Kat Geralis Home Team Wilmington DE Real Estate News Archives

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It is common for the real estate market to experience ebbs and flows in Delaware and Pennsylvania— in fact, it's always changing! Some years, it could lean in favor of buyers, and others, sellers may have the upper hand. But how do you know which direction the market is headed right now? Are there signs to watch for?

There are indeed specific factors that can help you identify which type of market you're in and as your local real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to point them out! Below are three ways you can tell if you're in a seller's market:

Home Prices

One way to find out if you're in a buyer's or seller's market is to look closely at home prices. If you notice that home prices are rising steadily over time, you are likely in a seller's market. Curious about your Delaware or Pennsylvania home value? Give us a call! We're happy to provide more information for homeowners in the area.

Final Price vs. Asking Price

If sellers in your area are typically earning the asking price or even more (due to a bidding war or simply buyer demand) for their properties, you are probably in a seller's market. When homes sell for below their asking price, you would are in a buyer's market as these deals would ultimately work in a buyer's favor.

Days on Market

The average number of days that a property is on the real estate market, often referred to as DOM, will show you how "old" the listing is; you can find this figure easily on any listing sheet, either online or in-person. Take a look at this number— if homes are selling quickly (between 7 to 10 days), you are in a seller's market. This is especially important for local homeowners as this indicates their property is likely to sell efficiently and at a favorable price due to buyer demand.

No matter if you're a buyer or seller in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to walk you through the process! Contact us today!

We even offer FREE First Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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Updated Real Estate Market Stats for New Castle County DE

by Katina Geralis

It's a new year, so it's time for a real estate market update! Buyers are still out in high numbers, ready to find their dream homes in Delaware and Pennsylvania, while inventory is still trending around the lower end of the spectrum. Just remember, real estate is hyper-local, so it is always wise to contact your agent for a current snapshot of the market where you live— the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help!

For the fourth quarter of 2017, there were 1,735 homes for sale— a 21.2 percent decrease in inventory from the same time last year. But this isn't just happening here in Delaware and Pennsylvania, lower inventory is a trend buyers are finding all across the country! The median sales price saw a 4.4 percent decrease to $215,000 and the number of home sales rose 2 percent for a total of 1,696 total closed sales in Q4. 

The average sales price in New Castle County for the fourth quarter was $243,299, a 2.7 percent decrease from this time last year. But don't let these decreases in average sales price or median sales price worry you— the percentage of the original price received saw a .7 percent increase in Q4, coming in at 95.2 percent!

Inventory for the fourth quarter of 2017 posted a 28.7 percent drop from the previous year, totaling a 2.9 months supply— just one more sign that the market is ready for your home! With the right real estate expert on your side, you can sell your home quickly and for top dollar— you might just even spark a bidding war!

Updated real estate market stats can provide brief insight into the local real estate market, but they are just that— brief! Contact us today for more information about the market where you live in Delaware or Pennsylvania or with any questions you have about buying or selling a home this year!

We even offer FREE First-Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Give us a call today!
 

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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Once you've found your dream home in Chester County or Delaware County PA, Wilmington or Newark DE, it can be hard to erase the picture from your mind. You start to envision yourself living in the space, how your furniture will fit, and what paint colors you will choose. But in today's real estate market, you may find yourself competing with cash buyers who can snag the home quicker and easier than those with financing. 

You will need an edge to land the property over those cash buyers and below are a few ways for you to do just that:

Be straightforward about your finances
Sellers often accept cash deals as every aspect of the transaction is laid out on the table for them to see. As a buyer with financing, it is essential that you do the same if you are to compete with cash buyers. Be straightforward with your finances— provide a pre-approval letter, allow your lender to provide financial details with your offer so the seller can feel confident in accepting it. Documents like bank statements and credit reports can allow the seller to see exactly what you have to back up your offer and feel it is just as sound as a cash offer.

Speed up the loan process
Ask your lender how quickly they can turn around the loan as many cash deals close quickly without having to go through this step. In some scenarios, loans can be turned around in as little as 14 days. Even better, if you can speed up the appraisal contingency and get the appraiser to the property fast, sellers may be more willing to accept your offer.

Speed up the inspection
Sellers in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA want to close the deal as efficiently as possible and for top dollar. To this effect, if you can also get your inspector to the property within days after your accepted offer, they can feel more confident that there will be no hiccups in the process.

