IEast Orange

Your Plan of Attack
Strengthen your Credit
Do your “Home’work"
Types of Homes
The Home Inspection
The Closing
Closing Costs

Marketing your Home
Pricing your Home
Telling the World
Protect your Privacy & Security
Creating Curb Appeal
Home Improvements
School and municipality info listed by county & town.



Real Estate Information for Sellers

Marketing Your Home
Your home is the most precious and priceless possession you will ever sell. As such, the home sale is an emotional and trying time for you and your family. Your agent, as your partner in the transaction, has the necessary communications, technology and marketing skills to motivate buyers and help make the sale of your home an enjoyable experience. The end result is that agent professionalism and expertise will help you find a buyer for your home at a price you’re happy with.
Bottom line: Your agent will partner with you to manage all aspects of the complex real estate transaction.

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Pricing the Home
Your home is your castle and is close to your heart. One of the first things an agent will do is to help you price your home in an objective, fair manner. An asking price, based on a sound, competent and professional comparative market analysis, will help you get your home sold fast—and for as much as the market will accept.

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Telling the World
Yes, the world. The Internet has made global marketing a reality. But, most real estate is local and your agent will develop a comprehensive marketing plan that takes advantage of your local marketplace. A plan that makes buyers—and other agents and real estate agents—aware of your home’s availability. Your agent should place the home on the Hudson County Multiple Listing Service (or HCMLS), and together you will consider other marketing avenues including radio, TV, print and/or electronic advertising, the Internet, specialized print publications, outdoor signage, an open house for the public, an open house for brokers and agents (known as a caravan), etc. If necessary, your agent can recommend a series of incentive programs to get your home sold faster. These may include assistance with the down payment and closing cost support for buyers, or a professional home inspection or home warranty.

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Protecting Your Privacy & Security

You have life—a personal one and a professional one. Your agent will let you live both of them, alleviating any undue stress or concern about the home sale by acting as your partner in the complex real estate transaction. Some examples of what an agent should do for you as a seller:

  • Screen potential buyers, making sure they are serious inquiries and not potential “busy bodies.”
  • Handle those “pesky” phone calls, schedule appointments and show your house at times that meet your schedule, not theirs.
  • Ensure the buyer has the annual income and employment history necessary and down payment and closing cost money to finance and buy your home. And, make certain the buyer provides you with enough time to select—and move into—your next residence.
  • Discuss and make recommendations regarding any contingency on the sale of your home. A contingency is a condition on the sale put into the contract by either the buyer or seller. Contingencies can be removed by an addendum to the contract, or they can expire if a time limit is specified in the contract.
  • Accept, on your behalf and with your consent, all offers and counter-offers and contracts made in writing. He/she will recommend if you should accept the offer or make a counter proposal. The agent will help guide the process so acceptable terms are reached for all parties involved.
  • Be there for you up until the parties involved sign on the dotted line and transfer of ownership of your house to the buyer is completed.

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Creating Curb Appeal

As in life, the little things are important. When you put your house on the market for sale, you want to be sure your house is in good condition and looks attractive to buyers—both outside and inside. The way you present your property to prospective buyers can make all the difference between success and failure. Here’s a look at some of the intangibles to consider to make a buyer feel more comfortable about buying your home.
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Inside & Outside the Home
First impressions matter.

  • Make sure your home is clean.
  • Replace broken or dangerous steps.
  • Make certain all doors open and are in working order.
  • Cut new keys for all doors, safety devices, etc.

    Be sure that all locks are in proper working order.

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    What buyers see first!
    A few tips for improving your home’s “curb appeal” include:

    • Make your house number visible; either alongside your front door or on a mailbox—or both.
    • Trim shrubbery and manicure lawns; weed-free and add to flowerbeds. Rake leaves or debris.
    • Repaint house, garage and any fencing (or the trim of each if you’re on a limited budget).
    • Clean (sweep or shovel) the sidewalk, walkway and driveway. Fill cracks or crevices.
    • Clean shutters, gutters and downspouts.
    • Create a front door entry that is clean, painted and oiled so it shines and swings open smoothly.
    • Ensure that window coverings are clean and not damaged.
    • Make sure outdoor lighting is working properly.
    • Remove any large items from your home: put cars in garage and park down the street, bicycles, basketball hoops, garden hoses, etc. should be put away and out sight.

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    Once buyers are hooked!
    A few tips for improving your home’s interior include

    • Let the sunshine. A brighter home is a more welcome home.
    • Clean the house (carpets and draperies) and search for and remove any hazards, e.g., throw rugs, extension cords, children’s toys.
    • Add a colorful floral arrangement(s) or new plants to brighten up and give the home that “lived-in” feel.
    • Replace burnt-out or dim light bulbs.
    • Check that all doors and windows operate freely and smoothly. Search for dry rot, broken seals, dirt, etc. and make sure screens are working.
    • Empty the dishwasher and kitchen sink—and your trash.
    • Put new knobs and door handles on kitchen cabinets.
    • Replace shower curtains and add matching towels (if within your budget).
    • Close toilet lids and add liquid toilet flush cleaner. Light a candle.
    • Make any necessary repairs.
    • Eliminate pet odors—and the pets themselves during home showings and open houses.
    • Perform a plumbing and electrical systems check.
    • Clean fireplace (and have one burning if weather calls for heat in the home).

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    Home Improvements
    Undertaking a major project may or may not be in your best interests as a home seller. That is, the improvements may cost more money that you can recoup or they may turn away a prospective buyer.
    That said, here’s a look at which home improvements buyers look for and those that consistently have the best return on investment:

    Remodeled kitchens are a big winner. A simple remodel can take your home from on the market to off better than any other improvement to your home.
    Remember curb appeal? A well-trimmed, manicured lawn and colorful plants and garden is a special. The return here is second only to a remodeled kitchen.
    Sitting around a fireplace and enjoying a fire with family and friends is important and most buyers will greatly appreciate this additional feature.
    Additional Bathroom
    Whether the house has one, two or even three existing bathroom, having one more can make the difference to many a discriminating buyer.
    Home Office
    With more and more professionals working from home or tele-commuting, this extra room will add that extra "something" to your house.
    Master Suite Addition
    Many people today enjoy the comforts of a larger bedroom but beware of the considerable cost. It may make more sense to combine existing rooms or spaces.
    Like the fireplace, a deck will add an ambiance most buyers will enjoy and relish for many years.
    Exterior Paint
    Your home will most definitely look better but a dollar-for-dollar return on your investment is unlikely.
    New Doors and Windows/Insulation
    Energy efficiency is a big plus for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer. While it will help the sale new doors and windows will not significantly increase the sale price of your home.
    Swimming Pool & the Skylight
    These two items are perhaps the most debated amongst the experts on whether or not they add value to your home. It’s a toss-up.

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