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Pat Mrkonja

Sales Associate

Helpful Tips

Creating a Realistic New Home Budget

10/14/2016

 

Creating a Realistic New Home Budget

 

You’re probably aware that there’s more to the cost of a new home than its purchase price.So to help you make an informed decision, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much do you expect to pay for moving expenses? Don’t forget to include packing materials in your calculations.
  • “Closing costs” are the extra charges you will have to pay at closing. How much do you expect your closing costs to be?
  • Estimate how much you’ll pay for activating your phone, internet service, cable television, and other utilities at your new home. These little costs can add up.
  • Will your new property require painting, repairs, and other preparations once you move in? How much will they likely cost?
  • Will you need to purchase new furnishings, decor, and other items for your new home? What’s your budget for those items?

The more aware you are of the true costs of a home you’re interested in buying, the better choices you’ll be able to make about that home. If you decide to buy, you’ll be able to do so with much more confidence.

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Give Your Outdoor Space a Wash & Haircut

10/7/2016

 

Give Your Outdoor Space a Wash & Haircut

When preparing a home for sale, most people focus on making the inside look as appealing as possible. But the outside of your property deserves your attention too. After all, it’s the first thing a potential buyer sees.

You can dramatically improve the appearance of your property by giving it a “wash and haircut”!

Clean the driveway, walkways and deck or patio. A pressure washer — which can be rented from most home improvement centers — works best, although you can do nearly as good a job with a water hose and walkway cleaner.

Trim hedges and shrubs. Mow the lawn. Pull any weeds out of flower beds.

These small measures will help you make the best first impression on buyers. 

If you would like some guidance on what you can do to boost the curb appeal of your home, get in touch with me. I'd be happy to share my years of experience! 

Pat Mrkonja    724.601.5646

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Home Inspectors Help More Than You May Think

9/30/2016

 

Home Inspectors Help More Than You May Think

 

If you’re thinking of buying a particular home, you’re probably aware that you should get a qualified home inspector to examine it. In fact, most offers will include a condition that the property be inspected before the sale becomes final.

A good home inspector will go over the property from top to bottom, inside and out. He or she will look for things like cracks in the foundation, out-dated wiring, repairs that need to be done, and aging components (such as the roof and furnace). The inspector will also provide a timeline for the replacement of any of the major components including HVAC windows, roof, etc.

Basically, a home inspector helps you understand the condition of the home and the related expenses you should expect.

But it can also be very beneficial for a seller to hire a home inspector. Getting your current home inspected before you list it for sale can help sell your property faster and for the best price.

Say you put your home on the market. You get an offer. That offer is conditional on a home inspection. What if the inspector uncovers a major issue, like a leak you weren’t aware of, or some problem with the wiring? The buyer could potentially walk away from the deal.

If, however, you got your home inspected first, you would know about those issues in advance and could deal with them appropriately.

So a good home inspector can be more valuable than you think!

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Can You Afford the Home You Want?

9/23/2016

Can you afford to purchase the home you really want?

Here are some things to consider:.

  • What kind of home do you want? What kind of neighborhood do you want to live in? What features and characteristics do you need in a home? (Three bedrooms? A large livingroom for entertaining? A backyard big enough for a garden?)
  • What homes currently on the market match that criteria? Are there some properties for sale that are close to what you’re looking for? What are their listing prices? How much, realistically, will it cost to buy one of those homes?
  • How much, realistically, can you expect to get for the sale of your current property?
  • How much of a mortgage will you need? How does that compare to the mortgage you qualify for?
  • What additional costs will you incur in selling your current property and purchasing your new home? (For example, moving, home inspection, repairs and renovations, closing costs, etc.)

Chances are, there’s a home on the market that you can afford – and is right for you. Call me today to discuss.

As always, it is my pleasure to share my expertise with others.  If you or someone you know is looking for a real estate professional, please get in touch!! 

 

Pat Mrkonja    724.601.5646

 

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Make a �Great Things� List

9/16/2016

 

What’s great about your home?

Is it the spacious foyer and generous main floor closet space? Is it the beautiful washroom? Is it the playground that is only a short walking distance away?

Although some properties may look similar at first glance, every home is unique – with features and characteristics that make it special.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, make a list of all the great things about your property that potential buyers will want to know.

Start by thinking about what you think are the desirable features of your home. Write down what you really love about the house and the surrounding area.

Next, think about what friends and other visitors to your home think is great about it. Have you ever heard anyone say something like, “I really love your kitchen!” or, “This is such a quiet street”? Those are indications that potential buyers will like those features and characteristics too.

Finally, talk to me. I can help you determine all the great things about your home and area, and how to market them.

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What Buyers Notice Most When Viewing a Home

9/9/2016

 

Do you remember the last time you viewed a home for sale?
What do you recall about that property?

You likely remember the features and characteristics that stood out, such as the gorgeous hardwood floors, the spacious kitchen with the long island, or... the faucet that was dripping in the main floor washroom!

Obviously, you want potential buyers to notice the great features of your home rather than those things that are less appealing. So, when preparing your home for sale, pay particular attention to what a buyer is likely to notice and remember.

Say, for example, you have a small unused bedroom that has become the unofficial storage room. If something doesn’t go anywhere else, it gets put in that room! Now it’s a cluttered space.

What will buyers remember about that room after a viewing? Will they see the potential for a home office or comfy reading room? Most likely, they will just remember a small, cluttered, potentially unusable space.

Buyers will also notice a dripping faucet, a scuff in the wall, or the lingering odor of spicy cooking in the kitchen. They will remember all the things that stand out, regardless of whether they are positive or negative.

So, when you list your property, make sure that what stands out for potential buyers are the desirable features of your property.

If you have a wonderful sitting room with large windows and a great view, make sure that space is clean and comfortable. You may even want to “stage” it a little, perhaps with some fresh flowers and a good book sitting on the end table.

As your REALTOR®, I can help you determine the most marketable features of your property and how to ensure buyers notice – and remember – them. 

 

Get touch with me today and put my expertise to work for you! 

Email or Call/Text 724.601.5646

 

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You've Got an OFFER- But there are STRINGS attached!

9/2/2016

 

You put your home up for sale. You work hard to make it look attractive to potential buyers. Then, you finally get an offer.

But there’s a catch. The offer comes with a string or two attached… a couple of “conditions”. Should you be worried?

First of all, don’t panic. It’s common for offers to come with a condition or two. Sometimes an offer is conditional upon the buyer securing appropriate financing, or your property passing a home inspection.

These types of conditions are usually dealt with in just a few days and then the offer becomes firm. (In other words, you’ve likely sold your house!)

However, there are some types of offers that can be worrisome. For example, a buyer may make an offer to buy your home “conditional” upon him selling his current home for a specific price. Of course, there is the concern that the buyer won’t sell his home. Then the deal will fall through and you’ll have to put your home back on the market.

As your REALTOR®, I can help you decide if a particular offer is worth accepting. 

Get touch with me today and put my expertise to work for you! 

Email or Call/Text 724.601.5646

Understanding the Costs of Selling a Home

8/26/2016

If you’re planning on moving, you’re probably focused on how much your new home is going to cost. However, it’s also a good idea to understand the real costs associated with selling your current property.

In fact, there are some costs and expenses you may not have anticipated. Here are a few examples:

Home inspection. You might think you’ll only need a home inspection for a home on which you’ve made an offer. However, it might also make sense to have a home inspection completed on your current property in order to identify potential issues that might get in the way of a sale. Buyers feel more confident when considering a home that has had a recent professional inspection.

Cancellation costs. There may be extra expenses associated with cancelling internet services, newspaper subscriptions, home security systems, and even lawn care services.

Repairs. You should budget to get any maintenance issues, such as a broken door handle, dealt with before your home goes on the market.

Staging. Tasks like getting rid of clutter, arranging for the carpets to be professionally cleaned, having the hedges trimmed, and doing other things to make the property look attractive to buyers all fall under the umbrella of “staging”. You can do much of this work yourself, or hire a professional.

Moving. It’s a good idea to budget for the costs of moving. Even if you’re using a friend’s truck and planning to do most of the packing and hauling yourself, there may still be costs, such as packaging materials, gas, and perhaps even pizza for your crew.

At the end of the day, these costs may turn out to be negligible when compared to the value of your property. As your REALTOR®, I can help you understand all the costs and help make the selling process go smoothly.

 

Making a Small Room Seem Bigger to Buyers

8/19/2016

When you’re putting your property on the market, you want to make it seem as big and comfortable as possible. After all, buyers are attracted to space. However, you probably have at least one room in your home — and perhaps even more — that feels small and a little cramped.

Of course you don’t want the buyer’s first impression of the room to be its size. Since it isn’t practical to be knocking down walls and renovating, what should you do? Here are some ideas for making small spaces seem larger and more comfortable:

  • Remove any items and extra furniture that make the room feel smaller than it really is.
  • Remove any obstructions near the entranceway. You should be able to open the door fully and walk in without bumping into a desk or bookshelf.
  • Don’t use heavy curtains on the windows. Let the light in.
  • Use soft light bulbs with enough wattage to fill the room with full and pleasant (but not blinding) light.
  • Less is more. Keep knickknacks, pictures and other décor items to a minimum.
  • Keep the door fully open during viewings.
  • Make sure there’s enough space for two people to walk in and move around without bumping into each other.
  • Give the room a purpose. “This is the home office.” Or, “This is the comfy reading nook.” If a small room doesn’t have a reason for being, it will seem like wasted space.

Want more ideas for preparing your home so that it will sell quickly and for the best price? Call today.

Painting to Sell

8/12/2016

A fresh coat of paint is the fastest and most inexpensive way to make your property more attractive to buyers. It can make just about any room look stylish and new.

The challenge is determining what paint colors and options you should choose out of the hundreds available. Should you be daring and select “designer” colors? Should you consider stippling, ragging and other effects?

Experts say to keep it simple. Stick to just two or three traditional colors for your entire home. The simple consistent tones will make your property appealing to the tastes of more buyers.

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