Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing

Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing from RIS Media Real Estate….

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May 27, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Home Selling on a Budget

                                                  Home Selling on a Budget from About.com

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April 6, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Pre-Sale Renovations

                                                               vlgorman – Flickr.com

Pre-Sale Renovation: Home Seller Do’s and Don’ts | RISMedia

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Selling Your Home from RISMEDIA

5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly in Today’s Market

By Dan StewardPrint Article Print Article

RISMEDIA, November 22, 2010—It’s one thing when someone says “Things are looking up,” but quite another when the numbers actually bear that out. Happily, the latter is the case, evidenced by the latest statistics that show that home prices may be stabilizing. Namely, national home prices jumped an impressive 3.6% in the past year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released in late August. Prices also climbed 4.4% in the second quarter, which contrasts with a 2.8% decrease in the first quarter.

This uptick in prices leads to a simple conclusion: Sell now if you can. And you certainly can. A fast sale, taking advantage of these numbers, is entirely possible, and can result in a lot of profit and a very happy client. But telling your client to “sell quickly,” without backing it up, can inspire fear and even ire. Instead, give them these methodical, easy tips to selling fast and successfully, taking advantage of a market uptick, without inducing panic or stomach aches.

1. Don’t raise the price. The uptick in home prices doesn’t mean that you should get all excited and raise the price. The trick is to leave your price the same as it was—that will encourage a bidding war. Hearing news about home prices going up, and raising your price immediately as a response to that, is typically not the way to go; the home will likely sell for more as a result of two buyers fighting over your reasonable price, rather than walking away due to a price that’s too high. Remember, the goal is ultimately to get more money, not to have a higher list price.

2. Remain flexible. Selling quickly means making some concessions—and we’re not talking price. It’s those little extras that may inspire a buyer to sign on the dotted line. Obviously, no one has the right to get your vintage grand piano in the deal. But if a buyer wants your stainless-steel fridge with ice-maker, give it up. There’s more ice waiting in your new home.

3. De-clutter. For a quick sale, you may not have time to fully “stage” your home down to the accent pillows and entirely new living room furniture. But you do have time to clear out the clutter. If we saw a home we’d like, we’d look past the clutter, but most buyers won’t. So, before you worry about making your home pretty, focus on making it neat. In a better market, neat is often all you need.

4. Schedule more open houses—and don’t attend your own. When you have a longer time frame for selling, you can schedule open houses at your leisure, but if you want to sell fast, try for as many open houses as you can—and do not attend them, as a homeowner at their own open house often makes a potential buyer too nervous to comfortably look around.

5. Go big—and go local. If you haven’t listed in MLS (multiple-listing service), it’s a good idea, especially if you want to sell fast. The math is simple—more eyes on your listing equals more potential bites. But a lot of people who use the MLS forget that local advertising is important as well. Advertising in local and regional publications—as well as simply putting the word out with friends and family—are often skipped, expecting that the Internet will get the job done on its own.

Dan Steward is president of Pillar To Post Professional Home Inspections.

For more information, visit www.pillartopost.com.

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.

Have you heard about RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN)? RREIN is an elite network of leading real estate companies dedicated to providing consumers and their agents with leading real estate information, and committed to the belief that Information Share Equals Market Share. Having only launched this past June 2010, the RREIN network is already comprised of 40 leading brokerages, which make up 575 offices, 30,000 agents, 167,000 closings and represents over $41 billion in transactions. How can RREIN help your recruiting efforts and differentiate your company today? For more information, email rrein@rismedia.com.

Copyright© 2010 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers | , , , | Leave a comment

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?

How Long Does it Take to Sell a House?  Information from About.com

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November 1, 2010 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Why You Should Work With a Realtor

Sharing another post from Realtor Magazine – Realtor.org

Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.

4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.

8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.

9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.

