Posted by Marie Presti on 4/8/2018

If you're in the process of preparing your home for sale, nothing can replace the marketing benefits of making it look its absolute best!

Successful home staging is all about effectively appealing to all the senses -- especially sight, smell, and sound. When prospective buyers are touring a home, they're essentially looking for two things: aspects that are appealing to them and areas of concern. To a large degree, their impressions will be based on emotional reactions and subconscious impressions. For example, if there's anything about your home that reminds them of fond childhood memories, then that will definitely work in your favor.

In some cases, the right kind of music playing in the background can have a positive effect on first impressions. Fragrances, such as cinnamon, lavender, citrus, baking bread, or coffee brewing can also help create an appealing ambiance. On the other hand, the presence of pet odors, stains, fur, or cat litter boxes can send a very negative message to prospective home buyers -- especially if they don't own pets or have allergies. By the way, one other item that can be an enormous turn off to people is seeing mouse traps anywhere in the house. (A worst case scenario, of course, is a visible mouse trap that has recently been sprung! That could easily be a deal breaker!)

Home Staging 101

It can be challenging to consistently keep your house in tip top condition while you're still living in it, but, considering all that's at stake, it's worth the extra effort. In addition to impeccable cleanliness, other priorities for staging a home include fresh coats of paint where needed (preferably a neutral color), attractive landscaping, up-to-date appliances, and furniture that's in good condition. If you're at all unsure whether a room looks cluttered, dated, or poorly decorated, your real estate agent can provide helpful suggestions and feedback. An experienced real estate agent can spot potential problem areas in seconds and offer valuable advice about improving the marketability of your home. After having observed hundreds of buyer reactions to everything from cluttered rooms and mismatched furniture to peeling wall paint and water stains on ceilings, they can advise you on what needs to be fixed, spruced up, replaced, or rearranged.

Curb appeal -- or lack, thereof -- is literally the first impression your home will make on prospective buyers. If you can give your lawn a manicured look, eliminate signs of peeling paint, repair cracks in walkways and driveways, and remove grime from windows, concrete surfaces, and siding, then you'll stand a good chance of making a positive first impression on home buyers. Although home staging does not have to be an expensive undertaking, it can help you get top dollar for your property and minimize the time it remains on the market.





Posted by Marie Presti on 12/11/2016

As a home seller, it is important to note that you're not alone in the real estate market. In fact, dozens of other nearby home sellers likely are doing everything they can to promote their residences to prospective homebuyers. This means that you may need to think outside the box to generate interest in your home. Fortunately, every homebuyer is looking for a bargain, and home sellers who offer incentives may be able to sweeten the deal if a homebuyer is interested in purchasing a residence. Incentives are readily available that you can offer to homebuyers, and some of the top incentives to consider include: 1. Covering the Closing Costs. Closing costs can add up quickly for homebuyers and may be a deterrent for a buyer to purchase a particular residence. However, you can eliminate this deterrent if you agree to cover even a portion of a homebuyer's closing costs. Agreeing to cover a homebuyer's closing costs up to a predetermined amount may help you seal the deal with a prospective buyer. And ultimately, this incentive could make it easier for you to reap the benefits of a quick sale. 2. Allocate a Set Amount for Home Upgrades. After a homebuyer conducts a property inspection, he or she may ask for upgrades to a residence's furnace, windows or other areas. These issues may be deal-breakers, unless you allocate a set amount to account for potential home upgrades. Completing these upgrades on your own may prove to be both time-consuming and costly. On the other hand, setting aside a set amount for upgrades and agreeing to deduct this amount from the total cost of your home could serve as a distinct incentive for homebuyers. Ultimately, you'll want to do as much as possible to ensure that a homebuyer remains interested in your home after an inspection is completed. And by determining a particular amount to deduct from your home's price and sticking to it following an inspection, you'll be better equipped to satisfy a homebuyer's home improvement demands. 3. Including the Appliances. You may have had your heart set on bringing your washer, dryer and refrigerator to your new home. Conversely, a homebuyer might want to avoid the hassle of installing new appliances if he or she buys your current residence. So what can you do? Including the appliances with your home may allow you to close the deal with a homebuyer. Remember, home appliances can be replaced, and you may be able to find new appliances that suit your future residence perfectly. And if a homebuyer wants the appliances in your home included in a deal, it may be worthwhile to offer this incentive to finalize an agreement. Selling a home can be tricky, and getting support from a real estate agent who understands the local market is essential. This real estate professional may help you brainstorm unique incentives that you can offer to homebuyers and speed up the home selling process. Consider the value of offering incentives to homebuyers, and you could boost your chances of a fast home sale.





