Archive for February, 2018

How to Increase Your Selling Price without Going Broke

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018
Increase your selling price

There are many ways to update and stage your home to increase your selling price before you list. And most of them won’t break the bank to do.

Ahhh spring! It marks the beginning of new growth and welcome changes in our surroundings and in the weather. Frigid temps, cabin fever, followed by warmer weather encourage people to get out and about “for a change.”And that goes for real estate as well. People are tired of cold weather and being cooped up inside. They’re ready for a change. For many, that means a change of address. So if you’re thinking about listing your home this spring, get ahead of the rush. Increase your selling price with the following ways now, before you list it. And it’s possible to do it without breaking the bank, too.

15 Ways to Increase Your Selling Price Before You List Your Home This Spring

  1. Make a great first impression

Curb appeal is vital. Potential buyers have passed judgment on your home before they walk through your front door. Spruce up the outside of your home and make this first impression count. Try adding a faux finish to corner keystones with two tones of paint. Apply stone sealer to walkway pavers. Dig in the dirt and plant flowers in bloom to impress potential buyers before they get out of the car.

  1. Clean everything thoroughly

Cleaning is essential, and it is the simplest way to increase your selling price. Vacuum, dust, clean windows, scrub/mop floors. Remove unpleasant pet odors and stains from carpet and furniture. If that means the carpet needs to be replaced, go with a neutral color. Get rid of surface mold if you have any. Mix one part water with one part bleach in a spray bottle. Spray it on the mold, and watch it disappear. If your shower door is grimy, clean it with a mixture of one part muriatic acid and 10 parts water. Then scrub it with steel wool and wipe it down. It’ll look like new!

  1. Update the bathroom

Bathrooms sell houses. So, if your dated tile needs updating, use paint. First, apply a coat of high-adhesion primer. Next, apply a covering of special ceramic epoxy. Oh, and pedestal sinks appeal to potential buyers because they can see how much floor space the bathroom has.

  1. Pitch, pack, and stage

Clutter detracts from a home. Pack and/or get rid of stuff that will keep potential buyers from seeing the full potential of your home. Figurines, junk mail, newspapers, magazines, paper piles, clothes, shoes, even pictures and shelves on walls … There is much that you can and should put out of sight before you list your home. Rooms filled with unnecessary items and furniture tell potential buyers that your home lacks highly coveted storage space. And storage space sells.

Paint the walls a neutral tone, and furnish the space in each room to show off the single purpose of each and how functional each one is.

  1. Remove yourself

Remove personal items like family photos, for example. It’s important that potential buyers be able to imagine themselves living in your house. And they won’t be able to with loud paint colors, wall coverings, or accessories. Make it easy for them to see themselves in your house. Neutralize your home.

  1. Remember, less is more

Replace oversized couches, chairs or coffee tables with smaller pieces. If replacing them isn’t possible, get rid of as much as you can. Let potential buyers embrace the space your house has to offer.

  1. Make the master bedroom “neutrally” appealing

Get rid of anything that is specific to male or female buyers. Go with a neutral paint and bedding that matches. Accessorize with only a few items that complement the color scheme you chose.

  1. Paint the old fireplace and fireplace screen

If you have a brick fireplace that stands out like an eyesore, give it a good cleaning. Scrub it with soap and water. Then, you can either polish the bricks using a stone color enhancer to make them shine or tone it down with a light coat of paint that matches the walls. Rubbing a light coat of paint on each brick, one at a time, with rag or brush will make the fireplace take on a new tone and stand out in a favorable way.

Remove the dated brass fireplace screen and wipe it down. Cover the glass with paper and tape. Next, spray the screen with heat-resistant spray paint. Hold the can about 18 inches away, and use long, even strokes. This is an inexpensive quick fix that will make it look like new.

  1. Update the kitchen

Dated kitchens can break a sale. If yours is dated, stain or paint the cupboards and replace the hardware.

If removing old hardware strips the holes in your cabinets, dip a toothpick in glue and put it in the stripped hole. Once the glue is dry, cut off the excess toothpick and put in the updated hardware.

Granite countertops are still a huge selling feature, but they’re expensive. You could do the demo yourself, and ask the vendor for remnants from previous projects to save on this terrific investment. The value granite countertops add to a kitchen is worth any money you invest in them. For a great return on investment, go granite.

Studies show that new kitchen appliances bring high returns from sellers, so get rid of old appliances that date your kitchen. If you can’t afford to install new appliances, you can give your dishwasher an updated look at least. Instead of buying a new one, remove the front panels. Clean them well and apply stainless-steel stick-on covering to each panel.

  1. Dress up your windows inexpensively

Use placemats to make stylish inexpensive window treatments. Here’s how. Apply hook-and-loop fasteners to the placemats. Attach them to a basic curtain rod. Next, pin them together at the bottom. Click here for 18 examples of inexpensive ways to dress up your windows.

  1. Let the sunshine in

Potential buyers love bright and airy rooms. Open up your window shades to let as much light in as possible. Add to the brightness of a room with light-colored paint on the walls and lots of artificial lighting.

  1. Give outdated flooring some TLC

It’s not as difficult to accomplish as you might think it is. To update old wood flooring, isolate damaged boards, cut them out and replace them with new pieces. Rent a sander from a local hardware store, and sand the floor. Lastly, stain the boards with color.

Vinyl tile is an inexpensive way to update your home if it’s done right. When laying the tiles, avoid matching patterns perfectly. Instead, give your floor a natural look and feel. Switch up the direction and placement of the tiles to mix the tones.

  1. Stage built-in bookshelves simply

Everyone loves built-in bookshelves, but they can be easily cluttered. Choose only a few neutral items to arrange in clusters of three. Each item in the cluster should be different in height. Using neutral items will prevent one single item standing out and detracting from your beautiful bookshelves.

  1. Increase your selling price out back

Decks increase your selling price when they’re in good shape. Get your deck in good shape. Sand the wood and cover it with a light-colored stain. The stain will give it a rustic, grainy look. Furnish it with a picnic table or a couple of lawn chairs and make the backyard appealing.

What kind of shape is your patio in? Does the surface need updating? Give your red-brick patio new life. Roll a light coat of paint onto the bricks. Then, lightly spray them with water before they dry. Now, before the water dries, dab them with a cloth. Your patio will look fresh and appealing, too.

  1. Cover up wood paneling

Wood paneling dates your house, but you don’t need to rip out. Just cover it up! Use wood filler to fill in the grooves and cracks between the panels. Sponge away excess filler, and let it dry. Once the filler is dry, paint the paneling.

All of the above are a part of the staging process which will increase your selling price. Home staging has proved time and again to be one of the best ways to sell a home quickly and for more money.

And you can certainly do it yourself. But, if you don’t want to spend the time it will to learn how to stage your home properly to increase your selling price or know you’ll never be great at staging, just hire a professional.

Are you ready to list your home this spring? Call Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. He will walk through your home and let you know what you should do to increase the selling price of your home or give you the name and number of a home stager who can help.

Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Is Your Home Truly Ready to be Listed for Sale?

Thursday, February 15th, 2018
Ready to be listed

Is your home truly ready to be listed for sale? Home safety checks are important to you as the seller to avoid possible negligent lawsuits.

Think your home is ready to be listed for sale? You may be tempted to list your home before it’s truly ready, for what you think are valid reasons. But don’t fall prey to that temptation. Because of the Breach of Duty regulations, you could be at risk of a lawsuit, if your home is listed before it is truly ready. If there are problems with your house, disclose them during negotiations.

What’s Most Important to Check to Make Sure Your Home is Truly Ready to be Listed for Sale?

Home safety includes everything from in-home to out-of-home safety. Visit for a thorough Home Safety Guide. Here are three home safety checks that are high on the list.

Important Safety Features in the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most hazardous areas in your home because of the high possibility of grease or electrical fires. Is there a working fire extinguisher in your kitchen? What is the expiration date listed on it?  If you don’t have one, purchase a fire extinguisher before you list your home and leave it in the kitchen. This will help you avoid a possible negligent lawsuit if an electrical or grease fire were to happen in that kitchen.

And if you rent out all or part of your home, make sure your kitchen is childproofed. Sharp utensils and harmful chemicals can be found in the kitchen and should be kept out of reach of children or secured with childproof locks.

Fire Safety

According to data collected by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), an average of $16,610 was the average monetary value of property damage caused by fire. And if you are accused of negligence, you will be required to pay for all damages. Take care to properly remove fire hazards in your home to make sure your home is truly ready to be listed for sale.

Damaged plugs and appliances, overloaded outlets, and multiple extension cords are home fire risks. Make sure outdoor grills and other outdoor cooking appliances are a safe distance from your house.

Home Safety Regarding Your Pool, Lawn, and Landscaping, too

Most Brooklyn homes do not have pools, but they are the most dangerous part of any residential home. One child under 14 drowns each day on average. If you happen to own a pool,

  • Install drain covers that are VGB-compliant
  • Store hazardous pool chemicals properly away from the pool, preferably in a locked shed
  • Cover your pool with an adequate safety cover

But what nearly every Brooklyn home does have is a lawn, even if it may be small at best. Potential safety hazards in a lawn, Charles, really? Yes! Make sure your home is truly ready to list by:

  • Removing pet feces and sharp items (rocks, glass, nails) from the yard
  • Check for and remove poisonous or harmful plants like poison ivy for example
  • Again, hazardous chemicals (weed killer and other hazardous lawn chemicals) should be stored properly away from the lawn, preferably under lock and key.

Make sure your home is truly ready to be listed for sale. Avoid a negligent lawsuit and keep the future homeowners of your house safe. Follow these and other guidelines listed in the Home Safety Guide offered at

Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]