 

 

 

 

 

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Selling Your Home in Today’s Market

Home Sellers Must Look Beyond Price Cuts in Today’s Market

By Kathleen LynnPrint Article Print Article

RISMEDIA, October 15, 2010—(MCT)—Ken and Linda Bolsch put their five-bedroom, five-year-old Mahwah, N.J., colonial on the market in January, sure that buyers would appreciate its low taxes, wooded lot, and impeccable decor and landscaping. But after nine months—and a price cut from $925,000 to $749,000—the house is still on the market, with the couple looking at a substantial loss at that price. “We fell in love with the house from the moment we saw it, and we don’t know why other people aren’t doing the same,” Ken Bolsch said.  “We’re so confused and confounded about the whole thing.”

These are tough days for sellers. Sales have plunged at least 20% from last year’s numbers, following the expiration of a federal tax credit for home buyers, and the real estate market is headed into a traditionally slow season. Small wonder that sellers feel discouraged and disappointed.

Bob Sandusky of Weichert, the Bolsches’ agent, sums up sellers’ feelings in one word: “frustration.”

“They’re angry. They’re bitter. They’re in a bad place; they’re in a sad place,” said Attilio Adamo of Prudential Adamo Realty in Harrington Park, N.J.

The usual prescription for a house that won’t sell is simple: Cut the price. “If the seller allows you to price it right, it goes,” said Roslyn Breitstein of Prudential Adamo.

But many sellers can’t stomach that thought. If they bought within the past few years, they may have mortgages bigger than the amount they could get for the house.

“They can’t believe that their house could be worth 30 percent less than what their neighbor got a few years ago,” said Barbara Liati of Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty in Tenafly, N.J. In fact, there’s one sentence that real estate agents hear over and over: “I’m not giving my house away.”

“It seems no matter what a person bought their home for, they do not feel in this economy they are getting the real value for their home,” said Ellen Weiner, a Weichert agent in Clifton, N.J.

And sellers have to deal with buyers who feel they have the upper hand. Buyers ask for lower prices, even if the price has already been cut. After a home is inspected, buyers will push sellers to correct even minor problems, agents say.

Moreover, buyers are in no rush to make an offer. “They’re worried about their jobs,” said Dick O’Connor, a Dumont, N.J., broker. “People are looking at houses, but they won’t buy.”

“Buyers keep thinking there’s going to be a better deal around the corner,” Adamo said.

“The buyer population out there wants it for nothing, and they want all the bling,” said Elizabeth Sarkozi, a corporate tax manager who put her four-bedroom, 52-year-old Englewood Cliffs, N.J., split-level on the market last February, asking $925,000.

She expected it to sell quickly because of the town’s relatively low taxes and location near New York City’s George Washington Bridge. But although she has dropped the price to $899,000, she has not found a buyer.

Sarkozi has not updated her house with all the extras some buyers seem to expect—whirlpool tubs in the bathroom, granite countertops in the kitchen. But she thinks they wouldn’t be happy anyway: “I’m convinced that even if I had granite countertops, they’d say, ‘You have gray—I wanted brown.’”

She has seen nearby properties go for $200,000 or more off their listing price. She figures those sellers may be under pressure to sell because of job losses or trouble paying the mortgage. She is not in that position, but the distressed sales are hurting the value of her property, she said.

“I have a sense that people are holding back to see how much lower things will go,” Sarkozi said. “It’s a waiting game. Your property is really worth what someone is willing to pay for it, but I’m not going to give it away. I’ve done everything I can and when it’s still not working, what am I supposed to do? Manufacture a buyer?

“It’s a very frustrating market right now, and I’m really not hopeful until I see an uptick in employment,” she continued. “I don’t expect to sell the house anytime soon. It may be spring before I sell it.”

Agents often remind sellers that the lower price they get when they sell will be offset by the lower price they will pay on the next property.

That’s the attitude of Samantha and John Karageorge, who have signed a contract to sell their 20-year-old Demarest, N.J., contemporary. They’re selling for less than what they’ve spent on the house, including the 2006 purchase price and the cost of extensive renovations.

An interior designer with S and S Designs, Samantha said she is looking for another house to improve. In the current market, she expects to find some attractive deals.

“This market is going to work to our benefit on the buy side this time,” she said.

But many sellers find it tough to keep that in mind when a buyer is low-balling them.

