Archive for the ‘Preparing to Sell’ Category

When You Need Home Improvement Projects with Great ROI Now

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

carpenter installing crown moulding

Almost every home could use some updating here and there, now and then. How about yours? In the blog post, “How to Add Value to Your Property for a Quick Sale,” we listed a general overview of home improvements that can increase the value of your home. But here are some home projects with a great ROI (Return On Investment) based on Remodeling magazine’s newly-released Cost vs. Value Report for 2018. Not only will these projects bring a better selling price, they’ll also help your home sell faster.

Remodeling is far more cost-effective than replacing, but real estate pros say replacing is still the way to go. There’s a great ROI of 76.1 percent for replacement jobs. That’s a whole 20 percent more than remodeling jobs, which are at 56 percent this year.

6 Weekend Projects with a Great ROI

Projects that increase the value of your home don’t always take a ton of time, effort, and money.

  1. Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

Old oak cabinets with dated shiny brass hardware don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting your old cabinets with a neutral color of paint. Finish the project off with new hardware to complete an updated look.

  1. Add Crown Molding

Make your home look bigger with crown molding. Yes, crown molding at the top of painted walls draws the eye upward, making a room appear bigger than it is. Start with rooms that are likely to yield a great ROI:

  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedroom
  1. Landscape the Yards

No one will want to walk through your front door unless the first impression is stunning. You can overhaul your front yard easily and quickly. Impress potential buyers by adding a path of pavers or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms, for example. These two home improvement projects are fast and easy to do.

But don’t stop in the front yard. If your home entertains a lot of outdoor activity, landscape the backyard, too. A functioning fire pit, patio or deck furniture (a simple picnic table works well), and strings of outdoor lights make everyone, including potential buyers, envision themselves enjoying a meal or drinks outside.

  1. Replace Your Garage Door

Replacing the garage door is an easy way to increase the value of your home. And it has a great ROI. Garage door replacement has an ROI of 98.3 percent. That’s up from 85 percent year-over-year!

  1. Beautify Your Bathrooms

Bathrooms, like kitchens, have a major impact on potential buyers’ emotions toward a home. They expect clean, up-to-date bathrooms, just like they do kitchens. And, thankfully, bathroom improvement overhauls are easily done in a weekend.

Take a look at:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Vanities
  • Hardware
  • Tile

Does everything need updating, or just an item or two? Again, you don’t have to shell out a ton of money to update a bathroom. And if you have the patience, you can demo and retile the bathroom yourself to save a lot of money.

  1. Say Goodbye to Dated Trends

What was once considered fresh and fashionable in the 70s, 80s, or 90s is out. All of those trends now give your home a very dated and ugly appearance. It’s time for all that is really old to “get outta town” to make room for the 21st century.

The list of outdated decorating trends is truly endless. But wallpaper, floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or not be wood, and popcorn ceilings are the three biggest offenders. Removing these three things alone (a popcorn ceiling doesn’t take much effort) will increase the value of your home and yield a great ROI.

6 Home Improvement Projects that Yield the Greatest ROI

Nationally, when it comes to home improvement projects with a great ROI, curb appeal yields the most. But here are the top six projects with the greatest ROI according to Remodeling magazine’s newly-released Cost vs. Value Report for 2018:

Garage Door Replacement – yields a 98.3% ROI

Manufactured Stone Veneer – yields a 97.1% ROI

Entry Door Replacement (Steel) – yields a 91.3% ROI

Deck Addition (Wood) – yields an 82.8% ROI

Minor Kitchen Remodel – yields an 81.1% ROI

Siding Replacement – yields a 76.7% ROI

If you live in Brooklyn Brownstone, a few of these home improvement projects may not apply. But go for the ones that will work to increase the value of your home, inside and out. Oh! And Mother’s Day is fast approaching. Why not gift one of these home improvement projects to Mom, even if she isn’t considering selling her home?

Do you need help deciding which home improvement(s) to make for a great ROI? Contact  Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, he knows what it takes to sell your home quickly and for the best price.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

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 ConsumerSafety.org 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 ConsumerSafety.org.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Top Improvements that will Help Your Home Sell Quickly

Thursday, November 30th, 2017
Home sell quickly

Want to know what improvements and upgrades will help your home sell quickly?

