The Great Debate: Remodel or Sell?


If you’ve been watching a lot of HGTV, you may be wondering if it’s time to remodel…or time to sell. Ask yourself this question: If you could improve your home and make it the way you want, would you want to stay a few more years or are you just ready for a complete change?

Homes show wear and tear after a few years, just like anything that gets a lot of use. Color schemes and decorative styles that used to be trendy can begin to look outdated. And, you may not have been able to afford doing some home improvements until now. The good news is that interest rates are still extremely low and the economy is improving. So, you will likely get most of your investment back for any home improvements when it comes time to sell.

REMODELING: Planning & Coordinating Resources
home-remodelHome improvements can involve making small changes or quite substantial ones, such as adding a bedroom and bath to your existing home, replacing your kitchen counter tops, cabinets, and appliances. Your home should include the standards set by your neighborhood, but you don’t want to end up with the most lavish house on the block.

Before you make a decision on remodeling, make sure you are going to get what you want, at the price you want to pay, and that you’ll be happy with the results for at least several years to come. Get started by putting together the right team. You may not need an architect, but you may need the assistance of the right contractors, kitchen planners, and interior designers to help you pull it all together. You’ll also need to talk to your lender to learn how much you can borrow. And, as a REALTOR®, I can help you determine if the current market value will support the proposed improvements.

As you’re putting together estimates, you may realize that additional work is required you weren’t expecting. It’s important to plan for problems that may come up, unexpected design modifications that are needed, or possible delays on materials. Planning for the unexpected will help you control your budget and resources.

SELLING: Understanding the Current Market
If you’re unsure that remodeling is the way to go, you may want to remain open about the possibility of finding another home. As a REALTOR®, I might know of homes for sale that have the size, features, and finishes you’re wanting. After you view a few homes, you should have a better idea of what you want and what you like.

new-york-city-housing-marketBefore you make a decision on selling your home, I will create a comparative market analysis of similar homes to yours that have sold recently and are currently for sale so you’ll know what you can reasonably expect to net from the sale of your home. You’ll also learn how long homes are staying on the market and if other sellers are getting their asking prices. Together we can discuss a price range for your home, based on its location and current condition. If you’re happy with where your home ranks amongst the competition, then it should be a good time to list your home for sale.

Keep in mind that whether you decide to remodel or sell your home, change is inevitable. You will be opening your home to workers or to agents and buyers, and you may experience some inconvenience during the process. What matters is that you achieve what it is that you and your family want and need, and that you realize it will all be worth it in the end.

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The Psychology of Color


You don’t have to be a professional decorator to properly stage a home. Check out leading department stores and home catalogs for inspiration…look to see what colors and styles are being used, and then copy them. Bringing in trendy colors immediately modernizes any home, as will fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom.

When redecorating or freshening up wall paint, pay attention to the colors are you using and where. There is a psychology of color that when used wisely can help your home make a good impression on potential buyers. According to one researcher for a paint manufacturer, the following colors have a special effect on people:

color wheel with text1

If you are considering a remodel or moving, contact me for a free consultation on basic staging techniques. Staging doesn’t have to cost a lot, and I can help show you some simple ways to improve your home’s overall appearance.

The Psychology of Color


You don’t have to be a professional decorator to properly stage a home. Check out leading department stores and home catalogs for inspiration…look to see what colors and styles are being used, and then copy them. Bringing in trendy colors immediately modernizes any home, as will fresh linens in the bedroom and bathroom.

When redecorating or freshening up wall paint, pay attention to the colors are you using and where. There is a psychology of color that when used wisely can help your home make a good impression on potential buyers. According to one researcher for a paint manufacturer, the following colors have a special effect on people:

color wheel with text1

If you are considering a remodel or moving, contact me for a free consultation on basic staging techniques. Staging doesn’t have to cost a lot, and I can help show you some simple ways to improve your home’s overall appearance.

6 Ideas for Instant Curb Appeal


Curb appeal is one of the most important things to consider when you’re trying to sell your home. It’s the first detail that real estate agents and buyers will notice, and making a good first impression is always important. It only takes one undesirable thing to leave a negative feeling.

Many sellers can become overwhelmed as they look around at everything that needs to be fixed or updated. There are so many decisions to be made, and also the time, resources, and cost to consider…where do you start? You may think it’s more important to focus on the interior of your home, but it doesn’t matter how nice the inside of your house is if you can’t get a buyer past the yard and through the door!

