you will appreciate this winter landscape checklist. I must admit... We did not create it, but I do plan to use it. Our homeowner's association provided it, and I thought it would be helpful to share. 

 

JANUARY

1.    Dormant spray deciduous trees and shrubs with anti-desicant.
2.    Prune trees and shrubs that have become too large or out-of-shape.
3.    Inspect plants, shrubs and trees and remove any damaged or dead wood.
4.    Inspect planting areas and remove any debris or litter.
5.    Check staking and weather protection of first year plants.
6.    Leaf and litter removal on all lawn areas and hard surface areas done weekly.
7.    Mulch bed areas as needed to replenish mulch levels.
8.    Spray appropriate herbicides on winter weeds around January 15th.
9.    Take soil samples.  Send to lab for testing and report.  Test for N,P,K, and pH.
10.  Transplant any trees and shrubs.  Conduct during last week of month.
11.  Replace damaged or dead trees and shrubs.
12.  Check color beds, remove spent blooms.
13.  Fertilize annual color plantings every two weeks.
14.  Check drainage of planted areas, correct if excessive water persists.
15.  Protect plants susceptible to winter damage where possible during extreme cold periods.
16.  Mow lawn areas every ten days if overseeded with winter grass.

FEBRUARY

1.    Prune trees and shrubs that have become too large or out-of-shape.
2.    Inspect plants, trees, and shrubs and remove any damaged or dead wood.
3.    Inspect planted areas and remove any debris or litter.
4.    Check staking and weather protection of first year plants.
5.    Leaf and litter removal on all lawn areas and hard surface areas weekly.
6.    Mulch bed areas as needed to replenish mulch levels.
7.    Apply pre-emerge herbicides to lawn areas to prevent crabgrass (Balan).
8.    Apply pre-emerge herbicides to lawn areas to prevent weeds (Treflan).
9.    Replace damaged or dead trees or shrubs.
10.  Check moisture level in all planted areas and water if necessary (weekly).
11.  Protect plants susceptible to cold damage during excessive cold periods if possible.
12.  Mow lawn area every ten days if overseeded with winter grasses.
13.  Remove any tree wrap or staking on established plantings.
14.  Spot spray any existing weeds with appropriate herbicide.
15.  Establish edge on all bed areas.
16.  Order summer annuals.
17.  Check color beds, remove spent blooms.
18.  Fertilize annual color plantings.
19.  Cut back liriope and mondo to allow new growth to come out and remove winter damage.

MARCH

1.    Prepare any planters or beds for spring annuals.
2.    Thatch and/or verticut all lawn areas as required.
3.    Mow and trim all lawn areas if required.
4.    Inspect plants, trees, and shrubs and remove any damaged or dead wood.
5.    Litter removal on all lawn areas and hard surface areas.
6.    Check moisture level in all planted areas and water if necessary (weekly).
7.    Reseed where necessary.
8.    Prune shrubs where necessary to maintain shape and form (do not shear).
9.    Check color beds, remove spent blooms.
10   Fertilize annual color plantings.
11.  Apply preventative insecticide/fungicide spray to all plantings.

7 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Realtor

1/29/2015

Are you looking for a new home or do you know someone who is? Great! This is an exciting time in your life, one where the possibilities are endless and dreams really do come true. But without a strong real estate agent to guide you through the process, it can be more like a nightmare. 

Before signing documentation to work with an agent, be sure to ask them the following questions, even if they are your neighbor's cousin or your brother-in-law's friend:

 

1. Do you work as a real estate agent as your full-time profession?

It is essential for agents to be available to work for you during the work day. If they have a "real job" and cannot answer calls or open the house until after they finish another job, you will lose sales. Plain and simple. The first step in finding the agent who will best represent you is to choose a full-time agent.

 

2. What aspects of my transaction will you delegate to others and which will be handled directly by you?

Next, understand the nature of their team, or lack thereof. Is the agent listed merely a figurehead or sales lead who will vanish when it's time to do the real work? Will your account be handed off to assistants and office managers? On the other hand, is your agent working alone with no backup? Steve and I have found the team concept to work perfectly because we have the ability to work together while still being your main point of contact for the entire transaction. 

 

3. What price do you recommend for my house and why?

Undoubtedly, you have a price in mind for your home. So does your potential agent. Your agent should research your home and give you a realistic idea of what the house can sell for. However, you will be working together to determine this price, so make sure you and your agent are clear about the goals.

 

4. What is your marketing plan for my house?

Will this agent list your home on various online communities? Do they publish it in local magazines? Are they active on social media? Can they recommend what you should do on social media? Will they host an open house? How will they publicize those events? 

 

5. If I list my house with you, what are the terms of our agreement?

It is often shocking when I see smart people enter into a relationship with their real estate agent without fully understanding the ramifications of the deal they are making. Ask questions. Probe a little. How long are you bound to this agent? What if he or she does not live up to the promises they have made? What clauses in the contract protect you if the relationship is not working out?

 

6. How often will you communicate with me? How can I get in touch with you if I have a question?

A real estate agent is the only profession who is on-call more than a surgeon. Simply put, your agent should be extremely available to you. They should provide you with e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers. If an agent is not accessible, you will be frustrated.

 

7. Why should I hire you over other agents?

Give a potential agent the opportunity to tell you what sets them apart from their competition. If they cannot, find someone who can!

 

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