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How to Buy a Delaware or Pennsylvania Home Before the Holidays

by Katina Geralis

Tis the season for holiday chaos in Delaware and Pennsylvania! Your schedule is likely full of festive gatherings, tree trimming, and traveling to visit with friends and family near and far. Right now, buying a new home and settling in before the new year may seem like a challenge, but don't be so quick to write it off! Buying a new home during this busy time of year can be done and you just need an expert real estate agent and a handful of helpful tips to get the job done!

Below are four tips to help you buy a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania before the holidays:

​Get pre-approved
Don't get off on the wrong foot by touring homes that are outside of your budget. Instead, take the time to get pre-approved with a mortgage lender! This way, you'll know exactly how much home you can afford, as well as whether to not you even qualify to buy a home.

Team up with an expert agent
Your real estate agent should both know the DE and PA market well, as well as have a large network of experts at their disposal. For instance, when you have a specific timeline in mind to buy a home—like during the holidays—your agent should know exactly which local professionals to bring in to complete the transaction, from lenders to inspectors.

Get documents in order
You can never be too organized as a Delaware or Pennsylvania homebuyer. Put together all of the documents you will need to buy a home— tax returns from the past two years, W2's or pay stubs, as well as two months worth of bank statements from all accounts. Keep them in a separate folder just for your purchase as this will speed up the process when the documents are needed!

Stay on track
If you're under contract to buy a home, you will want to stay on top of everyone to keep the transaction moving. When you work with the right real estate agent, they will also play an important role in this. Considering all of the parties involved in the transaction, it may be many days before someone gets the document they need or answers a certain question. If you haven't heard back in a timely manner, always check in with that person to stay on track!

2018 may almost be over, but don't let that stop you from buying a new home in Delaware or Pennsylvania! Give us a call today for a list of available properties as well as next steps for home buying or selling your current home!

We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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How to Know When to Sell Your Delaware or Pennsylvania Home

by Katina Geralis

While every Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowner's reason for selling their property will vary, there are a few red flags that will ultimately signal that it's time to move on. Whether you've grown out of the space or your job is taking you to a different community—or out of state completely—you can count on our team of experts to help you navigate the current real estate market as a home seller.

Below are five signs it's time to sell your Delaware or Pennsylvania home:

You've outgrown the home
As mentioned above, it is a great sign that you're ready for a bigger home if your family is growing (or if you're an empty nester, the opposite). If you're looking for a larger home to accommodate your needs or a property with fewer bedrooms as your children move out, you can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to help you find the best fit.

Your costs are too high
It is not uncommon for DE or PA homeowners to find themselves unprepared for the costs that come with a property's upkeep. If you are in this position or think you could be soon, it's time to move on and find a property that better suits your financial situation with a lesser mortgage payment or overall maintenance costs.

The market is ready
Why not take advantage of the current Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate market and list your home while you have an edge? Especially if buyer demand continues to increase and you have the equity in your home, chances are high that you will be able to land a buyer quickly and move on to your next dream home.

You have the value
There is no better time for a DE or PA homeowner to sell than when they have equity built in their property and the market conditions are in their favor. Reach out to our real estate team to find your home's value and determine if now is the time for you!

It's been five years
Five years is the amount of time that industry experts recommend spending in your home before moving on, in an attempt to build enough equity for the move to make sense. After all, when paying a mortgage, the first payments are almost always all interest. Of course your personal situation will influence your decision, but unless you have an urgent need to pack your bags, you might like to consider staying put for a while longer.

Ready to get the listing process started or simply curious about your home value? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call! We can provide a list of next steps toward selling your DE or PA home and offer a snapshot of your market value in real time.

We even offer a FREE Home Seller E-Guide!

Give us a call today!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

Updated Real Estate Market Stats for Delaware and Pennsylvania

by Katina Geralis

We're back with another Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate market update! The market is always changing, especially as the seasons change, but homebuyer activity is still high in Delaware and Pennsylvania as buyers continue to shop year-round for properties on their smartphones, tablets, even email alerts with new listings! As you may have also noticed, sales prices are still climbing while inventory is still much lower than it has been in past years. But remember, this is just a snapshot! If you have questions about the market where you live, it is always best to contact your agent for an up-to-date look at the market. As your local experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help!