Don’t be discouraged—here are six ways to improve your home’s curb appeal:

dead-1Remove Anything Dead—This includes trees, limbs, leaves, and flowers. Freshen up your flower beds and natural areas with new mulch or pine straw. Add colorful flowers, small bushes, or potted plants.

weedsPull Weeds—Spray and pull any weeds in landscaped areas, especially those that are visible in the path to the front door. Don’t forget about weeds that may be in your grassy areas, too.

mowing-1Mow the Grass—Make sure your lawn is mowed frequently, usually every week.

overgrown_bushesTrim, Replace, or Remove Overgrown Bushes—There’s nothing worse than overgrown or tired landscaping. It can hide important features of a home, like a front porch…or cover up windows, preventing light from coming in. Trim back bushes that have gotten too tall or wide, or replace them with smaller ones. When in doubt, remember that “less is more.”

Dennis-Premier-Landscaping-example1-1Focus on Hardscapes and Softscapes—Use decorative stone, brick, wood, and mulch or pinestraw to accent planted flowers and other landscaping. Add potted plants and flowers near the front and back entry doors, but be careful not to position them in the path of your guests. Leave an open and inviting space that welcomes them into your home. Don’t forget to add touches of color and texture to outer areas of your yard to bring attention to these spaces.

landscape lighting-1Add Lighting—Landscape lighting offer safety and security features, but it also softens the appearance of your home. It can add a dramatic effect and showcase architectural elements of your home. Consider adding inexpensive pathway lights leading to your front door, or uplighting one or more trees or the front exterior of your home.

The Biggest Mistake Sellers Make


overpriced-homeOverpricing a home is the biggest mistake a seller can make. Asking a high price for your home says more about you than it does about your home. It may show you value your investment, and that you have cared for the home and kept it updated and in good repair. But, if the price is too high compared to other similar homes, it can make you appear unrealistic and unwilling to negotiate a fair price.

Here are some other reasons sellers should avoid overpricing their home:

1Buyers shop within a price range that’s based on advice from their lender, or one where they feel comfortable. If they’re searching on the MLS, they will typically look at homes they can afford and may miss seeing the page where your home is advertised because it’s out of their price range. So, even if you’re willing to take less for your home, overpricing it may prevent some buyers from even seeing it listed.

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Buyers who can afford to pay the asking price of your home will simply compare your home to others in the same range. They will quickly find out that other homes have better locations, more square footage, or more upgraded finishes than yours and for the same price.

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Typically, you’ll get fewer showings and receive only low-ball offers. You will need to lower the price in order to increase interest and showings.

 

4Even when your home is priced fairly later, the first impression of the home being originally overpriced has already been made. This reflects poorly on the seller because other agents and their buyers don’t want to deal with a seller who is unrealistic. They may have already jumped to conclusions about you and your home—that you’re unreasonable, greedy, out of touch with current market conditions, or you’re heavily in debt, upside down on your mortgage, or otherwise in some sort of trouble—which may not even be the case.

The longer your home is on the market, buyers will think you’re desperate to sell and may offer less than market value. It’s far better to make a good first impression on the market—that your home is offered at a fair price because you’re a reasonable seller who understands your home’s value and current market conditions.

The bottom line is that most buyers will never pay more for your house than it appraises for and a lender is willing to finance. So, in the end, you will probably have to lower the price anyway to reach closing—all you’ve done is delayed the process and incurred additional holding costs for the home. You’re always better off pricing your home so that you can get as close to your asking price as possible. Doing this will help ensure your home sells quickly and for more money.

The Importance of Curb Appeal


Curb-Appeal3Everyone knows that curb appeal is one of the most important factors when selling a home. Homes general sell quicker and for a higher price when there is good curb appeal. It allows you to attract more buyers, more interest, and more offers. When you’ve already done the work and the house looks great, it shows buyers that you take pride in your home and that it’s been taken care of. The increased interest and demand can drive the price up further.

First impressions count! Home buying is an emotional process. People want to “connect” with a home and have a good feeling about it—from the moment they first drive up, to walking throughout your home, and as they are leaving. Their experience starts with the curb appeal, which sets the tone for their entire visit, either positive or negative. Don’t forget to “welcome” your guests with a new front door mat!

Remodeling projects and the quality of materials may make a difference in resale. If you’re planning to update your home’s curb appeal or remodel its interior, ask me for guidance. I can tell you which improvement projects typically provide the most value upon resale in this market.