The Six Best DIY Tips to Prep Your Home for Sale

It’s common for home sellers to make big, sweeping improvements on their homes right before they sell. But while it’s true that buyers may prefer a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, you won’t recoup the cost of that major upgrade when selling.

If you’re hoping to sell in the next year, it’s best to put your money towards small changes that have a big impact. Here are the six best DIY tips to prep your home before selling.

  1. PRETEND TO BE A BUYER AND PULL UP TO YOUR HOUSE: Imagine you’re seeing your home for the first time. Make sure it looks clean and inviting by clearing the sidewalks, and trimming or updating the landscaping.
  2. POWER-WASH THE EXTERIOR: Instead of repainting your home, try power-washing it to freshen the exterior. Paint the trim (preferably white) to give it an extra pop.
  3. PAINT ONLY WHAT’S NEEDED INSIDE: Try to avoid repainting every room, if you can. Focus on touching up the areas with scuffs or holes from previous wall hangings.
  4. WASH YOUR WINDOWS: Buyers “love” light and there’s no easier way to add light to a room than to make sure the windows are clean. Be sure to wash both inside and outside, and consider hiring a professional if you have hard to reach windows.
  5. QUICK KITCHEN UPDATES: Buyers love an updated kitchen, but it’s not worth your money to gut the whole thing. If you have old wooden cabinets, consider painting them white, and adding new hardware and a chic back-splash. If your lighting fixtures scream mid-90’s, replace them with inexpensive modern versions.
  6. THE GARAGE IS NOT A DUMPING ZONE: The last thing you want potential buyers to think is that you don’t have enough storage in your home. If need be, rent a storage unit for any furniture or boxes that don’t fit easily in your home and garage. Buyers may need a certain number of garage spaces for their vehicles or even a boat, so it’s important they see each stall ready for use.

PLUS: WHAT’S NOT WORTH FIXING? Unless your’e planning to stay in your home for a few years, don’t bother with an addition or attic upgrade, home office revamp, swimming pool, or full kitchen remodel. These projects will cost more than they’ll earn you back upon resale.

Thinking of selling soon? Give Mike Conroy a call to talk about local market conditions and what’s going on in the Greater Burlington Area at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

Three Reasons You Should Hire an Agent

The rate of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) homes has been decreasing steadily for the last decade. In 2016, FSBOs accounted for just 8% of home sales.

Why do 87% of home sellers use an agent to sell their home?
Today’s buyers are web-savvy, and expect homes to be marketed on national home search sites that FSBO sellers often forget about. Agents can also help with negotiation and to streamline the closing paperwork. Plus, sellers who use an agent usually make more on their home sale, even after paying an agent’s commission.

But don’t take our word for it — there are plenty of stats showing that hiring an agent is the smart choice. Check out these facts about hiring an agent vs. selling your home FSBO.

Thinking of selling soon? Give Mike Conroy a call to talk about local market conditions and what’s going on in the Greater Burlington Area at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

Six Homeowner Hacks You Can Put to Use when Selling

Whether you’re prepping for a home showing, or your in-laws coming to town, it’s hard to clean every last nook and cranny of your home. Sometimes, you just need some quick and easy hacks to fake it. Try these Six Homeowner Hacks the night before and they’ll keep your home looking clean and smelling fresh:

  1. Ammonia in the oven will loosen hardened spills in the oven and you can easily wipe it clean.
  2. Putting Lemon KoolAid in the dishwasher will help clean stains.
  3. Put vanilla in a mug or ramekin in the oven for the smell of baking.
  4. Put dryer sheets on a fan for a quick deodorizer of a stinky room.
  5. Microwave a bowl of water for 2-3 minutes. The steam loosens spills, then easily wipe clean.
  6. Clean the drain with common household items. Boil a pot of water, and then pour down the drain. Then follow with 1/2 cup of baking soda. Let it sit for 3 minutes. Then pour 1 cup of hot water combined with 1/2 cup of of vinegar on top.

Thinking of selling soon? Give Mike Conroy a call to talk about local market conditions and what’s going on in the Greater Burlington Area at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

 

3 Tips for Selling Your Home Fast

Did you know that nine in ten buyers will search for homes online? In today’s hyper-connected world, you may be wondering how sellers can be just as savvy as the online house hunters.

