Archive for February, 2021

Is Staging Important Before You List Your Brooklyn Home?

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

Is Staging Important Before You List Your Brooklyn Home?

If you want to list your Brooklyn home for sale, you have probably heard about home staging as part of the preparation process. What exactly is home staging?

Home staging is not to be confused with interior design or interior decorating. Home staging is a marketing tool used to help a home sell faster and for more money.

By preparing the home to appeal to most buyers, you will have more people looking at the house and possibly receive multiple offers.

According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, 77% of buyers felt more able to see themselves moving into a staged home. 

What is home staging?

The purpose of home staging goes beyond decluttering and depersonalizing your home. The objective is to make your Brooklyn home more appealing by making the house look bigger, brighter, and inviting.

Home staging will enhance the positive features of the home and downplay any negative characteristics. 

It is setting the stage psychologically for the buyer to picture themselves living in the home. Home staging is essential to set the home apart from other homes on the market.

Here is how the majority of buyers think when viewing a home:
  1. They don’t want to do a lot of work in their new home. They want to move in with as little work as possible.
  2. If the seller can not make an effort to prepare their home for sale, they most likely neglected to do regular maintenance around the house as well. Staging your home for sale suggests that you take excellent care of your home.
  3. They are looking at how they can use the space in a home. Showing them the possibility is essential.
  4. Buyers feel a home that presents well is worth the asking price.
  5. Only 10% of buyers can visualize the potential of a home. The majority of buyers can not see beyond the clutter and un
  6. cleanliness.

How do you stage your home?

It is important to do all the home staging before you list your Brooklyn home. You want the photos of the house online to show the home in its best light.

Your real estate agent may be able to help you or recommend a home staging professional who can stage your home.

The amount of staging needed varies from home to home. If you live in the house, you should use your furnishings for the staging. If your home is vacant, the home stager may rent furniture and accessories for specific rooms.

Rearranging the furniture may be necessary to help with the traffic flow and make the room appear larger.

Cleaning will be necessary to make sure every inch of the home is sparkling.

Sometimes it will be necessary to paint and do some minor repair items. If you have used many bold colors personalized to your style, a fresh coat of paint will go a long way to appeal to a broader range of buyers. This article has some good information on suggested colors to use.

Removing personal items to ⅓ of what you had will help the buyer to visualize themselves and their belongings in the home.

Can You Stage Your Own Home?

The standard answer in real estate is always, “it depends.” If you can objectively look at your home without attachment, you may be able to do it yourself. You will need to commit to completing the work before you list your Brooklyn home. Having a 3rd party who is objective and not emotionally attached to the house may be advisable.

Where Do I Start?

To begin any staging project, you first need to clean and declutter your home. We are not talking about just a spring cleaning. We are talking about cleaning as you have never cleaned before. Ensure the grout is clean, the floors are sparkling, and the silverware drawer is free from those little crumbly things that always seem to end up there. 

As you are cleaning cabinets, pantries, and closets, start to declutter. Organization in these areas will create the appearance of substantial space. 

If your closets are packed with clothes, take out the seasonal items you are not using and pack them away. You need to show space between those hangars, so it feels like there is enough room for everything. The buyer will conclude that there isn’t enough space for their things either when they open a fully packed closet.

Should I Stage All Rooms?

You want to be sure that all rooms are cleaned and decluttered. The rooms to focus on are the Living Room, Kitchen, Master Bedroom, and Bathrooms.

