CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville
Pocono Mountain Homes

It’s Competitive Buyer’s Market… Where does your house fit in?

CB025587

By SONYA BILIANIS

It is a competitive buyer’s market. More than 3,500 homes are listed for sale through members of the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors.

Where does your house fit in?

HOUSE SELLING TIPS

Potential buyer turn-offs:

• Exterior deferred maintenance.
• Moss on roof, unsightly dirt on siding.
• Water marks on the ceiling.
• Moldy, damp basement.
• Stinky odors such as pet, cooking, mildew and cigarette smoke.
• Leaky faucets and dirty, rusty appliances.
• Striking bold colors on walls should be painted neutral, not white.
• Dark interiors. Open the blinds and let the sun shine in.
• Replace burnt-out lightbulbs.
Appealing to the senses:
• People respond more favorably to brightly lit rooms.
• Keep the noise down. Be aware of the barking dog. Avoid vacuuming, lawn mowers and dishwashers while showing your house.
• The nose knows. The smell of cleanliness is the best selling technique.

Try baking cookies or a pie to arouse the sense of heartwarming. No time to bake? Light a candle or apply furniture polish.

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your house quickly and get the right price, you may need to take a good look at your house through an extra pair of eyes. Not everyone wants a fixer-upper. Usually those who do are looking for a real bargain.

With the spring weather comes the hope that home sales will start to pick up again. Some tips from the pros can help make your home stand out from the rest and sell in a timely manner.

Vickie Brockelman, broker/owner of Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way in Mount Pocono, advised first and foremost to make sure your home is priced right.

“Using a certified broker or an appraiser is important in this difficult market. In our area, buyers are not looking for a particular style of home, they are looking for the right number of bedrooms and square footage that will suit their needs,” she said.
The seller can do other things to speed up the process. “A motivated seller should consider pre-certifying their home before it goes on the market by having a home inspection done and making any repairs needed. Also, have a title search done beforehand to clear up any title issues you may encounter,” she said.

A title search is done to make sure there are no liens on the property that may cloud the title when it comes time to transfer to the new owner. Once you have your house appraised, inspected and have a clear title, a little staging goes a long way.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION

Honey, stop the car! This is where it all begins.

Within the first 15 seconds of arrival, the buyer has already formed an opinion of your house. The first impression is the most important to any homebuyer.

“Homes are purchased based on emotions and love at first sight,” Brockelman said.

Does your home have curb appeal? Is it inviting or are buyers going to not even want to get out of the car?

Even if you use the woods as your “natural landscaping,” you can spruce up your front yard by just picking up dead tree branches and place a grouping of potted flowers on the porch.

Act as if your home is on an interview. Sprucing up the front door by painting it can be a quick and cheap fix that really shows the buyer you care about your home. “You don’t want your front door to add to a buyer’s disappointment but to increase their enthusiasm,” Brockelman said.

Fresh mulch on your landscaping gives a new look and well-kept appearance.

Make sure your lawn is kept well cut. Weeds up to your knees is the first sign of neglect.

A LOOK INSIDE

“Take a box to every room in the house and pack up any personal items that are not being used,” she said. A potential buyer can then mentally place their own belongings in the room instead of being distracted by clutter.

Neutral colors on the walls are best and appeal to more buyers. A buyer may have a hard time visualizing her plaid sofa with your floral wallpaper. Try to stay away from white, except for the ceiling.

Dawn Libecap, an accredited staging professional of Affordable Home Staging in East Stroudsburg, explained that staging a home is depersonalizing. It is not decorating. Decorating is personalizing.
“I truly believe that you cannot stage your own house. You need a fresh set of eyes to see all the things you would normally overlook,” she said.

Not everyone wants the handyman special. “If you have to ask if you should fix the broken fence, then the answer is yes. A buyer will think, ‘What else is wrong?’” Libecap said.

Go through every room in the house and jot down anything that might stand out to you that you always wanted to repair, but never got around to. Then repair them.

Little fixes make a big difference. “Buyers are very savvy now and they want the best. Even if they can’t afford it,” she said.
Want a simple fix? “A fresh coat of paint not only looks nice but can also make the house smell new. Paint is the least expensive way to make a big change,” Libecap said.

Clean the carpets if you cannot replace them to get rid of those nasty pet odors. You might not be able to smell them, but a non-dog lover will pick up on that right away.

Cigarette smoke is the biggest of offenders, so leave your butt outside while the house is up for sale.

Libecap said, “Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. The money you spend fixing up and staging your home will be less than your first price reduction.”

Commonwealth Real Estate Your Way, LLC..... RB# 066860..... Office: 570-972-0155



CommonWealth Real Estate Your Way, Brodheadsville