Tag Archives: clean

How to begin your home downsizing project and cleanout

How to Begin Downsizing Your Home

Home Staging Tips PA NJThe vast majority of the clients who contact us are simply overwhelmed trying to tackle downsizing their home or the home of a loved one. It is physically and mentally draining. Often it entails going through possessions that have been in the house for 40 plus years. Where do you begin?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you move forward and sell your home and clean out your contents by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Moving from your home of 20, 30 or 40 years is a daunting task. Often our client tell us it’s an “oh my gosh moment” – where do I begin? This is where we can help you.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of lifes most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change. People feel overwhelmed, and wonder; where do they even start?

At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.

Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.

  1. Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
  2. Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
  3. Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
  4. Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing does not fit, do not bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, do not go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”

Taking measurements of available space is also important. Virginia, a recent client said, “We had large paintings that we really loved, but did not think we could bring with us. Nick had our floor plan and measurements and said, “Oh, yes we can. I know just where those paintings can go!’”

“It’s the sentimental items that make a house a home,” Nick reminds our clients. “Those are just as important as packing up your sensible shoes and kitchenware.”

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Top 9 secrets to selling your home

Top 9 Secrets to Selling your Home

Get the best possible price in the shortest amount of time.

If you are serious about selling your home at the best possible price and in the shortest possible time on market, then you’ll want to pay close attention to our top 9 secrets to helping sell your home.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping 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, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

#1: The first impressions are lasting… and are the only that matter
No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. You never have a second chance to make a first impression. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers. You can typically get a 100-percent return on the money you put into your home’s curb appeal. Entryways are also important. You often use it as a utility space for your coat and keys. But, when you’re selling, make it welcoming by putting in a small bench, a vase of fresh-cut flowers or even some cookies.

#2: Always be ready to show… you just never know…
Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to be available whenever they want to come see the place and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, keep the dishwasher cleaned out, the bathrooms sparkling and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

#3: The kitchen comes first… it’s often the first place people look
You’re not actually selling your house, you’re selling your kitchen – that’s how important it is. The benefits of remodeling your kitchen are endless, and the best part of it is that you’ll probably get 85% of your money back. It may be a few thousand dollars to replace countertops where a buyer may knock $10,000 off the asking price if your kitchen looks dated. The fastest, most inexpensive kitchen updates include painting and new cabinet hardware. Use a neutral-color paint so you can present buyers with a blank canvas where they can start envisioning their own style. If you have a little money to spend, buy one fancy stainless steel appliance. Why one? Because when people see one high-end appliance they think all the rest are expensive too and it updates the kitchen.

#4: Take the home out of your house… de-personalize your home
One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal stuff in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. Get rid of a third of your stuff – put it in storage. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections and personal keepsakes. Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

#5: Don’t over-upgrade… but keep it clean
Quick fixes before selling always pay off, however expensive makeovers, not so much. You probably won’t get your money back if you do a huge improvement project before you put your house on the market. Instead, do updates that will pay off and get you top dollar. Get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles, cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets and clean the grout.

#6: Conceal your pets… not everyone likes pets
You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you’d be wrong. Not everybody is a dog- or cat-lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box or have tufts of pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. If you’re planning an open house, send the critters to a pet hotel for the day.

#7: Light it up… the more light the better
Maximize the light in your home. After location, good light is the one thing that every buyer cites that they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, change the lampshades, increase the wattage of your light bulbs and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to do make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

#8: Half-empty closets… clean them out
Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half the stuff out of your closets then neatly organize what’s left in there. Buyers will snoop, so be sure to keep all your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.

#9: Pricing it right… be grounded in reality
Find out what your home is worth, then shave 5 to 10 percent off the price. You’ll be stampeded by buyers with multiple bids – even in the worst markets – and they’ll bid up the price over what it’s worth. It takes real courage and most sellers just don’t want to risk it, but it’s the single best strategy to sell a home in today’s market.

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Home selling tips for PET OWNERS

Home Selling Tips for Pet Owners

If you are selling your home it is very important that you understand how important it is to make your home pet neutral.

Home Selling Tips PA NJIf Home selling tips for pet owners: Removing signs of pets can help a home sell faster and for more money

News flash…although you may love your pet and feel that it’s a part of the family, not everyone may feel the same way, especially prospective home buyers who may be turned off by pet odors, worn yards and scratches on floors and walls. So, what is a home seller with pets to do?

We are sharing insights to pet owners who are trying to sell your home. In fact, we advise animal-owning sellers to rid their home of any evidence of pet damage or animal scents before opening their doors to potential buyers.

Appealing to buyers who may not love pets as much as you do can boost your chances of getting top dollar for your house.

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.

Addressing Outside Pet Needs
While a spacious backyard is a plus in the eyes of most buyers, pet-related landmines and holes typically aren’t on a buyer’s list of wants. To get your yard visitor-ready, we recommend filling in any doggy-dug holes and scooping the poop.

