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June
27

Cleaning Before Moving - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

After cleaning the home for potential buyers to view, you will need to clean it one last time before turning over the keys to the new homeowner. As a seller, you need to make the buyer feel confident about the purchase. One easy way is to hand them keys to a clean house. Here is a final cleaning guide for you from our real estate agents.

  1. Wipe the Walls
    Get a bucket, fill it with water, add a little soap and get a sizeable smooth sponge to scrub your walls. Dip the sponge in the soapy water, squeeze the sponge to leave it a little soggy, and use it to wipe the walls.

    Repeat the process when wiping the doors, window, window frame, sills, and baseboard. Wipe the walls from up downwards. You can buy an eraser cleaning supply to take out any scuffs.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
24

You don't need a real estate license to find your dream home, but it does help to become familiar with the real estate jargon you might encounter during the process. When searching for a home or applying for a mortgage, you may hear your real estate agent or lender use any of the terms or acronyms below.

Keep this four-part guide handy — you'll be fluent in the language of home buying before you know it.

When you're searching for a home

  • Approved for short sale: A term that indicates that a homeowner's bank has approved a reduced listing price on a home, and the home is ready for resale.
  • Buyers market: Market conditions that exist when homes for sale outnumber buyers. Homes sit on the market a long time, and prices drop.
  • Comparative market analysis (CMA): An in-depth analysis, prepared by a real estate agent, that determines the estimated value of a home based on recently sold homes of similar condition, size, features and age that are located in the same area.
  • Comps: Or comparable sales, are homes in a given area that have sold within the past six months that a real estate agent uses to determine a home's value.
  • Days on market (DOM): The number of days a property listing is considered active.
  • Listing price: The price of a home, as set by the seller.
  • Multiple listing service (MLS): A database where real estate agents list properties for sale.
  • Sellers market: Market conditions that exist when buyers outnumber homes for sale. Bidding wars are common.
  • Short sale: The sale of a home by an owner who owes more on the home than it's worth. The owner's bank must approve a lower listing price before the home can be sold.

When you're applying for a mortgage

  • Back-end ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares the borrower's monthly debt payments to gross income.
  • Depository institutions: Banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. These institutions underwrite as well as set home loan pricing in-house.
  • Debt-to-income ratio (DTI): A ratio that compares a home buyer's expenses to gross income.
  • Housing ratio: One of two debt-to-income ratios that a lender analyzes to determine a borrower's eligibility for a home loan. The ratio compares total housing cost (principal, homeowners insurance, taxes and private mortgage insurance) to gross income.
  • Loan estimate: A three-page document sent to an applicant three days after they apply for a home loan. The document includes loan terms, monthly payment and closing costs.
  • Loan-to-value ratio (LTV): The amount of the loan divided by the price of the house. Lenders reward lower LTV ratios.
  • Origination fee: A fee, charged by a broker or lender, to initiate and complete the home loan application process.
  • Pre-approval: A thorough assessment of a borrower's income, assets and other data to determine a loan amount they would qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Pre-qualification: A basic assessment of income, assets and credit score to determine what, if any, loan programs a borrower might qualify for. A real estate agent will request a pre-approval or pre-qualification letter before showing a buyer a home.
  • Underwriting: A process a lender follows to assess a home loan applicant's income, assets and credit, and the risk involved in offering the applicant a mortgage.

