Selling Your Home? Pick the Best Colors

Home sellers are often advised to slap on a fresh coat of paint before listing their properties, but they shouldn’t overlook the impact of color.

A Zillow analysis of more than 32,000 photos from sold residential properties finds specific colors can either boost or crimp a home’s selling price. The analysis controlled for square footage, the age of the home, the date of the transaction and location, and then compared the sale prices of homes with white walls versus those with more colorful paint.

The upshot? Color makes a big impact on buyers and can serve as a “powerful tool” for attracting prospective bidders, according to Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. But trends may change overtime, which is why it’s worthwhile to consider what tints are most favorable with would-be buyers. Last year, yellow was a popular choice for kitchens, but another shade has taken its place in Zillow’s 2017 survey.

Desirable colors “help future buyers envision themselves living in the space,” Gudrell said in a statement.

At the same time, Zillow warned certain colors can put off buyers, especially darker colors.

To check out how your home might look with a new color, some paint companies offer digital tools that can upload your photos and apply different paint shades to the rooms. Among them are Sherwin-Williams’ (SHW) or Glidden’s (PPG) paint visualization websites.  To Read More Visit link below:

http://www.cbsnews.com/media/7-paint-colors-boost-home-price/

Spring Home Maintenance

Gardening

It’s that time of year again and you’re eagerly venturing outside to reclaim your backyard, scraping inches of pollen off your lawn chair, and all too often, realize that the seeds of minor annoyances planted last fall have started to sprout. Take heart – a simple inspection of your home and yard can prevent small issues from blossoming into full-blown problems while still leaving you time to relax. Here are some things to look for and quick fixes that can have a major impact:

  1. Caulk and seal around windows and doors to boost energy efficiency. This is a simple, cost-effective way to go green by conserving energy while reducing your AC bills.
  2. Look for settling cracks in brick veneer and stucco that may indicate the beginnings of a foundation issue.
  3. Check your crawl space for standing water and/or your foundation for water damage.
  4. Repair rotted wood and trim around windows, doors and dormers. Prime and paint any areas where paint has peeled away.
  5. Check for water stains on ceilings or in the attic, which could indicate shingle or flashing problems.
  6. Inspect for sagging or damaged gutter components before the next heavy downpour.
  7. Have an HVAC specialist check your HVAC Freon and coils for dirt and debris.
  8. Change the vacuum drive belt on your central or regular vacuum. Changing this belt annually preserves the vacuum motor and ensures that it’s working efficiently.
  9. Have your pool water tested by a reputable local swimming pool supply store. As you reopen your pool, you want to be sure that the chemicals are properly balanced and that your pump and filtration systems are working properly.
  10. Check lawn and garden irrigation heads now to make sure they’re functioning properly and recalibrate the zones seasonally to match each area’s changing water needs.

A few tips to help you SPRING into action!

Lynn Kronk – Realtor

Affordable upgrades that won’t over improve your home.

Granite Countertop

Whether you plan on moving in the distant (or not-so-distant) future, these upgrades could be worth making before you go.

Say you’re living in a starter home. You don’t plan on being there forever, but you also aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. You’d like to make some home improvements, but you’re worried you won’t get much return on your investment when you’re ready to sell.

While this thinking could be accurate if you’re planning to fully gut and renovate your kitchen, there are plenty of projects that will add enjoyment to your day-to-day living without over improving your abode. “Think cosmetic changes, not huge overhauls,” says Audrey Loder, showroom director at Wilkinson Supply, a luxury kitchen and bath retailer in Raleigh, NC. These five projects are inexpensive (around $5,000 or less) to implement and will provide you with enjoyment for years to come — or at least until you hang that “for sale” sign in the front yard.

  1. Swap out your kitchen countertops

But don’t assume granite is always the best choice. “Granite isn’t as special as it once was because every kitchen has it now,” advises Loder. If the countertops are the only upgrade you’re planning, splurge on recycled glass (around $85 per square foot) for a true wow factor, or for a less expensive but equally stunning option, try quartz (around $60 to $75 per square foot). Stick with neutral colors like white, gray, or “greige,” which will appear clean and bright and won’t turn off potential buyers. If your budget allows, Loder recommends upgrading your backsplash with wide, light-colored subway tiles (think 4-inch-by-16-inch tile) arranged in a unique pattern, such as herringbone.

