Tag Archives: agent

Interesting Stat Regarding Staging

“According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell in 73% less time than homes that are not staged (RESA, 2012). This means that while buyers may say that home décor does not matter to them while shopping for a home, stats show that it does. ”  – Mckissock CE

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Why I Love My Job

Always appreciate a happy customer. This is why I like my job. Thanks to Chris and Faith L of Apollo

See more: REALTOR.com

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Not All Home Improvements will Help Your Homes Property Value

Chairs on patio and porch at luxury hotel

If you want to prepare your home in thoughts of selling in the near future or making the right choices for resale even further down the road, think twice about doing the following home improvements:

1) TURNING YOUR GARAGE INTO A MAN CAVE – Believe it or not, that awesome hide-away for the kids or the football game can hurt the value if you are loosing your garage. It did happen to one of my sellers in the past. First they took away the garage for more living space (even though they left the door in). This change took away value mostly because it no longer conformed to the neighborhood even though the living space increased. The garage was in the basement and sometimes below grade finished living space does not always get a return on its cost (according to an appraiser I know). This property took a hit on the appraised value and my clients actually had to lower the price for the buyer to cover it. Not to mention the price hit but not having a garage is less attractive to buyers. So so many people want a garage, especially in Pennsylvania.

2) INSTALLING A DECK OR PATIO (This is something that you are better of doing) – If all your neighbors have a deck and you don’t that is typically a reason for the appraiser to give you a hit in value. You don’t confirm to the neighborhood comps. Who does not love outdoor space, anyway? I had a house that had trouble selling and I can tell you a buyer bought the neighbors listing because it was cheaper and had a deck. It was the same square footage. Ouch!

3) DONT REMOVE OR COMBINE BEDROOMS – If you have gone from 4 to 3 and have the same space, keep in mind you would be comparing to 3 bedroom homes which are typically lower in price thus loosing value. Square footage does not always matter. It has been my experience that buyers want a 4 bedroom rather than a 3. Alway keep that extra bedroom if you have it. It will generally give you more value.

4) DONT REMOVE CLOSETS – If you can make more or make a walk-in closet. If you remove a closet, the room may not always be considered a bedroom. Women today have so many clothes, and even some of those men do. Closets are always a perk!

5) REMOVE WALLPAPER – Wallpaper may not decrease the value on an appraisal but it will make the buyers walk 99 percent of the time and the home harder to sell. Wall paper is an immediate check list for work and it is a bear to get off no matter how you do it. It is very hard to change and get to the popular neutral colors . I have literally had people refuse to go into a house because the every wall in the home was wallpapered. There have been sellers that have issued credits to have wallpaper removed and have removed it all. Be wise.

6) POUR A NEW FRONT WALK – I have sold new construction homes and one builder in particular gives the buyer temporary pavers to start for the front walk way. The pavers can look nice if they are cared for. After a couple of years they often need to be reset and adjusted if you are keeping them. I asked an appraiser if the value increased if the seller poured new walk way for $5000. The answer was no. There is still a walk way just made of something else or replaced with different material. If it was a high end finish then maybe an increase in value.

Talk to your real estate agent before you do anything major if you are even considering moving. You will be glad you did.

Condo Living at Its Finest

Fabulous New Condo in Murrysville that is ready to move into. The community has a club house with a Kitchen, Gym, and Pool. Contact me to set up a showing. Amy 724*448*0085 cell/text

Click here to view listing

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Fall In Allegheny Twp, PA

October 2015 -Allegheny Twp, PA

Photo by Amy S Myers

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Are Colors Important When Selling a Home?

Today I received the following questions from a college friend:

“Got a quick realty question for you for my wife, please, if you don’t mind. Looking to put our house on market soon. Living room with open floor plan has a red wall (tomato red, 8ft wide x 12 ft high), behind seating area that’s only visible when walking through or dining. Every other wall is pale yellow. Would you recommend painting the red wall before showing (go to a mocha color), or leave it and hope the buyers go for it?

Thanks! -Tom”

Here is my response:

Hi Tom!

Red is a great color for an accent wall but not for selling a home. Neutral tones are the best. So a Mocha sounds great. You want the buyer to be able to picture living in your home with their own things and feeling comfortable and cozy. Using neutral colors you have more of a chance at doing that. You can blend more furnishings with neutral tones rather than the red or other accent color. Yes, I would say paint before you show.

Remember the first 30 days are the most critical. In most cases you will have the most buyers come through in the first thirty days being of having your home on the market.

Amy

Healthy Gain is Seen in Pending Home Sales

Good new for the housing market that pending home sales have increased according to this past December reports. See what the National Association of Realtor’s report says:

“Pending home sales increased as more buyers took advantage of improved affordability conditions, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Big gains in the South and Midwest offset modest declines in other regions. . . . .

NAR’s Housing Affordability index rose 10.9 percent in December to 158.8, the highest on record.2 The HAI shows that the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income is the most favorable since tracking began in 1970.”

Curb Appeal Top Priority in Competitve Market

Curb appeal is more important then ever in this competitive housing market. With so much inventory, how can you make sure that a buyer will make it in your house?

This week I went to meet an agent that was working with me on another house. I met her at a house she was just listing so we could exchange some original documents. As we approached the house she asked me what I thought of it for the price she had just listed it at. It was a big house in a town, ok yard, and I thought, hmmm . . . that is kind of high. It looks like they put a new front door on the place and they want that much for it ??? . . . I proceed inside to take a tour since I was there. It was gorgeous. New carpet, refinished hardwood floors that looked amazing for being original -especially in a home that could be about 100 years old. There was a large updated eat-in kitchen. There was a huge new deck out the back and a great yard for being in town. The rooms were large through out the house, the main bath was enormous for the age of the home and it had beautiful ceramic tile. The fourth bedroom on the third floor had all new carpet and was bigger than any room in the house, spanning from back to front, which is a typical size for these type of homes.