For the third quarter of 2018, there were 1,765 homes for sale— a 24.4 percent decrease in inventory from the same time last year. Try not to worry too much about this as lower inventory trend is not something only occurring here in Delaware and Pennsylvania; this is something going on all across the country! The median sales price saw a 2.7 percent increase, rising to $231,000 and the number of home sales rose slightly by 0.2 percent for a total of 2,054 total closed sales in Q3. 

The average sales price in New Castle County for the second quarter was $254,149, a 0.1 percent increase from this time last year! This is something to note, home sellers— now can be the perfect time to sell your home as buyers are still out searching for their dream homes! The percentage of the original price received also saw a 1.1 percent increase in Q3, coming in at 96.8 percent!

Inventory for the third quarter of 2018 posted a 24.8 percent drop from the previous year, totaling a 2.9 months supply. Again, this is something to keep in mind, homeowners! The market could use your home!

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 before the end of the 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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

In past blog posts, we've talked about 4 Real Estate Red Flags Your DE or PA Home Inspection Might Miss and even How to Negotiate Repairs After Your Inspection, but now it's time to go over one more important topic— questions to ask!

When the home inspection is complete and you've gone over the often lengthy report, you will likely have many questions for your inspector that will have your head spinning! As your local real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, we've rounded up a few important questions to help calm your nerves:

What does "this" mean?
If you attend your home inspection, which is always wise, you will be able to ask the inspector questions in the moment if you don't understand something in his report. For instance, if he lists a defect in the roof that you aren't clear on, you can ask him how serious it is and what exactly needs to be fixed. Never be afraid to ask the inspector if you aren't clear on an item in the report— you should be fully aware of what you're buying!

Is this a major problem?
Buyers, don't be too alarmed by the length of the report! Many of the items included will be minor and not too much to worry about. But be sure to ask your inspector if any major problems came up during inspection, so you are certain of what needs to be done.

Do I need to call for a follow-up?
Your inspector isn't an expert on everything— in some cases, he may suggest you call an electrician or plumber to take a closer look. If he flags something in the report along these lines, ask him if you need to call another expert for a follow-up. This way you can stay on top of repairs or problems!

What needs to be done when I move in?
If you don't plan to ask the seller to make specific repairs, that becomes your job as the homeowner upon move-in. Ask the inspector which minor items you will need to take care of when you move in, so you're not left wondering why something isn't functioning properly when you have the keys!

Have more questions to ask a real estate expert about the buying process? Give us a call today!

We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

 

 

4 Mistakes to Avoid When House Hunting in Delaware and Pennsylvania

by Katina Geralis

While you may have seen dozens of real estate reality TV shows that make it look as simple as touring three homes and then choosing the best one, there is so much more to house hunting in Delaware and Pennsylvania. In fact, there are a few rules of thumb to follow in order to avoid any buyer's remorse or financial obstacles down the road.

As your local real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Kat Geralis Home Team has put together four mistakes to avoid when house hunting this year to make your experience as smooth as possible:

Don't Skip the Pre-Approval
Working with a lender on your mortgage pre-approval should be your first step in your DE or PA home purchase process. In the event that you find a home you want to pursue, a seller will likely not entertain any offers without a pre-approval. This step shows the seller you are serious about buying and can give you an edge over other buyers who may not have a pre-approval completed.

Don't House Hunt on Your Own
There are many perks to working with a real estate agent, so don't make the costly mistake of going it alone this year! Remember that your agent has done this before and knows the in's and out's of crafting the perfect offer and corresponding with all necessary parties in a transaction. Navigating a home purchase alone can be a full-time job in itself— why not leave it to the pros?

Don't Wait Too Long to Act
If you see a home in DE or PA that you love, don't wait! Buyer demand has been strong over the past few months and it hasn't slowed down yet! You won't want to let your dream home slip through your fingers because you waited a week to get in for a showing. Work with your agent to make sure you are timely in viewing the property and writing your offer if you've found "the one!"

Don't Get Distracted by Home Features
When you tour a home, it can be easy to get distracted by updates like new appliances, light fixtures, and even trendy items like sliding barn doors. But don't get too carried away! It is important to envision how you and your family will live in the space— does it have enough bedrooms? Are there enough bathrooms? Does the layout suit your needs? Is there enough outdoor space? Home features like lighting and hardware are simply decorative, while major structural components like layout and square footage will affect your daily life and are what you will need to focus in on.

Ready to buy a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania but don't know how to get started? Contact our team of local experts today! We will walk you through every step in the process!

We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

How to Determine Resale Value in Delaware or Pennsylvania Homes

by Katina Geralis

No matter how long you intend to be in a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, it is always important to consider the resale value. Remember, your home is an investment and the last thing you want is to have a hard time selling the property when you're finally ready to move on. Not only is that more of a homeowner headache for you, but it could also mean more money spent!

As your local experts, we've listed below four ways to determine the resale value of a property while you're house hunting in Delaware and Pennsylvania this year:

It's in a great neighborhood
You've heard the term, "location, location, location," in real estate and for good reason! If the property is near grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping, chances are it will have great appeal to future buyers. One thing to avoid is a home in a commercial area or an underdeveloped neighborhood far from such amenities as the above.

It's in a great school district
Homebuyers today are willing to compromise on their home wish lists for great school districts. Regardless if you have children, take a good look at the district your potential new home falls into and whether or not a buyer would be swayed to purchase the property or if there is a much better school system located elsewhere.

It's in a quiet area
No homeowner likes a noisy neighbor— or a noisy intersection in their backyard! A home located near a high-traffic area or busy street will not have the same resale value as one that's located in a more hushed neighborhood. Always consider the sound factor when house-hunting in DE or PA. If you don't, you could pay for it later!

​You don't have to spend too much on repairs
While it may not cross your mind if you're planning to stay put for years to come, be sure to consider how much you'll have to spend on repairs in a potential home. You'll always want the amount you'll be able to sell the property for to outweigh your upkeep costs. If the property requires you to break the bank to get it running smoothly, it may not be worth it if you'll only be there a short time.

Ready to start your Delaware or Pennsylvania home search? Let the Kat Geralis Home Team be your guide to the real estate market! We've helped numerous buyers find their dream homes and we're here to help you do the same.

We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

Updated Delaware and Pennsylvania Real Estate Market Stats

by Katina Geralis



It's time for another Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate market update! As you may have realized, homebuyer activity is still high in Delaware and Pennsylvania, home values are rising, and inventory is still hovering around the lower end of the real estate spectrum. If you have questions about the market where you live, it is always best to contact your agent for an up-to-date snapshot of the market. As your local experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help!

For the second quarter of 2018, there were 1,833 homes for sale— a 24.5 percent decrease in inventory from the same time last year. But keep in mind, the lower inventory trend is not just happening here in Delaware and Pennsylvania; this is something we're seeing nationwide! The median sales price saw a 2.2 percent increase—which is new to the market—rising to $230,000 and the number of home sales dipped slightly by 1.4 percent for a total of 2,081 total closed sales in Q2. 

The average sales price in New Castle County for the second quarter was $256,046, a 2.4 percent increase from this time last year! This is also a change from what we've been seeing in the market, so make note home sellers! The percentage of the original price received also saw a 1 percent increase in Q2, coming in at 97 percent!

Inventory for the second quarter of 2018 posted a 26.5 percent drop from the previous year, totaling a 3.1 months supply— so keep in mind, homeowners, that now is a great time to considering selling your home! 

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 before the end of the 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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

When you've decided to sell your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you'll want to make sure buyers are intrigued from the start. That means you've found the best possible listing pricing, have made any necessary repairs, and of course, staged the home in a way that buyers can envision living there. But before you decide everything is complete and sit back to welcome the offers that are sure to come your way, you'll want to take a good look at your kitchen.

It is no secret that kitchens sell homes in Delaware and Pennsylvania and there are a few things that may be found inside yours that can send a buyer running the other way. Take a look at the following to make sure your kitchen is ready for the market:

Pet Bowls
Remember, you love your pet, but not all buyers are pet people. Consider moving your pet food bowls out of sight when buyers arrive for a showing to ensure you don't turn them away, even if they otherwise love the property.

Trash Cans
If your trash cans are out in plain sight in your Delaware or Pennsylvania kitchen, clean the area as thoroughly as possible. This means the can itself looks clean, the bag is empty to avoid any odor, and the space around it is free of recycling items or other trash.

Cluttered Counters
You want to make your kitchen feel as open and spacious as possible, so start by removing all of your small appliances and other knick knacks from the countertops. Clean counters will help buyers note how much space they will have to work with in this area.

Dishes
Before buyers arrive to tour your Delaware or Pennsylvania home, be sure that the sink is clean and empty. Someone may love your home, but when they come across dirty dishes in the sink, they could get the impression that other parts of the home have been neglected.

Pests
Ants, flies, and even mice are not an uncommon homeowner problem, but when you become a home seller, it's important to remove any signs of household pests. This includes disposing of traps and bugs before buyers get to your front door.

Curious if your Delaware or Pennsylvania home is prepared for today's real estate market? Want to know what your home might be worth? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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


Summer is one of the best times to tackle that long homeowner to-do list! Whether it's replacing your front door, installing new light fixtures and landscaping, or even as big as renovating an entire bathroom, there are certain projects that can give your home a much needed boost in terms of looks and value! But don't be too quick with the hammer— instead take a look at our list of Delaware and Pennsylvania home projects that will pay you back when the time comes to sell.

According to real estate news outlet Keeping Current Matters, the following four projects will yield you the highest return on your investment:

Bathroom Remodel
You may have heard that kitchens and bathrooms help sell homes and it's true! A minor bathroom remodel can bring homeowners the highest return on investment—102 percent—when they replace the tub and tile, and add a new toilet, sink, vanity, and other bathroom fixtures.

Curb Appeal
This is what may grab a buyer's attention, so don't write off curb appeal as an unimportant home improvement project this summer! Adding landscaping, including trees, shrubs, and other flowers, creating walkways and accessorizing with planters can yield homeowners as much as 100 percent of their investment at resale.

​Kitchen Remodel
Just like we said above, a kitchen remodel can do wonders in the eyes of a buyer! This home improvement project has the third highest ROI for homeowners, likely allowing them to recoup 98.5 percent of the investment! This remodel includes upgrades like new countertops, flooring, cabinets, and lighting. 

Exterior Work
The exterior of your Delaware or Pennsylvania home is just as important as the interior! In fact, adding new siding, front door, or light fixtures outside can yield homeowners as much as 95.5 percent of their investment— coming in at the #4 top home project in terms of return!

Ready to sell your Delaware or Pennsylvania home? Curious what will help boost your home's value and help you find a buyer in no time? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today!

You can even download our FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

Home Staging vs. Hiding in Delaware and Pennsylvania Homes

by Katina Geralis

When you arrive to tour a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, it can be easy to get distracted by home features like light fixtures, paint color, number of bedrooms, and the outdoor space— especially if you're a first-time homebuyer! These are indeed important aspects of a property to take notice of, but you will also need to keep your eyes out for minor—or major—flaws that could be hidden with simple home staging.

In some cases, Delaware or Pennsylvania home sellers will try to cover up issues with home staging and as your local real estate experts, we are here to help you uncover them!

Listing Phrases
Before you even arrive at home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you can get an idea of what might be waiting for you simply by the phrases used in the listing description. Words like "cozy" and "quaint" are often euphemisms for small homes. Listings can also state that they are ready for your touch or a "fixer upper," which typically means the property needs work.

Painted Floors
Paint can cover up many problems in a home— so don't always assume it is for decorative purposes when house hunting! If you happen to pull up a corner of carpeting in a DE or PA home and notice paint covering sections or all of the floor, it may be to cover up pet damage or water spots. 

Rugs
Typically used to warm up a home or add a touch of color to a room, rugs and runners can also be used to cover warped floor boards and water damage. Walk over the rugs several times and take note of how the floor feels— does it creak, crack, or feel unstable? If so, it could be worth taking a close look into before buying the home.

Furniture Placement
If the placement of furniture in a home feels off, it could be because the homeowner is hiding something underneath the furniture or around it. For instance, are there frames hung in an odd formation or spot? They could be covering water spots or cracks. Is there a large couch in the center of the room? It could be covering imperfections in the floor or pet damage.

Ready to get started on your Delaware or Pennsylvania home search? Give the ​Kat Geralis Home Team a call today!

We even offer FREE First-Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

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