Category Archives: home modifications

Top 5 House Flipping Mistakes – 22

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This podcast will share with you the top 5 house flipping mistakes to avoid. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Personal Property Managers specializes in: Home Downsizing, Home Cleanout Services, Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation, Property Management, Absentee Home Watch, Moving, Full Service Discount Real Estate Services, Home Sales, Home Buyer Services, and Elder Care Services. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

 

5 Tips to help you sell your home Faster – 20

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

This podcast will share with you the top 5 tips to help you sell your home as fast as possible. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Personal Property Managers specializes in: Home Downsizing, Home Cleanout Services, Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation, Property Management, Absentee Home Watch, Moving, Full Service Discount Real Estate Services, Home Sales, Home Buyer Services, and Elder Care Services. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

 

9 Biggest mistakes when selling your home – 19

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

This podcast will share with you the 9 biggest mistakes people make when trying to sell their home. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Personal Property Managers specializes in: Home Downsizing, Home Cleanout Services, Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation, Property Management, Absentee Home Watch, Moving, Full Service Discount Real Estate Services, Home Sales, Home Buyer Services, and Elder Care Services. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

 

 

 

Home Staging…101. 5 Tips – home staging boot camp

Home Staging boot camp – 5 cheap ways to stage your home for success

We specialize in helping our clients sell their homes for the best possible price and to do so in the shortest period of time. With this in mind, we wanted to share with you 5 quick and inexpensive ways for you stage your home for sale to get the greatest return on your investment. We call this our Personal Property Managers home staging boot camp.

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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, home staging and full service discount real estate services. Personal Property Managers services clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

If you’re selling your house, it has to look its best so buyers can see its potential and imagine themselves living there. That’s what home-staging is all about. It’s about first impressions, which are lasting. It’s about separating yourself and your home from others on the market, so look, feel, style, organization, cleanliness and decluttering is super important.

A professional home-stager will cost between $50 and $150 per hour, say Nick Santoro.

The good news is that you can get it done for a lot less money. You can do it yourself for the most part and you can have fun doing it. Joe Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers shares his expert tips for staging your home at almost no cost.

1. Remove your personal items
Packing away your personal stuff, such as pictures, sports memorabilia, even religious items, is one of the easiest, cheapest things you can do to stage your house.
“The reason you want to depersonalize your home is because you want buyers to view it as their potential home,” Santoro says.

Prospective buyers may have a hard time envisioning themselves in the house if they’re surrounded by photos of your family. They want to envision their family in your home; not yours.

“Pictures are extremely distracting,” says Nick Santoro, who also recommends removing religious items from view.

Besides attracting a buyer, “you want the buyer’s agent to enjoy showing the home,” Nick says, because even if a particular buyer isn’t interested, the agent might represent someone who would be a good match.

The cost: $2 to $3 for a roll of packing tape. You can pick up free boxes at stores in your neighborhood or go to a big box store and pick up boxes for under $2.00

2. De-Clutter
Decluttering is another simple way to get buyers to focus on the bones of the house. “After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in such a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. However, it does affect the way buyers see the home, even if you do not realize it,” Joe says.

We recommend clearing off kitchen and bathroom countertops. Remove everything you can to give an impression of large space and cleanliness.

If you have kids, get rid of the toys all around the house. For all you know, the buyers could be empty-nesters.

If you cannot remove unwanted items or just want to hold on to what you have, we suggest packing that stuff in boxes and neatly stacking them in a corner of the garage. Anything extra should go in a small storage unit. Even better, ask a friend or relative to stash your items at no charge.

The cost: The price of a storage unit varies (around $75 a month for a 5-by-5-foot unit). You can get back some of that money as a refund on your taxes for any of the decluttered items you donate to charity.

3. Rearrange rooms and give them purpose
Rearrange the rooms in your home and make sure each room has a distinct purpose. You may also want to take a look at builder spec home in your area to get a feel for the look, theme and style of today’s furnished homes.

Builders are experts on preparing their product for prospective buyers.

If your home has been painted recently, you’re ahead of the game. If not, take a paintbrush to the rooms that need it most. Sellers who paint the interior of their home will see a large return on the investment. There is no substitution for a clean, well-organized and freshly painted home.

The cost: Anywhere from $16 to $50 per gallon for paint, plus an additional $10 to $50 for other painting supplies (primer, brushes, drop cloths, etc.).

