Prestige Properties Blog

10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Staging

Think of staging as a first impression. It will set the tone for how potential buyers feel about your home—and can even inspire them to make an offer. Whether you’re staging for online listings or walkthroughs, these tips to prepare your home for staging will help you succeed.

Go with natural scents.

Many people have allergies and asthma—which can be triggered by artificial scents. If you’re staging your home for walkthroughs, rely on natural scents. From the classic smell of baking cookies to real firs, you can make your home a welcoming place.

Try some small repairs.

Sellers, an inspection is likely in your future! Prepare ahead of time by focusing on smaller or cosmetic repairs. From sealing doors, to light repainting, to filling in cracks, you can improve how your home looks.

Scrub your baseboards.

You probably don’t clean your baseboards as regularly as you mop or vacuum. So, dirt and grime may have accumulated there. Oops! It happens to us all. Make sure your home impresses, not distresses, by scrubbing your baseboards.

Use natural lighting to your advantage.

Another one of our tips to prepare your home for staging takes just a moment. By opening your blinds and drapes, you can make the home feel warm and welcoming. Don’t underestimate the power of natural light!

Remember that less is more.

What sounds more appealing to you: a wide, open room or surfaces covered in way too many personal items? The first option, for sure! Less is more. You should try to remove clutter and personal items from your home when you stage it.

Play a game of “Store or Sell.”

As you go through your home, play a little game called “Store or Sell!” If you find items or furniture that you don’t have room for, you can decide whether to give them away or put them in storage. Remember, you’ll (hopefully) be moving soon. So, you can save yourself time by selling or donating items you don’t need.

Store strategically

Speaking of storage—you should use it strategically. You can use temporary storage, like keeping items (neatly organized) in closets or attics during staging photos. Or, you can use longer-term storage, like storage lockers. Of course, that can cost a pretty penny. However, if you have a kind friend or family member, he or she may let you leave items with him or her for a period of time. Don’t be afraid to ask!

Highlight top features

Maybe you have a beautiful backyard. Or, you have all-new stainless-steel appliances. You should highlight them in photos and walkthroughs! How? For that backyard, mow, weed, and plant. For those appliances, polish them until they shine!

Only use high-quality photos.

Have you noticed how some blurry, low-res staging pictures look more like horror movie stills? We sure have! Remember, you should only use clear, high-quality photos from your home staging shoots.

Ask your Realtor for help

Your Realtor has all kinds of useful tips about staging! If you need guidance along the way, he or she will happily act as a resource for you.


That’s right—one of our tips to prepare your home for staging is contacting Prestige Properties. We can help you sell, buy, manage rentals, or rent a place yourself. So, get started here! Last but not least, for more real estate tips, advice, and resources, browse our blog.

Realtors and Continuing Education: Why Is It Important?

Real estate can be a very fast-paced field! Renewing licenses, finding out about new rules and regulations, and learning more about the market—good Realtors have a lot of ground to cover. Naturally, you want to make sure that they stay on top of it all! That’s why Realtors and continuing education should (and do) come as full set. We’ve got a few more reasons to back it up, too.

Rules and regulations

With laws and regulations consistently evolving, the way we conduct business changes over time—and in the world of real estate it’s no different. You want to guarantee that your Realtor is doing his or her due diligence when it comes to the MLS, Fair Housing laws and more. Real estate continuing education courses ensure this is the case!

Maintaining active licenses

Continuing education isn’t just the cherry on top. It’s actual a necessity! The Alabama Real Estate Commission requires that Realtors devote at least 15 hours to continuing education every two years to maintain an active license.

Home features

Some features in a house are newer than others! As an example, smart homes, complete with smart appliances, are on the rise. If you’re trying to sell a home with those additions—or you want one with them—you need a Realtor that’s savvy to the latest in home updates.

Knowing what features are trending with buyers can also be important for a Realtor on both sides of the transaction.

Client satisfaction

As Realtors, our top priority is client satisfaction. Well, we can’t give you the best service possible without knowing all there is to learn!

Not to mention, selling or buying a house may be one of the most important things you’ll ever do. We take our responsibilities seriously—and strive to make the journey as easy as possible.

Navigating the market

The market changes all the time! Your Realtor needs to stay on top of sales statistics, pricing trends and more—more evidence of the critical relationship between Realtors and continuing education.

A good feel for the financial

When it comes to Realtors and continuing education, many courses touch on the financial side of real estate. Saving buyers money, getting sellers the most out of their home sales—and generally making sure clients’ dollars are spent in the most efficient way possible are tasks aided by continuing education.


Your house may have been built in 1990—but your Realtor doesn’t have to stay stuck back then. You deserve someone who has spent the time and effort to stay up-to-date. After all, Realtors and continuing education make the perfect pair. So, don’t be afraid to ask your Realtor how he or she handles continuing education. That way, you can get the high-quality service you deserve!

Fortunately, at Prestige Properties, we understand the importance of continuing education quite well. Get to know more about us—and how we can help you—here. Finally, for more on real estate info and resources, check out our blog.

8 Fall Home Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Wow! Can you believe we’re officially two days into autumn? We don’t want to harsh your mellow, but before you dive into trick-or-treating and Thanksgiving dinner, you have a few things to get done. Once you check these fall maintenance tips for homeowners, though, you can enjoy the season with peace of mind.

Clean your gutters.

All those beautiful fall leaves have to go somewhere—and that place is usually your gutters. Make sure to safely clean them out this season!

Clear out your shed or garage.

During the fall and winter, you can officially retire your mower for the season. Before you do, though, clean and clear out your shed or garage. That way, you actually have room to store it. Not to mention, you’ll also have a spot to park your car once the temperature drops.

Get that chimney cleaned.

Folks, you may have to call in the professionals for this one! After all, it’s an important job—one that can prevent your house from burning down. Scary—but avoidable! Plus, once you sit in front of that roaring fire, you’ll be glad you took care of the task.

Inspect your roof.

You may need binoculars for this one! Once you have them in hand, inspect your roof. If you see damage, call in your roofer. And remember—you can’t neglect this task. It’s one of the most important fall maintenance tips for homeowners, so make sure you add it to your agenda.

Rake your lawn.

You don’t want to leave leaf piles just sitting there. They can actually provide a gathering place for ticks and other pests to hide—so you may want to avoid jumping inside too. Instead, rake your lawn or use a blower to remove your leaves. If you have a mower with a leaf shred mode, you can also turn those leaves into compost clippings or mulch.

Replace your furnace filter.

Before the temperatures drop, take care of business and replace your furnace filter. That way, you can have peace of mind going into the season.

Survey your home for cracks.

Windows? Walls? Doors? Your home may have hard-to-notice cracks—so you should take some time to survey for them. Otherwise, you may feel a big chill during the colder parts of autumn—and a higher utility bill too. Don’t forget to seal up any gaps or cracks!

Retire your sprinkler system.

Good-bye, sprinklers! See you in the spring. Before you hang them up, remember to drain them completely. You should also ensure that you shut off their water supply at the valve as well, along with the automatic controller. This keeps the pipes from freezing or incurring damage during chillier days.


Lookin’ good—and safe! With just a little hard work, you can truly savor all that the season has to offer. So, get started on these fall maintenance tips for homeowners ASAP.

Still searching for your home sweet home? Prestige Properties can help you find it. Contact us here today! Finally, for more on real estate and home care, check out our blog.

6 Signs That It’s Time to List Your Home for Sale

The past year-and-a-half has brought a lot of surprises. From the rise of the home office to the equally exciting rise of real estate values, we’ve all started looking at our houses differently. During that time, you may have already noticed some of these signs that it’s time to list your home for sale. Read on to determine if moving may be the right choice for you!

Working from home

This is one of the most modern signs that it’s time to list your home for sale: working from home. If you work from home, you don’t need to commute every day. That means you can do your job from anywhere in the world! Whether you want to live closer to friends or family, you want to branch out somewhere new, or you want to go somewhere with a lower cost of a living, a remote job can allow new possibilities.

