Monthly Archives: March 2015

The #1 thing you can do to successfully sell your home

The number 1 thing you can do to help sell your home – Proper Home Pricing

Are you thinking about selling your home? Are you the executor of an estate and must now liquidate the estate and sell a home?

People always ask us what is the single most important thing that we should consider and or do when trying to sell a home.

You want to know what the secret is to selling your home? Well its proper pricing…right up front; right from the beginning. Pricing your home properly to begin with is without question the single most important factor to selling your home for top dollar. It is a delicate balancing act that, when done properly, positions your home perfectly in the marketplace to sell for the absolute highest possible price. When the home is priced too low, it will sell quickly but for less money than it should. When the home is priced too high, it will sit on the market for a long period of time and ultimately sell for less money than it should.

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.

The biggest mistake we see by owners trying to sell on their own or even by real estate agents, is overpricing a home to start with and having to reduce the price multiple times. When a home is listed for sale, it reaches the highest number of potential buyers the first few days it is on the market. If a home is dismissed as being overpriced early on, you will lose potential buyers.

Typically, buyers will flip through listings online; they look at the main home photo first, then they look at the price. If the potential buyer does not like either of those items, they will move on to the next listing. Put yourself in their shoes. Pretend you are a buyer; be honest: How many times have you done that? You look, get turned off and move on…right? The answer is yes, we do it all the time.

The challenge is pricing the home properly. You can use some online tools and websites, you can see how much a neighbor’s home is listed for and price a home the same, or you can just price the home at the amount of money you “want” to get (or need to get) for it. We’re sorry to tell you that none of those methods work, and they certainly will not help you sell a home for top dollar.

Let’s take a quick look at why these methods don’t work. Many people will start with any number of online home review sites. They are all well-marketed tools. Did you know that they are in the business of generating leads for real estate agents? The problem is that they are not usually accurate. Their entire system is computerized and based off of public records that are sometimes incorrect. There have been many occasions when we have come across public records in which the number of bedrooms, bathrooms or the square footage of a home has been incorrect. All of these errors lead to inaccurate results.

In our opinion, the biggest issue with the these generic online home search sites is their inability to take into account items such as home features, upgrades and the condition of a property. Those items require an actual human to take an in-depth look at your property and determine how it truly compares to another properties. Once that determination is made, proper adjustments to the value are made.

We are not here to bash online generic home sites; far be it from us. They are fine for a broad brush estimate. A home is most likely the single largest item you will sell in your lifetime. Do yourself a favor and do not use these generic online home sites as a pricing tool for your home — it could end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars.

Looking at how much a neighbor’s home is listed for or seeing how much other properties currently for sale are listed for does not work because we want to know exactly what homes have sold for, not what they are attempting to sell for. The only thing a home still for sale or “active” tells us is that the home is probably overpriced. The most accurate way to predict what a home will sell for is by finding out what similar homes sold for.

Listing your home for how much you want or need to get is wrong. Truthfully, it does not matter what you want or need to get for a home. That is a poor pricing strategy. The fact is, a home is worth exactly what a qualified buyer is willing to pay for it. What you want or need has no bearing on that.

The key to selling a home for top dollar is to strategically price the home right…right from the begining. To do that, you need to take a detailed look at similar homes that recently sold in the area. Hire a real estate agent who is an expert. Know the average current days on market for the homes that sold. Find out how many days on market on average homes that are currently for sale and recently sold are averaging. Also find out how many price reductions were needed and how much those price reductions were.

We pride ourselves on providing our clients with a complete comparative market analysis (CMA). This will allow us to accurately compare a clients home to recently sold homes on the market. The trick is to price a home so it is considered to be the best value in the price range.

Remember that if a home is overpriced compared to the other homes on the market, all you are doing is helping other people sell other homes by making their homes look like a better value. The guidance of a high-quality real estate agent can help homebuyers land on the most strategic price and get a home sold for top dollar.
Lastly, and equally important is please do not forget that virtually all home buyers will need the assistance of a bank or mortgage company when buying a home. What does this mean to a seller? It is extremely important for a seller to understand that even if they are lucky enough to get a buyer to agree upon a purchase price that is higher that market comps, the deal still may not go through. Why? Because the buyers bank or mortgage company will come out to the property and do a independent appraisal. If they find that the property is overpriced and out of line with market comps they will reject the deal. Why? Because they do not want to be on the ‘hook’ if the buyer goes bad somewhere down the road. The banks do not want to ‘stuck’ with a home that is overvalued and thus ‘underwater.’ So, again, we repeat that the single most important thing that a seller can do is to price their property correctly and in line with market comps from the very beginning. A successful seller needs to not only think about themselves, but also think about the buyers and their mortgage company and the probability of successfully completing the deal where all parties are satisfied and made whole.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 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 Every Home Realty.

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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.