Category Archives: content

Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation – Why can’t I sell my home contents? Who wants my stuff? – Podcast Episode 4

PPM smaller version Podcast - picture - final version 2-13-19

Are you moving, downsizing or settling an estate and want to sell or liquidate the contents of your home? This podcast provides insight into estate sale market for selling pre-owned and used items such as furniture and other personal items, and shares current trends for these items as to what is desirable or not for today’s buyers. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation – How to Sell your Home Contents – Podcast Episode 3

PPM smaller version Podcast - picture - final version 2-13-19

This podcast will focus on helping homeowners understand how to sell the contents of their home via an Estate Sale and how the process works, and what household items are desirable and which ones are not. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com

 

How to begin the home Downsizing process – Podcast Episode 2

This brief 10 minute podcast will focus on helping homeowners begin the downsizing and home de-cluttering process. Learn 4 key downsizing process tips. For more information contact Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Top 6 things NOT to Do if you are trying to sell your home

Are you planning to sell your home? Understanding your competition is very important. Understanding the dynamics of the marketplace and what todays buyers want and don’t want is even more important. Unlike years ago, buyers today do not want to do a lot of work on a home that they wish to purchase. All homes, old and new, need some attention to get the home market ready for sale. If you fail to understand this, chances are you will not be able to sell your home or you will risk losing thousands of dollars in the process.

We have listed for you the top 6 things that you should not do if you want to sell your home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights to help you sell and market your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, home content clean-out and removal and estate sales. We service Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Number 1 – Do not over-improve your home
Home sellers often assume any upgrades they make to their home will pay them back in full once they sell, but that’s rarely the case. On average you will recoup just about 64% of the money you spend on renovations once you sell—and certain improvements can actually work against you if they’re undesirable in your market.

For instance, you may want to finish off your basement or put a new deck on your home, but be aware that you may not get a return on your investment or may only get between 50 and 60 cents on the dollar back. For more information, you may want to Google remodeling costs vs value reports for your area.

Number 2 – Do not remodel without proper township permits
Most townships today require a local inspection to obtain a certificate of occupancy. If an inspector comes out to the house and notices major work was done and finds that a permit was not obtained, he may require you to remove all improvements or open walls costing you tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, sellers are required to complete a sellers disclosure document when listing the home for sale. If it is determined that the seller did not tell the truth, the sale can be stopped and even after the sale the seller can have legal action brought to the by the buyer opening up all sorts of headaches and financial challenges to the seller. So, even though it may be a pain to apply for permits before you knock down that wall or add a deck, this corner-cutting will come back and bite you when you decide to sell.

Number 3 – Do not limit your home sale showing hours
Sure, no one wants to leave their home at dinnertime. But buyers are busy juggling work, family, and looking for a new home. If you limit showings to a few hours on weekends, you might miss a potential sale. Be as flexible as possible when selling your home, even if it’s inconvenient, it will pay off in the long run for you.

Number 4 – Do not overlook first impressions and curb appeal
Even if your home is beautiful on the inside, do not underestimate the importance of the first impression that all important curb appeal has. Make sure your paint job is pristine and your lawn is tidy and mowed. Also replace dead shrubs, prune trees, put out some potted plants, mulch garden beds, and freshen mailboxes.

Number 5 – Do not rely heavily on open houses
Open houses were a great way to sell a house in the pre-Internet era, but these days the vast majority of houses are sold through the internet. Having great pictures of your home and videos are even more important today than ever, as more and more people search for homes at their leisure from their laptop or smart phone. Lastly, open houses today can be risky, giving strangers the opportunity to case your home and break things.

Number 6 – Not listening to your Real Estate Agent or Expert
It’s funny…but when it comes to real estate, haven’t you noticed that everyone you talk to seems to be an expert; from the gas station attendant to your landscaper. But why would you trust the most valuable asset that most families have to someone who is not a licensed professional? Listen the the advice of your Agent. Sure, you no doubt know more about your home than anyone else. But your real estate agent knows more about how to sell it. And your agent may make some suggestions you might not like to hear, like that you need a new paint job or that the asking price you had in mind needs to be lowered a bit. It’s tempting to take offense or just ignore this advice, but if you do, you could risk seeing your house sit on the market and grow stale.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping 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. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Parting with Family Heirlooms

Advice and insights – Parting with Family Heirlooms

Does anyone want my grandparents stuff?

