DO sweat the small stuff

SO….you are getting ready to sell your home! Along with a multitude of concerns , the who, what, when, where questions start popping into your mind. Who should we list our home with? What should we establish as list price? When shall we list? Where will we go? and… What happens if we get an offer right away and we have no place to go?

Start a list now, write your questions down and Do sweat the small stuff-upfront! Preparation can save you time, stress and most of all $$$!

It really is all in the details. I’ve decided (after many interviews and conversations home sellers and home buyers) to refresh this blog and do what I just said. Write. It. Down. In the next several blog posts, we’ll begin breaking down the steps to maximizing your net profit on your home while minimizing and managing stress.

Literally, a light bulb went off when speaking with a friend and previous client-Holly- about the details of preparing to sell your home. Quick honorable mention: check out thejunkdrawerlife.com to connect with Holly and find out what is going on in her life as she begins blogging …and selling her lovely home. Now Under Contract since I began this draft- she’s an expert at this =)

While most homeowners focus on the big items ( to be addressed later), buyers are paying attention to the little stuff. Like Light Bulbs, Light Switches, and UGH! Heating/Air Conditioning Intake Vents…

Notice how much updating light switch covers change the “age” of a house! I highly recommend consistency in style, color and cleanliness of light switch covers-small detail, BIG IMPACT.

Next, door knobs, hinges and handles…consistency in metal, quality and again, spic and span-no grime allowed! Buyers hands want to touch clean surfaces not sticky, gunky, germy surfaces-it also reflects the care of the entire home.

Replace smoke detectors, clean dusty intake registers and paint the attic access with better quality trim paint. Buyers DO look UP!

Just remember, these small details tell more of the story than you realize and these can be relatively inexpensive updates for a fresh first impression.

Tricia’s Top Tips

  1. Match light bulbs in wattage and color, especially prior to photography. Select the appropriate bulb for each room, brighter in darker rooms with limited natural light, warm for cozier areas, correct lighting for vanity areas in bathrooms.
  2. Update the look of your home with white switches, switch plates and outlets if possible.
  3. Refresh door handles and hinges with more contemporary metals, brushed nickel, rubbed bronze, even chrome over the yellowed gold, brassy look.
  4. Hinges should be cleaned of grime and match the hardware ideally.
  5. Check local code for smoke detectors, this will come up on the home inspection.
  6. Clean all heat/ ac registers and paint if they are chipped.
  7. Paint trim and even obscure areas like attic accesses, crawl space entrances and closet doors.
  8. Bottom line, the least expensive way to update your house is to make it sparkle with cleaning products and fresh paint. My favorite for quality and finish is Benjamin Moore.


“Home Alone” House For Sale! A Dream Marketing Opportunity!

Trends in marketing real estate have  changed dramatically in recent years. The use of computer technology is a MUST for realtors marketing a house today.  This is the very reason we use every tool available to get our clients’ homes maximum exposure. Personally, we find using video and audio clips a lot of fun and gets our listings noticed. Our daughter in Boston emailed us the following interesting link!  Considering “Home Alone” was one of our favorite movies and Christmas traditions and we’re realtors, we  had to take a peek!  This is a cleverly done You Tube video and a great marketing opportunity any Realtor would love to add to their portfolio!

The “Home Alone” house looks like it could be in downtown Charlottesville around The University of Virginia neighborhoods or Park Street. Anyone interested in filming a movie in Charlottesville? Please do and then we can list it afterwards!!

Check it out! We think you’ll enjoy it!

Short sale or foreclosure, Uncategorized

How Do Distressed Properties Impact Home Values?

 I found this interesting article about how foreclosures and short sales affect values of resale homes.

The Impact of Distressed Properties on Neighboring Values
by THE KCM CREW on MAY 6, 2011 · 1 COMMENT

The banks are finally getting their foreclosure paperwork in order. They will start bringing larger numbers of distressed properties to market over the next six months. We must realize that this influx of discounted inventory will have an impact on the values of neighboring homes. How large an impact?

According to RealtyTrac a foreclosure sells for 59% of the value of a similar non-distressed property. Therefore, this foreclosure inventory will affect values in two ways:

1.) As Discounted Competition

Obviously, a segment of purchasers will prefer the discounted property based on price alone. Even if the distressed property is in need of substantial repair, the buyer is getting the property at a 41% discount. Price is determined by supply and demand. Distressed properties will eat up a portion of the demand for housing and that will put downward pressure on all values.

2.) As Comparable Sales on Your Appraisal

Even after you put your house into contract, this distressed inventory can still impact your transaction. Unless your purchaser is paying all cash, there will be an appraisal of your property by the bank who is giving the mortgage to your buyer to complete the purchase. Because of the volume of distressed properties selling in almost every market, banks are instructing appraisers to use these discounted sales in determining values of non-distressed sales. We can argue the logic of this some other time. At this point, we must simply be aware that this is taking place.

Bottom Line

Over the next several months, banks will be moving substantial numbers of foreclosures onto the market. This will impact values of other homes in the region. If you are considering selling, now might be the best time. You want to be sold and closed before these properties come to market and impact your price.


“Ben” Paints Cville!

   It is always refreshing to meet people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their products!  Today I had the pleasure of the grand tour of one of Benjamin Moore’s Signature Stores right here in Charlottesville, Virginia! 

 Bill Farmer, Regional Representative for Benjamin Moore and Deborah Bryning, Sales Manager, brought me up to date about  several new products that are environmentally friendly and perfect for allergy sufferers.

Not all green products are alike as Bill pointed out!  Apparently some paints are low VOC, which is great,  but they now have a premier product  called Natura which is virtually odorless and has zero VOCs. 

Aura was my favorite because of texture and incredible coverage, but from what I understand, each paint has a unique indication for different surfaces and conditions.

 Ben is a new paint marketed to the younger crowd and priced a bit more affordably for first time home buyers.  Your best bet is to consult with the experts!  Debbie Bryning has extensive experience with paint and decorating. Not only is she a Home Decor Consultant, she is certified as a  Hunter Douglas  Professional specializing in window fashions! With the variety of  window styles that we have here in Central Virginia, what better person to assist you than Debbie!

Paint swatches, Oh my Gosh! Instead of buying a quart to try or even the little sample jars (which I love!) try out a large paint swatch which is  $4.49 and worth it!!! You can move it around and you won’t have to cover your test area, how cool is that?

Dennis and Michael were very polite and helpful, customers were greeted and accomodated in a very efficient manner. Not one person went unrecognized and sales were handled professionally!

Benjamin Moore paints are available at three locations in our area, specifically:Blue Ridge Builders Supply in Crozet,    Blue Ridge Paint and Decorating on Greenbrier in Charlottesville and their newest store at  Blue Ridge Paint and Decorating in Palmyra located by the Turkey Sag Gate at Lake Monticello.We’re not the only ones who find product and customer satisfaction with Benjamin Moore Paint!  Check out this  experience  noted by another blogger, Jeannine at Small&CHIC!

Good Luck with your home remodeling  whether it is paint, flooring or window treatments; ask for professional guidance on your do it yourself projects!