Offer more
In some cases, if you don't want to risk losing the home to a cash buyer, you can offer more than what you think the home is worth. Cash buyers will oftentimes offer a lesser amount because of the lack of hurdles sellers will have to jump, so if you can top the cash offer, you may put yourself in a better position to win the property! Depending on how much more you offer, the increase likely won't change your mortgage payment much over the life of the loan. 

Be personal
You have probably heard stories of buyers writing sellers letters in an attempt to make their offer stand out. If the home you're bidding on is indeed your dream home, what could it hurt? Be personal with the sellers and make yourself known, you never know if your letter detailing what you love about the property or details about your family could put the ball in your court.

As your local real estate experts in Greater Wilmington and Southeastern PA, you can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to help you secure your dream home, whether you're using financing to buy or cash. Give us a call today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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5 Tasks to Complete Around Your Chester County PA Home in September

by Katina Geralis

September is here and it's time to start getting your home ready for the fall season ahead. Say goodbye to summer by putting away garden tools, patio furniture and cleaning the gutters to make way for the falling leaves. 

As your local real estate experts in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA, the Kat Geralis Home Team has listed five home improvement tasks to complete around your home this month:

Clean up siding
During the summer months, the siding on your home can easily become mildewed and damaged. Check for cracks in the siding that may need repaired and take the time to pressure wash away any dirt and grime that may have accumulated over the last few months. You will want to have any issues fixed before the cold arrives!

Check windows and doors
The seals around windows and doors become increasingly important during the fall and winter as they can let warm air escape and cold air enter. Check these seals in your Wilmington DE area home and if you spot a place where air can escape, you can apply a new bead of caulk or weatherstripping depending on its location.

Clean the chimney
If you have a fireplace in your Southeastern PA home, now is the time to have it swept for use in the fall and winter. The build up of soot can make you more prone to a chimney fire, so it's best to let the pros tackle this job.

Have HVAC inspected
When you go to reach for the thermostat this fall, you will want to know everything is in working order. Call your local technician to have your HVAC system inspected now and take care to change out your furnace filter. There is often a long waiting list to have systems inspected when the weather turns cold, so avoid this obstacle and cross it off your list now!

Clean and store yard equipment
It's time to put away the gardening tools, patio furniture, garden hose, and the like. While you may use them a few more times in the coming weeks, you can at least clean them now to ensure they will not rust or become damaged once in storage. Clear a space in the garage or shed to store all of your yard equipment and outdoor furniture and once you've decided to call it for the season, you'll know exactly where they go!

Ready to make a move this fall? Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for more information about selling your home and finding your next dream property in Greater Wilmington, Chester County and Delaware County PA!

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Mistakes That Will Keep You From Selling Your Wilmington DE Home

by Katina Geralis

With buyer demand soaring and inventory still trending lower, the ball is in the seller's court in the local Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA real estate market. But that doesn't mean you can simply place a "For Sale" sign in your yard and the offers will begin to pour in. There are several mistakes that can actually hold you back from selling your Delaware or Pennsylvania home and as your local experts, we've included them below!

If you plan to sell your Chester County or Delaware County PA home this summer, be sure to avoid the following:

1. Overpricing
In order to attract buyers and prompt them to write an offer, your home needs to be priced well from the beginning. Overpricing can cause buyers to pass over your property entirely, given their search parameters, or wonder why they seem to be getting less in your home than they would in another of a similar price. Always consult with your agent on your listing price before determining the best.

2. Using poor listing photos
Buyers today first begin their home search online and poor listing photos could turn them away before they even make it to the front door. Make sure you have professional photos used in your online listing— they should be crisp, bright, and showcase your home in its best possible condition.

3. Not de-cluttering
When buyers enter your Greater Wilmington home, they should be able to focus on the property itself, not the furniture or knick knacks on display. Take the time to de-clutter before you allow buyers inside, or even before you list, to ensure the best results.

4. Not being flexible
If you do have offers on your home, at least consider a counter offer before rejecting one entirely. Holding firm without being flexible could just cause your home to "sit" on the market longer than it needs to and force buyers to walk away.

