Staging Tips for Sellers

Real Estate Advisor: April 2015
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Staging Tips for Sellers
Spring has arrived, which means real estate season is upon us. When selling your home or property, attracting full price offers is always top priority, and a properly staged home can be your number one asset in drawing as many offers as possible. Here are staging tips to help you prepare your home for the market.

Enhance Your Entry

It’s the first thing buyers see, and most likely serves as the first impression of your house. Utilize the entry by updating the front door color, change out the door hardware (or clean and polish the current hardware). Make potential buyers welcome with a nice mat and some potted plants or flowers.

Clean Out Clutter

The majority of us have too much stuff, and clutter is a huge killer for potential buyers. Be ruthless when it comes to clutter — if you haven’t used it in three months, box it up. If you haven’t used it in a year, sell or donate it. Go one room at a time. It’s ok to have empty space. If you can’t part with something, get creative on how to store it. Rolling bins that fit under beds are perfect for hiding items and getting things out of the way. Too much furniture will also make a home look cluttered and smaller than it is. You want to create space – ask what you can live without. Every square foot is prime real estate.

Move or Float Furniture

Once you’ve moved out the clutter, turn to the remaining furniture. Furniture doesn’t need to be pushed up against walls. Moving and floating pieces can help rooms look and feel bigger. Try moving pieces around, even from other rooms, but remember to keep the perimeters clear with clear pathways.

Let the Light In

Natural light does wonders for a home and makes rooms more inviting. Take down heavy drapery and replace with gauzy and airy fabrics. If you have views, play them up! Look into roman shades, which help with privacy but also let light in. Simple curtain panels made from airy fabrics like cotton twill or translucent linen will let the light in during the day and still help with privacy at night.

Re-purpose Rooms

Do you have a designated junk room? Re-purpose rooms that have lost their identity. Most designers look at junk rooms and envision fantasy spaces: an exercise room, meditation space, art studio, etc.. Re-purpose a clutter/junk room into something that will add value to the house. Also consider loft spaces, stairwell nooks and other areas not utilized or gathering dust as possible areas for increased space.

Light It Up

Many homes are poorly lit, making rooms too dim or harsh on the eyes which can deter buyers when they walk into your house. Try to aim for a total of 100 watts for every 50 square feet. Don’t be afraid of dimmers, and replace light-switch covers that are old, dingy or broken. Uplights also help add depth to a room, especially when positioned behind a plant or piece of furniture.

Add Some Color

Color on the walls or as an accent can really make a room pop. Painting is an inexpensive and easy way to give your house a new look. Neutral colors don’t mean beige or off-white; warm tans, honey and soft blue-greens all attract the eye and help to make a room feel warmer without going overboard. Accent walls can also add a burst of color. If painting is too daunting, add richly colored accessories, pillows and throws for subtle bursts of color.

Add Art and Accessories

De-cluttering is important, but so is playing up what you have in your house. Adding art to a drab wall can also add character to a room. Try breaking up the art by patterning and grouping pictures or images together. Add a small touch by accessorizing your room — layer accessories in threes, with varied heights and widths. The eye naturally reads a room from left to right, so adding a large or striking object in the far right corner will draw the eye to it and make the room seem bigger. Another accessory not to be overlooked: plants. A vase of fresh flowers, branches, twigs or greenery will add depth and character to a room.

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5 Tips for Buyers with Children

5 Tips for Buyers with Children

1. Preview neighborhoods as a family.

Checking out the neighborhood(s) where you will be house hunting can help get kids ready for (and excited about) a move. If you already live nearby, a drive to see sights and get dessert at a local shop can be a fun adventure.

If you’re moving farther away, consider learning more about your new neighborhood online. In additions to local travel and city sites, many agent sites and top real estate search portals now have neighborhood features that highlight local amenities.

2. Consider a sitter.

You don’t have to take your children to see every house, and they can be distracting at financial appointments. To keep your sanity intact, consider a sitter. If you are far from your home base, you may be able to ask your real estate agent for a childcare referral from his or her large network of contacts.

3. Pack snacks.

This is a great tip even if you don’t have kids! Driving around, assessing homes and reading forms all day can sap your energy and brain power. Pack healthy, portable snacks like fruit, nuts or trail mix to keep everyone alert and in a good mood.

4. Set ground rules.

Before you go see houses, talk to your kids about your expectations for their behavior. Some good ground rules might be no running and no opening drawers or doors without permission. You might also want to discuss keeping opinions to yourselves until you are out of the home, to avoid putting the listing agent or seller in an awkward position.

5. Be careful about premature promises.

Never say “and this is your room, little Susie!” until the contract closes and you are 100% sure you own the house. Home buying negotiations can be tricky and home inspections can make or break deals. If something goes wrong, it’s certainly a bummer. Breaking the news to your kids – who may already have their hearts set on the home – is even more of a bummer.

This article was published on http://www.point2homes.com/

Market Report – 4th Quarter 2014

Chester County is still experiencing a ‘sellers market’ with low inventory. What it means is that we have less sellers & more buyers. However, we do have more closed sales and the average sale price is higher than it was in 4th quarter 2013.

I see more buyers that have been renting for quite some time and are ready to buy a house. They are in no hurry to find the house; They are picky. Buyers are looking for hassle free properties – clean, de-cluttered, newer HVAC, newer roof and some upgrades/updates. Those homes typically get off the market fast.