  1. Invest in a free-standing bioethanol fireplace

“They add a ton of character without breaking the bank,” says Erin Davis, lead designer at Mosaik Design and Remodeling in Portland, OR. “Free-standing units use piping to vent the smoke out of the home, so it makes for an easier, more cost-effective installation.” Things to keep in mind: Since the heat radiates from all sides, you’ll need at least 36 inches of clearance around the unit. Opt for one that comes with a stand (most do), which will alleviate the need to add noncombustible flooring.

  1. Increase your living space with decking

“It’s an affordable extension of your home and a perfect place to entertain guests or relax with your family,” says Thomas O’Rourke of DeckingHero.com, a resource guide to buying and installing decking. And we’re not just talking raised decks either. Decking materials can be used to create patios, outdoor living rooms, and even outdoor kitchens.

  1. Add low-voltage outdoor lighting

Think lights along your driveway, walkways, and patio, and up lights on trees. “Doing so creates ambiance in the evening, especially when entertaining, and it will increase the quality of any photos you post of your home when it comes time to sell,” says John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, a digital home management site. Once you have a lighting system in place, make sure to install timers, which can also deter burglars.

  1. Give your exterior a makeover

Have your house exterior and front porch professionally power-washed, upgrade light fixtures (this can be as simple as replacing the bulbs with Edison-style ones, which instantly ups the cool quotient of your current fixture, says Loder), swap out the hardware on your front door, upgrade your mailbox, replace worn-out or broken shutters, and freshen up your landscaping. These simple changes outside will pack a punch without crushing your budget.

Great tips from the pros that know!

What home upgrades have you chosen? Share your tips and experiences in the comments.

Lynn Kronk ~ Realtor

Spring Listing – Prep NOW

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Even though it’s the middle of the winter season, before you know it, spring will be here. Historically in most real estate markets, the spring is the busiest season. The spring real estate market generally yields the highest prices for those selling their home. This is only possible though if the proper preparations are taken prior to when spring is upon us!

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the spring, you should be aware that even though you may receive top dollar for your home, there will also be a lot of competition. Therefore it’s absolutely critical that you’re prepared for the spring real estate market. These tips below will help you prepare your home for listing.

Begin Interviewing Prospective Realtors

It doesn’t matter what time of year you decide to sell your home; it’s critical that when selling a home, you know what questions to ask when interviewing realtors. Make sure you start reaching out to the agents you think would be a great representative to sell your home sooner rather than later.

Know What Your Plan Is

A common mistake sellers make is not knowing what their plans are once their home sells. Are you planning on purchasing another home? Do you have the option to move in with family? Could you rent, if need be? Do you need to sell your current property to purchase another? These are things you should think about and know the answers to before the spring real estate market hits. It’s a great idea to discuss your financing options with a local lender before you list your home for sale. If you can get pre-approved to purchase a home non-contingent on the sale of your home, it will give you a huge advantage.

Consider Having a Pre-List Inspection

One of the biggest reasons a home sale gets derailed is due to the home inspection. Almost all buyers will have their offer contingent on a home inspection. The smallest home inspection finding could turn off some buyers. It can be easy to avoid this possibility and have your home inspected by a professional before listing it. This way you can remedy issues that may arise prior to listing.

Clean & Organize

It’s imperative to give your home a thorough “spring cleaning.” This doesn’t mean wait until spring though. Be proactive and start cleaning now; you’ll be glad you didn’t wait. Huge turnoffs for prospective buyers are foul odors. Things such as pet and smoke odors will hurt your chances of offers.

Here are a few items to make sure you clean before listing your home: wash your windows, dust your blinds, dust baseboard trims, clean appliances, clean showers, sinks & toilets and clean inside cabinets. It is also important to de-clutter and organize your home. A great way to achieve this is by packing, you will need to pack at some point anyways, so why not do it now! Clean out closets and pack away items that you do not currently need. It is incredible how much better a home will show and how much quicker it will sell if it’s organized and de-cluttered.

 

Lynn Kronk ~ Realtor

New Year, new you, new home

tax

The calendar change always invites all sorts of resolutions, some of them attainable, many of them impractical and stress-inducing. Especially if you just closed on house in the South. But changes needn’t be big or difficult to be life-altering. Here are seven simple real estate–related New Year’s resolutions you can make for 2017 that will pay big dividends with minimal effort.

Start making extra mortgage payments

It’s the financial reality you hate to face: the amount of money you actually end up paying for your house over the length of a 30-year mortgage. So what do the interest savings look like if you make one extra mortgage payment over a 12-month span? In short, pretty good — if you keep it up for the duration of your loan, you’re likely to save tens of thousands of dollars. It’s especially worth considering in the first five years of a mortgage, when the majority of your monthly installment goes to interest payments rather than the principal.

The only thing to keep in mind is that once you start making the extra payment that extra money is locked up in your home equity (and not sitting in your bank account as an emergency fund).

Get new homeowners’ insurance quotes

You probably don’t think about this too often because your insurance automatically renews every year. But as it happens, you may now be eligible for some discounts that weren’t available when you first applied — and your existing insurance company isn’t obligated to check in every year and see if you now qualify. Call your agent and see if you can knock down your yearly installment; if they won’t budge, then start shopping around for a better rate.

Have your home reassessed for tax purposes

Did you know that your house gets reassessed by your county only every few years? Which means your assessed property value might be higher than your current market value, which means you might be paying too much in taxes and not even know it. In most states, you can simply go online and request a reassessment for free. A note of caution: Be wary of outside companies offering to get your home reassessed for you for a small fee — it could be a scam.

Get an energy assessment

Yep, those gas and electric bills can get out of control in the winter months, but they don’t always have to be static. Some states have nonprofits that will come to your home and offer an energy assessment free of charge, but otherwise you can hire a professional energy auditor. That person will then make a series of suggestions both small (LED light bulbs) and large (solar panels) so that you can stretch your energy dollar. Even tiny lifestyle changes, such as unplugging unused devices or programming your thermostat on a schedule, can make a difference.

Plant a vegetable garden

You have some time with this, given that it’s only January, but then again, there’s no time like the present to start a kitchen garden. Growing your own food saves money and, in its own way, helps the environment too. It also benefits your health, as you’re more apt to eat fruits and vegetables that you’ve cultivated yourself. And of course, as head farmer, you get to decide what pesticides and fertilizers you (don’t) use. Start small, only growing veggies and herbs you love to eat.

Start composting

Maybe this has been on your to-do list for years. But somehow it just feels too time-consuming or messy, especially if you live in the city. Keep it simple and buy a composting kit that walks you through the steps. If you don’t have an actual use for your own compost, there are small outfits around the country that will pick it up for a minimal fee; some cities even include compost pickup in their trash services.

Buy a rain barrel

So simple, yet so valuable. Just a few benefits of collecting rainwater and repurposing it later: It cuts down on your water bill, it lessens the moisture around your home’s foundation, it’s healthier for your plants and garden, and it helps reduce runoff pollution.

Rainwater is also great for washing your dog and car, as it’s free of salt and other chemicals. (Poor dog! Poor car!) If you’re in a drought district, the benefits of a rain barrel are obvious. And remember that composting you just started? Adding rainwater to your brand-new pile is a far more sustainable practice than mixing it with tap water. Just be sure to check local laws: some communities have rules against collecting rainwater.

What resolutions are on your list for 2017?

Lynn Kronk ~ Realtor

Baby its COLD outside – Winterizing a vacant home.

winter-prepared

With the nights getting colder and winter arriving it is time to make sure those vacant homes are protected. Over the years we have seen homes lose as much as 50% of their market value from fall to spring when pipes freeze, break, and then leak, ruining the floors, walls, and even flooding basements. It can destroy a house and cost thousands of dollars to fix.

Both plastic and copper pipes can burst when they freeze. An eight-inch crack in a pipe can leak up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, structural damage, and the potential for mold. Remember, most basic homeowner insurance policies do not cover homes when they become vacant.  If you do have adequate vacant home insurance, check to see if there is a clause requiring someone regularly checking in on your vacant home.

Whether you plan to sell or return to your vacant home, protect your investment by winterizing your home with these main points:

The Most Important Step in Winterizing a Home: 

  1. Hire a plumber who is qualified to winterize your home.  This involves shutting off the water supply to your home, and blowing air through all the pipes in the house with an air compressor. The plumber will also properly drain water heaters, spas, sprinkler systems, and any appliances that use water.
  2. Clean your gutters and downspouts to reduce the risk of ice forming inside them.
  3. Place moth balls throughout the home to prevent insect infestation.
  4. Close fireplace dampers and seal all openings (i.e., dryer vents). Birds and rodents will try to make nests in chimneys and attics.
  5. Store firewood away from the house. Remove leaves near the house under and around the porch or deck.
  6. Disconnect any propane tanks. Call the gas company and have them turn off the natural gas.
  7. If you have kept the electricity on: Buy light timers and set them to turn on automatically in the evenings. Invest in motion detectors or timers for both your indoor and outdoor lights. Make sure all light bulbs around the house are in working order. If you have turned off the electricity: Make sure battery-operated smoke detectors are in working order.
  8. Schedule landscapers to upkeep driveways and walkways for potential buyers. Nothing says “vacant house” more than a walkway that hasn’t been cleared from leaves or debris. Make sure buyers have safe, easy access into your home. If a buyer can’t easily park or get access to the home, it won’t sell.
  9. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses.
  10. Trim branches that hang over your home.

It’s a good idea to have a neighbor or friend check up on the home if you’re not available. Once your home is winterized, place signs throughout the house to warn visitors and buyers that the plumbing has been shut off.

Lynn Kronk ~ Realtor

Be careful what you LIST for

las_cruces_real_estate_market_analysis

If you are thinking of selling, refinancing, or just want to get an idea of what your home is worth, you have many options. Most people these days like to do things themselves, since there is so much information available at our fingertips online. There are also some great real estate sites and many local brokerage sites, so there are multiple ways to access the information. But you need to be careful, as what you get on some of those sites may be inaccurate, especially in today’s market.

Sites like Zillow and Trulia provide easy access to recent sales, and even provide estimates for the value of your home. Some things they may not take into consideration are:

  1. The condition of your home and comparable sold properties
  2. Upgrades
  3. Additions – sometimes these take a long time to show up in the public records, which could alter the valuation of your home
  4. Very recent sales (closed in the last few days)
  5. Pending sales that are about to close escrow (as they will have an effect on your sales price should you decide to sell)
  6. Whether or not your property is distressed or other recent sales were distressed
  7. Inside knowledge about other homes that may have just gone into escrow or appraised
  8. Other factors. There may be other factors that can affect your sales price, such as information displayed in the confidential remarks on sold properties (that only licensed agents can see) that provide details – for example, commissions may have been reduced, sellers may have reduced the sales price due to expensive necessary repairs, or other factors could have affected the sales price. Also, there may be information about construction in the surrounding area that can affect sales prices in the future (freeway extensions, plans for new shopping centers, Or there could be issues with the condition of the home that sold.

All of these details are important in analyzing your home and making sure you get the correct information. Thus it is very important that you consult a local area real estate broker or agent to provide you with a specific and detailed market analysis.

There are many things we can do ourselves these days online, but if you are considering selling make sure you get the right information so that you can make an informed decision. I have 25+ years in the real estate market and I am here to help you, and I do NOT charge for a detailed market analysis. Call me today and together we will make sure we have all the pertinent information before making any major decisions.

We have ONE goal, to SELL your property!

Lynn Kronk – 256-226-3099