Tag Archives: real estate

The Top Do’s and Don’ts When Selling Your Home

Selling Don’ts

1. Think you know more than your Realtor and insist on listing your home over what your Realtor  advises. They are the experts and know the market. This is the most important “don’t” when selling your home, bar none!

2. Clean your home by cramming all your junk into every conceivable storage space. It’s a given that buyers will look in your closets, cabinets, basement and garage. If your storage areas are crammed with “stuff”, you’re sending a flag that their “stuff” won’t fit either.

3. Wait until a few days before your open house to discard or store unnecessary furniture, personal collections and family photos. Rent PODS – the newest, fastest growing self-storage units, or call on family to store the things you don’t absolutely need. This serves two purposes: you’ll have far less to do once you sell and showcase the room’s square footage.

4. Assume buyers are going to take on your deferred maintenance like broken doorbells, leaky faucets, chipped molding, running toilettes and/or torn screens. Buyers want turnkey homes. Moreover, you don’t want to give them instant negatives when they walk in the door.

5. Fill your home with Glad Plugins and similar products. It’s akin to spraying perfume in lieu of a shower – it doesn’t work and buyers suspect your trying to mask unpleasant odors. Clean is the only smell everyone loves!

6. Assume buyers are pet lovers – many are not and some are allergic to cats and dogs. During showings and open houses, temporarily take pets and all trances of them out of the home. Yes, this is a hassle, I know, but it’s temporary and your goal is to sell quickly.

7. Neglect curb appeal it’s buyer’s first impression of your home in person and on MLS (where 90% of buyer’s start their home search). Hire a landscaping company or do it yourself. Don’t forget to trim hedges, add fresh mulch and blow debris clear from walkways, porch and driveway.

Selling Do’s

1. Find a reputable, seasoned Realtor and let them price your home based on their research, knowledge and comparable comps. Did you know that 85% of people think their home is worth more than it is?!  Defer to your Realtor and trust that they understand the market and are experts at pricing homes!

2. Throw out any outdated, dusty floral arrangements and flower swags that went out with the eighties. Replace them with real plants, or buy high quality silk arrangements that will pass for the real thing – just not at the dollar store!

3. Paint the interior of your home in neutral colors. Nothing cleans and brightens up a home more than a fresh coat of paint. Moreover, it yields the biggest bang for your buck with a staggering150% return on investment. Consult a NJ home stager for the most popular neutral wall colors that have mass appeal.

4. Have your rugs shampooed so they are clean and odor free. You can rent carpet cleaners at most grocery stores or hire a carpet cleaning company. While you’re at it, open all your windows and air out your home every few days.

5. Give every room a purpose taking the guess work out for buyers. If you’re selling your home as a 4 bedroom, but have been using one of the rooms as an office/home gym, return it to a bedroom. If you have a small room with no closet, make that room an office.

6. Make your master bedroom non-gender specific. Invest in neutral bedding and add some decorative pillows. Look at high-end hotels. They are designed to appeal to the masses. Grandma’s homemade afghan isn’t going to cut it!

7. Invest in a home staging consultation. Home stagers are experts on preparing your home for the market. They understand and can implement all the necessary changes that will give your home that competitive edge it needs in today’s market


Compliments of Elite Staging and Redesign – Kristine Ginsberg – 201 602 2562


Home Staging Morris County – Staged to Sell, Designed to Live!

You have 90 seconds to make a great first impression once your home goes on the market.


Posted by on August 30, 2012 in Real Estate News



Tips to sell your home faster to younger buyers.

There are tips from Kristie Barnett. For more help on staging, visit her website at
Educating my clients about the audience they will be marketing to is one of the most important things a home stager can do. When you put your home on the market to sell, you should know that the next owner will likely be younger than you are. That’s why you should stop thinking about what you like or want in a home and start thinking about what your most likely buyer will want.
contemporary living room by Found Design

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1. Stick with warm, neutral walls. If your target demographic is “young professional” or “young family,” try using a warm gray as a neutral wall color. The gold or pinky-beige wall color you chose 10 years ago is going to seem outdated to this new group of home buyers.On-trend neutrals like grays allow potential homeowners to envision bringing in complementary colors and clean-lined furnishings to make it their own.
2. Invest in white cabinetry. Many home buyers younger than 40 prefer white or off-white kitchen cabinetry. They don’t want to see their momma’s dark kitchen cabinetry in their new home! Consider a kitchen facelift if you have dark kitchen cabinetry with orange or red undertones.Benjamin Moore’s Advanceis a great paint to consider. It’s a hybrid of latex and oil, and it requires very little prep work.
traditional kitchen by Teri Turan

