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How to Sell Your Home Fast!

Begin by understanding why you are selling your home.  Your motivation to sell is the determining factor for how you will approach the sale of your home.  It will affect everything from what you set your asking price at to how much time, money and effort you are willing to invest in order to prepare your home for sale.


Keep the reasons for selling your home to yourself.  By keeping this information personal and private, you will not give the buyer negotiating leverage.  If you are asked why you have decided to sell, simply respond that your housing needs have changed.

Before setting a price, consult with a good listing agent.  As a seller, you will want to get a selling price as close to the list price as possible.  If you start out by pricing too high, you run the risk of not being taken seriously by buyers and having your house sit on the market for a long time.  If you price the home too low, you could be costing yourself thousands of dollars.

Do some home shopping for yourself.  The best way to learn about your competition is to review a competitive market analysis with a good listing agent. Take note not only of the listing prices, but the prices that other comparable homes are actually selling at.

Get an appraisal.  A good appraisal can be a huge benefit in marketing your home.  Getting an appraisal is a good way to let prospective buyers know that your home can be financed.  A word of caution: an appraisal is not a guarantee that your house will sell for that price, and you also may not like the appraisal value you are quoted.

Understand what tax assessments mean.  Some people think that tax assessments are a way of evaluating a home.  The difficulty here is that the assessments are based on a number of criteria that may not be related to property values, so they may not necessarily reflect your home’s true value.

Find a good real estate agent.  Upwards of three quarters of all home sellers say they would not work again with the agent who listed their home.  Usually this is a result of poor marketing and communication on the part of the agent.  Take the time to locate the agent who is going to best represent your needs during the transaction.

Ensure that you have room to negotiate.  Before settling on an asking price, make sure you leave yourself enough room to bargain.  Remember, a buyer is more likely to make a full-priced offer on a home that is priced right before making a low offer on a home that is priced too high.

Make the appearance of your home count.  Appearance is so critical that you would be unwise to ignore this fact when selling your home.  The look and feel of a home will generate greater emotional response from prospective buyers, more so than any other factor.

Invite the honest opinions of others.  The biggest mistake you can make is to rely solely on your own judgment.  Don’t be shy about seeking the opinions of others.  You must be objective about your home’s strong and weak points.  Work with a real estate agent who will give you honest and unbiased opinions about what should be done to make your home more marketable.

Clean everything, no matter how seemingly insignificant it may seem.  Potential buyers are looking for excuses not to buy your home, and it would be a shame that they went another direction because of a tiny chip in a bathroom counter or some dirty dishes in the kitchen sink.

 Allow potential buyers to visualize themselves in your home.  The last thing you want prospective buyers to think when viewing your home is that they may be intruding in someone else’s life.  Avoid clutter such as too many knickknacks, clothing lying around, or dirty dishes in the sink.  Decorate in neutral colors like white or beige and place a few carefully chosen items to add some warmth or character.

Get rid of all offensive odors.  Odd smells like traces of food, pets, or cigarette smoke can kill a sale quickly.  If potential buyers see a dog or notice you smoking a cigarette or cigar, they’ll start seeing stains or smelling odors, even if they aren’t there.  Don’t leave any clues.

Disclose everything.  Smart sellers are proactive in disclosing all known defects to their buyers in writing.  This will reduce liability and prevent costly lawsuits later on.

The more buyer prospects, the better.  Work closely with your real estate agent to maximize your marketing.  Having several potential buyers can only drive the price of a home up.

Keep your emotions in check during showings and negotiations.  Let go of the emotion you have invested in your home.  Use a businesslike manner and be detached.  This will give you an edge over someone who remains emotionally attached to the property.

Learn why your buyer is motivated to buy.  The better you know your buyer, the more leverage you have to negotiate.  As a rule, buyers are looking to purchase the best affordable property for the least amount of money.   If you know the buyer needs to move in quickly, this can help you get a better price.

Find out what the buyer can really afford.  Work with buyers who are pre-approved for a home loan so you know exactly how much they are going to finance and how much will be spent as a down payment.

Find out when the buyer would like to close.  Knowledge of a buyer’s deadline for completing negotiations again creates an advantage for you to get the most possible money.

Moving out before you sell can also put you at a disadvantage.  Empty homes can give the feel of being abandoned or neglected.  Buyers who know you already have another home may feel they have an advantage to negotiate a lower price.

Deadlines create a serious disadvantage.  Don’t try to sell by a certain date.  This adds unnecessary pressure to sell and can cost you thousands of dollars off the asking price

Don’t take a low offer personally.  Invariably the initial offer is below both what you were expecting and what they buyer is actually willing to pay.  Don’t get upset.  Evaluate the offer objectively.  This is merely a starting point for negotiations.

Turn that low offer around.  You can counter a low offer with one that is just under your original asking price.  This lets the buyer know that you don’t take their first offer seriously, but at the same time are going to be flexible.

Find out if the buyer is qualified.  If you feel that an offer is too low, find out if the buyer is qualified to carry a loan equal to your asking price.

Be sure the contract is complete.  To avoid problems, see to it that all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale.  Include everything.  Leave nothing out.  This will eliminate complications later on.

Resist the temptation to deviate from the contract.  Do not risk the collapse of the sale because of a single, seemingly insignificant deviation from the agreed-upon contract.

For more info contact Carol Swain today: (215) 431-8705 or


Understanding Your Credit

Anyone who has ever had a bank account, mortgage, credit card, car loan, or account with a retail store will invariably have a credit rating.  Most information in your credit rating comes from companies you have credit with, as well as from certain public records such as tax liens, bankruptcies, judgments and lawsuits.  It is important to know and understand your credit rating, how the information is compiled, and how it affects your ability to acquire a loan for your new home.

 Credit ReportCredit reports are usually divided into five sections:

1. Your credit history.

2. Who has reviewed your credit history.

3. Information you have provided for the credit company.

4. Specific identification information about you.

5. Explanatory notes and comments.

Different states have different requirements and it is important that you check on what applies to you.  There are three major credit-reporting agencies, Trans Union, Experian and Equifax.

When preparing to buy a home it can be prudent to speak to a mortgage lender a few months in advance.  If you don’t know a mortgage lender, I can recommend to you one who has the reputation of providing excellent service and good rates.  This lender will be able to immediately pull your credit report for your review and can make recommendations of how to make it better.  The better your credit score, the higher your credit rating will be.  

For additional questions you can contact Carol at: (215) 757-7257 or


Today’s Real Estate Market Update – Sept. 2013

Stay up to date with today’s real estate trends and know the market. For most people their home is their largest asset, so stay informed.

FYI on DIY (ROI for Do it Yourself Projects)

Whether you’re considering the purchase of a new home or ready to prep for a quick sale, you know there are home improvements that can increase your home’s value and appeal.

So, which remodeling projects offer the potential for some of the biggest paybacks?  The following midrange remodeling jobs offer the highest returns.



Remodeling Job

Estimated Cost

Return on Investment

Entry Door  replacement (steel)



Deck Addition (wood)



Garage Door replacement



Minor kitchen remodel



Window Replacement  (wood)



Attic bedroom



Siding Replacement (vinyl)



Window replacement (vinyl)



Basement remodel



Major kitchen remodel



If you are wondering what projects to invest in when getting your home ready for the market, contact me, Carol Swain.  I can come out and visit your home and tell you exactly what repairs/projects will sell your home for most money in the least time. or (215) 757-7257.  

Handyman Special in Bensalem, Pa

6400 Clapham Ln
Bensalem, PA
3BR/1BA Single Family House $164,875

Handy man Special

Handy man Special

 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch.  Secluded, mountain like setting situated on a private lane.  Home backs to picturesque stream that is a tributary of  Neshaminy creek.  Basement.  New Roof 2011.  Needs TLC.  Being sold as is.
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 1
Floors 1
Sq Footage 1,300
Lot Size 12,196 sqft
Year Built 1956

view detailed listing

Contact Carol Swain for more details at
(215) 431-8705 or

2012 Bucks County, Pa Real Estate Stats

2012 was a GREAT YEAR for BUCKS COUNTY REAL ESTATE! The stats are in: Bucks County reported an increase in Pending Units in every month of 2012, rounding out the year with a 27% increase for December. Settled Units also reported an increase in every month of 2012, reporting 3% in the final month of the year! Through December 2012, Bucks County settled 5,104 units at an average price of $324,000.

KW Langhorne is Number 1!

KW Langhorne is Number 1!

Keller Williams in Langhorne was #1 office in Bucks County for 2012! Excited to be an owner/partner of a successful, growing company!


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