Showing posts with label seller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seller. Show all posts

Jul 1, 2009

Home Enhancement Guide for Sellers

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The First Impression

Did you know that within 15 seconds a buyer has already developed an opinion of your property? This is why establishing the right first impression is critical to achieving a successful sale. Following is a list of elements which create the overall first impression, including suggestions on how to make sure the buyer reacts favorably.

A fresh coat of paint can be one of the best investments you can make to increase the value of your apartment. If you do not want to spend the money to paint the entire apartment, consider just the entry at least.

Windows

Attractive windows can help increase appeal.

* Replace any cracked or broken glass.
* Make sure the windows are sparkling clean.
* Apply touch-up paint where needed.

Doorway

The doorway is a focal point of your home.

* Repaint the door.
* Apply new door hardware.
* Install a brass kick plate.
* Replace apartment numbers.
* Install a new front light fixture.

Appeal to the Senses

There are many ways to create a more exciting and saleable interior, at surprisingly little cost.

Light

People react more favorably to property shown under bright light than dark.

* Keep windows clean.
* Use adequate wattage in light bulbs.
* Consider replacing older fluorescent lamps, which darken with use.
* Use mirrors to magnify the feeling of light and space.
* Use track lights to create a high-tech look.
* Use light wall colors.
* Open drapes and blinds and turn on lights prior to showings.

Color

Keep colors neutral and light.

* Shades of white, off-white and very light pastels are the safest choices for the interior.
* Avoid highly patterned wallpaper whenever possible.
* Try to limit bright colors to accents like fresh flowers, towels, area rugs and shower curtains.

Sound

The sounds of peace and quiet are some of the best sounds to have when your home is being shown to a prospective buyer. But there are other sound considerations you should also be aware of.

* Avoid barking dogs and noisy children, if possible.
* Also avoid sounds of work like vacuums, dishwashers and lawn mowers.
* Make sure there are no sounds of mechanical problems like banging pipes or faulty appliances.
* Light classical or instrumental music can be effective in creating a pleasing atmosphere.

Smell

Smell has more impact than you might expect. It can work for or against you.

* The smell of newness is positive. This scent can be achieved by applying a fresh coat of polyurethane to natural wood or latex paint to walls.
* The smell of cleanliness is important to the selling environment of your house. Beyond actually cleaning, lemon oil or lemon wax can help create a lasting scent of freshness. Fresh flowers can also be effective.
* For a real heart-warming touch, place a dish of vanilla in a warm oven to create the aroma of fresh-baked cookies or bread.
* Sweeten the refrigerator with a box of baking soda.
* Smells to avoid include strong pet odors, tobacco, and cooking oil or gas.

Packaging the Interior

Entry

The entry is where the first impression of the interior is created. Here you have the opportunity to make a big statement in a small area.

* Repaint the entry using light, neutral colors.
* Move a prized antique or attractive furnishing to the entry, where it will have maximum impact.
* Install simple chair rail molding on the wall.
* Apply a fresh coat of polyurethane to a wood floor.
* Tile or linoleum flooring should shine.
* Replace plastic switch plate covers with brass or porcelain.
* A new hall light fixture can make a great impression.
* Make sure the room is well lit.

Kitchen

The kitchen is an important room in the apartment. Here is a list of ideas to increase the appeal of your kitchen without spending a great deal of money.

* Make sure the room is virtually spotless and smells fresh. Try putting a quarter section of a lemon in the disposal and grinding it up.
* Consider replacing outdated light fixtures with new track lighting.
* If your appliances are dated by colors like harvest gold or avocado, consider having them professionally refinished in a new color like almond or plain white. This will make appliances look new at a fraction of the cost of actually replacing them.
* Spruce up kitchen cabinets by installing new knobs or hardware.
* If your cabinets look especially old, you can have a professional replace the doors or door fronts.
* Organize your kitchen cabinets to demonstrate how much room you have. Cabinet organizers are a good investment for this.
* Remove small kitchen appliances and gadgets from countertops to create an uncluttered look.
* Chipped or damaged countertops should be repaired or replaced.
* If your floor is badly worn, replace it with neutral no-wax flooring or tile.
* A freshly painted kitchen may be well worth the investment.

Bathroom

The bathroom has become an important selling feature in today's home. It is a room that has moved from the utilitarian to the exciting. There are many ways you can improve deficiencies and create interest through various levels of enhancement.

* Place a vase of fresh flowers on the vanity.
* Install a wall telephone for a high-tech look.
* Replace an old toilet seat.
* Replace an old light fixture with a new style light strip or make-up light.
* Refinish an old porcelain tub using a porcelain finishing service.
* Place all personal care articles out of sight.
* Freshen the air with lemon scented products.
* Replace an old towel rack with one of brass or oak.
* Add color and richness with new towels and shower curtain.

Living Room

The living room is a major selling point of an apartment. Buyers look for elegant and impressive living rooms to make the right statements to their friends and relatives.

