Kat Geralis Home Team Wilmington DE Real Estate News Archives

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With the majority of buyers today starting their home search online, it is important to wow them during this initial look. If Delaware and Pennsylvania buyers see something they don't like just from flipping through listing photos, they are less likely to ever make it to the front door for a showing or visit an open house.

So how do you pique the interest of buyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania without turning them off?

Below are five things you will want to avoid as a home seller in our area:

Do not convert your garage
Keep in mind that a large number of buyers who will begin house hunting this spring are first-timers who are tired of renting, with others simply in the market for more space (which includes a place to park their car). Avoid converting your garage to anything other than what it was intended for— that means no living room, gym or media space.

Do not convert your spare bedrooms
If you have multiple bedrooms in your Delaware or Pennsylvania home, you can get by with keeping one as an office space while it is on the market as this can easily be changed back. But if you have built-in media equipment, wine storage, craft or workbenches in additional bedrooms, it could be a major turn-off for buyers who are looking for more space for their family.

Do not lay carpet over hardwood
Buyers today love wood floors, so don't cover them up if you have them! Older homes are more likely to have a layer of carpet over wood flooring and you might consider removing it before buyers arrive.

Do not leave out your dog accessories
Of course you love your pets, but a potential buyer may not. Pick up any toys or beds that are scattered around the house and consolidate them to one area.

Do not install bold fixtures
A helpful rule of thumb for Delaware and Pennsylvania home sellers this year is to create a neutral space that appeals to the majority of buyers. That means swapping out your over the top light fixtures with those more on the simple side. 

Selling your home may seem like uncharted territory if you're not familiar with the process, but we have decades of experience in assisting homeowners! Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today with any questions you have about listing your home or how you can prepare your property for the real estate market. 

We even offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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The dog days of summer are here!

And while we're all certainly enjoying the warmer temperatures and sunshine, the summer heat can bring about a rise in utility bills for Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowners.

There are dozens of ways to keep mounting utility costs at bay for the rest of the summer and as your Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, I'm sharing some with you below!

Clean your air filters
It's important to clean your air filters to keep your heating and cooling bills down this summer. When filters are dirty, these systems have to work much harder and use much more energy to function properly. With clean filters, your home can run as it is meant to and help bring down your utility bills.

Install a new thermostat
If you haven't already, consider installing a new thermostat in your Delaware or Pennsylvania home. A programmable model can control your home's temperature at various times of the day—for instance, when you're sleeping or out of the house—to keep costs low. These types of thermostats can reduce your energy usage drastically this summer.

Add mulch
Summer is a popular season for planting flowers, vegetables and herbs, but that also means you'll be watering more often. Adding mulch into your landscaping will help to slow evaporation, keep the water on the ground longer and allow you to water less frequently.

Apply window film or curtains
To keep the hot summer sun out of your home and reduce cooling costs, Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowners can install curtains or window film. Installing window film is as simple as measuring your window size, cutting the film and applying it to your window; this will help to block the heat from entering your home.

If you're ready to begin house-hunting in Delaware or Pennsylvania this summer or contemplating selling your home, contact the Kat Geralis Home Team 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

When you've decided to list your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, it may seem like your to-do list grows longer and longer. You will need to start searching for a new home, clearing the clutter and packing up to make your move a bit easier when the time comes. But it doesn't end there! One more added stress for you may be keeping your home buyer-ready for showings.

There are dozens of little tasks you can check off to prepare your home for a showing in minutes and as your local real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, I am sharing a few with you below!

Mop or vacuum
Complete a quick cleaning of the floors in your entryway, kitchen and bathrooms. If necessary, spot clean debris on the floor with a sponge or towel.

Dust screens and furniture
The last thing a buyer wants to see if dust lingering in the air or on your furniture. Dust your coffee table or end tables, TV screens and computer monitors before they arrive.

Remove clutter from counters
Small appliances, knick knacks, mail and other miscellaneous items should be cleared off of counters and stored elsewhere. After you've removed these, wipe down all of the counters to ensure they are clean.

Make the beds
This task takes just a few minutes and can make a world of difference in helping a room look put together. 

Empty trash cans
You do not want any lingering odors in your home when buyers arrive for a showing, so make sure all trash cans have been emptied.

Turn on the lights
Letting light into your Delaware or Pennsylvania home can help it feel lighter, airier and larger. Turn on all of the lights in your home and open the blinds or drapes to let in more sun. If necessary, clean your windows so they are free of streaks.

The Kat Geralis Home Team has years of experience in helping homeowners sell their properties and move on to their next dream homes! If you're ready to do just that, contact us today!

We even offer 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

How to Stand Out as a Delaware or Pennsylvania Home Buyer

by Katina Geralis

As we get closer to the official start of summer, the temperatures aren't the only thing picking up! The number of Delaware and Pennsylvania residents planning to buy a new home is rising— as it tends to do during these warmer months! As the summer continues, the local real estate markets in Delaware and Pennsylvania will see a much larger influx of homebuyers.

So now that homebuyers are flocking to local markets, how can you stand out? Grab a pen and paper and make yourself a checklist to ensure you're on the right track to buy a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Here are a few tips to give you that homebuyer edge over the others this year:

Clean Your Finances
After you spring clean your home this year, turn to your finances. A seller doesn't know your financial situation, so despite how confident you are in obtaining a mortgage, they might not feel the same. Oftentimes when sellers are in a rush to sell, they do not want to worry about financing potentially falling through.

To be pro-active, you can get pre-approved by your lender. The pre-approval process is extensive and involves paperwork to detail your income and assets. For both your Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate agent and the home seller, this letter of approval offers peace of mind that you're serious about buying.

Work with the Seller
Think about it— when you're competing with other buyers, the best thing you can do is to work with the seller. Be flexible! There are likely a number of buyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate who are set on dates, numbers, and come packaged with contingencies.

Show that you are willing to work with the seller on the home sale puts you ahead of other buyers who may have the purchase contingent upon their own home sale. Sellers are more willing to work with buyers who don't have extra hoops to jump through.

Be Quick
Found a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania that you love? One that meets all of your wants and needs? You may want to act fast. Other homebuyers may have started the process and love the home as much as you do. Remember, sometimes an accepted offer can come down to a matter of minutes between buyers.

Let the Kat Geralis Home Team help you find your dream home this year! We have helped numerous other buyers find the perfect property to call home and we'd love to assist you in doing the same!

We even offer a FREE Home Buyer e-Guide and 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

You've made a wish list of all of the features you want in a potential Delaware or Pennsylvania home and now it's time for the house hunt to begin. However, after viewing a few properties, you may notice that not every one of your must-haves can be fulfilled in a single home in your price range.

What now? Compromise. While it is not always a word DE and PA homebuyers like to hear, there are worthwhile trade-offs you will want to consider as you view available properties this spring.

Square footage
A potential home in Delaware or Pennsylvania could have everything you're looking for— an updated kitchen, the right school district, proximity to family and friends—but that could also mean giving up a finished basement or guest bedroom. A compromise on square footage should only be entertained if you don't anticipate your space needs growing in the near future, otherwise you could find yourself needing to move all too soon.

Location
If a compromise on square footage is not in the cards for you, many buyers find they are willing to budge on location. Oftentimes, a home within walking distance to entertainment, shops and restaurants is smaller than you would like— but moving a bit farther away could open you up to more homes that meet the criteria on your wish list.

Backyard
Suppose a home fits the bill with the right amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as your budget, but you step outside to find a smaller yard. A compromise on yard size may be worthwhile if the home's interior succeeds in providing the space you are looking for this spring. 

The Kat Geralis Home Team has decades of experience in helping Delaware and Pennsylvania homebuyers find their dream homes, identifying what is important to them in terms of features, location, and home size. Give us a call today for more information about available homes in your desired area!

We also 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

With the wealth of real estate reality TV shows out now, many Delaware and Pennsylvania residents have their wheels turning and are ready (or so they think!) to buy a home that needs a little TLC. So, you think you want to buy a fixer upper home? While your dreams of renovating a property may be driven by what you've seen on television, it's important to remember that the reality of updating a home from start to finish can be much more time-consuming, tedious, expensive, and drawn-out than you realize.

But as your local real estate team in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Kat Geralis Home Team is happy to share below three things to do before you commit to buying a fixer upper home this year:

Research the location
Not only should you research the location of a home before purchasing, but also look into the zoning. What you may not know is that every community in Delaware and Pennsylvania has zoning districts and restrictions surrounding what can and cannot be done to homes within their limits. You will want to take a close look at the zoning of your future property before you become too set on what renovations you will do once you get the keys.

Talk to a contractor
Unless you are confident in your ability to do all of the work on your fixer upper home yourself, it is wise to speak with a contractor or architect who can assist you in carrying out your vision. One rule of thumb— gather quotes and opinions from several contractors in the area prior to choosing one for your projects.

Recruit a home inspector 
It is a home inspector's job to look into any structural problems, in addition to pointing out what needs to be replaced— the roof, for instance. The last thing you want when you begin your renovation projects is to find that your foundation is unstable or a major operating system like the plumbing has failed. If you need recommendations for a home inspector in your Delaware or Pennsylvania area, do not hesitate to reach out! Remember, your real estate agent is a wealth of resources!

Ready to get started on finding the perfect home for you— fixer upper or otherwise? Give our experts at the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We even offer a FREE Home Buyer e-Guide to provide you with must-know information in an easy-to-read format!

We also 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

If you've been considering buying a larger home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, now is the time to start taking those next steps! Buyer demand is still high, which means you could be competing with others for a property, however, with home prices and mortgage rates expected to increase, you won't want to wait any longer.

As your local team of real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help you through your next home purchase in Delaware or Pennsylvania— and that means making sure you are an informed buyer, especially when upsizing. Below are three things you should know about moving up to a new home this year:

Note what you want vs. what you need
When it comes to your home search, it's important to note what you want versus what you need. Know what is absolutely essential in your new home, especially if you're upsizing. Do you need a bigger kitchen for hosting gatherings or do you just like the idea of one? Do you need a bigger yard due to pets and kids? Make a list of priorities before moving forward or you could risk ending up in a home with buyer's remorse!

Do the math
It's no secret that a bigger home will likely come with a bigger payment. You will need to do the math and research all costs involved before you commit to upsizing to a larger Delaware or Pennsylvania home. For instance, how much extra in maintenance costs will you have or will you need to purchase additional equipment to tackle it yourself? Is the home is in an association? How much are your dues every month? It's wise to have these all accounted for before starting your home search in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Think about resale
No matter what size home you are buying, it is always smart to put on your future buyer hat and think about resale. If you choose the home and location wisely, you can make a profit when the time comes to sell. Think about what buyers will want, what area is up and coming or which neighborhood will be desirable given your timeline to sell. Think about the number of bedrooms and how that will affect resale. Even if you're upsizing now and plan to stay for decades, you will thank yourself later when it's time to potentially downsize.

No matter if you're upsizing, downsizing, or simply looking for a new home in the area, do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call! We've helped numerous buyers do the same and we're here to make it happen for you!

New to the real estate market in Delaware or Pennsylvania? 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

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

Staging Newark and Wilmington DE Real Estate to Sell

by Katina Geralis

More homebuyers will be looking to the Wilmington real estate market this spring and summer. As a home seller, you would do well to highlight your Delaware home's best features. In many cases, staging can make all the difference! Some popular features a Wilmington DE homebuyer looks for are the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, storage space, and updated appliance, but they will be looking to see themselves in the home. Your home's overall flow, neutrality and ability to help the buyer feel comfortable are important— and much of this can be achieved by you, the home seller, with home staging. Below are a few staging tips to help you attract more homebuyers to the property:

Update the Spaces
It doesn't take much money to update the rooms in your
Wilmington and Newark homes. For instance, a new coat of paint and shiny, upgraded hardware can all be done in a weekend, but really give the spaces a fresh, welcoming feel. To begin, make a great first impression and give your front door a fresh coat of paint. This little detail can help the potential buyer feel invited inside and give them a sunny outlook on the home overall.

Let There Be Light
Bright, airy homes are a must for many homebuyers in today's real estate market. And as a seller, you can add this factor yourself in your homes in Newark and Wilmington DE with updated light fixtures. But if adding in new or additional lighting is not an option in your home, simply swapping out low wattage light bulbs for high wattage bulbs can bring up the lighting factor with little effort. If you notice that updated light fixtures is one area where your home is lacking, replacing these is a great investment and can add charm to your home.

Bathroom/Kitchen Updates
Do you find that your kitchen is one of the areas of your home you spend the most time in? Homebuyers will notice that too! These are two areas where you'll want to focus your staging. You don't need a complete remodel, but updating appliances and fixtures here can peak homebuyer interest. At the very least, replacing the caulk and grout in these rooms is always a nice idea.

Curb Appeal
Again, first impression are everything when it comes to
Wilmington, DE real estate. Take some time to amp up your landscaping, clean up the yard, replace railings and old outdoor hardware, make sure windows are clean and functioning— overall, take note that your home looks inviting from outside. Many homebuyers will begin their search online and if your home shows well in photos, it can bring them to your door!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Kat Geralis— Best Real Estate Agent in Delaware

by Katina Geralis

REAL Trends recently released their list of America's Best Real Estate Agents to honor and rank real estate sales professionals and teams in all 50 states and metropolitan statistical areas— and our own Kat Geralis was chosen! Using the data from individuals who closed more than 50 sides or $20 million and sales teams with more than 75 closed sides or $30 million in closed sales volume, REAL Trends chose Kat Geralis as one of the Best Real Estate Agents in Delaware.

REAL Trends reached out to virtually every leading brokerage organization, all Realtor® associations and MLSs and a variety of other sources to compile their list. The final list consists of 1,000 real estate agents, named the "2013 Top 1,000 Real Estate Professionals in the United States."

A native Delawarean and U of D grad, Katina Geralis grew up in North Wilmington, and has lived in DE most of her life. Kat is an entrepreneur at heart with a true passion for Real Estate. She has hands-on experience in all areas of residential real estate including; Luxury Homes, Investment properties, New Construction, Active Adult 55+, Short Sales and Foreclosures. 

When clients choose Kat as their Realtor, they get the advantage of her wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity, which leads to a very successful formula. “It is very rewarding to make a difference, by working thru each client’s unique situation to make a lasting impact in their lives.” Kat’s ultimate goal is to create a positive real estate experience and her persistence, drive, and customer follow-up shines through her “whatever it takes” attitude!

As a Top Producer and now one of America's Best Real Estate Agents, Kat’s Multi-Million dollar portfolio consists of a balanced mix of Buyers, Sellers, Short Sales, Foreclosures, and Bank-Owned properties.

Want to work with Delaware's Best? Contact Kat Geralis and her team at the Wilmington Homes Group to discuss your real estate goals. Are you a first time home buyer? Learn more about the homebuying process with one of our free, first-time homebuyer seminars

 

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

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

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