Needing more—or less—room

Maybe you’ve just welcomed a bundle of joy! Or, you’ve settled into an empty nest. Perhaps you’ve invited family members to move in. Soon, you realize—your house is too big or too small. That may mean it’s time to move!

Low interest rates

When interest rates drop, you have the perfect recipe for a move. After all, they allow you to save in the long run, letting you get more for your money.

A seller’s market

Did you recently get your home appraised and receive a great number? Did your neighbors sell their home above market rate—and fast? Have you been browsing local listings and noticed an uptick in pricing? You may be in a seller’s market! And, if it pairs with low interest rates, you have the ideal combination to find a new house.

Wanting different features

You loved that economical floor plan or pool when you moved in. Suddenly, though, you’re noticing how cramped the place feels or how time-consuming the water maintenance is. If you want different features out of your home, consider finding a place you’ll love, not just tolerate.

Disliking your yard

Many of us forget about the importance of yards when buying our homes. Then, as the years pass, we end up wishing we had a bigger space for the kids to play, or more trees for privacy, or a smoother terrain for easier upkeep. This time around, though, you can search for a home with the best of both worlds!


New beginnings await! Whether you want to find a place that best suits your needs, or you’re hoping to net a tidy profit, Prestige Properties can help you. So, contact us here if you’ve nodded along to any of the signs that it’s time to list your home for sale. Finally, if you want to learn more about us or the Lee County real estate market, browse our blog.

Get to Know Prestige Properties: 7 Fun Facts

Before you trust us with finding your home sweet home, let us introduce ourselves! After all, you deserve to work with people you know and trust—and enjoy doing business with. So, come get to know Prestige Properties with these interesting fun facts.

Our operations stand out.

Did you know that Prestige Properties is actually the largest privately-owned and independently operated real estate company in Lee County? Let us put our resources to your advantage!

We believe in community involvement.

How does a town become a hometown? When you invest in the community! We believe this strongly—which is why we regularly support our community. Each year, we donate to organizations like the Lee County Humane Society, the Junior League of Lee County, the Auburn Preservation League, and many more.

See the full list of groups we help here.

You can find the agent that best suits your needs.

If you want expertise, we have it! With nearly 30 agents under the Prestige Properties umbrella, we can find the person that best suits your needs.

We recently celebrated our 24th anniversary.

Cake time! If you want to get to know Prestige Properties, you should know that we’ve served Lee County for quite a while. Recently, we rung in our 24th anniversary. So next year, we’ll celebrate a quarter century of happy clients!

We’ve won the Lee County REALTORS® of the Year seven times.

We excel at our jobs! Don’t just take our word for it, though. Instead, you should know: Prestige agents have won the Lee County REALTORS® of the Year award not once, not twice, but seven times. We earned it in 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2005, and 2004.

Our Realtors have earned a variety of individual decorations.

A strong team gets its successes from strong players! Our team members have earned individual awards, such as the 2017 LCAR Good Neighbor Award, the Jack M. Dunlop Service Award, and the National Association of REALTORS® Recipient for “Top 30 Under 30” Award.

We can also manage your property.

You know by now that we can help you buy, sell or rent your home. However, that’s not all! If you ever need a group to manage your rental property, we have the experience you need to get the job done. Now that sounds like some wonderful peace of mind!


Step one: Get to know Prestige Properties. Check!

Step two: Contact us here! Renting, buying, selling, property management, and more—we have your home needs covered. Plus, find out more about us—and how to best care for your property—when you read our blog.

12 Summer Home Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

Buying a home marks a big investment. What do we do after the papers are signed and the locks are changed, though? Well, a little work can go a long way. Not to mention, it can prevent you from spending big on home repairs. Or, it can help you get your place ready for the market. Whether you want to sell—or you simply want to keep your place in tip-top shape—we’ve got some ideas! Add these summer home maintenance tips for homeowners to the to-do list.

Create a cleaning schedule.

Adult life gets overwhelming! One way to make it easier? Planning! Choose the chores you need to get done, and put them on a cleaning schedule. That way, you can get everything done in manageable chunks. Plus, if you have multiple people in your household, you can assign chores evenly. We also suggest scheduling a fun little reward at the end, like a movie night or ordering some pizza!

Wash the windows.

After spring pollen, those windows may look a little grimy. Wash them—from both sides—for a fresh outlook on a new season.

Clean your garage.

See those cobwebs? That’s your garage saying “clean me!” Take everything out, trash or donate what you need to, and reorganize. You may end up with more you room than you started with too!

Get ready for grilling.

Who’s excited to fire up the grill? You can prepare for summer burgers and hotdogs by thoroughly cleaning the grill and its cover.

Power wash aplenty.

The patio. The sidewalk. The outdoor furniture. Each of them can benefit from a good power washing or pressure washing session. Remember—stay safe and dress properly. You can also hire someone to power/pressure wash for you.

Inspect those detectors.

You should do this every season! Inspect your carbon monoxide detectors, as well as your smoke detectors. This step can truly save lives!

Don’t forget to dust the fans.

Another one of our summer home maintenance tips for homeowners: dust your ceiling fans! You’ll need them more than ever this season. And you certainly don’t want them spreading those particles and dander all around. So, turn them off and get to work.

Consider a fresh coat of paint.

During the summer, we have more daytime than ever! And if you notice your home in a less-than-flattering light, it may be time for a fresh coat of paint. Interior, exterior, or both—it may also be the season for makeovers!

Attend to your lawn.

Yes, you should mow your lawn. But that’s not all! You should also weed it too—and finish each cut with an edger. Get those trimmers too and clip your shrubbery into shape. Additionally, you should consider adding mulch to your gardening beds. Remember: if your neighborhood is a part of an HOA, it may require specific grass lengths or mowing practices. So, check the manual!

Take pest preventative measures.

As you work, check for standing water and cracks in your home’s foundation. The first draws in mosquitoes. The second can usher in termites, rats, and just plain damage.

Schedule a chimney cleaning.

The reason this is a summer chore? The savings! Asking for a service in the off-season also means professionals have more time to devote to you too. So, if you have a chimney, think smart and schedule a cleaning this season.

Replace your air conditioning filter.

You want to breathe fresh, healthy air. Keep your household safe by replacing your air conditioner filter this summer.


There’s really no better feeling than coming home to a clean house! Give yourself the perfect spot to relax in this season with these summer home maintenance tips for homeowners. After all, you deserve some time to unwind!

Still searching for your home sweet home? The experienced Realtors at Prestige Properties can help you find it. Contact us today! And if you ever need any more home ownership tips, check out our blog here!

10 Tips for Prepping for Your First Home Purchase

You’ve committed years of hard work and saving toward your goal. And soon, it will pay off! That’s right—you’ll officially be a homeowner. As you approach this next step, make the process flow smoothly with our tips for prepping for your first home purchase.

Make a List of What You Want

Do you prefer single-story properties? A spot with a large yard? Extra closet space? Making a list of what you want can help you and your Realtor immensely. You can even organize it into sections like “nonnegotiable,” “optional,” or even “dealbreakers,” for maximum clarity.

Aim for a Larger Down Payment

When it comes to down payments, bigger is better. Not only can a larger payment convince sellers to choose your offer, but you can also typically generate a lower mortgage that way. That means less interest too! Of course, you should still stay within the constraints of your budget.

Obtain a Preapproval Letter

First time home buyers may find themselves going up against seasoned opponents. One way to show your intent—and your capability to buy—involves obtaining a preapproval letter from your mortgage broker. Essentially, it proves that you have a loan offer—and therefore, you can make a genuine purchase.