The thing that is now sticking in my mind is the though of when I first got here. This house is so awesome with how it has been remodeled but how is anyone going to know this from the outside. It has old white siding that is very dirty and brown drip marks staining the house from rusted gutters. The yard looks like no one had done a thing to it in years and that no one cared a bit about it.

If the house was painted or sided and some modest landscaping put in and maybe a flower box on the large homey porch, it surely would stand out among its competitors. I am sure you would capture the emotion of the buyer as soon as they got there, and after seeing the inside, they probably would not have a problem getting a nice price for the home. But the key is getting them in there, if all they see is the outside.

Realtor.org has some interesting things to say about curb appeal as well.

Lots of Fun Things Going on in Pittsburgh

I was delighted to hear that fun things are happening in Pittsburgh. Did you know that Pittsburgh has a large working population which has increased by 28,000 since 1996? Large companies have announced moving headquarters downtown bringing even more jobs in. Read more exciting news about shopping and restaurants.

“In the face of gloom and doom spreading across the country, Pittsburgh’s Downtown is enjoying a bit of a building boom in housing, office development and retail.

The former Lazarus store is being converted into condos, shops, restaurants and offices.” and there is more.

quoted from:Â http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08341/932158-65.stm

Should I pay for a Home Inspection? What You May Not Know.

A Pittsburgh area home inspector gives his insight on home inspections. Questions, may be directed to Ed Lampl. (Article published with permission)

Consider a home inspection prior to purchasing a home, condominium or commercial property. This can bring peace of mind when you sign the sales contract. Knowing what to expect both inside and out will help you make an informed decision about the value of the building and the future upkeep.

An ASHI home inspection accomplishes two important goals. First, it gives you a chance to determine the condition of the house, its structural soundness, and the condition of its mechanical systems. Second, it brings any problems to the seller’s attention at a time when they can be resolved before closing a sale.

If you sign a contract before inspection, consider including a clause that the sale is contingent upon a satisfactory ASHI certified inspection, and specify when the inspection is to be carried out. That way, you are protected.

A comprehensive inspection includes a visual examination of the structure from top to bottom, including the heating, air conditioning systems, the interior plumbing and electrical systems, the roof and visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors, the foundation, basement and visible structure.

Following the examination, the inspector will provide a report that not only points out possible defects or areas of concerns, but also the positive aspects of the structure as well as the type of maintenance that will be necessary to keep the home in good shape.

Even the most experienced homeowners lack the knowledge and expertise of a professional inspection firm. For example, watermarks in the basement may indicate a chronic seepage problem, toxic mold or simply may be a result of a single incident. Consider using an inspector that a certified with mold testing/indoor air quality.

A professional assessment will provide complete information about the condition of the property you are considering and will help avoid any unpleasant surprises after the sale. In addition, a home inspector can remain totally objective, while you, as a prospective home buyer, may be emotionally involved.

A decision to have a home inspected is a good investment.

You might save many times the cost of inspection by being aware of defects, maintenance requirements, and upgrading requirements

Good decorating alone should not sell you on a house. Remember, you’re also buying structural and mechanical systems. Walk through a house twice before you hire an inspector. The first time, look at the rooms, the floor plan, and envision your own decorating ideas for the house. The second time, go back and look at the condition of the walls, doors, appliances, and plumbing. If the home still looks good after two visits and you’re getting serious about the purchase, hire an ASHI certified inspector.

Currently, in many states home inspectors are not regulated by any federal government agencies but in Pennsylvania must adhere to the Pennsylvania Home Inspector Law – ACT 114. Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western Pennsylvania Announces a new “Start with Trust” initiative to alert consumers and real estate professionals as to how to identify compliant home inspection businesses. This program is being promoted in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Regional Organization of the American Society of Home Inspectors (PRO-ASHI).

A home inspection usually lasts about three hours. Professional inspection companies will be happy to answer all your questions. Avoid firms that issue only a verbal report. The report should be in narrative form, not just a checklist of items inspected. The home inspector should also issue a written report and adhere to the ASHI standards of practice.

You may find it valuable to accompany the inspector as they goes through the house.

Property inspections are not limited to residential properties. Many inspectors help homeowners with analysis and solutions to specific problems such as energy conservation, wet basements or cracked foundations. Inspectors also inspect work upon completion to ensure that a contract has been properly fulfilled.

If you are considering purchasing a home in Pennsylvania, Ed Lampl, certified ASHI Inspector advises that you invest in an inspection by a reputable inspector that is ASHI verified and compliant with the Pennsylvania law.

When hiring any contractor to come into your house you should consider asking if they have child custody clearances.

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will make. Know what you are buying and what your future upkeep obligations will be. Make sure that your inspector is certified in areas such as mold testing, radon and pest.

For questions contact – Ed Lampl (412-222-5968) ASHI certified – PRO-ASHI verified State compliant – inspector –servicing –the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding counties –

Home Inspections + Environmental Testing – Sick Building Syndrome Specialist

ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) #246381

CMI & CMA (Certified Mold Inspector & Assessor) #2033

Pesticide Applicator #402710 + DEP PA. Radon Certified #2569

www.HomePlusIsUs.com – take a virtual inspection at our website

“We provide a superior level of service unmatched in the Testing and Building Inspection Industry”