Home Downsizing Tips PA NJWe are often contacted by people who, through the death of an elderly loved one, are now faced with trying to unload their familes home contents. If you have never gone through this process, it’s a real eye opener, especially for older members of the family tasked with this chore.

We all have fond memories of growing up and playing at grandmas house and the love and care that she put into the house, along with all the lovely things inside it. Unfortunately, the value of things has changed dramatically over the past few years. Things that were in high regard and value in the past are no longer sought after or even wanted today. Things like porcelain dolls, china, figurines and such are just viewed as needless clutter today.

Most of the people who contact us, begin by telling us they have a variety of items ranging from kitchen sets, living room sets, bedroom sets, china cabinets filled with all kinds of things, and believe that buyers will want to flock to their home for a chance to buy their contents. Sadly, that’s just not reality today.

Things have really changed over the last few years. Items that people thought were valuable years ago, such as collectable figurines or china cabinets filled with plates and glassware are no longer in style. Furniture that is still functional but is 20 years old is just not in style or in demand today. We have found that 50 is the magic age. People over the age of 50 already have many of the things that people want to sell and do not want any more of it. People under age 50 simply do not have interest in many of the things that people want to sell. It all boils down to style, age, condition and desirability. We always tell people that it does not matter what you paid for it…something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Caregivers and executors of estates quickly learn the hard truth that others in their 50s and 60s need to know: Nobody wants the prized possessions of your parents — not even you or your kids.

The Stuff of Nightmares

Many boomers and Gen X’ers charged with disposing the family heirlooms, it seems, are unprepared for the reality and unwilling to face it. Let’s face it, how many young people do you know that are picking out formal china patterns or want former collectable antiques anymore?

Joe Santoro, says that at least a half dozen times a week, families come to us and say: ‘What do we do with all this stuff?’” The answer: do you know of anyone who may want it, because there is little to no resale value in items such as furniture that is 20 plus years old; and good luck trying to get a charity or thrift store to take your 30 year old bedroom set, dining room set and couches.

Dining room tables and chairs, end tables and armoires have become furniture non grata. Antiques are antiquated. Old mahogany stuff from your great aunt’s house is basically worthless, says Nick Santoro.

What about all the stuff you see on TV shows? On PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, for example, prices for certain types of period furniture have dropped so much that some episode reruns note current, lower estimated appraisals.

And if you’re thinking your grown children will gladly accept your parents’ items, if only for sentimental reasons, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.

Young couples starting out don’t want the same things people used to have according to Joe Santoro, and in fact, they often don’t want anything from grandma’s house. In fact, we have found that around age 50 is the dividing line. People over 50 already have lots of the same stuff that people now want to get rid off and don’t want anymore of it and would like to downsize themselves too. People under the age of 50 simple don’t want older stuff. We now live in the disposable age. Many things, like furniture are must less costly today, so younger people would just rather buy new things and then after about 7 or 8 years simply get rid of it and get newer items all over again, to keep up with changing styles and taste.

The Minimalist Generation

Joe points out that this is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. They don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did. They are more mobile. So they don’t want a lot of heavy stuff dragging down a move across country for a new opportunity.

Additionally, Nick points out that you can pretty much forget about interesting your grown kids in the books that lined their grandparents’ shelves for decades. If you’re lucky, you might find buyers for some books by having a garage sale, but be prepared to sell a whole box of books for $3.00. In fact, many local libraries will not even take books anymore and certainly not old encyclopedias.

Most antiques dealers (if you can even find one) and auction houses have little appetite for your parents’ stuff, either. That’s because their customers generally aren’t interested.

Even charities like Salvation Army and Goodwill frequently reject donations of home furnishings, we can sadly report from our own personal experience.

6 Tips for Home Unfurnishing

What else can you do to avoid finding yourself forlorn in your late parents’ home, broken up about the breakfront that’s going begging? Some suggestions:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to find takers, if you can. “We tell people: The longer you have to sell something, the more money you’re going to make, of course, this could mean cluttering up your basement, attic or living room with tables, lamps and the like until you finally locate interested parties. Additionally, this could take quite some time and effort to accomplish.

2. Do an online search to see whether there’s a market for your parents’ art, furniture, china or crystal.

3. Get the jewelry appraised. It’s possible that a necklace, ring or brooch has value and could be sold.

4. Look for a nearby consignment shop that might take some items. Again, this takes a lot of time and effort, and don’t forget about the cost and logistic of removing and transporting the contents. None of this is easy.

5. See if someone locally could use what you inherited. Giving stuff away may make you feel better, because trying to sell items takes patience and effort.

6. But perhaps the best advice is: Prepare for disappointment. “For the first time in history of the world, two generations are downsizing simultaneously,” says Joe Santoro, talking about the boomers’ parents and the boomers themselves.

The bottom line is that the younger adult generations simply want something different from their parents. They prefer newer, more contemporary styles and do not want lots of needless clutter.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize your family home and liquidate contents that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services if there is sufficient quantity and quality. We can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources, again, if they are in demand and of value. And, lastly we can remove and dispose of unwanted and unsaleable contents.

For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping 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. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Maximize Results with home decor tips for homebuyers and homesellers

Selling a house? Flipping a house? Home Decor tips to maximize results

 Property Manager PA NJSelling or Flipping a House? House decor tips to attract today’s buyers.

If you are a homeowner or a house flipper thinking of renovating your home with the aim of selling down the line, there we have some hands on tips that are an absolute must have for today’s buyers that you should pay attention to.

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, home content downsizing, senior transition services, property management and estate sales.

Top tips for today sellers to factor in to appeal to todays buyers:

Keep it simple

If you are going to renovate the kitchen and bathrooms, white and light grays are always a safe bet, says Joe and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers.
For the kitchen, think simple; like white Shaker-style cabinets. “Nobody wants ornate moldings” on the cabinets, Nick Santoro says. Brushed-nickel knobs, light-colored quartz countertops and stainless steel appliances work well for most people, he says. In the bathroom, you can’t go wrong with white subway tile.

You’ll want to appeal to today’s buyers, who for the most part are what is described as ‘minimalists;’ clean, simple, not cluttered and not busy, Santoro says.

Remove wallpaper

We have found that if a house has wallpaper, it must go; it must be removed. It is dated and too busy for today’s buyers.

“When people walk into a home with wallpaper, all they see is dollar bills,” says Joe Santoro. They begin to think immediately about…“How much will it cost to take it off?”
We advise that sellers paint walls neutral colors to make rooms look larger and feel more contemporary.

Our most recent house flip achieved rapid success by painting the whole house in light grays and whites and staging it with furniture. There were multiple offers during the first week and it was on the market for less than two weeks.

“It made a world of difference,” Santoro says. “The buyers of today, the millennials (age 36 and younger) simply have no time” to plan and undertake renovations.

Remove carpeting

Buyers see carpeting in much the same way they see wallpaper: as something they will have to remove. The longer it stays on, the more damage it can do to your floors, the Santoro’s warns. “When wall-to-wall carpet is removed in heavily trafficked carpeted areas we see the backing of the carpet and the foam padding sticking to the wood floors,” Nick says. After removing carpeting, refinish the floors and stain with a low-gloss finish.“It will bring a renewed life to your home,” Joe says.

Small Touches help

If kitchen and bathroom renovations aren’t in the budget, pay attention to the small details, such as the condition of your front door, the doorbell, curb appeal and the mailbox, the Santoro’s say.

Explore new light fixtures and floor-to-ceiling drapery. “LED lighting is an inexpensive way to brighten up and cheer up any space,” Joe says. If a home has built-in furniture from the 1980s, Nick Santoro suggests taking it out and getting inexpensive modern pieces.

The Santoro’s say regular upkeep goes a long way. “If you invest in it and keep it on trend, your investment will pay off,” Nick says. Or don’t renovate — and price accordingly.

Joe Santoro cautions that if a home needs work and the owners need to sell quickly, he will tell the client to set the asking price to reflect the home’s condition.
“A lot of times we just tell them to not do anything,” Joe says. “It’s easier to take the numbers off of the price.”

Personal Property Managers, can take care of all your home selling needs along with downsizing, content liquidation and renovation work. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping 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. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Senior Hoarding – Signs and Game Plan

Senior Hoarding – Game Plan

Recognizing its signs and developing a game plan to address it

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJWe wanted to share with you an often confounding yet common situation when dealing with transitioning an elderly loved one from their home of many years into a senior care community, or perhaps your home or even settling their estate. We are specifically referring to senior hoarding. This is real and the condition is known as Diogenes syndrome, and it is more common than most people realize.

This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in home downsizing, content liquidation and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Our senior loved ones are certainly part of the ‘greatest generation’ for sure. They have sacrificed for our nation, fought our wars, defended our freedom, were hard working Americans who put in long hours at work, saved and accumulated things over their lifetime. Now, as their caregiver, you may be faced with dealing with the task of trying to clean-up or sort through what they have accumulated over their lifetime. In many cases, the mass accumulation of things turns out to be senior hoarding. We often find homes with 4 or 5 blenders, toasters, lawnmowers, ladders, boxes of things that have never been opened or things never used and the list goes on and on…

Times have changed. Items that were valuable years ago are no longer desirable. Family members often have no use or desire to bring Grandma’s things to their home. Change can be hard, and sorting through a lifetime accumulation of possessions can be overwhelming to a senior who is already struggling with a loss of independence and to family members who are stressed out.

It is perfectly normal for an individual who has lived for many years in one location to acquire a lot of stuff, and for some individuals, letting go of the things they no longer need can be extremely difficult. Experts say seniors are prone to cluttering for a variety of reasons, including fear of loss, anxiety, and depression. Research also suggests that pre-Alzheimer’s personalities may trigger hoarding behavior, further complicating the issue for those already pre-disposed to this obsessive habit.

For families dealing with loved ones and parents who have slipped into a pattern of hoarding, it can be difficult to develop strategies for the kind of downsizing that is necessary to accommodate a move to senior housing. The individual may be ashamed of their living conditions, and reluctant to accept the help they need. They also may be fearful of being forced to let go of the items to which they have become attached and resist their family’s attempts at getting the clutter under control.

Of course, securing the homeowner’s consent and cooperation is only half the battle. Once you have the go-ahead to begin sorting through the collection, it is important to have a strategy for completing the task at hand. Here are a few suggestions for getting through the cleanup:

Call a professional. At Personal Property Managers, we specialize in helping families take stock of what they have, what is valuable or not and how to declutter. Often, going through an entire household after years of accumulation is simply too much for one person to undertake. Far better to work as a team with a common goal.

Set a date to start the project. Block off a section of your calendar when you can truly focus on the task at hand. Determine how long you will work, and then stick to the plan. You may not make it through the process entirely, but knowing you have a starting time, and a plan to wrap up the day’s work at a specific time, can help keep you on track.

Do it in chunks. Work room by room. Although you may have an entire house to wade through, you will do your best work by focusing on one room at a time. Besides, any large project is easier to complete if you divide it into smaller, more manageable tasks.

Use a system. Focus on the most used items. As you go through each room, set aside a place for each of the following: donations, keepsakes, items to be organized and put away, and trash. At the end of each workday, take time to put away the items you have chosen to keep. Be selective. Remember that you are downsizing, so make your selections carefully. You may actually need to go through this process twice as it is often difficult to make emotional decisions the first pass through.

Think about digitizing boxes and boxes of photos and photo albums.

Have donations and trash picked up promptly to prevent second guessing your selections. The sooner you have temptation removed, the better.

Once the cleanup is complete, check in often to make sure that day-to-day clutter is not getting out of control. Staying on top of the problem is far easier than wading through a year’s worth of accumulation, and maintaining a tidy living space will relieve stress for you and your loved one, as well as make the home safer for its inhabitants.

The good news is that we can help clean-out your house, help downsize family’s homes and liquidate your contents for items that are saleable and in demand. We offer on-site estate sale services and can remove contents and sell them via our array of proprietary resources. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping 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. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.