Posted by Peggy Farber on 8/5/2015

If you are looking for ways to increase the value of your home, then there are some simple guidelines to follow, as well as a few projects you may want to consider avoiding altogether.  Depending on the region, a particular home remodel has the potential to make or break a potential sale. Swimming Pools - Homes with swimming pools generally do better in the warmer states, where they can be seen as a welcome addition during the hottest months.  However, a home in New England that has a pool is increasingly likely to be viewed as a headache.  Maintenance costs, family safety, and seasonal accessibility make this addition one that is in reality more likely to hurt the chances of being able to sell your home quickly.  Not to say that you shouldn't have a pool if you have your heart set on it.  Just don't count on it making your house more appealing.  If you already have a pool, then try to sell your home in the spring or summer, when the pool is in use.  This will help potential buyers see the benefit of the addition, without reminding them of the headaches associated with upkeep. Koi ponds and indoor aquariums - These items, while beloved to a homeowner, may turn off a buyer who isn't interested in being a pet owner.  There aren't a lot of uses for an aquarium installed in a wall for someone who doesn't like the idea of having fish.  Similarly, koi ponds on the property have the capability of turning off an owner that doesn't necessarily want to have a portion of their backyard dedicated to a project that they have no interest in taking over. Converting garages and second bedrooms - While these renovations generally arise from necessity, they can hurt your resale value in the future.  Garage space is fairly desirable these days, and especially so in cold climates that deal with large amount of snow.  Converting a garage in New England isn't generally a good idea unless you absolutely need the space.  This is also true in the cases of converting second and third bedrooms into office spaces.  While a new buyer may consider at a later date to convert an extra bedroom into an office space, they may not want to have the option forced on them.  Most of the time, a two-bedroom house with an office will remain on the market longer than a three-bedroom house. Fireplaces - They can be beautiful, yes, but fireplaces are quickly falling out of favor with buyers, and are increasingly being seen as a messy addition to a home.  In 2009, a consumer preference survey from the Nation Association of Home Builders ranked fireplaces as No. 1 on a list of what NAR called “Home Fads That Are Falling Out of Style.”  Not to say that fireplaces don't have a market.  Many people are still looking for homes that contain one or even two.  But installing a fireplace in an existing home can be very expensive, and the return on your investment wouldn't be that great.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 7/29/2015

Many people think seven is a lucky number but if you are looking to get the most bang for your buck the number you want in your address is an eight. According to a study done by the University of British Columbia, houses and street numbers ending in eight sold at a 2.5 per cent higher rate than homes and street numbers ending with any other digits. In fact, the study also found homes and street numbers ending in four sold at a 2.2 per cent discount. House numbers have recently become more important with the influx of Chinese buyers in the marketplace and the increasing popularity of Feng Shui. Numbers that sound similar to Chinese words that have positive meanings are believed to be lucky. The number eight sounds similar to the word for prosper or wealth. The fear of the number four, or tetraphobia, is because the pronunciation of the word for four is similar to the word for death in Mandarin, Cantonese and several Chinese dialects. Thinking of rolling the dice on the number 13? Many large casino hotels in Las Vegas omit floor numbers 4, 14, 24, 34 and 40 to 49. The number 13 is not however, considered unlucky in the Chinese tradition. Other numbers with perceived good luck are two, three, five and seven. Two because of the Chinese saying good things come in pairs. The number three sounds similar to birth and the number five is associated with the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal). Considered the luckiest number in the West, 7 symbolizes togetherness. Even though house numbers may influence a buying decision there is no evidence to support actual bad or good luck in homes with certain numbers. The thought of good or bad luck has more to do with the psychology of people than actual events.      





Posted by Peggy Farber on 6/3/2015

Did you know that staging your home to sell will get your more money and sell your home in less time? If you are considering selling your home you may want to hire a professional trained in home staging to get your home in tip top shape before hitting the market. You could also implement some of the tips from the pros to transform your house into every buyer’s dream. Here is how to get your home in ready-to-sell condition: 1. Clear out the clutter Show off your home to the would-be buyers not your stuff. Clear out your clutter by reducing knickknacks, decluttering bookshelves, and removing personal items including photos from your home. 2. Let in the light Let the natural light in by opening the shades and pulling back the curtains. During a showing, turn on all the lights inside and outside of the home. Don't forget to turn on the lamps, the soft light can be very inviting. 3. Use neutrals Paint your walls in neutral shades, it will make the space will feel bigger. You can add pops of color with artwork, area rugs and linens. 4. Stage a setting Stage rooms in your home to appeal to buyers. If you have a formal dining area set your table for a dinner party.Take your master bath and turn it into a spa-like retreat with fresh towels, jars of pretty bath salts and unscented candles. 5. Stop the smell Don't try to cover up odors with fancy sprays or candles. Neutralize odors by opening the windows and letting fresh air into your home. Try sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of trash cans and place a box of it in the fridge to absorb unpleasant odors. 6. Clean thoroughly You may think your home is clean but look at it from a buyer's point of view. Clear out the fridge, dust the light fixtures and scrub the grout. Would-be buyers will be going through every square foot of your home. 7. Show off your space Make the rooms feel more spacious by removing a few pieces of furniture. Put pieces that are rarely used in storage, then rearrange what’s left to maximize each room’s space. 8. Don't forget the outside Start with the house number, make sure it is clean, straight and easy to read. Go for simple, clean and easy to maintain landscaping. Prospective buyers will also be interested in the garage and shed so don't forget to clean those too.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 3/11/2015

Setting a price for your home can be one of the most important decisions you make when placing your home on the market. The asking price can often make or break the sale. The asking price is part of the marketing of the home. Here are some tips on how to set the right asking price in a strategy to sell. 1. It's not personal. Let go of your personal feelings for your home. Potential buyers don't care how much you paid for the home, how much time you spent planting a garden or how much money you've invested in in updates. A house is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. 2. Get a professional opinion. A real estate professional can give you an opinion of its likely selling price range. The opinion should consider the prices of comparable recently sold homes, on-the-market homes and homes that were on the market, but weren't sold. 3. Act like a buyer. Do your research by attending open houses in your area.  Try to think like a buyer and try to make an impartial assessment of how those homes compare to yours in terms of location, size, amenities and condition. 4. Consider market conditions. What are the home prices in your area doing? Are the prices going up or falling? What are the average days on market for a home in your price range? If prices are falling you will want to be aggressive in pricing making your home the best buy on the market and look for a quick sale before prices continue to fall.





Posted by Peggy Farber on 3/4/2015

If you are a seller, you need to know how buyers think. A study by the National Association of Realtors asked buyers who they are, why they need to buy, and what would make them buy. Here is just a few highlights from that study which provides detailed insight into the home buyer's experience with this important transaction. Here are highlights from that report.

  • Sixty-six percent of recent home buyers were married couples—the highest share since 2001.
  • For forty-two percent of home buyers, the first step in the home-buying process was looking online for properties. While fourteen percent of home buyers first looked online for information on the complete home buying process.
  • The use of the Internet in the home search process rose slightly to ninety-two percent.
  • The typical home buyer searched for 12 weeks and viewed 10 homes.
  • Eighty-eight percent of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. This share steadily increased from sixty-nine percent in 2001.
  • Eighty-eight percent of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Two-thirds of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.
  • The share of home sellers who sold their home without the assistance of a real estate agent was nine percent. Forty percent knew the buyer prior to home purchase.