Tag Archives: home selling tips

Thinking of Downsizing?

Home Downsizing Tips – Room by Room

Don’t be overwhelmed with moving or cleaning out a home.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJMany people do not realize how to handle all of the various categories of things found in the common household and are overwhelmed with even beginning the process of moving or cleaning out a home after a loss of a loved one. Here are some examples of how many of the usual items often found in each room. This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in downsizing or moving from your home. Personal Property Managers services New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Kitchen

  • Keep: Cooking related items you truly need or could use to upgrade what you have in your own kitchen.
  • Donate: Functional items in good condition or better – pots and pans, flatware, glassware, etc. – canned goods and other food may be donated to the local food pantry
  • Discard: Anything chipped, cracked, broken or worn beyond use including china, glass, dishes, old food in the refrigerator and canned goods and packaged food with expired dates
  • Recycle: Dirty, discolored, rusty cooking pots/pans, worn utensils, out-of-date and non-functioning small appliances
  • Sell: Vintage cookware, Le Creuset pots and pans, Fiestaware, Stangl plates and bowls, etc.

Bedrooms

  • Keep: Put family photos, heirloom jewelry and important personal paperwork in a safe place to take home to review closer and distribute to the appropriate family members
  • Donate: Clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, books to local libraries and retirement communities, paperbacks to our soldiers, hotel toiletries to homeless shelters
  • Discard: Undergarments, old toiletries, old medicine, used/old makeup, no value items from the “junk drawer”
  • Recycle: Eyeglasses, old electronics, wire coat hangers to your local dry cleaner, towels and blankets to your favorite animal shelter
  • Sell: Vintage jewelry, zippo cigarette lighters, coin collections, designer clothing to consignment shops

Living Room/Family Room/Den

  • Keep: Heirloom quality china, silver sets and artwork if desired
  • Donate: Lower value furniture, incomplete china sets, extra glassware, CD’s and DVD’s
  • Discard: Used candles, coasters, incomplete board games and puzzles
  • Recycle: Non confidential paperwork, magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards, soiled tablecloths and placemats
  • Sell: Crystal bowls, Hummel figurines, Lladro figurines and related collectibles

Office

  • Keep: Recent tax returns, home improvement records, current files
  • Donate: Old phones to our soldiers, outdated but working electronics to schools or charities
  • Discard: Office supplies that are no longer functional – Pens that don’t work, dried up erasers, etc.
  • Recycle: Obsolete fax machines, printers, power cords, old trade publications, ink cartridges
  • Sell: Furniture and higher-end electronics when updating/upgrading
  • Shred: Credit card statements, tax returns over 7 yrs old, bank statements, old confidential business/related records

Attic

  • Keep: Family memorabilia, personal items and other heirlooms
  • Donate: Clothing, picture frames, low-value knick knacks, books in better condition to your local library
  • Discard: Worn out suitcases, baby cribs and car seats, anything low value damaged by the heat and cold from sitting for years that can’t be recycled
  • Recycle: Rusty bed frame rails, corroded metal fans, non-confidential paperwork
  • Sell: Antiques, old dolls, vintage toys and trains, sports, movie and political memorabilia

Basement

  • Keep: Better quality hand and power tools and related machines and equipment if truly needed
  • Donate: Children’s toys, exercise equipment, games in good condition or better
  • Discard: Damp, musty, moldy books and record albums, broken modern toys
  • Recycle: Outdated electronics, rusty tools, old wiring, non-functioning dehumidifiers
  • Sell: Duplicate or unneeded tools, musical instruments that are no longer used, vintage stereos

Garage/Shed

  • Keep: Better quality hand and power tools, shelving and storage bins if needed
  • Donate: Vases to your local florist, extra garden tools to your neighbors
  • Discard: Sports equipment in poor condition, toys missing parts or broken
  • Recycle: Junk metals, hazardous waste, paint, old bicycles
  • Sell: Lawn mowers and snow blowers on Craigslist, sort and sell boxes of unwanted things from parents, grandparents and relatives sitting for years

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. 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 modify your home for an elderly loved one moving in

Home Modifications When Moving In an Elderly Loved One

Home modifications tips for elderly parents moving in with caregivers

Bucks County Home Downsizing

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With Americans living longer and longer, and with the baby boomer retirement population exploding, and expecting to almost double in the next few years, one option that many families are taking is having elderly parents move in with their adult caregiver children.

