Kat Geralis Home Team Wilmington DE Real Estate News Archives

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When you've found your dream home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, the next step will be meeting with your local lender to submit your mortgage application. Pending you've already been pre-approved, the rest of your home buying journey should be smooth and simple— however, there are a few reasons your application could end up in the rejection pile. 

Below are four reasons why a Delaware or Pennsylvania lender may reject your mortgage application this year:

You Changed Jobs
Lenders like to see at least two solid years of consistent employment before they will agree to approve your mortgage loan. And while you may not always be in charge of your career moves—IE. you were laid off—it is best to wait until after your closing to change jobs if you can help it.

You Don't Have Enough Credit
You may think credit cards are a no-go when it's time to buy a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania and you are entirely correct— for the most part. Your credit score and history are major factors that lenders will research in their decision process, but it's a lack of credit (not just poor credit!) that can be worrisome for them. If you haven't yet built up your credit history, remember that it is OK to carry some debt on your credit cards, so long as you pay them off on time. 

You Have Poor Credit
As mentioned above, lenders will be looking at your credit score to confirm you are capable of managing debt and paying your bills on time. However, if your credit score is too low, not only will you not qualify for favorable loan programs, but your application could end up rejected altogether. Take some time to research your own credit score and clean it up as much as possible before applying for a mortgage.

You Opened a New Credit Line
While we've established that it is important to have a credit history, you'll want to avoid opening anything new while you're in the process of buying a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania. New credit lines can signal a major red flag to lenders who want to see that you're responsible with debt management. Opening a new line of credit will drop your credit score and could imply that you're more of a spender than a saver.

Ready to start the home buying process in Delaware and Pennsylvania in 2019? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! 

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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Have you sat down and made a list of your new year's resolutions yet? It's always a fun exercise to take stock of your goals for the year ahead and make a plan on how to achieve them. For many in Delaware and Pennsylvania, you might find that they are personal or health related, but one of them might be buying a home!

There are dozens of steps to take to successfully become a homeowner in 2019 and as your local Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is happy to help you make that a reality! Below are 5 new year's resolutions to make in order to buy a home in the new year:

Eliminate indulgences
It might not be your favorite path to homeownership, but cutting indulgences can be a quick and simple way to save for a down payment. For instance, could you stand to cut cable and instead use Netflix? Or on the same note, is there a streaming service you could cancel? You might want to cut dining out and your morning coffee runs, instead packing your lunch and brewing coffee at home. These little indulgences can mean big savings if they're avoided!

Start a home savings account
You can't save specifically for your home if you don't have anywhere for it to go! Open a savings account specifically for your new home. Get into the habit of making weekly or monthly deposits—whatever you can afford—and watch your down payment grow!

Do a mortgage test run
The only way to truly know if you can swing being a homeowner in Delaware and Pennsylvania, is to do a test run. Try saving like a homeowner—meaning you set aside your monthly housing expenses and an amount for your emergency fund—and see if you can live with your new budget. 10% of your mortgage payment is a good rule of thumb to account for maintenance fees, so start there.

Pay all bills on time
There is nothing that can raise a red flag quicker to a lender than unpaid bills. If you intend to get approved for a mortgage in 2019, it is best to make sure you pay all of your bills on time. Not only does this keep your credit score high, but it shows lenders you are capable of managing a monthly payment.

Visit open houses
This may seem counterintuitive if you're not yet ready to buy a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania, but attending open houses allows you to see what properties are available in your price range. This gives you a more realistic approach to the market and could even motivate you to save more!

Ready to make your dream of owning a home a reality this year? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

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

5 Delaware and Pennsylvania Real Estate Reality TV Myths

by Katina Geralis

Now that it's winter in Delaware and Pennsylvania, we're all staying indoors a little more and perhaps you're even watching a few real estate reality TV shows— we've all seen a few by now! As these shows grow in popularity, it's important to keep in mind that not everything you see on your screen is actually reality. Much of what takes place is staged and filmed in a much shorter timeline and as your local real estate experts in DE and PA, we've included a much needed reality check for you below!

Myth: Buyers only choose from 3 homes
In nearly every reality TV show based on homebuyers, there are typically three homes toured before the buyer makes a decision and chooses one. While there may be a small percentage of buyers that truly buy one of the first few homes they see in Delaware and Pennsylvania, remember that the average homebuyers tours at least 10 homes during their search, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Myth: The show takes place in real time
It may seem unrealistic that the homebuyers can go through the entire buying process, from search to closing, within a 30-minute time slot and that's because, it is. Real estate reality shows often follow buyers who are farther along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy, in an attempt to speed up the process for viewers.

Myth: These homes are still for sale
As mentioned above, real estate reality shows are often filmed months in advance of their air date. So  if you've spotted a home that you love on your favorite show, keep in mind that unfortunately many of the homes shown are already sold and off the market. The properties are staged for TV for the "home search" phase.

Myth: Your home will sell at the open house
Many times homeowners on TV will hold an open house and then choose from the dozens of offers that result from the traffic. Please remember that just as many homes sell from regular showings and if you hold one, your property may not hook a buyer from the first open house. This is just a small piece of the puzzle when marketing Delaware and Pennsylvania homes.

Myth: Removing a wall is easy
Every homeowner today wants an open concept floor plan and thus, real estate reality shows typically show demo teams knocking down walls to make it happen. In reality, removing walls may not always been in your budget or even possible for your specific home. If the wall is load-bearing, there is much more structural work that comes into play and that can be more costly than you think!

Don't get too caught up in real estate reality TV myths if you're a new homebuyer in Delaware or Pennsylvania! It's always wise to consult the pros first! Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today for more information about next steps in the buying process or for a list of available homes.

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
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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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

 

Did you know selling your Delaware or Pennsylvania home in the fall and winter can be just as lucrative as selling during the spring and summer? It's true! However, that is if your property is well prepared for the market! There are many ways to improve your Delaware or Pennsylvania home before listing it for sale, including removing the following five items that have been known to turn buyers away!

Bugs
Even if you have a few ladybugs taking up residence in your home's windowsills, it's best to remove them before buyers arrive. This is one of the easiest turn-offs for DE or PA buyers as it can give the impression that your home is not clean or well cared for.

Decor Collections
No matter if it's stamps or holiday figurines, you'll want to keep your collectibles stored away during the home sale process. Displaying any type of collection can give off a cluttered vibe to buyers and turn them away from your property— even if they're just pet accessories! 

Odors
One of the quickest ways to send buyers back out the door is by having odors present in your home. Smells can make or break a sale for a buyer, so be mindful of what you're cooking before a showing and be aware of any pet odors that need addressed. Strong scented candles can be a no-go for buyers also as not everyone enjoys the same aromas in their home.

Pet Damage
Remember that not everyone loves pets the way you might. Are your floors scratched from your pet's claws? Are there stains from your pets on the carpet? Consider having your floors refinished or your carpets professionally cleaned prior to buyers arriving at your door. 

Personal Photos
Did you know that de-personalizing your Delaware or Pennsylvania property prior to selling can boost your chances of hooking a buyer? Consider removing all of your personal photos before a showing or open house as this will allow buyers to envision themselves in the home in the future instead of you and your family. 

As your local real estate experts, you can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to set you up for home seller success! Contact us for more information on your home value, as well as how to prepare your property for the market

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

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

4 Reasons Why Your Delaware or Pennsylvania Home Isn't Selling

by Katina Geralis

You've listed your Delaware or Pennsylvania home for sale and are ready to sit back and watch the offers roll in— after all, isn't it a seller's market? But the opposite happens. Maybe you've received a few offers, but they're too low. Maybe you've had showings, but no serious interest. Your home isn't selling as quickly as you'd like and you want to know why.

As your local real estate experts, we have compiled a list below of four common reasons why your Delaware or Pennsylvania home might not be selling in today's real estate market. 

You priced too high
When pricing your home, it's important to price with today's buyer in mind, as well as comparable properties in the area. If you price according to your emotions, you may be tempted to price too high— especially with all of the memories you have tied to the property. It is not uncommon for home sellers to believe their property is worth more than the market dictates, which can ultimately keep them from moving on.

It needs work
As a homeowner in Delaware or Pennsylvania, making repairs is always wise prior to listing as it will help you avoid problems during the inspection. But that's not all! Even small updates like fresh paint can boost your home's sale price! If you choose to leave everything as is, flaws and all, you could discourage buyers from taking any real interest or being scared away by the thought of what else the home may need repaired.

You're inflexible
Today's homebuyers are constantly searching for properties on their smartphones, their computers, you name it. If your property has made a buyer's short list and they attempt to schedule a showing, you will need to be flexible with your schedule to allow them inside. Making this process difficult for them can cause your home to "sit" on the market longer than necessary.

Clutter is king
Home staging can help a property sell both quicker and for more money, so be sure to follow at least a few of its guidelines! One of those is removing clutter. If your Delaware or Pennsylvania home is filled with large furniture that makes the space feel small, knick knacks, and other personal items, you could risk turning off a buyer immediately.

Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for more information about successfully selling your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania or for a list of available homes in the area that might suit you next!

We even have a 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

4 Real Estate Red Flags Your DE or PA Home Inspection Might Miss

by Katina Geralis

Regardless of how many times you have been through the process of buying a Delaware or Pennsylvania home, it is easy to get distracted by such features as updated bathrooms, spacious backyards, and even items like light fixtures and appliance colors. There is so much more that should go into your decision to purchase a specific property in DE or PA— including real estate red flags that even your home inspection could miss!

As your real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, we have rounded up four red flags to keep an eye on while shopping for homes so you can anticipate costs and ultimately weigh your options:

Leaks
Depending on the age of your potential new home, any leaks could have dried up with the water being turned off and not arise until it is fully functioning again. The best place to spot leaks is under cabinets where you could notice water damage or moisture around drain traps. Remember, if the leak is not present on the day of your inspection, the inspector will likely not be able to point it out!

Structural Damage
This is a major red flag for any homebuyer in Delaware and Pennsylvania and while your inspector will know what a roof and foundation should look like, they will not be able to tell you how bad a problem is or how much it will cost. They will likely refer you to a structural engineer who will be able to break down cost to repair and when indeed you need to remedy the problem.

Electrical Issues
This is another red flag that could be more prevalent depending on the age of your home. Your inspector may point out disconnects in the electrical or wires that need updating to comply with current codes, however they will not always be able to list the exact source of the disconnect. You will need to bring in an electrician to identify specific costs and dig a little deeper to find the root of the problem listed in the inspection report.

HVAC Problems
Any problems with your HVAC system can be quite costly, but keep in mind that your system may be functioning properly while temperatures are moderate but could fail once they begin to take drastic turns— for instance, in the deep winter or heat of summer. The only way to identify potential problems is to hire an HVAC specialist who can assess how much longer your HVAC system has left or if parts look in need of repair or replacing.

Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for a list of available homes in your area or for more information on the home buying process!

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

Updated Real Estate Market Stats for New Castle County DE

by Katina Geralis

 

Curious what's been happening in the local Delaware or Pennsylvania real estate market? You can always count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to share updated market stats! 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.

For the first quarter of 2018, there were 1,690 homes for sale— a 24.3 percent decrease in inventory from the same time last year. But before you begin to worry that the market is taking a dip, keep in mind that this isn't just the case in Delaware and Pennsylvania, lower inventory is a trend all over the country right now! The median sales price saw a 2.4 percent increase to $214,900 (a great sign for home sellers!) and the number of home sales dipped slightly to 1,362 total closed in Q1. 

The average sales price in New Castle County for the fourth quarter was $232,206, a 1.8 percent increase from this time last year— again great news for home sellers looking to get top dollar! The percentage of the original price received also saw a 2.3 percent increase in Q1, coming in at 95.9 percent!

Inventory for the first quarter of 2018 posted a 27.4 percent drop from the previous year, totaling a 2.9 months supply— another 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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

 

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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