Sharon Harkness' Blog

Champaign Real Estate Blog

Sharon Harkness


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 60

[Infographic] Spring Clean Up

by Sharon Harkness

Spring 2017

by Sharon Harkness

Cool Things To Do In Champaign Urbana This February Part 1

by Sharon Harkness


D.I.Y. Weekend Wizards


Orpheum Children's Science Museum

346 N. Neil St.
Champaign, IL 61820

Saturday, February 04, 2017
1:00pm to 3:00pm

Visit website


Lunar New Year at Allerton Mansion



Allerton Park & Retreat Center

 515 Old Timber Rd.
Monticello, IL 61856

Saturday, February 04, 2017
Start Sat 5:

Visit website


Raas Mania 2017


Foellinger Auditorium at the University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

Foellinger Auditorium
709 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Sat, February 4, 2017
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM 

Visit website


Japanese Tea Ceremonies

Japan House

2000 South Lincoln Avenue
Urbana, IL 61802

Sat, February 18, 2017
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM 

For more information



Venice Baroque Orchestra: Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans


Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

500 S. Goodwin Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801

Saturday, February 04, 2017
Starts at 

Visit website


February Bird Hike and Intro to eBird

Allerton Park & Retreat Center

515 Old Timber Rd.
Monticello, IL 61856

Sunday, February 05, 2017
7:00am to 10:00am

Visit Website


 14th Annual Chocolate Fantasy

Downtown Monticello

101 W Washington St.
Monticello, IL 61856

Friday, February 10, 2017
5:30pm to 8:30pm

Visit Website



Parkland College Theatre

2400 W. Bradley Ave.
Champaign, IL 61821

Thursday, February 09, 2017
Start Sat7:

Visit Website



Selling Your Home in Winter

by Sharon Harkness

It may be a common misconception that it is more difficult to sell your home in winter than summer. But there are advantages to selling during the cold months. A study shows that buyers tend to have more urgency from December to March. Also, homes listed in winter sells faster than in spring.

Actually, winter is the best time to show off a warm, cozy and family oriented home! If you decide to list your home, these strategies will help your home become a hot seller.

Value It Right 

Winter is a terrible time to test the market and list high. In the event that the house doesn't get an offer, you may need to reduce the price below the market value to grab a buyer before new properties show up in spring and make yours look stale by comparison. 

Check closing costs of similar properties sold in the previous 30 days, then eye current listing costs to ensure your home won't look overrated. 

Begin with the outside 

As with whatever season of the year, ensure that the house looks kept and tended to, with overhang troughs immaculate and minor repairs managed. While you can't paint in winter, washing paintwork can have a noteworthy impact. Make sure that the windows are recently washed and repaired as well; winter light has a technique for highlighting grime. Warm up the curb appeal by adding cool-weather plants to liven up the outdoor space.

Make a good first impression

Once a planned buyer comes inside, note that you may have just 10 to 15 minutes to make an impression that lasts. Start with the living room. Lighten up the fireplace. Declutter. Display pictures that indicate how the house would look like during the warmer season.

A vital point for unoccupied homes: ensure the heat is turned on a few hours before the showing. All the window-dressing and organizing won't lure purchasers to wait inside a house that is cold.


Home Upgrades that Work

by Sharon Harkness

An upgrade is commendable when it can either serve to lower your average cost for basic items while you remain in the home or increase the value of the home's sale price when you choose to make it available.

1. Barn Doors

A sliding entryway is an extraordinary approach to adding a redesigned look to the room, and it's a generally straightforward upgrade with little cost. If your closet doors have been overused, a barn door is a good replacement. 

2. Paint

The fastest approach to make a room look new again is to include a new layer of paint. Homebuyers frequently observe the measure of work that would go into painting over a splendid red divider, and may even request that the seller paint over it themselves. 

3. Working fireplace

Don't remove that fireplace. 54 percent of agents polled by Angie's list said a gas-burning fireplace builds the home's estimation most, however,  a review of 2,000 mortgage holders and homebuyers showed 58 percent want to have a fireplace that burns wood at home. It is clear that having a fireplace is a positive for your homevalue. 

4. Landscaping 

Frequently underestimated by homeowners when they put their home available is the home's curb appeal. As the first thing any buyer will see when they come to visit the house, it's critical to seed  dead grass, mow the lawn or garden regularly and add some blossoms or shrubberies without overpowering the yard.

5. Minor Bathroom Remodel

Expel dated wall covers and apply a crisp layer of paint. Spraying on the surface gives speedy scope. For that old tub,  re-caulk or re-caulk it for a like-new look

6. Minor Kitchen Remodel

Cover old vinyl with floor leveler.  Light up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cupboards. It's a great deal less costly than purchasing new ones. Change curtains and window molding. 

7. Deck, Patio or Porch Addition 

Include planters on the front porch. Give a yard an amazing passage with a unique gate.  Ensure patio railings are safe and alluring. Cover cooling units with a wooden trellis. 

8. Light Fixtures 

Outside lighting is a simple and practical approach to adding magnificence and security to your home. Consider adding lighting to the walkway, a hanging pendant light to the front entryway. Also, an extra light close to the garage works Discover styles that supplement your home. 

9. Windows and Trim 

Replace broken glass. Sand, scrape and paint the trim. Clean within and outside of the windows until they sparkle. Include a few window boxes to offer a homey appeal.

6 Hacks for Hosting Thanksgiving [Infographic]

by Sharon Harkness

Dos and Don'ts of Homestaging

by Sharon Harkness

Building an emotional connection with buyers is vital. And because first impression matters, staging is key to maximize your home's prospects.


1. Focus on curb appeal. Make sure the front entry is appealing and inviting.

2. When deciding to repaint, opt to paint the walls white or off white to create a fresh and clean feel.

3. Organize corners, bookshelves, cabinets and cupboards. Declutter.



1. Stage every room. Just maintain overall cleanliness. Rooms to be staged are the kitchen, living room, bathrooms and the master bedroom.

2. Put away all personal remembrances or memento. Buyers should be able to imagine themselves residing in the home.

3.  Take it personally. Detach yourself emotionally because you are selling a product, your home. Buyers' remarks are free advice to make your house live up to its highest potential.

Do It Yourself Halloween Decors

by Sharon Harkness

7 Smells Homebuyers Hate

by Sharon Harkness

Real Estate Today [Infographic]

by Sharon Harkness

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 60

Contact Information

Photo of Sharon Harkness Real Estate
Sharon Harkness
Keller Williams
2441 Village Green Place
Champaign IL 61822
Office: 217-239-7144
Fax: Fax: 217-356-6116