We have found that it’s very important to consider certain home modifications so you can accommodate elderly loved ones moving in with you.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior 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.

  • Some general safety and room-by-room details to consider include:
  • Make sure to have study handrails on all indoor and outdoor steps
  • Install nonskid strips on or near steps and near the edges.
  • For those with visual impairments, the strips should be a color that contrasts with the color of the steps.
  • Light switches should be located near all entrances to each room, at each end of hallways, and at the top and bottom of stairwells.
  • Lighting should be sufficiently throughout the home.
  • Consider replacing traditional door knobs with lever handles which are easier to operate than doorknobs.
  • Interior doors should have locks that can be opened from either side.
  • Hallways and doorways should be wide enough to accommodate a walker or wheelchair.
  • The water heater should be set at 120 degrees to reduce the risk of scalding.
  • Solid color carpeting with dense pile will lower fall risks. Deep pile carpeting can be more difficult to walk on, and patterned carpeting may cause optical illusions for those who have difficulty with depth perception.
  • To lower fall risks with hardwood floors, avoid wax or high gloss polishes or throw rugs.
  • Avoid room entrances with raised door thresholds.
  • Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be present near all sleeping areas.
  • Check that kitchen cabinets and countertops are a comfortable height, and that there is space to roll a wheelchair under a counter, if needed.
  • A side-by-side refrigerator/freezer will be easier to use than a top-bottom model.
  • Electric or gas stoves should not be positioned under a window because the presence of curtains will increase the risk of fire.
  • Sinks should have a single-lever mixing faucet.
  • The touch pad of a microwave should be large and easy to read, and the device should be in a convenient location.
  • There should be one bathroom located on the main floor of the home, as well as near the bedroom (if the home is multi-level).
  • Grab bars should be present or can be installed near the toilet and tub/shower.
  • Check that the toilet is a comfortable height.
  • It is recommended that the tub/shower has a hand-held spray unit, and a built-in seat or space to utilize a shower chair (chairs are available which extend over the side of a tub if a stall shower is not present, however you will need a curtain instead of shower doors to minimize water escaping from the shower.)
  • A pedestal sink may be needed if a wheelchair or regular chair will be used in front of the sink.
  • The size of the bathroom should be adequate for wheelchair maneuverability
  • Avoid throw rugs and bathmats. The floor should be carpeted (low pile), or matte-finished, textured tile instead of a smooth, potentially slippery surface.
  • Towel racks and built-in soap dishes should be secure and not located where they might be used as a grab bar.
  • One Bedroom should be available on the main floor of the home.

We have learned over the years that these modifications can make a world of difference for your elderly loved one.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. 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 7 tips to help you sell your home

Top seven tips and insights to help you successfully sell your home by Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers. Click here to view.

Joean NickNov2011

Having an Aging Loved one move in

Planning on Having an Aging Parent Move In With You

Have conversations up front and define your boundaries to make it a very pleasant addition to your life.

Bucks County Home Downsizing

Helping Seniors Move in PA NJWe often work with families where children are caregivers for their aging parents. Often time medical conditions and sometimes financial decisions necessitate change. This change may mean that your elderly loved one may need to move in to their children’s home.

This is a decision that adult children and caregivers should think though carefully. There’s so much that’s involved. If you move mom or dad in and don’t have discussions on ground rules and space then it’s going to be chaos. If you make a plan and if you have conversations up front and define your boundaries, it can be a very pleasant and very productive addition to your life.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into senior care and senior 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.

No matter how prepared you are to have an elderly loved one move in to your home and no matter how pleasant your relationship is, expect the unexpected. You need to be prepared for the role reversal. You need to be prepared for the things that are going to happen so that you don’t blow up so you don’t have an incident that you can’t take back. The only way that this new relationship works is if you find a way to have a real relationship with mom or dad and get rid of those old parent to child roles.

