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Real Advice from your Realtor

Rachel Bachrach

Whether it’s your first place or your fifth, buying or selling a home can be overwhelming. Experienced real estate agents dish about the small things that can up your home value, what buyers should know before starting the hunt, and why man’s best friend isn’t always a realtor’s.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

real estateThinking of selling? Here’s what to put on your to-do list before putting your house on the market:

Number one: de-clutter. Even if you tell the buyer this stuff won’t be here, people can’t see past it. Also, clutter makes the rooms look smaller.

Robin Luchins, a broker associate at Realty Teams in Rockland County, New York


Staging your house can be more important than the age of the furnace. If the roof leaks or the furnace is old, but it’s a great house, someone will fall in love. That’s why first impressions are the most important. The stairs and front door greet the buyer — they should look fresh. A house can lose value because of minor things that hurt curb appeal. You don’t want the buyer to be turned off at the front door.

Rivka Bodenheim, an agent at Coldwell Banker in Passaic and Clifton, New Jersey


The other day I went into a house, there were plants all over the place, a chair blocking the floor plan — you don’t want furniture or other things interfering with the flow of the house.

Judy Reich, a broker at Coldwell Banker in Chicago, Illinois


To sell, sell, sell, you’ve got to clean, clean, clean. Everything: floors, windows, ceiling fans. I always say, “Be very critical — you can be sure your buyer will be.” Neaten the closets, put your pantry in order, straighten up the basement. You want buyers to see the place and think, This is how I can make my house — my kitchen, shed, playroom — look.

Yoel Gruen, owner of Champion Associates Realty in Lakewood, New Jersey


I told the owner of a house that listed at $850,000, “The light fixture over the stairway doesn’t work — send an electrician.” That $75-repair makes a world of a difference; a house doesn’t show well without light. It always surprises me when someone puts up a house for a million dollars but doesn’t want to put in a few hundred to make it more appealing. If the issues are minor — touch this up, replace that — do it! But this is Flatbush, houses are in demand, so if it needs a lot of work, you’re really selling the property, and touch-ups might not be necessary.

Robi Hofstatter, co-owner of Royal York Realty Inc. in Brooklyn, New York


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