4. Clean and deodorize
No one wants to visit a dirty house, especially prospective buyers. So make sure your house is squeaky clean.

‘When buyers see an unkempt home or smell something when they first walk in, they become turned off immediately,” Nick says. “They can rarely see past it to look at all of the great features in the home.”

For a fist time, long time heavy cleaning job, we suggest having the house professionally cleaned so that everything is spotless: windows, sliding glass door tracks, garage, basement, ceiling fans, etc.

If you have having an open house, we also recommend baking cookies in the oven, bringing cinnamon sticks to a slow boil in a pot of water or using air freshener before each showing. Above all, please remember to remove any pet litter boxes or food bowls. Not everyone is a pet lover.

The cost: Varies by the location and size of the home, but expect to spend at least $100-$250 to clean a four-bedroom, 2,500-square-foot home.

5. Enhance curb appeal
Don’t overlook the home’s exterior when you’re selling.

“Curb appeal is just as important as cleaning the inside of the home,” Nick says. “It’s the buyer’s first impression of your home.” Mow the lawn, make sure the sidewalk and driveway are free of clutter and debris, and make sure the house number is easy to see. You may need to pressure-clean your driveway and sidewalk.
Another valuable low-cost solution? Mulch. “It makes everything look trim and neat,” Joe says.

Please remember that first impressions are lasting impressions. Joe Santoro, shared that on a number of occasions, when taking clients to look at home, he has had clients pull up to a house and just refuse to get out of the car because the home was not well kept from the outside. He has experienced a similar negative reaction when buyers entered the house and it appeared to be too cluttered giving it a much smaller impression. This turns off buyers and they simply walk away. Simple things like this make all the difference in the world.

The cost: Mulch costs about $3 per bag. You may be able to rent a pressure washer at Home Depot or your local hardware store for $35 per day or more. It will cost you a lot more than that to buy one. Hiring a professional to pressure-clean a 2,500-square-foot-house may set you back about $300.

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 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.

Staging your home to appeal to Millennial buyers – 14

staging for millennials

This podcast will share 8 useful tips and steps that you can use to successfully stage your home to appeal to millennial buyers. For more information contact Joe Santoro or Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com

Personal Property Managers specializes in: Home Downsizing, Home Cleanout Services, Estate Sales, Home Content Liquidation, Property Management, Absentee Home Watch, Moving, Full Service Discount Real Estate Services, Home Sales, Home Buyer Services, and Elder Care Services. With Personal Property Managers, one call does it all.

 

Seller Staging Tips for Appealing to Millennial Buyers

Home Seller Staging Tips for Appealing to Millennial Buyers

If you are planning on selling your home in the near future then this article about appealing to the largest home buyer market segment…millennials is important must read material for you. Why? Because the market and what’s hot and what’s not has changed dramatically over the past few years. If you want to maximize your home selling price and appeal to the greatest buying pool today then we encourage you to take action today to take advantage of these trends. The first thing a prospective home seller usually starts thinking about is getting their home ready to sell. With that said, you may be asking yourself what kinds of updates should you consider? What improvements should you make, if any? And should you stage your home?

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These are all important questions to ask as you make decisions about your home’s condition. Getting top dollar for your home requires that the home really shines when buyers compare it to other homes in your market.

The first step in preparing your home for the market is to think like a buyer, not a homeowner.

Millennial Buyers – the largest buyer segment
Who are they? Home Buyer Profiles for 2019:
• The millennial generation is defined as those who are 36 years old and younger.
• Generation X is 37 to 51
• Younger Boomers are 52 to 61.
• Older Boomers are 62 to 70
• the Silent Generation are aged 71 to 91.

Nick Santoro says, that no matter where you live in the United States, no matter what your profession, background or generation, no doubt you have seen and heard much about the generation called the “millennials.”

Millennials are the people born between 1981 and 1997. It is important to understand certain behavioral patterns shared by most millennials.

Millennials are set to become the largest home buying generation in U.S. history and, more than likely, a millennial may be the next buyer of your home.

Millennial buyers (age 36 years and younger) represent 66% or 2/3 of today’s buyers and were first-time buyers. Over one quarter or 28% of today’s buyers were Gen X buyers (age 37 to 51). So, 92% of today’s buyers were Millennials or Gen X’ers….