Some sellers face unusual challenges beyond the market climate. In Pompton Lakes, N.J., banker Keith Orotosky put his expanded Cape Cod on the market last May. The meticulously updated and landscaped house is on a dead-end street just a few blocks from the lake. But Orotosky has had no offers, despite lowering the price to $379,900.

The house is in the so-called plume area, where hazardous chemicals from a nearby defunct DuPont munitions factory have been seeping under houses. Orotosky accepted DuPont’s offer to install a venting system to draw the dangerous vapors out of the basement.

“But people look at Pompton Lakes, and say, ‘I don’t want it,’” Orotosky said. He added, half-seriously, “There’s only two sections—plume or flood.”

When Orotosky’s parents moved from Paterson, N.J., and bought the house in 1950, they weren’t concerned about the DuPont plant. “Who knew?” Orotosky said.

He said the closest thing he’s gotten to an offer was a prospective buyer who asked his agent if Orotosky would take $175,000—more than half off his asking price.

The Bolsches think their location, on Mahwah’s Stag Hill, is also working against them. Though they are only about two miles from Route 17 and Route 287, some prospective buyers find the area too rural; they say they want more of a “neighborhood” feel, with other kids nearby for their children to play with. Others say they are intimidated by the twisting road through the woods up the hill, although the Bolsches and their agent assure them that Mahwah keeps it clear during snowy weather.

Ken Bolsch, a former restaurateur and caterer, said he “felt like I was in Vermont” when he first saw the house. He and his wife bought it from the builder in February 2005, paying $812,000. The 4,000-square-foot house has granite countertops and other upscale touches, and is on a sloping lot studded with boulders and landscaped with stone walls. Its taxes are only $5,900—low for North Jersey.

In January, after deciding to move to Florida to help their son start a power-washing business, the couple put the house on the market for $925,000. “I knew that was kind of pie-in-the-sky, but I thought, ‘Let’s see what happens,’” Bolsch, recalled. “I thought we’d be out before Memorial Day.” But it’s still on the market, now at $749,000.

(c) 2010, North Jersey Media Group Inc.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.

Have you heard about RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN)? RREIN is an elite network of leading real estate companies dedicated to providing consumers and their agents with leading real estate information, and committed to the belief that Information Share Equals Market Share. Having only launched this past June 2010, the RREIN network is already comprised of 30 leading brokerages, which make up 525 offices, 30,000 agents, 160,000 closings and represents over $40 billion in transactions. How can RREIN help your recruiting efforts and differentiate your company today? For more information, email rrein@rismedia.com.

Copyright© 2010 RISMedia, The Leader in Real Estate Information Systems and Real Estate News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be republished without permission from RISMedia.

 

 

October 17, 2010 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

A Successful Garage Sale

How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale – from Realtor.org

 

 

 

 

Garage sales can be a great way to get rid of clutter — and earn a little extra cash — before you sell your home. But make sure the timing is right. Garage sales can take on a life of their own, and it might not be the best use of your energy right before putting your home on the market. Follow these tips for a successful sale.

1. Don’t wait until the last minute. You don’t want to be scrambling to hold a garage sale the week before an open house. Depending on how long you’ve lived in the home and how much stuff you have to sell, planning a garage sale can demand a lot of time and energy.

2. Get a permit. Most municipalities will require you to obtain a special permit or license in order to hold a garage sale. The permits are often free or very inexpensive, but still require you to register with the city.

3. See if neighbors want to join in. You can turn your garage sale into a block-wide event and lure more shoppers if you team up with neighbors. However, a permit may be necessary for each home owner, even if it’s a group event.

4. Schedule the sale. Sales on Saturdays and Sundays will generate the most traffic, especially if the weather cooperates. Start the sale early, 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. is best, and be prepared for early birds.

5. Advertise. Place an ad in free classified papers and Web sites, and in your local newspapers. Include the dates, time, and address. Let the public know if certain types of items will be sold, such as baby clothes, furniture, or weightlifting equipment. On the day of the sale, balloons and signs with prominent arrows will help to grab the attention of passersby.

6. Price your goods. Lay out everything that you plan to sell, and attach prices with removable stickers. Remember, garage sales are supposed to be bargains, so try to be objective as you set prices. Assign simple prices to your goods: 50 cents, 3 for $1, $5, $10, etc.

