Philadelphia Real Estate for Sale: Bustleton Single Just Reduced

Bustleton Single for Sale in Philadelphia, PA

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3 Unsightly Ways to Not Sell Your Home

Upon showing thousands of homes over my real estate career, please allow me to share with you some of my experiences of how not to sell a home based on a human being’s sense of sight!

Sense of SIGHT

Sense of Sight, Eyes, Visual Impact in Real EstateMost humans, by nature, are visual creatures. I believe sight is the main sense you must appeal to when trying to sell a home. Smell comes in a close second, but right now, let’s focus on what buyers SEE:

1. PERSONAL PICTURES, BELONGINGS, ETC.

Many of my “buyer clients” enjoy looking at photos of your wedding day, your kids, your estranged family members and friends (sometimes doing weird things caught on film forever and showcased on the staircase wall) … yes, they thoroughly enjoy these photos.  They truly adore your Puppy Fido, your Kitty Kat, and your prize fish, Oscar the Algae Eater …  In all seriousness, my buyer clients really do love to stop and “Oooooohhhhh and Ahhhhhhhhh” at these things, who doesn’t love babies, puppies, kittens and weddings?
weird family photos

Now think about it, wouldn’t you much rather YOUR potential buyer focus on THE home’s unique features? The Travertine backsplash and stainless steel appliances that shine in possibly THEIR kitchen? The glass tile in THEIR bathroom? The stunning hardwood floors in THEIR living room? By leaving personal things on your walls, it takes away from what your potential buyer should be focusing on, the home itself and what could be THEIRS.  Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves in the home. This is blatantly obvious stuff to some, but not to all …

Recalling a lovely listing I had several years ago, it was located in a fabulous area with great schools, it was situated on a nice lot, etc… etc… it had the whole “Location, Location” thing going for it, but I had a hard time getting it sold. Why? Yes, the home was dated, but not in an unappealing way. The home was VERY well-kept, I’d say it was meticulously kept.  I believe it should have sold despite its somewhat dated décor because it was priced accordingly.  The problem was the “little things” the home seller refused to do, mainly for sentimental reasons, which is very understandable, but no matter how you look at it, you ARE moving, and moving for most people is a sentimental and emotional experience.  Please remember that your ULTIMATE GOAL is … to move.

The SmurfsAn example of a “little thing” – the child’s bedroom door, covered in crayon and Sharpie markers (as the child grew so did their choice of writing instruments) with things such as “I love Johnny/Harry/Joe,” whomever the crush of the month was, practicing signing “Mrs. Johnny/Harry/Joe,” stickers ranging from the Smurfs to Metallica (again, age progression), but you get the VISUAL?  Now mind you, said child is now off to college, but to the home seller this was a beautiful, physical piece of art, it was their baby’s childhood on that door, a reminder of life as it passed in their beloved home.  Cherished Memories. Again, all understandable.  Now on the flip side, to someone in the market to buy a home, one of life’s biggest purchases/expenses, they will look at said child’s artwork as having to replace the door, amounting to loss of their valued time and their hard-earned money.

The easy fix and one which was suggested: if an item means that much to you, if possible, take it with you.  Replacing the door with a simple builder’s grade door removes the “negative” for the buyer and will help the home sell for more money in less time, less of YOUR valued time and more money in YOUR pocket. 

Justin Bieber, Boy who makes girls scream really loud.Speaking of children’s bedrooms, when selling a home, the goal is to try to appeal to as many buyers as possible. By removing the posters of Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez and the neon lights where crown molding could be, you are neutralizing the room, making it possible for the buyer to visualize their office, a guest room, a future nursery, or even just a room for Fido/Kat.

And you may already know, a can of paint is cheap and goes a long, long way! Hate painting? So does most of your buyers! 

Onward …

2. Clutter and Disorganization – you’ve heard this many times, declutter your home before putting it up for sale.  Buyers need to SEE the home. If the home is buried under YOUR piles of laundry, papers, over-flowing drawers and cabinets, these things SCREAM to a buyer that you don’t have enough room for your stuff, which reads: they will not have room for THEIR stuff.  Besides the obvious, most buyers do not want to look at your dirty underwear strewn about the floor. Giggle.

3. DEAD THINGS
Flowers, plants, weeds, bugs, rodents, rodent traps, and animals in general: Remove them, enough said? Nah? Ok …

Call the bug guy/gal, have the home treated, then maybe you could supply a buyer with a warranty (selling point).  I have to tell you, there is nothing like showing a lovely home and seeing dead roaches on a glue strip, or a big rat trap in the garage (true story).  If at all possible, please take care of these issues before you put your home up for sale.

overKILLDead animals in general:  I am referring to the trophy bear you have in the corner, the moose/deer head above the fireplace or the dead duck/owl sitting atop your hand-crafted cherry wood basement bar or your gorgeous stone mantel (which Mr./Ms. Buyer may not notice because they are too busy looking at the dead things that are staring at them) … these are YOUR personal hunting trophies. Please keep in mind that not all people share your passion for hunting or enjoy looking at animals mounted on the walls (this can also apply to your collection of 3 Stooges memorabilia, covering the room from floor to ceiling, true story, floor to ceiling) — yes, I love the Stooges, but this was extreme and kind of creepy. PACK IT UP. In my experience, these things give many buyers the shivers down their spines. I am not knocking any hunter or collector of 3 Stooges items, it’s most certainly your prerogative and your choice of sport/hobby. BUT! You are trying to sell your home, please take them down, you will soon be able to re-hang these things in your new space…. if … you take them down first.

Lastly, pull the weeds and the dead flowers, and remember … mulch is cheap; it looks fresh and clean and is low maintenance. 

In summary, if you depersonalize the home-selling process: you’re trying to sell a product; the buyer is paying good, hard-earned money for your product. If you want top dollar for your product, then you need to be ahead of the other products for sale and stop thinking of it as YOURS because you want it to be THEIRS.

Need Help?

Painters:
Rich Sidorski, 215-439-2058, juniorrjs@comcast.net
Sean Soley, 484-948-5573

Organization:
MP Organization & Creations: Facebook Page, Email: MP4theHome@gmail.com

Clean Outs, Clean Ups:
Pace Cleaning Company, http://www.pacecleaningphila.com/
United Maids of America, http://www.unitedmaidsofamerica.com/

Exterminators:
Pest Blaster, http://www.pestblaster.com/

Realtor!!  Kimberly Schreiner, Remax Affiliates
www.KimSchreiner.com, www.PaRealtyWeb.com
KimSchreiner@aol.com
Cell: 215.510.2149   Office: 215.992.1726

DISCLAIMER:  Kimberly Schreiner, RE/MAX and RE/MAX Affiliates are not responsible for any contractor listed above. These are just suggestions and it is up to the consumer to research and interview contractors. Please check with your BBB and ask for references.
Kimberly Schreiner, Realtor, will take full responsibility and credit for her work. Testimonials from past and present clients can be found by clicking here.

Considering Making a Move During the Holidays?

Moving During the Holidays

If moving AND the holidays aren’t stressful enough by themselves, moving DURING the holidays can be just downright overwhelming for some people.

People do it, they get through it! Your most serious buyers and sellers are out shopping for a new home during the holidays. There are deals to be found, made and had! But moving during the holidays can be very stressful if you are not prepared, especially if you have children at home.

Consider packing a duffel bag for your child (or children). Put some of your child’s favorite items in the bag, pictures of your family, their favorite toys, and a special holiday gift from you for their new bedroom that they can’t open until you’re in your new home. That will add excitement to their move and something to take their mind off of the scary thought of sleeping in a new place.

Keep it Real! Don’t overwhelm yourself by forcing yourself to do things you typically do during the holidays. Mailing out holiday cards, baking homemade cookies, etc. can all be put on the back burner to save your sanity. Store bought cookie dough can be just as fun and less time-consuming for parents who are busy trying to pack up a house.

Prioritize and Label your boxes. All boxes labeled #1 (obviously) should be opened first; fill those boxes with your most needed items to get you through the season. Don’t go crazy forcing yourself to decorate your new home immediately, but do put up some items that remind your family of their favorite holiday things. You can always National Lampoon your new home next year and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, go crazy then to make up for it!

Invite friends and family over. No – don’t cook for them, have a pot luck party! It’s less you have to do and just think of the left overs you will have in the fridge so you don’t have to cook dinner for a few days giving yourself more time to unpack.

Walk around your new neighborhood (or drive if you moved to the sticks) – check out all of the holiday lights and seasonal activities in your new area, make yourself at home!

Don’t forget Fido and Fluffy, they are lost too. Show them special attention during the adjustment. Don’t just let them out in their new yard, go out with them, toss them a ball and have some fun. Remember, they don’t know where they are, they may have accidents because they don’t know where the door is to their new yard, make sure to walk them to the door when you see signs they have to go do their business and don’t get too mad at them if they do make a mistake. They are almost human, too!

Start a NEW tradition, something easy … maybe a family Christmas eve portrait each year or snuggling up with your family for some pizza and movie (may I suggest Polar Express?) to celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21st.

