Top 4 Tips to Selling your Home the quickest and at the best possible price

4 Quick Tips for helping to sell your home

There are lots of different points of views on when and how to sell your home. We are often asked what are the best things we can do to get the most value for our home when the time comes to sell it? Beyond the obvious, which is keeping it clean and de-cluttered, we’ve come up with 4 key things you can do and consider when selling your home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

How a home looks and feels to a potential buyer can make all the difference. Spring is the biggest season in the real estate market, and while many in the area may be about to put their homes on the market, there are some practices to keep in mind when doing so, Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers said.

How a house is presented can influence how long the house will sit on the market and even how much money the seller can sell the house for. Santoro said there are many small things that a seller can do to make sure the house isn’t on the market for a long period of time. Nick says “you only have one chance to make a first impression, and making a good first impression can go a long way in selling your house.”

If potential buyers feel comfortable in a house and can see themselves living there, they are more likely to buy or consider the house.

Here are four tips we often share with our clients on how sellers should present their homes when looking to sell:

Declutter and keep your home as clean as possible
This may seem simple, but people touring the house like to see clean and polished homes.
Little things such as if the burners are dirty or if the light switches have smudges on them can really turn a buyer off.

A lot of times it’s the little things that can make a big difference in buyers’ minds. For example, things such as stains in the carpet, dirty appliances and clutter lying around the house should be taken care of before showing the house.

Since people selling the house will soon be moving, now is when sellers should start cleaning their house and getting rid of unnecessary items.

We encourage people to not clutter up their houses by putting all of these items in one spot, such as a garage or basement because potential buyers have trouble looking past the mess.
If the house is cluttered, sometimes people will wonder what else on the property hasn’t been taken care of.

Home inspection
One of the most important things a potential seller can do is get a full home inspection prior to putting the house on the market. Joe Santoro, of Personal Property Managers points out that even if there is a meeting of the minds between the buyer and seller as to price, and bank approvals are in place, a buyer home inspection can bring to light many things that need to be addressed. This is often the time when most deals blow up. Many times sellers are insulted with a home inspection report and buyers feel that all items identified in the inspection report need to be addressed by the seller. This could run into the thousands of dollars. Thus, we advise sellers to spend the money to get a home inspection in advance of putting their home on the market to be pro-active in addressing these issues.

Since most sellers put their houses on the market three to six months before selling, an early home inspection can give early warning signs about potential repairs or problems with the house.
If you find out ahead of time, it’s easier to make those repairs and get the house ready; you don’t want the new owners thinking you cut corners.

Making repairs on the house after the fact can delay the closing and cause more headaches in the long run.

Curb appeal
Things such as landscaping can give homes high curb appeal, making them take less time to sell.
While sellers may not get the same value back that they spent on how the house looks, it does make a big difference in the eyes of potential buyers.

Nick says that when the house looks nice on the outside, it sets the tone for what is on the inside.
Trees make a big difference in both providing shade for the yard but also by providing a more homey feel.

A well-taken care of yard will do wonders for potential sellers. Even if it’s minor fixes such as mowing the grass or painting the shutters, potential buyers will enjoy the house’s curb appeal.

Blank walls

Lastly, one thing potential buyers try to do when touring a home is picturing themselves at that particular residence.

One way to help them do that is by taking personal photos off of the refrigerator and walls.
By removing personal objects, the person walking through can imagine his or her family photos on the walls and not someone else’s.

People want to imagine living there, by taking things off the walls, they’re able to do that more easily.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty.

Top 3 Tips for Getting the most value when selling your home

3 Quick ways to help increase the value of your home

People are always asking us what’s the best way to increase the value and selling price of our home. We took a look at recent industry information, trends and returns on investments and came up with the top 3 things that you can do to quickly increase the value of your home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. Refurbish the bathroom, not the kitchen
It has long been told that the best remodeling you could do was the kitchen. We found this to not be true. According to cost vs. value studies, we found it’s actually the bathroom remodel that adds the most value to a house.

According to recent studies, it makes the most logical sense to redo the bathroom because with a bathroom remodeled you are adding functionality to your home whereas kitchen upgrades are often more about fashion.
Recent remodeling studies show that a mid-range $3,000 bathroom remodel results in a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1.00 spend on renovation.

Plus when guest come to stay with you, they are going to be a lot happier that you have a nicer bathroom than kitchen. Did you know that kitchen renovations offer among the lowest returns on investment? Both mid range and upscale work on the kitchen recover only about half of their investment.

Invest wisely and don’t invest too much money in the bathroom. An upscale remodeled $12,000 bathroom result only in an $0.87 increase in home value for every $1.00 spent.

2. Selling season
Home sales reach their peak in June, during the last week of that month residential real estate transactions are 40% higher than average. But when is the right time to list your home?

The home season starts to crank up in January and February. But to get the most bang for your buck you might want to list your house during the last two weeks of March. There’s a sharp spike in visitors making contact with real estate agents beginning in mid-April and continuing into July.

Selling in the last weeks of March, before the peak in agent contacts and after the peak of newly listed homes in February puts your home in the sweet-spot where it’s likely to be seen quickly and not get lost within a flood of new listings.

3. Psychologically price your home
Ending your home price in a ‘9’ also is something powerful to consider. According to national real estate trade groups, if you were going to sell your house for $150,000, just pricing it down by $1,000 and selling it for $149,000 ends up in you making $2175 more than you would if you priced it at $150,000.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty.

Top 6 Reasons your home may not be selling

6 Reasons your home may not be selling

Nothing’s more frustrating for a seller than having your home sit on the market. And sit… and sit… and sit some more. Maybe buyers are touring your house, but not making offers. Or maybe buyers aren’t visiting your home at all. Either way, you’re starting to feel rejected. Often, the reason a home sits on the market for longer than expected boils down to a few easy-to-fix issues. Here are six of the big ones.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. You’ve priced it too high.
No matter what you feel your home should be worth, the truth is it’s only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Get a feel for what the comps — or comparable homes in your area — are going for and listen to buyer feedback. If people are consistently telling you the price is an issue, it’s time to pay attention. Trust your real estate agent to inform you about a fair price for the current market, and if you’re truly dead-set on getting your ideal asking price, take an honest look at whether you need to make upgrades to your home or wait for a market uptick.

2. No one knows it’s for sale.
Simply sticking a “for sale” sign in the lawn won’t cut it. Today’s buyers do the majority of their home searching online, which means you need to get your home listed on major real estate sites and on the MLS, or the multiple listing service, used by realtors and brokers. You’ll also want to make sure your online listing includes plenty of high-quality, well-staged photos.

3. It’s got glaring issues…but…..
It could be a big issue (like a old and leaking roof), or it could be a small but obnoxious issue that buyers just can’t get past (like outdated carpeting or wall paper). Either way, the fact that your home isn’t selling means buyers are consistently finding something wrong with it. Ask potential buyers for feedback after you conduct showings; their answers may help clue you in to the problem. Some buyers are willing to accept a lower price or a closing credit for a home with a sticking-point issue, but others are turned off from the start and figure it’s not worth the hassle of fixing it themselves or trying to negotiate a concession.

4. It doesn’t show well.
Make sure that when prospective buyers tour your home, there’s nothing stopping them from falling in love with it. Open those blinds and curtains to let the natural light in and put lamps in areas that are especially dim. Remove any bulky furniture that makes the rooms hard to navigate. Take care of those small items you’ve been putting off, like fixing sticky drawer pulls or that leaky faucet. Small updates like these could be turning off buyers.

5. Buyers can’t picture themselves living there.
The more you enable buyers to picture their own life in your house, the more likely they’ll be to make an offer. Clean and remove clutter and get rid of overly personal items like those family photos along the stairway and your kids’ artwork on the fridge. If your home is currently empty, near-empty, or your furnishings aren’t to most buyers’ tastes, you may want to consider hiring someone to professionally stage your rooms.

6. You’ve neglected the curb appeal.
More than one buyer has pulled up to a house whose listing they liked, taken one look at the exterior, and driven away. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your home is on the inside; if buyers aren’t willing to step in the door, then you’ve lost them.

A few simple fixes can make your curb appeal irresistible. Weed and mulch the flowerbeds, trim the hedges, clear the walkways, and repaint any flaking siding. Consider adding some “homey” touches like a wreath on the door or a bench on the porch. You don’t need to spend a ton on landscaping; just making the outside look presentable and welcoming can make all the difference.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home

6 Top Tips for Selling your Home for the best Possible Price

6 Top Tips for Selling your Home for the best Possible Price

Are you thinking about selling your home? Are you the executor of an estate and need to liquidate the asset and sell the property? Are you torn between selling your home as is or putting in a lot of money for renovation work and or upgrades and are not certain you will get a return on your investment?
We have put together list of the top 8 tips you may want to consider when selling your home and getting the biggest bag for your buck. These helpful tips are part of a continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ). Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services, property management and content clean-out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. Clean it up
The cheapest and easiest way to increase the value if of your home in the eyes of potential buyers, is to make sure your home shows as well as possible. How do you do this? Make sure it’s spotlessly clean. Most people don’t have the imagination to look past piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen and discarded clothing strewn across your bedroom floor, to see how much nicer things would be if they lived there.
Just think of it this way…if there are two houses selling in an area at the same price at the same time, experience tells us that the cleaner one is likely to be snapped up faster.

2. If it’s broken…fix it
Don’t forget to ensure the gutters and roof tiles are in good order. One obvious maintenance job often overlooked is the garage door – and it’s usually the first thing a potential buyer sees. In addition, most buyers will have a home inspection done prior to purchase. Be pro-active. Address known issues in advance. Don’t let this hamper a deal.

3. Light and Mirrors
It’s a known fact that houses that let in a lot of light are likely to sell faster and for more money than dark, dingy ones. If you have lace or net curtains, remove them while you’re selling to let in the sunshine. If there are hedges blocking windows, cut them back.
Add mirrors. They are an easy way to maximize light and create a feeling of space.

4. Curb your dog
We all know that pets take a special place in our hearts, but that may not be true for a potential buyer. So, if you are selling your home, you will need to remove your pet…at least during showings. Vacuum those dog hairs off the living room couch and remove his basket and blankets from your bedroom.
Just as important, don’t forget about pet smells. Pet odors also suggest to potential buyers that there may be extra maintenance work, like replacing stained carpets and sanding down scratched doors.

5. De-clutter
A clean house sells much faster and at a higher price than a messy home. It’s just common sense. So, start now. Clean up. Don’t wait – throw it all out now, including those boxes in your garage. Clutter can make a place look smaller and give a buyer the impression there’s not much packing space in your home.

6. Clean it and Paint it
Nothing looks better than a clean, organized and freshly painted house. When selecting colors, keep it bland and neutral, rather than suiting your specific taste. This way you’re likely to interest a greater number of buyers.

Kitchens and bathrooms are big decision-making rooms, agree estate agents. Modernize where you can, using quality primers and tile paint to update bathrooms. Replacing work surfaces can also transform a kitchen without a major overhaul.

For more information on home sales, staging and downsizing, please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Coldwell Banker to help sell homes.

Top 7 Tips for Cleaning out your Deceased Parents Home

Top 7 Tips for Cleaning out your Deceased Parents Home

Are you the caregiver of an elderly loved one who recently passed away? Have you been chosen to be the executor of your elderly parent’s estate? Are you now tasked with selling your parents’ home or the home of a deceased loved one? If you are, we would like to extend our condolences. This is a very emotional and exhausting time. The process can be both physically and mentally draining. The task of cleaning out and de-cluttering a home is daunting and often overwhelming.

We would like to help you by sharing our top 7 tips for cleaning out your loved ones home and preparing it for sale. This is part of a continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ). Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services and personal property and content clean out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. Divide the physical labor. Cleaning out a loved ones home can often be so massive that often times, help is needed. Don’t be shy about asking for a hand from close family members, friends or even your parent’s aide or simply contact us at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com

2. Take your time, even when you’re exhausted. Resist the desire to just toss everything in the trash. You never know what you are going to find buried deep in piles of cloths or in closets. More often than not, elderly loved ones may have tucked cash and jewelry into clothes pockets; always check the pockets before giving anything away.

3. Search for key financial documents. Before throwing away any papers, find and put aside your parent’s will, trusts and addenda; life insurance policies and statements, real estate deeds and titles; recent bank statements (you can get older ones electronically); stock certificates; 401(k) records; tax returns and receipts necessary for filing next year’s income tax return.

4. Divide up your parent’s belongings. This is often a touchy area. Sadly, when money or possessions come into play it often brings out the less desirable side of survivors. Have your siblings create a wish list of the items they’d like from the estate. Then, try to divide the assets equally by monetary value. If you can’t agree, you may want to consider getting items appraised.

If one brother or sister chooses high-ticket items, he or she should pay the other siblings an amount that will even things out.

5. Preserve sentimental photos and memorabilia. These are irreplaceable. Pictures and cherished possessions can mean a lot more than most items in ones home. Cherish them and preserve them to the best of your ability.

6. Donating or selling your parent’s clothes. Unfortunately, you will quickly learn that most clothing has little resale value, unless it’s vintage (i.e., from the ’60s or earlier). Designer resale or consignment shops might only take upscale clothes or items bought in the last two years that are in perfect condition. Other consignment stores will take items they think they can sell, price them fairly low and keep 50 percent of what people pay; the price goes down if the clothes go unsold after a month.

7. Bring in an expert to help. This is where we can help you. As we mentioned earlier, the task is often overwhelming both physically and mentally. Personal Property Managers can help you downsizing, de-clutter, organize an estate sale if there are enough items of value to sell. We are dedicated to helping you through every step of this process. We do so with dignity and expertise.

For more information on home sales, staging and downsizing, please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging and full service real estate services to help sell homes.

Tips for making your home safe for your elderly parent to move in

Home modifications tips for elderly parents moving in with caregivers

With Americans living longer and longer, with the baby boomer retirement population exploding and expecting to almost double in the next few years, one option that families are taking is having elderly parents move in with their caregiver children.