It never fails. Those selling their homes always ask, “What improvements or upgrades will increase the value of our home and help our home sell quickly, Charles?” To which I answer, “Improvements or upgrades that increase storage and maintain your home’s unique features.”

And according to the pros, there are eight.

8 Improvements or Upgrades that will Help Your Home Sell Quickly

  1. Kitchen Updates

An updated kitchen can sell a home quickly, and today’s buyers favor simple in the kitchen. Simple backsplashes like subway tile and subdued colors will help a home sell quickly. Consider painting your cabinets with a subdued color. The installation of inexpensive stainless steel appliances will update your kitchen like new in a snap. Buyers appreciate a modernized kitchen.

  1. Bathroom Upgrades

Replace your vanity. Change your shower/tub insert into a free-standing claw-foot tub. Consider a trendy frameless shower door and free-standing sink. Even a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and re-glazing and re-caulking the tub will upgrade your bathroom to help your home sell quickly.

  1. Lots of Storage

Built-in bookshelves used to be home decorating no-nos. But today’s buyers are looking for practicality and charm. Built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage, closets with extra shelves, hooks, and rods are hot items and will help your home sell quickly. Buyers are looking for a place for everything so they can put everything in its place.

  1. Paint

A fresh coat of paint works wonders and “covers a multitude of sins.” Besides, the average person isn’t well-versed in the latest color trends anyway. All you need is a fresh coat of neutral, light, and bright paint throughout your home.

  1. Flooring Upgrades

Hardwood flooring (or flooring that looks like hardwood such as ceramic wood planks) transforms a home as well as a fresh coat of paint. It’s so much easier to clean and is extremely aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

  1. Improvements to Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Manicuring your landscape is a simple upgrade that comes with a big return on investment. Depending on the time of year, make sure your lawn is in great shape. Trim bushes and low-hanging branches, plant flowers or native plants, or place potted flowers around the front door. Add new mulch. Improving your home’s curb appeal works as many wonders as a fresh coat of paint throughout your home.

  1. Room Conversions or New Additions

Buyers are looking for heated and cooled square footage in a home. If you want to boost your sale price and score major brownie points, consider converting your garage, attic, or screened-in porch into heated and cooled square footage. You might even want to build a new addition. Buyers are looking for the most house for their money.

  1. Your Home’s Uniqueness

If your home has historical value, maintain its authenticity and integrity. Upgrade or improve your home with projects such as restoring original window casements and hardware.

These improvements and upgrades are guaranteed to pay off when your home is sold. And they will certainly help your home sell quickly.

Call Charles D’Alessandro for more information on improvements and upgrades that will help your home sell quickly. He has 30+ years of real estate experience, and he knows what it takes to sell your Brooklyn home quickly. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 today or click here now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

The Best Way to Update Your Cabinets with Paint

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
Update your cabinets

You can hire a professional to paint your cabinets, but if saving money is a priority, do it yourself.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and the second major selling point of any house. And it costs a pretty penny to update especially when it comes to replacing cabinets and appliances. If you need to update your cabinets in the kitchen or in the bathroom, but you’re not financially able to replace them, think paint! Paint works wonders. But if you want crave-worthy cabinets with professional-style results, it’s imperative that you follow each step carefully. No skipping or skrimping. Remember, “haste makes waste” when it comes to painting.

How to Update Your Cabinets Yourself

You can hire a professional to paint your cabinets, but if saving money is a priority, do it yourself. Need some ideas to help you update your cabinets? Here’s an awesome list from HGTV:

1. Choose the Best Paint

If you’re going to save the cost of a professional and update your cabinets DIY, look for paint at your local paint supply store. The staff of a reputable paint supply store will help you pick the best products for your cabinets. Ask for paint that is non-blocking so it won’t stick when cabinets and drawers are closed. It needs to be able to stand up to a lot of wiping and cleaning. You don’t want the paint coming off whenever you’re scrubbing or wiping down your cabinets and drawers.

Choose your paint color and finish keeping in mind that oil paint is hard to work with. Choose a latex satin finish paint instead. It’s also important to know that dark colors tend to show imperfections in the paint and cabinetry and highlight dirt more than light colors do.

2. Prepare to Update Your Cabinets

First, decide if you want to paint your cabinets with a paintbrush and foam roller or spray paint them with a spray gun. Rolling the paint on won’t look as good as spraying the paint on, but it takes less skill. Spray painting will get the job done quicker than painting with a paintbrush and foam roller, but in order to get that professional-looking finish, you’ll need a good paint spray gun.

Now that you’ve decided the paint method to update your cabinets with, prepare for painting:

  • Clear counters
  • Empty cabinets
  • Cover backsplash and appliances
  • Remove hinges, hardware, doors, and drawers
  • Put hinges and hardware in plastic bags
  • Label each door with masking tape
  • Set up a worktable or prop 2×4’s on buckets or boxes

Purchase your paint and primer along with any of the products you need to prepare your cabinets for primer. Don’t forget the angled brush and mini foam roller if you’re not spray painting the cabinets.

3. Prep Your Cabinets

Before you begin painting, look at the existing finish. Is it pealing, greasy, dirty, etc.? If the existing finish is pealing, strip it off. Think of it as rust on a car. You wouldn’t paint over the rust because the rust will just fall off taking the paint with it. If the existing finish is in good shape, skip the stripping step and begin cleaning. Prepping all doors and drawers properly makes sure the paint will stick.

  • Furniture normally doesn’t have grease on it, but cabinets often do. Scrub them thoroughly using a clean, soft rag and mineral spirits or trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove every drop of grease and grime, every drop. Don’t just wipe them down. It’s crucial that old oils, waxes, and grime are removed. Paint covers a multitude of sins, but it refuses to abide dirty, greasy surfaces. Daniel Jones of Wehrli Furniture Company in Naperville, Illinois, says, “We use a product called Wax Wash to clean furniture. But for greasy cabinets, we use something similar to 409 and then Wax Wash. You have to get all the grease off or the paint won’t stick.”
  • Fill dents, grooves, or holes with a good wood filler.
  • Lightly sand surfaces using 100-grit sandpaper to scuff every inch. This creates grooves so the paint has something to adhere to. This step isn’t anything you need to be crazy particular about. You just need to create a scratch pattern that paint will stick to.
  • Wipe cabinets and drawers with a tack cloth to remove dust before drilling new holes for new hardware.
  • Fill in gaps or seams with caulk

4. Apply Primer to Your Cabinets

If you want professional-looking results, don’t skip the primer. It’s imperative to prime every part of your cabinets – boxes, door fronts, drawers before you start applying paint. Use a stain-blocking primer designed for glossy surfaces.

5. Start Applying Your Paint

Once the primer that you applied to every part of your cabinets is completely dry, apply the latex satin paint. Work in sections using the angled brush and go over what you’ve painted with the brush with the mini foam roller. Applying the paint in this way provides that professional-looking finish you’re looking for.

If you chose to use a paint spray gun, the process is the same as it would be if working with a brush and roller. Just apply the spray paint to your cabinets outside where there is adequate ventilation.

Apply at least two coats of paint. Let the paint dry thoroughly and lightly sand between coats.

Once everything is painted and the paint is completely dry, use very fine grit sandpaper to give everything a final sanding. Use tack cloth to remove sanding dust and apply a couple coats of satin polycrylic for added durability.

6. Reinstall Doors and Drawers

Once all the paint is dry, put your cabinets back together. And now you get to install your new hardware or the old hardware you stored systematically in plastic bags.

If you’re stumped about how to upgrade your cabinets in your home, whether selling or buying, call Charles D’Alessandro. His 30+ years of real estate experience in the Brooklyn area has given him an eye for what is truly needed. He also knows the best people to contact for help. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 today or click here now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Home Staging: This is How to Sell Your Home Faster and for More Money

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Home staging

Home staging increases the value of your home to buyers and helps your home sell faster and for more money.

Once you list your home for sale, keeping it clean, bright and clutter-free is a given. But did you know that staging your home increases the value in the buyers’ eyes? It also helps you get a higher price for your home. It’s a proven fact. Sell your home faster and for more money with home staging.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is more than thoroughly cleaning, hauling out clutter, fixing aesthetic issues and making your home bright with lots of light. Staging a home:

  • helps prospective buyers visualize themselves in the home
  • has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home
  • makes an impact in several ways for the buyer
  • helps buyers visualize the property as a future home
  • makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online

How Much Does It Cost?

Home staging costs an average of $675. Some real estate agents include home staging as part of their services.

If you choose not to have the whole home staged, stage the living room. It’s the number one room to stage. Second is the kitchen. Ranking third, fourth and fifth are the master bedroom, dining room, and bathroom.

Is it Worth the Effort and Investment?

Buyers typically offer a 6 to 10 percent increase in the value of a staged home. The impact and the value home staging bring to both home buyers and sellers make it worth the effort and investment most definitely!

Home Staging is About Your Home, not You

A professional home stager is hired to bring out the best in your home. Don’t take her recommendations personally. Commit to marketing your home for sale and be prepared to detach emotionally from your home and belongings. How we live is not how we sell a home, and therein lies a great challenge! Following staging recommendations to a tee and keeping your home in show-ready condition will sell your home faster and for more money. Trust your agent, your home stager, and the process!

Working with Charles D’Alessandro gives buyers, sellers, and investors the advantage they need to succeed in today’s challenging market. Charles knows what buyers want and how to best market and stage a home for sale.

Home staging is an excellent tool to give your home a little extra push to sell faster and for more money. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.

Should This Be the Year You Sell your Home?

Monday, January 30th, 2017
Sell your home

Charles D’Alessandro knows how to accentuate the special and unique features of your home to help you sell your home fast and for top dollar.

Did you sell your home in 2016? 2016 was the best year for existing-home sales since 2006. Existing-home sales were 3.3 percent higher in 2016 than they were in 2015. If you didn’t, should this be the year you sell your home?

The National Association of Realtors predicts positive growth in the market this year in the following ways:

  1. Existing-home sales are predicted to grow modestly by 2 percent this year in spite of mortgage rate increases.
  2. The median price of homes being sold has been forecasted to increase by 4 percent.

These reasons are reason enough to make this year the year to sell your home. I encourage you to consider it.

The Brooklyn real estate market is unique as is your own financial situation. So find out how the 2017 Brooklyn housing market looks. I have over 30 years of real estate experience. With that experience I will help you decide whether or not the sale of your home makes financial sense. Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, today at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206.

If you decide to sell your home, do these 3 things right now

If after a consultation with me you decide to put your home on the market, there are a few things you should do right now. Getting these to-do’s completed will give you a head start on selling your home this spring.

  1. Hire Charles D’Alessandro as your real estate agent.

Hiring a real estate with experience and great customer service is essential to a successful home sale. With me as your real estate agent, you can:

  • Rely on my expertise to make the decision to sell
  • Believe I’ll choose the right price for your home
  • Have confidence in how I market your home
  • Trust my skill to negotiate offers from buyers
  1. Get a home inspection scheduled before you list.

An early home inspection is a good idea. You want to find and fix any issues there may be with your home before the buyer does. If a buyer finds unseen issues when they conduct their own inspection, it could derail the sale. An early home inspection will give you extra time to address any problems uncovered.  I can advise you on whether it’s better to make the repairs or adjust your asking price instead.

  1. Declutter and stage your home.

Decluttering and packing while making home improvements is an efficient way to prepare your home for sale. Then, once your house is free of clutter, you can stage your home to impress.

  • Clean out your closets
  • Pack photos and knick-knacks
  • Put all that you can in storage
  • Make rooms look spacious. Live as minimally as you possibly can. Store extra furniture pieces, like the quilt rack, hope chest, tall dresser.
  • Clear kitchen countertops and keep them clear
  • Paint the entry way and keep it tidy
  • Invest in new throw pillows, towels, bedding and other accessories

Finally …

I will advise you on the best ways to attract buyers to sell your home. I know how to accentuate the special and unique features of your home and stay within your budget.

Sell your home fast and for top dollar. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. Take my advice and avoid the stress of getting your home ready to sell on a tight deadline. You’ll be way ahead of the competition, too.

Fall is in the Air: Prepare for Winter Now

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Prepare for winter

Winter is on its way! Prepare for winter now and enjoy those long winter’s naps in comfort.

Summer’s come and almost gone. Fall has arrived, although not officially. That will happen September 22, 2016. The days are getting shorter and the mornings are turning crisp. Winter is on its way! Prepare for winter now and enjoy those long winter’s naps in comfort.

Prepare for winter outside your Brooklyn home

It’s time to wrap up summer’s outdoor lifestyle and prepare hearth and home for the beginning of the long cold spell.

  • Clean, cover and store patio furniture, umbrellas, decorations and toys.
  • Paint the trim, railings and decks or touch them up if that’s all they need. Remove flaking paint with a wire brush and prime bare wood before you paint.
  • Check around windows and doors. Re-caulk if needed.
  • Install weather-stripping and thresholds if external doors and garage doors need it in order to close tightly.
  • Wash windows, inside and out.
  • Drain and store garden hoses. Frost-proof spigots with a faucet insulator and blow the sprinkler system lines free of water.
  • Power wash gutters and downspouts. Consider installing heating cable to prevent ice dams.
  • Inspect and clean chimneys and flues.
  • Repair your roof. Check your roof for curling, loose or missing shingles.
  • Prepare your deck for winter. Sand splinters, repair damaged boards and reseal to protect it from rain and/or snowfall.
  • Switch out your screen doors for a storm door. Clean and repair screens prior to storing.

Prepare for winter inside your Brooklyn home

Fall means it is time for the “second spring cleaning.” It makes good sense to clean and store all things summer before you retreat to the warmth inside your Brooklyn home. Besides, the holidays are coming (and you may decide it’s time to sell after the winter thaw).

  • Start with the rooms where most of the household activity happens. Focus on one room and clean it from top to bottom. Vacuum or wash curtains and window treatments. Clean window sills and window wells. Vacuum and wipe down baseboards and corners.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture, or clean it professionally. Move each piece of furniture and vacuum underneath and behind each piece. Don’t forget to vacuum underneath the couch and chair cushions!
  • If you haven’t already washed the windows inside and out as mentioned above, now’s the time for that chore.
  • Turn mattresses front-to-back and end-to-end to even out their wear and tear.
  • Wash or clean all bedding: mattress pads, pillows, duvets, blankets, comforters.
  • Make an appointment to have your carpets cleaned professionally. Do this early in September so that the remaining warm afternoons can help the carpet dry speedily. Carpet cleaners tend to get busy by the end of October.
  • Clean and organize kitchen cabinets.
  • Clear kitchen counters of all appliances. Store heavy appliances down low.
  • Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils of dust and debris. While the refrigerator is pulled out from the wall, clean the sides of the refrigerator, the sides of the cupboards on each side of it, the wall behind it and of course, the floor and baseboards.
  • Wash light fixture bowls from light fixtures and fans. Clean ceiling fans. Change the direction of your ceiling fans. In the spring and summer, your blades work best turning counter-clockwise. In the fall and winter, the blades work best turning clockwise.
  • Clean and store floor fans and box fans.
  • Stock up on water softener salt.
  • Do you have a central vacuum? Empty the collection area.
  • Clean electronic air cleaner elements. This should be done monthly for cost-effective efficiency.
  • Inspect your humidifier. Clean or replace elements before it is needed.
  • Inspect washer hoses for bulges, cracks, splits and a collection of “crud.” They should be replaced every other year.
  • Check dryer exhaust tube and vent for lint build-up and debris to eliminate a fire hazard in your home. Does the exterior vent door close tightly when the dryer isn’t being used?
  • Schedule furnace inspections now. Schedule an annual checkup for your furnace in the fall, September 22 – December 21. Don’t wait for frigid temperatures to arrive!
  • Buy six furnace filters and change them monthly for maximum efficiency, savings and comfort.
  • Drain the sediment from your hot water heater.

Prepare for winter or the sale of your Brooklyn home now. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] for a FREE consultation on how to get your home ready for what’s coming.

7 Things To Do First Before Hiring A Real Estate Agent

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016
Hiring a real estate agent

We’re retiring, selling and hiring a real estate agent. Here are 7 things we need to do first.

Congratulations to us! We’re retiring! We need to sell our home and downsize into a place that will cut our cost of living by about half each month, and we think we’ve found just the place. But there are a few things we must do before hiring a real estate agent.

Before hiring a real estate agent to sell our home, we need to do all we can to make their job easier. This will benefit us during the selling process. After all, we will be working very closely with this real estate agent on one of the biggest transactions of our whole lives. (Could You Be Losing Money On The Sale Of Your Brooklyn Home? discusses the importance of hiring a real estate agent who you can trust and who will represent you well).

Here are 7 things we need to do before hiring a real estate agent.

  1. Research comparable sales (comps) in the neighborhood to find the real value of our home. We have an idea of what our home should list for, but we must check comparable home values.

The local market conditions have changed since we bought our home over 15 years ago. The local market may or may not be in our favor today. Regardless of what we discover as we research today’s local real estate market, all our research will help us and our real estate agent. We need to be on the same page with a realistic listing price and strategy for selling our home.

Sellers can find neighborhood comps online. We can compare our home with other homes that have about the same square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms and amenities. Our home’s condition must be considered and compared as well.

  1. Know what we have left to pay on our home loan. We need to gather all home loan documents and find out how much we have paid on our home and how much we still owe before hiring a real estate agent. Knowing the amount of what is left yet to pay on our home will help the agent determine a great strategy for selling it. If we are prepared with precise dollar amounts, our real estate agent will be able to get a better estimate of what we could make from the sale. Who knows? We may find that waiting things out might be better than listing at this time, but I doubt it. Look here to find the lowest mortgage rate available in your area.
  1. Before hiring a real estate agent, we must be prepared to tell them of liens or issues, if any, that are tied to our house. An unencumbered property is property that is not subject to any claims by creditors. For example, securities bought with cash instead of on margin and homes with mortgages paid off. That’s not always possible, but the more we can tell our real estate agent up front about liens or other issues that could possibly hold up a sale, the better off we’ll all be. It helps an agent to know about liens and property disputes so they can deal with them all before the house lists. For example:
  • Tax issues
  • Disputes you have had with contractors
  • Problems that could have allowed a creditor to put a lien on the house
  • Disputes with neighbors regarding property lines
  • If you’re selling a property that belonged to a deceased relative. (Make sure the title to the house is clean before contacting an agent).
  1. Clean our home thoroughly inside and out before hiring a real estate agent. We want to make a great first impression on our real estate agent to persuade them to market it for a higher value. We don’t want the agent we hire to make us feel they are giving away a dump. We want to clean it up as if we’re having someone of great importance over for dinner. And cleaning it up goes for the outside, too! Curb appeal is important, too. Our goal is to give the agent a mental picture of our home as a prize to be won. Whatever it takes to give the agent the impression that they have a prize to sell instead of a dump, we’ll do it.
  1. Wait to make home improvements. It’s best to wait to make home improvements until after a real estate agent has been hired. They know what is trending in the market and what buyers in our area are looking to pay top dollar for. If we tell the real estate agent how much money we have to work with, they’ll let us know which improvements will appeal to buyers and which ones will give the best ROI.
  1. Gather and disclose details of home improvements made during ownership. If a seller makes any upgrades during the course of ownership, details on those upgrades should be ready to give to the agent. Knowing about home additions, new carpet or flooring and so forth, will help the agent price our home effectively to market it well. And we don’t need to tell the agent what was spent on each home improvement. Just knowing of the improvement made, will help the agent know what value to add to our home.
  1. Print up a daily schedule of availability. Printing out our daily schedule will help the real estate agent recommend ideal times that our home can be shown to potential buyers. The key is to be ready at all times to accommodate showings. Yes, this is a bit inconvenient, but it will help our home sell more quickly.

Will you be hiring a real estate agent to sell your Brooklyn home? Get prepared and then contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate knows what it takes to get your home sold quickly.