Lastly, play music and watch movies that remind you of your favorite holiday times. Relax and enjoy your new home. God willing, you will have plenty of years to enjoy each holiday in your new space! Yes! You can do this!

Happy Holidays from Kim SchreinerKim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
2011 Philadelphia Magazine 5 Star Real Estate Professional
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

Northeast Philadelphia Homes for Sale: Newly Priced in Morrell Park! NOW ONLY 185,000!

Morrell Park Philadelphia Real Estate for SaleMorrell Park, Philadelphia  –  Announcing a price reduction on 3662 Morrell Ave, a 1,296 sq. ft. (PLUS Full, Finished Basement), 2.5 baths, 3 BRs, garage, 2 car driveway, fenced yard and more! Now Only MLS® $185,000– Turn Key!

OPEN HOUSE 5/15 FROM 1-330!!

Property information

Most Morrell Park homes have a staircase in the middle of the living room and dining room, seperating the two rooms and closing off the space … Not this home! This is a Rarely Offered “Reverse Straight Thru” with Open Floor Design in “Move In” Turn Key Condition!

Morrell Park Northeast Philadelphia Homes for Sale

Open Floor Plan... "Wall of Glass"

Living Room has beautiful views of the yard as the entire back wall is thermal, double paned (new) glass and sliding doors (a must see). Yard is ground level with the 1st floor and features awning covered patio, shed and is almost maintenance free as there is 1/4″ River Jack Stone covering for easy living. Newer Carpets T/O. Original hardwood floors under carpets t/o. All new thermal double paned windows T/O!

Morrell Park Northeast Philadelphia Real Estate for Sale

Eat In Kitchen, Anderson Bay Window

Updated Eat In Kitchen, Built In wall oven, dishwasher, cooktop, G/D. Kitchen features huge Anderson Bay Window and plenty of storage. Formal Dining Room open to Living Room. 3 Large Bedrooms with big closets.

Morrell Park Homes for Sale Northeast Philadelphia Real EstateMaster Bedroom Suite features his and hers closets and private modern, new, ceramic tiled full master bath w/Skylight and brushed nickel fixtures. 2 Other baths: Full, Updated C/T Main Bath in Hall w/Skylight and a 1st Floor (Main Level) Updated Powder Room with New Pedastal Sink and Fixtures . Basement is finished and being used as an office and playroom, would also make a great “man cave” or exercise room, additional family room, etc. There is also a laundry room and interior access to 1 Car Garage. 2 Car Parking in Driveway + Street Parking. C/A, Forced Air Heat (Gas), Gas Cooking and Ceiling Fans in all bedrooms complete this home.

Mitchell Playground Morrell Park

Mitchell Playground in Morrell Park, Free Community Pool!

Walk to Elementary School, Playground with FREE community pool, shopping, transportation and so much more! Check out this home today! Newly priced at 185,000!

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

Northeast Philadelphia Homes for Sale: Newly Priced in Morrell Park!

Morrell Park Homes for Sale Northeast Philadelphia Real EstateMorrell Park, Philadelphia  –  Announcing a price reduction on 3662 Morrell Ave, a 1,296 sq. ft. (PLUS Full, Finished Basement), 2.5 baths, 3 BRs, garage, 2 car driveway, fenced yard and more! Now Only MLS® $189,900– Turn Key!

Property information

Most Morrell Park homes have a staircase in the middle of the living room and dining room, seperating the two rooms and closing off the space … Not this home! This is a Rarely Offered “Reverse Straight Thru” with Open Floor Design in “Move In” Turn Key Condition! Living Room has beautiful views of the yard as the entire back wall is thermal, double paned (new) glass and sliding doors (a must see). Yard is ground level with the 1st floor and features awning covered patio, shed and is almost maintenance free as there is 1/4″ River Jack Stone covering for easy living. Newer Carpets T/O. Original hardwood floors under carpets t/o. All new thermal double paned windows T/O! Updated Eat In Kitchen, Built In wall oven, dishwasher, cooktop, G/D. Kitchen features huge Anderson Bay Window and plenty of storage. Formal Dining Room open to Living Room. 3 Large Bedrooms with big closets. Master Bedroom Suite features his and hers closets and private modern, new, ceramic tiled full master bath w/Skylight and brushed nickel fixtures. 2 Other baths: Full, Updated C/T Main Bath in Hall w/Skylight and a 1st Floor (Main Level) Updated Powder Room with New Pedastal Sink and Fixtures . Basement is finished and being used as an office and playroom, would also make a great “man cave” or exercise room, additional family room, etc. There is also a laundry room and interior access to 1 Car Garage. 2 Car Parking in Driveway + Street Parking. C/A, Forced Air Heat (Gas), Gas Cooking and Ceiling Fans in all bedrooms complete this home. Walk to Elementary School, Park with Playground and Free Pool, and Shopping! Great Location!