Lastly, if mom or dad are moving in, getting their finances together is the first and most important thing. In addition, plan in advance for absentee care giving when you go on vacation. Having ‘alone’ time with your spouse is important. There are services [and] people you can pay hourly, but the one thing a lot of people miss is that there may be members of your own family who are actually out looking for employment while you’re struggling trying to figure out who’s going to watch mom or dad. One thing that’s worked out very well is having family members come in and have them get compensated instead of paying an outside professional. You want to get creative with your solutions.

We have learned that these discussions [between parent and adult children] aren’t always easy, but they are extremely important at many levels.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or908-368-1909. 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.

Downsizing – Room by Room – Tips

Home Downsizing Tips – Room by Room

Many people do not realize how to handle all of the various categories of things found in the common household and are overwhelmed with even beginning the process of moving or cleaning out a home after a loss of a loved one.. Here are some examples of how many of the usual items often found in each room. This is part of a continuing series of helpful articles from Joe Santoro and Nick Santoro of Personal Property Managers to assist you in downsizing or moving from your home. Personal Property Managers services New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Team - small size

Kitchen
• Keep: Cooking related items you truly need or could use to upgrade what you have in your own kitchen.
• Donate: Functional items in good condition or better – pots and pans, flatware, glassware, etc. – canned goods and other food may be donated to the local food pantry
• Discard: Anything chipped, cracked, broken or worn beyond use including china, glass, dishes, old food in the refrigerator and canned goods and packaged food with expired dates
• Recycle: Dirty, discolored, rusty cooking pots/pans, worn utensils, out-of-date and non-functioning small appliances
• Sell: Vintage cookware, Le Creuset pots and pans, Fiestaware, Stangl plates and bowls, etc.

Bedrooms
• Keep: Put family photos, heirloom jewelry and important personal paperwork in a safe place to take home to review closer and distribute to the appropriate family members
• Donate: Clothing, shoes, accessories, linens, books to local libraries and retirement communities, paperbacks to our soldiers, hotel toiletries to homeless shelters
• Discard: Undergarments, old toiletries, old medicine, used/old makeup, no value items from the “junk drawer”
• Recycle: Eyeglasses, old electronics, wire coat hangers to your local dry cleaner, towels and blankets to your favorite animal shelter
• Sell: Vintage jewelry, zippo cigarette lighters, coin collections, designer clothing to consignment shops

Living Room/Family Room/Den
• Keep: Heirloom quality china, silver sets and artwork if desired
• Donate: Lower value furniture, incomplete china sets, extra glassware, CD’s and DVD’s
• Discard: Used candles, coasters, incomplete board games and puzzles
• Recycle: Non confidential paperwork, magazines, newspapers, old greeting cards, soiled tablecloths and placemats
• Sell: Crystal bowls, Hummel figurines, Lladro figurines and related collectibles

Office
• Keep: Recent tax returns, home improvement records, current files
• Donate: Old phones to our soldiers, outdated but working electronics to schools or charities
• Discard: Office supplies that are no longer functional – Pens that don’t work, dried up erasers, etc.
• Recycle: Obsolete fax machines, printers, power cords, old trade publications, ink cartridges
• Sell: Furniture and higher-end electronics when updating/upgrading
• Shred: Credit card statements, tax returns over 7 yrs old, bank statements, old confidential business/related records

Attic
• Keep: Family memorabilia, personal items and other heirlooms
• Donate: Clothing, picture frames, low-value knick knacks, books in better condition to your local library
• Discard: Worn out suitcases, baby cribs and car seats, anything low value damaged by the heat and cold from sitting for years that can’t be recycled
• Recycle: Rusty bed frame rails, corroded metal fans, non-confidential paperwork
• Sell: Antiques, old dolls, vintage toys and trains, sports, movie and political memorabilia

Basement
• Keep: Better quality hand and power tools and related machines and equipment if truly needed
• Donate: Children’s toys, exercise equipment, games in good condition or better
• Discard: Damp, musty, moldy books and record albums, broken modern toys
• Recycle: Outdated electronics, rusty tools, old wiring, non-functioning dehumidifiers
• Sell: Duplicate or unneeded tools, musical instruments that are no longer used, vintage stereos

Garage/Shed
• Keep: Better quality hand and power tools, shelving and storage bins if needed
• Donate: Vases to your local florist, extra garden tools to your neighbors
• Discard: Sports equipment in poor condition, toys missing parts or broken
• Recycle: Junk metals, hazardous waste, paint, old bicycles
• Sell: Lawn mowers and snow blowers on Craigslist, sort and sell boxes of unwanted things from parents, grandparents and relatives sitting for years

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping 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

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

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

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

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

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

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, discount full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty.