When you're shopping for a mortgage

  • Conventional loan: A home loan not guaranteed by a government agency, such as the FHA or the VA.
  • Down payment: A certain portion of the home's purchase price that a buyer must pay. A minimum requirement is often dictated by the loan type.
  • Fannie Mae: A government-sponsored enterprise chartered in 1938 to help ensure a reliable and affordable supply of mortgage funds throughout the country.
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA): A government agency created by the National Housing Act of 1934 that insures loans made by private lenders.
  • FHA 203(k): A rehabilitation loan backed by the federal government that permits homebuyers to finance money into a mortgage to repair, improve or upgrade a home.
  • Foreclosure: A property repossessed by a bank when the owner fails to make mortgage payments.
  • Freddie Mac: A government agency chartered by Congress in 1970 to provide a constant source of mortgage funding for the nation's housing markets.
  • Mortgage broker: A licensed professional who works on behalf of the buyer to secure financing through a bank or other lending institution.
  • Mortgage interest rate: The price of borrowing money. The base rate is set by the Federal Reserve and then customized per borrower, based on credit score, down payment, property type and points the buyer pays to lower the rate.
  • Piggyback loan: A combination of loans bundled to avoid private mortgage insurance. One loan covers 80% of the home's value, another loan covers 10% to 15% of the home's value, and the buyer contributes the remainder.
  • Principal, interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance (PITI): The components of a monthly mortgage payment.
  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI): A fee charged to borrowers who make a down payment that is less than 20% of the home's value. The fee, 0.3% to 1.5% of the yearly loan amount, can be canceled in certain circumstances when the borrower reaches 20% equity.
  • Points: Prepaid interest owed at closing, with one point representing 1% of the loan. Paying points, which are tax deductible, will lower the monthly mortgage payment.

When you've chosen a home

  • American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI): A not-for-profit professional association that sets and promotes standards for property inspections. Look for this accreditation or something similar when shopping for a home inspector.
  • Cash-value policy: A homeowners insurance policy that pays the replacement cost of a home, minus depreciation, should damage occur.
  • Closing costs: Fees associated with the purchase of a home that are due at the end of the sales transaction. Fees may include the appraisal, the home inspection, a title search, a pest inspection and more. Buyers should budget for an amount that is 1% to 3% of the home's purchase price.
  • Contingencies: Conditions written into a home purchase contract that protect the buyer should issue arise with financing, the home inspection, etc.
  • Earnest money: A security deposit made by the buyer to assure the seller of his or her intent to purchase.
  • Escrow account: An account required by a lender and funded by a buyer's mortgage payment to pay the buyer's homeowners insurance and property taxes.
  • Escrow state: A state in which an escrow agent is responsible for closing.
  • Home inspection: A non-destructive visual look at the systems in a building. Inspection occurs when the home is under contract or in escrow.
  • Homeowners insurance: A policy that protects the structure of the home, its contents, injury to others and living expenses should damage occur.
  • In escrow: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title searched for liens, etc.
  • Title insurance: Insurance that protects the buyer and lender should an individual or entity step forward with a claim that was attached to the property before the seller transferred legal ownership of the property or "title" to the buyer.
  • Transfer taxes: Fees imposed by the state, county or municipality on transfer of title.
  • Under contract: A period of time (30 days or longer) after a buyer has made an offer on a home and a seller has accepted. During this time, the home is inspected and appraised, and the title is searched for liens, etc.
  • Walkthrough: A buyer's final inspection of a home before closing.

When you own a home

  • Equity: A percentage of the home's value owned by the homeowner.
  • Homeowners Association (HOA): The governing body of a housing development, condo or townhome complex that sets rules and regulations. They charge dues used to maintain common areas.
  • Property tax exemption: A reduction in taxes based on specific criteria, such as installation of a renewable energy system or rehabilitation of a historic home.
  • Tax lien: The government's legal claim against property when the homeowner neglects or fails to pay a tax debt.

Find out what else you can do to prepare for buying a home here.


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August
16

Garage Sale Before Selling a Home - CB Prime Properties

If you're selling your home, a garage sale is a fantastic opportunity to get rid of items you no longer need and earn a little cash. Our REALTORS® know that a garage sale is a useful way to reduce the clutter before putting a property on the market. Check out a few tips for hosting a successful garage sale. 

  1. Be Picky When Choosing a Date and Time
    Garage sales held on the weekend are usually much busier than those held on a weekday; conventionally, Saturday is the most popular day for garage sales. Stay away from holiday weekends and days with major local events.

