Category Archives: home seller

Selling your home? Should you accept the offer or not? – 15

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If you are selling your home, this podcast will help you to evaluate whether to accept a buyer offer or not. 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.

 

 

 

Should you accept the buyer offer on your home?

Great news! You have a contract on your house. Do you take it?

So…your house is on the market. You’re ready to sell. You have done your homework. You have decluttered it and cleaned it up. You have staged it and had great pictures taken. Now it’s show time. More good news. You just received your first signed offer to buy your house. You’re thrilled. Right? So, what’s the problem? Should you take it?

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This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managerswho service Pennsylvania and New Jersey and specialize in buying and selling homes, the real estate industry, home content downsizing, property management and estate sales.

Naturally, if you have received an all cash, as is, quick close, full price offer, you should jump on it. But, as we all know this rarely happens. In this brief article, we’ll share with you some things to consider when a buyer makes an offer on your home.

After the initial excitement of receiving a written offer, home sellers need to take a close look at the details. We are talking about looking beyond just the offer price.
Nick Santoro says, “You should look at every offer the same way, whether you have one offer or multiple offers.” Nick points out that anyone can write anything in a contract, so it’s up to your listing agent to check out whether the buyer is truly qualified.

Sellers automatically look first at the purchase price. Nick shares that other factors should have equal weight. Financing is an important consideration.
“A lender letter should be attached to every offer, so your agent can contact that lender and ask about the buyer’s qualifications,” Santoro says.
A home sellers listing agents will want to know if the loan is fully documented; if the lender foresees any credit problems and if the buyer’s cash is in the bank. Joe Santoro recommends requesting a document called a BFI or buyers financial statement, which includes income, debt and assets, including the cash needed for the purchase.

Nick suggests that you compare the mortgage preapproval letter and the buyer purchase offer to make sure the buyers are fully approved to borrow as much as they need.
Joe Santoro, co-founder of Personal Property Managers points out that virtually all buyer offers include contingencies on the buyer’s financing, home inspection and appraisal. Joe points out that the more contingencies there are, the more opportunities there are for the buyers to walk away.

Here are four Buyer and Seller contingencies that should be reviewed carefully:

Buyer Financing. The financing contingency should be 21 days or less, If someone makes a full-price offer but they need 60 days to tie up their financing, they’re asking you to take your home off the market while they figure out how to buy it.

Buyer Home inspection. The home inspection contingency should take place in 7 to 10 days at most. A seller can choose to sell their house “as is” and agree to an inspection that allows the buyer to walk away if they don’t like the report but doesn’t allow negotiations for repairs. Buyers who bid up the price on a house sometimes try to use the inspection as a way to lower it back down by having the seller subtract the cost of repairs from the price. Joe Santoro points out that often times, a buyer home inspection, done by a third party is often where a deal breaks down. Every seller thinks their house is perfect and nothing needs to be done to it, and certainly does not want to pay for any repairs as they are leaving anyway. Conversely, every buyer wants to buy a house that they feel is perfect and wants all home inspection issues addressed in fully. This is not always possible or particle. If you have never sold a house before, a buyer home inspection report often is about 40 pages in length and can scare away both buyers and seller. It is not meant to be this way, but is often taken as an insult. Diplomacy and negotiations are the key here.

Buyer lender appraisal. The appraisal contingency should be 21 days or less, An agreement of sale can be fully accepted by both buyer and seller but it can fall apart if the buyers lender when conducting a market analysis and appraisal feels that the house is worth less than it may be listed for and agreed upon. No bank or lender will lend mortgage money on a property that is valued less than the home purchase price. We recommend making sure the buyer has enough cash to bring extra money to closing if the appraisal comes in low. Otherwise, the seller would have to reduce the price or split the difference with the buyer.

Settlement date. Typically, closing is set for 30 to 45 days after the contract is accepted. If a buyer asks for a longer term, it could be that they are not financially ready. A longer settlement gives the buyer more time to back out, which could force the seller to put their home back on the market. If the seller is moving into a new house, the settlement date is crucial. A seller doesn’t want to be caught between two houses with furnishings in storage or paying two mortgages at once.

A substantial deposit shows the buyer’s desire for your home, while a small deposit makes it easier for them to walk away. It also may signal that they have very little cash and that they’re stretching to buy the house.

Some sellers are so relieved to receive an offer that they say yes to the first one they get. That’s not necessarily bad, depending on the market.

Some sellers are afraid they won’t get another offer, but if it’s the first weekend on the market, they may want to wait a few days.

For multiple offers, compare prices and terms to determine which one makes the most sense for your situation. Your agent will negotiate with the buyer’s agent, but you decide what to haggle over.

“It’s always best to negotiate on the least amount of details,” Joe says.
Nick says that If the price is lower than you want, we recommend that your agent go back to the buyer’s agent with a comparative market analysis (CMA) and specifics about your home to show why it’s priced as it is.

“Sometimes sellers think they need a perfect offer and won’t accept one if it’s slightly under the asking price,” Santoro says.

Nick said that he has had sellers who refused to accept an offer very close and or just under list price, only to have it sit on the market for a much longer time than anticipated, only to have an anxious seller panic and accept less money. Time is money as taxes, insurance and utility bills keep mounting. All these things need to be factored into the decision to accept or decline all reasonable offers.

“It’s possible to end up with nothing if a seller gets too greedy,” says Santoro. “If you have a willing and able buyer who can afford to buy your house and is within reason of your listing price, you should try to make it work. If you don’t, you could end up with a lower offer later.”

So all buyer offers are dependent upon many factors as noted above. In addition, there are many factors to consider on the seller side too. Factors such as how long the house is on the market. The amount of work that will need to be done to the house. Market comps. Whether or not the seller is carrying two mortgages or not; their new house and the one they are trying to sell. All of these factors must be considered when making your decision to accept a buyer offer or not.

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.

Estate Sales and Home Cleanouts

Estate Sale, Household Liquidation and Cleanout Services

Are you moving? Downsizing? Selling your home? Assisting an elderly loved on in transition? Would you like to sell your home contents? We can help. We are estate sale and household content liquidation service specialist. We provide a one-stop resource for helping you sell and liquidate the contents of your home. We provide direct help for home downsizing, home cleanout, de-cluttering and, content liquidation. We also do everything we can to help you move and or sell your home. We provide full service discount real estate services. Our one stop services are designed to make your life just a little easier and provide you with total peace of mind. If you are relocating out of town or taking care of a loved one, you know how overwhelming this process can be. Don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything for you.

House Liquidation Service

We proudly service Pennsylvania and the counties of Bucks, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester and the Main line. In New Jersey we service the counties of Hunterdon, Mercer, Monmouth, Morris, Middlesex, Union, Ocean, Burlington, Essex and Somerset.

We begin the process by meeting with you at your home. We work with you to identify which items you wish to sell, donate or dispose of. Together we develop realistic fair market value price points for all household contents. You make the final decisions on all price points. We market the items via this website. We also develop a personal web page for each client to achieve maximum results (see example page). We will feature and display everything in a way that will net you the most money possible. As licensed Realtors, we also offer discount real estate services if you’d like to sell your home as well as its contents.

As your estate sales specialist, we have found that prospective buyers feel that there is a greater perceived value when a professional estate liquidation firm conducts your household estate sale. Customers who come through and see carefully considered traffic patterns, professional signage and tags, and helpful assistants. We are awarded 2018 best in class services and offer discount real estate services via our association with EveryHome Realty.

We take care of everything for you in the most professional and sensitive way. Did you know that most people who try to organize an estate sale on their own have absolutely no idea what items are worth in the secondary market.

We are also certified licensed Senior Real Estate Specialist. As such, we not only focus on the liquidation of your household property contents, we are also keenly aware of our efforts to bring as many qualified people through the property as possible, which will also aid in the sale of your home should that be a targeted goal as well.

House Liquidation Service

How Does an Estate / Asset Liquation Work?

We begin by meeting with you personally. This allows us to understand your personal needs and for us to develop a tailored solution to meet your individual goals.

Are Household Content Sales Limited to Just Very Expensive Items?No. Buyers have all different tastes and needs. We liquidate entire estates of all kinds, not just those that are filled to overflowing with antiques or expensive furniture. In fact, many items are purchased right from the garage or work shop. For perspective, we sell furniture of all types, clothing, general residential contents, cars, stereo equipment, tools, equipment, musical instruments… well, actually, a little bit of everything!

Estate Sale Services Pennsylvania (PA)

Getting Ready for an Estate and Household Content Sale

First, make sure to get your legal house in order. If there has been a death in the family, make sure that you have legal title and full authority to sell. Make certain, too, that all disbursements have been made to any and all heirs before you call us for a consultation. If there’s a divorce or bankruptcy liquidation afoot, make sure that you talk to legal counsel before calling us.

If you are the representative of an estate, we will need to have a photocopy of the necessary legal documents which authorize you to dispose of the contents. We also require that the homeowner’s insurance on the home itself be current and in place throughout the sale process. The estate itself is responsible for disconnecting from gas or water any appliances which are to be sold.

We will come out to your home and meet with you personally to understand your goals and to work with you to determine fair market value. The ultimate decision is naturally yours. Our initial consultation is free of charge. Should we determine that an estate sale is not your best option we will offer you other options to help you. We also provide a full array of downsizing, de-cluttering, clean-up and clean out services. We also work with a number of charities who may have a use for some items which will helps others in needs.

Please note that the market for pre-owned items is entirely based upon the style, age and condition of your contents. As a result, not all things are saleable. Additionally, there will always be two different sets of values to any items. There is the seller’s perceived value, which may have a high emotional and sentimental value, and then there is the potential buyer’s view of the contents value, which is generally very different. Please remember that something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. To learn more, please client here to view a short article we wrote on this subject or click on our Resource link page for a host of other insights into selling pre-owned items, home downsizing, home sales information and elder care.

If there is a mutual decision to go forward with the content sale, we then will then make an inventory of all the items in the house. We work with you to mutually develop fair market pricing for your sale items. We then set things up in a professional way to make things as appealing to the buying public as possible. Next we advertise and market your contents and finally conduct the actual sale. For items of value, we will coordinate an appraisal and help you auction off some of your contents to help defray costs.

How Long Should I Expect My Sale to Run?

Each sale is unique. Most sales only merit one day, while others may take two or even three days.

We typically run our estate sales on a Friday and Saturday to maximize your results.

What Do You Do With Items That Don’t Sell?

Naturally, we strive to sell the contents of an estate “wall to wall”, but there are always some things left over in each estate. We also offer downsizing, de-cluttering and clean out services. We work with local charities to recycle household items to those in need and dispose of the balance of the contents (in accordance with all local laws and ordinances) all at the approval of the property owner or authorized representative. Please note: under no circumstances do we buy “remainders,” nor do we buy full or partial estates.

How Does an Estate / Asset Liquation Work?

We begin by meeting with you personally. This allows us to understand your personal needs and for us to develop a tailored solution to meet your individual goals.

Home Security

Whenever possible we try to limit access to your property to one entrance/exit. If there’s an attached garage or breezeway, it’s kept separate from the main house itself and manned by one or more of our team. We do not allow drink cups in the house, and we strongly discourage baby strollers in our sales which can be used to place un-purchased items inside.

Can the Homeowner or Executor be Present for the Sale Itself?

Sorry, but the answer is an unequivocal “no.” We will be glad to arrange for a “family only” preview upon request, though.

We don’t allow the family on-site during public sale hours as it has long been our experience that family members inadvertently get underfoot, or become emotional, or get distracted by the public comments or behavior.

The family (or trustee) is, however, most welcome to be on site during the work after the sale (e.g., during the charity pick up or buy out). Again, we always encourage a full walk-through by the family shortly after the sale ends.

What About Sales Taxes?

We provide a full accounting of all items sold. Any sales taxes are the responsibility of the family or trustee.

Why Choose Personal Property Managers?

We are an award winning organization dedicated to providing personalized services and offering you solutions that are tailored to your specific needs. For more insights, tips and videos please visit our Resource Page in the About us tab.

We tend to your property and its contents like it was our own. We know that often times a move, a home downsizing or sale can be overwhelming and physically demanding. We can handle everything for you. When you call us, you get us. We are on site at every job. You can rely on us and trust us. With Personal Property Managers…one call does it all. We are Estate Specialists, are licensed Realtors in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and are certified Senior Real Estate Specialist via EveryHome Realty, RS308044 and 1326862. Please call us for a free consultation at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909.

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.

How much is your house really worth? Top 3 home valuation methods

What is the valuation of your home?

