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  • Recycle: Dirty, discolored, rusty cooking pots/pans, worn utensils, out-of-date and non-functioning small appliances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.

6 Top Tips for Selling your Home for the best Possible Price

6 Top Tips for Selling your Home for the best Possible Price

Are you thinking about selling your home? Are you the executor of an estate and need to liquidate the asset and sell the property? Are you torn between selling your home as is or putting in a lot of money for renovation work and or upgrades and are not certain you will get a return on your investment?

We have put together list of the top 8 tips you may want to consider when selling your home and getting the biggest bag for your buck. These helpful tips are part of a continuing series of articles by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers (www.personalpropertymanagers.com ). Personal Property Managers specializes in real estate sales, real estate transition services, property management and content clean-out services in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

1. Clean it up
The cheapest and easiest way to increase the value if of your home in the eyes of potential buyers, is to make sure your home shows as well as possible. How do you do this? Make sure it’s spotlessly clean. Most people don’t have the imagination to look past piles of dirty dishes in the kitchen and discarded clothing strewn across your bedroom floor, to see how much nicer things would be if they lived there.
Just think of it this way…if there are two houses selling in an area at the same price at the same time, experience tells us that the cleaner one is likely to be snapped up faster.

2. If it’s broken…fix it
Don’t forget to ensure the gutters and roof tiles are in good order. One obvious maintenance job often overlooked is the garage door – and it’s usually the first thing a potential buyer sees. In addition, most buyers will have a home inspection done prior to purchase. Be pro-active. Address known issues in advance. Don’t let this hamper a deal.

3. Light and Mirrors
It’s a known fact that houses that let in a lot of light are likely to sell faster and for more money than dark, dingy ones. If you have lace or net curtains, remove them while you’re selling to let in the sunshine. If there are hedges blocking windows, cut them back.
Add mirrors. They are an easy way to maximize light and create a feeling of space.

4. Curb your dog
We all know that pets take a special place in our hearts, but that may not be true for a potential buyer. So, if you are selling your home, you will need to remove your pet…at least during showings. Vacuum those dog hairs off the living room couch and remove his basket and blankets from your bedroom.
Just as important, don’t forget about pet smells. Pet odors also suggest to potential buyers that there may be extra maintenance work, like replacing stained carpets and sanding down scratched doors.

5. De-clutter
A clean house sells much faster and at a higher price than a messy home. It’s just common sense. So, start now. Clean up. Don’t wait – throw it all out now, including those boxes in your garage. Clutter can make a place look smaller and give a buyer the impression there’s not much packing space in your home.

6. Clean it and Paint it
Nothing looks better than a clean, organized and freshly painted house. When selecting colors, keep it bland and neutral, rather than suiting your specific taste. This way you’re likely to interest a greater number of buyers.

Kitchens and bathrooms are big decision-making rooms, agree estate agents. Modernize where you can, using quality primers and tile paint to update bathrooms. Replacing work surfaces can also transform a kitchen without a major overhaul.

For more information on home sales, staging and 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 transition elderly ones from their home of many years into senior care communities. Personal Property Managers services Pennsylvania and New Jersey and offers downsizing services, estate sales services, home staging, full service real estate services via its association with Every Home Realty to help sell homes.

Selling your home? Why are Real Estate comps important?

The importance of recent comps in any real estate transaction – by Joe Santoro, of Personal Property Managers.

2014 is shaping up to be a very strong year in the turnaround of the real estate market.

One of the key components to any real estate transaction is a home appraisal. It is extremely important and most folks do not understand it. Did you know that even if both sides; the buyer and the seller agree to a sale price, the deal can potentially unravel if the home appraisal comes in below the contracted selling price?

This insight and others pertaining to senior transition, downsizing, tips on maximizing your home value, and other elder care options are presented to you by Nick and Joe Santoro of Personal Property Managers, your one call does it all solution…serving Pennsylvania and New jersey.

How can a home sale unravel when both the buyer and seller agree to a selling and purchase price? Itss because most buyers will need some form of bank financing. Most lenders today will end up to a specified percentage of a home’s appraised value. If for example, the home appraised value is less than the selling price, the bank or lending institution will reject the loan, thus terminating the deal. So if you wish to purchase a home for $400,000 and the seller agrees, and then the bank appraisal comes in at let’s say $365,000, the bank will deny the financing. When this scenario occurs, the seller may not want to drop the price of the home. The buyer may not have the available cash to make up the difference or may not be willing to pay more than a home’s appraised value. As a result, the transaction could fall apart. Real Estate experts say it’s important for all parties involved to understand the reasons for low appraisals and the options available.

One of the reasons we are seeing low appraisals today stems from the fact that due to current market conditions, available housing inventory has decreased and sellers are able to get a bit more for their home. Unfortunately, many of the comps (comparables) that appraisers currently are using do not support these increased home prices. It all goes back to pricing a home correctly and positioning a property in line with the neighborhood.  For example of other comparable homes within a neighborhood or surrounding area are selling for $325,000 and the seller lists a home for $375,000 and is offered say $350,000, there’s a chance the home will not appraise because comparable homes have sold at much lower prices.

There is a difference between appraised value and current market value. The appraiser’s job is to look at comps and try to find something that closed or settled as recently as possible. In some cases the appraiser is looking at properties that closed 6 to 12 months ago.  In many ways that was a different real estate market. Today we are dealing with low inventory, a better economy and even pent up demand for housing.

A disconnect between appraised value and desired selling prices can occur when a lack of recent comps is available and an appraiser is looking at home that sold many months ago, thus effecting its price.

In addition, did you know that a neighborhoods recent foreclosures and short sales, which often times sell for far less than market prices count as valid comps and can impact a appraisers evaluation of a house?

Most appraisers welcome input and examples of recent comps from seller agents. It’s just another perspective for them to consider.

An agent’s involvement and perspective is particularly valuable if an appraiser is not familiar with the market area in question.

So, what should a buyer do when an appraisal situation arises that could negatively impact a real estate deal? Do not assume that all is lost…at least not immediately. Working with an experienced real estate professional who knows the market can be particularly helpful when dealing with a low appraisal.

If an appraisal comes in low, the choices usually are: the buyer comes up with more of a down payment, the seller lowers the price of the house or the two parties agree to meet somewhere in the middle. When faced with a low appraisal it almost always becomes a re-negotiation situation. Usually it all comes down to a buyer and seller motivation, and what each party is willing to do in order to make the deal happen. Understand that every situation is different and must be examined on a case by case basis.

For more information on real estate transactions please contact Joe Santoro, a senior real estate specialist, with Every Home Realty servicing New Jersey and Pennsylvania or visit Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909 www.personalpropertymanagers.com

 

Top 10 tips – to maximize your home value when trying to sell it

Top 10 tips for maximizing the value of your home…when you are considering selling it, by Nick Santoro and Joe Santoro, certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, Personal Property Managers.

  1. Remove unneeded items. When you have less clutter in your home it just makes your home look bigger, roomier and cleaner. Take your time. Go through your home and make piles of items and consider putting them in 3 categories; those you want to keep, those you want to get rid of and those you are still deciding and are on the fence with. This will make your life a lot easier and organized.
  2. Price it right. It is important that you have a complete understanding of your competition and price your home right, right from the beginning. Your real estate professional with develop a comparative market analysis to assist you in this area. A home that is priced well above the local market or above similar homes will not sell quickly, or possibly at all. Remember you only have one time to do it right and that must be right from the beginning.
  3. Work with a Pro. Having a good real estate agent or broker can make all the difference in the world. Today’s real estate market has rebounded. Your local professional realtor will assist you in the selling process. Today’s buyers are very careful and are value shoppers. A well conditioned home, priced right is the key to success. An agent who knows how to market and advertise your property, and who has good experience and connections, will be a huge asset.  
  4. Develop a marketing plan. The standard approach may not work for every property. When you decide upon an agent, make sure that he or she develops a customized marketing plan that fits you and your property. This may include social media marketing and a host of other online avenues well beyond a traditional flyer or sign on the lawn.
  5. Be very mindful of your pricing strategy. If your home isn’t getting a lot of activity or selling within a decent time period, usually within 30-60 days, work with your real estate professional to  consider changing the deal or make a price adjustment.  Offering a seller contribution is a great example. Be creative. You may want to consider offering a seller assist or a flat screen TV.   
  6. Get your finances in order. Consider having a home equity line of credit in place, should you need to relocate outside the area with your home unsold or if you happen to find the home of your dreams and your home is not sold. This way, you’ll have funds available.  Be aware, however, that if your current home doesn’t sell in a reasonable time period, you may be saddled with multiple mortgage payments. 
  7. Fix it up. It is very common for most buyers to ask for a home inspection. You’ll save time by getting a preliminary home inspection yourself and making repairs before putting the house on the market. In today’s market many potential buyers don’t want to buy a new home then turn around and invest more money to fix it up.  
  8. Ask for buyer feedback. Find out what potential buyers thought after a showing or any open houses you may have had. Take negative comments as constructive criticism, which will help you fix any flaws and capitalize on your strong points. 
  9. Watch out for buyer requested financing. Try and avoid at all cost a request from a buyer for you (the seller) to hold on to financing towards the purchase. Loans at fantastic rates are readily available. Don’t go into the banking business when there is less risk to you with an outright sale and traditional buyer financing.
  10. Be available for buyer showings at unusual times. If a potential buyer wants to see the house at an unusual time such a early morning or late at night, then so be it and do what you can to accommodate them. Don’t turn down a potential buyer…you just never know…

For more information on tips for selling your home (via our association with EveryHome Realty), downsizing, estate sales, elderly transition please contact Nick Santoro or Joe Santoro, from Personal Property Managers at 215-485-9272 or 908-368-1909 or visit their website at www.personalpropertymanagers.com