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

Moving During the Holidays

Moving During the Holidays

If moving AND the holidays aren’t stressful enough by themselves, moving DURING the holidays can be just downright overwhelming for some people.

People do it, they get through it! Your most serious buyers and sellers are out shopping for a new home during the holidays. There are deals to be found, made and had! But moving during the holidays can be very stressful if you are not prepared, especially if you have children at home.

Consider packing a duffel bag for your child (or children). Put some of your child’s favorite items in the bag, pictures of your family, their favorite toys, and a special holiday gift from you for their new bedroom that they can’t open until you’re in your new home. That will add excitement to their move and something to take their mind off of the scary thought of sleeping in a new place.

Keep it Real! Don’t overwhelm yourself by forcing yourself to do things you typically do during the holidays. Mailing out holiday cards, baking homemade cookies, etc. can all be put on the back burner to save your sanity. Store bought cookie dough can be just as fun and less time-consuming for parents who are busy trying to pack up a house.

Prioritize and Label your boxes. All boxes labeled #1 (obviously) should be opened first; fill those boxes with your most needed items to get you through the season. Don’t go crazy forcing yourself to decorate your new home immediately, but do put up  some items that remind your family of their favorite holiday things. You can always National Lampoon your new home next year and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, go crazy then to make up for it!

Invite friends and family over. No – don’t cook for them, have a pot luck party! It’s less you have to do and just think of the left overs you will have in the fridge so you don’t have to cook dinner for a few days giving yourself more time to unpack.

Walk around your new neighborhood (or drive if you moved to the sticks) – check out all of the holiday lights and seasonal activities in your new area, make yourself at home!

Don’t forget Fido and Fluffy, they are lost too. Show them special attention during the adjustment. Don’t just let them out in their new yard, go out with them, toss them a ball and have some fun. Remember, they don’t know where they are, they may have accidents because they don’t know where the door is to their new yard, make sure to walk them to the door when you see signs they have to go do their business and don’t get too mad at them if they do make a mistake. They are almost human, too!

Start a NEW tradition, something easy … maybe a family Christmas eve portrait each year or snuggling up with your family for some pizza and movie (may I suggest Polar Express?) to celebrate the Winter Solstice on December 21st.

Lastly, play music and watch movies that remind you of your favorite holiday times. Relax and enjoy your new home. God willing, you will have plenty of years to enjoy each holiday in your new space! Yes! You can do this!

Happy Holidays from Kim SchreinerKim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149

The “Short” Sale Myth (Part 1 of I am sure, many.)

short SaleShort Sale, did you every wonder where that name came from when they are anything but “short”? It’s an oxymoron example at it’s finest.  Short sales are anything but short in most cases. It can take months for lenders to respond to short sale offers. It’s quite a mess out there.

A question I find typical of a buyer’s agent .. How long until we get an answer? If I knew the answer to that question, I’d be blessed by the magical Short Sale gods with the short sale crystal ball (and I’d also be holding the winning lottery ticket). Fact is, I don’t have a crystal ball, I put that away years ago with the Ouija Board. 

No one can realistically tell you how long a short sale is going to take to close, or if the bank is going to accept your client’s offer. And remember ALL short sales are contingent on THIRD PARTY APPROVAL, ie, the bank(s) that currently hold the mortgage(s)/lien(s). Yes – any and all lien holders have to agree to the offer and agree to take a loss. So it could be 3rd party approval, and 4th and maybe 5th, 6th … well, you get the picture. Now personally, I’ve closed them in as little as 6 weeks, and the flip side – I’ve had them take as long as a year. Yes, a year.

(Mini Vent Coming) A year’s worth of work AND the kicker .. the bank decided since they had to take a loss, so did the agents involved, thereby cutting the commission by 1%. It makes no sense to me … as agents we’ve brought them a qualified buyer and have worked endless hours helping them find a beneficial solution to all parties. The audacity of one negotiator to outright tell me “if we have to take a loss, so do you” … my response to her (after almost falling out of my chair and dropping the phone) was “is anyone cutting your salary” of course, she did not respond because we all know what the answer is to that one. Did that woman understand that real estate agents do not make ONE PENNY until the property settles? If it didn’t close, the agents made ZERO. She got paid though, her full salary I am sure.