    You'll also need to decide on a time for your garage sale. Most garage sales start in the morning and end in the early afternoon, though there may be regional variations. Check out local listings for other sales in your area to get a better idea of when they typically start and end.

    Click Here to Read More...

June
21

Benefits of Downsizing for Retirees - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

The kids have left, and your home is filled with memories rather than people. Besides, it's a lot of work to keep a big house in good repair. If you're retired and your house feels too big for you, it might be time to downsize and move into a smaller abode like these Albany homes for sale, which are designed to be a joy to live in.

In fact, if you're thinking of downsizing, there's no better time to do so than in today's seller's market. Our real estate agents can help you determine the best course of action and potentially lead a more leisurely lifestyle.

  1. You'll Save Money
    A smaller dwelling means less space, but it also means less money spent on housing repair costs. Simply put, downsizing is a great way to save money. Think about it. A larger house equates to a larger mortgage, higher property taxes, and insurance costs. And you get to save on housekeeping costs too. You can also save on utility costs as you have less space to power and heat.

    Downsizing saves you money, which can contribute to a more satisfying lifestyle in retirement. Your pension can go further, and you'll have more money to spend on yourself, like indulging in a shopping trip.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
5

Window Treatments - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

When selling your home it's important to make it as appealing to buyers as possible. And one thing they always want is a bright and inviting space. You'll want to let in as much natural light as possible by choosing the right window treatments. Letting in more light makes rooms look brighter, bigger, and generally more welcoming. So here's how to showcase your Albany homes for sale in the best possible light.

Choose the Right Style

  • Consider the function of the room. Certain types of window treatments work better in certain spaces. For example, you wouldn't want drapes in the kitchen or on a porch door.
  • Consider the style of the room. Your window treatments should fit with the overall style of the room and home.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
8

Central New York: Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

March
8

Capital Region Women In Business 

Real Estate and Women: A Perfect Pairing

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that no one will ever forget – and for Coldwell Banker Prime Properties, that's not just because of the pandemic. Last year, we grew by double digits, expanded into new markets, and helped more than 6500 individuals find a place to call home. At the core of our surging success is our local leadership teams, which are made up of 22 individuals, 18 of whom are women.

As a top 2% Coldwell Banker affiliate, we are especially proud this year to celebrate Coldwell Banker's recent honor of the Women's Choice Award. The Women's Choice Award is the only award that recognizes and identifies brands that women recommend.

At Coldwell Banker, we value women in real estate. I am beyond proud to work for a brand that empowers women to take on leadership roles and strives to make the industry better. Through our work with our Inclusive Ownership program and What Moves Her initiative, we are continuously exploring new ways to support leadership development, promote shared values, and provide resources for enhancing leadership tools and capabilities for women in the industry." – Liz Gehringer, chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Not only is Coldwell Banker recommended as a brand to work with, but as real estate leaders in customer experience and quality, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties is an incredible place to work for.

Want to BE PART OF THE COLDWELL BANKER BRAND? Contact one of our local branch offices today!

March
1

Things That Impact Property Value - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

Your home's value is determined by two types of issues: (1) things you can control and (2) things you cannot. Despite the things you can't change, you can improve your home's value to ensure that it's among the most desired Albany homes for sale.

Our real estate agents are familiar with the factors you can control and can help you maximize your home's value:

  1. Lack of Curb Appeal
    As the old saying goes: You never get a second chance at a first impression. Curb appeal is shorthand for everything someone sees as they drive up to your home, including the front yard, windows, porch, front door, and exterior paint. If your front yard is a tangled mess of weeds and faded and chipped paint, all your potential buyers will see are the thousands of dollars they will need to spend to fix the curb appeal. Conversely, your home will shine with a manicured lawn, clean windows, and a fresh coat of paint.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
1

Buyers Will Love These Storage Solutions - CB Prime Properties

If we have the space, we tend to fill it. From the young family in a starter home to an empty-nesting couple preparing for retirement, everyone accumulates "stuff" along the way. And if you're considering putting your house on the market among Albany homes for sale, you'll need a storage place for all that stuff.

