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Monday, December 01 2014

You’re at home watching TV and trying to unwind, when all of a sudden here comes another baby boomer celebrity, looking into the camera, giving you his most sincere, trustworthy look, then assuring you that a “Reverse Mortgage” really isn’t too good to be true (even though it sounds like it is).

What could be better? Any homeowner 62 or older can apply: then the bank pays you instead of the other way around! You could even use part of the tax-free proceeds to pay off the other mortgage! Or go to Monte Carlo and break the bank! (The trustworthy celebrity only hints at that one). You don’t have to pay back the loan until blah blah blah, the property remains yours, etc. etc. etc. What could go wrong?

Short answer: quite a lot, actually.

Long answer: if you don’t plan for the long term consequences, this can be a potentially disastrous maneuver. As a quick and painless way to raise cash, it often is too good to be true.

For openers, the actual name of this loan is not ‘reverse mortgage’— it’s an HECM, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage—a much more descriptive name. It allows 62+-year-olds to ‘cash out’ the equity they’ve built in their home. Not all of the equity; just some.  As soon as they no longer live in the home, the loan must be repaid in full. The problems are all in the details.

Detail 1: Payback

Suppose a husband and wife live in a house owned by the husband. He applies for reverse mortgage, dies 11 years later, leaving the house to his wife. Because the reverse mortgage becomes payable when the mortgagee (the husband) “leaves” the property, the loan becomes due and payable. So the spouse may be forced to sell the home in order to repay the loan. But it’s also possible that the same thing occurs when the mortgagee is permanently relocated to a nursing home.  

Detail 2 (and it’s one you really have to take into account): Interest

Most often, no payments are made on reverse mortgages. Unless the trip to Monte Carlo ended well, it’s likely that the balance owed remains. However, interest accrues on the loan at the “prevailing rate”—which may be a misnomer, because reverse mortgage interest rates are often high. Over the long run, the amount owed could eat up most of the value of the house. The spouse could be left with very little to live on.

While the fees charged for a reverse mortgage are capped by the government, they’re still much higher than those for traditional loans (possibly why the trustworthy boomer celebrity got involved in the first place). Because credit scores aren’t used to determine eligibility, higher fees are charged to help cover lender risk. Then there are requirements for keeping up the property (what if illness causes a temporary lack of attention?), paying taxes on time…and other circumstances that could cause the loan to be called in, forcing sale of the home.

Yes, a reverse mortgage can be a valuable resource for some retirees on limited incomes. However, before even thinking about committing, it’s vital to sit down with a trusted financial adviser. If it turns out that selling or downsizing makes a lot more sense, calling me is the next step!  You can reach me on my cell phone: 812-499-9234 or email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, May 12 2014

When you’re selling your home, keeping it ready to show at a moment’s notice can sometimes make a major difference. In a perfect world, prospective buyers will always have time to schedule showings in advance—but exceptions do occur. That’s why experienced sellers know how to juggle living a normal life at the same time they are keeping their place ‘show-ready’ by calling on a few organizational tricks. They really aren’t all that difficult (but do take a commitment to stay organized). When you follow them, it makes showing your home a snap!

Supplies at the Ready:

The easiest way to stay on top of messes is to nail them when they start. Stock up on wipes and ready-to-use supplies (think pre-soaked wipes and erasers instead of rags, sprays and mops)—and stash them in key locations around the house. Between showings, you can even keep them in plain sight: it reminds you to wipe down surfaces after each use without making it a major project. Regular quick wipe-downs will keep your home shiny and inviting—even when showing your home comes as a last-minute surprise. 

Simplify Storage

Place a few attractive bins and storage ottomans strategically in rooms that are prone to clutter (playrooms, bedrooms and dens). Encourage everyone to make a habit of throwing the odds and ends into them before the end of the day, and removing things only as they are needed. Showing your home on a dime becomes a no-brainer when the clutter lives out of sight.

Start Packing

If you haven’t already started packing, get going early. Pack up everything you don’t use regularly—like those shelves of books you haven’t touched in years. And deal with the off-season wardrobe: when you’re actively showing your home in Evansville this spring or summer, those fall and winter items should be headed into storage.

Make Small Adjustments

This idea is optional—but it really works! Encourage everyone to remove their shoes at the front door. Place a decorative mat at the entrance (and include a coat rack if the weather calls for it). This temporary house rule works to get everyone in on the act, and subtly helps keep them conscious that showing your home is partly everyone’s responsibility. It’s also a reminder to keep packages and bags from building up near those doorways.

When showing your home is part of a well-planned and systematic project, just a few of these relatively minor adjustments can keep you and your family cool and collected—and make even last-minute showings a breeze. My clients make the rules for what the minimum heads-up time for scheduling a showing will be, and I stick to it. But when they are able to create an environment when the odd last-minute showing is a no-stress possibility, it does seem to have a way of increasing the odds that the latest showing…becomes the last! 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 19 2014

Keeping your kitchen looking up-to-date doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Contemporary home design in is all about knowing what the latest trends are and which to choose when regular maintenance calls for a change in appliances or décor.

This year, eco-friendly appliances are definitely ‘in’—as are the pops of bright color meant to create a vivid and welcoming kitchen. And as convenience features continue to evolve, those are increasingly prominent factors influencing design choices. Especially if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, there are a few home design directions that are most likely to impress prospective buyers who’ve been exploring the latest kitchen trends:

Going green is a pronounced trend, not just in home design. Using renewable, Earth-friendly materials can be a way to update a kitchen while minimizing environmental impact. A sample idea would be a sustainable bamboo parquet butcher block to grace the kitchen counter or table. They come in beautiful, rich wood tones, and when large enough to cover a substantial counter area, can warm the feel of the entire room.

Another (almost diametrically opposed) current direction is to deck the kitchen out with a few of the latest high-tech gadgets. Even if you resist an ultra-modern look, a few chic techie touches can add a dash of luxury to your home. One example: Siemens makes a multimedia ventilation hood that has a 17-inch LCD screen with options for listening to music or watching TV.  It’s a creative way to make cooking more entertaining—and one that would certainly help make your listing stand out!

Bright colors have not always been popular in kitchens, but lately, appliance manufacturers have been less shy about offering exuberant finishes. You can find dishwashers, blenders, toasters, microwaves and refrigerators in bright blues, pinks, yellows, greens and oranges. It can be an inexpensive way to add a splash of color to your kitchen…although if you are planning on selling soon, in many instances I’d recommend caution: perhaps confining the color pops to bright accent pillows or colorful floral arrangements.

Copper is also an increasingly popular trend in kitchen design this year. Its natural antibacterial properties make it a practical home design element, and that cool, rustic hue looks great in warm, gold-toned kitchens. Copper sinks and faucets are both practical and stylish (although keeping them bright and shiny can be another story!).

If you are thinking of selling soon, consider incorporating one or two current home design ideas if your kitchen could use a decor infusion.  Looking for more ideas?  Contact me today to discuss what is making today’s homes S-E-L-L!

You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:02 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 11 2014

Real estate offices have been gearing up for the imminent spring selling season, the time when local listings swell to meet the expected surge in buying activity. I sometimes put quotes around ‘selling season’ because so many factors go into home sales that it can be slightly misleading—we do sell homes all year long, after all!

But there is a lot of truth (and historical verification) to the idea that springtime brings a burst of new listings and accompanying selling activity. There can be lots of reasons why that happens, but this past weekend, area homeowners who were reading The Wall Street Journal might have seen some extra reasons to hurry up and add their homes to the local listings.

Some of those reasons have to do with weather; some with the economy.

The front page of WSJ’s Weekend Edition headlined the first piece of long-awaited good news: “Job Rebound Eases Fears of Spring Stall.” It explained that Friday’s payroll numbers showed upticks despite the widespread harsh weather that should have knocked them down.

Most economists had been on the fence about whether the years-long weak economic recovery would continue. Even though the previous two months of slowing growth had been attributed to the ‘endless winter’ blanketing much of the nation, it wasn’t clear that underlying weakness wasn’t also present. But the sudden improvement in the job picture, even as the weather failed to lighten up, was an unexpected event—one that could “ease worries” about the likelihood of a fundamental slowdown. In fact, forecasters were beginning to project that the negative economic effects due to the unusual weather (estimated at a loss of 1%) may be more than restored when the sun returns. Spring conditions are now expected to add an additional 1.2% to second quarter growth.

Even a slight rise in the unemployment rate was greeted as hopeful news. What sounded like a negative turns out to be the opposite: more people were returning to the workforce, a sure sign that workers see jobs beginning to reappear. Jobs have always been tied to real estate listing and sales activity, so this year, the NAR’s website truism may be on the mark:

“Spring brings rain and flowers – and possibly extra green in the final sales price of your home.”

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, January 08 2014

The signs are positive for those who will be putting their home on the market this winter. Demand is there, mortgage rates are still low, and across the nation, prices are pointing higher. If you will be selling a home in Evansville anytime soon, there are some extra steps you can take to strengthen your position. 

Clarify Your Finances

Getting a home loan will be the concern of the buyer, not you. She or he will have to fill out the forms, go through the credit checks, etc. More subtle is the impact your own financial picture can have on the process of selling a home. If you will be moving to a new home yourself, it’s a good idea to get pre-qualified for that transaction even as you begin selling your home. When you are secure in the knowledge that you have qualified to buy your next home before your current property is sold, it solidifies your bargaining position. If not, you need to know that so you can time your sale’s closing appropriately. Knowledge is power—clarifying your finances will make for smoother sailing. 

Repair Early

Selling a home for the best price requires presenting it in its most favorable light. Even minor fixes that are clearly trivial should be tackled before the first prospect crosses the threshold, First impressions are hard to erase, and the psychological impact of even minor problems can influence the apparent value your property commands. Some experienced homeowners even pay for their own advance inspection before selling a home just to identify problem areas it takes an expert’s eye to uncover.

Find the Right Agent

Your choice of Realtor® will have ongoing consequences, so taking the time and effort to find a compatible agent will be well worthwhile. Selling a home in Evansville is a many-faceted project, so find a partner you will enjoy working with— one who communicates openly and honestly about everything from today’s market profile to which service professionals are the most dependable.

Thinking of selling a home in Evansville this winter?  Call me for a complimentary consultation.  I’m always here to offer the best current marketing ideas! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, January 07 2014

If there is one question that homeowners and prospective shoppers have in common as we enter the New Year, it’s about the direction of local real estate values in 2014. Small wonder: the financial market meltdown of the last decade had such a profound impact on all forms of real estate that it still has many people looking nervously over their shoulders. How likely is another tumble in the coming 12 months? Will real estate values in Evansville continue to rise? Knowing the answer could make a big difference to anyone planning to buy or sell a home in the area this year.

Of course, absolute certainty on that score is not possible for anyone without a time machine in their basement. But, as we look back over last year, we might gain a little bit more confidence by hearing from the experts who got it right in 2013.

Foremost among them was Dr. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®. Last year, he was dead-on. 

Dr. Yun is calling for a continued rise in prices—pretty much in line with the past year’s gains. To compensate for expected mortgage interest rate gains—the likely effect of the Federal Reserve’s easing of policies that fueled 2013’s financial markets—he suspects that lending institutions will ease borrowing strictures. That’s something we can all applaud!

Overall, if local real estate values in 2014 follow the NAR’s national prognostications, we would expect real estate value increases either like the Wall Street Journal’s quoted prediction of 6%, or of Dr. Yun’s 5%. Either would not be surprising, given last year’s real estate values numbers. What the NAR experts and the Journal also agree upon is a flattening of residential housing sales volume in line with 2013 levels.

How much credence can we give to what the seers predict? Perhaps a little more than usual. “The NAR forecast could be viewed as restrained in light of the housing market’s gains in the past two years,” says the Journal; and “…other 2014 forecasts are fairly close to Mr. Yun’s predictions.”

Thinking of selling a home in Evansville this winter?  Call me for a complimentary consultation.  I’m always here to offer the best current marketing ideas! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 10:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, December 20 2013

The kids are gone. Your big house seems either dreadfully empty or just plain wasteful.  Congrats: you are officially in possession of a empty nest! Now it’s time to consider where and how you want to live next.

When Do You Sell?

It's not a bad time to be selling in Evansville—but since you will be buying, too, you would have to deduce that it might not be the perfect time to be on that side of the table. When you are swapping your full-sized family home for a snug nest for two, you want to get full value for your old home without paying too much for the new one. If you can swing it, you may want to buy before you sell. That puts you in control of the time factor, providing freedom to hold out for a prime offer while you find new digs at a reasonable price.