When it comes to selling your home fast and for the right price, the best solution is to work with an agent who understands your local market conditions. Together, we can work to price your home fairly, with a value that drives in showings, buyers and potential offers. But first, we’d want to assess the local market and put ourselves in the shoes of the buyer.

Here are three tips to learn how to sell your home quickly:

1. Know Your Local Market. Across the country, we’re still in a seller’s market, and price gains are slowing. But it’s important to look at local conditions, right down to the homes that just sold down the road, when selling your home. Check the value of your home here, and reach out if you’d like to discuss it further. This is an estimating tool based on homes that have sold in your neighborhood. It may not take into consideration improvements you’ve made to your home, and we can talk about that.

2. Focus on the First Few Weeks. In today’s market, buyers don’t have a ton of inventory to look over. For real estate in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle and Addison Counties for the first half of the year, inventory for single family homes was down -5.87% and -7.96% for condos. So when a home lags on the market, buyers often become suspicious. That’s why the first two weeks are the most important for sellers, even if you aren’t in a rush to sell your home. Together, we can determine the “sweet spot” for your asking price — high enough that you get what you need to move on, but low enough that buyers bite early on. Then, we’ll determine the best marketing strategy to pull in early showings and quick offers.

3. Think Like a Buyer. More than 9 in 10 buyers will search for homes online, so buyers in your area will know what features are standard in homes like yours. Before you list, look up local homes and see what kind of condition they’re in. Do they all have updated, modern kitchens? Open floor plans? Perfectly staged rooms? Now think realistically about how your home compares. If it stacks up, then you should have no problem selling within the same price range as those homes. If your home could use a lot of work, then we’ll have to work together to find a fair price for the property. We can also make some inexpensive visual fixes, like replacing hardware or light fixtures, painting bold rooms, and staging the home so it appears more neutral to buyers. And remember, if your home is in better condition than most around you, you can edge the price higher, or wait for multiple offers to roll in!

If you have any questions about buying, selling, or relocating to Vermont, contact Mike Conroy at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

How to Stage Your Home, Room by Room, to Sell

Sure the dishes are put away, but are the light fixtures gleaming? Does the refrigerator smell fresh? Did you remove all the incoming mail from that countertop in the corner?

Even on its cleanest day, your house isn’t quite ready for a buyer home showing. To have the most success in selling your home, it’s important that you prep each room in a certain way. In the staging guide below, we break down how to prep each room in your home to sell.

And don’t forget, if you are serious about selling this year, it’s important to know how much your home is worth in today’s market and you can find that out on our website here. If you have any questions about buying and selling real estate contact Mike Conroy at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

The real estate market in strong right now and there are several ways to increase the value of your home. From the big kitchen and bathroom renovations, to smaller things you can do on a day-to-day basis, keep this infographic and short list handy.

How to Add Value to Your Home

  • Add Finished Square Footage – Finish off the basement or add a room over the garage. Adding finished off square footage should always increase the value of your home.
  • Fresh Paint – Fresh paint should never be under estimated because it can go a long way! For $25-40 you can easily transform a room.
  • Stay on Top of Regular Maintenance – If daily maintenance gets deferred for too long, like a leaky toilet or broken appliances, the value of your home drops. Stay on top of those issues as they come up. Before doing any cosmetic upgrades, tackle the “honey-do” list first and it may save you thousands of dollars in the long run!
  • Upgrade Flooring – From radiant flooring to laminate, there are all types of options for every budget and you can still have a big impact on the value of your home. The Old House says, “For an estimated average investment of $600 to $900, brokers report that the return in value comes in at up to $2,000.”
  • Lawn Care & Curb Appeal – Prune the bushes, water the flowers, cut dead tree limbs… make sure the exterior of the house looks inviting. You can never get a second chance to make a first impression.

If you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in Vermont, contact Mike Conroy at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

5 Reasons Why to Sell Your Home in the Summer

Summer is one of the best times of the year to sell your home, and it even has some advantages to early spring. Here are some great reasons why you should considering sell your home while the market is hot during the “dog days of summer”.

