Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed.
Keller Williams Realty Boston Northwest | 978-580-9140 | team@stevezippin.com


Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 5/24/2016

 




     Closet space can serve as a key differentiator for home sellers, particularly in a highly competitive real estate market. Fortunately, there are many quick, easy ways to revamp your closets, and ultimately, make them appear much larger.


Here are five tips to help you transform ordinary closets into spacious ones instantly:

  1. Install a pegboard.Hang your belts, sunglasses and other accessories in your bedroom closet thanks to a pegboard. With a high-quality pegboard in place, you'll be able to organize many items and access them without delay. After you list your home and begin showcasing it to prospective buyers, your self-installed pegboard is sure to make your bedroom closet stand out during any home tour.
  1. Take advantage of shoe shelves. For those who want to organize their footwear, there may be no better option than shoe shelves. When it comes to selling your home, you'll want to do everything possible to make a distinct impression on prospective home buyers. Thanks to shoe shelves, you'll be able to show interested parties exactly how much closet storage space they can enjoy if they purchase your home.
  1. Set up a mirror. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? Setting up a stunning mirror in your walk-in closet enables you to maximize your storage space and make a bold décor statement as well.Any fashionista is sure to appreciate a walk-in closet mirror. And for those who want to set their home apart from others, installing a mirror in a walk-in closet may make a world of difference in the eyes of home buyers.
  1. Use shelf dividers Keep your blankets, clothing and other closet items organized thanks to top-of-the-line shelf dividers.Using shelf dividers ensures that every item in your closet has its own home and can be organized accordingly. Furthermore, these dividers guarantee you won't have to sacrifice closet space and can optimize the amount of storage space at your disposal consistently.Shelf dividers serve as great options to show others exactly what they can do with all of the closet space that is available in your home. As a result, shelf dividers may help you differentiate your home from others on the real estate market.
  1. Get rid of clutter. Clutter is a major problem for homeowners across the country, but those who gain control over their clutter can eliminate this problem.Try to clean out your closets every few months. This enables you to reduce the risk of clutter accumulating over an extended period of time.Also, focus on dividing your closet items into things you need and things you want. By doing so, you can put yourself in a better position to get rid of non-essential items regularly.

    By devoting the necessary time to maximize your closet space, you may be able to accelerate the process of selling your home. Remember, even minor features can help your residence stand out in a competitive real estate market, and those who are committed to distinguishing their home from others should evaluate the closet space available throughout their house.


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Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 5/11/2016

 Puppy and kitten and guinea pig
  Did you know that pets can significantly reduce your home's value?  We love our pets too; but, home buyers are hesitant to buy a home with pets because they are weary of odors and damage. If you are a pet owner here are some tips to ensure you get the highest final sale price for your home:

   1. Start outside. The outside of your home is the first impression, it is the first thing a potential buyer sees. Fill and holes in the yard that have been dug by pets. Make sure to walk the yard and pick up any pet waste.

   2. Check the woodwork. Pets have a habit of chewing. Go through your home and look for any damage. Check the floor trim, the threshold of your doors, and the corners of doors and cabinets. Also don't forget to check carpet, window ledges and screens, especially if you have cats. Hardwood floors can also get scratched by pets too. You may need refinish your floors if they have pet scratches.

   3. Check the carpet. Carpets are usually best replaced rather than repaired. It is almost impossible to remove pet odor from carpet. If the carpet has been chewed or frayed from scratching it can likely be stretched and re-tacked by a professional.

   4. Look for stains. There can be stains on carpet, flooring, drywall, and trim. Make sure to repair or replace any items that are stained before a buyer sees them.

   5. Address odors. You may not even notice pet odors in your home but they will be very obvious to buyers. Ask someone else to give you an honest opinion of pet odors in your home.  Make sure to vacuum daily and open windows if you can. It's not just accidents that cause bad odors. Your pet's hair, dander and sweat also create odors.

   6. Clean your furniture. Even though the buyer is looking at the house, if your furniture is stained or ruined buyers will still devalue your home.

   7. Keep the pets away. If possible remove pets from your home when showing it. You could board them, or have a friend keep your pets while you're showing your home. If that is not possible make sure to buy pet crates to keep them locked up and out of the way.







Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 3/15/2016

 


 

Why isn't your house selling? It may not be the market, instead it could be what you are or are not doing. Believe it or not you can ruin your chances of selling your home. So, how can you capture the attention of potential buyers? Read on to find out if you are making any of these mistakes.

  • Missing or Bad Photos: Buyers love to look at photos. They love to look at lots of photos so include lots of photos in your online listings. There is such a thing as a bad photo though. Pictures of unattractive rooms, toilets and messy areas can also turn a buyer off. Make sure every photo has great light, shows off your home and shows a neat and clean home. Place the best shots at the beginning so it is the first thing the buyer sees on the listing site.
  • Lack of Curb Appeal: Most buyers will search for homes online and then jump in the car and drive by. If your home has bad curb appeal they may eliminate it before they even walk through the front door. Be sure to create curb appeal by trimming the trees, fertilizing the lawn, and sprucing up the landscaping. Remember first impressions mean a lot.
  • Bad Advertising: The words that advertise your home are vitally important. Avoid clichés and instead use your creativity and talk about the best features of your home. You only have so much space for text so make it count!
  • Price Too Low/High: Pricing a home too high won't produce an offer, but sometimes pricing it too low leaves buyers wondering what is wrong. Use a real estate professional to help you strategically price your home to sell in the current market.
  • You're Hovering: When potential buyers are looking at your home there is nothing more awkward than finding the homeowner is still there. Buyers can't picture the home as their own if you are there. When the house is being shown make sure you are not home.
    There are things in your control in the selling process of your home. Take the time to make sure your home is staged and looks ready to sell and avoid the above mistakes and you should have a sold sign in no time.


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Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 1/8/2016

 

     What do buyers want in a home? Is it location? Is it size? Could it be an endless list of amenities ? According to a survey done by The National Association of Homebuilders, they want all of the above.According to the survey, buyers say they want a home that is approximately 2,000 square feet. Unfortunately, only one-third of the current homes on the market have 2,000 or more square feet of livable space. Most homes are nearly 40 years old and don't have many of the amenities buyers want.So what is a seller to do? If your home is smaller than what most buyers want, play up on your homes good points. Here are some other features buyers want that could help overcome the objection to the homes smaller square footage.


  1. Location: Buyers may consider a smaller home if it's located in the best school district or in a great commuter location.
  2. Possibilities: A smaller home may have potential for expansion, making the home suddenly more appealing.
  3. Great space: The home may not have the square footage buyers want, so show off the space it does have. 

  Remove any furniture that doesn't complement the home, making the home seem spacious and uncluttered.If your home is smaller than what many buyers want, emphasize the amenities that it does have. Help buyers see the potential in your home. Don't let them rule it out just because its current condition doesn't meet all of their needs.  


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Posted by Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed. on 1/1/2016

 
 
 





   


 Let's be honest, we are human and humans make mistakes! These below are common misconceptions about the process of selling your home. If you are guilty of making some or all of them, don't worry... you are not alone, believe us! 


1. Basing the asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because "nobody wants to buy real estate that nobody else wants". The result is low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value. An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price.


2. Failing to "Showcase" the home. A property that is not clean or well-maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, which don't “spruce up” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time.

3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment - fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades to real estate are cost effective. Always consult with your REALTOR® BEFORE committing to upgrading your home.

4. Choosing the wrong REALTOR® or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the real estate agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles.

5. Using the "Hard Sell" during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good REALTORS® let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Overselling loses many sales. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features.

6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. Real estate is most sale-able early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer.

7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced REALTOR® who knows the "ins and outs" fully explain the contract you are about to sign.

8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.


Bottom line, you need an experienced and trustworthy real estate team that will advice and guide you through the process of selling (or buying) your home. Think about it, it is one of the biggest transactions of your life.


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Steve Zippin, ABR, CRS, M.Ed.