What Will You Need?

Another challenge that goes with the empty nest situation is the need to accurately foresee future needs. One of the great things about downsizing is the possibility of trading size for features that used to be impractical. According to the Des Moines Register, developers there had rushed to lay new home foundations before winter set in. Anticipating a strong spring buying season, they were building townhome communities—smaller homes with maintenance packages and ranch-style designs ideal for empty nesters and retirees who favor more accessible layouts and community amenities.

How Do You “Dispose” of Your Stuff?

When you think about saying goodbye to your empty nest, you soon realize it’s not quite empty enough. You just don’t need all that accumulated stuff—so after you’ve offered the kids the opportunity to take what they’d like, the best strategies usually combine charitable giving and auctions or yard sales. There’s a lot of utility left in many of the things you don’t need any more, and it would be a shame for it to end up in a landfill.

If you're considering buying or selling in Evansville in the coming year, it's not too early to contact me for a consultation. Good luck…and happy nesting!  You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 19 2013

Imagine that you have just moved into your new property, and suddenly you are up against some serious flaw you knew nothing about. Added on top of the normal moving turmoil: now there’s this! You didn’t have a chance to fix things up before you moved in because you were totally in the dark concerning the problem.  Imagine the frustration, disappointment, and anger… Enter: lawsuit.

In other words, for you as a seller, there are some pretty convincing reasons to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

A disclosure is a written statement describing your obligations under state and local laws regarding property flaws you know about. Your disclosure might include structural defects—like leaking windows or cracks in the foundation. It might include landscaping problems, like a branch that endangers a power line; and in some areas could even include air pollution or other environmental factors beyond your control. Any local property issues that the law specifies must be disclosed before the sale is finalized.

The consequences for not following the law can be serious: they could mean a lawsuit seeking the cost of repairs and other damages. In any case, you will want to insulate yourself from these risks by making sure you’re informed about the state of your property in Evansville and by disclosing issues whether or not they are discovered during inspection.

Full disclosure isn’t just the surest way to protect yourself from future legal action — it also lets you rest easy knowing you’ve done the right thing. Don’t assume a buyer will lose interest in your property because there are flaws. All properties have them, and by helping your buyers make informed decisions on what they want to do before they move in, chances are you’ll boost their confidence about the transaction. You’ll feel good knowing that you treated your buyer as you’d want them to treat you, and you’ll feel even better knowing that some non-disclosed property issue won’t come back to haunt you.

Preparing to sell this winter?  Call me today to get your home listed and sold! You can reach me on my sell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, December 09 2013

Consumer confidence certainly seems to wax and wane in a not-totally-predictable manner. What does seem clear is that when the future is cloudy, homebuyers tend to tighten up their purse strings. It’s logical: if you can plan ahead with a greater degree of certainty, you feel better about making the kind of commitment buying an home entails.

If you plan on selling your home in Evansville this winter, you may not be able to do much about whether the economy grows or tanks, or the Federal Reserve expands or shrinks the money supply. But there IS at least one thing you can do to remove uncertainty from the minds of your prospective buyers. Just offer a home warranty!

A home warranty in is an inexpensive plan that provides coverage for items that typically fall outside a traditional home insurance plan. The major kitchen appliances are generally only covered by your home policy if they are damaged in a fire, stolen, or suffer damage resulting from some other covered peril. A home warranty provides reassurance for a much broader scope of damage and mechanical breakdown. Warrantee buyers can also opt to include other large items in the home — like the HVAC system, boilers, water softeners and water heaters.

H.U.D. points out that a home warranty is an increasingly popular inclusion because it offers protection during the period immediately following a home’s purchase — the time when most local home buyers know they will “find themselves cash-strapped.” Although payment can be monthly or annual, most home sellers choose a one-time payment option.

In an uncertain world, are homebuyers reassured when a home warranty is part of your offer? Statistics from the National Home Warranty Association provide their own reassurance: they show that including a home warranty as part of the sale can help a home sell for up to 50% faster. 

Even though a home warranty is an added expense, it’s an investment that can pay off in helping your home sell faster — possibly at a higher price, as well. Thinking of selling this winter? Call me today to discuss this and many other ways we can make it happen! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, November 20 2013

If you’re house hunting over the holidays, you’re likely a serious buyer with an immediate need. Perhaps you have to relocate for a new job opportunity, or there’s been a change in your personal life? Regardless, while you may assume it’s not an ideal time to be looking — namely because there isn’t much to look at — there are some advantages to buying this time of year.

Less competition

Let’s start with the obvious one: less competition. This lowers the chances of multiple offers and bidding wars (something we saw a lot of last spring/summer), and should translate into a bigger discount for you. Know your market! This is where sites like Zillow come in handy. Start your research here for comps in your area and to see what homes are selling for.

Serious home sellers

Why would sellers pick such an inconvenient time — while everyone is busy entertaining family and friends and enjoying the spirit of the holidays — to list their properties? Probably because they need to sell and may feel compelled to do so before the end of the year for tax purposes. What this means for you: less hassle when it comes to negotiating; a greater willingness, on the part of the seller, to agree to concessions; less chance of the seller waffling; and greater respect for your offer, even if it’s a little lower than the seller was perhaps expecting.

Faster mortgage approval

Lenders aren’t as busy this time of year, and less volume could mean faster approval. Some lenders might even be willing to reduce fees during the off-peak season in hopes of gaining your business. Regardless, don’t just go with the first lender who comes along. It pays to shop around. Get multiple quotes and check out lender reviews on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.

Greater affordability

Sure, home prices have been rising, but they’re typically lower in December than during any other month (so you don’t have to be as aggressive with your initial first offer, compared with buying during peak to high season). Zillow’s third quarter Real Estate Market Reports showed home value appreciation slowing. As we enter the slower home shopping season many overheated markets are moving away from bubble brink and ultimately becoming more affordable than they have been historically. If you want to take advantage of low interest rates, the time to act is now.

