Monday, August 18, 2008

The Quickest Fixes to Get Your Home Show Ready

Everyone is sick to death of my preaching about how important toiletkitchens and bathrooms are to Homebuyers.  I know, I know, I know. 

I harp on it, don't I?

I thought I would share some ideas on some quick fixes to remodel your kitchen and bath if they need a little spruce up before hitting the market.  A little money now will save you a lot of money in carrying costs and pricing.


  • If your tile is horrific, re-glazing is probably the cheapest option.  I only recommend white.  With re-glazing, they spray one color, so if you choose blue, the grout lines will also be blue and it screams "This has been re-glazed."
  • If you're up for a little bit of a challenge, tile is cheap.  You can buy some 12 x 12 for $.60 and re-tile your floor and tub surround.  You have to be handy (or have some money to pay for the labor), but it's a showstopper to have a "new" bathroom.  Keep the tub to avoid a lot of plumbing costs.
  • Putting in a new toilet and sink, and repainting can often be enough to give the illusion of a new bathroom. 
  • Don't try to hide bad tile, work with it.  As I've said before Brown/Pink and Brown/Blue are the new hot colors, so you may be able to salvage those 50's bathrooms.


  • Paint your cabinets a crisp white and change the hardware.
  • A piece of granite thrown on top of any cabinet is going to "wow" a consumer.  Call granite suppliers and try to find a leftover slab that they can give you cheap.
  • Peel and stick tiles are your friend.  Upgrade to the dollar ones that have "grout lines" in them.  They look a million times better than the others.
  • Your appliances should match.  If you have a stainless refrigerator and dishwasher, you need to buy a stainless stove.  The reason is that the "odd man out" might as well get up and scream "I'm old!" DON'T OFFER A CREDIT!

Want some more tips?  Or recommendations for tile guys, plumbers, etc.  Shoot me an email and I'll be happy to help.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Real Estate Market Statistics for Bucks County 1/2008 through 7/2008

SBU_062C Below are the Residential Real Estate market statistics for Bucks County, through July of this year. This information was pulled from Trend, our local Multiple Listing Service and is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

DateUnits ListedUnits PendingUnits Sold
July 20081022434565
June 20081136564607
May 20081252558499
April 20081303583469
March 20081190484422
Feb 20081012471349
Jan 20081176425325

You'll notice the increase in listings and sold units in April, May, and June. Some of this may be attributed to our seasonal market trends, but overall the statistics indicate a healthy, stable market.

For Sellers, the statistics show a growth in sold inventory, as a percentage of the available inventory. For example, in January the sold units only represented 30% of the inventory on the market. In July, they represented 55% of the inventory on the market.

Want more information on how the market statistics for your area? I can break these down for any township/municipality in Bucks, so shoot me an email and I'll be happy to send them along to you!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Why Short Sales Aren't a Good Deal for Everyone

Here's the short answer:

tired Because NOTHING moves quickly with a short sale.

Some banks will take up to 60 days to get back to you regarding whether your offer has been accepted or not. So, picture this: you fall in love with the house, you submit an offer (perhaps even a full price offer), and the homeowner submits it to the bank for approval.

Then you wait. Months go by and you're still waiting for an answer from the bank. Life is going forward while you're in a holding pattern. Sixty days later, the bank responds to the offer, and instead of accepting it, they reject it or counter at a price that either a) you can't afford or b) doesn't make sense to pay.

So, when is a short sale NOT a good deal?

  • When you have children whom you want settled before the school year starts, and time is running out.
  • When you have a settlement date on your current home and have no where to go - except temporary housing.
  • If you're the type of person who is going to stay up late at night agonizing over this deal.

When does a short sale make sense?

  • You're a first time homebuyer and have a flexible lease.
  • Your home isn't on the market, and you can afford to move forward without selling your current home.

Also, a little head's up - most times the price listed for a short sale listing has not been approved by the bank. What many REALTORS are doing is pricing the home so that it's a fabulous, once-in-a-lifetime, unbelievable deal. The hope is to get several offers on the table so that they can generate multiple offers and submit the highest to the bank. Because the homeowner isn't getting any money back from the home sale, they don't care how low the home is priced. However, the super low price hasn't been approved by the bank. In reality, you've never been able to purchase the house at that unbelievably low price.