VIDEO TIP: 3 Important Spring – Early Summer Homeowner Tips

This year is seems like we went straight from cold winter to hot summer, without ever getting to experience spring.

But the things you need to do in spring or early summer still need to be done even if it feels like we skipped spring. And if you are thinking about selling in the next few years, my 3rd tip is for you!

I’ve got more tips coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to the Arch City Homes weekly email and the video tips will be delivered directly to your inbox weekly.

What’s in the Video:

I’ve learned a lot about taking care of homes since I became a real estate agent 17 years ago. This video is for anyone who lives in or owns a home. Plus 2 of these tips are important for condo owners too!

  1. Turn off your humidifier if you haven’t already. Humidifiers should not be used during AC season.
  2. Don’t leave a hole when you pull out overgrown or dead plants near your home foundation. Removing plants near the foundation can result in water in the basement if you aren’t careful.
  3. If you are thinking of selling, look out your backyard and see if trees hide things during the summer that could turn off buyers after the leaves fall. If so, then you need to plan to sell in the spring or summer.

There are other things you need to do in spring and summer when you own a home. Call me if you need more home ownership tips.

And stick around for more of my videos!

Are You Thinking About Moving?

I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell.  I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.

How is the St. Louis Real Estate Market REALLY Doing?

Everywhere I go, people ask me how the real estate market is doing.

I find that people quote the latest news article they heard or read, believing that what they heard mirrors what is happening locally. However, news sources quoting real estate trends are almost always focusing on national trends.

Local news doesn’t tell you the full story either.

Local real estate news is almost always provided by the real estate agent who is willing to pay hefty fees to be the featured agent for a news broadcast or publication.

But where do those agents get their insights? The information might be accurate, or might be based on the agent’s impressions rather than hard data.

How is the St. Louis Real Estate Market REALLY Doing?

If you want to stay informed of St. Louis housing market information, subscribe to the Arch City Homes weekly email so you don’t miss any posts! 

See how these 3 areas differ even though they are all looking at the same price range and the same time period.

The answer to ‘How is the Real Estate Market Doing’ is always it depends.

It depends on what part of town you are talking about. 

It depends on what price range you are searching.

It depends on if the features for the price/location are common or rare. 

 

Monthly Sales Data Gives You the Answer:

Rather than relying on a real estate agent’s opinion, work with someone who will show you what is really happening in the market that impacts YOUR home sale or purchase.

It’s fine to ask your agent (hopefully me!) what the numbers mean, but be sure you can look at the data yourself so you can see if you agree.

While the charts above all looked at location differences, price range also has a big impact on how fast homes sell.

See how Webster Groves School District homes sales, considered a very hot market right now, differs when you look at $175-225k vs $375-425k.

One last thing to keep in mind…

Homes in St. Louis typically close 5-6 weeks after they get an accepted contract. So when yo look at the charts above (or charts I provide to you personally for your custom search), remember that the Number of Homes Sold in May reflects the number of homes that went under contract 6 weeks earlier. 

If you are ready to sell your St. Louis home, the agent you choose really makes a difference.

Transform your Kitchen with a New Backsplash

Home buyers searching through homes on the internet, trying to decide which homes to visit in person, often don’t realize how easy it can be to transform something they dislike into something they want.

When buyers look at kitchens that feel plain, they often think it means they will have to completely redo the kitchen.

But sometimes changing paint, counters and adding a back splash can completely change the look of a kitchen.

Transforming a Rental Home Kitchen:

When my clients John and Rita called me about selling one of their rental homes, we needed to transform the home from plain to special, without spending much money.

The kitchen was in good condition but felt plain.

This kitchen took on an entire new look by adding stick on vinyl squares that look like glass tile.

New Backsplash and Trendy Paint:

There was a time when red kitchens were everywhere. But trends change quickly, and today’s home buyers get excited by gray walls.

When you add new paint and staging to the new backsplash (plus properly lit photography!), a kitchen can be totally transformed.

Kitchen Backsplashes:

Kitchen backsplashes can change a plain kitchen into one that offers a luxury look. While backsplash styles change quickly, as long as the style fits what people were installing in the last few years, St. Louis home buyers will be impressed.

If you are thinking of selling your home, adding a backsplash may be just what you need to do to get a higher sale price.

Don’t Go It Alone:

With both of these kitchen transformations, I provided a few suggestions to my clients that would give them the look I was describing. I went to a local big box store and texted them pictures (with prices) of backsplashes that would make their kitchens appealing to buyers. Then they went shopping. Both sent me texts of pictures of the items they planned to purchase before pulling out their credit cards.

While many real estate agents might suggest clients make changes before putting a home on the market, I go the extra step of helping my clients from start to finish. I want my clients to be confident they are putting in features home buyers will like.

The end result is my clients can get the price they want for their home…which is the only reason they made the updates in the first place.

Not Moving?

Give me a call and I’ll help you figure out which updates makes sense. Whether you are moving next year or in 20 years, I’m happy to help.

If you are ready to sell your St. Louis home, the agent you choose really makes a difference.

Top 5 Features St. Louis Home Buyers Want that Aren’t in Marketing Pictures

Home buyers searching through homes on the internet, trying to decide which homes to visit in person, see a lot of pretty pictures (and terrible pictures!). But often the things that get a buyer to make an offer aren’t in those pictures.

Here are 5 of the top features St. Louis home buyers want, but you need to tell buyers you have them since they can’t simply tell by looking at pictures.

1.  Hi-efficiency heating and cooling

Green features and energy saving features that will save homeowners money are very popular with buyers. If you spent the money to put in a high efficiency feature, make sure you tell potential home buyers.

While you might assume that everyone will recognize the difference between a regular furnace and the high efficiency furnace shown above, they won’t.
Instant hot water heaters are still pretty rare in St. Louis, so most of your buyers will have no idea that the picture above probably replaced the big round water heater tank they are used to seeing.

2.  Wood floors are really popular

While buyers might overlook bad pictures, they can’t read minds. If you have hardwood floors under your carpeting but you don’t tell buyers, they won’t know.

Even if you love your wall-to-wall carpeting, there are many buyers out there that really want wood floors. Let them know they can remove your carpeting and get the floors they want, and they’ll probably come take a look at your home.

3.  Gas stoves (or the ability to change the stove to gas)

It’s rare to find a buyer who says they want an electric stove.

While some buyers won’t care, most want gas stoves or the easy ability to change a stove to gas after closing.

The problem with online pictures is that the kitchen pictures often don’t make it obvious the stove is gas. Close-up pictures can solve that problem.

If the stove isn’t gas, but there is unfinished basement space under the kitchen and a gas furnace/water heater in the house, be sure to remind buyers that it will be easy to convert the stove from electric to gas.

4.  Newer roofs and systems

If you replaced ANYTHING in the last 5 years, be sure to tell home buyers. Most buyers really care about the age of systems and assume things are old if you don’t tell them when they were installed.

You don’t need to write the date on your systems, but be sure to place special feature cards around the house to tell buyers the age of systems. You might have written the age of everything in the marketing remarks for the online listing, but they won’t remember those details while they are walking around the house.

5.  No ladder required

Buyers don’t peek into attics or climb on roofs. And even if they did, they usually won’t understand what they are looking at. Or why it is a big deal.

If you spent the money in places they can’t get to on their own, tell your potential home buyers or they won’t know it’s a benefit to buying your home.

Some homes even have attic fans that work. But they are tucked out of sight in the attic. Make sure you buyer understands you have one and it will allow them to avoid using the AC in the spring and fall, saving them money on their utility bills.
While the roof will get inspected after a buyer is under contract, having a newer roof or one with premium features could be the thing that makes a buyer pick your house over another one they are also considering.
If you are ready to sell your St. Louis home, the agent you choose really makes a difference.

VIDEO TIP: Do All Home Buyers Really Want the Same Thing?

When I’m helping sellers prepare to sell their home, my goal is to make the house appealing to the most likely buyers. Sometimes that means we are painting homes gray because that’s what “everyone” seems to want.

Other times, it makes sense to ignore the trendy style and focus on buyers who are more likely to want a house like the one being sold.

But when I’m working with buyers, none of that matters. The focus needs to be on what they want. Of course, if they plan to move again, we will talk about resale. But since they will probably be redoing flooring and paint before they move, it doesn’t really matter what everyone likes…it just matters that my clients like it.

Of course….if my clients don’t care about the latest trends, the house should also be priced to match the updates (or lack of updates)!

I’ve got more behind the scenes help coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to the Arch City Homes weekly email and the video tips will be delivered directly to your inbox weekly.

Every Buyer is Unique:

I’ve been helping buyers find St. Louis area homes for a long time. Over the years, here are some of the things my buyers wanted that didn’t match what realtors and sellers claim “everyone” wants:

  • a totally wooded backyard so it wouldn’t need any mowing
  • a basement that had to be unfinished so it could accommodate the train setup
  • a finished basement that was NOT a walk-out basement, so the teens couldn’t go in or out without using the front door
  • a QuickTrip on the way to work so the buyer could swing through to grab a cup of coffee without having to make left turns into traffic
  • a room that could be dedicated to the iguana
  • a house with walls separating the kitchen from the living space rather than an open floor plan

These requirements were real…and I found homes with each of these things for those clients!

When I work with clients who need to buy a home, my focus is on what they want, not what everything thinks they should want.

Are You Thinking About Moving?

I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell.  I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.

SELLER TIP: How Important is Curb Appeal?

If you research how to sell a home, you will certainly be told to focus on curb appeal.

I agree that curb appeal does impact how buyers react to homes online, and could increase showings. However, once at the house, very few buyers will purchase a home with curb appeal if it doesn’t live up to their expectations INSIDE the house.

Watch the video below to learn more about how important curb appeal is (or isn’t) in St. Louis.

I’ve got more behind the scenes help coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to the Arch City Homes weekly email and the video tips will be delivered directly to your inbox weekly.

Major Points in this Video:

  • how does curb appeal impact photography?
  • where should you focus your efforts outside so home buyers will enter your home with a positive attitude?
  • will improving your curb appeal get your home sold?

How Does Curb Appeal Impact Showings?

While curb appeal does not have as much impact in person as online advice might suggest, it does have a big impact on the number of showings you will receive.

It IS important that your home looks good in exterior photography. As I shared in the video, small imperfections won’t show up in the photography. However, colorful flowers, trimmed bushes and mulched flower beds can make a big difference in how a home looks in pictures. Painting the front door a contrasting color or adding a bistro set to the front porch really make a difference.

Take a look at these pictures of my listings with good curb appeal achieved inexpensively.

Are You Thinking About Moving?

I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell.  I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.