RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Headed to an Open House? Mind These Tips!

April 26, 2016 12:30 am

In a previous segment, “Sellers: Remember These Tips for a Safe Showing,” we provided sellers guidance for the real estate listing process. In this segment, we're offering critical advice from a few sources to buyers touring potential new homes.

Frugalwoods.com, a blog by a Boston couple who’ve visited over 270 open houses (and counting!) recommends this tip:

• Take a listing sheet containing photos of the house, specs and the asking price—and read through it. Ask the listing agent any clarifying questions and take notes.

StyleAtHome.com suggests these tips:

• Overlook elaborate staging. During open houses, interiors (and exteriors) could be dressed to the nines. Try to inspect the home as it really is.

• Examine the parking situation, and be on the look-out for broken appliances.

The experts for the Consumer Advocates in American Real Estate (CAARE) organization advise the following:

• Work with a buyer’s agent, if possible. He or she will have your best interests in mind when visiting an open house.

Most importantly, avoid visiting an open house without your real estate agent—doing so could be detrimental to your home search. Keep in mind the listing agent will likely focus on visitors who show up with an agent in tow!

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Renovating? The Type of Project Matters

April 26, 2016 12:30 am

Homeowners undertaking a renovation may either reap rewards come resale, or regrettably find themselves in the red. The latter, says Scott Robinson, president of the Appraisal Institute, is more likely—somewhat.

“Home improvement projects are not necessarily investments in which a homeowner should expect a dollar-for-dollar return,” explains Robinson, who oversees the nation’s largest association of real estate appraisers. “Rather, these projects can increase the likelihood of a sale, or that a property will be comparable to other properties in a neighborhood.”

Robinson advises renovators to consider if the improvement is in keeping within what’s standard in the community.

“Projects that take a home significantly beyond community norms are often not worth the cost when the owner sells the home,” Robinson says. “If the improvements don’t match what’s standard in a community, they’ll be considered excessive.”

Robinson notes renovators may find it best to hold off on large-scale projects if they’re unsure of how long they’ll be in their home. Generally, the longer a homeowner stays in a home, the greater the opportunity for a return on investment.

A real estate appraiser can conduct a feasibility study, which offers an unbiased analysis of what the home would be worth before and after a project. During the study, the appraiser will analyze the property, weigh the cost of rehabilitation, and provide an estimate of the property’s value before and after the improvement.

Currently, the projects with the highest expected return on investment (ROI) are attic insulation, manufactured stone veneer and a garage door replacement, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. Other projects with potential payoffs are an entry door replacement and a minor kitchen remodel.

Source: Appraisal Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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