How to Find a Reliable Contractor

When It Come to Selling a Home, the Name of the Game is “The Price Is Right” 

By Vince Parrucci,
Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor & Professional Real Estate Consultant 

 Your home-it’s where you raised your children, shared holidays and made memories. While all of that is important, it should not figure in when it comes to selling that home. Many people have emotional ties or pride in their homes. That is understandable, but it doesn’t equate to hard value.  

In order to sell your home quickly—and who doesn’t want a quick sale?—it is essential to price a home according to its real market value not its emotional value. What happens when a home is overpriced, is that it gets no showings, and it sits on the market. There is a lot of psychology involved with buying and selling a home. If a home is listed for $300,000 in a neighborhood where the homes are selling for $260,000, potential buyers won’t even look at it because they don’t want to insult the seller, or they fear the seller won’t accept their offer. 

If the home sits on the market month after month, the listing becomes stale, and the home can become stigmatized. When potential buyers see that a home has been languishing on the market, they often conclude, whether fairly or not, that there is something “wrong” with the house. Conversely, a well-maintained, appropriately-priced home will appear desirable and will generally sell quickly.  

So how do you price your home appropriately?  

An experienced real estate agent will know the market. When arriving at a list price, agents look at the condition of the home, its amenities, how well it has been maintained or how extensively it has been updated. Agents should pull comparables much like a real estate appraiser does and try to compare apples to apples. If the home has three bedrooms, then the agent should look at other homes in the area that have sold that have three bedrooms. But not all three-bedroom homes are alike. A three-bedroom, two-story home will most likely sell for more than a three-bedroom split entry. 

Sometimes buyers and sellers will consult real estate websites like Zillow or Realtor.com to get an idea of a home’s worth, but those don’t have access to the specific, detailed information that the Multi-List does. The sites don’t give enough information to make adequate comparables. The Multi-List is a much better resource as it has more information, and most, if not all real estate agents should have access to the Multi-List.  

Also, these sites pull comparables from a set parameter, but that range can cross over into another neighborhood and may give you a false value. For example, if you have a home in the Friendship Park neighborhood of the city, the site may compare it to a home in Shadyside, which is within their parameter, but the homes there sell for much higher prices. 

If possible, agents want sales that have occurred within the last three months and within a half-mile radius and within the same school district. School district can have an impact on a list price.  

Considering a move? Whether it is buying or selling, have an expert work for you. Contact Vince Parrucci, Licensed Real Estate Agent, Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, at Vincent.parrucci@pittsburghmoves.com, call (724) 612-3770 or visit: www.smartbuystrongsale.com. 

In addition to being a Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, Vice Parrucci is author of Smart Buy, Strong Sale: The Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Selling Your Next Home is available through Amazon.com. His extensive experience includes VP of Mellon Bank, VP of Allegheny Financial Group, Real Estate investor, mentor and coach to thousands on investment real estate and flipping of houses and property. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

 By: Vincent Parrucci
Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant

Finding and keeping good contractors for home improvements is always a challenge.  They are critical to the success of any project, small or large. 

So, how do you find a good contractor?  

Referrals are Key – Referrals are the best means of finding a reliable contractor. In your network of contacts (business associates, family members, neighbors, friends and even local businesses) you probably know someone who has had similar project done on their house. 

Avoid looking through the phone book or the internet.  Contractors with big ads don’t necessarily mean they are any good.  A truly good contractor will NEVER have to place an ad.  They will get more business then they can handle simply through referrals. 

However, every contractor still needs to be checked out. You need to conduct your own research on them prior to you allowing them to do any work for you. 

Specifically:

  • Get references from clients of theirs and actually call them.
  • Make sure references are from recent clients opposed to clients from a couple of years ago.
  • Ask to drive by and check out current projects that the contractor is or has completed.
  • Check with organizations such as the Better Business Bureau and various contractor referral sites and verify with the state that the contractor has an active license and is in good standing (http://hicsearch.attorneygeneral.gov or 1-888-520-6680).
  • Verify that the contractor has all of the necessary insurance, such as workmen’s comp., as well as, liability insurance. You can obtain this information directly from the contractor’s insurance company. 
  • Get multiple bids from different contractors.

Also, The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act of 2009 requires that all Home Improvement Contractors that have conducted more the $5,000 in business (previous year) be required to register with the State every 2 years.  The PA registration number must be visible and displayed on all advertising materials.  The state also requires that a contract MUST be in writing to be valid otherwise its not enforceable.

To learn more about what sells and what doesn’t in the housing market, call Vincent Parrucci,

Licensed Real Estate Agent, Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, at

(724) 612-3700, email at vincent.parrucci@pittsburghmoves.com

or visit www.smartbuysstrongsale.com.

 In addition to being a Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, Vincent H. Parrucci is author of “Smart Buy, Strong Sale: The Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Selling Your Next Home” available through Amazon.com. His extensive experience includes VP of Mellon Bank, VP of Allegheny Financial Group, Real Estate investor, mentor and coach to thousands on investment real estate and flipping of houses and property.

 

 

 


By Vincent Parrucci

Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This saying is true for so many aspects of life, including the selling of a house. If you’re going to have a house for sale, it’s worth it to take pains to make its first impression as strong as possible.

Fortunately, making a house look ready-to-buy, doesn’t mean you must break your back or your bank account. Here are some simple, affordable projects that can be done in a single weekend:

Warm Up the Front Porch

There’s an emotional component that goes into preparing a house for sale—one that’s truly “inviting.” Often, the key factor is whether prospective buyers can easily picture themselves and their family enjoying an afternoon or evening in the place. Think about whether investing in a few pieces of attractive, comfortable-looking outdoor furniture that you could place on your front porch (or other outdoor space) could help buyers picture themselves enjoying a leisurely after-dinner conversation…and whether a comfy indoor/outdoor rug and some outdoor decorative pillows might complete the picture.  During the holiday season, some simple but tasteful holiday decorations will do just fine.

Invest in Simple Landscaping

Even just a few flower pots or window planters will invariably work to cheer up an otherwise ‘just okay’ exterior. When a prospective buyer drives up to a house for sale, a few large pots along the driveway and/or porch—sometimes with the addition of a couple of inexpensive window boxes—can make a real difference. Fill them with easy-to-care-for flowers in the spring and summer time or mums in the fall.

Trim Up and Clean Up!

You don’t necessarily have to paint the whole exterior before you list your house for sale, but it is a good idea to spruce it up by painting (or replacing) the front door, shutters, and trim. It’s a quick, affordable way to give the entire house a facelift without spending a ton of money on painters and paint!

 Update Exterior Lighting

For prospective buyers whose first look at your house takes place in an evening drive-by, exterior lighting plays a leading role. If your lighting setup is more than ten years old, you may be able to do a quick transformation by replacing outdated fixtures with stylish new ones. If twilight showings are likely, consider adding a lighted path from driveway to door.

Pay Attention to the Details

Potential buyers may be searching for the address, so a mailbox with old, missing house numbers can sabotage an entire showing. A new mailbox with bright, shiny numbers or fresh coat of paint will waylay that possibility. During the winter season keep your sidewalk and driveway clear of snow and ice.

Once those drive-by’s start wanting to come inside, be sure to pick up your stuff and clear out the clutter.  If you house looks disorganized and your yard has toys and tools scattered throughout then your prospective buyers are probably going to get sense that the house is too small for you and may have the perception that your house will be too small for them.

To learn more about what sells and what doesn’t in the housing market, contact Vincent Parrucci,

Licensed Real Estate Agent and Professional Real Estate Consultant, at parrucci@zoominternet.net, call (724) 612-3770 or visit www.vinceparrucci.com.

 In addition to being a Licensed Real Estate Agent/Realtor and Professional Real Estate Consultant, Vincent H. Parrucci is author of “Smart Buy, Strong Sale: The Consumer’s Guide to Buying and Selling Your Next Home” available through Amazon.com. His extensive experience includes VP of Mellon Bank, VP of Allegheny Financial Group, Real Estate investor, mentor and coach to thousands on investment real estate and flipping of houses and property.

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