Tag Archives: selling a home

Sellers: Great Ways to Make a Room Look Larger

Making a room look larger than it really is, is an art – an art that anyone can do. It is simpler and easier than you might think just to change some little things that can make a big difference.

1. Don’t use bright or dark colors for the color scheme of a room, used white, pastels and neutrals for that larger feel.

2. Use s single color and select different shades and textures to fill the room.

3. Lighting is key in make a space open up. Try using spot lighting or even a torchiere lamp to bounce some light off the ceiling. Skylights and solar tubes can be excellent for adding natural light to a room.

4. Keep a limit on the accessories in the room. This will make the room feel less cluttered.

5. Make sure colors on the ceilings and floor are light. Use light colored wood and carpet for that open feel.

6. Add wall mirrors to increase the largeness of the room. This reflects images, light and color. Double the size of a room by adding mirror tiles on a full wall.

7. Consider using a love seat instead of a full size sofa in a smaller area. Place furniture closer to the wall when not in use.

8. A single painting works better than a group buy giving a bigger feeling.

9. Using glass in any kind of table will give the feeling of more openness.

Owners Be At the Property for the Appraisal

When selling your home, it is not required that you be at the home for your buyer’s appraisal. When I sold my last home many years ago before I was an agent, I was there. I made sure the appraiser knew how much I paid for my home, and how much I put into it. I had a large list of all the upgrades and maintenance items that I had done and how much I paid for everything. I also made sure the appraiser knew all the features of the home. I had even prepared some home comparables from the neighborhood (even though I knew the appraiser had access to the data). I even had the house immaculate as if I was showing it to the buyer. I think everything helps.

Here is some additional helpful information:

“Tips for Getting a Good Appraisal

Appraisals can be tricky these days. Here’s some advice from Maureen Sweeney, a Chicago-area owner of an appraisal firm, on getting an accurate and fair appraisal.

* Both the real estate practitioner and the owner should be present for the appraisal and follow the appraiser around. Make sure he doesn’t miss anything important.
* Ask questions to determine if the appraiser has identified the correct neighborhood boundaries and if she’s comparing the home to similar properties.
* Bring a copy of a recent tax bill and a survey of the property, and give them to the appraiser.
* Provide a list of improvements to the home.
* Offer your professional opinion about what makes this property worth more than other properties in the area.”

Quoted from Realtor.org

Obscure Bathroom

I must say I see some strange things when I show homes. Take a look at this shower from a Penn Hills, PA home that I showed recently.  Many times you can see where flippers just did not go the whole way to make it nice – some do and some don’t. I really laughed when I saw this bathroom shower. The owners appear to have added a tub surround but left the shower nozzle on the ceiling. Well, or maybe, they put it there on purpose.  Very unique and somewhat bizzare if you ask me – not a selling point.   Check out another interesting bathroom and the photo to go with it.

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What Buyers are Looking For . . .

I have been observing my buyers lately and getting more of a feel of what some of them really want. This is the key (of course) to finding them the perfect home.  As a buyer you need to really communicate and give your agent as much information as possible. Sometimes the buyer forgets to mention things, but as you go out and show them properties, you can definitely hone in on the specifics.

As I have said before, the staging does woo buyers. They walk in and say oooo or yuck. It is all on how you have it ready for showings.  The agents in my office tour our listings to get other agents in the office familiar with all our properties. When we go on tour, you can tell the same thing. The agents are oooing at some of the decor. The ones that are not staged so good, don’t have many comments.

The number one thing I notice on agent tour and with buyers is the colors. The homes with the neutral and versatile colors get the comments and make people remember the house. It makes them feel cozy, comfortable and at home . . . and that is what you want. You want them to feel like it could be their home and that their furniture and decor could fit it with out much effort or no effort. If a buyer has to paint over that red accent wall, or that dark blue on all four walls in the bedrooms ( a recent encounter ), that may just be too much bother for the buyer. I know it sounds silly but some trivial things have turned off buyers. Most buyers want to just move in and have the least amount of things to deal with – life is just too busy. Just moving to a new residence can be enough to deal with.

Another thing is to get rid of the clutter. A couple of houses that I went into recently just had too much clutter and tons of personal photos. Sellers need to get rid of as much of this as possible. Since you, the seller, are moving – pack it up now. It will come back out later in your new home. If you can afford it, get storage unit or even borrow some space at a friend’s house if possible.

One of my buyers even prefers and empty home, she said it helps her visualize where she can put her furniture. So if your home is over cluttered with furniture and unnecessary items, it will definitely effect the buyer.  Re-evaluate what your home looks like inside to the potential buyer, it could be one of the reasons it is still on the market.

Make Buyers Bite

HGTV came up with a list of several things that make buyers bite. Here are some key things to consider when getting your home ready for sale.

1. Have A Nice Entryway – This is your chance to have a great first impression. What are the buyers seeing when they first come in.

2. Hardwood Floors -  Many Realtors have found the buyers want hardwood floors.

3. Fabulous Fixtures – Fixtures can change the whole look and mood of a room

4. Beautiful Baths -Great Bathrooms and Kitchens sell homes. Buyers love fancy upgrades such as marble counters, spa tubs and tile flooring.

5. Countertop Considerations – Try to get away from counter tops with grout lines. Buyers do not like them and they are hard to keep clean.

6. Stainless Steel – Buyers love the commercial look of stainless appliances in the kitchen

7. Pre-Organized Closets – Organizing your closets goes a long way. If buyers see the organization, they think the home is well taken care of.

8. Light Up – Make sure dark areas are lit up with lamps or natural light. Buyers do not like dark rooms.

9. Built-Ins – Buyers will look at built in furniture as an added perk.

10. Flat Yard – Families love wide open yards for picnics, the jungle gym, and the trampoline.

Read the full article

February Stats: Home Sales on the Rise

Spring has truly spring and early that is for the real estate market. Buyers are out. Our office is very busy with showings. I was excited to hear that some recent statistics are supporting the activity.

Here is what I heard from Realtor.org:

“Home Buyer Tax Credit Increases Activity

NAR President Charles McMillan says home shopping activity has picked up with housing affordability at a record high.

The number of buyers looking for homes rose 5 percent in February, and also was 5 percent above a year ago,” he says. “It appears most of the increase in buyer traffic occurred in the latter part of the month after the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit was put in place. At the same time, mortgage purchase applications have risen, so we expect to see sales picking up around late spring.

McMillan notes that more potential buyers are learning about the tax credit, just as the traditional spring home-buying season begins.

Single-family home sales: rose 4.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.23 million in February from a level of 4.05 million in January . . .

Existing-home sales— including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million units in February from a pace of 4.49 million units in January. ”

Spring Lawn tip: Don’t forget to get your crab grass preventer down on your lawn if you are doing it yourself. You need to stop the crab grass before it gets growing and there is not much time left. You can usually find this on sale at your local garden center. I usually buy a four step plan (to cover 15,000 sq feet) for about $100 after the rebate. If I paid for professional lawn care for the season, it would cost me almost $500 for the plan. So households doing it themselves can save a good bit.

Great Ideas for Making a Home More Inviting

Did you know that buyers are motivated buy a home based on emotion? So the important thing for a seller to do is to do their best in making it feel that way. I have heard in the past from contractors that bathrooms and kitchens are key points that make people want to buy a specific home. The kitchen in my home was a big deciding point on why I bought mine. I even sacrificed some other features because it was such great room and was great for having friends over. It is connected to my family room and is very open. Below are some great ideas from a design firm that specializes in furnishing new homes.

“Model homes are important tools for builders because they help buyers fall in love with a home.

Phyllis Ryan, president of the model-home division of Interior Concepts, a Maryland design firm that specializes in furnishing new homes, has some tips that might benefit anyone who is selling a home.

* A stylish kitchen appeals to many buyers. If a sellers has upgraded cabinets and granite countertops, that’s good. If they don’t, it may help to display some stylish touches like an espresso machine, a retro toaster or just some luscious fruit.

* Lots of light makes spaces feel larger. Turn on all the lights even during the day and add a few extra lights if necessary.

* The master bedroom should seduce a buyer. Play soft jazz, pile the bed high with a cushy comforter and pillows. Stack plush towels in the bathroom.

* Add drama to a bottleneck or a dead end space. Prop an oversize mirror against the wall. It visually ops a space and adds drama.”

Quoted from REALTOR Magazine online

Several Ways to Boost Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Many times homebuyers will not even go inside a home (no matter how gorgeous it is on the inside) if a home does not look good on the outside. Curb appeal is very important when putting a home on the market for sale. If you do not invest on the outside, buyers think you don’t invest on the inside.

I have found some good tips for you to review when selling your home. If you are considering putting your home on the market, you will want to run through these ideas and see if any would make a difference for your home’s appearance.

Here are some great tips from Money Magazine
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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