HUNT Real Estate - Penelope Crosby

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Home Seller Bootcamp: Home Staging Must Do's

3/12/2020

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Hello! I’m excited for all of my boot campers ready to tackle this week’s topic of home staging must do’s! Maybe you’re wondering how to figure out which rooms even need staging? Or you want to get my insider secrets that are total game changers when it comes to making your house shine both online and in person. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place! Every week this month, I’ll be diving into the steps you should take to get your house market ready!

So if you want to join the fellow campers who want to make the most money from their home sale, make sure you head over to my Business Facebook Page Facebook.com/PenelopeCrosbyRealEstate and have your notifications turned on so you know when I post!

Grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee and let’s dive in!

TODAY I’M COVERING MY TOP 3 HOME STAGING MUST DO’S:

#1: GIVE EVERY ROOM A PURPOSE

  • This means: NO EMPTY ROOMS! Did you know that the number 1 room that turns off buyers is an empty one? Crazy, right? Which is why this is first on my list of staging must do’s!
  • One of the most important things to keep in mind when prepping your home for sale is that the buyers who will be looking at your home aren’t just buying a house - they’re buying a lifestyle.
  • And the thing is, many buyers have a hard time using their imagination when looking at homes which means they might overlook a really great way a space can be used if it’s left empty.
  • It can be as simple as turning that odd shaped loft space that isn’t being used into a home office. Add a desk, rug, chair and bookshelf and now you have a 3 bedroom home + an office.
  • Think back to when you bought your home. What did you envision using that space for or what would you use it for if you weren’t selling your house?

#2: NEUTRAL RULES

  • This might sound super basic but maybe you aren’t exactly sure what parts of your home need to be neutralized? I’m going to give you a few simple tips!
  • Replace bright colors and patterns with neutral tones. This can be anything from wall colors to curtains. Do you still have those floral valances you hung in the early 2000’s when you moved in? Take them down! You might still love them but most people aren’t going to be drawn to specific styles. Something as simple as swapping out curtains for something more neutral can make a huge difference in how your house looks online.
  • Same goes for other linens throughout your house. Stop at Target for some white towels, roll them up and stuff them in a basket in the bathroom, swap out the faded kitchen towels for bright white (this might not be practical, but they will look good so only put them out for photos and showings).
  • Add neutral bedding to the kids rooms that are currently decked out in Frozen everything. Anna & Elsa can come back out after you have an accepted offer!

#3: MODEL HOME MAGIC

  • If you haven’t been to a model home in awhile, here’s your homework: go visit one before you start prepping your house for sale.
  • You’re going to want to scale back what you keep out on a regular basis and instead think more like a model home.
  • This includes removing all of the appliances from the counters, organizing the shoes that are pouring out of the mud room closet, the overcrowded pantry and bathroom counter covered in the full lineup of products in your skincare routine. Ask yourself this question: Would I find this on the counter, floor, table, etc of a model home? If the answer is no, then pack it up.
  • Furniture layout also comes into play here - when you’re touring a model home, you’ll notice that furniture is arranged in conversational, welcoming layouts. They don’t have beds pushed against the wall where the comforter is shoved into the side or couches against the wall and a random recliner right in front of the TV. Look at your current furniture layout and move things around if needed. Maybe that means removing that giant recliner for the time being. Remember, the more you prepare for your home sale, the better results you’re going to have (meaning less showings and more offers)!

Thank you for reading this week’s entry. Before you go, I wanted to let you know that I designed a free guide just for you that walks through what I talked about today, has a list of questions to ask a real estate agent, a checklist for getting started with prepping your home for sale and more. It’s my FREE Home Seller Bootcamp EGuide!

All you have to do is email me at Penelope.Crosby@HuntRealEstate.com to get your copy today. See you next week for my tips on cleaning & pre-packing! Have a wonderful day.