7. If it’s really junk, don’t sell it. Decide what’s worth selling and what’s not. If it’s really garbage, then throw it away. Broken appliances, for example, should be tossed. (Know where a nearby electrical outlet is, in case a customer wants to make sure something works.)

8. Check for mistakes. Make sure that items you want to keep don’t accidentally end up in the garage sale pile.

9. Create an organized display. Lay out your items by category, and display neatly so customers don’t have to dig through boxes.

10. Stock up on bags and newspapers. People who buy many small items will appreciate a bag to carry their goods. Newspapers are handy for wrapping fragile items.

11. Manage your money. Make a trip to the bank to get ample change for your cashbox. Throughout the sale, keep a close eye on your cash; never leave the cashbox unattended. It’s smart to have one person who manages the money throughout the day, keeping a tally of what was purchased and for how much. Keep a calculator nearby.

12. Prepare for your home sale. Donate the remaining stuff or sell it to a resale shop. Now that all of your clutter is cleared out, it’s time to focus on preparing your house for a successful sale!

September 22, 2010 Posted by | Home, Sellers | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Use a Realtor… or not

Use a Realtor… or not

Another fun video from HowRealtorsHelp.ca on You Tube….

September 20, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Fun Post, Home, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized, You Tube | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using a Realtor to Sell or Purchase a Home

Using a Realtor to Sell or Purchase a Home…

A just for fun You Tube Video from Power Sites – Watch and enjoying!

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Fun Post, Home, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized, You Tube | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why You Need a Realtor to Sell Your Home

Why you need a Realtor to sell your home…

Watch this funny You Tube Video –

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Home, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized, You Tube | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Selling a Home in the Fall

Tips for Selling a Home in the Fall ~

                                                     Pink Sherbet Photography ~ Flickr.com

While Fall isn’t the hardest time for selling homes, it also isn’t the easiest.  Here are 10 tips from HGTV’s FrontDoor.com

                                                                 chefranden – Flickr.com

                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~  CLICK Here to View Tips  ~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                                         Per Ola Wiberg ~ Powi – Flickr.com

August 31, 2010 Posted by | Fall, Front Door, HGTV, Home, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Estate Appraisals 101

Real Estate Appraisals 101 – from AOL Real Estate…

                                                                  Wonderlane – Flickr.com

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                                                                   lauren keith – Flickr.com

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling Your Home During the Holidays

FrontDoor.com has the Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays ~ CLICK ~

Holiday Home                                                                  Michele Eve – Flickr.com

Before we know it, the Holiday’s will be upon us – helpful ideas like these from FrontDoor.com

November 4, 2009 Posted by | Front Door, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Selling Guide

In today’s market, selling your home can be a challenge.  From HGTV’S FrontDoor.com

Tudor - Hyperfinch                                                                   Hyerfinch – Flickr.com

~ CLICK ~ to view helpful hints and ideas with their Home Seller’s Guide…

SOLD

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Front Door, HGTV, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding a Good Real Estate Agent

Realtor

Finding a good Real Estate Agent can be tricky.  You can start your search on the web, maybe by company – like Century 21, then by state and finally narrowing it to a certain town or area(s) your interested in.  Lets say Putnam County in New York in either Brewster, Patterson, Carmel, Kent, Mahopac, Putnam Valley   –  Century 21 VJF Realty handles all these areas – along with Westchester, Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties in New York – and counties through out Connecticut.

After finding a Real Estate office your comfortable with, now you can search for a Realtor – one that suits the needs of their clients, being available evenings, weekends and holidays – a full time agent.  Maybe you prefer someone who has experience, is full of knowledge, energetic, is up on all that is going on in TODAY’S market – including foreclosures, short sales and the explosion of networking with Facebook, Twitter, Active Rain, has a website and/or a Blog!  If not, then at least consider an agent that has a computer at home so they have access to getting  info at all times – and – a cell phone!