Source: http://www.zillow.com/blog/2013-11-19/what-you-need-to-know-about-buying-a-home-during-the-holiday-season/

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:24 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 11 2013

 

When you step outside and feel a crisp chill in the air, you know it: winter is on the way. If events have so ordered themselves that you find yourself selling your home in Evansville during the winter months, you’re probably aware that it is not the preferred real estate season. Prospects are less likely to be out and about touring properties when the weather can interfere; the holidays take huge chunks out of everybody’s schedule (not to mention the havoc wreaked on family budgets) — plus, the aura of optimism that arrives at springtime won’t arrive until far in the future…

Nonetheless, selling your home during the winter months is eminently doable! In fact, because fewer offerings will be competing for the quite determined corps of would-be homebuyers, selling your home during the winter months can actually yield an outstanding result. Veteran sellers know how to maximize that prospect:

1. Advertise with spring or summer photos

Showing what your house looks like when the weather’s prettiest will be warmly received. Don’t rely on prospective homebuyers’ imaginations to do it as well.

2. Make your home cozy 

Selling your home in Evansville during the cooler months is actually an opportunity to show it at its “homiest.” Light the fireplace; turn on all the lamps; bake those chocolate chip cookies (or light scented candles — cinnamon is a holiday favorite).

3. Fine-tune the thermostat

People are turned off when a home feels chilly — just as they appreciate stepping into a warm and cozy listing (especially if they were just touring a vacant home).

4. Set a reasonable asking price

If you are going to be selling your home in Evansville during the approaching holiday season, it’s not the best time to “test the market.” Selling in a timely manner requires pricing the property accurately. You want to motivate the serious buyers to take a break from holiday obligations to turn out to view your house. 

If you’ve been contemplating the idea of selling your home in Evansville, know that there will be winter buyers out there. Call me today — let’s find them! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 12:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, October 18 2013

Even though local property prices continue to recover, the current market can still present challenges. No one understands this better than homeowners who are re-listing this fall. For some of them, surrounding seas of “For Sale” signs created a less-than-appealing neighborhood setting. Others drew buyers who weren’t able to secure financing in the uncertain mortgage environment. Whatever the reason, it can be disheartening for anyone who has to re-list their property.

Once you undertake a repeat attempt to sell your home, you want to be certain the job gets done right. A key part of that will be ensuring successful showings. It’s estimated that well-staged homes sell as much as 50% faster than those not “dressed for sale.”

Most buyers begin their search online, so take a look at its online marketing. A buyer who dismisses your property outright without a visit means one less chance to close a sale. Be sure you show multiple photos that show the property in the best possible light. If that's not the case, and professional photography might provide the solution.

Give the property another thorough cleaning. You cleaned your home for your first open house, but now that time has passed, your house certainly needs deep cleaning again. In particular focus on the two areas that get messiest fastest: bathrooms and kitchen ­ rooms buyers look at first.

Take a look at timing: specifically, the times you choose to show your home. Try holding an open house between 3-5pm. This will make your home one of the last that prospects view. If they are still looking at day's end, chances are they are serious about buying a property. This slot also helps avoid viewing conflicts with other homes.

Sure, it's disappointing any time a home doesn't sell immediately, but that needn't mean it won’t succeed the second time around. In most parts of the country, real estate has been trending upwards ­ and more buyers are entering the market. You're only looking for that one person who appreciates your property. Ready to get a fresh start? Then call me: let's get going! You Can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email at Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, October 14 2013

Believe it or not, it takes home-seekers an average of 12 weeks to find a home. To shorten that time, there is nothing more useful than the Internet’s Multiple Listing Service. When you are working with a buyer’s agent, the lion’s share of the work will be done for you — but when you participate in the online search, too, it makes a dynamite combination!

Starting out with a clear idea of the features you think of as “must-have’s” will save the most time and effort. This doesn’t mean every feature you would ever consider a plus; these should be the items that you must have. Your deal-breakers.

Use these to pare down the MLS listings you examine more thoroughly. Chances are you’re going to find many homes that match your broader requirements, so narrowing the field will let you channel your time toward the best potential candidates.

MLS listings are available either by city or by region. If you’re open to examining a wider area, you’ll find a greater number of properties within your price range that list your key features. If you can’t find regional MLS listings near Evansville of interest, your agent will help expand your search. Sometimes this broadening of horizons uncovers the ideal property.

The local MLS listings are updated on a regular basis, so staying on top of the market involves revisiting the listings every few days. In case that sounds overly labor-intensive, your agent can sign you up to receive auto-alerts via email whenever a new qualified MLS listing comes online. It’s also a fact that not all real estate firms keep every one of their MLS listings absolutely current, so calling your agent as soon as you see something you like will keep you ahead of the crowd.

The MLS listings in Evansville offer a one-stop destination for identifying numerous candidate properties — as well as the ability to efficiently filter the results you find. If you’re in the market for a new home, using the local MLS listings will be a welcome aid. Call me today to help organize a comprehensive search effort! You can reach me in my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, October 09 2013

Rushing to sell your home is never desirable — but circumstances sometimes require it. To sell your home in Evansville quickly, the most important factor is finding the right price. Too high a price will dampen buyer interest — but of course you don’t want to set the price too low, either. Here’s one way to find the right price:

First, complete all repairs. They’ll have to be addressed at some point, so getting them out of the way first clears the deck for your sale. To sell your home quickly, you want to feature it in the best possible light…meaning that all of the little (as well as major) repairs have to disappear from the picture. A few hours or days of hard work can have a disproportionate impact on the ultimate selling price.

Next, familiarize yourself with local competitors. Scour the listings for homes in your area and attend any open houses you find. Get a feel for the way homes in the neighborhood are being listed, and which features look to be adding the most value.

It’s also a good idea to consult a qualified appraiser. Most homes will be appraised before sale anyway, and a certified appraiser will offer an unbiased view of your home’s value. Having a recent certified appraisal can also serve to encourage buyers to write an offer quickly.

At this point it will be possible to set the value. There are differing approaches to setting the price for a home, but they share a few things in common. Each generally takes into account average prices paid in recent comparable area sales combined with the appraiser’s feedback. To sell your home speedily, consider setting your price three to five percent below that formulation. While this may seem unnecessarily low, the idea is to encourage immediate interest from multiple buyers, setting up the potential for competing offers. One thing is nearly certain: a lower-than-average price will get more buyers through your door!