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3. Update your appliances. Many younger home buyers cannot fathom buying a home without stainless steel appliances. You’ll need to update your almond ones with stainless replacements before putting it on the market.
4. Look for simple stone countertopsGranite and stone countertops are a must-have for most young home buyers — it will make the difference between whether they choose your home or your neighbor’s home. But don’t make the mistake of installing busy or taste-specific granitethat may not appeal to everyone. If you plan to be in your home for a long time, go for it — but not if you plan to sell within the next few years.Instead, choose a granite that is almost black or something with a minimum of colors and veining. Anything more might be a turnoff to those picky younger buyers.

5. Open up your shower space. Young professionals love large, open glass showers. The garden-variety tub isn’t where it’s at anymore.
6. Keep it simple for families with children. People with young kids are less likely to want a fixer-upper. If your target demographic is “young family with small children,” it’s important that your property be ready for them to move right in. Make sure the home has no unfinished projects or red flags for young families.7. Consider selling your home as a fixer-upper. If your neighborhood is becoming a mecca for young professionals, there may be some appeal to the fixer-upper if the price is right. These younger adults without children may have the time, energy and imagination for making over an older home. Even so, the price will have to be lower than if it were picture perfect.

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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Real Estate News, Sellers



Thinking of Selling – Make a “to do” list first


Home sale preparation is an integral part of getting the best price for your property. No matter what the market’s like, the right prep work can make your house more appealing to potential buyers and give you an edge over other properties for sale in your neighborhood. As with any project, selling a home is easier if you’ve got a solid plan and a bit of professional help. To make the process as smooth as possible, you’ll want to start by making a list of needed projects and involving a real estate agent.

Home Sale Preparation: Getting Started
Your first step in preparing your home for sale is to create an overall list of things to do. It might be a good idea to consult with an experienced real estate agent who regularly handles properties in your neighborhood. Usually, the agent will do this free of charge. Though it’s certainly possible to prepare your home for sale on your own, involving a real estate agent as you make your list can be more helpful than you might think. First, an agent experienced in working with homes in your neighborhood is the most qualified person to tell you how your home will be perceived by potential buyers who shop in your market. For instance, an experienced real estate agent can tell you whether the kitchen needs painting or needs a new floor or new countertops. Second, a real estate agent is objective and will see your home through the eyes of an outsider, just as potential buyers will. Home sale preparation is a bit tricky for those who’ve been living in the house. Things that look perfectly fine to you because you’ve been looking at them for years and years may stand out as needing attention in the eyes of an objective observer.

Taking Objective Advice When Selling a Home
While real estate agents can be great resources, they are nearly useless if you make it clear that you don’t want any bad news. We all become quite emotionally attached to our homes. In many ways, our home is an extension of ourselves, and it is difficult to have someone tell us that the shade of paint we picked out for the den is a liability in selling the house. We are bound to be a little hurt and will often respond by, in effect, shooting the messenger.

Instead, we should make a decision up front: Do we want good advice or do we want to hear only what makes us feel good? Just hearing what makes us feel good can be expensive when the final sale price for your home is determined. Selling a house that doesn’t show well can be a real nightmare, but since a realtor does not want to lose a listing, if we make it clear that we don’t want to hear anything critical about our home, he or she won’t offer such information.

Making Your Home Sale Preparation List
You’ve found an experienced local real estate agent, and you’ve made it clear in voice and action that you want a clear analysis of what needs to be done to prepare your home for sale. Together you can systematically develop a list of what will need to be done and why. Your real estate agent can help with the details and give you sound advice on how far to go with each project without spending money that you won’t get back.

What to Do with Your List
You have now identified everything that you will need to do to prepare your home for sale. Look at your overall list and decide which things you want to handle yourself. Keep in mind that sorting through the clutter will take a lot longer than you anticipate. For that matter, nearly all do-it-yourself projects take longer than you think, so be realistic about what you can accomplish on your own. In general, you will save if you do it yourself, but things like roofing and floor refinishing are almost always better left to the pros. If there are things like a new roof or floors or walls or any remodeling involved, make sure you check with the township to determine if you need a permit or not. If you do, it’s probably a good idea to use a contractor since the township will also want to inspect the work. You want to avoid a lot of last-minute hassle and expense having pros coming out to do things that you never got around to or need to fix, and you don’t want to risk putting yourself in the position of having to show the house before it’s really ready


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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Sellers


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Should I disclose this?

Candy Miles-Crocker has some very good points when it comes to disclosing old problems in your home. I just wanted to add that by disclosing these, you could potentially avoid future problems with the buyer of your home.

Do I Have To Disclose ThatWe have all heard the questions…

“We’ve lived here for 10 years and never had water in the basement until that really bad storm last year.  Do we have to disclose that?”

“The fireplace can’t be used because it needs a new liner, but it was like that when we bought it.  Do we have to disclose that?”

“We had a fire several years ago, but as you can see…it’s like a brand new house.  Do we have to disclose that?”


The list can go on and on, but you get the idea.  Since we are the real estate professionals, sellers are constantly asking us what they should or need to disclose when it comes time to put their house on the market.  I don’t believe they ask us these questions because they are trying to hide something.  I believe they ask because they really don’t think there is an issue with not disclosing something that was a one time occurrence or something that was repaired.


Although some jurisdictions don’t even have disclosure laws and statues and the jurisdictions that do have very different criteria, I believe that common sense should take over at some point.  When in doubt, the answer is “yes”, you should disclose (unless you are in a jurisdiction that does not require disclosure and the seller directs you not to disclose certain information).


I say you should disclose because it is the right thing to do.  Buyers deserve to know what they are buying.  In most cases they make an offer on a property prior to having a home inspection, so they are depending on the seller’s disclosure to give them an idea as to the condition of the property.  If they knew the property had lots of little (and sometimes big) issues, they probably would have made a different offer.


Another reason to disclose…neighbors.  Almost every neighborhood has a neighbor who thinks they know everything about every one.  Can you imagine the buyers meeting the neighbor for the first time and the neighbor asks, “so you’re the people who bought the house that caught on fire last year”.  How do you think the buyers will feel if they had no idea the house they just moved into had a major fire?  More than likely they will feel deceived and begin to wonder what else wasn’t told to them.  Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Why not just tell buyers upfront and let them make an informed offer.  In my opinion, when it comes to disclosure…if you have to ask the question, than you need to disclose it…period.


Posted by on June 28, 2012 in Sellers


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Some tips if you are selling your house and you have a pet or pets?

Many of us have pets that are considered family, but potential buyers may not feel the same way. They may not be animal lovers or may have allergies but with a bit of work, you won’t be turning them away from possible interest in your home.
If you cannot find a way to temporarily relocate your pet, place him/her in a pet carrier or cage in an out-of-the-way room (non-used bedroom, basement, etc.) when buyers are scheduled to view your home.  Make sure there is heat or air conditioning wherever they are and that they have fresh water for however long you plan to be away.

If you there are carpet stains from a recent or older “oops” or there are pet odors (ask a trusted friend or neighbor – you may be used to the odor and not notice it but others will), look into hiring  a professional cleaning company.  If this fails, replace the carpet or consider installing hardwood floors (better than offering an allowance).  Buyers will see stains or smell the presence of an animal and may form an early opinion, which isn’t likely to be favorable, before even giving your house a chance.  Once your pets are out of the house, remove their litter box or training pad(s) and clean the area thoroughly.

Remove any pet toys and/or furniture, when a showing is scheduled.

When you sell a home, your Agent will take photos for the listing.  Avoid any photos that show your pet, his/her toys or bed.  Buyers are not looking for a pet, but rather a house that they can call home.

Many states Seller Disclosures (including PA), require you to state how many animals have lived in the home, what kind and for how long so a buyer will know. Just don’t make it so obvious that they have the run of the house!


Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Sellers



For Sale: 3BR/1 1BA Single Family House in Leesport, PA, $103,000

This is a great home priced under market value since it’s a short sale. Only $103,000 with 2 or 3 bedrooms, a garage with storage above, a finished basement with additional storage. For more info, click on this link – For Sale: 3BR/1 1BA Single Family House in Leesport, PA, $103,000.

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Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Buyers, Real Estate News


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