The Kat Geralis Home Team has helped numerous sellers earn top dollar for their homes and we can help you do the same! Give us a call today to get started finding your home value and preparing your property for the market.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Types of Debt That Will Affect Your DE or PA Mortgage Approval

by Katina Geralis

Whether you've just started house-hunting in Greater Wilmington or Southeastern Pennsylvania or have already found your dream home, the next step is moving on to the mortgage application. Starting early is key as you may need to amend your credit report errors and score in order to increase your chances of approval with your lender. And what's more, there are certain types of debt that will have a major impact on your ability to secure the loan.

Below are three types of debt that will affect your mortgage approval in Wilmington, Newark, and beyond:

Student Loans
While they are considered unsecured debt, student loans are not necessarily harmful to your credit score if you make your payments on time. In fact, because of the lengths of the loans, they may even help to boost your score! Just keep in mind that these do affect your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), so a large loan amount may have an impact on the outcome.

Auto Loans
These loans are considered secured debt as the bank can take ownership of your vehicle if you don't pay on time. Auto loans are also harder to get approved for than credit cards, so lenders may look kindly upon the fact that you've already been approved for one.

Existing Mortgages
Mortgage loans also fall into the secured debt category as the bank can take ownership of your property should you not be able to pay. It's important to not miss a payment as this can ultimately cause a lender to turn you down for a new loan, however, if you make payments on time, a mortgage can boost your credit score! Existing mortgages play a major role in your DTI, so if possible, try to pay down as much as you can before taking out another.

Do not hesitate to contact the Kat Geralis Home Team with any questions you have about the mortgage approval process, available properties in the area, or the local market! We're here to help!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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2017 Memorial Day Events in Greater Wilmington DE

by Katina Geralis

It's hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is already here! It's time to start up the grill, head outdoors and enjoy the summer season (and weather!) that's ahead of us! But let's start with this weekend— there are dozens of events to attend in the Greater Wilmington DE area, from parades to farmers markets and veteran discounted days at the museum. 

The Kat Geralis Home Team has included five events you can attend this Memorial Day weekend below:

New Castle Farmers Market
May 26-28, 2017
Friday and Saturday 9 AM to 9 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM
110 N Dupont Hwy
New Castle DE

Enjoy food and fun for the whole family at this local farmers market! From Friday through Sunday, there are over 70 vendors present selling everything from meats to baked goods!

Memorial Day at Hagley
Monday, May 29, 2017; 10 AM to 5 PM
Hagley Museum
Wilmington DE

Come watch a canon firing presentation in the powder yard at 1 PM, 2 PM or 3 PM. Admission is free for military veterans.

Fireworks & Fountains
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA

The summer season at Longwood will include the return of the popular Fireworks & Fountains show. Each night has a different theme and music for the amazing display that will illuminate the night sky!

Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 29, 2017; 10 AM
Kennett Square PA

Don't miss Kennett Square's biggest parade of the year! The route will begin at Kennett High School, heading to East South Street, South Union Street to East Cypress Street, South Broad Street to West State Street, North Union Street to the Union Hill Cemetery. The parade will last about an hour and feature over 1,000 participants!

Flags for Heroes
Now through May 30, 2017
Newark Municipal Building
Newark DE

Visit the Newark Rotary's display of Flags for Heroes in front of the Newark Municipal Building to honor those who have served our country.

We wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day and as always, do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the local real estate market, buying or selling a home this year!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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If you made home improvements to your Delaware or Pennsylvania home in 2016, you are likely eligible for certain tax deductions that can save you immensely on your return. But how do you know what you are able to deduct from your renovation? The Kat Geralis Home Team has included below those tax-deductible home improvements that you are able to claim:

Energy Efficient Upgrades
This credit is geared toward major system upgrades in your Greater Wilmington or Newark home. In order to claim, you need to have purchased a new AC system, furnace, water heater, skylight, windows, home insulation or energy-efficient roof for your home in 2016. Also, keep in mind there is a lifetime cap of $500 on this credit, so if you've already hit the limit, you cannot claim any more.

Energy Generating Upgrades
As a homeowner, you are able to claim up to 30 percent of the costs of solar panels, solar water heaters, fuel cells, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps for a tax credit. This credit is good through 2019 and does not have a cap like its energy efficiency counterpart mentioned above.

Upgrades That Add Value
Most renovations made in your Southeastern Pennsylvania or Delaware home are eligible for a tax credit. For instance, if you built an addition, renovated a bathroom or kitchen, replaced your roof, added a deck or replaced any windows or doors, you can deduct those costs, so save your receipts! Remember, the upgrades need to add value to your home, so repairs don't count!