Millennials have demonstrated certain characteristics due to the times in which they grew up….namely, the “Great Recession”. Some of these traits are distinctly different than other generations, like their financial outlook. But, surprisingly, many traits are just the same as the rest of us. Check out these trends as reported by NAR:

– This generation has delayed homeownership because of student debt and underemployment. However, when they do step up to the real estate market, they tend to bypass the traditional “starter home” and opt for a larger “forever home”.
– Although they have gravitated towards urban areas when renting, the majority (74%) opt for a single-family home in the suburbs for their home purchase.
– Millennials as a demographic value relationships and look for homes with entertaining spaces, including outdoor spaces. Outdoor rooms have value, just like the interior of a home.
– This generation of homebuyers values smart home technology, as they obviously have grown up with more technology at their fingertips than any other generation.
– Like all of us, storage is an important part of a home to this demographic.
– As far as home styles, this generation of buyers falls into two diverse camps: If they choose a period home, they want everything to be authentic. If not an older home, then they want everything to be modern. Simple as that.
– Millennials consider function over size

At Personal Property Managers, our team has been working with Millennials for several years and is co-owned and managed by millennials.

Millennials Want to be ‘wowed’

We’ve seen it time and time again over the last few years, these young buyers want to be swept off their feet by “how the home lives”. Millennials are internet savvy and fact based buyers. Even if they start their homebuyer journey with facts and figures, lists of features and lifestyle preferences, their final decision is usually the house that makes their hearts skip a beat.

When Millennial buyers are considering a home, at the top of their minds is how the spaces fit into their “ideal life” which is based more on pleasure than work that needs to be done. Remember to think like a buyer to be a successful home seller.

Think like a Buyer when staging your home

While staging certainly fits into any good real estate marketing plan, remember that home staging itself does not sell a home. What good staging does is make the home more appealing to the highest number of potential buyers. Staged homes sell quicker, according to numerous studies. Think about how you can present your home’s spaces in a way that appeals to a home buyer’s lifestyle ideals. Here are our five top tips to accomplish this goal throughout your house:

Living Rooms for Living

Most buyers are looking for space. Space for their stuff, and space to entertain. A living space, no matter what size or configuration, can be a place to entertain. Most of the time, we find that homeowners need to edit their furniture and decor to give a sense of more space in their living rooms. Start by de-cluttering. Clean out everything that you have not used in a while.

When you’re arranging your furniture and decor in your living room, family room or great room, keep your furniture to scale. Remember the “rule of three”. Three pieces of furniture are usually enough. The coffee table grounds a conversation space.

Bring in some plants to bring the outdoors in and liven up the space. And don’t fake it with silk! That was a 90’s trend that will scream “this home is so outdated!”

Bedrooms – comfort and light colors

Comfort is the buzzword for bedrooms. It’s not difficult to stage a bedroom for comfort. Like the living spaces, you’ll want to declutter. While your are decluttering, don’t forget to pack up some personal things. Pack up half of your clothes and your closets will magically appear to have so much space!

Buy an “all-in-one” comforter set to unify the decor. Update your window treatments. If you need to add visual space to a room, mirrors work wonders.

One of the easiest things to do in the bedroom, as well as throughout your house, is to light it up. Update your lighting if needed. Get the brightest bulbs your fixtures will handle, and make sure the windows are clean. When showing your home, open the window treatments and let the light in.
But your home will need to be clean, because guess what all that light will show?

Bathroom appeal

With our busy and hectic lives today, we all appreciate a bathroom that has a Spa appeal. No matter what your bathrooms are like, you can easily add spa-like touches. Think of the things you find in a hotel bathroom: soft neutral tones, plush towels, a basket of fancy soaps and lotions, candles, and beautiful containers and dispensers.

Now think about what you don’t find…you don’t find clutter. The bathroom, above all, needs to be clean, clean, clean. When staging your bathroom, be sure to remove your personal things. The lack of your personal things will allow buyers to imagine themselves in the space.

The Kitchen – the center piece of any home

“Kitchens sell homes.” REALTORS say that a lot! That’s because it’s true. The kitchen is the most expensive room in the home. One could say it’s the most important room in the house to stage.

If your kitchen is dated, you’ll need to consider updating. But it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. For most homes, modest updates give a better return on investment than a major kitchen renovation.

If updates aren’t in the budget, you can still stage your kitchen to highlight the best features. First, the kitchen needs to be sparkling clean. Finishes need to shine. Remove the clutter…including the coffee maker and other appliances. You’ll create more counter space for a buyer to imagine their own stuff.

