For Sellers

  • 5 Considerations for Valuing Your Home...
  • Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent...
  • Spring Cleaning Tips that Will Help You Se...
  • What You Need to Know When Moving with a P...

5 Considerations for Valuing Your Home

One of the hardest parts of putting your home on the market is determining how much the property is worth. Pricing your home properly is essential. If you set the price too high you risk having the home sit on the market for months while strangers troop through open house after open house. If you price the home too low, you will get a quick sale, but you will also miss out on thousands of extra dollars in profit.

Determining a fair price for your home means looking at a number of factors and taking a number of things into consideration. Here are 5 of the top considerations for valuing your home.

#1. The Size of the Lot

The size of the lot is a big consideration for buyers. If your home includes a larger than average lot or additional acreage, be sure the brochures and other marketing materials prominently highlight that fact.

A large lot means a big back yard for growing families, and space to move around for young couples. All other things being equal, a home with a large lot will fetch more than a similar one with a smaller lot.

#2. The Condition of the Home

The condition of the home will obviously have a large impact on its value. If your home needs a lot of repairs, you will need to take that into consideration when setting a price. Sometimes it is worth spending a few thousand dollars on repairs and upgrades in exchange for a higher asking price.

Likewise, a home in excellent condition will likely fetch a higher price, so make sure the Realtor® knows about any recent upgrades or renovations. Things like a new roof, a remodeled kitchen or bathroom and an updating heating and air conditioning system can make the home more sellable and increase its resale value.

#3. The Presence of Desirable Amenities

If your home is packed with amenities buyers crave, you can probably get a premium price when you put the house on the market. Some of these in-demand amenities include granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, steam showers, hot tubs and extra storage.

If you are selling an older home, making a few strategic upgrades now could boost the sale price substantially. Just research the cost of the upgrade and compare it to the increase in resale value that could result.

#4. Comparable Sales

Knowing what other homes in your area have sold for is essential, and a great way to accurately value your home. You can use a number of online resources to check the sale prices of neighboring properties, but your real estate agent will have access to even more information. Always ask your Realtor® to check comparable sales, and keep checking those sales as you set the asking price.

#5. The Current Real Estate Market

This one is out of your control, but it is still important. The current state of the real estate market will have a profound impact on home prices, and you should take it into consideration when pricing your home.

If you are lucky enough to be selling in a hot market, you will probably be able to fetch top dollar for your home. If the marketing is softening, or worse yet, collapsing, you may need to adjust the price lower to attract a qualified buyer.



Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

.Selling your home is a complicated matter, and it is important to have the right professional in your corner. Before you put your home on the market or set an asking price, you need to interview local real estate agents and choose the one you think will do the best job. Here are a few things to think about as you interview real estate agents.

Local Expertise

There is no substitute for local expertise when selling a home. The real estate agent you choose should have extensive knowledge of the neighborhood and the surrounding area.

Ask the agents you interview how long they have lived in the area and assess their familiarity with the region. The more they know about the neighborhood where your home is located the easier it will be for them to attract would-be buyers.

Proper Licensing

Real estate agents are required to be properly licensed, but the licensing requirements vary from place to place. Research the laws in your state, and always make sure the agent holds the proper licenses and accreditations.

Experience

Even the best training cannot prepare real estate agents for every potential scenario. That is why it is so important to work with an experienced real estate agent who understands the area and the local real estate market.

Always ask potential real estate agents how long they have been in business and how many years of local experience they bring to the table. It is also a good idea to look at industry awards and accolades, since they are generally given to the best and most expert agents.

References

Asking for, and checking, references, is an essential part of the vetting process for real estate agents. Always ask the real estate agents you interview for a list of their most recent clients, and contact those clients as soon as possible.

Ask lots of questions when interviewing those former clients. Find out what they liked about working with the agent, and what they thought the agent could have done better. The honest feedback of former clients is an essential piece of information – and one you should make the most of.

The Commission Schedule

Always ask how the agents are compensated for their time and expertise, and make sure you understand all the costs of selling your house before you make a final decision.

Your choice of real estate agent will have an impact on everything from how long it takes to sell your home to how much you can get for it. The tips listed above can help you choose the best agent and get your home sale off to a great start.



Spring Cleaning Tips that Will Help You Sell Your Home

After a long, cold winter, springtime is back and bringing with it bright sun, breezy filled days, and a breath of fresh air. People feel energized and ready to tackle the tasks of cleaning and decluttering.