Our real estate agents know that some of the best storage solutions are about investing in underutilized space. Consider these tips:

  1. Go Low
    Investing early and often in under-furniture storage options is a great way to control clutter and elevate your home. Everyone is familiar with under bed plastic bins that you can find at a big box store. These options are great if you want to keep these items hidden, but you aren't limited to these options alone.

    Click Here to Read More...

September
28

Square Footage Advantage - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

The concept of "micro-apartments" and small homes was recently thought to be a trend, especially in big cities. Most millennials enjoy a minimalist lifestyle, which has inspired many to move into tiny homes, donate their possessions, and enjoy "less stuff. But since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, our real estate agents have found out that many home shoppers are less interested in stainless steel appliances and granite countertops than they are in square footage. Buyers are looking at the actual space at the expense of condos and land. Here are some of the reasons behind the demand for large homes.

  • Millennials are Dreaming of Bigger Places to Live
    While millennials have been shown to be more eco-focused than the boomers, they still aren't that immune to wanting more space. Even environmentally conscious millennials are looking to move on up by a big margin. Given the choice, few millennials would prefer a smaller home than their current ones. This means that a typical millennial is less likely to want to downsize than a baby boomer or empty nester in the same neighborhood.

    Click Here to Read More...

August
17

Last-Minute Staging - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

If you're thinking about listing your home, you want to make sure you can sell it quickly and get a great price. While there are a lot of important factors that go into making this happen, one thing our real estate agents know for sure is that the little details make a huge difference. 

Most owners of Albany homes for sale have spent months getting their homes as close to perfect as possible. If you're looking to compete, you'll have to step up your game. These seven last-minute staging suggestions that can mean the difference between a lackluster showing whether in person or virtual — and one that ends with an excellent offer.

Click Here to Read More...

June
8

Remodeling ROI - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

Planning to put your house on the market this year? Sprucing up your home can help it stand out from the many beautiful Albany homes for sale. But before you embark on any remodeling project, you need to plan and be wise with your cash. The fact is, few remodeling projects increase the value of your home enough for you to realize a profit or recoup the entire remodeling cost when the house is sold. So, you want to be certain you're investing in upgrades that will maximize the return on investment (ROI). Here are some industry rules of thumb that our real estate agents want you to know before committing to a project.

  • Consider the Market Trends
    Renovations done to make your home more appealing to buyers do not have to align with your tastes. Buyers' expectations have risen thanks to the influence of home remodeling and buying TV shows. You need to keep your eye on what's working for others. For instance, homebuyers are hot on farmhouse kitchen sinks that are deeper than traditional ones. Also trending are modern bathrooms, new garage doors, and water-conserving landscaping.

    Click Here to Read More...

May
11

Washing Machine Cleaning Tips - CB Prime Properties

There are spots in every house we don't really think about cleaning very often. For most people, the washing machine is one of those places. The inside of the washing machine can harbor offensive odors, mold, or mildew. None of those things are good for your clothes or your washer! For Albany homes for sale, thoroughly cleaning is a must. You won't want to risk anything that could leave a bad smell and bad impression with buyers. Here's how to get your machine sparkling clean in no time.­­

Front-Load Washing Machines

  1. Make sure the washing machine is empty.
  2. Remove any visible debris and pet hair from the tub.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
13

Video Tours - Homes for Sale - CB Prime Properties

Our real estate agents know how to market your home to as many potential buyers as possible. And even in the midst of social distancing, there's still plenty you can do to catch their attention. Virtual tours and online open houses offer an opportunity to really stand out from the competition and get noticed by buyers.

  • Declutter. It's always the first step to get your home ready for buyers, but it's even more important for a virtual tour. A virtual tour is a more accurate view of your home than a photo. It offers buyers a 360-degree view of the inside of your home as if they were standing in it, so there's no hiding the clutter.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
6

Furniture Arrangement - CB Prime Properties

Do you want to see a magic trick that will make your living room more spacious? Abracadabra, alakazam — your living space will be instantly maximized by floating furniture! Don't worry; you don't need a magic wand. Incorporating floating furniture into your home is something that any homeowner can accomplish regardless of room size. Our real estate agents encourage you to learn more about this great way of rearranging furniture, especially if you're going to be envisioning the next chapter of your life in one of our Albany homes for sale.