It’s amazing how much the work of cleaning and declutter will do for your kitchen…and it’s free! With the countertops completely bare, you can create a vignette that suggests your kitchen is a great place to cook. Place a large bowl of bright-colored fruit in the center of the table or the island.

Next, arrange table and chairs to enhance your space. Scale is important in the kitchen. Smaller tables make the eat-in area more spacious. Again, let the light in to visually add space.

Curb Appeal that Wins Hearts

Did you know that a buyer knows if they like a home within the first 30 seconds? We can share with you that on several occasions, we have worked with buyers and lined up several homes to preview and then when pulling up to the house the buyer takes one look at an un-kept yard and says, forget it, let’s move on to the next house. All kinds of studies of homebuyers have consistently found that curb appeal matters. All the rules for staging the home inside are applicable for staging the outside.

Declutter, clean, paint and highlight the best features. It’s really that simple. And it usually just takes a little elbow grease.

Clean up the weeds and trim back the overgrowth. Power wash any stains and grime. Paint the door and trim a fresh, welcoming color. Fill in bare spots with colorful, easy care flowers. Use pots if you don’t have space or good soil. Finally, add a fresh covering of mulch to tidy it up.

Making Your Home More Appealing

By thinking like a buyer, we’re confident that home sellers can make their homes more appealing to today’s Millennial buyers.

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.

Tips to think about before investing in real estate

Are you thinking about investing in real estate? You will want to think carefully about what, where and for how much you want to buy, is now more important than ever. Investing in property is the single biggest financial transaction that you will ever conclude and should always be done with great care. There’s more to consider than you think. For starters, property is an active, rather than a passive investment and comes with financial risk.

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Although, buying your own home should first and foremost be about securing your future and creating a foundation upon which to build a life and future for yourself and your family, you should also make sure that you are a making a sound investment.
This is part of a continuing series of articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers, who service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in real estate, property management, home content downsizing and estate sale services.
Before you begin….Do your homework (top 8 tips)

Whether it is your primary home or a second property such as a rental you should always do your homework thoroughly to mitigate potential risk.

Consider the downside right upfront. When the market turns for example, you might find yourself in a tight financial spot and you have to sell. Think about this when you buy: how hard will it be to sell the property if it comes down to it?

Consider whether you have the time and financial means for this type of investment. If you are purely looking for an investment, then a property fund might be the better choice, especially if you are a novice or first time buyer.

Once you have decided that you are going to take the step and invest in bricks and mortar, be sure to keep these 8 golden rules in mind:

1. Location, location, location – this old adage will always be the primary driver of demand, prices and property values. Research, research, research. Before you sign on the dotted line, chat to local area agents and get the vital statistics and information about the area.

2. Pay a fair price – do not pay more than fair market value unless you are sure that you are financially secure enough to hold onto the property until it starts to accumulate value. Price growth tends to track economic growth quite closely, so if the economy stalls, so do prices.

3. Neighborhood – do a thorough due diligence on the neighborhood and area, especially if you are not familiar with it. Make sure that it is a viable area, more so if you are looking at a second or investment property. Ensure there are good services, roads and communications connectivity for aspects such as internet and satellite television for example

4. Street savvy – don’t stop with the neighborhood, also check out the street (or complex) to ensure you are buying in the right part of the suburb. Be sure to check out the prices in your road (or complex) to compare that you are not paying more. Guard against paying a high price for an overcapitalized home.

5. Facilities and amenities – the better the facilities and amenities in the area, the more in demand the property is likely to be when it comes to either selling or renting it out. A good transport network is important, as are schools and then secondary facilities such as shops and other services.

6. Security – this has become an important consideration for neighborhoods and complexes. The more secure the property and area, the more attractive it is for buyers and tenants. Check out whether there is a neighborhood watch or similar group and ensure that the property itself is adequately secured and insured.

7. Capital value growth and yields – you obviously want to invest in an area where property values grow at least in line with the market average, preferably at an above average rate. If you are investing in a rental, then you will want to check out the rental returns in the area as it is important to budget for any shortfalls. Ensure also that you build fat into your budget for all the hidden costs associated with a rental property.

8. Leisure and attractions – if you are thinking about investing in a holiday rental, then leisure facilities and attractions are important. The closer the property is situated to attractions such as the beach, river or game reserve for example, the more in demand it will be. Consider who your tenants will be and put yourself in their shoes. Where do they want to stay when they book for a holiday for example?

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.