Category : Moving Advice

When putting a house on the market it’s common for sellers to invest in home repairs, but what most sells don’t know is that not every repair adds significant market value. Indeed it’s far too common for uneducated sellers to spend thousands of dollars on “important” renovations only to discover that these new features will not increase their potential selling price at all. But since RE/MAX Plus is committed to ensuring that our customers receive the most return on their investments, we have put together a few suggestions for value-conscious repairs and renovations that home owners can do to increase their resale value, all without breaking the bank. Keep in mind this list is only a general guide, so if you are truly interested in learning what repairs will generate the most value for your home, contact a RE/MAX Plus agent today!

  1. Get Expert Advice
    Before you even pick up a paint brush, one of the most cost-effective methods of adding value to your renovations is to hire a professional contractor, designer or real estate agent to inspect your home. These people will always have the latest knowledge on the current trends and can help you develop a renovation plan that suits your budget while maximizing value. Many of these experts offer free estimates, but even for the ones that charge a small fee, it’s hard to put a price on a plan of action.
  2. Have a Painting Party
    Arguably the least-expensive method to add instant value to your home, painting walls and ceilings is a simple task you can do yourself or with family. For around $50 a room, sellers can create a clean, updated look that draws the eye and helps buyers better picture what it would be like to live there themselves. Keep in mind that neutral colors such as beige or white will appeal to the greatest number of people, making it that much more desirable for a larger percentage of the population.
    Last but certainly not least, never underestimate the selling power of a freshly-washed window or a sparkling floor. Dirt, grime, and dust sends a general message of disrepair and dampens the selling potential, even in a home with no other issues. Pay particular attention to the threshold of entry doors, windows, bathrooms, and kitchens as these are places prone to heavy soil levels. For a professional touch, consider renting a commercial steam or carpet cleaner to remove deep stains and scuffs.

If you’re a first-time buyer who just nabbed your first place, you’re likely in one of the scarier places in the real estate transaction. After weeks or months of looking, your new home is becoming a reality.

But before you can pick out the paint colors and decide how you’ll redo the basement, the property needs to be inspected.

property inspection is one of the most important parts of the purchasing process, yet many buyers don’t know what to expect from the various players involved. Here’s a guide to the roles and responsibilities each of the players has during a typical property inspection.

You, the buyer

You’re there to learn as much about the property as possible. But you should have already done your homework before the big day.

Prior to the inspection, review the seller’s property disclosures and know up front what questions you have for the inspector. Things may have come up during the marketing or during a walk-through that concerned you. Or maybe the seller disclosed that some unpermitted work was done in the basement years ago. Before you release your inspection contingency, know exactly what you’re getting into and that there aren’t any surprises down the road.

Block out a few hours on the day of the inspection, depending on the size of the home. Nearly everyone from the transaction will be present, and these few hours can be critical. Most inspections go smoothly, but some can be the beginning of tough negotiations.

The buyer’s agent

Your agent should be standing by your side to walk you through the inspection. Good agents have been through dozens of inspections and know how they work. They should have basic knowledge of what to look for. Most importantly, they know what’s important and what matters in the big picture. If you’re getting a really good price on the home, your agent would likely advise you not to bother the seller for small fixes. If you’re paying top dollar and discover serious flaws, your agent can guide you on how to best proceed after the inspection.

The listing agent

For many reasons, the seller won’t be present during the inspection. But the seller’s listing agent will be front and center as the eyes and ears of the property inspection.

By this point, the listing agent should be familiar with the property and is there to address anything that comes up. For the seller and the listing agent, the inspection is one of the last hurdles to get through and a big unknown. Issues, questions or concerns could arise during the inspection, which could kill the sale or affect the property’s value.

That’s why many agents advise sellers to get a property inspection before going on the market, to prevent any last-minute unknowns or red flags.

Sometimes, it seems as though the listing agent is there to “defend” the property against the buyer, her agent and their chosen inspector. Some feel the inspection is a “three against one” situation. It shouldn’t be.

Though the listing agent is there to be an advocate for the seller, everyone should come with the same goal in mind: to facilitate a clean sales transaction.

The inspector

As the buyer, you hire the property inspector, who should be licensed by the state. You sign an agreement with and pay the inspector. Most buyers get a referral for an inspector from their real estate agent.