Home Sellers Boot Camp Week 1: The Game Plan

3/5/2020


Welcome back to another entry in my Blog!  I’m calling all soon to be home sellers (and borderline home sellers) who want to learn the ropes to a successful home sale! I am officially kicking off the HOME SELLER BOOTCAMP MINI SERIES! Every week this month, I’ll be diving into the steps you should take to get your house market ready! So if you want to join the fellow campers who want to make the most money from their home sale, make sure you head over to my Business Facebook Page Facebook.com/PenelopeCrosbyRealEstate and have your notifications turned on so you know when I post!

Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee and join me for todays’ mini training!

LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR GAME PLAN:

Whether you’re thinking of moving up to a house that better fits your needs, ready to down size and stop doing yard work, or want to sell an investment property, you need a game plan if you want to make the most money from your home sale. Today, I’m going to lay out the timeframes for what to do when and if you read until the end, I have a special bonus that you can get your hands on!

30-60 DAYS OUT: SCHEDULE A HOME SELLING CONSULTATION WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT:

  • This step is the foundation to home seller bootcamp. You’re going to want a professional to create a custom bootcamp plan based on your scenario and your house to be able to sell your home for the most money possible.
  • Here’s what a selling consultation would look like with me: I want to have a conversation with you. I want to learn your story. Why did you buy this house in the first place? What do you love about it? The more you can tell me, the better so that I can market it to attract the right buyers and give you a customized action plan for prepping your home for sale.
  • Remember, at one time you were the ideal buyer for your house so you have a lot of insider information when it comes to finding the next buyer for your home!
  • After our conversation (that I promise feels much more like having a glass of wine with a friend than like me running through powerpoint presentations and begging you to sign a contract, I will create your custom pre-listing action plan. This will include things like staging, painting, furniture arrangement, and any touch ups or repairs you should take care of.
  • Lastly, I’ll help you determine what paperwork you’re going to need to have ready to get things moving!

15-30 DAYS OUT: FOLLOWING YOUR CUSTOM ACTION PLAN: STAGING, DEEP CLEANING, AND PRE-PACKING

  • Now that you have your personalized action plan, it’s time to do the work. This will include any projects I recommended at our consultation such as painting over that dark red wall, refreshing your front porch (first impressions) and removing the Mickey Mouse theme from the kid’s room.
  • It will also include things like shopping for necessary staging items (or having me help if that works better for you) and starting to pre-pack. As you get closer to the 15 day mark, you’ll want to start the deep cleaning process and get your home looking and smelling brand new! In case you got distracted, tune back in for a minute because in week 2, I’ll be sharing my home staging must do’s, followed by what to consider when pre-packing and cleaning in week 3! So make sure you check back!

10-15 DAYS OUT: GETTING PHOTO & SHOW READY!

  • The windows are washed, the oversized furniture has been moved out of the way, the bookshelves are staged and it’s time for photos!
  • These photos are what most buyers will be seeing before ever stepping foot in your home so think of them like your first showing! That means, they are also what will help get buyers to come see your home so we need them to look good! In week 4, I’ll be sharing my tips for getting your house photo (and show) ready!
  • This is the final stretch before the for sale sign goes up! You’ll be in regular contact with your agent finalizing all of the details for how showings work, other marketing plans to be aware of such as the open house and how you’ll stay in touch throughout the process!

Thanks for reading this weeks entry. Before you go, I wanted to let you know that I designed a free guide just for you that walks through what I share today, has a list of questions to ask a real estate agent, a checklist for getting started with prepping your home for sale and more. It’s my FREE Home Seller Bootcamp EGuide!

All you have to do is email me at Penelope.Crosby@HuntRealEstate.com to get your copy today. See you next week for my home staging *must do’s*! Have a fantastic day!

How to Create the Most Demand When Listing Your Home For Sale

1/15/2020

When your house is listed for sale, I’m guessing that your top two concerns are going to be that you want it to sell for the highest price and in the shortest amount of time possible. I’m also guessing you’ll want to know how to do this. So let me tell you…

In order to sell your home for the highest price possible and in the least amount of time (meaning less showings, less cleaning, less inconvenience to you), you’re going to need to create the most demand possible when it goes up for sale (with the help of a great Real Estate Agent of course). I have a 4 part plan that will help your home get the maximum exposure and create the most demand right away!

PART ONE: Focus on Selling a Lifestyle – You’re not just selling a home, you’re selling a lifestyle. This means you’ll want to think beyond square footage and room sizes and determine how to best highlight the features of your home that will show the lifestyle someone can expect to have if they live there.

Ask yourself questions such as what feature did you love most about your home when you bought it and which room do you spend the most time in. Share these answers with your Real Estate Agent so they can market a lifestyle, not just the house.

PART TWO: Stage to Sell – Staging your home for sale is crucial in attracting the most buyers and generating the most interest in your home when it’s for sale.

To get started, depersonalize and declutter first so potential buyers can more easily picture themselves living in the home rather than feeling like they’re in someone else’s home. Make sure to appeal to today’s buyers. Talk with your agent about what updates or small changes will make the biggest impact to attract what most buyers are looking for these days.

PART THREE: Have a Pricing Strategy - If you want to attract the most buyers as soon as that for sale sign goes up, it’s important to have a pricing strategy in place. Many sellers believe they should list their home slightly higher than what they hope it sells for but the problem is that doing this will only hurt your chance at attracting the most buyers (and driving up the sale price). The problem is that it will decrease the number of interested buyers right when you list, could increase the length of time your home sits on the market and ultimately decrease your final sale price (which means less money in your pocket).

What you feel your home is worth on paper might not necessarily match what the market is saying your home is worth. The current market and the buyers are going to determine the value of your home. Make sure you’re looking at market trends, other homes that have recently sold and be realistic.

PART FOUR: Do you want to learn all the details of my 4 part plan along with the 4th crucial piece to creating the most demand when listing your home for sale? Make sure you request my FREE guide – How to Create the Most Demand When Listing Your Home For Sale. Message me on Facebook or send me a text or email!

Happy Selling,
Penelope Crosby
Your Favorite NY Capital District Realtor

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Help You Buy A Home in 2020

1/9/2020
New Year’s Resolutions That Will Help You Buy A Home in 2020


If 2020 is the year for you to buy a home, consider making these 5 New Year’s resolutions to help you be as prepared as possible to become a homeowner.


1. Cut down on monthly subscriptions.

With each month, there is a new subscription service out there. What starts as convenience turns into an endless list of subscriptions that we often don’t use enough to justify the costs. Sit down and go through your monthly/yearly subscriptions and cancel whatever you don’t use. Set aside that extra money with the rest of your savings so your down payment can continue to grow.

2. Build a better credit history.

Paying bills on time and paying off debts will help create a solid credit history. Make sure you have some utilities or rent in your name so that you can pay them on time and continue to build a solid credit history. 

3. Avoid changing careers.

Alongside income, your employment history will be a major factor during your mortgage application evaluation. While a new job could be a good career move, most evaluators are looking for a steady job history with little to no gaps in your employment over the last few years. 

4. Check your credit.

If you don’t know where your credit is at currently, now is the best time to check. Most credit sites will tell you what is impacting your credit, and you can use those tips to change your choices heading into the new year. If large debts are negatively impacting your credit, get started on a pay off plan so your score can improve in the new year.

5. Avoid large purchases.

Your debt-to-credit ratio makes a major impact on your mortgage approval. If you buy a brand new car or fund a large vacation, that ratio could sway in the wrong direction. If you want your lender to be willing to give you the maximum amount possible, make sure you aren’t making any large purchases heading into the new year.

Cheers,
Penelope Crosby
Your Favorite NY Capital District Realtor


Turn Your Home from Cold to Cozy

12/19/2019

Turn Your Home from Cold to Cozy

As the days get shorter and shorter, you’re probably spending more time curled up on the couch than you were on those long summer days. Instead of letting the cold weather get you down, take the time to turn your space into a warm and cozy escape from the outdoors. Here are some tips to turn your house from cold to cozy.

Bake Your Favorite Dessert

Not only will the smell fill your home with sweet, warm scents but baking and the process it requires can fill your home with joy. Plus, you have a great snack to cuddle up with the couch!

Light Some Candles

Lighting candles will add to your comfy atmosphere. They will give soft light and welcoming scents for every corner of your home.

Add Texture To Your Decor

The right decor can make your space even more inviting. Plush cushions and throws paired with the perfect cable-knit blankets will make you and your guests want to spend the weekends binge-watching from the couch.

Have Guests Over

Instead of locking yourself in alone this winter, make sure you invite guests over to enjoy your cozy home with you! Have them bring their favorite snack or winter beverage and share your coziness.

Perfect A Winter Beverage

The best thing to have with your baked goods is a warm beverage to enjoy. Crock-Pot hot chocolate and apple cider is great for the kids and hot toddies or mulled wine will warm you up quick!

Make A Winter Playlist

The final step to making your space cozy this season is making the perfect playlist to play in the background while you are snuggled in. Grab your mulled wine + fresh cookies and enjoy the sounds of the winter from the comfort of your cozy home!

Stay Cozy,
Penelope Crosby
Your Favorite NY Capital District Realtor

How to Make House Hunting as Easy as Binge Watching Netflix

12/9/2019
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You know the feeling when you struggle to find something to watch on Netflix because it’s just so overwhelming with the number of shows and movies to choose from? Well the same thing can happen when it comes to house hunting! There are so many real estate websites and so many houses to look at. Digging through countless websites, having your phone glued to your hand, constantly hitting refresh to make sure you don’t miss anything can get a little tiring. Instead, there is a simple method you can implement to make it a whole lot easier. When you learn how to house hunt “Netflix style” it’ll save you a ton of time and prevent those feelings of overwhelm – I promise! So here’s how to do it!

STEP 1 – Find your Homestyle Genre: This is about going beyond the general criteria of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 1 acre lot. This is about diving deep and figuring out what you’re specifically looking for in a house. Ask yourself questions such as:

-Which space in a house is most important to you?

-Which room will you spend the most time in? Is the living room where you’ll spend quality time every night or is the outdoor space more important because you want to be surrounded by nature and have ensured privacy?

-Next think about words that would describe your ideal home. Do words like cozy and full of character come to mind? Or does modern and luxury sound more like your taste?

-What is a space or feature you don’t currently have but would love to have? More space to entertain? A private yard with mature trees? A designated home office space that will allow you to do more focused work?

By thinking outside the box about the lifestyle you want your future home to provide, you’ll begin to paint a better picture of which home features to pay more attention to and which style of home will be the best fit.

STEP 2 – Determine What’s Trending: Just like Netflix gives you a list of “Trending movies” you’re going to make your own list of what’s trending when it comes to what is important to you in your future home. After writing down answers to the previous questions, create a list of your top 3 home must haves and deal breakers. Next you’re going to review everything you wrote down. Do you see any themes or details that pinpoint the type of house you are going to fall in love with aside from the number of bedrooms? Your list could be painting a picture of an open concept style home with lots of storage and natural light. Or maybe your style is a home with more separated spaces with a major focus on the style and layout of the kitchen.

STEP 3 – Create Your Home List Based on Your Preferences: Before starting this step, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a Real Estate Agent so they can set up your custom home search for you. They will take all of the general criteria that you’re looking for and customize your home search so that you can will receive a list of all the homes on the market that match the main criteria you’re looking for. This is where it’ll narrow down your minimums for bedrooms, baths, lot size, square footage, year built, etc. This is also the time you may want to browse through any other sites that you’ve been searching on and write down any homes you’ve had your eye on so you can bring everything together with your real estate agent.  

STEP 4 – Preview Homes: Once you’ve compiled the entire list of homes that meet your search criteria you’re going to want to preview them online before scheduling a showing! Looking at homes online is considered a first showing because there is so much you can see and learn about a home before ever stepping foot in the house. When you’re previewing the homes, have the list of the questions you answered handy so you can see which ones fit what you’re truly looking for. If a common theme was entertaining space and open concept rooms – you’ll probably want to avoid homes that have a smaller kitchen and living area or lack open areas.

STEP 5 – Narrow the List Down to Your Top 5: Here’s an example of how this looks: Let’s say your favorite space in a home is the living room, you want a house with lots of character and charm and your deal breaker is a cookie cutter subdivision. Along with that, you need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.

When your custom search comes up with the list of homes and one of the homes meets the 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths criteria but was built last year in a new subdivision of homes with the same builder, all on quarter acre lots and has a smaller living room, you’ll probably want to consider eliminating this one because it isn’t meeting your main needs.

After previewing the homes and comparing each one to what you have on your  list, it’s time to narrow the list of homes down to your “Top 5”. These are the 5 homes you’ll want to schedule showings for and begin your search with. From there, if none of those work for you, keep your search going this same way. Watch for new homes to hit the market (like the new releases on Netflix) and if they meet your detailed criteria, set up a showing!

By house hunting with this method, you’ll eliminate the stress of feeling like you need to see every single 3 bedroom, 2 bath home when you truly know what you’re looking for and can eliminate many of them online. That way when you schedule a showing to see a home that truly fits what you want, you’ll know what to look for instead of becoming overwhelmed with all of the other homes that really don’t meet your needs at all.

Cheers to you having a stress free home search,
Penelope Crosby
Your Favorite NY Capital District Realtor

Moving Tips To Make Your Life Easier

12/2/2019

MOVING TIPS TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER

Whether this is your first time moving or your 10th, there are always new tips and tricks to making your move a little more smooth each time. While we are so concentrated on getting everything packed in a timely manner, we often forget about the little steps we can take to save ourselves time, money, and even a little bit of sanity. Here are 8 tips to make your move, and your life, a little easier.

1. Wrap your breakables in clean clothing

Instead of spending extra money on bubble wrap, use clothing that you will need to pack anyway. You'll save space and it is the most eco-friendly option!

2. Be specific with your labels

Instead of just writing what room the box will go in, make a brief list of the items in each box on the outside. This way, you will know exactly where every box should go - and so will anyone helping you move in!

3. Prep the bathroom and kitchen

If you have the time and are able to enter the house before your big move, take the time to prep your bathroom and kitchen. Fill the fridge and bring towels and a shower curtain for the bathroom. This way, you won't be scrambling after you move in and desperately want a shower, and you won't waste money on take-out for the first few days in your new home.

4. Get cotton pads/balls for your makeup

If you've ever dealt with the heartache of opening a shattered powder cosmetic item, this tip is for you. Placing a cotton ball/pad helps to prevent your favorite blush or bronzer from covering the entire inside of your packed bathroom box and everything inside of it! 

5. Add an extra layer of protection to your toiletries

It is never fun to open a box and find everything covered in lotion or shampoo. Take off the lids of all of your toiletries and cover any openings with saran wrap and then replace the lid. This will provide a nice seal to prevent any spills.

6. Use Press'n Seal outside of the kitchen

Instead of having to box up your dresser drawers or your jewelry display, keep your Press'n Seal unpacked. Place sheets above your clothing drawers or wrap it around your jewelry display to keep your items in place - and save time packing and unpacking them.

7. Keep a box of small sandwich bags by your side while packing

When you need to take something apart, there may be screws or nails or clips left once everything is disassembled. Use small bags that are easily labelled to place those items so they won't get lost and you will know exactly where they are when it is time to put everything back together!

8. Take photos of everything you need to take apart

Whether it is the way wires go into your television, or the way a certain piece of furniture connects, taking photos as you go will make reassembly that much easier. Who wants to helplessly fumble with wires after they've spent all day unpacking? Save your time and sanity and take the photos! 

Hope your move is easy-peasy,
Penelope Crosby
Your Favorite NY Capital District Realtor

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