Weigh Your Options: Fixed-Rate vs. Adjustable Mortgages

The market is many things—but it’s not always predictable. That means we all have to do a certain amount of guesswork when choosing our mortgages. Fixed-rate options can save you if prices grow. Adjustable mortgages have less certainty, as the rates change. However, if prices drop dramatically, they also give you the option to refinance. If you need help deciding, your Realtor can explain it all!

Don’t Forget About Taxes and Insurance

A rule of thumb: your mortgage, taxes, and home insurance should not exceed 25 to 30 percent of your income. You should include all three variables in your calculations! Otherwise, you could be in for some sticker shock during tax season.

Remember to Factor Utilities Into Your Calculations

Next up on our list of tips for prepping for your first home purchase: doing the math. You’ve probably calculated and recalculated your budget and mortgage. However, do you know how much utilities will cost for your potential property? Water, heating, internet, cable, sewage, and electric—you want to make sure that you have an estimate of what they’ll run per month. And since you’re moving, you may need to change providers too, so keep an eye out for better deals.

Request Realtor Referrals or References

You should be able to trust your Realtor! We believe that strongly. We also believe in giving our clients the best possible experience! That’s why we recommend getting referrals or references for your Realtor. Ultimately, it will ensure that you have peace of mind going into the process.

Get a Home Inspection

Some homes look picture perfect—but they’ve hidden a few big flaws. When you get a home inspection, you can ensure that you know what your house holds. Plus, it can actually turn the tide in your favor during negotiations. Your agent can use the results to request that the original owners make the repairs—or knock the cost off your offer.

Determine Your Stance on HOAs

Some folks like the sense of uniformity a Homeowner’s Association offers—along with the perks, like extra amenities. Others don’t want the oversight or the extra costs. Decide if you want to live in a neighborhood with an HOA—and then let your Realtor know.

Contact Prestige Properties

Wading through market may seem daunting, but you’re not alone. The Realtors at Prestige Properties can show you how to navigate the market—and pick out your home sweet home, too.


Searching for your new house? From advice, to showings, to tips for prepping for your first home purchase, Prestige Properties will help you every step of the way. If you’re ready to get started, contact us here. You can also read our blog for more helpful hints and advice!

Welcome to the Prestige Properties Blog

When it comes to selecting a real estate agency, we know you’ve got plenty of options. Longevity, however, speaks to experience—which we’ve found translates to an exceptional buying, selling and renting experience for our clients. As the largest privately-owned and independently-operated real estate company in Lee County, Alabama, we feel confident in our ability to not only meet your real estate expectations—but exceed them! As an extension of our service to our clients, we’d like to introduce you to the Prestige Properties blog. Welcome!

About Prestige Properties

The Prestige Properties team is committed to providing unmatched service when it comes to home buying, selling and renting. No matter which side of the real estate transaction you’re on, our extensive knowledge about the local market and roster of dedicated agents are only a few of the benefits of choosing Prestige Properties.

As a hometown business, we pride ourselves on being able to keep all of our tax dollars right here in our community. Prestige Properties owner and broker, Mark Jones, has worked to establish this locally-focused company culture while still staying in the know about the broader real estate market and its trends. From his involvement in the National Association of REALTORS to contributions to local non-profits, sports teams and more, he couples industry involvement with homegrown support.

And did we mention our awesome team of agents? With 28 agents with a collective wealth of experience, we’ve got an all-star lineup of real estate experts ready to work to help you!

The Prestige Properties Blog

We truly care about connecting with our clients, and the Prestige Properties blog is another way to do just that! The blog will serve to better acquaint customers with our brand and what we stand for. Through the blog, we will provide information that serves to both educate as well as entertain—in an effort to provide more value to our brand followers.

Follow the blog for industry insights and to learn about the culture of the Prestige Properties brand. We encourage you to share the blog with others who may find it useful. We also ask that if there is ever a topic you’d like to see addressed on the blog, do not hesitate to reach out and let us know!


Once again, we’d like to say welcome to the Prestige Properties blog! Browse our listings here on the website, and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube to stay up-to-date with everything we have going on.