1. Demand is Strong
There are a lot of qualified buyers looking during the summer months, and because of that, there are often multiple offers made on homes. Price your house well, during a peak summer month, in front of oodles of buyers, and you may very well have a bidding war on your house!

2. There is Less Competition for You
There is not enough inventory to satisfy all of the buyers who are looking for homes.

3. There is a Sense of Urgency
Because many buyers are on summer vacation with their children, and school starts late August or early September, there are a great deal of buyers who just want to get settled, or under contract, before school or all sports begin; before the hustle and bustle starts. Or before the holidays…

4. Longer Days & More Daylight in the Summer
Buyers have the ability to look at a lot more homes after work in the summer because they have a lot more daylight. During July, sunset isn’t until 8:30 p.m. whereas in December sunset around 4:30 p.m.

5. Curb Appeal is at its Peek
Summer is the best month to show off the lawn and your flower beds. Certainly in Vermont we’re fortunate to have four seasons, but you can’t showcase a beautiful yard when it’s buried under 2 feet of snow, or even worse… during “mud-season” in March and April.

If you have a pool, summer is the only time of the year to really highlight this asset of your home. Make sure to keep the water clean, balanced, and skimmed. For showings, make your back-yard look like an oasis with all the pool toys hidden. To freshen up your patio set, buy a couple outdoor patio pillows to add some color.

Curious if now is the time to sell your home? If you have any questions about buying and selling real estate contact Mike Conroy at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

11 Common Home Seller Mistakes

Selling your home can be difficult. It’s often times an emotional, stressful, and time-consuming process. We’ve put together this list of costly seller mistakes to help you if you’re thinking of selling your home.

1. Incorrectly Pricing Your Home
It is important to have access to the latest comparables on the market, have an unbiased approach, and price the house competitively. Homes that are priced too high end up sitting on the market for a long period of time and typically result in multiple price reductions and lower offers from buyers who feel less urgency.

2. Underestimating Curb Appeal
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. Make sure to keep the lawn mowed, leaves raked, gardens and walkways weeded, sideway cleared, and bushes trimmed. Paint window trim, plant some bright flowers, and be sure to pick up any trash or debris that might have dropped or blown on your property.

3. Being Too Emotionally Involved
Sellers need to emotionally detach from the house when selling their home. This is a real estate transaction, and they need to think like a businessperson, with a financial perspective.

4. Bad Photos
According to Realtor.com, 92% of homebuyers begin their search online; they begin their search with images. Sellers should not rely on iPhone photos or taking their own pictures. A good real estate photographer doesn’t just photograph rooms – they capture the home’s character, personality and charm.

5. Postponing Repairs
A home that has little to no differed maintenance is more likely to get a higher priced (or full priced offer) than a home needing obvious repairs. When sellers don’t take the time to repair problems prior to the home going on the market, they typically get a lower offer and the buyer asks for money back at closing to go toward repairs.

6. Not Taking the Time to Prepare the Home for Sale
Take some time to de-clutter, tackle the honey-do list, clean, and depersonalize your home so buyers can imagine themselves in your home. See our Top 10 Tips for Prepping Your Home for Sale

7. Attending All Showings
Buyers need to be able to imagine themselves in a space and they can’t always if the sellers are home. Additionally, buyers are less likely to give honest feedback directly to the seller so not to hurt any feelings.

8. Refusing to Negotiate
Sellers should always start with a fair and competitive price, but also be flexible for negotiating.

9. Not Disclosing Everything Upfront
Disclose everything about the home in appropriate disclosures upfront. If you’ve had pests, water in the basement, or even a leaky toilet for the past month. When buyers uncover issues that weren’t disclosed – through the inspection or after the sale – it can often times turn into an expensive problem (or lawsuit) for the seller.

10. Not Hiring a Realtor
There are many different layers to selling a house. Hire a skilled professional who can help you with preparation, pricing, marketing, negotiating, and to be your advisor during this process. Transitions often times get complicated once they’re under deposit, depending on the various types of contingencies that have to be met.

Selling your home with an agent could net you $60,000 more on the sale of your home. The National Association of Realtors 35th anniversary edition of the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report indicates homes sold with an agent or broker received a median of $245,000 in 2016 compared to the median selling price of $185,000 for For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) home sales. The price drops even lower to $168,300 when the FSBO knew the buyer. Selling For-Sale-By-Owner could cost you $76,700 (1). Hire a professional.

11. Selecting a Realtor for the Wrong Reasons
People often times feel obligated to work with a family member or friend who is Realtor, as opposed to selecting an based on their sales experience. Real estate is usually our greatest asset, and it should be trusted to someone most qualified.

Want to find out how much your home is worth? Visit here or contact Mike Conroy at 802-363-3356 or mike@conroyandcompany.com.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003.

Source:

(1) Riggs, Amanda. “Homes Sell For More With A REALTOR® Than If You Sell Solo, Research Says.” Economists Outlook. N.p., 2016. Web. 07 June 2017.

10 Tips to Get Your Home Ready to Sell

Consider these 10 tips when preparing your property for sale so that your home will appeal to more buyers and hopefully sell in the shortest amount of time possible:

1. Declutter – One of the most important steps in preparing for your home to sell is to minimize the clutter. If you have a lot of clutter, do this step first. Put away piles of bills and mail, shoes by the door, books & knickknacks from the bookcases, and toys from playrooms. Tidy and pack up closets and kitchen cabinets. You want the buyer to admire the spaces in your home, not to be distracted by the messes.

2. Depersonalize – Depersonalizing your home is also extremely important because it can prevent buyers from getting distracted by your belongings and personal taste, and allow them to envision themselves living in the home. You’ll want to make sure to pack up the following – or at least have it put away for showings:

  • Personal photos
  • Certificates and awards
  • Collections
  • Religious decor or artifacts
  • Toiletry items – toothbrushes, bars of soap, medications, bathrobes, makeup, etc.

3. Clean – Once the home has been decluttered, it’s time to clean, clean, clean! If the home hasn’t had a good deep cleaning, hire professional cleaners. It will be easier for you to keep up with the cleanings prior to showings once the home has had a good base clean. If you have carpets, make sure they get shampooed.

4. Offensive Odors – Every home has a scent to it, and most of us are immune to the scent in our own house. Your home undoubtedly has a scent if you cook with a lot of spices, if you have any pets, if a smoker has lived (or currently lives) in the home, or if you have old carpets. You might have a mold and mildew smell in the bathrooms. Consult with your Realtor about the scent of your home and their thoughts for improvements for showings.

5. Paint Colors – The red wall might look great with your décor, but it just isn’t for everyone. If you have large walls with bold colors, it’s best to paint them to a standard beige.

6. Wallpaper – If your home has wallpaper older than 10 years old, consider removing it (not painting over) because it could probably appear dated.

7. Let Light Shine In – Make sure to open your blinds and drapes before showings. Allowing as much light in as possible is key! Sometimes cleaning the windows will also make your home feel exponentially brighter.

8. Complete the Honey-Do List – Need to fix a leaky shower head? Replace a broken tile? Remove a busted fence? Paint the garage floor? Do all the little items on your to-do list prior to listing your home. A buyer will have more confidence in a home without a lot of deferred maintenance.

9. Boost Curb Appeal – Make sure to keep the lawn mowed, leaves raked, gardens and walkways weeded, sideway cleared, and bushes trimmed. Paint window trim, plant some bright flowers, and be sure to pick up any trash or debris that might have dropped or blown on your property.

10. Feng Shui – A little Feng Shui can go a long way. Don’t position the backs of furniture to face entry ways, place toilet seats down, and don’t block windows with big furniture like beds or dressers.

If you are interested in selling or would like advice from an agent on our team, complete a form on our website or just send your info in via email.

Conroy & Company is a Keller Williams Vermont team of Realtors located in South Burlington, Vermont. Our mission is to serve our clients with the highest level of personal commitment to helping them reach their goals. Our focus is to bring the latest technology and marketing skills to our clients, and do so in the most personal, hands on way possible. Our collaborative, strength in numbers approach to exceeding your expectations, has helped keep us in the top 2% of Vermont agents/teams ever since 2003. Questions? Contact Mike Conroy – mike@conroyandcompany.com or 802-363-3356