Westchester County, NY Real Estate News

Learn about local housing trends, events, and developments.

Feb. 25, 2017

Before You Sell A Home

Properly preparing your home is crucial for ensuring the highest possible offer. It can be a lot of work but the effort is well worth it. Here are ten things you can do to help sell your home in a timely fashion for a desirable price.

1. Get your paperwork together.

Buyers will want to know about routing home maintenance, who provides that maintenance, the cost of your utility bills, and any other pertinent information. A real estate marketing booklet can address these concerns and provide the buyer with valuable information on your home and the surrounding area.

2. Cover the small details.

Even if your budget is tight, you should look around your home and fix any small items that require it. If your mailbox looks old and weathered, replace it with a new one. If your light fixtures look outdated, replace them with cheap modern ones. Touch up painting can go a long way toward making a positive first impression on potential buyers. These little fixes will add up and go a long way toward making your home more marketable.

3. Remove evidence of pets.

Make sure potential buyers aren’t able to tell you every had a pet around the house. Even if you’ve grown accustomed to the odors and such, they can be turn offs to potential buyers. Steps you can take include steam cleaning your carpet, repairing your fence, and keeping your pet at a friend’s home.

4. Make the landscaping presentable.

Cleaning up your landscaping does not require a great amount of expertise. Simple things like trimming excess branches, cutting the grass, and pulling out weeds will help make your home more presentable. You might also consider placing potted plants around your home’s entrance.

5. Make your home less personal.

Potential buyers should be able to imagine themselves living in your home. Personal pictures, figurines, and other such items should be removed. Anything that alienates the buyer will be detrimental to the sale of your home.

6. Determine estimates on repairs and replacements.

Anything in your home that is aging or in need of repair will give buyers bargaining power. Get your own estimates from a trusted home inspector to strengthen your bargaining position. One of the most common items that buyers and sellers contend over is the roof. If your roof is in bad shape, get it evaluated by a qualified roofer.

7. Remove clutter.

Get rid of clutter in all areas of your home. Keeping your home filled only with essential items will make it seem bigger and more welcoming. You can remove the clutter yourself, or find a local company to do it for you.

8. Clean your home.

Clean your home as thoroughly as possible. Hire professional cleaners if necessary. No one wants to buy a dirty home. If your home appears dirty to potential buyers it can severely hinder your ability to sell it at a desirable price.

9. Keep the kids away during home showings.

Having your kids around can be a distraction to potential buyers. If they are hanging out playing video games or loud music while a buyer is viewing your home, it can be a potential turn off.

10. Take good quality pictures.

Once everything is clean and presentable, take carefully framed photos for marketing purposes. The better your pictures look, the more potential buyers they will attract.

Posted in Home Sellers
Feb. 23, 2017

Before You Buy A Home

Before you make an offer on a home, it’s very important that you investigate the property and surrounding area. Don’t make an unwise decision and end up in an undesirable home or neighborhood because you rushed into things. Even in a seller’s market where inventory is low, it’s important to take your time. Here are ten areas every home buyer should cover before making a decision.

1. Research neighborhood information.

Unless you already live in the community, it’s worthwhile to search local websites and learn as much as you can about where you’ll be living.

2. Research crime statistics.

Contact your local police station or visit www.crimereports.com to find local crime information according to a particular address, zip code, or neighborhood name.

3. Research local schools.

Even if you are not a parent, choosing a neighborhood with high performing schools will help ensure your property maintains its value. You can find information on the local school district website, or visit sites like www.greatschools.com.

4. Research local amenities.

Visit Google Maps for a Street View of a neighborhood to see what’s around, or go to www.walkscore.com to find nearby amenities. If there is a particular activity you enjoy, find out how far you’ll have to travel to enjoy it.

5. Research neighborhood amenities.

If you’ll be part of a homeowner’s association, you can usually find information about community activities on the association’s website. Even if you are not joining a homeowner’s association, you can usually find information about community activities online.

6. Drive by the home and walk around the neighborhood at different times of day.

To gain a more thorough understanding of what it will be like to live somewhere visit on weekdays, weeknights, and weekends. Levels of activity can vary widely depending on the time of day or day of the week.

7. Become familiar with the commute.

Drive by the property both during the week and on a weekend. Traffic patterns vary widely, and can have a profound impact on your enjoyment of a property.

8. Request a home inspection.

A home inspection will uncover any needed repairs and costs of those repairs. You may not be able to negotiate for the cost of home improvements, but it’s always better to be as fully informed as possible.

9. Discuss the home and surrounding area with the sellers.

Assuming they are wiling to share information, sellers can be an invaluable resource for learning about the home and surrounding area.

10. Inform yourself.

Know about taxes, home owner association dues, homeowners insurance, and utility costs.

Make sure you factor in these costs and add them to the monthly mortgage payment. This way you can be confident of staying within your budget.

Posted in Home Buyers