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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Articles Tagged "Home-selling tips"

Live, Love, Long Island Blog Home

Buy a home | 24 Posts
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November
29

Sellers: These Upgraded Appliances Bring Better ROI

Appliance ROI - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Upgrading your appliances will make everything from cooking to cleaning a little easier and a little more energy-efficient. There's no question that when it comes to appliances, some are worth their weight in gold. And, some will add a little gold to your bank account when you sell your home. As you consider your options, our REALTORS® recommend closely looking at the following appliances that will give you a significant return on your investment. 

  • Air Conditioner
    Hot and muggy summer days are not a good time to find out the AC isn't up to the task of keeping you cool and comfortable. Across generations, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers alike all agree that a high-efficiency air conditioner is a premium selling point. Installing a new air conditioner will enhance your comfort, lower your utility bills, and attract buyers when you put the home on the market.

  • Energy-Efficient Furnace
    Most furnaces last between 10-15 years. Over time, they lose efficiency and require increasingly frequent (and costly) repairs. Upgrading your furnace before you sell your home puts a prospective buyer's mind at ease. It also shows that you care about the home's condition and have invested in systems that enhance comfort and reduce utility costs.

  • Built-In Stove
    Standalone stoves are so 1990. As homes and technology have evolved, so too have the ways we use the kitchen. Built-in stoves are designed to minimize the mess and streamline the kitchen. When the stove is not in use, it blends into the background and becomes out of sight, out of mind. 

  • Energy-Efficient Washers and Dryers
    Washing machines and dryers are the hardest-working appliances in your family's home. They're also the two machines that suck up the most energy. Upgrading to a high-efficiency washing machine and dryer isn't cheap, but it's worth it. Not only will you save money on your monthly utility bills, but they will also do a better job of keeping your clothes clean and in good condition, thus keeping your wardrobe nice and sharp.

  • Modern, High-Efficiency Refrigerator
    Water and ice dispensers are nice, but almost every refrigerator has these. If you want your refrigerator to stand out, you'll want to select one that has French doors and an Energy Star rating. As with washers and dryers, refrigerators consume significant quantities of energy each day. Every little bit you can trim pays off in the long run.

Are you noticing a trend? That's because there is an overarching trend that relates to all appliances. Whatever you choose to install, pay close attention to the energy efficiency of the system. As utility rates continue to rise and eco-consciousness grows, the desire for increasingly efficient appliances is a trend that is guaranteed to gain steam in the future.  

Are you considering which appliances to bring into your life? Contact us, and we will be happy to tell you what our clients are eager to see and the trends we see emerging within Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

June
7

Retirees: Why Downsizing Could Be a Great Decision

Should You Downsize? - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

If you're a baby boomer who's close to retirement or already retired, it may be time to sell your home. With current home prices at an all-time high and multiple buyers competing for properties, our REALTORS® are witnessing a seller's market that's booming. Downsizing right now may be a great decision for your golden years.

In Nassau and Suffolk counties, home sales are competitive. Buyers are flooding the market looking for properties that suit their lifestyle and finances. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price for all types of homes has jumped 14.6% from prices just one year ago, especially in the suburbs where low inventory is pushing prices up even higher. If retirement is on the horizon, selling your home could provide many benefits.

Selling Your Home

Selling your home in such a competitive market can actually save you money. With so many buyers looking for homes, you may save money on home repairs and upgrades. You don't need to do a major renovation to attract interested buyers, just concentrate on necessities.

  • Check the Roof
    The roof is an important home feature that protects against inclement weather conditions and interior damages. Before listing your home, inspect your roof for damages such as cracked or missing shingles, water leaks, sun damage, rusted gutters, and signs of tree and insect damages. There's no need to replace your roof just because it's old.

  • Check Mechanical Systems
    It's important to make sure major mechanical systems are working properly. This includes your heating and air conditioning system (HVAC), hot water heater, and all major appliances. Homebuyers are often hesitant to purchase a home with mechanical problems because repairs can be quite costly. If you have mechanical issues, some buyers will accept a home warranty at closing that covers the first year.

  • Invest in Minor Upgrades
    Homebuyers place a lot of emphasis on a home's upkeep. If a home looks run down, buyers may assume the home has major unseen problems, as well as visible cosmetic problems. Before you list your home, spend some time and money on minor repairs and upgrades that buyers will notice. Waxing floors, shampooing carpets, painting walls and trim, and re-caulking sinks and tubs can make a big difference.

  • Declutter Your House
    If you're approaching retirement, you may have lived in your current home for 20 or 30 years. You've likely accumulated a variety of household items that are filling your cabinets, closets, and storage areas. Homes that feel cluttered and unorganized can send potential buyers right out the door. To make sure your home feels comfortable and appealing, get rid of unwanted items, clean out cabinets and closets, replace worn-out rugs and window treatments, and give your home a good cleaning before you put it on the market.

    Selling your home may be a good way to fund your lifestyle during retirement. Downsizing to a smaller home may allow you to pay cash for the property and put some money aside for things you want to do such as decorating a new home, buying a new car or boat, visiting family and friends, exploring new hobbies, and traveling to favorite destinations.

If you're interested in Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help you find available properties that fit your lifestyle and finances. Contact us to see how downsizing can create an easier, less stressful, and more enjoyable retirement.

May
3

How to Find the Perfect Paint Color the First Time

Getting Paint Right the First Time - Coach Realtors

Giving your home's interior a fresh coat of paint is a quick, affordable way to update design style, even when you have a limited budget. Our REALTORS® know that new paint can quickly transform a drab, outdated room into a room with spectacular ambiance and style that appeals to homebuyers.

Choosing the right paint color is essential for a well-designed space, but it can be a difficult task. With thousands of colors that range from pale neutrals to bright bold hues, finding the perfect paint color is often a frustrating and costly experience that leads to repainting. To get it right the first time, interior design pros recommend these important design tips.

  • Don't Start With the Paint
    Choosing your paint color first may seem like an easy way to get things started, but it's not a good idea unless your room is completely empty. Most people have existing furnishings and accessories they plan to keep, so paint must coordinate with existing items. Unless you're starting with an empty house, it's much easier to choose a paint color that complements your existing décor, rather than choosing new décor that works with your paint color.