What is Floating Furniture?

No matter how roomy or cozy a home is, some homeowners may find it difficult to maximize the space in their living areas. Having adequate space becomes especially important as families grow and quarters begin to feel cramped. Thankfully, there's an easy solution that does not require knocking down walls or constructing an addition — floating furniture arrangements.

Click Here to Read More...

March
9

Spring Stand Out - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

Even in the toughest times for buying, potential homebuyers will have other homes under consideration. Spring is a particularly busy time for home sales, so even if your house is one of a few for sale near you right now, by the time daffodils bloom, other "For Sale" signs might be popping up too. Our real estate agents are experts at helping home sellers stand out in a busy market. You can get a head start on making a lasting impression on potential buyers with a mix of good home maintenance and imagination. 

  • Fixing to Sell Your Home 
    This isn't the time to consider a serious renovation, but if you have repairs you've put off or are ongoing, finish those before placing your house on the market. Apply a new coat of paint in areas that are scuffed or peeling. Especially if the need for repair is obvious, this can turn buyers away from even a modestly priced home. If your house needs extensive repairs, it may be better as an investment property than for a family to move in.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
3

Classic Blue - Sell a Home - CB Prime Properties

Every year one of the much-awaited, trendsetting moments for the design world is the announcement of Pantone's Color of the Year. And this year's color definitely deserves all the attention. Pantone's Color of the Year for 2020 is Classic Blue. Unlike some previous Colors of the Year (we're looking at you, Living Coral and Ultra Violet), Classic Blue offers a timeless look, versatility, and universal appeal. Our real estate agents often recommend clients do some repainting and depersonalization to make your home appealing to as many buyers as possible. And this year's Classic Blue is a color you can use with confidence. Here are some suggestions, room by room.

  • Outside. Classic Blue is an appealing and safe choice for painting a front door. It can also create a clean and crisp look as trim on a white house. You could also pair it with green in a four-season room or use it for cushions on outdoor furniture.

    Click Here to Read More...

January
27

Open House Prep - CB Prime Properties

In real estate terms, "full disclosure" doesn't mean putting your personal life on display for all to see. Successfully marketing Albany homes for sale involves a certain amount of discretion. Keep these items out of sight and out of mind when staging an open house.

  • Pets
    Hard to believe, but not everyone is going to be as enamored of Fido or Fluffy as you are. In addition, many people suffer from pet allergies, and it's hard for them to focus on your home when they're sniffling and sneezing. Ask a friend or relative to pet-sit for the day. While you're at it, don't forget to remove food and water dishes, toys, and other pet accessories.

    Click Here to Read More...

December
9

Winter Listing Photography - CB Prime Properties

Winter is a wonderful time of year to sell your home. However, unlike spring and summer you won't have bright and flush foliage to frame the exterior. You may also have less sunlight to illuminate the interior. To help your home stand out, our real estate agents recommend the following advice for taking spectacular listing photos. 

  • Clear Away the Snow & Lawn Debris
    You want your walkways, patio, driveway, and roof to be free of snow when you take your photos. This helps give prospective buyers a true feel for how the home looks without a white blanket covering everything.

    Similarly, you will want to prune bushes and trees. It's vital to clean gutters and remove dead foliage as well as extraneous decor. Cleaning up the front and back yard will make it easier for your photographer to take stunning photos of your property. If everything has turned brown, it is advisable to add potted evergreens or artificial shrubs to create a touch of contrast.   
  • Install Higher Wattage Bulbs
    Higher wattage bulbs breathe life into the room. They create warmth and a bright atmosphere that will appeal to prospective buyers who view the photos and walk through the home.

    Click Here to Read More...

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