Planning to sell your home in Evansville this fall? Contact me today to learn more about building a sales attack designed to get results! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, September 06 2013

Have you ever driven by fantastic-looking homes one week, only to notice that they have lost their appeal only a few weeks later? Chances are such a nosedive in curb appeal could be due to an unrealistic approach to front yard landscaping. Especially as  homes approach fall weather changes, and even more notably for homes that are about to be put on the market, reality (instead of fantasy) should rule when landscape design changes are being decided.

The key is maintenance. Taking care of lush landscaping is a time-consuming activity, so if you are not a garden hobbyist dedicated to the mowing, fertilizing, spraying, pruning, and weeding that elaborate greenscapes require, your choices are to be willing to pay a pro to keep on top of it all, or…actually, that’s your only choice!

Yesterday’s impressive front yard can turn ragged in days if it is neglected. Whether you’re a busy professional or overscheduled soccer mom, homes for sale require constant attention to the front yard landscaping. That curb appeal either invites a call to your Realtor® — or a drive past without a second look.  

That same reality factor that may prompt a decision to install a modest, less-expansive lawn and plantings can affect the number of potential buyers. That’s especially true if your target market weighs heavily with retirees, busy professionals, active families, or folks looking for second homes to use as vacation getaways or income properties. Many of those buyers will gravitate toward  homes that won’t cost a lot of money to re-landscape to lower maintenance requirements.

Local homes with easy-maintenance yards that still present a natural feel can be big winners in today’s market. Along the same lines of less is more, having gnomes, deer or other ornaments on your lawn is generally a turnoff. You can add to that list too much “stuff” in the backyard.

If you’re planning to list your home for sale in Evansville this fall, it’s time to do some serious planning. I offer pre-marketing consultations to help prepare area homes for the market. Call me today to schedule yours! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, September 05 2013

The advance home inspection process in Evansville plays a pivotal role to both seller and buyer. Correcting problems at an early stage increases a home's appeal — and its selling price. An advance inspection also sets the stage for a favorable final inspection report for the buyer (and the buyer’s lender), expediting a sale.

Yet according to home inspection experts, approximately half the homes on the resale market today have at least one significant defect! Advance knowledge of imperfections or malfunctioning systems in a property helps buyers commit if the house is a worthwhile buy. And knowing trouble spots in advance helps a seller set an attractive price.  

 Whether you are buying or selling, here are a few tips to help you have a trouble-free final inspection this fall:

Minimum scope for a home inspection in Evansville should include roof, plumbing, foundation, electrical wiring and central heating and/or air-conditioning. Except under special circumstances (those would include REO or estate sales), sellers are uniformly required to provide disclosure information about the property. Present these disclosures to your inspector, so he can double-check known issues first, and go over them with you during the inspection.

A pest control inspector is sometimes considered optional, but is really highly recommended. This inspector makes a specialized report for any areas infested with pests that could damage the home. Even if the home looks terrific and was recently serviced, underlying pest issues can be some of the most expensive to correct. They can derail a loan in no time.

Mold, asbestos, radon and other potentially harmful substances are not always included in a home inspection: they require a specialized license. If you are concerned about these elements, or live in a neighborhood where they are known to be a problem – consider adding additional inspections. 

Knowledge is power when it comes to home inspections in town: the more you know in advance, the stronger your negotiating position will be. If you are preparing to buy or sell this fall, give me a call! I’m here to protect and advise my clients every step of the way. You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 17 2013

The graduations are just finishing up, most summer getaway are booked, and with the end of June soon to be coming our way, many homeowners may be thinking more about holiday weekends and BBQs than home maintenance. But for those selling a home this summer, keeping ahead of upkeep issues will become an important part of the project. Some items that bear watching: 

The best time to clean air conditioners is before you fire them up for the first time…but since the AC always seem to be needed sooner than expected, few of us do. Never mind: sooner is better than later — and if you're selling your home in Evansville this summer, you'll want to keep the home comfortable at all times for potential buyers. Your owner's manual should explain how to change filters and clean coils and fins.

Everyone knows how important clearing clutter is for selling your home, but don't forget to stash the winter's heating paraphernalia. While you’re storing any portable heaters, pull the filters from the central furnace and pick up replacements next time you’re at the hardware store. When potential buyers see the new replacements neatly placed where they’ll be handy come winter, they are likely to register that this is one property owner who is well ahead of maintenance issues.

Cleaning the windows and window coverings is a chore none of us looks forward to. But when you're selling your home in this summer, few touches pay off like windows that shine, shine, shine! Choose one of our sunny days and see if you can get someone to work with you — and if you can spare an extra hour or so, hose off the screens and lay them out in the sun to dry.

Selling your home in Evansville is less taxing when you put yourself a step ahead on maintenance. Then call a hard-working agent like me to put the rest of a well thought-out marketing plan into action. I’ll be working all summer to help bring you top dollar for your home. You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234 or email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 02:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, April 18 2013

David R. Leopold, owner of Pillar to Post Home Inspection in Fairfield County, Conn., says home sellers and their real estate professionals have an important role in preparing for a home inspection to help ensure it goes smoothly. Leopold offers up some of the following tips in a recent article in RISMedia, including:

1. Don’t hide what isn’t working: If an appliance isn’t working, leave a note that indicates what isn’t working and how you’re getting it fixed. Don’t try to conceal defects because it can make the inspector start to view you as dishonest and wonder what else you’re hiding.

2. Make things accessible: Ensure the location of the attic and crawlspace are identified and easy to access. Don’t make a home inspector move your belongings in order to gain access.

3. Check the lightbulbs: If a lightbulb isn’t working, the inspector will need to determine if the fixture is inoperable. Save them time by making sure all the lightbulbs in the home operate, including those in the crawlspace, attic, and furnace rooms.

4. Note septic systems: If you have a septic system in the yard, be sure to leave a sketch that includes the location of it. It’ll avoid home inspectors, buyers, and real estate professionals having to conduct prolonged searches for it, Leopold says.

5. Keep appliances clear: Don’t leave dirty laundry in the washing machine or dryer because the inspector will need to test the appliances, and he doesn’t want to have to pull out dirty clothes in front of everybody, Leopold says. “Also, make sure your oven and stovetop are clear and clean, so we can easily test them without setting off the smoke alarm,” he adds.

Source: “Ask the Experts: What Should Home Sellers Do to Prepare for a Home Inspection?” RISMedia (April 16, 2013)

 

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, April 08 2013

Flooring is a major component of a house — and its real estate value.

Whether it’s carpet, tile, marble, or hardwood, the flooring of the home serves as an important financial and practical asset. Quality flooring can increase the home’s value, and it’s vital to take proper care of it.

Some ways to accomplish this:

Tile: Many people have tile in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens. However, the material is not limited to these areas and it’s important to maintain them. Particularly in high traffic places such as kitchens — regular maintenance is essential.

One way to maintain tile quality is to mix baking soda and water as a make-at-home cleaning option, or simply find a cleaner with a very neutral pH level.

With tile, it’s crucial to avoid harsh and abrasive chemicals. They can alter the polish and stain the tile.

Carpet: If you have carpet in your house, make sure to keep up on the cleaning. This floor material is very dependent on the environment of the house. Do you have pets? Do you live in a climate with snow? Do you have children? Is your kitchen table on carpet?

There are so many factors that this category is going to naturally be subjective, but the principle is the same: Stay up to date, regardless of how often it’s required.

Carpet in nice condition not only makes a house more comfortable, but helps hold the value of the house together.

Marble: Due to its permeability, marble doesn’t react well to acid, the care of marble floor is extremely important in holding not only value, but appearance. Stained marble is very noticeable and unattractive in a house.

It’s best to mop with strictly warm water and be gentle. With marble floorings, it’s even more imperative to regularly clean, as dirt can — and will — scratch the surface.

Inside each door, make sure to have a mat. These small practices can go a long way in maintaining the surface and increasing longevity.

Hardwood floor: Similar to marble, it’s important to maintain hardwood floor. If this type of material isn’t regularly and correctly cleaned, seals break and cleaning then becomes detrimental as water seeps in the cracks.

This is a very common floor material option for home owners across the country, and it’s easy to tell when an area of wood floor is cared for. A neutral product is best when mopping and make sure to sweep the floor before cleaning to avoid dragging sediments around the finish.

The flooring of a house covers the entire walkable surface, and it’s important to keep it clean. Flooring is an expensive and significant part of a property, and it should carefully be looked after. Don’t underestimate how well-maintained flooring can help home owners maintain their home’s value during resale.

Source: http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2013/03/11/take-note-of-the-floor-buyers-certainly-will/

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 08 2012
 
While most sales people don’t hold a degree in psychology, that science winds up playing a major role in the sales process. Most highly experienced listing agents not only understand this -- they use it toEvansville sellers’ advantage.
According to a 2010 study by Avid Ratings published in the Los Angeles Times, typical home buyers have a simple hierarchy of preferences: they want it all. Even when pressed to name what they are willing to do without, the typical homebuyer’s long list of “must haves” remains pretty much untouched.
What they are not willing to compromise on are home offices, walking paths, children’s playgrounds and large kitchens.
Large rooms, in fact, sell homes.
Even if your house is full of small rooms, your listing agent can help them appear larger by hiring a home “stager”. Stagers are professional dream makers. Savvy about what today’s homebuyer is looking for, stagers use their designer skills to transform homes from “Can you show us the next house on the list?” to “Stop! I want this house!”
Homebuyers also want a home that’s in turnkey condition. In fact, a study performed by the Maritz marketing research firm found that 63% of the homebuyers polled said they are willing to pay more for a home they perceive to be “move-in ready”. And it’s a properly staged home that is more likely to help buyers get that “move right in” feeling.
Listing agents who provide home staging for their clients understand that a staged home sells faster and for a higher sales price. Some studies show that spending just $550 on home staging nets the seller almost $2,000 more at the close of escrow.
Call me if you are interested to find out more about the home staging service we provide. You can reach me by phone at 812-499-9234 or email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, May 04 2011

If your house is on the market then you might be at the point of tearing your hair out. After all, some sellers have had their home up for sale for years at this point. It can be maddening, and the competition is only getting more intense as prices continue to fall and more foreclosure homes flood the market.

So what, exactly, are buyers looking for this spring? In short, they're looking for homes that are going to save them money. And when you think about it, it just makes sense. Mortgage loans are harder to come by, and thanks to an uncertain economy, people are less likely to splurge on a McMansion they're going to have to pay to heat and cool for the next five years (i.e. save money on utility bills).

[See the best personal finance stories from around the Web at the U.S. News My Money blog.]

Even if you're planning on staying in your home the next few years, it's still helpful to know what people are looking for because you're likely going to make changes and home improvements over the years. Knowing what potential buyers are interested in can help you invest your money wisely, so you have a better chance of selling when you're actually ready. So what are people looking for?

1. Homes in Good Condition

Buyers aren't interested in fixer-uppers right now. They don't have a lot of cash, and they don't want to spend money on home repairs immediately after they move in. They're looking for homes that are in great condition and that are absolutely move-in ready. They don't want to have to repaint, clean carpets, or cover up cracks in the ceiling. And they especially don't want to spend money on major repairs. To increase your chances of an offer this spring and summer, make sure you do everything you can to get your home in tip-top shape. Utilize a house spring cleaning checklist and make your home spotless before showing it off.

2. Homes with Green Features

Saving money and living green are trends that aren't likely to disappear anytime soon. Buyers are now looking for features which are going to cut down on a home's operating costs, as well as lessen its impact on the environment. Tankless water heaters, high-efficiency furnaces, energy-efficient appliances, energy-efficient windows, adequate insulation, and solar panels are just a few that are making it on to buyers' wish lists.

Basically, any "green" upgrade that's going to save money on utility bills will be highly appealing to people looking for a new home. You probably don't want to splurge on solar panels, a geothermal furnace, or other expensive green energy technologies, but there are some small changes you can make that will help potential buyers save money in your home. For instance, you could install a rain barrel or two against the house, add insulation, upgrade any old appliances to Energy Star rated models, and plant some trees to help with shading during the summer months.

[In Pictures: 10 Smart Ways to Improve Your Budget.]

3. Outdoor Living Spaces

In an uncertain economy, people travel less. This means that our homes are truly becoming our castles, no matter how small they are! Outdoor living spaces have always been popular, but they're especially appealing now since so many people are taking staycations, and choosing to relax at home instead of going out at night and on weekends. If your backyard leaves a lot to be desired, then do whatever you can to turn it into an oasis. Build a deck, plant flowers, add a fountain, and turn it into an escape for potential buyers.

