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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
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September is here and before we know it, the leaves will be falling from the trees, the temperatures will be dropping, and we'll be in a holiday state of mind. But that doesn't mean your Delaware or Pennsylvania home can easily transition from one season to the next without any maintenance! As your local real estate experts, we have included five tasks to check off of your list before the fall season officially arrives.

Check driveway and paths for cracks
Summer can take a toll on your home's exterior, including the driveway and pathways surrounding the property. Take a close look to inspect for cracks and be sure to repair them before fall and winter arrive. If you don't, water could seep in and freeze and the cracks can become even larger.

Seal gaps
Inspect around windows and doorways for any gaps that could possibly let air escape out of your Delaware or Pennsylvania home this fall. You'll also want to check for gaps or holes in your foundation or under decks and porches that could prompt critters to take up residence where you don't want them to!

Clean gutters
Summer storms bring all kinds of debris to your yard and especially your gutters, so be sure clean them out to allow room for the leaves that will arrive this fall. If you fail to complete this home task, the poor drainage could wreak havoc on your roof and siding— or worse, the inside of your home. 

Replace furnace filters
Ask yourself how long it's been since you changed your furnace filter. It is always wise to replace the filter every few months, but it's even more important to do so before you begin running the HVAC system often in the fall. If you haven't had your HVAC inspected yet this year, now is the time to do so before the busy season arrives and a professional is not able to get to you!

Store outdoor furniture and tools
We can always have warm weather well into October, so simply keep an eye on the dropping temperatures to determine the best time to clean and store your outdoor furniture and garden tools for the season. If you don't own one, consider buying a cover for your outdoor furniture to shield it from the elements.

Ready to get started on your Delaware or Pennsylvania home search? Curious about your home value in today's market? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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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
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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

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

 

5 Things That Can Slow Your DE or PA Mortgage Closing

by Katina Geralis

Once you've found the perfect Delaware or Pennsylvania home, made an offer, and had it accepted, you'll need to make it through the mortgage closing before you are handed your keys. You may be anxious to officially become a homeowner, but the time it takes to close is dependent on a variety of factors— some of which are in your control!

If you're planning to buy a new home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the following things that can slow down your mortgage closing:

Making big purchases
You may be excited about your new home, but resist the urge to buy new furniture and decor until after the closing. Making big purchases on credit cards can signal a red flag to lenders who will pull your credit just before closing to ensure it is still the same. A large purchase shows you've acquired more debt and could threaten your mortgage qualifications.

Outstanding HOA fees and fines
While this one may not be entirely in your hands, note that the previous homeowner's outstanding fees or fines owed to the homeowner's association can cause closing delays. You may be able to negotiate these costs with the seller prior to the sale or worst case scenario, you'll need to pay them. 

Document delays
Your lender will require many different documents for verification of income, including your pay stubs, tax documents, bank statements, and they'll likely even get in contact with your employer. Be sure to provide these documents as soon as they ask for them or you could see a delay in closing.

Titles and liens
If there is a lien against the property or the title has the wrong signature, it will need to be resolved before the closing can move forward. 

Down payment
If your down payment is coming via gift from a friend or family member, the closing could be slowed slightly. In addition, if the lender requires the buyer to put down more on the home and the buyer does not have immediately have the extra funds, the date could be pushed out several weeks or months.

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

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