Spring is long considered the best time to sell a home, but before contacting your local real estate agent, you’ll want to ensure your home is squeaky clean. This goes beyond the general housecleaning chores—you’re going to want to do a deeper dive which is sure to make a huge difference to potential buyers.

Like the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and when it comes to your home, you’re going to want to “wow” potential buyers from the moment they arrive.

The outside of a home is just as important as the inside and oftentimes, buyers will have already formed an opinion before they’ve made it to the front door. Which is why landscaping, even if it’s minimal, of the front and back property should be on your to-do list.

Whether you’re looking to put your home on the market now, or just want to clean away winter’s mess, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get started.

 

Outside Cleanup 

  • In order to prep your lawn for spring, you’ll first need to clean away all of the debris left behind from winter.
  • Planting new flowers and adding some potted plants will give the front of your home some curb appeal. Local nurseries and garden centers are a great place to find everything from flowers and shrubbery.
  • Ensure walkways remain clear and easy for visitors to navigate.
  • Replace or repair the mailbox – if it’s old or damaged it’s going to stand out. You can purchase a new one at your local hardware store.
  • Pressure wash the outside of the house. If you don’t own a power washer, you can either rent the machine or employ the services of a company to do the job for you.
  • Other areas such as windows, fences, pavers, and decks are usually in need of a good cleaning to wash away the winter grime.
  • Don’t neglect the gutters. If clogged, they can overflow and cause water damage not just to the exterior, but also to the interior as well.

Stage the Backyard

  • When cleaning out the yard, make sure to get rid of anything that is old or broken. Chances are when you move, it won’t be something you’re going to take with you, so now is the best time to dispose of anything unwanted or in poor condition.
  • Just like you’ve done in the front of your home, remove any dying plants and scatter a few flowers or pots around to give the area a pop of color.

Steam Clean Carpets

  • Floors often take a beating from the outside winter weather that’s tracked inside. If you have carpets, get them steam cleaned. If your home consists of hardwood, use a wood cleaner to bring back the shine. Same goes if your floors are tile or marble. If it’s not a job you want to personally take on, consider a professional cleaning service to get them in pristine condition.
  • Floors, walls, and ceilings are all areas potential buyers pay close attention to so it’s important they’re as clean as possible.

 

Let in the Light

  • Wash windows, inside and out, to ensure they sparkle.
  • Wipe down all blinds, clean curtains and drapery, and polish the mirrors.
  • Dust all light fixtures, especially ceiling fans which tend to collect a lot of dust, and replace any burnt out bulbs.
  • Any time you show your home, you’ll want to let in as much natural sunlight as possible. A room filled with light will feel warmer and more inviting.

Deep Clean Kitchen and Bathrooms

  • These are the biggest selling points in a home, so it is extremely important they are not only sparkling clean, but also presented in the best light.
  • Cabinets should be wiped down, countertops and appliances cleaned, drawers and cabinets organized, grout between the tiles cleaned, and if necessary, re-grouted.
  • Countertops, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, tend to become cluttered. Whatever’s out that doesn’t need to be, remove it. At some point you’ll need to pack it up so why not get a head start. Having less out allows potential buyers to visualize the space and imagine themselves in it.

Declutter & Organize

  • To ensure rooms look as open as possible, leave out only the essentials, everything else, box up. A home will look bigger when it’s not filled with stuff. Remember, the goal is to have a potential buyer envision themselves living in the home.
  • Keep closets organized as buyers tend to always peek inside.
  • Boxing up possessions that aren’t used on a daily basis will not only make it easier for you to do a deep cleaning, but you’ll also have a head start on packing.

 



What You Need to Know When Moving with a Pet

It’s finally here, moving day! Whether you’re heading into a new home or apartment, the excitement, and stress that comes along with the process is one that cannot be avoided.

Did you know that moving is consistently rated as one of life’s most stressful events? It ranks right up there with death of a loved one, divorce, job loss, etc. Even if your move is a happy one, it doesn’t lessen the stress that comes along with it. It is still a massive disruption of your routine, combined with all that is familiar to you. And no matter how well you plan, that feeling will not change.

Now, you’ve spent weeks (maybe even months) planning and packing, so when the actual day arrives, you’re bound to be in overdrive. Along with all of things you’re going to have to take into consideration, if you’re a pet owner, add another item to your pre-moving check list.

If you think the process is tough, imagine just how stressful it can be for your pet. Dogs especially can easily become stressed out when there is unexpected activity in the home, or even when introduced to a new environment.

Animals are creatures of habit, and for them, change, no matter how big or small we think it may be, can be both confusing and stressful.

So while you’re planning out the specifics for moving day, it’s important to also plan ahead for your pet. In order to ensure he or she is relaxed, and safe, on the big day, we’ve compiled a few top tips to help make the move a success for all members of your family.

Contact your vet

If you’re moving out of state, or out of the local area, contact your vet to obtain your pet’s medical records along with any current prescriptions. Part of relocating involves finding new doctors and that includes a new veterinarian. Ask your current vet if they can recommend a new doctor before beginning to do so on your own.

Plan Ahead

Prior to moving, it’s a good idea to visit your vet. According to Dr. Rachel Barrack, Founder of concierge veterinary practice Animal Acupuncture, you should make sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations. If you’re traveling by air, Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of checking with the airline beforehand to confirm all necessary paperwork prior to the day of departure. If traveling by car, make sure your pet is used to their crate and plan ahead for bathroom and water breaks.

Pack An Accessible Bag for Your Pet

Included in your pet’s to-go bag should be a leash, bowls for food and water, food, medications, wee-wee pads or litter box, bed, and favorite toys so when you get into your new home you won’t be rummaging through boxes, Dr. Barrack points out.

Keep pets away from the action

One of the best ways to help your pet remain calm is to keep them in a quiet area although that might not be possible on moving day. You don’t want them getting underfoot or accidentally getting out. A good idea to consider is either boarding for a night or two or doggy daycare. If that’s an option you’d like to explore, Brooklyn is home to a variety of options. A few local places include:

  • Fido’s Retreat – With a large indoor campus and fun open space for dogs to run around, Fido’s Retreat offers a variety of services ranging from daycare, to boarding, along with a few additional options for pet parents to choose from. Whether you decide to board or have your pup stay for the day, there are enough activities to keep them playing for hours. 230 Livingston Street, (between Hoyt & Bond), Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Monster Mutt – Located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, Monster Mutt has been providing love and care to dogs since 2001. As Brooklyn’s first doggy daycare, they offer a variety of services, which includes half or full days of daycare, along with overnight or longer term boarding. 297 Warren Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
  • Woofs ’n Whiskers – A unique alternative to other boarding facilities, Woofs ’n Whiskers is the ultimate dog and cat retreat. Featuring over 7,000 square foot outdoor space for the pups or a luxury condo for your feline friend, the facility offers both daycare and overnight care. 14 Coles Street, Brooklyn, New York 11231
  • Animal Loving Care – Under the watch of 24/7 caretakers, your pup can spend the day, or night here at this bi-level facility. Offering both indoor, and outdoor space, your dog will have the opportunity to play, rest, and if you’d like, be groomed as well. Offering a variety of services, ALC staff cares for their furry guests as if he or she is their own. 556 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231

Keep in mind, before your pet is able to board or spend the day in daycare, most animal facilities require the animals go through an evaluation to ensure they’re a fit, and to protect the safety of all the animals already at the facility. All vaccinations will need to be up to date as well so make sure to find out from your veterinarian which ones your pet will need. And lastly, some months may be more popular than others at the facility, so once you have your moving dates, call to reserve your pet’s spot.

Move the house before you move your pet

Set up as much of your new home as best you can before introducing your pet to his or her new digs. Let them slowly adjust to their new surroundings. Re-introduce familiar objects and make sure to give your pup lots of attention in the process. You can even walk them from room to room to take in the new scents they’re sure to pick up on.

Update information

Once you’re settled, make sure to update your new contact information. That includes notifying your vet, ordering new ID tags, and if your dog is microchipped, calling the company and ensuring they have all of the new and most current information.

Stick to a Schedule

Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of sticking to a schedule once the move is complete. Even though you’re in a new place, sticking to their usual eating, exercise, and sleeping schedule as best as possible will help to minimize the stress.

Most pets love predictability and routine, so a move can throw them into a tailspin. Change can be confusing and stressful so be mindful of their needs as you prepare your move.

And most importantly, Dr. Barrack stresses the importance of being patient. Once you arrive at your new home, it will often take even the most well-behaved pets a few days to adjust to their new surroundings.  Consult with your vet as well on the best ways in which to ensure a smooth transition.



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