Now, I could have stood my ground and not agreed to this, but then the sale would have died and the buyer and seller would have lost the most, so I ate my pay cut and so did the buyer’s agent. Well, again .. this is another blog in itself .. there are many topics that fall under the short sale category as I am finding many people still are not aware of what they actually are .. but get used to them people, they are not going away any time soon.

I am jumping around quite  a bit in this blog because as I type there is so much to discuss about short sales. A “short” sale is when a property is sold at current market value and the seller owes more than what the property is currently worth.  For example, they may have purchased the property 5 years ago for 300,000 but today, its worth 250,000 … they maybe still owe 300,000 … like so many people back then, maybe they did 100% financing, so they haven’t put a dent in their principal …  hence this is a “short” sale  … they are “short” 50,000 and are now asking the bank to allow them to sell the property at a loss to the bank.

Bank may ask seller to sign a Promissory Note for all or a portion of the shortage. Bank may just say OK. Bank may say No. Bank may counter buyer’s lowball offer … bank may just foreclose … See the problem … bank may do what bank wants and what’s best for Bank. Period.

EVERY short sale transaction is different; it depends on how many liens are against a property and the circumstances of the seller and also the bank’s policies on handling short sales. If there is such a thing. They are trying … Every bank seems to handle them differently, but there is some standard of what is required of the seller(s). For more information on short sales and what is required of the seller, please visit my website – and if you find yourself in this situation, know that you are not alone. 

Bouncing again … because I find when I talk to clients facing foreclosure, they feel like they’ve failed in some way. You have not failed. Our system has failed you. You are not alone, there are many, many people in your shoes today. We all know and feel how terrible our current economy is and a fine example of why … is this … (bounce)

I had a perfectly good offer in negotiations on a property, an “almost” full price, cash offer. After working with the lender for months, they ended up foreclosing on this property anyway. Sad. They did not have the decency to notify me, even though I called every week for updates and was consistently told “it’s in review.” I found out only via the REO agent who graciously asked me to pull the listing. Nice, huh? And we wonder why this economy has not yet corrected itself. Makes NO sense.

My thoughts…  LET THE HOUSING MARKET CORRECT ITSELF. Leave it be, it’s in a cycle, a bad one, but it will recover, it always does. Is it just me, or does the media make you want to toss your TV in the street? And I am bouncing around again, I keep catching myself but there are sooooo many topics to cover with short sales  … they (the media) announced how we had the worst July on record .. did anyone stop to think that maybe that was because the tax credit ended and everyone scrambled to close by June 30, so of course July was slow .. smack .. it is almost always slow in July .. most people are on vacation! This July was so bad because, in my opinion, everyone already bought their house — which *maybe* is why we showed such a huge gain in sales in the months prior.  Could it be that simple?

Bouncing back … One last note to buyer’s agents … please prepare your client when they are making short sale offers that if they do not have time to wait for the bank’s answer, which may be NO with no counter, depending on the offer and the circumstances, then maybe a short sale property is not in their best interest. A listing agent cannot realistically give you a time frame unless the short sale was already approved and MANY banks will not “pre-approve” a short sale … many will not even talk to you until you present them with an offer and the entire short sale package.

I find many agents avoid short sales like the plague, as agents we take the chance of getting a pay cut for a transaction that takes 10 times the work (or more) of a “normal”sale  — the banks make you submit the short sale package over and over, it gets tossed from one desk to another and its my opinion (because that’s what blogs are all about) that it’s the banks fault to begin with we are all in this boat. Sinking. (ARMs, Subprimes, 100% financing … etc .. we were doomed.) Why even take a short sale? For me, it’s trying to help people make a bad situation better. I cannot tell you how many people have cried on my shoulder. It really grounds you as a person. And, if I can help dig someone out of a hole, then I am going to. I may complain, I may gripe because the banks make me crazy, but in the end, when they do close, it’s VERY rewarding on a HUMAN level.

Recently some of the agents in my office have teamed up with a short sale attorney. This is so beneficial to all involved. The seller does not pay the attorney, the seller owes the attorney ZERO. The attorney is now doing the negotiations, thereby freeing up the agents time to help others AND … FREE LEGAL ADVICE to the seller. How does that not ROCK?!?!? Inquire within! We are here to help YOU.

Much more to come on this topic … as there are plenty of short sale “myths” to be written about.

Kim Schreiner, ePRO, SFR, Realtor
RE/MAX Affiliates, NE
The #1 RE/MAX Office in the City of Philadelphia
Office: 215.992.1726
Cell: 215.510.2149