Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 1/6/2013

1. Basing the asking price on needs or emotion rather than market value. Many times sellers base their pricing on how much they paid for or invested in their home. This can be an expensive mistake. If your home is not priced competitively, buyers will reject it in favor of other larger homes for the same price. At the same time, the buyers who should be looking at your house will not see it because it is priced over their heads. The result is increased market time, and even when the price is eventually lowered, the buyers are wary because "nobody wants to buy real estate that nobody else wants". The result is low priced offers and an unwillingness to negotiate. Every seller wants to realize as much money as possible from the sale, but a listing priced too high often eventually sells for less than market value. An accurate market evaluation is the first step in determining a competitive listing price. 2. Failing to "Showcase" the home. A property that is not clean or well-maintained is a red flag for the buyer. It is an indication that there may be hidden defects that will result in increased cost of ownership. Sellers who fail to make necessary repairs, which don't “spruce up” the house inside and out, and fail to keep it clean and neat, chase away buyers as fast as REALTORS® can bring them. Buyers are poor judges of the cost of repairs, and always build in a large margin for error when offering on such a property. Sellers are always better off doing the work themselves ahead of time. 3. Over-improving the home prior to selling. Sellers often unwittingly spend thousands of dollars doing the wrong upgrades to their home prior to attempting to sell in the mistaken belief that they will recoup this cost. If you are upgrading your home for your personal enjoyment - fine. But if you are thinking of selling, you should be aware that only certain upgrades to real estate are cost effective. Always consult with your REALTOR® BEFORE committing to upgrading your home. 4. Choosing the wrong REALTOR® or choosing for the wrong reasons. Many homeowners list with the real estate agent who tells them the highest price. You need to choose an experienced agent with the best marketing plan to sell your home. In the real estate business, an agent with many successfully closed transactions usually costs the same as someone who is inexperienced. That experience could mean a higher price at the negotiating table, selling in less time, and with a minimum amount of hassles. 5. Using the "Hard Sell" during showings. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers like to "try on" a house and see if it is comfortable for them. It is difficult for them to do if you follow them around pointing out every improvement that you made. Good REALTORS® let the buyers discover the home on their own, pointing out only features they are sure are important to them. Overselling loses many sales. If buyers think they are paying for features that are not particularly important to them personally, they will reject the home in favor of a less expensive home without the features. 6. Failing to take the first offer seriously. Often sellers believe that the first offer received will be one of many to come. There is a tendency to not take it seriously, and to hold out for a higher price. This is especially true if the offer comes in soon after the home is placed on the market. Experienced REALTORS® know that more often than not the first buyer ends up being the best buyer, and many, many sellers have had to accept far less money than the initial offer later in the selling process. Real estate is most saleable early in the marketing period, and the amount buyers are willing to pay diminishes with the length of time a property has been on the market. Many sellers would give anything to find that prospective buyer who made the first, and ONLY, offer. 7. Not knowing your rights and obligations. The contract you sign to sell your property is a complex and legally binding document. An improperly written contract can allow the purchaser to void the sale, or cost you thousands of unnecessary dollars. Have an experienced REALTOR® who knows the "ins and outs" fully explain the contract you are about to sign. 8. Failure to effectively market the property. Good marketing opens the door that exposes real estate to the marketplace. It means distinguishing your home from hundreds of others on the market. It also means selling the benefits, as well as the features. The right REALTOR® will employ a wide variety of marketing activities, emphasizing the ones believed to work best for your home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/11/2012

In the hustle and bustle of prepping a home to be sold, many people overlook one very important detail; home safety. And while you'd like to think that prospective buyers visiting your home are upstanding citizens, the simple truth remains that selling your home opens your door wide open to complete strangers...Strangers who are going to be encouraged as potential buyers to explore every detail of your home. Luckily, by taking a few small steps, you can rest a little easier. 1. Hide you valuables - This may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people forget to put away common valuables like jewelery, high-value collectables, expensive perfumes, and high-end designer accessories like handbags and money clips. Be sure to go from room to room, keeping an eye out for anything that may hold appeal for a potential thief, and tuck away anything you think might draw a thief's attention. Do a follow-up walk of your house the next day, just in case you may have missed something. 2. Firearms - If you are a homeowner who is also a gun and/or weapon owner, then you are probably already taking the necessary precautions in regard to gun safety. However, for some collectors, prominent display is one of the things that a gun owner may take pride in. Just because your guns are in a locked, secured display case doesn't mean that they still don't hold risk to you or your loves ones. In a private setting, a locked display case is just fine...But in a situation where you are selling your home, complete strangers will have the ability to see that you are a gun owner, how many guns you have, and the precise location of your collection. Considering the value of a gun collection can run into the thousands, they should be treated just like any other valuable in your home; locked away and out of sight. 3. Personal mail - Things like bill invoices, credit card statements, and social security information should be put out of sight. Identity theft is on the rise, and by taking the proper precautions, you can avoid your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. 4. - Prescription medication - Be sure to remove medications from your medicine cabinet that carry the potential for abuse. 5. Parental safety - If you are a parent, you'll obviously want to take precautions to keep your children safe. Remember...You are allowing complete strangers full access to your home. For peace of mind, consider removing family photos, personalized items such as prominently displayed school jerseys and embroidered pillows, and that A+ math test on the refrigerator. Many people feel this step is either unimportant or unnecessary. If you feel fine with displaying these items, then feel completely free to.  The odds of a person wanting to do your family harm are fairly low.  But if you are a "better safe than sorry" kind of person, then consider this step. As long as a few precautions are met, you have no reason to feel uneasy about your home being shown. The vast majority of the people who are going to be looking at your house are responsible members of society, looking for a home to either start or grow their own families. That being said....Better safe than sorry.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 7/1/2012

You have decided to sell. But before you put the sign in the yard there are some things you will want to make sure you have done. Time spent doing research and setting the right price will most likely yield you a better return in the end. A home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Track your neighborhood values Find out what homes similar to yours are selling for in your neighborhood so you will have a good idea what your home is worth. Buyer or seller market You need to judge whether it's a sellers' market or a buyers' market in your neighborhood. Remember that all real estate is local. You will want to research things like interest rates, home inventory, job forecasts, and even time of year. Research inventory How many homes are for sale? If you live in a desirable neighborhood and there aren't many homes for sale, you will have a clear edge here. However, if you see lots of homes on the market and they're not selling very quickly, you might have to reduce the price you had in mind. Know the average days on the market Review the homes in your neighborhood and their days on market sometimes referred to as DOM. Look at trends for the past year and assess whether homes were appreciating or depreciating. Monitor the job market Is a big company relocating workers to your area? Or are they moving out and shutting the doors? The job market has a lot to do with the real estate market. Attend nearby open houses Observe how other properties are showing and compare them to your home. At an open house you can often feel the "mood" of potential buyers. Get a professional opinion A real estate professional will be able to help you gather all of the above information and come up with a CMA or comparable market analysis to determine the best price range for you home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/19/2012

A home's curb appeal is the first thing a potential Buyer sees. It can be a make or break decision before even entering the home and sets the tone for the whole experience. Enhancing your home's exterior with colorful accents is an easy way to boost curb appeal. Whether you want to add a little color or a lot, these ideas from Better Homes and Gardens promise to give your home a whole new look. 1. Pick Up a Paintbrush Painting your home's exterior is one of the most cost-effective ways to update its look. When devising your color scheme, consider your home's architectural style -- elaborate Victorian homes might be able to handle four or five colors, while Colonial styles look best with two or three. Also consider colors that can't be changed, such as stonework on the home or in the landscape, roof color, and the palette of surrounding homes. 2. Update with Colorful Siding Vinyl siding was once offered in only a handful of neutral colors, but today's products provide nearly unlimited color choices so it's easy to find siding to complement your home's exterior. 3. Make a Statement with Windows Cladding, the aluminum wrap on an exterior window frame, lets you have the beauty of wood inside and a low-maintenance covering outside. Manufacturers offer cladding in various colors, so you can make your windows stand out or blend in with existing siding. 4. Coordinate Hardware and Lighting Entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes, and porch lights all add character to your home's exterior. Choosing the same color or finish for these elements creates a sophisticated look. 5. Create a Welcoming Entrance Your front door is a great place to add a dash of bold color -- and boost home value. If you want to add color, look for doors that come ready to be painted and opt for a high-quality acrylic latex paint, says Sara Theiss, a Therma-Tru spokesperson. Decorative glass inserts offer additional color and complement a range of house styles. 6. Add Shutters Whether operable or decorative, these accents add color and bring a historical touch to a Federal or Colonial home. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass models, high-density PVC, or composite wood materials; they offer the look of wood but don't crack, split, or rot. 7. Set It in Stone The natural colors of real stone enhance any style of home. Stone veneer, a lightweight alternative, makes it even easier to add the appeal of this natural material to exterior walls. 8. Consider Roof Color It might not be sexy, but this practical aspect can have a big impact on your home's overall look. For cohesiveness, choose a tone in the same color family as the paint or siding on your home -- or pick out a color that repeats hues found in the brick or mortar. 9. Go Glam with Copper The eye-catching metal comes with a high price tag, but the finished look can be worth the cost. For example, copper gutters transform an overlooked feature into a design element. "If you have a bay window with a copper roof or a porch with a copper roof, and you couple that with copper downspouts and gutters, it can be very handsome," says Washington, D.C.-based architect Bruce Wentworth. 10. Stain Concrete Curb appeal extends from the front door to, well, the curb! By staining existing concrete, you transform a drab patio, sidewalk, or driveway into an eye-catching surface that resembles stone, wood, or leather. Acid-base stains are available in earth tones, such as tan, brown, terra-cotta, and soft blue-green, while water-base stains expand the color palette.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/12/2012

The last thing you want is a smelly house. When you are trying to sell your home the presence of household odors can affect the sale-ability and the bottom line price. Some of the most common offensive odors are cooking odors, particularly fish and curry odors, smoke from cigarettes or oven fires, pet odors or the odor from illness or incontinence. In order to remove stubborn odors you will need to give the home a thorough cleaning. Here are some tips to get you on your way to a fresh smelling home. 1. Open windows and doors. Place a large fan in a doorway or window. Have the fan where blow fresh air in. Use a second fan to exhaust the odors out. 2. Believe it or not the smells could be coming from your attic insulation. Odors from cooking rise in the heat and are trapped in the attic insulation. The insulation cannot be cleaned or effectively deodorized so it must be replaced. 3. Clean carpets and upholstered furniture using a steamer. A commercial steam extractor can be rented from an equipment rental place. Things like mattresses and foam pillows will most likely need to be replaced as it is almost impossible to get odors out. 4. All clothing, bedding, and drapes in the home will need to be laundered or dry cleaned. Odors get trapped in these are can linger. Check labels for care instructions and follow the directions. 5. Odor causing particles can get trapped in the duct work. You may need to have the ducts professionally cleaned to remove the particles. Before you do that, you might consider changing the furnace or air conditioning filters once a day until you no longer smell offensive odors. 7. Wash all the ceilings, walls and floors. Use a cleaner designed for this as you would not want to damage the paint or wood floors. 8. Wash your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer inside and out. Don't forget the back of the stove and the coils of the refrigerator. 9. Place small dishes of vanilla extract, baking soda, sliced lemons or potpourri throughout the house to capture the odors and replace them with a better alternative.