* Use mirrors whenever possible to enhance the perception of size.
* A fireplace is one feature that everyone can appreciate - show it off to its best advantage. Sweep it clean and make sure the screen is in good condition
* Use inexpensive free-standing "can" lights to create dramatic visual effects behind large plants or pieces of furniture.
* Use chair rail or cornice molding to create a feeling of elegance.
* Professionally clean wall-to-wall carpet or large area rugs.
* Sand and refinish stained hardwood floors.
* Clean windows and light fixtures.
* Make sure all cosmetic plaster cracks are repaired. (This applies to every room in the house.)
* Use lemon oil on hardwood furniture to create the right look and aroma.
* Liberal use of fresh flowers and plants will enhance the environment.

Bedrooms

The bedrooms can do as much to sell your house as they can to turn off a buyer.

* Make sure the bedrooms are absolutely spotless.
* Rugs should be cleaned, windows washed and fresh smells from flowers or lemon oil should be in the air.
* Organize closets to increase their perceived size.
* Rubberized wire closet organizers do a great job of helping fully utilize space.
* Mirrored closet doors can add dramatically to the feeling of size in any bedroom.
* Bedrooms should be well lit. You may want to add track lights in the master bedroom.
* A ceiling fan can be an attractive and practical accent to any bedroom.

By showing attention to detail and understanding the buyer's needs to visualize your home against a neutral backdrop, you can dramatically increase the salability of your property.

Click here for available listings in Manhattan.

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Aug 18, 2008

It is Best to Buy and Sell in the Same Market

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This is a repost from August, 18, 2006. I wrote it exactly two years ago from today and I think it is just as appropriate in today's market.
The best time to buy and sell real estate is when you need to!'BULL'
In real estate it is very difficult to time the market. Markets go in cycles there are tops and bottoms. Bottoms are usually created by pessimism and negativity. Tops are created by “irrational exuberance"
To quote Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money “Bears make money – Bulls make money but Pigs get slaughtered." The Fed created the boom in housing by lowering interest rates then they ended it by raising interest rates to take “the froth” out of the housing market. Maybe they will change their mind again.
When everyone is bearish based on sentiment rather than the facts, that is an indication not to listen to everyone and a great strategy would be to BUY! When everyone is bullish and buying in a frenzy that is an indication to SELL! However, the only real reason to Buy or Sell real estate is when you need to or want to not because of the market.
Real estate is local. The local economy effects the market. No matter what the market condition it still makes sense to Buy and Sell in the same market.
If you Buy and Sell in a sellers market, you sold high and bought high it equals out. If you Buy and Sell in a buyers market, you might get less for your home than your neighbor who sold a year ago but you will get your new home for less than If you bought it last year.
If you are selling a $700,000 home and the market is down 10% you will lose $70,000. If you are upgrading to a $1,000,000 home you will save $100,000.
It all equals out. Over the long haul real estate is not only a great investment but a wonderful place to live and enjoy.

 
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May 9, 2007

1997 Tax Reform - Great for Real Estate!

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The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 - signed into law by President Bill Clinton together with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is probably the most significant change in recent times affecting real estate. This law made some major improvements for Home Sellers, Property Owners and First Time Home Buyers. It simplified taxes for 99% of Homes sold in the U.S.

Since 1997 Home sellers are eligible to exclude up to $250,000 if single or up to $500,000 if married, of the capital gain on the sale of the residence. In order to be able to claim the entire exclusion, the home seller must have owned and resided in his home for at least two years of the last five years prior to the sale of the residence. If eligible for the inclusion, it may be claimed once every two years.
If the home was sold because of a change in employment, health, or other unforeseen circumstance, the home seller may be eligible to claim a partial exclusion of capital gains even if he or she didn't live in the home for a total of two years of the last five before the sale. The portion of the partial exclusion is calculated based on how long the seller lived in and owned the home. The exclusion relates to the gain only, not the gross sale price. Broker's commission is deducted from the gross sale price as is capital improvements and closing costs.
Prior to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 the tax law allowed rollover that required reinvestment in a home of greater or equal value. The previous law also allowed a one-time capital gain exclusion of $125,000 for taxpayers over age 55 who sold their homes.
This tax reform enabled many to keep much of their wealth that they accumulated from the sale of their homes.
The 1997 tax reform law also allows early withdrawals from Ira's without penalties of up to $10,000 for First Time Home buyers. The law defines first time home buyers as any one who has not owned a home for the past two years. The cap gain tax was also lowered from maximum 28% to maximum 20%.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 has helped many sellers. Many who did not have to wait until age 55 to get an exclusion and helped fuel the hot real estate market these past 10 years.
This same 1997 Tax Reform law also helped to revitalize distressed urban areas by creating empowerment zones. The creation of urban empowerment zones to promote business development.
All one has to do is walk through Harlem today and it is quite evident that this once distressed part of Manhattan is revitalized. New condos are everywhere. Shells of Brownstones have been converted to new condo Townhouses. Major banks, retail chains, real estate brokerages and hotels have opened and are opening on 125th Street and throughout Harlem. Bill Clinton currently has his office in Harlem.
The City of New York offers many programs to encourage home ownership several of the programs are for first time buyers. Many New Yorkers want to buy a home but don't have enough money saved for their down payment and closing costs.
As part of Mayor Bloomberg's "New Housing Marketplace Plan," the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) created the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance program. It provides qualified homebuyers with the greater of 6% of a home's purchase price or $10,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

 
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Feb 12, 2007

New York State Disclosure Law: Raising the Bar

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It's been over a month since the new New York State agency disclosure law. The new law clearly defines the relationship between broker buyer and seller. The new disclosure form is required for 1-4 family houses.

The form is not required for coop and condo apartments, but the relationship between the broker and consumer must be disclosed. While it is not required, I have been using it. Savvy buyers are asking who I represent.

While I've been working with buyers since I started my real estate career, technically I wasn't a buyer's agent unless the buyer signed a buyer's agreement. Now I am a buyer's agent by simply disclosing my fiduciary duty to the buyer. I am all for transparency and this is another positive step in educating the consumer about the real estate purchase process.

I have always worked hard for buyers, developed relationships, negotiated on their behalf, furnished them with comps, strategized bidding, prepared board packages, helped secure financing and many of the responsibilities of a buyer's broker but under state law I represented the seller.

REBNY the real estate board of New York has rules that many brokers follow. If REBNY members bring a buyer to another broker's listing they therefore represent the buyer. This rule contradicted the prior state law, now the REBNY rule is acknowledged by the state as long as the broker discusses their relationship with the buyer.

Many agents in Manhattan seem confused by the new disclosure. Manhattan real estate has always been an anomaly. Practices were accepted because that's how they've always been done. Many agents think a buyer's agent has to be an exclusive buyer's agent or the buyer has to pay the commission or there needs to be a contract in order to be a buyer's agent

When working with buyers I am a buyer's broker with my fiduciary to the buyer unless it is my own exclusive listing or my broker's exclusive listing then my fiduciary is to the seller or a dual agency.

Below is description from Department of State and links for forms:

New Agency Disclosure Requirements for New York State:
Prior to the revisions to Section 443 of the Real Property Law, only one agency relationship disclosure form was required for buyer/seller and landlord/tenant transactions. The combined form used the terms "seller/landlord" and"buyer/tenant" interchangeably. On and after January 1, 2007, the combined form will no longer be permitted and, rather, two separate disclosure forms will be required; one for seller/buyer transactions and another for landlord/tenant transactions. The two forms provide expanded, clearer definitions of the different agency relationships and explain the fiduciary duties owed by brokers and salespeople under each type of agency relationship.

The revised statute also defines dual agency. While the concept of dual agency is not new, Real Property Law, Section 443 now provides a clear definition of this type of agency relationship. A dual agent is defined by the revised statute as, "an agent who is acting as a buyer's agent and a seller's agent in the same transaction."

The revised statute also adds a definition for "designated sales associate." A designated sales associate is defined by the statute as: " a licensed real estate salesman or associate broker, working under the supervision of a real estate broker, who has been assigned to represent a client when a different client is also represented by such real estate broker in the same transaction."

Essentially, a broker who is acting as a dual agent will be permitted to appoint two different real estate salespersons and/or associate brokers to represent each party to the transaction. The representative broker is still required to provide supervision to the designated sales associates. For this reason, and as in a pure dual agency situation, when designated sales associates are appointed, the consumers are not afforded all of the fiduciary duties inherent in a single agency arrangement. Specifically, the designated sales associate and representative broker cannot provide the fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty. The new agency disclosure form contains a disclaimer to this fact.

The link to these two disclosure forms is at http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/realest.html#disclosure. In accordance with statute, each is required to be printed on a one page, two-sided form.

 
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Aug 18, 2006

It is Best to Buy and Sell in the Same Market

0 comments
The best time to buy and sell real estate is when you need to!'BULL'
In real estate it is very difficult to time the market. Markets go in cycles there are tops and bottoms. Bottoms are usually created by pessimism and negativity. Tops are created by “irrational exuberance"
To quote Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money “Bears make money – Bulls make money but Pigs get slaughtered." The Fed created the boom in housing by lowering interest rates then they ended it by raising interest rates to take “the froth” out of the housing market. Maybe they will change their mind again.
When everyone is bearish based on sentiment rather than the facts, that is an indication not to listen to everyone and a great strategy would be to BUY! When everyone is bullish and buying in a frenzy that is an indication to SELL! However, the only real reason to Buy or Sell real estate is when you need to or want to not because of the market.
Real estate is local. The local economy effects the market. No matter what the market condition it still makes sense to Buy and Sell in the same market.
If you Buy and Sell in a sellers market, you sold high and bought high it equals out. If you Buy and Sell in a buyers market, you might get less for your home than your neighbor who sold a year ago but you will get your new home for less than If you bought it last year.
If you are selling a $400,000 home and the market is down 10% you will lose $40,000. If you are upgrading to a $600,000 home you will save $60,000.
It all equals out. Over the long haul real estate is not only a great investment but a wonderful place to live and enjoy.

 
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