MADE in Lake County: 5 Things to Fix Now, Even if You Aren’t Selling, Jamie Ross

MADE is a paid partnership with Little Lake County

Welcome to MADE in Lake County! MADE introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. This month we have gotten to know Jamie Ross. amie is a real estate broker with CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate. Today we are going to learn more about what Jamie is like as a realtor.


When Jamie first came to my house for a consultation she let me lead our discussion and time in my home.  I was ready to share our house with her so she could have a full idea of what we’d be working with to get my house on the market (spoiler: we’re not selling).

© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

Jamie praised our house and had all nice things to say (until I asked for the down and dirty).  She presented me with a fair market price that she’d want to list my home at based on what other houses similar to mine, in my neighborhood have been selling for.  This is the moment of anxiety, where you realize that a house and a home are different, and you’re just selling the house- what makes it a home will always go with you (along with some $$).  What I love about Jamie is that she understands this, she knows that we all want more and was so kind in sharing with us what was truly fair.

From there, we started talking about what I could do now to make my home more desirable to potential buyers.  With three young kids in a 1,306 sf home, there are quite a few options.  (We have a basement, but we really live upstairs, and at times it can get really cluttered).  Jamie recommended that we pack away about half of our toys and clothes while we’d be on the market, buyers want to feel that your home has space for them and their things.  She also recommended that we finish a few projects such as painting trim and walls.

© A. Chase | Little Lake | 2018

Once we figured out what our family needed to do, we started talking about locations we’d be interested in looking at, but more importantly what fit our budget.  Jamie is familiar with the areas in Lake County that we are interested in and even has a few listings that we can look at if they fit our budget.  I truly felt that Jamie cared about us doing what was best for our family, especially when it came to how much money to spend.  Sometimes there is a pushy feel, “For only ___ more, you can be here!”  Although true, and for some families that may be the right choice, we were serious when we said our budget was not going to move.  Jamie respected that and didn’t push us to look outside of our numbers, period.

Since I’m not selling my house, it is difficult to share with you what an experience is selling and buying with Jamie, but what I can share are kind words from her former clients and also, a few tips we came up with to help you love your home whether you’re selling or staying put!

things to fix in your house right now

5 Things to Fix Now, Even if You Aren’t Selling

  1. De-clutter- We all know it, but there is something about a ‘stranger’ telling you that you’ve got toys coming out of your ears, your furniture hoarding is out of control visually and people can’t see the beautiful finishes you’ve spent money on.
  2. Paint- Before Jamie came, we painted a good chunk of our house because we’ve been here almost 8 years, and did I mention we’re raising small humans here who know what crayons are and don’t know where to use them?  Fresh paint (even a touch-up) changes everything.  I was feeling discontent in my house this winter, wanting to change so much.  By adding a quick shiplap to help in our abused hallway, adding a fresh coat of paint to the main living space, and completely repainting ceilings our home, we feel bright and fresh again!
  3. Finish Unfinished Projects- That trim piece you’re missing?  Just. Fix. It.  Have a driveway that needs more than a little repair?  Take care of it.  Our back door leaks something fierce, it’s on our list as soon as we have some extra money to replace it.  No one wants to inherit your unfinished work, so take the time to clean it up before you hit the market.
  4. Yard Maintenance- I suppose one of the perks to winter selling is that if your yard is snow covered, the buyer doesn’t really know what they’re getting.  (I’m pointing at myself here, we bought in December and we have the lumpiest yard in all of the land.) We’ve all heard that spring and fall are the hottest times to buy and sell, so having a cleaned up yard will make your house show like a gem.  Don’t invest thousands here, but trim, clean, rake and keep the lawn crisp.  This is your first impression, after all.
  5. One Thing- Choose your one thing.  Have you always wanted granite in your kitchen?  Upgrade it and live with it, love it now!  Does your bathroom vanity need an overhaul?  Buyers love a beautiful bathroom and a vanity is one of the more affordable changes that makes a huge difference.  Our one thing will be the front of our house, our front planters are broken and although when they were put in during the 1950s they highlighted all things fashionable and engineered flawlessly, almost seventy years and some shifting has made them a bit of an eyesore that paint can’t cover.

What is your one thing?  Are you hoping to make your current house your dream home now, or fix it enough when you’re ready to move?  Share with us in the comments, and leave pictures too!

Let Jamie help with that “one thing” and enter to win a $100 Home Depot Gift Card at

Jamie Ross

Jamie Ross, CONLON/Christie’s International Real Estate
Lake County

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Disclosure: Jamie Ross CONLON Real Estate is our featured Business of the Month. This series is part of a paid promotion partnership with Little Lake County. All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer of the story. If you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series please contact the sales team.


About Alli 46 Articles
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.

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