Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/24/2013

Garages aren't just for parking cars and storing all of your stuff. The garage could just be the key to selling your home. Homeowners don't typically think of putting much effort in the garage when preparing a home for sale. Investing a little time and effort into staging your garage could just be the difference from for sale to sold. Follow these quick and easy steps to a garage home buyers dream of. 1. Get organized. Everyone loves storage. Show off your garage and make it a selling point. One of the best ways to showcase your garage is an organized place where buyers can picture their things. Shelves, bins and storage closets are available at any local hardware store. When your garage looks spacious and organized it is more appealing and may even result in the buyer feeling like they are gaining square footage. 2. Light it Up Lighting can make all the difference. Replace dangling, plain bulbs with fixtures or strip lighting. Adding an eight-foot fluorescent light strip can turn your garage from dark and dreary to open and inviting. 3. Finishing Touches Garages that have appealing floors and walls go a long way in the buyer's eyes. Concrete garage floors can be coated with an epoxy resin-based paint or rubber mats and tiles. This hides spills and makes cleaning a lot easier. Don't forget the walls. Adding sheetrock makes a very clean surface and makes the garage feel more like a finished space. The sheetrock can also be painted to create a warmer atmosphere. 4. Properly working doors There is nothing worse than a garage door in disrepair. Garage door openers should be quiet and have safety mechanisms in place. Have the garage doors evaluated by the garage door company that installed it or sometimes all it needs is a good oil job to lubricate it.





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 8/19/2012

Staging your home for potential buyers can be quite the hassle. You may start moving your furniture around spontaneously, or become tense when your children or spouse make messes in a room that you just prepped for show. With all of the planning that one can put into making their home shine, one crucial step in home staging is often overlooked: your family pet. For the sake of simplicity, I will outline a few things that you must keep in mind when cleaning up after your pet in a home for sale. Pet presence - For obvious reasons, some pets can't leave the house. Giant enclosures, aquariums, and disabled pets are hard to relocate sometimes, and a lot of people will be understanding of this. But if your dog or cat is healthy, then you'll want to strongly consider relocating your pets temporarily. Many people aren't pet owners, and don't like being around an excitable golden retriever or a yippy chihuahua when they are trying to imagine their family occupying your home. Remember....You are trying to make the potential buyer as relaxed as possible. Ask a friend if they wouldn't mind looking after your loved one for a bit, and if all else fails, look into a reputable boarding service for your pet. Fur - Fur can get everywhere. Even in places that you, as a resident of your home, don't necessarily notice all of the time. Be sure to give your couches, chairs, and love seats proper attention. That means taking the pillows and cushions off, and using a hand vacuum or brush to remove all of the fur you see. After you are sure that they are thoroughly cleaned, use a fabric freshener to finish it off. Try to do this well in advance of the potential buyer, as some people have sensitivities to fabric fresheners. Litter - No matter what kind of animal you have, odds are you have do deal with some form of waste. It may sound pretty obvious, but make sure your litter beds are clean and well hidden. Even if you own an exotic pet like a reptile of amphibian, this includes you too. Many people don't like snakes, but they'll like a messy snake cage even less. Another important thing to remember as an exotic pet owner is this: even though you may not be able to smell anything offensive coming from your reptile's cage, that doesn't mean that there isn't an odor. Many people who live with reptiles get used to the subtle odors that emit from the cages, and will tend to spot-clean their animal's cage without giving it the proper scrub-down that it needs. Odors - Don't use air fresheners to mask pet odor. It is meant to freshen the air...Not cover pet odors up. Instead, use powdered cleaners on carpets and rugs that your pets frequent. These can be purchased at your local pet store in the cleaning isle. Odds are, if someone has a severe allergy to animals, then they are going to be at risk of having a reaction. The cleaner the house, the less dander will be in the home.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/1/2011

There is a selling myth that the spring real estate market is the best time to sell. Spring is often the busiest but it doesn’t always mean it is the best time to sell your home. There are plenty of advantages to selling your home in the fall. Selling your home in the fall can often mean you have less competition than the spring market. You may also encounter more serious buyers. September and October have traditionally been a strong market and buyers can regain momentum looking to settle in before the New Year. Here are some tips on how to get your home sold before the holidays. -Price it right, grabbing the attention of deal-seeking house hunters can be tough. Price your home competitively; setting the right price or even a price slightly lower than your competition can lead to more interest and often a higher sales price. -If your home has been on the market now is time for a new look. New listing photos will give it a fresh feel. -Consider every offer. Buyers are looking for bargains, and may offer a lower price. Just because house hunters start low doesn’t mean they won’t negotiate. Make counteroffers and try to negotiate until you and the buyer find a price you can agree on. -Use the fall foliage to boost your curb appeal. Plant fall flowers for lots of color. Clean up falling leaves and patch up any brown spots in the grass. You may also want to leave the lawn furniture out a little longer to help buyers envision what the outdoor space will look like. -Use fall decorations to warm up your home. Add a fall wreath to the front door and display pumpkins to welcome potential buyers. -Don’t get left out in the cold. Buyers will associate negative feelings with a cold house make sure to keep the heat on a comfortable temperature. -Let the light in. Open the blinds and turn on the lights during the day. Use accent lights and lamps to create a warm feeling. -Make your fireplace a focal point. An inviting fireplace is a great selling point especially in the cooler weather. Don’t forget to accessorize the mantle with mirrors, artwork or small vases. -Falling foliage exposes your home. Check for chipped paint, dirty siding and rotting trim. Make sure to take care to fix small problems before showing the home for sale. These quick and simple tips should have you well on your way to a new home in the New Year.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 8/18/2011

1. Stage your home. According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are staged sell on average 78% faster than the competition. Staging is more about creating a mood than moving furniture around. Staging makes a house look bigger, brighter, cleaner, more inviting and best of all makes buyers want to buy it. 2. Don’t forget the outside. Stage the exterior of your home too. Fresh paint, updated landscaping and welcoming lawn furniture will help will a quick sale. Buyers often look for an outdoor space that they can enjoy with friends and family. 3. Make your home available. Homes that don’t get shown don’t get sold. Try to accommodate as many appointments to view your home as possible. In today’s market, there are many vacant properties that can be shown anytime. Restrictive time frames, appointments that have to be set far advance will usually result in a buyer crossing your place off the list. 4. Get real about pricing. Try to be the best deal on the market. Homes that are priced correctly will sell quicker and get a higher sale price than those that have sat on the market. Today’s educated buyers are familiar with comparable sales in the area. They will flock to a home that looks like a great deal. Competitively priced homes get the most traffic and at times even receive multiple offers. 5. Pay attention to the competition. Look at the price that homes that are similar in style, condition and location have sold for. Attend some open houses and honestly size up your competition. Try to look at your competition from the Buyers point of view removing all emotion you may have tied to your home. Keep constantly updated on changes in the market and try to stay ahead of the curve.