You are probably aware that that the Greater Philly and New Jersey housing market is doing well right now, but do you know how much your house is worth in today’s market? When we often met with clients, like lots of people, they have gone online prior to our meeting and looked up the value of their home, so they thought; right? Does this describe you?

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It’s pretty easy. Google your address and like magic, up pops several online sites that will provide information on your house, such as number of bedrooms and bathroom and square footage. Sometimes they even show a picture of your home and sometimes they even will show an estimated valuation price of what your home may be worth. For a lot of people they take this number as gospel and look to us for verification of this number. Sometimes the estimated valuation number is close to the correct value of their home, but other times it’s way off. Did you know that the CEO of one of the largest online home sites sold his home a while back, and that he sold it for 40% less than what his own site said the home was worth?

This is part of an on-going series of real estate articles by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managerswho service Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Personal Property Managers is a home sale specialist maximizing the sales value of our clients property, and also provides home content downsizing, senior transition services, property management and estate sales.

These online sites have many different names for their rough home valuations. Did you know that they often fail to take into consideration floor plans, swimming pools, frontage, interior and exterior updates and upgrades? Please do not make the mistake of hitting the market without an expert valuation from a local Realtor who takes everything into account when pricing your home for sale.

Nick Santoro says that when you value homes, there are three methods that you should use to determine a property’s value. Whether or not you plan to sell your home any time soon, knowing the value of your home is often the starting point for making wise financial decisions.

Another factor that is very important to consider is that almost all buyers will need some form of financing such as a mortgage. We are sharing with you the top 3 methods that they use when determining a homes valuation and thus the amount of mortgage that they will provide and approve. They are:

1. The Cost Approach
The cost approach works by analyzing what it would cost to build the property in today’s market, adding the current value of the parcel of land on which it sits and then subtracting a factor for obsolescence or depreciation. This method is rarely impactful as resale homes are heavily influenced by supply and demand. If there are too many homes for sale, cost will have no bearing on valuations, as sellers will have to compete to get them sold. Fortunately, the opposite is true as well. If there are too few homes on the market, buyers very well might have to pay a premium to have a seller part with her property.

2. The Income Approach
The income approach is typically used with investment properties. The net income a property generates (net operating income) is used to derive a market value based on a multiple of the property’s annual income. Generally speaking, the more income a property generates, the more it is worth.

3. The Sales Comparison Approach
The sales comparison approach, also known as the market approach, works by looking at the supply and demand for similar homes. We look at similar homes that are for sale, the selling prices of similar properties that have recently changed hands, and how many similar homes that have failed to sell recently.

It is important to look at homes on an apples to apples comparison. We are talking about comparing the number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, home style, square footage, lot size, school district, location, updates and upgrades, curb appeal, roof, HVAC systems, overall condition, geographic proximity to your home / subject property. Also look at what may need to be done to the property to bring it up to current market demand conditions, and the cost to do so.

Additionally, many clients look at the price that other homes are listed for in their area. This is a mistake. This may be fine for an overall feel, but the real measure is looking at what similar homes have actually sold for. This is what your lenders will be looking at. It often does not matter what houses are listed for, what really matters is what similar houses have sold for. As licensed Realtors, we can share this analysis with you by conducting something called a Comparative Market Analysis or CMA.

The prices of homes are then adjusted upwards or downwards based upon how they compare with other properties that have sold, are listed and the overall condition of the property in comparison to other like properties; then, by averaging the prices of the comparable properties, an appropriate value is determined for the subject property.

The Best Method
To find the real value of your home, you should use all three approaches, but heavily weigh the findings from the sales comparison approach.

Remember, all markets are subject to supply and demand, and if more supply is needed, then the cost of creating additional supply will affect the values of the supply that is already in the market, over the long run.

Following the methods above will help you determine an accurate value for your home. Then, with an understanding of current market factors, you can develop a well-informed strategy regarding when to sell and buy a home.

If you need help coming up with a plan or determining your home’s value, please give us a call or look us up on the net at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com We are home sale specialists. We not only can help you sell your property at the best possible price, but we also offer a best in class seller acceleration program to help get your home ready for sale by downsizing and de-cluttering it and helping to liquidate the contents. For a truly one call does it all solution, contact us today for a free evaluation.

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.