Final Thoughts

If your home is currently on the market, it's important to do everything you can to remove any concerns buyers might have about your house. Sellers sure don't want to continue spending money on their homes, but small changes such as planting flowers, repainting, and cleaning can go a long way towards getting you an offer. Remember, you don't want to give people any reason not to buy your home!

Have you had any success selling your house in this market? What are some of the best methods that worked for you?

Heather Levin is a regular contributor to the Money Crashers personal finance resource site and is also the creator of The Greenest Dollar, a blog focused on green and frugal living.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnews/20110421/ts_usnews/whathomebuyersreallywant

 

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, August 02 2010

The real estate market here in Evansville Indiana does not always follow the national trend. We are in a fortunate situation that our market is sheltered and we do not have the extreme ups and downs as in other markets. However, the trend that: “Demand Strong for Well-Prices Homes” does apply to our local market. Homes that have been updated and are in move-in condition and that are priced right, will sell faster.

Demand Strong for Well-Prices Homes


Yes, houses will sell as long as they are priced right. In many — but not all places — that means they’re priced low.

"People who price their homes to the market are selling them in a reasonable amount of time, but people who cling to 2004 or 2005 prices aren't," says Richard Smith, president and CEO of Realogy, the parent company of Century 21, ERA, Coldwell Banker and Sotheby's International Realty.

In some areas, pent-up demand has exploded. "It's crazy," says Brendon DeSimone, an associate with Paragon Real Estate in the Noe Valley near San Francisco. "I had one house with five offers, and it went from $1.4 million to $1.7 million. The valley has just popped. It's not uncommon for one open house to have 200 people come through."

Source: USA Today, Stephanie Armour (07/28/2010)

http://www.realtor.org/rmodaily.nsf/pages/News2010073003

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 26 2010

Appraisers and real estate agents offer advice for curb appeal that preserves value and attracts potential buyers.

Curb appeal has always been important for homesellers. With the vast majority of today’s homebuyers starting their search on the Internet, the appearance of your property is more critical than ever. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention as they scroll through listings online to get them to stop and take a closer look.

But the role of curb appeal goes beyond just making a good first impression. The way your house looks from the street can impact its value. It can also shorten the time it takes to sell your house.

We asked real estate agents, appraisers, home stagers, landscape designers, and home inspectors which curb appeal projects offer the most value when your house is on the market, both in terms of its marketability and dollars. Here is what they told us:

1. Paint the house.

Hands down, the most commonly offered curb appeal advice from our real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it and appraisers will note it on the valuation.

“Paint is probably the number one thing inside and out,” says Frank Lucco, managing partner of Houston-based IRR-Residential Appraisers and Consultants. “I’d give additional value for that. If you’re under two years remaining life (on the paint job), paint the exterior because it tends to show wear badly.” 

Just make sure you stay within the range of accepted colors for your market. A house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition will be marked down in value by appraisers.

2. Have the house washed.

Before you make the investment in a paint job, though, take a good look at the house. If it’s got mildew or general grunge, just washing the house could make a world of difference, says Valerie Torelli, a California real estate agent with a background in accounting.

Before she puts a house on the market, Torelli often does exterior makeovers on her clients’ homes, a service she pays for herself to get higher selling prices. Overall, she says her goal is to spend less than $5,000, with a goal of generating an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on the sale price.

Torelli specifies pressure-washing—a job that should be left to professionals. Pressure washing makes the house look “bright and clean in addition to getting rid of unsightly things like cobwebs, which may not be seen from the yard but will detract from the home’s cleanliness when seen up close,” she says.

The cost to have a professional cleaning should be a few hundred dollars—a fraction of the cost of having the house painted.

3. Trim the shrubs and green up the yard.

California real estate agent Valerie Torelli says she puts a lot of emphasis on landscaping, such as cutting down overgrown bushes and replacing them with leafy plants and annuals mulched with beautiful reddish-brown bark. “It runs me $30 to $50,” says Torelli. “Do you get a return on your money? Absolutely. It sucks people in.”

You also don’t want bare spots. Take the time to fertilize the yard, throw out some grass seed, and if need be, add some sod.

4. Add a splash of color.

It could be a flower bed of annuals by the mailbox, a paint job for the front door, or a brightly colored bench or an Adirondack chair. “You can get a cute little bench at Home Depot for $99,“ Torelli notes. “Spray paint it bright red or blue and set it in the yard or on the front porch.”

It’s not a bad idea, but don’t plan on getting extra points from an appraiser for a red bench, says John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp in Omaha. “It’s difficult to quantify, but it does make a home sell more quickly,” Bredemeyer says. “Maybe yours sold a couple weeks faster than the house down the street. That’s the best way to look at these things.”

5. Add a fancy mailbox and house numbers.

An upscale mail box and architectural house numbers or an address plaque can give your house a distinctive look that stands out from everyone else on the block. Torelli makes them a part of her exterior makeovers “I’ve gotten those hand-painted mailboxes,” she says. “A nice one runs you $40 to $50.” Architectural house numbers may run as high as a few hundred dollars.

6. Repair or clean the roof.

Springfield, Va.-based home inspector and former builder Reggie Marston says the roof is one of the first things he looks at in assessing the condition of a home. He’ll look at other houses in the neighborhood to see if there are a lot of replaced roofs and see if the subject house has one as well. If not, he’ll look for curls in the shingles or missing shingles. “I’m looking at the roof for end-of-life expectancy,” he says.

You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal; appraisers will mark down the value by the cost of the repair. That could knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is more than $19,000.

“Roofs are issues,” Lucco says. “You won’t throw money away on that job. You gotta have a decent roof.”

Stains and plant matter, such as moss, can be handled with cleaning. It’s a job that can often be done in a day for a few hundred dollars, and makes the roof look like new. It’s not a DIY project; call a professional with the right tools to clean it without damaging it.

7. Put up a fence.

A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is an asset. A fence has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community, Bredemeyer says, but in most instances, appraisers will give extra value for one, as long as it’s in good condition. “Day in a day out, a fence is a plus,“ Bredemeyer says. Expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for a professionally installed gated picket fence 3 feet high and 100 feet long.

8. Perform routine maintenance and cleaning.

Nothing sets off subconscious alarms like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or lawn tools rusting in the bushes. It makes even the professionals question what else hasn’t been taken care of.