One must consider home modifications to accommodate elderly loved ones moving back home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sale and moving.

Some general safety and room-by-room details to consider include:
• Make sure to have study handrails on all indoor and outdoor steps.
• Install nonskid strips on or near steps and near the edges. For those with visual impairments, the strips should be a color that contrasts with the color of the steps.
• Light switches should be located near all entrances to each room, at each end of hallways, and at the top and bottom of stairwells.
• Lighting should be sufficiently throughout the home.
• Consider replacing traditional door knobs with lever handles which are easier to operate than doorknobs.
• Interior doors should have locks that can be opened from either side.
• Hallways and doorways should be wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair.
• The water heater should be set at 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding.
• Solid color carpeting with dense pile will lower fall risks. Deep pile carpeting can be more difficult to walk on, and patterned carpeting may cause optical illusions for those who have difficulty with depth perception.
• To lower fall risks with hardwood floors, avoid wax or high gloss polishes or throw rugs.
• Avoid room entrances with raised door thresholds.
• Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be present near all sleeping areas.
• Check that kitchen cabinets and countertops are a comfortable height, and that there is space to roll a wheelchair under a counter, if needed.
• A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer will be easier to use than a top-bottom model.
• Electric or gas stoves should not be positioned under a window because the presence of curtains will increase the risk of fire.
• Sinks should have a single-lever mixing faucet.
• The touch pad of a microwave should be large and easy to read, and the device should be in a convenient location.
• There should be one bathroom located on the main floor of the home, as well as near the bedroom (if the home is multi-level).
• Grab bars should be present or can be installed near the toilet and tub/shower.
• Check that the toilet is a comfortable height.
• It is recommended that the tub/shower has a hand-held spray unit, and a built-in seat or space to utilize a shower chair (chairs are available which extend over the side of a tub if a stall shower is not present, however you will need a curtain instead of shower doors to minimize water escaping from the shower.)
• A pedestal sink may be needed if a wheelchair or regular chair will be used in front of the sink.
• The size of the bathroom should be adequate for wheelchair maneuverability.
• Avoid throw rugs and bathmats. The floor should be carpeted (low pile), or matte-finished, textured tile instead of a smooth, potentially slippery surface.
• Towel racks and built-in soap dishes should be secure and not located where they might be used as a grab bar.
• One Bedroom should be available on the main floor of the home.

We have learned that these modifications can make a world of difference.

For more information on helping seniors in transition or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with EveryHome Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services

How to prevent Caregiver burnout when caring for elderly loved ones

How to prevent Caregiver burnout when caring for elderly loved ones

We often work with families where adult children are caregivers for their aging parents. This is an extremely stressful time. In many cases it may require virtually 24 hour care. There is a huge role reversal and in many cases it is emotionally draining and overwhelming for the adult caregivers.

Keeping a balance and maintaining good mental help is extremely important during these difficult times. These helpful tips and insights may prove beneficial for adult caregivers.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior transition services by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in senior transition services such as downsizing, content clean-out and removal, estate sales, full service real estate and property sales as well as moving services.

Here are some helpful tips that will relieve stress and boost your health:
1. Take care of yourself by getting regular checkups and eating healthy.
2. Combine two things that are good for you: exercise and companionship. While someone else watches over Dad, go for a bike ride with a friend or play ball with your kids.
3. Get a good night’s sleep. If possible, share nighttime responsibilities with someone else so you can get yourself to bed at a decent hour.
4. Laughter helps relieve stress and release positive emotions.
5. Keep a journal. Recording your thoughts and feelings helps put things in a better perspective and can help release pent-up emotions.
6. Combine a stress reliever with care giving tasks such as listening to music or watching videos while cooking dinner for Mom, doing laundry or paying her bills.

Tips for preventing caregiver burnout:
1. Ask others to help. Don’t think you’re the only one capable of helping your loved one. Ask around for help. Find out if a friend, neighbor or relative will chip in on the chores.
2. Take time for yourself each day by indulging in a good book for a half hour or taking a short nap. Or do something special for yourself each week, like a movie or shopping with a friend, or taking a long walk.
3. Take advantage of the many formal or informal services you can find.
4. Set limits on how much time and effort you can physically and mentally devote to caregiving.
5. Let it all out….share your feelings of sadness or grief with a good friend, family member, spiritual advisor, professional counselor or anyone you can trust.

Keep hassles and small details in perspective. If the carpet doesn’t get vacuumed today, dinner is served later than usual or the laundry waits until tomorrow, that’s OK. Need time for personal affairs, to get rest or to simply take a break?

Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you and those you care for, so take it seriously.

For more information on helping seniors in transition or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes with proceeds going towards paying for the long term care of elderly loved ones and moving services