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As a Realtor, I have come across agents that DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE – or don’t give out their cell phone number – or turn off their phones at 6pm – ??  Others that leave their laptop in the office, therefore not having access to the Multiple Listing Service until they’re back in the office – Mmmm??  In my book, these agents are part timers – not full time agents.  I’m sure they have their reasons, and my guess is it works for them and they’re OK with it.  But, if your not, make sure sure you ask questions BEFORE you set up an appointment to meet and go out with a Realtor.  Ask why they got into Real Estate – because they love looking at houses and they can make their own hours – or – because they are passionate about selling homes, they eat, sleep and dream of Real Estate!  Ask if they would be available when it’s convenient for YOU – what time can you call them until – what areas do they show and sell in.  Also, while getting to know them, see if they seem honest, have a sense of humor, patience and are they LISTENING to you and what YOU need – you’ll appreciate all of these qualities in an agent to get you through the process of buying and/or selling your home which can be one of the most complex and significant financial event in your life!

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Brewster, Buyers, Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Putnam County, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Selling Your Home in Spring Tips

                                                        Noel Zia Lee – Flickr.comspring-blossoms-noel-zia-lee

Spring is here and historically it is when most buyers are out looking for homes to move into during the warm weather and others hoping to move in before the kids start school. 

If your looking to sell your home

FrontDoor.com 6 Staging Tips for Selling your home in the Spring market <CLICK>

                                                supershopperstoo – Flickr.comneat-supershoppertoo

For a FREE Comparative Marketing Analysis in the Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess County areas – and/or – Fairfield and parts of Litchfield Counties in Connecticut– Feel free to contact me for a confidential CMA.                    

                   Diana… cell: 203-648-2619       E-Mail: Diana.Santos@Century21.com

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Sellers, Spring, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

A Clutter Free Home

Whether your home is currently on the market – or your thinking of selling your home – or have no plans for selling at all – Living in a Clutter Free Home is wonderful!  Less Mess… equals Less Stress!

neat-room-supershoppertoo                                                     supershoppertoo – Flickr.com

When my 5 kids were little, and mornings getting ready for school could get crazy.  If you have children – 1 child – or maybe just yourself to get together in the am – being organized was and is key to having enough time for a good breakfast, no need for shouting and stressing and things going as smoothly as possible!  Everyone wondered why I had so much patience.  Alot came from again, being neat, organized and clutter free.  Just think how upset one gets when you can’t find your car keys – or your left shoe!  If everything gets put in their place, this could be avoided.

neat-drawer-mickelodeon                                                      Mickelodeon – Flickr.com

Even now, with my kids being 20, 18, 16, 15 and 13 years old, I insist on that way of life.  I think it’s great that they’re able to get up, have their clothes picked out from the night before, everything needed to get ready is at their fingertips so no time is wasted – and rather spend that time to eat well, grab their lunch – which is always made the night before – and be able to run off to school on time. OK – I admit, with teenagers, it doesn’t ALWAYS work so smoothly!

This works well with my life as a Realtor – having my electronic keys updated, my appointments made, listings printed out – one copy for me and one for my clients, gas in my car, addressed inputted into my GPS, I-Pod ALWAYS in my purse to be able to connect to my car – along with my camera and Flip video camera, and last – but not least – my cell phone and back up battery always charged.  Even if a client calls and asks to view a house in – an hour – I can usually always make it work – since most of the above has been done!  Keeping organized – keeps me sane.  And knowing that there are always days that things can’t and don’t seem to run smoothly is also important.  

neat-kitchen-supershoppertoo                                                 supershoppertoo – Flickr.com

During my appointments, viewing homes with clients, many can see past the dirty dishes in the sink, the pile of smelly shoes near the front door, the dead fish floating in the fish tank – but some simply can not see past all of this!  It is an instant turn off and with sooo many homes on the market, they simply want to move onto the next!  And I can’t blame them since I can’t help but think that if the homeowners can’t keep up with the laundry and make the beds, then I wonder if they’ve had the time or responsibility to service their furnace yearly, have the septic pumped every 2 or 3 years or fix a leaky pipe asap??

clutter-joe-shlabotnik                                     Joe Shlabotnik – Flickr.com

The easiest way to get started on getting organized is to pick a day – any day – whether it’s when the kids are at school and your home alone – or when the kids are home and you have them help.  Make a LIST – Tackle ONE ROOM AT A TIME – Have REWARDS for you and anyone that helps.  For me, I would say that after I’m all done cleaning out the garage, I will NOT be making dinner – Pizza for all and a glass of wine for me!  To get the kids to help, say after they’re done helping, they can pick what’s for dinner – or what movie to rent – or – you can take them to the mall for a TREAT!  And don’t forget to stay hydrated, take snack breaks to refuel, play some hoping music to get you going and have fun!

