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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale

The buying and selling season is definitely picking up steam here with The Boehmer Team at Prudential Select Properties.  The phones are ringing and homes are coming on the market at a rapid pace.  It is amazing what a difference it makes to walk into a home that is truly prepared to be on the market.  Believe me, little things do make a big difference! 

Much of what we are talking about doesn’t cost you much if anything.  It may take a little elbow grease and time, but the payoff is far greater than the effort and you have a well organized home.  The message sent by how the home is presented is far greater than most home sellers realize.  Let’s face it, buyers will snoop.  If they see organized, well maintained and clean areas they assume the home has been well maintained and taken care of.   Buyers don’t want to think that the home has just been surface cleaned for the sale, but has been meticulously maintained throughout the time you have owned the home.  A home with lesser features but impeccably presented stands a good chance of being in the game.

The most critical part of this puzzle is pricing and marketing the home appropriately.   

Here are a few thoughts on preparing your home for sale:
  1. Curb appeal counts!  Pull up and take a good look yourself.  Sidewalks should be cleared of debris, the lawn should be mowed if the season allows, landscape should be trimmed with fresh mulch, flowers planted in season (yellow is inviting), the house numbers clearly readable from the street and any planters that are displayed should filled with fresh flowers or removed. 
  2. The front door should be clean, dust free, door knob polished and nicely painted.  It is the first thing you see as you approach the home.
  3. Make sure your doors (inside and out) are squeak free.  This is a simple fix that takes only minutes.
  4. Declutter - Less is more.  If you are committed to moving, pack up items that you do not use on a regular basis and stack them neatly in a storage area either in your basement or in a storage unit.  Kitchen and bathroom counters, drawers, closets and rooms should be simply displayed.
  5. Neutral colors- We both love color.  It makes a home show with so much personality, makes pictures show better and adds interest to rooms.  Although, when selling we have found that a neutral color works best for most buyers.  It should be rich enough to make white trim stand out and add warmth to the room but not to dark to make the rooms look small.  Many times we see sellers paint white to be neutral.  We personally do not find that to be the answer, as it appears very stark, cold and impersonal.  Make neutral choices to avoid being remembered as the “house with the purple bathroom”.  Consider adding color with accessories if necessary.
  6. Replace burned out bulbs so the home shows bright and airy.
  7. Knock down cobwebs, they tend to show up in corners and light fixtures.
  8. Laundry Rooms are important.  They should be fresh and organized.  This will make the room look larger and more inviting.
  9. Closets are equally important.  They should be orderly, shoes lined up instead of piled, and hanging clothes should be hanging the same direction.  Remove seasonal clothes.  An organized closet will appear larger than a cluttered closet. 
  10. Wash your windows, window sills and door tracks.
  11. Re-caulk any areas that the caulk has dried up or pulled away, especially in Kitchens and Baths.
  12. Dust the ceiling fans, they tend to get overlooked.
  13. Clean out the refrigerator and run your dishwasher, believe it or not people do look.
  14. Beware of unpleasant odors.  This is a huge turn off whether it is pet odors, cooking odors or an overdose of air freshener.
  15. Replace worn throw rugs with fresh, attractive replacements.  This allows you to add a splash of color as well as define an area.
  16.  Polish chrome faucets, they will sparkle.
  17. If you have a challenging room, stage it.  It is a problem when a buyer can not figure out how to arrange a room.  Solve the problem for them by staging.
  18. Fix obvious problems.  If you know that everyone walking through the home will see a flaw in the home that will need to be repaired before selling, fix it before listing the home.
  19. Create a focal point in every room.  This gives buyers something to focus on and fall in love with.
  20. Concentrate on big impact rooms.  If they love these rooms, buyers will usually accept less than perfect conditions in other areas.
  21. Hardwood is in!  It is warm, inviting, can make small rooms appear larger and is a top feature that buyers are looking for.
  22. In areas that require a municipal inspection, you may want to consider having the inspection done in advance to address any items that may come up.
  23. Consider getting an appraisal in advance if you are unsure of your position in the market.
  24. Hire a quality agent.  Interview qualified candidates that have made a commitment to their profession, have embraced technology and are willing to go the extra mile to earn your business.
  25. PRICE IT APPROPRIATELY!  The best agent and the best marketing in the world will not sell an overpriced listing.  It will certainly help you be positioned for a sale.  Have your professional Realtor review comparable sales with you to ensure you are positioned to sell in the shortest amount of time at the highest price. 

We hope these home selling tips are helpful to you.  If moving is on your mind or you are considering buying or selling Real Estate in the Metropolitan St. Louis and St. Charles County area, please visit us on the web at

Monday, February 14, 2011

The House That Built Me

You may or may not be country music fans.  Maybe you are like us, and love several types of music from Hip-Hop to Country to Classic Rock to 80’s hits.  Our Prudential Select Properties office has a steady stream of a wide variety of music playing at all times.  It motivates us.  Even if you are not a country fan, you should take a minute to listen to the Grammy Award winning song “The House That Built Me” recorded by Miranda Lambert. 

We have heard it before, numerous times without really giving it much thought, but it wasn’t until we ran across an article in Realtor Magazine that drew our attention and we really listened. Until then, we didn’t pay much attention to what this song was about.

More so than music, we love houses and homes.  "The House That Built Me" is a beautifully sung country ballad. The song was written by Tom Douglas and Alllen Schamblin.   Allen Schamblin based the song of his experience of going back to the house in Huffman, TX that he grew up in at least once a year.  The singer describes returning, as an adult, to the house that she grew up in, and asking the person who now lives in the house if she can come inside and take a look around. She refers to it as "the house that built [her]," because of all the memories that she had of growing up within its walls.

In a day where we see the “deals” and “low offers” being the focus of today’s buyers and the source of more bragging rights than a great sports rivalry, it is very refreshing to reflect on the true value that lies within a “Home”.  “Deals” are great, “steals” are nice, but “memories” are invaluable.  This is the reason we see many sellers struggle with the mindset of today’s buyer.  In many cases, they are selling the house that their family and memories were built in.  It certainly does not add value to a buyer, but in many cases it’s parting with precious memories for the sellers that makes it so very difficult. 

Do yourself a favor, listen to the words closely.  It is sure to put a smile on your face. We hope you are fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones that have beautiful memories of your own childhood home.

It is a pleasure and a thrill to be in a business so rewarding that the decisions we assist our clients in making can have such a profound impact on their lives.   As Real Estate agents with a combined 25 years experience, we anxiously await the return of the day when we see more buyers look at a home and buy the dream as they visualize their life in that home.  We have had the pleasure to sell in those times not so long ago and that my friends, is extremely rewarding!

Happy Valentines Day everyone! 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

30 Year Fixed Interest Rate Overview

30 Year Fixed Interest Rate Overview (From 1/2008)

Our good friend and professional associate from the St. Louis Homebuilders Association, Jeff Griege, Vice President at Paramount Mortgage Company, was kind enough to share this 3 year recap of the 30 year fixed interest rate with us.  How interesting this information is and how eye opening when presented in this way, as to just how low our rates are today.  The real estate market appears to be picking up by the number of property showings we are seeing.  Traditionally the market gets busier after the Super Bowl, at least that is what we have experienced in our combined 25 years in home sales in St. Charles County.  If the weather cooperates, which it has not over the past 30 days, buyers will be out taking advantage of the historically low interest rates and the many great buying opportunities!  Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on “home selling tips”.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Success Mirrors Life

Many of you who know us and follow us know that we often reference a T shirt that we once saw on a young man at the movie theater.  His T shirt read Champions Are Made in the Off Season”. We are not quite sure who to credit for this saying but we love it!  On this Super Bowl Sunday, as with any big game day, we always think about the journey that gets these teams to where they are, the teams that fell short and the preparation, planning and practice involved for all.  That perfect formula of preparation, planning, practicing and execution is true not only in sports, but also in our everyday life.  This type of success does not happen in a day, it’s an every day mission.  What ever it is we are working towards, if we use these same principles, not just in season but everyday, we increase our odds of success.  Remember this, success is not an accident.  Today’s winner will celebrate after a long year of hard work, planning, practice and preparation.  Super Bowl Sunday is notoriously a quiet day for real estate.  Everyone is cooking, prepping and planning for a fun day of partying and football.   Anticipating a big surge in the St. Louis/St. Charles County real estate markets in the weeks to come, The Boehmer Team is working today preparing and planning for that opportunity.  We are adjusting prices, printing flyers, refreshing marketing, running comps and trying to position our clients for a big victory of their own.  Don’t kid yourselves; we will be out of here in time for the pre game festivities!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Prudential Select Properties Customer Appreciation Night at The Magic House

Thanks to all who attended our Customer Appreciation Night at the Magic House in Kirkwood last Saturday night. It was a packed house and a great way for kids to burn off stored up energy. Thanks also, to Prudential Select Properties for their generosity and for allowing us to have our valued clients enjoy such a special treat! This annual event draws over 1,500 people and showcases one of the top family attractions in the St. Louis area. We hope all who attended had a great time. We have included some fun photos of our friends, families and clients. Thanks again and we hope to see you next year!