  • Work With Testers
    Working with testers helps you choose the right color the first time, so you don't waste time and money on repainting. Most paint brands now have small test cans of paint available for only a few bucks. You can paint tester strips directly on the wall or on separate pieces of poster board that can be moved around the room. Whichever method you choose, leave the test areas up for a week to see how colors change at different times of day and in different light.

  • Consider Undertones
    All paints have undertones that reflect different tints and shades, depending on how they are mixed. White paint comes in at least 100 different shades with undertones of yellow, orange, red, green, blue, and violet. A white paint with red undertones may appear pink on the wall, while green undertones may give white paint a hint of mint or lime. Dark colors may also have undertones that impact light and density.

  • Consider the Light
    When choosing a paint color, it's essential to consider the amount of natural light the room gets during the day. If your room has several windows for sunlight, dark bold colors will be easier to live with, because the natural light will make them feel a little softer. If your room has no windows or minimal sunlight, you must rely on interior lighting, which can change paint colors due to incandescent, fluorescent, or halogen light bulbs.

  • Choose the Right Finish
    Paint finish is important because any sheen in the paint will accent flaws in the wall. When choosing a paint color, make sure you get the right finish for areas you are painting:
    • Flat Paint – Matte finishes are good for walls and ceilings because they have no sheen at all. They are recommended for stucco and textured walls and ceilings with uneven surfaces where paint colors can look distorted due to a build-up of paint.

    • Enamel Paint – These come in flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss finishes. Eggshell and satin finishes have a little sheen, while semi-gloss and high-gloss finishes have a lot. While sheen helps with cleaning, it also reflects light and highlights flaws.

If you're looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help you find your dream home. Contact us for opportunities in those areas.

March
15

Rooms in Your Home That Can Do Double Duty

Rooms That Can Do Double Duty - Sellers - Coach Realtors

If you're planning to put your Long Island home on the market, you'll want to highlight available space to potential buyers. Our REALTORS® are familiar with ways to squeeze every last bit of utility out of any space. In fact, there are many rooms in your house that can do double-duty to appeal to buyers.

  • Double Down in the Dining Room
    The dining room gets used for special events and holidays. The rest of the year it sits fairly empty. Adding book cabinets and a secretary desk can turn it into a cozy library or office space that buyers will appreciate when you decide to sell.

  • Craft Away in the Laundry Room
    Like the dining room, the laundry room can be so much more. It is the perfect space to transform into a craft area, workshop, or even an ad hoc home office. Cabinets, counters, built-in desks, and good lighting are the keys to making this double-duty transformation work.

  • Disappearing Guest Rooms
    If you have an extra bedroom dedicated as a guest bedroom, it is probably not a room you use all too often. While friends and family may come to visit from time to time, the rest of the time, the room goes unused. An easy fix is to transform it into a home office with a murphy bed inset within the walls. This allows you to use it as a comfortable home office throughout the year and convert it into a guest bedroom for that handful of days when family and friends are in town.

  • Fully Functional Family Rooms
    Kids need a place to play but not quite ready to sacrifice the living room? You can have both by building a play center in the corner of your family room. This allows the kids to swing, slide, climb, and more while you watch your favorite programs, spend time together, and more.

  • Home Gyms Double-up as Children's Daycare
    If you install mats, good lighting, a television, and a decent sound system, you can get twice the bang out of your home gym. Add in some cubbies for toys and books, a fold-down table, tiny chairs, etc., and you can get your workout before work, and the kids can take over the space while you are away for the day. Indeed, you will see this in many Nassau County homes for sale.

  • Build the Sunroom You Desire
    Sunrooms are the ultimate fun rooms buyers love. They can be used as an ad hoc library, TV room, breakfast room, family room, craft space, tea room, greenhouse, and anything you desire. These are some of the easiest additions to build, right on top of existing patio space.

Looking to put your house on the market among Suffolk County homes for sale? Contact us, and it will be our pleasure to help.

January
25

Sellers: Winter Is a Great Time To Declutter

Wintertime Decluttering Tips for Sellers - Coach Realtors

With the chilly winter temperatures and short days, winter is a fantastic time to organize your home. If you're ready to put your home on the market, our REALTORS® recommend decluttering your spaces so that your home is more appealing to potential buyers. Here are a few tasks to add to your to-do list so that your home looks its best. 

  1. Go Through Your Seasonal Stuff
    Start by going through your seasonal items, like holiday decor, yard tools, and weather-specific clothing. If you haven't used an item in the past year, consider if it's contributing to the life you want to live. Once you've pared down your seasonal belongings, store them in plastic storage boxes so that they'll be protected from the elements when not in use. Make sure to label what's in each box so you don't have to open several boxes to locate an item. Seldom-used seasonal items can take up a lot of space in your home and even make it appear smaller. If possible, transport the items to another location, like a storage unit or storage shed, when it's time to sell your home.
  1. Downsize Your Bedding and Bath Linens
    If you've been hanging onto all your old mismatched sheets and worn towels, it's time to downsize your collection. It's reasonable to keep three sets of bedding for each bed; this ensures that you have sheets and a backup set of bedding when one set is in the wash. Some individuals change their pillowcases more frequently than the rest of their bedding; if so, hold onto a few extra pillowcases. For your towels, aim to have three towels per person in your household. If someone likes to use a separate towel to dry their hair, it's reasonable to add two to three towels for this individual. Have three hand towels for each bathroom, and aim for five washcloths per person in your home. 
  1. Empty Out Your Kitchen Cabinets and Pantry
    Take everything out of your kitchen cabinets and pantry so that you can see exactly what you have. Get rid of anything that you haven't used in a year, anything that's worn out, or any item that you clearly have too many of. Tupperware or cookware that's missing a lid should also be tossed. For the remaining items, consider investing in cabinet shelves to better organize your belongings. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for and allow you to maximize the space in your cabinets. 
  1. Clear Our Your Toiletries and Cosmetics
    Don't let a surplus of makeup, lotions, and soaps overrun your bathroom. Instead, go through your personal care items and keep only the items that you love and regularly use. Check the expiration dates for your makeup to ensure that it isn't expired. Store what's left in a dedicated case or bag to keep your counter space clear. 

Ready to add your home to the list of Nassau County homes for sale? Interested in a home with more space? Contact us today to get started and start exploring Suffolk County homes for sale!

December
7

Put a Holiday Home Sale on Your Wish List

Holiday Home Sale - Coach Realtors

Cold winter weather combined with holiday distractions typically makes this the slowest time of the year for the housing market. However, current market conditions point to this winter's "slow" season being super hot! 

Our REALTORS® have been busy helping buyers who are anxious to find the perfect Nassau County homes for sale while interest rates are low. Other factors, like pent-up demand and low inventory, have made this a great time to put your home on the market. Here's a closer look at the reasons why this holiday season may be the best time to list your home.

  1. Low Housing Inventory
    In September of 2020, the total inventory of homes hit a record low of just 2.7 months of supply. At the same time, sales of existing homes were up 9.4%. Projections show that if sales continue at this rate, there's a possibility we could actually run out of homes for sale. 

    While this might not be great news for buyers, it makes now a very attractive time to put your home on the market.

  2. Pent-Up Demand 
    Spring is usually the best time to list your home since that's when buyer demand spikes. However, in 2020, spring marked the beginning of pandemic lock-downs that caused the real estate market to grind to a halt. Now that things are starting to open back up, buyers are eager to jump back into their home search.

  3. A Need to Upsize 
    The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about the way we live. Many people are working and schooling at home. Almost everyone is spending more of their free time at home as well. This has resulted in a large group of buyers who are fed up with their current spaces and ready to make a move.

    Each day, we talk to buyers who are looking for Suffolk County homes for sale with features like large back yards and extra space for a home office. 
  1. Low Interest Rates
    Mortgage interest rates also recently hit the 12th record low of the year. This puts them at the lowest they've been in over 50 years! Many buyers who realize they can save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of their mortgage by buying now are out on the prowl for a suitable home.

  2. Bidding Wars 
    All of these factors have combined to create the best seller's market we've experienced in quite some time. Not only are many sellers getting top dollar for their homes, but bidding wars sometimes result in offers climbing well above the asking price. In fact, according to Realtor.com, in September of 2020, the median home price was up 11.1% compared to the previous year. The price per square foot was also up by 13.9% year-over-year.

  3. Delayed Economic Consequences 
    It's possible that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will cause a sharp decline in the economy. However, it's unlikely that this will impact the real estate market at least for a few months. If you've been thinking about selling, doing it now before more uncertainty strikes again could be your best bet. 

If a home sale is on your holiday wish list, Coach Realtors can help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment. 

November
16

Home Inspection How-To for Sellers

Home Inspection How-To - Sellers - Coach Realtors

After preparing your home to add to the inventory of Nassau County homes for sale, you've accepted an offer. While it may feel like the hard work is over, you still have to make it through the home inspection. Unfortunately, it's common for real estate deals to fall through due to a poor home inspection. Here are a few tips home sellers should follow throughout the home inspection process. 

  1. Leave Your Property During the Home Inspection
    While it's common for homebuyers to attend a portion or even all of a home inspection, our REALTORS® recommend that the home seller leave their home during the inspection. You're only going to be nervous and anxious watching someone spend hours combing your home looking for problems.

    Your presence may also be awkward for the buyer. Pack up your family (including your pets) and vacate your home during the inspection.

  2. Declutter and Move Large Items Before the Inspection
    See that you move any clutter or large items that may be obscuring items or areas that the inspector will want to examine. For example, if your electrical panel is usually behind a large set of shelving, move the shelving unit so that the inspector has easy access. 

    The inspector can't move your belongings during the inspection. If the inspector can't inspect an area, the buyer may be leery of continuing with the deal.

  3. Decide if a Pre-Inspection is Right for Your Home
    Before they list their home with the Suffolk County homes for sale, some sellers arrange a pre-inspection. As the name suggests, a pre-inspection is a home inspection that occurs before the house is put on the market. 

    The idea behind a pre-inspection is that it gives you a chance to fix any issues that might pop up during a home inspection (or at least informs you of potential problems). Aren't sure whether your home is impacted by a specific type of issue, such as an outdated electrical system? In that case, the pre-inspection will let you know if it's an issue. 

    An argument against a pre-inspection is that it might uncover a lot of minor issues that won't be a big concern with homebuyers. You're unlikely to recoup all of the money that you spend making repairs for any issues detected by the pre-inspection.

  4. Understand What Is and Isn't an Issue
    Every home inspection reports problems with a home, even if the property has been well-maintained. You need to know what issues are high-level problems; these are the items that are likely to be potential dealbreakers if you can't come to a resolution with the buyer about how to handle them. Any problems that involve code violations or a health issue will likely require your attention before your deal can close. The issues include:
  • Water damage
  • Problems with the home's structural integrity (like foundation issues)
  • Plumbing problems
  • Unreliable HVAC systems
  • Roof damage
  • Damage to the electrical system
  • Problems with the subflooring 
  1. See That Your Utilities are All Turned On
    If you're still living in the home, this tip might not be necessary, but if you've already moved, make sure that all your utilities (like your water, electricity, and gas) are turned on. The inspector needs these items to work to test your home's major systems. 

Have more questions about selling your home? Contact us today for assistance!

November
9

5 Tips to Make a Splash in Your Kitchen

Update Kitchen Backsplash - Coach Realtors

Whether you're fully remodeling your kitchen or just giving it a bit of a facelift, choosing the right backsplash is one of the most important decisions in the design process. When showing homes, our real estate agents find that a kitchen's backsplash can have a make-it-or-break-it effect. It might not be a large space we're talking about, but it puts the finishing touches on your new look and ties everything together.

Here are five tips to help you pick the right backsplash for your kitchen.

  1. Try Before You Buy
    How materials and paint colors look in the store, under harsh fluorescent lighting, is one thing; how they'll look in your home is quite another. Never commit to anything before taking samples home with you. Prop the backsplash samples up against your existing backsplash, along with other samples you are considering, and just live with them for a few days. Notice how they look as the lighting in your kitchen changes throughout the day, and how they coordinate with other samples such as paint chips.

  2. Be Practical
    It's natural to want your kitchen to look the best your money can buy, but don't forget to be practical, too. Make choices that will help you stay within budget and also think about your purchases as an investment. What materials will wear the best over time, stay in fashion the longest, be the easiest to clean, and require the least maintenance? For example, some tile is very porous and may be difficult to clean, especially over the stove where grease from cooking is likely to find all the nooks and crannies. And marble, while very attractive, will need to be sealed with special chemicals once a year to maintain its look long term.

  3. Coordinate, Don't Match
    Your backsplash may be an extension of your countertops, but don't make the common mistake of trying to match the two perfectly to one another. Matching makes them blend together, rather than drawing the eye, the way you want to do. Instead, look for something that coordinates with your countertops and other design elements of your kitchen, but stands out a little from the rest.

  4. Choose a Great Grout
    Don't underestimate the importance of grout! Grout does more than just fill the spaces between the tile. A well-chosen grout sets the tile off, showing it to its best advantage. A quality grout is important for a long-lasting quality renovation, of course, but the color of your grout and how well it coordinates with the tile is also important.

  5. Make a Splash
    Most kitchen updates are fairly straightforward. There's not a lot you can do with a kitchen, other than picking out countertops and cabinet colors. Your backsplash is your chance to make a statement! It's a small space, so you can afford to take some risks, especially over the sink and stove, two important focal points in most kitchens. Spring for the better tile or do something a little different, like turning square tile on the diagonal.

The Importance of Kitchen Updates

Most real estate agents agree that the kitchen is one of the top areas of the home to invest in. It's the heart of every home, and everyone loves one that is attractive and well-appointed. If you're interested in listing your house among other Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help! Contact us today to start the process.

October
19

Seller Etiquette: Tips for a Thoughtful House Sale

Seller Etiquette - Coach Realtors

Did you know that your behavior and actions can affect the sale of your home? That's right. No matter how much effort you've put into cleaning, scrutinizing, and staging your home, one wrong move can easily put off potential buyers. Our REALTORS® have laid out seven etiquette rules that every seller needs to know to nail the deal.

  • Leave the House
    Of course, you're dying to see how potential buyers will react to your kitchen upgrade, but most REALTORS® agree that sellers should not be at home during a showing or open house. Buyers will feel uncomfortable when the owner is around and watching their every move. Leaving the house during those times gives buyers the space they need to visualize living there instead of being spied on. And don't be tempted to drop in to see how your open house is going or to pose as a buyer.

  • Take Your Pets With You
    Aside from you and your family leaving the house, it's also important to have a plan for pets. A playful kitten or barking dog running around the house during an open house or showing can be quite distracting. Not everyone is a pet person, and potential buyers could be allergic. Plus, your pet might be anxious and hostile with all the foot traffic and new faces. Provide a comfortable, stress-free environment for everyone by putting away any paraphernalia and taking your pet for a long walk, to the park, or for a drive.

  • Provide Parking
    Make it easy for prospective buyers to park and view the home. Parking issues are frustrating and a sure way to get a showing off to a bad start. If a potential buyer has to park far away and then walk to your home, they may just skip the home tour altogether. Or if they just decide to take the hike, they may be a little nervous or in a lousy mood. Leaving your car in the driveway also sends the message that there isn't enough parking space. Vehicles should be parked inside the garage with the door closed or somewhere down the street.

  • Provide Important Documents
    Buyers are more willing to put in an offer if they can find information about the home quickly and in writing. It is good selling etiquette to leave copies of necessary documents in an easy-to-find spot. Put out home warranty, home inspection report, monthly bill information, appraisal, and proof of any major repairs for buyers to peruse. Be sure to put away originals and any sensitive personal documents.

  • Respond Quickly to Offers
    When a buyer makes an offer, do your best to respond to it quickly, preferably within 24-48 hours. Take the time to go through the offer and think about it. While making a quick decision is a good gesture, this isn't a matter to be taken lightly either. If you want more time, inform your listing agent so they can try to negotiate an extension. Also, don't be insulted if you get a low-ball offer. Respond with a counteroffer and be willing to negotiate.

  • Listen to the Professionals
    You've done a great job of hiring a real estate agent you trust, but don't shoot the messenger. If your agent provides feedback or some suggestions for improvements that may help sell your home faster, listen to them, and don't allow your emotions to get in the way. This is a business transaction, and you need professional guidance to reach your goal of selling your property. Take criticism positively and move on.

Whether you're adding your home to the list of Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, our pros at Coach Realtors can help you show it off to its best advantage. Contact us to get started.

August
31

Home for Sale: The Art of Staging a Home to Sell

Using Art in Staging a Home - Coach Realtors

Our REALTORS® can tell you that properly staged homes frequently end up on must-see lists and spend substantially less time on the market. Sometimes, the real estate industry has a perception paradox that a neutral minimalist home provides the perfect space for potential buyers to envision themselves living there.

While home staging is all about de-personalizing the space, using eye-catching artwork can help your buyers create an emotional connection with your home. The imagery found in pictures and paintings adds another layer of meaning to your staging efforts. Here's how to use staging artwork.

  • Identify Your Target Audience
    While you may never know the particular tastes of prospective homebuyers, it's wise to err on the side of caution when staging your home. Steer away from images of people, family photographs, religious and political artwork, and inappropriate artwork. Your main goal is to help potential buyers envision themselves living in your house. If they see images of people or religious and politically-charged artwork, they will be reminded that they are strangers in the home. To appeal to a wider set of buyers, choose nature images, abstract artwork, figurative renderings, geometric shape, still life subjects, or figurative silhouettes.

  • Complement the Overall Style of Your Home
    You're not just selling your property, you're also selling the lifestyle that comes with it. A complete mishmash of décor can be very off-putting to potential buyers. Consider the mood for each room when hanging your artwork. Is it a bright and busy kitchen or an inviting and relaxed living area? Color is very important in artwork and home staging, with neutrals being the most popular option. But why not add pops of brightness to a room by complementing colors found around your rooms in accessories and pillows?

  • Fit the Scale of the Space
    The shape and size of the art should be scaled to the height and width of your walls. We can agree that the bigger a room looks the more appealing it is to homebuyers. So, putting a large piece of art in a small room is going to make it feel cramped. On the other hand, large rooms can appear uninviting and cavernous if they have blank walls. As such, you might consider using a large scenic piece or clustering several pieces together to make the room cozier.

  • Avoid Art That is Too Busy or Eye-Catching
    What emotions do you want to evoke with your artwork? While buyers will be evaluating many aspects of your home, it's likely that a particular subset of buyers will be more interested. Want to show off a classic wine cellar? An abstract artwork pointing to it will let the eye travel to the adjacent beautiful space. Have an outdoor infinity pool that you want to draw attention to? Complement it with pale blue pieces or art in the rooms leading up to it or with striking outdoor sculpture. Just make sure your art won't distract buyers from focusing on the home itself.

  • Create Balance
    Have you ever walked into a living room with pieces of art or pictures that were hung too far apart from each other, in no particular pattern, or with mismatched colors, styles, and frames? This is a common staging problem, especially with art that was received as a gift or bought without giving a thought to its color or size. In some cases, homeowners with high ceilings will place the art halfway up the wall, which can mean people pass right by it because it was placed higher than their heads. You want to make sure your wall art is hung correctly and the room is balanced. If you're hanging art over furniture, it should be at about 25% the width of the furniture.

Feeling overwhelmed at the thought your home stand out from other Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale? Our realtors can help you choose the best art, highlight your home's best features, and create an inviting vibe that will appeal to the right buyers. Contact us to learn more.

June
22

Where You Should Put Your Remodeling Dollars?

Remodeling ROI - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Everyone wants to live in a beautiful home. Warm weather means that most homeowners are making their way into the home improvement stores and dialing up contractors for those special projects around the house. Whether you plan to spend a little or a lot, our REALTORS® want you to get the most for your investment. Some remodeling projects are worth their weight in gold, while others will return pennies on the dollar. It's important to know which is which before you make your plans.

Golden Opportunities

You'll never get every penny you spend on remodeling back when you put the home on the market. However, the following will give you between 60-70% return. Where these investments are most valuable is in the foot traffic they'll generate from the listing.

  • Update the Kitchen. The kitchen is the heart and hearth of the home. It's a place to gather and relax, to entertain and enjoy the company of family and friends. Thus, it should be comfortable, open, and updated to reflect modern design tastes. Farm sinks, plenty of storage, and stainless steel will go a long way toward attracting the attention of prospective buyers.

  • Give the Master Bedroom a Facelift. The master bedroom is a retreat from work, family, and all the pressures on the other side of the door. Repainting and redecorating can give the bedroom a comfortable, relaxing ambiance.
         
  • Polish the Bathroom. No one wants to take a bath in a dingy, dark, cramped bathroom. updating your bathroom with new tile, updated fixtures, comfortable lighting, and a fresh coat of paint is an investment in your comfort and the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

  • Trim up the Landscape. Landscaping is often overlooked, but the fact is it's the first thing prospective buyers notice. Make sure that your grass is green, your trees are trimmed, and the flower beds look their best. If you don't have a green thumb, hire a professional landscaper to design an easy-to-maintain yard that blends into the neighborhood.

Money Pits to Avoid

  • Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs. These flashy amenities are fun. However, they're expensive to install and costly to maintain. Further, most people don't use them as much as they think they will. Most sellers only recoup a fraction of the installation costs when they sell their home.

  • Special-Purpose Rooms. It's great to have a nursery for your kids, a woodworking room for hobbies, and other special-purpose rooms. However, prospective buyers whose needs/interests don't match yours won't be willing to spend a premium for it; in fact, they'll likely ask for a price reduction so they can renovate it for their own special interests.

  • More Garage Space. Unless you have none or extremely limited garage space, most people are content with a one or two-car garage. At most, you'll get 60% of your investment back when you sell the home.

The Final Rule of Thumb

Whether you plan to spend $1,000 or $50,000 on renovations, one thing every homeowner needs to keep an eye on is the value of real estate in the area. There is no limit to how much you can spend, but there is a limit on what buyers will pay. One of the first things they'll look at is home values in the neighborhood. If your home is $100,000 more than a comparable home for sale down the street, they'll get the contract.

Contact us for more information about remodeling projects we recommend to our clients. It's our pleasure to help you choose upgrades and features that will stand out in the market. 

April
20

Prep Your Home for a Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour - Home Prep - Coach Realtors

In-person interactions and onsite tours are a huge part of the process of buying and selling homes. But in the era of the coronavirus, it's about staying home and taking preventative measures for decreasing the risk of the virus. It's not clear how long the social distancing mandates will stay in place, but so much like all interactions in this time, home selling and buying is moving online.

If you're selling your home this spring, you can rely on virtual tours to show the house to all of your potential buyers at once without them having to be physically present. Our REALTORS® have experience in staging virtual tours and can give you tips to get your home ready to create that oh-so-important first impression.

Virtual Tours for Real Estate

A virtual tour is an interactive tool that gives a 360° image of the interior and exterior of a building. It's created by stitching together a sequence of 360 photos to form a completely immersive visual experience for viewers. 

A virtual tour can also take place via a video chat app such as Google Duo, Zoom, or WhatsApp. In this scenario, the interested buyer requests a tour time online, and the agent uses the buyer's preferred app to show the home in real time.

Virtual Tour Preparedness Checklist

Keep in mind that a virtual tour will be similar to a live open house, but a camera can capture more than the eye can see. Make sure that the entire area is prepped ahead of the day you plan on recording the tour.

Outdoors

  • Spruce up your garden and lawn. Trim dead limbs and shrubbery around the home if necessary and remove empty planters
  • Mow the lawn and weed the garden. Make sure the entryway and driveway are free of clutter
  • Remove cars from the driveway and park them away from the property
  • Place trash cans, hockey nets, bikes, toys, boats, basketball poles, trailers, garden tools and supplies, and other distractions out of sight
  • Sweep walkways and pick up sticks, leaves, and branches
  • Make sure your yard and patio neat and straighten up any outdoor furniture and items
  • Clean pool area and remove all hoses

Living/Common Areas

  • Clean the rooms from top to bottom
  • Remove personal items, family photos, and religious artifacts
  • Open shades and blinds and make sure they are equally angled open
  • Move excess furniture out of rooms and re-arrange remaining furniture to make the room appear larger
  • Make sure the house is spotless by removing clutter, vacuuming the carpet, cleaning countertops, tidying up shelves, moping hard floors, and cleaning windows
  • Put away toys, pet bowls, beds, etc.

Kitchen

  • Clear off the kitchen counter
  • Stow small appliances and everyday items like toasters, kitchen utensils, soaps, cleaning items, dish towels, sponges, etc.
  • Empty the garbage can
  • Put away draining rack
  • Clear the sink of dishes
  • Store food in cabinets
  • Remove magnets and other items from the refrigerator door
  • Organize items on open shelves

Bathrooms

  • Ensure the bathroom is clean- mirrors, floors, counters, toilet, and all surfaces
  • Ensure toilet seat is down
  • Remove floor mats
  • Remove all items from shower and tub
  • Clear counters of toiletries and store away essential items used daily
  • Hang fresh towels neatly

Bedrooms

  • Make all beds
  • Keep end tables and all surfaces free of clutter
  • Arrange decorative pillows
  • Replace linens with modern, clean, crisp linens
  • Put away shoes and clothing

Putting in the extra effort to prepare and stage your house for a virtual tour will produce better images and hopefully create a faster sale. Consider working with the team at Coach Realtors to ensure that the tour shows off your home in its finest characteristics. Contact us to get started.

March
9

Spring Listings: How to Make Your Home Stand Out

Spring Stand Out - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Spring is often the busiest period of real estate activity in the year. And it makes sense because of the warm weather and the number of buyers actively searching for a new home during the season. But with all that comes competition, and the fact that you'll need to put in a bit of extra effort to showcase your property in the best light. Our REALTORS® share these spring selling tips to make your stand out in a crowded market

  • Create Curb Appeal
    Since the walkway, lawn, shrubs, and front are seen first, you want to put some extra effort into making these areas look as good as you can. Keeping the outside tidy, well-kept, and inviting will make buyers want to see the inside of your home. It's important to tidy your yard, fix dead or bald patches in the grass, keep the grass cut, maintain flowers and shrubs, clean up plants' pots, and edge along sidewalks. If you don't have any plants or flowers, it would be nice to get some because almost everyone likes flowers.

    Also, touch up or completely repaint your house to give it a new, fresh look. If you're feeling creative, get some exterior furniture to fill your visitors' minds with endless possibilities for garden parties and relaxation. Remember to freshen the shutters and improve the mailbox.

  • Declutter
    With the outdoor are of your home looking lively and well-maintained, you can focus on maximizing the property's interior and making it look livable. Nothing says "unappealing" like a property full of clutter. Help prospects focus on your home instead of the pile of coats and shoes by the entryway. Move things you no longer use and keep your home organized. Getting started is the most difficult part of decluttering, so take one room or part of a room at a time and get the work done.

    Some of the areas to declutter include entryways, bedrooms, kitchen, cabinets, closets, pantry, furniture, and electronic equipment. If you need to get rid of clutter, sell items online, have a garage sale, or donate anything you don't need.

  • Spring Clean
    Spring brings with it the feeling of renewal and a fresh start. Take advantage of the longer days and better weather to make your house sparkling clean. Polishing your floors, windows, mirrors, chrome fittings, light fixtures, walls, and furniture will make your home dazzle as the light stream in through the windows. Pull back all of your drapes and curtains and open windows to air it out and get rid of residual stuffiness. If you have pets, wash their toys, beds, and blankets. If cleaning is not your thing, get professionals to help you create a great impression on buyers.

  • Keep Things Neutral
    If you decide to put a fresh cost of paint on your walls, use neutral colors, along the lines of grey, beige with no extravagant elements that steal the show. It may sound counterintuitive to go neutral while trying to stand out. But neutral colors don't distract potential buyers. Instead, they allow buyers to picture their own lives unfolding in your home. If you're concerned about looking too bland, use accent colors for pillows or pretty flower vases around the house.

  • Do Pre-Inspection Repairs
    The need for repairs can cut back on your profits if the seller's inspector finds something wrong in your home. It usually costs less to make appropriate repairs before a home inspection. If you haven't maintained your home, consider hiring your own home inspector to conduct pre-inspection repairs before your home goes on the market. Among the things you would look at include HVAC, plumbing, structure and foundation, deck, electrical, presence of mold, deteriorated roofs, interior appliances, basements, crawlspaces, and attics.

These simple tips will make your home stand out from the crowd and maximize the impact it has on potential buyers. Our team can help you achieve your selling goals and develop a solid marketing strategy for your property. Contact us today to get started.

February
24

5 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Basement

Basement Updates - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Our REALTORS® around Long Island know it's those finishing touches that help sell a home. You may have everything going for you — great location, reasonable price, and good southern or eastern light — but a glimpse of the basement could be sending potential buyers elsewhere.

While the current state of your basement may turn off potential buyers, the good news is that it's not that hard to transform it from an eyesore to a major selling point. Even if your home's not on the market and you just want to enjoy some extra space in your basement, it probably won't take that much effort to make things livable and lovable downstairs. 

Here are some tips to start you thinking about your basement as a blank canvas where you can make your artistic vision take form.

  1. Clean and Organize
    If you use your basement for storage, that's fine — but just make sure everything looks spic and span. Remove clutter, getting rid of everything you don't need. Organize tools, supplies, whatever, in plastic bins and stack and store on shelves against the wall.

    Take steps to remove any dank or pet odors. A hint of mold can make your basement tough to hang out in, no matter how you pretty it up. Fix leaks or other conditions leading to dampness, then scrub away. You may have to add a portable dehumidifier to dry things out, or a fan to circulate the air. Some kind of exhaust ventilation may be called for. A word of caution: Go easy on the air fresheners. Strong fragrances used to cover up pet or other odors are usually a red flag to buyers.