Also watch a video from

dinner-wine-glass-window                                    glass window – Flickr.com

For someone selling their home, think of how easy it will be if you get a last minute call for a viewing – or an unexpected guest comes over – or you get sick and family or friends come to help – how do you explain the moldy containers in the fridge – the 9 piles of laundry – the empty cupboards since no dishes have been done!  Yes – this is a bit much, but I have seen this!  No one is perfect – but there is always room for improvement.  Please keep in mind that stress can lead to numerous health issues with your heart, immune system, weight gain…

January 17, 2009 Posted by | HGTV, Home, Life as a Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Price Your Home to Sell

In this more challenging market, “Price Your Home to Sell” featured in FrontDoor.com – has some helpful hints and how to list and sell your home.

                                                                

Interest rates are still historically low and there are buyers.  Although, those buyers – even first timers – are very knowledgeable and know exactly what they want – and many want a more move in home.

How can you stand out as a seller without spending too much money that you may not recoup?

  • First impressions are very important and you want a buyer to feel good  when they drive up to your home.  Add a dash of color with seasonal flowers – mums are great now in the Fall. Keep shrubs and grass trim, leaves raked and walkways clean and inviting. To take it a step up, Lowe’s has some great ideas – even if you just use one of these.
  • Keep your home clean and tidy – view HGTV’s Speedy Cleaning & Organizing Tips – Remember, buyers have a hard time getting past the mess!
  • As you all know, the Kitchen and Bathrooms are the most important features that buyer are looking for.  Keep them clean, decluttered and as updated as possible.  Some inexpensive ideas – like changing the hardware and/or painting cabinets, can help bring in more buyers.

                                             

A few other ideas – Reed Diffusers are great – they smell delicious and there is not the worry that you may have with leaving a lit candle.

Light and Bright – Open your blinds, pull back your curtains, have your lights on when you know there is a showing and leave a note for the Realtor to please shut them off when done.

                                                              

Leave a “Treat” for your potential buyers. Some have being viewing homes all day – a Trick or Treat bag is perfect this month!

Show off” your home by having your listing agent take many photos and add all that is allowed to your listing.

Please be flexible when it comes to showings.  You don’t have to leave your home for the entire afternoon – wondering if the agent has come yet.  As soon as they arrive, take a walk, a ride or visit a neighbor.

If your selling your home in the Fall or Winter, have photos of your home during the Spring and Summer seasons.

Also, if possible, have copies of your survey, floor plan, school info, local parks and shops.  Anything and everything that will help draw a potential buyer not only to your home, but your community.

Most importantly – PRICE it right!  Unfortunately, it’s not what you want or need – the market controls the price.  Have your agent inform you of what has recently Sold and any New Listings in your neighborhood as they come up during the entire listing time.  You need to know if a home 3 doors down that is larger and totally renovated, is on the market for LESS than your home.

Lot’s of LUCK!

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fall and Landscaping

 

fall

It’s Fall and there’s still lot’s of gardening to be done besides raking leaves!  LOWE’S has helpful ideas for “Digging In” during Autumn’s cool days. What a great time to garden – no bugs, no heat and no sweat!

DIY Network explains why leaves change color in the Fall – making a ride to Upstate New York a wonderful place for foliage observers.

                                                             

If selling your home during the Fall season, it’s important to keep the yard neat and inviting by raking and decorating the yard with mums and pumpkins – and don’t forget to bring some of these fall items inside the home too! 

