Archive | February 2016

Thinking about selling your house

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House

The spring marke is here …. for market knowledge in Westchester County contact;


How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house., gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

“You only get one chance to make a good first impression in real estate.”

Scraping off old wallpaper; Shutterstock ID 2562697

Scraping off old wallpaper; Shutterstock

Prepare Your Home Now If You Plan to Sell It This Spring

Put these four tasks on your to-do list for a quick and painless sale.

Selling a home doesn’t happen overnight. To maximize your sale price, stand out from the competition and sell quickly, your home needs to go on the market in tip-top condition.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression in real estate. Once your home’s listing goes live, the days on market start ticking. In the Internet age, with access to so much information, buyers will punish a seller whose home has been on the market for many months.  If you can’t make the effort to get your home in it’s best condition, hold off on listing it.

Prepping the home rarely happens in one weekend. It takes time and thoughtful planning. If you intend to sell your home this spring, here are a few steps you need to take now.


It may seem counterintuitive to spend money on a property inspection, but you need to know about your home’s condition. If there are issues — big or small — you need to address, it is better to know about them early so you can either remedy them prior to going to market or account for them with a lower listing price.

The last thing you want is for the buyer to uncover flaws once they are under contract. You will get stuck paying more under those circumstances than it would cost you to address the issues now.


As you prepare to sell, think of your home as an investment and start to see it through the eyes of potential buyers and the market. When you’re trying to sell your home, the less-is-more approach applies.

Put away big furniture and personal items. Store or put away all the things you won’t be using until you move into your new home. In the kitchen, make space in the cabinets for items you will need to use daily, but will want to put away for showings.


It’s common for sellers to make cosmetic improvements before they list. Kitchens and bathrooms sell your home. Plan to have the bathroom grout cleaned and have some parts of the house painted to give it a fresh look.

Consider cleaning rugs, refinishing hardwood floors or painting kitchen cabinets. If you plan to list in the spring, you likely have a good local real estate agent on your side by now. Get their advice and ask for referrals to do the work. There are lots of inexpensive contractors who can help spruce up your home quickly.


Today’s buyers have research in their DNA and will investigate all they can. Check with your local building department and ensure there are no outstanding issues with your home.

Verify that property records reflect your home accurately, and prepare to remedy any discrepancy. Make sure your title report is clean, and talk about potential disclosure items with your agent. Banks won’t lend if there are outstanding issues, and you don’t want to jump through hoops at the eleventh hour. Researching now will keep you one step ahead of the buyers.

The sale of your home is likely one of your biggest financial transactions. Get a real estate agent on your team early, and make a list of all the tasks you need to complete before listing this spring. Now is the time to have those discussions. Smart planning and a good strategy will ensure a quick, painless and profitable home sale.


Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

About the Author

Brendon DeSimone is a nationally recognized real estate expert and author of the book, Next Generation Real Estate: New Rules for Smarter Home Buying & Faster Selling. A fifteen year veteran of the residential real estate industry, Brendon has completed hundreds of transactions totaling more than $250M. His expert advice is often sought out by reporters and journalists, and he is regularly quoted in local and national press. Brendon is a regularly featured guest on major television networks and programs including CNBC, FOX News, Bloomberg, Good Morning America, ABC’s 20/20 and HGTV. Brendon is the manager of the Bedford and Pound Ridge Offices of Houlihan Lawrence, the leading real estate brokerage north of New York City.

Spring Forecast For Selling Your Home

 The bottom line is buyer demand is high and with inventory low, yes, now is the time to list your home in Westchester County. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, contact;

Homes Selling Quickly Across The Country | Keeping Current Matters

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing Home Sales Report, homes were on market for an average of 58 days in December. This was slightly longer than the 54 days in November, but still better than the 66 days experienced in December 2014.

32% of homes across the country were on the market for less than a month!

Colorado, Utah and Delaware led all states as home are selling in 30 days or less on average. The map below was created using results from NAR’s Monthly Realtor Confidence Survey.

Homes Selling Quickly Across The Country | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Buyer demand remains strong. The inventory of homes available for sale remains low. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you take advantage of current market conditions!


Photo shoot

Your home’s listing photos can have a big impact on its sale.

How To Stage Your Home For A Photo Shoot By Blake Miller | January 27, 2016 Your home’s listing photos can have a big impact on its sale. your email preferences. It’s true in Westchester County and every real estate market that you have only one chance to make a first impression — and that could not be more relevant than when you’re selling a home. As soon as a potential buyer scans your online listing, you have only a couple of seconds to impress them before they click to the next home. If your home isn’t staged properly in those listing photos, you could lose a sale without ever knowing it. “According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of homebuyers search for their next home online,” says Krisztina Bell, a professional home stager with Virtually Staging Properties Inc. in Atlanta, GA. “Eighty-five percent of those buyers say it’s the photos that are the most important factor in deciding which homes to go view.” What’s more, explains Jared Seligman, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman in New York, NY, “the benefits of staging can be enormous, and the return on investment can be very impactful. If you invest even a small amount into the staging, you can often garner a much higher price than you were originally intending on listing it for.” Follow these real estate photography tips to stage your home for sale in Columbia, SC, or Seattle, WA, as if it were going in the next issue of Elle Decor. Accessorize smartly One of the easiest ways to update a room is to accessorize it well. A small stack of design books on the coffee table or some new pillows can really refine and update a space. “Appropriately display art on walls or above a fireplace, and make sure it is in the photograph to add color to your background, which adds wow factor to pictures viewed online,” advises Bell. Just remember, groupings look best in odd numbers and at varying sizes, so ditch those four identical candlesticks on your mantle. But make sure not to over-accessorize Just like Coco Chanel advised to always take off one accessory before you leave the house, so too should you pare down your house’s knickknacks. Accessorizing is important, but it needs to be tastefully — and minimally — done. “Overstuffed shelves with various books and decor can create a visual nightmare,” adds Bell. “Organize them by coordinating the books or magazines by colored sleeve or by height.” Of course, you might have loads of “edited out” items from your house once you’re done decluttering. This is normal: When professional home stagers get to work, they often edit out half of homeowners’ furnishings — and the home looks much bigger because of it. Store your stuff in a storage unit, your new home, or a friend’s basement. While you’re at it, ditch the props Yes, magazine spreads frequently have gorgeous bowls of fruit on display, but it’s probably best to leave the artful arranging and styling to the design experts. You can certainly hire a stager or interior designer, but for the rest of us, Bell recommends skipping the oversized bowl of lemons and that cheesy bottle of wine and wine glasses, which can become more of a distraction than an enhancement. Pay attention to the bathroom Along with kitchens, attractive and clean bathrooms are an important selling feature in a home and will be scrutinized when viewed online. Even if your bathroom is a little outdated, you can spiff it up for a minimal cost: Clear everything off your sink top except for soap, roll up some towels and put them on an available shelf for display, buy a fresh, bright shower curtain, and (perhaps most important) make sure the toilet seat lid is closed. That last item makes a huge difference in photos. Don’t forget the small stuff Don’t just shrug at those boxes you thought were hidden under your bed but are definitely visible in photos of your master bedroom. Move them and reshoot. “Remember, it’s those first impressions that are most important when buyers are viewing hundreds of photos of homes online,” explains Bell. A few other photo prep tips: Hide your wires. TV cords and other cables are unsightly in photos. You can always plug them back in after the photo shoot. Avoid taking photos with the TV on in the background. Move any vehicles in the driveway out of the photograph or away from the front of the home. Same goes for trash cans (indoors and out). Avoid taking photos on bright days; shooting at dusk or on overcast days gives spaces a much more balanced light without looking washed out. Clean everything We’re not just talking about the counters and floors here. Everything in your home should get a scrub, from muddy siding or dingy carpeting to wood furniture and curtains. Again, make sure to view your home with a critical eye: You may be visually immune to your scuffed-up garage door, but buyers won’t be. Don’t let them get distracted by a grimy door, walls, or windows — they might start to wonder what other home-upkeep tasks have been neglected – See more at: