Local Selling Tips


Top 5 Best Home Improvements for Sellers in 2015

As sellers look to attract buyers in 2015, it’s important to focus on improvements that can increase value in addition to buyer appeal.

According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, there are a number of home improvements that attract buyers more than others — projects that can increase a home’s potential sales price and help decrease its time on the market. If you’re planning to sell your home this year, focus your budget and energy on these five recommended home improvement projects:

#1 Steel Entry Door (101.8% Return on Investment)

Replacing a front door with a steel entry door reaps many benefits. For one, if your old entry door is worn down, broken or ready for a new coat of paint, a steel entry door will save you the trouble of repairs. While the cost to install a new entry door is high — $920 to $1,300 on average for steel — steel doors are durable and resilient against break-ins, weather and time. Steel doors will last for decades; and they are attractive to buyers because they require little to no maintenance.

#2 Manufactured Stone Veneer (92.2% Return on Investment)

Manufactured stone veneer is appealing, sturdy and reminiscent of brick or masonry. It works beautifully as siding or around a fireplace or tub — and can offer lasting appeal at a fraction of the cost of other materials. If you use it for siding — simply to cover the foundation or your entire home — it can withstand the elements; however, this siding can chip and crack more easily, making it harder to fix with spackle. Repair may require replacement of an actual piece and something to consider.

#3 New Garage Door (88.4% Return on Investment)

Over time, your garage door can wear down with climate conditions and repeated use. While you can sometimes repair a garage door or add a new coat of paint, some damage can’t be fixed. The Cost vs. Value Report shows high resale gains from replacing an old garage door with a brand new one. This not only pays back, but it also attracts buyers who will not have to make the investment down the road. There are various types of garage doors — sliding, rolling, and flipping, for example — and many different materials and designs to choose from. Choose a door that matches your garage and can endure the local climate.

#4 Siding Replacement (84.3% Return on Investment, Fiber-Cement; 80.7% Return on Investment, Vinyl)

Hiring a siding contractor to replace an aging exterior with fiber-cement or vinyl siding can yield a high resale value.

If you decide to install fiber-cement, some facts to know include:

●     There are two types: clapboards or shingles

●     Can last between 15 and 25 years

●     Finish and trim in will need to be added to the siding

●     Regular maintenance and upkeep is needed

In comparison, vinyl siding:

●     Mimics the look of wood siding

●     Can last between 15 and 20 years

●     Has been linked to health concerns because of the PVC materials

●     Needs regular maintenance because its color fades over time

Either option comes with regular maintenance and care, but both can be cheaper to install than other types of siding material — metal, brick or stone, to name a few — and they come in a wide variety of colors to match the rest of your landscape and help increase curb appeal.

#5 Adding a Deck (80.5% Return on Investment)

Although less appealing in colder parts of the country, adding a deck has seen widespread resale value for sellers in 2015. Most parts of the United States have enough of a spring and summer for homeowners to enjoy a backyard deck. The average cost to build a deck is between $6,800 and $9,700, depending on square footage and the materials used. You can also enclose the deck with a roof and add a fire pit if you want make it more useful year-round.


On the Road Again: The Ultimate Moving Checklist

Congratulations! Selling and buying a new home is an exciting time for every family. The next step is packing up your current home and moving into your new one. Moving can be overwhelming but, luckily, we have a checklist to help you make your move efficient and organized.  

The Ultimate Moving Checklist:

1. Disconnect all utilities: Before you move schedule for your cable, internet, electricity, etc. to be turned off. Call your provider about a month before the move to let them know the date that you want to stop the service.

2. Schedule new utilities: Let there be light! A month before your move, call all your providers to schedule to have your utilities setup.

3. Measure doorways and furniture: Take the extra precaution of measuring all your furniture and doorways in both your new and old home. Inform the movers of the measurements and make sure they have a backup plan in case some pieces can’t fit.

4. Change mailing address: Don’t let your mail get lost in the shuffle. Call your post office five weeks before the big move and let them know of your change in address.

5. Leave a change of address: It’s better to be safe than sorry. Leave a note for the new residents, informing them of your new address. If any stray mail gets through the postal system, they’ll be able to send it your way.

6. Get covered: It seems like a tedious task but it’s important. If you’re moving outside of your current neighborhood, it’s best to call your old pharmacy and transfer all your current prescriptions to a local pharmacy closer to your new home. Tell your doctors that you are moving and ask for referrals and record transfers. If you have children, make sure to register them for school in your new school district.

7. Notify accounts of your move: Whether it’s your newspaper and magazine subscriptions or your credit cards, don’t miss anything. Call all the important companies and providers in your life to give them your new address. Don’t forget to get your homeowners insurance changed to your new address!

8. Tag your furniture for placement: You get to your new home, furniture is all moved in, and it just so happens that everything is in the wrong place. Prevent that by sticking notes on larger pieces of furniture, signifying where they belong in the home.

9. Create a “just in case” kit: If the movers are late or get lost on the way, it’s best to be prepared. Fill a box with cash, a first aid kit, toilet paper, snacks, and any other daily essentials you may need to get yourself through moving day.

10. Get a new driver’s license, voter’s registration, etc.: Changing your address through the postal service and other accounts are important, but don’t forget to take care of personal documents as well. Change your address on your driver’s license, insurance policies, and voter’s registration.

Moving to a new home is the start of a new chapter. Be prepared in all aspects to ensure that you have the best moving experience ever!