Ways to Make Your Home More Appealing from RIS Media Real Estate….
5 Tips for Selling Your Home Quickly in Today’s Market
By Dan Steward 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.
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How Long Does it Take to Sell a House? Information from About.com
Brought to you by the National Association of Realtors®
By: G. M. Filisko
Published 2010-03-30 10:37:22
After finding a buyer, all you have to do to make it to closing is to avoid these five traps.
Finding a buyer for your home is just the first step on the homeselling path. Tread carefully in the weeks ahead because if you make one of these common seller mistakes, your deal may not close.
Mistake #1: Ignore contingencies
If your contract requires you to do something before the sale, do it. If the buyers make the sale contingent on certain repairs, don’t do cheap patch-jobs and expect the buyers not to notice the fixes weren’t done properly.
Mistake #2: Don’t bother to fix things that break
The last thing any seller needs is for the buyers to notice on the pre-closing walk-through that the home isn’t in the same condition as when they made their offer. When things fall apart in a home about to be purchased, sellers must make the repairs. If the furnace fails, get a professional to fix it, and inform the buyers that the work was done. When you fail to maintain the home, the buyers may lose confidence in your integrity and the condition of the home and back out of the sale.
Mistake #3: Get lax about deadlines
Treat deadlines as sacrosanct. If you have three days to accept or reject the home inspection, make your decision within three days. If you’re selling, move out a few days early, so you can turn over the keys at closing.
Mistake #4: Refuse to negotiate any further
Once you’ve negotiated a price, it’s natural to calculate how much you’ll walk away with from the closing table. However, problems uncovered during inspections will have to be fixed. The appraisal may come in at a price below what the buyers offered to pay. Be prepared to negotiate with the buyers over these bottom-line-influencing issues.
Mistake #5: Hide liens from buyers
Did you neglect to mention that Uncle Sam has placed a tax lien on your home or you owe six months of homeowners association fees? The title search is going to turn up any liens filed on your house. To sell your house, you have to pay off the lien (or get the borrower to agree to pay it off). If you can do that with the sales proceeds, great. If not, the sale isn’t going to close.
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G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who wanted a successful closing on a Wisconsin property so bad that she probably made her agent rethink going into real estate. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.
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Home Sellers Must Look Beyond Price Cuts in Today’s Market
By Kathleen Lynn 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: email@example.com.
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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.
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!
Why you need a Realtor to sell your home…
Watch this funny You Tube Video -
Tips for Selling a Home in the Fall ~
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
FrontDoor.com has the Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays ~ CLICK ~
Michele Eve – Flickr.com
Before we know it, the Holiday’s will be upon us – helpful ideas like these from FrontDoor.com
In today’s market, selling your home can be a challenge. From HGTV’S FrontDoor.com -
Hyerfinch – Flickr.com
Noel Zia Lee – Flickr.com
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…
supershopperstoo – Flickr.com
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
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!
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.
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.
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??
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
- HGTV – Kitchen Organized <CLICK>
- HGTV – Reorganizing Your Medicine Cabinet <CLICK>
- HGTV - Getting Organized for the New Year <CLICK>
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…
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
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!
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
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