Interest from Home Improvement Loans
Just as you can deduct the interest of your mortgage payments, you can deduct the interest from a home improvement loan or HELOC if the money is used to renovate your home. Any home improvements are eligible for the credit and you can deduct up to $100,000 in interest.

Renovating is a great way to boost value in time to sell your Chester County or Delaware County home this year. Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today for more information about selling your home, your home value or available properties in the Greater Wilmington area.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle Now in Your Wilmington DE Home

by Katina Geralis

It may be difficult to begin thinking spring when the weather is still on the colder side here in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA, but inside your home, there are a number of projects you can take on! It's never too early to tackle spring cleaning and if you're planning to sell your home in the Chester County or Delaware County PA area this year, buyers will certainly notice and appreciate your efforts!

Below are the most effective spring cleaning projects you can cross off of your list now in your Delaware and Pennsylvania home:

Clean the windows
Winter brings longer, darker days, but you would be amazed at how much of a difference a simple window washing can do for the light in your home. Clean every window inside and out—if possible—and while you're at it, take down the drapes and blinds and give them a thorough washing too.

Clean the carpets
Over the winter months, dirt, snow, grime and slush can take a toll on your flooring— especially carpet! Just imagine everything winter boots can track inside! Now is a great time to shampoo your carpets with a professional machine to eliminate all stains and spots and if you're trying to remove pet odors, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, wait thirty minutes and then vacuum it up.

Clean tile grout
You may have grout in your bathroom and kitchen that has gone quite some time without being cleaned. Grab an old toothbrush, baking soda and spray bottle filled with white vinegar and set out to refresh these spaces! Simply rub the baking soda into the grout and then spray with the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a damp sponge or scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Declutter every room
There's no need to head outside to do any spring cleaning— in fact, decluttering every room will make one of the biggest impacts on local buyers! Remove any lingering holiday decor or excessive knick knacks, say goodbye to old magazines and mail, and relocate shoes and outerwear that may be taking up space in your entryway. What's more, you will want to remove any large furniture that is blocking focal points like picture windows or a cozy fireplace.

Ready for a fresh start in a new home in 2017? Do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We can walk you through the selling process as well as provide helpful tips for making sure your home is buyer ready!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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3 Common Mistakes First-Time Homebuyers Make in Newark and Wilmington DE

by Katina Geralis

No matter if you live in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Newark or Wilmington Delaware, first-time homebuyers are tempted to commit the same common real estate mistakes. We know that the homebuying process can feel overwhelming and if you've found "the one," you may feel rushed into making a big decision. However, the last thing you want is to feel buyer's remorse!

As your real estate experts in Wilmington and Newark, DE, Chester County and Delaware County PA, the Kat Geralis Home Team has outlined three of the real estate mistakes we see most often among first-time buyers. Remember, if you know how to spot them, the less likely you are to run into the same pitfalls!

Not seeking professional advice
Are you self-employed? Are you worried you don't have enough for a down payment? Concerned that you won't qualify for a mortgage? Don't toss out the idea of buying a home just because you think it's not an option for you! It's always wise to seek professional advice, whether that be with your real estate agent or with a local lender, before you decide to make a home purchase. Only the experts will be able to review your specific situation and provide you with a buying timeline or realistic price range for a property. Don't make the assumption yourself!

Looking at homes out of your budget
As I mentioned above, don't make assumptions about your budget or price range until you have the facts in order! You can use a mortgage calculator to determine what a comfortable mortgage payment may be each month given your other debts and expenses, but until you meet with a lender, you won't know for certain. Be careful not to start looking at homes that may be out of your budget as you will only get your hopes up and be disappointed later. 

Not gathering mortgage quotes
Not only are you able to gather different mortgage quotes from lenders in the area, but it is highly recommended! Each lender may present you with a different mortgage rate, terms and conditions and locking in the first you receive could mean leaving money on the table. Gather quotes from a few lenders on the same day and compare each one before making your decision.

If you're preparing to buy a home in the Greater Wilmington area or Southeastern PA, do not hesitate to contact the Kat Geralis Home Team! We have helped numerous buyers with their real estate goals, walking them through the buying process and finding them the perfect property! We even offer FREE first-time homebuyer seminars!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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