Have you been thinking about selling your home in 2015? This is a great time to list your home! Call, email or text me so we can discuss selling your home this Spring.

TREND_MWR_2014-Q4

Stay warm & safe!

Sigal Waters

sigal.waters@remax.net

484-888-4804

Real Estate Advisor: January

Real Estate Advisor: January 2015
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New Year To Dos for Your Home

With the start of a new year, it’s always a good idea to assess your home and its needs. Taking stock of appliances, home systems, and other items that make a house a home will help guide you to home improvements needed, appliances that may be near the end of their lives, and any other updates that can help to boost your home’s worth. Listed below are major home systems to evaluate in the new year to help give you peace of mind.

HVAC

In the winter and summer months a home’s HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) systems are put to good use. January is the perfect month to replace disposable filters or wash permanent ones in your home’s HVAC or humidifier systems. Filters should be regularly replaced or washed when use is high or during peak seasons.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to vacuum all heat vents, especially those that are located on the floor. The vents are overly susceptible to dust, dirt, pet hairs, and other particles that float through the air. Vacuuming heat ducts helps clean your home’s HVAC system and can help with any problems brought on by indoor pollutants, mold, pollen or anything else that finds its way into an air duct. Vacuuming has also been known to help with any heating or cooling issues related to clogged air ducts. January is also a good time to check for any leaks in your home’s forced air heat ducts. If any are found, seal the leaks with duct tape.

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. Checking alarms and detectors is especially important when cold temperatures in the winter leave homes closed up. This month inspect, clean and test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and be sure to replace any that are faulty, no longer working or old.

Fire Extinguishers

Very few homeowners actually have to use a fire extinguisher; many times these important tools get overlooked for maintenance. January is a great time to inspect and charge any working fire extinguishers you may have in your home. Fire extinguishers should also be placed in all accessible areas of the home where fires are more likely to occur: kitchens, garages or areas that house furnaces, boilers, fireplaces and stoves.

Fire Evacuation Plan

Do you have a plan in place in case of a fire in your home? January is the perfect time to form a fire evacuation plan. Go over the plan with anyone who might live with you, and if you have kids dedicate a time to have a practice fire drill. Should your home’s bedrooms be on a second or third floor, invest in a fire escape ladder, many of which can be found at your local hardware store.

Leaking Windows and Electrical Outlets

With winter setting in, finding the weak points in your home will not only help keep your home warm, but it will also help cut down on heating bills. Identify any windows that may have broken seals by looking for condensation on the inside of the window. Examine electrical outlets throughout your home for any drafts, and insulate those that may be letting in cold air.

Check and Test GFCI Outlets

Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) are a must have in your home. These special outlets protect people from electric shock by monitoring the amount of current flowing through the outlet. If there is an imbalance of current, the outlet trips the circuit of the appliance, cutting off the electricity. You can test GFCI outlets with a circuit tester that has its own GFCI test button. GFCIs do wear out, and their lifespan is about 10 years. Replace GFCIs that no longer function properly — these outlets save thousands of lives each year.

Many homeowners have home safety and preparedness at the top of their priority list, and the New Year stands as the perfect time to discover what improvements and fixes your home will need in the coming months. Other items to look at in a new year:

  • If you’re in an area that is known to have inclement weather, make sure you have proper snow removal equipment and have alternative energy options in case of power outages
  • January is also a great month for reviewing warranties and product information on a furnace, large appliances, and any other big ticket items in the home

Preventative maintenance will not only save you money and keep your home safe, but houses that do not keep up with maintenance have been known to lose up to 10% to 12% off their appraised value. The US Census has estimated that annual maintenance can cost between 1% and 3% of a home’s initial costs dependent upon the geographic location of the home. With the New Year, getting a head start on yearly to dos, and anticipating yearly maintenance, will put you ahead of the issues and have you prepared for any upcoming and unforeseen fixes.

Are you in Chester County and have computer problems?

Did you start the year with computer issues? data loss? virus? you opened that page you shouldn’t have.
Reach out to Kellis. Yes, he’s my husband but I am not a subjective person (hehe). He is an honest man, great prices, knows what he’s doing and stands behind his work…oh and if you mention this, you’ll get the ‘Sigal discount’ 😉
Go ahead and like his page while your looking at his price list and then share with your friends since we all need a computer whiz on our side 😉

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kellis-Computers-more/345633775545294

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Here is his price list –

  • Data Backup or Transfer $50.00
  • Data Recovery $50.00
  • Computer Tune-Up $60.00
  • Hardware Install $50.00/per hour
  • Memory Install $40.00
  • Operating System Install $80.00
  • Printer Setup or Troubleshoot $50.00
  • Software Install & Setup $50.00
  • Virus & Spyware Removal $80.00
  • Wireless Networking $80.00
  • GPS Updates $20.00

Call Kellis – 912-856-1867

Are they Wacky? Are the Wonderful? One thing for sure they are WOW!

Forbes came up with a list of 12 Strange & Unusual Homes for Sale. It’s great to see that houses go beyond the ranch, bi-level & colonial.

This is the Mushroom House, NY – as unique on the inside as it is on the outside.mushroom From the Mushroom House to the Stone Castle to the Floating Home, which is your favorite? Do you have a local house in Chester County that stands out? castle To see the outside & inside of these 12 homes click HERE.

Pictures & links are courtesy of Forbes.com

Find the right house for you.