Additionally, be sure to check your fencing, deck, and porch for any marks from scratching or chewing. Most pet-related scratches and damage can be easily repaired with a little sandpaper and stain.

Addressing Inside Pet Needs
First impressions are everything, but dog toys and pet odors don’t exactly enhance a home’s initial appeal. Get your home ready by ousting any evidence of pets, including:

Pet belongings. Collect toys, bowls, beds, crates, cat trees, and litter boxes and keep them out of sight. We even recommend hiding pet photos.
Scents. Get rid of potentially off-putting animal scents by lighting candles, opening windows, or hiring a professional carpet cleaning crew to deodorize your domicile.
Scratches. If your hardwood floors have a few battle scars to show for their years of being trodden upon by pets, consider having them resurfaced.
Remove Your Pet(s). Leaving your pet in the house during showings isn’t the best idea. They could dart out an open door or pose a liability issue if they behave in a less-than-friendly manner toward strangers. If you can’t take your pets with you, let a friend or relative care for them or board them at a kennel.

Please remember that you only have one time to make a good first impression, be that a buyer or with other realtors, so please keep this in mind if you are a home seller with pets. You do not want to sabotage your chances of success by not being mindful of other people’s opinions of pets.

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

7 Real Estate Myths – Buyers & Sellers

7 Common Buyer and Seller Real Estate Myths

Top real estate myths for both buyers and sellers.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJAre you considering buying or selling a home? We are sure that you have lots of experts offering all kinds of advice. The experts offering you advice may come from a variety of sources such as the post office or your car wash attendant or your cousin or brother or trainer in the gym; right? Sound familiar? When it comes to real estate it seems that everyone is an expert. But take a moment to really think about it. You have the largest single asset that you will buy or sell and we often listen to people that are the least qualified to give you advice. I am sure that all have good intentions but what is really being offered is just their opinion, so treat it as such.

We have put together a list of the top real estate myths for both buyers and sellers for you to think about.

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

7 Common Buyer and Seller Real Estate Myths:

1. Set your initial home selling price higher that you want. Listing your home at a price that’s too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That’s because shoppers and their real estate agents often don’t even look at homes that are priced above market value. It’s true you can always lower the price if the house doesn’t generate any offers in the first few weeks, but that comes with its own set of problems. Buyers are highly suspicious of houses that have sat on the market for more than three weeks.

2. Don’t use a real estate agent… get a better price for your home. Wow… that’s a great one right? Wrong. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don’t have an agent, the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.

3. Sell your house on your own and save money. Some people do successfully sell homes on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases. It’s not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you’ll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It’s not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you’d get with an agent, but it’s not easy.

4. Hold out a little longer… the market will go up. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values. Most seller think that the market only goes up; who can predict when a correction will come? The recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices can indeed fall, and fall a lot.

5. Definitely renovate your kitchen and bathroom before you sell. If your kitchen and baths work, a major remodel could backfire. Prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don’t want to redo something that has just been renovated. In many cases you are better off adjusting your price accordingly. Additionally, you may only get back 20 cents on the dollar if anything at all. Most buyers want to put their own spin on things.

6. Renovate. Don’t worry. You will get your money back. Wrong. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won’t recoup what you spent. According to Remodeling magazine’s the only renovation that is likely to net you as much as you spent is a new front door. You’re likely to recoup only 67.8 % of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 % of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home. Very few things will bring you great returns. If you’re going to do these projects, it’s better to do them for your own enjoyment. Additionally, if your home has not been updated, you will need to factor this into the proposed selling price. Today’s buyers are not willing to spend money to update a home as was the case years ago, so you will need to discount the listing price of your home or else it simply will not sell.

7. Open houses sell properties. Homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent choose not to have an open house, it probably doesn’t hurt your sale chances although holding a broker’s open house for other agents may be worthwhile.

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

How to begin Downsizing your Home

How to Begin Downsizing Your Home

4 Quick Tips

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Home Staging Tips PA NJThe vast majority of the clients who contact us are simply overwhelmed trying to tackle downsizing their home or the home of a loved one. It is physically and mentally draining. Often it entails going through possessions that have been in the house for 40 plus years. Where do you begin?

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into helping you move forward and sell your home and clean out your contents by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Moving from your home of 20, 30 or 40 years is a daunting task. Often our client tell us it’s an “oh my gosh moment” – where do I begin? This is where we can help you.

Did you know that downsizing and moving ranks as one of lifes most difficult events, along with loss of a spouse, divorce and job change. People feel overwhelmed, and wonder; where do they even start?

At Personal Property Managers, we understand the emotional toll downsizing and moving can take on our clients and their families. If you are moving from your home of many years into a senior care community or just relocating, our goal is to help you transition seamlessly to this exciting new chapter in life.

