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

5 Inexpensive Steps to a Speedy Home Sale

February 5, 2015 1:33 am

If you’re a homeowner considering a move, you may be wondering what’s next. Do I need to renovate the kitchen? Repaint the exterior? Replace the flooring? Before taking on a costly remodel, consider this: these measures don’t always recoup the highest percentages in return. Many sellers have much more success by investing in upgrades that boost their home’s value in the process. The best part? Both sides of the transaction profit.

Consumer Reports recommends completing these updates:

1. Paint key rooms.
In the grand scheme of things, painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen up your home for sale, but it can cost up to $300 a room if you’re hiring a pro to do your entire home. Save big by painting just a few select areas: high-traffic rooms, like the kitchen and bathrooms, and rooms with brightly-painted walls. You can save even more by doing the project yourself – a gallon of paint averages about $30.

2. Spruce up the exterior.
Your home’s exterior is the first impression for many buyers online and in person. Aside from keeping up with maintenance like mowing the lawn and trimming shrubs, assess the outside of your home for any repair work – a fading front door, cracked siding or a loose step – that needs to be completed before selling. And don’t forget about the roof. If it needs to be replaced, choose an inexpensive but durable option, like standard, three-tab asphalt shingles. They cost approximately $75 per 100 square feet, including installation.

3. Upgrade the bathroom.
Bathrooms can become a point of contention for buyers if they’re not in tip-top shape. Rather than taking on an expensive renovation, make minor upgrades that have an impact. Caulk the tub, re-grout tile, and install new fixtures. Larger, less costly fixes are also a possibility if you know where to look – a new vanity, for instance, can cost less than $1,000 if you shop around.

4. Make kitchen repairs.
Buyers want to be wowed by the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to make that happen. Focus on making repairs that cost well under $500, like tightening a leaky faucet or eliminating burn marks on countertops. For a cheap alternative to repainting your cabinets, consider updating your hardware in a modern finish.

5. Clean, clean, clean.
Even if the home has been renovated top to bottom, a messy appearance can be the ultimate deal breaker. Fortunately for sellers, de-cluttering and de-personalizing doesn’t have to cost a dime. A short list that will help buyers visualize living in the home:
- Vacuum, dust and wipe all surfaces regularly while your home is on the market.
- Pare down closets to the bare essentials.
- Replace family or otherwise personal photos with neutral wall art.
- Cut clutter in cabinets and on bookshelves.
- Keep counter and tabletops clear, especially during an open house.
If the project is overwhelming, consider hiring a professional cleaning service or organizer to cut through the chaos. A pro can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,500.

Source: Consumer Reports

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Pricing Tactics Every Smart Shopper Knows

February 4, 2015 1:27 am

Are you digging out of debt from holiday spending? Retailers use several tactics to entice shoppers to spend more, especially during seasonal sales. Understanding these ploys can help you avoid accumulating more debt by overspending. During your next shop, arm yourself with a budget and knowledge of these pricing strategies.

Store Perception Can Lead to Increased Spending
There’s a reason why retailers spend big bucks on branding. According to a profile in the New York Times Magazine, shoppers are willing to pay more for an item if it came from a store perceived as high-quality. To avoid falling into this trap, shop around for everyday items. A white T-shirt, for example, can be well-made without being pricey.

Costs of Big-Ticket Items Makes Small Items Seem Worth It

On your next shopping trip, remember to keep things in perspective. Retailers will often place smaller items near big-ticket ones to justify a higher price – a $100 tablecloth is not worth $100 just because it’s sitting on a $5,000 table, for instance.

“Sale” Keyword Affects Perceived Value

Discounts compel shoppers to spend whether the price is saving them money or not. When comparing items, do the math before purchasing. An item for sale may not be worth its cost, especially when up against a regularly-priced item for less.

Prices Ending in 9 Mean Little to a Store’s Bottom Line

The majority of retailers use the 99 cents strategy to trick shoppers into thinking that the item really doesn’t cost the rounded-up whole number. That one cent may be a drop in the bucket for retailers, but it can burn a hole in your wallet if you’re not careful. Train your brain to look past this tactic to save the most cash.

Items Priced without Commas Seem Less Expensiv
e
According to a Journal of Consumer Psychology study, higher prices broken up with commas appear much less costly to shoppers – $2799, for example, reads cheaper than a $2,799 tag. Some stores use commas and others don’t, so look for the lowest price when shopping around.

Source: Apartment Therapy

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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