The inspector is not a contractor, though some inspectors were contractors in their previous careers. While they may be able to shed light on what you can or can’t do to a property and its potential costs, their main purpose is to inspect the property, its systems and the overall state of the home.

A good inspector will remain impartial and not be an alarmist, though they will point out things to be addressed. The inspector isn’t a part of the transaction and shouldn’t get into the nitty-gritty of your deal, nor would they want to.

The inspector should look around, make notes and provide you with a detailed report as well as some feedback on future maintenance. Be sure to walk through the property with the inspector. Whenever possible, go where the inspector goes. Get on the roof, go into the basement, venture into the crawlspace. It will be helpful for the inspector to point things out to you in real-time and demonstrate where the systems are and how they work. Also, some things are better understood in person than read about in a report later.

Your Uncle Bob

Finally, it’s important to understand why having Uncle Bob on hand during the inspection isn’t necessarily a good idea. While it may seem logical to bring a relative or close friend who is a contractor, be mindful that these people aren’t licensed property inspectors. Sometimes, the most well-intended people can end up causing harmful consequences. Uncle Bob may feel it’s important to point out as many negative things as possible, just to seem helpful. He’s far from impartial, however, and you run the risk of raising red flags when they don’t need to be.

Time for a huddle

After the inspection, you and your agent will likely huddle to talk about what went on and to strategize next steps. Hopefully, the inspection was flawless and you are one step closer to picking out your new paint colors.

Or some additional negotiations may be needed after the inspection.

Either way, it helps to know what to expect going in and to be prepared for anything.

Read more:

How to Stay Calm During Negotiations

After much soul searching and working the numbers, you decided to put your home on the market. You may be selling to change cities for a job or are needing to downsize. Regardless of the reason, this is a big and important decision!

The time has come, though. You have received an offer on your home. How can you make it through? This can be a very trying time. How do you know which offer to take or what counteroffer to make?

Here are 10 tips to help you stay calm during negotiations:

  • 1. Trust your Agent: You hired your agent for a reason. He has experience handling negotiations and contracts. Feel free to ask him any questions you have, but don’t let the pressure of every minute detail overwhelm you.
  • 2. Eat and Sleep: Our body needs to refuel in two ways: food and rest. Be sure to get plenty of both so that your brain is well-prepared for any big decisions you may need to make. Pack a bag lunch or some snacks if you think you may be too busy to stop for lunch or dinner on the way to your agent’s office.
  • 3. Have Downtime: Getting your mind off of a stressful situation means you can come back later refreshed and ready for a challenge.
  • 4. Open Communication: Express real concerns to your spouse, significant other, or business partner. You never really know what someone else is thinking unless you talk openly.
  • 5. Exercise: This is a great way to clear your mind and to gear your body up for the stress of selling. Walks, runs, and even a trip to the gym can be extremely beneficial.
  • 6. Meditate: Take a moment and find a quiet space. Sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus on your breath coming in and going out of your body. Be still and be in the present moment. As thoughts and worries come in your mind, acknowledge that they came and then pull your focus back to your breathing. Even a few minutes can do wonders at centering the mind.
  • 7. Run the Numbers: Seeing the facts in black and white can help take emotion out of this business decision. Should you accept this offer? Is it too low? Do the math and know for sure.
  • 8. Practice Patience: Buyers may take their time to consider your counter-offers. Be patient and know that an answer will eventually come.
  • 9. Leave Impulse at the Door: This is not a time to make rash decisions. You want to be sure that this is the right deal and the right time.
  • 10. Enjoy the Process: Yes, it’s a stressful, but it can also be the doorway to your new life. Embrace it and stay positive.

It was a big day when you decided to list your home for sale and it will be a even bigger day when you close with a seller. Take care of your body, relax your mind, and trust in your team of professionals and you’re sure to make it through this stressful time.

Today more than ever homeowners need to focus on creating a comprehensive plan for marketing their property. Use this video to learn why RE/MAX agents are uniquely qualified to help you successfully market your home in today’s real estate market.

Contact RE/MAX Plus for all your real estate needs at (585) 279-8200 or visit us at

Competitive Tips for Buyers

First, and perhaps most importantly, are you ready to buy? Readiness is not impulsiveness, however.

Before you begin your home search, know your budget and get pre-approved for a mortgage. Why? This will help you to determine your price range and will help you narrow your home search.

Next, determine what amenities are must-haves, and what things you can do without. By having a clear plan of action, you’ll know a good deal when you see it and won’t hesitate to act. Many would-be buyers miss out on their dream home because of hesitation. They need “the night to think about it” or “to see a few more” before they make a decision. If the home is a good price and in a desirable location, one night could mean missing out on the house altogether.

Communication doesn’t end there. Keep in contact with your agent about new listings and showings. Homes come on the market all the time and in hot neighborhoods they don’t last long. If you wait even a few days, a home could be scooped up by another eager buyer.

Bid competitively. This is where your agent can be invaluable. They have access to your market’s stats, which show for how much comparable homes have been selling. This means you may be able to come in a little under list price and still be competitive, or it may mean that the property is already underpriced and to beat out any other offers, you need to offer more than the asking price.

Competitive doesn’t mean handing everything to the seller on a silver platter, though. Sellers may ask for certain concessions, such closing costs, terms, as-is purchases (without an inspection contingency in the offer), and requests regarding closing dates. Some of these requests may seem reasonable to you, but don’t be afraid to stand your ground if others are too far-fetched.

And finally, stick to your guns. It can be easy to lose sight of your true end goal, which should be the home you love at a reasonable price. This means that your predetermined budget, well, it must remain your budget. Don’t overpay for a house simply because you’ve gotten caught up in the excitement of a bidding war.

For further assistance with your home buying and selling needs, contact RE/MAX Plus (585) 279-8200.


How to Search For a Home

Do you know how to refine your home search? Here are the main features to focus on.

Neighborhood: Consider your wants and needs. They vary by person, situation and family make up. Do you have children and need to live within the boundaries of a specific school district? Do you want a shorter commute to work, a neighborhood with historic homes, or a home near night life and restaurants?

Square Footage: How much space do you need? The average home in America is 2,195 square feet. Thirty years ago the average size of a home was 1,645. The trend has been for larger and larger homes, with special purpose spaces, such as exercise rooms, offices, studies, and media rooms. This trend is now receding.

Floorplan: Architectural styles offer a wide range of choices! Open floor plans might appeal to you, with their great flow for entertaining. You may have a more traditional aesthetic, preferring cozy rooms. Think about how you live your life and what style best fits your needs.

Finishes: There are different grades of homes. Take your kitchen, for example. You can find a wide range of beautiful laminate counters, just as you can find a wide range of beautiful granite ones. These choices dramatically affect price. Think carefully about what you want in your dream home. Do you want stone floors or will ceramic suffice? Are you looking for green building materials, such as zero-voc paint, bamboo floors, and recycled counters?

Amenities: Our homes extend past the borders of our property. We live in the parks, shopping, and restaurants that surround us. Be sure to think outside the “box” of your house when you buy.

Landscaping: A large yard can mean lots of entertaining potential, but it can also mean a lot of work. Be sure to consider your needs now and down the road when it comes to yard maintenance. Many buyers prefer a townhouse or condo as their “dream home”. These options afford buyers with much less responsibility when it comes to upkeep!

Be sure to discuss all of these topics with your real estate agent and to search for homes go to: or call (585) 279-8200.

Summer Moves Should Start in Spring!

Moving Tips:

Summer is the busiest time for truck rentals. More than 40% of all moves historically take place during the months of May, June, July and August.

What does this mean?
Call now and book early!

With high demand comes low availability. We are already hearing from the van line community that they anticipate this summer to be extremely busy.

A number of families that put plans on hold over the past few years are tired of waiting and ready to go. Also, there’s the baby boomers to consider. The first batch of baby boomers are hitting retirement age in 2011 and their effect on van line schedules this year could be significant.

On a positive note, RE/MAX clients have complimentary access to the Move Advocate. RE/MAX clients that book through the Move Advocate program receive priority scheduling from the van lines. That means your clients go to the top of the list when van lines are scheduling their pickup and delivery routes. That is a huge value any time of year, but a real boom during the summer.

Another benefit is no seasonal price adjustment through Move Advocate. Like beach front hotels, many moving companies raise their rates during the peak summer months. Booking a move through the Move Advocate program ensures standard rates year round… even in July.

Best advice for a hassle-free move this summer? Get started now and visit