Tag Archives: selling

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

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”

Number One Thing That Sells a Home

Out of all the training that I have had as a real estate agent, the thing that is key to learn about selling a home is that price is number one. If you do not price a home properly for the market, it will sit, and sit and sit. Today’s market is a little more of a challenge. Pittsburgh and it’s suburbs are not as hard it as other regions of the country and things are selling but there is still a lot of inventory. I am seeing houses selling and it is the one’s that are competitive or draw demand. If you have your home for sale today, and are “motivated”, price it right. If you agent is not doing that, then you agent is not necessarily doing their job. Ask for a list of recent home sales that compare to yours. Even go see the listings if you are curious.

One thing to consider is, how much it is costing me to stay where I am at, or own two houses, etc . . . Maybe if you have to take a loss on the sale, you may still come out ahead. Run the numbers, you might be surprised.

Construction of new home sales has dropped. Here is what one article said about the marketing of new homes:

“At the moment, most of that advice is being directed toward lowering prices because, in reality, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you generate if the traffic perceives the product as overpriced.” -George W. Mantor


Photo Copyright 2006, By Amy S. Myers

Pittsburgh Light up Night Coming Up

This Friday, starts off the holiday season in Pittsburgh in festival of lights. This yearly celebration event includes tree lighting, Santa Spectacular, and the PPG Place ice rink opens officially. The night ends with a fireworks finale at Point State Park – starting at 9 pm.

I have been in the Pittsburgh area for 20 years now and every year I hear of light up night. For one reason or another, I never get to make it. And yes, I am still hoping to do so. Maybe this year will be the year. It is a great time for fun with family and friends. For photographers this is a great opportunity to get the city at its brightest.

Pittsburgh Light Up Night details (Friday, November 21, 2008)

If you get to go tell me about it.

For 2009, Pittsburgh comes in as one of the Best Places to Raise Kids

For 2009, Pittsburgh comes in as one of the Best Places to Raise Kids in the state of Pennsylvania. BusinessWeek just released their second annual list of best places to raise your kids and Pittsburgh made it.

BW worked with OnBoard Informatics, a Manhattan-based provider of real estate analysis, and concluded each state’s most affordable towns when raising children. The analysis was compiled with cities containing 50,000 residents and family median income of $40K to $100K. Other factors came into play as well but affordability came in weighing strong.

Check out the article and see if you have friends and family in some of the other ranked cities.


Photo Copyright 2008, By Amy S. Myers

Attractive Financing Programs Are Still Out There

You know with all the things going on in the financial markets I was quite surprised to get an email from the financing company in our office informing me that 100% financing is out there. Sure there may be some qualifications but wow that is great!

It is available for Select Buyers and Properties through USDA Rural Development Programs.

– 100% Financing Off of the Appraised Value

– No Monthly Mortgage Insurance

– No Cash Reserves Required

– No Limit on Gift Money or Seller Concessions

– There is Flexible Credit and Qualifying Guidelines.

Check the USDA site for eligibility.

Pricing a Home

You know I visit seller’s and everyone has their own reason’s and needs for selling their home. Did you know that the number one thing that sells a home is the price.  Of course, we all want a great price for our home but a seller does need to be realistic. You need to ask your agent to get comparable homes in the neighborhood that have recently sold. Right now it is certainly a buyer’s market.

Your home should be priced properly to avoid getting stale on the market. The most important time for a listing is the first 30 days. If you listed your home at a higher price to start don’t leave it that way too long. If you have it competitively priced, you can increase your changes of getting multiple offers, especially if this is done right when first going on the market.

Interest Rates Fall!

Interest rates fell today. There are home loans available as low as 5 3/4 % 30 year fixed with zero points. Jumbo rates are great too. These are the best rates in the last 4-5 months. If you are sitting on the fence thinking of buying, it is a great time. You don’t know how long the rates will stay this way. If you or anyone you know needs a pre-approval, let me know. Enjoy your day!

Pittsburgh Announced as a Top Relocation City

Congratulations Pittsburgh! The Worldwide ERC(R), the association for workforce mobility, and Primacy Relocation(R) has announced that the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania metro area is the number one Metro Area (with the population of over 1.3 million) of best cities to relocate to.

Information quoted from: reuters


Foreclosures in Pittsburgh Area Fall 29 percent

Yes, the housing market is having a national crisis but the Pittsburgh area has remained stable. While yes there are foreclosures, they have fallen in numbers for the five-county area (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland) by 29.1 percent comparing to July 2007. These statistics were reported from RealSTATs, a real estate information company.

Amazingly, Allegheny County was down to 138 foreclosures from 231 in July 2007. According to RealSTATs Allegheny County’s peak foreclosure year was 2006.