  2. Let There Be Light
    Lack of lighting and limited electrical outlets can present one of the greatest challenges in an unfinished basement. Lighten things up with several strands of industrial string lights — just one outlet needed.

    You can also clean out window wells, washing those basement windows thoroughly! Take curtains down to let in natural light.

    If there are no windows, try brightening up the space with strategically placed lamps, or you may even want to spring for recessed lighting. Light blue hues in the decor can help compensate for low lighting; light-colored window treatments and walls can also chase away the dark.

  3. New Perspective on Flooring
    Get a new perspective by changing up your basement's floor. If you have concrete floors, consider painting them in a pleasing, light-reflective color. Want to turn your basement into an exercise room? Try adding square-cut foam floor mats, mixing and matching colors and patterns. Colorful rugs or even carpeting the floors can go a long way in helping to make the space more inviting.

  4. Multipurpose the Basement
    Although your basement may be dedicated to storage and utility purposes, you can still use the rest of the space for other fun purposes. A curtain or partition can block off the appliances (be careful not to interrupt airflow), so you can consider these uses:

    • Wet bar
    • Playroom
    • Entertainment center
    • Workout room
    • Workshop
    • Guest room
    • Art studio

  5. Finishing Touches
    Even if your basement is mostly utilitarian, you can add little touches that make it warmer and cozier. A rug in front of the washer and dryer, painted rafters or cinder block walls, or new liner paper on the shelves show love and care, inviting others into the space.

Our agents can advise you on all the right moves to stage your home, including sprucing up the basement. Contact us today.

January
13

Open House Prep: Don't Overlook These Rooms

Sell a House - Prep These Rooms - Coach Realtors

Between 20 and 30 percent of homebuyers report that they attend open houses to assist with their homebuying efforts. Our REALTORS® can help you prepare your home to sell and arrange an open house to showcase your home.

When preparing for an open house, it's easy to focus only on the main spaces in your home. However, to ensure buyers see everything your home has to offer, you need to make sure that every room is ready for scrutiny. Check out some of the rooms commonly overlooked by homeowners preparing to sell their homes.

  • The Foyer
    As potential homebuyers enter your home, the foyer is one of the first spaces to greet them. Make a good first impression by staging your foyer so that it appears like an integral part of your house. Remove clutter and overly personal items and store them out of view.

    Consider installing coat hooks and adding a storage system to the space to house outerwear and other necessities. Create an inviting atmosphere by adding fresh flowers or a potted plant.
     
  • The Laundry Room
    Since most homes have a laundry room, it can feel like an irrelevant space. However, an aesthetically pleasing laundry room is a huge appeal to potential homebuyers. It gives them hope that even basic tasks, like sorting dirty clothes, will be pleasant in your home. 

    Set the scene by giving the room a fresh coat of paint. Then, add shelves that will showcase and organize all your laundry supplies. Get rid of the overflowing laundry basket; instead, place a stack of neatly folded towels or blankets in the room.
     
  • The Mudroom
    Despite the name, it's important to make sure that your mudroom has no visible mud or dirt. Even though a mudroom is a storage area for many families, you want the room to appear clean, organized, and bright for your open house.

    Thoroughly declutter the room so that it only has the bare essentials. Add closed storage to hide tools or other seldom-used items. A few cubies and bench seating give prospective buyers a better idea of how they can use the room.

    Be stingy with any mudroom accessories, as you don't want them to hide the functionality of the room. An interesting doormat or a piece of wall decor are a couple of options suitable for this room.

  • The Pantry
    It's important to organize and declutter every space in your home, even if it's hidden from view. Your pantry is one space that likely requires your attention.

    Though you don't need to overhaul its contents to appeal to buyers, you do need to make sure it's organized. Try arranging like items together; for example, you might devote one shelf to canned goods and another one to boxed foods. If your pantry is small, you might add bins, shelves, and food organizers to show buyers how efficient the space actually is.

  • Unfinished Basement Space
    An unfinished basement adds valuable square footage to your home. Even though the space isn't glamorous, it's usable. Give this space a meticulous cleaning and complete any necessary repairs. Remove blinds and drapes so that natural light can enter your basement. After decluttering and organizing its contents, add a couple of decorative items to lend a cozy atmosphere to the space. 

If you're ready to sell your home, but have concerns that your spaces won't show well, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our agents. We'll help you figure out what changes you need to make to ensure your home looks its best.

January
6

These 5 Smart Home Updates Can Help Sell Your House

Smart Home Upgrades - Coach Realtors

Television used to tell us what a smart home would look like: talking assistants, automatic stoves, voice-operated music, and motion-sensing lighting. While our current homes may not be quite how Hollywood envisioned, many of these items are actually available today to upgrade your smart home environment—and buyers want them.

Our REALTORS® are here to help you discover five smart home updates that can help your home sell in 2020.

  • Video Doorbells
    There are multiple brands of video doorbells on the market now, and these tiny powerhouses of security can often be found on sale or special promotion. These digital doorbell/security systems are in-demand for homebuyers and even considered standard in many markets. A good video doorbell will allow a homeowner to remotely interact with a package person, record and sense motion near your entry day and night, and allow you to view and upload suspicious videos to a cloud community or police report.

  • Smart Light Bulbs
    Smart light bulbs can be installed in most standard lighting around your home and then connected to a phone app or smart assistants like Alexa or Siri. Smart bulbs are in demand for energy savings. Potential homeowners want to program their lighting when away from home or in rooms when they sleep. These high-tech bulbs can change hue for softer or brighter lighting depending on the weather, and many have mood or color settings too.

  • Motorized Blinds or Shades
    This is one of those purchases that can definitely help your home stand out from the crowd. A high tech feel, smart sun protection will definitely create a modern vibe—and this option is energy-saving too. Block the damaging sun from your windows during peak times for high heat or add privacy and insulation during the cold winter evenings. Sometimes smart technology can be both fun and functional.

  • Intelligent Alarms
    Home safety is always a huge selling point. Not only will your potential buyers feel more at ease when making a purchase, but you can showcase the savings they might get in a home insurance policy. Protection systems can link together multiple smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to better pinpoint danger situations in your home. Get alerts on your phone even when you aren't around and avoid chirps from low batteries with more courteous digital reminders.

  • Smart Ceiling Fans
    Imagine a ceiling fan that knows when you're sleeping. That's exactly how high-tech some of these devices are, helping to cool your room to optimum white noise or sleeping temperature in your bedroom. A smart ceiling fan will know to increase it's speed if the afternoon heat is affecting things or reduce use without movement for that spare guest room. Your buyers will be wowed by the tech and wooed by the comfort.

If you are looking to make smart home upgrades before selling, then contact us today to let your area expert agents help you find the best value. We're here to help sell your home.

December
30

Winter Listing Photography Done Right

Winter Listing Photography - Coach REALTORS

When you're selling your home, photographs play a large part in attracting potential buyers. Winter can be a difficult time to take appealing photos as everything can look darker and drearier. Instead of colorful spring flowers, you may have piles of snow in your yard.

Our agents have experience selling homes in the winter and suggest the following tips for doing winter listing photography right:

  • Use winter decorations wisely
    Winter decorations can brighten up the inside and outside of your home for photographs. Keep things understated and attractive, since potential buyers will want to be able to imagine themselves in your home. Don't have too much personal décor inside, and tone things down a bit outside. A wreath on the door, garland on the mantle, and twinkling clear lights on the roof or shrubbery can add festive yet tasteful touches. Think Martha Stewart, not Clark Griswold!

  • Prevent snow build-up
    Keep your walkways, driveway, porch, and deck clear of snow. Instead of just shoveling it onto your lawn, cart it away in a wheelbarrow. Piles of snow not only don't photograph well, but they also pose a hazard to people who come to look at your home. Gutters should be cleared of icicles so they can't cause damage, and you may also need to salt down areas that become icy.

  • Spruce up your home's exterior
    Bare trees and bushes will leave the exterior of your home more exposed than it is in the springtime. Use a pressure washer or hire a professional to thoroughly clean your home's exterior, including the windows. Depending on the weather, this may need to be done periodically so your house stays looking its best. And if your home's exterior has faded or chipped paint, arrange to have a fresh coat applied.

  • Make your front porch look inviting
    Your front porch will show up prominently in outdoor photos of your home, so it's worth your time and effort to make it look inviting. The porch can also be a good spot to introduce some color if your winter landscaping is lacking it. Refresh the paint on your door and porch while adding touches like new house numbers, a door handle, and a pretty doormat. You should also install new lighting. Finally, choose some colorful planters and fill them with plants that add additional winter colors, such as winterberry holly. This shrub puts on an abundant and showy winter display of brightly colored berries.

  • Let the sunshine in
    Winter homes can look dark and gloomy, so open the blinds and draperies to let natural light inside. Your home will look brighter, and photos also usually look better if they're taken in natural light. If you have a fireplace, turn it on while your photos are being taken and when you have an open house or showing. This can create a warm atmosphere while also providing more light.

  • Calm the clutter
    Clutter distracts potential buyers from seeing your home's positive attributes and gets in the way of them seeing themselves in your home. Purge distracting items that make your house look cluttered, even if you have to temporarily rent a storage facility to do so. Otherwise, photos will mask your home's positive attributes and make it look stuffed and overcrowded.

Contact us to learn more about how you can make sure your winter listing photography is done right. We know what buyers are looking for in Long Island homes and can advise you on any changes you can make to show your home off to its best advantage.

December
9

Yes, You Can Sell Your Home Over the Holidays

It's a common misperception that the real estate market comes to a halt when the holidays come to town. The reality is that many people are looking to put the keys to a new home under the tree. Our REALTORS® are experts at selling homes throughout the holiday season and the following are some tips that can help your home stand out among the bright lights and inflatable Santas in the neighborhood. 

  1. Be Delicate when Decking the Halls. You don't want to go overboard with your decorations. Choose a few neutral wreaths, a handful of candles, your tree, and a smattering of the ever-popular poinsettia. Leave the inflatable reindeer and extravagant decorations in the box for next year's celebrations in your new home.

  2. Create a Cozy Ambiance. The smell of hot cocoa, Christmas carols coming through Alexa, and some warm cookies are always a welcome touch. These accents create a comfortable ambiance that is soothing and inviting. This encourages prospective buyers to rest and relax as they look around your home.

  3. Coordinate Schedules with Your Real Estate Agent. You'll want to make sure that your real estate agent doesn't have any long trips planned over the holidays. You will also want to let your real estate agent know your schedule so they know when the home will be available for showings, open houses, etc.

  4. Coordinate with the Title Company, Lawyer, and Bank. As with your real estate agent, you will need to know the availability of these individuals and entities. This information can make closing easier and less stressful for you and the buyer.
      
  5. Create a Virtual Tour. Creating a virtual tour of your home allows prospective buyers to view the property when they have time to take a look. It's an invaluable marketing tool that gives buyers the ability to look around while they're shopping, traveling, or waiting for family to arrive from the airport.

  6. Include Year Round Photos. Including photos from spring and summer in your listing shows prospective buyers how the home looks throughout the year. It adds a sense of warmth that can melt hearts and warm buyers up to thoughts of spring picnics and summer BBQs.
       
  7. Price the Home Properly. You want to position the home so that it's a good deal that stands out in the marketplace. If your price is too high, buyers will pass it by. If it's too low, buyers will think there's either a problem with the property or that you are in a vulnerable position. Neither is good, and your real estate agent can help you set a price that is attractive and in line with similar properties on the market over the holiday season.

  8. Target Your Marketing. You want to narrow your marketing down to the most motivated buyers in your region. Depending on your area, this could mean focusing on military personnel, real estate investors, buyers looking to take advantage of tax breaks, recent college graduates, or new/relocating employees of companies that are expanding at the start of the year.

  9. Spruce up the Landscaping. While snow may cover the landscaping some of the time, you can't count on it to cover every blemish. Make sure that your trees are trimmed, leaves are raked, and any dead plants, etc. are removed from the yard. 

Contact us for more information about selling your home over the holidays. Our team will answer your questions and help you develop a solid marketing strategy for your property. 

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 7:35:19 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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