Posted by Marie Presti on 6/19/2016

One of the trickiest parts of buying or selling a home is the negotiation process. Too often when our home is involved our emotions get in the way and the deal can go south quickly. Negotiating is an art. A real estate professional is trained in negotiating but you will need to prepare too. Here are some hints to help you navigate the home sale negotiation process: Do your homework know your home’s worth, understand the value of your home in the marketplace. Be realistic about what your home is worth. Much of the work you did to the home was a labor of love and may not have a monetary value. Be patient, negotiations can take time. Do not let emotions (greed, pride, anger, or prejudice) get in the way of negotiating the best deal. Think of your home as “the house”,” instead of “my home.” You have made the decision to move so try to think of the sale as a business transaction. Take all reasonable offers seriously. Don't let a good deal walk away over a few hundred dollars. Try to look at the deal from the opposite side of the table. This will help you try to see where the potential buyer is coming from. Most of all, have a positive attitude. Don't get caught up in the game of negotiating instead remember the goal is to sell your house for a fair price and move on to your next adventure.





Posted by Marie Presti on 2/1/2015

Did you know that home sellers that use a real estate professional on average get 16% more in the sale of their home? In rare instances, some people are able to sell their own homes without the services of a real estate agent but for most it is tricky business. Here are a few reasons why you can't sell your own home. 1. A home for sale needs to be in the MLS (multiple listing service). You need to be a licensed real estate broker or  agent to be able to put a home in the MLS. Not having your home in the MLS is problematic, it will be difficult to advertise your home on many home search engines and websites. 2. Many real estate agents won't show homes that are for sale by owner. For a real estate agent it can be difficult to deal directly with a home seller. Agents are used to receiving a commission on the sale and without a written agreement there is no guarantee that the buyer's agent will be compensated for his or her services. Not having the cooperation of local agents significantly limits the pool of potential buyers. 3. Many buyers do not want to deal directly with the seller. Potential buyers usually feel uncomfortable looking at a home if the owner is present.  They will also be less likely to make an offer if they have to negotiate directly with the seller. Real estate agents create a much needed buffer between the seller and the buyer. 4. A real estate transaction is not always easy. Many times there are potential liability issues. Sellers would need to be well schooled in the real estate laws especially surrounding escrow and disclosure requirements.





Posted by Marie Presti on 1/25/2015

Today's homebuyers are savvy and they know what they want. If you are looking to get top dollar or a quick sale you will want to make sure you home has what it takes to meet the high standards of today's buyers. Here are a few things that top buyer's lists: 1. Smaller: Believe it or not buyers are purchasing smaller homes but that doesn't mean they are sacrificing for smaller spaces. Open and flowing floor plans are big hits with buyers today. 2. Energy Efficient Appliances: Buyers know energy efficient appliances save money and they want them in the home they purchase. 3. Storage: Who doesn't love storage? Built-ins, custom closets and shelving sells homes. 4. Outdoor living space: Living space on a deck or patio increase the square footage and usable space and buyers are looking for a private outdoor area to relax and entertain. 5. A kitchen with eating area: Kitchens sell homes. Buyers want a large kitchen with a designated eating area. 6. Home office: More and more people are working from home and need a place to work that is away from the hustle and bustle of the main living area. Think about inventive ways to use space in your home to show a buyer that your home has everything they want. You may want to use a home stager to help you showcase these areas.