Nick Santoro says that of the many challenges of moving, downsizing is the most difficult. Nick says the reason for this is that you have to make decisions about every personal possession in your home. Personal Property Managers is at your side helping you every step of the way.

Santoro suggests viewing downsizing as a process. We suggest that you start with small goals, and plan on sorting for just a few hours at a time.

  1. Sorting through the easiest and obvious first. Choose a room where what needs to go or stay is the most obvious – like your bedroom or a room that’s rarely used.
  2. Using colored stickers, labels or Post-It notes to identify where items will go. More efficient than writing out a list, movers and family members can use the stickers as guidance on moving day.
  3. Assessing practicality and sentimentality. Items that are both practical and sentimental should move with you. Items that are neither should be left for family, sale or charity.
  4. Eliminating duplicate items or items that are the wrong size. Chances are, you only need three sets of towels, not six. If clothing does not fit, do not bring it with you.

Before the move, Santoro recommends creating a floor plan and determining the practicality of existing furniture. Nick says, do not go out and buy new furniture. Instead, be open to using furniture in new ways.”

Taking measurements of available space is also important. Virginia, a recent client said, “We had large paintings that we really loved, but did not think we could bring with us. Nick had our floor plan and measurements and said, “Oh, yes we can. I know just where those paintings can go!’”

“It’s the sentimental items that make a house a home,” Nick reminds our clients. “Those are just as important as packing up your sensible shoes and kitchenware.”

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 Every Home Realty. Learn more about Personal Property Managers from our recent News Stories.

Aging Parents and Adult Children – a Role Reversal that needs looking into

Time for a role reversal – when adult children need to step up and become the caregiver of their elderly parents

If you are the son, daughter or caregiver of an aging parent or elderly loved one life can be very challenging and very frustrating. We often cannot understand why our parents cannot understand or remember things or why their tidy home is now more and more cluttered with stuff. This can lead to frustration, anger and resentment, not to mention be outright dangerous to your aging loved one.

This is a sensitive topic that needs to be talked about. It seems quite common for our elderly loved ones to live many years beyond expectations of just a few years ago. Today it is quite common for our loved ones to live well into their 90’s. 

This is part of a continuing series of articles and insights by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers, senior real estate and senior transition specialist servicing Pennsylvania and New Jersey (www.personalpropertypropertymanagers.com ). 

Are you prepared for a role reversal where the child becomes the adult and the adult needs more and more direct care? Are you the adult child of an elderly parent or loved one? Have you been by to see how your folks are living? If not, it’s probably time to pay a thorough visit because ultimately, their home environment and everything in it and around it will be your concern–in a big way.

Are you absolutely your aging loved ones home safe? Can your parent negotiate through their house without the risk of falling over stuff accumulated over the years? When you walk into their home do you feel “squeezed” for space? Is every possible surface, including the floor, covered with their stuff? Do you have to step around things to get from one room to another? Is there too much furniture? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time to clear the clutter and look after your aging loved ones physical safety.

Besides general clutter and excess in their home, have you bothered to check the food pantry or refrigerator/freezer contents lately? Many of the seniors we work with have homes that are completely filled with stuff from by gone years.  In addition, have you looked into the refrigerator? Are they eating expired foods; do they even know to look for expiration dates of foods that can make them gravely ill?. Just a quick heads up….when you begin sorting through their cabinets, freezer and refrigerator, sorting through the good from the bad? In fact, prepare yourself for a possible challenge regarding the disposal of expired food items. Remember, in many cases, your elderly loved ones lived through the Depression, so throwing out anything is hard for most of them.

Another huge issue when going through your elderly loved ones home is its overall and general cleanliness, or lack thereof. Have you checked to see if your parents are living in a filthy or less than clean environment? Who’s cleaning for them if they’re not able? We’re seeing more and more really nasty living conditions from the kitchen to the bathroom.

What about the medicine cabinet? Have you looked through it recently if at all? If you see expired medications or medications that are no longer taken, get rid of them.

What about hoarding?  Look around. What do you see? We can tell you that we’re experiencing an increase in clients with just too much stuff…everywhere. This is where adult children need to step it up, and get involved and take control of this situation. Even if your elderly loved ones have a desire, many hoarding seniors are unable to admit their problem or simply have no idea how to begin paring down their stuff. It’s time to have a sit-down with mom and dad and begin the process of eliminating the excess in their homes, if for nothing else other than their own safety to simply be able to move about without tripping over something.

In addition, please think about what you say and how you say it. The difference here is how you say it. Don’t sound critical or angry; say it gently and with a friendly smile.
 
The most important thing is that as our parents or elderly loved ones age that we go out of our way to maintain good relationships and look after them. In many cases, for adult children this is a complete role reversal.

For more insights into working with seniors in transition, or downsizing services, content liquidation, full service real estate service or moving services, please contact Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909 www.personalpropertymanagers.com servicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania