Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Open House Etiquette For Homebuyers

Open House Etiquette for Buyers

When visiting an open house, homebuyers can expect to tour the inside and outside of the home for sale. But what do home sellers expect from homebuyers visiting the open house? If you plan on touring a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri open house you’ll want to learn these ground rules to be a great guest and an astute homebuyer.

1. Inspect and Respect the Neighbors  
When arriving at the open house inspect the neighborhood and the neighbors, as these could one day be your neighbors. Take note of the condition of the neighbors’ homes and if they maintain their property. When parking, be respectful. Don’t block a neighbor’s driveway or cut through their yard to get to the front door of the open house.

2. Show Up Early
Showing up early at an open house will help you avoid any crowds. This will also give you more time to speak with the agent or seller holding the open house and ask pertinent questions. But don’t monopolize the agent’s time if there are multiple people viewing the home.

Remove shoes at open houses

3. Remove Shoes
Many home sellers will ask open house attendees to remove their shoes. This is often because the sellers have had their floors cleaned, waxed or shampooed to make their home look its best. Some home sellers may provide cloth booties to put over your shoes. Other home sellers won’t mind if you remove shoes or not. Knowing this will help you decide if you want to wear slip-on or other easy-to-remove shoes to open houses.

4. Sign In
The home seller or real estate agent hosting the open house will likely ask you to sign in and if you currently have an agent. The information you will be asked to provide when signing in is usually name, phone number and email address. Use your real information. This gives the seller or agent the opportunity to follow up with you if the home is reduced in price or other changes are made. If you’re working with an agent, let them know. If not, this is a good opportunity to interview the agent.

5. Special Instructions
There may be special instructions for those visiting the open house. A family pet could be crated or enclosed in a specific area that you should be aware of so you aren’t startled. Or there may be construction being performed on an area of the house that could be dangerous for children or those not paying attention. So check if the agent or home seller has special instructions you should be aware of. You may even learn something about the home that you would not know otherwise.

opening cabinets at an open house

6. To Open or Not to Open
When touring a home for sale home sellers usually expect that homebuyers will open and look in cabinets and closets to inspect for size and space but it is a good rule of thumb to ask if you can do so. Do not open furniture that is not attached to the home such as dressers, side tables, armoires, jewelry boxes or other furniture where the sellers keep personal items.

7. What to Look For
When visiting an open house get a closer look at the home’s major systems and appliances to see the condition. Use the opportunity to check for foundation cracks or old plumbing or wiring. Also check for dampness in the basement or if the land around the home is graded to keep water out of the home.

8. Ask Questions
If questions arise as you tour an open house, ask the home seller or agent holding the open house. Since the listing description that appears on websites and the multiple listing service won’t be able to tell you every single detail about a home, this is a great chance to get more information. Asking about the neighbors, neighborhood, the age of the roof and major systems like the furnace and air conditioner, and if the appliances stay with the home are all good questions. Keep in mind that agents holding an open house are not allowed to say if a home seller is willing to take less for a home.

9. Use a Buyer’s Agent
A listing agent holding an open house represents the seller’s best interest. Keep in mind that working with a separate buyer’s agent means that you have an agent on your side that represents your best interests as the homebuyer in the transaction. A buyer’s agent doesn’t have to go to open houses with you, but having one means you’ll have an expert on hand to represent and negotiate for your best interests as well as follow up on what you saw at the open house.

Is moving on your mind? The Boehmer Team has experienced buyer’s agents to help you navigate and procure the home you want in a competitive real estate market. If you are thinking of buying a home in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area, be sure to interview TheBoehmer Team. You can learn more about The Boehmer Team and search for open houses in the area and price range of your choice at If you’re selling a home and would like to know what is expected from home sellers for an open house, check out our article Open House Etiquette for Sellers

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Open House Etiquette For Sellers

Open House Etiquette For Home Sellers

Part of the process of selling a home is making it available to show to those who are considering purchasing it. An open house is one of the best ways to make it available to lots of potential homebuyers at once. For home sellers looking to sell a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri area home, these ten open house etiquette rules are great guidelines to follow to make the most of your open house.

1. Clean and Declutter
Since the condition of your home is a place that your participation has the most effect, you’ll want to make your home look its very best by cleaning and decluttering. This includes: paint touch ups, organizing, making room in the closets and cabinets to make them look spacious, removing extra furniture and collectibles to make the rooms feel larger, and other projects. For a complete list of projects to prepare your home to sell, read our blog Preparing a Home to Sell.

2. Stage  
Staging a home to sell goes beyond cleaning and decluttering, it is looking at the home through the eyes of potential buyers and setting up the home to most appeal to them. This may mean repainting dark-colored walls to neutral colors, moving furniture placements, and removing personal items and photos that keep potential buyers from envisioning themselves living in the home.  Although in most cases staging is extremely advantageous, selling a vacant home is not always a problem.  Often times the design, finishes and architecture are sufficient to demonstrate the home in its best light. For more advice on staging check out the article Advice From Award Winning Home Stagers or bring in an experienced real estate agent to give you advice on what buyers are looking for.

Open House Curb Appeal

3. Get the First Impression Right
Don’t forget to clean and declutter the outside of your home and landscaping as well. Cut the grass, trim the shrubs, touch up any paint and put away any toys or yard maintenance items. This will create nice curb appeal and give potential homebuyers a good first impression of your home.

4. Use Light
Brighten up your home with lots of light. Replace any burned-out light bulbs, clean the windows and open the curtains and blinds. Light makes the home appear larger and lighter. Read Enhance Your Home With Lighting for more extensive tips on lighting a home.

5. Smell Test
One of the first things potential buyers will notice is if a home has a smell. Check your home for any lingering odors. This can be difficult because we often become nose-blind to the scents in our home. We recommend having a trusted friend come over and tell you if they notice any smells. For more great info on home smells and how to get rid of them, check out our blog How to Remove Home Smells.

Get Rid of Home Smells

6. Temporarily Remove or Crate Pets
We understand that pets are part of the family. However not all homebuyers are pet owners, and some may even have a fear of certain pets. Show potential homebuyers that you respect their desire to inspect your home without pet interruptions. If you do leave pets in the home, crate them, and consider leaving a sign to alert open house attendees that a pet is crated in a particular area.

7. Secure Valuables and Medications
Though a real estate agent is present to show potential homebuyers your home during an open house, it is not always possible to keep track of multiple people viewing the home at once. A good rule of thumb is to secure valuables and medications in a safe place or off the property during open houses and home showings. 

8. Park Somewhere Else
When hosting an open house for potential homebuyers, park your car somewhere other than the driveway. This will accommodate visitors and allow them to use the driveway, just as they would if they one day owned the home. It’s a great way to set the stage to make them feel at home.

9. Let the Agent Host
Potential homebuyers will be more open about their thoughts on a home they’re viewing if they are viewing with an impartial third party. By letting your agent host the open house you can get valuable feedback that divulges the true thoughts and feelings of those viewing the home. Then you can use that information to make any improvements to create a more positive impression for future homebuyers viewing the home.

10. Be Patient Waiting for Feedback
Your real estate agent may need up to 48 hours to gather all notes and feedback from the open house. Why so long? The agent hosting the open house may have follow-up to do with homebuyers who saw the home, particularly if homebuyers had specific questions the agent couldn’t answer at the time of the open house. The agent will then get back to the homebuyers with the answers and may be able to get even more information from those potential buyers. So be patient. Your agent is working hard to make sure they can give you a full report.
Is moving on your mind? If you are thinking of selling a home in the St. Louis, Missouri metropolitan area, be sure to interview The Boehmer Team. We would be honored to prove our experience and expertise in person. Or you can learn more about The Boehmer Team at

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Paint Colors That Sell

Paint Colors That Sell Homes

Did you know that paint color makes a difference in the way prospective buyers see a home and the price it brings when sold? While paint color doesn’t matter to every homebuyer, the right paint colors will get your home more attention and can help bring more value to the sale. If you are considering selling a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home, it will pay to learn which paint colors to choose.

While we occasionally question the results of Zillow’s “zestimates”, they’ve done some great research on over 32,000 photos of homes sold around the nation. They looked at how certain paint colors impacted price on average when compared with similar white-painted homes. The results were intriguing. So before you hit the local paint store, here are the paint colors that statistics show help sell homes and bring more value for the sale. 

Bedroom Paint Colors That Sell Homes

Home Interior Paint Colors With High Value

Light and medium shades of muted blue have been found to be especially valuable throughout most of the home. In the kitchen soft gray-blue netted an additional $1,809. For bedrooms, homes with medium muted blues saw a premium of $1,856. Even in the dining room shades of slate blue and pale gray-blue netted on average more than $1,926 when compared to white-painted dining rooms. The biggest paint color value found was $5,440 more for the average sale price in homes that had light blue or soft periwinkle bathrooms.

In the living room the colors that brought the most value were shades of light brown. Homes with pale taupe, light beige or oatmeal-colored living rooms sold for $1,926 more than similar homes with white living rooms. 

Living Room Paint Colors That Sell Homes

Exterior Home Paint Colors with High Value

You are probably wondering, what about gray? We are seeing gray everywhere these days as it is growing in popularity and value. So here it is: homes with an exterior painted in light gray and beige sold for about $3,496 more than other popular colors like medium brown and tan.  

Exterior Paint Colors That Sell Homes

Front door color affects curb appeal and has value too. Once again, blue and gray colors lead the way. Homes with navy or slate gray front doors netted on average $1,514 more for the home sale.

Paint Colors That May Deter Homebuyers

Now that you know what colors statistically brought more value from a home sale, let’s discuss colors to avoid when selling a home. More specifically, lack of color was detrimental. It was shown that homes with white bathrooms sold for an average of $4,035 less than other similar homes. So while white-washing an entire home to make it appear clean and bright may seem like the right thing to do, one is better off using light, muted colors as opposed to no color at all. But don’t go crazy, homes with dark colors sold for an average of $2,031 less than expected.

Paint Colors To Avoid When Selling A Home

What To Do

If you are thinking of putting a home on the market, consult with experienced local real estate agents like those on The Boehmer Team. We work with home stagers and photographers to make homes look their best and can help you evaluate the current condition of your home through the eyes of the home buyers we work with every day. By consulting an agent you may find that you don’t have to do as much work as you thought to get your home ready for sale.  And if you do need work done, an experienced real estate team will have a list of reputable home repair and painting contractors to help get the work done right.

Is moving on your mind? Contact TheBoehmer Team.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Preparing A Home To Sell

Preparing A Home To Sell

If you have a St. Louis or St. Charles County, Missouri area home to sell, you’re probably thinking of how to get the most value for your home. While the current sellers market is beneficial for home sellers looking to get the most from their home sale, there is more you can do to ensure your home brings top dollar. We’ve put together a list of things to do to improve the condition of your home so that it looks its best in pictures and brings the most interest and offers when your home is listed for sale.

Create A Plan
Imagine you are a homebuyer and walk through your home. Write down anything that needs cleaning, fixing or updating. Consider any items that need to be sold, donated or thrown away to make your home feel more spacious. Get advice from a REALTOR who can see your home with fresh eyes through the lens of experience.

Preparing A Home Exterior Before Selling A Home

Prepare The Home Exterior
The front exterior of your home and its curb appeal will be the first things potential homebuyers see. So you must make a good impression to elevate the value of the home in the eyes of homebuyers.
  • Touch up the paint on the home's exterior, including trim, doors and shutters.
  • Inspect the roof and make repairs as needed.
  • Check that the gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
  • Wash the windows.
  • Repair any cracks in the driveway and sidewalks.
  • Make sure the lawn is mowed and that landscaping and trees are trimmed.
  • Remove any debris, clippings, toys, trash, or pet droppings from the yard.
  • Check front door, doorbell, address number, welcome mat and mailbox.
  • Add color with seasonal flowers or shrubs if time allows.

Preparing A Home Interior Before Selling A Home

Prepare The Home Interior
Before we discuss to-do’s for particular spaces in a home, let’s look at items throughout the home that need to be addressed before it is put on the market.
  • Completely clean your home or hire a home cleaning service.
  • Stow away valuables in a safe place.
  • Repair any cracks or holes in walls and clean any marks or touch-up the paint.
  • Repair or replace any torn screens.
  • Clean carpeting and draperies for best appearance and freshness. 
  • Clean and inspect the fireplace and make any necessary repairs.
  • Lubricate squeaky doors, windows, and cabinets.
  • Replace any burned out light bulbs.
  • Pre-pack and store extra items or out-of-season items like holiday décor and clothes.
  • If the basement or attic is a functioning part of the house, make sure the area is clean and in good repair.

Preparing The Kitchen For Home Showings

Prepare The Kitchen
The kitchen has become one of the most important rooms in the house. It is a place that homeowners spend a lot of time cooking and bonding with their family. So it is a place that homebuyers pay special attention to.
  • Be sure cabinets, refrigerator, ceiling fans and vent hoods are wiped down and clean.
  • Clear the counters of any appliances. If an appliance must remain, be sure it is clean.
  • Make sure the floors are clean. . If the floor looks old and dull, consider replacing the flooring.
  • Organize your cabinets because potential buyers will often open the doors. 
  • Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink.

Preparing The Bathroom For Home Showings

Prepare The Bathroom
Homebuyers will want to ensure any bathrooms in the home are in good working condition. Of course you’ll want to be sure that the bathrooms in your home are as clean as possible. You should also check the following.
  • Replace old caulking around bathtub and sinks.
  • Repair or replace any leaky faucets.
  • Unclog and sanitize drains to remove odors.
  • Keep the toilet seat lids closed.
  • Keep fresh towels in the bathrooms at all times.

Preparing The Garage For Home Showings

Prepare The Garage
If the home you are selling has a garage, you’ll want to prepare it to look its best for the home sale as well.
  • Clean and organize items currently in the garage leaving room to store any additional items from inside the home.
  • Any items stored in the garage from inside the home should be stored as neatly as possible.
  • Remove any stains from the garage floor with degreasers found at your local home repair store.
  • Remove any cobwebs from the ceiling of the garage and from around the doors.
  • Make sure garage door openers and lights are working.

While you can’t control where your home is located, or the value of comparable properties your home will compete with when it is listed for sale, you can control the condition of your home. Using this list and talking to an experienced real estate agent like those on The Boehmer Team will ensure that you do everything possible to make the most from your home sale. Thinking of selling? Contact The Boehmer Team to make it a better experience. Still need more info? CLICK HERE to learn the Home Selling Process.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Enhance Your Home With Lighting

The home design industry often focuses on the latest colors and design styles, but the lighting in a home has a profound effect on the appearance of all design choices. The right lighting will highlight a home’s architectural and design features, making a home feel more open and inviting. While poor lighting can change the look of colors and spaces in a home and diminishes an otherwise well decorated room. Whether you are planning to list a St. Louis or St. Charles County area home for sale, or just want to present your home in the best light, try these lighting tips to make your home look its best.

Audit the lighting in the rooms of your home.

Consider the amount of natural light in your home and if there is enough. Check to make sure artificial lighting fully illuminates the entire room. Discover if your current lighting casts any hues that change the appearance of your paint and fabric colors. The results of your audit will help determine where to make any adjustments necessary to improve the lighting in your home.

Let in natural light from the windows.

A natural build up of dirt and debris from wind and rain can block the light coming in. Give the windows a good scrub on both sides and rinse off the screens. Pull the curtains open wide and lift any blinds. You can even expand the appearance of the size of windows by extending curtain rods eight inches on either side of the window. This trick allows room for draperies while still letting in plenty of natural light. Don’t forget to look outside the window. If there is foliage blocking the window from outside the home, manicure the landscaping to reveal the windows.

Choose the right light fixtures.

If you love your current light fixtures, give them a good cleaning. But if they are outdated and older than you are, replace them. Choosing the right fixture depends on the room size and use. Large fixtures are great for making any space cozier. Small fixtures are great for hallways and smaller spaces. A great way to create ambience is with a combination of overhead lighting and two other lighting sources like lamps.
When choosing fixture color, go with a color that matches or compliments other design features in the home. For example, match the metal color on a kitchen light fixture to the metal color of the kitchen cabinet pulls. Also, clean or replace any dirty or damaged light switch plates.

Pick the right light bulbs.

Use the highest wattage light bulb you can as directed by the lighting manufacturer.  If you don’t like bright lighting in your home, install dimmer switches. This will allow for bright lighting when needed and energy-saving mood lighting when you want it. Softer lighting is OK for accent lights and wall sconces. Don’t forget to audit the hue of the light bulbs in your home. It’s OK if you prefer bulbs that are soft white or rose-tinted. Just be sure that you use the same color of light bulbs in all of the fixtures within the same room to avoid a chaotic look.

Choose feature-enhancing exterior lighting.

A current trend for home listing photos is a picture taken at dusk to show exterior home lighting. Even if you’re not having a dusk photo shoot of your home, exterior lighting choices can greatly affect the curb appeal. Potential homebuyers may drive by at any hour to check out your home and neighborhood. A well-lit home exterior is inviting to homebuyers and discourages burglars. Good exterior lighting will make your home and neighborhood appear safer. Speaking of safety, path lighting helps prevent tripping hazards as well and creates a welcoming impression.

Contact The Boehmer Team when you’re ready to list.

If the reason you want to improve the lighting of your home is to highlight its best features for a home sale, contact The Boehmer Team. We offer home staging advice and services that are proven to help sell homes for the most value. We also use professional photography to be sure a home listed with The Boehmer Team is always shown in the best possible light.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Tax Perks of Home Improvements

Whether we like it or not taxes have been and will continue to be a factor in our income and purchasing decisions. For St. Louis and St. Charles County, Missouri homeowners, taxes additionally have implications on our decisions to make home improvements and remodel our homes.  How much impact? We’ll explain.

First you need to know the difference between a home repair and a home improvement. The IRS defines a repair as anything that's necessary to keep your home in good condition but doesn't necessarily add to its value. An improvement is anything that prolongs the useful life of your home and has the potential to increase its resale value. Your project needs to be considered a home improvement in order to take advantage of available tax perks. Be sure to consult your trusted tax advisor for tax advice regarding a specific project as not all home improvements are tax deductible.

Here are some of the home improvements that do have tax perks:

Solar Upgrades

Pictured: solar panels and solar water heater.
Solar water heaters and solar panels can still be claimed for a tax credit through 2021. The tax credit is currently 30% and includes the cost of installation. In 2020 the credit decreases to 26% and in 2021 it will be 22%. So if you are thinking of making solar upgrades it is best to do so sooner to claim a higher tax credit for the improvement.*

Modifications for Medical Necessity

Home improvements that are made to accommodate a medical disability may be deducted on your taxes. Some of the items covered include: adding handrails or support bars, widening doorways, adding a wheelchair ramp, and installing lifts. However to receive the tax perk for these upgrades you must itemize deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction. Talk to your tax advisor to determine if modifications made for medical necessity in your home are eligible for tax perks or refer to IRS Publication 502.

Selling a Home
Home improvements can decrease that amount of capital gains taxes when you sell a home. Capital gains are a type of tax levied on capital assets including investments and real estate when those investments are realized or sold. (Note: this doesn’t affect everyone. Individuals can exclude up to $250,000 of capital gains from the sale of their primary residence or $500,000 for a married couple). Increasing your adjusted cost basis, what you paid for the home plus costs incurred including home improvements, can reduce this tax. Be sure to keep receipts and paperwork from home improvements you make to increase your adjusted cost basis when you're ready to sell. As with the above, be sure to consult your tax advisor regarding capital gains taxes.

When you are ready to sell a St.Louis or St. Charles County area home, contact The Boehmer Team. We will help you achieve the maximum value for your property. We have over 55+ years of combined experience helping homebuyers and sellers. We’ve seen thousands of different situations and helped negotiate for our clients’ best benefit. Give us call or check out our website for more information about all that we do.

* Visit for requirements and additional information on tax credits for solar upgrades.
* Information herein is not legal tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor for specific tax information.