                                           

Thanks to GOOGLE IMAGERY and ClipArt.com

October 3, 2008 Posted by | Autumn, Fall, NY, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Great Real Estate Agent

Qualities of a great real estate agent

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 9/03/08

BY: FRONTDOOR.com

 

realtors 

When shopping for a home, matching an agent to your needs is vital.

There are great real estate agents and terrible real estate agents. Within each category are agents whose behavior puts them at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

In other words, the best real estate agents are truly stellar. The worst agents? Well, let’s just say that if you wind up with a terrible real estate agent you’ll probably have war stories to share about your home purchase or sale at the next cocktail party you attend. (Unfortunately, stories about terrible real estate agents are shared more often than stories about great real estate agents.)

When hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your next home, the trick is to find one who really listens to what you have to say; who will go the extra mile to help make your purchase a little less stressful; who will help you be objective when you become emotional about plunking down the single biggest chunk of cash ever; and who can help you understand and work with local market conditions.

 

I suspect that most buyers spend more time thinking about the curtains they’ll hang, the granite countertops they’ll install, or the boxes they’ll need for their move than the agent they’ll hire to help with the purchase of the property itself.

Why is that? Why isn’t creating a home-buying team the top priority when beginning the process of buying a home?

Perhaps it is because going through the process isn’t perceived as being that much fun.

But that’s where hiring a great real estate agent can make all the difference. What qualities should you look for?

The real estate agent you hire should have an intimate knowledge with your neighborhood of choice. The agent should have worked in a neighborhood for awhile, seen a lot of the housing stock, and know the history of the neighborhood, trends associated with it and where the locals hang out. The agent should know about home values and should have the ability to come to you and tell you what other homes have sold for in the neighborhood and what other homes are listed for in the same neighborhood. The agent should also have information to back up why some homes are listed for more than others and be able to represent you when you are ready to make an offer for a home. The agent should know about the school district, shopping, commuting and recreational options. He or she should basically be a wealth of information, and be able to point out the flaws as well as the outstanding features of the community.

The real estate agent you hire should be able to really listen to your wants, needs, dreams and desires, and ask questions that help you delve beneath the surface to figure out what’s really driving those wants and needs. Real estate agents sometimes say that “buyers are liars,” because buyers tend to change their mind about what they really want to buy during the home-buying process. But if an agent is able to draw out the buyer ahead of time, and help him or her focus on the important issues of the purchase, it will save everyone a lot of time.

It’s also important to hire an agent who is willing to tell you what you may not want to hear — but should. If you’re a buyer who is unrealistic about a local neighborhood, you’ll want an agent to tell you that what you want to buy can’t be found for the price and is unworkable in the current marketplace. No one wants to have their dreams dashed, but you’ll come to see that your real estate agent is doing you a favor by not allowing you to run away from reality.

A great real estate agent comes laden with resources, similar to a hotel concierge. (Some real estate companies talk about the “concierge” services they provide.) The agent you hire should be able to provide you with a handful of great home inspectors, mortgage lenders and real estate attorneys for you to interview. (Be wary of the agent who steers you to one specific inspector, mortgage lender or real estate attorney. What you want is a choice of great partners.) If you need help locating service people, a handyman, or even a new pediatrician, a great real estate agent should have those names and numbers at his or her fingertips. Being a walking neighborhood directory for many longtime top agents is part of the service they provide.

on-line

A great real estate agent stays in touch. Top real estate agents use technology to help them communicate frequently with their buyers. E-mail, BlackBerrys, iPhones, cell phones, electronic newsletters, Web sites, digital photography and video help agents share properties that they’ve previewed, provide feedback, and keep buyers updated on the progress that is being made.

Finally, when you hire an agent, it’s like a short-term marriage. When the transaction is completed, when you’ve bought your new home, the intense relationship you’ve created comes to an end. With a great real estate agent, you’ll find you don’t want your time together to end. While these are just some of the qualities you should look for in determining whether the agent is a good match for you, you still need to make sure to get referrals and recommendations for the agent from other buyers he or she has represented recently.

What happens next? Dinner — ostensibly to discuss past and future deals, but really to move your relationship into the long-term-friendship stage.

Images through iClipArt.com

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment