Real Estate Information Archive


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How to Mask or Kill Odors


Are ready to sell your home but your home smells? This is a major turnoff to buyers and it needs to be addressed before you put your home on the market.

Maybe it’s a lingering, stale cigarette smell or a musty odor wafting up from the basement. Perhaps the home seems perfect and ready for the market—until you reach a room with the pungent smell of sweat, dirty laundry, and old shoes, even though it appears spotless. It’s difficult to imagine getting any buyer interested in your property unless you dispel such unpleasant odors. 

Lingering cigarette smoke: When smokers blow nicotine and tar into the air, it disseminates onto every surface in the home, including light bulbs, rugs, and moldings. First, remove all porous surfaces, including carpeting, curtains, and anything that absorbs odor. Wash until yellow stains stop coming off. Finally, repaint the room—because paint is an odor neutralizer.

Mold: Put a few containers of activated charcoal in an out-of-reach and inconspicuous space. Activated charcoal absorbs moisture and will help remove mold and mildew smells. You can find it at most pet stores.

Rotting garbage: The smell of garbage that’s been left in the kitchen too long starts to linger. You can boil sliced citrus fruit and herbs in the microwave, then separate the citrus from the boiling water. Pour the water into the dishwasher and runs a cycle with it, while dumping the citrus down the garbage disposal for an instant scent upgrade. Once you clear the garbage disposal, sprinkle some baking soda into the bottom of it.

An active child’s room: Soiled clothing laying around a teenager’s unkempt bedroom can cause a distinct odor that likely will offend prospective buyers. When smelly items have been allowed to sit for long periods of time—which enables the smell to “marinate” into the surroundings one of the better methods is to use an ozone machine. The machine removes strong smells by destroying the spores and bacteria that cause them. Ozone essentially attaches itself to the other molecules, thereby changing their structure, which eliminates the odor. Most ozone machines, depending on the sophistication of their features, can be purchased for a couple of hundred dollars, but they may be more effective in smaller spaces.

Dirty laundry or sweat: An alternative to the above for dealing with this type of odor is to combine one-fourth of a cup of vinegar and a gallon of water, and then add the mixture to a spray bottle. Spray the walls and wipe them down, along with woodwork, closets, air vents, and windows. Change the carpet and pads, and try painting the room including the ceiling. If a mattress smells sweaty, sprinkle baking soda directly on it, and let it sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up.

Pets: If there is a specific area of the home that smells, mix one part distilled white vinegar and six parts water, says Dean Davies, a professional carpet cleaning technician at London-based Fantastic Services. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and generously spray over pet stains. Rub the solution into the stain using a carpet brush or a toothbrush, and then blot it using a white towel. To remove vinegar residue, apply an oxygen or enzyme-based cleaner. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and then blot the surface. If you have entire areas of a carpet or rug that are affected, sprinkle baking soda onto the smelly areas, let it sit for 12 to 14 hours, and then vacuum the surface. If the stench is still there, you may have to replace your carpet, says Nancy Wallace-Laabs, SFR, co-founder of real estate investment company KBN Homes. In extreme cases, problems resulting in pet odor could lead to damaged flooring and sub-flooring. “Remove smells from the sub-floor with a combination of vinegar and water, let set, rinse, and repeat,” Wallace-Laabs says. “If the odor remains, use Kilz spray to neutralize the smell.” But if the wood is under the pad and it still smells, you’ll need to replace that as well.

Stuffy, closed home: When windows and doors have been shut all winter (hello, spring!), don’t just let fresh air in. Add some house plants, which clean the air through phytoremediation (organic air purifiers). 

How to repair bald spots in your lawn


Does your yard have bald spots?

Before turf can be treated, you need to determine the cause of the problem. If you eliminate fungi, bugs, grubs or other pests as causes, you may just need some seeds.

Once the ground temperature warms to about 52 degrees, seeds will grow. Good seed-to-soil contact will get the seeds germinating fast. Using a sharp spade or shovel, cut the area around the dead turf. Then, use the flat part of the spade to lift off the dead turf. Because you are removing at least a couple of inches of thatch and grass, fill in the area with some clean topsoil to keep it level with the rest of the yard.

Rake out the area until it is smooth and there are no big clumps in the soil. Cast a thin layer of seeds on the area, and then gently rake the seeds into the topsoil. Cover it with straw to hold in moisture and protect the seeds from birds.

If your lawn seems thin all over, try over seeding it. The basics are the same as patching. Rake the area well, picking up any leaves and debris in the turf. Cast the seeds over the turf, and then spread about a half an inch of compost or topsoil on the lawn. To get good seed-to-soil contact, gently rake the seeds and soil into the grass.

Water the seeds in the early morning and evening until they germinate. Once they start to sprout, water the lawn every day. It will be ready for a light application of fertilizer before the heat of summer begins.

If the turf has been damaged by pet urine, it will resemble a patch of straw in the center with a dark green ring around the outside. The urine acts much like a fertilizer burn. Ohio State University scientists recommend watering the area to dilute the concentration of urine. If you are able to keep the pet off the lawn, the grass can be reseeded.

2018 Great American All-Star

by Linda Seifert

Our Great American All-Star for 2018 is Colonel Charles W.L. Hall, Ph.D., an Educator, Psychologist and Minister who has served our Nation, State and Community with distinction and honor.  A longtime resident of Mississippi, he is the father to 12 natural children and 14 adopted children, several of whom are Vietnamese adopted after the war.  He holds numerous degrees and accreditations in ministry and education.  Colonel Hall has been very involved with the Boy Scouts organization over his lifetime, having served as Scout Chaplain locally with the Pine Burr Area Council as well as to the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the South Vietnamese Boy Scouts during his active military career.  Since 2004, he has been a chaplain with the Mississippi State Guard Third Brigade, 3rd Battalion, Camp Shelby, MS., Associate Pastor and Youth Minister at Central Christian Church in Hattiesburg, Ms.    

A career officer of the U. S. Army’s Adjutant General Corps and a war veteran of the Cold War, Gulf War and Vietnam War, Colonel Hall retired with over 30 years’ service.  Since his retirement, he has been an active member of the American Legion serving in numerous capacities from Post Commander to Post Historian, a position held with Post #24 since 2008. 

Colonel Hall hails from a family of military men and women including his great grandfather, Confederate States Army Brigadier-General Dudley Hall, PACS, 46th NC Infantry, Cooks Bde, ANV., 1861-1865;  His grandfather, a Sergeant , Army Quartermaster Corps, Pershings Division, 1917-1919;  His father, A United States Navy Chief Petty Officer from 1941-1946 and USN Reserve 1946-1961;  His uncle, The United States Navy as a Seaman 1st Class, 1950-1954;  His mother, a 2nd Lieutenant Army Nurse from 1942-1946.  These family members continued their military careers stretching into other conflicts of their era such as the Spanish - American War, World War One, World War Two and the Korean War.  Colonel Hall has traced his family’s military service even farther back in American and British history proving a long line of Hall family warriors.     

A student of the War of Southern Independence for over fifty years, Colonel Hall has been a past Commander of Camp #1329, SCV (Sons of Confederate Veterans).  He has written four books that are interesting reads for anyone wishing to know more about the history of the American Civil War and they are:  Books to Bullets, Revivals to Revolvers, Coopers Adjutants and Plowshares to Bayonets which is based on a part of Mississippi’s involvement.

In addition to his military and civilian affiliations, Colonel Hall has been a National Director for The Kadets of America.  The Kadets of America is a tax-exempt and a non-profit youth organization of civic club sponsored Kadet Show Troop units.  The Kadets of America work to develop professionalism, leadership, sportsmanship and precision teamwork among American youth and in-depth understanding of America’s military system.  He is also Camp Director for Camp Powell West, a Boy Scout and church camp located in South Lamar County, Mississippi.     

The All-Star Team is a proud supporter of our United States Military, our State Military and all of our law enforcement community for the daily sacrifices of the enlisted men, women and their families.  Thank you Colonel Hall for your military and civilian service to others exemplifying a life well lived.    

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Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.