Ideas for a Living Room:
  1. Make sure the natural light is coming through the windows. Be sure blinds are open and any heavy drapery removed. If the view isn’t so great, use a sheer window treatment to camouflage the view but let in light. 
  2. Update any light fixtures and be sure they have bright enough bulbs to illuminate the room properly.
  3. Paint dated or bold walls with a neutral color that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. A warm neutral is usually a good choice.
  4. Arrange the furniture so as not to block the traffic flow. Maximize the space. If you have too many furniture pieces in the room, you may need to remove some pieces to present a more spacious feel.
Ideas for a Kitchen:
  1. Give the cabinets a facelift if they need it. Make sure drawers and doors and in good working order. Clean the faces of the cabinets. Replacing drawer pulls can give the kitchen a more modern feel.
  2. Clear counters and only keep out the minimum things you need. If you have all your small kitchen appliances displayed, the buyers will feel there is not enough storage space to get them off the counters. Again, we want to create the feeling of space and eliminate clutter.
  3. It is vital to keep odors out of the kitchen while showing your Brooklyn home. Be conscious of the smells left behind from something you cooked, and the trash is emptied.
Ideas for Bedrooms:
  1. Keep these spaces gender-neutral whenever possible. 
  2. Make the room feel spacious by eliminating unnecessary furniture. Try keeping it to the bed, nightstands, and maybe a dresser for a good traffic flow. Keep the items on the surfaces to a minimum.
  3. A splash of color is fine with some accessories such as pillows or throws.
Ideas for Bathrooms:
  1. Be sure the sink, tub, and toilet are sparkling clean. Re-grout and replace caulk if necessary. 
  2. Keep all personal items and toiletries stored under the sink or in a linen closet. 
  3. Create a spa-like feel with a scented candle or potted plant. The scents of jasmine and lavender will create a calming feeling.

If you live in the home while it is for sale, you will need to be diligent about keeping the house in show-ready condition. You never know when a buyer is going to want to see the home. You can request a notice of a few hours before a showing, but if you have let things go too far, you may not be able to get it all done in time.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the outdoors.

This previous blog post will help you boost your curb appeal.  The front porch is an important place to stage as it is the first impression of your home. Create an inviting space that welcomes potential buyers. Tidy up the yard and landscaping as well.

Staging does not have to be expensive. A gallon of paint does wonders to make rooms feel fresh and modern. You may need to use more elbow grease than cash to complete your staging.

It may seem inconvenient to pack away so many things in your home. However, it will be worth the effort. You will eventually need to pack your belongings for a move. You can get a head start by decluttering before you list your Brooklyn home and pack away excess and personal items. It is a short-term inconvenience that may reward you greatly.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help you list your Brooklyn home utilizing my expertise to your advantage.

In the event our office is shut down, we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Alessandro

What To Expect In The Brooklyn Home Closing Process

Monday, February 15th, 2021

It is important to be familiar with the Brooklyn home closing process, whether you are a buyer or a seller.

Uncertainty of the next steps can be anxiety-provoking for both buyers and sellers.

Although your agent will walk you through step by step, there is some comfort in having an overview of the Brooklyn home closing process. Take the time to familiarize yourself now before you begin the buying or selling journey.

Your real estate agent should begin with a consultation, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Each role in the process has preliminary work to do before negotiating a contract. You will learn what you need to do to prepare as you enter the real estate market, whether you are looking to buy or sell.

Buyers need to have their finances in order, Identify the neighborhoods of interest, and create a list of needs & wants in their new home. After completing these tasks, you can begin visiting available homes for sale.

Sellers need to prepare and stage their home, set a realistic asking price, and determine their new living arrangements for after the sale. Here is a link to a recent blog post on how to price your home correctly, one of the essential preparation steps for a seller.

Once a buyer and seller have negotiated a contract, the Brookly home closing process will begin.

A lot of activity happens at the beginning of this process for the buyer and seller. Other parties are also working in the background to meet all the legal requirements to close. Here is a link to a previous blog post that explains the roles in the real estate sales process.

A buyer submits their offer to the home seller.  What happens next?

Negotiations

The seller and their real estate agent will review and evaluate the offer. If the seller is not satisfied with the terms, they may counter the buyer with terms they find more acceptable. Negotiations may go back and forth between the buyer and the seller a few times before both parties agree. The final sales agreement will be drafted with any changes, and all parties will sign.

Inspections

If the buyer has elected to have any inspections, they will have a specific time to complete all inspections. The seller will allow the buyer’s inspectors access to the home and have all utilities available. The home inspector will prepare a report of their findings. The buyer will respond to the seller with a request for any repairs or acceptance of the property in its current condition within the time allotted. The seller will be responsible for any agreed-upon repairs before closing and providing all receipts for the work completed to the buyer.

Loan Application

The buyer must make a formal mortgage application with their lender. There is a stipulated time period for this to be completed that will run parallel to the inspection period. The lender may have collected most of the information they need in the pre-approval process. The lender will need a copy of the sales agreement once all parties sign it. 

Attorney

In the State of New York, most buyers and sellers hire an attorney to facilitate the home closing process. Once a sales agreement has been negotiated and accepted, you will want to select your attorney. The attorney will be the overseer for their client, whether buyer or seller, to ensure that their client’s interest is protected.

Board Approval

If you are purchasing a condo or coop, you will need to complete the board’s package and submit it for approval. The board will accept or deny the purchase. It is important to note that some boards will not decide without a commitment letter from your lender. This may make the closing process a little longer and should be considered when establishing a projected closing date.

Title Work

An investigation into the home title will start to ensure that there are no liens or encumbrances on the property as a vital step in the Brooklyn home closing process. Any issues found will need to be cleared before the buyer assumes ownership. The title work research will ensure the buyer obtains a free and clear title to the property.

Mortgage Processing

The mortgage company will be processing the buyer’s loan application. They will need to verify the buyer’s information provided. The lender needs to confirm the buyer is capable of making the monthly payments. The mortgage underwriter will review the findings. The underwriter’s job is to reduce the risk of the investment to the bank. The underwriter may ask for some additional information or clarification during their review to clarify any questions.

Appraisal

Most likely, the buyer will need to have an appraisal on the home to meet the mortgage lender requirements. The appraiser will visit the property and establish a determination of value based on the comparable homes that have recently sold in the area. They will create a written report, which is the appraisal. All the factors used to determine the price of the home are detailed in the appraiser’s report. If the appraiser observes any repairs to be corrected, they will note them in the report also. The appraiser may need to visit the property to approve any repairs on the appraisal report.

Clear To Close

The lender will complete their processing, confirm the buyer’s ability to purchase and the property’s acceptable value. At this point, they will issue a clear to close. This is the green light needed to schedule the closing.

Set Closing Date

Now, you can schedule a closing date with the closing attorney, title company, real estate agents, buyer, and seller. All parties will need to agree upon the date and time if they plan to attend the closing.

Seller Move-out

 The seller will need to make arrangements to move out of the property before closing. The buyer will need to do a final walkthrough before closing after the seller completes their move.

Utility Transfer

The buyer will transfer all utility accounts into their name by the final closing date. The seller will also need to contact the utility companies to provide a forwarding address for their final billings.

Closing Disclosure

The lender is required to provide the buyer with a closing disclosure three business days before the closing. This disclosure provides the buyer with details of all costs, their final figures for cash needed to close, and monthly payments. The buyer must sign and return this promptly to ensure the closing occurs on time.

Final Walkthrough

The buyer completes a final walkthrough of the property confirming any negotiated repairs were completed correctly. They will also check that any items negotiated to remain in the home are still there. Finally, they will check that no damages have occurred to the property since their initial viewing.

Closing

Each party will meet to review and sign all documents required to finalize the sale. The buyer will receive the keys and ownership of the property. The seller will receive their proceeds. 

Congratulations! You either bought or sold a home. You made it through the Brookly home closing process. Now you can unpack and relax.

One of the overlooked steps in the moving process is to file a change of address form through the Post Office. You can find the change of address form here

It is customary in the State of New York to have a real estate agent and an attorney representing your best interests in the Brooklyn home closing process. This is true for both buyers and sellers. Each has a distinctive role in the process. Your real estate professional will be with you from the initial phases of the home buying or selling process to the closing. The real estate attorney will prepare the final sales agreement and review all the legal documents. The attorney will attend the closing with their client.

Become familiar with the Brooklyn home closing process now. Communication with your real estate professional is key to experiencing a smooth transaction. Although we can’t guarantee it will be stress-free, we strive to make your experience as stressless as possible. 

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help Brooklyn home buyers, and home sellers navigate the real estate process.

In the event our office is shut down, we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro