Because helping your clients understand the importance of maintaining the value of their home, we thought we would add to our recent published tips…this time from msn.com, a satellite company of Microsoft.

  1. DO keep up with the Joneses.
    1. Adrian Muller, the president of Hudson View Appraisal Services, tells msn.com that homes without features common to neighborhoods or areas in Florida (features such as a pool, patio, outside kitchen, etc.) will have an overall lower home value.
    2. Tip – make sure your home is comparable to others in your immediate area.
  2. Zombie houses
    1. Even though there is little your client can do about an abandoned, neglected, dilapidate house or an overgrown yard near your home, know that your home will take a hit when it comes time to render a value on your home.
    2. This word to the wise comes from Case Friedner, a real estate broker serving Hudson River towns in Westchester County.
  3. Fracking
    1. According to Duke University and the Resources for the Future, homeowners in Pennsylvania who live within 1.25 miles of a shale gas well and who are using groundwater for consumption are losing up to -24% of their home’s value.
  4. Cracks in the Pavement
    1. If there are pavement cracks in your driveway, consider resealing your driveway surfaces before putting your home on the market.
    2. Appraisers notice everything about your property including signs of depreciation.
  5. Curb appeal counts for a lot.
    1. According to Friedner, “At the very least, the lawn, walkway, and driveway should be cleared of debris, look clean and tidy.
    2. Friedner also suggests painting the front door, doorframe and window trims.
  6. Roll up your sleeves and clean/plan your yard.
    1. The Appraisal Institute suggests that landscaping and landscaping maintenance have the potential to increase home value.
    2. Friedner says, “Dead or dying shrubbery should be removed and replaces with healthy, lush plants and there should be no weeds anywhere on the property.”
  7. Luxury homes need pools, other homes do not.
    1. According to Heather Kandawire, an agent in northern New Jersey, “…the majority of buyers won’t even look at a home with a pool.” Buyers fear the maintenance required, the additional insurance required and the general added expense.
    2. Luxury homes, however, need pools, according to Kandawire.
    3. If the home has a koi pool, make sure its is pristine clean.
  8. Siding
    1. Though considered durable, bug repellant and good insulation, most buyers prefer to not buy a home with aluminum siding.
    2. Aluminum siding is thought to cheapen the appearance of a home.
  9. Foreclosures
    1. Regardless of where you live, you are likely to live near a foreclosed property.
    2. Again, as with zombie houses, there is nothing your client can do about a nearby-foreclosed house except to be aware a nearby foreclosure may negatively impact your client’s home value.
  10. Bad neighbors, street traffic, noise pollution, bad odors and unsightly buildings nearby all have the potential to negatively impact your client’s home value.
  11. Beware of tchotchkes, clutter and “over-decorating.”
    1. Your client’s children may love Breyer horses or Star Wars characters but potential buyers want to visualize themselves in the house, not others’ knickknacks.
  12. When making upgrades to the house, get a permit.
    1. Appraisers will lower the value of the home if upgrades were done without permits.
  13. Homes next to churches generate reduced home values due to “too much” traffic.
  14. Update/refinish/remove all “dated” items such as kitchen cabinets, carpet, brass fixtures, wallpaper, etc.
    1. Buyers want to visualize themselves in open-concept homes with clean lines.