“A house is worth less if the maintenance isn’t done,” Lucco says. “Those little things can add up and be a very big detractor. When people say, ‘I’d buy it if it weren’t for all the deferred maintenance,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I’d still buy it if you reduce the price.’” 

Georgia-based freelance writer Pat Curry has covered housing and real estate for consumer and trade publications for more than a decade, including covering new home sales and marketing for BUILDER, the magazine of the National Association of Home Builders. 

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/8-tips-adding-curb-appeal-and-value-your-home/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, May 16 2010

Appraisers and real estate agents offer advice for curb appeal that preserves value and attracts potential buyers.

Curb appeal has always been important for homesellers. With the vast majority of today’s homebuyers starting their search on the Internet, the appearance of your property is more critical than ever. You only have a few seconds to catch their attention as they scroll through listings online to get them to stop and take a closer look.

But the role of curb appeal goes beyond just making a good first impression. The way your house looks from the street can impact its value. It can also shorten the time it takes to sell your house.

We asked real estate agents, appraisers, home stagers, landscape designers, and home inspectors which curb appeal projects offer the most value when your house is on the market, both in terms of its marketability and dollars. Here is what they told us:

1. Paint the house.

Hands down, the most commonly offered curb appeal advice from our real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it and appraisers will note it on the valuation.

“Paint is probably the number one thing inside and out,” says Frank Lucco, managing partner of Houston-based IRR-Residential Appraisers and Consultants. “I’d give additional value for that. If you’re under two years remaining life (on the paint job), paint the exterior because it tends to show wear badly.” 

Just make sure you stay within the range of accepted colors for your market. A house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition will be marked down in value by appraisers.

2. Have the house washed.

Before you make the investment in a paint job, though, take a good look at the house. If it’s got mildew or general grunge, just washing the house could make a world of difference, says Valerie Torelli, a California real estate agent with a background in accounting.

Before she puts a house on the market, Torelli often does exterior makeovers on her clients’ homes, a service she pays for herself to get higher selling prices. Overall, she says her goal is to spend less than $5,000, with a goal of generating an extra $10,000 to $15,000 on the sale price.

Torelli specifies pressure-washing—a job that should be left to professionals. Pressure washing makes the house look “bright and clean in addition to getting rid of unsightly things like cobwebs, which may not be seen from the yard but will detract from the home’s cleanliness when seen up close,” she says.

The cost to have a professional cleaning should be a few hundred dollars—a fraction of the cost of having the house painted.

3. Trim the shrubs and green up the yard.

California real estate agent Valerie Torelli says she puts a lot of emphasis on landscaping, such as cutting down overgrown bushes and replacing them with leafy plants and annuals mulched with beautiful reddish-brown bark. “It runs me $30 to $50,” says Torelli. “Do you get a return on your money? Absolutely. It sucks people in.”

You also don’t want bare spots. Take the time to fertilize the yard, throw out some grass seed, and if need be, add some sod.

4. Add a splash of color.

It could be a flower bed of annuals by the mailbox, a paint job for the front door, or a brightly colored bench or an Adirondack chair. “You can get a cute little bench at Home Depot for $99,“ Torelli notes. “Spray paint it bright red or blue and set it in the yard or on the front porch.”

It’s not a bad idea, but don’t plan on getting extra points from an appraiser for a red bench, says John Bredemeyer, president of Realcorp in Omaha. “It’s difficult to quantify, but it does make a home sell more quickly,” Bredemeyer says. “Maybe yours sold a couple weeks faster than the house down the street. That’s the best way to look at these things.”

5. Add a fancy mailbox and house numbers.

An upscale mail box and architectural house numbers or an address plaque can give your house a distinctive look that stands out from everyone else on the block. Torelli makes them a part of her exterior makeovers “I’ve gotten those hand-painted mailboxes,” she says. “A nice one runs you $40 to $50.” Architectural house numbers may run as high as a few hundred dollars.

6. Repair or clean the roof.

Springfield, Va.-based home inspector and former builder Reggie Marston says the roof is one of the first things he looks at in assessing the condition of a home. He’ll look at other houses in the neighborhood to see if there are a lot of replaced roofs and see if the subject house has one as well. If not, he’ll look for curls in the shingles or missing shingles. “I’m looking at the roof for end-of-life expectancy,” he says.

You can pay for roof repairs now, or pay for them later in a lower appraisal; appraisers will mark down the value by the cost of the repair. That could knock thousands of dollars off your appraisal. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report, the average cost of a new asphalt shingle roof is more than $19,000.

“Roofs are issues,” Lucco says. “You won’t throw money away on that job. You gotta have a decent roof.”

Stains and plant matter, such as moss, can be handled with cleaning. It’s a job that can often be done in a day for a few hundred dollars, and makes the roof look like new. It’s not a DIY project; call a professional with the right tools to clean it without damaging it.

7. Put up a fence.

A picket fence with a garden gate to frame the yard is an asset. A fence has more impact in a family-oriented neighborhood than an upscale retirement community, Bredemeyer says, but in most instances, appraisers will give extra value for one, as long as it’s in good condition. “Day in a day out, a fence is a plus,“ Bredemeyer says. Expect to pay $2,000 to $3,500 for a professionally installed gated picket fence 3 feet high and 100 feet long.

8. Perform routine maintenance and cleaning.

Nothing sets off subconscious alarms like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or lawn tools rusting in the bushes. It makes even the professionals question what else hasn’t been taken care of.

“A house is worth less if the maintenance isn’t done,” Lucco says. “Those little things can add up and be a very big detractor. When people say, ‘I’d buy it if it weren’t for all the deferred maintenance,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘I’d still buy it if you reduce the price.’”

Source: http://www.houselogic.com/articles/8-tips-adding-curb-appeal-and-value-your-home/

Posted by: Rolando Trentini AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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The Trentini Team
F.C. Tucker EMGE REALTORS®
7820 Eagle Crest Bvd., Suite 200
Evansville, IN 47715
Office: (812) 479-0801
Cell: (812) 499-9234
Email: Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com


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By submitting personal information such as name, address, phone number, email address and/or additional data, the real estate client/prospect consents that The Trentini Team or their authorized representative may contact client/prospect by phone, U.S. Postal System, or e-mail whether or not client/prospect is participating in a state, federal or other "do not contact" program of any type.
 
 
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