Bob Falter, CRS, GRI - ERA Key Realty Services | 508-612-1649 | [email protected]


Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 2/6/2019

When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, itís very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or wonít bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!

Letís take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.  

1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel neweróan instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.

2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.

3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a homeís curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your homeís exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint wonít do the trick.

4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes donít have to break the bank to catch a buyerís eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.

5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.

6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.

The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but itís quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 12/9/2015

washing windowsDonít do windows? Think again. A house with sparkling windows all around sends the impression of property well cared for. This is a chore that none of us look forward to, and the outsides of the windows, particularly on the upper floors, are a pain to do. But newer houses have windows that tip inward, so you can wash both sides from inside your home. Try moving the windows; you may be surprised at how easy it is. Make a solution of 50% tap water and 50% white vinegar in a spray bottle. No need to buy that smelly chemical cleaner. Use lint-free material to wipe the windows clean; newspaper works best, but any lint-free material will do. If using newspaper, crumple up a sheet for streak-free results. For very dirty windows, it may be better to wash them first with soapy water and then use the spray bottle with the vinegar/water solution. Donít do windows on a sunny day, at least in direct sunlight, however. The sun bakes the cleaner on and the glass dries too quickly, before you have a chance to wipe the grime away. Itís best to wait for a cloudy day; that way you can get all the windows done at once. Make a plan to complete this work in the spring and in the fall. Itís a good idea to clean your windows twice a year. Brush the screens off, also. Dust and pollen accumulates and your hard work of cleaning the glass may not be so noticeable. Special roller brushes made for just this purpose are sold at hardware stores. Once you have completed these tasks, walk around your house and observe how clean the glass surfaces of your house lookóyouíll never say ďI donít do windowsĒ again!





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 6/7/2015

Ceiling fans are an inexpensive way to help with the heating and cooling of your home. You can find many that cost under $100 and they have little ongoing cost. And for those of you who like DIY projects, this one will take you a couple of hours to upgrade an existing light fixture. While ceiling fans donít drastically lower the temperature in a room, they do help to reduce it slightly as well as produce a light breeze which makes you feel cooler. The result? Less use of the air conditioner that results in 3-8% savings on cooling costs. Remember that in the summer months, your fanís blades should be moving counter clockwise. In the winter months, ceiling fans can take on a whole new role. When you reverse the fanís blades to rotate clockwise, you cause the air to circulate without causing that chilly breeze. This allows for better circulation of the warm air that naturally rises to the ceiling. Itís often best to have the fan speed set to low in the winter to avoid too much air movement and the effects of a breeze. Lastly, and maybe the most important, is the decision on which fan to purchase. There are few things to keep in mind when you are out shopping for a ceiling fan. 1. The size of the room Ė ceiling fans come in all sizes and choosing one that is meant for your homeís room dimension is key. Itís recommended that you choose a 40-42 inch blade span for a room 70-100 sq feet and a 42-48 inch for 100-140 sq feet. A room thatís bigger may need two small fans to be effective. 2. The location of the installation Ė for rooms with lower ceilings, a flush mount ceiling fan will work best, while rooms with high ceilings will need a down rod so that the fan is in the right place. You also want to make sure for areas such as an enclosed porch, that you check out the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) rating to ensure the fan has either a damp or wet rating. 3. Finally, you want to pick a fan that fits your decor and life style. Fans come in all sorts of styles and can have features from various lighting to remote controls. Changing a current light fixture in your home to a ceiling fan can saving you hundreds over the life of the fan. Especially with Energy Star rated ceiling fans available, savings can add up quick.





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 4/26/2015

Many homeowners paint their homes the same: 1 color per room on the walls. Ever wish you could do something different? Maybe you just don't know what to do, or are not sure about the ideas that you do have looking good in reality. Well there are a few ways that you can spice up the walls (and ceilings!) of your home without needing to e an interior decorator. Accent Walls Adding an accent wall can give a room a focal point, help with the flow of color from room to room or add a bit of fun. You can either use a bold color on your accent wall or use a deeper tone of the color on the other walls in the room to create a more subtle look. Having an accent wall in the same color as the adjacent room's furnishings or fabrics allows for a smooth transition. Your accent wall can also be used to showcase an item, such as a built in bookcase, a piece of art work, or an architectural feature. Ceiling Color Not many people think about painting their ceilings but its really a place with a lot of potential. Adding deep warm colors can make a large space feel more cozy, while adding a lighter shade of the wall color can open the space up. You can even add drama to your space with a variety of finishes, glazing and even pattern! Chalkboard Walls Get creative with chalkboard paint on a wall, or section of a wall. It can be used for a child's room to promote creativity, in the office as a calendar, to do list, or message board, or in the kitchen to make a shopping list or menu for the week. However you choose to use it, it's a fun new way to use paint with a functional use as well. Wall Finishes Adding a wall finish is simple and requires little to no artistic ability. Using sponges, paper, cheese cloth, or even specialty paints, you can create a textured look to your wall. Go a step further and add some textured wall paper to the bottom half of your wall with a chair rail above, and paint. Instantly you create a unique look to any room. There are a variety of ways to create a new look with a little paint, time and creativity. Spicing up the look of your home can be as easy as a texture on a wall, a splash of color on the ceiling or a fun new way to draw on the walls for the kids. Check out your local home improvement store's paint section for ideas and how to's!





Posted by Bob Falter, CRS, GRI on 4/19/2015

Selecting the perfect color can be difficult. Using a color wheel is a good idea when trying to come up with a color scheme, or colors with confidence. When using a color wheel remember opposites attract, each one of these opposite colors complement each other. When using complementary colors make sure one color is more subtle than the other. Another way to use the color wheel is to use colors next to each other. These are related colors which create a less contrasting effect. Using the color wheel you can also choose a monochromatic scheme. This is created by taking any one of the 12 color hues on the wheel and repeating it in various shades, tints and tones. Using the color palates base on one basic color gives you the monochromatic effect. Choosing this style can make the process of coming up with a good color scheme in your home a little easier by having one general color in mind. This style helps to create an elegant look for your home because all the colors flow so smoothly together. Incorporating colors into the home can be over whelming for some people. A good way to see what colors work well together is to look at wrapping paper and gift bags. In the gift wrap isle you will see unusual color combinations that you may be able to bring into your home. Your color scheme can also be inspired by simply pulling colors from the furnishing in the room. No matter how you decide on a color scheme donít be afraid to take a chance. Remember paint is very forgiving it can always be changed if you are unhappy with the results.