What Is Your Home in Nutley NJ Worth?

Figuring out home values when the market is in flux is truly a job for experts. We have seen the national real estate market begin to rebound, and expect Nutley home values to soon start to reflect movement as well. Most local homeowners are in the habit of keeping an eye on area home values. But especially for anyone considering buying or selling this spring or summer, estimating their home’s value is one of the first items on the agenda.

To get you started, there are a couple of different methods to help establish a ballpark estimate of what your home may currently be worth.

Certainly the quickest and easiest tool is the calculator on Bank of America’s website, >SEE WHAT YOUR HOME MAY BE WORTH IN NUTLEY NJ.  This free online calculator uses accumulated public record data joined with other factors to produce an estimate of home values. All you need to do is enter your address and wait for the magic.

I do have to put in a word of caution, though. Like any computer program, it’s fast and precise –but also maddeningly capable of disregarding what we humans think of as ‘common sense.’ So, while it is fun and interesting to get this kind of readout, it’s at best a ballpark estimate (and at worst, downright misleading!).

There are many other sites boasting similar tools — variations of the same idea and pulling from slightly different data sets — but the approach they use to calculate home values stays the pretty much the same. You only need to enter your address and there you go: instant estimate.

While these calculators are great at aggregating data, nothing replaces human input.  Real estate is, after all, the very definition of a local occurrence, so if you’re looking for more than an estimate, it’s time to call the pros in.

When an experienced agent (someone like yours truly) creates their professional estimate, it not only takes into account the trends for properties closest to yours, but also incorporates real life features — such as the curb appeal your home and garden offers right now. The better kept your property is at any given time, the greater its estimated value should be. An agent can also suggest the small changes that work best to enhance a property’s value.

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      Selling a Home Through Targeted Remodeling

      Though things are looking up in real estate these days, selling a home in Nutley is as demanding as ever. As in any serious business proposition, looking for ways to increase the value of your offering will always pay dividends.

      One of the major ways you can make your own Nutley home more marketable is to do a bathroom remodel. It’s always a key focus for prospective buyers…and yes, it does sound like a lot of work (and a lot of money) — but there are a number of ways you can cut down on both.

      First, step back and give a hardheaded look at the conditions a remodel would correct. In a surprising number of cases, all a bathroom really needs in order to look more glamorous and inviting is to add a fresh coat of paint or a change in lighting.

      But such quick and easy fixes are not always enough to materially cut the time selling a home will take. The good news is that ideas for more comprehensive solutions are now easier to find than ever, thanks to the Internet. One such quick idea-generator can be found at www.Calfinder.com/bathroom-remodeling , where you can view all levels of bathroom remodeling ideas and their associated price tags. It is the site’s free estimate feature that can make it easier to financially plan your project.

      Some of those ideas can include installing a new bath or adding a shower. Having a separate guest toilet is also a feature the market tells us is highly valued. Trimmings such as taps, mirrors and cupboards also increase the value of a bathroom (and decrease the time selling a home may require).

      Everyone planning on selling a home in Nutley usually has the same two underlying goals: getting as much of a return on their investment as possible as quickly as possible. Since bathroom remodeling can be an easy way to earn as much as a 90% return on its cost while increasing the likelihood of a quicker sale, it’s well worth investigating. Other possible benefits are attracting better-qualified buyers while reducing the costs and preventing delays associated with inspections.

      I am always available to provide my clients with information on which renovations are in demand, and where you might see the most return on your investment.  My experience and inside knowledge can give you the advantage of using your money as wisely as possible to optimize your home for future buyers. If you’re considering selling a home in Nutley, call me anytime!

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        Nutley Bank Owned Homes: Buying Opportunity

        These days the words “bank owned homes” have become practically synonymous with a single word: “opportunity.”  With prices and mortgage rates this low, first time home buyers, investors and seasoned property owners alike are looking at a raft of buying options unlike any Nutley has seen in a very long time.

        That option of buying a bank owned home has certainly opened a viable route for those looking to own a home at the fraction of what it cost just a few years ago. But not without a price:  the best Nutley bank owned home bargains are almost certain to fall into the ‘fixer-upper’ category.

        When considering the purchase of one of our Nutley bank owned homes, I’ve found that my most successful clients have a few qualities in common:

        –         patience – they wait until they’ve found a house that suits all their needs

        –         prudence – they resist the temptation to take out too big of a loan

        –         realism – they know how much hard work they will be willing to put into the house

         

        Finding the right fixer-upper should be approached as a process: in other words, never buy the first home you see until after you’ve checked out some of its competition. There are more foreclosures on the market than ever – a phenomenon that works to your advantage. When you do find the right home, make sure to take out a loan that makes sense. Often people who are in a hurry to buy a house are tempted to take out a loan without giving enough consideration to its immediate and long-term implications.  Being coolly realistic as you work out the numbers will pay off for a long time.

        Once a bank owned home is officially yours, the hard (often fun!) work begins. Buying a home in need of repair has always been the surest way to find a deal, but it is also the way to improve or develop home maintenance skills, bond with family members, and keep a tight rein on the family budget. Here, too, you need to be careful not to get carried away– you don’t want to overbuild or overdevelop beyond what is appropriate for the neighborhood setting. In other words, keep your end goals in mind.  My advice to clients varies depending on their individual needs: Is it an income property?  Or the family home for the next 15 years?

        Foreclosures show no signs of slowing down in the near future, so this May’s buying market is opportune.  If you’re considering buying a bank owned home in Nutley, call me today to go over your options and to put a plan into action!

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          Nutley Spring Cleaning: a Stitch in Time

          There’s nothing like being able to bask in the warm glow of well-being a Nutley homeowner gets after finishing a thorough spring cleaning. It’s especially true when you realize how important the annual ritual can be in protecting your greatest asset: your Nutley property.

          That warm glow results from doing more than just cleaning your home’s interior, though. It involves maintaining the property in the ways that will prevent having to take more costly steps later. There are three different tasks you can complete to get your home ready for the warm weather that’s on the way. If you follow these basic tips, your home will be looking its best – and the resulting beauty will be more than skin deep.

          One of the most overlooked areas for most Nutley properties is its foundation. It is important to check your foundation for damage, and to patch and seal any cracks as soon as you discover them. The foundation is one of the first areas potential buyers (and their inspectors) examine when they get serious about writing an offer on a home. A sound foundation is essential for the obvious structural reasons — and it can even have an impact on utility bills.

          May is also prime time for cleaning out all of the gutters on your property. When gutters clog, you can end up with leaks inside walls and into basements.  For the ladder-shy, the cost of a once-yearly gutter clearing service can be a prudent and cost-conscious choice (as anyone who’s experienced the major costs that result from neglecting the gutters will tell you)!

          Spring is also a great time to paint the outside of your home. A fresh paint job gives your Nutley property the fresh look nothing else can. You don’t have to be selling your property to appreciate the ‘curb appeal’ – the real difference a fresh coat gives to any house. That paint job will also be more than just attractive: it will also prevent premature aging of the whole exterior.

          Whether your current plans are to sell, rent, or stay put in your Nutley property, you’ll be rewarded by taking a day or two each spring to focus on these preventative care details.  If you need a referral for a handyman or other maintenance service, I’m always happy to recommend some of our reliable Nutley vendors. Call me anytime!

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                Closings Open the Door To Your New Nutley Home

                Surprises can be a lot of fun. Being blindsided when friends throw you a surprise birthday party is a fine example. Getting an unexpectedly large tax return is another. But when you’re about to close escrow on a new Nutley home, surprises are the last thing you need.

                One of the most important services I provide as your experienced Nutley real estate agent is to be there to help you sail through the process of a surprise-less closing. Even so, it’s important for you to review some basics of the steps we need to accomplish in advance. I consider it ‘surprise insurance’ for a successful closing.

                Financing

                Proper financing is the first step in being able to close on the home you’ve just fallen in love with. Ideally, this was arranged before you even began looking at Nutley homes for sale, but if you waited, time to get that financing secured is ASAP.  I help my clients pre-qualify for a loan well before we make it into escrow.

                Appraisal

                Equally vital is getting the subject property appraised by an experienced Nutley professional. This will give you the true value of the property. Even after you’ve fallen in love with a home (or maybe especially after), you need assurance that the price you are paying is what it is worth. As important, that appraisal will be one of the key points helping the bank decide to issue your loan.  I can help with a referral to a qualified professional (if the bank doesn’t require their own appraiser).

                Title

                Finally, selecting and hiring a reputable Nutley title company can help make the process of closing go much more smoothly.  This allows all of the parties to be protected through the entire closing process. Neglecting this important step can lead to surprises in the final closing – exactly what we’ve been working to avoid. It will also be important that you check every line of the estimated closing costs when presented – small mistakes here can cause big problems later, so plan your day to allow time to review the important parts of those documents.

                When your preparations have included these steps, you will find yourself well prepared to close your escrow without a hitch. And no surprises. If you are considering looking at homes to buy in Nutley, call me anytime – if you have questions, I have answers!

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                  Think “Staging” — Selling A House is Theater!

                  Deciding to put your house on the market? Recruiting an experienced Nutley listing agent will give you a leg up on the competition.  He or she will know where you need to spend money, and where you don’t.

                  A good example is dealing with staging – the ‘show biz’ of the real estate world.  Complete staging is expensive and sometimes just is not practical.  A great listing agent will help you decide whether staging is imperative for your home – and if it is not, will offer some basic fixes to help you work with what you have.

                  1. The first stage to set? The front yard. If the street view is untidy or the yard overgrown, you can lose your audience before the performance even begins. Of course, you will keep the lawn cut and fix the fences and gates – but also think creatively. People’s eyes are drawn to color, so adding a few cheerful annuals in pots and hanging baskets and placing them strategically can do wonders. If the front or garage doors are even a little bit chipped or flaking, sand and paint them. If trees or bushes are blocking sunlight from the front windows, take the trimming shears to them. All of this should take no longer than a weekend (and cost less than $150).

                  2. Buyers are not really just an audience: you want them to be participants. You want them to be able to visualize their furnishings in your space. Professional stagers have a simple arithmetic rule:

                  Subtracting Furniture = Adding Space

                  You add space by removing bulky, old or mismatched furniture. As your listing agent, I can help you walk through the house and decide what should stay and what should go into storage. Moving them can take about a weekend; cost will be the price of storage (or half of your garage – the next best option).

                  3. Have you ever walked into an expertly staged home and seen dirty socks hanging out in the bedroom?  Didn’t think so.  Nothing is quite as off-putting as evidence of personal hygiene.  Kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms need special hospital-clean sparkle. Do laundry frequently, and why not use a stagers’ extra? Light candles, set air fresheners — and open windows wherever you can.

                  The market has begun to show signs of new activity, but even so, similar homes are still competing for the same group of buyers. That’s why it is vital that you present your home as favorably as possible.  Staging decisions are a good example of how I, as a listing agent with comprehensive knowledge of our Nutley market, help you maximize your home’s potential. It is one of the ways I work hard for you – – just part of the complete service I am proud to offer. If you are considering listing a home in nutley, call me anytime for a consultation!

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                    Selling Your Home in Nutley On Your Own? (For Sale By Owner)

                    Here are some things you can do to Market Your Home on Your Own.

                    All of life’s major projects take preparation, and selling a home in Nutley requires just that. Contacting my office is a pretty good place to begin, because selling a home efficiently and within a reasonable amount of time most often takes extensive knowledge of the Nutley market. A checklist is a good way to introduce the steps you can take to prepare for selling a home. Here’s a quick overview of five of the items I include in that checklist:

                    1. The obvious first step is identifying any major problems and determining what should be done about them. Decide whether you are going to fix items like roof leaks, rewiring, insect infestations or the presence of asbestos — or whether you are going to reduce your asking price to reflect any unremediated issues. I can provide input to help you establish where possible value may be added or lost, and what is worth your time and investment to fix.

                    2. Whenever you return home, take a moment to pause and visualize what someone driving by for the first time will see. Make a solid first impression by tidying the front yard and keeping the lawn neatly cut and edged. Strategically place colorful flowers in planters where that is appropriate. Repair fences and gates, and be certain that they look freshly painted. And if Fido has the run of the place, be sure that his (ahem!) evidence is nowhere to be seen.

                    3. Stage your home to maximize its appeal – and keep in mind that staging needs to be fresh for every prospect. Remove any unnecessary furniture. That may well mean renting a storage unit to place it and all other clutter into (it’s bound to be a better solution than trying to jam everything into closets or the garage!). Paint walls in light, neutral colors. Remove heavy window treatments to let in as much light as you can (the ‘cheeriness factor’). Keep the kitchen and bathroom as spotless as possible. Make sure that your home smells fresh by opening windows and using flowers, candles or air fresheners; but be careful not to overdo it. I can be especially helpful at this stage, and if it’s indicated, we can discuss whether it makes sense to hire a professional stager.

                    4. Have the property’s value appraised, and educate yourself about the competition. For a bank to issue a loan, your home must compare favorably with similar properties on the market. When we sit down to establish a list price, we’ll need to keep that research and the recent and best comparables in mind.

                    5. This is my favorite to-do item: Be prepared to go! If a move is going to be in your future, you should begin the hunt for a new home, and be prepared to move quickly once you have an executed offer!

                    These are just a few of the steps I help my clients take before listing to get top dollar for their properties. If you are considering selling a home in Nutley, call me today to see how I can put my marketing experience to work for you.

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