Top 6 Reasons your home may not be selling

6 Reasons your home may not be selling

Nothing’s more frustrating for a seller than having your home sit on the market. And sit… and sit… and sit some more. Maybe buyers are touring your house, but not making offers. Or maybe buyers aren’t visiting your home at all. Either way, you’re starting to feel rejected. Often, the reason a home sits on the market for longer than expected boils down to a few easy-to-fix issues. Here are six of the big ones.

This is part of a continuing series of articles and helpful tips and insights into help you you’re your home by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ) Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales and marketing, home downsizing, content clean out and removal and estate sales, and services Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. You’ve priced it too high.
No matter what you feel your home should be worth, the truth is it’s only worth what people are willing to pay for it. Get a feel for what the comps — or comparable homes in your area — are going for and listen to buyer feedback. If people are consistently telling you the price is an issue, it’s time to pay attention. Trust your real estate agent to inform you about a fair price for the current market, and if you’re truly dead-set on getting your ideal asking price, take an honest look at whether you need to make upgrades to your home or wait for a market uptick.

2. No one knows it’s for sale.
Simply sticking a “for sale” sign in the lawn won’t cut it. Today’s buyers do the majority of their home searching online, which means you need to get your home listed on major real estate sites and on the MLS, or the multiple listing service, used by realtors and brokers. You’ll also want to make sure your online listing includes plenty of high-quality, well-staged photos.

3. It’s got glaring issues…but…..
It could be a big issue (like a old and leaking roof), or it could be a small but obnoxious issue that buyers just can’t get past (like outdated carpeting or wall paper). Either way, the fact that your home isn’t selling means buyers are consistently finding something wrong with it. Ask potential buyers for feedback after you conduct showings; their answers may help clue you in to the problem. Some buyers are willing to accept a lower price or a closing credit for a home with a sticking-point issue, but others are turned off from the start and figure it’s not worth the hassle of fixing it themselves or trying to negotiate a concession.

4. It doesn’t show well.
Make sure that when prospective buyers tour your home, there’s nothing stopping them from falling in love with it. Open those blinds and curtains to let the natural light in and put lamps in areas that are especially dim. Remove any bulky furniture that makes the rooms hard to navigate. Take care of those small items you’ve been putting off, like fixing sticky drawer pulls or that leaky faucet. Small updates like these could be turning off buyers.

5. Buyers can’t picture themselves living there.
The more you enable buyers to picture their own life in your house, the more likely they’ll be to make an offer. Clean and remove clutter and get rid of overly personal items like those family photos along the stairway and your kids’ artwork on the fridge. If your home is currently empty, near-empty, or your furnishings aren’t to most buyers’ tastes, you may want to consider hiring someone to professionally stage your rooms.

6. You’ve neglected the curb appeal.
More than one buyer has pulled up to a house whose listing they liked, taken one look at the exterior, and driven away. It doesn’t matter how gorgeous your home is on the inside; if buyers aren’t willing to step in the door, then you’ve lost them.

A few simple fixes can make your curb appeal irresistible. Weed and mulch the flowerbeds, trim the hedges, clear the walkways, and repaint any flaking siding. Consider adding some “homey” touches like a wreath on the door or a bench on the porch. You don’t need to spend a ton on landscaping; just making the outside look presentable and welcoming can make all the difference.

For more information on real estate or home downsizing please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers at http://www.personalpropertymanagers.com or simply give us a call at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909. Personal Property Managers specializes in helping to home owners transition from their home of many years into a new community. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home clean out services and full service real estate services via our association with EveryHome Realty.